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#475578 - 10/24/13 06:34 AM Today's Belize News: October 24, 2013
Marty Offline


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The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Cancer Society promotes Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The month of October is being observed as Breast Cancer Awareness month and there are various activities planned countrywide. On Ambergris Caye the local San Pedro Cancer Society held activities on Saturday October 19th. The organization is reporting that 66 breast exams were conducted in a joint activity with the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic II. In addition, a local food and pastry sale raised $575. In raising awareness about the deadly disease and as a show of support for people who are battling cancer or in remission, the group also invited members of the public to dye their hair pink or shave their head.

Burton Caliz fined for the death of Leroy Pilgrim
Nine years after the death of 24-year old Leroy Pilgrim, Police Constable Burton Caliz, 30, has been fined for the charge of manslaughter by negligence. Pilgrim was fatally shot in the back of the head in February 2004 as a result of a struggle with Caliz. Caliz remained on interjection, when he was initially charged for manslaughter. The charge was upgraded to murder in 2007, and Caliz was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison. That sentence was overturned during an appeal trial in 2008.

Ambergris Today

El Secreto Resort Staff Trained in First Aid
The San Pedro Belize Red Cross is very pleased to announce that El Secreto Resort had 25 of their staff trained for First Aid on Tuesday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 23, 2013. Jermaine Santos from Belize City facilitated the training at the resort. El Secreto Resort is located 11 miles north and understands the importance of having trained staff onsite. Not that anyone wants to have an emergency situation, but it is a part of life and unfortunately things do happen. With this many trained staff on hand El Secreto will be better prepared for any situation. Thanks goes out to El Secreto for having 25 staff trained and hosting the Belize Red Cross overnight, Banana Beach for hosting our first aid instructor the first night, Tropic Air Cargo for getting the first Aid equipment here, Coastal Xpress for getting us as far as Blue Reef and El Secreto boat for picking us up and getting us the rest of the way to the resort.

Amandala Does It Again – Public Backlash on Most Recent Article on Rape/Women
The Amandala Newspaper is once again receiving public backlash from a most recent article published on their October 20, 2013, issue entitled “Bake it Again” by Colin BH that even the Special Envoy for Women and Children has sent out a statement condemning the very disturbing article. Below is the statement signed by Kim Simplis Barrow, Chairperson of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in Belize: October 22, 2013 - I wish to express very grave concern about an article published in the Amandala newspaper of October 20, 2013 entitled “Bake it Again” by Colin BH. The article expresses views on the proposed provisions of the Criminal Code Amendment (No.2) Bill. Although the entire article leaves much to be desired, the section quoted below is among the most appalling of the opinions expressed: "the rape of a male by a male is more heinous than the rape of a female by a male. Consider that (1) the female might one day fall in love with the male; (2), the female provoked the immature/crazy male to commit this act; (3), it is a natural act; (4), the female might be entirely whorish, so the act is of little consequence."

Misc Belizean Sources

Trades 4 Life 2014 Schedule
Trades 4 Life, located in Belmopan, has their 2014 schedule out, with some classes starting in the middle of January. They've added a new class called Welding and Machining. "2014 is bringing new and exciting things to our Belize school of training. T4L is now a registered school in the country of Belize, which will provide further credibility for those receiving instruction at our facility. At Trades 4 Life, we believe providing Trade, Life, and Leadership skills develops young men into highly employable tradesmen capable of offering leadership in work, business, and family. The upcoming season will offer a new course not provided in 2012-2013 - Welding and Machining. We are excited to welcome Mr. Tom Theunissen, a veteran instructor from South Africa who will be teaching this curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to learn these practical skills in a hands-on environment."

UB Reproductive Health Fair
The University of Belize Nursing students had their 4th annual reproductive health fair today. Stay healthy! "Fourth Year Nursing students at the University of Belize today held the fourth annual Reproductive Health Fair of the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work at the University’s Central Campus in Belmopan. Speaking to students, faculty, and staff, Guest Speaker, Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin emphasized that, 'health is about our minds and bodies. It is physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. It is our most important asset! We really should do everything we can to promote and preserve it.' Activities at the event included presentations by students and different health tests such as blood pressure, pap smear, breast exam, and HIV."

Rotaract Macal River Clean up
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio had their Macal River Clean Up campaign. This was just one part of the project, which also includes putting in garbage bins and signs to let people know that garbage looks better in the bins than in the rivers and parks. Thanks, Rotaract! "Check out the Full album here: The Launch of our CleanUp Campaign took place Saturday, October 12th. Where Members gathered to clean up Macal River Bank. This is marked the start of the campaign. Upcoming pieces of the project are: Setting up of garbage bins around and Placing of signs with Poster Ideas gathered at our P

BCS Cancer Walk
The San Ignacio branch of the Belize Cancer Society has released details about the Cancer Walk which will go from Esperanza to Cayo, and will start at 5:00am on Saturday the 26th. A bus will leave Benque at 4:15am. In related news the BCS will be discussing cancer at Sacred Heart Junior College tonight, and will be providing information on the disease.

Mexico Daylight Saving Time Ends on October 27th
For those visiting across the MX border - Mexico Daylight Saving Time Ends on October 27th 1. In Mexico, clocks go backward one hour on Sunday, October 27th. 2. Mexico and Belize will have again the same local time. Belmopan, Belize, 23 October 2013.- The Embassy of Mexico informs that on Sunday, October 27th, Mexico ends Daylight Saving Time, in order to begin Winter Time. This means that Mexico’s local time will be the same as Belize’s local time. For those traveling within Mexico on the evening of Saturday, October 26th, the Embassy suggests that their time be changed backward one hour before going to sleep. If you are in transit through Mexico, please verify your flight and bus local time.

