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#504382 - 05/20/15 12:08 PM Today's Belize News: May 20, 2015
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Community members join Hands Across the Sand to say no to offshore oil exploration
Across the world, and in Belize, individuals and organizations came together to promote a healthy earth and highlight the issue of offshore oil exploration and drilling. Founded in 2009, Hands Across the Sand brings together like minded individuals and organizations with the conviction to organize a movement in their area to promote a clean energy future for the earth, and particularly, the ocean. In light of the continued offshore oil concessions controversy Belize is facing, Oceana in Belize rallied citizens to take part in the event held simultaneously around the world on May, 16th at noon. In San Pedro alone, close to 100 residents gathered on the beach in front of the San Pedro High School in the Boca del Rio Area. For 15 minutes, the crowd held hands in solidarity against offshore oil exploration and drilling in Belize. The event was also held in other areas across the country such as Belize City, Sarteneja Village, Hopkins Village, Placencia Village, Belmopan City, San Ignacio Town, Dangriga Town, Corozal Town, Punta Gorda Town, Orange Walk Town and Caye Caulker Village.

Crooked Tree Village’s Cashew Fest – something yummy for everyone!
Over the weekend, Crooked Tree villagers celebrated what would mark their 23rd Annual Cashew Festival, and let me tell you; it was quite the shindig! The festival took place fromMay 15th to the 17th. Families from what seemed like every district packed up for a day of food, drinks, games and music in Crooked TreeVillage as they celebrated the cashew fruit and its numerous by-products. Of course if you’re not a cashew lover (God forbid), there’s plenty of other delectables on sale for the feasting! There’s the beloved Belizean staple of Rice and Beans, plenty of barbeque and smoked meats, and enough desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth ten times over! Beverages you ask? Why there’s anything and everything from fresh fruit juices and ice cold coconut water, to soda pops, Belikin Beer and did I mention Cashew Wine (hint, hint).

Ambergris Today

Belize Looks into Development of Coconut Industry
The second phase of the Road Mapping workshops for the European Union (EU) funded “Coconut Industry development in the Caribbean” project is set to continue later this month. Project partners the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the Geneva based International Trade Centre (ITC) will engage with industry stakeholders in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Belize and Suriname to formulate road maps for market led development of the coconut and coconut products sectors. Utilizing a participatory approach, stakeholders across the coconut value chain in each of the project countries will come up with road maps to address critical areas such as market options, production and productivity, support services and the policy environment among other areas. Specialists from within and outside the Region will also present on current market dynamics, performance requirements, plant material availability, new technologies and discuss with participants current Caribbean coconut supply dynamics. Development banks and potential financing partners will also be invited to participate, as they are key players in the industry’s growth and development.

San Pedro Wraps Up Reef Week Activities
As Oceana brought together island residents to show their objection to offshore oil exploration, The Hol Chan Marine Reserve office created awareness on the importance of the reef by hosting week-long activited during Reef Week last week. The Week served as a part of the environmental education program where the primary objective is to have students learn about Belize's coastal and marine resources in a fun and rewarding manner. The week's activities were celebrated under the theme "Protect our Belizean Sea; Keep the Reef Alive and Free" and included a trivia competition that tested island student's knowledge of the reef and marine resources, Marine Fair at Central Parkfor students to learn more about Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Bacalar Chico Reserve, Belize Wildlife Conservation Network and other protected areas in Belize and a Sunday Activity Day that included a triathlon competition and fun activties for the entire family. For their part, the Hol Chan Marine staff and volunteers conduted beach cleanups, installed mooring bouys at Mexico Rocks Reserve and conducted an in-water cleanup at Hol Chan Marine Reserve throughout the entire week. An amateur Lionfish Culling competition had to be cancelled due to rough sea conditions that persisted the entire week.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

ATIPS Logo Competition Award Ceremony
The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Council (ATIPS) will be hosting an award ceremony for the winners of the ‘Anti-Trafficking in Persons Logo Competition’ that was launched late last year for students in secondary and tertiary institutions throughout Belize. The award ceremony was held at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan City on Friday, May 15th 2015. The winners of the logo competition are: First place- Keron Tzul from Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College, who won a Samsung galaxy tab 4 10.1” screen, Second place – Cindy Acevedo from Belmopan Baptist High School, who won a Samsung Galaxy tab 4 7” screen, and Third place went to Donovan Lisbey from Mopan Technical High School, who won a Moto E Global GSM 4G phone.

Habitat destruction
Want to know why our subspecies of Yellow-headed Parrot (Amazona oratrix belizensis) has remained on the critically endangered species list for so long, and has low chances of upgrading to a safer category? Its not just poaching. Here is the number one factor

BELIZE FISHING REPORT May 10th – May 16th, 2015
A great group from Orvis visited the lodge this week with lots of first time anglers earned their bonefish pins awards with ease. Even with the windy weather a few intrepid anglers went on to permit and tarpon.

Noticiero Univision Anchor Jorge Ramos visits La Isla Bonita with long-time girlfriend and actress Chiquinquirá Delgado!
If you were waiting for a flight at our San Pedro Terminal over the weekend, you might have been just lucky enough to get some ‪‎celebrityspotting‬ done as wel.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, May 19, 2015: 17. FANTASY 5: 16 28 12 15 19 G

Channel 7

Compol speaks On Cop Caught Smuggling Weed
Last night, we told you about Police Constable Geian Ya, the officer attached to the Corozal Quick Response Team who was caught trying to smuggle marijuana into the country. Well his boss, the Commissioner of Police, has told the press that he will be dealt with to the full extent of the law. As we told you, Ya was intercepted at around 2 o'clock on Sunday afternoon by the Customs Enforcement Unit as he came across from Mexico, into Belize at the Santa Elena border. The examining officer picked up the strong scent of marijuana and asked him to open the trunk. Inside, the officer found a black plastic bag with 3 bricks of compressed marijuana to total weight of just under 7 pounds. Today the Commissioner of Police told us that Constable Ya has been dealt with to the full extent of the law: Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police "I do know of the case. He was handed over to police. He has been arrested and charged. He has been taken to court. My understanding is that he was granted bail. He has been placed on interdiction by my office also. We, as administrators, we do not condone wrong doing within the Belize Police Department, be it of a criminal nature or be it a complaint from a citizen.

Can Police Contain Surging Crime?
And from misbehaving police officers, we asked the Commissioner to discuss the crime situation generally. Recent statistics released by the department shows that major crimes, including robberies, burglaries, carnal knowledge, theft, and rape are trending down over a three year period. But, in 2015, murders are on pace to set another ugly record. As we showed you last night, this weekend was particularly violent and 4 persons were killed. In fact, going back to Friday morning, 5 people were murdered in 60 hours - and these aren't just gang killings: the victims include a 68 year old man, a mother of three, and two American men. So coming up to the middle of May, there have been 54 murders, meaning that 2015 is on track to becoming the most murderous year on record, if the numbers keep going the way they have been. So, can police arrest the situation? Here's what Commissioner Whylie had to say: Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police "Crime is not an issue that will be solved by the Belize Police Department. It will take each and every individual citizens within Belize, as I've always said, we do not have police officers on every street corner, but we do have citizens who live on every street and so the solution to the crime problem - the kind of information and intelligence we need, rest with the citizens out there.

No Clues In double Murder Of US Nationals
Last night we told you about the gruesome home invasion in Teakettle where two Americans were killed: 61 year old Paul David Signorino, as seen in this photo was shot twice to the left side of the head while 47 year old Julian Christopher Jones was chopped multiple times to the head. Jones's ex-wife found them both dead in his home in Teakettle on Friday evening. Police are still following leads and have no one detained or no update on this double murder. Americans were again the target this time on Friday night in Hopkins. It happened around 7:30 Friday night when 62 year old American Ralph Porter and his wife Juanita Buckles were at home. Porter heard the dogs barking outside and when he went to look he saw 3 masked men emerging from the back of their house. One of the men had a handgun and pointed it in Porter's face and forced him to lie on the floor inside.

