Late Wednesday evening, February 24th, Belizeans shopping in neighboring Chetumal, Mexico were unable to return to Belize for several hours as Mexican residents living in the Border town of Subteniente Lopez rioted on the highway. The Belizeans were caught in the confrontation between residents and Mexican authorities; specifically the police and the military, for several hours and were not able to cross the border until about 8 p.m. Plusnews has been informed that Mexicans are up in arms about a temporary Military base and checkpoint that they say is violating their human rights. They say that sometimes vehicles are in the checkpoint lines for hours, and at times vehicles are confiscated overnight without a just cause.
The last straw was when a woman on Wednesday refused to pass through a scanner because she was pregnant, but the soldiers forced her to do so. Earlier today, just before noon, the scene repeated itself as the residents are adamant that the Government needs to remove the military checkpoint. Stranded travelers included several Cancun bikers who were on their way to Belize City to participate in the annual Belize Harley Davidson’s Belize Bike Rally”.
The second blockade lasted for almost an hour before it was lifted but protesters say that if the temporary military base is not completely removed completely they will be back.
We were stranded together with several bikers who were on their way to Belize City, traveling down from Cancun and other parts of Mexico to participate in the annual Belize Harley Davidson's Belize Bike Rally "Meet in the Middle" at the Subteniente Lopez border crossing in Chetumal around noon time today.
Protesters had blockaded the entrance and exits to the City of Chetumal once again, demanding that the military base in that area be removed as a result of gross human right violations against its people.
I was told at some point, that the blockade would be on for seven hours, however after pleading for about forty five minutes, the blockade that left Belizeans stranded for some time, unable to exit Chetumal coming to Belize was lifted and we were set free.
Protesters say that if the temporary military base is not removed completely and their demands are not met today, they will be back at 4:00 p.m. Mexico time or 3:00 p.m. Belize time to blockade the entrance and exits to that city once again.
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