The Belize's Drama
© Evelyn Richardson Escobar-Vega de Tirado

“We never have to choose between justice and peace”

– Paul Henri Spaak –
Former President of the European-Belgian Council

(1982 to July 1993)

In 1982, Belize expanded its economic international relationships, becoming a part of International Monetary Fund. When Belize was accepted as an independent country, the government of George Price (PUP) started an approach to participate in the institutions of Central America.  He appointed an itinerant Ambassador with an office in Panama to promote and reinforce Belize’s relationships with the countries of Central America except Guatemala.  During that year, the Belizean government established an agricultural program at the south of Belize to increase the production of main produced grains.  In Toledo District, whose major population is Mayan-Q’eqchi’ they created numerous agricultural cooperative with very good results.

During the government De Facto of General Efraín Ríos Montt (March 23, 1982 to August 8, 1983) the Constitution of 1965 was abolished.  The Graduate Eduardo Castillo Arriola was appointed as Foreign Affairs Minister and declared that the position of Guatemala, concerning the controversy about Belize, was determined by what is established on the Fundamental Bylaw of Government in the Article 114 that declared the following:  “Concerning the territory of Belize, Guatemala keeps the petition of their rights.”

On June 2, 1982 the Minister Castillo Arriola declared:

“Guatemala will bring about negotiations looking for a fair resolution of the problem with Belize through a new proposal, since the Agreements Basis subscribed last year was expired because the United Kingdom did not follow up.

Guatemala will present new basis of its real position to achieve a definitive arrangement because it is not enough just to adapt a simple way out which anyways is already uncontested.

Guatemala does not recognize the assumed borders with Belize.  It is not about a border in one way.  One of the most important objectives is to negotiate to determine the territory that belongs to Guatemala.

On the other side, for Guatemala, Belize does not exist legally since Guatemala does not recognize the unilateral independence that the United Kingdom granted them. This is another issue to solve through a global arrangement of the problem.

Our country is firm in its position concerning our rights about territory and in accordance with the Fundamental Bylaws of the Government keeps the petition concerning that territory.

Guatemala is willing to look for a solution through negotiations with the United Kingdom and concerning the new basis that were referred before.  If there is any arrangement we will look other means to solve this situation.”

On November 23, 1982, a government meeting was held in New York where independent Belizeans participated.  The English government warned that they could not organize the agreements in behalf of Belize because it was already an independent country. Guatemala declared to the English that England could not evade in an easy way their responsibility because the territory petition was in force.  The Guatemalans made a new proposal:  to go to the border of the Sarstun River to the Monkey River up to the Mayan mountains to Peten so it will have an exit to the sea.  If the English accepted the proposal, the government of Guatemala would submit a popular consultation.

The Progressive Party of Toledo expressed that if the Guatemalan proposal was going to be accepted, but the government of Price made the exception that they could not accept to give anything from their territory and offered at the same time one exit to the sea the same that the English offered before. Belize presented a counterproposal: a fringe of joint development that would expand through two miles to the North and two miles to the South of the Sarstun River (within Izabal). It was a proposal that Guatemala did not accept.

On December 1982, it was held the United Nations Convention about the Maritime Law in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  Guatemala signed the United Nations Convention on the new Maritime Law according to the Governmental Agreement of February 4, 1983. Belize also attended and signed in the Convention.

In other meetings in New York on January 1983, England also rejected the proposal from Guatemala. Before such attitude from both, English and Belizeans, the government of Guatemala reassured definitively their rights of sovereignty on the absolute territory of Belize and cancelled all the negotiations.

In the government de facto of General Oscar Mejia Victores (August 8, 1983 to January 14, 1986) the Foreign Affairs Minister, Fernando Andrade Diaz-Duran organized meeting with the character of informal and investigative between Guatemala, England and Belize. On May 1984, an informal meeting was held in New York between the English delegation (including representatives of Belize) and the Guatemalan delegation.  Alfonso Alonso Lima headed the Guatemalan committee and presented a rule of territorial bases that was going to deal the definitive borders establishment between Guatemala and Belize and would have a main fringe of 1,120 miles of land within each line of the mouth of Moho River to the Zapotillo Kay was closer to south, taking the line of this cay until reaching the Ranguana Kays, continental and insular territory that would be under sovereignty of Guatemala. They could not enter none agreement.

On July 6, 1984 it was held another meeting in New York without any resolution on the controversy they only talked about restarting trading relationships with Belize.  It was held another meeting in New York on February 12, 1985 with the same parties.  Robert Leslie from Belize repeated that the Belizean committee had no authority, neither wanted to make any commitment that would damage the independence of Belize or abolish the Nation sovereignty or the violation of the territory integrity. He also declared that the Belizeans agreed on the establishment of the limits of the sea territory which would involve that Belize limits the extension of their sea 3 miles to the South side of the territory and they would discuss it later.  The Belizeans would disclaim to their rights to extend their territorial sea to the limit of 12 maritime miles. The line would be in the East side of Toledo District and would mark the frame of the territory of Belize. Guatemala would have a guarantee on the sea rights, property and exclusive use of the waters that belong to Belize.  To explain the limit of the 3 miles, the Belizean expressed that the line would be extended to the South of the Moho River up to the bank of Sarstun River.

The government of Belize was going to be prepared to accept the Amatique Bay as historical waters of Guatemala, as a concession. Also, that Belize was going to consider the south waters of the maritime line as property o Guatemala.

The Guatemalan delegation declared that Guatemala was rejecting any comment were made in relation to Amatique Bay because they were having historical rights over the same. They also reiterated that the controversy was with England and Guatemala was not accepting a unilateral independence granted to Belize. They never would recognize it as State and there were no land or maritime borders with it.

Around the same time, Professor Laing, member of Belizean delegation expressed in regard the Amatique Bay that the Central American Court of Justice, at the beginning of the century, had recognized the historical condition of the Gulf of Fonseca and Belize had with a lot of interest the claim that Guatemala could present in regard the Amatique Bay.  However, he said, our interest is assuming a territorial arrangement between Belize and Guatemala.

As response to what stated Professor Laing (Belizean), the Guatemalan representative, Alfonso Alonso Lima asked: “You mean Belize will pretend over Amatique Bay in the future? According to the regulations of Maritime Law, the geographical settlement of the Amatique Bay determines its condition of internal waters property of Guatemala.” The Guatemalan delegation rejected in an absolute way the explanation of Professor Laing.

