By Aaron Humes: Belizeans living in the United States and United Kingdom have taken up the cause of the Belize-Guatemala dispute, with separate petitions asking those countries’ lawmakers to speak out.
Paul Golder launched a petition on the UK Parliament website seeking 10,000 signatures for a formal response and 100,000 for a debate in Parliament, condemning Guatemala for its, quote, ‘aggression and belligerence against Belize’. End of quote.
The petition accuses Guatemala of repeated aggression against and refusal to respect Belize’s borders, leading to theft of forest products, building of milpa and marijuana plantations in protected areas and threatening Belize’s defence forces and civilians.
As of this evening the petition is approaching 100 signatures, with support from all over the UK. It remains up until October of 2016.
Meanwhile in the United States, Al Smith of Conyers, Georgia, USA has launched a similar undertaking on the site, www.change.org. This website is widely used in the lobbying of issues ranging from political to environmental.
Smith’s petition addresses 21 U.S. members of Congress in both the House of Representatives and Senate, urging them to ‘Stand Up in Solidarity for Belize’.
Making similar claims to Golder’s petition, the Smith petition also cites Belize’s democratic nature and open welcome to U.S. citizens. It too has support from Belizeans living in the United States who have commented on the site.