Posted: Sunday, September 10, 2023. 12:52 pm CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: In a provocative incident that occurred on a significant national day commemorating the Battle of St. Georges Caye Day, the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) reported that Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) removed three Belizean flags from Belizean territory.
Early this morning, BTV members left on a journey to Sarstoon Island for their traditional flag-raising ceremony. The ceremony, which was in its 15th year, aims to assert Belize’s territorial rights and to “demonstrate to the world that the Sarstoon Island belongs to us, to Belize,” as per the BTV’s statement. However, upon their arrival, they were surrounded by Guatemalan Armed Forces.
The exact details of the confrontation have not been provided by the BTV as yet, but the removal of the flags is seen as a symbolic gesture challenging Belize’s sovereignty over the island.
Sarstoon Island has been a long-standing point of contention between Belize and Guatemala, with both countries laying claim to the territory. Today’s incident is the latest in a series of territorial disputes over the island.
Belizean officials have yet to respond to today’s incident, but it is expected that they will address this provocation, especially given its occurrence on the Battle of St. Georges Caye Day, which commemorates Belize’s victory against Spanish forces in 1798.
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