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Jul 12, 2021

Antivaxxers Resist Statutory Instrument 74

They may be reading a lot of conspiracy posts and pseudo-scientific reports online, or are just not sure about COVID-19 vaccinations themselves, but today a group of anti-vaxxers launched what they are calling a “movement” to object to the recent requirement by the Government of Belize that frontline workers must get vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of this month or begin submitting negative COVID tests in order to continue on the job. Paul Lopez was at Bird’s Isle this afternoon.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

A new movement has birthed out of a collective resistance to Statutory Instrument 74.  The Belizean Rights and Justice Movement, a group that claims a membership of three hundred Belizeans, had its executive hold a press conference on the Bird’s Isle compound today to announce their purpose.


Elizabeth Dina

Elizabeth Dina, Executive Member, Belizean Rights and Justice Movement

“Belizean rights is a justice movement. It was born as an effect, as a resistance to the cause of the statutory instrument 74 in the homes of two house wives, reluctant to be participants of an illegal research, with the experimental shot. We are saying over three hundred members strong and growing by the minute, I do not consent.”


The group condemns the COVID-19 vaccine as quote an “experimental shot” and claim not enough studies have gone into the development of the vaccine. They say this despite World Health Organization’s assurance on its website that every vaccine must go through extensive and rigorous testing to ensure it is safe before it can be introduced into any country.


Roberta Garcia

Roberta Garcia, Executive Member, Belizean Rights and Justice Movement

“The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. As the movement states, it is your body, it is your choice and you are supposed to have a consent on what it is being injected into your system.”


While Garcia raises the issue of consent, S.I. 74 does NOT mandate that any Belizean must take the COVID-19 vaccine. What it does say is that frontline workers have a choice between taking the vaccine in July or submit bi-monthly PCR tests. Former Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya is not a medical professional says she takes issue with the cost of the test.


Zenaida Moya

Zenaida Moya, Executive Member, Belizean Rights and Justice Movement

“Whether or not, like what Elena Smith says, as a teacher, they might say it is not mandated, but it mandated through the back door, because they are saying you are not forced to take this “experimental shot”, however if you are mandating that you have to take the PCR test or the rapid test, then it is one in the same. At one hundred dollars, and with a ten percent pay cut, that is something else. So, that more than likely will drive people to take this “experimental shot.”


Attorney at law Arthur Saldivar says the organization will pose a legal challenge, starting with petitions.


Elizabeth Dina

“We will be doing a petition and the petition will be in each village, district town, and you are asked to sign on to this petition. After these petitions are signed, we will be sending a letter of notice to the Government of Belize, with the signatures in place, giving the government a second warning. Because, this one is our first.”


And while the Belize Right and Justice Movement’s Executive says it not asking anyone to refrain from taking the COVID-19 vaccine, they also propagating a narrative that PCR test is ineffective in detecting virus. At least one member goes so far as suggest the COVID-19 virus that has killed thousands worldwide does not exist.


Chandan Makhijani

Chandan Makhijani, Executive Member, Belizean Rights and Justice Movement

“We know that people are getting sick and they are being labeled COVID. They are being labeled COVID. Whether there is a virus, well let’s look into it. Has the COVID-19 virus been isolated, purified, taken out from an infected area proving this is it, put it in an area that is healthy, and recreated a pathogenic effect? Maybe you should look into it, you are the media.”


Paul Lopez

“Who are the medical and science experts in your group?”


Elizabeth Dina

“We have four doctors, so far. We have doctor Dean Flowers. We have Doctor  Gerald Zuniga, Doctor Jose Espat and we also have Doctor Orlando Pelayo Senior.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.


At least one of the people that Dina describes as a doctor was involved in controversy back in 2017. At the time, the former Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero confirmed that Jose Espat had no documents on file to suggest that he did complete his medical studies or that he is really a doctor. 

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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