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May 5, 2016

Why Did BDF Stop SATIIM at the Mouth of the Sarstoon?

Dean Barrow

This morning, a boat containing rangers from SATIIM was denied entry to the Sarstoon, not by the Guatemalan Armed Forces, but by the Belize Defense Force. SATIIM co-manages the Sarstoon Temash National Park which is bordered on the South by the Sarstoon, but today they were banned entry at the B.D.F.’s Forward Operating Base. It’s an interesting scenario since the Prime Minister himself, on Tuesday, stated that the new law specifically prohibits the BTV, or those with a political intent. All others in the normal course of routine activities would not be prohibited. But Tuesday was Tuesday and today is today, and SATIIM was turned back, for what the PM says is a simple reason.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The rationale would be simple there is the regulation enforced which prohibits civilians from going to the Sarstoon without lawful authority, presumably if the SATIIM people were denied access to the Sarstoon by the B.D.F. it is because they did not in the context of the regulation have the lawful permission.”



“Sir, at the press conference at NEMO headquarters I Belmopan, you when through a list of those who could be allowed and you gave the impression at least in my interpretation of your comments, that those who were prohibited from going to Sarstoon would particularly be those who for political reasons endanger your negotiation process, specifically you said the BTV. I left that meeting believing it was the Wil’s law.”


Dean Barrow

“Mr. Wade I would hope that we are not going to get into any sort of argument, in fact, I know we won’t because I won’t have it, I won’t get into any argument with you, You are perfectly correct that I did say that preoccupation, the concern is with those that want to go to the Sarstoon to make some sort of a political statement. I am telling you that SATIIM if they were not allowed to go to the Sarstoon would have been stopped on the basis that they did not have the lawful permission, I don’t know of SATIIM having applied to anyone for the lawful permission. I certainly wouldn’t expect that any group would attempt to go without beforehand seeking that lawful permission, okay.”


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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