#497970 - 11/15/14 10:32 AM
Today's Belize News: November 15, 2014
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
BTL responds to SMART
On November 12th, 2014 Speednet Communications Limited (“Speednet”) issued a press release in which Speednet made a number of unfounded and misleading statements regarding the termination of DTN links provided to Speednet by Belize Telemedia Limited (“BTL”).
On July 27th, 2014 BTL began providing DTN links to Speednet between Belize City and Punta Gorda as a normal retail service. At no time during the negotiations or subsequent to the provision of the service did Speednet inform BTL that it had terminated its service with its previous providers.
The relevant portion of BTL’s network between Independence and Punta Gorda has been experiencing continuous deterioration of the fiber infrastructure causing limited capacity. BTL recently doubled‐up the Internet bandwidth to our broadband customers which caused a spike in current bandwidth usage. Due to increased demands on its network, BTL can no longer provide the DTN Lines to Speednet while adequately satisfying its own demands and requirements in providing quality telecommunications services.
National Garifuna Council San Pedro Branch releases calendar of events
The San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council has released their calendar of events leading up to national Garifuna Settlement Day celebrated on November 19th. The events are being organized in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council through the San Pedro Cultural Committee. The national celebration is being conducted under the theme “Mibe La Yanu. Awanse La Wadagimanu. BungiuWaba, WagiaLarigi – Let’s not just talk. Let the work progress. God before us and we behind.” The events include drumming through the streets and at business places on Ambergris Caye from the 11th to the 14th of November. On the 13th of November there will be Garifuna Literacy Night, which includes a translation contest for primary school students, as well as storytelling for adults. Both events both take place at the Central Park. There will also be radio and television appearances by organizers of this year’s celebration on November 13th. On November 14th Belizeans are asked to participate in the National Garifuna Awareness Day by wearing yellow, black and white outfits – the Garifuna colors.
The season is looking delicious with Casa Picasso!
In their fourth year of operation as owners of Casa Picasso restaurant, Jackie and Adam Feldman have continued to up the ante when it comes to their food, ambiance and great service. On their opening night, nearly 200 people mingled and helped kick off the season in grand fashion. New and repeat patrons enjoyed delicious appetizers – oh those sweet pork buns and tart-fresh octopus spring rolls! Those were just a hint at the wonderful flavors to come for the new season. It was so busy and the conversations so intriguing that I missed quite a few of the yummy apps passing around (but I know where there’s more)! Drinks were icy and refreshing – holy spicy margarita! And as always, the hugs from Jackie and Adam were warm and welcoming.
SPRCS holds annual All Saints Fair
On Friday November 7th, the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) held their annual All Saints Day Fair. A day set aside to honour the saints and those who have passed on, All Saints Day is a festive holiday observed by The Roman Catholic Church. The fair was introduced to the SPRCS some nine years ago to take the place of the school’s Halloween fair. Open to the students and the public, the fair is one of the largest annual fundraising events for the school. Gates opened at 5PM for the crowd that couldn’t wait to show up to the highly anticipated event.
With plenty of food, desserts and drinks on sale, there was something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. And for those that came out for the games and prizes, every classroom had a game station with lots of prizes to go around. In the spirit of the day, students also dressed in finely crafted costumes depicting biblical saints and angels. Throughout the evening, poems, songs and short skirts were recited as the audience applauded the little performers.
San Pedro Cadets receive donation from All Things ATM Belize
John and Dawn Kennedy of All Things ATM Belize have taken much interest in San Pedro Youth Cadet Corps and made substantial donations to the group. Since its inception on February 2014, the corps has grown substantially and now has over 20 members. The cadet corps was formed by the collaboration of the San Pedro Neighborhood Watch Committee and the San Pedro Police Department, to promote youth involvement in the community and as a preventative for youth crime. On Saturday, October 11th Dawn Kennedy presented Cadet Instructor, Police Constable (PC) Juan Chuc with a check for $500. The donation will be used to acquire uniforms for the new recruits as well for other expenses that the cadets incur. According to Deputy in Charge of Police, Inspector Henry Jemmott, the assistance received for the Kennedy’s is essential to the continued growth of the group. “Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy have taken great interest in the San Pedro Youth Cadet Corps. We need support like this from the community. The cadet program can be so beneficial to the island community for keeping children out of trouble and away from criminal activity, but it needs the support of the community in order for the program to keep going,” said Inspector Jemmott. The cadet program had been dormant in San Pedro for nearly five years before it was re-started.
Raquel Badillo to represent Belize at Miss World 2014
On Saturday November 8th, Raquel Badillo was officially crowned Miss World Belize 2014. The crowning ceremony took place at Fido’s Restaurant and Bar where Badillo, her sponsors, family and friends gathered for the evening ceremony. Set to be Belize’s delegate at the 64th edition of The Miss World Pageant in London England, Badillo expressed her enthusiasm to be representing her country at the historical arena.
The pageant will take place on December 14th at the ExCeL ICC Auditorium, where Miss Belize will join over 120 contestants from around the world. “As you all may know, I have been given the glorious opportunity of representing Belize as a country and as a community. I appreciate the opportunity that this beautiful place I am lucky enough to call home, and its citizens whom I see as a family, has given me to show the world what Belize truly has to offer,” said a grateful Badillo.
Belize Hits 1 Million Mark in Tourist Arrivals!
As of October 2014, Belize has seen one million visitors into the country, through overnight and cruise arrivals, two months earlier than forecasted.
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 forecasted 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.
Caye Caulker Ocean Academy Wins Awards for Aquatic Tourism
Caye Caulker Ocean Academy High School's Aquatic Tourism Program has won the prestigious Beyond Sports 2014 Award in the category Sport for Education (sponsored by UNICEF). The Beyond Sport Awards celebrate and reward the best projects from around the world that use sport to bring about positive social change.
Ocean Academy's project was selected from 350 entries spanning 70 countries. School founders Joni Miller and Heidi Curry were invited to Johannesburg, South Africa October 28-30 for the Awards ceremony and they represented Belize on an international panel addressing the theme of how sports can inspire youth to become leaders in their communities.
Misc Belizean Sources
Home Depot Opens branch in Chetumal
The Corozal Daily had the pleasure of witnessing the historic inaugural ceremonies by the Governor of Quintana Roo - Roberto Borge Angulo, accompanied by The Home Depot’s General Director, Ricardo Saldívar Escajadillo, which is the third Home Depot branch to open in the State of Quintana Roo and the 110th in the country of Mexico. The opening of the branch cost approximately two hundred and ten million pesos (210 million pesos equivalent to over $34,400,000.00BZ) and will provide employment for approximately 230 Chetumaleños.
The Governor thanked the executives of the commercial chain for their confidence and asked them to continue to invest in Quintana Roo, providing jobs and expanding the range of the locals’ buying opportunities and choices.
The Chief Executive reiterated that Quintana Roo has provided a safe and fertile environment for investment opportunities and that the State’s local government State guarantees that the process and procedures are carried out in a timely manner. This is partly due to continuous improvement in our local regulations.
Hasta La Media Noche 2014
As part of La Festival De La Hispanidad Y Mestisaje, COLCHA held its Hasta La Media Noche Musical Concert on November 8th 2014. The concert featured our local favorite Caribbean Roots Band and Grupo Bernakoolo from Q.Roo. COLCHA would like to thank all the hundreds of supporters that came out for this event all the sponsors who made it possible. COLCHA is constantly motivated by the overwhelming public support that keeps us striving higher and higher each year!!
"Island City" coming soon
... the sign says. Interesting to see that Island Supermarket transforms to next.
Financial Stability Board to propose stricter capital rules for global banks
The Financial Stability Board, a panel made up of central bankers, finance officials and top regulators from the world’s largest economies, plans to announce proposals Monday that would double the amount of money that large banks would be required to have on hand to absorb losses, reports New York Times.
The purpose of the new rules, which would not take effect until 2019 at the earliest, is to curtail risk-taking and protect taxpayers from having to bail out large banks in times of crisis, as happened on a grand scale during the financial crisis in 2008.
The new proposals, which have been hinted at for several weeks, aim to shift the burden of bank failures so that it falls more squarely on bank investors and the banks themselves. But the proposals are certain to face stiff opposition from the banking industry, which is likely to argue that the rules would force banks to curb lending, hurting economic growth. Banks and other interested groups have until Feb. 2 to submit comments on the rules.
Belmopan area Power Interruption Sunday
Power Interruption 6:00am to 12:00 noon, Sunday November 16: entire City of Belmopan, La Democracia, Franks Eddy, Saint Matthews, Cotton Tree, Valley of Peace, Roaring Creek, Camalote, Teakettle, Arizona, Ontario, Buena Vista, Blackman Eddy, Unitedville, Armenia. BEL to replace utility poles and equipment, adjust high voltage lines, install lightning arresters and conduct maintenance works at Belmopan Substation.
Cayo’s Missing Teen
15 year old Vanessa Wagner is 5 feet two inches in height, has black shoulder length hair, a mole on the right cheek near her nose and weighs about 82 pounds.
She was wearing her school uniform, a white button down blouse, a brown checkered skirt and a pair of black shoes. Wagner was last seen with a male companion at 3:35 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12th, walking on the George Price Highway heading towards San Ignacio Town. If anyone knows her location please contact her father, Michael Wagner of Esperanza Village or the nearest Police Station.
Teachers in Corozal get CYCAS motivational Training
We are thankful to the fantastic team work of Corozal CYCAS and the enthusiastic collaboration of principals, managers, sponsors; SIRDI, Saint Francis Credit Union, BNTU Rural, St. Viator High School, CTV3 and of course, the great expertise of Pastor David Green and Veronica Ochoa.
Belize Optimist National Championship
A female emerges as National Optimist Champion for the first time ever in Belize, Placencia. With light winds on her side and revealing that she is a skilful tactician to contend with, 14 yr old Blanca Velasquez of San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), emerged as the new National Optimist Champion in Belize. After two days of 6 races November 8th and 9th and coping with 3-6 knot winds, the field of 15 racers that qualified to compete for the nationals tried every trick in the book to get underway. Blanca consistently took either 1st or 2nd place, slipping to third once in the last race of the regatta. This was enough for her to cruise into 1st place overall.
