Monte de Olivos is a site in Guatemala where the Peace Fund for the Organization of American States had invested a tremendous amount of money with the objective to give the villagers alternatives to the illegal planting and harvesting of crops that were taking place. It is a project that has left some questioning whether it does have some worth, considering that much of the illegal activities continue. So, is the project failing? That is a question posed to BDF Commander David Jones.
“I wouldn’t say the OAS activity has failed there, they have pumped tremendous amounts of money and finances and efforts to dissuade the Guatemalans to try and stop coming over. We have seen progress in particular from Monte los Olivos where people have not been coming over. Unfortunately there will always be a small faction within the community who want to venture over the greener pastures which Belize provides. So it only shows that the efforts of the OAS need to continue because if their funding has dried out the efforts to continue to dissuade those people are going to stop and if they are not in the area to be that third party to mediate what is happening between Belize and Guatemala I could see more problems emanating if they are not a part of the solution to this issue.”
Earlier this week in an interview, the head of the Guatemala National Defense Commission, Ana Victoria Hernandez, she was quoted as saying that they are concerned about the situation in the 35 communities and that they will meet with members of the Ministry of National Defense and Foreign Ministry as they beliece that social programs should be developed to prevent the Guatemalans from crossing into Belizean territory and getting killed.