#494630 - 08/15/14 11:27 AM
Today's Belize News: August 15, 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
McKenna Rockets to host basketball under 22 Tournament
The newly formed McKenna Rockets Basketball Team in San Pedro has joined with Gabriel “Gaby” Nunez Deputy Mayor and Councilor in charge of sports, in hosting the Under 22 Basketball Tournament. The tournament which will take place from September 27th and will end in December, 2014 will have only six teams and two-round robinwith the top four teams going to the playoff. 30 McKenna RocketsThe registration fee is $150, the first six (6) teams to register will be accepted. Deadline for registration is September 20th.For more information contact Leroy, team captain for the McKenna Rockets Team at 628-0207 or General Manager William at 661-7205. Registration forms can be picked up from Mrs. Lorna at the San Pedro Town Council starting August 15th. A meeting will be held soon.
The McKenna Rockets would like to thank Mrs. Lorrain and husband Doney for their sponsorship.
San Pedro business community delivers new barracks to Police Department
The only allocation to San Pedro in that budget increase, beside the standard operational expenses to maintain the police station and the formation, is the $50,000 that Saldivarclaimed has been sealed. According to Castellanos, those monies will be used to relocate and renovate the two buildings donated to them by the San Pedro Business Association.
Also speaking at the event was the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero. The Mayor took the opportunity to sound the alarm that more is needed for the police to be more effective in dealing with the island. Guerrero emphasized the need for more police transportation; improving other living structures for the officers and the need for a police law enforcement agency on the northern portion of the island. “We need to address these concerns because our tourism industry depends on security. There is potential for the north, but we need to address the security issue on the coast,” said Guerrero.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Luis Arreaga Visits Belize
On Monday August 4th 2014, the U.S. Embassy Belize hosted Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Luis Arreaga during his visit to Belize. Mr. Arreaga spent two days in Belize, visiting Belize City and Belmopan on the first day, and the second in San Ignacio and Benque Viejo. His visit also includes a trip through Guatemala.
Mr. Arreaga was greeted by Embassy staff on the tarmac at Phillip S.W. Goldson International Airport, where he toured immigration and customs equipment funded by the United States. Funded by the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), the G.R.E.A.T summer program is a two week long educational experience, encompassing classroom instruction, athletics, art expression and two field trips. The program educates Belizean youth about the dangers of gang association and violence.
The San Pedro Lions Club on Ambergris Caye, Belize was the recipient of a donation from Lutcher Gramercy Lions Club of Louisiana, USA. The donation of $1,000 was handed over by Wilbert and David Reynaud to President of the San Pedro Lions Club Rigoberto Kumul on Friday August 1st.
The Reynauds are members of the Lutcher Gramercy Lions Club, which is pleased to hear about the work of the San Pedro club and as such is happy to contribute to their causes. “We are happy and much appreciative of the donation. Please assure your club that the monies will be put to good use,” said Kumul in receiving the check.
The Reynauds are no stranger to Ambergris Caye as they have been annual visitors to the island for over 20 years. Through the friendship of the Reynauds, the local club has enjoyed a good relationship with the Lutcher Gramercy Lions Club.
Miss San Pedro Pageant 2014 (14 photos)
Miss San Pedro Pageant 2014 set for August 30 with six beautiful contestants vying for the prestigious title.
La Isla Bonita Telenovela to Premier September 5, Watch Trailer Now
It premiered for the first time during the Costa Maya Festival this past weekend and attendants of the festival’s Friday night’s events were the very first to get a glimpse of what Belize’s first telenovela (soap opera) is all about. The one minute trailer of La Isla Bonita Telenovela has now been officially released and from what we can see, it promises to have much drama, adventure and excitement, like any great novela does.
The one minute trailer of La Isla Bonita Telenovela shows familiar local island residents in full action and this has piqued the interest of its viewers. The novela is the first of its kind to be fully produced and filmed in Belize with a full cast of Belizeans or residents living in the country.
Misc Belizean Sources
USA Embassy in Belize says "Working together to keep Belize safe"
Ambassador Moreno spoke at the U.S.- Belize CARSI Quarterly Bilateral meeting held in Belmopan on August 7th. The meeting was hosted by the Belizean government and chaired by Ministry of National Security CEO Lovell. Senior officials from the Belizean government and U.S. Embassy attended the five hour meeting to review ongoing CARSI projects and examine recommendations for additional cooperative endeavors.
The Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) responds to these threats and supplements the strategies and programs the nations of Central America are implementing on their own and in cooperation with other countries. CARSI is coordinated with other nations, international financial institutions, the private sector, civil society, and the Central American Integration System (SICA). It is a coordinated approach that draws upon the expertise and efforts of like-minded donors supporting the citizen safety goals of Central American countries.
Belize Bird Rescue
Here is "Stickers" - He had an unfortunate encounter with a glue-trap. A few reluctant baths later and he is starting to look a bit more like a parrot. Big thanks to the Belize City rescuers for sending him for rehab. He's only a baby, but he's got clipped wings so will take about 18 months to repair, and then he should be on his way back to the wild!
Justice or Revenge?
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez
With respect to everybody
We are all being reactionary as is customary
We are a people who are just charged emotionally
Things need to be thought out rationally
Right now everyone is angry due to the recent killings in the city
Some are related to the family
But let’s sit down and look at this realistically
We are a punitive country, locking up our youth daily and can't convict anybody
Do we want justice or revenge on somebody
While I extend my sympathy to the family
I contend that hanging a person won't bring back your family
Listen to Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow and Mike Singh, CEO in the Ministry of Trade and Investment, go in depth about the new program for call centre training.
Employment via BPO Certificatiom Listen to Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow and Mike Singh, CEO in the Ministry of Trade and Investment, go in depth about the new program for call centre training.
Cayo Classifieds - Issue 29
Read about cave tubing at Nohoch Che'en in this week's Buy and Sell Weekly.
Exclusive Sneak Peek of “The Peninsula Club in Belize”
If you’re considering investing in a property, boat slip, building or even a business in Belize, The Peninsula Club should be on your radar by now. Developed by the same person who put together the famed Chabil Mar Villas, The Peninsula Club in Belize is poised to better facilitate residents, residences and business all within the self-contained property, surrounded by an absolutely stunning marina. If you’ve never gone fishing in Belize, you are in for a treat!
Watch this exclusive sneak peek of The Peninsula Club now:
How Nine Belize is Changing Belize And…The World
Nine Belize Eco Cultural Tours is a tour operator company that was founded by Joe Awe. For those who do not know, Joe Awe is a Belizean activist, entrepreneur, anthropologist, mayanist, tourism lecturer at a local junior college, and also one of Belize’s top tour guides.
“Nine’s philosophy is people. People are at the center at what we do. There is no protection of the environment or historical or cultural sites if we don’t care for people’s lives. Our contribution to sustainable development, unlike many companies who make an effort in environmentalism first, is we are making an effort in people first then they will take care of everything that needs the stewardship of the masses. Its deeply ecotourism but its powerfully holistic. We see Nine Belize Ecocultural Tours as a moral obligation to the world, which is by far more important that the basic, important sustainable development concept”, says Joe when I asked him what his company is doing for Belize and the world.
Man Dies Weeks After City Fight
Right now, the family of Antelope Street Resident, Richard Rubio, is making preparation for his burial after he died while in a coma at the hospital.
There was no official police report when he was first injured, and investigators have only recently started looking into the case. 7News has been informed however that Rubio and another man were in a fight in the Conch Shell Bay area 2 weeks ago, on Thursday, July 31, 2014. 38 year-old Richard Oscar Rubio was clubbed in the back of his head by the other man he was fighting with. He was in the KHMH until yesterday when he succumbed. That's also when it caught the attention of the investigators.
A post-mortem has since been conducted, and it has revealed that Rubio died from the injury he suffered to the head. Investigators have reportedly picked up the man he was in the fight with, and he may be criminally charged for his death.
US Ambassador Mum On Penner Visa
Has the US Embassy revoked Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner's visa? It's a valid question because in 2003, after his Immigration scandal, the former PUP Minister Maxwell Samuels had his visa revoked. 7News put that question to the US Ambassador Carlos Moreno in a media round table today at the US Embassy in Belmopan. But, regrettably, we don't have any video of it tonight because the media was not allowed to tape the session. The embassy said they would tape it and provide video, but at newstime, we were still drumming our fingers on the desk, and waiting in vain for that video.
But we can tell you what the Ambassador did say in response to our question: that he can't discuss any individual's visa status - and we would best refer our question to Penner himself. That doesn't put us anywhere really because Penner hasn't granted any interview since last year when the scandal broke.
Hon. Wilfred Says He Doesn't Expect The Americans to Ask For Li'l Bro
And while the US Ambassador was basically non-committal on those dicey subjects, to hear Foreign Minister and big brother Wilfred Elrington tell it, the United States Government is not coming for his brother:..
"To date, the US hasn't request for you brother?"
Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington, Attorney General
"No, they have not and I don't expect them to do that but that is something that we will have to wait and see."
Crooked Tree Pastor Says Family Feels Unsafe After Home Invasion
As we told you, the Betty Westby, the wife of Pastor Maurice Westby, bravely fought her attacker and protected her 82 year-old mother, and 14 year-old son. Davis is the main suspect because Westby revealed his face during the fight, but he hasn't been formally arraigned for any charges as yet.
One of the most concerning aspects of this attack is that Davis worked for the Westby couple, and it is believed that this is how he got details of the setup of the house, which he used to do this crime. He also reportedly had an accomplice, and so today, we spoke with Maurice Westby about aftermath of the crime on the wellbeing of his family.
Already Facing Robbery, Police Constable Gets Another Charge
31 year-old Police Constable Oswald Young has been on interdiction for 2 years now, while he awaits trial for armed robbery, but tonight, he's in more trouble because Belmopan police say that he caught along with others who had drugs on them.
Acting on various intelligence received, officers conducted an anti-drug operation at the Unitedville home of 52 year-old Guy Jones at around 9:30 yesterday morning. He was present at the time of the search along with PC Young. The officers ended up finding 189 grams - or 6 ounces - of cannabis. In that quantity, it is considered drug trafficking, and so both men were charged. They will be arraigned tomorrow in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court on that charge.
Police Reach Out To Parents With Troubled Teens
Moving now to the matter of policing - the operation called "Not In My City" continues, and police say they plan to intensify it. No high profile drug or firearms seizures have been made, but police say the effort is all about keeping Belize City sterile and relatively crime free heading into September.
But while the police operation is one thing - a more concerted community policing effort is another component of it. With that police are reaching out to families with troublesome male teenagers - many of them who are being recruited by gangs as gunmen.
On Monday, a meeting was held with police and a dozen or so of these parents and their sons. The parents, in many cases, are crying out for help of out of control children.
Cultivating Cacti in the Capital
When Belizeans think of plants to brighten up their surroundings, one of the last things that might come to mind are miniature cacti. Well, that's exactly what the nursery called 96 Orchid Garden in Belmopan is known for, every variety from bulbous golden cacti to tiny flowering ones. Today we took a trip to Belmopan where we spoke to Mickey Cheng, the 29-year-old Taiwanese owner. He delighted in showing us all the strange and wonderful plants they had in stock:
Robin Schaffer reporting
Looking at 96 Orchid Garden from outside you might not expect a world of miniature wonder within. These miniature cacti are no bigger than an apple, and Mickey Cheng imports them from Taiwan where they are sometimes made into drinks, but here in Belize, they are primarily used for small gifts and decorations:
Mickey Cheng - owner
"These type of succulent cactus they are miniature; they are small. People tend to like those small things instead of having those big huge cactus."
BTL Recruits Eager Scholarship Seekers
High School scholarship seekers know that a BTL Scholarship is among the best that's out there. But there aren't that many of them out there - matter of fact, there are only 15 compared to 26 in 2012.
