In an interview with Foreign Minister on Tuesday afternoon in Belmopan, the issue of the Sarstoon River arose in which he explained why, some months ago, he was persistent in discouraging Belizeans from going to the area in southern Belize.
“In the path months when I had been advising people against going it was because I was fearful that if they were there would be an accident and people would get hurt so the efforts we had been expending is completely with a view to try to ensure that nobody would get hurt and so we work with the Guatemalans to that end. Now the Guatemalans have their own problems just like how we have people in Belize that get all bent up just at the sight of me and hearing my voice well you have people in Guatemala that get all bent up just at the sight of Belizeans in the river or seeing people ingressing the river and some of them are powerful so that they bring pressure to bear on their government and their government responds in a certain way but ultimately what has to prevail is our international law rights, our rights under international law and our rights under international law as far as we know gives us the right of ingress and egress on the river and we cannot not protect that right.”
Minister Elrington went on to update the media on what the current position is between Belize and Guatemala surrounding the use of the Sarstoon.
“My understanding as of today is that we continue to use it without let or hindrance and in the meantime we are working on a formal mechanism so that in the event of any untoward incident taking place we have a way of resolving it harmoniously.”
Elrington hosted the media brief yesterday in his Belmopan office in which he discussed several other areas including the recent meeting in Cuba as well as the upcoming launch of an investigation by the OAS into the death of the Guatemalan child in the Chiquibul area of the Cayo District.