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Feb 29, 2016

Guatemalan Encroachment – A Clear Violation of International Law

Footage taken on Saturday in the Sarstoon clearly shows Guatemalan military vessels way inside Belizean territorial waters. In fact, some images show one naval craft in the foreground, while the Forward Operating Base being constructed by the BDF is far in the background, making an irrefutable case for encroachment by Guatemalan military. Courtenay says this is a clear violation of International Law and cannot be tolerated.


Eamon Courtenay, Member, Belize/Guatemala Advisory Committee

Eamon Courtenay

“No military vessel is allowed to come onto our military waters and our waters at all and our property without our permission. As far as I understand it the Guatemalan military and navy had no such permission. That’s one violation. Secondly it seems to us that for a foreign military force to stop Belizeans in Belizean territorial waters from going into any part of Belize is a violation of our sovereignty. That is a clear violation of International Law. Guatemalan navy has no legal authority to do anything within Belizean territorial waters. These are very serious violations of International Law and we cannot countenance it, we should not accept it, we should not tolerate it. And we are urging the government to take very strong action so that the Guatemalans understand it. It seems to me that Guatemala by choice has embarked on a course where an incident is going to take place. We believe that that incident or incidents are to be avoided. But at the same time we believe that the government of Belize should be strong and steadfast and we should get our friends to communicate very directly to Guatemala that they are in the wrong and we are in the right.”

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