Confusion in Jalacte/Santa Cruz Adjacency Zone; Guats Cry Foul On BDF.
According to a report earlier this week in The Guatemalan Daily, LA Prensa Libre, Guatemalan farmers living in the village of Santa Cruz, which abuts Jalacte in southern Belize, are complaining to their government that on Saturday, December 18th, a group of around 11 Belizean soldiers entered the adjacency zone and destroyed 9 of their corn fields that were at the point of being harvested. According to the report in La Prensa Libre, the BDF patrol was from a lookout post located 300 meters from Cruz in San Luis, Peten Region. That lookout is the Treetops Observation Post – which the BDF maintains as one of its fixed border posts. The report states that the affected farmers estimate their loss to the tune of 20 Thousand Quetzales. The farmers say they were told by the soldiers that their actions were sanctioned by the OAS.
They say that this is the second time their crops have been destroyed by the BDF. We could not get any comment from the BDF which is aware of the situation, but referred us to the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs. Despite attempts, We could not get any comment from that office.
For background we will note that 7news has visited Santa Cruz, Guatemala – and found it to be a community filled with animosity towards the BDF. What’s worse is that – since there is no border line, the community members are often confused about where Guatemala ends and Belize begins – and there have been many encroachments – most notably in 2008 when a Guatemalan businessman leveled a hill in Belizean territory and put a storage container on it. That later had to be destroyed by explosion.
Added to all this is the fact that it is an unregulated border point and residents form both countries freely traffic the area without customs or immigration.
But it’s all fine with the Guatemalans when they come into Belize and destroy our property.