noimageBut the United Nations is not the only one throwing punches at GOB. So is the Congress of Maya Teachers in Toledo, Belize. The congress is saying that Belize needs to tackle its issues brought to light following the Santa Cruz Village incident, through education.

Belize hasn’t heard much, if any at all of the Maya Teachers Congress before now. It was founded in 2009 and aims at improving the quality of education in southern Belize and indicates that as educators the congress is quote, “compelled to register our position on this incident and to contribute for a better understanding of the Alcalde System,” unquote.

They start by strongly rejecting the proposition of abolishing the Alcalde System which according to them is a unique system that has made its way into the laws of Belize.

The release goes on to explain that, quote “Alcaldes and deputy Alcaldes are elected by the community and appointed by the Attorney General acting pursuant to the provisions of the Inferior Courts Acts, chapter 94 of the Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000. By virtue of the provisions of the Act, an Alcalde court has both civil and criminal jurisdiction.

When it comes to seeking residency in any village, the Congress states that it is a rule for anyone interested to seek permission from the village leaders after which a village meeting is held and in most cases, if not all, new members are accepted. The Congress goes on to state that since this has been a practice for years, it is their sentiment that the incident in Santa Cruz had nothing to do with racism or discrimination.

Moving on to their second point in the release, the Congress states that Mayas embrace diversity and inclusiveness as they mingle with various cultures of people and continue to live in harmony and keep a strong bond of community spirit. The CMT also condemns the way the matter has spilled over stating that in the aftermath many Mayas have been subjected to insults and hateful comments. The CMT states that it, quote, “expresses its distaste to the comments made by many, but more so by the leaders of our nation that blasts the Maya people as violent, ignorant, and racist.

We want to categorically state that such negative labeling and false accusation only serves to sink us into a deep level of mistrust and divide our people and country, says CMT.

CMT claims that the aftermath of such uncalled statements has left many of the young Maya to face direct insults on public transportation and public spaces. The CMT calls upon everyone to exercise the greatest of respect and tolerance and to avoid instigating further hatred against anyone,” unquote. The CMT concludes stating that it is committed to collaborate with the Ministry of Education and GOB to ensure that the Mayan and African history is advanced meaningfully in schools in southern Belize. Finally the Congress calls on the government to dialogue with the Maya people to find solutions allowing to quote, “place the past behind and encourage us to celebrate our unity as one Belize,” end quote. 

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