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Dec 19, 2012

COLA’s position paper rejects going to ICJ

Giovanni Brackett

The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) rejects the referendum that could land Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).   According to some estimates, Belize requires about ten million Belize dollars while Guatemala says it requires forty-six million US dollars for public awareness and to carry out the referendum. The October sixth referendum date is less than a year away for both countries to make a historical decision that could result in the loss of fifty percent of Belize’s territorial lands. Giovanni Brackett, President of COLA says the ICJ is not a viable option.


Giovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“Belize is a recognized nation with our borders intact by the United Nation’s Resolution and countries all around the world; most of the member states and countries of the United Nations recognize Belize as a nation. We even have an ambassador in Guatemala; that being the first reason that we believe that we shouldn’t go to the ICJ. Secondly, we believe going to ICJ, it states in our constitution; that before we subject our sovereignty to any outer jurisdiction, it should have gone through the house and it should have gotten a two-thirds pass majority within the house and this was not done. We believe that going to the ICJ without going through the house is in direct contravention to our constitution. We believe and one of our strongest point is that the International Court of Justice is not a viable option to solving this long standing claim. If you look at the situation between the United States and Nicaragua, coming out of that situation, U.S. refused to adhere to the rules of the International Court of Justice and one of the attorneys described the ICJ as a semi-judicial or semi-legal entity that countries listen to and sometimes don’t listen to. if the United States which is one of the primary funders for the OAS would have that opinion of the International Court of Justice, we believe that why should Belize be forced to go to the ICJ? In the case of the Nigeria and the Cameroons over the Bakassi Peninsula, Nigeria lost and protested feeling that they were not heard. They wanted an appeal but could not have gotten an appeal because as you know, the ruling of the International Court of Justice is final. And finally the most recent case, Colombia and Nicaragua, we believe Colombia withdrew itself from the Treaty that recognized the International Court of Justice as an entity to solve this matter. And the Colombian president went as far to say that the only way; that the land and boundary of a country should not be put into the Court but should be solved solely through diplomatic and political channels. And that is the position why COLA opposes going to the International Court of Justice.”


Cola’s president also said that his group urges political leaders to consider, if not act upon their opinion. The organization believes that the dispute could be solved through sound diplomacy and non-aggression rather than yes or no votes.

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7 Responses for “COLA’s position paper rejects going to ICJ”

  1. Storm says:

    Wow, for once I find myself agreeing with COLA 100%!

    In the case of Colombia, last month ICJ stripped it of an island and gave it to Nicaragua, even though Nicaragua had never exercised sovereignty over it. Why should we risk our independence with such a bizarre tribunal?

  2. Lucas says:

    As long as Belize refused to talk with Guatemala regarding their unfounded claim, Belize had the advantage which was lost the moment Belize politicians agreed to negociate. negociation has only worked to the advantage of Guatemala. Sitting at the negociating table: may give us a sense of equality but Guatemala has always seen us as a mangy dog far beneath them, it makes Guatemala’s claim appear legitimate and by delaying real progress, they have bought time to refine their claim. If we go to the ICJ and Guatemala loses, they will renegate and the claim will continue, if we lose, they will walk in and we will not be able to stop them. The only solution is to prepare to defend our country by force of arms. ONE SWORD KEEPS ANOTHER IN THE SCABBARD (Benjamin Franklin). NO TO ICJ.

  3. busha says:

    oh boy…. here we go…. I would advise all of you to move away from Belize, you’re going to loose your land anyway. ICJ is the way to go… we are leasing our land, we do not have the title… we are positioned based on age old treaties, the borders are not “official”… can’t you see that… You listen to COLA and you will loose, you cant just ignore this and not discuss

  4. Belizean Pride says:

    i don’t agree to go to the ICJ I stand along with cola, we’re a nation known to the world nothing to share with guatemala simple as that.

  5. check it out says:

    ask any COLA member if they are willing to go and spend 1 month patrolling border . if we think the incursions are bad now with 15 million Gatemalans, in the next 10 years with the rapid poulation growth there will be 22 milion of them, where you think they will go . wake up COLA this problem will not go away.

  6. Bear says:

    Guatemala’s use of the ICJ reminds me of how Hitler swallowed all of Czechoslovakia. He started by saying that there were some Germans in part of the country, and he MUST have that part for Germany — which the Brits and France gave him at Munich. Nobody asked the Czechs, of course. Then Hitler decided since he had taken a little bite, he needed to take the rest, and nobody stopped him.

    Is Belize on the verge of being absorbed by Guatemala for the first time? Probably, if the ICJ has a say in it.

  7. ceo says:

    All they have to do is drop the claim just the way they started the claim! Much cheaper this way. The problem is they do not want the matter settled up. They started the mess so let them stop the mess! We never want to be part of them but seems like they cannot wait to be part of us.

    It does not matter how many courts we go to the matter will never settle up until the characters that can make a difference really give it up! They cannot even in good faith follow the agreement of the adjacency zone until it is all worked out.

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