#478398 - 11/26/13 10:54 AM
Today's Belize News: November 26, 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
Arethe Lima crowned Miss San Pedro Lions 2013-2014
On Saturday night, November 23rd four young ladies vied for the title of Miss San Pedro Lions 2013-2014. The Angel Nuñez Auditorium at the San Pedro High School was packed with enthusiastic fans and the judges were tasked with a tough decision. After their votes were tallied the lovely Arethe Lima was crowned Miss San Pedro Lions 2013-2014. Congratulations to all of the contestants who presented themselves well, and congratulations to Miss Lima.
Autism Awareness Workshop
A group of autism specialists from the United States of America are in Belize to educate people on the proper identification, understanding and support of children with Autism. On Friday, November 28th the team will be offering an educational workshop at the SunBreeze Hotel from 9AM to 4PM for individuals that have children or a sibling with Autism. The workshop will be open to teachers, parents, social workers and anyone who is interested in learning about and breaking the stigma of autism.
The workshop is part of an initiative from Knowledge for People, Autism Education Around the World. The group’s goal is to give individuals and communities a greater understanding of autism through outreach, education, and support. Knowledge for People volunteers are in Belize from November 21st through November 30th, with the aim of creating and maintaining a long-term commitment and partnership in Belize for autism education.
Tropic Air launches Christmas food drive
Belize City 1Christmas is only a few weeks away and Tropic Air has launched a countrywide food drive with the purpose of distributing canned goods to needy families in the ten communities the company operates out of. All donations will be matched by Tropic Air management. The initiative was launched last week and members of the public as well as the businesses community are being encouraged to participate in the initiative. According to Jo Sayer of Tropic Air, the initiative is one way that Tropic Air wants to give back to the communities they serve. As such, all Tropic Air offices will serve as drop off locations. “The idea is to create meals for needy family. Each of our station managers have come up with a charity organization they will be working with, or a list of needy families in their areas,” said Sayer.
25 Years Ago:
The Arrival of Caribs to San Pedro
I have just learned at the 2013 Official Garifuna Celebration, which I thoroughly enjoyed, that there are 350 Garinagu living in San Pedro. Could that be true? I would have estimated about 100 Garinagu living in La Isla Bonita. That would be a good social studies class project of a school to carry out a census of how many Mestizos, Creoles, Garinagu, ex-pats and other large ethnic groups we have living in San Pedro.
Long ago I learned from older folks that Caribs were, first of all, noisy people; this was due perhaps to their loud singing and beating of drums. Whenever we the children used to make noise, our parents would tell us that we sounded like Caribs as they were called back then. We also learned that they were great fish eaters and could eat bony fish without prior picking out the bones. We were also told that they were hard working and perhaps the most honest people in Belize. Creoles at the time, had a different image, while Caribs had the fame as honest people.
Arlethe Lima Crowned Miss San Pedro Lions 2013-2014
The San Pedro Lions Club held its annual beauty pageant to select its beauty ambassador on Saturday, November 23, 2013, at the Angel Nunez Auditorium this past weekend. Four beautiful young ladies took up the challenge and impressed a large audience that gathered to witness the well put together pageant.
Catlyn Benguche, Erica Bodden, Arlethe Lima, and Julissa Trejo took to the stage with an opening dance act and modeled in sportswear, were judged in the talent competition and came out with a bang during the evening wear and question and answer sessions. Their talent presentations involved highlighting the works of the Lions Club and their dedication to service in the community.
In the end of an entertainment-filled pageant the crowd was pleased with the announcement of Arlethe Lima being selected as the new Miss San Pedro Lions who was crowned by outgoing queen Miss Alexis Del Valle. First runner up was taken by Erica Bodden, while Catlyn Benguche was given the prize for most photogenic and Julissa Trejo was awarded Miss Congeniality.
San Pedro Lions Club Announces Peace Poster Winners
For many years the San Pedro Lions Club has participated in the Lions International Peace Poster Contest which is held worldwide for children 11, 12 and 13 years old. The theme for 2013 was “Our World, Our Future”. Elementary schools on Ambergris Caye that included Island Academy, Holy Cross, San Pedro Roman Catholic School and New Horizon submitted 38 entries total and the winners were chosen on Friday, November 22, 2013. The judging was done on originality, artistic merit and expression of theme.
Third place was awarded to Carla Rivas, 13 years old, New Horizon School; she received $50 plus an Achievement Award. Second place was Kemre Rippon, 11 years old, Island Academy and she received $100 plus an Achievement Award.
First place went to Zulema Ayala, 13 years old, Island Academy. When asked about her theme expression, she said, “From war and unhappiness we can go to peace and equality. It does not matter what race, gender or religion you are. Everyone is able to bring peace to the world through one child at a time.” Along with winning $200 and an Achievement Award, Miss Ayala’s poster will be sent to the US for the finals judging in 2014. The grand prize on the International Level is US$5,000 with 23 Merit Awards of US$500each. Good luck, Miss Ayala.
Washington University of Health and Science (Belize) Holds White Coat Ceremony
On Thursday, November 21, 2013, the Washington University of Health and Science (Belize) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, held its White Coat Ceremony at the Paradise Theater where 28 of their medical students made the transition from their preclinical studies to that of clinical health sciences.
The symbolical ceremony marked another step in the medical students' studies towards their medical profession of choice. Dean of Students, Dr. Giovanni Solorzano, was first to address the gathering and he congratulated the medical students on all the great accomplishments in their studies they had attained to this point.
Members of the medical school’s Student Government Association (SGA) also had the opportunity to address the gathering, including the SGA Vice President Omar Solis-Sigala who gave a great speech on how he came to San Pedro, struggled to adapt to the medical school and how he managed to persevere and overcome his obstacles. His inspiring words to his fellow classmates called for them to push forward and embrace their surroundings.
