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#498404 - 11/27/14 10:47 AM Today's Belize News: November 27, 2014
Marty Offline

NOTE: Due to a family get together today, and facing many hours in the kitchen, I will not be doing the news tomorrow (Friday) morning. I will resume on Saturday morning....


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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

Mr Al’s Poolroom and Karaoke Bar
Mr. Al’s Poolroom and Karaoke Bar is one of the newer establishments around town. And we’ve caught word that not only is it a cool local hangout, but that they also have killer karaoke nights and pretty tasty $1 wings. The San Pedro Sun decided to check out the joint located in town on Pelican Street, and we saw first-hand that not even a rainy Friday night could keep away Mr. Al’s patrons! It was a karaoke competition and the cozy bar was jam packed. Cold drinks were being served, yummy wings at almost every table and karaoke selections in full swing.

Creativity and Style showcased 2014 Belize Fashion Week
The highlight of BFW14 took place on Friday, November 21st and Saturday, November 22nd when the models strutted the runway in the hottest of spring-summer 2015 fashion. Overseen by award winning director Arlando Smith, the two-night show was an exceptional presentation of Belizean creativity. From beautiful ball gowns to slinky swimsuits, the models rocked every outfit. The crowd got to enjoy the creations of local designers such as Joris Hendrik, Adrian Rocker, Maureen Navarette (ICONIC),Char Tolentino (A LIST FASHION), Francis Alfaro, Saskia Alejos, Daniel & Jaeil Torres (Jada’s Design), Gabriel Garcia (GMX), Julie McCord, Andazi, Jeana Casey (jewelry designer) and Panamaniean designer John Bejarano. Following the runway show, the designers had an opportunity to market their fashions at the BWF Expo on Sunday, November 23rd held at Central Park. All outfits, jewelry and accessories featured in the runway show were available for purchase.

Fundraiser for Casper Wood a success
Island residents gathered at ABC Pub and Grub on Saturday, November 22nd to raise funds for bass player Casper Wood. After an afternoon of great food, drinks and music, the fundraiser was deemed a huge success raising approximately $3,000BZ for Casper’s medical expenses. Casper, who is a well-known musician in San Pedro, was recently forced to quit working due to his health. His condition requires the use of a pacemaker (a device that is placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms). The fundraising event consisted of raffles and a turkey dinner sale. Generous patrons also made monetary donations both locally and internationally via PayPal. With the money raised, Wood will be receiving immediate medical treatment here in Belize before leaving for his native country of Panama where he will receive further specialized assistance.

Amazing show of culture at Holy Cross Anglican Primary School
The students of Holy Cross Anglican Primary School celebrated Belizean culture on Friday, November 21st with their annual Culture Day Fair. Students had the opportunity to showcase their knowledge on the country’s various ethnic groups to parents, guardians and friends. Many of the students and teachers dressed up in cultural attire and enjoyed a fun day of activities for the whole family. The event required upper level students to present on the food, clothing, music, dance and history of the three main cultures of Belize: Garifuna, Creole and Mestizo. The day started at the Boca del Rio Park with the reenactment of the historic Garifuna landing on the coast of Belize on November 19, 1832. After that, the students held a procession back to the school where the main activities took place.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro High Academics Enter Sagicor Visionary Challenge
Two teams from San Pedro High School’s Academic Department have entered the Sagicor Visionary Challenge that encourages secondary and high school students to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing them. Their challenge – to find a problem affecting the community and coming up with a solution through their science background. The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), SAGICOR, and the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) partnered to form the first Science competition known as the Sagicor Visionary Challenge. That challenge for the San Pedro High Team, led by Mr. Ricardo Sedacy, Head of the Science and Math Department at SPHS, is aimed as using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the problems that they have identified in the community.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Hi nature lovers
Instagrammers. Wildlife Conservation Society in Belize has started its local account. So you'll see photos of nature above and below water. And if you have photos of the wild or nature, hashtag ‪#‎WCSBelize‬ and ‪#‎Belize‬ in your photos. This means plants of Belize as well. WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. We are in Belize.

Aboard the Uprising in San Pedro Ambergris Caye with our buddy Eric.
It is beginning to feel like Christmas. Tomorrow is celebrated as Thanksgiving Day primarily in the United States of America. This is how we marinate a Red Grouper in Belize. Here is wishing all our North American friends at home and abroad a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Day. Peace!

Christmas Sell-A-Thon at the Lions Den
Saturday, November 29th 8am-1pm

World AIDS Day 2014
Government of Belize Press Office

Channel 7

Arraignment Fiasco For Teenager Accused of Killing Diplomat
Tonight, the family of 18 year-old Wilser Echeverria, the man accused by police of killing Panamanian Diplomat Jose Rodrigo De la Rosa Stanford, continues worry about his fate because police have charged him for murder, but in a confounding twist, the Sitting Magistrate is refusing to arraign him. It all pivots on his claim that he killed the diplomat in self defence because the man wanted to rape him gunpoint. For a few hours today, he was indeed charged by investigators with the capital offence, and Belmopan police marched him before Magistrate Aretha Ford this morning. The arraignment should have gone through, and since it is an indictable offence, no plea would have been taken and Echeverria would have sat in jail on remand for months until the DPP’s Office was able to proceed with a Supreme Court case against him.

