Though official authorities have denied it, attorney and political aspirant Arthur Saldivar has become the key target of the embattled Department of Immigration and Nationality, who are looking for his files of 150 documents which he charges outlined a grave operation to sell not only passports, but visas to Belize as well, in defiance of popular and political sentiment against economic citizenship. On Wednesday, Mr Saldivar was told that he was the subject of a police warrant to search his home and reportedly, also to arrest him. He has not been served with either but he maintains that he is available should the Police need him.
Arthur Saldivar – Attorney:
“Well, you know what happened. A search warrant was issued; a warrant has been issued for my arrest. I am public figure. I am here; I had court this morning. I would not be driving around with one of those binders in my possession, considering the change that has been made to the circumstances. Personally, they’ve sought to search my residence by issuing a search warrant, but I don’t believe that they were successful in doing that because I haven’t been home. Apart from that, I am understanding that there is an arrest warrant out for me. Again, there has been not attempt to contact me. Nobody has called my phone, and many of them have my number. I think that I am sufficiently well known to those in the Police Department for them to contact me, if they so desire. I have called members of the force, and as far as they are concerned, there is no need. So, there is no need for me to turn myself in.”
Rowland Parks – Reporter Newspaper
“But isn’t there a warrant for you?”
“Well there is the warrant to search my house, and for my arrest; I am here, hiding in the open. If they see me, and they want to see me, I will not resist. I will go.”
A relaxed Arthur Saldivar said he saw no need to turn himself in, as he has accomplished one of his main goals: the closure of the Department as a precursor to an investigation. He outlines the others.
“There is a purpose for which the documents were being let out slowly. The first objective was to get the Nationality and Passport Section of the Immigration Department closed. The second is to have an independent and competent investigative team go in to ascertain the extent of the corruption at that office, the corruption and criminality in the Immigration Department. Then after that, basically we’re seeking to have this whole scenario, where this monster of sale of Belizean Passports be ended. Our patrimony cannot be made so cheap, that it is compared to a prostitute.”
Arthur Saldivar’s plans to slowly release the documents include the green binders containing the historical record of naturalized Belizeans has been shelved for the time being. He has instead chosen to hold a press conference on October 15 to release all the documents at once.
“At that Press Conference all documents will be disclosed. I hope it ends up before the courts. I am constantly in communication with my attorney. A search warrant was issued. A warrant has been issued for my arrest. I am a public figure. I am here. I had court this morning. I would not have been driving around with one of those binders in my possession, considering the change that has been made to the circumstances.”
Arthur Saldivar made another damning revelation: there is an organized caravan of illegal sale of visas involving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“At the end of the day, this thing is even greater than we originally thought. There’s an aspect to this situation that involves the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, basically where Foreign Affairs employees and drivers pick up documents from the Immigration Department, take it to Cancun, and from Cancun they fly out to Cuba, where they are met by a long-standing diplomat in Cuba, who was posted in Washington. They deliver the documents there. The documents go from there to Taiwan, and they come back to Belize with application forms for other documents: passports, visas and nationality certificates. I will provide names, description of vehicles, license plates, [and] pictures. We have a hundred and fifty documents.”
Arthur Saldivar claims the assistance and support of several individuals, none of whom, he says, are immigration officials. He knew of no similar warrants for arrests or searches of the homes of any immigration officials or his associates. He has retained legal assistance and also claims to be backed by the People’s United Party, which will be hosting Tuesday’s press conference.