Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021. 2:32 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Former Chairperson of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, Lisel Alamilla, is reportedly calling on the indigenous people living in Indian Creek Village to cease their livelihood activities on some 12,000 acres of land in Indian Creek Village; a call that Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) says she has no authority to make.
The MLA issued a statement today, that, Alamilla is now a land agent working with the conservation organization Flora and Fauna International, in the request for the residents of Indigenous creek to “cease immediately” their livelihood activities because the area in question is “private property and [sic] not…Communal Lands.”
“Ms. Alamilla has no authority or basis, factual or legal, to declare that the lands are ‘not communal lands’. Indeed, the Authority, a court-appointed expert, has explicitly recognized that the lands in Indian Creek, prima facie, form part of customary Maya Lands,” the MLA said. “These efforts are aimed at severing Q’eqchi livelihood relations with their traditional lands – a part of a global problem to rid indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands, often promoted under the guise of conservation and pristine forests!”
The MLA regards the decision as just one part in a larger campaign to intimidate and harass Indian Creek villagers, who have already had their rights to the land its resources affirmed by the Caribbean Court of Justice’s Consent Order and judgment. The organization says that it has brought the matter to the attention of the Government of Belize (GOB), the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights.
The MLA is calling on GOB to engage indigenous communities in good faith as the efforts to safeguard indigenous land rights in Belize continues. The MLA also notes that the current engagement is not the first issue that indigenous peoples in southern Belize have had with Alamilla.
“As Chair, Alamilla was tasked, from 2016 to December 2020, with the responsibility to lead the implementation of the Order of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) 2015,” the MLA said.
The organization went on to say that, “It is widely known that the implementation process under Ms. Alamilla was tumultuous, often criticized by the Maya people as lacking respect and good faith.
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