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Sep 8, 2016

G.O.B. also meets with taxi operators from Benque

Arsenio Panti

Following a meeting with bus operators in the west, Minister of Transport Edmond Castro met with the Mopan Taxi Association.  For months now, the group has been clamoring for the Transport Department to implement measures that would either prohibit or regulate the influx of Guatemalan bus operators into Belize.  According to Arsenio Panti, it is unfair that neighboring operators are allowed to enter with tourists traveling to and from Guatemala when Belizean cab drivers are banned from carrying passengers to Melchor.  They are asking the Ministry of Transport to seriously look into the matter which is causing significant loss of revenue.


Arsenio Panti, President, Mopan Taxi Association

“Many years ago, about ten years ago we use to travel to Melchor with a taxi and ten years aback they stock us from going to Guatemala to conduct business over there. But still the government here in Belize they don’t want to do the same thing with the Guatemalan people. Right now no bus, no taxi, no minivan could go into Guatemala side to conduct business. But the Guatemalan they come here, the taxi man, the bus, the minivan, they come here to conduct business here in Belize. We are in an association based at the border, in total we are about one hundred and twenty-five taxi drivers and we are suffering. We are just seeing how they are carrying the tourist and we are carrying no one. They just pay a fee at the border and they come into Belize. Right now about four months ago a new company come in, Marlin Espeda, they start coming in Belize with a Guatemala license plate, certainly like 4 months ago they appear with a Belizean license plate and they say that they get the license plate here in Belmopan. So when they reach at the border they switch their license plate and they put on their Guatemalan license plate and they go way past the border with the same bus. Right now the bus owners went to know all about that and are doing their complains and are now saying that the company is from Belize. I know maybe they register their bus in a name of a person from Orange Walk to say that the company is from Belize. Now, like how the bus drivers are fighting they stop a bus at the border and park at the border and they switch plates go to Guatemala come back at the border and switch the plates with the bus that is waiting at the border. But that is affecting not only us, but all taxi drivers Benque, from the water taxi too and the taxi driver from the water taxi cannot do their job so they are affecting everybody. They say that the Belizean first so now we are saying that the Guatemalan is first. So the minister invite us today in a meeting here so we will comment all of that and we will see if he would do like they say that Belizean is first.”


Coming out of that meeting is an agreement that those buses would not be allowed to pick up regular passengers once they have crossed over into Belize.

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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1 Response for “G.O.B. also meets with taxi operators from Benque”

  1. Steve says:

    We all know that they will not follow with this agreement. Who will monitor that they don’t stop to pick up people along the way? Taxi drivers or traffic officers will escort them all the way to their destination? They will still stop to pick up and to let off people. They were to have been stopped completely from operating in Belize. They could have teamed up with a Belizean firm to transport all the people from the border to the final destination here in Belize. The taxi associations should have taken a harder stance. They got bukkut!!

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