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#451243 - 11/15/12 03:24 PM Today's Belize News: November 15, 2012
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The San Pedro Sun

McAfee in hiding calls The San Pedro Sun
Anti-virus computer software king John McAfee is a "person of interest" in regards to the murder of his neighbor, Greg Faull. McAfee called San Pedro Sun editor Tamara Sniffin from hiding to tell his side of the story. The shooting apparently took place just south of McAfee's compound in Faull's home just north of San Pedro town on the Island of Ambergris Caye in Northern Belize, Central America.

Update – John McAfee still on the run – Speaks to The San Pedro Sun
Fifty-two year-old Gregory Viant Faull, a retired American from the state of Miami, Florida USA was found dead by a housekeeper inside his living room with an apparent gunshot wound to the back of his head. The incident took place some six miles north of the populated town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in the Mata Grande Area. As a result of the ongoing investigation, police in search of McAfee, found an arsenal of ammunition inside his beachfront property on northern Ambergris Caye. According to the National Belize Police Press Officer Rafael Martinez, 39 year-old Laura Tun, a housekeeper of the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro Town arrived at around 7:20 AM at Faull’s residence to conduct routine house cleaning. Tun told police that after she entered the house, she noticed Faull in a motionless state and lying on the floor of the front living room. When Police arrived at the scene of the crime at the second floor of a two-story concrete home situated on the beach area in the Mata Grande area, they found an expended 9 millimeter shell at the second stairs of the step situated on the southern part of the outer part of the building. They also found Faull inside his living room situated in the middle of the building with an apparent gunshot wound to the back of his head. Police claimed that no possible motive has been established and San Pedro Police confirmed that there were no visible signs of forced entry to the building. As part of the investigation, Belize Police investigators has processed the scene three times, the last was on Tuesday November 13th where two US investigators were brought into the country to assist in the investigation.

No Wake Zone signs erected along the Boca del Rio River
Speeding in any situation can be dangerous. It has been reported as the cause of many fatal accidents and continues to be faulted for many accidents around the globe. In San Pedro speeding is a problem as well; be it by road or water. One problem in particular is the boat traffic on the western river leading to Boca del Rio. The water way stretches from the western fuel station on the lagoon side all the way to the eastern part of the Boca Del Rio waterfront. According to Phillip “Billy” Leslie, president of the San Pedro Tourist Association, steps have been taken to curb the speeding problem. “We have placed four large signs and twelve small – No Wake Zone – signs along the stretch of river from the west station, northbound to the Boca del Rio water front.” The placing of the signs was a joint effort by the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association, the San Pedro Town Council and the Belize Port Authority with the assistance of Tuff E Nuff Tours. The hope is that boaters will see the signs and slow their speed to avoid accidents in the area. Billy continued, “the hope is to be able to prevent more accidents on the water way. Because you know it is part of a town and there are people who live especially across in the San Mateo area that use canoes and sometimes even surfboards to cross the river to get to their homes. As for as the Tourist Guide Association it is a concern, we are looking more at minimizing the damage done to the mangrove eco system by speeding vessels in the area.”

San Pedro’s Annie Urbina and Rosie Syme featured in Belikin 2013 calendar
Belikin, the Beer of Belize, held its 2013 Calendar launch on Saturday, October 20th at the Princess Hotel & Casino Poolside in Belize City. Being featured in the calendar is an opportunity coveted by many aspiring models across the country and abroad. This year, 22 year old Rosie Syme and 27 year old Annie Urbina, both from San Pedro were featured, with one of them being awarded the surprise and honor of being the cover girl on the 2013 Belikin calendar. The San Pedro Sun caught up with both young women to chat about their experience and their thoughts on being featured in the very popular calendar. The calendars are available for sale at Bowen and Bowen Distributors across the country. The smaller calendars go for $12, while the larger ones sell for $24.

VIDEO: John McAfee Belize: The Scene of the Crime & The Rest of the Story
Ambergris Caye, Belize is one of the most beautiful, most desirable, and most accessible islands in the Caribbean. It is consistently rated as one of the top 10 islands in the world to live on, and has been rated by Islands Magazine as the #1 island in the world to retire to. But this week it is the scene of a domestic disturbance between two American expats, that has left one man, Gregory Faull, dead in his beachfront island home. Police in Belize have made local island resident, and combative neighbor, John McAfee (of McAfee Anti-Virus fame), the prime suspect and person of interest in the murder investigation. Mr. McAfee has gone on record as accusing the Belize police of trying to frame him for the murder, contending that they are out to get him and would sooner kill him than apprehend him for questioning. McAfee lives in a world filled with designer psycho-active drugs, heavily armed militia for his personal security force, and a bevy of young women to satisfy his sexual appetite. The Belize that McAfee lives in, the Belize of his world, is not the Belize that I have come to love and that I call home. I live on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize and have one so for 7 years. I have fallen in love with the people of Belize, with the island and its culture, and with all its quirks and idiosyncracies. Mr. McAfee does not live in my world. He does not live in my Belize. I live in Belize by choice, as a guest in a foreign land. So does Mr. McAfee. If he feels that the government, the police force, and the Belize military are out to get him. I suggest that he lay off the bath salts and freely leave the country that has graciously allowed him to live as a resident for the last 4 years. A man has been murdered, and his family members as well as our whole community are left to grieve in sorrow. We have a tremendous expat community on Ambergris Caye, one that is grieving over the loss of one of its own, and one that is sickened and disgusted by one man's insistence to drag the rest of the community into his perverted version of reality. I am not judging either guilt or innocence. Belize has a sound legal system baed on British Common Law for that.

