Media Center

Press Release


  November 28, 2006

The Organization of American States (OAS) will hold a seminar this week in San Ignacio, Belize, to help broaden the capacity of immigration, custom and law enforcement authorities from Belize and Guatemala to identify and understand the crime of trafficking in persons.

The seminar, organized by the OAS General Secretariat in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), will provide training to help the governments of Belize and Guatemala combat trafficking in persons across the Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone. It is designed to raise awareness among governmental entities of both countries on how to recognize cases and victims of trafficking in persons; support local authorities in implementing anti-trafficking policies with the participation of civil society; and strengthen coordination and cooperation mechanisms between immigration, customs and law enforcement officials of Belize and Guatemala to fight this crime.

In order to achieve these objectives, the participants in the seminar will engage directly in a two-day training activity, which begins today in the Adjacency Zone, with the participation of international experts from Central and South America. Speakers will include the Coordinator of the OAS Department of Public Security’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Section, Fernando García-Robles, and the OAS Director of the Secretary General’s Office in the Adjacency Zone, Miguel Angel Trinidad, as well as government officials and representatives of nongovernmental organizations.

The Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone was established several years ago, through negotiations held under the auspices of the OAS. The OAS field office there helps monitor compliance with “confidence-building measures” agreed to by both countries, which continue to work toward resolving their long-term territorial differendum.

Reference: E-255/06