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Nov 28, 2008

P.M. Barrow is confident about going to I.CJ.

Story PictureMeanwhile, on the diplomatic front, it’s the countdown to the signing of the compromis or special agreement in Washington DC this coming December eighth, which would land the Guatemalan claim to Belize before the International Court of Justice in the Hague. The agreement will be inked by Foreign Ministers Wilfred Elrington of Belize and Haroldo Rhodas of Guatemala, at the Organization of American States. But before going to I.C.J., a referendum will be held simultaneously in both countries. This morning P.M. Barrow told News Five that while there can never be a guarantee of a total victory on legal matters, he felt confident that Belize had a strong case.

Prime minister Dean Barrow
“While I can’t claim to be an international lawyer, I have certainly been encouraged by the opinion of the top international lawyers that have advised this country that our case is unassailable, that our case is airtight. So I believe that on that basis we can contemplate the possibility of going to the International Court of Justice. I have said, on the other hand that again, as a lawyer, I know that there is no such thing as a sure thing. That really then is the downside of the issue that’s confronting us in terms of whether or not to go to the I.C.J. Speaking for myself, I am prepared to run what I consider to be the minimal risk involved in a submission to the I.C.J.; the possibility that it might not have the hundred and ten percent vindication that we want from the I.C.J. I have no doubt that we will win but we don’t just want to win, we want to score a complete knockout blow in front of the I.C.J. because that is our entitlement. This is our country, every last bit of it. So one has to be fair and concede that always there is an element of risk involved in any litigation, but as a people, we are mature enough to look at that, to weigh things and balance to make the right decision as to whether—when that referendum comes, if it does come—we vote to go to the I.C.J. or not.”

Channel Five’s Morning Show, Open Your Eyes, today concluded a one-week series on this sensitive issue which presented a roadmap of the claim starting with the historical perspective of the claim, all the way to the I.C.J.

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