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The judgment for the Maya land right case will be handed down on Monday. Two years ago 38 Maya communities in the Toledo District sued the Government of Belize for failing to recognize their right to life, property and equality. Christina Coc is the spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance.

Christina Coc; Spokesperson, Maya Leaders Alliance

“We are very excited. We have been anticipating this judgment for a long time so it’s definitely an exciting moment for us. We are very hopeful and we are looking forward to this judgment. Our traditional leaders the alcalde’s will be traveling to the Supreme Court to receive that judgment and to bring it back to all our 38 Mayan communities here in the Toledo District.”

Coc says they received the news from the office of their attorney Antoinette Moore who was their attorney for the first judgment in 2007 which declared that the Maya people of Santa Cruz and Conejo can hold customary title to the land and resources they occupy and use.

Christina Coc

“We trust and maintain that the Supreme Court and the justice system in Belize will deliver a just result. We are very hopeful that this judgment will be in our favor. This is definitely a historic moment for us it is the first time that the Supreme Court will bring down a judgment on all 38 Mayan communities. We hope that it will follow in line with the 2007 judgment which was very positive and in our favor. I would like to invite all Belizeans and all supporters and all the people that have stud with us; stud in solidarity with us in the past to join us as we unite to receive this historic judgment. We invite people to come to the Supreme Court. We are also going to have a celebration here in Toledo in one of our communities in Indian Creek on Monday. We invite our friends, our family, our supports who understand our cause and people who want to learn about it to join us. Join us in spirit if you can’t make it in person.”

Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh will deliver his judgment in the Supreme Court nine o’clock Monday morning.


#381934 - 06/29/10 09:57 AM Re: CHIEF JUSTICE TO DELIVER RULING, MAYA LAND RIGHTS [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

CJ: “Mayas Have Customary Land Rights”

The Mayas of Southern Belize have customary land tenure rights in 33 villages - that's the upshot of a 62 page decision delivered by Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh this morning.

It will be amongst the last judgments issued by the Chief Justice as he retires and his findings were decisively against the government.

For the Mayan Leaders Alliance, which has been formally in the struggle for communal rights since the ten point agreement of 1997, today's judgment is another rousing re-affirmation of their rights to communal lands. But then again, the courts did much the same for them in 2007, and it hardly made a difference on the ground.

And that's why the Mayas went back to court in June of 2009 to get a blanket declaration for all 33 Mayan villages in the Toledo district. The decision was handed down today one year later and the Mayas won every relief they sought except damages. Special correspondent Janelle Chanona found out what it means and what will happen next.

Antoniette Moore, Claimants Attorney
"There's a great deal of anticipation for this judgment and I of course as the lead local counsel am a little nervous. I'm also very excited to have this judgment come on this day and we'll see where we go from here."

In was in that atmosphere and to a packed courtroom that Chief Justice Dr. Abdulai Conteh handed down his decision in claim number 366 of 2008, which he referred to as a sequel to the Maya Land Rights case. Viewers should recall that in October 2007, the CJ found that the villagers of Santa Cruz and Conejo were entitled to customary land tenure rights. After the Government failed to implement that ruling, the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcades Association and others moved a new case to have the CJ declare that all Mayan villages in the Toledo District were entitled to such rights and subsequently the protection of the Constitution.

Janelle Chanona
"During the delivery of his two hour long decision, the CJ found and held that Maya Customary land tenure right does exist in all thirty-three villages in the Toledo district. That there are historical, ancestral, social and cultural continuity between the claimants and the indigenous inhabitants that entitle them to lay claim to customary land tenure rights in what is today the Toledo district. On the issue of extinguishment, the CJ found that the claimants rights to customary land tenure were not extinguished by formal distribution of leases and titles by colonial settlers or any such law or act. And finally, the Chief Justice held that undoubtedly the claimants possess rights and interest to lands in the Toledo district and those rights constitute property which entitle them under protection of the constitution to seek redress in the courts for any breach."

