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Letter to the Editor: The injustice at the Hondo

Dear Editor,

It pains me that we should no longer sing “From proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon …” in our national anthem. Guatemala has truncated the Sarstoon River from us and our very own GOB has prohibited the Rio Hondo from us.

Any Belizean who wishes to traverse the Northern Santa Elena Border has to have a travel document stamped and approved by the immigration authorities to be able to access the Rio Hondo, meaning the casinos, the Commercial Free Zone, and the river proper.

That policy, not a law, is in violation of each and every Belizean citizen’s constitutional right to traverse national territory without impediments. We realize that we must have immigration authorities, but they must respect our Belizean citizenship and allow us to pass without a travel document, especially if we are not leaving the country. But, even if we wish to leave and re-enter our country, we should not be penalized, according to the requests of the United Nations.

There is a movement in the North that is trying to address this situation that affects the common people but seem to be getting negative vibes from old school people in authority who think they will lose control of the present situation. Ridiculous. I do not believe we have to protest to fix this problem. A directive from the proper person can remedy this situation, but as usual we will be ignored.

There are enough “”horror” stories of our citizens being detained and threatened if their travel documents are not properly stamped. Any attorney or person knowledgeable in the laws of our country can see that this is an injustice being done to our people.

Regards,

R. Cuello

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