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GOB unveils 2013 Public and Bank Holidays
The Government of Belize has sent out its official notice for 2013′s Public and Bank Holidays. There will be 13 holidays to be observed throughout the new year.
“It is notified for general information that public and bank holidays specified in the First and the Second Schedules to the Holidays Act, Chapter 289 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003, will be observed on the following days during the year 2013 in accordance with section 3 of the said Act:-
Easier Traveling with Machine Readable Passports for Belizeans
The current hand-written passports are not being recalled or phased out in anyway and it will continue to be valid until its date of expiry. It is highly recommended to get the machine readable passports for easier travelling as most countries prefer it. The passport is more widely accepted and there is less hassle when entering another country as it speeds up the process at the immigration departments.
There are three colors of passports: blue for ordinary citizens, green for service personnel, and red for diplomats. The passport will be valid for ten years, has forty-eight pages, and entitles Belizeans to an automatic six month stay in member states.
International Travel Writers Visit El Secreto Resort Belize
A group of international travel writers arrived on Ambergris Caye at the beginning of the month upon invitation by El Secreto so they can experience firsthand one of Belize’s newest resorts and also promote the country’s major natural attractions.
Members of the group included travel writers and photographers from Caribbean Living Magazine, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Nylon Magazine, Robb Report Exceptional Properties and Recommend Magazine arrived on November 1. Maya Island Air gave the group the VIP treatment once they arrived at Belize Phillip Goldson International Airport and gave them one of the most scenic flights to Ambergris Caye. They were whisked away for a private aerial tour of Belize’s Great Barrier Reef before flying to San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye.
2nd Annual Holy Cross School Toy Drive
Preparations are under way for the 2nd Annual Holy Cross School Toy Drive. Wayo's Beernet on the Beach Road will host the 2nd Annual Toy Drive Friday, November 30 from 4-8 pm. Locals and visitors are welcome to drop off a toy or cash donation for the children of Holy Cross School.
San Pedro Pioneers Celi Nunez and John Greif
John Greif made his historic landing in San Pedro in a sea plane because there was no airstrip back then in 1957. Oh, how great it is that he fell in love with San Pedro and with a native girl, Celi Nuñez. He said he thought he had landed in Heaven and I am sure he saw this angelic woman in the person of Celi Nunez and he thought she was an Angel. I was present at the soccer field when he landed and I can tell you that the entire village, some 300 persons strong, was there. Everyone wanted to see a plane for the first time in their lives. We just looked and looked at the plane in amazement.
Misc Belizean Sources
Carnival in November? An award-winning Primary School builds on its success by promoting the joy of reading with its second annual Reading Carnival
The award-winning Burrell Boom Methodist School wants to show how much fun reading can be, and is promoting that joy by holding its second Reading Carnival on Saturday, November 17, starting at 3:00 pm on the school grounds in the Village of Burrell Boom.
After the success of the reading promotion last year, the dedicated teachers are looking for a repeat of the outstanding participation by students and parents alike, and are promoting a fun and educational time for all. In this carnival, children dress up as their favorite story book character and join in a colourful parade around the village, followed by a grand Fun Fair on the school grounds. According to Ms. Dawn Flowers, a teacher and one of the creators of the popular event, “there is something for everyone - food, games, a photo booth, a bouncy house, and of course the promotion of the importance of the love of reading.”
The event promises to provide an evening of clean, family fun, and includes a free fireworks display. Tickets are $1.00 in advance, $2.00 at the gate and all proceeds benefit the school’s feeding program and infant playground.
Schedule for National Regatta + other stuff
The 2012 Belize National Optimist Regatta wlll take place off Central Park on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18. Twenty six optimist boats and 26 Junior sailors will all compete against one another in three races on Saturday and three more on Sunday. The national champion will be the skipper with the lowest combined score counting all 6 races.
Race One on Saturday will start at 12:00 am, Race Two, at 1:00 pm and Race Three, at 2:00 pm.
On Sunday, the first race will start at 9:00am, the second, at 10:00 am, and the last one, at 11:00 am. The Awards Ceremony will take place in Central Park at 1:00 pm.
Add!ction's Blue Runway Line
Gabriela Barrera has released more pictures from the Fall Fashion show. The Add!ction Blue line is in this album. JCariddi Photography did an amazing job.
"The second Runway from Add!ction on the 'Fall Fashion Show 2012'"
UB Black Jaguars Win ATLIB Volleyball
The University of Belize's Black Jaguars won the ATLIB Volleyball nationals this weekend at Falcon Field. Congratulations, Black Jaguars!
"UB Black Jaguars once again have clinched the championship title of ATLIB Volleyball National Tournament... UB Black Jaguars captains Jaleel Lino, and Shantel Arnold for males and females respectively received the Championship trophies. The officials voted on Arnie Augustine, and Shantel Arnold as the Most Valuable Players of the tournament. Team Members Black Jaguars: Jaleel Lino Yserri Palacio John Paul Alvarez Rasheed Arzu Arnie Augustine Michael Neal Darlis Avila Keiron Bowen Drew Gill Francis Skeen Radin Santos Timothy Bardalez Francis Arzu :Lady Black Jaguars: Tichelle Solis Kimberly Spence Shantel Arnold Loren Henry Michelle Moore Louise Rodriguez Jane’Salazar Nelissa Ramirez Kay lani Reid Viviani Avila Lourdes Collado Marcie Jones Anijay Quiroz Congratulations Black Jaguars!"
