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Honduran national charged with immigration offense says he has been in and out of Belize illegally for 10 years

Posted: Friday, January 20, 2023. 11:46 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: A Honduran national charged with immigration offenses confessed in court this week that he has been in and out of Belize, illegally, several times over the past 10 years.

Forty-year-old Jairo Valdez appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, charged with a single count of illegal entry.

Valdez, who says he has a common law wife and 17-year-old daughter, living in Belize, pleaded guilty to the offense, noting that he has traversed the banks of the Mopan River several times over the years to return to his home country and has never been caught until now.

In court he told the Magistrate that he was in Belize on this latest occasion seeking asylum as he was threatened in Honduras and fears for his life should he return.

For his guilty plea, he was fined $1,000 which he needed to pay upfront or be sentenced to five months in jail. He could not pay and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. The court is considering the evidence being submitted by the Immigration Department to see whether or not the request for a removal order will be granted.

That determination will be made on January 27.

Valdez was detained by police on January 18 and then handed over to the Immigration Department when he could not produce the required documentation to prove he was in the country legally.


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