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#465925 - 06/05/13 12:13 PM Today's Belize News: June 5, 2013
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Specials and Events

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 latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Running – Part II:
A grown woman and three children seeking respite at night in a neighborhood where violence was rampant could have been the detriment of the little family that night. But there was always someone who would grudgingly open a door, letting everyone crash down on the floor, expecting them to be gone by morning’s first light. They walked through the dark, overgrown pathways around the place they had spent the last few weeks. She had almost made it past six months, but as always, there was a need to move on, find somewhere (someone) else.

The San Pedro Sun

BEL responds to concerns from Ambergris Caye customers
Residents on Ambergris Caye have been very vocal about the notable increase in their electrical bills for the month of April as compared to previous months. The increase has taken the residents by surprise since in some instances their bill doubled. According to the only electrical provider in Belize, The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), they have received numerous complaints and have dispatched additional personnel to try and address the concerns.

Chelsea Muñoz crowned Miss SPHS 2013-2014
The R Angel Nuñez Auditorium was the arena for the vast multitude that came out for the annual Miss San Pedro High School pageant on Saturday, June 1st. At about 7PM, supporters gathered by the dozens carrying bright posters and creative banners, rooting for their choice of one of the eight lovely delegates that vied for a shot at becoming this year’s Miss. Miss SPHS. Opening the event with an introduction of the judges panel were hosts, Miss SPHS 2010 Solani Graniel, alongside Mr. Angel Nuñez. The judges that were tasked with selecting SPHS’s new queen were Marivel Gomez, Eiden Salazar Jr., Tatiana Rivero, Enrique De Leon, Marion Mejia and international guest judge Leslie Bodden. The show commenced with an opening dance whereby contestants Veronica Choc, Isolene Bailey, Amari Duncan, Janelle Tillet, Reyna Chavez, Vivianie Duran, Chelsea Muñoz, and Miriam Palacio, introduced themselves. Following the opening dance, talented duo Arlethe Lima and Ismael Kay presented an equally brilliant number.

Non-stop Saturday services between Los Angeles and Belize via Delta
“We are celebrating 15 years of Delta´s service in Central America, connecting local travelers with a growing number of places in the United States and other international destinations”, said Maria Fernanda Price, Regional Manager for Delta in Central America and the Caribbean. “Our new non-stop flight between Los Angeles and Belize City allows Belize’s travelers access to Delta’s global network, an enhanced travel experience, and demonstrates our commitment with Central America region”.

Antonia Guerrero celebrates 22 years of service at recompression chamber
Employed in 1992 to do the housekeeping for the Sub-Aquatic Safety Service (SSS)recompression/hyperbaric chamber, Antonia Guerrero’s strong will, determination and hard work have elevated her to become a Dive Medical Technician and Manager. 2013 marks her 22nd year at the establishment, a feat worthy of celebrating indeed. Antonia always felt a strong inclination towards the machinery and the daily operations of the chamber. Antonia kept asking questions and receiving answers, and in no time, she was assisting with the documents, answering the telephone and giving out information.Her persevering personality led her to earn her Divers Alert Network (DAN) Oxygen Provider Certificate from Duke University in North Carolina, USA in 1994, qualifying her in oxygen first aid. She also obtained training in Dive Medicine and Hyperbaric Chamber Operation. Antonia was finally in a position to do what she loves; working at the chamber.

Ambergris Today

BEL Investigates Customer Concerns Over Spike in Electricity Bills in San Pedro
In a press release sent out on Monday, June 3, 2013, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) confirms that it has received a number of customer complaints about high electricity bills over the past month. BEL explains that the company is keen on ensuring it serves customers to high standards in every respect and that it is taking immediate action to carry out related investigations. After residents of Ambergris Caye received their latest electricity bills over the past couple weeks, more than 90% of residents that Ambergris Today has interviewed have expressed concerns of their utility bill increasing more than 50% and even 100% in some cases. BEL confirms that there has not been a rate increase since January of this year and many people are pointing fingers to brownout that have been occurring lately and even human error from recently employed meter readers.

World No Tobacco Day 2013 Commemorated
The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) and the Ministry of Health in conjunction with supporting national and international health partners celebrated World No Tobacco Day on Friday, May 31, 2013. This year it was celebrated under the theme, “Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship.” To commemorate the day, the NDACC conducted public education and awareness activities across the country that will highlight the harmful effects of tobacco, second-hand smoking and also share information on smoking intervention program. The NDACC offices across the country - San Pedro Town, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio and Corozal all had informational booths. During this year’s activities, the NDACC will also have an opportunity to survey participants in the areas of smoking and the types of events where smoking is practiced in an effort to build support in the area of policy development and the creation of smoke free spaces.

Delta Announces New Saturday Non-stop Service between Los Angeles and Belize
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) announced today its new Saturday non-stop flight between Los Angeles and Belize City, starting on December 21,2013. The route will be operating using a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft. “We are celebrating 15 years of Delta´s service in Central America, connecting local travelers with a growing number of places in the United States and other international destinations”, said Maria Fernanda Price, Regional Manager for Delta in Central America and the Caribbean. “Our new non-stop flight between Los Angeles and Belize City allows Belize’s travelers access to Delta’s global network, an enhanced travel experience, and demonstrates our commitment with Central America region”. Customers will enjoy the benefits of the $229 million expansion and enhancement of Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport, the construction project has already begun and is scheduled to take place in several phases with full completion in 2015.

San Pedro High School Class of 2003 Celebrates 10 Year Reunion
It was a night of glamour, great ambience and excellent people at El Divino Restaurant and Lounge. San Pedro High School Class of 2003 gathered to celebrate their ten year reunion. Toasts were exchanged at dinner followed by an unforgettable after party with Bumsquad's DJ DZl burning up the night with some great tunes. Congrats to the Class of 2003 on their Reunion Night!

Misc Belizean Sources

Belizeans should be allowed to vote and be given all the rights of full citizenship
When Belize became an independent country on September 21, 1981, all citizens of Belize who were not living in Belize lost their citizenship under the People's United Party. The late Philip Goldson was angry over it and vowed that, if the United Democratic Party was to become the new government of Belize, he was going to do everything in his power to restore their citizenship as natural born Belizeans. Philip Goldson saw a country that had a majority black population with English-speaking Belizeans, moving to become a majority Mestizo country with Spanish-speaking people from the neighbouring countries of Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, while the majority of black people, mainly Garifuna, Creoles and East Indians, were migrating to the United States. This was George Price's biggest dream because he felt that, as a Mestizo, the more his people were allowed to come and live in Belize, the longer the People's United Party was going to retain power and control over our country. When the civil war started in El Salvador, George Price offered to accept thousands of Salvadorians into Belize and established a village for them in the Belmopan area called Salvapan under the stewardship of Ducho Thomas.

SPTC to acquire Parham Property Downtown?
The San Pedro Town Council along with Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture and Central Government are working on acquiring the lot between the Alijua Building and Jaguar's Temple Nite Club currently owned by the Parhams. The San Pedro Town Council hopes to have the community's full support in the acquisition of the lot which will be of great use for San Pedro Town. Another great news is the paving of Manta Ray Street (where the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic is.) The San Pedro Town Council hopes to have the community's full support in the acquisition of the lot which will be of great use for San Pedro Town. San Pedro Town Council

Sir Barry Bowen Bridge will open on Friday...
Rumor has it that the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge will open on Friday... Well...It's not a rumor! The Sir Barry Bowen Bridge will open on Friday, June 7, 2013 at 6:00 AM. San Pedro Town Council

BNE Wins Getenergy Award
Belize Natural Energy Won the Getenergy award for their 'Learning to the Core' video. BNE values education, and puts a lot into education their employees. If Belize really took down the Getenergy website due to all the voting, that's impressive. Congratulations, BNE! "It's official! With your help, BNE has won the GetEnergy Training Award: Learning at the Core... We were told that our support brought down the GetEnergy website! Thank you!"

