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#476971 - 11/09/13 05:10 AM Today's Belize News: November 9, 2013
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The San Pedro Sun

Caye Kids Have Close Encounters of the Shark Kind!
Students from three different schools on Ambergris Caye were fortunate to be selected to be a part of the Kids Meet Shark Program. Spearheaded by Dr. Rachel Graham, Director of the Caribbean and Gulf Rays and Shark Program of the Wild Life Conservation Society, the program aims to build awareness and appreciation for sharks and rays as well as the important role the sea creatures play in the marine ecosystem. Approximately 75 students from Ambergris Caye Elementary School, La Isla Bonita Elementary School and The Island Academy participated in the expedition over the course of two days. The participants all had a wonderful experience and for some, their view on sharks and rays has taken a new perspective. Two such students are Kemre Rippon and Tahryneh Pott, both from The Island Academy.

Francis Fonseca tells PM Barrow to “deal with the rot” in his administration
Belize’s Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca called on Prime Minister Dean Barrow to “deal with the rot” within his administration during a special sitting of the House of Representative on Friday November 1st in Belmopan City. The meeting was geared to present three significant pieces of legislation; the Immigration Amendment Bill, the Belize Nationality Amendment Bill and the Passport Amendment Bill. The House meeting also saw Belizeans, mobilized by the People’s United Party (PUP) protesting against the scandals that have been plaguing the current administration. Combined, the three bills seek to tighten up on nationality requirements, establish documentation integrity, increase independent oversight by involving a securitizing committee and impose stiff penalties for those who violate the law – including ministers. In presenting the bills for first reading, Prime Minister Barrow indicated that a key part of the oversight body is the social partners, including the Belize Council of Churches, the Trade Unions and the Belize Chamber of Commerce. “The role of the social partners will be to assist in the vetting process and ultimately if the Minister proceeds to granting of nationalities in circumstances where the committee has said ‘we don’t think things are in order’ then the social partners act as whistleblowers. They alert the public to the fact that something is awry, but they cannot take over the role of the minister,” explained Barrow.

Gabourel & Santos to represent Belize in 2014 Commonwealth Games
Local triathlon star athletes, Kent “Bob” Gabourel and Jordan Santos will be travelling to Glasgow, Scotland to represent Belize in the upcoming 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Games will be held from July 23rd to August 3rd, 2014, with over 70 countries participating. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Gabourel expressed his thoughts and excitement on the games. “This is an honor for me. I have always wanted to represent my country at an international level, but I never thought that it would be in this discipline, triathlon. I intend to dedicate much of my time to prepare for the Commonwealth Games in order to do the best I can for my country. In order to prepare for this event we need the full support for the community and the country on a whole,” said Gabourel.“I aim to be a positive role model for all youth interested in athletics in whatever discipline it may be. I encourage all those interested in sports to pursue their dreams, because dreams do come true,” said Gabourel. Santos is the youngest athlete to represent Belize at an international level, and he is even working on qualifying for the Youth Olympics Games.

Ambergris Today

FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca Cola Comes To Belize
For the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, Coca­-Cola is creating the world’s most inclusive, participatory experiential event ever. The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will give more than one million people across the world the chance to experience the FIFA World Trophy™ in their own communities. And this year Belize is included. The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy arrived in Belize City on, Thursday, November 7, 2013. Local Coca-Cola bottler Bowen & Bowen Limited planned an unforgettable day for Belizean football fans inclusive of the rare opportunity of an up close view of the one-of-a-kind, solid gold trophy, specially produced paraphernalia and photo opportunities. This is the largest and longest global tour of the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy. Visiting more countries than ever during its nine month journey, the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will be the first ever pan-Latin America tour, with events scheduled in 39 countries across the region.

Miss Earth Belize 2013 Off To The Philippines
On August 24th, 2013, 21 year old Miss Amber Reneé Rivero was crowned with the official title of Miss Earth Belize; and, on this coming Saturday, November 9th, Amber will depart the country for the first leg of her journey as the formal Environmental Ambassador of Belize. En route to Manila, Philippines, Miss Rivero leaves Belize and heads to Miami, Florida, for a few days where she will undergo final training for the pageant. The journey continues on the 14th of November when she leaves Miami for Manila. Upon arriving in the Philippines, Miss Rivero will participate in a number of preliminary competitions before the date of the actual pageant, which includes a swimsuit and a costume competition. In lieu of the actual Miss Earth International theme “International Year of Water Cooperation”, Miss Rivero will model a costume depicting one of the greatest features of the Earth, The Belize Blue Hole. Furthermore, for the first time, this year Belize will take part in the Miss Earth International Talent Competition. Amber intends to wow the judges with a rendition of a piece on the violin called ‘Romanza’, which was composed by our very own Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young.

Madisco holds Annual Food Show in San Pedro
The showroom was filled with all lines of products and guests could once again sample from cheese, salsas, pastas, coffee, guacamole, seafood and meat products from Reinland Steaks and Premium Meats, Orange Walk, Belize and wines from the Beverage Division of Karl H. Menzies and much more. There were plenty of wine and product basket give-aways during the evening and everybody present seemed to be impressed with the products that were showcased. Anyone wishing to purchase any of these products for his store or restaurant can do so by contacting any MADISCO branch. MADISCO’s office in San Pedro Branch is located on Coconut Drive in the Island Galleria building across the R.C. School; email: sales@madisco.bz

Misc Belizean Sources

Last month Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow admitted to members of the Belizean Diaspora in Los Angeles and we quote. “I believe that the Lands Department unfortunately is another hotbed of corruption. The administration has tried to do something about the officers (who facilitate these deals) through dishonesty, rather than incompetence…perhaps in some instances, it is a combination of both”. In Part II of this story, while the Prime Minister announced to the Belizean Diaspora in Los Angeles last month, that Lands is another “hotbed” of corruption, an elaborate and organized scheme to constitutionally deprive owners of their private lands has been ongoing since 2011. The Corozal Daily has been following this story since and has unearthed an elaborate scheme involving dealers and facilitators in and out of the Lands Department. The scheme can affect any landowner in Belize but more so, it seems to be targeting landowners of prime land who mostly reside outside of Belize. Should the scheme affect your land, you will need to spend tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to claim your property back with absolutely NO restitution from the Government of Belize. To paraphrase the Prime Minister whether willfully or just incompetent, these public officers causing these land problems, cannot be taken to court by the Government nor can they be fired just “like that” as they are protected under our Belize laws. One way of ensuring your land is not affected is to make regular physical checks on your land and call the lands department if you find anything suspicious and if you don’t live in Belize and you own land here just have someone you trust to make these frequent checks for you. So, exercise caution…and as we say in the business “caveat emptor”. Every land owner in Belize must read Part II of this article.

Ya'axche Conservation Trust 2012 Biodiversity Synthesis Report
Ya'axche has been monitoring Toledo actively since 2006. This is their annual biodiversity report, just released November 6, 2013.

Joint Letter from BCCI & NTUCB to Clerk of National Assembly
Here is a copy of a Joint letter from BCCI and NTUCB sent to the Clerk of National Assembly congratulating the Government of Belize on its efforts to restructure the composition of the PAC. Responses to the proposals dated 29th October and relayed to the Clerk of the House are also presented in this letter.

Kay Menzies's Speech at 1st Belize City Council Business Mixer
Ms. Kay Menzies was the keynote speaker at the first ever Belize City Council Business Mixer under the theme: Creating Connections…Building the City…Together! Here is a a copy of her speech.

Flash Flood in Barton Creek (Ella Baron) (6 photos)
This is from today- this is the second flash flood in this area within the last 2 weeks- everybody here is safe though- all moved to higher areas. Water rose 5-6 feet and so within 2 hours. It is is waist high caused by the steady rain.

Hawksworth Bridge goes both ways
The historic Hawksworth Bridge spanning the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena was pressed into a two-way bridge on Friday after rising water levels on the Macal inundated the low-lying wooden bridge.

