#473858 - 10/02/13 07:10 AM
Today's Belize News: October 2, 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 San Pedro Sun
Contract signing for market construction- Benque and Independence
Belize-Coat-of-ArmsTwo contracts will be signed on Wednesday 2nd October signaling the start of construction for new Markets in Independence Village and Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. The works, funded by the Government of Belize and a grant from the European Union (EU), as part of the Belize Rural Development Project II (BRDPII), will be executed through contracts with Jebco Construction Limited. Construction is expected to be completed within a 10 month period at a cost of BZE$649,060 for the Benque Viejo Market and BZE$650,787 for the Independence Village Market.
The Belize Rural Development Project II aims to promote broad based rural economic growth and reduce the incidence of poverty in rural communities of Belize. The BRDPII, which has funded, and will continue to fund, a variety of projects over a period of eight (8) years since its signature in February of 2014, has a total value of EURO €15,960,000 or approximately BZD $40 Million.
Interoffice Volleyball Tournament in its final leg
Games continued on Saturday, September 28th with the female teams fired up. The first game of the day was between the Lady Rebels and team Butterfingers. The Lady Rebels eagerness for a win paid off, as they defeated the Butterfingers in a 3-1 set game (set one: 25-18 favor of Lady Rebels, set two: 23-25 favor of Butterfingers, set three: 25-20 favor of Lady Rebels and set four: 25-21 favor of Lady Rebels). The second game of the night was between Tuff E Nuff and the San Pedro High School (SPHS) boys. Unfortunately SPHS boy’s outside hitter, Giomar Marin was injured in the first set of the game, but with will and determination SPHS pulled off a close win of 3-2 set game (set one: 23-25 favor of SPHS, set two: 20-24 favor of SPHS, set three: 25-25 favor of Tuff E Nuff, set four: 25-21 favor of Tuff E Nuff and set five:11-15 favor of SPHS).
The Tricks and Treats of Halloween
So it’s almost that time again….Creepy goblins come crawling out of their caves, whimsical fairies dance on the streets, blood lusting vampires, witches and warlocks, super heroes and villains all unite for the great universal cause- Trick or Treating!
Yes, I’m speaking of Halloween.
For many people around the globe, Halloween is a time of costume and spooky themed fun for the young, the young at heart and the furry! While we may not take the traditional route of the eerie and bizarre, on Halloween there’s never a shortage in the fun supply in San Pedro. The Saga Humane Society hosts an annual Halloween costume competition for our four legged friends, The Holiday Hotel hosts an annual infamous Halloween soiree and for many islanders, this is the place to be. However there are plenty of spook-tacular parties happening simultaneously so there’s no shortage in venues for your monster entourage.
While Halloween has been around for centuries, the question is, just how did this Ancient Celtic observance end up in tiny Belize?
Resident DJ Recovers from Stab Wounds
Swift reported to the San Pedro Police that on Friday, at about 6:15.p.m while standing in front of an internet café on Barrier Reef Drive, he was approached by a male person known to him as Javier Hamilton where they started an argument which escalated into a fight. As a result Hamilton stabbed Swift several times with a small knife. He was quickly taken to the Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic but soon after airlifted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was listed in a critical condition.
Swift posted on his Facebook profile that he is now recovering from the said stab wounds and grateful to be alive. Police have arrested Javier Hamilton, also known as Blackhenoh, who is expected to be charged later this week.
Oceana and Hol Chan Marine Reserve Team up for Coastal Cleanup
As part of the International Coastal Cleanup Day, The Hol Chan Marine Reserve and volunteers from the San Pedro High School conducted a beach cleanup at the turtle nesting beach in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. The Clean Up took place on Saturday, September 28, 2013 where they collected a total of 13 -55 gallon trash bags.
Belize’s participation is part of the largest global volunteer effort to help protect our seas, lakes, lagoons, rivers & creeks. Each year volunteers spend a few hours removing debris and trash from beaches and the banks of waterways, recording the refuse removed. Last year’s efforts in Belize saw close to 1,000 volunteers – many of whom are Oceana Wavemakers—remove 8,696 pounds of rubbish from more than 25 miles of coastline and waterways in over 40 locations across the Jewel.
Letters to the Editor:
All Young People Deserves an EQUAL Opportunity - Kenny Jacobs
Please allow me space in your reputable newspaper to discuss the concept of equal opportunity for all young people in Belize, as Executive Director of Teens Belize Organization.
Young people, as we all know, make up more than half of Belize’s growing population. They are the future of this nation. But the future is dim, very dim. If we take a closer look at the manner in which our young people are people “nurtured”, it doesn’t look promising for us. The system that is in place gives priority to the “more privileged few”, leaving the majority of youths, which are mostly poor, out there. The system locks them out. It shuts the door. The prize of fairness and equality is not practiced and will not be, until the system that “works” our economy is fixed. The LEADERS of today need to realize that if this is not fixed, BELIZE will become a “troublesome, fearful, and undemocratic “place. Injustice will reign supreme.
Belikin Beer Pong Competition at Fido’
Even during the slow season there is always something going on in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Needless to say the island is the entertainment capital of Belize. On Friday, September 27, 2013, Belikin Beer held a Beer Pong Competition at Fido’s Restaurant & Bar that ran throughout the night with some tough competition.
Coming out victorious against seven other teams were teammates Rene Reyes Jr. and Jake Duppstabp who took home some great Belikin souvenirs and a belly full of Belikin!
Misc Belizean Sources
FISHING REPORT: September 21st – September 28th, 2013
We love it when our friends return. Great to see Jenn and Hackney here celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary! Wonderful to see Josh and his mom Ricky here. Captain Sinoe’s whole family showed up to greet them. We welcome back Leo – big changes from 15 years ago, right? And welcome back Wayne – looks like the weather is cooperating for everyone. And while we are on the welcome back home roll…Ed is here as Fishing Director until early November. I’ll be around this time, so I’m looking forward to fishing with you while I’m on my break.
Saga HS October SNIP-a-thon
Saga HS is pleased to announce an October SNIP-a-thon. Can you please help us spread the word throughout our community by posting online.
During the month of October Saga HS will be hosting two different visiting Veterinary groups to hold free spay/neuter clinics for the low income residents of Ambergris Caye. In addition to the free spay/neuters the teams will be doing additional CDV vaccinations, and dog training sessions for public. The goal is to sterilize over 300 island pets during the month.
Helping Paws Across Borders will be in San Pedro Oct. 7-10. They will be bringing a team of 15 including Veterinarians, Vet Techs, and dog trainers. This group will focus their efforts on the neighborhoods of DFC, San Juan and Downtown. Because of limited space at the Saga HS clinic, MASH (Mobile Animals Surgical Hospital)type clinic will be held in DFC at Mrs. Adaly Ayuso.
Why people Rumour & Gossip in Belize
Let's say you've just heard a REALLY hot juicy rumor or even an obnoxious and sick one about someone you know. It may not be true, but it's too good to keep to yourself. Your first instinct is to hop to a local bar or jump on online and IM it to all your friends.
It is not only in Corozal or Belize but we've all had that kind of urge. But why?
Men/women whispering to one another is to feel superior about the person who is being rumoured about.
When people are feeling bad about themselves, they sometimes think they'll feel better if there were someone worse off than they are. It's like, it's okay being near the bottom, as long as they're not actually at the bottom. The easiest way for them to make sure someone else is at the bottom is to make up a rumor that puts him or her there.
VIDEO: Let's Paint Belize Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Kim Simplis Barrow
San Pedro Town Council supporting Breast Cancer
We have gone PINK! The San Pedro Town Council is joining the "Paint Belize Pink" Campaign. Our office has been decorated pink and we have declared every Friday for the month of October, PINK FRIDAY, where our staff will be wearing pink shirts! Join the cause and let's spread the awareness!
International Senior Citizens Day in Benque
Feelgood news of the day. Today is International Senior Citizens Day, and Helpage Benque is in the spirit.
"The World International Senior Citizens Day is celebrated all around the world in a befitting manner. On this day we remember our senior citizens, their contributions to their families and communities, their wisdom and experience which may guide us in conducting our lives, and assess their condition and needs. And of course we thank Benque Helpage Committee for all the efforts and support that each one of them provide for our local senior citizens, especially to you Mrs Bilita for all the good deeds throughout these years! Images courtesy of HelpAge Benque Archives."
SI United Tie Freedom Fighters
The San Ignacio United hosted the PG Freedom Fighters Sunday in the first match of the new PLB season. The game was a tie, with both teams scoring 2 points.
"San Ignacio United FC had a dramatic start Sunday after they were down two goal in the second half and playing with only 10 players after a red card, managed to draw the match. Goals by: #06 Leroy Simon 66min and #11 Roy Cano 89min."
