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Mar 27, 2014

SATIIM’s Greg Ch’oc responds to US Capital’s claim

According to Ch’oc, the injunction has been a secondary issue because SATIIM believes that it will gain more grounds on the primary matter which is its challenge against government to affirm the customary land rights held by the indigenous community.  He also took the liberty to respond to U.S. Capital’s claim that it is all about money.

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Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director, SATIIM

“We were informed that the court will issue a ruling on Thursday, next week, on the substantive matters that got ventilated in the court last year October, twenty-second and twenty-third.  Having learned of that we adjourned the application for injunction that we filed until the date when the court will issue the ruling which is Thursday.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“There is a bold claim being made by the attorney for U.S. Capital that at the bottom of all of this it is about money, dollar and cents, in terms of what profit or what percentage the leadership of the Maya community would receive should U.S. Capital find oil in the Sarstoon-Temash.  Any response?”

 

Greg Ch’oc

Greg Ch’oc

“You know, it is too easy to simplify the struggle of the poorest sector of this country.  It’s too easy for anyone in high power to characterize and misjudge the principle and the foundation of this struggle of the communities.  But having said what he said, I want to clear here that everybody deserves to live in dignity.  Everybody deserves their rights, that is guaranteed by the constitution of this country to be affirmed and to be taken into account in any undertaking, whether it’s done by government, whether it is done by private sector or any individual.  No one should be denied those rights.  So, if asking for, or asking to ensure environmental justice is too much, if asking for respects of the rights of indigenous people is too much, if asking for respect for the rule of law is too much, if asking to ensure economic equality is too much then it speaks a lot of the mindset of those who lead this country because all of those that I just described are grounded in the constitution of this country and that’s what we have been fighting for.  We want to uphold and everyone to uphold the laws of this country and I think that we will not stop until we achieve those rights guaranteed by the constitution.”

 

Reporter

“Are you concerned that the court has deferred injunction issue for yet another week?  What are your thoughts?”

 

Greg Ch’oc

“Well we have maintained that what U.S. Capital Energy is undertaking in the park, they are doing it on their own risk.  These are live matters before the court.  So we feel that Thursday, and it’s one of the main issues why we adjourned the injunction last year because we want the substantive claim that we are positive that the Court of Appeal has upheld that those lands belong to the community, so we are confident that we will gain more grounds on the substantive claim.”

 

SATIIM is being represented by Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay.

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