Opposition says GOB should have consulted the public before making any agreement with Guatemala

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

The opposition People’s United Party, criticized the government this week for entering into as many as 13 agreements with the Government of Guatemala without consulting the Belizean public.

Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca, said that the agreements, signed at the 44th summit of the heads of the Central American Integration System (SICA) for its acronym in Spanish, are of national importance and should have been properly ventilated to the public.

Fonseca added that while the PUP was represented by Senator Lisa Shoman in the consultations with the Guatemalan government, the party’s participation was on the basis of full public disclosure.

The opposition is calling on the government to ensure that the remaining agreements are given proper public disclosure before they are signed.

The agreements were in critical areas such as national security, trade and education. The national security agreements included prisoner exchange and serving of penal sentence; opening hours at legal terrestrial entry points; deportation; protection; movement of student via entry points, protection of environment and sustainable use of resources; and return of stolen vehicles.

Education related agreements included movement of student via entry points; degree equivalence and recognition of education documents; visa waiver for students.

Other agreements included a program for seasonal workers; interconnection and grid connectivity; mutual recognition of drivers licenses; the recovery and return of items and cultural and natural patrimony.

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