Date Set For Opening Of Sugar Crop - but Differences Still Loom
Date Set For Opening Of Sugar Crop – but Differences Still Loom December eighth – that’s the date that has been set for the start of the sugar crop. That’s what was agreed to yesterday at a meeting of the Sugar Industry Control Board. That Government appointed Board acts like a kind of referee in the industry and has representation from the cane farmers association, BSI and the Ministry of Agriculture. They met yesterday – and not surprisingly the Cane Farmers and BSI could not agree on a compromise. But they did agree on one thing: ripe cane is awaiting harvest in the field and the season must start: Oscar Alonzo, CEO - BSCFA "We want the crops to start, early. Especially since we determined there is 1.475 million tons of cane out there that needed to be processed. Yesterday the SICB sought to see if it would be possible let us reach an agreement; But what we did achieve yesterday is set date.

Three More Charged For Gang Rape Of 11 Year Old
Tonight, three more Belize City males have been charged for the alleged gang rape of an 11 year old girl. Today a 14 year old, a 17 year old, and 19-year-old Keron Willoughby were charged jointly with one count each of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female child under the age of 14. They join 22 year old Wilfred Ramirez – at whose Iguana Street home the heinous act allegedly occurred last week Thursday. The trio appeared together this morning all unrepresented before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The two minors had one of their mothers present when the charge was read to them.

Cruise Ships Cancel Due to Rough Seas
This morning, the local cruise machinery was well oiled and in high gear – and why not? After all, what’s known as cruise ship season starts on thanksgiving – and this year – Belize is set to see a record number of cruise ships in port. So, several hundred tourism industry workers gathered outside the Fort Street Tourism Village ready to receive more than 12,000 cruise passengers who should have disembarked from 4 ships. But call it a wicked nor’easter, climate change, or what you wish - those 4 ships, 2 from Carnival Cruise Line and 2 from Norwegian, had a hard time getting their guests to shore. Due to the strong winds and the choppy seas, the authorities onboard the Carnival ships decided that it would be too dangerous to get their passengers into the cruise tender vessels. The passengers would first have to walk down a gangway and unto a tender that’s swaying on rough seas – and then endure the eight mile journey to shore on those same seas. Seas so rough it even left an immigration officer seriously seasick! All that meant that both Carnival ships cancelled their calls, keeping some 6,658 passengers away from Belize’s shores.

COLA Says It's Sitting On Something Big
IF you watch the news regularly, you’ll know that the activist group COLA loves hype – and tonight it is riding a wave of it – by promising to bust out a major police scandal. According to a breathless press release issued this afternoon COLA claims to have got its hands on, quote, “an extraordinary amount of files detailing critical issues affecting the morale, manpower and operation of…the…Police Department.” The release says the documents detail a fistful of cop complaints from arbitrary transfers to poor living conditions. But, according to COLA, there’s more than just the usual grousing. The release says, quote, “one document…fingers key Ministers of Government as masterminds of interference in and disruption of the careers of several police officers to preserve their own agendas.”

Unemployment Figure Down Year to Year
What is Belize’s unemployment rate? Well according to the latest labour force survey, it is less than at this time last year. In September of 2013, it stood at 14.2%, but in September of this year it was down to 12.1%. The new Director General of the Statistical Institute of Belize explained at a press conference in Belize city this morning:…. Dr. Leopold Perriott – Director-General, SIB "This graph is telling us that of the labour force that 12.1 percent of the labour force unemployed country wide. 18.4 percent of the labour force in Stann Creek are unemployed. The lowest of course 6.6 percent in Toledo is unemployed. The high levels in Stann Creek reflects the large amount of jobs that were lost over the last quarter, last half of the year. As fas as trends goes, we're experiencing a down turn in the unemployment rates. 18,479 persons are unemployed in September and most of them are in the Belize district; 37.1 in the Belize district and we have. That wouldn't be surprising with the biggest population"

Broke Into A Church
Two men are behind bars tonight for burglarizing, of all places, a church! Ronald Gill and Tyrone Fitzgibbon have seven years to serve for this offense. It happened on October 25th, 2013 at around 12:30 in the morning a police officer and his mother saw Gill and Fitzgibbon sneaking around the SDA Mount Olive Church on Faber’s Road and hiding items behind a building near the church. According to PC Leslie, at around 12:30 a.m., his family and he went over to the church after he learnt that persons were seen on the grounds. He said he took his flashlight out and that’s when he got a clear visual of Fitzgibbon face who was surprised by their entrance. He then ran out the rear door of the Church, with Leslie chasing behind. Fitzgibbon managed to get away by jumping into a nearby swamp and swimming away.

