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Apr 10, 2018

The Role of the Attorney General’s Ministry in the Referendum

Michael Peyrefitte

Guatemalans are headed to the polls on Sunday to vote on whether the age-old territorial dispute with Belize should go before the International Court of Justice for determination.  It is expected that Belizeans will follow suit before year’s end.  With the Foreign Ministry taking the lead on the issue, what role does the Attorney General’s office play in the upcoming referendum?  According to AG Michael Peyrefitte, his ministry is tasked with making sure that things go smoothly on this end, ensuring that each Belizean who is interested in participating in the exercise can do so readily.


Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“We have to ensure that every access is available to every Belizean who wants to vote on the matter.  That is what we do, to ensure that the law is being followed under the Referendum Act.  We have no control as to what happens in Guatemala, we worse have no control over the result of what will happen in Guatemala.  So our job is to ensure that things go fully and effectively according to the Referendum Act.  That’s what we do here and so when Guatemala votes, I think it’s April fifteenth, when they vote, if they vote yes, to go to the ICJ then we double up our efforts to get into full gear for us to vote.  And then, if we both vote yes, then we go to the ICJ for determination.  If any of the countries vote no then we stay right in the position where we are now, where we’re just in no man’s land, in a sense, in a sense, that we will never have some third body determining for us what is the border or the separation.  Belizeans, of course, we will continue unapologetically to claim what we know is ours and there is a good feeling, if you listen to the Guatemalans, that they will continue to claim what they think belongs to them.  So I think we’ll be right back where we are right now if any of the countries vote no.  So naturally we’re hoping it’s the position of government that both countries would vote yes so we can get a determination because we believe that we have a very strong case and it would be clear once and for all that Belize is Belize to the outside world because to Belizeans there is no question as to where we are and what we own.”

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 “The Role of the Attorney General’s Ministry in the Referendum”

  1. asdkjer says:

    Only Belize can loose, Guatemala CANNOT loose because Guatemala will never NEVER stop claiming Belize. No matter how many times the ICJ tells Guatemala that Belize is for Belizeans !!!
    Please, England, please come back , we cannot and will never allow a Guatemalan clown to rule Belize .

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