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Mexican Ambassador talks election, contraband, and Chetumal Print E-mail
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Thursday, 08 February 2018 00:00

With the election of a new president of Mexico just months away, there are several early announcements of candidacies including Jose Antonio Meade, the former Foreign Minister who has visited Belize, and left-wing contender, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

This election will prove to be a different one especially as it relates to the Mexican Diaspora. For the first time in history, the 500,000 Mexicans living outside of Mexico will have the opportunity to vote in this election for the president and senators, a process that has partly been made possible through the efforts of the ambassador. “We have been working for many years to make it possible for Mexicans living abroad to vote. I mentioned that we are expecting about five hundred thousand Mexicans, mostly living in the U.S., voting in this electoral process. Mexicans abroad can vote for President and Senators this time.” Mexicans in Belize can also vote in this year’s election and are advised that they will be required to sign up with the consular section of the embassy by March 31, 2018.

Besides the Mexican politics, the ambassador also addresses issues especially pertinent to Belizeans; one such was the subject of contraband. “We are aware of the issue of contraband between both countries and what I can tell you is that it’s something very difficult to control, because of the border – we have a two hundred and eighty-eight kilometer border. We certainly work on the protection of the border and try to do our best. But the main response to that problem of contraband is rather to work on the Partial Scope Commercial Agreement because that would allow merchandise to come to Belize from Mexico; merchandise to be exported from Belize to Mexico in a better manner. It would make trade more easy, facilitate the trade, the commerce between both countries, and that would allow traders from both countries to do a better trade of merchandise.”

On a brighter note, the ambassador highlighted several upcoming projects including the development of a second Escuela Mexico in Southern Belize, a full trade mission, and increased tourism between the two countries. According to the ambassador, tourism is seeing a steady increase in both Belize and Mexico with Mexicans heading to the south of Belize and Belizeans frequenting Chetumal and other parts of Quintana Roo, spending as much as $84 million dollars as of 2015.

Regarding the more serious business pertaining Belize, Mexico continues to support the Belize/Guatemala resolution through the ICJ. “As part of the group of friends we have been very supportive and we have given some money and we will keep trying to give more money. It’s a difficult moment not only for Mexico but for many countries; we go through authority problems, very strong authority problems but we will also support all the mechanisms and we will bring this issue to the group of friends meetings to try to find mechanisms to get more funds for the peaceful fund for the Belize-Guatemala issue.”