The illegal settlements are not the only concerning issue along the borders. Last week we told you of a reported human and arms smuggling ring taking place along the western border. Police Commissioner Chester Williams says they are investigating the reports while Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Courtenay says the illegal activities go even deeper.
Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “You will recall that when the People’s United Party was in opposition on a number of occasions Wilfred Elrington and I had some little responses with each other in the media where I was criticizing him for these incursions and not doing anything, not enforcing this CBMs. So yes there has been a build up, yes there have been incursions over time and I emphasize the commercialization of some of the activities, cattle ranching is new and we have evidence, we don’t want to go into it too much but we have evidence that this cattle ranching is connected to drug smuggling and people smuggling. So the answer to your question is we will go through this procedure. We expect to clear them out, we expect to close down the plantations, the milpas, the cattle ranches etc. I mean the BDF have gone in and the way they do it is they cut down the fences so that the cows run wild and therefore that’s the effective way. I mean the next time we’re going to go, and we have been speaking to the Ministry of Agriculture, to collect them, collect the cattle it’s on our side and make good use of them. The long and short of it is yes the National Security Council meets this week to go over our national security strategy integral of which is of course border security and what needs to be done in order to repel and dissuade the Guatemalan from coming across and to maintain our territorial integrity.”