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College student in the US hopes to empower indigenous communities through research project on Belize’s territorial dispute with Guatemala

Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019. 3:26 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Savannah Kelly, a 21-year-old undergraduate student at Hamilton University is conducting a research project on the effects of the Guatemala-Belize border dispute on Belize’s indigenous communities.

The research is geared towards highlighting the socio-political impact of the border dispute between Guatemala and Belize on Maya and Garifuna communities.

“My goal is to further shed light on the importance of multicultural reforms and ethnic politics in countries like Belize that have indigenous communities. I seek to empower such communities by highlighting their struggles and successes in my project as it relates to the ongoing border dispute with Guatemala,” Kelly said.

She intends to travel to Belize to conduct interviews with residents in indigenous communities to complete her research.

 “Once I return to campus, I hope to utilize my research in Belize and my study abroad experiences to focus my senior thesis on the intersection of identity politics and the reverberations of how they factor into the legislative decisions some Latin American countries enact in the hemisphere” Kelly added.

Guatemala has yet to submit its official documents to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), explaining just how much of Belize it is claiming. That process is ongoing and should run-up to 2021.  

 

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