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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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De Paso newspaper in Chetumal has confirmed Closing of the Santa Elena Border since yesterday afternoon.

Cierra el FBI la frontera con Belice
FBI closes the Belize / Mexico bridge? Chetumal, 11 de mayo. - Cierran el puente internacional Chactemal que comunica a M�xico y Belice, as� como el antiguo acceso, debido a operativos binacionales que se vienen realizando en la Zona Libre de esta naci�n caribe�a, as� como en las 14 comunidades de la ribera del R�o Hondo para la b�squeda de los supuestos homicidas del exmarine de Estados Unidos, Drew Thomas DeVoursney de 36 a�os, as� como de su novia la canadiense Francesca Matus, de 52 a�os de edad. De acuerdo a datos recabados de manera sorpresiva ,un helic�ptero de la Polic�a Federal Divisi�n Caminos, empez� a sobrevolar la comunidad fronteriza de Subteniente L�pez, l�mite territorial entre M�xico y Belice, donde primeramente se pens� que se realizar�a un operativo por parte de instancias federales para detener a las personas que se dedican al llamado tr�fico hormiga de mercanc�as, tabaco y licor, procedentes de la Zona Libre.

Bad news to all travellers entering from Subeniente Lopez to the Belize Freezone. All Mexicans and Belizeans are warned that the Subeniente Lopez border will be closed. De peso newspaper has confirm that the border have been closed again due to the fayuqeros entering the freezone and bringing back illegal contrabands. National Secretary of Defence force and other mexican police authorities and Belize police where called in to the scene to investigate this contraband matter on both borders. Since yesterday, subeniente Lopez that is between Mexico and Belize, was closed down due to an exchange fight between the fayuqeros and the authorities of Mexico and Belize to contraband their merchandis. At this time the public will not be allowed to cross this border. Any vehicles, cars and motorcycles will not be allowed until this matter is resolved. All this fayuqeros will not be allowed crossing illegal merchandis on the old bridge to the Freezone and back. Yesterday afternoon, the police of Mexico and Belize reported they got out of hand with the Federal of National Secretary and the Belize Officers (sedena sosto) on the old bridge that caused an arguement. The fayuqeros threatened words to the authorities of both borders and also the authorities of the neighboring country Belize. Then, they went through an exchange at the entrance of Belize border, lowered their windows and in the process pushed some of the orange colored cones, as a sign that they could not pass this way into the zone. Surprisingly, a helicopter could have be seen flying over in the free zone, apparently the federal of police from chetumal, flew over the area to assist the police of both sides to control this matter. It needs to be control in a response to a step of security between both countries to reduce the illegal activities that occur in both borders, in addition to the fayuqeros argue that they can't cross their merchandise over to Mexico. At this moment customs of the Subteniente Lopez to the Freezone will not allow the people to cross to the freezone until this is properly investigated. visitors will have to enter and leave by the avenue chactemal that is located near, but more guarded.

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Old Bze-Mexico Bridge Closed Briefly

The Belize - Mexico Bridge between the Corozal Free Zone and Subtiniente Lopez is no longer the main border crossing for Belzieans going across to Mexico. Most of us now use the new Chactemal Bridge. But the old bridge is still used plentifully by Mexicans going in and out of the Corozal Free Zone. More than that it is used by the so-called "fayuqueros", those persons smuggling products out of the free zone into Mexico.

And maybe that's why the old bridge was closed yesterday. It was a joint initiative by Belizean and Mexican Authorities. Belize's Comptroller of Customs Colin Griffith told us that it was a collaborative effort by both Mexican and Belizean authorities to stop commercial exportation from the Free Zone through the old bridge.

And today the Mexican Embassy added quote, "it was an agreement between the bridge authorities of both sides of the border, regarding their mutual concern about illegal goods crossings."

The Mexicans confirmed that it is only a temporary suspension, but the bridge is open and pedestrians can cross it; only vehicles have been temporarily restricted.

The Mexican embassy says that it is no reflection on relations between Belize and Mexico which the Embassy says remains very good.

