Tensions have risen following the April 3 ruling of Justice Michelle Arana that requires Government to consult the Maya people of Southern Toledo District prior to any attempt to continue exploratory work inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park.
Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) says this applies to the current permit which expires on April 30; U.S. Capital Energy which is responsible for the work believes it does not. On April 8, Cabinet approved the extension of U.S. Capital’s permit to continue works inside the protected area.
Attorney General Wilfred Elrington provided legal counsel on the matter, advising that the recent judgment does not apply to an existing permit; more specifically, U.S. Capital’s concession to drill for oil within the Sarstoon-Temash National Park. SATIIM, believing it should have been consulted, has now filed an application for a Post-Judgment Injunction to restrain the Government of Belize from renewing, extending and/or issuing an extension of US Capital Energy’s Permit dated 30th April, 2013.
In a press release it says that the application is one of the two actions unanimously agreed to by the communities’ leaders at their meeting on Friday April 11th, 2014 – but does not mention the other.
SATIIM’s allies have refused to meet with U.S. Capital representatives to review the judgment.