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Visit by Guatemala’s President-Elect Does not Sit Well with some Belizeans

Prime Minister Barrow Meets with Guatemalan President-elect Morales – Cola President Arrested for Protesting – On Saturday, November 28, 2015, Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean O. Barrow received President-elect of the Republic of Guatemala His Excellency Jimmy Morales at the Prime Minister’s Office in Belize City. President-elect Jimmy Morales had indicated from as early as November 6, 2015 to Belize’s Ambassador, H.E. Alexis Rosado to Guatemala that he intended to pay a courtesy call on the Prime Minister as part of a visit he is making to all Heads of State and Government of SICA member countries and Mexico.

The visit did not sit well with some Belizeans as they are aware of Morales’ stance on the ongoing Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute. This past September, during a television interview while campaigning for his presidency, Morales stated that if he becomes President he was going to ‘recuperate the territory of Belize, without utilizing violence or provoking a fight because the territory belongs to Guatemala.’

Clearly, Belizeans are upset by this statement and in response Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow has fired back at Morales by saying that Belize will not be bullied by Guatemala.  

During Saturday’s visit by Morales, COLA president, Geovanni Brackett was arrested for staging a protest with a group of COLA supporters joined by members of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP). Ten members of both organization met Morales with protests and Brackett apparently threw himself on the ground, which led to his arrest.

Guatemala’s President-Elect’s Visit does not Sit Well with some Belizeans

COLA President Geovanni Brackets arrested for protesting Guatemala President-elect’s visit to Belize

Guatemala’s President-Elect’s Visit does not Sit Well with some Belizeans

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But the government press release indicates that the visit was a very cordial one where both congratulated each other for their respective recent victories at the polls. Prime Minister Barrow and President-elect Morales discussed the bilateral relations between Belize and Guatemala, including a way forward in respect of resolving our historical differences.

They agreed to continue along the path set out in the Framework Agreement and Confidence Building Measures of 2005 for expanding functional cooperation between the two countries, and each committed to strengthen the processes that already exist for good neighborly relations so that the two countries may continue to live in peace and as friends pending a legal resolution of the territorial dispute. Both sides agreed to make a greater effort to enhance cooperation and understanding at various levels, especially in areas of security, business, trade and investment.

President-elect Morales extended a special and personal invitation to Prime Minister Barrow to the presidential inauguration in January 2016 and Prime Minister expressed that he has every intention on attending.

President-elect Jimmy Morales was accompanied by Guatemalan Foreign Minister, H.E. Carlos Raul Morales; the President-elect’s Diplomatic Liaison Officer, Rodrigo Colmenares; Guatemalan Ambassador in Belize, H.E. Estuardo Roldan; and Ms. Sandra Hovel, Director of Integration.  The Prime Minister was accompanied in the meeting by CEO in the Prime Minister’s Office, Audrey Wallace; CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Lawrence Sylvester; and Ambassador of Belize in Guatemala, Alexis Rosado.

COLA President Geovanni Brackets arrested for protesting Guatemala President-elect's visit to Belize

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