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Jun 22, 2021

AG Has Removed Herself in Maya Lands Case

Last week, the Acting Chief Justice ruled that the past administration violated Maya Customary Land Tenure for the residents of Jalacte.  The village and two men were awarded six point three million dollars as settlement in the case which arose after the former administration approved the upgrade of the Jalacte Road between 2013 and 2015. While the road works were welcomed by many in the south, some farmlands were destroyed. Attorney General Magali Marin-Young was previously the legal advisor for the claimants, but now that she is the Attorney General, she sits on the opposite side. This week, News Five asked her about the case.


Magali Marin-Young, Attorney General

“The AG Ministry functions like a law firm and we are the law firm for each Ministry. So, the AG and the crowns act on the instruction of each minister on a particular matter so it is true that I acted for the Mayans in that particular case but the instructions would have to come from the Minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs.”


Magali Marin-Young


“How would your advice factor into that matter?”

Magali Marin-Young

“Well, clearly my firm acted for the Mayan land rights and I have tried to remove myself. So, I have left it for the assistant solicitor general Ms Samantha Matute to advise Minister Dolores and for her Minister Dolores to give Ms Matute instructions on that. Clearly I have to rely on the professionalism of the crowns at the AG Ministry who have been involved for the other side of the case. So, I have to remove myself and they will be advising Minister Dolores. These cases are not personal to us and these cases are argued based on the facts and merits and I have confidence that Minister Dolores will get sound advice from the crowns who are responsible for it.”


In speaking with the press on Monday, former AG Michael Peyrefitte says that he would advise the government to appeal the matter.

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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