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Belizean Recently Acquitted For Murder Deported To Belize
Thirty six year old Kenneth Lewellyn Flowers, a Belizean National recently acquitted of a Murder charge in Salt Lake Utah, was deported last week to Belize by Federal Immigration Officials. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Flowers was deported after he was convicted in August of felony illegal reentry of a deported alien and possession of a firearm and ammunition by an illegal alien. He had been sentenced to two years in federal prison with credit for time served.
That conviction the report stated, came after police had found a gun and ammunition on Flowers when they responded to a shooting in December 2010 where 45 Year old Cisco M. Cross was killed and contended in court that he shot him in self defense. The report says that Flowers had been smoking crack when Cross came to his door. An argument ensued between Flowers and Cross, and reported to police he fired his gun three times when he saw him reach for a weapon. A BB gun was found unused in the waistband of Cross. He was turned over to Belize authorities for questioning related to gang activities.
Mexican national Investigates By Immigration
Today two men were acquitted of the charges of two counts of possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition at the Corozal Magistrates Court due to lack of evidence. Both 32 year old George Valencia, Belizean laborer of G-Street South Corozal Town and 25 year old Mexican National Juan Alliesto Hernandez Zuniga were escorted to court under heavy guard.
CTV3 News understands that while Zuniga was acquitted of the charges he remains in police custody and will be handed over to Immigration Authorities for further investigations since it is believed he is in the county illegally. We understand that he has retained the services of Attorney Arthur Saldivar.
Another Business Robbed In Corozal
Corozal Police are investigating a burglary in that district that left a woman out of more than $1,000 worth in items. According to 44 year old Guadalupe Sosa, the owner of Bel Cuisine in Corozal Town, sometime between the hours of 2:00pm on the 9th of November 2013 and 7:05am on the 11th of November 2013, her two storage concrete building located on Alta Mira Road was broken into. The thief or thieves gained entry to the building by forcing open a glass door situated northeast of the building.
Stolen from inside the building was one water pump valued at $1,800.00. All indications are that the criminals also broke into two of the company vehicles and stole a jack valued at $150.00. Total value of items stolen amounted to $1,950. Investigation continues.
Opposition Leader Speaks On Baggasse Issue
With only 18 days before the start of the new proposed 2013/2014 crop season, there is no saying whether BSI and the BSCFA will resume negotiations on the Bagasse issue specifically.
While BSI has asked BSCFA to meet on November 19th to advance discussions on a new agreement and to discuss the technical support by SIRDI, they have also stated that the new agreement can be signed separate from the Bagasse issue. And that is where there seems to be no break through because the BSCFA is saying no way no how. With the opening of the 2013/2014 crop season in jeopardy, it is the hope of the Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca that both parties can come to a mutual agreement for the betterment of the industry.
“I think it is a very, very important matter and we certainly urge BSI to negotiate in good faith with the cane farmers, we support the position of the cane farmers at this time, we believe that there should be very serious discussion taking place about the sharing about whatever profits are been made from the sale of bagasse, it has been under discussion for a long, long time but nothing serious had been agreed on and so it is a very important issue and we in the People United Party we are engage in our own discussions with the cane farmers so that we can better understand their position and it is our objective to work along with them to pressure government, to pressure BSI to come to the table so that we can have a proper discussion and find some equitable formula for the sharing of any profits that are being recognize and realized as the result of bagasse is an important issue.”
BSCFA Sticks To Its Guns, No Negociation Of Baggasse, No Crop
Yesterday we told you about the stern response from the Belize Sugar Industries Limited on the claim for payment on the Bagasse issue. And while that release stated that for 30 years BSI has taken on the responsibility and the liability of getting rid of bagasse, compounded by the fact that BSI came up with the idea to use bagasse to generate electricity and materialized in what they claim is the biggest private sector investment in the country amounting to 130 Million dollars, the release cited that it was done without the assistance or contribution from the BSCFA. BSI said that it is not just or fair to the company for the cane farmers to expect a return on an investment for which they have contributed absolutely nothing. Well, today, another round of fireworks was launched in the air as Vice Chairman of the BSCFA, Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, fired back stating that BSI is dancing around the issue.
