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Apr 16, 2018

Belizeans React to Guat Referendum Outcome

With Guatemalans giving the nod to take the territorial claim to the I.C.J., does the result put added pressure on the Belizean government and populace to have the same? On this side of the border, residents were tuned in to coverage of the referendum. Today, a News Five team took to the streets of the city to poll whether we too would agree to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice. Interestingly, the persons we spoke with were generally not in support.

 

Resident # 1

“I won’t say if we do it, I won’t say how I would vote, but as a Belizean who grew up on this land for twenty-three years, you di tell me I have to go dah wah court now fi tell me that this might be or might not be fi me. But as a Belizean and not as a youth ambassador, I think at this point I want to leave it to my people. After our re-registration in July, l hope my Belizeans really do come out because yesterday’s turnout from Guatemala really does show a lot. And trust me; I have hope in my people that we will do the best at the end of the day.”

 

Resident # 2

“It’s a very sticky situation because right now in school that’s something that we are discussing. And you know sometimes the I.C.J. make laws and the decision might not be fair. So it something that I have to like think about really.”

 

Duane Moody

“Do you think that it puts added pressure on us; that we would have to say yes too?”

 

Resident # 2

“Well their showing us that their ready to take up the challenge and you guys should bring it on too. But I think it puts pressure on us as Belizeans because a lot of people have been passing comments on Facebook and it is a huge part of our country down south that they are claiming so what if the I.C.J. does pass that they are in the right and we are in the wrong; then what is going to happen to all of our Belizean people down south?”

 

Duane Moody

“So you don’t believe that we should take the risk?”

 

Resident # 2

“I would say no. No.”

 

Resident # 3

“I believe that we need to take the territorial claim because we don’t have anything to lose. Well we have Belize to lose, but I don’t think Belize is just going to be losing itself when right is right and wrong is wrong. And Guatemala is wrong and they need to go to I.C.J. to find out that they are wrong. So Belize don’t have nothing to worry about; we shouldn’t lose no sleep over that.”

 

Duane Moody

“Do you think we as Belizeans are informed enough about what’s the issue at hand to make a decision when we do go to the polls to vote?”

 

Resident # 3

“I don’t believe that we are informed enough, but I believe that’s where the government and people that’s leading us suppose to be making that step.”

 

Resident # 4

“First of all, we don’t know if they have a threshold about the percentage of the population that should have voted yesterday to make it possible to go to the I.C.J.”

 

Duane Moody

“The issue is that for it to even go to the I.C.J. Belize should say yes. Now when you go to the poll, how are you going to vote and why?”

 

Resident # 4

“No, because I think if something is yours, you don’t have to dispute it. Belize is ours.”

 

Duane Moody

“They are claiming more than half…”

 

Resident # 4

“But they could always claim, but the last time I checked on the map, Belize is marked as a—used to be a British Colony—now it is an independent nation. There is nothing mentioned about Guatemala when it comes to Belize as far as ownership.”

 

Duane Moody

“Some people are of the opinion that that view that Belize is an independent country, we have nothing to worry about. Then go to the court and let it be known.”

 

Resident # 4

“Like I said, if something is yours, you need not dispute it anywhere because you know it is yours. And if your people don’t want to go then you shouldn’t go because the people own the country, not the government.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Belizeans React to Guat Referendum Outcome”

  1. Melissa Jennings says:

    I hope this is resolved quickly and that the Belizean people get to keep their land. I, an American, have no faith in a “just” outcome by the ICJ. If it goes to the ICJ, the disputed land will most likely go to the country with the most money unfortunately, mankind is greedy and the most powerful people in the world are not an exception but rather the rule, in my opinion. They may not all be corruptible but all it takes is one to change any outcome of any dispute.
    If the entirety of the dissued land was part of the British colony then it is part of Belize, regardless of how desperate Guatemala is for those resources. I say this with the knowledge that if it remains part of Belize, the influx of Guatemalans into Mexico & then to the US, will continue. That’s not to say that the volume of immigrants would not necessarily be any less should Guatemala get the land & resources they want so desperately want & need.
    I’m happy that I have not heard of any US involvement either way, at least not thus far. The US has it’s hands in too many foreign issues as it is. If we were to come out in favor of either country, the other would hate us so it’s best we don’t get involved. There are enough countries and people that hate us, no need to add yet another to the list. I’m not sure how long we will stay out of it considering how many Americans are buying land in Belize & I’m sure most are considerably wealthy & probably “know people”.
    All that said, as a completely unbiased person, I feel there should be no dispute at all, it’s been part of Belize & should remain as such. That is the humble opinion of a poor, white, female American.

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