Damming the Forest II: More Information on the Controversial New Dam in Southern Belize
Ya'axche conservation trust, co-managers of the Bladen Nature Reserve, have recently released a series of videos on the controversial dam project that has been moving forward in Southern Belize. Many Maya communities rely exclusively on the river to be dammed as their only source of drinking water, and as their sole resource for bathing and cleaning. The videos have some great footage of the river along with people using it. We also see community meetings in which the elected area representative is on camera claiming that he had no knowledge of the agreement between the Belizean government and the company building the dam. Further, no one in the villages on and near the river were notified about the proposed dam. This secret agreement allows the company to own, build, and operate the dam for 15 years with an optional 10 year extension. Fact-finding trips into the reserve have found bulldozers, clearings, and camps being used by the construction company. The company has opened almost 16 miles of roadway into the reserve. Ya'axche is claiming it will fight the dam and take it to the Supreme Court if necessary. The video is in three 10-minute segments, the first of which is posted, with links to the next two following.