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Guatemalan Armed Forces remove Belizean flag from Sarstoon

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Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019. 2:01 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: This morning, members of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) led a group of activists from the Belize People’s Front on a tour of the Sarstoon Island.

The activists on the tour placed a Belizean flag on the Sarstoon Island but it was reportedly taken down shortly after by members of the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF).

Wil Maheia of the BTV stated that the GAF took down the flag and returned it to the Belize Defence Force (BDF).

The trip was held today in commemoration of the anniversary of the 1859 Border Treaty signed by Great Britain and Guatemala. The treaty was signed on April 30, 1859. Article one of the treaty defined the boundaries of Guatemala and British Honduras (now Belize).

The Sarstoon has long been an area of contention between the two countries with continuous reports of Belizeans being blocked to visit the island and intercepted by Guatemalan Military Forces.

On May 8, 2019, Belizeans will participate in a historic national referendum on whether or not to take Guatemala’s claim on Belize’s territory to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for final settlement.

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