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Apr 25, 2016

Guatemalan Minister of Defense Tones Down Anti-Belizean Rhetoric

If you wanted more assurance that the rhetoric has been dialed way down, you’d only have to listen to an interview from Guatemala’s Minister of Defense Williams Mansilla over the weekend. He told the press in Guatemala that there was no declaration of war, and not even a mobilization of troops as was widely reported. He claimed that it was really just a movement of troops.


Williams Mansilla

Major General Williams Mansilla, Minister of Defence, Guatemala [Translated]

“I, well, wish to put forth so that terminology is not used which, perhaps is not adequate and what’s most sensitive is that at the international level they are interpreted differently. Mobilization is a term that implies when there is a state of emergency or a state of war and that is declared by the President of the Republic. In this case, what happened is that as a result of the declaration of the President and where he orders, right, a strict exercise of sovereignty for the protection of the people who live along the adjacency zone, well what is handled, the presence since many years in the part of Peten is of three thousand elements. I speak of the Caribbean Naval Base, Kaibiles, the military zone of Peten, the first brigade and well the, rearguard where there is the Jungle Brigade. In this regard, of those three thousand men, what was done was reinforce the adjacency zone. That is, if we had five hundred men, right now we have close to one thousand men. So then, as it relates to that action of mobilization of three thousand men from here in the Capital, that is a lie that is false. What is being done is that the presence right now in Peten, the detachments of the adjacency line were reinforced, I repeat, to safeguard the lives of those people who live in those approximately thirty-five communities in all around- all along the adjacency line. And of course, the Naval Station of the Sarstoon River was also increased by twenty to forty people. Already, at this Naval Station, from before, you saw the pictures, it coincided, this detachment is being remodeled for the occupation of our soldiers. So then, I want to, please if it was misinterpreted, this was not a mobilization. It was the movement of the elements who are already in the Peten so those are the actions happening.”

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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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