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Sep 15, 2023

Audrey Matura Says She Felt Disrespected by Guatemalans at Sarstoon

And, as the B.N.T.U. Benque Branch and MOE are at odds over their position on Guatemala’s Independence, activist Audrey Matura is receiving both praise and backlash for spitting on the Guatemalan national flag. Yes, you heard that right.  On Thursday evening, while at the Biltmore Plaza, Matura came across a Guatemalan flag standing next to a Belizean flag in preparation of an event to celebrate Guatemala’s Independence Day. Matura was triggered by the sight and took to Facebook to share her frustration in a live post and proceeded to spit on the Guatemalan flag. Earlier today, we sat down with Matura who explained to us that the emotions she felt in the moment originated from encounters she has had with Guatemalan Armed Forces on Sarstoon River. She contended that during a trip in 2016, she felt aggrieved after she planted a Belize National Flag and it was removed by the Guatemalan military. Matura says, during her latest visit to Sarstoon last week, something similar occurred.


Audrey Matura

Audrey Matura, Activist

“While we were there, the Guatemalans didn’t expect us because we were able to sing our national anthem, have our ceremony and they didn’t show up until we finished the national anthem and they kept their distance. They kept telling us that is Guatemalan territory and we should remove ourselves. So we then circled around the island and when we came back from circling around the island we saw the flag was missing. We did not see who took the flag; we suspected they took the flag. In the meantime the BDF was in the forward operating base just observing. They did not intervene. So Mr. Maheia who leads the expedition, I am only his assistant, we said plant another flag, and when we planted a second flag the Guatemalans came and ripped the flag out and threw it in the bottom of their boat. They didn’t fold it the way they should, they just threw it. We couldn’t believe it. The BDF came and then there were some kind of interaction between the BDF and Guatemalans. We didn’t know what they say, but the videos that have been released from the Guatemalan military, the video that has been released showed they were disrespecting our BDF. While they are having that altercation we planted a third flag. We left and we weren’t even far when they came and in front of our face and the BDF they took our flag and threw it down in their boat. We couldn’t believe it. Our BDF and they had some discussion. We don’t know what happened but our BDF left. I want you all to understand that me as a Belizean, I am not speaking for the rest of people there, me Audrey Bernadette Matura as a Belizean born here is very much insulted. I was insulted by several things, one that they would disrespect our flag and steal it, that they have the audacity to tell us that is their territory. But they didn’t touch us and they couldn’t have touched us. Three, that our BDF abandoned us midway.”

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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