Posted: Monday, September 19, 2022. 1:47 pm CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) led an expedition to the Sarstoon Island on Sunday where they sang the National Anthem and planted the Belize flag.
All as part of the September celebrations activities commemorating Belize’s 41st Independence.
However, Wil Maheia says that as they were near the mouth of the Sarstoon river, they were encountered by members of the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF).
“ So we left PG for Sarstoon Island yesterday. Seems like the GAF knew we were coming since usually we are in the river before they counter us but yesterday they met us outside the mouth of the river and told us that we cannot enter the river well of course we are not taking no so we proceeded and thank God we had several boats so it was hard for them to block all of us,” Maheia said.
Maheia says that once the group was on the island, they sang the Belize National Anthem and planted Belizean flags, which were later torn down by members of the GAF.
“Then we begun to sing the national anthem and you can see them boiling. Immediately after we sung the national anthem and our boat drifted away they pushed in and rushed to tear down our flag they then put our flag in their boat. We had planted two flags one even deeper into the island well they went for both,” Maheia added.
According to Maheia, the BTV approached them requesting to get the flags and after they refused, the BTV then approached members of the Belize Defence Force for assistance.
“They then escorted us to the GAF boat and the BDF told them to give us back the flag and they told the BDF/BCG no the flag will not be returned as it was put on Guatemalan territory. I had insisted that I am not leaving the area until I get the flag back but the seas started to get rough and we had a lot of people so we left the area and they kept the flag, Maheia says.
Guatemala’s territorial, maritime and insular claim on Belize’s territory is being taken to the ICJ.
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