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Dec 5, 2016

Action on Special Agreement Not “Appeasing” Guatemala, Says Foreign Minister

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has been soundly criticized by many, including the Opposition, for the handling of the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute. A recent motion by the Government of Belize to amend the Referendum Act, as well as the Special Agreement, is seen as yet another effort to placate Guatemala.  So Government is pushing for a referendum on whether or not the unfounded claim should be taken before the International Court of Justice sometime in 2017. Elrington says that the rush is because Guatemala has taken all the necessary steps on its end to also prepare for a similar vote in the coming months.  So, is Belize appeasing Guatemala?  Here’s what the Foreign Minister says.


Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“You appease people who in fact are trying to get you to do something that they want you to do.  We haven’t done anything the Guatemalans have wanted us to do.  We have done nothing.  As a matter of fact, we have held our ground at every point and I don’t think [that at] anytime in the history of this country have we been as bold and as clear in our pronouncements condemning Guatemala’s behavior as we have been at the United Nations on more than one occasions.  So there’s no question of us caving in to Guatemala, but we are firmly of the view that it is imperative that we get this issue behind us as quickly as possible.  It’s an existential threat to our nation and to our society and the quicker we can deal with it I think the better it will be for all of us.  And so, going through a process which was determined as early as 2008, is not unusual.  It is very normal.  The only thing that is unusual about it is that it has taken us some eight years to reach this point. We are now getting into gear to increase the education campaign.  What are some of the constraints in doing that?  It’s always financial, and you know the serious financial straits the country seems to be going through at this point in time.  So that finance is always a consideration and that was one of the things that militated against us doing even more in terms of education campaign.”

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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2 Responses for “Action on Special Agreement Not “Appeasing” Guatemala, Says Foreign Minister”

  1. Ed U. Kate says:

    Channel 5 published the following:” A recent motion by the Government of Belize to amend the Referendum Act, as well as the Special Agreement…” That phrase implies a move to amend both Act & Agreement. I know that the writer did not intend that interpretation. I am complaining that much more care must be taken with the spoken and written word! MIND YOUR LANGUAGE.
    While we are on this theme, may I be as bold as to recommend that everyone at Channel 5 carefully study the History of the Belize/Guatemala Dispute; before reporting to us, the Citizens of Belize? FM Elrington has been successful in getting Guatemala to agree to go to the ICJ. This is the Most Important Step towards settlement! I for one believe in a complete victory!

  2. youserious says:

    Why doesn’t he speak about Guatemalan Army incursion to retrieve drugs that were found in Belizean Territory????? Ask the Belize Embassador in Guatemala…he knows…

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