Urge Belize to Support Maya Land Rights

John Schertow
John Schertow 1 Comments
138 Signatures Goal: 250

We are calling upon the Belize government to withdraw its appeal of the Supreme Court's ruling on June 28, 2010 that reaffirmed the Constitutional Land Rights of the Maya People.

The entire Indigenous population of Belize has depended on the land since time immemorial for food, shelter and clothing, as well as their culture and religious practices. However, in recent generations, that dependency has been under constant threat of unsustainable large scale logging, oil and gas explorers, hydro-electric companies and commercial resort developers

As a consequence of this, the Maya are increasingly faced with the possibly of displacement from their lands and the irrevocable loss of their identity, economic well-being and way of life.

We believe Justice Conteh, an acting representative of the Crown, was correct to assert that the Maya hold communal land rights and enjoy the same Constitutional protections as the rest the country.

Without this protection, the Maya's future as Indigenous Peoples is grim at best.

We also note that these same land rights have been recognized by the Supreme Courts of more than a dozen countries, and meet the standards of international law, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, to which Belize is a signatory.

We further Encourage the Government to accept the Maya's invitation for a peaceful dialogue.

No matter how the Courts have ruled in the past or may rule in the future, dialogue is essential for building a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship with the Maya People.

It is also understood that the Maya do not truely wish to break off from the State or undermine the country's economic security. These are tragic mischaracterizations. Rather, they are seeking only to secure their own future, and preserve their land and way of life for future generations.

Sponsor

The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), http://www.satiim.org.bz First Peoples Worldwide, http://firstpeoplesworldwide.org Intercontinental Cry, http://intercontinentalcry.org

Links

View a copy of the Supreme Court's landmark Ruling (in English)

Read some backstory courtesy of First Peoples Worldwide

Watch an 8-minute film of the Maya celebrating in honour of the ruling

Write your own letter to: Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, at secretarypm@opm.gov.bz

1

Comment

  • Bassam Imam
    Bassam Imam Canada, Montr
    Jul 09, 2015
    Jul 09, 2015
    The Maya people, like other peoples around the world, have the inherent GOD-given rights to be treated as full-fledged and equal human beings, happy and free on their ancestral lands, and to be fully protected from external persecution, injustice, being driven off of their ancestral lands, and cultural degradation and humiliation.
138

Signatures

  • 2 years ago
    Bassam Imam Canada
    2 years ago
  • 3 years ago
    Catherine Noyce
    3 years ago
  • 5 years ago
    Sigríður Bylgja Sigurjónsdóttir Belize
    5 years ago
  • 5 years ago
    Taylor Spelman United States
    5 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    Scott Root - Edible Planet United States
    6 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    David Kramer United States
    6 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    Rugmaniyamma India
    6 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    Rugmaniyamma India
    6 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    Rugmaniyamma India
    6 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    Robin Llewellyn Portugal
    6 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    marco giardino United States
    6 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    sam mcfadzean United Kingdom
    6 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    sam mcfadzean United Kingdom
    6 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    sam mcfadzean United Kingdom
    6 years ago
  • 6 years ago
    cqusuw China
    6 years ago
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