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Feb 26, 2018

Reporters Stand Up to Guats in Sarstoon; Who Will Stand Up for Belize?

Over the weekend, there was yet another confrontation in the Sarstoon River. Members of the Guatemalan Armed Forces aggressed a group of Guatemalan and Belizean journalists traveling with the Belize Territorial Volunteers. The group was stopped from going up the river, despite the avowal of Belizean authorities that our half of the Sarstoon is free for travel. Opposition Leader John Briceño commented on this and the recent incursion in the West by Guatemalan soldiers detaining one of their own for criminal offenses. Briceño says that Belize needs a united front to stand up to the Guatemalans.

 

Guatemalan Soldier

“One cannot cross here without authority.”

 

Reporter

“But since you control the border with Guatemala, do you let Guatemalans cross over to Belize?”

 

Guatemalan Soldier

“Yes, of course we protect the border. But the same thing can be said of people that say they don’t kill and still kill.”

 

Reporter

“But the same way you have stopped us, I don’t see you stopping the Guatemalan fishermen. Don’t you need to stop them?”

 

Guatemalan Soldier

“According to the bi-lateral protocols, both sides need to be respected.”

 

Reporter

“The three boats that we have seen belong to Guatemalans and were in Belizean territory. Supposedly you were to have stopped them.”

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“I saw the video and I’m quite disturbed that the Guatemalan military have become so brazen. But I think that is the result of our Government not having a proper plan as to how we are going to address the Belize-Guatemala issue, the unfounded claim that Guatemala has over Belize. We have been alerting the Government from last year that we need to change direction, that we need to change tactics as to how we are going to deal with Guatemala. We have alerted them about the issue of the Sarstoon; we have been pushing for a Sarstoon Protocol and that protocol has always been that half of the river is for Guatemala and the other half belongs to us, and we have unimpeded access to the river. I believe that the response from our Government has been weak, they have not been aggressive enough; they have not been out there internationally, alerting our friends of Belize as to what has really been happening on the ground or what is happening at the Sarstoon. And I’m hoping and I’m crying out to the Prime Minister, that we need to take action and we need to take action now.”

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1 Response for “Reporters Stand Up to Guats in Sarstoon; Who Will Stand Up for Belize?”

  1. Tony Gillings says:

    In no way did any reporter stand up to the Guatemalans.
    Some irrelevant questions were asked, which had nothing to do with WHY the Guatemalans were stopping Belizeans – nobody asked why?

    Guatemalan Soldier:
    “One cannot cross here without authority.”
    Question that should have been asked: What authority?????
    Guatemalan Soldier
    “According to the bi-lateral protocols, both sides need to be respected
    Question that should have been asked: Why aren’t you respecting both sides then????

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR PEOPLE??????

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