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Belize; Made a De facto State

Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2019. 10:38 pm CST.

views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By: Dr. Gerald Zuniga, Political Science Studies, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala & Universidad Mariano Galvez, Guatemala City

You may ask yourself the questions, what do I mean by a De facto State? How do I come about with alll this?  I invite you to continue reading and you yourself will draw to the same conclusion and will ask yourself the question, what kind of leaders and assessors, if there were and are any, have we had since the year 2000 in regards to the negotiations with Guatemala? Their skills, their tact, their patriotism, their knowledge of political science, international public law,  international relations, history, culture, and even their skills and witts in politics and the resolution of conflicts are worthy of analysis and the appraisal would certainly be low. Ironically, they got instead the prize of a big come back into the poltical arena. A come back that they think is a political gain but they are not aware that Belizeans are now awake and are not lethargic nor sleeping anymore.

From a De jure Independent State that we had since 1981 and more so when the government of Ex-President Serrano Ellias of Guatemala recognized  the State of Belize and the establishment of diplomatic relations, we suddenly fell into and now live in a De facto State of Belize since November 8th, 2000 with the signing of an ironically called confidence building  Measures Agreement between Assad Shoman for Belize and Gabriel Orellana Rojas for Guatemala, a seasoned constitutionalist, and seemingly no one is aware or we are contented with it. The creation of an Adjacency Zone with the complicity of the United Nations and in particular the OAS in breach of our own Constitution and international public law destroyed the integrity of the State of Belize. In Spanish, one would ask  the question, “Será una inocentada?” Is an innocent act? Or is it with a purpose? Is it a strategy? Certainly, it is. Who is this strategy benefitting? I was studying the highly important politicolegal document signed on November 8th, 2000. A very serious event happened from a politicolegal perspective. IT IS ONE OF THE MOST, IF NOT THE MOST, GROSS VIOLATION OF OUR CONSTITUTION AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THE STATE OF BELIZE. It destroyed  the integrity and existence of our country and State and made us extremely vulnerable but we are strong as a Nation. Making an analogy, I would compare this strategy of Guatemala with the acceptance of our negotiators to way certain medicines act, especially some penicillins and quinolones. They call it the mechanism of action. They destroy the cell wall to destroy the cytoplasm, nuclear membrane and other organelles. That causes a lysis. That is the reason why they are called bactericides and  not bacteriostatics. A complete destruction eventually happen and the bacteria dies. That is precisely what is happening to Belize.

Contrary to our neighbour Guatemala’s Constitution, Belize’s  Constitution in Schedule 1 defines precisely and crystally clear what is the territory of Belize. Here is Schedule 1 Art. 1 and I  quote ‘The territory of Belize comprises the mainland of Belize and all its associated islands and cays within the area bounded by the frontiers with Guatemala and Mexico and the outer limit of the territorial sea of Belize as follows—-

     (a)  the frontier with Guatemala is the line prescribed by         the Treaty between the United Kingdom and Guatemala signed on 30 April 1859,

     (b) the frontier with Mexico is the line prescribed by the Treaty between the United Kngdom and Mexico signed on 8 July 1893,

    (c) the outer line of the territorial sea of Belize is the limit provided by law measured from such baselines as may have been prescribed before Independence Day by law or otherwise, or as may be so prescribed thereafter, 

and also includes the Turneffe Islands, the Cays of Lighthouse Reef and Glover, together with all associated islets and reef, and their adjacent waters as far as the outerlimit of the territorial sea appertaining to them to them.” In Guatemala’s Constitution only Art. 142 refers to its sovereignty and territory. The article doesn’t mentioned its borders neither mentions anything about Belize. Whosoever tells you or wheresoever you hear even if it be in the ICJ propaganda that Guatemala says that Belice es nuestro, is a blatant lie. To the point that iBelize was off their map. THERE IS NOWHERE IN GUATEMALA’S ACTUAL CONSTITUTION WHICH IS THE SUPREME LAW OF THE COUNTRY SINCE JANUARY 14TH, 1986 THAT SAYS BELICE ES NUESTRO AND ALL PREVIOUS CONSTITUTIONS WERE DERROGATED SINCE THIS NEW CONSTITUTION COMES TO LIFE.. So don’t be fooled less be frightened by those nonsense. The only article  in Guatemala’s Constitution from the first page to the last page that refers to Belize is Art. 19 Transitory and here is the translation of Article 19 Transitory of their Constitution:

“The  Executive remains with the faculty to do the lobbyings that tend to resolve the situation of the rights of Guatemala respect to Belize, in conformity with national interest. All final agreements must be put by the House of Congress to a popular consultation as foreseen in article 173 of this Constitution.

The government of Guatemala will promote social, economic, and cultural relationships with the people of Belize.

For the effects of nationality, native Belizeans remain subject to the regime that this Constitution establishes for those who originate from Central America.”

I would like you to pay keen attention to 2 things:

  1. There is no mention of any ICJ resolution as the solution to their claim and if hypothetically it would be (the ICJ’s resolution), their House of Congress would have to put such resolution to a popular consultation or referendum according to Art. 19 Transitory to their Consitution. Will their “friends” finance that again?
  2. Their is no mention that native Belizeans are even considered Guatemalans, and that article talks about natives. What about naturalized Belizeans? Read my article here “Our Territory; Not Our People”.

Added to this, our Western boundary is destroyed with the presence of an Adjacency Zone and the Southern border of River Sarstoon occupied. For a De jure State to exist, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT IT HAS BORDERS OR TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY. Hence, I said that Belize is now made a De facto State and this has legal implications on our sovereignty as a nation. Yet they are asking us in a referendum to give  jurisdiction to the ICJ. A jurisdiction that they are taking away. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE OAS RE-ESTABLISH OUR BORDERS AS GUARANTEED IN OUR CONSTITUTION. Any negotiation with Guatemala could and should be on any ground less our borders or territorial integrity of 8,867 sq.miles. Instead of thinking about going to the ICJ, the U.N. should give us back our De jure State which allowed us to become independent on September 21st, 1981.


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