This year's PLB schedule.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Happy October! It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the numerous Cancer Societies around Belize are celebrating with everything from fundraisers to walks. If you can, wear a pink ribbon, and burn a pink candle for those that have survived, and those that will survive. Never, never, never give up!
Kim Simplis-Barrow, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, and breast cancer survivor has started the 'Paint Belize Pink' movement, and has a special message on the subject.
Trio busted stealing beans
A case of citizens’ detention has led to charges of theft being brought against three persons, including a 16 year old boy.
Their crime: stealing beans.
The trio was detained by a group of Mennonites from Spanish Lookout, Cayo District around on Sunday morning, after they were caught at the home of Norman Dueck, allegedly stealing beans.
Dueck told police that he left home to go to church around 9 am. Two hours later when he returned home, he noticed that a group of Mennonites were at his residence. They informed Deuck that they had caught three men in his property stealing beans.
Western Corridor Aflame!: Two Murders In Camalote, Now A Killing In Teakettle
It's been a rough three days for the western corridor, namely the adjoining villages of Roaring Creek and Camalote where there have been four murders in 72 hours. First, on Saturday there was 25 year old Phillipina Alry Rose Sardido and 63 year old David Lowel Reichel who were both killed in Roaring Creek. Then, yesterday evening in Camalote, Juan Olmedo was gunned down. And then, shortly after, a man who lived not far behind him 37 year old Oscar Leonel Benitz was also shot and killed, likely by the same shooter. Two brutal murders in a small village, within such a small period of time.
It's truly bewildering for residents, and unspeakably tragic for their families who Monica Bodden tracked down today. Here's her story:..
Monica Bodden reporting
This pool of blood marks the spot where the lifeless body of Juan Olmedo was seen laying face up.
He was brutally murdered in front of his common-law-wife and children inside their home. It happened in Camalote Village at around 4:30 yesterday evening.
Police Say Teens May Be Charged For Roaring Creek Double Murder
There's also some uncertainty of the way ahead in the case of the two foreigners killed in Roaring Creek, 25 year old Phillipina Alry Rose Sardido and 63 year old David Lowel Reichel. Both were found dead near the roaring Creek River - she on Saturday, he on Monday. Police believe a pair of teenagers from the area set out to rob her because they saw her using a cell phone. But that's pretty much all they got in this senseless crime. They apparently struck her on the head and chopped him, and both fell to their death in the river. But a post mortem says she died from asphyxia due to drowning - police believe she fell or was thrown into the river after being hit. That circumstance makes a murder charge a little complicated - since she didn't die directly as a consequence of blunt force trauma. Again, the DPP is being asked for advice.
In the case of her companion, Reichel's body was observed with a large cut wound to the center of his back. Three more large cut wounds was observed to the right side of face and head and one in the center of the head.
Police believe the teenaged suspects - who are in custody - may have also had their eyes on the Toyota Tacoma which Reichel drove. The motive for the crime was believed to have been robbery, but the thieves likely only got away with Sardido's pink purse.
H1N1 Detected In Belize
H1N1 - three years ago in September of 2009 it created a public panic as the Swine Flu. Since then the hysteria has subsided, but the H1N1 virus lives on. It's been detected in a number of Caribbean Countries in the past month - and Barbados today reported one death from H1N1. Well, it's also been detected in Belize.
Now, health authorities say there's no reason to panic - h1n1 was also detected in Belize last year and there were no deaths. Same for this year - there have been no deaths. We discussed it via phone this evening with the man holding over the office of epidemiology at the Ministry of Health Dr. Marvin Manzanero:...
"We have had cases of H1N1 last year and we some document already this year. What we haven't had is any mortality or excess morbidity associated to those cases, but we have cases of H1N1 in Belize."
"How many do we have?"
"I don't have the full figure right now because I know that we are doing checks. When samples are taken countrywide they are sent to Central Medical Lab and we do a correlation of the total amount of samples on a weekly basis."
Mose Hyde Wants Police Investigation At Immigration
Elvin Penner says he was tricked by an imposter. As we've been reporting, Penner says he used his offices to expedite a passport for Won Hong Kim, a man known to him, either before he entered politics, or - as he attested to on the application, for the past three years. Penner says the man he knows is the balding 53 year old Wonhong Kim - but the man who got the passport is the 46 year old Hong Kim, who has quite a full head of hair. In his email, Penner says "The person I know as Mr. Kim is the same person that presented his nationality document and his Korean passport."
Now, this raises all kinds of questions, but doesn't answer one of the central ones; that is, how is it that Won Hong Kim became a citizen without a swearing in? Penner told Prime Minister Dean Barrow that he signed the Nationality certificate on September 9th , but it is dated April 22nd, 2013. Penner says he did not write that, or any date into the document, and he doesn't know who did. PM Barrow says he has to accept that story because there's no way that it can be proven whether Penner did or didn't write the April date.
Traffic Accident Claims Life Of Salvadorean Clothing Vendor
And while there have been a stunning five killings in the west since Saturday - there is another death to report, this one by traffic accident.
At around 7:30 last night, 33 year old Rene Guidel, a businessman of MosquitoVille Area in San Ignacio town, was driving past Chuc's Gas Station on the Benque Viejo Road, when he was momentarily blinded by a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction with its high beams on.
As soon as he recovered, he saw a man directly in front of him riding a bicycle. He hit him with the right side of the vehicle causing the victim to be pinned under the vehicle dragging him for a short distance. The man was later identified by friends only as Sergio. We were told by friends today that Sergio is a Salvadorian who has been selling clothes in Belize for 20 years, but has no family living here. Two of his friends were trying to see to his death arrangements:...
Manslaughter Verdict For Cop Who Killed In The Line Of Duty
Police Constable Burton Caliz, who has been awaiting a retrial since March 2008, tonight stands convicted of manslaughter by negligence after a jury of 9 found him guilty late this evening.
Viewers may remember that he was charged with manslaughter for the February 2004 shooting death of 23 year-old Leroy Pilgrim, a resident of San Pedro. At the time, it was very high-profile case because the issue was raised that Caliz allegedly used unjustified deadly force against Pilgrim, dragging him to a secluded area and then executing him. He was convicted of manslaughter but he appealed his conviction and won after serving 1 and a half years of his 10-year sentence.
The prosecution called 8 witnesses to testify against Caliz, including the brother of the deceased. The witness said that Caliz pushed Pilgrim in the water, pulled a firearm and then shot him from behind, once behind the ear.
Off-Season Conch Caught As Season Starts
Conch season opened today and whenever that happens - there are suspect deliveries made to the Co-ops of dozens of pounds of product, that, fishermen would like authorities to believe were all caught on the day the season opened. As we've learned that's usually not the case; this product is usually caught illegally in the off-season and then brought out on the first day of the season. We saw that with a record Lobster bust of 2,500 tails made just before lobster season opened. And today, the Fisheries Department unveiled a huge bust of off season conch that was made in operations before the start of the season. Here's more:...
Hampton Gamboa - Fisheries Supervisor, Conservation Compliance Unit
"Officers who were conducting patrols on Lighthouse Reef searching all the mangroves and checking all the vessels over that side found this ice box behind us almost three quarters filled with conch which were being already processed; they were already fillet conch."
"It's amazing that there are approximately 16 sacks of conch that we got out of this ice box and they were all large conch."
Man Convicted Of Burglary
Tonight, Prison Inmate Carl Parham remains in prison serving an additional 5 years after he was convicted of burglary today in Magistrate's Court.
Parham stood trial before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where the prosecution called 2 police officers and the woman whose house he broke into. They all testified that the victim was asleep in her Mahogany Heights home on March 18, 2012. The woman heard something, and when she opened her eyes, she found Parham inside her bedroom.
She became alarmed, and managed to force him out of her house, after which she called the police who arrested him shortly after. They charged him with burglary even though he didn't manage to steal anything, because police believe that if he had the opportunity, his intention for the break-in was to rape the woman.
SIB: Economy Still Sluggish, Shrimp Production Up, Oil Down
The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its figures for the economy's second quarter. As we've reported growth for the first three months of the year was very sluggish at 0.1 per cent. Well, it inched up in the second three months of the year to 1 per cent, meaning that for the first halgf of the year, the economy grew by one half of one per cent - which is, at best, nominal.
The SIB reports that In the second three months Fishing, Construction and Government Services had an upturn. That fishing is based largely on farmed shrimp which "rebounded strongly after the reopening of Belize Aquaculture Limited, which had ceased operations for more than two years."
There was also a 10 percent expansion in construction activity, indicated by a spike in the importation of construction materials such as building cement and steel rods.
BIL Opens Office
In March of this year, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced the creation of Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) during his budget speech. This special purpose vehicle is designed to undertake the design, construction and management of sports facilities.
