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#474196 - 10/05/13 12:36 PM Today's Belize News: October 5, 2013
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Island ex-pat attacked by crocodile on Ambergris Caye
A US expat is lucky to be alive after he was bitten by an American Saltwater Crocodile while in the water southeast of Ambergris Caye. The incident occurred shortly around 8AM on Wednesday, October 2nd. Because of the attack, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) has issued an advisory alert for the Mosquito Coast area of Ambergris Caye. According to Cherie Chenot-Rose of ACES the victim of the attack, who asked to remain anonymous, was swimming from one dock to another trying to spearfish when he was attacked. “It was about 8AM, the peak time when these types of apex predators feed. He reported that the area had a lot of debris, which is a perfect hiding place. But because of the way the attack happened, we don’t believe it was hunting for food,” explained Chenot-Rose. The local croc expert explained that the man may have “invaded” the animal’s space and in defense it snapped at him. “From the type of wounds on the man, we believe the crocodile just snapped in defense. The crocodile may have feared the person near it. If the croc was hunting for food, the injuries could have been worse or probably fatal.” In most cases, when crocodile attack for food, a single grip is all the animal needs for it to be a deadly success for the croc. However, when they feel threatened, they are known to just snap and leave the area.

1st Marine Expeditionary Force Civil Affairs Team partner with Belizean authorities
A team of four Marines from the United States Marine Corps and one Sailor from the US Navy are in Belize working with the residents, various organizations and law enforcement agencies. The main goal of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Civil Affairs Team is to reinforce their relationship with Belizean authorities through partnership and friendship. The US Marine team will be working in various areas of the country’s disaster plan and bridging the gap between the Belize Coast Guard and the community. The team comprises of personnel from the US Marine Forces South, which falls under the US Southern Command and a Hospital Corpsman (medic) from the Navy. Head of the team, Captain Sarah Culbertson explained that the exercise is one of partnerships between Belize and US. “We are going into the communities conducting partnered operations with various government agencies to make both parties better prepared to respond to humanitarian relief scenarios. We are working with all the civil components including the police department, the fire department and the schools – basically anyone who can be an important player in case of a disaster.”

Burton Caliz found guilty of manslaughter by negligence in the 2004 death of Leroy Pilgrim
The trial regarding the shooting death of 24 year Leroy Pilgrim is back in Supreme Court following a retrial. Pilgrim, a resident of the San Juan area of San Pedro Town was shot and killed in February of 2004 by Police Constable Burton Caliz following a struggle. Caliz, who remains on interdiction, was initially charged with manslaughter in March of 2004 but his charge was upgraded to murder in 2007, where he was found guilty. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the conviction was overturned in 2008 during an appeal trial before the Belize Court of Appeal, who then ordered a retrial. That retrial started on September 18th before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, but this time for manslaughter. The prosecutor called eight witnesses to testify including Sanjay Pilgrim, the brother of the deceased. Sanjay told the court that on the day of incident, he was on a boat in the San Juan area of San Pedro Town, when his brother Leroy arrived. He recalled that on the day of the incident, police constables Vidal Cajun and Caliz then arrived in separate golf carts.

A sweet bit of history at Serpon Sugar Mill
I had my own adult version of a field trip a while ago, and one of the items on the itinerary was a visit to the Serpon Sugar Mill. There it was: history! My least favorite subject in the world, Social Studies, was looking me in the face and laughing. Facts and figures and names – things I thought I would never have to face again were on an itinerary that included climbing Maya ruins, fine dining and sleeping in fabulous hotel rooms. When our tour was interrupted by the fact that the guide would be unable to accompany us due to unforeseen circumstances, I thought that perhaps we’d be let off the hook. But, no such luck. However, we would be allowed to roam freely among the giant trees and old abandoned machinery, getting our fill of Serpon Sugar Mill.

Ambergris Today

International Day Of Older Persons Observed in Belize
October 1st is celebrated as the United Nations International Day of Older Persons and in Belize, like so many countries around the world, this date is 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. This year marks the 22nd Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons and the UN theme is “The Future we want – what Older Persons are saying”. As the population of older persons is growing in Belize the country needs to focus greater attention to older persons and listen to what they are saying.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Khadija Assales
Today's Belmopan Weekly profile features Belizean jeweler Khadija Assales, designer of KajExpressions and owner of Treasure Box in Placencia Village.

2013 Consejo Road Disaster Task Force
The Consejo Village Council wishes to put forth the idea of organizing a Consejo Community based Task Force who’s mission is to simply do what we can collectively, as a community, to achieve lasting improvements to Consejo Road. Therefore, all interested persons are invited to attend a meeting this coming Sunday at 2:00 PM at the Casa Blanca by thee Sea Hotel in Consejo Village . Given the experience, expertise, various knowledge bases, collective energies and other resources residing within our Community, coming together and organizing ourselves to focus our efforts on Consejo Road has great potential. This is to be a Consejo Community Task Force and not a Consejo Village Council task force. This needs to happen at the level of community. Here are some discussion points to be thinking about for our 2:00 Sunday meeting at the Casa Blanca Hotel . Pros and cons on all these points and more are to be discussed and our meeting.

FESTIVAL DE LA HISPANIDAD Y MESTIZAJE
family out on these dates!!!! FESTIVAL DE LA HISPANIDAD Y MESTIZAJE Event: Lecture on War of Caste (mostly in Spanish) Date: Friday October 11th Time: 7:00 p.m. Place: Corozal House of Culture Event: Optimist Regatta – Corozal Bay Sailing Club Date: Friday October 12th Time: Afternoon Event: Crowning of Ms. Hispanidad and live Steel Band and Corozalsa Date: Saturday October 12th Time: 7:00 p.m. Place: Corozal House of Culture – Open Air concert Event: Cultural Food, Cultural Presentations, Arts and Craft Displays Date: Sunday October 13th Time: All day Event: Optimist Regatta – Corozal Bay Sailing Club *Date: Saturday October 12th Time: Afternoon

Taco Pie
In a bowl combine chicken, lettuce, chili's, and cilantro. Set aside. Place one of the tortillas on a large platter. Spread with half of the avocado dip. Then top with a second tortilla. Spread with half of the refried beans. Cover with a third tortilla. Sprinkle with half of the chicken-lettuce mixture. Add a forth tortilla. Spread with half of the sour cream sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with sour cream and cheese. Garnish with tomatoes, olives, and cilantro. To serve, cut into wedges. If desired, serve with salsa. Makes 8 servings

Belize Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop
Cayo is represented well at the Belize Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop currently happening at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk. NICH is celebrating its 10 year anniversary, and at this event they are working with UNESCO during the workshop. "National Workshop on Community-Based inventorying of Belize Intangible Cultural Heritage happening in Northern Belize for 8 days, brings forth the splendor of the rich cultural vibrancy in our Jewel"

Galen Pool Party
Galen University's student government is having a pool party fundraiser today at Cahal Pech. DJ Karizma and other guest DJ's will be there.

VIDEO: Barracuda Cave, San Pedro, Belize
In June 2013 Martin John Leslie shared with me numerous cracks that the local fisherman have used for generations in the seafloor behind the town of San Pedro. We apply named this one Barracuda Cave after the large barracuda that would emerge from the crack/entrance the first few times we visited. Its a small restricted sidemount entrance with much potential for exploration. See my friend Robbie Schmittner and his brother Richie exploring and surveying- Its such a joy to watch Robbie explore

Channel 7

PUP Get In Gear to Trigger Penner Recall; UDP Will Stand With Penner
Tomorrow, the PUP Western Caucus will launch a massive drive in the 7 villages of Cayo Northeast to collect at least 1700 signatures - which is the 30% of the registered voters required to trigger a recall. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca is expected to present those signatures on Monday when - he'll have to follow through on his "resign or recall" ultimatum because Penner won't resign. The Prime Minister confirmed that today - when we caught him as he was entering BWSL to meet with the union. More on that meeting later, but, first to the Prime Minister on Penner - whose hospitalization he also discussed: Jules Vasquez "You will lead a national party council for your party tomorrow. What message will you send then concerning the situation in Cayo North East?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow "We will have to discuss the fact as well the opposition has indicated that it will seek to recall Hon. Penner and so we will have to talk about how we prepare for that." "I will say straight off that of course we are going to oppose the recall. We believe that Hon. Penner did wrong and has been punished. We certainly don't feel that he ought to be left on his own."

