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#495904 - 09/20/14 11:35 AM Today's Belize News: September 20, 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

Soca Superstar Machel Montano visits San Pedro
39-year-old Trinidadian soca superstar, Machel Montano is in San Pedro enjoying the island before his big concert in Belize City. Machel, along with his entourage were spotted having lunch at Elvi’s Kitchen on Friday, September 19th. While in San Pedro, Machel is looking forward to experiencing the island’s top attraction, snorkeling. Machel is well known across the world for his energetic and up beat rhythms.This will be his third visit to Belize; his first performance was back in 1998. Machel also made a performance in 2005 as a UNICEF Youth Ambassador. The King of Soca will be the featured performance at the first ever Belize Soca and Jazz Festival, scheduled to take place on Independence Eve, Saturday, September 20th at Hour Bar. Machel will be delighting the crowd with top hits like “Ministry of the Road” and “Epic”.

SPTC visits island school as part of National Service Day
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) celebrated the 3rd Annual National Service Day by visiting the island schools and giving the students a small gift. National Service Daye is held in honor of National Hero and Father of the Nation, Right Honorable George Cadle Price who believed that serving other brings happiness to oneself. Activities commenced a day early on Thursday, September 18th with Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez along with Councilor Mito Paz and United Democratic Party (UDP) Town Council candidates Gary Grief and Hector “Tito” Alamilla visiting all pre-schools. The cuties received the gift of an exercise blank, pencil and sharper, basic tools needed in school. The children were delighted for the visit and happily received the school supplies.

OMG, It’s Froyo!
I am pleased to announce that San Pedro Town has a new delicious addiction, FROYO! YoMama offers a variety of frozen yogurt flavors (my personal favorites being mango and coconut) topped with an array of delicious treats. The topping bar consists for everything from rice crispies to fresh fruits and of course chocolate chips. Feel free to mix and match flavors, or keep it simple, whatever pleases your taste buds. The price of you froyo is determined by the weight.

Eight aspiring bartenders graduate from Flair and Mixology Course
On Tuesday, September 16th, the Belize Institute of Mixology (BIM) graduated its first class of eight students from an introductory bartending course. Luis Velasquez, founder of BIM, along with award winning Mixologist Fermin Cho, held the course in an effort to improve bartending skills in Belize’s Tourism Industry. The course taught participants basic flair and mixology skills, including cocktail preparation and garnishing. Bartending Course Institute of Mixology Kama Lounge-2A short ceremony was held at the end of the course to recognize those that completed the course. The proud graduates are Justin Alamina, Karissa Young, Cindy Vigna, Shahina Godoy, Javier Briceno, Abriam Lopez, Alfredo Tun and Pablo Mendoza. Each participant received a certificate of completion.

Ambergris Today

Belize’s Isla Bonita Telenovela Available for Purchase Online
After a very successful premier on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize, the first episode of the country’s first telenovela (soap opera) is now available for purchase via Vimeo-On-Demand and online streaming from anywhere in the world! Island residents have one last chance to catch Episode 1 of the Isla Bonita Telenovelas this weekend at the Paradise Theater in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Showing dates and time include Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7p.m. ($15 adults, $12 children). Don't miss it! After the final weekend showing in San Pedro, it is expected that the telenovela showings will move inland with venues and dates to be announced shortly. It has been announced that it will show next week at the Bliss Institute of Performing Arts theater in Belize City. Visit The Isla Bonita website to purchase Episode 1 online; your rental supports the production of future episodes. http://www.islabonita.bz/

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Perspective of our Past Historical Lecture Series
One week from today the House of Culture begins the annual Perspective of our Past Historical Lecture Series. Join us Thursday September 25th at 7 pm as we capture the historical essence of Belize's premier fishing village- Sarteneja with historian Mr. Jorge Verde.

National Service Day
Happy National Service Day! Today we celebrate the life of George Price by giving back to the community in which we live. They are cleaning up around the George Price Centre. "Some volunteers coming out and started National Service Day with a blast!!! Special thanks for the Boy Scouts in Belmopan for a wonderful flag raising ceremony and volunteering their time and energy in helping to make the Centre more beautiful!!! "

Belize Weather Patterns
It may come as no surprise that the weather is very complex and variable.. . . . Belize comes under the influence of about five different weather patterns at different times of the year. There are the ITCZ flare-ups that can bring heavy rains, between around June to September. . . . .We also get the so called "Tropical Waves" which bring wet and windy conditions in from the Caribbean. . . . .We get Cold Fronts coming down from the North, mainly between late October, through into early April. . . . . It may appear odd, but typically, for much of the year, our prevailing wind is from the SW, that is from the Pacific, over Guatemala, OK that is a higher level wind, not the surface wind, except in the early morning, and sometimes late at night, which has been called the "Tiger Wind" by some old Belizeans, because it appears to start up in the evening, coming down from the Mountains.

Ambassadors Arrive in Belize for Independence Celebrations
Three visiting ambassadors and two high commissioners have arrived in Belize for the Independence Day Celebrations. They are H.E. Mrs. Beata Wojna, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland; H.E. Mr. Kim Byong-Seop, Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea; H.E. Mr. Munjed Saleh, Ambassador of the State of Palestine; H.E. Ms. Sandra Grant-Griffiths, High Commissioner of Jamaica and H.E. Ms. Clare Kelly, High Commissioner of New Zealand. (7 photos)

NATIONAL SERVICE DAY
Today we celebrate NATIONAL SERVICE DAY and NATIONAL COLOURS DAY to commemorate the Father of the Nation and National Hero, Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price.

Belize turns 33 this weekend - 9/21/2014 (48 photos)
Independence celebration in our small village today.

Connecting Homes, Improving Lives Launched
An official launch ceremony was held on Thursday, September 18 for the Connecting Homes, Improving Lives project, an initiative geared at improving the quality of life of Belizeans via the installation of 1,000 free service entrance connections for low-income Belizean households. A service entrance is the basic infrastructure required for getting safe and proper connection to power supply from Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). Connecting Homes, Improving Lives arose out of a tripartite venture in 2011 between the European Union (EU), the Government of Belize (GOB) and BEL with a grant contract funding the electrification of over 40 rural communities in the country through the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of Countries (ACP) – EU Energy Facility II Grant Funds. At the end of the process, more than half of residents were unable to take advantage of the electrification in their community, as they could not afford the cost of installing a service entrance, which normally runs from $800 to $1,200 dollars.

Benque Children's Rally
There were a lot of parades yesterday, and Benque had their Children's Rally. They have a video of the Alvin Young Nazarene High School jamming during the event.

Channel 7

Saldivar Stunned by Coye Suit, Gives Emotional Interview
Claim number 518 of 2014 - that's the number of the lawsuit Melonie Coye and her attorney Eamon Courtenay have filed against Arthur Saldivar. She makes a claim for nine hundred and four thousand, seven hundred and forty dollars - which she says he was supposed to take to her home on June 12th, 2013 - but never did. The filing says, Saldivar, quote, "refused to return the monies…and instead has since kept it for his own use." Now, we've been reporting on this pending lawsuit for over a month - and it was finally filed yesterday. So, it didn't exactly catch us off guard. But, very surprisingly, it does seem to have caught Saldivar on his heels. Today, his agents called us for an interview where he expressed, shock, disappointment, sadness, and yes, even tears, that it had come to this. We're sure you're saying, "tears?" That can't be Arthur Saldivar! After all, he's always so brassy, bold and often arrogant in his TV appearances. But today he showed a much more human side. It seems the weight of the lawsuit, combined with the symbolism of National Service Day, which is commemorate the passing of PUP founder George Price, had Saldivar in a pensive mood. And he shared his thoughts with us:

Church Gets Injunction Against Alkaline
Jamaican dancehall artist, Earlan Bartley, who is better known as Alkaline, landed in Belize yesterday for a concert in Cayo and Dangriga. He's supposed to be the next big headline event for the 20th Night. But, tonight, the concert is in jeopardy because of a late move to pull the venue. The concert was scheduled to be held at Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio. That's a Catholic run school, and Alkaline's often outrageous, violent and sexually explicit lyrics caught the ear of the Catholic Church in Belize. Today, a Press Release was sent from the office of Bishop Dorick Wright and the Catholic Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan. In the release, the Bishop strongly condemned the decision to have such a concert on the grounds of a catholic school, calling it, quote, "...a serious error in judgement." End quote.

