Guatemalans who have attained Belizean citizenship will be allowed to re-register and consequently be able to vote in the ICJ referendum next year. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) along with the Belize National Teachers Union and its umbrella union, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, have an issue with it. The BCCI opposes the granting of Belize citizenship to Guatemalans because it is in contravention of the constitution. The BCCI has written to several government officials including to the Prime Minister, pointing out that Section 29 of the Constitution of Belize states that no person shall be granted Belizean nationality if that person is from a country that does not recognize Belize’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and Guatemala falls in that category. In addition, the BCCI is of the view that the renunciation process for Guatemalans is flawed because there is no similar action taken in Guatemala. According to the Prime Minister, he spoke to BCCI President Nikita Usher and explained the complex nature of the concern.
In the meantime, applications by Guatemalan’s who are requesting Belize citizenship are not being reviewed.