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Oct 19, 2021

A Maya Perspective on Garifuna Land Rights: Similarities and Struggles

News Five also spoke with Cristina Coc who is the spokesperson of the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association.  The opportunity to speak on the issue of land rights allows her to share the Maya perspective since they led the charge to have indigenous land rights recognized by the courts.


Cristina Coc

Cristina Coc, Panelist/Spokesperson, MLA

“It is certainly an honor to have been invited to this panel to share our experience and our journey from the Maya land rights movement and to share with our brothers and sisters in the Garifuna community what are some of the tools that we used for some of the challenges and what are some of the limitations post judgment, post decision.  And so, in that regard I have been invited to join a panel to speak on the Maya land rights case more broadly and to provide our experiences in terms of taking a legal strategy.”


Isani Cayetano

“Do you see any similarities perhaps, in terms of both groups being indigenous to Belize and the fact that some of the struggles may very well be similar or intersecting?”


Cristina Coc

“Of course, there are a lot of similarities, a lot of common issues and common aspirations of both the Maya and the Garifuna.  The Garifuna people are also land-based and they’re also a sea-based community and they depend very directly on, in terms of their livelihoods on their ability to access their territories whether that be the seascapes or the landscapes that they currently use and occupy.”

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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