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Nov 11, 2016

Tourism Minister Issues Fresh Apology for Seismic Testing Debacle

Manuel Heredia Jr.

The Government has completely backtracked, for now at least, on the issue of seismic testing, cancelling the visit of one ship scheduled to do testing but allowing another that will perform less invasive testing. The environmental community has gotten Belmopan to budge somewhat on its eight-point agenda for lifting a Government-placed moratorium on offshore petroleum-related activity, but has refused thus far to consider legislating the moratorium or an outright ban. Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia, who suffered the wrath of his constituents in a consultation a few weeks ago that led to the backtrack, admits that proper advice has not been obtained and the Government has now learned its lesson.

 

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation

“What really happened is that there was a lack of consultation. I do believe and I must admit that there was no proper consultation. And based on that and based on what happened on San Pedro where people were crying that they do not want the seismic testing to be done and they do not believe in offshore drilling, which at this point, I can say there is nothing about an offshore drilling in the minds of our government and in the minds of this cabinet. Nothing has been discussed as to the possibilities of anybody getting a P.S.A. for that particular thing. I think it was announced after that meeting in San Pedro that yes we would call it off and you know the company that was doing that testing, as soon as they told him that the people of Belize—because it was not only San Pedro, there were other N.G.O.s that were crying that they want this to be stopped. And like good leaders, we listened to it and we decided we would call it off and then at cabinet we decided that one; that government will ban any offshore drilling in the World Heritage Sites and protected areas and that a moratorium will still remain for the other waters of Belize. And that whatever will be done to lift that moratorium will have to go to the people.”

 

Heredia has proposed further talks in Cabinet on a ban but insisted that it would have to be ventilated before a decision is taken.

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1 Response for “Tourism Minister Issues Fresh Apology for Seismic Testing Debacle”

  1. Mike G. says:

    “And like good leaders,” . . . WHAT? Good leaders would not have tried to sneak this scam in on us. I would not believe one work that spills from a our politicians’ mouths. As they smile and apologize, In the back of their minds they are still scheming on how they can get their grubby hands on the money. Shameful!

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