Ambergris Today

John McAfee’s Bodyguard Charged for Kept Firearm and Ammunition
While John McAfee is still on the lam, San Pedro Police conducted a search on his property for firearm and ammunition and although he was nowhere in sight his bodyguard and the guard’s wife were arrested and charged for kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. According to a press release sent out by Raphael Martinez, Belize Press Officer, on Sunday, November 11, 2012, at 4:00 p.m., police visited the property of John McAfee located 5 ¾ miles North of San Pedro Town and executed a search on the premises for firearm and ammunition. Present at the time were 29-year-old, William Mulligan, British bodyguard and 22-year-old, Stefanie Mulligan, Belizean domestic of constitution drive, Belmopan City. The search led to the discovery of one 12 gauge Remington pump action shot gun loaded with seven 12 gauge Aguilla brand cartridges, one 12 gauge single action shot gun Baikaz brand loaded with one 12 gauge Eley brand cartridge and a belt containing 22 - 12 gauge Aguilla brand cartridges for which both parties could not produce a gun license for. Police have since charged William Mulligan and Stefanie Mulligan with Kept Firearm and Ammunition without a gun license.

Belize Public and Bank Holidays 2013 Announced
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:-

Soccer Equipment Donated to San Pedro RC School Football Team
The San Pedro RC School Male Football Team received a kind donation on Monday, November 12, 2012. On hand to extend the kind gesture were Roberto Canul of Ambergris Divers and Zonia Torres of Island Club Resort (formerly known as the Belize Yacht Club) who handed over jerseys, soccer shoes and other equipments to the male football team. With this kind donation the male football team of San Pedro RC School is better prepared to compete at the national level and represent the school proudly!

John McAfee Puts Belize in the Spotlight
Millionaire and antivirus software mogul John McAfee, who has been residing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye for some time now, is wanted by the local police for questioning due to circumstantial evidence. He is not wanted for murder, only for questioning as a person of interest, among others. McAfee was a neighbor with the US national who was murdered and he had an argument with him. What is making the news even more sensational is the fact the McAfee is hiding and through US media contacts has commented that he does not want to be caught by the Belize police force because he fears for his life.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize authorities to investigate reports of inappropriate search of female minor
The Ministry of National Security in Belize said it is deeply concerned about recent reports of an alleged inappropriate search of a female minor during a police operation conducted in the Mayflower area of Belize City. As of Tuesday, no complaint had been lodged with the Police Department, the Ministry of National Security or the Human Services Department of the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation. Nevertheless, based on the reports in the public media, the Police and Human Services Departments have launched a joint investigation into the matter. The Ministry of National Security assured the public that no stone will be left unturned to determine what the facts are and, if any officer is found to have conducted any inappropriate search during the operation, he or she will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

VIDEO: Dolphins and Massive Lionfish at Mexico Rocks
Headed north this morning, trying out new cam and filter thanks to Scott and Tamara Husted for your support in our efforts to create awareness of reef conservation and preservation here in Belize.

Add!ction's Colorful Runway
JCariddi Photography got some vivid pictures from the colorful runway at the Fall Fashion Show. Add!ction is releasing a runway a day. It was quite the event, with standing room only at the SIRH's Bedran Hall.

UB's Community Outreach and Empowerment Symposiums
Tomorrow, the University of Belize will be having 2 symposiums. The first starts at 10:30, and will be the Community Outreach symposium, and the theme this year is 'Empowering Education.' The second is the Entrepreneurship symposium, and starts at 1:30. Thanks, UB!

Mary Open Doors Christmas Toy Drive
Mary Open Doors is doing their annual Christmas toy drive. If you can donate a new or almost new toy in good condition, you can drop it off at their office. They'll be accepting toys through December 14th. They are located at 5 Church street right near Sacred Heart Primary School. For more information, email them at maryopendoors@gmail.com or call them at 804-4562.

GOB Releases 2013 Holidays
The Government of Belize Press Office has released the 2013 holiday schedule. 3 of them were moved to Mondays in lieu of the actual day the holiday falls upon. "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"

Happy World Diabetes Day
Yesterday was World Diabetes Day, and the UB hosted a diabetes conference. "Nursing students of the University of Belize will host the first health promotion Diabetes Conference in connection with World Diabetes Day and Belize Diabetes Association (BDA) from 1:00 pm–3:30 pm at the University’s Jaguar Auditorium, Belmopan on Wednesday November 14, the same day world diabetes day is celebrated."

Butterfly Cake
Because I don't know how to use a piping bag to decorate cakes, I've found a different way to cut a cake into the shape of a butterfly. I decorate it with a satiny, fluffy 7 Minute Frosting and tinted coconut flakes, licorice and gum drops.

Channel 7

PM Urges "Bonkers" McAfee To Turn Himself In
Tonight, William Mulligan, A British citizen who is John McAfee's personal security guard is on remand at the Hattieville Prison. This morning, Mulligan was transported from San Pedro by water taxi and brought to Belize City where he was taken by police escort to the Queen Street station. As we reported last night, the 29 year old Mulligan and his 22 year old wife Stefanie were charged for multiple counts of kept firearm and ammunition without a license - for which remand is automatic. The firearms were found at McAfee's home on northern Ambergris Caye on Sunday at 4:00. One of the guns is a 12 gauge Remington pump action shot gun - which is sold in an edition identical to the one McAfee was posing off with earlier this month in a photo shoot for WIRED Magazine. The other gun is a Baikal brand 12 gauge single action shot gun. The guns were loaded and police also found a belt containing twenty two 12 gauge cartridges. According to our sources, both guns were licensed - but the license holders were not at the residence. The San Pedro Sun reports that the license holders, Eddie Ancona and Alberto Chacon were both charged for one count each of lending a firearm without a written permission from the Commissioner of Police. Investigators believe that they weren't lending at all - that they got the licenses on behalf of the McAfee Estate.