Two competing sailors closely pursued Blanca during the regatta, but 15 yr. old Chritian Trejo of SPJSC settled for 2nd Place, and 2013 National Champ, 13 yr. old Trent Hardwick of Belize Sea Scouts, took the 3rd place and now relinquishes the Deny Bradley perpetual Trophy to Blanca.
The other Top 10 finishers were: Faith Noel and Jerdon Anderson both of SPJSC finished 4th and 5th place, respectively. Antonio Ricardez and Nashira Ricardez of the Belize City Sailing Club took 6th and 7th place, respectively; Christopher Young of Corozal Bay Sailing Club finished 8th and Tyler Garbutt and Patrick Rhamdas of Placencia Sailing Club took 9th and 10th place, respectively.
Human Remains Found In Maskall - Police Asking Families of Missing Persons For Help
Tonight, Ladyville Police are doing their best to come up with an identity for the person whose remains were found burnt and disposed of in a remote location outside of Maskall Village.
An on-site autopsy was completed by Dr. Mario Estradabran this afternoon, but nothing conclusive was found. This evening, we spoke with the Police Public Relations Coordinator Douglas Hyde about what information they have at this time and how you can help.
Douglas Hyde - Police Press Officer
"Police received information at 1:30 today, some human bones were found half miles from Maruba Resort about 100 feet off the road where garbage is thrown and the body seems to be partially burned. Dr. Estradabran has done a post mortem on the human bones and the results were inconclusive. The results have also indicated that the bones have been there about a little a year or less than a year."
"Have you guys been able to follow any leads as to who this individual might be?"
Douglas Hyde - Police Press Officer
"Based on the information received from Dr. Estradabran, we have also called in the recent missing persons, their families to come and identify more or less the body or the bones along with the remains that were there to see if it is the persons that were missing and so far the recent missing persons have not been the persons identify with these remains that were there."
Sentenced to 18 Months In Jail, Cops Gets Bail 6 Weeks Into Sentence
A police corporal who was convicted and sent to jail for 18 months is out tonight after only 6 weeks because the Supreme Court granted him a stay of execution and bail.
His attorney, Anthony Sylvester who is appealing his 18 month conviction argued before the Supreme Court today that it is likely that by the time his appeal comes up for hearing, Cpl. Martinez will have served his 18 month sentence. With that, Justice Herbert Lord heard the bail application and set bail at $6,000 dollars for the convicted cop.
Cpl. Martinez was convicted on September 30, 2014 by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. She found him guilty of the offense of attempting to corrupt WPC Stacey Smith, a member of the GSU.
ASR/BSI Tells Cane Farmers It Will Have A New Deal By Nov 21
Tomorrow, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association will have a general membership meeting in San Juan village in the Corozal District. And while it is pushing for everyone to come out - ASR/BSI is pushing back. Today the company sent out an announcement to cane farmers in which it makes it clear it is willing to make adjustments to the 18 page contract it circulated at meetings earlier this week.
So the new deal from ASR/BSI is that the consultation period extended until Tuesday, November 18th. After that, the company will factor in input from the farmers, and will issue a final agreement by Friday 21 November.
This is a change because at first they said the contract they put out this week was not subject to change.
But two things that won't change are the ownership of the cane and the proposed payment for bagasse. ASR's Vice President of International Relations told us as much by phone from the UK this evening:
Mac McLachlan - International Relations Advisor, ASR
"If the question Jules is about ownership then we are very clear, every industry in the world have to own its sugar otherwise it can't contract to sell it. And the second thing bagasse; we have come to a natural impasse on bagasse. We are not going to get any further and we are wasting time preparing for the future of the industry. And that why we are not prepare to countenance what we tried last year and it fail, so there is no point in trying again this year. We are responding to cane farmers and that we believe it's their constitutional right to do that. We don't believe in intimidation and threats and that's why we are offering a choice." The announcement to farmers notes that quote, "Where BSI has not been able to accommodate suggested changes, a full explanation will be provided."
Teenaged Girl From Esperanza Found In Dangriga With Constable
Last night we told you the distressing story of Vanessa Wagner, the 15 year old high schooler who had left school in the company of an adult policeman - and over 24 hours later, had still not returned home. Neither did her parents know where to find her - and based on messages she sent to friends - she also claimed to not know where she was.
Well after we put her picture on the news last night, the family got a call saying she had been seen at a home in Ladyville. They called police who zoomed to that location, but found that she and the police constable had already left. This morning, the family got another call saying she was seen at a home in Dangriga - it turns out he was lured there by a friend who tipped off the cops. Police from that formation went to the residence where they recovered Vanessa and detained the policeman she was with. Her family went down to Dangriga to pick her up - and she is with them tonight. Her father tells us she is safe and unharmed and they are taking her home now.
Tourism: a Game Of Inches?
In sports, it is often said that it's a game of inches - and just so in the caving business where last week, the 48 inch requirement for entering a tour of the Nohoch Che'en caves became a national headline. Local tour operators said the rule was taking away their only competitive advantage: which is the ability to take on full family tours.
Well FECTAB reports that NICH has - so to speak - caved in to their demands. NICH has reportedly sent a letter to FECTAB President Tom Greenwood saying that there will be an amnesty on the implementation of the 48 inch rule until the end of December, 2014.
In the interim, both sides will work to reach a mutually agreeable accommodation. FECTAB is expected to have a press conference next week to discuss their options.
Man Charged For Traffic Fatality Three Years Later
It took police almost 3 years, but they say that they finally have enough evidence against Ervan Augustine, the driver in the traffic accident which killed 45 year-old Wayne Williams on the evening of in December 6, 2011.
Viewers may remember that terrible accident. The water truck that Augustine was driving had been parked in the West-bound lane of the highway after one of its back wheels broke off. Reports were that the truck was left in the lane until darkness fell. Williams was driving his Toyota Tacoma toward Belmopan, and when he arrived at mile 28, the truck suddenly came into his field of vision on a dark section of the road. He swerved into the lane of the incoming traffic and slammed into the driver's side of loaded Westline Bus heading to Belize City.
Call Center Workers Say They Will Be Paid Off In Two Weeks
Last night we told you about the ACCETEL workers who are rallying to get their pay and social security.
Well, Owner Emroy Castillo met with the workers today and they signed a contract stipulating that Castillo will pay the workers in two weeks' time, on November 28th. According to the one of the workers we spoke with today, social security payments have still not been finalized - though Castillo told us otherwise yesterday.
Whatever the case, the employee said that after they are paid off, they will request letters of termination and move on.
Panama, The Harpy Eagle At 11
Panama turned 11 today. Now if you are not quite sure 'who' Panama is, he is the most famous Harpy Eagle in Belize. To mark this occasion, the Belize Zoo threw him a party; not with confetti, cake or ice cream but with the warm presence of his human friends.
Courtney Weatherberne reporting
These students are here to celebrate Panama's 11th birthday at the Belize Zoo. Although there were recreational activities for the kids, it wasn't your usual birthday party celebration, but a celebration nonetheless of this majestic creature.
Sharon Matola, Founding Director, Belize Zoo
"Well I raised Panama, so he is a special boy to me and its very satisfying to see kids share a love, a likeness, a bond of compassion for a bird that looks like he could pick you up and drop you on the floor right - he wouldn't do that. He is a terrific symbol and a wonderful ambassador for Harpy eagles everywhere."
At first sight, Panama may seem intimidating with his 5 inch talons, sharp curved beak, 6 foot wing span and piercing eyes. But according to his caretakers, these attributes don't define his character.
Police Impound Vehicle With 3lbs Weed
This morning police moved on a Toyota RAV 4, which was parked on Nurse Findley Crescent in the Port Loyola Area of Belize City. It wasn't for bad parking - but because the RAV 4 had a major weed stash inside - over one kilo. Police say they were waiting for the owner who lives in the area to turn up - but they believe he was deliberately eluding apprehension. Late this morning, they impounded the vehicle and found over three pounds of marijuana inside.
Police say they know who the owner is and are seeking him for questioning.
Police Constable Failed To Stop, Knocked Down Man
34 year-old Police Constable Wilbert Chan is out on bail tonight after being taken to court for allegedly knocking a man down.
He appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on charges including driving without due care and attention, negligent harm and failed to conform to a traffic sign. Chan pled not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of $3,000 and his case was adjourned until January 12, 2015.
The incident occurred on October 24. According to the allegation, Chan was driving a police vehicle on Cleghorn Street when he failed to halt at a stop sign and knocked down Daniel Grey.
Dr. Adrian Coye At the Helm Of Belize's Premier Public Healthcare Institution
5 weeks ago, we told you how Dr. Adrian Coye, the former Director of Medical Services at the KHMH, had been appointed as the hospital's CEO.
Since he took up office, we've been trying to get an interview with him about how his management will move the hospital into the future. Today, we finally got a chance, when we caught him at another event. Here's what he told us:
Dr. (Mr.) Adrian Coye - CEO, KHMH
"I applied for the position with the belief that I can help chart the hospital into a direction of safety and to prepare for the future for Belizeans. We really need to have and deserve as Belizeans an excellent healthcare facility and Karl Heusner has a very important role as a national institution. So I would like that it is an era of great professionalism and that we get value for money and accountability for everything that we` do because in the end the majority of our funding is public purse related, so we want to really go head on into the future with a very strong team and also to make the best for our people. My role is to help with the right team to overcome all the other areas that we have and that is a big challenge.
Dr. Adrian Evasive On Audit
And while we had the opportunity, we asked the new CEO about the recent KHMH audit conducted by the Auditor General. The audit was to look into the acquisition of an X-Ray machine and other supplies at the KHMH for what are reported to be exorbitant prices.
Today, Dr. Coye confirmed that the audit has been completed, and that it is in the hands of the KHMH Board. We tried our best to ask about its contents, but Dr. Coye told us that he cannot release any details before the Board has properly reviewed and decided on a course of action to address it. Here's how that conversation went:
"What can you tell us about it at this time?"
