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Jul 5, 2013

Maya Leaders turn to courts on land rights case

Cristina Coc

The Mayan Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association are taking the Government of Belize to court again, this time for contempt. They say that Supreme Court decisions in 2007 and 2010 which prohibit government or third party interference with Mayan lands are being disrespected and ignored. In particular they refer to G.O.B. issuing permits for U.S. Capital Energy to drill for oil on Mayan lands. The case was lodged in court on Thursday and the M.L.A. and T.A.A. are hopeful that it will be heard soon.


Via Phone: Cristina Coc, Maya Leaders Alliance

“After attempts of trying to sit with the government and talk through a peaceful resolution; try to come to some kind of negotiation that has not been forthcoming and therefore we have returned to the courts because it seems that it is only through the courts that the government even minutely tries to respond to our concerns and the concerns of the Mayan people with respect to their land rights. We have filed a new case…it is called a contempt case. In other words, it is a case that is bringing the government of Belize before the court to say that they have violated the court order; they have not respected the decision of the court and in fact are breaking the law because that is a law. And therefore we hold them responsible for entering our land or for allowing a third party to enter our land without our permission and therefore disrespecting our right to the lands that we use and occupy. The Maya Land Rights case is very explicit in its judgment; it was very clear. The Chief Justice was very clear in delivering his judgment to say that the land that the Mayan people use and occupy are lands for the Maya people; it is not state owned. And therefore, because we are the rightful owners of those lands; our permission must be sought and our permission must be given before any interference on our land. It is very clear, the injunction was very clear. I don’t see how that could be misinterpreted one way or the other.”


The Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association will be represented in court by attorney Antoinette Moore.

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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7 Responses for “Maya Leaders turn to courts on land rights case”

  1. Rod says:

    Go my people sue this pm and gov for every coppa they have this pm and gov. Are so corrupt that they make the last pup gov. Look mild in comparison ,they do their killing stealing raping in the open without any fear of consequence well those days are over move my Mayan people rise up .

  2. venus says:

    Waste of time and resources, GOB has demonstrated to us time and again despite court rulings they do what they want. Only arbitration seems to stop them in their tracks and there is no arbitration clause here. All 0ver the world it has been demonstration that where there is oil corruption strive, Belize is no different.

  3. Belizean says:

    So then, if I understand it correctly, the Maya will have to come up with a name for that piece of land that is obviously not Belize, create borders, build their own schools, grow their own food, build stores, water supply, a complete border fence, create a monetary unit of their own, draw up a constitution, make passports, take care of all the roads themselves (NO GOB equipment), shall not be given grants, assemble their own security force, construct their own prison, and leave Belize alone

  4. Krtdiaz says:

    The Mayans can not expect to deny a certain section of society their rights while they agitate for their own rights. They expect public support of their issues but are willing to strangle the right of others while they fight for their own rights. Based of the behavior of their leaders in not informing them, their rights should be voided and denied as well.

  5. Smith says:

    I am just concerned about a few issues:

    1. Ever since i know myself living in Punta Gorda we the Creole and the Garifuna is not allowed to go and live in any of the Mayan village. We cannot get a piece of land in any of the Village but they are allowed to get land in any District in this country.

    2. They can live in Punta Gorda and get a piece of land without issues. Just to drive the point home — We cannot go and get a piece of land in the Village.

    Ms. Antoinette Moore is this not a violation of my constitutional right to live anywhere in this country that i choose?

    By giving the Mayas more rights — you are violating the constitutional rights of all Belizeans!

    I hope that some one would see this and we can file a law suit against the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcalde Association for Violating our constitutional right by disallowing us from getting land down south.

    It is also a form of Discrimination that they have forced on us the Creole and the Garifuna people of Punta Gorda Town!!!!

  6. Truthbetold says:

    @Krtdiaz…What does this have to to with the price of rice? Before this homosexual so called ‘fight for rights’ these people have been pleading their case.

  7. Moses Sulph says:

    First of all if we as a people that have not noticed by now that our government don’t pay any attention to the democratic processing of governing by the will of the people. This government like litigation s that how the government lawyers make their millions and guess who is the lawyer for the government? check Google.
    I difference of the Mayan people rights to land in the Toledo, well they are the rightful owners of the lands, the Mayan were here before anyone else, they are like the Indian in America, the African if Africa. The facts is that they have rightfully won there case in the courts and the outcome which is justifiable must be respected by the government.
    I ask all other ethnic groups dont take malice to the mayan, you should hold our government responsible for the lack of access to land in Belize, Belize is over 8 thousands square mile, we have land in abundance. however only the friends and upper echelons have access to land, so our concern should be to GOb not the Mayans.
    I fully support the mayan lands rights…
    Moses Sulph

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