Many are of the opinion that the drastic measures taken by President Jimmy Moralez after learning about the death of the 13 year old Guatemalan minor at the Chiquibul was nothing but a tactic to defuse tensions in his own country facing huge problems in the areas of Health, education and food security. Moralez, who recently completed his first 100 days as President of Guatemala, accepted during a press conference this morning that the efforts to better off the country have not been enough and just like the populace he too is dissatisfied. Currently Moralez’s government faces a multitude of dissatisfied Guatemalans fighting for the protection of water resources. The March for water, Mother Earth, Territory, and Life brought together Indigenous groups from across Guatemala, unified around demands for a guarantee to the right to water and dignified livelihoods in the face of industrial agriculture and exploitive mining projects that threaten to contaminate and siphon off water resources from remote and vulnerable communities. On Friday, some 15 thousand protested the displacement of their communities by unwanted hydroelectric dams and called for justice for pollution caused by corporate farming and extractive projects in their territories. International reports indicate that leaders of the national water march, were to address Congress today and demand legislation that would punish the unnatural diversion of rivers and waterways.
But going back to the issue of military deployment by Guatemala, which began right after President Moralez issued a public statement protesting the killing of the 13 year old accused of illegal farming inside Belize, today during his press conference Moralez reiterated the Prime Ministers words that the OAS will investigate the shooting. At the same time Moralez dispelled the rumors that 3,000 soldiers were mobilized to the Adjacency Zone.
Jimmy Moralez – Presidente de Guatemala
“Se generaron muchos rumores de que nosotros habíamos movilizados tres mil soldados cosa que es mentira, si redoblamos la presencia militar en toda la zona de adyacencia para mantener y fomentar la paz, porque razón? Porque después de un acto como esto de nuestra población podría haberse dado una manifestación violenta fuera de la condiciones de legalidad es por eso que mandamos a nuestras autoridades y también con esto pretendíamos que nuestra población se sintiera con presencia de parte de nuestro estado, nosotros hemos sido un país realmente pacifico en todas nuestras relaciones con Belice, todas la agresiones militares o de instituciones de defensa de seguridad de los países han venido de Belice hacia civiles guatemaltecos puedo decir y le digo a todos la comunidad internacional que nuestro ejército, nuestra policía y todas nuestras instituciones de seguridad han sido respetuosos de la vida de los civiles y de todo los funcionarios de vecino país de Belice con esto quiero aclarar y pedirles a ustedes la colaboración como medios de comunicación que traslademos esta información, nuestras instituciones de seguridad y defensa siempre han respetado la vida de los vecinos países y eso mismo estamos pidiendo de Belice hacia los civiles guatemaltecos.”
On Saturday during a press conference Guatemalan military officials also clarified that while it was mentioned that 3,000 soldiers had been mobilized to the adjacency zone, only one thousand soldiers are currently patrolling the area as the rest of the troop were deployed to the to the Sarstoon area and Belize’s western border. During the conference Guatemala’s Minister of Defense, Williams Masilla also stated that they will maintain their military presence at the adjacency zone and the Sarstoon River. Of note is that while Prime Minister Dean Barrow menti0ned on Friday that after meeting with President Jimmy Moralez in New York it was agreed that tensions would de-escalate, Barrow did not mention whether the Guatemalan military would withdraw from the borders.
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