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Jul 11, 2018

Where is Toledo Land Rights Commission in Latest Litigation?

Cristina Coc

So what is the role of the Toledo Land Rights Commission in the latest legal battle over communal land rights?  That’s what we attempted to find out from the MLA spokesperson.

 

Isani Cayetano

“I have a question to ask with respect of the Toledo Land Rights Commission.  In the context of what is taking place here, what would have been its role, if any, in determining where government goes?”

 

Cristina Coc, Spokesperson, MLA

“Well it’s interesting that you ask that because the justification that the government is giving for taking the land and for failing to honor the consent order is that they cannot claim that land to be for Jalacte until there is a clear delineation and demarcation of the territories of Jalacte Village.  Well the same excuse that the government is giving is actually citing where the government has failed to uphold the orders of the CCJ, because one of the order is that it is the government’s obligation and duty to clearly define, delimit those territories and so they’re citing their failure as a justification for the violation that they are now causing upon the communities.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“My subsequent question has to do with the consent order itself, it seems as though it remains either the subject of dispute or open interpretation by the Government of Belize which results in perhaps it  taking its own actions as opposed to abiding by that consent order…”

 

Cristina Coc

“Right, the government, unfortunately, even despite the fact that they came to a consent order, they have failed to demonstrate any political will to implement this consent order, whether that be by a difference in interpretation, the government has still not yet told us what their interpretation is with respect to the nature of those rights.  We feel abundantly clear that the courts have litigated that, have clarified what the nature of those rights are and we recognize that it is equal to any other form of property rights protected under the Constitution of Belize.”

 

The matter resumes in the Supreme Court on Thursday when the government will present its arguments.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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