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Guatemalans caught using dead Belizeans’ birth Papers Print E-mail
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Written by The Guardian   
Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:58

On Wednesday May 14, 41-year-old Alfredo Orlando Gonzalez Marcos, Guatemalan national of Quetzaltenango, Guatemalan who at the time of his arrest was working as an X-ray Technician at the KHMH and his common-law wife, 45-year-old Guatemalan housewife, Marleny Elizabeth Castellanos, a resident of Santa Elena, Petén, Guatemala appeared in Magistrate’s Court on immigration related offenses.

They appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where Marcos was charged with 6 counts while Castellanos was charged with 4 counts. Both pleaded guilty to the offenses and Magistrate Cayetano remanded the couple to the Belize Central Prison until Friday, May 16, 2014 for sentencing.

It was a very emotional time for Castellanos who thought that after pleading guilty, she would be imposed a fine and then be able to go home. She was surprised when she was told that she would be remanded to the Belize Central Prison for the next two days. When she exited the courtroom alone she was crying uncontrollably as she was being consoled by one of her three daughters.

While Castellanos is a Guatemalan, she is the mother of 3 Belizean girls who live in Belize City.

In court, the first to be arraigned was Marcos who was charged with one count of using a document he was not entitled to use, that is, a Belizean Social Security Card, #77640 issued on July 1, 2010. The second count was for using a Belizean voter’s identification card #213529 dated 18th March 1999, which he is not entitled to use. The third count was for using a Belizean Passport #P0201772 issued on May 22, 2012; count four was for using a Belize Birth certificate #188 dated February 25, 1999, belonging to Raquel Castellanos, for the purpose of  obtaining Belizean Nationality through descent; count five was for using a Belizean National certificate #1684299 volume 2 dated March 12, 1999 to obtain a Belizean Passport for a Nationality Certificate not entitled to use, and count six was for using a permit not entitled to, after caught using a Belize temporary border permit, #8240, issued on 12th February, 2013, a permit he was not entitled to use.

For her part Castellanos was charged with using a document she is not entitled to being a Belizean Social Security card #00044779 issued on July 19, 2010. She was additionally charged with using a Belize Nationality Certificate #1684-2, volume 1 issued on April 8, 2002, this was used to obtain a Belizean Passport. Count three was for using a Belizean Birth certificate dated September 9, 1999 for one Rachel Castellanos for the purpose of obtaining Nationality through descent, a document she was not entitled to use. The fourth count was for using a Belizean passport she is not entitled to use after she was caught with a Belizean Passport, #P0201771, issued on May 23, 2012.

According to Immigration personnel, their attention was drawn to Castellanos as the mastermind behind the scheme when their investigation began. At the time a Guatemalan man was detained in March of this year when he was caught at the Social Security office when he went to apply for a Social Security Card in Belize City.

Personnel at the office became suspicious of his nationality certificate and they called in the police to investigate and checks were made later revealing that the Guatemalan obtained nationality by descent using a fraudulent birth certificate.

Investigation went further and information was received that Marleny Castellanos was the master mind behind obtaining the documents for him. Castellanos tried to elude the immigration department and the police but she was persued and caught up with at the Belize Western Border on Tuesday evening at around 4:30 p.m.,  in the company of her 22-year-old daughter who lives in the King’ s Park area of Belize City.

She was detained and escorted to the Belize City Immigration Office by Immigrations officials from the Western Border and then her husband Marcos was picked up at the KHMH compound and also taken to the Immigration Office in Belize City where they were linked to the obtaining of nationality fraudulently.