More Tourists to Belize

Mexican Ambassador to Belize H. E. Mario Velázquez Suarez.

The new Ambassador of the United States of Mexico to Belize, His Excellency Mario Velázquez Suarez, presented his Credentials to the Governor- General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, on Monday, August 22th. On Thursday, August 25th, Ambassador Suarez had breakfast with members of the media.

It was a very relaxed setting where no topic was off limit. In fact, when some of Belize’s toughest reporters had finished their list of questions; the Ambassador himself threw out topics worthy of discussion. More important than the substance of the discussion was the mood. After all, this was a feeling out session for both Suarez and the media. Suarez came across as a straight shooter. He answers questions based on what he knows and admits the limitations of his information. He is very relaxed and has a good sense of humour. He offers seconds when his guests are shy to partake in a first. Based on a first impression one would suggest that Mexico’s new Ambassador to Belize should have a good working relationship with the media.The Ambassador spoke on several important topics. Those included government’s negotiations with the Commision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), ADO’s business proposal in Belize, trade and the plans for the Belize City Center.

In regards to the negotiations between the Government of Belize, which took control of the Belize Electricity Limited in July of this year, and Mexico’s state owned CFE, Ambassador Suarez said, “that is coming along excellently.” He said that there are three agreements on the table for BEL to sign which will see a 6% reduction in cost of power from CFE.

Ambassador Suarez also shed light on the ADO bus line proposal for Belize. Contrary to the misinformation that has been shared with local bus drivers to promote fear in the industry, Suarez explained that the ADO buses will not be a player in the local market. He said ADO’s business in Belize is to facilitate tourists visiting Mexico. It is an initiative that will benefit both countries as Mexico will offer Belize as a destination for its tourists. Mexico will benefit by adding more attractions to its tourism package and Belize will benefit with an increase in numbers of visitors. The buses will not be a player in the local market as they will leave Belize late in the night and go directly to Cancun and Merida. ADO is a private sector franchise that wants to explore an opportunity in Belize. Ambassador Suarez said that he is not certain whether a terminal will be built or not but said, “that is a possibility.”

In terms of trade, Ambassador Suarez said that Mexico would like to import more sugar from Belize. He said that a formal proposal has been presented to Belizean authorities and the state hopes to come to an agreement. He also spoke about the plans for the city center. He said that the process is well underway and the project contractors had already been selected. They are drafting the proposals for Belizean authorities at the moment.

Ambassador Velázquez Suarez is a career diplomat. He joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 1975 and became a Minister in 1999. He has been serving as Head of Chancellery at the Embassy of Mexico in Finland since 2008. In addition to Spanish, he has command of the English and French languages and has knowledge of Italian and Portuguese.

The Guardian