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Nov 6, 2015

Defining Mayan Land Rights is one of GOB’s Priorities

Coverage of the 2015 General Election – pre, during and after, has been comprehensive and for the sake of our certainly fatigued viewers, we’re hoping that this is where it all wraps up. Tonight we have more from the Prime Minister’s press conference in the wake of victory, where he discusses that very volatile issue of Mayan Communal land rights, following a recent order of the CCJ. He says that sorting out that complicated matter will certainly be one of government’s priorities.

 

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

Dean Barrow

 “It has to be…both because it is inherently very important but also there is a timeline that the Court gave. But again let’s not be confused about what is involved. The sum that the CCJ ordered be put into a fund is not to be given over to these people…there did not get any damages…it is merely to kickstart the process to which we were already committed of conducting this exercise to help us determine exactly the nature of the rights that we hope to legislate for the Mayas. We know that they have these traditional rights. The Court has said so. But nobody has defined these so-called customary rights…whether they are rights of ownership in fee simple…so getting the Commission set up which we needed to do in any event is a process which will no doubt be hastened by our endowing the fund, appointing the Commissioner, trying to resource the Commission with the level of expertise that will be required. This is going to be a huge undertaking. It can’t happen overnight. But we need to make a start and we commit to that.”

 

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