Guatemala re-establishes diplomatic relations with Belize

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

The Government of Guatemala has sent a new ambassador to Belize after almost two years.

Two weeks after the Guatemalan government, through its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sandra Jovel, sought financial and technical assistance from friendly nations at the Organization of American States(OAS), the government sent Ambassador H.E. Georges de la Roche Du Ronzet Plihal.

Plihal presented his letter of credence to Governor General of Belize, H.E. Sir Colville Young, at the Belize House in Belmopan. Both Belize and Guatemala had sought assistance from the OAS in taking the decision to commit the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to their respective populations in a referendum.

Jovel had told the OAS that her country was actively seeking a peaceful resolution, in accordance with international law, to the territorial dispute with Belize, despite her country pulling its ambassador in 2016. Critics have said that Guatemala’s decision to send a new ambassador is a way of showing sincerity in its efforts to resolve the dispute.

Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales recalled former Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize, Manuel Roldan Barillas, following the shooting death of Julio Alvarado, a Guatemalan minor who died after illegally entering Belizean territory and shooting at Belizean authorities and park rangers from Friends of Conservation and Development.

Morales blamed the Belize Defense Force for the incident and condemned Belize both in the media and at the United Nations. An independent investigation commissioned by the OAS proved all the allegations to be false and also hinted to evidence tampering on the part of Guatemala.

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