Man Narrates Scary Home Invasion
There is another armed home invasion to report, but this one happened in Ladyville yesterday at the Hendy family home, in broad daylight. Margaret Hendy is a well-known food vendor who sets up her operation in the vicinity of the PGIA compound. Yesterday, her brother, Nick, dropped by her house to do some yard work for her. He was splitting wood that she intended to use for her fire hearth cooking. He was at the house alone working when the intruders descended on him. Today, he described in detail for us how armed masked gunmen cut through the fence, held him up at gunpoint, tied him up and then ransacked the house: Nick Hendy, tied up by burglars "I decide that I got a big task here, so I better get busy. Right away I grab the axe and went over there and start to work some wood with this axe and in a minute or so while working about the third piece of wood, I heard the back fence and I decided to take a check. But at the time my axe was stuck in the block, so I felt like someone stoop down and I stoop down too and begin to peep, but I held on to the axe.

Sickout Staged At BEL, Union Wants 12.5% Per Annum
Consumers couldn’t be happier about electricity rates that are coming down to 35 cents per kilowatt hour in July – the lowest rate in memory. But, that doesn’t mean all is well at BEL. Under new government led management, the company has made a turnaround – and is now posting profits, where just five years ago, the balance sheet showed losses. The Belize Energy Workers Union say they too are a part of that prosperity and they have been in labour talks with management since November of last year. But, it seems talks have now broken down – we say that because of a sick out that was staged yesterday. Information to 7News is that there was a sickout on Monday where, countrywide, 60 employees called in sick. Services were not disrupted, though, and, best information says that work resumed as normal today. Neither BEL’s management nor the Union would give us any kind of comment, neither confirming or denying the sickout, and both cited a confidentiality agreement that doesn’t allow them to talk about the ongoing labour negotiations. But 7News has learned that talks have broken down over a proposed salary increase that the union is demanding. Reliable reports tell us that the union is asking for an increase of 12.5% per annum for four years – meaning that at the end of that four year period, their salaries would have increased by 50%.

Monchie says His Security Didn't Burn Field
Tonight, two men remain in the custody of Orange Walk police pending investigation for arson of a BSI cane field. As we told you last night, BSI security called police telling them that they found two men setting fire to a cane field in the San Lorenzo area. There are also reports of shots fired. Police responded and caught the two suspects on the road, impounded their pickup truck and detained then at the police station. It's huge news because one of the men is Efrain Novelo the personal security guard of PUP politician Ramon Monchie Cervantez. The pickup he was in belongs to Cervantez - and so it seems to put the aspiring candidate in a bad light. But today he told our colleagues at CTV-3 that there is a counter-narrative, another story which puts his security guard on a normal work errand - and wrongly arrested by police. Here's that version of events:... Ramon "Monchie" Cervantez "I haven't spoken to him, but I'm getting mixed reports. Yesterday when I was apprised of the situation, I was made to understand as if he and another guy were caught at the fields, burning them and then the security appeared and shots were fired and that they sped off and the police followed behind them. That's the impression that was given to me, they impression I had up to last night. This morning, one of our drivers, who every morning picks up Mennonite that works for us at the quarry, called me and said 'the Mennonite wants to speak to you'.

Sugar Quota Remains At Status Quo
And - whoever set the cane field on fire - the reason for it was last week's announcement that cane quotas would be re-assigned. While some branches saw their quota cut shortly, BSI's quota was increased - which immediately increased tensions in the sugar belt. Well, the Sugar Cane Production Committee met yesterday and set aside the quota cuts for the time being. Chairman Gabriel Martinez said they will wait for a complete survey:.. Gabriel Martinez - Chair, SICB "It's suspended until the Board gets a complete finding of the Productivity Survey being taken by SIRDI, which have been promised to be finished by this week Friday and a week after this, the Board will sit again to review again the final report." But, while it is deferred until the end of the month - the fact is the cane harvest is shortened and an effort needs to be made to bring in the best, richest cane as efficiently as possible - which means weeding out cane from growers who don't have very much quality cane left. Martinez explained:

Police Department Will Be Bolstered By Three Attorneys
Currently, there are 3 senior police officers who are about to return from studying law as full fledged attorneys, namely, Superintendent Bart Jones, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, and Inspector Llewellyn Usher. That's a welcomed and unprecedented increase in professional capacity in the Department, but, where will the department put them to make the best use of their newly acquired skills? Today, the press asked Police Commissioner Allen Whylie about it, and he said that he doesn't want to pre-empt their return, but he is excited at the prospect of the department having access to such highly trained professionals: Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police "I would not want to preempt that in terms of where they will be placed. I can say that I am eagerly awaiting their arrival back and I hope that all three officers will be back with the Police Department. Where we will be able to utilize their strengths. We do need their assistance and I am hopeful that we'll keep all three of them."

Hon. Elrington Likes PM's Pick for New Ambassador
Last week the Prime Minister announced that Pat Andrews, the recently retired Country manager for Scotiabank would be taking over as Belize's new Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the OAS. IT is a very senior diplomatic posting, perhaps the most senior one there is - but Andrews has no background in diplomacy. We asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs how he felt about the Prime Minister's decision:.. Jules Vasquez "Is it of any moment for you, any concern for you that the person is a novice at diplomacy, an expert in banking and a hell of a nice guy? But it's a sensitive post." Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "Actually Jules, if you do your research you'd find out that most people who have been appointed as ambassadors, most people, are novices at the job. In any country what you want is a person who is of impeccable character and Pat fits that bill. He has good common sense, he is very articulate, he's well educated, and I don't think you can ask for anything more than that."

Love Thy Neighbor, Don't Rob Them
Tonight, 32 year year-old Zaccehus Martinez, a resident of Fabers Road, is out on bail after police tied him to a burglary of his own neighbor's house. Sometime between February 12, and May 18, 2015, Lesvia Betancourt's home on Fabers Road was burglarized, and all of her valuables, worth almost $5,000 dollars were stolen. Police found the items on Martinez's possession, and so he was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. When he was arraigned today in Magistrate's Court, he pleaded not guilty, and told the court that he didn't break into Betancourt's apartment. He claims that he found the items in his yard, and he tried to make arrangements to have them returned. He also claims to have spoken to a witness who saw someone removing appliances from Betancourt's home.

Woman Accused of Beating UP GSU
We often hear allegations of the GSU beating up city residents, but tonight our story is about two women accused of beating up a GSU office. Two sisters were charged over the weekend for assaulting a GSU officer. It happened on Friday night at their West Canal residence. According to one of the women, things got out of control when the officer slapped and burst her sister's lip. After that, it was on. Here's her story. She told 7news the incident was captured on camera - but the footage was deleted by police. Lewis and her sister were detained by police on Friday night and was released on Saturday afternoon. They were both charged with assaulting a police officer.

Beaten By A Lady Cop
On Friday night we catalogued a long history of abuse made by Southside residents against police. And, as if on cue, during the news, one woman came to our studio to make one more allegation of police abuse. Pamela Estrada went to report a domestic dispute on Thursday night - and says she ended up being beaten by a woman police officer - after she sent her ten year old daughter to stay with a relative:.. Pamela Estrada "If my baby knew that they would beat me, my daughter wouldn't have left the vehicle. She would have stayed with me, but they promise my baby that they wouldn't do me anything. They told her that they would just take me and drop me home to, because it's a domestic problem and I didn't do anything and no one came and make any report about me. She (the officer) just start to punch me in the face and then the male officer handcuffed me.

Training Day for Cops
Last week Thursday, the latest crop of police recruits passed out of the police training academy to become fully fledged officers. They have the training, but no work experience as police officers. Due to a newly finished program in which the Police Department collaborated with the Us Embassy in Belize, these new recruits will enjoy the benefit of a streamlined and standardized training while on the job. That will come from senior officers who graduated from a specialized Field Training Officer program which Senior American Cops developed and instructed them in. The graduates of that program got their certificates today, and 7News was there for the ceremony. Here's what the instructor told us about how it will help the new recruits: Lt. Kevin O'Brien, Training Instructor "Well we were contacted about a month ago back home in West Palm Beach Florida and asked to come down and do a field training program. Field training program, as I teach, is a 40 hour block of instruction. And it teaches every police officer that wants to be a field training officer, how to deal with training an adult. Taking them out of the academy, the basic training of the academy and then putting that to work in the field. So we came down a week before the class started so that we could go around actually drive with the people in the Belize Police Department.

