#477501 - 11/15/13 11:03 AM
Today's Belize News: November 15, 2013
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Danny García, light welterweight champion, vacations on Ambergris Caye
Undefeated professional boxer Danny García is in Belize and vacationing on Ambergris Caye. The current reigning WBC, Super WBA, and Ring Magazine, light welterweight champion flew in via Tropic Air from the Phillip SW Goldson International Airport shortly after 1:30PM. After being greeted by the staff at the Tropic Air, García was taken to a prime resort on Ambergris Caye. The San Pedro Sun’s Senior Reporter Jorge Aldana spoke to Oscar García, who said that he was excited to be in Belize. “I have never been to Belize,” said García. “I am here on vacation with my girlfriend, experiencing the world.” According to García, he and girlfriend Erica Mendez are looking forward to have best possible time. “We want to get to know Belize. We want to go diving and snorkeling and have a good Belizean time.”
Residents express concern over broken BWS sewer pipe
San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero, confirmed to The San Pedro Sun that he was made aware of the situation and that BWS was immediately contacted. According to the Mayor, he also brought up the issue with Keith Hardwick of BWS, following a meeting in Belize City on Tuesday November 12th. In a statement from BWS, the company said that they were made aware of the situation on November 10th and immediately dispatched personnel to the area. “Our investigations revealed that this was caused by the collapse of a man hole which caused blockage of the pipeline resulting in some seepage on the street in the Escalante Area. The blockage and overflow was immediately cleared and the area disinfected and the crew has diligently continued works to ensure the repair of the damaged sewer man hole,” said the statement. “San Pedro residents should note that this isolated problem poses no danger to the potable water supply to the citizenry of the Island. It is unfortunate that faults do occur from time to time; however, the sewerage system is designed with overflow bypasses to prevent or minimize such overflows,” added the statement. BWS who took the opportunity apologize to its San Pedro Town costumers.
Mayor Guerrero said that the matter was reported to the Public Health Inspector and also added that as soon BWS completes repair on its faulty sewer line, works will commence to replace the damaged cobble stone with concrete slabs.
NEMO Issues Public Advisory #2 – Flooding in Cayo
NEMO hereby advises the public of the following flooding conditions in the Cayo District and also warns the residents along the Mopan and Macal Rivers to take the necessary action and move to safety, evacuate all areas that floods along the rivers and do not to attempt to cross areas that are flooding.
Flood Warning is in effect for San Ignacio/Santa Elena.
Both approaches to Cristo Rey Bridge have been washed away. About 20 families in the Santa Elena area behind Three Flags up to the cemetery experienced a flash flood early this morning. NEMO Cayo has responded to assess the impact on people and the area.
The Baking Pot ferry is closed to traffic, the Low-lying Bridge between San Ignacio/Santa Elena and the Iguana Creek Bridge remains closed.
Save the date: Lighted Boat Parade is set for December 7th
This year the San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will be held on Saturday, December 7th. This traditional event heralds the holiday season and leads us into the holiday spirit with a fun event filled with twinkling lights, children’s laughter, Christmas carols and a spectacular night time boat parade spanning from Wayo’s Beach Bar to the north and the Caribbean Villas to the south – with amazing viewing spots everywhere in between. This year promises to be as well attended and enjoyable as each preceding year has been. We look forward to many regulars participating and invite new entrants to join the fun.
There are prizes in a number of categories for decorated boats, including most original and most religious and the Mayor’s choice with the coveted trophy cup.
The block party in Central Park will feature our favorite charity fundraising booths as well booths with local artists, and food booths offering seasonal food and drinks from renowned local restaurants. Booth rental applications will be available starting November 18th at the San Pedro Business Association (SPBA)office.
MOHO Chocolate Boutique – for all your chocolatey treats!
You know the feeling – Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversaries, whatever special occasion is right around the corner – and you have not gotten your presents sorted out. Now what?
Well, here to solve your dilemma is MOHO Chocolate. With a variety of tempting treats and products, you can find all sorts of goodies for the chocolate lover on your shopping list.
Established in January of 2012, MOHO Chocolate Factory produces high-quality organic chocolate from bean to bar. The cacao used is sourced from the rainforests of Belize, specifically Toledo, and comes from the farms of local entrepreneurs in the Moho region. From the cacao pod to the seeds and nibs until it is mixed with sugar and cacao butter, MOHO chocolate is crafted by hand to give you the most authentic chocolate bar. Or truffles. Or, cocoa powder. Or…you get the drift.
MOHO chocolate boutique in San Pedro has a variety of the many incarnations of the cacao, the plain dark chocolate bars, delicious truffles in a variety of flavors (ginger, chili, lime & chili, coconut…), hot chocolate mix, cocoa powder for baking and seasoning, roasted cacao seeds, nibs, t-shirts for the true chocoholic, scrubs, lip balm, and even a body wash with the delightful scent of chocolate infused right into the wash!
Garifuna Drummers (15 photos)
In the days leading up to Garifuna Settlement Day, the Garinagu on the island are participating in various activities. One group is going around performing drumming/dancing sessions, and we had them come by our office to give us and our neighbors quite the cultural treat!
Stinky Situation at Escalante Subdivision
Residents of Escalante Subdivision were complaining that there seemed to be a sewer leak in the area and with all the heavy rains over the weekend the streets flooded and seemed to be contaminated with fecal matter and the stench was unbearable to many in the area. This problem persisted into the week and residents made their complaints on the morning show and to media houses.
“Evidently there was/has been a sewage leak, starting in the Escalante Area and bubbling up onto the street adjacent to the Sugar Caye entrance for days. It may have been finally stopped yesterday. Unbelievably, I was not informed by anyone and learned through the rumor mill. This river of e-coli discharged into the lagoon within yards of the wells used to supply the Island’s drinking water. Fortunately, bacteria cannot survive our treatment process unless something goes wrong, and nothing went wrong,’” stated the Manager of Consolidated Waters Belize, Dee Dillon, in a letter sent to the media.
Belize Takes Action to End Violence against Children
Violence against children is all too often unseen, unheard and underreported, said UNICEF’s representative Ivan Yerovi, announcing the launch of a program in child protection aimed at changing social norms and engaging government and civil society to end violence against children. This was reasserted by the EU Ambassador Paola Amadei who stated that "I am happy also to see that this project will work to improve the response capabilities and sensitivity of public health and security officials to issues of child abuse. Improving the capacity of health and human service workers; the police; and educators, to detect, report, and halt physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children will be critical. We can work to treat the symptoms of this crisis as we also work to create long term and permanent change at a values level."
The program was launched at Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry Conference Room at on Thursday, November 7, 2013. The program urges all citizens, lawmakers and governments to take necessary actions to end violence against children. The program will build the capacity, engage and mobilize caregivers, adolescents, government and civil society organizations to develop, implement and monitor rights based program using a community model to prevent violence against children and to provide safe and protective environments.
Misc Belizean Sources
Health Fair in San Pedro November 22-23
A portion of the Mountain Pine Ridge road was affected by overnight flash flooding.
The Belize Weather Bureau says the moist and unstable conditions will remain with us for the next 24 to 36 hours.
Community working tog
The roughly eight hours of rain overnight in Cayo caused major damage in several areas. One area where a culvert was washed away is the Paslow Falls area in Bullet Tree Falls village. But instead of waiting for outside help, villagers in conjunction with their Village Council came together this morning, hired a backhoe and restored the washed away culvert.
A chunk of the peremiter wall at the Santa Elena football Stadium was torn away by flood waters.
The wind blew it down that entire fence bound to go down soon
Belize: Through My Eyes
The Benque House of Culture and CACHE are kicking off the Benque Festival of Culture tonight with the launch of their newest exhibit, entitled "Belize: Through My Eyes." It's a juried photo exhibition, and it all starts at 7:00pm. Benque will be having festivities Saturday, Sunday, and Monday too.
"Just one day more for the grand launch of the Juried Photographic Exhibition. Belize : Through my eyes... a collaboration of Belizean Artist and their work through their lenses..."