ERI Plant Taxonomy Course
The Environmental Research Institute at UB is doing a field course on plant taxonomy from January 9th through the 23rd. The course will be held in multiple locations around Cayo, including Mountain Pine Ridge and the Belize Botanical Gardens. 2 scholarships are being offered for UB students. Entries can be submitted through December 5th.
Kurse a di Xtabai DVD's Released
Kurse a di Xtabai DVD's are now out. They are professionally done, and come in a real case. Collect the movie that was filmed solely in Cayo, features a Cayo cast, and is filmed entirely in Kriol. Four different caves, including ATM and the Offering cave, are sets in the movie. You'll also see SHJC and San Antonio. Get your copy today.
Not a time to rest on our laurels …
The new 2012/ 2013 is upon us and after a very pleasant and inactive hurricane season, we at Raggamuffin can honestly say that we are in better shape than we have ever been!!
Everything that is inanimate has had a fresh look of paint – not to mention both Ragga Queen and Ragga Gal been on dry dock for renovations!! New tents, new fishing equipment, new snorkeling equipment – even a fresh load of fish charts for the boat have been purchased today!! Now we are completely broke but looking a million dollars (US of course) as we head towards Xmas and the New Year!
We have reinforced the crew with Big Shane becoming our newest Captain and Tour Guide and for Ish becoming our newest Tour Leader – everybody is fresh after their time off, either on the island or as in the case of some off abroad, and ready for the season to come.
Although we are arrogant enough to think that we lead the snorkeling market, we pledge to not rest on our laurels!! This is a time to improve our quality in every aspect to the business – listen to our customers more and ensure that they at all time are given a quality service and value for money and, hopefully, they will come back to Belize – not always to benefit us and do a tour again but to come back and visit the country and particularly the island that creates such a magic in every bodys heart!!
McAfee's Security Guard Arrested, Remanded
Tonight there are a number of major new developments in the Gregory Faull murder case.
First of all, McAfee's personal security William Milligan has been charged along with his wife for two counts of possession of an unlicensed firearm and one count of possession of unlicensed ammunition. Police found them with a single action 12 gauge shotgun and a pump action shotgun along with 27 rounds of ammunition. They were arraigned and remanded to prison today. Two more persons are detained - and they are also affiliated with McAfee.
Second, there is a US Forensic team in country. They arrived in the country today, examined Faull's body at the morgue - and are processing the crime scene on Northern Ambergris Caye at this hour.
Third, the man named as the prime suspect, John McAffee remains in hiding tonight - at parts unknown. He gave an interview via telephone from his place of hiding to WIRED Magazine in the US today.
He discusses the death of four of his dogs - which plays a prominent part in the police investigation. Those dogs named Mellow, Lucky, Dipsy, and Guerrero were reportedly poisoned on Friday night and Faull was killed between Saturday and Sunday.
Human Rights Outrage About Mayflower Search Of a Female Minor
On Last week Friday's newscast, 7News showed you the extensive police search on Mayflower Street, and the allegations made by a family against several police officers who conducted a search of their home.
An 11 year-old girl told us that the officers subjected her to an inappropriate cavity search, and they violated her in the process. Well, The Human Rights Commission of Belize has now publicly condemned the actions, if indeed they are proven to be true. In a press release today, the HRCB demands quote, "that immediate action be taken by the Police Commissioner to investigate these allegations…and further that the Police Department distance itself from such intolerable behavior." End Quote.
The release adds that the HRCB would like the support of other interested social partners including the National Committee for Families and Children, the Department of Human Services, UNICEF, and the Special Envoy for Women and Children, to join them in denouncing such actions.
Well, it seems that the Ministry of National Security has heard them loud and clear, and this evening, they sent out a release. According to the Ministry, even though no formal complaint has been lodged by the family, the police and Human Services Departments have launched a joint investigation into the matter.
The release adds that they will, quote, 'leave no stones unturned, to determine what the facts are', end quote. It finishes off by saying that if any officer is found to be culpable of the allegation, then that officer - or officers - will be dealt with accordingly.
Waste Control Continues Standoff With City
If you live on the Southside of Belize City - there's a fair chance that your garbage wasn't picked up today.
And that's because the standoff between the City Council and Belize Waste Control continues - and is going into its third day tomorrow. Both sides are blaming the other - which is typical of any dispute. But, tonight there is a wrinkle - the City is warning Waste Control that it is in breach of its contract.
We got both sides of the story, while looking at the bigger picture of a slowdown in garbage collection:...
Jules Vasquez reporting
Today 7 Garbage trucks were parked in the Belize Waste Control compound. The company's operations are at a virtual standstill - and it shows on the city's southside where it was garbage day and bins and bags were full to overflowing to falling on the street.
We did see one truck out but it was collecting commercial not residential garbage. Tony Griffith - the owner of Waste Control says they simply could not afford continue operating at a loss:
Officials: Police Gun Jammed, Family: Man Shot Twice By A Cop Who Has Killed
Tonight a man is hospitalized after he was shot by a Sergeant of police. The incident happened in the Valley of Peace village just outside of Belmopan. According to Sergeant Paulino Reyes an officer attached to Special Branch - he was at the village when he saw Donatilo Canales standing on the street side. Canales who police say is a known drug dealer in the village was asked by the sergeant to move away from the street because he was loitering. Canales allegedly became aggressive and threw a punch at Sergeant Reyes - hitting him in the jaw. In defense Sergeant Reyes drew his service 9mm pistol and fired a shot at Canales left leg. The gun got jammed and he knocked Canales on the head eventually subduing him.
But today Canales's daughter contacted 7news with a different account. She told us that her father was shot in both of his legs. She also denied the accusation that Sergeant Reyes made against her father which he stated that Canales punched him in the jaw. Donatilo Canales is tonight hospitalized at the KHMH.
