The Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute has been at the forefront of several newscasts particularly even more so since the signing of the amendments to the Special Agreement between both countries on Monday, May 25, 2015. Today, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington was a guest on The Morning Show who discussed the matter at length. With the two countries agreeing to take the option of going to the ICJ to their citizenry via a referendum, the minister was asked to explain what exactly Belize stands to lose should we decide to go to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands.
“We stand to get rid of this claim that has been hanging over our heads for all these years even before I was born and we will not give it to our children because one way or the other we will get a decision. The most I think we could lose, the very most, may be something to deal with the maritime areas outside but nothing terrestrial; largely because the basic international law principle is once a border always a border. You can’t go and interfere with borders; so, I am 100% convinced that they are not going to touch the western boarder because we have an obligation to prove our case once we go to court. If there needs to be any adjustment or alteration it will involve some of the cayes or the waters of the cayes east of the country. I had said that some years ago and then I was told that an expert had come from Australia who had said essentially the same thing. So we don’t have to worry about our land and the Sarstoon; that is not in the cards as far as I’m concerned. I am very satisfied that that is not in the card. The only thing I think can happen is in relation to the waters but the big big thing that we stand to lose is this heavy weight over our heads that keep us back from developing and really getting into our own. I really want to lose it and I think it’s time we get rid of it.”