Guatemalan Congress rejects expanding map to include Belize
Weeks ago, we reported that a leaked progress report by a consultant in Guatemala was pushing the idea to officially include Belize as part of Guatemala in that country’s map. The report was done by a consultant who was on contract to perform certain activities for a year. In his report for January, he makes reference to Guatemala’s push to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice for resolution. According to the progress report, Guatemala has been contemplating oil exploration, and a poll on the topic had been carried out. The consultant also claimed that he had met with different agencies, including the Guatemalan Foreign Minister. The Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not know of the document and according to Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, neither was it particularly concerned. And while there was no official verification that the Guatemalan government had been promoting the idea; it has come to a vote. A report in today’s Prensa Libre says that the Guatemalan congress has overwhelmingly rejected a proposed resolution to instruct governmental entities to place Belize as part of Guatemalan territory. Prensa Libre states that with eighty-four votes against, the proposal of Representative Luis Fernando Montenegro titled Encounter for Guatemala, was rejected by Parliament. It made a (quote) demand on all the organizations and dependencies of the State of Guatemala to use and only authorize maps of Guatemala that include Belize with doted lines and with the description: Territorial Differendum, insular and maritime pending resolution. On the dotted line it reads: Boundary not defined”. The initiative also contemplated to back up the actions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for all the official agencies to provide for the production and distribution of maps. Twenty-six legislators voted in favour. Montenegro said that in public and private educational centers, they are teaching a reduced version of the Guatemalan map.