#491169 - 05/21/14 12:03 PM
Today's Belize News: May 21, 2014
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
San Pedro Cancer Society receives donation secured by Elvi’s Kitchen
The San Pedro Cancer Society, in collaboration with Staines Enterprises LTD and Elvi’s Kitchen would like to inform its supporters and customers (respectively) that the first handing over of much needed funds to the society was carried out today. At our last banquet, Elvi’s Kitchen made the great commitment of asking their customers for a minimum of one dollar in Belizean currency. It is with the most heartfelt gratitude that the San Pedro Cancer Society boasts of the first contribution for the month of April, 2014 to mid-May 2014, which allocated to $1366BZ.
This first contribution will greatly assist us in furthering the goals of our cancer society and its patients. Cancer has devastated many of our friends and relatives in this small island community, it is so good to know that we have many of these same people fighting back and helping us eradicate cancer. We are glad that Elvi’s Kitchen has become a second home to our group. Thank you Elvi’s! Thank you San Pedro!
Belize observes IDAHOT 2014
On the 17th of May 2014, Belize’s LGBT community celebrated The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) along with the rest of the world. More than one hundred and fifty LGBT individuals and their allies gathered at the House of Culture in Belize City, including Chargé d’Affaires Margaret Hawthorne from the USA embassy and Deputy British High Commissioner, Grace Chun. The event opened with prayers, offered by Rev. Karen Turner, who deputised for Bishop Phillip Wright, in remembrance of those who have been lost in the struggle, either as the victims of violence perpetrated because of their gender or sexual orientation or because of stigma and ignorance of HIV/AIDS.
Elvi’s Kitchen & Staines Enterprises Ltd Donate to SP Cancer Society
The San Pedro Cancer Society has received a generous donation from Elvi’s Kitchen and Staines Enterprises Ltd. The San Pedro Cancer Society held its last banquet at Elvi’s Kitchen who in return made a commitment of asking their customers for a minimum of one dollar Belize donation. Chef Jennie Staines and Mrs. Elvia Staines presented to Miguel Perez, Chairman of the San Pedro Cancer Society a check of $1,366.00 on Monday, May 19, 2014.
The San Pedro Cancer Society is very grateful to the community and supporters of the Cancer Society and of Elvi’s Kitchen. The monies will be put to great use to assist cancer patients. Kudos to Elvi’s Kitchen and Staines Enterprised for their kind contribution to this hard working group – The San Pedro Cancer Society.
Island Residents Urged to Join Community Policing to Fight Crime
It is very sad to report that crime is still a problem in our lovely island of Ambergris Caye. Criminal violence is escalating right before our eyes and it’s a challenge with the high availability of drugs and firearms out on the streets. The police are doing what they can but if we want to get back our island for it to be the safe haven it once was then we have to work as a community and help the police and help each other to getting back a safe San Pedro.
For the Footprint for Peace Anti-Crime Rally the consensus of the people was: "We want to save San Pedro and bring back peace and safety. As long as the guns keep making noise, we will also make more noise until the authorities listen to our cries. We want guns removed from our community.” It is with this in mind that Retired Police Superintendent, Rudolph Orio, held a meeting on community policing in San Pedro on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Fido’s Courtyard.
Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye Part 3
Remember the first article in this series of brave seamen? Well, when Don Francisco “Fashico” Arceo challenged the law officials on their motor boat with his sailing boat and beat them with experience, Ramon “Moncho” Nuñez was on board with Fashico. (Read in our archives)
Ramon started working in the sea with his brothers Polo and Wally (R.I.P.). He became a seine expert and all of this took him to Corozal Town where they sold their produce. Even here these men defied the forces of nature travelling in pitch black nights with a sail and avoiding the shoals and rocky spots
Misc Belizean Sources
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia Event at Government House
On the 17th of May 2014, Belize’s LGBT community celebrated The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) along with the rest of the world. More than one hundred and fifty LGBT individuals and their allies gathered at the House of Culture in Belize City, including Chargé d'Affaires Margaret Hawthorne from the USA embassy and Deputy British High Commissioner, Grace Chun . The event opened with prayers, offered by Rev. Karen Turner, who deputised for Bishop Phillip Wright, in remembrance of those who have been lost in the struggle, either as the victims of violence perpetrated because of their gender or sexual orientation or because of stigma and ignorance of HIV/AIDS.
Opening the event was a deeply heartfelt video message of support from Kim Simplis, Special Envoy for Women and Children, who, for the second year running has made her views clear about the need to embrace kindness and end bullying and discrimination against the LGBT community in Belize.
Belize Bird Rescue Fundraiser
Our 10th Anniversary Fundraiser is this week Friday at the British High Commission Clubhouse in Belmopan.
Advanced ticket sales only, $30 per ticket, from myself or from Corkers Restaurant.
Hope some of you can make it!
We are also offering one of our most generous donations for auction outside of the fundraiser: it's a 3 night stay for 2 persons in the beautiful tree-houses at Caves Branch, including all meals, tours and 2 trips. It's worth $3000Z!!!
Anyone wanting to make a bid, send it to email@example.com
Typical Large Area Weather for Belize
This is a good example of our typical Weather pasterns, particularly at this time of the year.
Low level air moves around the North Atlantic in a clockwise direction. . . .Which becomes the Easterly Caribbean wind we usually see at surface level.
The higher level air also moves from Africa, along the Equator from the East. . .. But every now and then, it swells up in ITCZ activity Pink areas .. From those, in the Pacific, often just off Panama but also from the Central Pacific. . . .
Belize Celebrates the Noble Cashew
Crooked Tree Village’s annual Cashew festival and Agricultural Show, which took place last weekend (May 16 – 19) reminded us of the long and fruitful (OK, pun intended) relationship between Belize and the cashew.
The festival celebrates all things cashew, and featured products such as that delightful cashew wine, as well as cakes, pies, pastries, syrups, vinegar and all sorts of other spinoffs.
Belizeans have enjoyed the cashew in its many forms for generations, and probably nowhere as much as Crooked Tree, where the industry is at the heart of the local economy.
For those of you who think cashews come in tins or jars, salted as an accompaniment to beer and television viewing, the sight of a cashew tree, Anacardium occidentale, in full bloom would be a revelation, as would the sight of the single curved nut at the bottom of the cashew fruit. Although the nuts are justly valued, it is the fruit that produces the many products such as jams and wine.
The Benque House of Culture is celebrating International Museum Day
The Benque House of Culture plustv
is celebrating International Museum Day in style. The 'Golden Treasures of the Past' display will feature a collection of antiques while the 'Cheil Mayan Chocolate' display is all about chocolate, and you can taste Belize chocolate while learning the importance of it in Mayan culture. They'll also have Stone Tree Records there, so be prepared for some great entertainment. The festivities start at 9:00am.
"Internation Museum Day at the Benque House of Culture (NICH) featuring the Chocolate Story & indigenous process & tasting with an antique collection " Treasures of the past" highlighting items of cultural value to Benque Viejo. Guest organization will be sharing vital information for an day of cultural learning and interaction."
What is ConnectAmericas?
ConnectAmericas is a platform sponsored by the IDB that will offer SMEs from Latin America and the Caribbean an online ecosystem where they will be able to establish business links with potential clients, suppliers and investors from the rest of the region and the world; access relevant information and training tools ...
Typical Tropical Cyclone Origins and Track By Month
Depending on the time of year, tropical storms and hurricanes develop in different areas of the tropical North Atlantic. In the Atlantic Basin (the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea), hurricane season reaches its peak between mid-August and October.
Electrician from America’s Heartland builds schools in Belize
He grew up in the small town in America’s Heartland, graduated high school and then decided to join the Air Force to “serve his country.”
Fast-forward to five years later and he’s on a U.S. Southern Command deployment building a preschool for local children.
U.S. Staff Sgt. Kyle Rankin, a native of McCook, Nebraska, is deployed from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in support of a New Horizons mission in Belize.
His mother, Opal Feeney, Maxwell, Nebraska, and his father, Dean Rankin, Wichita, Kansas, couldn’t be prouder of their son.
“I was pretty much the first member of my family to enlist in the military,” he said. “My parents are very supportive and think that I made a great decision in joining.”
Rankin is now on his second deployment, operating as the lead electrician on the Hattieville Government School construction site.
First Lady Of Belize Outraged Over Antigay Violence, Fails To Mention Belize’s Antigay Laws
First Lady of Belize Kim Simplis made headlines by coming out strongly against violence targeted at LGBT people.
