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Jan 29, 2004

BACONGO will monitor project closely

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Moving ahead was also on the mind of those on the losing side of the four year long controversy. While he admitted that this particular legal battle was over, BACONGO chairman Godsman Ellis vowed that his group and others had forced important issues to be confronted and they still will play a major role in monitoring the project’s implementation.

Godsman Ellis, Chairman, BACONGO

“Indeed we are disappointed in the outcome. However, we all agree that all is not lost. One of the facts is that of the five judges, two of them ruled in our favour, you know what it means, how close that is? And we are happy for that. We certainly will not discontinue our struggle for addressing environmental violations in Belize. The courts have clearly identified the geology of the place where the dam is being built is a serious issue and both sides have agreed that the geology, which was lied about in that it was not granite, rather it was sandstone, that this really needs to be addressed. And it is left to the government of Belize to make sure that this is addressed, whether it means redesigning the plan or whatever.”

Stewart Krohn

“Mr. Ellis, BACONGO and others have been fighting the Chalillo project for over four years now. Tell me, with the benefit of twenty-twenty hindsight, if you had it to do all over again, what if anything, would you do differently?”

Godsman Ellis

“Mr. Krohn, we would have done the same thing. The unfortunate thing about the BACONGO issue is that we were brought into it, we got into it midstream. If we had known about this earlier, we certainly would have kicked up quite a bit of dust and perhaps it would not have happened. But then in midstream quite a bit had been done already, consequently we just had to do some amendments and get in here and there, but to answer your question we would have done the same thing and we will continue doing it that way. And if there are any other environmental violations that we see about, we are like watchdogs for the environment, for the people of Belize, which we are. If we see that happening then we gonna step in.”

According to a release from BECOL, the pouring of concrete on the dam should begin shortly and the project should be fully operational by mid 2005. Viewers who would like to see the full text of the judicial opinion can find it on the internet at privy-council.org.uk.

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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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