Guatemala has voted “Yes,” in the referendum, to present a longstanding border dispute between the country and neighbor Belize before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Some 76% abstained from participating in the vote, but “Yes” managed to win 95.9% approval from the small group which turnout on Sunday. Guatemala President Jimmy Morales was pleased with the overwhelming support which greenlights a possible international resolution.
Reports state that an abysmal 7-10% of Guatemala's 7.5 million eligible voters took part in the process.
Supreme Electoral Tribunal president Maria Eugenia Mijangos said the voting process took place “without reports of security incidents.” Observers from 25 countries monitored the polling.
Guatemalans voted on whether to ask the Hague-based ICJ to resolve the colonial era territorial conflict between the two Central American neighbors or not. Guatemala has long claimed to be the legitimate owner of half of the territorial mass of Belize.
Guatemala recognizes Belize's 1981 independence but discredits the country's border, staking claim to 11,000 square kilometers or half of the former British colony's area.
In December 2008, both countries had signed a deal to hold referendums.
Belize has not set a date for their vote, but officials said the process will be undertaken in 2019.