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#453882 - 12/20/12 08:44 AM Today's Belize News: December 20, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

San Mateo cleanup campaign off to a great start
The San Mateo cleanup campaign took place on the 17th and 18th of December and it was a great start to a long-term beatification project of the area. Fifty garbage bins, which were donated by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) were distributed to residents who came out to work towards the initial cleanup of the area. Residents, along with Town Council members, came out to support the cleanup campaign, while UNICEF provided demonstrations and training on proper hand washing and water purification techniques. This is just yet another “blessing”, as stated Karina Romero – resident of San Mateo – in her vote of thanks at the commencement ceremony of the campaign. As of recent, the San Mateo committee has seen much attention with some $100,000BZ being donated by Bay Trust International in Belize which facilitated the construction of various streets throughout the subdivision. With the construction of the streets, residents that were forced to reach their homes via “London Bridges” (elevated wooden walkways above contaminated water) or via canoes – finally had proper access to their homes. Further to this, there has been much work by international entities, such as students from the University of Mississippi under the guidance of Miss Kim Shackelford – who helped to create the San Mateo Empowerment Committee which has organized much work in the area. These are just two very positive initiatives that work to bring a better life to residents of San Mateo.

Victims of alleged police brutality in San Pedro call for justice
Two San Pedro men and one female, along with their families and the wider community of San Pedro Town are asking for “justice” into what they call blatant “brutality” and use of “unnecessary” force by police officers attached to the San Pedro Police Formation. The officers in question include are a woman police constable (WPC) and a corporal of police who were off duty, out of uniform and drinking minutes prior to incident. The altercation erupted in the wee hours of Monday, December 17th in front many witnesses, some of whom captured the chilling clash on their personal cellular phones. According to the official police report, a man was detained by officers who were “socializing” at a local downtown bar, the Tackle Box Bar, sometime around 12:40AM on Monday. Ricky Jurado, a life-long resident of San Pedro was detained that night and ended up spending hours behind bars at the San Pedro Police Station. Eventually charged for assaulting a police officer, Jurado told the press that as he was coming out of the bathroom inside the establishment when he saw a male dancing in a seductive manner behind his girlfriend. Jurado went on to explain that his girlfriend was unaware of what the male person was doing behind her and that it was only after the “dark-skinned male” proceeded to grab her from behind the waist did she realize what he was doing. “I confronted him and asked him what is happening with you Ricky Jurado (the male). From there, they (the male) eventually walked out. I told all my friends let’s just go so when we came out of the bar, they (the police) were waiting in the middle of the bridge (dock) and they started the altercation. That is when Mr. Young (Police Corporal), both seemed to be under the influence of alcohol, took out his gun, grabbed my neck and put his gun in my mouth,” said Jurado adding that “he threatened me that he would kill me if I even move. The female officer that was involved said ‘shoot that Spanish’.” It was not until then Jurado said, that he learned that the male person was in-fact a Police Corporal and one of the two females was WPC Young. According to Jurado, he then put up his hands indicating that he was total submission to the police. “My fiancé said ‘officer why are you doing this’ and that is when the other officer, the female (WPC Young) assaulted her – it was two of them. I tried to move from the officer and he chocked me and I almost passed out. When he saw I was falling, that is when he moved his hands from around me and then put the gun to my head. He then walked me off the dock, with the gun to my head, all the way to where I was put into a police car,” recollected Jurado who was taken to the police station until late the next afternoon. The officers in question were later confirmed to be Corporal Mark Young and WPC Sherifa Young.

Ambergris Today

Over 300 Children Attend 3rd Annual Spirit of Christmas Concert
Approximately 325 children from around the country attended the 3rd Annual Spirit of Christmas Concert held on Saturday, December 15, 2012, at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts in Belize City. The event is hosted by Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, especially for children with disabilities and children living in childcare institutions. This year’s attendees included residents of Hopewell House, King’s Children’s Home, Hossana House, Dorothy Menzies Childcare Center, Liberty Children’s Home; and students of Stella Maris School and the Patsie Brownie Special Education Center in Orange Walk. The children were treated to two hours of entertainment with performances by Melonie Gillett, Elle Marie, Wilson Grinage, the Futuristic Marching Band, Ms. Independence Day Jr., Abigail Castellanos, Himanshi Chadwani, Nu Generation Dance Group, and Ascenthium. Additional entertainment was also provided by Ozzie the Clown, Santa Claus, as well as Snow White and Dora the Explorer mascots. During the ceremony, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow handed over gifts to each institution in attendance. The home managers and principals also received a personal gift as a token of appreciation for their hard work running the homes and schools, while all the children in attendance received a wristband with a positive message and at the end of the show, their snack and juice.

Jasmine Alert Calls for Nationwide Vigil for Victims of Violence
The Jasmine Alert Executive Body has called out to all Belizeans nationwide, to a Candlelight Vigil for the VICTIMS of the Massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut USA. “We must share the pain and send our condolences to those that suffered such great loss and tragedy; seeing that we are all members of the same family and the same race (the human family and the human race),” stated the press release. The Jasmine Alert Executive Body also requests that all Belizeans who have lost a child to gun violence, and all those whose child kidnapping/abduction or enticement, to join this Vigil, bearing the name of the child, friend or family member that has been hurt or killed.