USA Travel warning to Mexico still effective
The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens about the security situation in Mexico. General information on the overall security situation is provided immediately below. For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, which can vary, travelers should reference the state-by-state assessments further below. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Mexico dated November 20, 2012 to consolidate and update information about the security situation and to advise the public of additional restrictions on the travel of U.S. government (USG) personnel. General Conditions:

COROZAL PARENTS PROTEST in-front of Ministry of Education
In Red is the new District Officer in charge of Min of Education, Mr. Lopez. He finally decided to come out of his office after the parents waited in the scorching sun for over an hour! Lopez claims that the Ministry of Education is not responsible for anything being taught to the schools but rather the Head of each school. He went further to state that no schools will be forced to teach anything that is contrary to their belief, YET, The Gender Policy page 23 States that all publicly financed educational institutions, Even Religious Schools MUST teach what is in the Policy!! Is the District Officer not aware of what the Amended Policy reads. This is a public service provided by the CD!

October has been observed as Beast Cancer Awareness month in memory of those who have lost the battle to cancer. The Belize Cancer Society Corozal Branch is leading its annual walk for Breast Cancer Awareness. Join the many Corozalenos (women, children, and men) in this walk and to support care and cure of those fellow brothers and sisters affected. The organizers are asking a One Dollar donation per person to participate in the walk. Limited number of cancer awareness T-Shirts are available for $20.00. You can also sponsor the balloon Lift-Off which will be done at the end of the walk at the Central Park in commemoration of those who have lost the battle of this disease. Money raised will be used to support breast cancer detection and treatment. Your participation and donation will help in obtaining an MRI to determine if a mass is malignant or benign or a biopsy of breast tissue to see if cancer cells are present in patients that cannot afford one. Time will be at 5:30 a.mm starting from Ranchito in-front of the Ministry of Works this Saturday Oct. 26, 2013. Route: Ranchito (ministry of Works) - Philip Goldson Highway - 7th Avenue - Right on 1st Street - Left on 5th Avenue - Destination Central Park for balloon lift off. Thank you for supporting this wonderful cause!

Channel 7

Saldivar Seeks Churches Out For Peace on PAC
The UDP led version of the Public Accounts Committee seemed to have been going so well until 2 weeks ago, when the social partners roundly condemned the meetings, calling it “significantly flawed…(having) no credibility” and a “charade.” As they say, that broke up the dolly house, and today lead member for the Government side John Saldivar had to go fence mending. He and two UDP members of the committee, Patrick Faber and Mark King met with representatives of the council of churches. It happened at the Wesley Church conference room which is right next to Channel 7’s studio. So we waited for them to come out around 12:30 – at the end of a two-hour meeting. Saldivar was cagey about the way ahead:

Saldivar Non-Specific On Police Investigation
As police minister, Saldivar also discussed, in very general terms, the investigation into irregularities at the Immigration Department. Quite remarkably, in the most high profile white collar crime investigation in memory, no public official - not the Police Commissioner, not the Immigration Minister, and not the Immigration Director - has yet to give a coherent outline of what the investigation is looking into. Saldivar added to that with another hazy, non-specific overview: Jules Vasquez "Is there a police investigation into the affairs of the Immigration Department? And, what is the sphere, the thrust of that investigation?" Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "While I cannot give you the details of where the investigation is at this time, I can confirm that the police department is investigating various aspects of the immigration scandal."

FIU Director Doesn't Want To Talk
And while that offers us little new information, the Minister of National Security was at least prepared to entertain questions from the media about the passport scandal and police investigation into it, while the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit wasn’t. More than 2 weeks ago, Marilyn Williams told the media that her office had already begun a financial investigation into the passport scandal. Today, Williams attended the appeal hearing of convicted money launderers Melonie and Michael Coye, and when she exited the court room, we tried to get an update on that investigation – but it didn’t yield much. Reporter "The investigation into the passport scandal, can you give us an update?" Marilyn Williams - Director, FIU "Oh, absolutely not, you all know that I do not discuss investigations." Reporter "Could you brief us if it's still on-going?” Marilyn Williams "I have no comment on that, sorry."

British Woman Knocked Down and Killed
A 68 year old British woman was knocked down and killed last night within Belize city limits. It happened on the northern highway near mile 2 and a half, on a particularly dangerous stretch of road that has seen more than six fatalities in the past four years. At about 7:00 last night, Patricia Johnson – who lived at a guest house in the Bella Vista housing community was crossing the highway to get back to Bella Vista. She had just gone shopping for a few items and was walking her dog. But, just before as she got to the Bella Vista entrance, a motorbike crashed into her, flinging the senior citizen violently unto the highway. She sustained serious injury, and died a few hours later at the KHMH. 31 year old Jason Grant was driving the motorbike which has been impounded. Police expect to charge him for manslaughter and related charges. Johnson, who is a writer, visited Belize in 2007 and fell in love with the country. She had been living here ever since. She was a very regular presence on the road, where she could often be seen walking on errands. She has no known relatives in the UK, and her friends say they intend to cremate her in Belize, as was her wish.

GOB On Oil Vs. Indigenous Rights
Last night, we told you about the Supreme Court Case where SATIIM and the Indigenous Mayan Communities of the south are trying to block US Capital Energy from continuing oil exploration inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The case has been brewing since July, when SATIIM announced that the Government of Belize granted US Capital permission to build a road to the drill sight, which sits a few acres inside the park. Today, Government attorney, Denys Barrow, was allowed to respond to the submissions made by Eamon Courtney, attorney for the Mayans. After a lengthy presentation before Justice Michelle Arana, Barrow spoke to the media outside the courtroom. He told us that the Mayans are basing their arguments on the premise of customary land rights, but these rights weren’t clearly defined in the case, and they haven’t proven that they’ve been violated:

Convicted Coye's Go To Appeal
In the last segment, we showed you the interview from FIU Director Marilyn Williams about her office’s investigation into the passport scandal. That opportunity, as we told you, came up after the hearing in appeal case for Melonie and Michael Coye. They were convicted last year of money laundering after standing trial before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, and since then, their attorney, Arthur Saldivar, has been working to get them an appeal. That hearing came up today before the Justices of Appeal, but it couldn’t progress because Saldivar wasn’t ready to argue his client’s case. It’s not the first adjournment to suit an unprepared Saldivar and after the hearing we asked him about it. Arthur Saldivar - Attorney for Melonie & Michael Coye "The matter has been traversed to the next session. The appeal will be heard on February 24, due to the schedule that I have in the Supreme Court, and the fact that I got the transcript somewhat late, it was not prudent seek to push on with a matter as complicated as the one we are dealing with that limited time of preparation. So, I begged the courts indulgence, and I am happy that they were able to accede to my request, and we're right now in a position where we can actually have this matter be dealt with comprehensively in the next session."

