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Apr 23, 2018

Corozal fisherman still held in Livingston; soldiers threatened fishing party

Iginio Canto Bacab

This morning Belizean fisherman Iginio Canto Bacab of Caledonia, Corozal District, was scheduled to appear in a court in Livingston, Guatemala, charged with illegal capture of lobster. However up to news time, Ambassador Said Badi Guerra indicated that the hearing had not taken place according to Canto’s lawyer based in Puerto Barrios. Canto along with Alejandro Rodriguez Ortega, a Guatemalan who was born in Belize, and Julio Rodríguez Blanco, a full-fledged Guatemalan, were picked up by Guatemalan military personnel near Livingston, in Guatemalan waters last Monday with a large amount of lobster in coolers. The Ministry confirmed that at the time of his capture, Canto only had his Belizean fishing license and Social Security card. It is not yet clear how he and the others managed to drift into Guatemalan waters or exactly what they were doing there in the first place. In related news, a boat from Barranco went to the village of Graham Creek along the Sarstoon on Sunday but its occupants were stopped by Guatemalan Armed Forces. The soldiers are said to have asked for their papers and said they would have to go to Livingston to be cleared. They were additionally warned not to go up the river again without clearance and that if they do, they would be arrested and taken to court. We were unable to reach any of the persons involved for comment up to news time.

 

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