Belize and Guatemala Agree on 2013 Date for Territorial Referenda


Above: Belize’s Wilfred Elrington and Guatemala’s Harold Caballeros (OAS Photo/Patricia Leiva)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Belize and Guatemala’s Foreign Ministers have agreed on a date for simultaneous referenda in the two countries on the issue of Guatemala’s territorial claim to the International Court of Justice.

The two countries will each hold a referendum on Oct. 6, 2013, following an agreement by Belizean Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and Guatemalan Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros.

The two ministers met Friday with OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza in Washington.

The Ministers said they would now take the steps towards informing the populations in each country on the dispute and the need to find a permanent resolution.

The two sides will convene a high-level meeting in June to determine compliance with the confidence-building measures, as well as to identify potential areas of cooperation between inhabitants of the Belize-Guatemala Adjacency zone.

The land dispute between the two countries has lasted for decades.