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Belize Territorial Volunteers “aggressed” again by Guatemalan military near BDF Forward Operating Base

Posted: Sunday, February 4, 2024. 10:37 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: According to Wil Maheia, leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), their latest foray onto the Sarstoon River resulted in another tense encounter with the Guatemalan military.

Maheia reports the encounter happened this morning around 11:15, not far from the Belize Defence Force (BDF) forward operating base (FOB) overlooking the Sarstoon.

“We were less than 50 yards from the BDF base when a Guatemalan military vessel approached us,” Maheia told reporters. “They ordered us to stop and shouted threats in Spanish. We refused, and the situation escalated into a shouting match.”

Maheia claims the Guatemalan boat then made aggressive maneuvers, attempting to intimidate the BTV members.

Maheia and the BTV have taken to patrolling the waters looking for instances of illegal activity by non-Belizeans in Belizean territory, but are frequently accused of straying into areas Guatemala considers to be theirs.

Maheia and the Government have had rocky relations after both Prime Ministers Dean Barrow and John Briceño cautioned him to be careful venturing up the Sarstoon, especially with vulnerable persons aboard. Maheia’s bravura has so far resulted in no major incidents.

 

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