7 Guatemalans Stir Controversy On the Sarstoon
Over the past year, we've covered many of The Belize Territorial Volunteer's patriotic expeditions down the Sarstoon. Well, this weekend a small group of Guatemalans were the ones going down the river. And while the Belizean Territorialists always demand that government enforce its sovereignty over Belizean territory as set out in the 1859 treaty, their Guatemalans counterparts weren't so modest: they want their government to claim the whole thing! A seven-member team posted a video on their "Belice es de Guatemala" page which would be vexing, if it weren't slightly comical. Emanuel Pech translated some of tirade - and here's what they said:...
Guatemalan spokesperson (translated)
"We are showing you what is the Belizean territory, a territory that belongs to Guatemala in light of the International Court of Justice, in light of the doctrine of International Rights, of the reality of the story, of the truth because it is a territory that was cowardly encroached by the English Crown, and then cowardly by the United Nations in declaring Belize a Guatemalan territory. This Guatemalan territory has to be newly incorporated into what is the national territory."
"For the first time we committed to this fight and committed to reach where no one else has gone. Not even the media has wanted to come and inform us about this reality. We are here, and we will show you the flags and these placards..."
"This is the map of Guatemala. If you can see this map of Guatemala is complete and includes Belize. The one over this side also includes Belize. Further down there we can see the Quetzal flying over Belize- if we can show it little better."
"Here we are ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for the effort and thank you for coming to this point where above all they have hid the information from us."
"But we will continue to fight. We will continue on this fight and we will continue to show you that this is our territory that this territory is for the Guatemalans and the inheritance of our children."
"Now I show you part of what is Belize, a territory that also belongs to us, a territory that is part of Guatemala's inheritance, the inheritance of our ancestors, and the inheritance of future generations. This is the Belizean territory, a Guatemalan territory, a territory that they took from us, a territory that they ripped from our map but not from the will and hearts of Guatemalans."
"We will continue this fight and we will demonstrate that this territory is for us and we do not care how much we have to fight."
And while you might just shake your head and laugh it off - after all, only 7 persons joined an effort that the organizers on that side of the border had been publicizing for weeks. But, there's another side to it - as the small group visited the nearby naval base and seemed to have been welcomed by the soldiers there. Those pictured were posted on another Facebook page named "Kaibiles, Guatemala's elite Force and regular army soldiers."