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Dec 19, 2014

Agreements Include Prisoner Exchange

Stuart Leslie

Of equal concern is the matter of Belizeans being locked up in Guatemala.  Viewers would recall the case of Joseph Budna, a Belizean who is serving a lengthy sentence in a Guatemalan jail after being convicted of a slew of charges, including kidnapping and extortion.  Both countries have since agreed that inmates can now request to serve the remainder of their prison terms in their home country. 

 

Stuart Leslie, Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“The other thing we are talking about right now, again on the issue of immigration is the whole matter that has to do with deportation.  That when we find these people who come over illegally into Belize and so on that we try to speed up the process to get them back over on their side of the border and vice versa, you know.  We have one on penal sentences, for example, that says if a Guatemalan commits a crime in Belize and right now there are eighty-six or so, between eighty and eighty-six Guatemalans who are serving in our prisons in Belize; that if a Guatemalan national is sentenced to a period longer than six months they can apply to serve out their time in a prison in Guatemala.  Now there are very few Belizeans in Guatemalan prisons and likewise they would be able to ask to serve out their sentence in Belize.  Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that they’re going to Guatemala and walk freely, they will have to go to prison in Guatemala and serve out the remainder of their time.  There is no way, for example, of a Belizean who is convicted of a crime in Guatemala asks to serve out their sentence in Belize that that person would just, we would be able to parole them right away.  They would have to serve out their sentence.”

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2 Responses for “Agreements Include Prisoner Exchange”

  1. me says:

    whats the guarantee that they wont be free as soon as they cross the border?

  2. Steve D says:

    I have advocated this until I’m blue in the face… Close the border to Guats & stop shopping in Melchor! Can’t we get along without cheap plastic chairs & shoddily made school uniforms? Put the enire Defence Force on the border full-time. Our brothers in Mexico sure as hell ain’t planning to attack us!

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