Access Rights Success Story
Jul 17, 2013

In 1981, Asberga purchased a small plot of land in Cockpit Country, Trelawny, Jamaica where she has lived since then. This was the only land she owned. She grew crops to sustain herself and sell in the market. In 2006, she applied to the local parish council for permission to subdivide her land. The parish council refused permission on the basis that her land was located on or in proximity to bauxite reserves. Asberga did not know what to do. In Jamaica, all minerals are owned by the Government and laws allow the government to zone land for mining purposes and grant companies permission to mine bauxite on anyone’s land even without their consent. Asberga sought help from TAI’s partner, Jamaica Environment Trust, who provided information to her on the correct procedures for her to conduct an appeal. JET also gave her legal support to appeal the parish council’s decision in December 2006. Six months later, the Minister responsible for local government decided to uphold the appeal and allowed Asberga to subdivide her land. Without information and access to justice mechanisms citizens are often left helpless and without access to needed remedies.

En 1981, Asberga adquirió un pequeño terreno en Cockpit, Trelawny en Jamaica donde ella vive hasta hoy en día. Este es el único terreno que ella posee. El terreno lo cultiva para su subsistencia y para vender vegetales en el mercado. El año 2006 ella postuló al Consejo Local para obtener un permiso para subdividir su terreno. El Consejo Local no le entregó la autorización por que el terreno estaba ubicado en una reserva de bauxita. Frente a esta decisión Bauxita no sabía que hacer. En Jamaica todos los minerales son de propiedad del Estado y el marco legal autoriza al Gobierno a zonificar tierras para la explotación minera y garantiza a las empresas los permisos para explotar la bauxita en las tierras de cualquiera sin necesidad de contar con su consentimiento. Asberga tomó contacto con el socio de TAI en Jamaica, Jamaica Environment Trust, quien le entregó información sobre el procedimiento y le entregó asistencia para apelar a la decisión del Consejo Local. Seis meses después, el Ministerio responsable de los Municipios aceptó la apelación y autorizó a Asberga a subdividir su terreno. Sin mecanismos para el acceso a la información y a la justicia muchas veces la ciudadanía queda indefensa y sin acceso a soluciones.

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