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Foreign Minister protests repeated violations by Guatemala Armed Forces in Sarstoon

Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2023. 10:04 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez:  On Friday, a video on social media showed members of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) being approached by members of the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF).

The BTV were in Belizean waters and the GAF insisted that the Belizeans were in Guatemalan territory and should seek permission to enter Guatemala.

Wil Maheia responded that he was in Belizean territory and the escalation of tensions has been ongoing for sometime now near the Sarstoon.

In the video, members of the GAF claimed that the BTV must comply with Guatemalan rules.

“If you comply with the procedures established by Guatemala. Meanwhile, you cannot be here in Guatemala!”

Maheia responded, “This is Belizean territory.”

During an interview with 7News Belize, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Courtenay said that Guatemalan armed forces have repeatedly violated Belize’s territorial integrity in the Sarstoon.

“The Guatemala Armed Forces have recently been repeatedly violating our territorial integrity in the Sarstoon. We have protested these violations through diplomatic notes, in my speech at the UN and directly with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister. The need for a protocol is urgent and necessary. If these incidents persist, and I hope they don’t, we will have to elevate our diplomatic efforts to ensure safety for Belizeans traversing the Sarstoon,” Courtenay stated.

The Foreign Minister said that if this continues, Belize would elevate efforts to ensure safety for Belizeans in the Sarstoon.

 

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