The Chamber of Commerce has still not received a formal response to the concerns raised in multiple letters written to senior Government officials including the Prime Minister.


Those concerns have to do with whether it has been unconstitutional for hundreds of Guatemalan citizens to be granted Belizean nationality, on the basis that they have signed a renunciation form in Belize. The belief is that they have given up their Guatemalan citizenship, but apparently that may be not be so, because the renunciation forms are not recognized in Guatemala and therefore the individuals could still be considered Guatemalans under their laws. It’s a touchy issue that involves international and constitutional law, but even more so because with the ICJ referendum coming up next year the fear is that Guatemalan nationals can end up voting if they have obtained voter’s IDs in Belize on the basis of their Belizean nationality.


The Chamber has been asking for clarification and today the issue was brought the attention of Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala Alexis Rosado. Here’s what he said.


Screen_Shot_2018-05-03_at_7.47.32_PMAlexis Rosado, Ambassador to Guatemala


I am aware of concerns raised by the Chamber and my own view is that is it a matter that ought to be responded to by the Attorney General’s Ministry and by the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality, it involve Immigration and Nationality and they are the ones authorized to speak on the issue as far as I am concern whatever the law says is what ought to apply if somebody wants to change the law then they could lobby for the law to be changed but the law is the law no and we are country govern by the rule of law.”


Reporter


“Do you still stick to the view that anyone who owns a Belizean citizenship can vote in our upcoming referendum including Guatemalans cross over the border?”

 


Alexis Rosado, Ambassador to Guatemala


“It doesn’t matter what I think it matters what the law says like I say if somebody wants the law to be change they can lobby for the law to be change but the law is the law we are country govern by the rule of law.”


Reporter


“And the near view that consultation is happening with Immigration and the Attorney General to establish what will happen going forward?”


Alexis Rosado, Ambassador to Guatemala


“I really don’t know, am not privy to all the machinations going on so I can’t speak to that.”


We recall that during the Senate Select Committee hearings investigating Immigration irregularities, the former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan admitted that some 2,000 Belizean nationalities were rushed through in 2012. Many of these were Guatemalan nationals.


The Government of Belize announced last week that the referendum to decide whether to take Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice will be held on April 10th 2019.

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