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#449694 - 10/25/12 02:14 PM Today's Belize News: October 25, 2012
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The San Pedro Sun

Armed Robbery at Western Union Branch
No arrest has been made in the armed robbery of the Western Union Branch at Ambergris Lake Villas which occurred on Friday, October 19th. Sometime before 3PM on Friday, police responded to the call and upon arrival they observed a male person suffering from head injuries and bleeding. The lone employee, Bernis Gutierrez of the Western Union Branch which is operated by Milo’s Center said that two men of dark complexion entered the office by posing as customers wanting to conduct a transaction. “I was getting ready to balance the transactions I made that day. And I was sitting down counting the money just making sure that everything was right. Then two gentlemen came in; they kind of forced the door open because I usually have it locked due to the fact that I have money in there. So it kind of cautioned me a little, but the gentlemen came in and asked if I still do Western Union and I said yes. As they were looking for their ID, it was a surprise to me instead of an ID one of them took out a gun and the next one took out a knife and told me to hand them all the money. I told them that the money is here. You can take whatever you want, just don’t harm me. And then they pushed me against the wall and with the point of the gun, hit me on the side of my head and then with the bottom of the gun, the man punched me in the nose. And they just throw me to the floor. As I was on the floor, I was bleeding. They just took the cash I had; they took the laptop and my personal phone. Then before leaving they kick me like three times and then they went to the front but I really didn’t see which way they went. I just stayed on the floor lying down to be safe until they were gone,” said Gutierrez who suffered minor head injuries and was treated and released. Gutierrez explained that while he did not recognize the two men, a surveillance camera captured the incident.

One Love store held up by armed thieves
The crime situation is fast spinning out of control in San Pedro Town, as yet another business establishment was held up at gun point in broad day light. One Love Store, situated in the DFC Area was the latest business targeted by armed thieves. The lone storekeeper, 17 year old Amid Harmouch was held up by two men shortly before 11AM on Wednesday, October 24th. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Harmouch said that sometime before 11AM, he noticed two brown-skinned males of Creole descent on separate bicycles approaching the entrance of the store. The two men had their faces covered when they entered the store and went over to Harmouch, each pointing what appeared to be silver guns. The men then demanded that Harmouch handover the cash from the cash register. Harmouch explained that he was very nervous and agitated, so he was ordered to lie down in the corner of the store. Fearing for his life, the shopkeeper complied. Just as the men stormed the cash register, a female customer entered into the store. At that point one of the armed men pointed his pistol at the lady. The woman, who choose to remain anonymous said, “Just as I was going into the shop I was standing at the entrance, one of the men took and pointed a gun at me. I think they figured that I saw what was happening so they pointed the gun at me. I took the risk and I ran outside and began screaming. The two men, who had masks and were armed, decided to hurry. I saw when they began taking out the money from the cash register and grabbed a laptop and a cell phone ran out of the shop.”

Ambergris Today

Mathieu’s Delicatessen Says Goodbye to San Pedro
Owners Gunter Mathieu and Anna Williams will be relocating to Placencia, where they will both be joining the prestigious Robert’s Grove Resort. Chef Gunter will be running the bakery there and catering to four in-house restaurants. He will also be developing Robert’s Grove Deli and provisioning business and will oversee “Habaneros” restaurant on site. Anna will be coordinating dive, snorkel and inland tours and will be responsible for developing and marketing new products at Robert’s Grove, including Chef Gunter’s food businesses. Mathieu’s will strive to continue to supply many of their wholesale customers in San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Belize City, with a view to catering to retail customers in the future, dependent on an agreement with an appropriate store here in San Pedro. Gunter and Anna would like to thank everyone in San Pedro and Caye Caulker for an amazing two years’ custom, support and encouragement. Whilst sad to be leaving friends in San Pedro, they are excited at this opportunity for expansion and new ventures, which was unfortunately not possible on Ambergris Caye. They welcome any opportunity to keep in touch on their email: mathieus.delicatessen@gmail.com, via Facebook or by phone 670-3354 or 626-2925.

BTB makes first step towards hosting 2013 Mundo Maya Games
In the spirit of promoting and representing our commitment to the Mundo Maya initiative, the logo of MUNDO MAYA (registered trademark) is now on the face of the BTB’s building. The logo is formed by the “conch” symbol and the title, MUNDO MAYA. It synthesizes the philosophy and objectives of the program, expressing the unity between the Mayan culture and nature which have been in existence for more than 2000 years. The Mundo Maya trademark was created to identify a common image and to position the product as a regional tourist destination worldwide. This partnership between the BTB and the Mundo Maya organization seeks to strengthen and foster an ongoing budding relationship. With a readily visible and identifiable logo, the Mundo Maya’s objectives and philosophies have been easily instilled into the culture of the BTB and the tourism stakeholders, through a positive identification with the Mundo Maya Organization.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: My Favorite Croc Capture
This is still my favorite capture! This was a problematic croc that we were asked to remove by local residents from WASA. The croc became problematic because it was being illegally fed as a "tourist attraction." Crocodiles are apex predators, just like bears, and learn to associate humans as a food source once fed. In the USA, any alligator that has been fed by humans is shot immediately. Please do not come to Belize and feed the wildlife. It is illegal here, just as in any other country, under the Belize Wildlife Protection Act (Chapter 220).

Traditional Healers Forum
Tomorrow, at the George Price Centre, there will be a Traditional Healers forum. Thanks go out to the Institute for Social and Cultural Research and National Institute for Culture and History for the event. "Call for Traditional Healers! Calling all Traditional Healers countrywide to participate in our second form. The first forum held in January was a huge success, we are looking for more healers across the country to participate in our second forum."

Lucky 5 Sports Bar Commercial
Lucky 5 Sports Bar and Grill has a new commercial, and it looks professional. Make-Belize Films created it. Lucky 5 is at the base of the Cahal Pech hill. "Check out our brand new TV commercial for Lucky 5 Bar in San Ignacio, 100% made in Cayo!!"

