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Nov 18, 2009

Flores Bus owner and 4 supporters protest U.D.P. headquarters

Story PictureThe Flores Bus Line that runs the Ladyville/Lords Bank route already has a legal matter with the Transport Department before the courts. The injunction came after the Department suspended Flores Bus Line from operating for a month, during which his permit would have expired. So Flores, through Attorney Hubert Elrington, sought the court’s intercession on the matter. But that didn’t stop owner of Flores Bus Line, Alton Flores, from picketing the headquarters of the United Democratic Party near the Bel-China Bridge today. Flores says the department is playing politics with him and has wrongly blamed him for past incidents which have involved his bus company and others who run along the same Lord’s Bank/Belize City route. Today he said enough is enough and he was taking a stand.

Alton Flores, Owner, Flores Bus Line
“If any wrong was done, yes the Transport Board has a responsibility but if they find wrongdoing then lets all be punished, don’t jus punish one party all the time.”

Jules Vasquez, Channel Seven
“But hasn’t Ramos been sanctioned as well?”

Alton Flores
“Ramos’ permit has been revoked but he’s back on the road. Three companies was a problem. They put an additional company so we have four companies now. So they feel like that’s the solution. Three is a problem; four is the solution.”

Marion Ali
“Are you using the system or the loopholes within the system to gain sympathy or support?”

Alton Flores
“No, I’m using the law which everyone in this country supposed to abide by, the laws of the land.”

Marion Ali
“I need to ask you this, you feel that it’s all political but yet it is with your fellow bus operators that you have conflict with; not the government.”

Alton Flores
“I don’t have conflict with…”

Marion Ali
“It’s always each others buses and each others employees that you keep attacking.”

Alton Flores
“There’s a structural problem. There’s a structural problem, which I have been explaining that to Mrs. Morter for the past six months and she refused to adhere to our problems. If a bus leaves from Belize City, it must get to Ladyville within forty-five minutes time and start returning from Ladyville within forty-five minutes time. If there is a traffic jam from Vernon Street all the way to Pallotti the time you will take from Pound Yard to Pallotti could be twenty to thirty minutes. How will you get to Lord’s Bank within fifteen minutes?”

Carlos Lopez, Owner, Lopez Shuttle Service
“Mr. Flores is being treated not correctly. Mr. Flores is one of the persons that actually started to operate through Lord’s Bank. When there was no other buses running though Lord’s Bank, as early as five a.m. Mr. Flores was out there operating busses and Mr. Flores has been a very hard working man working from five until nine p.m. at night time. I am in solidarity with him because—not only because of the fact that they are trying to pressure him right now, but because of the fact that I have been under the same pressure, political pressures and I believe it is unfair. I think the solution to the problem, the present scheduling that they have right now is totally out of order. What they should do is to have the busses running alternately because the fifteen minutes interval does not work.”

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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