BELMOPAN, Fri. Jan. 15, 2021– On January 14 the Government Press Office informed that the Cabinet met remotely in regular session on Tuesday, January 12, under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Hon. John Briceño. At this recent Cabinet meeting, Energy was added to the portfolio of the Ministry of Public Utilities and Logistics, and as a result that Ministry is now the Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy and Logistics.
Also, at that meeting on Tuesday, Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, updated the Cabinet on the Caribbean Court of Justice judgment No. BZCV2014/002, “The Maya Land Leaders Alliance, Toledo Alcalde Association and Others v. the Attorney General of Belize, commonly known as the Maya Land Rights Case.” The government press release says that the “Cabinet took note of the status of Government’s obligation under the Consent Order and agreed that a mechanism be worked out to ensure progress towards compliance of the consent order.”
Back in 2007, Belize’s Supreme Court ordered the Belize government to respect Maya land rights, and to survey and issue titles to the land to members of the Maya community. In 2010, this case went back to court, where Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh strengthened the ruling. The matter went all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), after the UDP government appealed, and following the ruling of the CCJ, upholding the judgment of Belize’s Supreme Court, the government set up the Maya Land Rights Commission, under the chairmanship of former government minister, Lisel Alamilla, to implement the decision. Now the matter falls into the lap of a new PUP government.
The release from GOB also made another, unrelated announcement — that Cabinet had “approved the formation of an inter-ministerial committee including Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness; Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise; Hon. Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries; and Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, to review plans and protocols for the reopening of the Corozal Free Zone. “
The Government Press Office informed that the Prime Minister would be out of office from January 12 to 17, 2021, and during this period Hon. Cordel Hyde would act in his place.