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June 15, 2022
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Order the expulsion of seven Cuban migrants after trial in Belize

Paso fronterizo entre México y Belice. Foto: eleconomista.com.mx / Archivo.

Seven Cuban citizens, who had been in preventive detention for illegally entering Belize and who reported that their rights were violated during their detention, will finally be expelled from the country.

A court in Belize dismissed the case brought on behalf of the seven cuban migrants and ordered that the authorities implement the expulsion order as soon as possible, according to local media reports on Tuesday.

The seven Cuban citizens were incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison and were initially released after the Belize Human Rights Commission (HRCB) filed a civil suit.

The group arrived in Belize last February with two children and claimed to seek asylum. The adults were detained and the minors placed in the care of the Department of Human Services.

In March, Supreme Court Judge Patricia Farnese ruled that the Cubans should be released after the HRCB filed the civil suit against the Superintendent of Prisons, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration, and the Attorney General.

The lawsuit alleged that the Cubans’ constitutional rights had been violated because of the length of their detention and because the authorities did not tell them what crimes they had committed in a language they could understand.

But in the latest court ruling, Judge Lisa Shoman found that the accusations made on behalf of the seven Cubans had no legal basis and that they should be expelled.

The court also ruled that the Cuban citizen whose two children are in the custody of the Department of Human Services be allowed to have daily video calls and weekly visits with them until they are removed from Belize.

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