Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Topic Options
#475225 - 10/19/13 12:03 PM Today's Belize News: October 19, 2013
Marty Offline


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

Caye Caulker woman arrested for cocaine possession
A woman living on the island of Caye Caulker was arrested and charged for the offence of Drug Trafficking. 22-year-old Charlenne Young, a domestic of Back Street in Caye Caulker Village was busted with cocaine when police were on patrol on Wednesday October 9th. According to police sometime around 4PM on Wednesday, a team of Caye Caulker police were conducting mobile patrol near the Palapa area on Front Street when their attention was drawn to a woman acting suspiciously while with a group. One of the female officers proceeded to search the lady, later identified as Young. A search on the person yield three small transparent plastic bag containing a white powder suspected to be cocaine hidden in Young’s brassiere.

PUP says UDP “Wheel and come again!” PM Barrow “invites” Elvin Penner to resign from Parliament and the UDP
The Prime Minister of Belize and the Leader of ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) Honorable Dean Barrow is calling on one of his colleagues to resign from the parliament and the party. The call for the resignation of Honorable Elvin Penner, the elected member of Cayo Northeast Electoral Division, came after more irregularities were uncovered by Honorable Godwin Hulse, the Minister responsible for the Immigration and Nationality Department. But the larger opposition party in Belize, the People’s United Party (PUP), says that UDP is “backpedaling” and that PM Barrow had to “Wheel and come again” since the PUP first called for Penner’s head 13 days ago. Earlier in October, PM Barrow had booted Penner out from his Cabinet amidst public outrage over a passport and immigration scandal. The scandal first came to light when South Korean criminal Won Hong Kim (who is currently in jail) was granted Belizean nationality and a passport for US $120,000. More evidence of wrongdoing was uncovered and made public, which pressured the dormant PUP into full political gear, launching the first recall exercise in Belize’s history.

Ambergris Today

TMZ Says Belize Prime Minister Barrow Smack Talks About US Government
‘Ready for some International Smack Talk?” asks celebrity/paparazzi news website TMZ in the United States of America. Their cameras caught Prime Minister of Belize and his wife Kim Simplis Barrow last night, Thursday, October 17, 2013, on his way out of L.A. restaurant Madeo and asked him if he had any advice for the US Government to avoid another shutdown. Prime Minister Dean Borrow’s response was: “You have to switch to the parliamentary system.” TMZ took this as ‘Smack Talk’ towards the US Government and then had this to say about PM Barrow and Belize:

Belize's Independence Celebrated in El Salvador
On Wednesday, September 25, 2013, the Embassy of Belize in El Salvador, represented by its Ambassador Celie Paz Marín, held a commemorative lunch for the 32nd Anniversary of the Independence of Belize in a private residence, an event attended by the Diplomatic Corps in El Salvador, as well as local authorities and special guests. Furthermore, this event was attended by the Honorable Minister of Culture and Tourism of Belize Manuel Heredia, who took the opportunity to have a meeting with his Salvadoran counterpart the Honorable Minister of Tourism José Napoleon Duarte, to share issues of common interest to both nations.

Gerry Guest Stars in Radisson's Caribbean Cooking Show
Whenever you are in Belize City make sure to visit The Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina. I had the privilege of staying there and enjoyed the best that they have to offer. Now I know exactly what everybody has been buzzing about the Radisson on their social media pages. The Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina has everything, from great rooms, friendly staff, excellent services and excellent food and drinks (are you hooked, yet?). Let me elaborate more on their food since this hotel has an excellent Caribbean Cooking Show which is aired on the local Belizean Channel 5. The show captures their customer’s attention and opens their appetites; as it did mine.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Selling passports, citizenships and visas is a problem for all Belizeans at home and abroad
By Wellington C. Ramos When the news was made public that the Honourable Alvin Penner, the elected representative for Cayo Northeast, was removed for granting citizenship status to a Taiwanese citizen who is currently in prison in Taiwan, most Belizean citizens were shocked and outraged. Under both the People’s United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP) we have had scandals with passports, citizenships and visas that are ongoing. Both political parties have pledged to end these problems during their political campaigns but to no avail. Under Belize’s laws, a person becomes a citizen of Belize if he or she was born in Belize, is the child, grandchild and offspring of a Belizean citizen, married to a Belizean citizen, lived in Belize continuously for over three years as a permanent resident and applied for economic citizenship and was granted a naturalization certificate. The granting of economic citizenships is where most of the money is made. However, this citizenship was intended to bring investors into our country to provide jobs for our people or to set up businesses in Belize to boost our economy.

San Pedro Trade & Liquor License renewal 2014
Now being accepted.

Mary Open Doors Pavillion
Feelgood news of the day. Mary Open Doors had some help with their pavillion from Ascon Architecture and New World Village. "It was a blast having NewWorldVillage team working with us on our pavilion at our shelter. Thank you all for your interest and for supporting our cause "assisting women and children affected by domestic violence". We would like to also take this opportunity to thank Ascon Architecture Company Construction and Pine Lumber their generous support. We could not have done this without your help. Thank you."

CCA October Festival
The Cayo Christian Academy is having their October Festival today at their campus in Ontario Village. They'll have many presentations from youth groups, along with food, drinks, and prized. "OCTOBER FEST>>>>>>!!!!!!!!! OCT 19th.....come one come all as we celebrate the goodness of God to CCA!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Belize Cyclists Head to Curacao
Best of luck to the Belize National Cycling Team as they head to Curacao to win the Caribbean Cycling Championships. They race over the weekend. "The National Team consists of male cyclists – Nissan Arana, Byron Pope, Joel Borland, David Henderson and Robert Liam Stewart; and female cyclists – Shalini Zabaneh and Kerah Eiley. God Bless you all and may you all do great!!"

BAS Conservation Lecture
The Belize Audubon Society will be in Benque tonight at the CACHE Cafe to give an educational lecture on conservation. Dirk Francisco will be presenting, and it'll start at 7:30pm. "Learn about Nature & Conservation and the good work of the Belize Audubon Society in Belize with a guest lecture by Mr. Dirk Franciso in Benque this Saturday October 19th,2013"

Private Charter,CHillin in Belize,Day Trip
Episode One of Two- Here's a look at a private charter day trip aboard the 45ft Stormie, our first stop Hol Chan Marine Reserve and then we're off to Shark Ray Alley, Coral Gardens and a visit to Caye Caulker.

Private Charter Day Trip Series Two
After Hol Chan we visit Shark Ray Alley and then onward to Caye Caulker.


Curious what it's like at Chaa Creek? Watch our site inspection tour. No models or fancy photography. Just the straight honest truth. Chaa Creek is a luxury eco jungle lodge resort just outside San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize. Perfect for a family vacation, couples or a honeymoon in Belize. Chaa Creek is one of the best luxury hotels & resorts in Belize. Chaa Creek offers a 5 star hotel experience for guests who travel to Belize.

Channel 7

The Visa Smuggling Ring Exposed: Belize-Cuba-Cancun
In June when Carlos Murga was intercepted at the airport in Cuba with 7 Chinese passports with Belizean visas - it raised all kinds of red flags. But, the Ministry of Immigration brushed it off, saying that he was simply a courier ferrying passports, the same way a Belizean might send his or her passport with a friend to Guatemala or Mexico City to get a visa for Canada or Europe - countries which don't have embassies in Belize. But was his mission really that harmless? We thought not. And that's why for months 7News has been following leads on this story, leads which consistently tell us that the Carlos Murga affair was not an isolated event, that he was part of a much larger operation, which you can either label human trafficking or visa smuggling. Now, with credible, first-hand information from an anonymous insider within this operation, 7news has finally connected the dots at the base of the ring - and it tells us how a highly efficient, very lucrative international visa smuggling operation was run from Belmopan to Cancun to Cuba. Jules Vasquez has the story:..