Belize Takes Steps for Sustainable Management of National Conch Fishery
The Fisheries Department advises and reminds the fishing community and the general public that it has implemented a range of management measures for the conch fishery to ensure that employment and livelihood opportunities for fishers, processors and others associated with the fishing industry are safeguarded over the long-term future. The measures being implemented by the Fisheries Department are also focused on sustaining the abundance of the conch stocks and the integrity of the environment upon which these species depend. The Management measures include the implementation of a Quota System or TAC, size limits and closed season regulations for the species, as well as the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Fishing Cooperatives and the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development for the current 2012-2013 Conch Season.

Have San Pedro Residents Lost Respect and Trust on Police?
This picture shows the reality of a San Pedro resident who got beaten up by a Police Officer who clearly abused her power of authority. What makes matters worse is that the police officers involved in this case of abuse were allegedly off duty, without their uniform and drinking at a local bar. The end result is that three island residents have been charged for various offenses as the police officers turned the case on them. But the four island residents are fighting back and filing counter charges on the officers with proof and eye witness accounts to back them up. The altercation occurred between 12:30 – 1:30a.m. on Monday, December 17 at the Tackle Box . According to Ricky Jurado, his girlfriend was approached by one of the police who was off duty and without uniform. The officer placed his hands on her waist and wanted to dance with her. This was when Jurado confronted him and admits to only raising his voice and telling the officer to respect his girlfriend. Jurado stated that this was when he intended to leave the establishment to avoid any trouble, but that the officers were waiting for him as he descended the dock. Words broke out and a shoving match erupted, at which point the off duty officer drew his gun and pointed it at the face, head and mouth of Jurado. His only option was to follow their instructions as they dragged him down to the beach, onto the streets of town and to the Police Station.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Rum, Cigar & Coffee House, San Pedro Ambergris Caye
Free Samples, Mixed Liquors, Hand Rolled Belizean Cigars, Cuban Cigars and BEST cup of Coffee in town! Roasted Fresh Daily.

Educating Future Environmentalists at UB
The University of Belize hosted five primary schools for their Environmental Education Outreach Program. "EEOP was facilitated by students from the Professional Skills for Environmental Managers from the Natural Resources Management Program (NRMP) of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University. The vibrant students performed skits, sang a song, and brought awareness by showcasing environmental models which they had created. The presentations targeted environmental problems, impact, and conservation. Saint Martin’s Government School took home the grand prize followed by Kuxlin Ha with second place, and third place went to Garden City Primary School. Other participating schools were Saint Ann’s Anglican Primary School, and Our Lady of Guadalupe School."

Apocalypse Tourism in Cayo
The 13th Baktun is almost over, and there are special events planned around Cayo for the occasion. The overnight camping at Caracol is full, but at Cahal Pech they are doing a Maya Sacred Fire Ceremony through the night. It starts at 8pm tomorrow night, and ends with the final ceremony at sunrise on the 21st.

Channel 7

British National Accused of Revolting Acts of Pedophilia and Pornographic Exploitation
Tonight, 39 year old British National David Taylor is at the Placencia police station awaiting arraignment. He has been charged for two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature and possession of pornographic material. Police raided his home earlier this week and found computers with 50 videos and 500 photographs of 4 young boys between the ages of 10 and 13 years old being made to pose nude and engage in various homosexual acts with adult males. Those who have seen the images say they are revolting in the extreme - and describe them as "nasty." Police note with concern that the photos and the videos found on his hard drive only cover the months of August to November of 2012. That has investigators trying to find other files because they believe Taylor's deviant practices had been going on for some time. Taylor worked as a home tutor for students and is a resident of Belize. He will be arraigned in Dangriga Magistrate's court tomorrow.

"Easy Glen" And "Chainsaw Man" Caught In Sugar City
Last night UDP Senior Member Michael Finnegan put UDP soldiers Easy Glen and James Swaso on blast! He told the media how they had impersonated his voice and hustled money in his name. Well today, the police report that they caught the pair in Orange Walk and detained them. They are expected to be transferred to Belmopan for questioning. As we noted, no official complaint has been filed with police. Finnegan told us today that since going on the news he has gotten calls from a surprising number of persons who say they were taken in by the scam and facilitated either of the two with cash or favours.

The Fuss Over Fried Chicken: Chicken Dread Pleads Guilty, But Defiant
When we left you last night Paul Ferguson known as the Chicken Dread - was defiantly back on Albert Street selling his fried chicken. That's after the City constables and the police went to remove him from that spot yesterday afternoon. The police were there to arrest him because he had used insulting words on the head of the City Constables. Ferguson went with the police, took his charge, got sign bail and went right back to his spot. More on that later, but today he went to court for arraignment on the charge. He told us what happened: Paul Ferguson - Fried Chicken Vendor "Yes sir, I went in front of the magistrate. I pleaded guilty. I did insult the man. I am a man. I insulted him. That's what it is." Jules Vasquez "You insulted Mr. Butler." Paul Ferguson "Yes, I did. I did insult him." Jules Vasquez "So, you pleaded guilty, and got a fine." Paul Ferguson "I got a fine of $100 to pay by January 31. But by me selling chicken, hopefully, I can pay the fine by selling chicken."

Extradition Proceedings For Lebanese Belizean Khaled El Turk Commence
Khaled El Turk, a Lebanese-Belizean was arrested two months ago in Belize because the United States wants him extradited to that country where he has been indicted for pseudoephedrine trafficking. Under guard from the US-funded Anti-Drug Unit, El Turk appeared for his first extradition hearing today in Belize City Magistrate's Court. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Williams where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - through the Solicitor General's Office presented the bundle of evidence that is being relied upon to cause his extradition. The hearing was just a formality and it was adjourned until February 7th., 2013. He remains in custody at the Hattieville Prison on a provisional warrant. El Turk was represented by Senior Counsel Edwin Flowers and The Sol Gen's Office by Senior Crown Counsel, Magali Perdomo. It may be coincidence, but it is still of note that one week after El Turk's arrest, two Lebanese businessmen - including the well established Alfred Schakron - were executed in Belize City.

