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BTV Says Guatemala Owes An Apology

The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) is satisfied to hear that the Government of Belize has recovered the Belizean Flags that were stolen by the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF). In commemoration of Independence Day, the BTV led a group of civilians and scouts to Sarstoon Island where they planned to sing the national anthem and erect the nation’s flag. However, what was supposed to be a celebratory event, turned into a confrontation with the GAF. Prime Minister, John Briceño, announced on Independence Day that the flag was at the Embassy of Belize in Guatemala. But, the Leader of the BTV, Wil Maheia, told Love News that they have yet to be personally contacted by GOB regarding how they will move forward in formally addressing this face-off.

Will Maheia, Leader, Belize Territorial Volunteers: “We at the BTV heard when the Prime Minister said it at his Independence Day speech but we have not been told officially that our flags are back and also we, it’s not just about getting our flags back. And also we, It’s about the disrespect that happened on our territory. We expect that the Guatemalan Government or the Guatemalan military needs to apologise to the Belizean people for taking down their flag from within their country, from within our country not their country, within our country. You know the flag was placed on our territory, inside our country. They came in. They took down our flag. It is wrong. We cannot just allow that to go like that. We are looking forward to hear something from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying whether they will launch a protest, go to the UN or to the OAS or any one of those and nothing has been said and I get calls like you know several calls a day to say hey have the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reached out to you? Have they like asked you anything? And I was like no I have not heard from them. So like again, yes, kudos, we got our flag back but it’s more than just getting our flags back. We expect that the Guatemalan military, the Guatemalan Armed Forces need to apologise to the BTV and to the Belizean people.”

Maheia says GOB needs to put its feet down and carry out more stringent patrols along the border and demand respect to prevent further Guatemalan incursions into Belize.

Will Maheia, Leader, Belize Territorial Volunteers: “The Guatemalans also disrespected our military. Because our military, the Coast Guard and the Belize Defense Force tried their utmost best to get back the flag from within Belize’s territory. It’s not like they were on the other side of the border. They were on Belize’s side. So the Guatemalan Armed Forces not only disrespected Belize Territorial Volunteers, they totally disrespected the military of Belize as well.”