Deputy PM weighs in on Maya Land Rights Policy
Deputy Prime Minister, Cordel Hyde, also weighed in on the land rights policy today and commended the work that Minister Dolores Balderamos Garcia has been doing. Hyde stressed that the consultation process is lengthy and arduous, but that the government is committed to fulfilling its obligations under the Caribbean Court of Justice consent order.
Cordel Hyd,e Area Representative, Lake Independence: “I’ve been down there with her, I’ve seen her talk, I’ve seen her engaged so I know that she’s putting her best foot forward. I know that her team has worked really hard and we have tried to provide the support, other arms of the government tried to provide support so that ultimately in the shortest possible time we can reach to some agreement that everybody can live with and something that’s workable. The whole consultation that’s taking place like this is a draft policy we’re looking at, like this is in the infancy stages. We have some ways to go, like this is not going to be tabled in the House next week or next month. Like a lot of discussion has to take place before we reach the point where the government is comfortable that you know what we have something that can work, we have something that the Mayans can agree to, we have something that other people can live with and that ultimately we emerge from this as a better nation, as a more unified nation. As difficult, as elusive as that may seem right now like ultimately believe that we can get that done. Like there is no problem in this country where there is not a solution but it’s about sitting down and talking to each other and as I said the minister has really done a lot of heavy lifting on this. She’s been really committed and I really commend her and it’s about trying to help her as much as we can to ensure that at the end of the day this thing is settled for the benefit of all Belizeans. I think once there’s agreement as to how the villages will look, the size of the village and one village versus another village I think once we reach that agreement then government has to find the resources. It’s government’s great responsibility, sacred responsibility to implement this court order. This court order that’s coming from the highest court in all our land and so government can’t have any excuse in implementation it’s just about how that implementation looks and what is the ultimate final make up of that agreement and that solution and government is going to have to spend. There’s going to be a cost but we understand that and we’re about trying to get things done.”
The Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs says that the consultations will run approximately three months before any attempts to alter the draft policy is made.