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#497924 - 11/14/14 10:50 AM Today's Belize News: November 14, 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

Islanders join in celebration of centenarian Cecilia Guerrero Lara’s birthday
Close family members and friends of Ambergris Caye’s longest living resident joined her in the celebration of her 100th birthday. Centenarian Cecilia Guerrero Lara turned 100 years on Sunday November 9th, making her the oldest San Pedrana. Cecilia is the aunt of current San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero. The management and staff of The San Pedro Sun, joins the rest of the island residents in wishing Cecilia Guerrero Lara a happy birthday.

Belize has hit the 1 Million mark!
As of October 2014, Belize has seen one million visitors into the country, through overnight and cruise arrivals, two months earlier than forecast. In October, tourist arrivals increased by 6.7%, exceeding the initial projection which estimated that October would have seen a decrease of 10.82% in overnight arrivals. For cruise arrivals, 56,144 visitors were scheduled for October, but there was a total of 1,769 more cruise visitors over that forecast number. According to the Belize Tourism Board’s (BTB) projections set forth earlier this year, it was expected that Belize would hit the one million mark at the end of the year; however, we’ve surpassed this figure earlier than was expected. In the past nine years, Belize hit the one million mark twice, in 2005 and 2010, with 1,036,904 and 1,006,547, respectively. Belize is well on its way to having the most visitors ever in its history. The arrival of 1,018,705 visitors last month has already surpassed the 2010 arrivals.

Island players to compete in UNCAF Beach Soccer Cup
Twelve island residents left on Tuesday, November 11th en-route to El Salvador to participate in the 2014 Central American Football Union (UNCAF) Beach Soccer Cup. The tournament is being hosted in collaboration with the Salvadoran Football Federation and will be held at the Estadio Nacional “Centro Recreativo Costa del Sol” from Friday, November 14th to Sunday, November 16th. Four out of the seven UNCAF member countries will be participating, namely El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica and Guatemala. This is the first time that Belize is participating in this tournament.Belize National Beach Soccer The Belize delegation is composed of team members Kent “Bob” Gabourel, Hazael “Chief” Requeña, Rony Abel Mejia, Jesse “Pinchi” Smith, Julius Brandon Gonzalez, Jordi Craft, Reggeri “Jerry” Trejo, Sean Alexander Mas, Jason “Tyga” Sutherland, Thomas “Sony” Baptist, Mario “Mayito” Chimal and Louis “Luisito” Valdez along with coaches Alex Noralez and Hector “Tito” Alamilla Jr. The team has been practicing for the tournament for the past weeks leading to their departure. All members are well acquainted with beach soccer as it is one of the primary forms of football played on the island: barefoot and on the beach!

Dorados Football Club takes the lead in the Mayor’s Cup
The Mayor’s Cup five-a-side Football Tournament is already in its second week of games, and one team has quickly risen to the top: Dorado’s FC. The second week saw ten matches being played over three days of football fun. Each game day, loyal fans came out to the Honorable Louis Sylvester Arena to support their favorite team. The first match on Thursday, November 6th saw Island Pure FC facing off against Airstrip Taxi Strikers FC. Both teams brought a good game, and Island Pure is not one to accept defeat easily! An unexpected late goal by Island Pure gave them the win with a 3-2 score. Next up was Eagles FC against Pro Divers FC. With no wins yet, Pro Divers FC desperately needed a victory and luckily they managed to defeat Eagles FC in a 2-0 point game.

Blanca Velasquez wins the 2014 Optimist National Championship Regatta
On the weekend of November 8th and 9th, the Belize Sailing Association and Tipsy Tuna Bar and Grill hosted the combined Optimist National Championship Regatta (BIZ14) and the Tipsy Tuna Sailing Regatta. The regatta was held in Placencia and saw the advanced sailors competing in the BIZ14, while novice sailors participated in the Tipsy Tuna Regatta. At the end of the regatta, top prizes went to members of the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), with Blanca Velasquez taking first place in BIZ14, Jerdon Anderson taking the sailor of the year award and Faith Noel taking the female sailor of the year award.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Sailing Club Takes Belize National Championship
Sunshine, blue skies, crystal clear water, bright white Optimist boats and enthusiastic sailors. What is missing from this perfect picture of paradise? WIND!! On November 8 and 9, 2014, the Placencia Sailing Club hosted 15 sailors from clubs all over the country as they competed in the final regatta of the season, the Nationals! Competing sailors qualified for the Nationals by participating in all six qualifying regattas held earlier this year. The sailor making it all the way to the end of the final two days of racing is named the National Champion. This is a lot of pressure on sailors who got little to no support from the wind this past weekend. After a several hour delay on Saturday, the sailors took to the water to sail their best with little more than a light breeze. In these unusual conditions for sailing, four races were completed. At the end of day one, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place were held by San Pedro Sailing Club members.

Belize Participates in Chetumal Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission 2014
More than 50 Belizean companies/entrepreneurs participated in the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission to Belize, at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. During the event, organized by the aforementioned Chamber and the Mexican Embassy, 19 Mexican companies from Chetumal, Mexico, had the chance to meet with their Belizean counterparts to identify trade and investment opportunities. Among the products and services being sought/offered during the Trade Mission were food and beverages; construction materials; hardware; auto parts; office supplies; sports equipment; cell phones and its accessories; security devices; education opportunities. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry also participated in the event, presenting the business and investment opportunities in Belize to the Mexican entrepreneurs. One of the main goals of the Trade Mission is to foster the networking activity among entrepreneurs from Belize and Mexico, in this case Chetumal.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize FISHING REPORT: Week of November 1st – November 8th, 2014
Thank you to our wonderful returning guests! Stanley and Phyllis, Leo, Richard and Monalisa, Frank, Bob and Carolyn – you make it special for us when we see your smiles returning to the dock. A big shout out to Jason from Break Water – we really enjoyed your group and look forward to seeing you next year. It was a mixed up week, and the change of season is noted. Crisp mornings as a mild cold front moved through, and then some days opened up with weather “like you read about. “ Flat calm. Fish were rolling, jumping and hiding. Sometimes flat calm days can be really tough – it makes the angler up their game to make that beautiful presentation to the fish. Mornings around here start off with the shrill from our grackles – a long call, followed by some high pitched punctuation. The sun comes up about six am and with it, beautiful red, pink and orange sun rises. Quiet time quickly turns to anglers and guides moving about making sure all is ready for the day. We are looking forward to celebrating El Pescador’s 40th anniversary next week. So stay tuned!

3 minors accuse teacher and scout leader of sexual assault.
A 16 year old Farmer of San Jose Village in the Toledo District reported that at 5:50pm on October 31st he went to Santa Cruz Community Center where he was to meet Martin Palma, his scout leader. The boy said that Palma gave him alcohol to drink and at 10:00 p.m., he was awaken by Palma touching his chest and privates. Palma allegedly told him that he will give him $1,000.00 for his silence. Another 16 year old scout reported that at 8:00 p.m., less than two hours after the first incident, he was awaken by Palma, who was touching him on the chest and loosening his belt buckle. Palma also allegedly offered $1000 for his silence.

Bel Elec job vancancies
Vacancies exist at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Apprentice Lineman I in the Transmission & Distribution Department.

Channel 7

Monchie Cervantes Won't Retract, Apologize or Back Down From Claims Against DPM
Last night we told you about the letter from Attorney Rodwell Williams to Ramon Monchie Cervantes. Williams wrote on behalf of his client, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega demanding a reaction, an apology, an undertaking not to repeat the libel, and the payment of damages. That's a request not to be taken lightly: Williams recently won the largest libel award in Belize's history when attorney Arthur Saldivar disparaged the Prime Minister's conduct and integrity. Now Cervantes has accused the Deputy Prime Minister of far worse…so what did Monchie have to say about it today? We went to his office at San Isidro Hardware in Orange Walk Town to ask if he'll apologize - and let's just say, we weren't too surprised at the answer:... Jules Vasquez "It demands that you make an unequivocal and full retraction. Will you do so today?" Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes Jr. "He also ask for an apology. No. I have nothing to apologize for and there is nothing for me to retract and so I won't apologize."