Cameras For The Cancer Of Crime
And because it has gotten burgled like that church one too many times, the cancer society is getting serious with security. At the beginning of the month, we told you how the Belize Cancer Society had been burglarized for the 5th or 6th time. The Cancer Society sent out a public call for help to assist them in acquiring surveillance equipment to secure the facility. The Feinstein Group of Companies answered that call, and today donated over $6,000 in equipment to build a sophisticated system, which should, at best, deter thieves, and at worse, catch them in the act of stealing from the Non-Profit Organization. The Feinstein Group's Fort Point Security officially handed over the system today, and the media was invited to witness it. 7News was there, and the Vice President of the Cancer Society told us that this is a very welcome donation:

Man Claims Police Brutality, No Justice
Tonight a Cayo resident is speaking out after he was allegedly beaten by two police officers. The incident happened on June 19th in the Cayo District. Ernesto Chan, a taxi driver, said two police officers intercepted his vehicle and proceeded to beat him for no reason. His injuries were classified as dangerous harm and since then Chan has made an official police complaint. But it’s been five months now since the incident and Chan says he is still waiting for justice. Today he visited our studios to explain.

Amputee Tells Court He Needs Weed To Ease The Pain
A couple escaped a drug trafficking charge only to get a lesser charge today in court before Magistrate Herbert Panton. 50 year old Alton White and his common-law wife 36 year old Idolly Fraser were accused of drug trafficking when the GSU found 119 grams of weed or 4 ounces of weed at his residence in the Conch Shell Bay area. This happened on September 3rd 2013. They found 108 grams in his septic and 11 grams in his drawer. But White says that he was not going to sell the drugs and that this stash was for medicinal purposes. White is an amputee and has lost use of his leg and he claims the weed helps soothe the pain.

Celebrating The Best On CXC
Some of you might remember the pressure of CXC exams back in high school. Well, the top achievers at today’s National CXC awards ceremony are very familiar with it. Except that while most of us just break into a cold sweat, these top students just dig deeper into their books. And today their were honoured for their hard work and outstanding accomplishments. Courtney Weatherburne spoke with the top finishers. Siian Rancharan- First Place, CSEC "Make sure you believe in yourself because the moment you have any self doubt, that's when you fail yourself. You have to push on, it's a lot of work, a lot of sleepless nights, it really is tough and intense; But at the end of the day when you go up on that stage, when you get that award, it's just that satisfaction you get from achieving from what you have wanted."

Human Rights Group Goes Behind The Prison Walls
“Jail is where they put the bad people” – that’s what we all learned growing up – but often-times it’s not that simple. Many accused persons are stuck behind prison walls – it seems indefinitely - awaiting trial or a bail hearing – which often never comes – for those who can’t afford an attorney, or pay the bail application fee. Indeed, there are many barriers to freedom for accused persons – who stand before the law innocent until proven guilty – even as they are stuck behind prison walls. And that’s where a British Human Rights group called the Death Penalty Project comes in. They came to Belize in July 2014 to sort of troubleshoot the penal system, to find out where accused persons were falling between the cracks into legal oblivion. British Barrister Joseph Middleton compiled a 40 page report called “Behind These Prison Walls” which is meant to serve as a sort of call to action. The report was officially launched today – but the program to rescue some of the forgotten persons is already underway:…

Talking Taiwan
The Taiwanese Embassy today held its annual end-of-year Luncheon and Experience Sharing at the Chateau Caribbean. It is sort of a review of how the year went from the Taiwanese Embassy's perspective – and the Embassy's invites the media and key organizations from the Public Sector to share in. This year's observance was also the first that the New Taiwanese Ambassador, Benjamin Ho, hosted. We attended and spoke with the ambassador about his perspective on the gains and the losses made during his few months in Belize.

Channel 5

Police and D.P.P. Tangle Over Murder Charges for Wilser Echevarria
The murder of Panamanian diplomat Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford on Sunday is a sensational case. The allegations of attempted rape brought against him by Wilser Echevarria and his [...]

11-year-old Girl Gang Raped on Iguana Street
There is a most disgusting report tonight of the gang rape of an eleven year old girl. The incident allegedly occurred on Iguana Street last Thursday at the house of [...]

What’s the Latest on the Sugar Impasse? B.S.C.F.A. Gives an Update
On November fifteenth, cane farmers from eighteen branches of the B.S.C.F.A. met and issued an ultimatum to the Sugar Industry Control Board. In a nutshell, the farmers had two requests [...]

2014’s Top CXC/CAPE Performers Awarded in Orange Walk
There were happy students and proud parents this morning at the national ceremony for CSEC and CAPE awardees which took place in Orange Walk Town. Hundreds of students were recognized [...]

Patrick Faber Shares Success Stories in Education
At the onset of his speech at today’s CXC/CAPE Awards ceremony, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber spoke to the gathering on the current state of the education system. Faber thumbed [...]

