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Apr 6, 2016

Mayan Communities Take G.O.B. Back to Court

Cristina Coc

The Maya communities of Santa Cruz and Jalacte are headed back to court having filed a claim against the Government of Belize for failure to protect their property rights.  The lawsuit follows an update provided to the Caribbean Court of Justice in January.  It was reported to the CCJ that government, via the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, did not respect or protect Maya land rights during the implementation process.  That lack of respect has given rise to another round of litigation.  In the case of Santa Cruz, the community is seeking the recovery of property from Rupert Myles.  They claim that government has allowed Myles to trespass and cause irreparable damage to the Uxbenka Archaeological Site.  Jalacte, on the other hand, is also suing because at least sixty acres of land have been taken away for various purposes, including the building of offices for the Ministry of Agriculture.  News Five spoke by phone with MLA spokesperson Cristina Coc.

 

On the Phone: Cristina Coc, Spokesperson, MLA

“The two communities of Santa Cruz and Jalacte are Maya communities in the Toledo District that were a part of the Maya land rights case which started on April fifteenth, 2015, where the Caribbean Court of Justice affirmed the rights of all Maya communities in southern Belize, the rights to their land and where it also received the government’s commitment to the Maya people to recognize and respect the Maya villages’ rights to the land that they use and occupy.  And so, as a result, two of these Maya communities have had interference in their lands and it has been brought to the attention of the state and to date the government has done nothing to fulfill its commitment to the Maya peoples’ rights to their land.  And so these two communities have decided that they’re going to seek redress at the courts once more, after the government has failed to really address these issues of ongoing occupation and violation of the rights of these two communities.”

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1 Response for “Mayan Communities Take G.O.B. Back to Court”

  1. Belizean says:

    I wonder where all their money comes from? Do they ever consider to live in “BELIZE” as the rest of us do?

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