Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs Addresses Ethnic Tensions in South Belize

Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs Addresses Ethnic Tensions in South Belize

The Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs met with several non-Mayan Villages yesterday to discuss the ethnic tensions arising in the south. The discussions come after the government was unable to strike an interim boundary agreement between the leaders of Yemeri Grove and Laguna. For months, the Creole and Maya villages have been at odds over a land dispute involving communities’ boundaries. Last week, several Creole Villages gathered in Belize City to support the position of Yemeri Grove and claimed that encroachment was also taking place in their respective communities. Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Dolores Balderamos Garcia says the goal is to reach an amicable solution to please all parties. 

Dolores Balderamos – Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs: “The government is acting in the best of faith. It is unprecedented that we have sat with just about all parties concerned. As a matter of fact we must have broad shoulders because there was quite some criticism yesterday saying to the government and those of us who represent the government that there may have been a lack of insight in terms of how we roll everything out. Now I have a view, the best time to do something is yesterday the second best time is today. So going forward we have pledged that we will talk to all parties and make sure that everybody knows what is happening. Everybody may not be absolutely happy but this is where we call for compromise and even though we have accepted that there may have been some shortcomings I would like to say that I am very pleased with the leadership of the Deputy Prime Minister. I am pleased with the input of Mr.Sylvestre the Attorney General and our ministry continues to act in terms of what we believe are the best interest of the indigenous people of this country but at the same time we have to balance it. It cannot be a carte blanche.”

Garcia’s ministry met with village leaders from Mafredi, Barranco, Jacintoville, and Yemeri Grove.

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