Ombudsman of Belize and Guatemala Meeting

Ombudsman of Guatemala and Ombudsman of Belize meet at the O.A.S. Office to discuss human rights issues in the Belize/Guatemala Adjacency Zone, May 5, 2016

On May 5, 2016, the Ombudsman of Guatemala Mr. Jorge DeLéon Duque and other members of his team met with the Ombudsman of Belize, Mr. Lionel Arzu, and his Legal Officer, Ms. Rubiceli Perera at the O.A.S. (Organization of American States) Office in the Belize/Guatemala Adjacency Zone.

The meeting was in response to a formal complaint by Mr. De DeLéon regarding the fatal shooting of a minor in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, near the Belize/Guatemala Border. Julio Alvarado Ruano, 13 years old, his father and several others were shot in a confrontation with the Belize Defense Force and Members of the Friends for Conservation Development. The Guatemalans, who are civilians claiming to have been unarmed, allege unjustifiable and excessive force by the B.D.F. and the F.C.D. The B.D.F. and the F.C.D., in rebuttal, said they acted in self-defense.

The OAS is conducting an independent investigation into the incident and will forward its final report to all concerned parties. The Ombudsmen’s meeting was facilitated by the Mr. Sergio Benitez, Director, Office of the O.A.S.