Belizean media told to “get out of Guatemalan waters” on the Sarstoon

Today reporters from Channel 5 Television, Amandala and Krem Radio and TV took a trip to the Sarstoon to get an “on the ground” firsthand view of what was happening on the river. The Government of Belize, after the return of diplomats from Negotiations in Istanbul, Turkey, issued two press releases; the first stating that Guatemala had, in good faith, freed up passage on the Sarstoon until a mechanism for the use of the river could be worked out. The second Press release from GOB stated that the controversial SI which blocked Belizeans from travelling into the Sarstoon had been lifted before the one month period due to these new realities. The reporters, upon return, however have reported that this morning, when they attempted to travel into the Sarstoon River itself, the boat they were in was intercepted by Guatemalan military. A channel 5 post on Facebook stated that the reporters were ordered to get out of Guatemala’s national waters. The photos we are showing are courtesy of Krem Television. We also have a video clip that we will show you now.

GAF Military Personnel: Effectively, you are in national (Guatemalan) waters and so you cannot continue down the rivervlcsnap-2016-05-30-14h40m44s806

Reporter: Exactly who gave those orders?

GAF Military Personnel: I cannot give you more information because you are not understanding me. You are in Guatemalan waters; you cannot continue so I will ask you to please leave

Reporter:  Yes, but who exactly gave you those orders? What is his name?

GAF Military Personnel: I cannot give you that information

Reporter:  And what is your name?

GAF Military Personnel: Likewise, I cannot give you that information. That is all. Have a nice dayvlcsnap-2016-05-30-14h40m23s652

The Guatemalan Military shared that the Belizeans were in “national waters”; meaning Guatemalan waters. The Belizeans told them about the Istanbul talks and that according to our leaders there was to be free passage. The media also asked if they could go around the island and the military personel said he would have to consult. He took 15 minutes on the phone and when he returned, he reiterated that the Belizeans we were in national waters and he asked us to please leave. He refused to share on who’s orders those were and refused to give his name as well. When asked about SATIIM going, he said they would have to get a Guatemalan immigration permit at Barrios  .

About the Author