The Ministry of National Security Provides Update on Situation at Barrio El Juda, Cayo District

Belmopan, November 12, 2019. The Ministry of National Security in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the OAS Adjacency Zone (OAS/AZ) has been actively taking steps to address the issue regarding the illegal settlements and encroachments by Guatemalan nationals on private property in the Barrio El Juda area, Cayo District.

Since the Ministry of National Security became aware of this situation, the following actions have been taken to ensure the immediate discontinuation of illegal settlements in that area.

1. High-level officials within the Ministry of National Security, the Belize Defence Force, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have made multiple visits to the area.

2. The Belize Defence Force and Guatemalan Armed Forces conducted a joint operation to officially inform the settlers that they are illegally inhabiting Belizean territory and to provide a timeline for the voluntary removal of their belongings. All illegal construction has ceased since that joint operation conducted in October 2019.

3. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the support of the OAS/AZ office, has taken several diplomatic steps towards the peaceful and expeditious removal of the settlers.

The Ministry of National Security takes this opportunity to reassure the public that it remains vigilant and steadfast in taking measures to ensure the territorial integrity of Belize.