#517134 - 08/27/16 12:15 PM
Today's Belize News: August 27, 2016
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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
Blackadore Caye’s second consultation sparks heated debate
Blackadore Caye Development Group held its first consultation in January of this year, after which they worked on adjustments that they presented at another public consultation on Wednesday, August 24th at the San Pedro High School’s Angel Nunez Auditorium. The impressive turnout was comprised of students, hoteliers, government officials, tour guides, tour operators, fishermen, business owners, different media houses, community members, and various stakeholders.
The objective of the consultation was to get information from both the project proponents and the general public. It was also a means of explaining the revised edition of their Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), and what changes were made. The presentation was carried out by Social Specialist Dionne Chamberlain, Lead Biologist Juan Rovalo, Project Executive Demos Pragastis, and Lead Engineer Mark Buehrer.
GOB invests $15.8 Million to protect Chiquibul Forest
The Government of Belize will be investing $15.8 Million over the next two years to protect the valuable resources of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve from illegal logging and poachers from across the border, Minister of State Hon. Omar Figueroa announced at a press conference at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City Tuesday afternoon, August 23.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, The Environment and Sustainable Development, and Climate Change was launching its Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative, when Figueroa spoke. He said he had already sourced $2.5 Million of that $15.8 Million to come from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (P.A.C.T.) and the Environmental Management Fund (EMF). But to make it sustainable, he proposed to raise the $3.75 conservation fee paid by visitors to US$20, as part of the departure tax which goes into the Environmental Management Fund. To begin the process, he said the P.A.C.T. Board of Directors has approved for a “Willingness to Pay” survey to be conducted among visitors to determine if they would be willing to contribute to the preservation of the natural attractions they have enjoyed in Belize.
Homicide takes life of 51-year-old Caye Caulker woman
On the night of Tuesday August 23rd, 51-year-old Caye Caulker resident Jennifer Coleman was murdered inside her apartment complex in Aventurera Street. Around 11:30PM, while in her home, Coleman was believed to have been stabbed multiple times in the neck with a knife.
Visibly injured, Coleman proceeded to seek help from her neighbors. Before her neighbor could call the police, Coleman collapsed and hemorrhaged. Shortly after, Police arrived at the scene and rushed her to the local polyclinic.
September Celebrations Calendar of events announced!
September is right around the corner, and it means that Belize will turning 35! To celebrate, Belizeans will be proudly waving the red and blue flag with the coat of arms to honor their heritage. It also means that events will be occurring across the country, leading up to Belize’s Independence Day on Wednesday, September 21st. Since the celebrations are often considered the most patriotic, festive, and memorable part of the year, the National Celebrations Commission (NCC) isn’t holding back from the thrill.
Last week, NCC announced the release of the 2016 Playbill and Calendar of Events, which includes celebrations, commemorations and other September-related programs around the country. Communications and Marketing Officer Holly Edgell stated that the free booklets arrived a day early on Tuesday, August 23rd. The calendar covers events taking place in August and September, and includes programs sponsored by a wide variety of organizations and businesses.
Pachuca defeats Police United 3-0
The action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) continued on Tuesday night, August 23rd in Pachuca, Mexico with Police United FC taking on Pachuca, the reigning Mexican league champion. The game was held at Hidalgo Stadium, where thousands of fans tuned in to watch the game.
In the first half, both teams missed plenty of goal opportunities and were tied at 0-0. However, Pachuca made its comeback in the second half to defeat Police United 3-0, taking first place in Group E of the 2016-2017 CONCACAF Champions League.
The shining stars of the night from Pachuca were Erick Aguirre, Hirving Lozano, and Uruguayan Jonathan Urretaviscaya. The three team players helped to win their second straight home game of the round-robin stage.
Blackadore Caye Development Still Under Fire by Tour Guides & Fishermen
“One of the biggest concerns after the very first public consultation in January was that we were not meeting with the people who would be impacted by this project, both directly and indirectly,” stated Dionne Chamberlain (Dr.), Public Relations Representative, Blackadore Development Group in an email sent out to development stake holders.
Thus, before the final edits and presentation of Blackadore’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) were made, the development’s group set out to work diligently to remedy the situation and met wit over 100 people from May to August.
