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Apr 4, 2018

Sedi Says Guats Insisting on 2 Referenda

On April fifteenth, a referendum is scheduled to take place in Guatemala on taking the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice. But should Belize be worried about the legal challenge filed last Wednesday in Guatemala’s Civil Constitutional Court? The attorneys for Guatemalans Lionel Nájera and Héctor Quezada argue that the ratification of the Special Agreement of 2008 between Belize and Guatemala, which establishes the road map to a referendum, should have been put to referendum after being approved in Congress. But according to Ambassador Alexis Rosado, there is also a question as to whether there is need for a referendum at all. No hearing has been held by the Guatemalan court and today Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington spoke to News Five about the basis for the challenge.


Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“I spoke to our ambassador in Guatemala on it, Mister Alexis Rosado, and he informed that this is a second challenge that had been raised – one was raised about a month ago, and then a few days ago another one was raised. And what he said to me was that the import of the challenge, the basis of the challenge, was that the Guatemalan Constitution provides for a referendum to be held after a decision of the I.C.J., not before. And so they are raising that; I think that was what he said to me. He didn’t suggest any other basis than they thought this was not the time for a referendum to be held, because under the constitution, it calls for a referendum to be held after the [I.C.J.] would have given a decision.  My understanding is that whatever they needed to have done, they have in fact done, according to their own constitutional provisions. They have complied with what they needed to have done, and there is nothing to stop them from going to referendum on the fifteenth of this month.”


Aaron Humes

“And the result of that referendum, would in conjunction with Belize of course, may be the final decision….”


Wilfred Elrington

“No; the suggestion I got from Alexis was that once the matter is disposed of at the I.C.J., then the suggestion I got from him was that the constitution in Guatemala provides for them to then go to a referendum to, as it were, ratify that position of the court. That seemed to be the import of what he said to me.”


Aaron Humes

“So in other words, there would be two referenda, basically? One before and one after?”


Wilfred Elrington

“Right. That’s what he said to me, but we need to sit down and get some more clarity on it; but I’m relying on him and I think that’s what he said to me. So the challenge was that really and truly there’s no need for a referendum now; the referendum should wait until a decision is given.”

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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1 Response for “Sedi Says Guats Insisting on 2 Referenda”

  1. lucas says:

    this is just a Guatemalan comedy to avoid going to the ICJ. All the while they have been feeding the FM with atole con el dedo.

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