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Mar 4, 2013

Belize territorial Volunteers chop along border

There were dire forecasts from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and from the security forces, as Belizeans prepared to make the symbolic journey to the border with Guatemala. Officials warned that the move would be seen as aggressive and could invite a violent response from Guatemala’s residents and from the army. Guatemala’s president Otto Perez Molina was quoted saying that his government was on high alert because of the planned expedition.  B.D.F. Commander David Jones advised Belizeans that while the symbolism of the trip was laudable, it wasn’t a smart move. But organizer and activist Wil Maheia was undeterred, and on Saturday he was joined by a group of patriotic Belizeans as they headed south to the border. Freelance reporter Mike Rudon joined the determined group and has the story from the border.

 

Despite much effort to deter Belizeans who decided to travel to the border with Guatemala and clear the land, early Saturday morning a group of about one hundred headed to Jalacte, which is the country’s most south-western village, on the border with Guatemala. They came from every corner of the country, and flew the Belizean flag proudly was villagers looked on from the roadside. The destination was the border, the intention to clear a symbolic line and the message was echoed proudly by those who made the journey.

 

Dickie Bradley

Dickie Bradley, Attorney

“Belize is ours; Toledo is part of Belize and that we feel that it is important to say that we have a right to walk and to even do a symbolic as well as a real clearing of our side of this beautiful earth that god has given us.”

 

Lita Krohn

Lita Krohn, Belizean

“I asked my son, what do you think of this clearing of the land along the border and he said someone’s got to do it. And that is why I am here. Someone’s got to do it and that’s why I am here. I just want to show support. I really believe that we have to stand our ground and show that we love our country; if not, what’s the purpose.”

 

David Barnett, BGYEA

David Barnett

“Mein it’s the most patriotic thing I’ve ever done in my life. To come and actually see this border that these guys say don’t exist and the people here say they know when they reach Belize and when they don’t reach Belize. And the next thing, they told us is that there will be dense jungle; there is no jungle here. the road is almost paved.”

 

Edward Young, Belizean

“We need to make a stand. We need to stop rolling over for the Guatemalans and we need to stake our claim. If we don’t stake our claim then they have every right to come in and encroach. We need to mark our territory. Our government had failed to do so from the time of independence. The border was kept when the British was here. When they left, it has been neglected as you can see. So if the government isn’t willing to do it, the people should rise up and do it. That’s why I am here.”

 

At Jalacte the group disembarked from their vehicles and prepared for the next leg of the trip, a half an hour hike to Container Hill, which lies on the border with the village of Santa Cruz. There were repeated and serious warnings from government officials and the military about the density of the jungle on the border, but nothing could have been further from the truth. The land was well cleared and while the journey was taxing, the scenery was well worth the trip.

Community activist and organizer of the outing, Wil Maheia, picked Container Hill to be cleared, since it has been established that it does lie within Belize’s border.

 

Wil Maheia

Wil Maheia, Belize Territorial Volunteers

“Today, we come here to show the Belizean people that Belize do have a birder and a border that should be maintained. The message that we want to send to the people of Belize and the government of Belize is that we do have a border and we need to maintain the border. Belize seems to be the only country in the world that I know of that do not take care of their border.  The land that we are standing on, clearly as you can see we have Guatemalans coming in, occupying our land and we have thousands of Belizeans that cannot even get a piece of land. If you look all around us, all this has been deforested, all this has been clear and I can tell you that it is Guatemalans who are farming on our land right now.”

 

David Pech

David Pech, Belizean

“I was a B.D.F. in 1979. I was a member of the second intake and I patrolled this border. And I came here after so many years to prove to the government and the whole world that we have borders. They are saying now that we don’t have borders and I know [we do] because I have been to Gracias A Dios border, to Garbutt falls monument and the one with Mexico, the three-faced monument. So I patrolled those areas so I know that we have borders. And then I wanted to see it for myself. That’s why I am here.”

 

Lloyd Jones

Lloyd Jones, (Ret’d) B.D.F. Major

“I don’t see anything wrong with a bunch of Belizeans coming along and observing where the border might be. I think Wil’s gesture is more of a symbolic gesture than anything else because you couldn’t possibly clear the border without proper surveying equipment and so on. So it is more of a symbolic thing and it serves to stir up patriotism and nationalism and I think we need more of that in Belize.”

 

From Container Hill the group looked down on the community of Santa Cruz, marked by this well-traveled road. There was no sign of the Guatemalan military, even though one person we met on the way claimed that soldiers were nearby. We did get a glimpse of six B.D.F. soldiers far up on the hill looking down, but they did not approach. The first contact with the Guatemalans was made by Orange Walk businessman Orlando de la Fuente, who headed down to the road to speak to the persons assembled there looking on curiously.

