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#506687 - 08/15/15 05:45 AM Finnegan Market Madness
Marty Online   happy
The Michael Finnegan Market on West Collet Canal in Belize City is probably the busiest market in the country, and on Friday and Saturday mornings, it's always bustling with shoppers, vendors, and wholesalers. Today, though, there was something else added into the mix, and that's police and city constables. They were clearing the street side of wholesalers - who, the city says, sell to the vendors and then turn around and sell to regular buyers as well - for a wholesale price. That's why the city was moving them today - but it didn't go down well with the vendors who have their own story. They called us out there at 5:00 am - and here's what we found:..

Luis Cocom, Driver
"They want to take the key from the small truck. The police with 2 motorcycle came to move us."

Sebastian "Sabe" Nunez, Works with Importers
"But we are the wholesalers Jules. They have their costumers, they have restaurants, they have little shops and things. It's so good that they are selling their things the same price as the market for. So the people from the market don't need to get angry by dropping a 25 cents, or a 5 cents less and their things can't be sold the same price we sell the market people for, we are also selling our customers that we have at the truck. Do you understand the people? But which part do you ship the truck men from that location where they were was very dangerous but down this side there is no security guard. Anyone can dodge through the short cuts or come through the market for the truck men and harass them. If you check the past record, how many of these people get hurt from behind this market here? They risk selling us out here at town. The thing that they plant or buy to sell vegetables and fruits and so on. It's very dangerous."

Glenroy "Mr. Pappy", Sells Inside Market
"I feel that the movements they did this morning is not appropriate, because they want to send these people in areas that are not safe. So many things happen behind that place where they want to send these people, many years ago. Probably the man who is managing this place don't have the history of the place that happened back there. Back there doesn't have light. First of all, there is no safety because there is no light. Secondly, murders have been committed back there. Rubbery has been committed back there. With this experience I have from 1985 to now 2015, I can give a lot about this place, but we are not going through that. I am only talking about the safety of the people and the movements of the people behind there."

Eladio Garcia, Wholesaler - Garcia Vegetable shop
"We can't sell everything wholesale. People come to buy here retail and we only sell about 2 or 3 hours. That's all the problems - wholesale 3 hours. They don't want us to sell here at least for 3 hours. A lot of people buy from us because we sell some retail items and we sell them for good prices to the people. So the people come and buy from us but we only come for 2 times a week for 3 hours, that's it."

Jules Vasquez
"But at the same time you are under selling the people in the market."

Eladio Garcia
"No, we sell for the same price as the market. We sell wholesale here by dozen or some people just want a 10 pounds. Or 15 pounds of potato or carrots and we sell them. Some in the market are sold more expensive but we..."

Jules Vasquez
"Sell in small quantities. But if you were paying for one of the stall in the market maybe you could have said, this is not right, I am paying rental every month."

Eladio Garcia
"I know but we give them good prices in the market too. They could sell for the same price as us out here."

Jules Vasquez
"How should the people in here feel that you are selling something in here but right out here, but right in front of your store, there are under selling you? The same people who you buy from are underselling you because those men does sell some retail, right even if it's small quantities."

Glenroy "Mr. Pappy", Sells Inside Market
"Well, in that circumstance, Jules to be truthful that was organize from the head already that these people who are bringing wholesale are not supposed to retail. I think they were supposed to solve that problem from year one when they were out here. So this thing just repeatedly come right back again. The wholesalers know the rules that they are not supposed to sell retail because the people get offended by them selling retail because they are underselling them. So that problem was supposed to be solved. But the thing I am basing at is the safety of the people to move from out here and take them through a hole that doesn't have any light. So there is no safety through there because the history of through that hole there is murders, stealing, happening there."

Bernardo Blatz, Wholesaler - Little Belize
"If people want to carry more over there and over there are a lot of people who come and thief. Before we used to park over there and they would come and rob our money, after that happened we went over there in front of the market is rarely ok. We don't sell retail. We only sell wholesale by bag. We don't sell single pound only by the sack. Before when we used to park there they would hold a gun to the Mennonite and take all the money."

Glenroy "Mr. Pappy", Sells Inside Market
"This same that's behind me, many years ago through that same area where they are sending the people back, and they rob this truck. A vehicle came up, raise the truck, load up their pork right there and drive off, so how would you tell me that there's no security, no police at the time around. So there is no safety through there."

Jules Vasquez
"So how would it affect you if they try to move you?"

Michael "Bibby" Gill, Works with Importers
"How will we eat? We already can't buy noodles already so how will we eat?"

Sebastian "Sabe" Nunez, Works with Importers
"If these brothers stop, if the meat men stop and these brothers stop coming, it's us that will punish. Dog will eat dog and crime rate will go up more. These fruits and things that people come to buy here because we are not planting in our yards. None of us are thinking about planting. All of us are thinking about buying what these people are bring because they bring it fresh."

Cops Sweep Into Market, With Force

But when we left at about 5:45 am - all the wholesalers were still there on the streetside -just not directly in front of the market. Well, by 6:30 - that would change as police swooped in to completely move them from Collet Canal - and that's when things got a little tense. We went back out there - and here's what we found:..

Today the mayor commented via text message; he told us that the wholesalers were moved because they do retail sales without a trade license and unfairly compete with the market vendors. He says the council has been trying to work with them, but they do not cooperate. He says they have been relocated to Hicattee Street, not Bocotora as was mentioned in the story.

Channel 7

#506746 - 08/18/15 05:56 AM Re: Finnegan Market Madness [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Mayor Says Market Wholesalers Made Their Own Bed Hard

On Friday's news, you saw all the drama and hard talk at the Michael Finnegan Market when the wholesale vendors were moved form in front of the market. The city Council says that the wholesalers are retailing - and in so doing are underselling the market vendors - who are their main customs. But the wholesalers say the mayor is pushing them all the way to the back of the market - where there's no light and many criminals lurking. On Saturday, the mayor told us he doesn't know about all that:...

Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City
"The fact that that had to be relocated, meant that they broke that bargain with the city that they engaged in retail businesses which they are not supposed to do and that relocation was precipitated because we had complaints from market vendors. The area in which they were relocated I am not very familiar with the space. This is not something that comes to my desk. It is something that it's dealt with from the technical side and so their relocation is as a result of that. I am not familiar as I said in relation to the space they they've relocated, but we would not have a problem if they be in the original location if they just stop with wholesaling."

Channel 7


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