No Cruise Compromise In Sight
Last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow went to Miami to meet with executives of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. When he came back, he showed cautious optimism and said he would next meet with Mike Feinstein, the owner of the proposed Stake Bank project to discuss a possible compromise. Well, best information to 7News says that is not going to happen. As might have been expected, Feinstein has refused to relinquish the controlling interests in Stake Bank, and Royal Caribbean appears to have no interest in a minority shareholding. Of course, the situation is complicated, first, by the fact that Feinstein is suing Royal Caribbean and government over the head tax - and, second, by the other, little acknowledged fact that Royal Caribbean's partner in the Fort Street Tourism village, Diamonds International and Feinstein don't want to do business with each other. So, right now, best information suggests, there is no compromise, no clear way forward, and eventually Government may just have to pick which horse it wants to ride into the future. In the meantime, Feinstein's Stake Bank Bill which was approved by parliament, has not been brought into force, which leaves him at a disadvantage with his creditors.

Memorable Museum Moments
Art and history. That is the main theme for this year's International Museum Day. All this week, the Museum of Belize is hosting several activities for primary schools across the city. The coordinator says the kids get the best of both worlds: they got a historical overview and also get to learn about art and creativity. Today we met some of the students at the Museum and they told us what they thought about the art pieces. There will also be an art exhibit for high school students at the Bliss tomorrow.

Festival Of Hearts
The Festival of Arts: it's a showcase that parents and all students across the country look forward to every year. But more so the students: they are the stars of the show. The 2015 National festival showcase officially began today at the Bliss with performances from the primary schools. The performances run the gamut from pop music to liturgical dances. Today the coordinator told us that this festival celebrates the talents of our kids and also encourages free expression. There are also a host of events connected to this festival including a secondary school competition on Thursday the 21st and a Teachers Talent competition to be held on Friday May 29th.

Channel 5

Men Detained for Burning Canefields Will Be Charged
On Monday two men were detained by Police on suspicion of burning canefields owned by ASR in the San Lorenzo area of Orange Walk Town. The detention is politically charged, [...]

Ramon Cervantes Denies Involvement
As we said, the situation is politically charged because of the personalities involved, and also because when Alpuche Junior was detained he was driving a vehicle which belongs to Cervantes. [...]

Why Did the SCPC Cut Quotas?
There is word of an apparent resolution to unrest in the sugar industry which had the potential to blow up into full-scale protest. Because of the lateness of an announcement [...]

Both Americans Died From Chop Wounds
The double murder of the two American nationals in Teakettle was at the top of our newscast on Monday night. The brutal killing of the two men has left the [...]

Do you support the proposed amendment to the Special Agreement which will allow Guatemala to hold an individual referendum?
And our question for tonight is: Do you support the proposed amendment to the Special Agreement which will allow Guatemala to hold an individual referendum? Yes or No? Send your [...]

Courtenay Speaks on Referendum and ICJ
This weekend Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington will travel to Guatemala to sign an amendment to the Special Agreement signed at the O.A.S. headquarters in Washington back in 2008. The signing [...]

Says Elrington Should Resign
Courtenay took special exception to a statement made to News Five by Foreign Minister Elrington last week. Elrington claimed that, quote – “At this point in time, we don’t know [...]

GOB Should Support Territorial Volunteers, Says Courtenay
On Sunday about two hundred Belizeans, led by the Belize Territorial Volunteers, travelled to the Garbutt Falls border monument in Benque Viejo del Carmen. As they have been doing for [...]

Wanted Men Extradited to Belize
A trio of Belizean fugitives wanted for individual crimes, including murder, has been extradited by Mexican authorities.  The handing over took place on Saturday morning at the Belize/Mexico Border where [...]

Carter Convicted on GST Offences
T he GST continues to penalize businesses that have not been paying their taxes.  Well known talk show host and businessman Darrell Carter was spared jail time after he picked [...]

Martinez Arraigned for Burglary
Burglars cleaned out a woman’s apartment taking all her household items while she was away. But quick response by the police, led to the recovery of two od the stolen [...]

BCCI Supports Petrocaribe Initiative…Opposes Petrocaribe Act
he Belize Chamber of Commerce is the latest organization to come out against the PetroCaribe Loans Act which was passed in the house after a relatively short debate. While that [...]

Chamber Will Not Explore Joining Forces with PUP
Despite the Prime Minister’s recent announcement that amendments to the law will be tabled at the next House meeting, Vasquez says that there are certain aspects which remain unaddressed.  Those [...]

BCCI Awaits Amendments Before Formulating Clear Position
While the chamber, as a social partner, may not be joining the PUP to seek a repeal of the PetroCaribe Loans Act, it is in receipt of a letter from [...]

A Trip to the Museum of Belize
When was the last time you visited The Museum of Belize?  Many Belizeans see it as a place for international visitors to learn about our culture and history, but what [...]

Students Shine at the Festival of Arts
Festival of Arts has become a part of primary and high school tradition. For years, students have been showcasing their talents through dance, song, and drama at the district and [...]

Crooked tree Celebrates 30th Annual Cashew Fest
The thirtieth annual Crooked Tree Cashew Festival was held this weekend and as always, it was a spectacular showcase of that much loved fruit. But while the focus is on [...]

CTV3

Cervantez Sides With Cane Farmers On Issue Of Qouta Decision
While Cervantes has disassociated himself from having anything to do with the burning of BSI/ASR cane fields, it’s been a little over twenty four hours that his driver and another individual said to be from San Roman Rio Hondo are behind bars pending the outcome of police investigations into the matter. While no official police report has been released to the media, our sources at the Orange Walk Police Department reveal that a report provided by the watchmen of BSI/ASR indicates that they were in the area when they spotted a blue four door pickup circulating the area. At some point the vehicle drove into the cane fields, stopped and one man excited the vehicle and started setting fire to the cane fields. Reports are that there were two persons in the vehicle, the driver and the individual setting the fields on fire. The watchmen added that when the men found out they were spotted shots were fired at their direction.

Famous News Anchor Spotted In San Pedro
Over the weekend on La Isla Bonita, well known Noticiero Univision Anchor Jorge Ramos was spotted with long-time girlfriend and actress Chiquinquirá Delgado visiting the tourist mecca of Belize. The two TV personalities chose to vacation in our beautiful jewel and stayed at the private island of Cayo Espanto. For context, Jorge Ramos is a seasoned journalist and anchors the Univision News television program, Noticiero Univision; hosts the Univision Sunday-morning, political news program, Al Punto; and hosts the Fusion TV English-language program, America with Jorge Ramos. His girlfriend Chiqui Delgado is a Venezuelan TV host, model, and actress. She is currently a co-host of Mira Quien Baila on the Univision; prior to that, she was the host of ¡Despierta América! Delgado was first runner-up in the 1990 Miss Venezuela beauty pageant.Both Jorge and Chiqui posted a few images of their vacation in San Pedro on their personal Instagram accounts stating how much they loved their vacation in Belize. They departed the country on Sunday!