Panama's 10th Birthday Celebration
The Belize Zoo is celebrating Panama's 10th birthday today, starting at 10:30am. As part of the festivities they'll have an unveiling ceremony for an exquisite feather art display, with special guests Peter Hughes, Belize’s British High Commissioner, and Ornithologist Jonathan Urbina. Happy Birthday, Panama!
"Another year has almost gone by and on November 15th The Belize Zoo’s Ambassador Harpy Eagle, Panama, will be celebrating his 10th birthday. This will be a grand event with the launch of our new Harpy Eagle poster and the unveiling of original artwork by British High Commissioner, Peter Hughes, and artist, Jonathan Urbina, to commemorate Panama the Harpy Eagle's birthday. Harpies are the largest eagles in the Americas and when their double crested crown is fluffed up they look regal and majestic. Unfortunately, this species is Near Threatened through out its territory and Critically Endangered in Belize due to deforestation and persecution. Hence the reason Panama is very important in educating people about these apex predators!"
Washed out approaches to the Cristo Rey bridge restored
Personnel from the Ministry of Public Works have carried out the restoration of the washedout approaches to the Cristo Rey bridge, Cayo district.
The approaches were washed away during an early Thursday morning flash flood.
The Cristo Rey bridge is now reopen to the motoring public
Crooked Tree Island Isolated
Floodwaters are rising all across Belize tonight, in the West, North and Central parts of the country. 7News has deployed teams to these areas and we start in Crooked Tree Village where that community is now an isolated island depending on boats to ferry in relief supplies and ferry out many of the over one thousand residents who work and go to school in the city:
Jules Vasquez reporting
The Crooked Tree Lagoon is like a vast lake, coming up on two meters above the usual height - and the water keeps going up. The causeway is buried in the depths and is now just a way station - a transfer point between buses and boats.
"Explain to me what people are facing on a day to day basis?"
Darrell Tillett, Village Council Chairman
"People are facing a real difficult time especially the students and the commuters who go to and from the village to Belize City."
National Security Minister Says US Wiretaps Would Be “Regrettable”
And coming up we'll tell you about that frightening flash flood story from Cayo, but first we turn to some politics. As we've reported, immigration agent turned whistleblower Alverine Burgess has alleged that when she went to the US Embassy, a staffer there played back conversations that she'd had with Belize Rural North Representative Edmund Castro. Castro told us he doesn't believe Burgess. But what does the National Security Minister think? He's the highest ranking public official dealing with the US on security matters, and he said it would be "regrettable" if it were true:..
"As a National Security Minister, are you aware of the US engage in any electronic surveillance, electronic intercept or wired tapping activities in Belize?"
Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"Absolutely not and if it is occurring we would be saddened to know that that has occurred, but no, we are not aware of such occurring."
"Will you be speaking with your counterpart or whoever is your contact, the Liaison at the Embassy to ask them pointedly if they are conducting electronic surveillance of officials and private citizens in Belize?"
Saldivar Says GOB Won’t Budge On PAC Majority
Today, we also asked Saldivar to comment on the Public Accounts Committee. He has proposed a more inclusive group, which would include the social partners. He got the council of churches and the Evangelical Association to support it - and then he took it to the Chamber and the NTUCB. They welcomed the proposals and even congratulated Saldivar for it, but weren't quite satisfied. They wanted to shift the balance of power, and vest the majority in the opposition and social partners, and put government in the minority. Saldivar told us today that the issue of majority rule in parliamentary matters is non-negotiable:..
Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security
"They have accepted all of the proposals except the one concerning the actual composition of the PAC where had proposed 5 additional members; 2 from government, 1 from opposition and 2 from Social partners, maintaining government's majority on the committee and I believe that the union and the chamber are not in agreement with government maintaining its majority."
"That's a position from which we will not resile. The Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association are both in agreement without original proposal and so I will take it back to Cabinet on Tuesday and we will discuss it further and come up with a final way forward."
Flash Flood Strikes The West
Last night a flash flood hit the San Ignacio/Santa Elena and surrounding areas. IT washed out the bridge at Cristo Rey and wreaked all kinds of havoc in other areas. Work was done to repair the bridge today.
The major concern, though, is 20 families who were surprised by the flash flood in Santa Elena. Most of them woke up to water inside their house, but for 2 families in the Hill View Area, experienced the most dangerous elements of the flooding.
According to the Thompson and Requena families, the flash flood with over 6 feet of water slammed into their houses. Fortunately, they woke when the waters started to rise, and they got their families out. That's the good news, and that's all they were able to save: their lives. The flood did major damage to their homes destroying all of their belongings, and they spoke to us about how a mere few minutes of water did so much damage:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
This morning, Calbert Thompson stood in his Kitchen looking at what used to be his bedroom.
Flood Coursed Through Galen Campus
Galen University, a few miles outside of Santa Elena, had to close down their campus today because the flood dumped mud all over their campus grounds, and inside most of their buildings.
Today, the Director in the Officer of Student Affairs at the University explained what the faculty and staff encountered when they opened up this morning:
Monica Chun, Director of Student Affairs, Galen University
"This morning when we came in it was a complete disaster. Starting with the just the flooring it was covered in mud, the entire thing and then the books, especially the ones closer to the floor are completely damaged and we have to get rid of them because we can't really salvaged those anymore. Then our doors which are glass doors are actually broken from the pressure of the water from last night."
"Apart from the library we have; indoors, the restrooms that were just messed up with the mud and the other classrooms here in campus. Our faculty office was covered in mud and basically the entire lower flat of the campus."
UB New Chmn To Departing Pres: Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out!
TWO DAYS AGO, we told about the Letter from Dr. Cary Fraser that he is resigning from his post as the President of the University of UB. He hasn't made public given any reason why he's leaving 2 years into his 5-year contract, and it comes as surprise to many at the National University.
But, he's moving on, that's what the Board announced today, when they held a press conference to announce that they are already looking for a suitable replacement - which is a sure indication of what we've reported, that the board is not displeased with his decision to leave early. Today, the Chairman announced that they had to take steps given what information they had:
Harrison Pilgrim, Chair, Board of Trustees, UB
"The President announced at the commencement of a board meeting that he was considering an appointment that would take his away from the university and that if he decided to accept that offer he would be leaving the University of Belize by mid-2014."
Tomlinson Explains Why He’s Challenging Belize’s Immig Law
Last night, 7News showed you an excerpt of the interview which Jamaican Gay Rights Activist Maurice Tomlinson granted to our colleague, Kalilah Enriquez of Ceen News. He addressed the issue of the accusation that his ex-wife Deputy Sol Gen was somehow trying to craft laws in Belize in favour of the local pro-gay movement in Belize.
In that interview, Tomlinson also spoke about why he felt the need to challenge Belize's Immigration Act. Even though he has been to the country twice before finding out that the law exists, he says that it is a matter of principle that it must be repealed. According to Tomlinson, the law marginalizes homosexuals, classing them with prostitutes and other commercial sex workers, and puts a blanket ban on them from the country:
Faber Dismisses Report That Deputy PM Got Assistance For Daughter
You could call it the scandal season. Any allegation, no matter how outrageous, once it is about elected officials seems to have a whiff of credibility. And one such claim picked up traction on Facebook this morning where it is alleged that Deputy Prime Minister Gasper Vega used his influence to get financial assistance for his daughter who is attending Muffles College in Orange Walk. This type of assistance is regularly given to hundreds of needy students, but the daughter of Deputy Prime Minister is definitely not a needy student. If true, it's the kind of thing that makes you shake your head. But for Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, he was shaking his head because he said it is a concoction - a 100% bogus production devised by a mischief maker. He explained this and offered proof at a press briefing with the media today at his Belize City Office.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"This letter that is circulated I am pleased to report to the media that it is a fraud. Firstly; the letterhead that the letter is on does not match our letterhead at all. The font is completely different. The reference number that is on the letter on Facebook when I ask my people to pull the file in Belmopan it does not correspond to anything like that. The letter that has that reference number on our files speaks to a travel bursary that was given to a student in Orange Walk and nothing about a grant to Muffles College."
