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#509423 - 11/25/15 11:28 AM Today's Belize News: November 25, 2015
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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

Celebrating our island children!
Island school children rallied on Friday, November 20th to celebrated Children’s Day. From preschools through high school, events were held in honor of children and their rights under the theme “Stop the violence against the children”. While all schools celebrated the day with fun activities of their own, the main event was the children’s rally which saw students from San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) parading through the main streets in town. The parade started shortly after 9PM on the corner of Tarpon Street and Barrier Reef Drive. Close to a thousand students dressed in colorful themed outfits cheerfully marched down the street. Leading the parade was SPRCS marching band, followed by the lower division students. The little cuties were dressed from princesses to superheroes and even fruits and vegetables. Following behind were students from the middle division dressed to represent Belize’s various cultures and ethnic groups and the flora and fauna. In last were the upper division students representing Belize’s National Heroes and the Holy Sacraments.

Letter to the Editor: Improving Ambergris Caye
I have lived on Ambergris Caye for 15 years. I have seen the caye change from an easy-paced, sandy street Caribbean island to a noisy, traffic-clogged, trash-ridden tourist mecca. These are problems that can be solved with money and determination and the will to resist political and financial corruption. But there is another problem I encounter that also needs to be addressed. The non-Belizeans who have chosen to relocate here (from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and other “first world countries”) are extremely critical of the traffic and the trash and the cost of living on the island and lay the blame at the feet of the Belizeans and the Belize Government. I think all of us gringos need to consider that we came here with first-world expectations. We want personal vehicles (golf carts, motorcycles, trucks, SUVs). We want a selection of consumer goods (frozen foods, 50 kinds of cereal). We want convenience (soda in plastic bottles, Budweiser in cans).

Sheila Montero is Miss Garifuna 2015/2016: Island celebrates rich culture
Ambergris Caye joined the many Belizeans countrywide in celebrating the Garifuna Settlement Day on the November 19th. This year’s celebrations were under the theme ‘Bungiu Lerebei Sun Katei Liden Nei Fureidei Luma Benefau Awanseruni’ (English: God strength of all things. Garifuna progress lies in education and hard work). The 2015/2016 Miss Garifuna Pageant began shortly after 7PM with the singing of the National Anthem in Garifuna. Immediately after the National Anthem was sung, Pastor Clive Welch delivered the opening prayer. Hosts Timrose Augustin and Eiden Salazar Jr. had the crowd’s attention on high as they began the program for the evening’s event. President of the local NGC, Elroy Castillo welcomed everyone to the pageant which had been dormant for the past 18 years. He thanked all attendees for their presence and invited them join in the celebration and to enjoy the show.

Ambergris Today

Remembering When WE USED TO… in San Pedro Village No. 7
SELLING FISH: In the order of jobs that kept this village going, fishing was fourth- the first three being cutting logwood, the chicle industry, and the coconut industry. Fishing is the part that I recall so vividly since it was in full swing in the 1950’s when I was a child. One of the things I recall fondly was selling fish to supply for the village needs. To obtain our stock of fish for the market, we USED TO go fishing in the evenings or night time. Now it was important to keep the fish alive so that it could be sold fresh to the villagers. To do so when we unhooked them we placed them in a submerged box which we called a “vivero”. I guess this word came from the English word vivarium, which is an enclosure, container, or structure adapted or prepared for keeping animals alive. Several dozens of fish could remain alive in a “vivero” for several days but the trick was to sell the fish the following day. TIN CAN CUPS: Oh yes we had our plastic cups or even more popular the porcelain cups, but our parents delighted in making cups using the tin cans of the few canned products like milk cans and juice cans etc. to make a long story short I will simply make one and you can imagine the children in the 1950’s drinking their tea, coffee, raspado or shaved ice with their tin can cups. You got it right- recycling in San Pedro big time.

Belize Awarded First Place for Immunization Program for the Fourth Time
Belize was awarded first place for the surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD) at the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) Managers’ Meeting, which was held in Guyana from November 17-20. As part of the week’s activities, awards were presented to countries who demonstrated improvement in the immunization program, specifically for achievements in the area of surveillance of VPD. The selection criteria are based on efforts, meeting the indicators for surveillance of diseases, and timely weekly reporting on the surveillance. Surveillance activities are conducted by all Health Care providers throughout Belize, including some of the private care providers who participate in the reporting of communicable diseases. The Ministry of Health recognizes and applauds the tremendous efforts by health care personnel, in particular the Rural Health Nurses and the Public Health Nurses, who on a daily basis actively search for suspected cases of diseases that are preventable by vaccine, and complete the investigation of such suspected cases as Acute Flaccid Paralysis for Poliomyelitis, fever-rash illness for Measles and Rubella, and Pertussis (Whooping Cough), among other diseases.

Pic of the Week - No Need to Feel Crabby in Belize
There was no reason for this beach critter to feel crabby as he was not on the menu or under any danger. He got a photo-opp with our cameras as he stumbled by our picnic camp. Mr. Crab was gently set free into his natural habitat. It's one of the many interesting encounters you will experience during a day on the beach on Ambergris Caye.