Is Hunting Caye F.O.B. Still a Joint Belize/U.S. Effort?
On Tuesday, News Five had an opportunity to speak with Minister of foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington on a variety of issues, including the murder of the Panamanian diplomat. We also [...]

Derrick Bain Convicted of Theft for a Second Time
A convicted thief, who is already serving time behind bars, picked up his second conviction for crimes of dishonesty after pleading guilty to theft for snatching a chain from an [...]

Behind the Prison Gates
The penal system, despite various initiatives by the Kolbe Foundation to improve overall wellbeing at the Belize Central Prison, is bogged down by a number of human rights issues that [...]

A Look at Belize’s Criminal Justice System
According to Executive Director, Parvais Jabbar of the Death Penalty Project, the presentation of the report is not a question of people being released from prison, in light of the [...]

Bar President Acknowledges Efforts of Lawyers in Prison Report
While the Bar Association has been panned for its so-called political affiliations, as well as its seeming lack of interest in assisting with legal aid, President Eamon Courtenay acknowledges that [...]

SIB Says Employment Is Up
The quarterly press conference of the Statistical Institute of Belize was held today in Belize City. It’s a mixed bag of good and bad news. The good news is that [...]

Cruise Ships Cancel Call on Belize Due to Choppy Seas
Today marks the beginning of the high season for the tourism industry, which coincides with the U.S. Thanksgiving Day. But the season got off to a choppy start because two [...]

Would A Cruise Port Prevent Cancellations?
B.T.B. has gone on record to make clear its support for a cruise port of any kind to be built in Belize.  Andrade told us that today’s incident underscores that [...]

Will P.U.P. Accept a Petrocaribe Funded Christmas Cheer?
Christmas is less than a month away which means that the government’s annual Christmas Cheer Program is around the corner. While the opposition takes credit for starting the program with [...]

CTV3

BSCFA Says Cane Farmers Are On Their Side Of The Ring
After BSI presented cane farmers with the contracts earlier in the month, there have been several consolations with them on the content of the agreement. So far, we have not been able to confirm if any farmer has signed this contract and the BSCFA has repeatedly cautioned farmers to reflect on the long and short term implications of such a contract. It appears though that there is some misinformation being spread which BSCFA’s CEO, Oscar Alonzo, sought to clarify today. The rumour is that farmers in Corozal are already signing that agreement with BSI but Alonzo says this is not the case and they have the support of farmers in Corozal.Oscar Alonzo – CEO BSCFA“What the farmers are signing there we understand that certain members of the St. Francis Xavier Credit Union are also members of the other Association and they are being given forms to join that Association, not to sign the BSI agreement so farmers are not signing any agreement as we understand there so we just want that to be clear that our farmers are still solid and we are getting increasing support from other organizations in the country.”

SIB Release Shows Improvement In Belize's Economy
And while SIB figures reveal that the transport index was cause for the consumer price index to increase, the third quarter statistics also point out that Belize’s economy grew by 4.8%. The latest Gross Domestic Product estimates reveal that the Belizean economy grew by 4.8percent during the months of July to September 2014 in comparison to last year. Strong performances were reported in several key sectors including agriculture, fishing, hotel and restaurants, while electricity, water and construction were down slightly for the quarter.Production in the Agriculture and Forestry sector rose by 20.4 percent as both crop yields and livestock production increased during the quarter. In the sugar industry, almost 50 thousand long tonnes were being delivered. Banana production is up by 9 percent, while Livestock products increased three-fold to meet the demands from Mexico and Guatemala.

Date for Commencement Of Crop To Be Negotiated
On Tuesday the representatives of the Belize Sugar Industry and ASR group, Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association, and the Sugar Industry Control Board finally met after repeated requests by the BSCFA to have a third party intervention. Now, while the SICB acted as a mediator in this round of discussions, and both principal parties agreed upon three major points, the process of negotiations is still, as they put it, a “very delicate” matter. The two major points of interest to the BSCFA to have the SICB’s participation in the process are to recruit an independent expert in the negotiations for revenue sharing for bagasse and secondly to set a date for start of crop with an interim agreement signed.The BSCFA has stated that it is within their interest, like BSI’s to start the crop early. This was mutually agreed upon yesterday and both parties cited December eight as an ideal start date. Both parties also agreed to restart negotiations but nothing specific was settled upon. In an interview late yesterday evening, Chairperson of the SICB Gabriel Martinez would not go into details of the discussions. Today, representatives of BSCFA elaborated more about the results of yesterday’s meeting and how they hope the matters are addressed in a favourable manner for all sugar stakeholders. Dalila Ical reports.

