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Dec 14, 2018

PM Barrow’s Bid for Interim Solution to Sarstoon Tensions Fails

Following President Jimmy Morales’ departure from the summit, we got a chance to speak with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who symbolically handed over the Tempore Presidency of SICA to President Morales. With regional matters concluded, Barrow and Morales held bi-lateral talks. One of the topics they discussed is the Belize/Guatemala dispute, specifically the rising tensions in the Sarstoon where the Guatemalan Armed Forces, the GAF, have been preventing Belizeans from traversing the river.  According to Barrow, today’s talks were not disrupted by tensions. 


Hipolito Novelo

“Sir, did you have any personal discussion with Mr. Morales? Was it friendly? I ask because some Belizeans think that because of the nature of our relationships; Guatemala claiming Belize, there might be some tensions between the leaders.”


Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize

“Well, the bilateral meeting that we had, yes. For example when there was the problem in the Chiquibul when they off because, acting in self defense and in our territory, the Belizeans had killed the young Guatemalan. He and I met at the UN concerning that matter. Yes the tension was so stick you could cut it with a knife. Today was different. We are part of this regional organization. Belize’s pro-tem presidency ended today. We handed over to Guatemala. In that kind of context we have not the sort of tension that might otherwise have existed and in raising with him the issue of the Sarstoon during our bilateral meeting. It was done in a fashion in which it was made plain that we have our position which is firm and immovable. They of course have their position on their side that is also firm and immovable. The question is how we find a way notwithstanding the absolute positions we take in terms of, certainly Belize’s rights. How do we find a position where we can move forward on an interim basis certainly between now and April tenth? If, depending on how the results go on April tenth, then we have to start talking about a more permanent mechanism to deal with the Sarstoon but for now, as we have been doing a while, I was trying to put for an interim solution.”

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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