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#475943 - 10/29/13 11:55 AM Today's Belize News: October 29, 2013
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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

National News: Public Service Minister meets public officers on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker
Public officers in Belize Rural South had the opportunity to engage with the senior staff of the Ministry of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries as part of a Minister’s Consultation and countrywide tour. The visit to the area is being led by the Minister of the Public Service and Elections and Boundaries, Honorable Senator Charles Gibson and his team, which included his Chief Executive Officer, Marian McNab. During the two-day tour in the area, Hon. Gibson and his team met with 105 public officers working in the various government offices in San Pedro Town, and 28 officers from Caye Caulker. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Hon. Gibson said that the countrywide tour started three months ago and has seen him visiting all of the districts, with Belize being the last.

Crime Stoppers Belize wins two regional awards
Since 2004, after it was introduced by the Rotary Club of Belize, Crime Stoppers has had a very visible presence. Crime Stoppers Belize has (and continues to play) a vital role in having firearms removed off the streets, has helped in the recovery of stolen items, has brought successful convictions for many crimes and helped in the apprehension of international fugitives hiding in Belize through anonymous tips reported to the international organization. But Crime Stoppers Belize has also been successful in receiving international recognition for their public service announcements and on Thursday October 24th, the organization recognized the partners who have been assisting with their work in country.

Drinking Water Notice
After the continuous rains over the weekend, many residents have been experiencing flooding which has contaminated their drinking water, leaving it unsafe to drink and requiring treatment. In order to avoid becoming ill, all households whose drinking water has been affected are asked to treat their water. 1. Add 1 tablespoon of Clorox to five gallons of water, mix completely and leave to stand for 30 minutes before using. DO NOT use bleach that has perfumes. 2. Boil water at a rolling boil for one minute. 3. Add water purification tablets according to directions on the package.

Avoid Contamination from Flooded Waters
Ministry of Health The Ministry of Health is advising all persons residing, visiting or working in flooded areas to reduce health risks by avoiding contact with rivers and streams that may contain contaminants. Flooded streets, rivers and streams may be contaminated with sewage and other wastewater from septic tanks, pit latrines or other sanitary facilities. The Ministry of Health advises the following to persons in these areas: 1. Keep out of rivers and streams until further notice. 2. Parents do not allow your children to play with toys or any items that have been in contact with the water. 3. Individuals who come in contact with the water, including those involved in cleaning up flood debris, should practice good personal hygiene and wash their hands frequently with soap and clean warm water.

Saga Halloween Fundraiser a Howling Success!
Friends and furry Saga Humane Society fans donned their most creative garb and braved the rainy elements to attend the 10th annual Saga SPOOKTACULAR Halloween party which was held at BC’s Bar on Sunday afternoon, October 27th. With live music courtesy of Valentino, delicious food for sale, raffle giveaways, silent auction and Ms. Charlene and staff graciously tending to the guests, the party was a great opportunity to raise funds for the humane society while enjoying some good old fashioned Halloween fun. Of course the highlight of the day was the pet costume contest and many of the owners wore coordinating attire. Judges Tamara, Jan and Allan had a tough time deciding on the winners as all of the contestants where so imaginative...

Halloween 2013 at the Holiday Hotel! (64 photos)
Every year, we think that the costumes just cannot get any better, and then we're proven wrong! What an amazing array of costumes and creativity! The Holiday Hotel is one of the best places for Halloween fans, and their annual Halloween Bash is a MUST!

Ambergris Today

Stationary Cold Front Causes Flooding in Belize
A stationary cold front in the Yucatan Peninsula has brought heavy rains into the country of Belize and major flooding in the west and south of the country. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has been issuing warnings as major highways, road and bridges have been flooded and their team is working arduously in helping persons living in the low lying areas. Weather forecast calls for more rain as conditions remain moist and unstable. Skies will be cloudy to overcast today and one can expect several showers, periods of light rain and a few thunderstorms over most areas. Mariners have been asked to exercise caution because easterly to northeasterly winds with higher gusts near showers and thunderstorms will produce choppy sea conditions. The sea condition will be locally rough at times today. High temperatures today will be in the low 80’s along coastal areas, while in the countryside, the high will reach the upper 80’s. Similar weather conditions are expected through to Wednesday morning.

Marie Sharp’s Belizean Products Highlighted at World’s Largest Food Show
The ANUGA food show, which is the world’s largest and most important food and beverage fair, had the participation of Marie Sharp Proud Products of Belize. The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), presented the Caribbean Kitchen Pavilion at the ANUGA 2013 Food Show, Germany, October 5-9, 2013 and was a huge success. This was the first time Caribbean Export has taken a collective of food and beverage producers to ANUGA as part of Caribbean Kitchen. The 212sqm space showcased a variety of food and beverage products from across the region, including Taste13 award winners Banana Ketchup from Baron Foods, Tiger Malt from Beverages Caribbean Inc. and Marie Sharp’s Fruit Flavors from Belize. This year there were over 1200 products that entered the competition and 53 made the final selection. The four Caribbean companies that were selected for the Taste13 competition were; Baron Foods Ltd with their ‘Banana Ketchup’ (Saint Lucia); Beverages Caribbean Inc. with ‘Tiger Malt’ (Barbados); 10 Saints beer by 10 Saints Brewery Ltd (Barbados) and Fresh Fruits Flavours one of Marie Sharp’s Habanerno Sauces (Belize).

Pic of the Week: Saga Humane Society Halloween Party for the Canines
Saga Humane Society held its annual Howl-o-Ween Spooktacular party for the entire family and allowed for pet owners to have some Halloween dress-up fun with adorable animals. The event was held at BC's Bar on Sunday, October 27, 2013. Prizes for the pets included that of Scariest, Funniest, Cutest, Best Couple (Pet and Owner) and Most Original!

Holiday Hotel Halloween Bash 2013
On Saturday, October 26, 2013 the Witch Doctors, Spartans, Minions, Princesses and many more hit the biggest Halloween Party inside the Holiday Hotel. The crowd cheered as the Halloweeners walked the red carpet with their impressive costumes. BumSquad DJ DZL turned up the party with his hype tracks. The night ended with the awarding of costumes (Most Creative, Best Goup, Scarriest, Funniest, Best Make-up and Managers Favorite). Congratulation to all the winners and see you all next year!.

