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Jun 3, 2015

Vice Commander Elton Bennett Says Coast Guard Stood Its Ground Against Guatemalan Navy

The Belize National Coast Guard and the Guatemalan Navy were involved in a lengthy standoff on the Sarstoon Island last Thursday. Information has been provided about the incident by the ministries of National Security and Foreign Affairs and not all has been in concert.  The public has also weighed in on the hostility in Belizean waters, but the maritime protection outfit has remained rather mum on the incident.  That was until earlier today when Vice Commander, Elton Bennett, broke the silence on what transpired during a preliminary survey of Sarstoon Island when they were approached by two Guatemalan ships.  According to the senior officer, reconnaissance of the island for the establishment of a forward operating base was successful, despite the confrontation that ensued. But were instructions given to the Belize Coastguard to withdraw or retreat from Belizean territory?

 

Elton Bennett, Vice Commander, BNCG

“A part of our strategic development plan requires an operating base at the Sarstoon and this is because of the activities over time.  It’s been a long time we’ve been receiving reports of illegal activities and cross border issues that need to be addressed from a national security standpoint.  And for years we’ve been discussing and developing plans to establish an operating base at that location along with the Belize Defense Force which would be a joint facility.  Our mission there was to conduct a reconnaissance of the area which we did.  We accomplished that mission and we sighted the most suitable location to sight that operating base and very shortly we will return to that area in the area of the Sarstoon in order to construct that operating base.  I understand that the B.D.F. still conducts regular operation in the area.  As a matter of fact, I believe that they were conducting patrol in that area yesterday.  So the military and the national security agencies still patrol the area.  What we want to do from now on is to establish a permanent post at the entrance of the Sarstoon.”

 

Elton Bennett

Isani Cayetano

“There seem to be some discrepancies with regards to what actually transpired, particularly where it pertains to who backed down and who were steadfast in this entire standoff.  Can you clarify that for us?”

 

Elton Bennett

“From a tactical perspective we were out there to execute a tactical operation.  As it relates to the issues of diplomacy it’s at that level that we are not privy to, we are not involved with that, we execute our orders as given.  So I cannot comment on where the directive came to withdraw or the conditions of which we were to be extracted but as far as we are concerned we performed the duty as directed.”

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1 Response for “Vice Commander Elton Bennett Says Coast Guard Stood Its Ground Against Guatemalan Navy”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    I applaud them for doing so standing their ground. This is going really out of hand on the part of the chapines. Lets show them that we have pride and we have our rights to our land even do the traitor sedi says we live by a artificial border.

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