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Apr 30, 2020

San Pedro is Also Subject to National S.O.E.

The San Pedro Town Council, Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. and the local Emergency Operations Centre have come under harsh criticism for taking matters into their own hands by amending the regulations under the state of emergency to suit the island of Ambergris Caye.  While Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has weighed in on the town council acting outside of its legal authority, this morning Prime Minister Dean Barrow chided the municipal body amid complaints from residents that it is acting well outside of its jurisdiction.  The situation is reminiscent to a similar decision taken by the Caye Caulker Village Council several weeks ago in which they too had to be reminded of their legal parameters.  According to PM Barrow, if needs be the police department will have to intervene to enforce the regulations under the national state of emergency.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“What the San Pedro Town Council and the area representative are doing is absolutely improper and I said that to the area representative during the course of the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.  I was presented with some sort of official bulletin that, on the face of it, said that it was being issued by the mayor of San Pedro, the area representative for Belize Rural South and the local Emergency Operations Center in San Pedro.  They purported, in fact they expressly declared that they were modifying the regulation that is currently in place and they were altering the measures set out in that regulation.  I made it crystal clear to the minister that that is illegal.  You cannot operate outwith the law.  I sympathize with their motivation, they think that they should go above and beyond what is set out in law as obtaining to the entire country and when the minister is in fact put on the spot in that regard, he said, well, but the people, the people in San Pedro, the people in Ambergris Caye are in total solidarity with what they are doing.  I don’t know about that, I have not taken any poll.  I know that there are people in San Pedro, in Ambergris Caye that have been complaining to us about the fact that the local authorities seem to think and indeed act in a way consistent with that attitude on their part.  They seem to think that they can do as they please.”

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