Frequently Asked Questions
Adele Ramos suggested that the Foreign Minister did not appear to know where Belize borders are…Pastor Wade claimed that the Foreign Minister said that Belize did not have borders and that Belize did not mark its Maritime area…
ANSWER: Border is a concept of man. Some natural geographic features like rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, mountains, rifts, gorges….are used by man to delineate and separate parcels of the earth. Every Belizean knows that Belize has borders. Foreign Minister Elrington knows that Belize has borders. Guatemala refuses to accept our borders, this dispute has been going on, in some way, shape or form, from about 1638 to today’s date. FM Elrington is leading our country’s fight to resolve the unfounded Guatemalan claim in Belize’s favor.
Belize’s northern border is with Mexico: Rio Hondo
Belize’s western border is with Guatemala: line based on the 1859 border treaty; the southern border is also with Guatemala: Sarstoon River.
Because it is a coastal state Belize is entitled to maritime areas – a 12 mile territorial sea and a 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone. International Law mandates that the maritime jurisdiction of States derives from the territory, that is: ‘land claims water’. Therefore, we want the ICJ to affirm the 1859 Treaty as written, first; then affirm our 12 mile territorial Sea and our 200 mile EEZ.
Major Swazo on the Rise & Shine Show of Thursday, June 11, 2015 used the phrase “Imaginary Border”
ANSWER: This phrase is confusing and discouraged. We stick with term “Imaginary Line” as this can be applied anywhere on the surface of the earth independent of geographic features. “Artificial Border” specifically means a man-made Border as distinct from a natural geographic feature (river, lake, sea, mountain…). When two groups of people separate themselves by a man-made line then it is appropriate to use the technical term “Artificial Border”. It is easy to build a fence directly on the imaginary line; like the fence separating your yard from your neighbor’s yard.
When going up a river it is always correct to stick to the right?
ANSWER: The ‘drive on the right' rule will NOT apply when going in a river that separate two countries. For example in the Rio Hondo which separates Belize and Mexico the North side belongs to Mexico and the South side belongs to Belize. Conversely, in the Sarstoon the North side belongs to Belize and the South side belongs to Guatemala. Stay in that half of the channel that belongs to Belize at all times: Always SOUTH on the Rio Hondo and always NORTH on the Sarstoon.
Citizens’ mission to clean and mark the border was referred to as “Misguided Patriotism.”
ANSWER: The legacy of Phillip Goldson is that all Belizeans have heard that “The Time To Save Your Country Is Before You Lose It”. Goldson brought Belizeans together to protect and save Belize. The unfounded Guatemalan Claim is a threat to the Nation State. All Belizeans need to focus on Guatemala and the unfounded claim. There is no place for in-country fighting, Belizean vs Belizean, to prove who is more patriotic/nationalistic. Political parties should not use the claim to try to gain election advantage.
Eamon Courtenay said on channel 5 on May 29, 2015 “Now the island in the Sarstoon River, a part of it is on the north side of the midline and therefore it’s in Belizean territory and another part of it is in Guatemalan territory, on the south side.” Dickie Bradley had also asked Major Jones about mid-island.
ANSWER: No! The Sarstoon Island is 100% within Belize, no part of it is in Guatemala. The 1859 Convention says “mid-channel” not midline: “Beginning at the mouth of the River Sarstoon in the Bay of Honduras, and proceeding up the mid-channel…..”
Belize has everything to lose and Guatemala has everything to gain..
Not true, we want the ICJ to affirm the 1859 treaty as written and the 12 miles territorial sea and 200 miles EEZ UNCLOS /Equidistant Principles. With this ruling Belize will lose NOTHING and Guatemala will have to abandon its unjust/unfounded claim.
Is it wise to recall the 1798 vote as Belize contemplates the proposed ICJ vote?
ANSWER: YES! History proves that in 1798 the right vote was taken! With respect to pride, nationalism and patriotism; Belizeans come together easily today to support football, track, cycling, softball…Yet the bogus Guatemalan claim is much more important. Belizeans needs to come together like never before on the ICJ vote – we must lay the unfounded, unjust Guatemalan claim to permanent rest. Today, the ICJ is the BEST way to solve the problem.
There is a partisan political advertisement on Vibes radio and TV about the ICJ. Is that appropriate?
ANSWER: Absolutely NOT. The Guatemalan claim is of supreme national importance and as such is way beyond party politics, pandering and electioneering. Belizeans need to fight together as one to save Belize.