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Aug 6, 2021

G.O.B. to Appeal Supreme Court’s Jalacte Road Decision

Cordel Hyde

The Government of Belize is appealing a recent decision by the Supreme Court in which the Maya community of Jalacte, including two villagers, was awarded six point three million dollars in a lawsuit filed after the construction of the Jalacte Road.  The claim had to do with government’s failure to get the free, prior and informed consent of the Maya people where it concerns the use of communal lands.  According to Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources, a new FPIC protocol is being put together to address such issues going forward.  This is in line with the consent order by the Caribbean Court of Justice.


Cordel Hyde, Minister of Natural Resources

“Yes, we are appealing the case to say that it is a real problem in the areas that are known as Mayan communal lands.  Separate from that we have a big challenge in terms of balancing the rights and responsibilities of people who own lands there previous to this judgment and also making sure that we protect, that we preserve the rights of Mayan people who have won that landmark decision in the C.C.J.   So that’s a difficult thing for us but right now we are before the C.C.J.   I believe that we were supposed to provide a draft FPIC protocol, Free Prior and Informed Consent Protocol that will govern how we administrate the situation in Toledo but we asked for an extension and I think sometime in September we are supposed to provide that.  I know we have a first draft.  We’ve been working diligently on that trying to finesse it and make it such that everyone can be satisfied that we preserved everyone’s rights….”

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