We have reported on the bus war between BBOC and Mexican owned bus line, ADO as it relates to additional runs given to the Mexican bus line, a run that BBOC cuts into their customers since ADO is allegedly picking up passengers along the highway. While that is still all being worked out, we understand that there is another transportation issue brewing in the West. In that case, members of the various taxi associations from Benque and Succotz are complaining that Guatemalan buses and vans are either getting permits to pick up passengers beginning from the border or they are switching license plates and putting on Belizean taxi license plates. This they say is affecting the Belizean taxi drivers financially. They staged a small protest today saying that they are very unhappy with the situation and are demanding that their Area representative, the Benque Mayor and the Transport Department address the issue. When we spoke to the protesters over the ADO bus situation earlier this week, this matter at the Benque border was also addressed,
Taxi Operator, Benque Border;
This thing is wide, even the taxi at the Benque border are affected by this movement because the Taxi from the Benque border would get the tourist, bring them to Benque because back in the years that’s one of the reasons why the bus stop at Benque in order to provide jobs for the Taximan. I have spoke to all the Taxi operators to the Chairman and we had a meeting at they are full in support for us.
Taximan in Benque had a meeting with the Mayor of Benque, Geraldo Rancheran.
Mr. Gerlado Rancharan, Benque Viejo Mayor;
I was surprised this morning when I saw a group of Taxi Drivers in front of my house, I was wondering what was happening. The issue in general is mostly of the Tourist buses that are coming into our country. I told them that I was going to look into the issue because the Town Council has nothing to do directly with what is going on at the border so I told them to please wait for me at the town council since I was going to have a meeting with Mr. Galvez which is the Chief Officer of Transport.
Have you talked to the Minister?
Yes I did, He even called the Taxi’s President as well. He explained to them that he was going to look into the matter and also we will be having a meeting with Mr. Castro on Thursday at 1:00pm to discuss this into more details. Like I said I wasn’t aware of it, I was busy looking into a death which happened this morning, a traffic officer told me there was a bus coming in so I told him to stop the bus and ask for details as to how he is coming into the Country. They said that they paid their duties, customs allowed them to come in but when it comes to the students one, I have no idea since they have any permit. We know that when a vehicle pays their duty they are free to enter the country because they are paying. That’s one of the issues we had this morning, the student bus that came in and yes it’s coming from Peten so I didn’t have any idea of it.
On Thursday the Belizean taxi drivers will meet with the Minister and the Mayor .