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Mar 15, 2012

Maya Leaders and Alcaldes Association feel disrespected by Liselle Alamilla’s Cabinet appointment

Liselle Alamilla

On Wednesday, APAMO issued a congratulatory message to newly appointed Minister, Lisel Alamilla. This afternoon, a statement to the nation from the Mayan Leaders Alliance and Toledo Alcaldes Association, had a much different tone. Now it is known that the Maya Leaders Alliance has not always had a good footing with the government and that in last Wednesday’s election, the south went all out against the government. Signs of continued strained relations emerged today. Both the MLA and the TAA are taking umbrage that they were not consulted on the establishment of new Ministry of Indigenous People which is clustered with Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. They feel that the Ministry is starting with severe handicaps and may be incapable of carrying out its mandate. According to the statement, the National Garifuna Council nor the Mayas of southern Belize through the Toledo Alcaldes Association or the Maya Leaders Alliance were involved. They find this to be disrespectful and disappointing.

But despite their objection, the MLA and TAA, concede that the choice of a Minister for Indigenous Peoples is the prerogative of the government, and the Minister is not formally a representative of indigenous peoples.  According to the NGOs, there are a number of extremely qualified and easily identifiable Maya and Garifuna individuals such as Gregory Ch’oc, who aside from having an understanding of the issues facing Indigenous Peoples, has already been elected to a senate position as an NGO representative.  Nonetheless, the NGOs invite Minister Alamilla to meet with Maya leaders to discuss how the relationship between the indigenous peoples and the government can return to a productive and fruitful one.

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17 Responses for “Maya Leaders and Alcaldes Association feel disrespected by Liselle Alamilla’s Cabinet appointment”

  1. Retired CEO says:

    Congrats to Liselle, despite what many of us may have said, blogged, etc….We salute Liselle in her well deserved appointment. Personnaly, I know her to be a well respected, strong headed individual, and intellectual. Most of all as an individual she has every right to stand up for what she believes in, despite what political persuasion or ideology her late father adhered to and followed. I am quite sure that if her late father was alived he would be very proud of her as a well rounded, educated independent minded individual. Once again congrats Liselle and best wishes to you for success in the future and in all of your endeavours.

  2. Storm says:

    I’m not Garifuna, Maya, nor Creole, but I think they have a point — if there is to be a special ministry for them [something that deserves national discussion, not a dictatorial decision], the “indigenous people” should have been consulted in advance.

    I personally have a philosophic problem with dividing or classifying people by “race” — we are all God’s children equally, and should not be pitted one against the other, or one group given favoured treatment or denied it on account of man-made divisions. It has not worked too well in the States, where the minorities are worse off than they were before they invented :’affirmative action” to help them.

  3. juan says:

    im from toledo and i believe the appiontment was a good one. being from here and know who greg choc really is, id say he probably put the alcalde association and maya leaders up to this….hes probably mad that he was overlooked…but thank god, because all he does for toledo is TALK…and never helps anyone

  4. Belizean says:

    Is there any other organization that has complaints like these? Is there any other cultural group that feels offended if the government doesnt tell them who will be elected for certain posts? Do the Creoles strike for a week if theres not an extra holiday? Do the Mennonites DEMAND that there be a National Holiday just for their own sake? Look, every one is free in this country, every one has their rights, but one thing I do not get is: Why does one group deserve exceptional advantages and benefits? I do not by any means undermine the Mayan People, because yes, they have a far back dating heritage. But so do all the other cultures in this country.

  5. Buju says:

    The “indigenous people” were asking for this a very long time ago and the government took the initiative to look after the needs of the Mayan people and yet they are still complaining!

    What is it that we want??? If they would have picked someone else it would be another complaint. As for Greg Choc he is as popular as Moses Sulph a complete was of time!!!!!!!

    Congrats to Hon. Liselle Alamilla on her appointment and I wish her and the government all the best!

  6. landi says:

    My thoughts also Belizean. I am Mayan descent but we should consider ourselves Belizean not this and that.

  7. mosh says:

    Politicians has no good intention for environmental issues, they are control by GOB. My Respect for the Mayas and Garifunas, they are hardworking people.