SHC Auditorium Inauguration
The Sacred Heart College auditorium has its inauguration tonight at 7:00pm, and everyone is invited for this landmark, long awaited event. There will be refreshments. "They worked day and night to finish the Sacred Heart College auditorium in time for the 6th form graduation. It's huge, 200 feet by 100 feet, and will serve many functions for the Cayo community."

Belize's Central Wildlife Corridor
Thousands of people are admiring the beautiful billboard located along the Western Highway which broadcasts the Wildlife Corridor of Central Belize. The stunning photo of the margay cat, a resident of these important lands, was taken by photographer Carol Farneti-Foster. Carol, along with her photo assistant at times, niece Aleacia Jensen, kindly agreed to be a part of this photograph. Both are big fans of the Corridor concept and of course, they love one of the special places found within the Wildlife Corridor, The Belize Zoo!

Channel 7

Chiquibul Shooting Puts Belizean Diplomats In A Precarious Position In Guatemala
At this hour Belize’s Foreign Minister and The Belizean Ambassador to Guatemala are in Antigua Guatemala at the Inaugural Session of the 43rd General Assembly of the OAS. But they’re on what you might call a weak wicket. That’s because they’ve been making the rounds trying to get support for the 2014 Referendum and to maintain the confidence building measures, but today, they had some explaining to do. That’s because Belizean armed Forces shot another Guatemalan in the Chiquibul. It happened yesterday when the armed forced encountered a Guatemalan reportedly two miles within Belize. We don’t know what happened events led to it, but the event – while always controversial, comes at a particularly bad time. Our 7news team is in Antigua Guatemala and today we spoke to the Foreign Minister about the event and the fallout:… Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "I was briefed on it yesterday when I left. The most recent information I have is that the victim has been taken to the hospital in Belmopan, the injury that he sustained was to his abdomen and that he's getting medical treatment. I am told that he had to sleep in the bush last night but the soldiers took him by foot out of the jungle and he was transported to the hospital where he is now receiving treatment." Jules Vasquez "Much has been said in previous meetings that we would change the rules of engagement on the border - apparently it's easy to say it but it's hard to effect it on the real time on the ground and rugged landscape."

Team Santinos Boss Injured In Morning Spill
And Jules Vasquez will have much more from that OAS meeting in Antigua, Guatemala later on, but first….Minister of State and veteran cyclist Santiago “Santino” Castillo had a terrible spill on the road today and it has left him seriously injured. Castillo was performing a routine cycling workout this morning where he was with a peloton of about 20 riders. They were on their way back from Hattieville when Castillo’s front wheel touched a rider ahead of him causing him to lose control. It is part of the ride where the cyclists do a moderate sprint, so he was traveling at a higher than normal pace. He went down and broke his left clavicle, fingers on one his hands, and a rib which reportedly may have punctured his lung. He was rushed to the hospital where he needed surgery due to the rib, and it is expected that he will continue to receive medical treatment for at least the next 3 days.

Former PC Found Dead In The Belize River
Exactly one week after Ellis Dawson was found dead in the Belize Rover near Henderson Bank in Burrell Boom, today another male body was found in the Belize River. And so, tonight, the family of 24 year-old Maurice Duce is finishing up funeral arrangements for him after his body was retrieved this afternoon. A post-mortem has been conducted which rules cause of death as a consequence of drowning, but his family doesn’t believe that this is correct. We’ll have their response, but first, Daniel Ortiz has been on the story since morning, and here’s what he’s been able to find out: Daniel Ortiz reporting The news that a body was in the Belize River went out as early as a few minutes before 9 this morning. Apparently, it was spotted in section of the river where Raul’s Rose Garden overlooks.

Police Recover Guns Used In La Choza Robbery/Murder
Belmopan police have made a major breakthrough in their investigation into the murder of Isabel Antonio Ballona who was shot and killed when 4 men robbed the business, La Choza Bar, on Sunday morning where he was socializing. 7news have confirmed that police have recovered a 38 revolver, and a sawed off shotgun, along with a fake 9 millimeter pistol. With that, they plan to charge one of the persons who were detained – as he is allegedly the mastermind. As we reported, police caught three teenagers after they recovered the vehicle they used to escape from the robbery. Police say that they located it in the Belmopan area, and one of the teens was caught as he tried to flee the area. This individual led to the detention of 2 others and the recovery of majority of the items they stole from the bar.

Cayo’s Most Wanted Caught
In Mid-April, San Ignacio police sent out a notice that Jarod Arthors Lamb known as Steel Bob was wanted. Well, today after six weeks on the run he was caught in Teakettle Village. Police say he is wanted for Aggravated Burglary and Robbery. He and Marvin Neal were accused of a brutal home invasion, assault and armed robbery at Rumours resort earlier this week.

7News Inside 43rd Annual OAS General Assembly
As we told you at the top of the newscast, Belize’s Diplomats are in kind of an uneasy position at the OAS General Assembly in Antigua Guatemala – after Belizean Security forces shot a Guatemalan civilian in the Chiquibul Forest the day before the meeting started, That has created some tension, but really, much of it is lost within the wider picture fo the General Assembly which is a like a tremendous machine with literally dozens of discussions, dialogues, conversations, conferences, side meetings, and bi-lateral meetings. Jules Vasquez is there and he drilled down to find out what’s really at the top of the agenda. Jules Vasquez reporting The historic city of Antigua, Guatemala is the setting for the 43rd General Assembly of the OAS. There are over a thousand delegates from 35 countries here in this ancient city ringed in by mountains, but this morning at dawn it was business as usual in one of the oldest cities in the Americas. The Assembly didn’t make the headlines, but it was plastered on every lamp-post. Most of the business happens here at the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo in the Salon Mayor, a massive room where hundreds gather for various meetings all throughout the day, this one with civil society leaders. The main issue under discussion this year this year is re-thinking the approach to drug trafficking in the hemisphere.

Belize/Guatemala Relations Not On Agenda
And while Belize’s diplomats are in Guatemala at an OAS event, there are no meetings on the agenda to discuss Belize- Guatemala relations and the way forward. As Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala explains, there’s just no time for it in the hectic General Assembly schedule. H.E Fred Martinez - Belize's Ambassador to Guatemala "Within the context of the General Assembly there will not be a bi-lateral between the two ministers. I think the agenda is so crazy that to sit down to dedicate enough time, two - three hours by both foreign ministers is going to be practically impossible. I must mention that there was bi-lateral meeting at the technical level which always occurs, the highly working group met regularly. It met last week to look at the office of the OAS at the border, what Guatemala refers to as the adjacency zone, to look at measures of cooperation and specifically we brought up the issue of the de-forestation problem. The fact that Belize will go to an all out campaign to internationalize the cause and to focus attention of the international community of what is happening along our border line by the population pressures of Peten. It is a serious problem, it isn't a problem of deforestation of people cutting down and doing illegal logging, it is a matter of the whole water shed that deals with the rivers that flow into Peten and into Belize that provides the vital fluid for all of us. So it's from that point of view that we are approaching it and also the tension that it creates between the two countries when we have these incidents."

More Talks On Confidence Building Measures
And extending on that discussion about the still verdant Chiquibul Forest in Belize and the largely denuded Peten region of Guatemala – the bi-national working group is trying to embark on a new round of confidence building measures, the kind that will foster organic relationships between Belize and Guatemala – the kind of relationships that neighbors should have naturally. Ambassador Martinez explained. H.E. Fred Martinez - Belize's Ambassafor to Guatemala "But we also discussed means about going forward with the confidence building measures between the countries, we spoke about visits from parliamentarian from Belize to visit Guatemala and vice versa - visits of the media, exchange of the media from one side of the media of Belize or Guatemala and vice versa. Also how to strengthen the trade agreement that exists between Belize and Guatemala. So far it's been going extremely well, we feel it can do even more and we need to expand it." And even as there are new proposals for confidence building measures, our team in Antigua is picking up information which suggests that the international community – which sponsors those initiatives and the OAS Adjacency Office – may be losing patience with Guatemala – and may be looking at pulling funding for those programmes. We’re following that story and hope to have more on it for you tomorrow.

