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Mar 19, 2021

Cease and Desist Letter on Barranco Lands

A cease and desist letter was recently issued by Commissioner of Lands Talbert Brackett halting activities on a farm in Midway Village. The issue stems from a dispute in which the boundaries of Barranco and Midway have not been clearly defined. Historically, the lands belong to the people of Barranco who, in the past, allowed a member of the Maya community to settle and farm on a piece of property. President of the National Garifuna Council, Sandra Miranda-George explains.


Sandra Miranda-George, President, National Garifuna Council

Sandra Miranda-George

“One of the village council members got a letter from the Lands Department, the Lands Commissioner to cease and desist the use of his farm that is almost between Barranco and Midway.  But what Belizeans need to know is that Midway Village is actually on Barranco farmland, it was owned by the Cayetanos and they started out by giving one person in the Maya group permission to build a house on this farm and farm a piece.  Then it started to multiply and the next thing you know, family came, other family members came and then the next thing you know it’s a full fledged community.  It started around 1982. Now if we are two indigenous groups, the UN has recognized Garinagu as indigenous.  So if we are two indigenous groups then we should be treated equally.  So they need to discuss and the ILO Convention and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People clearly stated that the tribal lands, the indigenous lands, the lands that your ancestors used from way back then belongs to you.”

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