Belize: New map on Mayan lands aims to protect land rights against oil drilling

Author: Latinamerica Press, Published on: 28 August 2017

 “Maya indigenous groups implement land registry” 19 Aug 2017

…[T]he Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) launched the Maya Land Registry to protect their ancestral territories due to the Belizean government has not complied with a Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruling of 2015 that ordered it to “create an effective mechanism” to identify and protect Mayan lands in accordance to their traditional governance…Territorial conflicts erupted in 1994 when the Mayan and Garífuna communities of southern Belize discovered that the government had stripped them of their ancestral lands to create the Sarstoon-Temash National Park. “Not much later they awoke to the sound of the dynamite blasting seismic paths in preparation of oil drilling in this ‘protected area.’…In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the oil exploration permits for the park violated the right of local communities to free, prior and informed consent…The current issues affecting the Belizean indigenous groups are mainly related to continued encouragement by the government of non-indigenous settlements, large-scale logging and petroleum development on traditional Maya lands…

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