Belize Burning Bridges With The International Community?
And while those international sponsors may be losing confidence, there was a suggestion today that CARICOM may be losing confidence in Belize as the bridge between Central America and the Caribbean. That’s after the OAS in concert with Guatemala’s Minister of Economy hosted a meeting between Caribbean and Central American Business Leaders - and Belize wasn’t there! This morning, when the information came out, no one was quite sure if this country had been invited, and didn’t show, or, if no invitation was sent. Here’s what Ambassador Martinez told us this morning H.E. Fred Martinez - Belize Ambassdor to Guatemala "We were not advised of any Belizean delegation arriving or not arriving so I don't know but I do know some CARICOM countries - I think Trinidad and Jamaica is sending some of their business men to dialogue with the Central Americans. But it was just a forum outside of the General Assembly not organized by the OAS." Jules Vasquez "Is that an affront to our supposed pride of place as the bridge between Central America and the Caribbean?" H.E. Fred Martinez "No we knew of it when it happened. None of our embassies were informed." Jules Vasquez "Yes but of the fact that you not being informed is an indication that we are being surpassed for what has traditionally been our recognized role?"

COLA To KHMH: Heads Must Roll Or Else…
Last week, 7News showed you the fiery press release in which the watchdog organization, COLA, condemned the lack of answers provided in the second press conference held by the KHMH. According to them, it’s been more than a month, and the Administration has not provided any meaningful answers to the public about the mass deaths of 12 of its patients from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Well, today, they held their own press conference, and Daniel Ortiz attended. He found out that the rhetoric was dialed up high on behalf of those grieving families. Geovanni Brackett - President, COLA "This is a medical disaster and it is being treated it as an incident, in our view. More needs to be done before one dime is given to KHMH for new NICU/PICU. We need to hear extensively from the CEO, what they will do to make sure something like this never occurs again."

Imer Hernandez Awarded Airstrip Contract
Two weeks after the scandal in Orange Walk broke where Imer Hernandez was supposedly paid just under $200,000 for works which he did not do on the San Antonio Road, he is back in the news tonight. That’s after 7News confirmed that he was awarded the 6 million dollar contract to upgrade the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. Viewers may remember that in December 2012, the Ministry of Works opened up bids to the public. Well, after a competitive bidding process, Hernandez was awarded the contract. And if you’re wondering if that scandal has shaken the faith of the authorities in charge of the airstrip, we were too. We contacted, the General Manager of the Belize Airports Authority, Kenworth Tillett, who told us that from his information, Hernandez presented the best deal to the vetting committee.

Former BHC Yapp Wins Compensation
Former British High Commissioner to Belize John Yapp will be paid 320,000 pounds; that’s what a British High Court Judge has ruled that he deserves after he was unfairly suspended from his post in 2008. As we reported, the judge ruled that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had no grounds to discipline him for reports that he acted inappropriately - specifically that he’d touched a woman’s behind at a cocktail party. The judge heard the case to completion where he tested all the evidence presented against Yapp, and in the end, he found that they were baseless. As a result, the court has ordered that he must be paid 320,000 pounds in compensation.

NEMO: Keeping the Public Most Informed
Brace yourselves, because, once again, the experts say we're going to see an above average number of storms this hurricane season. The season opened over the weekend on June 1st and hurricane researchers in the United States are saying that 2013 could set the stage for stronger storms than were seen in 2012. And while we can expect some major storms to form in the warm water across the Atlantic and Caribbean – the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO is taking no chances when it comes to being fully prepared. NEMO begins to take an active role in monitoring the development of tropical storms and hurricanes while leading in informing and mobilizing the nation with their disaster preparedness plans. Just last week ago, a press conference was held where NEMO Minister Godwin Hulse gave a presentation outlining the tough policy that his ministry will be operating by for 2013. Today another press briefing was held and this one focused on the important roll the media plays in disseminating accurate information on time during an emergency.

Channel 5

Ex-cop drowns in river
The body of an ex-cop was pulled out of the Belize River before noon today. It was spotted floating hours earlier and was finally retrieved in the area of the [...]

COLA and parents of dead babies want answers
Thirteen newborn infants died in the neonatal intensive care unit of the K.H.M.H. in the first twenty days of May. Officials say seven can be blamed on an organism known [...]

Parent questions why she wasn’t invited to media press conference
Following the deaths of the newborns, K.H.M.H. authorities held only one group meeting with the parents involved. That meeting was held an hour before the press conference on May thirtieth. [...]

Parents say they will insist on court action following deaths of newborns
So what’s next for the parents who lost children to the bacteria at the neonatal intensive care unit? The ones we spoke to are planning to pursue legal action, especially [...]

NCL project on Crawl Caye rejected by Cabinet
It is not officially confirmed, but News Five has learnt that in its meeting today, Cabinet supported the recommendation of the five-member subcommittee on the Norwegian Cruise Line’s one hundred [...]

Should there be an independent investigation on 13 newborn deaths?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe that an independent investigation other than internal inquiry should be carried into the deaths of thirteen babies at the K.H.M.H? Yes or No? [...]

Minister of State Santino injured in cycling accident
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office, Santi Castillo, was involved in a cycling accident on the Western Highway this morning. Throughout the day, a battery of tests was [...]

Guatemalan shot inside Chiquibul
We will have a report on the opening of the O.A.S. General Assembly taking place at this time in Antigua, Guatemala. The Belize delegation is led by Minister of Foreign [...]

Belize absent from CARICOM/SICA meeting in Antigua, Guatemala
The forty-third General Assembly of the Organization of American States takes place this evening in Antigua, Guatemala.  Our team is on the ground and we will have full coverage on [...]

Ambassador says Belize was invited to pre O.A.S. General Assembly meeting
Belize’s Ambassador to the United States and to the O.A.S., Nestor Mendez, spoke to the media in Antigua, Guatemala late this evening. Mendez told the reporters covering the General Assembly [...]

No charges yet for Grijalva for devastation of Noh Mul
It has been almost one month since the Mayan monument Noh Mul in northern Orange Walk was destroyed without any charges levied against the culprits. The trucks and heavy equipment [...]

Legally blind man denied bail for money laundering conviction
In late July of 2012, two members of the Coye Family along with two of their employees were convicted of money laundering under the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act. While [...]

Former British High Commissioner Yapps his way to the bank
A month after a London court found that the Foreign Commonwealth Officer was wrong to suspend  former High Commissioner to Belize, John Yapp, of inappropriate behavior, the sum of money [...]

End of an era; SJC extension closes its doors
St. John’s College Extension Department, after fifty-six years of service to Belize, has closed its doors permanently.  It was announced in February 2011, under the presidency of Frank Garbutt, that [...]

B.N.E. wins the 2013 Getenergy Global Education and Training in Exploration Award
While oil companies across the country continue their quest for black gold, Belize Natural Energy Ltd., the first to strike and mine oil in commercial quantity, has won the 2013 [...]

NEMO briefs media on hurricane dissemination of information plan
The annual hurricane season which commenced on Saturday has seen the National Emergency Management Organization working diligently to tie up loose ends in the event of a natural disaster.  Last [...]

Mixed Martial Arts win for House of Shotokan
The House of Shotokan recently had a eight man fight inside the auditorium at the Belize Elementary School grounds. The karate team has just returned from Chetumal, Quintana Roo where [...]

LOVE FM

Senior Citizen's Second Application for Bail Denied
An application for bail by 62 year old Michael Coye, who has appealed his sentence and conviction for money laundering, was dismissed today by Appeal Court judge, Justice Samuel Awich. Justice Awich said that he will give his reasons in writing. The bail application was heard on Thursday, May 30....

Man Begs Pardon From Victim After Assaulting Him With A Machete
A man’s arm was almost amputated this morning after he was attacked with a machete in the village of San Luis in the Orange Walk District. The man, 44-year-old, Juan Luis Pott was attacked by someone he knows around eight o’clock this morning while he hitched a ride to his farm....