Belize's Inflation Rate Remains At 0.7%
The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its latest inflation and trade figures. According to the latest statistics for the Consumer Price index, the national inflation rate for the month of October reflects that of last month and stands unchanged at 0.7%. A release from the SIB reveals that the consumer price index rose slightly in comparison to last October from 102.9 to 103.6.For the first ten months, the average inflation rate remains at 1.3 percent. This month the prices for food items such as eggs, pasta and bread went down by an average of 1.2 percent. And while home rental prices remain high particularly in Orange Walk Town and San Ignacio for October, the transport index, one of the primary drivers of the Consumer Price Index, rose marginally by 0.5 percent. This resulted as higher fees for driver’s license across municipalities were virtually offset by a 10 percent drop in price per gallon of diesel.


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#498405 - 11/27/14 10:48 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 27, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

LOVE FM

Angelita Campbell Speaks About Inflation Rate For October
The Statistical Institute of Belize today released its latest figures including the inflation rate for the month of October which remained unchanged from the previous month which recorded a 0.7% inflation rate. According to Statistician, Angelita Campbell, the consumer price index rose slightly in comparison to last October, from 102.9 to 103.6. ANGELITA CAMPBELL “The annual change of the CPI for the month of October stands at 0.7 percent which means that on average the prices are 0.7 percent higher than that of last October. The average rate of inflation from January to October is at 1.3 percent and there was relatively no change in the price in the TPI in respective to the previous month which is the month of September. The diagram here represents the index for all the food items index as well as the fuel index. If you will look specifically at the oil index which is in blue, we are moving from 102.9 to 103.6 which would correlate with an increase. The all food index shows a decrease from 108.6 to 107.3 and the fuel index also reflects a decrease from 111.5 to 108.5 and that will be explained later on. Higher prices were experienced in the transport category of 0.5 percent and that can be explained by an increase in driver’s licenses which was offset by a decrease in fuel prices. The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels went up by 1.5 percent and that can be attributed to an increase in rent of 2 percent.”

Taiwanese Ambassador Promotes Opportunities for Alumni
The Embassy on the Republic of China on Taiwan hosted a briefing this morning at the Chateau Caribbean where the focus was on the employment opportunities available in Belize following their studies in Taiwan. The morning event had several presentations made focusing on entrepreneurship, business development and accessibility of finances as well as the emerging industries in Belize. One of the speakers this morning was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, who painted quite a dismal picture of Belize, its environment when it comes to attracting foreign investments and the high number of single and uneducated mothers.

CEO Alpuche Responds to Mother’s Complaint of Abuse
It was almost ten days ago when we brought to you the story of a mother, who has claimed that her child was abused and injured whilst in the care of a privately run children’s home in the Belize District. The story was a disturbing one as relayed to us back then by the mother and the child with claims of physical abuse and rough manual labor. At the time, we had made attempts to get feedback from the Department of Human Services and while those efforts didn’t pan out at the time, Love News did meet up with the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche, who told us that an investigation into the matter was launched and that the case is far more complicated than was relayed to us by the child’s mother, Devaun Cacho.

A Report on Status of Prisoners Inside Kolbe
As of July 2013, the Belize Central Prison’s population stood at 1,586. Of that figure 37 are females77 are young men and there is one man in there that has been sentenced to death. The prison also holds more than five hundred prisoners on remand from either the Supreme Court or the Magistrate Court. HIPOLITO NOVELO “A study, called “Behind the Prison Gates” was made reality through the efforts of the Death Penalty Project and the Bar Association of Belize. The study was conducted by Joseph Middleton who visited the prison between July and August 2013. What he found was alarming.” JOSEPH MIDDLETON “We have together with lawyers from Belize some of whom are here today worked to identify miscarriages of justice ad through work with both prisoners and the prison. We have higlighted significant failures in the criminal justice system leading to what we would call fundamental human rights violations.”

Cayo Resident Waits For Justice in Case of Police Brutality
Five months ago, a Belizean man made a report of police brutality to the Belmopan Police Department after he was allegedly assaulted on June 19, 2014 in San Ignacio, Cayo by two police officers. 40-year-old, Ernesto Chan who works as a taxi driver in San Ignacio spoke to Love News today and said he is still awaiting justice. ERNESTO CHAN “This is the second time I am here and the reason I am here is because I believe in justice and I believe in fair in the law. I reported police brutality in San Ignacio and so far nothing has been done. I haven’t gotten an answer about what happened. The commissioner stated that there will not be tolerating officers in police brutality or officers being corrupted. Sgt. Octaviano Victorin and Corporal Rudolph Rodrigues, they brutally battered me up. They are the ones who assaulted me, they chased me and I have witness that saw everything that happened to me when these officers were beating me up.

US Energy Gives to Claver College in Southern Belize
Two computers handed over to Claver College Extension in Punta Gorda was a timely donation. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “The computers were donated by US Capital energy in Toledo and were officially handed over on Monday afternoon Clavier College extension institution by US Capital energy Country Representative Allister King.” ALLISTER KING “Mr. Floyd Lino and Mr. Andre Price who is the head of the Clavier College extension told us that their computers had been stolen from the school and they were badly in need of replacement so I got a hold of Mr.Ben Juarez who is US Capital’s computer man and he immediately expedited these two computers down to replace the stolen ones. So I’d like to thank Ben Juarez for his quick action on this as well.”

