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Jan 21, 2021

A New Day for Indigenous People’s Affairs in Belize

Upon assuming office in November of last year, the People’s United Party created a specific ministerial portfolio for Indigenous People’s Affairs.  That responsibility was given to Belize Rural Central area representative Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, also the Minister of Human Development.  This morning, she sat in as a guest during the compliance hearing and was called upon by Justice Jacob Wit to address the court.  Minister Balderamos-Garcia pledged to work with the indigenous community to fulfill the mandate of the Briceño administration.

 

 

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs

“I believe that my appointment signals a new day of respect for our Maya sisters and brothers and other indigenous people such as the Garifuna people and in addition to respect, we want to signal engagement and a level of seriousness.  I have said to the media and I would like to address your honors to say that we may not always agree, but I do want to indicate to this honorable court that we will be doing our job in a way of engagement, respect and consultation and I will be working very closely with Mrs. Matute-Tucker to make sure that on our side the government fulfills its obligations.  So with that I will observe now and thank your honors very much.  I would say yes, we are apprised of various matters in relation to this ongoing case, but being very new we will be relying on Mrs. Matute to advise us on the way forward in some of the more complex issues.  But I do want to indicate to the court that we are very, we are in the process of now and very shortly will be appointing a new commissioner, not only for this matter but also for indigenous people’s affairs altogether.  However, we anticipate that probably ninety percent of the work will be having to do with this case and with that I would ask Mrs. Matute to join in if she can assist us because, as I say, we’re just getting our feet wet and I would appreciate her support.”


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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