Well, it took six months, but today, the Government of Belize announced that BIL has opened its office in Belmopan, and an interim General Manager has been chosen. That interim GM is Christy Mastry, and if she looks familiar, she should. She is the Project Director of the Sustainable Tourism Project, which has renovated the Memorial Park and the Fort Point Area of Belize City, and built the Placencia Municipal Pier and Plaza.
Mastry is wrapping up the STP, where she has managed over 30 million dollars in direct infrastructure projects throughout the country. According to the release, BIL, which will focus on multipurpose facilities, is located at #1664 Market Square in Belmopan. The company has been harshly criticized by the Opposition Party as a "UDP Hustle Vehicle", and as a result, to show that it will have transparency, GOB has invited the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the NTUCB to serve on the Company's Board.
UDP Darrell Defends PUP Bernard
Last week, the Orange Walk Town Council was plunged into a fiscal crisis when the Belize Bank froze the Town Council's operating account. But this week PUP Mayor Kevin Bernard is negotiating with the Belize Bank. He's agreed to have the council pay monthly to the outstanding balance of $111,000 dollars - left behind as an overdraft by the previous UDP council. Bernard says the Bank wants the council to pay $7,000 per month - which is almost a fifth of their monthly subvention. Tomorrow he'll meet with the Bank to ask them to lower that figure.
And while central Government has made it clear that the Orange Walk Town Council is on its own, Bernard at least has moral support from his brother UDP Mayor Darrell Bradley. Bradley almost went to jail behind contracted debts that were incurred by a previous PUP council. That's why he told us he's backing Bernard:
Mayor Darrell Bradley
"I will say that I agree with him. The situation with municipalities is that municipalities are underfunded and we are saddled with significant amounts of debts."
Remembering Ronald Rivers
The name Ronald Rivers has faded from the headlines, but in March of this year, it was big news when he was gunned down in broad daylight at a gas station. His family, led by the very well-known stevedore Raymond Rivers, are determined to make his memory not fade away. So on Saturday, they held a sports day to commemorate his birthday. Rivers was a very well-known basketball players and they staged the event at the Iguana Street court he knew well. His sister Kylie told us why they did it:..
Kyle Rivers, Ronald Rivers' sister
"Today we are having the R3 Youth Sports day. That is in memory of my brother Ronald Robert Rivers who passed away in March. He was a basketball star athlete. Wednesday would have been his birthday October 2nd. We are just having an all-day sporting activity in memory of his life."
"This morning we had the basketball competition; the skills and free throw competition and this afternoon we are having a small marathon for kids ages 6-12 years old."
FCD + Balan Making Friends of Chiquibul In Washington
The Friends for Conservation and Development got major props in the Prime Minister's Independence Day Address in Belmopan, and now they are making friends in that other capital of note, Washington DC. A release form the FCD says that they conducted a three day visit in Washington D.C from the 25th to 27th of September at the invitation of the US Department of the Interior. The visit was primarily for FCD's counterpart organization, Asociacion Balam, and the National Council on Protected Areas (CONAP) to describe the lessons learnt and success stories reached in their efforts to protect the Maya Biosphere Reserve and the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains Biosphere Reserve.
Meetings and presentations were made at the US Department of the Interior, US State Department, US Agency for International Development, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Inter-American Bank.
Two murders within hours in the Wild West; masked man kills Camalote resident
Belmopan Police believe that they have in custody the two persons who murdered American David Reichel and Filipino Alry Rose Sardido on Saturday in Roaring Creek. But even as they [...]
A deaf/mute was also killed by gunman as he fled the scene
Within an hour, Honduran Oscar Leonel Benitez was murdered to protect the identity of the man who killed Juan Carlos Olmedo. In a tragic twist of fate, both killer and [...]
Missing Teakettle man is believed to have been murdered
There is another case that could turn out to be murder as a family from the Arizona area of Teakettle is convinced that their father and husband, Pedro Ruben Andrade [...]
Guatemalan is murdered in Jalacte
While the overnight murders of two Camalote residents are making headlines tonight, the brutal slaying of a Guatemalan national, who was killed in Jalacte Village over the weekend, has gone [...]
Despite his dismissal from cabinet, Elvin Penner is getting his perks
It has been twelve days since we first broke the story on the issuance of a Belize passport to a South Korean national who had never set foot in Belize [...]
Arthur Saldivar says conflict of interest in passport investigation
On Monday, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse commented on the ongoing investigation into the recent passport scandal involving junior minister Elvin Penner who has since been dismissed from cabinet. While [...]
Will there be a criminal investigation into the current passport scandal?
But will there be a criminal investigation into the current passport scandal? There should since there is enough to suggest that a crime was committed in the issuance of a [...]
Amendment to Criminal Code; is legal language favorable to gay rights cause?
While the issue of the passport scandal took center stage in the House last Friday, amendments to the Criminal Code as they pertain to sexual offenses against children and persons [...]
Ex-cop found guilty of manslaughter by negligence
After deliberating since midday today, a jury of seven women and two men delivered a verdict to determine the fate of interdicted cop, Burton Caliz. Caliz was accused of manslaughter [...]
Controversial Belize Infrastructure Limited opens in Belmopan
The government announced today the formal opening of the Belize Infrastructure Limited. The interim general manager of BIL is Christy Maestre. If the name sounds familiar that is because Maestre [...]
Not all sweet in sugar industry; Cane Farmers Association suspends negotiation
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries, under the American Sugar Refining Limited, have been enjoying a fruitful relationship since ASR successfully purchased seventy-eight point six [...]
A workshop to strengthen efforts to record Belize’s rich cultural diversity
In Orange Walk Town today, a national workshop got underway to strengthen efforts to record Belize’s rich cultural diversity. The workshop is sponsored by UNESCO in partnership with NICH. Its [...]
Cancer Awareness Month – Just Go Pink!!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and today not only marks the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it also marks the beginning of the calendar of events in connection to Breast Cancer Awareness for the Belize Cancer Society and other organizations that have joined in the cause. On Friday the Office of the Special Envoy for women and children launched its Paint Belize Pink Campaign asking individuals and organizations to hang ribbons or decorate with anything pink outside their homes or businesses in solidarity. Today Love News met with the Clinical Director at the Belize Cancer Society, Ivorine Bulwer who says this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness theme is very significant.
“We have a theme for this breast cancer month, the theme is, “Breast Cancer is the Second Leading Cancer in Women; Men Can Have it Too; Early Detection Saves Lives.” It is a very profound theme because if men, women get to know their breasts, check their breasts monthly, they would be able to detect if there are changes and be able to take actions and those actions, for example, if you want to know how to screen your breast we are able to teach you how to do that and we have quite a number of health partners who are able to do so and at the same time, we have services available where you can get yourself screened; we have a doctor or the nurse do a manual breast examination beside you doing your self-breast examination. At the age of forty you can get your mammogram done and your ultrasound.”
PUP Standard Bearer for Belize Rural North Speaks on Recent Government Scandals
Since the passport scandal was unearthed a couple weeks ago, Former Minister of State, Elvin Penner’s name has been mentioned more often than in election time. And today one attorney weighed in, and accused Penner’s Cabinet colleagues of skirting around the issue. Arthur Saldivar feels that the way the matter was handled is shameful and disgraceful.
“Every Cabinet Minister who has spoken on the issue has skirted along the true nature of what has been done. Not only as it relates the cheapening of our patrimony in relation to our nationality but in relation to the very blatant act of corruption and criminality that was committed by Minister Penner and those who aided and abetted him in carrying out that transaction. What has occurred is basically, that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Immigration, Mr. Hulse have, in essence, overlooked the very glaring criminal act in that Mr. Penner has falsified an official document, in the general law that would be an offense under the criminal code but specifically it is an offense under the Belize Nationality Act CAP61 of the Laws of Belize which prohibits any person from deliberately providing false information thereby having that be recorded on any document pertaining to nationality or obtaining of a passport; that particular provision carries with it a sentence of not more than twelve months in jail.
Policeman Not Guilty of Manslaughter; Jury Says Guilty of Manslaughter by Negligence
Thirty year old police constable Burton Caliz, charged with manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of Leroy Pilgrim, was found not guilty of the charge today by a jury of 7 women and 2 men. The verdict was unanimous. The jury, however, was unable to reach a verdict for the alternative charge of manslaughter by negligence. As a result, Justice John Gonzalez sent the jury into the deliberating room a second time. Pilgrim was shot and killed around 9:45 p.m. on February 12, 2004, in the San Juan area of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. According to the evidence, two police officers, Caliz and corporal Vidal Cajun, responded to a report of a golf cart being stolen and when they arrived at the scene they searched Pilgrim and found nothing incriminating. Three eye witnesses testified that Caliz held Pilgrim by his shirt collar and marched him to the edge of the water. They said that Caliz then took out his service revolver and put it to the back of pilgrim’s head, then they both fell into the water. The witnesses testified that they then heard a muffled sound and Caliz brought Pilgrim out of the water with a gunshot wound to the back of his head. Caliz, who was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley, gave a statement from the dock in which he said that the gun accidentally went off when he and Pilgrim fell into the water.
