Justice Arana hears SATIIM and Maya communitie challenge to Government of Belize’s oil contract with US Capital Energy

Punta Gorda: Friday October 25th, 2013: 

The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the four Maya Q’eqchi communities’ case concluded on Wednesday October 23rd, 2013, before Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana.  SATIIM, Midway, Conejo Creek, Crique Sarco and Graham Creek filed the claim on July 22, 2013, after the Government of Belize approved an environmental compliance plan (ECP) and provided a permit for US Capital Energy to drill for oil. SATIIM and the four Maya communities contend that the Government violates their rights to Free Prior and Informed Consent as customary land owners when it granted US Capital Energy the green light to drill on Maya ancestral lands and inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park; territory which also forms part of Maya ancestral lands.  SATIIM and the four communities’ legal counsel argued in court that the EIA consultation process cannot be a substitute for the State’s obligation to obtain the Indigenous Peoples’ Free Prior and Informed Consent as required by domestic and international laws. SATIIM, as legal representative of the four indigenous communities, and the members of the communities maintained that they were never consulted. Justice Arana reserved her ruling for a date to be announced. 

    

Media reports on the hearing:

Text transcript- http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/91689#

Video-  http://vimeo.com/77558462?

Text transcript- http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=26860&frmsrch=1

Video- http://vimeo.com/77557942

http://amandala.com.bz/news/maya-gob-hearing-due-tuesday/

Text transcript- http://www.plustvbelize.com/news/satiim-challenges-gob-over-oil-drilling-in-national-park/

http://amandala.com.bz/news/petroleum-rights-trump-land-rights/