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Jun 24, 2021

Oscar Requeña on Ruling in Favour of Maya People in Jalacte

Oscar Requeña

The Toledo West area rep also gave his take on the recent Supreme Court ruling that awarded six point three million dollars in damages to the Maya people of Jalacte after the Government of Belize, under the Barrow administration, constructed the Jalacte Road without the free, prior and informed consent of the village.  The Prime Minister has said the decision may be appealed. Requeña, who represents these communities, says G.O.B. has to adhere to the C.C.J. ruling which gave communal land rights to the indigenous Maya people in the south.


Oscar Requeña, Area Representative, Toledo West

“The highest court, the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled that the Maya people have rights to their lands. That’s very important. We have to establish that. And in that ruling it was made very clear that any development that is to take place must ensure that our communities are properly consulted; that they are engaged that they give their approval. So the judgement that was awarded in favour of the Maya people, in favour of Jalacte, really when we look at it, the previous government did not carry out its duties and obligations. So today that ruling is going to cost the Belizean people because the Dean Barrow government did not follow proper procedures. And I want to say that as the representative for Toledo West where many of our communities are affected by this court ruling, our people want development. There is no doubt; our people are appreciative of the development that government puts in – whether it is roads, whether it is hospitals, whether it is education – but we have to remember that there is a court ruling that has to be respected.”

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