Hon. Vega Says, "Talk To My Lawyer"
And while Cervantes continues to play it cagey on that issue, today the man who is suing him didn't want to play any games about the pending libel suit. We caught up with Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega at an event outside Orange Walk and he said the matter is in the hands of his attorney:.. Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister "Rodwell Williams already sent the letter, so there is very little that I can say. It's in his hands and I have said what I had to say and I would like we just leave it there." Reporter "Do you think it was irresponsible for Mr. Cervantes to do this along with the media houses that broadcasted the event?" Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister "Like I've said, I had said what I had to say. The rest the attorney will take care of it." Reporter "Do you think this has affected you politically?"

Vega: Government Can Only Do So Much For Sugar
But one burning public issue that Vega has to comment on is the impasse in the sugar industry. He's the Deputy PM, the Minister of Agriculture and the UDP's political boss in the north. The sugar standoff is so huge it touches all three of those spheres of influence. But, right now, the sugar industry is also a sort of political third rail, too highly charged for any elected official to come down squarely on either side of the issue. So today, Vega was perhaps deliberately vague on what the government will do:.. Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture "All we can do is continue to encourage them to come around the table and ensure that both parties compromise as much as possible for us to be able to start a crop with at the best, the least challenges possible. I think that we cannot start dictating or demanding. We have to negotiate, we have to come around the table. Like I always say gone are the days when you can pull a stick and pull a machete or whatever the case may be. We have to learn to negotiate with each other. I still believe that there is room for that and we shouldn't give up on it."

They Rioted; They Got Charged
In August, they rioted in Succotz, and today - like a hangover after a spree - 15 persons went to court to answer for it. Tonight, 15 of the 20 people who police initially charged for the August 19 illegal protest in Succotz village are out on bail of $300 dollars. That's after they answered to a court summons for charges of rioting and unlawful assembly this morning at the Benque Viejo Magistrate's Court. You'll remember that villagers erupted into protest in support of the late 54 year-old Yolanda Consuelo Valencia, and her taxi driver 28 year Yannie Evan Cu - victims of an accident allegedly caused by Deputy Police Commissioner Miguel Segura. A just cause for the community - but intolerable lawlessness for police. And now, the cops say they can prove that 18 of these people actively participated in that protest. 7News was at their arraignment this morning, and Daniel Ortiz has that story:

Teenaged Girl Missing, Family Says Cop Abducted Her
Tonight a 15-year-old female high school student is missing and her parents believe she is with a police constable. Michael Wagner, the father of fourth former Vanessa Wagner became concerned when the student of Esperanza Village did not return home from school yesterday evening. This morning the family made an official missing person report at the San Ignacio Police Station. Police then escorted them to the teenager's high school to press her friends for information about her whereabouts. That's when information emerged that Wagner had been having a Facebook relationship with a police constable. We note that this suspect is attached to the San Ignacio Police station and is on interdiction after he was charged with indecent assault of a 14 year old Cayo girl. Now, he is believed to be with this 15 year old in parts unknown - the subject of profound concern for her father whom we spoke with today:.. Michael Wagner, father of missing teenage girl "We kind of hang out until roughly midnight last night and then this morning about 4am I got up and went out and check again and then about 7am we went to the police because if we had gone to the police before we would have gotten anything done because it have to be like 24 hours before the police do anything right, as far as I know is the law in this country and so that's what happened and the police got involve, we went to high school and we met with the principal, the teacher and the student and when the police was questioning them that's when we got the information of who she went with."

BTB's Director Of Marketing Resigns
The Belize Tourism Board's Director of Marketing Alyssa Carnegie has resigned. As far as we could determine, there's no controversy surrounding her departure, she's just moving on after two years - likely to her own tourism venture. Marketing is the core function of the BTB and Carnegie oversaw a major rebranding, where Belize's marketing mantra went from the very direct "Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret," to the abstract, "Discover How To Be. " By all outward indications, it's paid off in spades as the Tourism Board today announced that this year, Belize has reached the one million visitor mark - through overnight and cruise arrivals - two months earlier than forecasted.? That is on the strength of a 6.7% increase in arrivals in October - which is impressive considering that a decrease of 10.82% in overnight arrivals was forecast.

Calling Out The Call Center
Today call center workers at ACCETEL BPO called out the media to air their grievances. The workers claim that their boss, Emroy Castillo, has failed to pay them for about 4 weeks and that, additionally, he has not been paying their Social Security. Now, they are out of work because operations at the call center have ceased. These workers - who chose not to disclose their identity- discussed their issues with us today. Voice of: BPO worker "The issue is that our boss Mr. Emroy Castillo made an arrangement with us. He opened a business, we were hired on the 5th September and on the 27th October he told us that we were not supposed to come into work, so we were on standby basically. We waited, time passed and he told us no work until further notice and then on 31st we were supposed to be paid but he made a promise telling us that he couldn't pay us until the 3rd the latest. So we told him okay no problem. On the 4th, he came to us telling us that we had to wait until Friday, that he didn't have the money, he had to sell his house and lot. When he finally paid us we got out two weeks' pay and then he told us that the business was closed down. We didn't get any letter stating that we were terminated. He owes us 4 weeks' pay at this point and we want to know how we can get our money from him. We've tried contacting him and wed don't get any information."

Monchie's Mom And Murder Mastermind Manuel Had Land Dealings in 2014
At the top of our newscast tonight, you saw Ramon Monchie Cervantes talk about why he will not apologize for or retract his very serious allegations against Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Cervantes says he can't do that because he must do justice to the memory of his father - who was murdered - in what he says was a botched political assassination - which meant to take him out - so that he would not be a political threat to his UDP opponent in Orange Walk North, Gaspar Vega. But, there are other theories out there - and one of them is that Manuel Castillo - the alleged murder mastermind - could have had a grievance with Ramon Cervantes Sr, or his family. We know that they did have a land transaction earlier this year - but today Monchie Cervantes told us that it was concluded amicably. He discussed the transaction in detail today:.. Jules Vasquez "Was there a land transaction ongoing, pending, yet unresolved between Mr. Manuel Castillo and Ramon Cervantes Sr.?" Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes Jr.

Will Murder Conspiracy Narrative Factor In OW North Campaign?
And while the land deal is concluded the battle between Cervantes and Gaspar Vega is only in its initial stages. Eventually, it will play out at the general election polls in Orange Walk North where Vega is considered the prohibitive favorite. But will Cervantes, in his effort to topple a powerful incumbent, use his murder conspiracy narrative against Vega? We asked him today, first about whether - with all that has happened - if he will still run at all:.. Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes Jr. "It's been something hard. I've given it a lot of thought and I've spoken to my family about it and my family is in full support of me going ahead as a candidate of Orange Walk North. As a matter of fact that is what my dad would have wanted. My dad was a very brave and courageous man and I know if he could come directly to speak to me he would say don't worry about me, I am in a good place and you go ahead with your election." Jules Vasquez "Do you think it will help you in your campaign having put out a narrative which implicates your opponent? Is it something you will say 'you can't trust that guy because he is involve in X.Y.Z?'"

Faber Magnanimous With Micah, Snide With Shoman
Another political race in which the dynamics just changed is in the Collet division. PUP newcomer Micah Goodin was made to step aside for former city councilor Yasmin Shoman - in her first run as a general election candidate. She hopes to unseat Faber who is a three term incumbent - one that beat his last opponent by over 1500 votes. That makes him also the prohibitive favourite heading into any head to head political contest in Collet - which is probably why Faber was charitable with Goodin, and dismissive of Shoman:.. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "I said I would never would have said anything unkind about Micah, in fact he is somebody who I observed and I looked at as an up and coming potential star in whatever he does. As to the new opponent, I won't be so kind in that she is no new comer to politics. She of course was a city councilor for 6 years in this country, in the city.

Teenager Accused Of Shooting Teenager
18 year-old Deshay Williams, a construction worker residing on Banak Street, is on remand tonight after being taken to court for shooting another teenager last night. 18 year-old Stanley Flowers Jr., a BDF Volunteer, told police that he was riding his bike on Gibnut Street at just before 7 last night. He says that when he arrived at the Fullers Lane intersection, he was approached by Williams, who he also knows at "Shady". He says that Williams pulled out a weapon and fired two shots, one of which injured him in the right hand. Police picked up Williams today, and charged him with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until January 23 of next year.