Hon. Elrington Aware Of Allegations
We did manage to speak to Wayne Salazar by phone this afternoon. He told us, quote, "I haven't got anything to do with (those allegations)....we don't work for the Immigration Department; we don't deal with visas and passports...I haven't been involved in illegal activities." End quote. Salazar is a driver for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has been for 13 years- one who the Minister referred to yesterday in an interview with 7news. Here's what he said:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "I was also told that there was a driver who has been with the ministry from timely memorial it seems that he also appears supposedly to have been involved. I know that we have gotten instructions to get rid of that driver as well because there is a zero tolerance. The Prime Minister make no bones of it, he wants to have zero tolerance for this kind of thing and so pressure is brought to bear on us."

What Representatives Really Reap
And so while the focus has now shifted from Citizen Kim to a visa smuggling ring, politically, there's still a great deal of focus on Cayo Northeast Representative, Elvin Penner. He remains in Guatemala and some say he could return as early as Sunday. He still hasn't said if he will resign, or if he will stick around to fight an Opposition-led recall without the cover of a mass party. But, as we reported last night, he has good reason to stick around as long as he can because of the money apportioned to an area representative. The news tonight, is that we've had to revise our estimates, since new information says the salary we put up of fifty two thousand dollars a year is for a minister of state, which Penner is not anymore. The true salary for an area representative without portfolio is $3,229 dollars monthly or $38,750 dollars per year.

The PM And The Paparazzi
And while Penner is away so is the PM, and he even attracted the Paparazzi in Los Angeles. This video posted on the celebrity site, TMZ shows the Prime Minister and his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow stepping into Madeo, an upscale Italian Restaurant in West Hollywood. Though the PM seems to be stepping very gingerly due to his bad back, on his way out he had a quip for reporters to who asked him about the US government shutdown:.. On Sunday in Los Angeles, the couple will attend a Brunch and Town Hall Meeting. After that he is expected to see a back specialist and will return to the country on October 25th.

Man Burned Up In Home, Was It Murder Followed By Arson?
Tonight the family of 33 year-old Michael Reynolds is waiting for confirmation that his body is the one that was found inside his home, which had been destroyed by a fire. That confirmation, for them, is simply for closure because they know instinctively that he perished in the flames. 7News has been following the story since this morning, and Daniel Ortiz has the details of the various angles. Daniel Ortiz reporting When we arrived, investigators from the Police Department and the National Fire Service were well-underway with their inspection of the rubble at #139 Sister Mary Benedict Street, just off Antelope Street extension. The house was almost completely destroyed by a fire which started early this morning. It is believed that the owner, 33 year-old Michael Reynolds, who works for the Ministry of Human Development, was inside, and he was burned to death. Voice of: Friend - First Responder "When I came out on the verandah I see the house in flames. We were the third set of people to be out here. There was no ambulance here yet because we had already called and they said they were on their way."

Fawda’s Fiery Protest
Phillip "Fawda" Henry is famous for his one-man protests. In the world of protesting, we're not so sure that's a distinction to be proud of, but nonetheless, he soldiers on - crusading single-handedly against an array of different causes. This morning he had his focus set on city Councilor Eric Chang. As we've reported, Chang has been in Taiwan for the last six weeks, and yesterday, he was stripped of his Deputy Mayor-ship and his Council portfolios. Well today, Fawda Henry tried to strip him of his dignity in a fiery protest. 7news was there:.. Jules Vasquez reporting When Phillip Fawda Henry started out with this tenderly preserved Eric Chang campaign shirt on a hanger, you might have thought he was there to praise the former Deputy Mayor. But in a few minutes, this shirt was on fire. Phillip "Fawda" Henry "We need to stop this, we need to call it a quit, we need the United States Government to intervene and arrest this man for what he has done wrong in this country." "It's not only Penner, we know it's not only Penner. Why is a councilor abroad up to this day and haven't come back to the country Belize as yet. He doesn't even seem to be a Belizean, but he is abroad. I ask the Mayor to terminate his services for the fact that Belizean people are paying money to his pocket and he is abroad."

Belize’s New US Ambassador Will Be A Former Judge
The new US Ambassador to Belize has been confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Carlos Moreno is a retired jurist from California. US News outlets report that the 64 year old Los Angeles resident and son of immigrants grew up in a Spanish-speaking home. President Bill Clinton nominated him to serve as a federal judge for the Central District of California and he served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California until his retirement in 2011. In his confirmation hearings he said quote, "Helping the Government of Belize strengthen its rule of law will be one of my top priorities...it lays a stable foundation for much-needed economic development in Belize." He noted also that an estimated 70,000 Belizeans live in the United States while tens of thousands of American expatriates live in Belize.

American Fugitive Found Wandering In Cayo
One of those expatriates is on his way home though, after he was nabbed by Cayo police as an American fugitive. 48 year old Kenneth Gibbs was picked up by Cayo police yesterday wandering the streets of San Ignacio. He was taken in for processing and when police ran his name they discovered that he is a US fugitive wanted in that country for breach of parole and theft. Gibbs has been in Belize for about a year, and now he will be returned to the United States, likely in the company of US Marshalls.

Half A Pound Of Product Found In Seine Bight
This morning between 6 and 9, an anti-drug operation was conducted on the Placencia Peninsula. A search conducted at the residence of 18 year old Julian Diego, a student of Belize City presently staying in Siene Bight Village turned up three separate parcels of cannabis in one of the bed rooms. 26 year old Billy Bernardez of Dangriga and 31 year old Emilio Sandoval of Seine Bight Village were also present. The drugs weighed a total of about half a pound. All three were jointly arrested and charged for one count of Drug Trafficking, and two counts OF Possession of control drugs.

Police Take Deadly Weapon Off Streets
Police are reporting tonight that they have taken a deadly weapon off the street. According to police they searched an abandoned lot in Belama Phase 4 last night. The officers found a kit bag, which contained a 30-30 sawed-off shotgun. No one was in the area, and it was deposited as found property.

No Arrest In Fleecing Of Southern Reigonal Hospital
Nasley Sommerville has been suspended as the Administrator at the Southern Region al Hospital and police have launched an investigation against her. But the Ministry of Health was hoping that by now she would have been arrested. But police say in order to do that they've got to get information from the bank in Dangriga - and the bank says that could take a few weeks. So Sommerville remains under suspicion, but not under accusation. Still, the Auditor General's office has found considerable irregularities in the adminstration of the account. The Auditors found that checques were cashed form the Maternal and Child Health Bank Account between January 2010 to September 2013. The auditors directly implicate Sommerville for directly cashing at least three cheques totalling $7,060.00.

Ras Fari Passes
He is a musician, a book writer and a salesman out at Tourist Village and a spiritual leader. That's why tonight the Rastafarian community in Belize is mourning the death of Boyse Miller better known as Ras Fari or Tuffist. Miller was an elder of the Rastafari movement in Belize. But recently he was diagnosed with liver cancer by doctors. His fight with the deadly disease was short and came to an end on Sunday. The 68 year old first came to Belize from Jamaica in 1990 where he has resided ever since. Today his fellow Rastafarian brothers stopped by our studios to give us a brief history of Miller. Ras Ruben "Ras Fari came to Belize in 1990 and ever since he came to Belize he has been promoting the rasta livity. He is a Nyabinghi, he is from the Nyabinghi order, so that the house that he promotes and ever since rastafari came here he was the one that started the celebration of King Selassie I birthday annually. He has set a lot of pillars. He is our elder in the entire houses of rastafari in Belize; boboshanti, Nyabinghi - all rastafari. He is like the pillar of the movement in Belize."