Murder Victim's Family Speaks
Gushany Fred Wagner was killed early on Sunday morning - a direct consequence of the gang brawl that erupted at the BTL Parkfest on Saturday night. He was killed on his block in front of the Salvation Army Primary School on Cemetery Road - right at the mouth of the alley where he hung out. No one spoke up for him at the time - because his death was gang related and his family is from Orange Walk. But today, they came to town for the post mortem and that's where Monica Bodden spoke to his sister: Jessica Wagner - Sister of Deceased "We received the news at about 1:30 on Sunday morning, and it was really shocking." Monica Bodden "What were you told?" Jessica Wagner "We were told that someone rode up on a bicycle and shot him 5 times in the back, and once in the head." Monica Bodden "He was shot at around a well-known gang territory, Taylor's Alley. Could you say if your brother was a gang member, or was he just staying there?" Jessica Wagner "Well, actually I don't know. All I know is that my brother was a very loving person, and he chose that. He chose to be around Taylor's Alley. He said that the people through there showed him a lot of love and respect.

Father Of 10 Allegedly Killed By Rogue Cops In PG; No Answers Yet
It's well known that the Belize City Council is implementing a residential garbage tax - to help cover the costs of the Municipal Bond. But, businesses are complaining that they are being taxed twice because their trade license fees are also being revised upward. As we've reported, businesses have complained that their trade licenses have increased by anywhere form 30% more to 250% more! A survey of a portion of the members of the Chamber of Commerce show that 90% are reporting that their trade license went up and 80% of those saying that they never knew it would go up. But the City Council has said it is not a revenue increasing measure. Yesterday the Mayor said that there is an argument to be made, but the argument would have to be that the tax rate is too high: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "They problem is that the Trade License Act provides a rate that is too high, and I've always said that. I said it at the bond, that the Trade - but nobody wants to talk about that. Nobody really wants to talk about how you change laws to make it conducing to stimulating economic growth. But, they want to talk about, 'Okay, I got an increase.'

Minister's Younger Brother Involved In Accident W/ Govt Vehicle
At first light on Saturday morning, drivers on the early part of the Western Highway saw a pickup truck with a government license flipped and flattened near two and a half at the Faber's Road junction. The driver was Education Minister Patrick Faber's younger brother 36 year old Paul Faber. Much has been made of the fact that the plates were removed and the driver appeared to have been intoxicated. Police today reported that Faber was charged with drove motor vehicle without being the holder of a Belize driver's license, failure to provide specimen, and drove motor vehicle without due care and attention.

Hon. Faber Gets Endorsements Of Two Former UDP Leaders
Faber may have been celebrating the smashing success his big brother Minister Patrick Faber had at a banquet on Friday night. It was a banquet in support of Faber's candidacy for the Deputy Leader of the UDP. According to reports, he managed to get representation and support from every division in the Belize district with the notable exceptions of Queen Square and Port Loyola. He also managed to get endorsements from two former party leaders (and there have only been four) - and here's what they said about him: Dr. Dean Lindo - Former UDP Leader "I have clearly indicated that I will be supporting Patrick Faber." Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel - Former Leader of the UDP "He will be stepping up because he is now contesting the post of deputy party leader, which implies that he is actually aspiring to be the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize. Now, I am supporting him for all the good things that people have said. But, I want to go a little step further. It is my firm conviction, and it has always been, that the deputy leader of the party, and much more the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government must be the Prime Minister's chief advocate, and chief sword-bearer.

COLA Advises GOB to Withdraw From OAS
And while Faber is jostling for position, COLA has come up with its position on the International Court of Justice. Not surprisingly, it is opposed to going to the ICJ, but the lengthy position paper details the reasons for not doing so. It's a two thousand word document - but COLA President Geovannie Brackett outlined the major reasons for us today: Giovanni Brackett - President, COLA "We view the International Court of Justice as an entity that cannot bring about a viable solution - a lasting solution. As, we've seen in the case of the US and Nicaragua, the US has completely ignored the ruling of the courts. Their attorney went as far as to describe the court as semi-legal or semi-judicial, an entity that some countries sometime listen to, or sometimes don't. If the US can have such an opinion of the International Court of Justice, how then can the OAS suggest that Belize to take the subject of its sovereignty to an international jurisdiction that the US does not recognize?

Sports Minister Speaks On Mess At MCC
On Monday, 7News told you about Yaya Marin-Coleman's 24-hour, 2-person protest for against the use of the MCC Grounds for the big DIGICELL 10th Anniversary concert. Well, with the public interest and pressure it has been generating, today, Minister of State with responsibility for Youth and Sports Herman Longsworth has decided to state the clear position of his ministry on this issue. As we told you, the Football Federation of Belize has loudly protested the use of the MCC Grounds for anything other than sports because these other functions cause damage to the integrity of the facility. Their biggest complaint is that there are signs of tire tracks on the field where the people in charge of those public functions drive unto the football pitch to transport equipment. Well, Longsworth addressed the media this evening, and he told us that there will be more strict measures put in place to protect the facility. But first, he put the need for the use of the facility for public functions into context by drawing comparison to the public terror incident which unfolded at the BTL Park Fest, the next day after the Digicell Concert at the MCC.

