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Jun 6, 2018

Otoxha Villagers Ask Alcaldes to Ask B.D.F. to Help Clear Border

Manuel Ac

There have been increasing reports of incursions into Belizean territory by Guatemalan farmers, loggers and poachers along both the western and southern borders. In the case of the west, Friends for Conservation and Development have attributed the occurrence to the influence of rogue leaders seeking to take advantage of the overwhelming yes vote by Guatemalans to the I.C.J. referendum in April to argue that Guatemala already possesses Belize. While the Belize Defence Force continues to investigate the latest incidents of incursions into Belizean territory by Guatemalan farmers in the deep south, residents of the village of Otoxha met to consider their options. The villagers say they are taking it on themselves to clean the border area but are asking for escorts by the B.D.F. to avoid any unnecessary encounters with Guatemalans. Villager Manuel Ac spoke to PGTV on Tuesday.

 

Manuel Ac, Villager of Otoxha

“They decided that they wanted to wait for a while, and hear the response from authorities, then respond back to us, whether the B.D.F., the police or forestry will be coming along to help us so that we can clear the line. Our next step will be, we are going to meet again sometime this month, to hear what is the response given to them, then they will give us the response back, then the Alcalde will respond back  and give their response to the community.”

 

Reporter

“So in the meantime, the people who cleared the land at the fifteen acres we are talking about, or thereabout, what will happen to that? Will those people be allowed to form that land?”

 

Manuel Ac

“I don’t think so. I have nothing to do with that, actually they are cleaning it – it’s clear already, based on what I see on the ground.”

 

Reporter

“That’s Guatemalans. So what will the people of Otoxha do about that now, before they plant – because in other places, the Guatemalans come in and they plant, so will they be prevented from planting?”

 

Manuel Ac

“It all depends on the leaders; as I said the leaders are the people with the final say. I don’t have any say. They are the ones [who say] if we need to see the authorities, make calls to LOVE FM, to the police, to the B.D.F., whoever they contact, these guys need to contact them. it is not just to ‘lamp up,’ this is a serious business.”

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