LOVE FM

Alibi for Alpuche Emerges on His Whereabouts When Cane Fields Were Burnt
While investigation continues into the issue of who set fire to more than 700 tons of BSI’s cane, Cervantes raised the possibility that all this might be a case of mistaken identity. According to Cervantes, recent information brought to his attention by a Mennonite employee is that Alpuche was at the Cervantes quarry in San Antonio village at the time of the incident and it was when they were on their way back to Orange Walk Town that both men were detained by police for allegedly setting the fields on fire. RAMON CERVANTES JR “It’s my political opponents, you said it, it could be political and they are the ones trying to make a case of it, trying to implicate me but I will say categorically that I condemn and denounce the burning of cane fields and why? There is a fundamental reason; because my family has been victim, we have been victims of the burning of cane fields. I have very good friends who have been victims to the burning of cane fields. In fact, seventeen acres of our cane fields, right at Mameyal, opposite where they abducted my father, right there they burnt seventeen acres of our cane so I totally condemn and denounce such action of burning of cane fields. I would never engage in such an action. I would never incite such an action or condone it. In fact I denounce such actions as the burning of cane fields. “

Cervantes Denies Involvement of His Driver in Burnt Cane Fields
While the SCPC met yesterday at the Sugar Board office some 20 acres of cane belong to BSI-ASR went up in flames. Love News has been able to confirm from BSI sources that a watchman was guarding the fields in the San Lorenzo Area when he observed a blue double cab pickup truck circling the area. He then noticed that two men exited the vehicle and lit fire in different areas of the field. The security guard alleges that as he approached the vehicle to record the license plates numbers shots were fired at him, forcing him to retreat and subsequently informed his supervisors who called the police. Quick police response led them to detain two occupants of a blue double cab pickup truck on the San Antonio – Yo Creek Rd. The vehicle has been identified as being the property of Ramon Monchi Cervantes and inside the vehicle were Efrain Alpuche Jr. and Saul Vasquez. Alpuche is Cervantes’ personal bodyguard. Since word spread of the detention of the two men, fingers have been pointed at Cervantes as being behind the burning of BSI’s cane fields. Today Cervantes spoke and denied any involvement and at the same time condemned such acts of malice.

Police Department Eagerly Awaits Return of Trio From Law Studies
While there are some bad cops tarnishing the reputation of the Belize Police Department, there are some with the goal to uplift the department. Three senior police officers were sent aboard to study law but where will they be placed if they return to Belize to work? ALLEN WHYLIE “I do not want to pre-empt that on where they will be placed. I can say that I am eagerly awaiting their arrival and I hope that all three officers will be back with the police department where we will be able to utilize their strengths. We do need the assistance and I am hopeful that we will keep all three of them. “ Those officers studying abroad are Inspector Llewelyn Usher, Superintendent Bart Jones and Senior Superintendent Clyde Williams.

Police Constable Yah Is Off Duty Pending Criminal Hearing
While the Commissioner has to deal with the rise in crime situation in Belize, he also has to deal with police officers behaving like criminals. Yesterday we reported on the case of Police Constable Giean Yah who was caught with 3139 grams of weed inside his silver Hyundai car as he was entering Belize from the northern border. The drugs were found inside the trunk and PC Yah was arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking. He appeared in court, met bail of three thousand dollars and is to reappear on August 21. PC Yah is not the first officer to be charged for a criminal offence and most likely will not be lost. Commissioner Whylie says PC Yah has been placed on interdiction. “Well I do know of the case. He was handed over to the police, he was arrested and charged; he has been taken to court. My understanding is that he was granted bail; he has been placed on interdiction by my office also. We, as administrators do not condone wrong doing within the police department; be it of a criminal nature or be it complaint of a citizen.

Commissioner of Police Says Most Murders Are Not Preventable
In an interview done with the Commissioner of Police earlier today, our reported asked the following: HIPOLITO NOVELO Sir, you mention that your department is doing its best but do you think it’s doing enough?” ALLEN WHYLIE “Well, we are doing the best under the circumstances. Am I satisfied with where we are? No, I am not because yes, the crimes are occurring; we have seen reductions, as I have said before, in all the various categories of major crimes with the exception of murders. So, there are the positive things that the department is doing. The murders – majority of the murders are not preventable; how do you prevent a person from being killed in their home? What else could the police have taken? What individual steps? So, there are their responsibilities, individual citizens also have the right to ensure that they are aware of their environment and that they take necessary steps to ensure that they are safe.

Compol Says Citizens Need to Help the Police to Curb Crime
Over the weekend there were for murders; three which were committed with some sort of firearm. That brings the murder count to about 53 already and we are just in the fifth month of the year. If this trend continues it might well be that 2015 may become the most murderous year yet. In fact, 2015 has already has more murders that 2012, 2013 and 2014. So what is the Belize Police Department doing about it? Well, Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie says that they are doing everything possible but they need the cooperation of the community. “Crime is not an issue that will be solved by the Belize Police Department. It will take each and every individual citizen within Belize. As I have always said, we don’t have police on every street corner but we have citizen who live on every street and so, the solution to the crime problem, the kind of information and intelligence we need, rests with the citizen out there. I have always asked for their support to provide those kinds of information; to work with us.

Police Finds Crack Cocaine and Weed on the Peninsula
Police in Placencia have arrested and charged 38-year-old, Marlon Wright Marlon Wrightfor possession of controlled drug. Police say that they were on foot patrol on Monday night when they came across Wright who was coming from the west side of the village. Police conducted a search of his person and while they were doing so, a black plastic bag fell to the ground. Wright, reportedly quickly attempted to conceal the bag by placing his foot over it but his quick move was noticed by the officer who then retrieved the plastic bag. In it there was 4 grams of crack cocaine for which Wright was charged for. Also, Placencia’s Quick Response team conducted a search behind Jay Birds Bar in the village in an abandoned lot. There, they found a black plastic bag, containing several other smaller bags which had in weed. It all weighed 113 grams and was labelled as found property since no one was in the area at the time.

American Nationals Assaulted In Home Invasion in Hopkins
Earlier we told you of a Russian man who, with his wife and daughter were victims of a home invasion in Hopkins Village, Stann Creek District in the latter part of April. There is yet another story to report tonight coming out of the very same village. An American couple that resides in the village has told police officers that on Friday night around 7:30pm they were alerted by the dogs barking and when the man, 62-year-old, Ralph Porter stepped outside to make checks in his yard, he encountered three masked men, dressed in black clothing approaching him from the back of the house. One of the robbers was armed with a black handgun and pointed in Porter’s face, forcing him inside the house. The three men followed Porter inside where his wife, Juanita Buckles was. They then forced the man to lie on the ground while they ransacked his home and took several electronic items and cash to a total value of four thousand six hundred and fifty dollars. During the incident, Porter was hit several times in the head with the gun and Buckles, too was assaulted in the home invasion.

Ambassador Amadei Checks Up on EU-Funded Projects in Belize
Head of Delegation for the European Union to Belize, Ambassador Paola Amadei is on a working visit to Belize. Last Saturday, the Ambassador attended the official opening of the Maya House of Cacao, which is an initiative under the Belize Rural Development Programme. Throughout this week the Ambassador will be seeing the progress made in some of the EU funded projects within the country. She will meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow to discuss the various projects and advances in the Belize-EU relationship, as well as preparations for EU CELAC Summit in June and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November. Ambassador Amadei will also meet with other Government officials, representatives from donor agencies and local EU project partners. She leaves the country on Thursday.

Union and BEL Negotiate for Partnership Collective Agreement
Since the start of the week, our news centre has been receiving information that workers from the Belize Electricity Limited have been on a sick out or go-slow after their request for a ten percent raise in salary among other things is not being fulfilled. We have made several calls to members of the union including the head of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, Marvin Mora, who incidentally, was out sick from work yesterday. Mora told Love News via text message yesterday, quote, “I really don’t know what you are talking about but if the rest of my brothers and sister are doing something like that then I am sure they saw it was necessary.” End of quote. Today, we received further reports that ninety workers were out of the office on a sick out.

Belize Chamber of Commerce Speaks on Amendments to PetroCaribe Bill
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has written to the Prime Minister. The letter, dates May 14 and is in response to Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s letter he sent to the past President of the BCCI, Kay Menzies in regards to the PetroCaribe Loans Act. In the letter President, Arturo Vasquez, points out that the Chamber is not against the PetroCaribe Loan Initiative. The BCCI tells the Prime Minister that what good governance entails is the reporting of how monies are spent and Government’s assets maintained by the Government. That good governance, says Vasquez, must have the complete oversight of several agencies including the Office of the Auditor General, and the Public Accounts Committee. Last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced several amendments to the Act that would take effect in June when the House of Representative meets.

