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Mexican-Belize border businesses still waiting for National Guard takeover

Chetumal, Q.R. — Mexican border businesses with Belize are still waiting for the National Guard to take over the customs office. The change was supposed to happen April 1, but to date, the General Directorate of Customs maintains control.

Juan Jaime Mingüer Cerón, president of Canaco Servytur Chetumal-Tulum, says that the National Guard has not yet taken control of the Subteniente López and Chactemal customs offices on the Mexico-Belize border.

“That request is kept on hold and they only tell us that the transition is gradual and the country is attended to by zones, while in Quintana Roo, civilian elements are still providing the service and await the arrival of the National Guard to take over from the border point,” he said.

He says that the operations of the Mexican customs area on the Belize border is still under the control and command of agents of the General Directorate of Customs while noting that there has been fewer complaints regarding corruption and ill-treatment against Belizean tourists and merchants.

“What we have noticed is that in this last stretch of time, the personnel who have been in the port of entry for a long time have redirected their way of operating and the treatment they had towards visitors, which has diminished, if not eliminated, the great number of complaints and reports that were made for corruption, extortion and ill-treatment mainly towards Belizeans,” he said.

In the event of any customs anomaly at the border of Subteniente López, Cerón says “citizens can use a red telephone located right there to report it immediately.”

On April 1, elements of the National Guard were expected to take charge of customs surveillance, however, so far, there is no information on the replacement or departure of the current General Directorate of Customs agents.