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#462939 - 04/23/13 06:53 AM Today's Belize News: April 23, 2013
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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

Contingency of Canadian Tourism Industry Professionals on FAM trip in Belize
Canada is Belize’s second largest market for overnight tourism. Last year alone over 24,000 Canadians visited Belize and the number keeps growing. For that reason, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is now investing more into the Canadian market, hosting a number of media practitioners, Canadian based travel writers, travel agents and tour operators to experience Belize as part of Belize’s strategy to reach to more Canadian tourists/travelers. During their week’s stay in Belize, the Canadian contingency, which has been divided into two groups, will be visiting several destinations such as the Cayo District, Hopkins, Placencia Peninsula and Ambergris Caye, where BTB hopes they can discover Belize. According to Travel Trade Officer at BTB, Althea Sebastian the Canadian Road Show FAM Trip is a follow-up to road shows that BTB did in January in Canada. “This is the first time that we (BTB) are bringing Canadians to a FAM trip in Belize. We want them to experience firsthand the Belize product. They will be travelling the entire country so that they can get to know the country so as to better sell Belize as a destination,” explained Sebastian in an interview with The San Pedro Sun.

Prime Minister Departs to New York and Haiti
In New York, the Prime Minister will have audience with the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency, Ban Ki-Moon. Prime Minister Barrow will brief the Secretary General on Belize’s position on the upcoming Referendum in October and on the Special Agreement with Guatemala. The Prime Minister’s visit to New York is being coordinated by the Office of Belize’s Permanent Representative to the United Nation. In Haiti, the Prime Minister will join fellow Heads of States of the Caribbean at the Fifth Summit of Heads of State of the Associates of Caribbean States scheduled for 25th and 26th April, 2013. In Haiti, the Prime Minister will be joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington and Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexis Rosado.

Ambergris Today

Belize Pauses and Remembers Deepwater Horizon Disaster
April 20, 2013 marked three years since the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster caused by British Petroleum(BP) in the Gulf of Mexico in which 11 workers died. This tragic event played out just at the time the Belizean public became aware that since 2007 100% of Belize waters were leased out to oil companies, through contracts signed unknown to the Belizean public. British Petroleum is one of the leading international oil companies with the latest offshore technology yet they could not prevent this disaster that occurred while only doing exploratory work not commercial extraction. In 2010 was one of approximately 200 deep water offshore rigs capable of drilling in waters more than 5,000 ft (1,500 m). In Belize the offshore areas issued out under the now unlawful contracts were in areas as deep at 12,000 ft and given out to companies which do not even have half the capabilities and expertise as BP.

Video Pick: Belikin Beer ‘Do Work’ Commercial Spot
Belikin Beer’s newest commercial spot encourages Belizeans to ‘Do Work’ and after a hard week inviting everyone to have a cold Belikin Beer. The commercial was released on April 19, 2013, with footage paying homage to the hard working Belizeans. The advertisement spots highlight the labor workers in the agricultural and industrial industries and the everyday hard working people who make Belize run. It’s another great testament of all things Belize!

Boat Building in San Pedro
Boat building is an art that is self-taught in Belize and though Caulker has had a wider exposure and fame in boat building, San Pedro does have its credits to boast of. Let us go back many years ago in San Pedro in the 1950’s when Mr. Maurice Bladen (+) lived in San Pedro with his entire family and made his living from this interesting art- boat building. Mista Maurice, as he was called by everyone, lived right on the beach where Holiday Hotel is now located and there he had fabricated wood sailing boats, cargo boats and fishing boats. If he got his hands on a large log he would even carve out a dory or a ‘dugout’, as they were popularly known. Boat owners also hauled their boats at Mista Maurice’s place for periodical repairs. On an interesting note Mista Maurice not only fabricated boats but children as well. When he moved from San Pedro to Belize City to continue his trade there, he already had eighteen children. One of his daughters and several grandchildren and great grandchildren still live in San Pedro.

Pic of the Week: Conference Call at Ras Creek Eco Tours, Caye Caulker
It seemed like a very important conference call was taking place on board the Ras Creek Eco Tours vessel right before it took off for its afternoon sunset cruise in Caye Caulker, Belize. Whatever the topic we are sure it involved having fun in the sun! Ras Creek and his slow pace Love Boat that takes customers for sightseeing tours along the island of Caye Caulker before heading to the reef for snorkeling and sunset trips. It is a famous tour company on the island that has garnered popularity for its fun and adventurous tours.

SAGA Pasta Cook Off
SAGA Humane Society Monthly Cook off Fundraiser to be held at Sanbar on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. This month’s theme: PASTA!!! Tickets for on sale at 6pm, serving starts at 6:30 pm. Only $10Bze to sample all the entries. Lots of raffles and prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Winners.

Concerns Over Dredging in Western Area of Ambergris Caye
ACCSD is very concerned about the dredging taking place on the west side of the marina. We are concerned that the laws of the country are apparently not being followed. There was no EIA for this development when it is clearly stated that any dredging that exceeds 50,000 cubic yards should require an EIA. We are concerned that proper protocol does not seem to have actually taken place in this instance. This area is a major fishing spot for the fly fishermen who visit this area on a daily basis. We cannot stress how very important it is to protect these areas as they are where all the fishes are born.

Misc Belizean Sources

Message for U.S. Citizens, Embassy meeting May 3
The Embassy of the United States of America in Belmopan invites U.S. citizens to attend a town hall meeting in San Pedro Town. Date: May 3, 2013 Place: Blue Water Grill (Sunbreeze Hotel) San Pedro Town, Belize Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Embassy staff will discuss the public services the U.S. Embassy offers, hurricane preparedness, and other areas of general interest. Consular staff will also offer services - · Accepting adult U.S. passport renewal and additional visa pages applications (applicants or authorized representatives will need to be able to pick up their passports at the U.S. Embassy at a later date) · Notary services (no real estate closings or certified copies).

