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Sep 29, 2014

Protest Planned for Belize/Guatemala Border

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

The execution-style murder of Special Constable Denny Conorquie, by bandits believed to be of Guatemalan extraction, has resulted in outrage. Masses of Belizeans are very much disheartened and are up in arms over the seemingly casual manner in which the case is being treated.  In San Ignacio on Tuesday morning, a delegation of protestors from across the country is expected to converge on the Macal River Park from where they will travel to the western border to stage a demonstration.  Among the organizers is Audrey Matura-Shepherd.  According to the outspoken activist, a clear message of zero tolerance for the continued incursions into Belize needs to be sent urgently.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Protest Organizer

“Well, it is an effort being organized by the people of San Ignacio, namely the Belize People Front and a lot of other N.G.O.s and entities and with the support, the call of the family of Danny Conorquie.  What is happening is that they will meet at nine a.m. at the Macal River Park and from there, there will be a motorcade to the border and we’re trying to secure space where the protest can occur somewhere by the O.A.S. office or it will be by the park that is being negotiated with the authorities; by the parking lot if anything.  But the thing is we are going to the border.  Why are we going to the border?  Simply because you want to know that it is a border issue we’re dealing with and our government needs to take heed of it.  It’s not to irritate anyone, it’s not to upset anyone, it is being symbolic because what we are having are border incursions, incursions which our government definitely knows has been occurring for years and that it has been escalating in recent times.  They know it because they have all the security meetings, briefings with the parties over the Guatemalan side, Mexico, all over but they know that this has been happening.  There have been several meetings before at our security personnel, at our [border] near Caracol but none has led to a fatality.  This one that has led to a fatality is only now bringing to the forefront the fact that what the authorities knew all along but the public in general didn’t know and that is why we are going to the border.  It is supposed to be peaceful and symbolic and we want people to take their flags out and take a stand.  You have to take a stand, stop complaining on Facebook, stop complaining in your house and just grumbling in your workplace.  Take a stand.  It has to be that your government knows this is serious.  Imagine, this young man died in the line of duty.  He was executed in the line of duty and we don’t even see our flags flying half-mast.  We don’t even see our people crying out and protesting.  Don’t they realize what this means?  So there are some of us with a social conscience and the people from San Ignacio as usual have asserted themselves and are making the first move.”

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2 Responses for “Protest Planned for Belize/Guatemala Border”

  1. Retired CEO says:

    While I agree with Minister Erlington’s position and approach to this incident, is because this incident requires quite a degree of cautiousness. However, I do not agree with some of the statements that he has made, Nevertheless, a sense of calmness must prevail in order to ascertain the facts. Clearly, Minister Erlington should be firm in his resolve. It should be made emphatically clear that if in fact these men are Guatemalans it is our expectation that the Guatemalan government will take full responsibility for this incident. Which you would mean that certain compensations will be expected to be paid by the Guatemalan government. In short, this incident occurred near the Guatemalan border and without a doubt the men have indeed fled across the Guatemalan border and this is enough to warrant a much stronger statement from the government of Belize and the Foreign Ministry. It should be made clear that no stones will remain unturned until we get to the bottom of this incident. Lastly since it has been established that these men have fled to the Guatemalan side our expectation should be that the Guatemalans will assist in hunting them down and return them to Belize to face our justice system. Our expectation should be nothing less nothing more. A demonstration against Guatemala at this time would not be a constructive effort to solve this problem. However, on the contrary a demonstration against the way the GOB has been deliberately misinforming the public would be in order. This would send a strong message to the PM, Foreign Ministry, and the cabinet of buffoons.

  2. belizeanatheart says:

    I think Retired CEO, U have said it very prudently. I think GOB should make a very strong statement, only like that we will know if GOB is defending Belizeans. We have seen how GOB has gone way out to pay compensation to Guatemalans, now we need the same approach with us, but also make Guatemala pay its dues, this will be a testing process for them. Do not rely on OAS.

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