Day of the Maya
A powerful video. It is truly a landmark event to have the Maya finally see some glimmer of justice. Hopefully this will spread quickly to other areas where the Maya are being exploited. I believe this demonstrates how the world is changing soon we will see more and more indigenous people re-gaining their inherent rights.
A celebration by the Maya of Southern Belize on June 28, 2010 in honor of the landmark judicial decision granting them full rights over their ancestral lands. The celebration includes the Cortez Dance at Indian Creek Village.
In a Landmark decision handed down by the Supreme Court of Belize on June 28, 2010, Chief Justice Dr. Abdulai Conteh affirmed the customary land rights of 38 Maya communities in southern Belize.
In reading his 62-page judgment, the Chief Justice declared that it was a “direct sequel of the judgment of this court in Claims No. 171 and 172 of 2007 which was delivered on 18th October 2007.” That ruling also found the Maya have customary land rights and resource rights, which are protected by the Constitution and must be held inviolate.
Affirming these points, Chief Justice Conteh said in his recent judgment that the government must now hold off on all leases, concessions, grants and contracts within the bounds of the Maya’s lands; and that the villages have the right to block development projects in defence of their rights.
Among the speakers, Cristina Coc, from the Maya Leaders Alliance of Southern Belize, talked about the Maya’s struggle for their rights, the importance of Justice Conteh’s decision, and the ‘unending legacy’ of the Maya People.