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Sep 18, 2017

B.T.V. Calls on Government to Intervene

Wil Maheia

This, of course, is not the first time that the B.T.V., or even the Belizean military and press including this station, have encountered Guatemalan military actively seeking to stop Belizeans from traversing the Sarstoon.  Prensa Libre claims that Wil Maheia led a group to Sarstoon Island to install the Belizean flag and sing the national anthem, but failed.  They further exaggerate that two Coast Guard accompanied the group armed with M-sixteen type weapons and wearing ski masks and were ordered to leave “Guatemalan national waters.” But Maheia says that is furthest from the truth and that the Government of Belize needs to take a stand against continued naked Guatemalan aggression on the Sarstoon.


On the Phone: Wil Maheia, Belize Territorial Volunteers

“We actually went on the island and sung the anthem on the island and that’s really what pissed them off; they got real mad when they saw that we went to the island, put up the flag and sang the national anthem. They wanted to us ask permission but why would we ask permission for something that is ours? It’s ours; we don’t need to ask anyone for permission. The Government of Belize has an obligation to its citizens that were harassed by the Guatemalan military; they need to send a protest note to the Guatemalan government and also to the United Nations Security Council because Belize is a member of the U.N.”


Both the Belize Network of N.G.O.s and the People’s United Party issued releases today condemning the actions of the Guatemalan Armed Forces in Belizean territory and called on the Government to act. The B.N.N. wrote that “This act of belligerence by the GAF is unacceptable, and endangers the safety of Belizean citizens who have all the right to move freely within Belizean waters.” The P.U.P. goes further, alleging that “Our government has not taken a strong, unequivocal stance to support our territorial sovereignty over half of the Sarstoon including the Sarstoon Island. During these occasions of Guatemalans aggressing Belizeans, our military has never intervened, due to instructions coming from our Government leaders. Over this past weekend, as GAF vessels operated just in front of the B.D.F. base at the Sarstoon, there was no movement from the B.D.F. to assert our sovereignty or to protect Belizean lives.” 

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