We’ve shown you the illegal structure that a Guatemalan businessman
has erected near Jalacte Village in the Toledo District. Well, as we’ve
been reporting, the plan was to move by tomorrow. But that won’t be happening,
at least not yet. 7NEWS has confirmed with the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs that due to delays in coordination, it will not happen either Thursday
or Friday. Facilitators are now aiming at a date sometime early next week.
What’s the hold-up? Well, according to our sources, it is viewed
as essential that the Guatemalan Army be present when it’s happening.
And that is because the situation is considered very volatile because the man
who put up the structure Leonel Arrellanos has made it clear to the OAS and
the BDF that if anyone tries to move the structure he will use force to defend
So, the idea is that the OAS Adjacency Office, the Pan American Institute
of Geography and History, the Guatemalan Armed Forces and the BDF will all go
there together to try and maintain order. Why all the kid gloves for a Guatemalan
businessman who built on the territory of another country he cannot own? Well,
in the confidence building era, and in special agreement mode, it seems no one
wants to stir any unrest, thus the keen attention to procedure. And while that
delicate advance does not sit well with Belizean nationalists, the Prime Minister
today stressed that it will definitely be removed.
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
“The building has to be dismantled, has to be destroyed and anybody who is in occupation needs to leave.”
How soon should we see these persons removed?
Hon. Dean Barrow,
“I believe certainly not later than next week. Remember that the OAS
has already done its verification, there is no question that that is in Belizean
territory. Our Minister of Foreign Affairs had a meeting in Brazil, there is
a Latin American and Caribbean Summit taking place in Brazil, and I have just
taken a message from the Minister saying that he met his counterpart, Foreign
Minister Rodas in Brazil, and the Guatemalans are on board in terms of observing
the dismantling, observing the repatriation. I believe then that that ought
to take place, the logistics ought to be arranged fairly quickly and I would
say certainly not later than next week.”
Arellanos has told Guatemalan authorities that he intends the container
to be used for storing cattle feed. It is known that the illegal, unregulated
trade of cattle from Belize into Guatemala continues un-checked between Jalacte
and Santa Cruz, Guatemala.