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Aug 26, 2014

Consensus Undetermined in Oil Drilling

Greg Ch'oc

Last Tuesday, the District Association of Village Councils, led by president Gabriel Edwards, convened a meeting with residents of Midway, in the Toledo District, to discuss the issue of oil exploration within the Sarstoon Temash National Park.  Midway, which falls under the representation of SATIIM, is one of six buffer communities fringing the protected area.  So, it came as a surprise when participants at the consultation voiced seemingly different views on U.S. Capital’s involvement in exploratory work within the area.  While Edwards has gone on record to say that the position of the majority will be documented and presented to government, SATIIM’s former executive director, Greg Ch’oc, says that consensus on the matter is yet to be determined.

 

Isani Cayetano

“It seems as if though there is either a difference in position with regards to whether or not oil exploration within the Sarstoon Temash National Park is something that is supported by members of the community versus SATIIM‘s position to where there should be free, prior and informed consent before embarking on such a venture.  Can you speak to what has been coming out of those consultations led by DAVCO?”

 

Greg Ch’oc, Outgoing executive Director, SATIIM

“Well I can only speak on what I have heard and seen on the TV.  We have not been able to ascertain yet whether whatever was said is the position of the community.  We have been working with the community on a very clearly defined protocol.  We have a resolution with signatures from the community establishing what it is that want, how they should achieve it and who they want to achieve it with.  I don’t know that that has changed or I don’t know that what was said by the individuals, what I’ve heard on TV is really nothing different than what we have said so there is form of confusion on what really transpired at that meeting, you know.  Is it that DAVCO wants to take on the role of representing the community, we’re not clear.  I mean the president of DAVCO said something else while those that I heard spoke at that meeting that I saw on TV said something else.  So it is not clear and we as a community that was elected by that community to represent their interests we need to go in there to ascertain the

position of the community.”

 

U.S. Capital Energy has already imported into the country equipment for oil drilling and is in the process of erecting its first rig at the Temash Two Drill Site in Sunday Wood. 

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