Belize's Mayan Temples are among the main tourist attractions - but tonight we can confirm that photos of many of those temples have been taken off the Belize Tourism Board's website in the ongoing battle to determine what is Belizean versus what is the intellectual and physical property of the Maya of Belize.
Initially, it was rumoured that the BTB was forced to take the photos down or provide monetary payment to the Mayas for use of it.
But BTB's director, Evan Tillett, told us this evening that due to the current cases of communal land rights and the consent order in the courts - and the recent judgement concerning the Jalacte road - they've decided to err on the side of caution by removing the material to minimize the government's exposure to liability. Tillett explained that the decision was made by the board and the Ministry of Tourism.
Once the dust settles, depending on the judgements, the material may return to the website.
We know that the concept of free, prior and informed consent is a cornerstone of the implementation of the consent order.Channel 7