General / Weekend News

Government “domesticates” international extradition treaty

By Marion Ali, Staff Reporter

Following the escape of wanted Mexican fugitive, David Nanes Schnitzer in late November, after he was granted bail, the government took steps on Friday to prevent that incident from recurring.

During the House meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hubert Elrington introduced a to make adjustments to the Extradition Treaty signed by Belize and Mexico in August of 1988. He explained that when the Treaty was signed, it was not “domesticated” to allow for extraditions to occur, based solely on that agreement.

Following the session, Prime Minister Barrow clarified that the Bill has not been amended, but simply “domesticated.”

“There is a difference in the procedure used in Belize and that of Mexico with respect to the laws of our two countries.” The PM said that, based on his understanding of what Ambassador Quesnel Melendez said on the matter during a media luncheon this week, the treaty agreement was enough ground upon which to bring it into force and to have it take practical effect in Mexico.

In Belize, however he explained, in order to implement the Treaty’s provisions, there was the need to “incorporate it into municipal law,” and that was what they did during the House meeting.

Barrow admitted that failing to make the adjustments before now to meet international treaty was something that “fell through the cracks” but it is something that happens from time to time.

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