"A Most Compelling Wildlife Story"
Roni Martinez has a touching story, that was timed perfectly with the opening of the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic. They got a call about a captive Spider monkey that was abused, and near death. After the ceremony, the monkey was confiscated, and Roni was there to document it. "The Human race; A species capable of great compassion, and great destruction. I had always seen wildlife medicine from a different angle, not knowing what ALL it entails. Not fully understanding the hardships and setbacks, or the expense and the complications. After the inauguration of the BWRC on Friday October 19th, I had the life changing experience of living a day with Belize's TOP wildlife vets. This, changed forever the way I look at wildlife medicine."

October Cayo Event Calendar for San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize

Tropic Air Starts Cayo Run on December 10th
It's Time to Fly! Tropic Air has released their flier with the flights to and from Cayo. They'll have 2 flights to Maya Flats, Cayo's newest airstrip, each day, one from Belize City, and one from San Pedro. They both arrive at 12:40, and then head back at 12:45. Hopefully, they'll add Placencia soon since that's the next stop from Cayo.

UEFA Champions League 2012/2013 Standings after round 3
Filed under: football, sports, UEFA 2012 2013, uefa champions league These are the standings after round three of group stages of the UEFA Champions League 2012/2013. The biggest surprises after round three are German giants Borrusia Dortmund (defeating Real Madrid by 2-1) and Spanish powerhouse Malaga (defeating AC Milan 1-0). Both teams lead their respective groups and are looking sharp in this edition of the UEFA Champions League. The biggest let-down comes from current Premier League Champions, Manchester City, whom stand at the bottom of group D.

Channel 7

Wealthy Well-Known Lebanese-Belizean Businessman Executed
Alfred Schakron is a wealthy well-known, well-connected Belizean businessman - but this morning all his money and influence could not save him as he was executed in the street. It happened on Coney Drive in the City's northside - where murders or acts of violence occur very rarely. Schakron becomes the second Lebanese businessman to be murdered in broad daylight in 22 hours - and his killing appears to have been carried out by other Lebanese. For many, it is a frightening event - that such a powerful man could have been killed with such ease and impunity. But police say it is an indication that something serious is afoot within the Lebanese community. Monica Bodden was on the scene this morning and she has this report: Family, friends and employees of JEC filled the parking lot outside the KHMH this morning -when news broke that businessman Alfred Shakron was gunned down. His ex-wife and mother of his two children - Yolanda Shakron - had to be consoled when she arrived at the hospital. Shakron's 16 year old daughter was rushed to the hospital by her school teacher. And as she got outside the vehicle, there was an awful shrieking wail from his high school aged daughter.

Aziz Dib Was Shot Five Times
And while you could say that Alfred Schakron was an institution in Belize City - yesterday's murder victim, 40 year old Abdul Aziz Mohammed Dib was only a visitor who came to Belize every few months. Dib was a US Citizen and car dealer who went for lunch yesterday at King Kabob Lebanese Restaurant. Police say he was sitting with Khaled Assaad when a masked creole make strode in and opened fire at close range. Today, police are reporting that he was shot 5 times, to the left hand, center of the abdomen, upper chest area, head, and lower back. Police found nine 9mm expended shells on the scene. No one has been detained for either murder. According to the 2010 census, there are 240 Lebanese in all of Belize, which is less than .1 % (point 1 percent) - so, to have two Lebanese murdered in 22 hours is highly exceptional.

Trial By Media?
38 year Laverne Longsworth, better known as "Antichrist", has been standing trial for murder in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas for the past 8 days. She is charged in connection with the death of her 32 year-old common-law husband, David White. The allegation which is currently being tested in the case before Justice Lucas, is that on July 15, 2010, Longsworth threw gasoline on White and lit him on fire. He died 17 days later at the KHMH from burn injuries. The case is peculiar because the main pieces of evidence that the crown counsel is using to try to convict Longsworth are the interviews she gave to this media house and Channel 5. As a result, media personnel, who have been summoned by the court, are the ones giving testimonies for the prosecution. This is the first time in recent history that the court is accepting electronic evidence to be admitted in a criminal trial.

Prison Officer Fined 10K For Weed Smuggling At Prison
28 year-old Amir Reyes, a former prison officer from Orange Walk Town, has to pay $10,000 after he was convicted of drug trafficking in Magistrate Court today. He was caught trying to smuggle weed into the prison. The prison officer who busted Reyes testified in the trial that at around 6:50 p.m. on May 7, 2012, Reyes reported to work with a black bag. When the officer searched the bag, he found a container which contained food. Underneath the food, the officer discovered two black plastic bags stuffed with 324 grams if cannabis, almost three-quarter pound. As a result, police arrested and charged Reyes with drug trafficking. In his defense, Reyes testified saying that while on the way to work, he met a man who gave him to bag to take to prison. He said that this was the first time he met this "Kent", and he didn't know that drugs were inside. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, after considering the evidence, found Reyes guilty of the offence, and she particularly remarked that his story was, quote, "a pack of lies". Since it was his first drug trafficking conviction, Chief Magistrate Smith sentenced Reyes to pay the mandatory $10,000 fine. He was ordered to pay $5,000 forthwith and the balance by June 30, 2013, or he will face 3 years in prison if he defaults on payment.

UNO's Momento
You've probably seen the UNO signs up at gas stations in your area. And that's because the Central American company has taken over all the service stations that used to be Texaco - a total of 10. Those stations have now been re-fitted, re-branded and reloaded with a type of fuel called UNO Pro. The company was officially launched today at the gas station at mile one on the northern highway and we found out more about what's in the new name: Jules Vasquez "What's that brand, UNO?" Andrea Eiley - Local Finance Officer, UNO Belize "UNO is a regional brand that comes from Honduras. Our main office is Honduras, and we have our UNO brand in all of the Central American countries, including Belize." Jules Vasquez "What does the change represent for the people who've been used to the Texaco Gas Stations." Andrea Eiley "The UNO brand comes with quality products, which includes and additive in the premium, lubricants, and quality customer service at our stations." Jules Vasquez "And so, there is no premium anymore."