Tonight's profile is about Barbara Norales. The Dangriga resident is a well known promoter and what you might call a bon vivant, someone who enjoys a sociable lifestyle. But, that smile she always wears on her face wasn't always there. She grew up having to help fend for her family, and tonight she tells the profile how she was determined t make it through school:
UB Warns of Diabetes Dangers To Youth
Today was celebrated as World Diabetes Day, and in noting its importance the University of Belize held a Diabetes Conference for the student body. It is an effort to sensitize them about the dangers of one of the top ten killers around the world.
Today, we stopped in, and spoke to the organizers about why young people should learn that the disease does not discriminate against age:
Isabelle Bennett, Coordinator, UB Diabetes Conference
"The University is the training institution for the health personnel's of this country and so the university is focusing even more on how to trained the students in order for them to be assertive in order for them to be trailblazers and this is just one of the opportunities that we create now for the second time where they have to be able to so presentation on a very professional level. They have to be able to share current information about diabetes and our main goal for the conference last year and this year is to provide information and research being done on diabetes as well as nutrition, medication and exercise."
Cornelio Marfield, Chair - Belmopan Diabetes Association
"We are sitting generation; we sit in the morning behind the TV, sit in front of the plate of food, we sit on the bus, we sit travelling to work, we sit at church, we sit at school, we sit behind the electronic devices and we are not getting much outdoor activity. I would definitely encourage our young people to get more involved in the community. Get more involve in things like gardening, sporting and get the body more active because this is one of the way we can alleviate and prevent the increase of diabetes in our country."
UB Board of Trustees holds press conference; is president resigning?
The Board of Trustees of the University of Belize held a press conference at the facility’s gymnasium this afternoon. The purpose of the conference was to provide information on the [...]
But does president intend to leave in June 2014?
According to Pilgrim, the board took Fraser’s consideration of an appointment away from UB as a casual indication of thought. Reporter “You mentioned the statement that the president made [...]
Carey Fraser’s letter to the Prime Minister leaked to the media
As we mentioned at the top of the newscast, UB President Carey Fraser wrote Prime Minister Barrow informing him that he is considering resigning as head of that institution in [...]
Patrick Faber dispels rumours of grant provided to Gappy’s daughter
The social media has been abuzz over the past few days with allegations that the Ministry of Education has offered financial assistance to the daughter of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar [...]
Faber says it is attempt by the P.U.P. to try to scandal his ministry
Grants that are provided to all thirty-one area representatives to assist the students of their respective constituencies with the cost of education are distributed at the discretion of the individual [...]
Galen University under water…books and infrastructure destroyed by flooding
The National Emergency Management Organization has been issuing constant releases on the flooding caused by incessant rains. In the past weeks, most areas of the country have been inundated. This [...]
P.U.P. Leader speaks on the fate of Cordel Hyde
Cordel Hyde, he is the former Lake Independence Area Rep under the P.U.P. Administration. Since then, Hyde has left the party and has been seen as a traitor to the [...]
Will Luke Espat be able to contest to become Cayo Central standard bearer?
But for Luke Espat…his chances seem even slimmer than his political comrade. Several of Espat’s businesses have gone into receivership, including the Port of Belize Limited and Renaissance Towers. But [...]
VIP supports Senate-led Inquiry into passport and visa hustle
Vision Inspired by the People, in light of a recent news article published by the foreign press in which Guatemalan fugitive Roberto Barreda, accused of killing his wife before absconding [...]
19 year old woman found guilty of burglary
Today nineteen year old Kristen Dominguez was found guilty of burglary after Magistrate Clive Lino heard testimony from the victim, Dinora Guzman and also from Dominguez’s witness. According to Guzman, [...]
Dwayne Davis to stand trial for murder
Thirty-two-year-old Dwayne Albert Davis will stand trial for the murder of Doctor Ivan Enriquez Gomez Garcia, a Guatemalan national who was killed inside his home on June 2012. Gomez was [...]
A newly remodeled and reintroduced Courts Belize
It has been in the jewel for the past twenty years providing top of the line products and services to approximately ten percent of the Belizean population. And after almost [...]
Healthy Living looks at a very common stomach infection
If you suffer from ongoing stomach discomfort then the following story may interest you. Tonight, we finds out about a very common stomach infection that may be causing most of [...]
BSCFA Says BSI Benefiting From Bagasse For Years Now
Sticking to the Bagasse issue, in a release sent to all media houses on November 11th, BSI spoke about the topic for the first time, since renegotiations of the new agreement came to halt, after farmers announced that they wanted a ten percent payment for every ton of the by-product used to produce energy by BELGOGEN.
In the release, BSI made it known that for 30 years prior to 2010 BSI dealt with the Bagasse and its disposal at a substantial cost, amounting to approximately BZ$20 million without any contribution from the BSCFA. To add to this, BSI planned, designed, financed (through equity and loans), the co-generation plant BELCOGEN at a capital investment of BZ$130 Million dollars, again without any investment from BSCFA.
No Breakthrough On BSI/BSCFA Disagreement
Tonight there is more to report on the ongoing disagreement between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. For weeks we have been reporting that there is unease in the Sugar Industry since BSI has refused to meet with the BSCFA to discuss revenue sharing as it pertains to bagasse, a by-product of the sugar cane.
While the miller is saying no to negations, the BSCFA says there is an agreement with B.S.I. on revenue sharing. Based on that clause farmers are asking for ten dollars per ton of bagasse used to produce energy and sold to the national grid.
The issue has seen a halt on the renegotiations of the new agreement between the miller and the producer. In a release issued a few days ago BSI invited BSCFA to meet in Belize City to continue discussing the new agreement and touch the bagasse issue at a later date. The BSCFA responded by stating they would need to meet with all branch Chairmen to discuss whether or not they will entertain the invite.
Sarteneja Residents Plea For Assistance
The heavy down pour of rains last week has left the road leading to Sarteneja Village submerged under water. As a result, several buses and taxis refuse to go all the way to the village leaving residents, who travel on the road on a daily basis, to walk barefoot through the murky waters. Our news team travelled through rapidly depleting road conditions which revealed the horrible tale of the local residents. Maria Novelo and Videographer Jesus Melgar bring you the following report.
Maria Novelo- Reporting
“The one who want to go to Orange Walk has to get into the water and pass to the next side to go to Orange Walk and no assistance has given to this area, nothing. I would like to tell them to speed up the work and to give us some attention because we need this road here every day and because I have to travel to go to my farm and every day I hae to come in and get out again.”
Dr. Cary Fraser Tenders Resignation
For the past few days rumors have been circulating about the resignation of University of Belize’s president Dr. Cary Fraser who was appointed in August 2011 and was contracted to serve for a period of five years. This afternoon the University of Belize’s Board of Trustees called a press conference to update the general public and the media on the letter sent by Dr. Carey to the Prime Minister of Belize on his intention to step down as President at the end of the academic year. The Press Conference started with a Statement by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mr. Harrison Pilgrim.
“On November 1 of this year, that is 13 days ago, the President announced at the commencement of a Board meeting that he was considering an appointment that will take him away from the University and that if he decided to accept that offer he will be leaving the University of Belize by mid-2014. On November 6, the President wrote to the Prime Minister of Belize and advised him that, quote “I have made THE decision and I will leave the University of Belize at the end of the current academic year”; that letter was copied to the Leader of the Opposition and to the Minister of Education and the President; he mailed a copy of the correspondence to the Chairman of the Board on November 9.
Sarteneja Residents Appeal for Help
Residents of Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District are still facing difficulties in traversing the Sarteneja Road. More than half a mile of the road between Chunox Village and Sarteneja Village has been inundated by water overflowing from a lagoon that is adjacent to that section of the road. This new obstacle has been affecting everyone and up to last week Saturday, the Sarteneja Bus Line Company has stopped picking up residents who would usually board the bus at the village. But now the villagers have to walk more than a mile in the murky waters to meet the bus which is waiting for them at the other end. According to bus driver, Joel Diaz, the company made the decision to have the villagers walk after the flood damaged three of their buses.
“We have two buses that come and pick people up at the side of the water. One comes at 5 o’clock in the morning and one leaves from here at 7. We have the other bus coming from Sarteneja and drop the people off on the next side of the water. In the afternoon they have one at 4 o clock in the evening and the next one is 8 o‘clock at night.”
