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Oct 19, 2017

The Government’s Choice: Imer Hernandez Paid 7 Mil for Hot Mixed Caye Caulker Airstrip

Another multi-million dollar contract has been granted to the government’s choice contractor, Imer Hernandez, the nephew of the former Deputy Prime Minister Gapi Vega. As recent as last week, Hernandez was granted the controversial eight-million-dollar contract for the one mile stretch of Faber’s Road, which Prime Minister Dean Barrow staunchly defended on Wednesday. Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia confirmed to News Five today that Hernandez’s company was also awarded a seven-million-dollar contract to build a new Caye Caulker airstrip. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation through the Belize Airports Authority negotiated with the Social Security Board to acquire financing to renovate and uplift the Caye Caulker airstrip. It is the third most trafficked aerodrome in the country, and on October first, flights were suspended to that island because of the deplorable condition of the strip. Heredia explains the scope of works.

 

Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Aviation

“Almost from a few months after it was resurfaced, it has about three dents which is unsafe for aircrafts; nonetheless, they continued using that airstrip until it came to a point where they said they can no longer be taking chances with that. Myself and my board, being responsible people also said that yes, let’s close it and in the meantime, we were working to securing funding and making the plans so that we can be able that as soon as they close we can more into it. Today I must assure you that we have advanced monies to the contractor Mister Hernandez for that airstrip to commence and as early as tomorrow you will see material and equipment moving to Caye Caulker to give commencement to this airstrip which will be wider, higher and we have to redo all over again; the foundation has to be completely redone and hence the reason it will be an expensive airstrip. Again, for the safety of commuters and tourist, we have decided to hot mix it also. Hot mixing is much more expensive than chip and seal.”

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