#449884 - 10/27/12 09:13 AM
Today's Belize News: October 27, 2012
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The San Pedro Sun
Town Council Acquires Street Roller
The roller was put to the test before the local press and the happy school children at New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School on October 25th. The new piece of equipment came at a cost of about $35,000 which Guerrero said was financed through the general funds of the council collected from taxes. In other news from the council, the SPTC handed a new microscope, a volleyball and basketball to the students of Ambergris Caye Elementary School. According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the donation was a part of the council’s commitment to fulfill the schools “wish list” that had been given to them earlier. Mayor Guerrero said the microscope was donated through the help of an anonymous donor while the council purchased the balls.
Goldson bust on display along Philip Goldson Highway
Sculptor Stephen Okeke today put his massive bust of the late “super patriot” Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson on display just inside the fence of his property that abuts the newly re-named Philip Goldson Highway.
Okeke said that he is not giving interviews to the media but it is obvious that he was calling attention to the fact that although the work was paid for by the Government of Belize in 2008, no one has ever claimed it and no effort has been made to have it properly presented and displayed.
The bronze bust itself is approximately 4 feet tall and weighs almost 600 lbs. It sits atop a 6 foot high reinforced concrete pedestal that weighs nearly a ton.
Okeke began working on the Goldson bust in 2004 after he had completed a bust of the late Rt. Hon. George Price which was installed at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan at its inauguration on September 21st, 2002.
Ambergris Caye Elementary School Receives Donation from SPTC
Students of Ambergris Caye Elementary School will be enjoying fun days playing at their school’s compound as they have just received a kind donation from the San Pedro Town Council.
Deputy Mayor Severo Guerrero along with Mayor Daniel Guerrero handed over a small donation to Ambergris Caye Elementary School of a volleyball, basketball and a microscope (and microscope slides). Both sports balls were donated by the SPTC and the microscope was given to the school by special donor. Deputy Mayor Guerrero stated that there are more donations for all schools on the island yet to be delivered.
Town Council Acquires Compactor Roller for Street Up-keep
The San Pedro Town Council is committed to the up-keep and beautification of the island. The maintenance of the streets has become one of the biggest tasks for the Town Council that has invested thousands of dollars in hard core for the streets as well as for acquiring heavy equipment to fix the streets.
On Thursday, October 25, 2012, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Severo Guerrero showcased to the media their newly purchased compactor roller that will be used to fix and maintain the streets of San Pedro. The compactor was purchased about two weeks ago but wasn’t put to use immediately as it was in need of some repairs.
Misc Belizean Sources
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USCAPITAL ENERGY BELIZE LTD. SAYS THANKS
TO ALL PARTICIPANTS AND ATTENDEES AT THE SUNDAY WOOD EIA PUBLIC CONSULTATION
USCapital Energy Belize Ltd. would like to extend our thanks to the Chairmen, Alcaldes, NGO's and all Toledo communities for making the Sunday Wood EIA Public Consultation a tremendous success. We were amazed by the hundreds of people who attended to observe, learn or contribute their points of view and we are especially encouraged by the overwhelming public support for our oil exploration project!
USCapital Energy Belize respects all the opinions voiced and written at the Consultation, and has taken note of the important contributions submitted by the public. We are preparing for our next phase, based on the trust extended to us by the people of Toledo and in compliance with all national and international Laws.
We wish to carry on our work with our social programs in the villages, and want to emphasize our focus on our ability to communicate directly and honestly with every citizen. As we have done in the past, we will continue to make ourselves fully available not just to provide information, but to listen to and welcome your inputs.
USCapital Energy Belize Ltd. - Working in collaboration with the people and communities of Toledo.
US$8.2 billion in oil at Blue Creek ?
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.
Traditional Healers Forum at the GPC
Pictures from the Traditional Healer's Forum at the George Price Centre.
"The National Institute of Culture and History is truly grateful to all those who participated in making the Traditional Healers Forum a success. We are conscious of the profound importance of traditional knowledge and traditional medicine. We give special recognition to the Healers/Practitioners who have a commitment to practice, share, and preserve the knowledge of our ancestors. Their suggestions and recommendations will be included in the National Cultural Policy to be published in March of 2013. Additionally, a subsequent Healers Forum is scheduled for February 2013."
The Aguada Baby: Baby Madelyn
They had a baby at the Aguada! No, not the proprietors, some guests.
"They chose to stay at The Aguada Hotel in Santa Elena Town to be close to the hospital, which is a mere 6 blocks from The Aguada Hotel. With husband, grandmother and midwife in tow, they visited the hospital only to be told that the baby wasn’t ready to make its GRAND debut—oh no, she wanted to be different from the moment she entered the world! Early this morning (October 26), the cramps started again; but this time, they were stronger and harder. Preparing to leave The Aguada to go to the hospital, Jalima realized she couldn’t even sit—the baby was already on its way! After ONLY 11 minutes of labour, Madelyn Georgiana Gold Leslie entered the world at 1:30 am and is such a beautiful little one!"
'Grease is the Word' BIWG Dance
The Belmopan International Women's Group had their 6th annual dinner dance fundraiser last night at the George Price Centre.
"The group assists members by introducing them to various aspects of Belizean life. They also aim to assist welfare projects in the Belmopan and Cayo areas. Currently, their programmes include monthly food parcels for 8 families in the Cayo district. They also provide clothing for Hospitals to help new mothers and young children and recently added the Palm Center in Belmopan to their projects. The Palm Center is a home for mentally challenged persons. The group donates clothing, toiletries, games, books, magazines, DVD's, CD's as well as anything that could help them create a vegetable garden."
Sacred Heart College Fair
Sacred Heart College is having their Business Expo and Fair today. It starts at 10:00am.
"October 26 & 27
Dog Show, Face Painting, Games
Business Booths, Sports
Food, Disco ...."
The Most Common Words used in Belize Channel 5 News Website [GRAPH]
No offence intended here, this just shows the reality of our country right now; A staggering increase in crime rate.
Tweet Map of Belize
Want to know the latest tweets that are coming from Belize, in numbers? Well, search no more, the one million tweet map, has that information for you, just a click away.
Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic Inauguration
If this does not break your heart to see this animal in pain then you are certainly not Human.
These people are doing great work at Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic.
Always remember its against the law to own a wild animal and if you know of someone who has a wild animal in their posession in Belize, please report it.
Speak for the Animals because they can't speak for themselves!
Thursday Double Murder Makes It Four City Killings In Three Days
There was a double murder in the city last night. Two men were killed in a shooting on Pickstock street.
But, as Monica Bodden found out today - only one may have been the target - and the other may just have been in the wrong place, wrong time.
Monica Bodden Reporting
The double murder happened in this dockyard on North Front Street just before 11 last night.
Neighbors say they heard when the gunshots rang out.
The police arrived shortly after and found the body of the body of 35 year old Frank James lying on the side of the street.
He had a gunshot wound to the left side of the abdomen, two to the right calf and one to the left wrist.
James was pronounced dead at approximately 11:15 last night. But while police were processing the crime scene - searching for evidence in the dockyard, they discovered another murder victim's body - 43 year old Robert Young.
Family of Frank James Speaks
And in that story you didn't hear from the family of Frank James. That's because we didn't manage to catch up with his family until an hour ago.
His common law wife told us that her husband was shot near his friend's home.
She asked to appear off-camera:
Voice of: Radiance Flowers - Common-Law Wife of Deceased
"I heard the noise outside, I got up and opened the door. When I opened the door, I heard someone say that a man got shot, but I never thought it was him. I stood up by the door. The people ran out that way, and when Shaneal came this way, I heard her say that it was 'Card' they shot. And I know that he hangs out there, so I hurriedly put on some close and I left. When I got out there, a young lady met me and told me, 'Don't feel too bad, but it's your man who got shot.' I didn't believe because when I left here, another girl from around here said, 'Radiance, don't worry. It's not Franky. I went by where the police were so I was investigating. So, when I saw a next young man, and from the time he described the close that he got on, a camouflage pants, a red shirt, and a slippers, I already knew it was him."
Monica Bodden "So when you got to the hospital, he was already dead?"
Voice of: Radiance Flowers "He was already dead.
Cops And Robbers On City Streets Endangers Students
And there was an alarming cops and robbers chase in a busy area of the Northside today - where students were put at risk.
It happened in the area of Coney and Princess Margaret Drives, spilling into West Landivar - the intersection of six schools.
The entire terrifying event was triggered by a broad daylight robbery - which happened just before 2 p.m.
3 armed men barged into Moon Grocery on Coney Drive and robbed the shopkeeper of an undisclosed amount of money.
