The Voice of Guanacaste has as new project: The Voice Fact Checking. It’s a space where we check public speeches made by mayors, representatives and regents in the province.
We are going to corroborate whether or not what officials say is based on facts and verifiable data.
In order to do so, a team from The Voice of Guanacaste will cover and record city council meetings to determine whether statements made are false, debatable or true.
We will focus on Cañas and Bagaces during the first phase, but we don’t discard checking officials from other cities in the province.
Emiliana García, director of The Voice of Guanacaste said that The Voice Fact Checking seeks to improve debate within our provinces’ city halls
“Thanks to The Voice Fact Checking, we will be providing truthful information that will help communities understand the decision made by council members and improve the efficiency of city resources,” García said.
The Voice Fact Checking is possible thanks to a grant from Organization of American States non-profit organization Trust for the Americas.
Voice of Guanacaste journalists have witnessed city council members and mayors in Guanacaste make decisions based on incorrect information.
For example, in September 2017, Liberia’s mayor said that it’s not their responsibility to collect trash at the entrance of the Iguanita national wildlife refuge. The Voice of Guanacaste verified this and found that what the mayor said was false. When we asked the health ministry about it, they issued an order to the city to start collecting the trash.
In February 2018, The Voice of Guanacaste found false and deceitful statements made by Nicoya city council members. We found that the city council of Nicoya ignored orders of their own legal advisor to stop paying the mayor’s salary. The mayor is suspended for a year, but still receives his salary. The mistake was made because city council members didn’t understand stipulations in the Labor Law.
With The Voice Fact Checking, we seek to underscore the value of verifiable information as a contribution to the development of Cañas y Bagaces.