  8. fureal says:

    I am tired of these complaining about every freaking thing. all of a sudden they want to be consulted. Oh Please Greg Choc my goodness when will they see that he is the only benefiting from everything your people are still live hard sleeping on mud floor when he has his nice bed that was purchase in the US. Goodness man this stupidness need to stop leave the woman to do the work and if she is not doing it then complain then. You all acting like a big baby.

  9. ned says:

    Should the Farmers demand that the Prime Minister consult with them with regards to the Agri Minister, this is a joke. Mr. Choc should be ashamed of himself.

  10. aldo says:

    ..come on already….we are all Belizeans and should work together to make Belize a better country. This is not the time to be divided. I am a Mayan and i say time to keep moving forward.

  11. JahKid says:

    We are Belizeans and doesn’t matter who runs the country, just do the right thing. Respect to the Prime Minister and all who were elected. Lets get up and work and stop the rude baby stuff, crying and dropping ourself to the ground and cry out in order for mom or dad to pick you up. You need spanking because it’s been for a long time you been crying. Get up and step up and face life in reality and lets get to work.

  12. javier solis says:

    I have always wondered: i was born here, am i not indigenous too? Where else do i belong to but my very Belize? I am very disappointed with the Maya release since it shows that confrontation will remain the normal relationship with with government. I thought the appointment was like an olive branch to reach out to them directly, but they took that as an insult. I want you to know my wife is Maya and she has a dangerous temper just like her mother. So its probably in the blood.

  13. Belizean says:

    @JAVIER SOLIS So correct, either were all indigenous or nobody is. Maybe we need to all see that at one point in time there was migrations, everybody has moved! The Maya also just moved to this country, maybe not in the last 1000 or 500 yrs but they have not been here forever. Same with Garifuna and alllll the other races we have here. YOU ARE A NATIVE IF YOURE BORN IN BELIZE!! Thats my logo!

  14. javier solis says:

    Thank you 2Belizean. I was afraid to start a race war if i said that, but in reality as far as i can trace my grandmother was born in Belize so i consider myself indigenous like every other born Belizean. I think we can all work together and no race should be cuddled over the other. We are admired because we have managed to survive alongside each other in peace, all tolerant of each other. We tease each other yea, but we still respect our collective decisions. The UDP won the elelctions, and it is accepted by all races. Now they have to work for all races, in equality. If the mayas feel they are not enjoying the same benefits as the rest of us then that needs to be addressed.

  15. Be Real says:

    These people complaining should put their names on the ballot instead of talking like they are popular with the people. If UDP and PUP are brave to put their names on the ballot then so too should these complainers. Don’t talk like you have people support when you cannot put your name on the ballot.
    Also their complaint is stoooopid. They shoudl understand that the Mestizo and Creole are not saying why deh people have deh own ministry. Also if their argument is valid, it would mean that Belize Bank, Atlantic Bank, Heritage Bank, First Caribbean etc should be consulted as to who should be the minister of finance. See what I am getting at. Lastly, the Garifuna complainers should check the dictionary for the meaning of the words ‘indegenous’

  16. Mario Miranda says:

    why do the mayas feel they ought to be more respected than the rest of belize. belize is for belizeans not only for ghe mayas. why do they think they must have more consideration than the rest of belizeans. they think that being indihinous is totally different that
    just being belizean

  17. Anti Belizean says:

    Reading all of the above makes me unebelizean. In fact, if Belizean-ness implies discrimination, pretending that there is no prejudice, and believeing that our power structure are benign, I giveup my Belizean citizenship!

    I am saddened that we are putrified in ignorance, intolerance, an misunderstanding of what patriotism entails. It is rather ignorant to believe that Mayas are less Belizean because they “complain,” want special interests, et cetera, et cetera. However, lets spred ourselves under the subumbra flore since it seemingly clusters us into a bunch of insensitive pieces of humans. Lets sing ‘the land of the free by the carib sea’ as we enslave our empty minds, since enslavement of the soul is the only achievement that such despicable utterances can engender.

    Long live the queen, the PM, the patriots, and the Belizean subjects [for that is what we are, empty minds, invisible bodies, racist Belizeans].

    I rest my case ;) By the way, do not accuse me of being unpatriotic — I declare myself one!

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