In March of 2010 Sergeant Paulino Reyes made the news after he shot Corporal Gavin Sanchez 8 times in the San Pedro Police Barracks. He also claimed it was in self-defense.
PUP Hold UDP To Publicly Account
Yesterday, 7News told you about the Public Accounts Committee meeting that never happened in Belmopan. Well, it's of significant interest because this committee, which is tasked with the investigation of how the country's finances are being spent - appropriately or otherwise - hasn't met in years.
It is also the only committee which is chaired by an opposition member, in thise case, PUP Cayo South Representative, Julius Espat. According to Espat, in the last meeting, they got a consensus that the meeting could be held in public, and as a result, he invited the media and 2 elected opposition members to sit in.
But, when the meeting was about the start - the Committee members from the Government's side - who are the majority - refused to allow them to stay, and as a result, members of the security forces escorted them out.
We spoke to several of the members of the Government's side, including Chairman Julius Espat. We showed you their comments from yesterday, and we thought that this was the end of that issue, because essentially, nothing happened due to fact that Espat insisted to see the transcript himself, forcing the meeting to be adjourned.
The PUP, however, didn't believe that the issue was aired out, and so, they called an impromptu press conference today at Independence Hall.
According to them, the committee members from the GOB's side played politics and tanked the meeting before it could have gotten off the ground, and then came out and proclaimed to the media that the Chairman was to blame.
But, A New Hilux?
In our last segment you heard both sides of the dispute about the city's garbage - but there's more.
They're what you might call sidebar issues: features of the current dispute that aren't a part of the central conflict but they do help to shape the overall disagreement.
The first is about the Mayor's new ride a Toyota Hilux. Now, on this newscast we are loathe to discuss which public official is driving which car - because any leader or senior official should be entitled to a decent vehicle reflective of the status denoted by his or her high office.
But at a time when the city can't pay to pick up garbage - the acquisition of a 2013 Hilux does seem to merit fair comment. We asked the mayor about it today:..
"Is it true that in the middle of all these financial throws the city has purchase a new Toyota Hilux?"
Mayor Darrell Bradley
"First of all I don't say that there is any financial throws in the city. Those are your words. In terms of the matter of the vehicle the City Council did purchase a vehicle - its right downstairs, it was purchase from Belize Diesel."
"Sir, a new Hilux is like $92,000."
Mayor Darrell Bradley
"No it was $60,000."
Senior Citrus Grower "Goes Off" On CPBL
Two weeks ago the Citrus Growers Association dominated the news - complaining, essentially, that the Citrus Products of Belize Limited had acted unilaterally when it declared that it would be receiving deliveries of grapefruit.
At the time, the competing growers group, Belize Citrus Mutual was cheerleading CPBL - saying that it was the right time to start receiving grapefruit deliveries.
And that's why it caught our attention when William Bowman Sr., the Citrus grower with the greatest yields and a key player in Belize Citrus Mutual lashed out at CPBL.
The reason? The factory was acting unilaterally in receiving oranges too late.
In an email sent out on Saturday, he said quote:
"Now we are told there is not enough fruit to justify opening for receipt of oranges until maybe the end of November. This is madness." Unquote.
Sounding a lot like the folks at the CGA, he adds, quote: "CPBL likes to complain that they need more fruit for the factories yet makes decisions to suit themselves without consulting the growers."
It is quite remarkable and we contacted Bowman in Stann Crek today where he says things have moved forward since that angry e-mail:..
McAfee, Person of Interest; not Murder Suspect
A post mortem examination on the body of Gregory Faull was conducted today at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The results have not been released, but three persons have been detained and the search continues for John McAfee. McAfee is wanted for questioning about the murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull, who was shot once [...]
McAfee on the run; story goes viral
US television networks such as ABC, CNBC and CBS have been following the story on McAfee who was worth at least a hundred million US dollars when he sold his antivirus company in the US. McAfee has told Joshua Davis of Wired.com that he did not kill Faull and that in fact, he believes he [...]
McAfee speaks to Wired Magazine
At the top of the newscast, we reported that John McAfee was still on the lam and that he is wanted for questioning in the weekend murder of Gregory Faull. The last interview McAfee gave locally was to this station; since then he has only been speaking to the international media. One of his favorite [...]
Sgt. Paulino Reyes again? Another questionable shooting incident
Cop on Cop violence made the headlines on March 2010, when Sergeant Paulino Reyes shot and killed Corporal Gavin Sanchez inside the sleeping quarters of the San Pedro Police Formation. The corporal was shot eight times and in June, 2011, a coroner’s inquest found that Reyes acted in self defense and would not face charges. [...]
Poll shows majority support for new crime measures
Crime continues to be a major concern for citizens. Last week we asked if the public supported the new anti-crime measures that would allow police to search houses without warrants. More than half of those who voted, fifty-five percent, support the anti-crime strategy while forty-five percent said no. Turning to tonight’s question: For transparency, should [...]
Former clerk says bungled PAC meeting was an administrative fiasco
What should have been a productive meeting among members of the Public Accounts Committee to strategize a way forward, turned out to be a clerical disaster on Monday. The meeting was highly anticipated in light of an unfavorable report by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, which highlights the fleecing of government’s finances. But before the meeting [...]
Julius maintains PAC can hold meeting before open audience
According to Espat, a personal review of an audio recording of the committee’s inaugural meeting will be done on Wednesday, after which another meeting will be scheduled for December third. Espat further stated that he sought advice from government’s legal advisor, Gian Ghandi, on the matter of public attendance at the committee meeting. Ghandi, he [...]
