Posted: Friday, September 29, 2023. 11:02 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Mario Bucaro, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, has called out “radical, social independentist Belizean groups” for attempting “to provoke instability in the Sarstoon River zone,” undermining the efforts of both countries to promote peace while the territorial dispute is being resolved at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Bucaro was responding to colleague Minister Senator Eamon Courtenay, who spoke last week at the United Nations General Assembly and called once again for a Sarstoon Protocol to address management of the southern boundary which Guatemala claims in its entirety along with Sarstoon Island.
Bucaro said Guatemala maintains a “pacifist” stance based on good faith and commended the programs sponsoring education and culture underpinned by the Organization of American States as well as the work of both countries to stop international drug trafficking.
But even when Guatemalans have died at the hands of Belizean armed forces, Bucaro claimed, there has been no issue; conversely, these groups have regularly claimed that Guatemala has been violating the human rights of Belizeans.
Bucaro recommitted to the Guatemalan government working with Belize in the adjacency zone and to the ICJ process, and mentioned the uptick of Guatemalan investment in Belize, which he said showed that “together we can a prosperous and peaceful future for future generations.”
A Belizean reply was issued by Permanent Representative to the United Nations Carlos Fuller, who referred to the claims of Guatemalan deaths at Belizean hands as “completely baseless and false” and reminded that Guatemalans are guilty of constantly encroaching on Belizean territory and committing illegal acts of poaching, deforestation, cultivating illegal drugs and looting Maya artifacts.
Fuller also asserted on behalf of the Government that the 1859 Boundary Convention settled the boundaries between the countries and in specific reference to the Sarstoon, per Article 6, that “the mid-channel of the Sarstoon River marks the boundary between the two countries…the channels of the Sarstoon River should be equally free for navigation for citizens of both countries. Therefore, Belizeans are fully entitled to use the Sarstoon River without harassment or intimidation.” He repeated the call for the Sarstoon Protocol and talks between the countries to achieve this.
Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Belize ~ We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages. Your content is delivered instantly to thousands of users in Belize and abroad! Contact us at mаrkеtіng@brеаkіngbеlіzеnеwѕ.соm or call us at 501-601-0315.
© 2023, BreakingBelizeNews.com. Content is copyrighted and requires written permission for reprinting in online or print media. Theft of content without permission/payment is punishable by law.