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Mar 20, 2013

COLA says it’s time to get out of Referendum talks

Geovanni Brackett

The absence of the Guatemalan Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera at a scheduled meeting at the Organization of American States (OAS) on Sunday sent strong signals of Guatemala’s attitude toward resolving the territorial claim. It is now clear that the Guatemalans will not hold the referendum on October sixth as agreed to in the compromis signed between the two countries and the OAS in 2008. The Belize delegation has returned to the country, but one local group, Citizens organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) questions whether Belize should continue to act in good faith or simply abandon the referendum altogether. News Five spoke to COLA’s president, Geovanni Brackett about his group’s concerns.


Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“We see it as a blatant disrespect from the Guatemalans to us. Their actions have shown completely no regard to the process, to Belize. I think that if you look at the response from the Guatemalans, they probably don’t even hold us in any regard at all. You have to question why is it that the Guatemalan president had to announce in the media that they are contemplating having the referendum being postpone a year later rather than having a diplomatic letter sent to our officials and to be sent out in a joint press release or something? We at COLA thought that this was a joint bilateral, bipartisan agreement between the two countries. And so we were quite disappointed to see that we were disrespected once again. Secondly the response from Belize; I think we continue to allow this disrespect to continue. Right now we are still battling with the logo from Guatemala and we are protesting that right now whereby Belize is being included in the Guatemalan map. So in addition to that, this is a no show by the Guatemalan Foreign Minister and finding out that he was at the inauguration for the new pope, it is complete disrespect again. I think that they took us for a circus; having us send a big delegation down there with our Foreign Minister, the representative from the opposition and then to find out it is just a meeting with the vice representatives. I think that is completely disrespectful and I think that maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. I mean maybe we should trump the whole process as a result of this because clearly what Guatemala is showing is that they want a process that guarantees them a way to the ICJ. It is not that the Guatemalans are saying they don’t want to go to the ICJ, but they want a sure yes from their people and it seems that they want to pressure us by changing our laws to accommodate a sure yes and that won’t happen. We can’t allow Guatemala to impose their will on us. And so we think that this whole process is a sham and maybe this whole process should just be thrown through the window.”


COLA is one of the organizations that in the past has come out strongly against the referendum. 

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3 Responses for “COLA says it’s time to get out of Referendum talks”

  1. Me Say Soh! says:

    It is really a blessing Brackett! Guatemala disrespected themselves and the international community. By them not showing up, shows bad faith. A winning way is for Belize to remain acting in good faith. You got to think right strategies and not having your emotions control your decisions little boy.

  2. Storm says:

    Guatemala is increasing its diplomatic aggression against us. They are not a good neighbor, they are an adversary.

    Until they can act right, we should recall our ambassador from Guat City, and send theirs home from Belmopan.

  3. Just plain Ignorance says:

    This is just proof that Guate knows that they will lose at the ICJ. But Bracket is seriously misinformed. He should read and understand the entire process some more. This actually plays in our favor big time. His actions are merely out of emotion and COLA on a whole should reevaluate their PR!

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