The Barrow Administration has gotten much criticism for the way they have been dealing with the territorial issue and the many incursions being done by Guatemalans, particularly in the south. The opposition party has been at the helm criticizing the Government and campaigning to the Belizeans on voting no to the International Court of Justice despite them telling the voters some nine years ago that it would be the best thing for Belize and the Belize has a winnable case at the ICJ. While in many areas, it is always easy to point out flaws and not necessarily pose possible solutions, we asked PUP’s Deputy Party Leader, Carolyn Trench Sandiford, to tell us what different would her party do on the Belize/Guatemala issue if they were in power.
Rene Trujillo, Love FM News: Is it only political rhetoric or is there something different that the PUP can do that would deter all of these things happening at the borders particularly in the south or is it just a campaign to get into government.
“I can tell you three solutions that we are looking at. First we must put in place a plan that our borders are protected and defended. It cannot be something that you go every so often you have to have a sustained approach to policing our borders so that if fist, 24/7. We want to ensure that we can set a time that we can say to the Belizean people as of today you’re borders are going to be protected and policed 24/7. Secondly today as I said the more things change the more they remain the same but things have changed. The use of technology for example. How is it that we can use technology into protecting and defending Belize, you have drone systems. We should be investing in technology so one of the things that our party will be looking at is how we invest in technology. Drones can be used to police your border and these are run by computers and people behind desks watching what is happening on their border so immediately an encroachment is happening you can know. Three, everybody has to become involved. We can’t have the territorial volunteers going off on one end and the BDF going off on another end. We have to find a way to bring every Belizean on board and for every Belizean to appreciate and understand that its a partnership in terms of managing our border and perhaps the last thing has to do with investment. We must invest in the defense and protection of our country. So those are some of the key things that we are looking at.”
Trench Sandiford is a member of the PUP’s National Executive with the portfolio on Policy and Reform.