Security Guard Catches Thieves In The Act, Kills One Injures Other
Tonight, a 29 year old man is dead and his 52 year old uncle is in the hospital recovering form gunshot wounds. But, police say they are not the victims of a crime: they are allegedly the perpetrators of a robbery - caught in the act and shot by a security guard. The guards say that they tried to stop them, but instead, these men chose to attack. Daniel Ortiz found out more in Belmopan today: Daniel Ortiz Reporting 29 year-old Wellington Welcome Hemsley Jr., a resident Tea Kettle Village was killed at around 2:30 a.m. today, after he and his uncle, 53 year-old Gilroy Welcome Sr., allegedly tried to burglarize a property at Mile 30 on the George Price Highway. Police say that both men traveled over 20 miles try steal from the a storage container belonging Absentee American owner, Steve Usrey. But, they were shot by the security guards of the establishment, Cheers. Both men were caught on a security camera on the house, which was connected to the Cheers surveillance system in a symbiotic relationship between both proprietors.

City's Garbage Crisis Resolved (For Now)
After days of threats, protest and bitter back and forth in the media - Belize Waste Control and the Belize City Council worked out their difference. According to information, they settled their differences at a meeting this morning, which included Mayor Darrell Bradley and Anthony Griffith, the owner of Belize Waste Control. As we understand it no money was paid immediately - but a commitment was made to commence payments next week - and settle all arrears by the first quarter of next year. With that, Waste Control deployed its garbage trucks on the Southside this afternoon to pick up all that the council missed yesterday. Tomorrow, they will pick up garbage as normal on the northside. Because of this breakthrough, there was no picketing today. Waste control had gone on a two day strike because the council's arrears had exceeded half a million dollars and interim payments were not made as promised.

Residents Of "Crime-Ridden" Neighborhoods Are Victims Too
The so called crime ridden areas were gazetted last week - which gives police powers to search any and all houses in the area without the need for a warrant, while restricting movement in and out of these areas. All five areas are within Lake Independence and Pickstock - and today police took the media along on a raid of one gang neighborhood - where Monica Bodden found out, even the residents are victims. Here's her story: Monica Bodden Reporting It started with an early morning briefing inside the military compound at Militia Hall. Officers are provided with the information of the specific area they will be conducting searches. Then it was off into their assigned police mobiles where one behind the other they moved in a line, making their way down Mahogany Street and into the PIV area . PIV - is the abbreviation for "Peace in the Village" - but there was no peace in that village at 5am this morning - when the entire neighborhood was awakened by the banging of police officers at their doors. 30 officers were dispatched in the 'crime ridden' area. - these orange cones on the streets where used to cordon off the territory.

Woman Claims Police Shot Her Father "For No Reason"
And while police conducted that raid without incident, we can't say the same for a police encounter that happened on Monday. It involved the controversial Sergeant Paulino Reyes who allegedly shot a man in Valley of Peace. When a police officer shoots a civilian, there is always a question of whether it was a justifiable use of force, but in Reyes' case, it becomes a matter of urgent attention because of the high profile case in March of 2010, when he shot and killed his fellow officer, Corporal Gavin Sanchez. He wasn't criminally charged because he claimed self-defense then, and he is now claiming much the same once again. Only this time, his victim was a 53 year-old resident of the Valley of Peace, Donatilo Canales, who was - according to reports - was unarmed. 7News spoke to the victim's daughter today, who said that Reyes not only abused his power of authority, but has also been intimidating the Valley of Peace residents: Lucia Lopez - Daughter of Donatilo Canales "On Monday, at around 6 p.m. in the afternoon - this is what he told me, and what I know from the witnesses - my dad was in his yard socializing. Some friends had just stopped to greet him, and pickup from the Sergeant was coming. My dad waved him 'bye', and that's what irritated the Sergeant. I don't know why but he stopped and came out of his pickup. He approached my dad and pushed him in the chest aggressively. I know that he is saying that my dad punched him in the face, but according to the witnesses, it was just a reflex. When his pushed my dad, he had to lift up his hand and barely touched his face. But I think that this is a reason to have to shoot my dad; he didn't have to use so much force. I think that he is really abusing his power that is granted to him as a police."

GSU Finds Weed In the Depths, Ammo In the Heights
And while the police raid we showed you earlier didn't unearth anything of consequence, the GSU did make a bust in another of those special zones. At around 1:00 this afternoon the GSU searched a swamp behind the residence of a person they describe as a "reputed leader" of the Complex Crew gang in the Linda Vista estate area - which is part of special area 2. They found a black plastic bag hidden under a white pot in the swamp which with 109 grams - about 4 ounces - of cannabis. They also found two other plastic bags buried in some garbage and those were stuffed with 41 rounds of 9 mm ammunition in assorted brands. And while that was buried in a swamp, this morning the GSU found live rounds hidden on a roof. They searched a rooftop of an abandoned house on Plues Street where they found a black plastic bag, covered under some linoleum. Inside the bag was a small box containing twenty eight 5.56 rounds of ammunition - the type used in M0-16 rifles. The GSU states that the abandoned house is located only two properties away from the main base of the George Street gang.