Cayo NE Constituent Says Elvin Should Be Criminally Charged
So, tonight there are three main pieces of news on Penner: the PUP will start collecting signatures to recall him; the UDP will support him in a recall election; and the DPP says from what she's seen there's enough to merit a police investigation. In that, she has the support of Cayo Northeast Resident Marlon Robinson. Robinson has written and delivered a letter to the Commissioner of Police, requesting police intervention. Today, he came to our studio to make a public call that his request be carefully considered. Robinson, who said that he is a law student, told us the public outcry for a criminal case is justified: Marlon Robinson "I am respectfully asking the Commissioner of Police to launch a criminal investigation on this matter. It is obvious to be seen that something of a criminal nature has taken place. I believe there is sufficient circumstantial evidence and tangible evidence, real evidence that you may tender before a court and a judge may accept."

Janitor Cleaned Up with Jewelry
Tonight, 49 year-old Dawn Baiza, who was a janitor at JEC, is out on bail after she was taken to court for allegedly stealing over $55,000 worth of jewelry from her former workplace. According to Police, one the store's managers he was alerted by one the employees that a customer was trying to pawn a ring which went missing from the store since July 11 of last year. They conducted an audit which revealed that $55,000 worth of jewelry was stolen. Police investigated, and allegedly found all the missing jewelry at her house. As a result, she was charged with 1 count of theft, and 18 counts of handling stolen goods. She was arraigned yesterday before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who granted her bail of $30,000, which she was able to meet. She must return to court on December 4, 2013.

GSU Busted Weed, Lady Friend Offered Gun, No Deal
Tonight, 33 year-old Belama resident Richard Smith out on bail after the GSU busted him with over 28 pounds of marijuana. Yesterday morning at 11, the GSU searched an open lot in Belama Phase 4, where they found Smith and 2 other men. Nothing was found, but the officers got information that a drug transaction was taking place, so they questioned Smith about it. The GSU says that he led them to another abandoned lot nearby, where he claimed that he had drugs hidden. The officers found 2 separate stashes of compressed marijuana to a total of 13.1 kilos - or 28.9 pounds - of marijuana along with a scale. He was arrested and charged with 2 counts of drug trafficking, and he was arraigned today before Magistrate Clive Lino. He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail of $6,000, which he met this evening. He returns to court on December 2, 2013. His female companion Sandra Thompson says the GSU told her to produce a firearm and they would ease off on Richard smith. She says she bought a gun and put it under a car near the police station as she was told to, yet the GSU didn't live up to their side of the deal.

PM Puts Utility Unions At Ease Over Pension Funds
Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow went to BTL to meet with their union and today he did the same at BWSL and BEL. With all the public uproar over Citizen Kim and Elvin Penner, you might think he's trying to put out political fires, but in fact, he's trying to get the unions not to bail on their pension funds. Those utility unions have robust pension funds and they got a scare this week when word went out that two proposed pieces of legislation, the draft Belize Pensions Regulation Bill and the draft Belize Pensions Act would give government the authority to raid those pension funds. And then word went out that these pieces of legislation might be pushed through the house in two weeks' time! That sent everyone reeling - and that's why the PM had to spring into action to say, "Not So". The bills being passed around are only model bills produced by a Canadian consultant; they haven't gone to the Sol Gen, or to Cabinet. And while they provide for the regulation of pension funds, more importantly, they don't seek to regulate existing funds. The PM told us what he told the unions:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I do believe that there is a misunderstanding of the provisions of the draft bill. But it doesn't matter. If it ain't broke, don't fix it; these pre-existing pension schemes run internally here at BWS, BEL and at BTL don't need to be touched as far as I concerned. If it ain't broke, don't fix it." "We will absolutely exempt all pre-existing private pension schemes except there are any entities running such that see the bill and say no. We want what we think are additional layers of protection that the bill contains."

PM Barrow Says Elrington Was On Target In UN Speech
And today, we also got the Prime Minister to comment on Wednesday's angry statement by the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As we reported last night, the Guatemalans are vexed about the statements made at the United Nations General assembly by Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. Elrington said, quote, "both our territorial and our maritime border regions have been suffering from depredation and environment degradation in consequence of the wanton and sustained illegal activities of Guatemalan campesino, 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." End quote. Those words, and many others on that subject, incensed the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs which sent a letter of protest to the OAS. The nine point letter says, quote, "The Government of Guatemala does not accept the derogatory and discriminatory treatment used by the Foreign Minister of Belize regarding Guatemalan farmers, fishermen and villagers, blaming them for numerous illegal acts, which, on the contrary are a source of concern for our government and we are strongly involved in counteracting them. Neither does it accept the unfortunate concepts which ascribe to Guatemala an alleged responsibility for environmental destruction in Belize…the actions of some nationals would never make the State responsible for such acts."

Guat Foreign Minister Carrerra Scolds Department Governors For Meeting With Belizeans
And the angry talk from the Guatemalans continues. Yesterday, Guatemalan media reported that Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera denounced private meetings held by Belize officials with the Governors of the departments of Izabal and Peten. Newspaper reports say Carrera stated that Belizean authorities have proposed agreements as if local Guatemalan authorities represent the State. Carrerra called it a "game" that will not be allowed. He said, quote, "(No) governor who shares a border with Belize, can unilaterally put forward agreements with Belize...the president directs foreign policy" end quote. Both governors Juan Jose Pinto Estrada and Raul Estrada Jerez have agreed to informal cooperation agreements to promote trade Carrera said it appears as if they are agreements between the department of Peten and Belize and quote "that cannot be done and it is legally unacceptable" end quote. He added that it is being done to provoke the idea that the central government has no will to resolve the dispute.

Police Say Arson Was Caused By Mental Patient
Yesterday, 7News told you about the fire which did extensive damages to the home of 84 year-old Morris Taylor. Well, police are treating the investigation into that fire as arson. So far, the investigation is pointing to 33 year-old mental patient Richardine McKay was inside the house at the time the fire started, and the evidence points to her as the one who lit some paper which caused the fire. She suffered burns, and was taken to the KHMH, where she was kept under observation. The estimated cost of the house is $19,000, and it was not insured.

What Comes After City Center?
As we've reported, the City Center is being dismantled - and the Prime Minister says a 30 million dollar facility will go up in its place. But we've been hearing the promises of a new facility for, like, 2 years, which is how long it took to just get the project started to tear down the old Civic Center. So how long will it take for a new facility to be built, and what will it look like? That's what we asked a member of the Belize Infrastructure Limited Board of Directors Paul Thompson today:.. Paul Thompson, Belize Infrastructure Limited "Belize City Center is being dismantled as you said and the plan is to build a multi-purpose facility at this location. A multi-purpose facility that houses basketball, volleyball and whatever else that can happen here." Jules Vasquez "How large will it be? What type of seating will there be? What type of ventilation will there be?" Paul Thompson, Belize Infrastructure Limited "We are in the process of finalizing that presently. There were plans that were done a few years ago to put a multi-purpose facility at the Marion Jones Complex. That didn't worked out and we will see shortly what those plans are to see whether or not that facility can be placed at this location."

Basketball Beat Brazil, But Has No Home
And as the President of the Belize Basketball Federation Paul Thompson knows well how badly Belize needs a proper indoor sports facility. Right now they're trying to field an under 14 team to play regionally, but they have nowhere to practice. And, it's a shame because Belizean basket ballers continue to do well on the world stage. Recently, our under 18 three on three tam had a respectable showing at the world championships in Jakarta Indonesia. Thompson discussed these events, and how they relate to a lack of training facilities:.. Paul Thompson "3X3 U-18 National Team for Belize participated in the U-18 world championship in Jakarta, Indonesia from September 26-29. We played against some very huge country; Germany, Spain, we actually beat Brazil and we beat Venezuela and we lost to Germany and Spain. According to coach Smiling we had a good chance of winning the game against Spain."

What CARICOM Citizenship Means
The words "Caribbean Community" appear on the front of your passport - but what do they really mean? It should mean that you have the right to move around the Caribbean unimpeded, and now a landmark ruling from the Caribbean Court of Justice has enforced that right and scolded the Country of Barbados for violating it. It was handed down today in the case of Jamaican Shanique Myrie, who arrived at Grantley Adams International Airport on May 14, 2011. She claimed that Barbadian officials denied her entry into Barbados, and she was subjected to a traumatizing body cavity search in a deplorable detention center. She was expelled from the country the next day. She brought her claim to the CCJ that Barbados violated her right to free movement within CARICOM, which she claims was done in discrimination against her Jamaican nationality. The State of Jamaica intervened in the case on her behalf.