On December 17, 1984, Manuel Esquivel of the UDP – United Democratic Party took possession as Prime minister of Belize; during his political campaign he declared:

“The independence of Belize is irreversible and its sovereignty is not negotiable.”

On May 31, 1985, the Constituent National Assembly decreed the Political Constitution of the Republic of Guatemala.  The Article 19 of the transitory and final provisions reads as follows:

“Belize.  The Executive is empowered to carry out the managements t6hat would resolve the situation of the Guatemalan rights over Belize pursuant the national interests.  Any definitive agreement shall be submitted to the process of popular consultation, established in Article 173 of the Constitution and submitted by the Congress of the Republic.

The Government of Guatemala will promote social, economical, and cultural relationship with the population of Belize.”

During the special XIV Period of Meetings of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia on December 5, 1985, the Protocol of amendments to the Letter of OAS was subscribed (Protocol of Cartagena de Indias). The text of Article 8 was modified as follows:

“The Permanent Council will not formulate any recommendation, nor the General Assembly will take any decision over the admission request filed by a political entity whose territory is subject, totally or partially, previously than December 18, 1964 and fixed by the First Inter American special Conference, upon suit or claim between an extra continental country or one or more Member States of the Organization. This will not be possible meanwhile the controversy is not finished through peaceful proceeding.  This article will be in force up to December 10, 1990.”

Such Protocol of Amendments was not ratified by Guatemala because the Article 8 was going to be in force until December 10, 1990 and it means that since December 11, 1990, Belize could enter as a Member State.

The government of Manuel Esquivel started an economic liberation program in Belize. At the middle of 1985, almost 13% of the territory (around 5700 square meters) was sold to Coca Cola Ltda. and other partners as well.

The effects of the economical policy were:

-    High concentration of land
-    Production of the same crops
-    Dependency on North American market, and
-    Control of natural resources by transnational companies

The Prime Minister also impulse a policy of foreign opening as a base to give advantage to their geopolitical situations: being at the head of the Central American isthmus and bearing coasts toward the Caribbean, which were closer to the Gulf of Mexico.  Said Musa, one of the ideologists of the PUP, stated: “What else is able to be done? We go from colonialism to neocolonialism” talking about United States.

The Constitutional President of Guatemala, Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo (1986-1991) appointed to Mario Quiñonez Amezquita as Minister of Foreign Affairs.  The President Cerezo, in relation to the controversy with England upon the territory of Belize, decided to give it another concept.  The current Constitution, on Article 19, was giving a larger political negotiation space, and as a consequence, adopted a series of measures to rescue rights on behalf Guatemala and to define the maritime rights of the country.  It means they were trying to replace the territorial claim by economical development.

In August 1986, Guatemala and England restarted the consular relations they had.

During one tour on October by Western Europe, President Cerezo stated that his government had the intention to abandon the territorial claim over the territory of Belize and was proposing to start straight negotiations to Belize. That month, Guatemala and Belize reestablished their commercial relationship.

On November 1986, President Cerezo traveled to Miami to attend to the annual meeting of the Caribbean Basin Conference and announced an approaching policy with the State of Belize and that was decided to “join efforts and stop of discussing” about the territorial claim.

On December 24, Guatemala and England reestablished diplomatic relationship that was broken for more than 23 years due the territorial claim over Belize.

In 1987 the negotiations with Belize and England began. Some technical and financing cooperation aspects were discussed by England for development projects of social and financial issues of Guatemala and Belize.  Guatemalan filed a proposal: at the south of Belize, the land border would be the line that separates the District of Toledo from the ones of Kay and Stan Creek. The maritime border should be drawn from the 12 miles of maritime territorial of the District of Toledo under the sovereignty of Guatemala, as a straight line toward the East (the Kays of Ranguana and Zapotillo were going to be within the waters of Guatemalan sovereignty). Punta Gorda was going to be a free port for Belize with investment from Guatemala and Belizean cooperation.

(Article 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras establishes that the Zapotillo kays belong to Honduras, as well as the rest is located in the Atlantic Ocean because “historically, geographically, and legally, owns them.”)

If the formula of Guatemala is accepted, the Covenant should be subscribed between Guatemala, England, and Belize.  England stated that wanted to support if Belize accepted it, but they actually rejected the Guatemalan proposal.

A higher officer of the government of Belize asked to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mario Quiñonez Amezquita, if there was the possibility of recognition de facto by Guatemala.  The Minister Quiñonez rejected it and formulated the expressed reserve of Guatemalan rights over Belize’s territory.

In 1987, Guatemala was opposed against Belize received the status of Permanent Observer at OAS.

At the end of 1987, the Vice president of the Republic, Roberto Carpio Nicolle, made a straight contact with the Minister of Belize, Dean Oliver Barrow. They met as top secret to reactive the negotiations that did not achieve positive forwards.

The second secret meeting was in Miami on February 22, 1988 and was decided to create a Joint Commission Guatemala-Belize, with the participation of England as Observer.  It was agreed to deal the issues in an integral way to promote only one Covenant over the following grounds:

a)    Political: to definitely resolve the situation between Guatemala and Belize; the entering of Belize to the Central American Parliament; possibilities of Belize’s entering to the Central American integration scheme; recognition of Belize as State; limits of the existing land borders; and establishment of the maritime border.

b)    Financial: establishment of a joint development zone; identification and implementation of integral development programs for the zone.

c)    Safety: strengthening of the safety on the zone.

On May 2, 1988, in the third meeting between Carpio Nicolle and Dean Barrow, was established the Permanent Joint Commission with representatives of Guatemala, Belize and the participation of England.  It was established that the Commission could designate labor sub-commissions and that the final project of covenant would be submitted to popular consultation in Belize and Guatemala, before signing.

The Permanent Joint Commission established three sub-commissions: Politics, Financial, and Safety.

The Permanent Joint Commission established with representatives of Guatemala and Belize, was coordinated by the Vice-president of the Republic through Governmental Agreement 165 on May 26, 1988.