Does Hon. Wilfred Want Econ. Citizenship Restored?
Who's the richest man in Belize? You may say Michael Ashcroft, but according to theRichest.com, in 2011 this man Huang Maoru was the richest Belizean. The website says The resident of Guangdong, Shenzhen, China was worth 1.8 billion in 2011 and amassed his fortune as the Chairman of Maoye International Holdings, which operated 37 department stores in 16 Chinese cities. We don't know that he has invested in Belize or how he got his citizenship - or if he has ever been here, but We found this newsworthy because Wilfred Elrington as Foreign Minister discussed economic citizenship yesterday. He was passionate and here's what he said: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "Countries internationally have special programs whereby they allow foreigners to get expedited citizenship or residence based on investments which they make in those countries and they do it for two reasons; those people have the capital, those people have the expertise technology and those people have access to markets. So for example when Hong Kong was going back to China there were waves of Chinese from Hong Kong who were admitted to Canada, United States and the United Kingdom."

Four Family Members Charged
Tonight, 4 family members of a family living in Cristo Rey Village in Corozal are tonight charged with offenses after they got into an altercation with 6 men from the town. It happened on Sunday night at around 9 o'clock where the men were socializing on the village football field. A member of the Che family came out and requested that the men stop making noise. That reportedly annoyed the young men who then went to the Che family house and they began throwing stones at it. According to police, 4 family members, including Gaudencio Che, Shayan Che, Luis Che, and Mirella Che, came out of their houses armed with machetes and sticks and inflicted various injuries to the 6 men.

Channel 5

Elvin Penner says he signed documents that appeared legit
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner re-enters the country on Sunday from Guatemala where he says he has been getting medical attention and accompanied his mother who is recovering from [...]

The visa trail revealed
Carlos Murga was intercepted by Cuban authorities in June, flying into Jose Marti Airport with seven Chinese passports in his possession. The matter raised a brief stink, but that breeze [...]

A look at the investigating team in the passport scandal
Day thirty-one, and there is still no information coming out of the Ministry of Immigration on the extent of irregularities within the nationality and passport department. On Tuesday, Elvin Penner [...]

American Fugitive caught in San Ignacio
An American fugitive has been caught in Belize.  Forty-seven year old Kenneth Hibbs is wanted by U.S. Marshalls in his home country for violation of his parole and for the [...]

Charred remains of a body is found in a house on Antelope Street
In the early hours of this morning, a small house in the Antelope Street Extension area of Belize City was engulfed in flames. The Fire Department responded and extinguished the [...]

Lone activist, “Faada” Henry sets Eric Chang ablaze
Activist Phillip ‘Faada’ Henry was on center stage in Battlefield Park this morning. He is enraged at the passport fiasco and calling for the U.D.P. to pack up and leave. [...]

Student caught with drugs
Three persons are in Police lockdown after an operation this morning netted a large amount of marijuana. Between six and nine a.m., Placencia Police and the Special Branch conducted searches [...]

Belizean woman caught in Chetumal pick-pocketing
A Belizean woman is currently detained in neighbouring Chetumal after she was caught attempting to shoplift four bottles of liquor. According to media reports in Chetumal, thirty-four year old Shirley [...]

Police Constable charged for assaulting wife with machete
Police Constable Ronald Sutherland ran afoul of the law on September twenty-eight when he allegedly assaulted his common law wife with a machete during a domestic dispute at a home [...]

Burton Caliz gets off of manslaughter charge with a fine
Another police officer who found himself on the wrong end of the law in 2004 has been spared from additional jail time when he appeared in the Supreme Court.  Thirty-year [...]

Barrow’s advice for U.S. Government
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is currently in Los Angeles, California where he is meeting with the Diaspora along with his wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow. The Barrows were hosted to dinner [...]

A flashback at the numerous immigration scandals
The sale of visas has been a lucrative business for immigration officials, agents and couriers. Nationals from countries as far as Sri Lankan, Somalia, Nigeria and primarily China pay thousands [...]

In 2010 Sri Lankans were detained in Quito, Ecuador with Belizean visas
In the following story, aired a week later on November ninth, a number of Sri Lankans were detained in Quito, Ecuador when they turned up in that country with Belizean [...]

Cannon Leroy Flowers says ministry should not investigate itself in passport scandal
The illegal issuance of nationality and citizenship has struck a chord across all sectors of society. The private sector, unions, and others have expressed outright indignation at the irregularities at [...]

Social partners say PAC hearings are a charade
The social partners: the Belize Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Churches, Evangelical Churches and the N.T.U.C.B. say they cannot support the current hearings of the Public Accounts Committee which [...]

International Day of Archeology
Archeology is celebrated on October twentieth worldwide and today, the Institute of Archeology in Belmopan put off a display for students and the general public. Educational displays and fun-filled activities [...]

Charly Black in Belize for concert at MCC Tennis Court
Charly Black is becoming one of the most widely received and passionately influential artists of this generation. Born and raised in an area known as Rio Bueno, Trelawney in Jamaica, [...]

LOVE FM

Police Constable Gets Fined For Manslaughter by Negligence
On September 30 a jury of nine found 30-year-old interdicted police Officer Burton Caliz guilty of manslaughter by negligence in the shooting death of San Pedro resident Leroy Pilgrim. Today Justice Troadio Gonzalez fined him three thousand dollars instead of imposing a custodial sentence. Caliz was ordered to pay the fine by January 24, 2014. Before handing down his sentence, Justice Gonzalez told PC Caliz that he recommends that he re-apply for his job as a police officer and that he should be favourably considered. He told him that in his view, he could not impose a custodial sentence. On February 12, 2004, Police Constable Caliz shot and killed a man in the line of duty. PC Caliz claimed that Pilgrim had a gun and they were involved in a struggle when his gun went off accidentally. PC Caliz was initially charged with manslaughter then later that charge was upgraded to murder. He served 14 months in prison. He was tried and found guilty of manslaughter back in 2005 and sentenced to 10 years. Upon appeal he saw his conviction and sentence quashed by the judges of the court of appeal and a retrial was ordered.

Belize City Local Government May Be The Only Municipal Office Operating Overdraft Free, Mayor Says
The infrastructural works on the streets are winding down as the Belize City Council prepares to focus on other projects during its term of office. Currently, Mayor Darrell Bradley says the Council has entered its 93rd street for upgrade. Darrell Bradley, Mayor, Belize City “We are working very closely with the various utility companies, most especially the water company. We are identifying a list of additional streets; by the time we are finished this year, we should be at one hundred and ten. We had budgeted for one hundred but we have been able to do a little extra because of our tendering process and because of the way we select contractors and also because of City Council doing some of the works itself; we saved on the labor cost and things like that and because of our tendering process also we were able to generate resources to contribute towards BTL Park and Battlefield Park and so, the residents of Belize are getting extra out of this twenty million dollars – more than a hundred streets and you’re getting public spaces.

Special Branch + Placencia Police Raids Homes in Southern Belize
An anti-drug operation on the Placencia Peninsula has netted over 250 grams of cannabis. Early this morning, between the hours of six and nine, Placencia police and Special Branch conducted a search of several houses in the area which led to the discovery of three separate parcels of cannabis at the residence of 18-year-old, Julian Diego, a student of 1111 J.C Street, Jane Usher Blvd, Belize City, who is presently staying in Seine Bight Village. At the time of the search, Diego was in the company of 26-year-old, Billy Bernardez of St. Berries Street, Dangriga and 31-year-old, Emilio Sandoval of Seine Bight Village. The parcels were taken to the station and weighed; parcel one amounted to 201.6 grams cannabis; parcel two amounted to 11.2 grams cannabis and parcel three amounted to 38.6 grams cannabis. As a result all three persons were jointly arrested and charged for one count of Drug Trafficking and two counts for possession of controlled drugs.