Speaking via video message at an event at the House of Culture in honor of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, she offered a moral argument for the safety and protection of all citizens.
Except she doesn’t exactly mention that fact that gay sex is currently punishable by ten years in prison in Belize.
Standing with an oppressed minority is great and all, but perhaps she could use her passion and influence to gain the ear of the president on changing the country’s laws.
Since, you know, he’s her husband and all.
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez
Louis Wade’s ‘Two legged Stool’ still has me thinking
I went back into my writings and re-read what Sabino and I were discussing
I found some things quite interesting
That in the following lines I will be sharing
If Belizeans are to truly win
There is an issue that is a fundamental thing that they should be advocating
The prime minister must not be in charge of financing
If we think it through as it stands it’s conflicting
It sets him up as king and undermines the entire system
The George Price era was welfare poli-tricks
It was done in the United States
If you look at the parallel in the 50s
When they work toward the blacks to become citizens
Their plan was to re-enslave them by creating a system of dependency
They gave them handouts - welfare
That is what was promulgated, shipped out to Belize, Jamaica, Trinidad in the 60s
Tapir Day and Fuego’s Fabulous First
The Belize Zoo had a big celebration for Tapir Day, and they celebrated Fuego's first birthday at the event. They wrote an article about the celebration.
"National Tapir Day has truly become the greatest event on the Zoo’s calendar. Every April the Zoo crew is in a high energy state preparing to host students, teachers and special friends from different parts of Belize to celebrate our beloved national animal, the 'Mountain Cow.' April 27th is officially Tapir Day worldwide, and, even though festivities were a little late at the Zoo this year, the excitement and fun was greater than ever!"
May 11 - May 17 2014 Fishing Report
Coming home to familiar faces we’ve seen here at El Pescador is a special treat. Really fun to see Barry and Mark, Bill and Julie and all the incredible staff here at El Pescador. Steve and Chris had an amazing time in Holland and shared pictures of them surrounded in tulips! I returned from weeks of chasing steelhead in the Pacific Northwest and felt pretty lucky as I felt the warm saltwater on my bare feet walking to work. No wool here! Our anglers had a tough week of weather. It’s very rare that we would get a cold front from the north this time of year, but it happened. The fish didn’t like it and became scarce. Everyone gets the “good sport” award for heading out on dark days trying to make something happen. And as I write this, it’s a picture perfect morning. Flat seas and sun. While I wish everyone could experience perfect days all the time, it’s not going to happen. Fishing required showing up prepared. It’s what you do with the conditions that makes the memories. It’s great to back home in Belize.
15 Year Old Murdered; Mother's Second Son Lost
Tonight, Police from Precinct 2 in Belize City are investigating the murder of a 15 year-old boy from East Collet Canal. And while his age indicates he was only a boy, Kevin Connor was caught up in a world of violence and retribution far beyond his years. You see, the teenager was a suspect for the recent murder of Patrick Bevans - he was interviewed by police about the killing, and he was a target in the streets. And so late last night when his body was found in an area adjoining Jane Usher Boulevard - which was Bevans's turf - it was the very tragic fulfillment of a death, which to some extent had been foretold. Today, through tears, his mother - who had already lost a son to violence told Daniel Ortiz how she tried to get her young son out of harm's way:...
Daniel Ortiz reporting
This is the vast expanse of the Port Free Zone, relatively untouched, and mostly neglected after the development prospect which failed here. It's an ideal spot for a body dump or an execution, and that's what police think happened in the case of 15 year-old Kevin Connor.
He was found last night at 10 minutes to 11 with a gunshot to left temple and 1 to the left cheek. Not much else is known at this time about his murder, other than its effect on his family who grieve the loss of this minor and his terrible end:
Police Say Patrols Were Active In Area
And while that's the family's theory about how and why he met his end, police investigators from Precinct 2 are following all leads.
The spot where Connor's body was discovered is quite secluded, but because of the spike in crime in that general area, patrols were out last night - which is what led police to find the body so quickly.
Here's what the lead CIB officer from Precinct 2 told us:
Sgt. Novelo, Investigator CIB - Precinct 2
"Monday the 19th May, 2014 around 10:50pm police visited an area in the Port of Belize that would be the proposed free zone in the Port of Belize where they saw a male person identified as Kevin Conner. He is of 15 years old, he was seen with apparent gunshot to the left temple and left cheek. One expended .38 expended shell was found a there and one .38 live round. What I can tell you so far that it appears that an ongoing rivalry within the Jane Usher Boulevard area."
Mike Rudon, reporter ch5
"Could you tell us how you all discover that body because that's way to the back of nowhere? How did the police get to find the body?"
Sgt. Novelo, Investigator CIB - Precinct 2
"Police are doing routine patrols in the entire Jane Usher Boulevard area and as a result they found the body there. The indication is that he was killed right on the spot that he was found."
SATIIM Says It Will Abide With Court Process Only So Long
Three weeks ago - US Capital Energy rolled over into a new phase of their oil exploration activities in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. That's when the government-sanctioned waiver of the expiration date on their license came into effect. Since then, leaders of the Mayan villages buffering the national park have been consulting with their communities and trying to arrive at a consensus position. It has been complicated because to a large extent, US Capital Energy has used economic influence to create allies in these communities where opportunities are scarce. And US Capital has been steadily backed up by the Government of Belize - which has thrown its support behind the oil company at the political, policy and personnel level.
So where does the balance of power rest now - after US Capital has sniped off key support in buffer communities like Sundaywood? That's what today's press conference outside of Punta Gorda town was supposed to answer. It was held this afternoon - and 7news was there. Greg Ch'oc outlined the consensus position of the communities:...
Greg Ch'oc, Executive Director, SATIIM
"We therefore declare: we this day reassert our inherent right to self-determination as indigenous people under international law. We will not stop nor be deterred from achieving this objective. We demand an immediate halt to the violation of our internationality and nationally recognize right including the plan destruction of our livelihood which we condemn as a form of cultural genocide. We call on the government of Belize to respect the laws of this country and orders of its court by immediately recognizing, respecting and protecting the ancestral customary rights of our people to their lands, territories and natural resources."
Body Of Drowned Man Retrieved in Isabella
24 year-old Belize City resident Keron Michael Jeffords was laid to rest this evening after his body was retrieved from the Belize River in Isabella Bank.
On Sunday afternoon at around 3:00 he went under and didn't resurface. Jeffords was having his birthday party in the village on Owen Hendy's farm, and sometime during the festivities, everyone jumped in the river.
They tried to swim across to the other bank, and Jeffords, who was out in front, was swept away by the strong current before he realized that it was too strong for him to safely swim through.
Police, Port Authority, BDF and Coast Guard had been searching for his body since Sunday, and at around 7:00 this morning, they finally found him. After he was medically examined, the family, who has ties to Isabella Bank made preparations for his immediate burial.
Cops Catch 18lbs Marijuana
The highways are usually almost empty at 3:30 on a weekday mornings - and the only folks running about are cargo truck drivers, cops and outlaws. And this morning at 3:30 - the cops caught some outlaws who were on a marijuana move.
It was a joint operation conducted by the Anti Drug Unit, The Mobile Interdiction Team, The K9 Unit And Customs. They set up a checkpoint at mile 68 on the western Highway in front of Rumors Hotel where they intercepted a gold Geo Prizm with Benque Viejo plates. Inside they found a crocus bag with 11 parcels of marijuana - totaling 18 pounds. Four people were in the car; they are: Maria Trinidad, Jose Roca, Vicente Rosalez, Francisco Martinez and Anna Galvez, all Guatemalan. All were jointly arrested and charged for the offence of Drug trafficking.
Ministry Scolds Instructors At ITVET Toledo
Last night we told you about the blast of hostility from the ITVET in Toledo where the instructors are rebelling against their general manager. They say they had to go to the media because the Ministry of Education wasn't doing anything to help.
Well, today the Ministry sent a release, condemning yesterday's release by the instructors because, it, quote, "has now complicated the on-going investigation." It concludes, solemnly, that, quote, "The Ministry views this release as an attempt to undermine this on-going process." End quote.
The Ministry says that since April, 2014, after becoming aware of the issues raised by the instructors, the Ministry instructed the board to conduct an investigation. An independent observer was put in place to report back to the Ministry on the fairness of the process. On April 9th., a letter was sent to the Manager of the ITVET directing that certain actions be taken.
