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May 6, 2016

SATIIM Did Ask for Permission to Go Into the Sarstoon

Dean Barrow

On Thursday, we told you about a SATIIM trip cut unexpectedly short after rangers were denied entry to the Sarstoon by the Belize Defense Force. The boat carrying rangers was heading on a routine patrol to monitor illegal activity in the area of Black Creek, which must be accessed via the Sarstoon. That infamous S.I. passed by the government last Friday prohibits Belizean civilians from entering the Sarstoon, but nobody expected that prohibition to include rangers from the conservation N.G.O.  Well as SATIIM found out, it does. For context, we revisit the Prime Minister’s remarks when he was queried about the rationale behind the B.D.F. turning the rangers away from the Sarstoon.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: May 5th, 2016]

“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.”


But here’s the thing. The Prime Minister had it wrong. In a letter dated April twenty-first, fully two weeks ago, SATIIM provided Ministry of National Security C.E.O. George Lovell with all the details of the trip including boat number, itinerary, destinations and even the names of the rangers who would be on the patrol. In the correspondence Executive Director Froyla Tzalam writes, “SATIIM’s patrol team will conduct its monthly patrol within the Sarstoon Temash National Park on May fourth to seventh, 2016. This patrol is deemed necessary because of the increase of this illegal rosewood, Santa Maria and Yemeri logging inside of the park, especially from within the Black Creek area. Kindly inform us if there are any protocols that we need to abide by.” Lovell is currently out of the country, and we have been unable to reach Froyla Tzalam for comment.

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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2 Responses for “SATIIM Did Ask for Permission to Go Into the Sarstoon”

  1. Hatari says:

    Typical GOB ineptness! Can’t they get anything right?

  2. carlos says:

    Well we all know that the P M always have things wrong, or he plays the fool he don’t know or wants to deceive the people. Passing this Sarstoon law, he is only following the current flow of Guatemala. If one day Guatemala tells this government to prevent Belizeans to go to Caracol he will also pass a Caracol law. What a fool.

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