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Jul 12, 2016

Guatemalan Civilians Claim the Sarstoon

Sometime over the weekend, a group of seven Guatemalan civilians – actually the Guatemalan version of the Territorial Volunteers – claim to have circled Sarstoon Island well within Belizean waters.  On their Facebook page entitled Belice Es De Guatemala, a video was released showing the Guatemalan vessel in the river with the island in the background. The page is generally a home to extremist Guatemalans who claim the entire Belizean territory, so ironically their brave voyage on the Sarstoon was a heroic act of patriotism – in their eyes of course. If not for scrutiny of their page on social media we wouldn’t even have known about it – but since it is significant news we brought it up to Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington.


Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“I heard about it. Somebody told me about it yesterday or the day before, but it is not surprising to me. As I have said to most Belizeans, as I’ve said publicly over and over, Guatemalans have been claiming the entire country since 1939; it is nothing new. The Sarstoon situation is nothing new; it is just that some Belizeans seem just to have found out about it, really recently—a year or two ago—and they have sought to make a big issue about it. I grew up dealing with this issue. As I told you, I was arrested and charged for opposing Guatemala’s claim to our country; that was in 1968 so it is nothing new. I am fully aware of it and have been opposing it since the early sixties and I continue to do that and I will do that until I die because this country belongs to us. People like me have nowhere else to go; unlike most Belizeans or a lot of Belizeans, I don’t have any interest in living in United States; I don’t have any green card, I don’t want any green card. The only place I have a stake in is here; here is where I was born, here is where I will die and here is where I am going to do everything in my power to ensure that it is safe and secure. And so far, I think that we have been doing a good job. I think that it is fair, you’ve got to admit that we have been doing a good job.”


Wilfred Elrington


“One more question—we see that your staff is waiting for you. But sir, isn’t this particular situation sort of proof positive of why the government of Guatemala may be very careful where it on the diplomatic stage says one thing and on the ground may be doing something different because it doesn’t want to lose the support of this extreme Guatemalan electorate?”


Wilfred Elrington

“I don’t think the electorate is extreme; just like here in Belize, you have extremists, but they are normally in the minority. I think that that is the case here as well as over there. I don’t think they are bothered by the people who go there except that those people can be violent and that’s one of the main reasons why I was suggesting that we should be careful. That was the only reason.”

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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3 Responses for “Guatemalan Civilians Claim the Sarstoon”

  1. Open your eye says:

    The CEO speaks of this GREAT rainfall that was happening when the Guats were on the Sarstoon. Such forceful rain that the BDF were unable, crippled to verify the identity and intention of people in our territorial water ,,, but the video that the Guats were taking of themselves and our territory proved clear skies, NO rain – not even drizzle.
    How can the CEO of national security be so Gullible? there was no rain… there was cowardice! Dereliction of duty on behalf of those officers stationed at the Forward Operating Base!

  2. Datbzegurl says:

    Why are we still playing with these people it’s clear they have no respect for us and our country. I hope their not getting anymore nationality or residency let them stay in their country we Dont want or need them here but it seems like our government is scared they come here to make living n get a better life now they want to take over????? The government needs to step up n stop acting like they can’t see what’s happening. The citizens of the country will have to take matters into their own hands n collect the governments pay

  3. Belizean Pride says:

    The guat civilian had better boats than our BDF damn really shame because while the guats strolled our river side the BDF COULDN’T GO OUT TO MEET AND GREET THEM MEIN REALLY?
    While the video shows no heavy rain but shinny day.

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