Back in the month of January, we reported of a violent confrontation between Belize Customs and armed Mexican smugglers at the northern border. As reported the clash erupted when Belize Customs officials attempted to confiscate goods that were being illegally stockpiled near the Belize-side of the Rio Hondo River. The problem, as we understand it, started after Mexican border officials were in constant odds with Mexican smugglers known as fayuqueros over attempts to smuggle goods from the Commercial Free Zone. Because of a crackdown by Mexican officials, the fayuqueros started to hide the goods under the Subteniente Lopez Bridge. This prompted Belizean authorities to crack down on the situation, leading to January’s violent clash which resulted in one Corozal police officer to suffer an injury to the head.
While things had seemingly been calm in the area since then, today our news team received a report indicating that trouble was once more brewing in the area. According to reports from persons in the area, the problem with Mexican ‘fayuqueros’ has been ongoing and today prompted both Mexican and Belizeans officials to make an appearance in the area. Indications are that today’s operation was to close down the border at the Subteniente Lopez Bridge.
When we contacted comptroller of Customs, Colin Griffith to inquire about the situation in the area today, we were informed that it was a collaborative effort by both Mexican and Belizean authorities to stop commercial exportation from the Free zone through the old bridge.