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Dec 29, 2011

Villagers patrolling border against incursions

Wil Maheia

The soldier’s death is not the only issue that is weighing heavily on the thoughts of PG residents. The border has been patrolled by soldiers like Teul for years, but near the villages where there is no visible barrier foreigners have been taking advantage of the natural resources. Incursions by Guatemalan poachers have been documented along the Belize/ Guatemala border for decades. However in the Chiquibul, those intrusions have been recorded miles beyond the adjacency zone. And though the Organization of American States has maintained a presence near the Benque border, the south of the country is becoming a regular hotspot for illegal logging and theft. Peoples National Party’s Wil Maheia says that some villages are becoming organized to conduct their own version of border patrols.

Wil Maheia, P.N.P. Candidate, Toledo East

“In the Colombia Forest Area, it’s a protected area and it’s very remote, but again our borders are open, there is zero patrols taking place and in fact the Guatemalans are becoming so brazen now; they are coming into the Colombia Forest extracting xate and other hardwoods. And when it’s time to take it back into Guatemala, they are entering the village and stealing the people’s horses. So now it is creating a huge problem especially in the village of San Jose because people are thinking now of buying arms because there is no defense from the government that is supposed to be defending the borders.  So now you go into these villages and everybody wants to buy a gun and I think that that could lead into a much more dangerous situation because when villagers start to arm themselves, then it becomes volatile.”

Jose Sanchez

“And when it comes to patrol—the B.D.F., their presence; is it what it should be or there needs to be more?”

Wil Maheia

“Absolutely not. The last horses that were stolen, these guys reported it to the B.D.F. down in Fairweather Camp and the B.D.F. told them look we don’t have any man to send out there. I mean this is the Belize Defense Force. I know that the military guys that I have spoken to; they want to go out and patrol, but it seems like their hands are tied. They are telling them just stay in your camp, don’t go. It is a real sad situation as our country borders are getting overrun by Guatemalans. We need to do something about that. What we have done in the village of San Jose, [we] have tried to come up with what we call the Belize territorial volunteers. The villagers are actually willing to patrol the borders because they know it is to safeguard their freedom. And right now we’re trying to organize a group so we begin to take a portion of the border and patrol it ourselves because it is an excuse. If you look at Yalbac, Barry Bowen lands and Programme for Belize, they don’t have these kinds of problems. So you can know and Programme for Belize is a small organization and they can man their border. Why is it that we, the country of Belize cannot man our border and we have the Belize Defense Force?”

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8 Responses for “Villagers patrolling border against incursions”

  1. Storm says:

    They should contact the Guardian Angels in the States — it is a BIG volunteer organisation that trains and creates citizen patrols like that, they even have them in Mexico.

    They will help for free, too. I’m all for citizen patrols — if our police or soldiers cannot or will not do it, it is still our country, and we have the RIGHT AND DUTY to protect it.

    If we don’t, what will we tell our children when the Jewel has died from our neglect?

  2. Lucas says:

    We have long suspected that govt is guilty of dereliction of duty when it comes to protecting our borders and while Mr. Maheia’s idea may seem good and exciting, I hope he has a well concieved strategy( Plan), well outlined tactics( Method or means to achieve his plan and sound logistic (backup and support). Solomon says: ” War is won with good strategy and in the multitude of counsel there is victory” Proverbs 24:6 and ” Wisdom is better than weapons of war; one mistake causes a lot of destruction” Ecclesiastes 9:18. ( text was translated to English from a Spanish Version because it conveys a clearer meaning than the English). Anyway, I am of the opinion that Mr. Wil wants to exploit the patriotism, nationalism and frustration of the Belizean patriot for his political gain. I want to tell Mr. Wil: YOU ARE PLAYING WITH FIRE.

  3. Charles Payne says:

    THERE HAS BEEN ENOUGH REPORTING OF THIS SITUATION ALONG THE BELIZEAN BORDER. THE PRIME MINISTER REALLY NEEDS TO MAKE THIS A PRIORITY ISSUE OTHERWISE THE BELIZEAN PEOPLE WILL MAKE IT “A PRIORITY ISSUE” IN THE UPCOMMING ELECTIONS.
    WAKE UP MR. BARROW OR THE PUP AND THE PNP WILL PUT THIS IN THEIR FOREFRONT AS AN ELECTION ISSUE!

  4. Belizean Progressive says:

    Lucas, you provide a response that reveals a lot about your lack of faith in the people from your very own country to “do the right thing.” Would you rather the people in that area or any other area for that matter to not say or do anything? Your response of the situation lacks any sort of encouragement. I believe even if their strategy of organizing and patrolling the border was published, you’d still find a reason for ridicule. Rather than attempt to contribute viable support to rectify the situation, you merely proclaim bible scriptures as if that alone will remedy the situation at large. 80% of the Belizean population is Christian and I’m quite certain the majority of us are well aware of the scripture already.

    What evidence do you have to support your negative opinion? As you propagate unjustifiable statements such as “Mr. Wil wants to exploit the patriotism, nationalism, and frustration of the Belizean patriot for political gain” your instilling fear into the already skeptical Belizean community for new, righteous and upcoming political leaders. With this attitude, progress will never be made because of your fear that a political leader outside of your party may receive recognition and gratitude for doing something “GOOD.” You adamantly state another faithless statement that Mr. Maheia is “playing with fire.” Well I ask you this – Can no Belizean take a stand and attempt to fight the injustices within society without being condemned by people like you for “PLAYING WITH FIRE”?

  5. Swamp Dragon says:

    The Guardian Angels in the States is a Joke! They add nothing to public safety. Only the BDF can secure the borders. And secure may be the wrong word. They can only police the borders.
    More and more help from the US, Canada and the UK is needed. Better equipment and better training is required. The jungle is quite difficult to patroll! The Safety of the soldiers is probably the major concern and why they are instructed to stay close to camp. If there is any truth to them being told to stay at camp.

  6. I Have Awaken says:

    Belize Progressive, ignore people like Lucas. If you are not willing to stand up and do instead of sitting and talking, criticizing, you do not deserve the right to say shyt about anything. That’s why this country is the way it is, cause the minute a Belizean get up and say enough is enough, he/she will have his/her own people to ridicule and criticize and try to discourage and bring down that person. I have learned to not even acknowledge people with Lucas mentality.

  7. out of the South! says:

    I would like to remind some of the skeptics out there that we have a portion of our border that is privately managed that is Yalbac, Rio Bravo and Gallon Jug all have lands along the border and they have no army and no incursions.. this government does not care and do not want to care. seems like they just want Guatemala to come rape and take.

  8. Uprising says:

    out of the South! you are right, how about government paying and allowing these guatemalans to come in to exploit the natural resources? Who is the minister and how much rosewood passed under the radar to Asia? They are exploiting and no one is doing anything to stop or to investigate it. Im sure its somewhere within the hundreds of millions that got away. Investigate who these people are and you will realize they will do anything to get wealthy, they did so in the past and are doing it all over again, this time with the blessing from the PM. they are a mob and are intentionally allowing the Guate incursion. BDF’s rome about in the jungle with far less money than what the DPM and PM are milking…go talk to Plus TV they have all the info…!!

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