Is Your Belizean Flag Fake?
Every year on Independence eve, we hoist the Belizean Flag marking another year of nationhood. But when the flag goes up tonight, look at the coat of arms closely - the men on it should look brown and black. If they don't - then that means even officialdom has been overtaken by the fake flag syndrome. Fake flags, you say? It's real, alright, and Courtney Weatherburne has been investigating:.. Inez Sanchez and the late Everal Waight won $500 dollars as a team in 1981 for coming up with the flag design. So do you want to know if your flag is real? Well, as you have heard from the designer, one man should be black and the other brown. The 'yellow' man should have no place on the Belizean flag.

Chinese Businessman Kills Robber In Orange Walk
An alleged robber was killed in Orange Walk Town this afternoon. It happened at 3:05 pm right in front of the Town Hospital - in plain view of dozens of drivers and pedestrians. Eyewitnesses say that a Chinese business owner shot a man as he was riding off - allegedly from a robbery. The businessman had a nine-millimeter pistol and shot the alleged robber right off his bicycle on the wide intersection in front of the hospital. Eyewitnesses confirm that after the man went tumbling off his bike, the business man then walked up to him on the ground and shot him twice more. The man lay gasping on the ground and the Chinese man then started to kick him in the head. He then walked off - and an ambulance came - but as the emergency technicians. put him in the stretcher he took his last breath.

National Hero Price Remembered On Nat'l Service Day
Today is National Service Day - the day established to mark the passing of National Hero George Price in 2011. All across Belize, civic-minded citizens, groups and companies engaged in different forms of public service - in the truest spirit of Mr. Price. The PUP started the day with their annual wreath laying ceremony at his burial site on Lord's Ridge Cemetery. He was remembered by his followers and his family:.. Henry Usher, PUP Chairman "This the 3rd anniversary of the passing of the Rt. Hon. George Price, our uncle and Susie's brother and in this anniversary as in every year we must reflect in what we are and who we are as a country and what want to achieve going forward." Rt. Hon. Said Musa "And as he said in one of his poems 'Little people have tried and turned away, nation building is task for giants and you little people who are here with us today will one day become giants when you become nation builders.'"

PUP Back-Pedals On Protest - Money Problems?
And while the party Celebrated the life and service of George Price, they turn their attention to next week when they celebrate the anniversary of the party's founding - which happened at the Price family home. To commemorate the day, the party will have a National Party Council meeting in Belmopan. Weeks ago, plans were being made for a mass protest against the UDP government. Our reports said that that party wanted to bus in a crowd of ten thousand, with a budget well over one hundred thousand dollars. Then, because money was scarce that was pared down to one thousand from each of the four caucuses countrywide - and now, it's just an NPC meeting with 7 persons from each division.

PUP Supports Anti Crime Initiative, Not GSU
And while we had Fonseca this morning, we also asked him about his views on crime and government's decision - in the face of so much controversy - to bolster the numbers of the officers in the Gang Suppression Unit. Fonseca says he supports getting tough on crime, but not doing it with the GSU:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Gang violence is a serious problem. Crime and violence obviously is ravaging our society particularly south side of Belize City, so we consider that a very serious matter and as I have always said to Mr. Barrow both publicly and privately when we meet the People's Unity Party is here to support this work of the government in fighting crime, but we have to review the functions and performance and role of the GSU as it presently exist and I believe we need to replace it with another security force which can begin anew and regain the confidence and trust of the Belizean people." And this evening on 7News, Fonseca surely got some good news when he heard that Arthur Saldivar would, quote "not be doing anything to harm his party." And so now the PUP won't be going through trials and tribulations - but, you never know. While Saldivar was contrite and emotional today, he could be back truculent and belligerent tomorrow. We spoke to his party leader this morning - before the Saldivar reversal - about the what if's: what if he runs independent, and what if he challenges the party executive. Here's what Fonseca had to say:..

"Robbery" Charged, Along With Other Prominent Gang Figures
The biggest news this week has been the spree of shootings, which happened on Wednesday night, believed to be retaliation by George Street for the death of Cyril McFoy Robinson, the father of Brandon Tillett, known as "BT", one of the affiliates of George Street. Well tonight, one of the major players of the George Street Gang is at prison tonight after he was charged with firearm offences. We told you on Monday that at the end of Juveey on last week Saturday, shots were fired at the corner of Douglas Jones Street and New Road. Police say that 28 year-old Kareem Lopez, better known as Robbery, was the trigger man. He was charged with discharging a firearm in public, and he was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith.

Five Years For Firearm
Rafael Usher is at prison tonight serving out a 5 year sentence after he was convicted of firearm offences today. The incident occurred around 10:20 p.m. on June 3, 2011. Two police officers testified that they responded to a report of shots being fired on Matura Street and while they were on Gill Street they saw Usher riding a pink beach cruiser bicycle coming towards their vehicle. They said that when they spotted Usher and searched him they found a sawed-off shotgun tucked his waist. It had one cartridge in the chamber, and when the officers continued to search him, they found another cartridge on one of his pockets. They subsequently charged him with keeping a prohibited firearm, and keeping prohibited ammunition.

Community Service Means Removing Graffiti
Earlier on, we told you about National Service Day. Well, the Belize City Police Eastern Division along with the Belize City Council and students of Wesley College did their part by painting over graffiti on walls around the city neighborhoods. We caught up with the 30 students, 18 police officers and 15 Belize City council staff members through Majestic Alley. Douglas Hyde - Eastern Division Public Relation Officer "The police department specifically eastern division along with Wesley College, along with the Belize City Council have partnered today for National Service Day and one of the efforts that we literally embarked on is to have the young people which is 30 of them along with police officers, we have 18 of them and 20 members of the staff of Belize City Council to paint over all graffiti's in Belize City and we've literally look at all the areas, hot spot areas and basically we are going to cover these graffiti's with beautiful colors and the idea of this is to continue this work, not only today but after this to have a competition within the neighborhoods of doing moral, showing or depicting positive messages in the area of positive graffiti's and pictures within their area."

Children Learn Nationalist Lessons At School Rally
And while the high schoolers were doing national service, the primary schoolers were at the Annual Children's Day Rally at Birds Isle. It was postponed last Friday as a result of the rain but the children were ready to go today - and why not, it's a holiday and a chance to get out of the classroom. But, more than just a fun outing, Dr. Carol Babb said the event is impactful:.. Dr. Carol Babb "It has been very successful over the years. We've been having it for many years, more years than I can remember, but we get the children together and we try to focus on important topics such as patriotism; the focus this morning was on patriotism. We want to instill in these young people the love of country and we talk to them about ways that they can demonstrate patriotism." "This morning I must tell you that they were extremely attentive. We never once had to ask them to be quite. We also had this young man who is a motivational speaker, a 12 year old - Anthony and he really engaged them and he inspired them and he motivated them and I look at their faces and I saw them watching intently and so I believe we are making some impact on the way that we want them to go."

Mayor Makes Plans For City Celebrations
And while children got to wave their flags today, on Sunday, Belizeans all across the country will get to celebrate independence. In Belize City that means an all daY street fest after the official parade. The mayor told us what to expect.

Mayor: Sale Of Alcohol Not Prohibited
And while the Independence Day Bram should be a fun filled event, some vendors are not too happy. That is because they applied for a license to sell liquor at Sunday's event but were denied and told liquor will only be sold at the Pier One Bar or a Bowen and Bowen Bar inside the BTL park. Today the Mayor told 7news news that's not the case. He explained. The Independence Day Bram starts at 11am on Sunday morning and ends at 6pm.

NICH Celebrates Video Stars
And to coincide with the celebrations, for the past month and a half, NICH has been hosting a competition where patriots create and post a 3 to 5 minute video illustrating their love for country. It's an interesting social experiment where the contestants make use of youtube and Facebook to market themselves and earn views and today, the NICH's Institute of Social and Cultural Research announced the winning 4 entries. Today, we spoke with each of winners and the contest organizers. Here's what they told us: Janessa Teck won $1000 for her first place entry, while Vanessa Edwards won $700. Kyraan Gabourel won $500 for his third place entry, and he also won viewers choice because he got the most views on Facebook and YouTube.