DPP Orders That Hendy Be Set Free Following Fatal RTA
Three charges were withdrawn from 36-year-old, Eldon Hendy, a technician of Isabella Bank, when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The charges were manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct and driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention. They were withdrawn on instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions. The charges arose from an incident which occurred on December 4, 2013. According to the allegation, Hendy was driving a white pick-up truck when he knocked down 75-year-old Gregory Lopez, who was riding a bicycle between miles 6 and 7 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Lopez received injuries to his head and body and he died on the spot.

Fort Point Security Reaches Out to Cancer Society
The Belize Cancer Society is a non-profit organization geared at providing guidance and support to both adults and children who are diagnosed with cancer. The centre also serves to promote awareness, regular check-ups and to encourage a healthy lifestyle. As an addition to their services rendered, the Society works at providing Christmas cheer to cancer patients particularly the young children and as part of this initiative, they appeal for donations of gifts each year starting from as early as October and private citizens, business and other entities are always willing to give. Up to early November, several gift items had been collected and stored but those disappeared when thieves broke into the centre and stole the presents valued at about five thousand dollars. Diane Finnegan is the Vice President of the Belize Cancer Society and today, she was on hand to receive some Christmas cheer on behalf of the society from Fort Point Security.

Echevarria Charged With Murder For Panamanian Diplomat
19 year old Wilser Echevarria has been charged for the murder of 64 year old Panamanian Diplomat, Jose Rodrigo De la Rosa. We understand that Echevarria was charged with murder and theft- one count in regards to the motor vehicle and one count in regards to a cell phone. Echevarria confessed to killing De la Rosa but he says it was self defense after De la Rosa allegedly made unwanted sexual advances on him. Echevarria family and friends were out in front of the Belmopan Police Station displaying their support for what they believe is an injustice. SISTER-IN-LAW “I am his sister in law and I am here to support him, we are all here to support him because all he did was defend himself and we know that he did not want to do that because he is a hard worker. He is paying for something that all he was doing was defend himself. We are poor but not because of that the rich will come and do whatever they want with their money.”

Remanded Prisoner Plea Changed From Not Guilty To Guilty
Derrick Bain a remanded prisoner charged with theft from the person, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. The complainant, police constable Tanisha Dawson reported to the police that on October 22, 2013, she was walking on Sixth Street when Bain rode beside her on a bicycle and ripped her gold chain from around her neck and rode away. The chain was never recovered. Bain said it fell from his hand when he rode around a lane. Bain was sentenced to nine months. He has already served his sentence because Chief Magistrate Smith said that the sentence was time served. But although Bain has already served the sentence he was not released because he is remanded for a charge of grievous harm. Dawson was not a police officer when the incident occurred.

Eleven Year Old Says She Was Gang-Raped
One adult and two minors were charged with carnal knowledge of an 11 year old girl when they appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. The adult is 19 year old Keiron Willougby and the ages of the minors are 14 and 17 years old. The girl reported to the police that the defendants had sex with her on November 20 at a house on Antelope Street Extension. The defendants were remanded into custody until January 9, 2015.

PlusTV

Evangelical Association outraged by US Embassy’s meddling in Belizean domestic issues
On Tuesday, we reported on statement issued by the US Embassy in Belize, in which the Ambassador called for the repeal of Belize’s Section 53 law. As we told you, retired U.S. judge Carlos Moreno, in June of this year, became the new US Ambassador to Belize...

Four charged for assault of 11 year old girl
Four Belize City men, including two male minors, are being accused of gang raping an eleven year old schoolgirl, sometime last week. Police have rounded up 22 year old Wilfred Ramirez of Iguana Street,  as well as Kieran Willoughby, and two boys aged 14 and 17, and charged them with unlawful sexual ...

City man pleads guilty to theft
Derrick Bain of Belize City pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a charge of theft, after 9 months on remand at the Central Prison. He was given credit for time served by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith, but remains on remand on a separate charge of grievous harm. On October 22, 2013, Bain is accused of ...

Traffic charges withdrawn for 2013 accident
36 year old Eldon Hendy of Isabella Bank, Belize District, no longer faces charges of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct and driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention. The charges were withdrawn on his appearance on Wednesday, before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, ...

COLA plans to release documents showing ministerial interference in police matters
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) issued a press release on Wednesday  evening, claiming that it has come into possession of an extraordinary amount of files detailing critical issues affecting the morale, manpower, and operation of the Belize Police Department. COLA states that ...

