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Aug 26, 2015

Senator Shoman Formally Requests O.A.S. Report

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that it will not release the O.A.S. report on the Sarstoon Incident unless both governments, Belize and Guatemala, agree to do so. That’s interesting, since the O.A.S. has told News Five that it has no protocol prohibiting release, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow publicly stated that he had no problem making the document public. Set against the backdrop of heightened tensions between Belize and Guatemala, the contents of the release would be very telling – especially where territorial lines are drawn. Belize claims half the Sarstoon, while Guatemala claims the entire Sarstoon…and in fact all that territory from the Sarstoon to the Sibun. The O.A.S. perspective is critical, but it is apparent that we’re not going to get a look at the report. We won’t, but Opposition Representative on the Bi-Partisan Commission, Senator Lisa Shoman is trying. She’s written to Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala Alexis Rosado requesting copies of the O.A.S. Report and the protest note sent to Guatemala.


Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, Opposition Representative, Bi-Partisan Commission

“I have not been provided with any brief regarding the O.A.S. report. I wish to see that report. As is customary that that should have come to me the same time it was sent to the C.E.O. and anyone else. I have not seen it and I also have not seen the protest note, which again normally, I would get a copy of that immediately. If these things are classified information, I respect that, but I wish there to be a formal record that I have requested both of those documentations from the Government of Belize. if this bipartisan commission is to mean anything, then my participation in it should be meaningful. And that means that at the very least, I must be provided with the material. So I am expecting to get a response. I have also written to tell him that I am ready, willing and available to provide him with a firsthand brief of what happened at the Sarstoon Island incident. I am there to provide him for the record with a briefing and I would like to have an exchange of views with him. I don’t think that that is unreasonable; I think any responsible foreign minister would welcome such a thing. In his position, I certainly would welcome it. I remember very well in fact, when Mister Greg Ch’oc and the SATIIM rangers were confronted in a similar manner in October…I think it was October tenth or so of 2007. And right away when it happened, I reached out to Mister Ch’oc and asked him to come in and tell me exactly what happened. I wanted to hear it from him and to be able to say we have received a formal report. I mean, I think these are the things that need to be done. Sometimes, we as Belizeans like informality—informality works up to a certain point, but then there has to be formality. And there has to be a record for the future to say that this was what was done, this was what was requested. I am happy to say that C.E.O. Sylvester has replied to say that he has received the letter and he will make sure it gets the Minister’s attention.”

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1 Response for “Senator Shoman Formally Requests O.A.S. Report”

  1. Peter says:

    Has anyone requested the secret agreement signed in Placencia?

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