#474101 - 10/04/13 11:46 AM
Today's Belize News: October 4, 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
Lions to raise funds for Mexico disaster victim
The Mexican Government has declared “disaster areas and a state of emergency” in several states following days of floods that affected a large portion of mid-southern territory. Several communities have been under flood waters, several people died, entire villages have been buried under mud and debris, while thousands more have lost their homes and belongings. As part of the humanitarian relief efforts, The San Pedro Lions Club is joining clubs from across the country to raise funds that will be contributed to the disaster relief efforts to our Mexican neighbors. On Friday October 4th, the local club will conduct an all day fundraiser starting with a radioton on Reef Radio. At the same time, a dollar drive will take place to collect money for the cause. The Lions Club will also contribute all profits from its regular Friday bar-b-que sale and bingo to the cause. Students at the various primary and secondary schools have been asked to each contribute a $1.00 for the event.
San Pedro residents join in global initiative to clean up coastal areas
On Saturday September 28th, local residents and environmental groups countrywide participated in the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup Day. San Pedro Town’s Hol Chan Marine Reserve spearheaded activities to clean the turtle nesting grounds located on northern Ambergris Caye. According to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, they partnered with a few fourth form students from San Pedro High School, San Pedro’s Leo’s Club, Oceana in Belize and the Belize National Coast Guard to carry out the day’s activity. Representatives from Hol Chan Marine Reserve said that since a lot of trash had been drifting to our beaches in the past few days, the global initiative was the perfect opportunity to do a cleanup. Amongst the garbage picked up were plastic spoons, forks, straws, broken Styrofoam and plastic plates, syringes and other medical waste, plastic soda bottle tops, plastic bags, plastic containers with names such as “Pollo Campero” and lots more trash. A total of 13 55-gallon garbage bags of trash were picked up from the turtle nesting grounds.
Over 1.1 million pounds of conch to be harvested during the 2013-2014 season
The Belize Fisheries Department declared October 1st as the opening of the 2013 – 2014 conch season. During this season, which runs until the end of June 2014, over 1 million, 100 thousand pounds of Caribbean Queen Conch (scientifically known as strombusgigas) will be allowed to be harvested.
According to Mauro Gongora, Fisheries Officer at the Belize Fisheries Department, for the past three years, the conch season had to be closed earlier because the quotas were met before the official end of season. The Fisheries Regulation provides for the Fisheries Department to close the season before June 30th. “Last year we harvested 1 million 58 thousand pounds of conch. The quota was met before the deadline and so we closed the season early. This year the harvest quota is 1,100,470 pounds,” said Gongora.
Behind the scenes of Belikin’s 2014 Calendar!
It’s here once again! The long anticipated launch for the 2014 Belikin Calendar is scheduled for Saturday, October 26th. To whet the appetites of an eager crowd, Bowen and Bowen Ltd. has released a ‘behind the scenes’ video with teasing glimpse of the 2014 calendar as it was shot over the past months all over Belize. This video shows the glamour, the fun and the beauty of the 2014 calendar without giving away all the secrets to this year’s shots. As the calendar production team would say, “It represents the best of Belize in all of the ways.” So get ready for stunning Belizean women, exotic locations and of course, cold Belikin Beers.
Crocodile Advisory Alert!!!
Please be aware of two crocodiles swimming seaside in south Ambergris Caye. Swimmers or snorkelers should be alert and refrain from water activities at dusk and dawn, when crocodiles are in their most predatory mode. Also, please do not swim blindly under docks. We will be setting live snares and a trap in the area tomorrow. One croc is only 5 ft. The second croc is estimated at 10 ft and should be considered dangerous. Please give us a few days to capture this animal. Please call Vince at 631-6366 anytime if you see the 10 foot crocodile. All sighting reports will aid in its capture. Thank you for you patience.
The Consulate of Belize in Florida Inaugurates New Office and Passport Services
On Tuesday, October 1st, 2013, the Consulate of Belize in Florida inaugurated its new office located in Coral Gables, Florida. The Mayor of Coral Gables, Mr. Jim Cason enthusiastically welcomed the Consulate of Belize to his city.
The Honorary Consul General, Mrs. Janine Sylvestre Vega, welcomed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, as well as Mrs. Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, CEO in the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality, along with other Belizeans and leaders of the community who attended.
Both Honorable Wilfred Elrington and CEO Saldivar-Morter addressed the guests present. During the ceremony, Mayor Cason handed over the key to the city to Minister Elrington and its seal to the Honorary Consul.
Chukka Adventure Gets You Zipped, Whipped & Dipped in Belize
First up, the ZipLine – A short winding trail through the thick jungle leads you to the first platform (of 9 platforms) 400ft high on the edge of a limestone cliff. That is your launching pad to your zip line adventure. Don’t close your eyes! Hold on tight, lift your legs up and scream with enthusiasm as you traverse through five separate lengths of line; that’s a total of 1,530 feet of ‘flying’ high above the jungle! Like I said before, I can do that all day, every day; it is so much fun and a super natural high for adrenaline junkies. Chukka just recently added three new zip lines with the longest one being 1,100ft long and a whopping 650 feet high! That’s an even bigger adrenaline rush!
Second in line, Rappelling – Coming off your last zip you use the adrenaline to help you carry your inflatable tube and hike through another jungle trail on your way to a high cliff side. Along the way your guide teaches you about the different uses of the rainforest, medicinal and survival techniques of Belize’s local trees and plants in the rainforest. You arrive atop of the Crystal Cave and witness a spectacular view of the forest; now you are ready to descend a sheer wall of 150 feet. That’s right! You look down and your heart starts pumping even faster at the mere sight of the height at where you are standing. Safely strapped to the line, clench your teeth and enjoy the controlled drop down to the Cave Branch River at the mouth of the Crystal Cave. Totally exhilarating!
Phone Companies Warn Against Toll Fraud Calls
Have you been receiving phone calls lately from international numbers or numbers that you don’t know? Well be sure not to answer or return any of the calls as both telecommunications companies, Belize Telemedia Limited and Smart Belize are advising customers of an international scam currently targeting Belizean phone users.
Both companies are urging customers not to answer or return any calls from strange international or unrecognized numbers. Some reported number prefixes are: 001-224, +882, +818. Investigations revealed that if a missed called is returned, the customer’s credit balance is automatically depleted.
Both companies are working diligently in ensuring the security and reliability of their phone service and resolve this matter as quickly as possible. You can contact your phone service provider for more information.
SPTC Announces Clean Up Week
The San Pedro Town Council informs the general public that commencing Monday, October 7, 2013 the Council will be conducting a one week clean up. This clean up includes the collection of all debris and yard garbage including, electrical appliances, lumber etc.
We will commence from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge going south and on the last day north up to Grand Caribe.
All residents are asked to take out all of this type of garbage on the side of the road for this week only. All garbage after this date will be picked up at a special fee.
The San Pedro Town Council thanks all residents for helping us keep La Isla Bonita clean!
Misc Belizean Sources
Ramons Rebuilding Progress
The rebuilding progress is still in full force at Ramon's Village Resort!! More updates to come!!
Joint Task Force-Bravo supports marijuana eradication operation in Belize
The U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan and Joint Task Force-Bravo partnered with Belizean military forces in a successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize from Sept. 25-28, 2013.
The operation resulted in the Belizean forces destroying 22 marijuana fields and approximately 37,970 mature marijuana plants with an initial estimated value of $13 million. In addition, the team also found and destroyed four pounds of marijuana seeds.
Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and tactical assault on objective insertion and extraction training for 38 Belizean military and law enforcement personnel who participated in the operation. This training involved the use of a caving ladder, which is lowered from the helicopter in order to insert ground forces into an otherwise inaccessible area.
Winter Solstice at Caracol
The Institute of Archaeology is having a Winter solstice overnight camping trip at Caracol. The trip will include a traditional Mayan dinner, multiple ceremonies, a guided tour, a presentation, transport, and more. Contact the IA for more information at email@example.com.
Purple Movement One Year Anniversary
The Purple Movement had their one year anniversary last night at the Cayo Welcome Center.
"This vigil is in remembrance of Suzenne 'Purple' Martinez who was murdered heartlessly one year ago. It is also our intention to make it a solemn evening dedicated in remembrance and honour for other murder victims (special mention Jasmine Lowe) along with all other families who are suffering silently due to criminal injustices."
