The three sister agencies of the Ministry of National Security: the Belize Defense Force, the Police Department and the Belize Coast Guard usually collaborate and share resources to combat narco-trafficking. The last joint initiative in September resulted in capturing a very large shipment of cocaine from a plane that landed in the Orange Walk District. The agencies have teamed up again in an unusual move to promote the ‘yes to the ICJ’ campaign. This morning officials from each branch of National Security including Admiral John Borland, Commandant of the Belize National Coast Guard, Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams and Brigadier General Steven Ortega appeared on LOVE FM’s Morning Show and made it clear, they will promote the case for taking Guatemala’s unfounded claim to the International Court of Justice.
Admiral John Borland Commandant of the Belize National Coast Guard: “We’ll we work as a team as you know and so our principle of leave no man behind applies to everything we do and so we under the direction of the CEO we put together a team that is comprised of Senior Staff members of the Belize Defense Force, the Police Department and the Coast Guard and they conducted a staff study and analysis of the entire situation considering carefully what the implications of all courses of actions are and derived finally at a decision point where we as a team support a yes vote to taking the issue to the ICJ.
DCP Chester Williams: “Our Minister told us point blank that it is a matter for us to decide which way we’re going to vote. We ensured that we look at the pros and the cons of going to the ICJ and we believe that the cons out way the pros and the pros outway the cons and we are going at the ICJ.”
Brigadier General Steven Ortega: “The Belize Defence force is tasked by law for the defence of this country and to that we believe that during the analysis is that the easiest way for us to do this is for us to try the most peaceful way and we believe going to the ICJ is the most peaceful way.”
DCP Chester Williams: “If all mitigations fail then the other results will be conflict, war so we believe that if we decide not to go to the ICJ then we will leave Guatemala no choice to say then you know what we have agreed to settle the matter peacefully with you all, you have refused so we are going to go to the other step now which is go to war and if we do that I don’t think the International world will stand with us because they would have seen that we were given the chance to resolve the matter peacefully and we have chose to not to.”
Derek Aikman, the National Coordinator for the No to ICJ Movement condemned what it calls the recent scandalous breach of powers by the Minister and Ministry of National Security. Aikman stipulates that utilizing the highest command of our military and law enforcement in an open and public way to bolster GOB’s rapidly sagging ‘Yes to the ICJ’ campaign is a dangerous precedence in our nation. A press release sent by Aikman says QUOTE “To pretend that the ICJ has not become the hottest political football with the Government hell bent on scoring the YES political goal is a disrespect to Belizeans! The Government commandeering the uniformed presence for their political bidding is the first step toward a GOB willing to summoned military might on its people to attain their objectives! This is to be rejected by all constitutionally conscious Belizeans.” UNQUOTE. Felix Enriquez, the CEO for the Ministry of National Security responded to the allegations that the police, BDF and Coastguard should not have an opinion on the issue. CEO Enriquez says it is a national issue, not a political one.
Felix Enriquez C.E.O Ministry of National Security: “As the Ministry of National Security it affects us. Whatever the outcome of the vote for the referendum and beyond whatever the outcome of the ICJ when we get to that point if we get to that point and we are doing the media rounds because we chose to do it after making our careful analysis and let me be clear that we chose to the do these rounds after making that careful analysis and we think we should take a position. It’s just we are leaders military leaders, security leaders at that and we are never expected to be wishy washy or anything. We are very upfront intelling you with no kind of regrets what our position is after our careful analysis. This issue in particular Ava and Chief is not one that is political, it is one that any Belizean shouldn’t be afraid to say to their neighbor I am voting yes or no. You cant hide and say you are going to vote VIP and be secretive about that, this not that type of issue and people have a very selective way of saying who should be telling them something. This is a democratic country and with an issue such as this I have to say I’ll make no apologies and I don’t think any of my counterparts here will make any apologies about bringing a careful analysis and seeing the need and the responsibility from a security standpoint to explain that there are security implications and when you make your consideration you should be able to consider them as well.”
We note that Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that they are not being forced to say yes to the ICJ and it is a personal decision to choose yes or no at the referendum.