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Belizeans to challenge 2008 Special Agreement to take the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute to the ICJ

In late 2008, Belize and Guatemala signed a compromis, a special agreement to take the Belize Guatemala territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice for a final resolution. It was signed by Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, the then Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Haroldo Rodas, and OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. Today, ten years after, Bobby Lopez, Chairman of the PEACE Movement says they have every intention of challenging the legality of that agreement. Basing themselves again on the Constitution of Belize, Lopez explained why they seek to challenge the agreement at court.

Bobby Lopez, Chairman of the PEACE Movement: That the foreign Minister derives the totally of his power from the constitution which he is sworn to uphold. The Belize constitution explicitly defines the borders of Belize by virtue of the constitution 711 and schedule 3 along with the constitution. The foreign Minister is constitutionally bound to uphold the defined boundaries and the constitution provides that the method to alter the boundaries of Belize is by a 2/3rd vote majority vote of the House of representatives only so we say the special agreement is both illegal and procedurally improper in that it gives the ICJ now after referendum if we vote yes: The power alter the boundaries of Belize when such power is vested only in the legislator of Belize. The Special Agreement does not have the support of the 2/3rd of the House of representatives in anticipating the alteration Belize’s boundaries so we are asking the court to determine that the Minister of Foreign affairs acted beyond his executive power when he signed that special agreement since it anticipates an egregious reach of the constitution and B) determine the provision of article two of the special agreement that request the ICJ to determine the boundaries of Belize is contrary to public policy for threatening the boundaries of Belize which is enshrined in our constitution and C) determine that the special agreement to the extent that it request the ICJ to determine our boundaries of Belize is null and void. Belizeans we cannot allow our elected leaders, those we entrusted to uphold this sacred law to abuse this law now, to usurp this law. 

oups called on Belizean attorneys to support their cause, especially since they have been having challenges in holding legal representation. According to the leaders, if the need arises, they will seek legal representation in the Caribbean.