Just how much of Belize is Guatemala claiming? It’s a valid question, but the answer may surprise you. We’ve always thought that the claim was for roughly half of Belize, and there’s a 1999 letter which specifically refers to all areas south of the Sibun River, including all cayes except St. George’s Caye. In fact, as far as we’ve been able to ascertain through our research, that’s the last official claim. But get this – somehow the claim is now for all of Belize, the entire Belizean territory. That’s the latest word from Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington who quite nonchalant made that shocking revelation during an extensive interview on Tuesday.
Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs
“It was on the twenty-first of September, 1939 that the Guatemalans wrote to the British to say to them that they will be repudiating the entire 1859 Treaty. The truth is that if you can successfully repudiate the Treaty then it means that the Treaty comes to an end and the property would revert back to the Guatemalans. But the contention of the British is that the property was never Guatemala’s, and their assertion that they were repudiating the 1859 Treaty was not a valid legal position. So the British never took the view that any part of Belize became the territory of Guatemala, and they have maintained that up to this day. That is the view that we maintain. Guatemalans are claiming though that in fact they now own the whole territory. That is the effect of repudiating the contract, the Convention and there can be no separate regime in relation to the Sarstoon because the whole country – if the Convention falls, then the whole country becomes the subject of the dispute, you see, and there is no separation between the rest of Belize and the Sarstoon. So they would technically claim the whole country and so it is not correct to say that they are annexing the Sarstoon. What is the proper situation is to say that they are stopping people from using the Sarstoon because really and truly they are claiming the whole territory as theirs.”