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Jan 10, 2019

Does Guatemala Have a Solid Legal Argument in Claim Against Belize?

Dean Barrow

There’s more from Wednesday’s press conference at the Biltmore. Guatemala’s legal argument, if one were to take the prime minister at his word, is shaky at best.  In fact, he went on record on Wednesday to say that the prevailing thought among the powers that be in that country is that there is no case to put forward where it concerns a claim against Belize.   According to PM Barrow, those in officialdom whom he has spoken with are pretty much anticipating that the matter will go before the I.C.J. where it will be decided conclusively that Guatemala doesn’t have a legitimate case to argue.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I will tell you that very, very senior Guatemalan personnel, members past and present of Guatemalan officialdom, say to us, and I am sure this is the experience of every other member of the panel, “Look, it’s impossible for us to negotiate a solution that will recognize Belize’s territorial integrity because for historical and for current reasons, the administration that would do that, the personnel made up of that administration would be seen as the ones that lost Belize.”  And they say that none of us is prepared to take that on.  “But“, they say, “we all know that we have no legal case and so it is in our interest to have this matter go to court so that the I.C.J. will make the only ruling that it can, a ruling completely in favor of Belize and the politicians in Guatemala are then off the hook.”  They are able to say to people, “Well, we are a civilized nation.  We are, in Guatemala, a democratic nation.  We are, in Guatemala, a nation that believes in the rule of law.  We are bound to accept the decision of the International Court of Justice and there basically is an end to it.”

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