BDF Chief of Staff explains how illegal structures at the borderline are handled
Shifting now to the borderline: A local news outlet in Melchor de Mencos, Guatemalan, is reporting that BDF soldiers (quote) “illegally entered the property of a neighbor in the municipality of Melchor de Mencos, Petén” (end of quote) And that statement is true depending on who you ask because Belizean authorities have repeatedly proved, with the help of the OAS, that houses belonging to Guatemalans have been erected along this side of the border, on Belizean soil. But for the Guatemalans, that’s not the case because they believe that they are not in Belize. But beyond that, the BDF coordinates operations with Guatemalan authorities and after confirmation is received from the OAS regarding the location of a structure, then moves are made to dismantle the structure. In September, the BDF’s acting chief of staff, Lieutenant Colonel Jermaine Burns explained that the BDF would be conducted operations along Belize’s side of the western border.
Lt.Col. Jermaine Burns, Acting Chief of Staff, BDF: “The strategy that we discussed yes is to increase the amount of manpower on the Western border not for a permanent time though because the logistics behind it would be significant. It will see the first 90 men on the ground for a special operations in the coming weeks and we’re going to ut so much men out there to try and stem the problem. This is an exercise so to speak and at the end of the exercise it’s going to culminate with an operation where we’re utilizing X amount of men. So the area in which we are going to operate and that sort of thing of course I would not disclose that and what exactly our men are doing. A part of the training the initial training that comes with it we may invite the media to come and see the BDF training in the area prior to going out into the operations. The idea I am putting out there is that I don’t want anyone to think that BDF just has 90 men that you can take and push out on the border at any one time because we don’t it’s just a culminating training exercise that customarily every four months the training company that’s based out of Punta Gorda would go and conduct a final two weeks or so exercise and we haven’t done that in some time and we’re bringing that back at the end of their four month tour which finishes somewhere in the end of September into the beginning of October and that’s where we want to capitalize on some man power to start to have an effect in those areas that we discussed but yes that’s about the best way we can start with the new strategy.”