CHETUMAL, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Thurs. July 27, 2017–
After agreeing to abide by new regulations and traffic laws in Chetumal, Belizean bus operators have now been informed that they must relocate their buses while in Chetumal to the ADO Bus Terminal and they are no longer permitted to park at the Lazaro Cardinez Market bus stop.
This relocation is having a negative impact on the revenue of the market vendors and business owners at the Lazaro Cardinez Market (New Market) in Chetumal, which was the popular bus park for Belize buses for years. The business owners are unhappy because there is a decline in their sales. According to a report, the business owners at Lazaro Cardinez Market have seen a decline of about 70% in their revenue and they are lobbying Chetumal City officials to address the situation, because the Belize buses were relocated without consultation with them. They are seeking for the move to be reversed.
We spoke today to the Mexican Counsel, Hugo Juarez Carrillo, Press and Legal Affairs at the Mexican Embassy, Belize City, and asked him if efforts are now being made to abandon the new arrangement and reassign the Belize buses to Lazaro Cardinez to address the loss in revenue being suffered by those businesses at Lazaro Cardinez Market.
Counsel Juarez Carillo told us that reassigning the buses to Lazaro Cardinez Market is not an option that would be considered, because the objective of the relocation of the buses was to ensure the safety of the citizens of Chetumal as well as visitors, because some of the streets in the area of the New Market are narrow, and pedestrians in the area are at risk of being hit by the buses. This was a primary reason for the relocation, among other considerations that the officials had to take into account.
He said that it is a matter for the local city officials to solve, and not the federal authorities, because the situation is not affecting Chetumal City, but only the businesses at Lazaro Cardinez.
Counsel Juarez Carrillo told us that he went to the ADO Bus Terminal to see how the Belize shoppers and buses were adjusting, and he was pleased. He said that the Belizeans were moving around and were using taxis, so no major problems were created.