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Jan 18, 2013

…While investigations continue, Maya Leaders Alliance say Mayan rights are being violated

Still on the rosewood around five on Thursday evening, two containers containing tons of rosewood flitches were confiscated from the compound of Belize Engineering Company Limited. Officials of the Ministry of Forestry are still in the process of determining the volume, origin, and documentation of the precious woods in the containers which were registered to Kambo King Enterprise. Another container remains impounded at the Western border, and word is that the Guatemalan Forestry authorities have confirmed to its local counterparts that they did not issue any clearance for the container. Well you hear what the Prime Minister thinks of the burning of the rosewood in Golden Stream. Tonight the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcalde Association is speaking out on the illegal extractions of rosewood in their communities. News Five spoke to the spokesperson for the MLA and TAA, Cristina Coc. Coc says that concessions were given to Hilmar Alamilla despite the moratorium and that the rights of the Mayas are being violated.

 

Via Phone: Cristina Coc, Spokesperson, Maya Leaders Alliance

“This is not the first time that the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcalde Association has brought to the forefront the issue of illegal harvesting of rosewood; in fact, it has been going on for quite some time now. And while we know that there are some local people involved as well, we have come to learn just from our experience and from studying the industry of rosewood harvesting, we realize that part of the reason we feel that nothing is happening is because there is corruption within the forest department. Our Alcaldes have facilitated trying to intercept the movement of the rosewood from communities and we have not found any meaningful or concrete support on the part of the government officials who are in key positions to put an end to this corruption and this injustice. Irregardless of the moratorium that is standing right now, they continue to violate the Maya people’s rights to their land and resources. We have a standing injunction from the Supreme Court that says that no concession or permit should be granted to outsiders or third parties that might affect the use and enjoy to our rights to our lands and resources.  Concessions were granted prior to the Minister taking office and prior to the minister issuing that moratorium. However, there is nothing to prove that concessions don’t continue to be granted because the concession to Hilmar Alamilla in the area of Golden Stream with this current rosewood bust is current and it was a concession to do what we believe to be secondary logging. We find that even within the ministry they knowingly are granting concessions without the consent of the communities. This is not just specific to rosewood, no concession should be granted. And because they are granting these unlawful concessions, it is facilitating the illegal harvesting of rosewood as it is clearly seen through this particular situation.”

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3 Responses for “…While investigations continue, Maya Leaders Alliance say Mayan rights are being violated”

  1. Bear says:

    Some public official signed the concession to Hilmar — and that person works for us. LET’S SEE THE SIGNATURE, IT’S A PUBLIC DOCUMENT.

  2. Storm says:

    The Mayans need to patrol the forest and stop the criminal logging themselves.

    It seems that the criminals directing this conspiracy are right at the center of GOB, so there is no other way for the Mayans to enforce their rights.

  3. Seletar says:

    The Constitution provides for the right to make a “citizen’s arrest.” The Mayans [or any Belizean, for that matter] have the right to arrest for these crimes against the nation. Does Sedi have the courage to prosecute the cases if UDP officials are arrested by citizen patrols?

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