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Jan 27, 2022

Acting PM Cordel Hyde on Venezuelans

While with acting Prime Minister Cordel Hyde, he was also asked to comment on the case of the eight Venezuelans who purported to be asylum seekers in Belize. They were among thirty-seven persons who had entered the country via a COPA Airlines flight on January eighteenth and denied leave to land. In the process of them being returned to Panama, however, they were held at the Biltmore Hotel. Twenty-one have been returned, eight are in quarantine at the Biltmore having tested positive for COVID, and eight others expressed interest to acquire refugee status in Belize. But, within forty-eight hours of being housed at a shelter in Belmopan, those persons left the facility and reportedly crossed the border into Mexico. It is almost a slap in the face to government, which was ensuring that no human rights violations were committed against these persons. Hyde gave comments on the incident.


Cordel Hyde

Cordel Hyde, Acting Prime Minister

“It’s a learning experience for us. We have to be extremely vigilant where the people who are coming into the country are concerned. There is always a human interest to these things and it is hard to evaluate the seriousness of the situation without really understanding the unique situations that these people may find themselves in. it is not an easy thing, but we have to be on the ball. We have to be ever-mindful of human trafficking, ever-mindful of the pitfall that awaits us with this giant migration problem that exists in the region. It started with the really devastating poverty situation that exists in these counties and people and trying to find their way out. I think it is a wakeup call for us. I think we have been asleep a little. Well not that, but I think the average person wasn’t cognizant that this kind of trafficking is taking place at this level and when these flights land in Belize that it is not all legitimate people that try to get off the plane – like you just assume. So when you hear thirty-seven persons cannot land, it’s shocking, it’s big news. But we have to respect our laws, we have to uphold our laws.”

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