Hon. Barrow Calls Hon. J Espat A "Liar"
Over the past two days - you've heard a lot about the Public Accounts Committee - the meeting that never was, and the aftermath of recrimination, with both sides blaming the other. Today, the Prime Minister weighed in. He explained that Committee Chairman, PUP Representative Julius Espat had been referred to Government's legal advisor Gian Ghandi for legal advice on how to make a committee meeting public. The PM says Espat ignored the advice and then lied about the entire episode: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "Ghandi pointed out to him that the standing orders don't allow for that to happen, except if the committee votes otherwise, and asked him to insert a new agenda item to deal with a resolution for the work of the committee to be done in public. It can happen. Mr. Espat said that he would do that. I don't know if thereafter, he figured, 'Well, if I introduce that resolution, the UDP won't vote to support it', or whether he simply thought, 'Look, let me try and make some mileage. Let me unilaterally, illegally, and improperly invite the media, and declare that the meeting will be held in public. He turned around and said, 'Oh, well, I didn't ask for a resolution because I thought that we had done it at the last meeting, although the minutes don't reflect it. He's lying because when he spoke to Ghandi, he knew that nothing had been done to, as it were, ask for a public hearing, and that is why he agreed that he would put it on the agenda, so that it could be done at the first meeting. So, he's lying.

Faber Will Challenge Vega For Deputy; What Does It Mean For UDP?
And while the committee will have to go back in time - Mr. Barrow's party, the UDP is moving forward. It has a national convention scheduled for February of 2013 and it's what you might call a well-known secret that Chairman Patrick Faber wants to challenge Gaspar Vega as First Deputy. The campaign has already started and such a challenge to a Deputy Party Leader, while he is the sitting Deputy Prime Minister is probably unprecedented. But, that isn't stopping Faber - and the news of his challenge alone is seismic. We asked the Party Leader if it will cause a major rift in the UDP: Jules Vasquez "Do you expect a rift in your party, as there are rumors that there is a slate which will challenge Gaspar Vega for 1st Deputy Leader?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow "There is, as you say, certainly a suggestion it might be perhaps a bit more than a suggestion, that there will be a challenge. If there is, that is democracy; that is the way we in the UDP do it. While we know that any contested convention will have its fallout, I believe that our history, track record, and our culture are all such that we can deal with that sort of thing."

PM Offers Maya A Piece Of "Working Interest" In Oil
The Prime Minister also discussed the dispute about oil drilling when the media caught him this morning. As has been reported, the Mayan Villages in the Sarstoon Temash National Park will be going to the courts to try and block oil exploration in the Park and on lands deemed to be Mayan Communal Property. Today the Prime Minister revealed a new strategy - and that is to offer the communities a slice of the pie if they cooperate with the oil company: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "We're prepared to use the working interest share of the oil revenue, if there were to be a discovery in Toledo, to fund a trust on which the community leaders would have equal representation with Government, and the trust monies would then finance a community development project in the Toledo District. So, perhaps - it's going to be troubling to some people that we're actually prepared to ear-mark a share of oil revenues coming from that district for that district. The people in Blue Creek or Spanish Lookout might say, 'Why not us?' But, we think there are peculiar circumstances in Toledo, so a seat at the table for us to work out the details of the trust and how it will become posed, and how it will function, absolutely. But, if you're going to court to stop the drilling, then there will be no money, and there will be no proceeds to share."

Long Weekend Lovers, Rejoice!
The list of 2013 holidays has been announced - and you long weekend lovers do have a few things to cheer about. The first long weekend of 2013 comes on Monday, March 11th which will be observed as National Heroes and Benefactors day - which is actually Saturday ninth March. Easter - the longest weekend of the year will be observed three weeks later on March 29th through to April first. Labour day, May first, falls on a Wednesday - and will be observed on that day. But Sovereign's Day or Commonwealth Day which falls on Friday May 24th, will be observed on Monday May 27th. In September, there's no long weekend for Independence Day. The 21t falls on Saturday and will be observed on that day. But in October, Pan American Day, October 12th which falls on the Saturday - will be observed on the Monday, October 14th. All other holidays are being observed on the day on which they fall.

PM Will Ask New Mex Prez For New City Center
The City Center, it's an eyesore for anyone in the public and a heart pain for athletes. What should be the premier indoor sporting facility in the country has been in a state of abandoned ruin for more than two years. And, what's worse is that it seems to be frozen in time - almost like it's waiting to crumple to the ground - hoping no one will notice. There's been talk about a new facility for over a year - but that's like a ship on the horizon that seems to never reach the shore. The original plan was that the Mexicans would sponsor the new facility. And since the Prime Minister recently went to Mexico to meet with the outgoing President - who had promised the new facility in the first place - we wondered if maybe he gave it as a farewell gift. Well, there's no such luck, the PM says he'll have to talk to the incoming president: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I am hopeful that President Elect Pena Nieto will be as forthcoming as President Calderon has been, and I have no doubt that generally speaking, that is going to be the case. If there are particular problems with the Civic Center project, then I repeat, I'm going to get it done locally if I have to, by way of a combined syndicated type of financing that will hopefully see SSB involved, GOB, and Belize Telemedia Limited."

