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Mar 1, 2016

How Many Guatemalan Vessels Were There in Belizean Waters?

The blockage on Saturday by the Guatemalan navy of the B.T.V. expedition continues to cause public outrage because there is a growing sentiment that Belize has lost the Sarstoon. Almost one year to date after a delegation from the Belize Territorial Volunteers was detained in Guatemala overnight; Saturday’s visit organized by Wil Maheia was to have commemorated that unfortunate incident.  Instead, the planned excursion to Gracias A Dios was effectively thwarted by the Guatemalan navy when vessels were lined across the river to prevent their passage.  Media reports indicate that the naval boats were well inside Belize’s territorial waters. But according to Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, there is the possibility that only one of those vessels may have entered into Belizean waters.

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Wilfred Elrington

“The official report that I have is that there were a number of Guatemalan vessels out there.  All except one seems to have kept well within Guatemalan waters but a small riverine boat came into Belizean waters, or is believed to have done that but the others stayed clearly in Guatemalan waters.  This is a matter which, in the usual fashion, our security forces monitor very closely.  We in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs monitor it as well, very closely.  The prime minister is constantly in contact with the officials here, we are constantly in contact with them as from last week.  So it is our responsibility to ensure that Belizeans are kept safe and sound and we are resolved to do that despite the fact that there are those who don’t seem to appreciate the dangers that they are putting themselves in, as well as the rest of the society.  Because, if we were to come into conflict with the Guatemalans and that were to erupt into violence the likelihood is that innocent people would get killed or damaged and we don’t want that to happen.”

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