Belize Cane Farmers Association Gets International Publicity in Rum Production
Members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association are growers and producers of an award winning rum called “Fair”; that’s according to an online article posted up on TheDrinksReport.com. The article says that the rum originates from Belize and that the ethical production of the rum enables farmers to cover their production costs. Fair Rum is made from molasses from the sugar cane and then aged for five years in American oak barrels, shipped to Cognac, France where it is distributed. Now the article might give off an impression that other than producing sugar, the BSCFA is producing rum but according to the Chairman of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega, the article is flawed. Ortega explained to Love News that the bagasse that is produced during the production of sugar is sold to Alexandre Koiransky, the founder and producer of the rum. On a side note, as we reported last week, BSCFA, has suspended negotiation with ASR after their request to be paid for the bagasse was denied.
Police In Western Belize Uncovers Weapons
Police operations in the Cayo District are proving fruitful as ammunition and drugs have been found. Based on information received at 10:30 am yesterday, the Crime Investigation Branch personnel visited an abandoned lot on Fourth Street San Ignacio, where they found a red plastic bag in the nearby bushes. The bag contained two Aguila point thirty eight hallow rounds, one Winchester point thirty eight round and one W-W point thirty eight live round of ammunition, since now one was in the immediate area at the time, the ammunition was labeled as found property. Around 6:00 p.m also yesterday, police conducted a search in an abandoned lot on George Price Avenue in Santa Elena Town where they discovered a large black plastic bag containing suspected cannabis. The drug was taken to the San Ignacio Station and weighed. It amounted to eleven pounds. It was then labeled as found property.
European Union Funds Market Enhancements in Southern and Western Belize
Two contracts will be signed tomorrow signaling the start of construction for new markets in Independence Village and Benque Viejo del Carmen Town.
The works are being funded by the Government of Belize and a grant from the European Union as part of the Belize Rural Development Project II. The contracts were awarded to Jebco Construction Limited and works is expected to be completed within a ten month period at a cost of six hundred and forty nine thousand and sixty dollars for the Benque Viejo Market and six hundred and fifty thousand seven hundred and eighty seven dollars for the Independence Village market. The Belize Rural Development Project II aims to promote broad based rural economic growth and reduce the incidence of poverty in rural communities of Belize. The markets in Independence and Benque will provide farmers, agro processors and agribusiness small enterprises with an enabling environment for commerce, thereby enhancing farmer incomes and provide new sources of employment and income generation for members of these communities.
Chiquibul-Maya Mountain Biosphere Reserve to Be Protected Through Multi-Stakeholder Involvement
Friends for Conservation and Development’s, FCD, counterpart organizations, Asociacion Balam and the National Council on Protected Areas, CONAP, were on a three day visit in Washington D.C. last week. The visit came after an invitation was extended by the US Department of the Interior with the goal for Asociacion Balam and CONAP to describe the lessons learnt and success stories reached in their efforts to protect the Maya Biosphere Reserve and the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains Biosphere Reserve. The US Department of the Interior, the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development have been financing conservation projects for these institutions in northern Peten. FCD was invited due to the fact that Asociacion Balam and CONAP are replicating the implementation of a Round table Multi-Sectoral strategy which includes the government, private and NGO sectors in the planning and decision making process for managing the Chiquibul-Maya Mountain Biosphere Reserve. The meeting aims to put a vibrant governance program in the biosphere reserve through a multi stakeholder involvement process which helps protect biodiversity and promote regional security. FCD’s Executive Director, Rafael Manzanero formed part of the trip from the 25th to 27th of September. Two days prior to Manzanero’s visit, Chiquibul National Park Manager, Derric Chan joined the same team on a trip to Huntsville, Alabama where they visited the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and learnt about the most up to date GIS technology.
A Special Day for Older Persons Worldwide
Today is a very important day for the elderly because it is being recognized as International day of Old Persons. It is being celebrated by members of the United Nations and in Belize, the day is being acknowledged by creating greater awareness of the concerns and needs of older Persons. It is a day when many organizations in Belize that work with and for Older Persons focus on providing activities as a mark of respect and to make them feel special in their community. It’s the 22nd year that the day is being observed and this year the theme is “The Future we want- what Older Persons are saying”. The National Council on Ageing, along with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation are working together in an advocating capacity to continually create greater awareness of the situation of older persons in Belize and the need of the citizens within the country to focus greater attention to their own ageing process.
Cayo Police Yet To Identify Victim of Road Accident
Police are investigating an accident which occurred on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District on the 20th of September. One of the person’s involved and possibly facing a charge of Manslaughter by negligence, Rene Guidel, a thirty three year old Nationalized Belizean Businessman of Mosquito Ville Area, reported to Police that on the night of the 20th, around 7:30, while he was on his way to pick up his father in law at the corner of Cahal Pech and Buena Vista Street, and after passing Chuc’s Gas Station on the Benque Viejo Road, he saw a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction with its high beam shining directly in his face. This caused him to be blinded for a few seconds and when he regained sight he noticed a man riding a bicycle in front of him. Guidel reported that he tried to avoid hitting the man, but lost control of the vehicle, and hit him with the right side. This caused the cyclist to be pinned under the vehicle and was dragged for a short distance. According to Police, the victim’s body is yet to be identified as they continue their investigation.
Citizens Detain Men Caught Stealing Beans in Spanish Lookout
Four men were caught stealing beans in Spanish Lookout, but three of them were caught after prompt action from the community. Thirty seven year old Norman Dueck, a farmer of B-Lane in Spanish Lookout reported to police that on Sunday he left home around 9:00 am to go to church and upon his return home at 11:00 am, he noticed that a group of Mennonites were at his residence. They informed him that they found four men in his property stealing beans. Dueck further stated to police that they recovered five sacks of red kidney beans from the four suspects but they only managed to catch three of them, the fourth had escaped into the nearby bushes. The three men of Hispanic descent that were caught, were escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station and identified as forty nine year old Benjamin Hurtado, twenty two year old Jaime Morales and a sixteen year old male, all from Los Tambos Village. The sacks contained one hundred pounds of red kidney beans each valued at two hundred and fifty dollars all to a total value of one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars. The three men are now awaiting charges for the crime of theft.
#473859 - 10/02/13 07:10 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: October 2, 2013
More News: Scroll up from here
NICH Celebrates Ten Years Of Promoting Culture
For ten years now the National Institute for Culture and History has been tasked with promoting and conserving Belize’s culture and natural heritages. This morning, the institute commemorated its 10th anniversary with the launching of a workshop at the Banquitas House of Culture and our reporter Victor Castillo was on hand and filed the following report.
Victor Castillo – Reporting
As part of the 10th Anniversary of NICH, officials from the National Institute of Culture and History, UNESCO, Japan’s International Cooperative Agency, and from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, were all in attendance this morning for a very special ceremony commemorating the opening of a national workshop.
The workshop is geared at a community based inventory process of Belize’s intangible cultural heritage and is being funded by the Government of Japan. Himalchuli Gurung, Programme Specialist for Culture for UNESCO, shared the importance of the workshop.
Play Big Foundation Continues To Promote Sports Among Youths
Two high school students, who recently represented Belize in the U-15 CONCACAF tournament in the Cayman Islands held in the month of July of this year, received much needed assistance with the necessary gear for them to take their A-game to the field once again. Randy Serrano, a student of Orange Walk Technical High School and Marlom Garcia of New Hope High School both received a pair of football shoes, socks, and shin guards.
The Play Big Foundation has already assisted these students with school supplies, but decided to present both athletes with the sporting gear to assist their preparations for the upcoming UNCAF tournament which will be held right here in Belize.
Fernando Sanchez is the Public Relations Manager for the foundation here in Belize and says that while the equipment costs money, for them, it simply has no value as long as it serves our young athletes in reaching their goal and full potential.
The Issue Of The Belize/Guatemala Referendum Resurfaces
Yesterday morning, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Hon. Wilfred Sedi Elrington took center stage at the 68th Annual General Assembly of the United Nations held in New York City. With over 190 nations forming part of the UN, Elrington used the platform to address a number of issues affecting Belize. The Millennium Development Goals were among the topics spoken on by Elrington asserting that despite very few countries showing improvement in poverty, the majority of the countries are still far off from alleviating poverty.
