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Jun 27, 2014

Mayan woman from the south is called to the Bar

Monica Coc-Magnusson

A historic ceremony was held at court today when Monica Coc was called to the bar. Coc is from the Toledo District and is the first Mayan woman to ever be called to the Bar. The young lawyer studied in the U.S. and qualified in Jamaica to be able to practice in the local courts. She is married and is the sister of another high profile Mayan woman, Cristina Coc of the Maya Leaders Alliance. Both Cristina and Monica spoke to the media today on her accomplishment.


Monica Coc-Magnusson, Called to the Bar

“I got my law degree at the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis and then I practiced for a few years in the state of North Carolina and then I went to do a six month program that qualified me to get what’s called the certificate of legal education at the Norman Manley School in Kingston Jamaica and I submitted my application to the Bar.”


Cristina Coc, Sister of Monica Coc-Magnusson

Cristina Coc

“It’s certainly a great honour for Belize to see more professionals in this field coming from southern Belize. It gives us great pride to know that Monica is from the Toledo district and comes from one of our communities. It’s certainly an honour, it’s a big step and I’m very proud of her I mean apart from being my sister. It gives me great pride to know that we have yet another young Maya woman that can lead in a field that is outstanding and that can contribute quite directly and quite meaningfully to her communities.”


Monica Coc-Magnusson

“I think that it is a big step particularly for women in the Mayan community. I think it is as we all know women and girls are not necessarily the ones that are given first preference in terms of education, in terms of opportunities so I can say that am proud to be from that community and to stand here and tell my community that you can do it too.”


Monica practices criminal and family law and is keenly interested in human rights matters.

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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8 Responses for “Mayan woman from the south is called to the Bar”

  1. Louisville, Ky. says:

    Congratulations are in order to this woman as this is a milestone achievement for her people and in fact the entire country of Belize. For many of us the mental picture of a Maya is, the men as subsistence farmers and the women as domestics doing laundry in the streams along the road, all naked from the waist up.
    Well, Mrs Coc-Magnusson dared to step outside the box and defied that stereotype. Maximum respect.

  2. Rod says:

    Hurrayyyyyyyyyyyy. Very good for you this is what you have to do take back your lands from the inside if you know what I mean you after all you are the smartest race on this earth .

  3. k heusner says:

    It is great to see this lawyer coming home to Belize to practice. Let us hope that more Mayan young people will be inspired to pursue this line of work, and that they can represent themselves and the true interests of Mayan communities when big corporations set out, with the blessing of GOB (whichever party is in power) to exploit their lands.

  4. disownmicountry says:

    Ms. Coc,Congratulations! So proud of you. I don’t know you,but I’m sure that you are an inspiration to other Belizean women. I love the fact that you received your training in the US. Now you have a broader knowledge of laws that is outside the scope of Belize.

  5. Mr. Concern says:

    I am proud you Ms Coc. Exemplary work for the mayan that they can do the same

  6. Bzn says:

    Congratulations, Monica! You have always been a very unassuming, humble, intelligent and beautiful person. So good to hear that great things are happening for you!

  7. CEO says:

    Very good work on her part in preparing herself!

    If you want to change in the system it is best to do so from within.

    Hat’s of to her!

  8. Al Rich says:

    Thank you, for returning to our country, please make a difference and stand away from the filth that has become justice in our country. Encourage young women.

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