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Mar 6, 2019

Minister of National Security Visits Sarstoon; GAF Showed Up but Didn’t Create Any Trouble

John Saldivar

Last week Minister of National Security John Saldivar went on a tour in the south to inspect security facilities. On Friday, the tour kicked off with a visit to Barranco Village and the Sarstoon River. Minister Saldivar and a delegation of officials were accompanied by heavy security detail made up of B.D.F. and the Coast Guard. Today when Saldivar spoke with the press he said that the Guatemalan Armed Forces followed their boat for a short distance on the water, but didn’t interfere with their trip.

 

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“The travel up the river went very smoothly. The GAF, as has become their norm, followed in their boat for a short distance. But that is their norm; that is their right. The river, as per the 1859 Treaty, is to be traversed freely by both countries. What I did find, though, on my trip to Cadenas, as I have said publicly, just a few days before when our soldiers were destroying some plantations in the area, they were fired up on by some civilians in the area but they managed to complete their task.”

 

Reporter

“Those civilians were Belizeans or Guatemalans?”

 

John Saldivar

“Guatemalan civilians.”

 

Reporter

“It can be concluded that they may be responsible for the plantations. In that area is a hotbed for marijuana plantation. Explain to me what sort of measures will be taken to ensure that such encroachers don’t literally take root with marijuana and to ensure the safety of the soldiers when destroying marijuana?”

 

John Saldivar

“Well, that is the purpose of having that outpost there and the soldiers perform daily patrols in the area and whenever they come across these plantations or these persons they deal with them.  So that continues and I understand that they are now extending their patrols longer now since I understand the activity has increased in the area somewhat but I  believe that they will be adequately addressed.”

 

Reporter

“It is offensive that our Ministry of Defense should be trailed by them; aren’t you offended by that?”

 

John Saldivar

“We hope that it would reach a time when that doesn’t happen but what can we do about it? They are free to traverse the river and when they decide to traverse the river, it is their choice as long as they don’t interfere with our passage in any way.”

 

Reporter

“Was your movement fettered in any way?”

 

John Saldivar

“Not at all. Not at all.”


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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