Third Cattle Sweep Sees Prices Rising, Industry Developing
In August of 2012, we told you about the first ever Cattle Sweep in Belize. It was the start of an 11 million dollar project partially funded by the European Union to bring Belize's cattle industry up to international export standards. That meant extensive testing for two diseases: brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis. And now, two years later, only one case of tuberculosis has been detected after tens of thousands of cattle were tested in two sweeps. The sweep and the disease free status has paid a real dividend for cattle farmers and we found out more when we went to the launch of the third sweep today:.. Jules Vasquez reporting These cattle on Doni Urbina's farm outside Orange Walk Town were the first to have samples taken in the third cattle sweep. That means squeezing a as much as a thousand pounds of bull, heifer or calf into a stall and taking a blood sample from the tail vein then fixing an electronic tag on the ear - a sort of passport for this cow - and all hundred thousand or so in Belize.

Accident Victim Yanie Cu's Family Appreciates The Support
Earlier in our newscast, we showed you how those accused rioters from Succotz were taken to court for that illegal protest staged to agitate for fellow villagers Yolando Valencia and Yanie Cu. Police are now prosecuting 18 Succotz residents for it, but the relatives of the victims are cheering them; they were glad for the solidarity. Today, we got a chance to catch up with the family of the driver, Yanie Cu, and discuss his health in the aftermath of the accident. His wife told us that if it were not for those villagers and their strong community spirit, she and her family would have been destroyed after their breadwinner ended up bedridden: Roselia Cu - Wife of Accident Victim "And then, that's when they reach to seek justice, and they reacted with the pain that they felt. And, I can't criticize them, because of them, I have travelled to go and see insurance. From them, I have food for my family, from the people, that have helped me, to make my children go to school. And persons who were there with my children when I left them, until today, they have helped me with food. Right here in Succotz, it's people for unity, and they feel the pain of the people."

Eddie Vega Shorted In Land Deal; DPM Says He Didn't Give Land
And while we had the Deputy Prime Minister before us today we did ask him about two issues that are outside of his ministerial portfolios. The first is the matter of his brother Eddie Vega - the mega-merchant from Benque Viejo. Eddie Vega has filed a police report requesting court action against Chinese Businessman Tommy Tang. Vega says Tang arranged to buy a plot of land from him near the Loma Luz Hospital for 350,000 thousand dollars - but when he went to cash post-dated cheques for the final 75,000 thousand dollars in April 2014, the account had been closed. And Tang, the owner of Three Flags could not be found. Now, these things do happen in the course of business, but because his name is Vega and he is the Deputy Prime Minister's brother -talk immediately started that Vega, could have been coming up, speculating on a piece of land gifted to him by his brother, the lands minister. We asked Minister Vega about it today:..

DPM Says Nephew Not Off The Hook For Rough Spots On Road
And one other relative we wanted to ask the Deputy about was his nephew Imer Hernandez. He got the contract to pave the Belize - Corozal road through Orange Walk - and the first few miles have been finished. But, there are a few rough spots already showing up on this brand new road, and the media asked the Deputy about it today:.. Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister "I don't really know what the situation is. To be sincere I am not an engineer. All we know is that we are going to check our work or what is being deliver at the end of the contract." As you saw in the video, a number of areas on the road were being worked on today.

Talking Tertiary, Day 2
As we reported last night, the CANQATE conference, focusing on improving educational services at the tertiary level, is ongoing. The Minister of Education addressed the conference today and he discussed the importance improving this sector - especially in Belize where the number of persons with a first degree is among the lowest in the region:.. There are about 100 quality assurance professionals participating in this year's conference.

Hon. Faber: Roadshow's Recruiting Vital
And on the topic of improving education, Minister Faber also commented on the education roadshow "If you love Belize, Teach" and the benefits it will have on teacher recruitment and training. The Roadshow continues tonight at this hour in San Ignacio and goes to Orange Walk tomorrow.

Rotary Makes Wheelchair Access Real
Disabled persons from Belize City and Orange Walk will benefit from a wheelchair donation by the Rotary Club. Today they held a ceremony at CISCO construction where wheelchairs were handed over to some of the recipients. We found out how the gift will improve their quality of life: 110 wheelchairs valued at $50,000 dollars were donated.

UNICEF Looking At Child Rights
UNICEF held a meeting today at the Radisson to review its country program on health. Their discussions focused on HIV/AIDS education and Child Rights. We spoke to Social Policy Specialist Ilija Talev about the objectives of the meeting.

Channel 5

Yhony Rosado’s Home Targeted by Armed Robbers in Daring Home Invasion
Yhony Rosado is a very outspoken tour operator; he has big stakes in the tourism industry as the proprietor of Cavetubing.com. As recent as last Friday, Rosado made bold and [...]

Fourteen Benqueños Charged With Rioting and Unlawful Assembly
This morning there was heightened Police presence at the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court and special units on standby at the Police Station around the corner. Based on evidence gathered at [...]

Ramon Cervantes Jr. Says He Won’t Apologize to Gapi Vega
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega stands accused of orchestrating a hit on Ramon Cervantes Junior.  That very serious allegation was contained in a purported recording of wanted fugitive Manuel ‘El [...]

Gapi Vega’s Political Career Unfazed by Defamatory Statements
Cervantes will not apologize nor back down, and neither will Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. He told the media today that the matter is in the hands of his attorney [...]

Smart and BTL Head to Court
Attorneys for telecom providers Speednet and B.T.L. were in court this morning. Speednet Communications Limited filed an application for an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited on Wednesday to prevent the [...]

Data and Voice Services Extended to December Eighth
Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, representing B.T.L., laid out the fundamental principle behind B.T.L.’s move to terminate the agreement.  He says that Speednet purchased the service for private use then turned [...]

Yani Cu: The Long Road to Recovery
Earlier in our newscast we showed you the protesters who were charged in the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court. The act for which they were charged was a cry for justice, [...]

Alyssa Carnegie Steps Down as BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations
Another resignation was announced today at the B.T.B. where a number of senior officers have demitted office in recent times. Today, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, joined [...]

NICH’s Forty-Eight Inch Regulation Suspended Temporarily
The B.T.B. announced today that it had reached its one million mark in tourist arrivals in the country. According to the release, one million eighteen thousand seven hundred and five [...]

Martin Palma Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teenage Boys
A scout leader, who is also a teacher of Forest Home, Toledo, is in big trouble tonight. He is Martin Palma, who went on a rampage sexually assaulting three teenagers [...]

Police Officer Charged After Knocking Down Pedestrian
A police officer was served with a notice of intended prosecution after he knocked down a man while driving a Government vehicle within city limits. Thirty-four year old police constable [...]

U-16 Basketball Team Doing Well at COCABA Championships
There is good news coming out of Panama where Belize’s national U-sixteen male basketball team has won its first game. On Wednesday night, the team faced off against Costa Rica [...]

Accutel BPO Shuts Down Abruptly, Employees Unpaid
Business process outsourcing is one of Belize’s fastest growing industries. Thousands of Belizeans have gained jobs from the outsourcing of customer service and other chores of business, primarily from the [...]

Landlord Says Emory Castillo Skipped Rent for Accutel Tenancy
The employees say this turn of events has hurt not only their financial standing, but also their job prospects. And as a check with the Companies Registry reveals, their employment [...]

CANQATE Hosts Annual Tertiary Education Conference in Belize
For three days, educators will be discussing the institutional development of tertiary education in the region with emphasis on quality assurance.  The occasion is the annual conference of CANQATE, a [...]

Healthy Living shows you the face of diabetes
This Friday, November fourteenth, will be commemorated as World Diabetes Day. The day is spent advocating and building awareness about this very prevalent condition. It is estimated that up to [...]