“How difficult is it for you and the company?”
“Well actually it is really difficult because for example last week four of our differentials broke because of water going inside the differential. Even for us, we left our homes so we can stay at Chunox so that we could move the people to their working area.”
GSU Executes Search in Old Capital
Today at about 11:30am, members of the Gang Suppression Unit executed a Search Warrant at the residence of 35-year-old Natalie Lismarie Fuller 35 years, of Regent Street West in Belize City. The house is about two feet off the ground and has one bedroom. Present at the time were Natalie along with four other family members. A search of the bedroom in the house, resulted in the discovery of a cream suitcase that contained 2 black plastic bags with a total of 262 grams of cannabis. A search of the yard was also conducted leading to the discovery of a yellow with blue, red and white in color Tommy Hilfiger brand bag in some mangrove next to the house. Inside the bag were 23 black plastic bags; all containing cannabis with a total weight of 2.9 kilograms. Natalie Fuller claimed responsibility for the drugs found. As a result she was charged with two counts of Possession of a Controlled drug with Intent to Supply to another.
Relief Supplies For Crooked Tree Residents
The arrival of supplies from the National Emergency Management Organization today in Crooked Tree Village marked the first sign of assistance to enter that community from the state-sponsored organization. While villagers have been complaining for a couple days now that they were in need of particularly food supplies, NEMO’s representative in Crooked Tree, Calbert Budd, says that almost all of the village’s roughly one thousand residents have been affected in one way or another.
“People are facing real difficult times and especially the students and the people who have to go to and from the village to Belize City. Right now we are trying to focus on the people in the low lying area so we are doing an assessment right now. Most people are asking for food stuff. Anybody out there who would want to contribute we would really appreciate it.”
According to Calbert Budd, the District Emergency Management Organization’s representative in Crooked Tree, there was a delay in the provision of supplies because of a communication breakdown at the ground level.
Vendors Complete Training in Business Components
The Belize City Council in partnership with the Small Business Development Center and CARILED today held the closing ceremony for the training component of the BTL Park Renovation Project. All forty-two applicants for small businesses to be located in BTL Park were required, as part of the application process, to participate in the training which lasted five days. The training focused on several business oriented skills and knowledge including business management, marketing and customer service. As part of the training, participants had to legally register their business, develop a business plan and go through a practicum in which they had to develop and market a product and sell the product from designated areas in Belize City. All participants received a certificate of completion.
Sugar Industry: Back to the Negotiating Table
We have reported on the issue of the ongoing controversy over payment for bagasse that cane farmers through the BSCFA have been requesting. Yesterday the PUP Northern caucus issued a release in which it expressed its full support for the cane farmers in their negotiations. The PUP calls on BSI to honor the revenue sharing agreement for bagasse as a by-product. In fact, the PUP Northern Caucus says that contrary to BSI’s claim, cane farmers have invested millions of dollars in the COGENERATION industry by way of producing more than three hundred thousand tons of raw materials at a cost more than five million dollars. And as such the PUP categorically rejects BSI’s claim that the cane farmers have no investment in Belcogen’s Cogeneration Industry. The PUP Northern Caucus ends its release by calling on the Minister of Agriculture and the Government of Belize to ensure that negotiations resume and farmers be justly rewarded for their contributions to the sugar industry. Today Love news spoke with Jose Novelo from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Novelo has been the Ministry’s representative and has been speaking with both sides.
Mexican Marines Detain Belizeans on Drug Charges
Three Belizeans along with a Mexican national were caught with cocaine near the Belize Mexico border. According to sources in Mexico, the three Belizeans in the company of a Mexican were riding around in a vehicle in the neighboring town of Subteniente Lopez. Marines from the Mexican army, who had received an anonymous tip, intercepted the vehicle on Cuauhtemoc Street where their search led to the discovery of four pounds four ounce of cocaine in the vehicle. The Belizean men only identified themselves as Michael, Ardelfo and Orlando, while the Mexican man identified himself as Freddy. Up to news time we were unable to confirm the true identity of the men. The four men remain detained in Chetumal awaiting directives from the DPP office in Q.Roo.
Another Murder Acquittal in Belize’s Court
In a trial without jury, Kevin Bodden, charged with the murder of Kirk Belisle, was acquitted of the charge today by Justice Adolph Lucas when he upheld a “no case” submission made by Bodden’s attorney, Kareem Musa. But although Bodden was freed of the murder charge he was not free because he has an attempted murder charge for which trial is still pending and for which he needs bail. Belisle was shot and killed on April 10, 2011, on Lacroix Boulevard. When the police arrived at the scene they saw him lying face up on the pavement. His car was in the middle of the road. Musa submitted that there was no positive identification by any of the witnesses for the Crown. He said that according to the testimony of the main witness, David Rivas, he did not see clearly who the shooter was because the shooter fired from afar with his face down. Musa also submitted that there were inconsistencies between the two statements by Rivas that were admitted into evidence. Rivas in the first statement said that he knew a person who he referred to as “Modas” for a short time and in his second statement he said he knew Modas for a long time. Musa also submitted that there was no dock identification and that there was no identification parade. Crown Counsel Kayshia Grant represented the prosecution.
Is UB’s President on the Edge of Resigning?
Dr. Carey Frazer was installed as President of the University of Belize in August of 2011. He was hired on a 5 year contract, through what was perhaps the first transparent selection process for president at the institution. But after just two years, could his residency be coming to...
Has the President of the University of Belize Applied to Resign?
The President of the University of Belize, Dr. Carey Frazer, has released a statement regarding rumors that he intends to resign from the institution. When we spoke with Dr. Frazer on Tuesday, he informed us that he had been approached about leaving, but that he would only make a...
Police Precinct 1 of Belize City Earns Important Recognition
The Belize City Council today recognized the efforts of traffic officers of the Belize Police Department attached to Precinct One, Eastern Division. Typically the Council’s own Traffic Department and Police are separate entities but they often work together and that reduces each department’s workload. With more here is Councilor...
Eight Alleged Smugglers of Illegal Substances get Arraigned under Serious Restrictions
Earlier this week, we showed you the major bust of 7 containers containing suspected drug precursors. The containers were being transported on the Bullet Tree Road in a blue truck, accompanied by a red pickup. Police are still awaiting the lab results for all seven containers and so today’s...
Ambassador of Israel presents his Nation’s Interests for Belize and the World
The long-standing dispute between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Arab people has dominated world headlines for a very long time. Israel was established in 1948 after being ruled by the British, with a trio of separate enclaves developed for the Palestinians. But both sides have been at...
Teacher-Students of UB Launch the Practical Blast on Special Education Children
On Wednesday morning, student-teachers of the University of Belize, came out of the class room and into the community as part of a biannual community outreach program. Student’s got down and creative, introducing fresh ideas based on factual research to help motivate children, especially at the primary school level...
Will the Caribbean Court of Justice Bend to the Homosexual Agenda?
This past Tuesday, a five-member panel of the Caribbean Court of Justice met to consider the application of Jamaican gay rights activist and attorney Mr. Maurice Tomlinson for special leave to file under the Court’s original jurisdiction against Belize and Trinidad and Tobago. Both countries, Mr. Tomlinson contends, are...
#477502 - 11/15/13 11:04 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: November 15, 2013
More News: Scroll up from here
Castro with the People
Despite all the allegations being tossed about against Hon. Edmund 'Clear the Land' Castro, the undaunted area representative keeps on doing what he does best, representing his constituency. On Wednesday, November 13th, we found the two time area representative in the Sandhill community Center tending to the needs of his people. Speaking to Hon. Castro he explained that he holds officer hours at his Ministry of Works office every Monday where a lands officer has been attached to him in order for him to assist his constituents with land matters. Then every first Wednesday of every month he holds office to see his constituents in Bermudian Landing in the mornings and in Burrell Boom in the afternoon. Every second Wednesday of every month he holds office hours in Sand Hill and on the Third Wednesdays he holds office in Maskall in the morning and in Crooked Tree in the afternoon.
