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Feb 25, 2013

Ministry’s safety concern for machete crew…

While News Five had the attention of the Minister and C.E.O., we had to ask them about the hundred machetes that the Belize Territorial Volunteers intend to take to Punta Gorda to clear from Gracias Adios, then along the Sarstoon River and eventually the Chiquibul and Caracol.  The decision by the group, spearheaded by Punta Gorda’s Wil Maheia, has become the subject of a diplomatic note from Guatemala to Belize. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Maheia to refrain from the activity. Elrington says it is better to be safe than sorry because in 2000, four Belize Defense Force soldiers were captured by Guatemala’s military and it took a great deal to have them come back to Belize. Elrington chose to quote from a book penned by former Prime Minister Said Musa in which he dedicated an entire chapter to the B.D.F. incident.


Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“I rely on the discretion and good will of the Guatemalan government and the support of the international community to resolve this matter peacefully through diplomatic means so that Lieutenant Herrera, Lance Corporal Arana, Private Tzub and Constable Sanchez can return home as soon as possible. Our two nations can then continue to build bridges of friendship, understanding and peaceful coexistence with mutual respect. I also make an open call at all parties at home to resist the temptation to try and use the Guatemalan issue to divide our people. This is a matter that affects the national interest of Belize and we must all remain firm and united in the defense of Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This was a press release that I just quoted given by then Prime Minister Musa in 2000 when the Guatemalans took four of our security personnel; took them to Guatemala. We had a difficulty getting them back into the country. So our advice we are now giving has nothing to do with Guatemalan’s interest as such, but everything to do with the safety and security of our people. If the Belizeans go out there and are captured by the Guatemalans—whether they are in Belizean territory or Guatemalan territory—and taken to Guatemala, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for them to be brought back to Belize. And that is what we are trying to avoid.”


Jose Sanchez

“These nationalists may say we are in Belizean territory, we will take GPS and they would probably say if there is a perceived threat, then perhaps the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Belize government [or] the Ministry of National Security should provide some cover for them out there.”


Wilfred Elrington

“I will tell you this Mister Sanchez; the British were here with their military might from 1948 until 1991. They owned Belize until 1981 when we inherited it. And not once during the time the British were here did they attempt to do what these people are proposing to do because they understand the consequences. And so they have been prudent in not doing it. This is not the kind of thing that the Belize government will be able to deal with very effectively and swiftly in the event they are taken into custody. It is for that reason we are taking this precautionary measure to advise them against doing it.”


Alexis Rosado, C.E.O., Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“We don’t expect the Guatemalan’s military will come into Belize. We don’t expect that they will do that nor do we—we would not entertain that either. However, because the boundary is not properly demarcated itself that you cannot see where you are on the fact that GPS equipment has room for error—there is no GPS in the market that does not possess a margin of error. A margin of error up to fifty to a hundred meters in some cases—sometimes more. So the fact that there is room for error causes some problems when you are out there. The B.D.F. knows that; that’s why sometimes they have to keep a little distance just in case their GPS might not be exact in that case.”


Wilfred Elrington

“As a matter of fact, it is for that reason we have the agency zone because of the margin of error in the GPS. So we have this adjacency zone where the median line is one kilometer east into Belize and one kilometer west into Guatemala. So you have two kilometers that gives you some flexibility. But it is a very dangerous exercise and our only interest is protecting the lives of Belizeans who may not appreciate the danger they are putting themselves in by attempting such an enterprise. That’s our own reason for doing it.”

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12 Responses for “Ministry’s safety concern for machete crew…”

  1. sickntired says:

    When the british were here we had no incident because the boundry is marked – a cement monument at periodic spots along the border which they kept reasonably visible until we took over and let them get overgrown. Instead of wasting money on referendum we should very visibly as a country clear the boundry line. This minister afraid of the guats and waste time with oas and their follishness about adjacency zone when the boundry exists and should have been cleared instead. Support maheia, get the media and plenty coverage for their protection. Why should we be afraid of doing anything in our own country? Guats come across every day to steal our resources and we let them do it. We either stand up for our country or just let the ministry of foreign affairs idiots hand us over to guatemala on a silver platter. When guate tired of their incompetent officials they get rid of them. Why we keep ours?

  2. blackberry says:

    I am now convince that sedi is working for and on behalf of Guatemala. If we leave him there we will soon have to take out ` form proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon ` from our national anthem. He has committed treason on the nation of Belize. It is time for Belizeans to test the recall mechanism on him.
    By the way we should be protesting the setting up of TIGO call phone towers on hill tops along the border thereby robbing revenue from our local phone companies.I am now convince that sedi is working for and on behalf of Guatemala. If we leave him there we will soon have to take out ` form proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon ` from our national anthem. He has committed treason on the nation of Belize. It is time for Belizeans to test the recall mechanism on him.
    By the way we should be protesting the setting up of TIGO call phone towers on hill tops along the border thereby robbing revenue from our local phone companies.

  3. DAF says:

    Antonio soberanis ” i prefer be a dead hero than a living coward”.