Students March Against Violence
So far this year, violence has been on a major downswing in Belize City - and while we are all grateful for it, truth is, it's been trending up for 12 years, with the murder rate climbing almost every year since two thousand. An entire generation was raised in such times, and every day, they carry the scars of community violence. That's why for the students of Canaan High - it meant something today to march against violence. Monica Bodden reports:... Monica Bodden reporting This morning the Students of Canaan Seventh Day Adventist College gathered to share one message...which was, Stop The Violence! Garfield McCulloch- Principal "We decide to celebrate it so that the children themselves can become aware of what violence is about; how it is affecting the society, the school and the relationship with each other." "Seeing that we are concern about the increase of violence in the City especially and that we can start with them here that they would understand what we can do to decrease, to stop the violence among them here."

Belizean Musicians Play In Another Regional Orchestra
A month ago, 7News showed you the Youth Orchestra of the Americas who finished their tour in Belize. Belizean violinist Courtney Gillett performed with the prestigious orchestra on that date, and now has another opportunity to do so. Gillett and fellow violinist Cindy Burgos, have been given an opportunity to practice and tour with another youth orchestra. That group of musicians is called the Central American Youth Orchestra (OJCA), and they've been in Panama for just over a week preparing for their upcoming concerts. Our Daniel Ortiz was in Panama earlier this week for an international conference, and he got an opportunity to see the OJCA in action during one of their practices. He also spoke with the Gillett and Burgos about the opportunity they're being given. Here's what they told us: Alejo Campos, President - OJCA "The orchestra is a special program to bring down the violence in young people around the whole Central American Region and here you have the best musicians around the Central America area. Here you have almost 100 young people making good music."

Salima And Friends Continue To Give
Her mother's shown great prowess at fundraising for charitable causes, and just so for 8 year old Salima Barrow. Her "Children Helping Children" organization is launching its second round of fundraising for children living with cancer. On Saturday these 8 year olds will be selling limeades and other goodies and today they are personally asking for your support. Salima Barrow "We are going to have a limeade stand at Brodies parking lot from 12 - 4 and we won't only be having limeade, we'll be having other stuff too." Abigail Thurton "Cookies, brownies, cupcakes and a lot more stuff." Halle Fuller "The purpose is to raise money for the sick children that have cancer." Monica Bodden "You guys have a aim that you want to reach?" Halle Fuller "I am thinking about going up to 200 but this year I am going to go bigger."

Channel 5

Immigration scandal remains uncontained; Barrow says party will support Penner
The raging flames of the immigration scandal remain uncontained tonight and there is the very real possibility that its effect will be felt in the Cayo Northeast constituency in days [...]

A proposed Private Pensions Act creates panic amongst subscribers of utility companies
A number of Bills went before the Senate on Wednesday and were ratified. Aside from an amendment to the Criminal Code that is causing disquiet among the churches, there is [...]

Prime Minister moves to appease BWSL, B.E.L. and B.T.L.
Of note is that the Insurance industry has been for some time one of the most regulated industries and has always had a supervisor of Insurance. Even with all that [...]

The amended Criminal Code…does it further the LGBT agenda?
The other controversial Bill is for the amendment of the Criminal Code which seeks to further protect children from predatory offenses such as rape and carnal knowledge.  But other language [...]

P.M. says language in Criminal Code cannot be changed
The P.M. further stated that while the language used in the drafting of the gender policy can be revisited and discussed, such is not the case with the proposed amendment [...]

Cayo North East gets ready for a recall of Elvin Penner
Elvin Penner is recovering from hypertension for which he was admitted at Medical Associates on Thursday. Since then, he has been visited by the P.M. who says that his condition [...]

Another formal complaint is lodged for a criminal investigation
But even while the P.U.P. is gearing up for a recall, there is still the issue of a criminal investigation. A complaint was made earlier this week by WUB Morning [...]

GSU operation seizes 26 pounds of marijuana
On Thursday, the Gang Suppression unit seized twenty-six pounds of marijuana from a lot on Belama Phase four. The report by the unit states that officers conducted a search on [...]

Girlfriend talks about GSU operation and how she was scammed
While Smith was charged by Police, today his girlfriend Sandra Thompson says the GSU made a deal with her, and then didn’t keep their part of the bargain. According to [...]

Janitor allegedly steals over $55,000 worth of jewelry from J.E.C.
A Belize City janitor, police say stole over fifty-five thousand dollars worth of jewelry, is tonight out on a bail of thirty thousand dollars. Reports are that between July eleventh [...]

14 year old Scott Thompson missing for over a week
Fourteen year old Scott Thompson has been missing since last week Thursday, and tonight his mother, Elvira Thompson, is begging the public to assist her in locating the teen. She [...]

Mother of two is also missing
There is another family who is reporting that their loved one is missing. Twenty-four year old Shana Dominguez left home around five p.m. on Thursday.  According to her common-law-husband David [...]

The modernized sanitary landfill in full operation
A new transfer station replaced the old garbage dump site at mile three and a half on the George Price Highway. The transfer station receives tons of garbage from the [...]

Holy Redeemer celebrates wellness week in style
This morning, standard six students transformed the educational surrounds of the Holy Redeemer upper classrooms into a fruit and vegetable utopia. It was a veritable shrine to healthy eating using [...]

A gospel concert at the Bliss
Fire and Brimstone will be raining down on Belize this weekend, but in a good way. That’s the name of a gospel concert featuring artists and church groups from all [...]

LOVE FM

Children Helping Children With Cancer
For the second consecutive year, Salima Barrow, the daughter of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, will mount a lime aid stand at the Brodies Parking lot on the Philip Goldson Highway on Saturday. The eight year-old standard two student at Hummingbird Elementary Primary School this year teamed up with three of her classmates to raise funds to help children suffering from cancer. It goes by the theme, “Children Helping Children” and from midday to four in the afternoon on Saturday, Salima and her friends will be selling lime aid to the public at the location. Today Love News stopped by Salima’s home and spoke with her and her friends about the endeavor. SALIMA BARROW “First you put in a lime in the water and then you add some sugar. We hope to raise more than a thousand bucks. I am making money to give the cancer society for the people who have cancer. I was inspired by my mom because she had cancer and she was very ill and I felt sorry for her; so, now I want to help the children with cancer.”

Energy and Environment Alliances of Central America Holds Forum
Renewable energy for productive uses in Central America was the focus of the 22nd regional forum of the Alliance of Energy and the environment of Central America held in Panama. The three day event featured presentations from countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras. Panel discussions looked at strategies to improve the visibility of renewable energy, the promotion of renewable energy in Central America and looking at successful projects using renewable energy in the region. Projects highlighted included bio-energy to improve productivity within the bovine sector, a success story out of Panama; the benefits of solar energy panels in hospitals in El Salvador, and the use of solar panels in small isolated rural communities in Nicaragua. Since the early 2000s AEA has funded at least 17 projects in Belize. Beneficiaries of this funding include Belize Sugar Industries, Toledo Cacao Growers Association, Belize Audubon Society and other rural communities across Belize. Over the last 10 years AEA has funded 281 projects within the region. According to Doctor Ana Maria Majano it is important to better equip journalists to cover stories on renewable energy. She said sustainable development is evolving. She also noted that there is no goals looking at energy in the millennium development goals and it is impossible to reduce poverty without the use of renewable energy. She said governments within the region need to put more importance on renewable energy and look at ways to lessen the dependence on fossil fuels. The workshop had the participation of officials from the Ministry of Energy and the Environment of SICA countries, government departments, non government organizations and journalists from the region.

John Doe Found Floating in Mopan River
The body of a male person was found floating alongside the banks of the Mopan River in Western Belize. Corresponded Elaine Berry spoke with police who say that they don’t suspect foul play. ELAINE BERRY “A male Creole man was found at about ten o’clock this morning floating in the Mopan River in the Benque Viejo area. Love News spoke to the Officer in Charge of the Benque Police Formation, Assistant Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson who will tell us more about the discovery.” ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT DINSDALE THOMPSON “Sometime around ten this morning, we received a call from a resident of Benque Viejo who told us that she saw what appears to be a dead body floating in the river near the Benque border with Guatemala. Upon our visit to the scene, we found that it was indeed a body; we retrieved the body, called in our forensic people along with a doctor from Belize City. A post mortem was carried out and certified that the person had drowned; foul play is not suspected; we do not have a name of the victim therefore we are asking anyone who has reported someone missing from the area to please visit the Benque Police Station as we do have photos of the victim.”