Economic statistics: more buying, less selling
On Wednesday the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) offered a last batch of statistics on economic and social services for 2014, up to October. The news is encouraging in most sectors but disappointing in others. We begin with the 3rd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which grew by 4...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

R.I.P. Mr. Bartolo Rodriguez
With deep regret, the Rodriguez Family wishes to announce the passing of Mr. Bartolo Rodriguez, on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. He was the last remaining child of Juan and Arcadia Rodriguez of Caye Caulker. He was 91 years old. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Valentina Rodriguez; his children: Abel, Bartolo Jr., Roger, Arcadia Cruzita, Maria Amparo Montero, Mirta Smith, Jilmar, and Jose Homero, Kay Zehms, Ishmael Hernandez, their spouses, 29 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandson, several nieces and nephews. Mr. Bat or Don Bat, as he was known by many, was a lobster fisherman. He enjoyed music, poetry, sports and teaching his trade. We wish to thank all who, in any way, helped us through this time of bereavement.

Patrick JonesPJ

Belize City taxi operators want to keep license moratorium
A majority of taxi operators in Belize City who met with the Belize City Council on Monday afternoon would like a moratorium on new licenses which has been in effect from 2012 to be lifted. But despite the important service they provide to the Belizean population, there has […]

PUP leader says Joseph Mahmud “made poor decision”
Monday’s resignation of Cayo North area representative Joseph Mahmud from the House of Representatives was a bombshell despite his announced intention not to seek reelection. But no one is more affected than the People’s United Party (PUP), whose leader and executive are, to say the least, disappointed not […]

Gateway Youth Center opens
The Community Action for Public Safety (CAPS) initiative of the Government through the Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports and Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation on Tuesday opened a brand-new youth center near the campus of Gwen Lizarraga High School in Belize City. It is intended […]

Forum on masculinity underway in Belize City
A first of its kind national symposium on masculinity is underway at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City. Organized by the National Women’s Commission, today’s forum is seeking to bring Belizean men together to strengthen efforts in reducing gender-based violence. During the course of the day various […]

Blogs

Battle with the Sea
There are two things that you know are always going to lead to a good story: "So shit, there I was..." "Hey, hold my beer..." I like bullet points, and "things in threes" - so this is a third bullet point; although completely useless...pretty much made my day First you must know that the tale told did happen. The events that you are about to read are 100% based in reality; the identity of the people has not been changed...cause I'm more than happy for all of you to know about the events that nearly ended my life. It was a dark and stormy night, a front blowing in heavy from the North. Damn this Belizean winter. My brother and I, heroically crossing the sea, reaching the dock. Eric skillfully navigated through the traitorous shallows as we approached the island, our dock, and our safe haven for the night. Now - to tie up. Waves were crashing over the back of our tiny vessel; like the constant bat of a cat with a mouse - the ocean knew it could take us at any moment. Unbeknownst to us it had started a series of events that nearly did just that. Those waves had taken the back tie line off our stern, so as I grabbed the pole and reached for the bow tie the engine wrapped the line on the prop. Stopping it dead.

Belize’s Beautiful Placencia Peninsula

NATO to reside in Belize
NATO is also expanding into the Southern Hemisphere. NATO and Colombia have signed a partnership agreement, the first such agreement with a Latin American nation. Colombia reportedly agreed to facilitate the stationing of additional NATO troops in Central America and the Caribbean, including European colonies and ex-colonies such as Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Belize.

The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
Back by Popular Demand – The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will be held on Saturday, December 6th starting at 6pm til around 9pm. This traditional event introduces the holiday season and brings us into the holiday mood with a fun event filled with twinkling lights, children’s laughter, and Christmas carols. The dazzling boat parade will start at 6pm and span from Wayo’s Beachside Bar, Boca Del Rio to Caribbean Villas Hotel. Our community will have amazing views of the festive boats from all over town! We look forward to past participants as well as new additions lighting up the sea this holiday season! All boat owners and organizations are welcome to enter a boat in the parade and competition. The Central Park Block Party will feature plenty of booths where you can buy food, special holiday drinks, gift items and enjoy fun activities such as taking your family pictures with Santa!

Belize Fashion Week in San Pedro is Finn Approved: Lights, Designer Collections and Catwalk!
From SanPedroScoop.com fashion correspondent Fin Kardashian: This past week, BFW (Belize Fashion Week) showcased the best designing talent in Belize and even featured some international designers from around Central America. Although it’s not a Mercedes-Benz Bryant Park NYC fashion show, I would SO love to congratulate Pat Grief for putting on an outstanding event. We have Tropic Air’s 2014 Belize Fashion Week! Me sitting in the front row with designers Joris Hendrick, Francis Alfaro and organizer, Ms Grief. The show is 100% Finn Approved and is one of a kind. The Designers and their collections: Andazi- Andazi, Maureen Navarette-His Glory Designs, Francis Alfaro- Heartink, Saskia Alejos-Saskia Alejos, Adrian Rocker-Iconic, Char- A list Fashion, Joris Graniel- Joris Hendrick, Daniel Torres- Jada’s, Gabriel Garcia- GMX, Julie McCord- Julie Mango and John Vejerano- John Vejerano. Quite a line up.