Iguana Creek Bridge Flooding
The situation at 12:30 pm on Friday, November 8, 2013. Water has started to come over the deck of the Iguana Creek Bridge in the Cayo district. More.

The Direct Aid Program
The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible, small grants scheme for development activities managed by Heads of Australian Missions in approximately 45 countries. The emphasis of the program is on alleviating basic humanitarian hardships. For more information about the program, visit dfat.gov.au/direct_aid_program. Effective January 1, 2012, Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago became ineligible for DAP funding having graduated from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) on January 1, 2012. Proposals are now being considered for the 2013-14 financial year. Interested persons can submit an official DAP Application form along with a detailed budget to Steffan Bryce, DAP Coordinator, via e-mail at steffan.bryce@dfat.gov.au.

Noche de Cuenta Cuentos
The Benque House of Culture had their Noche de Cuenta Cuentos. "Many of our community members shared their frightening experiences when they encountered many creatures, 'La Ixtabai', 'EL Duende'... Thank you all for making our Finados 2013 a very excited and educational and most for keeping it alive."

Mary Open Doors Toy Drive
Mary Open Doors is having another Toy Drive. Please drop off your toys by December 20th so they can be distributed on the 21st. There are drop boxes all over Cayo. Thanks, MOD, for helping out the kids that need it most. "Drop off boxes are on Bismilah's store, Galen University Central farm, St Ignatius High School, Telemedia San Ignacio, Hodes Place, San Ignacio Town Board"

Exodus Toys for Tots Raffle
Exodus Travel is raffling off a round trip ticket to any destination in the United States on United Airlines for their Toys for Tots campaign. You get a chance when you buy a round trip ticket during November. They are also selling chances for $1.00. Thanks, Exodus, for supporting such a great cause. "United Airlines 'Toys for Tots' Grand Raffle. One round trip(valid for 1 yr.) to any US destination. For any round trip purchased within the Month of November at Exodus International you get an entry ticket."

Rotary Fundraising Dinner
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio is having their 'Educate our Youth' dinner and live auction tonight to raise money for the 25 scholarships they provide to the needy children of Cayo. There will be a live auction along with some great food, including tortilla soup, coconut shrimp, lobster and beef kabobs, and chimichangas, which will be served by the SHJC Food and Beverage students. Thanks, Rotary, for making great things happen in Cayo.

Add!ction Grand Opening
Add!ction will have its grand opening today. Gabriela Barrera's new clothing store is ready, and you can find it at 24 West street, next to The Pharmacy. With Gabriela's creative mind, you'll definitely find something you love there.

Profitable Developments, Inc. (PRDL), a Property Development Company, announced that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire a quantity of land parcels in Belize on land that is adjacent to the Caribbean sea. Located just a minute from the Caribbean Sea, The Palms at Corozal is a development site in the fast growing Corozal district of Belize. The community currently caters for life style buyers looking for a great home as well as ‘early day’ investors looking for excellent returns. Belize is tipped to be the next big ticket in the Caribbean and, with prices starting to make the move upwards, Profitable Developments believes itself to be in at just the right time. The Palms offers real estate in a prime Caribbean location. The development site is well progressed with road-access and power already in place as the development Company seeks to turn this area into another highly desirable location in the Caribbean. Demand for land parcels in this area has been very high, as the area is already extremely popular with Americans.

FIFA World Cup Trophy at
Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young holding the FIFA World Cup Trophy at last night's FIFA Gala

A message from Lilly, Iain and Joana:
"My beloved French mother 'Micheline Nayard' who was 74 years of age came to Belize in 2006 to live with us when she was diagnosed with cancer. We did all we could for this previously very independent lady; modifying our lives to adapt to this terrible illness. With the help of holistic medicines provided by Mr. Peter Singfield, commonly known as the 'snake man' from Corozal, and later a mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast) performed by Dr. Byron Simons in Orange Walk in 2007, her cancer was successfully in remission. Since that time she has lived peacefully and happily in Belize, Corozal - a country that she loved - among her local neighbours who she appreciated and befriended. This came to a head when a third stroke occurred on the 15th October in Ranchito. We so deeply miss her joie-de-vivre, strength and her belief in the good."

Channel 5

Michael Silva charged with the murder of Maritza Santos
On his return to Belize on Thursday, Michael Joseph Silva was charged for the murder of Maritza Janet Santos, which occurred two years ago in San Ignacio. Police were called [...]

Mother accused of killing three of her four children appears in court
The woman accused of killing her three children on April twenty-seventh, 2013, appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court today for a preliminary inquiry into the matter. Twenty-two year old Felicia [...]

FECTAB calls fiery press conference
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, FECTAB, called a press conference this morning; the association lived up to its reputation bringing down brimstone and fire. Led by president [...]

Greenwood warns FSTV of total shutdown
In light of the recent decision taken by the management of the Fort Street Tourism Village, president of the federation Tom Greenwood issued a stern warning that should there be [...]

Greenwood finally brings his sons abuse by TPU to light
During the hour-long event an allegation was also made against an officer attached to the Tourism Police Unit, who reportedly manhandled Greenwood’s son a year ago. The matter is just [...]

Introducing the Baby Jaguars!
The Football Federation of Belize showed off its new team that will be competing in the upcoming regional Central American under sixteen tournament, this morning at the Biltmore Plaza. The [...]

Social partners satisfied after majority of their recommendations were accepted
The social partners are tonight expressing satisfaction that the majority of their recommendations were accepted to restructure the Public Accounts Committee, including a change to the working group.  Those suggestions [...]

Channing Garoy remanded after pulling a gun at a party
A Belize City man is behind bars tonight after he was accused of pulling a gun while at a party. Twenty-five year old Channing Garoy, a resident and Construction Worker [...]

Kevin Jex remanded to prison
Tonight, Kevin Anthony Jex is on remand after he was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. According to reports, on November [...]

Father and two sons released on bail
Also in the courts a father and his two sons, remanded to prison on a charge of kept ammunition without a gun license, were released on bail of eight thousand [...]

Police loses one of their own
The police are mourning one of their own.  Shortly after two this morning corporal Timothy Card, began complaining of excruciating chest pain. Card was on duty at the prime minister’s [...]

Mother fears the worst for her teenage son
A family in Dangriga is desperately searching for seventeen year old Hansel Garcia, who disappeared without a trace three weeks ago. The young man left his residence in the company [...]

Kettle Appeal marks the beginning of the Christmas season
In Belize, Christmas time is always defined at its start by an annual invitation to those who have a little more to give generously to those with a little less. [...]


Two Students of Bishop Martin High School Bestowed National Youth Award
Several exemplary students from across Belize were recognized yesterdayby the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth at the Annual National Youth Awards held at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts in Belize City. The awards were to acknowledge those students who take on an active role in social development among their peers and community. Today we spoke to two of those outstanding student’s from the Orange Walk District who were among those awarded last night. They are no other than Luis Aguilar and Giovanni Wiltshire from Bishop Martin High School. Luis Aguilar- National Youth Award Winner “I win this award for second place for youth in media because to help promote things in music and in the media too.”

Howler Monkey Relocated To Safer Area
On March 5th 2013, students from the Belize High School of Agriculture in San Lazaro Village were accused of capturing and brutally beating a defenseless Black Howler Monkey allegedly after receiving orders from one of their teachers to commit the senseless act. While that incident outraged conservationist and Orange Walk resident’s, news tonight is that another monkey was sighted perched on a tree in a residential area in the Village of Yo Creek. While doing work the in the village yesterday, our Internet line men were called to the area where a full grown Howler Monkey was seen atop this coconut tree. These are the images that they captured. We contacted the Forest Department in Orange Walk and we are happy to report that a team has been dispatched to the area to capture and relocate the animal to a more secure location.

