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Belize and Guatemala Sign Declaration of Peace in Managua

The Presidents of the Legislative Bodies of Central America and the Caribbean Basin (FOPREL) met in Managua.  The meeting was an emergency session called to discuss the escalating issue surrounding Guatemala’s claim to a portion of Belize’s territory.  Coming out of that meeting was a signed declaration of peace by Belize’s House Speaker, Michael Peyrefitte and his Guatemalan counterpart, Mario Taracena.  This is a first agreement of its kind where the representatives from the other countries served as mediators between the representatives of Belize and Guatemala.  The declaration document bears six points; the first being a reaffirmation by FOPREL to deepen and consolidate its desire for peace, freedom, democracy, development, justice and political participation of its people.  The second is an invitation for Belize and Guatemala to promote and facilitate the solution to all disagreements via dialogue and parliamentary diplomacy in accordance with due process and international agreements.  The third seeks to offer the offices of FOPREL as a contributing factor to the two countries with the goal of strengthening diplomatic ties.  In its fourth point, FOPREL goes on to encourage both nations to support the ongoing processes under the auspices of the Organization of American States.  The fifth point serves to encourage Guatemala’s Congress to promptly consider the ratification of the protocol signed with Belize in May 2015 where the 2008 Special Agreement was amended.The final and sixth point in the declaration welcomed the initiative of Peyrefitte and Taracena as well as the President of the Nicaraguan National Assembly, Rene Nunez in facilitating this approach and that cooperation and peace will prevail in the region.  The document is dated and was signed on May 19, 2016.