Guatemalan military again stops BDF vessel on Sarstoon

Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2016. 5:27 p.m. CST

guate confrontationBy Chrisbert Garcia: Getting almost 22,000 views, more than 600 shares and hundreds of comments since being posted late this morning, it’s safe to say that a video put up on News 5 Live’s Facebook page has gone viral as it showed Guatemala’s military again bullying our Belize Defense Force (BDF) on the Sarstoon River.

The video, which is roughly one minute and forty one seconds long, shows a BDF boat being intercepted by two Guatemalan gun boats that came from different directions to box in and stop our vessel.

After the BDF boat came to a stop, a verbal exchange occurred between the two sides and the most alarming statement was made by one of Guatemala’s military officers who stated that our soldiers should “respecte el protocol”, meaning respect the protocol when translated to English.

As one of our soldiers caught the incident on his cell phone, several Guatemalan officers can also be seen videoing with their phones before instructing the BDF boat to turn back in the direction it came from.

With this incident again showing that Guatemalan military personnel are freely traversing in Belizean waters, going as far as dictating what our defense force does in their own territory, the Belizean public is demanding answers and immediate action from Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

Has diplomacy made any progress or has it failed? According to Facebook, Belizeans want to know.

Thus far, PM Barrow has stated that this incident was “absolute bad faith” since it happened on the very day that a meeting took place in Washington to discuss the Sarstoon issue.

He added that later this afternoon, the BDF again went out in their boat and were able to go around the Sarstoon Island without any attempted interference from Guatemalan armed forces.

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