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Jun 24, 2016

Reporter Editorial on Sarstoon River Raises the Ire of Belizeans

This week’s editorial in the Reporter newspaper has managed to accomplish what little else has – accord between the Government and the Opposition. We’ll get to that, but first the apparently incendiary article on page two of the Reporter. It’s on the Sarstoon and starts like this, “There are many in Belize who still believe that the Sarstoon is a Belizean river. They also make the claim that Sarstoon Island is unquestionably Belizean property.” And then there comes the BUT, and it is a big BUT.  The editorial goes on to say that, “these are claims which will not stand up in court. The Sarstoon is a river which courses past our Toledo border with Guatemala. But its head waters come from the island of Alta Verapaz and flow some seventy miles to the sea. It is unquestionably a Guatemalan river, but Belize has the right to use a portion of it – the northern half which flows past the southern perimeter of the Toledo District.” And then the editorial moves on to Sarstoon Island, stating that, “A look at any satellite map will tell us that Sarstoon Island does not lie entirely in the northern half of the river. A good portion, maybe as much as one half of this island, is on the Guatemalan side of the center line. This means that Belize cannot justify a claim to the whole of Sarstoon Island. Belize can claim a part of this island under international law, because a portion of it, but not all, is on our side of the river. But there is a substantial portion of the Sarstoon Island which is unquestionably Guatemalan.” So that’s the editorial – in a nutshell, Belize has no claim on the Sarstoon, because it is unquestionably a Guatemalan river, nor on half of Sarstoon Island, because that half is unquestionably Guatemalan.

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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6 Responses for “Reporter Editorial on Sarstoon River Raises the Ire of Belizeans”

  1. carlos says:

    The reporter editor needs to get its information correct or get themselves to Guatemala. That’s where they may belong. They are crazy like the Guatemalan president .

  2. Manuel Pinto says:

    Es urgente que los verdaderos límites de Belice sean establecidos por la corte internacional de justicia, para evitar tensiones en el río guatemalteco del Sarstún y el asesinato de campesinos inocentes en la zona de adyacencia en territorio de Guatemala.

  3. CEO says:

    Pretty irresponsible reporting: just talking with no facts and figures!

    Here are a couple facts:

    1) Belize’s border was established before Guatemala was a country!

    2) When ever your border is a natural border like a river the understanding is:
    a) It is the main path of the river that forms the border, not any little path cut in over time because of the natural flow and ebb of the river.

    b) The main river will for every keep changing hence the reason to agree that the center of the main river is the border. This is to avoid the constant bickering over nothing (like what is happening now).

  4. ronaldo says:

    Manuel Pinto estoy de aceurdo contigo sobre establacer los verdaderos limites entre Guatemala y Belize, lo que si no estoy de acuerdo es los de los “Campesinos inocentes”. Este gente o bien sabe que estan en Belize ilegalmente cortando xate o buscando oro o si no sabe por falta de educaion por parte del gobierno Guatemalteco. Y todo mundo te va decir que si te atacan con un machete en mano o con una arma de fuego, porque simepre andan aramdos estos “campesinos inocentes” uno se va defender. Ademas que hace un nino ilegalmente en la selva cuando debe de estar en un aula estudiando? Si queremos soluciones efectivas hay que empecer educando la gente campesina.

  5. jorge says:

    At last somebody has the balls, to tell us the truth. Thanks reporter, please continue to shine your light on us.

  6. West2 says:

    Ok CEO came with facts, Reporter and Jorge you’re up come with it

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