One of the major points of interest that Elrington spoke of was that of the Belize/Guatemala Territorial Dispute which has basically taken a step to the back burner. Five days from now, October 6, Belize and Guatemala were to have held the simultaneous referendum in efforts of gathering the say of the people of both countries in whether the territorial dispute should be taken to the International Court of Justice, the ICJ.
Have You Seen Carmon Heredia?
An eleven year old boy is still missing tonight after his mother reported him missing on Sunday, September 29th. Twenty-seven year old Belizean domestic Arlene Tillitt of Trial Farm Village reported to police on said date that her eleven year old son, Carmon Heredia ran away from home.
Since then, Heredia has not been seen or heard of.
Carmon Heredia is described to be of brown complexion, slim built, four feet five inches in height with hazel brown eyes and afro hair.
LICU Extends It's Services To Belmopan
Residents of the Capital City Belmopan and its rural communities can now boast of having a sound and well-established financial institution in the midst of the city. Aiming at providing both financial and technical assistance, the La Inmaculada Credit Union’s goal is to empower the private sector. That initiative has been facilitated by the grand opening of its first branch in Belmopan City. Irvin Aragon was in Belmopan this morning along with cameraman Jesus Melgar, and has the story.
Irvin Aragon - Reporting
The road to financial and social stability has become a lot easier for the residents of the capital city Belmopan and its surrounding villages as the La Inmaculada Credit Union officially opened its doors during a ceremony this morning in the garden city. The first branch of the renowned credit union is conveniently located in the centre of the city and has the board of directors, the administration, and the staff optimistic of this great accomplishment.
Bodies of Phillipino woman and American man found in river at Roaring Creek Village
The bodies of a woman and a man were found floating in the river at Roaring Creek. On Saturday shortly after 11:00 am, the body of Philipine national Arly Rose Sardido, was reportedly found floating in the river of Roaring Creek in an area known as “The Falls”. However,...
Attempted Murder in Roaring Creek
The Village of Roaring Creek was also where an attempted murder incident was reported to Police later that Saturday night. Shortly after 10pm, police received information of a stabbing incident within the Village. Police made checks at a home where blood stains were seen on the steps leading into...
Shooting death in Camalote
PlusNews has received information of the shooting death of a Camalote resident. It happened Monday evening in the Good Living Ranch area of Camalote. Details are still sketchy at this time, but we understand that a masked man went into the home of the deceased, who was there with...
Man found dead on D&E bus
Police are investigating the circumstances which led to the sudden death of a D&E bus passenger over the weekend. Shortly after 7 on Saturday night, 57 year old Otto Espat was found lying motionless on the floor between the two back seats of the bus. The bus had only...
Teachers across the country react to delay in end of the month payment
Several schools managed by the Catholic Public School System experienced a disruption in class schedule on Monday, after unpaid teachers failed to show up to school. Instead, the teachers convened for an emergency meeting after a salary postponement this past Friday. On Monday morning, teacher Frances Aveya, of the...
Minister Godwin Hulse faces media on Immigration scandal
On Friday even as Prime Minister Dean Barrow was making his first public comment on the nature and extent of the scandal that led to his resignation, former Minister of State in charge of Immigration, Elvin Penner, was breaking his silence on the matter. Mr Penner admits to knowing...
Signature on nationality certificate clarified
Last week, in our coverage of the passport scandal at the Ministry of Immigration, PlusNews showed you a copy of the nationality certificate issued to South Korean Kim Won Hong. Along with the signature of former Minister of State Elvin Penner. We reported that also present was the signature...
New Bill protects vulnerable from sexual preditors
Bills tabled at last week’s sitting of the House of Representatives are slated to be further examined by the members of the Senate, before being approved. But one bill that is being closely watched is the Criminal Code Amendment No. 2 Bill, 2013. The bill seeks to provide a...
Mayor Darrell Bradley is fighting to clear the sanitation debt
It is a problem that has dogged the Belize City Hall for many years – its privatized sanitation contracts with Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and Belize Waste Control (BWC). The Belize City Council owes substantial debt from court judgments to both companies and in addition is behind again on...
DFC celebrates 50 years
High banners were suspended over the entrance of the DFC grounds this past Friday as they celebrated their 50th anniversary and the rebranding of their logo. DFC has seen itself in some major pitfalls over the past few years as Natalie Goff, DFC’s current General Manager...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Two weeks ago while I was talking to a visiting friend I was suddenly noticing 3 kids in my yard at my sea
grape tree. I asked them to leave and they ran. What I did not notice until afterwards that they had
pulled down and broke some plants I had planted to fill the holes in my natural fence. I did get irritated
because of that and I went to see the principle next door. Ms.Hilde had seen the whole episode and had
already informed Ms.B. principle at CCRC school about their behavior.
When I went to see Ms.B. I ended up in the middle of the PTA meeting being held at the school where
Ms Ramos the police liaison officer had just finished her talk about kids having to take responsibility of
the things they do and that they could be charged if they did anything wrong.
Now I had this talk with Ms.Ramos a couple of weeks before when some kids had stolen all my mangoes,
most of them not even a third of their possible size. Since it seems that I have the only producing mango
tree on the island ,it seems that my mangoes are as much prized and appreciated by others as I do. First
I would like my family and me to enjoy the fruit of my labour and I think it is sad that the greed to take
each and every fruit from the tree even if it is a month or so too early is not only nasty but also stupid.
4 MURDERS IN 24 HOURS!
2 IN ROARING CREEK, 2 IN CAMALOTE.
Reports reaching Amandala late this evening indicate that two bodies were found in separate areas, within hours of each other, with multiple gunshot wounds in the village of Camalote in the Cayo District sometime this afternoon.
Police were not able to release any of the details up to press time tonight, except that the individuals died as a result of injuries they sustained.
Assistant Superintendent Sinquest Martinez, Officer Commanding Belmopan police, told Amandala that the bodies were identified as males, and that further details, including their names, would be provided as soon as they are available.
It is believed that the two incidents might be connected, and unofficial reports from Camalote are that the second victim was a deaf mute who happened to be gathering firewood in the area where the assailants who had committed the first murder had fled.
FORMER DEACON CHARGED WITH SEX CRIMES – AGAIN!
Michael Buylding, AKA Michael Davis, 52, was charged with four counts of carnal knowledge of minor, 14; he also was charged last year with indecent assault for allegedly touching woman, 18, on her private parts as she slept.
Today, Michael Buylding, AKA Michael Davis, 52, was charged with four counts of carnal knowledge when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser.
Buylding/Davis, a former deacon of Crooked Tree’s Adventist Church who was stripped of his post nearly a year ago for indecent behavior unbecoming a deacon, is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with a female minor on four different occasions, all of which occurred last year.
The first time was on July 2, 2012, when the child was 14 years and 2 months old; it again happened on August 1, 2012, and September 4, 2012, and then for the last time on November 13, 2012, when the minor was 14 years and 6 months old.
SLEEPING WOMAN “STABBED UP” IN HOME
A woman of Roaring Creek is fighting for her life at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan after she was stabbed multiple times, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, who went into her room and attacked her while she was sleeping.
Joanna Longsworth, 25, was stabbed in the right cheek and lower neck, in the back of her neck, and on her throat. Because of her injuries, she cannot speak. The incident occurred in her house in Roaring Creek Village at about 10:00 Saturday night.
Police launched a quick investigation and arrested and charged Roaring Creek resident Steven Gentle with attempted murder and grievous harm. They told Amandala that Gentle will be arraigned in court tomorrow, Tuesday.
A police report issued today, Monday, September 30, 2013, says that “Police have since detained 31-year-old Steven Gentle of Roaring Creek Village, pending charges of attempted murder.”
OW AND CAYO TEACHERS “BANG HOOKEY”
The teachers stayed home because they weren’t paid on Friday – thousands of students affected.
Catholic school teachers from the districts of Orange Walk and Cayo (including Belmopan)—who were not paid their September salaries on Friday, when they were due—stayed home today, Monday, in protest, resulting in the suspension of classes for thousands of students in those districts.
Ministry of Education officials say that the failure to deliver the first salaries for the school year was the result of “a glitch”—not a computer glitch, though, but a breakdown in the communication chain, which included failure by certain managers to supply supporting documentation to justify salary upgrades for some who had returned from study leave and arithmetical errors in certain other cases.
The Government of Belize pays 100% of primary school teacher salaries, but managements must submit their payroll so that they can be crosschecked and processed in time for payday.
BELIZE ASKS UNITED NATIONS FOR HELP
The Foreign Minister complained about damaging Guatemala incursions into Belizean territory.
Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Attorney General Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, today raised the profile of illegal incursions by Guatemalans into Belizean territory in his statement at the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly, being convened in New York City, USA. Elrington said “the forays” into Belizean territory are “an existential threat” which requires urgent resolution and action on the international front.