Purse Snatcher Nabbed With Stolen Cell
Police say they’ve caught a minor who’s a major purse snatcher, preying on females in the Princess Margaret and University Drive area. A 17 year old student led police to him. She had been robbed of her purse 8 days ago at around noon, and on Monday afternoon while walking on Princess Margaret Drive she saw him circling the area and promptly called precinct four police. They responded immediately and arrested a 17 year old for along with 18 year old Chevon Castellanos. The 17 year old was found with the female student’s Blackberry Phone, along with a weed whacker and a Samsung Galaxy phone which had been reported stolen. The 17 year old was Arrested and charged for Robbery and Handling Stolen Goods, while the 18 year old was charged for handling. Police say they have uniformed, mobile and plainclothes officers patrolling the areas where students travel.

GSU Says Arenal Weed Abounds
For the past 2 nights, we’ve been telling you about the marijuana busts made by the Gang Suppression Unit. Well there is more tonight. This morning, at around 9:38, GSU officers searched an abandoned overgrown lot on Allan Pitts Crescent. The officers found a black plastic bag which was tied on a berries tree near the only small house sitting on the lot. Inside that bag, they found 4 smaller bags containing 461 ounces – or just over a pound – of marijuana. They also another black plastic bag, which contained 6 smaller bags with 655 grams – or almost 20 ounces of marijuana. No one was in the area, so it was deposited as found property. According to the GSU, the abandoned lot is adjacent to a suspected drug dealer’s house, who operates in the area.

CARICOM Makes Gang Intervention
Last night on the news you heard the CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque speak candidly about the unflattering perception many Caribbean Citizens have of CARICOM. He says the CARICOM Secretariat has to be felt to be making a difference in the lives of its citizens. And, quite as a coincidence, one of the secretariat’s most ambitious, socially impactful programmes happened to be in Belize at the same time. It’s called “Youth, Gangs and Violence Partnering for Social Development and Crime Prevention.” The programme started in 2011 and is being staged in five countries including Belize. It attempts to steer youths away from gang involvement. The CARICOM strategists are on their fourth mission to Belize and today they launched a three day workshop focused on strategies for preventing crime and violence in schools and community, targeting teachers, community workers, students and police. Beverly Reynolds from CARICOM told us they want to build capacity: Beverly Reynolds - Programme Manager, Sustainable Dev., CARICOM "The idea is to build the capacity of these persons, to deal with the challenges that they are facing, both in schools and in communities, as it relates to crime and violence. It focuses on preventing crime. It focuses on social development. So, we address social issues in the attempt to prevent crime."

The Waste Management Transformation Still Evolving
As recently as two years ago, Belize City residents had to be coping with an intermittent stench wafting out of the dump-site at mile two on the western highway. But, in just two months Solid Waste Management in Belize has gone through a quiet revolution. Since August, the garbage generated by Belize City and San Ignacio residents has been trucked up to the Mile 27 sanitary landfill. In the months of august and September, it amounted to almost four thousand metric tons of waste, that’s about two hundred, 40 foot trailers. It’s been remarkably smooth going so far, and today the Solid Waste Management Authority held a National Solid Waste Management Policy, Strategy & Plan - Stakeholder Workshop to come up with a long term plan. Gilroy Lewis told us more:

Road Safety Re-loaded
The Road Safety project from the Ministry of Economic Development today signed a contract with Anthony Thurton and Associates Ltd. for the Design and Certification Consultancy for The Belize Road Safety Demonstration Corridor Project. The idea is to provide independent inspection and certification of the road safety infrastructure works and to design a new roundabout at the junction of the Western and Hummingbird Highways. Other agencies will also be involved as the CEO explained: Yvonne S. Hyde - CEO, Ministry of Economic Development "It will include the involvement of the Ministry of Health from the point of view of the ambulances which are going to be provided, and education, from the point of view of education at various levels in schools. So, it is a very important project for the Government of Belize. It is the first one, I could say, of its kind that the Caribbean Development Bank is funding." The contract will span an 18-month period.

Developing Dental Awareness Among Youths
"Brush and Floss Everyday and Keep Cavities Away," that’s the theme for dental health week which is being observed from October 20th to the 26th. Today the Dental Department held a Fair at the Central Health Region compound in Belize City – where the senior Dental Officer said that awareness of dental issues is rising among children – and he speculated on the role that the Tooth Fairy may be playing in that, yes, the Tooth Fairy: Dr. Rafael Samos - Dental Surgeon "What we used to see is that people used to come to the dentist just for a normal extraction. But little by little, the way we are doing it, we're pushing a lot more for education. And, with that in mind, we have seen an increase of people asking for - instead of just extractions - they are actually coming in and asking for options. This is what we're creating also. By educating the kids, they go home and take that message to their school, their classrooms, or their homes. Nowadays, you will hear a kid say, 'I want a filling, sealant, or fluoride treatment. They know all the options that are available. This is a way of exposing them to that, at the same time, making it a fun way of capturing their attention. This year, I would say that it is the tooth fairy that we're having. I hope that you will take a good glimpse of hear. There is a Belizean tooth fairy, so that you can look at it. We're trying to create that emphasis. So, don't ask the Belizean tooth fairy for your money, because they won't hand you the cash. But if you look at the impact of knowing what to do when it comes to a dental problem. The exposure will save you a lot more money, than just the little cash under your pillow."