The CJ would go on to reaffirm his October 2007 ruling and declare that the Government is obligated to adopt and protect the Constitutional rights of the claimants regarding customary land tenure. In order to achieve that protection, the CJ ordered the Government, in consultation with the Mayans, to devise legislative and administrative measures to create a mechanism to protect land tenure practices. Finally the Chief Justice ordered that until such a mechanism is created, the Government should cease and abstain from any action that goes against land tenure practices specifically, not to issue any leases to lands or resources, registering any interest in land and that any concessions for logging, mining or petroleum exploration be done in consultation with the Mayan communities. The CJ said he made sure his decision was sweeping for the purpose of securing enforcement in these proceedings.

Cristina Coc
"All I can say at this point is that, the exercise of justice is joy for the righteous."

Greg Cho'c
"Words can't describe my emotions. Fifteen years of work, it's an overwhelming joy to know that the justice system in this country finally begins to render the justice that those seek and I can only be extremely happy that a group like the Maya community have mustered the courage to seek justice, to seek a space, to seek a voice, in their future and the future of this country."

Lois Young, Government's Representative
"I think it will go on appeal, it's huge. It's going to cause such a problem. I don't see how it can't go on appeal. It deserves to go on appeal. Not to be spiteful one party on the other but something of this size, has to be tested in an Appellate court."

Antoinette Moore
"I don't the possibility of an appeal or the eventuality of an appeal actually tempers our victory. It is a victory of justice as I believe Ms. Coc just said, it's a victory for the rights of all Belizeans and the fact of an appeal does not temper that whatsoever. We are extremely happy, extremely pleased and we look forward to a higher court confirming these same rights."

From the outset, the Government's attorneys have rejected the Mayans position, insisting that the villagers are not entitled to any relief because they do not have customary land tenure rights.

Lois Young, Government's Representative
"I think that he may not have dealt with Dr. Jaime Awe's evidence in the amount of detail that he should have or given it the weight that it should have been given. I have to read the judgment and see."

"What we are saying is that they have not proven that they are not direct descendants of the Manche Chol. Remember, they are to prove the case. It is not for us to prove that they are not you know. They are to prove that they are the indigenous people and from the very start, we have said that they are not the direct descendants of the Manche Chol."

Greg Cho'c
"The Honourable Prime Minister has had second thoughts on a number of important issues for this country. I'm hoping that this is one of those important issues that he will have a second thought. It's a quantum leap for justice in this country; it's a quantum leap for Belize on a whole. I hope that we can move towards the kind of reconciliation that the Chief Justice spoke about, we want to develop, we want to contribute and I believe the Government wants to ensure that every Belizean have the opportunity to contribute to their own development."

But while an appeal appears inevitable, Moore says the immediate impact will be respect, the first step of reconciliation.

Antoinette Moore
"The owners of the surface have something to say with respect to the exploration of resources underneath their land. Up to this point the Government was conducting itself as if that land was crown land, national land and so the Maya people were essentially blocked out from any consideration with respect to what is beneath their land. They are not claiming that they have a right and a say with respect to what happens."

"They have sat at the table with each Government, they've talked to everyone and anyone who listened, they've attempted to negotiate a resolution without coming to court and in fact one of the results of those discussions was the ten points of agreement so the Mayan people are clearly desirous of cooperating with, acting as a partner to the Government of Belize. The Maya people are Belizean, not withstanding what the Government of Belize argued in this last case, the Mayan people are proud to Belizean and proud to be indigenous peoples."

We do note that in today's judgment the CJ made reference to the fact that it would be reasonable to extend the customary land tenure rights to the five Mayan villages in the Stann Creek district, he could not make a formal ruling as such because it did not form part of the original claim. The Mayan communities have also been granted their court costs. As we noted at the top, they did not qualify for damages because the Chief Justice said they couldn't show any "deprivation" as outlined in law....

Channel 7

#381943 - 06/29/10 10:09 AM Re: CHIEF JUSTICE TO DELIVER RULING, MAYA LAND RIGHTS [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Toledo Mayas win landmark case against government

It is a historic day for the Maya communities whose representatives packed the courtroom this morning. The long anticipated ruling of a case involving property rights but that extended to other rights was delivered by Chief Justice Conteh among his last judgments before he vacates the seat as Chief Justice. The case was brought against the government by the thirty-eight communities of Mayas in southern Belize who were seeking to legally establish constitutional indigenous rights over communal lands. This morning’s ruling gave them just that but it will also have a bearing on activities taking place in their communal lands. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was in court this morning and has this report.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The Courtroom of Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh was packed with over one hundred persons waiting to hear the judgment of the communal land rights case between the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcalde’s Association against the government of Belize. The executive director of Sattim, Greg Choc was choked up about the victory.

Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director, SATIIM

Gregory Ch'oc

“Its words can’t describe my emotions. Fifteen years of work. It’s an overwhelming joy to know that the justice system in this country finally begins to render justice to those who seek it. I can only be extremely happy that a group like the Maya community have muster the courage to seek justice , to seek a space, to seek a voice in their future and the future of this country and I believe this ought to be an example to the rest of the Belizean community to seek hope that they can also assert the voice and the role to determine their future in this country.”

The Chief justice sighted as evidence that the government’s attorney grudgingly admitted that it has in a previous instance acknowledged the existence of communal lands. According to Antoinette Moore, it was a victory for all Mayas, and perhaps even for those living outside of Toledo.

Antoinette Moore

Antoinette Moore, Attorney for Mayas

“I am extremely pleased. We are confident that we had a very strong case both in evidence , in fact, and in law and its been affirmed by the Chief Justice in the reading of the judgment affirming all the rights , property rights, cultural rights , the right to life all the indigenous people , the Mayan people of Belize.”

Jose Sanchez

Does the judgment also extend to Mayan villages outside of Toledo?

Antoinette Moore

“The Chief Justice made a statement that could be taken to indicate that. He said that of course didn’t seek it but he said Stann Creek is in Southern Belize. His finding in the previous case as well as this case was that Maya customary land tenure exist in Southern Belize. So certainly the argument can be made by Maya Center, for example, or Red Bank villages in Stann Creek. I do not know historically or culturally whether the inhabitants of those villages actually practiced customary land tenure or not.”

Jose Sanchez

He also mentioned that other countries have legislation that explicitly extinguished to use the term ‘extinguish communal land rights’ is that something the government can do now? Because it seems that the judgment protects

Antoinette Moore,

“Exactly they could not do that. We would have argued that after 2007 that the government could not have done that because now we are in a constitutional era, and the judgments both give constitutional protection to the indigenous property rights. It would be unconstitutional now for government to now present legislation to extinguish land rights that are protected by the Constitution of Belize.”

The government will no longer be able to grant oil or logging concessions on Mayan land without consultations.

Jose Sanchez

He also mentioned the government should abstain from issuing leases, grants, he mentioned the lands act, no concessions for logging or mining, he even mentioned the petroleum act. Will it be something that affects current concessions granted across the country?

Antoinette Moore

“It certainly may. This would be the initial instance where the Government of Belize representatives ought to come together with the Maya people and sit down as partners discussing what will happen; because what the Chief Justice said in the relief was not that concessions could not be given, not that logging or forestry concession could not be given, but it could not be given without the consent or consultation of the owners of the land which are the Mayan people. SO, its not that it can’t it just must happen with constitutional protection in place.”

Satiim manages the Sarstoon Temash National Park. U.S. Capital Energy has conducted seismic testing in the park, without the consultation of Satiim or the Mayas. The judgment changes the rules of the game for Satiim.

Jose Sanchez

How do you think the government should continue when it comes to seismic testing and drilling for oil?

Greg Ch’oc

“Well definitely I thin it has to bring onboard the rightful landowners, and to begin tripartite discussion on how to move forward with the oil exploration, particularly in the area that indigenous communities reside. As the rights judgment clearly states, the communities do have interests and rights and I also believe inherent in the interest and the rights are benefits derived from exploitation of those resources.”

After a brief photo op., the Mayas headed for a celebration in Toledo.

Cristina Coc

Cristina Coc, Director, Julian Cho Society

“I’m asking the press come and join us at our celebration in Indian creek. All I can say at this point is that the exercise of justice is joy for the righteous. Come join us in Indian Creek. Thank you.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

#381944 - 06/29/10 10:11 AM Re: CHIEF JUSTICE TO DELIVER RULING, MAYA LAND RIGHTS [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Court says traditional land rights exist; Mayas celebrate in Indian Creek

gregory ch'oc

News Five’s Isani Cayetano and cameraman Chris Mangar are now in Indian Creek where well over a thousand members of the Maya communities, including the Alcaldes from the thirty-eight communities that brought the law suit against the government are celebrating today’s victory. The mood in the south is certainly festive and Greg Ch’oc of SATIIM, was magnanimous in victory.

