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May 14, 2018

Iginio Canto Released, But Still Faces Investigation for Out of Season Lobster

Iginio Canto

Corozal fisherman Iginio Canto Bacab is tonight at home with his family in Caledonia, after being held in detention in Livingston, Guatemala for illegally harvesting lobster in its waters.  Canto was busted along with Julio Rodriguez Blanco by military personnel in Guatemala on April twentieth.  According to Ambassador Said ‘Badi’ Guerra, his mission to ensure Canto’s freedom from also provided an opportunity for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish ties with Guatemalan authorities in the event that another Belizean should be arrested for a similar offence.


Said ‘Badi” Guerra

Said ‘Badi” Guerra, Director of International Affairs

“Mr. Canto.  I can tell you that he has been released.  He was released on Friday last week and so he is free.  Of course there is an investigation still taking place, but he has been released from Puerto Barrios prison.”


Isani Cayetano

“What were the steps that had to be taken to ensure his freedom?”


Said ‘Badi’ Guerra

“From day one, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dispatched me to Puerto Barrios to look into his wellbeing, to make sure his rights weren’t violated.  So I went to Livingston.  I must say that the Guatemalan authorities, the authorities in Livingston, police and the judges, they were all very helpful and ready to assist.  It was a bit difficult in a way because we didn’t have communications, we didn’t have contact, you know.  But this opened doors for communications and to establish relations with some of the authorities and that will help us in the future, God forbid anymore incidents to happen.  But if, how things are, if they were to happen then we would have contacts already made.  But, I paid them a visit, I visited with the judge, I asked about what was needed for his release.  So while I was in Puerto Barrios, I kept daily communication and contact with our embassy in Guatemala who were very helpful, our director here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Aisha [Borland] who immediately moved and got some documents, birth certificates, those sorts of things that I needed to get back to the prison, to the judge so that we could prove that he is indeed a Belizean.”


Canto and Rodriguez Blanco were nabbed with a huge quantity of out-of-season lobster in a cooler.

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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