President Says Chamber of Commerce Doesn’t Play Politics
Earlier we brought you the interview with the President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Arturo Vasquez who spoke specifically on the Chamber’s concerns surrounding the recent amendments to the PetroCaribe Bill as announced by the Prime Minister. In that same interview, Vasquez told Love News that the BCCI is committed to, quote “support the full implementation of any legislation that embodies the principles of transparency , accountability and good governance already enshrined in FARA and other existing legislation and which strengthens the enforcement of same”, end of quote.


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#504383 - 05/20/15 12:08 PM Re: Today's Belize News: May 20, 2015 [Re: Marty]
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PlusTV

NTV goes to Garbutt’s falls
The Northern Territorial Volunteers, ventured to Garbutt’s Falls on Sunday May 17th for their 7th excursion to the edge of the border with Guatemala...

Double Murder of two Americans in Teakettle
Two Americans were murdered over the weekend in the Village of Teakettle, Cayo. One was shot multiple times and the other was hacked to death...

Woman shot in the head and killed in Roaring Creek
The relenteless gun violence that continues to plague the community of Roaring Creek, and the neighbouring villages, has claimed the life of 43 year old Rosalee Galves, a resident of Young Bank Area Camalote...

Multiple injuries reported in road traffic accident
Several young men were injured in a traffic accident around 5:30 in the evening of Sunday, May 17, on the Philip Goldson Highway between miles 13 and 14. Police report that a grey Toyota pickup truck was seen overturned on the left side of the highway...

Hands Across the Sand against offshore drilling
This past Saturday Belize joined in for the first time in a worldwide activity highlighting environmental issues...

Alicia Thompson wins Women’s Cross Country Classic
The Annual Women’s Cross Country Cycling Classic hit the George Price Highway on Sunday morning from the Cayo District for 68 miles to Belize City’s Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2...

Shots fired in Independence Village
There was more shooting in the country of Belize this weekend, this time in the Stann Creek District...

BEL workers skip work over pay increase
PLUS News has confirmed that many workers for Belize Electricity Limited (BEL)  members of the Belize Energy Workers’ Union (BEWU) – did not report to work today...

Sugar Cane Quota Being Cut Back
The sweetness of Sugar City has turned sour for many farmers in the North because their sugar cane production estimates for all three associations has been sliced while BSI’s sugar cane production estimates have been increased...

Police Recruit Squad 91 Passes out
151 men and women of recruit squad number 91 graduated from the police training academy yesterday May 14 at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. Present there at the passing out ceremony Hon...

Accused grenade thrower to learn his fate
At news time a jury of ten women and two men has the case of Lusby Martinez, charged with the murder of 14 year old Rudolph Flowers on December 28, 2009 around 7:00 p.m...

Nuru Arrested for Unlawful Sexual Intercourse
A Dangriga man is arrested and charged for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 14 year old minor...

BDF on NTV Excursion
On Wednesday members of the Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV) were guests on Plus TV’s Rise and Shine show where they talked about their upcoming excursion to the Garbutt Falls Monument, scheduled for Sunday May 17th.

Strong Man Competition and Health Fair this weekend
Who is Belize’s strongest man? The BTL Park in Belize City this weekend hosts the third annual Strong Man Competition and Health Fair where that question will be answered...

New Ras Indio Videos
Belizean Reggae artist Ras Indi has made a name for himself in the international stage and has since been collaborating with other creative minds in the musical Industry.

Bay Expo
The Belmopan Active Youths are having their first annual expo on Saturday May 16 at the George Price Center, Belmopan from 10 am to 4 pm...

Sports Zone new Schedule
Our last story for today is in an announcement. Loyal fans of the hit tv series Sports Zone on Plus TV are being made aware of the change in schedule. Host of the TV show Reynard Garbutt spoke about new changes that are coming to sports zone.

NTV goes to Garbutt’s falls
The Northern Territorial Volunteers, ventured to Garbutt’s Falls on Sunday May 17th for their 7th excursion to the edge of the border with Guatemala...

Double Murder of two Americans in Teakettle
Two Americans were murdered over the weekend in the Village of Teakettle, Cayo. One was shot multiple times and the other was hacked to death...

Woman shot in the head and killed in Roaring Creek
The relenteless gun violence that continues to plague the community of Roaring Creek, and the neighbouring villages, has claimed the life of 43 year old Rosalee Galves, a resident of Young Bank Area Camalote...

Multiple injuries reported in road traffic accident
Several young men were injured in a traffic accident around 5:30 in the evening of Sunday, May 17, on the Philip Goldson Highway between miles 13 and 14. Police report that a grey Toyota pickup truck was seen overturned on the left side of the highway...

Hands Across the Sand against offshore drilling
This past Saturday Belize joined in for the first time in a worldwide activity highlighting environmental issues...

Alicia Thompson wins Women’s Cross Country Classic
The Annual Women’s Cross Country Cycling Classic hit the George Price Highway on Sunday morning from the Cayo District for 68 miles to Belize City’s Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2...

Shots fired in Independence Village
There was more shooting in the country of Belize this weekend, this time in the Stann Creek District...

BEL workers skip work over pay increase
PLUS News has confirmed that many workers for Belize Electricity Limited (BEL)  members of the Belize Energy Workers’ Union (BEWU) – did not report to work today...

Amandala

“I paid Castro $2,000 for each visa application!”
The presentation of evidence as part of the defamation case brought by Belize Rural North area representative Hon. Edmond Castro continued today in the Supreme Court of Justice Courtenay Abel with whistleblower Alvarine Burgess, who is named in the lawsuit as the first defendant (with Channel 5 News being the second defendant), taking the witness stand today. Yesterday, Thursday, Castro, under blistering cross-examination by attorney Godfrey Smith, S.C, admitted that he signed the visa applications, out of the goodness of his heart, he said, to help Immigration agent turned whistleblower Alvarine Burgess, who needed money to assist her husband to get medical treatment outside Belize. When Burgess testified today, she insisted that Castro did not help her out of any sense of compassion, but for the payment of $2,000 per visa application that he signed, recommending Asian nationals for Belizean visiting visas. Burgess told the court, “I handed Mr. Castro money on every occasion that I went to see him at his office.”

Gunman fatally shot woman in moving vehicle
Rosalie Galvez, 33, of Society Hall, Roaring Creek, Cayo District, a mother of three children, died tragically after being shot by a cold-blooded gunman at about 6:30 yesterday evening, Sunday, near the Guanacaste National Park in Roaring Creek. Galvez was in a black Toyota single cab pickup being driven on the George Price Highway by her common-law husband, Russell Hyde, 44, a Camalote businessman. Hyde, who is well-known in the Belmopan and Roaring Creek area, and to police, reported that he was with his common-law-wife, Rosalie Galvez, their two sons and other family members and they were travelling from More Tomorrow in their black Toyota pickup to their home in Camalote when upon reaching the Guanacaste National Park, he slowed down because of several speed bumps in the area and the construction of the new roundabout.

Double murder in Pineapple Hill
The Pineapple Hill area, of Teakettle in the Cayo District, was the scene of an appalling double homicide – the victims of which were two American nationals who were apparently targeted by robbers last Friday evening. Police said that on Friday, May 15, at about 6:10 p.m., they were called out to the residence of American teacher, Laura Jo Lambert, 59, in the Pineapple Hill area of Teakettle, where they saw the body of American national, Julian Christopher Jones, 46, also of Teakettle, with chop wounds to the head, inside a house that is under construction on the property. Further checks in another room of the house led to the discovery of the body of American retiree, Paul David Signorino, 61, of Valley of Peace Road, Cayo District. He had two gunshot wounds in the left side of the head. Lambert told police that at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday, she arrived home and did not see her ex-husband, so she called out for him, but received no response.

