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Nov 25, 2020

Canoes Returned to Santa Cruz Villagers!

About three months ago, we told you about the canoes that were confiscated from residents in Santa Cruz village in northern Belize.  Since mid-August, the police held on to the canoes until late Tuesday evening when they were returned. You’ll recall that the canoes were confiscated because the police at the time said that they were trying to contain the spread of COVID-19 and the canoe owners were suspected of using the vessels to cross the border illegally. Well, they were returned with much fan fare yesterday – and the truck carrying the canoes towed a blue and white flag. Today, Commissioner of Police explained why the canoes were returned and he dismissed the notion that there was political pressure.


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We have had these canoes in our custody for quite some time now. There is nothing in law to allow us to keep them any longer. So, I took a decision yesterday to have the canoes returned to their owners. While the canoes returned to their owners. While the canoes return to their owners, the police officers who are engaged in the border jumper operations have been directed that they monitor the area where these canoes are going, that is Santa Cruz and San Victor area.  If it is that those individuals are seen using these canoes to go across the border illegally then we will do what needs to be done again.”


Chester Williams

Andrea Polanco

“So that is a decision you made and a political decision by the minister?”


Chester Williams

“Yes. I made that decision yesterday.”



“Sir, we had heard that it was a political promise made by the newly elected area representative Ramon Cervantes that his constituents would receive back their property. Did you get any pressure from that direction?”


Chester Williams

“I don’t know if he made any such promise and I am surely not the newly elected minister of Orange Walk North. And I am telling you that I made that decision yesterday.”

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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