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EDITORIAL – November 30th. 2018

EDITORIAL – November 30th. 2018
November 30
10:52 2018

A lot of people still do not understand the important role that the ICJ can play in favour of Belize.

Some people still think that we can ignore the new initiative by Guatemala, which is to invoke the powers of the ICJ to put hurt on Belize.

Stripped down to her fundamental root claim, Guatemala is asking the ICJ to rule that Guatemala has the legal right to erase the international boundary line which she agreed to in 1859 and confirmed as recently as 1931.

There is a whole lot of fancy language in between, but the fundamental claim boils down to removing the border line from Gracias a Dios Falls on the Sarstoon to as far north as Garbutt’s Falls on the Belize River near Benque Viejo.

If Guatemala can succeed in this Machiavellian plan, then all of the Chiquibul Forest and all of the Toledo District and all of the Stann Creek District will fall into her lap without her firing a single shot or sending a single soldier across the border.

It is true that this is a long shot! Realistically Guatemala has no chance at all at succeeding in this bizarre claim. But if Belize does not respond to this threat,
Guatemala will go on record that she has made a legal claim in court – a claim that Belize has not formally refuted.

In years to come Guatemala will build on this claim to try to establish some legitimacy for putting more pressure on Belize. She will strike at the weakest point in the Belize armor – the Chiquibul Forest.

Easy-going Belizeans need to wake up to the danger. We need to put on our armor and clear out the claim.

When we go to the ICJ we need to present our credentials – the treaties of 1859 and 1931. We need to present our Constitution which defines the territory of Belize, and which has been accepted by the world community.

If Guatemala cannot change our border position in the west and in the south to suit her ambitions, she cannot make a claim against Belize! This is the simple truth of the matter. It is not a difficult decision for the ICJ to make.

Guatemala will have to go elsewhere for the compensation she seeks for the dirt road which the United Kingdom Government promised to conjointly use her best efforts to build. That road is clearly not Belize’s responsibility.

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