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Dec 18, 2018

Former Guat FM’s Perspective on the 1859 Treaty

The education campaign in Belize has attempted to cover the extensive history of the Belize/Guatemala dispute. The over two hundred-year-old dispute hinges on a few pivotal moments in the history of both countries. One of those moments is the signing of the 1859 Treaty. If Belizeans vote ‘YES’ to the I.C.J., the 1859 Treaty is one of the most important documents of the case. In this interview with former foreign minister Carlos Raul Morales in Guatemala on Monday, the media asked him about the treaty.

 

Carlos Raul Morales

Carlos Raul Morales, Former Foreign Minister, Guatemala

“As a matter of fact, Guatemala signed it April 13th, 1859 with the United Kingdom and at that moment, we defined that this is going to be the border between Guatemala and United Kingdom because Belize doesn’t exist at this time. The treaty is very short, has seven articles and in the last article, United Kingdom compromised with Guatemala to pave a road or something like that between Guatemala City and Puerto Barrios, the Caribbean coast—well to pay this territory. United Kingdom never did it; they never build the road, they never paid for the road. And then Guatemala took the decision, I think in 1946—you didn’t born, I didn’t born—to finalise with this treaty. To be honest, I think it is going to be very interesting. The first thing the I.C.J. will define is the validity of this treaty. But we are talking about the process and I don’t like to talk about the process because…but it is going to be very interesting to talk about. The first thing the court, for me—I could be in a mistake—but for me, the first thing the I.C.J. will do is to define the validity of this treaty or not. If it is valid, you have the answer. If it is not valid, we need to find out. It is going to be a very, very interesting case since the legal point of view—not as a Guatemala; not as a Belizean. And as a matter of fact, there are many lawyers waiting for this case because it is a very interesting case. And you are right, you are very right; the first thing the court will evaluate is the validity of the treaty.”


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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