#496340 - 10/02/14 12:02 PM
Today's Belize News: October 2, 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
The People’s United Party, the oldest political party in Belize, turned 64 on Monday September 29th. The event was celebrated with a National Party Council meeting on Sunday September 28th in Belmopan City, where over 300 delegates from all 31 electoral divisions attended. The Party was officially founded by a group of young Belizeans on September 29, 1950, following the devaluation of the British Honduras (BH) dollar.
In a press release, the PUP said that they took the opportunity to reflect on the party’s accomplishments during its 64 years of existence. “Some 300 delegates from throughout the country ratified various resolutions and conducted Party business. Most important among the resolutions was that of the Party’s Social Justice Agenda, which reiterates our commitment to placing the needs of all Belizeans, especially the less fortunate, front and center of the Party’s Manifesto Pledges,” stated the release.
On Sunday September 28th, 19 children from Friends Boys School in Belize City visited the island to enjoy a day on the water as marine scientists. The trip was a part of the “Kids Meet Sharks Program” led by marine biologist Dr. Rachel Graham and team.
According to Dr. Graham the program aims to bring awareness and appreciation for not only the sharks and rays of our Caribbean waters, but also the importance of the marine ecosystem. For Graham, this program was all made possible through funding awarded from the Whitley Fund for Nature. Since the inception of the program in 2011, it has seen the participation of children from Punta Gorda, Chunux, Sarteneja, Caye Caulker, San Pedro Town and now Belize City’s Southside. Before heading out to the waters with Ambergris Divers, the kids gathered at the Lions Den, where they were briefed on the day’s activities and the tools they would be utilizing.
Established in June of 2010, the San Pedro Cancer Society has been aiding cancer victims, one patient at a time. On Saturday September 27th, that generosity was shown once again when they hosted a food and pastry sale to assist yet another cancer patient on the island. $476 was handed over to Alicia Hernandez who is battling with cancer and must seek further medical attention abroad. According to the San Pedro Cancer Society, their primary mode of assistance is by directing and guiding cancer patients to access medical attention in facilities in Belize. When necessary, a monetary donation is given to these patients.
In Belize, the cancer patients are referred to the Belize Cancer Center in the Stann Creek District. According to Miguel Perez, President of the San Pedro Cancer Society, they encourage cancer patients to make an initial assessment at this facility before venturing into accessing medical attention abroad. “The cancer center allows a payment plan for cancer patients. If you don’t have money, they won’t refuse treatment,” explained Perez.
Cancun-Belize Connection Made Easy via Tropic Air
It’s faster, more convenient, scenic, luxurious and easy. Everybody likes EASY! This is what Tropic Air has done with travel to and from Belize and Cancun, Mexico. Its daily scheduled flights have bridged a gap between both countries and eliminated the cumbersome overnights stays in Cancun or long bus rides for those travelers connecting to Belize and Central America. Plus it’s ideal for Belizeans who choose Cancun as a vacation destination.
Cancun and other Mexican destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula seemed a long distance away as the usual route would be to take an 8-hour bus ride from Belize City or 6-hour bus from Chetumal, Mexico to Cancun. These long and tedious traveling hours have been significantly reduced with Tropic Air’s connection that was first launched over a year ago on March 2013.
Misc Belizean Sources
3rd Volume of the Invest Belize Magazine 2014
Yesterday, Sep 30th was the launch of the 3rd Volume of the Invest Belize Magazine 2014. BELTRAIDE along with local publishing company McNab Publishing Ltd. proudly presented the magazine to industry stakeholders.
Invest Belize Magazine is the first and only magazine with a focus on business, trade, and investment in the country.
Many thanks to all adverisers, contributors, attendees, and all who helped in any way.
An ONLINE version of Volume 3 of the Invest Belize Magazine can be viewed and downloaded here.
Mining Licenses Required
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture reminds the general public that it is illegal to mine, prospect and/or remove minerals without a legitimate permit/license from the Mining Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture.
BUA statement concerning the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie
The Belize Unity Alliance joins together parties, organizations and individuals who all hold to a basic set of principles. One of those key principles is the defence and protection of our borders and our territorial rights.
There is no argument in our minds that the claim by Guatemala is entirely false, and should be treated with the contempt it deserves. The Guatemalan government in our opinion encourages its citizens to believe that Belize is owned by Guatemala. In fact, this is what Guatemalan children are taught in school.
Successive Belizean administrations have appeased Guatemala, and now it seems that Guatemalans have murdered an officer in the line of duty. Any government which truly cared about Belize and Belizeans would have taken serious steps immediately.
100,000 Artist, Poets, and Musicians for Peace
Many Cayo artists came together last weekend at the Cayo Welcome Center for peace. The World Culture Band, Barefoot Skinny, In Bloom, and many more performed. Daniel Velazquez got some video, and some great pictures, of the event.
"100.000 artist poets and musicians for peace, a GLOBAL EVENT, a very diverse group of artist came out to the Cayo Welcome Center, all communicating the universal languish of art, for PEACE."
Our Mottled Owl is all grown up and back in the wild.
Good luck little one!! Belize Raptor Center
Sept 21, 2014 - Sept 27, 2014 Fishing Report
A pretty dismal weather week turned in some good fishing. With only 2-5 boats a day going out the results were very good. The sight fishing as tough as guides had to rely on reading the water surface to find fish. This could be tarpon rolling, permit making wakes, or bonefish tailing. Both anglers and fish were pretty wet!
The Beauty Club
Attention residents of the DFC Area, San Pablo and Escalante - The Beauty Club is now ready to serve you on Marina Drive. For appointments call us at 610-5512. Special on Acrylic Nails, Manicure, Pedicure and Gel Nails. Make your appointments today.
Some R & R at Mahahual
No it is not a piñata - It is a sculpture of recycled plastic bottles and material!!
Cop Caught Red Handed With Stolen Jewellry
Tonight, our newscast is loaded with reports of police behaving lawlessly or abusing their authority while in the line of duty. There are 7 officers who are facing either disciplinary or criminal charges for 6 separate complaints to police.
There have been some outrageous reports made to us recently, but the next one really takes the cake: today, a police man searched a woman’s house, allegedly stole her jewellery and was then caught with it red-handed!
Here’s what happened: After the search, the woman quickly caught up on her missing jewellery, reacted in time, and called police. They, in turn, reacted quickly, and caught the officer in the act with the jewellery in his possession.
That constable is detained tonight pending charges.
The Officer Commanding Professional Standards Branch for the Belize District outlined it for us today:
Cop Charged For San Pedro Shakedown
Another police officer who is being investigated for lawless behaviour while on duty is Police Constable Oscar Ramirez, who is attached to the San Pedro Police Station.
According to police, a 17 year-old young man reported that last week Monday, his mother, Mirna Judith Berganza, was detained by police. The minor says that he and a family friend visited the station, and they spoke with Constable Ramirez who demanded that they pay him $300 and he would then release Berganza, after which, they would have to pay him an additional $700. The young man says that they ended up handing over $600 to Ramirez, and he let his mother go.
