INDEPENDENCE, Stann Creek District, Fri. Aug. 28. 2020– Two Guatemalan men are in mandatory quarantine and will be charged with violation of Belize’s COVID-19 safety regulations, entering the country illegally and being in possession of contraband goods.
The men came from Guatemala in two boats carrying contraband goods. The two men, said to be Junior Espinoza, 38, and Alfredo Colon, 42, were immediately taken into custody by police who were on patrol near the docks in Independence and saw the two men in the two boats.
The incident occurred yesterday. Police saw the men docking, and took them into quarantine after it was established that they were Guatemalans and that they entered the country from Guatemala.
Shortly after the men were taken into custody, a Belizean man went to police to claim the two boats as belonging to him. He was also ordered into quarantine.
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that they will launch an investigation to see what charges can be brought against the man who is claiming to be the owner of the boat; otherwise, police would have to prove that the man left the country, then came back.
If found guilty, the men will face an automatic one-year prison sentence.
The Government has strongly warned against border-jumping because border jumpers bypass the safety net put in place by the Ministry of Health in the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Persons who come into the country are swabbed and quarantined to ensure that they are free of the virus before they can enter Belize.