“Really and truly they are just going around the bush, they are not coming very clear with us we are not asking for electricity, we are asking for what the bagasse is providing, what the bio-fuel is providing to that electricity for Belcogen Plant to work and to convert that to electricity, we are asking for them to come and let us negotiate the portion of the bagasse not the electricity. With this letter that they have sent and that they have set a date and they have set the 19th of November to go to Belize with no direction only to Belize City, I don’t if they plan to take us to burying ground or to the Warf, I don’t where they plan to take us but this is truly a slap on the face of the cane farmers because we have been asking from them let us come and negotiate as partners of the industry come to the table and let them be clear with us what their financial are, they have had the decency to present to the Association their last two years financial report in regards to what they are getting from the sales of electricity to BEL, as a cane farmer and as a leader of the farmers I really feel that BSI is really drawing his foot and trying to corner us to a way that they feel that the point will come that we will say well ok we cannot fight this giant and we will come and leave things as they are no, no this time is not like that, I think that the Association is in a different position that it was ten, fifteen years ago, we have experts amongst us, we have technical people that are advising us, we will be getting advise from our lawyers very shortly to have legal opinion in a step forward.”
Policeman’s Vehicle Stolen
A policeman’s vehicle was reportedly stolen from in front of a bar on the Philip Goldson Highway. Police Corporal, Alison Guzman, reported to his peers that at around 11:30 on Saturday night he went to the Traveller’s Bar at mile two on the Philip Goldson Highway and parked his 1996 white Geo Prism car valued at seven thousand and upon coming out of the establishment at around three-30 on Sunday morning, he discovered that the vehicle was no longer where he had parked it. Police are investigating.
Woman Charged Following Outburst at Belize Family Court
Twenty-six year old Denise Wade, who bit a police constable in his chest yesterday at Belize Family Court, was charged with harm and five other offences when she appeared in court yesterday. The other charges were assaulting a police officer, disturbing court proceedings and two counts of using insulting words. Wade pled guilty to the charges. She remanded into custody at Belize Central Prison until November 22 when she will be brought back to court for sentencing. According to reports, Wade kept interrupting the court proceedings at Belize Family Court and when she was told about it by Magistrate Nathalia Carter, she insulted Magistrate Carter twice. She assaulted police constable Hilberto Ruiz and bit him in the right side of his chest when Ruiz restrained her and took out of the courtroom.
Chinese Couple Given Bail After Failure to Declare Monies
A Chinese couple who entered Belize yesterday via Phillip Goldson International Airport with ten thousand US dollars has been charged jointly with failing to first make a declaration to an authorized officer of the FIU or any other person or authority designated by the FIU. They are Chenbou Xu and his wife, Fenglan Wu. They pled not guilty to the charge when they were arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. They were released on bails of one thousand dollars each and their case was adjourned until Friday, November 15. The bail was offered on the condition that they surrender their passports. Before the charge was read to them their attorney, Ellis Arnold, submitted that they had not committed any offence because the law allows for a person to have ten thousand dollars without having to make a declaration and they had ten thousand U.S. dollars or its equivalent, twenty thousand US dollars between them. But Donelle Hawke, the head of Police Prosecution Branch, who represented the FIU, said in reply that the couple had made one declaration on the custom card and that shows that an offence was committed. Chief Magistrate Smith overruled Arnold’s submission and read the charge to them.
CCJ Reserves Ruling on Special Leave to Appeal Belize’s Immigration Act
The Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ has reserved ruling in an application heard today on behalf of Jamaican Gay Rights activist, Maurice Tomlinson, for Special Leave to Appeal Belize’s Immigration Act. Tomlinson, who is a member of the Jamaican lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community and an HIV-activist, says that the current Immigration Laws of both Belize and Trinidad bar him from entering the two countries as an openly gay man. Tomlinson considers the ban on his entry into Belize to be a violation of his right to freedom of movement within the Caribbean Community. He feels that repealing Section five of the Belize Immigration Act will liberate other marginalized groups. Among the other classes of persons prohibited from entering Belize are the mentally challenged and the physically disabled. In the teleconference hearing in Jamaica, Tomlinson’s attorney argued that the CCJ relies on the Charter of Civil Society. But Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, who led the Government’s arguments, told reporters after the days’ session that because Tomlinson had visited Belize on two previous occasions, this is evidence that the current Immigration Laws do not ban him from entering the country on the status of his lifestyle.
Education Minister Says Corruption is Not Encouraged in the UDP
Investigations into the passport scandal that broke out a few weeks ago are still ongoing and former Minister of State Elvin Penner has been fired from both Government and of the United Democratic Party. Prime Minster Dean Barrow, has asked Penner to resign as the Area Representative of Cayo North East- but that hasn’t happened. Soon after, Area Representative for Belize Rural North, Edmund, “Clear the land” Castro has been named as a minister who is allegedly involved in a visa hustling business. The Prime Minister in a press conference alluded that he has heard of this and requested that if it is indeed true that it be stopped before it causes the fall of the government. And ever since, a dark gloomy cloud of suspicion has been hovering over UDP ministers and so we asked Minister of Education, Youths and Sports, Patrick Faber, whether or not he knows anything about a visa hustling business. Here is how he responded.
