BDF Negotiations with Airmen’s Families at Standstill Over Compensation

BDF Negotiations with Airmen’s Families at Standstill Over Compensation

The Belize Defence Force says that it stands ready to resolve the issue of compensation due to the families of the airmen who died in the 2020 helicopter crash, but negotiations are currently at an impasse. The BDF says that settlements have been made with the estates of Majors Adran Ramirez and Radford Baizar; however, the widows of Corporals Reynaldo Choco and Yasser Mendez have refused every offer made in negotiations. The BDF issued an update on the process today, saying quote, “The matter has been presented to several judges of the High Court to reach an amicable resolution, but even after a court-mediated settlement was proposed to the family, a final settlement could not be reached, as it exceeded the initially proposed $100, 000,” end of quote. The civil claim brought on by the widows of the two airmen is now in the High Court before the newly appointed judge, Justice Tawanda Hondora. Last week, the attorney for the widows, Audrey Matua said that the Government of Belize has been acting in bad faith throughout the negotiation process, denying urgent assistance requests and offering less than what the families would have made if the majors had lived and remained employed with the BDF. All parties say that they are hoping the court’s ruling will bring an amicable solution to the issue.

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