Only One out of Five Elderly Say They Are Healthy
Today is United Nations Day and the United Nations Population Fund and HelpAge launched a report called "Ageing in the 21st Century: A Celebration and A Challenge." The condition of the aged is relevant all over the world - because, eventually, all of us are expecting to get to a good old age, when hopefully we will be well taken care of. 7.1% of the Belize's population is older than 60 - but only 1 out of 5 says he or she is in good health. And of greatest concern is that two-thirds of the population of older persons does not receive a pension or financial benefit. The chairman of HELPAGE told us about the condition of the Aged at today's launch: Evan Dakers - Chairman, HELPAGE Belize "The importance of this report has to do with the fact that it chronicles some of the major demographic changes that are taking place in the world's population. And we are focusing specifically - of course - on that age group which is 60 years and older. And it looks at how, as the world's population becomes older as it ages, countries have to put in place relevant policies and programs to meet those special needs of the population 60 years and older."

Elderly Man Sent To Jail Because of Nephew
Tonight, 66 year-old Cyril Banner is at prison after he was taken to court for attempting to murder his nephew. The allegation is that on Saturday, Banner's nephew came to his home and hit him in the stomach, and as a result, he pulled a machete hit the nephew with it, inflicting injuries. As a result, police arrested and charged Banner with attempted murder, grievous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. Banner was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith this afternoon, and due to the nature of the offences, no plea was taken, and he was remanded to prison until November 27. Banner is being represented by attorney Arthur Saldivar.

Mayan Communities Sing Resolutions Against Capital Energy
SATIIM and the Maya Communities it represents will attend the public consultation on the environmental Impact Assessment tomorrow evening in Sundaywood Village. But, they aren't going happily. They have gotten signed resolutions form the villages of Conejo, Crique Carco, Midway and Graham Creek. The resolutions say that these communities have not been consulted and have not granted their free, prior and informed consent. They say that they want a just agreement with the oil company which addresses their rights, concerns and needs through a process that represents full and effective participation. The resolutions are signed by over four hundred villagers in those communities as well as Vilage Alcalde's and chairmen. The background to all the resolutions is that Maya customary land tenure was established by the court in all these communities. They say that their communities must grant consent before US capital Energy proceeds with oil exploration in the lands falling under customary land tenure.

Riding For A Reason
The Ride Across Belize started its ninth annual ride this morning at 7:00 in Corozal Town in front of the Social Security Office. 80 plus miles later - the first leg of the four day event ended five hours later in Belize City - again at the social Security Office. It was an easy ride for some and a mighty struggle for other - but all for a good cause. We found out more from the organizer: Chandra Cansino - Organizer/Participant, Ride Across Belize "This year we know that the big issue in the news is crime, and we try to align ourselves with what is happen in the country of Belize. So this year, we decided to ride for 2 organizations that are trying to assist with that problem. There is no shortage of nay-sayers and critics, but we decided that perhaps, the way to address it right now - because everybody wants to improve the situation - is to help an organization that is already making the effort themselves. So, we chose Crimestoppers and Belize Emergency Child Response."

A Bible You Can Relate To
Many Belizeans learn kriol as their first language - but do they pray in kriol? And for those who do, does God understand? Those are questions of divinity - that no investigative report could ever hope to answer. But, the folks at the National Kriol Council say they know that kriol is accepted at the Heavenly Headquarters in the sky. That's why they're translating the bible. We got chapter and verse on that story today: Jules Vasquez Reporting Ian Guttierrez "Ahn like how the high priest ihself, we inna lot ah ways, ih cud deal with dehn wan inna wah gentle way, when dehn mek mistake ahn noh know weh dehn di do.'

Channel 5

Megabingo & JEC owner, Alfred Schakron, murdered
Less than twenty-four hours after the execution of Lebanese car dealer Abdul Aziz Mohammed Dib, multi-millionaire businessman, Alfred Schakron was gunned down. Schakron returned to Belize on Tuesday and this morning he went to the Body 2000 Gym.  At about nine-thirty, he left the gym and was about to get into his vehicle when a [...]

Megabingo will not air on Wednesday in memoriam of owner’s murder
This piece of information for Mega Bingo clients. The game has been postponed tonight due to the murder of its owner Alfred Schakron. The company says it will go back to the regular schedule of the popular live game show this coming Saturday.

Who paid cash for the shooting death of illegal Guatemalan gold panner?
A compassionate grant for the family of the Guatemalan national Francisco Quinn Yat has stirred up an ants nest. Social activists have condemned payment of the grant on the grounds that Belizeans who have been killed by the B.D.F. have not received compensation and that Quinn Yat was in fact illegally in Belizean territory when [...]

Tourist arrivals go up at the PGIA
The Belize Tourism Board is reporting that tourism arrivals are on an upward trend. For the month of September, the B.T.B. says that tourist arrivals at the Philip Goldson International Airport were up by a whopping thirty point two percent from last year. And according to B.T.B., for the first time in the last ten [...]

No love at One Love Store as 2 gunmen hold up clerk
While visitor numbers are up, crime is also escalating in the prime tourist destination, San Pedro. Before eleven o’clock this morning there was another broad daylight armed robbery. Two armed men stormed into the One Love store situated in the DFC area and held up the lone shop attendant and a customer at gun point.  [...]

What’s that fuss; prisoners brawl on the prison bus
It was an unusual spectacle at the Magistrate’s Court this morning when a fight broke out on the prison bus. Prison officers could not diffuse the situation and police officers posted at the court had to intervene. The reason for the brawl is not known, but the situation became dangerous since several of the prisoners [...]

