The Global Detention Project (GDP), a non-profit research center based in Geneva, Switzerland has published two new detention profiles outlining immigration detention policy, practice and infrastructure in Guatemala and Belize.

In the Guatemala profile, GDP highlights concerns regarding pressure from Mexico and the United States to use detention in order to halt the movement of foreigners across Guatemala. GDP notes that U.S. immigration authorities have even provided direct economic assistance for detaining foreigners. Although Guatemala is often thought of as a origin country for international migrants, GDP cites statistics that report that 273 people were held in immigration detention in 2013.

Meanwhile, Belize’s immigration detention policy is particularly worrisome in that the country provides criminal sanctions for immigration-related infractions. Belize’s treatment of undocumented migrants as criminal offenders is in strong contrast to migration policies in most other countries in the Americas region where immigration infractions are considered administrative offenses.

The profiles represent important reference and advocacy tools and further GDP’s aims to: (1) provide researchers, advocates, and journalists with a measurable and regularly updated baseline for analyzing the growth and evolution of detention practices and policies; (2) facilitate accountability and transparency in the treatment of detainees; and (3) encourage scholarship in this field of immigration and refugee studies.


See the fulle Belize Immigration Detention Profile

See the full Guatemala Immigration Detention Profile

Read about immigration detention of children in Guatemala on the End Immigration Detention of Children Campaign website