7news captured security camera footage which showed the men casually walked in without masks - and then one of them put a gun to the shopkeeper's face. The footage next shows them running from the scene.
Several police officers responded and set chase after the men, detaining one of them very quickly. He was being transported in the pan of a police mobile, and the robber, in an attempt to escape, pushed the guarding officer out of the moving vehicle. This officer fell into the drain at the Corner of Coney and Princess Margaret Drives.
Why Were Guatemalan Survey Takers in Belize?
Last night we had sketchy details on a group of Guatemalans who were detained in Southern Belize. Tonight, more is known, but it is not encouraging.
The group of nine came into the country legally and were granted visitors permits. But they weren't here to visit; they came instead to conduct a survey.
Punta Gorda police detained them on Tuesday after police found them conducting an opinion survey - asking pointed questions about the Government and the Prime Minister.
The matter was deemed to be one of national security - but police did not charge them.
And so on Wednesday evening, the Immigration Department was alerted to give them an order to leave and escort to the Western border.
No one we spoke to could say with certainty for what purpose they were conducting the survey.
We tried to find out why the Ministry of National Security did not charge them, but no answer was forthcoming.
The Curious Case Of Khaled El Turk
Khalid Jamil El Turk - a Belizean of Lebanese origin remains in the Hattieville prison tonight pending extradition.
The US Embassy today confirmed that he has beenindicted in the United States for pseudoephedrine trafficking.
The Embassy reports that "he was detained on October 16 by the Belize police and arrested on October 18, with a provisional arrest warrant, under the U.S. - Belize extradition treaty."
According to our reports he was arrested at the Belize-Corozal border heading to Cancun.
Belize police believe that El Turk may somehow factor into this week's murder of Abdul Aziz Mohammed Dib - who was killed on Tuesday at the King Kabob Lebanese restaurant.
El Turk's associates in the Belize- Lebanese community flatly deny any connection.
EIA Consultation In Toledo Gets Testy, Anarchic
The public consultation on the Environmental Impact Assessment for US capital Energy was held last night in Sundaywood village - and it was contentious!
The venue was the village Community Center which could not handle the crowd - a crowd which included busses brought in by the Oil company.
Controversy erupted when Greg Cho'q - as the first presenter - took the microphone as the spokesperson Graham Creek, Crique Sarco, Conejo and Midway.
Shortly into his presentation - a part of which was Quechi, Chief Environmental Officer Martin Allegria moved to end his presentation based on a one minute time limits. Allegria was backed up by Sundaywood's Alacalde Mateo Tush who acted as the enforcer.
OCEANA captured the video of what happened and we share that with you.
After that exchange - it took a while for order to be restored, with a great deal of jostling for the microphone, heated hard talk, shouting and negotiating with police.
The anarchy persisted for a at least ten minutes after that - and emotions were running very high.
Who Shot Scott?
Police say they have no suspects in the shooting of 23 year old Anthony Scott.
As we reported, he was shot yesterday afternoon at 4:15 at the corner of Rivero and Barnett Streets.
Police today confirmed that he was shot to his left shoulder and left calf.
SCOTT was with two male friends in front when an unknown gunman came from the direction of Waight Street and fired several shots at the trio.
According to police, The perpetrator then fled the area in the direction of the "South Side" gang's territory.
Shrimp Cleaners At Bze Aquaculture Want An Hourly Wage, Mgmt Says Piece Work
One story that we haven't covered this week is the labour dispute at Belize Aquaculture Limited. That's the Shrimp Farm near Placencia formerly owned by the Bowen and Bowen Group which is now a joint enterprise with a foreign investor.
But new management, new rules - which forced 70 workers to walk off the shrimp packing line on Monday.
Our friends from PLUS TV were there and they got both sides of the story:
Jules Vasquez Reporting
Belize Aquaculture Limited recently resumed operations after a two year shutdown.
But to make the operation profitable this time around, the new management says workers have to produce on a contract basis - which means the end of hourly pay:
A Regional Approach to HIV
Since Wednesday, the regional outreach organization, PAN Caribbeans Partnerships Against HIV & AIDS (PANCAP), has been in Belize for its 2012 annual general meeting at the Biltmore Plaza hotel.
PANCAP is an organization with multinational membership that has been operating since 2001 to try to get the HIV/AIDS epidemic under control in this region.
Today, representatives of the organization gave the media a briefing about the topics they discussed in the AGM for the past 3 days.
Here's what they told us:
Volderine Hackett - Head, Strategic Information and Communication, PANCAP Coordinating Unit
"PANCAP is really the regional mechanism that was established by CARICOM heads of governments to respond to the HIV/Aids epidemic in the Caribbean. PANCAP was established on February 14, 2001 because the situation in the Caribbean was bad. We were having a number of deaths etc., and so we had to have a dedicated response to the deal with the epidemic. PANCAP is really a combination of governments, UN agencies, regional institutions, civil society, and regional networks of persons living with HIV and AIDS. And they have all come together under one strategic framework to design and implement programs that would respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Credit Unions Recruiting Young Savers
Last week, the Belize Credit Union League, an organization where 12 of Belize's 13 Credit Unions are members, celebrated International Credit Union Week.
As part of that celebration, the BCUL held an essay competition with the theme, the Credit Union Difference, and invited entries from high school students, where they had a chance to win as much as $1,000 in cash.
It's a great recruitment tool for young savers. Today, BCUL announced the winners, and 7News got a chance to speak with them.
Here's what they told us:
Clement Usher - President, Belize Credit Union League
"The essay competition actually goes way back. It was something that used to be done, but somehow along the way it stopped. And we decided that we would revive it this year. So Corine and Miguel took up the charge, and I think that they did an excellent job. It's a pity that we didn't get as much submissions as we would have liked, but what was important was the theme, which was "The Credit Union Difference and Members Matter Most."
How to Make Borderline Busts
Recently, when 4 kilos of Crystal Meth was intercepted at the western border - it gave some suggestion of how much illicit traffic is smuggled through formal border points.
Much of that traffic is illicit drugs - destined for the United States the world's largest drug consuming state.
And that insatiable demand is why the US - through its Central American Regional Security Initiative known as CARSI tried to curb supply by providing training and equipment for Belizean law enforcement.
They facilitated an international border interdiction training this week. Margaret Hawthorne form the US Embassy told us how this kind of training has already paid dividends:
Margaret Hawthorne - Representative, US Embassy "'You know what? One of the students in that class was just instrumental in the largest Cocaine seizure on the Northern border of Belize, a hundred and eleven Kilos. And he used his CT-30 kit to go and check a vehicle that had already passed the initial inspection. But, he took his training and he said, 'You know, something is not right.' And working with officials up on the northern border, he identified that there might be a hidden cavity in that vehicle. And they pulled it back, broke it open, and they found 110 kilos of cocaine, so, tremendous success. And just the training a few weeks ago, one of the officers involved in that was part of the team that busted the 4 kilograms of crystal-meth on the Western Highway, just a couple of weeks ago."
Double murder on Belize City. Is a stolen bicycle the motive?
Two Lebanese businessmen were murdered this week. And while the investigations continue into possible links, there is no mistake that Thursday night’s murder of two Belize City men are related. With four men gunned down this week, the police department is yet to make arrests in the cases. However, the brother of one of the [...]
Cop flung from truck and robbery suspects run for freedom
Statistically, most of the country’s murders take place in Belize City, particularly in the south side. But it must be noted that all four of this week’s murders took place on the north side of the city, traditionally regarded as a safe area. Now that the bubble has burst on that myth, it should come [...]
Murder acquittal over 3 years in the making
While the suspects in that robbery case await their day in court, suspects in a three year old murder case spent their final day before a judge in the Belmopan Supreme Court today. The case ended with an acquittal before it could go to the jury. Twenty-two year old Eric Hernandez and twenty-three year old [...]
Carnal knowledge case closes session of Appeals Court
The Court of Appeals heard its last case of the session today. The criminal appeal for twenty-seven year old Guatemalan national, Reymundo Reyes was heard today. Reyes was convicted on February fourth, 2011 after he was found guilty of having sex with a twelve year old child. Reyes, however, will have to wait a little [...]
SATIIM’s Greg Ch’oc removed from mic during US Capital Consultation
The southern part of the country, which is the most economically deprived does not experience the violence associated with the Belize District. However, the residents of Toledo now have a battle of their own with a corporate citizen, since discussions have faltered with US Capital Energy Limited. Consultations regarding the environmental impact assessment for oil [...]
Citrus Industry shake up; growers grow weary and prepare to protest
Trouble is brewing in the Citrus Industry. For several years there has been tension within the industry between its stakeholders. The Citrus Growers Association sent a press release saying, “Growers are advised that the citrus factory illegally opened on Wednesday…while the factory did not have a license to process fruit.” Millions of dollars are at [...]
Elderly couple not quite bankrupt as millions of assets in offshore Belize
Belize is sometimes advertised as a hideaway and a getaway. And an elderly US couple, thought it would be a great place to hide millions of dollars. The couple got into major trouble for hiding the millions in Belize because there were involved in a bankruptcy proceeding. After a year on the run, eighty-seven year [...]
Another “Martinez scammed me” land fraud case
Several Belizean Americans, living in Los Angeles, have contacted this station alleging that they have been swindled out of thousands of dollars by Edward Martinez, the brother of Minister, Anthony “Boots” Martinez. His M.O., according to the BelAms, is to use his brother’s name to convince them to pay him for properties that would be [...]
Burglars have a busy week
While the victims in that scheme no doubt feel violated, several home owners share their pain as their physical property was also treated with irreverence. The spike in burglaries continues unabated and three more incidents have been reported to police in the past two days. On Wednesday, night Police Street resident Ana Ortiz, was the [...]
Passport Office in Belize City remained closed
A number of concerns have been raised by Belize City residents since the processing of passport applications was transferred to Belmopan a few weeks ago. The move by the Immigration and Nationality Department comes in the aftermath of a recent passport scandal involving suspected members of the Islamic militant group, Hezbollah. In an attempt to [...]
Heal the World says traditional healers
Traditional healers from across the country are meeting in Belmopan. They are discussing what is called traditional knowledge, specifically traditional healing and medicine. The topic is broad; it includes songs, music, storytelling and agriculture. According to NICH, it wants to revive that form of alternative medicine which will find its way was part of a [...]
Credit Union League award some youths
Credit Unions have been present in Belize for over sixty-eight years. And with a total of thirteen credit unions countrywide, twelve are members of the Belize Credit Union League. The third week of October is celebrated as Credit Union week and this month is being celebrated under the theme, “Members Matter Most.” But additionally, 2012 [...]
24 countries join Belize in PANCAP’s mission to fight HIV/AIDS
Representatives from twenty-four countries of the Caribbean region have been in Belize since Wednesday for the twelfth Annual General Meeting of the Pan Caribbean Partnership. PANCAP is an alliance of governments, NGOs, private sector and civil society groups that came together in 2001 to fight HIV/AIDS. The meeting was held under the theme PANCAP; Forging [...]
National Aids Commission says time to focus on marginalized groups
While it is a regional discussion, Chairperson for the National AIDS Commission, Kathy Esquivel, says the meeting validates the work that is ongoing in Belize. Esquivel says there have been many successes, and the commission is aware that there is a need to focus resources on vulnerable groups and reaching those who may not be [...]
University Students from India May Not Be Missing After All
Yesterday Police reported that three students of the University of India who were on training in Belize had gone missing. The trio, Amandeep Singh Brar, Parmindr Singh and Gurmukh Singh came to Belize on Sunday for a one week training course at the Belize Archives and Records Ser...
Two Men Murdered on Thursday Night in Belize City
Two men were shot dead on Thursday night in Belize City. The double murder occurred shortly before eleven p.m. near Zeta Ice Factory and claimed the lives of thirty five year old Frank James and forty three year old Robert Young. Police say that several shots were heard at ...
Cash Prizes Issued for Credit Union Week's Essay Competition
Last week was observed as Credit Union Week and a part of activities held was a high school essay competition. High school students were asked to write on the topic “The credit union difference’. Today the winners of the competition were announced. ...
Shots Fired In North Side of the City - Children Hid In Fear and Terror
Residents of the North Side of Belize City were left shaken this afternoon after shots rang out in the area of West Landivar. With two murders occurring recently on the once peaceful north side, it seems like no side of Belize City is being spared of the wanton violence. ...
Police Officers Get Boost In Wages
The Police Department is the extra mile to make working conditions more conducive to law enforcement authorities. Minister of National Security John Saldivar today confirmed to reporters that allowances for police officers which were frozen have now been restored, retroactive to ...
Police Seeks Assistance in Identifying Victim of Traffic Accident
Orange Walk Police are looking for the public’s assistance in identifying the body of a man who knocked down and killed on the Phillip S W Goldson Highway near the Mamayal curve. Sometime around four o’clock this evening the man who was riding a bicycle was reportedly...
University Students from India Disappear in Belize
Three students of the University of India who were on training in Belize have been reported missing. According to police reports Amandeep Singh Brar, Parmindr Singh and Gurmukh Singh came to Belize on Sunday for a one week training course at the Belize Archives and Records Servic...
Twenty-two year old Eric Reynolds, of Casaurina Street charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was found guilty of both charges today. Reynolds was sentenced to five years for each count with the stipulation that the sentences are to run concurrently, so he will...
Thursday, October 26 ------ Guatemalan National Charged for Immigration Offences
A 61 year old Guatemalan national charged with five immigration offences was fined a total of $10,500.00 today after he pleaded guilty to the charges. He is Carlos Mauricio Rosal Perez, a businessman residing on Handyside Street. He was fined $500.00 for false representation of a Beliz...
Man found guilty of firearm charges
Twenty-two year old Eric Reynolds, of Casaurina Street charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was found guilty of both charges today. Reynolds was sentenced to five years for each count with the stipulation that the sentences are to run concurrently, so he will only serve five years. The incident occurred on April 12, 2012. Evidence which came out at the trial revealed that Reynolds was riding a bicycle on Administration Drive and he sped off when he saw a police mobile patrol vehicle. Reynolds was pursued by the vehicle and he was apprehended. When the police searched him they found a point 38 revolver with five rounds of ammunition in its chambers in the waist of his pants. As a result, Reynolds was taken into custody along with the firearm and ammunition and charged. Reynolds testified and denied that he had the firearm and ammunition. He claimed that he rode away from the police because he had cannabis on his person. But Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith did not believe his story and she found him guilty.
Guatemalan guilty of identity theft
A 61 year old Guatemalan national charged with five immigration offences was fined a total of $10,500.00 today after he pleaded guilty to the charges. He is Carlos Mauricio Rosal Perez, a businessman residing on Handyside Street. He was fined $500.00 for false representation of a Belizean passport that was in the name of Naim Matar, a Belizean who resides in Chicago, U.S.A. He was fined $3,000.00 for using a document he is not entitled to use $5,000.00. For using a passport he is not entitled to use, $1,000.00 for using a birth certificate he is not entitled to use and $1,000.00 for using a border permit he is not entitled to use. Magistrate Dale Cayetano ordered him to pay the fines forthwith. If he defaults on payment he will serve two years because the sentences which amount to seven years are to run concurrently. Immigration Officers got on to Perez when he went to the Immigration Department in Belize City yesterday to renew the passport in the name of Naim Matar. His application was referred to the investigation department and it was found that there were some discrepancies in the information in his declaration. As a result, it was discovered that the real Niam Matar was residing in Chicago and that he had two brothers and a sister. When Perez did not return to receive the passport from the immigration Department the northern border was alerted and Perez was apprehended at the Northern border in a black Mitsubishi Montero.
Shooting on Rivero Street, one man injured
A man was shot this evening in Belize City. The incident happened shortly before five this evening on Rivero Street and the victim is twenty-three year old Anthony Scott, a resident of the same street. Love News understands that Scott was walking on Rivero Street when as he reached in front of a green cement house, someone rode past and fired several shots at him. We understand that he was hit in the ribcage and foot and that he is currently receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Emergency ward. When we arrived there, police personnel were processing the scene. A resident told us that she was heading out to the store when she heard three shots and a man speeding off on a bicycle. One of the bullets hit this cement fence and left an impression. Police are looking for a suspect.
Audit finds butane gas and money missing
Police in Corozal are investigating what appears to be a huge case of theft from Belize Western Energy Limited. An audit of the butane gas company’s operations nationwide conducted last month, found that over five thousand gallons of liquid petroleum gas, also known as butane was unaccounted for from the BWEL plant in Ranchito village in the Corozal district. The amount of the unaccounted for butane gas is estimated at twenty seven thousand, nine hundred and seventy six dollars. Furthermore, the audit showed that a reconciliation of sales and deposits for the months of August and September found that twenty four thousand, five hundred and ninety eight dollars and ninety six cents was also unaccounted for. The case is now a criminal matter under investigation by the police.