Adventist High School Hold Activities for Violence Awareness and Prevention
Today Canaan Seventh Day Adventist High School on Coney Drive held a parade through Belize City and a ceremony at their school compound to mark the end of a week of activities on violence awareness and prevention. It is the first time that Canaan Seventh day High has held such an event and based on the results, the Principal, Garfield McCulloch, says that the school is encouraged to make it an annual practice. Some of the activities during the week included a song and poetry competition. According to the school’s counselor, Karen Bodden, this initial campaign to end violence is one that took on many aspects. The school currently has an enrolment of just over 360 students.

BWSL Under Attack: Vehicles Set Ablaze…Bomb Threat at Belize City Office
The drama wasn’t done for Belize Water Services Limited yesterday, because other than two of their vehicles been burnt around eight thirty in the morning, they also received a bomb threat around 11:55. Police visited the location once more and met with the call operator for BWS who reported to them that a call had come through the switchboard and someone who a male tone spoke in creole and said quote “there is a bomb in the building and it will go of in twenty minutes” end quote. The caller then reportedly started making threats directed to Senior Employees at the company. The call reportedly lasted about two minutes after which the caller hung up. The area was secured and cordoned off by members of the Belize Defense Force Bomb Squad, who also made checks and declared the building safe at 1:00 in the afternoon. Investigations continue.

Post Mortem Results Revealed For Camalote Murder Victims
On Tuesday we reported that two men in Camalote Village in the Cayo District were shot and it cost both of them their lives. The first victim was twenty seven year old Juan Carlos Olmedo who was with his family when a masked man reportedly entered his home and asked for money, shooting him in the process. A post mortem examination conducted on his body yesterday by Dr. Mario Estradabran, certified the cause of death to be vascular shock due to internal and external bleeding, due to heart and superior vena cava injuries as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The second victim was Oscar Leonel Benitez who was reportedly riding his bicycle when he came under fire. A post mortem examination conducted on his body yesterday certified the cause of death to be exsanguination due to internal and external bleeding as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.

Draft Legislation Seeks To Modernize Private Pensions
On Thursday evening’s newscast Love News reported that Prime Minister, Dean Barrow was meeting with Belize Telemedia Limited employees over reports the employees had received that the Government had intended to tamper with their fund. The meeting, which had in attendance about a hundred BTL employees, lasted for about an hour and a half at BTL’s Saint Thomas Street court. The employees brought up a number of questions and concerns which the Prime Minister answered. Today, the Ministry of Finance issued a press release, addressed to the public. It states that following the 2008 financial crisis and the liquidation of Caribbean Financial Limited, many Caribbean countries were urged to take steps to improve the regulatory and supervisory framework of their financial systems with particular focus on Private Pensions and other financial products. The release continues that with the approval of the Minister of Finance, the Ministry engaged the services of international financial consulting firm, Morneau Shepelle LLC, to draft a legislative framework for the regulation and supervision of private pensions based on modern international standards and industry best practices as employed elsewhere in other Commonwealth jurisdictions.

New Executive Officers For Orange Walk Teachers’ Union
The Belize National Teachers’ Union is holding election for executive offers across the country. This afternoon some three hundred and fifty teachers took part for the election of officers for the Orange Walk Branch of the BNTU. After casting of votes, two term president Otilio Munoz was re-elected as president. The vice president of Keith Augustine, secretary is Mirel Alamilla, assistant secretary is Sharon Reynolds, treasurer is Rigoberto Medina, and trustees are Alejandro Hernandez, Maria Borrallos, and Raiza Carlos. Auditors are teachers Linda Jones and Emma Gene Arzu. Election for national executives is scheduled for next year.

CTV3

Elvin Penner Is Hospitalized
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner is in the middle of the passport scandal which has been making headlines in every news media across the country. Tonight word coming out of Belize City indicates that Penner was hospitalized at a private clinic after he suffered from high blood pressure and other ailments. With Belizeans clamoring for someone to be charged for the issuance of a Belizean Passport to South Korean National Kim Wong Hong while he was in detention in Taiwan without the proper procedures being followed, the Government of the day certainly finds itself in a tight knot one that will not be let loose anytime soon. While the Prime Minister of Belize has categorically stated that there is no evidence which indicates the Penner should be criminally charged their others who believe other wise.

CCFZ Records Increase In Amount Of Visitors
A few months ago residents of the small community of Subteniente Lopez, a small Mexican community bordering the Belize/ Mexico Border demonstrated against the usage of the new Chactemal Bridge since most businesses were experiencing a decline in their daily sales. But the same cannot be said about the Commercial Free Zone which has seen an increase in visitors since the opening of the new bridge and the implementation of some new measures by management. Victor Castillo – Reporting David Ackierman - Director of the CFZ “The movement of the new bridge has not affected in a negative side on the contrary it has brought more positiveness to the Corozal Free Zone. Why? Because we don’t have any bottle necks now as one could recall couple months ago prior to the new installations a thousand visitors would take as much as six hours returning back home and now a thousand visitors only takes minutes to return home so the congestion has reduced, the flow has been easier, the number of visitors I would say have increase a little because a lot of frustration was; you come to the Free Zone what time will you leave because of the queues that is not any more so, in a way I think the new bridge has brought, it is more beneficial than causing negative impacts to the Corozal Free Zone.”


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#474197 - 10/05/13 12:36 PM Re: Today's Belize News: October 5, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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PlusTV

BREAKING NEWS: Standing House committee meets Tuesday for “Gender Neutral Rape Bill” public hearings
Yesterday PlusNews reported on the online article from Gay Star News titled “Belize prepares for gay sex law to be axed.” , the article says, “While much more work is needed, Orozco told Gay Star News he was delighted with progress, saying: ‘It seems the stars are aligning for us.’ … The...

Caleb Orosco says “stars are aligning” with Barrow’s Gender Neutral Rape Bill
Are the stars lining up for UNIBAM and Caleb Orosco? Well, that is what Gay Star News has reported as coming from the mouth of Mr Orosco. On the online article titled “Belize prepares for gay sex law to be axed.” , the article says, “While much more work...

Guatemala protests statements made by Belize’s Foreign Minister
Belize and Guatemala; the two countries have been unable to settle border disputes and Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory and when the simultaneous referendum which was scheduled for this month was scrapped by Guatemala, it undoubtedly pushed a resolution further away. Now there are reports that the government of...

BWS hit by attempted attack and bomb threat
There was concern at the Belize City head office of Belize Water Services Thursday afternoon when the building emptied as a result of a bomb threat called in around 12 noon. Earlier in the morning there was damage to two vehicles in the Central American Boulevard...

Fire destroys house in Lake Independence
There was a fire in the City this afternoon that destroyed a single wooden structure in the Lake Independence area. Fire Department officials responded to the scene in the “Ring Road” sometime after noon but were unable to save anything in the structure. Information to us is that there...

Plus TV investigates land disputes in Cotton Tree Village
Last week a man by the name of Rudolph Tucker, locally known as “Rasta”, reported to the media that he wants justice for the demolishing of his two houses and the removal of his title to a piece of land in the Cotton Tree Village, Cayo...

VIP says they will support Recall of Elvin Penner
Much has been said about the recent passport scandal involving former Minister Elvin Penner. The Prime Minister had acted quickly after receiving information of Mr Penner’s involvement from INTERPOL, and fired Elvin Penner as Junior Minister. But calls for a criminal investigation have intensified from various sectors of society....

Amendment to the Criminal Code tabled at Senate meeting
The Amendment to the Criminal Code, Chapter 101, which was tabled at Wednesday’s Senate meeting, seeks to “Make provision for the extension of the offences of extortion and corruption to the private sector; to create the offenses of piracy, insider trading, hostage taking and illegal restraint, fraud and illicit...

BTL warns customers about scam
Belize Telemedia Limited is putting out a warning to prepaid customers that it has been targeted by scam artists. With more here is general manager for public relations and customer services, Dionne Miranda. Dr Dionne Miranda - BTL Public Relations “We are not exactly sure. We are investigating and...

Residents in Salvapan, Belmopan come together to repair street
Residents of Belmopan have longed complained about the condition of the city’s streets. But last week, a group in the Salvapan area, decided to get up and do something about it. The video you are viewing was provided to us by a resident in the...

Duo found not guilty of attempted murder
Jermaine Belgrave and Jeffery Flowers were accused of attempted murder due to an incident which took place in March of 2012. According to PC Harold Grinage and PC Alexis Banner, on that date, the two officers were in mobile patrol. According to PC Grinage’s testimony,...

