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Nov 15, 2023

Are Mayans From Guatemalan Squatting in Belize?

And as the government moves forward with the Maya Customary Land Tenure Policy in the south, there is another challenge that is presenting itself. Reports on the ground suggest that Mayans from Guatemala are illegally entering Belize and claiming land in Toledo as part of their communal land. Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Dolores Balderamos-Garcia says it is something that the government will take into account.


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families & Indigenous People’s Affairs

“This will have to be taken into account when boundaries are set and when The legislative framework is rolled out because the court ruled if you go back and you read the Consent Order, what the court ruled in terms of Maya land rights is that it would have had to be a long possession for a long period of time. Just like you will say when you’re claiming squatters’ rights or rights by prescription it basically is based on long possession. So if there are new Guatemalan Mayans coming in that will have to be taken into account. Exactly how I can’t really tell you, but we will make sure that when we instruct our legal drafting team that that is taken into account.”

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