Garbage Company plans to protest City Hall again
A second round of protest against City Hall is planned for this Wednesday by employees of Belize Waste Control Limited. The protest began on Monday by twenty employees of forty who had been laid off because City Hall was in arrears of more than ten weeks to the BWC. General Manager of BWC, George Lamb, [...]
Company will continue to pick up garbage; but not the cheque
Belize Waste Control has a long standing garbage collection contract with CitCo; twenty years to be exact. But the problems with the timely payments to the company only started in 2008. Despite not being paid, Lamb says that BWC will honor its contract to collect garbage. Lamb says that there is a breakdown in communication [...]
Burn victim needs your help
The following story is about a father of two who needs your help. Twenty-one year old Kevin Martinez has been recovering for months after suffering severe burns to his body. He endangered his own life to save his family and his belongings from a fire that started on a piece of furniture. While he is [...]
Caught in the act; man pays fine for breaking window
Dale Thompson was spared of a jail term when he pleaded guilty to damage to property. This morning Thompson appeared before Magistrate, Adolph Lucas Junior and was fined six hundred dollars, which he must pay the court by January ninth, 2013. Thompson was also ordered to pay the owner of the vehicle, woman police officer, [...]
Minor claims incest in Camalote
Police are investigating a report made by a minor and her father. The fifteen year old student of Camalote Village claims that on three occasions her stepfather had sexual intercourse with her. The crime allegedly happened on August twenty-fifth, and the sixth and seventh of November.
Is police brutality the cause of severe injuries?
A Corozal man was critically injured in a case of alleged police brutality and tonight Samir Viva remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to his girlfriend, Stephanie Sanker, he has been the victim of constant harassment by police without good reason. She says that on numerous occasions, Vivas has been picked up, [...]
One of the last living chicleros dies
Twenty years ago, our own William Neal won an award from CNN for a story on Anastacio Soler, a chiclero who was born in Benque Viejo and spent his adult life extracting chicle from sapodilla trees throughout Belize as well as in Guatemala and Mexico. Soler, one of the last remaining chiclero’s, passed away on [...]
PUP Calls Urgent Press Conference
The meeting of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives on Monday was supposed to have addressed the issue of the Auditor General’s report. But things did not go exactly as planned and tonight, the events that unfolded at the National Assembly building ...
San Pedro Police Investigates Murder of American National
Police in San Pedro have detained two persons for questioning as their investigation continues into the murder of American national Gregory Viant Faull. The fifty two year old Faull’s body was found inside his home on Sunday morning by his housekeeper. He had been shot in t...
Trio Charged for Drug Trafficking
Three men, who were at a residence on Jane Usher Boulevard, were charged with drug trafficking when they appeared in court today. They are 33-year-old Arden Robinson, a construction worker of Jane Usher Boulevard; 33-year- old Michael Goff, a stevedore of Jane Us...
Police Sergeant Accused of Abuse
Valley of Peace seems to have lost its last name when peace was disrupted in the community by the ringing of gunshots last night. Fifty two year old Donatilio Canales, a resident of the village says he was talking with some friends in the village and had no idea that a little whi...
Prime Minister of Belize Expresses Concerns on Belize's Enforcement of Marijuana Bans
Central American leaders, including Prime Minister Dean Barrow, say that the decision by two U.S. states last week to legalize marijuana will have important implications for efforts to fight smuggling in this region. According to international media reports, a declaration, fo...
A health fair in Bella Vista Village
A health fair was held on Sunday in Bella Vista village in the Stann Creek district. Love TV’s Patrick Jones reports.
Traffic Accident on the Hummingbird Highway
A Cargo truck overturned on Friday night in on the Hummingbird Highway. Love TV’s Patrick Jones reports.
Traffic Accident on the George Price Highway
There were two traffic accidents over the weekend and one of them involved a horse, which was killed. No one was injured in either incident. Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez, gave the details this morning.
The second accident happened on the same George Price Highway within the same general vicinity.
Chicas sustained minor injuries and was served with a notice of intended prosecution.
Haylock Bus company had an inspection and had fail
Two weeks ago ten year old Martin Noble fell out of the back of a Haylock Bus that was traveling northbound from Belize City. The child suffered a severe head injury and since then, Haylock’s Bus was placed on suspension. Today, that company underwent a full inspection of all nine buses that make up its fleet. According to Transport Commissioner, Crispin Jeffries, the company had not met the requirements prior to now to resume conducting runs because it had not made all nine buses available at once. Today, however, it did and the media was there.
Meanwhile, a source close to Haylock’s Bus Company says that they have added deadbolts on all their back doors to ensure that their passengers are hereafter safe.
Problems in the PUP Corozal Bay
There seems to be division within the People’s United Party up north, to be specific within the executive and supporters of Corozal Bay. Love News understands that last week PUP Roberto Pasos called for the election of a new executive for Cororzal Bay. This is after some weeks ago the northern caucus met and agreed that a new constituency executive would be elected or endorsed until January 2013. When we checked today, we were reliably informed the “election” did take place and party chairman Henry Charles Usher was present to make it official. Love news spoke with standard bearer Gregorio Garcia Jr. of Corozal Bay for a say in all of this.
Garcia claims Pasos invited selected PUPs of Corozal Bay to be present this past Saturday for the election. But what is the cause for all contention? Garcia says it has to do with Deputy Party Leader Florencio Marin Jr. wanting to control.