Misc Belizean Sources
BELTRAIDE telephone survey
The Belize Trade & Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) wishes to inform the general public that it will be conducting a telephone survey as a part of Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring (GEM) from Monday August 29th to Friday September 16th, 2016.
The Adult Population Survey (APS) is a unique instrument used to measure the level and nature of entrepreneurial activity around the world. The focus is not only on business characteristics, but also on people’s motivation for starting a business, the actions taken to start and run a business, as well as entrepreneurship related attitudes.
During the survey period, some 2000 randomly selected individuals will receive a call on your mobile device during the day. All information provided will be strictly confidential and will not be shared outside of this survey. The entire survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes.
Governor General to Travel to Mexico
Governor General Sir Corville Young will be travelling to Mexico at the invitation of Anahuac University.
Miss Belize Universe Pageant
The 11 delegates for the Miss Belize Universe Pageant will shine in the golden spotlight at Midas Belize Resort in a pre-pageant fashion show on Saturday, Sept. 3. The resort, located at Branch Mouth Road in San Ignacio, will host the event in the lead-up to the pageant itself, which is Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts. At the fashion show, a panel of judges will score the delegates, and those scores will be taken into account on pageant night. Tickets for the event are available at the door at Midas Belize. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 824-3172, 824-3845 Meanwhile, with the release of the delegates’ official photographs, Belizeans will have the chance to support their favorites! The delegates’ photos are posted on the Miss Belize Facebook Page. Whoever receives the most “Likes” will get the title of “People’s Choice” and will be on the fast track to the finals on pageant night. The delegates: Dianira Rivera, San Pedro; Kimberly Price, Santa Elena; Lyanne Reid, Belmopan City; Marcia Moody, San Ignacio; Marlanie Heron, Punta Gorda; Misty Swaso, Libertad; Moriah Lino. Las Flores; Neidy Rodriguez, Belize City; Shamra Palacio, Esperanza; Theotisha Hall, Corozal; Rebecca Rath, Dangriga.
Courts presented a $2000 donation to the Belize Zoo
To help rebuild a habitat for "Chiqui", a jaguar cub who's story will be used to bring awareness of the urgent need to protect the Chiquibul forest.
Protest at Independence Hill
The protest is underway at Independence Hill with a sizable number in attendance. Behind the chain installed by police, attendees are being fairly quiet, currently singing a Christian song in Spanish.
Public Service Union of Belize General Meeting
The bus will depart from Hilltop at 6:30AM and will be picking up our members at all the bus stops around the ring road. For those who have yet to get their shirt, we will be issuing out on the bus. See you on Saturday.
Los Hijos del West Fundraiser
There will be a fundraiser for the Benque Marimba Youths this Saturday, at Benque's Coronation Park. There will be live marimba music, of course. Show your support and have a great time doing it.
"Benque Marimba Youths Los Hijos del West Fundraiser Driver this Saturday Evening at the Coronation Park, snacks, goodies, games and live marimba music!"
Are you ready for Chocolate Jouvert on September 17th in Belize City?
Annual BHA Lecture Sep 7
Wednesday, September 7 at 9:30 AM - 11 AM. The Belize History Association (BHA) is once again hosting it's annual lecture. This year's lecture is entitled “Examining the Spanish Archival Records on the Battle of St. George’s Caye”.
The lecture will feature a panel of professors from Mexican universities and research institutions in Belize. The panelists will discuss preliminary findings as they work to translate over a thousand pages of the Spaniards’ account of the Battle.
It happens on Wednesday September 7th 2016, 9:30 a.m. at the Bliss Center, Belize City. And once again in the afternoon, at 2:30 pm at the University of Belize, Jaguar Auditorium, Belmopan Campus.
All BHA members, teachers, students, and the general public are invited to attend this lecture!
For more information give us a call at 822-3307 or email us at email@example.com
Statement delivered by Honourable Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs to the House of Representatives on the report of the experts who conducted the formal investigation of the incident in the Belize Administered Adjacency Zone in which the Guatemalan minor lost his life on April 20th, 2016.
With your kind permission, I would wish to inform the Honourable House and the citizens of Belize this morning, that yesterday Ambassador Magdalena Talamas, Special Representative of the OAS Secretary General for Belize- Guatemala Affairs, who is charged with responsibilities for the office of the OAS in the adjacency zone, has officially delivered to me a copy of the findings of the two special investigators who had been commissioned by the OAS to conduct a special independent and impartial investigation of the shooting incident which took place on the Chiquibul Forest in April last, for on transmission of same to The Belizean Authorities responsible for conducting criminal investigations in our country- namely the Belize Police Department.
