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Mar 1, 2016

BPP Says Government is Spineless When it Comes to Guatemala

The Belize Progressive Party, formed last year just before general elections, continues to maintain that it is a feasible option to the two mass parties which have dominated electoral politics in Belize. The B.P.P.’s mantra since inception has been dual-pronged – a strictly anti-corruption agenda coupled with an almost militaristic nationalism where the Belize/Guatemala dispute is concerned. Not surprisingly, the incident in the Sarstoon this past weekend was more than enough to get the party riled up. At an event to open its headquarters in Belize City this morning, leader Patrick Rogers took the opportunity to express that while Guatemala has been resolute in asserting sovereignty over the Sarstoon, our leaders have resolved to be spineless.

 

Patrick Rogers, Leader, Belize Progressive Party

Patrick Rogers

“Why hasn’t our government taken this thing and internationalize the aggression that we are being faced by the Guatemalan armed forces? We are being aggressed, but if you were to listen to our government they are not doing any lobbying internationally to say hey mein these brothers are talking peace and want us to go to the ICJ but they are beating us in our head with a bog stick. They are telling us that we can’t traverse this territory within our boundaries as we’ve been knowing the island as ours, the midpoint of the channel is the border with Guatemala…all of a sudden since the 1990’s now they put a military base down there. When did they put that military base? In 2000? It’s not long ago since Guatemala first established a naval presence there, and they have built up and built up and built up and fifteen years later they are the only authority down there. Our own Belizeans have learned to accept them as the authority because they don’t see our BDF patrolling that area. Brother Greg Choc told me in confidence that when he was doing his SATIIM expeditions if he would run into any military it would be Guatemalan military in the Sarstoon/Temash, not Belizean military. So don’t think this is anything new that is happening. There has been a move by Guatemala to assert sovereignty over Southern Belize so that if and when a ruling comes about they would have already been effectively exercising control over that area. So their navy is doing what their government position is to show that they are the authority there in that area. And we have some spineless leaders that don’t understand that for this thing to be internationalized it may very well take a real incident happening down there. But that’s what the army is there for. The army isn’t there to be afraid and not protect our territory.”

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