Elections Scheduled for NAVCO Board
The National Association of Village Councils, NAVCO will be hosting its annual general meeting. It is expected that elected officials from 191 village councils will elect a new NAVCO board. They will present resolutions identifying the strategic areas of concern for the rural areas. A number of organizations will be present to showcase what they have to offer the delegates. These include the Social Investment Fund, United Nations Development Program, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, Central Building Authority, Belize Trade and Investment Development Services.

Police News: Arson and Robbery
Officials are investigating a fire that occurred in the early hours of this morning. Police say they received information of a house fire on Antelope Street Extension. On their arrival the fire was still ongoing and a pickup truck that was parked in front of the house was also damaged by fire. When fire officials put out the fire, they saw an apparent burnt body on the floor. While police believe the body is that of 33-year-old Michael Reynolds, a driver for the Ministry of Human Development; however they say the body was burnt beyond recognition. Reynolds has not been seen or heard from. The body was transported to the KHMH where it awaits a post mortem examination. A businesswoman was robbed on Thursday morning. 39-year-old Mei Yint Kuant told police she was inside her shop, Kevin’s Shop on Campus Avenue when just before midday, a dark complexioned male person armed with a handgun and wearing a white shirt with his face covered with a white cloth and a black cap lowered on his face approached her. The woman said the man pointed the gun at her and told her not to close the door. He reportedly pushed her in the house and another male person wearing a green shirt who also had his face covered entered. The men then reportedly ordered the woman to get on the floor while they searched the house. The culprits made off with a laptop, two cellular phones, 800 US dollars and money from the shop’s cash register all totaling just over six thousand dollars.

CTV3

Another Prestigious Award For LICU
Earlier in our newscast we told you about LICU’s participation in this year’s International Credit Union day. But there is more good news to report from the institution. La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited, as a Microfinance Provider, was invited to take part in a transparency competition among other financial institutions. The good news is LICU won the competition and its General Manager Yolanda Gomez and other representatives will be traveling to Kingston Jamaica to receive a prestigious award.

Muffles College Wins Poem Competition
This year the National Ozone Layer Unit in the Department of the Environment conducted a Poem Competition for high schools as one of its activities for “International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2013” observed in the month of September. Several high schools took part in the competition but at the end there could only be one first place winner. So who took the grand prize? Well tonight we are proud to note that it was no other than students of Muffles High School. Third and fourth form students Vickie Chan and Tristian Coleman travelled to Belmopan today where they were recognized by representatives of the Environmental Department for their first and third place win respectively.


Top
#475226 - 10/19/13 12:04 PM Re: Today's Belize News: October 19, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

PlusTV

Minister Edmund Castro breaks his silence as he denies Taiwan misbehavior
Persistent rumors have surfaced against Belize Rural North area representative Edmond Castro since his return from Taiwan a month ago. Reports indicated that he was accused of misbehavior with a Taiwanese protocol officer and that the Embassy over there was involved. On Thursday we put the question forthrightly to...

Councilor Eric Chang stripped of Deputy Mayor post
Following a caucus meeting at City Hall Thursday morning, the Belize City Council has confirmed that Eric Chang has been stripped of both his post as Deputy Mayor and his portfolio of works. Mr Chang has been fingered as the alleged courier in the immigration scandal, who made contact...

Foreign Affairs Minister says employee dismissed in visa incident
An employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was dismissed recently after a relative was reportedly caught with seven Chinese passports in Cuba. It is an example of the growing concern over a visa and passport racket with tentacles around the world. Minister Wilfred Elrington says that despite a...

Fatal road accident in the south
A German national lost her life on Wednesday, after her vehicle careened into a creek. Harry Arzu has the details of this horrific accident. Harry Arzu “A traffic accident that happened on the Stann Creek Valley Road at about 4:15 this evening in the village of valley community within...

Kolbe inmate convicted of harming prison officer
23 year old Jason Anderson, in prison on remand for the 2010 murder of Raylene Dyer, was convicted on Thursday of wounding a prisoner officer. The confrontation between Jason Anderson and the officer occurred in February of this year inside the Hattieville Prison. Whilst at the Kolbe Foundation the...

Foreign Minister says he wants credit for tougher Guatemala stance
Ten days ago we brought you the reaction to Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington’s statement at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City on September 30. It provoked a strong reaction from Guatemala but otherwise caused hardly a ripple in the wake of multiple scandals...

International Coral Reef Initiative meets in Belize
This week top experts on coral reefs from over 50 countries converged on Belize for the annual meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI). For the past two years Belize has shared management of the secretariat with Australia; the two countries have the largest coral reef formations in...

BOOST program helps families in Belize Rural North
The BOOST program, part of the Government’s social protection initiative, is a cash transfer program offered to vulnerable sectors by the Ministry of Human Development. On Thursday we met with Minister of State and Belize Rural North area representative Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro who was...

Patrick Menzies calls for School boycott over Gender Policy
The president of BelizeCan, Patrick Menzies, has been on a crusade against the 2013 Revised National Gender Policy. After failing to get the attention of Government by various means, he has hit upon the idea of a voluntary school boycott. He explained via telephone on Thursday. Mr. Patrick Menzies-...

Meeting held on Intellectual Property rights
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO) began a two-day meeting on Wednesday, at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza. High on the topic list was the issue of promoting and enforcing rights to intellectual property and copyright in countries such as Belize, in...

DOE awards winners of poetry competition on preserving the Ozone Layer
In celebration of the International Day of Preservation of the Ozone Layer, the Department of the Environment (DOE) hosted a poem competition that was extended to secondary school students across the country. We were invited to the office of the DOE where the first, second and...

Three men charged with illegal fishing activities
A tip on Tuesday night to the Fisheries Department led to a late night bust. The Department received information of illegal activities from concerned citizens at a campsite at the south end of Caye Chapel property. According to Fisheries Officer/Prosecutor, Hampton Gamboa, there have been...

Kontiki Neighborhood Watch erect street signs in Cayo
The Kontiki Neighborhood Watch Committee continued in their hands-on service in the twin towns of Belize, this past weekend. The group , through funds raised, assembled several streets signs across the neighborhood. President, Vilma Stuarworth, took a few minutes to catch us up on what...

Amandala

UDP “SPITS OUT” ELVIN PENNER!
Embattled Penner defiant: only his constituents can request his resignation. Belize’s Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, held a press conference on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in Belmopan to announce a major shift by the ruling United Democratic Party from the stance it has taken since the passport scandal, in which Penner sits at the epicenter, first broke. The party, Barrow stated, had reached a unanimous decision to “request the resignation” of embattled Cayo North East representative Elvin Penner from his position as area representative, and, in effect, from the United Democratic Party. Penner has become somewhat of an albatross around the necks of those in the UDP administration, but he has said that he has no intention of listening to PM Barrow and walking away softly into the sunset. The Prime Minister bluntly said that an internal investigation that was carried out over the long weekend by the substantive Minister of Immigration, Hon. Godwin Hulse, and officials at the Immigration Department, has uncovered more instances of impropriety and irregularity on the part of the former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Hon. Elvin Penner.

ERIC “TAIWAN” CHANG STRIPPED; NEW DEPUTY MAYOR SELECTED
After being absent from his post since early September, former deputy mayor Eric Chang has been stripped of his title as Deputy Mayor and Works Councilor at the Belize City Council. The resolution was made at a caucus meeting held this morning by the Belize City Council. He will be replaced by Councilor Bernard Pitts. Mayor Darrell Bradley said that he had communicated with Chang and had told him to return to Belize from Taiwan to answer questions concerning what has become known as the “Penner passport scandal,” and also, had stressed to him that he was needed to carry out his duties as Deputy Mayor and Works Councilor. Mayor Bradley said he told Chang what would happen if he did not return from Taiwan by last Friday, October 11. Chang had accompanied the Mayor to Taiwan on an official visit at the start of September, but had stayed a while longer for what were reportedly vacation purposes. That vacation was to have concluded on October 3.

$$$ VANISH AT SOUTHERN REGIONAL
Auditor General has completed audit of hospital; police report filed. Auditor General Dorothy Bradley confirmed to Amandala today that her office has forwarded the results of an audit—looking into allegations of embezzlement of several thousands of dollars at the Southern Regional Hospital—to the Ministry of Health. Amandala was unable to reach Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, for official comment on the audit results. We understand that the results of the compliance audit, with recommendations, were sent over to his office Wednesday. At the time of this report, the Government of Belize had not yet released a statement on the matter. Just prior to the weekend, news broke that Nasly Somerville, SRH Administrator, was facing suspension, pending an audit to look into allegations that funds earmarked for the National Health Insurance program had vanished.