Misc Belizean Sources
FISHING REPORT: Week of November 16 – 23rd, 2013
It was great to see our friends, the brothers – Kevin and Kelly. They always have a great time and I’m thrilled Kelly landed that giant permit! Jeremy, thank you for your outstanding leadership with the Orvis group this week – all very much appreciated! We had some tough weather, but the anglers all kept a positive attitude as they approached the day. Every angler left El Pescador a better fisherman. Some learned more about their casting, some learned more about fish behavior, and some learned about breathing when they see fish. I’m thrilled to see my nephew Paul out there today trying fly casting for the first time. I just left the dock and he and his girlfriend were laughing and casting. That just warms my heart! Patty didn’t know she was going to try to fly casting, and now I’m afraid she is addicted. Thank you to Jeff and Sheila, Charles and Allison for returning for your third year. The gals were on “pool duty,” and had a blast. Potomic Flyrodders – be proud. Jim and Will rocked it. Thanks everyone for a great week!
PUP has a new standard bearer for Corozal North Division
The People's United Party has a new standard bearer for Corozal North Division. David Castillo, a former member of the Corozal Town Council was elected in a convention held today. Castillo has been an active member of the PUP having served in several position including being President of the Belize Youth Movement. He is the son of veteran politician and former Area Representative of Corozal North, Valdemar Castillo.
Belize Hotel Service Charge is Now Subject to Business Tax
The Income Tax Department has recently made a ruling that all service charge collected by the Hotels/Resorts are now subject to business tax. This ruling is retroactive and if it is determined that during an income tax audit that service charge was previously collected and not paid, and assessment will be raised for the corresponding business tax in addition to interest and penalties.
Most hotels/resorts do not benefit financially from collecting the service charge and periodically all that is collected is eventually distributed to their employees and form a part of their total emoluments (subject to income tax p.a.y.e.). As such, service charge might be deemed conduit funds, which to the best of my knowledge is not subject to business tax.
This is supported by Section 2 and Section 16 (1) of the Hotels and Tourist Accommodations Act which states:
The Second Annual Placencia, Belize Marathon and Half Marathon Kicks Off On December 8
"Only the second year and we are so pleased by the outpouring of participation and support from Belize and the local community of Placencia", says Chip.
"We selected 'End of the World Marathon' as the title for our first year, 2012, to coincide with the festivities that were planned in Belize to celebrate the Maya culture here. We decided to keep it and embrace it, as have so many people in the country. Among our biggest supporters has been Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia Village. They have contributed their staff time to volunteer at Mile 1 Marker and are providing complimentary housing to Rowan Garel and his family, who will be here raising money for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired."
Constructive notice and the Belizean Companies Registry
Mortgages and loans are a regular, everyday part of commercial dealings. A lender lends money to a borrower and receives a form of security in the event repayment cannot be completed. Typically, security takes the form of some property which is owned by the borrower. It can also be over future property; that is property not yet owned by the borrower but which the borrower considers will be soon be owned by him/her.
An issue arises when the borrower uses this ‘future property’ as security, then uses the same property, once acquired, as security for another loan given by a different lender. Where the borrower defaults, which lender is to be paid first? Who has priority?
These were two of the questions the Caribbean Court of Justice had to answer in the case of Atlantic Corporation Ltd v Development Finance Corporation and Novelo’s Bus Line Ltd (In Receivership)  CCJ 6 (AJ).
Novelo’s Bus Line Ltd had borrowed money from Atlantic Corporation Ltd on the security of Novelo’s present and future assets. Novelo promised not to borrow any money using those assets as security, without the prior written consent of Atlantic. In breach of this agreement, Novelo borrowed money from Development Finance Corporation (DFC) without Atlantic’s consent, using as security some newly acquired registered land as security.
Belize gets millennium development goals database system and training
In order to support the member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA) in the provision of an established millennium development goals (MDG) information system, on December 5, 2011, the ministry of foreign affairs of Mexico and the SICA countries, signed onto a project called “Institutional Capacity Building for Mesoamerican Governments on Monitoring and Evaluation of Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
The ministry of finance and economic development in Belize facilitated a memorandum of understanding (MOU), between the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico (INEGI), and the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) and the Central Information Technology Office (CITO). The commitment of the MOU is to have INEGI deliver the information system, which includes the source code; database structure; user and technical manuals, as well as to provide technical assistance and training.
Why Belize Is A Great Place To Retire
Mayan ruins, spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforests, exotic wildlife, miles of unspoiled coastline, and the Western Hemisphere’s longest barrier reef — a paradise for diving, snorkeling and fishing. Belize is a Caribbean playground that is truly blessed by time, nature and culture.
There are other factors that contribute to Belize’s popularity. It’s close to the US and Canada–just a two-and-a-half hour flight from Miami. The Belize dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar two to one, so currencies conversion issues are easy and never vary. And the U.S. dollar is freely accepted anywhere in the country.
It’s easy to buy real estate in Belize. There are no restrictions on non-citizens owning property and no capital gains taxes, although you will pay a transfer tax, also known as a stamp tax, usually about 5 percent of the property’s value. Annual property taxes are also very low, usually anywhere from $50 to $300 or so, depending on the value of your property.
It’s easy to open a bank account in Belize — there are several to choose from… and most pay interest rates of up to 6 percent on U.S. dollar deposits.
Gillharry 7 Band From Corozal Town Belize Live Performance
The Gillharry 7, also known as the G7, is regarded as the best big band in Belize with a full complement of brass instruments, main and backup singers, and a full repertoire of music featuring original songs, Latin, Caribbean and Belizean music. Hand-held video at live performance, National Agriculture & Trade Fair, City Of Belmopan.
Festival of Culture Closing Night
The Benque Festival of Culture had its closing night Sunday night, and they had harp player Wagner Magus play some soothing music. They did get some video of him mesmerizing the crowd. "A great night to close of the International Festival of Culture... Harp (Guatemala) & Piano (Belize)... Thank you Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Argentina for the support in bringing forth this forum for the Art & Culture 2013"
The Small Business Development Center, a branch of Beltraide, got some pitcures of this year's Entrepreneurship Symposium. The annual symposium aims to connect, empower, and promote Belizean entrepreneurs, along with connecting them to businesses that assist them in reaching their goals.
