PRESS RELEASE | “BPP Response To Recent GAF Aggression On The Sarstoon River”
Belmopan | March 13th, 2016
“BPP RESPONSE TO RECENT GAF AGGRESSION ON THE SARSTOON RIVER”
The Belize Progressive Party is appalled to have learned of yet another unprovoked and openly aggressive act of Guatemala against our Belize Security Forces in the Sarstoon. In this latest incident on Saturday 12th March 2016, Guatemalan naval units once again illegally entered Belize’s sovereign territorial waters and made bold to harass Belize Defence Force units.
This incident comes on the heels of another incident February 27th, only two weeks ago when members of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) were summarily prevented from traversing the Sarstoon River, which by way of the 1859 Treaty marks the southernmost boundary of Belize. At that time, the BPP warned that Guatemala was becoming bolder in the Sarstoon. Officials of the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials however chose to send what they called a “strong protest note” to the Guatemalan authorities and asked that those matters be left to their “professionals”.
In effect, this most recent act of aggression by the Guatemalans in Belizean territory is fundamentally a manifestation of the failed PUDP “4A Policy” of: APPEASEMENT, ACQUIESCENCE, ACCOMMODATION and ADHERENCE. Since 2008, the principals of the BPP have sounded the alarm, as to the short-sightedness of the bi-partisan effort which resulted in the signing of the once, much vaunted “Compromis”(1) (2) (3). The record demonstrates that since that point, our nation’s territorial integrity has steadily eroded. By way of the impotence of the powers that be, under the aegis of the OAS, the Guatemalans have been afforded a free hand in usurping our territory, both marine and terrestrial, with impunity.
Rest assured, this does not mean the BPP sees this untenable matter as hopeless. Quite the contrary, we take this opportunity to remind Belizeans and true friends of Belize, both at home and abroad of our 10-Point Prescription for Addressing Guatemala’s Intransigence, which can be accessed via our website - www.belizeprogressiveparty.org.
To reiterate, your Belize Progressive Party denounces, in the strongest terms, this naked aggression by the Guatemalan Armed Forces toward our Security Forces, within sovereign Belizean territory, as an illegal and disrespectful act. We call on the UDP and PUP to join with us in rejecting the ICJ approach to addressing Guatemala’s unfounded claim and to giving maximum credit to our Belize Security Forces for standing their ground and defending Belize’s territory.
We remain firm in our position, “NO to the ICJ!” and in promoting our BPP alternative solution for ending Guatemalan aggression. We cite this recent incursion and all acts of disrespect by the Guatemalans, along with the accommodating policy of the Belizean authorities, as an affront to Belize’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national identity. And we lament the fact that our nation suffers from a dearth of leadership on this and a myriad of other issues.
In keeping with our mantra, “8867 Today, 8867 Tomorrow, 8867 Forever”, we recommend all Belizeans to take serious Guatemala’s aggression, and exercise sound judgement when called upon to decide whether we should place our territorial integrity at the discretion of the supposedly “learned” judges at the ICJ. Belize, Sovereign and Free - NO ICJ!
END OF RELEASE