Dr. (Mr.) Adrian Coye - CEO, KHMH
"Well all I can say is that the Auditor General's reports which was commissioned I believe by the Prime Minister has been done and that it will be reviewed by the board and from there we can make comments related to that. But that is something in the hands of the board."
UNESCO Assists Local Cervical Cancer Program
Just hearing the words cervical cancer, cause many women to shudder. But the cancer society says no woman has to die from cervical cancer if they get information and early diagnosis. In order to promote this positive approach they are organizing a cervical cancer campaign and UNESCO is providing funding for the initiative. President of the Belize Cancer Society, Laura Tucker Longsworth discussed the impact UNESCO's cheque of $49,600 will have on the cervical cancer campaign.
Laura Tucker Longsworth, President, Belize Cancer Society
"Literally we are hoping the years to come to really reduced significantly the incidents of cervical cancer simply because it is well known scientifically that cervical cancer is most of the cancers are caused by Human papilloma virus and if we understand how its transmitted and if we understand that we can eliminate it early and cure that cancer, then we will take action to do so and through a simple pap smear test or other procedures that can wipe out that cervical cancer."
Accident Victim Yanie Cu, The Pain Continues
Last night, we briefly showed you the hard time that Yanie Cu and his family have been going through since his accident with Deputy Police Commissioner Miguel Segura.
He's been trying to return to full health, but the process has been slow, and his wife and 2 sons, have also been negatively affected.
We visited with his Cu and his wife yesterday, and tonight, we show you what life has been like for them since the morning of Saturday, August 16.
Daniel Ortiz reporting
28 year-old Yanie Cu has been bedridden for 3 months since his accident with Miguel Segura. He has to endure constant, excruciating pain.
Metal Pins hold the bones of his hand and his leg in place while they heal, but it's it has been a very slow process of recovery, with no estimation of therapy time in sight.
This family's financial health remains uncertain. He is the breadwinner for his family of two children and a wife, which he has to support. But right now, he's unable to do so .His wife must now take on all that responsibility.
Xaibe: Roads Run Through It
The European Union's Accompanying Measures for Sugar recently funded 4.1 million dollars in works for the San Roque-Xaibe, Patchakan-Xaibe and Calcutta-Xaibe Roads. These 5.5 miles of paved roads will be used for the sugar industry and for the communities.
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Belize, Ambassador Paola Amadei, discussed the contribution at the official opening yesterday while the area representative explained why the opening is two years late:
The rehabilitation included construction, installation, and completion of site clearance, culvert and drain construction, and improved surfacing.
BTL and SMART Battle
Belize's two telecom providers, SMART and BTL are in court - preparing for trial on December eighth. SMART, also known as SPEEDNET relies on BTL's infrastructure for voice and data services in the south - but recently BTL gave them a 30 days notice of termination for that contract. That would cripple SMART - and the company says - leave almost seven thousand Smart customers in the Toledo District without access to its voice and data services.
So it went to the Supreme Court asking for an injunction - but BTL's attorney gave an undertaking to maintain the service until December eighth when the two go back to court.
BTL today issued a release saying that due to increased demands on its network brought on by the double up in internet bandwidth, it can no longer provide the Lines to Speednet while adequately satisfying its own customers' demands and requirements.
Fighting Illness Through Awareness
The Belize Diabetes Association has been conducting awareness activities for the past 2 weeks.
With 15.9% of the Belizean population confirmed living with Diabetes - and so many more un-diagnosed, the Association is urgent in its mission to get the message out.
They held an open day today in downtown Belize City, on World Diabetes Day 2014, and we stopped by:
This year's theme for World Diabetes Day is Healthy Living and Diabetes. It has been celebrated for 7 years now.
Loggers Discover Human Remains in Maskall
There is what appears to be a murder to report in the community of Maskall on the old Northern Highway, but there is precious little information at this time. What [...]
Why No Charges for Sonia Abac’s Murder?
On July ninth, the body of seventy-one year old Ramon Cervantes Sr. was recovered from a shallow grave on a farm on the Honey Camp Road, an area called Indian [...]
Patrick Faber Says Petrocaribe Ballyhoo Is All About PUP Hypocrisy
The Petrocaribe money is all the rage these days, hundreds of millions of dollars in GOB’s hands to be used specifically for poverty alleviation, human and social development projects. But [...]
Accountability for Petrocaribe Funds Can be Seen on the Streets
Attorneys for the Opposition who are dealing with a suit filed against the Prime Minister, say that the loan motion was not taken to the house as required by the [...]
Still No Suspects in Yhony Rosado Home Invasion
The home of tour operator Yhony Rosado of cavetubing.com was taken by storm on Wednesday morning when a duo of armed men raided the property while he was out attending [...]
BSI/BSCFA Back and Forth Continues
The 2014-2015 sugar cane crop season is threatened by an impasse between the factory and the farmers. Latest developments this week are that BSI has sought to bypass the BSCFA, [...]
Work on Douglas Jones Canal Resumes
Work on the cleaning of Douglas Jones Canal was abruptly suspended on Tuesday due to several health and safety concerns raised by the Ministry of Works, through the Flood Mitigation [...]
Andrew Tate and Carl Lino Remain Hospitalized, Charges Pending
Twenty-eight-year-old Andrew Tate remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being shot in the back of the head while riding a bicycle on North Front Street on Wednesday [...]
Faber on Teachers Missing School for UDP Rally
Earlier in our newscast, Minister of Education Patrick Faber spoke about the Petrocaribe funds, defending his government’s use of those monies. But he’s had to be defending himself in another [...]
Police Corporal Darius Martinez Out on Bail
Forty-four year old Corporal, Darius Martinez has so far spent six weeks of an eighteen month conviction in jail for Attempting to Corrupt a Public Officer, but today he got [...]
Convention on the Rights of the Child: Twenty-Five Years Later
Belize, along with the rest of the world, is commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 1989, a [...]
Belize Making Strides in Honoring CRC Responsibilities
Despite significant progress in achieving the objectives set out under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Belize falls nominally short of a hundred percent birth registration. Likewise, great [...]
CRC and Child-friendly Municipalities
Among various initiatives undertaken at the national level is a move by local governments to have their municipalities recognized as child-friendly. In Belize City, there was a recent ceremony to [...]
Cancer Society Receives Financial Aid from UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization works in various areas in the country including HIV/AIDS, Climate Change and the Barrier Reef System. The organization collaborates with different ministries [...]
Rotary Club Distributes Wheelchairs in Belize City
A generous shipment of wheelchairs has arrived in the country for distribution countrywide. The first batch is being delivered in Belize City where the need is the highest throughout the [...]
Belize Hits The One Million Tourist Arrivals
Over the past few years Belize has received nothing but good news when it comes to the Tourism Industry. And the good news just keeps pouring in. According to the Belize Tourism Board, as of October 2014, Belize has seen one million visitors into the country, through overnight and cruise arrivals and this is two months earlier than forecasted.
Figures show that In October, tourist arrivals increased by 6.7%, that’s more than the initial projection which estimated that October would have seen a decrease of 10.82% in overnight arrivals.
Alyssa Carnegie Resigns From BTB
She joined the Belize Tourism Board in 2012 as Director of Marketing & Industry Relations and after more than two years of service, Alyssa Carnegie, has resigned from the BTB, effective December 12th, 2014. Carnegie was tasked with building and managing a Marketing team and implementing key marketing strategies to promote Belize in new and innovative ways.
In a release issued today by BTB announcing Carnegie’s resignation, Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans is quoted as saying “Alyssa’s contributions and dedication to the BTB and, by extension, the tourism industry, haven’t gone unnoticed. Working with her for the past seven months has been an absolute pleasure. While we are sad to see her go, we understand and respect her desire to move on to pursue her own endeavors. We are grateful for the achievements under her leadership of the Marketing & Industry Relations Department, and we wish her the very best.”
Speednet Communications Limited Injunction Against Belize Telemedia Limited
The two competing telecommunications companies in Belize were in court today before Justice Shona Griffith after Speednet Communications Limited (SMART) filed an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited. It is a matter that dates back to July this year when BTL had agreed to accommodate SMART’s data load on their system…..but five weeks after the agreement
Sarteneja Village Enjoys Clean Portable Water
Over four thousand residents of Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District now enjoy clean portable water. This is the result of the Sarteneja Reverse Osmosis Rehabilitated Rudimentary Water System funded by the Government of Belize. Spearheading the project was the Social Investment Fund. William Lamb Junior is the Executive Director at SIF. WILLIAM LAMB JUNIOR
Faber Speaks On His Opposition For Collet Division
Recently we told you that the main Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca told the media that former City Councilor, Yasmin Shoman would be throwing in her hat in the Collet Division to run against the current Area Representative, Patrick Faber. Today, we met up with Faber who weighed in on the fact that Micah Gooding, who
Faber Speaks Of The Importance Of The Education Workshops
Following workshops held yesterday at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City involving several partners in tertiary level education quality assurance, the official 2-day conference got underway this morning with an opening ceremony. The conference, spearheaded by the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance of Tertiary Education, is looking at quality assurance as a regional
Police Constable Charge With Traffic Offenses
Thirty-four year old police constable Wilbert Chan was charged with several traffic offenses when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The charges included driving without due care and attention, negligent harm and failed to conform to a traffic sign. Chan plead not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of three
Ervan Augustine Charged With Manslaughter By Negligence
Forty-one year old Ervan Augustine, a truck driver of Maxboro, Sandhill, was charged with manslaughter by negligence when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Augustine was also charged with causing death by careless conduct. He was released on a bail of five thousand dollars. His case was adjourned until January 20, 2015. The
Eighteen Year Old Charged With Attempted Murder
Eighteen year old Deshay Williams, an employee of Cisco Construction who resides on Banak Street, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Williams was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. He was remanded into custody until January 23, 2015. The incident occurred [...]
Succotz Protestors Arraigned in Court
It has been months now since the protest in the Village of Succotz, following the fatal traffic accident involving Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura. That accident claimed the life of Yolanda Valencia and left Yanie Cu bedridden.
