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Oct 23, 2017

Guats to I.C.J. Referendum Next March

Jimmy Morales

It was made official today: the Guatemalan Congress has approved Sunday, March eighteenth, 2018, as the official date when their referendum on the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute will be held. President Jimmy Morales, whose administration has taken a tougher stance on the Belize question, and the judges of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal made the announcement earlier today. More than seven million Guatemalans are expected to answer the question; “Do you agree that any legal claim by Guatemala against Belize on continental inland territories and any maritime areas corresponding to those territories be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final determination and that it determines the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the parties?”  Those who participate in the referendum are expected to answer either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. We hear more in this report from Prensa Libre newspaper in Guatemala.

 

Jimmy Morales, President of Guatemala [Translated]

“Our brotherly neighbors, who cannot live without each other, need to work toward achieving an understanding that will allow them to face challenges that are common to both countries. The definite solution, which will provide many benefits, will overcome the many incidents along the adjacency zone, since having the certainty of a border will avoid the loss of people’s lives. Our national security will be strengthened and the cooperation between the two countries will enable the fight against illicit activities and organized crime. The health and education services, which we share, would also be improved.”

 

No date has been set for Belize’s referendum. However, per the Special Agreement signed in 2008, Belizeans are expected to answer the same question. 

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