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BTV gets OAS support for weekend border trek

The Organization of American States representative will accompany the Belize Territorial Volunteers as they clear the borderline between Dolores village and Gracias Adios this weekend, BTV leader Will Maheia said Thursday.

The OAS responded to the BTV on Thursday via email, saying that they have requested Mr. Sergio Benitez, director of the Office of the General Secretary of the OAS in the Adjacency Zone, to be present at the locations where the border clearings will take place.

Maheia explained that the BTV has been getting tremendous support from Belizeans in country and abroad, and the OAS’s recognition of their efforts has certainly bolstered the morale of all the volunteers.

Maheia added that prior to the OAS giving their support, 100 volunteers had pledged to be a part of the border clearing efforts on Saturday. He said that the number has increased since the announcement.

The BTV has received a shipment of durable camouflage clothing and heavy-duty trekking boots from Alix Dillett, a Belizean living in the United States, with the pledge of more assistance form other Belizeans abroad.

The BTV held it’s first border clearing exercise on Saturday, March 2, when 150 supporters ventured to Jalacte Village to clear their outpost “Container Hill”.

The effort was a peaceful one despite numerous warnings of eminent danger from both the Belizean and Guatemalan government. During that initiative an OAS representative was on the Guatemalan side of the border with Guatemalan military personnel.

Since then, the BTV has decided to divide the border clearing work between three team leaders: Orlando de la Fuente, who leads the volunteers clearing the border form Aguas Turbias to Garbutt’s Falls; Nancy Marin, who is in charge of the clearing from Garbutts’s Falls to Container Hill, located some 300 meters form Jalacte; and Will Maheia will lead the volunteers form Dolores village to Gracias a Dios and from Jalacte to Otoxha.

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