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Jan 23, 2013

Guatemala media alleges unfair referendum legislation

On the day the campaign was launched in Belize, the popular Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre lashed out on the Government of Belize. The article claims that the government intentionally changed the legislation to increase the voter participation to sixty percent to make the referendum valid. Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, Fred Martinez, was asked about the uproar in Guatemala and whether or not it will disrupt the process.

 

Fred Martinez, Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala

“We have explained to them that one it is our internal process, our internal legislation. The way the Prensa Libre article was headlined today; that we are frustrating the process by having 60 percent requirement of voter participation prior and we did it knowingly before we signed the special agreement that we changed the law. They are looking at it as “Hey, you have not been acting in good faith.” That is really the accusation. Our response is that that has been on the books, in the pipeline in the National Assembly way before we started negotiating the special agreement. It had nothing to do with the Belize/Guatemala process. The law reflects a sixty percent participation in whatever referendum, not only the Belize Guatemala process. So don’t accuse us of twisting the whole version and putting in the sixty percent just prior to.”

 

Fred Martinez

Reporter

“Ambassador, do you feel this process could be derailed by the knowledge that the Guatemalans have now?”

 

Fred Martinez

“No, I don’t think it can. I think that they have expressed their concern. Certain elements within their referendum commission have been expressing that it is not a level playing field; we don’t have any restrictions ourselves. Belize now has a sixty percent restriction on the number of voter participation. The whole process can be killed by don’t go out and vote and people don’t go out and vote and you don’t get the sixty percent and then the whole process fails. Why is it that we must tolerate that? That is the Guatemalan version. Why should we spend so much money on holding a referendum and knowing in Belize that it may very well be killed by a technicality? That is their concern.”

 

Reporter

“Was that ever brought up in the negotiations when you guys were drafting the agreement?”

 

Fred Martinez

“No, no, it was never.”

 

Daniel Ortiz, Channel 7

“But it stands to be a major concern sir that that is a possibility that sixty percent voter turnout may not happen?”

 

Jose Sanchez

“And you saw the concerns with Oceana when they tried to forward a referendum themselves.”

 

Fred Martinez

“Well you see the whole context of the referendum act and the amendments to the act was not done, and I repeat, because of the Belize Guatemala situation. It was done in general.”

 

The article asserts the claim to fifty percent of Belizean territory.

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11 Responses for “Guatemala media alleges unfair referendum legislation”

  1. Storm says:

    We can’t enact special laws to favor the Guats. I hope they get so upset they pull out of the process.

  2. cayobway says:

    just send josephine tamai to run their voting process she will reject their signature and it will not be valid enough to pass a referendum

  3. Joe says:

    My fellow Belizeans, your vote is your voice use it.

  4. Belize Supporter says:

    Belize you are being bullied and harrased by the Guatamalans, your spineless PM needs to stand tall and strong for the faite of your country hangs in the balance. No to referendums, No to the IJC, No to negotiations. Even if the IJC rules in favour of Belize the Guatamalans will continue to claim Belize istheirs. Look at Argentina and the Falklands.

  5. poor Belize says:

    Right!! I agree with STORM

  6. Pat says:

    Why negotiate in the first place? From the moment the PM and other leaders want a court to decide on a claim of 50 percent, they are acknowledging that Guatemala’s claim is legit.

    The PM negotiates and gives in to gangs. I shudder to think what he would give in return to negotiating with Guatemala. My entire village and others are in the piece that Guatemala claims. Will the PM and the Opposition hang us out to dry?

  7. Bear says:

    The Guats haven’t conquered us yet, so they can’t dictate how we choose to conduct our voting!

  8. Seletar says:

    Good points, Pat. Not only that, but it seems every single lawsuit he gets us into, WE LOSE! He has an unbroken record of defeat in court for GOB, I think. He has the worst legal judgment in the world, so if he thinks this is a good idea, that proves it is not!

  9. ceo says:

    Hey Fred! We do not want you or the ICJ to tell us how we should run our country. By the way if you did not notice yet we no want no Guatemala, we want we country free!

    Just cut the crap an learn to live peacefully with your neighbors.

  10. Genotu Rembiuos says:

    WELL… IF ANY GUATEMALAN $#!%…!@#$ THINKS WE WANT THEM THEY !&*&N STINK !!!
    WE ARE AN INDEPENDENT NATION …PERIOD !!!
    NO ONE CAN CHANGE THAT, NOT EVEN DUMB $&^@ BARROW !!!

  11. Genotu Rembiuos says:

    BETTER FOR GUATEMALA TO START TEACHING IN THEIR PRESCHOOL THAT BELIZE IS NOT FOR GUATEMALA, SO THEY SAVE THEMSELVES MOUNTAINS OF HEADACHE AND LIVE CALM AND IN PEACE WITH IT`S NEIGHBORS !!! !!!
    BELICE ES DE LOS BELICENOS, PUNTO !!!

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