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Apr 15, 2014

N.G.O.s support SATIIM’s application for yet another injunction to stop oil drilling

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Across the environmental community, organizations are lending full support to the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. SATIIM, as well as the five Mayan communities, has proceeded to file an application for an injunction to prevent the Government of Belize from extending a permit granted to U.S. Capital Energy for exploratory work within the Sarstoon-Temash National Park.  The motion comes on the heels of a recent statement made by Attorney General, Wilfred Elrington, that cabinet has met to discuss an extension of the contract which expires at the end of the month.  Today, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization, APAMO, issued a release calling on government to rescind the company’s permit, stating, “APAMO is in full support of SATIIM’s application for a post-judgment injunction and impending ‘on the ground‘ actions to restrain U.S. Capital Energy Belize Ltd. from conducting oil drilling in the Sarstoon Temash National Park.” Late this afternoon, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage also issued a statement condemning the extension of the oil exploration permit.  The outpour of support, as we’ve mentioned, follows this statement made by Minister Elrington on Friday.

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Attorney General [File: April 11th, 2014]

“I don’t think the extension is a contentious matter.  I read the judgment of Madame Justice Arana, her judgment was very clear and it was evident to me that she had given very careful thought to the matter.  The crux of the matter was that the Maya [Leaders] Alliance and SATIIM were suggesting that because the administrator had granted the licenses without prior consultation with the Mayas, the licenses were defective.  She agreed to that point but she said that notwithstanding the fact that the licenses were defective, in fact, the administrator had the authority to do it the only defect was in the procedure, it was not done in the manner contemplated by the judgments that had gone before in relation to this matter.  And so, she said deliberately that she would not determine that they should not be proceeded with they are going to remain alive because she understands very clearly the importance of in fact the petroleum industry to Belize, what it would mean if in fact we can find substantial oil and she also appreciates the fact that an inordinate amount of money has been spent in the process.  I am told that it is in excess of twenty million dollars.   So she deliberately decided that she would not stop it midstream but she said in effect, as far as I understand the judgment, that any further licenses that is requested must be complied, must be granted only after compliance with the procedure as articulated by earlier decisions, which means that if there is a new application for a license then it has to be granted only after consultation with SATIIM and the other parties that are involved.  So I don’t see personally, I don’t think from the spirit of the decision, when you read it as a whole and the issues that she considers, as well as what she actually said, there is nothing to have prevented an extension of a current, live license.  The license at this point in time is current, it is live.  She could have shut it down at that point but she said no, I’m not going to do that because they have already spent so much money and this industry means so much to Belize.”

 

News Five understands that a hearing date will be scheduled in the Supreme Court immediately following the Easter break.

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1 Response for “N.G.O.s support SATIIM’s application for yet another injunction to stop oil drilling”

  1. Ali Babarrow sez Belize is #3 on murder! says:

    Sedi is senile.

    Go Choc!!

    Keep fighting the good fight for the future, against the corruption.
    Believe that justice will prevail against Ali and the 40.
    A house of cards that will bring civil war to Belize.

    What is Ali’s bragging rights? Belize is #3 for murders, criminals run the streets and the government.
    PUP is impotent and possible co-conspirators taking a break, out done by UDP, criminal masters.

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