Training Sessions Look At Dealing with Juvenile Justice
Representatives from the Belize Police Department and Belize Central Prison are taking part in the first of three training sessions aimed at sensitizing these officers on Juvenile Law and the International Standards of Juvenile Justice. Antoinette Moore is the training facilitator.
“The UNDP is assisting in the funding of this and the Community Rehabilitation Department, as well as the NCFC – they have come together and are doing three sets of training. The first is for prison officers and police, the second for higher level police officers and Police prosecutors and the last for Magistrates and lawyers from the Legal Aid Centre. The purpose for the training is to sensitize as well as give more information to these individuals about the domestic juvenile as well as the international standards of juvenile justice.”
National Committee for Families and Children is one of the Organizations responsible for bringing this training to fruition. Love News spoke to NCFC’s Luwani Cayetano.
Is UB’s President Going to Resign?
Reports circulating today were that the President of the University of Belize, Doctor Carey Fraser is resigning from his post. First we attempted to confirm this information from Dr. Fraser himself but after strongly denying for an interview he told our reporter that a release will be sent out. Dr. Fraser however restricted himself from stating what the release would make mention of. And so we then attempted to obtain confirmation or denial from the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber who told us he doesn’t know. We then got comment from the Head of the Office of the Public Information at the University, Selwyn King who as Dr. Fraser told us a statement will be made on the matter.
HON. PATRICK FABER
“I am not certain about that; l I have no such information to say that he is going to resign. I believe that is a question you can ask him but I certainly don’t have any such information.”
DR. SELWYN KING
“The President will make a statement in due time when the time prevails; he has been engaged in meetings since yesterday and as you know he was engaged in meetings today. He will make a statement on that particular issue. In terms of official, I cannot confirm or deny but I have been contacted by the majority of the media who have heard or received such information and it’s best that the President, himself speak to that particular issue.”
Builders Hardware Throws in the Garifuna Celebration
Primary and High school students and customers at Builder’s Hardware were treated to exciting performances by a Garifuna Dance Group and the legendary paranda musician Mr. Paul Nabor. This is the month for the celebration of the Garinagu. Over the years the celebrations have grown from an event centered...
U-16 Young Belizean Football Players Boast Promising Performance Abroad
On Friday the Football Federation of Belize gave fans a sneak preview of the national U-16 team that will represent Belize as the Central American U-16 tournament in Belmopan from November 18 – 24. Many of them were part of the U-15 team that impressed in the inaugural CONCACAF...
Ms. Felicia Chen Faces Another Hot Court Trial
At any time beginning in next April’s session of the Central District of the Supreme Court, 22 year old Felicia Chen must answer to three counts of murder for the alleged drowning deaths of three of her children at Belizean Beach this past April 27. Chen appeared on Friday...
The Belize Police Launches a National Sensitization Campaign Tour
Though their business is quite serious, even the Police Department can take a joke every so often. Today they did a little poking fun at themselves and the wider society while imparting life lessons to the students of Excelsior High School. It is part of the community outreach done...
Another Alleged Rape of a Minor Hits Corozal
Police in Consejo Village, situated in Corozal are investigating a disturbing report made by a 13 year old girl. According to the minor, this past Sunday, shortly after 2:30, she was walking to her home through a picado road, someone held her from behind and pulled into the nearby...
Guatemalan Fatally Murdered by Stabbing in Belize City
There was a murder in Belize City early on Sunday morning. 28 year old Edgar Salazar, Guatemalan laborer of Faber’s Road extension, was stabbed in his right lower back during a fight outside of a bar on Coney Drive where Salazar and his group of friends were socializing. Salazar’s...
Police Catches Alleged Contraband Suspects in Bullet Tree
Law enforcement, lab technicians and Customs personnel were called out to the BDF camp site near San Ignacio today, where an investigation into the discovery of 10 large containers of suspected drug precursors was underway. The containers were stumbled upon by San Ignacio Police this morning, sometime between 12:30...
NTUCB and BCCI Support the Blue Proposal for a Reformed PAC
Last week, we shared with you the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize’s joint proposal for the Public Accounts Committee. Well, today, the People’s United Party have come out to support that proposal. You may recall that the committee had been...
A Giant Snake Surprises Workers of San Ignacio and Santa Elena
Last week’s relentless rain flooded the banks of the Macal River, which separates the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, leaving the San Ignacio Wooden Bridge completely submerged underwater. This significant repercussions on the daily flow traffic as the only alternative bridge apart from the wooden bridge...
Sugar Cane Farmers Demand Bagasse Money Shares
One man’s thrash, is another man’s treasure; this saying has been seen played out for several weeks now on local media as we have been closely following the developments of the bagasse dispute that BSCFA (Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association) has been fruitlessly trying to resolve with BSI (Belize...
