In a statement issued on Monday, the Toledo Alcalde Association called on the government of Belize to regularize the Alcaldes jurisdictions and to publish the list of Alcaldes in the Gazette, which it has been failing to do. The statement titled, “Response to the Government of Belize’s Discriminatory Acts against the Maya People,” was released following a decision made at a meeting among the Alcaldes on July 29th where concerns on the statutory appointment of Alcaldes by the Attorney General’s Ministry were raised. The leaders learned in February that the appointment of Alcaldes was not being properly gazetted. Spokesperson for the Toledo Alcalde Association and the Maya Leaders Alliance, Cristina Coc told Love News today why the issue is important to the Association.
Coc says they also want to emphasize that in April of 2015 the Caribbean Court of Justice affirmed the rights of Maya people to their lands and resources and also recognized that the government must work along with these communities to ensure the protection of their rights as it relates to Maya Customary Laws. So far the Association has not received a response from the Attorney General’s office.
In a show of full support, the 78 Alcaldes of 39 Maya communities in Southern Belize signed the Association’s statement.