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Feb 7, 2013

OAS meeting with Belize as part of Guatemala map

A public awareness campaign was recently launched for the October referendum in which Belizeans will vote on whether Guatemala’s claim to Belize will be decided by the International Court of Justice. But today, Belize is sending a formal note of protest to the Guatemalan government for including Belize in its official map. A diplomatic spat erupted at the OAS headquarters in Washington on Wednesday which required Ambassador Nestor Mendez to raise his flag in protest over the sensitive issue of Belize’s boundaries. News Five’s Jose Sanchez has a report.


Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Guatemala will host the forty-third General Assembly of the OAS in June 2013. At OAS headquarters in Washington, Guatemalan Ambassador to the OAS, H.E. Jose Rodrigo Vielmann De Leon showed a video presentation in which the yellow map of Guatemala usurps Belize.  The Guatemalan representative apologized for the technical problems with the video but not for including Belize on their map.


Nestor Mendez

But Belize’s Ambassador Nestor Mendez protested on behalf of Belizeans for the same issue which occurred previously at the OAS General Assembly in Bolivia.


H.E. Nestor Mendez, Belize Ambassador to the OAS

“When this video was shown in the General Assembly in Bolivia; the delegation of Belize took the floor and protested the use of a map that shows Belize as part of Guatemala. Subsequent to that we were assured by the Secretariat that they would ensure that whenever this video would be utilized again, that image would be removed. Everybody is aware that Belize and Guatemala have a diferendum that it is being dealt with under the auspices of the OAS that hopefully it will be resolved at the International Court of Justice but it is still not yet resolved. The use of this video and this image puts in serious jeopardy the process that we have undergoing with the good offices of the General Secretariat of the OAS and Belize cannot accept the use of that video. We protested it at the General Assembly and we once again protest it.”


For this second instance, Vielmann De Leon did not apologize but spoke of a dotted line, an adjacency line in the map to distinguish the two countries. And as the lingua franca is important at the OAS; dotted or adjacency lines are not country borders.


Jose Rodrigo Vielmann de Leon

H.E. Jose Rodrigo Vielmann de Leon, Guatemala Ambassador to the OAS

“In respect to the intervention by Belize; in effective that protest was acknowledge in Guatemala. The map used in this video illustrates a dotted line as an adjacency line that both countries recognize and use in the process of the territorial differendum and this intervention by the Belize delegation allows me to remind the importance of the process that we are currently embarking on as the General Secretary made mention in his general statement a few minutes ago. Both countries agreed to a simultaneous consultation on the sixth of October of this year which will decide if we take the matter to the International Court of Justice and this map does not intentionally show Belize as part of Guatemala rather it shows the reality of the situation that is at hand of the territorial dispute between both countries using a dotted line and in no instance does Guatemala want to interfere in the process of this dispute, a dispute that has been in existence for decades; which has been peaceful with the country of Belize in which the OAS plays an important role.”


Priority reverted to be the upcoming General Assembly in Guatemala and Belize’s Ambassador was ignored. No other country protested and that silence is a strong message from the OAS.


Albert Ramdin

Ambassador Albert Ramdin, Assistant Sec. Gen. OAS 

“Just to add some information to Ambassador Vielmann has presented but also related to the recent visit I paid to Guatemala, I must say that meeting on the occasion of the signing of the agreement between the OAS and that country for hosting the general assembly. Before that we had a very useful conversation.”


Flustered, Ambassador Mendez reiterated his protest.


H.E. Nestor Mendez

“Following up on Belize’s point of order earlier, I just want to inform the permanent counsel that Belize will be formalizing its protest in writing by a diplomatic note. We find the use of that map totally unacceptable. It shows Belize and Guatemala in the same color—all the rest of Central America; all the other countries with a different color—the implication is that it is one territory. As we prepare to go to the ICJ, this provocative use of this map is not acceptable to our delegation and we will be formalizing our protest in writing.”


This is only one map; however, other maps of Guatemala show a defined border with Belize. This particular Guatemalan newspaper shows the border drawn with a white line and a darkened area that includes the Cayo District, Dangriga and Punta Gorda, half of Belize that they feel they are entitled to possess. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.


