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Aug 14, 2015

Belize and Guatemala Asked the O.A.S. to Observe the BTV Expedition

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

The Belize Territorial Volunteers are in full gear for this weekend’s Sarstoon Island trek and have received the blessings of Bishop Dorrick Wright.  One person whose blessings they don’t have is Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. He has gone on record to say that the BTV’s trek is an “imprudent act” and he maintained that position today when we ran in to him at an event in his constituency. We managed to get just a few words from a very unusually tightlipped Minister of Foreign Affairs. We asked him why the O.A.S. decided to go to the Sarstoon Island this weekend and he was very sparing with the details, only to say that Guatemala requested the observers and Belize followed suit.


Andrea Polanco

“We heard reports that the O.A.S. – some observers – will be there this weekend. What are you able to share with us about that?”


Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Nothing more than you have told me. I have heard the same thing that you have heard that they probably have two persons from the O.A.S. will attend, but apart from that I don’t have any more information.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, no official memo or anything written came out of your ministry to Guatemalan diplomats or to the O.A.S.?”


Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“No. I am not aware of anything. We may have asked, I think we did ask the O.A.S. to have an observer; the Guatemalans have asked for that and we joined in with them on that. But outside of that, I don’t think we did anything else.”


Andrea Polanco

“Was there any official confirmation that they will be there; did they give a response?”


Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“They normally accede to our request so I imagine they will be there.”


Andrea Polanco

“What’s the – I mean they are going there as observers- but because of perhaps the previous incidents why they are going along?”


Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“I know they were specifically asked by the Guatemalans and then our people asked – our Government asked as well. When you have disputed territory anything could happen. And so, it must not be said that the Government of Belize had not done all in its power to try to minimize the occurrence of incidence and I think it’s out of that abundance of caution that the Prime Minister took the view that he should invite the O.A.S. along with the Guatemalans.”


The National Security Council met late this evening before issuing a release reiterating government’s position on the risky mission to Sarstoon Island.  The statement from the council says, “Civilians for all the reasons that are so obvious and overpowering, have no business placing themselves in harm’s way and complicating and endangering our military’s accustomed, tried and true way of dealing with Guatemala’s claimed ownership of all of the Sarstoon. The NSC therefore reiterates the position already taken by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Security; this Sunday’s planned civilian expedition to the Sarstoon Island is ill-advised and downright dangerous. The NSC is of course most concerned about the safety of Belizean citizens and has put in place a contingency plan to try to deal with all possible consequences of the action of the Territorial Volunteers. This plan involves local positioning, outreach and coordination with key diplomatic partners and a central role for the O.A.S., who will be in the vicinity of the Sarstoon Island in an observer/peace-keeping role even before the expedition arrives. Notwithstanding all this, given the nature of the situation, the only way to eliminate all risk is for the expedition to be called off; and the NSC advises those in charge to do precisely that.”

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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3 Responses for “Belize and Guatemala Asked the O.A.S. to Observe the BTV Expedition”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    i just pissed off to see this scum low himself with no pride to be a Belizean. I rather die trying like a proud Belizean than to run away from the guats. Give us military training and you’ll see what we can do. Mein I would be so ashamed to call this man my father, my brother, my granpa where’s the pride? Sedi for the love of this country please resign before we put you in front line when wars starts. We ain’t going to give the guats an inch more can you understand that sedi.

  2. belizean a heart says:
    Dis da di way guatemala wants to keep Belize! fi what do dem want our country see how dem have most of their Scool Population without a shelter and dem want our Country Belize! Its just POLITRICS its like how dena barrow is using petro caribe to have the Belizean people vulnerable and dependent on his Government so they can marginalize us more and have us in more poverty while dem tif fi we natural resourses.we Belizeans deserve better and we must demand better.

  3. g says:

    What shame he is instilling on us as Belize. Please resign and go live in Guatemala….

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