The Bilateral Commission was created in order to negotiate with the government of Belize, and it was formed by:

Ariel Rivera Irias
Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs
President of the Commission

Roberto Bermejo
Specific Consultant of the Vice-presidency of the Republic

Edmond Mulet Lessieur
Congressman (UCN) representative of the Commission of
Foreign Affairs of the Congress

Marco Antonio Dardon Castillo
Congressman of the Commission of Foreign Affairs of
The Congress
Alternative Delegate

Guillermo Saenz de Tejada
Director of Contracting and International Covenants of
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Jorge Arturo Mazariegos
Ship Captain, Commander of the naval base of Atlantic Ocean
Representative of the Ministry of Defense

From May 1988 to February 1989, the Permanent Joint Commission celebrated four meeting. Likewise, the Sub-commissions were meeting several times.  During the working meters were established:

a)    Land borders: the points that determine the borders will be:
1.    From Gracias a Dios to the streams of Aguas Turbias (a swamp) in the border with Mexico.
2.    The south border of Belize will be the source of Sarstun River.

b)    Maritime borders:
1.    The maritime territory of Guatemala has 12 miles.  The maritime territory of Belize has 3 miles at the south, arriving to the east of Ranguana according the following description:

The limit of maritime territorial begins on the middle line of the mouth of Sarstun River, following the straight line toward northeast to three miles of the coast until a parallel point to Orange Point, following a point of three miles to the south of East Sanke Kay, prolonging a parallel line of base until three miles surrounding Zapotillo Kays and then, following the northeast until three miles east to the Ranguana Kay, then to east twelve miles.

2.    A Covenant will allow the free navigation until Belize, in one mile and a half of maritime territory of Guatemala surrounding Zapotillo cays.

3.    By such Covenant, Guatemala and Belize will set an Exclusive Financial Zone that will be shared and will be found three miles to east of Ranguana, until twelve miles to the south until the limit of maritime territory of Guatemala.

4.    A Covenant will be agreed for projects development of exploitation, jointly between Guatemala and Belize. This will be used for activities of fishing in deep water inside the zone is in the maritime territory of Belize between three miles and twelve miles, from east of Ranguana toward northeast, until the line of the north edge of Lighthouse Reef, except in the areas are already exploited by Belizean fishers and that will be duly set in the nautical letters.

On February 28, 1989, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize requested again to the General Secretary of the OAS to grant to the independent State of Belize, the condition of Permanent observer.  Guatemala was against it on based to the paragraph 4 of the “revised proceedings to the Concession of Permanent Observer.”

Said Musa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, on November 3, 1989, requested again to the General Secretary of OAS to grant to Belize the condition of Permanent Observer and Guatemala did not file any opposition this time.

On December 15, 1989, was made a meeting in Roatan, Honduras in the highest level.  The President of Guatemala, Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo and the Prime Minister of Belize, George price gave political instruction to continue the negotiation process.
When they met again in Roatan, Honduras, on July 9, 1990, they dealt about:

a)    Guatemala was going to accept the existing land borders with Belize, with the condition of Belize to guarantee an exit to the sea to Guatemala, and
b)    The position of England in the regard of its contribution to this arrangement, should be given through the establishment of an Economical Fund for development projects of Guatemala and Belize

On July 26, 1990 was a meeting of the Permanent Joint Commission in Miami and was agreed:

1.    That the agreed points in Roatan are clear.
2.    That the technical personnel of Guatemala and Belize, supported by English experts, identify the positions of the border lines in Gracias a Dios and the waterfalls of Garbutt and Aguas Turbias, to draw them in an unique map.
3.    The first stage: to locate the three monuments;
4.    The second stage: to open lines and produce one unique map that contains the borders.
5.    That the relative border to the medium channel of the Sarstun River be established and drawn in one unique map.
6.    That the base lines for the maritime border be established and drawn in one unique letter which will be agreed by Guatemala and Belize.

It was agreed that jointly with the main Covenant, it was going to be signed a simultaneous and parallel agreement for the joint development.

Guatemala and Belize were going to appoint its corresponding group to prepare the covenant project. The projects would be exchanged and studied before the Commission issue the unique document.

Jorge Serrano Elias, presidential candidate of the Supportive Action Movement (MAS) suddenly visited Belmopan on August 1990 to have an interview with high officer of the Belizean government.

The first time, in the political history of Guatemala, that a presidential candidate was visiting Belize.

The presidential candidate of MAS, Jorge Serrano Elias, responded to a survey of the Guatemalan Center of Foreign Affairs (CEGRI) on September 1990 in the following way:

“In regard the Belize’s case, we must to adopt a realistic position, to release a juridical or legal fights to international level with Great Britain will be an unfortunate and useless diplomatic effort.  The most reliable solution in the case of Belize, according to my judge, is in its incorporation to the Central American Parliament and to the regional integration.”

The representatives of the Permanent Joint Commission were meeting in Miami on August, 1990.  England was in such meeting. It was proposed that England should cooperate to a development Fund, as part of the “package”, Guatemala and Belize agreed that the covenant project, with all the additional elements, were submitted to popular consultation.

From October 1 to 5, the delegations of Guatemala and Belize had a meeting to carry out some technical studies in Petén and Belize. They visited the monuments of Gracias a Dios, Garbutt and Aguas Turbias.  The Guatemalan delegation stated that was not authorized to recognize monuments as territorial limits, decision was considered as political character. Belize was going to communicate to Guatemala the date when England was going to do the collateral labors and the logistic program that were going to be provided to the Guatemalan.

On December 1990, Belize sent to the Guatemalan section of the Permanent Joint Commission a draft of the covenants of friendship, safety, economic cooperation and conciliation of the maritime and land borders between Belize and Guatemala, an annex of the corresponding maps.

On December 10, 1990 the Article 8 of the Letter of OAS was out of force; therefore, on December 11 Belize requested to become member of the Organization. The Organization of the American States accepted Belize as Member State on January 8, 1991.

Jorge Serrano Elias assumed the Presidency of the Republic (January 15, 1991 – June 1, 1993) and appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs to Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen. The President Serrano decided to lead, by himself, the policy to continue the situation of Belize, instead of leaving it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On May 6, 1991, the Minister Arzu sent him a letter:

“Honorable President:

As you may know, on next Friday 24 will arrive to this city Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of United Kingdom of the Great Britain and North Ireland as official visit.