Shrimp Shortage Expected After $30Mil Shutdown Loss Affects Belize Industry
Belize’s million-dollar shrimp industry has been shut down after the Vibro bacteria was found in almost all of its exports earlier this year. It’s a dire state for the country’s industry as it has accounted for losses up to $30Mil; shrimp farms hurry to start production once again. The industry has been ravaged by the Vibro virus that has forced all farms in Belize to take the drastic step of draining their ponds, destroying all of their produce and starting over. It is the only way to get rid of the virus and start producing clean shrimp. It is also the only way Belize can start exporting again after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued stricter guidelines for the import, farming and harvesting of shrimp. New practices are being set in place in Belize to prevent another attack by the Vibro bacteria to the industry.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Be sure to vote Belize‬ for San Pedro's very own Christina Syme at the Miss Earth 2015 Pageant
Remember to keep voting ‪Belize‬ for Miss Earth 2015 Photogenic and Eco-Beauty. Details below Photogenic: Go to link below, tweet & FB share (1 tweet = 1 vote, 1 share = 1 vote, vote twice!) http://www.missearth.tv/vote-photogenic.php Eco-Beauty: Go to link below, tweet & FB share (1 tweet = 1 vote, 1 share = 1 vote, vote twice!) http://www.missearth.tv/vote-ecobeautyvideo.php Watch her Eco-Beauty video: Watch her video on YouTube then like, comment, and share! Link below: http://tinyurl.com/BZecobeauty Share this post and help ‪#‎MissEarthBelize2015‬ Christine Marie Syme in her quest for the ‪#‎MissEarth2015‬ crown.

Christmas Expo 2015, Belize City
We're only a few days away! Don't miss out on the best deals and discounts in town! Western Union Customers!! If you send or receive money at BCCI Western Union office this Friday, you'll receive a free raffle ticket for our Gate Prize raffle where the grand prize is a FREE ticket to anywhere in the US courtesy of United Airlines!

Dance X BZ 2015
Take note of the show dates, as part of Dance X BZ 2015.

Streets in Arenal in most horrible conditions
the conitions of our roads were not good till politics "helped"! Please let me express that I still believe that our minister acted in the very best intention when he sent some truck loads of landfill. Unfortunately they sent the wrong material and since then our roads are in the worst conditions ever. I have now asked our Hon. Minister Erwin Contreras to donate 3 or 4 truck loads of stones or gravel, so that we could fix the roads ourselves. Let's wait and see if we get his support even if the elections are over?????

Channel 7

Nanes Shnitzer Skipped: An Avalanche of Outrage Ensues, Mex. & USA Angry
International fugitive David Nanes Shnitzer, known locally as David Banes is believed to have skipped bail - after he failed to show up at the San Pedro police station yesterday. That was one of the conditions of his Supreme Court bail which w...

PUP Calls For Senate Investigation Into Nanes Schnitzer
The PUP has also come out swinging. The opposition released a statement saying, quote, "The People's United Party (PUP) records its deep dis-satisfaction with the handling of the case by the Ministries of National Security and Immigration and expres...

The Former Rapper Turned Politician, Shyne Will Run For Mesop
Another man who knows a thing or two about changing his name is Shyne Barrow. He changed his from Jamal to Moses - but, unlike Nanes-Shnitzer, he didn't do it because he was a fugitive; he did it because he was looking for himself. And, now, he...

Teenager For City Shooting
A teenager has been charged for the weekend shooting on Antelope Street Extension. The shooting took place on Sunday morning around 7:00. Liston Myers and his friend were walking on Pitter Street when 2 men shot at them. Myers was shot to the abdom...

Ministry Lays Down the Law On Vice Principal Hewlett
Last night, we told you about Melvin Hewlett, the Vice Principal of Wesley College, who was charged by the Gang Suppression Unit of allegedly trafficking cocaine on the school's Yarborough Road Compound. We've still not gotten any comment from ...

Tour Operator Rejects Post Mortem Result
The owner of H2O Tierra tours rejects the post mortem results on tourist Edwin Simmons. As we have been reporting, 61 year old American tourist Edwin Simmons drowned trying to save his wife's life. Both Edwin Simmons and his wife Esther Simmons wer...

Citrus Future in Florida Looks Grim, Belize's Gain
For the past few weeks we've been reporting on declining world prices for sugar, but on the other side of the agroindustry coin, local citrus could stand to benefit from higher global prices brought on by a crisis in Florida farms. It's the effect o...

Spreading The Word On Gender Awareness
Everyone knows that when you go to a barber shop or salon, you'll leave with a new refreshed look but you also leave with a whooole lot of updates on gossip and I mean - surely, on that chatter list you won't find pressing social or national issu...

COLA: "El Espanol" Situation Bespeaks Corruption
Earlier on, you heard what COLA had to say about the court's decision to bail David Nanes Shnitzer. But, the president of the activist group also had something to say about Ernesto Alonso de Miguel, known as "El Espanol." As we told you the...

Lisa For Leader?
Earlier in the news, we told you how Jamal "Shyne" Barrow wants to replace his uncle, Michael Finnegan, as the UDP Standard Bearer in Mesopotamia. Well, equally of interest is PUP's Lisa Shoman who wants to be the next Leader of her Party. ...

Courts Christmas, Early
Christmas is about a month away, but Unicomer, the Parent Company of Courts and Tropigas, have been getting a head-start on the gift giving. They've been making donations to Homes for the Elderly around the country. Today, they invited us to the hand...

Citrus Greening in Belize
Earlier in the news we told you about the local citrus industry, and how it stands to benefit from a major downtown in the citrus harvest in Florida - where the disease called huanglongbing has decimated crops. But, that same disease has also been i...