Well, police from the Professional Standards Branch investigated Constable Ramirez and charged him with extortion. The officer commanding Professional Standards said that this case and the successfully prosecuted one against Corporal Darius Martinez who was yesterday jailed for 1 and a half years should show the public that the department treats such allegations harshly:
Ciego Lost His Pay, Pride and Fried Chicken To Cops, Charged Today
And while he was on the topic of police officers he discussed with us the most recent complaint of police brutality, which emerged our Monday Newscast. The first was 22 year-old Tremane Ciego who says that on Sunday night, he was coming home with his entire week's pay after buying food when 2 police officers stopped and searched him. He claims that it escalated to a police beatdown, where they put him to kneel down, pointed a gun to his head, brutalised him, and kicked him in to the canal. And then to add insult to injury, one of the officers allegedly robbed him of his entire pay and threatened his life.
Well, his allegations proved credible and substantial. Today, ASP Rivero told the media that these officers will be facing both criminal and disciplinary charges:
Cops Say Mechanic's Complaint Is The Real McCoy
Then, there was the well-known mechanic, Allan McCoy who says he got a dose of beatdown from the Gang Suppression Unit after they concluded that he had knocked down one the officers attached to their unit, Constable Dejohn Cayetano.
As we told you the officer was knocked down in a hit and run at around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, and the GSU officers believed that McCoy was the one who did it. He claims that the officers pulled him over after firing shots at him, and then they took turns brutalizing him, while refusing to accept his story that he had no involvement in the accident.
Well, today, the Professional Standards Branch investigator told us that they are treating this report very seriously:
Armani's Police Attackers May Be Criminally Charged
But first, there are two reports currently giving Professional Standards a bit of difficulty to investigate. Those involve brutality reports made by Armani Bailey and Kariq Tzul.
As we told you, earlier this month, Armani Bailey, the nephew of well-known JP Grace Flowers, said that police officers took him to an area at mile 4 on the Western Highway where they tried to drown him in a garbage bin after contemplating shooting him.
Today, the Professional Standards Branch told us that these officers who have been accused by Bailey have since been assessed with disciplinary charges, and that criminal charges may follow:
ASP Glen Rivero - OC, Professional Standard Branch
"That matter was investigated. We visited the scene, we saw the dumpster, we have interviewed a person that claimed he visited shorty after being abused. It was confirmed, but again we need supporting evidence in some of these cases to ensure that we have an air tight prosecution and conviction at the criminal level.
Cops In Kariq's Case Hard To Charge
You may also remember Kariq Tzul, the King Street resident who was the victim of a beatdown by the Gang Suppression Unit on the first day they were testing a new surveillance bus in GSG territory.
As we told you, the GSU pulled out their new state-of-the-art mobile command centre and was monitoring gang activity in and around the George Street area. Tzul claimed that he was inside a house on King Street when officers from the GSU barged in and started to brutalise him for no reason. He said that one of the officers kicked him so hard in his abdomen that he soiled himself.
Well, officers from professional standards have been investigating the report, and they say that it has been difficult to bring charges due the circumstances surrounding the allegation:
Crystal Got Off With A Fine For Wounding Female
Last month we told you about Crystal Nunez – who was remanded to prison for two weeks while the magistrate pondered her sentence for beating another woman. She was found guilty of wounding 19 year old Vanessa Clark.
Today, Nunez got out of jail. The 27 year old was spared further jail time when they and ordered to pay compensation to her victim and to the court. Nunez was ordered to pay Clark $150 dollars in compensation for her burst lip by October 17, in default 2 months imprisonment. She was also ordered to pay the court a fine of $100by December 21, 2014 in default 1 month imprisonment.
Leach and Knowles Meet 100K Bail
On Monday Bahamian security traders Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach, were granted bail of $100,000 after being detained in Central Prison since September 15 on a warrant for extradition. That’s a very high bail, and the news is tonight that they were able to meet it this morning. With that they were released this morning and must remain in the country – their travel documents are being held by police.
Both are to report to Queen Street Police Station every Monday and Friday until extradition proceedings are completed.
Hon. Castro: Mex Federales Say Bze. Vehicles Need Insurance
All this week senior Mexican officials are in Belize for the eighth meeting of the “Bi-National Commission Belize Mexico.” It’s held every two years and authorities from both sides of the border discuss and analyse common issues in all areas affecting bi-lateral relations. And we’re talking big-ticket items including culture, security, tourism, education, technical and scientific cooperation, immigration, customs, trade, transport and foreign affairs – apparently the only thing not on the agenda are gift certificates for Applebee’s and McDonald’s.
But one item that caught our attention was a change in regulations that might affect your next trip to Chetumal: it’s insurance, to be specific, Mexican insurance for buses and private vehicles.
Now the Mexicans have been requiring insurance for Belizean vehicles travelling to Chetumal for some time – but travellers generally ignore the provisions – except this time, Federal authorities are insisting that Belizean vehicle owners purchase Mexican insurance.
ASR Expresses Worry For Sugar Crop
The sugar crop is supposed to start at the end of November or early December and ASR-BSI and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association still have not reached an agreement on payment for bagasse; want to know what’s worse?: They aren’t even close.
To communicate their sense of urgency, ASR has dispatched a senior executive to talk to the media. That’s a change of strategy, since BSI rarely speaks to the media. But Mac McLachlan has been deployed to get ASR’s side of the story out there and today he came to 7News to discuss the narrow timeline to reach a settlement:…
Mac McLachlan, International Relations Advisor - ASR
"We have no agreement. We're 8 weeks away from a cane crop and as things stand we have no commercial agreement to purchase cane as we stand. That is a very worrying situation for us, and I believe it is a worrying situation for the cane farmers as well.
One More Report Of Bad Cop
At the top of the news, we told you about those police officers who allegedly behaved lawlessly, well tonight, there is one more. He's Constable Aton Martinez, and he's accused attacking and beating up a civilian from Seine Beight.
The exact details of the case haven't been revealed to us as yet, but according the court details, on July 7, 2014, Martinez allegedly inflicted a beatdown on John Valerio Jr, a civilian from Seine Bight Village. He was arraigned this evening before Magistrate Herbert Panton on a charge of harm, and he was released on bail of $300. He must return to court on November 28, 2014.
Court: BISL Doesn't Owe Back Tax
Since July, the Government of Belize and the Ashcroft Allied, Belize International Services Limited, which used to managed the IMMARBE and IBC Registries before Government Nationalized them, have been locked in a legal battle over 30 million dollars in taxes. The Government says that the company accrued these taxes accrued for the past 20 years and counting. Well, the Supreme Court has ruled that these taxes cannot be enforced because they are unlawful.
As we told you, BISL's attorney Eamon Courtney argued before Justice Shona Griffith these taxes from the Commissioner are arbitrary because BISL operated as an IBC, and therefore has tax-free status. Deputy Solicitor General Nigel Hawke countered that BISL lost that status because they were doing business with local companies and persons, and therefore, they are taxable.
It's all a part of the legal battle over the IMMARBE and IBC Registries which the companies took over control from BISL, and today, Courtenay told our colleague from PLUSTV that this win serves his clients well in the quest to get back these registries:
Building Along the Injured Coast
The activities continue for Coastal Awareness Week. It began on Monday with the launch of The State of the Belize Coastal Zone Report. Today the discussion deepened and was centred on the topic of “Sustainable, Planned Coastal Development”. Now in the era of climate change and rising sea levels – any development along the coast is suspect, because the experts say that in a few decades it could be submerged. Courtney Weatherburne found out more from the experts:….
Courtney Weatherburne Reporting
Sea front property is the most highly valued real estate in Belize. But while the view is stunning, the damage and erosion of the coastal lines is not. Erosion of the coastal line has a detrimental effect not only on the survival of marine life, but as well as human life. Private sector stakeholders joined the coastal zone management authority in the discussion about protection and conservation of the coastal zone.
