Belize has delivered its rejoinder in the border dispute case with Guatemala to the Registrar of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ending the stage of written submissions.

The case was submitted to the ICJ as a result of the people’s decision in the 2019 referendum, after which a bipartisan commission was formed to guide the process.

In Belize, the referendum was held on May 8, 2019, with 55 per cent of voters opting to send the matter to the ICJ, while in the referendum in Guatemala that took place on April 15, 2018, an overwhelming majority of 95 per cent of the population agreed to send the dispute to the ICJ for a final decision.

Belize became an independent country in 1981 and Guatemala recognised the independence at the beginning of the 1990s. But it never accepted the borders and continues to claim about 11,000 square km of Belize, about half of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

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