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BDF to Build Fence at Western Border Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 May 2018 00:00

The Government of Belize has issued a press release stating that “The BDF Light Engineers will be working in conjunction with the Border Management Agency to improve the fences and gates to ensure better control at that official crossing point.” The decision to improve the fence comes from the need for effective border management and flow of traffic, which have sometimes been hard tasks to accomplish. Felix Enriquez, CEO, Ministry of National Security, comments that “For some time now there has been a general policy in place and a strategy to improve the way how things are managed at the border and while it is a national security issue, it is fundamentally to be managed by the Border Management Agency.  Now we’ve seen a lot of it happen up north, but the Benque Border has been neglected for some time and what happened is, we’re seeing an increase of activity in terms of the throughput of people passing to and fro.” According to Said Guerra, Director of International Affairs, it is in this light that the project of upgrading the fence came about; to improve security.

While the construction might sound like a simple task, it is anything but. There were reports of things getting heated between BDF personnel and Guatemalan taxi drivers over the weekend when Belize authorities sought to clear the area to allow for the unloading of the materials. The Guatemalan taxi drivers are known to operate freely in the Adjacency Zone but when they were asked to park elsewhere, things got tense and personnel from the Guatemalan police later showed up.

The Guatemalan media has already distorted the information, making it seem more controversial that it really was. According to Guerra, he received a call from an inspector in Benque informing him of the situation. “The only thing that happened yesterday is that the B.D.F. arrived and asked a tour operator to please move from the parking area where they were going to download.  They wanted the area to be cleared.  That was about it.  But our friends from Guatemala, from the other side, they thought that they were being moved, but they were not being moved by force, we had our police also intervening to explain to them and to translate what was happening to the tour operators and taxi drivers who usually sit around that area in front of the O.A.S. office.”

According to the Guatemalan paper, Prensa Libre, the Guatemalan tour operators were being roughed up and forced to move by BDF personnel but Guerra maintains that there was no use of force. There are conflicting reports from the passersby and tour operators as well with some claiming that there was visible tension and some claiming that there was none.

The official reports from Belize are of the understanding that there was no physical tension, only a misunderstanding. Whatever the case, CEO Enriquez emphasizes that the B.D.F. is not establishing a permanent presence at the border crossing.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 May 2018 12:41
 
Fleecing of the Council - Wagner’s STRANGE Restructuring Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 May 2018 00:00

The Belize City Council is currently in the middle of the strangest expense cutting and restructuring exercise in the history of public service. The Guardian has received reliable reports of cheques flying out of City Hall in the names of relatives and friends of the Councilors and the addition of several absentee workers on the payroll. With two former bankers sitting in the Mayor’s chair, it is mind blowing that the Council can attempt to pass off its recent acts as a cost saving restructuring exercise.

One payment in particular that has come to our attention is a $6,000 payment to a mechanic shop on Fabers Road for repairs to the Mayor’s Ford SUV. We are aware that the vehicle is insured comprehensively and is still under warranty with the Belize Estate Company Limited. The vehicle had been at the dealer for a while waiting for a part but was released a couple weeks ago. If the vehicle needed any additional repair, the Council has its own Vehicle Maintenance Unit at Mile 3 on the George Price Highway. Therefore, the question is why did the Council see the need to issue a cheque for $6,000 to a “mechanic shop” on Fabers Road. Sources close to the Council have informed us that a young councilor waited anxiously in the Finance Department for the cheque to be printed, took it hot off the press and hurried it over to signatories. The “mechanic shop”, is controlled by the father of this councilor.

The employee “restructuring” excuse that the Council used to justify its firing of career public servants is even stranger. While the Council terminated employees with impressive appraisal records and numerous employee of the year awards, it has at the same time hired numerous relatives and close friends of the councilors. Many of them do not even report to work. One such individual who has been brought to our attention is one J Barrera who is the Collating Supervisor for a Newspaper. Sources close to Mr. Barrera have informed us that he is being paid almost $200 per week for nothing. He does nothing at the council. In fact, he is still a full time Collating Supervisor at the Newspaper. This is just one of many cases in which individuals have been hired by this new administration to do nothing.

The restructuring formula seems to be: fire exemplary employees and hire absentee workers. Strange…

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 May 2018 12:43
 
Alberts Division Mothers’ Day Party Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 May 2018 00:00

Over 600 mothers from the Alberts Division gathered at the Tropicana Casino on Saturday night, May 12, for a good old fashion girls’ night out. The event organized by the Alberts Care Committee was a powerful demonstration of sisterhood and solidarity as the ladies were able to shed chains of self-consciousness, forget about their individuality and embrace a night of true bonding.

Motherhood is a tough assignment and ladies rarely ever get a night off. Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton invited the mothers of her division to a much needed night off. They left the children at home to attend the first ever event in the fabulous Tropicana Casino. The night began with a short greeting from Panton. She thanked the six hundred plus women for making it out and announced that the mic was open for karaoke. While the ladies sang, the men from the Albert Care Team served food and drinks. A raffle session was held every hour where, high definition television sets, refrigerators and other household items were given away. At 9 p.m. the ladies put the microphone away and stepped on the dance floor for soca, dancehall and old school sessions. At one point there was even a follow the leader choo choo train segment with Hon. Tracy Panton at the head of the train.

The event was scheduled to end at 10 p.m.; however, the Alberts Care Team extended the time to 11 so that the ladies could play the machines for an hour with fun credits. Miss Tracy promised that the annual Mothers’ Day event will be even bigger next year.

 
Three ambassadors present credentials Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 May 2018 00:00

On Monday May 14th, three ambassadors presented their Letters of Credence to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan.

H.E. Dr. Franz Josef Kuglitsch, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria; H.E. Mrs. Zana Rudi, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo; and H.E. Mr. Leszek Bialy, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland; all presented their credentials to the Governor General. They each conveyed on behalf of their respective countries well wishes to the Government and people of Belize and their commitment to ensuring continued peaceful and prosperous diplomatic relations with Belize.

The Governor General warmly welcomed each of the diplomats and expressed that Belize shares their same interests in diplomatic relations and cooperation.

 
BEL’s Family Day Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 May 2018 00:00

Belize Electricity Limited held its Annual Family Day on May 12, 2018 at Kiki Witz in Belmopan. Employees from countrywide and their families enjoyed a day of fun, games and entertainment.

Each year, employees compete under four house names, which represent retirees being honored at the event. The retirees honored this year were: Mr. Frank Ramclam, Mr. Peter Ciego, Mr. Jose Espat and Mr. Herman Flowers who each gave over 30 years of service to the company.

A highlight of the day was the Lineman Competition in which four linemen per team showcased their skills including suiting up with all necessary safety gear, pole climbing and pole rescue. The winning team, comprised of Leroy Matura, Tyrone Reynolds, Paul McCalla and Eddie Johnston, will represent BEL in the 2019 CARILEC Lineman Rodeo.

 


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