The Vital Statistics Unit in Belize City has been given many foul descriptions over the years with the most recently being “hell on earth” by social media users. That’s because the amount of complaints against the unit keeps increasing. One of the major issues that Belizeans face at Vital stats is corruption, something that the Attorney General Magali Marin Young told Love News that her ministry is actively addressing.
Magali Main-Young, Attorney General of Belize: “I do admit Vital Statistics has been one of the most challenging Government Departments for the very reasons you just outlined and since assuming office, I have taken measures to remove persons who are suspected or there’s evidence to show that they may have been involved in corrupt activities but it’s going to take more than that because it requires people to come forward and make complaints. But, oftentimes, you hear the complaints on social media but persons aren’t willing to bring the evidence to us and so it makes it difficult for us to root out those officers who may engage in corrupt activities or provide informal services on an expeditious manner. So I will ask, look, for us to root out corruption, it requires cooperation from members of the public. Come forward with your evidence as to what has taken place, what you’ve had to do to get services expedited. Our next, we strongly believe as an administration that we need to automate Vital Statistics and the services at Vital Statistics. So we are working arduously to digitise Vital Statistics and we believe that by digitising, we will be able to eliminate corruption and also instead of having people line up at an office they would be able to apply for their birth or death certificate online. So we think that automation will eliminate some of it but, again, for us to be able to root out corruption, we require members of the public to come forward. Let us know and as soon as we know our hear and we have enough evidence to believe, we promise to take action in relation to that officer.”