Awareness Isn't Enough For Diabetes
Diabetes awareness, there can't be too much of it - particularly because more than 40 thousand Belizeans are suffering with the disease. The trouble is that half of the cases go un-detected - usually until its too late. So awareness events like today's Diabetes fair are critical - as Monica Bodden found out: Monica Bodden Reporting Today the parking lot at the KHMH was buzzing with activity as different health organizations presented booths displaying a wealth of information. As a part of celebrating World Diabetes Day, the mini Health Fair was held to educate Belizeans about the deadly disease. Dubbed as the silent killer - statics shows 13.1 percent of the adult population in Belize is living with diabetes. Those are scary numbers and the president of the Diabetes Association told us why we should start living a healthier lifestyle. Anthony Castillo - President, Belize Diabetes Association "Today, November 14, is World Diabetes Day, and what we're doing here, is to continue to create the awareness on the condition, diabetes. As I have stated earlier, statistics are showing that 13.1% of the adult population, ages 20-79, are living with diabetes. That's converts to about 45,000 Belizeans living with diabetes. So, there is an urgent need for us to continue to inform and educate persons on the condition, diabetes."

Channel 5

John McAfee still on the run; says he’s altered his appearance
Tonight, John McAfee, the US anti-virus founder, is still on the run wanted for questioning in the murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull, who was found dead at his San Pedro home on Sunday. His elderly father, Hart Faull, arrived in Belize today from Florida to take back his body. McAfee has been in constant [...]

P.M. denies that the U.D.P. sought election funding from McAfee
McAfee, his first brush with the law gained him notoriety in Belize. Back in May 2012, his house in Carmelita was searched by the Gang Suppression Unit. McAfee claimed he was held for long hours and it took the intervention of the US Embassy to get him released. In an interview he gave to News [...]

One burglar killed, one injured in botched break-in
Sometime around two-fifty this morning, two would-be burglars from Teakettle were shot, one died instantly. The uncle and nephew team was attempting to burglarize a container when two alert watchmen from the well known Cheers Restaurant on the George Price Highway stopped them in their tracks. Their family is stunned at the turn of events. [...]

Police and B.D.F. descend on Lake I at dawn to conduct raids
The Lake Independence area is the first to be demarcated as a crime ridden area. Since the weekend, police and B.D.F. have had a constant presence in the crime infested neighborhood and searches are being conducted without warrants. At the crack of dawn this morning, one of those searches was executed. Some residents were prepared [...]

GSU finds drugs and ammo in city operations
While the raid on PIV came up empty, another operation on Plues Street by the Gang Suppression Unit resulted in the discovery of a cache of ammunition. At about ten o’clock this morning, the GSU conducted a search on the roof of a derelict building, where they found a black plastic bag containing a small [...]

BWC and City hall make up after garbage debt debacle
Approximately forty employees were fired from Belize Waste Control Limited on Monday; twenty of them protested at City Hall since their termination was the result of an unpaid debt of over six hundred thousand dollars. BWC General Manager, George Lamb, says they needed to get the mayor’s attention and a second protest was planned for [...]

G.O.B. plans to intervene in City Hall affairs
The mending of fences between the City Hall and Waste Control is also being helped by government intervention. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was asked to give his take on the huge arrears, especially at a time when the council is trying to float a twenty million dollar bond for infrastructure works. The PM says Mayor [...]

Alcalde Association not impressed with measures to ease tensions over oil exploration in the south
The government and Maya communities have been at odds over oil drilling and exploration in communal lands in southern Belize. In June 2010 Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh declared that thirty-three Maya communities had customary land tenure in their villages. That should have settled the perennial problem, but despite the court declaration, not much has changed [...]

P.M. tongue-lashes Julius Espat; but agrees media should be allowed in PAC meetings
Hearings by the Public Accounts Committee and whether they should be held public have been hotly debated for days. Its present Chair, Area Representative for Cayo South, Julius Espat, says they should; but due to wrangling among committee members, Tuesday’s hearings were held behind closed doors and then quickly adjourned. Espat maintains that the U.D.P. [...]

Trial begins against police officers and a customs boatman implicated in drug plane landing
Under extremely tight security, a trial involving police officers accused in one of the biggest drug busts in the country is currently underway. Before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in the Dangriga courts, the case started on Monday of four police officers and two others charged for aiding in the importation of cocaine into Belize. On trial [...]

3 face immigration offences in the Magistrate’s Court
Three persons were before the court for separate immigration offences today. Thirty-six year old businesswoman, Vilma Chip Coh, who is a naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala, was charged for employing two persons without valid work permits. Chip owns Chica Picante Bar and Lounge on Mosul Street in Belize City. Allegations are that on November thirteenth, [...]

Police charge suspect for burglary at Douglas Hyde’s house
The home of the Police Department’s National Youth Program Coordinator, Douglas Hyde, was burglarized in September and police have now caught up with the suspected culprit. Today twenty-four year old Robert Young, a Mason of Freetown Sibun Street, was arraigned before Magistrate Adolph Lucas Junior for a single charge of Burglary. Young pleaded not guilty [...]

Patrick Faber versus Gaspar Vega for U.D.P. Party Leader
The Prime Minister also touched on his party’s internal politics. Minister of Education Patrick Faber will reportedly be mounting a challenge against the Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega. Faber wants to unseat Vega as deputy party leader. Under Vega’s watch, the U.D.P. stronghold in the north was severely diminished in the last general elections. Prime [...]

An art exhibition to celebrate the Garifuna culture
Celebrations to mark the arrival of the Garinagu to our shores take place this weekend and into Monday, the nineteenth. It means that slew of cultural activities will accompany the re-enactment of their arrival to our shores in 1832. Aside from the drums, the huddut and the punta rock, art is another area in which [...]

