The victory thought to have been won by Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) in April of this year, where Justice Michelle Arana ordered the Government to enter into good faith negotiations with the Maya communities in the buffer zone of the Park before allowing U.S. Capital Energy to continue work in the area, appears to be watered down.
A perfected version of the court order released last week shows that Justice Arana made a very important edit, in which Government is now asked to “seek to obtain free, prior, and informed consent.”
The normally mild-mannered executive director of SATIIM, Gregory Ch’oc, let loose with a tightly controlled display of frustration at what he says is a stacked deck.
“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 also has that right. The majority of the community believe that there is certain influence, politically in what has continued to transpire, whether it is in the court or in dealing with U.S. Capital Energy’s permit…it is there!
But Mr. Ch’oc says this does affect their plans going forward.
Mr. Gregory Ch’oc: “It is neither here or 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 U.S. Capital’s permit was squashed; I know that they it would still be there now. So, it doesn’t really matter”.
Reporter: “So, if there is no rule of law, anything is justified; any organization take any means necessary?”
Mr. Gregory Ch’oc: “I won’t disclose at this point. So, I will leave it as it is, but we have a case on the 16th and we will see where it goes from there”.