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Jun 6, 2013

Referendum not discussed at O.A.S., but Chiquibul incident mentioned

Wilfred Elrington

As we reported on Wednesday, the issue of Guatemala’s territorial claim over Belize and the joint referenda to elevate the matter to the International Court of Justice was not discussed during the O.A.S. General Assembly.  Guatemala’s Foreign Minister, Fernando Carrera, told News Five that prior to the annual meeting a decision was taken that neither countries would bring up the issue for discussion.  While the claim and referendum were not mentioned, a recent incident involving the shooting of a Guatemalan poacher on Belizean soil was talked about during bilateral meetings held between Belize and its foreign counterparts. 


Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“We came with the understanding that that would not be discussed at this time.  We had an agreement that we would discuss it after the general assembly.  The Guatemalans were particularly careful not to discuss it because I don’t think they wanted to introduce any element that could be unpleasant in the eyes of the Belizean public and you know how sensitive the Belizean public is.  So they have been scrupulously careful in how they have been treating us.  As a matter of fact I can say that we have been given superb treatment and nothing untoward, no discordant note has been introduced in the proceedings up to this point.”


Marleni Cuellar

“Now, given the fact that there was this shooting of a Guatemalan, it’s said to be within Belizean territory.  Has that caused any friction?  Has the conversation changed whether with the international community or others here because of that incident?”


Wilfred Elrington

“It has caused no friction.  We have been very upright, very candid in informing our CARICOM colleagues of the shooting and all the people we have had bilateral meetings with; our European colleagues, as well as the Canadians and others.”


The O.A.S. General Assembly will be closing tonight with a press conference after the ministers from the hemisphere have discussed the need to monitor the drug problem in our region. 

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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