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Jan 3, 2019

BPM Says 1992 Signed Statement is Bad News for Belize’s I.C.J. Case

Patrick Rogers

The Belize Peace Movement says its fundamental goal is to maintain Belize’s eight thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven square miles in tact. The members describe the movement as fluid and evolving, championing Belize’s national interests through peaceful measures. They are no stranger to the news and form the strongest “NO to I.C.J.” voices.  At a press conference today, the group said Belize does not have an iron clad case it does not know what Guatemala will bring. According to the members, they have identified where Belize stands to lose because of decisions made years ago. According to the BPM, a joint statement signed between Belize and Guatemala in 1992 puts forth that there is no border between both countries. Patrick Rogers, a member of the BPM, explains why they think this document can hurt Belize if the case goes through to the I.C.J.

 

Patrick Rogers, Member, Belize Peace Movement

“Can you show us what document the Guatemalans are referring to that in 1992 Belize and Guatemala agreed that they do not have an internationally recognized border between them and that they will continue to negotiate until a final treaty is established that will set the international boundaries between us. So, 1992 is when this country was betrayed. We would have never known that. We thought that the betrayal occurred with this – the Special Agreement. The Compromis is the end result of this 1992 document that was forced out of Mr. Shoman’s hand and the reason why I said forced is that once this document was signed, we went through this because this document brought us this agreement with is the Ramphal-Reichler Proposal of 2002 which was an attempt at arbitration which failed. When this failed, immediately what kicked in was the first confidence building measures 1.0. This was written waiting for Belize to go ahead in a referendum as the Ramphal-Reichler had called because it was Guatemala that had rejected this, not Belize. So, Belize as still waiting for Guatemala to maybe accept it and then we would do our referendum and make this into law. After two years and they realized this is dead, that effectively killed confidence measures 1.0 which was mainly geared at removing the settlements along the border. However, what came next is what have this country strapped. What came next was the 2005 confidence building measure. This is the document that binds us in perpetuity to settle in a political issue juristically to say we have to go to a court.  This is the document that binds us and brought about the Special Agreement. So, the Special Agreement came out of those 2005 confidence building measures that started with this 1992 joint statement. Now, from the time we saw this and we said that this thing rubbished the 1859 treaty we had no idea that something more dangerous was lurking to surprise us at the I.C.J. Because if we didn’t drag this out of their hands, the first time we would have seen this would have been at the I.C.J.”


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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