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Dec 17, 2018

Can negotiations continue in place of going to the ICJ? Guat Former Foreign Minister weighs in.

In his interview today, Morales, as the same with others we interviewed reiterated their hope that Belizeans will vote yes in the upcoming referendum to take the claim to the I.C.J. Here at home, one of the main arguments by the proponents of the “No Campaign” is that negotiations can continue instead of going the route of the I.C.J. We asked the former foreign minister to weigh in.


Marleni Cuellar

“The very active no campaign in Belize are saying that Belize should vote no to the I.C.J. and simply allow for negotiations to continue. Given your experience in this process, do you believe that this issue can ever be peacefully negotiated between Belize and Guatemala?


Carlos Raul Morales, Former Foreign Minister, Guatemala

Carlos Raul Morales

“There are two ways to give a solution to this kind of dispute; the bilateral negotiations, the political negotiations an arbitrary and the I.C.J. The first one the bilateral negotiations we already negotiate from 1991 from the moment we recognize Belize as a country to 1999. 8 years negotiating Bilateral, we didn’t agree on anything and it is normal because Belize by law is not authorized to give Guatemala an inch right? And in our case by law we are not allowed to recognize that Belize, this part of the territory of Belize is a matter of law. So it is impossible to reach a solution we already intent it to eight years. But when we realized we are talking to a wall, we said okay guys lets move to the next step and this is when we asked the O.A.S. to intervene in this process to give us an idea how we can give a solution. Then the O.A.S. suggested the consolation process and we didn’t reach a final end at the consolation process too but finally in 2007 when Lisa Shoman was Foreign Minister they agreed verbally in Washington On I think it was December 7, 2007. They agree to finally go to the I.C.J. but the special agreement was signed a year later in December 8, 2008 by foreign ministers. This is why there is not another option. There is no bilateral negotiation there is not an arbitrate, the only way to give a solution the only way the law will accept a border is if it s dictated by the I.C.J. This is important to understand, if people in Belize say no in April well we need to wait for another I don’t know  3, 4, 5 years to continue with the negotiations because one thing is very clear. We cannot leave this claim without giving a solution to the claim.”

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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