Maya Indigenous Communities of the Toledo District v. Belize

Submitted by Kelly Russo on Tue, 10/12/2004 - 00:00
Regional Decisions
Inter-American Commission

Report No. 40/04

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found petitioners' claim, that Belize refused to recognize the Mayan form of communal land use and possession, granted logging and oil concessions on ancestral land resulting in environmental damage, and delayed processing of the tribe's land claims to be a violation of Articles 2, 23, and 28 of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. Articles 2, 23, and 28 of the American Declaration recognize the right of American peoples to equality before the law, property, and fair trial, respectively. The Commission found the claim to be inadmissible under Articles 1, 3, 6, and 10, which recognize the right to life, religious freedom, family, and political participation, respectively. The Commission recommended that the State carry measures to delimit and demarcate the ancestral Mayan land and repair the environmental damage resulting from the logging concessions.