Misc Belizean Sources

Saga Halloween Party 2013 at BC's Album One
Lots of awesome photos

Reaffirmation of Sister City: Othon P. Blanco to San Pedro (18 photos)
On Friday, October 25, 2013 Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilor Gabriel Nuńez, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Mayor Kevin Bernard attended the signing of the Reaffirmation of Sister City Relationship between Othon P. Blanco, Quintana Roo and San Pedro Town, Belize.

VALDEZ DROWNING IN SUCCOTZ (7 photos)
The family of Carlos Valdez, 65, is tonight holding a vigil on the banks of the Mopan River in the village of San Jose Succotz after their loved one fell into the flooded river this morning. He remains missing and is believed to have drowned. On Monday evening, close family friends were employing a traditional method of trying to locate the body by placing a lighted candle inside of a calabash and releasing it on the water. According to tradition, a prayer is offered calling the name of the missing persons and when the calabash reaches where the body is, it will circle the spot. Valdez and another man were in the process of transporting plantains from his farm across the river when the tragic incident happened. Family members say that Valdez and his companion had alrady made two trips across the river and on the third, something went terribly wrong. The duo was thrown into the raging river after the skiff started to take on water and they could not remedy the situation near one of the rapids. Valdez' companion was able to hold on to debris and branches near the banks of the river and make it to safety, but says that he watched helplessly as Valdez went under and did not resurface.

Roots Wraps and Smoothies Grand Opening
Roots Wraps and Smoothies is having their grand opening on Saturday, November 2nd. After a long Halloween Block Party on Burns, and a few hours of sleep, a smoothie will pick you back up, and get you ready for the Rotaract Haunted House at Hode's. They deliver wraps and smoothies all around Cayo for lunch, and the menu is on their page. They are located at 38 West street. Have a great grand opening.

Massage Training in Cayo
The Vision Exchange is getting ready to start another course in massage. They are planning to start this coming weekend. Contact Jude at 652-8595 for more information. "Massage Therapy, Yoga, Meditation, Cleansing, Integrative Studies, and Retreats. Schedules are Flexible. Taking the full course consecutively is ideal, although we want to support people who may not be able to fit this into thier lives. We are excited to offer weekend and week courses with certification upon completion which must be completed within the year according to the start date. "

Belikin Halloween Block Party
This year's Halloween Block Party on Burns avenue is Friday, November 1st. There will be multiple costume contests, DJ's, a laser show from DJ Caesar, and even live music from Emmanuel Mangar. Don't miss it. Best of all, it's free. Special thanks go to Belikin, Mr. Greedy's, and the SISE Town Council for making this event happen.

Sacred Heart College Fair and Expo
Sacred Heart College had its annual fair and business expo this weekend. The weather was less than optimal, but the new auditorium provided more than enough space for everyone to eat, play, and enjoy the festivities. The Maya Mountain Adventure Club had a great display, and they are offering 75% off to students, and 50% off to Belizeans for their adventures this coming season. "While the weather refused to cooperate, they still made the best of it at SHC for this year's festivities. The talent show was spectacular, and there were some unique displays. The Car Cutting was a hit, literally. There was tons of great food both days. In Bloom performed some classics for the event too."

Belize featured on LeBron James' website
We're always proud to see young #Belizeans representing our country well. Kudos to Coach Tarr and these talented young men.

Hanal Pixan and La Dia de los Muertos
The Corozal House of Culture is delighted to take the initiative in conducting a cultural competition for primary schools in the Corozal District. Northern Belize has a fascinating history, many of our customs originated like many of our ancestors from the Yucatan. One particular custom that is slowly dying out in Corozal Town is the celebration of Hanal Pixan of the Maya and La Dia de los Muertos(All Souls Day) of the Mestizo. As a leading institution in cultural learning the Corozal House of Culture would like to take this opportunity to offer our primary educational institutions an exciting and interactive way of learning more about this lost tradition. An altar competition and exhibit will be held on Friday November 1st, 2013 at 10 a.m. The House of Culture will stay open into the night allowing the community to come out and view the altars. Join us for this reclamation of our heritage.

Channel 7

Floods Beset Belize, One Man Loses Life In Roaring Mopan River
Relentless rains caused flooding in the Cayo, Stann Creek, Toledo and Belize Districts this weekend - and tonight, we have the first casualty to report. 65-year-old farmer Carlos Valdez was swept to his death this morning when his canoe capsized in the turbulent Mopan River near Succotz. Right now, because of all the rains and the waters coming down from the Maya Mountains, the river has over-run its banks, and its waters are raging with heavy currents and fast swirling eddy's. Valdez, who is a farmer was ferrying plantains over from his farm on the other side of the river to his home in Succotz.

Floodwaters All Across the Land
Presently, flooding is being experienced in most parts of the country. In Santa Elena, the temporary bridge is completely submerged - and this morning the area was best used by recreational fishermen, looking for some hungry Tilapia. Those in the area tell us the water had risen since yesterday. Further west in the Mountain Pine Ridge, The northern side of the Privassion bridge approach washed away, and only small vehicles can access the bridge with extreme caution. The Little Vaqueros bridge entrance is partly washed away. The Guacamallo Bridge is under water. The human impact has been greatest in greater Belmopan, specifically the areas of Maya Mopan, San Martin and Salvapan. Emergency Response teams had to rescue 6 people in Valley of Peace last night and another six in Frank's Eddy this morning. In Roaring Creek, the water is still a few feet below the deck while Camalote, Teakettle, Bullet Tree, and Santa Familia are all under alert for flooding. Shelters have been opened at the More Tomorrow and Belmopan. In Belmopan, those Shelterees in the UB Gymnasium had to be relocated due to a bomb threat at the University of Belize.