He said that the unfounded claim is “a constant source of anxiety to our citizens as well as to investors in our country.”
“While Belize appreciates that the activities by the Guatemalans in our border regions are as a direct result of poverty and failed development in their own country, we are concerned by the fact that such activities create conditions for conflict. There are some 65 Guatemalan villages along the 141-mile Belize-Guatemala border. These—the villagers – are largely indigent and unemployed. In the absence of employment, and increased security patrols on both sides of our borders, the incursions by the Guatemalans will not, in our view, abate, but will only get worse,” Elrington commented.
CULTURAL AMBASSADORS ON INTERNATIONAL TOUR OF EUROPE
The Garifuna Collective continue to make unprecedented strides in the promotion of Belizean cultural music in all corners of the globe. This summer, the group toured the US and Canada in support of their new album, and now, after launching the album locally, they are slated to promote the album overseas again, this time in Europe.
During their North American tour, they participated in 38 festivals in over 25 cities in the US and Canada. The group of artists, made up of vocalists, percussionists and drummers, released their second album, entitled Ayo, in July of this year. Ayo, which when translated means “Goodbye”, is a tribute to Belizean legend, Andy Palacio.
According to producer Ivan Duran, the album has been getting great reviews, and is currently at number two on the world music charts in Europe.
“COP SHOOTS COP” UPDATE
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie announced on Wednesday that the files concerning the shooting death of Constable Deon Yearwood have been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Branker Taitt-Vidal, for her examination and directives.
Meanwhile, Constable Wayne Grant, of Precinct 1, who fired the shots that caused Yearwood’s death, ostensibly in an effort to break up a robbery in progress, remains on administrative leave, and continues to receive counseling with the assistance of the Ministry of Health.
Police reports are that at about 1:30 Sunday morning, September 8, PC Yearwood, a police detective who was dressed in plain clothes, was walking in front of Public’s Supermarket on Central American Boulevard when he was attacked by a robber.
POLICE SEEK HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER IN THE DEATH OF ERRON GOLANCHE, 25
Police are seeking Freddy Hernan Villada, the hit-and-run driver of a pickup truck that knocked down and killed Belizean artist Erron Galanche.
Police reports are that Erron Golanche, 25, and his brother-in-law Fernando Ical were travelling on a motorcycle on the Palmar Road in Orange Walk at about 10:45 on Friday night, September 20, when a pickup truck travelling in the same direction slammed into them and ran them over.
In his attempt to flee the scene of the accident, the driver of the pickup drove away with the damaged motorcycle wedged under the pickup. The pickup dragged the motorcycle about 1,000 feet away from the point of impact.
MAN, 25, SEXUALLY ASSAULTS NIECE, 12
The uncle of a 12-year-old girl has been released on bail of $4,000 and ordered to return to court on November 28 for allegedly committing an act of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon the minor. The uncle, 25, was taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Police said that the incident allegedly occurred on Wednesday in Corozal.
The girl reported to police that she was at her grandmother’s house visiting, and her uncle was also at the home. Shortly after she arrived, the uncle called her into his room. When she entered, he quickly grabbed her and pushed her onto the bed, then he lifted her skirt and pulled down her tights and underwear.
GUATEMALA MAN MURDERED IN JALACTE
Toledo police are trying to unravel the sequence of events that led to the death of a Guatemalan man found murdered in the border village of Jalacte. It is believed that the man responsible for his death has escaped to the neighboring country.
On Friday evening at about 5:30 p.m., two Guatemalan men went to a home in Jalacte, belonging to Fernando Sacul, 61, a Guatemalan of Jalacte, and about 10:00 Saturday morning, one of the two men was found dead, and the other has disappeared.
Sacul told police that he and his wife went out that Friday evening and returned later that night at about 11:00, but on his return, he found only one of his visitors, and when he inquired about the other man, his visitor told him that the man had been taken away by police.
However, about 10:00 Saturday morning, the agitated barking of his dogs alerted him that something was wrong, and he went into his yard to see what was happening.
DOUBLE MURDER IN ROARING CREEK
After about three weeks without a murder in the country, two foreigners were murdered in the Roaring Creek Village area and their bodies thrown into the river. They are Arly Rose Sardido, 25, a Filipino, and David Reichel, an American who was a statistical officer in the Ministry of Health.
Belmopan police’s quick investigation led them to detain one person who they believe can greatly assist them in the investigation. The man is also of the Roaring Creek area, and at the time when he was detained, he was injured. Police did not elaborate on the matter.
According to reports, Sardido and Reichel, of Belmopan, went swimming at about 10:00 Saturday morning in the Roaring Creek River area. The body of Sardido was found about 11:30 that morning, and after an intense search, Reichel was found by a Coast Guard search team on Sunday, also in the Roaring Creek River. Their deaths have been declared a double murder by police.
POLITICAL CORRUPTION SPARKS DEMONSTRATION AT HOUSE
Dangriga mayor and market vendors, along with COLA and SIF financiers protest against corruption.
The controversy that has erupted as a result of the unfinished Dangriga Town Market project is still smoldering. Today, a small group of irate protestors braved the searing heat in the Capital City to convene for a demonstration at the steps of the National Assembly.
This was done in an effort to register their disapproval with the Government’s handling of recent issues, including the Dangriga Town Market project that is now in limbo, and a repulsive passport scandal in which a member of parliament was implicated and removed from his post.
While the heated debates went on as usual inside the House of Representatives, discontented protestors on the outskirts voiced their concerns loudly, but peacefully, on three crucial points of interest – the recent passport scandal, the SIF (Dangriga Market) bribery scandal, and the pause in the construction of the renovation of the Dangriga Market.
WE NEED “PROPER ACCOUNTING” OF YOUR ACCOUNT FIRST, MR. KEVIN BERNARD!
Today, the Orange Walk Town Council finds itself in a bind, after making a public declaration that it will have problems meeting its $14,000 payroll because, it alleges, the Belize Bank froze its account over an old debt the Council inherited.
Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard has turned to the Ministry of Finance for relief; however, Finance Minister Dean Barrow said today in the House that Bernard won’t get a penny until a proper accounting of the Orange Walk Town Council’s accounts is turned in.
“Unless and until Mr. Bernard comes and is able to demonstrate that he is managing the affairs of the council properly, unless he can account for every single penny he is collecting… he has not a penny to get,” Barrow said.
Barrow also criticized the two of the major TV news stations – Channel 5 and 7 News – alleging that they are “guilty either of malice or the greatest possible incompetence” for having reported that the Council’s accounts were frozen because of an overdraft the Council has at the Belize Bank, which is guaranteed by the Government of Belize.
DEFENDING CHAMPS POLICE LOSE OPENER IN PREMIER LEAGUE OPENING SEASON 2013-2014
“From a King to a Jack,” and just like that, Week 1 results find defending champion Police United FC at the bottom of the standings, as they were shocked, 3-1, by the Belize Defence Force FC on Saturday night in the new season opener at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. The other two games on Sunday afternoon were both drawn, so that leaves Police as the only team without a point, aside from Verdes FC, who were idle in Week 1.
In the opener on Saturday night, BDF sported a 2-nil first half lead with goals from John King (14’) and Stephen Martinez (44’), while Police lost striker Evan Mariano to a red card and had to play the whole of second half a man down. Clifton West brought Police within striking distance with his diving header at the 83rd minute, but Leonard Valdez closed the curtain for BDF in injury time (90+’) to make it, 3-1, BDF over Police, in game 1 of the new season. After the game coach Gregory “Paisa” Cantun said he was satisfied that their hard work has paid off, and physiotherapist Ben Abba noted that they have not lost in 10 pre-season outings. For his part, new Police coach Hilberto Muschamp says he likes what he is seeing so far with his team, with whom he has only worked the past two weeks. “We held them, and even pressed them with only ten men for most of the game. It’s a long season, and we’re not worried,” he said.
7 FOOTBALL GREATS INDUCTED INTO THE MIGHTY AVENGERS FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
A first ever Cayo Football Awards and Mighty Avengers Football Hall of Fame induction was held yesterday at the Henry’s Eden Resort on the outskirts of San Ignacio on the Benque Viejo Road. In a beautiful ceremony attended by relatives, friends and long time Avengers fans, awards of recognition and appreciation were given to various individuals who have made their mark and contribution to football in the Cayo District. Special recognition was given to surviving veteran members of the famous Western District selections of the 1940’s – ‘60’s, the Verdes Football Club of the 1980’s, as well as lifetime members, fans and supporters of the Mighty Avengers Football Club, which graced the football arenas and thrilled audiences from 1968 until 1979. But the highlight of the evening was the induction of the first group of 7 former stars into the Mighty Avengers Hall of Fame.