NTUCB on the Wall of BWS Firings and Legal Battles
And while that is the state of affairs with the case, the ex-workers also vented their frustration with the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) which has promised to investigate their terminations and has so far failed to. Don Gillett at the time of his firing was a...
BWS Former Employees Pressure Legal Battle against the Company
Four of the six former employees of Belize Water Services (BWS) who were fired earlier this year and are suing the company for wrongful termination called their first conference. Two colleagues were not present and neither were attorneys Mrs. Antoinette Moore and Mr. Kareem Musa due to unforeseen circumstances,...
Belize Celebrates World Diabetes Day
Every year, November 14th is celebrated as “World Diabetes Day” globally. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. The Belize Diabetes Association is a chapter of the IDF. They have been hosting numerous events to sensitize the Belizean public...
BELIZE, TRINIDAD, FIGHT LGBTS AT CCJ
Belize and its sister Caribbean nation – Trinidad and Tobago, appear tomorrow before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), to face a challenge filed against both countries by Jamaica’s leading LGBT lobbyist, Maurice Tomlinson – the man who alleges that Belize’s immigration laws violate his right to free movement within the Caribbean Community, as enshrined in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
Ironically, though, Tomlinson, whose child was living in Belize, had visited the country at least twice without any prohibition – and this fact is one of the planks of the defense the Government of Belize has lodged to argue that Tomlinson should not be granted leave by the CCJ to bring the court action against the country.
Tomlinson last year married Tom Decker, a Canadian man who serves as interim pastor of Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church in New York, USA.
Tomlinson was previously married to Michele Daley, who recently ended her tenure as Acting Solicitor General of Belize.
BSI SAYS “NO!”
As we go to press tonight, there is news that a demand from the cañeros of Orange Walk and Corozal for a portion of the revenues which the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) is earning from bagasse is being met with a resounding “no” from the company – a decision which will no doubt raise the ire of the cañeros, who have been lobbying for a financial stake in BSI for several years.
Cañeros have been a part of the talks to bolster the returns from cane farming through co-generation for more than a decade. In fact, Amandala recalls that at a symposium held in Orange Walk in August 2001, cane farmers had expressed great interest in the new power generation option, especially in light of the gloomy prospects of falling returns from sugar exports on the world market.
One of the proposals raised then was for the power generation to be done through an independent power provider (IPP) which would make shares available to cane farmers. However, it was BSI which set up the power generation company, BELCOGEN, and that company now forms a subsidiary of BSI, which was recently bought by American Sugar Refining.
MARVIN CRUZ REYES, 28, GETS 15 YEARS
Tonight, Marvin Cruz Reyes, 28, is at the Belize Central Prison after he was found guilty of the attempted murder of Kareem Wright, 30.
This was a retrial for Reyes because the first trial in July of 2009 ended with a hung jury.
Wright, who was left paralyzed from the waist down, had to be brought to court by a BERT ambulance because that is the only means of transportation by which he can travel.
He was the first witness to be called in the trial, which started last Wednesday, and he testified that at 5:00 on the morning of August 26, 2007, he and his girlfriend were walking on Ebony Street. When they got to the corner of Ebony and Sarstoon Streets, he heard someone call out to him, and turned to see Reyes, who was the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend, he said.
MISS DANGRIGA, ALISHA BERMUDEZ, 15, WINS MISS GARIFUNA NATIONA
Miss Dangriga, Alisha Bermudez, 15, wins Miss Garifuna National
In what spectators will remember as one of the most competitive cultural pageants in recent memory, Miss Dangriga, Alisha Bermudez, 15, captured the highly coveted title of Miss Garifuna at the Miss Garifuna Belize National Talent held at the Multi Sports Complex in Seine Bight Village on Saturday night, November 9.
In all, there were seven hopefuls who participated in a spirited display of Garifuna language, dance and folklore:
Miss Punta Gorda (Peini), Jackieva Alvarez, 18; Miss Hopkins, Pamela Zuniga, 19; Miss Belize City, Samantha Augustine, 19; Miss Belmopan, Denise Lopez, 17; Miss Georgetown, Sheraine Martinez, 17; and Miss Seine Bight, Darcell Valerio, 16, were the competitors in this year’s pageant.
AMERICAN PASTOR AND WIFE CHARGED FOR NOT DECLARING OVER US $20,000 AT CUSTOMS
This morning, American nationals Pastor Gary West, 68, and his wife, retired nurse aid Evelyn Patnaude-West, 67, both pleaded guilty to failing to declare a large sum of money when they arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport last Friday.
According to the report, the couple arrived in Belize from the United States on Friday, and at 12:05 p.m., while at the Customs Desk, they were asked if they had anything to declare, to which they replied no.
