Heads of states of the eight member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA) were in Belize on Friday for the 52nd Meeting of the Heads of State and Government. But prior to the meeting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales spoke during a bilateral session. Prime Minister Barrow says that the subject of Belize’s referendum was discussed. While Belizeans are yet to decide whether to take the dispute to the ICJ on April 10 2019, the Prime Minister says President Morales indicated that he believes this is the path to take.
Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow: “He is saying that he is committed to peace of Belize and of course the question of the Sartoon came up. I raised the question of the Sarstoon and his response was “well once we go to Court and that together with everything else will be disposed of so I have no doubt that he truly believes that the Referendum if in fact Belize votes to go to the Referendum will put an end to the issue. I truly believe that Guatemala absolutely knows that it would have to respect the ICJ ruling and basically that’s where that stood and until April 10th Belize is still pressing for us to try and come up with a Modus Vivendi for the Sarstoon that would guarantee that our rights are respected but I can’t tell you that I was able to achieve that today.”
In a brief interview with the Belizean press, President Morales was questioned on the upcoming referendum and the possibility of a “NO” vote.
Jimmy Morales Guatemalan President: “That hasn’t happened and I think that what we have to point out that we need to let things happen and I think that Guatemala and Belize would want peace. We want to strengthen ourselves, we have very good treaties that we have signed for example: children from Guatemala who come to Belize to study and Belizean University students who come from Belize to study in Guatemala. That shows that we all want to improve so we always wish Belize the best. What is good for Belize is good for Guatemala so it is good for us to join in Unity.