Castro Issues Statement Against Whistleblower/Channel 5
Turning now to politics, there's quite a bit to report tonight. First, neither Belize Rural North Representative Edmund Castro nor Prime Minister Dean Barrow have spoken with the press, but Castro did issue a statement through the Government Press Office this morning. We'll get to that shortly, but first to other developments. The Prime Minister has called a house meeting for Friday - this is expected to be a sort of legislative housekeeping - as the PM will be leaving the country shortly after for surgery on his ailing back. Also, the opposition has now formally prepared a Senate motion to appoint a Special Select Committee to investigate irregularities and wrongdoing at the Immigration Department. The proposed composition would be one senator form the government, one form the opposition and three from the social partners. The opposition is banking on the social partners in the senate to support the motion, but as with all other matters, only a vote by the government senators can carry it.

Penner Back To Hospital
And while Government prepares ready to offer staunch defence to Edmund Castro, they can do so because they say his name is only on a generic letter of recommendation for visas. Not so, for Elvin Penner whose name is on the passport and nationality certificate for an international fugitive. And while Penner remains in the UDP bad books, best information from those he has spoken with indicate that he does not intend to resign as his Party Leader, Prime Minister Dean Barrow asked him to. Best information also suggests that he still ha snot met with the Prime Minister to discuss what he plans to do. Reports today say that Penner had to be hospitalized at the Belize Medical Associates again. Which is one more reason for him not to resign, as the sickly Penner also gets health insurance coverage as a Member of Parliament.

Mayor In Search Of Eric Chang
And so, where is Eric Chang, the other man who needs to answer to the public about the Citizen Kim scandal? The Belize City Council made the decision to strip him of his post as Deputy on October 17, and according to Mayor Darrell Bradley, who we caught up with at another event, it was also the last time he spoke with Chang. He told the media today that they've made calls, sent emails, and text messages, but Chang just isn't responding: Mayor Darrell Bradley "He has still not come into Belize City. The difficulty that we have is since removing him from being Deputy Mayor and his Works portfolio, the City Administrator and I communicated with him via email (we could not get him by phone) he did not respond. Our situation is that we really have not had any contact with him."

Juniour Heredia Denies Any Visa Quota system
And form Chang, back to Castro. Today, we got an opportunity to speak with his cabinet colleague, Manuel Heredia Jr. As we've told you, 7News has received multiple credible reports of a visa quota system among ministers, but all those who we've spoken to, have denied that it exists - with only their boss, the Prime Minister letting on that there is hustling afoot in the Department. Heredia Jr. joined those ministers who denied that it exists when we asked him about it, and he told us that the whistle-blower who came out against Castro obviously has a malicious agenda: Geovanni Brackett, reporter "Were you aware of any visa quota?" Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism "To be very honest I commute every day between San Pedro, if anything about that at this point I cannot comment on that. I know very little. Probably if anything is there I might know tomorrow at Cabinet, but at this point it is very difficult for me to comment."

Senior Counsel Rodwell vs. Inspector Fitzroy
It's been some time since Attorney Rodwell Williams, the Prime Minister's law partner in the firm, Barrow and Williams, has made the news. Well tonight, he's back, and not in a good way; the esteemed Senior Counsel is at the center of an ugly dispute with the well-known Yearwood family, of which former police press officer Fitzroy Yearwood is a member. The problem is that both sides claim to have title documents for a piece of land on Cemetery Lane. Things finally came to a head on Saturday afternoon, when the police and BDF went to the Yearwood family yard to install a structure to be placed on the parcel under dispute. 7News was out there as the confrontation unfolded, and Daniel Ortiz has the story. Daniel Ortiz reporting On Saturday, out in the rain, the police officers stood outside on the street in front of lot 404 on Cemetery Lane, guns at the ready, and they were supported by BDF officers. These heavily armed security forces were there to oversee the delivery of the yellow hut on a parcel of the Yearwood land. The Yearwood, just as determined as the police, stood their ground, getting soaked, as they voiced their protests that they didn't intend to allow the hut to be put on what they claim as their land.

Stevedores’ Abortive Attempt At CWU Congress
When we left you last week Friday, it was with the news that outspoken stevedore, Deon "Ras" Pitta would be offering himself as president of the Christian Workers Union in a General Congress Meeting, to remove Antonio "Pancho" Gonzalez and his general secretary, James McFoy. It has been an issue unfolding for weeks where the Stevedores and some members of the CWU, backed up by the NTUCB, want to replace Gonzalez because he's not held elections or presented financials over a decade, which is against the provisions of the constitution. This weekend, the NTUCB oversaw that meeting, and 7News was there to see if they could reach critical mass to remove Gonzalez. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting At around 9 a.m., when we arrived at the Bird's Isle Basketball Court, there were very few members of the Christian Worker's Union members present. That was, after all, the scheduled start time of this General Congress Meeting, but with less than 20 people, it was hardly mentionable.

Family Fears Worse For Missing Man
Tonight a Belize City man is missing and his family fears for the worst. 27 year old Nigel Ferguson went missing 2 Sundays ago on October 14th. That was the same day he was released from police custody after being detained for questioning for the murder of 28 year old Deon Yorke - who was shot and killed on October 19th. What got family members worried was when Yorke's bungalow house was set on fire last Tuesday night. Today 7news spoke with Ferguson's sister in an off camera interview. Voice Of: Tyeshia Garnet, sister of missing man "Everybody wants to know where he is and they wants to know if anything happened to him because after he was locked down and they let him out nobody has heard from him after that. He came home took a bath and change and said that he was going to see a friend and that was it."

Man Convicted For Shooting Based on Victim Testimony
22 year-old Lloyd Eligio, who was charged with the October 2009 attempted murder of Mark Lord, was convicted today in the court room of Troadio Gonzalez. He is at prison tonight, awaiting sentencing. The main prosecution witness was the victim, Mark Lord. He took the stand and testified in the trial that Eligio, who he saw and knew very well, followed him on Swing Bridge on October 25, all the way to Hyde's Lane, where he opened fire on him in front of the DHL building. One of the bullets struck him in the chest but he survived after emergency surgery. Under cross-examination, Eligio got a chance to challenge his accuser, Mark Lord, and he tried to convince the jury that Lord was mistaken. Throughout, however, Lord maintained his certainty that Eligio was the gunman.

