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Ministry of Foreign Affairs says armed Guatemalan soldiers and civilians entered Belizean territory in Rio Blanco area

Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2021. 5:23 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration says that it is strongly protesting incidents of armed Guatemalan civilians and military personnel entering into Belizean territory, questioning Belizean Defense Force (BDF) officers while they were on patrol, and even firing shots.

The Ministry says that it received official reports from the BDF that the incidents happened on July 23 and 24. BDF soldiers on a joint patrol with Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) rangers in the Rio Blanco located in southern Belize, were destroying fences and plantations of beans and pumpkin seeds that were verified, by the Organization of American States (OAS), to be in Belizean territory.

“It is reported that on July 23, 2021, there was some crossfire. A Guatemalan helicopter was also seen flying overhead. On both days, members of the Guatemalan Army (GA) entered Belizean territory to inquire from the BDF about their operations,” the Ministry said.

The Ministry also noted that the events ended in a cordial exchange of words between Belizean and Guatemalan military personnel and that the Guatemalans returned to their side of the border in full accordance with the Confidence Building Measures between the two countries.

 

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