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Mar 15, 2019

Progress in Maya Land Tenure Policy

It’s been three years since the Caribbean Court of Justice handed down a decision against the government in favour of communal land rights of the Maya people in thirty-eight indigenous communities in southern Belize. The C.C.J. ordered a number of measures to be taken in the administration of land use and tenure. Today, the Maya Leaders Alliance was back before the court with an update on mediation proceedings that have been ongoing between the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission and the MLA on the draft land tenure policy.   MLA Programme Coordinator Pablo Mis says that it is the first time that they have been able to report progress to the court.

 

Pablo Mis

Pablo Mis, Programme Coordinator, MLA

“In December of last year, we were able to agree on the steps that ought to the taken to fully implement the decision of the high court. So today we were able to report on how we have advanced on some elements of that agreement. Primarily we have been able to develop a Maya Land Tenure Policy. We have been able to properly consult on that on the ground; it is now before the government to consider that. That’s going to be an important prerequisite that will set out the roadmap or the implementation for the other elements that involves the delimitation, development of legislation and ultimately the goal is titling and protection of the Maya people’s property in law consistent with the constitution of Belize.”

 

Both parties are currently working on drafting a methodology for the delimitation that will need both the Maya people and the government to verify the results of the process.  Government has also appointed Professor Dena Shelton to lead a dispute resolution mechanism.


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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