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Jul 1, 2021

Chetumal Businesses Want Belizeans Back

A lot of people have been asking when the Mexican border will open to allow Belizeans to access Mexico, particularly Chetumal. Currently the border is only open for tourists. But just what is it like right now in the city right across the border and do Mexicans want the border open to Belizeans? Today News Five’s Paul Lopez watched a little Mexican news, and spoke with a doctor in Chetumal in an attempt to assess the situation.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

On Wednesday, President of the Business Coordinating Council of Chetumal, Eloy Jimenez, told Televisa Quintana Roo that the council will be working closely with Belizean authorities to find strategies for the quick reopening of the Belizean Mexican border to allow Belizeans to enter Mexico. News Five spoke to a doctor in Chetumal, Dr. Eduardo Angulo Aguilar to learn more about the current Covid situation in Quintana Roo.


Eduardo Rafael Angulo Aguilar

Dr. Eduardo Rafael Angulo Aguilar, Social Service Intern

“The government right now has the whole state at several colors in terms of COVID-19. Right now, it is orange the second highest color that we can have. The next one is red.”


According to Doctor Aguilar, people in the state of Quinta Roo have let their guard down, and for the most part, they are not following government enacted COVID regulations.


Dr. Eduardo Rafael Angulo Aguilar

“In Quintana Roo, right now we have reported a total of thirty-two thousand cases since the pandemic started, with three thousand and twenty-seven deaths. And right now, current available cases, positive cases, we have six thousand cases, right now.”


Aguilar describes the Covid-19 situation as “dire.” In fact, Quintana Roo now is now the fifth state in terms of cases. At the same time, the state accounts for the highest number of tourists per year.


Paul Lopez

“For Belizeans wanting to go to Chetumal, is now the right time?”


Dr. Eduardo Rafael Angulo Aguilar

“This is a tricky question you mention, very tricky. I can answer you as a doctor, as a physician or as a citizen. As a physician, my answer would be yes, but you have to take into account the proper precautions. Your face masks, your gels, we must take into account it. And, be very wary of the places we go, the restaurant we go. The other side of things, the current catastrophe we are living in is the COVID-19, but the next catastrophe we are going to face as soon as the COVID-19 ends, is the economic one.”


Aguilar says that most businesses in Chetumal are currently operating, following the state’s COVID-19 regulations. But, after a year without Belizean visitors coming across the border, many businesses are struggling.


Dr. Eduardo Rafael Angulo Aguilar

“I went to the Free Zone last weekend to get some goods, and the true thing that the businessmen, who are from Belize and Mexico, that are in the Free Zone, everyone is saying please open the borders. We need to reestablish the commerce, we need to. In my experience from what I have heard, Free Zone, they need it and Chetumal, I can assure you, they need it too.”


But Chetumal is not exactly the same as Belizeans remember it. He says authorities in Chetumal are very strict with enforcing the COVID-19 regulations. Mask wearing laws and adherence to social distancing are in effect. Additionally, restaurants can only operate at a limited capacity. But as a doctor, he says he feels safe in Mexico.


Dr. Eduardo Rafael Angulo Aguilar

“The most important thing that I want you to take form this interview is, the government takes measures, precaution, but the responsibility is in everyone of us. But, you can’t blame the government, the Belize Government, the Mexica Government if you don’t take your precautions. You can’t blame them.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.


Twenty-three percent of Mexicans have taken their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and fourteen point nine percent of the entire population of Mexico has taken their second dose of the vaccine.

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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