General — 21 October 2014 — by Adele Ramos
CCJ sets March 2015 for Maya land rights hearing

BELIZE CITY–The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has set Wednesday, March 25, and Thursday, March 26, 2015 for the hearing of the final appeal of the case of the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA), as well as 23 Maya villages, against the Government of Belize.

Monica Coc Magnusson, the first Maya attorney of Toledo to ascend to the Bar of Belize, represented the Maya in a case management session held by the CCJ on Friday.

In July 2013, the Court of Appeal dismissed the Government’s appeal against the decision of former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh, that the Maya are entitled to the enjoyment of customary land tenure in all Maya villages in the Toledo district, but the court allowed the Government’s appeal against Conteh’s order that the Maya are, consequently, entitled to remedies from the Government of Belize. The court dismissed the cross-appeal of the Maya, claiming an award of damages for violation of their constitutional rights.

The CCJ will now conduct final appeal hearings in the matter.

The Government of Belize was represented by Assistant Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke.

The 23 Maya villages which have joined the MLA and the TAA in their appeal are Golden Stream, Aguacate, Bladen, Blue Creek, Crique Jute, Crique Sarco, Dolores, Indian Creek, Jalacte, Jordan, Laguna, Medina Bank, Midway, Otoxha, Pueblo Viejo, San Antonio, San Benito Poite, San Felipe, San Marcos, San Miguel, San Vicente, Santa Ana, and Santa Teresa.

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