Police had six months, according to the laws of Belize, to press charges against the group of protestors for the illegal gathering on August 19th; and on Thursday, four months after, they did.
Attorney for the defendants Michel Shebat gave details of the persecution.
“There was a total of 17 persons arraigned on the charges of rioting and unlawful assembly. The prosecution withdrew 2 against 2 of those persons, so there are only 14 persons who are now facing charges. There are 5 persons who were not served. So, the situation is that 14 persons have been charged with rioting and unlawful assembly today.
Actually they’re misdemeanours. So they’re really petty offences. They’re not serious offences at all.
Wife of Traffic accident victim supports Succotz road blockers
Emotions ran high at the August 19th Succotz demonstration and road block after the accident that left one dead and another clinging to life.
Yolanda Valencia is believed to have died instantaneously during the fatal traffic accident involving Deputy Compol Miguel Segura, while Yanie Cu, a taxi driver of Succotz, had to be taken to Guatemala for treatment.
On Thursday Ruselia Cu, the wife of Yannie Cu, through her tears, told reporters why she stands in solidarity with the people who took part in the protest and those who were summoned to court on Thursday to answer to charges of rioting and illegal assembly.
[Translated] “ There is a group of people that were taken to court today, because of something that they reacted to, because of all the hurt. It is enough that they suffered the loss of a loved one and then to know that there was also someone that was hospitalized in a critical condition.
Everyone that came to visit him saw the pain he was in. And so that is why they were summoned today for seeking justice. They reacted because of all the pain.
Minister of Agriculture speaks on current sugar industry conflict
The tensions between BSI-ASR continue as negotiations have taken a strained turn, when BSI decided to bypass the Belize Cane Farmers Association and negotiate directly with individual farmers. BSI ASR says it maintains its position when it comes to the terms of the commercial agreement, while BSCFA says they would not accept some of those terms.
The BSCFA had written to the Government body, Sugar Industry Control Board, to assist in the negotiations. SICB has answered and says they will see what steps can be taken to help negotiations go smoothly.
On Thursday, Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega, spoke with the media and said that he is hopeful that both parties would be able to compromise .
“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 negotiation is still going on. All we can do is 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, at the best, the lease challenges possible.”
Ramon Cervantes says he will not retract statement
As we told you on Wednesday, Ramon Cervantes Jr. received a notice of intention to sue from Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. The Deputy Prime Minister was named in a recorded telephone conversation which was broadcast live on the radio.
The Minister responded with a video release of his own, refuting any allegations of his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr.
On Wednesday, the son of the deceased, Ramon Cervantes Jr. received the letter from Barrow and Williams law firm, demanding a retraction and an apology to Hon. Gaspar Vega.
On Thursday, Ramon Cervantes Jr. told the media that he has nothing to apologize for.
“I have nothing to apologize for, and there is nothing for me to retract and so I won’t apologize.
Accutel BPO company shuts down
As one of Belize’s fastest growing industries, business process outsourcing, has handed thousands of Belizeans jobs responding to customer concerns for many businesses, chiefly from the United States.
But as with any business there are growing pains and on Thursday about 30 employees of a relatively new BPO start-up, Accutel BPO, are without jobs.
The company began in May and hired its first workers in September, to act as agents to respond to campaign contracts obtained from U.S. companies.
But the main owner of the company, Emory Castillo from Belmopan, has shut down the outfit, and his employees say he has not met their final payments.
We spoke to one of them off-camera.
Female Accutel Worker
“The issue is that our boss, Mister Emory Castillo, made an arrangement with us. He opened a business, we were hired on the fifth of September, and on the twenty-seventh of October, he told us that we were not supposed to come in at work. So we were on standby basically.
We waited, time passed, and he told us no work until further notice.
PNP say they support FECTAB, outraged at NICH
The People’s National Party (PNP) issued a press release expressing its “complete outrage at the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) decision to lease our caves to Dark Knight Cave Tubing Adventure Ltd, a foreign entity. Were they leased for 3 years or 75 years? PNP calls for transparency asking for the details of the contract regarding the leasing of our caves to be made available for public viewing.”
The release says that PNP fully supports, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, (FECTAB) members demand to be treated equally, fairly and respectfully.
The release further says, “These small business tour operators are Belizeans, working to earn a living in their country, yet they are continuously being held down while the larger foreign tour operators prosper. PNP further believe provisions should be in place to ensure that Belizeans tour operators are guaranteed a percentage of the larger foreign tour companies tours.”
#497971 - 11/15/14 10:32 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: November 15, 2014
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Youth, 18, charged with attempted murder for the 3rd time!
A teenager who was charged with two counts of attempted murder for offenses he allegedly committed while he was still a minor and for which he had been released on bail pending his trial in the Supreme Court, has been accused of another attempted murder and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison this afternoon following his arraignment at the Magistrate’s Court.
Deshay “Shady” Williams, 18, a resident of Banak Street, was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm against Stanley Alexander Flowers, Jr., 18.
Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, before remanding Williams, a construction worker, to prison, explained to him that her court could not offer him bail at the present time, but he could apply to the Supreme Court for bail.
Scout leader charged with sex offences against 3 scouts
A Scout leader of Forest Home in the Toledo District, Martin Palma, 37, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until December 17 on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of an indecent nature upon three male minors.
Martin Palma was taken to the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where he was arraigned on the charges. No bail was offered to him.
The allegations against Palma are that he sexually assaulted three boy scouts while they were camping in the Santa Cruz Community Center on Friday, October 31, along with other scout troops from the surrounding villages.
The first incident occurred at about 4:30 that Friday evening. A scout, 17, told police that he went to Santa Cruz to see Palma. When he met the scout leader, he smelled the odor of alcohol, the young man told police. The scout reported that he walked out of the office and decided to return to his village and walked through a shortcut linking Santa Cruz to San Jose.
Treaty Energy Corporation has ceased Belize operations
Treaty Energy Corporation, the joint venture partner of Princess Petroleum Limited, the local company which has a contract with the Government of Belize to explore for oil both onshore and offshore Belize, issued a letter this week to shareholders, announcing that they have launched an investigation after company officials ceased Belize operations and tied up company assets in a loan with a real estate firm.
As we understand it, Princess has severed its relationship with Treaty Energy Corporation – which is a US company that admitted to shareholders that its Belize operations had gone awry, and that had acquired a bit of notoriety after making false declarations that the company had struck oil in Stann Creek, Belize, when in fact, no commercial find had been discovered.
Earlier this week, the company issued a letter of progress to shareholders, providing reports on its Belize and Colorado operations.
Apologise or face lawsuit! – Gapi to Monchi
Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar “Gapi’ Vega, has instructed his attorney, Rodwell Williams, S.C., Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s law partner, to write his political opponent, Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) standard-bearer for Orange Walk North, Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes, Jr., demanding that he either offer a retraction and an apology, or face a libel claim for statements that were broadcasted on LOVE FM in a recorded conversation purportedly between Vilma Cervantes and Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo on Wednesday, November 5, during a memorial ceremony for Ramon Cervantes, Sr., who was kidnapped and murdered in July.
Vilma is the wife of the late Ramon Cervantes, Sr.
In Williams’ letter, dated Sunday, November 9, 2014, he states that he had been “instructed by the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources & Agriculture and the area representative for the Orange Walk North” to send the subsequent statements in the missive.
Bullets fly in afternoon shootings on North Front Street
A number of persons were walking on North Front Street around 2:15 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, when a lone gunman began firing at another man from point blank range, hitting his target once in the head, before being chased and shot in the leg by police.
A woman who works on North Front Street and spoke to Amandala on condition of anonymity told us that she was never so terrified in her life.
“This was a very traumatic experience for me,” said the woman.
And a man who was visiting Belize City from one of the districts described hearing a popping sound, and when he turned around, he saw a man with a gun blasting away at another man who was running towards the Swing Bridge, holding his ears.
Cooler heads prevail in NICH/FECTAB flare-up
There is some good news coming out of the cruise tourism industry today after the Institute of Archeology, a subsidiary of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), issued an official notice which advised all tour operators, tour guides and the general public that an amnesty has been granted for the 48-inch height requirement for children to enter caves for cave-tubing, until December 31, 2014.
The announcement was made after tour operators, primarily from the Federation for Cruise Tourism in Belize (FECTAB), lashed out at NICH and its director, Diane Haylock, over rules that, according to FECTAB, were not only detrimental to their business, but were also being implemented without the benefit of consultation.
The rules were laid out in a new policy handbook that NICH put out, known as the Health and Safety Policy Manual for Archaeological Sites — dated July 2014 — which detailed proposed requirements for cave-tubing safety, one of which stipulated that all children who go cave-tubing must be at least four feet tall, or 48 inches in height.
Tennis News – Juniors
This past Saturday, November 8, several junior tennis players, ranging from ages 5 to15 years, participated in a tennis tournament hosted by the Belize Tennis Association at the Belize Pickwick Club tennis courts.
There were three different categories: Green/Advanced, Orange/Intermediate, and Red/Beginners. In the Green/Advanced category, Stefan Sosa took 1st place. Stefan Sosa edged Samron Pott, 3-1, in the semifinals. Harnadar Tut won 2nd place. He defeated Adrian Marshalleck in the second semifinals, 3-0. In the Finals, Stefan Sosa defeated Harnadar Tut, 4-0. Adrian Marshalleck was top scorer in the round robin, but did not manage to close out in the Semis. In the Orange/Intermediate category, which was double-elimination format, Alex Musa took 1st place and Devesh Hukmani took the 2nd place. Alex Musa did not lose a match. In the Red/Beginners category, Blake Lee’s consistency proved sufficient, as he came out on top, with Daniel Musa taking the runner-up position.
Bulldogs wins back-to-back championship
The Belize Bank Bulldogs 17 & Under and 13 & Under basketball teams travelled to Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico from Thursday to Sunday, October 30 – November 2, to play in the Copa Bacalar 2014. Both teams represented well. The 13 & Under played 5 games, winning 4 and losing 1. They finished the tournament placing 2nd. The 17 & Under came in the tournament as the defending champs from last year. They also played a total of 5 games, and won all 5 games by a margin of 12+ points. They lost no games, as they defended their title and became back-to-back champions.