ACC Raises Its Flag
And while those 3 contestants showed the most outstanding form of patriotism with technology, the Anglican Cathedral College has been consistently displaying their love of country for the past 31 years - they started one year after independence. They made number 32 today with their flag raising ceremony, and we stopped by to see their Independence Rally. Here's what the Anglican Bishop told us about the event: Bishop Phillip Wright, Chairman, Board of Governors - ACC "Every year we've done it, probably for last 32 years since we came into existence as ACC and I think it's a fairly simple way in trying to instill in the students a sense of patriotism, but also the fact that we have a lot of reasons to celebrate and give God thanks for a beautiful land he has given us." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about today's particular event, some of the things which were different from last year and years before?"

Channel 5

Interim Injunction to Stop Alkaline Concert at Sacred Heart College Granted
Late this evening, representatives of the Roman Catholic Church rushed to the Supreme Court seeking an interim injunction to stop a concert that is planned for this Independence holiday weekend [...]

Promoter Says Show Must Go On
The promoter behind the Alkaline concert is Martin Castillo of Marine Sounds. Castillo was taken by surprise at the church’s stance and late this evening when we contacted him by [...]

Orange Walk Bandido Shot Dead By Store Owner
A man who robbed a store in Orange Walk at gunpoint is tonight at the Northern Regional Hospital morgue after he was fatally shot by the proprietor. That man, Leslie [...]

Brandon Tillett in Court for Attempted Murder
    Following a spade of violence in which three persons were murdered in a matter of hours on Wednesday, the Prime Minister met with the police top brass and [...]

Kareem Lopez, aka “Robbery,” remanded for causing public terror
  Police are holding a third person behind bars presumably to stop further mayhem on the streets. He is Kareem Lopez, aka Robbery, who was charged today for causing public [...]

Is the P.M.’s Position on Enforcing Anti-Gang Laws a Double Standard?
Reeling from an explosive surge of gangland violence which resulted in three murders and multiple casualties in a matter of hours, Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Thursday announced that Police [...]

Audrey Matura-Shepherd on Preventative Detention
Preventative Detention – the proposed amendment to the constitution was the cause of fiery debate, controversy and contention. So much so that Prime Minister Dean Barrow backed down from the [...]

George Price Remembered 3 Years Later
The Father of the Nation, George Price was remembered today across the country. September nineteenth, the day on which he passed away three years ago, has been set aside as [...]

National Service Day is celebrated
The Eastern Division of the Belize City Police Department, Wesley College and the City Council partnered today to clear graffiti from walls and fences and to clean garbage from certain [...]

Francis Fonseca Says Throwing Money at Crime Problem Won’t Work
This morning, the leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, was asked about the current crisis as it relates to crime. While Fonseca says the opposition is ready to work with [...]

P.U.P.’s Decision to Oust Arthur Saldivar Stands, Says Party Leader
As you know, the P.U.P. will be seeking a new standard bearer for Belize Rural North. Arthur Saldivar was removed on Wednesday after serious allegations were made against him and [...]

Penner and Saldivar Juxtaposed, Fonseca Says It’s Absolutely Crazy
Francis Fonseca also responded to a comment made by the Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, who likened the Penner passport scandal to the Arthur Saldivar debacle. Fonseca says that Hulse’s [...]

Why does the Police Department Wait for D.P.P.’s Office Before Charging Criminals?
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is severely backlogged with a number of criminal cases.  In fact, the bottleneck has seen files proceed through to the courts at [...]

Why Aren’t Known Gang Members Charged for Gang Affiliation
P.M. Barrow during that press conference also conceded that the police department, as well as the local media, is very much familiar with the names of well-known gang members and [...]

Children’s Rally Draws Thousands
The annual Children’s Rally was to be held last week Friday in Belize City, but due to the inclement weather it was postponed. That is until today, when primary school [...]

ACC Raises Flag in Honor of Independence Day
Back in 1982 on September twenty-seventh, St. Hilda’s and St. Michael’s high schools in Belize City amalgamated to become the Anglican Cathedral College located on downtown Albert Street in Belize [...]

Belize at 33: Sedi Elrington Looks Back
The thirty-third anniversary of Belize’s independence will be officially celebrated in Belmopan on Sunday.  With the nation’s birthday less than four days away, we asked Minister Sedi Elrington to reflect [...]

LOVE FM

Five Years for Firearm and Ammunition Charges
Rafael Usher, charged with kept a prohibited firearm and kept ammunition without a gun license, was found guilty of both charges today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Usher was sentenced to three years for the firearm and five years for the ammunition. The sentences are to run concurrently, so he will only serve five years. The incident occurred around 10:20 p.m. on June 3, 2011. Two police officers testified that they received information of a shooting on Matura Street. They said that while they were on Gill Street and were proceeding to Matura Street, they saw Usher riding a pink beach cruiser bicycle coming towards their vehicle. They said they stopped Usher and when they searched him they found a sawed-off shotgun in the waist of his pants. They said they also found a cartridge in the shotgun and another cartridge in the pocket of his pants. Usher testified and denied that he had the shotgun and cartridges. He said the police found the shotgun and cartridges in an open lot.

Robber Shot By Business Owner
A robbery this afternoon in front of the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town ended when a store owner fatally shot one of two robbers. Arturo Cantun reports. ARTURO CANTUN “A young man of creole descent is dead after he tried to rob Hung Yun Store on Otro Benque Rd. in Orange Walk Town. The robbery happened around 3:15 this afternoon when the Chinese store had at least three patrons shopping. “ ARTURO CANTUN “Details of what exactly happened are still sketchy but so far LOVE NEWS understands the two men were in store pretending to do some shopping. As one of the customers exited the store, the robber of creole descent approached the counter, pushed the female shop attendant, open the cash register, took and undisclosed amount of money and handed it over to his accomplice. The other robber, who is of Hispanic descent, then quickly ran out of the store and fled from the scene on a bicycle.” LOVE NEWS spoke to an eye witness who was in the store two minutes before the shots rang out and explains the two robbers were inside the store while he was shopping.

PUP’s Leader Opposes Museum Concept
The social media has been a forum where concerns, complaints and opinions are penned regarding several issues ranging from politics, social ills, economics to personal matters. This past Tuesday, Love News brought to you the statement of disapproval documented by the former President of the National Institute for Culture and History, Yasser Musa regarding the project of having the House of Culture on Regent Street in Belize City be turned into a cultural museum. Musa, who can be considered a cultural activist, was quite vocal on the matter, calling the idea, “mentally sick” and “a retrograde, racist and disturbing development”. Musa ended his statement by calling on the People’s United Party to, “reject the project for its rank disrespect to our resistance heritage.” Well, today, Fonseca told the media that they are in agreement with Musa. FRANCIS FONSECA “I completely agree with Yasser. I think it’s a foolhardy decision. I have not obviously been briefed on the project by the Government or by the Ministry of Tourism or Culture but certainly I know as a former Minister of Culture that, that is not the direction in which we want it to take. Culture and the museums, we had plans for the museums and establishing a better National Museum but that is certainly not the direction of somehow honoring the glory of the Baymen which seems to be at the center of this project.

American Charged For Excess Time in Belize
22-year-old American national, Kalen Nessel, who apparently fell in love with Belize and violated the conditions of his visitor’s permit, was fined $1,000 today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he pled guilty to failure to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit. Nessel was ordered to pay the fine forthwith and a removal order was granted for his deportation to the United States. Nessel paid the fine. He said he was not aware that his visitor’s permit was up. He promised to return to Belize. Nesssel arrived in Belize on July 1 and he was given a permit to stay until July 30. He was at the Phillip Goldson International Airport yesterday getting ready to fly home when two immigration officers, acting on information they received went to the airport and Nessel and his passport were handed over to them. When the officers checked Nessel’s passport they found that he had not renewed his permit.

