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Oct 7, 2016

Guatemala and Belize Advance Efforts to Resolve Dispute

Wilfred Elrington

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington also spoke on how things are moving with relation to Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize. There are two significant developments. First, Guatemala’s Congress is presently reviewing the amendment to the 2008 Special Agreement which allows both countries to proceed independently of each other, if necessary, to hold referenda on whether to send the claim to the International Court of Justice. The final settlement of the claim by means of adjudication in the I.C.J. is still on the table. Second, Belize and Guatemala are also drawing closer to a long-awaited Sarstoon Compromise. Elrington said that that is intended to ensure uninterrupted traffic for Belizean vessels and citizens along the nation’s southern boundary, which has been almost completely dominated by Guatemala in recent years. 

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Right now we have two things pending – one, the amended 2008 Agreement which will allow for us to go to referendum, either singly, simultaneously or separately, and they have given us an assurance from this right of reply that in fact it is going through their Congress now, and they intend to have it completed soon. So that was good news; that is good news. And then they’re also suggesting that we may be able to get the compromise in the Sarstoon – that kind of mechanism in the Sarstoon, whereby they are not going to interfere with us; we will be able to go and come, as we are entitled to do, without any kind of aggression or interruption by their military. We want to have something signed, so that we can feel comfortable that even if we have problem there, we have a regime to deal with that; that is the mechanism that we talked about; that is still outstanding. And then of course, the most important thing is getting the matter finally solved by doing the referendum – hopefully Belizeans will agree – and then getting the matter to the I.C.J. The important thing is to get the claim to be ended; we have to bring an end to this claim, otherwise our country is going to be in jeopardy for an indefinite period of time. Something which is not good for you, for me, or for anybody in Belize.”


Elrington continued to urge caution to “super-patriots” who risk military confrontation with Guatemala with their actions in the Sarstoon. He also noted that while they have protested the recent issue with the Belize Territorial Volunteers who were menaced by Guatemalan elements on the Saturday before Independence Day during their Eco-Challenge race to Sarstoon Island, the risk of provoking Guatemalan “super patriots” is not worth possible military action.

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2 Responses for “Guatemala and Belize Advance Efforts to Resolve Dispute”

  1. MNHG says:

    OOPS !

  2. Stopthebs says:

    What compromise is this clown Elrington is talking about..this chicken Borrow don’t know what hell he’s doing when it comes to Guatemala can they let the Guats dictate to Belizean what we can do within their own borders… Belize government need to impose some border restrictions themselves concerning the Guats coming into Belize…show some balls Chicken Borrow and protect our borders from these rats..power to the people

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