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Dec 17, 2009

Tension rises along Belize/Guatemala border

The settlement of the Belize/Guatemala dispute may one day land before the International Court of Justice in the Hague, but that does not mean the end of incursions or conflict along the borders. And this is what prompted a meeting in Washington between the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala this past Wednesday. Both Wilfred Elrington and Haroldo Rhodas met under the umbrella of the Organization of American States which administers the Adjacency Zone along the western border. Guatemala recently raised concerns over an observation post built near the Guatemalan village of Machaquilla, south of Caracol. News Five is also reliably informed that the Guatemalan military continues to stop B.D.F. vessels in the Sarstoon and that as recent as this past Tuesday there was a standoff which only ended when the B.D.F. vessel withdrew and returned to sea under Guatemalan escort. The high tensions led to the urgent meeting in Washington, which has now agreed that the OAS would deploy a team to evaluate the confidence building measures and further that a high level group would be mandated to deal with controversial issues that may cause tension along the border.

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