Belizeans have voted to ask the United Nations world court to decide Guatemala’s claim that it is the rightful owner of half of Belize’s territory, setting the scene for a resolution to a dispute that has rumbled on for centuries.
Tensions over a disputed border between Guatemala and Belize again erupted over the weekend with a new shooting incident less than a month after Belizean soldiers killed a teen. Belize said one of its patrols had to shoot and wound a Guatemalan man who threatened them with a machete after he was found on the Belize side of the border with companions illegally prospecting for gold.
The Organization of American States (OAS) will conduct, at the request of the governments of Belize and Guatemala, an independent investigation of the April 20 border incident that led to the death of the Guatemalan minor Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano and in which his father and brother were wounded.
The Organization of American States, OAS, has called on the governments of Belize and Guatemala to avoid an escalation of tensions, and renew efforts to establish a lasting peace. The OAS statement follows a previous repudiating “the death of a Guatemalan minor [Julio Alvarado, 13] at the hands of a Belizean patrol”.