The Ministry says that the instructors are now bypassing this process, and seeking to be, quote, "accuser, judge and jury."
Reports: Awich Re-appointed to Appeals Court
Justice of Appeal Samuel Awich will be re-appointed to the Court of Appeals. That is the un-official word from reliable sources who say the Prime Minister has written to the leader of the opposition to consult on Awich's re - appointment to the court.
Awich's contract ended on May 15th - the same day that he delivered the lead majority decision in the Court of Appeal judgment on the second acquisition of BTL.
We understand that the 68 year old will now serve until the age of 75. The Prime Minister did not respond to a request for confirmation of this.
SIRDI As Sweet As Sugar
Yesterday the headquarters for the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute near the village of Buena Vista in the Corozal District was opened. It's called Sirdi and it was financed by the European Union and the Sugar Industry Control Board at a cost of 655 thousand dollars. Located at mile 66, the building Institute will assist farmers with knowledge on best planting practices. Here's how it will work:..
Paola Amadei, European Ambassador
"This new location will allow SIRDI to address the technological production and quality requirement of producer, manufacturer and association by promoting and supporting research and development in sugarcane production."
Alfredo Ortega, Chairman BSCFA Committee of Management
"This SIRDI building will really beneficial for the farmers in regards to technical assistance, technical support to the farmers and also in regards to new varieties which will give that opportunity to farmers to have pure varieties in their cane field."
What Will Tobacco Survey Show?
Belize is doing its first Global Youth Tobacco Survey in 6 years. The last one in 2008 showed that 26% of youths between the ages of 13 and 15 had tried a cigarette, while a third felt that people who smoke have more friends. So what will the 2014 survey say? Well, it started yesterday a few days ago and is being administered by the National Drug Abuse Control Council. The Director told us more:..
Esner Vellos, Director - National Drug Council
"In Belize we are looking at surveying approximately 1,600 students from standard 6 to 3rd form from among 40 schools countrywide and this survey would provide us an indication of how the situation of our young people and the information will give us the opportunity to be able to do evidence based programs in terms of reducing tobacco among young people."
The survey runs until the 23rd April and almost 1, 700 Standard Six and first, second and third formers at over 40 schools will participate.
Global Survey On Alcohol Consumption Says Belizean Drinkers Binge
Indeed, alcohol is the drug of first choice for most Belizeans. A global survey by the World Health Organization which was launched last week in Europe shows that Belizean drinkers consume large volumes of alcohol. Spread across the entire population, consumption is quite low in comparison to other countries, but it is trending up sharply. From 2003 to 2008, the average consumption for persons 15 and older was 5.3 litres of pure alcohol per year - that's about 12 pints. But for 2008 to 2013, it was up to 6.8 litres, about 14 pints. And while that is the average, the study found that among drinkers, consumption was very high - meaning there's a lot of binge drinking, or what would be called, sprees. Male drinkers 15 and older consumed 67.8 pints of pure alcohol, and females of that same age, about 44 pints. Amongst drinkers that's the highest rate we saw in the Caribbean and Latin America - and it is twice or three times the figure seen in some other countries of the region. We asked Vellos about this worrying outcome today:
Esner Vellos, Director - National Drug Council
"Whereas a global level Belize is just a small percentage in terms of the overall global consumption of tobacco, but when we zoom it into the consumption trends in Belize, our people consume a lot of alcohol. At the same time when you look at a consumption per capita basis where it is high then that means that as a country we need to do more to be able to educate our people in terms of the risks of consuming alcohol. Another trend that we have also been seen is the increase of fetal alcohol syndrome in the country of Belize and that is very much alarming because we are now seeing that the kids are born with alcohol in their system. It's something that as a country we need to emphasize the need of making the right choices in terms of consumption of alcohol."
Jewelry Thieves Accused of Mass Pawning
25 year-old Jamil Meighan and 31 year-old Wilfred Stanley continue to face criminal charges after they were taken to court for over $10,000 in stolen from a Belize City woman, which they allegedly attempted to fence at pawn shops around the city.
29 year-old Jamil Meighan reported to police that between April 9 and April 12, her house on Freshman Street, West Landivar, was burglarized and stolen were an assortment of jewelry to a total value of $10,390. Police investigate her report for a little over a month, and they managed to recover some of the stolen jewelry from JL's Quick Loan, JEC Company and Fair Brothers Pawn Shop. Evidence given by personnel at these business places suggested that Meighan and Stanley went there with the stolen items and sold it to them.
UWI Professor Sacked Over UNIBAM Case
Public pressure from the 33+ Caribbean Gay rights activist groups has led to Jamaican Professor Brendan Bain being terminated from the University of the West Indies. The organizations contended that his expert evidence in the controversial UNIBAM challenge in the Supreme Court of Belize was "anti-gay".
As we told you last night, Bain was the director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative. He was respected as one of the Caribbean's foremost experts in s a pioneer in clinical infectious disease practice in the Caribbean and a leading medical authority on the HIV epidemic in the region. That all came to an end when the gay rights lobby groups found out that in August of 2012 he gave expert evidence in the Caleb Orozco/UNIBAM Challenge to Belize's Criminal Code in trying to get the sodomy laws repealed.
In his deposition, he noted that some public health practitioners and agencies have hypothesized that decriminalizing the practice of anal sex among consenting adults would lead a reduction in the incidents of HIV infections among men having sex with men.
Red Cross Contemplating Disaster Contingencies
The Belize Red Cross is hosting what's called a regional contingency meeting at the Ramada Princess Hotel.
Forty delegates from throughout the Caribbean and Latin America are here for the meeting which is all about contingency plans, what to do when something, or many things go wrong - as always happens in a disaster. The facilitator explained it's about finding the holes in the system and plugging them:
Jan Gelfand, Deputy Director - PGMS and Operations - Red Cross America's
"What this meaning doing here is that we are trying to put all those pieces of this jigsaw puzzle together so that everybody knows what they should be doing. We know how we can bring everyone together to really be able to respond in a quick and efficient manner. This is bringing people together in a continuation of a process. These plans are already there, but in the course of the year national societies from throughout the region gain new skills, they have new ways of working, they have new ways of innovation and technology come up, so we try to make sure that we are up to date with how we address. A short example: we now have the ability to do our assessments of needs telephones; on an android base system so that we can put them into a cloud and people have immediately real-time access to what's happening so they know what's happening. Navy has access to that, donors have access to that, so what this means is a continuation of doing better what we've already been doing because we've been working together for years and years."
Belize Vids Star In Regional Competition
CANTO is the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations and every year they host an event to get students to start talking and thinking about telecommunications. It used to be an essay contest, but times have changed, so now they are being asked to submit videos. And this year, A Belizean video won first place - while another won fourth place. The subject is broadband internet and how it affects the lives of individuals and a nation. Here are those prize presentations, first from the first place finisher William Mahler Jr, a UB student who put together something better than most of the ads we see on local TV:..
As the 1st Place winner Mahler gets a trip for 2 plus hotel accommodation to CANTO's 30th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition in the Bahamas in August , 2014, along with a computer tablet and $1,000 US dollars. The 4th Place finisher gets a smartphone.
A Belizean won the essay competition two years ago.
The Idea of A True Belize Channel For "States"
And those videos would probably go well on a venture out of LA called the True Belize Channel. Now, it's only a youtube channel but developer Faron Smith thinks he's unto something. The LA resident hopes to tap into the huge Belizean American community in the states by hosting, producing and developing content just for Belizeans. That includes the movie he's currently working on, called "States". He explains that it exposes the pitfalls of going to America:..
Excerpts of the movie which is still under development - can be found on that True Belizean youtube channel. He explained what that's about in greater detail:..
Mastering A Monopoly
Belize Dry Cleaners has a monopoly on dry cleaning - and owner Lascelle Arnold wants to keep it that way. As we've shown you on this newscast previously, he's invested heavily in state of the art equipment that can do everything from folding shirts to ironing pants. And now to make sure his personnel keep pace with the technology, he brought in a trainer from the National cleaners Association in New York to train them:
Breaking News: Body of man found in Santana Village
There is breaking news tonight, as the body of an unidentified male believed to be in his forties has been found in the village of Santana in the Belize District. [...]
15 year old executed behind Port of Belize
The youngest murder victim for this year is a fifteen year old Belize City resident. He was executed on Monday, shot twice to the head at close range. Police found [...]
