Guatemalan boy laid to rest while diplomatic discussions continue

Posted: Saturday, April 23, 2016. 7:53 p.m. CST

Jimmy MoralezBy Dalila Ical: Julio Alvarado, 13, was buried today in San Jose Las Flores Peten in Guatemala while Guatemalan President Jimmy Moralez and Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow agree to deescalate tensions between both countries.

Officials of the Guatemalan Armed Forces attended the child’s funeral.

The minor was shot and killed and his little brother and father injured, allegedly by BDF gunfire while they planted seeds in a land along the border. Guatemala maintains that the family posed no threat calling the shooting and subsequent death of the child “cowardly and excessive” while Belizean authorities report that the DBF came under fire and responded, later finding the child in the bushes, unresponsive.

Tensions flared up immediately after with Moralez deploying some 3,000 of its soldiers along the adjacency zone and the Sarstoon River. The OAS has issued a statement asking that both countries resolve the matter peacefully and continue on that path towards a resolution of the territorial dispute.

Both the US Embassy and Mexico have also made similar requests in separate statements issued following the shooting and the deployment of Guatemalan troops along the border.

Officials of both countries met while attending the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the United Nations Headquarters in New York agreeing to calm things down but there is still no official word whether Moralez will remove his troops from the adjacency zone and the Sarstoon River.

Meanwhile, the PM has asked the US to aid Belize with forensic experts to help determine exactly what transpired on the evening of April 20 in the Chiquibul area.

A dispute continues, however, as Moralez demands justice over the incident but the government of Belize has reminded him that there has been no justice for the shooting death of Danny Conorquie who reportedly died at the hands of Guatemalans.

Meanwhile, Moralez met today with the OAS Secretary General Luis Almargo and the secretary of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Elimio Alvarez Icaza to request that they conduct a quick and impartial investigation into the incident and bring those responsible to justice. Of note is that GOB has requested the OAS to investigate the incident fully.

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