The customs officer decided to search the luggage of Patnaude-West and found US$21,000 which had not been declared. A search of West led to the discovery of US$7,000 inside the left pocket of his pants and US$300 in his wallet, which also had not been declared.
The couple was represented by attorney Ellis Arnold, who made a mitigation plea on their behalf. He expressed the couple’s complete remorse for entering the country without declaring the money, but the couple told the court that they honestly did not know that they had to declare the money.
CUSTOMS OFFICER ASSAULTED AT THE COROZAL BORDER
On Saturday night at about 8:00 o’clock at the northern border, a Customs officer confiscated some beer from four men who were trying to cross the Corozal border with the undeclared goods. A senior officer who responded to a call for assistance was assaulted.
Police say that four men – Ignacio Victorin, 30, a Belizean security officer; Nolberto Victorin, 34, a Belizean laborer; Amador Tzib, 40, a Belizean laborer; and Rutilio Cantun, 38, a Belizean laborer, all of Patchakan, Corozal District, were charged with aggravated assault.
Police reports are that senior customs officer Fred Ford, attached to the Santa Elena Border, Corozal District, reported that about 8:20 p.m. on Saturday, he was on duty in his office when the checkpoint customs officer, Zakir Marin, who was working at the time, called him on his cell phone and told him that he had a “situation” at the checkpoint arrival section.
SCA GIRLS AND SAN PEDRO HIGH SCHOOL BOYS WIN NSSSA VOLLEYBALL NATIONALS
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) held its Annual National Volleyball competition over the past weekend, with games played last Friday and Saturday at the St. John’s College Gymnasium in Belize City.
A great show of talent was definitely displayed at the 2-day competition, as 8 teams took part in the national contest, which included 4 male and 4 female teams, representing the four different regions of the country.
Fans, parents, supporters and fellow schoolmates of the participating teams packed the gymnasium to witness the competition as it got underway, and cheered energetically for their respective teams.
In this year’s Volleyball Nationals, the Northern Region was represented by San Pedro High School in both the male and female categories. The Central Region was represented by St. Catherine Academy for the females, while the males were represented by St. John’s College. From the west, Belmopan Comprehensive High School represented the females, and Mopan Technical High School represented the boys. Stann Creek Ecumenical College represented the females from the southern region, while Georgetown Technical High School represented in the male category.
“BOXER” KNOCKED DOWN, BUT NOT OUT, BY “SLEEPY” POLICE DRIVER
Veteran boxer Henry “Boxer” Gill is shaken up, scraped knees and elbows, and bruised along the right side of his body, upon which he fell after being knocked down by a police pickup while he was riding his bicycle around 6:30 this morning on his way to do his regular morning work-out at the Body 2000 gym. According to “Boxer,” he was riding on Mahogany Street when he saw the vehicle coming, and just managed to jump off his bicycle in time to avoid the full impact of the vehicle, which still ran over and badly damaged his mountain bike. “I only escaped serious injury because I’m in pretty good shape and still agile for my age,” claimed Gill, who showed us his bandaged knee and abrasions on his wrist and elbow. His left side is still in pain from the fall on the pavement.
MAYOR’S 9-BALL TOURNAMENT IN COROZAL
The Mayor’s 9-Ball Tournament continued over the weekend, concluding the first round of the home-and-away series. The first game saw Rebels & Rejects winning by a score of 3-2 over Expendables. The wins for Rebels & Rejects came by Joshua Kuylen over Herbert Dzib, 5-1; Audibaldo Monima over Luis Campos by a stunning 5-0; ,and Ian Glory over Abner Patt by a score of 5-3. The two wins for Expendables came by Miguel Trejo, 5-4, over Lazaro Amaya; and Raul Montejo over Joel Andino, 5-2.
The second match of the weekend saw Madis at home defeating Cerros Sands by a score of 4-1. The only win for Cerros Sands came by Jose Caballero over Erwin Mutul by a score of 5-3. The wins for Madis came by Elias Briceno over Guillermo Arana, 5-3; Mario Pena, 5-2, over Tom Gardiner; Rodolfo Alvarez, 5-3, over Alberto Olivera; and Carlos Witz over Luiz Itzab, 5-3.
The results after these two rounds are as follows: Rebels & Rejects 44 pts; Expendables 36 pts; Madis 28 pts; and Cerros Sands 12 pts.
PRIDE AND POWER Editorial
Behind the scenes and behind all the Independence Day pomp and ceremony, there was a transfer of power which was taking place during Belize’s decolonization process. The power being transferred was basically political and administrative, and it was being transferred from the British to some Belizean counterparts of theirs. Financial and economic power was NOT being transferred from the British to Belizeans, although what the transfer of political and administrative power did, was make it possible for some Belizeans to dream of financial and economic power in their own country. So then, one of the slogans for independence was, “With independence, more development.”