San Pedro Calendar of Events for September Celebrations!
Here is our Calendar of Events for this year's September Celebrations! Save your dates and don't miss out on any of them!
Caye Caulker cleanup thank you!
The Caye Caulker Village Council would like to extend its gratitude to all who contributed in the clean up effort after Hurricane Earl.
Caye Caulker September Celebration Calendar
Due to Hurricane Earl, the CCVC was forced to cancel a few of the events planned and change dates on other events/activites. We do ask for your kind consideration in this matter. This is the official Caye Caulker September Celebration Calendar. Please feel free to inquire about any event you may be interested in.
Ocean Academy students looking for lessons!
Do you have a hobby, talent or sport you enjoy and would like to share with island youth? Are you available for 8 lessons, 1x/week, small stipend, in September and October? Ocean Academy students are interested! Tuesday's 2-3pm is Electives (ex. Gardening, Arts & Crafts, Baking, Carpentry, Beauty, Sewing, First Aid etc). Thursday's 2-3:30 is P.E. (ex. Dance, Volleyball, Paddle Boarding, Running etc.). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-0408.
Ocean Academy needs buckets
Can you help? Do you have large garbage buckets to donate to Ocean Academy? Call 615-0408 or email email@example.com or direct message. Thanks, in advance.
Ricky's Spice Shack Open House
Ricky's Spice Shack - Belize had a special open house, where they showed off the 100's of different spices they have. Amazing collection of spices, and great balsamic vinegars and infused olive oils. The restaurant they are building is impressive, to say the least.
Mash Cassava, Cassava shake and bake chicken, bread 50% regular flour, 50% cassava, Starch, Farina, Sahau, Heau, and Cassava bread.
Beautiful Queen of St. George's Caye Day.
This year's pageant is Saturday, Aug. 27 at Bliss Center for Performing Arts. We caught some rehearsal on Friday afternoon. Good luck everyone!
Gang Resistance Education
The U.S. Embassy and renowned Belizean photographer Tony Rath conducted a series of two all-day workshops on August 18-19, 2016 in Dangriga, Belize with Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) students. During the workshop students received one half day of photography instruction from Mr. Rath and learned about environmental issues impacting the health of oceans and shorelines in Belize. During the second half of the workshop students put what they learned into action and spent the afternoon photographing the ocean and surrounding environment in Dangriga. At the conclusion of both workshops, Embassy staff downloaded the photos the GREAT student took so that the best photos can be featured in a photography exhibit at a local museum in Dangriga in November 2016.
Checkout some of the top photos from the first day of the workshop here:
You can't score a goal if you don't take a shot!
And of course the U.S. Embassy Eagles are doing just so! They haven't lost a single game and won beautifully against the Social Security Board team 2-1 last week! These inter-office football competitions are great ways to show positivism within the working community and great entertainment for everyone!
Come out and support the U.S. Embassy Eagles Monday and Wednesday every week!
Racing Extinction: Powerful Eco-thriller
Entrance is free and everyone is invited! Corozal Junior College Department of Youth Services
?Helluva Historic Day At The House
Today at the House Meeting in Belmopan history was made and in the most ugly way imaginable. In fact what happened exceeds the limits of the imagination.
First the police fired a warning shot - while the House meeting was underway - directly in front of the National Assembly stairs when a protestor burst through the police lines….No one was hurt, but we've been covering the house for decades and we've never seen anything like that.
That was from a militant splinter of the church protest in front of the house.
And when the excitement from that died down that's when things went berserk inside the House chamber...
?The Day Started with the Church Protest Which was Hijacked
but first we start with the church protest that preceded it all - Daniel Ortiz showed you COLA and the Christians along with The Poor People Organization for Healthy and Righteous Society laid the ground for a volatile mix:..
So that was the protest which started the day off - and you saw how the Belize city based agitators more or less hijacked the protest organized by the Spanish Arm of the evangelical churches...and things quickly got out of control after that.
?A First: The Forcible Removal Of A Member Of The House
So we start with the biggest event on a day that had many - the police forcibly ejecting a member of the House, PUP Cayo South Representative Julius Espat...
