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NGC: Garifuna communities should “vote Garinagu”

HighlightsNGC: Garifuna communities should “vote Garinagu”

Garifuna Council has expressed concern regarding non-Garifuna persons running for office in a Garinagu community in this month’s village council elections.

DANGRIGA TOWN, Stann Creek District, Sun. May 15, 2022

The National Garifuna Council (NGC) has commented on instances of non-Garinagu vying for office in a Garifuna village in this month’s village council elections via a press release which states that the council encourages its members and the wider Garifuna community to “exercise their rights and choose leadership that will represent the best interests of the Garinagu.”

In the release, the NGC stated that it does not support partisan politics, as it has in no way positively impacted Garifuna people, and it remarked that the welcoming nature of the Garifuna people, influenced by their way of Au bun, Amürü Nun (I for you, you for me) has often proven to be detrimental to their wellbeing.

“Let us put aside our differences for the future of our Garifuna communities and ensure the continuity of Garifunaduoun,” said the press release.

“Let us not allow anyone who does not put the best interests of our people first to take control of our Garifuna communities. We encourage you to support genuine and committed Garinagu vying for different positions in this year’s Village Council elections in Barranco, Hopkins, Georgetown, and Seine Bight,” the NGC release added.

While the press release has proven to be divisive among the Garifuna community online, one high-profile member of the community, Garifuna Nation Speaker Joseph Guerrero, expressed some support for the NGC. Guerrero weighed in on the matter—drawing attention to the fact that this is the first time that the NGC has supported a “Garifuna First” stance.   

“Slowly but surely they [the NGC] are beginning to listen to reason,” said Guerrero, who went on to state that organizations such as the Garifuna Nation and Garivision, through their advocacy work, laid the foundations for the council to issue a press release such as this one.

“Never before had the NGC before now been this bold in advocating for Garifuna,” he stated.

Not only has the release been divisive among Garifuna persons, but it has also stirred up some controversy outside of the community, with some Belizeans calling it “irresponsible”, “xenophobic”, and “too political”.

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