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Mar 22, 2016

Is an Adjacency Zone needed in the South?

David Jones

If you’ve wondered why there is no rise in hostility between Belize and Guatemala when illegal hunters are found inside Belizean territory it’s because the adjacency zone clearly demarcates the 1859 treaty line.  Such is not the case at the Sarstoon.  Commander Jones explains.

 

Isani Cayetano

“It doesn’t seem as though there is much uproar when the B.D.F. comes into armed contact with poachers in the Chiquibul area, as opposed to when the B.D.F. makes its way up the Sarstoon River towards the Cadenas Outpost.  Why is this?”

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, B.D.F.

“Well, the simple reason for that.  We have a protocol with Guatemala.  We have the confidence building measures that cover the western border.  That was not extended to the Sarstoon.  There is absolutely no protocol in the Sarstoon.  They are exerting, they believe that they should exert sovereignty over the entire river.  We’re of a different view.  We believe that the international boundary runs to the center of the river.  So that is something political that needs to be worked out.  The military works on direction from military leaders.  They have been directed to exercise sovereignty in the entire river.  We’ve been directed to exercise sovereignty over half of the river.  So there is potential for conflict there, so that needs to be worked out politically.  After they establish a protocol in the Sarstoon we shouldn’t have such problem and we should work similar as we were working along with them then along the western border.”

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