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Aug 7, 2015

Unwarranted Trek to Sarstoon Island Can Inflame Conflict

David Jones

The unwarranted mission to Sarstoon Island, in Jones’ opinion, can very well result in a split in the relationship that the B.D.F. and the Guatemalan army have forged.  That liaison, from a military standpoint, is mutually beneficial.

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commandant, B.D.F.

“North of the Sarstoon, in our mind, belongs to us.  South of the Sarstoon, in their mind, belongs to them and it only makes sense and is more prudent for us to work together at the entrance of the mouth.  So that is what we have proposed military to military with the Guatemalans and they have no issue with it.  They don’t have an issue with the BDF working jointly with them because it is in our interest to stop the illegal activities coming through, be it illegal weapons, illegal arms and drugs or human smuggling that does occur in there goes into Guatemala then into Mexico then subsequently to the United States.  So it’s a regional problem, it’s a regional challenge when it comes to the issue of the Sarstoon and we believe the best way is to work the way how we have been doing it, military to military with our Guatemalan partners.  It has been working fine between us and we’d like to keep that relationship and having the territorial volunteers venture and trek into that area that is actually in dispute that the government is trying to solve amicably with them, I don’t think it will solve the problem.  It will create more issues, not just for the government but it will create more issues for the military who have had a longstanding good relationship with the Guatemalan military and they could put the risks of our security officers at bay if they go in there and aggravate the situation.  So my advice to them would be to not take such a trek.  There are other ways to show your nationalism but trying to aggravate a situation is not going to solve it.  That may lead to a military conflict [and] I think it’s ill-advised.”

 

The expedition to Sarstoon Island is scheduled for Sunday, August sixteenth.

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