On Saturday April 6th, a group of Belizeans, led by members of Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), visited two areas along the Belize-Guatemala borderline. To the surprise of the Belizean public, the BTV found that development, both infrastructural and agricultural, are taking place along the borderline. It comes as a surprise because in accordance to a December 2008 compromise, signed between both countries and observed by the Organization of American States (OAS), no development should be allowed within one mile of the borderline, now referred to in the compromise as the Adjacency Zone.
The activities themselves are contrary to the diplomatic agreement between Belize and Guatemala signed in December of 2008 in Washington DC at the OAS Headquarters as part of the Special Compromise. Both countries had agreed not to allow development within one mile on the two sides of the Adjacency Zone. To monitor the borderline activities, the OAS established an office between the Guatemala-Belize border facilities in Santa Elena. The discovery has now caused major outrage within civil groups in Belize.
Speaking to the media, Toledo-based activist Wil Maheia said that Belizeans must be allowed to do the same as the Guatemalan’s do; to develop the land along the borderline. “The Belize government shows signs of weakness because, look at the amount of building and you can see it is recent building. According to the so called compromise, there shouldn’t be any development in the adjacency zone, the so called adjacency zone. And that is why I believe that we must not accept an adjacen
There has been no official comment from the Government of Belize regarding the recent findings. The San Pedro Sun has contacted the OAS office for comments, but up to press time, has received no reply.