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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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The Benque Viejo Ambulance has been missing for several months now with no action or explanation by public officials. It would seem that, since no one has any knowledge of it, it should be treated as Theft of Public Property. As yet no investigation has been launched or explanation offered. When Channel 5 attempted to interview the Benque Mayor on the subject he "ran". This is a serious health issue for the Town of Benque. The Polyclinc is only open during normal hours and this ambulance is critical for our health and safety. Your life could easily depend on this ambulance being available on a 24hr. basis.

It would be easy to have it stationed at the Fire Department that is manned 24/7, has trained EMS personnel and drivers. First we have to find it. Rumors are that it is in Guatemala where it was used to help resolve a personal debt of the Minister. We need to know where are ambulance is, how it got there and why no one will talk about it. Silence creates rumors and that Ambulance belongs to the people of Benque.

This Ambulance was a gift of the Italian government to the Town of Benque Viejo Del Carmen. It must be accounted for, it was a gift from a foreign government to the Town. There must be transparency and accountability in all levels of government including Town Council and Ministers of Government. It is our right to demand transparency and accountability. We NEED that ambulance for our own safety and the safety of all the children of Benque.

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Mike Campbell

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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Benque Ambulance, Down But Not Out

The ambulance for the Town of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, which also provides service to surrounding communities, has been missing from the area for emergencies, and because of that, rumours have been circulating that the allegation is that it has been confiscated by a business entity in Melchor De Menchos as some sort of collateral for a supposed ministerial debt.

Well, Mayor Miguel Velasquez of the Benque Viejo Town Council, which manages and maintains the ambulance, told 7News today that this allegation is UNTRUE. He explained that the ambulance broke down for some days now, and they've been trying to get it fixed. An auto mechanic was identified in Peten, Guatemala as the ideal person to repair it after an extensive search, so it was towed to his mechanic shop. Velasquez said that a particularly difficult part for the ambulance had to be ordered, and the mechanic is in the process of installing it to finalize the repairs.

He added that the mechanic has assured him that it will be ready for operational use sometime next week.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Benque Mayor says ambulance not confiscated, but in Peten for repairs

On Monday, we reported that Benque Viejo del Carmen and surrounding villages have been without an ambulance for the past several months.� While it was initially rumored that the vehicle has been confiscated in neighboring Guatemala, the Benque Viejo Town Council, which is responsible for providing the service, says that the ambulance was simply towed to Peten for mechanical repairs last November.� That is, says Mayor Miguel Velasquez, after exhausting all efforts to have the vehicle repaired in Belize.

Via Phone: Miguel Velasquez, Mayor, Benque Viejo del Carmen

Miguel Velasquez

"The ambulance which is under the care of the Benque Viejo Town Council has been servicing not only the community of Benque but it has also been assisting the San Ignacio Hospital and even the Belmopan Hospital.� That was already about two years ago.� Now what happened was that in late-November of last year, 2013, we were having some mechanical problems in the transmission and therefore the Benque Viejo Town Council was obliged to stop its runs and tow it to a mechanic shop.� We took it to a mechanic shop in the Cayo District and being that it is a semiautomatic and one of the latest Italian model which is a Fiat 2010.� The mechanic couldn't find exactly what the problem was so we got some information from a mechanic in the Peten area that he would probably assist us with the repairs of the ambulance.� We actually towed the ambulance to the Peten area and the mechanic in the Peten area, he brought down the transmission and he found the part that is needed in order to do the repairs; however, because of the necessary part, we could not get it anywhere close by in Guatemala we had to order it through an agency in Guatemala City.� And that's what has been taking a little bit long in getting that part that's needed for the repairs to be completed. When we had the ambulance, the ambulance assisted the San Ignacio and even the Belmopan area, now presently what we are doing is working along with the San Ignacio Hospital so if we have any emergency they send over the ambulance from San Ignacio to assist us here in Benque Viejo.� That's the way we have been working, we have a very good communication with the San Ignacio Hospital and the same way that we assisted them now they are assisting us in that same manner."

The ambulance was donated to the residents of Benque Viejo by the Italian government and is managed by the local town council.

Channel 5

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