Letters — 08 August 2018
Questions that need answering before April 10, 2019

Dear Editor,

While I have been able to read many articles and letters advocating either a yes or no vote on bringing the Guatemala/Belize border question to the ICJ, I have not seen anything answering questions that arise if the court rules against Belize or seeks a compromise solution involving some Belize land.

These questions need to be asked and answered BEFORE we go to court, especially in view of the not too stellar track record of Government of Belize lawyers in international cases.

Basic questions such as: What happens to the Belizeans who live on land that is transferred to Guatemala? Do they become Guatemalan citizens? Will they be forced to leave their land and move across the new border? Do they become refugees and have to cross a new border to stay in Belize? What happens to their land title? Will it still be valid and transferred into the Guatemala system? If not, will they be compensated by the Government of Belize or Guatemala?

What happens to a mortgage that is held by a Belize bank? Are the mortgage holders still liable for the balance, even if their land is taken? What happens to the investments lost by Belize financial institutions if these lands and businesses are no longer in Belize?

How will this agreement stop continued encroachment by Guatemalans farmers, loggers, hunters across any new border?

These, and I am sure, many more questions need real answers, not opinions, before we cast a vote that may gravely affect our brothers in the south.

History has shown us that international treaties and other agreements are barely worth the paper that they are printed on if one of the parties, in the future, just walks away. Belize will be betting land against a piece of paper that is of dubious long term value.

Robert Wright
Consejo Village

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