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Aug 27, 2021

Garifuna Nation on the Connection between their Land Claims and Maya Land Rights

Cynthia Ellis

Last night we told you about the claims a group called the Garifuna Nation are making against the Government of Belize. Headed by Cynthia Ellis, Garifuna Nation says the Garinagu people are being pushed out of land that their ancestors have settled for over two centuries.  According to a release from the group, the government is distributing tittles to these lands – an act they say goes against the principles established in the Maya land rights case.


On the Phone: Cynthia Ellis, Ambassador, Garifuna Nation

“We the Garifuna are indigenous people. We have been in the Americas, the Caribbean long before the Europeans and Columbus arrived here. And, like the Mayas we have indigenous blood running through our veins. And, in this journey we experienced genocide. And, we experienced what we called exile. However in this process we asserted our status in this region, particularly because we are connected of the Arawaks, the Caribs, those indigenous people who were here first. So, the process the Mayans have been through, we as Garifuna people were also going through it here in Belize. We have a study that was done by a professor at the same time the Mayas were exploring their land rights. So we are in alignments with the Maya land movement. We are in conversation with the Maya, with the support of the University of the West Indies legal unit, where we gathered together in Punta Gorda to acclaim the collation and cooperation of this land rights movement as it pertains to the Garifuna people.”

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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