The Opposition Party, People’s United Party, issued a statement this evening from the desk of its Party Leader, Hon. John Briceno. The opposition leader says that
“The statement by the President of Guatemala yesterday, constitutes a direct challenge to the independence of Belize, to our territorial integrity and to our desire to coexist peacefully in this region. The President’s statement was provocative and inflammatory. We regard it as a threat to peace and tranquility.”
The release describes Guatemala’s amassing of troops at the border as “ a brazen and irresponsible threat to peace”, and an “ unnecessary and irresponsible escalation of force.” It says, It is not responding to any threat by Belize to Guatemala. It is unprovoked. We demand that Guatemala takes immediate steps to discourage illegal activities and restore peace along the border. Guatemalan troops must be withdrawn, and withdrawn now.” The release continues in saying that
“Both Belize and Guatemala share the Sarstoon River in accordance with treaties and international law. Therefo re, the statement by the President of Guatemala that Guatemala intends to exercise sovereignty over the Sarstoon and to deploy military forces to enforce that declaration is a dangerous breach of international law.
“ The People’s United Party says it calls on the Government to urgently take every measure required to peacefully defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity, including thee immediate recall of Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala for consultations.