By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor
While the relations between Belize and Guatemala are still not back to where we were before a 13 year-old Guatemalan boy was shot and killed in a cross fire by Belizean soldirrs on patrol in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve one April night in 2016, talks between our two countries over our border dispute resumed last week.
On March 15, Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington and Belize’s Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), visited Guatemala to meet with their counterparts and the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, who emphasized the need for our countries to arrive at a definitive conclusion.
The team visited border communities in Guatemala and flew over the Chiquibul National Reserve, which has been vastly affected by Guatemalan citizens who wantonly invade and pillage the forest for their survival.
Minister Elrington shared that during the fly-over, his Guatemalan counterpart, Carlos Moreno noted that not only is it a challenge to stop the encroachments into Belize, but they have been unable to stop their people from destroying their own forests
Belize’s Ambassador to the OAS, Pat Andrews was instrumental in organizing the visit and meeting. He was also a part of the vidit and fly-over the border areas.
Elrington confirmed that while Belize would like for Guatemala’s Ambassador, Manuel Roldan to return to his post in Belize, he has not.