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August 23
00:00 2018

For the past few weeks, some Belizean buses have been denied entry into Chetumal and beyond, but the reason given in some sectors of the local and social media couldn’t be farther from the truth, according to Belizean and Mexican officials we spoke with.

Contrary to what has been reported, that our buses are being stopped from entering Mexico because one of the ADO bus drivers was charged for a traffic offense in Belize, both Minister of Transport Edmond Castro and Maria Garrido, Head of the Economic, Trade and Tourism Section at the Mexican Embassy in Belize say that information is completely inaccurate.

On Wednesday, Garrido explained to the Reporter that, as per a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed several months ago by transport officials from Belize and Mexico, every Belizean and Mexican driver who enters into each other’s country now has to have proper vehicular insurance for the time they will spend in that country. In addition, buses entering the other country must be properly registered in that country they are entering.

What we have been made to understand is that some Belizean buses have complied with the regulations stipulated in the MOU, and they have been able to cross into Chetumal worry-free, but the ones that have been reluctant to pay the insurance and/or take the time to register their buses are the ones that have complained because not being able to enter means they have been losing business because their passengers have been reluctant to disembark at the border and pay taxi fares into Chetumal and back into Belize with their luggage.

Garrido explained that there are some local insurance companies that offer insurance coverage in Mexico, prices of which vary, depending on the length of stay. There is also an insurance office at the border that allows Belizean drivers to purchase the insurance there.

Additionally, she explained that the registration of buses is a requirement that is free of cost to Belizean drivers. All they need to do is to visit the Registration Office on Avenida Insurgencia, which is further up on the same thoroughfare on which the popular Chedraui Mall is situated.

The MOU stipulations, she added, are in compliance with international standards and Mexico has just now begun to enforce them, having given local bus companies ample time to get their vehicles properly registered and insured.

The requirement is no different for Mexican buses entering Belize, but their drivers, except for the one who was arrested a month ago, have been compliant and have registered and insured their buses in Belize, according to Minister of Transport, Edmond Castro.

Castro explained that Mexican officials have been lenient with Belizean bus drivers for a long time after the MOU was signed, while Mexicans have been fully compliant with the same regulations in Belize.

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