Anderson and Sosa committed to stand trial for murder in bathroom
Ashton Anderson and Christopher Sosa, who were in the prison bus fight, were committed to stand trial for the murder of Romel Palacio Senior. On Father’s Day on June nineteenth, 2011, gunmen stormed inside a house looking for Romel Palacio Junior, but found his father inside the bathroom and shot him multiple times on the [...]

Only grass safe; stealing lumber and plywood from the house
It has also been dangerous in the old capital where burglaries and thefts are on the rise and the perpetrators are getting younger. Burglars aren’t only targeting the items in your home; they are also going after the walls. According to Ewarth Sutherland, he left plywood and two by four strips of wood attached to [...]

Getting older, but with more health challenges
A report on the aging population was launched in Belize by UNFPA’s country office, HelpAge International and the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. It serves as a report card on the situation of older persons since the International Plan of Action was implemented ten years ago. The report found that people [...]

Belizeans get creative with Florida Caribbean Cruise Association’s Competition
Two Belizean students made it in the top three in the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association’s regional environmental poster awareness competition. Earlier this year, the BTB teamed up with the FCCA to promote and stimulate environmental awareness among Caribbean students. This year, the competition was conducted in two categories: a junior division for children ages twelve [...]

Ride Across Belize for your favorite charities
Cyclists and enthusiasts of the sport, participating in the ninth annual Ride Across Belize, pedaled on the Philip Goldson Highway today. The event has two main objectives: one is to promote healthy lifestyles and the other is to raise funds for needy charities.  The social occasion which has typically commemorated the anniversary of the Social [...]

Customs Officers stop ozone depleting products from hitting the market
The Department of the Environment teamed up with the UN Environment Program for a workshop on a subject that is not the exciting but is vital in the monitoring of substances that hazardous to the ozone. It is the third session with the Customs Department to sensitize them on the potential for the illegal trade [...]

LOVE FM

Prominent Businessman Killed In Broad Daylight
There was another north side execution for the second consecutive day and this incident was not the regular street gang revenge, but by all accounts, a calculated and precise attack on a businessman. His name is Alfred Schakron, the owner of one of Belize’s most successful ...

Police News
Investigations continue into yesterday’s broad daylight murder of businessman Abdul Aziz Mohamed Dib. Aziz was shot dead just after one o’clock yesterday afternoon inside the King Kabab Restaurant at number four Farmers Market in Belize city. According to police...

People's National Party Calls for Removal of Foreign Minister
There has been a fresh call for the removal of the minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. This time the call comes from the Toledo-based People’s National Movement. In a statement issued today, the PNP says that Foreign Minister Elrington has on multiple occas...

Opening of Citrus Processing Season Starts With Controversy
The opening of the processing season for citrus is about to start … but not without controversy. The Citrus Growers Association is suggesting that the factory at Pomona be opened at the end of the month; but country’s largest processor, the Citrus Products of Belize ...

Prominent Businessman Murdered
Reports reaching Love FM News Centre are that a prominent businessman/owner of a pawn shop in Belize City was shot this morning as he exited the gym on Coney Drive in Belize City. Details coming shortly. ...

CTV3

Another Lebanese Murdered In Belize City
The blood bath continues in Belize City as another Lebanese national was murdered this morning. At approximately 9:40am Belize City Police were called to an area in front of Body 2000 Gym on Coney Drive where they observed the lifeless body of millionaire businessman Alfred Shakron who was seen suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Initial investigations reveal that at approximately 9:20am, Shakron was about to get into his vehicle which was parked in front of the Gym when shots were fired at him from another vehicle. The bullets found their mark on Shakron’s neck, chest and left side causing his demise. Police recovered two expended 9mm shells and one .22mm shell from the scene. Police have reasons to believe that this is not a random act of violence nor is it gang related and that the murder has all appearances of being an organized hit having to do with a business deal gone wrong. Police are also investigating if Shakron’s murder could be connected to the killing of 40 year old Aziz Dib who was murdered execution style around midday yesterday. Alfred Shakron is the ex-husband of Yolanda Shakron President of the advocacy movement Belizeans for Justice.

Secretary General Insulza Denies Making Payment To Guatemalan Family
February 2nd of this year marked 3 years that Atanacio Gutierrez was shot dead by a member of the Belize Security Force during the massive riot at the junction of BSI. Gutierrez was one among thousands of farmers calling for the removal of the infamous core sampler. Since the death of her husband Benita Gutierrez has been pressing the Prime Minister to have her husband’s death investigated but her requests have fallen on deaf ears because three years after not a single move has been made. Compensation for her lost is nowhere in the horizon and the mother of six has been struggling to make ends meet while the Government of Belize is more than willing to compensate the family of Guatemalan National Francisco Quim Yat who was shot and killed by a Belize Defense Force Soldier seven miles east of the Belize/Guatemala border a few weeks ago. Viewers might recall that a few days ago the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the government of Belize will contribute U.S$10,000 towards a fund for the family of the deceased who left behind 7 children. The “compassionate payment”, as how the Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington calls it, would be administered by the OAS who had already made a payment to the family. It was also reported that the finances would be obtained from a peace fund established by the OAS.

Jasmine Alert Launched In Corozal
During the meeting last night between officials of the Corozal Police Department and the community of Corozal, the Jasmine Alert Program was also launched. As the name implies, it’s a warning system in memory of the slain 13 year old Jasmine Lowe and every other teenager that has been brutally murdered. The program was officially launched back in July and since then a team of trained personnel have been travelling across the country carrying out a sensitization campaign. From what we found out, the program is a nationwide initiative that links police department’s country wide. Dehanne Augustine- National Coordinator Jasmine Alert “Many at times when people are so traumatized because they can’t find their kids, their child has been living with you for twelve years, you grow up that child, you bathe that child and don’t make the police ask mom what colour is your child hair and that is like the hardest question like taking CXC because you are so confused and you have seen that child for years and all of sudden it is important to know the colour of the eyes, it is important to know the shape of the nose, it is important to know what colour of clothes that child was last seen wearing so when you get to the police and you don’t remember these things it is the police responsibility to help you, it is the police responsibility to help you get relaxed so that you can try recall some of this information.”