Alleged Shooter To Court
25 year-old Albert Moody is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly making an attempt on the lives of 2 Belize City men. As we reported, 26 year-old Steven Lambey and 18 year-old Elroy Perdomo were riding on Central American Boulevard, when a gunman ambushed them and opened fire. Perdomo was shot to the ankle and rear end, while Lambey was shot to his calf and abdomen. Both men were rushed to the KHMH and treated for their injuries.

Regional Museums Meet In Belize
Today, representatives of the National Institute of Culture and History and the Museum Association of the Caribbean met in Belize for their annual general meeting under the theme, "Pooling our Resources: Collaborations, Connections and Partnerships". The purpose conference is to discuss how to strengthen tourism by adding in a strong cultural component. Tourism and Culture Minister, Manuel Heredia Jr. told us that cultural tourism is an important topic for the conference: Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism "This event is the Annual General Meeting of the Museums and we have the President of the Caribbean Association and we have our staff Ms. Diane Haylock who is our president along with her staff over here to be along with this conference which I think will be a very fruitful one."

BTL Park, The Big Countdown
It's been almost 3 months since the ground breaking ceremony for the Belize City Council's renovation of BTL Park. During that time, City Hall has been challenged by critics who say that the project had stalled. So today, Mayor Darrell Bradley pre-empted further criticism by updating residents the progress that the contractors have made. According to Bradley, if the weather permits, it will be opened in 41 days: Mayor Darrell Bradley "The project is a transformative initiative to BTL Park. The project is being done in 3 phases; the first phase has been totally completed, this includes adding 40% more park space. We did a massive land reclamation and we constructed a sea wall. The second phase is the adding of the park features; we will raise the park by 6 inches. We will put sidewalks all around the park, there is going to be an area for skating. There is an ample theatre, there is a pier, there is greenery, there are park benches, and there are garbage bins - so that phase 2 involves the making of this facility look like a park."

Mayor Says CITCO Only Owes Waste Control Ten Weeks
One other question which the media took the opportunity to ask Bradley about was the arrears to Belize Waste Control. As we've told you, the garbage company and its employees are at a tipping point, because the Council owes them more than half a million dollars. Today, when we asked Bradley for an update, he told us that by their information, they are 10 weeks behind, and there is absolutely nothing they can do to catch up at this point. More than that, according to Bradley, City Halls intends to wait out the contract with the other company, Belize Maintenance Limited, which they will not renew in 2015. According to Bradley, that's the only foreseeable relief for BWC: Mayor Darrell Bradley "The point is that we are about maybe 10 weeks behind with them and in relation to this current period we are not anywhere more behind with them that we were last year. The difficulty is that I maintain these sanitation contracts represents 45% of the City' s outlays. It is too costly on the City and what we are doing is unsustainable. If you recall last year at this present moment there were Waste Control personnel right in front of my office picketing. I know that under Zanaida's terms in office there were protests as well. This is a situation which goes on for years and years and it only going to be solved if we take a very realistic look at the sanitation contractors."

Channel 5

Like P.M. Barrow, Minister Edmund Castro dodges waiting media
On Saturday, Minister of State Edmund Castro entered the country. He was in Miami on government business when he became the subject of serious allegations of corruption. Castro is accused [...]

Whistleblower discloses specifics of meetings with Castro to Ombudsman
Castro dodged the media Saturday, but he won’t be able to dodge the very serious allegation made against him. The informant, who Castro has identified as Alvarine Burgess, has now [...]

Castro comments via press release following emergency U.D.P. meeting
Castro’s only comments came via press release today following an emergency U.D.P. meeting. According to the release, Castro makes clear that the allegation was a lie. He was never engaged [...]

Will there be a senate-led investigation into the Ministry of Immigration?
Still on the immigration matters….Following up on notice from the floor of the Senate on October seventeenth, the Opposition Senator, Liza Shoman will be moving a motion at the next [...]

The long list of visa irregularities
While Castro bunkers down in the face of very compelling, firsthand information against him, there are other visa irregularities coming to light. Tonight, twenty-two Indian nationals are incarcerated after they [...]

Land dispute involving attorney Rodwell Williams gets fiery
On Saturday, tensions escalated on Cemetery Lane in Belize City because of a dispute over one tiny parcel of land. On one side of the dispute is prominent attorney Rodwell [...]

Attorney says police cannot intervene in civil matter
As we mentioned earlier in the newscast, on Saturday Police gave an undertaking that they would not act until a meeting with Rodwell Williams and the Young family is convened. [...]

Christian Workers Union holds its congress
The anticipated congress of the Christian Workers Union proceeded on Saturday morning at Birds Isle. Tensions were bubbling for weeks because of a call for action from the stevedores while [...]

Major flooding affects western and southern communities and kills a Succotz man
The torrential rains over the weekend affected southern and western communities where water levels rose significantly. The flooding has already taken one life. In Succotz, a man, sixty-five year old [...]

Albert Moody, allegedly involved in Belize City shooting, has his day in court
Twenty-three year old Jane Usher Boulevard resident, Albert Moody, today appeared in the Magistrate’s Court related to a shooting incident in Belize City on October twentieth. Moody has been charged [...]

Lloyd Elijio found guilty of the attempted murder of Mark Lord
A jury of five men and four women today convicted twenty-two year old Lloyd Elijio of Belize City for the attempted murder of Mark Lord in October of 2009 in [...]

Court of Appeal orders new trial for convicted murderer Kimberly Brannon
The Court of Appeal today ordered a new trial for forty-three year old Kimberly Brannon, also known as Kimberly McLaughlin, and set aside her conviction and sentence of life imprisonment [...]

City Council defaults in payments to Belize Waste Control; is it habitual?
The perennial issue of the cost of garbage collection in Belize City, the result of seemingly exorbitant contracts signed with sanitation companies years ago, is one which continues to plague [...]

Councilor Eric Chang still not in communication with City Council
Former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang remains absent without leave in Taiwan since departing for his home country in early September.  Chang, who has been accused of participating in the conveyance [...]

24th Annual Museum Association Of the Caribbean General Meeting
The Museum Association of the Caribbean (MAC) is holding its twenty-fourth annual general meeting under the theme “Pooling our Resources: Collaborations, Connections and Partnerships.” The goal is to develop concrete [...]

