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Aug 26, 2014

SATIIM Will Not Close the Door on Barranco

Froyla Tzalam

Barranco Village, which is also one of six buffer communities surrounding the Sarstoon Temash National Park, is a founding member of SATIIM.  Over the years, there seem to have been discord over the direction in which the organization was headed, particularly where it concerns the representation of that predominantly Garifuna community.  Today we asked incoming executive director Froyla Tzalam whether amends will be made to once again reach out to Barranco in addressing its needs as a buffer community represented by SATIIM.

 

Froyla Tzalam

“I think Greg has addressed this issue previously and he has always maintained that Barranco needs to make its position clear, you know.  The four claimant communities that we are working with are ones that have, after consultations amongst themselves, after many meetings Isani, not just one meeting, they decided that this was what they wanted to do and so SATIIM said, “You want us to work for you?  You want us to represent you?  We will do that.”  Until we get that mandate from Barranco we cannot do that.  And so the door is open for them.  Greg has made it very clear that Barranco people need to decide it is that Barranco wants and that is to clearly have the issues explained to them.  We are willing to go back, I will not turn my back on Barranco or any community for that matter but particularly because they are one of the buffer communities.  We want them to be a part of the process but Isani if you look carefully the claimant communities are saying that they are the owners of their land.  I am not sure that Barranco has articulated that.  If you follow the press, there was some story written a month ago that said thirty-eight parcels of land are being leased out.  Now to my mind that is saying a different story than stating you are the owners of your land.  So SATIIM is committed to working with Barranco and if Barranco invites us to go back and talk to them we are willing to do that.”

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