By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
Prime Minister Dean Barrow gave his assurances on Friday that additional military personnel have been deployed to the Caracol Archaeological Reserve after over three dozen Guatemalans crossed into Belizean territory around 10 a.m. armed with guns and machetes, threatening construction workers building the Valentin Conservation Outpost there.
The outpost, which is in the archaeological reserve, is being built by Friends for Conservation and Development. Director of FCD, Rafael Manzanero told The Reporter late Friday that while the situation is regrettable, no one was harmed.
“Apparently they were offended that we are building this outpost, which is on Belizean territory, so they came and threatened our workers and threatened to burn the outpost down,” Manzanero said.
He also said that the outpost is scheduled to be completed by October 20 and will be the operated by a joint forces group which will be comprised of Police Belize Defence Force and park rangers.
He added that the Belizean government needs to make every effort to show the country’s determination to stand our ground and protect our sovereignty.
Prime Minister Barrow has said that any kind of aggression by Guatemalans will be met by equal or greater force towards people who he says know that they are in Belize when they come.
Increased BDF troops have been sent to the area to ensure the safety of the workers.
The incident comes one day after the Prime Minister Barrow stated in the House of Representatives that the government will step up the security features at our border points. One of those features, he mentioned, will come in the form of a helicopter for border-monitoring.