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Aug 19, 2015

PM Breaks Silence on Sarstoon Island Expedition

The incident between a Belize Territorial Volunteer-led expedition and Guatemalan military on Sunday has created a storm of anti-Guatemala and certainly anti-government sentiment. G.O.B. has remained tight-lipped on the attempted interception of Belizean vessels in the waters at the mouth of the Sarstoon, until today. This afternoon the Prime Minister hosted a press conference in Belize City to deal specifically with the expedition. He spoke first on the actual interception, based on information he got from the O.A.S., from media accounts and from footage assessed and analyzed by his military commanders.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Four of the territorial volunteer boats made it through to the Sarstoon Island and circled that island. They entered the Sarstoon River by the North Channel and exited by the South channel. At least one other bigger boat was prevented by the Guatemalan navy from attempting to do the same thing as the four smaller boats did. The question that at once arises is whether those four boats that transited the two channels at any time went over into what we consider the Guatemalan side of the river, and whether at any point the Guatemalan navy came over into our Belizean side of the river. The O.A.S. reports that even the four small Belizean boats were at first intercepted by the Guatemalans before they were able to proceed toward the island, and both that temporary interception of the small boats and the permanent interception of the bigger boat took place, as I understand Ms. Talamas, as what she describes as the mouth of the Sarstoon River. It is my belief that what the O.A.S. calls the mouth of the Sarstoon River is clearly in Belizean waters and that the Guatemalan navy committed an incursion when they intercepted our boats at that spot. The territorial volunteers and the Belizean media confirmed the fact of this incursion and General Jones and Admiral Borland, after viewing video footage, fully concur. Now whether our four volunteer boats also went into Guatemala during the course of entering, circling and exiting the area of the island must remain unanswered now. The volunteers say no and the O.A.S. doesn’t say yes. But regardless of what may later be established on that score, the Guatemalan incursion certainly happened first, and any unwitting Belizean entry into Guatemala by unarmed civilian boats is of a different order completely from the deliberate violation committed against us by a presumably well-armed Guatemalan navy. An extremely strong protest note has therefore been prepared by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was approved just now by the N.S.C. for immediate dispatch to the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry with a copy to the O.A.S.”

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2 Responses for “PM Breaks Silence on Sarstoon Island Expedition”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    finally use said something that make me breath a breath of relief. It’s obvious and clearly that the guats tress passed our waters, now sending the letter and hoping it reaches to the persons responsible to see it never again happens in the guat side.
    Also lets see if the O.A.S is going to really deliver the letter to the guats too.

  2. Alicia Codd says:

    My personal opinion is that the GOB deliberately not trying to do anything to help BTV and NTV,they are hiding something about Belize and Guatemala. They need to come forward and tell the Belizean people what is going on,we have all rights to that. First off Wilfred Elrington is not presentable with that face full of hair. Very unprofessional for the power in front of his name. He looks like a criminal like that,so they need to make big changes in the UDP world.

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