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Jun 17, 2019

Late Night Belize City Vendors Given Curfew

Late night food vendors in Belize City are being shut down at midnight on the south side and by two a.m. on the north side. From what we are told, this is a directive from Commissioner of Police Chester Williams in an attempt to curb crime. But for vendors, this policing strategy is threatening their livelihoods. Vendors such as those near the foot of the Swing Bridge and along the entertainment strip would make most of their revenue after midnight and with the new policy, they say they will lose a lot of money. One of those persons is Paul “Chicken Dread” Ferguson. According to Ferguson, last week he was arrested after refusing to close down his business before midnight.

 

Paul “Chicken Dread” Ferguson, Vendor

“The police tried to shut down me last week Thursday. I refused. I asked them to show me something in black and white that I cannot vend after midnight. They said it was from the Commissioner of Police. Before that happened, I was in downtown Albert Street and they came to lock down all the vendors, twelve o’clock midnight. I see it that it is unfair. We are poor people. We do not want to get out of out bed three in the morning to sell but this is the way we survive.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Were you given a reason?”

 

Paul “Chicken Dread” Ferguson

Paul “Chicken Dread” Ferguson

“I still haven’t been given a reason why I can’t sell at  night time.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Are you able to make that kind of revenue during the day, different hours?”

 

Paul “Chicken Dread” Ferguson

“It is impossible. Same thing with the hot dog vendors in downtown, they don’t make money during the day time. They sacrifice their goodnight rest to be out there to sell hotdogs to sell hotdogs to people who leave the club. They are telling the vendors, the last set of Belizeans who are struggling to survive, to make a living, you are telling them to stop it and sell no more. SO what do they want us to do?”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“For you safety and the safety of your customers.”

 

Paul “Chicken Dread” Ferguson

“I have never heard of anyone who got robbed while selling hot dogs, rice and beans. I haven’t heard about it. So when you talk about safety, tell them to put something if they want to protect the vendors if they don’t want us to be out there and they feel like we are going to get rob, then put a couple of police out there. We are Belizeans?”


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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