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Mar 3, 2015

Sedi Elrington Responds to Criticisms of G.O.B. ’s Lukewarm Response to Guatemala Incident

Following the incident, there was some expectation that the government would host an immediate press conference to at least express top-level outrage. That hasn’t happened. In fact, the only thing that has happened is the issuance of a very tepid press release. We’ve tried getting a comment from Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and he has refused. So today, we went looking for Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. He told us that he was part of the team that sent out the release, and as far as he is concerned, the release says it all.

 

Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“We had been advising against that kind of adventure largely because we knew the danger that is inherent in doing that kind of thing. We understand that people have freedom to move all over the place, all over the country, but certainly in my case I see it just like when you have a hurricane coming and you advise people living in the low-lying areas to move out because you may get hurt – some choose to do it and some choose not to do it. Those who choose not to do it sometimes find themselves in the middle of the storm being overtaken by the storm or the flood and then they call for help. When they do that they put the rescuers in trouble because the rescuers can lose their lives in an attempt to help people who in fact refuse to take warning and move out early. So that is our concern, and border problems are not problems unique to Belize. It happens all over the world and we notice that in some places people die over border conflicts. So we are trying to make sure that does not happen in Belize. Belizeans cross borders everyday you know….when we go to Chetumal we cross the border. When we go to Guatemala we cross the borders but there is this dispute between us and Guatemala. It is a sensitive dispute and we think that the least we can do to aggravate the situation the better and safer our people will be.”

 

Reporter

“Sir but there is a sentiment that this isn’t about the territorial volunteers per se. There are many people who are looking at what has been established…that when the boat was taken and when the people were taken they were in Belizean waters. So what happens is that the Guatemalan military came into Belizean waters and took Belizeans out of Belizean waters into Guatemala?”

 

Wilfred Elrington

“If you look at the release that we published we said that it is suggested, and the evidence suggests…but we don’t have any confirmation on any of it. So what we are trying to do is to get confirmation on these things before we take action. There is no line out there that you can see that demarcates the two countries. There’s nothing there. You really have to have good scientific instruments to really know what the position is, and we think it’s certainly irresponsible for us to take hard and fast positions without knowing what the truth is.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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6 Responses for “Sedi Elrington Responds to Criticisms of G.O.B. ’s Lukewarm Response to Guatemala Incident”

  1. Tarasbulba Martinez says:

    Sedih full a backside now. Guates can roam around in our Waters, walk into our country and do as they want without any prosecution. Yet dis ya idiot in essence dih tell we fuh be fraid fuh move round inna fuh we own country?

  2. CEO says:

    Sedi: I could not even read your crap because it started by “you have been advising against…). Belizeans should have the right go to any part of their country that they choose to and you should be the one to support this idea.

    I was one that supported you comment about artificial border because I understood what you meant but for Christ’s sake you are the one that should be supportive and interested in the sovereignty and the safety of the Belizean people against all foreign problems.

    Will you ever speak out against those that encroach across our borders every day, that have built roads in our country, that come across our boarder and kidnap our people; will you ever?

    I am sorry to say but you are useless in the roll as foreign minister!

  3. kmh says:

    Here again we see what a total lack of leadership this man exhibits. What a putz. All he wants is the job title and none of the responsibility. If any GOB minister needs replacing it is this one. He will be lukewarm until the Guatemalans take over own office maybe…. He doesn’t have to be militant or even forceful, all he needs to do is respond to Belizeans with the kind of reassuring rhetoric they need to hear right now. But even that is beneath him.

  4. reatph says:

    SELL OUT.

  5. Gregori says:

    Honestly, thats an embarrassing response from our minister. The way he spoke seems to say that let Guatemalans do us whatever they want and invade our land and do whatever they want. I live in the US and it irritates me to hell when I meet a guatemalan who tells me that Belize belongs to Guatemala. They actually believe we belong to them. I think we need to pressure the government to do something. We need to have more pride as belizeans make our identity known.

  6. Ernest Acosta says:

    What a bunch of crap. He sounds like a dog with his tail between his legs. I guess that is why the Belize coast guard is not guarding the south. When you show weakness to your opponent they will go for the knockout. Have some courage and stand up for what is right. Instruments? How about the GPS on the cell phones that the people carried in the boat. Access the data and that will tell you exactly where they were and if they travelled out of the border. Btw, GPS is accurate up to 4 feet.

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