Micheal Silva Hands Himself Over to Police, He Is Charged For Murder
Micheal Silva, accused of the murder of his girlfriend Maritza Santos handed himself over to San Ignacio Police this morning in the company of his father, former PUP Minister Dan Silva. The now 30 year old was arrested and charged with the Murder of Santos and arraigned at the San Ignacio Magistrate Court. His case was adjourned until the 23rd January, 2014. On Friday 23rd September 2011, about 7:10pm, San Ignacio Police visited the residence of Silva where they found the motionless body of Santos lying in a face up position on a bed in one of the bedrooms covered with a sheet and a pillow over her face. At the time police observed that she had a large cut wound to the right side of her head. Inside the said house in the kitchen area police found a quart of paraquat 20SC herbicide along with several cups containing green liquid suspected to be herbicide.

Coveted World Cup Trophy Arrives In Belize
Over 200 countries compete for the most wanted trophy in the world and today that trophy made a historic stop for the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca Cola which was officially launched in September of this year, in our beautiful country for an entire day. Belize is one of the countries that were selected with 89 other countries to host the grand FIFA World Cup trophy. Reporter Victor Castillo and Jesus Melgar were among other media houses at the PGIA waiting for the arrival of the much anticipated trophy. world_cupVictor Castillo - Reporting Today, Belize was one of 52 countries which hosted the FIFA World Cup trophy, in a tour to popularize the next World Cup slated for Brazil in 2014. Shortly after 10 this morning the excitement grew as the private Coca Cola airplane landed at the Philip Goldson International Airport that contained the iconic 18 k gold cup; football’s most coveted prize. As officials and the prestigious trophy made its way into the VIP Lounge for a short Press Conference all cameras were focused on the trophy that remained unrevealed at the beginning of the conference.

Abbas Khan Is Caught In Mexico
Thirty year old Abbas Khan, the naturalized Belizean businessman of number #18 3rd Street Corozal Town, who absconded from Orange Walk Police around 2:15 on Monday March 4th 2013, is tonight behind bars once again. CTV3 News has been able to confirm that late yesterday evening Mexican authorities handed Khan over to Corozal Police. The 38 year old appeared before the Corozal Magistrate Court this afternoon where he was charged for escape and withholding of passports. Khan was remanded to the Kolbe Correctional Facility and is scheduled to reappear in court on January 9th 2013. Viewers might recall that on Sunday March 3rd 2013, Belmopan Police picked up Abbas Khan from the Orange Walk Police Station where he was being held for a commitment warrant issued for money he owned. He was scheduled to appear before the Belize City Supreme Court for the commitment warrant on Monday March 4th.

Murder Charge Against Eric Gonzales Reduced To Manslaughter
The case against Eric Gonzales ended yesterday at the Northern Session of the Supreme Court after a jury of 12 found him not guilty of the Murder of Daniel Soto. Instead, the jury convicted Gonzalez of a lesser charge of manslaughter after they were unable to unanimously agree on the murder charge despite hours of deliberation. With the verdict handed down Justice Herbert Lord set sentencing for November 21st 2013. While the Crown was represented by Councils SabitaMaharaj and Linsbert Willis, Gonzales was represented by Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson. As previously mentioned on the 26thof February 2009, Eric Gonzales and Daniel Soto were hanging out on Mangal Street in the Louisiana Area when an argument ensued between them.

#476972 - 11/09/13 05:11 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 9, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


Changes for Belizeans Crossing Into Mexican Territory
Belizeans who like to frequent neighboring Chetumal Quintana Roo will see some changes this weekend. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the story. ARTURO CANTUN “Belizeans visiting Chetumal and other nearby Mexican city or town are being asked to process a new Mexican border crossing card. Some years ago, the Mexican Immigration Ministry requested frequent Belizeans and Guatemalans visitors to Mexico to acquire a FMVL card. This card, which allowed travelling within the Border States, is being replaced since November 2012 by the new card, Tarjeta de Visitante Regional. The problem is that no announcement was made by the Mexican Immigration Authority when the old cards started to be replaced, until recently. That is because effective November 9, 2013, that is this coming Saturday, the old card, FMVL, will no longer be valid and Belizeans will only be able to cross the border using either the new card or a passport. Interestingly, Belizeans who have managed to replace their old card with a new one say that they were charged $295 pesos, roughly $50 Belize dollars. Our investigation shows that according to article 8 of the Mexican Regional Visitors law, $295 pesos should only be charged to someone who is receiving a Mexican border crossing card for the first time and not someone who already owns a FMVL and seeks to replace it with the new card. The same law says that from November 9 2012 to November 8 2013 all FMVL holders should have changed their card for a new one without charge. According to frequent Belizean visitors to Mexico the problem is that no notice was given until a month ago. This has resulted in a high number of applications for the new card.

Police News: Arson & Missing Person
Belmopan Police are looking for two men for question in relation to a reported arson. According to police, a 59 year old farmer of Lamanai Street, Belmopan City reported that sometime after 6:00am on November 7th he received a phone call from his foreman who informed him that his house located at miles 39 on the Hummingbird Highway was on fire. The wooden house valued at twenty thousand seven hundred dollars was completely destroyed by fire. Police are looking for two men for questioning. Dangriga police has issued a missing person report for 17 year old Hansel Garcia According to Dangriga Police, Indira Martinez of Wagierale Area, Dangriga reported that she has not seen her son since September 30th of this year. Martinez says that her 17 year old was last seen wearing blue short dickies pants. Garcia is of dark complexion about 5 foot 6 inches in height, brown eyes, short hairt, slim built and is about 138 lbs. Garcia also has a tattoo marked “MOM” on his inner arm. If anyone knows the whereabouts of 17 year old Hansel Garcia are asked to contact the nearest police station of call 911.

Belize and Kazakhstan Develop Diplomatic Relations
The Governments of Belize and the Republic of Kazakhstan have established diplomatic relations at the Ambassadorial level. Yesterday the signing ceremony took place in Washington D.C and signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was Ambassador of Belize to the USA, Nestor Mendez. The Republic of Kazakhstan was represented by its Ambassador to the United States of America, Kairat Umarov. Ambassador Mendez says this new establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Kazakhstan is consistent with the Government of Belize’s foreign policy objective of expanding its diplomatic reach and forging ties with non-traditional partners and emerging nations. Both Ambassador Mendez and Umarov reiterated their commitment to strengthening the ties between their two nations by identifying potential areas of cooperation.

FIFA Trophy Leaves Belize For Israel
Yesterday Belize formed part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour. The solid gold cup arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport in the morning and in the afternoon it was on display for two hours at the Radisson Hotel where football fans got the rare opportunity to pose for a picture alongside the trophy. And in the night, a gala was held at the Radisson where the Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young, as the Head of State, was allowed to hold the trophy. Guest speakers at last night’s gala were CEO and President, Bowen and Bowen Ltd, Michael Bowen, Acting Ambassador of Brazil to Belize, Acting Ambassador of Brazil to Belize, FIFA Representative, Pekka Odriozola, the Operations Director for Coca Cola in the Caribbean, Hector Mantilini along with Master of Ceremonies, Ruben Morales Iglesias. RUBEN MORALES IGLESIAS “Those of you who are here notice how very careful these guys are, tight security as well, touching it only with gloves and the only person that’s normally allowed as far as I understand it, in every country to touch the FIFA world cup trophy is the head of state. So tonight we invite the Governor General for the unveiling of the World Cup trophy.”

Jex Goes From Public Drinking to Attempted Murder
Yesterday 38 year old Kevin “Pizzza” Jex, a salesman of Gabourel Lane, appeared in court a pled guilty to a charge of public drinking for which he was fined twenty five dollars. Jex returned to court today but this time it was for a serious matter. Jex was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. He was remanded into custody until January 7, 2014. The charges against Jex arose from an incident on Tuesday night, November 5 in which Desmond Villa, a security guard, was struck on his head with a piece of stick and rendered unconscious. Villa is reported to be in a coma at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The incident occurred near to City Hall on North Front Street.

