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Jun 15, 2023

What’s the Latest on Proposed Seismic Testing in Southern Belize?

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

Last November, residents of Santa Rosa Village, Stann Creek gave written consent to the Free, Prior and Informed Consent, also known as the FPIC Agreement. The agreement indicates that Santa Rosa Village has given its consent for the Resilient Rural Belize Program to commence work in the community. For any activity to be implemented in areas where indigenous people occupy, the program has to implement the legally required process of the FPIC. Today, we asked Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia for an update on the progress of proposed seismic testing by US Capitol on Maya lands in southern Belize.


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Minister of Human Development

“We have been making progress in terms of what we call the FPIC Protocol. We filed it last year, well two years ago now. We are already in 2023. We filed it with the Caribbean Court of Justice, and we are doing our best to consult with all the Maya villages, whatever the project may be. At the moment we are still working with US Capital, the company that is proposing the oil drilling in terms of the initial seismic testing that they would have to do. We’re working with them and I think there are about seven affected villages and so far it seems to be going well. It’s taking a bit longer than all the parties had thought, even government, even Mr. King and his and his group of the US Capital, it’s taking longer than we had expected, but sometimes the meetings, it is very difficult to convene meetings with government, proponent and villagers. And so it’s, it takes long, but the update that I have is that it is moving along and we expect that there would be approval from the villages so that they can do the initial seismic testing, you know, and government is very committed to working with developers. We must develop the Toledo District, but we also know that we have to go a little bit softly because having filed the FPIC Protocol, we can’t run rough shod over anybody. We have to get people’s consent and approval and buy in for the development projects that are so needed. ”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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