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Jul 27, 2012

Minister Elrington says he accepts the OAS correction of erroneous report on incident

Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington

Minister Elrington says that while the OAS blunder was objectionable, he is satisfied with the withdrawal of its original statement and the issuance of a corrected version.

 

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“In respect of the OAS press release which first came out on last week Friday, twentieth July, I can report to this honorable House that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, immediately as we learned of it, approached the OAS about what really were elementary errors in their statement.  I will not get into the inner workings of such a large organization but suffice it to say that no sooner had we pointed out the discrepancies with the facts of the incident and the possible misinterpretations of language use to their credit, the OAS immediately recognized the errors and undertook to correct them.  The original statement was withdrawn and a new corrected version was placed instead.  The revised release, however, compounded the error and again we had to draw it to their attention.  They again had to withdraw the press release with an undertaking that it would be corrected.  As I stand here today I can give an assurance that in fact the release has been corrected.  I will be the first to say that the Belizean people had every right to find the OAS statement objectionable. Those statements, however, wrongly reported elemental facts about the incident and the English version even misquoted His Excellency the Secretary General, Mister Insulza’s statement.”

 

The General Secretariat of the OAS issued its third statement today, saying that a detailed report with the results of their investigation is being prepared and will be submitted to the governments of both Belize and Guatemala. It stops short of an apology, but clarifies that the Guatemalans were caught felling trees in a protected national park in Belizean territory and confirms that Martinez was carrying two firearms at the time that he was confronted by the B.D.F.

 

This coming Tuesday, at the OAS headquarters, a high level meeting between Belize and Guatemala takes place. The meeting has been planned for some time and the venue has been moved from Mexico to the OAS headquarters in Washington. The OAS’ misrepresentation of the facts is top on the agenda.

 

Wilfred Elrington

“Mister Speaker the Guatemalan government and Belizean government have been engaged in a continuous process under the OAS for over a decade in an effort to reduce tensions and peacefully resolve deep differences that exist between them and us about our territorial integrity.  These efforts have been maintained over successive governments on both sides in a bipartisan way.  We have been aided and assisted by an international group of friends that share our aspirations of living side by side in peace and harmony with our neighbors.  As part of those continued efforts I can report that there will be a meeting of a high level working group between Belize and Guatemala on the thirty-first of July in Washington, D.C.  This meeting had been prearranged months ago but it is expected that they will discuss the most recent incident among other things.  The delegation on our side will be led by Chief Executive Officer Alexis Rosado and it will include Senator Lisa Shoman whom I must say has been kept fully informed of everything that has been happening since the day they have been happening.  We have kept her fully in the loop.  She, of course, is representing the opposition leader, Senator/Ambassador Alfredo Martinez, Ambassador Nestor Mendez and General Dario Tapia.  Mr. Speaker the Guatemalan issue is a sensitive one in the Belizean society, it has left deep scars in our body politics and it is the source of much anxiety among our citizens.  Successive leaderships in this country have recognized that only united as one people can we overcome this most direct existential threat to our being as a nation independent and sovereign.”

 

We’ll have more coming up on today’s House meeting, including the four bills that were overshadowed by the OAS blunder.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Minister Elrington says he accepts the OAS correction of erroneous report on incident”

  1. Rod says:

    This gov. Is giving away Belize Elrington is getting paid big money for doing nothing he just sits around and let the country be stolen while collecting his big fat paycheck then when confronted he gives some lame brain excuse for the OAS mean while our border is now seen as part of Guatemala since they now know we have gold they will claim this part of Belize also.

  2. Uncle Benji says:

    Minister do not beat around the bush. Tell Belizeans the hard truth. Nothing is going to change. The OAS has issued their findings. It is what it is. It is not going to change. So……. straight up, tell Belizeans to quit our bellyaching.

    Minister, you need to also tell us that we are drowning in a glass of water. Guatemala invasion of Belize is as ridiculous as Dean Barrow admitting that he is an incompetent. Both will never happen.

    Guatemala’s invasion is a psychological tool invented by my hero, George Price, to keep cruffies in line. That tool still works today.

  3. Die Hard UDP says:

    where is my loyal and patiotic order of the Baymen, my comittee of 40, Mrs Pitts , can’t you all see Sedi is selling us out lock,stock and barrel. we were scared of Price but he is dead now. The guatemalans are coming in by the hundreds and Sedi is saying not to worry , leave in in the hands of Insulza, Sedi should be banned from marchin in this tenth parade he is a Judas

  4. Indy says:

    OAS should do a public apology. In the same way they shouted to the whole world that Belize committed foul in the same way they should apologize publicly. I havent heard anything yet. They retracted those words yes/probably but they should do more! Not acceptable!!!!

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