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Jun 3, 2020

O.A.S. to Verify Whether Belizean Soldiers Crossed Over into Guatemala

The Organization of American States is conducting an investigation to determine the geographical location of a team of Belize Defense Force soldiers, who ventured into an area of the adjacency zone in southern Belize near Jalacte Village.  This follows a report from Guatemalan media that the B.D.F. officers illegally entered into a settlement on the Guatemalan side of the border.  Today, the C.E.O. of National Security reiterated that the men did not cross into Guatemala and that there are GPS coordinates which admittedly placed them very close to the Guatemalan border.  This occurrence, says C.E.O. Enriquez, is nothing new where border patrols are concerned.

 

Felix Enriquez

Felix Enriquez, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security

“People need to understand that our patrols, the B.D.F., Belize administers our side of the adjacency zone.  That patrol in particular, and I am saying that because it means that our patrols could go anywhere within the adjacency zone, all the way up to the adjacency line, all the way up to the border.  So they could go as close to the border as they want to.  It is by doing that that we verify when we have incursions, when we have illegal settlements and what have you.  The patrol in question went very close, I‘ll admit, but our patrols always have a GPS, a calibrated GPS on them and we have been assured that they did not cross the border.  So that report is false.  Now because it is that the accusation has been made, we will have the O.A.S. go and verify exactly where they were to make it official and say look, no they were not in Guatemala.  And we‘ve had these kinds of misunderstandings more than once.  I am surprised that the media would make such a big fuss over it because it really is mischievous and it could really affect the relationships that we have with Guatemala while we are seeking a settlement of the claim.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“When you say the media, are you referring to the local media or are we discussing the Guatemalan media?”

 

Felix Enriquez

“Well I am speaking in general, in this case it is an international media but there have been occasions previously when we have these occasions that straddle across the Belize and Guatemala border and then because it goes viral it could jeopardize the thought process that the officials are having, you know, because they have to save face and things like that.”


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