Channel 5

Wesley College Vice Principal is an Alleged Crack Peddler
What’s next for embattled vice-principal and teacher of Wesley College, Melvin Hewlett? He is accused with drug related charges after he was allegedly caught throwing suspected crack cocaine wrapped in [...]

Has He Been Sacked from Post at High School?
Melvin Hewlett is out on seven-thousand-dollar bail bond after appearing before Magistrate Deborah Rogers and pleading not guilty to the charge of drug trafficking. The school board did not wish [...]

Ministry of Education Issues Release on Melvin Hewlett
Late this evening, the Ministry of Education issued a statement on the developments with respect to the arrest and charge of Melvin Hewlett for drug trafficking. The ministry cites sections [...]

P.U.P. Criticizes Government Over David Nanes Schnitzer Debacle
International fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer, alias David Banes, remains at large tonight after skipping a mandatory check-in at the San Pedro Police Substation on Monday.  There is no confirmation, but [...]

Opposition Senators to File Motion at Next Sitting
Collusion within the various government departments remains a serious issue for the P.U.P.  In this case, it has been reported that the signatures on Nanes travel documents were the same [...]

Analiz Perez is Granted Daily Visitation of Daughter in DHS Custody
In an update to a story we have been following closely since Monday of last week, twenty-two-year-old Analiz Perez Gutierrez, whose infant daughter was removed from her custody by the [...]

Should David Nanes Have Been Charged for fraudulently Acquiring Belize Passport?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe that international fugitive David Nanes should have been charged for fraudulently acquiring Belizean passport and other documents? Send your comments and responses using [...]

COLA Questions Supreme Court Decision to Release David Nanes Schnitzer
The reported flight of Mexican fugitive David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer after being granted Supreme Court bail by Justice Denis Hanomansingh has also raised the ire of the grassroots activist group [...]

Does Nanes Schnitzer’s Wife Hold Belizean Nationality Too?
According to Brackett, while strong criticism of the decision to free Nanes on bond may be seen as contempt of court, the role of the justice system in releasing the [...]

Ministry of Agriculture Asked to Intervene in Sugar Price Crisis
Tonight, a tripartite body comprised of sugar cane farmers from various associations in the north is awaiting a response from the Ministry of Agriculture in respect of a request for [...]

B.S.I. Supports Request to Raise Cost of Sugar Sold on Belize Market
News Five also spoke with Belizario Carballo, Chief Financial Officer at Belize Sugar Industries Limited.  According to the CFO, while the first estimates for the 2015 crop cannot be adjusted, [...]

Malique Martinez is Charged for Burglary
A Belize City man was caught in the act on Monday as he exited an opening at a building of a collection agency in the south side of the City. [...]

Jaron Baptist Charged for Attempted Murder of Liston Myers
The city saw a decrease in violent crime in September and October and according to Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, the Regional Commander, Eastern Division South, murders are down. But on [...]

Guatemalan President Elect Embarks on Regional Tour
Jimmy Morales has embarked on a traditional tour of Central America and Mexico undertaken by incoming presidents of the region. In the case of Morales, who takes office in January [...]

Mixed Martial Arts Frenzy in Belize!
Mixed Martial Arts, better known as MMA, is readily becoming a popular sport in the world. It is a full-contact combat discipline that allows the use of both striking and [...]

Dance X Belize 2015 Celebrates its Seventh Year in Belize
Dance X Belize is in its seventh year and in 2015, the creative art experience has evolved to an eight-day event which started on Monday with several workshops and master [...]

What’s in Store for Dance Lovers at Dance X Belize 2015?
But Dance X is for most people synonymous with the name Jamie Thompson. A Belizean dancer living in the U.S. and a creative arts director, Thompson recently formed his own [...]

Coastguard’s Best Warrior 2015 is Chosen
The Belize Coastguard held its annual strong man competition over the weekend at different locations. Three days of grueling competition tested the physical fitness of the officers stretching their skills [...]

CTV3

COLA Call GOB To Investigate Case Of International Fugitive
Where is David Miguel Na-nes Schnitz-er? That is tonight’s million dollar question and no one seems to have the answer. On Friday, the international fugitive known here in Belize as David Banes, received bail of $10,000 from Justice Denis Hanomansingh when he appeared in the Supreme Court after he was charged for uttering a forged document, the document being a Belize driver’s license. The fact that Schnitzer skipped town after receiving bail is raising eyebrows and putting a dent on the country’s justice system, after all, the man is wanted in Mexico for his involvement in the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme which saw investors in that country swindled of some 42 million dollars. The first organization that is questioning Belize’s justice system is Citizen’s Organized by Liberty Through Action, COLA, who issued a release today questioning how does Belize's justice system reconcile granting bail to a man accused of grave crimes, who is no longer a Belizean and never truly was, while two young mothers are sent to jail over the weekend for a relatively minor offence.

PUP Call For Thorough Investigation In The Immigration Department
And sticking to the David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer issue, the People’s United Party is also concerned about the way the situation was handled and in a release today, recorded its deep dis-satisfaction with the handling of the case by the Ministries of National Security and Immigration. According to the PUP, although it was clear, two weeks ago that Nanes Schnitzer has obtained permanent residence, citizenship and a passport in Belize, and his Belizean citizenship was reportedly revoked and passport cancelled based on fraud on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015, it is clear that no proper investigation on the matter was in fact done. The PUP also notes that while the Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, revoked David M. Banes citizenship since he registered by means of fraud, false representation and the concealment of material circumstance and by mistake back in November 2012, Nanes Schnitzer was never charged by any authority in Belize with obtaining nationality by “fraud, false representation and the concealment of material circumstance”.