A lavish ceremony was spent for the lucky 15 at the Biltmore today and Courtney Weatherburne has the story:
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
Today 15 students were awarded High School Scholarships under the BTL Scholarship program. They held a ceremony at the Biltmore Plaza to celebrate the accomplishments of the promising recipients. Courtney Weatherburne has the story.
It is always a great joy to see our Belizean youths prosper and today these 15 scholarship recipients received the recognition they deserved for their dedication to their academic fulfillment and resilience in the face of personal hardships. The ceremony began with a profound message from the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber about the power of the mind.
One Month Later, Man Charged For Publics Robbery
A month ago, we told you about how 2 men robbed the Publics Clinic and Pharmacy on West Canal Street and shot the cashier.
Well, police believe that 21 year-old Kenrick Longsworth was one of the assailants, and tonight, he is at the Belize Central Prison, after being taken to court today.
As we told you, at around 11:00 that Sunday morning, 23 year-old Fatima Figueroa was working at the cash register when the men barged into the business. One of them was armed and he pointed a gun at her. He demanded money, and when she refused, he shot her in the left side of her abdomen. Shortly after, the men robbed a 38 year-old teacher of her sling purse which contained her $400 in cash, her cellular phone, her keys, and her passport, and her son's passport.
Quick police work led to the recovery of some of the stolen items, and after 4 weeks of investigation, they charged Kenrick Longsworth with Attempted murder, dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm, and robbery.
SATIIM Embezzlement Case Terminates, Missing Money In The Wind
5 months ago, we told you about the Former Finance Officer David Duncan Jr., who was charged with theft in connection with the embezzlement of over 250 thousand dollars from the well-known NGO, , SATIIM. Well, the news is that tonight, he's free and clear of all charges.
Today's Guardian Newspaper reports that Punta Gorda Magistrate dismissed all 9 counts of theft. That significant decision came down because Duncan's attorney argued that the charges were statute-barred since the period of limitation had passed.
So, tonight he's free and clear, and this means that those hundreds of thousands of dollars continue to go unaccounted for in Greg Ch'oc's organization, since Duncan was the only person who was implicated in the theft.
A March For Prayerful Peace
Last week we reported on two vigils for peace in the wake of Chryslin Gladden's murder. And now, the church community is organizing a Solidarity Prayer March this Sunday. It is called the "Christ or Crisis" healing movement for Belizeans. Youth Director for House of Refuge Ministry, Frederick Gordon Jr. made the pitch for your participation:..
Frederick Gordon Jr., Youth Director - House of Refuge Ministry
"It's basically directly from the holy spirit what it laid upon our hearts as believers in the body of Christ because a lot of times people tend to forget that to fear the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and a lot of people focus on wanting the government or wanting other aspects of society - what happen to the spiritual part of it? What happen to talking to God directly? The bible talks about prayer without see sin. I am asking the Belizean people to come together with one mind and one purpose."
"We have a lot of people that are hurting in the country. A lot of people need healing. We have a lot of people that are mainly dysfunctional, disoriented for some part because of something that have face in their life in society that - whether it be anger because we have a lot of hatred in society."
Billards Makes A Showing
If you're a Billiard fan and are looking for somewhere to go tonight other than the much frequented night clubs, you can drop by Lakers Bar and enjoy a billiard tournament. It is a two week tournament starting tonight featuring 9 teams. President of the Belize District Billiard Association invited the public to attend.
Freddy Cantilliano, President - Belize District Billiard Association
"We want to invite all the public to come out and to support the association which of course is one of the association that many of times you don't know when it starts or when it ends and so that's why I am here to invite them to come out tonight and the other days."
The tournament final is on Thursday.
Volleyballers Earn Individual Honours
The Under 23 female national team has been struggling in the recent Volley Ball games in Honduras. Well, last night their luck changed when they defeated the host country. Belize won the first set with a score of 25 to 20, but narrowly lost the second set with 22 points to Honduras' 25. Finally, they came back with a strong win in the last set, winning the match. Maurissa Williams and Tichele Solis scored 27 and 21 points respectively.
Tichele Solis earned the titles of 3rd best scorer, and 2nd best blocker. At the end of it all, Belize tied with Honduras and El Salvador, but in the official points system, Honduras was ranked above Belize. Costa Rica remained the overall victor, never losing a set. Nicaragua came in second, and Guatemala placed third.
FFB Executive In More Trouble Than FFB Field?
Last night we gave you extensive coverage on the disappointing news that the Belmopan Bandits were pulled out of the 2014-2015 Champion's League because the FFB Football pitch in Belmopan was not ready for an international tournament. President Ruperto Vicente said that he would try his very best to get CONCACAF to reverse the decision, but seasoned observers tell us that there a very slim chance, almost nil, of that happening.
That's because, as we've told you CONCACAF didn't make that decision lightly, and they even gave the FFB a 2 month extension on their deadline to finish with their 1.9 million dollar facelift to reach the standards required for the tournament.
But, we've since been receiving information from multiple inside sources who wish to remain anonymous that this embarrassment with the field is but one of the things that FFB President Vicente is facing. We're told that his executive has been divided on a number of important issues for at least a year now. The grievances, we are told, are due to administration of the sport of football, and the impression we've been given, is that the main charge against Vicente is that he has been managing the FFB without the input of his other executive members.
Minister Herman Longsworth Says CONCACAF Decision is Final…
F.F.B. President Ruperto Vicente remains in the hot seat tonight, after formally announcing earlier this week that Belize will not be able to participate in this year’s CONCACAF Champions League [...]
Minister Patrick Faber Says We Need Unity, Not Blame…
Belizean sports fans and even general observers have been shocked and dismayed by the news that the Belmopan Bandits, champions of the Premier League, have been disqualified from the Champions [...]
Faber Claims Crime is Everybody’s Business…
There has been a spike in violent crimes in Belize City recently, fuelled by a resurgence in gang warfare and bloodshed. The Belize Defence Force has been brought back to [...]
San Pedro Body Identified by Police…
Around five-thirty Wednesday evening, the lifeless body of fifty-six-year-old Canadian national, Barry Lee Waskosky, was discovered inside his condominium at Reef Village Resort. Police responded immediately and found his nude [...]
15 Students Awarded B.T.L. Scholarships…
This morning, fifteen primary school graduates became official recipients of Belize Telemedia Limited scholarships for 2014. These very fortunate few will be assisted in every way through four years of [...]
Minister Longsworth Says No Deadline on Marion Jones Complex…
The ongoing debacle which the F.F.B. finds itself in, not being able to field the Belmopan Bandits in the 2014 Champions League tournament, is one that many sports enthusiasts, including [...]
Interdicted Cop Charged for Drug Trafficking…
A police officer currently on interdiction is again in trouble with the law. On Wednesday, units of the Belmopan Police Department, acting on intelligence received, conducted anti-drug operations in Unitedville [...]
Longsworth Charged in Public’s Shooting…
Kenrick Kevin Longsworth, the son of Lavern ‘Antichrist’ Longsworth, today joined his mother after he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison on a medley of charges. The twenty-one-year-old Belize [...]
Minor charged With Abetment in Bayliss Murder…
On August third, eighteen-year-old Roy Bayliss was eating tacos at the Fort Cairns Plaza in Orange Walk when a gunman walked up to him and shot him in the face. [...]
Road Safety Curriculum Workshop Held in Belize City…
The Road Safety Program today held a teacher training curriculum workshop at the ITVET. The idea is to develop a road safety curriculum that could be integrated into social studies [...]
Chief Transport Officer Says Public Awareness is Critical…
One of the biggest challenges of the program is changing the public’s attitudes and behavior towards safety tips, procedures that can generally save lives. The simple things such as wearing [...]
Belize Youth for Road Safety Launches Competition…
Members of the youth arm of the project, Belize Youth for Road Safety, were also presenters at the workshop held today. They have put together a commercial competition opened to [...]
FIFA to Restructure F.F.B.…
On Wednesday, the Football Federation of Belize held a press conference at its headquarters in Belmopan to announce a decision taken by CONCACAF against the Belmopan Bandits Football Club which [...]
B.N.E. Trust Announces New GM…
A new General Manager has been appointed to head the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust. Succotz resident, Victor Alegria has signed on to a two-year contract to take on the [...]
Check out the Semi-Final Round in the Hottest Show of the Year…
On Wednesday night, five talented performers showcased their singing abilities in the semi-final round of Channel Five’s If You Can Sing It, Bring It when they all covered hit singles [...]
Healthy Living Looks at Children With Developmental Disorders…
A few weeks ago, we featured a special medical mission running diagnostic tests on children with developmental disorders. As with all other medical conditions, early detection is directly related to [...]
More Training For Teachers
Summer is almost over and while many students keep enjoying the warm weather, teachers have been rather busy as they seek to continuously develop their skills. The Education Center in Orange walk has, on an annual basis provided these Continuous Professional Development sessions for educators and many have been privy to these sessions since last week. We stopped in at the Ecuation Center today as educators continue on the second week of these sessions.
Dalila Ical- Reporting
Teachers are provided Continuous Professional Development each year and these include sessions for school leaders as well. Principals, Vice Principals and local managers sat the first of a two-day training at the Education Center today. Karla Alvarez is the District Education Manager.
Karla Alvarez – Disrict Education Manager
“Starting today we have a two day session with local managers, principals and vice principals and we have a room full right now of school leaders and some of the topics that we will discuss will be things like leadership, being caring and supportive leader we will also sensitize the principals and administrators of what happens in the preschools so that when they go in and supervise the preschool teacher have a good idea of what the preschool curriculum is all about, they have an idea of also what are some of the things they should be looking for in the lesson plans, the session tomorrow will focus more on the supervision process in terms of principals going into the classroom and doing clinical supervision with the teachers so we will go through the process itself and then we will also do like s simulation of an actual observation, preconference, post conference those types of thing.”
Mayor Bernard Discusses Major Project Proposals
The Orange Walk Town Council is currently undertaking two major project proposals that if implemented will turn out to be a major recreational spot for families and could see an increase in local economic activity with the riverside development and the expansion of the Market. Mayor Kevin Bernard says that while they are in the written stages of the proposal, he is hoping to get the ‘go ahead’ or approval from the property owners in the area.
Kevin Bernard– Mayor, OWTC
“I have written to both Mr Burgos who is a part owner of that property and I have communicated through a family member to Mrs Teresita Gonzalez of the interest that we have and I have forward it the actual design that we have, that we want to carry out at those areas and as you know the council has a little house use to house the tourist centre there and so the idea is that we want to enhance the River side, this area is right behind the La Inmaculada school as you know if you pass there on weekends people go out there and do their little fishing and so the plan that we have is to enhance that whole area where it will be a family area to come out and relax and we want to create little economic activity but the plans that we are doing has to have some or create some local economic activity so we are putting three little Kios for somebody to have a little ice cream stall, another person can have something that they can sell or to create economic activity as well but same time beautifying our fiver edge and a the same time being able to have a good lace with the family and have a good time.”
Fiesta Rama Yields A Profit Of...
Two weekends ago, Belizeans from all corners of the country flocked to the Annual Fiestarama and Business Expo held at the People’s Stadium. The 3 day event had a little bit of everything for all ages and after all was said and done today the Town Council, the body that hosted the event, shared with the public their financial report on income and expenditures. Mayor Kevin Bernard says it was another successful year and spoke on the plans to invest the proceeds in meaningful projects for the community.
Kevin Bernard– Mayor, OWTC
“This year’s Fiesta Rama we yielded a profit of $26,779.64 that compared to last year which we did $21,000 plus and it shows that the people has come out and support an initiative that the council has had which goes right back to the people because (1) the proceeds of this Fiesta Rama of course as you know will commence the youth summer program with the work program that we have; this week we have about 67 students and the remaining of that hundred students will come in Monday so we have marked $10,000.00 out of this fund to go directly into that work program.”
