Brigadier General of the Belize Defence Force, Steven Ortega is on his way out. Love News confirmed with Public Service Minister, Henry Charles Usher that Brigadier General Steven Ortega’s time as the Commander of the Belize Defence Force comes to an end next month. We are told that Ortega will retire in December. Sources tell Love News that the announcement was made at a high-level meeting on Friday. We further understand that Ortega had requested an extension, but his request was denied. However, Minister of National Defence and Border Security Florencio Marin Jr says he was not aware of Ortega’s request for extension.
Florencio Marin Jr, Minister of National Defence: “I didn’t realize that he had requested for a – I suspect this is all part of some kind of a trying to report the news, trying to create some controversy because over the weekend I saw they said that he is to be retrenched. I just spoke to him just now and I said ‘I didn’t realize you were being retrenched.’ and he’s like ‘Me either.’ so I don’t know where that’s coming from. If you know our military, the commander by SI serves for four years and so I think General Ortega has had an exemplary career as a soldier, as an officer, as a commander. We in the Ministry are totally pleased with him but the ethos of the military is that you also have to continue progression, promotion etc. General Ortega has been a Belizean patriot, a superb soldier and we have nothing but high regard for him.”
Reports are that Colonel Azriel Loria will be Ortega’s replacement. Ortega officially took command of the BDF in 2018 and has served his 4-year term as the Commander. We are also told that his last day will be December 21, 2021.