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Jan 27, 2022

Cabinet Looks at Port Strike, Migrants Arriving Via P.G.I.A., and Blue Bond Unit

In this week’s Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister and his advisors approved the Free Prior Informed Consent Protocol that will guide consultations with Maya communities. According to this week’s Cabinet briefing, this protocol is in keeping with government’s commitment to the implementation of the 2015 Consent Order of the Caribbean Court of Justice.  Cabinet has approved the establishment of the Blue Bond and Project Finance for Permanence Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister. The ministers were also updated on the increasing numbers of migrants arriving in Belize through the Phillip Goldson International Airport from Panama via COPA Airline flights and using Belize as a transit point to move northbound. In addition, the minister of Immigration reported on the application for refugee status by the eight Venezuelans who were handed over to the UNHCR, but who later fled while in the care of that organization. In response, Cabinet has given its approval for the Ministry of Immigration to impose visa requirements for nationals of Venezuela, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. Michel Chebat, Minister of Public Utilities, Energy & Logistics, updated Cabinet on the current industrial action by the stevedores at Port of Belize Limited, and that the dispute is currently before the Essential Services Tribunal. The Minister also expressed concern about the impact the industrial action was having on the stevedores, Port of Belize Limited, and the country’s economy.

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