A few things to note; firstly, the use of word differendum by Ambassador Mendez. The territorial dispute by Guatemala is referred to as an unfounded claim, not a differendum and secondly, the Ambassador would have been perfectly in order to inform the OAS that under the circumstances, he would recommend that Belize not attend the OAS General Assembly in the Guatemala since our sovereignty is being tested. 

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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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19 Responses for “OAS meeting with Belize as part of Guatemala map”

  1. Paco Smith says:

    Honestly, this should not come as a surprise, for it is part and parcel of the diplomatic game Guatemala plays with the issue.

    What I found very interesting is the explanation by the Guatemalan Ambassador to the OAS. Although I shall never agree with the position of any emissary of the Guatemalan government that is claiming our sovereign territory, it is instructive to note that he referred to Belize’s acquiescence to and acknowledgment of an ‘adjacency line’, by stating, “…The map used in this video illustrates a dotted line as an adjacency line that both countries recognize and use in the process of the territorial differendum and this intervention by the Belize delegation allows me to remind the importance of the process that we are currently embarking on as the General Secretary made mention in his general statement a few minutes ago.”

    That within itself sheds light on the tactical miscue by the GOB to agree to such a thing. Now, the Guatemalans are logically, using it to manipulate the situation. From a strategic standpoint, it is genius, for no-one forced Belize to sign the Compromis and thereby agree to accept and adhere to its conditions.

    Belizeans, take note as this is just a sampling of the treatment Belize shall receive, if we are gullible enough to vote to take the matter to the ICJ.

    Belize Sovereign and Free – NO ICJ!

  2. sickntired says:

    I no know what all the fuss about because we ambassador himself no know we country. He sitting at a label which says barbados. No wonder guatemala and the oas no tek we serious. I wonder if the ambassador mi too drunk and confused.

  3. not again says:

    Cayo, Punta Gorda,Dandriga people betta start cuting xate. Noooooo! That means that Super G. Will be Guatemalan?

  4. bzd2dbone says:

    Now in addition to offending our territorial integrity the idiotic guatemalan embassador is insulting our intelligence by his stupid remarks saying that it does not necessarily mean that Belize is part of guatemala. Are you that supid enough to think that we Belizeans do not see the message behind your so-called “mistake”. I urge our government to lodge an international protest against guatemala and propose all Belizeans to stop buying from guatemala and guatemalans. We will see who will get the message if we unite and do that.

  5. Buju says:


    They do these things and pretend it is a mistake but it is carefully thought out. I am definately not a fan of Giovanni Brackett but i am 1000% with him on this issue

    NO TO THE ICJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Truth says:

    Cant even provide food, shelter and security to his country .. Now to want to claim Belize… Do stay where you Belong…

  7. orangewalkenio says:

    Mada mein, weh d goan with the Guatemalan ambassador and the OAS. NO to the ICJ….plain and simple. We have nothing to prove…Belize da Belize and dat da fi we……so mek dem go so….

  8. roska says:

    Aleluyah…. when will Belize UNDRESTAND and ACCEPT THAT THE OAS IS JUST AN ARM OF THE US??


    reason???? simple…. the US owes guatemala the following:
    1) Guatemala allowed the CIA to train cuban dissidents IN GUATEMALA for the
    botched Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in the early 60′s (the US promised
    Guatemala to suppport their claim to Belize in return for that “favour”)

    2) US- trained Guatemalan armed forces butchered their own people to
    satisfy the US in their “fight against communism” during the Guatemalan civil war

    3) The Guatemaln goverments (both military dictators and “civil” politicians) in the
    past and present allow US transnational companies to overwork and underpay
    Guatemalans to ensure these companies harvest blood money to keep the US
    economy afloat.

    Why do you think the assistant secretary general of the OAS put a deaf ear to Belize’s protest??

    Wake up people…… these organizations are US controlled (as much as the UN or perhaps the ICJ??) so to whom will their loyalty go??

  9. Storm says:

    It seems we are united on one thing — no to the ICJ! And no to Guatemala.

    I suggest we recall our ambassador, and expel theirs, until we have a public apology.

  10. Nimbo says:

    OAS has always ruled in favor of Guatemala we know that for a fact.

  11. GrigaMan says:

    Hell effing no to the ICJ. We should not concede a single grain of sand or a single drop of water to Guatemala. We should all be prepared to defend the territorial integrity of Belize. I am prepared to take up arms to defend Belize; just give me a gun and point me to the border. It is far better to die defending the land that I love that to live for nothing. NO TO ICJ! Stop the madness before it’s too late!