Belize Listed as A Major Drug Transit And/Or Producing Country
Belize is one of four CARICOM countries named among several Latin and Caribbean major drug transit and or major illicit drug producing countries. The other countries are Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas. According to a statement from the White House, a country’s presence on the list is not a reflection of its government’s counternarcotic efforts or level of cooperation with the United States. But it said that the reason major drug transit or illicit drug producing countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced, even if a government has carried out the most diligent narcotics control law enforcement measures. The other countries listed are Afghanistan, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

John Doe Found Dead on Highway
Orange Walk Police are asking for assistance in identifying the body of a man found yesterday on the San Lorenzo Road. According to reports sometime around three o’clock yesterday afternoon Police responded to reports where they saw the dark complexion male person with injuries to the head and body. The body was found on the shoulder of the road in the bushes. He was dressed in a grey and black Polo shirt with the logo Air Jet. He was wearing a khaki pants and white Nike tennis shoes. He has a white beard and curly grey brown hair with no identification card or distinguishing marks. The body was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital Morgue. Police believe he was the victim of a hit and run incident.

Opposition Leader Says Money Is Not The Solution
In response to the rise in gang violence and the multiple shooting incidents that have transpired over the last 48 hours, the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow joined the high ranks of the Belize Police Department in a press briefing in an attempt to restore some sense of security in the citizenry via the revelation of steps that the Government will be taking in order to tackle the surge in street violence. One of the revelations included the increase in budget for the Police Department….for some it may seem as a way towards alleviation if not elimination but not for the Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca, who told the media today that money will not solve the crisis. FRANCIS FONSECA “Throwing more money at the problem does not seem to be working. Again we do not seem to be dealing with the root causes of crime. There are initiatives that we support in terms of trying to provide employment for some of these gang members. There are initiatives like that, that we support but throwing more money at the problem does not seem to be working. Again investing more in education, we believe in investing more in some of these social programs but again the root causes are what we have to address.”

Graveside Visit and Remembrances of Uncle George
Officials, supporters, members of the People’s United Party along with students of St. Martin’s de Porres Primary School gathered at the grave site of the late Right Honorable George Cadle Price this morning for a wreath laying ceremony. Today marks three years since Price, Belize’s first Premiere and Prime Minister passed away. According to the current leader of the PUP, Francis Fonseca, the party has put more focus on remembering the country’s great leader. FRANCIS FONSECA “We have put a greater effort into organizing our tribute to Mr. Price. So that is a part of it but I also think it’s a reflection of the times we are living in. Increasingly people are remembering and reflecting on the leadership of Mr. Price and remembering how much he stood for unity in our nation at a time in 2014 when we seem to be so divided on so many issues. So I think that even in our own party and the wider society there is a sense of longing for George Price’s leadership, his commitment to Belize that seems to be lacking today in 2014. I think that in and of itself generates more interest, more people wanting to come out, wanting to pay tribute to Mr. Price and so I think that is what you see but as I said we have placed a greater emphasis on organizing this activity that people come out and pay respect to our great leader George Price.”

Tracey Says He Didn’t Assault Cop Nor Did He Escape
Twenty-seven year old Robert Tracey, who was released from prison less than a month ago, was charged with several offences when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. The charges included assaulting a police officer, possession of controlled drugs and escape form lawful custody. Tracey pled not guilty to the charges. He was offered a bail of 500 dollars and his case was adjourned until November 7. The incident occurred yesterday in the “Gungulung” area of Belize City.Police Constable Howard West reported that Tracey assaulted him when he accosted Tracey and Police Constable Eber Depaz reported that Tracey escaped from him. The police also reported that Tracey had two grams of cannabis in his possession. Tracey said that nothing of what the police alleged occurred.

PUP Will Have Standard Bearer Installed for BRN By Year’s End
The removal of Arthur Saldivar as Standard Bearer for the Belize Rural North came as a shock for many as the news hit the media this past Wednesday…..but by now, the news has sunk in for many and the People’s United Party has now thrown the matter behind them and is looking to forge on and put their house back in order in the Belize Rural North. Today, Fonseca was asked to comment on Saldivar’s statements being made following his removal including, that he, Fonseca is unfit to be the party leader. FRANCIS FONSECA “Anybody who is removed will not be happy with the leader and so I have no comment on that. We did what we believe is in the best interest of the People’s United Party at this time and ultimately we believe in the best interest of Belize and that decision was taken not just by Francis Fonseca, that decision was taken by the National Executive of the People’s United Party and that decision stands. We have work to do and we have to get rid of a UDP government that is destroying this country and that is what we are focused on and we will not allow anyone to divert us from that objective.

Catholic Bishop Condemns Alkaline’s Upcoming Concert in Belize
The announcement of Alkaline’s visit to Belize began circulating some months ago, particularly among the youths and the Dancehall followers. Well, after much anticipation by his fans, the dancehall artist is in the country and is getting ready to perform in San Ignacio at the Sacred Heart College’s auditorium. While his presence and upcoming performance is not an issue for many, the Bishop of the Catholic Church fired a release out to the media houses earlier today. His point of contention was the fact that Sacred Heart College, which falls under the umbrella of the Catholic Diocese had rented out its facilities to a dancehall artist, saying, “this event presents a grave moral danger to the socially fragile and impressionable youth of the college and those from all over Belize who will attend.” The Bishop’s release continued saying that he had done some research on the World Wide Web and was shocked at some revelations.

Winners of Patriotic Belize Facebook Video Competition
A special awards ceremony took place today in recognition of the three winners of the: Patriotic Belize Facebook Video Competition. The purpose of the competition was for people to express and demonstrate their love for Belize in a creative manner through a social network. Director for Institute of Social and Cultural Research, Nigel Encalada spoke of the details of the competition. “In terms of the details the competition was a simple concept, social media is where everybody meets currently and so we thought that a way of trying to form an experiment to see if people would use social media to demonstrate patriotism and love for country so we came up with the idea along with BTB and the National Celebrations commission that people could make entries on Facebook using any art form.

New Painting Project As Part Of Service Day
In related news, the Police Department worked in collaboration with Wesley College and the Belize City council. Police Public Relations Coordinator Douglas Hyde, explained the initiative. PPRC DOUGLAS HYDE “We’ve identified places in Belize City in communities that have graffiti. What we have done is with the thirty persons from Wesley College, twenty staff from Belize City Council and eighteen police officers, we’ve collaborated along with the community to paint over these graffiti and we’ve used the color white first as the base of it and next week and the week after we will be using beautiful colors to beautify the community and by the end of October what we want to do is throw a community competition where these same graffiti specialists as we call them, will be invited to instead of doing negative graffiti, we want them to send positive messages through the graffiti itself. This will be awarded with first, second and third place for showing best skill of positive message in their community. The idea is definitely doing community service today and so the police along with Wesley College students and the Belize City Council staff decided to take advantage of the National Service Day and of course to come and cover these graffiti as part of the service of doing things and volunteering.”

Saldivar’s Removal Debated on Social Media
Following yesterday’s announcement of the removal of Arthur Saldivar as the Belize Rural North Standard Bearer for the People’s United Party there has been a wave of expressed conflicting emotions not only on the ground in the rural constituency but also on the social media. While some active members on the social page has expressed their approval on the move carried out by the People’s United Party, the harsh criticisms seem to far outweigh the voices of approval….some saying that the opposition party acted in desperation to prove to the public that they have reformed….while one PUP stalwart, wrote, “Some in the PUP call yesterday’s event political reform, I see it as the beginning of political deform in the PUP. The move yesterday can best be described as cannibalistic”……a posting on the social media page also spoke of Saldivar as being the party’s sacrificial lamb…..


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#495905 - 09/20/14 11:36 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 20, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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A violent night in Belize City; seven shot and two dead
Wednesday afternoon’s murder of 56 year old Cyril McFoy Robinson would not, in ordinary circumstances, inspire retaliation. But when you are the father of a key member of a criminal gang which inspires fear in many hearts, then Belize City residents could expect to fear the worst. In the span of a ...

KHMH activates Mass Casualty Plan due to murderous Wednesday night
Due to the six gunshot causalities that all happened around the same time, the strain was also felt at the Karl Heusner Memorial hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department...

