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Jul 13, 2018

A Long Way to Go Before the Maya Land Rights Issue is Fully Resolved

Nigel Hawke

According to the Solicitor General, the process of working through the terms of the consent order is fairly lengthy.  He says that while the Maya Leaders Alliance is entitled to an opinion, the fact that the Caribbean Court of Justice is still very much involved in the process means that there is still a long way to go in resolving the issue of communal land rights in Belize.

 

Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General

“Speaking as a law officer for the government, I will say categorically, we have been trying our best to make sure that the rule of law is maintained.  It may look in some instances that we are not doing that just because we, on our, we’re trying to assert our right in certain instances, which we have the right to do.  But the straight answer is that the government has been trying its utmost, especially the situation with the Maya land rights to work along with the committee.  All that we’ve done with them, we’ve consulted, we’ve consulted with them, the CCJ has asked us to consult and we’ve done that.  The question of violation of the court order, I don’t know where that comes from but, like I said, they are entitled to their opinion.  I can say categorically, we have done our best to make sure, as the order says, we will not issue further leases and all of that and those things have been done.  What I find that we’ve been dealing with are issues where persons who have acquired leases before the consent order was made and those leases have expire; those are the issues you find that when this tribunal is established that the tribunal will have to deal with and address because remember, this is a work in progress.  The fact that the CCJ is involved means that we’re not quite there yet.”

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