“WE’RE ROLLING IN $$$”: BARROW! Oh yea? Well, unions want some of that money! World Bank, however, rates Belize at 152 of 185, among poorest countries. Since the weekend, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow has been saying that Government is awash in cash—but now, the unions are saying that what they had long believed to be true is clear: that the Government can pay them the salary adjustment they have been requesting since 2008. George Frazer, a former General Secretary of the Belize National Teachers’ Union and one of the members of the union negotiating team, told our newspaper today that in 2008, when the United Democratic Party (UDP) took office, the cost of living had already risen about 30% since their last salary adjustment. Since then, said Frazer, it has increased at least another 5%. Frazer said that the minimum the unions had asked Government for is a 5% adjustment. Each 1% raise represents $3 million, and Government could now pay at least the 10% a year—$30 million dollars, he maintained. He told us that initially, Government had said that economic growth was slowing down, and whereas the Prime Minister disagrees with their request for a minimum salary increase, teachers believe that with developments this year—including the increase in government revenue due to the assumption of control over the international business corporations and merchant marine ship registries, which should boost revenue receipts by several millions—Government can accommodate the 10% increase in the next budget cycle.

BUCK STOPS AT BARROW: LEADER OF OPPOSITION
At a press conference held at the headquarters of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) in Belize City on Tuesday afternoon, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca said that Prime Minister and United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Dean Barrow is ultimately responsible for the passport and visa hustle which has been happening under his administration—a scandal which the Opposition notes broke 26 days ago, still with no resignation by the former Minister of State for Immigration Elvin Penner, as the member of Parliament representing Cayo North East, against whom they are seeking a recall vote. Earlier today, Barrow publicly announced that Penner should resign from the UDP or face recall, although there are allegations from the PUP camp that the UDP has been threatening persons to withdraw scholarships and social aid if they were to sign the recall petition. “Let us not forget that it is Prime Minister Barrow who we must hold responsible for this matter. It is Mister Barrow who was negligent and reckless in purporting to confer authority on Mister Penner, giving him the power to sign nationality certificates. For him to say, as he did last week Thursday – for him to say that he will regret this decision to the end of his days is just empty, false, self-serving rhetoric. The evidence was clear: He knew Mister Penner’s weakness. He knew the man’s weakness and yet he facilitated that weakness. Barrow must be held responsible,” Fonseca said.

CCJ RELEASES PARTIAL BTL DIVIDENDS TO GOB
CCJ varies injunction barring payment of BTL dividends. When Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) declared dividends of 25 cents a share at its annual general meeting last month, the Government of Belize, the Belize Social Security Board (SSB) and the Central Bank were not paid dividends, because of a December 2012 order by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), freezing the payment of dividends to the public sector shareholders, pending the outcome of a legal challenge against the nationalization of BTL. Although that case has yet to be fully resolved, the CCJ today heard an application from the Government of Belize to have that interim injunction discharged. After a hearing held Tuesday morning in Port of Spain, Trinidad, where the CCJ sits, the court ruled that half the dividends declared for 2012 and 2013 should be paid to the parties. The original CCJ order did not, however, affect BTL’s smaller private shareholders, who have been able to collect their dividends. A press release issued by the Government today said, “Dividends for 2012 had been declared in the sum of $11,889,000. Dividends for 2013 had been declared in the sum of $12,388,000.”

PENNER PASSPORT SCANDAL SPARKS POLITICAL TROUBLE
When the Elvin Penner passport scandal broke just under a month ago, the outrage was over a single Belizean passport which had, again, ended up in the wrong hands, but Opposition People’s United Party Senator Lisa Shoman, who pledges to present a motion in Parliament the next time the Senate meets, said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that what is evident today is “institutionalized rot” within the Immigration Department and “extralegal hustling and selling of visas.” Apart from endorsing calls for a criminal investigation into the passport scandal, the Opposition is calling for an independent Senate inquiry, to determine the scope of what has transpired. “This motion will be brought to the floor of the Senate at the next meeting and it will be put to a vote. We are talking to the social partner senators, and I understand that there is solid support for the idea. It will be put to a vote and that vote will be a public vote, and senators will be required to stand up and say ‘aye’ or ‘nay’, because Belizeans deserve to know who is going to allow this to be investigated by the Senate and who will refuse, and I am calling on every single senator –whether that senator is appointed by the UDP, by the PUP, or by the social partners to uphold and respect the Constitution and our powers and functions contained therein,” Shoman said.

BOXING A SMASH HIT SATURDAY NIGHT AT CAYO WELCOME CENTER
To start with, the weather was perfect, and the Cayo Welcome Center is perhaps the most “welcoming” outdoor entertainment facility in the country, a must visit for any municipal authority planning to spend taxpayers’ money to upgrade their existing “Central Park.” The area that was once simply a drive-way approach to the front gate of the Norman Broaster Stadium has been splendidly transformed into what has been aptly named the “Cayo Welcome Center,” featuring a wide, roofed band-stand facing an open clay-tiled patio, about forty feet radius, bordered by a semi-circular four-foot high cement wall that provides seating as well as an enclosed array of decorative plants. Inside the patio facing the band-stand, chairs had been placed to take up the available space left by the boxing ring that stood about eight feet west of the band stand. The “Free Boxing Tournament” at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday night, October 12, was a smashing success, as residents came out in droves to enjoy a night of great entertainment.

DANGRIGA SPORTS STATS – CARL RAMOS EXPLODES ON SATURDAY NIGHT, BDF VS FC BELIZE
Benguche Park Fest Cycling Classic results. The 7th Annual Benguche Park Fest Cycling Classic was held on Sunday, October 13, starting (and also finishing) in front of the Benguche Park and heading to Sittee River junction and back. First place went to Kent “Mob” Gabourel, Jr., from San Pedro; this is son of the veteran footballer from Cayo, Kent Gabourel, Sr. Second went to Mark Gentle from Ladyville; third went to Edmund Camaal from Dangriga; fourth was “Champy” Galindo from Dangriga; fifth went to the only female who took part in this race, Patricia Chavarria. The next race coming up will be the T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic, which will be held on November 17. This is part of the Garifuna Settlement Day celebration activities. For more information, riders can contact Moses Lopez at 625-4022. SCFA Old Master/Paul’s Guest House Cup The Stann Creek Football Association’s (SCFA) 1st Division Tournament 2013 for the Old Master Rum & Paul’s Guest House Cup had Week 5 games on Friday and Saturday, October 11-12.

“BOXER” REARING TO GO, NEEDS A SPOT FOR A GYM IN LAKE-I
Veteran boxer/trainer Henry “Boxer” Gill, who says he is home to stay after spending over thirty years in the U.S., came to our sports desk this morning to show us some of the boxing gear he had brought home on his return. In our report in Amandala of September 4, titled “Henry Gill, a.k.a. ‘Boxer’ hopes to revive youth boxing in Belize City,” Gill had said he wanted to start working “with the kids” and was “talking to a number of people to seek help in providing a gym and the equipment needed to get the program going in Belize City.” Though he is still bubbling with enthusiasm for the sport of boxing, today we sensed a measure of impatience as well as some anxiety in Gill, as he revealed that no assistance has been forthcoming in getting a gym to start training the kids in his area. “I have some equipment I brought to start with, but I need a gym,” he explained. Gill opened a travelling bag with some boxing gloves, protective head gear and trainer’s gloves, and proudly posed for our camera with some of the boxing gear. He said most of the equipment was donated to him while he was in Chicago by an Italian boxer, Russel Forey, who was the Chicago Golden Gloves champ at the time.