Candle-light Vigil in memory of Suzenne Martinez
One year has passed since the senseless killing of 20 year old Suzenne Martinez. Ms Martinez was murdered, as she made her way home from school. Her body was discovered not too far from her home in San Ignacio, a few hours later. Suzenne’s favorite...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Conch season now open!
Conch season officially opened October 1, 2013. These large mollusks are a staple delicacy is many a coastal Belizean kitchen. And the shells are gorgeous. By far the most well known conch delicacy is the Belizean conch (pronounced conk) ceviche, or a lime-marinated salad which features the conch as the main ingredient. But ceviche is not the only way the conch is prepared. Some people make fritters out of it.

Amandala

BELIZE’S MAIN ECONOMIC SECTORS CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE
Agriculture, petroleum and power generation—three of the major economic sectors in Belize—continued to struggle in the second quarter of 2013, after underperforming during the first three months of 2013. However, weak performance in those sectors was offset by gains in fishing, construction and Government services, according to a report for the second quarter of the year. “Oil production continued its downward spiral, falling by 26 percent and reaching its lowest level for any calendar quarter in the past three years,” said the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), in a release issued today. As for electricity generation, that fell by a similar margin due to insufficient rainfall at the two hydroelectric plants, the report added. The report indicates that, “After a mere 0.1 percent increase in the first quarter of this year, the economy of Belize edged up 1 percent in the second quarter, putting growth for the first half of the year at 0.5 percent.” SIB said that the 3 most influential contributors to the slight economic upturn in the second quarter were fishing, construction and Government services.

OPPOSITION CALLS FOR SENATE INQUIRY INTO PASSPORT SCANDAL
Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman this afternoon issued a call on the Senate to launch an independent investigation into the recently disclosed passport scandal for which former Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry Elvin Penner, the United Democratic Party area representative for Cayo Northeast, was forced to resign two weeks ago, after a revelation that Kim Won-Hong – a South Korean who had been jailed in Taiwan, had been fraudulently given Belizean nationality and a Belize passport. “I think all of us as citizens need to know what happened, how it happened, who caused it to happen, who is responsible and most importantly of all, we need the assurance that it will never occur again,” Senator Shoman said. She invited the ruling United Democratic Party administration to table a motion at the next sitting of the Senate “to convoke the Senate to exercise its powers” and if not, the Opposition is prepared to bring that motion at the next Senate meeting. “We passed a raft of legislation today, Mr. President, in order to satisfy the entire world, that we do not condone nor do we support illegal activity in Belize – nothing less than the integrity of our nationality certificate and our passport is at stake. I join the call that is coming from the media, that is coming from citizens, that is coming from civil society, that is coming from the Opposition for there to be a full and proper accounting of what occurred, not only in relation to this matter, but what are the weaknesses in the system and what assurances we can have that such an incident will never occur again in order for us to have to put the Prime Minister of this country in a position where the resignation of the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration had to occur – that is utterly, utterly shameful,” Shoman said.

WANTED: PENNER’S HEAD!
PM Barrow blames Immigration employees for Penner scandal; PUP gives him until Monday to resign. Won Hong Kim’s files, fingerprints disappear from Passport office Evan “Mose” Hyde, of Krem Radio’s WUB morning show wants Penner to be investigated; the Opposition PUP badly want his neck; the media is hot on his smoking trail; and many citizens want to see him hauled before a court. Yes, former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, with emphasis on Border Protection and Immigration, Hon. Elvin Penner, whose seat is in the Cayo North East constituency, and who had responsibility for the Department of Immigration, is a wanted man, despite being desperately defended by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Tonight, credible reports were that, probably because of the enormous stress, Penner has been hospitalized in a Belize City hospital, reportedly the Medical Associates.

MOSE “LIGHTS FIRE” UNDER POLICE TO CRIMINALLY INVESTIGATE PENNER
A formal complaint has been lodged by Krem Radio’s WUB talk show host, Evan “Mose” Hyde, in order to launch a criminal investigation into the ongoing passport scandal involving Hon. Elvin Penner, the Cayo Northeast area representative who now says that he was duped by an identity thief. The complaint was made after several unsuccessful attempts by Hyde to reach the Police Department via phone on his morning talk show, “The Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes (WUB).” His calls were cut off at least twice, while on air, before he finally got through to the office of the Police Commissioner, but still he had no luck. After numerous calls to various police formations, Hyde was directed to Sergeant Solomon Westby at CIB Precinct 2. After his show, Hyde then went to the Racoon Street police station to make a statement, based on what he termed as “significant irregularities” at the Immigration Department.

FISHERIES CONFISCATE 1,200 POUNDS OF CONCH VALUED AT $167,000
The Fisheries Unit, while conducting maritime operations on Northern Two Caye in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll area on Saturday, September 28, in an effort to enforce the closed season for conch, which ended on Monday, September 30, when the season opened, found and confiscated an icebox containing 5400 units of conch, which together weighed about 1,200 pounds. The conch, which were fillet and had already been processed, were stashed in sixteen sacks in an ice box nestled in mangroves. No persons were found in the area, so the products were taken into custody by the Department and labeled as found property. Hampton Gamboa, Fisheries Supervisor of the Conservation Compliance Unit, told Amandala that on Saturday, September 28, they were conducting searches at Northern Two Caye on Lighthouse Reef Atoll when they found the ice box containing the products. He went on to say that a magistrate will order a disposal of the confiscated products. The Fisheries Supervisor said that that if the men who harvested the illegal conch had been captured and taken to court, they could have expected to pay a fine of $167,000, since the court assigned a value of $30 to each unit of conch, of which there were 5,400.

DIGICELL USERS BEWARE!!!
An international scheme is apparently being perpetrated by sophisticated phone hackers, in which an international call is placed to Digicell phone numbers in the region. However, when subscribers return missed calls, all their credit is automatically stolen. Amandala understands that a great many cell phone users have been affected; and these incidents of telecommunications rip-off have received a vast amount of attention on various social media outlets, especially Facebook. Today, Belize Telemedia Limited, the agent for Digicell in Belize, warned its customers via text message about the fraud. The message said “BTL advises that fraudulent international numbers are calling our Digicell numbers. You are advised not to return any calls to avoid being defrauded.” Dr. Dionne Miranda, Public Relations Officer for Belize Telemedia Limited, told KREM News today that they conducted investigations to find out how the ploy worked, and when they checked into their system, they realized that the theft of credits was made possible, not when customers receive calls, but when they attempt to return such calls.

THE MIGHTY AVENGERS MAKES HISTORY – FIRST CAYO FOOTBALL AWARDS AND MIGHTY AVENGERS HALL OF FAME
Football was being played yesterday with the opening weekend of the Premier League of Belize tournament, but football history was made earlier in the afternoon at Henry’s Eden Resort a couple miles outside of San Ignacio on the Benque Viejo Road, where some of the district’s greatest football stars of yesteryear gathered along with relatives, friends, football fans and invited guests for the first ever Mighty Avengers Hall of Fame and Cayo Football Awards ceremony. Just a couple weeks ago on September 15 in Belize City, the first “Mugger Day” was held in honor of Belize City football legend Louis “Bembe, the Mugger” Garbutt, who passed away on June 28 in New York. His close friend and legendary teammate on Independence, Serapio “Big Mole” Alvarez, also passed away less than two months after the Mugger; so the day turned out to be a memorial for him also, as well as a forum for fans to reminisce on other great football stars of the past, some deceased and some still with us. Present at the gathering was Mole’s ailing younger brother, Ramon “Lee Mole” Alvarez, himself a gigantic star of the 1970’s. And shortly afterwards we learned that another legend, Angus “Mr. Ball” Vernon is reported to have suffered a stroke. (By the way, does anyone know if Angus has yet received the Meritorious Service award?) The times seem to be directing the football family to look back and give recognition and show appreciation to the past stars who have lighted up our sporting life by their performances on the football field, as well as by their character off the pitch.

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON!
The groundwork has been done, and the final touches are being put on preparations for next weekend’s boxing open-door event out west in San Ignacio. There are no Premier League football games scheduled for next weekend in San Ignacio, so the main attraction will likely be the boxing showcase where San Ignacio/Santa Elena residents are welcome to witness the start of a new era in boxing. Boxers seeing action will be from Lions Den Gyms in San Ignacio and Ladyville, as well as from San Pedro and Guatemala. Lions Den Gym managers Clinton Tucker (Ladyville Lions Den) and Frank Martinez (San Ignacio Lions Den), who together organized the event, are determined to see boxing return to prominence on the Belize sporting scene; and they say they are committed to youth development, and not just the commercial side of boxing at this time. That will come in the future; but right now, it’s all about getting the youngsters involved, and getting the community involved.

