General Jones of BDF warns Belizeans over leaked Sarstoon report

A report by the Belize Defence Force (BDF) which was released ten years ago offered new insights into activity in the Sarstoon area. But it also brings up the question: when it comes to national security, how much knowledge is too much? Brigadier General David Jones, current BDF commander, believes the report’s leak not only reflects badly on his organization, but also puts the country he protects in danger:

Brigadier General David Jones:

Unfortunately within every organization have people who wants to get some political gain or affiliate themselves in some political party to get some information out. That is very unprofessional, and I would advise the media ask the media to cooperate with us, not to tolerate such unprofessional behavior be it from the BDF , the police or the Coast Guard, because there may be especially from the BDF information of national security interest. That affects the country if you post it online. Because there are things that are discussed between the BDF general, the Guatemalan general that should be kept confidential, that shouldn’t be exposed out there in the media. So if the media encourages this, it can affect the country. It’s good for news, but it’s bad for he country. We continue to work closely with the Guatemalans. The incidents that have occurred there over the past is because of the conflicting direction that is given to both militaries, and that needs to be worked out politically. If that is worked out politically we are not going to have issues.”Sarstoon-Island-Google-Ea-500x250

Even as General Jones seemed to downplay the importance of the report, he admits that there is a political problem underlying the potential for violent conflict – something, he says, that needs to be quickly resolved:

Brigadier General David Jones:

No such information that has been leaked out, it only highlight some of the differences where we had encountered. The Guatemalans have encountered the BDF in there as well as encountered and intercepted civilians in there. And it’s because they want to excerpt the directions that was passed to them politically. We’re of the view that it can be worked out, but unless there is something decided politically, they may be conflict in the area because it only takes one soldier to take things in his own hands and it can spark a terrible incident that can lead to violence in the area. So that’s always a possibility. So to prevent all that from happening, it’s best that the political leaders from both countries, sit down at the table and also sit down with the military. So that the military and the civilians understand what should be expected there and should prevent any conflict in the Sarstoon.”

About the Author