?Espat Says He Was Muzzled Because He Had a Point To Make
When he got out of the House Sitting, Julius Espat said he was deliberately muzzled by the house speaker:
Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South:
"Well it's the first I've gotten beaten up by the police forces (smiling)
"Inside the House."
Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South:
"God damn. All I was doing was trying to explain the level of corruption that this country is experiencing and they beat me up. The Belizean people have to understand that I am not fighting for Julius Espat, I'm not fighting for PUP, I am fighting for the people that put me here and I have to be given an opportunity to express myself for them. I mean we are having so much problems. You know why they didn't want me to talk was because they knew I had information from the Attorney general about Barrow himself. He knows it. The Speaker called me the day before and say 'boss you can't talk about that man.' You see the Speaker went on the media yesterday to try to explain that the auditor general report is not important, because they made one mistake and to have them do that in the House. I apologized, but I am talking creole because that is coming from my heart."
?7News Director Ejected By Police
We return now to our streaming coverage of today's house sitting - we've already shown you the major events: a shot fired on the stairs of the national assembly and PUP Cayo South Representatives Julius Espat being dragged out of the house.
But the media was also put out of the House. That's also a first - but the police wanted us gone so we wouldn't get footage of when they ejected Julius Espat., In studio with me is Jules Vasquez to narrate just what happened - Jules - you were at the center of it - tell us what happened:...
?Police Found Kidnapped Stann Creek Child in Belize
And we'll have a little more from the house meeting later, but we turn now to regular news.
9 month old Aiden Matus has been reunited with his mother after he was abducted yesterday morning in Bella Vista village. The report is that 2 men barged into his mother's house, grabbed the baby and left. The mother posted pictures and posts on facebook, frantically pleading for help to find her baby. Well, the baby was found last night but not in Stann Creek, but in Belize City. Now the entire situation raises so many questions and it is still unclear as to why these men would target this family and kidnap baby Aiden. Today at another event, ACP Chester Williams tried to answer all the questions he could.
?Doyle Garbutt's Mysterious Death
Who killed Doyle Garbutt ? Police still do not have the answer. As we told you, Garbutt was shot in the head on Wednesday night on Balam Street. His body was found inside a white van that was in front of a wooden house. Today ACP Chester Williams told us this murder case will be hard one to crack.
ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South:
"I just came back into the country yesterday and yes, I have been following the news as I was away and since I came back I have been briefed by my deputy as to the occurrences in my absence and I believe he had given the media an interview on that matter and I think that we still stand where that interview was left. We have no additional information at this time. It is still an investigation that have us baffling. We are trying to figure out what went wrong. When we have these sort of murders they are more difficult to solve. It is not a gang related murder where we can say this gang is responsible or that one as the case may be. So, we don't know what Mr. Doyle's connection to anyone was or why he was in that area."
?Sexual Discrimination At Police?
And continuing with police news - our next story joins crime news and all this talk about section 53. A woman who says she's a lesbian went to make a report at the police station and claims she was treated differently because of her sexual preference.
?PM Says He Has Some Flexibility on Section 53 Appeal
And while temper, ego, and police mishandling of basic situations took the headlines at today's house meeting - there was some real news coming out of the session - before everything went haywire. The most significant is that the Prime Minister found some wiggle room on the case for an appeal of the section 53 judgement. He says he is not prepared to appeal on the grounds that anal sex should be kept illegal - he feels it should be legal. But he says he has common cause with the Catholics in that because of a document from the Vatican:...
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"Somebody drew my attention to the statement of the Vatican of the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy See from as far back as 18th December, 2008 at the 63rd plenary of the United Nations with respect to their declaration on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity.
?PM says "Intercourse Against the Order OF Nature" Enters All Spheres of Sexuality
And so while he is willing to appeal the judgement on the basis that the Chief Justice may have misinterpreted sex for sexual orientation - the PM says the issue of anal sex is non-negotiable - because that is a normalization of the laws which is much needed because it covers both hetero sexual and homosexual spheres of intimacy:...
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"Mr. Speaker, something came to my attention this morning and made me feel that I should say something at this sitting. Please, again the nation needs to understand that section 53 before it was struck down by the chief justice made sexual conduct against the order of nature.