Via Phone: Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director, SATIIM

“The significance of today’s judgment gives for the first time the thirty-eight Maya communities in Toledo their voice, their participation, their involvement in determining the use, the management and the exploitation of the resources on land that they have used and occupied.”

Isani Cayetano

“In terms of the way that the Maya community is now going to work with the government of Belize in terms of dealing with the parceling of the land and the surveying and what have you, how do you as a community propose to build and strengthen this relationship with GOB?”

Via Phone: Greg Ch’oc

I want to start off with the word that the Chief Justice utilized today in court; this is a time for reconciliation, this is a time to put the issues that have divided us apart and to sit with our government and pave a way to concretize the fundamental values that every Belizean in this country ought to enjoy. I believe that the honorable prime minister believes those fundamental values as well and we’re hoping that, as the Chief Justice articulated today, that a process is established to begin to identify and develop a legislation for the protection of these lands.”

Isani Cayetano

“When this case went before the supreme court, there was some objection or some enmity so to speak from members of the Toledo Cacao Growers Association in terms of them not seeing eye to eye with the Maya Leaders Alliance with regards to this specific issue. Can you speak to us now on whether there will be amends being made between the MLA and the Toledo Cacao Growers Association over the issue of communal rights?”

Via Phone: Greg Ch’oc

“I believe the reconciliation has already started. I believe that the Mayan organization that has been a part of this process, I believe that the Cacao Association and the group that was formed recognized that a significant number of the Maya population in southern Belize subscribe to the Maya customary land tenure and I believe that in notion that they have advanced in terms of individual lease and the rationale for advancing those interest cannot stand ground.”

Channel 5

#382051 - 06/30/10 09:53 AM Re: CHIEF JUSTICE TO DELIVER RULING, MAYA LAND RIGHTS [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Mayas celebrate Supreme Court Victory on communal land

The Maya Leaders who brought a suit against the government over property rights, headed back to the south on Monday to celebrate victory. Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh took over two hours to deliver a sixty-two page ruling before a packed courtroom. The CJ ruled that the Maya communities of the south, thirty-three villages in Toledo and five in Stann Creek, had communal land tenure over their ancestral land and he restrained the government from proceeding with commercial activities without the consent of the Mayas. The CJ said “From the evidence, the Maya people have found sustenance and continuity in the lands they presently occupy which were once occupied by their forebears. Therefore for them the dispute is more than just land, although so much depends on this. It is really about their way of life and their very survival”. News Five’s Five Isani Cayetano has a report on the celebration in Indian Creek.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The gentle sound of marimba music and the aroma of freshly cooked caldo permeated the atmosphere as thousands converged on the school ground following the success of the Maya Leaders Alliance in a historic case against the Government of Belize over customary land rights. The ruling also impacts logging, drilling and other commercial activities in southern Belize.

Isani Cayetano

“The indigenous community of the Maya people in Southern Belize, have gathered today in Indian Creek Village to celebrate their legal victory in the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court today granted the Maya people full communal rights over land they have claimed in southern Toledo.”

Buses shuttled in villagers from as far away as Otoxha and Santa Ana to this central location for an evening of speeches and revelry. Perched atop the concrete, one storey building were alcaldes from all thirty-eight Mayan communities from the two southern districts of Toledo and Stann Creek District. Standing before the audience of men, women and children was a spiritually reinvigorated leader who has played an integral role in the preservation of the people and their traditional way of life.

Cristina Coc, Spokesperson, MLA

Cristina Coc

“Today we anticipated a favorable judgment and we were very blessed to have the judgment handed down in our favor. What this means for us is simply that the courts have affirmed our rights to the lands that we customarily use and occupy which for us means a right to life. The lands that we live on, the lands that we occupy are the very lands that have sustained us as a people that have given us our livelihood.”