CTV3

BSCFA Corozal Branch Chairman Condemns Burning Of BSI/ASR Fields
Yesterday around midday approximately 15 hectares of BSI/ASR’s cane field located in an area known as Slip Dock in the Libertad Village was set on fire. With the cane field set ablaze, 400 hundred tons of cane valued at approximately $27,000 went up in smoke. In order to avoid any more losses, BSI/ASR has heighted security in the areas where their cane fields are located. And while the company did not comment on the issue yesterday Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Corozal Branch, Ramon Aban, condemned the act. Ramon Aban– Chairman BSCFA Corozal Branch “Nosotros les estamos pidiendo a todos los caneros que por favor, no podía yo acusar si son caneros o no pero a las persona que lo hayan hecho que por favor suspendan esas clases de quemazones a las plantas porque no vamos a resolver nada en estar quemando planteles, las negociaciones se hacer o si tenemos un problema vamos a resolverlo en una meza lo vamos a resolver juntamente el gobierno de Belice, La Asociación, El Sugar Board y los cuerpos indicados para poder seguir ayudándolos adelante con esta industria solo así lo podemos hacer.”

Vega Speaks Vaguely On Possible Lawsuit Against Monchie
Vega was also drilled on other matters including that of the law suit to be filed against his political opponent, Ramon Cervantes Jr. for libel for implicating that he was involved in the murder of his father. And while the DPM has categorically denied that allegation, he spoke very few words on the matter.Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister “You said it, Rodwell Williams already send the letter so there is very little that I can say it is in his hands and I said what I had to say and I just will leave it there.” Reporter “Do you think it is irresponsible for Mr Cervantes to do this along with the media houses that broadcasted the event?” Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister “Like I said I have said what I had to say and the rest the Attorney will take care of it.”

DPM Demands Retraction And Apology, Cervantes Says No Way
Yesterday we told you about Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega’s intent to sue Ramon Cervantes Jr. after his family aired a telephone recording between Vilma Cervantes, wife of the late Ramon Cervantes Senior and a man alleging to be Manuel Castillo, the person police believe was the author in the death of Cervantes Sr. in July of this year. As we have been reporting, the recording revealed damning allegations made against the Minister implicating him in Cervantes’ demise. In a recorded statement, the DPM indicated that the allegation made against him has endangered him and his family at the same time he denied having any involvement whatsoever with Cervantes’ death. Now, Minister Vega is demanding a retraction from Cervantes Junior and payment for damages for defamation. The DPM’s lawyer, Rodwell Williams, wrote a formal letter to Cervantes Junior claiming that and we quote, “words were baseless, untrue and amounted to a very serious libel on our client and have caused him considerable distress and embarrassment and have put him and his family in fear for his own safety and well-being,” end quote. So, will Cervantes Junior heed to the DPM’s demands? From the looks of things, Cervantes won’t give in that easy as he emphatically told us today there will be no apology on his part.

Third Cattle Sweep Launched In The North
This morning, the third leg in the cattle sweep project taking place in rural Belize was launched. The aim of the project is to detect two diseases that affect livestock and can be harmful to humans if consumed. The process is in three phases prior to the exportation of the livestock to Mexico and Guatemala. So far, sweeps have taken place in northern Belize and today Reporter Maria Novelo had a first-hand look at the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project that has a seemingly lucrative outlook for the Belize cattle industry and its stakeholders. Maria Novelo – Reporting Before local Belize beef can tap into the international markets and dinner tables, livestock farmers have to ensure that each head of cattle is disease free. Belize Agriculture Health Authority, (BAHA), which is the chief implementing organization, launched a cattle sweep project in the north two years ago. Today, cattle farmers and livestock cattle producers are reaping the benefits of that project.

DPM Comments On Current Sugar Impass
While the media was on hand to highlight the great strides made in the Cattle Industry, we had the opportunity to ask Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega about his view in the on-going BSI/ASR/BSCFA saga. The association has gone on record to state that the presence of Central Government has been lacking in the negotiations, Vega says the Government can only act as facilitator, and not in the position to do or tell any of the entities what to do. Vega however, encouraged both entities to come to the table to find a compromise since farmers with huge obligations will be affected. Here’s how that exchange went. Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister “The government will continue to facilitate, we have always done that ready to ensure that both parties BSI/ASR and the Cane farmers sit around the table, I know that the negotiations still going on and all we can do is to continue to facilitate, continue to encourage them to come around the table and ensure that both parties compromise as much as possible for us to be able to start a crop with the best and the least challenges possible.”

Belize Celebrates World Diabetes Day
Did you know that in Belize, Diabetes is among the leading cause of death in the country, with approximately 14 percent or about 49,000 Belizeans living with the disease? That is why, this year’s World Diabetes Day is being held under the theme “healthy Eating and Diabetes: Healthy Eating begins with breakfast”. It highlights the importance of eating healthy to prevent Type II Diabetes and effective management to avoid complications. The initiative promotes the benefits of starting the day with a healthy breakfast, which can help individuals manage their weight and for diabetes, keep blood glucose levels stable.

BNLS Hold Reading Competition In Corozal
Reading is a complex cognitive process of interpreting symbols in order to construct or derive meaning in reading comprehension. In other words reading is very important to survive in this modern world and that is one of the primary reasons why the Belize National Library Service has organized a nationwide reading competition at the district level. Today 8 primary schools in Corozal Town, gathered under the Andres Campos Civic Center to see who will represent Corozal District in the grand finale in Belize City at the Belize National Library service Reading competition. Jahmor Lopez – M.O.E “This morning we had the competition or categories one and two and we are wrapping up with category three the upper division students, we have the participation of our two central zones the town schools, for our purpose we have central zone one and two we have the participation of Paraiso, Mary Hill, Corozal Nazarene, Church of Christ, Our lady of Guadalupe so we have eight schools participating and we extended an invitation to all those schools within the town zones but those eight field it students for three categories.”

Corozal Cane Farmers Meet With BSI/ASR
Yesterday, over 300 cañeros in the Corozal District gathered at the Andres Campos Civic Center for a presentation by ASR Group with the objective to highlight the agreements brought to them for the purchase of sugar cane. As you can imagine after the presentation by members of ASR/BSI, cane farmers were given the opportunity to express their sentiment in respect to the agreement presented to them. Here is how that went. Cane Farmer- Corozal Branch “Señores nosotros tenemos que ver que es que vamos a firmar si es que queremos firmar, señores pongan mucha atención y lean bien porque estos señores hablan bonita aquí pero cuando están en la meza de negociaciones son otras personas si con nosotros que somos 18 directores contrabajo nos hacen caso que tal será con 300 grupos dijo el como iba ser con un grupo iba hablar para que todos queden de acuerdo, señores pongan ojo en estos papeles y consultemos que es lo bueno para nosotros.”

Muffles High School Celebrates Champions Week
This week is being celebrated as the second annual Champion’s Week at the Muffles High School. For the faculty and student population it means a heap of activities and events that encourages moral values, life skills and positive attitudes in and out of school. Today, the students were engaged in motivational talks, our newsteam were on hand to speak to the organizers. Yvette Hernandez – School Counselor “Champions week ad it is to motivate our students and to be the best they can be, you know usually you hear that adults are reminding student or what they do that is not acceptable, things that they do wrongly but then on the other hand who is motivating them to be better persons.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “But then what are the activities that they are engaged in?” Yvette Hernandez – School Counselor “Ok on Monday we started with an assembly we had guest speakers and on Tuesday we had a poem and a song competition and yesterday we had posters competition and today we are having religious day and we are having guest speakers also talking them and on Friday we will close off with a champions run around the town and we are going to continue with a sports day all day.”

DPM Demands Apology and Retraction From Cervantes Or Else
After damning allegations from the Cervantes family last week alleging that a sitting Government Minister was implicated with the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr, today the recording played was used against the family with a file claim to sue. On November 9th, Attorney Rodwell Williams of Barrow & Williams wrote to Ramon Cervantes Jr., threatening to sue on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. The letter spoke on the recording aired on several news stations and we quote, “in their natural and ordinary meaning, the words mean and were understood to mean that Minister Gaspar Vega: was 1. Connected to the Mexican mafia 2. Paid money for the killing of Ramon Cervantes Sr, 3. Sent someone to kill Ramon Cervantes Sr, 4. Is corrupting the police and 5. Is engaged in criminal activity,” end quote.


