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National Security Minister explains issue of granting citizenship to Guatemalan nationals

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019. 11:30 am CST.


By BBN Staff: Leading up to Belize’s National Referendum on April 10, 2019, proponents of the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ to the ICJ are presenting more information on whether or not to take Guatemala’s claim on Belize’s territory to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Among the many issues discussed, is whether or not Guatemalan nationals are being granted Belizean citizenship.

Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, today provided insight into this issue explaining that the Belizean constitution does not prevent Guatemalans from gaining citizenship.

” The Belizean Constitution requires citizens of countries that do not recognize Belizean sovereignty to DENOUNCE their citizenship to that country BEFORE being granted Belizean citizenship. The Belizean Constitution further stipulates that such RENUNCIATION should be in a manner acceptable to the country of original citizenship, meaning that the Guatemalan government must recognize the RENUNCIATION. The facts ARE that prior to the election of Morales as President, previous governments had no difficulty with the RENUNCIATION of Guatemalan citizenship,” Saldivar explained.

Furthermore, Saldivar says that before Jimmy Morales was elected President of Guatemala, the process was much easier for Guatemalans to renounce their citizenship and become Belizeans .

There was no objection lodged by the Guatemalan government up to and until the election of Morales as President.

According to Saldivar, when Morales was elected President, he decreed that no Guatemalan would be allowed to renounce their citizenship.

” This is what has put Guatemalan applicants for Belize nationality in a quandary because their RENUNCIATION is no longer ACCEPTABLE to the Guatemalan government as is required by the Belize Constitution,” Salvidar asserted.

Saldivar also informed that due to these challenges, the Belize Immigration Department has properly halted the issuance of Belizean nationality to Guatemalan applicants.


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