Belize Natural Energy Captures International Award
Over the weekend Love News told you that the Belize Natural Energy Limited, BNE, had been shortlisted for the Get Energy Global Education Training in Exploration Awards specifically in the “Learning at the Core” category for their Adult Education program. Tonight there is good news as...

UNIBAM Issues Press Release On Recent Statements By Various Leaders
The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM has issued a press release in which it applauds statements of support for diversity recently shared by various leaders. In the release, UNIBAM acknowledges statements made by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition on support for diver...

CTV3

Dead Body Of Male Person Found In Corozal
Tonight the Corozal Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the dead body of male person known to be between the ages of 50 to 60 years old. The individual was found dead on June 2nd 2013, on 2nd Street South in Corozal Town. The body is presently at the Orange Walk Morgue awaiting a post mortem examination. The only thing known about the deceased is that he was often referred to as Swasey or Alexander and he was not from the Corozal District.

The Race To Become One Of The Eight Wonders Of The World
One of Belize’s wonder’s, the Great Blue Hole, is said to be more than 1000 feet in diameter and 412 feet deep. Located 43 miles off the coast of Belize, the Great Blue Hole has been included among more than 300 destinations from which votes are being casted for it to be labeled the “8th Wonder of the World.” According to the Belize Tourism Board, Belize stands to gain an audience of over 2.6 million viewers. A win that would give the country major publicity by being featured in this international contest being undertaken through Trip Advisor’s partner site, ‘Virtual Tourist’, in collaboration with the American Television Show, Extra. The winner will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment on a popular syndicated program, as well as receive a massive media relations campaign push from Virtual Tourist.

Mayor Bernard Tells Imer Hernandez "Show Me The Proof"
On Friday the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and Orange Walk North Area Representative Honorable Gaspar Vega, shied away from the media refusing to answer questions posed to him particularly referring to the refurbishing of San Antonio Road and the destruction of Noh Mul. But despite the DPM’s refusal to speak on both issues, the stories are much alive in the media. If we talk about the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road, the Prime Minister has stated that the contract awarded to Imer Hernandez Development Company was cancelled and instead, the close to two hundred thousand dollars paid out to the company, owned by the DPM’s nephew, Imer Hernandez, was for works executed in the Otro Benque Area and not for San Antonio Road as these documents show. While the question as to why payments were made under the San Antonio Road Project when the contract was cancelled may never be answered, Hernandez is not off the hook just yet. He still needs to answer for the $50,000 partial payment he received from the Orange Walk Town Council back in 2012 for works to be conducted on San Antonio Road. As mentioned on Friday, Hernandez admits receiving payment from the council but at the same time has made it clear that he has proof of all the work he did in the area under the contract. Since Hernandez claims to have proof, the council wants him to produce them or else….well, its best to hear it from the Mayor himself.

BNTU Rejects Gender Policy 2013
On May 16th 2013 the Women’s Commission of Belize launched the revised Gender Policy 2013. The policy is a follow up to a situation analysis specifying actions or commitments that address issues of gender inequality. But while the commitment of equality sounds good, the 50 page document also speaks about gender identity. In March, Cabinet, with the blessing of the Women’s Commission, approved the removal of one particular section of the policy which stated “Amend existing legislation to legalize and regulate the sex work industry.” And then on May 28th, members of Cabinet themselves, made another amendment to the policy this time to the paragraph entitled “Respect for Diversity”. The section stated and we quote “The population is comprised of persons of all ages who come from diverse races, cultures, ethnicities, faiths, sexual orientations, socio-economic situations and behavioral lifestyles. All policies and programmes must therefore reflect this reality of diversity among the Belizean populace and customary, religious and cultural practices must be subject to the right of equality,” end quote.

Praying Pelican Missions, Assisting Those In Need
Praying Pelican Missions is a short- term international mission’s organization serving the needs of indigenous local churches, pastors, and communities around the world. Praying Pelican Missions was established back in 2003 with the vision to literally impact the entire world. Over the course of the years many of the groups have visited Belize offering different types of services, including dentistry, to members of the communities they visit. Here in the North we have had the privilege of hosting several members of Praying Pelican Missions and yesterday a group of 27 missionaries, in conjunction with the New Jerusalem Nazarene Church, visited the Nazarene School in Corozal Town. According to Youth Pastor Donny Butkus, the group visited the school not only to have fun, but to share the word God.

BNE Wins International Award
The Belize Natural Energy Limited, BNE, was shortlisted for the Get Energy Global Education Training in Exploration Awards specifically in the “Learning at the Core” category for their Adult Education program. Tonight the good news is that the company won the category which recognizes the significant and sustainable quality of work in which BNE has been engaged and its benefit to the wider oil and gas energy industry over the past year.

43rd OAS Meeting Get's Under-way In Guatemala
Heads of State and foreign ministers from across the Western Hemisphere arrived in Antigua Guatemala today for the 43rd general assembly of the Organization of American States. The three day regional meeting is expected to sit more than 1000 officials from 36 international delegations and 28 foreign ministers including Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington. The primary focus of the assembly is to discuss effective solutions to the world drug problem and ways to devise a comprehensive and integral approach to tackle this issue in the Americas. The topic of combating drug trafficking in the region was discussed at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia which was held last year in which the Secretary General of the OAS was tasked to produce a report with a proposal of alternative strategies to combat drugs and weapons that transit the region. According to Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Minister Fernando Carrera, consensus already exists among member states that the final declaration should include changes to the current anti-drug policy in the hemisphere. "We already have some ideas on how to change drug-fighting policies,” he said. On Monday, dozens of human rights organizations signed a letter asking leaders “to discuss and rethink the existing initiatives with a view to place human rights at the center of the debate." The technical team has been meeting in advance so that when the assembly gathers, the ministers will be making their contributions to the debate.

DEMO Orange Walk Revises Hurricane Preparedness Plan
DEMO Orange Walk Revises Hurricane Preparedness Plan The hurricane season was officially declared opened on Saturday June 1st with 21 named storms of which nine are expected to become hurricanes with 4 being major storms between categories 3 to 5. With this year promising to be an active season, Belizeans across the country are making preparations should any system develop. But even though Belize is constantly saved from the wrath of Mother Nature, flooding is a disaster that affects many people especially those living in the low lying areas. With this in mind the Orange Walk District Emergency Management Organization prepares every year for the hurricane season ensuring that hurricane shelters are available and that there are public officers willing to assist should there be a storm. Zuleima Celiz, O/W District Coordinator NEMO “Well, I can say NEMO Orange Walk is prepared, we have been meeting with the different committees and right now we are waiting for all the chairman’s to take their position after June we will be meeting with them and getting them ready and so far I have been meeting with the ones that have been elected and we are standing off good.”

LOVE TV

Elderly Diabetic Prisoner Applies and Denied Bail Again
An application for bail by 62 year old Michael Coye, who has appealed his sentence and conviction for money laundering, was dismissed today by Appeal Court judge, Justice Samuel Awich. Justice Awich said that he will give his reasons in writing. The bail application was heard on Thursday, May 30. Coye was represented by Attorney Bryan Neal. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal, represented the respondent. Coye had applied for bail on the ground that he is a diabetic and the condition at Belize Central Prison is not conducive to his health. It was the second time an application by him for bail was dismissed. About 10 months ago, Coye was found guilty of money laundering for over 1.5 million, Belize currency and he was sentenced to three years and fined $25,000.00. His daughter, Melonie Coye, was also found guilty of money laundering. She was sentenced to three years and she was fined $50,000.00.

