BTV to take commemorative trip to Sarstoon

Almost one year ago, February 28th, 2015, thirty seven Belizeans visiting  Belize’s southernmost border were held by Guatemalan military against their will and taken to the Guatemalan municipality of Livingston. Most of the group were from the Orange Walk District and were members of the Northern territorial volunteers. After an overnight in the neighbouring country, held against their will, the group were finally released and upon their return, were given a hero’s welcome. The trip highlighted both the tensions between Belize and Guatemala as it relates to border patrols and security of the country’s southern borders as well as the increasing danger of Belizean civilians travelling and fishing in Belize’s southern waters. This weekend, a group of Belizean patriots will take another excursion to the Sarstoon to commemorate the 1 year anniversary of the fateful trip. But just as what preceded the trip last year, the Ministry of National Security Officials are saying that civilians should steer clear of the area. The group is led once again by Wil Mejia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers. PGTV interviewed Mejia who says that the trip is on even though officials have again called him to discourage him from taking the trip to the sarstoon. Mejia says he is disappointed that one year later, with all the developments that have taken place on the southern border,  government officials still are not internationalizing the state of the Sarstoon River Border status but instead are warning Belizeans to stay away. In  a Public Advisory  coming from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dated Thursday February 25, the Ministry expressed  “… its grave concern about the inherent danger in the course of such activity. “  The release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues by saying that  “…while there are no public areas in Belize where Belizeans are not permitted to visit, there are areas in the proximity of our western and southern borders which are prone to generate tensions between the citizens of the two countries, and, in the circumstances, the Ministry maintains its view that it is imprudent and potentially dangerous for the organizers of excursions of this type to expose innocent Belizeans to the risk of inadvertently coming into conflict with Guatemalans be they civilians or officials. “vlcsnap-2016-02-29-11h05m26s364 vlcsnap-2016-02-29-11h05m00s847 vlcsnap-2016-02-29-11h04m57s022

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