A Government Press Release issued late this evening states that this morning Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow met with the Executive of the Toledo District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO) to discuss oil exploration in the south.
Both Hon Joy Grant, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities Senator AND Hon Lisel Alamilla, Minister in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. The release says that the villages in Toledo have pledged support for oil exploration.
“The association expressed their full support for the endeavor, citing its benefits to education, health and infrastructure in the Toledo District. Furthermore, all parties agreed that moving forward, communities will be engaged in a series of consultations to inform community residents and garner support.”
This meeting appears to pave the way for Government to move forward on its consultations with villagers in the south as ordered by Justice Arana in her Perfected Order issued April 3rd.
The first order directed the Government to obtain free, prior and informed consent with respect to any permit or license within the national park.
However, the perfected order directs government to SEEK to obtain free, prior and informed consent… that’s different.
DAVCO, as far as we could ascertain involves Chairpersons of Villages, but not Alcaldes, a tradition that runs strong in Mayan villages in the south.