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Mexican Ambassador Speaks on Illicit Trade along the Borders

Notorious ‘Contrabandista’ Ernesto Alonso de Miguel or “El Espanol” was shot to death in November of last year in a Chetumal restaurant. He was known for peddling huge quantities of cigarettes and other illicit items into the Corozal Free Zone and out to other Central American countries. Today at the media luncheon, Mexican Ambassador Carlos Melendez, shared what his Government is prepared to do to stop or interrupt the illicit trade networks.

The case of El Espanol was very regrettable also in Mexico. It got a lot of media attraction and we are sorry for what happened. About the contraband, you mentioned, I think we are working together, the ___________ to fight contraband but I am confident that if we go on with the signature of the Partial Scope Free Trade Agreement that will bring us benefits in this particular area. So that if we ______contraband of you mention cigarettes and many other products, you know that there is also presently contraband of for example cattle, if we open the market in the  sectors that are of convenience to both countries I am sure that contraband will be automatically decreased between both countries. That’s why we are working really hard and we are a priority to negotiate the Free Trade Agreement, the Partial Scope Free Trade Agreement. You also mentioned vegetables and I guess you are referring to carrots , the problem with carrots. We have seen the last statistics and we have not seen a change of pattern in the carrot export to Belize from Mexico. There has been a quota and this amount of carrots being exported to Belize are the same as last year so we have data until October but we don’t really see a change of pattern so I don’t know if it is the Mexican carrots that is affecting the local market in Belize.