BTB's Stylistic Logos
Cayo has parrots, national parks, caves, hiking, and jungles, according to the Belize Tourism Board's graphic's legend. They forgot the rivers, waterfalls, Mayan sites, horseback riding, canoeing, and a lot more. It's neat nevertheless. Well done.
Green Iguana Conservation Project Video
The Ambergris Today paid a visit to Cayo to experience some of the best restaurants and attractions in Belize, and they made sure to stop by the Green Iguana Conservation Project at the SIRH, which is ranked as the number one attraction in Cayo on Trip Advisor, and for good reason. The video they did on their visit is spectacular, and really captures the essence of the tour. Iguanas, termites, orchids, grasshoppers, and lots of other flora and wildlife, even Humbero Requena. Definitely worth a watch.
"Belize is home to thousands of species of trees, flowers and hundreds of species of animals. An amazing array of creatures makes their homes in our Belize. Get a glimpse of this vast wildlife at two of San Ignacio Resort Hotel tours - the Medicinal Trail and the Belize Iguana Project. "
Shipyard Child Killed In Stone Crusher
There is a horrific story coming out of Camp 9 in Shipyard in the Orange Walk District tonight: A 14 year old boy was killed in a stone crusher. Peter Reimer met a gruesome end when he fell into the crusher - and was ground up by the powerful machine.
Reports say that the young Reimer was in charge of ensuring that the machine is always working smoothly. He was jumping across from one end to the next - when he fell unto what is known as the vibrating platform, which feeds the crusher. It is a fast moving platform, and literally within seconds, he had been rolled into the machine's powerful jaws. His coworkers turned off the crusher as quickly as they could, but it was too late; the teenager's body parts were already coming out of the machine.
The various pieces of his body had to be gathered into a bag for transport to the morgue.
It's worth noting that in April - a 7 year old was killed in Blue Creek when he fell into a rice bin and suffocated. In that case, Jacob Dueck and two other boys were playing.
BSWL Gets A Bomb Scare
Tonight, Precinct 2 police are keeping a close eye on BWSL Headquarters on Central American Boulevard after a makeshift Molotov Cocktail was thrown into the building's parking lot early this morning. Very scary, but the good news is it didn't detonate, and one vehicle received only minor damage. It was a Sprite bottle with an as yet unidentified chemical in it.
That happened before work started and news of it, plus the presence of police investigators had staff on edge all morning. And then, things got really tense at around noon when a bomb threat was called in. The caller told the receptionist that the building would blow in ten minutes - and so workers were hurriedly evacuated. It turned out to be a hoax but one with a sinister undertone. Public Relations manager Haydon Brown told us what happened:...
Haydon Brown, BWSL Public Relation Officer
"This morning when we arrived at work we found two of our company vehicle being with minor damage and the preliminary reports that we received is that there was an object thrown into the yard by an unidentified person at this point in time that created this damage caused to our vehicles."
Eric Chang Still Abroad?
Deputy Mayor Eric Chang was expected to return to the country today - after a four-week trip to his country of birth, Taiwan. But, we checked all the incoming flights from USA and Central America; Deputy Chang wasn't on any of them. His boss, Mayor Darrell Bradley did not return our text messages querying Deputy Chang's status.
As we have reported, Chang has been named by credible sources as the arranger of the deal to get south Korean fugitive Wonhong Kim a Belizean Passport. The Prime Minister also conceded that he has heard such reports - but that, in his mind, it added up to little more than rumour because there is no proof. Here's what he told us yesterday:
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"I have heard what you have heard, what the media has heard but do you have any evidence at all to say that Eric Chan played any role in this."
"I have my suspicions but again we must act on the basis of evidence. It may well be true but it doesn't arise to the level of anything that is in the slightest degree actionable."
Penner’s Peculiar Predicament
And while Chang is away, Cayo Northeast representative Elvin Penner is in the hospital. 7news has confirmed that he is in a private facility in Belize City receiving treatment for high blood pressure and other related ailments. We note that Penner has had quite significant health issues in the past while in office and at one point he even went to Cuba for specialized attention. As we understand it, his present condition is not considered life threatening.
But if he is under extreme stress, it's understandable. Yesterday Penner had to face down a throng of media as he was leaving the Prime Minister's office - where he had gone to ask about his pay as an area representative. He didn't give any comment other than the obligatory "I continue to serve my people."
Indeed, Penner's world has been turned upside down since he was forced to resign exactly two weeks ago on September 19th. Since then more and more has become known about the man he helped get a passport, Wonhong Kim. And much of what we know pivots on two things: Penner's email that he sent to 7news last Friday, and Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse's interview yesterday in which he outlined a mass breach in procedure.
Tonight, Jules Vasquez has put together all the information that we've found out so far about Citizen Kim:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
Arson On Periwinkle St.?
There was a fire in Belize City today on Ring Road in the Lake Independence area. It was a relatively small blaze, quite easily contained. But the story is, first, that one of the residents, a female did get hospitalized for burns, and, second, that the property owner is accusing her of setting the fire. Monica Bodden has the story:..
Monica Bodden reporting
The wooden bungalow house went up in flames a little after 12 this afternoon - but was quickly put out by the swift response of the fire department.
House owner is 84 year old Morris Taylor- who was at work at the time of the fire. When he arrived at his home this afternoon, everything was destroyed by the flames.
Morris Taylor - Fire Victim
"They came at my work to tell me that the house is burning down."
All investigations are pointing to arson and police are investigating a woman identified as Richardeen McKay who was rescued from inside the house at the time of the fire. Mckay was living with Taylor as his house helper but suffers from a mental condition.
Guatemala Protests Hon. Elrington's Speech To UN General Assembly
On Monday, we showed you the speech that Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington made to the United Nations General Assembly. Elrington described the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute as an existential threat to Belize and the degradation of Belize's territory by trespassing Guatemalans who engage in multiple illegal activities. Well, the Guatemalans didn't like what Elrington had to say one bit. Yesterday, they fired off a nine point letter to the Secretary General of the OAS protesting Elrington's speech.
The letter says, quote, "Guatemala...rejects any suggestion of the intent to enforce their rights to the territory administered by Belize, through violent or military action." End quote.
Point four says quote, "While Guatemala's armed forces have not caused a single incident in the adjacency zone or nearby, the Belize Defense Forces have consistently violated the human rights of Guatemalans and so far have caused several deaths of fellow citizens and several injured, in addition to having made several incursions into Guatemalan territory, which have been verified by the Office of the OAS in the Adjacency Zone." End quote. IT adds, heatedly, that it is not acceptable that people should be killed simply for trespassing quote "especially when the (territory) is under dispute and what exists (as) recognized by both states is an adjacency zone." end quote.
Senate Debates NGO Amendment Bill
With all the recent hubbub about the Citizen Kim and his Penner connection - one controversial piece of legislation that went to the house of representatives last week hasn't gotten the media attention it deserves. There is the Non Government Organizations Amendment Bill. Its part of an entire raft of legislation basically forced upon Belize by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force to introduce uniform and quite oppressive legislation to discourage money laundering. But, it introduces onerous fines to the benign NGO Community and yesterday, one senator called it union busting:...
Senator Mark Lizarraga
"I hope this is not an attempt of NGO busting, I mean, we have to very careful that mistakes - genuine mistakes can happen, but the law it seems at least the way we read is very inflexible in certain areas and can kill a legitimate NGO for a mistake that one of its staff members may have made."
Senator Lisa Shoman
"This law puts into place not only greatly inflated fines. In other words the court could fine a person up to an amount of $100,000 or an NGO of up to $300,000. And if that were not bad enough, the punitive part of it is that courts hands are tied in that you have to fine a person who is found guilty $50,000 even if it's a mistake that they made."
A New Scam Against BTL Customers
There's a case of phone fraud targeting BTL's cellular customers - and if you fall prey to it, you could lose all your credits! It appears as random international calls to DigiCell numbers - that only ring once and then appear as missed calls. And if you call back the number, then your credit balance is automatically sucked dry. BTL is investigating, but we wanted answers so we spoke to Dr. Dionne Miranda - General Manager of Customer Services:...
Dr. Dionne Miranda, General Manager of Customer Services
"The reason why we are doing that Monica is that we don't have control over what is happening. Actually the customer has control over their personal devices and the only thing that we can recommend is that they do not respond to these calls and they do not return the calls because that is how it appears the scam is being done."