Today, 32 years after independence, there is a financial and economic power structure in place here, but that structure is relatively shadowy and secretive. What is quite visible and often high profile in Belize, is the political and administrative power structure, which is all Belizean. The case with the financial and economic power structure is, to repeat, somewhat different.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Michael Finnegan’s story about “Plum Jaw,” also known to us football fans back then as “Harry J,” touched me. Plum Jaw’s story is a startling metaphor for the Belizean exodus. In 1969, he disappeared into America when he had reached the peak of his fame. Plum Jaw was playing a flank defence for arguably the best team in Belize City at the time – Red Stripe, and he had just starred in perhaps Red Stripe’s biggest game ever – an “international” against a visiting “Vera Cruz” team.
You have to remember that in Belize back then, there was no television and only a government monopoly radio station. The newspapers in Belize basically ignored sports in those days. When it came to football, Belize’s most popular sport, everything was word-of-mouth. In the first game that visiting “Vera Cruz” team played on the MCC Grounds (it was not against Red Stripe), this blonde Mexican forward had electrified the crowd when he fired a shot from the edge of the eighteen which absolutely sounded like a thunderclap against the crosspiece of the Guinness (northern) goal.
PUC’S JOHN AVERY IS NEW CHAIR OF REGIONAL UTILITY BODY — OOCUR
John Avery, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Belize, has assumed the rotating chairmanship of the Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR) – a regional organization tasked with improving regional utility regulation and fostering transparent and stable utility regulation through autonomous and independent regulators in member countries.
At the close of the 11th OOCUR Annual Conference, held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, from Wednesday, November 6 to 8, 2013, outgoing chairman J. Paul Morgan said that elections had been held and a new executive was installed.
Morgan said that the 5 executive members are Avery, John Williams of TCI Telecommunications Commission (Turks and Caicos), Maurice Chavez of the Office of Utilities Regulation (Jamaica), Kathleen Riviere-Smith of the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (Bahamas), and Dr. Anne Marie Mohammed of Regulated Industries Commission (Trinidad and Tobago) – the new deputy chair of OOCUR.
FECTAB AND BTB, FSTV AT ODDS!
“Be warned, if you stop us from making a living…BTB, FSTV could be looking at the end of cruise tourism in Belize.” – Tom Greenwood
Earlier last week, on Tuesday, there were reports that there was a bit of an uproar at the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV) in Belize City when a taxi operator was detained by police after he acquired the use of a bullhorn to beckon incoming cruise tourists.
The various service providers – taxi drivers in particular – who congregate outside the Fort Street Tourism Village during the cruise season, have been complaining that the new zoning system that was put in place by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is not working because the new rules are not providing fair opportunities for them to make a living.
Well, Friday, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) summoned a press conference in order to address those very same issues, among others. They told the media – and those in attendance – that the entire system needs to be revamped, and warned the BTB and FSTV that they both need to come to the table to dialogue with those being affected by the new regulations, or else the two entities might aggravate a total shutdown of the cruise tourism industry in Belize.
Caye Coffee gets a new logo, I tried something new and a PSA from SPHLBPC
Not much was going on around town yesterday afternoon or so I thought. While sitting at Estel’s with Steven, Anthony, Amy and Rick, we heard the long slow sound sound of sirens and knew that a parade was coming. The guy at the next table overheard us talking and said it was the Veterans Day Parade, I excused myself to go take a look and found out that it was something else.
As I walked around the corner I saw hoards of San Pedro High School kids parading by, they had just won a big Volleyball tournament and had good reason to celebrate. Fortunately they finished their parade right before it started raining again and had enough time to get somewhere dry. Our meeting group on the other hand was not as lucky we were all in process of leaving and everyone got wet.
Guest Post: Your Belize Wedding Checklist
I don’t do “sponsored posts”…though that is not what this actually is. A sponsorship would imply that some sort of palm greasing has taken place and…it hasn’t. I got a lovely email from a lovely woman named Abra who just happens to do a bit of writing for a resort in Hopkins, Belize. One I’ve never visited.
She was very enthusiastic about writing a post and had a few suggestions. I have been interested in Destination Weddings in Belize for a while…spurred on by the fact that I get ALL kinds of questions from brides, potential brides, honeymooners and even grooms. Her suggestion of a wedding checklist was perfect.
Here is what she sent me. And based on the website and pictures of Hopkins Bay Resort? I wouldn’t mind visiting Hopkins again…soon.
Hopefully this is just the start of much more wedding stuff to come. Who knows? I could become a regular Martha Stewart (sans the prison time).
