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Sep 4, 2020

Belmopan Politicians Weigh In on Market Woes in the Capital

Oscar Mira

In their response to the vendors, the Belmopan City Council issued a press release today.  The purpose of the release, according to the council, is to clarify the “circumstances surrounding the establishment of an unlicensed market project.” The City Council says that site being informally introduced as an alternative to the current market day location has not yet received the proper licenses needed to conduct business. The Belmopan City Council says that it looks forward to working with the developers and that, “We will treat them with the same due care and diligence with which we have treated all prospective business owners and business establishments that have come before them.”  It goes on to say that while they understand the vendors’ struggles, they will not be allowed to sell any goods on or near this location until the proper permits have been secured. And if there business is carried out there it will be in contravention of the Belmopan City Council Act. Area Representative John Saldivar also took to Facebook this morning to call on Belmopan residents to support the City Council’s position to “boycott the unsanctioned operation of a market at a place not designated as such.” He goes on to say that the developer feels that he can muscle his way into a business that is clearly, legally reserved for the Council. And two other politicians in Belmopan also stopped in this morning at the site of the contention – Anna Banner Guy who is running as Independent for the Belmopan seat and Oscar Mira P.U.P.’s Standard Bearer weighed in on the issue.


Oscar Mira, P.U.P. Standard Bearer, Belmopan

“In these hard economic times, this COVID has left our people in hard, financial situation. Any economic activity would be welcomed. I think this is not about City Council; this is not about anybody else; this is about all those people you see out here who are trying to earn an honest living; who are trying to ensure that they can get food for their children; who can send their children to school. This is about hard working people who, at the end of the day, are asking nothing else but permission to go and work. I don’t see what the issue is and I don’t see why city council is taking this hard stance on these people.  I think the city council and the developer should just stay and work this out. It is about the people at the end of the day. It is not about city council; it is not about the developer. It is about giving these people an opportunity.”


Anna Banner Guy

Anna Banner Guy, Independent Candidate, Belmopan

“Just passing here and stopping and looking at what’s transpiring over the past few days, it really exposes very poor leadership. This is not a COVID-19 issue. This market issue is an issue that the leadership of Belmopan has really not been able to get a handle of for many years now. Prior to this the vendors used a parking lot at the Belmopan Civic Center which is a very essential part of our community. In any city you go, the market is where the energy is and is a form of economic development that is necessary. I need the market space; the vendors need the market space. I believe that the vendors are not at fault here. Obviously there is lack of communication, coordination and putting in of proper protocols in place. For example if the market is needed, I can see where there can be efforts between the city and the potential investors as to a timeline and put in criteria in place. I feel that there is a major breakdown. And it’s the people of Belmopan who are feeling the impact of it, not just the market vendors.”

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