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Sep 28, 2017

Are New Belizeans Renouncing Guatemala?

Diana Locke

Because of the relationship between Belize and Guatemala, the road to acquiring Belizean citizenship by Guatemalans is somewhat complicated. The Guatemalan national must sign a renunciation form in Belize and complete the Belizean nationality process. But what is often not known is that the renunciation must also go through in Guatemala, and the local embassy has requested and received a list of persons who have gone through the process. There is a question, as Courtenay put it to Locke, that Guatemalans may well have a change of heart on going through with the process.

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“Is your committee or are you familiar with the process of renunciation of Guatemalan citizen under Guatemalan law?”

 

Diana Locke, Director of Immigration

“We have seen an interpretation.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay

“What is it?”

 

Diana Locke

“It speaks to a process where you submit your documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala…”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“That is the Guatemalan national?”

 

Diana Locke

“Yes. And it didn’t specify what they would issue, but one would assume from the way it is written – and as I said, this is not an official translation that we saw, so I have no way of knowing that this is what is officially there – you would then get some sort of certificate, paper from them.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“You are aware –I’ll come back to Guatemala specifically, but generally speaking, there are quite a number of countries in the world where a citizen cannot announce that he or she is no longer a citizen of their country; an official process has to be completed for that to be done. And I want to suggest to you that Guatemala is one. The same process that you referred to – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala has to be notified by the citizen of his or her renunciation and they have to acknowledge the renunciation for it to be effective.”

 

Diana Locke

“That is correct.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“What are the steps taken by the nationality committee to ascertain that that process is completed by a Guatemalan person applying for Belizean nationality?”

 

Diana Locke

“The Committee in January had raised concerns about the process. We had received in March, an interpretation of the Government’s position from the Attorney General, which guides the work that we do. And that opinion that was given to us indicated that the Government has an arrangement with Guatemala where the documents are provided to them and in the absence of any response from Guatemala that that process was not correct, it is deemed to be correct and the procedure is carried out. So we have a directive from the Attorney General by which we function.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“I just want to be clear from you. The committee, prior to that letter, took no step to ensure that the legal process in Guatemala was completed for renunciation to be effective in Guatemala for a person who applied for Belizean nationality?”

 

Diana Locke

“That’s correct.”

 

According to Director Locke, no Guatemalan files have been processed since the beginning of 2017.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Are New Belizeans Renouncing Guatemala?”

  1. asdfgh says:

    BLA ! BLA ! BLA !
    ONE VOTE , ONE NATIONALITY !!!
    ASK YOURSELF AND ALL YOU THAT SELLING THIS COUNTRY TO GUATEMALA !!!

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