Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2022. 9:46 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Government of Belize issued a statement to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) confirming that an alternative venue in the Toledo District has been selected for the first stop of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s three-day tour starting later today.
“Indian Creek was one of several sites being considered. Due to issues in the village, the government of Belize activated its contingency planning and another venue has been selected to showcase Maya family entrepreneurship in the cacao industry,” the statement read.
A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that due to sensitive issues involving the community in Indian Creek, the visit has been moved to a different location – further details will be provided in due course.”
The original venue of the Akte ‘il Ha cacao farm in Indian Creek was removed after its residents protested on Friday about a claimed dispute between residents of Indian Creek village and Fauna and Flora International (FFI), which has William as patron, over land owned by the conservation organization.
There were also concerns about the landing site earmarked for the Cambridges’ helicopter, with residents claiming they were not consulted about the location, a local football pitch.
A spokesman for FFI told the BBC the charity would “support the livelihoods, educational opportunities and the customary rights of local people” as part of its project in the area. “We are establishing a dialogue with key stakeholders about the future ownership and management of land and want to work with – and in support of – the indigenous community, respecting traditional Mayan rights,” he added.
The Royal tour, which also takes to Jamaica and the Bahamas, is the couple’s first joint overseas trip since the start of the pandemic. Their tour is to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year.
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