Category: Chalillo Dam

Chalillo Dam dispute goes before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has given the government of Belize three months to respond to allegations filed 12 years ago by BELPO, an organization representing the Maya people and affected communities.

Still fighting for compliance: Belize’s Macal River

(April 5, 2014) A letter to the editor expresses concern at the lack of response from Belize authorities to environmental lawyer Candy Gonzalez’ public campaign for government bodies to implement a risk management program for the controversial Canadian-owned Chalillo dam on Belize’s Macal River. In particular, the monitoring and testing of mercury levels in fish caught in the Macal and E. coli levels in the river’s water. Writes concerned villager, John Tut: “It seems that the Government of Belize has once again abandoned the well-being and livelihood of the Cayo people in favour of the monstrous multinational company – BECOL [the non-regulated hydroelectric generation business that operates the Chalillo dam, a subsidiary of dam owner, Canadian company, Fortis, Inc.].”

Fighting for compliance again: Belize’s Macal River

(February 28, 2014) Candy and George Gonzalez from the Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO) — longtime champions of Belize’s Macal River and active monitors of the controversial Canadian-owned Chalillo dam and its impacts on the river — say they are again trying to press various Belize government departments to adhere to the Environmental Compliance Plan agreed to for the project. Under the plan, the Macal’s water and fish require regular testing and the results published to protect public health and safety. At present, the Gonzalez’s say public health is in danger from high mercury levels in fish caught in the Macal and high levels of E. coli in the river’s water, but the departments responsible for implementing the project’s risk management program are not doing their job.

NY regulators approve Fortis takeover of CH Energy, with advice to “understand our rules and regulations”

(June 13, 2013) The New York state Public Service Commission unanimously approved the $1.5 billion bid by Canadian-based Fortis Inc. to take over Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.’s parent company, CH Energy Group despite “fierce public hostility.” Commission Chairman Garry Brown warned Fortis to avoid looking at the local utility as a profit-generating holding. “Get to know New York,” he advised Fortis. “The way you may do things, business, elsewhere is not New York,” in a probable reference to Fortis’s controversial record of dam-building in Belize.

Fortis proposed buyout of NY utility jeopardized by corporate reputation

(June 12, 2013) As Canadian electric utility holding company Fortis Inc. awaits a decision on its proposed $1.5-billion buyout of New York’s CH Energy Group, a coalition of groups opposed to the takeover see Fortis’ past performance in Belize and British Columbia as a warning of what may lie in store for them. Probe International provides a round-up of reports on the controversy.