Enhancing the Caribbean’s Foreign Direct Investment Strategy
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion agencies (CAIPA), hosted their 4th Annual CAIPA General Assembly at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, Belize on November 21-22, 2013.
Under the theme ‘Towards an Enhanced FDI Strategy: Strengthening our Foundation and Honouring Regional Excellence’ Investment Promotion Agency (IPA)officials from Member countries that include: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks & Caicos Islands, focused attention on the development of CAIPA’s Strategic and Sustainability Plan (2014-2018). The Plan is being developed with the assistance if Ideas to Business Limited.
Family Says Cops Killed Tyson Rodriguez
A 27 year old man died in Placencia this weekend - the cops say he escaped and they found him floating in the water; while his family says the cops killed him, held his face in the sand and suffocated him - while he was in handcuffs. Two vastly different accounts but no matter which one you believe, Tyson Rodriguez is dead. If the name rings a distant bell, it should; Rodriguez was shot by police on Caye Caulker in March of 2012. But this time there was no shooting; the post mortem result says that he died of, quote, "asphyxia by bronchial aspiration of sand beach", end quote. Basically that means he suffocated on sand. The death certificate adds that he had multiple traumas to the chest - which means that he had been beaten.
Tonight we'll have both interpretations of that result, but we'll also have the back-story which is equally compelling. It starts on Thursday night with an American couple who live on the Placencia Peninsula; they were robbed, and beaten on the beach, then taken to their house, tied up, the residence burglarized, and their car stolen. When police found the vehicle all the way in Corozal - 213 miles away - on Friday morning they say that Tyson Rodriguez had been driving it. He was arrested after a reported beatdown by Xaibe villagers who apprehended him. That's how he ended up back in Placencia on Friday night at 10:30 where the circumstances leading to his death are still cloudy. Daniel Ortiz went to the Peninsula today to try to get some clarity:...
Tyson's Cousin Says Police Suffocated Him
But, as you heard in our interview, the family believes that if police did indeed have such information, they should have treated him like any other suspect who is innocent until proven otherwise.
Today in Belize City, Tyson Rodriguez's cousin who raised him and lived with him up to the time of his death spoke to the media outside the KHMH morgue. The post mortem had just been concluded and for Keisha Rodriguez and her attorney it is clear that Tyson was severely beaten and suffocated in the sand on the Placencia beach. Here's what she told the media - along with her attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd:..
Keisha Rodriguez, cousin of deceased
"A police officer from Dangriga came to my door at about 4:49am on Saturday and he told me that Tyson had died. I ask him how did he died and he said that he was detained in Corozal with a vehicle and that he had escape from the police and he jumped into a river and he drowned and a fisherman found him. That was what the police told me."
Shari Muschamp Admitted To Her Workplace
On Friday we showed you the pitiful plight of Shari Muschamp. She was working at the IBC Registry - but she had a difficult pregnancy, and right about the time when Government took over the registry from the Ashcroft Alliance - she left on an extended maternity leave. In the interim, government re-hired all the employees as public officers, but she got left out of the mix: she was never fired, but she was also never re-hired. When she got attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd to query her status, Government's legal advisor Gian Ghandi wrote to Matura-Shepherd informing her that Muschamp had been deemed medically unfit. Still, she wasn't back to work on Friday at the end of her maternity leave, and was shown out the door. But it seems her distraught plea outside the IBC Office softened some hearts, because when she went back to work today, she was allowed in and taken into a meeting - slash - negotiation with the Registrar of IBC's Santiago Gonzalez.
Cane Farmers Use AGM to Resolve To Get Compensated For Bagasse
Yesterday, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association held its Annual General Meeting. But the business of the meeting was overshadowed by the cloud hanging over the industry. That's the dispute over bagasse; it's the by product of sugar production which is now being used as bio-fuel for electricity; the farmers want to be paid for it, BSI says "no;" they buy it with the sugar, and it's theirs to do with as they wish.
Today, the vice chairman of BSCFA's Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega told us that at t6he meeting, the farmers took a resolution to strike if they don't get paid:..
Alfredo Ortega, Vice President - Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association
"The farmers passed a motion reiterating what the two division had passed on the 2nd and 10th November whereby they have place on our shoulders the negotiations with BSI and that there would be no deliveries if we are unable to finalize a negotiation to signed. What we will be doing this week, we will be sending a letter to the Prime Minister to intervene in this issue because what we are seeking for as cane farmers is to finalize this issue as friendly as possible without going to any issue that would be detrimental or negatively impacting the industry."
PM Will Meet The Press 3 Weeks After Back Surgery
And a man who is always in the public fray will be having his own press conference this week. Three weeks after spinal surgery, Prime Minister Dean Barrow will have a press conference on Wednesday. A press release form the government press office says that the subject will be government's response to rain and flood damage.
UDP Freetown Caretaker Steps Down
Some of that damage will likely have to address the Belama area phases three and four, which have been swamped by rains. But, you probably shouldn't expected to see the UDP Caretaker for the Freetown Division in the front row - and that's because Li Mark Chang is stepping down. Chang told us today that he is stepping away because he has to take care of his business, the Chon Saan chain of restaurants. He told us that his parents have retired and he and his wife have had to earnestly take up management of the restaurants in Belmopan and Belize Cities.
He says he had decided to step down some time ago, but only recently made it official because the UDP is opening its convention season. He says he will remain involved for the UDP in Freetown and will support whoever is chosen as his successor. He says he has no idea who that will be.
Alleged Soldier Slayer Marsha Reid's Caution Statement Accepted
39 year-old Marsha Reid, the woman accused of killing her lover, BDF Corporal Donovan Castillo, is currently on trial without jury before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in the Southern Sessions of the Supreme Court.