Arturo Vasquez - CEO Port of Belize Limited
"As development continues, the port will always be mindful of it's ongoing development plans and will continue to maintain a responsible approach to development by striking a balance between development and conservation. There is currently a development plan in the making that will certainly encompass significant dredging, coastal improvements as well as in land clearing and filling. The fact that existing port operating continue to have an impact on the costal environment, the port will always take measures to minimise this impact by using regional and international best practices."
Inspector Flowers Investigation Update
All through the newscast, we’ve been telling you about the police brutality allegations being investigated by officers of the Professional Standards Branch.
Well, one allegation which we didn't tell you about was that one against GSU's Commander Mark Flowers, in which Tamra McFoy and her sister reported that he roughed them and a group of children up while on Wilson Street.
As we showed also, Allan McCoy also accused the commander of joining his officers on Saturday in the beatdown when they were accusing him of knocking one of their own officers down in a hit and run.
Well, today, we asked about those two complaints against Flowers, and the OC of the Belize Districts Professional Standards Branch told us that because of Flower’s Inspector Rank, his case will be dealt with by the Public Service Commission, which complicates things;
Was Danny's Death Preventable/Foretold?
We’ve shown you the video captured by tourists at Caracol in the terrifying minutes after Special Constable Danny Conorquie was murdered, presumably by Guatemalan cross border bandits. It is an important document – and today, the group of tourists who captured and posted the video sent us an email saying, quote:
"Despite this isolated incident in Caracol, our impression of Belize is very positive. We did not feel unsafe in anyway.”
"We thought that the situation was handled very well by the local guides and guards in the area. We know that Mr. Conorquie was doing his job protecting tourists like us. We feel grateful for that. We really hope that the politicians of both countries care enough about their people to resolve this long standing border issue."
But, do they care enough, and has anyone been heeding the many warnings of grave risk to the lives of under equipped security personnel? There is credible reason to doubt that tonight. 7News has received what we believe to be a genuine internal police memorandum sent in January from the officer commanding the Tourism Police Unit ASP Diana Hall. The document is about serious security concerns in Caracol and warns that the TPU officers are quote, “equipped with two shotguns which are no match for our Guatemalan counterparts many of whom also have a military background.” She notes that Guatemalans have gone as far as to fetch water from the building that houses the Tourism police.
APAMO Demands Border Security
Adding to those concerns are conservationists who say that Conorquie's death only serves to highlight the dangerous circumstances that exist around border management, and today, the NGO community voiced their position. They say first that Foreign Affairs Minister Elrington's reaction was not appropriate, and that Government should now immediate and direct action to deal with the border security issue:
Jose Perez - Executive Director, APAMO
"These activities are always occurring in Chiquibul, they occur in the Colombia forest reserve, they occur in the Bladen nature reserve and our NGO staff are constantly being undersized by these people, we have to do something and we have to do it now. We also call on the government to be assertive in engaging their counterparts in Guatemala. Let's bring these people to justice."
"We still aren't able to show that was committed by a Guatemalan national.”
Abandoning El Pilar Due To Security Concerns
And while Caracol's security has been into sharp focus after the lawman's slaying, the Tour Guides from Cayo say that this Mayan site isn't the only one under constant siege by Guatemalan Bandits.
As we showed you last night, the Cayo Tour Guides Association is concerned that because EL Pilar National Park has been getting institutional neglect for years, they will soon have to abandon it completely.
They took use into the Mayan Archeological Site yesterday evening, and Daniel Ortiz has that story:
The El Pilar Archeological Site, It's a Maya Ruin just about 11 miles outside of San Ignacio Town. The problem is that this Temple Site sits both in Belizean and Guatemalan Territory.You can climb on top of one of the ancient ruins, look out in the distance, and see Guatemala.
Tour Guide Alleges Belizeans Log Illegally Too
Over the years, here at 7News we've told you about many instances where Guatemalans have been making incursions into Belizean territory to conduct illegal activities in trying to get at the country's natural resources.
We've never heard of Belizeans going over to Guatemala to do the very same thing which even at the faintest whisper, inflames the passions the patriots and activists.
Well, there is a report coming from tour guides in Cayo which says that Belizeans have been engaging in the very same thing over in the archaeological reserve of El Pilar on the Guatemalan side.
One Tour Guide gave us his version:
Patrick Bradley, Cayo Tour Guide
"Just like how we have the Guatemalans coming into Belize, as we know, all stories have two sides. If the presence of our government forces an ad out there, what's happens to the Guatemalans are happening to the Belizeans. What happens to the Belizeans are happening for the Guatemalans. We see in the area that we have some loggers that log within this area, would go over to Guatemala and doing illegal cutting as well. Why? The presence of the military, the presence of the government is not out in the area. What we see they do in the north or the south of Belize in the Caracol area, in the north part of Belize in Guatemala, the Belizeans are going over to Guatemala to do illegal cutting."
A Corn Field In Chiquibul Is Just The Start
And from Pilar to the Chiquibul National Park, which is the largest protected area in Belize covering more than 264,000 acres – which includes the Caracol Archeological Reserve. That vast area is resource rich and it borders areas of Guatemala that have been stripped of all their timber, and agricultural lands. In short, it is a green forest of plenty jammed right up against, brown lands that have been flattened by years of agricultural over use. The people who occupy those lands in villages like Monte Los Olivos are poor and in their search for land they come to Belize. We found one such spot in 2009 – and we reprise that story from our archives….
Lt. Justo Velez, Commanding Officer
“So we come down this track which will actually lead us to the farm.”
Conservation Community Criticizes GOB Over Caracol Incident
The callous execution of Special Constable Danny Conorquie at Caracol remains an issue of huge national importance tonight. Citizens and activists converged on the western border on Tuesday to protest [...]
APAMO Decries Sedi’s Position on Danny Conorquie’s Murder
Perez, speaking on behalf of the conservation community, also decries the recent position taken by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, stating that the ongoing issue of Guatemalan incursions cannot [...]
Is El Pilar Really Forgotten and Overran by Bandidos?
While Caracol has been in the news since last week, another Mayan site, though not as visited due to its remoteness, is perhaps the most dangerous to visit. El Pilar [...]
BISL Victorious In Court Against Government, Tax Assessment Ruled Unlawful
There have been a number of weighty matters in the court this week. Today, Government suffered a blow in the Supreme Court in their legal battle concerning the takeover of [...]
Belize Bank Versus G.O.B., UHS Debt Still Accruing
There is another case which we reported on Tuesday against the government for which closing arguments were heard in the courtroom of Justice Shona Griffith. The Belize Bank Limited is [...]
7 Police Officers Under Investigation for Various Criminal Allegations…
Tonight there is also scrutiny on the police force. A number of officers are under investigation by the Professional Standards Branch of the Department for allegations of wrongdoing including brutality [...]
…GSU Boss Mark Flowers Makes the Cut
Today, Assistant Superintendent Glen Rivero, Commander of the Professional Standards Branch, spoke to the media of the various investigations involving police officers, including Inspector Flowers. ASP Glen Rivero, Commander, [...]
Police Constable Oscar Ramirez Charged with Extortion
On Tuesday, Darius Martinez from Dangriga started an eighteen month conviction for Corrupting a Public Officer. But there is another cop in the hot seat. He is Oscar Ramirez assigned [...]