Recently confiscated rosewood sold off at preferential prices to German Vega
Tonight, there is confirmation that an undisclosed, but significant amount of rosewood has disappeared from the Savannah Forest Station. We say disappeared, but there’s no magic involved, just a Cabinet [...]
Medina Bank residents up in arms about rosewood fiasco
While Cabinet’s decision is causing a stink, it has also angered residents of Medina Bank. Viewers may recall that in April, residents of that community acted to seize thirty-one pieces [...]
Do you support oil explorations in Maya communal lands?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support oil explorations in Maya communal lands? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our [...]
SATIIM mobilizes for another round of litigation
There was a large gathering of Maya communities in Punta Gorda today. In fact, leaders and representatives from thirty-eight communities were present for the event in which the Sarstoon Temash [...]
Is DAVCO creating division within the Mayan communities?
There is a serious charge being made tonight that the District Association of Village Councils which convened a meeting in Toledo over the weekend is creating division within the Mayan [...]
Keron Jeffords body recovered from Belize Old River
Twenty-four year old Keron Jeffords was celebrating his birthday along with friends in Isabella Bank when his birthday celebration ended in his death. The Belize City resident went swimming in [...]
2 Guatemalans acquitted of murder in the south
Two men are tonight free from the charge of murder; Adelso Picon Rodriguez and Nilo Morales Valdez who were accused of the March 2010 murder of Valentin Duarte which occurred [...]
Nephew pleads guilty to manslaughter of uncle
A nephew, who was being tried for a second time for the murder of his uncle, chose to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in the Orange Walk [...]
Justice Samuel Awich’s contract is extended for an additional eight years
In other news from the judiciary, the faces of the current Court of Appeal are expected to remain the same at least for the near future. There is word tonight [...]
2 Belizean students among top four winners in regional competition
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is observed annually in the Caribbean on May seventeenth. It is spearheaded by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and this past Saturday, to [...]
Belize Red Cross hosts regional contingency planning workshop
The Belize Red Cross is hosting a regional contingency planning workshop with representatives from CARICOM nations as well as international partner societies in the US, Norway and France. The two-day [...]
Regional workshop discusses challenges in disaster preparedness
One of the key issues being discussed is the challenge facing the region when it comes to adequate response to natural disasters. Head of Programs and Operations for the International [...]
Belizean American producer in country to promote new film
Another visitor is Belizean-American Artist and Producer, Faron Smith, who is here promoting his new film, “States.” Smith, who is also the producer of the “True Belizean Channel” in the [...]
Ministry of Health hosts mental health workshop
The Ministry of Health today held a mental health workshop. The workshop held at the Belize Institute of Management was focused on the need for stakeholders to provide employment for [...]
Stakeholders get training and coaching in supporting mental health persons
Helping with the workshop is Disability Aid Abroad representative, Carey Ann Clarke. According to Clarke, they are bringing their forty years of experience of supporting and training persons with mental [...]
Harvest for Kids 2014
The Belize Camping Experience is a Belize City based N.G.O. that was established back in 2008 and has been sponsoring summer camps across the city. While the youth organization has [...]
#491170 - 05/21/14 12:03 PM
Re: Today's Belize News: May 21, 2014
More News: Scroll up from here
ST. Francis Credit Union To Hold Its AGM
On Sunday, the St. Francis Xavier Credit Union will be hosting its 33rd Annual General Meeting in the Corozal District and making the rounds to inform its membership of the event is General Manager Rafael Dominguez. Dominguez gave us a synopsis of what their membership can expect and a look at the institutions performance this fiscal year.
RAFAEL DOMINGUEZ – General Manager, Corozal St. Francis Credit Union
“We have concluded another profitable, successful another annual year, and we are proud to say and to mention that we have been able to grow by a thousand five hundred new membership and we also stood with our asset of over 66 million dollars.”
Maria Novelo – Reporter
“What is it that makes you guys so competitive and makes you stand out from the rest?”
RAFAEL DOMINGUEZ – General Manager, Corozal St. Francis Credit Union
“I guess that we are growing and making us to be competitive in the market because we have a numerous line of services as well as benefits and this year we have been able to launch our new services like the checking account which in combines with credit line or facilities. Our membership should expect an understandable report that we will be presenting by the different committees including the board of directors and myself and I believe that based on what is our countries economy our membership will be satisfied in receiving back what is a call it dividends.”
Chairman Of San Andres Village Calls On Area Rep. To Fix Main Street
As we approach the 2014 Hurricane season, the northern part of the country is already experiencing isolated showers and as a result concerns by some on road conditions are being voiced. One such complaint is stemming from the Chairman of San Andres Village in the Corozal District. Today, Glenford Melvin, Chairman of San Andres Village visited our news bureau in Corozal Town sharing his concerns.
Glenford Melvin – Chairman
“Well right now as the chairman as everybody lean at the chairman when something is going on bad and at this moment we have problems with the roads again, the last time the present minister gave a contract to their own people in the village to fix the road good and the road is bad and I could see that problem could come later on and somebody could get knock down and that is why I am coming to address this problem that we have big pot holes and what I am seeing is that the drivers try to save their vehicles so the run out of the road and especially when it is school time they could get knock down. We have one candidate that represent the UDP in our council and I spoke to him and he told me plain that he has the contract to repair the road and he told me he has gotten monies from Mr. Hugo Patt but he didn’t told me how much money he got, and they will fix the road and yes they had some of their colleagues fixing the road now the road is in bad condition again and the holes have gotten bigger.”
Harvest For Kids And Circle R Works Hand In Hand
An innovative, commendable program called Harvest for Kids which was launched by the Belize Camping Experience keeps making raves with the media. The programs purpose is to provide outreach to at risk Belize City Children by giving them an opportunity to get out of their crime-ridden communities and visit farms around Belize. The objective of the intervention is such that they get to see how the farming communities live and how peaceful living outside of the city can be like. But this year, program organizers plan on getting kids from Orange Walk engaged in the program. Josie Gongora, the teams’ new recruit stopped by our studios to share the good news.
Josie Gongora– Coordinator, Harvest for kids
“Harvest for kids este año 2014 está yendo fuerte también y después de la última cosecha que tuvimos el año pasado este ano estamos trabajando con los niños en Belice y también con los campamento de verano que va hacer algo bien excitante, algo bien alegre para los niños y algo nuevo queremos tener este ano es tener campamento en Orange Walk o sea que no solo en Belice sino queremos tenerlo aquí en Orange Walk.”
Belize Ranks The Highest In Alcohol Consumption
According to a worldwide study on alcohol consumption from the World health Organization, Belize is among the top ten countries that has the highest rate of alcohol dependence in the region. The study measured consumption rates, favorite types of alcohol, and side effects such as addiction, road accidents and liver cirrhosis. Perú reported the highest rate of alcoholism, at 4.9 percent of its population, followed by Colombia and Belize at 4.5 being the highest rank. Costa Rica reported a rate of 3.1 percent, barely edging out 27 other countries in the region who reported rates between 2.9 percent and 2.5 percent. For comparison, the U.S. had a rate of 4.7 percent.
Belize also ranked third in the region for alcohol disorders. WHO defines disorders as including “acute intoxication, harmful use, dependence syndrome, withdrawal syndrome, (with and without delirium), psychotic disorders, and amnesic syndrome.”
Early Rainy Season, A Major Risk Factor For Cane Farmer To Deliver Their Cane
The sugar industry has been a major focus over the last months for both positive and not so positive reasons. This year has proven to be one of the most challenging years for the industry stakeholders given the late start in crop, the inconsistent climate among other things.
While it was estimated to be one of the most productive year, with an estimated sugar cane production of about 1.2 million tons, the afore mentioned issues may see farmers still facing major losses. We are now past mid-May and the rains have started, placing farmers in a rather critical position. Vice Chair of the Committee of Management of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association says farmers may not be able to deliver all their cane.
Alfredo Ortega – Vice Chair, Committee of Management, BSCFA
“If the rain starts to fall more heavy then it will be more impossible for farmers to bring out their cane and then the crop would have to come to a stop if we want to maintain the quality which we have strived to maintain at this point in time look at three weeks ago we had 9.25 and we have jumped a one point above so we are at 9.35 that is not beneficial to us but that is very important for us to give that helping hand to the farmers to try to deliver the amount they can because a farmer doesn’t make any money if he don’t deliver his cane to the mill.”
