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Aug 20, 2014

Midway Residents Meet with DAVCO to Discuss Oil Exploration in Toledo

Gabriel Edwards

On Tuesday evening, residents of Midway, one of six buffer communities bordering the Sarstoon Temash National Park, met with representatives of the District Association of Village Councils to discuss oil exploration in Toledo.  While much has been said on both sides of the polemic issue by SATIIM and U.S. Capital Energy, respectively, residents have remained rather quiet at an individual level whether they are in favor of or object to oil exploration within the protected area.  The consultation, according to DAVCO President Gabriel Edwards, is part of a district-wide effort to get public feedback on the issue.  The responses will then be presented to government as one collective position on oil exploration in the south.

 

Gabriel Edwards, President, District Association of Village Councils

“We’re here today in Midway, we’re doing a consultation that is based on oil exploration.  This is solely to hear the views and suggestions of the villagers here because we believe that each village has a voice and the voices of the people should be heard.”

 

Reporter

“And what are some of the concerns you guys listened to in this consultation?”

 

Gabriel Edwards

“Some of the concerns that we have heard here today is that they are not against oil exploration, they certainly aren’t, but they want to see and know how they are going to benefit if oil is to be found in this area.”

 

Reporter

“Now that you have listened to the concerns and views of these communities what will be the initiative or what will be the next process in representing the views and these concerns?”

 

Gabriel Edwards

“Well as I mentioned in the meeting and I am not too sure if you heard it is that this consultation is taking place in the two villages here in the Toledo District.  It will be combined together in the form of a booklet and will be presented to the Government of Belize as the voice of Toledo.”

 

Reporter

“And if, I want to ask this question again, and if the government does not submit to these requests, to these concerns of the communities, what necessary steps would you guys take to ensure that the voice of the communities are being heard?”

 

Gabriel Edwards

“Very good question.  There are many, many things that we could do and we’ll start with negotiation and if does not work then we negotiate again and if that does not work then we’ll follow additional steps.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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