Just before an official ceremony held for the Belize Defense Force’s annual Christmas luncheon this morning at Price Barracks in Ladyville Village, Belize District, there was the official handing over of two Land Rover vehicles bought by the Government of Belize for the BDF. It was a brief ceremony where BDF Commander, David Jones accepted the British made vehicles from the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Retired Colonel George Lovell. According to Jones, these vehicles will be assigned to western Belize.
“These two Land Rovers cost about $85,000; they are going to be used in the Caracol area where tourists will be escorted from Camp D’Silva to the Caracol ruins. So, the troops will be escorting the tourists using one of these Land Rovers. One of them will always be on standby, in case one goes down we will have the other one to use. Actually both of them are for use for that actual patrol in the Chiquibul area. Both of these Land Rovers were purchased by the Government of Belize and donated to the Belize Defense Force.”
Meanwhile, Lovell told the media that this handing over is the result of a commitment made by the National Security Minister, John Saldivar.
“There was a commitment made by the Minister of National Security after the Danny Conorquie incident at Caracol and he had made a commitment to provide them with two vehicles that were road worthy and that could have provided the type of services needed for those operations that they do in the Caracol area. These are those two land rovers so they will be used to escort those tourists and visitors that they have to the Caracol site. This is primarily why they were purchased. The Mahindras and the previous vehicles that they had were not good enough for the type of terrain that they had out there. Just recently we had to replace them with some 4 ton vehicles which was clearly not the type of vehicles that you needed for that type of operation so it is quite pleasing to see now that we have those vehicles and they will now be delivered and put in use for the purpose that they were purchased for.”
The vehicles are valued at eighty five thousand Belize dollars each. Jones says the British Land Rover has been tested to be all terrain vehicles and they work best in the Chiquibul and Mountain Pine Ridge areas.