Commisioner Of Lands Will Re-issue Land To Jose Novelo
On April 23rd we broke the story on a land quarrel that had ensued between family members. Jose Emilio Novelo has been working his 54.843 acre farm land located in the Indian Church Area of Orange Walk for well over thirty-five years but for several years since 2007 his payments for his lease on these lands was not accepted at the lands department. This sent up red flags and soon after Novelo learned that the lease was applied for by Everisto Novelo, his brother, in 2010. Since that year, his brother had been making payments for the lease. Novelo says that he was never issued a cancelation letter and after all the hard work put into that land, he was not willing to just let it all go. After complaints were filed at the Lands Department, an investigation was conducted and sure enough that investigation has concluded. We spoke with Commissioner of Lands Wilber Vallejos who says there is enough proof to re-issue the land to Jose Novelo.
Wilber Vallejos - Commissioner of Lands
“He had a lease and his lease had expired, when he went onto the media and said that the Government of Belize didn’t wanted to accept payment it wasn’t because it was given to someone else because his land expired well before that happened it was because his lease had expired and so the new system now locks the account and prevents but is a good thing that he couldn’t pay because then he was able to know that something was wrong with the land.
Investigations For ESTM Students Remains On-going
On April 8th 2014, we reported on the tragic death of two students who were enrolled at the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico, after a class trip went horribly wrong. 16 year old Edgar Puck from the Village of Patchakan and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin Village both drowned.
As we’ve reported the students were returning home from a school trip at the Che Chem Ha Caves, when the group made a stop in San Ignacio near the low-lying bridge to wash themselves but both students was carried by the currents causing them to drown.
Since then an investigation on behalf of the Ministry of Education along with the Board of Directors of ESTM has been ongoing. Today when we followed up on the investigation we were informed that the investigations is still being carried out and sometime next week the board should have a response for the media.
CCC Celebrated Drug Awareness Week
A health observance week for students at the Corozal Community College with the aim to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse was officially launched yesterday during a special assembly at the school’s auditorium. Solangel Sanchez, councilor at CCC told us more on the objective of this year’s observance.
Solangel Sanchez – School Councilor
“This week as you have rightfully said is drug awareness week at our school and we are celebrating it under the theme,“ A healthy me is drug free” and this goes throughout this week, our goal is to make sure that the children are well informed and to be able to make the right decisions as to live a healthy life, a drug free life so yesterday we began with an assembly by the class of 1L and they did a wonderful presentation on the theme and they also tied it with bullying because that is also one of the things that we looking at our school to decrease bullying, decrease drugs so together we worked with the children and we worked with NDACC and so the director declared the week opened and gave a speech to the students to make sure that they keep on doing the right thing that is to stay drug free, we distribute the ribbons to all the students as a reminder that they are to remain drug free. Class presentation started from NDACC office with the help of them concerning drug awareness and also what we were doing is having the science teachers and the homeroom teachers talk to children about drug awareness.”
SIRDI Strategically Located Will Be The Main Hub Of The Sugar Industry
The sugar industry is a vital component in the economic development of Belize. Therefore its sustainability and competitiveness in the international market is critical for all stakeholders. Therein lies the purpose of the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute, a technical organization that provides research and extension services to cane farmers to support improved productivity and quality of sugar cane production.
Established in 2009, SIRDI has made significant strides in the industry in the last five years but there is much left to be achieved. With a new headquarters building strategically situated at mile 66.5 Phillip Goldson Highway in the Corozal District, the aim is to focus on its key components to push the industry forward. The organization has enjoyed continuous support from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, IICA and the European Union. Tonight, we take a look at where the collective efforts of these organizations have led the sugar industry.
Dalila Ical – Reporting
SIRDI was launched as a response by government and stakeholders to the challenges faced in the sugar industry. Ambassador Paola Amadei of the EU says the organization is a “sign of a wave of change” in the lacking sugar sector.
International Museums Day Celebrated In Orange Walk
Every year since 1977 International Museum Day has been observed worldwide. The International Council of Museums, ICOM, established the occasion which is held on or around May 18th and this year marks the 36th annual celebration. It has evolved into a big deal as in 2013 almost thirty-five thousand museums globally hosted events in more than 143 countries. This year, the event is being held under the theme ‘Museum Collections make Connections’ which emphasizes not only the purpose but also the significance of museums which is to help create bonds between people, their cultures and generations. In Orange Walk Town, the Banquitas House of Culture joined in on the celebrations and opened a rather unique exhibit, perhaps the first of its kind in years at the House of Culture. Here is a look at the exhibition.
Dalila Ical- Reporting
In celebration of International Museum Day, Museums across the world host events and here in Orange Walk, the coordinators at the Banquitas House of Culture opened the “Currencies of the World, Past and Present” exhibit. Cindy Rivero is the Assistant Coordinator.
Cindy Rivero – Assistant Coordinator, Banquitas HOC
“The purpose of this exhibition is that the public and the students feel connected to the museum so with this exhibition we are trying to have the persons view the exhibition and make them feel a connection especially with our country Belize because the exhibition is about currencies. The exhibition will be here for two days so we are asking the general public to come and to take this opportunity and to see this very impressive collection that we have.”
Shots Fired In San Pedro
A few shooting incidents were recorded on the tourist mecca of San Pedro Town. The first occurred on Saturday around 3:15 in San Pablo Area. Police report that they visited a wooden apartment building where they found seventeen year old Irma Mejia suffering from gunshot wounds to the abdomen, right side of her jaw and her right thumb. Mejia reported that two men fire shots at her front door, gained access to her apartment and fired shots at her. She was rushed to the San Pedro Poly Clinic and then transported to the K.H.M.H via Wings of Hope in a critical but stable condition. Two (2) .38 expended shells was recovered from the scene. Police have since detained two men as investigations continue. Police are seeking two in connection to this incident.
A second shooting incident occurred yesterday at around 11pm where police acted on a tip that was given of a shooting in San Pedrito Area of town. 23 year old Nigel Polanco, construction workers was seen with gunshot wounds to his left leg and 45-year-old Aurora Gonzalez of San Pedrito Area with apparent gunshot wounds to her left knee and left middle finger. Initial investigation revealed that while Polanco and Gonzalez were outside their residence on the Street socializing with others when the sound of a gunshot was heard. As a result both persons received injuries. They were then transported to the San Pedro Poly clinic for medical treatment. Police have recovered a live shotgun cartridge from the scene and are looking for one man in regards to this incident.
LICU Holds Annual AGM
It was a full house at the People’s Stadium on Saturday for La Inmaculada Credit Union’s 65th Annual General Meeting. The occasion saw the banking institutions membership, Directors, Officers, Management and staff gathered in mass to commemorate and celebrate sixty five years of unity, savings, benefits, services and much success. LICU’s General Manager, Yolanda Gomez, told CTV3 News the 2013/2014 fiscal year report card was extremely pleasing as the banking institution grew in assets, savings, loans, surplus and members.
Yolanda Gomez – General Manager, LICU
“That is the only possible through the joint effort and collaboration of every team player; my board, my officers, my staff and the members owners, the most important being the members owners.”
Maria Novelo – Reporter
“What do you think is contributing to this maybe we have a slack kind of economy?”
Yolanda Gomez – General Manager, LICU
“Yes, but I will be honest with you the way to grow our economy and our country is through entrepreneurship and micro-entrepreneurship, the population out there who are self-generating income individuals are the majority and we are taking out our services to these individuals, we are promoting entrepreneurship, we are encouraging the productive sector and we are going out to the remote areas, our outreach initiative engulfs all those who had never had a saving account at a formal institution ever, they definitely have a piggy bank and they probably slip still in a little can or under the mattress but when they do that they don’t enjoy all the other benefits they now have access to credit and affordable credit and all the other benefits like protection which is somewhat like the insurance coverage, burial fund, the use of ATM ...
Village Museums Celebrate Their Day
At the top of the segment we showed you how the Banquitas House of Culture celebrated International Museum Day in Orange Walk. Each year, International Museum Day sees additional museums across the globe taking part in the event and this year Belize was added to the list of 143 participating countries. Reporter Victor Castillo has the story from Corozal.
Victor Castillo- Reporting
“Museum collections make connections” is this year’s theme for International Museums Day, an activity celebrated across the globe by over 35,000 museums from 143 countries in 5 different continents.
