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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Guatemala paves way for referendum on Belize dispute

(7 November 2016)

Guatemala has agreed to hold a referendum to determine if the country should take its 200 year old territorial dispute with neighbouring Belize to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

In 2008, Belize and Guatemala agreed to submit their dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. However the resulting agreement was never implemented as neither side could satisfy the requirement that their respective populations approve the agreement through simultaneous referendum in each state.

Once the Guatemalan congressional resolution is signed into law, Guatemala will formally notify Belize, and Guatemala will then work on organising the “best moment” to hold the referendum.

Guatemala’s Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, stated “What is most important to both countries is the spirit to solve this disagreement, and we cannot leave it for another 1,000 or 2,000 years,”