Corozal Resident Charged For Attacking Police Officer
A man from the Corozal District is tonight facing a charge of harm after he allegedly attacked a police officer. Forty six year old Hector Olivera, Belizean Police Officer of Paraiso Village Corozal District, attached to Belize City reported to the cops that on Monday August 11th, at about 9:00am, he went to buy at Jing Jing shop located at Paraiso Village.
While at the store Olivera approached a male person known to him as Christian and asked him why he was insulting him on Sunday night. Christian then pushed Olivera causing him to fall to the ground and proceeded to jump on top of him and began punching him on the face several times causing him pain. As a result Olivera sustained a swollen left eye and complained of pain to his back and both elbows. Christian Ciao, 20 year old Belizean Laborer of Paraiso Village was arrested and charged for Harm.
Cevantes Junior Speaks On Alleged Hit List
The circumstances surrounding the abduction and subsequent murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior continues to perplex the community and even more so the family. Police have not seemed to advance much since the three men; Noe Daniel Gonzalez, Mateo Pott and Angel Antonio Cardenas were charged in the case. Notwithstanding that, there have been numerous stories emerging surrounding the details of the investigation.
Among these is the allegation of a list in which numerous business men are named and purported to be targets for kidnapping. Within that list, it is understood is the name of Ramon Cervantes Junior. Today, we asked him whether this has affected his sense of security in his day to day routine.
Gush And Emy Ramirez Wants Kenard Smart To Be Charged For Fraud
On October 31st 2013, the corruption scandal involving former employees of the Social Investment Fund and the construction of the Dangriga Municipal Market went off the radar after the Immigration scandal involving former Minister of State Elvin Penner took the spot light putting the Barrow administration in much scrutiny.
If you recall, contractor Kenard Smart owner of K and J Construction, Lyndon Bailey and Gush and Emy Ramirez were joining forces to sue SIF in an effort to recover monies invested in the rehabilitation of the Dangriga Municipal Market for which Smart got a contract for and Lyndon Bailey and Gush and Emy Ramirez investment in.
Oscar Perez Returns To Court
This morning forty-four year old Oscar Perez, who was charged for the attack on WPC Marilyn Pate in early December of last year, appeared in court once again. Perez was charged with attempted murder, wounding and use of deadly means of harm.
This morning however, his case was adjourned to September third. Perez chopped WPC Marilyn Pate on December sixth when she approached him at a house he was staying in Trial Farm Village.
O/W Town Council Opts To Raise Municipal Bonds
Following a meeting with representatives of Legacy Fund Limited on Monday to discuss the current conditions of street infrastructure of Orange Walk Town, the Orange Walk Town Council announced today that it passed a resolution on the option of raising a Municipal Bond Offer to undertake a capital investment of 5 million dollars. Acting on behalf of the council, Mayor Kevin Bernard entered in agreement with the funding agency on a bond prospectus. The Mayor discussed the elements of that bond with us this morning.
Kevin Bernard– Mayor, OWTC
“Monday night we passed a resolution in granting me as the Mayor acting on behalf of the council for us to enter into agreement with the Legacy Financials, these are the people that did the bond offer for Belize City and for Belmopan and we know that the Belize City bond offer did go through and these people have explained to us that they have been able to successfully carry out thee bonds proposals so what the council have said is to wee want to at least air mark to raise a bond of about 5 million dollars and gain thee things go through a process so the first phase is for us to acquire these financial advisors. The Legacy Financials will prepare an actual financial report and that report will basically tell us whether or not we can afford 5 million, whether we can afford more or we could only go for less at that stage then we will have to get the permission from the minister of finance if we are to proceed or not but it is an investment that I can tell you it is worth it because whether or not if it is approved by government which I am hoping that the Prime Minister will look at it not from apolitical perspective but a developmental need for the municipality then I believe we can take this town where we need to take it and show the world that as a municipality we can do so.”
Three Men Accused Of Killing Cervantez Sr. Reappear In Court
The three men accused of the brutal murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior in early July were back in court today and although their case was adjourned until September, family members of not only Cervantes but of Sonia Abac along with other community members, were present by the court in support of the families and demanding justice. Here is a look at what transpired this morning.
Dalila Ical- Reporting
Sylvia Gillett – Protester
“We need justice and the justice system in Belize is falling and the crime is pouring over to all the districts.”
And this plea for justice was accentuated by this scenario outside the court house this morning - Vilma Cervantes, wife of the late Ramon Cervantes Senior and Sonia Abac’s mother, Juana Angela Menchu Hernandez stood side by side while the three men accused of Cervantes’ murder re-appeared in court.
Gang tattoo leads to jail for Burrell Boom resident
He says he was drunk when he decided to get an MS-13 tattoo, a pictorial representation of Central America’s toughest gang. But on Wednesday, that decision cost 22 year old Victor Gama six months of his life in prison, as he chose to plead guilty to a charge of displaying gang membership...
Driver in accident in critical condition
On Tuesday we told you of an accident which occurred somewhere in the area of Las Flores, Belmopan, which took place sometime around 4:30 on Tuesday evening. We reported that 5 persons were inside this white Toyota Hilux, when it overturned, and that one person who was travelling in the pan of the pickup truck was being transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a critical condition. However information gathered now reveals that it was the driver of the white Toyota Hilux, Tomas Nuñez who sustained serious injuries.
President of FFB says Bandits will play in Champions League next year
Earlier we told you about the disappointing rejection of the FFB field in Belmopan by FIFA officials. And while the entire country is perhaps disappointed, even more so are the Belmopan Bandits who have lost an opportunity of a lifetime. But whether it was a slip of the tongue or he intentionally said it, President Ruperto Vicente made a bold statement when he promised that Belmopan Bandits will play in the Champions League next year.
Ruperto Vicente – President FFB
“If we do not play, if Bandits don’t get to play in Champions League this year, then we must assure the Belmopan Bandits Football Team that they will participate in the Champions League next year.”
FFB officials explain field rejection by FIFA
It has been in the hearts and minds of Belizean football fans, since it was first announced in May, that our very own Belmopan Bandits will be representing Belize at this year’s CONCACAF Champions League. It would have gone down in history as the first time Belize is represented at this very prestigious tournament. On the 8th of May of this year, President of FFB, Ruperto Vicente, says he assured the CONCACAF officials that by the end of May Belize’s stadium would be up to international standards, in time for the 28th of May FIFA inspection. Since then, monies to the tune of 1.9 million Belize dollars have been pumped into the stadium, as FFB scrambled to meet the deadline for inspection, which was extended three times. However, despite all efforts, Belize has been booted out of the tournament due to a lack of “beautification” on the football pitch according to Ruperto Vicente.
Highway traffic diverted due to overturned Cargo truck
Early morning traffic at miles 46 and 47 on the George Price Highway was diverted on Wednesday, when a cargo truck travelling in a Southerly direction suffered a blow out of one of its back wheels, causing it to overturn. Incoming traffic from the north and from the south had to take a long detour through Belmopan from early in the morning until sometime after 12:00 noon. Three persons were inside the vehicle at the time, and though the wreckage looked bad, reports are that no one was seriously injured during the incident.
#494631 - 08/15/14 11:28 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: August 15, 2014
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Another accusation against Arthur Saldivar
Dangriga resident, Hortence Serrano told the Guardian that she has formally lodged a complaint against Arthur Saldivar after she made payments for him to render services but he has not done so. According to Serrano she engaged the attorney through an agent of his, Clinton Hernandez, since 2012 during which she requested that he assist in settling a land dispute which her 93 year old mother finds herself in.
Since the time of engagement and up to this time no services have been done and Serrano has receipts showing that she has paid a total of $4,750 to Saldivar via his agent. Since she was unable to get any services out of the attorney, Serrano has opted to file court proceedings against Saldivar in the Magistrate’s Court in Dangriga. She told us that she has been to court no less than 8 times to get Saldivar and the agent to return the money but to no avail. The last adjournment was Thursday August 7th and Saldivar was a no show.
Allegations of impropriety Swirl against Arthur Saldivar
Arthur Saldivar, the PUP Standard Bearer and caretaker of Belize Rural North Constituency, is very well known for his very flamboyant theatrics, but he continues to face very serious allegations, which if proven true, are criminal in nature. The first is that his client is accusing him of making off with nearly a million dollars of her money, and the other is an American couple who says that he acted in a thuggish manner when he kicked them out of their house.
Saldivar has been the attorney on record for Melonie and Michael Coye for over 4 years as they battled the money laundering criminal charges brought against them by the Financial Intelligence Unit, which was led by the director, Marilyn Williams. They were accused of participating in a lucrative scheme in which the FIU accused them of holding on to 1.557 million dollars which was confiscated from their home on Johnston Street on December 31, 2008.
They were convicted in the Supreme Court before the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, but the Appeal Court overturned that conviction, and so their records were expunged. The Court of Appeal also ordered that the 1.557 million dollars be returned to the Coyes. Saldivar had been their attorney all through that ordeal, and then they had to fight against a freezing order which blocked them from accessing their bank accounts. Then, the Panamanian company, Internet Experts SA, brought a private claim against them, and tried to keep their money, an estimated 6.5 million dollars, on ice. Again, Saldivar defended them against that attempt, and finally, the Supreme Court lifted that freezing order a few months ago.
Another bold Step, A New City Hall for Belize City
Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley along with Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Benjamin Ho, officially unveiled the plans to renovate the commercial center building in downtown Belize City and convert it to the Belize City Council’s City Hall.
Work will commence immediately on the transformation which according to Mayor Bradley will cost the council some 2 million dollars. He stated that the entire plan is part of the downtown redevelopment project which last year invested 400,000 dollars in the renovation of the Battlefield Park and the Mule Park and is part of the greater master plan to develop assets in downtown Belize City. “The Commercial Center has been a blight on the eye of the municipality and has been deteriorating, going into ruin and decay,” stated the mayor. The renovation will see the lower flat accommodate the 13 current tenants who will be guaranteed spaces which will at times be bigger and more appealing than they currently are. The second and third floor of the structure will then be used to accommodate the city hall offices. The existing building on North Front Street will keep some of its functions and will also be redesigned to be a museum focusing on the history of Belize City. Other features of the building will include seating areas around the building as well as possibly a boardwalk alongside the river behind the building. Bradley added that the elevator will also be repaired and the bathroom, electrical and plumbing installations will be retrofitted.
Hundreds Coming Out for Diabetes Treatment and Education
“If we save one life; if we save one person from losing their sight; if we save one person from having to rely on dyalisis; if we save one person from losing their limbs it will all have been worth the effort.” – Vanessa Jenkins-Young, President of the Belize Diabetes Association of New York.
The Belize Diabetes Association of New York (BDANY) has been operating since August of 2010. Their mission is “to identify and address the needs of Belizeans with Diabetes by: Prevention, Maintenance (Education, Nutrition & Medication), Wellness and Minimizing”. The organization has made donations to the Belize Diabetes Association and in years passed they have also sponsored clinics held in Belize by foreign podiatrists and other medical experts. This year the association has partnered with the Caribbean Diabetes Initiaive to host symposiums and clinics in Belize City and Dangriga.
Dealing with Relationships
Love is a powerful emotion that exists among individuals. Part of being a teenager is going through the phase of romanticism. It’s that part of getting to know people and hopefully finding that life time partner. It all starts with that breathtaking moment of feeling attracted towards that individual. It could be the way they talk, walk, smile, and how they treat others that captivates your attention. Then communication comes along where you get to know each other more. Then the first date, where your heart beats so fast you can feel it popping out of your chest or your first kiss, where you feel the world has come to a hault. So how is it that a breathtaking moment could end up being chaos? Well, for some individuals romantic relationships are of great importance in their lives. It is a part of achievement that may be life changing. Failed relationships happen and its all about working to master the skill to make the relationship flourish. Some relationships can be fixed but they require teamwork. There are so many ways to approaching issues in a relationship and preventing issues from happening.
Hopes dashed for Belmopan Bandits - FFB unable to have stadium ready for play!
