The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almago, was in Belize to discuss cooperation between Belize and the OAS, regional issues and the work of the OAS in the adjacent area of ​​Belize and Guatemala.

Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment, met today with HE Luis Almagro Lemes, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), who arrived on August 21, 2022, for an official visit to Belize.

The meeting included a presentation on the status of illegal encroachments by Guatemalan nationals in Belize that contravene the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) agreed to by Belize and Guatemala in 2005. The presentation highlighted the deforestation of national parks and Belize Protected Areas. for illegal agriculture and the provision of pasture for cattle ranching. Additionally, he highlighted the problems associated with illegal logging, gold panning and poaching of endangered species in Belize. Belize called on the OAS to engage with Guatemalan authorities to respect the measures.

Secretary General Almagro stressed the importance of the presence of security agencies in problem areas to ensure the implementation of confidence-building measures and respect for Belizean laws. He pledged to strengthen coordination between the OAS office in the adjacent area and the Belizean authorities. Belize also highlighted the implementation of its amnesty program, which will regularize undocumented immigrants, mainly Central Americans, and pave the way for them to citizenship. An update was also provided on migration trends and the implications for Belize to become part of the migration corridor to the United States of America.

The Government of Belize also informed the Secretary-General of the latest developments regarding Belize’s presentation of the case to the International Court of Justice.

During the meeting, hemispheric issues were also discussed. Both parties expressed their views on recent political developments in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Prime Minister Briceño was accompanied by the Hon. Ramon Cervantes, Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration; Hon. Oscar Mira, Minister Delegate at the Ministry of National Defense and Border Security; Ms. Narda Garcia, CEO at the Prime Minister’s Office; Ambassador Amalia Mai, CEO of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; and HE Lynn Young, Ambassador of Belize to the United States and Permanent Representative to the OAS. The Secretary General was accompanied by HE Nestor Mendes, Assistant Secretary General of the OAS and other senior officials of the OAS.