New Commanding Officer for Orange Walk Police Has Plans To Make Community Safer
Since the end of June the Command of the Orange Walk Police Formation has been undertaken by Superintendent of Police Dennis Arnold. We caught up with Arnold while at the scene of a burglary in Orange Walk Town who told us how he plans to make the district safer. SUPERINTENDENT DENNIS ARNOLD “Mr. Myvette had done a fantastic job in Orange Walk and I believe that the cooperation that the people were giving Mr. Myvette, I will be able to have the same cooperation from members of the public. We have people in San Jose, Palmar, very excellent neighbor watch group; they conduct their own patrol and sometimes we have police officers go out there and patrol with them at night. I would like to see that transfer to other areas in Orange Walk, to have neighborhood watch groups in the entire Orange Walk Town and the rest of the villages. The most prevalent crime is theft and burglary; we have already started our burglary patrol, the officers patrol the entire night and it has slowed the burglary down a bit.” At the end of last month, John Saldivar, acting as a member of the Public Accounts Committee met with social partners after the UDP style structure of the committee was highly criticized and described as a charade. During that meeting, Saldivar presented a proposal to the social partners, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. While the details of that proposal were not made public, the BCCI and the NTUCB today sent out a release in which it says that cannot agree fully with the changed composition and propose instead a nine-member PAC, comprised of four Government Members, two Opposition Members and all three Social Partner Members. In this proposed composition, the government still retains the majority amongst the individual groupings while the Opposition retains Chairmanship. Both the BCCI and the NTUCB feel that merely adding the three Social Partner Senators will save a certain degree of expense. The BCCI and NTUCB proposes that Government and Opposition representatives be permitted to have an alternate who can sit on the PAC in the event a member must recuse himself due to conflict of interest pertaining to matters discussed. The NTUCB and BCCI explains that the appropriate composition of PAC is of paramount importance that both the Control of Public Expenditure and the Standing Orders relevant to the PAC be redrafted to include whatever changes are ultimately agreed.

Social Partners Propose New Composition of Public Accounts Committee
At the end of last month, John Saldivar, acting as a member of the Public Accounts Committee met with social partners after the UDP style structure of the committee was highly criticized and described as a charade. During that meeting, Saldivar presented a proposal to the social partners, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. While the details of that proposal were not made public, the BCCI and the NTUCB today sent out a release in which it says that cannot agree fully with the changed composition and propose instead a nine-member PAC, comprised of four Government Members, two Opposition Members and all three Social Partner Members. In this proposed composition, the government still retains the majority amongst the individual groupings while the Opposition retains Chairmanship. Both the BCCI and the NTUCB feel that merely adding the three Social Partner Senators will save a certain degree of expense. The BCCI and NTUCB proposes that Government and Opposition representatives be permitted to have an alternate who can sit on the PAC in the event a member must recuse himself due to conflict of interest pertaining to matters discussed. The NTUCB and BCCI explains that the appropriate composition of PAC is of paramount importance that both the Control of Public Expenditure and the Standing Orders relevant to the PAC be redrafted to include whatever changes are ultimately agreed.

Chinese Businessman Goes to Court For Stolen Onions
Chinese businessman Fui Tang, charged with handling stolen goods for five sacks of onion, was fined three hundred dollars today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he pled guilty to the charge. Tang was ordered to pay the fine forthwith, in default two months imprisonment. Tang paid the fine and he was released. Fruit and vegetable vendor Enrique Herrera reported to the police that at about 6 p.m. on November 5, he locked his stall and when he returned he noticed that five sacks of onion and some other items were missing. The police investigated and on Thursday, November 7, they visited Tang’s residence on Freetown Road and Tang handed over to them five sacks of onion which he said he bought from a man. As a result, Tang was arrested and charged with handling stolen goods.


Controversy over validity of Senate vote
Late Wednesday evening, the Senate voted on a motion to appoint a Special Select Committee to conduct an inquiry into the issuance of nationality, visas and passports at the Ministry of Immigration. The Opposition representatives: Senators Lisa Shoman, Karen Bodden, and Collet Montejo voted in favor of a senate-led...

Minister Godwin Hulse maintains there’s no attempt to cover-up wrongdoing within the Ministry of Immigration
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you ought to be quite familiar with the Passport/Nationality outrage involving former Minister of State, Elvin Penner. But should you have missed just the slightest detail in the unraveling of this scandal, we’ll give you a play-by-play recap....

Politician’s son charged for murder of girlfriend
On September 23, 2011, over two years ago, a 19 year old was found murdered in her boyfriend’s home. The 19 year old Maritza Santos was found with a large cut wound to the right side of her forehead and a pillow was found covering her face, usually considered...

Land fraud allegations on Ambergris Caye
There are allegations of land fraud that coming from Ambergris Caye. Louis Wade reports: In September of 2011, San Pedro Sun broke the story of a land scandal within the San Pedro Town Council. The matter surrounded a beach front property situated in the Mata Grande area. Allegations were...

World Cup Trophy is in Belize
World soft drink giants Coca-Cola are currently marking the run-up to next year’s FIFA World Cup football final in Brazil by taking the trophy the 32 teams will be playing for around the world. On Thursday it stopped in Belize and it got quite a welcoming committee. FIFA representative...

Union representatives discuss Nationality Scrutinizing Committee on Rise and Shine
Last week Friday, Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow revealed Government’s intention to set up a Nationality Scrutinizing Committee to oversee the issuance of nationality certificates. The Committee will be tasked with the responsibility of vetting all applications for citizenship by registration and advising the Minister on qualification and...

Citco teaches BTL Park vendors important facets of business
With exactly one month remaining to the opening of the renovated BTL Park on the Newtown Barracks, the race is on to facilitate training for the vendors who will occupy the space. On Thursday the Belize City Council hosted a five-day exercise designed to teach important facets of business...

PM thanks those who prayed for him
On Wednesday, we told you that the PM successfully underwent back surgery to alleviate chronic back pain as a result of three herniated disks on his spine. On Thursday, the Government Press Office released an official statement, noting that the PM’s surgery took two and a half hours and...


Michael Silva, 28, son of Daniel “Dan” Silva, a businessman and former PUP area rep and minister of government, calmly walked into the San Ignacio Police Station and gave himself up yesterday, after being wanted for the murder of his girlfriend since September 2011. Silva, of Kontiki, San Ignacio, was accompanied by his father, who served as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Cooperatives from 1998 to 2003. Police arrested and charged Michael Silva with one count of murder for the death of Maritza Santos, 19. He was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, Thursday, where he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until January 23 next year. Police said that at about 10:00 on Thursday night, September 23, 2011, Silva’s girlfriend, Maritza Santos, 19, was found dead in his home in the Kontiki area of San Ignacio. She had been beaten in the head with a blunt object.

On August 24, 2013, 21-year-old Miss Amber Reneé Rivero was crowned Miss Earth Belize, and this coming Saturday, November 9, Amber will depart the country for the first leg of her journey as the formal Environmental Ambassador of Belize. En route to Manila, Philippines, Amber leaves Belize and heads to Miami, Florida, for a few days, where she will undergo final training for the pageant. The journey continues on Thursday, November 14, when she leaves Miami for Manila. Upon arriving in the Philippines, Miss Rivero will participate in a number of preliminary competitions before the date of the actual pageant, which includes a swimsuit and a costume competition. In light of the actual Miss Earth International theme “International Year of Water Cooperation”, Miss Rivero will model a costume depicting one of the greatest features of the Earth, The Belize Blue Hole.

Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman told Amandala today that the People’s United Party (PUP) would go to court if Parliament records Wednesday evening’s vote on the PUP motion for a Special Select Committee investigation into the passport and visa scandal as a 7-6 vote, with the President of the Senate voting to defeat the motion. Shoman contends that under the Belize Constitution, the president of the Senate does not have a casting vote where there is a tie on a matter such as the one raised via the motion. In that motion, the PUP called for the appointment of a 5-member select committee, made up of a member from the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), a member from the Opposition PUP, and three other members from among the social partners – one each from the private sector, unions and churches. The motion called on the senate “to investigate and inquire into all policies, procedures and the issuance of nationality certificates, passports and visas in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality and to investigate any and all irregularities and improprieties, as well as any and all mismanagement or corruption in the issuance of nationality certificates, passports and visas.”

LUCAS MAGNUS OWES $29,000,000!
Belizean businessman and long time PUP crony, Luke Espat, is faced with a monumental $29 million judgment handed down recently by Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel, who ruled in favor of the Belize Bank Limited, a Lord Michael Ashcroft affiliate, in a claim to collect what the bank claims is outstanding debt from Espat. These were loans he had received for various commercial enterprises, among them the popular Crocland, Reptiles Breeders Limited, Indeco, and Ready Mix Concrete. Espat’s attorney, Said Musa, told Amandala today that he is in the process of preparing an appeal for his client. Espat’s defense was that the Belize Bank had made material misrepresentations when they induced him to sign a personal guarantee for the companies. According to his attorney, Espat had been assured that the Belize Bank needed the document as a formality to satisfy the Central Bank that they were doing everything possible to collect on the debt.

Michael Coye, Sr., 66, of Johnson Street in Belize City, who along with his daughter Melonie was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of money laundering, was granted bail on Thursday last week after spending 15 months of a 36-month prison sentence in jail. Within five days of his release, however, Coye, a diabetic, died of a massive heart attack at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) at about 10:30 Tuesday night, while surrounded by his family. Michael Coye, Jr., Coye’s son, told Amandala that his father had begun to complain of not being able to breath properly sometime about 8:30 Tuesday night. He was then taken to the KHMH, where his discomforts were eased. Coye then called his wife and told her to hug him, and after hugging her, told her to pray for him, and that he was in good hands, related his son, Michael. He then died. Doctors rushed to try to resuscitate him, but the huge efforts to bring him back were fruitless.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an agency of the United Nations, along with the European Union (EU), today launched a joint initiative in Belize which they say seeks to end all forms of violence against children. The campaign raised the controversial issue of corporal punishment in the home, school and wider community, and UNICEF takes the view that corporal punishment is an unacceptable practice – an act of violence, they say, which violates children’s rights. Belize has already banned corporal punishment in schools, but Amandala understands that the Government of Belize has so far pushed back any notion of promulgating a blanket law which will do away with all forms of corporal punishment. Today, though, UNICEF launched a new lobby at the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry Conference Room, through which it is urging all citizens, lawmakers and governments to take necessary actions to end violence against children.

KREM’S 24TH Editorial
Different thing Whole lotta people say it’s the singer, not the song, but I say no, it’s the song, not the singer. There are universal truths, timeless truths of which the song is an echo. The singer is but a changing victim of God’s eternal urge to create, by means of love. It’s the love, not the lover, can you dig it, dig it, it’s the truth. It’s the people, not the person, do you know what I’m saying is different, it’s the song and not the singer.

“No wonder the wisest men of Western Civilization have always proposed modesty of dress, especially for women.” - Paul Rodriguez on pg. 14 of Amandala of Wednesday, October 30, 2013 “No, Mr. Rodriguez, it is the most UNCIVILIZED men of the world who propose ‘modesty of dress’ for women. Civilized men are in full control of their faculties and urges and feel no need to overpower, control, or exert power over anyone, including women.” - Wendy Auxillou on pg. 14 of Amandala of Wednesday, November 6, 2013 I have read that most female rape victims are acquainted with their attackers. From a distance we tend to think that most rapes involve a vile male who is a total stranger using force to violate a vulnerable lady in the darkness. But my readings say that the rapist and his victim have usually had some kind of social contact.

In the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning, Senior Counsel Michael Young said that the Belize Social Security Board (SSB) should be paid ASAP the $15,141,739 which the court had ordered Sunshine Holdings to pay the SSB back in 2011, to compensate for its default on a $10 million loan which it had acquired from the Social Security Board to purchase BTL shares. Dean Boyce, the lead director/trustee for Sunshine Holdings Limited – whose shares the Barrow administration acquired with the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited in 2009 – has asked the court for a stay on the court’s order for the payment of the debt. Sunshine/Boyce is being represented in court by Lord Peter Goldsmith. Sunshine has indicated that the settlement of the debt should be stayed pending an imminent judgment by the Court of Appeal on the BTL nationalization, as well as hearings anticipated at the Caribbean Court of Justice.

To Each His Own Every nation has its own character, its own culture and its own traditions. They are what distinguish them from other nations. They also have their own instruments which express their ideals, aspirations, structures and institutions which determine how the nation will be governed and the rights and freedoms of citizens and their duties and obligations. This is called the Constitution. You could say that the heart and soul of a nation is contained in its Constitution. This very heart and soul became subject to question last week when its highest public servant in the Department of Human Development, Ms. Judith Alpuche, appeared before the Universal Periodic Review, held in Geneva, Switzerland, to update the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights on the Belize question of decriminalizing same-sex intercourse.

Harrison Meheia Joseph, A.K.A. “Plum Jaw,” was based on the North Side of Belize in the neighborhood bordered by North Front, Queen and Victoria Streets. It was at a time when the North Side of Belize City had a rough reputation. During his youth Plum Jaw and his street smart acquaintances such as Ebo, Scully, Cupi-D, Tapered, Burly, and Beris, A.K.A. “Hustler,” all from the North Side, frequented the vicinity around the Riverside Hall at the intersection of Victoria and North Front Streets. I got to know these fellows after the devastation wrought by the 1961 Hurricane Hattie through our mutual devotion to the sport of football. As youth we regularly encountered each other at practice sessions and matches staged at the Old Barracks, the present location of the Princess Hotel and Casino, or at the M.C.C. Grounds. These young men were all characterized as street operators and you know what street operators are… They do anything to secure their livelihood.

“…the problem with our governance process is the overwhelming importance given to party interest over what is right and just.” - Godwin Hulse It is amazing how our leaders fail to realize that in every way they must be accountable to us the people and that includes facing the media and giving answers. However, it seems we have Houdini’s in the Government, not Ministers of Government, since the two most recent incidents prove that not only passports are disappearing, but even our government officials are doing the disappearing act. So let’s put a microscope on the situation and trace what is going on. And let’s determine if the actions of our Honorable Prime Minister and his Minister of State were right to avoid the media and, by extension, us the people. Tarmac disappearing act So only a few have ever been able to drive on the tarmac and much less to greet an incoming flight, but then again few have so much to hide and avoid. Belize’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, had been in the US for more than a week and during that time, as we say in Creole, “hell bruk loose” as more became known about the Penner passport scandal and then the bomb was dropped … a courier of passports named her alleged source and Edmund Castro’s name became recorded as the person she fingered.

#476973 - 11/09/13 05:11 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 9, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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… OF TWIGS OF TREE … They say that the child is the father of the man, that is, as the twig is bent so is the tree inclined. At any moment of our life we are composited of all that we have experienced. We are the product of our parental and family training, of educational discipline, of religious indoctrination, and of political and other societal influences. If we were to examine these separates of our whole, we would come to understand our reactions to the various processes that surround us. Such knowledge will help us cope with the present-day mindbenders. Take a tribe of people from the Ivory Coast; mix them with another tribe from Guinea; sprinkle among them a third tribe from Ghana. Shackle them together and transport them 5000 miles in animal conditions to a new environment. Imagine the babble, the terror, and the rage that occur among them. Unable to communicate and sharing no social or other intercourse, the only common focus is the presence of the slavemaster; through his language they must learn to talk with each other.

