By BBN Staff: The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) issued a release today stating that Belize’s Foreign Minister has publicly compared Belizeans to “squatters” who cannot develop their territory due to legal uncertainty.
“In doubling down on his un-inspired comments, he suggests that his use of the term “squatters” was with regard to the legal term “Prescription”, which is indeed a legal way for states to acquire title to territory,” the VIP said.
In further defense of his statements, the Foreign Minister stated that all foreign ministers preceding him have supported the ICJ option to settle the Guatemalan claim.
The VIP also said that they are disgusted by the Minister’s inappropriate terminology and confused statements.
“The Foreign Minister ought to know that under international law, squatting does not amount to “Prescription” except when the occupation is maintained without objection from another state. Belize will be hard pressed to prove at the ICJ that we have historically occupied our territory without objection from Guatemala.”
The release quotes a statement by Lisa Shoman, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize:
“The wording of the special agreement let’s admit, is really not spectacular. It has weaknesses. It is inadequate and there is a heavy distrust of the manner in which the special agreement was made, signed, and worded and how it was formulated and agreed upon by both parties”. (Attorney LISA SHOMAN, Social Security debate June 23, 2016)
The VIP says that it believes that the Special Agreement has to be amended or aborted before Belize becomes entangled at the ICJ under ambiguous terms that threaten Belize’s existence.