PM Says Public Service Should Be More Focused On Professionalization
Much has been made of what the Prime Minister told Belizean Americans in Los Angeles about the Ministry of Natural Resources which he called “a hotbed of corruption.” Well, in that same informal address at a town meeting in Los Angeles, he also had some choice words for the public service. He says he would wish they would be more focussed on professionalization – instead of just fixated salary increases. Here are those remarks from an amateur recording of the event on Sunday: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "It strikes me that the unions don't do enough by way of themselves, trying to equip their membership better for the roles that teachers and public servants - and public servants in particular - have to play. And I just want to enter an appeal because everything I say here gets sent back to Belize, as you know. I do want to enter an appeal for the unions to do more than just advocate for salary increases. That's fine; that's a huge part of their remit, but it can't be the only thing they do."

Merchant Pleads Guilty
49 year-old Businessman Bhishan Kumar Issrani, the owner of Miami Fashions on Albert Street, inappropriately touched a customer who visited his store. That’s what he pleaded guilty to yesterday in the Magistrate’s Court. According to an 18 year-old student, she went to buy a pair of shoes in the store on Monday. When she was inquiring about the price, Issrani approached her and hugged her, pressing his body up against her for an extended period of time, which made her feel uncomfortable. She reported the incident to police who charged Issrani with common assault. He was arraigned yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, where he pleaded guilty to the charge. She sentenced him to pay a fine of $200, plus an additional $150 as compensation to the complainant. He paid the fines, and exited court a free man.

Music Men and Former Mayor Honoured
Today, music men and a municipal leader were honoured by the Governor General in an investiture ceremony. Frank Lizama was honoured for his contribution to art, education and politics while the GG’s son and celebrated musician Colville Young Jr. was appointed for his contribution to education and music. Sam Hamilton received the insignia for Member of the British Empire for his contribution to music.

Channel 5

Details on the visa hustle involving Chinese nationals; a government minister is in the hot seat
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner has been stealing the spotlight on corruption in the Immigration Department. But tonight there is compelling evidence of deep-rooted corruption in respect of the [...]

Insider speaks of the thousands of dollars paid, the process and how it all started
The individual claims that over two hundred visas were ‘assisted’ by Minister Edmund Castro for two thousand dollars each. If you do the math, that’s four hundred thousand dollars to [...]

2 Cuban nationals and their Mexican handlers are nabbed for human trafficking
While the lucrative visa hustle you have just heard about, involves Chinese nationals, there are other nationals who also use Belize as a springboard to the United States. On Tuesday [...]

Is the FIU following the trail of monies in the passport scandal?
There is much more to come in the alleged Castro visa hustle, but the Elvin Penner debacle is still simmering. It hasn’t boiled over yet because there is absolutely no [...]

Still no word from Eric Chang’s return; Mayor says it is unacceptable
Still on the issue of the passport scandal, Belize City Councilor Eric Chang’s arrival is eagerly anticipated. Chang has been M.I.A. since September third, and last week, he was stripped [...]

Day two of arguments in SATIIM versus US Capital Energy and Government case
On Wednesday SATIIM, Mayan communities, US Capital Energy and the Government met in court to argue for a ruling on rights – Mayan rights to communal lands versus the government’s [...]

Attorney Saldivar speaks appeal hearing for Coye’s Family in money laundering case
In late July of 2012, two members of the Coye Family along with two of their employees were convicted of money laundering under the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act. Melanie [...]

Man charged for fatal traffic accident
A traffic accident which occurred thirteen days ago at the junction of the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road has claimed the life of a Ladyville resident. As a result, thirty-nine year old [...]

20 year old mother of 2 imprisoned for being a prohibited immigrant
A Guatemalan woman who has been living in Belize for over six years and is the common-law-wife of a Cayo resident has been given her ticket to leave the country. [...]

More drugs taken off the street by GSU
The Gang Suppression Unit is reporting two drug seizures today. The first took place this morning in an abandoned overgrown lot on Allan Pitts Crescent in Belize City where a [...]

Activist Patrick Menzies is detained briefly in Belmopan
Since October fifteen, Activist, Patrick Menzies, launched a campaign to gather support across the country asking parents not to send their children to school to send a clear message to [...]

Menzies lambasts church leaders who engage in politricks
While he was on camera, Menzies also lambasted certain leaders of the religious community saying that they are engaged in politricks. He says that’s the reason why he and several [...]

Menzies says his agenda is God’s agenda
Approximately ninety percent of those gathered are naturalized Belizeans so we asked Menzies if he was taking advantage of those persons or was he pushing his own agenda. Menzies says [...]

#475579 - 10/24/13 06:34 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 24, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


Activities for Cancer Awareness Planned For The Weekend
Belize Cancer Society, Daedra Haylock, the participation of the community is crucial in order for the Society to keep on carrying activities in relation to cancer awareness. DAEDRA HAYLOCK “We have two big events coming up this weekend that we would like to encourage persons to support. We have the Cancer Vigil on Friday night at 6 o clock. So, we would like you to come out and support the Cancer Vigil; we also have the Pan Yard concert; it’s a concert with a purpose; it is $25 a ticket. The concert will be at the House of Culture. We have our steel bands that are going to be entertaining and we are asking you to come out and have a good time and an enjoyable time and support the Belize Cancer Society. All the funds from the Pan Yard concert and from all the sales of the scarfs and T-Shirts and tank tops, we still have some of those; all of it goes back in the work that we do in the Belize Cancer Society. We would also like you to attend the vigil, bring the family, bring your candles; come out and light a candle in memory of somebody that you know or just come and support the cause on a whole as we continue to educate people about breast cancer and cancer on a whole. “

GSU At It Again…More Drugs Found
Tonight, the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) is in the news again with two separate drug finds in Belize City. Earlier today the members of the GSU did a search in an abandoned over grown lot on Allan Pitts Crescent that houses a small green wooden structure. On that same property, the unit found a black plastic bag hanging on a tree limb and inside that bag, four other bags were found containing cannabis. In a further search in the same vicinity, six more bags were found with a total weight of 655 grams. According to reports by the GSU, this property is located near the residence of a suspected drug dealer. Since no one was found in the area the almost two and a half pounds of marijuana was labeled and deposited as found property. Meanwhile, members once again went out this afternoon around 2:30 to the Kraal Road area known as the gang drug base and made a find of 120 grams of cannabis hidden inside black plastic bags between a zinc fence and some bushes. According to the GSU, what is of note is that the quality of the marijuana that is being found in Belize City is the same type as the one supplied by drug traffickers of the Arenal area in western Belize.

