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Aug 28, 2017

Belize Must Show Caution in Uncertain Time

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

So, with Carlos Raul gone, should Belize step up its security presence along the western border?  According to Elrington, that has been his intonation all along; however, it doesn’t mean that Belize’s security forces should take on a confrontational approach.  When asked what the present state of affairs signifies for the recently approved referendum process in Guatemala, Elrington’s response is one of uncertainty.

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“That has been my mantra.  Do all in your power to avoid a confrontation, do all in your power.  That has been my mantra and I said it not only to the security people whom I’ve made contact with but I will also want to extend that to Belizeans.  Don’t be going over there and getting drunk and getting involved in a dispute or don’t be going over there and getting involved in anything that they can hold you for.  Be super cautious, and to my mind, if it is not absolutely imperative for you to go across at this particular point in time you may want to consider that too because one never knows.  When you have these kinds of internal problems, as I said before, the administration normally seeks to find some diversion to reduce the heat from them and Belize has been a favorite target over the years.  So I would urge Belizeans to be super careful and cautious.  I’m sure we’re going to be raising the matter with the Cabinet tomorrow and at that time I’m sure the Cabinet is going to give some kind of direction as to how we proceed.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“I’m not sure that this question has been asked, you’ll forgive me if it has been.  What bearing if any would these sudden changes in Guatemala have on the move to referendum on either side, and this whole particular issue of the territorial dispute being resolved at the ICJ?”

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

“Well we don’t know.  We would hope that it would not derail the process, but that could happen.  Anything is possible, we don’t know.  We are hoping for the best, but we don’t know.  That’s the honest response.”

 

Velasquez leads a ten-year-old commission of experts that has worked with Guatemalan prosecutors to eliminate corruption in the country.  The commission was instrumental in bringing down former President Otto Perez Molina, who was forced to step down in 2015 and remains imprisoned.

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