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Sattiim did not win the case Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 29 May 2014 00:00

On April 3, Justice Michelle Arana passed judgment on a case in which SATIIM took the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy to court claiming that these two had violated environmental law which protect the Sartsoon Temash National Park as well as they violated the Maya's customary land rights to these lands.

At the time both parties claimed that the judgment was in their favor, on one hand the GOB and U.S. Capital explained that the company could drill in the national park since the permits to do so were not struck down and were deemed legal. For its part SATIIM claimed that the judge had told the government that before any exploration is done permission needed to be sought from the Maya people.

Well those positions were maintained up until a couple of weeks ago when the order was to have been perfected. In perfecting the order, attorneys generally reach common ground on interpreting the judge's ruling and the order is thereafter perfected. That was not the case on this matter and the Judge, Michelle Arana, perfected the order since consensus could not be reached. The perfection of the order maintained that U.S. Capital was not in breach of any of the laws. She went on to explain that Government now needs to engage in good faith attempts to seek consent from the Mayas. The government has commenced with that exercise and it is being well received.

The perfecting of the order has sent SATIIM into a tailspin one that they are unable to recover from. This has now the principal of the organization Greg Ch'oc threatening all manner of civil disobedience. What he and his attorney did not want to make public is the fact that the court ruling was never in their favor and all along they were misinterpreting what the judge had said.

The bottom line is that Government should enter into consultations with the Mayas but it does not mean that permission needs to be sought from them for oil exploration to take place in the national park.