Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Miscellaneous, People & Places » Lands Department in a Bind Over Maya Land Rights Issue
Jun 9, 2021

Lands Department in a Bind Over Maya Land Rights Issue

The Ministry of Natural Resources finds itself in a bind where the consent order issued by the Caribbean Court of Justice on Maya land rights is concerned.  The Lands Department is responsible for making Crown land available; however, government must be careful about how it goes about distributing parcels in communities where customary land rights are implemented.  It’s a concern that has arisen out of the recent issue involving the village of Crique Sarco and private investors.  As we’ve reported, Gary Seawell has been issued a cease and desist order by the Forest Department, but the land he was accessing in the vicinity of Crique Sarco is privately held.  Today, Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde, whose portfolio includes natural resources, weighed in on the controversy.


Cordel Hyde

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources

“We’re on uncharted territory where the whole implementation of the whole communal lands victory is concerned.  Big questions remain.  How do you work the whole private land, private rights situation inside of communal lands and there are lots of people who have private properties in these communal lands?  How do you, you have people who have leases who’ve not been able to renew their leases.  Their leases have expired and we have a standing moratorium on that kind of activity with the Lands Department in the communal areas and those things will have to be sorted out, but we’ll have a discussion on it next week for sure because another big question that looms is how do you get [free], prior and informed consent from the Mayans as it relates to land usage and interaction down there?  These are difficult questions but the times require that we grapple with them and we deal with them and so we’ll have discussions as we go along to try to make sure that nobody is aggrieved and that everybody wins in that situation as best as we can.”

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed