By Aaron Humes: Vice President of Oceana Belize, Senator Janelle Chanona, this afternoon announced a signature petition drive asking Belizeans whether they wish to proceed with an official referendum to be consulted on plans to proceed with seismic testing prior to offshore oil exploration.
According to Chanona, she was personally told by Prime Minister John Briceño that the Government was interested in such activities as far back as September 9.
Despite a still-valid moratorium on such exploration, Chanona noted that this can be reversed and that the Blue Bond Agreement’s language does not explicitly rule out oil exploration as this was a “deal-breaker” for Government.
For these and many other reasons, Chanona says the issue should be returned to the Belizean people. In 2012 after a petition for a referendum on the topic failed, a “People’s Referendum” obtained a wide, though unofficial, majority against any activity related to oil exploration.
You can contact OCEANA to lend your support at its office in Belmopan and through agents countrywide.