The much publicized expedition to the Sarstoon Island organized by the Belize Territorial Volunteers did not materialize over the weekend. This is after security forces prevented the BTV and supporters from boarding their boats on Saturday morning at the pier in Barranco Village. Today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said they were forced to enact the law restricting movement on the Sarstoon after numerous appeals to get the BTV to call off the expedition failed. He reiterated his position that they acted in the best interest of the larger population.
“Government is in no doubt that it was the right thing to do. We made clear, and repeat today, that our actions were one-off. The Regulation will remain in force for only one month, during which time we redouble our efforts to secure a guarantee regarding the Sarstoon. If those efforts do not succeed, then all bets are off. We will not again stop the BTV from going to that portion of the Sarstoon that belongs to Belize. And our ownership, as recognized and demarcated by the 1859 Treaty, can never be in doubt. In the normal course, therefore, all Belizeans have a perfect right to traverse our half of the Sarstoon. And, in fact, the very prohibition that we passed in these one-time, exceptional circumstances, is predicated on Belize’s sovereignty and jurisdiction over our share of the Sarstoon.”
The Prime Minister said they did what needed to be done.