And the people he attends to are those like Deidra Dawson a young mother of 4 children ages 14, 7, 6, and 11 months. She was at the community center in Sandhill confirming that she will be added on to the list of persons who benefit from the BOOST program. According to Hon. Castro, like Dawson, an additional 170 persons more will be added to the existing Boost program in the Belize Rural North constituency. These persons will see the first disbursement on December 17th of this year. Hon. Castro says that it is through government programs like these he has been able to extend to the people of Rural North and he says he will continue to do so.
Police find chemical precursors in Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo
On Monday of this week, a towhead truck was discovered by Police parked on the Calla Creek Road, just outside the Bullet Tree Falls Police Sub Station, with barrels containing mysterious substances. On further inspection and after opening securely locked doors on the truck, the team of police officers found ten 50 gallon barrels. The blue barrels each contained an unknown chemical substance, which Police recorded to have had a strong aroma.
On further investigation, Police proceeded to Ricardo Garcia, who was in charge of the truck, and who informed them that he was willing to pay the Police Officers to leave the case aside. Police also found Emil Williams, from Calcutta Village and Patrick Smith, from Ranchito Village, sleeping inside the cab of the truck.
Meanwhile; Emil Williams claimed that the towhead truck was his property and that he was only doing freight service for Ricardo Garcia. All persons were shown the contents within the barrels and told that they will be detained as further testing will be conducted on the found substance.
Belize Hosts the Most Coveted Prize on Earth
Thanks to a promotional agreement between Coca Cola and FIFA, millions of people who would have never been able to get within a hundred miles of the FIFA World Cup Trophy now have the opportunity to get up close and almost personal with the most coveted prize in sports. Belizeans had that opportunity when the FIFA World Cup Trophy arrived in Belize on Thursday, November 7th.
The trophy arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport shortly after 9 a.m. to a welcome usually reserved for Heads of State and royalty. Special guests and members of the press were allowed unto the tarmac of the PGIA as the spectacularly dressed Coca Cola jet touched down. The fourteen and a half inches tall, thirteen and a half pound eighteen-karat gold symbol of triumph has as large a security team as any visitor in the country’s history (including Queen Elizabeth II), and it was amidst heavy guard that a press conference was held in the VIP Arrival Lounge of the airport.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Herman Longsworth, thanked the tour organizers on behalf of the Government and people of Belize. Longsworth said, “I’d like to express on behalf of the Government and the people of Belize how very privileged we are. Thank you very much to Coca Cola and to FIFA for having put us on the list of countries that this gem for sports is going to visit."He added, “Sports is, in my opinion, the primary vehicle through which we can move our society out of where it is. Football, being the main- most popular sport in Belize, I believe will play an integral part and maybe the primary role in moving that forward.”
By Any Means Necessary
It would appear that Channel 5 has taken on the position that they will try to destabilize the government by any means necessary. On Monday night they continued to push the envelope when they put Alvarene Burgess on the Dickie Bradley show, this time for an hour long session of very much the same thing that she has been saying. The only difference in this case was that she agreed to show her face.
Burgess by her own admission has stated that she is some sort of agent for passports and visas, but by some grace she has decided to come clean. By our information she has been at it for years but it seems that she has now gotten enough and is coming clean for the sake of the country. By her accounts, she visited Hon. Edmund Castro, who according to her original story she got 200 recommendations from Hon. Castro. Then she made her appearance on Dickie Bradley's talk show where her numbers changed, she claimed she visited Hon. Castro at least 25 times, each time getting 6 or 7 recommendations. It would seem that she keeps on changing her numbers, and by Hon. Castro's reckoning it is almost impossible for her to have visited him that many times at his Belmopan office since he is not in office that often in the first place.
The Governments of Belize and the Republic of Kazakhstan Establish Diplomatic Relations
adorial level. The signing took place in Washington, D.C. Thursday, November 7, 2013. Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was His Excellency Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America. Signing on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan was His Excellency, Kairat Umarov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United States of America. H.E. Ambassador Mendez was accompanied by Ms. Ardelle Sabido, Deputy Chief of Mission/Minister Counsellor; Ms. Kendall Belisle, First Secretary; and Ms. Lauren Quiros, Second Secretary/Consul, members of the staff at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, D.C.
The establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Kazakhstan, located in Central Asia, 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 Ambassadors reiterated their commitment to strengthening the ties between their two nations by identifying potential areas of cooperation
International Awakening on Gender Issues
Recently, there have been movements in many countries around the world indicating that more and more people are beginning to understand gender issues at a deeper level. In many cases this awakening is catalyzed by a particularly heinous act that forces people to question the underlying cultural and traditional practices and beliefs that serve as a source for gender inequity and gender violence. Gang rapes where the victim is brutally attacked and then tossed aside like garbage, especially where the perpetrators receive little if any official sanction, have recently sparked widespread protests in India, South Africa and Kenya.
The protests go beyond the facts of the individual cases to the seeming impunity for perpetrators, regardless that every country in the world has laws in place to protect women against rape. The protests sparked by the latest case in Kenya were directed against the police authorities for their handling of the gang rape of a 16 year old girl, who was raped by three men and then thrown into a latrine and left for dead. The attack left her wheelchair bound from a broken back and with horrendous internal injuries, but the police thought that an appropriate punishment for her attackers was to chop the grass around the police compound. This illustrates that the need for changing attitudes is greater than the need for changes to the laws.
Vega’s Cup Championship this Sunday, November 17th
The 2013 Vega’s Cup Tournament will come to an end on Sunday, November 17th, 2013, at the Trial Farm Football Field.
The first game of the afternoon will commence at 1:30pm for third and fourth place match between Barrio Boys and San Jose FC.
Then at 3:30pm it will be the main game of the afternoon for the Championship between Old School and Jaguars United.
The Award Ceremony will take place immediately after the championship game.
The newly crowned Champion will receive $3,000.00 plus a team trophy and the individual players’ trophies. The sub-champion will receive $2,000.00 plus team a trophy and the individual players’ trophies. The 3rd place team will receive a $1,000.00 plus a team trophy and individual awards. While the 4th place will receive $500.00 and a team trophy.
Toledo East to Endorse Eden Martinez
Peter Eden Martinez continues to lobby on behalf of the people of Toledo East. As Minister of Human Development in the previous administration he brought tremendous social relief to the people of Toledo by championing the United Democratic Party’s pro-poor policies. Martinez worked with the Ministry of Education to see record secondary school enrollment for students from Toledo East. He rolled out the Conditional Cash Transfer Program (Operation BOOST) which provided financial incentives for families to stress the importance of participation in school and other developmental activities. Now out of Government, Martinez continues to represent the people of Toledo East.
While the elected Area Representative, Mike Espat, seem to be only concerned about the construction of a bridge, Martinez continues to present the concerns of his constituents to those in authority. A lifelong social worker, Eden continues to review the effectiveness of programs such as BOOST and the Food Subsidy to advise on how it can better benefit the people of Toledo East. It is because he continues to champion the issues they care about that Village Chairmen from Bella Vista, Monkey River, Bladden, San Pablo, Trio, Forest Home and Elridgeville have already endorsed him for the upcoming UDP Convention Season.
A Central American Education Policy Proposal reviewed in Belmopan
A Central American Education Policy PEC Proposal for the year 2013 to 2021 was reviewed at the University of Belize (UB) Gymnasium on Tuesday of this week in Belmopan. The morning session saw the participation of the main stakeholders from the Belize Ministry of Education as well as the proponents of a Central American effort to unite the region towards higher educational standards.
The thrust for PEC is being headed by Maria Eugenia Paniagua, Secretary General of the Central American Education and Culture Coordination area within the Central America Integration System (SICA), who told the Guardian that funding for the Project was largely coming from the European Union. Maria Paniagua believes that Belize’s Education Authorities have a firm grip on what is to be done within the education sector.
The proposal for PEC follows a recommendation from the Council of Ministers of Education of Countries belonging to SICA, in keeping with Resolution Number One of the 16th Meeting of Ministers of Education held in San Salvador, El Salvador on December 1st and 2nd of 2011. PEC itself is a set of guidelines chartering a common course in education matters as identified by regional priorities.
