By Marion Ali
and Alexis R. Milan
The million-dollar question this week has to be the “why” behind the decision to place Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Local Government and Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar-Morter on administrative leave with immediate effect.
While no official was able to field Reporter’s questions regarding the move, there has been wild speculation about the reason.
Mrs. Saldivar-Morter, was the CEO in the Ministry when the Penner passport immigration problems surfaced in late September of 2013. But she did not come under fire or investigation at the time, although three public officers in the Immigration and Nationality Department were suspended.
Penner was Immigration Minister of State and was charged with facilitating the delivery of a Belizean passport to Kim Wong Hong, a South Korean national who never set foot in Belize.
At the height of the scandal, Mrs. Saldivar-Morter was not placed on leave. But two years later she appears to have come under a cloud.
The Reporter tried to reach Minister Hulse, the present Minister of Immigration, and others in the Prime Minister’s office, but without success.
Recently, the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, while giving an update on her audit of that department, said that her office has been working to complete three massive reports.
Bradley said that due to the volume of sensitive material they uncovered when they went in, they had to produce separate reports for passport, nationality and visa departments.
With no official word to put an end to roaming rumors, Belizeans are left to ponder the whys of this move.