 

Orlando de la Fuente

Orlando de la Fuente, Belizean

“The road that you see right here just west of us is on Belizean territory and the border is about thirty meters beyond that. So we felt confident and we walked up to the border. At first the people weren’t very friendly, but then we bought a watermelon and we split it open and we invited them to come and eat some watermelon which they did. A couple of them were very friendly and they said that among the people within the villages that there are no problems. But one thing stuck out in my mind, even the Guatemalans want a defined border. They said if we know where the border is then there won’t be any problems; neighbors will live in better harmony.”

 

And since his GPS showed that the area of the road was still within Belizean territory, the media decided to head down and speak to the persons gathered there. Far from being aggressive or violent, the Guatemalans were more than happy to take a moment to hang out with us. The Alcalde of Santa Cruz Alvaro Paredes says that they live in peace with the Belizeans on the border.

 

Alvaro Paredes

Alvaro Paredes, Alcalde, Santa Cruz

“The truth is we haven’t had any problems with the villagers on the other side. We have actually worked together in harmony and hand in hand.”

 

The OAS was present, or at least a representative was, but as you can see he took pains to leave when the media approached him. Paredes, and others gathered there, told us that they believe that where they were standing is actually on Belizean land, and they would want the border to be clearly marked so that they would know for sure.

 

Alvaro Paredes

“We have not had any incident on the Belizean side nor on the Guatemalan side regarding which side is ours and which side is there’s. if there was a defined boundary, we would respect that. But for the moment, there is no definitive line that would allow us to act in that manner.”

 

The actual clearing of the land which took place was more symbolic than anything else. In fact, there was very little chopping, but the trip was a success by any definition, and invoked a deep sense of patriotism in those who made the effort to come out, even as they expressed their disappointment in Government’s efforts to discourage the venture.

 

Dickie Bradley

“How wonderful it would have been if our government could have said, the president of Guatemala can say anything. Wil Maheia has a right to go there and clear the border. He needs to be very careful; we will have B.D.F. out there to advise him. Do not go beyond that point, but do not be afraid of what Guatemala is telling you. That would have been a better approach than to give the impression unu deh pan unu own. If dehn pick unu up and go with unu, all I could give unu dah wah number fi wah lawyer.”

 

Phillip de la Fuente

Phillip de la Fuente, Belizean

“Belize is ours. There is no disputing that; that Belize is for Belizeans. And if we just give up, anybody will walk over us. Belize is ours; let’s keep what is ours.”

 

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford, Belizean

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford

“We have a lesson to be learnt from today; that the B.D.F. on the own cannot protect and defend Belize. The people on their own cannot protect and defend Belize. We need the B.D.F. and the people of Belize together to work in partnership to protect this country that we call Belize.”

 

Giovanni Brackett

Giovanni Brackett, President, COLA
“It was important for us to be out here to show solidarity with Wil Maheia, who is the COLA representative for Toledo as well. So we had to be out here to show the government that this is not an activity to increase tension between the two countries. How is it that government can just neglect its citizens by saying you are on your own? Completely just neglecting and saying you are on your own. If anything happens, you are on your own. Mien it shows the low level of patriotism that our government has and we are completely disappointed with our officials. And kudos to those who are out here today.”

 

By early afternoon the group headed back to Jalacte satisfied that the message was sent, and that message is resounding and clear.

 

Edward Young

Edward Young

“Dis da fi we country; from the proud Rio Hondo to the old Sarstoon. No one will give it to us, we need to take it; it is ours. So get involved if you are not already.”

 

Mike Rudon

“We came out here today not knowing what to expect. According to the government and the B.D.F., there might have been armed troops on the border; there might have been Guatemalan people on the border being aggressive.

Mike Rudon

But it was nothing like that. We met friends, we spoke to people on the border and the one thing we found out is that nobody knows exactly where the border is. The people we spoke to weren’t sure if they were in Guatemala or Belize. What we can tell you after what is a successful day is that the people who made the trip today, who made the journey today, came back with a greater sense of achievement and pride. Reporting for News Five, I’m Mike Rudon.”

 

About one hundred persons from a wide cross-section of the community made the trip to the border area. There was no mobilization of the B.D.F., even though Guatemala’s Prensa Libre newspaper makes notice of the event, and claims that the B.D.F. was mobilized as a preventative measure.