UB Signs Academic Cooperation areement with Mexican Universities
A delegation from three universities in Chihuahua, Mexico was in Belize to foster trade and education cooperation with Belize. The delegation includes administrators as well as teachers and students in the field of international trade from Tecnologica de la Tarahumara, TecMilenio and UTCam. While in Belize the delegation will host trade shows, participate in seminars with students from the University of Belize and draft cooperation agreements between institutions.
The two day visit took place on Tuesday, November 12th, and Wednesday, November 13th. On Tuesday, the Mexican students acted as trade ambassadors at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City as they showcased products from Camargo, Chihuahua. Those products include chipotle peppers, pepper sauce, body cream, nutrition bars, walnuts and silver jewelry. They presented those products to local merchants as well as business students from the University of Belize in Belize City. It was a very cordial atmosphere inside the Institute as students from Mexico and Belize shared jokes, handshakes and stories. They exchanged e-mail addresses and took numerous pictures. Chihuahua is located north of Mexico and borders the United States of New Mexico and Texas; therefore, there was no language issue because the Mexican students speak English well.
Ministry of Health discourages the use of Vitalikor drug
The Ministry of Health would like to advise the general public not to purchase or use VITALIKOR which is sold as a sexual enhancement product on websites, pharmacies and supplements stores.
The advice is based on recommendations by the Food and Drug Administration which detected the presence of Tadalafil and Vardenafil. Both are active ingredients in Cialis and Levitra which are prescribed drugs, but are not mentioned as ingredients in Vitalikor.
These undeclared ingredients may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs as nitroglycerin used in treating men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. The consumption of the Vitalikor supplement in combination with prescriptive drugs containing nitrates may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Eastern Zone Wins Police Minister’s Award for October 2013
On Wednesday, November 13th, Minister of National Security with responsibility for Police, Hon. John Saldivar, presented his Monthly Awards for best performance in reducing major crimes during the month of October, 2013.
The Eastern Zone, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura, saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of October, with Precinct 2 performing the best in that region. Assistant Commissioner Segura received from Hon. Saldivar a Cheque of $1,000 for the outstanding performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Superintendent Alford Grinage who commands Precinct 2.
The Minister of National Security presented the awards at the start of his monthly meeting with zone, formation and branch commanders from around the country, conducted at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The meeting was chaired by Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie.
Belize Defends Policy against Commercialization of Homosexuality
Acting Deputy Solicitor General Nigel Hawke is being assisted by Crown Counsels Herbert Panton and Iliana Swift in the defense of Belize’s stance against the commercialization of homosexuality in Belize by foreigners.
Maurice Arnold Tomlinson, attorney and gay rights advocate from Jamaica, is challenging the immigration laws of Belize and Trinidad and Tobago because he believes they violate his right to free movement within the Caribbean Community as enshrined in the Treaty of Chaguramas. Section 5 of the Immigration Act of Belize list as prohibited immigrants: “(e) any prostitute or homosexual or person who may be living on or receiving or may have been living on or receiving the proceeds of prostitution or homosexual behavior.”
Tomlinson was invited by the United Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) to conduct an advocacy and human rights training session in Belize City from January 14-16, 2013 but claims he was legally barred from entering Belize by the Immigration Act since he is a gay man and he does not want to break the law. However, in an affidavit, Tomlinson has admitted that he has visited Belize on at least two occasions. His most recent visit was between July 17 and 21, 2012. Tomlinson claims he was not aware of the Immigration Act at that time and says he was not denied entry into Belize. However, his challenge stands.
Belize marine conservation organization ReefCI, receives Global recognition at the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards.
Highly commended for Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences goes to Marine conservation organization ReefCI at the 2013 10th annual World responsible tourism awards.
The winners and highly commended were announced at the World Travel Market (WTM) exhibition in the UK to an audience of tourism ministers, destination managers, industry professionals and media.
The WTM exhibition, held at Excel, London on 4-7 November 2013 is the leading global event for the travel industry.
This is a huge acknowledgement for Belize and Toledo; we have shown the world that Belize is not just an incredible destination but we also take responsible tourism very seriously.
The awards panel of judges pre-announced:
‘We are focusing on organizations that are both committed to wildlife protection and to providing their guest with memorable experiences tourists will talk about and share with friends and family when back home.
Who Elected the Social Partners?
Lately it seems like there was an election that only the “social partners” know about. Every single time this Government reaches out to include them in decision making bodies (which they have never been a part of) they want the administration to surrender its decision making power as well. The Public Accounts Committee is the latest unit for which Government should relinquish majority control. Not even the Churches support the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Chamber of Commerce on such a position.
After the social partners expressed their dissatisfaction with the hearings of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon. John Saldivar held meetings with every interested body to discuss the role and future of the Committee. He also informed them that Government would grant their request to be part of the committee and all reports from the Committee to the House would include a minority opinion, if there is one. On Thursday, November 7th, the NTUCB and the Chamber issued a joint press release to “congratulate the Government of Belize on its efforts to restructure the composition of the PAC”. However, they would like the Committee to be comprised of four members from Government, two from the Opposition and three social partners. The opposition should also maintain chairmanship of the Committee.
Capitalizing on Solar Energy
The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities along with the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust is holding a week long training course entitled “Solar System Design and Installation.” The training is being held from November 11th to 16th in Belize City by the Caribbean Photovoltaic Installation Training Agency.
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry, Dr. Colin Young, explained that 20 participants from across the country, 4 of whom are young women, will be partaking in the training exercise. He added that the course comes after consultations were held with the private sector, and during these consultations, concerns expressed indicated that there was a need for trained personnel to install solar electricity systems.
At the end of the training sessions says Dr. Young, the participants would be able to work on designing and installing small solar panel systems to provide customers with solar energy to run household appliances or for water heating systems. According to Young, the ministry is targeting persons who are not connected to the national electricity grid as well as small users of electricity.
Traffic Department Honours Police Precinct One
On Wednesday, November 13th, Belize City Councilor Alifa Elrington Hyde presented Certificates of Appreciation to Superintendent Alden Dawson and three officers of Belize City’s Precinct One Police Station.
PC-209 Jermaine Hyde, PC-1097 Santos Chub and PC-1430 Herman Alcoser are attached to the Traffic Branch of Precinct One Police Station. Elrington is the Councilor responsible for the Belize City Traffic Department. She says, “The officers of Precinct One have been very helpful to the [Traffic] Department. They often assist with manning check points and enforcing the traffic regulations.” Elrington says the officers are also issuing traffic tickets and that has resulted in an increase in revenue.
Dawson says the partnership with the Traffic Department has provided a relief for the Police Department. Previously, the police officers issued court warrants for traffic offenses. They then had to full out a lot of paper work and go to court to enforce penalties.
The wail of desperation from Channel Fox is getting louder with this visa non-issue and the spurious accusations against Hon. Castro. Fox and friends have now put the lady on a TV show and there is a new twist in her tale. This time she’s claiming that the US Embassy summoned her for an interview relating to her allegation that Chinese visitors paid thousands to Castro for visas to Belize. She further claimed that the interrogation lasted three hours and left her in tears.
I have a few comments concerning Miss Lady before I proceed to my main topic. First, if she is telling the truth, she is certainly guilty of being an accomplice to whatever scam she is accusing Mr. Castro of committing. On the other hand, if she is lying for money, then that makes her, well, a liar and a thief. Secondly, in all her appearances this mini version of Edward Snowden can never present a shred of evidence to support her story. Skeptics who listened to her yarn on Monday night may well believe that she may have gone to the Embassy to apply for a US visa and was thoroughly interrogated as to her intentions in the States. Most likely she was curtly refused, and her tears were as a result of the $360 or so that she lost with the application.
Felicia Chen committed to stand trial for Triple Murder
On Friday November 8th, Felicia Chen had her murder case committed to the Supreme Court at the end of a Preliminary Inquiry before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith.
After reviewing the evidence against Chen, the Chief Magistrate committed Chen’s murder case to the April 7th, 2014 session of the Supreme Court.
