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Sep 22, 2016

Guat President Speaks About Julio Alvarado’s Death and Relations with Belize

Jimmy Morales

World leaders are gathering in New York City where the United Nations seventy-first General Assembly is underway. The Belize delegation, we are told, is already in New York for the delivery of the Belize statement by Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington on September twenty-fifth. But earlier today, it was Jimmy Morales, the president of Guatemala, who made his debut at the world body. Now, Guatemala has been using various forums to internationalize the fatal shooting of Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano on twentieth April, five hundred and sixty two meters east of the Adjacency Line administered by Belize. Independent US and Mexican experts found evidence of shots coming from where the family was located toward the B.D.F. and the FCD in the area where the minor was killed. In the report, the experts also found that evidence had been tampered with by the Guatemalans and that in fact the fatal shots were not fired by the B.D.F. as Guatemala had prematurely told anyone who would listen. It has since rejected that expert report and called for a new investigation. President Morales, this afternoon, did not miss the opportunity to talk about the incident before the world community. In his nineteen-minute plus speech; he devoted about two minutes on the shooting incident. Morales said he supports taking the claim to the ICJ. And while stopping short of pointing fingers at the B.D.F., he said the shooting directly harms bilateral relations between the two countries. According to Morales, the minor was hit nine times, but the report speaks of eight bullet wounds. Here is an excerpt of the speech.

 

Jimmy Morales, Guatemalan President

“However, in recent months we no longer encounter reciprocal attitudes on the part of the Belizean authorities. Since 1999, the situation has claimed ten Guatemalan civilian victims in the adjacency zone administered by Belize. On the twentieth of April this year, a fourteen year old boy was a fatal victim of an attack by armed groups under the command of an army patrol from that country. According to the forensic report by Belize, the child died from multiple gun wounds from a high powered rifle. The Guatemalan forensic service confirmed that there were nine bullet wounds, six of which were in his back, two in the back of the neck and one in the front. These grave acts directly harm bilateral relationship and hinder progress towards building trust. I wish to reaffirm the will of the state of Guatemala is to find, within the framework of international law, a definitive solution to the dispute with Belize, while also drawing the attention of the international community to the risk to international security while maintaining the impasse on our dispute and consequently the geographical limitation. It is no secret that powerful transnational criminal organizations thrive on the differences between states and are capable of occupying pockets within undefined territories that lack effective control.”

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