Addy Pacheco says she was intimidated by Ministers

Another matter brought up in yesterday’s Senate Inquiry was the fact that Addy Pacheco received the Won Hong Kim file directly from Minister Penner. That application file was lacking several key components. According to the Auditor Generals’ report, Addy Pacheco was interviewed on the matter in which she stated that she accepted the application knowing that it was incomplete with the knowledge of her supervisor. Minister Penner had promised to bring in the required documents at a later time. Pacheco said in that interview that she did not want to be transferred to another station if she did not comply with the request. The report says that Pacheco said that she felt intimidated by Minister Penner.

Aldo Salazar, Chairman, Senate Select Comittee:  Minister Penner, you say you can’t recall the words you felt intimidated by him. Do you recall feeling intimidated by him at that time?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: Well by him and by all the Ministers that came.vlcsnap-00165

Aldo Salazar, Chairman, Senate Select Comittee:  Can you explain what you meant by that?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: Meaning that if anyone of us would probably dare go against or would not accept anything that was something that they were recommending or –

Aldo Salazar, Chairman, Senate Select Comittee:  So you felt that you had to accept the application even though incomplete because you were afraid of the repercussions from Minister Penner?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: From Minister Penner and from all the ministers that came. I mean this is Belize, this is how it works sadly but it’s the truth, if an officer does not comply with the request made by a minister they simply just move you to somewhere else.

According to Pacheco, her supervisor Gordon Wade often facilitated Ministers and she simply followed instructions from Wade to accept applications even if they were missing information.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: Was it the process that the ministers would give Mister Wade applications and Mister Wade would give them to you to process? Is that the established pattern?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: Basically yes or Mister Wade would call me in his office and then instruct me to accept what they were bringing in.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: What the Ministers were bringing in.vlcsnap-00162

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: Yes, or their secretaries or drivers.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: So it extended to their secretaries and their drivers as well?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: Yes.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: So they all had access to Mister Wade? (yes) And then Mister Wade would then say to you process?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: To accept.

 

About the Author