Henry Charles Usher, Chairman of PUP
Garcia is considered an ally to former party Leader John Briceño. Our attempts to get in contact with Florencio Marin Jr. via phone for comments proved futile. But while Marin was incommunicado, the chairman of the PUP Henry Charles Usher was not. He spoke with Love News this afternoon about the situation in Corozal Bay
BWC took to the street in protest
About twenty employees of Belize Waste Control took to the streets in protest this morning by picketing the offices of the Belize City Council on North Front Street. The reason for the protest, according to the workers, is a delay in payment to the company from City Hall
Love News spoke with the general manager of Belize Waste Control, George Lamb and we also spoke with Mayor of Belize City Darrel Bradley. It seems that somewhere along the way this is a problem of either misinformation, lack of communication or an out of control financial situation, in any case, you be the judge.
Meanwhile Lamb stated that it is the duty of the City Council to take care of the employees.
Lamb told us he hasn’t been able to communicate with the mayor, but Mayor Bradley denies the allegations.
And so unfortunately Lamb says sanitation workers will be given the boot.
When asked Lamb said he could not comment as to how much employees would be laid off but he said it could be more than twenty. Mayor Bradley outlined his councils obligations.
Lamb said today’s demonstration shows the employees have had enough while the mayor highlighted what were in the plans in terms of payments due to the workers.
When Love News left the Mayor’s office after about a ten minute interview, the street was already clear of protestors without a speck of them in sight. This afternoon we were informed by councilor for Sanitation, Dion Leslie that works have been mobilized and three trucks with a crew of about twenty had been deployed to pick up garbage in the north side of Belize City. Tomorrow this same group will be picking up garbage in the south side starting around 7:00 am. Leslie said the schedule will go back to normal which means that garbage will be picked on the north side on Monday and Thursday and on the Southside on Tuesday and Friday. This will be continued until a mutual understanding can be reached between the council and the Belize Waste Control.
Two stabbing in Dangriga town, one man charged
Two stabbings were reported Dangriga town over the weekend. Police press officer Rafael Martinez gave reporters the details.
Police have charged Austin Williams of Dangriga with Wounding and Aggravated Assault. The second stabbing happened at nine the same night, according to the police.
Police are looking for a suspect regarding this stabbing.
52 year old man Murder in the San Pedro Town
Police are investigating a murder shrouded in mystery on La Bonita over the weekend, which claimed the life of a US National. It happened at the home of fifty two year old Gregory Viant Faull, located almost six miles north of San Pedro Town itself and the discovery was made at around eight on Sunday morning. The Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez, told reporters today that while they have several leads, there is no motive.
Cayo man claims Police brutality
A man was shot in a ‘peaceful’ community yesterday evening. The community is named Valley of Peace but yesterday ev...
John McAfee goes in hiding after murder of Gregory Faull
John McAfee has been marked as a suspect for the murder of Gregory Faull. Yesterday we reported on the murder of 52...
Two men arraigned for death of Dennis Williams
Last week Thursday 54 year-old Dennis Williams, was shot and killed at his workplace
Three arrested for stolen skiff
A man got had his stolen skiff and engine returned to him. Russell Gongora's vessel called "Rayannie" went missing ...
Linsford Logan sentenced to three years for Drug Trafficing
Linsford Logan, a resident of Taylor's Alley, has started a 3-year prison sentence. Logan was convicted of Drug Tra...
PUP plan educational campaign on referendum
The PUP in a recent press release categorically stated that it does not have an official position regarding the rol...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
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ALL SHOW, BUT NO GO!
Public Accounts Committee divided over whether deliberations should go public – PUP say yes, UDP say no.
The first planned business session of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), a standing committee of the House of Representatives, could not get off the ground this afternoon as planned, because of continued schism between the four ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) members and the two Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) members over whether the session should be kept private or opened to the public, as parliamentary rules can permit.
Near the start of the session, set to begin around 2:00 p.m. today inside the National Assembly Chambers in Belmopan, Opposition chairman of the meeting, Julius Espat, reiterated his call for the meetings to go public.
Espat told Amandala that in the gallery at the time were KREM’s YaYa Marin-Coleman and two elected members of the House of Representatives: Toledo East Mike Espat and Toledo West Oscar Requeña. The UDP members of the PAC refused to allow Espat, Requeña and Coleman to sit and witness the meeting, Espat said.
The Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster, said at the meeting that no invitation was given to the public by the National Assembly. Making the meeting public, Webster told Espat, “is not your prerogative.”
Espat maintained, however, that the PAC members had at their last meeting agreed to go public. However, UDP member of the committee, Michael Finnegan, rebutted, saying “nobody agreed.”
“You [PUP] are 2 and we [UDP] are 4,” Finnegan said.
Another UDP member also took issue with having members of the public present: Patrick Faber took issue with what he said Espat was “trying to pull” by opening the meeting and having the media come into the meeting. That was never the intention of the rules, Faber said, indicating that information is to be made public by making transcripts of their meeting available to the public.
AMERICAN RETIREE MURDERED IN SAN PEDRO
Police say they seek millionaire John McAfee as “a person of interest”
Gregory Viant Faull, 52, an American retiree of Miami, Florida, was found shot to death in his home in the Mata Grande area about six miles north of San Pedro at about 7:20 yesterday morning, Sunday, November 11, by his maid who came to clean his house.
Police said that sometime on Saturday night, November 10, Faull was fatally shot in the head. He was taken to the San Pedro Town Polyclinic, where he was declared dead on arrival. He lived alone in the house, and was last seen alive around 10:00 that Saturday night.
Rafael Martinez, Police Press Officer, told Amandala tonight that they are looking for American John McAfee, 67, inventor of McAfee Antivirus, Faull’s neighbor, as a person of interest who may be able to help them with their investigation.