International Sourcesizz

Panama Diplomat Killed in Belize; Suspect Detained
Authorities in Belize say they have detained a man suspected of killing a Panamanian diplomat. Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa was charge d'affaires at the Panamanian embassy in Belmopan, the capital of Belize. His body was found late Sunday near a highway on the outskirts of the city with cut wounds on his head and neck. The spokeswoman for Panama's Foreign Affairs Ministry said Wednesday a three-member team of investigators and diplomats had been sent to Belize to familiarize themselves with the case. Spokeswoman Monica de Leon said De La Rosa was a 64-year-old career diplomat. The ministry said he had served in various postings, including in Canada, Bolivia, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and Israel.

Death of Winnipeg man in Belize under investigation
Officers launched an investigation into the death of a Winnipeg man in Belize, on the coast of northern Central America, earlier in the week. Winnipegger James Searles, 59, was found dead in a river in Belize. Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson of St. Ignacio Police said the newlywed had just arrived in Belize to reunite with his wife, Nicole Warner. The Canadians spent Saturday, Nov. 22, night together in St. Ignacio after Warner picked up Searles at the airport. They shared some drinks before going to sleep that night at Warner’s home in Bullet Tree, a village just outside of St. Ignacio. “They stopped at a location got some beers. When they got to St. Ignacio town, they stopped at another store and got a quantity of rum, which they went to their home and they consumed, ” said Spt. Thompson.

These spider monkeys kill their male infants
Male infanticide among mammals is quite common, and infants of either sex can be killed. But a new study of spider monkeys has found that, in this species, only the male infants are targeted. What's more, the infants were all from the monkeys' own social groups. Over 119 species of mammal are known to commit infanticide, including about 35 primate species. But in spider monkeys infanticide has only been previously recorded five times. A new long-term field project has now recorded this behaviour again in three separate suspected incidents. The researchers now believe that it may be more common than was originally thought. The report in Primate Journal proposes that males commit infanticide due to sexual competition between the males in the group. If there are too many new males, the competition would only get worse.

Technology to the Endangered Language Rescue?
Much has been written on how technology is helping endangered languages. Creative as they are, online dictionaries, mobile apps, interactive graphics and dedicated keyboards can't by themselves resuscitate or maintain a language. But as part of a larger cultural revitalization effort, technology can help. As William Brennan wrote last year in The New Yorker: "Simply embedding endangered languages into the keyboards of smartphones will not save them. But, keeping these languages enmeshed in the fabric of daily life--which, particularly for the newer, younger speakers who are key to these languages' survival, means being a viable way to communicate through technology--is the only way they will have even a slim hope of surviving." With all the emphasis on high tech, modest community radio stations are reaching thousands of people with easily accessible and low cost technology. They provide forums for indigenous peoples to listen and talk in their own language. Some are specifically geared toward revitalizing languages, like Cultural Survival's network of 80 radio stations in Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize. Others, like Radio Indonesia's Balinese programs, have developed organically. How many people still listen to the radio?

Top Picks: World’s most exciting caves
10 - Belize: Mayan Ceremonial Site In the Cayo District of Belize, the Maya archaeological site of Actun Tunichil Muknal is especially captivating for its evidence of what is thought to be Mayan ceremonial sacrifices. Skeletons, ceramics and stoneware still lie within the cave walls, alongside cave formations that were modified by the Mayans to create shadows or silhouettes against the light that streams in. Tourist numbers are limited to preserve the cave and its artefacts.

National Car Rental expands Emerald Club in Latin America
Frequent travelers to Latin America can now experience the speed, choice and convenience offered through National Car Rental's award-winning Emerald Club loyalty program. National has expanded its Emerald Club Priority Service to airport locations in Aruba, Belize, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Curacao, Peru, Uruguay, Trinidad & Tobago and Tortola. "As National Car Rental continues its Emerald Club expansion in Latin America, we're pleased to provide membership benefits to more of our customers," said Rob Connors, assistant vice president of brand marketing, National Car Rental. "We continue to look for opportunities to offer reliable, efficient rental service to our Emerald Club members internationally and provide the service and quality that they've come to expect."

Videos

Video: Belize Night Dive, 10min.

Video: Belize, 12min.
Slide show of Belize Dive trip live aboard.

Video: The Great Blue Hole, Belize, 21min.
Dive trip to the Great Blue Hole in Belize on November 17, 2014 with Frenchie's Diving on Caye Caulker.

Video: Belize Night Dive Green Moray and Snapper, 1min.
Green Moray out and about fishing on a Night Dive with a Snapper at Hol Chan Marine Reserve Ambergris Cay Belize.

Video: Belize 2014 Video, 14min.

Video: Belize trip 2012, 4min.
Group of Old Dominion students take a trip to Belize for a study abroad course. With our leader Dr. Butler, we explore and learn about the various ecosystems found within the marine world.


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