The hopes for Belize to have represented itself in the CONCACAF Champions League Tournament came to an abrupt end when the sporting organization announced that Belize will not be allowed to participate. The decision was taken after officials from the federation visited Belize to do a final inspection on the FFB field in Belmopan on August 10.
According to the Football Federation of Belize president, Ruperto Vicente, the first inspection was done at the end of May when the FFB was allotted more time in order to bring the FFB stadium up to FIFA standard. Another visit was made on June 19th and again more time was allotted up to July 2nd and finally extended up to August 10. Vicente maintains that after investing 1.8 million dollars in the rehabilitation of the facility all that did not meet the standards was the pitch. According to the president, there were brown spots on the field. Being that the match between Belize’s Belmopan Bandits and AD Isidro Metapán of El Salvador would have been televised on August 21, the brown spots would not have looked good on television.
Investment boom in Lake I
Area Representative for the Lake Independence constituency, Hon. Mark King, brought the media to his area on Thursday, August 7 to give them a first hand look at the development that is currently being undertaken in the Chetumal Street and Lake Independence boulevard area.
According to Hon. King, over 70 million dollars will be invested in his constituency and this will include the construction of the bridge that will link the George Price Highway and the Philip Goldson Highway; the construction of a multipurpose complex; a new civic center; a police station as well as the office complex for the National Bank of Belize.
So far the bridge is two thirds complete with workers currently putting in the decking. At 195 feet in length, the targeted date for completion of the bridge is December of this year; however, work crews are diligently working to have it completed two months earlier.
New BTL Scholarship Recipients
The scholarship program of the Belize Telemedia Limited is considered by many to be the best corporate charity initiatiative in the country and on Thursday, August 14, fifteen (15) more young Belizean will be given an opportunity to further their education.
This year’s scholarship recipients are Jose Suarez, Elijio Ku, Dion Ciego, Abdi Bochub, Renie Petillo, Kenrick Graham, Lifza Burgos, Janir Arnold, Naya Bodden, Kahlil Espat, Teesha Singh, Wallace Sebastian, Keisha Palma, Aiyana Rudon and Ashton Perriott. These individuals distinguished themselves from hundreds of applicants. The BTL Scholarship Committee reviewed all applications and selected a pool based on financial need, academic performance over the past three years and performance in the Primary School Examinations. Those candidates were called in for an interview with the committee during which they were asked questions that did not appear on the application form. Based on those interviews, the committee awarded scholarships to fifteen students.
Back to Basics – Staying Cool
It’s hot! Every year around this time it gets really hot, not just regular hot, but “Oh mein I kyan tek it no more” level of “heatedness”. As a matter of fact, I sat here to write a health article and I had a bit of a difficult time concentrating because all I could think about was, it’s hot. So let us address the heat.
First off, staying cool. The simple act of staying in a shaded area will help keep you cooler. On average, the temperature difference between shade and direct sun is 10 degrees Fahrenheit. If participating in outdoor activities, such as barbecuing, having a simple tent as shade can keep you cooler and comfortable. If you are outdoors or being mobile, wearing a hat or using an umbrella can also help provide enough shade to reduce the effects of solar radiation (direct heat).
Border to Border
The Mayor of Orange Walk Town gave us something to chuckle about last week when he snatched the nearest TV microphone around and started to yap emotionally into it. As usual, he was full of lamentation, and as is his habit, he tried to forge his whining into righteous indignation.
The Mayor’s gripe was that he was not consulted when Central Government decided to rehabilitate the section of the Phillip Goldson Highway which passes through our town. This road is presently being paved starting from the “Come and Go” Gas Station to the Northern Regional Hospital, complete with proper drainage and all.
Now, when this very stretch of the highway was in dire conditions, this same Mayor was all over the airwaves angrily pointing fingers at Government that this road was their charge, and even installed all manner of flashy billboards to that effect. Little did he know that his tactics would immediately backfire on him.
Friendship: A Prized Jewel
My fellow Belizeans, let us start with one quick question: “WHAT IS FRIENDSHIP?” Well friendship consists of true friends that can make you laugh when the skies are the darkest, true friends that will hurt you only if it is for your own good, friends that will protect you under any circumstances, friends with whom you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings, and lastly friends who will love you unconditionally, understand you but never judge you, and will listen to your problems and give you advice when you can’t find it in your own heart.
A friend is like a gift that you give yourself. Friends are those people with whom you do not have any blood relation, instead its a relation of love and affection towards each other. Remember, God gave us our relatives, but thank the Lord we can choose our friends!
Furthermore, a true friend is one who will always be there when you need someone. He will leave all his important duties but will never leave you alone especially in your difficult times. That is why a friend in need is a friend indeed. Difficult times are the best times to realize who your true friends are. Blessed are those who have true friends. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have, what matters is how many true friends you have.
Vega Cup Tournament continues in the north
The 2014 Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday, August 10, at the Trial Farm Football Field in the Orange Walk North Constituency with four games on the schedule.
In the first game played, Douglas Real Juve and San Jose Pumas played to a 2-2 draw. The goals for Douglas Real Juve were scored by Josue Omar Mendez in the 14th minute of play and Azain Cardenas in the 38th minute of play.
For San Jose Pumas the goals were scored by Martin Francisco in the 4th minute of play and Jeffrey Yama in the 56th minute of play.
In the second game of the day, Jaguars United blasted Rising Stars by the score of 9-1. The goals for Jaguar United were scored by Jaime Maldonado in the 13th, 52nd, and 58th minutes of play, Edgar Itza in the 32nd minute of play, Andy Basto in the 57th minute of play, Enrique Castillo in the 73rd, 62nd and 67th minute of play and Clifton West in the 89th minute of play.
Belize District Basketball Firms Competition enter semi-finals
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms competition regular season came to an end on Saturday, August 9, 2014, at Bird’s Isle with the final two games of the regular season being played.
In the first game of the evening Complex Admirals defeated BTL by the score of 60-58. The top scorers for Complex Admirals were Rhetton Belisle with 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals, Wilfred Richards with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals, and Cassian Flowers with 14 points, and 8 rebounds.
For BTL, the top scorers were Devon Lozano with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals, Edward Thompson with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists and Jordan Santos with 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.
In game two, BWSL defeated Heritage Bank by the score of 61-57. The top scorers for BWSL were Luis Barcelona with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals, Lindberg Graham with 12 points, and 3 rebounds and Akeem Trapp with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals.
FFB President’s Cup Tournament enters into Playoff round
The Organising Committee with consensus from all participating teams in the President’s Cup Tournament has decided to go straight into the Playoffs round. The Playoffs, round one and two will be played on August 17 and 23, 2014.
On Sunday, August 17, 2014, at 3:30 pm at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, it will be the number one seed Sagitun going up against Roaring Creek United the number four seed. In game two also at 3:30 pm at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, the number three seed Progresso FC will see action against the number two seed San Antonio FC.
The second week of the playoff round will then continue on Saturday August 23, 2014, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium at 7:30 pm between Sagitun and the Roaring Creek United squad, while on Sunday August 24, at 3:30 pm out at the Ricalde Stadium in Corozal Town, it will be San Antonio FC against Progresso FC.
Belize Boxing Federation to hold special meeting
The Belize Boxing Federation in collaboration with the National Sports Council of Belize will be holding a Special Meeting with all the duly elected members of the federation, members of the various boxing gyms in Belize, referees and judges on Saturday August 23, 2014, at 1:30 pm at the National Sports Council Office at Rogers Stadium.
The main purpose of the meeting is to chart the way forward for Boxing in Belize and to make sure that the mechanism that was put in place according to the Boxing Constitution works.
It is important that all attends and to be on time for this very important meeting.
Albert Constituency Sports Council Summer camps ends
The Albert Constituency and the National Sports Council six weeks summer camp for girls and boys ages 7-18 in three disciplines came to an end last week. Some 125 campers attend camps in Basketball, Football and Softball where they learned the basic fundamental skills in the three areas as well as life skills.
The Camp Director was Joel Wade and the councilors were Charlie Slusher, Wilmot Staine, Kaya Cattouse, Jaslyn Cadle, Ruth Lamb, Barbara Cadle, Hortence Thurton, Stanley Reneau, Rupert Brown and Andrew Ortiz.
The venues for the camp included Bird’s Isle (Basketball), Berger Field (Football) and Rogers Stadium (Softball).
The camp attracted children from the Albert Constituency as well as those from Collect, Lake Independence, Port Loyola and Pickstock constituencies.
Dental Technician Busted with Pound of Weed
He says he was doing a favour for his uncle’s friend and that kindness has 23-year-old Emerson Vasquez in trouble with the law for drug traficking of 453.4 grams of weed.
Vasquez, a dental technician, was busted when a Westline bus he was travelling on was searched by police at the mile five checkpoint on the George Price Highway. During the search, PC Desmond Ramos of the Mobile Interdiction Team searched Vasquez’s knapsack and found a package wrapped in brown paper. The package was opened in his presence and it contained a green leafy product which proved to be cannabis. As a result, Vasquez was arrested and charged for drug trafficking.
No one responsible for theft from SATIIM’s
The former director of finance of the SATIIM, David Duncan, is a free man after appearing in the Punta Gorda magistrate’s court to answer to 9 counts of theft. Duncan was set free after the case was dismissed by the presiding magistrate. The matter was dismissed because Duncan’s attorney argued that the statute of limitation had expired and the magistrate agreed.
On March 4th of this year Duncan was taken to Magistrate’s court in Punta Gorda where he was formally arraigned on 9 counts of theft. The charges came after directives from the DPP’s office came to charge him after he was connected to 9 checks which amounted to over 100 thousand dollars of SATIIM’s money. He was granted bail of 10 thousand dollars and the matter was adjourned.
Jason “Soup” Williams is back Behind Bars
Jason “Soup” Williams is in the Belize Central Prison on remand for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. According to police, Williams, the alleged boss of the Supaul Street Gang, was standing at the corner of Kut Avenue and Supaul Street when he assaulted Police Constable Andy Pech. Williams claims it was the police that assaulted and brutalized him. He says he did not assault any police officer. However, on Monday, August 11, Williams was taken to the Belize City Magistrates Court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was read charges of common assault upon Andy Pech, resisting arrest and using obscene language to the same officer.
Williams was unrepresented in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Police prosecutor Christopher Smith strongly objected to bail. Smith objected on the grounds that the alleged offense was committed while Williams was out on bail for aggravated assault upon two police officers. Earlier this year, Williams was accused of shooting at two police officers during a pursuit. Chief Magistrate Smith took the objection into consideration in denying bail to Williams. He is sheduled to reappear in court on October 3.
Gunmen target and kill Raheem Crawford near to his home
A few hours before Ernest “Jawmeighan” was killed, 21 year-old Gibnut Street resident Raheem Crawford was gunned down along with his cousin, 25 year-old Kevin Faber on Saturday, August 9, 2014.
Both men had gone out Friday night because Crawford was trying to show Faber around the City, and how it had changed since he was last in the country. Faber had recently returned back from the US, after more than 5 years of being away. Both men went to the club, and at around 3:30 a.m., they decided to return home.
Crawford travelling on his motorcycle with Faber as his passenger, saw a black vehicle following them home. Faber reportedly took it trivially, but when he alerted Crawford to it, he became wary. Just as they arrived the corner of Central American Boulevard and Gibnut Street, a stone’s throw away from their house, a man ran out from behind a vehicle. He had his cap pulled low over his face, and he then took aim at the duo and opened fire. Crawford was injured in the lower back, while Faber was injured in the left leg and the back of the neck. They immediately lost control of the motorcycle and went down; their assailant took the opportunity to jump into a black vehicle which sped off.
Steven Cralk Busted with Crack
Steven Cralk, 54, is out on bail after he was charged with drug trafficking for being busted with 22 grams of crack cocaine.
