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Jun 5, 2014

Greg Ch’oc Speaks on Perfected Order

On April third, Justice Michelle Arana handed down her judgment in the case of SATIIM et al versus the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy. SATIIM sought an injunction against G.O.B. and the company to stop exploratory and pre-drilling activities within the national park. You would think that the judgment would have settled the matter, but it hasn’t. And a subsequent perfected order issued by Justice Arana seems to have made it worse. The crux of the problem is this – the first order directed the Government of Belize to obtain free, prior and informed consent with respect to any permit or license within the national park. The perfected order directs government to seek to obtain free, prior and informed consent. Today, a visibly angry Greg Ch’oc told News Five that in the end, it doesn’t even matter what the order was because there is really no rule of law in Belize.

 

Greg Choc, Executive Director, SATIIM

Greg Cho'c

“The court going back on its original order is rather unfortunate and a travesty of justice in this country. That’s not what Article thirty-two of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People says. So while the Court has the discretion in perfecting an order, what I have been told is that it is supposed to only clarify the order. So the order of Justice Arana has been globally circulated, and that order is what it was when it was handed to us on April third, 2014.”

 

Reporter

“And is it a disadvantage to SATIIM and the whole issue because the perfected order says that they must make good faith efforts to seek and not necessarily obtain…”

 

Greg Choc

“It is neither here nor there for us because we have concluded that there is absolutely no rule of law in this country. So we could have gotten a case where, or an order where the US Capital permit was quashed, and I know that they would still be there right now. So it doesn’t really matter.”

 

Reporter

“So if there’s no rule of law anything is justified. Will your organization take any means necessary?”

 

Greg Choc

“I won’t disclose at this point. I will leave it as it is. But we have a case on the sixteenth and we will see where it goes from there. I don’t want to be bashing the court, but if the Prime Minister of this country can do that, a poor person seeking justice before the court I think also has that right. The majority of the community believes that there is certainly political influence in what has continue to transpire, whether it is in the court of dealing with US Capital’s permit…it’s there.”

 

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