?Hon. Elrington Wants No Apology From Guats
And also today in the House, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington gave a very tepid response to the OAS report. He received it officially yesterday and today in the house he didn't say much other than dispassionately re state the basic findings. So we asked him outside, don't the Guatemalans owe the Belize military an apology?:
"What is in the report, suggest that the Guatemalan who raised such a furor such hue and cry, called the Belize soldiers such ugly names, operated in less than good faith with the investigation?"
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs:
"Well, people have different pressures especially government officials and Guatemala has been going through a difficult time. The officials have been having tremendously difficult times. They like to emphasize that Belize is only 1 issue they are dealing with and it's not all that important to them. So, historically when governments are under pressure they look for an escape goat, this might have been the case."
?Elrington Hopes The PM Is Flexible on 53
We also asked Elrington about his position on section 53. Before the cabinet decision, the former attorney general said he wanted it appealed. Today, he said that the Prime Minister is coming around to his position:..
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs:
"The roar that started, I had already really expressed my view. That's really in the public domain. Demonstrations are healthy. Expressions of peoples view and opinion and honest and fairway is healthy. That is the basis of democracy and it is when one is able to express one's views, discuss and debate it and come to a consensus in a rational way, that is when we know that we have a good mature democracy. When things break out into violence and that kind of thing, then we know that our democracy is still lacking. So, that I have no difficulty with demonstrations, I used to be very active in them in the 60's and 70's when I demonstrated against Guatemala and was convicted and arrested. So, I can't hold anything against the people who want to express their views. I did the same thing then and I would do the same thing now, if in fact things were happening that I thought..."
?Cops Helping Kids
Today while all hell was breaking loose in Belmopan, Southside Commander ACP Chester Williams was doing some community relations work in Belize City. His formation gave away schoolbags to a hundred kids and 7News was there:
Next Williams says he is going to Ghost Town and Jane Usher.
?Man Gets Off OW Murder
A man got free from a murder charge yesterday. Trinidad Pineda was acquitted of the 2012 murder of Cristobal Santos, that is after the judge accepted and ruled that Pineda acted in self defense. Several witnesses were called to the stand, vindicating Pineda's position. One of the witnesses told the court that Santos had threatened to kill Pineda before and on the night of the incident, Santos was the one who assaulted Pineda first. The incident happened in March 2012 in Orange Walk. Pineda went to visit his girlfriend, who is a relative of Santo's wife. When Santos saw them, he went up to Pineda and threw liquor in his face. They got into a fight and when Pineda noticed Santos coming at him with a knife, he grabbed his cutter and stabbed Santos in the chest.
?Charged For King's Park Home Invasion
On Monday there was an armed home invasion at the King's Park home of 75 year old Maria "Maude" Sylvestre. Police say Thieves made off with over $17,000 in jewelry along with $20,000 US dollars in cash.
Today, police charged two men: 23 year old Trevor Guy, a Belize City resident who was charged with a single charge of aggravated burglary and 20 year old Victor Franklin who was charged for handling stolen goods.
Guy pleaded not guilty to both charges however, due to the nature of the offenses which involved a firearm no bail could be granted and Guy was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Franklin' got bail in the sum of $1,500 dollars.
PM Laments Teachers On Section 53
Tomorrow’s House Meeting in Belmopan will be a warm one for the Barrow Administration, and we’re not talking about what the thermometer says; we mean the political temperature. First off, the PUP is expected to attack the Barrow Administration for the BTL half a billion dollar payment, the Danny Mason debacle, the auditor General’s report, and the decision not to appeal the section 53 judgement. And while all that rumbling will take place inside the chamber, outside, the churches are expected to bring their numbers to demand that the government appeal the CJ’s decision. And the churches aren’t alone: as we’ve been telling you, the utility unions and the Teachers union put out releases asking government to do the same. So has it moved the Prime Minister? Will the loudest and most powerful prayers from the church leaders change his mind? Well Courtney Weatherburne asked him today at the airport and he told her that there’s no chance of that happening. He explained why.
PM Says No Sure Signs Of Corruption in Auditor General Report
So as you heard, there is no question that Prime Minister Barrow will maintain his position on the Section 53 judgment, but does the Prime Minister uphold or support the shady dealings of his ministers - reflected in the Auditor General’s Reports ? Now, PM Barrow admits that the information in these reports is very troubling but not so much so that he would resort to a Cabinet purge at this point. Barrow says he needs more than just a report hinting at acts of fraud and corruption; he needs concrete evidence.