According to police, while conducting mobile patrol on Cran Street on Friday, August 8, PC Edward Gonzalez saw Cralk riding contrary to the flow of traffic and instructed him to stop. Cralk continued riding and police set chase after him. Cralk turned left into Castle Street, dropped his bicycle and began to run. Officers allegedly saw him throw a black plastic near a lamp post that was well lit. They apprehended Cralk and took him back to the location where the bag was thrown. The bag was opened in his presence and it contained three pieces of white substance that proved to be crack cocaine. Cralk was arrested and charged with drug trafficking.
Two Guatemalan minors arrested in the Chiquibul, Cayo
Two Guatemalan minors have been charged with the possession of a .22 rifle in Belize. On Monday of this week, sometime around 10:40 a.m. police on patrol within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve came in contact with four male persons that were sitting around a fire. But upon the police approach, two persons managed to escape and two were detained. Immediate search of the area revealed a .22 rifle and 53 rounds of ammunition. As a result of this incident, two Guatemalan minors, one 15 and the other 17 years of age, have been arrested and charged.
Ryan Alvarez Remanded for Old Carnal Knowledge Charge
In January of 2013, Ryan “Lippo” Alvarez, 23, and Enfield Ervin Fitzgibbon, 24, were charged for sexual activities with a 13-year-old girl. The case was struck out against the accused when the matter was called before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith and no case file was presented. After being free from the charge for months, Alvarez was rearrested over the weekend and taken to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Monday, August 11, to answer to a charge of carnal knowledge.
According to police, on January 29, 2013, CIB officers visited a house located on South Creek Road in Belize City where they found a thirteen year old minor partially nude in the company of Fitzgibbon and Alvarez. The child later confessed that she had sexual intercourse with Alvarez earlier in the day and that Fitzgibbon was fondling her before police arrived. After it was confirmed that the child was carnally known, Fitzgibbon was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature and Alvarez was charged with carnal knowledge.
Cycling Community loses a Great
Elite Cyclist and two time Cross Country winner, Ernest “Jawmeighan” Meighan was murdered in front of his girlfriend’s house on Saturday, August 9, 2014. The aftermath of his death is that 7 children are now fatherless, and the nation has lost one of the greatest cyclists to ever enter the sport.
The 42 year-old “Jawmeighan” was on George Street at around 10 a.m. He had gone to visit his kids and to pick up fresh laundry. He had intentions to go and buy a 5-gallon bottle of water. He was just exiting the gate, trying to lock it behind him, when a gunman, described as being very young and inexperienced, came up behind him, and shot him in the back of his head. His family heard the commotion, and came quickly to his aid. Neighbours helped them rush him to the KHMH in his vehicle, but the severity of his injury claimed his life before they could arrive.
There are many theories as to why he was attacked in what appears to a gang-type execution, but his family and friends all agree that he stayed very far away from the street life. The speculation is that his death may be connected somehow to the murders of Chryslin Gladden or Raheem Crawford, which happened a few hours before Meighan was gunned down. There is also the possibility that it could be the result of his familial connection, which allegedly his brother, 37 year-old Ellis Meighan Sr., was targeted and murdered in September 2009.
First Female President of the Senate is Trailblazer of the Week
This week, Trailblazer Tuesdays brings you Belize’s First Female President of the Senate.
Born to Victoria Herera and Solomon Cayetano in 1943, Doris June Tomasa Garcia nee Cayetano grew up to attend Sacred Hearth Primary, Austin High and then completed agricultural training in Honduras. As a small farmer she was once a member of the Citrus Growers Association.
Doris June exited her realm of comfort and successfully ran for a seat on the Dangriga Town Council in 1983. She dared to be bold and decided to challenge the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) 1984 General Elections standard bearer for the Dangriga constituency. She lost this challenge.
San Ignacio Police Formation meets with residents
The San Ignacio Police Formation has held a successful interface with members of the public. A meeting by San Ignacio Police, which brought together the human resources from various security related groups, was held with the public last Wednesday night at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town to further affirm an anti-crime agenda.
Officer in Charge of San Ignacio Police Dinsdale Thompson spoke eloquently about how great levels of community participation can “stamp out” crime. While crime incidences are much reduced in the San Ignacio and Santa Elena area, there was a recent incident of burglary on the business section of Burns Avenue in downtown San Ignacio; where drug pushers are also known to be visiting.
“We need the eyes, we need the hands, we need the heart of the community...if you want to see a community that is vibrant, the church must participate,” said Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson.
Government to re-survey lands in Silk Grass
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture takes this opportunity to inform the general public of the following:In January 2008, just prior to the February 2008 elections, 120 lots were issued as part of a programme implemented by the Government at that time. An investigation revealed that a private surveyor was contracted; and while surveys were conducted, the survey plans were not submitted to the Lands and Surveys Department for authentication and registration by the private land surveyor.
Consequently, the opening of the corresponding lease accounts issued could not be processed since they were issued based on a proposed subdivision plan. The Land Information System only allows for the opening of accounts and recording of leases for lands legally demarcated and boundaries officially represented on authenticated survey maps.
Road Safety Teacher Training Workshop held in Belmopan
Some 66 persons took part in sessions on road safety training at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan on Wednesday of this week. Participants for the training included teachers from pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary level as well as police and transport officers. Some of the traffic related facts that were learnt today was on how to integrate traffic safety in the current curriculum; especially within the Social Studies and Health and Family Life Education sections of the Curriculum.
Participants were divided into two groups this morning to learn to develop curriculum material as it relates to traffic safety, which will form a standard and be adopted by teachers around the country. Top level Traffic Officers were on hand to assist in that process as well as experts from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
Education Campaign for Citizens on Patrol Program begins in Cayo
Residents in the Cayo District have been introduced to an innovative community policing approach, the Citizens on Patrol Program COP. Issuing the drum beat was retired Superintendent of Police Rudolf Orio, who is now in charge of the Citizens on Patrol and Special Constables Program across Belize. A call was made by Rudolf Orio for citizens to support COP on Friday night of last week in Benque Viejo del Carmen and also on Wednesday night of last week in San Ignacio Town.
In his recent visit to Benque Viejo Town, Rudolf Orio was received at the Mount Carmel High School auditorium by Officer Commanding of Benque Viejo del Carmen, Daniel Arzu, and his assistant Stanley Bodden as well as members of the public. Rudolf Orio stated therein that the citizens can take a part in assisting the police for a safer environment through COP.
Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega, Returns from Official Visit to Republic of China, Taiwan
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, the Honourable Gaspar Vega, recently returned home after completing a week-long official visit to the Republic of China, Taiwan.
During his visit, Deputy Prime Minister Vega met with Taiwanese President, His Excellency Dr. Ma Ying-Jeou. Both Minister Vega and President Ying-Jeou pledged to continue building the already strong bilateral relationship between the two countries. Meetings were also held with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Ambassador David Lin and Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Chen Bao-Ji among other Ministers and senior government officials.
Deputy Prime Minister Vega also visited the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), and various aquaculture and agriculture entities. During his visit the Deputy Prime Minister discussed bilateral cooperation projects including additional training opportunities for Belizeans, current and new projects funded by the ICDF, and a water project to provide additional water wells to rural farming communities. These projects are receiving favourable consideration by the Taiwanese government.
Belize Earns A Host Of Top 100 Readers Choice Awards
The August 2014 “Scuba Diving” magazine has outlined
Belize as the “Central American paradise” who “earned a host of 2014 Top 100 Readers Choice Awards.” Belize earned Readers Choice Awards for the Caribbean and Atlantic’s best overall destination, big animals, wall diving, and underwater photography.
Some of the highlights from the three-page spread include mentions of our barrier reef “bowing only to Australia’s great one.” It also talks about the wall dives that can be done along the atolls, which “turn into an underwater Lollapalooza.” Also among the highlights was Gladden Spit which placed in the top 5 list for “best big animals in the Caribbean and Atlantic region.” Apart from our “big animals,” Belize was also recognized for its “macro critters.” Belize, known for some of the most authentic experiences, was also pointed out as a destination for tours from luxury yachts, to explorations through the jungle and to the archaeological sites.
CitCo plans review of trade licenses in Belize City
Belize City businesses are asking for a change in enforcement of trade licenses by the Belize City Council. Reporting to residents at a public meeting on Tuesday night, Mayor Darrell Bradley indicated that the Council is listening to proposals from the business community to revise charges from the […]
Murder count reaches over 70 for 2014
Officially, murders nationwide in Belize have reached 72 for 2014, counting the deaths of Santiago Trapp in San Pedro Town and Juan Manuel Espana in Trio, Toledo District this week. We have obtained from the Joint Intelligence Coordinating Center (JICC) the record of reported major crimes for 2014. […]
Nasser family relieved of ammunition charges
It slipped under the radar but on July 24, 2014, the Nasser family of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye was found not guilty of possession of ammunition without a gun license due to lack of evidence presented by the prosecution. Nazim Nasser, his wife Jaziba and […]
Man charged for Public’s robbery and burglary
21 year old unemployed Kenrick Longsworth of Castle Street in Belize City is accused of two separate incidents in the last month. He appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart today on charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and robbery in connection with […]
Contractor hired employees without documents
The Immigration Department is cracking down on illegal employment of persons without valid work permits. The latest to fall foul of the law is building contractor 24 year old Kevin Mejia, who today pleaded guilty to two counts of employing persons without a valid temporary employment permit. Mejia […]
So Great to See: The Inauguration of San Pedro’s New Police Barracks
Yesterday morning, an invitation was sent out. The San Pedro Police Barracks, the NEW home for eight police people, was finished! And there would be a 4pm Inauguration ceremony to officially baptize the brand new building and to celebrate. Many people from local and national government, from the business community and the public showed up for this momentous event.
I had seen the fundraising information and a few pictures in the local paper but honestly? I didn’t know that much about the project.
By the end of the ceremony, I really had such a warm, fuzzy feeling.
“Hot in Herre” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
With all of the excitement (different things excite different people!) that Rose and I have had recently – getting our new burglar gates/doors AND getting Ziggy for good – I almost forgot to tell you about a little shopping expedition that Rose and I made a few weeks ago.
It all started when we went to the self-contained apartment that we have on the ground floor to give it a little spring clean (OK so it was early August but you know what I mean) in readiness for the visit of some guests.
We don’t go in to the apartment very often and as we opened the door the heat hit us. A rush of warm, no, hot air (and, it was not because I started to speak). As we entered Rose turned to me and -stating the bloody obvious – said “It’s hot in herre” (I know its spelt incorrectly but bear with me ).
We’d always known that an increase in humidity levels allied to the fact that the apartment isn’t used that much (and no this isn’t a invitation for a flurry of visits!) that it made sense to get a dehumidifier. Our time in the apartment that day convinced us that it was now time to translate talk in to action. A visit to the hardware stores on Ambergris Caye was called for.
Working north to south we called first at Hermano’s Hardware in Boca Del Rio.
#494632 - 08/15/14 11:28 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: August 15, 2014
More News: Scroll up from here
The August 2014 - October 2014 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online.
Click HERE to download the PDF
This Issue's Stories:
- Chia: The New Old Super Food of Belize: Chia seeds, or Salvia
hispancia, may be new
to the ever growing
list of marketable
foods grown in Belize,
but this super food
has been around
this region since the
ancient Maya. Its
common name “chia”
is an ancient Nahuatl
word for “oily”. The
southern Mexican state of Chiapas is said to be a combination of
the word “chia” and “water “ making an interesting combination
considering that chia seeds soaked in water make a vital rehydrating
drink that is often served a variety of ways in the
Mundo-Maya and now the rest of the world. Legend even has
it that chia soaked in water was the only food that ceremonialpurified
royal messengers were allowed to consume during
their long treks between Mayan city-states.
When I asked Ronald Reimer, a chia farmer in Spanish Lookout,
about this legend, he thinks it could be quite true. While he
has never personally been on a complete chia and water fast,
he makes a traditional drink by soaking chia in water between
meals and he notices all cravings in between meals and stomach
pains that he used to associate with gastritis are gone. Now
he enjoys this super food over salads, in smoothies, over or in
breads, and adds a handful to cereals and baked goods; they
turn “normal” food into an energy-packed health food. Ronald
also suspects that because of its gelatinous quality when it is
wet, it could also be made into puddings as a safe replacement
for tapioca and dairy desserts.
