Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns against clearing of Belize Western Border

vlcsnap-2013-02-25-18h52m27s105Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns against the cleaning of Belize Western Border. Last week, we told you that “Belize Territorial Volunteers’ has plans of clearing the Border, but today the MFA sent out a press release saying and we quote “The Government of Belize, in discharge of its duty to ensure the safety and security of all persons in our country, hereby advises all members of the public that any attempt on their part to clear the Western Border can give rise to serious danger to themselves and we therefore strongly advise against participation in any such action. Proposed efforts as reported in the media may conduce to a disturbance of the peace and to unnecessary tensions between two countries, contrary to the long-standing efforts that successive Belize Governments have been working hard to secure.” end quote. Plus news spoke with Wil Mahiea who says that despite the warning they will continue as planned.

WIL MAHIEA:
vlcsnap-2013-02-25-21h09m48s87I believe that Belize continues to show signs of weakness, because our border continues to get invaded, our country continues to get invaded by Guatemalans. And every time they invade us we show signs of weakness. It is evident that the Guatemalans have no respect for our foreign ministry or for our Government. They continue to push over and it is time for us Belizeans to stand up for our country. For the past thirty years our borders have been neglected, Guatemalans continue to push in and I believe that the Belizeans who care for this country and love this country will stand firm. On Saturday 2nd March, we will be at the Jalacte border and we will carry out our plan. We are a peaceful people; we will do it in a peaceful manner. We don’t want to go there to cause any kind of trouble, but as Belizeans we have to stand firm. We cannot continue to back track. We have had been backtracking for years now.

Today’s release from the Minister went on to cite and incident which took place some years ago saying The danger inherent in such action can readily be seen from the details of a press conference which was called by then Prime Minister Said Musa on 26th February, 2000, where a BDF border patrol team encountered a group of about 25 uniformed Guatemalan military personnel. The BDF/Police team established itself to be within Belizean territory, but the Guatemalan patrol disputed this. In an effort to prevent an incident, the BDF/Police team agreed to move to the Guatemalan post of Santa Cruz along with the Guatemalan patrol to await the arrival of senior officers But the team of Belizeans were later were informed that they would be charged with illegal entry and possession of prohibited firearms. Mahiea maintains that they know Belize’s border and continues as planned.

WIL MAHIEA:
My friend, I am a Belizean, I have lived in this area. It is not something I have read out of a book. The people I surround myself with – the Belize Territorial Volunteers, I have been working with these guys – people who are jungle experts for more than ten years now. We at one time cut a trail at San Jose Village all the way the Caracol. We know the territory. We are familiar with the Belizean territory so there is no way that we will be venturing into Guatemala. That incident that they referred to I believe should have been dealt with in a different way, because the Guatemalans actually kidnapped those Belizeans. And if Guatemalans do that to us it will be kidnapping. We cannot be weak as Belizeans. We have continuously showed signs of weakness. We have to begin to stand up for our country. I call on Belizeans to stand up for our country. We need to defend our country. I have spoken with many people, we have consulted with our attorneys and they have all told us that we are not doing anything wrong and we should do what we strongly believe in. We have no intention of going into Guatemala. We will stand on the Belizean side. We will clear the Belizean side. I call on the Belizeans who have committed, more than a hundred Belizeans who have committed to stand firm and let’s go and do what we have to do.

We contacted the relevant Ministry today for comments but were told that the Minister wasn’t available. The release ended by saying The Government of Belize reiterates the call for all Belizeans to refrain from using the Guatemala issue to cause tensions and to divide our people.

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