Controversy / General / Weekend News

Belizeans released from Guatemalan custody

By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter

A group of 37 Belizeans from the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) who were detained by Guatemalan authorites have been released.

According to Colonel George Lovell, CEO in the Ministry of National Security the Belizeans who were detained were released after swift action from the government of Belize.

Lovell said the government contacted the highest level of diplomats in Guatemala through their Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also through the Organization of American States (OAS) after being alerted to the situation.

According to Lovell, due to weather conditions the Belizeans were unable to be escorted back to the Belizean side of the border and are being accomodated in Livingston and should be returned home by Sunday morning.

Lovell said they were informed by Guatemalan officials that the group was apprehended because the vessel they were travelling in was overcrowded and unsafe. Lovell said they were also told that the boat was on the Guatemalan side.

The group was returning from an expedition in which they visited the monument at the southernmost border point with Guatemala to place a flag when they were intercepted around 3 p.m. Saturday on the Sarstoon river. The group was detained and held in Livingston until arrangements were made for their release.

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