"It doesn't happen when the calls come into our network because it's using our network at that point. It's when you dial back out and you use the external providers' network to get the call is where they are able to pull and confiscate your telephone minutes."
Belgrave And Flowers Get Off
Tonight, Belize City men Jermaine Belgrave and Jeffrey Flowers are free of attempted murder and aggravated assault charges after their trial in the Supreme Court concluded this evening. They were accused of opening fire on 2 police officers and trying to kill them in March of last year.
Both men stood trial before Justice Adolph Lucas where Police Constables Harold Grinage and Alexis Banner told the court that on March 26, 2012, they were on mobile patrol on the Southside of Belize City. The men said that when they arrived on Baghdad Street they came under heavy gun fire, and they were shot at multiple times.
According to the officers, they identified Belgrave and Flowers as the gunmen who was firing at them, and all they were trying to do was to detain the men who acted suspiciously before the bullets came flying at them.
Motorcycle Accident Turns Fatal
Tonight, the family of 19 year-old Javier Moody continues to mourn his loss, after he passed away from injuries he received in a motorcycle accident, which happened this weekend.
Moody and his girlfriend on were travelling on the Northern Highway when he lost control of the motorcycle at mile 16. Moody reportedly tried to overtake, and when he saw a vehicle coming toward them, he slowed down trying to get back in his lane. Instead, Moody lost control, and he and his girlfriend suffered severe bodily injuries from that accident.
Moody held on until today, where the injuries unfortunately claimed his life.
OCEANA Cleans Up Waterways
On Saturday, the 22nd Annual Coastal National Coastal and Riverways Cleanup campaign was held, and Oceana Belize and the Scout Association of Belize are reporting that almost 2,000 volunteers participated country wide.
They worked on cleaning up sections of the sea, different lakes, lagoons, rivers and creeks by removing debris and trash from the beaches and banks of these waterways. Oceana provided them with equipment and materials. The volunteers also took notes on the cleanup which will be furnished to Ocean Conservancy to provide a snapshot of the problems caused by marine debris.
Due to flooding, cleanup efforts in Belmopan and Orange Walk Town had to be postponed until this coming weekend. The Organizations involved thank all those who participated this weekend.
UPDATE ROARING RIVER MURDER
Santiago Guardado, that's the name of the farmer who's being investigated for allegedly shooting a man he says was stealing green peppers from his farm and then burning his body.
While that is under investigation, Guardado has been charged with 5 counts of aggravated assault for allegedly shooting at the police. Police said that when they approached his farm in the Roaring River area on Sunday night Guardado opened fire on a team of officers who were looking for the missing man.
Guardado remains detained pending advice form the DPP on charges for killing Ruben Andrado.
SUSPECTS ROARING CREEK
And Belmopan Police are also waiting for the DPP to advise them on two men, Alvin Cruz and Brian Hyde. They were arraigned yesterday along with Sasha Hyde for an unrelated charge of handling stolen goods, but they are also the prime suspects in the murders of Phillipina Alry Sardido and American David Reichel. The international couple were killed during a robbery near Roaring Creek on Saturday.
A teenager from Shipyard is mangled to his death by a crusher
Tonight there is tragic news to report out of the Shipyard community in the Orange Walk District. A fourteen year old boy was mangled and killed after he fell into [...]
Unions say government is attempting to take control of their pension contributions
Aside from the passport scandal that has grabbed the attention of the nation, there is another matter that is like a time bomb waiting to explode before the government. Information [...]
Deputy Mayor, Eric Chang, does not return to Jewel as scheduled
Turning to the unremitting passport scandal…. Deputy Mayor Eric Chang, who has been away in Taiwan since early September, was expected to return to Belize today. A scheduled meeting was [...]
Who certified Kim Wonhong’s identity? Should Penner be criminally charged?
At a late evening interview between the Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the media on Wednesday, Barrow’s position that an investigation into the matter of the issuance of a falsified [...]
Senator Shoman says criminal investigation is up to D.P.P. and not the P.M.
There is public outcry for a criminal investigation into the issuance of the nationality certificate and Belizean passport obtained by South Korean national Kim Wonhong, while he was in detention. [...]
Minister Hulse says no need for a senatorial probe into passport scandal
At Wednesday’s Special Sitting of the Senate, opposition representative Lisa Shoman also proposed that the Barrow administration call upon the powers of the senate to launch a separate investigation into [...]
Landy Habet; he lost by 17 votes and says he is ready for a bye-election
P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca has given disgraced former Minister of State and Cayo Northeast Area Representative Elvin Penner five days to resign. If Penner does not do so, then the [...]
Man who confessed to killing and burning a trespasser charged for shooting at cops
On Wednesday’s newscast, we reported that police had found the body of a Teakettle resident who was shot, killed and buried. A caution statement was given by a resident of [...]
H1N1 (swine flu) reported in Belize
Since the beginning of the year, there has been a number of cases of the influenza A virus reported across the country. Fortunately there have been no deaths attributed to [...]
Freelance writer, Roy Davis guilty of wounding
Justice was swift this morning for freelance writer, Roy Davis, who is spending the night behind bars. Davis was found guilty this afternoon for the offense of wounding and he [...]
Accident victim, Javier Moody, succumbs to his injuries
Biscayne resident, Javier Moody, died this morning at the K.H.M.H. The nineteen year old was admitted and on life support following a traffic mishap on Sunday afternoon at two p.m. [...]
Guatemala has strong words for Belize
Belize’s Foreign Ministry is preparing to receive the vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Carlos Raul Morales Moscoso, who is scheduled to head a delegation to a meeting with his [...]
Another proposed amendment; increased powers to the FIU
One more story about Wednesday’s Senate Meeting. A proposed amendment to increase the powers of the director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, allowing for greater access to fiscal information on [...]
Restore Belize’s Peace in the Parks receives grant from UNESCO
Every two years, countries operating under the UNESCO banner have the opportunity to submit proposals for grant funding, up to fifty-two thousand Belize dollars per project. Only ten projects are [...]
Phone Scam; have you been receiving international calls and losing your credit?
If you’ve received a call from a strange international number in the last day or so, and didn’t answer or call back, good for you. Because if you did answer, [...]
Healthy Living looks at a condition that affects elderly citizens
This week is being celebrated as Seniors Week. October 1st was celebrated as International Day for Older Persons. October tenth is World Mental Health Day. This year’s both themes have [...]
Funds Intact For Dangriga Market Project; Works Will Continue in 2014
Since the recent allegations of corruption at the Social Investment Fund, the implementing agency has come under some heavy scrutiny, particularly by its international partners. Having terminated the services of four of its employees, the entity is now looking to enhance the procedures it follows and hiring new staff whose integrity is unquestionable. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Finance, Yvonne Hyde, told Love News today that Nelly Trench has been appointed as the Acting Director of SIF while advertisements are being placed for a permanent replacement and for the other vacant posts. She added that the evidence suggest that the corruption date back to 2010, but clarifies that no monies were stolen from SIF.
“No money is missing from SIF; staff didn’t take money from SIF. As a matter of fact, when I go on the radio on Tuesday I will make the point that the contract is going to be retendered and we will bring in a new contractor and the work will continue for the Dangriga Market project. We have the funds to continue the project; no money was taken from SIF. There are two things: one is the matter of the Dangriga project, which was the catalyst that brought everything to light and then there was the matter of corruption. When the board received evidence along with the report form the Contractor General and there was evidence of corruption on the part of some staff members, the board acted right away and four members of staff were dismissed and the Executive Director resigned.
Fact or Fiction? Pension Fund for BTL Workers To Be Used by Government
The employees of Belize Telemedia Limited are at this hour in a closed door meeting with Prime Minister, Dean Barrow at the BTL headquarters on Saint Thomas Street.
Love News understands that the meeting evolved after reports were raised that the Government allegedly has intentions of using BTL employees’ pension fund, probably as an investment on the premise that the employees don’t yet have an immediate need for it. The employees, from what we have gathered, were taken aback by the report and had initially called a General Membership Meeting to be held at the IT Vet on Freetown Road. However, the plans were changed after it was learned that the PM would be a part of the meeting with the full staff of Telemedia. Earlier this afternoon BTL workers who are members of the Belize Communication Workers Union, BCWU, met with their President, Emily Turner, to discuss what steps they would take if this was indeed the Government’s plan.