Juniour Heredia's Name Appears Many Times In Report
And one of those Ministers who boldly said he has nothing to answer for is Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. Yesterday, when we asked him about the Auditor General’s reports he boldly claimed that he won’t be named as one of those Ministers who wrongfully intervened to try get passports, nationality certificates, or visas. He said that if indeed auditors did name him, it was only for one of his constituents, but it won’t be for any sort of mass hustling.
House Speaker Says Auditor General Has It All Wrong
So, Heredia has some explaining to do, but one person who said he sure doesn’t is House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte. He’s also named in the audits, for recommending a passport for William Lindo, son of Bill Lindo. . Well, the Auditor General names him as a person who ought not to have made a recommendation, but Peyrefitte differs sharply.
PM Won't Sign Corruption Convention
Now earlier you heard the Prime Minister say he needs more than what he explained as a “suggestion of corruption”. But if one pores over the 700 plus pages of the audits on passports, visas, and nationality certificates between 2011 and 2013, there’s more than a suggestion – there’s what appears to be clear and consistent evidence of wrongdoing.
A Man Killed In A Van
A man was murdered last night in the St. Martin’s area. 29 year old Doyle Garbutt was shot to the head last night around 10 and his body was found in a van on Balam Street. Police don’t have much information at this point but we went out to try and find more answers. Courtney Weatherburne has the story.
Nine Month Old Abducted
There are concerns for a nine month old boy who was allegedly kidnapped form his mother in Bella Vista Village at 1:30 this morning. His 17 year old mother, Ingrid Sanchez reports that Aiden Matus was taken form here when two men pulled up in an SUV at her house. A relative has posted on FACEBOOK that the kidnapper demanded fifty thousand dollars from the mother. Police are investigating and have put out a bulletin,
OAS Report Redux
Yesterday, we only had a few hours to review the findings of the 22 page OAS’ Independent Investigation Team. Today, we took a closer look. Their findings exonerates the BDF soldier and the FCD rangers in the fatal shooting of Julio Ruano inside the Chiquibul. Today, Daniel Ortiz examined just how important that outcome is in the greater context of the events that happened later, especially the outrageous comments from the Guatemalan Government, and movement of Guat. troops to the Border.
PM Says Guats Should Apologize
The Foreign Minister is expected to address the report in tomorrow’s House Meeting. But the PM got to address it today. In an event horizon dotted with one piece of bad news after the other, as we showed you, it’s one bit of good news for the government because the report confirms that the BDF were blameless in the shooting death of 14 year old Guatemalan Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. Today the PM expressed how significant this report is for Belize.
Justin Hyde Gets Free When Cops Fail
In April of 2015, we heard the shocking story of the gunman who stormed into the Curl Thompson Boulevard home of Wendy Lambey and fired 10 shots indiscriminately, hitting two persons and endangering an entire family – including small children as they sat and watched television. Police charged a neighbor, Justin Hyde for 6 counts, including two for attempted murder. It was a really big case, but police seem to have treated it like it was nothing. We say that because the case got thrown out yesterday and Hyde was set free when the police prosecutor could not produce a case file. Inspector Egbert Castillo told the court that he requested Hyde’s file from the police many times since 2015, and told them of the urgency in getting it but still no case file was forthcoming.
Boris Got Lucky
A man who claims he picked up a single shotgun cartridge and wanted to turn it into police was charged for kept ammunition without a gun license. Now that’s usually a charge that sends the accused straight to jail, but 22 year old Boris Belisle, was lucky to get off with a fine today. The assistant chef pleaded guilty before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza and instead of a sentence of 5 years, the Magistrate fined Belisle $500 and gave him until December 30 to pay.
Saldivar Doubts Ag's Accuracy
John Saldivar – he’s a former Minister of Immigration and Minister of National Security whose name appears multiple times in the Immigration Department audits. So what does Saldivar have to say about it? Well, a whole lot apparently! Just that he’s not saying it on camera! Instead he made a lengthy post on Facebook this evening speaking to his tenure as Minister of Immigration. He says that when a file reaches the desk of the Minister of Immigration to be signed, all the processes and verifications are deemed to have been completed and the "minute sheet" in the file always contains a declaration to the Minister that the file is "in order for signature" and that "all legal requirements are met". He adds, “It has not been the tradition for the Minister to then conduct his own investigation before signing. And he concludes, quote, “I therefore can categorically state that I have never knowingly signed any improper nationality certificate.
