The Maya Leaders Alliance met with the Prime Minister in Belmopan last Thursday to say that they are willing to engage with the oil company US Capital Energy and the Government, but on certain terms.
It is a follow up on a letter from the Alcaldes' Assembly notifying Government that the Alcaldes are developing a proposal for consent agreements by oil development and other extractive industries for activities on Maya traditional lands.
A statement says, quote, "This proactive initiative by the Maya People manifests our commitment to explore opportunities for constructive, respectful, and good faith engagement with the Government of Belize and extractive companies on Maya traditional lands, looking forward to a future in which the legal status of those lands is no longer in dispute." End quote.
The statement adds that the meeting generated common understandings on several key issues where The Prime Minister assured the Maya Leaders that the government agrees that the Maya People must be respected, consulted, and included in initiatives that impact or can impact their communities. IT adds that, quote, "He communicated a welcome commitment to dialogue and engagement with the Maya People.." and concludes, quote, "We are encouraged by this new commitment from the Prime Minister."
The Toledo Alcaldes' Association also put out a statement on the murder of Police Special Constable Danny Conorquie. The statement notes that quote, "a little over a year ago, an Alcalde of one of our Maya village in the Toledo District, was shot with a handgun by a Guatemalan national in the Columbia Forest Reserve. Since that incident, Alcaldes and Chairmen from the Maya Villages along the Guatemalan border continue to frequently report incursions unto their community lands and barbaric acts of intimidation upon their lives, family and property by Guatemalan nationals." It closes by saying, We reiterate that the Government of Belize immediately put in place affirmative measures to ensure that there is safety for all Belizeans.