Belize still criminalizes homosexual activity between consenting adults. UNIBAM is challenging that law (Section 53) as a violation of constitutional and human rights. This public service announcement aims to promote tolerance in a society where homophobia is widely practiced. We Are One! In dignity and right

VIDEO: respect UniBAM Belize
PSA against homophobia and transphobia

Episode 6 of Loving Belize, Underwater Adventures with Little Kitchen an the Belize Music Awards
In this episode you are taken on a fishing adventure with 'Little Kitchen Adventure tours' with fishermen Roy Flowers and Manola from Caye Caulker. In Belize City Driva 'Don't stop at all' gives a inspirational talk to the children at the 'Living Hope' Prep School for kids at risk, he talks about his road through crime and incarceration and how he found his way back to education and became an award winning film maker and musician. I interview music artist Anaconda talking about his new upcoming album and his thoughts about Belize city today.

Earth Day in Seven Miles Village
Roni Martinez and the students of El Progresso Government school planted some trees for Earth Day. Well done, and well said! "Today we celebrated Earth Day. Today we planted for the future, not for us, but for the generations coming behind us. Not because we care about ourselves, but because we want to leave a little memory to remind those coming behind us... that we cared about them."

AGRIC Improvements
AGRIC is just over a week away, and they've come a long way with the improvements.

Video: Kayaking the Chalillo Reservoir
It's Earth Day, and Tony Rath uploaded a cool video from Cayo's Chalillo reservoir and Macal River. He has a great introspective moment: "I wonder if photographers are actually capturing visual memories of the moment so they don't forget; or they struggle to capture the 'feeling' of that moment so others will not foresake?"

Chaa Creek Eco Kids Camp 2013
Happy Earth Day! Chaa Creek has announced their Eco Kids Camp for 2013. It's a free 9 day all-inclusive camp, and the kids get to stay at the Macal River Camp the entire time, while learning about the environment. Truly an experience of a lifetime. They are having an essay competition; simply send in a 300 word essay explaining why you want to be an Eco Kid. Kids between the ages of 8 and 13 are eligible. Good luck!

On Friday, 19 April 2013, Corozal Junior College held its annual EXPO. Corozal.com took these photos from the EXPO, featuring exhibits by both CJC students, and supportive businesses and organizations from Corozal and elsewhere in Belize.

Contracts Signed to Begin Road Project in Santa Elena/San Ignacio
Today, in a brief ceremony held at the Ministry of Transport and Works Conference Room, contracts were signed for Lot 4 of the 4th Road Project to begin works for the Santa Elena/San Ignacio Bypass Project, which includes the upgrading of Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio up to its intersection with the Benque Viejo Road. The project which is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Belize was awarded to Norman Reimer of A & N Construction. The Ministry of Works will be assisted by supervision consultants, Becker International Consultants Limited. In addition to the aesthetic and infrastructural improvements, the BZD$5 million project will bring economic benefits and employment to the area. The works are expected to be completed in eighteen months. Present for the ceremony were Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Rene Montero, Chief Executive Officer in the ministry, Mr. Errol Gentle and representatives from A & N Construction and Becker International Consultants Limited. End.

Channel 7

Oldest Taxi Stand Moved For Park Renovation
The downtown taxi-stand on Albert street in Belize city - it’s probably the oldest taxi stand in Belize – having been there for more than half a century. But tonight, the taxi-men have been unseated from their long held position – as the City Council has a plan to overhaul Battlefield Park. Except no one told the taxi drivers – until it was time for them to move – making it a battle over parking space. 7news has been following the story since Saturday. Daniel Ortiz reporting On Saturday, We were called out to the Battlefield Park, where a backhoe was already demolishing the structures inside. The parking area in front of the park is where the Downtown Taxi Cooperative and the Albert Street Taxi Union both operate. They couldn’t conduct any business there because the Belize City Council had already plugged the street with steel rods cordoning off the area from in front of the Belize Bank, all the way to Brodies. This effectively evicted all the taxi operators from around this area, without any consultation.

Alleged Burglar Accomplice To Court
Last week, Friday, 7News told you about 21 year-old Ryan Lozano, the young man who police shot to death after they caught him burglarizing a home. Well, the man who police believe to be his accomplice is at prison tonight. He is 33 year-old Lenny Bennett Benguche. According to Ladyville police, on Thursday at around noon, when they responded to a burglary in Los Lagos, they saw Benguche hiding behind the house. Lozano reportedly exited the house a few minutes after police arrived. Police say that they cautioned Lozano, but according to them, he advanced in a threatening manner whilst armed with a knife and a crowbar. So, they shot him in the midsection - An account which his family and neighbors dispute. They detained Benguche and transported Lozano to the KHMH, but he died the next day due his extensive internal injuries.

Alleged Killer in Libertad Charged
On Friday, we told you about the murder of 43 year old Sisto Victorio Osorio – who was killed in Libertad Village. As we told you, Osorio, was found lying face down on the pavement at noon on Friday, apparently dead. A man struck him in the head with a blunt object. Well, on Saturday 58 year old Marciano Correa, surrendered himself to police accompanied by his attorney Lionel Welch. He was charged for murder today and will be remanded to prison. There is no clear motive for the murder, but it may have been provoked by a family dispute. The deceased, Osorio is reported to have had a relationship with Correa’s sister. They had a fight – and Correa reportedly attacked Osorio on his sister’s behalf.

GOB: Why El Turk Should Be Extradited
3 weeks ago, we told you about the extradition proceedings for Khaled El Turk, the Lebanese Belizean who the United States Government has under indictment. According to Drug Enforcement Agency, Khaled El Turk trafficked large quantities of pseudoephedrine – the chemical precursor for methamphetamines – from 2009 to 2012. As a result, they’ve sent a warrant for his extradition on the charges of the importation of pseudoephedrine and conspiracy to the importation of pseudoephedrine, but as we told you, El Turk isn’t going quietly. He is resisting the extradition, and his attorneys made submissions on his behalf at the last adjournment before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Today, he was brought back to court, where the Government Crown Counsels were given an opportunity to respond to the submissions made by the defence. Those submissions are of a technical legal nature, so we asked one of his attorneys to explain it outside of court.