The plight of the Mayas for land tenure has been described as a social struggle. For several years a legal battle was being waged for government to recognize their rights as an indigenous people. At the helm of that movement was Antoinette Moore. She fought tirelessly to prove that the communities and their residents were deserving of the freedom to own shared land.

Antoinette Moore, Attorney, MLA

“Many years ago, actually ten years ago now I was approached because of the human rights work that I did in other arenas. I was approached by members of the Maya community and members of a legal team that was working with them to see if I would be interested in assisting and I immediately thought not of going against the government because of course we weren‘t in court at that time; but thought of assisting and affirmatively aiding in a struggle that is many, many years old and that deserves to come to a positive conclusion.”

That ending some would say was long overdue. Along the way the history of Belize’s first inhabitants was heavily scrutinized by the attorney representing GOB to prove that there was no longevity between the ancient Maya and those living in rural Toledo today.

Cristina Coc

“I will never forget the experience of sitting and feeling humiliated by Ms. Lois Young Barrow. I forgive her ignorance. I certainly hold no grudge for what was said. I mean were called a people without a nationality. We were called Guatemalans. We were called migrants. We were called a people without a nation; in fact we were denied our ancestry. We were told that there’s no continuity from our ancestors the Manxe Chol or the K’ekchi and the Mopan.”

During the trial a professor of anthropology, Dr Robert Wilks, took the stand on behalf of MLA. That sworn statement provided a socio-cultural look at the people over the centuries. But while the legal struggle for land at times played out like a protracted history lesson there are those within the wider indigenous community including Big Falls Village who were not in support of the move to retain customary rights over land they occupy.

Erigorio Coc, Resident, Big Falls Village

“Basically they don’t want to get involved in this because maybe they don’t understand what the situation is about, they don’t want to get involved. I don’t know what’s going on in this village because I, actually I don’t want to get involved myself into it because as I said I’m a young guy.”

And while there was a celebratory air at the rally it was evident that the government and quite a number of those gathered to observe today’s victory were still not fully knowledgeable of the issue at hand. Although the ruling will allow the Mayas of southern Belize to legally establish constitutional indigenous rights over communal lands Moore says the matter transcends property rights.

Antoinette Moore

Antoinette Moore

“There is an apparent misunderstanding on the part of the Government of Belize about the essence of the case. And I think that cultural preservation as you have rightly said is at core, at core. Here in Indian Creek where we’ve, the alcaldes, the leadership has come along with myself to present the judgment back to the villagers, back to the people who it will directly affect. Person after person has said that this is a ruling, this is a judgment, this is a struggle about their land and their way of life that goes into generations.”

The decision of Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh was celebrated in grand fashion, by Mayan standards, as the traditional Cortez dance was performed before a crowd that cheered on the masquerade.

Elias Uk, Resident, San Jose Village

“It’s good because now we are free in our land. We have everything we can get on the land, nobody can stop us from doing it.”

Monday’s judgment succeeds a previous landmark ruling in 2007 when the court first established that the Mayas of Conejo and Santa Cruz, also in the south, had communal land rights to the area they were occupying. The Government’s attorney has already indicated that the ruling by the outgoing Chief Justice will be appealed. Reporting for News Five I am Isani Cayetano

#382359 - 07/03/10 10:26 AM Re: CHIEF JUSTICE TO DELIVER RULING, MAYA LAND RIGHTS [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Commentary: The ruling in the Maya case could have severe consequences for Belize

By Wellington C. Ramos

The Mayas are the indigenous people of southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala Honduras and El Salvador, numbering about seven million people, but among them there were cultural differences such as the Yucatec, Kekchi and Mopan, which led to several conflicts and division of land and territories in the region.

Belize is a small country located between Mexico and Guatemala, who are both populated with millions of Maya Indians. Guatemala has a long history of human rights abuses against these people, which has led to thousands of Mayas fleeing Guatemala to go and live in Belize, even up to this day, to establish new villages.

While the Mexican government is not as harsh towards these indigenous people, the relationship between these people and the Mexican government is strained, especially with those who live in the province of Chiapas. Centuries ago the Mayas and the Aztecs fought against each other and, after the Mayas were defeated, many of them fled to Belize and adopted it as their new homeland.