Another Cop Busted for Handling Stolen Goods
Earlier this afternoon, another officer was arrested and detained pending criminal charges after he was found in possession of a number of stolen items believed to have been lifted during [...]
Requeña Brothers Acquitted of Attempted Murder
Back to the courts on criminal matters…Two brothers Giovanni and his older sibling, Denton Requeña and their friend, David Sedacey, were freed of a very serious offense. They were acquitted [...]
San Ignacio Man Dies in Fatal Traffic Accident
A Guatemalan national was today arraigned for the death of a Santa Elena resident who was killed following a traffic accident on Tuesday. Eighty-three-year- old Oscar Perez Senior, a resident [...]
Pulse of the People on Danny Conorquie’s Murder
Danny Conorquie was executed on Thursday and buried on Sunday. His murder is galvanizing public sentiments that government has to step up its game in respect of the persistent incursions [...]
International Day for Older Persons Celebrated in Belize
Across the globe, senior citizens took prominence today. October first is celebrated as International Day of Older Persons. Locally, HelpAge Belize has organized a series of activities to highlight the [...]
#496341 - 10/02/14 12:02 PM
Re: Today's Belize News: October 2, 2014
More News: Scroll up from here
Renovation To Commence On Central Park
Over the last few weeks we have been mentioning the plans on the rehabilitation of the Orange Walk Central Park. That project is now officially launched after the Mayor handed over the park to representatives of the Social Investment Fund, which is implementing the project. SIF in turn turned the project over to the selected consultants. Earnest Raymond, Project Coordinator of the Belize Municiapl Development Project under which the project is being carried, spoke more on the project.
Earnest Raymond – Project Coordinator. BMDP
“LARS, they are the supervision consultant and so it would be them and the Contractor, Coleman Construction Limited, they are the ones that will do the works.”
David"Dido"Vega Ready For Convention Day
Preparations are underway in both political parties in Belize as the next municipal elections draw nearer. October fifth is slated for the convention of the People’s United Party to elect a slate to represent the party in Corozal Town. Two slates are hoping to gain the most popular vote within the party supporters. One slate is being led by David “Dido” Vega who is running for Mayor. He spoke with us today about their plans.
David “Dido” Vega
“I have with myself all my fellow councilors and we decided to get into the political arena because we believe that Corozal Town instead of moving forward has been moving backwards and currently you know that Corozal Distirct is the second poorest district in our nation and I believe we need to get into politics so we can serve.
Honoring Another Golden Citizen
Today across the globe is being observed as International Day of Older Persons and in lieu of this we bring to you the 4th instalment of our newest feature that celebrates the lives of those golden citizens in our community. Today, we’ll take a glimpse into the life of Magdalena Jimenez who is one of the eldest of the Helpage Family. Today, she was more and happy to share with us some of her history. Maria Novelo reports.
Maria Novelo – Reporting
Born in Guinea Grass Village and partly raised there, 97 year old Magdalena Jimenez grew up with four other siblings. She and her brothers and sisters were raised by her single mother since her dad passed away. But that did not stop Jimenez’s mother from providing them with food and shelter. Jimenez explained that while she grew up in a struggling home, she is grateful for all that her mother did for them.
October Is The Month Of Golden Citizens
October first is observed as Senior Citizens Day and presents a perfect opportunity to long term contributions of older persons within our communities. Here in Orange Walk, the Help Age has organized a week filled of activities for at least one hundred of its members. On today’s agenda was an afternoon of interaction and fun as members gathered to play games at the Help Age Center on Stadium Street. Arcelia Leiva is the President of Help Age, Orange Walk.
Arcelia Leiva – President, Help Age Orange Walk
“It was real fun because we play chalupa, bingo and they had conversations of what they did and how they spend their day and we interacted with each other and we had lots of jokes in between we say jokes and like one of them the eldest of the group she came to this gathering and she is 96 years old, Mrs. Magdalena and she had lots of fun and she is full of life.
Belize Listed Among 11 Country Most Likely To Go Bankrupt
Tonight there is bad news for Governments finances. Moody’s, the international rating agency, today announced that eleven countries including Belize face a substantial risk of defaulting on debt and declaring bankruptcy. Accompanying Belize is Argentina, Greece, Ukraine, Egypt, Cuba, Cyprus, Jamaica, Ecuador, Venezuela and Pakistan.
Moody’s credit rating for Belize was Caa2 with a stable outlook. The country without a doubt has suffered from debt problems for years, first defaulting nearly a decade ago, after which it consolidated all of its international debts into a single bond.
Officer Charged For Extortion
Authorities on the island of Ambergris Caye have charged one of their own with the crime of extortion. According to police, on September 29th after 5:00pm, a 17 year old male along with his mother, reported to San Pedro Police that between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. on September 22nd his Mother, Mirna Judith Berganza, was detained at the San Pedro Police Station for traffic offences. As a result, he and a family friend visited the Station whereby the friend spoke to P.C. Oscar Ramirez who demanded $300.00 for the release of Mirna Berganza and later demanded $700.00 more for her release. According to the complainant, a total of $600.00 was given to P.C. Ramirez for the release of his mother. Police have since arrested and charged 36 year old Police Constable #1139 Oscar Ramirez of San Juan Area, San Pedro Town for the crime of extortion.
Men Charged For Drug Trafficking
On Tuesday we reported on the four Mexican naturalized Belizeans who were detained by Corozal Police pending charges of drug trafficking. Today all four men including a minor were arraigned in front of magistrate Hurl Hamilton and offered bail.
As previously reported 25 year old Rodrigo Meza, 27 year old Esperanza Ack, 24 year old Isaias Medina and the 16 year old minor were arrested after police searched Meza’s yard and found a bag containing two parcels of suspected cannabis weighing 109 grams and 128.4 grams respectively.
Residence Concerned About Gunshots Been Fired In Calcutta Village
This morning our Corozal reporter Victor Castillo was called out to the Village of Calcutta in the Corozal District. Upon his arrival he spoke to a number of residents who claim that for the past two nights the sound of gunshots reverberates across the village. Speaking off camera, the villagers stated that they have reported the matter to police who are yet to visit the village.
When we contacted the Corozal Police Formation, Inspector Peter Serrano, Deputy Officer in Command, assured us that no complaint has been lodged at the department, however; the matter will be looked into.
Ramen Noodles Found Guilty Of Being Unhealthy
Ramen noodles, some people say it is the next best thing to a plate of rice and beans, chicken and salad. But is it as healthy? We know it is definitely cheaper, but as consumers, have we truly considered the side effects of eating ramen noodles, that is, if any exists? An experiment conducted abroad shows that the product is unhealthy but in site that the ramen noodles is highly consumed in Belize, we decided to consult with our local doctors to verify if the product is as damaging to our body as reports suggest. Victor Castillo reports.
Victor Castillo – Reporting
With the high cost of living In Belize there is no doubt that many Belizeans often find themselves purchasing the cheapest products on the shelves. This includes from toiletries, clothing and most importantly food. If we base ourselves on the area of food we find that people with small food budgets, prefer to purchase a pack of ramen noodles at 50 cents than pay $6.00 to $8.00 for a plate of food or spend much more preparing a meal.
Another Court Date For Mark Vega
Today at the Northern session of the Supreme Court, the trial against Mark Vega was to be heard. After a request for postponement from his attorney, Brian Neal, Sitting Judge Herbert Lord granted the adjournment. In 2005, Mark Vega’s murder trial ended in a deadlock and the D.P.P. re-filed the charges which were done on May 17th 2005. Vega’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 6th, 2014.