- The National Agriculture and Food
Production Policy: The Ministry of
(MNRA) with the collaboration of Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the
International Institute of the Cooperation
for Agriculture (IICA) is revising and updating the National
Agriculture and Food Production Policy that was produced in
2000. No Farmer = No Food. Although this policy is still relevant
today, there are a number of issues such as climate change, risk
management in agriculture, greater emphasis in value addition
and agro-processing that need further strengthening.
A series of consultations with various interest groups of public
and private sectors including NGOs, and civil societies were
carried out throughout the country, starting in April 2014. The
aim was to engage key stakeholders in this process, develop
and strengthen a dialogue platform for agricultural issues and
ensure ownership of the final policy. Participation was extremely
encouraging and agriculture issues discussed were diverse. Some
of these burning issues raised were: the need for a comprehensive
taxation review that facilitates competitiveness for the
productive sector; need for affordable credit; need to strengthen
collaboration and coordination among public and private sector;
revision of fiscal incentives regimes; strengthening of agencies
responsible for standards, sanitary and phytosanitary and other
protocols needed for exports; markets and marketing linkages;
ease of doing business, and responsible governance at all levels
- Citrus Greening Affects Roots
Before Leaves: Although citrus greening enters the tree
through the leaves indirectly through the
Asian Citrus Psyllid, University of Florida
researchers have discovered that the
disease attacks the roots long before the
leaves show signs of the damage.
The Asian Citrus Psyllid feeds on the leaf sap and passes on the
bacteria that causes citrus greening into the tree and the bacteria
travels quickly to the roots according to Researcher Evan Johnson.
In the roots the bacteria replicate, damage the root system and
spread to the rest of the canopy. The disease starves the tree of
nutrients, leaving fruits that are green and misshapen, unsuitable
for fresh fruit or juice. Most infected trees die within a few years.
The University of Florida researchers found that citrus greening
causes a loss of 30 to 50 percent of trees fibrous roots before
symptoms are visible above ground. The early root loss means that
the health of the citrus trees is severely compromised before the
grower even knows it is infected.
- Integrated Pest Management And
Control Guide: of pests and diseases
that can damage crops
of major and minor
exceeds 3000 with an
increase of approximately
10 new pests reported
every year. But the good
news is that specific ones
that have a major influence on productivity in any particular
region are usually limited. Pests can be of different natures and
can be crop specific or generic, so the range of potential control
measures is huge. Nevertheless there are a number of basic
principles which can be applied to reduce their impact on yield
and quality. Dr. Carlos Itza compiled a list of pests for common
vegetable crops, surveillance procedures and details in the nonchemical
eradication of pests in a publication called Guide to
Organic Pest Management for Vegetable and Other Crops in
Belize. The guide is available to farmers and gardeners.
Studies conducted in Belize reveal that there are 3 major
areas of concern for small farmers: marketing, post harvest
and alternative pest control methods. Farmers report that
pest damages can range from 40 - 99% in crop loss. The most
common method currently used to control both pests and
diseases in vegetable crops is pesticide spray. The adverse health
effects from pesticide use is aggravated by several challenges,
in terms of safe storage of the pesticide, safe application of the
pesticide by the laborer, appropriate frequency of application
for optimum benefit, and the necessity to ensure no chemical
residue at harvest and market delivery. There is also the danger
of resistance development to the pesticide by the target pest or
- Energetic Agriculture:
The Gene & the Minerals: In the
year 1974 Dr. Henry Schroeder
in his book Trace Minerals
and Man said that unless the
current pace of discovery is
increased, it would take another
400 years before we understand
the role of the various trace
on Mendeleyev’s Periodic Table.
But in the year 2003, after some
twenty-plus years studying
genetics, Dr. Richard Olree,
a practicing chiropractic
physician, shattered the
prediction of Dr. Schroeder.
By sequencing the amino acids
in the process of constructing
proteins, Dr. Olree traced all
the elements, including the 22
sub-atomic particles to their participatory function in the life
process of man, animal and plant. A few years later in 2006,
a full length book, Minerals for the Genetic Code was written
by Charles Walters to popularize Dr. Richard Orlee’s Standard
Genetic Periodic Chart and the physical, chemical and biological
connections. Every serious student of minerals, genes, and
m-state elements should keep a copy.
- Switchels, Oxymels and Shrubs Regaining
Popularity: Switchels, oxymels
and shrubs have
one thing in
common and what
I am about to say
may leave the soft
groaning. I walk
the beach most
every few feet
galore. I wondered
what people used to drink. The switchel, oxytel and shrub were the
forerunners to today’s energy drinks, rehydration fluid, soft drinks
and concentrates. The switchel, a splendid word that rolls off the
tongue and describes an equally refreshing beverage, is made from
water, vinegar, sugar and ginger with other ingredients such as
oatmeal, lemon, and lime. It is similar to ginger beer in taste and
originated in the Caribbean. As early as the 17th century it migrated
to the USA and quenched the thirst of southern farmers who
christened it haymaker’s punch.
The oxymel is a medicinal drink courtesy of the ancient Greeks made
from four parts honey with one part vinegar simmered to reduce the
volume, then diluted with water. It was used to fight bacteria, break
congestion and coughs, soothe a sore throat, restore energy and cure
a host of other maladies. Different herbs can be added for various
conditions and personal taste. The herbs are infused for weeks,
and the jar shaken regularly to impart the flavours of the healthy
ingredients. This makes a refreshing drink or perky addition to salad
dressings and sauces. Try making small batches and experiment
- Exotic Birds in Belize,
Not Wild Avians……We’re Talking Chickens: A visit to the Chrissie Tupper’s farm near Cheer’s Restaurant, reveals
that the poultry of Belize are at least as diverse as the people.
Our expectations were to see her Guinea hens, whom she
affectionately calls ‘the polka dot mafia’, but we were treated to a
wide collection of exotics including Guineas, Silkies, Polish, Frizzles,
local turkeys and assorted ducks. Chrissie maintains over 200
head, and year-in and -out, her farm provides all the eggs for their
Cheer’s restaurant (between 300 to 600 eggs /wk., depending on
The approximately 80’ x80’ chicken yard has a well-drained
foundation; used rice hull stable bedding from her horses provides
a nice dry footing, and the decomposing manure provides some
delectable insect treats to supplement the poultry’s diet. Next year
Chrissie will move the fowl yard and use this very fertile area for a
garden. A raised and gutted school bus, (see photo) offers shade
and protection under the bus
while the inside of the bus
has partitions which can be
closed to keep night predators
out, creating a comfy giant
Chrissie, an avid poultry
aficionado, maintains her
incubator upstairs; down
stairs, a brooder with a heat
lamp, and a converted horse
stall accommodate interim
juveniles until they are ready to face the main yard.
- Meet Valley of Peace Farms Ltd and
Cayo Grain & Agro Supply Ltd: The agriculture community
has been following with
great interest, the frenzy
of activity this year as an
enormous dryer, huge
storage silos and grain
handling equipment rise
on the south side of the
George Price Hwy at Mile
54. Belize Ag visited with
Douglas Johnson, general manager of both Valley of Peace Farms
Ltd (VOPF) and Cayo Grain & Agro Supply Ltd (CG&AS) to
discuss their project, plans and visions. Doug brings decades of
experience and a world marketing view to their state-of-the-art
Approximately 10 years ago, Doug and his wife Laurie heard about
an opportunity in Belize to purchase farmland and after making
several trips to the country and discussing it between themselves
for some time they asked themselves the question…. “Are we up
for this challenge?” The thought they had was “If we don’t try
it, we will never find out how good it might have been.” So, the
After 35 years of farming mainly yellow corn, soybeans and raising
16 million lbs of turkeys annually in Minnesota, Doug is turning
his South Central Minnesota operation over to his son. In 2005,
the Johnsons purchased the first lands for Valley of Peace Farms
Ltd. His first row crop here was corn in the rainy season of 2007.
Soon, his love for agriculture sparked an interest in a bigger goal:
a commercial operation to address the CARICOM market, and
that led to the formation of sister company, Cayo Grain and Agro
Supply Ltd. (CG &AS) in 2013. Doug feels that Belize’s greatest
advantage in agriculture at this time is being part of CARICOM,
and our central location regarding sales to Central, North and
- Can your soil be harmed by effects
from too much lime?: Finding the correct
answer to that
question can be
The problem is
some soils produce
extremely well that
have a high pH and
very high calcium
levels, and yet other soils, sometimes on the same farm, with
the same pH and calcium levels are a big problem. We see this
in soils from several parts of the U.S., France and Austria for
example. Because some soils do so well with a high pH and
high calcium, it can give the false impression that too much
lime to supply more calcium would never be a problem. But it
can be, and it is an expensive problem to fix once you have it.
Many farmers have been told, “You can’t use too much lime.”
That is not true! In our work with thousands and thousands
of acres that have previously been over-limed, detailed
soil testing continues to prove applying too much lime is a
detriment to most soils. This holds true not only for grass
and forage crops, but for whatever crop you are intending to
grow. And once this happens, it can be far more expensive to
correct than just the cost of spreading an excessive amount of
limestone or other calcium containing material.
- BEL-CAR UPDATES: As corn prices have remained stable, there has been no
significant increase in acreage planted in corn. The corn in
the ground this rainy season is looking promising, as there
appears to be less problems with the chronic earworms. This is
thought to be because there was much rain soon after planting.
The new lands, reddish-brown soil near Hillbank and Indian
Creek (Yalbac purchase), was suffering due to the dry weather
up to the last days of July. Spider mites are beginning to be
pests, also surmised to be from the dry weather. Normally
there is more rain in July, and then a mini-dry ‘mauga’ season
in August. This year has shown us a dry July - until the last
days of the month. A wet August is predicted by some.
The corn inventory is fine, and supplies should last until the
first harvests around September 1st. BEL-CAR has purchased
four new silos from Sukup in the USA. Each has a capacity of
4,200 tons. Also, BEL-CAR added another new elevator.
- FAO ‘Seed for Development’ Project,
A Bright Future for Open-Pollinated Corn: The experimental seed
sponsored by the
Food and Agriculture
and carried out by Cayo
farmers under the direction of Lead Extension Officer, William
Can, of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture
(MNRA), is a resounding success! The project objective was to
evaluate and multiply seeds of three improved corn varieties,
two of which were white corn and one yellow, that adapted
to weather and soil conditions of the Cayo District from the
previous year’s experiment. The slogan that evolved is Good
seed = Good yield.
The table below gives details of the demo plots that were
established. The participating farmers painstakingly monitored the
plants’ growth and development as they adhered to the rigid
procedures for producing high quality seeds in their one-acre
plots. The charts and tables below compare the 2012 and 2013
trials. The table below shows the data that was collected in the
trials of each corn variety in the 2012 corn cycle.
- CATION EXCHANGE CAPACITY: A previous article in Belize Ag Report explained the chemistry
of soil in terms of ionic composition. It is worth repeating here
that the soil is a medium composed of minerals which yield/
retain ions and can exchange or retain ions of the soil solutions.
Cations are the positively charged species: calcium (Ca++),
magnesium (Mg ++), potassium (K+) , sodium (Na+). The
proportion of the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) accounted
for by those elements as exchangeable bases is frequently
used as an indication of soil fertility. CEC is a concept that is
arbitrarily defined and seeks to inform on the nutrient reserves
held by the soil. The value is highly dependent on pH as the
acidity/basicity of the soil determines the value of the exchange.
As a practical matter, soil testing frequently reports not only
the values of the indicator cations but also the CEC. The
principal reason for this lies in the fact that in preparation of
the soil sample an extraction is performed to determine the
exchangeable nutrients. Different soils have different exchange
capacities that are directly correlated to the types of clay
minerals and organic matter. The type of sample preparation
attempts to mimic the exchange of cations as occurs in the soil
when water contacts the soil.
