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Aug 14, 2015

Coastguard Cannot Entertain BTVs Request

Sunday’s expedition to Sarstoon Island will see a rather large civilian contingent representing various organizations, including the Northern Territorial Volunteers and COLA.  The maritime leg of the journey, from Barranco to the southernmost tributary separating Belize and Guatemala, will be covered without the protection of the coast guard.  Likewise, the trek to the remote location will not be fended by the B.D.F.   For all intents and purposes, the group is really on its own, even with the attendance of Senator Lisa Shoman, whom government says will not be appearing in any official capacity.  So, is the Belize National Coast Guard hamstrung in the face of other concerns that may arise out of the unsanctioned trip?  After all, a letter requesting the presence of coast guard personnel has been written to Commander John Borland.  We asked him earlier today about his thoughts on the matter.

 

Rear Admiral John Borland, Commander, BNCG

“I have seen that letter and, as you said, you were hoping that I could entertain you but unfortunately I can’t.  The Government of Belize has given its position on this matter, on this issue [and] I go with what my civilian leadership decides.  As you know, we’re a disciplined, armed organization, we follow orders and we go by the policies of those that we have committed to support in our duty as a member of a military force. The last I have heard when I saw the news last night there hasn’t been any decision to send the coast guard on any mission to support in escorting or providing cover for those people going in on that expedition.  I believe that there may be a need to provide for maritime safety as we saw the last time an expedition went, where they went despite a small craft warning and those vessels were overloaded.  I believe that’s a role that we would be able to play but it does not involve or include any form of support in the form of an escort or providing cover for the people going in to do the Sarstoon Island expedition.”

 

John Borland

Reporter

“Sir, would you advise against it?”

 

Rear Admiral John Borland

“I, as I said, go along with what my government’s position is.  We heard the minister speak just yesterday, we heard the general speak on it and I am not going to go against what they have said.”

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1 Response for “Coastguard Cannot Entertain BTVs Request”

  1. Hatari says:

    What a sad state of affairs!.Our own BDF and Coast Guard refusing to assist an honest group of Belizean citizens who pay their salaries. This really sucks! GOB and especially the PM should be ashamed. Hopefully voters will remember their inexcusable actions.

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