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May 20, 2014

Is DAVCO creating division within the Mayan communities?

Greg Ch’oc

There is a serious charge being made tonight that the District Association of Village Councils which convened a meeting in Toledo over the weekend is creating division within the Mayan communities in the south, amid the ongoing issue of oil exploration within the Sarstoon Temash National Park.  Village leaders are being asked by DAVCO representatives to garner the approval of residents for oil exploration.  This proposition has been met with objection by Greg Ch’oc and the various Alcaldes in attendance today.

 

Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director, SATIIM

“We heard that there had been a meeting of the Village Council Chairpersons for Toledo district. It was only this morning that I learnt of that. But it seems to me and it is obvious to every community in the Toledo district that there is an effort paid for by Belizean taxpayers. Government has been sending out political operatives in the community to try to divide the community; to try to take one organization and put against the other organization. We are aware of that and I don’t think that it will impact the unity of the community. We have agreed on a strategy to implement that and we will be embarking on implementing that strategy. Some of the leaders of the larger Mayan community are here; the chairmen themselves have come because I have been made to understand that they were directed to get the consent of their communities for the government to extend US Capital Energy’s permit. But the leaders themselves are fully aware that they are only the voice of the community; they cannot go and make decisions alone without discussing these matters with their community. And some of them have actually asked us to be here; we’ve invited them…and these communities, what we did this morning was to have the community leaders share why they are engaging in this.”

 

We will have more on this ongoing development in Wednesday’s newscast.

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