Exchange students disappear in Belmopan
Three students of the University of India who were on training in Belize have been reported missing. According to police reports Amandeep Singh Brar, Parmindr Singh and Gurmukh Singh came to Belize on Sunday for a one week training course at the Belize Archives and Records Service. The students checked into the Bull Frog Inn in Belmopan; but when an employee of the Archives Department went to pick them up on Wednesday morning, the hotel staff had no recollection of the three visiting students either entering or leaving their room. After getting permission from the hotel’s management, the room where the students were checked in was searched and only their suitcases were found. Police are investigating this strange incident.
Science and Technology competition come to Belize
The Caribbean Science Foundation has teamed up with Sagicor and the Caribbean Examinations Council to hold sensitization workshops throughout the region on Sagicor’s Visionary Challenge for high school students that live in the Caribbean. The idea behind the workshops is encourage competing students to come up with ideas to make their school or community more sustainable, using science, technology, engineering or math. Leading the charge for the Caribbean Science Foundation is Maya Trotz, and she says in this annual competition, anything goes.
Meanwhile the Caribbean Science Foundation also has a program called SPISE, a student program for integration in science and engineering and it’s a summer program held this year in Belize. In the recent program, Belize Telemedia sponsored a student. Ten students from six countries took part in the program, but the plan is to double that number for next year.
Police investigating murders of Lebanese businessmen
Police in Belize City is appealing for the public’s assistance in their investigation of the murders of businessmen Abdul Aziz Mohamed and Alfred Shakron. The two men of Lebanese extraction were shot and killed within twenty four hours and the police have gone on record as describing the two homicides as, quote, “hit-style murders,” end of quote. The Ministry of National Security in a statement to the media on Wednesday said that the killing of Aziz and Shakron is a marked departure from the overall mood in the streets with respect to gang-related violence. Minister Saldivar expanded on this train of thought.
Officer in Charge of Eastern Division Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon Junior told reporters that investigators are pursuing all leads in order to bring the perpetrators to justice and prevent further possible reprisals that may endanger the general public.
ACP Aragon says the police will continue to investigate, not only the two recent murders, but also other crimes, which he described as opportunistic crimes.
Anyone with information that could assist the police in arresting the person or persons responsible for the murders of Abdul Aziz Mohammed and Alfred Shakron is asked to contact the nearest police station, the 911 hotline or Crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-8477.
Double murder in the old capital
A double night murder reported in the old capital. Last night sometime after 10pm police responded to reports of gu...
Hostile take-over of Citrus Industry at Boiling Point! Part 2
Plus news has been reporting on the crisis within the citrus industry. Today, we continue our coverage of that stor...
CARSI conducts International Border Interdiction Training
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Hostile take-over of Citrus Industry at Boiling Point!
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CRIB presents diverse cultural entertainment
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New Testament recorded in Belize Kriol
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Three men detained after armed robbery of store
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Three thieves invade a Belize City home
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Electronic items and jewllery stolen from Santa Elena residence
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Over ten thousand dollars stolen from house
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73 years-old man missing
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Caye Caulker Chronicles
First Live Breakdance Competition!!
Saturday the 27th, 3pm at the Caye Caulker Main Basketball Courts
$10,000 FOR ATTEMPTING TO SMUGGLE WEED INTO PRISON
Former prison officer Amir Reyes, 28, a resident of Orange Walk Town charged with drug trafficking for attempting to smuggle 324 grams of cannabis into Belize Central Prison in a food container, was found guilty of the charge today in the #1 Magistrate’s Court.
The Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, fined him $10,000 and ordered him to pay $5,000 forthwith and the balance by June 30, 2013. If he defaults on payment, he will serve 3 years in prison.
The incident occurred around 6:50 p.m. on May 7, 2012. Prison officer Derol Dougal testified that when Reyes arrived at the prison to work he had a black transport bag and he was dressed in his uniform. Dougal said he searched Reyes, but he did not find anything incriminating.
But when he searched the transport bag, Dougal said, he found a cream-colored food container with a red cover and when he opened the container, he saw ground meat with rice and beans.
Dougal said he requested a spoon and when he used it to dig to the bottom of the food, he found two black plastic bags that contained compressed leafy substances which he suspected was cannabis.
As a result, Dougal made a telephone call to Hattieville Police Sub-station and informed police constable Mark Pascascio of his finding.
Pascascio testified that when he arrived at the prison, Dougal handed Reyes over to him, along with the bag and the food container and its contents. Pascascio said he took Reyes and the cannabis to Hattieville Police Sub-station and he weighed the parcels of cannabis separately.
DEATH WAITED ON CONEY DRIVE
Barely 21 hours after a Lebanese man, Abdul Aziz Dib, 40, a car dealer who lives in the US but resides in the Coney Drive area when in Belize, was murdered — shot six times in the head and chest at close range by a lone masked gunman at approximately 12:30 p.m. in a restaurant — another Lebanese man has been executed.
The owner of JEC Jewelry and Pawnshop on Youth for the Future Drive, and Mega Bingo, Alfred Shackron of a West Landivar address, died on the spot when an unknown gunman shot him multiple times in front of Body 2000 Gym on Coney Drive at about 9:30 this morning.
Shackron was walking to his vehicle after coming from the gym. The gunman fired about four shots at him at close range, killing him almost instantly. One of the bullets went into his throat and came out behind his head.
A witness told Amandala that Shackron had just come out of the gym. His vehicle was parked across the road from the gym. As he stepped onto the pavement after descending the gym’s stairs, a black car came speeding down Coney Drive from the direction of Princess Margaret Drive, towards the Canaan High School.
The car stopped in front of Shackron, and an unknown person out of the car fired four shots at him, and when he fell, the car continued down Coney Drive.
Police reports said that Shackron was hit in the neck, chest and left side, which caused the fatal wounds. Police have since recovered two expended 9mm shells from the scene, as well as one .22mm shell. In a press release on Wednesday, police said that they believe that the attack on Shackron was not a random act of violence, nor was it gang-related, and that the murder has all appearances of being an organized hit, “having to do with a business [deal] that went sour.”
LEBANESE AMERICAN EXECUTED IN FARMERS MARKET RESTAURANT
The gunman walked into the restaurant, shot his victim multiple times, and walked out
A Lebanese man who resides in the United States was executed this morning in a Lebanese restaurant, King Kabab Restaurant, in the Farmers Market compound near the BelCan Bridge, in a building that was once the Spice Depot.
Abdul Aziz Dib, 40, a car dealer who resides in the Coney Drive area when in Belize, was shot six times in his head and chest at close range by a lone masked gunman who went into the restaurant at approximately 12:30 p.m.
A witness and a friend who were with Aziz Dib told reporters that they and ten other Lebanese were eating and socializing in the restaurant when the gunman entered the restaurant through the open main door, facing the BelCan area, and approached Aziz.
The gunman then shot Aziz six times, hitting him in the head, chest and face.
After Aziz fell, the gunman slid the gun under the waist of his pants and strolled out of the restaurant as if nothing had happened. He got on his bicycle and rode off towards the Freetown Road exit of the Farmers Market.
The witness said that only Aziz was shot, and that Aziz reportedly had come to Belize just to deliver a vehicle, and was to return to the States. He said that there was no planned meeting at the restaurant with Aziz, that they were all friends and that they usually go to the restaurant to eat and socialize.
THREE STUDENTS FROM UNIVERSITY OF INDIA MISSING
The students are here on a 1-week training, but disappeared on Wednesday
Three students from the University of India, Amandeep Singh Brar, Parminder Singh and Gurmukh Singh, mysteriously disappeared from their hotel room in Belmopan, the Bullfrog Inn. They were last seen around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday after they were dropped off at their hotel.
Herman Byrd, director of the Archives Services, told police that the students came to Belize for a one-week training course at the Archives and Records Services in Belmopan.
Byrd said that the students were picked up at the Philip Goldson International Airport around 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, October 21. They were taken to Belmopan, where they were checked into the hotel. They were picked up on Monday and Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. and taken to the Archive Department, and returned to their hotel around 4:30 p.m. on both days, but on Wednesday, at 8:30 a.m., they could not be found.
The hotel attendant told police that they did not come to their rooms.
American, 30, stabbed in his home by so-called friends
An American visiting San Pedro is lucky to be alive after he was stabbed and almost killed by three men who had been socializing with him at his apartment in the Boca Del Rio area in San Pedro.
Police said that Shawn Patrick Danielly, 30, a film director, was in his apartment around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, October 21, when three men known to him entered the house to rob him.
He struggled with them, and one of the thieves stabbed him with a knife in the lower left side of the abdomen.
Police, who were called by the neighbors, entered Danielly’s apartment, where they found him lying on the floor bleeding from the wound. They took him to the clinic, after which he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was stabilized. He has since been released from the hospital.
Police said that the men were drinking with Danielly earlier that Saturday night and returned to Danielly’s apartment early Sunday morning to rob him. They gained entry through a back window that they broke, believing that he was asleep.