Hitchhiker Attacked With Machete
A man’s arm was almost amputated this morning after he was attacked with a machete in the village of San Luis in the Orange Walk District. The man, 44-year-old, Juan Luis Pott was attacked by someone he knows around eight o’clock this morning while he hitched a ride to his farm. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital suffering from chop wounds and Love News met with his sister who told us what he explained happened. MATILDE MORALEZ, Sister of Chopping Victim (Translated from Spanish to English) (Well he told me he got a ride, in the morning while going to work. He says that when he got in the pickup, he didn’t expect to be chopped with a machete. He said that when he felt the man just got up and threw a blow at him with the machete; he gave him one sharp blow and he felt like his arm fell. He says he was shouting and asking for help to see if the driver would help him; he hung to the pan of the pickup and the man wanted to chop him again to kill him and he was saying why? why? You’re going to kill me! Then he stabbed him with the machete on his ribs and then he remained hanging on and the driver stopped because he was being slammed. Later on when they came to look for me, I got frightened, my brother got frightened because they took my injured brother home. The same man that was giving him the ride took him home because he asked him, please and so when they were coming, the man who attacked him told him “please don’t report me, don’t say anything because I didn’t mean to do it”.)


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CURRENT: Sexual Orientation Resolution raised at OAS Assembly in Guatemala
OAS meeting in Guatemala right now. Serious developments with a binding treaty being negotiated right now at the Organization of American States GA in Guatemala. some of the worse parts below. We need to get as many countries as possible to oppose this or to delete the many harmful provisions and references...

More gender issues coming from the OAS 43rd Annual Assembly
Belize’s Foreign Minister, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, is in Antigua, Guatemala attending the 43rd Annual Assembly of the OAS. The main topic of discussion is the existing drug crisis within the Americas and a productive way forward. However, there is another pressing issue up for negotiation, and this includes references...

COLA announce further findings in KHMH baby deaths
Today Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) held a press conference announcing further findings of its review of the response by the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) to the deaths of 13 premature babies in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The issue has provoked much outrage and...

Parents of dead KHMH babies speak out
Taking center stage this morning were two fathers and one heartbroken mother whose babies are among the dead. Harrison Sutherland, father of baby Imari Sutherland, pleaded for answers. Harrison Sutherland – Father of baby Imari Sutherland: I’m just looking for a deeper investigation in this situation that they had...

Unidentified body recovered from Belize River
Police have confirmed that a dead man was found floating in the Belize River this morning. A preliminary report says the body was found around 8:43 a.m. behind Raul’s Rose Garden at Mile 6, George Price Highway and was a male, approximately in his mid-twenties, but there has been...

Body found in Corozal awaits identification
In Corozal, the body of a man was discovered on 2nd Street. The discovery was made on Sunday, but the body still remains at the Orange Walk Morgue – that is because none of his family members can be located. The man is between the ages of 50 and...

Seine Bight residents threaten protest over vehicle confiscation
The Police Department, based in Placencia, has been accused of taking away the vehicles of several residents of the village of Seine Bight in recent months based on charges of illegal activity. Dangriga resident and Seine Bight native Arthur Roy Williams tells us more. Arthur Roy Williams: The Police...

Two men escape bullets in separate incidents
Two men are tonight fortunate to be alive, after they escaped a spew of bullets in separate shooting incidents. The first happened in San Pedro Town on Saturday night. 28 year old Elton Polonio, was socializing in the Swan Street area, when a man whom he knows, suddenly let...

Fisherman pleads not guilty to possession of lobster during closed season
On Friday we told you about a record bust In Magistrate’s Court on Monday 78 year old fisherman Ishmael Llewellyn Moody of Belize City pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of lobster during closed season. He was represented by attorney Arthur Saldivar and appeared via summons as required...

Two men in custody for Aggravated Burglary after being on the run
26year old Jarod (Steel Bob) Lamb has been on the run from Police for over a month now. This afternoon though; Belmopan Police, acting upon information received visited an area in the Village of Teakettle where they were able to apprehend Lamb. Lamb was wanted along with Marvin Neal...

BNE receives award for contributions to their staff learning and development
Last week, we told you that the Belize Natural Energy Limited (BNE), was up for the “Learning at the Core” Getenergy 2013 Award. The contest was conducted via online polling and we’re glad to announce that BNE took home the award. The Learning at the Core category recognizes the...

Amandala

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES MAKES PITCH FOR CRAWL CAYE
A controversial US$50 million proposal by Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), which said it has been sending ships to Belize since 1998, is on the table, but the Barrow administration is faced with strong winds of opposition from key tourism interests who are calling on the government to promptly reject the project for a new cruise port at Crawl Caye, on the claim that it will devastate part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, without bringing the needed socio-economic benefits to Belize. Colin Murphy, NCL’s Vice President, Destination & Strategic Development, is in Belize this week, and Amandala had an exclusive interview with him to get NCL’s side of the story. In last weekend’s edition of our newspaper, we also reported on Government’s stance: Prime Minister Dean Barrow had said, “Government must have the conversation it is having with Norwegian.” Barrow explained that “you simply don’t turn away the potentially huge investment without making absolutely sure that this cannot happen, in the larger scheme of things.” In elaborating on their impetus for the project, Murphy told Amandala: “…the 30% of the passengers who come off the ship have a great time, but the other 70% don’t have a good time.” He said that the proposal is really an NCL solution for Norwegian passengers. The Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies: A Survey-based Analysis of the Impacts of Passenger, Crew and Cruise Line Spending, Volume II; Destination Reports, prepared by Business Research & Economic Advisors for Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association in September 2012 indicates a customer satisfaction rating of 7.4 out of a possible 10.

GUNMEN KILL LAS FLORES BAR PATRON
The victim and his friend were shot outside the bar; one died, one lived. One man was shot dead and another man was shot in the leg and foot when they attempted to stop a robbery in a Las Flores bar in the Belmopan area that occurred at about 12:05 a.m. on Saturday, June 2. Isabel Antonio Ballona, 43, a Salvadoran, died after he was shot in the left side of his head, while Manuel Aquino, 50, also a Salvadoran, of Las Flores, Belmopan, was shot in the right leg and left foot. He was also beaten in the chest. Police said that the two men were socializing at the La Chazo Bar in Las Flores when four armed, masked men came to the bar and held up the owner, Joshua Lopez, 54, at gunpoint, demanding money. Police say that the four assailants were dressed in long-sleeved black shirts and black pants, and were wearing masks and gloves. The gunmen stole $600 from the owner, along with his vehicle keys and his cell phone. After taking the money that Lopez was carrying, the thieves reportedly went to the cash drawer and stole all the money that was in it, which was about $3,000. As they were trying to make their getaway in Lopez’s vehicle, however, Aquino and Ballona intervened and tried to stop them.

TEACHERS FIGHT GENDER POLICY 2013!
The BNTU, a national organization, opposes GOB’s gender-transforming policy shift. The Council of Management of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) sat for several hours today mulling over the Revised Gender Policy 2013, and late this evening, they issued a call on the Government to “put an immediate halt to any further action on this policy.” BNTU National President Luke Palacio told Amandala this evening that the union was never consulted on this new policy document, and there are several aspects of the document which concern them. Palacio said the BNTU wants to know if the new gender policy is being implemented in order to comply with conditions for foreign aid. “We need to get to the bottom of it. We don’t know if that is one of the motives,” he told us. The BNTU is concerned about how education is redefined on page 24. Specifically, the policy document sets out as an objective, “to redefine education as a process of lifelong learning and to act as a primary vehicle for transforming gender relations across the life cycle.”

Belize Blue Hole nominated for the 8th Wonder of the World
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced today that Belize’s Great Blue Hole—said to be more than 1000 feet in diameter and 412 feet deep, located 43 miles off the coast of Belize—has been included among more than 300 destinations from which votes are being cast for the label of “8th Wonder of the World.” Voting commences today, June 3, and participants can vote once daily until the contest closes on September 30, 2013. The site for voting is: www.virtualtourist.com/8thwonder. You can vote via Amandala’s website: www.amandala.com.bz. (See the right hand menu, right below our headline stories.) Kimberly Stirdivant Wason, Head of PR & Marketing at Virtual Tourist, informed that “The winner will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment on a popular syndicated program, as well as receive a massive media relations campaign push from VirtualTourist.” According to the BTB, Belize stands to gain an audience of over 2.6 million viewers—a win that would give the country major publicity—by being featured in this international contest being undertaken through Trip Advisor’s partner site, ‘Virtual Tourist’, in collaboration with the American Television Show, Extra.

