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Many Belizeans travel to Guatemala because there are cheap goods in Melchor De Menchos, the neighboring border town with Benque Viejo. There is confusion with the new SAT system and tariff rate in Melchor, Guatemala. Many Belizeans are now parking in the so called "no man's land between the border" but space at times in the past week is becoming limited.

There is a new tariff on all Belize Vehicles that used to enjoy free entry into Melchor.

A 72 hours permit is issued for Q160.00 or $50.00 BZ, Tourist entry cost was Q145, this has been increased to Q190.00, for a period of 90 days.

Melchor businesses are very concerned about the effect this new policy and tariff will cause on their Belizean customers. Sources say the new tariff is a form of retaliation for the illegal/illicit contraband goods trade (cigarettes/alcohol) coming from Benque into Guatemala.

Jose Sanchez