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#497925 - 11/14/14 10:51 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 14, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE FM

Scout Leader Charged With Sexual Assault
A Scouts leader in southern Belize has been charged with three counts of sexual assault. A 16yr. old Farmer of San Jose Village, Toledo District reported that at 5:50pm on 31.10.14, he went to Santa Cruz Community Center where he was to meet Martin Palma, his scout leader. Complainant stated that Palma gave him alcohol to drink and at 10:00pm on said date, he was awaken by Palma touching his chest and penis. Complainant stated that Palma told him that he will give him $1,000.00 for him to keep quiet. Police have since arrested and charged Martin Palma, 34yrs, Belizean Teacher of Forest Home Village with one count of Sexual Assault.

Ministry of Education Appeal To Secondary School Students
While the conference of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education is underway in Belize City, our Ministry of Education is making an appeal to parents and students of secondary schools who will need assistance in paying for their CSEC Examinations. According to the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, it is an initiative that was introduced but that very few parents are capitalizing on. PATRICK FABER “You will recall that the Prime Minister did say that we are going to be helping needy students with the CSEC exams. We intend to do this and we started from back in May and June where we along with the Ministry of Human Development asked parents to have their children from standard six at the time up to third form participate in a mean survey. Now the purpose of that mean survey was for people who wanted the help or people who needed the help to help the government to identify the needs. Now I will tell you that after these surveys were completed only about 40% of the students who were enrolled at the different levels, we are talking now only for the fourth form level those who were in third form last year at the time when they took the survey, so there were many who did not take advantage of the opportunity and those in the media know we made great strides to get the information out.

Petra Gill-Nunez; Missing For Approximately Eight Months
47-year-old Petra Gill Nunez has been reported missing. The family is concerned after they have been unable to get in touch with her for the past eight months. Her sister Yvonne Moore spoke with Love News. YVONNE MOORE “My sister has been missing for eight months now and her name is Petra Gill, that is the last name I know her by but through marriage and sometimes she uses Nunez but what concerns us about this disappearance is that she leaves sometimes but she has never gone for this long without communicating with a family member especially her son. She has one son that is close to her and even she is concerned that she is not communicating with her. The last time he talked to her his mom told him that she would go to Mexico but somebody told me they saw here after that time and she still did no communicate with anyone so that is surprising too. So because of that we are concerned about her. We would want if anybody saw her that the communicate with the family or police.” LEIGH-ANDRA GENTLE “Has she ever told you guys about anyone harassing her or complaining of any sort of thing that someone is stalking her?”

BSCFA Reacts To The Ceasing Of Negotiations Issued By BSI And ASR
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has reacted to a letter issued by BSI on Monday where the ASR backed sugar factory tells the association that it is ceasing negotiations and now seeks to sign individual commercial agreements with farmers. Chairman of the BSCFA Ezequiel Cansino read an excerpt of the letter they sent to BSI. EZEQUIEL CANSINO “We propose that we can still commence the crop on the basis of one year inter-agreement while we finalize the negotiations of the new agreement. Your intentions to proceed with other options to secure agreement for the supply of sugar cane to BSI effective the 2014-2015 crop is a blatant disrespect of our association.” But the issue here is that BSI is saying they have moved pass that position and the only thing it is willing to sign is a seven year contract, a commercial agreement BSCFA is not willing to consider. Chemist at BSCFA Javier Queme spoke on the issue. JAIER QUEME “We don’t have plan B. Our plan A is to start crop on time. That is our Plan A, we are ready to start the crop with the interim agreement we worked last year. It worked perfectly good, we have offered that option, we are ready to renew that interim agreement meantime these issues are being settled in the future. So we don’t want a seven year agreement, being tied up one time and them a negative impact come between the agreement that will be renewed by BSI and Tate & Lyle come next year. So we are prepared to sign an interim agreement, the past interim agreement last year it worked perfectly good and we are ready to sign again and renew it and we are ready to start the crop again once BSI is ready.”

Clothes Vendor of Cleghorn Street Charged With Theft
Thirty-three year old Tiffany Lamb, a clothes vendor of Cleghorn Street, who allegedly dishonestly appropriated five thousand three hundred and twenty dollars, was charged with twenty one counts of theft when she appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Lamb plead not guilty to the charges. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offenses are of a serious nature, the virtual complainant is a senior citizen and if granted bail it is believed that the defendant will interfere with prosecution witnesses. When asked to give a good reason why she should be granted bail, Lamb said the complainant is like an aunt to her and she has business to take care of. Senior Magistrate Fraser upheld the objection and she remanded Lamb into custody until January 21, 2015. The complainant, 73 year old Joyce Goff, reported to the police that between October 24 and November 3, five thousand three hundred and twenty dollars was withdrawn from her bank account by the use of her ATM card and it was without her permission. Goff said she and Lamb were friends and on several occasions she gave Lamb her ATM card and asked her to withdraw money for her.

Patrol In Western Belize; Police And BDF Soldiers Recovered Shotgun
Police officers and BDF Soldiers were on foot patrol about 600 meters from Tree Tops observation post in Western Belize when they came across two male persons walking on a track. Belizean authorities reportedly shouted at them to stop but one of the men persons dropped what appeared to be a shotgun and the two men escaped into the bushes at Santa Cruz Village, Guatemala. The Soldiers made checks and found a home-made 16 gauge shotgun with brown handle and brown stalk without brand or serial number; it was deposited as found property.

Two Houses Destroyed In Fire; Approximately Fifteen Homeless.
More than fifteen persons were left homeless today as a far destroyed two houses in Belize City. Fire fighters were called to number four Maskall Street where they saw two houses engulfed in flames. Hipolito Novelo has the story. LINTON MASKALL “I’m still feeling the trembling right now. I was surprised that it went down this fast and destroyed so many things.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “That is 40 year old Linton Maskall and he is speaking of the fire that destroyed his house and his mother’s house early this morning. The fire started just after mid night and Maskall says he was out buying fried chicken when he saw smoke coming from his house.” LINTON MASKALL “I dropped the chicken and everything and I ran home because I remembered that my sister was here with all her kids and I tried to run home and help here with all of the kids. So everybody made it out alive but we lost everything. My uncle said that he opened the door to come outside and when he opened the door, there was this big blaze of fire coming at him and he said the only way he could have gotten out was by stomping his way out through the window.”

Man Looses House To Early Morning Fire
There was a house fire early this morning in Belize City. According to reports, about 12:15 this morning, fire fighters were called to number four Maskall Street, where they saw two houses engulfed in flames. The flames subsequently spread to the two other houses in the yard. Initial investigation reveals that one of the home owners left his house sometime around midnight and upon returning a few minutes later, he met his house engulfed in flames, which was extinguished by Fire Department personnel. None of the houses or their contents were insured and no one was injured in the incident. Police are investigating.

Riot In Succotz Village; 20 Individuals Are Summond To Court
Back in August, residents of Succotz Village took to the streets, burnt tires and blocked the road after one of their own was killed and another seriously injured in a traffic accident. The accident involved the now suspended Assistant Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura, who was charged with manslaughter by Negligence, Causing Death by Careless Conduct, Driving a Motor Vehicle Without Due Care and Attention, Driving with Alcohol Concentration above the Prescribed Limit, Negligent, Grievous Harm and failing to alter direction to give way. Killed in the accident was 54-year-old Yolanda Valencia and injured was taxi driver, 28 year-old Yanie Cu. Believing that the legal process was not proceeding as it should be by getting Segura before the courts, residents staged a protest. That was over two months ago and now; those involved in the riot have been summoned to court to be charged. Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, told Love News that those involved committed a crime. COMPOL WHYLIE “Well they had no permits and their actions were illegal. We cannot allow people to break the law and get away with it. That is the purpose why we exercised restraint and we continue to investigate and we are satisfied and we will take those persons to the court.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Given the public sentiment, is the police department ready to receive the backlash that this might get because many of the Belizeans are saying that they vented their feelings because a police officer was involved in this accident, they believe they acted in their rights. Are you ready to receive that backlash?”