ASR/BSI And GOB Meet To Discuss Sugar Industry
The discussions on the future of the sugar industry continue and yesterday representatives of the government, including Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, met with representatives of the BSI/ASR group. Mac McLachlan, international advisor for the ASR group spoke with us after the meeting siting that it was more of an informative session with the government officials.
Mac McLachlan – International Advisor, ASR Group
“It was an opportunity to share among the industry stakeholders the real challenges ahead and that the industry has in Belize, we were able to see what is happening in the external market particular in the EU market where the sugar prices are falling very rapidly and we were able to look at what we need to do in Belize to overcome those issues and there is a whole of interconnected problems but last week we have to improve on our yields sugar cane here, the productivity of that cane to reduce the cost of producing sugar in order to be competitive, the EU market had come down a lot more rapidly when perhaps when we were expecting and we need to be working right now to be preparing for all of those issues and I think the issue on an agreement between BSCFA and BSI and I think we all understood and we were all clear that the crop is only eight weeks away and presently there is no agreement and it is imperative to have that agreement in time to start.”
Trial Farm Government School Celebrates 30 Years Of Service To Community
Today Trial Farm Government School celebrated thirty years of service to the Trial Farm Village residents. It was a momentous occasion for the entire school population. Here is a look at what the school celebrated.
Dalila Ical – Reporting
Like in almost all villages, children from Trial Farm had to commute to attend school. This was in the late seventies and eighties. A joint community effort though changed this and soon enough the children were able to attend school within their own community. This says today’s school Principal, Nazira Romero, is thanks to key players.
Spreading The Word Of God In A Peculiar Way
On November 1st of last year the Calcutta Adventist Church, with the assistance of authorities carried out a checkpoint at the entrance of Calcutta Village in the Corozal District. But the church members were not there to assist officers in enforcing the law. Instead, they were there to reinforce and share the word of God to those willing to listen.
On the day the checkpoint was carried out, a number of faithful’s joined in the venture including Ricky Oliveras who taped the work of the members. Oliveras then made a video demonstrating how here in the north, the word of God reaches to others.
That video has placed Belize on the map as it will be used for this year’s International Adventist General Conference.
Residents Of Carmelita Village Express Fear For Their Lives
Two residents of Carmelita Village came to our studios today to file a complaint saying they don’t know where else to turn after being violently hassled by a neighbor for over one year and the police have not been of much help. Rigoberto Rivas shared his story as briefly as possible but says that he has been facing this problem for over a year. After countless encounters with his young neighbor who he says has been stoning his house with large stones and several verbal confrontations, Rivas says he turned to the media to see if there is anyone who can provide some assistance before things go dreadfully wrong.
Rigoberto Rivas – Complainant
“Ayer me tiro la casa como casi hora y media; tengo pruebas y tengo el video y tengo todo y ya no aguantamos más por eso decidimos venir al media para que alguien nos ayude con esta situación.”
Home Of Electrician Invaded By Burglar or Burglars
Orange Walk Police are tonight looking for the person or persons responsible for burglarizing a house located on Bougainvillea Street, Orange Walk Town.
The incident occurred last night between the hours of 7:00pm and 8:30pm at the residence of a 28 year old Belizean electrician.
According to the electrician someone cut his chain link fence, entered his yard and then proceeded to invade his home. Stolen from the premises were tools, electronic items, personal documents and an undisclosed amount of cash adding up to $4,740.00.Police investigations continue.
Brothers Accused Of Murdering Eder Alcoser Return To Court
Today the trio accused of causing the Today the trio accused of causing the death of 26 year old Eder Alcoser were back at the Corozal Magistrates. But the case against brothers, 31 year old Elias Rosalez, 34 year old Perfecto Rosalez Jr. and 27-year-old David Rosalez, all fishermen of Caledonia Village charged for Murder and attempted murder was adjourned to December 16th 2014.
Viewers might recall that sometime around 9:00pm on Sunday, May 25th 2014, Alcoser went to Mei Mei store located in the Village of Caledonia where he got into an argument with David Rosalez. The argument escalated into a fist fight and that is when Rosalez’s brothers, Elias and Perfecto Jr., came to their brother’s aid armed with machetes and attacked Alcoser who was chopped repeatedly by his attackers and the torture did not stop until his family members rushed to his defense. This is when Alcoser’s father, Marcelo Alcoser and Eder Alcoser were also injured.
of 26 year old E
Video Of When Danny Conorquie Is Shot Presumably By Guatemalans Goes Viral
There is still much to be uncovered in the death of Danny Conorquie who was fatally wounded at the Caracol Mayan Site. He was buried on Sunday and there has been much controversy over the incident. Five days after his death, a video is released online by tourists who were at the site at the moment of the shooting. It appears the video was shot minutes after Conorquie was killed. The incident alone sent shock waves across the country as the initial reports were that he died at the hands of illegal Guatemalan Xateros. While there seems to be some confusion now as to what really happened or who pulled the trigger, the images that were captured by the visitors to the site are unnerving. According to the information we gathered, the video was shot by Austrian and Turkish expats as they visited the archaeological site. The video is edited and starts off with the introduction that reads, “Caracol is a Mayan archeological site remotely located near the Guatemalan Border in Belize. On September 25th 2014, we were there observing the site from the top of the pyramid.” The introduction was followed by the sounds of shots ringing. Here is a look at that video. We inform our viewers though that we have made some adjustments to it in respect to the Conorquie family and other Belizeans in the video.
Belizeans Demonstrate At Western Border, They Demand Justice For Conorquie's Slaying
Following the execution style killing of 20 year old Special Constable Denny Conorquie on Thursday at the Caracol Archeological Site, much public debate and outpouring of support to his family has been raised. While his death is reportedly at the hands of Guatemalan bandits, San Ignacio Police are still unable to confirm if that is indeed the case but are looking at all possible angles.
And today, in a showing of social justice and solidarity, over a hundred men and women converged at the Macal River Park where they travelled to the western border to stage a peaceful demonstration. With placards and signs that read ‘Justice for Danny’ and the Belizean Flag in hand, it was a symbolic showing of solidarity among Belizeans and a zero policy message to our Guatemalan counterparts that we, as a nation, will not stand and take it.
Helpage Continues To Celebrate Golden Citizen In Our Community
Today we bring to you the 3rd instalment of our newest feature that celebrates the lives of those golden citizens in our community as we take a glimpse into their lives. Just as your average person is a product of their environment, and their life experiences, the elderly are as productive as we encourage them to be. They are the generations that came before us and set a foundation for us, and as such October they will be honoured during Older Persons Month. Today, we’ll take a look at the life of Florencia Campos who was born and raised in Orange Walk. Campos is one of the eldest of the Helpage Family. Today, she opened up her doors and welcomed us with warm embraces. Maria Novelo reports.
Maria Novelo – Reporting
A music lover and dancing enthusiast at heart, 83 year old Florencia Campos, affectionately known as Ms. Poy, was born and raised in Shuggah Citi near the riverside in the vicinity known as slaughterhouse area. Today she reflected on her childhood days.