BELIZE CITY MAYOR’S CUP WEEK 3 RESULTS
With the return of Kephawn Pawn to the tournament, the Belize City Mayor’s Cup now has 12 teams participating, and they all saw action in Week 3 games held over the weekend at the MCC Grounds.
In game 1 on Friday night, September 27, Old Road Arsenal dropped Hattieville United, 3-1, with goals from Delwin Jones, Charles Cantun and Sydney Bradley; while Mason Moya scored for Hattieville. Game 2 saw Kephawn Pawn return with a bang, out-slugging Ladyville United by a 5-3 score. Dalton Cayetano had a hat trick (3 goals) for Kephawn, with teammates Kenroy Martin and Albert Thurton netting one goal apiece; for Ladyville, David Ramos and Leon Sedacey each scored a goal.
EDITORIAL: CRONYISM VS NATIONHOOD, THE KEY TO THE CORRUPTION PROBLEM
The recent crises of corruption tainting the government, most notably the latest passport scandal, point to the stark reality that as a people we have not yet found a solution to this problem that citizens have voted overwhelmingly in past elections to try and correct.
Both past PUP and UDP governments have been given huge mandates to fix this corruption problem, but the top item on everyone’s mind today is still corruption in our government.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his landslide UDP government had a golden opportunity in February of 2008 to make a fundamental change in how we do things – a paradigm shift, if you will, in the national political culture, and a change for the better, no doubt.
The support for the new government was so strong at the time, and the opportunity so real that early in the term of the new administration, it was possible for any potential political impediments that would result from individual hurt feelings caused by the process of curbing corruption to be comfortably absorbed and compensated over the long term – when the benefits began to become obvious.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
BELIZE CITY, Wed. January 28, 1976
Fr. Urban Kramer, pastor of St. Ignatius Parish, which owns the only adequate basketball court in Belize City, tonight imposed some strict conditions on the Belize Amateur Basketball Association, which intends to start its annual season on March 7. This was in a meeting held at Riverside Hall.
Kramer has demanded 60 percent of profits after each night of basketball and has banned Friday night basketball. Friday night used to be the big money maker for the Association.
Kramer, the heavy-handed former dictator of Lynam College, has also insisted that the season be finished by April 25th, a stipulation which will pressure the Association into uncomfortable haste with its schedule.
We suggest that central government speed up its proposed civic auditorium at the Belcan Bridge in order to facilitate sports such as basketball, which is now being pressured by a private enterprise church monopoly. Arenas for sports must be in the hands of the people or we will be swallowed up by the JAWS of Pharisees.
CITY CENTER DEMOLITION’S FIRST ACCIDENT
Days into the process of dismantling the Belize City Center, which was started by Cisco Construction Company on Monday, September 23, a worker suffered massive body injuries – including a broken nose, broken arms and legs, and rib injuries – after a concrete wall fell on him at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday evening. He is now fighting for his life at the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).
Egbert Jones, 23, a Belize City resident, was a member of a demolition team that was knocking down a concrete wall on the ground floor of the City Center when the wall collapsed on top of him. He was quickly rushed to the KHMH, where he has now been declared to be in a critical but stable condition.
Jones’s co-workers who witnessed the incident said that they were knocking down the wall from the inside manually with a maul, when the wall gave way and fell on Jones, who was on the outer side of the wall.
REGISTRATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES – A NECESSARY DISCUSSION IN IMPROVING HOW WE ARE GOVERNED
— by Henry G. Gordon
1) A social gathering, usually of invited guests
2) A body of persons engaged in an activity or traveling together (fishing party; search party)
3) A group of people united in a cause, opinion, etc. especially a political group organized on a national basis
4) A political group organized for gaining political influence and governmental control and for directing government policy
The Laws of Belize make provision for the establishment of companies, banks, trade unions and cooperatives, to name a few. This is required in order for any of these “groups of people” to operate in Belize, and so actively participate in its political, social and economic development. The law also provides for: the licensing of lawyers, accountants and doctors to practice in Belize; and for the licensing of commercial stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, market vendors and street side vendors to do business in Belize. A law now exists for the licensing of teachers and schools.
LUKE ESPAT’S RENAISSANCE TOWER ON SELLING BLOCK
Renaissance Tower—the 8-storey full-service luxury condominium complex which the Belize Bank had taken over from businessman Luke Espat after his financing arrangements with the bank ran into trouble—is billed for sale by public auction this Thursday, October 3.
In 2010, the bank assumed control of Espat’s Crocland recreational enterprise, and last year, in 2012, an affiliate of the bank, Private Investment Limited of the Turks and Caicos, took over control of Port of Belize.
When Crocland was seized by the bank, indications were that Renaissance – a project initially billed at US$18 million – located at 8 Newtown Barracks area, was not included in the foreclosure.
When the Port was seized last year, Espat had then indicated that the simultaneous takeover of the Renaissance was part of the settlement plan with his bankers, and they had agreed on the divestment of what was not earning money, while the bank would get to finish the cruise port, and Port of Belize would continue with the commercial port.
OW TOWN COUNCIL REACHES “TEMPORARY ARRANGEMENT” WITH BELIZE BANK
Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard told Amandala today that their council has been able to reach a temporary arrangement with the Belize Bank, under which the Sugar City is now mandated to pay $7,000 monthly for at least the next three months towards an $110,000 overdraft facility that had been maxed out before he came into office last March. According to Bernard, the Belize Bank intends to revisit their arrangement next January.
The agreement was made to facilitate the payment of $15,000 in salaries for weekly-paid workers last Friday, and another $22,000 due today, Monday, to administrative, traffic and other personnel who get paid twice monthly. He said that there are about 110 employees total on payroll.
Bernard told us that since their monthly subvention of $33,333.33—which barely covers their sanitation bill of about $32,000—goes directly to the Belize Bank, the bank would immediately deduct the $7,000 to pay down the overdraft.
SAN JOSE SUCCOTZ QUEEN DESIGNATE STEALS THE CROWN …LITERALLY!
Controversy and conflict erupted at a Miss Independence coronation ceremony in San Jose Succotz on Independence Day, and the event went viral this week, as the crowning of a beauty queen was marred by a peeved Queen Designate, who rejected the proposal to wear a red dress provided by the pageant’s organizers.
Yancy Bautista, 17, was actually the duly selected queen for the Independence Day gala which was held in the village; however, the victorious queen reportedly asserted that she was not given any funding to acquire a coronation dress for her crowning, which was to be held on Independence Day evening.
Apparently, the queen normally wears a white dress, and, according to Bautista, not only had she been given a red dress, but she reportedly claimed that the dress was second-hand — bought from the market. The queen said that she felt that politics was involved in the process.
SAN IGNACIO MAN DIES WHILE TRAVELLING IN BUS
Patchakan man found lying on road.
Otto Espat, 50, of San Ignacio, was found lying on the floor at the back of a passenger bus, between the last set of seats, at about 3: 00 Saturday evening. The bus was travelling from Belmopan to Benque.
Espat’s body was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital morgue, where an autopsy will be conducted to certify the cause of death.
Police, however, are not suspecting foul play, and are declaring that the death was due to natural causes.
In an unrelated incident, another corpse – that of Enrique Carcamo, 53, of Patchakan, Corozal, was found lying on the roadside by the Qunil Lagoon at about 4: 30 p.m. on Friday and was taken to the Corozal Hospital morgue.
TWO CRUISE LINE PASSENGERS CHARGED WITH DRUG POSSESSION JUST MINUTES APART
Jeron Harigan, 23, and Jeffery Rogers, 21, pleaded guilty and were fined.
This evening, cruise ship passengers Jeron Harigan, 23, and Jeffery Rogers, 21, are lucky to have made it back onto their cruise ship after PC Jamil Scott charged them with drug possession within minutes of each other at the Tourist Village.
According to police reports, PC Scott was on patrol at the Tourist Village when a security officer handed him a small plastic bag in the presence of Harigan. When the police officer opened the bag, it contained suspected cannabis, at which point, Harigan uttered, “I found it on the ground”.
Harigan was searched for illegal drugs and firearms, but nothing incriminating was found on his person.
I HAVE A DREAM Letters
— by Raymond G. Lashley
This is a dream I have had and continue to see after visiting my homeland Belize. I had been away for eight years this time, and how time has changed . Now while I am no Dr. King, I don’t think he would mind if I borrowed his theme just for a moment. I really do have a dream.
Since returning home to Phoenix after my visit to Belize, I had a chance to reflect and think about the possibilities. It dawned on me that my little Belize has a lot to offer to Belizeans both home and abroad. Belize has a lot to offer to people of many difference races – blacks, whites, brown and yellow. I have a dream that my little Belize will one day grow up from a diamond in the rough to a nice and shinning diamond sparkling in the Caribbean and beyond and taking its seat on the world stage for all the right reasons, yes, I have a dream.
