Following a meeting Tuesday morning, the Belize Territorial Partners officially joined hands with the grassroots activist organization COLA (Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action), to issue a statement demanding the construction of a Forward Operating Base at the mouth of the Sarstoon.
In that statement issued early Tuesday morning, the BTV affirms its support for COLA’s ‘Protect Belize – Build the Base Now’ campaign, launched on August 27th.
The release states that – “We do not believe and accept the Government’s excuses for why the base has not been built on the Sarstoon. It is clear they are trying to avoid the whole question because they are not serious about protecting Belize, only appeasing Guatemala and preserving their own interests.”
The BTV has also joined COLA in sending out a call for the removal of Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, stating: “We also support COLA’s demands for the immediate removal of Wilfred Elrington as Minister of Foreign Affairs and revisiting of all agreements with Guatemala, as we will no longer agree to give them aid and comfort while they claim, rape and destroy the jewel we call Belize.”
Today head of the BTV Wil Maheia told the Reporter that the relationship with COLA goes back a long way, but on the issue of the territorial sovereignty of Belize, an official united front has become critical. “We can’t even go to our island right now. We can’t even go into the river, so that’s what we’re meeting here about.”
For its part, COLA has maintained its cause and message, now a joint one with the BTV.
President Geovanni Brackett claims that urgent and sustained action are absolutely critical at this point – “We look at the fact that the government is discouraging us from visiting the island and the area. The actions of the government have actually made our border more porous and less secure. By their actions we have indirectly and directly given up portions of Belize.”
COLA and the BTV have pledged to maintain the campaign for as long as it takes, and Brackett today reminded the Reporter that “I said that we would build a campaign if they don’t listen. We’ve done so. And then we said from there that we would go nationwide, and we will go nationwide. So I can guarantee you that a whole lot of events and a whole lot of direct action will be taking place.”
Still, the organ-izations has kept the next move in what is promised to be a sustained campaign, secret.