All these exhibition halls, including those in Belize, organized several activities for today so as to bring awareness on the importance of natural and cultural heritage. Among the many participating museums is the Corozal House of Culture.
Debora Wilkes – Coordinator C.H.O.C
“This is our second event last year we had an unveiling of Fort Barley a replica. This year we really focused in our village museums since we really took that theme to heart this year and we have brought ought together three village museums, the Malate Museum in Progresso Village, the Garifuna Museum from Libertad Village and we have the East Indian Museum from Ranchito Village. People are not aware of these museums so it was wonderful to discover them and bring them under one roof for the community to see and to be educated.”
SIRDI Inaugurates New Headquarters
The new headquarters for the Sugar Industry Research Development Institute, SIRDI, was officially inaugurated this afternoon.
The new address is at mile 66.5 of the Phillip Goldson Highway in the Corozal District. The government of Belize, the European Union, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture and the SIRDI representatives joined by farmers attended the milestone event.
The location of the building is strategically centralized between both northern districts to facilitate access to the services by stakeholders in the industry. The institution, SIRDI was introduced, or at least the idea was in the 2001 revised Sugar Act.
It was officially launched in 2009 but there was still a need for a proper facility to be effective and to have an immediate impact on sugar production. In November 2013, construction for that much needed facility began and is now fully operational after today. IICA representative for Belize, Jean Lowry and Ambassador Paola Amadei of the EU were present for the occasion.
14 and 11 Year Old Girls Knocked Down In Corozal
Two students from an area known as Skeleton Town in Corozal are tonight lucky to be alive after they were knocked down while double riding over the weekend.
On Saturday around 6:30pm, the mother of 14 year old Vianney Pott and 11 year old sister Daniela Pott sent them to the nearby store, a short while after, the girls sister received the bad news that they had been involved in an accident. An accident that was captured by a surveillance camera located in the area.
“Yo me meti al cuarto cuando mi pone sono y era una de mis compañeras de trabajo. Ella me dijo que acaban de tropear a Vianney por mi casa. Yo sali de mi cuarto y le dije a mi mama. Y todos nos salimos corriendo. Mi mama se fue para el hospital y yo me fui para donde sucedió el accidente. Le pregunte a mi amiga qu paso y ella me dijo que estaba en su casa cuando escucho la bulla fue que ella salió corriendo y vio que era mi hermanita y me llamo a mí. Cuando yo le fue estaban llevando al chofer a la estación y parece que él estaba borracho y su mujer también. Yo le doy gracias a dios que ellas están bien por lo que yo veo en el video podría a ver sido peor.”
According to father of the victims, it seems that after going to the store, the girls decided to visit a friend who lives across the Philip Goldson Highway also known as 7th Avenue.
Loaded Towhead Overturns On Philip Goldson Highway
A white towhead truck loaded with cement traveling towards Orange Walk Town overturned on Friday night in the village of Louisville in the Corozal District.
Reports indicate that the 18 wheeler, bearing license plate OW A 00400, driven at the time by 25 year old Cesario Che from the village of Cristo Rey, was reaching the village of Louisville in the Corozal District when a bus made a stop in the opposite direction. At that time another vehicle stopped in front of the truck.
Reports are that Che hit the brakes but the truck didn’t respond. To avoid crashing behind the vehicle Che swerved off the road causing the tow head to overturn. Che sustained only minor injuries. Police are currently investigating.
Hundreds Take Part In Cancer Walk
Throngs of people showed up on Saturday morning for the annual Cancer Walk – one of many events that help spread awareness about a disease that touches so many around the world including Belize. This year's Cancer Walk touched many as it saw hundreds of participants: survivors, caretakers, and supporters all coming together with the hope of raising awareness about the disease and the importance of early detection. Our news team participated in the event and filed the following report.
Maria Novelo – Reporting
Not too long ago cancer was only spoken about in hushed tones; but on Saturday, approximately 1,000 participants and supporters proudly sported shades of green, supporting cancer prevention and treatment. Bahdra Coleman of the Cancer Support Group in Orange Walk, says this annual celebration of life, hope and courage was a smashing success.
Bahdra Coleman – OW Cancer Support Group
“We’re trying to promote awareness and for other to know that there are survivors and with early detection we have a lot of chance of making it.”
16 Year Old Held In Mexican Grounds Is Back In Belize
Mexican newspapers are tonight reporting that the 16 year old Belizean minor who was rescued from the grips of a man who allegedly use to verbally and physically abuse her, hails from the Village of August Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District. El Diario De Quintana Roo reports that the 16 year old, who was placed under the guard of the Office for the Protection of Children and Families, was handed over to the National Immigration Institute (INM) to be repatriated to her country, Belize.
And tonight we can safely say that the 16 year old is on Belizean soil under the protective care of Human Services, this is according to the Director of Human Services, Judith Alpuche. According to Alpuche the department is also working along with the Human Trafficking Unit of the police. Th child will not be handed over to her family until the department can sort out what exactly happened in this case.
As previously reported, on May 2nd Mexican authorities were on mobile patrol on 68 Street on Colonia Jesús Martinez in Felipe Carillo Puerto in Quintana Roo when their attention was drawn to a vehicle that was parked in the dark and two persons where inside arguing.
#491171 - 05/21/14 12:04 PM
Re: Today's Belize News: May 21, 2014
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UWI Professor Gets Walking Papers After Statement Rendered in Court
Yesterday we told you about Professor Brendan Bain from the University of the West Indies. The university came under fire by a coalition of 34 LGBT organizations. Those organizations had a problem with the testimony that professor Bain submitted to the Belize Supreme Court. A problem that resulted in us having to inform you that the University of the West Indies has fired Professor Bain. A release from the university states that quote, “While the University recognises the right of Professor Bain to provide expert testimony in the manner he did, it has become increasingly evident that Professor Bain has lost the confidence and support of a significant sector of the community which the CHART programme is expected to reach, including the loss of his leadership status in PANCAP, thereby undermining the ability of this programme to effectively deliver on its mandate. It is for this reason that the University of the West Indies has decided to terminate the contract of Professor Bain as Director of the Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) of the Caribbean HIV/Training (CHART) Network”, end of quote.
Coast Guard Retrieves Body from River
24-year-old, Keron Michael Jeffords was laid to rest at the Eternal Gardens Cemetery a little after five o’clock this evening. Jeffords lost his life after he drowned in Isabella Bank on Sunday. He died on his birthday. The Belize Coast Guard and his family were searching for his body for two straight days and it was until this morning that Jeffords was found. His mother, Ilona Jeffords, told us that they are contented that they were able to put their loved one to rest.
“The Coast Guard found his body; it took two days to find his body. We were up there by the Isabella Bank River yesterday and today; I am glad we found him so that we can give him a proper burial. He could swim but this happened because he was filled with food and that is what made him drown. People said they heard him calling for help and they saw him go down and they found him in the same position with his hand up. One of his hands was in a bad state, it seems the animals were eating his hand.”
Saldivar Says Kim’s Passport Can Be Used to Boost Prosecution
In addition to speaking on the immigration files in his possession, PUP Standard Bearer for the Belize Rural North division, Arthur Saldivar says the case against Elvin Penner should still be able to be persecuted without the missing files by using Won Hong Kim’s Belizean passport.
“There is a great probability and high possibility that the case can be prosecuted without the documents that are being withheld by the Immigration Department at this time, that which Hulse is more than happy to say, is missing. If you have a passport, it is the fruit of the poisoned tree and so, the passport coming from Taiwan that bears Wong Hong Kim’s name and has the date of issuance will give the prosecution in this case a big boost in proving its case because Penner has gone on national media to say that he did do what he did; you cannot take that away and so, circumstantially, sufficient evidence exist and apart from that, you have the Prime Minister, who at the start of this entire ordeal made known to the nation that he had seen documents and that he is sufficiently satisfied that there were a litany of impropriety sufficient to actuate him, to dismiss Penner from Cabinet and to get rid of him from his party. With all these things, the prosecution has a treasure trove of evidence to be brought before the court and they can do so by use of the subpoena method; have them come to court, have the Prime Minister come; drag his ass there and let’s get this thing underway.”
