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May 27, 2016

Belizeans Fishermen Arrested in Guatemala for Illegal Entry

There is another developing story. It is well-known that Guatemalan nationals illegally enter Belizean territory for illegal activities. Most recently when the Sarstoon law applied, their fishermen routinely traversed into Belize to fish while the local fisher folk were barred from entering the Sarstoon.  Now, on Thursday night, a total of eight Belizeans were detained by the Guatemalan navy and today were taken over to Guatemala City to be processed for illegal entry by Immigration officials. The group of fishermen were detained on the beach of Punta Manbique. According to the brief details we have received, the Guatemalan navy claims that seven of them possessed fishing licences, but the eight fishermen did not have license or any sort of identification.  Their vessel also did not have the required navigation license.  They are Jeffery Gongora, Manuel Flores, Antonio Pop, Simeon Batun, Isidro Tamai, Jorge Tamai, Bartolo Jimenez, and Ernesto Megan, who did not have an identification document. As we said they are to be charged with illegal entry into Guatemala. Shortly after six this evening, government confirmed the detention of the Belizeans. According to a release, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Belize Embassy staff in Guatemala, since receipt of this information early this afternoon, confirmed the identities of those detained and have been in communication with the individuals to confirm they are in good health. Government officials will continue to engage with Guatemalan and O.A.S. representatives in this matter.”

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