Reid, who is being represented by attorney Simeon Sampson, is waiting for the final 3 prosecution witnesses to testify against her, after which, she will be able to make her defence. That defence will have to be airtight because she is faced with her caution statement where she allegedly admitted to committing the crime. That has been tendered and accepted by the judge as evidence against her.
As we've reported, she allegedly inflicted a stab wound to his neck which was fatal with a kitchen knife, which was recovered at the scene.
Mother Pleas For Missing Daughter
Tonight a 16 year old girl is missing along with 3 others from the Youth Hostel. The mother of Amber Grenardo visited our studios today to ask for the public's assistance in locating her missing daughter. According to Emma Burke, Amber went missing 2 Wednesday's ago after escaping from the Youth Hostel one night. And while this is not her first time the 16 year old has run away, it is the longest she's ever been missing.
"You mentioned that she went missing from the Youth Hostel right?"
Emma Burke, mother
"Is this the first time that she has gone missing?"
Emma Burke, mother
"Not it's not."
"What's make you concerned this time around?"
Emma Burke, mother
"Because it's almost 2 weeks she has gone missing. The first time she went missing was 2-3 days she went and she was by herself. Now she is with 3 other young ladies I understand."
Making Small Business Work
One year ago, BELTRAIDE launched its Small Business Development Center in Belize City. Since then, the walk-in agency has taken on 170 clients and disbursed 200 thousand dollars in assistance to small business start-ups. Today and event was held to mark the milestone, and Melanie Gideon who leads the project told us they are making strides, and making a difference:..
Melanie Gideon, SBDC Director
"A year later I think more and more entrepreneurs or people who think they are entrepreneurs or even business people have somewhere to go. It's a place where they can come and find not only refuge but know how. If you ask me if it is robust as a consequence, yeah, I am proud to say that. I think today you will showcase some entrepreneurs that without the center I am confident they wouldn't have been able to pull off what they've pull off."
Alleged Child Molester Remanded
32 year old Jose David Funez, a technician of Mahogany Heights is at prison tonight after he was taken court for allegedly having intercourse with a 13 year-old female minor.
They girl reported that on Saturday, she went to visit him at his home where he allegedly had sex with him. Later that day, she went with her mother to the police station to make the report, after which, a doctor certified that she was carnally known.
As a result, Funez was charged with carnal knowledge, and he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Due to the nature of the offence, he was remanded to prison until January 14, 2014, his next court date.
A Program To Certify Cruise-Ready Seamen
We've already told you about Norwegian Cruise Lines and its offer to hire Belizeans to work on the cruise ship. The Ministry of investment reports that 300 persons have been recruited and NCL is looking for 100 more. On a parallel track, a consultancy group out of Dangriga has launched a basic safety training course - which will certify local seamen and enable them to work on any vessel internationally. The project is lead by Major Gilbert Swazo, who's also Dangriga's Mayor - and he told us more about it:..
FOOTBALL: PG's Freedom Fighters Find Paradise At MCC
The Belikin Cup Premier League Football game rolled on this weekend - and the most pivotal match was held in Belize City where the Paradise Freedom Fighters From Punta Gorda came to the MCC in Belize City to take on FC Belize.
Channel 7 had live coverage at the forty fifth minute of the first half where FC Belize struck first - in a game that ended up in a one - one draw. Here's the call of that first goal from Mervin Rugged Flores:...
Mark "Kelo" Leslie, Midfield - Belize F.C.
"I thought we give away the 3 points because we had the game control but in the second half our team got a little tired, so the PG team capitalize on the second half and scored a goal to tie the game but in the 1st half we had lots of opportunity to go up 2-0. Unfortunately we missed our break and those guys capitalized on their goal and that was the game."
Mr Belize Outmuscles Mexicans
He recently won the Mr. Belize competition for the second year in a row, and now Rigo Vellos has won the top prize and title in the 2013 Revolution Cup Bodybuilding Competition held this past Sunday, in Merida.
Vellos competed in the 80 kilogramme and over category, and according o a press release, he defeating dozens of other international competitors. The release adds that this was the first time a Belizean competed in the event which is one of Mexico's most competitive bodybuilding competitions.
#478399 - 11/26/13 10:55 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: November 26, 2013
More News: Scroll up from here
Police investigates death of Tyson Rodriguez
An internal police investigation is underway in the death of a Dangriga resident who police detained following the burglary of a Canadian couple in Placencia. And it appears that the [...]
Family believes that Tyson Rodriguez is a victim of police brutality
You heard the police version of how they found the body of twenty-seven year old Tyson Rodriguez in the sea near the Chabil Mar Villa Resort in the Placencia Peninsula. [...]
Rodriguez family indicates legal action against Police Department
The family has indicated that legal action against the police department will be pursued. Meanwhile, attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd says that what she observed on Rodriguez’s body is not consistent with [...]
Cane Farmers gather for a general meeting
There are five thousand three hundred registered cane-farmers in northern Belize. They are divided into eighteen branches which all operate under the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. On Sunday, a [...]
Sugar roads make delivery impossible
Currently, the ball is in B.S.I.’s court. What they do with it will have great impact on the industry in days to come. Experience has shown that cane-farmers are perhaps [...]
Muschamp back at work!
Twenty-seven year old Sharie Muschamp, a mother of two is today fortunately back at her desk at the International Business Company Registry. Muschamp was scheduled to return to work last [...]
Penner and Castro made it in the “Economist”
Belize’s former Minister of State Elvin Penner and current Minister of State Edmond Castro have made it onto the pages of one of the world’s leading news journals, the Economist. [...]
Jose Funes behind bars for the holidays for Carnal Knowledge
Thirty-two year old Jose Funes tonight finds himself behind bars after he was arraigned for the carnal knowledge of a thirteen year old girl. The Mahogany Heights resident appeared in [...]
