Many voters in Belize are still undecided on how they will vote on April 10, 2019 in the ICJ Referendum. Several high ranking officials and politicians including the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno have gone public to say they will be voting in favor of taking Guatemala’s claim on Belize to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On the other hand, there are many who oppose going to the court for various reasons ranging from fear, arrogance, political divides, among other factors. The Government of Belize is presently conducting an education campaign and as part of that campaign they held a trainer of trainers session yesterday. Ardelle Sabido, Director of the Referendum Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the aim is to provide accurate information to have voters make an informed decision.
Ardelle Sabido – Director of Referendum Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “It is a training that is conducted particularly to give information to people who have expressed interest in sharing the information with the general public. So the representatives who are participating today are representatives from the various NGO communities and leaders in their own right, in their own sphere of influence. So we have members from the BAR Association, we have the National Garifuna Council, we have the Senator for the NGO’s and it’s all about getting information out, it’s all about preparing people for the referendum on April 10th 2019 next year. The concept is basically a train the trainers; so you have teachers, you have people who can consolidate information and get it out. This is a whole day session so this is a whole session dealing with the just the history, whole session dealing with the history of the negotiations, whole session dealing with what the ICJ is, the past cases and the concept is to conduct the presentations that we have been doing to be able to speak to the press for example, to be able to speak to schools, speak to students and to get the information out so that everybody has facts because there is a great perpetuation of misconceptions out there, inaccuracies in terms of the history, inaccuracies in terms of the law and we want to be able to have everybody be clear in their mind exactly what their voting for; #1 what that means, what that represents.”
The training was held at the Best Western Plus Biltmore Plaza Hotel.