By Marion V. Ali
Jimmy Morales, Guatemala’s most popular presidential candidate, has said that he feels that his country’s claim over Belize ought to be pursued more vigorously.
Morales, a comic actor by profession, became the most favoured prospect during Guatemala’s first round at the polls a few weeks ago, in the wake of several months of corruption allegations against disgraced President Otto Perez Molina, who resigned under pressure.
Morales, who faces his closest rival, Sandra Torres Casanova during a second round at the polls in Guatemala on October 25, shared his views about his country’s claim over Belize during a television show in Guatemala in August.
In it, he said (in Spanish) that Guatemala’s “most deplorable event in history is losing Belize.” He went on to say that there is still hope to pursue the claim.
“The most deplorable event, among all the things that have happened in Guatemala – there are certain things that are not spoken about and which I believe we should [discuss]. Everything that goes contrary to national unity and territorial integrity … We are about to lose Belize. We have not lost it yet. We still have the possibility of going to the International Court of Justice where we can fight for that territory or part of that territory”, Morales boldly said.
A comic actor by profession, Morales went on to say essentially that he believes it is worth the effort to pursue the claim because gaining our territory, with all its natural resources would be beneficial to Guatemala, and that Guatemala losing anything would “be deplorable”.
Morales received 23.85 percent of the votes in the first round of elections on Sunday September 6, and his closest rival, former first lady Sandra Torres Casanova, received 19.74 percent. Torres Casanova barely edged out former front runner Manuel Baldizon at the polls to take second place.
Morales, who said he has been ready to become Guatemala’s president since 1999, has campaigned on a platform of reform and zero tolerance for corruption.