Yesterday, PUP Leader John Briceno told the media that they are still waiting to be consulted as it relates to the draft framework to manage the Sarstoon River and island. The river and island has been a recent point of contention between Belize and Guatemala. Since Guatemalan Armed Forces stopped SATIIM last year, we have not received any reports of similar interceptions. Belize’s Honorary Consul in Michigan, George Clarke, recently made a trip to the Sarstoon and there was no interference from the GAF.
“I love history so for historical reasons I wanted to go to Sarstoon and get a first-hand view of the situation there. We have a beautiful river. The folks at the forward station; the soldiers treated us extremely well and very politely. We do have a beautiful island in the middle of Sarstoon there, something we should cherish and keep and we certainly appreciate Wil taking us out there as there is no other boat out there that would take us out. We really appreciate Wil taking us out and also giving us a full explanation of what is going on in the area. The Guatemalan fishermen, fishing in our waters here freely with no encumbrance at all and certainly we are very concerned about the Guatemalan people moving into our land, creating new fishing camps now; sizeable fishing camps; and eventually I can foresee them creating villages there and next thing you know they will be planting and taking over more of these properties so we should be concerned about it.”
Clarke was taken to the Sarstoon by Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers.