Presentation by Eric Neal, M.A. at the 2nd Belize National Research Conference, 2019.
As the Government of Belize (GOB) collaborates with the Maya Leaders’ Alliance (MLA) to address the growing security concerns of indigenous citizens, who live along the Belize-Guatemala border, it finds itself in a security dilemma. On one hand, GOB experiences significant resistance from those villagers, while on the other it must overlook those oppositions and collaborate with the affected villagers to mount an effective mechanism to combat the persistent increase in violent incursions from Guatemalan Campesinos, within affected areas. This paper serves to understand the tenets of Indigenous land appreciation and formulate feasible recommendations to inform the GOB on the possible avenues it can take to reinforce Indigenous autonomy, devise strategies that intricately use the strengths of both the classical and contemporary systems, while ultimately creating an Iron Block that promotes and maintains Belize’s national security.
Key words: indigenous communities, sovereignty, land use, Belize-Guatemala relations, national security