More Drugs From SB Intel
Information from the Special Branch has led to more drug seizures. A search was conducted on Sunday inside a gold Toyota Camry which turned up 206 grams of compressed Cannabis. No one was in the area so the drugs were labeled as Found Property. And on Tuesday afternoon, at about 3, Police searched an abandoned lot in the Pickstock area which led to the discovery of 99 grams of cannabis and one 16 Gauge Cartridge. Again, no one was in the area and the stuff got the found property treatment.

Hon. King Holds Traffic Blocking Motorcade to Give 15K Gifts
If you know anything about politics at the people level - you'll know that other than elections, divisional Christmas Parties are one of the only times when politicians meet their voters en-masse. Every politician has his or her own style, some do block parties, some rent out halls, some go house to house. But no matter which way they play it, the event has to be big because every child needs a gift - and you can't play politics with "pikni"! But today first term representative Mark King did his in a novel fashion; he had a motorcade where he gave out thousands of gifts. 7news was on the street: Jules Vasquez Reporting Lake I residents - and their children - lined up for miles along Mahogany street and La Croix Boulevard. A trailer truck blasting music and fronted with a Santa icon led the way for a marching band, and a trailer truck full of gifts and goodies...that took over the street and stopped traffic for miles Area rep Mark King was leading the parade, beaming with pride: Hon. Mark King - Area Representative, Lake Independence "We want all the Lake I children to have a toy. We want them to be jolly also with us, and we want to show them that at this time of the year, it's for the children." And the children were grateful - as were their parents:

Castro Buys From Division to Give to Division
And while King didn't know about any 50 grand, another UDP Representative told us differently. Edmund Castro also had a novel way to get his Christmas gifts out. Now he has dozens of villages in his division, so a motorcade was out of the question. But he did do things differently; to put a twist on an old saying, he bought form Peter to give Paul. Today in Maskall Village He explained how he kept it in the division:.. These are fresh vegetables that Minister Castro purchased from famers in Belize Rural North to give as Christmas gifts to constituents. Instead of apples, they get tomatoes and instead of turkey and ham they get green peppers, lettuce and cabbage. Hon. Edmund Castro - Area Representative, Belize Rural North "At this time, what we're doing is buying all the vegetables, 15,000 - 20,000 pounds of vegetables, of each kind, about 7 or 8 of them." The vegetables were purchased for 13 thousand dollars from 13 famers in the area and were distributed to fifteen hundred families across Belize Rural North.

Castro Says Xmas Public Transport Will Be Ok
And while we caught up with Castro, we used the opportunity to speak about the state of public transport. The holidays are coming and folks will want to be shuttling back and forth on the highways. But that's where crammed busses lead to all kinds of chaos. We asked Castro about the checkpoints: Marion Ali - Love News "We have people breaking the law, and it has to do with drivers, conductors, and even the traffic personnel taking and accepting bribes. The passenger who needs to get home will stand." Hon. Edmund Castro - Minister of State/Transport "Basically, I think that now that we have checkpoints on the Phillip Goldson and George Price Highways, different checkpoints other than the ordinary checkpoints, we posted our officers out there. It is very difficult for an officer to be taking bribes in front of so many other officers. The bribe cannot be big enough to share amongst them. So, I think I think that we will eliminate that situation, and with those checkpoints, we're also eliminating the standees. However, we still have some of the smart operators who are trying to cram. 'Well, a checkpoint is coming up, so we have to put 3 people in a seat.' And it's only when they get caught, they cry out like 'the hog who got the lick'. But, we are vigilant on the highway to make sure that we have a safe enjoyable Christmas season."

Harris Accused Of Running Major Scams
And probably no checkpoint could have caught a sly Belize City man - who police say got away with a fortune. 44 year old Keith Harris, a truck driver and businessman of Freetown Road, is at prison tonight after he was taken in connection with the theft of almost 150 thousand dollars' worth of items. According to police, between October 5 and 8, 2012, in Belize City, Harris stole $25,000 in cash, the property of Arturo Matus. Additionally, according to police, he was connected to the October 27 theft of 150 sheets of plywood value to the total of $9,500 which were acquired from Caribbean Tires with a bogus check. Police also say that between the 5th and 8th of October, 2012, he stole twelve 40-foot containers to a total value of $120,000, the property of Marine Services Company Limited. But, it doesn't end there, because according to police, a school warden alleged that Harris has refused to return her $1,500 laptop which she loaned him.

Another City Murder
And before we leave, some bad news. There was a murder in Belize City about an hour ago. An unidentified male was shot in the head at the corner of Partridge and Peter Seco streets. He is reported to be in his late teen's or early twenties. Two men were seen leaving the area and it is suspected to be part of an ongoing gang rivalry in that area.

Channel 5

British national long trail of abuse of children documented
A British national has been charged and will be arraigned for sexually abusing minors and for possession of sexual material. David Taylor has lived in the Placencia Peninsula since 2005; his suspicious behavior gave way to a search at his house that turned up a treasure trove of pictures and videos of him and minors [...]

Mexican in Court for drugs and arsenal inside hotel room
A drug trial was set to start this morning in the Corozal Magistrate Court. Units of the police and B.D.F. were deployed to the courtroom area in numbers as a Mexican national arrested in the November Las Vegas Casino bust was escorted to court. As the first order of business, attorneys for Zurisday Villasenor Mendez, [...]