41 days to the official launch of the newly renovated B.T.L. Park
The countdown for the official launch of the newly renovated BTL Park has commenced and, to mark the occasion, Mayor Darrell Bradley was on hand to erect a sign notifying [...]

Weekend Sporting Highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The persistent downpour across the nation over the weekend forced a cancellation of most of the scheduled sporting events. [...]


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#475944 - 10/29/13 11:56 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 29, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

LOVE FM

Weekend Weather Floods Homes in Belize
The weather system that hovered over Belize this past weekend and into part of Monday brought with it heavy and continuous rains that created flash floods in several locations over the country. On Sunday, this was how the George Price Boulevard looked at mile 47 looked; traffic was backed up as vehicles were guided thru the safest part of the road. A couple miles away these homes were inundated as the waters rose in their area. Further up the Highway, the river at the Roaring Creek Bridge swelled to just under the deck and posed a threat to motorists using the highway. Entire communities on the periphery of Belmopan such as Maya Mopan, Salvapan and Las Flores were flooded and their residents were forced to make adjustments. Today two families had to evacuate to safety at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan. Clare Moody, who is the District Coordinator for the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, told Love News that the organization is doing all that is possible to assist those who have been displaced and those who remain at home but have suffered losses.

Minister of Tourism Knows Nothing of Visa Hustling
Prime Minister Dean Barrow arrived back in the country on Friday. The media attempted to obtain comment from the Prime Minster in regards to the ongoing slew of allegations against Ministers of Cabinet on what has been coined as “Visa Hustling”. Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Edmund Castro, is accused of being part of the visa hustling business. Today we asked another government minister on whether or not he knows anything about visa hustling within the government. Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, told Love News today, that he recalls of recommending an individual to obtain a visa but was never involved in any of the nefarious allegations that are surfacing. HON. MANUEL HEREDIA “Definitely I know nothing whatsoever; I can guarantee you that Cabinet has not collectively, as I was asked before, nothing that is misleading nothing collectively has ever been spoken about in Cabinet.”

Garifuna Celebrations Announced by National Council
Love news got the details of the upcoming events from member of the National Garifuna Council Belize City branch, Barbara Elijio BARBARA ELIJIO “On November 2 we will have the Belize City Choir Cultural Show at Bliss Institute and it will be at 7 pm. On November 9, we will have National Solidarity Mass at Adolphus RC Church in Seine Bight Village at 9am. On November 9, we will also have our Miss Garifuna Belize National Talent at the Multi Sports Complex in Seine Bight Village. On Sunday, November 10, we will have Garifuna drumming at MCC Tennis Court from 6pm to 11pm. On Thursday, November 14, we will have the school’s children rally at 1:30pm at the House of Culture for one dollar per child. On Thursday, November 15, we are asking for all Garinagu and other ethnic groups to please put on our cultural wear for Cultural Awareness Day. On November, 15 at 6pm to 11pm, we will also have Garifuna drumming at MCC Tennis Court. On November 16, we will also have Cultural Night and Storytelling at MCC Tennis Court from 6pm to 11 pm. On November 16, we will have Belize City Branch Solidarity Mass at Saint Martin’s de Porres Church and on Sunday, November 17 Garifuna Drumming from 8pm to 11pm at MCC Tennis Court. At MCC tennis court we will also have the Garifuna Drumming from 8pm to 1am again on 18th night. On November 19, we will have the reenactment starting at Bottom Dollar Supermarket on North Front Street and then 8am is the Thanksgiving Mass at Saint Martin’s de Porres Church and after that it is Garifuna bashment from 10 until.”

Retrial Ordered for Woman Convicted of Killing Spouse
An appeal by 43 year old Kim Brannon, who was convicted of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment, was allowed today by Belize Court of Appeal. Brannon’s conviction was quashed, her sentence was set aside and a retrial was ordered for her. Brannon was convicted of the murder of her common-law husband, Anthony ”Antics” Herrera, who was fatally chopped in his head with a machete on December 13, 2008, while he was in bed at his home at Burrell Boom horse race stadium. Brannon’s appeal was allowed on the ground that the trial judge failed to properly direct the jury with regard to a confession statement that Brannon gave to the police. The judge ought to have told the jury that it should consider whether the statement was voluntarily given and if it was true. Brannon was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre, while The Director of public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal represented the respondent. Brannon was convicted on November 15, 2011. She was sentenced on December 2, 2011.

Murder Trial For Orange Walk Resident Starts Today
In Court news from Orange Walk, the case against Eric Gonzalez began today in the Supreme Court. Gonzalez is accused of the murder of Daniel Soto on February 26th, 2009. The crown presented its opening statement this morning before Justice Herbert Lord and a jury of twelve persons. The prosecution presented forensic evidence including pictures of the crime scene and the weapon believed was used to kill Soto, and they also called on their first witness to testify. The crown is being represented by Sabita Maharaj and Senior Crown Counsel Linsbert Willis. Eric Gonzalez is being represented by Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson. The incident occurred on evening of February 26th 2009. The ten sixteen year old Daniel Soto reportedly got involved in an altercation with then eighteen year old Eric Gonzalez on Savannah Street in Orange Walk Town, during which Soto picked up a stone to defend himself from Gonzalez. Reports add that Gonzalez left promising to return to exact his anger. Gonzalez returned to find Soto on Mangal Street in the same area and this time he carried a five inch blade knife which he used to stab Soto on his left thigh. Soto succumbed to his injury while undergoing surgery at the Northern Regional Hospital moments later. Gonzalez escaped into Mexico but was caught months later. The trial continues on Wednesday October 3th 2013.

Remanded For 46 Days On Attempted Murder
Twenty-three year old Albert Moody, one of two persons who the police believe was involved in a shooting incident, was charged with two counts of attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Moody was also charged with two counts of use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm and wounding. He was remanded into custody until December 13. The incident occurred around 11:25 p.m. on October 20. 27 year old Steven Lambey and 18 year old Elroy Perdomo, were riding bicycles on Central American Boulevard heading towards Port of Belize when their assailant who was standing on the side of the street, fired several shots at them. Lambey was shot in the right side of his abdomen and his right calf, while Perdomo was shot in his left ankle and the left side of his buttocks. Lambey’s injury was classified as dangerous harm, while Perdomo’s injury was classified as wounding.

