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May 20, 2013

Border talks inside the adjacency zone with the O.A.S.

The offices of the Organization of American States have been established in Belize for over a decade. Aside from a Belize City office, there is another that houses the General Secretariat of the organization and is snuggled at the official border crossing between Belize and Guatemala which is committed to keeping peace in the adjacency zone area. News Five visited that office on Friday after making a trek to the border marker at Garbutt’s Falls. The Director of the Office, Sergio Benitez that the recommendation by the O.A.S. is for the territorial dispute by Guatemala should be resolved at the International Court of Justice.

 

Sergio Benitez, Director, Office of General Secretariat of O.A.S.

“It’s important to provide equipment. We provide military radios for the B.D.F. and the Guatemala to keep the communication and the Guatemalan army and B.D.F. knows where the soldiers are on the ground and avoid to have these kind of messy situations.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Over the years what has been the relationship with Belize and Guatemala? How has it developed or changed?”

 

Sergio Benitez

Sergio Benitez

“Well we have a process—sometimes we have up and downs, but in general it is very good. We construe confidence—that took time—and we are very careful with this confidence because it can be lost in one minute; pretty easy to lose, very hard to win. For us it is very important to the process of dialogue of Belize and Guatemala. It is a reality today and it is a process ongoing and we try to encourage the two countries to find a solution.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Does the O.A.S. have an opinion…I know it encourages both government to find a final solution to this border, but does the O.A.S. offer suggestion?”

 

Sergio Benitez

“Yes, actually the General Secretary of the O.A.S. in 2008 suggested to the countries to go to the ICJ, the International Court of Justice. That was a recommendation of the general Secretary and the Belize and Guatemalan government decided to accept and follow that route; for that reason, the referendum. To go to the ICJ, the first step is to make a referendum and after that decide. Its here we talk about adjacency line. From the adjacency line exist the markers from the line; exists the coordinates. And this line, today the only way to see is using equipment called G.P.S.; a little device that can show where the line is and can establish one kilometer to the east and one kilometer to the west and there is established the adjacency zone. This is what I have the mandate to do. Mexico has a physical demarcation, but with Mexico there does not exist no territorial dispute. For that reason you have the border marks very clear and demarcated. But with Guatemala, Belize has territorial dispute. Before to put marks and all the things, the two countries need to finish with the territorial dispute and after that you can demarcate the territory.”

 

The organization also assists with communication between both the military of both countries in the adjacency zone by supplying them with radios.

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1 Response for “Border talks inside the adjacency zone with the O.A.S.”

  1. Storm says:

    Actually, Belize has no territorial dispute with the Guats, they have one with us. We are not claiming an inch of Guatemala.

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