Former Foreign Minister speaks of Guatemalan soldiers at Western Border

In January of this year, three uniformed Guatemalan soldiers made their way over the Western border and into Belizean territory. Their sauntering into the customs area of the Belizean border was caught on camera where they went over to Belizean customs officials to inquire about an incident that had happened earlier that day. That incident was between a Guatemalan journalist and Belizean authorities when the Guatemalan journalist entered Belizean territory. The Guatemalan claims he was injured in that incident. The lack of procedure for armed soldiers of Guatemala to simply meander over to the Belizean side of the border caused much concern and Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington had said simply said that the matter has been resolved. Today, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lisa Shoman, was asked for her comments on the incident.

Lisa Shoman, Attorney at Law

As we have signed several agreements of cooperation with Guatemala, in addition to the confidence building measures, there is an established accepted mechanism where military speaks to military. So if military wanted any information then what they should have done was to contact their counter parts through the normal channels because they do have ongoing discussions and to deal with it then, and, or bring it up at any of the meetings that they have which happens with frequency, and if they were. I hope we made the correct diplomatic complaint by putting on a diplomatic note to say that this is unacceptable and to state that we expect that they will receive the appropriate sanction; whether it is a scold, slap on the wrist  whatever it is and that we don’t want it to happen again .

She says that the Guatemalans’ actions were clearly against established procedures.

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