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Feb 10, 2011

BELPO President believes P.M. misinterpreted Court Ruling

That was the prime minister’s take on Wednesday and by today the reaction has been fast and furious. SATIIM issued a release saying that the P.M.’s statement shows complete disregard for the law. It goes on to quote Gregory Ch’oc, the Executive Director, as saying that; “SATIIM will challenge any illegal action in order to preserve the rule of law in our country. We are not saying that development cannot go ahead, rather that the Government must recognize the legally bound sanctity of our national parks.” The Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy also issued a statement, saying that Barrow has misinterpreted the court’s decision. BELPO President, Candy Gonzalez, explained their position via phone today.

Via Phone: Candy Gonzalez, President, BELPO

Candy Gonzalez

“The SATIIM Case had to do with issues on oil exploration within the Sarstoon Temash National Park. It’s has four parts to it; two parts had to do with the Forestry Department, one had to do with the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations and the fourth had to do with activity that’s allowed within the national park. And the court, in the part that I believe the Prime Minister is referring to, is the section where the court made the decision that seismic testing, which is something that you do when you’re looking for oil, came under the definition of scientific research, which is allowed within a national park. Now, although we believe that that’s in the definition of scientific research, that was the decision. Seismic testing is only done when you’re looking for oil. It does not include when you start drilling for oil. That’s where we come into a belief that there is a misinterpretation by the prime minister of that decision.  We are contesting his statement that the court in the SATIIM decision, was saying that it’s okay to drill within the national park. We absolutely reject that as being any part of the SATIIM decision. We’d like to encourage everybody to sign the petition calling for a referendum and let the people across the country be heard; their opinions in terms of oil exploration and exploitation both offshore and within the protected areas of Belize.”

According to SATIIM, an environmental impact assessment was done in 2007, but it only covered “seismic activities associated with the exploration phase”. If Capital Energy intends to drill, another E.I.A. would have to be done.

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6 Responses for “BELPO President believes P.M. misinterpreted Court Ruling”

  1. Ace says:

    The lay man accusing the best lawyer in Belize of not knowing the Law who shud we think is right?

  2. Lindsay Howard says:

    Candy Gonzalez is also a lawyer, and who says Dean Barrow is the best lawyer in Belize, anyway? He represented SATTIM , remember? He thought THEY were right when he was their lawyer. Now, he’s against them. Which of his positions is correct? Read the decision and make up your own mind.

  3. Justice says:

    Ace , who is the best lawyer? I think you meant liar. There is no way he is the best Lawyer. You need to understand and know certain things before you can make such a statement as in a court of law you would have no grounds!

  4. REGGIE says:

    BEST LAWYER CAN BE STUPID 2.EVERYTIME YOU READ ABOUT PM HE IS FINDING A WAY TO DESTROY THE COUNTRY.WHEN LOST YOU READ ABOUT HIM SAY WE HAVE A NEW COMPANY COMING TO BELIZE TO INVEST.EVERYTHING IS COMPANY COMING TO BELIZE TO TAKE OUT.SHAME ON YOU.MAKE MUCH OF IT UR TIME WILL COME

  5. daveyt says:

    It’s already a done deal then. Money has changed hands in Belmopan, and the drilling will take place. Say godbye to another national tresure, in favour of Black Gold.

    You look at Nigeria. Same thing will happen here.

  6. Earl Grey says:

    and…..IF PUSH COMES TO SHOVE -

    WE MAY HAVE TO RESORT TO SOME “GREEN-PEACE” ACTION TO PROTECT OUR HOME.

    WE WILL NOT GIVE UP WITHOUT A FIGHT.

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