Miss Earth Belize On a Serious Mission
Brion Young, assistant manager of Chaa Creek’s Belize Natural History Centre said that while the Miss Earth International Pageant may appear to be an unusual way to raise environmental awareness, Miss Earth Belize’s departure for Miami on November 9 to participate in this year’s Manila Pageant can only contribute towards spreading the message of environmental sustainability.
According to Belize’s Amandala newspaper, Amber Reneé Rivero is the formal Environmental Ambassador of Belize after being crowned Miss Earth Belize on August 24, 2013, and on Saturday, November 9, she departed the country for the first leg of her journey.
“When we first heard of the endeavour we thought it a novel idea that pageants were being used to raise environmental awareness. On reflection we thought it’s a great way to spread the message, and we will be following Ms Rivero’s trip with interest,” Mr Young said.
Central American Nearshore Summit 2013
Nicaragua inaugurated the first annual Central American Nearshore Summit (CANS) November 7, 2013 with the participation of over 160 businessmen mainly from the U.S. and the Central American region. The event was centered at promoting the entire region as an outsourcing destination due to its various competitive advantages; among them its competitive cost structure, strategic location and cultural affinity with the U.S.
Among the participants are 45 prestigious outsourcing companies; among them United Health Care, UBS, Darwin Zone, Accenture, Allied Global, Atento, Sitel, and Teleperformance.
The highlight of the event was the first session of business meetings held between service providers and buyers of the region. These previously scheduled meetings represent a unique opportunity for foreign and regional companies as they allow the establishment of key contacts and alliances within the outsourcing industry.
“Street Life” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Determined to get back in to my routine I was up and out on the veranda yesterday (first floor, lagoon side) with a mug of black coffee and the iPad before 05.00 hours.
I spent a little (and I mean a little) time with The Times online reading what Arsenal should have done (they lost) the previous day against Manchester United. I really didn’t need reminding that we lost against them (again) so I turned my attention to writing yesterday’s edition
The literary juices weren’t flowing though (it probably showed in what I finally published) so I decided I needed a change of scenery. Only one thing to do. Shower, shave, get dressed and head off to Estel’s for breakfast!
John McAfee facing wrongful death suit in Orlando over Belize murder
Eccentric software guru John McAfee, wanted for questioning by Belize authorities about the murder of his American neighbor, is being sued in Orlando for wrongful death.
McAfee is known for the anti-virus software bearing his name, but he made international headlines last year when he went on the run after Gregory Faull was killed.
A housekeeper found Faull — who owned Tailgaters Smokehouse and was a fixture at University of Central Florida sporting events — face up in a pool of blood Nov. 11, 2012 at his home on Ambergris Caye, Belize police said. He was shot in the back of the head.
McAfee, who has denied involvement in Faull's killing, evaded police in Belize for nearly a month before surfacing in Guatemala. He returned to the United States in December and has said he fears Belize authorities will kill him.
On Friday, Faull's estate filed suit in Orlando federal court against McAfee and two Belize women, claiming that McAfee, "either directly or through his behest or by his agents," caused Faull's death.
McAfee told the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday that he has not been served with the lawsuit, and until that happens, he cannot comment on the matter.
Man acquitted of Utah murder deported to Belize
A man recently acquitted of murder in a Salt Lake City shooting has been deported to Belize by federal immigration officials.
Kenneth Lewellyn Flowers, 36, was escorted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to his home country last week. He was turned over to Belize authorities for questioning related to gang activities in that Central American country, an ICE press release said. Flowers was deported after he was convicted in August of felony illegal reentry of a deported alien and possession of a firearm and ammunition by an illegal alien. He had been sentenced to two years in federal prison with credit for time served.
International Inspiration: Study abroad leads student to create successful philanthropy project
When Woodrow Holder left for a week-long study abroad trip to Belize in Spring 2012, he expected his views to change. What he didn’t expect was how drastically that would happen.
Since his return nearly two years ago, Holder has worked to raise funds for the area, and especially for the inspiring individuals he worked with during his time in Belize.
The study abroad trip, associated with the course HSC 516D: Travel Course in Health Education, brought the Allen Park senior, as well as 20 undergraduate students and 30 physical therapy students, to the country. The trip, a medical mission visit of sorts, worked to teach students how to have a healthy lifestyle.
“We did house visits, a mobile health clinic and educated people in schools about mobile health,” Holder said.
He was particularly moved by the state of one schools they visited, the Succotz Roman Catholic Primary School.
Gay activists seek end to criminality
Homosexuality is a crime in 41 out of the 53 Commonwealth nations, including CHOGM host nation Sri Lanka.
Ahead of the opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka on Friday, a new report produced by the Kaleidoscope Trust details human rights abuses against gay and lesbian people.
Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Sir Shridath Ramphal, writes in the report: "It is a reminder that for most of the countries of the Commonwealth, the desecration of our fellow citizens began in the law.