COROZAL BAY REGATTA SET FOR OCTOBER 12
The general public and all sailboat enthusiasts are invited to attend the annual Corozal Bay Regatta on the weekend of October 12-13. The series of sailboat races will take place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, featuring up to 5 races with the youth sailboat Optimist. This regatta is being hosted by the Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC), under the auspices of the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA). There are many unsung heroes in Belize that bring Optimist sailing to reality for our youth sailors. This month’s National Ranking Regatta recognizes outgoing CBSC Commodore, Libby Fitzgerald (retired), who led “the fleet” and kept the Youth Sailing Program in focus for CBSC, developing affiliations with the BzSA, not to mention her many hours “in the water” with the sailors. We welcome CBSC’s new Commodore, Gerard Cordts, who has been the “main stay” of the youth sailing program at CBSC from the start.

PASSPORT POLITICS Editorial
We can’t say for certain who pulled the Prime Minister’s coat on the case of the illegal Belize passport for South Korean national Won Hong Kim. What we know for sure is that while sitting in a Taiwanese prison, awaiting extradition to face embezzlement charges for hundreds of millions of dollars, Kim was granted Belizean citizenship and later purportedly applied for and got a Belizean passport. We must acknowledge that Prime Minister Barrow acted posthaste in ousting Elvin Penner from his post as Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration. That was within his right and responsibility as the head of Cabinet, and it is a responsibility he arguably could have abdicated. No doubt the Prime Minister must have been exasperated: this is a man whom he appointed to the post of second-in-command at the scandal-ridden Ministry of Immigration even after he was caught on camera days before the last general elections personally organizing scores of immigrants in the Belmopan parking lot of the Immigration offices. Despite public concern at the time, he appointed this same man to this same ministry, a government ministry where even monks would be tempted.

GUATS CRY FOUL TO OAS
Guatemalan’s Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that its Foreign Minister, Fernando Carrera, had sent a protest note to the Secretariat of the Organization of American States, copied to Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, as well as the Group of Countries Friends of Belize and Guatemala, taking issue with the statements he made in his official address on Monday, September 30, 2013, at the 68th UN General Assembly held in New York City. In the statement, Guatemala said that it “rejects any insinuation” that it plans to subvert Belize by violence or military action. Carrera told OAS Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza in the note that whereas Elrington indicated in his speech that Guatemala unilaterally backed out of the plans to hold simultaneous referenda on whether the territorial differendum should be settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—that vote having been set for this Sunday, October 6, but aborted after Guatemala pulled out of the agreement—it was Belize, Carrera said, which unilaterally changed “the rules of the game,” when it amended its referendum laws to mandate that 60% of the voter population must participate in the referendum to make it valid. Carrera said that the change introduced unequal conditions which Guatemala found to be unacceptable.

THE 1968 BLACK POWER SALUTE
To quote the lyrics from the song, “Ain’t it funny how time slips away”: “Well hello there, my, it’s been a long, long time. How am I doing? Oh well, I guess I am doing fine. It’s been so long now; it seems it was only yesterday, and ain’t it funny how time slips right away”. I can remember a small Belize team getting prepared for the October 12th – October 27th Olympic Games in Mexico City. It seems to me it was just yesterday Colin Thurton, Sonny Meighan and others were at the M.C.C. Grounds training and were in high spirits getting ready to participate in the Games. I can remember in the evenings, especially on the weekends, that there was a very high level of public participation in the training of our athletes. Fans came out in droves in special support for our athletes and so it was that they left the shores of British Honduras for Mexico City. There was controversy over sending a Belizean delegation to the Games. Arguments were that our athletes were not ready, were not prepared, were not suited and were not relevant for these Games. It was said that they were “out of their league” and that it would be a waste of time and money to send athletes to these games. The naysayers argued, let’s get a bunch of youth and train them over the next four years, prepare them well and then participate.

IDEAS AND OPINIONS – HIGH STANDARDS
— by Janus Unless we set high standards, our country will never become the great nation it was destined to be. High standards of conduct and performance should be established and maintained in every sphere of our private and public lives but, especially, in our schools, in our public services, in our government and, above all, in our House of Representatives, the highest institution in the land. If we had high standards, the officer in charge of a Coast guard vessel that was to escort the Dominican Prime Minister on a trip to San Pedro, Ambergis Caye, would have been at least fifteen minutes early, instead of hours late. What is more, the Commandant of the Coast Guard would be in touch with him to make sure he could complete his mission and, if he could not, there would be a vessel on standby to take his place. Why all this careful preparation? Because the President of Dominica was the personal guest of the Prime Minister of Belize and, our country’s reputation as a good host was at state. If we had high standards a Maya Monument would not be bulldozed for material to build roads. How remiss is our public education. Why is it that every schoolboy and schoolgirl does not know what a great treasure is our Mayan heritage and that these monuments are priceless?

DIRTY SCANDAL … NO ACTION
— by Audrey Matura-Shepherd It is possible that a person’s mind and/or a nation’s psyche could be so saturated with the negatives and scandals that they just become desensitized, sinister, or fatigued that they just cannot “deal with it” anymore. But for a person or nation to reach that point it has to be that internally, their reasoning mechanism just cannot or does not want to process one more thing, because the psyche is now detecting it as the norm, not as a mind-boggling, shocking, jerk-you-out- of- your-senses event. For some reason it seems that this is the very thing that has happened in Belize, especially because we have still not wheeled out of the reality of all that the UDP administration has unearthed and publicized and pontificated about the wheelings and dealings of the past administration managed by representatives of the PUP. When news of the secret deals were made public, it was madness… many were shocked while some got confirmation of what they suspected. That was a moment!

MOTORCYCLE COLLISION CLAIMS LIFE
Javier Moody, 19, a resident of Gardenia, died this morning about 9:00 o’clock at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, of massive injuries he suffered after he was involved in a road traffic accident, along with his girlfriend, while travelling on his motorcycle between Miles 16 and 17 on the Philip Goldson Highway (formerly known as the Northern Highway), in the Sandhill area. The injuries he sustained had included damage to his kidneys and liver.

CYCLIST DEAD; DRIVER SAYS HE WAS BLINDED BY HIGH BEAM
A Salvadoran clothes vendor, known only as “Sergio,” who resided in San Ignacio, died after a vehicle hit him, killing him almost immediately. Sergio was riding his bicycle on the side of the road when the vehicle hit, and then rolled over, him. He was pinned under the vehicle, which dragged him on the road for a short distance before it came to a stop. The incident occurred about 7:30 Monday evening near Chuc’s Gas Station in San Ignacio on the Benque Viejo Road. Rene Guidel, 33, a businessman of Mosquitoville area in San Ignacio, was arrested and charged with causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, and manslaughter by negligence. He was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, Thursday, to answer to the charges.

TEENAGER, 19, CLINGS TO LIFE AT KHMH
A teenager is clinging onto life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH)’s Intensive Care Unit after he crashed while travelling on a motorcycle in Sandhill. Javier Moody, 19, a resident of Gardenia, suffered massive internal injuries, including damage to his liver and kidneys. His condition has been declared as critical, but stable. The incident occurred about 2:00 Sunday afternoon on a curve in Sandhill, between Miles 16 and 17 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Reports are that Moody and his girlfriend, Valarie Garel, were travelling on a motorcycle to Sandhill from Ladyville when he lost control of the motorcycle, ran off the road and slammed into a tree. Moody and Garel were thrown off the motorcycle. As a result, Garel suffered a broken jaw and a broken leg, while Moody’s hands were broken and he suffered internal injuries, which led to the collapse of his kidney and liver. Garel is recovering in a stable condition in the KHMH, but Moody is fighting for his life at the ICU.

RESIGN OR BE RECALLED Letters
I write on behalf of the people of Belize, and in particular, the people of the Cayo North East Division to DEMAND your immediate resignation as the Member for Cayo North East Division in the House of Representatives of Belize. I am authorized by the National Executive of the People’s United Party to advise you that if you fail to resign as the member for Cayo North East by 5 p.m., Monday, October 7th, 2013, the People’s United Party along with the electors of that division, will initiate your RECALL as the Divisional Representative for the Cayo North East Electoral Division in accordance with the RECALL OF ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES ACT, No. 20 of 2010.