BWC VS BCC: Round 2
2 months ago, 7News told you about the attempt by the Belize Waste Control to get Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley jailed for contempt of court. It’s because of an outstanding 2.3 Million dollar arbitration award that the City Council owes to Belize Waste Control. Bradley was the attorney for the then City Council administration and last year, the court ordered the Council to pay it. They didn't and so Waste Control's Attorney Fred Lumor took the Mayor to the Supreme Court to ask Justice Michelle Arana to cite him for contempt. If the Court ruled in his favor, Mayor Bradley would be committed to jail. He delayed that warrant’s proceedings by asking the court for more time to properly put on record City Hall’s financial position. The matter was called up again today, and Justice Michelle Arana heard submissions in her chambers from Lumor and Bradley’s attorney, Michael Young. When he exited the court, 7News asked Lumor for an update and if a resolution was possible in the near future. Here’s what he told us Fred Lumor - Attorney for Belize Waste Control "The City Council last week sent a check of $50,000 to my client. The debt as of March 31st is almost $2.3m. So I can say to you that is pittance. They proposed to pay $10,000 a month so that would come up to $120,000 a year. The interest that accrues yearly is about $82,000. Realize that isn't a proposal. The matter is adjourned to June 10th and City Council has indicated to the court that they intend to reach a settlement with Belize Waste Control before that date. I have indicated to the court that on that day I intend to proceed if there is no settlement."

He Allegedly Gives Her a Hickey; She Gets Him Arrested
Tonight, 42 year-old Daniel Zetina, a Belize City resident, is out on bail on the charge of indecent assault, after he was taken to court today. According to a 46 year-old woman, on Saturday, Zetina pressed unwanted advances on her, where he fondled her, and gave her a love bite on the neck. She reported it to police, and requested court action against him. They arrested and charged him aggravated assault of an indecent nature. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who granted him bail of $500 dollars. He was able to meet bail, and he must return to court on May 28, 2013.

PUP Accepts Fault For Voided PSA’s?
The PUP today issued an interesting release commending Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall for a judgment in which he found that a former PUP government had acted wrongly. Legall found that six production sharing agreements were voice because no environmental assessment was carried out before the agreements were awarded, and contracts were given to companies that were unqualified. Those contracts were signed during the last PUP government, but today a party release says, quote, “The PUP fully supports the Court rulings and pledges to abide by these decisions in a PUP government.” Speaking of the other major judgment handed down by Legall last week, in which he found that short term contracts for Judges are unconstitutional, the PUP calls those, quote, “attempts by the Barrow Administration to undermine the Rule of Law and the independence of the Judiciary.” The government plans to appeal both judgments.

Officer Stoned With A Brick While Guarding Former PM’s House
On Sunday there was the report of trouble at former Prime Minister Said Musa’s house. Musa called the police at around 11:30 to say that the police constable assigned to guard his home had been stoned. Musa told us that at about 10:30, the constable knocked on his front door to say someone stoned him with a brick. Musa says he didn’t see the officer bleeding, but still, he called 911 a number of times; unfortunately it was during a blackout and they didn’t answer. Finally, after power was restored, he called the police station and they sent CIB and Patrol teams – one of which took the officer to the hospital. We saw police searching the yard. Musa today described the entire event as “weird” but said he’s sure it was not directed at him.

Belize’s Human Rights Report Card From US
The Office of the US Secretary of State has issued its Country Rpeort for Belize on Human Rights practices for 2012. The report says that “the most important human rights abuses during the year were the use of excessive force by security forces, including the deaths of five persons involving on or off- duty police officers and discrimination based on sexual orientation.” The report notes that, quote, “There was apparent impunity for high-ranking officials, but authorities took action against 51 police officers and brought criminal charges against 48 of them for alleged abuses.” In an interesting detail about the Hattieville Prison, the report notes that in 2012 prison “Authorities…seized 10 pounds of marijuana, 182 cell phones, 15 buckets of wine, BZ$4,692 dollars and 97 handmade weapons.”

Upgraded Drainage For Buttonwood Bay
A new drainage project was launched today in the Buttonwood Bay area. It will address the infrastructure needs of over six hundred area residents with the installation of close to six thousand feet of concrete drains with covers for sidewalks, as well as the replacement of driveways, walkways and installations of new culverts. 7news spoke to Area Rep and Minister of State Santino Castillo – who told us about the importance of this drainage project. Santino Castillo - Minister of State "Well today we're launching the Buttonwood Bay drainage project. This is a project that was in the pipeline when I went to the Ministry of Economic Development and it is one of the projects that I pushed real hard because it falls in my constituency, Caribbean Shores. To bring it to fruition, it is a $1m Drainage Project specifically in this area that will directly affect 600 residents. It's to fix all the drains.

PM Reports On Referendum To UN
Prime Minister Dean Barrow travelled to New York yesterday where is will meet with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. According to an official release, the PM will brief the Secretary General on Belize’s position on the upcoming Referendum in October and on the Special Agreement with Guatemala. From there, on Thursday, the Prime Minister moves unto Haiti where he and Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington join fellow Caribbean Heads of State and Government at the Fifth Summit of Heads of State of the Association of Caribbean States While he is away, Deputy PM, Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Guat Foreign Minister: Referendum Not Happening
And while the PM is at the UN talking to the Secretary General, the Guatemalans seem to be unilaterally disposing of the referendum. An article in the Prensa Libre today says that Foreign Minister Fernando Carerra has written to the Guatemalan Congress to tell them – basically - that the October sixth referendum is a no-go. Carrerra’s letter says there are three barriers: first, the education campaign that hasn’t started in that country yet; second, Belize’s 60% referendum thresh-hold and third the cost. He says that the only way to proceed is for Belize to have its referendum first, and if that succeeds then the Guatemalans would have one on June of 2014. Second, Belize would have to remove its 60% thresh-hold. Belize has flatly rejected both these conditionalities.