Entertainment and Tourism Zone Coming For Belize City
Mayor of Belize City, Darrel Bradley invited the media to BTL Park, Newtown Barracks this morning to provide an update on the ongoing refurbishment to the park. MAYOR DARELL BRADLEY “The project is being done in three phases; the first phase has been totally completed, this includes adding forty percent more park space. We did a massive land reclamation and we constructed a sea wall. The second phase is the adding of the park features; we will raise the park by six inches; we will put side walk all around the park; there is going to be an area for skating, there is an amphitheater; there is a pier; there is greenery; there is park benches; there are garbage bins and so phase two involves the making of this facility look like a park. Phase three is an innovative aspect of the park and this is the economic development portion and what this entails is the construction of 23 kiosks for vending purposes. The total plan for BTL Park is to ensure that the park is a commercial plaza for this area; you will know that this are of Belize City is an entertainment and tourism zone and our vision for BTL Park is that the park will be a place that is steaming with economic activity every single weekend from Thursday to Sunday.”

President of Mental Health Association Opens Red Ribbon Week At Wesley College
Wesley College is celebrating its 15th Annual Red Ribbon Week under the theme “A healthy ME is drug free”. The week was officially opened this morning by Jennifer Lovell, President of the Mental Health Association. The week runs from October 28th to November 1st and students along with the faculty will be participating in a series of activities. These range from the “Put a Cap on Drugs Day” where staff will be wearing hats as a symbol of capping out drugs, to the annual parade of students through Belize City streets. Organizer and school counselor Elizabeth Goff told Love News that Red Ribbon Week has made an impact over the years. ELIZABETH GOFF “Yes, it is our fifteenth year that we celebrating Red Ribbon Week. We started back in 1999 and this work is ongoing; it’s not something where we will see immediate results but I believe very strongly that having Red Ribbon Week as a part of our school wide campaign and of course the ongoing prevention work is making a difference in our school.”

Police Finds Cocaine In Villager’s Shoe
Jostyn Bleu, a resident of Ladyville, was charged with drug trafficking and possession of a controlled drug when he appeared in court today. Bleu pled not guilty to the charges. He was offered a bail of 500 dollars and his case was adjourned until December 13. The incident occurred around 2:50 p.m. on October 26. The police reported that they saw Bleu walking on Central American Boulevard and when they stopped him and searched him they found 5.8 grams of cocaine in one of his shoes. The police also reported that when they took Bleu to the police station and searched a knapsack he had they found 0.9 grams of cannabis.

Jury Says Guilty in Attempted Murder of Lord
A jury of five women and four men deliberated for about three hours today before it found 22 year old Lloyd Elijio guilty of the attempted murder of Mark Lord, who was shot in the left side of his chest around 12:30 p.m. on October 25, 2009, on Hyde’s Lane. The trial judge, Justice John Gonzalez, has deferred sentencing until November 4 in order to give Elijio time to prepare a plea for mitigation. Lord testified that he was walking on Hyde’s Lane going towards Barrack Road when the gunman, whom he identified as Elijio, appeared in front of him and shot him. Elijio testified and denied that he committed the offfence. He said that at the timeof the incident he was at his grandmother’s house on Morning Glory Street eating. He called one witness who testified that he did not see Elijio until about 1:30 p.m. that day. Elijio was not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith represented the prosecution.

Minister Castro Denies Involvement in Visa Procurement and Seeks Legal Recourse Against Accuser and Channel Five
We have been attempting to speak with Minister of State Edmond Castro after allegations were made of his involvement in the visa hustle reportedly orchestrated by some Ministers of government. Castro, who was out of the country at the time, returned on Saturday and did not grant an interview to the Press. However today Castro issued a release in which he rejects and condemns what he calls the viciously false and malicious story concocted about him. Castro said the allegation that he collected four hundred thousand dollars as payment for having procured the issuance of two hundred Belize visas is not true. He says he was never engaged in any visa ring, and never collected a penny from his accuser.

CTV3

Incessant Rains Cause Minor Flooding In The North
The incessant rains have caused major flooding in the Southern Districts of the country; leaving a number of bridges under water and even eating away a portion of the Southern Highway. Due to the heavy downpour, the North also experienced some flooding of its own over the weekend. Regional Director for NEMO in Orange Walk and Corozal, Elodio Aragon, gave us an update on the most vulnerable areas affected. Elodio Aragon– Regional Director, NEMO OW & Corozal “We’ve Checked the villages and with our chairpersons, they are our contacts and up to now everything is ok in all the villages, except to San Estevan where the chairman reported to us that there is a need to evacuate a family that his house was flooded and everything which we have done that already so, apart from that everything is ok in the villages. I also work along with the Mayor because the Mayor is part of the NEMO committee so we keep constantly in touch and I have spoken to him today and he has mentioned that yes there are a few problems with the drains but he is doing his best he has been to the hot spots where we know it usually get flooded and he has been working at that and he was here at the Marcus Canul Area where there a few houses that are in low lying areas and these will always get flooded when the rains come and therefore he has been there and he done what he can. He has a team with all his workers when the weather is like this they concentrate in trying to ensure that people are not flooded in their homes so I have spoken to him and he told me we are doing our best and we have it under control and we ask people to be patient.”

BWU Elects New Committee, Gongora Remains As President
On Friday, October 25th, 2013 we told you about the Belize Worker’s Union’s annual general meeting where the pressing issue on the agenda was the election of a new committee to run the affairs of the union for the next two years. After two years in the position as the chairman for the union, Ramiro Gongora was briefly stripped of his title after the committee was formally dissolved and the elections got under way. Two hours later, Gongora once again emerged as the captain of the Belize Worker’s Union’s ship; however, he is not steering alone. Ramiro Gongora, Chairman, BWU “We came to an end of a two year service, the members, since 2011 we were elected in office and two have passed and now we have our AGM today and a new committee was elected for continuing serving the workers of BSI.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “Now, tell us about the committee, who were the members who were elected this year?”