Verdes ends 3-peat reign of Belmopan Bandits
Crime is down 30%, so said Minister of Police, BDF and owner of the Belmopan Bandits football club, Hon. John Saldivar; and his words may have been prophetic in a way, for the 3-peat reign of his Belmopan Bandits came to a screeching halt yesterday afternoon at a packed Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, home of the legendary Mighty Avengers, whose surviving stars were on hand to issue trophies and awards after the Green Machine pulled off a spectacular 2-nil victory to bring the curtain down, on the three seasons, long reign of the Belmopan Bandits. The Bandits had taken game 1 by a 1-nil margin a week earlier at the FFB Stadium, so the 2-nil win gave Verdes the aggregate 2-1 edge, and the national championship. Just as importantly, the victory sends Verdes FC to the CONCACAF Champions League 2015 tournament later this year. The Bandits, then back-to-back champions, had qualified to the Champions League in 2014, but the FFB Stadium failed the CONCACAF inspection, and the Bandits lost the opportunity to represent the Jewel, their spot taken by Club Sport Herediano of Costa Rica.

Delivery man arraigned for allegedly kissing a boy
A Belize City man who is employed as a delivery man for a restaurant was arraigned on a charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning. Patrick Swasey, 33, pleaded not guilty to the charge and was released on a bail of $1,500 plus one surety in the same amount. Swasey was granted bail on the condition that he stays away from the virtual complainant in the case and all prosecution witness. The allegation against Swasey is that sometime in the month of December 2014, he kissed a boy on the mouth – the boy is a minor below the age of 16.

Chamber calls on PM for open dialogue on PetroCaribe law
Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), told Amandala today that following an executive meeting held on Friday, the Chamber has sent off a formal letter to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, calling on the Government to rethink the manner in which PetroCaribe funds are being spent, and also calling for open dialogue on issues of accountability and spending. Last Thursday, Barrow—who had been adamant that there will be no repeal of, or changes to, the PetroCaribe legislation passed by Parliament in March—announced a set of amendments, which, he said, was merely meant to spell out what is already the legal position. He said that the bill for the amendments has already been drafted for presentation to Parliament.

Alicia Thompson is 2015 Women Cross Country Champion
She has been prominent on the cycling scene for a number of years, having taken off a few years after giving birth, and returning to once again become a prime contender in the female cycling races hosted by the Belize Cycling Association. She had posted wins in other big races, but the Women Cross Country, from San Ignacio to Belize City, had eluded Alicia up until yesterday, and she was determined to gain her first Cross Country win. Second place was taken by Kaya Cattouse, 3rd was Shalini Zabaneh, 4th Gabrielle Lovell, 5th Estefany Cruz, and 6th Kerah Eiley.

NEBL regular season closes with a huge splash; #4 seed still up for graps
The NEBL regular season closed, with an exciting weekend of action, as three teams jostled for home court advantage, while two teams faced a win-or-go-home game down in Dangriga, with the winner claiming the fourth and final playoff spot. The NEBL will now move into playoffs this coming weekend, where the #1 seed will host the #4 seed, and the #2 seed will host the #3 seed. Both the semifinals and the finals will be best-of-three series, with the #1 and #2 seeded teams having home court advantage in the first round. Fans are reminded that all games have a live webcast with the game scores, play-by-play analysis and the box scores. Fans can follow every game live on our webpage, as scores are in real time. The NEBL webpage also contains news, team standings, and player statistics, and it can be found at nebl.sportingpulse.net. The defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks will be the #2 seed going into the playoffs, where they will host the Belmopan Red Taigaz as the #3 seed. San Pedro Tiger Sharks will have the home court advantage in this best-of-three series, where the teams split their regular season matchups. In the first game of the regular season, San Pedro Tiger Sharks blew out the Belmopan Red Taigaz by 35 points; but in the rematch, Belmopan was able to blow out the defending champs by 20 points. Both games took place at the UB gymnasium. In the second match-up series, Cayo Western Ballaz will be the #1 seed going into the playoffs, and they will take on the winner of the Belize Hurricanes and Dangriga Warriors game. Cayo Western Ballaz was able to sweep the 2 game series against both teams in the regular season.

Invasion and education
When Europe invaded Africa and America roughly five centuries ago, Europe conquered Africa and America with violence. Europe then sent her religious missionaries to Christianize and “civilize” the conquered Africans and Indigenous Americans. In all the cases of which we know, it was those Christian missionaries from Europe who opened the first schools in now subject Africa and America, and thus it was that education, as we know it today, began in Africa and America – as a sequel to invasion. There was a time before the Europeans invaded, you know, when African and American peoples had lived and flourished. That “time” covered many centuries of existence, and in fact that “time” included millennia of existence. In some cases these millennia included glorious civilizations in places like Egypt, Ethiopia, Mali, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Peru, and so on. There was, then, a way of life in Africa and America before the Europeans invaded, and so there had been systematic transfers of knowledge from generations to generations to generations, for many centuries, and in fact for millennia, before the Europeans came with their ships and their horses and their guns and their cannons.

From the Publisher
We African people in the diaspora have come a long way from three, four centuries ago when the various Europeans chained us in the bottoms of ships and sailed us across the Atlantic Ocean to slavery in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Then, we had become absolutely nothing; we were human flotsam and jetsam. And one of the worst aspects of it all was that we were isolated from each other psychologically and spiritually; we saw the hell we were experiencing as a lonely torture. Me against the world. We had been violently ripped away from our families, our tribes, our villages in West Africa, and we were separated from the other slaves to whom we were chained and on whom we were vomiting and defecating, and who were in turn vomiting and defecating upon us, we were separated from them by language, religion, history, and so on. In the case of us Belizean Africans, say, the sense of community took a while developing after we were first landed in Jamaica, then transported to Belize. The most important tool we created on the road to community was the Creole dialect, which enabled us to start communicating with each other and at the same time keep the masters in the dark somewhat. When the Garifuna people, on the other hand, landed in Belize in the early part of the nineteenth century, they brought strong community ties to each other. There were different reasons for that. But the Creole people were definitely not a community when we landed here, and it took us generations to develop any kind of community.

We live in a violent world. Belize has not been spared
Dear Editor, It is a constant surprise that acts of violence in Belize, particularly gun violence, are reported in the five –days- a- week TV news and in weekly newspaper front page headlines but not seriously discussed and confronted head on in an attempt to stem the high rates threatening this tiny nation on many fronts. Only occasionally, once in the last six or so months that comes to mind, is this continuous state of violence addressed by academics. We hear it mentioned these days by those running for political office who have taken to the air waves with their spins on issues they see as needing the attention of office holders. At best there are sporadic reports on such and such study, the same old data warmed over that have long been accepted universally as to the causes of violence so prevalent in particular communities. Another surprise is the lack of any meaningful discussion, investigation or reporting on the presence of drugs and guns in the country, even though the many killings are seen to be connected to drugs and guns. What silence! One wonders.

A critic of Oceana
Dear Publisher, I read with great interest your article “From the Publisher” on page 9, of the Wednesday, April 15 edition and reprinted on page 26 on Sunday, April 19. You offered a very interesting perspective on the late leader of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew. You also wrote in that article: “The money from the developed societies is spare cash which they accumulated during slavery and colonialism. Then now send the money they made by brutalizing and exploiting us in the past to confuse us in the present. They are already rich and comfortable, and we are trying to figure out how to get there. The rich countries wish for poor countries like Belize to be their playgrounds. Where they are concerned, our competitive advantage, you see, lies in sex, sin, drugs, drink, and so on.” I could not help but think that these words clearly describe the efforts of Oceana in Belize. While their goals to protect our reef and marine offshore are quite laudable and I don’t for one moment question the sincerity of the local Oceana advocates, is it not just the case of some rich and wealthy neocolonialists trying to preserve Belize as their playground? They have made all this money and wealth exploiting us and brutalizing us and now they turn around and use this same wealth to confuse us and continue to control our minds to avoid development and generating sources of our own wealth through their flashy and expensive media efforts.

