Guatemalans vote on generations-old land dispute with Belize

Guatemalans are voting in a referendum on their country’s longstanding territorial dispute with neighboring Belize.

Sunday’s ballot asks whether voters agree to send the issue to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, for a binding resolution.

However Belize would also have to make a request before the court would take up the matter.

Guatemala claims some 4,200 square miles (11,000 square kilometers) administered by Belize — essentially the country’s entire southern half.

The area is home to a number of nature reserves and is sparsely populated for the most part, with scattered farming villages, fishing towns and some Caribbean beach tourism destinations.

The origin of the dispute dates back over 200 years to when Guatemala and Belize were Spanish and British colonies, respectively.

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