Dollar Increase In Price Per Hundred Pound Cylinder Of Butane
Tonight there is bad news for consumers of Liquid Petroleum Gas as Government has approved a $1.00 hike in the price of Liquid Petroleum Gas, commonly known as butane. The supplies Control Unit reports that effective today the new controlled prices for LPG will be as follows: in Belize and Corozal $118, in Belmopan and San Ignacio $120, Benque $121, Orange Walk $119, Dangriga $122 and Punta Gorda $123. The last time changes were recorded in the price for a hundred pound cylinder of butane was back in the month of September when consumers saw an increase of $4.00 in the price after experiencing a $3.00 decrease in the month of April.

Senate Investigation Demanded In Lieu of Passport, Nationalization And Immigration Scandal
Late this evening, the PUP Secretariat issued a Notice of Motion for a Senate Investigation. The release states that in lieu of the ongoing corruption in the irregularities and improprieties in the processing and issuance of the Nationality certificates and Passports issued by the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality; Section 61 (A)(2) of the Constitution of Belize, Chapter 4 of the Laws of Belize sets out the powers and functions of the Senate as including (d) “instituting and conducting enquiries and investigations on any matter of public importance including inquiries into mismanagement or corruption by person in Central Government or public statutory bodies.” The release continues with its terms of reference to investigate and inquire into all policies, process, procedures and issuance of nationality certificates, passports and visas in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality and to investigate any and all irregularities, improprieties and wrong doing in the issuance of Belizean Nationality certificates, passports and visas. The release was signed by Senator Lisa Shoman.

BelizeCan On The Move Again Will They Any Effect On Government?
Activist Patrick Menzies and his organization known as the BelizeCan Patriots, have gone off the hook in trying to get Government to freeze or retract the National Revised Gender Policy 2013. BelizeCan also wants Government to formally state that Gender equals male and female only. Putting an end to victimization in Belize by both Government and private sector and the retraction of section 47G -2B and 3 of the proposed amendments on the criminal code is also on the list of demands. Marches, collection of signatures and even a national school boycott has had no impact on GOB who continues to revise the document. Since all his attempts have failed, Menzies is once again planning a national demonstration at the foot of the National Assembly in Independence Plaza, Belmopan tomorrow Tuesday 29th, Oct 2013.

Joint Operation Leads To Confiscation Of Marijuana
A joint drug operation between members of the Special Branch and the Quick Response Team from the Orange Walk Police Formation over the weekend led to the detention of two minors and 32 year old Marva Janet Castro from the Village of August Pine Ridge, Orange Walk. On Friday October 25th, around 1:45pm, a search was conducted at Castro’s residence which led authorities to the discovery of a blue warm cap containing 222.5 grams of suspected cannabis. As a result, Castro and the two minors were escorted to the Orange Walk Police Station where they were arrested and jointly charged for drug trafficking.

Corozal Resident Allegedly Stabbed During Altercation
Details are still sketchy but CTV3 News understands that a stabbing incident in the Corozal District over the weekend left one woman hospitalized. Allegations are that the incident played out at D Spot Lounge located on 4th Avenue Corozal Town when the victim became involved in an argument with another woman. The victim was rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital and later transferred to the Northern Regional Hospital. It is not yet known what caused the confrontation between both women or if the victim’s attacker has been detained by police.

Clear The Land Castro Dodges The Media, But Issues Statement In His Defence
After his name was thrown into the Visa Scandal, The Honorable Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport Edmund Castro is making headlines, but the news is not good for the Rural North Area Representative or his Government for that matter. Castro arrived back in country from Miami over the weekend and just like the Prime Minister, he dodged the media making no comment on the latest scandal. He did issue a statement today though, rejecting and condemning, quote unquote “the viciously false and malicious story concocted about him by Channel 5 and its agent, and aired three consecutive nights last week.” That story alleges that Castro collected a whopping 400 thousand dollars for 200 Visas he facilitated for Chinese Nationals. And while that story placed Castro on the hot seat, once again putting his integrity in question and bringing much scrutiny against him, Castro’s release states that “the allegation is a lie” and that he, “was never engaged in any visa ring, and never collected a penny from the woman now turned self-proclaimed whistleblower.”

Murder Case Against Eric Gonzales Gets Under-way At Supreme Court
Today in the Northern session of the Supreme Court of Belize, the case against Eric Gonzalez, accused of the murder of Daniel Alberto Soto, began before Justice Herbert Lord. Four years has passed since Gonzalez was arrested in neighboring Mexico and subsequently handed over to Belizean authorities and today a jury of twelve, four men and eight women listened to the opening remarks of Senior Crown Counsel’s Sabita Maharaj and Linsbert Willis. The accused is represented by Senior Counsel, Simeon Sampson. The Crown introduced their first witness to the stand who testified as the then Scenes of Crimes Technician for the Orange Walk Police Department. Pictures of the crime scene and the weapon believed to have been the one used to inflict the stab wound on Soto were all admitted into evidence. Since the defense did not object to the witness’ testimony it was accepted by Justice Herbert Lord. With that, the trial was adjourned for Wednesday, 30th October 2013.

PlusTV

Orange Walk man killed during robbery
Police are yet to release official details but there was a murder on Friday during lunch hour in the Belize District. The incident took place in the village of Sandhill at the entrance to the Old Northern Highway (Maskall Road). The deceased has been identified as 58...

Prime Minister avoids press at International Airport
Since last Wednesday, October 16, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been out of the country attending a fundraiser for his wife Kim’s charity work and attending to his back problem. He left behind a mushrooming scandal involving a Minister of State whom he had personally delegated the right to...

Mark King steps up and address the media
The Prime Minister can count on the support of at least one Minister of State, who knows a thing or two about facing unfriendly fire. Minister of State Mark King, who earlier this year was backed by his party as he battled criminal charges in relation to a melee...

NTUCB says it is up to the membership of the CWU to determine its fate
On Thursday we brought you the reactions of Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) executives Antonio Gonzalez and James McFoy to the attempt to oust them from the Union’s leadership by disgruntled members. On Saturday, October 26, Deon Pitter and Raymond Rivers, who are at the forefront of the effort to oust...

