Guatemalan Mayor in Belize; Sister City Relations established
Belizeans are not exactly happy with neighboring Guatemala right about now given the upcoming October sixth referendum and this week’s fiasco with the national basketball selection in Peten. The referendum will decide whether the Guatemalan claim to Belize’s territorial land should be taken to the International Court of Justice for final settlement. But despite the current climate, the Belize City Council hosted a delegation from San Benito, Peten and Guatemala City. The delegation consisted of Mayor Sonia Rivera and councilors of San Benito as well as members of Congress from Guatemala City. And at the City Hall, an agreement on the establishment of a Sister City Relationship was signed between Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley and Mayor Rivera. The event is almost a case of déjà vu as back in January, Mayor Bradley and his colleagues were welcomed with open arms and treated with love in San Benito, Petén. Both mayors, in their address spoke of the linkages between both cities. In fact, Mayor Rivera lived in Belize for seventeen years, has two sisters living in the village of Cotton Tree and her daughter goes to school here in Belize. A formal declaration of friendship was also handed over to Rivera on behalf of the Council.
Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor
“When we went to San Benito, we were there on the anniversary of the founding of San Benito. And it was shared with us that the city of San Benito was founded by Belizeans and out very own deputy mayor’s grandmother is from San Benito. So it is significant that at this time we form a relation with someone who is so very much like us. And in the larger scope of things I think that is how peace is achieved. That we would realize that beyond all political differences; beyond all challenges that we face, there is one thing that always binds us together and that is our common humanity.”
Sonia Rivera, Mayor, San Benito Petén, Guatemala
“My brothers and sisters of Belize, we are going forward; we will find the peace one day, but remember god is first. God is first. Things are going to change in Belize and this is not a casualty. This is in the plans of god and god has the control over both cities and both countries. For me it is really an honor and really a blessing to be with you today to sign an agreement of the relationship between both cities and we gonna do great things. You will continue hearing from San Benito and San Benito will be hearing from Belize City. So thank you very much; we feel so welcome and if you treat us like this we will continue coming again.”
“We have already been talking about various housing projects and exchanges in culture and our intention is that we should have regular exchanges with the city of San Benito. So I want to extend on behalf of the people of Belize City, our hand of friendship to Alcaldesa Sonia Rivera to the members of the Guatemalan congress, to the councilors of the council of San Benito, to the people of San Benito and to the people of Guatemala.”
“We are going for bigger things, this is the beginning. Thank you so much and we are here and there to serve you.”
During the three day stay in the Jewel, the delegation will travel to various municipalities throughout the country. The delegation returns to Guatemala on Sunday.