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Home » Foreign Affairs » Guatemalans block B.D.F. from travelling on portion of Sarstoon River
Mar 10, 2010

Guatemalans block B.D.F. from travelling on portion of Sarstoon River

map 1The complaint from Guatemala about militarization of the border came shortly after the post was installed.  The political spin by Guatemala was that Belize installed the outpost as a political strategy to demarcate the border long ahead of the ICJ resolution of the case. Martinez says that the response was that Belize has a sovereign right to do anything within our borders; and if the Carrizal villagers didn’t cross the border, there wouldn’t have been a need for the post.  In turn, the Guatemalans installed a military base in the area to block Belizeans from using the southern channel of the Sarstoon River. According to Martinez, the B.D.F. would use the southern channel to reach the Gracious Adios area because a B.D.F. troop is stationed on the hilltop of Cadenas.  The relief team for the troop is taken through the river every Tuesday. On December eighth, while in consultations with the OAS, Martinez met with Guatemalan Counterparts in Flores Petén along with members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Friends for Conservation, the B.D.F. and Ya’axchѐ . The OAS gave the team a report on the activities in the Sarstoon while the High Level Working Group met in Belize City on Tuesday.

Fred Martinez, Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala

“Going south of the island of the Sarstoon and the midstream, right about there the Guatemalans have a small naval base that was set up about five years ago. Not many people, about twelve Guatemalan armed forces people principally set up there to guard that entire area which is strongly under the influence of narco-traffickers on the Guatemalan side. Same way the Sarstoon are on our side is totally—there is no population on our side. On the Guatemalan side it is basically huge cattle ranches and very close to the naval base there are about thirty families that live on the banks along the banks of the Sarstoon on the Guatemalan side that do fishing and very hand to mouth; very, very poor people that live off of what they catch every day. The problems started arising there at the southern channel when a boat and personnel from the Guatemalan base started intercepting any boat entering the southern channel insisting the boats of B.D.F. or SATIIM or whichever group was using was speeding too much and creating wake that was overturning the canoes of these poor families.  Every time the B.D.F. entered the channel, they were intercepted by the Guatemalan boat, and said you cannot use the southern channel. You must use the northern channel and not create any wake because you are sinking these people. We did not interpret that to be any navigation challenge as to wake, we interpreted that and protested severely it was a challenge to sovereignty. This came up yesterday at the high level working group as a point of discussion and we requested listen this has to stop. We hope you’re not linking up your protest about the Machaquilla conservation post with your challenges to the Sarstoon. I think we have reached an agreement that we will respect the status quo, the status quo being what has happened over the past one hundred and fifty years. That is the border line. Let’s not create a new front of friction. We have enough problems along the border line on the ground than to be having another problem along the Sarstoon.”

Martinez says that there will be more written challenges drafted by Guatemala in the near future because it is preparing for the possibility of the International Court of Justice.


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8 Responses for “Guatemalans block B.D.F. from travelling on portion of Sarstoon River”

  1. BELIZEAN PRIDE says:

    to me the only solution is to bring the british army in belize to patrol our borders and to station themselves along the border lines. since the normally come here to practice in our beautiful jungles make them stay there and our little soldiers patrol the city of belize to stop the crime.

  2. Tony says:

    Yet another reason why the so-called “confidence building” measures only build the confidence of the Guatemalans. When will we realise that those people are dead serious about getting their hands on Belize and are willing to use force at a moment’s notice; they had a forty year civil war for God’s sake!!!
    If we want the Guats to take us more seriously we have to start showing a little more teeth. How about calling in UN or CARICOM troops to help us patrol the boarder – since we obviously don’t have sufficient manpower on our own. The incursions and violations of our sovereignty won’t end until they realise we truly mean business about keeping this country ours.

  3. Dave Tasker says:

    Well said Tony. Sadly that won’t happen though. Belizean Sovereignity will simply go to the highest bidder.

  4. Peter G. says:

    What if the decision of the ICJ, comes down in favor of guatemala , what then ??. We do not have any reason to be spending millions of dollars, year after year, Admin. after Admin. to deal this this bull s_ _ _, There is no justification for this bully country to claim our territory. All jokers from P.U.P.
    and U.D.P., who claims to be negotiating on Belize’s behalf, should suspend or stop all so called negotiating immediately. The B.D.F. needs to man-up and patrol wherever it so pleases as long as it is in Belizean territory, If England ever cared for Belize, she will defend us if a crisis occurs, she defended the Faulk-Land Islands against the Argentines and she owes it to us to be there if we ever need her, in the mean time our Pol. Leaders need to look at the social and economic internal invasion that is happening with all these Chinese & Hindu so called business establishments, these people have literally killed of 95 5 of our Mom,s and Pop’s stores and the bigger business are slowly loosing ground. We are being used as a passing through ground and along with it we are loosing our traditions, our culture and any economic viability we cling on to. Ya dah fu wi Belize, tell guatemala fi leave BELIZE alone.

  5. EMMANUEL .M says:

    For the two person that commented first, do they know what INDEPEDENCE means? The solution for now is to play around with the OAS confidence building measures…….

  6. Mr. X. says:

    Listen people.. Belize does need to step up it’s game. The govt needs to stop raping and pillaging our country to benefit themselves and their cronies and start investing in our defense and education systems.

    Guatemalans are brainwashed into their way of thinking from the moment they can comprehend, there is no way around that and there is no way to stop it. They will not rest until wither they have Belize as theirs or they get their A$$es kicked so hard that they will get the picture.

    We have to realize from history that the UN and/or any other international bodies only make a move when the results of their efforts are of interest to or can benefit them. All these countries that come to Belize for training have one thing in common, they come, use our resources to their advantage and leave. America has their base in Belize so they can spy on other countries, I bet only a handful of people know they (the US) have a huge base in the jungles down south. The British may actually do something but they will only do that if push comes to shove and by then it may be too late. I honestly think that our only allies are the communist nations, Venezuela and Cuba have built strong relations with our jewel and will move at the drop of a dime should we need military assistance.

    Our govt needs to grow some real cohones and start taking charge, they are a bunch of sissy foot babies that are afraid to push their weight around on anyone other that us Belizeans. The rape and pillage our resources, funds and future to benefit themselves and their cronies but then when things start get dread and rash they run to international organizations for advice and aide.

    For Belize and all Belizeans…

  7. just says:

    close the borders to Guatemala Melchior to give our ministers and lands department time to sell belize to the white man. have u ever seen a broke minister. when they see the white man come to bz $$$ in there eyes

  8. steve says:

    Mr X you are a visionary my friend, a true genious, Belizeans back home are so blinded by all other propagandas going on around them that they cannot see the one thing stabbing us in the eye. THE GOVERNMENT IS REALLY SCREWING US!!!! It is so obvious and it is not only the UDP, it is all of those money grabbing rats. I urge all Belizeans to look beyond what they see infront of them and see the problems that actually face us.
    We need education and investment in our people, we need to have a means of business developement by first developing skills at home, the country is supposedly democratic, hence it is the interest of the people that come first, however this is not the case home, politicians only care about there pockets and what we need is reform

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