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Jan 26, 2018

Changes to Protocol after Kaibil Border Walkover

John Saldivar

Surveillance footage captured last week showed an alarming occurrence at the western border between Belize and Guatemala. Taken from inside the Customs office, a trio of Guatemalan soldiers dressed in what appear to be the military fatigues of the elite Kaibil unit are shown walking over from past the O.A.S. office to the Customs/Immigration building. They approach the duty officer, apparently to inquire about the alleged assault of a Guatemalan reporter who had entered the Champon area and claimed to be assaulted by Belizean authorities. While a B.D.F. detachment was not far away, it was not close enough to intercept the Guatemalan soldiers. Defence Minister John Saldivar told reporters today that this situation is being reviewed.

 

John Saldivar, Minister of Defence

“We did send out a release immediately after the incident, first of all to clarify that the Belize Defence Force does not have a permanent presence at the border; we are nearby for when problems arise but we don’t have a permanent presence there. But we are looking at the security arrangements that currently exist with a view to correcting and taking measures to ensure that there isn’t a repeat of what took place.”

 

Reporter

“Were you alarmed after you saw the video?”

 

John Saldivar

“We understand that because of the openness of the area these things can happen, and we are looking to see how we can close the area so that this doesn’t occur.”

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