  4. Genotu Rembiuos says:

    Alexis Rosado and Wilfred Elrington , you are talking bull !!!
    We have Belizeans with far more ….. than you two !!!
    So you stay under your bed, we go clear our borders, period !!!

  5. Genotu Rembiuos says:

    Alexis Rosado and Wilfred Elrington , you are talking bull !!!
    We have Belizeans with far more ….. than you two !!!
    So you stay under your bed, we go clear our borders, period !!!

  6. Nimbo says:

    If u so concerned about our Belizeans doing what is right and something your own Govnt should be doing in the first place, why then don’t you deploy a number of our own security officers to protect these valiant belizeans? at the end of the day you just coward in your office, behind a desk and lash out to those who take pride in their nation and want to actually mark our “imaginary borders”. Shame on you

  7. Lucas says:

    I want what Mr. Mejia wants. I want the border line cleared. Like him, I am angry that the Guats cross our border to pillage our natural resources and endanger the lives of our fellow Belizean civilians. Like him, I am pissed and disappointed with come in go out GOBs for not properly guarding our border. However, I agree this time with Sedi. Whenever risk is taken, especially when human beings can be hurt or even die; safety should be number one priority. Any borderline, specially if not demarcated, are dangerous and our’s is extremely dangerous. I call upon each and all macheteros, think for yourself, do not let someone else do it for you. Ask yourself: what would become of my loved ones if something happens to me?; will it be worth it?; will Mr Mehia assist financially?; are you properly equiped and physically fit to defend yourself?. Actions are supposed to be guided by reason never by emotions or feelings. Nationalism is not fanaticism. A real commander never ever takes unnecessary risks nor put his troops under unnecessary danger. I ask Mr. Mehia: are you aware that something can go terribly wrong? are you prepared to face the families? Sir; if anything goes wrong, God forbids, You and only you will bear the blame. Risks are taken only under two circumstances: Success is sure or, there is no other choice.

  8. ceo says:

    When ever Belizeans are abducted by another government from its soil the job of the foreign minister is to go to battle in there defence “with both guns blazing” however difficult or arduous the struggle, not sit around and discuss the difficulties of getting them back.

    GPS and Survey equipment will never be 100% accurate as the Minister and CEO corectly said. So lets say we get an agreement and we take out the most sufisticated survey instrument to demarcate the border; it will still have a margin of error and Guatemala will find yet a new reason to cry foul. So my question is why be part of this dog and pony show in front the ICJ? The border will never be 100% accurate: no boarder is!

    If Rosa Parks was afraid to, in her case sit down in the face of adversity and break the existing law of the land, segregation would perhaps still be legal in the US.

    Nelson Mandella was jailed for 30 years for doing the right thing, he came out of prison into the presedency of his nation.

    At some time enough is enough and we need new leaders who think like this. I am not speaking about hand to hand combat, there are systems in place for nations to lodge complaints! If Will have the support I say go for it and hell with the neigh sayers. Sad to say but the neigh sayers will also benefit from your courage!

  9. Firewalker says:

    Belize got its independence from the British. Where is the survey from Britian? It is their responsibility to provide one. You don’t really belive the British didn’t know where the border was do you? If the US is defending you don’t you think they know. Guatamala knows. Is Belize the only one who doesn’t know?

  10. Joe says:

    I remember that incident, with our army guys like it was today. That was an open act of aggression
    to our nation. Only in war time do you hear that happening. I look at our neighbors Army to the North, Mexico, we have such good relations, the guys on patrol, would occasional run into each another and enjoy the moment, that is good neighbors.

    By now the Politicians in Guatemala, should be aware that they, will never get an inch of our soil,
    They cry wolf, but the world is exhausted of that crap. Belize is a nation, Under God and it will be so for the end of time.

    If and incident should happen while the true patriotic people clean there borders it will not fall on deaf ears, give the issue more expose.
    I say if Guatemala wants trouble, let it be, but they should never dictate, on how we clean our borders.

    I ask the Big Mouth Belize-ans in the USA, cause that what they are, to man up and show support
    by any means to our border Patriotism. But as usual all the do is talk , its like we say they talk the talk, but can they walk, the walk. any one?

  11. Genotu Rembiuos says:

    “safety concern for machete crew…”???????
    HA HA !! WHAT A LAUGH !!

  12. Storm says:

    Maheia and his Volunteers are patriotic heroes, and they deserve our full support. They actually deserve protection form the BDF, but our GOB will never defend Belizeans.

    I understand Lucas’s caution, and he has rational points. But Belize would be speaking Spanish today if it weren’t for a handful of fearless souls who risked, and in some cases lost, their lives in 1798.

    It has been said many ways, but the truth is life will end for all of us. How we live and what we do with our lives is more important than how long we live. Committing your life to the service of the nation, the good of your society, is one of the noblest callings for any man. Bravo to Wil Maheia and the Territorial Volunteers — I would like to see this movement grow from one end of the Jewel to the other.

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