Third Annual Tacos Fest in Orange Walk
On Sunday, the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town was home to the third annual Tacos Fest. The name says it all. It’s an event where residents and [...]
Belizean Body Builder wins international title
A Belizean bodybuilder has clinched an international title in the sport. Mister Belize, Rigo Vellos, won the top prize and title in the 2013 Revolution Cup Bodybuilding Competition held on [...]
Weekend Wrap Up with James Adderly
Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday. Week nine in the Belikin Cup brought the impressive Paradise Freedom Fighters of Toledo to the MCC Grounds yesterday for [...]
Internal Affairs Investigate Death of Man in Police Custody
An investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the death of Tyson Rodriguez who escaped police custody on Friday. According to the official police report, Rodriguez was a suspect in the assault and robbery of 59 year old Canadian National David Baier and his wife who were viciously attacked by three male persons and robbed. After being beaten they were forced to take their attackers to their home where they were tied up as their home was burglarized. The culprits then escaped in the couple’s white GMC Envoy heading towards the Southern Highway. On Friday morning at about 9:30am, police attached to Customs called the Corozal Police Station requesting assistance in pursuing the vehicle. The vehicle was without license plate and occupied by two male persons which diverted from the Phillip Goldson Highway to Chan Chen Road. The vehicle was found abandoned off a feeder road. Twenty-seven year old Tyson Rodriguez of Benguche Area, Dangriga Town, identified as one of the male occupants of the Envoy, was seen at a bus stop in Xaibe Village and after a pursuit was detained by police. He was transported from the Corozal Police Station to Belmopan Police Station and then on to the Placencia Sub-Formation.
Fugitive Pleads Guilty to Fraud After Deportation From Belize
According to the Atlanta Journal, an Atlanta dentist who was found in Belize in February after fleeing the United States following indictment for fraud has been sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday. Kenneth Morris Wiggins Jr., owner and operator of Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offices in Roswell and Marietta, admitted to fraudulently billing Georgia Medicaid more than $2 million.
Wiggins billed Medicaid for tooth re-implantations and suturing of wounds for 220 Medicaid patients although he never performed the procedures on those patients, according to Lauren Kane, spokeswoman for Attorney General Sam Olens.
Kane said Wiggins fled to the Netherlands after being indicted in 2011, and was located in Belize in February. U.S. Marshals transported Wiggins from Belize to Miami, where he waived extradition and was returned to Cobb County. He has been held in the Cobb County Jail without bond since his return.
Businessman Ayuso Evades Taxes
Manuel Ayuso, the owner of a business establishment on Hudson Street, was charged with five counts of failure to file GST returns from April to August, 2013, when he appeared court. Ayuso pled guilty to the charges. Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart fined him the minimum fine of 500 dollars for each offence. She did not impose the penalty of 50 dollars for each day Ayuso did not file the GST return because it was the first time Ayuso was brought to court for the offences. Ayuso said he came prepared to pay the fine and he went to the cashier at the Magistrate Court and paid the money. The GST was represented by its legal officer, former magistrate, Ed P. Usher.
Cane Farmers Meet in Northern Belize
As we mentioned earlier, cane farmers gathered on Sunday in San Roman. The main purpose of the meeting was the revision of financial report for the fiscal year that ended on October 31. According to CEO at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association, Oscar Alonzo, the new fiscal year will saw an increase of approximately 1.6 million dollars for the fiscal year 2013-2014. This year they are looking at expanding the existing replanting and social programs along with other programs under the BSCFA.
“We will continue our emphasis on sugar cane quality that is of major importance because we want to ensure that our farmers continue to produce and deliver good cane to the factory. As you know we get paid for the sugar not for the volume of cane that we deliver and it requires that the farmers undertake integrated management practices in order to achieve the best results in terms of productivity and in terms of volume of production. We also intend to continue investments in compliance for the criteria for fair trade and especially those related to the environment where we have to ensure that we reduce our utilization of chemicals. It’s true that we have to use chemicals, we can’t really eliminate it totally but first we want to see if we can use biological controls, utilizing natural elements and in case we can’t control it in that we way then we apply the chemicals as a final recourse. We also will continue to invest in social projects. As you know fair trade, the consumer in Europe pays the extra amount for sugar that is sold under the Fair Trade logo because they feel happy that the farmers are utilizing (1) to improve production, (2) to improve their livelihood their welfare and that of the community; so, we will continue to invest in educational projects, health projects, recreational projects and also try to improve infrastructure in the communities.”
Sugar Cane Farmers Pass Resolution for No Delivery of Cane
Cane farmers in the north gathered in San Roman Corozal yesterday for the association’s annual general meeting. Arturo Cantun was there and has the details.
ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING
“Close to 1500 caneros convened for the BSCFA annual AGM. In discussion was the financial status of the association but the main item on the agenda was the bagasse issue. The discussion of that item started with a vote from the floor in order to ratify the resolution taken at two separate divisional meetings held earlier this month. There was a resounding support for the motion presented. Chairman of the BSCFA Alfredo Ortega said it’s now a matter to wait as they have met with Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega last Friday where they requested government’s intervention. The only action presented and supported so far is for cane farmers to stay home and don’t deliver cane when the BSI factor opens its gate when the crop season is declared open.”
“Well, that is what we have on the table at this present time but we will be waiting, at least until this week that is coming to see what will be the response from BSI and from there we will know what other step we will need to do.”
“How sure are you that this action will bring positive results for the caneros?”
Business Owner and Employee Robbed in Western Belize
San Ignacio police are investigating a robbery that occurred in San Ignacio Town, Cayo on Sunday night. According to Xiang Rong Chen, a businessman of that town, San Ignacio Police reported that around eight-15 that morning he was inside his business, Kenny’s Store when two men entered. One of the men was armed with a gun and the other with a knife. Chen said that the two held up him and his co-worker and robbed them of over two thousand dollars in cash and a Belize Bank cheque worth 380 dollars. He said he was forced outside and the knife-bearer then stole an additional 1800 dollars from the cash register, Chen’s laptop and an I-phone before escaping.
