BELIZE JOURNAL PT.1 on Louis Wade charges. On each of 3 days, May 24-26, a different group of church leaders heard the government’s case for going to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). At the ICJ the government hopes to nullify Guatemala’s claim on half of Belize’s territory once and for all. Each of the three days, the government provided an elaborate buffet including turkey and stuffings for the church leaders. Then Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington presented the case together with Ambassador of Trade Stuart Leslie—from the opposition party PUP—and Ambassador to Guatemala Alexis Rosado.
NEAB’s President Lance Lewis and Secretary George Ferrar participated in the second of the three luncheon dates. Though the Ministry invited dozens more church leaders, only three others showed up, representing the Presbyterians, Nazarenes and Seventh Day Adventists. Some did not come in protest of the charges brought against PLUS-TV Director Louis Wade for assault and insulting language. Last November 27 Wade, also pastor of Belmopan Nazarene Church, reported that Robert Montero, son of Minister of Works Rene Montero, tried to run him down several times with a red pickup truck. Wade had been videoing Ministry of Works vehicles and equipment doing the work of a private contractor. Wade also videoed Robert Montero’s attack. Yet the local San Ignacio police are now bringing charges against Wade, not against Montero.
Lance asked Elrington—who is also Minister of Police—why police are making the Louis Wade charges now, nearly six months later, as the statute of limitations expires. Elrington replied that the Louis Wade charges are a local matter best handled by the local police. Lance objected that the local police had refused to listen to Wade’s witnesses. George added that at first the police had dismissed Montero’s case as inconsistent. Now a new police officer is upholding Montero’s case. Lance and George both repeatedly asked Elrington to step in to resolve the contradiction.
Elrington replied that such reversals happened all the time. He knew that from personal experience. When he was younger, Guatemalan police had once charged Elrington for breaking the law during a demonstration. At first he was cleared. But at a subsequent hearing they declared him guilty and jailed him. George asked, wouldn’t you have wanted a higher authority to step in and review your case? Yet Elrington insisted again and again that it was not his place to overrule the local police. We must pray that he will still reconsider the Louis Wade charges. Higher authorities must take charge over local police when a case impacts the nation.
Elrington did later concede that he faithfully followed his own Prime Minister’s higher authority. In fact, he made no public statements without the PM’s prior approval. George asked if PM Barrow had approved of Elrington’s statement that Belize’s border with Guatemala was artificial. Elrington cited semantics pioneer Noam Chomsky in analyzing the meaning of “artificial”. He said artificial means man-made. An artificial tooth can still function as a tooth. An artificial leg can still function as a leg. And an artificial border can still function as a border. All borders, he said, are man-made, not given by God.
We could have answered that God determined the Promised Land’s borders and gave it to Israel as an “everlasting possession” (Gen. 17:8; 28:4,13). If we blessed Israel and affirmed its borders, God would bless Belize and affirm our borders. But it turned out that Elrington staunchly held the opposite view of Israel. It would have taken long to argue him out of it. He called Israel a Palestinian land that Jews did not claim until 1948.
At that time, while it was still a British protectorate, Elrington says the Jews came on the scene violently, killed the British and caused them to run. The UN took responsibility for “Palestine” and gave 60% to the Jews. The Jews then “captured” another 22%. Elrington brought this up to compare the Jews’ claims on the Promised Land to Guatemala’s claims to Belize. His account so contradicted the 3200+ years of Jewish residence on the Promised Land—with the exception of the 70-year Babylonian exile—and the 100+ years of Palestinian residence, as to seriously undermine his credibility.
Fortunately, Elrington showed a much better historical grasp of the Belize border dispute…
DailyInsight. Without boundaries we are defenseless. With boundaries we can apply influence beyond our boundaries (see 2 Cor. 10:12-16).
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