NO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FOR BELIZE AGAIN; REQUIREMENTS TOO HIGH FOR PARTICIPATION, SAYS FFB PRESIDENT
Football Federation of Belize (FFB) President Ruperto Vicente told Amandala this afternoon that he has been promised a visit to Belize by CONCACAF President Jeffery Webb sometime soon, to help console heartbroken Belize football fans following the recent announcement that Belize’s football champion club will again not be able to participate in this year’s Champions League tournament. For a number of years under the previous FFB administration, the Belize champion clubs have been denied the opportunity to represent our nation in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, and it was the general feeling that it was a case of either negligence, incompetence or spite, or a combination of the above, that had caused the repeated disappointment to our football players and fans. With the change of administration last year, hopes were high that at last things will be done right, and an earnest effort would be made to ensure we are once again participants in the highest level of club competition in CONCACAF, formerly the Champions and sub-Champions tournament, but which since 2008 was changed to the Champions League.

CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE FOR INAUGURAL TOURNAMENT
The much-anticipated schedule for the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament has been announced by CPL organizers, and as expected, matches will be played in six franchise countries – Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago – in the months of July and August. Kicking off in Barbados on Tuesday, July 30, with an opening ceremony followed by a Barbados vs St. Lucia match, games will be played on various days throughout the four-week period. There will be a three-day break before the two semifinals, the final match and the closing ceremony which will take place in Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday, August 24. Sundays through the tournament will feature a doubleheader, with matches taking place at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. CPL organizers emphasized that in putting together the schedule, the goal was to make it as fair as possible for the franchise countries, but also ensure that there would be many exciting games between neighbouring and rival countries. In addition, the fixtures had to work logistically, in terms of elements such as travel for the teams and CPL staff and the transfer of TV equipment and crew from venue to venue. The result is a schedule that is workable and one where all teams will play three home games, three away games and one game in a neutral franchise country, for example Antigua vs Jamaica in Guyana.

NATIONAL SELECTION Editorial
Population wise, the colony of British Honduras was constructed in such a way as to incorporate and reflect divisions. As a people, we Belizeans speak about “our country.” It is necessary to remember and accept that this was never our country. In the settlement of Belize and in the colony of British Honduras, “white was the color of the big boss man.” Back in the colonial days, there were no black people in Great Britain – the so-called motherland. Colonial Belize was, at it subject base, a mixture of different ethnicities. This was as the “big boss man” had designed it. By the time of Belize’s nationalist revolution in 1950, a buffer class existed in Belize, a buffer class which consisted of natives (mostly light-skinned) who considered themselves British, and closer to the colonial master than they were to the masses of the people. The nationalist revolution of 1950 consisted of a fight involving the oppressed masses of the people, led by the People’s United Party (PUP), against the British along with their loyal buffer class. Essentially, the PUP won that fight when they led Belize to political independence in 1981, but by that time an elite group had emerged in the PUP itself. This elite group was not British. Neither was the bulk of the PUP elite group, strictly speaking, from the traditional buffer class of natives, but they took over the same power and authority which had been exercised by the British and their buffer class.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
Last year’s general elections were unique in my lifetime for at least two reasons. The first was the manifest difference between Belize City/District voters, who mostly went UDP, and voters in the other five Districts, who mostly went PUP. The second reason the generals were unique last year was because the PUP had not clarified their leadership until four months before the elections, and yet they came way close to winning. The last time something like this occurred was in 1969, when there was a split in the Opposition NIP in mid-year. When Mr. Price announced elections for December, the breakaway PDM hurriedly negotiated a coalition with the parent NIP. But, the NIPDM coalition won only one of the eighteen seats in the December 1969 general elections. Why did voters outside the Belize City/District area see things differently? Well, Orange Walk Town’s Johnny Briceño was the PUP Leader from March of 2008 until October 2011, and he had been more comfortable, and presumably more effective, working outside of Belize City. I think this is where we have been looking for an answer – in the nature of the Briceño leadership. I would say, nevertheless, that the single lay individual who hurt the incumbent UDP the most in the last elections was Audrey Matura-Shepherd. Apart from being a highly educated, highly intelligent, and fearless individual who was comfortable in the public domain, Audrey was a “fish fram riva batam.” Audrey Matura-Shepherd had been a hard-core UDP – appointed a UDP Senator at one point, and she had also been editor-in-chief of the UDP newspaper. In fact, she had faced jail because of material she published in the UDP newspaper, and she had not blinked or retreated an inch. When Matura-Shepherd began to blast the Barrow administration from her desk at Oceana, that was bad enough. But, there was more.

CAN BECOL NEVER GET IT RIGHT? Letters
by Sally Caretella. Dear Editor, Can BECOL never get it right for most of us? So, last Thursday, May 30, they tested their warning system. At least they did, according to Channel 2 on Cable TV. Trouble is, I only saw their advert this afternoon (Saturday, June 1) as I searched for something to watch on a wet afternoon. I phoned a couple of friends to see if they knew anything about the test. NO. Last time it (BECOL) was having a meeting that was advertised after the event, but at least it was in the local paper. This was among the ads for South Side Meats and Pray for Belize. I hope that those people who pray for Belize also pray that the dams do not break. Sincerely, Sally Caretella Esperanza

FROM “YOUR BIGGEST FAN” Letters
by Judy Roberts. I am writing to you regarding my concerns to opening up Southern Belize to mega cruise ships. I come to Belize because it is quiet and peaceful. I have found the cayes to be environmentally friendly. The manatees are safe as well as the coral reefs. I hope you do not let these mega ships come in. I do not believe they will help your local people. I think you will find that cruise ships of that size will dump waste, and disturb the diverse marine areas. Many times the cruise ships break down and have to be towed. They have been known to make disastrous navigational errors, spill oil and bring in tourists who have no interest in maintaining pristine beaches and a delicate environment. Please consider this matter very carefully! When I visit Belize, I support the local businesses. I have property in Belize and hope to build soon. I love your country and do not want to see it changed by large corporations that only care about the dollars they can take from Belize. Thank you for listening to my comments and I hope you will take them to heart. Sincerely, Your biggest fan, Judy Roberts

ISHMAEL LLEWELLYN MOODY, 78, CHARGED FOR 2,051 LOBSTERS IN CLOSED SEASON, OFFICIALS SAY THE LOBSTERS WILL BE GIVEN TO SCHOOLCHILDREN
Ishmael Llewellyn Moody, 78, a fisherman of #6389 corner Tibruce and Heart Streets, was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stewart for being in possession of over 2,000 lobsters in the off season. The closed season for lobster is from February 14 to June 14 each year. According to police, on Friday, May 31, 2013, personnel from the Fisheries Department were in the area of Moody’s house when a member of the Fisheries team, Eric Arzu, reportedly spotted Moody with a large black plastic bag in his hand that looked suspicious. Arzu decided to conduct a search on Moody and the bag, and that was when he found the bag contained out-of-season lobsters. A further search of Moody’s premises led to the discovery of a whopping 2,051 pieces of lobster, totaling over a thousand pounds in weight. Moody appeared in court today based on a summons, since it was a Fisheries offense he had committed. He appeared with his lawyer, Arthur Saldivar, and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He is scheduled to reappear in court on July 3, 2013. This is Moody’s first alleged offense, and if found guilty of the charge, he could be fined as much as $30 per lobster, which would amount to $61,530. According to reports, 19 garbage bags containing about 145 lobster tails each were confiscated by the Fisheries Department. It is estimated that the commercial value of the illegally harvested lobsters is around $20,000.

