People in Belize enjoy conditions in which there is a healthy respect for civic space, which is protected in law and in practice. Some groups, including the indigenous Maya people, do however experience marginalisation and discrimination. People in Belize are free to form civil society groups to advance any issue although their protection by the state is weaker if they promote causes like the rights of LGBTI people. Protests are common and typically peaceful. A free media exists although political leaders sometimes use defamation laws to target investigative journalism.