The noise of the breaking window alerted Danielly, who came out of his room to see what was happening. He then saw the three men who were socializing with him earlier in his apartment.
He told police that they were stealing his laptop computer, an IPod and his cell phone. He said that they attacked him when they realized that he had caught them, and one of them took out a knife and stabbed him.
Police captured the three men in San Pedro and took them to the city, where an identification parade was conducted, and the men were identified by the victim.
Guatemalan, 61, pleads guilty to passport and document fraud
He had a Belizean passport, birth certificate, driver’s license, voter’s identification card, temporary border permit, and social security card, all in the name of a Belizean living in Chicago.
Carlos Mauricio Rossal Perez, 61, a Guatemalan businessman living at #11 Handyside Street here in the city, was today taken to the Magistrate’s Court by immigration officers, where a slew of charges were read against him.
Perez was charged with false representation, using a document to which he wasn’t entitled, using a passport to which he wasn’t entitled, using a certificate to which he wasn’t entitled, and using a border permit to which he wasn’t entitled.
According to the immigration officer Carlos Amaya, Perez visited the immigration offices here in Belize City, in an effort to renew his passport. That passport, bearing PP#P0069610, was issued on October 19, 2007, and expired on October 19, 2012. However, the passport was not in Carlos Perez’s name; it was in Naim Matar’s name.
FFB MAKES FIRST SELECTION OF NATIONAL “A” TEAM PLAYER
The following is the first selection of National “A” Team players called to camp commencing on October 30 through November 29, 2012.
Please note that during this process players will be eliminated as the selection process continues.
Goalkeepers: Woodrow West – Belmopan Bandits; Keith Allen – Police United; Calvil Richards – Santa Cruz, Orange Walk.
Defenders: Dellon Torres – Placencia Assassins; Evral Trapp – Verdes; Luis Torres – Placencia Assassins; Tyrone Pandy – Belize Defence Force; San Mendez – Verdes; Cristobal Gilharry – F.C. Belize; Ian Gaynair – Belmopan Bandits; Kishane Pech – Police United; Andres Makin, Jr. – Police United; Trevor Lennon – Police United; Dalton Eiley, Jr. – Placencia Assassins.
Edited by Marty (11/16/12 11:55 AM)
#449885 - 10/27/12 09:13 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: October 27, 2012
ALMOST OLYMPIAN DONALD BOWEN VISITS HOME, SAYS THANKS
On his first trip back to the Jewel, after leaving in 1988, Donald Bowen visited the Zinc Fence this morning and gave us a brief flash-back on his involvement in athletics in Belize back then. According to Donald, he was the captain of a running team called “Front Runners,” and he had qualified to attend the 1988 Olympics to participate in the half- marathon along with Louis Haulze and other Belizean runners, but instead he seized an opportunity to meet his father and left for the U.S. on October 2. Even before leaving though, Donald says he helped to form a new running team, named “No Hope In Dope,” which was subsequently headed by Louis Haulze, who still runs as a veteran in marathon races held by the Amateur Athletics Association.
A building contractor by profession, who had built many houses in Belize City before moving to the States, Donald said he taught for 17 years in Chicago, after which he moved to Iowa, where he is now employed in a company that manufactures refrigerators.
Donald arrived in Belize last Tuesday, October 16, to attend the funeral of his mother, Mrs. Rosita Armstrong, which took place on Wednesday at St. Mary’s Church. He says he would like to sincerely thank all those who attended the funeral or expressed their sympathy to himself and the rest of his family.
EDITORIAL: A SERIOUS AND DELICATE BUSINESS
This newspaper is not opposed, in principle, to the concept of compensation. Neither do we believe the people of Belize are so opposed. This is, in fact, an old legal concept which most often comes into play in cases of manslaughter by negligence. But, when the Belize government decided on some “compassionate compensation” for the family of a Guatemalan intruder who had been shot dead recently by a BDF soldier, they did not appreciate how serious and delicate an issue the Guatemalan claim is, and how troubled the Belizean people are by repeated, increasing Guatemalan incursions into our territory for fishing, xate-gathering, logging, gold panning, and other purposes.
The case of Steven Buckley, moreover, had been sticking in the throats of many Belizeans. A husband, father and hard-working tradesman, he had been shot in the face by a senior police officer who had been drinking. If any case was crying out for compensation, that was it. But, years had gone by and the matter of Mr. Buckley appeared consigned to the dustbin of local history.
In a matter of days, a trespasser Guatemalan was receiving compensation for his family. The Belize government was throwing gasoline on fire. As the immediate grumbling began building into anger, then outrage, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the person of Chief Executive Officer, Alexis Rosado, tried to distract the Belizean people with a story that this compensation money, or some of it, would be coming out of a fund controlled by the Organization of American States (OAS). As we understand from Channel 7, Rosado had explicitly referred to the OAS fund in a government propaganda show on television. The OAS lie, however, established no real traction. Last weekend’s press conference by the Belize Coalition for Justice (BCJ), a national coming together of many organizations, a press conference which screamed condemnation of Belmopan’s “compensation” package, took center stage.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Word was received here this morning of the kidnapping and shooting death of Belizean-born Gerald Cattouse in Guatemala City.
Gerald Cattouse, eldest son of the late Hon. Albert Cattouse and Mrs. Cattouse, had lived in Guatemala for the last thirty years and owned a very lucrative tourist business – Jerry’s Tours – which catered mostly to Americans. His business reportedly had branches in many towns and Cattouse was a wealthy man.
He disappeared on Friday night after work, and it was on Saturday that one of his former secretaries picked out and identified his face from among 70 bodies at the Guatemala City morgue awaiting burial. There were 9 bullets in his body.
Almost suddenly, we Belizeans are entering a phase of our political history which looks as if it will be stormy. By comparison with larger, traditionally more violent societies, our Belizean storms have not caused many casualties. But, our storms have been dramatic, even traumatic.
When the upheavals connected with Bethuel Webster’s Seventeen Proposals took place in Belize in early 1968, I was in the last couple months of my university degree studies in a place called Hanover, New Hampshire in the United States. I really wanted to come back home then, but I was sensible enough to suspect that the power structure in Belize might put me in the insane asylum if I did that. So, I held on and graduated in June of ’68.
LETTERS: THE EASTWARD DRIFT BY Guatemala
Major Lloyd Jones writes Hon. Wilfred Elrington on Guatemala: He advises “containment,” not “appeasement”. Dear Hon. Minister,
I write to express my concern (as a citizen of Belize) regarding what appears to be a relentless eastward drift by Guatemala into Belizean territory.
The recent shooting of Francisco Quinn Yat, though regrettable, is a reminder of the abject failure of Guatemala to dissuade its citizens from encroaching into our territory. I bring to your kind attention Clause 9 (f) of the Confidence Building Measures, which places an explicit obligation on Guatemala to do its part to ensure that its citizens do not establish settlements in our territory.
Though one may be inclined to argue that there are no Guatemalan settlements in our territory, it is impossible to establish settlements without illegal incursions. The current situation, in my view, if left unchecked, will lead to such illegal settlements and therefore we must be proactive.
It is my humble view that Guatemala has employed a policy of coercive diplomacy in relation to Belize, and that policy is bolstered by a strategy that actively supports the silent invasion of Belize through incursions and naturalization. If this strategy is not countered effectively, Belize runs the risk of harm from within.
IDEAS AND OPINIONS – MARIJUANA – ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE
Any law that nobody respects, because it is ridiculous, and the general population knows this, is a useless law, which probably does more harm than good.
Let me give you an example: There is an old road sign on the approach to Belize City, on the middle “island” dividing the road entering and leaving the city. It reads – “Trucks & buses, 15 mph; all other vehicles 25 mph.” It is so ridiculous in this day and age that nobody, absolutely nobody, neither police nor preacher nor politician, pays any mind to that sign. As a result, traffic has often been far too fast, and there have even been fatalities.
An idiot would say, then we need to enforce the law. Such a trend of thought is not what makes for human progress. Such is the idiocy of those who insist that marijuana should remain illegal, and the law just needs to be enforced.
There is a very good reason why bad laws need to be changed. “Common law” reflects the customs and accepted behavior of a people; when, with changing times, it no longer does, then the law needs to be changed.
Bad laws make lawbreakers out of otherwise good people, who would much prefer to be completely law-abiding. What we have right now is a whole nation of lawbreakers, every day that we drive on the Northern Highway into and out of Belize City. Since we are all lawbreakers, some feel the urge to go extremely fast, recklessly so, and dangerously so, knowing that they are “in the same boat” with the preacher, the policeman and the politician – lawbreakers all.