NTVs head to Garbutt’s Falls
A large gathering of almost 200 nationalistic citizens, mostly from the Orange Walk District, joined the Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV) yesterday, Sunday, as the border advocacy group ventured out on another of its customary expeditions – this time to Garbutt’s Falls in the Cayo District. Located just about a hundred feet from the Benque border, the Garbutt’s Falls border marker is considered one of the most easily accessible boundary points as compared to Gracias Adios, deep in southern Belize, and Aguas Turbias in the Orange Walk District, which is the intersection point of the Mexican, Belizean and Guatemalan borders. Amandala accompanied the crowd of men, women and children as they made the 10-minute journey along the river’s edge to assist in the refurbishment of the long-dilapidated marker. After a brief ceremony which included the singing of the Belizean National Anthem, and recital of the National Prayer, as well as speeches from historian and former politician, “Don” Hector Silva, and Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) leaders, the Garbutt Falls Monument, which is notably on the verge of keeling over from the slope on which it is positioned, was freshly painted.

Murder rate up 40%; major crimes down 11%
Information published by the Police Information Technology Unit reveals that a crime happens in Belize every 23 minutes. Those might not be considered major crimes, which is a special classification that the police give to 6 types of crimes, namely robberies, burglaries, carnal knowledge, theft, rape and murder. Police say that they record roughly 25,000 incidences of crime each year, about 2,000 every month, 480 a week and 64 in a day. Only a small percentage of these even make it on to the police reports issued to the media and of those, only a portion actually make the news. Whereas a marijuana bust may not be deemed newsworthy, murders, which are considered to be the most heinous and lamentable forms of crime, almost always are. Last week Wednesday, May 13, National Security Minister John Saldivar chastised the media for “sensationalizing” murders. Saldivar said that, “since 2012 when I took over as the Minister of National Security, we have seen a thirty percent decrease in major crimes in this country, but that goes unnoticed because the media prefers to cover the murders and not the other crime statistics which show that we are making great progress.”

Murder at a wake in Ladyville!
Between Friday and Sunday morning, there were two murders in Ladyville. This evening, the officer in charge of the Ladyville Police, Inspector Fredrick Gordon, confirmed to Amandala that police have no suspect in custody for Sunday morning’s shooting that caused the death of Kenroy “Bouncer” Arnold, 29, at the home of Friday’s murder victim, Sylvin “Cruz” Encalada, 65, a security guard who was found dead at his workplace in Ladyville. Encalada had been found hanging over the ground of his security booth on the Cemento Maya Factory compound with a string tied tightly around his neck. While police have not yet made any arrest in connection with that murder, Gordon said, police are seeking one suspect. On Saturday night, however, some friends of the Encalada family went to the family’s home at 20 Perez Road to begin a nightly wake and to spend time with the family in this time of grief.

Chamber calls on PM for open dialogue on PetroCaribe law
Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), told Amandala today that following an executive meeting held on Friday, the Chamber has sent off a formal letter to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, calling on the Government to rethink the manner in which PetroCaribe funds are being spent, and also calling for open dialogue on issues of accountability and spending. Last Thursday, Barrow—who had been adamant that there will be no repeal of, or changes to, the PetroCaribe legislation passed by Parliament in March—announced a set of amendments, which, he said, was merely meant to spell out what is already the legal position. He said that the bill for the amendments has already been drafted for presentation to Parliament. According to Barrow, the new bill will amend section 3 of the PetroCaribe legislation by repealing subsection 2 and putting in a clause specifying that, “…the money borrowed from APBEL shall be kept in a fund at the Central Bank of Belize, which fund shall form part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Belize…”

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Ramon Monchie Cervantes Says His Driver Didn’t Burn Cane Fields
Ramon Monchie Cervantes, the PUP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk North is claiming that his driver Efrain Novelo didn’t burn the BSI cane fields. As was reported two days ago, BSI Security called police to report that two men set fire to its cane fields in San Lorenzo and when […]

Home Invasion in Hopkins
On May 15th around 7:30 p.m. American National Ralph Porter and his wife Juanita Buckles were victims of an armed home invasion. Porter reported that he heard his dogs barking outside their home in Hopkins and upon making checks behind his house, he came in contact with three masked men […]

It’s a Jungle Out there: A Sad State of Affairs in the Kingdom Belize
Once upon a time—in a lush kingdom of tropical splendor that was once home to creative, intellectually curious and inventive indigenous peoples—two political parties arose within the jungle, each smugly convinced that bringing “order” and “reason” to a rather free-spirited society was the right thing to do. Lacking imagination, the parties […]

Festival of arts Golden Night in PG
The Festival of Arts Golden Night, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), packed the Punta Gorda Parish Hall to capacity last night with over 300 in attendance. This event, which featured winning Primary School acts from across the […]

2015 Smart Reggae Fest is going to be EPIC!
The 4th annual Smart Reggae Fest is set to be the biggest musical event of 2015 for Belize. That is because the organizers, Higher Level Entertainment will be presenting Jamaican Royalty, Tanya Stephens and Tarrus Riley to grace the stage at the Hour Bar Field in Belize City. Local performances by […]

What does Belizeans voting no to I.C.J mean for Belize?
Despite the civil unrest currently wreaking havoc on the streets of Guatemala due to political corruption, the city is still scheduled to host their election in September of this year. This will mean that the Guatemalans will simultaneously cast their ballot in the territorial dispute between Guatemala and Belize if […]

Orange Walk Territorial Volunteers makes record breaking excursion to Garbutt Falls Border Marker
A group of approximately 200 patriots joined the expedition, recording the largest crowd for a BTV endeavor thus far. Giovanni De La Fuente, the leader of Orange Walk Territorial Volunteers said and we qoute: “I don’t know what happened to the people of Orange Walk. We only sounded the call and […]

Chamber of Commerce Take Position On Petrocaribe Loans Act
The Chamber of Commerce has joined the many entities that have taken a stand against the Petrocaribe Loans Act. In a letter to the Prime Minister of Belize, dated the 14th of May the Chamber underlined that they are not against the Petrocaribe Initiative; however, it could not support the Loans Act because it flies in the face of progress reached in the Finance and Audit Reform Act. According to the Chamber it is “Unfortunately, that the Petrocaribe Loans Act is the antithesis of everything that was fought for and represents a reversal of all that was attained by the FARA.” The Chamber also added that it centers itself in the principle of good governance and must be reported by parliament to the people on the way public funds are spent and assets managed. So far, the PUP, VIP and the unions have rejected the Loans Act.

Corozal police have arrested and charged one of their own for drug trafficking
Corozal police has arrested and charged one of their own for drug trafficking over the weekend. According to police report, on Sunday afternoon, around 1:55 pm Constable Geian Ya who is attached to the Corozal Quick Response Team was intercepted by the Customs Enforcement Unit at the northern border. Belize Media Group understands that Ya was wearing his police camouflage trousers and a police t-shirt. Despite that Ya was dressed in his uniform, Custom officers complied with their duties and proceeded to search his Hyundai Sonata which was bearing Texas license plates.

Ramon “Munchie” Cervantes’s Vehicle Used in Arson of Cane Fields
Yesterday evening, police arrested two men who they suspect burned cane fields belonging to ASR, and fired at ASR Security personnel who caught them doing it. The suspects were in a blue Mazda pickup that belongs to PUP politician Ramon Munchi Cervantes, and one of the men is Efrain Alpuche, Mr. Cervantes personal security guard. According to reports, 20 twenty acres of cane were burned and the two men are in police custody at this time.

Blogs

Lunch with One of the Best Views on the Island: Di V’u Bar & Restaurant
Wet Willy’s dock and bar have been a fixture on Ambergris Caye for quite some time. The largest of only a handful of over the sea palapa bars on the island, they were known for years as the home of the infamous Wednesday late night “Ladies Night”. And now. Again new owners, a new look and a new name. Di’Vu Restaurant. But last summer, new owners from Maryland bought the bar and they have lots of restaurant experience. They own a large “raw bar” called Jimmie & Sook’s back in the states and they totallly revamped the menu. They changed the name to Di’Vu – Ova di wata, Anda di stars. AND they cancelled the gritty late night Ladies Night. They are doing breakfast lunch and dinner. I’ll be back! I love the new outside lighting…this place must be so pretty at night. And kinda perfect for a large event or concert. I call the double lounger!