PUP Standard Bearer Says Immigration Minister is a Liar
Last week Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse commented on the police investigation into the immigration department regarding Won Hong Kim. While he added his criticism of the police department’s lack of carrying out a thorough investigation into the matter he also said he was concerned and is anxious to know how documents from the immigration department ended in the hands of attorney Arthur Saldivar. Hulse said that a proper investigation should shed some light into where are the missing Won Hong Kim nationality files. According to Hulse, Arthur Saldivar claimed to have one hundred and fifty files, five of which were handed over to police along with a couple photocopies of passports. Hulse believes there are 145 missing files that could be in the possession of Saldivar and are essential in the investigation. We asked Arthur Saldivar if he has any more immigration and nationality files that can help in the investigation.
“Let me first address the issue of Hulse; the man is a blowhard, a liar and totally incompetent at what he is doing as the Minister of Immigration and he should resign. At the end of the day, what Godwin Hulse is seeking to do is distract the Belizean public with BS – total nonsense.
Mother Says His Son’s Murder was Retaliation
Investigators of Precinct One of the Belize Police Department are investigating the recent murder of a 15-year-old, Belize City resident. Last night just around eleven o’clock, the authorities were called out to an area on Caesar Ridge Road where they encountered the body of Kevin Shaquille Connor bearing two gunshot wounds to the head. In an interview with the young victim’s mother, Sharon Jorgenson, she expressed her belief on why her son was murdered.
“I saw my son for the last time yesterday around twenty minutes past nine o’clock in the morning when he left from here. He would usually come home around six or seven o’clock at the latest but yesterday when I saw that it was nine o’clock and I was waiting on him to come home and eat, I started to worry but then I thought that since he likes to hang out with his friends, I said maybe he was just hanging out late. In last month, someone had killed a young man, Patrick Bevans by Jane Usher Boulevard and his common-law-wife called my son’s name and said it was my son that killed her man and since then they have targeted my son.
So Far So Good with Sugar
In speaking with Alfredo Ortega, we asked him to update on the negotiations regarding payment for bagasse.
“The crop is going quite good at this point in time, we have delivered above eight hundred tons; to be exact, we have delivered 867 thousand tons of cane which has produced 93,071 tons of sugar, which is very good but yet there is an amount as yet for the farmers to deliver. I believe we have about four hundred thousand in field and all will depend on the weather, on how the weather will be from now till the end of June. Hopefully, we have the faith that God will give us the opportunity to deliver as much as we can and we believe that we have in the vicinity of a little bit above one point two million tons of cane for this crop year.”
“This is mid-May and we have started to see a lot of rains starting to come down; are you considering that maybe you won’t be able to take out all of the cane in the fields?”
Big drop in butane prices
The price of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), both imported and domestic, has declined by more than $10 per 100 lb cylinder, marking its first decrease since 2013.
The Belize Bureau of Standards announced a $13 reduction on LPG imported from PEMEX in Mexico and $16 from Central America, effective from May 8th, .
Punta Gorda, which has the highest retail price for gas countrywide, benefited most from the price drop, which adjusted the cost from $133 to $120. Belize City and Corozal now enjoy the lowest price for imported gas in the country at $115 per 100 lb cylinder.
LPG from Belize Natural Energy is now priced at $108 per 100 lb and this is available in Burrell Boom, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Benque Viejo Del Carmen and Punta Gorda.
Teenager is latest casualty of City gang rivalry
Police are investigating the murder of 15 year old Kevin Shaquille Connor which occurred last night in the Port Loyola area of Belize City.
According to police, a mobile patrol unit found his body sometime around 10:50 p.m. Monday, with gunshot wounds to the left temple and left cheek in the open area behind Port of Belize Limited on Caesar Ridge Road where the Carnival Cruise Line operation was to have been located. He is the younger brother of 18 year old Christopher Jorgenson, who was shot while on the basketball court on Curl Thompson Street across from his residence and died a few days later.
Belize Red Cross hosts regional strategy meeting
Whenever there is an earthquake, hurricane, a fire or flood, you will find us, we’re the Red Cross, and we do a world of good.”
This line from the official Red Cross Society song, composed by Governor General Sir Colville Young, sums up the name and prestige of the organization’s mandate.
With the hurricane season less than two weeks away, if any are to hit Belize, the agency expected to respond almost immediately is the Belize Red Cross.
Today it hosted a regional meeting of Red Cross Societies focusing on disaster preparedness management.
But Jan Gelfand, regional deputy director of operations for the Red Cross Americas Zone told us that attendant social problems in the region such as poverty, migration, urbanization, violence and environmental issues need to be taken into consideration in outlining strategy not only for disasters, but for the everyday humanitarian work of the International Red Cross Movement.
Mental health workers train to support job seekers
It’s difficult enough to get a job these days, but if you have physical and especially mental disabilities, it can be even tougher.
Persons who have succumbed to depression or suicidal thoughts, or those with more straightforward disorders including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and others may be discarded despite their qualifications and experience.
The Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Unit aims to change that, beginning with a briefing for persons who work with mental patients to re-integrate them back into society.
Nurse Eleanor Bennett of the Mental Health Unit says that having a mental disability should not be a death sentence for a prospective job-seeker who may have unique perspectives to offer.
UWI ends contract with Professor Brendan Bain
The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper is reporting that the University of the West Indies today relieved Professor Brendan Bain of his leadership of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network.
According to the Gleaner report, the reason given by the UWI for terminating the contract of Professor Bain is that he had lost the confidence and support of the gay community, a significant sector of the network’s client base.
Gay advocacy groups turned on Professor Bain after he gave expert witness testimony last year in the challenge to section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code and they wrote to the Vice Chancellor Professor E. Nigel Harris making thier displeasure with Professor Bain known.
Professor Bain’s testimony pointed out that countries which have removed or repealed buggery laws have experienced an increase in the rate of HIV/AIDS infections.
In his expert testimony, Professor Bain was also of the opinion that a change of Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code could have harmful effects on the nation’s economy.
Body of teenager found in Belize City
A teenage boy was murdered in Belize City last night. The victim has been identified as 15 year old Kevin Shakuile Conner, a resident of East Collet Canal street.
Police say that a mobile patrol in the area behind Port of Belize came across Connor’s body with an apparent gunshot to the left temple and one to the left cheek.
The body of the teenager now lies at the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where it awaits a post mortem examination. Police investigations continue.
“Teardrops” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
On the drive in to ‘Town for breakfast (where else but at Estel’s Dine By the Sea) it was obvious that the locals were feeling the cold with many of them attired in sweat tops and hoodies. Not so cold though that it prevented some of them mounting a charity drive in Pescador Drive for a young child requiring medical treatment.
There’s little doubt that the island has its less savoury aspects with fairly frequent (well, one is too frequent) incidents of burglary or, worse still, shootings. But it has its redeeming side too and the manner in which the community rallies together to help the more needy demonstrates very forcibly and tangibly that on Ambergris Caye there is a community with heart and compassion. A sizeable number of people that care and are willing to get up and do something. A facet of human nature that I didn’t experience too often in my previous home of London in the UK.
This state of euphoria took on a change for the worse though when I got home and I was reminded of something my Dad very often said to me. “Don’t shit on your own doorstep son” he used to say. He wasn’t a particularly well educated man. He could’nt read or write very well. He didn’t say a lot. But when he did say something it normally made sense and was sound advice.
Beautiful Things on A Beautiful Day: A Walk, Shopping & Lunch in San Pedro
We are inching towards the “hurricane season” in the Tropics – the official start date is June 1st. To get us ready for a bit more rain, we had a pretty full day of it just last weekend when a VERY late season cold front passed through (temperatures dipped into the 70s at night!)
But since Saturday, the temperatures have risen and the sky has been a gorgeous deep blue. Yesterday was a perfect example of hot late spring weather.
I took a late morning walk to town. Central Park looking lovely.
A gorgeous ripe mango bouquet. Present your boyfriend or girlfriend with one of these? Tres romantic.
The Caribbean Paradise of Caye Caulker… Will We Ever Leave?
“Okay, welcome to Caye Caulker. I’m tired so just put yo’ bags in ya’ room and we do da papawork in da mornin.”
That was the welcome we received when we arrived at our guest house on Caye Caulker Island in Belize. The sun had set and the cool evening breeze gently swept over the island, rustling the palm trees above us. After our late arrival to the island and dealing with our immigration issues, it was nice to receive this laid-back introduction.
We placed our bags in our colourful room and lazily wandered down the sandy lanes to find somewhere to eat. A row of funky beach bars playing Caribbean reggae music lined the entire western end of the island. Men were tending to smoking grills right on the beach, with the surrounding picnic tables holding groups of loudly chatting tourists and Belizeans enjoying freshly grilled chicken. Our movement slowed to the beat of the Rastafarian melodies that echoed across the powdery sands and we soon realized that this was yet another paradise that we were going to enjoy.