Prison Inmate Freed of Drug Charges But Remains Incarcerated for Manslaughter
Twenty-five year old Juan Perez, a prison inmate serving 14 years for manslaughter, was freed of a charge of drug trafficking for 790 grams of cannabis today. Perez was charged on January 7, after a prison officer searched the contents of keg that was in a wheel barrow used for taking food from the kitchen of the prison to various sections of the prison. Inside the keg was a black plastic bag that contained two other bags. One bag contained 429 grams and the other had 361 grams. The black bag was on top of some bread. At the close of the case for the prosecution, Magistrate Dale Cayetano dismissed the charge because the prosecution had not established a prima facie case. He explained that the prosecution did not provide the court with any evidence as to who put the items in the wheel barrow and there was no evidence that Perez had knowledge of what was in the wheel barrow.

A Look At the Significant Waste Management Problems in Belize
A workshop on Solid Waste Management was held today at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. It was attended by a wide cross-section of stakeholders including NGO’s, representatives from various municipalities, representatives from the waste sector and Government officials. Gilroy Lewis, Director of the Solid Waste Management Project, highlighted the main objectives. GILROY LEWIS “Firstly, I must mention that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Solid Waste Management Authority have seen the need for a National Solid Waste policy, strategy and a plan. This workshop is the first of a series of stakeholder consultation workshops that would provide information to develop the National Solid Waste policy, strategy and plan. The long and short of it is that here, we are trying to identify the issues, the challenges and the opportunities as it relates to current waste management practices in Belize; the entire country not just the western corridor and then this would then feed into the strategy by the formulation of objectives, targets and things of that nature. So we are looking essentially for a road map for the next 20 years as it relates to waste management in the country of Belize.” Mike Betts, who is the Managing Director of a UK-based firm “Integrated Skills Limited”, is the moderator of the workshop and explains his role in the project:

Trade Opportunities on the Horizon Between Belize and Argentina
Belize has signed a cooperation agreement with Argentina. On Tuesday Belize’s foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and his Argentinean counterpart Hector Timerman signed the agreement that covers several fields and opens trade opportunities. Talks included political issues, trade, education, cultural exchange and cooperation in health care and agriculture. According to media reports Elrington met with experts on technical formation, juvenile orchestras and it was agreed to send Argentine staff to help Belize teachers and help with teaching techniques. In health care a cooperation mission will be sent to Belize in the first quarter of next year. At the ministry of Industry, experts in promoting small and medium sized businesses and regional development exchanged ideas with Elrington who received a catalogue of the Argentine government different forms of support for industry. As it relates to tourism it was agreed to include Belize in a coming tour of nations to visit by a ministerial delegation in December, and similarly the Ministry of Agriculture will send a mission of experts to help young Belizeans in farm activities.

Electrician/Farmer Not Guilty of Firearm Charges
Twenty-three year old Michael Dawson, an electrician/farmer of Sandhill, was found guilty of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license at the conclusion of his trial today. Magistrate Dale Cayetano sentenced him to five years for each count with the stipulation that the sentences are to run concurrently. Dawson was busted with the firearm and ammunition around 9:45 p.m. on September 2, 2012. Three police officers testified that they were on mobile patrol on Mayflower Street when they saw Dawson standing at the corner of Mayflower and Ebony Street acting suspicious. They said that when they approached Dawson and searched him they found a nine millimetre pistol with 10 rounds of ammunition stuck in the waist of his pants. Dawson denied that he committed the offences. He said that the police officers planted the gun on him. He called one witness, a female relative of his. But her testimony did not in any way help his case.

Coye Family Appeals Money Laundering Conviction; Attorney Seeks Bail For Michael Coye Due To Health Reasons
This morning Melanie Coye and Michael Coye appeared in the Appeal Court room where their case to appeal a money laundering conviction and sentence was to begin. However, the case had been traverse until the next session and the appeal will be heard in February 24th of next year. Furthermore, both Melanie and Michael Coye are under detention and their attorney, Arthur Saldivar, has until Monday to submit an application of bail for Michael Coye, whose health, Saldivar says, is deteriorating. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “Sufficed to say that now, all the documents are there before the Lords for them to look at. Mr. Coye’s health is of paramount consideration where this application is concerned. It has deteriorated significantly. I know that there is a perception in the public and that perception behooves for me to say, it is my belief, it is undeserved but here it is that a sentence was passed down; it was not a death sentence and should not constructively become a death sentence but somewhere there are certain persons in the government realm who have little or no mercy and little or no compassion for a man in Mr. Coye’s situation but have all the ability to turn a blind eye to what persons like Elvin Penner and what persons like him are doing.

Belizeans Honored at Belize House in Belmopan
The appointments were announced in June as part of the Queen’s birthday honors and today three Belizeans were awarded. At a special ceremony at Belize House in Belmopan, Frank Alexander Lizama and Colville Ludwig Young Jr. were both appointed Order of the British Empire; Lizama for his contribution to art, education and politics and Young for his contribution to education and music. Receiving the insignia for Member of the British Empire was Norman Samuel Elburt Hamilton for his contribution to music.

Police News
Police are investigating a burglary in San Pedro. 64-year-old Timothy Joe Younkin reported that he and his wife left their room at a resort on the island and went to the United States on September 2. He said they ensured that their windows and doors were properly secured. On their return this past weekend they discovered that their lock box containing two thousand US dollars and 500 Belize dollars which was inside the guest bedroom was missing. They also found that a number of items were missing including electronic items and assorted jewellery all to a total value of 16 thousand 480 dollars.

