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Jul 17, 2015

Sedi Elrington on Recent Detention of Belizeans in Guatemala

Wilfred Elrington

Five Belizeans were detained in Guatemala in mid-June and reportedly experienced a horrible ordeal at the hands of the Guatemalans military.  The group was hanging out at a restaurant in the village of Santa Cruz which is just across the border when they were told to leave.  Among the group was Councilor Ashton McKenzie of Punta Gorda who told News Five at the time that after they asked to purchase soft drinks at a nearby store things got out of hand. The Councilor said they were terrorized by intoxicated officers and that with weapons pointed at them, they had to run for miles until they met up with a mobile unit and were subjected to a preliminary interrogation. They ended up in a Guatemalan court and were charged and fined before they were released. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a note of protest to Guatemala after the incident. On Thursday, we asked Minister Elrington for an update.


Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“I am not aware …I have not seen a response on that. It is something that we had asked the O.A.S. to look into on our behalf but I haven’t seen a response, they are probably still working on it. That would not at the very most we would send an information paper to the cabinet…at the very most. But normally when you have…every day we have Guatemalans coming across in Belize and they are being charged with illegal entry. Some of them possess guns and they are carried through the court process, arrested, charged and put in prison. It is not my understanding that what happened with the group of Belizeans are any different. Seems like the kind of thing, you go across there you get yourself in trouble, you go across to Mexico, you get yourself arrested over the last two or three months I know of a number of them who have gotten themselves arrested in Mexico, public officers too and that was handled in the routine way. So it is not anything out of the ordinary…you go to the United States illegally they will arrest you they will process you they will imprison you. You go to Guatemala illegally break their laws whatever it is, they will process you. To the extent that we are aware of it and can make an intervention to make sure that you are properly treated according to their law, you get due process, we make that intervention and if we are not clear with the facts and circumstance we ask for clarification and they do the same as well. So it is not abnormal, it is natural; all these practices are natural among nations.”

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2 Responses for “Sedi Elrington on Recent Detention of Belizeans in Guatemala”

  1. Belizean says:

    APPEASEMENT!! It is OK for Belizeans to be mistreated? Elrington, you should be ashamed of yourself!

  2. reatph says:


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