#496342 - 10/02/14 12:03 PM
Re: Today's Belize News: October 2, 2014
More News: Scroll up from here
Police Constable Allegedly Extorts Money for Woman’s Freedom
San Pedro Police is investigating a case of extortion purportedly committed by a police officer. According to police reports, on Tuesday, September 23, a 17-year-old boy along with his mother, Mirna Judith Berganza, reported to San Pedro Police that between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. on Monday September 22, his mother was detained at the San Pedro Police Station for traffic offences. As a result, he and a family friend visited the San Pedro Police Station whereby the friend spoke to P.C. Oscar Ramirez who demanded $300 for the release of Mirna Berganza and later demanded $700 more for her release. The 17 year old further alleged that a total of $600 was given to P.C. Ramirez for the release of his mother. Police have since arrested and charged 36-year-old Police Constable #1139 Oscar Ramirez of San Juan Area, San Pedro Town for the crime of “Extortion”.
APAMO Leans On Minister Alamilla for Action on Guatemala Issue
The Association of Protected Area Management Organization, APAMO, is calling on the Government of Belize to assert itself in securing the borders and to safeguard Belize’s Protected Areas. APAMO joins in the condemnation and denouncement of the murder of Danny Conorquie at the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. In a release issued out today, APAMO expresses its strong disappointment in the manner in which the Government of Belize, specifically the Ministries of National Security and Tourism have dismissed and belittled the crime which is a clear demonstration of a hostile attack on the sovereignty of this nation. Executive Director, Jose Perez, is calling on the Government to listen to the outcry of its people and hasten to evocatively engage its Guatemalan counterparts to apprehend and bring to justice the perpetrators of this murder and to commence the restoration of the confidence lost in our policy and decision makers.
Tour Guide Claims Belizeans Are Doing Illegal Logging in Guatemala
Numerous reports have been made of Guatemalans coming into Belizean territory and reaping off our natural resources. Not one report has been made of Belizeans going over to the Guatemalan side of the border and doing the same. That is-until tonight. Tour Guide, Patrick Bradley, says that for the past years, Belizeans have been making their way through EL Pilar into Guatemalan territory and harvesting logwood.
“Just like how we have the Guatemalans are coming into Belize as we know most and all stories have two sides to the matter. If the presence of our government forces are not out there what happened to the Guatemalans are happening to the Belizeans. What happened to the Belizeans is happening to the Guatemalans. We see in the area that we have some of the loggers that log within this area would be going over into Guatemala and doing illegal cutting as well. The presence of the government military is not out in the area so what we see them do in the south of Belize in the Caracol area in the north part of Belize in Guatemala the Belizeans are going over to Guatemala to do illegal cutting and stuff like that.”
We Are Not A Paramilitary State
There has been much debate on whether not or not Guatemalans were behind the cold blooded murder of 19 year old Daniel “Danny” Conorquie. While the Foreign Minister wants absolute evidence to absolutely declare that Conorquie was killed by Guatemalans, attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, like many others, is one hundred percent sure about it. As an attorney, she is aware how much important is having hard evidence to prove something. But as she explained, there is circumstantial evidence that proves Guatemalans killed Conorquie.
AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD
“The evidence if the people at national security want to publish it and you all should demand to see it, the evidence is that FCD who will willingly give you information, every time they go in that area and they track down and they record what’s going on there it leads back to the Guatemalans. When the police or the BDF on the ground go they are yet to tell you that they find non Guatemalans there.
Fatal Traffic Accident in Spanish Lookout
San Ignacio Police are investigating a fatal traffic accident that occurred in an area on Center Road, Spanish Lookout Community.
Police visted the scene at around 2:00 pm on Tuesday September 30th , where they saw a white Toyota Pickup with Guatemala license plates parked at the entrance to Western Diaries, with a dent on its passenger side. 10 feet away police observed a blue Meilun scooter lying almost in the middle of Center Road.
Initial police investigations revealed that around 1:00 pm, an hour before police arrived at the scene, the white Toyota pickup, driven at the time by Oscar Perez Sr. of Benque Viejo Town, Cayo, was exiting the parking lot when the motorcycle coming from a north to south direction collided into its right passenger’s side. As a result, the driver of the motorcycle, identified as 23 year old Heber Flores of Santa Elena Town, was flung from the motorcycle. Mr Flores received serious head and body injuries, and was rendered unconscious. He was immediately rushed to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, and later transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. His body lies at the morgue awaiting a post mortem examination.
Maya Mopan Bridge Repaired
Since August of this year, we’ve been reporting on the dilapidated condition of the single lane wooden bridge, that connects the Maya Mopan area to the San Martin Area and by extension the City of Belmopan.
The bridge was closed off to vehicular traffic in mid-August with plans to have it fixed by mid-September. There were some delays, but none the less, the bridge was reopened on Wednesday to the free flow of traffic. But not all are satisfied. Members of the Maya Mopan community say it is high time for City Council to invest in the construction of a proper two lane bridge for the community.
According to City Council’s project manager for the reconstruction of that bridge, the renovations are temporary, and though there are no plans set in place as yet, there are hopes that the bridge will be fully reconstructed into a two lane bridge in the near future.
Orange Walk Central Park to Receive Major Renovations
Major works are to come to the Orange Walk Central Park through the Belize Municipal Development Plan (BMDP), under the umbrella of the Social Investment Fund (SIF).
The project is being financed by the Government of Belize at a total cost of over a three hundred and thirty three dollars via a loan from the World Bank, of which 3 percent is being contributed by the Orange Walk Town Council. The Orange Walk Central Park is to be the main focus of this infrastructure project which, according to a press release issued on Wednesday, is to be implemented by the Project Implementation Unit of BMDP.
The project is being carried out in all municipalities, but Wednesday saw the official launch of the project in Orange Walk through a meeting between the contractor Coleman Construction Limited of Belize, and the mayor of Orange Walk Town, Kevin Bernard.
Second Day of Call to Prayer
Wednesday night, Oct 1st , was the second day of a three day call to prayer by the Evangelical Association.
The days of prayer are in preparation for and to intercede on behalf of those religious leaders who will be meeting with the Prime Minister over the Gender Policy. That meeting is scheduled for this Friday.
Day one of the prayer session occurred in various locations on Tuesday across the country and were well attended.
Pastors and spiritual leaders met on Wednesday to discuss the way forward with Friday’s meeting, and we have been informed that the meeting was very productive with a unified consensus.
Belizeans protest at the Western Border over the murder of Tourism Police at Caracol Site
Many Belizeans have expressed outrage that a Belizean Officer in the line of duty was shot down and killed allegedly by Guatemalan poachers; and that it would appear they will not be held accountable.
On Tuesday, about two hundred Belizeans organized for a rally, protesting Government’s handling o...
Fatal traffic accident at Free Zone in Corozal
There was a fatal traffic accident in the Corozal District on Monday September 29. It happened in the vicinity of the Free-Zone Gate, where a blue Ford Ranger pick-up truck was seen in the middle of the road extensively damaged...
Belize Bank in court seeking enforcement of arbitral award
Belize’s largest bank, Belize Bank, has been pursuing for several years now the return of some $33...
Bill to Amend the Legal Profession Act discussed in Committee
At the last sitting of the House of Representatives, the members of the House discussed a Bill to Amend the Legal Profession Act, which was presented by the Attorney General Wilfred Elrington. The bill and the implications it holds for the Bar has made the local headlines for quite some time.