Bus and Truck Collide on George Price Highway
At least one person had to be hospitalized after a bus and a truck collided this afternoon. The accident which occurred between miles 42 and 43 on the George Price Highway left passengers very shaken. Hydeia Golanche, a colleague of Love FM, was traveling on the James Bus heading from Belmopan to Belize City. She spoke with Reporter Linette Canto about the accident.
“The experience was very frightening; what happened was that the James Bus was traveling from Belmopan and the Banana truck was traveling from the direction of Belize City and he wanted to turn right into a lane that was on the opposite side of the road. So, what he did instead of waiting on that side he just swerved in front of the James bus; so, the driver of the James bus couldn’t do anything about it, so he blew his horn and he couldn’t do anything so he just hit into the truck. There were no major injuries but a little girl who was about 6 or 7 years old was bleeding from her nose and there was this guy who was had the major injury where he was already involved in an accident so this accident hurt his spine and it looks like the impact that he got in the bus kind of threw him back into that. I mean he was in a lot of pain. So, the ambulance had to come and take him out of the bus. Also there was a little baby who was crying hysterically so the mother just jumped into the ambulance with the baby so we didn’t know what happened to the baby but from the way she was crying, but we didn’t really know what happened to her. The reaction that I got from the back where I was sitting, everybody just started to scream. That was the first thing. When we heard the first bang the baby was the first to cry and scream out and then after that the other passengers started to scream but everybody was just frightened, so, nobody didn’t just rush up and move. Everybody just kind of stopped where they were stunned.”
Fire Victim Says His House Was Intentionally Burnt
An early morning fire completely destroyed a house in Trial Farm Village in Orange Walk. According to reports the fire started between 1:30 and two o’clock this morning at the residence of Ernest Martinez on San Rafael Street Trial Farm. We spoke with the fire victim’s brother Billy Martinez.
“I was lying down and I heard the dog bark around 1:30 or 2 o’clock; I wasn’t paying it any mind but when I looked through the door and I saw that the fire started and when then I realized my brother wanted to go in the house but at that same time I told him not to go in the house because the things in there are only material things but the feeling I have is that somebody burn this down intentionally because people don’t like to see the way you live; people see you don’t mess with anybody and you just pray to God and the way you act people envy people; everything is about envy. I don’t have any enemy at all. In the house, I had a fan, a bed, a DVD, TV lot of things like 8000 dollars’ worth of items and everything burnt. The house was built at a cost of about 10 thousand dollars.”
Woman and Son-In-Law Charged with Burglary
Two persons, 57-year-old, Estell Rhaburn and her son-in-law, 34-year-old, Patrick Thomas, who allegedly entered the business place of Rufus X were charged with burglary when they appeared in court today. They pled not guilty to the charge. The Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith offered each of them bail of 500 dollars and she adjourned their case until January 15, 2014. The police reported that on November 23, they responded to a report of a burglary in progress and upon their arrival at the corner of Lacroix Boulevard and Crown Street, they found Rhaburn and Thomas on the verandah. Nothing was reported stolen.
Police in Southern Belize Seeks Missing Teen
A teenage girl has been reported missing in the Toledo District. Ortillia Cowo of San Antonio Village, Toledo told police that at around 11 on Thursday morning she went to purchase at a nearby shop and left her 17-year-old daughter, Detrina Cowo at home along with her grandmother. She said that upon returning home the girl was missing. Detrina Cowo was last seen wearing a pink blouse, pink floral skirt and pink slippers. She has long straight black hair, is brown skinned, weighs about 140 pounds, stands about five feet tall and is of Mayan descent.
Chopping Incident Leaves Belmopan Police Investigating
Belmopan police are investigating a chopping on St Michael Street in the San Martin area of Belmopan. This is after 19 year old Moises Sutz, a delivery man for Garden City Restaurant suffered a large cut wound to the right side of the head and was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital. Police say they have since detained three men of Belmopan pending investigation.
Motorcycle Theft Reported In Northern Belize
Corozal police are investigating the theft of a motorcycle in Xaibe Village, Corozal. According to 34 year-old Julio Choco, a mechanic of that village, at around on Friday night he parked the motorcycle, valued at three thousand 800 dollars under a garage and locked the ignition. He said that when he checked the garage at around six on Saturday morning he noticed that the motorcycle was missing.
Norwegian Cruise Line Commences Job Recruitment Scheme
At its launch of the proposed Harvest Caye tourism development earlier this year, executives for Norwegian Cruise Line and the project developer, Hugh Darley, announced an initiative for hundreds of Belizeans to be hired to work on their ships. It seems other cruise companies are following suit, as today PLUS News visited a training course at the Biltmore Plaza for 40 potential employees of Carnival Cruise Line. With more here is Mayor of Dangriga and consultant/coordinator of the Basic Safety Training Course, Gilbert Swazo.
Mr. Gilbert Swazo- Mayor of Dangriga
vlcsnap-2013-11-25-18h37m20s146“People who are graduates from CET, ITVET, if there are electricians; those people who have conducted Hospitality Management training from secondary and tertiary level. Once they are certified in any of those fields, such as hospitality management, electronics or mechanic per say or even a plumber, the ships require all those various skills that repair and maintain all those systems. Furthermore, the ship is like a hotel, they will need hospitality service to serve, to do housekeeping among other things, people who are musicians…all those things. Once you have that skill, and perhaps even better certified in those skills, then through the conduct of the basic safety training course, you will be ellegible to become a sea fairer who can then be hired by one of the Cruise Lines, Norwegian, Carnival or Royal Caribbean”.
