Thursday, August 13th, 2015 Aaron Humes Reporting: Despite their misgivings, the Government of Belize has reached out to their counterparts in Guatemala in an attempt to head off any escalation of hostilities ahead of the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ trip to Sarstoon Island on Sunday.
Both Minister of National Security John Saldivar and Minister of State for Human Development Mark King expressed disquiet that the BTV have chosen to defy the Government.
King said that as a private citizen (and former BDF soldier) he would have no problem going, but insisted, as did Saldivar, that the Government had to be responsible to avoid any diplomatic incidents while the Guatemalan claim is being resolved.
According to both men, Sarstoon Island is a part of Belize and Belizeans should be able to go there. However, King said that is separate from deliberately exposing Belizeans to danger.
Saldivar reiterated that because the area is under dispute Belize should be prudent in its actions – and that is not, in his words, “capitulating to Guatemala or shirking our responsibility to protect our territorial sovereignty.”
Belize’s security forces have so far refrained from accompanying any BTV tour.
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