Referendum on I.C.J. Coming for Guatemala; Belize Not Ready Yet
Is Guatemala ready to go to referendum on whether its age-old claim over Belize should go before the ICJ? Earlier today, an official from the Guatemalan electoral commission told the Guatemalan press that the government has raised as much as forty million dollars to fund the exercise in September. So where does Belize stand in relation to this latest announcement? According to Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, while there are no new developments regarding the Sarstoon protocol, Belize will be watching closely should Guatemalans go to the polls in September.
Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs
“We have not gone further in terms of getting the discussion with the protocol for the Sarstoon worked out. I am very optimistic, however, that something will in fact work out on that before too long. It’s just my general optimistic nature, but we have received word, I think it is in the Guatemalan press where some functionary of the Guatemalan electoral commission is suggesting that they have already secured some forty million dollars to hold the referendum and that they are thinking about holding the referendum in September and they are specifically thinking about holding the referendum in relation to going to the ICJ with Belize. So that, I think, was published in the Guatemalan press only today, if not yesterday. So they certainly are moving forward it seems and on our side we continue the education campaign. In the event they go through with theirs, we would then be in a position to do ours. Hopefully we would have sufficiently informed the Belizean people that they could make an informed decision when and if they go to the polls.”