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Aug 21, 2013

SATIIM requests expedition of substantive matter in its case against U.S. Capital

Denys Barrow

Attorney for SATIIM Eamon Courtenay is basing his argument on straightforward grounds. But, government attorney Denys Barrow says it won’t be all that straightforward, and he sees the claims in the substantive case taking this matter in all different directions.

 

Denys Barrow, Attorney for Government Defendants

“There are some things which are emerging in the claim which they are making which I think will become larger when the substantive case comes on. In particular I am thinking that this substantive case now concerns national park and who owns a national park. It concerns the question – when a national park has been declared, what is the effect of that upon pre-existing rights. So even without reference to the Mayas, for instance…let’s say a national park were declared in Orange Walk and it took in part of the BEC lands. One, is it competent for a declaration to include private lands and two, if a declaration of a national park includes private lands then what is the impact of the declaration upon the rights of the owner of the private lands. If you assume at its highest that the Mayas have outright and perfect title to this land as I think Greg Choc said in his second affidavit…when the national park was declared the Mayan people ceased conducting their traditional activities in the national park so they respected that declaration and they took it at that time as an indication that they could no longer act in the national park as if though it were regular community land. So a number of larger issues will arise. Related to that is…are the Maya in occupation of the national park? That is another question that will arise. And then thirdly…if they are not in occupation can they maintain a claim to stop the administrator from acting in relation to the national park as the law, we say, permits her to act?”

 

Barrow says that while the substantive case has been filed, it has not yet been served.

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