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May 13, 2020

Immigration Minister says New Protocols Are for Public Safety

This afternoon, Immigration Minister Beverly Castillo informed News Five that cargo is moving.  After a meeting today, a set of protocols was established to allow Guatemalan truck drivers to enter the country and purchase grains, such as corn, from Belizean producers. The truckers that bring goods, such as cement, into Belize are also allowed to proceed to the country. We are told that one of the agreements reached is that a customs guard will accompany truck drivers throughout their journey in the country.  The costs are the responsibility of either the importer or exporter. According to Minister Williams these new procedures are being set in place at the borders since both Guatemala and Mexico are recording an increase in COVID-19 cases. 


One the Phone: Beverly Castillo, Minister of Immigration

“Hipolito, the situation at the Western Border was clearly in violation of the Statutory Instrument introduced under the State of Emergency because the borders are closed. And so we had Guatemalans entering with the cargo and of course with the high level of COVID in Guatemalan it is considered a safety risk and so we decided that we will implement as it was to be implement and is working at the northern border where you hitched and unhitched. There is some where there cannot be any unhitching and so because that cannot happen and they are insisting that only the Guatemalans can only drive the trucks the health authorities met to discuss the protocols. One of the protocols is to have a guard take tht truck to the area where they would be loading the cargo but they would have to bear the cost, either the importer or exporter. All of that is in discussion right not but the protocols have been developed but in discussion before we formerly implement. Of course it is impacting us because there is a matter of foreign exchange in terms of trade. We move, citrus, corn, molasses, rice, rick husk, heavy metals and things of that nature that goes through that border. Even under the State of Emergency the borders were open only for cargo but under specials conditions and those were the protocols that were developed to ensure safety of the Belizean people.”

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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