SAFER ROADS SAVE LIVES Letters
— by George and Candy Gonzalez Dear Editor, On September 30, Monday night, another death occurred on the George Price Highway (Western Highway) on the road coming into San Ignacio, from Benque. Before this most recent death, there have been many accidents, at least two deaths and some serious injuries. Everything, from buses, trucks, motorcycles and cars, seem to think it is a racing area. It seems as if some are going as fast as 60 miles an hour. Children going to Bishop Martin from Trench Town and Kon Tiki usually cross the road at Trench Town. That is where a speed bump needs to be to slow the traffic. Another problem is that the kids going to other schools walk down the road. There is no place on the right side of the road, going toward town, for them to walk because the grass ends at the street. Therefore, they walk in the street unless they cross over to the other side. This situation is an accident waiting to happen.

WHY DID PM BARROW’S NEWSPAPER, THE GUARDIAN, IGNORE THE “TERRIBLE INSULT” TO PM SKERRIT?
— by Sally Caretella Dear Editor, When I heard that the Dominican Prime Minister would be visiting Belize, I was delighted. Perhaps closer ties would develop between the two countries and I would at last be able to take my husband to meet my extended family in Dominica. Had history played out differently, Roosevelt Skerrit would have been my prime minister. Whatever happened? I have watched the news channels, I have read the newspapers, I have listened to the chat shows and I am still at a loss. I could not believe that such a terrible insult could happen and be ignored by certain quarters. On Monday, I found The Guardian. Absolutely no comment, as far as I could see. We were told that Prime Minister Skerrit is Prime Minister Barrow’s personal friend. Why would his Party newspaper ignore what happened?

BASKETBALL IN PULU’S TIME WAS THE BEST Letters
— by Hakeem Bush Dear Editor, I’ve read with much pleasure the From The Publisher column concerning basketball in the 70’s and 80’s at Birds Isle, and the early days at the Civic Centre. I remember growing up as a little boy in the 70’s and 80’s, going to these games with my mom. She was a hard Belikin Wheels fan; those games used to be exciting. I got to see the last of the games being played at St Ignatius. I clearly can remember the Old Parr team and Baygon, with Butty Neal and the late, great Wilton Cumberbatch in action. Being a student at St. Ignatius, we used to be the envy of other primary schools, because most of the basketball games were being played on our turf. The best part of basketball was when Clinton Pulu Lightburn came on the scene with Home Builders at Birds Isle. I remember those heated games with his old team Belikin Wheels, Carnation and Old Parr or Grand Marnier. Pulu took basketball to another level and I think this guy, along with Norman Nunez in football, needs to get the highest award of distinction in sports. In fact, Pulu was so well-respected and liked that when you would go to play on a junior team, everybody wanted to wear No. 11, because that was Pulu’s number. I mentioned to someone the other day that if you left Belize in the early 80’s and went to live in the States and came back today, you would be shocked that basketball is still being played where you left it over 30 years ago.

CARNAL KNOWLEDGE AGAIN – THE 15-YEAR-OLD IS PREGNANT
Despite the repeated warning issued by police to men not to have sexual relations with female minors, incidents of carnal knowledge continue to be reported. A 25-year-old man of Punta Gorda now faces jail time of 8 to 12 years if found guilty of the charge of carnal knowledge after it was reported that he seduced and impregnated a 15-year-old girl. On Friday the girl and her mother, both of Conejo Village in Toledo, went to the police in Punta Gorda and reported that on two occasions, on July 19 and August 19, a man, whom she knew, engaged her in sexual intercourse. The police took the girl to the Punta Gorda Hospital, where the doctor who examined her found that she had been carnally known and that she was pregnant.

2 MEN CHOPPED IN THE WEST AND SOUTH
Two men, Feliciano Pedro Bol and Julian Esquivel are suffering from machete wounds after they were chopped in two separate incidents, in Toledo and Cayo. Feliciano Pedro Bol, 35, a farmer of San Antonio, Toledo, was chopped on his hand; his thumb was damaged and his right middle finger was amputated as a result. Bol told police that he was walking home from his farm in San Antonio about 9:00 Friday morning, when he met a man whom he knew, who is also a resident of the same village. He said that the man was armed with a machete, and as he approached, the man took out his machete and swung it at him. Bol put up his hand to protect his head, causing his hand to be chopped. The man then ran away. Bol then went to the San Antonio Polyclinic, and afterwards he was taken to the Punta Gorda Police Station, where he made a formal report.

POLICE SEEK BANDIT WHO ROBBED PG RESTAURANT
Police in Punta Gorda are conducting an investigation to find the man who held up, robbed and fired shots in a restaurant in the town at about 11:00 Friday night. The gunman also robbed three customers in the restaurant, and got away with $230 and three bottles of rum from the restaurant. Chinese businessman Kun Hang Zhu of George Price Street, Punta Gorda Town, reported that he was standing behind the counter of Sunshine Restaurant when an armed, masked man entered the establishment, carrying a pistol in his hand, which he pointed at him, and demanded money. The businessman said that he became fearful for his life and handed over $230 cash. The bandit, without provocation, fired three shots in the restaurant; there were three customers in the restaurant at the time, Zhu said. The gunman then pointed his gun at them and demanded money and their belongings.

PC BURTON CALIZ, 30, FOUND GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER BY NEGLIGENCE AFTER JURY WAS SENT BACK TO DELIBERATE
Caliz was initially charged with manslaughter —then the charge was upgraded to murder, then reduced back to manslaughter — and was convicted in 2007 PC Burton Caliz, 30, was found guilty of manslaughter by negligence this evening after the 9-member jury was sent back to deliberate on their decision for a second time. After Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez concluded his summation of the trial, the jury went into deliberation at 12:33 this afternoon to decide whether PC Caliz was guilty of manslaughter or manslaughter by negligence for killing Leroy Pilgrim back in February of 2004. During the trial, which commenced on September 18 and was presented by attorney Leeroy Banner, witnesses testified about what they observed on February 12, 2004. One of those witnesses, Sanjay Pilgrim, the brother of Leroy Pilgrim, told the court that he was on a boat in the San Juan area, and his brother Leroy had just arrived there. PC Caliz and Cpl. Vidal Cajun then arrived on separate golf carts and approached Leroy to search him, Sanjay said.

CARL PARHAM, 33, FOUND GUILTY OF BURGLARY AND SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS
Additional sentence has no effect, since Parham’s 5-year-sentence will run concurrently with a 7-year sentence he is already serving This morning, after Magistrate Dale Cayetano heard testimonies from PC Kelvan Benguche and PC Lincoln Alvarez, he found Carl Parham, 33, a resident of Mahogany Heights, guilty of burglary and sentenced him to five years in prison. During the trial, Marie Neal, also a resident of Mahogany Heights, testified that on March 18, 2012, she was at her home with her children asleep when she was awakened by a noise. When she opened her eyes, she saw Parham inside her room.

3 MEN CAUGHT STEALING 5 SACKS OF BEANS
Three of four men were captured stealing 500 pounds of red kidney beans in Spanish Lookout, from the home of a Spanish Lookout farmer, Norman Dueck, 37, by a neighborhood watch group in the area, who handed the thieves over to the police. The incident occurred about 11:30 Monday morning. The five sacks with which the men were found, contained 100 pounds of beans each, with each sack of beans having a market value of $250. Together the sacks totaled $1,250 in value. After being arrested by police, the three men — identified as Benjamin Hurtado, 49; Hurtado’s 16-year-old son, and Jaime Morales, 22, all of Los Tambos Village, Cayo District – were charged with theft. They were taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court yesterday to answer to the charge. The Hurtados pleaded not guilty to the charge, and were offered bail of $1,000 each, while Jaime Morales pleaded guilty and was given a 6-month jail sentence. Benjamin Hurtado was able to meet bail, and was released from custody and ordered to return to court on November 28, but his teenage son was unable to meet his bail, and remains in custody.

MARITZA HERNANDEZ, 21, CHARGED WITH THEFT, HANDLING STOLEN GOODS AND DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
Hernandez was remanded into custody after it was learned that she is a Honduran with a temporary visa valid only until October 19, 2013. Maritza Hernandez, 21, a Honduran domestic of #34 East Canal, is spending her first night on remand at the Belize Central Prison tonight after she was denied bail by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Hernandez was arraigned on charges of theft, handling stolen goods and damage to property after her roommate, Suyapa Barahona, made a report to the police. According to that report, when Hernandez arrived at home at 4:00 Saturday evening, she found that Barahona had packed her belongings and had them waiting for her at the door. Hernandez, who according to Barahona appeared to be under the influence of something, became enraged, went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and went into the room, where she damaged a Sony brand flat screen television valued at $2,000.

