BELIZE’S SUPREME COURT HAS begun hearings on two lawsuits filed by a coalition of environmental and business groups challenging the construction of the Chalillo dam and hydro project on the Macal River, near Chalillo in Belize. The suits charge that the project will destroy wildlife habitat located in a very pristine part of the rainforest in Central America.

The central American country gave conditional approval for the project, based on the recommendations of an Environmental Impact statement produced by a Canadian consulting engineering company.