Allegations of human smuggling discussed in House Meeting
There were several issues discussed in last Friday’s House Meeting that perhaps went under the radar. Among those issues were the allegations of human smuggling brought by the Leader of the Opposition, Shyne Barrow. Of course, those allegations did not come without retorts from the government side, and a tongue lashing from the Speaker of the House.
Moses Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Madam Speaker the issue that I’d like to speak about, the issue of national importance is the current human smuggling crisis that is taking place in the Ministry of Immigration Madam Speaker. Yes Madam Speaker the Prime Minister, none other than the Prime Minister, was on television trying to justify the violation of the Treaty of Chaguaramas which is our CARICOM treaty that we have that allows all CARICOM nationals free movement into CARICOM nations Madam Speaker and in trying to justify the violation of this treaty the Prime Minister said 2,100 Haitian nationals have come to Belize and 2,000 have disappeared. If that is in a crisis Madam Speaker I don’t know what qualifies to be a crisis. Madam Speaker 2,000 Haitian nationals cannot disappear without some type of corruption taking place in the Ministry of Immigration Madam Speaker. And let us remind this country of the egregious history of immigration corruption by the People’s United Party Madam Speaker. You remember Max Samuels? Or are you going to what is it that you are ignorant because you don’t know, you don’t know that one so you’ll play the ignorant card? 1,000 passports gone missing. So Madam Speaker the country needs to be concerned Madam Speaker because I raised this issue in the house. I raised this issue about the member from Orange Walk North Madam Speaker -”
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Madam Speaker on a point of order.”
Speaker of the House: “No. Leader of the Opposition. When there is a point of order I need you to sit. Prime minister.”
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Madam Speaker he constantly tries to throw aspersions to an honorable member of this house with no such evidence and I find that offensive for him to come to this house to say such things and he needs to take that back Madam Speaker.”
Opposition Leader Barrow went on to call for the arrest of those in the Ministry of Immigration or otherwise who have been accommodating the alleged human smuggling.
Moses Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “There is a human smuggling crisis in this country Madam Speaker, rampant corruption in the Ministry of Immigration and if you are serious about anti corruption – yes member you are smiling from Cayo South you were the anti-corruption champion – where is the investigation? If the government is serious about anti-corruption and the Prime Minister has conceded that 2,000 Haitian nationals have disappeared that has to involve complicit facilitation by the Ministry of Immigration and I suggest that is why he moved the member from Orange Walk North Madam Speaker because he was the Minister of Immigration and he moved –”
Speaker of the House: “You cannot cast aspersions. I see what you’re doing I’m asking you please it is a valid national importance matter so member just confine your statements to it.”
Moses Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “OK Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker and as I said this PUP government has an egregious history of immigration corruption. Egregious. 1000 passports they sold under Max Samuels who I believe he was designated or he had his visa revoked Madam Speaker. And in keeping with this issue of immigration and corruption the Prime Minister tried to justify violating the Treaty of Chaguaramas because of this immigration corruption that he cannot contain that is happening within the immigration ministry but how is it that you’re not asking the Chinese, the People’s Republic of China for visas? Because there are hundreds of them, hundreds of them near the thousands Madam Speaker that have been found with illegal permanent residence. So how is it that we are discriminating against our CARICOM brothers and sisters but you have these nationals from the PRC that are coming into our country with permanent residence Madam Speaker? There is a problem Madam Speaker and I want to salute the public officers, I won’t say her name or their names who are exposing this corruption Madam Speaker and if the Prime Minister is serious about it a cabinet reshuffle is not enough. The only way we will stop the human smuggling crisis that we have in this country is to arrest and charge the minister that was facilitating this corruption.”