Authorities defy the law and lift No-Liquor ban on Good Friday
Under the Laws of Belize, the sale of liquor is prohibited on Good Friday, but over the Easter weekend, that law was unexpectedly lifted on Ambergris Caye. The decision came on Friday evening and by all indications, it was a decision made by the Chair of the San Pedro Liquor License Board Jennie Staines on the suggestion of Area Representative Manuel Heredia. The decision undermines efforts made by the San Pedro Town Council in which they had warned liquor license holders about the prohibition made under the Laws of Belize.
According to Minister Heredia, while he has no power to lift the law, he did suggest to Staines that the law be lifted that evening. Heredia told The San Pedro Sun that as the Minister of Tourism, he felt it necessary to lift the law to accommodate the tourists. He claims that he suggested having the law lifted at the conclusion of the public religious activities which included the street procession. Staines said that as such, businesses that would already be open under certain restrictions – such as restaurants, hotels and shops were allowed to sell liquor after the Roman Catholic Church procession. Because it was a last-minute decision, Stains said that calls were placed to some businesses in the downtown area while other establishments were visited to inform them of the decision.
The decision to lift the law at the eleventh hour goes contrary to the two-week campaign that San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) had launched in the local media. In various ads, the SPTC warned business establishments and the general public about the prohibition of the sale of liquor from Thursday, April 2nd at midnight to Friday, April 3rd at midnight.
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