For your information, I must let you know on last Friday 3rd; I attended to a breakfast where I was invited by the English Ambassador, Justin Nason, time we talked about Belize situation.  I used such opportunity to expose to the ambassador the following arguments:

1.    That this Chancellery recently expressed that before signing any covenant in order to finalize the problem of Belize, is needed a deeper research of the same, with the purpose to determine if this would be solved as has been stated in several occasions.
2.    That more than a right time,  thought absolutely necessary to proceed with the research of Belize because was the more serious problem of Guatemala since the point of view of its sovereignty; therefore, signing documents without enough juridical and political analysis could be considered as enormous historical consequences which results would affect in a negative way the current regime.
3.    That the problem of Belize, which is simple now, apparently, has serious implications.  As a matter of fact, I said that Belize is independent already and that has been recognized as such by all nations; therefore, the isolated position of Guatemala seemed obsolete and that the most convenient action would be the recognition to avoid such isolation, especially within the Nations of the Caribbean. However, against such affirmation, there is a long history of controversies that have been imposed over Guatemala and the conclusions addressed to the Understanding Bases were signed in London in 1981.  Such bases, where Guatemala was recognizing the independence of Belize, where was waiving its claim to the change of “usage and usufruct” of the kays of Ranguana and Zapotillo, were not accepted by the government of Belize, although the Guatemalan generosity, and as a result, the corresponding agreements were not implemented.
4.    That during the last government, it seems a total redemption: Only some part of the maritime territory was recognized, no having in mind that according the new Maritime Law is necessary an agreement to resolve the existing community because the Gulf of Honduras is among several countries.  Seeing such situation, Guatemala could totally waive its territorial claim, giving validity to the Covenant was signed with Great Britain in 1859, which expiration was declared since 1884 by the Government of the Republic and which was ratified later by a Legislative Decree.
5.    That there is a political and juridical international obligation to resolve the disagreement, not just because all the forums have recognized the problem or because replacing the Covenant of 1859 to fix the true limits of Belize, but because the Resolution 35/20 of the United Nations that recognized the independence of Belize said in the paragraph 5: “to the government of the United Kingdom and North Ireland is urged, acting in close consultation with the government of Belize and Guatemala, to continue the efforts to conclude an agreement without prejudice of the performing done by the people of Belize of its inalienable rights and to encourage peace and the region stability, to celebrate consultations with other States of the area that would be especially interested on.”
6.    That such resolution leaves as safe, the Guatemalan claim and is not a negotiation mood to assign in all the points which is requested by the other party, which would allow to see that never was a claim right. If is considered as true that the problem solution could bring some inconveniences to Guatemala, also could be for Belize. Belize is an occupied territory meanwhile is not solved the disagreement; Great Britain keeps its well trained troops and modern armament in the territory.  By other side, Belize is not able to enter either to the Central American Organisms of Integrations, nor to the ones could be created in the future, without plenty will of Guatemala.
7.    Upon such situation, I explained the ambassador that keeping such disagreement is not causing major problems to Guatemala, but does for England and Belize.  A suitable diplomacy could approach an arrangement; however, the International Law still has solution ways have not been performed yet.  Venezuela has such kind of problems with the case of Guyana Ezequiba; and Argentina with Malvinas.
8.    I also let know the ambassador that currently a claim of all the territory is not pretended, as at the beginning; however, with the fact of recognizing the independence of Belize by the General Assembly of United Nations, does not mean that the territorial claim of Guatemala have been finished, as well is clearly stated by the paragraph 5 of aforementioned resolution. Moreover, it is mandatory to achieve an “agreement” which will not imply as abandonment. Belize must be restricted within its indelible limits. On such purpose, I stated that such limits were granted in the Spanish-English conventions of 1783 and 1786 that are from Hondo River to Sibun River and not from Sibun River to Sarstun River, which is Guatemalan territory seized by United Kingdom after the independence of Guatemala.  It must be recalled that United states recognized the existence of two Belizes: the one from Hondo River to Sibun River according to the Spanish concessions of usufruct; and the other from Sibun River to Sarstun River, empowered of Guatemala from the independence. This recognition was made when the government of the United States protested before Guatemala’s due the signature on Covenant of 1859.

Given the explanations were given to the ambassador, it is my duty to let you know, Mr. President, that this Chancellery thinks as first intention, that a juridical arrangement must be looked. The political arrangements were begun after Great Britain did not accept the proceeding of ex-aequo-et bono and only accepted the strictly juridical before the International Court of Justice, only made to Guatemala continuous frustrations and to assign every time more and more. However, in every case, has not been performed the arbitration formula that is the most commonly accepted to dissolve territorial problems.

The Chancellery is aware on the difficulty that Great Britain and Belize make and arrangement on this type, but Great Britain had already accepted the jurisdiction of the Court. Also, the acceptation of Belize to the United Nations on regard its liabilities, must be studied.  By other side, Belize is already part of the organization of American States therefore, its disagreements should be submitted to the systems of peaceful arrangements were previously established in the Inter American system as the American Covenant of Peaceful Solutions.

For such reasons, the Chancellery thinks certain urgent measures must be taken. As prime point, the Office of Belize in the Chancellery must be created again to gather together and organize al the documentation exists. Likewise, the Council of Belize must be reorganized, since it was not consulted since 1967. The council of Belize is a consultation organism of the Ministry of Foreign affairs for everything has regard on Belize and is formed by elements of high ability in International Law with ample knowledge on such problem.  The future performing of the ministry of foreign Affairs will be determined by the research could be done on the current situation.

Finally, pursuant the Law of the Executive Organism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible of the Foreign Policy and especially on the solution of the problem that is affecting the territorial integrity of the Nation. Upon such virtue, hereby is requested to the President of the Republic to approve and decides upon this document and moreover, maintains the problem of Belize as exclusive of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.”

The President Serrano appointed to Edmond Mulet L., congressman of the political party UCN of the Congress of the Republic, and Antonio Arenales Forno, consultant of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, in order “to communicate to the Belizean authorities the proceeding was though by President Serrano, which was the proper one to begin the corresponding negotiations to resolve the disagreement.”

The government of Belize appointed to their Ambassador Robert Leslie, as Commissioned of Belize before England to head the delegation of Belize.

On July 29, 1991 was a meeting in Miami of the “presidential spokespersons” with the Ambassador Robert Leslie. Guatemalan stated the desire to activate the negotiation process with the purpose of a faster recognition of Belize’s independence and the establishment of diplomatic relationship.

