A body called "Parlacen" - as in the Parliament of Central America wants Belize to be a member. Parlacen is an extension of SICA, the Central American Integration System, and it's a political institution with headquarters in Guatemala City.
It facilitates regional discussions about political, economic and cultural affairs of common interest. Today the president of the parliament Paula Rodriguez came to Belize ot meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Ministe3r Wilfred Elrington. Elringotn says they are recruiting Belize ofr membership:..
Hon. Wilfred Elrington
"It's interesting that years ago you initiatives were made by Belize to become full members of Parlacen and the opposition was raised by the Guatemalans. But the present Guatemalan administration is fully on board with the idea that Belize should be a part of Parlacen. As a matter of fact Ms. Paula who is Paula Rodriguez who is the president of Parlacen is a member of President Molina's party in Guatemala and her visit is with the full vetting of the president of Guatemala and the present administration in Guatemala. Her invitation is for us to become observer members of Parlacen."
"Any initiative to heighten integration to my mind provides us with greater comfort both in terms of our security and in terms of our economic development. We can't be a region and not be at the table, we have to be at the table at every stage and this is an opportunity that helps to advance our trajectory upward in terms of our development and our development prospects, so I think it's a good initiative. I will certainly urge our government to cause us to become observer members as quickly as possible."
"There is cost involve in becoming a member of the Central American parliament, we will have to contribute towards it. They gave made a special carve out for Belize so that Belize can pay a smaller sum given the fact that we have a miniscule population; we are only 350,000 - Guatemala is 14 million, so they are not asking us to pay the same rate."
Belize is being asked to make its intention known by August.