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Feb 18, 1998

Foreign Minister warns of U.S. decertification

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It had all the characteristics of a pre-emptive strike not seen since the Six Day War. In a personal letter sent to news editors at Belizean media houses, Foreign Minster Dean Barrow has raised the possibility that once again Belize will be decertified by the United States as a cooperative partner in the war on drugs. The reason for any such decertification, according to Barrow, has little to do with drugs and much to do with Belize’s failure to sign new treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance. As they are presently worded Barrow says these treaties are contrary to Belize’s constitution and laws protecting the rights of citizens. In addition to seeking support from the media, Belize’s Ambassador in Washington, James Murphy, has been instructed to lobby members of the U.S. Congress on the issue as well as fellow CARICOM and Latin American Ambassadors.

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