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Border Dispute has the country divided

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The Belize & Guatemala Dispute originated with the British who had settled Belize once called British Honduras. Under the British rule, the dispute was never resolve despite repeated efforts. Today, the border dispute is still an issue that Belizeans are divided on. As we shared with you, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Lisa Shoman has condemned a recent comment made by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington. In her condemnation, Shoman was supported by the Belize Territorial Volunteers and Senator Valerie Woods. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington had said that Belize has to go to the ICJ in order for our borders to be defined. Love News spoke with Minister Elrington who explained his statement.

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington:

 

“I am saying that the borders of Belize are not internationally recognized and people, some people sought to suggest that that comment is not a correct one.”

However, many would say that our borders were defined in the 1859 Treaty. Elrington spoke about the 1859 treaty, saying that the treaty was subject to certain conditions including a road that the British agreed to build but failed to live up to their promise.”

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington:

 

“In 1939 they changed that story and said it belonged to them, that the 1859 Treaty was not a border treaty but was a treaty whereby they were giving Britain the land in exchange for the British doing certain things including the building of this cart road in article seven of the treaty. The British thought that that position was really not so and told the Guatemalans ‘if you think that that is the case take the matter to the International Court of Justice.’ So from the 1930s the British had been telling them that, the administration in Belize in 1948 also agreed that that should be so. So the position is simply that as far as we in Belize are concerned our Western boundary is now what is being called the adjacency line. We believe that the 1859 Treaty is valid and binding. The Guatemalans are suggesting that it is not, the only way of solving that problem is by taking it to court because it’s a legal matter and it is for that reason that in fact we have to go to court in relation to the land boundary.”

President of BUFERHD, Derek Aikman kept to his positing saying that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) might not be the best option for Belize because the Belizean government has given Guatemala portions of our territory in order to appease them. As a result, it is very likely that the ICJ will rule in Guatemala’s favour because of our past behavior with regards to Guatemala.

 

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