Police target quick response team to crime spike
On Thursday afternoon, following a meeting between Police High Command and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as well as Acting Minister of National Security Anthony “Boots” Martinez, there was a briefing held at the Racoon Street Police Station. Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie outlined the Department’...

Prime Minister calls for gang related laws to be enforcement
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is no stranger to national security as a former Minister and Attorney General. But even then, he never presided over a period of incidents as brazen and in-your-face as what has been happening...

5 year old allegedly sodomized in primary school bathroom
Reliable reports inform us that there was an act of an indecent nature, at a school in the San Martin Area Belmopan. Sources allege that during school hours, a 5 year old boy from Kush Lin Ha Primary School, located in San Martin, was sodomized inside the boys’ bathroom when he went to use it. Pol...

Acres of Toledo rice farms damaged due to flooding
Rice Farmers in the Toledo district are facing extreme loss, after the recent heavy rains caused flooding in the district. One Farmer, Ben Romero, spoke to our colleagues at PGTV, and said that as much as 35 acres of his rice fields are under water. That is some one hundred thousand pounds of rice...

Launch of project for free electricity hook up
In 2011 an agreement was signed between the European Union and the Government of Belize to expand the electricity grid to 43 rural communities across the country. But though it was more accessible , many people were still unable to connect due to the high cost of the service entrance...

Bert Vasquez back in court
Bert Vasquez, the man believed to have kidnapped and murdered 13 year old Jasmine Lowe, of Santa Elena, Cayo, was arraigned at the Magistrate’s court in San Ignacio on Tuesday earlier this week. In June 2012, Vasquez was arraigned on charges based on the complaint of 13 girls, all from the District ...

Perfilio Rodriquez back in court; this time for burglary
Perfilio Rodriguez, a transvestite who goes by the name of Vanessa Champagne Paris, made his way into the public spotlight in early April 2014, when he was allegedly attacked by an angry mob, who followed him as he dressed in woman’s clothing, and was walking along Vernon Street, Belize City. Then o...

Two women charged for using found ATM card
A court prosecutor is out $910 because the persons who found his lost automatic teller machine (ATM) card refused to return it, despite his warnings, and dishonestly obtained money using it...

Belmopan’s Got Talent; another September Celebrations event
Celebrations and activities leading up to the 21st of September continue across the nation. On Wednesday night, September 17, The Belmopan City Council’s Celebration put on the first ever “Belmopan’s Got Talent” exhibition, where schools from Belmopan and surrounding areas showcased their students’ ...

Amandala

Cops make 41-pound, $12 mil cocaine bust
Axel Fuentes, 36, a Guatemalan who resides in Ranchito in the Corozal District, was remanded to prison until October 29 when he appeared this afternoon in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court after police busted him at about 8:30 last night with over 40 pounds of pure cocaine, valued at about $12.3 million dollars. Police said that they and Orange Walk District Customs officials had been operating a vehicle checkpoint between Miles 56 and 57 on the Philip Goldson Highway when they stopped a Toyota pickup driven by Fuentes, a Guatemalan/Belizean of Ranchito Village and searched for contraband goods.

PUP “disciplines” Arthur!
People’s United Party (PUP), yesterday afternoon at a National Executive meeting at their headquarters on Queen Street, removed Arthur Saldivar as the Party’s Belize Rural North standard-bearer. Party Leader Francis Fonseca made the announcement to the media, party supporters and other interested persons after the party had made the decision. On August 27, the PUP suspended Saldivar from the National Executive and also from his position as the candidate for the Belize Rural North constituency, and announced that an investigative committee had been set up to look into “very serious allegations made against him.” The report of that investigative committee was delivered to Party Leader Fonseca on September 12, and the PUP national executive met today to consider Saldivar’s fate.

Dominoes player shot dead on Euphrates
A man was shot dead and another was injured on Wednesday afternoon at about 2:45 when a gunman entered a yard at a house at the corner of Euphrates Avenue and Dean Street and opened fire at a group of men playing dominoes. Cyril McFoy Robinson, 56, died after being shot in the head, and Shawn Cherrington, 45, was shot in the leg. Unofficial reports to Amandala are that another man – a reputed George Street gang figure who is the son of Robinson — was the target, but he escaped unhurt after the men scrambled for cover. The killer then escaped.

Lead, lead, and more lead …
An orgy of gun violence seemed to have gripped the city after the murder of Cyril McFoy Robinson, 56, the father of a known gang affiliate, which occurred just a few minutes after 2:00 p.m. right beside St. Ignatius Primary School at the corner of Dean Street and Euphrates Avenue yesterday, Wednesday. Wednesday night ended with eight people being shot, three fatally, in about six and a half hours. The last murder was that of John Avilez, 26, of Angel Lane. Avilez and three of his friends were relaxing near a house on Handyside Street at about 9:15 last night when a vehicle drove up from North Front Street into Angel Lane, opposite St. Mary’s Primary School. The vehicle stopped opposite where the men were, and then a gunman exited the vehicle and began shooting at the men. The gunman fired about 15 shots, after which he got back into the vehicle, which sped off.

Diaspora Garinagu join the fight!
During the last few weeks of the ongoing situation at First Caribbean International Bank in Belize, we have monitored with hope that FCIB would take positive and meaningful steps to resolve the situation in Dangriga of discrimination against the Garifuna language being spoken. A simple apology and some sensitivity training and resolving the dispute amicably with the workers in question would have probably sufficed. When Ms. Ella Hoyos came from Barbados with fanfare it was our hope in the Garifuna Diaspora she would help to correct the situation. She did not! Instead she announced only that the bank would be drafting a new written policy about languages. Does that mean then there was an unwritten policy of not speaking Garifuna as Uwahnie Martinez has maintained she was told by the now soon-to-be reassigned bank manager? This situation reeks of violations of our Belizean Constitutional rights and of our Human Rights.

IMF prods GOB to “undo” unions’ salary deal
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued its annual consultation report on Belize today, signaling its disapproval of the Government of Belize’s decision to share surplus revenues with public servants to meet their demand for a salary adjustment to compensate for accrued inflation. The first installment of that salary adjustment came at the end of July 2014, when teachers and public servants received a 6% increase, retroactive to April 2014; and the Government has committed to a three-tier program to implement the wage adjustment. “Staff encouraged the authorities to undo their recent commitment to allocate half of the annual growth in recurrent revenue to raise public wages,” said the IMF report.

Bert Vasquez on trial for common assault
Bert Vasquez, 32, who presently has a murder charge hanging over his head in connection with the death of a teenage girl who was abducted and killed in San Ignacio Town two years ago, appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today to answer to misdemeanor charges based on complaints which were lodged by several underage girls from the Cayo District, who came forward and alleged that Vasquez had also tried to lure them into his vehicle back in June of 2012. We have been reliably informed that while no reporters were allowed inside the courtroom due to the nature of the case, so far, one young girl has testified in chambers.

Chief Magistrate rules cop has case to answer
On August 8, 2014, attorney Anthony Sylvestre had made a no-case-to-answer submission before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on behalf of his client, Darius Martinez, a police officer who was charged with attempting to corrupt a public officer. Today, the Chief Magistrate delivered her ruling on Sylvestre’s no-case submission, saying that the prosecutor, Senior Crown Counsel Linbert Willis, had made out a prima facie case against Martinez and consequently, Martinez has a case to answer. On August 8, Willis had called two witnesses to testify for the prosecution in the case against Martinez — Sergeant Francisco Ack, the officer who arrested Martinez when he located him at a football game in Belmopan, and Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) officer Stacy Smith.

Saving the next generation of “killers”
Today, a deadly gang war was raging in Belize City, resulting in three homicides by gunfire, highlighting the fact that the persistent crime crisis in Belize City, which has also been impacting youth not in any way engaged in gang activities as “collateral damage,” needs urgent attention. It was this shocking reality that inspired Dr. Philip Castillo, lecturer in the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences at the University of Belize, to pitch a presentation dubbed “Operation Rescue .0007”, on the occasion of the national lecture: Futuring Belize: Exploring Options and Challenges for Economic Development, held tonight at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City.

