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Feb 15, 2018

Guat Reporter Was Just Doing His Job

In mid-January, a Guatemalan reporter with Prensa Libre, Rigoberto Escobar, entered into Belize from the western border and claimed he was confronted by the police within the adjacency zone also considered no man’s land. Escobar would go on to complain to the Guatemalan press about the incident going as far as to say that he would report the matter to human rights organizations since he was here to do a story on the referendum. The incident was caught on phone cell video which shows a local police officer telling him that he cannot use his camera in that area but Escobar insists that he can.  Thereafter, he reported the matter to the Guatemalan Customs.  That incident received much attention in Guatemala and later that night a trio from the Guatemalan military entered the western point at Benque Viejo and proceeded to the immigration facility. They were also caught on camera and in various sectors there was alarm at the ease with which the military men strolled into Belize. Today, the Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington was asked about the incident; he said it is much ado about nothing. 

 

Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“It is almost a matter of form. I have seen notes that we have sent and I have seen the Guatemalan’s response to it; it is the usual thing. And we are required to do that, we need to do that because we need to make it clear that we will not countenance any act which constitutes in our view a violation of our own sovereignty and territorial integrity. So whenever that happens, it is almost automatic that as soon as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of it, it is dealt with. But it is not my understanding that what transpired was anything more than officials coming across, some people from the military came across to ask about what had happened with the media. Apparently, the Guatemalans, because they are involved in their own education process, the media, I am told—I am not sure how truthful it is—the media in Guatemala have volunteered their services—they are not charging the Guatemalan government anything—they have volunteered their services to help educate their country folk on the issues. And to that extent, they have been taking certain steps so that they found it necessary or desirable to actually come make pictures of what exists at our border so that they can present that to their people. Our policeman, one of them, was a little nervous when he saw that happening and tried to stop the journalist; really he was doing the same job that you are doing, trying to get information to disseminate to the public. It wasn’t anything more than that. So we didn’t think it was a matter for alarm or concern.”

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1 Response for “Guat Reporter Was Just Doing His Job”

  1. sediliaad says:

    sedi u liad P O S! Y U NO JZ MEK D PUBLIC STOP SPECULATE N TEL DEM U DON SELL OUT TO GUAT LANG TIME.HOW U EXPECT MEK WI WIN D ELECTIONS AGAIN DIS YEAR???!!!

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