Elvin Penner

Great Belize Television House of Representatives (Belize) Belize
Elvin Penner
Member of the Belize House of Representatives for Cayo North East
In office
7 February 2008 – 4 November 2015
Preceded by(constituency created)
Succeeded byOrlando Habet
Personal details
Political partyUnited Democratic Party
ResidenceSan Ignacio, Belize

Elvin Penner is a Belizean politician who served in the House of Representatives from 2008 to 2015 representing the Cayo North East constituency.[1] He is a member of the United Democratic Party.[1] Penner was the first Belizean Mennonite elected to national office.[2]

Penner was initially appointed as Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment in 2008. Following a cabinet reshuffling in March 2009, Penner transitioned to the Ministry of Public Utilities, Information and Broadcasting.[3] After being re-elected in 2012, Penner was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security (with responsibility for immigration and border protection).[1][4]

Passport scandal

On 19 September 2013, Penner was stripped of his ministerial portfolios by Prime Minister Dean Barrow due to his involvement in allegedly selling and issuing a fraudulent Belizean passport to South Korean national Kim Won Hong, who at the time was jailed in Taiwan.[5][6][7] Penner was charged with illegally facilitating a passport in March 2014, but charges were dropped in July due to lack of evidence.[8]

After the scandal Penner was shunned in the Belize House and reportedly did not carry out any official government duties. He resisted calls to resign from both the Belize House and the UDP by Barrow and others.[9][10][11]

In 2013 Penner was the subject of a recall petition in his constituency. However the petition was declared invalid in January 2014.[12][11] In June 2014 Penner was deselected as the UDP's candidate in Cayo North East in the 2015 general election in favour of former San Ignacio Mayor John August.[13] At that election August was defeated by the People's United Party candidate, Orlando Habet.


Penner is of Canadian ancestry.[14] He has three children, one daughter and two sons.


  1. ^ a b c "Hon. Elvin Penner". Government of Belize. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013.
  2. ^ "A flashback at the political life of Elvin Penner" Archived 2014-12-19 at the Wayback Machine, Great Belize Television, 10 October 2013. (accessed 4 December 2014)
  3. ^ "PM Dean Barrow Shuffles Marcel Cardona Out of Cabinet". 7 News Belize. March 10, 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  4. ^ Trapp, Adele O. (15 March 2012). "All 17 UDP House members get ministerial portfolios". Amandala. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Minister of State Required to Resign" (PDF) (Press release). Government of Belize. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  6. ^ "PM Forced Hon. Penner to Resign Due to Passport Irregularity". 7 News Belize. September 19, 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Immigration Minister Hulse: No Picture, No Fingerprint, No Police Check For Citizen Kim". 7 News Belize. October 2, 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Charges against Elvin Penner dismissed due to lack of evidence", The San Pedro Sun, 30 July 2014. (accessed 4 December 2014)
  9. ^ "Elvin Penner says he will not resign", Great Belize Television, 5 November 2013. (accessed 4 December 2014)
  10. ^ Ramos, Adele. "Bombshell: Mahmud resigns!", Amandala, 25 November 2014. (accessed 4 December 2014)
  11. ^ a b "Penner Recall Petition Faces Further Delay", Great Belize Television, 3 November 2014. (accessed 4 December 2014)
  12. ^ Trujillo, Renee. "Elvin Penner Stays As Area Representative; Recall Mechanism Fails" Archived 2014-11-29 at the Wayback Machine, LOVE FM, 8 January 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  13. ^ Jones, Patrick E. "New standard bearer for the UDP in Cayo Northeast", Breaking Belize News, 8 June 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Penner: Belizean not Bel-Can", Tropical Vision Limited, 31 July 2009. (accessed 4 December 2014)