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Jan 28, 2022

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs Responds to M.L.A. Press Conference

 Just before news time, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs announced it is pleased Cabinet has approved the Maya of Southern Belize Free Prior Informed Consent Protocol filed with the Caribbean Court of Justice. The ministry says this Protocol has been many years in the making, with multiple revisions resulting from numerous consultations with relevant parties. These included consultations with the Maya Leaders Alliance, which consists of the Toledo Alcaldes Association, the Toledo Maya Cultural Council, the District Association of Village Councils,  Kekchi Council of Belize, Toledo Maya Women’s Council, Julian Cho Society, and the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. The ministry says these consultations have taken the form of an exchange of proposals on F.P.I.C. as well as face to face discussions which lasted from March to November of 2021. The ministry says the F.P.I.C. recognizes this principle of Maya customary law that village members at a village meeting, and not only the leaders, are the supreme decision-making authority and “any claim of a lack of consultation on the part of Government is not so; therefore, Government rejects that notion. In submitting the F.P.I.C. Protocol to the Court after meetings with all the Maya organizations of the M.L.A., we have complied with the Court’s request that the F.P.I.C. be filed by the end of January 2022.” The release ends that Minister Dolores Balderamos-Garcia and Commissioner Gregory Ch’oc will further address the media shortly.

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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