Chen, who is represented by Attorney Antoinette Moore, arrived on the Prison bus without special police escort, as had been in the past. Attorney at the Director of Public Prosecution’s Office, Alford Humes, presented evidence in the form of a bundle which contained statements from Chen’s surviving daughter, police officers, Dr. Mario Estradabran and other persons who were involved in the case. Also handed over were documentary exhibits such as birth and death certificates of the dead children, post mortem reports of the three children, pictures and a copy of a protection order.
Marvin Cruz Reyes, guilty of attempted murder
On Monday, November 12th, Marvin Cruz Reyes, 28, was sentenced to 15 years at the Hattieville Prison after he was found guilty of the attempted murder of Kareem Wright, 30.
Reyes’ case has been delayed several times due to Wright’s condition which had affected him from coming to court to testify on numerous occasions.
On August 26, 2007, Wright was shot multiple times and even though he survived, life has never been the same for him. He is now confined to a bed and a wheel chair, unable to care for himself.
Monday was a retrial for Reyes because he first had a trial in July of 2009 which ended in 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.
Kevin Anthony Jex charged with the attempted Murder
On Friday, November 8th, Kevin Anthony Jex was remanded to the Hattieville prison after he was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm.
According to reports, on November 5, 2013, Desmond Miller, 49, a security guard for the City council, was standing in front of the council when he was approached by Jex who then hit him to the back of his head with a piece of wood, causing a large cut to Miller’s head.
Miller was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was admitted in a critical condition. Miller died on Sunday at around 5:30p.m. As a result Jex is expected to be taken back to Magistate’s Court where the charges will be upgraded to murder
Change is Never Easy
We are generally comfortable with what we know, and the older we get the more resistant to change we become. The trick is to balance the innovation of youth with the wisdom of age, and this becomes increasingly difficult as technological advances compress the time frame for change. This is especially noticeable in the area of cultural values and expectations, where what served society well during the age of horse drawn carriages is no longer relevant in the digital era. In the area of gender dynamics it is possible that a majority of men and a significant number of women are still riding an old fashioned stage coach oblivious to the jet propelled spacecraft that race past them. Sometimes an extreme example helps us to understand why some traditional views on gender are no longer relevant and need revision.
Saudi Arabia may be the richest country on earth, using the latest oil technology to pump out the black gold that underpins its wealth, but in politics, social organisation and gender relations, it is still riding camels from one desert oasis to the next. A daily affront and inconvenience that Saudi women face is the ban on female drivers that renders them totally dependent on their male relatives.
Pleads guilty to stealing over $15,000 worth of jewelry
On Monday, November 11th, Desiree Mejia, 51, a domestic of #182 East Collet Canal, was sentenced to two year in prison after pleading guilty to stealing over $15,000 worth of jewelry, watches and a Black Berry cell phone, the properties of Lisa Johnson, a trauma surgeon of the city.
Johnson had reported to police that between July 10, 2013 and September 15, 2013, a peach colored Sachel brand purse containing an assortment of jewelry, name brand wrist watches, and a Black Berry cell phone went missing from her house, the items estimated to be valued at $15,520.
Police launched an investigation into the matter, which led them to detain Mejia who was a domestic worker for Johnson. Mejia allegedly confessed to police that she stole the items and on November 8, 2013, police were able to recover one gold ring with a sapphire stone from JL’s Pawn Shop. The following day, November 9, police then recovered some of the stolen jewelry and the cell phone from one of Mejia’s daughters, Keosha Trapp.
American Pastor and his wife charged for not declaring over US $20,000
On Monday, November 11th, American couple, a Pastor and his wife, found themselves in custody after they failed to declare over $21,000 US dollars when entering the jurisdiction.
The 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 week Friday, November 8.
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 where he found a whopping US $21,000, which had not been declared. A search of West person, led to the discovery of US $7,000 inside his left pants pocket and US $300 inside his wallet, which had not been declared either.
Michael Joseph Silva reappears in San Ignacio
On Thursday, November 7th, Michael Joseph Silva was arraigned without much fanfare in at the San Ignacio Magistrate Court where he was formally charged with murder in relation to the killing of Maritza Santos which occurred on September 23, 2011. After appearing before a Magistrate, Silva was adjourned to January 23, 2014. Silva had been out of the country for two years following the killing of Santos.
Police had received information at about 7:10 on that date of September 23, 2011 at a concrete residence in the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio and upon arrival saw the body of a female later identified to be that of Maritza Santos in one of the bedrooms apparently dead with a cut wound to the forehead. Also found in the house was a quart of herbicide.
Michael Silva, a Belizean businessman was then taken to the Belize Healthcare Partners in Belize City in an attempt to neutralize the effects of having ingested poison after which he continued his treatment in Guatemala to prevent further damages to his internal organs.
Belize City Primary Schools Football Championship next week
The weather continues to play havoc on the ongoing primary schools football competition across the country.
In Belize City, the championship, rural finals and the District finals have all been postponed because of the weather.
On Wednesday, November 6, in the Belize City boys’ semi-final game one, Ebenezer Methodist School defeated St. Joseph by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Godwin Neal.
In game two, St. Martin De Porres blanked James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist by the score of 4-0. The goals for St. Martin De Porres were scored by Marquis Conorquie, Glenn Arzu (2) and Keauan Avilez.
The championship games are scheduled for next week. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School will see action against Holy Redeemer School and in the boys’ championship it will be Ebenezer Methodist School against St. Martin De Porres.
Cycling Association training Road Race Officials
The Belize Cycling Association (BCA) would like to notify its members that they are continuing the training of Road Race Officials and Race Caravan Drivers in the Western and Northern Zones. The training for the Western Zone will be held on Saturday, November 16 from 9:00 a.m. at Hodes Place, in San Ignacio; and the Northern Zone will be held on Saturday, November 23rd, in Corozal Town (venue to be announced later). Persons interested in becoming a Road Race Official are welcomed.
All Teams are notified that it is mandatory for their team to have at least two drivers to participate in the training, as the sessions on Race Caravan Drivers apply to them.
The BCA is working to improve the sport of Cycling in Belize; we are undertaking these training to ensure our members are aware of the rules and regulations as it applies to road racing. Please note that the policy, to ensure that Race Caravan Drivers are certified to be a part of the Road Race Caravan, will be implemented at the road race event schedule for December 22nd.
International Olympic Committee has a new president
While Belizeans at home and abroad were celebrating the 215th Anniversary of the historic Battle of St. George’s Caye on September 10, 2013, members of the Sporting Fraternity that belongs to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was electing a new president.
Mr. Thomas Bach, a German, was elected as the 9th President of the International Olympic Committee at the 125th Congress of the International Olympic Committee held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bach became the President of the IOC following 2 rounds of voting in which he topped all the candidates for the Presidency.
Bach was born in W?rzburg, Germany on 29 December 1953.
After representing the athletes at the Olympic Congress in 1981 in Baden-Baden, he became a founding member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, continuing in this role until 1988. He was co-opted as an IOC member in 1991. Since then, he has chaired several commissions (Evaluation, Juridical, Sport and Law, Anti-Doping Disciplinary), been a member of the Marketing Commission and TV Rights and New Media Commission, and acted as chief negotiator for European TV rights.
He was elected to the IOC Executive Board four times and served as IOC Vice-President for more than 10 years.
Belize to host UNCAF U-16 male tournament
The Football Federation of Belize informs football fans and the general public that it will be hosting the Central American U-16 Championship at the FFB Stadium in the City of Belmopan from November 18-22, 2013.
The championship will feature six Central American countries namely Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize.
Cancer Walk held in San Ignacio
A four-mile cancer walk to bring attention to the issues related to cancer was recently held in San Ignacio Town. Residents from San Ignacio and surrounding areas woke up early to join their colleagues in the battle against cancer. The cancer walk was organized by the San Ignacio Branch of the Belize Cancer Society and began from the Joan Garbutt Softball Stadium in Esperanza Village and ended at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio.
“The message is to the San Ignacio Community, to create awareness on cancer and on the fact that we now have a Society here in San Ignacio,” says Flora Usher, President of the San Ignacio Branch of the Belize Cancer Society.