Man’s Body Crushed in Freak Accident in Northern Belize
Love News has received reports that fifteen year old Mennonite Farmer, Peter Reimer, died this morning while on the job in Shipyard which is located about ten miles out of Orange Walk Town. The details are not as yet clear but we understand that around 9:00 this morning, Reimer was working at the quarry in Shipyard, when he accidentally fell into a cruncher machine, which is used to crush rocks. Reimer we understand died on the spot as he was crushed to pieces. Police are investigating at this time and we’ll have more details for you in this evening’s news report.
Belize Red Cross Stripped of Assets in Western Belize
The Belize Red Cross Building in San Ignacio Town was burglarized earlier this week. According to police reports, between the hours of 5pm on Monday and 8am on Tuesday, the Belize Red Cross Building was broken into and stolen were household, electronic and First Aid items amounting to a total value of six thousand one hundred and two dollars. Police Investigations continue.
VIP Teams Up With Main Opposition Party on Recall of Minister Penner
Yesterday we reported that Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca issued a letter demanding that Area Representative for Cayo Northeast, Elvin Penner resign or be forced to be recalled. When we spoke to PUP Standard Bearer for Cayo Northeast, Orlando Habet yesterday, he pointed out that a campaign for a petition to recall Penner would be launched, which according to him thirty percent of voters in that constituency had to sign for Penner to be recalled. Today the Vision Inspired by the People, VIP issued a statement in which they pledge their support for the petition. Robert Lopez is the Public Relations Officer for the VIP.
“The whole recall act is very close to us because in 2008 when we ran in the general election, we actually had recall as one of our reform initiatives and that is documented in our writings for the 2008 elections that we fielded about twelve candidates countrywide and of course, the UDP had it in their manifesto in 2012 and then it was enacted. The point is that it is time for us to hold our elected officers to a higher standard and letting these acts of blatant corruption just pass by has gone too far; those days are over and the VIP, the minute this happened, Landy Habet is a very close friend of mine, even before politics...
Not Guilty For Attempting to Kill Policemen; Duo Set Free
Today, Judge Adolf Lucas summed up the case of Jermaine Belgrave and Jeffery Flowers; two Belize City men accused of attempting to kill two police officers of the Belize City Police Department back in March 2012. After a one week trial, this evening a nine member jury of four women and five men unanimously found both men not guilty of all charges. In court today, the prosecutor in the case, Shanice Lovelle presented evidence against the men coming from the testimonies of her two main witnesses, PC Harold Grinage and PC Alexis Banner, the two police officers who are said to be the victims of the alleged attempted murder. In the trial, only Belgrave was represented by attorney Ellis Arnold, while Flowers who is confined to a wheel chair after being shot up multiple times several years ago on Euphrates Avenue went unrepresented. In his defense, Belgrave told the court that on the night in question he was at the MCC ground at a football game while Flowers explained that on that same night, he was in Biscayne Village. According to both police officers on the night of March 26 of this year at about 9:30 pm they were on patrol in South Side Belize City and upon heading towards Baghdad Street they saw a dark skin man who they identified as Belgrave and consequently came under fire.
Slashed By An Acquaintance For No Reason…Police Investigates
In San Antonio Village in the Toledo District, thirty five year old Feliciano Pedro Bol reported to police that at about 8:30am on September 26, while heading home, he met a man who he knows and is a resident of the village. Bol told police that Paquil was armed with a machete and for no apparent reason swung the machete towards him. Bol reported that when he put up his hand to defend himself he received a cut wound to right thumb while his right middle finger was completely cut off. Police are investigating.
Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Says Elrington’s Statements Do Not Strengthen Trust Between The Two Countries
On Monday you heard the comments made by the Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington at the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.
In his address, Elrington raised a very important and factual point; he stated that a concern for Belize is the 65 Guatemalan villages that line the 141 mile border between Belize and Guatemala as the residents of these communities suffer poverty and thus seek the natural resources on the Belize side of the border. Well news coming out from that side of the border is that Elrington’s Guatemalan counterpart fired back. Foreign Minister for Guatemala, Fernando Carrera protested before the Organization of American States over the statements made by Elrington. The protest was included in a letter addressed to OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza yesterday, with a copy to Erlington and the Guatemala-Belize Group of Friendly Countries. In that letter, Carrera rejected suggestions about alleged intentions by Guatemala to forcefully assert its rights over the territory administered by Belize. In addition, Carrera stated that Erlington said Guatemala had unilaterally suspended the referendum scheduled for October 6, of this year and did not report to the U.N. General Assembly that it was because Belize had changed the Law of Referendum, which requires 60 percent of participation by the electoral register to validate the voting. This circumstance meant that the vote was held in unequal conditions and as a consequence, and that was unacceptable to Guatemala, Carrera stated in his letter. The Guatemalan Government said it regretted the statements made by Elrington, because, Carrera stated, it does not contribute to a strengthening of trust between the two countries.
Natural Hazard Doesn’t Have to Be Disastrous…Belize Looks at Its Resilience
Belize lies in the heart of the hurricane zone and with that reality comes the need to have in place some type of national climate resiliency. Towards that end, the Government of Belize and its multi-lateral investment partners today reviewed Belize’s National Resilience Investment Plan, or NCRIP for short. The plan looks at the Government’s ability towards building climate change, climate variability and adverse weather. It entailed eight months of consultations with the public sector, civil society and non-government organizations to identify the kinds of interventions that could be taken to alleviate potential catastrophic situations when disasters do happen. Marion Cayetano, who is the Government’s National Focal Point, or NCRIP, says the bottom line rests in being proactive as opposed to being reactive.
“We could have a natural hazard and not have a disaster if our people are able to rebound quickly, if our roads are able to withstand the impacts, our airports are able to manage, our ports continue to do business, our private sector operates and people work. So, the objective here is to see what can be done to help to ensure that these various aspects of the people, the environment and the economy is able to rebound whenever a natural hazard impacts Belize. What has to be done is to take action when there is no disaster to prepare the economy and the people to limit the impacts of these hazards. Recovering after a disaster is more expensive in the short and medium term than building resilience to the hazard and often time when we get a disaster and we are trying to recover, we don’t get back to the same state as before the hazard and so, the idea here is to try to integrate into development planning, actions to enable the economy and the people to withstand hazards. The plan and the discussion have identified four areas under which actions can be taken and a total of about sixteen intervention areas. The four components, if we may call them that, are Data and Knowledge Transfer; Building Resilience in our Physical Assets; Non-Physical Interventions and Regulatory Interventions.”
#474102 - 10/04/13 11:47 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: October 4, 2013
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O/W South Residents Work Towards The Prevention Of Dengue
With the recent severe outbreak of dengue in near by regions such as El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras, the Ministry of Health has been on high alert to contain the disease here at home. Back In July there were 13 reported cases of dengue in Belize, two returned positive from the lab. In order to mitigate the mosquito borne illness, the Ministry of Health advices the public to do their part by keeping their yards clean and free from containers that can hold water. Cleanup efforts also assist in controlling the disease. With this in mind, the Yo Creek Village Council, in conjunction with Orange Walk South Area Representative Jose Abelardo Mai and the Orange Walk Town Council, has organized a cleanup campaign for this Sunday.
Jose Abelardo Mai- Orange Walk South Area Representative
“Sabemos que tenemos una frontera extensa con México y es importante que los pueblos que tiene Orange Walk Sur que tienen frontera con México sean conscientes de que el dengue se transmita por un mosquito entonces la limpieza del pueblo es extremadamente importante. Estamos empezando en Yo Creek este Sábado, estamos haciendo una limpieza general del pueblo y les estamos pidiendo por este medio a el pueblo de Yo Creek, a los jóvenes, a los ancianos, a los que puedan ayudar que salgan y apoyen, ayuden a limpiar el pueblo es de Yo Creek, quien más que ellos orgullosos pueden salir a limpiar su pueblos verdad. Hasta ahorita contamos con siete weed-eaters de Town Council, hemos negociado el chairman y el vice-chairman nos hemos sentado con el alcalde de Orange Walk y nos ha expresado su apoyo, nos van a dar los siete weed-eaters y vamos a contar con cuatro tractores y bushhogs, vamos a tener el grader también para las calles, no podemos dumpear porque no tenemos los recursos sin embargo el grader nos dona el Town Council, solo nosotros tenemos que poner el combustible y aun los gastos de ese día saldrían de un mil a dos mil dólares en combustible, agua, aciete y los weed-eater, string y lo que sea así que es un costo algo altito y le pedimos algunos que si pueden y que tienen tractores que si pueden.”