“With the reality of globalization, which renders our societies borderless, we must harmonize our policies and regulations for the benefit of the Caribbean.” - Senator Audrey Joy Grant – Minister of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities Utility regulators from across the Caribbean are meeting in Belize this week, as a part of a conference to discuss the way forward for the utility sectors in the region. One salient point which emerged from the start of the event is the move for countries to “create one economic space through CARICOM and other Regional blocs,” as Senator Audrey Joy Grant – Minister of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, noted in her feature address on the occasion of the 11th Annual Conference of The Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR), being held inside the Caracol Room of the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. OOCUR is a non-profit organization established by an agreement dated July 26, 2002 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Belize’s Public Utilities Commission, which is a member of OOCUR, is hosting the three-day event at which delegates will explore the theme “Challenges to Regulatory Power in Borderless Societies.”

Belizean entertainer Berne Velasquez luckily escaped with his life after his car in which he was travelling erupted in flames. Information to Amandala is that Berne, who was traveling from Corozal Town, pulled over on the roadside, about three miles from the Corozal Border, to which he was heading, to make a phone call. At that point, he saw smoke coming from under the bonnet of his vehicle, and then saw flames. Berne quickly took out what items he could from out of the burning car, and called the fire service, who responded quickly. While Velasquez was able to get out of the vehicle unhurt and the Corozal Fire Service extinguished the flames, the complete front portion of the car, including the engine, the dash board and the front seats, was destroyed. The incident occurred at about 10:30 Saturday morning.

Today could only be described as a bittersweet moment for Melonie Coye after her bail application was granted late this evening via the Court of Appeal in Belize City in view of the passing of her ailing father, who was in prison with her. Coye was allowed to go home with her family after being convicted of money laundering on August 8, 2012. She was jointly charged and sentenced to three years imprisonment for the offense, along with her father, 66-year-old Michael Coye, who unfortunately died of a massive heart attack last night after also receiving bail last Thursday, October 31. Attorney Arthur Saldivar, who made the bail application on behalf of Melanie Coye, told the court that the Crown, who is the complainant, did not object to bail considering that the requirements have been met for a high prospect of appeal; therefore, the defense requested that bail be offered to the applicant. The Crown, which was represented by Tricia Pitts-Thompson, likewise did not oppose the defendant’s application for bail.

The devastated family of Armando Babb, 32, who died in his home on Coney Drive at about 9:45 on Wednesday morning, October 30, has shown Amandala his post-mortem results, which say that Babb died “due to massive heart thrombosis, brain pulmonary edema, and mild compression sheet type over the neck area.” Police had told Amandala that Babb had committed suicide in his bathroom, and even as late as at press time tonight, have stuck to their story. They had said that there were no signs of violence on the body. The post-mortem was conducted on Thursday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Morgue by Doctor Mario Estrada Bran, Police Coroner.

An 88-year-old woman is currently being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after she suffered massive injuries when the car in which she was travelling with her daughter and son-in-law was hit head-on by a passenger bus. The woman, Joyce Frankson, suffered four broken ribs, two fractured hands, a broken leg and a fractured pelvis. She was rushed to the Belmopan Hospital, after which she was taken to the KHMH for further treatment. The accident occurred at about 3:30 Friday evening at Mile 41 on the George Price Highway in the area of the Beaver Dam Bridge in St. Matthews Village, during the blockage of traffic on one side of the road by the Ministry of Works, which was repairing the road.

A man who was on the run from the United States justice system was captured in Punta Gorda on Friday. Timothy Ray Veasey of Maryland, USA, who was wanted by the US on charges of burglary, was arrested by Punta Gorda police and has been handed over to the US Marshall Service through the Embassy of the United States, who will take him back to his country to face trial. Inspector Arnel Dominguez of the Punta Gorda police told the media that about 11:00 a.m. on Friday, they were on patrol on Alejandro Vernon Street in Punta Gorda, and went to the upper flat of a two-flat building on the northern entrance of that town, where they saw United States national, Timothy Ray Veasey, 49, who had been living in the area for some weeks, and for whom a warrant for arrest had been issued by the US. The officers immediately took him into custody. Afterwards, Veasey was taken to the Belmopan Police headquarters, and from there, to the United States Embassy.

— by Antonia Uh Dear Editor, I write as a student and as a regular commuter to bring to attention a serious issue regarding public transportation that needs to be addressed. For the past four years I have been travelling from Belize City to Orange Walk Town and vice-versa. From my experience, I can express my distress on the situation prevailing when it comes to being dependent on the last bus to reach home. There is no public transportation going north between the hours of 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., thus, forcing me to wait for the last 7:30 p.m. bus, which is normally always overcrowded. Overcrowding is one of the major concerns for the daily commuters. From Monday to Friday commuters are faced with overcrowding, especially in the morning hours and at night. The drivers are careless, since they allow the bus to surpass its passenger capacity, which contributes to the real issue of the transportation problem.

— by Lino Chan Amandala Belize City 6th November, 2013 Dear Editor, There are laws and regulations that state what levels of noise are accepted within certain times of the day. If one has a party at home, if one has a manufacturing business or an entertainment business, one has to have regard to the neighbors and try to reduce the level of noise being produced. Failure to do so could result in cancellation of licenses or even prosecution. There are two churches in my neighborhood. The first one is no problem, but the second one is on the other end of the scale. The second church seems to have freedom of will to make noise at any time of the day. The congregation, of about twenty five members, has church services with a sound system which can be heard all around the neighborhood. There is no place inside my house where I can have some peace. Church services are held daily from about six in the evening to nine or ten in the night. On Saturdays the services go to midnight. On special occasions it has gone all the way to four the next morning.

— by Joseph Alvarez Dear Editor, As I pass by and observe the demolition of the Belize City Center I can’t help but reminisce of some of the great moments I have been a part of, or a witness to, in that building. It is unfortunate to observe the demise of this public facility that should have still been able to serve not only the Belize City community but the entire country. A project of such magnitude which plays an important role in the social fabric of the country in my estimation should have lasted a least another 25 years. This is just another example of the mindset of our leaders and what they really represent – self-interest and party before the needs of the country – what a waste. Nevertheless, my first introduction to the Civic Center was in 1993 coming from Deep South to participate in the second and last Belize Games playing basketball. I was excited, finally getting an opportunity to play in this spanking new state of the art indoor sporting facility. It eventually turned out that the Civic would be where I would continue the rest of my basketball career. I was fortunate to have played with Maca Lamb and Minor Castellanos in an interoffice tournament and winning after they had retired from the Penta Lakers in the early nineties.

She is best known for her exploits in the field of cycling, capturing two of the most coveted championships along the way – the Krem New Year’s Cycling Classic and the Annual Women’s Cross Country Classic; but Kaya Cattouse is also a 3-time National Women Football Champion with the Triple-B’s club of Belmopan. On Friday night, November 1, at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, Kaya made her debut in the competitive side of a new sport – body building, after only a few months of training. And she took away her first trophy, being the only contestant in the “Bodybuilding” category, after her two competitors withdrew shortly before the contest. Kaya said she plans to continue in the sport, and has her eyes on titles in other categories in the future. The following were some of the winners in the various categories at Friday night’s Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation Championship 2013:

In Belize to conduct a CONCACAF “D” License certification course for Belizean coaches are CONCACAF training officials Leonard Lake and Andre Waugh. The course is being conducted in collaboration with the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), and begins this afternoon, after an opening ceremony at the FFB headquarters in Belmopan, where the course will run until Sunday, November 10. A delegation including CONCACAF Development Officer, Jonathan Martinez; FFB President, Ruperto Vicente; along with CONCACAF Training Officers, Leonard Lake and Andre Waugh, stopped by the zinc fence this morning, before leaving for Belmopan. Thirty participants, including a few active Premier League coaches, have been selected to take the course, namely: Reynaldo Ico; Deris Benavides; Glenford Hines; Sheldon Ramirez; Steven Lourie; Simon Palacios; Wayne Casimiro; Santi Valencia; Ivor Zuniga; Carlos Chavez; Javier Habet; Raul Gamez; Eulalio Coc; Paul Casimiro; Stanley Reneau; Alfonso Acosta; Luis Zetina; Armando Pech; Nilson Cruz; Leslie Flowers; Freddy Tun; Miguel Cawich; Carlos Umana; David Jones; Kent Gabourel; Gregory Cantun; Marvin Ottley; Jose Lara; Hilberto Muschamp; Hilton Garbutt.

