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Oct 29, 2015

Villagers Protest Building of Agriculture Center on Communal Land

Dozens of residents from the southern community of Jalacte are up in arms over the construction of an Agriculture Learning Center on their communal lands without consultations with them by the Government of Belize to get their nod of approval.  The Ministry of Agriculture is spearheading an initiative that will focus on a pair of projects to further develop communities along the Dump-Jalacte highway. But it did not seek permission to erect the building on the specific area in question.  News Five spoke earlier today with Program Coordinator Pablo Mis of the Maya Leaders Alliance.

 

Pablo Mis

On the Phone: Pablo Mis, Program Coordinator, MLA

“The community of Jalacte decided that they will gather and demonstrate that they were not satisfied with the manner in which the Agriculture Learning Center was going about on Jalacte’s property, on Jalacte Village land.  Very clearly the community’s position is that they’re not saying no to development in that area, what they have an issue with is the manner and the process through which the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Agriculture, has opted to… in establishing a learning center there.  The specific area in question is clearly within the lands of Jalacte.  In fact, a villager who has, for the last three decades been using that specific area, is no longer able to use that land for providing food to his family.  So the village then was made aware that the center was going to be inaugurated.  They received an invitation from the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture the day before to be a part of the inauguration.  At that point they felt that there was a… at the center there on their village land and make sure that they register their disappointment and their frustration with the manner in which they were being treated.”

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