Corozal Officers Meet With Residents
It’s very rare to hear about police officers meeting with their respective community members to listen to their concerns in efforts of building a better working relationship. That is what newly appointed Senior Commanding Officer at the Corozal Police Station, Andrew Ramirez, did last night. In a town’s meeting, Superintendent Ramirez presented to residents the crime statistics for Corozal Town for the months of July, August and September of this year. The participation of residents was not what we expected but the initiative and effort was present and so was our news team. Last night residents of Corozal Town gathered at the Andres Campos Civic Centre to air out their concerns to the newly appointed Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation Andrew Ramirez. Of course one of the main causes of concern is crime which seems to have plagued the once peaceful community. A few months ago the community saw an increase in the number of robberies and burglaries and in order to assists the police a group of concerned residents formed the Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition. But soon after blood began to flow in Corozal and the murder rate started to escalate. The most shocking murder was that of 18 year old Shanny Federsdorf and her mother 35 year old Clari Federsdorf which was recorded on July 4th. But the carnage did not end there; just one week after, another double murder was recorded. This time 38 year old Robert Hernandez and his cousin 50 year old Kenrick Vacarro were the victims.

Attorney Speaks On Behalf Of Marina Graniel Kay
Last week the family of a three year old boy from San Pedro Town made a serious accusation against Little Angels Pre-School owned and managed by Marina Graniel-Kay. At the time of the accusation, the story made headlines on all media houses including CTV3 News. The grandmother of the preschooler reported to San Pedro Police that her grandson had been sexually abused while at the preschool. The child, we understand, was examined by two doctors who confirmed that there were signs of abuse. The accusation was cause for public outcry especially in San Pedro and the integrity of the school and owner is now in question. So far no one has been detained by San Pedro Police and answers are slow to come by. But according to Graniel-Kay’s attorney, Dolores Balderamos Garcia, the accusations made against her client are uncalled-for. “I represent Ms. Marina Graniel-Kay and her pre-school Little Angels Pre-School in San Pedro. First of all I’d like to make it clear that I don’t do criminal cases, nor do I represent alleged child abusers. So my client is Ms. Kay and her pre-school and they have the right to the hard earned reputation that she has, she and her pre-school of sixteen years. She’s the principal. Now this is very unfortunate and from my investigation on Friday in San Pedro, this seems to be the case of an overzealous education officer, who is conducting one’s self in a most unprofessional way and I don’t say that lightly because what has happened in this matter is that rumors have just grown legs and all of a sudden my client’s family seem to be involved and it is absolutely unfounded. We took the opportunity to meet a length with the police, who have assured us that this case is only in the very initial stages of investigation. There is no suspect or suspects at this time. There are angles that any, you know, self-respecting and professional investigative journalist will want to examine in terms of the possible abuse of this child but I can say with certainty that not even the doctor’s reports have been properly obtained by the police and that has come directly from the police themselves in San Pedro. Apparently this individual has claimed that she is going to shut down Little Angels’ school and I really would wish that the ministry would want to take a very hard look at that kind of most irresponsible statement.

Ride Across Belize For A Worthy Cause
It started in 2004 as a public relations tactic for the Social Security Board but over the years the Ride Across Belize has gained recognition as one of the most high profile fundraising events on the calendar. The 9th “Ride Across Belize” started this morning in Corozal with the hope of raising much needed funds for Crime Stoppers Belize and the newly formed pressure group Belize Missing Child Emergency Response. About 70 riders left Corozal Town at around 6:00 this morning and two hours later they arrived in Orange Walk. Our news team met the riders for the first leg of the ride and found out more about their cross country effort. Hipolito Novelo - Reporting Just minutes after 8:00 this morning over 70 riders made their way into Orange Walk Town after peddling for more than 35 miles from Corozal Town. It was a journey that took them nearly 2 hours but they all did it for an important cause. Chandra Cansino, Organiser/ Rider “Thank God the weather has been in our side and it hasn’t rain at all as forecasted and there is a little bit of cloud cover so that is helping us to stay cool. We have a lot of elite cyclist that help the none elite cyclist because a lot of cyclist that do this ride are amateurs or people that have never ridden these distances and so they have been very, very supportive and helpful and we are very grateful for that as well.”

FFB Selects Orange Walk Players For National "A" Team
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) this afternoon sent out a press release in which it lists the players for the first selection for the National “A” Team. These players will be called to camp scheduled to commence on October 30th and finalize on November 29th. So far 32 footballers have been chosen to fill the post of goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and strikers. Three goal keepers have been chosen and one of them hails from the Orange Walk District. He is Calvil Richard from the Village of Santa Cruz. Eleven defenders and midfielders have also been chosen. For the midfielders, Digel Chacon and Alexander Diaz, both from Orange Walk Town, have made the roster. Russell Casanova from Corozal and Nelson Pech from Orange Walk made it on the lists of strikers.

