Belize-Mexico border clash over alleged smuggling leaves 13 injured
Belizean customs agents clashed with a group of alleged smugglers attempting to carry goods into Mexico at the Belize-Quintana Roo border Friday Jan. 27.
Thirteen people were injured at the Subteniente López border crossing, 15 kilometers from Chetumal, Quintana Roo, after the customs officials refused to allow a group of about 20 people to cross the border because they hadn’t paid taxes on the merchandise.
The situation worsened when one of the Belize agents, who had crossed into Mexican territory, pulled his gun and began threatening the alleged smugglers.
Weekends are a popular time for Mexicans to cross the border and enter Belize to buy merchandise in the duty-free zone and return to Mexico to sell it.
Similar confrontations have happened before. After a similar incident last year, Belizean authorities decided to prohibit commercial vendors from gathering at the border crossing, but little by little they have been returning, reported the newspaper Milenio.
The crossing was closed for six hours yesterday as a result of the clash.
It was reopened and calm restored after Quintana Roo state police and the Army sent in personnel to provide security.