Today, for the first time in history, the most valued prize in the world of soccer, and perhaps the world – the renowned FIFA World Cup trophy – is currently in Belize. Shortly after 10:00 this morning, the one-of-a-kind, solid gold trophy arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) onboard a private Coca-Cola flight, in the custodianship of FIFA and CONCACAF officials. The trophy is presently being featured on a customary worldwide tour – known as Coca-Cola’s FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour – that will be leading up to the 2014 World Cup tournament, which is scheduled to be hosted in Brazil. As part of the 2013/2014 trophy tour, which is sponsored each year by Coca-Cola, the prestigious symbol of football supremacy is slated to be taken to 88 countries over a 267-day period. Immediately after the trophy’s arrival, a press conference was held in the VIP Room at the PGIA, and the speakers included a representative from Coca-Cola Global, FIFA and the FFB, as well as Government officials, and Michael Bowen, CEO of Bowen & Bowen Ltd.

After 5 weeks of competition at the MCC Grounds, the top 3 teams in the standings of the SMART 13 & Under Football Tournament are still undefeated, with standings leader Brown Bombers sporting a perfect 5-0 record; while 2nd place City Boys have drawn twice, and 3rd place Ladyville Jaguars have 3 draws so far. At the completion of the 9-week single round-robin, where each team plays 9 games, the top 4 teams will enter a knockout semifinal, with the winners then facing off for the championship. In Week 5’s game 1 on Saturday, November 2, Brown Bombers dropped Belize Elementary, 2-0, with goals from Sherwin Requena and Jovann Ramos. Game 2 saw Rising Stars (from Ladyville) shutting out Young Stars, 3-0, with a goal apiece from Hakeem Smith, Camryn Lozano and Andres Velasquez.

Leroy “The Grand Master” Young, 46, a resident poet of Pinks Alley, was arraigned this morning before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on forgery charges. According to police, Carlos Walker, owner of JMS Paralegal Services, reported that he was contacted by a representative of Wellworth Store who reported that they were in possession of a Belize Bank cheque dated October 25, 2013, for one hundred dollars from his business that had bounced. Walker, whose house had been burglarized earlier this month, had noticed that the cheque book had gone missing, but was not worried about it since none of the cheque leaves had been signed. Young was represented by attorney Bryan Neal and was read charges of forgery, uttering upon a false document, and being in possession of a false document, charges to which he pleaded not guilty.

The sexual abuse of little girls by men who should be their protectors continues. Police are now seeking the father of a 3-year-old girl of Corozal. About 2:30 yesterday afternoon, the child and her mother, her aunt and a social worker, went to the police and reported that on Sunday, while the child was sleeping in her father’s bed, her father touched her private parts, causing her pain and discomfort. The child was taken to the Corozal Hospital, where she was examined by a doctor, who concluded that the child had been sexually assaulted. Police immediately went to apprehend the father, but he has since absconded from Corozal. His current whereabouts are yet unknown.

After being on the run from the Belize police for about 8 months, Abbas Khan, 38, a Belizean businessman of 3rd Street, Corozal Town, who escaped from the Orange Walk Police Station where he had been detained for the illegal possession of 5 Indian passports, is now back in police custody. Khan was captured in Mexico on the strength of a warrant for his arrest. He was then handed over to Corozal police by the Mexican authorities yesterday, Wednesday. On Saturday, March 2, Khan was being held at the Orange Walk Police Station both due to a warrant for his arrest issued by the Supreme Court for money he owed in Orange Walk, and because he was a person of interest in the police’s ongoing investigation into human trafficking. On that same Saturday, Khan was then taken to his home in Corozal, where police conducted a search. Police said that in his house they found 5 Republic of India passports belonging to Tajinder Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Parminder Singh Baryar, Gurdeep Singh and Surjit Singh.

Diondray McKoy, 21, is a convict tonight after he was found guilty of trying to kill Everald Gray, 29, in June of 2009. During the trial which started on October 30, Gray took the stand and testified that he was at home at 8:30 on the night of June 23, 2009, when he heard someone calling his name. He went to the door and that was when he saw a man wearing a black shirt and a pair of blue pants, who then pulled out a gun that had been wedged under the waist of his pants. Gray said that just as he attempted to turn around and run, he felt a burning sensation and realized he had been shot. Gray told the court that he ran into his room and collapsed, losing consciousness.

Darrington Lauriano, 27, and a female minor, 15, were charged with burglary when they appeared in court today. According to a report made to police by Stanley Moody, between 6:45 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on October 31, his apartment was burglarized and the thieves made off with his gold wristwatch valued at $60,000, his Seiko brand wristwatch valued at $4,000, his licensed .38 revolver, and other valuables totaling over $80,000 in value. No pleas were taken from the two because it was not determined whether the matter would be tried at the Magistrate or Supreme Court level. They were both offered bail of $10,000, which neither of them was able to meet, and so they were remanded to the Belize Central Prison, where they will remain either until they meet bail, or until their next court appearance scheduled for January 13, 2014.

A police officer who is sworn to protect the public is accused of betraying the trust of his female co-worker in an incident of sexual assault that occurred two weeks ago. According to police reports, Police Constable #1149 Randolph Scott Jr., 30, a resident of #88 Neal Pen Road in Belize City, allegedly approached a female officer while they were working station duties at the Precinct 4 Police Station located in the Belama area around 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, October 26th, 2013, and sexually assaulted her by forcibly and indecently touching her in her private area. According to the female police officer, after refusing his unwanted sexual advances, she tried to defend herself, and PC Scott allegedly punched her in the mouth, which caused her to suffer a bruise to the inner lower lip. The injury was later classified by a doctor as harm.

The murder trial of Eric Gonzalez, 23, of Orange Walk, accused of killing Daniel Soto, 16, also of Orange Walk, by stabbing him with a butcher knife, began at the Orange Walk Supreme Court on Thursday, October 31. Police said that on the evening of February 26, 2009, Eric Gonzalez and Daniel Soto were at a house with others on Mangal Street in the Louisiana area of Orange Walk when they became involved in an argument, which led to a scuffle. Police said that after the altercation, Gonzalez left, but returned shortly after, armed with a butcher knife, with which he attacked Soto, stabbing him in the upper thigh and upper leg.

Ernesto Vasquez, 25, a delivery truck driver from Orange Walk, was charged with manslaughter by negligence, driving without due care and attention and causing death by careless conduct after he knocked down and killed James Gongora, 47, between Miles 17 and 16 on the George Price Highway late Monday evening. According to police, when they questioned Vasquez at 6:55 Monday evening, he told them that he had been driving an Isuzu delivery truck on the George Price Highway from Belmopan that evening, when upon reaching between Miles 17 and 16, he was momentarily blinded by the high beams of an oncoming vehicle.

Denay Gillett, 29, a cashier of #4118 Fern Lane, is out on bail this afternoon after she was arraigned on a wounding charge before Magistrate Clive Lino. According to police, Michelle Gordon, 27, reported that in the wee hours of Monday morning, she was at a club in the Lake Independence area when she got into an argument with a woman known to her as Denay, inside the club. Minutes after the altercation, Gordon told police, she decided to go outside, but Denay then approached her with a knife and stabbed her several times in her left and right upper legs.


