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Brigadier General Steven Ortega retires as head of Belize Defence Force

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Posted: Wednesday, December 22, 2021. 9:54 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Tuesday was Brigadier General Steven Ortega’s last day in command at Price Barracks, Ladyville.

He now goes on retirement after four years at the helm of the Belize Defence Force.

By convention, soldiers retire early from the military and Ortega is no exception.

He told Channel 5 News that his determined time in charge was four years from 2017 when he was installed and that he did not feel pushed out.

Ortega recalled many highlights of his career, including being an advisor to the Government and providing more for the welfare of the soldiers. There were of course challenges, including tackling the drug problem and maintaining control on Belize’s western border. It was also during his tenure that the BDF pulled back from the streets of Belize City where they had been serving in an effort to fight gangs and crimes.

Ortega and the Force were also first to take command of the Joint Intelligence Operation Center when it was established a few years ago. Since then, it has led JIOC on two occasions before the post was rotated between the Belize Police Department and the Belize Coast Guard.

Ortega will be formally succeeded next February by Lieutenant Commander Azariel Loria as reported by Minister of State for Border Security and National Defence Oscar Mira. That ceremony as per usual takes place during BDF Day festivities.

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