Dear Friends of the Macal River Valley,
This morning, the Privy Council in London announced their split (3-2)
decision denying BACONGO's appeal against approval of the Chalillo dam
in Belize. The decision can be downloaded from the Privy Council
or the StopFortis site.
While court's decision was disappointing and minimized key concerns,
including the dam site geology, there was a strongly-worded dissent
which made three things clear:
* Fortis and the government of Belize were not honest with the courts.
* Fortis was wrong about the geology at the dam site (it is not
* The Belizean public has a right to the truth about the dam site
before a decision is made.
We have attached a news release with further details. This is a real
setback in efforts to save the Macal River Valley, and unfortunate for
the wildlife in the Macal River Valley, as we understand that hundreds
of people working for the Chinese contractor have been hunting
indiscriminately in the area.
We also understand that the company has been unable to find an adequate
source of granite to make into concrete to pour at the site, and that
further foundation problems at the site have slowed construction. The
company has cut 300 feet further into the hill than originally
planned--apparently in search of more stable foundations for the right
We are asking Fortis and the government now to:
*Come clean about the current status and plans for the project.
*Disclose the additional costs that will be associated with trying to
find aggregate source for concrete
*Allow independent inspections of the wildlife and of wildlife poaching
Ultimately we still hope that Fortis abandons this project to avoid even
further damage to the wildlife and environment, and the risks to
downstream populations in Belize. We are prepared to work with the
government to create alternative energy sources that better serve the
people of Belize.
Thank you all for your continued support and help in telling the world
about this misguided dam project,
for the Coalition to Save the Macal River Valley, Belize