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Sep 12, 2016

How Will Belize Treat Guatemala’s Response to Julio Alvarado Report?

Magdalena Talamas

The release of an O.A.S.-commissioned report, following a forensic investigation into the shooting death of fourteen-year-old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, has vindicated the Belize Defense Force and that has outraged the Guatemalans.  The B.D.F. was prematurely accused of fatally wounding the Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul Forest in April.  While the report has since cleared the officers on duty that evening, the Guatemalan government, including President Jimmy Morales and Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, has criticized the report as inconclusive.  They are calling for the removal of Magdalena Talamas as the O.A.S. Special Representative at the Adjacency Zone.  Her junior, Sergio Bentiez was abruptly called to the O.A.S. Headquarters in Washington. It is believed the O.A.S. bowed to Guatemalan pressure. So, what is the PM’s position and is he still expecting an apology?


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well we can’t compel them to give us an apology and it doesn’t surprise me that they will refuse to. I am certainly concerned about their demand of the Secretary General; that he in fact removes Miss Talamas. I think if the Secretary General were to accede to that demand, he would be giving in to bullying. But it is a matter for him. We certainly have already put on record our position in this regard. Look, it is unfortunate that a process, to which we both agreed, Belize and Guatemala, which has now resulted in the vindication of Belize is not accepted by the Guatemalans. But there is not a great deal that we can do about that. The fact is now that the international community is quite clear as to what has happened and as to the vindication of Belize.”

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