Cane Farmers Still Pressuring for Benefits on Bagasse Agreement
Sunday saw the annual general meeting of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) in San Roman, Corozal, geographically halfway between the two divisions of the Association. The largest turnout in recent memory gathered at the Escuela Mexico, where over 1,000 farmers were present to hear from their executive and lend their voices to the ongoing debate over payment on the bagasse that is a by-product of sugar cane. Producers Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) have been adamant about not paying farmers for the so-called “trash,” claiming sole responsibility for its disposal because, it says, it buys all cane from the farmers which then becomes its property. Not so, says the farmers, who have been clamoring since 2010 to receive a share of the bagasse profits gone to BSI under the 2002 agreement between them. During yesterday’s meeting, farmer Genaro Garcia introduced a resolution ratifying those passed at divisional level to not start this year’s crop until a satisfactory solution is reached on bagasse. Here is that portion of the proceedings.
Caye Caulker Chronicles
New Editor In Chief
Anna is a 5-year honorary Caye Caulker resident and has recently moved here to join her family. She comes from the San Francisco Bay Area where she managed an art school department, and now joins Caye Caulker Chronicles to contribute her passion for writing, community and culture.
All emails and Letters to the editor can still be emailed to email@example.com
Belize Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week!
Last week countries around the world united for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) through celebrations and events aimed at acknowledging the importance entrepreneurship plays in a country’s economic development. Belize was no exception, and through the support of the U.S. Embassy, the University of Belize, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Services, and the Belize Youth Business Trust a series of events were hosted in honor of GEW that celebrated local entrepreneurs, and provided information to existing and potential entrepreneurs on the entrepreneurship support services available in Belize.
As part of the GEW events in Belize, the Fourth Annual Entrepreneurship Symposium took place on November 21 at the University of Belize, Central Campus, Belmopan. The 2013 Entrepreneurship Symposium was celebrated under the theme “Empowering and Connecting Entrepreneurs” and had participation from Business Service Organizations including Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SBDC- Belize, Development Finance Corporation, local entrepreneurs and U.S. Embassy Belmopan. An event highlight included special guest, Dr. Rene Villanueva, Sr., sharing his experiences as a successful entrepreneur.
Indulging at Dirty Martini and the Sushi Bar
For dinner, I met up with Carolyn and Surendra again. We stopped Dirty Martini first to pick up their Taste of Playa Passes and enjoy a martini which is a rare thing for me – that was my second one in 46 years. As soon as I saw the espresso martini on the menu I knew it was time to try something other than my standard rum and cran or bottled water and I was really glad I did. Surendra had a ginger martini and Carolyn went with the traditional ‘Dirty Martini’. While there ran into Michele which was perfect, I knew she would have a great sushi recommend for us – Nikkori Japanese Cuisine. The service was excellent and everything we ordered was delicious so much that we ended up ordering a round two of rolls.
Hickatee Cottages: A MUST STAY in Punta Gorda and a Bargain in Belize
I have been back in San Pedro (aka The Far North) for a few days now and the more I think about my time spent in Punta Gorda, Belize (the Deep South) the more excited I am to return. Punta Gorda is everything you picture Belize to be…everything that you want it to be…in one relatively small area. It almost has the feel of what I think Belize was like 30 or 40 years ago. I’ll say it again. Punta Gorda, Belize is magical. (Check out pictures from around town.)
And here’s another cool thing about it. I found the perfect place for you to stay. I mean PERFECT. Hickatee Cottages. The owners Ian and Kate are warm and gracious. And their love of Punta Gorda, infectious.
The cottages are set on a property that is groomed, comfortable and close to town (PG is only a 1.5 mile bike ride away) but also teetering on the edge of what Ian calls the “high bush”. Or to me, trails through a very serious jungle.
Guests give back through Pack-a-Pound program in Belize
Program coordinator Denise Duran with students of Holy Cross primary school in Calla Creek Village, Cayo District, Belize
What is an ecotourism destination without sustainable practices? at The Lodge at Chaa Creek, our guests immerse themselves in our sustainable tourism ethos. If you love the gift of giving, you will love Chaa Creek’s initiative of including our guests in giving back to the community.
Program coordinator and assistant guest services manager at Chaa Creek, Denise Duran, visited the Calla Creek primary school along with Emil Bradley to deliver school supplies donated by our past guests.
Our Pack-a-Pound initiative gives Chaa Creek’s guests an opportunity to donate school supplies to classrooms in Belize. The procedure to donate to this cause entails sending school supplies to Chaa Creek via mail, Chaa Creek would gather school supplies, pack them off by pound and then distribute to the schools and students who need it most.
“Patience” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Let’s dispense with the veranda bit for today’s edition. Just take it as read that I went out there.
During the last couple of days -following our travails in placing orders with Walmart (or Wallymart as Wes, a reader of this blog, refers to this company) ,Rose and I have spent the last couple of days documenting the tracking numbers for every item we have ordered and that will be delivered (we hope) to Hyde Shipping‘s warehouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
It’s boring and painstaking work but it had to be done if we wanted to be able to produce a list that Hyde Shipping can use to ‘tick off’ our stuff as it is delivered.
As we worked our way through the orders notating the tracking numbers we were also able to record the expected delivery date (quite a few items have already been received by Hyde Shipping) and with this information calculate that we might, just might, be able to have our twenty foot container (laden with our stuff) set sail on 6 December with an arrival in Belize City on 8 December.
How to make Hudut, a classic traditional Garifuna food
I’m a man of simple pleasures, next to Rice and beans with stew chicken and potato salad, Hudut is my favourite Belizean grub. And with Garifuna Settlement Day recently occurring on November 19, I’ve been craving this traditional Garinagu food even more. I’m happy to be cooking it today and sharing the recipe with you guys.
Hudut is easy to make! It is comprised of green and ripe mashed plantains called Fu-fu and a fish coconut stew. This traditional dish is important to the Garifuna because it represents their love for the sea and living on the coast. Many other cultures that are near the sea or ocean have similar dishes, for example countries such as Brazil and Thailand have their own versions of a fish coconut stew. Even here in Belize, the local creole culture has a similar dish which is known as Sere. Sere is cooked in the same way but involves many other ingredients and is most of the time eaten with white rice instead of Fu-fu.