Pregnant woman at Northern Regional’s horror story
There is another reported casualty at the Northern Regional Hospital where at least nine other victims have suffered from alleged hospital negligence. Over the weekend, a new born passed away soon after delivery and the mother’s uterus was severely damaged and removed.  Headi Chable told News Five today that she was admitted at about three [...]

Paul Faber crashed Ministry vehicle and removed plates
Police have finally released information regarding the driver of a vehicle assigned to the Ministry of Trade and Industry that crashed over the weekend at the corner of Faber’s Road and George Price Highway. The police are confirming that the driver of the Isuzu pick-up is Paul Faber, the brother of the Minister of Education. [...]

In the name of Finnegan, Easy Money for Easy Glenn
On Tuesday night we reported on a scam involving Goldburn “Easy Glenn” Adolphus and James Swaso, both high profile U.D.P. operatives. Senior Minister Michael Finnegan blew their cover following reports that they had been impersonating him to swindle money from unsuspecting business persons. As the story was being aired on Tuesday night, the duo attempted to [...]

Khalid Al Turk to be extradited to U.S.A.?
Lebanese businessman Khaled Jamil El Turk, wanted by U.S. authorities for conspiring to import pseudo ephedrine, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith this morning, after being on remand at the Belize Central Prison since mid-October.  In court, a bundle of documents, presented as evidence requesting El Turk’s extradition to the United States, was tendered [...]

COLA’s position paper rejects going to ICJ
The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) rejects the referendum that could land Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).   According to some estimates, Belize requires about ten million Belize dollars while Guatemala says it requires forty-six million US dollars for public awareness and to carry out the referendum. [...]

COLA’s recommendations to end Belize/Guatemala differendum
Earlier in the week, COLA launched its position paper rejecting the referendum and the ICJ. In that paper, COLA outlined several recommendations that it believes will put an end to the dispute. One controversial recommendation includes withdrawing from the Organization of American States.   Giovanni Brackett, President, COLA “The reason why we put this paper [...]

Fry chicken dread says he’s guilty of insulting words
Paul Ferguson is back on Albert Street tonight with his fried chicken business. Earlier today, he appeared in the courtroom of Adolph Lucas Junior to answer to a single charge of insulting words. According to Special Constable Selbert Butler, Ferguson insulted him when he was being evicted from his Albert Street stand. Ferguson, who was [...]

Salvadoran national happy to be deported in a year
Edwin Vasquez Salinas, is going back home to Salvador, but not by choice. And though Salinas told the court he is happy to return home, he was fined one thousand dollars, which he has to pay before he leaves. When he appeared before magistrate Dale Cayetano this morning, he was slapped with a single charge [...]

He says he’s innocent, but owes several businesses
A Belize City truck driver appeared in court this morning to face a charge of Theft for allegedly stealing a friend’s laptop. But forty-four year old Keith Harris was in way more trouble than he expected when four additional charges were levied against him. He first appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for the charge [...]

Island Yellow Pages advertising scam
Earlier in the newscast you heard about the scam involving two high profile U.D.P. operatives; well, there’s another scam and this time it is an online advertising company. A number of businesses have fallen prey to the hoax which appeared legit and linked to the Yellow Pages. News Five’s Isani Cayetano spoke today to various [...]


Police News
A shooting incident early this morning has left one persons injured. The victim has been identified as Robert Tracey. Police say when the visited the emergency room around two o’clock this morning, they say Tracey with a gunshot wound to the left wrist. Initial ...

Brother of Minister Crashes Government Vehicle Whilst Driving Without License
Four days after a government vehicle was destroyed in a crash on the George Price Highway, police today identified the driver of the vehicle. Thirty six year old Paul Faber was behind the steering wheel of the pickup truck which overturned and was extensively damaged at the corne...

Homosexual Activist Denied Entry Into Belize?
As if the legal challenges from the former owners of BTL and the impending challenge to section 53 of the criminal code are not enough, tonight there is word of another legal challenge that the Barrow administration may have to deal with. And this time it comes from Jamaica. ...

Belize City Man Charged Following Theft Rampage
Forty-four year old Keith Harris, a truck driver of Freetown Road was charged with three counts of theft and two counts of handling stolen goods when he appeared in court today. Harris was charged with the theft of a laptop computer when he went to the #2 court. He pled not guilty to t...

Placencia Man Charged Following Allegations of Child Pornography
Police have arrested and charged a man from Placencia village following allegations of child sex abuse and child pornography. According to reports, David Toylor was today charged with two counts of the crime of aggravated assault of an indecent nature and the possession of pornog...

Position Statement Presented by Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action
On Sunday Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action (COLA) launched a Position Statement on the Referendum on Belize-Guatemala Territorial Adjudication at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This document outlines their arguments on not supporting the move of going to t...

Belize Rural North Residents Receive Christmas Hampers
Today the villages in the Belize Rural Central were bustling as villagers were busy transporting hundreds of bags loaded with basic grocery items and farm produce. They were Christmas hampers destined for 15 hundred families in the constituency from their Area Rep, Edmond Castro....

#453883 - 12/20/12 08:44 AM Re: Today's Belize News: December 20, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


Police explain telephone and response problems
A media manhunt was in full swing in Belize City today for Goldbourne Adolphus, better known as Easy Glen. But Adol...

Lady calls Rise and Shine about Police non-response
A woman called into the Rise and Shine show to express that she has also tried calling the Police on several occasi...

British national accused of child abuse
A British national is being accused of child abuse and possessing pornographic material. According to information, ...

Khalid El-Turk appears in extradition hearing
Today, formal extradition proceedings began before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith in the Belize City No. 1 Magist...

