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Mar 5, 2013

Santa Cruz, the shire across from Jalacte

On Saturday News Five was a part of the group led by Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers on what was dubbed an expedition to demarcate Belize’s border line between the villages of Jalacte and Santa Cruz. While a majority of the hundred or so persons from different organizations stayed on top of Container Hill which is established as being well within Belizean territory, the media was a little more adventurous and headed over into Santa Cruz. What we found there indicated that any threatened aggression exists more in the minds of diplomats and politicians than in the hearts of these people who are content to live in peace and harmony with their Belizean neighbors. Freelance reporter Mike Rudon took a walk across the border to Santa Cruz, sans passport.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

While Belizeans from organizations as diverse as the University of Belize, COLA, the Belize Territorial Volunteers and the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association chopped a small clearing on Container Hill, just a couple hundred feet away Guatemalan men, woman and children looked on.

The Guatemalan government built this road and installed electricity for villagers. Commerce and trade are primarily activity of the Guatemalan villagers who enjoy phone service provided by TIGO, one of the largest mobile service providers in that country. However, the GPS reading indicate that the road is in Belizean territory and the border lies some thirty meters beyond this settlement. Orange Walk businessman Orlando de la Fuente was the first to reach Santa Cruz on Saturday, and he says that an on-site OAS representative verified the GPS findings.

 

Orlando de la Fuente

Orlando de la Fuente, Belizean

“I asked him, could you tell us where we are right now; where we are standing [and] talking? And he said yes, you are in Belize soil. So he recognized that and I think the Guatemalans—the actual people weh live yah—they want peace and they are not… You know who di cause di lot of problems? The government and the rich, the oligarchs, the landowners; they are the ones that keep pushing and pushing the border.”

 

And that does seem to be the case, at least with the villagers we met. They were relaxed, peaceful and unconcerned with Belizeans in their midst. The Alcalde of Santa Cruz, Alvaro Paredes, reiterated that his village lives in peace with Jalacte, but they would also like a defined border.  So far, the government is yet to educate them about the October sixth referendum.

 

Alvaro Paredes

Alvaro Paredes, Alcalde, Santa Cruz

“For the moment, they haven’t come and tell us nothing about the case. Persons from Jalacte and Santa Cruz haven’t given us a definitive answer; never yet. We wish that there is a defined border so there can be respect between both countries. What we are grateful for is for the communication between us and for the benefits, is that there are no misunderstandings between both countries.”

 

And while diplomats and politicians continue to make their way towards a resolution of the Belize – Guatemala dispute, for these Guatemalans there is no dispute. The border line may not be clearly defined, but what is absolutely clear, is the peaceful and continued coexistence with their Belizean neighbors. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

Today the Belize Territorial Volunteers issued a release in which it claims that twenty meters was cleared along the Belize side of the border, and the initiative will be an ongoing one, as soon as logistics are worked out. 

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4 Responses for “Santa Cruz, the shire across from Jalacte”

  1. Storm says:

    Few of us have a problem with the people of Guatemala, if they could be separated from their government. We are all God’s children — although God has good children and some really, really wicked ones.

    The government makes the policies, and the OFFICIAL government policy of Guatemala is to swallow Belize, to wipe us off the world’s map. So if they ned to, they will conscript the peace-loving people of Santa Cruz and every other peace-loving village in Guatemala, arm them, and send them to kill us, our wives, our children, until we surrender our freedom to them. Then the surviving Belizeans will become the oppressed, second-class citizens of Guatemala. What a future!

    I’m sure the Germans on the border of Poland were nice enough, until the blitzkrieg began. Then they became murderous stormtroopers. WE CAN’T LET THAT STORY REPEAT ITSELF HERE, BUT A WEAK, APPEASING GOB WILL MAKE THAT MORE LIKELY.

    I think we need more leaders like Wil Maheia to organize militias, big and small, wherever Belizeans live. Hopefully we will never have to fight to defend our liberty, but nobody can guarantee that when our neighbor doesn’t even recognize our independence.

    Do we want to live on our knees, or stand up and fight for our country? How a country faces a crisis determines its future, or lack of one.

  2. Observer says:

    Nuff respect to Wil Meheia for taking a leadership role in this critical time.

  3. Bear says:

    Peace through strength.

    I agree we should organize citizen militias now,before it’s too late and we have become involuntary Guatemalans.

  4. georgeusher says:

    i love mr george price he gave life to belize for sef govt and indepance with in the commonwelth because he knew the guat would come back and try to harm us please people whit in the commonwealth means that if any nation run over us these people will dfend us please stop scar the people all u guys got to do if we have any trouble just make the call they will be there u guys no the telepone number just call them u know who right dont be afraid okay

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