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May 10, 2018

Belize Still Seeks Official Position on Renunciation of Guatemalan Citizenship

Patrick Faber

Earlier this week, the Elections and Boundaries Department outlined the process for the re-registration exercise set to begin on July first and conclude in December. An area of great concern involves those thousands of Guatemalan nationals that have obtained Belizean nationality, but did not formally renounce their Guatemalan citizenship.  The Belize Chamber of Commerce, National Trade Union Congress and the Belize National Teachers Union are all of the view that they should not have been granted citizenship because outside of the territorial dispute, Belize’s law states that no person shall be entitled to be a citizen of Belize if such person shows any allegiance to or is a citizen of a country which does not recognize the independence, sovereignty or territorial integrity of Belize.  The proviso is that the minister may in his discretion grant Belizean citizenship.  Today, the media asked Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber about the issue.

 

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“That’s a long discussion that we have had. There is no formal renunciation as I understand it in Guatemala and so when it is that Guatemalans come to ask for citizenships, even if we have our own mechanism to have them say I renounce Guatemala, which really should happen, that does not guarantee that they are not able to go back to Guatemala. As a matter of fact, Guatemala sees no renunciation of their citizenship. But as you know, Belize and Guatemala are closely linked in many ways; in family relations; people who live here and so those are very delicate matters and we have discussed them time and time again with our stakeholders and in our cabinet deliberations and it is very hard to give you a definitive answer in one direction on that.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, the constitution states in regards to that matter no person who belongs to a country that does not respects Belize’s integrity, independence and the like, should be granted Belizean citizenship or nationality; is that something you support because the B.C.C.I., N.T.U.C.B. and B.N.T.U. do?”

 

Patrick Faber

“Yes, but remember that citizenship that is being considered is not being given to a person who doesn’t go through some kind of renunciation even if it is only on our part. The issue is the fact that Guatemala does not recognize that renunciation. Is it sufficient for us to say if we get them to pronounce that they renounce Guatemala that that is a renunciation; that is the question at hand. It is not whether or not we should allow people from a nation that is calling into question our boundaries, question our integrity, our sovereignty. That is not the question at hand; it is how we go about getting an official position in terms of that renunciation.”

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1 Response for “Belize Still Seeks Official Position on Renunciation of Guatemalan Citizenship”

  1. Lucas says:

    Man it is illegal and all those Belizean citizenship granted to Guatemalans must be revoked

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