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Mar 6, 2013

Working on it—P.U.P. still not decided on Belize/Guatemala going to ICJ

Francis Fonseca

The Referendum Unit on the Belize–Guatemala dispute working out of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs kicked off its awareness campaign in January. While that campaign’s stated purpose is to provide Belizeans with the pros, cons and risks associated of taking the territorial claim to the ICJ, the Government has officially stated that it is in support of taking the dispute to the international court. The Opposition’s position has been that it intends to carry out its own internal campaign before taking a formal stance. Fonseca today revealed that much time has been spent in the formulation of a position paper, but he hopes and intends to present a position soon.

 

Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition

“The objective is to have that discussion paper form the basis for those caucuses and those constituencies to then meet with their committees and their membership in those respective areas to discuss the pros and cons. This is a very comprehensive discussion paper which sets out the pros and cons of this important issue—whether or not Belize should go to the International Court of Justice. It sets out some of the risk inherent, some of the benefits of going to the ICJ and it is meant to stimulate that discussion and provoke, if you like, the kind of analysis that we believe is necessary if we are going to make the right decision with respect to this matter. So that is ongoing at the constituency and caucus level. In terms of the party level, we’ve had one in house meeting at which we had presentations by our internal experts on this matter. And we propose to have at least two more of those types of discussions in house where we will be able to have both sides of the issue presented to our people. And it is my hope, as I’ve said some time ago that in the next few weeks that we could get it done by the end of March. That is still my hope, but certainly if we don’t get it done by the end of March, it will be shortly thereafter. The party will be able to convene a national executive meeting and a national party council meeting at which this issue will be discussed, deliberated and voted upon and then we will make that position known to the Belizean people.”

 

Both Belize and Guatemala are scheduled to hold the referendum on the same day, October sixth.

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4 Responses for “Working on it—P.U.P. still not decided on Belize/Guatemala going to ICJ”

  1. Lucas says:

    I understand the question on the October 6, 2013 referendum ballot is: DO YOU AGREE THAT ANY LEGAL CLAIM OF GUATEMALA AGAINST BELIZE RELATING TO LAND, INSULAR TERRITORIES AND TO ANY MARITIME AREA PERTAINING TO THESE TERRITORIES SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE ICJ FOR FINAL SETTLEMENT AND THAT IT DETERMINES FINALLY THE BOUNDRIES OF THE RESPECTIVE TERRITORIES AND AREAS OF THE PARTIES?.
    Recently, however, Wilfred Elrington said: NOW THE POSITION, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, IS THAT THE FINAL DELIMITATION OF THE MARITIME BOUNDRIES WILL HAVE TO BE DONE AFTER WE HAVE AGREED ON THE DELIMITATION OF OUR LAND BOUNDRIES…..THE POSITION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IS THAT YOU ESTABLISH THE LAND BORDER FIRST, YOU HAVE NO DISPUTE ABOUT THAT AND THEN YOU GO TO THE MARITIME BORDER AND WHEN WE GO TO THE MARITIME BORDER WE WILL HAVE TO AGREE, PARTICULARLY DOWN SOUTH, WITH BELIZE, HONDURAS AND GUATEMALA….( Wilfred Elrington, March 2013, Channel 5).
    I understood that our Southern Maritime boundry would be settled after the land boundry was agreed by negociation but negociation failed and that is why the ICJ route is taken. In other words, negociation is over. However, according to Elrington, we are taking to ICJ only the matter of land boundry and only after the ICJ ruling, the Southern Maritime boundry will be demarcated between Belize, Honduras and Guatemala based on international law of the seas.
    But according to the qustion that will be on the referendum ballot, we are submitting three items for the ICJ to rule upon which are: LAND, INSULAR TERRITORIES AND MARITIME AREAS. NOT ONLY LAND BOUNDRY as INSINUATED by Elrington. Now I am confused. Is the referendum question wrong and Elrington right? or, is Elrington right and the ballot question wrong?. Can Mr. Elrington, or Mr. Fonseca give us Belizean a straight and honest answer? Sometimes I wonder which is our greatest Belizean curse: the unfounded Guatemalan claim or these untruthful politician lawyers.

  2. melinda says:

    Fonseca has to make up his mind, either yes or no. He cant play politics with this one: it will go down in history. WE have an opportunity to set this thing to rest so lets do it. If we are so confident that we own this land, why the fear? we can also vote no, and pick up one of Mahaiea’s machetes and chop them up.

  3. Bear says:

    Fonseca is just showing he is not a leader, but we all knew that. He’s just the beneficiary of nepotism, like so many other of our “leaders”. A leader doesn’t need a poll to know how to lead, he just needs principles. Too bad he ain’t got any.

    No to the ICJ, no to Guatemala, long live free Belize!

    As they said in World War 2, “Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!”

  4. Liberty & Freedom says:

    Mr. Fonseca please grow a pair. It is an easy decision. Do you want to be a Belizean or a Guatemalan. If you want to be a Guatemalan, please move there – I’ll be more than happy to pay for your petrol.The same thing goes for Mr. Barrow, even though he has stolen enough money to buy a refinery for Belize. The ICJ is an arm of the United Nations, one of the most sinister organizations the world has ever seen. All they do is take member country dues and redistribute them as they see fit. It is easy to buy support on other people’s dinero. As the so-called world peacekeeper, look at their record in Rwanda and Bosnia. Belize does not need them or anyone else to settle a moot issue with Guatemala. We own the supposed disputed territory. End of story……

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