Venezuelan women say they are here for jobs to feed starving children

-as nine fined for entering country illegally

The nine women

Nine Venezuelan women were yesterday fined by a city magistrate after they pleaded guilty to entering Guyana illegally.

With the aid of an interpreter, Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan read separate charges to the nine women, including two who said they came here to work as no jobs are available in their home country and their children are starving.

Those charged are Marlenis Sanchez, Zuleiby Grando, Marlenis Moreno, Martha Lisboa, Rosiris Navas, Scarle Lamus, Grace Martinez, Francis Tovar, and Vanessa Martinez.

The charges alleged that between July 1st, 2017 and January 5th, 2018, the women entered Guyana by sea and disembarked without the consent of an immigration officer at Etering-bang, Cuyuni River.

The women, when granted the opportunity, pleaded guilty to their respective charges.

When asked why they entered Guyana illegally, most of the women related that Venezuela was not issuing passports.

Sanchez stated that she has three children and her mother is disabled. She added that there is no work in her country and her children are starving. Through tears, she said that she also has asthma and has difficulty getting her medication. She said that she met someone in Guyana who was helping her and that she was working and was able to send money to her family.

The court also learnt that Sanchez contracted malaria while working in the interior and she requested time for her to receive medical treatment before she was deported. The Chief Magistrate assured the attorney, who spoke on behalf of Sanchez, that once informed, the police will provide Sanchez with the relevant medical treatment.

“It is US$500 to get a passport,” Martinez told the court, while noting that the average salary of a Venezuelan is only US$10 per month.

Martinez also that her children are starving and that she is willing to do whatever it takes to sustain them.

The nine women were each fined $30,000 or a default sentence of four weeks in prison. After they would have paid their fine or served their default sentence, they are to be reported to Venezuela.

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