General — 16 May 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
Guatemalans jumpy at the Adjacency Zone over Belize construction work

BELIZE CITY, Mon. May 14, 2018– Guatemalans got jumpy at the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Melchor on Sunday, when Belize Defence Force light engineers moved to clear the area of Guatemalan taxis so that they could discharge construction materials for a perimeter fence that Belizean authorities are planning to build to ease the flow of traffic and to make traversing the area more convenient, according to a news report aired on News5 earlier this evening.

The CEO for the Ministry of National Security, Felix Enriquez, told News5 that for some time now there has been a general police presence in place to improve the way that things are managed at the border.

Enriquez said that the Benque Viejo Del Carmen border has been neglected for some time, and our border is a bit porous, so in the coming weeks, the necessary infrastructure will be put in place.

Government is planning to address the situation by building a perimeter fence and the necessary gates to have more security for both sides, Enriquez said.

The project is expected to last six to eight weeks, Enriquez added.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Said Guerra, also commented on the tension at the border, when Guatemalan media attempted to put the situation in a different light and fan the flames of discord by indicating that Guatemalan students who travel to Belize would not be permitted to enter the country.

Ambassador Guerra got on the phone and called the Mayor of Melchor to assure him that the rumors being spread by their press, Prensa Libre, was not the truth, the mayor was told.

Guerra explained to the Melchor mayor that things were being exaggerated out of context, and that the children attending school in Belize would be able to traverse the border crossing between the two countries today.

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