- Agricultural Trends in Spanish Lookout: A study of the trends in agriculture in Spanish Lookout is a study of expansion and growth in terms of cultivated acreage, types of crops, and
number of farmers. These life-long farmers, who took their mechanized practices with them when they moved to Mexico from Canada and then
in 1958 to Belize, have faced many challenges over the years. Belize is no exception to the risks related to weather and price fluctuations; farmers
make their decisions on what to grow and when to plant to minimize their risks and maximize their gain. Unlike most farmers in the temperate
zone, Belizean farmers can plant 2 crops per year. Corn, the major crop in Spanish Lookout, is known as a “summer” crop, as is rice; red kidney
(RK) beans and black eyed peas (blackeyes) are the major “winter” crops along with relative newcomers, milo and soybeans.
Records kept in the central office of Spanish Lookout start in 1990 but have gaps for some crops; so the charts show acreage, harvest (number
of 100 lb. bags) and yield (pounds per acre) for the summer and winter crops for the years ending 2004 – 2013. Records for corn show an
expansion from 4,477 in 1990 to over 23,000 in 2013, which includes rented land well beyond the borders of Spanish Lookout. Although the
acreage was only a 5-fold increase, the harvest was a 10-fold increase during the same time period while the number of farmers increased from
under 100 to 134. Yields have fluctuated due primarily to weather. The lowest yield, 1600 lbs. per acre, was in 1996; the highest, 46oo was in
2012. Although the other summer crop, rice, has been grown since 1993, gaps in the record preclude a complete picture; however there was a
dramatic 620% increase in the number of acres between 1998 and 2014 and the number of farmers over the same time period increased from
2 to 29.
- The Chiquibul Forest Reserve - Ours
to Lose: The Scarlet Macaw is an important indicator species for the health of the rainforest. The current population is estimated to be about 200 birds, which is not a good number. The macaws in our country are genetically distinct and geographically separated from other populations in South America. Despite the destruction of some of its habitat due to the hydroelectric dams that were built in their breeding grounds, they continue to exist. This is due in part to the efforts of Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team (S6). Recently, the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC) also joined forces offering veterinary services in the field. Thanks to all this, along with countless volunteers, some new chicks are fledging safely. But, recently the monitoring team returned with sad news that two macaw nests had been poached due to their remote locations.
The plight of the Scarlet Macaws should serve as a giant red flag to all Belizeans as it indicates that the future of our rainforest is in trouble. Indeed, the Chiquibul Forest is under siege by poachers taking hardwoods, Xate palms, Scarlet Macaws, wildlife, and anything else they can possibly take to sell. There are farmers planting milpas and people basically acting as if the forest belongs to them.
- Brand Registration and the Belize
Livestock Registry: This month at Belize Livestock Producers Assoc. (BLPA),
amongst other things, we are starting a drive
to get all cattle owners to register, renew or
get up to date with their brand registration.
The Belize Livestock Registry (BLR), which
is administered by the BLPA and based at
their offices in Belmopan, was brought
into being under the Cattle Branding Act,
Number 207, and was revised in December
2000. It states that all cattle born should be
branded before they reach 12 months of age or prior to sale.
When you buy an animal you should brand it within 30 days of
taking ownership with your own brand. This new brand should
in no way alter, obscure, or come into contact with the original
brand. The branding procedure is very important; if your animal
is not branded it is almost impossible to prove ownership in the
case of rustling, which we all know is reaching almost epidemic
proportions in some areas of country, especially in Belize and
As part of the National Cattle Sweep and the BLR traceability
systems, each animal in your herd, whether you have only 5
animals or 500, is given two tags with a number unique to that
animal. Correlating these tag numbers with your brand makes it
much easier to identify the origin of an animal. When an animal
is transported, movement permits must be filled in recording
the origin and destination of the animal; so when an inspection at a police or BAHA
checkpoint, or even
in a slaughterhouse
or butcher’s shop is
made, this animal can
be traced back to the
owner, thus ensuring
that it actually belongs
to the seller and has not
been stolen or otherwise
- HOMEMADE HEALTH
By MARGUERITE FLY BEVIS, RN, BSN: The purpose of this column is to share useful information about
health that is relatively inexpensive and readily available for
everyone. The information is not meant to be a substitute for health
care, i.e., regular visits to a healthcare provider for check-ups and
when you are ill. Instead, these are tips I have learned that help
keep me and my family healthy, therefore requiring fewer visits to
the doctor, saving time and money, not to mention enjoying the
benefits of good health.
A key area to consider is immune health. A healthy body is not as
likely to be susceptible to daily threats, such as bacterial and viral
invasions. The body is built to resist and to heal. When it is weak,
defenses are down, and it becomes more likely to succumb to disease.
An obvious way to stay healthy is to eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated,
stay away from processed foods, eat lots of fresh vegetables, fruit,
protein, fish, chicken, grass-fed beef, and use healthy oils and fats
such as coconut oil, olive oil and avocado. Exercise is very important
to maintain good health. The body was built to move. When it stops
moving, it starts falling apart. Muscles deteriorate and the body
ceases its ability to function properly. Exercise doesn’t have to be
an hour work out at a gym. It is as simple as moving about during
the day, taking a walk, climbing stairs, playing games with children.
People I know who lived into their late 90’s were active until the end,
mowing their own lawns, and chopping their own firewood. They
ate and drank moderately, exercised, and they lived long lives.
- Salt and Minerals for Livestock: Animals, including humans, have been given a natural taste for
salt, but not necessarily for trace minerals. That is probably why in
natural states (solid and solution), salt is found with a wide variety
of minerals, often balanced in the best proportions enabling their
utilization by animals. In the wild, animals find their salt and
minerals by selectively eating to their requirements. Domesticated
stock need regular, if not constant, supplementation to optimize
their growth, reproduction and immune systems.
Sodium chloride, or salt, is vital for maintaining the osmotic
pressure in the body’s cells, enabling both nutrients and waste
to move across cell membranes. Trace and other minerals are
becoming more appreciated as their exact functions are defined
by researchers such as Dr. Richard Olree. He states “Cells are all
protein producers. Trace nutrients govern the kind of protein you
will have.” Charles Walters adds, “If deficiency labels a mineral or if
there is a toxicity of a given mineral, then proper genetic expression
becomes impossible.” Balanced minerals are essential.
- National Agriculture and Trade Show
2014– A Growing Success: The 41st annual National Agriculture and Trade
Show (NATS) 2014 welcomed approximately
36,000 visitors at the newly updated 60+
acre Belmopan Fairgrounds from May 3-5.
Attendance has steadily increased since its
inception in 1973. Despite the cloudy and rainy
weather, the mood of the event was sunny. The
fairgrounds have been restructured to separate agriculture, animal
and entertainment exhibits.
The theme of the NATS 2014 was “Stimulating Prosperity in
Agriculture Through Renewed Public and Private Partnerships”.
The goal of this event was to educate the public about the importance
of sustainable agriculture in Belize and to inspire the younger
generation to consider farming as an occupation. Numerous vendors
displayed their equipment and agriculture-related products. An
exhibit of all the co-ops and their products for sale was a popular
feature of the event. The venue, serving also as a nation-wide social
event, featured rodeos, farm exhibits, lively music, entertainment
Profits from the 2014 NATS will be used to improve the NATS for
2015. Mark your calendar for April 24 – 26, 2015.
- Belize Poultry Association: The Belize Poultry Association (BPA) held it 2013 annual general meeting on Wednesday March 12, 2014 at the
Biltmore Hotel. The guest speaker was the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture.
The new BPA Board of Directors is chaired by David P. Reimer of Spanish Lookout. Other members of the
executive are Larry Reimer, Vice-Chair; David Hiebert, Secretary; and Bernhard Bergen, Treasurer. The
highlight of the report was the increase in production of broiler meat (4.1%) and table eggs of 22%.
The industry is poised as one of the
highest contributors to agricultural
GDP and the highest contributor to the
livestock GDP. The industry wholesale value now stands at
more than 100 million dollars. Chicken hovers above 107
lbs. of meat per capita and eggs are at 156 per capita. The
industry is ever mindful of the potential entry of diseases
and therefore remains ever vigilant through its biosecurity
programmes. The BPA is planning a poultry school for the
first week of November as a means of continuing education
for its members.
- Belize Pig Council Updates,
The Industry Slowly Expands and Thrives: Three swine inventories are done annually in Belize, and they
reveal that there are about 20,000 live pigs in the country
at any one time. Overall, our country pig head count is up
5-10% since our last swine industry article in Issue 17, August
2012. The geographic proportions for locations of the pigs
in country are unchanged; 75% of the industry is still located
in Shipyard, Orange Walk District. There are about 3 farms
with over 1,000 head within Belize; one is in Spanish Lookout
and the other large piggeries are located in Shipyard. Being
smaller scale has its advantages regarding disease control. Pigs
in Belize do not require any regular vaccinations. Coccidia
treatments (wormers) are administered, and occasionally
iron shots are given to the animals.
Mexico is experiencing some problems with Porcine Epidemic
Diarhea (PED); those farms are located in northern Mexico,
far from Belize. PED does not affect humans, so is not a
human public health issue.
Porcine dressing percentages remain about the same, a
respectable 74-76%, and slaughter houses note that there is
an increased leanness on most carcasses.
Regarding input costs, corn prices are stable and soybeans
are up. Swine prices to the farmer are also rising. Weaner
pigs (25-30 lbs) range from $85 to $120 for the top grade
and finished butcher pigs (180 -230 lbs) are bringing $1.95
to 2.15/lb. Sale quantities are up and it appears Belizeans are
consuming more pork, although a small number have been
exported to Peten, Guatemala.
- Pigs in the Americas: The Belizean collared
peccary, Tayassu tajacu,
is a member of the family
Suina and descends from
the ancient Percheorus, who
thrived in the Eocene era
about 37 M years ago. Their
cousins, the domesticated pig,
originated in Eurasia and are
also members of that Suina family. The Chinese domesticated
the pig around 5000 BC. From China they spread throughout
Asia, Europe and Africa. Christopher Columbus was the first
to bring pigs into this hemisphere, carrying them on his ship
by order of Queen Isabella, landing in Cuba in 1493. In 1539
Hernando deSoto sailed to Florida, carrying the first pigs on to
the American mainland. The feral (wild) pigs of the Americas
are descended from the escaped domestic pigs, not peccaries.
- Flamboyant Trees in Belize: The flamboyant tree
has been described as
one of the loveliest and
most colorful trees in
the world. With a blaze
of yellow to crimson red
blossoms and delicate
fern-like leaves, the
grace Belize from April
until September in Belize and all around the earth in tropical
climates. Flamboyant trees belong to the family Fabaceae/
Legumiosea, sub-family Caesalpiniodeae. In addition to being
a joy to behold, flamboyant trees also have healing properties
and may be a source of revenue for Belize farmers and growers.
Flamboyant trees, Delonix regia, have been grown primarily
as ornamental shade trees since at least the 17th century. The
tree is indigenous to Madagascar. Since the 18th century
Flamboyant trees have been widely cultivated in most tropical
regions. Other common names for the tree include: flame tree,
fire tree, peacock tree, arbol el fuego. The tree was previously
considered to be in the genus Poinciana and was known as
- Byrsonima crassifolia, aka: CRABOO,
Love it, or …………..not: It’s craboo time in Belize as we go to print. Children along the
Hummingbird have been hawking them for weeks, and now in
most of Belize it’s craboo season too. There are some fruits, if one is not a native to their native area,
growing up with them and their exotic smells and tastes, can
never attain a ‘favorite fruit’ status. Newcomers to the tropics
seldom stop by the speed bumps to purchase a $1. bag of craboo.
