Comments:Guatemalan government may suspend liberties under state of emergency

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The Guatemalan government has been tremendously inefficient in dealing with the swine flu pandemic. In the amount of time that it took for many European governments to debate whether or not to completely block travel between Mexico and their countries, Guatemala only passed a law saying they could take emergency health measures. Meantime, Guatemala effectively is still requiring all its NGO workers to travel to Mexico and spend 3 days there before returning to Guatemala!! Guatemala still requires NGO workers to leave the country every 90 days to renew their passport stamp. Thus NGO workers cross the border to Mexico (and fewer, to Belize) every 90 days. Mexican laws require the NGO workers to stay in Mexico for 3 days before crossing back to Guatemala. Guatemala is part of a 4-country economic bloc (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua), and that bloc requires foreigners to leave the (entire) bloc every 90 days. Costa Rica is way too far for an NGO worker to travel, and many NGO workers in the poverty-stricken northern highlands of Guatemala would have to travel at least 2 days (in an incredibly crowded chickenbus... which is a swine flu risk) in order to get to Belize. This leaves only Mexico as a passport renewal option. Not so bad usually, but when a pandemic with unknown severity hits... Guatemala should have temporarily lifted this requirement. This requirement actually created a terrible risk for the Guatemalan public! Luckily, this version of swine flu has not been severe even though it is pandemic. However, Guatemalan governmental reaction and policy changes have been incredibly ineffective, slow, and missed performing obvious actions such as lifting the 90-day passport update requirement. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:49, 13 May 2009