Letters — 16 February 2019
Correct me if I’m wrong, says Brian Plummer

Dear Editor,

Based on the doctrine of inheritance, Mexico and Guatemala claimed Belize. In 1893, Mexico signed a treaty with Britain and dropped the claim, but later stated that if Guatemala was successful in obtaining all or part of Belize, Mexico would revive its claim.

Mexico was the first country to recognize Belize’s independence, and I consider Mexico Belize’s best friend.

On April 10, 2019, Belize will vote whether to give the International Court of Justice (ICJ) the authority to determine our border. I have a big problem with the word “determine,” because it presupposes that our borders are not ascertained or established exactly.

Secondly, the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala binds the ICJ’s hands by article 5, which states “… a bi-national Commission to carry out the demarcation of their boundaries in accordance with the decision of the Court.”

Based on the fact that Guatemala claims that article 7 of the 1859 Anglo-Guatemala Treaty is a compensatory clause and in 1863, Britain agreed to pay 50,000 pounds for non-fulfillment of that clause but never did, it is likely the International Court of Justice will compensate Guatemala.

The only compensation is land, based on the 2008 Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala.

I reasoned that the United Kingdom should compensate Guatemala, but that will only happen in a fair world or if Belize supports it.

What is more likely is that Belize will pay for Britain’s non-compliance. Our political leaders, whether PUP or UDP, seem to be willing to do that either in about six years’ time if we vote yes in April 2019, or on some future date in the case of the PUP.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Your truly,
Brian Ellis Plummer

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