But to those raised in craboo’s native lands, from Mexico to
Brazil and in much of the Caribbean, Byrsonima crassifolia is a
treasured fruit, a reminder of their childhood, collecting ripe fruit
under trees and eating fermented craboo during the Christmas
holidays. Craboo has a particular aroma – indescribable, but
unlikely to be utilized by the perfume industry. Other names
include nance in Mexico, tapal in Guatemala, nance verde in El
Salvador, and golden spoon in some of the Caribbean.
- Making Vinegar from Tropical Fruits: There are times
when God gives us
fruit so abundantly
in the tropics that we
don’t always know
what to do with it all.
can be one way of
using some of the
excess, yielding a
product with many
uses: household, culinary and medicinal.
We have made vinegar from many different fruits, including
sweet and sour carambola, wax jamboo, Malay apple,
pineapple, wild grape, and blackberry (java plum). I’m sure
we have not exhausted all of the possibilities. Often, as in the
case with pineapple or sweet carambola, vinegar is made from
the peels and trimmings of a canning project, or in the case
of blackberry or wild grape, with a juice making endeavor.
Good, whole fruits can also be used, though we would tend to
select the best Malay apples, for example, for other purposes
and use the culls for vinegar. Once we made vinegar from a
failed mango sauce canning project. A neighbor made vinegar
from a bucket of orange juice left over from a wedding. In
our communities, sour carambola has been the most faithful
standby for vinegar, as it bears abundantly, but is too sour
to eat as is. But fruits do not need to be sour to make good
vinegar, for acetic acid is produced from sugar.
- Dear Rubber Boots,
Can you recommend a good tropical
gardening reference book? Thanks.: The absolute best reference on
tropical fruits is Julia F. Morton’s
encyclopedic 1987 gem, Fruits
of Warm Climates, ISBN:
0-9610184-1-0. She was a world
renowned Research Professor at
the University of Miami and served
on numerous horticultural boards
in the USA and internationally.
Her maxim was: “I don’t want to
suppose. I want to know.” The
printed version is distributed by
Creative Resource Systems, Inc.
Box 890, Winterville, N.C. 28590,
or find new and used copies on Amazon. Luckily, it is also
online at Purdue University’s site: http://www.hort.purdue.
edu/newcrop/morton/index.html. The Bibliography in the
back of this very reader-friendly classic 500+ page tome is 37
pages; this is THE source book for tropical fruits.
- The Honeybee Crisis: According to John Ross Crooks,
editor of Sovereign Living
magazine, 23% of American
honeybee colonies died in
2013. In fact, every year since
2006, about 30% of the nation’s
honeybee colonies have perished.
If honeybee populations continue
to decline, a serious crisis lies
ahead because they are vital to
insect-pollinated plants that
make up 1/3 of the human diet.
The USDA estimates $15 billion in agricultural production
hinges on the survival of the American honeybee.
There is still some mystery behind colony collapse. Monoculture
(the practice of growing a single crop over a large area),
parasites, pesticides, sickness, genetics and habitat loss are
believed to be factors. However, according to recent study by
the Harvard School of Public Health, neonicotinoid, a pesticide
class similar to nicotine, is a significant factor in the shocking
decline of honeybee colonies.
- Study finds association between maternal
exposure to agricultural pesticides: Pregnant women who lived in close
proximity to fields and farms where chemical pesticides were
applied experienced a two-thirds increased risk of having a
child with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental
delay, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute
has found. The associations were stronger when the exposures
occurred during the second and third trimesters of the women’s
The large, multisite California-based study examined
associations between specific classes of pesticides, including
organophosphates, pyrethroids and carbamates, applied during
the study participants’ pregnancies and later diagnoses of autism
and developmental delay in their offspring. It is published online
today in Environmental Health Perspectives.
“This study validates the results of earlier research that has
reported associations between having a child with autism and
prenatal exposure to agricultural chemicals in California,” said
lead study author Janie F. Shelton, a UC Davis graduate student
who now consults with the United Nations. “While we still must
investigate whether certain sub-groups are more vulnerable to
exposures to these compounds than others, the message is very
clear: Women who are pregnant should take special care to avoid
contact with agricultural chemicals whenever possible.”
- Mrs. Itza’s SPECIAL CHRISTMAS CRABOO: This is a simplified method of how to ferment a 5 gallon bucket of craboo (Byrsonima crassifolia).
Step 1: Wash the craboo and take out the stems.
Step 2: Drain the water and add 10 lbs of brown sugar. Put the lid on tightly so no air can spoil
Step 3: After 3-4 weeks check to see if all the sugar has dissolved; if not then mix the craboo
and sugar with a clean utensil. After maybe another 1-2 weeks sugar should be dissolved; drain
out all the water (liquid) that is in the
bucket. The reason for this is that all
that liquid is very sour!! (not spoiled but
sour as in ‘lime sour’). By this time the
craboo has changed in color from yellow
to light brown.
- Chart Regarding Salt and Minerals: For more information on minerals in foods relative to health, see Dr. August
Dunning’s chart on our ONLINE ANNEX which appears with the regular
.pdf of this issue, as page 39. The Dunning chart illustrates the eerie inverse
relationship between the dropping mineral content in modern foods (post
1920) and the increase in health problems.
- : Local and Regional
- Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$: Find local and some international commodity prices
on our Agriculture Prices at a Glance section.
- Ag Briefs
- Letters To THE EDITOR
MCW provides emergency medicine training to Belize’s busiest ER
A team of doctors, nurses, and EMT personnel from the nation of Belize has completed two weeks of intensive training with emergency medicine specialists in Milwaukee to strengthen the capabilities and response development of Belize’s busiest emergency department.
Led by the Medical College of Wisconsin’s (MCW) department of emergency medicine, with the support of MCW’s office of global health, this is the fourth year of formal training for the team from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize. The emergency department at KHMH sees 30,000 patients annually, is the only hospital in the nation with a mass casualty plan, and serves as its only trauma center.
While in Wisconsin, trainees worked with teams from the MCW Standardized Teaching Assessment Resource Center, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin’s emergency department, Milwaukee County Emergency Medical Services, and colleagues from Wheaton Franciscan – Elmbrook Memorial and St. Joseph Campuses.
The agreement with KHMH and the Belize Ministry of Health also includes onsite training in Belize each year; a team from MCW, along with training partners, conducts three annual two-week training sessions at the hospital.
Healthcare in the Caribbean
The World Health Organization (WHO) published a ranking of global healthcare systems in their World Health Report 2000. According to an article in the June 29, 2012 edition of the Business Insider entitled “These are 36 Countries That Have Better Healthcare Than The US”:
“So controversial were the results that the WHO declined to rank countries in their World Health Report 2010…”.
WHO’s 2000 report ranked the Eastern Caribbean nation of Dominica at 35, which made it one of those countries that had better healthcare than the United States, which was ranked 37.
This was even more impressive considering that US per capita expenditure on healthcare was ranked 1 and Dominica 70.
WHO’s 2000 report also introduced an indicator called DALE: Disability-Adjusted Life Expectancy. DALE combined mortality data with the health and disability status of populations to determine an equivalent number of years in which life was expected to be in full health.
Fortis Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter Dividends-2014
Fortis has designated the common share dividend and preference share dividends as eligible dividends for federal and provincial dividend tax credit purposes.
Fortis is the largest investor-owned electric and gas distribution utility in Canada, with total assets of approximately $18.6 billion and fiscal 2013 revenue exceeding $4 billion. Its regulated utilities account for approximately 90% of total assets and serve approximately 2.5 million customers across Canada and in New York State and the Caribbean. Fortis owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets in Canada, Belize and Upstate New York. The Corporation's non-utility investment is comprised of hotels and commercial real estate in Canada.
Moving to Sunny Belize with a Portable Income Already Set Up
Imagine making money online, doing what you love to do, in your spare time. That’s exactly what I am doing now. I take photographs of everyday things while on vacation. I upload them to a stock agency and advertisers, graphic artists, and other people buy them.
Some of my photos are selling repeatedly on a stock agency that I work with…like the ones I took of a few tropical drinks we were about to start sipping while watching the sun set upon the Caribbean Sea in Belize.
Of course I have taken the typical “sunset” photos as well—the sunsets in Belize are absolutely amazing, and no two are ever alike. My favorite is a sailboat silhouette with the beautiful golden yellow hue of the sky. These photos are also producing winning results.
So are my “spur-of-the-moment” pictures…when I took off my flip flops to walk in the sand on the beach, I snapped a photo of them while the water was washing ashore. Another photo of two empty beach chairs facing the Barrier Reef of Belize are also selling quite well. Click, edit, and upload…and now they are for sale and generating revenue.
Stalk the Reefs With Google Maps for Under the Sea
It's easy to go online and get a 360-degree, ground-level view of almost any street in the United States and throughout the world. Soon, scientists hope people will be able to do the same with coral reefs and other underwater wonders.
U.S. government scientists are learning to use specialized fisheye lenses underwater in the Florida Keys this week in hopes of applying ;street view; mapping to research and management plans in marine sanctuaries nationwide. Some of the rotating and panoramic images will be available online this week, including a selection on Google Maps, giving the public a window into ecosystems still difficult and costly to explore for long stretches of time.
It will be like scuba diving from your computer.
About 400,000 images have been produced so far of reefs off Australia and in the Caribbean, but this is the first time the technology is being used in U.S. waters.
Video: If You Can Sing It... Bring It (August 13, 2014), 1hr21min.
Video: Lobster Diving - Belize, 3min.
This is some footage of my friend and I on our recent trip to Belize. We were lucky enough to meet some great people who took us out lobster diving and showed us the honey spots in the South of Belize. Enjoy
Video: Lobster Love, 2min.
Lobster Love depicts a rare capture of Lobster mating in the natural environment. The sequence was captured at night off the south coast of Roatan, Honduras
Video: Spiny Lobster Belize Barrier Reef - June 2014, 1min.
Diving North Wall in Southern Belize Pirate Reef Divers @ Hatchet Caye Resort
Video: Lobster out at night, 1.5min.
Sometimes you get lucky at night and the animal comes out. Look at the beautiful colour to this lobster. Unlike the atlantic lobster these guys don't have claws.
Video: Giant spiny Caribbean lobster freed by generous divers on Roatan, 1min.
One of 8 giant lobster released on the Roatan Banks by generous divers who purchased the monster from local lobster trap fishermen from Cayos Cochinos
Video: Employment via BPO Certificatiom, 11min.
Listen to Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow and Mike Singh, CEO in the Ministry of Trade and Investment, go in depth about the new program for call centre training.
Video: 2014 Belize Missions Trip, 10min.
15 people from Crossview Fellowship in Keokuk Iowa, headed out for an extreme week to build a house for a family in need.
Video: Belize Trip 2014, 9min.
This is the synopsis of the family Belize Trip 2014. Elaine and I wanted to see as much of her family as possible before we departed for our tour of Germany. I am thankful for the family represented by this video who treated us so well.
Video: Remora Encounter in Belize, 3min.
A beautiful peaceful dive at the Spanish Bay/Gallows Reef in Belize, interrupted by a curious, pesky, irascible, free-swimming remora. I edited out the part where he kept coming after me multiple times! They're not very intelligent animals.
Video: Belize Lifestyle-quicktime, 8min.
Us chilling in Belize.
Video: Peninsula Club Belize - Phase 1 3D Rendering Video, 5min.
If you're considering investing in a property, boat slip, building or even a business in Belize, The Peninsula Club should be on your radar by now. Developed by the same person who put together the famed Chabil Mar Villas, The Peninsula Club in Belize is poised to better facilitate residents, residences and business all within the self-contained property, surrounded by an absolutely stunning marina. If you've never gone fishing in Belize, you are in for a treat!
Video: Diving Belize, 10min.
Shot on a Sony PMW-F3 & edited on Sony Vegas.
Video: Ziplining in Belize, 2min.
My wife and I on our ziplining excursion in Belize. We got married on-board the Carnival Magic and then set sail for our honeymoon.
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