Guatemalans OK effort to end territorial dispute with Belize

A woman is helped as she enters a polling station during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in Guatemala City, Sunday, April 15, 20

A woman is helped as she enters a polling station during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in Guatemala City, Sunday, April 15, 20

An electoral worker holds ballots marked "yes," during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in Guatemala City, Sunday, April 15, 2018

An electoral worker holds ballots marked "yes," during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in Guatemala City, Sunday, April 15, 2018

An indigenous woman casts her vote during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in San Pedro Sacatepequez, Guatemala, Sunday, April 15

An indigenous woman casts her vote during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in San Pedro Sacatepequez, Guatemala, Sunday, April 15

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales talks with photographers after voting in a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in Guatemala City, S

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales talks with photographers after voting in a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in Guatemala City, S

A polling official, left, marks the finger of a man with indelible ink during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in San Pedro Sacat

A polling official, left, marks the finger of a man with indelible ink during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in San Pedro Sacat

An electoral worker shows a ballot marked "yes," during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in Guatemala City, Sunday, April 15, 201

An electoral worker shows a ballot marked "yes," during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in Guatemala City, Sunday, April 15, 201

Juliana Chacat, 62, casts her vote during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in San Pedro Sacatepequez, Guatemala, Sunday, April 15

Juliana Chacat, 62, casts her vote during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in San Pedro Sacatepequez, Guatemala, Sunday, April 15

An electoral volunteer folds a ballot during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in San Pedro Sacatepequez, Guatemala, Sunday, April

An electoral volunteer folds a ballot during a plebiscite concerning a border dispute with Belize, in San Pedro Sacatepequez, Guatemala, Sunday, April

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemalans have moved a step closer to resolving a longstanding territorial dispute with neighboring Belize, voting to send the issue to the International Court of Justice.

Vote counts show that a plebiscite on the question passed overwhelmingly on Sunday, winning about 95 percent of the vote, though abstention was high.

However, Belize has yet to hold its own referendum as stipulated under a 2008 agreement with Guatemala, under which both countries would ask the court to take up the matter.

Guatemala claims some 4,200 square miles (11,000 square kilometers) of terrain administered by Belize — essentially the country's entire southern half. It's a dispute that dates back to the 19th century, when Spain ruled Guatemala and Britain controlled Belize.