This may be of interest to both people in Belize and around the world. It was copied from CBC NEWS ONLINE. I know that there are other posts concerning this project. Let's keep up the heat!! Gail
PROTESTERS GREET SHAREHOLDERS OF COMPANY BUILDING BELIZE DAM
WebPosted Wed May 15 17:20:01 2002
ST. JOHN'S --A small group of protesters stood in the rain outside a
hotel in St. John's Wednesday morning, speaking out against a hydro dam
project in Central America. FROM DISCLOSURE: The Dam Canadians
Shareholders making their way into the annual meeting of Fortis Inc. had
to make their way past demonstrators armed with pamphlets attacking the
company's Challilo Dam project in Belize.
Fortis, an electrical distribution and real estate conglomerate in
Newfoundland and Labrador, plans to build a hydro dam on the Macal
Proponents say the project would provide something the small country
bordering Mexico and Guatemala needs: a reliable source of energy at a
But the protesters say the real cost is too high.
The dam would flood nine square kilometres of environmentally sensitive
rain forest, drowning the habitats of vulnerable wildlife.
Eligorio Sho is a Maya Indian and naturalist who made the journey from
Belize to St. John's to take part in the demonstration.
Sho studies the rare scarlet macaw. There are about 1,000 of the birds
left in the world, and about one-quarter of them live in Belize.
FROM CBC ST. JOHN'S: Challilo Coverage on Community Radio
He says when the floods come, the macaw will have no place to nest.
"How far that nest is going to go under the water? It's going to go
under the water 150 feet," he said. "All the food source from the river
for those wildlife – not only scarlet macaw, but we have jaguar, we
have tapir, we have crocodile, we have king fisher. They feed on those
trees you know.
"Where are they going to go?"
The protest ended once all the shareholders had gone inside. But the
protesters said they'll continue to raise public awareness about the dam
and its impact.
Many of the shareholders said they don't know what to think, but some
want to hear what the environmentalists have to say.
"All I want to find out is if they are for real or what we are doing is
either right or wrong," said Henrietta Ellis. "Because believe me, I'm
for the environment."
Stan Marshall, the head of Fortis, says it's up to the government of
Belize to determine on the future of the proposed dam.
But environmentalist groups such as the Sierra Club disagree, saying the
courts will decide if the proposed dam can go ahead or not. Two separate
lawsuits are set to begin in June.
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