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Oct 16, 2014

B.D.F. Chief of Staff Speaks on Caracol Closure and Camp Valentin

As we said, the Chiquibul has been on centre stage – or perhaps we could more accurately say that all territorial and border issues have become the ten thousand pound gorilla in the room. While the foreign ministry plays diplomatic tic-tac-toe with its Guatemalan counterparts, the B.D.F. has been put on high alert on our borders.  News Five spoke to B.D.F. Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Shepherd on Wednesday, and asked about a variety of issues, including the continued closure of Caracol and the conservation post at Camp Valentin.

 

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff, Belize Defence Force

“It is completed and we are in the process of equipping the base for our soldiers who will man that conservation post on a twenty-four hour basis.”

 

Reporter

“Could you tell us if there have been any other confrontations with villagers from San Valentin?”

 

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd

Raymond Shepherd

“Not at all! Since the first incident some two weeks ago, we haven’t encountered anything else from them.”

 

Reporter

“In terms of Caracol…we have gotten indications from NICH that they are waiting to reopen Caracol…waiting on the B.D.F.  to get up to readiness. We have spoken to Colonel Lovell who has told us that the B.D.F. has been ready from the day after the incident. Could you give us an insight into the situation there?”

 

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd

“Most definitely I agree with Colonel Lovell. The BDF has been ready not only from the day after but right after the incident. We have been in position and we are prepared to provide security so that the site can be opened for business as usual.”

 

The Cayo Tour Guide Association has repeatedly called for the reopening of the Caracol Archaeological Site, which features prominently in tour packages in that area.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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