PUNTA GORDA, Toledo, Tues. Dec. 21, 2016–The Belize Territorial Volunteers (B.T.V.) expresses its grave concern over the release of an official document by the Government of Guatemala restating Guatemala’s annexation of the whole half of Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River.
This official Guatemala document was the subject of a report on page 3 of the 18th December 2016 edition of the Amandala newspaper.
The B.T.V. is aware that this is not the first official release from Guatemala restating its new approach to the Belize half of the Sarstoon River. What is new is that since early 2015 the Guatemala military forces have been patrolling and exercising, “ownership” and sovereignty over Belize’s half of the Sarstoon River.
Guatemala has moved from the position of not recognizing Belize’s borders to a new and dangerous level in which they have now effectively annexed and taken physical and military control of this portion of territory, which has always been used unimpeded by Belizeans for more than a hundred years.
Belize’s official response to date has been lame and suggestive of appeasement.
The B.T.V. calls on the Right Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of our country, to explain precisely what the position of his government is on what is now obviously an open annexation of Belizean territory.
The B.T.V. also calls on the Hon. John Briceño, Leader of the country’s official Opposition, to break his silence in the face of this unacceptable development in which Guatemala has seized and is controlling Belize’s half of the Sarstoon River.
Throughout all the years of Guatemala’s threats and bluster, never before in Belize’s history has Belizean territory been seized and physically controlled by the military of Guatemala.
In the immortal words of Philip Goldson, “The time to save our country is before we lose it.”