In the 1st of March 2014, Belizean patriots from Punta Gorda went an expedition to edge of the border with Guatemala to plant a row of coconut trees on our side of the border to demarcate the border line with Guatemala.
It was a patriotic event organized by Wil Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers, and though it received strong public support, authorities had strongly discouraged the event saying it was a dangerous expedition.
In the Aftermath of the expedition to the Gracias a Dios Monument over the weekend, the Ministry of Foreign affairs sent out a press release to clarify the matter and reiterate their position on these types of excursions. The press release also mentioned last year’s expedition to plant trees on Belize’s side of the border saying that, “Official reports furnished to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the OAS reveal that the same group which organized this weekend’s excursion had exactly one year ago planted palms on the wrong side of the border.”
BTV released a statement on Thursday saying, quote, “that is completely untrue.” BTV’s Wil Maheia spoke to Plus News.
“If you look at the footage of the times we have been to the boarder, even the OAS person had agreed that the Guatemalans have a road that’s built inside Belizean territory. So there’s no way that we could have made any planting on the Guatemalan side.
I find it to be some ridiculous statement for them to put that out trying to mislead the Belizean public, because we had an experienced surveyor with us.
I’ve been going there from the time I was a boy, and we all know the borderline So those guys from Belmopan didn’t have to come out there and verify that.
Some of these farms are still there, and the land is cleared because the Guatemalans cleared the land. That’s what they should be concerned about. Why is it that this forested area is now cleared and pastureland? That is what this Government need to be focusing on.”
The press release sent from Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ office also reiterated their position that it is imprudent and potentially dangerous for organizers of such excursions to the Belizean/Guatemalan border that exposes innocent Belizeans to the risk of inadvertently crossing illegally into Guatemalan territory, but despite this, BTV president Wil Maheia says they are not backing down.
“We cannot allow then to have us back off [and] keep behind the two mile so called adjacency zone. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to stick by the borderline.”
According to Wil Maheia, the Belize Territorial Volunteers are planning to have another expedition to the border line within 30 days. The purpose of this expedition, according to Mr Maheia, is to quote, “show the country that we will not allow anybody to dictate where we can go in this 8,867 square miles”.