Belize Territorial Volunteers head back to Sarstoon Island

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Updated: August 25, 2015

Early this morning, Belize Territorial Volunteer’s Leader, Wil Maheia and a small group made another trip to the Sarstoon to place a Belizean Flag on Sarstoon Island. Love News spoke earlier today with Maheia via phone.

Wil Maheia – BTV

Well this morning was quite an interesting morning. As you know we had planned to make a trip to the Sarstoon and to follow on the tail of the Belize Defense Force as this was their change over day. Unfortunately for us they left quite a bit earlier than usual this morning which ended up working on our favor because by the time we got our boats to the water they had already left. They left at 5am instead of the usually time that they leave. They went ahead of us but apparently the Guatemalan military followed them up the river which then left us unattended so we had an opportunity to go to our Sarstoon Island and placed our flag uninterrupted by the Guatemalans. What is most interesting of the whole trip was on our way back out we decided to hang and see if the BDF would show up returning from Cadenas and when we noticed that the BDF came full speed out of the river escorted by the Guatemalan Military. As a Belizean it was very shameful in my opinion to have the Guatemalan Military have to escort the BDF out of the Sarstoon well into Belize’s territorial waters. When they saw our boat and probably saw our cameras then the Guatemalan Military boat slowed down and turned around while the BDF continued full speed ahead into PG town.”

Judy Turton – Love News

“Was there any interaction between  you and the BDF?

Wil Maheia – BTV

“Absolutely not they drove their boat at full speed, absolutely not even slowed down even though the people on our boat were waving at them they did not even slow down but I guess part of it was the embarrassment of having the Guatemalans escort them all the way into Belize’s waters.”

Judy Turton – Love News

“Tell us, what is the next move for BTV?

Wil Maheia – BTV

“Well we will definitely plan a move to the Jalacte Border next week, make two or three trips to Sarstoon Island, we will shift our focus to the Jalacte border and a lot of people want to go and by boat it’s very difficult so we will do a land move to show our patriotism for Belize and that will be closer to Independence day which is about three or four weeks from now.”

Judy Turton – Love News

Would you describe this trip to the Sarstoon as a victory for the BTV?

Wil Maheia – BTV

“Big victory, major success. We have always said we will not be deterred even though our government discouraged us from going to Sarstoon Island they did not want us to go there. We tried to place a flag there last week and the Guatemalan military prevented us. Today we had our opportunity we went there, it was a small crew, twelve of us went there and we planted our flag.”

Maheia said the group that made the trip today comprised twelve members of the BTV.