TAKE HURRICANE SEASON PREPARATIONS SERIOUSLY!
NEMO Minister warns, “…when we say it is time to move, get moving. We will not go back two or three times to assist you if you say, ‘Cho man, me noh gwine no way.’ We will not return!” Hurricane safety rules: 1. Stay tuned to radio and television stations for regular bulletins. 2. Rely only on official bulletins; do not check these over the telephone. 3. As long as your house is inland and well built-with strong foundations and a good roof, stay at home. 4. Use storm shutters or board windows securely; protect outward door. 5. Stock up on food which has a long shelf life. 6. Check that oil and butane stoves are in working order; replenish stock of kerosene, charcoal and butane. 7. Sterilize baths; all containers and cooking utensils to store water. If in doubt, drink boiled or treated water only. 8. Keep flashlights, candles and storm lanterns handy along with batteries and matches.

BRIBERY CHARGES AGAINST PAMELA GARNETT AND SON, MARK VERNON, DISMISSED, THE MAIN WITNESS FOR THE MURDER CASE FLED TO THE US
Garnett and Vernon were charged with attempting to suppress evidence after allegedly unsuccessfully trying to bribe, then threatening, a crucial witness in a murder case On December 27, 2012, charges were levied against Pamela Garnett, 42, and her son Mark Vernon, 24, after police claimed that they allegedly tried to bribe a crucial witness in a murder case in which Garnett’s husband, Jermaine “Horse” Garnett, 30, and another of her sons, Cassian Bennett, were implicated. The murder was that of Raheem Requeña, 19, which occurred on December 19, 2012. Requeña was shot as many as eight times as he was riding his bicycle on Kut Avenue that night. After investigating the matter, police arrested and charged Jermaine Garnett, along with Pamela Garnett’s son, Cassian Bennett, aka Cassian Gentle, and Kenneth Barrow. The charge against Pamela Garnett and her other son, Mark Vernon, arose after Marie Alvarez, the crucial witness for the Crown, made a report to the police. In that report, she told police that on December 23, 2012, Pamela Garnett called her on her phone and offered to pay her $5,000 to retract her statement. But after the witness refused the offer, Garnett allegedly gave the phone to her son, Mark, who then threatened her.

The June 5th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • PM Donates 50,000! Discusses Gold Cup with FFB Officials:
    Last week the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) announced it’s decision to hold an Official Telethon on Saturday, June 15 to raise funds to send the Belize National Football Selection to the Gold Cup in the United States, a prestigious CONCACAF Regional Tournament which begins on July 7, 2013. The FFB said it needs to raise a total of $500,000 (Half a Million Dollars) to send our proud footballers to the Gold Cup to Represent the Jewel. The Federation is asking every Belizean to donate at least One Dollar ($1.00) towards supporting our National Selection, and is calling on businesses to adopt a player; which is to donate funds for the cost of sending one player to the Gold Cup (BZ $5,000.00). Well, this past week, the FFB’s fundraising efforts got an excellent jump start as Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow, on behalf of the Government of Belize, handed over a cheque of $50,000 towards the cause.
  • They Finally Did It! Police Win PLB Championship:
    It was the third time consecutively that they had gone to the Finals of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) National Football Competition. The previous two years they fell short of winning the championship, earning them the derisive nickname in sports circles of ‘bridesmaid’. This time, the Police United Football Club finally did it; they earned the ultimate distinction of being the 2013 PLB Football Champions. The decisive match was played last Saturday, May 25 inside the FFB Stadium in the Capital City of Belmopan, starting around 8 PM. The Police United Team went into that second and final match of the Finals holding a narrow lead of 1 goal to zero, earned in the first game of the two-game home and away series.
  • Kim Raises $500,000+:
    Last Year was the first time she did it, and it was very successful - the Nationwide Telethon spearheaded by First Lady of Belize and Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, to raise funds for Children with Disabilities in Belize. This weekend, Saturday June 1, 2013, the second such telethon was held, in conjunction with Care Belize; and it once again exceeded its target of $500,000. The event featured an extensive line-up of Belizean artists and was broadcast live on all major TV and Radio Stations.
  • Troubling Days for Democracy:
    Ha v i n g recently ent e r e d the second year of its second term in office, the current administration is admittedly beginning to show visible cracks and fissures here and there, confirming the fact that no human creation or endeavor is ever perfect. Notwithstanding, the popularity of the Government headed by Prime Minister Dean Barrow is, by all accounts, on the resurgence. The results of the ongoing Village Council Elections being conducted countrywide clearly indicate that the Party in Government is solidifying the trust and confidence placed in it by the Belizean People as it consolidates the gains made in its first term of office.
  • Sweet Celebration! Sugar Production Exceeds Expectations:
    The big economic news of the past week is that the Sugar Industry has performed exceptionally well over the crop year just ended. In fact, the performance went well beyond expectations, triggering a big celebration at what has been dubbed the Dia de Los Caneros (Cane Farmers Day) observed this past Friday, May 31, 2013. In true democratic fashion, the Cane Farmers invited leaders from both major political parties to speak at the event in Orange Walk, the incumbent party (UDP) represented by Deputy Prime Minister and Orange Walk Area Representative Hon. Gaspar Vega, the PUP by Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca. Be that as it may, it is certainly the current UDP Administration and the farmers themselves who deserve a great deal of the credit for what will certainly go down in history as one of the most remarkable turnarounds for the better.
  • Early Rains – Quick Response: Culverts Replaced on Burrell Boom-Hattieville:
    As noted in our report on the Press Conference held by the Ministry of National Emergency Management and Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the Minister in charge, Hon Godwin Hulse, commented that there had already been two named storms for the year 2013 even before the official opening of the Hurricane Season. Truth is those storms, named Alvin and Barbara, had actually developed in the Eastern Pacific, where the Official Hurricane Sea son starts as early as May 15. In Belize where the storms affecting us generally form in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, the Official Hurricane Season would not commence until June 1, but we have already been visited by a relatively early rainy season with some heavy torrential showers for several days over the past two weeks. And, although in most areas the ground was pretty dry prior to that, the early rains were perhaps more than needed, and certainly more than could be readily absorbed in such a short period.
  • Belmopan Cycling Race:
    On Sunday, June 2, Belmopan City presented a cycling race to La Democracia, Caves Branch Bridge on Hummingbird Highway, and back to Belmopan, covering 60 Miles. The race was won by Junior Cyclist Giovanni Lovell of BTL. Jose Choto came 2nd, Allen Castillo 3rd, Angel Tzil 4th, and Erwin Middleton 5th.
  • Ready or Not: Here Comes Hurricane Season 2013!:
    It’s one of those seasons most Belizeans don’t await with eager expectation, but whether we like it or not, the Hurricane season is here, having coming Saturday, June 1. Are we ready for it? We had better be, says the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), which falls under the Ministry of National Emergency Management headed by Hon. Godwin Hulse, who at a press conference this past Thursday reminded us that Hurricanes and the response to it are not just the business of his Ministry and NEMO, but that of every individual who can be affected: “The state is prepared to assist all the individuals of this country to be safe in the event of a disaster, prepared to assist you to be as safe as possible.” Honorable Godwin Hulse said. “The state cannot and will not save your life - that is for God, and we take no such credit. I open with that, because too many times there is the misconception that, “Well, there is a hurricane coming; weh unu the do?”
  • “The Woman You Gave Me!”:
    It has often been said that whatever men can do, women can do it even better. While this statement is an endorsement to the diverse abilities possessed by women to excel in unfamiliar domains, it can also mean that women have the potential to surpass the evils done by Ted Bundy, Jim Jones or Adolf Hitler. It is no surprise then that the effort that was started in the Western World as the Feminist Movement, which was once strongly rooted in the traditional Judeo- Christian concepts of truth, morality and justice, has now evolved into an influential movement far removed from the ideals and goals of the original feminists. Neo Feminism (the New Feminism) is now commanding enormous social shifts globally as trailblazers in the global campaign that seeks to redefine the terms “gender” and “family” and to entice organizations and governments for laws to support rights and freedoms to engage in activities that are totally contrary to God’s design and purpose.
  • The Case of the Crawl Caye Project: A Lesson in Transparency, Thoughtfulness and Thoroughness:
    An on-going n e w s - s t o r y in the local B e l i z e a n media has to do with the possibility, feasibility or desirability of a Tourismrelated project in Southern Belize which Norwegian Cruise Lines has expressed interest in pursuing. For context, let’s go back to a portion of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s most recent Quarterly Press Conference on April 29, 2013: “Norwegian Cruise-Lines has written to the Government of Belize and has been in discussion. We’ve appointed a Cabinet Sub-Committee to carry this along. They want to do a cruise facility in the South. We’re looking very carefully at the area to ensure that there are no difficulties from an environmental or conservation, protection point of view.” Following up on the Prime Minister’s comments, Jules Vasquez of Channel Seven News asked: “Sir, are you able to say, you spoke earlier in a superficial way about Crawl Caye, the option of Crawl Caye. Are you taking into consideration the fact that it annexes a World Heritage Site and, secondly, that the National Tourism Master Plan also says that only pocketcruising should be reserved for the South of Belize?”
  • Challenges, Changes, Excellence: Public Service Showcased at Information Day 2013:
    Because they represent and work for the Government, the roles they play and the duties they perform on a day to day basis are too often taken for granted; pretty much like the forces of Nature: Sunshine, Rain, Wind, the Tides, etc. But the effectiveness of Public Officers in executing their functions to the community they serve is not as automatic as we often seem to think. A lot goes into it, not the least of which is the personal motivation and drive to do their best. Of course, a little understanding from the public also goes a long way in helping them to perform and serve more effectively and more meaningfully. The self-motivation and public-appreciation that combine for a more effective government workforce is perhaps also the underlying objective of what has now become an annual event known as Public Service Information Day. In Belmopan, it was held two Thursdays ago, and by all accounts, it was a great success.
  • Short Term and Long Term Solution: PM Barrow Fixes Infant-Mortality Problem at KHMH:
    In the news for the past two weeks or so has been the issue of the death of 12 premature babies within one month at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, all established to have been caused by a bacteria that had somehow found its way into the hospital. It’s one of those stories that still has many wondering how the situation could have reached such crisis levels without the Management and Board of the Hospital being fully apprised of the situation and taking measures to address it as promptly as possible. It’s a story that will no doubt continue to be discussed, with the media and the public understandably continuing to ask the hard, basic questions. For now, what’s particularly essential is that measures are taken to ensure that such deaths do not continue to occur. It is with this objective in mind that Prime Minister Barrow on Thursday, May 30 made the following announcement at a Press Conference called by the Ministry of Health and the KHMH Management:
  • UDP Dominant in Village Council Elections Countrywide:
    After FOUR weeks of Village Council Elections Countrywide, with only two weeks to go, the United Democratic Party has a commanding lead, scoring significant victories even in villages and constituencies which it lost by significant margins in the last Elections. This is an encouraging sign for the party which almost lost the 2012 General Elections because of low voter support in the rural areas. The chart on the left shows results of the most recent round of village council elections this past weekend; the one below, the overall tally.
  • Miami Blows out Indiana in Game 7:
    Their season, their legacy, their reign atop the NBA was all at stake, and the Miami Heat responded to all of that in a manner befitting champions. With a blowout. It’s onto the NBA Finals for the Heat after they put away the Indiana Pacers, who saw their hopes of a storybook upset simply fall apart in a hurry. LeBron James scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, ailing Dwyane Wade matched his post-season high with 21 points, and the Heat ran away from the Pacers 99-76 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night. The Heat advanced to play the San Antonio Spurs in a series that starts Thursday night in Miami.
  • New Members of Elections and Boundaries Commission:
    A Swearing-in Ceremony was held on May 23, 2013, at Belize House, Belmopan for members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, swore in Mrs. Phillipa Griffith Bailey, Ms. Naima Barrow, Mr. Derek Courtenay, S.C., and Mr. Orlando Espat, who have been appointed as members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission for a period of five years with effect from 1st May, 2013.
  • Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
    Playoff Schedule for Weekend - June 1 & 2

