One year anniversary of Maya Land Registry; still no progress

SATIIM issued a press release today indicating that GOB is dragging its feet when it comes to the Maya land registry. Last year, on August 9, 2017, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and the tenth anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, SATIIM launched the Maya Lands Registry of customary land usage and delineation. That happened almost two years after the Caribbean Court of Justice ordered GOB to create an effective mechanism to identify and protect Mayan lands in accordance with their traditional governance. The Mayans have been complaining about the slow process and GOB’s lackluster attempt and so SATIIM went ahead and launched the Maya Land Registry. According to SATIIM, Crique Sarco was the first Maya community to present its map to the Attorney General but they have had no response from him. The release says, “After a year of silence, now he is talking — about oil ‘exploration’ on community lands!…We’d like to see what maps he’s using; to hear how he is implementing the Consent Order.” It further says that in three years, no one except SATIIM has made any effort to identify the lands the government is supposed to be protecting. We quote again, “Before the government talks about Maya lands, we invite them to work with SATIIM and the communities to create maps according to the model established by the Maya Lands Registry…If the government had any idea how long it takes to reach true community consensus on boundaries alone, they might begin to understand what Free, Prior and Informed Consent actually means….The government has not identified these lands; it is certainly not protecting them, and it clearly has no idea what traditional governance is.”

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