Despite the sweeping nature of Wednesday’s judgment there remains opposition within the Maya community itself to the very idea of communal land rights. The Alliance and the Alcaldes Association have long maintained that their opponents are ignorant of the scope of the issue or are short-sighted. The long, hard rift between the Mayas themselves and between them and other ethnic groups of the South and all of Belize must be healed, and MLA spokesperson Cristina Coc acknowledged just how difficult that will be.
‘This trail is not made just for us, many will follow and we welcome them. They are still some of our brothers and sisters who are still in prison because they do not yet understand… they do not yet grasp the magnitude of the struggle that you have carried. It is not our duty, our responsibility to bring them to that higher understanding… to bring them to that realization that we will not achieve until we are united as a people. The dream is not just for our children but for the children of their children and none will be left behind, and none will be forgotten and none will be denied the enjoyment of the rights that were affirmed today in the Caribbean Court of Justice.
Coc called for the traditional and modern leaders alike to be voices of hope, reason and reconciliation.
“I am filled with joy but I am also filled with sorrow because as we enter now a new phase of our struggle, as we begin to realize how it is that we will implement the decisions of the court, we all know that we will face some more challenges. We will continue to struggle and because the times are changing we will wait to see how our children continue to write history. I am hopeful but I am saddened because some of our brothers are still lost. And so I encourage you, I urge you Alcaldes, communities; it is our collective responsibilities to bring our people united together always.”