Belize City School Children March For Cancer Awareness
Almost the entire student body of Central Christian Primary School today marched against cancer and its effects on human life. And their message was striking to those whose lifestyles are not congruent. MATTHEW GABOUREL “So you have to stop smoke and make the Chiney man stop selling cigarette. “ ANNIE PEREZ “People can find out if they have cancer by testing. Just exercise, stop smoking cigarettes and take care of your body and eat the correct food.” The first-time exercise was one that organizer, Laurel Willoughby hopes will catch on with time. LAUREL WILLOUGHBY “As we realize that sickness is for everyone. Even our children are affected by cancer. It is just an awareness walk we are doing today. “ MARION ALI “For people who are skeptics, who will tell you, ‘what’s behind a walk; a walk doesn’t cure cancer; how do you respond?”


Students Learn More About Dental Health
“Brush and Floss every day and keep cavities away” is the theme under which Dental health week is being celebrated this year. The Northern Regional Hospital Dental Department in collaboration with HECOPAB have streamlined a number of activities to commemorate the seven days event. Aiming at bringing awareness to the community most importantly students, the dental department hosted a tag day today. Anny Quan, Dental Assistant, NRH “We began dental health week basically started today, tag day, we are visiting San Francisco R.C. School along with Louisiana giving them a little short presentation about good oral health and putting tags on them. It’s basically just awareness; we need to let the kids know about what is good oral hygiene, what they are supposed to do. Our mouth plays a very important role and anything we consume or do or don’t do later on affects the inside of your body, so it is just an awareness for the kids to know about keep on brushing your teeth, you must floss regularly and if all starts by the little stuff that we think are not important that really goes out a lone way.”

Scotia Bank Corozal Gives Back ToO The Community
Feeding programs have become an integral part of many schools across Belize. And at Libertad RC School it is no different. This much needed program has come to fruition thanks to the strides being made by the faculty and staff of that institution. In the month of September, Estevan Pasos was assigned as principal for Libertad RC School and since then he has been working diligently with its teachers and parents. One of the major concerns that was first to be resolved on his agenda is a feeding program to assist as many needy students as possible.

Amandala Article Written By Colin BH Comes Under Fire
Today, Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow issued a statement expressing her concern on a recent article published in last week’s edition of the Amandala Newspaper, which was written by Colin BH under the heading ‘Bake it again’. The article, which expresses views on the proposed provisions of the Criminal Code Amendment (No. 2) bill states “The rape of a male on male is more heinous than the rape of a female by a male. Consider that (1) the female might one day fall in love with the male; (2) the female provoked the immature/crazy male to commit this act; (3) it is a natural act; (4) the female might be entirely whorish, so the act is of little consequence.” Very strong words indeed. According to Simplis Barrow, while the story leaves much to be desired, she found this particular segment of the article to be appalling and stated that it is an "affront to all women and girls and completely trivializes the trauma that survivors of sexual violence are forced to endure." She called on all women and the public in general to condemn "this very disturbing article.”

The Importance Of Practising Good Oral Hygiene
Tooth and Gum disease in Belize is considered a silent epidemic. And while a week in October is set aside as Dental Health week, this year’s Dental Health campaigns is focusing on prevention. That is because a little less than ten percent of Belizeans visit the dentist regularly. The other ninety percent, visit a dental clinic when there is a problem – a toothache or gum disease. Bad breath or Halitosis is definitely one of the main factors of uncertainty in a person; to add to that, having a disease in your mouth due to poor dental health is unbearable. The facts are clear, if you place little attention to your dental hygiene then the results are damning to the extent of having your tooth removed. Therefore, taking care of your teeth is extremely important for you to be able to carry your daily routines. Reporter Irvin Aragon takes a look at the importance of oral hygiene. Irvin Aragon - Reporting One of the most important parts of the body is the mouth and that is because that is where food enters the body to be converted into energy. This process involves the evident use of our teeth and consequently, should receive the proper care.

Parents Concerned About National School Shut-down
Yesterday we reported on the strides being made by President of BelizeCan Patrick Menzies to secure as many signatures from Parents and church leaders in a form of protest against the Government. This action is part of the National School Boycott campaign which comes at the heels of the hotly debated National Revised Gender Policy. Flanked by church leaders, Menzies and his team collected signatures from parents in Orange Walk and Corozal promising to NOT send their children to school in the hopes that Government pay heed to their request. Menzies seeks to halt the process by allowing more consultation sessions with the community. With a hand full of signatures in tow, Menzies submitted the petition forms to the District Education Office here in Orange Walk. A quick check with District Education Manager Carla Alvarez revealed that the petition was to be submitted today to Belmopan. It is uncertain how many signatures were collected but Alvarez says that she was not in the position to comment on the matter or on what happens thereafter.

Where Is Freddy Hernan Villada?
Orange Walk Police are still actively seeking the whereabouts of a man who fled the scene of a fatal hit and run traffic accident that occurred on September 20th, on the Palmar Road which claimed the life of 25 year old Belizean artist Erron Golanche. The driver of the vehicle was identified as 34 year old Freddy Hernan Villada of a Santa Familia Street Address here in Orange Walk. Since the accident, Police have made contact with Villada’s family here in Orange Walk but their assistance has been close to none since it is believed that Villada has absconded across the border.

One Man Charged For September 13th Fatal Traffic Accident
Yesterday police arrested and charged 36 year old Hector David Bobadilla, a Belizean machine operator of San Antonio Village, Orange Walk Town, with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, drove motor vehicle without due care and attention and failure to report an accident. The charges are as a result of a traffic accident that occurred on September 13th on the Yo Creek Road which claimed the life of Salvadoran National Ignacio Moralez who was riding his bicycle enroute to his home in the Village of Yo Creek when he was hit by a bus belonging to the Albion Bus Company. Moralez, who was not known to have family in country, claimed Yo Creek as his home for more than thirty years.