Belize marine conservation organization ReefCI, receives Global recognition at the World Responsible Tourism Awards
Today’s post comes from Polly Alford, Founder & Managing Director of ReefCI. I feel it is very important to recognize and help promote those who are making a effort to preserve our beautiful country of Belize, especially now that my work is including conservation on a deeper level. I will fill you in on that big, exciting secret when the time is right, for now I cannot let the cat out of the bag just yet. Some of you might remember ReefCI from the month long lionfish derby and the post Jo sent me ‘Spearheading’ Lionfish conservation in Belize this September!!!! If you want to keep informed with what they are up to and see some really cool under water pictures from the Toledo district, Punta Gorda and Sapodilla Caye area, Like ReefCI facebook page.

Fantastic Indian Food in Belize City and One Swami: Sumathi Restaurant
When I travel through Belize City, I generally eat the same old thing for lunch. Chon Saan Palace. A big comfortable Asian restaurant in town with powerful air conditioning, good internet, reliable & tasty food and a menu/tome that has over 20 pages…from Japanese to curries to Belizean. You can’t go wrong. And it seems to suit my Belizean friends nicely. Here is my friend, the jolly Buddha at Chon Saan. Belizeans, I find (yes, I generalize and therefore apologize), do not have the most adventurous palates. And Chon Saan does good Belizean-Chinese…fried chicken and fries with lots of sweet ketchup. Alone or with those with more daring tastes, I have branched out a bit…Chap’s for Mexican (delicious), Riverside Tavern for burgers (very good), Celebrity (not so good) or some local spots. Yesterday, with a few hours on my hands before my viewing slot for the FIFA World Cup, I tried Sumanthi Indian Restaurant. And? I loved it. It’s the real deal.

Belize Bodybuilders Championships bring out the best and buffed
Our readers know how much space we give to the pursuits of arts, music and crafts in general in Belize, and we’d be remiss indeed in neglecting that ancient art of body sculpting and maximizing the human body into a thing to be admired and wondered at. All this and more was on display when The Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation held its annual championship competition on the 1st of November at the Bliss Institute of Performing Art in Belize City to select the 2013 champions in male and female categories. Now, the BBBFF is the largest bodybuilding and fitness organization in Belize and its champions regularly feature in regional competitions in neighboring countries in Central America. Body building in Belize is serious business. So we’re looking at rigorous competition in a country that prides itself on fitness. Belizeans are not a lazy lot, and it shows.

Preview of the Beautiful Belizean Women that make up the 2014 Belikin Beer Calendar
Belikin Beer recently launched their 2014 calendar and…WAIT FOR IT…WAIT FOR IT…it proves that Belize has extremely beautiful women – not that any of you doubted that. I don’t want to come off as being mean but over the past few years, the women in the Belikin Calendar have significantly gotten better. Does that sound terrible? Maybe reflects bad on me? A little I think… but I’m only trying to be honest. I remember in high school, the boys and I would always complain about Belikin’s choices, citing that there were many gorgeous Belizean women that weren’t being included – shout out to some of my ex girlfriends. Ha! JK It’s now much better though! Take a look at their promo video and see what I’m talking about. If you want to read about the launch, my blogging amiga Rebecca did an excellent post on her experience at the event. On that day, she was treated to a VIP preview that included a luncheon and tour of the brewery. Jealous much?

International Sources

Sea Level Limbo In The Caribbean: How Low Can You Go?
The folks in the Bahamas hamlet of Dunmore Town seem blissfully unaware of sea level rise. One resort hotel operator I called in Dunmore, which sits on Harbour Island, dismissed it altogether. “I was just down at our beachside bar,” she said. “I didn’t notice the sea level rising.” (Yes, she was serious.) I told her I’d call back in 50 years. That’s because recent studies warn that by then, if sea level rise projections of about three feet or more in this century are correct, three-fourths of Harbour Island’s beach resources could be sunk. At least seven of its major tourism properties would be lost as a result. That would be a shame. Harbour Island, a narrow, 4-mile-long Bahamas isle 200 miles east of Miami, is one of the most idyllic spots in the western hemisphere. But climate change experts say Harbour and its 2000 inhabitants are in the crosshairs of sea level rise in the Caribbean. (Technically, The Bahamas lie in the Atlantic, but the country is a member of the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM.)

The Lonely Planet award for the Best Family Destination was bestowed on the state at the World Travel Mart. Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guide book publisher, has named the southern Indian state of Kerala as one among the world’s 10 best destinations for taking the family along for a holiday in 2014. The Lonely Planet award for the Best Family Destination was bestowed on the state at the World Travel Mart (WTM) that concluded in London on Thursday. Kerala occupies the fourth position in the Overseas Planet’s top 10 overseas family destinations. The first three are Denmark, Thailand and Belize. The other child-friendly destinations ideal for the family in the list are New York City, Hawaii, Prague, Italy and Iceland.

Diving with sharks in the Bahamas
We splashed into the clear waters off Grand Bahama Island and immediately saw what we came to see: Lots of them. We were nose-to-nose with them. They were so plentiful that we encountered them on each of our 17 dives – as many as 20 on a single dive. In fact, we saw more sharks than people on remote reefs and shoals. There were high-action dives with nurse, lemon and Caribbean reef sharks. And some of them got very cozy. The six-day trip also included dives down to a 100-year-old molasses barge called the Sugar Wreck, as well as exceptional night dives. We also had beautiful encounters on the reefs with a variety of critters such as loggerhead and hawksbill sea turtles, trumpetfish, invasive lionfish, angelfish, snappers and grunts. Our first dive on the Sugar Wreck was among my favorite dives ever. It was a shallow dive – 25 feet down – that allowed us to enjoy this fabulous old wreck for about 90 minutes. We had beautiful light, hawksbill turtles, nurse sharks, hundreds of grunts and snapper, a white-sand bottom off the wreck and an easy current. This is classic tropical diving.

Malaria Cases Down by 58 Percent in Central America
The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Malaria cases have decreased by 58% in Central America, but there are still 106 million people at risk of getting it because they are living in endemic areas said José Ruales, the representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). “The good news is that since 2000 to date, malaria has reduced by about 58% in the Americas,” said Ruales, during an event called “Malaria Day in the Americas.” Countries with greater reduction over the last decade are El Salvador, Paraguay, Ecuador and Suriname, he added. Moreover, he noted that in Central America, according to projections, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Belize have achieved the elimination malaria more quickly than other neighboring countries. Costa Rica reported eight cases last year, El Salvador had 21, and Belize had 37 cases. Panama last year recorded 844 cases of malaria, 1,235 in Nicaragua, Guatemala had 5,346 and Honduras had 6,430 cases.

Damanaki insists in ‘zero tolerance’ as to illegal fishing
The European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries claims that while some of the eight countries that were requested to meet their international obligations as to illegal unreported unregulated fisheries (IUU) have made ‘credible progress’, others have not responded in the same way. In a speech made at an event hosted in Brussels by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Commissioner Maria Damanaki highlighted that from the eight countries those addressing these concerns are Fiji, Togo, Sri Lanka, Panama and Vanuatu, with whom EU authorities initiated a formal dialogue and to whom an action plan was devised according to their specific problems. However, she remarked that Belize, Cambodia and Guinea “have not addressed concerns linked to legislation, effective monitoring and surveillance systems, nor have they introduced satisfactory sanctioning regimes.”

Keeping It Real In Belize
It came exactly as described – a blue hole. Located deep in the Belizean rainforest, this cold, aquamarine swimming spot called the Blue Hole was like something out of a postcard, or a dream. Shaded by the thick jungle canopy, it was fed by springs and drained by a small waterfall. And it was all ours – my group of friends were the only visitors that day. We stripped down to our bathing suits and jumped in, washing away the heavy tropical heat in the cool, blue waters. It was wonderful, and it was just our first adventure in this lovely nation. A tiny, former-British colony, Belize has been attracting eco-tourists for decades, but it has just recently stepped into its own as a premiere world destination. Gaining its independence from the United Kingdom in 1981, Belize is an English-speaking nation of just over 300,000 that’s surrounded by Latin America – a curious place that mixes together Commonwealth values in a tropical setting. My friends and I would learn that it is a country where the adventures are real, close to the ground and unforgettable.


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