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Jun 18, 2015

Guatemalan Ambassador Admits Incursions Are Not Being Controlled

Wilfred Elrington

On Monday, the new Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize, Manuel Estuardo Roldan, was sworn in to assume his diplomatic mission in Belize. He begins his appointment at a time when there is a strong public anti-Guatemalan sentiment because of recent incidents such as the Guatemalan gunboat that crashed into the reef and the detention of four Belizeans in the south. We asked Roldan how he will treat the Guatemala-Belize border dispute. He told News Five that he will use his official position to encourage and facilitate communication between both countries. So, when we asked him about the four Belizeans who were detained in the south, he told us that he was awaiting the report from the O.A.S. and will comment further when he has the details. But, he did speak to us about other matters, like the adjacency zone and what he thinks of Foreign Minister Elrington.

 

Reporter

“Sir, some Belizeans might feel offended that you call it an adjacency zone?”

 

Manuel Estuardo Roldan, Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize

“Yes it is part of the differendum, sir. You have your opinion and we have ours. As I said, that is something that is going to take its own course, that is due to resolve accordingly and that is not pollute our daily relationship. So, its two things, completely different things.”

 

Manuel Estuardo Roldan

Reporter

“Sir, in terms of the Guatemalans living along the Adjacency Zone, do you think that that the Guatemalan Government cannot control them? There are reports that there are still incursions in the Chiquibul, is it your opinion that the government cannot control those who live there?”

 

Manuel Estuardo Roldan

“It’s not that it’s we cannot control them. It’s because we haven’t, and I must recognize this, we haven’t fostered enough economic opportunities. When you have an empty stomach you have to look for it to be filled and I respect those people. I must admit before you and before the cameras that we do have a lot to do on my side. We have to foster better opportunities for people to tackle your daily needs in a better fashion. We have to do a lot of work still in Guatemala. The thing that we can never lose is the positive level of communication that we have reached. As you know, it is a long standing issue and what we are trying to do is to get results in the best manner for both parties involved.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Would you like to see this settled during your tenure; that an agreement is reached?”

 

Manuel Estuardo Roldan

“That would be best thing that could ever happen to me, ma’am, but I fully understand that history has to take its own course. So, what we have to do is to play our part and when the time comes be ready and show the best of good will.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Our Foreign Minister gets a lot of criticism; he has spoken about preventative diplomacy and things like that. Do you think that both countries are going about this issue in the right way?”

 

Manuel Estuardo Roldan

“I do think that. As a matter of fact, I believe that you have a very talented Minister of Foreign Affairs. I respect him very much and we are very close friends and I am very happy to be working with him.”

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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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