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U.S. Capital Belize Corp and southern communities sign Consent Agreement for oil exploration resumption

Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2023. 4:00 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: U.S. Capital Belize Corporation and 4 communities in Southern Belize have signed a consent agreement.

The agreement follows a year of dialog between the company and the communities along with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Department of the Environment.

In 2016, the company halted operations after the Caribbean Court of Justice issued a Consent Order confirming Maya’s customary land rights.

With the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent Agreement, the villages of Midway, San Felipe, Boom Creek, and Crique Sarco signed the agreement for oil exploration in their communities.

Representative of U.S. Capital, Daniel Gutierrez said the company, the Government of Belize and the communities have signed the agreements.

“Essentially what this is under the free prior and informed consent that is now necessary in certain communities in southern Belize it is mandated that there be an agreement with the communities prior to the commencement of any petroleum-related activities. So that is what has happened over the past year plus, a number of consultations that deal with everything from employment to what people can expect to see, what are oil and gas operations, what they’re not, etc. And only after that lengthy process and a series of discussions and clarifications to the communities, have the communities finally decided to enter a consent agreement and thereby provide consent to U.S. Capital and the Government of Belize to undertake oil exploration activities,” he said.

Chairman of San Felipe, Juan Ack said that they hope to see development within their community and enjoy social programs.

 

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