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May 21, 2014

SATIIM rejects G.O.B.’s oil agenda in the south

During a press conference held on Tuesday in the Toledo District, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, as well as the claimant communities who have been party to the ongoing litigation against the Government and U.S. Capital Energy, a call was made once again for the G.O.B. to comply with the order of the Supreme Court.  Last month, Justice Michelle Arana reaffirmed the rights of the indigenous community over communal lands.  The judgment stated that the activities of U.S Capital within the Sarstoon Temash National Park were being conducted without the free, prior and informed consent of the Mayas. SATIIM Executive Director says that the Mayan community also rejects G.O.B.’s oil agenda in the south.

 

Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director, SATIIM

Greg Ch’oc

“We, on this day, reassert our inherent right to self-determination as indigenous people under international law.  We will not stop or be deterred from achieving this objective.  We demand an immediate halt to the violation of our internationally and nationally recognized right, including the planned destruction of our livelihood which we condemn as a form of cultural genocide.  We call on the Government of Belize to respect the laws of this country and order of its court by immediately recognizing and protecting the ancestral customary rights of our people to their lands, territories and natural resources.  In cases where our lands have been expropriated, the Government of Belize must rapidly return these lands to us, along with full and just compensation to be agreed upon through a transparent, participatory and culturally appropriate process.  We categorically reject the Government of Belize’s oil development agenda which will lead to the expulsion of our people from our rightfully held land and territories and condemn us to further discrimination, exclusion and impoverishment.  We demand that the Government of Belize comply with the order of the Supreme Court by obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of our community.”

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