The media in Guatemala has begun the spin on the incident in Belizean territory, where an aggressive national of that country was killed by a BDF soldier. The shooting incident happened late last week in the Ceibo Chico
area of the Chiquibul National Reserve, Cayo district. Sifting through the Guatemalan rhetoric, we gather that the man shot dead by the BDF soldier is Francisco Quim, 35. Quim was shot under the chin and the right upper part of his back. The official Belize account of the incident is that on October 4th., BDF soldiers and Forestry Officers were conducting a spot check when they encountered Quim inside Belizean territory. Quim is reported to have been carrying a wooden box and a machete. When he was ordered to stop, Quim discarded the wooden box and advanced on the soldier in a threatening manner with his machete. The BDF solider fired four ‘warning shots’ which did nothing to stop the advancing Guatemalan and it was at that point that a final, fatal shot was fired, stopping Quim dead in his tracks. The Guatemalan spin doctors are claiming that Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros is on record as saying that the Government of Belize said it regrets the death of Quim and that Belize has offered to compensate the victim’s family. Furthermore, according to the media reports, Caballaros told reporters that Belize has undertaken to carry out an investigation of the incident, and assign criminal penalties against the soldiers involved in the incident. It’s an incredible claim as reported by the Guatemalan media; but as we said, the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been tight-lipped about the incident.

Patrick Jones