While the nation tries to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, reports emerging from the Belize Defence Force indicate that promotions have been put on an indefinite pause. Some soldiers reached out to Love News indicating that promotions were to be held in June of this year and their fear is that deserving members who were looking forward to their promotions won’t get them. Love News asked Chief of Staff Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Velasquez to clarify the issue.
Reporter: Are you able to confirm whether or not promotions for BDF have been put on pause or halted ? I believe promotion was supposed to have happened in June.
Lt.Col. Anthony Velasquez, Chief of Staff, BDF “Not at all no promotion has been halted.”
Reporter: But one was scheduled to happen in June.
Lt.Col. Anthony Velasquez, Chief of Staff, BDF “Yes there was a promotion conference scheduled in June however it hasn’t been finalized as yet and it has nothing to do with COVID or any regulations that we are putting forth so our promotion is online and nothing about COVID affects our promotion system.”
Reporter: That’s expected to happen this year or next year the promotion.
Lt.Col. Anthony Velasquez, Chief of Staff, BDF “This year yes. “
Reporter: Are you able to say how many officers will be promoted ?
Lt.Col. Anthony Velasquez, Chief of Staff, BDF “I can’t say off the bat but every year we promote people in space where the vacancy exists so I can’t say just off the bat how many people will be promoted but those who require promotion and will get promotion will be promoted and fill vacancies that exist.”
Reporter: Okay just for driving the point and for clarifications promotions will happen because I think the reports we had received was that an email was sent by the ministry to the BDF mentioning that promotions would be halted because of the 10% pay cut and finances.
Lt.Col. Anthony Velasquez, Chief of Staff, BDF “I’m not aware of that so from my position here I believe that promotions will continue this year but again I can get back to you on that but I’m not aware of what you just mentioned.”