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Midway village leaders say they are in favor of oil drilling

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Midway village

Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014. 4:16 pm CST.

Midway village

Midway village

Wednesday, August 20, 2014. JUAN CAAL Reporting: Midway village, one of the Maya buffer communities near the Sarstoon Temash National Park, has expressed support for oil drilling by U.S. Capital Energy.

At a meeting hosted by the Toledo District Association of Village Councils held on Tuesday afternoon, the leaders of Midway said that they were never against oil drilling and that they had been misrepresented by what they called “third parties who did not or never consulted the community in representing the community with their consent.”

DAVCO meeting

DAVCO meeting

During the course of the meeting, the villagers of Midway made it clear that they were in support of oil exploration from the very first day but the message that was sent to the government of saying no was just based on assumption.

Community leaders of Midway spoke about concerns about benefits to be derived from drilling for oil and about what share of the proceeds will actually go back to the community.

President of DAVCO Toledo Gabriel Edwards says that to date, only about ten more communities are yet to be consulted in the current series that the umbrella organization is conducting.

Edwards says that DAVCO is prepared to take the necessary steps in ensuring that the voice of the 52 communities will be considered and that “our team is prepared to negotiate on their behalf based on their voice.”

The issue of royalties from oil revenues is a topic of discussion by buffer communities of the Sarstoon Temash National Park where U.S. Capital Energy has a permit to drill for oil.

On Tuesday, residents of Midway expressed their desire to place their trust and confidence in DAVCO to represent them on the way forward, saying that they are not ready for anymore misrepresentations.

That is a major shift as Midway village has traditionally looked to the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, for representation.

 

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