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GPS Reading Confirms Guat Squatting

GPS Reading Confirms Guat Squatting
November 29
10:41 2019

GPS Reading Confirms Guat Squatting

On, Thursday, 28 November 2019 – –
A Geo Spatial reading has confirmed an initial Global Positioning System (GPS) reading that two Guatemalan households who settled recently in the adjacency zone area in the west are actually on Belizean territory by a matter of only a few feet, and they will have to disassemble their homes and relocate somewhere else west of the border line.

This information was confirmed this week by Commandant of the Belize Defense Force (BDF), Brigadier General Steven Ortega, who told News 5 that when the BDF came across the two structures, they passed it on to their superiors at the Ministry of National Defense, which then forwarded it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That Ministry then asked the OAS’ verification team’s intervention.

Ortega explained that the reading was the same, but that because the houses were literally just 10 -15 feet within our border, they went to Mexico’s Geo-Spatial Unit, which made the final determination that the wooden homes were indeed in Belizean territory.

The location is the famous Barrio el Juda area in Benque Viejo, common for these types of squatting incidents because Guatemalan peasants live near to the border, but Belizeans do not inhabit that area. In addition, Guatemalan politicians encourage their people to move into the area and settle as an election gimmick.

Three weeks ago, Belizean businessman Jorge Espat, who owns well over 100 acres of land in the area, took the media on a tour of his private property there to show first-hand how the Guatemalans cleared portions of his property, pushed dirt roads and built houses on it. Espat said the intruders even tore down his fence to use for their own purpose, and stole building material from a spot he has there to put up their dwellings.

The matter is allegedly being dealt with through our two countries’ Ministries of Foreign Affairs. Ortega informed that the Guatemalan squatters accepted to relocate but that the responsibility falls on the Guatemalan government to solve the problem as stipulated in the Confidence Building Measures that both our countries had signed onto.

“Because the structures were occupied, these persons will have to go through a process that is laid out in the Confidence Building Measures to have them relocated back into Guatemala,” Ortega said, and assured that the BDF conducts continuous patrols in the Barrio el Juda area, which is roughly a 15-mile stretch.

Meanwhile, the illegal coastal settlements where squatters had settled have also been dismantled and the persons ordered to leave.

New Commandant of the Belize National Coast Guard, Captain Elton Bennett told the Reporter that the Coast Guard has actually taken up occupancy on the small island near Placencia to ensure that the squatters do not return. The island is being used as a temporary Coast Guard base, he said. In addition, all other illegal coastal settlements have also been dismantled and the Coast Guard does frequent patrols to keep the area free of squatters.

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