Belize’s Proposals Kept Low Key by Guatemalan Congress

As we showed you in Tuesday night’s newscast, both Minister Elrington and Opposition representative Ambassador Assad Shoman believe that the protocols were well received. They are also hopeful that a positive response will be forthcoming within a week even though Guatemala has so aggressively asserted its sovereignty on the entire Sarstoon. Still, Elrington says that Belize’s proposals were deliberately kept low key so as to avoid the bureaucracy of Congress and perhaps elicit a speedy response.

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Not everything that is done goes to the Congress, and the authorities, certainly the officials have the discretion to make some decisions that don’t need to go to Congress. Decisions like these, how they are going to proceed in the main, in the main, don’t necessarily have to go to Congress. There are issues which the Congress might specifically want to have an input in, but it is my hope that the kind of proposals that we are putting forward would not be of the type that would require any delay in getting consent from the Congress, that it could be something that could be implemented fairly quickly, that is our hope because as the moment passes the risk of incidents occurring increases, so it is in our view important that we take steps to act expeditiously, as quickly as possible. So for that reason we don’t want to put in place proposals or protocols that have to take months and months for ratification – try to keep it at a low level where you don’t have to have that requirement.”

At the end of April, the Belize Territorial Volunteers are organizing trip to the Sarstoon to commemorate the one hundred and fifty-seventh anniversary of the signing of the 1859 Treaty between the governments of the UK and Guatemala. The occasion presents an opportunity to test if the Guatemalans will insist that Belizeans seek permission to enter the Sarstoon River.

News 5