Training For Police Prosecutors
Today, over 25 law enforcement prosecutors were in Belmopan at the police training academy to learn about more effective prosecutions. For the next two weeks, they’ll be learning how to draw up charges and see them through to conviction. Superintendent Linden Flowers, the Commandant of the Training Academy tells us how it will be helpful. Superintendent Linden Flowers- Commandant - National Police Training Academy "It is very important for our police and the different agencies that are taking perpetrators or alleged perpetrators or persons who you suspect have committed a crime or an offense to be able to properly present that case in court. It is very timely. With a lot of the organizations we see more and more people are taking persons into court. A component of this course will also assist these sergeants and corporals for internal presentations of cases against Police officers who are charged for one offence or the other." Attendees are from the Police Department, the Fisheries Department and Municipal Traffic.

Legal Drag Racing In Belize?
All day yesterday, residents of the Belama area heard cars revving, and racing up and down the newly cemented Chetumal Boulevard. They were rag racing – which is usually a public menace and an illegal practice. But not this time; it was Westtrac’s first annual high octane car show. The highlight was the first ever legal drag race - with permission from the Mayor of course. Today one of the organizers, told 7news that the event was more than a success. Ron Lecky - Organizer of Car Show "What we had was Westrac's first annual High-Octane car show and it consisted of a car show and a drag racing event. Everybody was excited because it was the first legal drag racing for Belize."

SISE Road Works Pending
The new bridge spanning the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena is one step closer to reality after contracts were signed for the upgrading of Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio up to its intersection with the Benque Viejo Road. The 5 million dollar project was awarded to Norman Reimer of A & N Construction while The Ministry of Works will be assisted by supervision consultants, Becker International Consultants Limited. It is expected to be completed in eighteen months. This road on the San Ignacio side will be across from the Loma Luza Boulevard on the Santa Elena – paving of which is already well underway. The project is sponsored by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Belize.

Channel 5

Plane heard over Corozal village
Police and B.D.F. last Thursday, found nine blue drums containing suspected aviation fuel and sixteen empty plastic gallon containers near a landing strip that was destroyed by the B.D.F. two years ago in the area of Back Landing in the Orange Walk District. The find was made when law enforcement units were looking for a [...]

St. Ignatius student dies and friend injured in accident
The Saint Ignatius High School of Santa Elena is mourning the death of one of its students and hoping for the recovery of another. On Saturday morning, the two students, who have also established themselves as outstanding athletes, hitched a ride from Cristo Rey heading back to San Ignacio. But they never made it because [...]

One hit murder in Libertad
There was a murder up north on Friday. A mechanic was killed reportedly over a bottle of rum and his best friend has been charged. Sisto Victor Osorio was hit on the head and died within minutes in the village of Libertad. Fifty-eight year old Marciano Correa turned himself in to the police and has [...]

Downtown cab drivers protest, but did they have the facts?
We’ve all heard the cliché progress brings problems, but it’s probably never been more real than right about now in Belize City, where traffic congestion, blocked streets and frustration are the crosses we all must bear. Mayor Darrell Bradley has a plan, and that plan includes more infrastructural development than we’ve seen in, well, forever. [...]

Battlefield Park undergoes a second renovation
But back to the City where a new project has caused an uproar at downtown Albert Street. We can’t exactly call it a facelift, or even a renovation. What it seems to be is a complete deconstruction of the historic Battlefield Park – razing it all to the ground, bandstand and all. Now it seems [...]

Drag racing on newly inaugurated Chetumal Boulevard
If we had to caption this story, we’d probably call it – ONLY IN BELIZE. It’s just one of those things that make you shake your head. Less than a week ago, Chetumal Boulevard just off the Northern Highway was inaugurated with much pomp, ceremony and fanfare. It was a project of which Mayor Darrell [...]

El Turk extradition case meets roadblock
The extradition case against businessman Khalid Jamil El Turk, of Lebanese extraction and wanted by U.S. authorities for conspiracy to import pseudo-ephedrine, resumed today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith.  El Turk, who has been on remand since October 2012, is represented by attorneys Edwin Flowers and Anthony Sylvester.  After tendering a bundle of documents [...]

Career burglar remanded for recent incident; accomplice killed
Thirty-three year old Lenny Benguche, one of two men caught in the act of breaking into a residence in Los Lagos last Thursday, was arraigned on a single charge of burglary when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith this evening. Benguche was hiding behind the house when police arrived on the scene. Police [...]

John Baptist convicted of carnal knowledge against 6 year old
A man has been found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and is awaiting sentencing for that crime. Thirty-eight year old John Baptist Sr. was accused of one count of carnal knowledge and three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature for crimes he allegedly committed against a six [...]

Turneffe caretaker found dead
A caretaker of a fishing camp on Turneffe Island was found dead on Friday, but preliminary examination does not suggest foul play. Fisherman and owner of the camp Leopold Westby today told News Five that he went out to the camp on Friday at about ten am and could not locate sixty-five year old caretaker [...]

SATIIM says rosewood being cut during amnesty
The public furor over government’s rosewood amnesty has not died down. In fact, on Friday the flames were fanned by a very strong release from the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM. The organization is calling on the government to immediately rescind the amnesty, saying it is only serving to perpetuate a vicious cycle [...]

P.U.P. supports and gives credibility to 2 court rulings
The People’s United Party is weighing in on two recent court decisions. In respect of the OCEANA challenge on six oil contracts, the court declared them null and void because a required Environmental Impact Assessment was not carried out. The Opposition says it fully supports the Court rulings and pledges to abide by these decisions [...]

To control numerous brushfires across the country
Brushfires have been sparking all across the country; the Fire Department says it is caused by the dry spell. While there is nothing unusual about the “bushfires” residents of Lord’s Bank had a close call on Sunday when a fire spread dangerously close to many houses. The smoke billowed across the area as firefighters battled [...]