Man Shot In The Leg On North Front Street
There was a scare on North Front Street this afternoon as bullets rang out while tourists were making their way through the streets. When our news team arrived on the scene just after 2 o’clock, we were informed that two person had been shot. One of them is 22 year old Carl Lino and he is recuperating from a gunshot wound to the leg. Lino’s sister, 24 year old Diane Lino, told us off camera what she saw. DIANE LINO “When I heard the gun shot, the popping in my house, I ran outside and when I ran I saw everyone running out but I reached before everyone. I heard the guy say ‘Di tall black bwai we done shat ah, we done shat ah. Ih deh pan di ground inna di caana’.” MIKE RUDON “Who said that?” DIANE LINO “One of the police and now the police went around to where the house was because you can’t see. I ran and when I reached, I got to find out it was my brother. The police took out a gun from his side and put it on the ground and picked it up and said ‘See the fire arm here, he had this’.”

Belize Police Department Recieves Recording From Cervantes Family
Last week a scandalous accusation was made against a senior member of Government and several police officers. The Cervantas family in Orange Walk released a damning telephone recording between a man claiming to be Manuel Castillo- the man wanted for the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr., and widow of Ramon Cervantes Sr., Vilma Cervantes. The family has handed over the recording to the Belize Police Department. We caught up with Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie this morning and we asked him about it. HIPOLITO NOVELO “What sort of investigation is being followed in terms of ascertaining that it is Mr. Castillo?” COMPOL WHYLIE “Well that is one of the first things we have to establish. I know part of the investigation includes the investigators going and speaking not only with the Cervantes family, but with the Castillo family to see if they recognize his voice. Of course, the key is to locate Castillo and bring him in and then we continue from there.”

Police Walk; More Than Two Hundred Police Officers Participated
Early this morning more than two hundred police officers attached to all four precincts, participated in the first ever health Walk organized by the Belize Police Department. Love News spoke to Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie: ALLEN WHYLIE “As police officers, with all the work that we do sometimes, we don’t do enough time for physical exercise; so I hope that today is a catalyst for many of us including myself. I want to congratulate OC and her team who put this walk together and who invited me and I am glad to be a participant.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “What would be the overall message to the Belizean people about health walks?” ALLEN WHYLIE “I think it is important to know it doesn’t matter how busy we are that our health is important and we don’t realize what we are doing to our bodies until when we have some kind of medical illness or ailment and sometimes it’s too late; so I think prevention is better than cure and if it’s even a five or ten minute walk daily I think it’s very healthy.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Are you satisfied with the turn out?” ALLEN WHYLIE “Yes I am. It’s the first time it’s been organized. I spoke to the OC , the deputy and they said we need to try to do this more regularly. Perhaps after the New Year’s, we will invite our other security agencies to participate in a similar walk.”

Allen Explains Pre-Conference For Education Workshop Sessions
Yesterday we told you of the dozens of persons in the education sector who are in Belize from various Caribbean countries for an annual conference spearheaded by the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE – can-quate). Today marks the first of three days for the event which Belize’s Ministry of Education and the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions in Belize is hosting this year at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. Love News spoke to Doctor Ruby Allen, the President of CANQATE (can-quate) who explained to us that today’s session is the pre-conference and involves two workshop sessions. DR. RUBY ALLEN “We set aside a day before the conference which we call the day for the pre-conference workshops. Ideally over the years we’ve had one workshop but Belize is the country where we are piloting two workshops, one geared towards tertiary institutions and one geared towards the accreditation bodies. So the workshop for the institutions will be led by Dr. Susan Murphy, she comes out of the United States of America. She has a long history in accreditation and she is going to be dealing with assessing and improving student learning outcomes.

Cultural Day At UB Gears Towards Bringing Awareness To The Garifuna Culture
Students at the University of Belize are taking part in a cultural day, geared at bringing awareness to the Garifuna culture. With the story, we join Felix Mai. FELIX MAI “The student government of Belize Belmopan campus is having a cultural day today.” STUDENT GOVERNMENT “Today officially is the cultural diversity day here at the University of Belize and with the passing of the late King of Paranda Paul Nabor. we have decided to commemorate in a Garifuna mass, the first ever Garifuna mass to be held at the University of Belize and basically we have all the campuses throughout the campus of UB taking the mass. We have honorary guests, the administration of the University of Belize will be here attending the mass and like I said it is basically just to honor and pay respect and tribute to the late passing of Paul Nabor and also to the great king in Garifuna music Andy Palacio.

Whylie Motives To Put Active Measures At Caracol Archaeological Reserve
Several measures have been put in place at the Caracol Archaeological Reserve after the coldblooded murder of 19 year old Special Constable, Daniel “Danny” Connorquie. But those measures should have been placed before the unfortunate incident and many believe that if they were, Conorquie killings could have been prevented. A letter from Assistant Superintendent Diana Hall, Officer in Charge of the Tourism Police Unit, was sent to the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, warning Compol Whylie, of the dangers of the Guatemalans carrying out illegal activities close to the site. After hall’s excessive warnings, nothing was done and when we spoke to Whylie a few weeks back, he told us that he was looking into it. So today we asked him what he has found out so far. COMPOL WHYLIE “I am aware of the situation. Yes I can recall seeing that letter at some time prior and I know that I had passed some directives to one of the desk officers. I am still trying to confirm what action was done by the desk officer with that letter, but I do know that I had seen it.”

Dr. Ruby Allen Speaks of The Absence of National Accreditation in Education
When it comes to education in Belize, they are many aspects where improvement can be had both on the classroom level and on the national level and while this has been admitted by the minister, himself, Belize is still yet to establish a national accreditation body whose primary responsibility would be to monitor and evaluate the quality and the outputs from the various institutions. The absence of this national body in Belize, formed part of our discussion with the President of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Level Institutions (CANQATE), Dr. Ruby Aline. DR. RUBY ALLEN “Belize actually positioned itself very nicely in 2004 when you passed the legislation to establish your accreditation body. That was one of the early pieces of legislation in the region. Actually 2004 was the earliest year we had the new legislation coming in place, Caricom secretariat had given us a draft act and many countries had adapted that act. Since then though Belize hasn’t actually established the body so while you have quality assurance mechanisms in place in your institutions there is no national body with that responsibility of quality assurance yet in accordance with the act that you have. So I know that those persons in the ministry have been looking at when you establish that body.”

Ortega’s Demand’s Intervention From Prime Minister
During today’s press conference, two term chairperson of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega, lashed out at the government in not looking at the best interest of the farmers. Ortega is demanding intervention of the Prime Minister in order to save the industry. ALFREDO ORTEGA “It is very important to see the arrogant behavior of these people from BSI. They are now coming like wolves trying to eat up the cane farmers and how they are looking after this. They are coming with the cane farmers now as if they are angels in heaven trying to protect the farmers without coming to the association by passing the association which represents the farmers in the North, in the country and abroad but what they are looking for is their own interest and I would like to call the attention of our Prime Minister and the Government of Belize, this association from since we have been fair trade certified we have spent millions of dollars on our sugar roads which is the government of Belize that should take care of the sugar roads for the farmers because all of us as farmers we pay our taxes to the government of Belize, we pay our taxes to the nation of Belize versus BSI/ASR who are not paying anything to the country, not even the environmental tax.

PlusTV

3 teens accuse scout leader of sexual assault
A Toledo Scout leader and teacher is being accused by at least three teenage boys that the scouts leader sexually molested them while they were on a scouts camp in Santa Cruz village. All three incidents reportedly happened on October 31. The first incident happened at 4:30 pm that Friday. A 17yr. old Belizean Student of San Jose Village, Toledo District reported that he arrived at Santa Cruz Village along with 34 year old Martin Palma, his scout leader. The 17 year old stated that he smelt the strong aroma of alcohol on Palma’s breath, and decided to go walk through a short cut from Santa Cruz Village to San Jose Village, but Palma followed him. The minor further stated that Palma walked up to him and put his hands around his neck and began touching his lips and cheeks at which time Palma told the minor that he was a rich man and he will give the minor $1,000.00 to keep quiet. The second incident happened at 8 pm that night. This time, the victim was a 16 year old Belizean Scout of San Jose Village, Toledo District. He told police that at 8:00pm, while camping at the community center in Santa Cruz Village, he was awakened by Martin Palma, the scout leader, touching him on the chest and loosening his belt buckle. The 16 year old said that Palma told him that he would give him $1,000.00 to keep quiet.

