BTV Testing Things in The Sarstoon
Yesterday, Wil Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers went into the Sarstoon to prepare for their upcoming event, the first ever, Sarstoon Island Eco Challenge.
It's the organization's effort to demystify the island as a place of intrigue and conflict with the Guatemalans, and to make it as commonplace as any other part of the country. The BTV members report that on their mission to the Sarstoon River mouth, there was no Guatemalan military to stop them, and no Guatemalans fishing illegally in Belizean waters….what rapper Ice Cube might call, a good day.
The weekend team also went on a clean-up campaign of the Barranco Pier, since eco-challenge is for a canoe and kayaking race from Barranco around the island and back.
Now, the this event is on the same day as the Carnival Road March, the biggest event in the September Celebrations. So, while the rest of the country will be focused on those colourful costumes winding through the City street, the military will have to keep an eye on things in the Sarstoon.
On last week Friday, Maheia's political party, the BPP, announced that they will supporting him on this eco challenge. The BDF General, on the other hand, has his concerns about the effect that this event could have on the Guatemalans. Here are those comments:
Paco Smith, Chairman - BPP
"Another outreach effort involves the upcoming Sarstoon eco-challenge. As you are aware, the BPP works hand in hand with key activist organizations. One of the most profound linkages that we share involves our connection with the Belize Territorial Volunteers, the BTV. After all our deputy political leader Wil Maheia heads that body. So as to not lose sight of the matter, over the past months, we've noticed that not much information has been featured in the media with regards to the situation at Sarstoon. Well, in that regard, we have partnered with the BTV to aid in the upcoming Sarstoon island eco-challenge which is scheduled for Saturday the 17th of September 2016."
Brig. Gen David Jones - Commander - BDF
"I have heard about it, I believe Mr. Will Maheia is involved in it, I hope it is not a venture to go and aggravate the situation there because things are working smoothly at the moment and those people are quite firm about what they believe is their sovereignty. It could be seen as a form of provocation, so we'll see how that will work out when the Guatemalans are informed about it and to see what happens."
So, while the General is concerned about Maheia's activities in the Sarstoon, the Guatemalan version of the BTV have also been doing its own controversial activities as well.
That's the group, "Belice Es De Guatemala", who we introduced to you back in July when they made their own patriotic patrol around the island.
Well, the San Pedro Sun reports that another trip happened on Saturday September 3. That group comprising of 10 civilians, comprised of ex-military and attorneys. Their event was called Independence Expedition, and their intention was to send a message to the Government of Belize, that they will strengthen their campaign against the recognition of the Belizean border. On that trip, the event took the liberty to plant Guatemalan flags on Sarstoon Island, which incensed the Guatemalan Military when the Belize Territorial Volunteers do the same thing with Belizean flags.