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Mar 17, 2016

A Peaceful Solution for Age-old Territorial Dispute, is It Possible?

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

A government release issued on Sunday, after a military to military incident in the Sarstoon on Saturday made reference to tensions being at an all time high, and spoke of hostilities and threatening actions by Guatemala military. That stance and the one taken by Minister Elrington today seem markedly different. The situation seemed so critical that it required an emergency National Security Council Meeting on Monday – but that wasn’t exactly the impression given today. We asked Elrington for some clarification.


Mike Rudon

“You have said repeatedly that you all have been commended for the maturity of the Belizean delegation, the Belizean government and the Guatemalans and we have also spoken to the B.D.F.—to Brigadier General Jones—who has said that he believes in peace; his counterpart who is the highest ranking soldier in Guatemala believes in peace. My question is so then if all the politicians are being mature and believe in peace and all the military believes in peace, where is the aggression coming from?”


Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Maybe from the media. (laughs)”


Mike Rudon

“It’s a serious question sir…”


Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“It’s a serious answer. In sixteen years, I am told you had ten incidents, nobody dead. In less than ninety days—no it’s five years now—you know how many people have been killed in Syria? Over three hundred thousand. In sixteen years, we haven’t had none.”


Mike Rudon

“Yeah but that is Syria; this is Belize. Sir the last release from government is telling. After the incident in the Sarstoon where government is saying tensions is at an all time high. We are getting that message from government which is talking about threatening actions and hostilities, but then we come into this forum and we are getting a totally different message. And this is where I think the Belizean people are getting confused because we don’t understand what is happening. Maybe you can explain where is the threatening….I’ll go by the government release, the all time high tension in the Sarstoon, the hostilities…where is that coming from?”

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“My understanding is that a series of incidents started maybe about two-three years ago when the territorial people started going there, trying to demonstrate their patriotism which is commendable in certain ways. But as far as I know, it is since then that we have had word…certainly the public has had word of contact between naval people and civilians. Historically we have not had that—as far as I know—as far as I know, with such frequency. But it seems to have been a reaction to certain action. Every action has a reaction.” 

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 “A Peaceful Solution for Age-old Territorial Dispute, is It Possible?”

  1. Sherlette Gentle says:

    You sir is despicable. How dear you make light of the situation. You are blaming the media and the volunteers that’s damn sad. The volunteers went there to protect what’s right fully Belize. You a foreign minister should be doing your damn best to stand with them and help protect Belize from this situation. But instead you take the Guatemalan word on it. Where the hell is your loyalty? The Belizean people voted you in to make the situation better not for you to have secret meeting and giving Guatemalan citizenship in Belize caused you need votes. When the Belizean people are struggling and you’re spitting on them by doing this to them. The Guatemala president said from day one, he was going to claim Belize, so IT was no surprise. So why are you acting like it is ? When it’s not.shame on you and borrow. Because you both let this escalated to this point. So go get a damn shave and represent the country in a dignity manner.

  2. Belizean Pride says:

    your just pathetic mr. sedi really, how can you come out to blame us Belizeans trying to make sure we protect our country while you play lame along with your gov. in place. And don’t point fingers to the next party because it if you do it really stupid. Don’t tell us because they never did anything you plan not to do anything also. You were place in F.Minister to do your job but mein you really suck at doing it seriously and honestly.

  3. Steve says:

    Fool is talking, but no fool is listening.

    Don’t blame the BTV for the problems escalating. The government administrations of Belize (both PUP and UDP) have been burying their heads in the sand. They don’t want problems, but guess what? Problems want us. We can’t avoid them, when they are looking for us time after time.

    Some years ago there was an incident at the Belize Western Border in which the Guatemalan taxi drivers were taking the habit of gathering immediately outside Belize’s border building to wait for customers. After refusing to adhere to Belize’s border management policy in Belizean territory, a Belizean police officer was asked to intercede. He was physically assaulted by the Guatemalan taxi drivers, his gun was taken away from him, and was hit on the head with his own gun — in Belizean soil! Afterwards, they hurriedly ran to their side of Belize, past the OAS building. Nothing came out of it afterwards. Sedi, do you want to blame the BTV for that also? Or maybe cast blame on the border management personnel or the police officer? Or the media? And if any reader is doubting this incident, he/she just needs to go to Benque and ask real Belizeans there at random about it. They’ll learn about that and about other incidents where we end up being the laughing stock.

    Our representatives should be mature by accepting their parties’ tremendous mistake since 1981, tightening their belts, counting and making sure they still have their two testicles, engaging their brains (meaning: working for the money we pay them since we elect them), and tackling the issues at hand with nationalistic pride, wit, and tactical approach.

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