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Apr 22, 2015

Cristina Coc Says Mayans Free to Choose

Cristina Coc

Cristina Coc, spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance, told News Five this afternoon that the objections raised by the gathering are merely statements of preference, since they are free to choose whichever form of land tenure they favor.

 

Cristina Coc, Spokesperson, Maya Leaders Alliance

“They are saying that they are not in support of communal land rights.  No one is being forced to accept our form of land tenure.  No one is being infringed upon to practice their own forms of land tenure that they prefer.  In this matter, the Maya people are standing up to say that our livelihood is dependent on a unique form of land tenure and that is what we are here to defend.  That is what has been affirmed by the courts and that, on the basis of our unique system of land tenure, traditional system of land tenure and based on our customary use and occupation of the land, the courts have affirmed that we have rights to those lands.  If they are protesting against our rights to those lands now that is a different issue.  They are merely stating a preference.  They have a right, they have a right to what form of land tenure and what form of ownership of property they see fit for themselves.  They have a right to do that and I understand it’s a very small group.  I understand some of them are from Toledo, I saw a few of them.  The group is no longer a group; it seems to be disintegrating at this point.  But, you know, as far as I am concerned, I take sympathy for them because I think that it is out of ignorance and a lack of understanding of the broader issues.”

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