Blogs

Entrepreneurs Training Workshop – The Comprehensive Development of Entrepreneurs in Belize
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the Regional Center for Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises (CENPROMYPE), with the financial support of the Government of Taiwan and technical assistance from Colombia, will be having a three day workshop for Entrepreneurs. It will commence on Monday, June 3, 2013 to June 5 at the Belize Institute of Management’s Conference Room in Belize City, from 8:30a.m.-4:30 p.m.

“It’s My Lazy Day” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In readiness for the eventual move to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize Rose has been putting her ‘green fingers’ to work. Having already nurtured one coconut plant (Marley) so that we were able to repatriate it (him) to our land, Rose is now bringing on some cuttings and seeds for the front and back gardens for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Like a mini nursery! Didn’t really do a great deal yesterday morning aside from ‘phoning Richard at Benny’s to make sure that I had the right catalogue numbers for the LED conversion socket we need for the recessed lights for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. It’s my lazy day this week! When you are doing nothing it is sometimes difficult to know where the time goes, but it just does and it was 3.45 pm when Rose and I set off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Sheree’s Dream – Lets Adopt a Classroom or School!
Early this year Sheree Arnold approached me with a novel idea- Lets Adopt a Classroom. I really loved this idea. Many Schools in the US are getting rid of the Valedictorian System and implementing a Cum Laude System instead. It is a system that rewards many children instead of just one child. This Adopt a Classroom or School is something like that, it benefits many kids instead of just one. I have personally sponsored a child in Belize thru Restore Belize and while it is fulfilling to be able to help a child see a child progress, I actually like Sheree’s proposal better. Instead of benefitting one child, let’s enhance all their learning experiences.

Chuck Norris battles genetically modified foods
On Memorial Day weekend, 2 million people marched in protests against seed giant Monsanto for the purpose of bringing awareness to hazards from genetically modified food, which it and other companies manufacture. Organizer Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities in 52 countries. Genetically modified plants are grown from genetically modified, or engineered, seeds, which are created to resist insecticides and herbicides so that crops can be grown to withstand a weed-killing pesticide or integrate a bacterial toxin that can ward off pests. The Chicago Tribune reported that because genetically modified organisms are not listed on food or ingredient labels, few Americans realize they’re eating GMO foods every day. Genetically modified crops constitute 93 percent of soy, 86 percent of corn and 93 percent of canola seeds planted in the U.S. and are used in about 70 percent of American processed food. The Tribune reported that the Food and Drug Administration has permitted the sale and planting of genetically modified foods for 15 years and that the Obama administration has approved an “unprecedented number of genetically modified crops,” such as ethanol corn, alfalfa and sugar beets. The Alliance for Natural Health USA added that the U.S. Department of Agriculture now wants to eliminate any regulatory controls from genetically altered corn and cotton.

How a Bill becomes a Law in Belize
There are several stages a Bill goes through before becoming law. The stages ensure that a Bill is subject to public debate and scrutiny and also subject to changes or to be amended. The stages a Bill goes through include the following: Introduction and First Reading of Bills Standing Committee Second Reading of Bills Committee of the Whole House Third Reading of Bills Consideration of Bill by the Senate Governor General’s Assent

International Sources

Cleared diplomat John Yapp awarded £320000 in damages
A diplomat stripped of his post as UK High Commissioner to Belize after being falsely accused of sexual misconduct has been awarded £320,000 in damages. John Yapp, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, lost his post in 2008 over claims he inappropriately touched women. The allegations were dropped but he then faced claims he had bullied staff. The High Court ruled last month that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had breached his contract and its duty of care to him. The FCO said it was "disappointed with the finding", and believed it had "acted reasonably, and in accordance with procedures". Following the damages award, Mr Yapp's solicitor, John Kings, said his client was pleased that "justice has prevailed after what have been five long and hard - and very costly - years".


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