Tensions between Belize and Guatemala continue to flare following an incident that occurred late on Friday evening where one Guatemalan national was shot in the arm.
The government of Belize was the first to issue a statement on the matter on Friday, and according to their report three Guatemalan men were detained by a joint patrol comprised of officers from the Belize Defense Force, the Police Department, and Friends for Conservation and Development, after being caught in the Chiquibul conducting illicit gold mining operations in the Ceibo Chico area.
Reports indicate that the incident played out at around 7:45 in the evening when the group of about 10 – 15 Guatemalan nationals were caught approximately five miles east of the border. The three men detained were identified as 23 year old Carlos Roberto Perez Hernandez, 17 year old Edin Alexander Garcia and 21 year old Solomon Martinez Pasqual.
Further reports from the patrol indicated that Perez Hernandez advanced towards a member of the patrol in an aggressive manner with a machete, that is when the officer fired a warning shot in the air but Perez Hernandez continued to advance at him. The officer then fired a second shot in self-defense wounding Hernandez in his left upper arm.
The patrol dressed Hernandez’s wound and took all three men to the San Ignacio Police Station for processing. Hernandez was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital where he was treated and returned into police custody. This morning all of the accused appeared before the San Ignacio Magistrates Court where they pled not guilty to the charges relating to illegal entry and extraction of resources from a national park and were remanded until June 21st, 2016.
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