Paul Faber faces several charges after Government vehicle crashes
Police have released the name of the person charged in connection of a traffic accident involving a government vehi...

Rosewood continues to be illegally harvested
The mass harvesting of the Rosewood in the forests of the Southern part of the country, led to a moratorium on Rose...

Family seek answers in death of Francisco Shol
53 yr old Francisco Shol was allegedly beaten by two Police Officers and later succumbed to injuries received due t...

Belize City Police make weekend drug bust
Police made a drug bust on Sunday. Based on Special Branch information, a search was conducted in the trunk of a To...

“Chicken Dread,” says he will continue to sell fried chicken from his stand in Belize City
Vendor of Belize City Paul Ferguson, aka “Chicken Dread,” says he will continue to sell fried chicken from his stan...

GSU makes arrests of persons connected to MS 13 Gang
GSU has made a number of arrests of persons believed to be connected to MS 13 Gang. On Monday afternoon, GSU office...

Fisheries Department is informing the fishing community on Conch regulations
Fisheries Department is informing the fishing community and the general public, that it has implemented a range of ...

Mark King gives toys to Lake Independence children
‘Tis the season for giving – and Lake Independence area representative for the United Democratic Party (UDP), Mark ...

Belize City man was shot during an early morning cycle ride
A Belize City man was shot during an early morning cycle ride. Yesterday at 1:15am, Robert Tracey was riding his bi...

Homosexual organizations ready to challenge another legislation
Homosexual advocacy organizations and individuals are getting ready to challenge another of Belize’s legislation. A...

Roaring Creek man hospitalized after a road traffic accident
A Roaring Creek man has been hospitalized after a road traffic accident on the George Price Highway. A blue motorcy...

Bus robber given a non custodial sentence
Yesterday we told you that Evan Bruheir was convicted on earlier this month for robbing a bus conductor of his bicy...

Police seek two Missing Persons
We have two Missing Person reports today. On Sunday, 23 years-old Guadalupe Percy Humes, also known as “Nana” , lef...

Police on Ambergris Caye respond to aaccusation of Police Brutality
Police on Ambergris Caye are responding to an accusation of Police Brutality, by giving their side of the story. Th... <


‘Good Day Sunshine’ in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Up even earlier this morning – 3.30am- than I normally am. I get up early but this is ridiculous. Must cut out those early evening naps! Had coffee on the veranda while I took care of correspondence ( mainly to family and friends back in the UK) and then reconciled recent bank transactions . Showered, shaved and dressed and was at Estel’s ‘for ‘fuelling’ by 7.15am. Had a great ( and filling) breakfast ( as it always is) served by really friendly and efficient staff. All topped off with the great view. Fed and watered ( OK coffeed – I know there is no such word, but …) I set off to see what progress was being made on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. As has been the case on previous occasions, I was pleased to be surprised by what work had taken place. When I got to the top of the ramp and looked down into the water tank I saw that concrete had been poured into all of the forms. Not only that but the guys were removing the form boards and supports. All was soon revealed by Anhill. The guys had worked until 7.30 pm last night to complete the pouring. It had been necessary to put in place temporary lighting and they had to get by with one wheelbarrow less ( a tyre was punctured ) until two replacement wheelbarrows were taken by Daniel Camal, our building cintractor, to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to try to recover some of the lost time .

Natural health food store
While it can be done and there is noticeable improvement lately, it is not always easy to find healthy foods in grocery stores here San Pedro. In an effort to help tacoboy and I get better at healthy foods and healthy ways, I decided to pay a visit to our local health food store and see what they had and do some price comparisons for the items I bought. After all was said and done I was happy with the items I got for the price paid. Even the unknown brand of probiotics I checked out at GNC in Playa Del Carmen fell in the $25 USD range. Since the store prices were all in Belize dollars I converted them to USD dollars to go with the online comparison. PB8 probiotcs on sale $5 off $22.50 – online sale $14.26 – list price was shown at $24.99 Now Brand Spirulina $21.00 – online sale $24.50 – list price was shown at $41.99 Xyliwhite toothpaste Now Brand $8.50 - online sale $4.49 list price was shown at $4.99 Xyliwhite mouthwash Now Brand $11.00 – online sale $8.01 – list price was shown at $10.21 2 Lara Bars 1/2 price $4.00 - online sale $2.5 - list price was shown at $3.40 Holy Tea $10.00 - line price $12.00 Grand total $77:00 - online sale pricing grand total $64.51 Phyllis the shop owner is willing to take special orders for products and she will let you know if some items the shipping will be reasonable or not. She also sells smaller sized quantities for people who are on vacation and do not want to pack things like protein powder, stevia, vitamins and Dr Broners soap. Don’t forget to join GoNature Health & Wellness Centre facebook page if you want to keep up with their weekly specials and their latest stock.

Marching Bands, Carolers and TONS of People Support Duran Family at Wayo's
On Saturday evening, the beach street in Boca Del Rio was diverted to make way for a fundraising block party at Wayo's Beach Bar. A very worthy cause...Hector Duran was killed accidentally just a few months ago while filling scuba tanks. One exploded in a horrible accident and killed him instantly. And leaving behind his family of five children. There were donations from people and businiesses all over town. Raffles, silent auctions... Hey look...I won! There was music of all kinds. Zac and Tanya on her steel drum... then a drum corp came marching down the beach from a performance of drums and dancing... This little drummer boy could really get down. There were carollers from the Roman Catholic ministry.

