The group of patriots, naming themselves Belize Territorial Volunteers and headed by Wil Maheia, had a disturbing encounter on Sunday September 8th, at around 9:30 a.m. In mood of the September Celebrations the group of volunteers decided to go to the Belize/Guatemalan border; something they have done on numerous occasions, and wave the Belizean flag. They made their way to the Sarstoon island located in the mouth of the Sarstoon river, and according to reports, were well within Belizean territory, when a small vessel of armed Guatemalan military officials approached the group. Leader of the group Wil Maheia, related the confrontation to PLusNews.
Once we got to the river, to the island, raising our flag, we start seeing the Guatemalan military coming towards us. They came clearly into Belize waters where we were, and started to ask us what we were doing there. I told them this is Belize, we were in Belizean territory. They said “OK. So what are you guys doing here?” I tell them we’re raising our flags [because] this is September, Belize Independence month, and we’re celebrating. They just shook their heads, like in saying “Yes.” They asked us how long we were going to be there. I said a few minutes, and they asked if we were actually going to leave our flags there. I said, no we’re not going to leave our flags there, we raise our flags and we leave one flag. After that they went into the Guatemalan side, and hung around there until we left.
Wil Maheia recounts seeing at least five men armed with machine guns; and though the confrontation was intimidating, Mr Maheia and his followers stood their ground as they were sure they were on Belize territory. Wil Maheia says that the government should take heed of this encounter and strengthen the security at our borders
Wil Maheia – BTV:
I would like to encourage our Government, and invite the Minister of National Security from the Belmopan area. I would like him to encourage him to visit that area. We would like to show him the area, show the exploitation that’s taking place to our resources, the illegal fishing that’s [taking place] in the area. Because when they do that, they’re taking away the resources that Belizeans could benefit from. Lots of illegal fishing takes place, and that in a way harms our economy. So I would like to call on the Government to really do something about all the illegal activity that takes place down at the borderline. I would recommend that they put a BDF outpost there, or even a fisheries outpost.