A common ground; Succotz gains a recreational park for kids
Each community needs open space and a safe environment for its youths to serve as a playground to foster friendship and also to begin to learn about the world of sports. Perhaps that is why in Succotz Village, it was important enough for the Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia to make an appearance. According to [...]

James Adderley’s Sports Highlight
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is sports Monday.   Week 13 of the FLB season found FC Belize inside the friendly Confines of the MCC grounds yesterday needing all three points to remain in the 4 team playoff picture as it took on San Ignacio United in a must win situation. However it’s [...]

#462940 - 04/23/13 06:54 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 23, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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Corozal Police Investigate Report of Drug Plane Flying Over Libertad
Last week Thursday officers from the Ladyville sub-formation along with members of the Belize Special Assignment Group visited an area known as Back Landing in the Orange Walk District which borders the village of Crooked Tree in Belize where they found nine blue plastic drums containing aviation fuel and 16 empty clear plastic fuel containers. The items were found about 100 yards from an abandoned runway that had been destroyed by the Belize Defense Force months ago. But that’s all that police found because despite numerous reports from residents of Crooked Tree and Carmelita Village that a plane was circling in the area no aircraft was found. But apparently a phantom plane is flying around because last night reports reaching our news room and the Corozal Police Department indicated that a drug plane had crash landed between the areas of Santa Cruz Lodge and the community of Estrella located a few miles outside of Libertad Village in Corozal. We received the information at around 9:30pm but upon making checks with several residents from Libertad the report was dismissed. Upon contacting the Corozal Police Department early this morning, we were informed that officers, accompanied by members of the Anti Drug Unit were dispatched to the area but nothing was unearthed.

Two Seperate Traffic Accidents Recorded In Corozal
A student of Cristo Rey Village in Corozal is lucky to be alive tonight after she was hit by a 10 wheeler truck on Saturday at around 9:00 in the morning. CTV3 News understands that the driver of the truck, Regino Loza, 61year old farmer of Patchakan Village Corozal, was driving his truck from a west to east direction when he knocked down Minelia Pena; a 15 year old student of Cristo Rey Village who was riding her bicycle in a south to north direction. It is alleged that Pena made a sudden left turn and collided into the mid section of the truck. She sustained a broken left leg, abrasions to the back of her left shoulder and received a large cut wound on her foot. Loza has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Yesterday evening around 6:00 Corozal police responded to a traffic accident at the Libertad junction. When police arrived at the scene they observed a blue pickup truck bearing license plate CZL-C-16228, overturned. At the time of the accident Esther Tun, Rosa Perez, Nayely Gillharry, Cayetana Perez, Lea Puck, Mariano Tun, Miniela Tun and three year old Mayrani Pena, were riding in the back of the pickup truck while 33 year old Yuri Lucas was behind the wheel.

New Horizon Building The Future For Our Future Generation
Last week we brought you stories from The New Horizons Group hard at work in the Belizean community, more recently in the north, with their medical, veterinary and school construction undertakings. Today CTV3 visited the construction site at the Louisiana Government School in Orange Walk where we found the New Horizons Group hard at work. Shelly Gillette – Reporting CTV3 has been following the New Horizons group bringing you stories of their work and collaboration with the Belize Defence Force and Ministries of Health and Education, during their 90-day deployment to Belize, between the months of March and June 2013. The Louisiana Government School in Orange Walk Town is one of the 4 recipients of a new building being constructed to accommodate new classrooms and much needed offices. Vice Principal, Perla Hoy expressed how vital the new construction will be to the school’s continued development.

Guatemala Backs Out Of Planned Referendum
The Prime Minister of Belize left the country on official business to New York and Haiti yesterday. In New York, the Prime Minister will brief the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency, Ban Ki-Moon on Belize’s position on the upcoming Referendum in October and on the Special Agreement with Guatemala. In Haiti, the Prime Minister will join fellow Heads of States of the Caribbean at the Fifth Summit of Heads of State of the Associates of Caribbean States scheduled for 25th and 26th April, 2013. In Haiti, the P.M will be joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexis Rosado. The Prime Minister is expected to return to Belize on Sunday April 28th 2013. During his absence, the Deputy Prime Minister, Honorable Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Hundreds Take Part In Cancer Walk To Bring Awareness
On Saturday hundreds of Orange Walkenos took part in the annual cancer walk organized by the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group. This year’s 5th cancer walk was geared at creating cancer awareness but most importantly it honored those who are fighting the disease and paid tribute to those who have lost the battle along the way. Shelly Gillette – Reporting The Orange Walk Cancer Support Group saw a record high turnout, as the community came out in full support of the 5th annual cancer walk celebrating the group’s anniversary and outreach program. The walk, organized under this year’s theme, “The Fight is on against Cancer”, started at 6:00am from the San Martin Gas Station in Orange Walk Town. As participants made their way to the Orange Walk Central Park, where officially ceremonies took place, they had but one thing in mind to bring awareness about the deadly disease.

Man Accused Of Killing Victor Osorio Surrenders To Police
Tonight 58 year old Marciano Correa, Belizean laborer of Libertad Corozal, accused of the murder of 43 year old Sisto Victor Osorio, is behind bars. Correa, better known as Meko, surrendered himself to Corozal Police on Saturday in the company of his attorney Lionel Welch after being on the run for several hours. Correa appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court this afternoon where he was charged with murder. All indications are that on Friday, at around midday, Osorio, also known as “Dalla Coin”, was walking along the main road in Libertad when Correa allegedly approached him from behind and hit him on the head with a blunt object. The victim’s body was discovered lying face down on the hot pavement by his close friend, Desmond Wade, a taxi driver of the same village. What exactly led to Osorio’s murder is yet unknown but reports suggest that earlier in the day Osorio became involved in an argument with a woman who happens to be Correa’s family.

