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Feb 28, 2020

A Reflection on the Lives of the Four Officers Killed

As you’ve heard earlier in the newscast, four of the B.D.F. soldiers are dead following the helicopter crash in the lagoon just off the Coastal Road. Two pilots and two crew members were a part of the surveillance team. The two pilots are highly decorated and long serving members of the force. Members of the panel reflected on their contributions of service to the country and the loss of talent to the B.D.F.


Steven Ortega

Brigadier General Steven Ortega, Commandant, B.D.F.

“Major Ramirez, as you know, is the commanding officer for the airwing and he just took over about a year now. He has been flying, I guess, almost fifteen years or thereabouts. They are all family members and they all have families; wife and children. Major Baizar is our helicopter instructor pilot and he recently did an aircraft safety course, recently as in mid to late last year he came back. Corporal Mendez and Private Choco have been at the airwing one year after passing out. They have both done extensive engineering courses and they have both been trained as air crew to assist the pilots in their flying. So, they are all capable people. Very experienced. It is just hard to see them in this state right now.”


Elodio Aragon

Elodio Aragon, Minister of State in Ministry of National Security

“At this point in time, where we lost not only our but we lost a wealth of experienced people from the military and of course assets to the Ministry of National Security. Those of us that are here right now, we deeply regret this tragic situation and our condolences and sympathies go out to their families and to our armed forces. We want the public to know that these are persons who were executing their duties and lost their lives. It is sad and on our part of the Ministry of National Security it is a great loss. You know our airwing, in terms of having helicopters is only a couple years now and for this tragedy to occur, it is sad for all of us here. Especially for our commander of the B.D.F. who knew these persons personally and so it is a great loss to us and the Belizean people must understand that these people were out there risking their lives in this operation.”

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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