Colom defends decision on oil field in park


Despite legal challenges from green groups and criticism from within his own government, Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom is defending his recent decision to extend for 15 years the Anglo-French oil company Perenco’s oil concession in a national park in northern Guatemala. Colom touched off the controversy on July 22 when he extended an oil concession originally granted in 1985 in an area that five years later became the Laguna del Tigre National Park. Last month’s decision, affecting an area known as the Xan oil field, drew outrage from environmentalists. They charge that Colom has set a dangerous precedent for the country’s park system and for the Unesco-sponsored Maya Biosphere Reserve, which includes Laguna del Tigre and three other national parks in the northern... [Log in to read more]

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