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Leaders’ perspectives on the ICJ

Earlier this week, we told you that Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno and his plans to do a tour of the divisions to hear the residents’ views on the ICJ.  Briceno briefed us on his approach.

John Briceno – Leader of the Opposition: “Well tomorrow we will start the tour, I am going to go and visit all 21 constituencies. Tomorrow we start in the Toledo district. I’ll be meeting the executives of both Toledo East and Toledo West with a few more leaders that are going to be together. I will be there listening to their concerns and to their positions on the ICJ and any other party matters that they would want to bring. I am taking with me Ambassador Leslie so that if there is any questions, if anybody have questions concerning the ICJ he will be in a position to answer them. On Friday I go to Stann Creek West and to Dangriga and then next week I will start doing the west but I have not worked out a full schedule for the full 21 constituencies.”

The Belize Progressive Party also had their views on the ICJ matter which they shared during a press conference this morning in Belize City.

Patrick Rogers – Leader of the Belize Progressive Party: “Belize with the ICJ option, not that we are discounting it totally but under this special agreement( no, no, no, no). We have got to vote no to reset the button and maybe get another special agreement with the people’s involvement that will table to the Guatemalans and get to the ICJ under a new special agreement, not this one, that is the point that we have been trying to make to Belize and I think we will be able to show you why this one is not the document to go because all this do is three things: What we want the ICJ to do? Determine if there is any legality to the Guatemalan claim to Belize. What is the second thing we want them to do? If there is legal claims to Belize how much rights do those legal claims give Guatemala to Belize and based on those rights  the third thing is to define where the new Belize border is going. One, two, three things and that’s the problem so we will say article two in her is needed to be modified and article 7, the actual referendum question. These were what we wanted an opportunity to explain how we will want to see these modified before we accept these.”

 Also weighing in on the ICJ issue was Health Minister, Pablo Marin.

Pablo Marin – Minister of Health: “I look at in the way that if you have your house, you have your land and you know definitely you have that boundaries all around and then you have your neighbor who is a big guy who always try to threaten you and push you around and sometimes when he want to have his barbeque he do it inside in your yard, what will you do? You have to go and do it legally for you to be able to say you know what you cannot come in, for you to come into my land then we will deal with it accordingly. We started going to the media definitely and we try to have some of the people go there and educate them on the way forward but definitely I believe we supposed to go to the ICJ.”

 The ICJ campaign continues via the International Boundaries Unit inside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.