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Belize Immigration Accused of Extortion and Abuse

Article Summary:

The Belize Immigration Department is not answering to allegation by the Honduran Government of extortion. The dispute arises of the legal crossing of two individuals from Honduras into Belize where immigration officials asked for US $2000 to facilitate their border crossing.

Original Article Text From Honduras News :

Honduran Accuses Belize Immigration Dept. of Extortion

The Belize Immigration Department is accused by a Honduran and Mexican national of extortion and abuse at the Western Border. Honduran National Xenia Paz Bardalez and Mexican National Yolanda Pineda Castillo tried crossing into Belize at the Western Border en route to Mexico and were detained by Immigrations Officials.

According to the women, Pineda Castillo, the Mexican National, had lost her passport and tried to cross with other legal credentials. However, this was not made easy as they had both declared in the port of entry form that they were both heading to the same address in Mexico, but when asked, they told immigration officers they were not relatives. They were detained and locked up at the border. While in detention, the women were accosted and sexual advances were made.

Carlos Barrachina – Relative of victim “An Immigration Officer tried to sexually abuse the Mexican national, at first he touched her legs, then he insinuated that through sexual favours he could allow her into the country and he also made derogatory comments at the same time making physical approaches to the young lady. Of course she did not give in to his request and she was sent to a cell. The Honduran national was locked up for no valid reason as she had a valid visa to Mexico. What I do not understand is to why they were locked up if they had not entered the country yet, they were trying to but in the legal way. In such a case the Mexican national should have been explained that she could not enter the country or a temporary pass could have been issued because she had legal credentials from Mexico. I just cannot understand why she was detained at the border.” Barrachina claims the women were then extorted some $10,000 Mexican pesos. They believe this was because there was seen an exchange of some two thousand US dollars before entering the border area

Link to Original Article:

From Honduras News

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