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Jan 28, 2022

M.L.A. Strongly Objects to G.O.B.’s Approval of F.P.I.C. Protocol

Earlier this week, Cabinet announced that it had approved the Free, Prior and Informed Consent Protocol (F.P.I.C.) that will guide future consultations with the Maya communities in Toledo District. These consultations would be carried out by government or private entities. But, Cabinet’s approval has been met with strong objections from the Maya Leaders Alliance, as well as the Toledo Alcalde Association.  A statement issued by M.L.A. on Thursday described government’s decision as one-sided, pointing out that an agreement has not been reached between the two parties on the F.P.I.C. Protocol, and neither did the Office of the Commissioner in the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs consult with them. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the F.P.I.C. protocol comes into force when it is filed with the Caribbean Court of Justice. This is against the backdrop of the Maya land rights issue and the ruling of the C.C.J. affirming the rights of the indigenous community to communal lands. This morning M.L.A. spokesperson, Cristina Coc, spoke about the issue during a virtual press conference.


Cristina Coc

Cristina Coc, Spokesperson, M.L.A./T.A.A.

“In the latest maneuver of the government, the Government of Belize has unilaterally finalized and proceeded to file with the Caribbean Court of Justice a Free, Prior, Informed Consent protocol that was never consulted or agreed upon by the Maya people. The appellants, the Toledo Alcaldes Association and the Maya Leaders Alliance, make very clear three very important points on this latest action of the government. No agreement has been reached between the Maya people and the Government of Belize who are the parties before the C.C.J. on the Free, Prior and Informed Consent protocol as is required by the implementation process. Our second point is that the Government of Belize and specifically the office of the commissioner under the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, they did not consult with us. At no time did they seek our agreement on the revisions to the filed protocol and this is a problem that leads me to my third point, that without any notice whatsoever, the protocol that was filed to the C.C.J. purports to come into effect upon the filing with the C.C.J.”

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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