He said that when they went to McAfee’s home, no one was found there.
Martinez told reporters this morning at the weekly police press conference that an expended 9mm case was found in the room in which Faull was found, but that no possible motive for his murder has yet been established. San Pedro police also confirmed that there were no visible signs of forced entry to the building.
Although there was no sign of forced entry, however, a laptop computer and an i-Phone were discovered missing from the house.
A team of investigators from Belize City visited the crime scene, along with members of the San Pedro police, and the scene was reprocessed. During the process, neighbors were interviewed.
ASHTON THOMPSON, 18, AND STEPHAN JENKINS, 18, CHARGED WITH MURDER
Thompson and Jenkins are accused of killing Dennis Anthony Williams
In the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, Ashton Thompson, 18, a resident of #101 Cemetery Road, and Stephan Jenkins, 18, a resident of #15 Mayflower Street, were charged with murder.
Police believe that Thompson and Jenkins are the youth who shot and killed Dennis Anthony Williams, 54, last Thursday, November 8, 2012.
Williams, an employee of Three Stars Quality Chicken located at #46 Vernon Street, was at work at midday, when at least four persons attempted to rob the business at gunpoint.
Williams put up a fight, but during the struggle with one of the assailants, he was fatally shot. Police quickly responded to the scene and were able to apprehend Thompson and Jenkins, the men they believe to be the ones responsible for Williams’ death.
No pleas were taken from the men because the charges are indictable and will be heard in the Supreme Court.
ANGRY SANITATION WORKERS PICKET CITY HALL
Belize Waste Control manager says the company hasn’t been paid for almost 3 months, and is owed about $600,000
Around 40 sanitation workers, who have been released from their jobs by Belize Waste Control limited because of lack of funds, picketed the Belize City Council at about midday today. The picketing was conducted on North Front Street in front of the Council, and the workers said that they will continue their protest until the Council pays the company, so they can be paid and are able to resume work.
Elliston Lamb, the manager of the Belize Waste Control Ltd., told Amandala that the company had exhausted their resources and could no longer keep on the workers. He said that the company is owed around $600,000, and had not received payment going for about three months, from September.
Lamb said he had been trying to meet with Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley to get the money that was due them, but to no avail. He said that to date, the mayor has not seen him.
A skeleton crew is kept to do basic garbage collection, he said, but the majority of the workforce has been released.
When told that the Mayor, on a television interview, had said that the council was on top of its obligations and was meeting its commitments, Lamb, who became visibly upset, said that he would never tell a lie on the Mayor, but what the Mayor said on the television interview was not reality, and was not what the books were reflecting.
GARINAGU NEED TO REFOCUS ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP: SEBASTIAN CAYETANO
President of the National Garifuna Council (NGC), Robert Mariano, has declared open Garifuna Week 2012, a highlight of which will be T.V. Ramos Day to be observed on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, with a memorial to the founder of Garifuna Settlement Day, who continually urged productivity among his people and who for decades lobbied for the formal recognition of Garinagu contributions through the declaration of a public and bank holiday.
Despite that major milestone which Belizeans join in celebrating each year on November 19, “something has gone wrong…”
Sebastian Cayetano, a founding member of the National Garifuna Council’s branch in Belize City and the owner and manager of Luba Garifuna Museum in Belize, highlights the plight of Garifuna males, particularly those in their 20s and 30s, who, he said, are not being as productive as they should be.
“Something has gone wrong and unfortunately, with men doing less and less of the work and the mothers doing more and more of the work. I don’t know why this is but it has to change because hard work is good…” Cayetano urged. “It gives a man self-respect when he brings something home to the family,” he said.
Children need to see the men in their community working hard, Cayetano stressed.
“We need to get our men skilled, because our women are going there, and going there strong,” said Cayetano, a junior college teacher, who also points to a huge disparity in the schools, where women are pushing more than men to attain higher education.
TOO CLOSE TO CALL WITH 3 WEEKS REMAINING TO PLB PLAYOFFS
The results are in for Week 11 games played over the weekend in the Premier League of Belize Opening Season tournament 2012-2013. And with the BDF vs Juventus game set to be officially completed on Wednesday, and a major miracle needed for Juventus to eclipse the 3-0 BDF lead, it now looks like a very tight 3-horse race in both the North and South zones, as we wind down to the last few weeks of regular season.
On Saturday night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, home standing Belmopan Bandits shut out Juventus, 3-0, with goals from David Trapp (21 min), Lincoln Wiltshire (46 min) and Floyd Jones (75 min). Meanwhile, at the Norman Broaster Stadium, it was 1-1 between San Ignacio United and visiting R.G. City Boys United. Floyd Lemus (56 min) put San Ignacio in front, but Jason Young (70 min) equalized for City Boys.
