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Jan 28, 2019

Former Border Commissioner Says ‘No’ to the I.C.J.

Former Boundary Commissioner Lindsay Belisle is adding to the I.C.J. debate through a different perspective. Belisle, who is also an international surveyor, is supporting a NO vote and is warning the government that, “The 1859 Treaty does not give title to Belize’s eight-eight-sixty-seven.” In fact, Belisle explains that taking the claim to the I.C.J. is too risky. In an editorial, Belisle writes that the 1859 Treaty does not describe the boundaries of the eight-thousand-eight-hundred and sixty-seven square miles of our mainland territory we call Belize. In fact, the treaty describes only some six-thousand-seven-hundred square miles, or about seventy-five percent of our mainland territory. Belisle appeared on Open Your Eyes this morning where he explained his position on what he described as flaws contained in the 1859 Treaty. 


Lindsay Belisle

Lindsay Belisle, Former Boundary Commissioner

“After doing my research that there are some flaws, some discrepancies in the 1859 Treaty as written. Surprisingly the way that the boundary was described in the treaty does not give Belize the eighty-eight sixty-seven but rather something less towards six-thousand-seven-hundred square miles. Those are based on research on facts and the key to that was that the Mexican frontier as we know is at seventeen degrees and forty-nine minutes North latitude. The British in my mind intended o have the boundary at Blue Creek Rio Hondo but if you read the Special Agreement there is not mention of Blue Creek and Rio Hondo in this treaty. We find that they mention Sarstoon River. They mention Gracias Adios Falls. They mention Garbutt Falls and Belize River. When they went due north they mention Mexican Frontier. Why did they leave out Blue Creek? They should have qualified due north to Blue Creek after the Mexican Frontier. So they leave no doubt at it. So by having at the Mexican Frontier they have a northern limit at seventeen degrees forty-nine minutes due north. Also it would have been difficult for them to describe our boundary going to Blue Creek because then we would be going beyond the limits of Guatemala and into Mexican territory and that would have probably let the Mexican or Spain at that time disagree with them.”

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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