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Dec 17, 2018

Why has Guatemala failed to fulfil its commitment to the Sarstoon Protocol?

Earlier we heard from Carlos Raul Morales, who left diplomatic service over a year ago and was replaced by Foreign Minister Sandra Polanco. But we asked him to weigh in on why Guatemala has not fulfilled its commitment to the Sarstoon Protocol. Morales and Elrington had agreed to establish a protocol for the Sarstoon in 2016 in Istanbul Turkey. But up until today that commitment remains unfulfilled and Guatemalan armed forces continue to have their presence felt in the Sarstoon. Morales explained why the move was halted at that time.


Carlos Raul Morales, Former Foreign Minister, Guatemala

Carlos Raul Morales

“In that moment I made a commitment with Minister Elrington but we stopped this commitment when this guy died, Julio I think is his name, he was thirteen years. The buffer country was terrible; the Guatemalan population was very upset with this incident, because you cannot justify the death of a 13 year old. At this point we had to stop the commitment. Now I went out of my position a year and a half ago, probably something like that but in any case the idea to go to the I.C.J. is to define this boarder. And the Sarstoon has to be defined by the I.C.J. too. Because according to the document it could be the border between both countries but it has to be the I.C.J. to be the one to define. But to answer your question we stopped the commitment because both country was so terrible and you cannot justify the death of a 13 year old.”



“However, we know that the O.A.S. independently has found that there was no wrong doing on the part of the Belizean ranger, not the military who fired the fatal shot. Very regrettable but undertaking given before the O.A.S. it transcends a local dispute in which it was proved there was no wrong, no murderous intent. It was an accident, a very unfortunate accident at that.”


Carlos Raul Morales

“The death of a kid is terrible and you must remember what we experience at that moment. I hate it because with Minister Elrington at that time we were trying to build a good relationship with both countries. And we promised each one to not provoke any kind of incidents and just to let the people and the other population. But the death of a kid of 13 years old disturb it between both countries. If you remember the ambassador of Guatemala to Belize was recalled to Guatemala for almost 2 years.  Until things got better we have an ambassador in Belize. I think that we need to build again and we need to promise ourselves we need to promise both countries to try to avoid any kind of incidents. Because every time we have an incident we have this kind of effect between the political arena between both countries.”

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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