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Aug 31, 2011

Ambassador of Belize to Guatemala explains Adjacency Zone

The illegal entry by Guatemalans into Belizean territory has been a longstanding problem along the Chiquibul. The vast expanse has been a challenge to fully monitor given the limited resources of the Belize Defence Force. Recently, there have been frequent and dangerous confrontations between the B.D.F. and poachers on this side of the border. The terms “adjacency zone” and “confidence building measures” are commonly heard in discussions on the Belize/Guatemala dispute. This morning the Ambassador of Belize to Guatemala, Fred Martinez, explained the significance of the adjacency zone and confidence building measures, which are important initiatives in the keeping the peace between the neighboring countries.

Fred Martinez, Ambassador of Belize to Guatemala

Fred Martinez

“We must not confuse the adjacency zone, which was something that was specifically put into place in the year 2001; one kilometer within Belize and one kilometer within Guatemala. It’s on both sides. Many people think it’s only in Belize, no it is on both sides. The reason it was done was to try to account for all the illegal settlers that had come in from Guatemala into Belize and had set up themselves along our border line. We managed to get all of those people out in 2001 with the beginning of the confidence building measures and the International Organization on Migration, the OAS and everybody literally bought out these people, gave them money and moved them into the Guatemalan side. All of this occurred in 2001 so I think we need to refresh our history. These confidence building measures then set out the rules of how to handle people: one, that you have found living in the one kilometer strip prior to the year 2000, how do you deal with these people after the year 2000. There are protocols that were set; any incident that happens beyond one kilometer from the border, we don’t have to ask the OAS to verify. Sometimes it’s doubtful as to where it occurred and we would say okay, go in and find out. But this is well within Belize, you have nothing to do in here because the OAs only looks along that one kilometer line on either side. How do you expel people out of Belize? That is there. What do you do when you find a new structure built by some illegal entrant into Belize? Well, the protocol says you find it, you destroy it. You don’t have to ask for a verification. Now if it is found within the one kilometer you ask the OAs can you come in and verify that this is really six hundred meters within Belize. And they will—yes it is? This man was not here, this man has to come out.”

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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13 Responses for “Ambassador of Belize to Guatemala explains Adjacency Zone”

  1. Lucas says:

    Your excellency, we do understand. The problem is as we all know, Guatemala is not keeping it’s part of the bargain and the OAS is dragging it’s feet. Guatemala is doing nothing to discourage it’s citizens crossing our line. On the other hand, we believe they or certain Guatemalan sectors are encouraging it. However, the problem is ours and PUDP govts. have done very little if any, to solve it. The govt. dips it’s hand in the national coffer to advance their political agenda, spends millions of dollares in courts fees, does not accept military advise and the list can go on and on. Meanwhile, Guatemala is chipping Belize bite by bite from the edges. Benjamin Franklin said: A NATION TO KEEP RESPECT OF OTHER STATES, MUST KEEP ITS OWN RESPECT AT HOME. Sad to say but our post Independence GOBs, have always been Joke.

  2. Joe says:

    The world appreciates Belize for its “untouched” jungles – I am sure Belize can find out there some country or countries to give money for us to patrol and protect out jungles. Lets start a ampaign!!!!!!!

  3. Charlie Price says:

    Well…. Let some of us go over the Guatemala’s AJACENCY ZONE and see what happens…….

  4. ElginMartinez says:

    Do you know how many of our natural resources can be aquired by Guatemalans by travelling one kilometer on Belizean soil.What can any Belizean aquire by travelling one kilometer into Guatemala NADA.So i guess that the reason they implimented the adjacency Zone to have the Guatemalans come into Belize and take our natural resources,because they are the only ones that have benefited from this adjacency zone BS.

  5. Elgin Martinez says:

    Fred Martinez needs to go and explain the adjacency Zone to the Guatemalans.They are the ones that are violating our laws.How many Belizeans can be found on the Guatemalan side making a living.ZERO.So take your explanation to Guatemala.

  6. Elgin Martinez says:

    Belizeans can’t even go to Guatemla and do what the Guatemalans are doing on our soil.If it were Belizean s that were found on the Guatemalan side.They would have been killed by the Ki-Bils.

  7. tim says:

    Why do Belizean have to go in their adjacency zone? Oh, I will throw my birthday bash there and drink some gallos!!! to hell with adjacency zone.. belize is a sovereign nation and should be respected as that.. PERIOD!

  8. Haterz On My Back says:

    its damn easy and hard. it will definatley cost alot. to make it simple, at the border line were the poachers decide to go and cut down out trees and do ilegal logging. at that same site we should make a solid cement fence maybe the thickness that the government did at the marion jones stadium. if you catch them on our side beyond the fence then that simply means that they are on our side and we can do wtvr we want to do with them. its just simple and hard. government are fulling their pockets anyway in advance incase they loose the next election…

  9. KIKA says:

    That’s true Elgin, make the Abassador go to the Guatemalans and explain. we know our soil and ajacency line and we respect their one on the other sides. Government need to step up. we cannot take any of this.

  10. Earl Grey says:

    SEND the Belize City GANG-BANGERS INTO THE Ajacency Zone……there THEY CAN PROTECT OUR NATION and SHOOT PEOPLE at the same time.

  11. Giovanni De La Fuente says:

    It is a terrible thing we Bzeans are doing when we dont ,cant or are unable to demarcate,patrol and protect or own border line with Guat.Of course they will cross into our side since they are land deprived in Guat and we are asleep at our side.Wake up Bzeans we dont need anyones permission to protec our border.

  12. CayoBuay says:

    What I find funny is that WE always have to compromise on our end.

    Adjacency Zone: A 2 meter spread of land evenly divided over each country (1m in Belize and 1m in Guatemala. If they are found illegally on our lands, why do we have to go to the OAS to ask what to do?

    If they found a Belizean there illegally and doing illegal things in Guatemala, what happens? How far is Champon to the Belize border and what happened to that guy they thought a bag of drugs belonged to?

    Many people think it’s only in Belize, no it is on both sides. – check this.. Are any Belizeans going to squat in Guatemalan lands? So literally it IS one sided to me.

    Just saying….

  13. susuana hammond says:

    even though the adjacency zone is set, Guatemala always crosses it. It’s like they don’t even respect the rules, yet when we do the same to them, they want to start problems. If they keep to their side, and respect the law then we’ll do the same for them.

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