National School Shut-down Causes Chaos In Corozal
This morning tensions ran high at Paraiso Government School in the Corozal District as a group of parents gathered in front of the school in solidarity of the National School Shut-down organized by BelizeCan Patriots who want government to freeze the National Gender Policy 2013 until further consultation. But the situation got out of hand when a few parents tried to take their children out of class and police was called in. Reporter Victor Castillo has the story. Victor Castillo – Reporting Classes at Paraiso Government School were expected to run as per normal today and they did, at least until around 9:00 in the morning. As the buzzer rang and students prepared for their first lesson, a group of parents concerned about the National Gender Policy 2013, gathered outside the school’s compound to learn more about the national school shutdown organized by BelizeCan Patriots.


Gary Seawell ordered to be extradited
Tuesday was a busy day at the courts in Belize City. We begin with the extradition case involving Gary Seawell. Attorney for the accused drug trafficker Gary Gordon Seawell, Arthur Saldivar, thought he had a winning hand when he attacked the credibility of the bundle of documents sent by...

Fired BWS workers sue company for wrongful termination
Six former employees of Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) – Don Gillett, Mark Menzies, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo and Journett McKoy – are suing the utility company for wrongful termination. They had been dismissed, though the company officially claims that their positions were made redundant, after having...

Opposition against the Gender Policy continues to mount
Opposition on the proposed Gender Policy 2013 has picked up steam once again. The original hue and cry for GOB to revise the document dwindled down, following Government’s commitment to suspend the implementation of the policy, until further review. But residents in the north have set out to remind...

Man succumbs to injuries sustained in late September
Last month, we reported on a confrontation that left one man paralyzed; tonight, Police say that that man 40 year old George Morgan passed away as a result of injuries sustained. On 22nd September, Police were called to a bus stop in Silk Grass Village where saw George Morgan...

CARICOM secretariat engages media on strategy
The Caribbean Community, known as CARICOM, is undergoing a rebranding process, part of which includes a four-year strategic plan addressing the vision, priorities for action, implementation and evaluation. Secretary General of CARICOM, Dominica’s Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, has been visiting the 15 member states to talk up the effort, and...

Belizean Student Wins Bronze Medal in International Taipei Art Competition
On Tuesday several students were recognized for their efforts in the 44th annual World Schoolchildren’s Art Exhibit which took place at the Nan-Hai Gallery of the National Arts Education Center in Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan). Belize’s ambassador to Taiwan, His Excellency David Wu, told us more about the...

Is Lake Independence Representative Complaining about Project?
PLUS News has obtained a copy of an email correspondence between Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and Lake Independence area representative Mark King. King, a former City Councilor himself, is complaining that he has been ignored by City Hall over his proposal to create a community park, beautifying and...

SATIIM challenges GOB over oil drilling in national park
On Tuesday, Justice Michelle Arana began the trial in the Supreme Court between the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the Government as well as U.S. Capital Energy. In this trial, SATIIM and the alcaldes of some of the Maya communities in the Toledo District are challenging...

Crystal Beverage Products Sponsors Secondary School Sports
On this past Friday, the National Secondary Schools Sporting Association (NSSSA) shoulder to shoulder with Bowen and Bowen Limited, shook hands on a one-year, $20,000 deal to sponsor and promote the Association’s annual regional and national tournaments in several disciplines. In return for exclusive rights to sponsorship and branding...

United Nations Challenges Belizeans for International Essay Competition
College and university students get your pen and paper ready, here is an opportunity you might not want to miss. In collaboration with ELS (Educational Services Inc. UNAI (United Nations Academic Impact), is hosting an international essay competition on the theme of “Many Languages, One World.” The essay is...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

CCVC to hold public meeting on November 14th
The Caye Caulker Village Council invites all members of the community to a Public Meeting to be held on Thursday 14th November at 7:00pm at the Community Center. Please make an effort to attend, we will be discussing our first quarter and addressing concerns from the general public.

CCVC goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The Caye Caulker Village Council went pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The draped the office in pink trimmings and decorated a tree in pink in honor of those suffering or who have suffered from this devastating disease.

Village Council plans Halloween event
The Caye Caulker Village Council is planning a Halloween event for Saturday, October 26th. Details are on the poster below. Turkey dinner will also be available for the 26th by orders $15.00 each. Please call the Village Council to place your order.

Dentists from Belize Mission Project to visit Caye Caulker
The Dentists from Belize Mission Project will be in Caye Caulker on Oct. 31st 2013 at Caye Caulker Condos. Anyone wishing to see the dentists please make an appointment. For appointments please call 226-0072 between the hours of 8am-5pm. THANKS!


Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) workshop
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) held its first workshop today, 22nd October, 2013, on the Internationalization of Agricultural SMEs in Belize. The workshop was geared at addressing the challenges faced by small and medium sized agricultural enterprises coupled with developing viable strategies to achieve these defined objectives in the long term.

“Food, Glorious Food” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I am still finding it slightly strange when waking up at our new home. Finding that I veer off in the wrong direction until I remember that we are no longer in the condo we rented during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Can’t remember immediately which kitchen cupboard we have stored the coffee and mugs in. Remembering takes a little longer when you have more choices. We have more cupboards and drawers in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment we are using until our two floors are completed. There is a greater choice of where to go sit with my first mug of coffee of the day and my iPad when I get up in the morning. No chairs at the moment but a lot more places where it would be great to have one!

Baked Again by: Aria Lightfoot
On October 20, 2013, Colin BH wrote an article in the Amandala newspaper called “Bake it Again”. Colin gave a whimsical and romanticized view of rape, even going as far as calling the act “natural” when it was against a female vs a male; more “heinous” when it was a male; and simultaneously victim-blamed and downplayed the effects of rape on women and children. Unbelievably, Colin writes for a newspaper that thrives on black power, but actually celebrated centuries of raped slaves because it produced a “beautiful race” of Belizeans in his baked opinions. Colin’s baked opinions became a significant symbol and a wake up call alerting Belizeans as why stronger child protection and gender laws are urgently needed. Colin was expressing what he believed to be an appropriate response to the amendments to the Criminal Code that seeks to strengthen laws of Belize to protect children. The unfortunate reality is that Colin represented the views of quite a few men and women in Belize. One may even argue that he was merely stating what is a culturally accepted practice in Belize’s society.