On Sunday, victory came late for Belize Defence Force, who got 2nd half goals from Luis Mendez (71 min) and Ryan Simpson (85 min) to clinch the 2-1 win over home-based San Felipe Barcelona, whose only goal came in injury time from Jaziz Wicab (90+min) at the San Felipe Football Field. Police United FC were shocked, 3-1, by Verdes FC at the FFB Stadium. Julio Ayala (38 & 78 min) struck twice and Rodney Torres (82 min) once for Verdes, while Daniel Jimenez (62 min) got the sole tally for Police. At the MCC Grounds in Belize City, F.C. Belize had their way with San Pedro Sea Dogs who were without their leading striker Jesse Smith. Ryan Gill (45 min) got the go ahead goal for F.C. Belize just before the intermission; and Avian Crawford (48 &74 min) added two more before San Pedro managed a late consolation goal by Linden Galvez (90+ min), as F.C. Belize cruised to a 3-1 home win. And down south at the Placencia football field, defending champions Placencia Assassins broke out of their 2-game losing streak with a 5-1 whipping of visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters. Sharing the scoring for the Assassins were Garry Young (36 min), Bernard Linares (39 min), Dalton Eiley (48 min PK), Ashley Torres (78 min PK) and Zerrick Torres (88 min). The consolation goal for the Freedom/Fighters was by Victor Franco (82 min)
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Critics say that nothing came out of the September 2003 Belize Black Summit held in Belize City. When I sent out feelers a couple years ago to see if we could organize another such summit, that was the criticism I heard. This was, of course, discouraging, because our small group had worked so hard for so many months to put together the 2003 effort. This was a production of the UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF) and the World Garifuna Organization (WGO).
The National Garifuna Council (NGC) boycotted the summit. I have to tell it like it is. The NGC did not give any public explanation for their boycott, but one imagines it was because of issues with Dr. Ted Aranda, the WGO leader. On the other hand, who knows, perhaps it was I who was the problem.
I always felt that such a summit, once we could actually stage one, would become an annual event, because the situation in the black community, especially Belize City, had become so violent.
I had first sought to organize such a black summit in late 1993, one reason because it would have coincided with the 25th anniversary of UBAD on February 9, 1994. Because the UDP were in power at the time, and there has always been this feeling at high levels in the UDP that they can look out for the interests of black people without interference from such as Partridge Street, twenty years ago I was sure they would put obstacles in the path of such a venture.
When the unprecedented Belize Black Summit was held in 2003, it was with the PUP in power. Both the ruling PUP and the Opposition UDP gave support to the summit, and we were all grateful in the UEF and WGO. It was too much to expect that one summit would materially affect, for the better, conditions which had been the product of three hundred years of slavery, colonialism, and racism. The black summit, I repeat, should have been an annual affair.
Letters: JOHN OLIVER CALLS FOR CAUTION ON LADYVILLE ROAD
As the evenings come earlier now, and the light fades so quickly, we all need to take extra care to avoid these tragic accidents that always seem to plague our highways at this time of the year.
I drove to the city from Ladyville one night last week at around 5.30, and was thoroughly frightened by the behaviour of many drivers and riders using the road.
By this time of the evening, it’s difficult to make out a vehicle without sidelights on, more so when confronted by another vehicle blinding you with its high beams.
How does a man, wearing dark working clothes, on an unlighted road, on a bike with no glimmer of a light, think he’s going to be seen? If he doesn’t fit his bike and clothes with reflecting tape, he is just asking to become another statistic.
The small reflectors often fitted to the pedals have an up and down motion that screams “BIKE” at a following driver.
Isn’t the small expense worth it to save a rider’s life?
BELIZE, MEXICO, HONDURAS AND COSTA RICA ISSUE DECLARATION ON TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME AND NARCO-TRAFFICKING
Following a meeting in Mexico City today, Mexican president Felipe Calderón, Belize prime minister Dean Barrow, Costa Rica president Laura Chinchilla, and Honduras president Porfirio Lobo sealed a 10-point declaration in which the leaders, speaking of the need for a much more secure and stable region, called for a more concerted effort in the war against drugs and transnational organized crime through efforts to prevent, sanction and combat the worldwide scourge.
The leaders, who pointed to the need for a hemispheric cooperation program against organized and transnational crimes, said that the best efforts so far have been futile in that the use of these illicit substances continues to increase globally.
Barrow, Calderon, Chinchilla and Lobo called upon the international community to use scientific studies to identify strategies to control the drug market and prevent the transshipment of illicit substances that trigger high levels of crime and violence in Central America and which threaten societies and governments in the region.
The declaration said that the need has arisen for an in-depth analysis of the public policy and health implications emerging out of moves in some countries to allow the legal production, consumption and distribution of marijuana.
The legalization effort, the leaders indicate, is “a paradigm shift” and they called on the OAS Secretary-General, pursuant to the mandate given at the 6th Summit of the Americas held earlier this year, to review the impact of new policies, such as the legalization of marijuana.
IT’S OFFICIAL: CRIME-RIDDEN AREAS LAW FOR 30 DAYS
Following the publication of an Extraordinary Gazette last week, dated November 8, 2012, the Crime Control and Criminal Justice (Special Areas) (Belize City) Order, 2012, which declares five Southside Belize City zones for special security forces operations—including warrantless searches—is now in full effect and the order will last for a maximum of 30 days.
As the accompanying map shows, the five special areas, declared “crime-ridden” under Part IV of the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act [Special Provisions for Crime-Ridden Areas], are all located on the City’s Southside and west of Central American Boulevard, in the St. Martin De Porres area.
The accompanying map gives a visual of where these “special areas” – as small as a block – are located.
More specifically, the order details that “special area 1 or zone 1 encompasses all that area north of Garbutt Street, west of Giles Street, south of Cumberbatch Street and east of MY Street, north of M and M Street and west of Garbutt Street.
“Special area 2 or zone 2 encompasses all that area south of Police Street Extension, east of the junction of Linda Vista Street and the [George Price Highway], and west of Lacroix Boulevard.
“Special area 3 or zone 3 encompasses all that area south of Holy Emmanuel Street, west of Lacroix Boulevard, north of Police Street extension and east of Emma Street.
FFB INTER-DISTRICT QUARTERFINALS END, SEMIFINALS BEGIN SUNDAY
Week 2 of the quarterfinals home-and-away series in the FFB Inter-District Champion of Champions tournament was played yesterday, and the 4 aggregate winners are set to commence semifinal series this coming Sunday.
