Toledo West Representative Clarifies FPIC Statement
Area Representative for Toledo West, Oscar Requena, says he may have been misinterpreted in his call for the implementation of the Free Prior Informed Consent Protocol (“FPIC) to be sped up. Last weekend, during an inauguration ceremony in Indian Creek Village, Requena made a statement that may have ruffled some feathers. He explained that through “FPIC” a solar project as able to be launched in the community. The protocol affirms that GOB consults with the Mayan people before proceeding with initiatives or projects that may affect the Maya villages’ rights on their land, territory, and resources. Today, Requena clarified his statement but commented on whether the protocol hinders development in the communities.
Oscar Requena, Minister of Labour: “I guess it was misinterpreted in terms of when I said speeding up. I did not necessarily mean bypassing any part of the process but rather what I meant is that in some communities the process is started and then it is stalled, it is delayed. I believe that what has to be done is once the process is started you know that there is a carry through that you go through every single step because at the end of the day let’s be real FPIC is important. That is now the standard that is the norm to deal with our Mayan communities so we have accepted that and we are implementing the FPIC but I believe that we also want to ensure that development is not stalled and as such you know once the process is started I believe that it should be carried through providing that it does not infringe on anybody’s rights in terms of moving it forward.”