Chan Pine Ridge School Burglarized For The Third Time
Chan Pine Ridge Government School fell victim to the hands of burglars for the third time this year as the schools snack shop was broken into over the weekend. Among the items stolen are a refrigerator, weed eater, wheel barrow, rakes, spades and about $200 in snacks and other supplies. Dilma Torress, Parent/Volunteer “The Teacher, Mr. Iram reached at school and saw the school open and found out that the lock has been broken and unfortunately this is not the first time, on January they thieve worth of fifty dollars and then when the school opened on Easter the door was opened and luckily I took everything home during the holiday so that nothing happened so nobody took nothing, but this time yes during the weekend someone broke and they even took the refrigerator, they took the wheel barrow and they took some equipment for the agriculture that was kept there and they clean up the snack shop. We are sad to report that we had called the police over two hours ago and they haven’t come yet they give the same and sorry to say it but the silly excuse, we don’t have no vehicle or we don’t have any personnel and I would like to take this opportunity to tell the minister in charge of the police to stop buying top rides and expensive ride and instead of buying one buy motorcycle.”

John Baptist Failed To Return To Court
The trial against Belize City resident John Baptist, accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl, originally from the Corozal District began at the Supreme Court on Monday April 15th. But Baptist’s trial was put on hold on Thursday April 18th 2013, after he failed to return to court. Baptist is accused of abusing the girl several times between 2003 and 2010 when she was six years old. The victim, who is now a teenager, took the stand and testified that Baptist would abuse her mostly at nights and when it was dark. The teenager relayed that at first Baptist would touch her inappropriately and on other occasions, fondled and performed oral sex on her. She did not report the abuse since Baptist had threatened her with her life. With all witnesses taking the stand, Baptist, who had secured bail from the Supreme Court after he was arraigned for carnal knowledge and aggravated assault and of an indecent nature, was notified that his trial was coming to an end and his faith now lay on the hands of the jury. With that in mind Baptist did not return to court and is now a fugitive of the law as the judge has issued a warrant for his immediate arrest.


Guatemala suspends simultaneous referendum
Fernando Carrera, Foreign Minister for Guatemala, says that his Government has decided to suspend the simultaneous referendum that was scheduled for October 6 between Belize and Guatemala. Luis Fernando Carrera Castro told the Guatemalan media today that a letter has been sent to the Legislature explaining the decision. He...

Guatemalans arrested for panning gold in Belize’s forests
Three Guatemalan nationals busted inside the Chiquibul National Park in the Cayo district on Friday morning, were arraigned on firearms charges when they appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today. They are 32 year old Marcos Domingo Parrah, 40 year old Estevan Putul, and...

Traffic accident claims the life of a teenager
There have been a number of road traffic accidents over the last few weeks and we have another fatal one to report on tonight. A 16 year old died in this one while his 17 year old friend continues to fight for his life. A little after 7:00am on...

8 persons involved in road accident
There was another road accident over the weekend, this time involving eight persons. On Sunday evening, a 1998 Green Toyota 4 Runner was travelling on the George Price Highway toward Santa Elena Town. When it reached Miles 48-49, the left rear tire blew out, causing the driver to lose...

Teenager recovering after being knocked off cycle
A teenager is recovering after she was knocked down in Cristo Rey Village. Police say 15 year old Minelia Pena was riding her bike when she made a sudden left turn into an oncoming truck. She collided into the mid section of the white 10 wheeler truck and sustained...

Car overturns on Phillip Goldson Highway
On Friday night, sometime after 10:30, authorities were tipped of about a car that was swerving across the Phillip Goldson Highway. When Corozal Police were dispatched to the area, they intercepted a brownish Toyota Corolla car. The car was travelling toward Corozal Town. Police say they tried to stop...

Extradition hearing of Khalid El- Turk continues
Lebanese Belizean businessman Khalid El- Turk is being sought by the United States for illegal importation and conspiracy to import pseudo-ephedrine. El-Turk returned to the Belize City magistrate court this morning as his extradition hearing continues. Government counsels Magalie Perdomo and Illiana Swift responded to the charges by El-Turk’s...

Citco case with BWC still in Court
The Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control reported to Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana that they are still some ways from negotiating a settlement to pay off $2.3 million owed in a judgment in favour of the sanitation company since 2005. Attorney for BWC Fred Lumor explains the...

Murder accused Marciano Correa hands himself in to Police
The man accused of killing Libertad resident Victor Osorio Chi, handed himself into Police. The accused, 58 year old Marciano Correa, did so in the company of his attorney Lionel Welch on Saturday. On Friday afternoon, Correa and Chi got into an argument when Correa allegedly took a stick...

Marvin Neal charged with murder of Steven Valencia
A man who handed himself in to police on Friday is facing a number of charges. Today, the twenty five year Marvin Neal was charged for killing PUP activist Steven Valencia, which happened on the night of January 24th in the Trapiche area. Valencia was murdered during a home...

Body of an elderly man found on Turneffe Island
The body of an elderly man was found on Turneffe Island on Friday. 65 year old Joseph Matute, a caretaker who lives on the island, was found dead at around 3:00 pm on Friday. He has since been transported to the KHMH, where a postmortem will be conducted to...

Attempted Burglary of Civil Service Credit Union
Information to PLUS News is that thieves hit the Dean Street offices of the Civil Service Credit Union over the weekend in an attempted burglary. However, police sources have confirmed to PLUS News that they were unsuccessful in getting into the premises and nothing was removed.

Toledo woman claims partner set house on fire
A woman in Toledo says her common law husband assaulted her then set their home on fire. On Wednesday afternoon, the two were at their home situated in a village in the Toledo District, when according to the woman, for no reason – her partner slapped her and threatened...

New Recreational Park in San Jose Succotz Village
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust was established in 2008 and since then the organization has been supporting the efforts of Belizeans across the country. Over the weekend, the Village of San Jose came alive to the music of marimba, children’s laughter and spirited play as the trust held...

