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Jul 3, 2017

Oil Spills Into Guatemala’s Sarstoon

There are reports coming out of Guatemala that there has been an oil spill in the Sarstoon River.  The tributary originates in Guatemala and forms the southernmost border with Belize.  According to a published account, a tanker transporting oil overturned while on its way to Chahal, Alta Verapaz.  A pipe is said to have come loose during the crash and the crude petroleum spilled, making its way into the river.  News Five contacted the Department of the Environment this evening and we were informed that while Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria was in a meeting all afternoon, the department had only just received word of the accident.  As a result, personnel from the DOE office in Belmopan could not confirm where in Guatemala the spill occurred, nor could they verify its proximity to the Toledo District.  The environmental organization, CALAS, Centro de Accion Legal Ambient y Social de Guatemala, has requested Guatemala’s Ministry of Environment to take necessary measures to contain the spill and prevent from doing severe damage to the Sarstoon River.

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