On the first days of August, the Prime minister of Belize, George Price, consulted to the opposition party, UDP, the proposal of the Guatemala President:

Guatemala was going to recognize the independence of Belize and its land borders, as well as to conclude the territorial claim if Belize guaranteed the exit to sea.  The proposal was accepted and was the “plan to follow up” was designed.

On August 14, 1991, the government of Guatemala recognized the right of self-determination of Belize.

On August 16, the government of Belize filed to the National Assembly a legal project, related to the maritime territory, internal waters and exclusive economic zone of Belize.  Although it had right over 12 miles, Belize was going to limit the maritime territorial up to 3 miles, only from Ranguana Kay up to Sarstun River.

On September 5, 1991, the President Serrano, without any consultation to the Guatemalan people, recognizes the independence of Belize.

On September 6, the Embassy of England in Guatemala issued a press release which was stating their satisfaction for the decision of the President Serrano of recognizing the independence of Belize.  Great Britain was going to provide an amount of 22.5 million of sterling pounds, plus 120 million of quetzals for the construction of roads to make an easy access between Belize and Guatemala.

On September 11, the President Serrano established diplomatic relations with Belize and named Ricardo Bueso as First Ambassador of Guatemala in Belize.  The official announcement was made simultaneously in Guatemala and Belmopan through a report subscribed by the governments of Jorge Serrano and George Price, jointly.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Alvaro Arzu, due was not agree with the independence recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relationship with Belize, did not sign the Governmental agreement of appointment 523.

On September 12, 1991, Ricardo Bueso presented his Letter of Credentials in Belmopan, to the General Governor, Minita Gordon.

The Ambassador Bueso, when taking the position, expressed to the Prime Minister, George Price, the desire of President Serrano of making an official visit to Belize on September 19, taking the opportunity of the 100th anniversary of independence (September 21).  The purpose of the visit was to concrete the diplomatic relationship and to begin the process of commercial approach.

On September 13, 1991, Prensa Libre (Guatemalan newspaper) on its page 11 published an article written by the International Law Doctor, Luis Aycinena S.:


Again has been talking again about an exit to the sea, as an almost magic formula to solve the old dispute with Great Britain over Belize. Even is being used the euphemism of “good will” from the Belizean when are “granting” an exit to the sea to Guatemala.  The situations has been distorted and had looked for unfocused approaches but totally mad. A building is pretended to be done – the relationship between Guatemala and Belize – based on a huge lie: an exit to the sea.

The disproportion of such proposal lacks of limits.  Guatemala assigned to England around 13 thousand square miles of territory in 1859, and results that now Guatemala has to say thanks, not for receiving back the territory, not even for a minimum part of the same, but for an exit to the sea, its own sea. Incredible. This is what we are, quitters. The consequences are dramatic, because it seems that the arrangements have gone beyond.  And still it looks like we are going over our own land, fighting the delivery of the same.

Is Belize going to assign to Guatemala en exit to the sea? Such was consigned in the ignominious Understanding Bases of 1981? No way to call it mislead: Guatemala does not have exit to the sea due geographical and juridical reasons. Any State with coast has right of an exit to the sea. Guatemala has coast since the mouth of Sarstun River until the mouth of the Motagua River. The Mediterranean countries, Bolivia and Paraguay are having different cases and are forced to ask it to their neighbors, almost as aims.

The Convention over the Maritime Territory and the Contiguous Zone was subscribed in Genève on April 29, 1958 and is in force. The article 12 reads:

1.    When the coasts of both States be face to face or, adjacent, none of such States will have right, except mutual agreement on the contrary, to extend their maritime territory beyond the middle line is determined in the way that all the points are equitable in distance from the closer points of the base lines from which are measured the wide of maritime territorial to each of such States. However, the disposition of such paragraph will not be applicable when is necessary to limit the maritime territorial of both States in any other way, due the existence of historical rights or due special circumstances.

The fact that Guatemala is not part of such convention, due did not ratified it, does not takes authority, because within is established the international rule in force; therefore, is a mandatory fulfillment for the international commonwealth.  If is any controversy from this reason between Guatemala and Belize, and it would be taken to trial, the International Court of Justice would apply the regulation of Article 12 to solve it, without any doubt. Furthermore, Guatemala did not ratify such Convention for a simple ineffective technical term, alien to the context of the article.

The Convention upon the Continental Shelf was subscribed in Geneve on same prior date, April 29, 1958, and was ratified by Guatemala on November 3, 1961.  The Article 6 reads:

1.    When a same continental shelf is adjoining to the land of two or more States, which coasts are one in front of the other, will have the limits through an agreement between them.  If an agreement is missing, and except special circumstances justify another limits, this will be established by a middle line which points are of equal distances from the closer points of the base lines from is measured the extension of maritime territorial of each State.
2.    When the same continental shelf is adjoining to the territory of two neighboring States, their limits will be established by a mutual agreement.  If an agreement is missing, and except special circumstances justify another limits, this will be established by applying the principle of equal distances from the closer points of the base lines from the extension is measured of maritime territorial of each State.

“Not so crystal clear…”

It means that not Belize, Honduras, nor Guatemala could extend their maritime territory, their exclusive economic zone, and their continental shelf if it hurts the immediate neighbors.  We can ask if the Guatemalan negotiators knew it or if they just ignored it to proceed with an easy, immediate, and deplorable arrangement.  Such Understanding Bases of 1981, which were not fulfilled by England, had already been expressly denounced by a Guatemalan delegation in 1982 and 1983 before a British delegation and some Belizean friends.

The Convention of the United Nations over the maritime right subscribed in Montego Bay, Jamaica on December 10, 1982 in the Articles 15 and 83 repeat the legal provision in regard the maritime territory to the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Said Musa, carried out an official visit to Guatemala on September 16, 1991 in company of Dean Barrow of the opposition party UPD, and Roberto Leslie, High Commissioned of Belize before the government of England. The representatives of the governments of Guatemala and Belize issued a Joint Affidavit, which was stating the continuity of both governments through their corresponding chancelleries, the negotiation of a definitive agreement that concludes the disagreement, understanding that such agreement only will be definitive and valid after the Guatemalan people approves it through popular consultation. They also stated the decision to integrate bilateral commissions that were going to have under their charge, the looking of agreements in the economic, social, and cultural fields.

