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#330227 - 03/26/09 10:29 AM Belize/Guatemala border  
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,748
shuffles Offline
shuffles  Offline
This from the BTB

The Belize Tourism Board has received unofficial information regarding agitation at the Western Border on March 25, 2009. We have also been informed that there may continue to be some agitation on March 26, 2009.

As a precautionary measure, the BTB is advising all hotels, tour operators and tour guides to cancel all unnecessary border crossings for the remainder of this week.

The BTB is in communication with the necessary authorities and would like to assure our industry partners that we will communicate with you as the information becomes available to us.

As a sidebar, we had four lovely Brits arrive yesterday who had been in Guatemala. When their bus reached the border, they were told to get off the bus, that they could not enter Belize. They had their senses about them and told the border guards they were going to Chetumal. Once in the taxi, they had the driver take them to Benque where they were able to catch a bus to BC, where they had flights already booked from Municipal. Other tourists with them arrived in Benque with no money and no ATM. I don't know what happened to them.

Apparently the border guards in Guatemala told them all kinds of things about what Belize has done to them, etc. Fortunately, this episode did not deter them, but I do not know how it will affect others in their same position.

This is worrisome especially in a time of low tourism in general.

Change your Latitude
#330228 - 03/26/09 11:05 AM Re: Belize/Guatemala border [Re: shuffles]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 842
pamkillen Offline
pamkillen  Offline
Thanks for posting. I have friends that were going to cross the border and I think that they will now wait a bit.

#330234 - 03/26/09 11:46 AM Re: Belize/Guatemala border [Re: pamkillen]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,466
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
From CH7

Looming Belize vs. Guatemala Bus Crisis

Anybody who’s travelled Belize’s roadways are used to seeing Guatemalan Linea Dorada buses on the highway. And if you don’t get to the highway much, you’ll see them at their main stop which is the Belize Water Terminal where they take tourists to Tikal and points beyond. But there were no Linea Dorada buses today and that’s because they were stopped at the western border by the Department of Transport.

Seems the decision was taken after a meeting yesterday where bus operators and cab drivers complained that the Guatemalan buses were cutting into their action. Sure, they’ve been coming to Belize unrestricted for years – but now the Ministry of Transport has found out that really there’s no agreement in place to permit it. Sources tell us that the bus line is relying upon an old Mundo Maya arrangement that dates back almost two decades.

So the position taken yesterday and enforced very suddenly today is that just like everyone else, Linea Dorada will have to apply for a road service permit – and until then they can’t travel Belize’s roadways. Fair enough, but according to our sources, the Guatemalans have indicated that they will reciprocate and no Belizean commercial transport will be allowed to travel their roadways.

That’s where it stands tonight, and the Belizean blockade goes into effect tomorrow. The sudden-ness or the un-announced decision we are told – did inconvenience some travellers who’d come in form the water taxi and had already pre-purchased Linea Dorada tickets only to find that there was no bus coming in.

#330331 - 03/27/09 09:38 AM Re: Belize/Guatemala border [Re: SimonB]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 5,917
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
Thanks for clarifying, Simon.

So it was the bus not the people who are denied entry?

Why would anybody be at the boarder with no money. I believe there is a requirement for most boarder entries that an individual has to have money for heaven's sake. That is common sense in travel world-wide.

Last edited by Diane Campbell; 03/27/09 10:16 AM. Reason: being more polite i hope
#330336 - 03/27/09 10:01 AM Re: Belize/Guatemala border [Re: Diane Campbell]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
Linea Dorada has been operating between Flores and Chetumal for many years and is very well known among international travelers. It's obviously not the only way to get from Tikal/Flores to Belize City and then north, but it's one of the most convenient, since it crosses the border and continues on.

To suddenly stop the service doesn't sound like a very good idea to me.

Does this also affect San Juan Travel, which has at least at times offered direct service from Flores to Belize City?

Wonder also if this is affecting tour operators in Cayo who provide transport to Tikal? If so, this would be a much bigger impact than on the Linea Dorada buses.

--Lan Sluder

#330345 - 03/27/09 10:19 AM Re: Belize/Guatemala border [Re: Lan Sluder/Belize First]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
I see Channel 5 reported that the Linea Dorada buses will be allowed to operate at least until 6 p.m. March 30. Maybe by then they will have worked out something.

--Lan Sluder

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