Church In Black Water Creek Burglarized
To date, not even the church is safe from the hands of burglars who are willing to defy all odds to make a quick buck even if it means burglarizing the house of the Lord. Sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon a burglar or burglars broke into the temple of “Casa De Oracion” located in the Black Water Creek Area of Trail Farm Village, Orange Walk and walked away with several musical instruments. The items, valued at approximately one thousand five hundred dollars, were discovered missing by pastor Freddy Chuc.
Upon arriving at the temple around midday yesterday, Chuc noticed that one of the windows located at the back of the building was broken and the back door was opened. When he entered the building he noticed that two speakers along with its wires and a power amplifier were among the items stolen.
Guatemala's Foreign Minister Chastises Elrington For Comments Made At General Assembly
If the simultaneous Referendum between Belize and Guatemala would have gone through, both Belizeans and Guatemalans would have visited the polls on October 6th to determine whether or not Guatemala’s unfounded claim over Belize should be resolved by the International Court of Justice. But in April of 2013 the Guatemalan Government announced that it was not willing to go through with the Referendum due to several reasons. Of course the news did not sit too well with Belizeans but Guatemala stuck to its guns and the Referendum will not take place on October 6th.
At the 68th Annual General Assembly of the United Nations held in New York City, Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Wilfred Elrington, spoke on the important national issue and also expressed disappointment in Guatemala backing down from the Referendum. For context here is an excerpt of Minister Elrington’s address.
Honorable Wilfred Elrington- Minister of Foreign Affairs
“The Guatemalan claim is a constant source of anxiety to our citizens as well as investors in our country. Furthermore, both our territorial and our maritime border regions have been suffering from depredation and environmental degradation in consequences of the wanton and sustained illegal activities of Guatemalan campecinos, fishermen and other criminal elements engaged in narco-trafficking, human-trafficking, smuggling, illegal panning for gold, the extraction of xate and other exotic plants and animals, the illegal felling of timber and the pillaging of our ancient Mayan ruins.
Recent Outbreak Of Cholera In Mexcio Buts Belize On High Alert
A recent outbreak of Cholera in the Mexican State of Hidalgo has Belizean authorities on high alert given the close proximity and extensive border line of Belize and Mexico. Forty four cases have been confirmed only in Hidalgo and according to sources there are thirty three cases currently awaiting results of testing. In fact, ten of those persons affected so far have been hospitalized. Such alarming numbers of affected people in neighboring Mexico has the Ministry of Health in full swing ensuring that the spread of the virus is contained even before it enters Belize. Those efforts will be spread all the way to the Corozal Commercial Free Zone with a group of health workers monitoring the situation.
Dr. Marvin Manzanero
“The report we got this morning, I think 46 confirm cases; two now in Mexico City, one death I think associated to Cholera so just yesterday we met to look at the treatment and we are going to be looking at the algorithm for Belize and socializing that with the health care workers, there is two officers in Corozal today who will also be looking at the Free Zone trying to set up the alert systems as a potential entry point because it is where people are coming into the Free Zone. We have touch base with the central medical lab to see if we have the kits to make the diagnosis in the country and she has confirmed that we have and I just got confirmation that we also have the anti-biotic recommended when an anti-biotic is require for Cholera cases so it seems that we are setting up the alert mechanism to ensure that we don’t have, or when there is any potential case that is treated the way it is supposed to be treated.”
14 Year Old Mennonite Boy Crushed To Death By A Crusher
A 14 year old Mennonite boy from the community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk District suffered a horrific death this morning while working at a quarry located at Camp Nine. The boy was literally squashed to death after he fell into a heavy machine used to break down huge rocks. The incident happened at around 9:30 this morning and our news team was the first on the scene. We must report that some of the footage captured was too gruesome to be aired. Reporter Irvin Aragon has the story.
Irvin Aragon – Reporting
Death found its way into the Mennonite Community of Shipyard this morning and claimed the life of 14 year old Peter Reimer, whose life was tragically ended by a machine used to crush huge boulders.
The horrific incident played out at a quarry located in Camp Nine in Shipyard sometime around nine thirty this morning. When we arrived at the scene the badly mutilated body of Reimer laid in the back of this pickup truck waiting to be carted away to the Northern Regional Hospital.
Man viciously attacked on way to work
We have reported on two separate double murders, and an attempted murder, all in the Cayo district over the past few days. On Wednesday, there is another attempted murder to report on and it happened early in the morning, also in the Cayo district. The victim is 28 year...
Alleged thief shot, burned and buried
A man has been shot and killed in the Cayo district. He is 49 year old Pedro Ruben Luna Andrede. Mr Andrede was shot in Camalote village, Cayo, on a 400 acre private ranch in the roaring River Area, supposedly on Friday September 27. But no one except the...
Two persons detained for double murder in Roaring Creek
The case of the double murder that occurred on Saturday some minutes before noon, still raises a lot of questions. The victims, 25 year old Philippino National Arly Rose Sardido and63 year old American retiree David Lowel Reichel were both found dead floating near the Roaring...
One person sought for double murder in Camalote
On Tuesday we reported on another double murder that took place in Camalote, shattering the relative peace of the village. According to our sources, a masked man visited the house of Juan Olmedo who reportedly sells food for a living. Mr Olmedo was at his house...
Ministry of Immigration launches investigation into passport scandal
The Ministry of Immigration, under the directive of Minister the Hon. Godwin Hulse, has launched an investigation into the passport scandal involving South Korean fugitive Kim Won-Hong. As of late, the public has been crying out for further, independent bodies to look into both the...
PUP asks former Minister Penner to resign or face recall mechanism
On Wednesday, the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Francis Fonseca, issued to the media a copy of a letter sent to the now scandalized ex minister Elvin Penner. In that letter, Fonseca calls for the resignation of Elvin Penner from his position as area representative of Cayo North....
Consulate of Belize in Florida has inaugurated its New Office and Passport Services
The Consulate of Belize in Florida has inaugurated its New Office and Passport Services. The new office was inaugurated on Tuesday, October 1st , 2013, in Coral Gables, Florida. The Mayor of Coral Gables, Mr. Jim Cason welcomed the Consulate of Belize to his city. ...
Non-Governmental Organizations Amendment Bill generates debate in Senate
A number of bills were passed in the Senate on Wednesday, some without contention. However, there were several bills that sparked debate, one of which is the Non-Governmental Organizations Amendment Bill, 2013. This piece of legislation seeks to “Make provisions for public access to information held by the Registrar;...
Ministry of Health confirms presence of H1N1 virus in Belize
In 2009, Belize braced for the impact of the strain of influenza known as H1N1 or “swine flu”. While there were cases detected there were no fatalities and now it is being treated as just another seasonal type of flu. The Ministry of Health has...
Last week a long awaited (many would say long overdue) bill - CRIMINAL CODE (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) BILL, 2013 - was introduced into the House of Representatives to amend the Sexual Offences Act to better reflect the realities of our times and offer girls and boys, women and men better protection against sexual predators. The definition of rape in the old Act does not protect boys or men against rape of any kind nor does it protect girls and women against penetration that is non penal and/or non vaginal. The new bill redresses these defects and better defines many other offences including those against persons of unsound mind and the use of substances to remove a person’s ability to decline consent. The bill still needs to go to Committee and additions or clarifications that anyone feels are needed may be considered then. The passage of this bill into law will not be the end of the process since it is only the probability of enforcement that will serve as a deterrent to sexual predation. This will involve a massive education campaign to ensure that all Belizeans understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. Adults must be aware of the ...
O.W. Town Board Bruk!
The Orange Walk Town board is broke. That is the word coming from that municipality after the Belize Bank froze the accounts of the board for failing to service an overdraft facility. The amount owed by the Orange Walk Town council is reportedly 112,000 dollars and no payment was being made to bring it down. The Mayor or Orange Walk, Kevin Bernard, has wrongfully been claiming that Central Government had secured the overdraft.
At the meeting of the House of Representatives on Friday, September 27th, Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, clarified that the Orange Walk Town Council had been given clearance to open the overdraft facility but there was no guarantee given by government to pay it. It would appear now that through sheer incompetence the town council has been unable to service the overdraft. The town board closed its doors to services late last week and has reportedly had to take out a loan from a private individual in order to pay workers last week. Bernard claims to now be in negotiations with the Belize Bank to free up the accounts of the town council.