LOVE TV

Rotary Governor goes on working visit to Toledo
The Governor of Rotary district 42-50 has completed a working visit to Punta Gorda town. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

PUP calls emergency press conference; duscusses Public Accounts Committee meeting
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 in Belmopan on Monday has taken on a life of its own. Today the People’s United Party held what was described as an emergency press conference to address the spectacle that unfolded yesterday. Chairman of the committee, the PUP Cayo South representative Julius Espat told reporters that all he is trying to do is what he was chosen to do; former Clerk of the National Assembly Conrad Lewis described the issue ad as administrative bungling, and the PUP’s Communications Director Kareem Musa calls it political lip service by the members of the Committee from the ruling part. The other member of the Committee from the opposition, Stann Creek West representative Rodwell Ferguson, told reporters that he supports the chairman in his efforts to have the committee do its job; while Toledo East representative Mike Espat and Toledo West Representative Oscar Requeña who intended to attended as observers, call the course of action a power-play by the UDP members of the Committee. Espat announced today that he is suggesting another meeting of the Public Accounts Committee be held on December third. He says that the will be submitting that proposed date to the Clerk for circulation to the other members to see if they can make it happen. Espat also told reporters that he will be going to the National Assembly building on Wednesday to listen to audio recordings of the last meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on October first of this year.

Mother seeks urgent assistance to get medical treatment for daughter
A Belize City mother is appealing to general public for assistance to help get her daughter life saving medical treatment. Forty five year old Yolanda Ferguson has been diagnosed with, among other things, respiratory problems and acute renal failure. She is hospitalized at the KHMH and this morning her mother Everith Sadesay came to our studios to appeal for assistance. Anyone wishing to assist Yolanda Ferguson can do so through the Holy Redeemer Credit Union, account number 5-1-1-7-1. Or they can contact her mother Everith Sadesay at the KHMH.

Valley of Peace man says policeman shot him in both legs
Valley of Peace seems to have lost spirit of its name as the peace in that western community was disrupted by gunshots on Monday night. Fifty two year old Donatilio Canales, says he was talking with some friends in the village and had no idea that not long after his legs would be fractured by gunshots at the hand of a policeman. The alleged trigger man has been identified as Sergeant Paulino Reyes shot him. This afternoon, Love News visited with Canales at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he recounted the horrible ordeal he suffered last night. Love News asked Canales at what point he actually got his second leg shot According to Canales’ daughter, he had been taken to court on charges for a controlled drug, namely marijuana, but Reyes was angry because he wanted Canales to plead guilty to the charge and Canales maintained that he is innocent and the drug didn’t belong to him. Sergeant Paulino Reyes had been in the center of controversy back in 2010 when he shot a fellow police man Corporal Gavin Sanchez at the San Pedro Police Station. Reyes got off since there was no evidence to support a trial of murder. Canales alleges that he is not the first person that Reyes has assaulted in the village and we understand that people are afraid to come forward. Canales also told us that after the shooting Reyes put him to the back of his pickup, went a while to his parents home, then to the Valley of Peace Police Station before going to the Belmopan police station and later taking him to the hospital. Canales condition is stable but his daughter claims both his legs are fractured as a result.

Faull murder investigation continues; police want to talk to John McAfee
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 the head. This morning, the police press officer Raphael Martinez told Love News that authorities also want to talk with businessman John McAfee about the incident on northern Ambergris Caye. Martinez says the police believe that McAfee is still in the country and is appealing to him to surrender himself to the authorities to answer a few questions, which could assist investigators in cracking the case. That was the police press officer, Raphael Martinez


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#451244 - 11/15/12 03:25 PM Re: Today's Belize News: November 15, 2012 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here

PlusTV

The debate on the interpretation of the Standing Orders for the Public Accounts Committee continues
The debate on the interpretation of the Standing Orders for the Public Accounts Committee continues. The area repre...

Standing Committees of the National Asssembly
Now for a quick education on standing committees of the National Assembly: there are thirteen (13) appointed Standi...

This morning's Police crackdown targets PIV area in Belize City
The Police department has given the media access to its operation in crime ridden areas. Since the public outcry ag...

PM appeals to McAfee to turn himself in
The John McAfee hunt has made international news. As you are aware, police suspect Mcafee in the murder of an Ameri...

Students learn to be entrepreneurs
Young Belizeans are being taught to become young entrepreneurs. Yesterday in Belize City, there was a marketing exp...

Galen University launches fifteen scholarships
Galen University launched fifteen scholarships today at their campus in Central Farm. The scholarships were awarded...

Blogs

The best Crispy tacos in San Pedro
I ended up at Average Joe’s and Danyelle made me one of their crispy tacos that definitely put me in a much better head space, nothing like good food to cheer a girl up. She even served it on one of those super cool taco trays to hold it upright. I saw those on ebay once and thought it was a great idea, for someone who cooks :) Casting my vote for AJ’s as best crispy tacos, add them to your must do foodie list for San Pedro.

A Trip to The Dentist Means a Trip North
My dentist in San Pedro, Dr. Mark, is as good or better as any dentist that I've ever had. His office is located behind his home about 4 miles north of the bridge. So a trip to the dentist in Belize, for me, requires a 15 minute boat ride. Dentistry as a whole in Belize is (surprisingly to some) fantastic. We have a number of dentists here in town and for those who can not afford dental work, free clinics a few times a year. So...there was really no reason for my 2 year hiatus and to be honest with you? I was a bit nervous. Who knows what terrible things can happen in 2 years. But all was perfectly fine. Joan did the cleaning, a few X-Rays and I left with a clean, cavity-free bill of health and a dentistry goodie bag. Phew. Must remember to do that more often. I had about an hour before my next water taxi so I wandered south a bit. I passed Coco Beach. They have a nice bar if you want to stop. And the beers are $6bzd...relatively cheap for "up north". The price of beer (average $5bzd in town) is definitely a factor for me...whether I like a bar or will stay away.