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24 Responses for “Belize territorial Volunteers chop along border”

  1. Gimme Some Line of BS says:

    “Guatemala’s president Otto Perez Molina was quoted saying that his government was on high alert because of the planned expedition. ” HIGH ALERT!!! Danger Will Robertson!!!

    It is obvious these Toledo Belizeans are after Guatemalan Xate, This border stuff is to hide their real intentions. Next it will be Guatemalan rosewood stolen by their 8 year old children.

    The Kaibiles must be shaking in fear because of these 100 swinging machetes. This aging ragtag crew must make the Zetas look like friendly tourists. Cool Belikins on the hour, every hour, beer bellies must be fed!

    Meantime Guatemala’s 15,000 troupes and $300M/year military budget will walk over 1050 BDF in about 1-60 minutes with their
    ~92 aircraft,
    50,000 x IMI Galil AR\SAR\SAR339\MAR\Kjell (Israel/Guatemala)
    IMI Tavor TAR-21 (Israel)
    16,200 x M16 rifle M16A2 (United States)
    200 x M4 Carbine (United States)
    CAR-15 (United States)
    AKS-74U (USSR)
    AKM (USSR)
    Vz. 58 (Czech Republic)
    FN F2000 (Belgium)
    350 x AR-10 (United States)
    CETME C (Spain)
    M1 Garand (United States)
    Valtro PM-5/PM-5-350 (Italy)
    Browning Hi-Power (Belgium)
    SIG Sauer P226 (Germany)
    Star Model BM (Spain)
    Walther P38 (Germany)
    Jericho 941 (Israel)
    Browning Hi-Power MKIII (Belgium)
    FN Five-seven (United States)
    644 x .38 Special (United States)
    709 x M1911 pistol (United States)
    Glock-19 (Austria)
    Beretta 92 (Italy)
    MAC-11 (United States)
    Beretta M12 (Italy)
    Madsen M-53 (Denmark)
    FMK-3 submachine gun (Argentina)
    Uzi (Israel)
    Micro-Uzi (Israel)
    MAC-10 (United States)
    233 x Thompson submachine gun (United States)
    20 x FN P90 TR(Belgium)
    M3 submachine gun (United States)
    M1919 Browning machine gun (United States)
    M2 Browning (United States)
    FN MAG 60.20 general purpose machine gun (Belgium)
    400 x M72 LAW light anti-tank rocket launchers (United States)
    M20 Super Bazooka (United States)
    M79 grenade launcher (United States)
    1,000 x M203 grenade launcher (United States)
    Soltam Systems C-08 60mm light mortar (Israel)
    M2 mortar 60mm (United States)

    Or maybe Guatemala just buys Belize and save the bullets.

    So who do you trust on this? Will Machete the fearless, Deano the man with the imaginary constitutional amendment ready to ram through, or frightened Otto? Central-A Kabuki theater.

    Both armies should have been maintaining the borders years ago, at least to within a few kilometers, decades before the cartels took them.

  2. Rod says:

    This just proves what a disgrace this pm and gov. Are I am so proud of these men who are willing to put their lives on the line for their country unlike this pm and gov. Who cower in their shoes and shame the rest of us belizeans . This pm and gov. Can spend over 100 thousand to entertain the biggest bigot in the world and shower him with gifts while they throw our citizens to the wolves I hope you all remember what these men have done they are the ones who this money should have been sent to instead of the bigot Farrakhan who preaches nothing but hate. It is a very sad day when the pm and gov. Of this country care more about a bigot than its own citizens I hope no one ever forgets this. What a sick pm and gov. Guan judas guan.

  3. Mike says:

    As a former BDF ,I strongly support them .im my years in the service ,I patrolled the entire border and I know for a fact that it is very important for people from both sides of the border know where the line is ,cause it is easy to cross that border without a GPS and a map .we did it a bunch of times .
    There are a lot of aggressive farmers from The Gautemala side and they are gonna be bogged obstacles when they start clearing there claimed land .
    All I can say is ,somebody has to do it ,and good luck to all if them .

  4. jimmy says:

    @GimmeSomeLineOfBS You’re totally incoherent. you should have smoked weed instead of Xate. get some sleep.

  5. nesher says:

    For Evry corrupt and weak politician serving rite now, there are hundreds of patriots

  6. Belizean says:

    @ Rod just an FYI Louis Farrakhan was in Belize during the PUP time when he was invited by Fonseca so don’t blame the UDP because both parties are BS and yes I agree this man is full of HATE!!!!! We need a revolution in Belize. As for the government it is time for them to go and be replaced with a new party for the people and by the people NO TO PUP AND NO TO UDP!!!!!!

