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Mar 14, 2013

Guatemala wants to postpone referendum

The October referendum is in big trouble and Belize will be heading to the headquarters of the OAS in Washington this weekend to try to save it.  An announcement was made on Wednesday by Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina that Guatemala will seek to delay the referendum scheduled for October sixth. On Wednesday Perez Molina issued an official statement via his Communications Department requesting either a delay or that Belize should change its Referendum Act. Currently, sixty percent voter turnout is required to give the referendum validity, and Perez Molina wants that changed to reflect validity through a simple majority. Belize will be spending ten million dollars and Guatemala is spending in the range of forty million dollars. The move by Guatemala is hardly surprising, but coming by official presidential proclamation it is of concern. Minister Elrington will be heading the Belize delegation that will meet with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister and his delegation. Today, CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado who will also be heading to Washington told us via phone that despite Guatemala’s position Belize’s intention at this point is to stand its ground and stay the course.


Via Phone: Alexis Rosado, C.E.O., Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Alexis Rosado

“What is new is that the president has voiced those concerns publicly. We knew they had some difficulties internally with respect to their public awareness campaign and preparations for the referendum, proper. There is a meeting scheduled to be held at the OAS; a joint meeting [between] Belize and Guatemala and the secretary general—both foreign ministers. They had been thinking about doing that for some time now and they finally get dates. They wanted to hold it earlier rather than later noh. We were looking at either Friday here, Monday and now the latest I know is that it should be on Sunday. But I wouldn’t consider it emergency meeting. It is of concern that these things be put out in a manner that might send the wrong signals. But the fact that we are going to talk about it and clearly the Guatemalan government from what I gathered, the president said, recognizes that this si a joint thing; it is not a unilateral decision that they can make. So we are going to hear what they have to say and we are going to set out a way forward. As far as we are concerned, we have an agreement to hold simultaneous referenda on the sixth of October and we are keeping with that—whether they want to change it; that’s a different thing and we are going to hear them out. As far as we know, both countries have committed to having a referenda to ask our peoples whether or not to go to the ICJ. In our view, the sooner we do that in terms of the dates that have been set, the better. But we have to wait and see. I don’t know what ideas they will come with. They can’t suggest that they want to change the date because of us. We have our own internal processes that we will follow and we have every confidence in our own internal processes, procedures, legislation and so forth. We have the public awareness campaign well underway and we think that the people generally are getting a better appreciation of the issues. We would expect that they’d be doing the same thing over there, but I understand they had some delays in that respect. But that’s their business; not so much ours.”


Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina has stated said that the postponement of the referendum or the amendment to the act would ensure the gains achieved during the negotiations. The meeting this weekend will be held at the O.A.S.

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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12 Responses for “Guatemala wants to postpone referendum”

  1. Storm says:

    For once I agree with the Guats — postpone the referendum, until hell freezes over.

    No ICJ, long live Belize sovereign and free!

  2. Refinery says:

    Weh happen to deya spanish?

  3. Jose AG says:

    Guate punked the UDPs again…SEDI and Alexis should be fired for keeping all this a secret since that is exactly what the Guate Foreign minister came to do in his visit. I never now that the Prensa Libre is now our official Referendum Press

  4. Belizean Pride says:

    do not postpone the date and on that October date we’ll vote no to ICJ and case close, we can’t have the guats suit themselves with dates and time. neva hell no, so i feel they are chickening out as of now.

  5. I know now says:

    Oh No! Don’t send Sedi- he will bend backwards and say si si to all Guats want….

  6. Marcus Martinez says:

    Don’t publish !

  7. Marcus Martinez says:

    I am surprised it was not published.

    Marcus Martinez

  8. Gone fishing says:

    “it is not a unilateral decision that they can make.” – Explain Guat govt maps.

    At this point it looks like both govts are not credible to make it happen.
    Guats want 100%, with enough juice to fry Belize.
    GOB just fumbles, passing laws and constitutional amendments to justify misdeeds, incompetence, and to hide secret agendas.

  9. ceo says:

    Ok let’s change it to a super majority. Let’s ramp it up to 75% instead of 60%.

  10. ceo says:

    He is not seeking a resolution to find a way forward they are seeking to invade Belize legally!

  11. bzean 4 life says:

    SEDI? He cant bend ova no more – he bend to the max yet he feel like he do yoga… Wat the hell is this man thinking of agreeing to meet with these Guates for… Is he blind… Guate just gave the upper hand to us and Sedi wants to shake on that… man come on even the poor man no that this is a sign of losing from Guatemala… WAKE THE HELL UP SEDI OR U TOO OLD…

  12. bzean 4 life says:


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