Another burning issue brought up was the illegal detention of Toledo Resident Rupert Miles on Sunday. As reported, Miles, a Belizean of Garifuna descent was allegedly evicted from the Santa Cruz Village in Toledo for apparently no reason at all, except the color of his skin.
Myles, who was living with a Mayan woman in Santa Cruz Village was handcuffed, tied with rope and then taken to his house by the leaders of the village who received support from the Mayan Leaders Alliance. During this ordeal, Myles was reportedly called “black man” and “Kerob” by his aggressors, the Mayans, who have denied that the situation had anything to do with race or skin color. And while there are still varying accounts circulating in the media, from what the Prime Minister has gathered, he is not too happy with the Alcalde or the Mayas of the village for what he cites as “wrongfully detaining” this Belizean. Here is that exchange with the media…
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister
"What I have seen, it is outrageous. I believe somebody sent me an attempted defense by the Mayans. That is indefensible. These people, they, I think were pretty much well-positioned in terms of public opinion. I believe they've lost that completely now with this sort of an action. Well they should. I mean, it is absolutely indefensible. I want to make clear to them again that, that consent judgement merely recognizes that they are entitled to certain rights. The nature of the rights is not spelled out. We have agreed we will set up some sort of a commission. We will hear from everybody - all parties in Toledo and elsewhere before we can come to a decision as to what their rights ought to be. In the meantime, for them to do something like this... they talk about their rights, what about that man's human rights? What about his rights as a Belizean? I don't know how on earth they can ever justify this. In my view they've lost whatever moral high ground they ever had and I want to look carefully at it to see if any of them might not perhaps be criminally liable from what they did to that gentleman."
"They say he built a structure since 2014 on the Uxbenka site and they did this as a last resort. That's what their release says."
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"Well I don't know about that. I don't know about their sites. What I know is tying up this man, falsely imprison him, physically assaulting him - that is absolutely intolerable and I am telling you, I mean to find out from the appropriate authorities what if anything they mean to do about it."
The Mayans allege that Miles destroyed the sacred Uxbenka Maya site when he bulldozed a hill that forms a part of it, just so that he could get road access to his house. Miles has since categorically denied such act and has filed a police report against the village mob. Today police issued a bulletin stating that they are investigating a few persons involved in the incident.
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