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A second conviction for human trafficking was secured today on the heels of the conviction of fifty-four year old Santa Elena resident, Narcisa Orellana, who was the first to be found guilty and sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment. Today, Honduran national, Yolanda Garcia, who is a naturalized Belizean, was found guilty of the offence of trafficking in persons.
A seventeen year old minor of the Cayo area accused Garcia of instructing her to engage in sexual activity with patrons while she worked at a Serendita Bar which Garcia owns.
The victim testified en camera that she had just left high school when she went to work for Garcia and did not want to engage in sexual favors. Garcia who was represented by attorney Simeon Sampson denied the allegations made by the seventeen year old.
In mitigation this morning, Sampson pleaded to Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, to impose a lenient sentence but Garcia was given a custodial sentence of twelve months. Garcia is a mother of three. This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system. I am happy see these people being jailed but I am afraid they are small fry.
Strangely, it is two women convicted of human trafficking in Belize? Give me a break, are we just trying to make it look like we are doing something about this problem. If so go get Mr BIG, and stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes. On another note, we cannot naturalise people and then refer to their original nationality Honduran , in my view she is now Belizean, is she not?