Orange Walkena Yet To Be Charge For Human Trafficking
Today, 33 year old Rosa Anita Garcia, Guatemalan National and owner of Dominguez Bar located on Otro Benque Road, Orange Walk Town, remains in police custody as she is yet to be charged for Human Trafficking. When we spoke to police today, we were informed that the complainants are still being interrogated and as soon as the case file is complete, Garcia will be charged. So far the Immigration Department has charged Garcia with failure to comply with conditions of a visitor’s permit, to which she pled guilty for not undergoing a monthly renewal of her permit and failure to comply with conditions subject to which a permit has been granted, to which she pled not guilty in relation to allegations that she had been illegally engaged in employment here in Belize. As we reported last night, police conducted a raid at Dominguez Bar and there they found Garcia and a mother and daughter ages 48 and 27 also of Guatemalan Nationality.

COLA Says Case Of El Espanol Living In Free Zone Is another Example Of Corruption
Mexican businessman of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, Ernesto Alonso de Miguel, aka "El Espanol, was executed on November 14th in Chetumal Quintana Roo. Alonso De Miguel, as we have reported, owned a store at the zone. But not only that, reports from several newspapers in Chetumal, indicate that he also lived inside the zone for several years before relocating back to Chetumal. Now, according to the regulations of the free zone no one is allowed to live in the free zone. But apparently El Espanol had the right connections and he was allowed to reside in the zone. Today, when President of COLA, Geovanni Brackett, spoke about the David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer case, he also made reference to the “El Espanol case to highlight how corrupt our system is. “This was a gentleman who was living in the Free Zone an areas that you are not supposed to have residency you are not supposed to live in there but he had a bunker, he had dogs, a big house and a big fence, basketball court, he was living the life of a super star within the Free Zone and you telling me that the police authorities did not know, Immigration did not know, I mean he was frequent by many politicians and police and other public officers, these people are well connected and you want to question if whether or not if money plays a huge role in Belize that you can get anything or is anything up for sale.”

Guatemala Confirms First Case Of ZIKA Virus
Guatemala has confirmed its first case of the Zika Virus, a disease that is transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito that also transmits dengue and chikungunya. This marks the first case in the region, although El Salvador and Mexico reported suspected cases that might also be of Zika. Laboratories of Colorado confirmed the presence of the virus in the 21 year old patient who hails from Zacapa. The patient started showing symptoms on November 11th and these included fever, chills, sweating, body aches, joint and conjunctivitis. We understand that two other suspected cases are being investigated. The Zika Virus has already affected countries in the Americas between 2014 and 2015, including Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico. While Belize remains free of the virus, the Ministry of Health remains on high alert. In order to prevent the disease the public is asked to destroy mosquito breeding sites in and around homes and surrounding areas by keeping water drums tightly covered, draining stagnant water from yards and neighborhoods and throwing out stagnant water from flower vases, old tires and other containers that may act as breeding sites.

Belize Awarded For Surveillance Of Vaccine Preventable Diseases On EPI
Belize was awarded first place for the surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases at the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Managers’ Meeting, which was held in Guyana from November 17TH to the 20th. As part of the week’s activities, awards were presented to countries who demonstrated improvement in the immunization programme, specifically for achievements in the area of surveillance of VPD. The Ministry of Health recognizes and applauds the tremendous efforts by health care personnel, in particular the Rural Health Nurses and the Public Health Nurses, who on a daily basis actively search for suspected cases of diseases that are preventable by vaccine, and complete the investigation of such suspected cases as Acute Flaccid Paralysis for Poliomyelitis, fever-rash illness for Measles and Rubella, and Pertussis (Whooping Cough), among other diseases.

Fifteen Year Old Female Goes Missing From San Pedro
Fifteen year old Anisa Alexandria McKoy is tonight missing and her mother is asking for the public’s assistance in locating her. The 15 year old left her residence in San Pedro Town on Friday wearing a blue and white dress with matching white sandals and a pink purse. She has not been seen or heard from since. Today, the child’s mother, Nerissa Montero, told us she believes her daughter is here in Orange Walk. Nerissa Montero “She disappeared Friday like one thirty in the afternoon and I tried contact her friends them and they say she went to Orange Walk and I try call her on her phone but she no answer.” Reporter “Did you two have any prior problems before she disappeared?” Nerissa Montero “No we laugh and talk everyday like normal but she has done this once before but at Orange Walk we got her from and if she is listening please come home and stop this nonsense I have other two and I have to work all the time she don’t have no reason why she has everything at home.”


