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May 27, 2020

Belizeans Trapped in Mexico, Not Able to Return Home

Marvin Manzanero

Turning to COVID-19…tonight the news is that there are still no new cases of the virus, but the repatriation of Belizeans is running into trouble as soon as it started. Over the weekend, ten Belizeans made it back home after spending seventy-two days at sea on a Royal Caribbean ship.  But a number of other Belizeans are trapped and not being allowed to re-enter via the northern or western borders. These Belizeans include students who could not return home by the time the government locked down the international airport and closed the borders. About two weeks ago, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Immigration, and Health provided a micro site for Belizeans to access request forms to allow their repatriation. After filling out the forms, a number of displaced persons made their way to Cancun and Chetumal without getting the requisite clearance from the three ministries. So now, they are stuck so close to home. Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero explains what is happening.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Some, as we understand it, are either at the border entry point in Chetumal or somewhere on their way to the nearest border entry point, primarily through the northern, more than the western one. The intention had been that it is going got go through a planned process. So I know some people filled out the form and started their departure on their way to Belize. That has not been the intention. The intention is to do it in a planned programmed way—fill in the form and await clearance from the three different entities; as I said, Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Ministry of Health so that we are adequately prepared in terms of where we are going to place you. For those people who are ill and had to seek medical care out of the country, they will go through a different process, but they still have to fill in the adequate paper work and inform the relevant ministries before they are allowed back in.”

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