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May 3, 2023

What About the Dispute Resolution Mechanism?

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

According to the Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, instead of taking matters into their own hands, residents of Yemeri Grove and Laguna should file a report with the authorities via a dispute resolution mechanism.  Commissioner of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Greg Ch’oc explains how the system works, as well as the involvement of his office in the present situation.


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs

“Where there are differences and possible friction on the boundaries, any aggrieved party or someone not in agreement with what’s happening needs to report and not seek to take the law into their own hands.  So it’s unfortunate, the occurrence of a week or two ago, where there may have been some breach of the peace.  Thankfully there wasn’t, but we believe that there is no need for that kind of thing going forward.  And so, I am appealing to all concerned, let us exercise restraint, there is no need for an escalation of tension anywhere in the south, in particular the Toledo District.”


Greg Ch’oc

Greg Ch’oc, Commissioner of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs

“There is a dispute resolution mechanism under this process, but we’ve also at the government, the dispute resolution mechanism is under the auspices of the CCJ.  What we have done is to ask the parties to report the matter directly to the relevant ministries, in this case, to the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and we try to deal with the matter before it goes to the dispute resolution mechanism authority because the authority would come in, investigate and still have the Government of Belize address the matter.  So we felt that it was important to address the matter and we have been doing that.  I have met personally with the village leaders of Laguna, I have met personally with the leadership of Yemeri Grove and we’ll continue to do so to minimize and eliminate any tension or misunderstanding or to dissuade parties or village members from engaging in activities that could cause that tension.”

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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