Guatemalan Armed Forces kidnapped and used intimidation tactics with local Belizean fishermen says BTV
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2016. 7:41 a.m. CST.
By BBN Staff:While the ongoing territorial dispute with bordering Guatemala has disappeared from the national discourse for the most part, Guatemala continues to bully Belize.
In a recent act of aggression, the Guatemalan Armed Forces detained six Belizean nationals and three fishing vessels during a routine fishing trip on Monday in an area known as Foderah situated approximately two miles northeast of Punta Gorda Town.
According to reports by the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), “The Guatemalan military dragged their vessels to a point between Puerto Barrios and Livingston Guatemala and detained them for several hours, forcing them to sign a document which they did not understand as it was in Spanish. The Guatemalan Military further confiscated their identification documents, wallets and phones.”
However, one of the fishermen alerted a member of the BTV who then sent a media alert. Upon realizing this, the Guatemalan officials immediately, confiscated all communication devices belonging to the detained Belizeans.
The BTV has since condemned this recent act and have called on the Government of Belize to protect the fisher folks.
According to the BTV while disrespecting Belize’s sovereignty, “Guatemalan armed forces are bullying and threatening the Belize fisher folks while Guatemalan fishermen continue to plunder our territories and natural resources as they continue to illegally fish in our waters unabated.”
BTV leader, Wil Maheia called this recent act unacceptable and has charged the Government of Belize with taking this act lightly.
According to Maheia, “We urge that a diplomatic note and a report from the Belizean government be sent to Guatemalan authorities immediately as well as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the human rights commission.”
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