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Dec 19, 2014

A Look at the Bi-lateral Agreements

Stuart Leslie

As you know, thirteen agreements have been signed between Belize and Guatemala. The historic signing was done by the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala and has been described as a huge achievement by the government but the opposition says it cannot support because the people were not consulted. The agreements are wide ranging and touch on a number of issues. There is one on the harmonization of operating hours at legal terrestrial entry points.  The agreements also contain the protection, conservation, recovery and return of items of cultural and natural patrimony which have been stolen or trafficked unlawfully.  The ratification took place at the close of the forty-fourth general assembly of SICA held on Wednesday in Placencia.  Ambassador Stuart Leslie who has been integral in the process categorized the agreements.

 

Stuart Leslie, Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“The thirteen agreements that we signed can be put into four thematic areas; one education, one immigration, one deportation and another one migration.  For example, the migrant workers agreement, this is an agreement, as you know, every year thousands of Guatemalan workers come over into Belize to work in the banana industry, the citrus industry.  Some of them work in the south and some of them even work in the north in the sugar cane industry and so thousands of workers come over and we don’t know at the end of their work schedule where they go.  If they stay in Belize, if they leave Belize we can’t track them because the system is so loose.  What we wanted to do was to find a way to make the system more formal by making sure that these people go and register and we can put in, through the use of technology, we can put a system in place that would allow us to be able to see when this worker comes into Belize to work, who he is working for, who she is working for, when the family members are coming and at the end of the process we’d be able to track whether they left Belize or not.  So I think that’s a very good thing to deal with the problem of illegal immigration is one way.”

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1 Response for “A Look at the Bi-lateral Agreements”

  1. Steve D says:

    THIRTEEN AGREEMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I could have gotten by with two;

    1) Belize will use GPS coordinates to adjust its’ borders where necessary
    &
    2) If the Guats don’t bother us we won’t call our buddies from the U.S., U.K., & Canada

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