The Foreign Minister of Belize, Said Musa, at the moment was interviewed by members of the media on the Guatemalan claim of territory, answered: “Belize will not assign to Guatemala, not even an inch of land.”

On September 18, a press release of the Cultural Association of Guatemala, in the eighth point reads:

“The Cultural association of Guatemala exhorts to the government of the republic to correct the used process and respect the clear constitutional provisions, proposing to the Congress, the celebration of the popular plebiscite that authorizes the recognition of the sovereignty of the State of Belize…”

The presidential commission of Guatemala, headed by Edmon Mulet, congressman of the UCN, Antonio Arenales Forno, officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives of the Congress of the Republic met in Belize on September 13, 1991 with the Foreign Minister, Said Musa, and other officer of the government of Belize.  The research of the agreement must be signed by the President of Guatemala and the Prime Minister of Belize started.

The President Serrano canceled his official visit to Belmopan since the huge opposition was exposed by different society sections of Guatemala.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Alvaro Arzu, resigned to the position on September 20, 1991.

On September 23, 1991, the Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Haroldo Rodas Melgar, exposed during his intervention about Belize, at the Permanent Council of OAS:

“The decision of the President Serrano Elias, of expressly recognizing the State of Belize, as well as to establish diplomatic relationships, responded to the necessity to make an easy and straight negotiation as bridge to have a definitive solution to the territorial disagreement, fair and honorable for both parties and within the frame of International Law.

The desire of the Guatemalan people is to live peacefully and harmoniously with its neighbors and begin friendship and cooperation bonds with the nations of the Caribbean commonwealth.  Pursuant the spirit of the Constitution of the Republic of Guatemala and the International Law, the right of the Belizean is recognized; furthermore, according the Article 19 transitory of the Political Constitution, the negotiation will continue and exhaust all the legal remedies that take to a definitive resolution of the territorial disagreement.”

On the last days of September, the Association of Dignitaries of the Nation stated that the independence recognition of Belize and the establishment of diplomatic relations were violating the Article 19 of the Political Constitution.  The government is authorized to carry out economic, cultural and friendship contacts with Belize; however, about diplomatic relations and the recognition of their independence, is duty of the sovereign people to proclaim if they DO accept or DO NOT.

The President Serrano stated:

“The former constituents are the ones who violate the Political Constitution of the Republic because they are trying to interpret the Magna Carta, when it is responsibility is exclusive competency of the Constitutionality Court.”

On October 13, 1991, the Guatemalan Association of International Law issued an affidavit where signed that the recognition of Belize as an independent State indicates that the President Jorge Antonio Serrano Elias was not adjusted to the Constitution of the Republic.

On October 23 was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala Gonzalo Menendez Park. Few hours later he was taking the position, the itinerant Ambassador of Belize, Ismael Laurencio Garcia, presented his Letter of Credentials.

The Professional College of Attorneys at Law and Notaries Public of Guatemala requested a report (October 15) to Arturo Fajardo Maldonado, Alberto Herrarte G., Ramon Cadena Hernandez and Gilberto Chacon Pazos.  On October 23, it opined that the President Jorge Serrano Elias violated the Political Constitution of the Republic since he did not exhausted the established proceedings it dictates, when he recognized unilaterally and unconstitutionally to Belize.

On October 26, 1991, Jorge Eduardo Garcia-Salas Calderon, assisted by the Attorneys Gabriel Orellana Rojas, Marieliz Lucero Sibley and Carmen Yolanda Lopez Tellez de Caceres, filed a document to the Constitutionality Court (file 290-91) pretending the declaration of unconstitutionality of the “Agreement of Appointment 523, issued by the President of the Republic, that was naming Ricardo Humberto Bueso Deras to the position of Special Ambassador and Plenipotentiary of the Government of the Republic of Guatemala before the Government of Belize.

On October 27, the Prime Minister of Belize, Georgia Price visited Guatemala to attend to the Central American Parliament. He was received by the President Serrano and George Price reiterated its policy of not assigning any centimeter of land in the negotiations were going to be carried out with Guatemala, in regard the territorial disagreement.

On November 3, 1991, Hector Rolando Palomo Gonzalez, with no more assistance than himself and the Attorneys Luis Alberto Lopez Moncrieff and Fredy Alberto de Leon, filed a document (file 292-91) at the Constitutionality Court, pretending the declaration of unconstitutionality over the provisions of general character through the President of the Republic recognized the independence of Belize.

On November 6, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo Menendez Park, was asked for an explanation on the Belize’s recognition, by the congressmen Jose Eduardo Garcia-Salas at the meeting of the Congress of the Republic. He was asked about the existence of a Bilateral Commission Guatemala-Belize, where is mentioned the congressman Edmond Mulet and Antonio Arenales Forno.  The Minister Menendez Park responded:

“There is no Bilateral Commission Guatemala-Belize that the President Serrano commissioned to Antonio Arenales Forno, consultant of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the congressman Edmon Mulet Lessieur, to communicate to the Belizean authorities the most proper proceeding to begin the negotiations, according the government of Guatemala, to solve the disagreement.”

The Coordinator of the party National Alliance for Belizean Rights – NABR – Phillip Goldson, on December 4, 1991, made a public announcement; some of the paragraphs read as follows:

“Patriot Alliance for the Territorial Agreement

We call all the Belizeans to reject the Maritime Territories Act. Our emblem is that not the land, sea, or rights of Belize are available to be negotiated.

We request you to adopt the principle that the aggressor nation (Guatemala) is the one that should compensate the VICTIM NATION (Belize). More than fifty years Guatemala had kept an active claim without grounds toward Belize, destructing our political system and ruining our economy, creating instability, chasing us and making us prisoners in a very unfair way.

Currently, they have announces their intention to negotiate with Belize pursuant International Law and say that will start to recognize our inherent right of INDEPENDENCE. They promised that were going to negotiate and sign a peace agreement when were properly rewarded, forgetting, forever, the groundless claim over Belize.

The injurious proposal that Belize should offer Maritime Territory to Guatemala as reward and compensation of the inherent right of Belize to its independence is not able to be accepted, and never will be accepted by the Belizean compatriots.

England has granted already a beginning compensation to Guatemala of more than SEVENTY SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS and still will grant more.