  7. sickntired says:

    Tears come to mi eyes when i see mi brethren and sistren gone out de to show them coward politicians how civilized people could work thing out. All this !@$$ inna the House about ICJ as if icj will come and sort out tings here for us. Look how wobderful we treat our minister otto from guatemala when he come survey his monkeys in belice. We politrickcians should sign over the documents one time cause they so fraid a puss. Now go and ask oas do somethung useful out at the border cause they see first hand a workable idea instead of all the airy fairy !@#$ about sitting around watching illegal activity carry on in the name of peace.

  8. blackberry says:

    Hate to admit that the man who represents me as foreign minister internationally is delusional. How can he say on channel 7 that the border volunteers were not on the border but near the border? He is in denial even though there was footage. Maybe it is because he continues to believe there is no border. Still thinking he is in the days of Radio Belize I guest.

  9. Storm says:

    Bravo to all the Territorial Volunteers — let’s see the movement grow bigger and last longer! Strength is the best defense.

  10. Genotu Rembiuos says:

    GREAT!!!
    WELL DONE, now someone please go tell the cowards of this GOV to come out from under their beds, it has been done already, no need for them to continue hiding !!!

  11. Aldo says:

    Wow so much patriotism I feel like crying! Not. These so called patriots going out to do their thing and patting themselves on the back is as shelfish and stupid as it comes. When you do these things there can be dire consequences and just because it is your right does not mean you can do it on behalf of all belizeans and in so putting all of us at risk. And that is what they are doing , acting on their own. If an international incident happens and war breaks out because of them I will be the first to shoot them before the guatemalans.How can we know what the guatemalans think or are willing to do. They are not to be messed with. We have been doing ok for a long time as is, so be it.

  12. SWEETPEA says:

    You know some people don’t even know the south, east, west and north of this wonderful country of ours call “Belize” and where we all stand caz:
    1. Lack of intrest as Politicans get in power
    2. Just wanna stay in office, nice job, nice vehicle, nice house, drink up and full their pockets with belizean moni. If the cap fits wear it!
    3. Don’t give a damn who work hard and sweat for what they have and need to put a piece of bread on the table.
    4. Don’t even show interest as to visit atleast the six district country wide.
    If you ask a minster from the north to visit the south they would say don’t have time, got a meeting to attend, same thing goes the other way round. Every time its meeting. Why do you think so many things we all Belizean going through? because of these same politicans, the blame is on them, they should do some worthy things for this country. Belizeans put u there to do something if it weren’t the belizean then who? Guats? Mex? CM’on people wake u! Open your eyes, ears! We need brave Belizeans like Hon. Geroge Price “RIP” and nuff respect, Mr. Meheia taking a lead to make BELIZE OUR COUNTRY. THANKS TO THE MEIDA WHO FOLLOW ON THE LEAD TO JALACTE TO SEE WHATS HAPPENING. NOW COUNTRY WIDE SEE IT LIVE ON TV. Are the politicans afraid or ashame to grab a matchete just because they’re politicans and in office? Well I think so. Stop the stupidity man get to work and work for this country .It’s ours now and for the future. Stand Proud as a Belizean;Not as Cowards. Why u think so many youths these days dn’t even vote? because of what they see and know. But no the politicians buy them with money and things like that so that they get in office and that’s it. That’s nonsense man, show us you want to be there and to show that you will stand for us as Belizean and BELIZE. Don’t be greedy man caz one of these days you will sit back right on your bottom where you came from. I AM BELIZE AND FOREVER BE BELIZEAN REGARDLESS OF AGE TILL I DIE.GOD FIRST IN OUR DAILY LIFE.

  13. NED says:

    Will Maheia is a joke. If we really wanted to clear the border we would go out with Heavy Equipment not we idiots like Dickie Bradley and his type of jokers. I mean an excursion to the border is aright but don’t treat it as a serious event, its just a photo up for hungry activist. I mean tell us how many miles of jungle line did you cut?

  14. not again says:

    I said it before and I will say it again. Belize has NO defence force. The b.d.f. Is there only for a show. When americans donate stuff and for parades. We need more than clowns to protect. Guatemala has a very good army most of them cant read but they love their country. Maybe we need to copy from Mexico every male should train like a soldier know the basics of how to protect your country. UN SOLDADO EN CADA HIJO TE DIO. It is time for us to start thinking what to do in case of an invacion from Guatemala. We already know cant depend on the b.d.f. Never being more proud of being BELIZEAN. VIVA BELIZE. And thank you guys to show the world that Belize has people with b@11&.