Channel 7

Mexico Shuts Border Crossing at Subteniete Lopez, but Rest of Border is Open

The Governments of Mexico and Belize have mutually agreed to a temporary ban on vehicles and motorcycles crossing the old border bridge of Subteniente Lopez, restricting traffic to pedestrians only. According to reports confirmed by Belizean sources, merchants of the Commercial Free Zone have complained about smugglers flouting the customary limit on transferring goods over the border and Mexican authorities are cracking down. But what does it mean for your commute? We spoke to press officer at the Mexican Embassy, Hugo Juarez Carrillo, this afternoon.

Hugo Juarez Carrillo, Press & Legal Affairs, Mexican Embassy

"The crime of this smuggling is not particularly only happening in this part of the border and not only from Belize to Mexico; this is something that both countries are suffering [from] and trying to stop. As you [may] remember, in January there was an incident on that bridge but to this moment we know that there has been no new incident in Subteniente Lopez. This is as far as we understand at the Embassy, this is only a mutual agreement between the Mexican and Belizean authorities at the bridge in order to make their operations easier. The bridge has not been closed. Temporarily has been banned the crossing from Mexico to Belize of vehicles; people can cross walking the bridge from Mexico to Belize. As you know, for a few years, vehicles cannot cross from Belize to Mexico. This bridge, especially from Belize to Mexico has been used for a walking-crossing for at least two years that I have been here in Belize. The border is open - the border is not closed. If you want to go to Mexico this weekend for example, you can go as usual using the bridge of Chactemal and cross normally - no problem of crossing in a vehicle through Chactemal Bridge."


"That is the newer one?"

Hugo Juarez Carrillo

"The new one, yes the new bridge."

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Fayuqueros Block Old Belize/Mexico Border

Yesterday the passage of the Subteniente L�pez border which separates Belize from Mexico was blocked by residents of the area and suspected smugglers of merchandise known as 'fayuqueros' with the use of rocks and tree branches to prevent the entry of vehicles. The fayuqueros were annoyed about the fact that the border had been closed to motor vehicles as part of a binational agreement between Mexico and Belize, therefore, they were demanding two things� one, that it be re-opened and two, for the removal of the Federal Police.

However, despite a back and forth between the fayuqueros and representatives of the Mexican Army and the Federal Police, authorities managed to unblock the passage way ignoring numerous threats made by the protestors who indicated that the area will be re-closed if their demands are not met. Today, Counsellor of the Embassy of Mexico to Belize, Hugo Juarez Carrillo, indicated that both Mexican and Belizean counterparts are working in unison so as to prevent similar incidences from occurring.

Carrillo further stated that the Mexican Custom officers are currently enforcing the law at the bridge which compels everyone to abide by the rules and is not aware of any change in position to appease the protestors. We understand that the bridge had been closed down due to the illegal transportation of contraband goods by fayuqueros from the Corozal Commercial Free Zone area. We also understand that an investigation into the matter has been launched and will not be re-opened until the matter is resolved.

At the moment the crossing for vehicles can only be realized through the new Chactemal Bridge, located to two kilometers of Subteniente L�pez.


Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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When Will "Old Bridge" Between Belize and Mexico Re-Open?

Griffith also gave us an update on the situation at the Old Mexico-Belize Bridge between the Corozal Free Zone and Subtiniente Lopez. The former border crossing, which was frequently used by "fayuqueros", to smuggle goods from the free zone into Mexico was closed to vehicles in May. The fayuqueros responded to the closure, by blocking the Federal Mexican Highway to the Chactemal Bridge, the official border crossing. The protest was cleared up by the Mexican military in less than half an hour, and since May, there have been no reports of further revolt. Here what the Comptroller told us...

Colin Griffith, Customs Comptroller
"On the Belize side of the bridge you would have checkpoints on certain days. This is also in collaboration with the Corozal Free Zone and we continue to monitor that area and we can say that the exportation of commercial shipment through the old bridge has ceased. They have now been directed to the new bridge that has been requested by our Mexican counterparts. But that exercise is ongoing."

"I can't really speak to what happens on the Mexican side. I know for a fact that the Mexican have expressed that they cannot charge the requisites duties on the old bridge. Therefore they requested from Belize Customs if we could assist to have the goods being exported through the new bridge where they will be able to charge the duties whatsoever that is in compliance with the Mexican custom laws. The Mexican Customs cannot function at the old bridge."

The closure of the Mexico-Belize Bridge is only meant to be temporary and is still open to pedestrians to cross.

Channel 7

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