15 Places To Go Before They Get Famous
It's easy to see why modern travelers feel so burnt out: our globalized world is littered with tourist traps, letdowns, overrated destinations and just plain crowds.
But what if you could get out ahead of the curve and visit a place BEFORE it started swarming with other humans? Visit these rising stars now, and one day you'll proudly say, "I knew them when..." Belize is set to become Central America's newest hotspot, and if so, Ambergris Caye will be its crowning destination. TripAdvisor named Ambergris a "Destination on the Rise" last year, probably because tourists are catching on to the immense diving potential of the Great Blue Hole.
Double Act hunts Croczilla for Animal Planet
The Men Who Jump Off Buildings-indie, Double Act has been commissioned by Animal Planet to produce an hour-long documentary about the hunt for a killer crocodile.
Monster Croc: Search For A Killer will follow two wildlife cameramen as they travel to Belize in search of the mammoth crocodile, dubbed Croczilla.
The duo have made a career out of investigating and solving human and animal conflicts in some of the world’s most remote regions. In the film they will race to capture footage of the crocodile before local poachers can kill it.
The documentary is set to air in June on Discovery’s Animal Planet UK. Double Act’s Alastair Cook will exec produce, and Krishna San Nicholas is the producer for Animal Planet.
Cook, also the co-founder of Double Act, said the company gained exclusive access to interview the locals who have survived Croczilla attacks.
Find Your Sea Legs with an Affordable Boating Retirement
You’ve just weighed anchor on another night of bliss, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of your sailboat in the calm sea. Before you is a small cove lined by craggy cliffs. Clear blue waters end at a white-sand beach. You’ve had it all to yourself for the last week. It was supposed to be just an overnight stop. But it was so beautiful, you decided to stick around. After a quick dip, you’re enjoying a cup of coffee and a light breakfast on deck as you contemplate which island paradise you’ll go to next.
Toward A New Trajectory For Caribbean Development
With the untimely passing of Norman Girvan, the last Caribbean political economist of the earlier critical tradition, a major gap in radical ideas needs to be filled.
These ideas must come from a new generation of researchers willing to take the lead, and who have practical problems of the region at the heart of their concerns, drawing up Girvan’s and others’ very rich insights.
Indeed, the history of the English-speaking Caribbean has been punctuated by several important opportunities for learning and transformation.
One of these most recent experiences should indeed have been the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), yet to be fully implemented in some jurisdictions.
The end of preferential access to European markets had several precursors, for which it seemed Caribbean policymakers, institutions and the private sector were ill-prepared.
Norwegian to refresh fleet
Norwegian Cruise Line is to invest more than US$250 million in its Norwegian NEXT programme in an effort to enhance the guest experience across its fleet.
Building on the success of its recently launched ships Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, the line aims to implement new onboard enhancements, entertainment experiences and eco-friendly technologies across the fleet over the next two years.
As part of Norwegian NEXT, the company will refit a number of ships in 2015 including the newly refurbished Norwegian Jewel, as well as Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Spirit, which were also recently renovated.
Enhancements continue on Great Stirrup Cay, the line’s private island in the Bahamas, with the opening of the Bacardi Bar. In addition, the line is developing a new eco-friendly cruise destination, Harvest Caye, in southern Belize. The 75-acre experience is scheduled to open in autumn 2015 and will offer guests the option to take shore excursions on the mainland, or enjoy the shopping village, water sports and beach area on the island.
The Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations
William R. Brownfield
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Statement Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee
May 20, 2014.
Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here today to discuss our important partnership with the Government of Mexico. Through this unprecedented partnership forged between our two governments over the past seven years, great progress has been made in strengthening the capacity of Mexico’s justice sector to counter organized crime and protect our shared border. And working in partnership with the Peña Nieto administration, we are continuing our strong collaborative efforts with the Government of Mexico to advance our shared citizen security objectives.
In 2008, at the start of the Merida Initiative, drug cartel-related violence in Mexico had been increasing dramatically, corruption was a threat to rule of law, and Mexican institutions were not able to deal effectively with the impunity of these powerful criminal networks. The people of Mexico had little confidence in their institutions, and the unmitigated flow of illicit money and narcotics clouded the prospects of Mexico’s licit economy. In 2008, Mexico took the important first step of passing constitutional reforms to overhaul its entire justice sector including the police, judicial system, and corrections at the federal, state and local levels. Mexico’s institutional reforms and its objective of building strong institutions that its citizens can depend on to deliver justice provided a foundation for U.S. cooperation.
Sundance Catalog chooses Ambergris Caye as location for their summer edition!
This season we traveled to the turquoise waters of Belize. In this country of breathtaking scenery, gentle lapping waves and alluring Mayan heritage, we embraced the vibrant colors and dreamy patterns of summer.
BOMB — Artists in Conversation: Zee Edgell
When Zee Edgell was born, in 1940, her country, then British Honduras, was part of the British Empire. Her first novel, Beka Lamb, was published in 1982, a year after her country was born as the newly independent Belize, making it the first novel of the new nation. Beka Lamb also gained the distinction of being Belize’s first novel to reach beyond its borders and gain an international audience, winning Britain’s Fawcett Society Book Prize, a prize awarded annually to a work of fiction that contributes to an understanding of women’s position in society today. In her subsequent novels, In Times Like These (1991), which portrays the turmoil of Belize on the brink of independence, and The Festival of San Joaquin (1997), the story of a woman accused of murdering her husband, and in her short stories, Edgell skillfully explores the layers of Belize’s complicated social and racial stratification through the lens of her female protagonists. From its colonial history to the movement toward independence and right up to the present day, her novels filter the political through the personal with great compassion.
Edgell was educated in journalism at the school of modern languages at the Polytechnic of Central London and continued her education at the University of the West Indies. She worked as a journalist for ten years. A true citizen of the world, she has also lived for extended periods in Jamaica, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, working with development organizations and the Peace Corps. She has been director of the department of women’s affairs and head of the women’s bureau for the government of Belize, and she is currently associate professor in the department of English at Kent State University, Ohio, where she teaches creative writing and literature. Edgell also tours internationally, giving book readings and delivering papers on the history and literature of Belize. She is considered Belize’s principal contemporary writer.
Video: Love Conquers Hate, 5min.
This song and video were created in recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia - Belize - 2014
Video: IN BELIZE I CAN FLY! [Part 2!], 12min.
Video: BELIZE WESTERN ROAD, 43min.
George Price Highway (Western Highway)
Video: BELIZE AGRICULTURE SHOW 2014, 8min.
Video: BELIZE ROARING CREEK, 2min.
Video: BELIZE LOOKING FOR MY MOTHER AND FATHER GRAVE AT THE CEMETERY, 4min.
Video: BELIZE BANANA BANK RIVER, 1min.
Video: BELIZE BELMOPAN, 6min.
Video: May 6th, 2014 - The Aquarium, Belize (#15) , 5min.
This dive started with a slow trip along a wall and ended with awesome colors and fish in the shallow, sunny area called The Aquarium. We encountered a school of fairly large fish looking for handouts as well as a turtle who seemed completely comfortable having us around.
Video: NEBL Playoffs Video, 2min.
The Western Ballaz, along with the other 3 teams that made the NEBL playoffs, are all shown in this promotional video. The Ballaz host the Belize City No Limit this Friday, then travel to play them the next weekend. The Belmopan Bandits will travel to San Pedro this weekend to play the Tiger Sharks. Go Cayo! Go Ballaz! See you at the game.
"Playoff video promotional for the Belize National Elite Basketball League Tournament!!!"
Video: Very dangerous! kids jumping from one building to another., 2min.
Que estan haciendo tus hijios ahorita?
Video: Hopkins, Belize 2014, 6min.
Video: Whale Shark at Gladden Spit, Belize May 17, 2014, 2min.
Whale Shark video taken just a few days after the full moon in May 2014 at Gladden Spit, Belize.
Video: Snorkeling Belize 2014, 5min.
Off the Island Ambergris Caye in Belize.
Video: Diving Ambergris Caye In Belize, 4min.
In this video I team up with Belize Pro Dive Center and they show me some amazing dive sites around Ambergris Caye in Belize. I see tons of sharks and a turtle and I almost loose my finger to a hungry eel! Check it out!
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