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Environmental warrior Candy Gonzales passes away

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Posted: Monday, May 25, 2020. 3:34 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Candy Gonzales, the American lawyer who made Belize her home and took up the cause of fighting institutional giants such as BECOL/Fortis and the Department of the Environment (DOE) over the sustainability of local water sources, passed away at age 75 today in her home in San Ignacio.

She was the president of the Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO), which filed a claim against the DOE for not enforcing its Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) regulations in the case of the infamous Chilillo dam. She held firm in her fight against the deteriorating water-related and socio-economic conditions caused by the dam.

“You may never say thank you to Candy for the fact that she fought to keep your rivers and potable water clean and safe. But each time you swim in the Macal or see the notice not to eat the fish due to high levels of mercury … silently thank Candy for fighting to ensure environmental compliance,” attorney and friend, Audrey Matura wrote on Facebook.

She supported and helped with the People’s Referendum and was an avid champion against offshore oil drilling and fracking in onshore oil exploration.

Candy and her husband of 48 years, George, had also written a number of published articles on the Belize-Guatemala territorial conflict and participated in a number of local environmental initiatives. She had resided in Belize for the last 26 years and also served on the board of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC).

 

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