By Marion Ali, Staff Reporter
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Vanessa Retreage, on Monday, January 11th, appointed the members of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission.
The Commission, which will work out of the AG’s office in Belmopan, comprises former senator and Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla, who will serve as its chair, Noreen Fairweather, and Randall Sheppard, a Crown Counsel in the Attorney General’s Ministry. The Ministry has also engaged Anthony Ross, an attorney who it deems as having substantial experience in indigenous affairs, as a consultant to the Commission.
The government’s press office says that the primary responsibility of the Commission is to implement the Consent Order of the Caribbean Court of Justice, which requires the government to adopt affirmative measures to identify and protect the rights arising from Maya customary land tenure.
The Commission will establish a structured framework, aimed at ensuring collaborative consultation and participation of key stakeholders, mainly focusing on 23 villages, including Conejo and Santa Cruz, the Maya Leaders Alliance, and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association, consistent with the rulings of the Caribbean Court of Justice.