Screen_Shot_2016-04-21_at_8.34.01_PMWhile GOB issued a release relating their version of what occurred at the Chiquibul, just before news time the Office of the Prime Minister sent out a release rejecting the version of events made by President Jimmy Morales during his statement issued today regarding the incident in Belize’s Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park.

According to the release, Belizean Security Forces and law enforcement officials would never perpetrate an armed attack on civilians especially minors except in exercise of the right to self-defense. The Government of Belize reiterates that the mandate and authority given to Belize law enforcement and security agencies to enforce Belizean laws and protect Belize’s natural resources and territorial integrity is at all times implemented on the basis of recourse to the use of force only as a last and justified resort, says the release.

The release goes on to say that “respect for life and rights must always include respect for the life and rights of Belizean law enforcement officials and security forces.

The release states that when it comes to the incident the patrol included civilian personnel from the NGO group, FCD, and those personnel confirm the fact that the Belizean patrol simply responded after they were fired upon and were in fear for their lives.

GOB also makes mention that this latest shooting attack on Belizean officials is part of a continued pattern of aggression by Guatemalan civilians engaged in illegal activities on Belize’s side of the Adjacency Zone and makes mention of the earlier attacks which resulted in the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie and the shooting of Sgt. Richard Lambey.

In the release Belize reminds the Government of Guatemala that both countries are committed to the Confidence Building Measures signed in 2005 which obliges both Governments to act responsibly in word and indeed when dealing with any incident that may occur along the border. In this regard Gob sates and we quote “We find the statements made and position taken by President Morales to be unhelpful and inflammatory. The current amassing of Guatemalan troops in the border areas, including the Sarstoon River, only adds volatility to the tensions already created by illicit activities in these areas. For its part, the Government of Belize will continue to abide strictly by the Confidence Building Measures and we urge the Government of Guatemala to do the same.” End quote.

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