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Apr 20, 2016

It’s Confirmed, Guatemala Has Indeed Rejected All Eleven Sarstoon Proposals

Tonight, there is a lot of news from the Sarstoon in southern Belize, where the Ministry of National Security inaugurated its long awaited Forward Operating Base. There were uninvited guests from Guatemala, up close and personal in Belizean waters and we’ll have all that for you. But we start our coverage with official ministerial confirmation of significant news we broke on Monday—Guatemala has completely rejected the eleven proposals presented to Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales and Chief of Defense Staff General Carlos Eduardo Estrada Perez on April eighth. It’s a serious setback for the rules of engagement in the area, and an indication that certainly Belize and Guatemala are on completely different wavelengths.

 

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“We were informed officially in Cabinet of the rejection of the Guatemalans of our proposal. We also saw what their supposed counter proposals were, which we again flatly reject because it says precisely what was asked just now—they want us to ask permission—and we flatly reject that. And so we are going to continue to work the diplomatic channels to try to see some meeting of the minds, but in the meantime as you’ve also indicated, militarily, we believe that we have some sort of agreement for there to maintain the peace in the area.”

 

John Saldivar

Mike Rudon

“Is it clear in Cabinet that this thing is indeed as the team has told us that it is a complete fabrication from Guatemala; this so called status quo, this gentleman’s agreement that Belize must ask permission to go into the Sarstoon?”

 

John Saldivar

“It is absolutely clear; we had in our possession yesterday in Cabinet the minutes of a meeting that was held 2005, if not 2007, when a similar situation had occurred. We have minutes of that meeting that took place at the military level where it is clear to us that Belize never acceded to that point from the Guatemalans.”

 

David Jones

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defense Force

“I wouldn’t say I was surprised; I would say that I was disappointed that it was rejected because I sat down with the general and their ambassador and we sat down at the table. We went through every paragraph of that protocol, one by one. There was no major disagreement with any of those protocols; they did not show that there’s going to be any rejection of the protocol. But of course they did indicate to us that they had to go back to their principals to inform them of the protocol and they will review it and based on their recommendations then they will get back to us within a week or just after a week. So when I heard the news actually on the news last night or night before when it was rejected, I was really disappointed because the Belizean team sat down together, we drafted those protocols; we believe they were designed with mutual respect and for cooperation so that civilians—both Belizeans and Guatemalans—could traverse the Sarstoon area and the river without interruption from the military or any other civilians. So when it was rejected, I was rightfully disappointed but I am not going to give up. I am going to continue working with them because we have to work with them; it is an international border so it is the interest of both countries to work together here.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Do you feel that it is unlikely, based on the rejection of those proposals, that there will anytime in the near future be some sort of accepted protocol in the Sarstoon? Because as you mentioned, some people might have looked at those protocols and said that it was exceeding fair; there was no mention of the midpoint of the Sarstoon, there was no mention of any sovereignty on either side.”

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones

“Yes, we believe it was fair. I believe and I know it was fair. Unfortunately it is up to the politicians in Guatemala to agree to something working in this area. They have absolutely a different view from what we were thinking.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “It’s Confirmed, Guatemala Has Indeed Rejected All Eleven Sarstoon Proposals”

  1. mel says:

    An escalaltion of the Guat crisis is expected very soon when the GAF attempts to force BDF to report to them or stop them because of their failure to report to them. Its obvious the kind of GOB/Elrington diplomatic policy in dealing with Guatemala has been a total failure but they refuse to change their failed policies and move in a new direction.

  2. CEO says:

    Why do we waste time with these clowns. Did they make a counter recommendation? It is obvious that they do not want a sensible resolution to the problem they created and are fostering!

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