Belize Government Shows Unprecedented Bipartisanship in Sarstoon River Dispute
Wil Maheia, leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, was called out to meet with the substantive minister and the minister of state for border security. It is an unprecedented move, and a show of bi-partisanship when it comes to the Sarstoon River. Recent weeks have seen Maheia traversing the waters in the south, and being stopped by the Guatemalan Armed Forces, insisting that the river belongs to Guatemala. Love News spoke with Maheia who expressed excitement at the government reaching out to work together.
Will Maheia, Belize Territorial Volunteers: “I believe that the ministers, both ministers the Honorable Florencio Marin and Oscar Mira I believe they are very serious about what’s going on and protecting the lives of Belizeans and about protecting our border. I mean we definitely have to applaud them for inviting us to the table. This has never been done before, this is a historic meeting. You know it’s glad to see that we have people in places that want to listen to the man on the street per se out there or the man on the river out there or the men and women on the river out there. The ministers were very adamant about having a friendly relationship with the BTV, working together which is definitely coming from this administration definitely healthy compared to the last administration where they did not see us any person or persons to talk with. We have to really give credit where it’s due to have the ministers themselves come down to hear what we have to say who are on the ground or on the water itself. It was all positive on both sides, they’re definitely concerned about us going down there of course but like I pointed out to them we go down there we are unarmed civilians, we go down there in peace and all what we’re doing is keeping an eye out for our country.”
The meeting was held yesterday at the Copal Tree Lodge in Punta Gorda. According to the BTV, they will be working with the government through continuous dialogue and support and follow up meetings for improvement at Belize’s border security. Additionally, the government has committed to improve the living conditions at the Forward Operating Base.