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May 16, 2023

80 Alcaldes, Deputies Trained on Duties as Local Magistrates

Eighty alcaldes and deputy alcaldes from forty Maya villages in southern Belize were engaged in training on their duties as local magistrates under the Alcaldes Jurisdiction of the Inferior Courts Act of Belize. The alcaldes are elected by Maya villages and appointed by the attorney general. Elections took place back in January and commenced the two-year tenure for the alcaldes and their deputies. And so, the training spoke to criminal and civil jurisdictions of the alcaldes court, including proceedings and procedures of the court, as well as dealing with witnesses, appeals and natural justice. News Five spoke via zoom with Pablo Mis, the Executive Director of the Julian Cho Society, who also provides technical support to the Toledo Alcalde Association.


Pablo Mis

Pablo Mis, Executive Director, Julian Cho Society

“There were thirty-nine alcaldes jurisdiction in the Toledo District. Earlier this year, the Attorney General recognised an additional alcaldes jurisdiction, which is Jordan, so now we have forty alcaldes jurisdiction in forty communities in southern Belize. Every two years, the alcaldes in each of these communities change leadership and this year, 2023, eighty new alcaldes were elected to serve for the term 2023-2024. As is the tradition, it is important that the alcaldes are properly informed and equip to undertake the duties under the Inferior Courts Act and with that; we normally collaborate with the Attorney General’s Ministry to undertake that training. On May tenth, eleventh and twelfth, the Attorney General’s Ministry, through one of their crown counsels, conducted a three-day training session for the eighty alcaldes in these forty communities. The alcaldes of the Maya communities have always been about reparatory justice and this is why we pride ourselves to being very peaceful, very caring, very hard working communities because the aim has always been that everybody in the community participates in ensuring that there is equilibrium of peace in the community. And if that is ever to be disrupted, the alcalde plays a central role in restoring that equilibrium so that there is peace amongst neighbours amongst community members. There are bigger crimes that are committed in alcaldes jurisdictions which are beyond the alcaldes authority and this is why the training is important because in those instances, what the alcalde does is support the Belize Police Department in ensuring that the scene is maintained, that the police are informed quickly, there are instances where they help to detain. But really bigger crimes such as robbery or let’s say perhaps people chop themselves or more serious crimes as such, the alcaldes have no jurisdiction over that but they do provide support to the Belize Police Department.”


Joining the alcalde system on April twenty-third of this year was Jordan Village, which is located in proximity to Santa Terera and Blue Creek Villages in the Toledo District.

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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