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No Tensions at Sarstoon

And still, on the topic of the Sarstoon, the Acting Chief of Staff at the BDF, Lieutenant Colonel Jermaine Burns, shared that it has been quite some time since there has been any confrontation between Belizeans and Guatemalans in the area. 

Lt. Col. Jermaine Burns, Acting Chief of Staff, BDF: “Over the past couple years, we’ve literally had no type of friction with these guys. The issues we’ve had mostly on the western border have been dealt with at the diplomatic level. We’ve been able to talk to these guys about whether or not the Belizean military was in the wrong, if it was a situation where the Guatemalans are saying we did this or we did that, and it’s the same if we accuse them of anything, we’d bring it to the table and the O.A.S. would mediate. And so, the run in or friction with these guys while it was heightened in the 2016, 2017, 2018 time, it died down over a time. And this is due to the hard work of our folks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our Ministry, and of course, at our level, then the Belize Defence Force, where we meet so much with them. We’re able to call these guys by their first names; we’re able to discuss with them. If we have an issue, we pick up the phone, we invite the O.A.S. to a Zoom meeting similar to this, and then we would trash it out, any issues that we would have with them. So, it has been much more cordial than having our boats trying to block another one and that sort of thing. The Guatemalan military just like us is just looking after their interest. If it is a case where they feel that the Sarstoon is more theirs that ours, we feel that our part of the Sarstoon is more ours than theirs. So, we’re definitely going to bring it to the table and discuss it. We haven’t had any of those issues in the recent years.”