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The Anglo Guatemalan Dispute

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The beginnings

The original inhabitants of Belize were the Mayas, whose highly advanced civilization reached its peak in the years 250 to 1000 ad. After the society went into decline however, the Mayas continued to inhabit the territory in scattered villages and communities. The Spanish who claimed the territory as a part of the Americas granted them by the pope, encountered the Mayas in the 16th and 17th centuries, but they failed to permanently subdue them and the Spanish never settled the territory.

By the middle of the 17th century, the British pirates have been using Belize treacherous coastline as a base to settle Spanish ships and by the end of the century some pirates switched to logwood cutting to supply the dye industry in Europe. They soon built permanent settlement in the country of Belize. Near the end of the 18th century their major activity was to export mahogany which required them to retreat further inland and to import more Africans as slaves.

The claim

After the dissolution in 1879, Guatemala claimed sovereignty over Belize as an inheritance from Spain. The British never accepted such claims and since neither Spain nor any other Central American entity had ever been occupied the territory. In 1840, Britain declared that the law of England is and shall be the law of this settlement or colony of British Honduras which was later changed to Belize.

The Anglo Guatemalan treaty

In 1859 Britain had already signed a boundary treaty with the Guatemalan as a part of a series of action to regulate British position in Central America of the Monroe doctrine of 1823 forbade any interference from any European powers in the newly emerging lain American republics.

In 1850, the United States of America an...

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...h , November 1992, was that he will constitute a council on Belize to advise his government on how to proceed with the negotiations.

Belize stands ready at any time to continue the negotiations and with the same condition that any proposed definitive settlement must be first submitted to a referendum before final approval.


As we have summarized throughout the research, we see that there is much confusion in deciding who the country of Belize,( British Honduras) really belongs to. There are reasons allowing us to believe it is the property of the Guatemalans, yet it seems like it is the prime property of the Europeans. On to today day, the war of this confusion is still in occurrence as we see. Either way I go, it was a lengthy fight between the Guatemalans and the Europeans.

As citizens of Belize we clearly state, “LIVE ON BELIZE, LIVE ON”

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