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EDITORIAL – January 11th. 2019

EDITORIAL – January 11th. 2019
January 11
11:42 2019

By Mr. Harry Lawrence

This week in Washington, Senator Patrick Leahy, (Dem. of Vermont) severely criticized President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala for his actions in barring a U.N. backed special prosecutor from re-entering the country.

Ivan Velasquez is the lead prosecutor of CICIG (Commission against Impunity in Guatemala) which has been digging into abuses. CICIG has launched a series of prosecutions against high level officials including former president Otto Perez Molina.

CICIG’s mandate ends in September 2019, and President Morales has vowed not to renew it.

President Morales has lashed out at CICIG, claiming that the commission has committed severe violations of Guatemalan law, and has put at risk the security of the nation.

But his actions in trying to shut down the Commission have outraged powerful Democrats of the House and Senate, and other international bodies which support the work of the Commission in exposing official corruption.

President Morales’ action is being seen as a snub of the United Nations Organization which supports the work of CICIG, and is not calculated to help him in any way with his border claim against Belize, now lodged with the ICJ.

To imagine that the ICJ could support such a weak and ill-conceived claim against the solid credentials of Belize to its borders and territory is to indulge in fantasy. Yet many well-intentioned and otherwise sensible Belizeans continue to have doubts about the integrity of Belize’s western and southern borders, which are the borders that Guatemala is seeking to impeach.

The joint declaration this week of five former Foreign Affairs Ministers of Belize affirming their support for ICJ intervention is a welcome move; one which will help to put the debate into perspective after the damaging report by Opposition Leader Mr. Johnny Briceño, that he will not recommend going to the ICJ.

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