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. England took control of St Vincent in 1763, and embarked upon what became known as the Carib Wars to subdue the local population. After the Caribs surrendered in 1796 the British separated the more ethnically African people they called Black Caribs from the Amerindian Caribs and, in 1797 deported them to the island of Roatán off the coast of Honduras in 1797, from where they spread up and down the Caribbean coast, creating their own villages and steadfastly preserving a language and culture known as Garifuna or Garinagu. That language and culture is still going strong in Belize today.

International Sources

Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2012
One of the hotels I nominated for Fodor's "Top 100 Hotels of the World," The Lodge at Chaa Creek, was just named a winner. Here's the review I wrote for the current Fodor's Belize & Tikal Just for the record I did not write the blurb on the Fodor's site that announces the winners at http://www.fodors.com/hotel-awards/2012/?ref=news_fd_111412, which inexplicably locates Belize in South America. Anyway, congrats to Mick, Lucy and the staff at The Lodge at Chaa Creek. --Lan Sluder The Lodge at Chaa Creek Review This was the first true jungle lodge in the Cayo, and owners Mick and Lucy Fleming—who don't seem to have aged a day since they came to Cayo (did they discover a fountain of youth here?)—have spent 30 years polishing The Lodge at Chaa Creek to a fine, rich patina. To start, the gracefully landscaped grounds, surrounded by 365 acres of rolling hills above the Macal River, are magnificent. On the grounds are the Rainforest Medicine Trail, Natural History Centre, butterfly farm, horse stables, Maya organic farm, one of the best spas in Belize, as well as a gorgeous bi-level swimming pool. There's a friendly and highly competent staff of around 100...

Long ABC TV Story on McAfee from Belize
Anti-Virus Pioneer John McAfee Hiding in Belize: Police Locals in the Central American country say they've spotted the murder suspect.

McAfee flees from Belize authorities - should he fear the police?
John McAfee, a pioneer of antivirus software, is on the run after accusations of murder. He has said he fears for his life if caught by Belizean police, one of the most honest forces in the region. Belizeans have one of the highest levels of trust in their police. Only Chile and Haiti have more faith in their police than Belize. For comparison, Guatemala ranks the worst, with 65 percent of those surveyed saying they believe their cops are often involved in crime. In Mexico the number is 54 percent; in El Salvador, 48 percent; and Honduras, 47 percent. Another analyst based in Washington who has studied the police in Belize, and who also did not want to go on the record for this story, said the levels of police corruption in Belize, a former British colony, come nowhere close to levels in neighboring countries, such as Honduras. “The standards of policing and rule of law and application of justice are similar to what you would find in a British commonwealth,” he explains.

John McAfee Disguises Himself as Murderer
The manic bath-salted odyssey of antivirus magnate John McAfee has taken another sad, strange bend: he's adopted what sounds like the worst disguise in criminal history. Wired reports that McAfee, wanted for questioning with regards to a jungle murder, "claims to have dyed his hair, eyebrows, beard, and mustache jet black." How can we turn this into a movie if it's full of cliches like these? Also probably not very convincing on the head of a 67-year-old man. But aside from looking silly, McAfee looks downright scary: "I have modified my appearance in a radical fashion," McAfee said to Wired's Joshua Davis, "I'll probably look like a murderer, unfortunately." That... might... not be the best... disguise... John.

Belize Murder: Victim Had Confronted John McAfee Over Dogs
ABC News has obtained an exclusive copy of the complaint against McAfee, which Faull wrote on behalf of the neighborhood and filed with local officials last month. READ the complaint here. "The residents and visitors of the Mata Grande Subdivision and surrounding properties petition [local authorities] to address 3 issues affecting our safety, health and tourism," says the complaint. "These problems are all at the residence of John McAfee." The petition charges that security guards on McAfee's property "walk around with shotguns at night and up and down the beach . . . They have been known to shine spotlights right into peoples' eyes at night and act aggressively with their guns, chambering a bullet and nonsense such as this. People are scared to walk down the beach at night as a result. The tourists are terrified." The complaint also alleges that taxis and delivery trucks arrive at McAfee's house at all hours, and that "vicious dogs" on his property are running amok. "These animals get loose and run as a pack. Three residents have been bitten and three tourists have been attacked." According to the complaint, when one of McAfee's dogs attacked a young female tourist, a neighbor who had witnessed the attack confronted McAfee, who had also witnessed the attack. McAfee "did nothing about it," says the complaint. Neighbors told ABC News that Faull, who lived 300 yards from McAfee, was the person who confronted McAfee.

New World: Blue Creek Drill Finished by Mid-November
New World Oil and Gas announced Thursday that its Blue Creek No.2 well in Belize drilled to a depth of 9,282 feet on Wednesday and that it expects total depth of 10,450 feet to be reached by Nov 18. 2012. The well is drilling on the onshore B Crest prospect on New World's flagship Blue Creek Project that is located on the productive Petén Basin in Northwest Belize. The drilling programme is on budget and in line with the company's geologic prognosis, it said. New World reported last Thursday that the Blue Creek drill was ahead of schedule. The well is targeting un-risked P50 prospective resources of 92 million barrels of oil that are believed to be contained within B Crest.

