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Sep 20, 2017

I.C.J. Still the Only Way

There is still no protocol on the Sarstoon, even though the Foreign Minister was told by his then counterpart, Carlos Raul Morales that one would be concluded. But Elrington believes that going to the ICJ would stop the Guatemalan military and repeats that the maritime borders are not yet defined. Elrington further states that the behavior of the Guatemalans should come as no surprise to Belizeans who wish to traverse the river and in fact we should expect it. 

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“For any Belizeans who were to go there in that kind of exercise, doing that kind of exercise should not be surprised that there would be some kind of reaction from the Guatemalans, in my view.  That has always been the case and I don’t think it would stop until we have a clear decision from the I.C.J. or some other authoritative body clearly stipulating where our boundaries are, both in the sea and on the river.  We know that our borders are at the mid-channel, by the 1859 Treaty.  We know that the western border is defined by the 1859 Treaty.  We know that the maritime borders are not yet defined, but because of the Guatemalan challenge it is contested, it is a contested situation and therefore the Guatemalans will tend to respond in that way to my mind until after we get a definitive decision at the I.C.J.  And it is for that reason that we have been at such great pains to encourage Belizeans to cause the matter to go to the I.C.J. for a resolution because unless it is resolved there we will have this problem in perpetuity, as we have been having it for more than a hundred and fifty years.”

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