Police guard Carl Lino at KHMH
On Wednesday we reported on a shooting incident in Belize City, but details were sketchy at the time of the report. On Thursday, police released information on the latest shooting incident. At about 2:15 pm on Wednesday 12th November, shots were fired on North Front Street. 28 year old Andrew Tate of Belize City was shot to the back of his head, and was transported to KHMH. Carl Lino was also shot to the leg. Police say that Andrew Tate Was riding a bicycle on North Front Street towards the direction of Swing Bridge, when he was pursued by a lone gun man, who fired three shots at him, hitting him to the back of the head. The gunman then ran in the direction of Pinks Alley, where he was pursued by police foot patrol in the area and police shot Lino to the leg. Carl Lino was taken to the KHMH by the police. 22 year old Carl Lino remains under guard at KHMH. A point 38 special revolver that allegedly fell from Lino’s hand was retrieved by the police. Andrew Tate is listed in a stable condition also at KHMH.

Teen charged for shooting BDF volunteer
18 year old Deshay Williams, aka “Shady”, is spending Christmas in prison after being charged with attempted murder. The Banak Street resident and Cisco Construction worker is accused of attempting to murder and causing dangerous harm and using deadly means of harm against Stanley Alexander Flowers, Jr. on Wednesday evening around 6:45, a few hours after the double shooting on North Front Street, Belize City. According to Stanley Flowers, he was standing at the corner of Gibnut Street and Fuller’s Lane, having ridden his bicycle on Gibnut Street from the direction of Dolphin Street heading towards Curassow Street, when 3 men approached him and one of them, identified as Deshay Williams, fired several shots at him. Stanley Flowers was shot twice in his right hand. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer remanded Williams into custody until January 23, 2015, his next court date.

Truck driver charged for 2011 accident
Nearly four years ago, Wayne Williams was killed after crashing into a parked water truck on the George Price Highway. Police have now formally laid charges against the driver, 41 year old Ervan Augustine of the Maxboro area of Sandhill, Belize District. Ervan Augustine is charged with manslaughter by negligence and causing death by careless conduct. On December 6, 2011, Mr Augustine parked the vehicle on the right side of the highway between miles 28 and 29, but did not leave on any lights to indicate that it was there. Wayne Williams died after crashing into the parked vehicle. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer set bail at $5,000. Augustine returns to court on January 20, 2015.

Corwin Mendoza’s body retrieved from Belize River
His family was hoping against all hope that 24 year old Corwin Mendoza, who was reported missing since Sunday evening, would turn up alive despite all evidence suggesting otherwise. But on Wednesday, some minutes before 10:00 am, his decomposing body was found floating in the Belize River about a mile from the Guanacaste Park Area. There was an air of mixed emotions as family members and close friends of the now deceased Corwin Mendoza gathered to witness the body retrieved from the waters. Plus News went along with first responders to bring you on sight footage, however we ran into some mishap as we were given the old run around by authorities of the law. We finally caught up with the family at the edge of the Banana Bank Resort where the body was to be processed. There we spoke with Eduardo Baptist, uncle of Corwin Mendoza. He joined the search party on Tuesday and was the first to spot the body about a mile from the Guanacaste Park Area.

Afternoon shooting leaves one dead
On Wednesday afternoon there was a shooting incident in Belize City on North Front Street at its junction with an alley known as Eden Site. One person was apparently shot dead and another injured, reportedly by police, around 2:15. Details are sketchy at this point, but we understand that a young man was apparently shot in the alley and police chased his alleged attacker and shot him in the leg. Since police have released no official details, we will refrain from calling the name of the alleged attacker, but we have obtained an interview with a sister who denies that he had anything to do with what happened. She explains her version of events, including a major accusation against police.

PUP supports Cane Farmers Association
On Wednesday afternoon we spoke with Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, on the ongoing power struggle in the sugar industry between Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA). Mr Fonseca says a third partner in the industry, the Government in the guise of the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) and Ministry of Agriculture, is noticeably silent, and he wants to know why. Francis Fonseca – Leader of the People’s United Party “I think the problem today is that the Government of Belize, who is an integral part of that partnership, is missing in action. The farmers themselves have been calling for the Sugar Industry Control Board to get engaged in this process. They have been missing in action. The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Vega, has been missing in action. His deputy Hugo Patt, whom I believe sits on the Sugar Industry Control Board, has also been missing in action.

Four houses in one yard catch fire
More than ten persons are homeless after a fire erupted early Wednesday morning in a family yard on Maskall Street in the Port Loyola area of Belize City. According to police, around 12:15 a.m. on Wednesday they responded to the fire, which had engulfed two of four houses in the yard: a wooden house with zinc roofing, belonging to Linton Maskall, 40 year old security guard with the Education Department; and a green-painted wooden house with zinc roofing, belonging to Carol Maskall, 37 years, domestic worker; both of which were engulfed and completely destroyed. Linton Maskall had gone out to buy food and describes what he saw on his return. Linton Maskall Sr. – Victim of House Fire “I went to get me some food, and on my way back I saw a blaze. I put my food down and I ran to see where the fire came from. I saw it was burning my house. I couldn’t do nothing to it at that moment, because it was already through the whole house. It didn’t take too long to hit my mom’s house. [My children] had come out of the house at that time, because when they felt the heat the big one jumped up and he started to wake the next little one there. They reached up to my mom’s house, and called for my little sister. She started to wake up all the kids and they went through the back door. Bu the time the last kid get out, the flames reached my mother’s house.”

Patrick JonesPJ

Belmopan residents pay tribute to TV Ramos
Residents of Belmopan joined their voices and energies tonight (November 13th, 2014) as they paid tribute to Thomas Vincent Ramos the founder of Garifuna Settlement Day. Other local heroes like Mr. Francis Arana, Sr., Mrs. Thomas Nunez, Mr. Bernard Palacio among others were also honoured for their […]

Policeman accused of careless driving
Constable Wilbert Chan faces several charges for a traffic mishap two weeks ago that left a man injured. The 34 year old pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to driving without due care and attention, negligent harm and failure to conform to a traffic sign. On October […]

Police update on North Front shooting
Police have formally named both the suspect and victim in a shooting on Wednesday afternoon in Belize City. 28 year old Andrew Tate, a laborer of Far West Street, was shot and wounded in the back of his leg while riding a bicycle on North Front Street toward […]

Workers of shut-down BPO company to meet over labour issues
A meeting has been planned for the end of this week between 30 former employees of a relatively new BPO start-up, Accutel BPO and its main owner, Emory Castillo of Belmopan. The company began in May and hired its first workers in September to act as agents to respond […]

Truck driver charged for 2011 accident
Nearly four years ago, Wayne Williams was killed after crashing into a parked water truck on the George Price Highway. Police have now formally laid charges against the driver, 41 year old Ervan Augustine of the Maxboro area of Sandhill, Belize District. Augustine is charged with manslaughter by […]

Teen charged for shooting BDF volunteer
18 year old Deshay Williams, aka “Shady”, is spending Christmas in prison after being charged with attempted murder. The Banak Street resident and Cisco Construction worker is accused of attempting to murder and causing dangerous harm and using deadly means of harm against Stanley Alexander Flowers, Jr. on […]

Another phase of the national cattle sweep commences
A third cattle sweep for the country is currently being undertaken. Today, that third phase was launched at Doni Urbina’s Farm on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project is a European Union-backed initiative of the Government of Belize designed to promote Belize’s […]

Teacher accused of sexually assaulting teenage boys
A teacher from Forest Home village, Toledo has been arrested and charged following reports that he sexually assaulted three teenage boys. The incidents all happened on October 31 and the two 16 year old and the 17 year old told police that the teacher, who is also […]