New World Oil & Gas says first Belize well almost at target depth
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) said its first well in Belize will reach its target depth of 10,450 feet by November 18 or sooner. Blue Creek #2 is currently at 9,282 feet. Under budget, New World decided to test additional, lower-lying horizons for oil and gas. Following completion of the drilling, the explorer will evaluate the intervals that have oil shows on both the mud logs recorded while drilling, and the electric logs which will be compiled after drilling. This will help it determine oil and gas saturation levels, porosity and the thickness of the reservoirs. New World will then assess at what depth and in which zones to commence well testing operations. The tight budgetary controls mean group has the cash to drill down to the Y3 formation and the Hillbank intervals. New World said there is “considerable potential for the existence of multiple productive horizons”. Its Blue Creek Project is in productive Petén basin of north-west Belize.

Smithsonian Institution Purchases Autopano Giga for Aerial Panorama of Reefs in Belize
Recently the Smithsonian contacted Panoramic Essentials to enquire about a panoramic stitching solution for a new project they are working on – photographing the reef in Belize. The Smithsonian project involved taking aerial photographs while flying over the reef, and the final image count was 10 rows of 100 images. Panoramic Essentials recommended their gigapixel image stitching software Autopano Giga, which was developed with the ability to manage multiple viewpoints and is perfect for stitching aerial photographs. Says Adam Shehadeh, Sales/Support Manager at Panoramic Essentials, “It is always nice to learn that professional as well as non-profit organizations are taking advantage of advancements in panoramic photography. Even more interesting is the tasks that this technology is being applied to. I can only imagine how amazing an aerial panorama of the reef in Belize will look like and have dreamt of this vista since we learned of its existence.” From his experience with the Smithsonian sale, Adam has noticed a pattern that has been developing overtime: photographers are having a difficult time selecting the appropriate software to complement the type of photography that they are stitching. Even though his business sells this software and as much as it benefits business when customers purchase the expensive software, it’s not always what they need and not what is recommended. When it comes to panoramic stitching software the first question a photographer must answer is what they will use it for: virtual tours, landscape panoramas, gigapixel panoramas; and will HDR be part of the creative process.

Local student competes as Miss Belize
Destinee Arnold, 19, recently competed in the 52nd Miss International Beauty Pageant held in Okinawa, Japan as Miss Belize. “As part of her wearing the crown, she got the opportunity to represent Belize at the international pageant held this year in Okinawa,” Opal Enriquez, the national director and co-owner of Queen of the Jewel, which represents Arnold, said. “We were very impressed with her work.” The competition included bikini wear, evening wear and an interview with the judges, but the contestants were also able to experience Japan. “Everyday we went somewhere different. They took us to a lot of museums so we experienced a lot of their history and culture. I really love the Okinawan people, they are very sweet. The people were really hospitable,” Arnold said. “I think that’s one of the best things about when you get to the international level is that you get to go to different countries other than the U.S. and Belize.” Arnold’s mother, Marie McDowell, said she was happy when her daughter came home, with or without a title. “The whole Japan thing was emotionally and physically draining for me because it was the first time my baby was gone anywhere so far from me without family members. For me, it was a struggle but there was not a day that I did not wake up and I did not send her an inspirational quote, a ‘Good morning’, ‘How was your day?’ ‘What are we doing today?’ I was there for her without physically being there,” said McDowell.

EU warns 8 nations about illegal fishing
The European Union is warning eight nations from around the world to improve their fight against illegal fishing or risk sanctions. EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said Thursday that naming Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu did not mean they were put on a black list, but rather they were given a warning without measures attached to it at the moment. The EU says that illegal and unregulated fishing accounts for 19 percent of global value for catches. Damanaki said that Indonesia has been cooperating with the EU for a year to counter the problem and avoided being put on the warning list. If the nations concerned do not cooperate they could face trade sanctions in the fisheries sector.

PARADISE OR HELL? A primer on Belize
AFTER tech pioneer John McAfee was named a prime suspect in a murder investigation in Belize, many of us asked: where the hell is that? Belize sounds like something you'd put in a cocktail, but it's actually a really pretty Caribbean country located at the southern end of Mexico. The country is dotted with more than a dozen ancient Mayan ruins and its coastline is even home to a 'barrier reef' - the "Belize Barrier Reef". It's a great place to float on the water on an inflatable bed, gawk at fish and coral and have a beer or a cocktail on the beach. Scuba diving is big business (although our Department of Foreign Affairs says to be careful because it's not exactly well-regulated) and the country is known for a giant sinkhole in the ocean, the "Great Blue Hole". And it's not an entirely foreign place for Australians. The country was originally settled by the Brits, cricket is a popular past time and a local variant of English is the national language - unlike most of Spanish-speaking Central and South America.

McAfee proclaims innocence, alters look to evade Belize police
In another twist to an already bizarre story, the founder of the McAfee anti-virus software company contacted an American journalist Tuesday to maintain his innocence and chronicle how he has been evading police. John McAfee, 67, has been missing since Sunday morning, when his next-door neighbor Gregory Faull, 52, was found dead in a pool of blood in a Belize beachfront home. On Tuesday, McAfee contacted Wired contributing editor Joshua Davis and said he's on the run, scared for his life — and did not commit murder. Belize police on Sunday said they wanted to question McAfee in what they described as a homicide investigation. Davis tweeted the salient details, including the former CEO saying he feared being killed in custody and — when power was cut to his hiding spot — the grim summation that "this is it." "Under no circumstances am I going to willingly talk to the police in this country," McAfee reportedly told the editor at the technology magazine. "You can say I'm paranoid about it but they will kill me, there is no question. They've been trying to get me for months. They want to silence me. I am not well liked by the prime minister. I am just a thorn in everybody's side." As police raided his compound Sunday, McAfee told the writer that he hid in the sand with a cardboard box over his head so he could breathe, and spent the night on a mattress infested with lice. He has continued to change locations, according to the writer's tweets.


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