Prosecutors’ Training Course held in Belmopan
The Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, including the Fisheries Department and Municipal Traffic, are taking part in a Prosecutors’ Training Course. The course is being conducted at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan and is aimed at improving the effectiveness of the Police Department and other...

New Horizons in Punta Gorda providing Dental Care
New Horizons gives U.S., Canadian and Belizean personnel an opportunity to train jointly in an exercise setting, in order to be prepared to meet future challenges when and where needed. The group also aids in the construction of structures such as classrooms and provides medical and dental treatment as...

Prominent Belizean / Guatemalan Lawyer passes away
Telesforo Guerra, the man who represented John McAfee after he fled from Belize earlier this year, passed away from stomach cancer. Guerra, who is originally from Benque Viejo, Belize, was celebrated as one of Guatemala’s finest lawyers and is the former Attorney General of Guatemala. Plusnews understands that Guerra...

PM on official business to New York and Haiti
The Prime Minister is currently out of the country on official business to New York and Haiti. The PM departed on Sunday to first meet with the Secretary General of the UN, His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon. The purpose of the meeting is to brief the SG on Belize’s position...

The Belize Times

Gangsta Government
The United Democratic Party Government of Dean Barrow is at it again! Another precious industry is being pillaged to benefit a few UDP cronies, and it is being done in open view of Belizeans and through the abuse of the system of Government. This time, it is the exploitation of the Rosewood Industry – a lucrative sector which has come under the grip of the family of the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, like many other sectors such as land and goods importation. The Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla, who once claimed to be so concerned about the depletion of the precious wood that she introduced a ban, seems to now have abandoned her principles and oath to the people of Belize, and has surrendered, and is even participating in the facilitation of the UDP’s exploits. “It is the reality of this trade”, Alamilla griped on Monday. She had just returned to the country, or rather to a hot kitchen, boiling from the news that the UDP Cabinet had reversed the moratorium to reinstate the exportation of Rosewood during an “amnesty period”. Cabinet, which has been losing political credibility, now seemed to have lost its mind. In addition to allowing the illegal cut rosewood for export, the UDPs endorsed that they would split the illegal profits 50/50 with the illegal loggers.

G.I.V. it to Vega! – Exclusive: The Rosewood Trail
Ignacio German Vega, the brother of the Deputy Prime Minister, is directly involved with two companies suspected of engaging in the Rosewood trade. Vega holds majority shares ...

Francis Fonseca Working For Freetown
On Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 Freetown Area Representative and PUP Leader Francis Fonseca joined with the Belize City Council for the ...

Cabinet shuts up Sedi? – Foreign Minister feels heat for mild position on Guatemala’s new passports
Reliable sources have disclosed to the BELIZE TIMES that Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington almost got his head chewed off at this week’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. ...

Divine Intervention
By G. Michael Reid Sometime ago in another life, before the Police Press Officer thing, I did some construction work. I did many things by myself so I did not use much of a crew but from time to time, I did have the need to hire help. There was this ...

ROSEWOOD SCANDAL A major part of our colonial past was the exploitation of our logwood and later, our mahogany resources. So important was the wealth from mahogany to the exploiters that the official logo/motto for the colony was “sub umbra floreo”, under the shade of the tree we flourish. They, the British, ...

On January 11, 2013, Lisel Alamilla had the most expensive fire heart in Belize’s history. Some were appalled by the inferno and condemned the blaze as a senseless political show. Others championed Alamilla for attempting to remain consistent and rooted in her conservation upbringing. Belizeans leaned forward and clasped their palms to ...

Preston Martinez wins BNE Weekend Warriors Cross Country
Team M&M Engineering’s Preston Martinez won the “A” Division of the 4th annual BNE Weekend Warriors’ Cross Country while Team Santino’s Santino “Chief” Castillo won the “B’ Division on ...

Camalote United outmatches Capital City Emeralds 16-0
The Camalote United women’s softball team spanked the Capital City Emeralds 16-zip by mercy rule in the first week of the 2013 Cayo Softball competition at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in ...

DHC Excellence continues undefeated cricket streak
The defending national champs, Excellence Cricket Club, posted their 7th win at home 187-158 over Sunrise of Lord’s Bank in Double Head Cabbage last Saturday, continuing their undefeated ...

Bus operators face conflict in Chetumal
Belize’s bus operators are facing major problems with officials in neighbouring Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico over the use of the parking facility at the Mercado Lazaro Cardenaz, known to many Belizeans as the “Mercado Nuevo” or “New Market”. The Market Administration recently issued notices of eviction to ...

Rosewood Plunder & Pillage! – Toledo Villagers report sound of trees falling late at night
With the April 9th amnesty granted on the exporting of the Rosewood, the Ministry of Forestry has virtually started a dreadful open season on the endangered species. Reports to the BELIZE TIMES from the Toledo District are that the illegal cutting and transporting of Rosewood has increased ...

AMAZING GRACE – Trinidad, Football and Belize
A couple weeks ago I was excited about a game being played between Trinidad and Belize. Not long after a grand entrance into the country, I saw on the news the visiting football team expressing their displeasure with the playing conditions of the field where the game was to be ...

Running to Stand Still – The latest images of Norris Hall
By Yasser Musa The Image Factory Art Foundation’s latest exhibit Springfield – An Amish Settlement by a veteran Belizean photojournalist Norris Hall is a somewhat strange plunge into a sort of sublime world. Our last meaningful collaboration with Hall came with ...

Guest EDITORIAL – Solutions to Crime
When I sit down and talk to elders and ask them questions like “How was Belize in the past?” they always seem to answer one thing. “SAFE!” However, safety has eluded the citizens of Belize for quite some time now. Crime is rampant; people fear for their lives as they ...

Are Child Sexual Abuse Crimes Underreported?
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph I believe that child sexual abuse crimes in our nation are underreported. It seems that reports in the “Major Crimes Report by District” from the police department may not match up with cases in the news or what is reported to the Department of Human Services. ...