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#509424 - 11/25/15 11:29 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 25, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

LOVE FM

PUP raises concern over fugitive’s Belizean Documents
Also expressing concern over the recent David Nanes-Schnitzer issue was the opposition party, the PUP. They too issued a release earlier today that reads, quote, “The People’s United Party (PUP) records its deep dis-satisfaction with the handling of the case of international fugitive David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer aka “David Banes” by the Ministries of National […]

Cola speaks on fugitive’s case
While the general public may not be overly concerned over the whereabouts of Nanes-Schnitizer or the crimes he is being accused of, the Coalition Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has made a re-appearance via a release being issued on the matter whilst comparing it to recent local incidents. The release begins by asking the […]

Nanes-Schnitzer assets frozen in Mexico
David Nanes Schnitzer, the man who had managed to slip his way into Belize’s system under a false name while attaining official documents ranging from social security card to driver’s license and Belizean nationality. As we heard from Minister Godwin Hulse yesterday, that nationality was revoked and immigration officials are now on the lookout for […]

PlusTV

Pair of shootings in Belize City
Police are investigating a pair of separate, non-fatal shooting incidents in Belize City on Sunday morning which happened only minutes apart in different areas of Southside. In the first, Police are seeking a man identified as Trevor Guy for shooting two Belize City men; who are now hospitalized at ...

Late Kareem Clarke remembered on 28th birthday
He was shot to death this past July for no apparent reason, ending his rising trajectory as a promising young journalist. But the late Kareem Clarke, who would have turned 28 on Saturday, November 21, will never be forgotten, at least not by his family or the local community of journalists and news ...

Baby Nina Goes to Foster Parents
PlusNews understands the Human Services Department has arranged for two year old Nina Charlotte Barrera-Perez, the child removed from her mother’s care in Orange Walk due to a Guatemalan Court order, has been moved to foster care in Orange Walk Town. We understand that the, Analiz Perez Gutie...

Cashier walks off theft charges
Former cashier at James Brodie and Company Limited, 22 year old Alfonso Marin, is free of multiple counts of theft after his old employers dropped the charges against him. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser struck out the five counts after being informed of the company’s decision in court this morning....

Accused burglar wins appeal
This morning, Justice Adolph Lucas set free labourer Clive Jones from a charge of burglary heard as an Inferior Court Appeal in the Supreme Court. Jones, represented by Anthony Sylvestre, had served 21 months of a seven year prison sentence on a burglary charge. He was accused and convicted of break...

Belize City teacher charged for crack possession
Belize City high school vice-principal, 35 year old Melvin Hewlett, was arrested and charged on Friday for possession of controlled drugs with the intent to supply to another after he was busted by members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU). Around 11:35am Friday morning on Yarborough Road, GSU mem...

Landslide in Arizona Village blocks road for hours
Residents of Arizona Village had a difficult time getting home yesterday, sunday 22 November. That’s because a sizable portion of the mountain side that is currently being excavated by Teakettle resident Efram Usher collapsed. The accident spilled large rocks and boulders on to the road that ...

Amandala

Ivy Pitts, stepping out on faith
We knew her as the editor of KREM Radio News – that was her position from 2008 to 2009 until she left to pursue studies at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill Barbados. Ivy Pitts, 37, had her sights set on becoming an attorney-at-law. She would successfully complete her studies there, receiving a Bachelor of Laws or LLB, and then moving on to the Norman Manley School of Law in Jamaica, graduating two years later, in September of this year, with her Legal Education Certificate. On Friday, November 20, six years after shedding her editor’s hat for that of scholar – her objective was realized when she was officially called to the bar by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin at Belize City’s Supreme Court, in the presence of some members of her immediate family, a few close friends and her sponsors, attorney Cynthia Pitts and Senior Counsel Phillip Zuniga. The somber scene where Pitts was officially welcomed to the Bar is a far cry from her childhood home – the notoriously famous city of South Central Los Angeles, now known as South L.A. She was born and raised there by Belizean parents, Leonora and Gilbert Pitts, who had migrated to the States in the 1970’s. Pitts lived most of her life in the States, but after returning to Belize, she reignited her desire to pursue, her studies further.

Two “sole providers” of 14 children get years in jail
Several countries in the world have adopted a more liberal approach to marijuana, and some of the states in the United States have legalized it, creating massive economic opportunities for their citizens. In Belize, however, the harsh drug trafficking law with its hefty mandatory fine and prison time remain. Kirk Dougal, 38, a fisherman, and Walter Beaton, 41, a taxi driver, were busted by police at the George Price Highway, police checkpoint near Mile 5, on May 11, 2013, and police say that the drug amounted to 25.1 kilograms of cannabis. The case against the men, charged with drug trafficking, has been winding its way through the Magistrate’s Court since January 13, 2015. It concluded on Wednesday before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Both men were found guilty and sentenced to the mandatory $10,000 fine plus prison time.

Barmaid, 27, alleges “forced sex” by female bar owner
A Guatemalan businesswoman who was arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court this afternoon on Immigration offences remains in police custody in Orange Walk Town, pending further charges in court on Tuesday on two counts of trafficking in persons after police—who had been tipped off on a report of sex trafficking—raided a bar in that municipality on Saturday afternoon, November 21. Immigration authorities have confirmed that Rosa Anita Garcia Julian, 33, was charged in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court today, where she was slapped with two charges: failure to comply with conditions of a visitor’s permit, to which she pleaded guilty for not undergoing a monthly renewal of her permit; and failure to comply with conditions subject to which a permit has been granted, to which she pleaded not guilty in relation to allegations that she had been illegally engaged in employment here in Belize.