Woman, 27, found guilty of harm, remanded to prison until sentencing
A Belize City woman has been remanded to the Central Prison after she was found guilty of causing harm to another woman when her case concluded at the Magistrate’s Court late this morning. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith told Crystal Nunez, 27, an employee at the Belize Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel, “I find you guilty of harm. You are a belligerent woman. I believe that the same behavior you exhibited in this court is the same way you acted when you caused harm to Ms. Clark.” After finding her guilty, Smith told Nunez, “I am remanding you until September 30, when you will be sentenced.”

A historical look at Belize City’s homicide rate
Click HERE to view MAP application

PUP “disciplines” Arthur!
The People’s United Party (PUP), yesterday afternoon at a National Executive meeting at their headquarters on Queen Street, removed Arthur Saldivar as the Party’s Belize Rural North standard-bearer. Party Leader Francis Fonseca made the announcement to the media, party supporters and other interested persons after the party had made the decision. On August 27, the PUP suspended Saldivar from the National Executive and also from his position as the candidate for the Belize Rural North constituency, and announced that an investigative committee had been set up to look into “very serious allegations made against him.”

Road races results at BDF Sports Day on August 30
Though somewhat belatedly, we take the opportunity to print the results of the BDF Sports Day races held recently at Price Barracks on Saturday, August 30. Thanks to Kevin Anderson of the BDF for forwarding the detailed results of the 5k, 10k and Half-Marathon races. Back in the 1970’s and earlier, it was an established tradition to have a big Track & Field Meet at the MCC Grounds on the afternoon of Tenth of September or another date close to the Tenth. With track events so few and far between nowadays, we think it is important to record the results of the most recent road races, though they were not held under the auspices of the Belize Athletic Association.

Living legend “Pine” Hernandez visits along with “Fudge” Burgess
A number of Belizeans resident in the U.S are back in the Jewel for the Independence Day celebrations, and visiting the sports desk this afternoon were two former Belize City football players who had joined the exodus north in the 1960’s and ‘70’s – Gilbert “Pine” Hernandez, M.B.E., and Roy “Fudge” Burgess, respectively. Pine was captain of the legendary Dunlop football team, junior champions and then Belize City senior champions of the 1958-59 season. After Dunlop folded, Pine, along with some of his teammates, then joined BEC, and won a few more championships before migrating to the U.S., where he continued his playing and later coaching career in Chicago. He received the M.B.E. in 2011 for his service to sports and athletics in Belize.

2014 champions of CitCo/Leslie’s Imports September Criterium
The Cycling Federation of Belize today released the results of the 2014 Belize City Council/Leslie’s Imports September Criterium, which took place yesterday, Sunday, September 14, on the Albert & Regent Streets Circuit. The event began at 10:30 in the morning with the Youth Program races for various youth age categories; while the big races, for Female, Junior, Masters and Open Senior/Elite were held in the afternoon. Here are the top finishers in each category: YOUTH PROGRAM RACES 5 Years and Under – 1st place Kyron Staine; 2nd Kaelie Burgess; 3rd Jayden Tillett; 4th Damine Myles. Female – 1st place Kaelie Burgess; 2nd Jadah Muschamp. 6-7 Years – 1st place Zaheem Gentle; 2nd Harry Mahler. 8-10 Years – 1st place Derek Brown; 2nd Jahmai Scott; Jose Guerra; 4th Cuba Perrote.

Belize Jaguars exit Central American Cup with heads held high
Belizean fans who knew better, and were aware of the huge handicap in training and preparation that the Belize National “A” Team faced going into the Central American Cup 2014, could not realistically set their hopes too high. Winning the tournament was definitely out of the question. Qualifying for the final day of games on September 13 would mean upsetting the plans of either Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala, all much higher ranked and better prepared for the tournament than Belize – a big task, indeed. But hope springs eternal, and the Belize Jaguars have repeatedly proven that one thing we don’t lack is heart.

Editorial: Violence, passports, and real estate
The incidence of gun violence on the Southside of Belize City, which remains the population center of the nation of Belize, has been established as having reached what the United Nations considers civil war levels. This is not what Amandala is saying: this is what regional experts have calculated. This gun violence has been taking place for the last quarter century and more. As soon as the United Democratic Party (UDP) came to power for the first time, they sprayed Belize’s profitable marijuana plantations with the deadly herbicide called paraquat. This was 1985. Around the same time, crack cocaine was introduced into Belize. Two years later the Crips and Bloods gang phenomenon entered Belize from Los Angeles, and soon the old capital became a killing field.

From the Publisher
I listened to the Rt. Hon. Said Musa discuss the process leading up to Belize’s 1981 independence on the PUP radio station on Tuesday morning. I would say I heard perhaps 60 or 70 percent of his discourse. I first met Said after returning home from Dartmouth in 1968, and later that year I worked with him and Assad Shoman on preparations for a demonstration against the Vietnam War. The two Belizeans, of Palestinian paternity, had studied law in England. The choice of a demonstration target was theirs, not mine. I was following them, but I believed that the Vietnam War was an abomination. So.

Letters: Lay-waiting the express James buses …
Being a frequent commuter on Belize’s public transport buses, I would like to address some issues being faced daily by myself as well as by most Belizean commuters. I personally dread riding Belize’s public transport buses for various reasons but in most instances I have no other choice; most can relate to that. As we all know, Belize’s public transportation system has a lot to be desired in terms of the common sense of its functionality. Why does it seem as though in Belize we do almost everything haphazardly, with no real method or purpose? It begs me to question, what’s really going on in the Ministry of Transport? Who is making all these rash changes and decisions? They seem to be doing more harm than actual good to the public transport system.

Letters: Archaeological plundering at Sarteneja
Please publish this letter in order to bring out cultural awareness and to stop illegal archeological excavations in the village of Sarteneja. Last month I had the magnificent opportunity and pleasure to spend a few days in the beautiful and friendly village of Sarteneja, a place where any adventurous kid would want to live his childhood days. The lengthy and bumpy bus ride on that narrow coarse road is no deterrent for the amazing views and thrills which are experienced in the harmonious community. The thick greenish-brownish foliage along the roadside waits patiently for the rains just as the farmer looks helplessly at his droopy fields. The rain gods must be mad at the villagers for the silent sacrilege which is befalling upon the village.

Letters: Move the PG market to the airstrip: Christina
It seems PG Town has decided to renovate both the front street market and the main street community center and park all one time, leaving the many vendors scurrying to find any space available. The result is chaos and ever more crowding. I know this situation is supposed to be temporary but are the existing plans innovative enough to serve us for the long run? A leading businesswoman and I were discussing the situation—when I suggested splitting the market, putting part of it in the public works compound out near Indianville. She said, “Oh no, Tina, the whole market should be on the airstrip!” Suddenly I could envision it and the idea certainly made sense—the existing airstrip site would allow for future market expansion, less crowding in the downtown areas, and better sanitation for the public toilets (which now drain into the sea) and it would make for much more convenient shopping with all vendors being in one central area.

Letters: Ray Lockey arrives November 2nd
Hope this finds you well. Thought I would let you know that plans are complete for my Belize trip. Arrive in Belize on the 2nd November and spend the month travelling around Belize including a ten-day trip to Guatemala before leaving on the 29th. Have heard from some old friends – Oscar Ramos and Ronald Hulse. Teddy Gonzalez is returning from Florida for a few days to meet up. Whilst I made many friends through the football all over Belize I also worked as a lecturer at the then Belize Teachers Training College and supervised a number of students who may still be around as old teachers or retired! They were Simeon Lopez, Paul Mahung, Luciano Manzanero, Henry Neal, Ruby Harris, Lucille Jacobs, and Sonia McKenzie (who was an outstanding sportswoman).

The invisibility of the Maya in September celebrations
September in Belize is a time when the nation focuses on its national identity, so a question recently arose in my mind over the invisibility of the Maya heritage during this festive time of the year. Before Belize had a colonial history, it had a Maya history, so why should the celebration of nationhood not strongly reflect this dimension of Belize’s heritage? Is it only popular to talk about Mundo Maya when selling the Belize tourism product? Should not celebrations of Belize’s national identity reach way back in the annals of time to the era when the inhabitants of this land were truly independent of any colonial control? In fact, given all that plays out on the international political front, some would even argue that those pre-colonial times were truly the days of independence.

