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May 27, 2016

What About the B.D.F.; Will They Still be Chased Up the River?

Dean Barrow

It’s clear what the real protocol is at the Sarstoon where civilians are concerned. Belizeans can’t go there. But what about the B.D.F.? We all saw footage of the Guatemalan navy turning back the B.D.F. a couple weeks ago as they attempted to go to Cadenas for a shift change-over. At that time, they were told repeated to respect the protocol. Have they been able to go down the Sarstoon since? We asked the Prime Minister, who also chairs the National Security Council which met on Thursday.


On the Phone: Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The same thing that I am hearing now is what we heard then, that in fact somehow the message to the Guatemalan navy not to do that had not been passed down to the people in operational control at the Sarstoon. I explained that after we complained and that was the very day that I believe – I hope I don’t have it mixed up – it was either the same day that that happened or the day after that we were to have the meeting in Washington with the O.A.S. Secretary—General. I called the Secretary-General before that meeting to complain about what happened and I think that helped to inform the tenor and the substance and the outcome of that meeting. But by the time the meeting took place it had already been sorted out. The Guatemalans in the highest authority had felt that look it was really a misunderstanding because the person in charge at the Forward Operating Base had not gotten instructions. We tested that by sending the B.D.F. back into the Sarstoon. They circled the island a couple of times and were unimpeded. Since then I think they have gone back upriver and there’s not been a problem. So I do not dismiss altogether what we’re being told in that the instructions in terms of now not trying to stop our civilians may not yet have reached the Guatemalan navy at the Sarstoon, but I still say that’s not satisfactory. Sure the Minister and perhaps Ambassador Roldan are not yet back in Guatemala but surely in the same way that we could have had our reports of the meetings and what was informally understood and acted on that in the same way the message and that report could have been transmitted to those that needed to be made aware of the informal understanding. And it cannot be satisfactory for what happened to you this morning to have happened.”

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1 Response for “What About the B.D.F.; Will They Still be Chased Up the River?”

  1. lucas says:

    The history of war clearly reveals that the outcome of an armed conflict is not necessarily determined by numerical advantage. What does is the discipline and training of the soldier and the military equipment afforded to the combatant. GOB prides itself of having acquired 3 helicopters when we all know that two were gifted by Taiwan and the other by a NARCO. GOB has money to write off debts of party affiliates, buy electoral votes, hold beach parties, pay high level attorneys etc etc but no money to furnish the BDF with the fighting equipment that will make the difference. There is no doubt that our BDF is a better soldier than GAF but where is the devastating fire power?. The Belizean people should know that our BDF is not even properly furnished boots nor socks.

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