Vice principal nabbed with crack cocaine?
In 2006, Belizean educator Melvin Hewlett came into the public spotlight when he initiated a community project for youth in the Fort George electoral division, sponsored by then Prime Minister Said Musa, and in 2009/2010, he came into the national spotlight as one of local research professionals who had teamed up with Jamaican anthropologist Dr. Herbert Gayle to release a comprehensive research report dubbed, “Male Social Participation and Violence Study in Belize.” Over the years, Hewlett, 35, the vice principal of Wesley College and head of its IT program, had built up a formidable reputation, so when the news broke recently that he was arrested for possession of crack cocaine, many were left in a state of disbelief. Hewlett knows the perilous outcomes of gang life and drug trafficking all too well. When the study was released, Hewlett relayed information taken from the PEER youth analysis, which revealed that their #1 concern is police-youth relations (88% of youth); second was drug use and supply; third was gang violence.

Profit Riders uses dead man’s signature and PM’s law firm’s address in scheme promising 200% return
The Office of the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) in Belize has issued a warning that PROFIT RIDERS Inc., which claims, via its website, that it can secure investors a return of as much as 200% a day, is not a legal investment company registered in Belize, Central America, as the company is claiming. Profit Riders claims that it is providing investment activities under registration number IFSC/60/560/TS/15, with registered office at 84 Albert Street, Belize City – the address of the Prime Minister’s law firm, Barrow and Williams. “I don’t know anything about it,” the PM’s law partner, Rodwell Williams, SC, told Amandala, when we contacted him about the claim made by Profit Riders. Williams suggested that the address, which is also the address of Alpha Services, a subsidiary of the law firm which is a licensed international financial services provider, appears to have been arbitrarily used by Profit Riders.

PM Barrow pays tribute to Garifuna icon, TV Ramos
When Thomas Vincent Ramos began Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations in 1941—then known as Carib Disembarkation Day, his vision was for the day of cultural celebrations to not just commemorate the 1823 (not 1832) arrival of the 500 Garinagu who came via dories from Honduras to Dangriga, but also to inspire hope in his people and to foster national recognition of their contributions across the length and breadth of the Jewel. This year, on the 74th anniversary of Garifuna Settlements Day and 192nd year of their mass arrival to Dangriga, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, speaking at official ceremonies held in the Culture Capital, paid a memorable tribute to the founder of Garifuna Settlement Day, TV Ramos, even as he also invoked the memory of other Garifuna legends, starting with the great chief, Joseph Satuye (also known as Chatoyer): “I consider it a privilege to be able to pay tribute, first of all, to Chatoyer and then to come down the line, and to say on this day, we particularly salute as well the memory of Alejo Beni, we salute especially the great Thomas Vincent Ramos, and we recognize that these are the people responsible for Garifuna survival, Garifuna triumph over adversity, Garifuna defeat of exile and current modern-day Garifuna progress. Please let us never, ever forget those examples. Please let us never, ever forget the inspiration of these legendary Garinagu heroes,” Barrow said, in remarks which he delivered extemporaneously.

T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic results
The Annual T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic took place yesterday in Dangriga. In the Junior category, first place went to Nashen Ysaquirre; second was Patrick Williams; and third was Darien Anderson. For the Weekend Warriors, first place was taken by Robert Mariano of Team Digicell; second place went to Dean Belisle; and third went to David Yearwood of Team Lampaz. From the big guys, the Elite Cross Country riders, 3rd place went to Herman “Hijo” Requena (Team Smart); 2nd was Richard Santiago (Team Digicell); and our brand new T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic Champion of Champion 2015/2016 is Keron Robateau from Team Westrac Alliance. C-Ray Cycling Team fought hard for Brandon Cattouse to repeat back-to-back, but it was a hard race this year. All categories had a very tight race.

PLB update, 2 mid-week back matches have serious playoff implications
Despite a few setbacks due to weather and other factors causing game cancellations, the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2015-2015 Opening Season regular season is down to its final week of regular season games; and in the next few days it will be determined which are the 4 teams, from the 6 that participated in this Opening Season, who will go on to the playoffs. With the completion of last Wednesday’s back match between Placencia Assassins and Verdes FC, and the two Week 9 games played over the past weekend, two teams, Police United and Placencia Texmar Assassins, have already clinched playoff berths, having accumulated a total of 15 points so far. Verdes and Belmopan Bandits are both in a strong position to make the playoffs, while BDF still has an outside chance, should they win both their remaining games, which would give them a total of 14 points. (They presently have 8. See standings below.) In last Wednesday night’s Week 6 back match at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, home standing Placencia Texmar Assassins dropped defending champions Verdes FC, 2-nil, with goals from Arnie Whyte (3’) and Luis “Baaka” Torres (38’).

BECOL basketball teams advance to championship series
On Friday night, the BECOL basketball semifinal games tipped off with Belmopan Shock (#2) blowing out Cayo Insterstellars (#3) in the Female division, 45-6. Belmopan Shock was led by Enid Dakers, who netted the game high, 24 points, while Kaylani Reid finished with 9 pts. In a losing effort, Angelique Ayuso was the top scorer for Cayo Interstellars with 3 pts. In game 2, Yabra (#2) easily defeated Eagles (#3) in the Over 35 category, 60-27. Yabra was led by Charles “Dunk” Armstrong, who had 11 pts, while Vince “Post” Estrada tallied 10 pts, and Kevin Domingo finished with 8 pts. The top scorers for Eagles were Lupito Acosta and Joe Awe with 12 and 6 pts, respectively. In the nightcap, Falcon Ballers (#2) defeated Benque Power (#3), 63-46, in the Senior Division. Falcon Ballers was led by Anfernee Young with 19 pts, while Marlon Andrewin netted 11 pts, Mark O’Brien chipped in 10 pts, and Jamie Carbajal finished with 9 pts. On Saturday afternoon, Belmopan Shock (#2) got the 36-13 win over Cayo Interstellars (#3), to sweep the three-game series and advance to the Female finals versus Benque Power. Belmopan Shock was led by Anna Gonzalez and Jayday Brown, who scored 10 pts each, while Indira Rivero netted 8 pts. Cayo Interstellars’ top scorer was Sherlene Dawson with 4 pts.