LOVE TV

CARICOM Secretary General says integration process is not stalled
The Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Ambassador Irwin LaRocque today met with media practitioners in Belize City. LaRocque, who took office in August, 2011 is on a working visit to Belize during which he is meeting with government officials, including Prime Minister Dean Barrow. LaRocque is also meeting with private sector representatives as well as visiting CARICOM institutions which are headquartered in Belize. During the media roundtable discussion, LaRocque heard open and frank discussion of various issues affecting the media’s coverage of Caricom activities. A major hindrance as pointed out by Love FM’s Patrick Jones is the ‘disconnect’ between the media in belie and the CARICOM Secretariat, particularly in this day and age of instance electronic communication. LaRocque acknowledged the shortcoming and gave media representatives a pledge to end the ‘disconnect’ immediately by ensuring that the relevant channels of communication are fully established and working. During the course of the discussion, Love News asked Ambassador LaRocque if the much talked about CARICOM integration process has stalled. This was his response. The CARICOM Secretary General told reporters that there are good things happening in the region; but that enough of that positive happening is not as widely disseminated as the negatives. Prior to his meeting with media representatives, Ambassador LaRocque met with private sector representatives to hear their concerns regarding CARICOM and the role that Belize plays in the whole scheme of things.

Concerns over garbage disposal in Punta Gorda town
There are concerns about the garbage disposal is carried out in Punta Gorda town. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story.

Global Minds forum held in Belize City
The Global Minds Club at Saint John’s College Junior College is hosting a small forum at the Student Center. Love News spoke with the President of the club, Justin Clarke who told us more about what the club does at the Junior College and gave us details on today’s forum. Eric Hayden from the American Embassy told gave us a sneak peak on his presentation on requirements and the process to become the President of the United States. The forum was held at the Saint John’s College Junior College in Belize City.

Robberies reported in Belize City
A woman was robbed on Monday morning as she walked on Kut Avenue. Lellia Senticum told police that sometime before seven on Monday morning, she was on Kut Avenue when a man riding a bike approached from behind her wearing a yellow rain coat and khaki short pants. She said that the man ordered her to give him what she had in her purse while appearing to be holding something in his pants waist. Senticum said that fearing for her life, she handed over a cellular phone valued at 300 dollars and the man rode off towards Rocky Road. Police investigations continue. Peter Issaka, a nationalized Belizean security guard, reported to police that on Monday night he was riding a silver bicycle valued at 300 dollars on Amara Avenue and heading towards Cemetery Road. He said that upon reaching in front of Grace Primary School a man wearing a white T-shirt and dark long pants and who was leaning on the wall approached him as he slowed down to cross a speed bump. The man allegedly grabbed him from behind and pulled him off his bicycle, when another man ran out of Grace Primary School yard armed with a piece of stick and hit him on the left leg. Issaka said that a third man approached the scene and they demanded his belongings. They three men got away with his bicycle, cell phone valued at 200 dollars, a bag containing personal items, and 20 dollars in cash. A teacher has reported that her house was broken into. Christine Staine reported to police that between 8:30 on Sunday night and 7:30 on Monday morning her house on Vernon Street was broken into and several household items worth over three thousand dollars were removed. Jose Diaz of Mosul Street, Belize City, told police that between 7:00 on Sunday night and 9:00 on Monday morning, a house which he is taking care of was burglarized. The thieves took hair driers, a phone charger, an AC unit, speakers, and assorted items. Police have since recovered the AC unit and other items.

Alleged kidnapped teen returns home
A teenager from San Pedro has been reported missing by her mother, who says she was apparently abducted in Belize City. Love News spoke to Ofelia Polanco, the mother of the missing, 18 year old girl, Miriam Rodriguez and she told us that Miriam was apparently abducted when she came to Belize on Saturday to pick up a laptop computer. However, the chain of events surrounding the alleged kidnapping, are a bit sketchy. Polanco says that she had agreed with a businessman from Belize City who often visits San Pedro that she would purchase a laptop for her daughter from him and had agreed on a payment method. The businessman agreed to take the laptop to the island on Monday. However, Polanco says that on Saturday around 9:00 am, the businessman allegedly called Miriam and asked her to go to Belize City and pick up the laptop. Polanco then told Miriam that she is not allowed to go into Belize City since the businessman had already agreed to take the laptop on Monday, however, Miriam insisted and even threw a tantrum, then told her mother she would still go anyway. Polanco says Miriam got the money from her godfather to go to Belize City on Saturday. Miriam is said to have picked up the laptop, but according to her mother, the businessman informed her that Miriam seemed to be in a hurry and quite suspicious, saying she had to go because they were waiting for her. Miriam is said to have been taken to the store in a white taxi with tinted glass, and there was another occupant in the back seat. Polanco says her daughter told her she would call her before boarding the 3:00pm. Water Taxi back to the island, but the call was never made. The mother says she tried calling her daughter and didn’t get an answer until Sunday morning, when her daughter told her she was kidnapped by two men who took away her laptop and her money. Miriam told her mom that the men blindfolded and gagged her but they actually untied her mouth for her to speak with her mother. She also said the men were injecting her with an unknown drug that caused her to pass out. Polanco says Miriam told her she didn’t know where she was because she couldn’t see anything and the men were asking for a ten thousand dollar ransom. One of the men spoke to Polanco according to her, but she could not understand him because she says he speaks Garifuna or Nigerian. Polanco says Miriam had run away on the 20th of September of this year and had gone to Orange Walk to watch the parade. She also says that there is a twenty four year old male from Orange Walk who was interested in her daughter, but she doesn’t know if her daughter was with him or if she was really being held captive. When Love News contacted San Pedro Police we were informed that an investigation was underway into the situation, but that Miriam is had been contacting her parents and police. We understand that Miriam did not stipulate to police that she was being held captive, but affirmed that she was with a male person. This afternoon, her mother got a call from police telling her that her daughter was at the San Pedro Water Taxi express waiting to board the next boat toward San Pedro, but she said that her kidnappers were nearby keeping an eye on her. Love News understands that Belize City police arrived at the terminal but didn’t find anyone fitting Miriam’s description, however Miriam arrived at San Pedro at 1:30 pm this afternoon. She is alleged to have arrived with different clothes than the ones in which she was last seen and had bruises on her body. She also said that she was raped by her kidnappers and was therefore taken to a clinic in the island. Her mother says there is still confusion about what happened because Miriam is saying a boyfriend in Belize or Orange Walk bought her the new clothes after seeing her in rags.

