The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed the Belize government’s appeal of an unusual contempt-of-court sanction levied against it by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro-Benages in Miami.

Late last week, the appellate panel held that Belize’s appeal — which is supported by the U.S. Departments of Justice and State — was filed prematurely. But the panel gave the impoverished Central American nation another chance to escape the $50,000-a-day fine, which now totals at least $1.8 million.

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