Belize Celebrates World GIS Day 2015
For the 5th consecutive year, Belize joined scores of countries across the world in celebrating World GIS Day on Wednesday, November 18, as the highlight of the internationally recognized Geography Awareness Week, usually held in the third week of November. GIS Day is held annually to showcase what Geographic Information Systems or GIS is all about and how it has been helping with the development and growth of Belize. The first formal GIS Day took place in 1999 and today it is observed in 80 countries around the world, including Belize. It is organized locally by Total Business Solutions Limited (TBSL), the Belize distributor for ESRI, the leading GIS software company. GIS Day 2015 kicked off with a ceremonial opening featuring keynote speaker, Adriani Coleman, teacher at Belize Elementary School. Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer, addressed the audience on Belize’s GIS Education Portal, which features maps and apps that provide a new and innovative way to learn Geography, Social Studies, History and Science.

Justice for Nina
Analiz Perez Gutierrez, the 22-year-old mother who made the news last week after her child, Nina, a 2-year-old toddler, was removed from her care by a social worker attached to the Human Services Department, has begun a campaign to get her daughter back. The traumatic incident which resulted in the child being placed in foster care until January 2016 took place on Friday, November 13, when the Human Services Department, based on a custody order issued in Guatemala, swooped in on Gutierrez at her Orange Walk Home. As we had mentioned, the child was born in Guatemala, to a Guatemalan citizen, and when Gutierrez returned home to Belize, the father of the child was able to apply for full custody of the child in a Guatemalan court. It was granted in Gutierrez’s absence; she had by this time had returned to Belize and was now focused on the business of settling down in her hometown of Orange Walk. That set the wheels in motion for the child to be removed.

The trailblazing cousins: Lincoln and Ashley Wallen
Belize’s first private radio station, Radio KREM, is celebrating its 26th anniversary this week. When movie maker DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s current Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Lincoln Wallen, left Belize in the 70s, United Black Association for Development (UBAD)’s newspaper, the Amandala, was less than ten years old. Lincoln Wallen’s first cousin, Ashley, the chief engineer at Radio Disney in Los Angeles, California says Wallen spent a year at St John’s College before leaving for England at age 14 to complete his education, where he earned “graduate degrees in math and physics and was a full professor at Oxford for 10 years before he migrated to the US.” These trail blazing cousins are nephews of Belize City’s Bishop Street massage therapist, the late A.P. Wallen. Wikipedia.org reports that Lincoln Wallen is a computer scientist. Wallen has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh University in Scotland. Katie Collins wrote about Wallen’s appearance at Wired 2014 in a story entitled “From villain to hero: the computer’s role in the DreamWorks story.” Collins writes that, “The one thing that every great animated film you’ve ever seen probably has in common, is a spellbinding story; that of a villain. In the middle of the story, Lincoln Wallen tells about the history of his company, DreamWorks, the villain that pops up is none other than the computer.”

2 remanded for murder of boy, 16
Two men have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until January, 25, 2016, on the charge of murder for the shooting death of a boy, 16, who was blasted with a shotgun in front of his family, although the boy begged for his life. Damien Donovan Velasquez Bowden, 20, of Young Bank area, Camalote, Cayo District, and Justin Giovanni Banner, 18, also of Camalote, were both taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court this morning, where they were jointly arraigned for murder. Police accused both men of being the two killers who went into the home of Eluterio Choc in Young Bank, Camalote, and shot his son, Ivan Choc, 16. One of the two gunmen held the parents captive at gunpoint, while his accomplice shot Ivan in the leg with a shotgun, while he pleaded for his life, then shot him in the head, killing him almost instantly in front of the family. The killers then escaped. The men were arrested in Roaring Creek.

House goes up in flames
As students at St. Ignatius Primary School were trying to get back into the rhythm of classes after a holiday break; they were interrupted by smoke coming from a nearby structure. According to the school’s principal, Luren Ciego, the entire student body and staff had to be evacuated and taken to St. Ignatius Church. A home at #79 Allenby Street was on fire and was the cause of the smoke which interrupted classes at the school. Orin Smith of the National Fire Department said that the call reporting the fire came into the Fire Department at about 9:35 a.m. On arrival at the scene, the firefighters went to work on the fire, which they managed to bring under control and eventually extinguished.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize honored at regional health meeting
The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Managers’ Meeting is an annual event supported by the Ministry of Health, which is sponsored by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and is hosted by different countries in the Caribbean every year. It serves to inform participants of advances in immunization, development of […]

Belize Tourism Board gives out tourism related scholarships
Late last week, nine scholarships were handed out to selected outstanding female academic performers by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), which are to assist them in furthering their education at the tertiary level. The scholarships varied in type, with three being given for two-year studies at a Junior College offering […]

