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Belize Votes Resounding No to Offshore Oil Drilling

The message could not be any clearer; Belizeans do not want Offshore Drilling in the country. This has been proven with the outcome of the People’s Referendum that asked the voting populace of Belize if they agreed with Offshore Drilling in the country. The voting took place on Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

Results from the People’s Referendum, organized by Oceana Belize and Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, indicate that 96% (28,208) voted NO, 4% (799) voted yes for Offshore Drilling out of a total of 29,235 overall voters.

Voting on the People's Referendum on issue of Offshore Drilling in Belize

In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye there were a total of 2,725 votes – *16 Ballots spoilt, 42 voted Yes, 1 Missing Ballot and 2,666 voted NO to Offshore Drilling in Belize! Organizers here in San Pedro, namely the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD), told Ambergris Today that they were very happy with the results of the voting.  Rebecca Arceo of the ACCSD stated that there was a very diverse group of people who came out to vote which included mothers, hotel workers, construction workers, taxi drivers and out district residents from Toledo, Stann Creek and Orange Walk who make San Pedro their home.

“It surprised me that people who arrived without their identification cards would rush home and come back to vote,” commented Rebecca Arceo. “This goes to show that people are very concerned for this issue and wanted to vote against offshore drilling in Belize.”

It was indicated that the voters were not being picked up from their homes like what happens during political elections; people were actually taking their time to vote on the issue, which speaks great about how Belizeans care for their country and environment.

Voting on the People's Referendum on issue of Offshore Drilling in Belize

Below are the nationwide results of the People’s Referendum on Offshore Drilling:
*51 polling stations countrywide
*29,235 Voters Nationwide

28,208 No – 96%
799 Yes – 4%
143 Spoiled Ballots
25 Missing Ballots

San Pedro 2,725 Votes
98% No (2,666)
1.5% Yes (42)
16 Spoilt

Corozal 3,501 Votes
98% NO (3,468)
1.52% Yes (53)
10 Spoilt

Stann Creek 3,721 Votes
95% No (3,549)
4% Yes (152)
2 Spoilt

Caye Caulker 478 Votes
97.2% No (465)
1.8% Yes (9)
4 Spoilt

Cayo 4,984 Votes
95% No (4,743)
2.7% Yes (136)
5 Spoilt

Belize District 9,463 Votes
97% No (9,142)
3% Yes (284)
58 Spoilt

Orange Walk 3,356 Votes
97% No (3,259)
1.9% Yes (66)
19 Spoilt

Toledo 1,007 Votes
94% No (946)
5.6% Yes (57)
22 Spoilt

What’s next? Vice President of Oceana Belize, Audrey Matura, says that the fight continues, but this is one great step in reaching the goal of stopping offshore oil drilling in the country.

“This is just the start of the momentum, stated Audrey Matura. “We have been working on this for two years now and we are not going to stop. What happens next all depends on what our new leaders are going to do after elections. We will stay together as a coalition to save our natural heritage and the fight will continue.”

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