I am afraid that this ruling will open the gate for more Maya Indians to come from Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico into Belize to set up more villages and overpopulate the country of Belize at the expense of the other non-Maya Belizeans, who are still trying to get lots and lands but are being denied daily.

When the British occupied Belize in 1638 they fought against the Spaniards in several battles, which ended with the Battle of Saint Georges Caye on 10 September 1798. In the days of colonialism the game was that if you lost the war you lost the land and everything on it and that is why all the countries in the world that were colonized are having the experiences they are having today.

As a Garifuna, I will urge my people to seriously consider a case against the government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Great Britain for forcefully occupying and removing our ancestors from our native homeland Saint Vincent on March 11, 1797, to other islands and the island of Roatan in Honduras.

Not only were our people removed but they were packed on several ships like cargo and dropped off on several other islands unknown to them and separated from their families. Their original names were changed to Spanish names to avoid any trace of their relatives and they carry these label titles up to this day.

The British encouraged the Garifuna people to come to Belize and occupy the southern part of Belize, which at the time was sparsely inhabited by the Maya Indians. They gave the Garifuna people large parcels of land titled “Carib Reserves”.

With this ruling the Mayas can now question the legality of this action on the part of the British as a test case. If the court rules that the British occupied Belize unlawfully and had no right to grant land to the Garifuna people then the Carib Reserves could be given back to the Maya people. This ruling is taking the country and people of Belize backwards rather than forward and it will benefit Mayas who were not even born in Belize.

Externally, this ruling plays right into the hands of the Guatemalan government with its long territorial dispute with Belize. Guatemala and Mexico will never allow any court in their country to rule like this because that would create havoc in their countries, due to the fact that both places have more Indians than any other race of people. The Guatemalan soldiers continue to stop native born Maya Indians from establishing villages in their own country, as was confirmed by the United Nations Commission for Human Rights and that is why they are coming into Belize to establish new villages.

Unlike the Creoles and the Garifunas, who continue to look at their differences, even though they are both of African descent, the Mayas and Mestizos in Belize see themselves as one people, despite the fact that they are from different countries in Central America.

The black population in Belize is dwindling fast because of migration to the United States and the Maya and Mestizo population is growing rapidly. The government of Belize still has the option to consider allowing Haitians to relocate to Belize as a humanitarian gesture to balance the races but that idea is not even being brought up by anyone in the media because of fear of being attacked. Their presence would contribute to the development of Belize in the areas of agriculture and race balance.

Belize has a vast amount of lands and would receive funding from various international sources for this worthy cause. In the 1980s Belize made a similar offer to the government of El Salvador, which led to thousands of people from El Salvador migrating to Belize being granted amnesty and becoming Belizean citizens.

I am yet to see a Maya or a Mestizo demonstration against the establishment of unlawful Maya villages in the country of Belize. If the Mayas do not see borders as differences between the countries in Central America and continue to cross them as they please, then the government of Belize will be disrespected by Guatemala, Mexico and the other Central American countries.

With the discovery of oil in Belize recently, this issue has become a major one for the Maya Indians. Their concern is that the drilling of oil will cause serious environmental problems that could lead to the disruption of life in their communities. Also, that the government of Belize will make oil deals against their wishes without consulting them and give them an unfair profit sharing of the revenues.

People who have purchased private lands from the government of Belize in one of these villages could also be affected by this ruling. If their land titles are in the areas detailed in these villages, their titles may have to be voided and be given land elsewhere. If they insist that they want to retain these lands, then they will have to appeal against this court ruling.

I am of the opinion that the Government of Belize will appeal this ruling before the Belize Court of Appeals and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) because they are aware of the long term consequences this ruling will have in the country when it comes to land issues.

I am in favor of the native Belizean Mayas asserting their rights to their ancestral lands but not at the expense of the other non-Maya Belizean citizens and private owners of land who obtained their properties through a legitimate purchase. The Belize government must now start dismantling all of these new Maya villages that were established by Guatemalan Mayas in Belize before they start claiming lands on ancestral grounds later. Their immigration status should also be examined and, if they cannot produce their Belizean birth certificates and other documents, should be sent back to their countries.


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