But if the bad traffic law was changed, and the speed limit was set more realistically, and achievably, at, say “Trucks & buses 30 mph, all other vehicles 40 mph” in that area, it is reasonable to expect that drivers would all pay more attention to their speedometer, and try to stay within the law. In other words, increasing the speed limit would not necessarily lead to an increase of speed on that stretch of highway: it would more likely reduce it. For sure, it would make the law-abiders suddenly become the vast majority, and those who break the law for speeding would be more exposed to criticism and, perhaps, prosecution. Presently, we’re all breaking the speed limit daily, and nobody is being ticketed or prosecuted.
TABLE TENNIS – 2012 BROTHERS HABET TEAM LEAGUE, UPDATED RESULTS AND STANDINGS
The brothers HABET TEAM LEAGUE continued this past Saturday, October 20, with more exciting table tennis at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium.
Games were played in both 1st & 2nd Divisions, starting at around 2:00 p.m.
In the 1st Division, Welders crushed CUZ, 5-1.
And in the 2nd Division, Tallawah blanked SJC Lightspeed, 5-0; Ping Pang shut out SJC Strikers, 5-0; Garage dropped SJC Snipers, 5-1; Bismark clipped BDF Spin Kings, 5-4; SJC Young Warriors turned back Turds, 5-4; Ping Pang whipped Garage, 5-1; and Turds stopped SJC Strikers, 5-3.
Games continue this coming Sunday, October 28, with another packed schedule. Three sets of matches will take place.
9:00 a.m. – Tallawah vs SJC Snipers; BDF Spin Kings vs SJC Strikers; SJC Young Warriors vs SJC Lightspeed; Racqueteer 2nd Div vs Ping Pang; Team Phoenix vs Garage 2nd Div; Turds vs Bismark.
DUNKELD CONTINUES TO SEEK FOREIGN ARBITRATION OVER BTL
Dunkeld Investments Limited, a UK company affiliated with British billionaire Michael Ashcroft, appeared against the Government of Belize in the Court of Appeal this morning, in an attempt to challenge the injunction placed on the company by Justice Samuel Awich, restraining it from pursuing foreign arbitration over the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL).
The hearing scheduled to span two hours this morning could not proceed, because the panel of judges, led by Justice Manuel Sosa, ruled that submissions should be made in writing, after Senior Counsel Denys Barrow bitterly complained that Dunkeld attorney, Nigel Pleming, QC, an English barrister hired to defend Dunkeld, served him documents, including a 77-page written submission, a mere two days before today’s hearing.
“Give me the opportunity to put in my 77 pages,” Barrow told the court.
Barrow said that whereas the document was served to him with 50 cases and extracts of authority only a few days in advance of the scheduled hearing, court rules requires that skeleton arguments—which should not be longwinded submissions—should be served 14 days before the date set for the sitting of the Court of Appeal. This year, the session opened on October 8, 2012.
“My protest was that was unfair, it was unjust; it did not give the government time to prepare for its own case,” Barrow told the media, adding that he could not even do a half-prepared job under the circumstances.
DEAN BOYCE OFF THE HOOK International
Court of Appeal to decide whether BTL can proceed to pay dividends on Dec. 14, 2012
Trustee of the BTL Employees Trust, Dean Boyce, was this afternoon relieved of having to face cross-examination for affidavit evidence sworn before the Court of Appeal, in which he expressed deep concern that the Government of Belize would be hard-pressed to pay compensation to the former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) because of current financial challenges evidenced by its inability to meet full payment of the $544 million super bond.
Recently, the appellant won a ruling from the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which stayed the hands of BTL’s board from paying any dividends for this year until December 14, 2012. However, they have now gone to the Court of Appeal, which has heard the legal challenge to the nationalization of BTL, seeking to extend that injunction to completely bar any payment of dividends until the matter is satisfactorily resolved by the court.
Denys Barrow, SC, counsel for the Attorney General’s Ministry and the Ministry of Public Utilities, took issue with Boyce’s assertions on government’s financial position and asked the court to permit his cross-examination. That should have occurred this afternoon in the Court of Appeal, but Barrow agreed to withdraw his motion after Boyce’s attorney, Godfrey Smith, SC, made it clear that Boyce really had nothing more to add – that whatever assertions he had made in his affidavit had been backed up by exhibits to his statement, including documents published by the Government of Belize.
OAS SECRETARY-GENERAL DISCUSSES BELIZE-GUATEMALA ISSUES
José Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS), was in Belize today, where he met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington, National Security Minister John Saldivar and Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca.
He held a short press briefing at the VIP Lounge of the Philip Goldson International Airport just before his departure this evening.
Insulza said he felt that “since we had a meeting yesterday in Guatemala to examine the progress of our work, to examine the resolution of the bilateral issue between Guatemala and Belize, it would be proper that I came to Belize, even though for a few hours, to report to the Prime Minister, to talk to the authorities, to make sure that everybody is well informed.”
In Guatemala yesterday, Foreign Affairs delegations from Belize and Guatemala met along with the OAS Secretary-General and diplomats who have missions there, as they made a pitch for funds from the international community to help finance the process leading up to October 2013—when voters in Belize and Guatemala are expected to register their position on whether they want the territorial differendum to be settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
KARL HEUSNER MEMORIAL HOSPITAL NOW OFFERING HEART SURGERY
Two patients of the jewel are now benefiting from open heart surgery, being performed by a team of doctors from different countries, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), which is now able to offer this type of advanced cardiac care procedure through international collaboration. Belizeans suffering from heart diseases or heart-related problems no longer necessarily have to travel to foreign countries to undergo the lengthy and expensive procedure, which is now being performed locally and meets international standards. Through an outstanding cardiograph program at the KHMH, heart diseases and problems are investigated to identify those needing the open heart operation or other corrective procedures.
Doctor Adrian Coye, Director of Medical Services and also the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the KHMH, said that the open heart surgery is being performed at the KHMH at international standards, and it is being performed by doctors who are experts in their field. He said that it is a team effort, and there are many components. This is the second open heart operation that is being performed at KHMH. The first was performed last year and it was successful — the two patients who received the procedures are living normal lives. This second round of open heart surgeries is also expected to go well, and the two patients will also live normal lives, said Coye. The program will benefit Belizeans substantially, Coye said. Belizeans with heart problems who come to the hospital and are diagnosed after the investigation, will save money by not having to go overseas; the procedures required will be done here, and will be cheaper, but at the same standard as procedures done internationally. A Belizean requiring open heart surgery would otherwise have had to pay the cost of travel, in addition to an average cost of around $100,000 for the procedure; in contrast, the procedure can now be done at home in Belize for an estimated $5,000 USD.
Indian “students” pull disappearing act
Belmopan police are investigating the mysterious disappearance of three students from the University of India who came to Belize purportedly to undertake a one-week training course at the Belize Archives and Records Service in Belmopan.
Amandeep Singh Brar, Parminder Singh and Gurmukh Singh arrived in Belize on Sunday, October 21. Herman Byrd, the director of Belize Archives and Record Service, told Police he picked them up at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport around 3:45 Sunday afternoon.
The three students checked into the Bullfrog Hotel in Belmopan and showed up at the Archives Department at 9:30 on Tuesday morning, October 23. At 4:30pm, Lizet Thompson of the Archives Department accompanied them back to their hotel.
Guat imposter jailed for Belizean passport
A Guatemalan man, who claimed to be Belizean using stolen documents was arraigned in the Belize City magistrate’s court on criminal charges on Thursday, October 25 and sent to jail for two years.
Carlos Mauricio Rossal Perez, 61, somehow managed to get possession of a Belizean passport, birth certificate, social security card, voter identification, border permit and driver’s license all belonging to Naim Matar.
Immigration officials say they became aware of the identity fraud on October 1, 2012, when Perez, claiming to be Matar, visited the Immigration Office in Belize City to renew Matar’s passport.
He paid the fee of $50.00 for the renewal, and on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, Perez returned to retrieve the new passport.
During the waiting period his application form, which aroused suspicion, was scrutinized and Perez was asked to return at 3:00 p.m., that same day.
Scrutinizers used the extra time to check with the department of Vital Statistics and learned that Naim Matar had two brothers and one sister. Perez had assured immigration officials that he was an only child.
2 Lebanese businessmen executed within 24 hours
The execution-style deaths of two Lebanese businessmen this week may be related, police say.
Police investigators say they will look into the possible connection between the murders of car dealer Abdul Aziz Mohamed Dib, 40, and Alfredo Shackron, 51, owner-operator of Mega Bingo and JEC.
They were killed on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, within 20 hours of one another.
