Naturalizing Belizeans in times of elections Print E-mail
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Thursday, 16 February 2017 00:00

The PUP have been making a lot of noise about those persons who the Auditor General report mentioned as having received Belizean Nationality in the months leading up to the 2012 General Election. They have been trying to portray that those persons got their nationality by fraud and later on used their Nationality documents to be registered to vote in the 2012 election. The Auditor General report however said no such thing. What the report did mention was the fact was that during that time 2010 persons received their nationalities. We checked the report and at no point did that report say that those persons got their nationality by fraud or that they were registered and voted. The practice of people going to apply for Belizean Nationality around the time leading up to an election is not a new one. Those persons often rely on the assistance of the politicians and their machineries for assistance in navigating this process ,as is the nature of politics.

Most of the persons who apply are not acquainted with the immigration process or are they wealthy and at times need both academic and financial assistance, to get things they need done in order to complete the process. The politicians would chip in to assist in that manner. Those politicians we assume in return, as politicians would expect, those persons would remember who assisted them in their time of need and hold them in high regard and in return vote for them. That is the nature of politics. Politicians are in the business of assisting people in order to gain votes and there is no hiding that. If persons who are qualified for nationality , are assisted, especially those persons who were trying to get their nationality for many years, that is not a crime. On the other hand if those persons don’t qualify under the law then that is another matter.

What the PUP must talk about are those persons we have heard of who don’t live in Belize, but had been brought in from Guatemala in the day leading up to the 2008 ELECTIONS .Those persons were then granted citizenship and registered as voters in many divisions across the country. In writing this article we did our research of what transpired at the Immigration Department in those days leading up to the 2008 GENERAL ELECTION. We found stories from the television newscast for the nights of the 8 and 9 January 2008, both nights the news carried stories of over a THOUSAND PERSONS who were nationalized on both days. Those dates are very important, because of the next day being the last day that persons could have registered to be able to vote in the General Election of 2008. Those persons were the same persons we saw being shuttled by the bus loads from their swearing in ceremony at the George Price Centre in Belmopan to the various registration offices around the country. We know that those phantom voters exist, because it was revealed by Mr. Chell in Johnny’s fish from river bottom tape.

In that 2008 election the PUP won only 6 seats even though they had gerrymandered the divisions and had illegally naturalized and registered thousands of mostly Guatemalans in time for that election. From the numbers we have seen the PUP could have possibly lost every seat. These were the numbers we saw and they told quite a tale. In the Freetown division the PUP won over a new candidate by only 16 votes. The Corozal South East was also won by the PUP by 16 votes. Fort George was won by 356 votes by the PUP. Lake Independence was won by the PUP by 369 votes. Albert was won by the PUP by 636 votes. Even the present Leader of the PUP and one of the stars of the now infamous FISH FROM RIVER BOTTOM tape won in Orange Walk Central by only 310 votes. These were all divisions where the PUP were known to have won by huge margins and not the tiny margins they won by in 2008 .All together they won those six division by a total of 1,703 votes.

If we were only to take into account the almost 3,000 persons the PUP illegally NATURALIZED and subsequently REGISTERED in just the last three days before the eligibility period to vote in the 2008 election came to an end, we get a clear picture of all the PUP did to try and win that election. We have not included the number of persons who were illegally naturalized and later registered by the PUP before, during the prior six or so months, because we have not been able to get our hand on that information so far. Those numbers may be even more alarming according to what we have been told. Before pointing fingers the PUPs ought to look in the mirror. 

Our hope is that if the necessary changes are to be made at the Immigration Department an audit ought to be done for the period from the end of the previous audit that took place under the Musa administration to the start of the audit period presently under review. Such an audit may reveal all sorts of details.