Last week we told you about the talks of a demonstration that was to be held in Melchor De Mencos during the holiday weekend. At the time, the Belizean media was under the impression that it was being organized by the merchants who were feeling the pressure of reduced business caused by Belizeans staying away from the shopping hub. However, reports coming from the Guatemalan press today is that the protest was actually being organized by leaders of the 36 Guatemalan communities along the adjacency zone, and according to the report in ‘La Prensa Libre’ it was a peaceful march that took place yesterday through the principal streets of Melchor.
It is reported that the march was attended by about 500 residents, who were also joined by merchants of Melcor, and they marched from the entrance of Melchor de Mencos along the principal streets and concluded at the bridge near the border where they held a number of activities.
The residents held plaques and signs on which many called for a stop to the alleged abuse by Belizean soldiers and asked for peace. Some read “no more deaths” and some protestors carried caskets symbolizing the men allegedly killed by Belizean soldiers without cause, La Prensa Libre reported.
According to reports the objectives of the protest was to firstly manifest the suffering of all the residents of the adjacency zone and to ask for help for all the communities in the adjacency zone to improve their lives. Secondly to express their rejection of the bloodshed of the defenseless farmers and their rejection of the violation of human rights by Belizean law enforcement. They were also calling for Peace saying their lives feature “constant unease, instability, and anguish.” and for the immediate resolution of the territorial differendum between Belize and Guatemala. Among the demands from the protestors was also the rejection of the office of the Organization of American States in the municipality, as according to them they show favoritism with the Belizean people.
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