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Dec 21, 2016

Keep Calm on Guatemala Violations, Says Elrington

Over the past two years, Guatemala has been asserting sovereignty over the area, going as far as militarizing the remote area and now escorts Belizeans traversing our side of the Sarstoon River.  A recent official forty-page document on travels by Guatemalan officials details a meeting between Foreign Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Carlos Raul Morales at the O.A.S. Headquarters in March.  The bilateral meeting was held to address an incident involving the Guatemalan Armed Forces and the Belize Defense Force at the mouth of the Sarstoon River.  During those talks the Guatemalan foreign minister purportedly reiterated that the Sarstoon River belongs to Guatemala and that they will continue to exercise authority over the tributary.  According to Foreign Minister Elrington, Belizeans must remain calm and continue to pursue the matter at the ICJ.


Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The important thing for us in Belize is to keep calm, try as much as possible not to get into any military confrontation with the Guatemalans, and use the diplomatic approach to resolve our problems whenever they arise. And in the interim, we should do all in our power to sensitize our people; to make them know that in fact the ICJ is the best course of action for us to pursue at this point in time and to prepare them to vote yes to a referendum if and when that referendum is held.”


Isani Cayetano

“Now the western border is considered rather porous and we have incidents of incursions into the Chiquibul, the Colombia Forest Reserve and other areas along the border on a regular bases and now we also the issue of illegal fishing taking place within Belizean waters by Guatemalan fisherfolk. The fact that there exist this map, do you believe this is just propaganda on the part of the Guatemalans to continue their gradual takeover of Belize—so to speak—by entering our borders, by entering into our territorial waters?”


Wilfred Elrington

“I don’t get the sense at this point in time, and I hope that I am right, I don’t get the sense that what is happening certainly in terms of the incursions, the people coming in, is really done by the Guatemalan government. I really think it is people who are looking for a livelihood and who regard the grass is greener on our side, coming across and partaking in our resources that they find both on land, in the river and in fact in the seas.”


Earlier today, Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers issued a release condemning Guatemalan aggressive stance and Guatemala’s annexation of Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River.

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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5 Responses for “Keep Calm on Guatemala Violations, Says Elrington”

  1. Marcos says:

    All these are calculated maneuvers to push Belizeans into voting to go to the ICJ. I will still vote NO TO THE ICJ. After all, even if Belize wins at the ICJ, Guatemala will not recognize it and would continue to harrass Belize. They only want a court hearing that will give them a possibility of getting a fortune for free, no risk for them.

  2. Uncle Benji says:

    Sedi, I ran the streets with your father. My Gawd, he had more “cojones” than you will ever have. You are a downright coward. Keep calm you say. What will you do when Guatemalans come across and commence killing people in our border villages? Keep calm! What will you say when black Cruffy boys get rounded up and shipped off to Puerto Barrios in Guatemala into forced labor? Keep calm. What will you say when our women commence having kids due to Guatemalan rapes after they invade the country? Keep calm.

    Sedi, have you ever thought about let’s stand up and fight for our rights? Let’s ask other countries for help, but lets settled this matter. No you have not. You simply….. keep calm. Sedi you are a coward.

  3. Betty says:

    Guatemala is invading our country Belize can’t Elrington open his eyes. He is telling us not to worry and clearly Guatemala is invading our country little by little. If we go to the ICJ of course the court will rule in favor of Guatemala because they show interest and are fishing on our maritime, and what we belizeans are doing? nothing. This damn government we have is not doing anything. All what Elrington talks about is ” we use the diplomatic approach to solve the problem”. he could be there because Guatemala will never give up. On the other hand if the ICJ ruled on our favor the Guatemalans won’t give up, they will continue bullying us. So the question is” what will our country do? If our government are afraid and also our soldiers, so Guatemala will invade the entire country.

  4. Manuel Pinto says:

    Entre Belice y Guatemala no existen Fronteras, la única forma que existan fronteras entre Belice y Guatemala es que la reclamación territorial guatemalteca sea resuelta en la CIJ, De conformidad con el artículo 5 del tratado de 1786, los cortadores de madera, o sea los leñadores solo tienen libertad para carenar sus naves mercantes y realizar pesca para su subsistencia frente a la costa en el triangulo comprendido a 8 leguas de distancia del Río Wallis o Belice a 7 leguas de Cayo Casina o Cayo San Jorge y 3 leguas del Río Sibún. Las costas de Punta Gorda están excluidas porque son territorio de Guatemala.

  5. Mellow Belizean says:

    Is this man on crack? “I really think it is people who are looking for a livelihood and who regard the grass is greener on our side, coming across and partaking in our resources that they find both on land, in the river and in fact in the seas.”

    Idiot, that is the definition of an incursion. They’re coming in without the benefit of proper protocols or documentation. If it’s such a minor matter how come we can’t just “look for a livelihood” and enjoy the greener grasses in Guatemala, the U.S. or Mexico? He’s not a fool so I’m sure at this point he’s been paid.

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