Guatemalans Say They Listened In Disbelief at Foreign Minister’s Address at the UN

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Updated: September 26, 2016

Just a few hours after Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington delivered his address at the UN’s General Debate, the Permanent representative of Guatemala to the United Nations furnished a report of which Love News was given an excerpt of.  It noted, quote, “With regard to this 150 year old conflict, we listened carefully but also with disbelief to the speech given by the delegation of Belize which contained untrue statements. First of all we reiterate our peaceful vocation and commitment to resolve peacefully and permanently before the ICJ; as was stated by the President of Guatemala, we aspire to have a privileged relationship with Belize and an ongoing dialogue to resolve our common problems.  Guatemala is a founding member and during this whole time we have never resorted to use of force or threat or use of force but on the contrary, we have always sought through peaceful means to find settlement of the territorial dispute.  For more than 120 years Guatemala has done the impossible to bring solution through direct negotiations mediation good offices amongst other things but our good faith was taken advantage of by the imperialist power which unilaterally granted independence to Belize in 1981 contrary to what was agreed in the heads of agreement.  Guatemala nonetheless recognises the right of the people of Belize to self-determination but we maintain our legitimate claim to the historic rights we have to part of that territory.  Guatemala always seeks peaceful means to reclaim that which was taken by force and deceit and even as we recognise the independence of Belize, we have never renounced our rights just as we have never resorted to violent acts against citizens of brotherly country.  Today we are seeing another kind of violence due to abject conduct that contravenes the friendly links between nations, as prescribed by first article of United Nations Convention also as prescribed by article two; in the last decade there have been victims of defenceless Guatemalan farmers; their only mistake is that they find themselves in areas under Belizean administration but they do not threaten peace and security of Belize.  Violent deaths have always gone unpunished; the most recent death of a 14 year old boy was done at the hands of armed militia; in contravention of UNC; show irrational conduct; that is not legally justifiable.  The report does not justify Belize’s behaviour.  The shots that led to the death are arms of the BDF and part of joint patrol.  Guatemala did not reject to the credentials of the experts but to the inconsistencies of the report.  Facts were not included.  Some have been deleted.  To say Guatemala forces accompanied citizens to illegally enter Belize is irresponsible.  This shows that Belize did not guard the crime scene and therefore compromised the investigation and results.  The circumstances that the boy was previously detained do not justify the use of force by the joint patrol of Belize…. None of the 10 people who died deserved this.  They are Guatemalan farmers who happen to find themselves in the Belize administrated area.  In respect of the Belizean officers, “people who entered into Belize from Guatemala” does not mean they were Guatemalans.  These are facts that still have to be investigated.  Guatemala has been patient and been conciliatory for more than 150 years, and had to put up with the delaying tactics and treachery of imperialist power, and now have to deal with accusations of those who pretend to be victims when they are aggressors.  We regret to have to use this forum for the first time.  Disproportionate use of force is not justified.  We need to paint the true picture on the ground.  Continue to search for a solution to our rights.  We will not back down in order to find a just solution to this historic dispute.  We will never abandon our citizens.  We will soon be agreeing to the Protocol to the Special Agreement which reaffirms our will to submit this old problem to the ICJ in order to avoid further violent acts which will only be harmful.”  End of quote.