A compliance hearing was held before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Thursday morning. As we reported, the purpose of the hearing was to update the CCJ on the progress of the implementation of the Free Prior Informed Consent Protocol (F-PIC), designed to guide consultations with Maya communities. The F-PIC is part of the 2015 Consent Order, which recognizes land rights and tenure for Maya people. In addressing the court, Justice Jacob Wit recognized that the Government is not the one to choose who forms any of the Maya community organizations, but instead, it should be the Maya people themselves. A key point to come from his remarks is the decision by the court not to include the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) as a party to these current proceedings. Justice Wit explained why the organization’s request was not entertained.
Justice Jacob Wit, CCJ Judge: “There’s an other thing that has to do with representation. I think it was announced that one of the other Maya groups, SATIIM, would want to enter these proceedings. We have looked at that. I can tell you upfront, that is not what we are going to entertain because it’s not a procedure where you can intervene. That period is long behind us. It is a, it is just about the implementation of a decision between the parties that are before us. No other parties can interfere. The Government, of course, can talk to all groups of Maya, if they wish. The only thing we are saying is, given the procedural position of the groups that are before us, the TAA and MLA. They can simply not be ignored and I get the feeling from the statement of Mr. Marshalleck that that is certainly not the intention. If that is different then we would like to know but I don’t think that is so.”