DOUBLE MURDER ROCKS ROARING CREEK, CAMALOTE VILLAGERS
Belmopan police have their hands full this week after a total of four people were murdered in two different incidents over a 72-hour span in a set of events which is believed to have started on Saturday, when the first double murder reportedly occurred. While taking an early afternoon swim in the Roaring Creek River at around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, a small group of young boys saw an object floating in the nearby waters and decided to take a closer look. To their dismay, they discovered the lifeless body of a 25-year-old Philippines national, later identified as Alry Rose Sardido. A swelling could be seen on the center of Sardido’s forehead, as well as abrasions to the upper right side of her head and temple. Residents of the Roaring Creek area had reportedly seen the woman walking towards the creek, accompanied by a light-skinned male person, about an hour prior to the grisly finding. The two apparently went to the popular swimming area, known as The Falls, to escape the day’s humidity and enjoy the cool ambiance of the river. A search team made up of police and Coast Guard officials was subsequently formed to comb the area in an effort to find Sardido’s male companion ;after a white Toyota Tacoma with Belmopan license plates was also found at the scene.

JEFFREY FLOWERS AND JERMAINE BELGRAVE, BOTH 31, ACQUITTED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CHARGES
Flowers and Belgrave were accused of trying to kill cops Harold Grinage and Alexis Banner. This evening, a 9-member jury returned not guilty verdicts for Jeffrey Flowers and Jermaine Belgrave, both 31, who were accused of shooting at police officers Harold Grinage and Alexis Banner. The trial started on September 26 in Justice Adolph Lucas’ court, where the men were each charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault on PC Harold Grinage and PC Alexis Banner – charges which were as a result of a shootout on March 26, 2010. The first witness to take the stand was PC Grinage, who testified that he and PC Banner were on mobile patrol on Baghdad Street when he saw Belgrave and Flowers, both of whom he had known for several years.

MURDER MADNESS GRIPS CAYO VILLAGES
Western Belize has certainly turned into a hotspot over the past few days due to a flurry of criminal activity, and now there appears to be another case of suspected homicide in the Arizona area of Teakettle in the Cayo District. A 49-year old farmer and herbalist, Pedro Ruben Andrade Luna, set out from his home last Thursday, September 26, at around 1:00 p.m., to make his usual trip to gather “contribo”, roots and medicinal plants in a vast area, miles behind Arizona Village, known as Roaring River. His family became concerned after he did not return home, and worse, he has not been seen or heard from since. They feared the worst, and were convinced that the father and husband had been executed by illegal immigrants who now inhabit the area. According to Esmeralda Luna, his daughter, it was normal for him to go to the area and come back, and sometimes he would come back the next day, so they thought that he would have returned home on Friday, the following day.

Blogs

14 Incredible Pictures From Around Belize
14 Amazing pictures of things that will make you want to jump on the next flight and come visit Belize:

ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal) Cave: Into Xibalba and back again
Hello again- this is Meg, with the second of my guest scoops. You may remember me (or not- I’m not proud!) from my previous scoop about Caracol. This time, I’ll sum up our trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal- the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher. But first, a couple program notes: 1) No photos in this post are my own. A few years ago, someone dropped a camera on one of the skulls in the cave, and as such, cameras are no longer allowed. I’ve pilfered the following images from the internet, presumably taken by visitors before the rule changed. I’ll try to give credit where credit is due, and hope the original photographers don’t mind! 2) I am a scaredy-cat. Of all the things we did on our honeymoon which made me nervous (ziplining, climbing Caana at Caracol, diving, flying in a small plane, snorkeling at Shark-Ray Alley), this was the activity that gave me the most anxiety prior to the trip. In hindsight, I’m so glad we did it- and I was surprised by the things that bothered me vs. the things that really didn’t at all. With that in mind, I’ll mention a little of each, in case you’re a wimp like me. If you’re not a wimp, this trip shouldn’t bother you in the slightest! With that said, I’ll get started. ATM is off the Western Highway near Belmopan, but it doesn’t feel all that near to the capital! We were in a group of six with our guide; the maximum group size is 8. We really appreciated the small group in the cave. We were never too far back to hear the guide’s instructions (in the trickier sections) or his explanations of what we were seeing.

Havana International Fair (FIHAV) 2013
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), within the framework of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) will be assisting CARIFORUM firms interested in exporting products to the Cuban market in participating in the premier trade fair in Cuba, the Havana International Fair (FIHAV) 2013. The trade fair is being organized and promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment of the Republic of Cuba, the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, the Convention Palace and EXPOCUBA. FIHAV is a multi-sector commercial fair with the main industry sectors covered being consumer goods, machinery, equipment, information technology, raw materials and services.

Taiwan Film Festival
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) cordially invites you to a cocktail and screening of the Taiwan Film “Cape No.7″ for

CARIBBEAN BRANDS MAKES FINALS
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the Deutsche Geselleschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is pleased to announce that four of the 12 companies being supported to attend ANUGA on 5-9, October 2013, as part of the Caribbean Kitchen have been selected for the prestigious Taste13 awards. ANUGA is the world’s largest and most important trade fair for the food and beverage industry with around 6,700 exhibitors from about 100 countries. This year there were over 1200 products that entered the competition and 53 made the final selection. To have 4 Caribbean brands selected is unprecedented and it is believed by the organizers that all eyes will be on Caribbean Kitchen’s pavilion next week to see how the products stack up against the international competition. “It is just amazing that the independent journalist jury decided to choose four products for the taste13 – selection, that are all part of the Caribbean Kitchen Pavilion at Anuga 2013. It proves that original well-conceived products do convince” stated Christine Hackman, Communications Manager for ANUGA. The four companies that have been selected for the taste13 competition are; Baron Foods Ltd with their ‘Banana Ketchup’ (Saint Lucia); Beverages Caribbean Inc. with ‘Tiger Malt’ (Barbados); 10 Saints beer by 10 Saints Brewery Ltd (Barbados) and Fresh Fruits Flavours one of Marie Sharp’s Habanerno Sauces (Belize).

Canoeing Barton Creek Cave
If you’ve ever wanted to go back in time to see the way people once lived, get ready for the journey of a lifetime at Belize’s Barton Creek Cave! The scenic 60-minute drive to reach the cave is half the adventure: the trip allows you to experience two completely different cultures in one day. Your first cultural experience starts as soon as you enter the Mennonite Community of Upper Barton Creek. A slow moving and ultra traditional group of people, the Mennonites still opt for horse-drawn buggies over motorized vehicles. This hardworking group of people are also credited with providing the local markets with much of its produce, grain and dairy.

International Sources

It's a Whale! It's a Shark! Actually, It's the World's Largest Fish
The Whale Shark is the world's largest fish, and International Wildlife Adventures offers individual traveler trips to a small, remote resort on Glover's Reef in Belize to dive and snorkel with these gentle giants during the full moon in March through June. It's a whale! It's a shark! It's a whale shark - and it's quite literally the biggest fish in the sea, reaching lengths of up to 40 feet and weights averaging 20 tons. Despite the whale shark's size and relationship to the fearsome shark family, these huge creatures are filter feeders like baleen whales, eating mainly plankton and fish eggs. They migrate to the warm waters of Belize annually to feed on the eggs of spawning Culebra snappers. They generally ignore divers and snorkelers, making for an exciting-but-safe underwater encounter. One of the best and most accessible places to dive with whale sharks is near Gladden Spit on the Belize Barrier Reef in Central America. This reef is the second-largest in the world, next to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Whale sharks arrive there with reasonable regularity around the time of the full moon in March through June, when the fish are spawning heavily.

Caribbean ambassadors meet with Washington DC mayor
On September 19, 2013, the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors in Washington, paid a courtesy visit on Vincent Gray, mayor of Washington, DC. The caucus engaged in discussions with the mayor on a variety of topics including the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Caribbean Affairs, increasing trade between businesses in Washington and in the Caribbean, cultural collaboration, higher education and opportunities for technical support and integral development. The Caucus was represented by Dr Neil Parsan (chair, Trinidad and Tobago), Hubert Charles (ambassador, Dominica), John Beale (ambassador, Barbados), Subhas Mungra (ambassador, Suriname), Nestor Mendez (ambassador, Belize), Deborah Mae Lovell (ambassador, Antigua and Barbuda), Niermala Badrising (ambassador, permanent representative of Suriname to the Organization of American States) as well as Marsha Coore-Loban (deputy chief of mission, Jamaica) and William Exantus (deputy chief of mission, Haiti).

The Plus Side of Pissing People Off
Doing anything remotely interesting will bring criticism. Attempting to do anything large-scale and interesting will bring armies of detractors and saboteurs. This is fine—if you are willing to take the heat.


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