January 31, 2002
Fortis/BECOL attempts to subvert court's decision: BACONGO files application for injunction

After the Chief Justice's decision on December 19, Fortis/BECOL (the dam proponent) rushed ahead to subvert the decision by announcing it would go ahead with construction immediately and would hold its own "public information sessions".  The Department of Environment and Fortis/BECOL announced that a hearing would be held on January 16, 2003.  The "hearing" was dominated by presentations by the developer, and members of the public were allowed no more than 3 minutes each to make presentations.  Belizean groups, and their supporters, will press for a fair and thorough inquiry to fully expose this project to public scrutiny.

It is clear from a further order issued by the judge, which clarifies the procedure for a hearing, that the hearings planned by Fortis/BECOL and the government do not conform to the court's order.

The Belize Alliance of Conservation NGO's filed an application before Belize's Appeals court for an injunction to stop any construction on the project until the appeal of BACONGO's case is heard, in order to avoid irreversible damage to the environment.  The Appeals court will decide in March on this action to halt dam construction.


Government/Fortis-BECOL "Hearing" and Company "Information Session" announcement side by side (click to view)

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