Swimming with the Sharks Off Ambergris Caye – Shark Ray Alley
Hi everyone. My name is Hayley, and I’m a fellow animal lover, rescuer, and crazy cat lady like Rebecca; however, I have her beat with five cats and a pitbull. I’ll start this blog by saying that I feel so natural in the water and love it so much that I must have been a mermaid in a former life. When I arrived in Belize for the first time in December 2012, my top choice in excursions was Shark Ray Alley. I dove at Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman several years ago, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done, so I knew I had to have that wonderful experience again. Upon arriving at Shark Ray Alley, there is crystal clear water as far as the eye can see. It’s absolutely beautiful. You can also see the sharks immediately approaching the boat from the distance. They are drawn by the motors because they know they are going to be fed. I was ready to jump right in. I’d been waiting years to swim with the sharks.

Halloween in Belize: The Ultimate Costume Party Is San Pedro
My friend Krista from Crazy Canuck’s Beach Bar went to the late night Halloween party at the Holiday Hotel. And took these awesome pictures. And sent me comments. So here is her blog. My first guest blogger! Let’s call her GingerScoop (she’s a red head after all).Here is my favorite picture that she took. Please stop into Crazy Canuck’s, buy a drink, and a panini and fill her with praise. I need a helper!

International Sources

Las Terrazas Beach Real Wedding in Belize, Trendy Bride
They say a picture tells a thousand words. Well, the pictures of this destination wedding at the Las Terrazas Resort in Belize speaks volumes. It was simply stunning.You expect picturesque scenery when you think of a wedding on the beach of Belize but you are totally blown away as you watch Meredith and Nicholas take their vows, walk on the beach and dance for the first time as man and wife. The water, the pier, the palm trees and let’s now forget the sand combine to make it a perfect setting. But of course it is not not just nature’s beauty that make this wedding so special. It is also the details of the wedding decor, the flowers as well as the attire of the entire bridal party that takes this over the top. If you closed your eyes, you could envision that you were in a magnificent cathedral watching these nuptials instead of on a beach. They did a great job of blending sophistication and casual. Meredith and Nicholas showed that you can be elegant yet still be relaxed.

Beautiful Belize, from the Central American jungle to the barrier reef of the Caribbean Sea
WITH one foot planted in the Central American jungles and the other dipped in the Caribbean Sea, Belize combines the best of both worlds. You've heard that the Belize Barrier Reef is the second longest in the world. But have you heard that this reef is home to more than 100 different kinds of coral and some 500 species of fish? This alluring underwater world is undoubtedly the top attraction in Belize. Snorkelers swim through translucent seas, gazing at a kaleidoscope of coral, fish and turtles; divers go deeper, investigating underwater caves and walls and the world-renowned Blue Hole. The turquoise waters are inviting even for those who choose to remain above the surface. Kayakers glide from one sandy, palm-dotted islet to another; windsurfers and sailors skim across the surf by the power of the breeze; sunbathers lounge on the dock, lulled into relaxation by the gentle lapping; and foodies feast on delectable fresh fish, spiny-tailed lobster and other creatures of the sea.

World heritage: Belize Barrier Reef
Tourists watch from a boat at the reef "Barrier Reef" around San Pedro Island in Belize, on Oct. 22, 2013. The Belize Barrier Reef off the coast of Belize is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the world's second longest after Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Among the big diversity of species it has, there are Caribbean reef sharks, blacknose sharks (Carcharhinus acronotus) as well as fish of different colors that blend into the reef.(Xinhua/David de la Paz)

Archeologist to Theorize on What Destroyed Mayan Civilization
l America some thousand years ago, perhaps in the face of a quickly changing environment, its survivors retreated with their most precious artifacts into caves. Jaime J. Awe, a noted archeologist in Belize, will discuss what the ancient treasure troves have revealed to researchers about a remarkable civilization, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at SUNY Cortland. Awe, who directs the Institute of Archaeology for the National Institute of Culture and History at Galen University in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize, will lecture on "Cave Archaeology in Western Belize and its Implications for Understanding Ancient Maya Response to Environmental Change" at 4:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. His lecture is free and open to the public. Belize, a small Central American country with a scattered population roughly the size of Buffalo, N.Y., is a relatively untapped archeologist's goldmine. The rain forests have swallowed most artifacts of a once-thriving civilization, but the remnants of their wondrous cultural gatherings can be found in the shards of ceramic ware left behind.

Latin America - Mobile Communications Statistics (tables only)
This report provides 168 statistical tables relating to the mobile markets of 26 Latin American countries, and is extracted from the full annual market reports. Latin Americas mobile penetration is well ahead of the world average Mobile penetration Consumers in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are turning increasingly towards mobile solutions and away from the traditional telephone. In terms of usage, the region is well ahead of the world average, having reached an estimated 115% mobile penetration at end-2012 against a global rate of around 96%. However, over 80% of LACs mobile subscribers are on prepaid plans.

My Life: New and Improved as a Travel Writer
We’ve all seen the phrase “new and improved” countless times. It’s on everything from cereal boxes to cosmetics. No doubt someone in a lab somewhere tweaked the latest wrinkle cream and declared it new and improved. I think I should have a “new and improved” tag on my life—it has certainly had some tweaking in the last few years! Not long ago my Monday through Friday consisted of getting up, getting dressed, going to work, coming home, sleeping…then getting up, getting dressed, going to work…you get the idea. I spent anywhere from 40 to 60 hours each week sitting in an office at a computer working on accountings and tax returns. I swam through ancient caves, harvested cacao and rode horseback through the jungles in southern Belize. I stood under a volcano-fed hot waterfall in Guatemala and danced to the rhythm of Garifuna drumming in Livingston.


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