On Saturday, Belize’s Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Courtney announced that his country will ban chartered flights from Haiti given that there are presumptions that they are used to smuggle Haitians into the Central American country.
«We will not allow them to reach our land,» he said, explaining that this decision was made after the authorities detected that the planes that land at the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport only make the outward journey and do not return to Haiti.
Courtney also alleged that the Haitians who arrive in Belize do not have reservations in hostels and are later transported to the United States.
The Belizean minister justified the new measures arguing that Haitians «are mistreated and trafficked by smugglers and we will not allow that same thing to happen in Belize.»
The endless economic, political, and social crisis that Haiti has been experiencing prompts massive poverty. In an attempt to escape the prevailing insecurity and violence, Haitians choose to migrate without documents to other countries.
Late last week, the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a sailboat off the Bahamas carrying 67 Haitian migrants, including women and children. While President Joe Biden’s administration has said it is concerned about the situation in Haiti, its authorities continue to carry out mass deportations of Haitian migrants.
From September 2021 to the end of May 2022, at least 25,000 undocumented Haitians were deported from the United States, according to official figures.