GRIGA, THE NEW BASKETBALL MECCA IN BELIZE?
The unchallenged culture capital of the nation, and often promoted as also the football capital, Griga has over the past weekend made a strong claim to another title, that of being the basketball Mecca in Belize; this after they were crowned champions of the first BBF “Gaspar Vega” Elite Marathon in Orange Walk Town on Sunday. In anticipation and preparation for its upcoming Elite Tournament, reportedly scheduled to be launched early in 2014, the Belize Basketball Federation (BBF) invited the various national associations to select teams to participate in a showcase basketball marathon over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, October 12-13. With the sponsorship of Hon. Gaspar Vega and additional financial assistance from Belize Telemedia Ltd., the BBF “Gaspar Vega” Elite Marathon was held at the Orange Walk Multipurpose Complex with eight teams participating, representing the six districts as well as Belmopan and San Pedro.

THE INTEGRITY BREAKDOWN Editorial
This editorial is about the integrity breakdown in Belize’s public service, which used to be known as the “civil service” during colonial days in the first part of the twentieth century. But, before we look at the public service then and now, we want to consider a major aspect of British colonial rule here. That aspect was terror, in the form of hanging sentences automatically carried out on natives exactly 21 days after any murder conviction. Several decades ago in the early years of this newspaper, when the newspaper archives were still in Belize City at the Bliss Institute public library, we did research on the murder cases in British Honduras during the 1950s. These cases were covered in detail in The Belize Billboard, which was a daily back then. The thing that struck us about the cases was that natives were being routinely convicted for murder, and hanged, after matters which would definitely have been ruled self-defence today. The late Amandala columnist, Smokey Joe, always used to talk about one of his friends, Sydney Middleton, from teenaged days in British Honduras, who was hanged in the early 1940s after slaying a bully under extreme provocation. British colonial law didn’t give a damn about natives. British colonial law didn’t want to hear any explanations: you killed, you hanged. Story done. How different things are today!

FROM THE PUBLISHER
Denominational religion is a very important matter in Belize. No matter how much of a sinner you may have been during your earthly life, when you are dead your relatives will take you to the Christian church where you were baptized or confirmed as a child, for funeral services to be conducted. Many times at funerals, the officiating cleric has to struggle to find good things to say about you, and what he ends up doing is turning his sermon or homily into a dire warning about the inevitability of death and the wages of sin, that dire warning being, of course, aimed at the mourners and survivors. When our post-World War II generation was growing up in Belize City, there were four high schools attended by boys, two being all-male and two co-ed. There was St. Michael’s College, which was Anglican, and St. John’s College (SJC), which was Roman Catholic. Michael’s and SJC were all boys. Wesley College was Methodist and co-educational, and the youngest of the lot, Belize Technical College, established around 1952, was the only government high school back then, and also co-educational. (In the 1930s, there had been a St. George’s College, which was a combined effort of the Anglicans and the Methodists. Sometime in the 1930s, St. George’s split into Michael’s and Wesley.)

WHY THE “SNEAKINESS,” UB MANAGEMENT?
“Those who fail to sign [the contracts] will be removed from the October payroll!” – UB’s HR department. Faculty members of the University of Belize are up in arms over sudden changes to their employment contracts which, they contend, are stripping them of security of tenure without so much as a consultation with them. The University of Belize has defended the move, saying in a press statement issued this week that, “Only faculty and staff who were already employed by the institutions prior to the merger of 2000 – the Bliss School of Nursing, the Belize Teachers Training College, the Belize Technical College, the Belize College of Agriculture, and the University College of Belize – were granted “permanent” status until reaching the official age of retirement.” It added that, “All faculty members hired since the merger have been hired on the basis of annual appointments ‘to serve the University in a teaching, service, and research capacity’.” President of the University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association (UBFSA), Allison Crawford, told Amandala that an unexpected faculty notice was released on Tuesday, October 1, listing about 40 lecturers who were being asked to report to Human Resources to sign their contracts by Saturday, October 12, or be taken off the end-of-month payroll.

SWALLOW THE VOMIT
— by Audrey Matura-Shepherd “The party will rally around Elvin Penner. We believe that he deserves a second chance. We believe that we ought to help him persuade his constituents not to recall him.” - Prime Minister Dean Barrow Those were the words spoken by the Honorable Prime Minister at a press conference on October 4, 2013. To me, at least, it was amazing that after Cabinet and its head believed that Penner acted grievously enough to be removed from Cabinet, they still found it in their heart to throw their loyalty, energy and reputation behind this man. For this corner the writing was on the wall a long time ago when the man, Elvin Penner, with no apology said on January 18, 2012: “I’m trying to work with them [he meant immigrants he wanted votes from]. I’ve always committed myself from day one when I got into politics that anybody who applied for their nationality, and they qualified, I would pay half of the cost.” To me that was the public sign and what has followed is just an escalation of that.

“OUT WHERE THE BRIGHT LIGHTS ARE GLOWING!”
— by Michael Finnegan To my generation our southernmost district of Toledo, due to its distance from our main administrative, commercial and population centres, the previously poor service by road and other communication networks, and the persistent level of poverty, appeared to be remote. This sense of remoteness which some commentators have argued was more psychological than physical, has hitherto hindered development in the once “Forgotten District.” With rapid advancement in communications and transportation infrastructure and services, this once sleeping giant, Toledo, has awakened and has become acknowledged nationally and internationally for its prominent role in our national development. Our school children of today learn of the bounty of Toledo’s natural resources, its agricultural and industrial potential, its rich culturally diverse heritage, of her leadership in sustainable development and environmental conservation efforts. Consider the contribution of her daughters and sons to our academic, cultural, economic, intellectual and social legacy. Cities of the Ancient Maya rise majestically above its natural parks and protected areas. Toledo has led the way in advancing Belize as a reputable Ecologically Friendly and Heritage Tourism destination. Toledo in recent decades has come centre stage in our national discourse on how to balance conservation and the Right to Development. Landmark legal decisions have been handed down from the highest judicial authorities of the country on matters regarding the land rights of the indigenous Maya while huge multinational companies rush in to explore for that elusive energy resource we refer to as “Black Gold”. Housewives in Europe ask for its superior chocolate products by name and their youth enjoy productions from artists from villages like Barranco or access research authored by Toledo’s distinguished citizens.

ROOTING OUT CORRUPTION IN GOVERNMENT, POLITICAL PARTIES AND WITHIN SELF ARE ALL CRITICAL FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
— by Jerry A. Enriquez When it comes to corruption, it is high time that we the people roar into the ears of all our political leaders: Enough! ¡Basta! No more! Nada mas! Gum{¬!. The people are sick and tired of corruption from one to the other cycle of government administration while there seems every effort to bypass the laws to prevent the perpetrators from being held accountable. It is why every party must join in a referendum for recall, and in calling for the pursuit of justice. These are important steps forward to demonstrate to all our leaders that the people will tolerate no more. In various elections since Belize’s independence, independent voters like myself who are not aligned with any political party, have voted interchangeably for UDP, PUP, VIP or no “P,” depending on their assessment of the issues, the performance of the ruling administration and comparative quality of leadership. The swing in voting pattern through each election has usually been a reaction against the abuse of power, scandals and corruption, cronyism, arrogance, lack of accountability and transparency, lack of genuine consultation and the lack of professionalism (or blatant disrespect for the public) that have surfaced in successive PUP and UDP administrations.

