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Dec 1, 2011

Hours in long lines at Mexico border; will bribery stop?

Many Belizeans travel across the border for weekend shopping and also to break their routines. But before Belizeans can reach popular destinations such as Plaza De Las Americas and Calderitas, they usually wind up spending hours in a line at Subtiniente Lopez because Mexican immigration officials have instituted a go-slow. And if you didn’t know the meaning of the term ‘mordida’, then you have probably learnt it at the border where families with children are held at ransom for hours and some Belizeans feel it necessary to pay bribes to encourage the Mexican immigration officials to work.  Earlier today, News Five asked Mexico’s Ambassador Mario Velazquez if the practice will change.

Mario Velazquez, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize

“I received that kind of information just after my arrival. As you are aware I am three months in town. The Mexican authorities, they received our information and they decided to make some changes in place. Actually we have a new regional delegate in Quintana Roo. After seeing the troubles, he has asked for a new assistant. The new assistant that is posted in the borderline—he arrived in last week. I was joking with them the last week—just giving the reception to the newest delegate and well they are now in knowledge that they must work very hard to receiving Belizeans as we really want to do it; with open arms.”

Jose Sanchez

“As you know, there are tricks to the system. The whole idea of the border pass, for Belizeans to grab it, is to expedite the process; however, I have seen also the same line that you must get the visa form to go into Mexico is the same line you must get the person checks for the border pass and that line moves really so. So even if you have a border pass, if you pay the fee, you get to pass. But with the border pass you don’t necessarily cross any at all easily.”

Mario Velazquez

Mario Velazquez

“Well you know some two years ago we had a consular visa, but now actually that visa doesn’t exist. The process is easier. But we need to make it more easy. We must be working in that way. Actually you can do it with your passport; you don’t need a consular visa. You don’t need to come to our consulate here. It’s not necessary. All you need is to go to the borderline and at the borderline you can get with your passport; you can receive a special new format for local stay. That is for two years to five years. When you receive it, you are crossed immediately—no more troubles. However, of course, we must be working harder and harder in that place. After talking with the new officials in the borderline, immigration officials, I am totally sure that many things will change and you will see those changes.”

So if you’re heading up north, take note that at the start of the Christmas season, the wait will be long.

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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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8 Responses for “Hours in long lines at Mexico border; will bribery stop?”

  1. belizeanpride says:

    i believe they like the mordidas so consider carrying extra small change if you want to speed your pass. is real the mexican style anywhere in mexico.

  2. Orangewalkenio says:

    oh mein, i have been to the border countless times and have seen the corruption that occurs. Luckily for me, i travel in the evenings but hav had to make the trip on a saturday morning. Oh mein, the trouble that my Belizean brothers and sisters have to endure to get into Mexico to spend their hard earn money. Firstly, the delays are ridiculous. As mentioned by Jose in his report, there is only one line to get the form and to get the card scanned. I know Mexicans are smart and they can easily see that this is ineffective. However, some people take their intelligence to take advantage of the rest. But if you look carefully or not all that carefully, you can easily spot out who is the person to contact to expedite your pass. For example, look out for the “security” personnel that has authority to take the scanner off the immigration officer’s hand and scan about twenty passports at a time…..yes, that is what happens. Just contact the security man that is walking around, and for a “mordida” of about 50 pesos, he will take your passport with the completed form to the booth and get it processed. I mean this is totally unfair for the Belizeans to endure this. I was going to say the belizeans are trying to stretch their money by going there but then again, Chetumal is not cheap anymore(except for the fuel). The mexican immigration officers should change that bad habit or have them changed and be more welcoming. Belizeans be mindful of how you spend your money in Chetumal because its not that cheap. Remember, Buy in Belize, Build Belize. To this new ambassador, in this three months this issue could have been looked at….poor excuse. So please get to it. What do the rest think?

  3. belizeanpride says:

    I rather go to melchor and less people bunch up in line like chetumal. i know exactly what orange walkenio is saying hope the embassador can read this line and understand what is going on in his corrupted mexico. wherethe mordidas range from 50 pesos to 100 or more pesos depending your need to pass. it’s actually been there and done that.

  4. superman says:

    corruption is everywher: belizean officials are not any better

  5. Shark says:

    …and to add to it I went over there for the hundredeth time for this year and like bad luck coming back home about 3:30pm on a Sunday just cruising in no hurry, damn policia on cycle stop us. My buddy was like 5 cars behind me and he too was stop. Policia said we we speeding (racing). I was WTH!!! you gotta be kiding me. The Mexican car that was a head of us was doing like 50mph and we were in no hurry cruising around 35mph. That pissed me off caz it was obvious he just wanted money. I played hard ball with him until he called for help. He first demanded our License and when we refused he radio in for help from the Pickup. I told him well you are gonna take us to the station then….to cut a long story short we just wasted like 20 minutes there with them and finally my other friends gave in and said lets just pay them and get out of there. Had to pay 100bz for each car.

  6. Earl Grey says:

    Let’s Boycott Chetumal for two weekends NO ONE SHOULD TRAVEL THERE……

  7. chaveli says:

    we need to reduce price of commodities to compete and never visit chetumal

  8. Be Real says:

    tell u the truth the Mexican Ambassador did not answer the reporter’s questions as straight forwardly as I would prefer.

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