Maheia taunting Guatemalans again Print E-mail
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Thursday, 03 March 2016 00:00

The “Border Activist” and failed politician, Wil Maheia, has gone to the Sarstoon River to once again overheat tensions at the Sarstoon River, all the for sake of what he maintains is nationalism. He led a small group of civilians, mostly consisting of journalists, on another expedition to the mouth of the Sarstoon. There, they encountered resistance from the Guatemalan Military who had vessels positioned as if to block their path.

It happened on Saturday, February 27, about an hour or so after Maheia and the small group left from Punta Gorda Town on a quest to visit the Gracias A Dios border marker. That would have taken them on a trip through the Sarstoon River, but as soon as they arrived at the mouth of the River, they encountered a sort of blockade. 5 Guatemalan military vessels were moored there, and they refused to move to allow Maheia and his 2 civilian vessels to travel past. Most fortunately, the captains of the Belizean boats counseled Maheia that it is not prudent to force a confrontation between themselves at the Guatemalan military, and he eventually listened to wiser judgment than his.

At the official level, the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send a strong note of diplomatic protest to their Guatemalan counterparts. It will note the official BDF report that one of the 5 Guatemalan boats is alleged to have illegally entered Belizean territorial waters. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, has committed to making the note as forceful as possible while maintaining the courtesies of the diplomatic language. He made the point that not because the note is not as belligerent or combative as the layman would want, it then means that the message is not just as direct or hard-hitting.

In the meantime, the Opposition PUP and the still insignificant Belize Progressive Party - of which Wil Maheia is a member - have condemned the actions, and they seek to play political football with a very serious issue. The Belize Government knows very well of the implications of this issue and has been working hard to resolve it through the peaceful means of urging the other side to go to the International Court of Justice. In the meantime, the diplomats have also identified that there needs to be confidence building measures for the Sarstoon so that the Organization of American States can conduct an impartial investigation and verify the facts whenever an incident like this happens. That is an ongoing endeavor.