General — 26 April 2017 — by Micah Goodin
Belize Government cracking down on excursions to La Union

LA UNION, Mexico, Mon. Apr. 24, 2017–If you have just signed up for an excursion to “La Union,” a Mexican settlement to which the Belize-Mexico border crossing in Orange Walk owes its name, you may want to rethink your plans.

That is because even though a police station is nearby, “La Union” remains an un-official border crossing without any Immigration office.

As a result, Immigration officials are unable to stamp your passport before you cross, and so, crossing would constitute an offence.

However, that has become the norm at the Orange Walk border. The Immigration and Customs Departments are seeking to regulate that crossing, and Belizeans who do not live along the border crossing are prevented from paddling across the Rio Hondo River to get more bang for their buck in that Mexican settlement.

Our friends in Orange Walk told us that only weeks ago, this new rule was implemented and painted signs were visible in the area.

According to our colleagues at KREM news, Immigration Director, Diane Locke, confirmed that the border was being extensively monitored.

A police booth is stationed at the location, but since it is not an official border crossing, Immigration personnel and custom officers can stop persons from crossing into Mexico.

Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Kevin Bernard, told our newspaper that he does not agree with the actions taken by authorities.

“I believe that the way the Customs Department is going about dealing with the issue of Belizeans accessing the La Union area should not be done in any discriminatory way. This is definitely an arbitrarily thought-out process and is not in line with our upholding the Constitution whereby people have a right of movement. We do not live in any dictatorship where only certain segments of persons are allowed at certain location. This is definitely a wrong-headed decision and should not be allowed,” he told us.

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