Saints and Sinners
The adage goes, ‘If you live eenah glass house, don’t throw stones,’ and it is right that many, many moons ago someone came up with the saying to dissuade persons who are involved in wrong doing to not accuse others who are also involved in wrong doings. So it is that one of the hosts of WUB’s morning show began to call the police claiming that there was skullduggery taking place at the Immigration Department and that an investigation must be carried out. For context we note that Hon. Elvin Penner has been fired from Cabinet after he was involved in some level of wrong doing at the department. To this we must applaud the Prime Minister. He took swift and decisive action against Hon. Penner, but more than that he made it public to ensure that the message is made absolutely clear that this kind of behaviour should not be tolerated. After Hon. Penner’s firing, there is now a full fledged investigation into the wrong doing at the department to establish exactly what took place, who is involved and to place charges on persons if necessary.
Now to the talk show host- It is quite theatrical and apparently noble for him to be calling the police for an investigation to be carried out into the immigration department. He has all right to be saying this, but the messenger should be beyond reproach and here is where there is a problem. In fact the very television station from where the clarion call comes from needs to realize that it is built with glass. As much as what Hon. Penner did is wrong so too is depriving the government of revenue.
West Gone Wild
Since Thursday, September 26th, there have been four, possibly five, murders in the villages of Roaring Creek, Camalote and Teakettle in the Cayo District. Residents of these relatively small communities that sit next to each other are shocked and extremely concerned over the recent spike in violence that have occurred. The Police Department has detained numerous individuals in their investigation of the murders and has since been more visible in the area.
The first murder reported in the area was on Saturday, September 28th. Just before 12:15 p.m. police visited an area known as “The Fall”, situated about 100 yards off a feeder road in the Another World Area of Roaring Creek, where they observed the motionless body of an Asian descent female. According to police report, the body was lying face up on a log. She was dressed in a pink blouse and short blue pants with green flowers on it. Swelling was observed on the center of the forehead, abrasions to the upper right side of the head and right side of temple. Police investigation revealed that at about 11:30 a.m. that day three minors went to swim in the river when they discovered the body floating in the river beside some bushes. They took her out of the water and called the police. The body was identified as 25-year-old Alry Rose Sardido, a Philippine national of Pine Apple Street in Belmopan City.
Sentenced to five years for burglary
Carl Parham, 33, a resident of Mahogany Heights was today convicted of burglary when he was caught inside the Mahogany Heights home of Marie Neal on March 18, 2012. Parham did not manage to steal anything. Police believe that he went there with the intention of raping or causing bodily harm to his victim who was asleep at the time. Parham managed to escape from inside the woman’s home when the victim woke up and found him. By the following day however, police caught up with him and charged him with the offense of burglary.
During his trial on Tuesday, October 1st, he did not put up a defense when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. In court, the victim testified that she was asleep inside her Mahogany Heights home with her children when she was awaken by a noise. When she opened her eyes, she saw Parham inside her room. She told the court that she then began to chase him out of the house. At first he hesitated to leave but she managed to put him out.
For his part Parham chose to say nothing even during mitigation he kept silent.
With the evidence presented, Magistrate Dale Cayetano found Parham guilty and sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment. The sentence is to run concurrently with a 7 year sentence he is serving for an attempted burglary conviction.
Ministry works throughout Weekend, yet O.W. Teachers stay Home
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports
Working parents of students attending Catholic schools in the Orange Walk District had to make emergency arrangements to ensure the safety of their children on Monday, September 30th, since teachers chose not to attend classes.
ORINCO Donates $20,000 for KHMH’s Asthma Bay
Since Brenda Card Stuart, Public Relations Coordinator, introduced the Adopt-A-Ward Program at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, several organizations have responded to the national hospital’s request for assistance. The Organization of Insurance Companies (ORINCO) is the latest to write out a cheque to the institution.
Benque House of Culture Celebrates 12th Anniversary
Hundreds of persons from Benque Viejo del Carmen and surrounding areas came out this past Saturday to Celebrate Benque’s House of Culture duo-decennial anniversary at the historic Centennial Park in that most Western Town. It was an opportunity over the weekend for entrepreneurs to showcase their products as well as artisans to show their talents.
Belize Infrastructure Limited Opens Office
We are pleased to announce the opening of the office of the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) in Belmopan City on October 1, 2013. The office will be headed by Christy Mastry who is serving as the interim General Manager. Ms. Mastry is a licensed architect in Belize with over 15 years of project management experience. She is wrapping up as the Project Director of the Sustainable Tourism Project where she managed $30 million of direct infrastructure and construction projects throughout the country.
Belize Infrastructure Limited is a private company formed by the Government of Belize to act as a public sector agency of the government to undertake the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities.
BIL’s office is located at 1664 Market Square, Belmopan City.
Inauguration of Consulate in Florida
On Tuesday, October 1st, 2013, the Consulate of Belize in Florida inaugurated its new office located in Coral Gables, Florida. The Mayor of Coral Gables, Mr. Jim Cason, enthusiastically welcomed the Consulate of Belize to his city. The Honorary Consul General, Mrs. Janine Sylvestre Vega, welcomed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, as well as Mrs. Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, CEO in the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality, along with other Belizeans and leaders of the community who attended. Both Honorable Wilfred Elrington and CEO Saldivar-Morter addressed the guests present.
Churches to visit every home in Collet
The churches and pastors of the Collet division along with Area Representative, Hon. Patrick Faber, officially launched the Collet Every Home Crusade. The initiative is one where churches from the constituency will be doing outreach programs in the community to attract more people to the church as well as assist in development. The program will run from October 1st to November 7th and will see church leaders and other active members of the evangelical churches reaching out into the Collet constituency doing house-to-house visits.
DAMNED IF YOU DO… DAMNED IF YOU DON’T
The United Democratic Party was ushered into government in 2008 on a mission, and with a mandate, to stomp out corruption. The first term of the UDP government ended on February 7, 2012 with what can be described as relatively minimal scandals. Eighteen months into its second term there has been a sleuth of revelations of scandals involving mostly public officers but most recently involving, for the first time, a minister of government. I say for the first time a Minister, not because no other Minister has not had his/her name called in a scandal, but because this is the first where something apparently provable has been alleged against a Minister in the conduct of his duties.
Newly Established Medical Tourism Association
Dr. Marcelo Coyi has been elected as President of the newly established Belize Medical Tourism Association and the medical community, is getting ready to welcome its first patients in a formal medical tourism system. The Global Spa Summit defines medical tourism as “people who travel to a different place to receive treatment for a disease, ailment, or condition, and who are seeking lower cost of care, higher quality of care, better access to care, or different care than they could receive at home.” Medical tourism stakeholders are hoping that the new industry will eventually end the practice of Belizeans going abroad and significantly increase the number of foreigners coming to Belize for medical care.
Mobile Equipment handed over in Belmopan
In a brief ceremony on Monday of this week a set of mobile tools were handed over at the Institute of Archaeology Grounds on Culvert Road in Belmopan. While the costs for the tools and equipment component that will enhance the Institute of Archaeology to carry out its work, figures just $90,000.00, this is part of a larger project to make tourism benefit communities adjacent to some nine archaeological sites across Belize.
Painting Belize Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Residents of Belize City will notice huge pink bows being prominently displayed on major buildings across the city. The initiative started at the Whitfield Tower which houses the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children.
American Woman busted Cocaine
An American woman who was on the island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye over the weekend vacationing with her husband was charged after she was found with cocaine. 29-year-old American national, Ashley Bossenmeyer of New Orleans, Louisiana appeared in court on a single charge of possession of a controlled drug.
Cop found guilty of killing a man
On Monday, September 30th, a jury of 7 women and 2 men found police constable, Burton Caliz, guilty of manslaughter by negligence. They had deliberated on and had found him not guilty of manslaughter however they found him guilty of the alternate charge of manslaughter by negligence.
Burton Caliz is out on a reduced bail of $4,000 which was granted to him by Justice Gonzalez. Sentencing is set for Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 9:15 a.m., when mitigation pleas will be heard on his behalf.
PC Caliz's trial began on September 18, before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez in the Belize City Supreme Court.
