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Apr 25, 2003

Corozaleños protest bakery closure

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Residents of Corozal took to the streets of their town this morning, but the mood was far from celebratory. The anger of the placard carrying demonstrators, numbering just over a hundred, was aimed squarely at a court ruling handed down this week, which effectively closes Panaderia Victoria. While there is little today’s protest can do to reverse the court’s decision, the demonstrators say closure of their beloved bakery will deprive them of a traditional staple and result in the loss of employment for a number of people, some of whom have been with the establishment for decades. The trouble started approximately two years ago when Eugenio Eck, who lives behind the bakery, sued its owner, claiming that the smoke emitted from the wood burning oven was responsible for his failing health. Eck won the case and was awarded financial compensation. The court also ordered the closure of the bakery as of next Wednesday unless the proprietor can convert to butane or electricity. While the management of the bakery is claiming that the conversion will be too costly, they are appealing the court’s ruling. But until a judge says otherwise, the original directive to close must be obeyed. Protestors say they will be back on the picket lines on Wednesday and have stated their intention to march on the Prime Minister’s Office in hopes of saving Panaderia Victoria. We thank journalist Jorge Aldana of Corozal’s Radio Bahia for supplying the video.

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