I have a dream that my Belizean brothers and sisters will rise above the many obstacles that appear to hold us down and show the world that we as a people working together can accomplish the impossible. We will show the world that we and only we as a people hold in our hands the future of our lives and our kids’ and grandkids’ lives, as well as our very existence.
THE GENDER POLICY NIGHTMARE Letters
The way the interpretation of rights and natural law is proceeding, it would not be surprising if soon the following declaration were issued by the United Nations General Assembly:-
BASED ON THE UNQUESTIONABLE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON WE SOLEMNLY DECLARE THAT ALL THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS ARE ABSOLUTE.
THEREFORE WE HEREBY REQUEST THAT ALL STATES GIVE IMMEDIATE, CONCRETE MANIFESTATIONS OF ACCEPTANCE OF THE UNIVERSAL UNDERSTANDING OF RIGHTS.
Based on the understanding and acceptance of this decree by the UN, all governments took immediate steps to be in compliance.
In Belize Kolbe Foundation went through the files of every inmate who had been jailed for violating one law or the other.
NOT HAPPY WITH DISAPPEARANCE OF AL-JAZEERA NEWS CHANNEL FROM ESPERANZA Letters
— by Sally and Leonardo Caretella
We are meeting more and more people who are not happy at the disappearance of the Al-Jazeera news channel. When it first disappeared, we phoned the local cable office and we were assured that the guys were working on it and it would be back. Well, some sort of Al-Jazeera is there, but it is not the channel we enjoyed watching. We phoned the local office again and were told that they would see what they could do.
Well, several weeks have gone by and we are stuck with something masquerading as Al- Jazeera. It may be an exciting new news experience for people in the US, but it is not what we have grown to expect here in Belize.
3 day technology break in Sdowntown an Pedro
Last week I decided it was time for a break so I made plans to check in at the beach for a 3 day ‘health retreat’. I chose downtown San Pedro as I wanted to be walking distance of everything and I also wanted to remember what it was like when we first came here. Which is why I picked Belizean Reef, it is a great central location and right next door to the apartment we stayed in when we took our first trip to to Belize.
These next two are a great illustration of how our view made us fell in love with with Ambergris Caye. While Paul did not stay the whole time with me, he did come and appreciate some tech free down time and a good reminder of why we moved to here. We both appreciated the beach view and how relaxing it was to just sit on our large veranda in front of the Caribbean Sea, watching boats and people pass by is very meditative.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico Means GOOD Eats: Gelato and Mango Cafe
For such a small island (less than 5 miles in length and pretty much a stones throw in width), Isla Mujeres, Mexico has some amazing restaurants, street food and ice cream at really reasonable prices. Your selection is big. With over 1 million tourists coming onto the island each year, a place is going to need a ton of eateries. Though there for just a day and a half, I saw a ton of creativity and I ate lots of delicious food.
I arrived on the Cancun to Isla Mujeres ferry at about 5pm Tuesday night and was scheduled to be on a 2pm Thursday afternoon flight out of Cancun airport. Let’s get eating.
When I’m travelling, I love to focus on breakfast and lunch. Dinner is generally expensive…and when I do go out for big main meal, I usually just get appetizers and dessert. They are always the two very best parts of the meal anyway.
So…for my first dinner I had a giant Ferrero Rocher gelato in a chocolate waffle cone. Divine. The next day I had to work some pistachio into my agenda.
Australian Direct Aid Program
The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible, small grants scheme for development activities managed by Heads of Australian Missions in approximately 45 countries. The emphasis of the program is on alleviating basic humanitarian hardships.
For more information about the program, visit dfat.gov.au/direct_aid_program.
Effective January 1, 2012, Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago became ineligible for DAP funding having graduated from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) on January 1, 2012.
CROSQ Evaluation of New Work Item Proposal: Revision of Caribbean Community Standard for Toilet Tissue in Rolls, Single and Two-Ply (CCS 22: 1992)
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) wishes to notify any relevant stakeholder and the general public that the Caribbean Community Standard for Toilet Tissue in Rolls, Single and Two-Ply (CRS 22: 1992) is being proposed for its revision by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). The Evaluation of this New Work Item Proposal is out for evaluation by Belize. Relevant stakeholders are asked to note, on approval of the standard by COTED, the BBS is obliged to adopt the same as a national standard. In this regard, your initial feedback/comments with respect to this proposal, justification for its revision, evaluation of the proposal and/or expressed interests to voluntarily contribute to the standards development process will be greatly appreciated. The deadline for submission of any feedback/comments to the Bureau of Standards is October 14th, 2013. The standard is also available on request from the BBS office. Comments can also be mailed to the BBS Office or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
THE CARIBBEAN KITCHEN PAVILION TO FEATURE CARIBBEAN PRODUCTS WITH UNEXPECTED FLAVOURS AT ANUGA 2013
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the Deutsche Geselleschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) will bring the Caribbean Kitchen Pavilion to this year’s ANUGA 2013 Food Show at the Koelnmesse GmbH exhibition center in Cologne, Germany on the 5th to 9th October, 2013
The Pavilion will showcase 12 Caribbean food suppliers from 7 different countries, displaying a range of beverages, condiments and selected items. This trade fair will provide EU industry professionals the opportunity to sample first-hand the diverse flavours found within the Caribbean region.
“I Like It” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After the previous day’s disappointments I was up bright (well it was dark) and early just before 04.00 hours and after making the ‘must have’ mug of black coffee it was straight to the veranda with it and my iPad.
Log on and then upload the current issue of The Times for some pre-match articles on Arsenal’s game against Napoli in the Champions League later in the day. All good reading. The pundits felt that we have a good chance of securing a win and the three points. Views/opinions that I wholeheartedly agreed with. Even had I not I would have, if you know what I mean!
With my reading of The Times completed I sent an email to Excess International Movers (the company we have used to ship our stuff from the UK to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) to enlist its involvement in bringing this long running saga to a satisfactory conclusion ie we get our hands on our stuff!
It was then time to write and publish (not a particularly enjoyable experience) Tuesday’s edition of the blog.
HOMEMADE PUMPKIN ROLL
Whip aigs fer 5 minnuts. Add sugar, lemon juice an' pumpkin. Mix well. Add remunyun' ingredyints cept pekuns. Greese jellee roll pun. Place waxet pap'r n' jellee roll pun, makin shure waxet pap'r is extendet beyond bof ends o'pun. Pour batt'r into waxet pap'r linet jellee roll pun. Cov'r batt'r wit pekuns. Bake at 375 degrees fer 15 minnuts. Wen bakd, remoov frum waxet pap'r immediatelee an' roll n' a towl which has bee sprinklet wit confectyuners sugar. Be shure ta roll towl an' cake togeth'r. Wen cool, unroll an' spred wit fillin.
Belize: Town council 'has accounts frozen'
The council in Belize's fourth-largest town has had its accounts frozen, it seems.
Belize Bank acted after the authorities in Orange Walk failed to service a debt of 111,000 Belizean dollars ($56,000, £34,000) inherited from the previous administration, according to the country's 7 News. Apparently, the bank had converted the overdraft into a non-performing loan and demanded it be paid off in full. Mayor Kevin Bernard told Channel 5 News he'd appealed for help from the government so that he could pay staff and cover operating expenses.
But it seems Prime Minister Dean Barrow has no comforting words for the mayor. Channel 5 says he told parliament there was "no point in complaining" about inherited debt and demanding to see the council's accounts "so that we can see whether or not they are managing their resources properly, whether or not they are spending their money wisely". Famed for its reef-diving and fishing, Belize suffered badly when tourism declined as a result of the global economic downturn and its authorities are now burdened with debt. It was forced to restructure a $550m (£340m) "superbond" earlier this year, paying bondholders over a longer period.
IDB signs Mexico, Guatemala, Belize microenterprise agreements
IDB signed four cooperation agreements for projects financed by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) during IDB's latest Latin America and Caribbean microenterprise forum Foromic, held...
Belize chastises rich nations for abandoning global partnership for development
Developed nations have not honoured their commitments to provide the assistance poor countries need to achieve the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the foreign minister of Belize told United Nations member states on Monday, stressing that the future development agenda must not suffer the same fate. Agreed by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, the MDGs set specific goals on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a global partnership for development.
“It is evident that for some inexplicable reason, the developed countries abandoned goal 8,” Wilfred Elrington told the General Assembly’s high-level debate, referring to the MDG on a global partnership for development.
“We note with disappointment, that the rich countries have not even been able to bring themselves to honour their commitment to contribute even the 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product as official domestic assistance to poor countries,” he said.
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