Businessman murdered inside restaurant
There was a murder in Belize City this afternoon. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Shalini Zabaneh wins gold in regional cycling
Belizean Cyclist Shalini Zabaneh returned to Belize today after having traveled to Antigua and Barbuda to compete in the Caribbean Cycling Championships. Zabaneh did not return empty handed however, as she managed to secure the Gold medal in the Women’s time trial race which took place on Saturday October 20th. Love News spoke with Zabaneh this afternoon and she told us about her experience in Antigua and Barbuda. Second place in the women’s trial went to Nicole Mitchell of Bermuda and third place to Tamiko Butler of Antigua who took the gold in the forty two mile women’s road race on Sunday.

PlusTV

More details on murder of Lebanese businessman Aziz Dib
More details are arising into the murder of a Lebanese businessman who was shot and killed yesterday afternoon. As ...

Owner of JEC Pawn Shop gunned down in broad daylight
Now there was another daylight murder in Belize City today again and it is another Lebanese businessman. A well kno...

People's National Party also call for Foreign Minister to be removed
We have heard from the Belize Coalition for Justice and COLA, calling for the removal of the Minister of Foreign Af...

Businessman robbed in Belize City
A Mennonite businessman was robbed in Belize City yesterday. 25 year old Abram Dyck of Spanish Lookout, was on Neal...

Police interrupt beating and robbery
Police interrupted the beating of a man as a robber tried to take his bicycle. A nineteen year old dental assistant...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Halloween Monster Bash at 88 West/Belize Diving Services
Sat., Oct 27th, 7pm to midnite 88 West

Caye Caulker Cancer Society-Arms of Love
The Caye Caulker Cancer Society will be having a candlelight vigil on Wednesday, October 31st 2012 at 6:00 p.m starting from the Central Park. Feel free to bring along your candles. On Sunday, October 28th 2012 there will be a mass dedicated to the cancer victims, survivors and their families at 9:00 a.m. at La Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion. We are also having a raffle which will be drawn after the candlelight vigil. Any one interested in buying, the cost is $1.00. Prizes: 1st – 1 blender, 2nd – 1 toaster, 3rd – 1 mixer. You are all welcome to come and show support and any one wishing to join our group is welcome to do so. To keep updated with the activities of the group you can join their facebook page Arms of Love. Thank You

Blogs

Taste of Playa Announces Participating Restaurants for 2012
I can’t wait Taste of Playa 2012 is coming up fast November 18th and we are long overdue for one our favorite Belize Mexico foodie adventures. I was on the coconut phone with Mitch yesterday and she has secured the San Pedro foodie crew’s VIP passes before they get sold out. I have included the recent press release below with the 2012 restaurant line up. The participant list is long and based on Taste of Playa 2009, I we will be in 7th Heaven again. I just checked the website and VIP passes are sold out , Taste of Playa pesos another great great way to enjoy the foodie fun and still available. We bought some to top ourselves up up on drinks and a few food items we could not live without more of, they were worth it. You can purchase Taste of Playa Pesos via paypal on the ticket page or get them at the event.

Black & White Bar: A Cultural Center?
As the San Pedro Sun newspaper wrote a few days ago, the Black and White Bar just south of San Pedro Town is making changes. But many people hear the name "Black &White Bar" and they think...girls. A place were you can drink and hang out with ladies that make their money hanging out with you. But recently, after years of leasing out the building to others, the owner Julia Martinez has taken over. She wrote a letter to the newspaper explaining her new ventures and how she wants to bring her culture, the Garifuna culture, to San Pedro. I'd been in the bar before this turnaround (you can see some before pictures here from February) and wanted to see the change for myself...so yesterday I stopped in for a beer. Here is Miss Julia. She very kindly changed into her Garifuna clothing for us. When you are driving south, just past the gas station, the turn off for the bar is by this sign. Black and White had their sign covered since heavy rain seemed to come out of nowhere. There are some intriguing signs when you pull up to the building. We entered and the first room has been totally transformed. Gone are the pool table and the dark lights....

Checklist for the First-time Adventure Traveler
Are you planning to get ready for an adventure travel, taking a break from your tired hectic and stressful lifestyle? Here is what you have to check out. Your checklist does not start from packing your backpack; it just starts right from planning. The primary factor that will decide what to carry and what not to carry along is the weather. Ensure you plan during the right season to visit the desired place. Your adventure trip will be more pleasant and exciting if only you plan during the ideal time of the year. Firstly, checkout the season of the place you are planning to travel. If not the right season, either plan for the next season or change the location whichever you are passionate about.

International Sources

Airlines Are Going To Start Profiling You and Deciding How Much You Should Pay for a Ticket
Airlines are about to start testing a new ticket initiative meant to compete with airfare websites, according to USA Today's Bart Jansen. If all goes well, it could be adopted by 2016. Basically the initiative involves asking for personal information, including frequent flier membership, travel history, and use of credit card, to cook up a personalized ticket. This would enable them to offer discounts to frequent fliers or bundle charges such as meals, extra legroom or expedited boarding. Is this good for consumers? Hard to say yet. Some consumers will be put off if they feel their information is being used against them to charge higher prices, said Brett Snyder of CrankyFlier.com, which tracks the airline industry: "It won't go over well." However, "travelers should be excited if the airlines use [the plan] well," he said, like if they offer a bag fee or not based on their status. "If the airlines are concerned about public perception, then there should be a standard widely available published rate as there is today, but as people log in, it should give the opportunity to bring the cost down."