Signed by: Phillip W.S. Goldson, Melvin L. Hulse, Drek Alkman and Hubert Elrington.”

By Government Agreement 992-91 on December 9, 1991, the government of Guatemala agreed to update and restructure the National Council of Belize as an organization dedicated to research, planning, and consultation for the Ministry of foreign Affairs in regard the territorial disagreement with Belize.

Mr. Roberto Archila was appointed as General Consul in Belize and Rafael Salazar as Prime Consultant.

The Decree of Maritime Areas of Belize was promulgated on January 24, 1992 and was in force from the 30th of the same month.  According such law, the Belize State was going to keep 3 miles of its Maritime Territory – only as provisional measure – at the South of the country, from Ranguana Kay until the mouth of Sarstun River.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Said Musa, on February 12, 1992 requested to the government of Guatemala to clear why an oil magazine published in Texas was inviting to present a bid for the oil exploration, the annexed map was appointing the area Belize was claiming as their exclusive economic zone.  The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Gonzalo Menendez Par, on the next day 13th, he replied:

“Actually the limits of the corresponding area to Amatique Bay were not consulted to this Chancellery. Your Excellence can be sure that this has been an unwilling mistake and in order to assure to Your Government that the Government of Guatemala has not the intention to create frictions with Belize, this area will not awarded to any company that had presented a bid.”

By instruction of the Foreign Affairs Minister, the Energy and Mines Minister modified the related map with the areas to bid, thus Guatemala lost an approximate area of 15 maritime miles of oil exploration and exploitation, as well as other natural resources.

On April 3, the government of Belize created the National Advisory Commission as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to analyze and research on the regard to the negotiations of the government of Guatemala.

The Business Head of the Permanent Mission of Belize before United Nations addressed a letter to the General Secretary (A/47/173) on April 22, 1992, to have it as official document in the General Assembly and the Safety Council of United Nations.  The annex of such letter was quoting some speech fragments of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Said Musa (April 3, 1992), where one of them sad:

“Within the context of recognition made by Guatemala on September 5, 1991, Guatemala recognized as independent the State of Belize – an unconditional and irrevocable act – and the borders of Belize according are defined in our Constitution. As a result of such statement, Guatemala also agreed to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belize pursuant International Law and the Letter to the United Nations.”

On July 31, 1992, the governments of Guatemala and Belize issued a Join Affidavit, where they state that Guatemala and Belize, as two sovereign and independent States, have not signed yet a Covenant between them to eventually establish the territorial and maritime borders. Such Covenant is one of the expected results of the negotiations.  They agree to accept that any mention to their corresponding territories in any entering into or performing of agreement, will be base to the Reference Monuments are existing.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Gonzalo Menendez Park, on October 1, 1992 stated:

“The declaration of Chancellor Musa upon United Nations only reflects the position of the government of Belize in regard the disagreement and it does not imply Guatemala is accepting it.  The Belizean chancellor reaffirmed the position Belize has hold in each of the past negotiations. They say that their territory is determined by the Reference Monuments were risen based on the covenant of 1859 which are not accepted by Guatemala as borders reference because such covenant was denounced.  Those are taken only as reference of a factual situation in an armed conflict meanwhile they were finding a solution to the territorial disagreement.”

Three key questions were found in Letter Public on October 6, 1992 of Eduardo Garcia-Salas Calderon to the congressman Edmond Mulet Lessieur that have not been answered in satisfactory way to the Guatemalan people:

1.    It is true what Belizean government states about the government of our country officially recognizes the borders of Belize as fixed by the Covenant between Guatemala and United Kingdom which was entered into on April 30, 1859?
2.    It is true what Belizean government states about the fixed limits by the Covenant on April 30, 1859 were officially accepted by Guatemala during held meeting by the Joint Commission between January and June, 1990?
3.    If Belize says yes, why the administration of President Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo, under your consultant, hid it to the people of Guatemala, making them to believe that Guatemala did not waive to the territorial claim?

On November 3, 1992, the Constitutionality Court issued the judgment upon the unconstitutionality actions were presented in relation to the independence recognition and the appointment of an Ambassador of the Government of the Republic of Guatemala before the Government of Belize.  Such judgment was approved by most of the four Magistrates (Adolfo Gonzalez Rodas, Gabriel Larios Ochaita, Josefina Chacon de Machado and Jose Antonio Monzon Juarez) and three Magistrates with Reasoned votes against it: Jorge Mario Garcia Laguardia, President of the Constitutionality Court and the Magistrates Epaminondas Gonzalez Dubon and Carlos Enrique Reynoso Gil.

The Constitutionality Court did not approve the proposed unconstitutionalities and said that the President of the Republic should be submitted to the Congress of the Republic due the actions he made in regard Belize, in the three next days of having a standing judgment.

On November 18, 1992, Ramiro de Leon Carpio, Prosecutor of Human Rights, sent a letter to Jorge Mario Garcia Laguardia, President of the Constitutionality Court, which a portion reads:

“Plenty of joy and emotion I send you this in order to express my personal congratulations for the wise decision you kept firmly and straightly, within the unconstitutionality actions were submitted to the Constitutionality Court by two citizens against the Executive actions when they recognized Belize as an independent State.”

This congratulations is also being extensive for the colleagues Carlos Enrique Reynoso Gil and Epaminondas Gonzalez, who kept equal position to yours, keeping the opinion of a Constitution violation on such governmental actions.”