  15. impartial says:

    Will next time try to do it near elections… and we will see all the clowns and monkeys in the political circus come out with machetes…

  16. Southern says:

    DO it with pride and love for your country. Not for political leverage as some who went there intend to do. @impartial you are right since that is all they care about.

  17. melinda says:

    Now i am seeing some right thinking bloggers who appreciate the foolish actions of this wannabe politician Maheia. This was a road show, and they did not even reach near the border. If that what they half-cut is our border then we done give up land to Guatemala, unu bubu. AS to weedy head Bradley, all you want is attention you little hustler. WE want back the money from MNR which you grabbed while a minister. Cant win one election, with you nineteen seventies Afro. As to Mahaia he says he will go back. His little team will even be smaller next time. But if he insists to cut something, there is a lot of cane fields by the border up north which he could help out cane farmers cut.

  18. ceo says:

    “Guatemala was on high alert” Really: because of a few unarmed Belizeans walking the border with cutlas in hand? I wonder what would happen if we had leaders that are willing to stand up?

  19. BMNJ says:

    @impartial, that’s a good one!!! LOL!!!!

  20. Bear says:

    @not again, the Guat military is a lot bigger, but that country has vulnerability, especially with a very large Maya population that is still oppressed and treated like second-class citizens or worse. Unless the Guats sign some kind of peace agreement with us, and stop including our territory in the maps of their nation, we have to expect hostility from them, sometimes worse than others due to political events. I favor developing a long-term strategy to defend the Jewel by arms, and also by covertly supporting Mayan dissident groups inside Guatemala itself. If fighting ever breaks out, let’s make sure their officers don’t know if their own men will obey them, and hopefully that they will have to fight on two fronts, including rebellion in Guatemala.

    Freedom isn’t free, but it isn’t hopeless for us, either. Sparta defeated the Persians, Finland fought Russia to a draw more recently. Even the US could not defeat the Communist Vietnamese. George Washington lost almost every battle, but wore the English down until they gave up and went home. If the Guats find they will lose too much blood and money conquering us, they might lose their appetite for the Jewel.

  21. GENE says:

    DEAN BARROW IS A SOCIOPATH… A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR…

    DID ANY OF DEAN BARROW RELATIVES OR A FAMILY MEMBER PARTICIPATE IN THIS PATRIOTIC ACT?? WHERE IS SHYNE BARROW?? WHERE IS THE PRIDE?

    R.I.P. THE HONOURABLE GEORGE CADLE PRICE.. THE ONLY LOYAL MINISTER WHO HAD A VISON FOR BELIZE AND THE BELIZEAN PEOPLE. 1981 LET’S STAND UNITED BELIZEANS….MOTHERS, FATHERS, SISTERS AND BROTHERS…AUNTS AND UNCLES…NEPHEWS AND NIECES…COUSINS AND NEIGHBORS…BELIZEANS..STAND FOR OUR FUTURE…STAND FOR OUR CHILDREN..STAND AS ONE NATION..STAND FOR BELIZE.

    IN 1949 GEORGE PRICE STARTED THE PEACEFUL, CONSTRUCTIVE BELIZEAN REVOLUTION…HE IS CONSIDERED THE ARCHITECT OF THE COUNTRY’S INDEPENDENCE.
    LET’S STAND TOGETHER AS ONE NATION…LET’S REMEMBER THE INDEPENDENCE OUR FATHER OF THE NATION FOUGHT FOR US.. OUR BORDER, OUR BELIZE.

  22. Eye in the Sky says:

    WHAT ? Dickie had no Drug Dealers or Murderers to defend in court.

  23. Gimme Some Line of BS says:

    @Jimmy let me make it coherent for you:

    Both armies should have been maintaining the borders years ago, at least to within a few kilometers, decades before the cartels took them.

    So Jimmy, I have never tried Xate or bath salts, how is it working for you?
    Stay away from the Guatemalan Xate, could get you in jail.

    @not again
    Costa Rica does fine with their military.
    “in case of an invacion from Guatemala”, be smart or be rolled. you can’t outgun them, outspend them, or trick them.
    Bad government leadership creates the pretext.
    WWI started because of one fool with a gun, followed by fool governments.

  24. Initiate says:

    It appears that a lot of shrowd of darkness and ignorance has been removed. Keep it up and somewhat with the sentiment of NED, keep going until you have D8 bulldozers making a nice clear clean border. That money will be 10 times more effective than ‘big time’ officials flying all over the world and Washington, trying to determine where in PG bush a border is.

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