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Jun 14, 2016

Government Has to Spearhead Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission

Anthony Ross

The perception, based on recent incidents involving both parties, is that there is an adversarial relationship between the commission and representatives of the Maya communities.  However, the directive handed down by the CCJ clearly states that government has to spearhead the order.

 

Anthony Ross, Consultant, Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission

“What we are saying here is that we’ve got this order and this order has been in existence now well in excess of a year and the question is, is there any dispute as to what the order says?  If there is, let us understand the dispute; let us get it clarified so that we can start.  If there is no dispute as to what the order says then let’s just get started and move forward.”

 

Reporter

“In terms of consultations, do you get the sense that a certain organization or a certain group of people seem to want to take the lead and speak for the Maya people when they have not earned that right and what is the message to the communities collectively, as you prepare to go forward with these consultations?”

 

Anthony Ross

“I do not know that I take that position at all, the order said in consultation with the Maya people or their representatives, we are to develop a legislative, administrative or other measures necessary to create an effective mechanism.  That’s what we’ve got to do and we know that one side is the government and the government has to be the driving force for this order because that’s what the order said and it’s just to get the cooperation of the other side.  And I believe that we’ve moved in the right direction in that there are quite a few of these sensitization meetings that’s happening and sooner or later the people that we are supposed to be consulting will understand that they’ve got to come to the table, we’ve got a mandate and we will go forward with the mandate and hopefully with their input rather than coming to an end result and then trying to justify it to them.”

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