BELIZE CITY, Wed. Apr. 10, 2019– A video out of Guatemala from Soy502 shows its President, Jimmy Morales, visiting a school in Mariscos, a village in Isabel, Guatemala, and demonstrating to students how to draw a map of Guatemala to include the entire country of Belize.
Morales, after personally drawing the map on the school’s blackboard, reportedly told the teachers that they should practice drawing the map that way “because that is a territory that we are reclaiming” and, referring to the International Court of Justice, Morales told the students, “We are always going to get used to drawing Belize. Why? Because we are in an important process, we are reclaiming this territory; after the popular consultations, we are going to go to an International Court of Justice to define the territory.”
The map of Belize being included in Guatemala’s map by their officials has never been a matter that the Belize government has protested in any international forum.
If it was not for the joint legal opinion of the attorneys, Anthony Sylvestre, Jr.; Dickie Bradley; and Kareem Musa, which ended up engaging Belize’s Judiciary in the process, Belizeans would have voted in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) referendum today, Wednesday, April 10, in accordance with the protocol of the 2008 Special Agreement that was signed between the Republic of Guatemala and Belize.
Following last week’s decision by Belize’s Chief Justice, Hon. Kenneth Benjamin, to grant an interim injunction to five Opposition PUP parliamentarians and a PUP standard bearer who are challenging the constitutionality of the Special Agreement, Prime Minister Dean Barrow went ballistic, saying that he was “flabbergasted” by the Chief Justice’s ruling which effectively applied the brakes on the ICJ referendum.
Then, after having failed to convince the Court of Appeal to violate its own act and hear an expeditious appeal to lift the CJ’s interim injunction so that the referendum could be held today, PM Barrow stated that the government would appeal the matter to the Caribbean Court of Justice and that the government would also attempt to apply “a legislative fix” in the House of Representatives.
In that regard, Barrow has called for a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives, but up to this evening, Opposition PUP parliamentarians have not been provided with the House’s Order Paper, so they are left outside the loop as to exactly what the PM will introduce in the House to get around the Chief Justice’s injunction.
With the referendum on hold by an order of the court, Barrow is now turning to the Legislature to move forward with the ICJ referendum, even while the matter of the constitutionality of the Special Agreement remains to be decided by the court.