Support for the Cancer Walk came from the Windy Hills Resort, San Ignacio Hotel, Belize Electric Company Ltd., Santiago Castillo Ltd., Oasis of Blessings Church and Bowen and Bowen Ltd. Guerra's Bus Service was also on standby to generously provide transportation services; picking up and taking back walkers from Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. Support for the Cancer Walk also came from the San Ignacio Police Department whose members also took part in the walk.
What’s the Difference Between an Island and a Caye?
Remember yourself as a young child in primary school drawing a flat piece of brown land that protruded gradually in the center like a baseball mound with a coconut tree right in the middle. It was surrounded with blue water that had black squiggly lines scattered everywhere to signify soft waves. In the water you drew a triangle –as a semblance of a shark fin- and somewhere much closer to that brown piece of gradually-protruding-land, you drew a stick figure of a neck and a head breaking through the water with its arms sticking out. To top it off, you drew a conversation bubble over the stick figure screaming, “HELLLLP!”
Okay, okay, so you may never have drawn the bubble, the stick figure, or the triangle. And you never knew it then, nor probably even know it now, but that piece of brown land was not actually an island. It was a . . . caye! It’s pronounced as “key,” and depending on which part of the world you’re in, it’s sometimes spelled “key,” as in the Florida Keys, or “cay,” such as the cays you find in the Bahamas. And well, let’s face it, Greenland is an island. Australia is an island, an island with an area of 7.6 million sq km (4.7 million sq miles), far from the idyllic paradise portrait you drew as children. But “size” is not so much what distinguishes between island and caye, but more so formation, makeup and elevation.
Anniversaries we’d rather forget
One year on, that venerable news agency Fox has run a feature on that venerable businessman/software magnate/drug developer and self-proclaimed wanted/ladies’ man John McAfee.
Hard to believe a year has gone by since all the drama and trashing of the Belize brand was making news around the world after the murder of Gregory Faull, a poor victim whose tragedy and the personal loss to his family and friends was overshadowed by the outlandish yet very effective behaviour of Mr McAfee.
If nothing else, Mr McAfee could teach courses on how to use the media and control the story to one’s advantage, which he did so with great skill, unfortunately to the detriment of Belize’s reputation and the tragedy of Mr Faull.
We don’t wish to sound negative about Mr McAfee or in any way disparage the man. We just wish that he’d picked another country to retire to after making his fortune.
Tropic Air Now Flies From Belize to Roatan, Honduras
Roatan (and the other bay islands of Honduras) have quite a bit in common with Belize. They were heavily influenced by their British colonists and most people speak English or Kriol. They are surrounded by a gorgeous barrier reef and famous for snorkeling and diving. There is a small Garifuna popluation on the East End of Roatan (and all along the northern coast of Honduras). In fact, the first Garifuna settlers in Central America arrived in Punta Gorda, Roatan.
Now we have something else that links both countries… literally. Yesterday afternoon, Belize’s Tropic Air sent up its first direct flight from Belize to Roatan. And what makes it even more cool? I was on it!
I’ve actually been getting lots of questions over the last few years about how to make this journey…so close yet so far away. People wanting to “island hop” or dive afficiendados looking to visit both Belize and Roatan. Well…now you can do it. Easily. REALLY easily. For all the detailed information, check out Tropic AIr’s official press release at the end of this post. But let me do what I most like to do…show you some pictures.
Rotary Club looking to send wheelchairs to Belize
Fort Saskatchewan’s Rotary Club is once again putting their mouth where the metal is.
As an ongoing project, which already saw the Rotary Club make one trip earlier this year, the local group is fundraising for more wheelchairs to be sent to Belize.
“Our project earlier this year was very successful and the club had some extra funds left over, and decided to put it towards another wheelchair project,” said Robert Thomas, chairperson of international projects with Rotary.
The international effort partners with the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation towards a goal of $16,500 for a small container of 110 wheelchairs to be sent to Belize.
“We saw the need in March when our team was in Belize,” noted Terry Stacey, public relations chairperson with the Rotary Club, and one of four local members who made the trip.
“Diabetes is the main cause for many people to have lost limbs and they can’t afford the cost of a proper wheelchair. We met people that had not been out of bed in two years, four years — it was heartbreaking.
The Willy Wonka of Pot
A trip to Hempfest with pioneering cannabis breeder DJ Short. To get to Hempfest this year, you started in downtown Seattle on a humid, cloudless Saturday. You walked toward the waterfront until there were buskers on every street corner and the foot traffic thickened and you could smell sweat and weed smoke on clothes and skin. Police were everywhere, directing traffic. Men and women with their backs to the cops guarded portable coolers and hawked brownies in low voices. Up ahead, a man was shouting through a crappy amplifier. Something religious. Hellfire.
You got closer. You began to pass little encampments on the side of the road, rawboned kids with face piercings and red sticky eyes and loose tan clothes that hung from their limbs like the jowls of senators. One held a jagged piece of cardboard with a note that read I'VE GOT A HOLE IN MY BOWL AND NEED A NUGGET TO PLUG IT. The noise from the amp grew louder and more distorted, and as you approached, you saw him, the evangelist, planted in the middle of the sidewalk with a microphone. A man with a 6-foot wooden cross offered you a flyer. Someone had spray-painted READ BIBLE on a large rock. Someone else had crossed out BIBLE and written BOOKS.
Google BBS Terminal
What Google would have looked like in the 80.
Rapper Formerly Known as Shyne Gets Married
*Rapper Shyne, now an orthodox Jew known as Moses Michael Levi, is embarking on a new chapter in his life after tying the knot.
Sean “Diddy” Combs‘ former protege broke the news to fans on Wednesday after sharing a series of Instagram pics of himself with his new wife in Israel.
The above picture featured the caption, “Me and the Mrs. @ Dead Sea.”
The Belize-born star, who moved to Jerusalem following his release from prison in 2009, has since confirmed the news to vladtv.com, although he has not revealed the identity of his bride or shared any other details about the nuptials.
The artist served more than eight years in a New York prison for opening fire at a 1999 club party, where Diddy and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were among the guests.
SHYNE MARRIES MYSTERY WOMAN
Reformed rapper Shyne is embarking on a new chapter in his life after tying the knot. Sean 'Diddy' Combs' former protege broke the news to fans on Wednesday (13Nov13) after sharing a series of photos of himself with his new wife in Israel on his Instagram.com blog. One picture of the happy couple featured the caption, "Me and the Mrs. @ Dead Sea." The Belize-born star, who became an orthodox Jew and moved to Jerusalem following his release from prison in 2009, has since confirmed the news to vladtv.com, although he has not revealed the identity of his brunette bride or shared any other details about the nuptials. The Bad Boyz hitmaker, who is now known as Moses Michael Levi, served more than eight years in a New York prison for opening fire at a 1999 club party, where Diddy and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were among the guests.
Francis Ford Coppola’s Belize Resorts
Belize, the tiny Central American country wedged between Guatemala and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is blessed with virgin beauty. Vast white-sand beaches host translucent azure waters bearing the largest barrier reef in the world, after Australia. Inland, dense rain forests and remote rivers shelter endangered species, many indigenous and unique to Belize, whilst concealing rich Mayan ruins. From the astonishing array of marine life to its dazzling display of jungle life, the Caribbean island is packed with allure.
Renowned for ultra-luxury eco-lodges and retreats, Belize has been praised for its eco-tourism policy, having designated large swathes of the land as ‘protected.’ Indeed, eco-conservation remains at the heart of hoteliers, who see value in retaining the Belizean soul. And one of those hoteliers just happens to be Francis Ford Coppola. The award winning Hollywood director owns several eco-retreats, including the Blancaneaux Lodge and the Turtle Inn. Indeed, Coppola is the Godfather of hoteliers in Belize, with ambitious vision and determination to match. Decades ago he converted his private 70—acre refuges in the rainforest into enchanted fairytale retreats, which have since won several accolades.
Animated history of the English language
If you've got 10 minutes, you can learn the history of English — including some interesting background on where specific words and phrases came from.
An intertaining and informative 10 minutes.
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