US university recognizes Dr. Sol Yam for attaining Doctorate degree in Education
The Nova Southeastern University, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has conferred a Doctorate degree in Education based on two concentrations in Organizational Leadership and Higher Education during summer 2014 to vice principal of St. John’s College, Ms. Sol Yam, this past Friday, September 12th. Dr. Yam, who has cited the challenges in the area of mathematics in Belize’s educational system, particularly for the past ten years, completed her requirements by producing a dissertation entitled “Teachers’ Perceptions and Use of Manipulatives to Teach Mathematics in Middle Primary Schools in Belize”, which was supported by stakeholders at all levels in our educational system due to its relevance to Belize, and because of the perception that it is imperative that interventions are in place to address such challenges in the continuation of the work towards national development.

KHMH celebrates 19 years; upgrades ICUs
As the country’s premier public health facility, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), observed its 19th year of existence today, its administrators unveiled a series of upgrades which had been carried out on both its adult and infant Intensive Care Units (ICUs), as well as on its statistical laboratory. The improvements were the result of several recommendations which had been provided to the hospital’s authorities by officials of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the wake of a disastrous bacterial outbreak which claimed the lives of at least eight newborn neonatal patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the hospital back in May of 2013. The incidents have severely marred the hospital’s public image since then, and when we spoke to Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, at the ceremony today, he explained the significance of the upgrades, which include an additional wing of the adult ICU.

Belize’s Ambassador to EU, Dr. Dylan Vernon, appointed to ACP Bureau
Belize’s Ambassador to the EU, H.E. Dr. Dylan Vernon, has been picked to serve for the next six months on the Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors for the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), an organization composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states created back in 1975. According to the ACP, the Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors is comprised of a representative of each of the six ACP regions. H.E. Mr. Johnson Weru of Kenya will serve for East Africa, H.E. Dr. Alfredo Lopez Cabral of Guinea Bissau for West Africa, H.E. Mrs. Grace Kabwe of Zambia for Southern Africa, H.E. Mr. Ousmane Matar Breme of Chad for Central Africa, H.E. Vernon of Belize for the Caribbean, and H.E. Mr. Joshua Kalinoe of Papua New Guinea for the Pacific.

OAS body presses Belize to reactivate Integrity Commission
The Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) of the Organization of American States (OAS) has released its Belize report on the implementation of the treaty, following the Twenty-Fourth Meeting held last week at the headquarters of the hemispheric institution in Washington, D.C. The Committee notes that at the time of the on-site visit April 23-25, 2014, representatives of the country under review had explained that no member of the Integrity Commission was formally in place and there was no functioning Integrity Commission. “The Committee believes that it is important for the country under review to consider taking the steps necessary to ensure that the members of the Integrity Commission are appointed so that the Commission can, inter-alia, perform the important functions assigned to it with regard to the system of financial declarations in Belize,” the MESICIC report said.

Victim of vicious dog attack dies
On the night of Friday, July 4, 2014, three dogs attacked and killed Jeffrey O’Brien, 23, a fisherman of Independence, and 15 days after, on Saturday evening, July 19, an eerily similar incident occurred, in which a senior citizen was attacked and viciously mauled by four Rottweilers. The victim of this attack, McKesson Garrett, 71, of Belize City, at about 7:30 that evening, was bitten on the hands, arms, legs, and foot, and a piece of his nose was ripped off by the dogs. He was admitted to ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and remained there until he died at about 2:00 Sunday morning, September 14, two months after the mauling. McKesson Garrett was attacked by the dogs at the home of a friend of his at Mile 4 on the Philip Goldson Highway.

The Reporter

PUP remembers Father of the Nation with wreath ceremony
The People’s United Party (PUP), observed National Service Day on Friday with a now customary wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of the late George Price, Father of the Nation. The event took place on September 19, the date that Mr Price passed – incidentally just two days before Independence Day – the single most important national event that he fought for and attained. In addressing students of Saint Martin de Porres Primary, scouts, and relatives and friends of the fallen former leader, Francis Fonseca, the current PUP leader said that it is imperative for his party to ensure that the legacy and memory of Mr Price is preserved and passed on to future generations. “There is a sense of longing for George Price’s leadership, his commitment to Belize that seems to be lacking today in 2014″, Fonseca opined. Former Prime Minister, Said Musa reflected on one of Mr Price’s pieces of work. “As he said in one of his poems ‘Little people have tried and turned away. Nation building is task for giants.’”

Drug cartel leader murdered in Mexico
Mexican police have found the body of Aquiles Gomez, who was thought to be one of the main leaders of the Knights Templar drug cartel. The body was found with a bullet wound in a house in central Michoacan state. Aguilles was believed to be the brother of Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, head of the Knights Templars and one the country’s most-wanted drug suspects. Several of the cartel’s top commanders have been killed recently, but La Tuta remains at large. The Knights Templar controls much of the methamphetamine and marijuana trade in western Mexico.

GSU boss plans to address socio-economic needs of criminals
Inspector Mark Flowers, Commander of the Gang Suppression Unit, says he wants to meet with relevant government ministries to address the socio-economic needs of criminals to keep them from committing crime. Flowers told The Reporter that his plan takes into account the lack of […]

Carnival Road March 2014
Hundreds of revellers dressed in ornate, brightly coloured costumes took to the streets in the blazing heat to perform for thousands of spectators in the Carnival Road March 2014. The carnival held on Saturday September 2013, featured 13 of the 14 registered bands divided into […]

Mayor Bradley introduces Seashore Children’s Park
Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley introduced the newly-dubbed Seashore Children’s Park in the Buttonwood Bay area complete with a landmark Belize monument on Wednesday. Bradley explained that the designation of the area as a children’s park came after the property was almost privatized last […]

Policeman dies in road traffic accident
Marvin Sedacey, 29, a police constable attached to the Punta Gorda Police Formation, was killed instantly around 7:45 on Wednesday morning near mile four on the Southern Highway. Sedacey was reportedly driving a Ford Escort car from Cattle Landing Village towards Forest Home when […]

Eleven-year-old motivational speaker receives key to the city
Mayor Darrell Bradley presented eleven-year-old motivational speaker Anthony Gill with the key to Belize City at a ceremony held at City Hall on Monday. Bradley said Gill has been doing great inspirational work with youths in Belize and in the United States and said […]

Jamaican producers looking to promote Belizean talent
A group of Jamaican producers based in Canada has been in Belize over the past three weeks recording material with Belizean artists to promote in Jamaican, Canadian and European markets and eventually book shows for the artists. According to Garth “Papa” White, owner of […]

Guatemalan man almost decapitated; another Guatemalan detained
Pedro Diaz Guien, 34, a Guatemalan who has made Duck Run III, Spanish Lookout his home for the past five years, was discovered almost decapitated a around 4 a.m. on Sunday on Emerald Trail, a road that leads to his house. According to police, […]

Taiwan shares culture with Belize during September celebrations
A group of students who are attending top universities in Taiwan left Belize this week after they staged a super cultural presentation for Belizeans on Monday night at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City. The students, youth ambassadors chosen by […]

Belize Solid Waste Management Authority emphasizes occupational safety
The Belize Solid Waste Management Authority held a two-day Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) training exercise with their workers to improve operational standards and highlight best practices. Tyronne Chimilio, Belize Solid Waste Management Authority social communications officer, explained that the training is part of […]

Belize adopts National Climate Resilience Investment Plan
The government of Belize has adopted a National Climate Resilience Investment Plan (NCRIP) to improve the country’s disaster risk management initiatives. The project is being funded by the European Union and the World Bank as part of the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)-EU Natural […]

Two Bahamians pending extradition for money laundering
Two Bahamian nationals arrested in Belize are pending an extradition request by the United States for their involvement in a billion dollar securities fraud and money laundering scheme. Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach were arrested last week at the Phillip Goldson International Airport for […]

Orange Walk police seize 41 pounds of cocaine!
Axel Fuentes, 36, a Guatemalan/Belizean who lives in Ranchito Village, Corozal, is on remand until October 29 on a charge of drug trafficking after police nabbed him with 41 pounds of cocaine. The drug bust was made around 8:30 . on Wednesday night between miles […]