DO’S AND DON’TS OF TEACHING
— by Beatrice Arnold In every career that exists there are certain mandates/protocols that an employee must follow if he/she wants to be successful. When those protocols are breached a series of reprimands could follow. In the field of education the same applies. There are so many things that teachers must do to ensure that they are on top of their game and that the probability of them appearing in-front of the Belize Teaching Service Commission is minimized. Now, for our readers who are unaware of this legal and institutionalized body, The Belize Teaching Service Commission came into effect on January 14, 2011 and comprises a twelve-member panel that includes some parents as well as individuals from across the education sector, labour groups, business sector and the teachers union. According to The Belize Education and Training Act, 2010 Part 5 ACT 17: (1) The Belize Teaching Service Commission shall enforce. (a) standards set by the Ministry for entry into teaching to assure the quality and status of the Belize teaching force and the quality of the delivery of education; and (b) all regulations governing the conditions of service of teachers with respect to employment, appointment, transfer, discipline and termination of teachers in government and government-aided preprimary, primary, secondary, tertiary and TVET institutions subject to the provisions of sections 19 and 21 of this Act.

A A LAYMAN …
From the time King Hatchet was a hammer, on every occasion that this country sends a sports delegation to an international meet, whether it is the Olympics or regional games, an official prior to departure will sing this refrain, “We don’t really expect to win, but the exposure to international competition will do us very good in the future.” For the past 75 years this “future” is yet to be realized. Over the past 30 years the same managerial personnel appear to beg for support, to utter the familiar refrain, to go on the trips, and to apologize for the same lousy results on their return. You can bet on it that for the next international foray, it will be déjà vu all over again. Why should this recurrent fiasco, except on countable occasions, be the usual experience that this country knows when it has such superb athletes? After all, upfront the government contributes “much,” considering their financial resources and political self-interest, and the businessmen have kept the industry alive. There are seminars and clinics from Olympic and international coaches and players from all over. Yet the international performances of our athletes are such that they should stay at home. This state of affairs will persist as long as the current structure is maintained, and maintained it will be if current officialdom has its way.

NORWEGIAN’S PITCH TO CRISTINA
Norwegian Cruise Lines—which proposes to set up a US$50 million cruise port at Harvest Caye in southern Belize, near Placencia—has been working to galvanize support from locals for its project, and not only has it been lobbying for that support across villages in Toledo; it has also pitched a job offer to Cristina Coc – the main spokesperson of the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) – who the company recently tried to hire as its public relations officer in Belize. Coc said that about a month ago, she received a call from a Norwegian rep, who said that they had seen her on TV and they like what they see. The rep asked Coc to consider going to work with them, to help them make sure that the company gets good publicity. She told us that she later received a call from a Norwegian official in California, asking for a meeting. Coc, who told us that she was not interested in such a post, said that she asked the Norwegian reps to put the offer in writing, but they never did. According to Coc, she was invited to a meeting which Norwegian was having in Bella Vista in September to discuss the project. Coc said that while she did not attend the Bella Vista meeting, reports from persons who attended indicate that the emphasis was placed on greater tourism business and more job opportunities for locals.

MENTAL HEALTH DAY CELEBRATED IN BELIZE
Today over one hundred countries are observing the 21st annual World Mental Health Day under this year’s theme, “Mental health and older adults.” The international observance is funded by the World Federation for Mental Health and supported by the World Health Organization. Today, October 10, the occasion was marked at the Mental Health Resource Center by a balloon release and a ceremony attended by 75 people, including Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health; Dr. Gerardo Decosio, PAHO and WHO Country Representative; Lindy Jeffrey, Executive Director of the National Council on Ageing; and Eloisa Hassan, Miss Y Belize 2013, among many others. The ceremony started about 10:30 this morning with a welcoming address by Eleanor Bennett, Nurse in charge of the Mental Health Program in the Ministry of Health, while Eloisa Hassan, Miss Y Belize, spoke about overcoming challenges in life and Lindy Jeffrey gave the keynote address.

FRIDAY AMANDALA PRICE HIKE, FIRST SINCE 2000
In the year 2000, we raised our Friday street price from $1.25 to $1.35. We did this in order to give our vendors an extra dime, from .25 to .35. We did it under pressure from our competitors, who had started offering them fifty cents for selling a dollar newspaper. Our competitors could do this because they make money printing three or four other newspapers, such as the San Pedro newspaper, the Chinese newspaper, the UDP Cayo newspaper, even The Belize Times in 2010/2011. This is how business works: rough. You can imagine how the cost of printing materials, such as paper, film, ink, plates, and chemicals has risen since 2000. We have to ask our weekend issue readers to take some of the cost. The newspaper will take .10 out of a .15 raise, beginning in November. We’ll give our vendors an extra nickel to take them to .40. We ask our readers’ indulgence.

FELIPE RODRIGUEZ, 17, MISSING SINCE OCTOBER 13; FRANCISCO VIDAL SINCE OCTOBER 6
Felipe Rodriguez, 17, of Alta Vista, Stann Creek District, has been missing since Sunday, October 13, and his father, Gilberto Rodriguez Lopez of Alta Vista, is desperate for him to be found. Rodriguez’s girlfriend told police that he left her house and went to the bus stop to catch a bus to go to Dangriga, and that was the last time she saw him. Rodriguez is described as being 5 feet 7 inches tall and of medium build; he is of Hispanic descent and has black hair, a narrow face, green eyes, small lips and thick eyebrows, and has a scar in the middle of the forehead. He was last seen wearing a pair of khaki long pants, a white long-sleeve shirt, and a pair of black tennis shoes. Police are seeking public assistance in finding Felipe Rodriguez. Anyone with information that could indicate his whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the nearest police station.

BELIZE IMMIGRATION SEEKS INTERPOL HELP
Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse told Amandala tonight, subsequent to a request we made last week for official comments on an online company, IPCBelize, claiming to offer fast-tracked Belize passports in 6 months for US$9,900, that the matter has been turned over by Belize’s Director of Immigration to the international intelligence agency – Interpol. That is because checks made locally have indicated that IPCBelize is not registered here, either as a local company or an international business corporation. This was confirmed, said Hulse, via the legal counsel within the Ministry of Finance, Gian Ghandi, who led the pertinent checks. Meanwhile, Hulse told us that his ministry is still pushing to effect changes in his ministry which would minimize the passport and visa irregularities and abuses which have been recently unearthed. Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington confirmed to the media that a former secretary of his was transferred to another Government job after her brother, Carlos Murga, was detained while traveling to Havana, Cuba, with Chinese passports containing Belize visas.

GERMAN WOMAN DIES IN HATTIEVILLE ROAD ACCIDENT
A German businesswoman and owner of the All Seasons Resort in Hopkins, Ingrid Stahl, 56, died after the vehicle in which she was travelling, from Belmopan to Hopkins, plunged over the embankment of a bridge at Mile 18 on the Hummingbird Highway, into the water about 25 feet below. She died almost immediately. Another occupant of the vehicle was injured and the third escaped unhurt. Information to Amandala is that Stahl lost control of her vehicle at the approach to the bridge and the vehicle plunged into the water. People in the area tried to rescue her, but were unsuccessful. Police took Stahl to the Dangriga Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. She reportedly suffered massive head and body injuries. Then at about 3:30 Tuesday evening, Love FM news director and talk show personality Ava Diaz-Sosa and her cameraman, Brian Castillo, were travelling on the George Price Highway from Belmopan to Belize City, when at Mile 43, the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to slide off the road and overturn.

