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Mar 18, 2013

…First item reviewed: Mayan Land Rights

One of the first items for review was over Mayan land rights. On August seventh 1998, a petition was presented by the Indian Law Resource Center and the Toledo Maya Cultural Council against Belize stating that the government is responsible for violating rights under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. The Supreme Court’s Judgment of 2007 and 2010 were also mentioned.  Belize argued its position but the committee has news for the Government of Belize in regards to the argument posed by them for not enforcing the judgment made by both the Inter-American Commission and the Belize Supreme Court.


“The indigenous Mayan communities of the Toledo District Belize face irreparable damages to their traditional lands, livelihood and culture due to the persistent failure of Belize to demarcate and entitle Maya lands and its ongoing issuance of leases for oil, logging and hydro electric concessions over those lands. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights filed a report in 2004 recommending Belize delimit, demarcate entitled Mayan lands and abstain from acts that could affect value used or enjoyment of those lands. Other international mechanisms and special procedures are also involved. The government ignored recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and continued granting oil, logging and hydro electric concessions, leases and grants of Mayan lands causing significant damage. The Supreme Court of Belize issued landmark judgments reinforcing the report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and ordered Belize to delimit, demarcate entitled Mayan land and to abstain from anything that could interfered with Mayan land; that’s in 2007 and in 2010. There is no affirmative measures taken to implement and enforce Supreme’s Court decision; the feud of Belize is that the recommendations are not legally binding because they have not acceded to the American Convention; they will not implement the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission and that also goes for the Human Rights Committee because the feud of the Human Rights Committee are not binding and the concluding observations but they forget that the treaty of which we are a part of, is binding on them. So I want to ask and urge the state party to implement not only the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights but also to help the people to enjoy their human rights, all the rights and enshrined in the treaty.”

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1 Response for “…First item reviewed: Mayan Land Rights”

  1. Bear says:

    I’m not Mayan, but I am sympathetic to oppressed people everywhere, and the need to correct the wrongs of the past.

    It is immoral for GOB to ignore the issue and Mayan rights, even while PM Barrow lets his DPM Vega rape the countryside by organizing systematic poaching of hardwood, not to mention the issues regarding the oil concessions and hydroelectric projects.

    Are we a nation of law or of outlaws?

    I would support Mayans organizing to patrol their lands and making citizens arrests, as provided in our law, of the people who are breaking the law on their lands, no matter who those criminals are.

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