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Dalla Van Taxi Drivers remember colleague

Belize City Police have yet to charge someone for the murder of forty-year-old Haitian Odner Estizeine. The ‘dalla van’ taxi driver was fatally shot on October 27 while at the corner of Complex Avenue and Jones Street. Estizeine was a member of the Dalla Van/Taxi Association and today his colleagues decided to take a stand. During a meeting held yesterday more than half of the Association decided not to run ‘dalla van’ taxis today, in memory of Estizeine and in protest of his murder. Treasurer of the Association, Alfred Richard, says that Dalla Van drivers are constantly in danger of being robbed.

Alfred Richard,Treasurer of the Association: “We have to show respect for the dead that is why we have come up with these ideas and things for the Dalla Van Association. Well, it’s only for today because we have our event in Kings Park and it’s just for today so it’s not going to affect the people that much because if the Chinese can do it we can do it too. Well because whenever we are going to the back there by the riverside we have some young men that always come and beg us for money and try to threaten us and boss us and tell us that things are going to happen to us for us to fear them; so that one day when we spoke to the police they told us not to go down that side and then we have so much fear in our lives because anything can happen to us in our vans because I thought I heard that they wanted the man’s van to go and shoot up another area and he didn’t want to go with them so they decided to kill him.”

Reporter: What are you doing to secure your life.

Alfred Richard,Treasurer of the Association: “Me I am a thug. I don’t fear anything in life because we come to die that is what I tell them and I tell them when they come to me for money I tell them that I could be a murderer and I can do anything with my life too and I don’t give people money and that they have to work for their money like us.”

Reporter: And police knew about this and their only advice to you guys was not to go in that area?

Alfred Richard,Treasurer of the Association: “Yeah, they told us not to go down that area because we have people who catch the dollar van that lives in that area and sometimes I tell them that I don’t like those areas because in those areas there are people dogging you and want to take things and try to jack you and tell you to go shoot up, they want you to be the drive to shoot up other people’s places.”

Members of the Association gathered to pay Estizeine their last respect this evening.