Caliz is a police officer who has been on interdiction since Februray 12th, 2004 when he was charged for the killing of Leroy Pilgrim on the island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. He was initially charged with manslaughter back in March 2004, but on indictment on June 21, 2005, he saw the charge upgraded to murder and his $8,000 bail granted to him by the court was revoked. He was then remanded to prison. He was later tried and found guilty of manslaughter on March 21, 2007 and was sentenced to 10 years. That conviction would later be overturned by the court of appeal and a retrial was ordered.
Accused of stealing from Roommate
A Honduran Domestic who has a temporary permit to remain in Belize until October 19 was arraigned in Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, October 1, after she was accused of stealing items from her room-mate. 21-year-old Maritza Hernandez, a resident of Belize City appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where she was read three criminal offenses, theft, handing stolen goods and damage to property.
$200 for 0.1 grams of Crack
On Wednesday, October 2nd, 26-year-old Marlon Robinson, a laborer of the Mile 8 Community located on the George Price Highway appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino where he was read a single charge of possession of a controlled drug. He pleaded guilty and was fined $200 plus $5 cost of court which he must pay by November 2nd, 2013 in default he will spend 2 months in jail.
OnTuesday, October 1, Robinson was found in possession of .1 grams of crack cocaine and he was arrested and charged for it. Police say they conducted a search on him and discovered the drug in a small pocket above his right front pants pocket.
Sudden Death in Cayo
On Saturday last at about 6:50 p.m., information was received of a dead body on a ‘D and E’ bus which was parked at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. The body was later identified to be that of Otto Perez, 57 years old, a Belizean driver residing on Far West Street in San Ignacio Town. He was observed to be lying on the floor between the two back seats of the bus.
No signs of injury were observed on Otto Perez and he was pronounced dead on arrival at 7:47 p.m. at the San Ignacio Community Hospital. While at the morgue, the body was confirmed to be that of Otto Perez by his cousin Rosalia Awe.
Traffic Accident in Cayo
On September 30th, Rene Guidel, a 33-year-old Belizean businessman of the Mosquito Ville area was travelling to pick up his father-in-law at the corner of Cahal Petch and Buena Vista Street in San Ignacio and at about 7:30 pm when a chain of events turned against him. Guidel reports that after passing Chuc’s Gas Station on the Benque Viejo Road and travelling in the direction from Benque Viejo to San Ignacio he observed that another vehicle was travelling in the opposite direction, with its high beam shining directly in his face. That was when Rene Guidel reports that he was blinded for a few seconds and upon “recovering” he noticed that a male person was directly in front of him, riding a bicycle. Guidel notes that the right side of his vehicle hit the person causing that individual to be pinned under the vehicle and dragged for a short distance.
As a result of this recent accident, the body of an unidentified Hispanic man was observed lying with injuries to the top of the head, face and with abrasions to the right elbow and right knee. The injured person was later transported to the San Ignacio Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Gudiel has since been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.
Basketball competition enters quarterfinal round
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition will enter its Quarter Final Round of the competition on Thursday, October 3, 2013, with two games on the schedule. In the first game is scheduled for 7:30 pm Customs/MoE will go up against Courts and in the second game, it will be BWSL against Belize City Council.
On Friday, October 4, in the first game at 7:30 pm Port of Belize will go up against BTL and this will be followed by Atlantic Bank against Belize Bank Broadway.
Meanwhile, on Friday, September 27, the Knockout Round came to an end with three games.
In the first game played, BTL eliminated Ready Call by the score of 77 to 51. The top scorers for BTL were Devon Lozano with 33 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, Otis Clother with 20 points, and 7 rebounds. For Ready Call, the top scorer was Hubert Baptist with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Belikin Cup Premier League competition opens
The Belikin Cup Opening Season of the Belize Premier League competition opened on Saturday, September 28, 2013. In the game played out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium between the Belize Defence Force and the defending champions, Police United. The Belize Defence Force edged the Police United by the score of 3-1. The visiting Belize Defence Force was able to get onto the scoreboard first when John King scored the 1st goal of the game to give his team an early 1-0 lead. That lead was further increased when Stephen Martinez scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 44th minute of play for a 2-0 lead.
It was not until the second half of the game that the defending champions, Police United, was able to get onto the scoreboard when Clifton West scored his team’s only goal in the 83rd minute of play to cut the deficit to one goal. However, that was short lived when the Belize Defence Force’s Leonard Valdez scored his team’s 3rd and final goal of the game in the 90th minute of play.
The competition then continued on Sunday, September 29, with two more games on the schedule. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, San Ignacio United FC and Paradise Freedom Fighters played to a 2-2 draw. The visiting Paradise Freedom Fighters was the first to score in the game when Franz Vernon scored his first of 2 goals in the 4th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. That lead was further extended when Vernon scored his 2nd and final goal of the game in the 55th minute of play to give his team a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, the Paradise Freedom Fighters defence was not up to the task of defending and gave up two goals in the process. The home team San Ignacio United FC got on the scoreboard when Larry Simon scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 66th minute of play to cut the deficit by 1. The equalising goal for the home team was scored by Roy Cano in the 89th minute of play for the 2-2 draw.
In the final game of the day played out at the MCC Grounds between the Belmopan Bandits and FC Belize ended in a 0-0 draw.
David Henderson captures Cycling 4th Test Race
The Belize Cycling Association sponsored its 4th Test Race on Sunday, September 29, 2013. The event which was held on the Boom-Hattieville Road saw the riders doing 9 laps on an 8 miles Circuit. The first rider to cross the finish line at the end of 3:12:15 was David Henderson of Benny’s Megabytes Elites. Henderson was then followed by Joel Borland of Telemedia Cycling, and he was followed by Allen Castillo of Benny’s Megabytes Elites in a time of 3:12:22, and then followed by Byron Pope also of Benny’s Megabytes and he was followed by Jairo Campos of Telemedia Cycling.
The other top riders to finish the course was Julio Ceasr Dzul of Depredadores in and he was followed by Nissan Arana also of Depredadores, Manuel Ayala also of Depredadores, Roger Troyer of Belikin Western Spirit and Henry Moreria who is unattached, rounded off the top ten riders in the event.
Belize City Primary Schools football competition rolls on at the MCC
The 2013-2014 Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC grounds with a number of games.
The competition continued on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, with three games on the schedule. In the only female game played, St. Luke Methodist School and Holy Redeemer Primary School played to a 0-0 draw. In the first of two male games played, St. Luke Methodist edged Holy Redeemer School by the score of 2-1. The goals for St. Luke Methodist were scored by Chervin Tench while the goal for Holy Redeemer School was scored by Joshua Sulph. In the second and final game of the day, St. Joseph School blanked Wesley Upper School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Mario Galindo.
On Monday, September 30, in the first of two games played in boys’ competition, James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist School won over Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist School. In the second game of the day, Ebenezer Methodist School blanked Queen Street Baptist School by the score of 7-0. The goals for Ebenezer Methodist were scored by Tyreek Muschamp (4), Dion Cacho and KyJuan King (2).
Our Journey To Caracol: A Bumpy Road Back in Time
Here is a post to prove that Scoop readers are the very coolest, smartest, most talented and best looking in the world. Thanks SO much Meg. I’ve never been to Caracol and NOW I need to go. Take it away…
Before we get started, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Meg, and I traveled to Belize for 10 days in September with my new husband Chris on a fantastic honeymoon- 5 nights on the mainland, and 5 on Ambergris Caye. I’ll be doing a few guest scoops for Rebecca as she takes a much-deserved trip back to the States. The photo below isn’t the best, but I’m much more frequently the photographer than the one being photographed!
The first half of our trip brought us to Hidden Valley Inn in the Mountain Pine Ridge. Rebecca stayed there last year and loved it, so I’ll let her cover the resort itself (and all the food!). ***From SPS – Check those posts at the bottom of this one!*** A future post from me will take on some parts of the property she didn’t get a chance to visit. For now, let’s focus on our first day-trip, deeper into the MPR to the ancient Mayan city of Caracol!
We were a group of 4 (myself, my husband, and two young women from the Netherlands) with our guide from HVI, Freddy. The Inn itself is about an hour down an unpaved road from Georgeville, on the Western Highway. Caracol is about another two hours further down that road- but luckily, there are some interesting stops along the way.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
The Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (or the ATM for short) is one of the top adventurous and thrilling experiences Belize has to offer. The cave is found in the beautiful Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve located in the foothills of the Maya Mountains in Western Belize. Here are ten interesting things you might not know about this ancient Maya sitet:
1) The name Actun Tunichil Muknal means, “Cave of the Stone Sepulcher”, and locally known as “Xibalba”, roughly translated to “a place of fear”.