"As with the abolition of slavery, the decriminalisation of homosexuality in our time must be an act of law."
The report details first-hand examples of attempted murder, beatings and harassment.
"I have lost two teeth, had my family property invaded and car damaged by two masked men," says Caleb Orozco, a gay man from Belize.
Caribbean’s Biggest Water Supplier’s Sales Drop on Island Rains
Consolidated Water Co. (CWCO), the Caribbean’s largest publicly traded water supplier, reported a 30 percent drop in third-quarter profit as retail sales fell on its home island in the Caymans.
Net income slid from $1.3 million in the year-earlier period as larger customers on the island, popular for its beach resorts, purchased lower volumes of water “likely due to greater rainfall,” the Georgetown, Cayman Islands-based company said in a statement.
Consolidated Water has expanded this year beyond the Caribbean with a 100 million gallon per day water-purifying desalination pilot plant in Rosarito in northern Baja California, Mexico, that’s completed its first phase and a seawater reverse-osmosis facility on Indonesia’s Bali island.
Consolidated Water operates water production and distribution facilities in the Caymans, Bahamas, Belize and the British Virgin Islands. The shares have doubled this year in New York trading compared with a 6.3 percent gain by the 20-member Bloomberg World Water Index.
Why The World's Top Retirement Haven May Not Be For Everyone
The Retire Overseas Index that my Live and Invest Overseas group published this year ranked Panama as the world's top retirement haven. I'm not alone in this idea. For the past half-dozen years at least, this country has been recognized by many as the best place on earth to think about living or retiring overseas.
However, that is not to say that Panama is the world's best place for all things or for all people. In Belize, they speak English. It's the official language. Many in Panama City speak English, too, as a second language, but elsewhere in Panama, you're going to have to learn at least some Spanish or you're going to find life challenging.
As World “Gets Bigger,” Caribbean Diving Industry Takes Advantage
ORLANDO — Keith Sahm is the general manager at the Sunset House in Grand Cayman, and he’s seen the ups and downs of the Caribbean diving industry, which, like the rest of the region’s tourism sector, was hit hard by the downturn.
But Sunset House, which counts about 95 percent of its guests as divers, had its best October on record last month.
It seems the Caribbean diving industry is showing signs of improvement. So what’s helping to drive one of the strongest niches of the Caribbean market?
For Sahm, a constrained global economic environment is encouraging more divers from markets like the United States and Canada to eschew far-off places like Micronesia or Malaysia in favour of a destination that’s significantly closer.
“With the way the global economy is right now, it’s made the world much bigger again,” Sahm said.
T&T Planning Minister: PetroCaribe not likely to be sustainable
Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie on Monday said Venezuela’s PetroCaribe initiative, which supplied oil to some countries in the region at discounted prices, was unlikely to be sustainable. Speaking in his capacity as acting Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs at the launch of Caricom Energy Week on Monday at the Hyatt, he said: “The Venezuelan PetroCaribe Initiative provided a partial and temporary solution for this but this solution is unlikely to be sustainable.
“The issue of subsidised prices has been raised but in today’s world, with every country having its own challenges and the global system in a state of uncertainty, that is not really feasible.” PetroCaribe is an alliance of mainly Caribbean and Central American countries with Venezuela to purchase crude oil at discounted and deferred prices.
The payment system allows for purchase of oil on market value for five per cent to 50 per cent up front with a grace period of one to two years; the remainder can be paid through a 17-25 year financing agreement with one per cent interest if oil prices are above US$40 per barrel.
Deciding where to go for a Caribbean vacation
Belize has over 1,000 offshore cays (islands) and it is home to the largest cave system in Central America. It is home to the longest barrier reef in the hemisphere (and second largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia), perfect for scuba divers. Eco and culture enthusiasts will also enjoy ancient Mayan ruins and attractions like the Crooked Tree Wildlife sanctuary.
Central America: Strategies against school failure
Central America is seeking new strategies to protect schools from the violence committed by gangs, which has contributed to the academic failure of about 3.6 million children each year.
At the primary school level, 32.7% of Central American students drop out or repeat a grade. In high school, the figure rises to 69.2%, according to the report “Finishing School in Central America: The Pending Challenges” by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Of the eight countries analyzed in the report, Belize retains the highest percentage of students in primary school, with 86%, followed by the Dominican Republic (83.7%), Costa Rica (81.9%), Panama (81.2%), El Salvador (64.7%), Guatemala (52.5%) and Nicaragua and Honduras (44.3%).
In Honduras, students endure harassment, extortion and attacks by gangs.
About 7,315 young people under the age of 23 were murdered between March 1998 and March 2012 in Honduras, according to a study by the international organization Casa Alianza.