CCJ to deliver historic judgment in Maya land rights case
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is set to deliver a historic judgment dealing with indigenous land rights in Belize. The judgment arises out of a long-standing dispute between twenty-five Appellants comprising the Maya Leaders Alliance, the Toledo Alcaldes Association, Juan Pop (the alcalde of Golden Stream) and twenty-two other alcaldes representing villages in the Toledo District and the Government of Belize. The Appellants claim that the Government’s failure to recognise and protect Maya land rights has infringed their constitutional rights to protection of the law, equality and non-discrimination and the protection against arbitrary deprivation of property. The Appellants’ claim was prompted by the destruction of several acres of farms lands belonging to the Maya people in the Golden Stream village by Mr Francis Johnson, who claimed to have a lease for the lands.
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