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Dec 1, 2022

Traditional Governance Institutions of Maya People Being Undermined?

Christina Coc

We also asked Coc about reports that U.S. Capital Energy is in discussions with Maya communities on the return of oil exploration in southern Belize. News Five understands that U.S. Capital Energy is seeking approval from a number of indigenous communities to this end. Reports suggest that several communities have already given their approvals to the company. Here is what Coc had to say.


Christina Coc, Spokesperson, T.A.A./Mayan Claimants

“Here is my take on all of that. I am aware the government is moving in the Maya communities. I am aware, as the reported to the C.C.J., that they seem o think that they are implementing the FPIC through these processes that the4y are engaged in consolations. Now, my concern is that we have not yet agreed what the protocol will look like in its final draft. We have not resolved all the issues. Yet, I find it alarming that you are going to train on this protocol that is not yet agreed upon and you are going to implement it. What exactly are you implementing? It is concerning to me because it risk the implementation of Maya people resources and land without due process and what I see from my observation, I see the government partnering and coming along with the proponent, US Capital in this case, to engage the community in what they are calling preliminary meetings. Let us just look at the mechanics of it. They send a notification; the first red flag was that they send a notification to the chairpersons of the village and completely ignored that there is a Toledo Alcalde Association that there is alacaldes of those villages that are also leaders of the community that must be notified. This is a continuous pattern of the government to undermine the traditional governance institution of the Maya people who have continuously raise issues with the way government engages.”

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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