Minor on remand for drug trafficking
One minor, from Succotz Village, Cayo District, has been remanded for drug trafficking. Reports have it that the minor was travelling on public transport, on Friday morning at around 6:30 am on route to Belize City. The minor was allegedly acting suspicious, the authorities then proceeded to search the...

Pastor Shows The Power of Forgiveness
The Face of Forgiveness is a movement founded by a man whose life was forever changed, following a freak accident, only to become a testament to the power of forgiveness. It seemed like an ordinary day in July of 2001, Dr. Johannes Christian and his foster son were...

Blogs

It’s Time to Join BELTRAIDE Consultancy Directory!
Do you offer consultation services? Are you in a skilled profession? Most importantly, are you seeking for new clients? One thing is true: consistently attracting new clients is the most challenging part of running your business. It is time for you to join BELTRAIDE’s consultants Directory.BELTRAIDE has been working with several local and international projects and at times, they are a need for local consultants. Therefore, we invite you to join our consultant database to have more quickly and recent access to the opportunities. You do not only get access to project but can also get contacted by current and prospective investors. Join BELTRAIDE’s Consultant Directory. It is quick, easy and free of cost! You just need to email us your full contact information, with list of services you provide and your experience.

Nothing Cuter: Kids, Adults & Pets Dress Up for SAGA’s 10th Annual Halloween Fundraiser
I’ll admit it. I was worried. It had been a rainy rainy night and the SAGA Humane Society’s Halloween Bash was set to start at 11am Sunday at BC’s Beach Bar. For the kids and the pets to dress up and come out, it was going to have to dry up a bit. And we got lucky. After a brief but torrential downpour at about noon, the weather dried up a bit. Thank goodness. Nothing cuter than a grumpy dog stuffed into a costume. Nothing. And from the back. Talk about crafty! Little Miss Belizean Newspapers.

Even Belize’s Top Competitors Love Her
Just having a read of Perth Now, as you do now and then, and in the Travel Section, couldn’t help notice a big section on Belize. Now, by way of background, Perth is a city in Australia, and Australia, as you know (because they don’t let you bloody forget it) has the largest barrier reef in the world, suitably titled The Great Barrier Reef, and is a UNESCO World heritage listed site. (sound familiar?) The Australian rainforests are described (usually by Australians) as the largest, most pristine in the world. Now, in addition to the barrier reef, Australia is known for being a highly competitive society. Have you ever watched Australia football (Australia Football League or AFL, or Aussie Rules as it’s more commonly known)? Protective gear such as helmets is unknown, and US footballers are laughed at for their use of so much body armour.

“Heroes and Villains” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I will ‘open up’ today’s edition by apologising to regular readers for the couple of days absence. When I started the blog at the end of October last year I never intended that it would be a daily blog but that I would try to publish a minimum of six editions a week. I haven’t always stuck to this self-made promise but the weeks when I haven’t have been few and far between. Last week though I just knew that I would struggle. There was just too much going on. In fact even when I have published I have forgotten to include things that I thought might be of interest. For example I had so much on my mind last week that I forgot to mention that someone, somewhere must have known that Rose and I had moved in to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Why? Did someone send us a “Welcome to your new home” (we did receive one from my sister Chris)? No, but it was something equally as nice as that. The San Pedro Town Council sent out a team of guys to fill the many and deep potholes of the road north of the bridge. I don’t know how far north of us they went (a bit selfish I know ) but it made the drive back and forth to ‘Town so much more pleasurable. That was until the heavy rains started (and we have had some really rainy days and nights) and I am sorry to ‘say’ that the potholes are already back!

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Rube Meetloaf
I like rube san'wiches so why nairy a rube meetloaf? It’s verr tastee, I luv t'pairyun' o'sauerkraut, groun beef, an' swiss cheez n' thishere recipe. If'n y'all wish, y'all a'ken put a lay'r o'cernet beef slices un top o't' sauerkraut which would add un authantic taste as n' a rube san'wich. Leftovers air greet servet cold fer san'wiches. 1 1/2 pounds groun beef, I uset leun 1 egg 2/3 cup breed crumbs 1/2 teespoon salt 1/2 teespoon pepp'r 2 tablespoons cucumb'r relish

Up Boom Creek: Listening to the beats of Belize
Suddenly, in the darkness, I forget where I am. It has been a long day of movement and miles. I know I am paddling a canoe at night, on my knees in the bow, twisting my body with each stroke, trying to make as little noise in the water as possible. There are drums on the breeze, a faint rhythm that comes and goes. The blue-black shapes around me are pure jungle, a dense canopy of plants and animals, close on all sides. I pull my paddle through the water again, our boat glides forward, and, just as suddenly, I know: I'm in Belize. The drums continue in the distance, louder with the breeze, then softer; there is Garifuna dancing in Hopkins, the beat drifting across the mangroves to our boat in Boom Creek.

International Sources

New World Oil & Gas extends Belize PSA for two years
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) has told investors that the Belize government has approved a two year extension to its production sharing agreement (PSA) for the Blue Creek project. The PSA now runs up until October 12 2015. Over the next twelve months the company intends to carry out a thorough review of its previously captured seismic and drilling results. Then, in the second year of the renewal, New World will have the choice to either drill one new exploration well or ‘drop’ the PSA. New World says it continues to look for a farm-in partner to share the exploration drilling costs at Blue Creek.

Mayan civilisation brought back to life
Tourists interested in Mexico’s Mayan past can scramble over ruins, ride canoes and swim in subterranean rivers. The once flourishing Mayan civilisation peaked around 900 AD and was centred in what is today southern Mexico and Guatemala but its influence can still be seen throughout much of Central America. The Mayan people built vast cities, ornate temples, and towering pyramids. The Mayans also transported huge amounts of goods between Central and Northern America. A variety of trade goods were transported along the Yucatan Peninsula using huge dugout canoes that stayed close to the coastline and took advantage of sea currents and tides. They also travelled inland, navigating through canals, lagoons, swamps and lakes. Similar views can be enjoyed on a trips to the lagoon in Bacalar, near Mexico’s border with Belize. From Bacalar, it is possible to take a river journey to Rio Hondo passing sunken boats that were once used by the English to transport valuable mahogany trunks out of the Guatemalan jungle.


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