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Apr 17, 2018

Gov’t Says Yes to I.C.J. but Belizeans Have Final Say

Patrick Faber

Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber has chimed in on the outcome of Guatemala’s referendum, sharing with the media a personal view on the democratic process in the absence of a cabinet meeting.  On Monday, the Government of Belize issued a statement applauding Guatemala for successfully carrying out its national exercise.  Roughly twenty-five percent of the country’s voting population cast ballots to determine whether the standing territorial dispute with Belize should be brought before the ICJ for resolution.  A majority of those who participated in the referendum said yes to the question of taking the matter before the International Court of Justice for a juridical solution.  According to Faber, what is now left to be seen is how Belizeans will vote when a date for referendum has been set.


Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“As you know, we have not been able to meet subsequent to the results of the referendum in Guatemala on Sunday.  We did not meet today, today is Tuesday.  So we’ve not gotten together as the Cabinet to assess what has happened.  But while there are some who are looking at the results and saying, “well, this is not what could have been in terms of the turnout for Guatemala.”  What is clear is that they now have a very, very clear, according to their legal position as it relates to the referendum, they have a clear position, a clear mandate now that yes, they have agreed to go forward to the ICJ.  What is left now is to see if Belizeans will also make that same determination and for us to look actively now to name a date and move toward getting the Belizean people’s participation in such an activity.”



“Sir, when the former Guatemalan foreign minister was asked, what if Belize votes no?  He said, “well then you guys have to…”  Not you necessarily, but Belize as a country has to find a legal mechanism to go to the ICJ.  Is that a possibility, you know, to find a legal mechanism [to] change the constitution, amend the constitution or some sort to still go to the ICJ if Belize chooses no?”


Patrick Faber

“Well, I will say this, that while the government’s position has got to be, and I really would wish that the opposition would cease in terms of playing politics with this issue.  It was under the People’s United Party administration, the Said Musa administration, that Belize first signed on to the Compromis and we agreed that we would take the question to both countries in the form of a referendum.  So the government’s position is that we should take this matter to the International Court of Justice.”

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 “Gov’t Says Yes to I.C.J. but Belizeans Have Final Say”

  1. Grrenn says:

    The ICJ like to try play King Solomon. They would probably divide the disputed territory in half. Funny thing is , the disputed territory is Belize in its entirety

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