Gualemala and Belize could work together on Atlantic/Pacific link

One hundred and fifty four years ago, the representatives of the United Kingdom and Guatemala signed an important treaty in an attempt to settle the Guatemalan claim. Because of one article, Article 7 which proposed a means of linking Guatemala to the Caribbean coast through Belize, not being followed up on, the treaty was repudiated despite both sides marking out a border in the 1890’s. Today, attorney Arthur Saldivar discusses what the treaty means now.

Arthur Saldivar – Attorney:
vlcsnap-2013-04-30-20h46m43s177There’s nothing to celebrate.  The 1859 Treaty was breached by the British, almost as soon as it was signed.  it was never done with the interest of Belize, or British Honduras at the time, at heart.  It was done simply to ensure that the English would have been able to extend their ability to exploit the natural resources of the settlement that they were occupying at the time.  Now Guatemala, on the other hand, showed great foresight and showed great character, in insisting that in order to give the English what they wanted, that they in turn would have wanted to have the benefit to connect the Atlantic with the Pacific, which at that time was unheard of, but would have meant huge ability  for economic advancement.

Arthur Saldivar points to an area where the two countries can work together.

Arthur Saldivar – Attorney:
Now back in 1859 you must understand, there was no Panama Canal.  The Panama Canal did not start as a concept until 1900, and did not come into reality until 1914.  But in 1859, 38 years after Guatemala became independant, the Guatemalan people and their leaders were looking to create something that would have make the Panama Canal unnecessary.  371 kilometers is what divides the Atlantic from the Pacific in the Northern part of Guatemala.  Belize now, on the other hand, with Robinson Point boasts the deepest area for birthing of ships outside of the Panama Canal area.  So the combination of Belize and Guatemala makes for huge possibilities in commercial trade. Now at the end of the day, that possibility still exists.  So the only thing we have to celebrate on April 30th, 2013, is the fact that the Guatemalan vision of 1859 still has its potential for realization at this time.  That may be the basis upon which our age-old dispute can be resolved.

About the Author