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PUP condemns Guatemalan forces harassing the Belize Territorial Volunteers

Posted: Monday, September 18, 2017. 5:40 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The People’s United Party (PUP) issued a statement of outrage today, regarding the harassment of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) by Guatemalan Armed Forces over the weekend.

The PUP noted that they have reviewed video footage showing four Guatemalan gunboats entering and remaining in Belizean waters, while Belizeans participated in the BTV’s 2nd Annual Sarstoon Island Eco-Challenge. The PUP also noted that the events unfolded in front of the Belize Defense Force, but the BDF made no efforts to intervene on behalf of Belizean civilians.

“Guatemalans stationed at the Sarstoon have maintained operational control of the entire Sarstoon River, and the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has committed a gross error in allowing this to happen,” The PUP said. “Our government has not taken a strong, unequivocal stance to support our territorial sovereignty over half of the Sarstoon including the Sarstoon Island.”

The PUP further called on Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington to act in the defense or protecting Belize’s  territorial integrity, or to explain to the population how Belize lost the Sarstoon. The party insists that, in preparation for the celebration of Belize’s independence, the country must know the truth about the Sarstoon Island.

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