BTB approves ‘Tarpon View’ to be a reserve!!
If you have not been lucky enough to pass to the West side of the island, just by Raggamuffin (between Blue Wave and Barefoot Caribe) you will not have witnessed the Tarpons that gather there, quite domesticated, next to the Badillo ‘ranch’! Tarpon’s are one of the toughest gamefish for fly fisherman and they are protected in our waters. Fly fishing aficionado’s Ken and Parnell Coc some three years ago started feeding a small school of six baby tarpon with sardines that they caught each day. Within two years the school has grown to 100 strong and the tarpons, some that have migrated to the area and the majority descendants of the original school and they have all become quite an extension of their family!! With the help of the Village Council Chairman Alberto Villneueva and the Badillo family, the Belize Tourist Board have recognized the unique nature of this area and the need to protect it both for the environment and for tourism and education purposes. The idea is for those passers by will be charged a nominal fee which will go towards the feeding and protection of the area as well as the BTB intend to market it as a new tourist attraction here on Caye Caulker.

International Sources

The king of con-men
The biggest fraud in history is a warning to professional and amateur investors alike. Things soon got much worse for the Poyers (MacGregor preferred this to “Poyasians”). The officer class—the banker and clerks—refused to help set up camp. Hunting and fishing trips were badly organised, and the settlers went hungry. Lacking leadership, they began to fight over rations. As the wet season set in they became despondent, with some men refusing to make their own huts watertight. Children began to die. Recognising they were in trouble, one brave settler built a canoe. Shortly after setting out to get help he drowned. An Edinburgh cobbler—a man promised the title of Official Shoemaker in Poyais—shot himself. In May a passing ship came to the rescue, and began to ferry the settlers to Belize. But malaria, yellow fever and malnutrition had already ravaged the Poyers and two-thirds of them—including many that made it to Belize—died. Word of all this reached London and the British Navy sent out ships to catch and turn back the five more boats that had already set sail.

Turtle Inn: Where Sofia, Roman and Francis Ford Coppola Like To Stay
Ever wanted to live vicariously through a Coppola? You know, make a film or two, become a household name, travel affluently? Well, we can promise you only the latter, friends, as we now have the official 4-1-1 on where Francis, Sofia and Roman stay when they travel to Belize. Obviously, they're going to crash at the Turtle Inn, a 17-acre beachside property FFC bought back in 1999. But which rooms do they shack up in? First, let's talk about Turtle Inn. It's the only luxury resort in the fisherman village of Placencia, Belize, reachable by a 30-minute puddle jumper from Belize International Airport. There's 25 rustic villas and cottages, two salt-water pools, three restaurants, a beach bar and a memorable staff to boot (shout out to Rudy!). Accommodations come equipped with outdoor showers and gardens, homemade cookies (in a bottomless jar), screened porches and thatch roofs reaching up to 30 feet. The spa is fronted by Thai masseuses who can have you knackered in minutes and the new Miss Ellie dive boat that can drop you off at a deserted island within an hour. Should you want to do the Coppola resort like an actual Coppola, you have three accommodations to choose from... Sofia takes the Beach House, right on the sea with its own pool. It's incredibly stylish, thanks to architect Laurent Deroo, whose Harajuku A.P.C store actually served as a location in Lost In Translation. Obvi, Sofia loved him so much, she asked him to create something natural-modernistic. Expect teak wood, slab slate and aluminum design in the main house, in addition to a bungalow out back for two more guests.

VIDEO: Howler Monkeys in the Belize Jungle
Love the sound of Howler Monkeys. Shot with consumer video camera in Belize Jungle with my guide & my friend Karen tagging along.

Bracing for the Maya Apocalypse: Holiday in Belize
The Maya Apocalypse is coming. The end of the world. Doom. If the world is ending, how do you face it? Cowering in a basement surrounded by stockpiles of ammunition and boxed mac ‘n cheese, which will make you wish you’d died in the apocalypse after a few months? Rioting through urban streets and ruining other people’s apocalypse? Bargaining with God? The walkway from the Belcampo main building to my cabin. (Photo: James Picht) God doesn’t bargain, and riots aren’t as fun as they look on TV. If you believe that the Maya calendar really predicts an apocalypse, there’s only one sensible thing to do. Celebrate! And where better to celebrate than at ground zero for the apocalypse – Belize? The Belcampo Lodge (formerly the Machaca Hill Rainforest Canopy Lodge) combines a 15,000 acre rainforest preserve, a 3,000 acre farm, an agritourism center, and a luxury 12-cabin resort all on one property. Located near Punta Gorda, Belize, the lodge boasts exquisite dining (most of the food produced on site), river excursions, incredible birding, scuba diving, horseback riding, a pool, a spa, outstanding service, and all the privacy you could ever need or want.

If it’s the end of the world, let’s eat like the Mayans
A bite of Belize. This country was once home to the ancient Mayans, who are said to have predicted the end of the world on Dec. 21. If that’s the case, go out with a full stomach. Pureco Cochinita Pibil “Cochinita (small pig) pibil (to bury) literally translates to ‘buried whole suckling pig,’” write the editors of Flavors of Belize magazine in their book of the same name about this recipe. “Traditionally, you should marinate the pork in the same manner but cook the whole pig wrapped in banana leaves underground with fire wood and hot stones for hours until tender.”

