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Oct 23, 2015

Maya Mopan Residents Say G.O.B. is Disrespecting Them and Abusing Their Communal Rights

The United Democratic Party is hosting a pre-election rally in Independence Village this weekend where keynote speaker, Prime Minister Dean Barrow is scheduled to deliver an address.  In preparation for Saturday’s event, the Triangle Park, including adjacent streets surrounding that recreational space, is being renovated.  Loads of material mined from Maya Mopan have been dumped along Fadden Avenue.  The problem is that residents of the community were never consulted prior to the start of blasting activities at the quarry in Maya Mopan.  In accordance with Maya customary land rights, Alcalde Rufino Tush contends that they should have been formally approached for permission to access and use the site.  Once again, he says, they have been disrespected by the state.


Rufino Tush

Rufino Tush, Alcalde, Maya Mopan

“First of all these people who are hauling out material out of our quarry in Maya Mopan didn’t let the community know about this. First, when I took a visit in the village on Sunday evening at the new site and there was one of my village persons complain about the blasting will be taking place on Monday at twelve and then I make it my business to go and see what I could discover out there. When I was there, I met up with the drilling guys…Mister Leonard Llewelyn was the guy contracted to do the drilling where the dynamites were going to be thrown into. So the blasting took place at about twelve-fifteen and my concern was that why was it that they didn’t tell us or try that the community at least know about it. The roads by the quarry are famers road and the people from Maya Mopan sometimes go to the farms, sometimes along with their families; what if they are coming out when the blasting takes place? They coulda get hurt because nobody told us that it was going to be bomb out or something like that. now when I did my research; I asked Mister Llewelyn who was the person in charge of it. Mister Llewelyn told me that it was Mister Benson. Mister Benson was the one who had the contract and the permit for it. But when I contacted Mister Benson, he told me that it was Mister Walter Garbutt who gave him the permission to blow out. So this thing here…it’s not happening just right now; it has been happening several years before and this is like about five or six time when I ask them to deal with the village first. And then say it has to go to Mango Creek. Many times they come do these things in our village. The village chairman and the Alcaldes ask them to do a portion of the village for a contribution for the community because they are passing through my community. There are a lot of school children running across the road because the school is not fenced and that’s one of my concerns too. What if these trucks don’t…they are running like they are running on the highway mien. They don’t even take their time when coming down the hill. And what if they knock down the children while running out there? There are many things that I need to find out and I was going to stop it yesterday, but when I contacted my Alcalde Association and the Maya Leaders Alliance, they told me that they will have a meeting first so this morning, they called me at ten-fifteen and they told me that I could go ahead and do what I have to do because nobody has come to us and give us or to say that they are going to do this in our village.”


Tush says that villagers are prepared to block the road leading to the quarry in the days ahead.

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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2 Responses for “Maya Mopan Residents Say G.O.B. is Disrespecting Them and Abusing Their Communal Rights”

  1. Rod says:

    All and I do mean all Mayans make sure you vote for pup they respect your rights not like udp they couldn’t care less about you show this impotent incompetent pm barrow the power that you can be in your own country.

  2. Marie says:

    Anything that has to do with explosion, blasting , whatever you want to call it should be brought to the attention of people dwelling in the vecinity, because of blast, chemical and radiological effect, even if it is for a good purpose of renovating the only performing arts center in the country of Belize.

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