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May 26, 2016

Is Guatemala Willing to Fast Track Sarstoon Protocol?

The fact is that if Guatemala agrees to any protocols with equitable use of the Sarstoon as an end point, it would represent a significant back-tracking. In past months the Guatemalans, both military and diplomats, have run to a so-called status quo for cover – a status quo which they say requires that Belizean civilians, and even military personnel, ask permission to enter the Sarstoon. But was that status quo birthed in the minds of Guatemalan diplomats or on a table during diplomatic discussions? We put that question to Courtenay today, and also asked him if it seemed likely that the Guatemalans would seek to expedite protocols which would see them losing some of that recently total control of the Sarstoon.


Eamon Courtenay, Opposition’s Representative, Belize Delegation

“I believe that the proper approach to this is not what Guatemala’s concern is! It is what Belize’s interest is. It is urgent, and the People’s United Party has been saying this repeatedly, it is urgent that this matter be resolved for Belize. We need to advance our interests. We need a resolution of it from our perspective and I am not prepared to characterize whether Guatemala wants to delay it or deal with it in a very expeditious manner. The point is that we are the ones who need to have it resolved in a very expeditious manner and we are the ones who have to ensure that it is done as quickly as possible, and that is so regardless of the position of Guatemala.. So to put it very neatly and very succinctly, it falls to Belize to advance our interests in the quickest possible time on this issue.”


Eamon Courtenay

Mike Rudon

“Has there been any clarification or any attempt to clarify this status quo? We have asked before but as you said it’s a new position from Guatemala and there has been little clarification from our side as to where this status quo came from. We have asked Ambassador Shoman and he said they just fabricated this thing. What I’m getting at is would it be a part of the talks or tenable in the talks to say you know what…where did this come from? How did this status quo come about? Who signed this? Who told you all this? Was it an informal agreement?”


Eamon Courtenay

“From what happened in Turkey, and I’m not going to go into any details on this, but from what happened in Turkey I do not expect to ever see anything in writing or anything where anybody is able to point to any verbal agreement between two or more people, and I will leave it there.”

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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1 Response for “Is Guatemala Willing to Fast Track Sarstoon Protocol?”

  1. Hatari says:

    Come on people, do you really believe that Guatemala is going to enforce any agreement concerning the border? They might sign it BUT they will not make any attempt to stop their people from pilfering Belize’s natural resources. Until we secure our borders effectively, we will continue to lose resources to the Guats. Why not lease a 5 km strip of land all along the border to the Brits or the US and let them play their war games/jungle training/whatever within that corridor? They can run up and down, shoot their guns and cannons, fly their helicopters, and do whatever it is that soldiers do. That would keep the Guats out, make us some $$$, and the bars would be full of soldiers again! A win/win situation.

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