Police officer charged for crime of extortion
A policeman stationed in San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye, has been arrested and is accused of the crime of extortion. Constable #1139 Oscar Ramirez, 36, has been charged for extortion after he was accused of shaking down a family for the release of a woman who […]
Belize Bank seeks return of UHS millions via arbitral enforcement
The Belize Bank Limited, Belize’s largest commercial bank, has been pursuing for several years now the return of some $33.5 million it says it is owed on a loan note signed seven years ago by the Musa administration. It is in relation to monies owed by the former […]
Motorcyclist killed in collision
A man from Santa Elena town, Cayo has died after a collision between a motorcycle and a pickup truck on Tuesday afternoon in Spanish Lookout.
23 year old Heber Flores died while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
According to police reports, Flores was driving a motorcycle on Center Road in Spanish Lookout around 1 pm on Tuesday when he collided with a pickup truck driven by 83 year old Oscar Perez, Sr., a Guatemalan national residing in Benque Viejo del Carmen town.
Murder trial of Mark Vega adjourned
The case of Mark Vega, accused of murder, has been adjourned until Monday, October 6.
A request for the adjournment was requested by his attorney Brian Neal and granted by Justice Herbert Lord.
Vega is accused of the 2002 murder of Susana Petkau. She and her husband Enrique were travelling on the August Pine Ridge road when they were held up at gunpoint, shot and robbed of their vehicle. While Enrique Petkau survived, his wife did not.
Vega and two other men allegedly went to Corozal in the stolen van and then reportedly committed other crimes, including kidnapping and rape.
Cayo Tour Guides to demonstrate in Belmopan
The House of Representatives will be meeting in special session on Thursday at the National Assembly building in Belmopan.
But when parliamentarians from the Lower House arrive for the meeting, they will be greeted by demonstrators.
The Cayo Tour Guides Association has obtained a permit to demonstrate and will take up positions in front of the House of Representatives on Thursday between the hours of 10 am and 12 midday.
According to a press release sent out this evening the purpose of the demonstration is “to highlight a few demands which we believe will help with the safety necessary for tourism to operate at our national parks where we work.”
Chaa Creek Hails Belize Ocean Heroes
“Heroes are Hard to Find” is not only the name of that great Fleetwood Mac album, it can also be an unfortunate fact of life.
But not, apparently in Belize, where two “Ocean Heroes” were acknowledged by international ocean environmental group Oceana at a ceremony held in Belize City September 27 2014.
Coral researcher Lisa Carne and manatee saviour Jamal Galvez, who we’ve written about before, were singled out by Oceana as two people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help preserve Belize’s stunning sea life and maritime environment.
Ms Carne received her gong for her “Fragments of Hope” project. With the assistance of fishermen and tour guides from the villages of Placencia and Independence, she established a coral nursery at Laughing Bird Caye National Park as a natural laboratory in a bid to save endangered Acropora corals. To date, the project has resulted in some 5,000 out-plants established in 18 different sites.
“The Boys Are Back in Town” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
What could cause such a state of mind you’re thinking. Did the rainwater collection tank under the house run dry? Did Rose see sense and leave me? No, nothing as trivial as that! Estel’s Dine By the Sea has been shut so that the owners and staff could all take a well earned break (now that little comment has got to be worth a couple of extra rashers of bacon).
This morning though I got my equilibrium back. Estel’s reopened and in honour of this momentous occasion I needed something special to wear. No not a tuxedo but something far more classy and fitting, my honorary Estel’s ‘T’ shirt. The decision made itself!
I was tempted, sorely tempted to be there when the doors opened at 06.00 hours but I showed amazing levels of self control and didn’t set off from home until 06.30 hours. Impressed? Of course you are.
But something was different. What was it? And then it “hit” me. They’d freshened up the murals above the northern and southern beachfront entrances.
A Walk Up North From Sapphire Beach to El Secreto: Ambergris Caye Miles 10 & 11
For the past two nights, I have been staying on North Ambergris Caye, mile 10 to be exact, at the lovely Sapphire Beach Resort. The weather has been absolute perfection. Sunny and hot but breezy.
Check out this map of the island and…as look northward from town, you will see the Las Habaneros area (roughly translated “the Habanero”) – that’s where I am. Yesterday, I took a walk from Sapphire (at mile 10) up to El Secreto – which is currently closed for upkeep.
The reef here is close. Rocky Point, just a few miles north, is where the reef actually touches land. So, the farther north you get, the closer you are to the barrier reef.
The Habaneros area is a BEAUTIFUL stretch of land. Seriously beautiful. And from what I can tell, sparsely populated. Here is what I saw along my walk.
Popular Waterfalls of Southern Belize
Belize is a country teeming with stunning natural land and water features. If you are looking for a cool swim and an adventure at the same time, heading to one of their glorious waterfalls would be the perfect idea. You should find so many in this country, where you can swim, hike and enjoy varied wildlife. Here are the top four waterfalls of Belize country. About 6 miles north of San Antonio, past the village of Santa Cruz lies the Rio Blanco Waterfall Park, a popular stop for both visitors and locals. The Rio Blanco flows through wide, shallow waterfallspools and gentle cascades formed of smooth slabs of sandstone and mudstone, before pouring over a 15-foot ledge into a deep pool. Surrounding limestone boulders allow easy exploration above the pool. San Antonio Waterfall
Just a mile from San Antonio Village flows the tranquil San Antonio waterfall and pool, just a couple of yards off the roadside. The waterfall cascades 8 feet over a smooth pear shaped limestone rock covered with bright green moss. Riverine vegetation surrounds the entire pool. Above the waterfall is thick vegetation surrounding an upper cove with a smooth limestone floor. Golden Stream Waterfall/Pools
The Golden Stream waterfall and pool is located near Golden Stream Village along the Southern Highway. Tall trees and thick vegetation grow along the sides of the crystal clear waterfall. Small waterfalls tumble from a two-foot ledge into a big pool. Further up the river, gentle cascades tumble over a short ledge of limestone boulders into a smaller pool. The pools are separated by an upper level of flat limestone covered with shallow grooves. Pueblo Viejo Upper and Lower Falls
The Pueblo Viejo Upper and Lower Falls are located at the base of limestone hills below Pueblo Viejo Village. Small waterfalls flow over each ledge, rushing through narrow cuts on each level toward the next fall. Each level is flat and extends about 10 feet long and 20 feet wide. They are covered with shallow puddles where tadpoles thrive.
Caribbean leaders warn of 'real, ruinous' impacts of climate change
Spotlighting the “gathering and intensifying threat of global climate change” leaders from Caribbean Islands on Monday warned the United Nations General Assembly that indifference, narrow interests and electoral cowardice threaten to squander “our only real chance to save the planet.” Addressing the Assembly on Monday afternoon, minister for foreign affairs for Grenada, Nickolas Steele, said climate shocks are amongst the “most terrifying” for his country and other small islands around the world and given such risks, island states need concessionary financing.
The indebtedness of small islands developing states (SIDS) must be regarded among the many challenges of our time, he said, adding that the “annual cry” of small islands to make concessionary funding available should serve as an early warning system for the international community.
Belize -- Still for the Intrepid
Returning to what has been one of my favorite places on earth since I was a young girl for my first extended stay in years, I found Belize's Cayo hardly changed. Me? I have to admit that, back in Belize at last, I was a little harder to recognize.
I came to Cayo for the first time almost 30 years ago. I had seen little else of the rest of the world by that time, but I recognized something in this part of Belize that I appreciated immediately--a big-time potential for adventure and discovery.
