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Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission clarifies allegations of ‘non-consultations’

Posted: Wednesday, August 1,2018. 4:30 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff:  The Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission \was established by the Government of Belize to facilitate the implementation of the Consent Order of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Maya Leaders Alliance v. the Attorney General of Belize, [2015] CCJ 15 (AJ) which seeks to protect the rights of the Maya people arising from customary land tenure.

Today, the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission issued a release informing that the Commission recognizes the importance of a work plan to guide the implementation of the order.

Therefore, the commission has contracted the services of an expert consultant with extensive experience in dealing with indigenous peoples’ issues at both regional and international levels, inclusive of the drafting of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, of which Belize is a signatory.

“Maya communities in Toledo do not exist in isolation; consequently, the Commission has followed due process and made every effort to seek out the views of the different stakeholder groups. These groups have been consulted with on several occasions, at various stages of development of the work plan, to solicit their input,” the commission says.

According to them, the Commission’s final work plan takes into consideration input from the stakeholders who were forthcoming with feedback.

Furthermore, the Commission clarifies that it has not shied away from meeting with any one group, and the final work plan reflects input from prominent indigenous groups.

The Commission recognizes that a work plan is a dynamic document which can be adjusted to meet the various needs which may arise as the process unfolds.

The Commission says that it is satisfied that the work plan is a significant fundamental step towards protecting the customary land rights of the Mayas of southern Belize.

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