Retired Colonel of the BDF, Javier Castellanos, appeared on PlusTV’s Rise and Shine morning show to share his observations on the recent Guatemalan incursions on the Sarstoon. Castellanos has served in various capacities in Belize and Guatemala as Deputy Commander of the BDF and Military Attaché respectively, and has vast military and intelligence experience when it comes to the nation of Guatemala. Castellanos told Hosts Louis Wade and Pastor Santiago Valencia that Guatemalan civilian incursions intensified when BDF were removed from along the borders and began patrolling Belize City streets to reduce gang warfare.
Col. Javier Castellanos, Colonel (Retired) and Former BDF Deputy Commander: Some of these problems that are occurring along our border, it’s a gradual process, it occurred over a period of time, it did not occur over night. There were hints, there were light bulbs coming along a border and we probably didn’t take the necessary action and the decisions were too late so it could have deterred. We should have been focusing on our deterrents. One of the problems I see if you could recall, a couple years ago we had the BDF, for a long period of time the Belize Defense Force patrolling the streets of Belize City. We had about 100 soldiers on the ground, what happened then? Our borders became porous. These guys saw the opportunity, and bout governments allowed our soldiers on the streets, and then we left our backyard open. That is when we saw these incidents starting to penetrate and going further and further in land into the Chiqibul and that is one of the problems that I identified.
Retired Colonel Javier Castellanos then introduced a military concept called the OODA Loop which he says can be clearly identified in what led to the increased military presence and then military incidents on the Sarstoon. The show repeats on Sunday afternoon and is also available at www.plustvbelize.com and PlusTV’s Youtube channel