Hedge Fund Havens Weigh Taxes as Caribbean's Debt Rivals Greece
From the Cayman Islands to the Bahamas, hedge fund havens are considering a surprising remedy for widening deficits -- higher taxes. The Bahamas is planning a town hall to debate a tax overhaul that may include the nation’s first income and sales tax. In the Cayman Islands, which has the highest number of hedge funds in the Caribbean, Premier McKeeva Bush vowed to increase registration fees for the industry after foreign workers balked at a tax on their earnings. Antigua & Barbuda is targeting self-employed workers for tax evasion, with the Finance Ministry calling it “high time” to go after cheats. Hedge funds and other financial companies such as Bain Capital LLC, co-founded by U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have invested in the region to help themselves and their clients lower their taxes. Yet widening deficits and debt burdens that rival Greece are causing some Caribbean governments to reconsider the strategy they used to lure investors in the first place. “They are in a Catch-22,” said Carl Ross, managing director of investments at Oppenheimer & Co. in Atlanta. “If they start raising taxes on expats and trying to extract more blood out of the stone, they make it much less attractive to go there.”

New World Oil & Gas making steady progress with Belize drilling
New World Oil and Gas’s (LON:NEW) first well at Blue Creek in the Petén Basin in northwest Belize is making steady progress toward its primary target. The B Crest well has drilled to a depth of 4,509ft, having passed through anhydrite, dolomite and limestone sequences in line with the company's geologic prognosis. Drilling is on schedule and under budget and progressing at an average rate of 24ft per hour, it said. The primary objective of the well lies at 5,700ft in the mid Cretaceous Y2 interval, 1,300ft below the current depth. New World added it remains on course to reach the total depth of 7,000ft on or before 15 November 2012 where it expects to have reached the base of the mid Cretaceous Y2 interval. William Kelleher, chief executive, said, "We are 1,300ft above our primary objective, being the Yalbac 2 formation, which we believe to contain multiple payzones for this well." The Blue Creek #2 well is part of the company's three well drilling programme at Blue Creek. An independent report compiled by RPS Energy assigned an un-risked P50 resource (ie a 50 per cent chance of oil or gas being produced) of 92 million barrels of oil to B Crest. It is the smallest of three prospects at Blue Creek with a total P50 resource of 329 million barrels.

Smithsonian launches marine effort with $10M gift
The Smithsonian is launching a new initiative to study coastal waters and create the first global network monitoring climate change and human impacts on ocean life with a $10 million gift. Los Angeles hedge fund manager Michael Tennenbaum is announcing the donation Thursday. He says long-term data is needed to raise the level of dialogue about climate change and biodiversity. The project will begin with five marine observatories, studying plants and animals in the Chesapeake Bay, Fort Pierce, Fla., and sites in Belize and Panama. The Smithsonian plans to add 10 more stations within a decade, using federal money, partners and fundraising. Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough says coastal ecosystems are highly affected by humans. He says the Smithsonian will foster long-term study, while universities and others depend on short-term grants.



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 03:42 PM)

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#449695 - 10/25/12 02:15 PM Re: Today's Belize News: October 25, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

New World Oil and Gas announces drilling update, Belize
New World Oil and Gas Plc, an oil and gas exploration and development company focused on Belize and Denmark, is pleased to provide an update on drilling operations at the B Crest prospect on the Company's flagship Blue Creek Project ('Blue Creek' or 'the Project'), located in the productive Petén Basin in Northwest Belize. Drilling operations at the Blue Creek #2 well ('the Well') are continuing on schedule and under budget at an average rate of 24ft per hour. As at 1300 CST in Belize on 24 October 2012, the Well had drilled to a depth of 4,509ft, having passed through anhydrite, dolomite and limestone sequences in line with the Company's geologic prognosis. The primary objective of the Well lies at 5,700ft in the mid Cretaceous Y2 interval, 1,300ft below the current depth. The Well remains on course to reach the total depth ('TD') of 7,000ft on or before 15 November 2012 where it expects to have reached the base of the mid Cretaceous Y2 interval. New World CEO William Kelleher said, "I am pleased to report that drilling operations at B Crest, the first of our three well programme at the Blue Creek Project, Belize, have so far been in line with our expectations and forecast geologic prognosis. We are 1,300ft above our primary objective, being the Yalbac 2 formation, which we believe to contain multiple payzones for this well. I will of course provide the market with further updates on our progress in due course." The Blue Creek #2 well is part of the Company's three well drilling programme at Blue Creek, the details of which are included in the table below:

BCB posts net income from continuing operations
BCB Holdings reported net income from continuing operations of $1.8m for the three months to the end of June against a net loss $1.3m last time. The net income per ordinary share from continuing operations for the quarter was $0.02 compared with a net loss $0.01 a year ago. BCB Holdings current operations are principally comprised of the parent company and its wholly owned financial services division which operates through Belize Bank Limited and internationally through Belize Bank International Limited, both of which are based in Belize. Within Belize, Belize Bank is the largest, full service commercial and retail banking operation with a head office in Belize City and thirteen branches extending into each of the six districts of Belize. The principal operations of Belize Bank are commercial lending, consumer lending, deposit-taking and related banking activities.

$10 million donation launches Smithsonian study of coastal marine biodiversity
Michael Tennenbaum, philanthropist and senior managing partner of Los Angeles-based Tennenbaum Capital Partners, and his wife, Suzanne, have given $10 million to launch a long-term project to study coastal marine biodiversity and global ecosystems, the Smithsonian Institution announced Thursday. The Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories aim to monitor the ocean’s coastal ecosystems to study environmental change around the world’s coasts. “I think it’s way past due,” said Tennenbaum, an avid diver for more than two decades. “As an investment person, I like to deal with relevant information and to have hundreds of billions of dollars affected, and huge discussions around climate change and oceans without long-term, large samples of information is, to me, a bad idea.” Tennenbaum said that when Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough, a longtime friend, called to ask for help, he quickly saw the need. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s population live within 100 miles of a coastline, but long-term ocean data are scarce. “The key is having a standardized method for collecting data and a wide spatial area so scientists can see the big picture over a long period of time,” Clough said.


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