Thanks to the sponsor, the Belize Bank, and the coaching staff and, most of all, the student athletes who worked hard and had fun playing the game of basketball. Hard work pays off, and our success molds young, intelligent, minds into champions in the classroom and on the basketball court!
National Track & Field Championship, December 6-7
The Belize Athletics Association (BAA) invites all athletes and track enthusiasts to be a part of the 2014 National Track and Field Championship, which will be hosted at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on Saturday and Sunday, December 6 and 7.
All athletes 16 years (born 1998) and older can participate in the events.
Registration forms can be obtained from and returned to the BAA via email email@example.com) or from our Facebook page (Belize Athletics Association). Registration forms can also be obtained from and returned to the National Sports Council’s offices throughout the country.
Please be advised that registration forms should be submitted no later than Wednesday, December 3. No late registrations will be accepted. Cost of registration is $5.00 per athlete.
Events will include: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, 4x100m, 4x400m, Road Race (6.5 miles), Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Javelin, Shot Put, and Discus.
Editorial: White supremacy – modern and sophisticated
It may be said that the multinational corporation is the highest expression of capitalism. What such a corporation is, is a huge body of investment capital, led by high-powered executives, technocrats, lawyers and accountants, which roams planet earth seeking opportunities for ever increasing profits. Multinational corporations are totally predatory and rapacious. But, they benefit in their relations with the various populations of the world from the fact that multinational corporations are faceless. Perhaps it may be more accurate to say, rather than that they are faceless, that multinational corporations can take on many faces, indeed any face which will help to accomplish whatever are that corporation’s specific objectives. And those objectives are, to speak overall, penetration, control, and exploitation.
Great multinational corporations are to be marveled at and given maximum, maximum respect. We are not economic historians, but it is for sure that these companies display the ability of the European enslavers, colonizers and imperialists to pool their money and resources, to cooperate and be patient, and thereby to generate profits. Remember now, there was this specific point in world history, during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when the explorers and adventurers of European nation-states came out from Europe to enter Asia, Africa, and America in search of various forms of wealth – silks, spices, tea, slaves, gold, silver, precious jewels, and so on and so forth. As we understand it, It was in order to equip these violent expeditions that the original, relatively primitive form of corporate organization began taking place in Europe.
From the Publisher
It is not just coincidence, or mere happenstance, that Belize’s two most important stories in politics and economics are presently unfolding in Orange Walk Town. These stories have to do with the confrontation between the Vega and Cervantes families in politics, and, in economics, the bold and cynical attempt by BSI/ASR to smash the power of the cane farmers as organized in their association of cañeros. The headlines belong to Orange Walk because Orange Walk is big time.
Economic power has been moving to the North ever since the building of the Tower Hill sugar factory in Orange Walk and accompanying investments in the sugar cane industry by Tate & Lyle, a multinational corporation of British origin. These significant developments were taking place around 1963, 1964.
The People’s United Party (PUP) had won all 18 seats in the March 1961 general election, the first held under a modern Ministerial constitution. The relationship between the British and the George Price-led PUP had begun to change in 1959, 1960. The two sides had been very antagonistic in 1957, when the British sent Mr. Price home from London “in disgrace,” and in 1958, when the British colonial government charged Mr. Price with sedition and tried him in the Supreme Court of British Honduras. Defended by the late W. H. Courtenay, the patriarch of Belize’s oldest and most successful law firm, Mr. Price was acquitted by a “jury of his peers.”
Letters: Our country’s name is Belize, please!
Harnessing a country’s collective identity can contribute to domestic and international prestige. This can instill patriotism and nationalistic sentiments. Belize, with its original inhabitants and immigrant population, needs to forge common ground to ensure its survival in the new global environment.
Writing on “Social Conflicts and Collective Identities”, authors, Patrick G. Coy and Lynne M. Woehrle, state: “How important it is for groups in a social conflict to maintain a strong collective identity throughout the conflict process”. This is especially important in territorial disputes and international conflicts. By allowing the translating of the name “Belize,” the country has been supporting a dual identity, one legal and the other illegal, when it should be supporting one single identity.
Wamule Basketball Finals, T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic 2014
The Wamule U-24 Basketball Tournament playoffs continued with Week 9 playoff games on Friday, November 7, and Saturday, November 8.
In game 1 on Friday, Hopkins Assassins won, 53-47, over Harlem Shockers. Top performers for Hopkins were Macario Augustine 10 pts 10 rebs 1 blk, and Lenon Cho 9 pts 1 reb 2 assts; while for the Shockers, Quinton Bowen had 23 pts 6 rebs 1 blk 3 stls in a losing effort. Game 2 saw Foreshore Pelicans eking out a 1 point victory, 47-46, over Benguche Flames.
Leading Pelicans were Brandon Flowers 16 pts 5 rebs 1 stl 2 blks, and Dayton Valencio 11 pts 1 reb 3 assts; while high man for the Flames was Omar Tesecum 16 pts 5 rebs 1 blk 1 asst.
On Saturday, in game 1, it was Ghans Starz, 71-57, over Southside Knights. Leading Ghans Starz were Trevaughn Usher 30 pts 6 rebs 2 assts 2 stls, and Daniel Nolberto 25 pts 3 rebs 5 assts 2 stls; while Southside was led by Deon Castillo 18 pts 8 rebs 1 blk. And in game 2, Hopkins Assassins squeezed out a 62-60 win over Foreshore Pelicans. For the Assassins, Hayden Casimiro had 12 pts 6 rebs 2 assts, and Macario Augustine 8 pts 11 rebs 2 blks; while Foreshore had Lesley Williams with 12 pts 6 rebs 3 assts 1 blk.
Belize at 2014 CAC Games in Veracruz, Mexico
Belize will be participating in the Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games in Veracruz, Mexico, from November 14 – 30. The contingent consists of 10 athletes and 6 coaches/delegates from five disciplines as follows:
Athletics (Heptathlon) – Katy Sealy.
Athletics (Triple & Long Jump) – Brandon Jones.
Athletics (400m Hurdles) – Kenneth Medwood.
Cycling (Road & Time Trial) – Patricia Chavarria, Giovanni Lovell, Henry Moreira.
Fencing (epée) – Kenroy Lopez.
Table Tennis (Singles & Doubles) – Tyrone Tun, Jai Le Cui.
Triathlon – Erick Donis.
The delegation will be led by Chief of Mission, Arturo “Tux” Vasquez. Fencing, Table Tennis and Triathlon departed earlier today, while Cycling is set to depart tomorrow, and Athletics will leave on November 20. Cyclist Patricia Chavarria will be the flag bearer at the opening ceremonies on Friday, November 14.
Letters: Medicine instructions in Spanish
I recently bought some worming tablets for my dog and when I reached home and opened the box to read the instructions on the insert it was in Spanish, with no English translation. This made me think the same thing happened when I went to buy poison for the ants and flu medication for a child.
This country’s official language is English, so why do I need a translator to use products bought in Belize? How many, young and old, have been given wrong dosages of medication because there was no English instructions? How much poison has been used incorrectly or disposed of improperly due to consumers’ inability to read the instructions?
Letter: Death, the leveller
Letters: DEATH, THE LEVELLER
by J. Shirley
The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Scepter and crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade
Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill;
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:
Early or late,
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.
Letter to the Editor
Please afford me some space in your most respected newspaper to register a serious concern regarding the current Customs checkpoints that are being set up on the Philip Goldson Highway during the dawn hours of the week.
Today as I was coming to school in the 4:30 a.m. bus from Orange Walk to Belize City, I was awakened from my sleep by the sound of loud tire screeches and brakes from the bus that I was coming in. As I checked if perhaps some domestic animal has inadvertently crossed the highway, I noticed that yet another bus was haphazardly stopped on the left-hand side of the highway with Custom Officers swarming that bus.
This took place outside Biscayne Village, where no lampposts with lights were evident. I observed that a Customs pickup truck was also parked on a narrow lane by the highway without any visible lights on to warn incoming traffic of their presence. Furthermore, there were only 3 fluorescent cones on the middle of the highway about ten feet apart, without any lights of any kind to further signal to drivers that a checkpoint had been set and thus recognize that they should slow down.
Controversial PetroCaribe motion back to House
The US$114 million PetroCaribe Loan Motion tabled last month, amid claims from the Opposition People’s United Party that the Barrow administration had illegally engaged in a loan agreement with Venezuela under the PetroCaribe Initiative, will likely be approved by Parliament after it is presented for debate, as well as the second and third reading next week.
That is because the ruling United Democratic Party can pass the legislation with its simple majority, but Cayo South area representative for the Opposition People’s United Party, Julius Espat, said that they will maintain their request to the Supreme Court to issue declarations and injunctions which they contend are necessary for compliance with the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act.
Two weeks ago, we reported that Espat had filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court, asking the court to declare that the revised loan agreement (signed by the Barrow administration) between the Government of Belize and Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Ltd., made back in September 2012 and providing for the making and repayment of certain loans by the Government, is unenforceable, because Parliament has not authorized it.
Cruise arrivals surpass year-end target of 1 million
Karen Bevans, Director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), told Amandala today that cruise arrivals surpassed the year-end target of a million tourists at the end of October 2014.
With spending by each cruise tourist estimated at US$75, this could translate to roughly US$75 million in receipts by the sector. Bevans said that the Central Bank of Belize is the agency that published the final estimates of how much is earned from the sector.
In February, the BTB had reported that 677,350 traveled to Belize, which represents growth of 5.7%, following the attrition which the sector suffered in 2011 and 2012.
The October 2014 figure represents a 48% increase over last year’s cruise arrivals.
Ranch foreman shot on Hummingbird Highway
Jose Abrego, 47, a foreman of Blue Mountain Ranch situated at Mile 36 on the Hummingbird Highway, a resident of Saint Margaret, Cayo District, is fighting for his life at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan after he was shot twice in his abdomen and once in the leg by an unknown gunman at about 7:00 Friday night on the Humming Bird Highway.
