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Nov 28, 2022

Audrey Matura Still Undecided on Offshore Oil Drilling Discourse

Over the past few weeks, the conversation of offshore oil drilling resurfaced. OCEANA’s Vice President in Belize, Janelle Chanona launched a petition drive to trigger a referendum on offshore oil drilling and in that same vein, the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement saying that it has not entered into any agreements for seismic studies nor for oil exploration in offshore areas.  And while it may seem as though OCEANA Belize has jumped the gun, Chanona believes that a referendum is the best way for Belizeans to state their collective position on the matter. Over the weekend, the media caught up with former VP of OCEANA Belize, Audrey Matura, who had organized a people’s referendum that voted against offshore oil drilling.  While, back then, it was not government sanctioned, G.O.B. placed a moratorium on any activity of the kind.  With the resurgence of this issue, Matura says that she has yet to weigh-in on the matter.


Audrey Matura

Audrey Matura, Founder, Moving Ahead Together

“Before I get into that debate, I want to make it clear that my position will always be that there should be no offshore drilling. I want to hear the government’s explanation. I know Janelle is up for a big task. I want to be sure what Janelle’s personal role is – not only as VP, because she is presently a board of director members of B.E.L.  B.E.L. is one of those places, along with Fortis, that has raped our resources.  You can’t be saying you don’t want offshore drilling, but we have a contract with Fortis that they have all rights over our resources, our river – that they now want to have monopoly on all energy existence. Offshore oil is related to energy; there is a lot of politics and dynamics. So I want to look at the individuals first, to see what is their conflict of interests, to see what is their personal agenda, to find our who is getting paid in different positions because that matters.  When I was at OCEANA, I was accused of getting all kind of things, and I know I didn’t. So these are people who hold offices; I want to know all the players. So while my personal position and principle will remain, whose bandwagon I jump on or where I stand has to be properly researched and properly figured out for myself.”

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