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May 30, 2016

Guatemalans Protest in Melchor de Mencos

A protest of about five hundred persons was held in Melchor de Mencos which is the nearest community across the western border where Belizeans trek to shop. Initially, Sunday’s protest was to highlight the downturn in economic activity occasioned by the tensions between Belize and Guatemala. But the protesters also took the opportunity to condemn the death of a minor on this side of the border on March twenty-sixth. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

On Sunday, residents and business owners from Melchor De Mencos put off a peaceful protest in Guatemala. There were two issues at hand, the Belize Defense Force killing of Julio Alvarado Ruano and the loss of business from Belizeans in Melchor. The latter, says the protesters, is crippling the economy in the area, which has been neglected by Guatemalan authorities.  The protesters called on authorities to solve the territorial dispute between both countries.

 

Alexander Maestejos

Alexander Maestejos, Rep., Commercial Sector

“So this peaceful protest is against the Government of Guatemala for them to put attention on the peasants. Because this is not only a problem for the peasants but all those residents who live along the adjacency line and other communities, especially Melchor De Mencos; we are not fighting with Belizeans. We are not causing war with anyone. There are no military here like it is believed. We are working in peace but we need the government to put focus on the needs of each community. We as vendors are affected because we as much commerce for Belizeans as us for them. So this situation affects not only Guatemalans, but Belizeans as well.”

 

Marcelino Perez

Marcelino Perez, President, Melchor De Mencos Commercial Association

“We are here because we need a solution to the problem between both countries. We are here representing our people and that we live in peace. This does hurt us all but we need for there to be a prompt solution to this because it is for the entire country. It is not only for a group or for the association. We are the community and it is for the entire community and we need a solution.”

 

The protestors say that the B.D.F. should take into consideration the lack of opportunities in Guatemala as the reason why they come into Belizean territory.

 

Alexander Maestejos

“That specifically represents the minor that was killed by the military and the other persons that have been killed within the adjacency line because since the people don’t have where to plant their crops, enter into Belize’s territory to farm, particularly in the adjacency line. Specifically for the Belizean authorities, the protest is on behalf of the communities along the adjacency line because the residents are suffering because of economic needs, health needs, infrastructural needs, education and foods. Residents don’t have the space to cultivate and the authorities don’t take that into consideration.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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6 Responses for “Guatemalans Protest in Melchor de Mencos”

  1. MNHG says:

    INFORM YOURSELF MELCHORENO, GUATEMALA IS DESTROYING OUR BELIZEAN RESERVE, NOT ORDINARY BUT RESERVE. YOUR COUNTRY `S LAND IS OWNED BY 5% OF YOUR RICH PEOPLE IN GUATEMALA, TELL YOU JOCKER, YOUR CLOWN, YOUR PAYASO MORALES THAT HE SHOULD COME TO DO BUSINESS AT MELCHOR BECAUSE BELIZE HAS BOYCOTT GUATEMALA FOR GOOD !!!
    WE ARE NOT GOING BACK TO MELCHOR UNLESS YOUR PAYASO MORALES TELL YOUR SOLDIERS TO RESPECT OUR SARSTOON, THAT IS OUR LAND AND GUATEMALA IS BULLYING AROUND !!!
    SEE, WE HAVE ENOUGH MONEY AND NOW WE GO TO MEXICO, CHETUMAL, BEAUTIFUL CITY AND FAR CHEAPER THAN YOU IN MELCHOR. TELL JIMMY MORALES HELLO FROM CHETUMAL.

  2. Steve says:

    Melchoreños are wrong. They need us, but we don’t need them. We have been trading with them out of good faith and good neighbourlyness. But even they have come out ignorantly swinging against the BDF. Our soldiers are not here to solve the Guatemalan peasantry problems. That’s why Guatemala has its president. Now, if their president is not solving their problems, and is making them worse, the solution is simple…. Kick Payaso Morales out!! DELEN GOLPE DE ESTADO A PAYASO MORALES!! In Spanish, so the message is loud and clear.

    In the meantime, we Belizeans will continue to boycott Guatemala. We are not buying no tacos, no Gallo beer, no clothing, no shoes made in Guatemala or that pass through Guatemala for sale. And indeed, Chetumal is more enjoyable, and we feel the brother and sisterhood with the Mexicans. Mutual respect with them.

  3. Taratela says:

    What the hell is this? These people are misguided and obviously confused. You cannot have your cake and eat it too! You condemn our military for responding to open fire by a criminal that crossed our borders? Get acquainted with our laws man! You fire at someone, you are trying to injure or kill, therefore that puts you in the ‘criminal’ banner. Regardless of your terrorist youth’s age, he is a criminal who was shooting to kill. Try that on the US side of the border and see what would happen. But despite chastising us, you beg for our money in trade and commerce? Get it right ! We are not responsible for your wellbeing or sustainable life form, that is the responsibility of the government you elected freely in a separate sovereign nation called GuateMALA.

  4. Taratela says:

    That brings me to another point, the FBI partially defines terrorism as: “…acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
    Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping…” so let us starting calling it what it is. When Guatemalans come across, threaten our rainforests and way of life, intimidate and try to coerce our civilians, military and government policies via open fire and forceful intrusions that violate our sovereign laws, it is terrorism. Terrorists don’t only exist on the other side of the world, or only attack Europe and the US, they are right next to us, invading and annexing our territories and attacking our military. THESE are TERRORISTS!

  5. oscar says:

    Belize is belize

  6. BelizeanInAsia says:

    It is unfortunate the situation in Guatemala but what is that little Belize? Is that to say that since you all are not being cared for we should take your issues into consideration so much as to allow you to enter our country illegally, destroy our reserves and consume our resources? It is unfortunate that the child was killed. This incident never should have occured. Morales and his ministers should spend the time looking into providing their people with education and skills so as to be more marketable. It is your government’s responsibility to look after your needs. Belize is way smaller than Guatemala.We have problems of our own. If we need to shop we will go to the U.S. or Chetumal.

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