  12. juan sereta says:

    Guatemala have to get it’s axe straight and the tek we light..cause we ready fuh them if them the thing fuh tek we over…but i nuh think barrow got we back so even he wah get it to..we dun have almost half a this population invaded with Guatemalan with no papeles so why they want more they should be happy we the accomodate them here..they the reap we forest thats all.
    NO TO ICJ..

  13. Southern says:

    NO to the ICJ…We should not even acknowledge or legitimize Guatemala’s claim to Belize.

  14. ceo says:

    Ambassador Mendez please make your protest louder and clear!

    Then why the heck he did not include Salvador and honduras and Mexico and put his little dotted lines?

    The hell with this sort of behavior! This is why I do not believe we should even have this ICJ discussion about our boarder! Why should we have a trial about something that is not legitimate to entertain ignorance in an Guatemalan attempt to legalize their baseless claim?

  15. Bear says:

    We are surrounded by former Spanish colonies that hate former British colonies. The OAS is biased that way, and SICA, and every other multinational organization in Central and South America, except Caricom [which has other problems, but that's for another day].

    OAS is now being taken over by the Spanish Bolivarian Socialists, so I think we should SERIOUSLY consider leaving the OAS. It doesn’t benefit us to sit at the table with a neighbor that literally wants to devour our nation, and the other members just smile like hungry crocodiles.

  16. tito says:

    Well I can tell u something if the want Belize their is going to be blood shed that’s for sure.

  17. Elly says:

    A resounding NO to the ICJ. Belize has nothing to gain but more indebtedness because even assuming the ICJ rules in favor of Belize, what do we gain…Belize is already ours!!! Guatemala, on the other hand, has everything to gain…even if its one cm of Belize’s soil. NO NO NO to the ICJ!!!

  18. Joe says:

    As a Belizean, I am frustrated at the premeditated provocation of the Guatemalan officials.
    The OAS and ICJ is a big !@(%!@# joke, a wast of time. As a Belizean we are not Central American, we are Caribbean.
    As true to Belize, we will never give Guatemala an inch of our Jewel Soil, and ever after death, I will fight for my Home Land.
    If we have to learn from the middle east, so be it, we will import fear and get all those who !*(%
    with our home.

  19. Liberty & Freedom says:

    roska is partially correct. “The New World Order” was mentioned by George H.W. Bush, the former CIA director at the time of the Guatemalan “Civil War”. He, like many of his predecessors since the time of Teddy Roosevelt (and perhaps before), envisioned a one world government. Woodrow Wilson, through his chief henchman Mendel House, started the League of Nations. Then Franklin Roosevelt helped create the United Nations. If you go to Guatemala City, please visit the Roosevelt Hospital. It is a cover for the CIA – helping the poor and the oppressed. Belize is meaningless to these “elites” – they sell arms to the bigger boys in the game of consolidating the world map. They “give” (with strings attached), Vietnam era weapons to Belize. The USA, Britain and Israel sell more modern planes and weapons to Guatemala.
    The USA is training the Guatemalan Army in fighting gangs and drugs. Any offer to help Belize fighting gangs? They do help with fighting drugs; they do it for themselves.
    Belize is expendable to most of the world. However, The Baymen showed old Spain what they were made of – it is time Belizeans stand up to the world’s bullies (Guatemala and others) and use the rules of the OAS and the UN to protest this slap in our face. That big UN building in Belmopan should become the flash point for protest by the GOB and the people. The IJC is part of the UN. It is time that PM Barrow grows a “pair” and stops kissing the butts of our enemies. This issue of a referendum is unconstitutional the way it has been proposed by him and his cronies. We, the people, were supposed to vote whether there would be a referendum put forth. To kill this once and for all, either vote “NO” or do not vote at all. They need 60% to take it to the IJC via a referendum. The IJC has indirectly killed thousands in Yugoslavia, Rwanda and elsewhere.
    Do you see Belize as a member of the IJC ? You never will!!!! So why be subject to their decisions concerning our sovereignty? Are they making your life any easier? Do they put food on your table? A roof over your head? Clothes on your back? Stand up for your rights and our freedom and liberty.

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