Having won game 1 at the MCC by a 1-nil score, Brown Bombers of Belize City needed at least a draw, but they got a 2-1 win over Progresso FC at the Louisiana Field in Orange Walk, to seal their place in the semifinals with the 3-1 aggregate score. Bombers goals came from Jermaine Foster (4 min) and Denfield Lemott (84 min), while Dennis Charley (10 min PK) got the sole tally for Progresso FC.
San Antonio FC had gotten a 2-1 home win last week, and needed only a draw against Madrid FC at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan yesterday, and that is exactly what they got, a 2-2 draw, sending San Antonio to the semi’s. Edwin Guerra (19 min) and Eric Moralez (63 min) shook the net for Madrid FC, while Darnell Mossiah (3 min) and Ian Daniels (71 min) secured the draw for San Antonio, who are aggregate 4-3 winners.
Out west at the Norman Broaster Stadium, Santa Elena Synergy FC could only play for pride in front of their home fans, having suffered a humiliating 6-1 loss to Independence Scorpions the previous week. Santa Elena pulled out the 1-nil win yesterday with a late goal from Calbert Neal (91+ min), but the Scorpions are still safely into the semifinals with their aggregate 6-2 series victory.
KREM RADIO’S GLASS CEILING
In corporate America, they use the term “glass ceiling” to refer to limits on how high an executive can reach in certain corporate structures, limits because of that executive’s race or gender or some such characteristic. A glass ceiling is something which is invisible, but which will effectively block your rise upwards.
Looking back after 23 years, we believe that there was a glass ceiling in place where KREM Radio was concerned. The political initiative which the Opposition People’s United Party came up with to support the concept of a radio station controlled by Amandala, which had become Belize’s leading newspaper in 1981, was more radical than it appeared at the time – 1989. The PUP were desperate to return to power, and they believed that Amandala had the ground support which could put them over the hump, so to speak.
There was a problem, though, and that problem was that a private radio station in the hands of the organization which already owned the leading newspaper would increase the power of the Partridge Street group. Partridge Street was a business which had emerged from the ashes of a black-conscious organization, and Partridge had a roots record in the community.
Belize’s power structure is a shadowy one. They run things from behind the scenes; they are the ones who control the large donations for the two major political parties, donations without which the parties could not run the lavish election campaigns which they do. The leaderships of the PUP and the UDP know that their policies and their candidates must be acceptable to the Belizean power structure (or oligarchy).
DORIEN DOES IT AGAIN!
Fascinated with planes since childhood, the teen wants to be an aerospace engineer
St. Louis University sophomore Dorien Villafranco, 19, a Belizean youth studying to be an aerospace engineer, topped this year’s Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) exams for associate degree students in Belize, making him the 2012 Belize Open Scholarship winner.
Villafranco, a 2012 graduate of St. John’s College Junior College, left Belize for the USA on a Jesuit scholarship in August to pursue his major in aerospace engineering, with physics and math as minors. On Tuesday morning, at about 6:30, his mother, Audrey Villafranco, who works at the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), called him to share the good news with him, after hearing it announced on the airwaves.
Villafranco told us that although he had seen his grades online in August, he did not know that he had ranked #1 for Belize.
According to the Ministry of Education, Dorien Villafranco obtained six (6) grade I’s in Caribbean Studies, communication studies, physics unit 1, physics unit 2, pure mathematics unit 1 and pure mathematics unit 2. He also ranked 1st in Belize for each of the six subjects.
Amandala readers will recall that two years ago, in 2010, Villafranco had placed first in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations with 15 grade 1 passes.
Still on the Lam, John McAfee Says He’s Now In Disguise
It doesn’t sound like much of a disguise, but John McAfee is doing his best to change his appearance as he continues to evade the police in Belize.
In a case that seems to get more bizarre by the day, the 67-year-old has continued to call me with semi-hourly updates. The latest disclosure: He claims to have dyed his hair, eyebrows, beard, and mustache jet black.
“I have modified my appearance in a radical fashion,” McAfee said, “I’ll probably look like a murderer, unfortunately.”
The American antivirus pioneer is wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of Gregory Faull, 52, an American expatriate and neighbor of McAfee’s. They both have beachside properties on the island of Ambergris Caye, about 20 miles off the Belize coast. Faull was found dead, face up in a pool of blood, in his villa Sunday morning, shot once in the back of the head. Faull had complained about the barking of McAfee’s dogs — McAfee kept 11 at his beachside compound — and four of those dogs were poisoned Friday night.
Belize’s Garifuna Settlement Day a Cultural Adventure
Preparations are currently underway for a uniquely Belizean holiday honouring the Garifuna, a remarkable culture and resilient race of people who continue to play a major role in shaping modern day Belize, The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator said today.
Larry Waight said that while many people might be unaware of Garifuna Settlement Day, celebrated on November 19 throughout Belize, it is an important national holiday that will be celebrated at Chaa Creek with Garifuna music and food.
And many people will also be surprised to learn that there will be celebrations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other North American urban centres, he said.
“Growing up in Belize you automatically anticipate a day off for the feasting, music and cultural activities that make up Garifuna Settlement Day, and we forget that it’s not a big deal in other parts of the world,” he said, and added, “And that’s a shame, really, as it’s a great celebration that honours one of the most fascinating cultures on the planet.”
The story of the Garifuna began with a shipwreck off St Vincent’s Island in the Caribbean in the 1600s, when surviving African slaves made it to shore and mixed with the local Arawak, or Carib, population.