Galen University launches public mural
On Friday in downtown San Ignacio, Galen University is to launch a community mural titled “A Painted Conversation.” Educator and artist Natalia Pilato of Penn State University partnered with Galen’s Social Problems course in 2014 to conduct a social inventory of the community, asking over 100 people about […]

Fisheries holds consultation with fishermen
The Belize Fisheries Department is inviting fishermen that use Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve and South Water Caye Marine Reserve to attend a community consultation, where the re-adjustment, possible expansion and creation of zones within three targeted protected areas will be discussed. This comes as part of the Marine Conservation and […]

New Guatemalan President on regional tour but will not visit Belize
Newly elected Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales began a tour of the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Central American countries but will not be setting foot on Belizean soil. An article on the Prensa Libre website states that Morales’ first stop was in Honduras on Monday where he and President Juan Orlando […]

COLA calls out government over Nanes Schnitzer case
A press release recently issued by Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), condemns the release of international fugitive and con-man, David Nanes Schnitzer, who walked out of the Supreme Court on Friday, November 20th after being granted bail, despite being wanted in Mexico for a Ponzi scheme in which […]

International fugitive granted bail in Belize skips town
International fugitive wanted in Mexico for his role in the Stanford Ponzi Scheme, David Nanes Schnitzer, was released on bail from the Supreme Court on Friday, November 20th and has not been seen in San Pedro since. Schnitzer is said to have scammed investors in Mexico out of US $42,000,000 […]

Police nab drug offenders in Roaring Creek
James Escarpeta of Neal Street, Roaring Creek Village, was arrested and is pending charges for the offense of “Drug Trafficking” on Friday evening, November 20th, following a search conducted at his house by members of the police’s Special Branch Tactical Response Squad. That search was done on the strength of […]

Blogs

What’s the Weather Like in Belize? Where’s the Best Place to Look for Weather Forecasts?
I get this question A LOT. And more and more now, as announcements like the current “Widespread Winter Storm To Last for Days” headline hits WEATHER.com- which I speculate is one of, if not THE, most popular weather service when it comes to the USA. BUT…when people look at the weather forecast on that site in say…San Pedro, Belize…a grim tale is told. Sure, it’s warm….but RAIN! Every day? No, no, no. Let’s take a look above at yesterday. 90% chance of precipitation…thunderstorms…oh the forecast was grim. And we, on Ambergris, didn’t experience any rain at all. We fell into the 10%! Or, another way to look at this is, that the Weather.com forecast is not the very best one to look at.

Belize Weather – Your Answer to the Winter Blues!
Tuesday 8 am Chicago, Illinois: Tuesday 4 pm Chaa Creek, Belize:

BTL Warning – Phone Bill Cramming
Read a note this morning from a friend regarding BTL billing. Check your bill carefully for any extra charges that seem out of the ordinary. Apparently they are adding 17 cents to your bill for paying with you credit card from your machine at home” … To one person this may not seem like a lot but start adding that up over time and the amount of customers BTL has and, well, you get the picture. $0.17 x 50,000 = $8,500 a month x 12 = $102,000 a year. And I bet they have more than 50,000 customers. This is called “Cramming” and it was a practice used by phone companies in the USA a while back. Not sure if it’s still done but I haven’t heard about it for a while and I’ve not noticed it on my bills. What is cramming? The practice of placing unauthorized, misleading or deceptive monthly charges on your telephone bill — and don’t even know it. These fees show up on bills with vague descriptions, like “service charge,” “membership,” “calling plan” and “voicemail.”

International Sourcesizz

Catholicism: Caravaggio and Kitsch
Some time ago when I was out in Belize I happened upon this little Catholic church out in the middle of the jungle. This was the humblest of cement block churches in a clearing in the jungle. It was San Pedro’s. St Peter’s Catholic Church. One of the things I find appealing about the Catholic faith is it’s practical universality. That is to say, it has room for opposites. St Peter’s in the jungle in Belize. St Peter’s in the Vatican City.

Videos

  • Black Tailed Indigo Snake (Drymarchon melanurus) , 1/2min. What a beautiful and graceful mating dance — at Basil Jones, Ambergris Caye.

  • De Belize a Cancún, The Final Countdown, 5.5min. Entrem a Mèxic, a la península del Yucatàn. Descobrint ruïnes maies, coneixent gent entranyable i recorrent la costa de camí cap a Cancún. Ha arribat el compte enrere, s'acosta el final de nostre llarg viatge...

  • Help Us Help Smokey - and Dogs and Cats Like Him in Belize, 1min. The Placencia Humane Society is a volunteer animal care and rescue organization on the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize. We see lots of dogs and cats like Smokey that desperately need our help. But, to help them, we need YOUR help.

  • Belize 2015 Diving w/ Turneffe Island Resort, 4min. 1st day diving 3 different dive sites. Diving buddies included Judy, John, Dian & Tom. We saw Trunkfish, Lionfish, Lizard Fish, Spotted Moray Eel, Spiny & Atlantic Lobsters, Decorator Crab, Nassau Grouper, Queen Triggerfish, & Scorpion Fish.

  • Week 8 & 9 - Shark Attacks in Belize!, 6min. Ok so it's not the huge shark attack you are probaly expecting. A reef shark mistook a GoPro for a Lion Fish and tried to have a bite, but who could blame the guy.

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