Stage is set for Battle of the Drums in Punta Gorda
Plans are being finalized for the staging of the annual Battle of the Drums extravaganza this weekend in Punta Gorda town. The Sport Auditorium in Punta Gorda town will be pulsating with the beating of the Garifuna drums on Saturday night as groups from Belize, Honduras and Guatemala […]

PUP responds to national issues
This afternoon, we spoke with Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca in Belize City on several current national issues. We begin with the ongoing power struggle in the sugar industry between Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), with the sugar producers taking their case directly to […]

Afternoon shooting leaves two injured
Police have confirmed that a shooting incident in Belize City yesterday afternoon left two men injured, one critically. The shooting on North Front Street at its junction with an alley known as Eden Site happened around 2:15. One person was shot in the head and another injured in […]

Woman accused of theft from senior citizen
A woman accused of stealing from a woman more than twice her age was remanded without bail on theft charges. 33 year old Tiffany Lamb was charged with 21 counts of theft to which she pleaded not guilty. According to 73 year old Joyce Goff, she routinely asked […]

Pre-dawn fire on Maskall Street leaves families homeless
More than ten persons are homeless after a fire erupted early this morning in a family yard on Maskall Street in the Port Loyola area. According to police, around 12:15 a.m. today they responded to the fire, which had engulfed two of four houses in the yard: a […]

GIS Expo targets future users
Today is Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day, and to build awareness with future users of the technology, the leading firm in GIS application and technology in Belize, Total Business Solutions Limited, hosted a GIS Information Expo for upper primary and secondary school institutions at the Ramada Princess Hotel. […]

Blogs

7 Amazing Photos of Belize
Amazingworldsite.com a site that features astonishing photos and videos of popular attractions around the world featured Belize and captured the fascinating beauty of the country in 7 images. Belize is a country on the eastern coast of Central America. It is the only country in Central America whose official language is English, though Belizean Creole (Kriol) and Spanish are also commonly spoken. Here are the images by author Pete Morison published on November 7th:

“Shine a Light” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
We think that there’s likely to be around ten of us but it’s not going to be too much work for us (I mean Rose of course. I’m just using the royal ‘we’). Why? Well, Nanda, another of the BATSUB team is going to do the cooking. Nanda is a Gurka and obviously as such originates from Nepal,and is going ,as much as he is able to with the ingredients available, cook a traditional Nepalese meal. Now I don’t know about you but I’ve never tried Nepalese cuisine so I’m really looking forward to it. I understand its a fusion of Indian, Chinese and Tibetan cuisine. My mouth is starting to salivate already. Obviously there’ll be some photos (be warned though that they’ll likely be taken very quickly – I need to make sure I get some on my plate!). With the chores for the day taken care of Rose and I got ourselves ready and headed to ‘Town to meet friends at The Blue Water Grill.

One Beautiful Day in Hopkins Village, Belize and A Fantastic Spot to Stay
Monday morning, I woke EARLY to catch the very first bus out of Placencia. I’d spent three fantastic nights at the VERY comfortable Casa Placencia in a studio apartment…all in one of my favorite colors AND a screened in porch/lounge… and REALLY enjoyed the village. Time to head out but I had one stop before making my way back to San Pedro…an IMPORTANT stop. In the village of Hopkins, Belize. The bus is going to Dangriga and you ask to be dropped off at the Hopkins Junction – along the highway. It doesn’t get you to Hopkins, that’s an additional 5 miles down an almost paved road. Here, you have options. You can call a taxi – the number is posted on the bus stop. They will charge you $20bzd. Or…you can wait with the others that are at the stop for a ride. People making the turn down to Hopkins generally slow down so people can jump in the car…or in the back of the pick-up truck. Many resorts in Hopkins are located at the very far end of Hopkins, actually an area called Sittee Point – a lovely area but a 10 minute bike ride to “downtown” Hopkins. Coconut Row is perfect…and so convenient to the tiny village.

Scuba Diving in Ambergris Caye Belize
If you have ever been to Belize, a great spot to begin is in Ambergris Caye Belize. It offers interesting topside attractions and great diving opportunities that will keep you busy during those surface intervals. Ambergris Caye is the most popular spot in the country for scuba diving, offering various diving like blue holes, reefs, walls and more. If you have never been to Belize before, start in Ambergris Caye. Divers and nature lovers alike would love to explore this beautiful vacation destination. Ambergris Caye is the biggest island of San Pedro Belize, measuring about 25 miles long and 1 mile wide. Still, it is a relatively small island to easily explore. The town of Ambergris Caye is San Pedro, and is lies near the southern tip. San Pedro Belize has three main roads running parallel to the beach and the reef. They have more tourist oriented names now, but many locals still call them by their old names. The 3 main street streets are Front Street (Barrier Reef Drive), Middle Street (Pescador Drive), and Back Street (Angel Coral). The barrier reef lies just offshore from Ambergris. It is about a half mile easy from the shore so boat rides to most dive site are short.

Updated pictures of our renovation! (If you haven't booked already....you may when you see them!) :)
While we are still waiting on an actual professional to get some pictures of our place, I did my amateur best in the meantime :) We have been having a ball with our first guests, and everyone seems to be having a great time. We had Kris and Rick, honeymooning from Cleveland, and they did Cockscomb and ATM--loved both tours and highly recommend them. We also have Elaine and Martin from B.C., and they have been wonderful guests. They are here until Saturday, and they have done Cockscomb, Belize Ocean Club, we had a beach cookout last night, and they have kayaked and swam every day. The weather has been AMAZING! The beach has been perfect, so we are thrilled with the first couple weeks. Our guests may be going on a sunset cruise with Robert's Grove later today, and perhaps Monkey River. I am very proud of living in Placencia and showing it off! We are booked pretty solidly through April at this point and hating to turn down guests whose dates are already filled. Maybe time to look at some extra cabanas next season!

International Sourcesizz

Saving the World, One Park at a Time
Five thousand people have gathered in Sydney, Australia, to save the world. Not in some metaphorical or whimsical way but in the real sense. The secret weapon being discussed at the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress: protected areas. Currently, there are about 200,000 terrestrial and marine protected areas. These parks cover 15 percent of the land on earth and 3 percent of the world's oceans; they harbor approximately 80 percent of all threatened bird, mammal, and amphibian species. To the conservation world, these designated areas are the last great hope for biodiversity - where elephants, tigers, gorillas, and sharks can roam free without the threat of their habitats being destroyed or being poached by criminals. When parks are sufficiently funded and staffed, the results can provide conservationists with important models for how to protect natural resources. Successful examples of well-managed protected areas include: Glover's Reef Seascape lies at the heart of the largest coral reef system in the Western Hemisphere, just 28 miles off the coast of Belize. An astounding 800 patch coral reefs dot its waters, which encompass 12,500 acres. Glover's Reef is a critical nursery and feeding ground for sea turtles, sharks and rays, and numerous fish species that gather in huge numbers. Hundreds of licensed fishermen rely on these waters to support their livelihoods. The seascape is also a centerpiece of ecotourism within the greater Belize Barrier Reef - a must-see visitor destination.

Videos

Video: Snorkeling at Caye Caulker in Belize, 1.5min.

Video: Cave Tubing entrance to St. Herman's Cave in Belize, 1/4min.
Heading down to cave tube in St. Herman's cave.

Video: Oceana - Garifuna Settlement Day, 1min.

Video: Belize di run outta Fish...., 7.5min.
A Belizean once said "There are many Fish in the sea" Not any more, and certainly not in Belize's Coastal waters... The Mexicans in the North are rippin us off,the Guats. in the south are rippin us off by the hundreds of tons... Even Honduras is rippin us off,every day... And our Coast Guard are acting impotent...

Video: Belize 2014, 5min.
from Adam Mickley

Video: Belize 2014 - Justin and Sabrina's Wedding Trip, 10min.
A fantastic trip to Belize to celebrate Justin and Sabrina's wedding.

Video: Belize 2014, Part II Lighthouse Reef Atoll & the Great Blue Hole, 4min.
Diving & Snorkeling Lighthouse Reef Atoll & the Great Blue Hole


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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