On November 21, 1992, the Congress of the Republic in total meeting 48-92 knew the judgment of the Constitutionality Court (November 3) to pronounce if it implied a definitive solution to the rights of Guatemala in regard Belize upon the decisions of the government of Serrano of had recognized the independence of Belize and had established diplomatic relations with it, exchanging ambassadors.  Only 24 congressmen voted against the unilateral decision of the President Serrano, they were:

Francisco Alfaro Mijangos
Rafael Barrios
Mario Barrios
Reynaldo Castillo
Arabella Castro
Aristides Crespo
Roberto del Cid
Luis Flores Asturias
Carlos Garcia
Carlos Garcia Regas
Jose Eduardo Garcia-Salas
Mario Mazariegos
Rodolfo Mendoza
Miguel Montepeque
Ruben Dario
Luis Quezada
Francisco Reyes Lopez
Jorge Skinner Klee
Roberto Stein
Marco Tulio Sosa
Mario Taracena Diaz-Sol
Carlos Valle and
Frolan Villatoro

The other 78 congressmen who voted on favor of the performed of President Serrano were:

Edmon Mulet (President of the Congress)
Ernesto Contreras, Manuel Alvarez, Evelio Fuentes, Jaime Recinos,
Everardo Ramirez Elio Canales, Jose Carlos Acevedo, Juan Jose Alfaro,
Herlindo Alvarez, Hector Aragon Quiñonez, Jorge Archila, Carlos Arroyave,
Jesus Ayerdi, Joaquin Bamaca, Maria Eugenia Castillo, Obdulio Chinchilla,
Enrique Cordova, Claudio Coxaj, Joel Cualio Soto, Miguel de la Cruz, Mario de la Cruz,
Dimas de Leon, Julio Diaz, Clodoveo Dominguez, Carlos Escobedo,
Jose Felipe Franco, Mario Gaitan, Oliverio Garcia Rodas, Domingo Gomez,
Pedro Gomez, Enrique Guillen, Dario Juarez, Eduardo de Leon,
Fernando Lobo Dubon, Diego Lopez, Daniel Maldonado, Abundio Maldonado,
Eduardo Matute, Hector Mayora Daw, Eduardo Mendez, Victor Mendoza,
Carlos Merica, Marco Tulio Merida, Mario Miranda, Sara Mishan, Jorge Monroy,
Feliz Navarijo, Guillermo Nicolas Accimoc, Rafael Oliveros, Raul Orozco,
Julio Cesar Paiz, Edgar Paiz, Rony Pappa, Guillermo Pellecer, Fernando Pereira,
Carlos Perez, Cesar Porres, Anaisabel Prera, Otto Quiñonez, Francisco Reyes Ixcamey,
Marco Reyes, Ricardo Roca, Rafael Rottman, Saul Sandoval, Juan Carlos Simons,
Catalina Soberanis, Eduardo Tager, David Tobar, Elder Vargas, Diego Velasco Brito,
Vinicio Villar, Oswaldo Zamora, Lionel Brolo, Carlos Alarcon Monsanto,
Luis Lopez and Hector Luna Troccoli

On January 1993, Ricardo Bueso Deras resigned as Ambassador of Guatemala before the government of Belize.

Jorge Mario Garcia Laguardia, on March 26, 1993 sent a letter to Ramiro de Leon Carpio, Prosecutor of Human Rights; one of the paragraphs reads:

“I carefully revised the background of the discussion in the Constituent Assembly that approved the current Constitution and I believe that in such entity, as you appoint, was the same concern we interpret in our reasoned vote. It is comforting that people as you share our position, which makes me proud. I think the country was in the middle, and did not doubt for a moment when I did so. There was a clear constitutional violation of the President of the Republic when recognized the State of Belize, established diplomatic relationship and appointed an ambassador. Becoming a territorial claim into a simple borders disagreement meant one of many definitive agreements that could be made in the case that should be submitted to popular consultation according Article 19 of constitutional transitory.”

On April 19, 1993, Juan Antonio Castellanos Lopez presented his Letter of Credentials as Ambassador of Guatemala before the Government of Belize.

On May, the Prime Minister of Belize, George Price, stated that: “wood is claimed by Guatemalans was cut down in Belizean territory and not Guatemalan; however, in order to avoid diplomatic differences, we will pay it to the government of Guatemala.”

England announced that in 1994 was going to reduce gradually the army presence in Belize.  The British army in Belize exists from 1948 and has two thousand soldiers.

On May 18, 1993, was begun the Integration of Belize Council to try the solution of the generated problem due the recognition of Belize’s independence.

On June 6, 1993, Ramiro de Leon Carpio is elected by the Congress of the Republic, as Constitutional President of the Republic.  Arturo Fajardo Maldonado was appointed as Minister of Foreign Relationship and he expressed at the moment of taking position his disagreement on the decisions taken by former president Serrano on Belize. He also said that was the necessity of analyze the Belize’s file totally and give it a pragmatic direction, definitive to Guatemala.

On June 21, the Second Court of First instance of Instruction, began the related proceedings with a sue due Treason to the State against Jorge Serrano, Gustavo Espina, the officers of Chancellery, Constitutionality Court, and congressmen.

The government of United States confirmed its support to Guatemala for the recognition of independence of Belize and to the government of De Leon Carpio, stating that was going to honor the international commitments and respect the fundamental principle of International Law.

Manuel Esquivel, leader of UDP was elected Prime Minister of Belize on July 1. During his first public intervention he declared:

“the established agreements made by the government of George Price and Serrano Elias are accepted and the agreements on borders, non-aggression covenant, as well as other agreements are fomenting peace and stability are broken.”

The President De Leon Carpio declared that no negotiation was made between Guatemala and Belize up to now (July 1993) had a definitive character and when finally is achieved, is going to be needed to use the legal mechanisms of the country, as well as the referendum because the people is the sovereign.

“A timely and sincere decision
allow the people to build a better
future of their country.”

-Dolores Bedoya de Molina-
Guatemala’s Founding Mother of the Nation


If our hope and desire come true, fairly we will live in a Guatemala free of the long controversy over Belize, with the territory that belongs to it, in a definitive establishment.

By other side, upon our plenty agreement, a sister nation will enjoy a own land with the Hondo and Sibun rivers as borders, free of all kind of colonialism.

Foto Autor This Homepage was made by Luis DALLANEGRA PEDRAZA

PhD in Political Science and International Relations (National University of Rosario , Argentine). Professor and assessor in Degree, Post degree and Doctorate in the country and abroad. Director of the Center of International-Argentinean Studies (CIAS/CEINAR), and of the Argentine Review of International Relations, 1977-1981. International Observer of the International Committee of Support and Verification CIAV-OAS in the guerrilla's "demobilization" "contra" in Nicaragua, 1990. Director of Doctorate in International Relations, National University of Rosario , Rosario , Argentine, 2002-2005. Scientific Researcher of the "National Council of Scientific and Technical Researches" (NCSTR/CONICET), Argentine.

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© Richardson Escobar-Vega de Tirado, This Land is Mine: The Belize's Drama, (Guatemala, Edition of the Author, 1993), Translation: Ana Leticia Santos and  Marta Mena,