Back in May 2013, Wil Maheia led the Belize Territorial Volunteers to the Gracias a Dios border monument at the most south western part of Belize where they planted several mahogany trees. He visited the area again yesterday with the media and is making an appeal to the Government to do more that will not only impress the fact that it is our border and our territory but also generate revenue.
“Years ago the Territorial Volunteers came here and did plant some mahogany trees directly on the borderline. A few of those trees are still living but again I believe this comes down to leadership and I hope that the military who is stationed in this area, I’m not blaming the guys who are stationed on the ground here, I think the higher ups need to give the instructions look let’s keep the monument clean, it’s part of our heritage, it’s part of our landmark, it’s very important to us and just the trail going there is an attraction. Maybe BTB should get involved, it’s a beautiful river, we need to promote tourism on this river, that will bring economic benefits to citizens of Barranco and Temash and people who live on the coastline, and I think BTB should get involved after all you see this beautiful forest here, the monument is an important part as it shows where Belize starts and Guatemala starts, it divides us from Guatemala and getting there is really a challenge. I think that something that is just fifteen minutes’ walk from where we are at; the challenge that one has to go through to get to that monument, it’s disheartening. Again this shows the leadership in the BDF. I hope that General Jones is listening because you have an important Gracias A Dios of only three monuments in this country and if we can’t keep that clean then how will we expect to keep our borderline clean.”
Maheia says there seems to be some tapering of the illegal fishing and incursions by the Guatemalans.
“Here this morning, we are really relieved to see that the BDF and the Coast Guard are very active along the Coastline, they were doing their job. We didn’t see any illegal fishing happening this morning. I’ve been there a couple weeks ago so obviously I believe the presence of the Coast Guard and the BDF at the mouth of the Sarstoon River is having an amazing impact. We saw Dolphins coming in which is something that we did not use to see before. This is an indication that there are more bait fishing area because the BDF and Coast Guard are doing patrols so I think that times like this we need to salute the military for the job that they are doing to stop the illegal fishing along the southern coast of Belize.”
The Belize Territorial Volunteers was formed in 2013.