Abrego told police that he was going home after work and was travelling on his motorcycle. On coming out of the ranch road and turning into the Hummingbird Highway, a man who was standing across the road fired at him, hitting him three times, he said.
The shooter then escaped from the area.
Belize hosts Central American tourism ministers
Belize is currently holding the pro tempore presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA (Spanish acronym)) and the country is this week hosting a meeting of Central American tourism ministers, under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism.
Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia will chair two days of meetings being held on San Pedro on Thursday and Friday of this week.
Karen Bevans, director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), who also heads a SICA committee on marketing, told Amandala that the event, being attended by 25 guests from Central America, is being held at Grand Caribe, in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.
Bevans said that the delegations from the 7 countries of the region will be discussing tourism security and health, among other issues.
To no one’s surprise, case against 4 San Ignacio cops thrown out
The prospect of justice looks bleak for a Unitedville teenager who probably would have died if he had not been rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital’s Emergency Ward by a Good Samaritan after he was allegedly blasted in the back by a police officer in late May 2014, for no apparent reason.
The four cops who were allegedly involved in the shooting were later made to face criminal charges in mid-June; however, Amandala understands that the officers, all attached to the San Ignacio Police Formation, were freed of all charges at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, October 30.
Police have refused to provide information in respect of a report that the officers’ criminal case could not proceed because the original investigation file was not presented in court at the time it was required.
Facing lawsuit, cops finally charge P. C. Jesus Marroquin with murderAccording to information received by Amandala, the prosecutor could not convince the magistrate that the file would be delivered in time for the next court date, and so the case was thrown out for want of prosecution.
Bullets fly in afternoon shootings on North Front Street
A number of persons were walking on North Front Street around 2:15 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, when a lone gunman began firing at another man from point blank range, hitting his target once in the head, before being chased and shot in the leg by police.
A woman who works on North Front Street and spoke to Amandala on condition of anonymity told us that she was never so terrified in her life.
“This was a very traumatic experience for me,” said the woman.
And a man who was visiting Belize City from one of the districts described hearing a popping sound, and when he turned around, he saw a man with a gun blasting away at another man who was running towards the Swing Bridge, holding his ears.
Police charge teacher/scout leader with sexual assault
Police have arrested and charged Martin Palma, 34, a teacher of Forest Home Village, Toledo with one count of sexual assault following a report by a 16 year-old farmer of San Jose Village, Toledo.
The youth told police that at sometime in October he went to the community center in the village where he was to meet Palma, who was his scout leader.
The youth alleges that Palma gave him alcohol to drink after which he fell asleep. He said that five hours later he woke up to Palma touching his chest and private parts. The youth further alleges that Palma offered him $1,000 to keep quiet.
Belize celebrates World Diabetes Day
Belize joined other nations on Friday in observing World Diabetes Day. The day, observed annually on Friday November 14, was celebrated under the theme “Healthy Living.”
The Diabetes Association of Belize held a health fair at the Battlefield Park to raise awareness about the day and about the health risks associated with diabetes.
Several other health sector stakeholders, including the Belize Cancer Society, Pharmacy Association of Belize and the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired were also represented at the event.
The fair featured free blood sugar checks, eye examinations and information about diabetes and several other conditions.
President of the DAB, Anthony Castillo, explained that the fair was full of useful information for both those living with diabetes and those who want to expand their knowledge on the disease.
Brazilian police arrest 18 in Petrobras corruption raids
Brazilian police have carried out a series of raids and arrested 18 people as part of a corruption investigation into the state-run oil firm Petrobras.
More than 300 police and 50 tax officials were involved in the operation across five states, as well as in the capital Brasilia.
Police said 11 searches took place in major Brazilian companies, including some leading construction firms.
Petrobras is also being investigated by US authorities. The company, which is majority-owned by the Brazilian government, is one of the largest oil businesses in the world. Its reach extends far beyond South America; Petrobras has interests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
In the past few months, Petrobras has been rocked by corruption allegations made by a former executive Paulo Roberto Costa, who is giving evidence to police as part of a plea bargain arrangement.
Caribbean islands anxious over climate change
Rich countries which are not prepared to make a concerted effort to change practices which have an impact on climate change run the risk of meeting by themselves at the next international conference on climate change set for December in Peru. That is because […]
Supreme Court orders full restitution to four offshore companies accused of laundering
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Government of Belize to unfreeze all the assets of four offshore companies which it seized during a police sweep on September ninth. On that day Police invaded the fourth floor of the […]
Highway accidents claim two
Two persons died in separate traffic accidents over the weekend in the Orange Walk District. Around 10 last Friday night, 24 year-old Alonzo Vasquez lost control of the vehicle he was driving after he suffered a blowout as he headed home on the Trinidad/August […]
Assembly man Tulio Mendez to bow out due to failing health
Dr Marco Tulio Mendez, the PUP’s area representative for Orange Walk East on Tuesday confirmed with The Reporter Newspaper that he is leaving politics for good due to ill-health. The neurologist by profession disclosed that following his doctors’ advice, he met with his committee […]
S & P upgrades Belize credit ratings
Belize’s credit rating was upgraded from stable to positive in a new report from Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Rating Services, citing new investments in the sugar and non-traditional agricultural products. S & P acknowledged that Belize’s economic growth prospects have improved. According to S&P, […]
Belize hosts key conference on Caribbean tertiary education
This week Belize’s Ministry of Education hosted, for the first time, a conference of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE). The conference, now on its 11th session, was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel from November 12 to the […]
Autopsy shows victim was beaten and stabbed and left to drown
Roaring Creek residents, Michael Broaster and Colin Richards are on remand at the Hattieville Prison until February 10, 2015 on a joint charge of murder, following the Wednesday morning discovery of the body of Corwin Mendoza. Mendoza reportedly went missing on Sunday evening. His uncle, […]
Man shot and killed
Ernel Welcome Jr., also known as Ernel Young, a 40 year-old man who walked with a cane, was found shot to death around 8 a.m. on Saturday at # 4 Casaurina Street where he stayed alone. Welcome was shot once in the forehead with […]
Man tied up and killed in home
A 56-year-old man was killed inside his home on Pine Street and found with his hands tied behind his back, a rag tied around his face and a mattress on top of his body. According to police, William Garbutt was found on Monday night, […]
Belize ranks well in Prosperity Index
Belize has ranked 58th out of 142 countries on the Prosperity Index prepared by British Institute Legatum, which considers a country’s wealth and well-being. Belize was also individually ranked in factors including economy at 60th, entrepreneurship and opportunity at 81st, governance, 71st, education, 72nd, health at […]
Belize ranks 100th on Gender Gap report
Belize has ranked 100th out of 142 countries in the Gender Gap Index report, which measures the gender equality gap in health, education, economy and politics, prepared by the World Economic Forum. Belize scored a 0.6701 out of a possible 1 point maximum equality […]
Vega threatens to sue Cervantes! ComPol says police will review taped allegations
Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, attorney for Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, has written to Ramon “Munchie” Cervantes this week, informing him of his intention to sue for libel if he does not publicly apologize and retract statements made last Thursday. Cervantes and his family […]
The family of the late Ramon Cervantes disclosed for the first time last Wednesday explosive allegations that a senior Minister of Government and a senior police officer in Orange Walk were involved in a plot to kill 71 year old Ramon Cervantes Sr. Ramon Cervantes Sr. was killed on the […]
Cane farmers dissed! BSI to bypass association
At a heated press conference on Wednesday, officers of the Belize Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) denounced the management of the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) for side-stepping the association and deciding instead to deal directly with cane farmers. BSI decided on this route after months of […]
BTL rethinks move to pull plug on Speednet!
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) has agreed not to discontinue the service they provide to Speednet Communications Limited, which Speednet says would have affected about 7,000 of its customers in Toledo. BTL and Speednet arrived at the agreement in the Supreme Court on Thursday, during […]
ComPol says he instructed action on Caracol memo
Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, this week revealed that he gave instructions to another officer to deal with the memo he received in January from Assistant Superintendent, Dianne Hall about the urgent needs of. the Caracol Archaeological site. In a recorded interview on Krem News, Commissioner Whylie said that he […]
BPO sacks 30 workers Owes employees a month’s pay and failed to pay Social Security
Thirty employees laid off by Accutel BPO, a redi-call company doing business on Calle al Mar in Belize City, have made claims against owner, Emroy Castillo that they have not been paid for several weeks and that no Social Security payments have been made […]
The Belize Times
Barrow’s “Sprat fi Whale” – UDP to spend $2.2m on political rally
When a man’s back is against the wall and he knows that he has acted illegally, perhaps even criminally, he will do whatever it takes to give his ego the right amount of stroking to feel secure in his skin.
On November 18th, 2014, Dean Barrow will employ his usual distraction mechanism in order to divert attention away from the fact that he has been unlawfully spending loan funds from Venezuela over the last 2 years. In the streets, it is a tactic more commonly known as “sprat fi whale”.
Essentially, for one day and one day only, Dean Barrow will blow out over $2 million dollars of public monies on a grand bonanza for the people (sprat) who will then in turn blindly support his illegal borrowing and spending of over $225 million dollars (whale). The UDP will spend on buses, shirts, banners, and food and drinks plus the stipend to buy out supporters on November 18th.
No Apology!!! – ‘Monchi’ says he won’t say “I’m sorry”
PUP Orange Walk North Standard Bearer Ramon “Monchi” Cervantes Jr. told the BELIZE TIMES in a telephone interview late this evening that he will not be apologizing to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega.
On Wednesday November 12th, Cervantes received a letter dated Sunday, November 9th 2014 and written by Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, of Barrow and Williams Law Firm, demanding a full retraction and apology for allegations made in a recording played at a memorial service held last week, Wednesday November 5th, for the late Ramon Cervantes Sr. who had been kidnapped and murdered in Orange Walk in July of this year. The recording was of a telephone conversation between wanted fugitive Manuel Castillo, who is the alleged mastermind of the murder, and Cervantes Jr.’s mother, Mrs. Vilma. In the conversation, Castillo alleged that he is being wrongfully blamed for the murder, and that Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is the real mastermind.
