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May 29, 2015

Is Belize Submissive to Guatemala?

George Lovell

The recent incident in the Sarstoon involving the Guatemalan navy and Belize National Coastguard brings to mind a situation in early April 2015, when thirty-seven Belizeans were captured by Guatemalan naval personnel and escorted to Livingston. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs came under attack for their handling of the matter which was seen as distinctly submissive. Retired colonel George Lovell explains.


Ret’d. Col. George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security

“How differently, Mike, would you suggest we could have handled it? I’ll tell you what we did. The incident occurred and what occurred on the ground between the Guatemalans and our people we had little or no control of until we had communication with them, which at that time, they were already on their way to be taken to Livingston. So I don’t know what different we could have done at that stage. What we did after that; in my view, I was the leader of the team that went down for the reception in Punta Gorda. And in my view, we did all that we could have done in terms of hearing from our people what transpired so that we could have had their version of the story and to be able to represent them through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and through whatever else means we had, which I believe the government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and my ministry did. I don’t know what different we could have under circumstances done. And so in hindsight, I don’t know precisely what different we would have done.”


Mike Rudon

“Sir, if our thirty-seven Belizeans were telling the truth, Guatemalans came into our water, seized them, captured them and took them by force into Guatemala to Livingston. By force, if what they are saying is correct. It’s been two months…and.”


Ret’d. Col. George Lovell

“As I said, I don’t know where we are with it. We would have to have Foreign Affairs tell us precisely where they are with that particular protest that was made. I can also say to you that our people, by virtue of the interviews that I held with them, actually confirmed that they did in fact had an incursion. And it is sad, because they even the captain of the vessel, said he didn’t know where he was and he went for about five minutes down a particular part when he realized that he was on the wrong path and they turned around. Most of the people that I interviewed also confirmed that it was about five minutes indeed before they realized they were going down the wrong path. And then what added to it was that the Guatemalan navy vessels knew that they were going around the wrong path and knew that where they were going into was a dead end and they had to come out so they just waited for them at the mouth and intercepted them. What in my view went wrong was that had they intercepted them then and arrested them and charge them for that incursion or illegal entry into Guatemala, they would have been all in their right. I believe where they erred was they allowed them to continue on their journey all the way to the Sarstoon and when they were coming out back from the Sarstoon on their return journey that they were intercepted and detained. And I think that was wrong in my view by the Guatemalans.”

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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1 Response for “Is Belize Submissive to Guatemala?”

  1. Dr. Rabbit says:

    Sedi sold Belize to Guatemala which is already trying to claim (read the coast guard story) it but will take time due to Guatemala transferring it’s laws, one day the people will know it…

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