Research Consortium for Belizean Studies

Plunder via Violation of FPIC: Land Grabbing, State Negligence, and Pathways to Peace in Central America and the Caribbean

Levi Gahman, University of Liverpool
Adaeze Greenidge
Atiyah Mohamed

Abstract

This briefing provides an explicatory synopsis of tensions that emerge at the nexus of state power, corporate extraction, and struggles for Indigenous self-determination in Central America and the Caribbean. Specifically, it offers an overview of the ongoing land rights conflict taking place in Toledo District, Southern Belize, between Maya communities, the Westminster-modelled Government of Belize (GoB), and extractivist corporations. In doing so, we draw from both on-the-ground realities and recent human rights reports to illustrate how violations of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) in conjunction with state refusals of the duty to consult are facilitating the damage, dispossession, and plunder of Maya lands. The piece concludes with a series of key questions and cogent solutions that are oriented towards correcting historical wrongs, contemporary injustices, and creating pathways towards peace in Belize and beyond.