Over the weekend a group of Guatemalan civilians carried out an expedition to the Sarstoon Island in an excursion geared at exercising their sovereignty over the area. Yesterday Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke about the trip taken, saying that he was not surprised at the presence of the nationalistic civilian. But the question tonight is…..did the group enter Belizean waters? That is still not certain because according to the C.E.O. in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell, the B.D.F. stationed at the base were unable to determine the identity of the civilian vessel or their intentions due to the increment weather that was experienced at the time.
Ret. Col. George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security
“I was made to understand that on Saturday there was such a patrol that went out there. I was in dialogue with the commander of the Belize Defense Force this morning and he reported that on Saturday around four p.m. or so, there was in fact a vessel out there and it was raining very hard and it was difficult for them to really identify if it was just normal Guatemalans who were out there on a day-to-day basis versus these ones who went out there, in my understanding, to show their sovereignty of the area.”
“Sir, did the B.D.F. in any way try to stop them or question them as is the norm or has been the norm in the past where Guatemalans do that to Belizeans?”
Ret. Col. George Lovell
“The troops, from my understanding, did not do anything of the sort. They observed and the report that I received this morning is that it was difficult for them at the time to say if it was in fact just the routine sort of activities in the area versus this specific incident that you refer to.”
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