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Nov 15, 2023

Tensions Remain between Laguna and Yemeri Grove Villagers

Tensions remain between residents of Laguna and Yemeri Grove villages. The disagreement revolves around conflicting claims within the proposed boundary lines. Yemeri Grove asserts ownership within the delineated red boundary line, while Laguna maintains that their lands fall within the demarcated yellow line. Both villages recently reached an agreement to cease new developments in the disputed area, with the government implementing interim demarcation measures. However, differing interpretations of the agreement persist, leading to ongoing tensions. Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Dolores Balderamos-Garcia provided an update.


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

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

“What is happening now is that we believe we will have to go back to the drawing board with the two communities. As Deputy Prime Minister Cordell Hyde says, we have to sit and we have to dialogue and we have to talk and hopefully we will come up with a consensus of the way forward, but clearly we would have to go back to the drawing board if there were certain misunderstandings or when they made the initial verbal agreement, everybody may not have understood what the other one was saying. I won’t get into the details of why it may have fallen away or not have been successful on the first try, but government is committed to sitting down continually with the various communities. I just want to take this opportunity to say, though, that on the Maya Customary Land Tenure Policy, we have consulted with all 41 villages, the Maya villages, and we have consulted also at length with the non Maya village leaders. We’re talking about Mafredai, El Ridge Ville, Jacintoville, Yemeri Grove, Barranco and Cattle Landing all the non Mayan groupings of villages in the Toledo district.”


Hipolito Novelo

“It is your understanding that tensions still remain among villagers of Laguna and Yemeri?”


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

“I would say there is some difficulty and tension, but I am thinking that people are beginning to realize. And so I would say that the tensions are going down a little bit because people are beginning to realize that we will have to do some compromise.”

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