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Dec 21, 2015

Hunting Caye F.O.B. on Indefinite Standstill

Fourteen months ago construction of a Coast Guard Forward Operating Base was abruptly halted after public outcry. The base, funded by the US, was contracted out to a Guatemalan firm which Guatemalan workers. Belizeans claimed that fact compromised the security of the military base. Since October 2014, the almost completed base has been neglected, and all indications are that nothing will change anytime soon. That’s because GOB will have to foot the bill for the completion, and according to Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, that money hasn’t been sourced.

 

Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“A lot of noise was made by people claiming that Americans had contracted Guatemalans to build it and therefore that was a bad thing and should not have been done. And therefore our government had taken the decision that we were going to finance the project. If my memory serves me right it involves some nine million dollars to be able to do it. I’m not sure whether the government has in fact been able to source those funds. It’s not a matter that I have been pursuing, so I’m not in a position to tell you anything further than that. If it has not been going ahead I would imagine it’s largely because of cash flow problems, but that is basically because of the position we took based on the outcry that the public made that if you have Guatemalans building it it’s going to be detrimental for us.”

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