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Cristina Coc

Cristina Coc

Cristina Coc

Tuesday, July 29, 2014. JUAN CAAL Reporting: The Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association say they will continue to advocate for benefits to buffer communities around the Sarstoon Temash National Park.

That is where U.S. Capital Energy will commence drilling for oil next month.  The MLA and the TAA issued a press statement on Monday saying that they will continue “working to engage U.S. Capital in a productive fashion.”

Cristina Coc is the spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance.

Coc says the Maya communities are not saying no to oil, but they need assurances that any oil production in the Sarstoon Temash National Park will cause the least impact and that the communities will get their fair share of benefits.

The MLA spokesperson says that the Supreme Court recommended consultation with the buffer communities is still elusive as there has not been any response to communications sent to government inviting them to dialogue.

Cristina Coc says that the Maya Leaders Alliance and other interested parties will not just sit idly by and wait.

Coc says that the MLA and TAA are grateful for a recent tour of the drill site which was afforded them by U.S. Capital Energy.

She points out that while that tour included discussions about safety while heavy machinery is moved into place to facilitate the drilling process, those discussions were never about or intended to be the consultation called for in the Supreme Court ruling as that consultation will have to include the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, which has been the traditional representative of the Maya communities.

“We have long gone past the question if we want oil drilling what we want to know now is what will be our benefits on all the resource they will be extracting from our resources,” says Coc.

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