The police are yet to report any motive for the put-down, but the Ministry of National Security was quick to issue a press release to assure Belize City residents that the murders “do not reflect the overall mood in the city’s streets with respect to gang-related violence.”
The release also calls on the public to assist the police in bringing these killers to justice.
Shackron was killed as he left the Body 2000 Gym on Coney Drive.
He was about to enter his Toyota Sequoia parked in front of the gym around 9:40 am, when a black SUV without license plates pulled up
Two of the occupants got out and tried to muscle Shackron into their SUV.
There was a struggle as Shackron resisted, and when he cried out for help, the men shot him to the neck, his chest and left torso.
Problems at Northern Regional Hospital Patient loses womb and ovary during delivery
Alicia Pott, a 31-year old housewife who went to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town to deliver her baby on Tuesday, October 2, was able to save her baby, but came out of a cesarian surgery missing her womb.
She told The Reporter she almost lost her life, after doctors at Northern Regional botched a routine Caesarean delivery and reportedly lied to her about the surgical procedure.
Pott told The Reporter that she experienced heavy bleeding during the cesarian procedure and the attending physicians allegedly removed her womb and took out one of her ovaries without telling her about it.
“I went to a private doctor. He did an ultra-sound and found out that I did not have one of my ovaries and that I still had infection. He treated me for three days,” she said.
In a letter to her Orange Walk East Area Representative, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, she explained that she had developed diabetes and high blood pressure.
“I went into labour around 9 in the morning of October 2 after as my water bag burst, but I had to suffer until 1:00 p.m. when I was at last admitted into the surgical theatre for what the doctors described as an ‘emergency caesarean section.’
New judge on Supreme Court bench
A new Justice of the Supreme Court took the oath of office in a swearing-in ceremony before Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, inside his courtroom on Monday, October 22.
Keon “Baba” Francis killed on C. American Boulevard
Belize City Police have detained a 23-year-old man for the death of Keon “Baba” Francis Johnson, 21, on Monday.
Francis, an associate of the Gill Street Gang, of Jane Usher Boulevard, was killed around 5:20 P.M. in what appears to be gang-related shooting, as he walked along Central American Boulevard on Saturday, October 19.
Rhett Fuller appeals Minister’s extradition order
Two diplomatic cables that were posted on the Wikileaks website led to a another appeal in businessman Rhett Fuller’s protracted anti-extradition case.
Last Friday, Fuller’s attorney, Eamon Courtenay, asked the court for an injunction to stay Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General Hon. Wilfred Elrington’s December 2011 order to extradite his client to the United States, because the cables reveal that the Elrington had discussed the case with representatives of the U.S. government.
Courtenay said the fact that they were discussing the matter, while it was before the minister and later before Supreme Court Justice Samuel Awich, was prejudicial to his client.
The appeal justices, however, refused the request.
Courtenay, however, returned to court on Monday with another series of submissions, including a rebuttal to Elrington and Justice Awich’s ruling that was based on a judgement from the Privy Council.
US considers giving more Caribbean states CBERA status
Several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries could benefit as the United States considers whether to designate them eligible to receive benefits under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA).
The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) in Washington, DC, said it is requesting comments no later than November 9 on the possible extension of trade preferences under CBERA, as amended by the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) to countries not currently receiving them.
The CBTPA is currently authorised through September 30, 2020, and the USTR said that it is considering whether to designate Curacao, St Maarten, and the Turks and Caicos Islands as eligible to receive benefits under CBERA/CBTPA.
USTR said that Congress had identified the Turks and Caicos as potentially eligible for benefits in 1983 but the country did not request beneficiary status until July 2012.
Separately, as a result of the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in October 2010, Curacao and St Maarten became successor political entities and have therefore requested the receipt of CBERA and CBTPA benefits.
Is dirt good for kids?
It’s the basic nature of young children to touch the very things in their environment that their parents find most disgusting. Just try to keep your 1-year-old from sticking the dog’s bone in her mouth!
Epidemic-scale flu seasons have health authorities imploring regular hand washing, and with talk of sanitizer gel like it was liquid gold, it’s tough not to worry about what your children are getting into and the ultimate impact it will have on their health.
Infectious diseases are a legitimate cause for concern, but some would argue that our society has gone overboard when it comes to protecting our kids from germs.
Most women need paps every 3-5 years
Most women can wait three to five years between checks for cervical cancer, depending on their age and test choice, say guidelines issued Monday.
Many medical groups have long recommended a Pap test every three years for most women. The new advice from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that’s true for women ages 21 to 29 whose Paps show no sign of trouble.
But for healthy women ages 30 to 65, the preferred check is a Pap plus a test for the cancer-causing HPV virus, the group concluded. If both show everything’s fine, they can wait five years for further screening.
The guidelines from the nation’s largest OB-GYN organization agree with advice issued earlier this year by a government panel, the American Cancer Society and other medical groups — showing growing consensus that it’s safe for the right women to wait longer between Paps.
Cervical cancer grows so slowly that regular Pap smears, which examine cells scraped from the cervix, can find signs early enough to treat before a tumor even forms.
Team Belize wins 1st annual Taiwan National Day Double-10 basketball tournament
Team Belize won the first annual Taiwan Double-10 National Day Basketball Tournament held at Belize Elementary School auditorium in Belize City on Sunday, October 21.
The tournament was organized as part of the Belize-Taiwanese community activities celebrating Taiwan’s national day on October 10.
Team Belize triumphed 45-35 over the Chinese team in the finals. Devon Defour led Team Belize with 12 pts while Clive Reyes and Keron Reyes each added six points, Keron ramming home a monster dunk and the Belize boys were up 31-14 at intermission.
St Ignatius girls & boys win in primary schools football
The girls and boys of St Ignatius RC Primary School enjoyed victories when the Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition continued at the M.C.C. Grounds on Friday, October 19.
Christy Francisco scored the winning goal as she led the St. Ignatius girls to a 1-0 win over the girls of Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School.
The St. Ignatius boys also enjoyed a 1-0 victory over Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School when Michael Sarmiento got away from the Buttonwood defense in the second half for a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
He won, scoring the winning goal in the second half.
The boys of St. John Vianney School enjoyed their second victory 3-0 over the boys of Wesley Upper School, who had held them to a 0- 0 draw up to intermission. In the second half, Akeem Sutherland scored a goal and Orlando Velasquez added a second. He also converted a penalty kick for the 3-0 win.
Guatemalan NGO proposes joint effort to protect southern forest
The Guatemalan based National Commission of Protected Areas (CONAP) has proposed the formation of a joint force commission with Belize’s Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD) to manage the Chiqiubul Maya Mountains.
FCD, CONAP and several other Guatemalan-based organizations that a have vested interest in the area met on Thursday, October 18.
Director of the FCD, Rafael Manzanero, explained that the invitation was extended by Guatemala to collaboratively manage the area because the countries share the Chiquibul Maya Mountains.
CONAP, which has in its five-year management plan provisions that such a commission be formed, met with the FCD to begin to draft the frame work of how the commission would operate.
Manzanero describes the meeting as productive, stating that Guatemala shares the aspiration with Belize to protect the environment.
They agreed to extend full cooperation with Belize to work in unison to achieve this goal, he said.
CONAP will meet with other institutions in Guatemala on this matter, after which both FCD and CONAP will meet again on Friday, November 26, to determine what to do next.
No compensation from OAS for family of Guatemalan farmer, Sec. Gen says.
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, has categorically said that the OAS will NOT compensate the family of Guatemalan farmer, Francisco Quinn Yat, who was killed during a confrontation with elements of the Belize Defense Force last month on the Belizean side of the border.
The revelation came on Tuesday afternoon in the VIP Lounge at the PSW Goldson International Airport before Insulza departed for Washington, D.C. He had been in meetings with Belizean and Guatemalan delegates in Guatemala to finalize the discussions to take the age-old claim to the International Court of Justice.
Insulza, who was responding to a question from reporters, said that “We have never paid compensation for Belize, Guatemala, or any country. I don’t know where you got that idea. We have a Peace Fund, but it’s not for that. If some government is trying to compensate that’s a matter for that government, but the OAS does not do that…we don’t have a budget for any kind of compensations. Where do you get these things? I am certainly saying this is not true, definitely not true.”
This position by the OAS is in sharp contrast to public comments made only last week Thursday by Belize’s Foreign Affairs CEO, Alexis Rosado, who said that “…the OAS is offering to do something that is tangible that can assist the family and other countries are willing to assist in the contribution to the peace fund. It’s not a case that Belize is going to [offer] the family of this person. We are contributing to the OAS and the OAS will do as it sees fit to determine how they will help the family.”