Blogs

“One Day at a Time” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The exertion of packing so much stuff on Wednesday must have got to me because I didn’t wake up until around 04.45 hours yesterday. Still early but… Out on to the veranda with my iPad and a mug of black coffee for a couple of hours of ‘me’ time before Rose got up.Spent a bit of time reading The Times on-line and then focused on finishing off yesterday’s edition of the blog. After a shower and a shave I got dressed and had breakfast (and another mug of black coffee) by which time Rose was up and ready for us to resume packing. This time the focus was on the paraphernalia we have managed to accumulate since relocating to Ambergris Caye. Going through the cupboards and drawers I was amazed by just how much stuff we have managed to accumulate in just seventeen months. We came across stuff that we brought with us from the UK but there was still a hell of a lot of stuff that we have acquired since being here.

Linux Build for children at BCVI
We got hold of some laptops and will be putting them in the hands of some children at the BCVI in Belize. They come ready with Vinux a flavor of Ubuntu Linux for Visually Impaired users, we are doing this in an effort to bring the children up to speed with new technologies and to put the school in an OpenSource base where costs are reduced as far as licensing goes and getting hardware in the hands of the children. Learn more about BCVI here. Going forward, the techs at BCVI will be able to clone one of the machines and make a few adjustments on the new hardware and get it up and running with a standardized build in no time at no extra cost, other than the hardware of course. We will be working on an actual build that can be setup as an ISO to share if others would like to use. We would also like to extend an invitation to Techies in Belize and elsewhere that would like to lend their time to expand the build to drop us a line and discuss how we can work on making this project a better one. Together we can make a difference.

Routine maintenance, my healthy eating solution and SAGA party
Yesterday I did not feel like writing so I took a maintenance day instead and did some laptop clean up so I could start a fresh back up. I was glad I did as AVG picked up a corrupted file, thankfully my next 2 scans came out clean. After that it was just patience to put everything on my external hard drive and second back up on several flash drives. Not terribly glamorous work but someone has to do it My big excitement of the week is my new healthy eating solution. After falling off the food wagon big time, I found a cook to help keep me on track. I set a weekly budget and told Claire what kinds of things we liked and she added her own suggestions. Mary and I headed north on Tuesday to put the first order in and Paul went and picked it up Wednesday afternoon. I knew most of what she was making but some of it was still to be a surprise, we ended up with hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh salad, black beans with peppers, fried mini tortillas and a big whack of snook. Claire’s cooking is super delicious and I love that all I have to do plate it and I am done. This is a great option for people on vacation who are renting a place with a kitchen and want a reasonably priced healthy food option without the cooking.

International Sources

PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE: OUR GOVERNMENT'S BETTER THAN YOURS
READY FOR SOME INTERNATIONAL SMACK TALK??? The Prime Minister of Belize was last night ... telling us what's wrong with our government ... on his way out of an L.A. restaurant. Dean Barrow was leaving Madeo last night, flanked by personal security, when he was asked if he had any advice for the U.S. government to avoid another shutdown. His response -- "You have to switch to the parliamentary system." Boom. Smack talk! FYI -- Belize operates on a parliamentary system (a form of government with no president, in which the leader of the majority party is the leader of the country). Now, Belize has its problems, too -- according to the various media reports the country has a Caa1 credit rating -- which essentially translates to "[#%!] poor."

A festival of international tastes
Those who attended last Friday’s International Food Festival hosted by the Honorary Consuls of the Consular Corps of Trinidad and Tobago had a delectable cornucopia of food to choose from. Many are probably still craving the unique flavours of the cuisines of 37 countries from around world. Held at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre, the call of duty for Hilton’s executive Chef Umesh Meena was a lavish one, but with assistance from a team of 20 other chefs, the well organised and gala celebration of food came off without a hitch. The chef’s aim was to look at the signature or most popular dishes from each country and authentically produce them. There were dishes from countries including Austria, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Czech Republic, Chile, Sri Lanka, Chile, Denmark, Indonesia, Latvia, Lebanon, Norway, Uruguay, Pakistan, Russia, Italy, Peru, Philippines, Czech Republic, Thailand, Turkey, Denmark, Finland, Grenada, Guyana, Indonesia, Ireland, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritus, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Suriname, Switzerland and Syrian Arabic Republic. There seemed to be no end to the food, drinks and desserts available for the 300 plus patrons who ventured to try what these countries offered. One had to admire Chef Sombat Mekkhawong’s handling of the Thai suckling pig which he sliced to perfection. The whole roasted pig was a sight to see especially for pork lovers who couldn’t get enough of the cooked-to-perfection roast.

My Life: Jo Fairley, Co-Founder Of Green And Black's
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was in Green & Black's DNA from day one: I believe, like my friend and mentor Anita Roddick, that you can do good through doing business and the two are not mutually exclusive. Since we started trading with the Maya Indians, for instance, in Belize, there's been a massive increase in the number of children attending secondary school (and there was no secondary education in the villages before the farmers had the secure income from selling their cacao at Fairtrade prices).

Additional Charges Brought Against Tax Return Preparers Previously Charged with Helping Clients Hide Millions in Offshore Israeli Banks
The superseding indictment further alleged that the co-conspirators prepared false individual income tax returns which did not disclose the clients’ foreign financial accounts nor report the income earned from those accounts. In order to conceal the clients’ ownership and control of assets and conceal the clients’ income from the IRS, the co-conspirators incorporated offshore companies in Belize and elsewhere and helped clients open secret bank accounts at the Luxembourg locations of two Israeli banks referred to as Bank A and Bank B in court documents. Bank A is a large financial institution headquartered in Tel-Aviv, Israel, with branches worldwide. Bank B is a mid-size financial institution headquartered in Tel-Aviv, with a worldwide presence on four continents. The indictment also alleged, the co-conspirators incorporated offshore companies in Belize and elsewhere to act as named account holders on the secret accounts at the Israeli banks. The co-conspirators then facilitated the transfer of client funds to the secret accounts and prepared and filed tax returns that falsely reported the money sent offshore as a false investment loss or a false business expense.

ACP Fish II / CRFM / CARICOM meetings in The Bahamas
Since the inception of the ACP Fish II Programme in June 2009, Caribbean countries have benefited from close to €3 million allocated for 32 national and regional, fisheries and aquaculture projects. To date, 18 of these projects are completed, while the remaining 14 projects are at various levels of development or close to being completed. Starting next Monday, October 21, a team of regional officials, including eighteen (18) participating Fisheries Administrations and Organisations in the Caribbean, will meet in the Bahamas for a week of events that will review the progress of the programme and chart a future course that will build on the successes to date. The first of the three events will be the Fourth and Final ACP Fish II Programme Regional Monitoring Workshop, to be held at the Beach Tower Hotel Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas, from Monday, October 21 to Wednesday, October 23.

Caribbean ministers call for continued financial support
Ministers of finance from the Caribbean, Ireland and Canada have urged the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue to support small highly vulnerable economies in its new strategy. “Of particular concern are the Caribbean countries in our constituency, which are small island states that are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and external macroeconomic shocks. This heterogeneous group of developing countries continues to struggle with the complexity of financing and implementing development solutions within the context of stagnant or contracting growth, declining competitiveness and unsustainable fiscal and debt positions,” said Jim Flaherty, minister of finance for Canada, who spoke on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines


Top

Links
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!


Things to do

News
Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
BelizeNews.com
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Amandala
Love FM
The Reporter
Caye Caulker
Chronicles

PLUS TV
TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
SanPedroScoop
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater

Blogs
San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
Tacogirl
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Bound for Belize
Conch Creative
As The Coconuts Drop
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
Mini Chat

Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
December
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Who's Online
3 registered (dabunk, lomckenna, 1 invisible), 56 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
18,675 Registered Members
44 Forums
64,062 Topics
462,318 Posts

Most users ever online: 1,262 @ 06/10/07 07:16 PM




AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com SanPedroDaily.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.