The main Opposition, People’s United Party, also released a statement on the issue, stating its [quote] “strongest condemnation of the actions of the Guatemalan Armed Forces and the inaction of the Government following the blatant harassment of Belizeans within out territorial waters” [end quote].
The PUP notes in its statement that Guatemalans stationed at the Sarstoon have maintained operational control of the entire Sarstoon River, and the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has committed a gross error in allowing this to happen. The PUP adds that on various occasions SATIIM rangers have been turned back from routine patrols of the Sarstoon Temash National Park.
Our government has not taken a strong, unequivocal stance to support our territorial sovereignty over half of the Sarstoon including the Sarstoon Island, said the release.
The release ended, [quote] “The PUP calls on Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington to ACT NOW to protect our territorial integrity. If they will not act, we call on them to tell the Belizean people how we lost the Sarstoon which we sing about in our National Anthem. As we prepare to celebrate our Independence, the people deserve to know the truth [end quote].
Keeping an eye on the situation has been the Belize Progressive Party.
A press release from the BPP calls the actions by Guatemalan forces as [quote] “illegal and entirely unacceptable” [end quote]
The BPP blamed the Guatemalan aggression on the Government’s “4A Policy” of Appeasement, Acquiescence, Accommodation and Adherence.
The release further states that the BPP condemns the actions of the Guatemalan military for illegally entering Belize’s sovereign territory and harassing citizens, as well as the GOB for its inexcusable abrogation of duty and failure to ensure the safety of its citizens.