2) The cave was first discovered in 1989 and opened to the public in 1998. Dr. Jamie Awe was the first person to explore the cave, and along with his Western Belize Regional Cave Project they conducted archeological research there from 1993-2000.
3) The cave is a full 5 kilometers deep (roughly 3 miles) but tourist are only brought 3,5 kilometers into the cave.
How to Prepare Your Product for Import/Export
Studying competing products in the country where you wish to do business is a great way to target what works in that market. If you cannot visit the country and scan store shelves yourself, get in touch with folks on the ground there and see if they can apprise you of what products are comparable to yours.
Meanwhile, grab a sample of your own import/export-ready product, and let’s run through our checklist:
1. The name of your product.
Sure, it sounds fine and intriguing to an American, but what does it mean in the target market? Find out beforehand. If you don’t, you will end up with a fiasco like Chevrolet had on their hands when they introduced their new automobile called the “Nova” in Venezuela — which, in Spanish, means “doesn’t go”!
Tips on Running a Successful Small Business
Before starting a business, entrepreneurs should focus on preparing a business plan that outlines how they will create a competitive edge in the market and create profitable operations. All businesses need to have a set plan of operations that will achieve profits for the business and income for the business owner. Having a written strategy for achieving these goals, will help owners maintain a strong focus on creating a competitive edge and turning a profit on their business operations.
Companies should start small and then expand as their operations gain market share. Low overhead gives a small business the flexibility to make changes if the industry changes or consumer demand begins to wane.
“I Can’t Help Myself” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Got up yesterday morning feeling like I could tackle anything and succeed . Obviously at my age I can’t but its great to feel that way. Decided though to take a slow build up. Why rush things?
So, I did what I do best. Made (Made? Water in kettle, kettle on, coffee in a mug, wait for the water to boil, and then pour in to mug. It’s not rocket science!) my first coffee of the day, grabbed my iPad and headed for the veranda. Time of reaching favoured position ? Around 04.15 hours. I think. I think because in all honesty I didn’t look at a clock.
Straight to The Times on-line to read about all that I am missing in England. Not a great deal actually apart from being able to go and watch Arsenal . Oh, and my and Rose’s family. Whoops. And my friends of course.
Once I had finished reading the ‘paper’ I turned my attention to assembling yesterday’s edition and this took me around an hour. If you read it I can understand you being puzzled as to why it should have taken that long. But it did. Perhaps I allow my mind to wander too much instead of focusing on the task at hand?
Placencia’s Best Food Spots
Placencia isn’t only known for it’s nice beaches and great bars, it’s one of those places that pairs fine dining and hearty meals surprisingly well. One evening you can be having a luxurious dinner at an upscale restaurant and the next day you can be sitting under a shack on the beach and have the best breakfast you’ve ever had. You pretty much can equally enjoy each food experience and feel like a winner. Below are 5 of my favourite food spots in Placencia.
VIDEO: Man invents machine to convert plastic into oil
Here is a great answer for Belize's coastal garbage issue as well the mainland. It's subtitled, so read along.
Guatemala Sends Protest Note to OAS after Belizean Statements
Guatemalan Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera protested before the Organization of American States (OAS) over statements made at the U.N. by his counterpart from Belize, Wilfred Elrington, regarding the territorial dispute between both countries.
The protest was included in a letter addressed to OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza yesterday, with a copy to Erlington and the Guatemala-Belize Group of Friendly Countries.
In the letter, the Foreign Minister rejected suggestions about alleged intentions by Guatemala to forcefully assert its rights over the territory administered by Belize.
Insulza has played the role of facilitator in the process followed by both countries to bring the territorial, insular and maritime dispute to the International Court of Justice.
Carrera stated that Foreign Minister Erlington said Guatemala had unilaterally suspended the referendum scheduled for October 6, 2013 and did not report to the U.N. General Assembly that it was because Belize had changed the Law of Referendum, which requires 60 percent of participation by the electoral register to validate the voting.
Belize prepares for gay sex law to be axed
With a court due to rule whether the gay sex ban is unconstitutional, experts say the Belize government is paving the way for consensual anal sex to become legal. Belize is preparing for their law against sodomy to be struck down by the courts.
Gay anal sex, considered ‘against the order of nature’, is illegal in Belize and can get you 10 years jail – but a court case is trying to change that.
Recent government moves indicate they accept the court may rule the gay sex ban is unconstitutional and has to be altered or scrapped.
In the latest development, they are amending other areas of the law so male rape would be criminalized properly if the gay part of the penal code is axed.
Latest travel tips from 1,000 Places To See Before You Die author Patricia Schultz
A publishing phenomenon that gave an aspirational kick to the usual travel guides, 1,000 Places became required reading, and gift giving for far more than those who have already booked a trip. Rather, anyone who hoped to hop on a plane or pack up the minivan this year, next year, or in ten years could delve into its bite-sized profiles of delightful destinations ranging from Cambridge University in England, our own Calgary Stampede, Banff/Jasper/Yoho, and heli-skiing in B.C. to the Lucca and Pisa in Italy, Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa and Belize’s Barrier Reef.
The Beast Strikes Again: Central American Migrants Feel Brunt of Failed Immigration Policies
Security is a constant buzzword heard in the latest round of debate on US immigration reform. Democratic and Republican politicians alike are making promises to US citizens that the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” will focus on prioritizing their security. The promulgation of this word begs the question, security for whom? Is security guaranteed for the tens of thousands of family members who will not gain a path to citizenship if the new reform package is passed? What about security for the migrants who, despite an increasingly militarized border, will still make the journey, clinging to the metal grates of La Bestia (The Beast), the freight train that traverses Mexico, and then trek through the Sonora Desert.
Increasingly migrants are forced to travel via the dangerous La Bestia, which earned its name because it has taken the lives of so many of its passengers. Death recently struck again, when La Bestia derailed in Huimanguillo, Tabasco, close to the Guatemalan border. At least six migrants were killed and more than twenty-two were severely injured, many of whom had to be rescued via canoes due to the inaccessibility of the remote area in which the train derailment took place.
Milton Alexis Umaya, a Salvadoran migrant who survived the derailment, gave the following testimony, which was featured in Desinformemonos:
In my train car we were 40 or 50 people and we were all sleeping at that time. Suddenly the car flipped and threw me to the side but some women broke their hands. I helped several get out from the pile of scrap metal, but there was one woman I couldn't help because a piece of metal had gone through her neck and killed her.
The first place I think we could live!
We think we have found it…..a magical “it” place that ticks all the boxes on our wish list. A place we could call home… someday, or at least part of the year. So what boxes are on are list you ask?
#1: Beautiful Beach The beach was exactly what we were looking for! Beautiful sandy beachs, that you could walk for miles. The water was not only gorgeous to look at it also was a perfect temperature. We spent 2 days at Chabil Mar, where we laid on the beach all day soaking in the sun and dipping in the sea to cool off every soo often.
Where to Get More for Your Dollar (and What to do if it Devalues…)
You ain’t nothin but a hound dog…cryin’ all the time… Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit… And you ain’t no friend of mine… Elvis was in the house last night. Young Elvis. Why English-speaking Belize may well be your ideal haven if you’re looking for laid-back beach living or a self-sufficient retreat up in the rolling hills. This little nation on the Caribbean is easy, friendly, and good-value. Take advantage of its program for retirees, and you can get residence in Belize—but you only have to be physically present there a month a year! Glynna Prentice outlined all the details…
Seven of the World’s Best Islands for Good-Value Living
“If you want to ‘get away from it all,’ tropical-island style, there may be no place better in Belize to do it than Caye Caulker, says Internationalliving.com editor Glynna Prentice. This five-mile-long island—only half of which is really inhabited—sits in dream-worthy, turquoise Caribbean waters.”
The ocean is visible from almost every place on the island, the sun glinting off the waves.
With its laid-back style, Caye Caulker gets its share of young, active tourists. But it appeals to older expats, too. They come for its simple lifestyle, stunning views, and for still-affordable seaside real estate. (A small one-bedroom, one-bath condo with a rooftop terrace and sunset views is for sale now for $150,000.)
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