Editorial

Two weeks ago at a meeting of the House of Representatives the Prime Minister of Belize publicly excoriated the Mayor of the Punta Gorda Town Council, Mr. Anthony Fuentes, for using subvention money provided by the Government of Belize to pay off a personal debt with the Toledo Teachers Credit […]

War in the City! Authorities say Situation under Control
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and top brass within the police department held a press conference Thursday to address the recent upsurge in violent crime in Belize City which has resulted in four murders in less than twelve hours. The police confirmed that between 2 p.m. […]

Man, 56, shot dead during dominoes game
An afternoon shooting in Belize City last Wednesday has left one man dead and another injured. Cyril McFoy Robinson, 56, was shot once in the head around 1:55 Wednesday afternoon,September 17 and died on the way to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Injured also in […]

PUP drops Arthur Saldivar
At a National Executive Meeting last Wednesday the People’s United Party high command made a unanimous decision to remove Arthur Saldivar as its standard-bearer for the Belize Rural North constituency. PUP Leader Francis Fonseca, told reporters that “with immediate effect Mr Arthur Saldivar is removed […]

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Patrick JonesPJ

Toledo residents clean up the coastline
Various organizations in Toledo came out this morning to take part in a coastal cleanup activity. The event was led by the Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment, TIDE. Correspondent Juan Caal reports.

Minister Mark King says lawbreakers will be fully dealt with
The Honorable the Minister of State with responsibility for Gangs, Mr. Mark King has issued a statement expressing condolences to all the families affected by the recent spike in crimes in Belize City. Minister King, in his statement, said that “as a nation, we continue to see young people are more and more at risk of being drawn into gangs and will be targeted at every stage of their lives – from toddlers to teenagers – and the onus is on the Government and all its partners to use a comprehensive approach aimed at preventing the next generation of gang members.” The Minister, who is the area representative for Lake Independence, says that the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on individuals who are bent on disrupting the “climate of peace in our beloved nation,” and he called on everyone “to continue promoting a message of peace and harmony” as Belize prepares to celebrate 33 years of Independence on Sunday.

Roman Catholic Bishop slams “Alkaline” concert
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Belize, Bishop Dorrick Wright has spoken out against a planned concert this weekend by Jamaican artist Alkaline, whose real name is Earlan Bartley. “As the Bishop of Belize, I strongly oppose this event, which represents a serious error in judgment on the part of the Administration of Sacred Heart in allowing it to take place on their campus.”

Blogs

El Gran Mestizo Hotel, Orange Walk & Heading Back Home
I JUST got back from Belize’s North-Westernist district, Orange Walk. The 4th largest town in Belize (can you name the first three?) is getting ready for their biggest event of the year – the September 21st, Belize’s 33rd birthday celebrations. Orange Walk really doesn’t grown oranges anymore – the wetter climate in the south was found much more conducive to the citrus industry, it’s all about sugar. And with sugar comes rum. Cuello’s and Old Master’s are both located in da OW. Cuello’s makes, most famously, Caribbean Dark and Light Rum. And here are just some random pictures around town. Lovely sign for powder buns. I made a mental note to bike down here early the next morning. I did and the place was locked up tight at 7:30am. Sign gone and not a soul or a 50 cent powder bun in sight. Just my luck.

Dynamic duo teams up in San Pedro
Many San Pedro folks have been have been missing her culinary talent myself included. I was jumping for joy when I got the message Wednesday that Dulce was back in action and teamed up with Chap to do home cooked lunches on Thursdays. How could I resist homemade chicken dumplings cooked by the dynamic duo and delivered right to my door for $10 pus $2 delivery? I couldn’t so I put an order in asap and bumped it up to two yesterday when Christian dropped by for a visit. Dulce texted me when delivery was on it’s way. Sure enough Orvin our dumpling delivery guy was riding his bike down our street within a few minutes and he did not spill a drop. They had packed our food very well and used tape on the lids.

International Sourcesizz

The European Development Funds in Belize
The European Development Fund is the main instrument by which the EU provides development aid in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. EDF funds are programmed in 5-years Country Strategy Papers (CSP). There have been 10 European Development Funds between 1959 and now. Belize has been the beneficiary successive European Development Funds embracing a number of key projects in areas essential to the country’s human and economic development. Total financial assistance to Belize from the EU since the beginning of the Lomé Convention is estimated at over 93 million euros. This amount does not include bilateral cooperation by EU Member States or benefits from the regional programme or the trade preferences and protocols. The current Country Strategy Paper (CSP) presents the framework that will govern European Commission assistance to Belize for the period 2008-2013. In line with the Government priorities as outlined in the National Poverty Elimination Strategy 2007-2013, the focal area of the Country Strategy Paper 2008-2013 under the 10th EDF support is poverty reduction through integrated rural development.

Officials: Caribbean Destinations Must Focus on Tourism Strengths
Caribbean destinations must “operate like businesses” and focus on their inherent and individual strengths to surmount significant regional challenges and remain competitive with global vacation destinations, said Alex Zozaya, chief executive officer of Apple Leisure Group. Speaking as the keynote presenter at this week’s Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s “State of the Industry” conference in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Zozaya offered a view of regional tourism that highlighted opportunities while also warning of dwindling significance for destinations unwilling to cast aside politics and bureaucracy to focus on challenges that range from high energy costs to restrictive policies that limit visitor access to wider regional travel. Zozaya’s comments come amidst several key conference developments. Richard Sealy, Barbados’ minister of tourism, was elected CTO’s chairman, succeeding Beverly Nicholson-Doty, the U.S. Virgin Islands' commissioner of tourism.

Caribbean, Latin American festival to be held in Taipei
A weekend event in Taipei aims to highlight Latin American and Caribbean cultures as part of an effort to promote cultural exchanges between Taiwan and the regions, organizers said yesterday. The Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Festival opens today at Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei, with music and dance performances by artists from Paraguay, Belize, Argentina, Mexico and Peru, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is organizing the event. At the nearby Spot Huashan Cinema, there are to be free showings of 12 films from Latin American and Caribbean nations, offering a glimpse into their diverse cultures, Deputy Foreign Minister Simon Ko (柯森耀) said.

Videos

Video: Belize's Global Crime Statistics SD, 3min.

Video: Belize second half, 14min.
My first diving with a sea turtle! Turtle @ 11:30.

Video: DH Belize 2014, 8min.
Nice video of a scuba vacation on Ambergris Caye

Video: Host Macarena Rose~Belize 1st Lady- Kim Simplis Barrow- Grand Opening Inspiration Center, 64min.
Last year Belize Talk Radio asked listeners to be part of the Telethon in raising funds for the First Lady Of Belize's, Kim Simplis Barrow brainchild, The Inspiration Center for Special Needs Children. Today we share with you the completed Center for which we were invited guests to the grand opening. People helping people is what it is all about !

Video: CCFS Swimathon Challenge, 3min.
The University of Belize is having its first every swim relay competition! The competition is a fundraiser for the University of Belize Calabash Caye Field Station at the Turneffe Atoll. Teams of 5 are to secure sponsorship and take on a gruelling 8 km relay swim over 2 days broken down into 1km a day per person starting April 24th and 25th 2015. Teams must complete the swim on Day 1 within 6.5 hours and Day 2 within 4 hours or be disqualified. Get out your books folks! Teams must consist of a mix of, are you ready? 1 faculty member, 1 student, 1 corporate member, 1 female and 1 more of any other of these categories. That’s 5 right?

Video: Shark Ray Alley - Belize, 2min.
Came across a bit of an under water feeding frenzy when one of the boat attracted a bunch of sharks, fish and rays when they threw chum over the side. I snorkeled around trying to see what was going on and capture the activity on my mask mounted GoPro. At times it felt like I was getting sucked into the action and had to keep pulling myself back.

Video: Coming at you like a spider monkey!, 1min.
Gary's encounter with a spider monkey on our honeymoon trip to Belize

Video: Belize city 10th of September parade jump up behind the big trucks, 3min.

Video: Belize City Carnival Road March 2014, 6min.
Highlights of the 2014 Belize City Carnival Road March.


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