Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2020. 2:38 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Reports of a Belizean stranded in Guatemala went viral on social media on Tuesday.
Local news in Melchor De Mencos reported that Kelton, a Belizean is in Guatemala cannot return to Belize due to the pandemic.
Since Belize’s land borders are closed, Kelton is trapped in Guatemala and is now living on the street. He even adopted a dog that he named ‘Bless’ according to local news in Guatemala.
Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement encouraging Belizean nationals who find themselves in distress outside of Belize to contact the nearest Belizean Embassy or Consulate.
The Ministry says that it understands that not everyone in a situation of distress may be able to seek assistance on their own.
If you are aware of a person in distress kindly gather as much information as possible to make contact on their behalf.
The Ministry noted that many Belizeans have received assistance through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their representative missions, especially since the appearance of COVID-19.
The Ministry offered some advice on how to assist Belizeans in distress.
How can we help persons in distress?
Verifying the Belizean Nationality of the person in distress.
Contacting next of kin or family members;
Seeking information to ensure nationals understand their options;
Where possible, coordinating returns (this does not mean paying for charters, flights, repatriation of remains – though consideration is given where persons are extremely vulnerable);
Intervening and communicating with local officials on behalf of Belizeans in distress;
Processing of Emergency Travel Documents for Belizeans whose passports have expired have been lost, stolen, or damaged;
Assisting with trade and other emergency movements of goods and services issues
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff at every station endeavor to treat persons in situations of distress and their family members with courtesy and respect. Our aim is to make every effort to provide guidance and sound advice to resolve consular matters,” the Ministry reiterated.
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