BELIZE CITY, Wed. May 13, 2015–The Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed via a written statement today that Guatemalan law enforcement officials had last week attempted to search the diplomatic premises used by Belize’s resident Ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Alexis Rosado, on suspicion that the property may have been linked to ex-vice president of Guatemala, Roxana Baldetti, who recently resigned amid corruption allegations.
However, the Ministry clarifies that while law enforcement officials in Guatemala did attempt to search Ambassador Rosado’s residence, the search was never an operation of Guatemala’s Executive branch of government.
“Concern was raised by the Ambassador with authorities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, who regretted this development. They explained that the Prosecutor’s Office is an entity independent of the Executive, but undertook to take the necessary actions to prevent its reoccurrence given its status as diplomatic premises,” the statement from the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs went on to say.
Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington had said that while Guatemalan authorities were suggesting that Baldetti was the beneficial or true owner of the building rented from a company that had ceased to do business, it has been confirmed by law enforcement authorities that the property does not feature in the holdings of the ex-vice president Baldetti.
Elrington told News 5 that the company, which has not been named, had built the building as a residence for its employees but that company went out of business. He said that the Ambassador chose to rent the building because it was also the most suitable, given their limited budget.
Under Article 22 of the Vienna Convention, “The premises of the [diplomatic] mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search…”