"This is what's great about Cayo," I told my 14-year-old son Jackson as he, his father, and I drove around lost in the dark on the unpaved, unmarked, unlit jungle roads our first night in the country trying to find our lodge.
"You can always count on having an adventure."
On my first visit to this part of the world three decades ago, my first friend in Belize, Mick Fleming, wondered just how much adventure I was up for.
Belize, Barbados Condemn U.S. Blockade Against Cuba
Belize condemned today before the UN the continuous U.S. blockade against Cuba and the Israeli indiscriminate attack at innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip.
In his speech during the 69th period of sessions of the UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister of Belize, Wilfred Elrington, expressed his government's concern about the recent death and destruction of innocent Palestinian civilians, mainly unarmed women and children in Gaza.
He reiterated his government's support to the peaceful, safe coexistence of the State of Israel and the State of Palestine in their respective borders recognized by the international community.
He called for including in the UN agenda the elimination of unilateral harmful practices and joined the rest of the international community demanding the end of the "anachronistic U.S. blockade" against Cuba.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister of Barbados, Maxine McClean, expressed his country's rejection of the U.S. blockade against Cuba as a unilateral action that must be a thing of the past.
First FATCA Fraud Goes Before US Courts
US federal prosecutors have laid what is believed to be the first Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) enforcement case before the courts. Prosecutors in New York claim alleged offenders in the city, Belize and Panama conspired to submit false FATCA documents, fraudulently manipulate shares prices and launder the proceeds. The $500 million fraud involved trying to cover up a US taxpayer’s role in the conspiracy by submitting forged paperwork to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Lawyers say this is the first time a FATCA violation has led to charges before a court and shows the willingness of the US tax authorities to impose strict compliance with the new rules. Although FATCA came to the US state book in 2010, years of bickering and technical problems led to a delay in implementation until July 2014.
Experts join heads on Caribbean cyber security
Cyber security topped the agenda as 60 technology professionals from 13 countries gathered for a major regional technology conference. The meeting is the eighth gathering of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) and the sixth in a series of Caribbean meetings hosted by the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (Lacnic).
The choice of venue for discussions about Internet security seemed fitting. Curacao is an exceptional Caribbean island, in that its critical Internet infrastructure development allows it to offer data centre services to a global market. Because technology-based enterprise is such an important part of the country’s economy, cyber security is recognised as an important, said Shernon Osepa, manager of regional affairs for the Internet Society (ISOC) Latin America and the Caribbean, who is from Curacao.
In the Blogs: It’s a FATCA Life
Highlights of some of our favorite tax-related blogs from the past week.
Taxable Talk: How the California legislature passed a law mandating e-filing of most business returns beginning with 2014 returns filed in 2015. Exemptions are available, but you must request them from the Franchise Tax Board. One wrinkle: Most tax software today doesn’t allow for e-filing a single-member LLC return.
Mauled Again: Hell No We Won’t Pay Dept.: A look at a recent Tax Court case, Salzer v. Comr., that reveals yet another disadvantage to tax protesting. Granted, the blogger adds, “The Court correctly noted that the outcome must be based on what the taxpayer did, not what the taxpayer would have done had he not failed to file returns in the first place.”
Rubin on Tax: Healthy growth of a 501 and its mission is one thing, exemptions another. How one charitable operator of private schools vaporized its own tax status by drifting into real estate.
Online resource to support the work of biodiversity conservation organizations
Read more: Online resource to support the work of biodiversity conservation organizations
A free online resource, launched today (1 October), will help conservation organisations share expertise and tools, aiding them in addressing some of the planet’s most challenging conservation issues.
Capacityforconservation.org is a free online resource designed to act as a central hub where biodiversity conservation organisations can download tools, contribute their expertise, and learn from one another to strengthen their ability to address complex conservation challenges.
Knowing the best way for an organisation to develop to become a sustainable and resilient entity, or even understanding the questions the organisation needs to ask of itself in order to start this development, can be a daunting challenge.
Video: Reckless flores - Andy P Gone ft Biggs Da C.E.O - Official Music Video (Dangriga, Belize), 5min.
the song is written by Reckles off his new album of 2014 entitled
" Call Ih Name" music video is produced n directed by Jeremy Lewis (Out Da Box Films).
Video: JefeccarDoBelize, 8min.
Video: Globe Trekker - La Ruta Maya (Guatemala, Belize & Yucatan) with Justine Shapiro, 48min.
Justine Shapiro follows the route of the Maya, starting her journey in Merida, Mexico, where she visits the local market and samples the local delicacy, cow's stomach stew. Justine heads for the ruins of Chichen Itza and the beautiful beach resort area Tulum on the Caribbean Coast.
Her journey takes her on to Belize, the only English speaking countries in Latin America. In Dangriga, a tiny town home to the Garifuna people, Justine witnesses a festival. Then heads for the tiny idyllic beach resort of Placencia, where Justine goes scuba diving and takes a river trip to see the famous howler monkeys. Before visiting the Mayan ruins of Caracol, Justine meets with two Mennonite families, descendants of 18th century religious refugees from Germany who call Belize home.
From here, Justine takes the bus over the border to Guatemala. Her first stop, the Mayan ruins of Tikal, are located in the heart of the jungle. After flying into Guatemala City, Justine heads west to Lake Atitlan and the Indian villages surrounding the lake. She visits an indigenous painter, goes to an Indian market at Nahuala and then heads to the Easter celebrations in Antigua, hailed as the most spectacular in all Latin America.
Justine's trip ends with her own personal adventure, climbing the spectacular active volcano of Pacaya.
Video: Believer's World Outreach Belize Mission Video, 7.5min.
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Video: The 5 Most Popular Beers Produced by the Belize Brewery, 2min.
After you are done with all the swimming, surfing and sightseeing, wouldn’t it be nice to lounge in the sand and just rest? To make this all the more relaxing, why don’t you add a Belize beer to the equation? Then take a trip to the Belize Brewery and grab yourself some of their best beers. Know, though, that are only four main beers in Belize. But if you include the locally-brewed Guinness and the three seasonal beers, then there would be eight.
Video: 6 Cool (and Mostly Free!) Things to Do in San Pedro, Belize, 3min.
Many visitors flock to San Pedro Belize to experience its local fauna and flora. Here are six exciting and mostly free things to do while on your San Pedro vacation. Many visitors go to Ambergris Caye to marvel at the sea life in its natural habitat, but San Pedro Belize also offers numerous other opportunities to experience local flora and fauna without venturing into the deep blue seas. Below are 6 things to do that happen daily or on an ad hoc basis, so you can catch them anytime during your San Pedro vacation. They are also mostly free, and are an affordable supplement to expensive diving or snorkeling excursions.
Video: 4 Great Ambergris Caye Belize All Inclusive Resorts to Stay In, 2min.
There are several Ambergris Caye Belize all inclusive resorts for every want and need. Know more about the 4 best hotels in Ambergris Caye. If you are thinking of experiencing Belize resort vacations for a romantic getaway or honeymoon, you still have a few months left to plan before the rainy season comes. For divers and snorkelers, one top destination in the country, home to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Blue Hole, is Ambergris Caye. This is a long and slender island is home to a wide range of beach resorts and the whimsical town of San Pedro. Each of these Ambergris Caye Belize all inclusive resorts, so read on and learn more details about the top hotels in Ambergris Caye to see the one that’s right for you.
Video: Rhodes Family Belize 2014 Long Trailer, 5min.
Video: Underwater World Belize, 10min.
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