Referendum Says No to Belize Offshore Oil Exploration


Yesterday was a busy day for the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage as they held the People’s Referendum, as a way to give a voice to many who were silenced when signatures were rejected from a petition to host a national referendum. People came out by the numbers to vote and the results were released today at a press conference in the front yard of the OCEANA Belize office. Ninety six percent of the twenty nine thousand two hundred and thirty five voters came out, voted no to offshore oil drilling while the remaining four percent voted yes. Vice President for OCEANA Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd went more in detail with the results at the conference this morning.
Audrey Matura Shepherd – Vice President, Oceana Belize
“We had 143 spoilt ballots and 25 missing and this may sound funny but apparently people got the ballots and walked away with it, I wonder if those were the mischievous operatives. 25 ballots went missing. For the Corozal District what we had, we had a total of 3,501 voters came out and that is only in the District itself because a lot of them did vote in San Pedro or Belize City where they live or work. There we had 98% of the people of Corozal say no to offshore drilling and 1.5% said yes, that .5% may have accounted for spoilt or missing ballots. In the Stann Creek District we had a total 3,721 voters went out to cast their vote, 95% of them said no to offshore drilling, 4% said yes. In Caye Caulker we had 478 registered voters went out to cast their vote, of those 97.2% said no to offshore drilling and 1.8% said yes. In San Pedro 2,725 persons cast their votes, of those 98% of said no to offshore drilling, 1.5% said yes. In Cayo, those people love their politics, listen to this number, 4,984 people went out to cast their vote and of those 95% of those said no to offshore drilling and 2.7% said yes. In the Belize District we had the largest amount of course, we had 9,463 voters went out to cast their vote and listen to this number , 97% of them said no offshore drilling, loud and clear and 3% said yes, also loud and clear. In Orange Walk again another place that loves their politics, listen to this number, 3,356 people went out to cast their vote and they only had three polls in Orange Walk and of those 97% said no to offshore drilling and 1.9% said yes and finally, this one is alarming too, Toledo; 1,007, we couldn’t get the polls we had to bring the people out and of those 94% of them said absolutely no offshore drilling and 5.6% said yes, so those are the figures.”
Matura-Shepherd says that this is just the beginning of the fight against offshore oil drilling.
My Hero for Today is Mr. Pan he is from the village of Dolores. He got up at 1 AM start walking at 1:30 AM to the village of Otoxa so he can catch the 3:30 bus to PG so he can vote against offshore drilling. He voted and catch the 1130 bus back to Otoxa then he will walk again another two hours or so to get home. Thats my hero for today!
Wil Maheia