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Aug 17, 2017

Former Foreign Minister Says Guatemala Must Respect our Borders

Shoman who has been an advocate for going to the I.C.J. has now changed her position in light of what is being said by the incumbent foreign minister.  That is unless a practical Sarstoon Protocol has been established and until Guatemala respects our borders.  The notion that Belize would go to the I.C.J. based on an opinion that it doesn’t have internationally recognized borders is, according to Shoman, furthest from the truth.


Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, Former Foreign Minister

“That is not, with all due respect, the reason we are going to the I.C.J.  As far as I’ve been concerned, the reason we are going to the I.C.J. is to try to seek juridical certainty as to the status of our internationally recognized borders.  Politically, the only country on earth that doesn’t recognize all our borders is Guatemala, and even Guatemala dare not say it does not recognize our border, for instance, at the Benque/Melchor crossing.  That is an internationally recognized border and they respect that.  What do they not respect?  They don’t respect our southernmost boundary.  They don’t respect our maritime area delimitations.  They claim all of our territorial sea, all of our cayes, except St. George’s Caye and a lot of the internal waters in Belize that lie below that half of the country that they are claiming.  That is the last formula as I heard it.  But not even Guatemala is bold or facey enough to say that Belize has no internationally recognized borders or there wouldn’t be a border crossing at Melchor/Benque.  My letter, my open letter is to call on the prime minister, not just as a Belizean, first and foremost as a Belizean, but seriously as a former foreign minister of Belize, to call on the prime minister to reject in its totality the statement that was made by Foreign Minister Elrington because it is a statement that is completely and utterly inaccurate and incorrect.  We are not going to the I.C.J., or we are not, not going to the I.C.J. based on the premise that we don’t have internationally recognized borders.  Foreign Minister Elrington, as you know, has a gift for unfortunately stated things and one of the things that he got a lot of flak for was this idea of the artificial border.  Nobody has forgotten that.”

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