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Apr 21, 2016

Guatemalan Minor Shot by B.D.F. in Chiquibul

Tonight, there is heightened tension on both Belizean and Guatemalan fronts following the death of a Guatemalan minor and a very strong and disturbing message to Belize from Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales. First, the shooting….News Five has confirmed that at around six-thirty Wednesday evening, seven B.D.F. soldiers and seven FCD rangers were destroying farms within Belizean territory in the Cebada area when they came under fire. The patrol returned fire and thirteen year old Guatemalan Julio Rene Alvarado was killed. There are reports that his brother, eleven year old Carlos Alberto Alvarado and his father, Carlos Alfredo Alvarado Ramirez were also wounded in the crossfire.  The B.D.F. retreated, bringing the minor with them, as well as another Guatemalan, Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, whom they had detained in the area about an hour before the shooting. The patrol reached San Ignacio at around ten this morning, taking Julio Rene to the morgue there and handing Reyes over to San Ignacio Police. Members of the patrol are currently at Fairweather Camp in Cayo giving statements on the incident.  The response in the Guatemalan press has been predictably swift and incendiary, using words like assassination, and claiming that Belizean soldiers attacked the Guatemalan family who were hard at work planting pumpkin seeds in the adjacency zone. But nothing has been as inflammatory as a video address by Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales. Morales calls it a cowardly attack by the soldiers, and asks Belize what threat to sovereignty two children could have posed. The Guatemalan president calls for those responsible to be brought to justice and for an investigation by human rights organizations. He also states that they have recalled Guatemala’s Ambassador to Belize Manuel Estuardo Roldan, and states that from this moment, they will dispatch more soldiers to the Sarstoon and along the entire adjacency zone to protect Guatemalans from Belizean soldiers. And that part right there is very disturbing. We have Morales’ address to the nation, and to Belize.

 

Jimmy Morales

Jimmy Morales, President of Guatemala [Translated]

“People of Guatemala, with profound sadness and total condemnation of the state of Guatemala, I wish to communicate to our people that yesterday, members of the defense forces of Belize killed another Guatemalan, with the aggravating circumstance that this time, the victim is a thirteen year old. The cowardly and unconscionable attack was against the child Julio Ruano Rene Alvarado, a thirteen-year-old whose body still lies in the hands of the authorities of Belize. In the attack, also wounded with a firearm were his brother, Carlos Alberto Alvarado just eleven years old, and his father, Carlos Alvarado Alfredo Ramirez, forty-eight, who were planting pepitos at the time. I ask the authorities of Belize: what threat do two children pose to their sovereignty? One thirteen and the other, eleven years old. This incident causes real outrage and condemnation. I want to express strong condemnation of this cowardly act of aggression and excessive use of force against minors by the defense forces of Belize.

 

For all the above reasons I state:

 

1. That the Government of Guatemala demands that the Government of Belize place the person or persons responsible for the death of the Guatemalan minor before the authorities so they can be tried in the appropriate courts.

 

2. That we have informed the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of this human rights violation by the defense forces of Belize against Guatemalan minors.

 

3. I am requesting from the organizations which look after the protection of human rights to investigate this cowardly act by the defense forces of Belize.

 

4. That considering the goodwill of Guatemala and the conciliatory work by our Foreign Ministry to find a peaceful and permanent solution to the claim we have with Belize, as well as with maintaining and developing good relations, which is not supported by such actions of Belize, we have decided that from now on, we will exert a strict protection exercise over the sovereignty of the Sarstoon river and the entire adjacency line, to ensure that further abuses on the part of the defense forces of Belize against the territory and the Guatemalan population do not occur.

 

5. That I have decided to call in our ambassador in Belize for consultation until the authorities of that country clarify this unfortunate incident.

 

Finally, I extend profound sorrow to the Alvarado Ruano family for this irreparable loss, and I share my solidarity with them in these difficult moments.

People of Guatemala, God Bless you.”

 

Late this evening the Government issued a release stating that it has requested the assistance of the O.A.S. in a verification exercise. As relates the incident, the release claims that while it was on an operation to investigate illegal clearings, “at about seven p.m. the patrol came under fire.  The patrol returned fire in self-defense and decided to depart from the location which is approximately five hundred and eighty meters east of the border.  Prior to departure they conducted their standard clearance procedure and discovered the seemingly lifeless body of a minor.” In closing the release explains that, “the Government remains concerned about illegal activities along our borders and will continue to engage the O.A.S. and the Government of Guatemala with a view to stemming the illicit activities of Guatemalan civilians who are becoming increasingly more violent toward our security and law enforcement authorities.”

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4 Responses for “Guatemalan Minor Shot by B.D.F. in Chiquibul”

  1. Guatemalan Citizen says:

    Belizean authorities corrupts. HOW an army shoots againts a 13 year boy hitting him with 8 M4 shots…. BDF has violated the international agreements for open fire in times of peace.

    Just to remind you..
    Guatemala has the best military unit from all latin america: the Kaibiles.

    Peace !

  2. CEO says:

    if they would teach their citizenry to respect another sovereign nations boarders there would not be this disrespect nor this sort of embolden incursions with no regards to borders. It is unfortunate that a young life was snuffed out.

    Guatemala just need to start teaching their people to respect the Belize border and this would not happen because Belizeans don’t go into their country with wanton disregard! What’s worse they decide to fire on the patrol.

    It would not hurt either if our leaders would speak out more against their wanton disregard for our country and shed more light on their bully tactics for the rest of the world to see.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I understand the circumstance of a child being involved in this tragic incident and acknowledge it’s sad. However, I have lived in both countries, Belize and Guatemala. I’ve found Belizean to have more compassion when it comes to children and in general against their peers. In Guatemala, this country have faced several crimes in which the Government and Police themselves are afraid to take the appropriate action against criminals.

    Last year, in Guatemala, a young boy was pushed off the puente de Belice and up to this day, no one is charged for this crime. Am not saying all Guatemalans are ignorant but they will not hesitate to take matters into their own hands

    Here the story: http://www.prensalibre.com/guatemala/comunitario/pandilleros-lanzan-a-nio-que-se-nego-a-matar-a-piloto

  4. Alex says:

    The guate. Army need to stop this agressions, as a guate. Born and US MARINE NOW I will be glad to go back to my second contry and fight back this childs murders..

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