Belize’s population is aging, with consequences – 2012 UNFPA report
Improvements in healthcare has increased Belize’s life expectancy rate and presently 7.1% of the Belizean population is 60 years or older.
Ten years ago, half of Belize’s population was 15 years old or younger, but those teenagers have aged, reducing that percentage to 34%.
These are the findings of a situational analysis of older persons in Belize done by the National Council on Aging in 2010. The study provided the context for the 2012 report prepared by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) entitled “Ageing in the 21st century: A Celebration and A Challenge”.
HelpAge Belize launched the report in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation at the Chamber of Commerce conference room in Belize City on United Nations Day on Wednesday, October 24.
Despite the fact that many Belizeans over 60 years of age still can make a valuable contribution to society, the data shows that less than one in five of senior golden citizens consider themselves to be in good health. It also revealed that two out of three senior citizen do not receive a pension or financial benefit.
Belize’s Romantic Vacations “Work Miracles”
Is a romantic tropical vacation as effective as counselling in helping couples with their relationships? Some couples seem to think so, even going so far as to say a romantic Belizean holiday worked miracles for their love life, Chaa Creek’s Food and Beverage Manager Bryony Fleming said today.
“I received an email from a woman in the US thanking us for a holiday that she said rekindled her and her husband’s love for each other. She said that their time together here worked miracles and did more for bringing them closer together than months of expensive counselling. Later on, during a staff meeting, everyone seemed to have a similar story about couples saying they left here happier and more affectionate than they’d been in a long time.
“I think the lesson is that sometimes people just need to break the routine and spend some time together in an exotic setting to rekindle their love for each other, and we decided that we’re going to continue to make a couple’s stay here as romantic as possible,” Ms Fleming said.
Ms Fleming said that Chaa Creek had pioneered “adventure romance” in Belize and has become the country’s popular venue for destination weddings, honeymoons and other romantic getaways.
“It’s not something we planned so much as just having seen grow over the years. After more and more requests for us to host weddings I took a personal interest in wedding planning and designing honeymoon packages, and, mostly through word of mouth, interest continued to grow. Now, when we see a couple booking a stay or one of our affordable all-inclusive Belize vacation packages the staff automatically goes that little bit extra to make the experience as memorable as possible.”
FriFotos: The Golden Northern Cayes
When I hear “gold” I think of all the wonderful sunsets I’ve enjoyed on the Northern Cayes this month, particularly on Caye Caulker. It’s been a blessing to be able to take a break from my writing and just walk outside at 5:00pm to witness all this natural beauty, right at my doorstep. Many thanks to my Ambergris and Caye Caulker hosts, for their support and assistance this month as I worked on my first guidebook chapter, particularly my Caye Caulker friends who gave me a safe, calm place to write and meet my first challenge. I did it! And I surely will miss everyone as I move on to other parts of the country soon.
Hope your Friday is golden!
CLICK HERE for several great photos....
I love Belize Facebook Challenge
Amber Sunset Jungle Resort is conducting a month long facebook challenge to help promote Belize for its spectacular sights and scenes. See here Fans are asked to send in a photo of themselves featuring a Belizean activity or adventure such as Zip Lining, Cave Tubing, diving the barrier reef or even standing atop one of the Maya ruins to be able to get “Likes” from other fans for their photo. The participant with the most “Likes” on a single photo wins an overnight stay for two at our beautiful, serene jungle resort.
The I love Belize Facebook challenge started on September 26, 2012 and has so far gained a lot of attention and a great response from fans wanting to win an overnight stay at the Jungle Resort. The challenge has so far received 31 entries all vying to win an overnight’s stay for two at Amber Sunset Jungle resort.
With the challenge concluding on October 30th 2012 it’s a tight race, in first place you have Reena Usher with 123 likes featuring a photo of her on top of Xunantunich Maya Ruin in Cayo District, Belize.
VIDEO: Expat Life in Belize
Two aspects of expat life in Belize, Central America, I did not expect. Shopping gringo style, and visiting a Belizean Orthodontist for my teenage son to get braces.
VIDEO: Diving Belize- Victoria Canyons, San Pedro
Mischa and Maria helping Island Divers Team create awareness of reef conservation.
Diving Tackle Box Canyon with Mischa and Maria
Creating awareness of reef conservation here on the Bleize Barrier Reef, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
On the religion beat: End isn't near, Mayan expert says
When asked if the world will end on Dec. 21 -- as some have predicted based on interpretations of the Mayan calendar -- Cristina Coc laughs dismissively.
A human rights advocate in Belize who is of Mayan descent, Coc answers with an emphatic "no." She says the date signifies the end of a 5,000-year cycle in the Mayan calendar and does not indicate the world is coming to a cataclysmic end, as depicted in the Hollywood movie "2012."
"They [the Mayan people] see this as the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new cycle," she said.
Coc will be discussing Mayan spirituality and the calendar during a series of lectures in the Twin Cities starting Sunday and continuing through Nov. 5. She'll speak at United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Hamline University and Macalester College, both in St. Paul, and the West St. Paul Rotary Club.
Coc directs a nonprofit called the Julian Cho Society in Belize, where she is an advocate for the rights of indigenous Mayan people. She's been invited to the United States to talk about the work she does but also the "end of the world" date, which "a lot of people are sort of concerned with," she said.
"I've seen quite a bit of films, publications, discussions surrounding this question. But I think what's noteworthy is ... there's been an absence of contemporary Mayan people explaining what Dec. 21, 2012, means to them."
"Our value system ... is built on sustainable livelihoods within our world, our planet. We view ourselves as a part of Mother Nature. And we celebrate that at the end of this cycle because she has sustained us."
Coc says she has been contacted by travel agencies in the United States and Europe interested in bringing tourists to Latin America on Dec. 21.
"Lots of people want to come and sleep at a Mayan temple overnight," she said "It's just, like wow, this is crazy."
And what will Coc be doing on Dec. 21? Celebrating her 31st birthday.
Secretary-general urges Belize private sector to make use of CARICOM market
Secretary-general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin LaRocque has urged the Belizean private sector to make use of the opportunities provided under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
On the second and final day of his official visit to Belize, LaRocque told a cross section of private sector representatives that CARICOM “is your market; use it; it is your right.” He hailed the interaction with the group as one of the highest levels of engagement he has had with the business community during his visits to member states.
The secretary-general outlined to the businessmen the measures being undertaken to encourage the growth of trade within the Community and also the opportunities for increasing exports to international markets. He stressed Belize’s potential to capitalise in both instances particular in the area of agriculture.
The business community brought to the secretary-general’s attention some of their concerns and offered suggestions to improve the trading exchanges within the Community. Discussions also centred on Belize’s role as a possible conduit to increase trade and business opportunities between CARICOM and Central America.
Later the secretary-general told youth representatives that he viewed youth as an asset not a problem and their time was now not the future. LaRocque met with the group including one of the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors and members of the group of Belizean students who participated in a project funded by the European Union which enabled them to visit other member states of the Community to observe the CSME in action.
Relocation Abroad to Belize as a Qualified Retired Person
Belize, a small Central American country on the Caribbean, offers an incentive program to retirees seeking to relocate to a less costly, subtropical locale. According to Liz Pulliam Weston, writing for MSN Money, some one million American retirees are living abroad. There are numerous countries where the cost of living is considerably lower and where retirement dollars can be stretched a good bit further. This can be a very important consideration for those facing the prospect of retiring on a modest fixed income.
Belize, a small country about the size of Massachusetts (8,867 square miles) and located on the east coast of Central America, is one country frequently considered by Americans contemplating expat retirement living. Formerly known as British Honduras, the country was renamed Belize in 1973, eight years before being granted independence in 1981. Due to its British colonial heritage, unique among its Central American neighbors, English is the official language of Belize.
Retirement living in Belize can be considerable less expensive than in the U.S. but that isn't all the country has going for it. In addition to lower costs of living and frost-free, subtropical climate, Belize boasts an impressive array of cultural and ecological treasures. Lush rain forests, beautiful beaches, the world's second longest barrier reef (longest in the Western Hemisphere), and an extensive collection of ancient Mayan ruins are a few other things that make Belize an attractive retirement living destination.
Belize Qualified Retired Persons Program
Belize actively encourages retiree immigration with its Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program. The program, administered by the Belize Tourism Board, offers some compelling benefits to those who choose to retire there. The benefits, according to the tourism board include:
Importation of personal and household effects free of duties and taxes,
Importation of one motor vehicle (no more than 3 years old) free of duties and taxes,
Importation of a light plane or pleasure boat (subject to some restrictions) free of duties and taxes,
Exemption from all Belize taxation on income derived outside Belize whether active or passive.
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