Showing posts with label icj. Show all posts
Showing posts with label icj. Show all posts

Friday, April 24, 2020

Update: Belize vs. Guatemala Dispute

A PolGeoNow News Brief

Guatemala-Belize territorial dispute: Approximate map of what parts of Belize are claimed by Guatemala.
One interpretation of Guatemala's territorial claims. The precise lines of the dispute will be laid out as the court case continues. (Wikimedia map by Janitoalevic and Bettyreategui; CC BY-SA)
Editor's Note: This article has been updated on April 29, 2020 to reflect corrections to the timeline - the details of Guatemala's claims will likely not be publicly available until mid-2024, even later than we had previously implied.

Last year, we reported that Belize and Guatemala were going to the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ) to finally resolve their longstanding border dispute, which involves Guatemala claiming much of the land governed by neighboring Belize. So what's going on with that now?

So far, both countries are still preparing their cases. The next step is for Guatemala to submit its "memorial" to the court - a report laying out its position on the issues at stake. That document should be pretty interesting, because it will clarify exactly which land and sea areas Guatemala is claiming the rights to, and by extension, where exactly the lines of the two countries' territorial dispute lie.

For now, Guatemala's claims are a little bit vague, with some interpretations concluding that the country claims more than half of the land now controlled by Belize (see map at right). But we'll have to wait awhile yet to get the details - the deadline for Guatemala to submit its memorial was originally going to be June 8 of this year, but because of delays Guatemala says are related to the coronavirus pandemic, the court has agreed to extend the deadline by one year, to June 2021.

And the court doesn't usually release the written memorials to the public until hearings begin, which means we'll have to wait until after Belize responds, and likely until each country has responded once more, before actually seeing the details of Guatemala's memorial (thanks to Bordermap Consulting for that correction). Belize, for its part, thought Guatemala should only get a two-month extension, but the court decided let Guatemala have the extra time. Once Guatemala's memorial is submitted, Belize will have one more year - until June 2022 - to submit its own "counter-memorial", a report on its own official positions and responses to Guatemala's claims.

Taking all this into account, it's likely that hearings in the case won't start until mid-2024, meaning we still have to wait four more years to learn the details of Guatemala's claims, and even longer to find out how the court will settle the dispute.

Want to check for updates to our coverage of this case? View all ICJ articles on PolGeoNow to see the latest!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Belize and Guatemala Go to Court

You can view all ICJ articles on PolGeoNow for updates to this case.

Map: Where is Belize and where is Guatemala? Location in Central America.
Guatemala and Belize's location in Central America
(Wikimedia map by DO56, Rei-artur, and Vardion; CC BY-SA)
 
A PolGeoNow News Brief

Guatemala-Belize territorial dispute: Approximate map of what parts of Belize are claimed by Guatemala.
One interpretation of Guatemala's territorial claims. The precise lines of the dispute will be laid out as the court case continues. (Wikimedia map by Janitoalevic and Bettyreategui; CC BY-SA)
The Central American republic of Guatemala has claimed much of the land governed by neighboring Belize ever since the mid-1800s, at some times even claiming the whole country as Guatemalan territory. Now, the two neighbors have finally agreed to settle the dispute once and for all by taking it to the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The two countries officially registered their case with the court last month, after both countries' people voted in favor of the move in nationwide referendums. Of the 27% of Guatemalans who voted, 96% were in favor of going court. In Belize, voter turnout was 65%, of which 55% voted in favor.

Belize has vigorously denied Guatemala's claims for over a century, but in exchange for putting the issue to rest, it's agreed to let the court redraw its borders if the justices decide in favor of Guatemala. The two countries have also agreed to let the court draw the boundary between their respective territories and economic zones at sea.

What exactly does Guatemala claim today? It's actually not completely clear. By some interpretations, Belize's current area could be cut in half if the court sided with Guatemala. But the exact lines of Guatemala's claims should be clarified soon as both countries bring their official arguments to the court...

Want to see more PolGeoNow coverage as this case unfolds? Let us know with a comment on Twitter or Facebook!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Map: Costa Rica & Nicaragua Settle Border Dispute in Court

Conflicto Isla Portillos - mapa 2018. Map of Costa Rica and Nicaragua's post-2015 territorial dispute on Isla Portillos at the mouth of Rio San Juan, showing the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of February 2018, based on the case filed in 2017. Includes key features such as Harbor Head Lagoon, the Nicaraguan military camp, the disputed territory along the beach, and the small water channels used to argue Nicaragua's case. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni, based on materials submitted to the court. Contact for usage permissions.

World Court Rules on Costa Rica vs. Nicaragua

What happens when two countries draw their border along a river, then the river changes course? The world got to find out yesterday, as the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ) released its judgement on a border dispute between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Though the court's ruling was dominated by a related request to define the two countries' borders at sea, it also involved a tiny sliver of land in a temperamental river delta.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Map: Peru & Chile's Sea Dispute Settled in Court

Two weeks ago, the International Court of Justice released a long-awaited ruling on Peru and Chile's disputed maritime boundary. Many headlines claimed that Peru "won" the case, but in fact it was not a full victory for either country. Below is our detailed map of Peru and Chile's seas and of the dispute, followed by an easy-to-understand summary of the case. 

Map of Chile and Peru's territorial waters and exclusive economic zones (EEZ), plus the details of their territorial dispute at sea and disagreement of the land border. Shows the results of the Jan. 27, 2014 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) settling the dispute.
Map by Evan Centanni (country coastlines and land borders from Natural Earth)
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Article by Evan Centanni


Disputed Territory
Chile and Peru have just settled a decades-long dispute over the location of their maritime boundary (the border between their sea zones). A large wedge of sea off the countries' coast was claimed by both sides, in part because of its high value for the fishing industry. In 2008, Peru took Chile to court over the dispute. Their disagreements would be resolved by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a United Nations body in the Hague founded for the purpose of settling differences between U.N. member countries.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Niger and Burkina Faso Resolve Territorial Dispute

Update: In May 2015, Niger and Burkina Faso formally agreed to implement this ICJ ruling, with the practical aspects of exchanging territories to be completed by the end of the following year.

Map of the disputed territory between Niger and Burkina Faso, which was divided between the two countries in an April 2013 ruling by the International Court of Justice
Map by Evan Centanni. Sources: ICJ, Natural Earth. Africa inset based on this map by TUBS/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).
By Evan Centanni
 
Border Dispute Settled
Last week, a territorial dispute between the West African countries of Niger and Burkina Faso was resolved peacefully with a ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Both countries' governments agreed to respect the court's ruling on where their border should lie, a question which had persisted ever since they both achieved independence in 1960.

In the ruling, the court drew an official border based on a careful analysis of a 1927 document establishing the pre-independence boundary between the two former French colonies, also turning to a 1960 French map which both countries had agreed to use as a secondary reference. The new border splits the disputed area between Burkina Faso and Niger, and will help put an end to confusion regarding policing and tax collection in the border area.