ASR/BSI Cane Field Up In Smoke – Sugar Industry Faces Crisis; GOB Missing In Action
A field located in an area known as Slip Dock in Libertad Village, Corozal District, belonging to American Sugar Refining/Belize Sugar Industries and containing about 400 hundred tons of cane was mysteriously set ablaze on Wednesday morning, as tension between the factory owners and cane farmers intensifies.
The field measuring about fifteen hectares contained a cane tonnage value of about $25,000. It was lit on fire all around and left to burn completely. The field was used by BSI as part of their ‘Research program’ in which they conduct cane plant testing.
The Sugar Industry is facing total crisis as relations between ASR/BSI and the historically largest cane farmers’ association, Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, is at its worst state, with ASR/BSI threatening to take steps that would divide and eventually disband the association.
UDP wants to jail Succotz heroes
The UDP Government has attacked the residents of Succotz Village and Benque Viejo del Carmen who stood up to defend the victims of the fatal accident involving a reportedly drunk former Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura on August 16th.
The UDP is punishing 20 persons who they identified as participants after reviewing video recordings of events that took place on August 19th. On Tuesday November 11th, the Police Department under instructions of their political bosses issued 20 summonses which informed them that criminal charges were being laid against them. These summonses demanded that the persons appear at the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday November 13th morning at 9:00am.
2 shot on North Front St. in Broad Daylight
Tourists walking on North Front Street witnessed the ugly reality of the old capital, as they were caught in the middle of a broad daylight shooting between gang rivals.
Eyewitness reports to the BELIZE TIMES are that 27 year old Andrew Tate was riding a bicycle from the tourist village area towards the Swing Bridge when shots rang out. He was shot on the neck and fell from his bicycle.
Police were in the area and they set chase towards Pink’s Alley where they saw a young man run. There, they detained Karl Lino who was shot on the left leg by the authorities.
Lino’s family claims that the Police planted a gun on him.
Belize Police murder cover up!!! – No request for Mexican authorities to assist in search and capture of murder suspect Manuel Castillo
Belize Police officials have been exposed as not doing sufficient to investigate and capture all the culprits involved in the murders of Orange Walk resident and businessman, 71 year Ramon Cervantes Sr and 46 year old Sonia Maribel Abac.
According to reports in the Mexican press this week, there has been NO COMMUNICATION between the Belize Police Department or Ministry of National Security and Mexico’s Federal Police or any of its justice departments regarding the search and capture of the supposed mastermind and wanted fugitive.
This is very disturbing news which Belize’s Police officials have not denied or refused to explain.
Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo has been accused by the Belize Police Department of being the serial mastermind in the kidnappings and murders. He is believed to be hiding somewhere in the Southern parts of Mexico, in one of the communities near the border with northern Belize. Castillo has been sighted in numerous communities, including Chetumal, Alvaro Obregon and along the Rio Hondo Ribera. He has family and a house in Bacalar, and his Nissan pickup truck was spotted in the “Barrio Bravo” neighbourhood of Chetumal.
Police increase security for Vega family
At the request of the Government, the Orange Walk Police Department are now providing additional security to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and members of his family.
This has resulted in more Police personnel assigned to Vega and his family and to his home throughout the day and night.
Vega’s Clarke Street mansion, which already had a private security guard, has more security than the streets of Orange Walk Town or any businesses downtown.
It’s a strange thing that Gapi feels the need for more security. In his video defense, he said the accusations by Manuel Castillo have endangered him and his family? How is this possible, when he has always enjoyed the protection of the Orange Walk Police officials?
REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – BSCFA MUST BE RESPECTED!
The Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) dated October 5, 1989 between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Belize Sugar Industries Limited states that both parties “agree that the sharing of revenue arising from the sale of any by-product not covered in their present agreement will be subject to future discussions and the sharing of revenues will be based on the results of those discussions.”
Some 25 years later this clause in the MOU threatens to shut down the entire Sugar Industry in Belize.
Bagasse, long considered a waste component of the cane, now serves as the raw material for the production of electricity which is then sold by BSI to BELCOGEN and in turn sold to BEL.
The BSCFA representing some 5000 farmers is demanding that any new commercial agreement with BSI provide for a value to be placed on Bagasse just as currently a value is attached to sugar and molasses. They argue that Bagasse comprises 30% of the sugar cane and whether or not it had any value in the past, it now has value for energy generation purposes and the farmers should be compensated accordingly.
BREEDING BAD BLOOD
The news this week that the new owner of the Belize Sugar Industries, American Sugar Refining Inc., has decided to bypass the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (B.C.F.A.) and negotiate directly with individual cane farmers represent a sad day for Belize.
Cane Farmers have always been represented by the B.S.C.F.A. which is a democratic organization and which holds open public meetings for cane farmers to voice their likes and dislikes and vote on all important issues.
The B.S.C.F.A., made up of just under 6,000 cane farmers, has been locked in negotiations with the new owners of B.S.I. which has been under the control of the new foreign company. Negotiations between legitimate partners are an integral and necessary function in a democracy. It is a time-honored practice. Where owners/employers undermine employees/workers’ representatives this leads to friction and bad-blood.
That bad-blood leads to workers versus employers situations. In the world of unionism, where union members cannot be divided, employers resort to hiring outsiders or scab labourers. Where this occurs, there is violence between union members and scab-labourers employed to break the workers unity.
During negotiations between the Belize government and public officers and teachers last year, the Minister of National Security announced he would bypass the Unions and speak directly with teachers and public officers. It was an incredible act of disrespect to the unions and its members. It was roundly condemned.
Think About It
Having just completed reading the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act of 2005 it is clear to any lay person that the Prime Minister and his Ministers in government have breached all the relevant sections of the law.
This is an important national issue, more important because the Prime Minister was elected on a promise and a pledge to the people that he would ensure accountability and transparency in running our government.
The large amount involved – 38 million in 2012, 152 million in 2013 and 40 million dollars in 2014 is scandalous.
The issue is not complicated to explain to the public. The Prime Minister cannot borrow any amount over 10 million dollars without first getting approval from the National Assembly; meaning the House of Representative and the Senate. This he has not done.
The second issue is that the law requires the Prime Minister to submit to the National Assembly the estimate of expenditures for the monies. This the Prime Minister has not done.
PUP defends survival of sugar industry
The People’s United Party is alarmed at the new trend taking place in Belize’s Sugar Industry. Yesterday’s press conference by BSI/ASR in which they announced unilateral actions in the industry is unprecedented and augurs ill for the viability of this vital industry.
Of increasing concern is the seeming total absence of Government of Belize participation in the actions of BSI/ASR.
The new agreement proposed by BSI/ASR would accomplish two objectives in one stroke: first, it would decide ownership of the cane once and for all. Second, it would strip the cane farmer of negotiating rights.
This new unilateral action would set a precedent for the future of the industry in which the cane farmers would be relegated to the status of mere cane cutters.
The PUP has historically respected the tripartite approach in this industry—Government, BSCFA, and BSI (now BSI/ASR) in making decisions to move the industry forward. We therefore call on the Government to ensure that this continues.
An allegation that surfaced at a memorial service that was carried live to the nation by Love FM last week from Orange Walk has sent a jolt of reality through the consciousness of Belizeans. Are we really to this point?
The allegation came dramatically via a conversation recorded from a telephone call made to the widow of murdered businessman and retired politician Ramon Cervantes Sr. Cervantes, a well-loved and respected icon of the Orange Walk community had been found buried in a shallow grave in early October after evidently being brutally murdered. The 71 year old former footballer, politician, teacher and credit unionist had gone missing from his cane field on Tuesday July 1st 2014 and after a frantic search by family members, was found dead the following Saturday evening. Cervantes Sr. served as a senator in the upper House of Representatives from 1984 to 1989, was Mayor of Orange Walk Town from 1989 to 1991 and was a teacher for over 35 years. He was a Senior Justice of the Peace and long time cane farmer and store owner. He is also the father of the current PUP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk North, Ramon Cervantes Jr.
In his conversation with Mrs. Cervantes, which lasted a little over sixteen minutes, Manuel Castillo, who had been fingered by the Police as the mastermind behind the sensational plot to murder Mr. Cervantes, confessed to the victim’s widow that he had indeed been contracted to kill her husband. Castillo claims however, that he had refused to carry out the hit and as a consequence, he himself had been shot. Castillo went on to name a couple of very big players, both in the government as well as in the Police Department. We can only pray that he is lying!
Jada’s win 2014 Orange Walk women’s softball championship
The Jada’s women hammered Carmelita’s Caribbean Queen 10-4 to win the 2014 Orange Walk women’s softball championship at the San Jose Palmar field on Sunday afternoon. The Jada’s hitters collected 10 hits off Caribbean Queen’s pitcher Yvette Flowers to score 10 runs, while Jada’s winning pitcher Marina Gongora allowed only 4 runs to clinch the championship win.
TCC boys win NSSSA volleyball champs
Toledo Community College is the 2014 secondary school volleyball champions.
TCC battled against the San Pedro High School boys in the championship finals on Saturday afternoon. TCC won the first 2 sets: 26-24 and 25-15.
San Pedro hammered kills and Josue Marin tricked the ball over the net to win the 3rd set: 26-24.
The island boys led 17-11 in the 4th set, as they sought to tie the ball game 2-2, but TCC tied the score 26-26 and went on to win the set 28-26 for the championship.
Gentle Touch & Triple B’s clash in FFB President’s Cup finals
DFC Gentle Touch and the Triple B’s will face off in the FFB President’s Cup national female football championship finals. Game 1 will be played at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday, November 15.
DFC Gentle Touch qualified to the finals by a 7-2 aggregate score in both matches of the semi-finals against the Toledo Strikers.
After winning Game 1 by a 5-2 score, Gentle Touch blanked the Toledo girls 2-0 at the Norman Broaster Stadium on Sunday. Cynthia Salazar struck the 1st goal in the 50th minute, and added a 2nd goal in the 68th minute to seal the 2-0 win.
WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – A Full Time Mayor, Please
These UDP’s, the People in Power, never cease to amaze me with their ‘faceyness.’ They seem to believe that they can do and get away with anything, good governance be damned. They have managed to think up and to execute so many ways to take advantage of the system and to just plain hustle, from peddling influence and favors, to selling telephone cards, to putting a liquor bar in a park – by the way – complete with contraband alcohol possibly. I could of course go on and on.
This week Woman in the House once again puts Mayor Darrel Bradley in the cross hairs. An earlier entry of this column spoke about Darrel’s Folly in cementing so many Belize City streets in a sub-standard manner without making proper provision for so badly needed drainage. Now Douglas Jones Street is being dug up yet again apparently to provide for drainage, destroying thousands and thousands of dollars worth of cement, steel and labor, and once more costing city taxpayers more and more, when they are already facing the prospect of a hugely prohibitive debt which is not going to just go away.
Feeder road rehabilitation project inaugurated in Corozal
A European Union-funded road rehabilitation project was officially inaugurated on Thursday in the Corozal district.
Five point five miles of feeder roads were repaired and upgraded to paved standards at an estimated price tag of $4.5 million.
The upgraded feeder roads lead from Patchakan to Vaibe, from Calcutta to Xaibe and San Roque to Xaibe. Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Corozal branch Ramon Aban says that the upgraded road will bring a lot of benefits to the sugar industry and the agriculture sector on a whole.
A New Queen Wears the Crown for Miss Garifuna Primary Belmopan
Five Primary school students represented with all they had on Thursday afternoon, November 13, to wear the crown of Miss Garifuna Belmopan.
The pageant was held at the Belmopan Civic Center but only one got it after almost two hours of presentation.
Katia Reyes, Miss Our Lady of Guadalupe Garifuna walked away with the crown, which was held by Garden City Primary School under the care of Neveah Ramos.
Second place went to Triesha Arzu of United Evergreen Primary, third was Marilyn Flores from St. Martin’s Government School, and consolation Prizes went to Maria Flores of Garden City and Sole Meighan from St. Ann’s Anglican.
United Evergreen Primary School wins Garifuna Social Studies Quiz
Ivan Morris from United Evergreen Primary School won first place in the Garifuna Social Studies Quiz which was held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at Belmopan Civic Center in the presence of an engaging audience of his peers.
He has taken the title from St. Martin’s Government School who won last year. Second place was won by Christopher Broaster from Garden City Primary School and third was Dhenly Cabañas from El Shaddai, SDA.
Other participants were Kieran Brannon from Our Lady of Guadalupe, R.C. , Miriam Cuc from Kuxlin Ha Government School, Swani Guzman from St. Michael, R.C. and Kelsey Vansen from St. Ann’s Anglican.
Galen University announces new online programs
Galen University today announced that come 2015, it will be expanding its online programs by offering two new online/hybrid undergraduate programs and one graduate program.
A statement from Galen University says that the new undergraduate programs are Accounting and Sustainable Tourism Management, while Public Administration is the new graduate program.
According to the official statement, Galen University will also be offering a Master of Education in Leadership and Administration next year.
This program will be offered through Galen’s partner institution, the University of Nicosia.
Volunteering with my sister....Lindsay
Hi, my name is Lindsay. I am 25 years old, from Pittsburgh, PA, and am currently unemployed. I have had an obsession with manatees since I was 5, when my aunt and uncle adopted one in my name for my birthday. Since I had the free time and the passion for animals, when the opportunity to volunteer at Wildtracks arose it couldn't have seemed more perfect! I have always wanted to get into working with animals and Wildtracks has provided me with some amazing experience.
When my mom found the Wildtracks website she immediately thought of me. It sounded amazing but I had serious anxiety about going alone. So when my sister offered to come along the plans all fell into place! My sister, Nikki, is 23 years old and recently graduated from college with an outdoor adventure degree. When we first decided to volunteer at Wildtracks together, our mom told us that spending that much time together would either make our bond stronger or force us to take some time off from each other. Luckily it worked out positively.
While at Wildtracks, I was lucky to work with Nikki, the Capuchin monkey. It was a little ironic since that's my sisters name too. They were actually quite similar. Both very stubborn and sweet, but only when they wanted to be. And they both made my time there the best I could imagine. After Nikki and I were first introduced, we became best friends, and would spend time grooming each other.
Unplugged on the island paradise of Ambergris Caye
I had no intention of writing a travel story about our multi-generational family holiday that celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of my in-laws.
Don’t get me wrong. Travel writing is a great gig, and one that has allowed myself, and sometimes my family, to experience pretty amazing adventures.
A helicopter ride over Maui; a submarine trip over a coral reef; zip-lining in the snow over a frozen river. Great memories for us all.
But for this Belize trip, the plan was for all of us to really and truly unplug, to spend a week on an island paradise with no itineraries, no lunches with resort general managers and no arranged adventures of any kind.
Leading up to the trip, my wife caught me a few times surfing “things to do on Ambergris Caye” — the island off the coast of Belize where my in-laws had rented a couple of beachside houses with a big pool to play host to their three grown children and partners, and their six grandchildren. I’d bashfully closed my laptop. Old habits are hard to break.
Belize's 2014 Tourism Boom Breaking Records
Belize is continuing what is shaping up as the country’s most successful year ever in terms of tourist arrivals. The destination has tallied one million combined land and cruise-ship travelers through October 2014.
Belize has hosted 1,018,705 visitors through October, according to BTB data issued Thursday. The total includes 266,107 land-based, overnight arrivals and 752,598 cruise-ship visitors.
Belize’s arrival at the one million visitor mark comes two months earlier than BTB officials had earlier forecast. In a statement, BTB officials said they had predicted arrivals would reach the one million mark in 2014, but only by the end of the year.
Rock fan: I don’t wanna fade away
A consummate musician, this Valley resident freely admits that he’s “stuck” in the era of classic rock.
He’s skilled in both the drums and piano, and doesn’t think he could ever get rid of those.
“I couldn’t possibly live without those. It’s too much of a connection to my soul,” he said. “If I didn’t have those, I think I’d fade away.”
His favorite place is San Pedro, on the southern tip of the Central American country Belize.
It’s “the most beautiful country you’d ever want to visit,” he said, with “the most beautiful water and the best scuba diving you could ever do.”
He hopes to retire there one day, but not before seeing Europe, including Greece, France, Italy and Great Britain.
Supporting Caribbean Entrepreneurs, Sustaining the Regional Economy
Small and medium sized companies are the backbone of Latin America’s economy. They represent more than 90 percent of all enterprises in the region, generating over half of all jobs and a quarter of the region’s gross domestic product. They are essential to economic growth, yet their success is often blocked by one key obstacle: lack of credit. Nearly a third of companies in the region identified lack of credit as a major constraint, according to recent surveys.
Impressive gains are being made in countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico has implemented an electronic movable collateral registry and 97 percent of its registrations are for loans granted to small and medium enterprises. A new secured transactions law came into effect in Costa Rica this May and the country expects an electronic moveable collateral registry to be online within a year. IFC is working in the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and St. Lucia on similar initiatives.
#497972 - 11/15/14 10:33 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: November 15, 2014
More News: Scroll up from here
International Archaeology Day in Kosovo and Belize
In the Western Hemisphere in Belize, International Archaeology Day activities focused on outreach to children. The Belize Institute of Archaeology hosted an Archaeology Fair with several interactive activities that focused on teaching the importance of archaeology and highlighting the work done to manage Belize's archaeological reserves. The Institute of Archaeology’s sister institution, the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR), also had a small display on traditional activities still being practiced by the present day Maya communities in Belize. 350 people, including many school children, attended the fair.
Find paradise at Belize's top beaches
Belize is unlike many other Caribbean destinations, where it's easy to isolate the best beaches of a particular island. The mainland coast of Belize is a tangle of mangroves, which is about as far as a person can get from ideal beach conditions. Not to worry, Belize has literally hundreds of cayes (pronounced keys, as in Key West). These offshore cayes, or islands, are where beaches of all sizes can be found, although almost all have to be accessed by boat.
While the country has a handful of mainland beaches, these cayes are where beach lovers should be concentrating their search for the ultimate Belizean beach holiday
Video: Underwater sightings in Belize, 1.5min.
Diving in Belize is unlike nothing else. Imagine gaining your PADI certificate in scuba diving from this beautiful part of the world?
Video: Group Study in Belize 2013 - Primatology Program!, 2min.
Submitted for the 2013 International Video Contest by Erin Qozney. Tropical Education Center, Community Baboon Sanctuary
Video: Wagner College PA Program Medical Mission Trip: Belize, 3.5min.
The Wagner College PA Program has the unique opportunity for their PA Students to go to Belize on a week long medical mission trip. Some things we do while in Belize are physical exams, acute treatments and care, present at a Health Fair, and donate many medical supplies to the multiple villages that we provide our care to.
It's an absolutely amazing experience for PA students to travel to a different country and make a difference, while practicing our medical skills on people who truly need it.
Video: Belize It!, 9min.
Video: Belize Student Teaching Packing List, min.
What I packed in one carry-on for a month student teaching in Belize.
Video: Medicine Man Belize, 6min.
Searching for cure for my cluster headaches, I was, luckily, able to find this very knowledgable medicine man that I had been told about in seeking help. The bark of this tree made my burning cluster headache go away for days. It works. Problem is, this tree wont grow in California.
Video: Our Zipline Adventure in Belize, 5.5min.
We hopped off the cruise ship for a fun day of adventure in a beautiful country. The folks at cavetubing.bz took great care of us and we had a blast.
Video: Belize 2014, 30min.
by Missouri Southern State University
Video: Belize November 2014,3.5 min.
Lizzie and Joe's fall trip to Belize! Such adventure, very trip.
Video: Belize Garifuna Dance, 1min.
Belize Garifuna Dance in front of James Brodie store, Regent St Belize City...Nov 14, 2014.
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