John McAfee accused of stalking
The anti-virus software entrepreneur John McAfee has been evicted from his Oregon apartment and hit with a civil stalking complaint.
McAfee, 68, last year fled the Central American nation of Belize, where authorities sought to question him in the fatal shooting of a US expatriate who lived near McAfee's home. He has denied any involvement.
McAfee moved into a high-end apartment building in south-east Portland. The stalking complaint was filed by Connor Hyde, a property manager with the Riverstone Residential Group.
Hyde no longer worked at the location, said Crystal Pierce, senior property manager at The 20 on Hawthorne, adding that the company did not comment on legal matters.
Hyde's court filing, obtained by the Oregonian, says McAfee sent threatening emails and had access to weapons and armed associates from a motorcycle club.
McAfee said in a phone interview on Monday that he moved to Montreal two months ago and had just learned of his eviction. He said he had issues with building management over "wilful lapses of security" but was not forced to leave.
"I've never been evicted from anything," he said.
McAfee said he had a "severe problem" with Hyde but never threatened him with anything except lawsuits. "He gave keys out to all of his friends, and friends of friends," he said. "People were partying in vacant condos. It's turned into a nightmare ever since the new owners purchased the building four months ago."
Judge Steven Evans granted a temporary protective order against McAfee and scheduled a 3 January hearing.
Searching for Mayan ruins along the New River
Halfway to the freshwater lagoon, the British couple split off from each other, goose-stepping through the tropical grass. The wife makes it safely to a flagpole and crouches down, binoculars ready. The Jaribu stork they are stalking takes a step forward and the husband freezes mid-stride.
"He looks exactly like that damn bird," Steve whispers across the table. It's just after sunrise and we finally have the restaurant patio at the Bird's Eye View Lodge to ourselves.
We're in Belize researching material for a television series and we've committed a cardinal travelling sin. We booked a three-day sightseeing tour to visit the Mayan ruins at Lamanai and Altun Ha, but didn't read the fine print. It turns out we're on a birding tour and what we thought would be an interesting inland add-on to our Belizean Barrier Reef snorkelling trip is beginning to feel like a Monty Python skit.
What Will Your Retirement Persona Be?
After you retire, do you want to travel the globe -- or spend your days at home with your grandchildren? Or perhaps you'd rather just pursue that elusive hole-in-one at the golf course?
Want to move to Belize after you retire? Then you have some serious planning to do.
Ken Moraif, a senior advisor at Plano, Texas-based wealth management and investment firm Money Matters, says that you'll need to consider both the financial and lifestyle ramifications of such a retirement.
Moraif points to clients who planned to sell their home and move to Belize. It seemed to make sense: The clients loved vacationing there, so why not live in the sunny paradise on a full-time basis? Moraif advised the clients to rent a home in the city for six months before they retired.
Violent, impoverished – and attracting billions
While you were relaxing this Sunday, two politicians were giving it their all on the last day of an incredibly tense presidential campaign in Honduras. It was the first time since civilian rule was established some 30 years ago that a new political party threatened to shake up the status quo.
Central America is made up of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama and is home to around 41 million people.
The largest nation is Guatemala with 14 million people, while the smallest is Belize with just 300,000 people. The rest have between three million and seven million people each. Meanwhile, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic often joins Central American regional initiatives or bodies.
The Big Trip: Belize
With wild jungles, Mayan ruins and serene beaches, could this exuberant corner of Central America be the hot new place to go? Martha Hayes packs her boots and bikinis
'Anyone wearing perfume?' asks Belizean conservation officer Roni Martinez as we pile into the back of a dust-covered Land Rover with all the high-tech camera equipment, binoculars and machetes necessary for a 8am trek into the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.
Everyone in the vehicle raises a collective eyebrow, but it’s a valid question. Following recent clinical tests that involved dousing a tampon in Obsession, it turns out the elusive jaguar is attracted to a whiff of Calvin Klein. Sadly, I’m not wearing it and, coincidentally or not (they’re more likely to be spotted at night), we fail to see one of these strikingly beautiful yet highly endangered big cats. Tracking jaguars is a prime reason to visit Belize, which is home to a roll-call of wildlife that includes scarlet macaws, howler monkeys and the large Baird’s tapir.
Un-Belize-able Family Travel
Cayo gets a great write up in this article about traveling with a family, and the story reinforces that there are tons of things to do in Cayo for people of all ages.
"Within 10 minutes of Chaa Creek, Xunantunich pyramids pop through the canopy. After crossing the river by hand-cranked ferry, we walked up a path for a few minutes and there before us rose the massive Mayan structure…looming at least as tall as a four-story building. We hiked to the top for incredible views over the verdant jungles with hints of other Mayan pyramids peeking through the leaves. It’s mind-boggling to think about the enormity of the Mayan civilization that once inhabited this jungle. As we sit there, admiring the architecture, I can just imagine the Mayans hustling around the base while the priests prepare for a ceremony at the top of the great pyramid."
What Costs Less Overseas When You Retire?
When you move overseas, most things cost less. Health care is cheaper, beachfront property is cheaper and flights are cheaper when you qualify for a retiree program. You can even enjoy a symphony performance for far less than in the U.S., and have a better quality of life for less.
Here is a list of five items that are cheaper overseas.
1. Quality Health Care for Less
In many of the countries International Living covers, quality health care is often half the price or less than you would pay in the U.S. For example, in Costa Rica a doctor’s visit costs $40 to $60–a third of what you’d pay in the U.S.
Doctors are well-trained: Many have studied in the U.S., Canada or Europe and you’ll find hospitals with modern equipment and with standards similar to what you’d find at home.
In some Central and South American countries, fees for belonging to the public healthcare system range from about $25 to $75 per month per person. Most expats pay for private health care and also use the affordable public health care as a safety net.
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