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Jul 31, 2013

MLA’s Cristina Coc Speaks on Mayan Dissenters

While the membership of the Maya Leaders Alliance was not represented in court on Monday, former chairman Ligorio Coy led a contingent of past Alcaldes from Dolores, Otoxha, Santa Ana and Crique Sarco to Belize City.  That group has since defected from the MLA and is now seeking the removal of their names from a list of claimants which is being used in the current litigation.  According to Coy, their names were attached to the file for use in the subsequently withdrawn contempt application without their knowledge or consent.  Their names, he said, were officially enlisted as interested parties in the initial case concerning customary land rights.  News Five asked Cristina Coc whether there is dissention within the ranks of the organization.  She says that the group of four has effectively crossed the floor and is now advancing U.S. Capital’s agenda within their respective communities.


Via Phone: Cristina Coc, Spokesperson, Maya Leaders Alliance

Cristina Coc

“We learned of that situation through the media actually, on the evening news, and we became aware of that.  We were not aware that anybody would show up for court, anybody that is in leadership position with the Maya Leaders Alliance or the Toledo Alcaldes Association.  I want to make very clear the distinction between the four gentlemen, in contrast to the three hundred leaders that were meeting in Toledo to speak on behalf of the Maya.  The four gentlemen who went to Belize City and spoke to the media, one of whom is Ligorio Coy, former chairman of the Maya Leaders Alliance, and I say former because you will remember Ligorio, it’s not the first time that he has made the headlines, Ligorio is one of our leaders who sold out to U.S Capital.  He took a job with U.S. Capital and unfortunately he saw that that opportunity was far greater than the struggle or the fight for his own people and rights of these people and so Ligorio, we are very confident, is working on behalf of U.S. Capital and is doing PR work for U.S. Capital Energy.  The other three Alcaldes, we have yet to confirm one of them, but the other two were certainly former Alcaldes, one of whom is from Crique Sarco and the other is from Dolores.  We also know that they have affiliations with U.S. Capital Energy and so that did not come as a surprise to us.  Those gentlemen, while they want their names removed, you know, historically we’ve had many leaders, many Alcaldes come and go, we have Alcaldes change every two years and Alcaldes, the roles of Alcaldes is not to speak on their own behalf but on behalf of the majority of their communities and the decisions that are brought out through majority decision from their communities.  So Ligorio Coy and all former Alcaldes who signed on to the case in 2008, when it began and the case which was judged in 2010, were signing-on on their behalf as an individual but also as the voice of the community which they represented.”


Despite an impending appeal, the Maya Leaders Alliance says it would much rather resolve the current legal issues through dialogue with government on the basis that Maya land rights do exist.

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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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