In my perspective – Is It Worth It?
By Rayford Young Ever since Barack Obama became the President of the United States of America the Secret Service has reported the attempts on his life have tripled compared to any other president. Not only the attempt on his life is up but the racist, demeaning and personal attacks towards him, ...

CitCo increases Garbage Tax… it’s not even in effect yet!
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley announced this week that the garbage tax for city residents will go up by 20%. While it had residents raising their eyebrows and clenching their fists in agony of the economic stress that’s coming, the truth is that the increase is ...

The Rosewood Scandal
By Gilroy Usher, Sr. The government’s decision to return thousands of confiscated rosewood to loggers, who cut them illegally is a brazen and naked attempt to legitimize corruption. The UDP government should not “get-away” with this outrageous action against what is the best interest of the Belizean people. If it does, ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE: Do weh deh want! Monday, April 22, 2013 11:34 by anthony sylvestre The Belizean people must feel like Rodney Dangerfield; they gets no respect! Certainly not from this UDP government. They do what they want, say what they want and simply don’t care. And this latest rosewood scandal is proof of this. And scandal it is. Now most of us have never ...

Guatemala eyes OAS Secretary General post Is this bad news for Belize?
Guatemala is lobbying vigorously throughout the region for support for its former vice-president, Eduardo Stein, in the upcoming elections for Secretary General to the Organisation of American States to be held in June 2013 in Antigua, Guatemala. The OAS is the regional body which is mediating the ...

Opposition statement sparks regional interest in Belize-Guatemala differendum
Statements made by the Opposition People’s United Party in direct response to a decision by Guatemala to print millions of new passports that will include an image showing Belize as part of the map of Guatemala, ...

PUP Leader Hon. Francis visits residents of Belize Rural Central
PUP Leader Hon. Francis and Belize Rural Central Area Representative Hon. Dolores on house to house visit. This past weekend April 13th and 14th People’s United Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca visited seven ...

Moody’s says debt sustainability not achieved
Despite Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s chest beating over proclamations that a fiscal cliff has been averted as a result of last month’s restructuring of the Superbond, a recent analysis by Moody’s rating services in New York indicates that the crisis may have likely been postponed but ...

Oceana wins! – Court tells GOB to follow the law
The Government of Belize has been told that it must follow the law when it comes to the granting of production sharing agreements (PSA’s) ...

Ex Port Commissioner to Norwegian Cruise Line: Look before you leap
Dear Editor, I noted the reported recent arrangements between GOB and the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) regarding the future development of Crawl Caye. Given NCL is majority owned by Apollo Global Management LLC, I wondered if the latter had conducted an in-depth risk assessment of the location before entering into discussions ...

Paul Rodriguez says Western Civilization values is under attack
Dear Editor, At a conference of Caribbean Ombudsman held in 2004, during a discussion on rights, I asked the person sitting next to me, an eminent UWI professor: when are we going to discuss duties and responsibilities? The professor answered: let others do that. This response made me realize that there ...

Kudos to Party Leader Francis Fonseca
Dear Editor: Let me congratulate the Party Leader on the acceptance of the Mayor’s invitation on the opening of the Chetumal Boulevard, excellent speech by the Party Leader chartering a new way in politics. Hon Francis is truly a Leader .His speech should be repeated often. Keep up the good work ...

Village Council elections – better leaders needed!
Dear editor, With the election dates for Village Councils now set and published by the powers in government, it is important to revisit the purpose and benefits of good leadership at the village/community levels. Over the years, the true essence of a Village Council has been eroded. Independence and autonomy have ...

No respect for the dead!
Dear Editor, The disturbing stories of graves with the remains of peoples’ loved ones being exhumed improperly and faultily to make space for the resting of others by the Belize City Council are sickening. It seems the Council get anything right! Not taxing, nor street paving and much worse, burying the dead. I ...


“Shades of Gray” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Didn’t really do too much at all yesterday morning apart from use the Daltile website to try out different tile combinations for my bathroom. The site contains a great little tool that enables you to choose a photograph of a bathroom layout (or upload one of your own) and then choose tiles from the catalogue to see how they look. After ‘playing’ around with a host of different colour combinations and tile types and sizes I think I have made my choice. I am going for shades of grey (gray for American readers). Rose and I then took care of general household chores and then pulled together a list which details what fitting is for which room e.g sinks, fans, taps, etc, and sent this to Daniel Camal, our building contractor. With that important task completed we had a light lunch and headed to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. On arriving at the site we went straight to the First Floor to see that Angel was busy removing block and cement work to make the northern facing window in the Utility Room the right size.

April 14, 2013 - April 20, 2013 Fishing Report
This week was all about permit and bonefish due to the high winds that prevented the tarpon junkies from venturing out to the flats west of Ambergris. --Ed

International Sources

Offshore Drilling in Belize Falls Into Its Own Great Blue Hole
A little environmental success story (or energy exploration failure, if you prefer) for this Earth Day. Last week the Supreme Court of Belize struck down contracts for offshore oil exploration that the nation’s government had issued in 2004 and 2007 and extended in 2009. Drilling would have been in the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world and home to unique features like the Great Blue Hole and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. But a couple of signal events had occurred between the issuance of those contracts and today, namely the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a change of government in Belize. The BP spill didn’t affect Belize directly, but it did energize both green NGOs and the Belizean citizenry to question offshore oil. That included a public—i.e. not government sanctioned—plebiscite last year that unsurprisingly, given its anti-oil sponsors, rejected offshore drilling. (But before being too dismissive of the results, about eight percent of Belize’s total population did vote in balloting that was carefully conducted among registered voters. The same sponsors had tried for an official referendum, but the then-pro-drilling government shot it down.) In last week’s court ruling, Justice Oswell Legall (excellent name for a judge!) argued that “allowing oil exploration before any assessment of its effects on the environment is not only irresponsible, but reckless, especially in a situation where Belize may not be fully capable of handling effectively an oil spill.”


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