Belizean Seafood Soup
The seafood in this soup from coastal Belize can vary depending upon what is available in your market. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy pot. Add flour and whisk constantly until flour is copper in color. Add onions and tomato paste and stir for two to three minutes until onions are a deep golden brown. Add coconut milk, fish stock, thyme and garlic. Mix well, bring to a gentle boil, lower heat and let sauce simmer for 10 minutes. Add potato, cassava, bell pepper and carrots. Boil until vegetables are cooked. Add lobster, fish, shrimp and conch; simmer until cooked. While soup is cooking, mix grated plantain with coconut oil and salt and pepper to taste. Form into little dumplings the size of a teaspoon. Add dumplings along with half-ripe plantain to the soup and bring to a rapid boil for 5 minutes or until plantains are cooked. Makes 8 servings.

End of the World? Not for the Maya of Belize
Much has been made about December 21, 2012 by doomsday prophets, busily proclaiming that the end of the world is upon us. But archaeologists and scholars of Maya culture explain that the mystical date of 12.21.12 will not be the catalyst for apocalypse. The Maya’s long-form calendar will end, but not the world itself, which will simply enter a new period. In Belize, the end-of-the-world hype is being used as an opportunity to offer experiences that give visitors a more accurate understanding of Maya culture. The most significant of these is a once-in-a-lifetime event held at Caracol, one of Belize’s most important Maya archaeological sites. The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) will be holding the last of four overnight camping trips at Caracol on the “end of the world” date. The trip will be led by the NICH’s most prominent archaeologist, Dr. Jaime Awe, and is limited to 200 participants, who need to bring their own camping gear. The $150 cost includes a traditional Maya dinner and fire ceremony. Members of Belize’s roughly 40,000-storng Mayan community will prepare the meal, build the fire and lead the prayers and chants. The highlight for many previous campers has been Dr. Awe, who gives a 2.5 hour long guided tour of the Maya site during the camping trip. In the 1970s, Awe led the first official excavation of Caracol by a Belizean team (some exploratory excavations occurred in the 1950s, headed by an American archaeologist). Today, Awe is considered to be the site’s greatest authority and remains at the forefront of archaeological excavation and preservation in Belize, where it is thought that more than three-quarters of Mayan sites have not yet been discovered or excavated.

Activist to sue Belize entry ban on gays
A gay Jamaican activist is suing the government of Belize over its entry ban against homosexuals Maurice Tomlinson, an LGBT advocate is to challenge Belize’s entry ban on gays in an international court. Tomilnson, a Jamaican national and legal advisor for the NGO AIDS-Free World has been invited to conduct training and sensitization sessions regarding the rights of individuals infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. The sessions, due to take place in Belize on the 14-16 January 2013, are an initiative of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, the country’s only civil society group promoting the health and human rights of LGBT and men who have sex with men citizens. However, section 5 of Belize’s Immigration Act prohibits entry to homosexuals, people with mental health issues and physical disabilities. The law, which is written in an archaic and offensive language, prohibits entry into Belize to: ‘(b) any idiot or any person who is insane or mentally deficient or any person who is deaf and dumb or deaf and blind, or dumb and blind; ‘(e) any prostitute or homosexual or any person who may be living on or receiving or may have been living on or receiving the proceeds of prostitution or homosexual behaviour;’ As an attorney-at-law Tomlinson has no intention of lying, nor breaking the law and therefore he had to reject the invitation from the United Belize Advocacy Movement.

John McAfee's Run from the Law Made John McAfee's Company Look Really Bad
Since John McAfee first ran away from the Belizean police following the murder of his neighbor on on November 12, the public perception of his anti-virus software giant has lost credibility with consumers. At least according to the latest research trend from BrandIndex, which calls itself the "authoritative measure of brand perception." The new survey data found a notable decrease in public perception of McAfee, the company founded but no longer overseen by the renegade tech guru, between his first run-in with the law and the madness that's ensued in the month since: BrandIndex puts together what it calls a "buzz score," based on a sample of customers. The surveyors asked the following question about McAfee: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" The chart above tracks McAfee against its chief competitor Symantic, with a noticeable dip in November, when both Gizmodo and Wired and pretty much everyone else ran rather lengthy articles and updates about McAfee's rather absurd run-ins with the law, the media, international waters, and everything in between.

McAfee Inc. takes reputation beating after founder fled police
Brand measurement firm links John McAfee's bizarre behavior to nosedive of security company's 'Buzz' score. In the wake of his Belize neighbor's unsolved murder, John McAfee's lurch through the news damaged the reputation of his namesake, the security company McAfee Inc., a brand expert said Thursday. McAfee, 67, founded the firm in 1987 as McAfee Associates, took the company public in 1993, raising $50 million, but resigned from his creation in 1994. In early 2011, the company was acquired by Intel for $7.7 billion. But although McAfee has had little or no connection to the security firm for nearly two decades, the link was strong enough to drag down the latter's consumer perception score, said Ted Marzilli, the global manager for BrandIndex, a brand awareness service of U.K.-based YouGov. "If you are going to keep the name of the founder of your company after it's sold, you had better make sure he does not get into trouble later on," Marzilli said in an email. McAfee Inc.'s "Buzz" score -- an indicator of its current standing in the "noise" generated by advertising, the news and word-of-mouth -- had been in a slump before Belize authorities said they wanted to question John McAfee about the shooting death of neighbor and fellow American expatriate, Gregory Faull. But almost as soon as McAfee began blogging -- maintaining his innocence, boasting of his evasion of the police, telling tales that made some Belize officials wonder if he was mentally unstable -- McAfee Inc.'s numbers began plummeting. And when news broke of McAfee's flight to neighboring Guatemala, McAfee Inc.'s consumer perception score nosedived to -17.


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