Guatemalan farmers Protest in Melchor

That prayer time happened on Saturday. On Sunday, group of Guatemalans turned out for a planned protest in Melchor de Mencos. The protest is as a result of the strained relations between the two countries following the constant illegal encroachment of Guatemalan poachers into vlcsnap-2016-05-31-11h25m43s805Belizean territory and the subsequent shooting death of one of those Guatemalans by a BDF soldier. The 13 year old was shot after BDF retaliated to shots fired at them by a band of Guatemalans in the Belizean Chiquibul Forest Reserve. The protestors on Sunday say they are demanding that the Office of Human Rights in coordination with the Organization of American States  to the names of all Guatemalans killed by the Belizean Army in the adjacency zone from Melchor de Menocs to San Luis and that all those families be compensated.  They made a list of other requests , including that the United Nations punish the Belizean nation “ with a trade embargo for all the outrages on vlcsnap-2016-05-31-11h25m42s012Guatemalans”. Roymond Alexander Ballesteros, one of the Guatemalan protestors, spoke to our Cayo Affiliate at the border on Sunday. He spoke on the purpose of the protest and sent a message to both the Belizean and Guatemalan Governments .

Roymond A. Ballesteros, Guatemalan- Protestor: So this peaceful protest is against the Government of Guatemala for them to put attention on the peasants. Because this is not only a problem for the peasants but all those residents who live along the adjacency line and other communities, especially Melchor De Mencos; we are not fighting with Belizeans. We are not causing war with anyone. There are no military here like it is believed. We are working in peace but we need the government to put focus on the needs of each community. We as vendors are affected because we as much commerce for Belizeans as us for them. So this situation affects not only Guatemalans, but Belizeans as well

The protest was peaceful and lasted for about  2 hours.vlcsnap-2016-05-31-11h25m35s497

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