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Oct 3, 2022

Belizean Flag Planted on Sarstoon Island is Returned to Belize

The Belizean flag, following an altercation between the Belize Territorial Volunteers and the Guatemalan Armed Forces on the Sarstoon River just before Independence Day, has been handed over to Belizean officials.  The B.T.V. led an annual expedition to Sarstoon Island where they planted the Belizean flag, only for it to be removed during a confrontation with Guatemalan military. In the wake of the incident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded the return of the flag which, according to Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay, was readily turned over to Belizean authorities.


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The Guatemalans turned over the flag, they knew that they could not keep the flag.  They turned over the flag to our embassy.  I had protested to the ambassador, here, verbally and then followed it up with a written protest.  Listen to me, we are insistent that there be a Sarstoon Protocol.  So far we have not been able to convince the Guatemalan, Prime Minister Briceño and I had a meeting with the Secretary General of the OAS earlier this week when we were in Washington and stressed the need for a Sarstoon Protocol.  I will be meeting the prime minister next week in Peru, in the margins of the OAS General Assembly and he knows that we will be putting on the agenda a Sarstoon Protocol.  We need to avoid these incidents.  Whether we succeed, we’ll see.  But with respect to the flag, they did not give any resistance in turning over the flag.  We demanded the flag, they delivered it to the embassy and the embassy made arrangements for it to be brought back to Belize.”

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