Belize The New Foodies Paradise? You Bet!
Now, I’ve always been a fan of Belizean cooking. Ever since my first plate of rice and beans with stew chicken I was hooked, and the hook was set deeper still with the other traditional stews, beef and pork, along with tamales, the exquisite Maya pork Pibil, lobster in its many incarnations, garnaches, salbutes and that most majestic meat, Gibnut – aka the “Royal Rodent”, as well as the various barbeques and excellent street food. It was always simple, filling food that went perfectly with a cold Belikin beer. These days, however, a growing, more sophisticated food culture is on the rise, and it’s ratcheted up my enjoyment of Belize by a few notches. I first noticed it when I arrived in San Ignacio, where I was happy to see some of my old standbys, like Mom’s on Burns Avenue, still in business as well as some newcomers that really raise the bar. And while the Mariposa restaurant at The Lodge at Chaa Creek was always good, it’s also climbed up in creativity. I was able to meet the head chef, Mario Alejandro Mendez Rivera, to thank him in person for an excellent dinner, and was impressed by the spotless professional kitchen he commands – something that wouldn’t be out of place in a big city, but was a pleasant surprise to find in the middle of a 365-acre jungle reserve.

A Punta Gorda Original: Welcome to Gomier's
Come to Punta Gorda hungry and one place you’ll sure hear recommended is Gomier’s. Located just to right of the “Welcome to PG” sign at the entrance to town, Gomier’s Restaurant is a true PG landmark. No rice and beans here—instead, you’ll have your choice of fresh seafood, fish burgers, veggie burritos, curry shrimp and tofu, vegetable salads, heart of palm, soups, homemade breads, cakes, pizzas and more. Everything at Gomier’s is made from scratch and all of it with locally purchased and healthy ingredients. Many people are curious how Gomier’s, PG’s most well known restaurant, got its start. I caught up with Gomier, the owner, manager, cook, and waiter, to see if he could help. Originally from Saint Lucia, Gomier (real name Igantius Longville) has had a fascinating life. A licensed plumber, agronomist, agriculture technician, and cook, he did somewhat of everything before settling down in PG. In his native village of Canaries, Gomier was even the official administrator in charge of the town’s water supply, and this before he was 18. As far as cooking goes, though, Gomier claims to have started as a teenager, during his weekends at the river or sea with his friends. He recalls how they would each contribute something for lunch. “Everyone would bring a little food from home and then we would go and catch some fish. After we had all the ingredients, we just needed someone to cook it up, so we took turns each week preparing the meal. Since my friends often said that my meals were the most delicious, they began calling me ‘The Cook.’ I was ‘the cook’ every weekend after that.’”

International Sourcesizz

Cruise ship freed from Bermuda reef
Thousands of passengers are stuck aboard a Norwegian cruise ship after it ran aground as it tried to leave Bermuda. Small boats, divers and tug boats circled the Norwegian Dawn as authorities tried to work out how to solve the situation, according to tweets from passengers aboard the ship. An official with Bermuda's Rescue Co-ordination Centre said the ship, bound for Boston, hit a reef near Bermuda's North Channel. There are 2,675 passengers and 1,062 crew members aboard the ship, which is in a stable position. Passenger Rachel Hansen, from Londonderry, New Hampshire, said by phone that the captain told everyone that the ship would not move until today. She said the ship was about three miles from Bermuda when it ran aground. "We definitely felt it," she said. "We were in the middle of eating dinner. There was a shudder for maybe 30 seconds to a minute and then there was a sudden stop."

Schauen Sie dem Jaguar immer direkt in die Augen
Sie war ein Menschenopfer. Bestimmt für die Götter von Xibalba, dem Ort der Angst, wie die Maya ihre Unterwelt nannten. Ihr Tod war brutal, das zeigt ihr Skelett. Ein feiner Kalküberzug verleiht ihren Knochen im Schein der Taschenlampe einen schaurigen Glanz. Nach über tausend Jahren liegen ihre Gebeine noch immer in der Höhle, in der die Maya die Götter gnädig stimmen wollten. Nicht weit entfernt die Überreste 13 weiterer Geopferter, während Rußspuren an der Decke von Feuern künden, die eben erst erloschen zu sein scheinen. "Man sieht hier den Höhepunkt der Maya und den Zeitpunkt ihres Zusammenbruchs", sagt Höhlenkenner Carlos Panti. Ohne Absperrung läuft man zwischen Schädeln umher. Carlos spricht Englisch, Landessprache in Belize. Damit hat das einstige Britisch-Honduras gegenüber Mexiko und anderen Ländern der Region eine Sonderstellung inne. Die Spanier konnten hier nicht Fuß fassen. Iberische Kolonialstädte gibt es also nicht, dafür Relikte aus der Ära des britischen Empires. Und jede Menge bunte Häuser – Ausdruck eines karibisch-lässigen Flairs, das Belize vielerorts verströmt, was nicht zuletzt am Vielvölkergemisch liegt. Neben Mestizen und Maya-Nachkommen leben hier auch viele Kreolen und Garifuna; das ist jene Bevölkerungsgruppe, die aus Kariben und afrikanischen Sklaven hervorging. Allen ist ein erfreulich ungezwungener Lebensstil gemeinsam.

Videos

  • Reef Week Belize 2015 - Part 1: Lionfish, 11min. Host of Wake Up Belize, Mose Hyde and his crew from KREM TV took to Belize's Cayes with Ragamuffin Tours as part of Reef Week Belize 2015. The journey showcased the beauty and value of Belize's barrier reef, with guest marine biologists from Oceana Belize and Blue Ventures on board.

  • Belize, 11min.

  • Belize Zoo, 3min. Most 'cats' were hiding, so didn't really see them, at least the zoo is a natural setting.

  • Hands Across the Sand in Caye Caulker., 3.5min. Oceana Belize has promoted holding hands for 15 minutes in different communities across the country on Saturday May 16th for its 'No to Offshore Drilling' initiative at 12 p.m. Accordint to a press release sent by Oceana Belize "every year, activists and ocean-lovers host Hands Across the Sand events round the world to “draw a line in the sand,” and say “NO” to dirty fossil fuel projects, as well as call for a shift to clean, renewable energy like offshore wind and solar power.

  • PetroCaribe funds to rural communities, 1min. The transformation continues as The Government of Belize is rolling out PetroCaribe funds to rural communities in every constituency! Contracts have already been signed and works include new subdivisions, drainage and roads!

  • Healthy Belize: 1 BELIZE PRE CONCEPTION, 4min.

  • Healthy Belize: 2 BELIZE CARE DURING PREGNANCY, 4min.

  • Healthy Belize: 3 BELIZE POSTNATAL CARE, 4min.

  • Belize from Michelle Buchanan, 3min.

  • Ambergris Sunrise, 30sec.

  • Hooping Around Central America, 5min. One Hula Hoop, travelling central america, countless beautiful places, and many amazing friends.

  • Belize Dive #1 2 of 2, 2.5min.

  • Belize Dive #2 2 of 2, 1.5min.

  • Belize Dive #2 1 of 2, 6min.

  • Belize Dive #1 1 of 2, 40min.

  • Belize Dive #2 1 of 2, 40min.

  • Belize Cave Trip, 9min. Waterfall Cave Hike near Belmopan, Belize.

  • Ambergris Caye Belize, 6.5min. Driving along the coast 4 miles North of San Pedro Town. Found a terrific bar on the beach, drinks by the pool.

  • San Pedro, Belize 2015, 12min. Aqui esta la primera parte de nuestra aventura en San Pedro, Belize 2015, Espero les guste su video, Gracias por su participacion!!!

  • Rise and Shine Morning Show 18th May 2015 Louis Wade, 131min. Selling of Belizean land on Buy Belize to Foreigners while native Belizeans cannot own a house lot. Also the selling of the Belize Passport to foreigners. the Minister of national security says crime is down by 30% while murders spike; 5 this weekend alone.

  • Ya Da Fu We Belize, 6min. Belizean Patriotic Song

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