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Sep 1, 2017

A.G. and Alcaldes Meet in Toledo

Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, along with Minister of State Doctor Carla Barnett and Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, visited Punta Gorda Town on Thursday where they met with the Toledo Alcaldes Association to discuss a number of concerns facing Maya communities.  The delegation of government representatives traveled to Toledo on the request of the TAA to address issues pertaining to the irregularity in appointment of Alcaldes.  The Alcalde system comprises an important local governance mechanism for the Maya people in Belize which predates European contact.  Earlier this year, the T.A.A. was made aware that there has been an irregularity in the selection of Alcaldes, causing delays in the receipt of their stipends for the past seven months.  News Five spoke by phone with Cristina Coc of the Maya Leaders Alliance earlier today.

 

On the Phone: Cristina Coc, Spokesperson, MLA

“There was a meeting held here in Toledo on Thursday, August thirty-first, with the assembly of alcaldes who had an audience with the Attorney General of Belize, along with the minister Dr. Carla Barnett of the Lands Department, Minister of Lands.  Also present at the meeting was the Solicitor General along with some members of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission.  The meeting was called and requested by the Toledo Alcaldes Association and initially the meeting was primarily to speak and resolve concerns that were raised by the Attorney General’s Ministry of some irregularity in the appointment of some of the current alcaldes who began their office in January of this year.  It turns out that the Attorney General was also interested in hearing from the alcaldes their concerns that have been communicated for some time now, post the Caribbean Court of Justice order, concerns over the implementation of that particular order, among other things, what was discussed with the irregularity that was raised by the Attorney General’s Ministry with respect to that appointment of alcaldes.  The meeting was promising, we were happy to see that this was very historic for us because it is the first time that a sitting Attorney General has ever visited the Toledo alcaldes and have ever had an audience with them primarily to recognize their offices and the service that they provide to the various communities that they represent.  We were made to understand that there is a procedural irregularity in the appointment of alcaldes and that the current Attorney General is committed to seeing this procedure regularized and to see that the alcaldes are properly appointed and that their names and offices are properly gazetted.”

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