PACT Plans For Chiquibul
Two days ago we told you about the 15 million dollar Chiquibul Forests Investment Initiative. It’s a lot of money, but it’s also a lot of forest, spanning a total of 1.26 million acres, with 28 miles of border along the border with Guatemala. It comprises 14 protected areas, eight forest reserves, two national parks, the Bladen Nature Reserve, one wildlife sanctuary, one natural monument and the Caracol Archeological Reserve. The initiative hopes to invest that money over two years – and while they’re looking at a number of sources, they’re also looking at raising the $3.75 conservation fee. It’s been the same since 1996 and on Tuesday, Minister Figueroa said an increase must be examined:
MY SON IS MISSING
21 year old Deron Lizama has been missing at sea since last week Friday. The family has been searching for answers but they are losing hope. Lizama’s father told us today that he left that Friday morning around 11. Lizama was headed for Long Caye to deliver food supplies but he never made it and since then his father has made a missing person’s report and has been called several times about a body that was found near Spanish Caye. But the family hasn’t gotten anything concrete so far. Today we asked police if they know of the report and if it might be related to Doyle Garbutt’s murder last night.
MY DAUGHTER IS MISSING
And another city family is also asking for help in finding their loved one. 49 year old Desiree Gladden Hernandez was last seen on Monday August 15th.She left her mother’s home that morning and never returned and now her mother is concerned because Hernandez suffers from depression and anxiety. Hernandez’s mother came to our studio pleading for the public’s help.
Cayo South’s Julius Espat Thrown Out of House; Tension at Fever Pitch
We have been covering House Meetings for decades, but we cannot remember one as chaotic and as dangerous to democracy as today. There was total pandemonium on Independence Hill where [...]
Opposition Leader John Briceño Also Manhandled by Police
As Julius Espat was being dragged out of the building, the Leader of the Opposition John Briceño attempted to intervene, telling the police that Espat was already outside of the [...]
P.U.P. Politicians Say Government Was Trying to Silence Discussion of Immigration Reports
Following the madness inside the meeting of the House, Leader of the Opposition John Briceño and Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat spoke candidly with the media. Briceño and Espat vehemently [...]
During Mayhem, Channel Seven’s Jules Vasquez Gets Roughed Up
The media also came under attack by the police. Colleagues were asked to leave, but stood their ground and then the police went into attack mode. The removal of the [...]
Prime Minister Avoids Media Comment After House Exit
Moments later, flanked by a massive security detail, PM Barrow would exit the building. The shouting and jeering from onlookers continued as he made his way downhill towards his vehicle. [...]
Police Targeted Protestors: Live Rounds Fired After Missiles Aimed at House
While all the havoc was taking place inside the National Assembly, outside was no different. Just around high noon, what had been a peaceful protest on the steps of the [...]
The Sound and the Fury: Belizeans Rally Against LGBT and Corruption
While the House debated, outside in the Belmopan sun, a selection of the population railed and called on the Prime Minister and his government to defend the nation from social [...]
In House, Prime Minister Asks Churches to Meet Attorney General
The recent controversial Section Fifty-three ruling is the primary reason why almost two thousand protestors from across the country descended on Independence Hill today. Acknowledging the presence of the demonstrators [...]
Louis Wade Claims Government Caved in to UNIBAM in 2008
During today’s protest on Independence Hill, organizer of the “I Want My Country Back Movement,” Pastor Louis Wade, discussed with News Five his belief that the events of August tenth [...]
COLA’s Geovannie Brackett Claims Support of Utilities’ Unions
At the end of our story on the protest in Belmopan, you heard COLA president Geovannie Brackett mention the silent trade union movement, but after, he told News Five that [...]
Who Will Take Care of Deputy PM Patrick Faber’s Government Vehicle?
Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber’s assigned vehicle, a 2013 Toyota Prado, was plunged into the Caribbean Sea near Marine Parade by an unknown driver on August fourteenth. The account given [...]
Former Immigration C.E.O. Candelaria Saldivar Still on Government Payroll
C.E.O. Candelaria Saldivar, the sister of Minister John Saldivar, remains on administrative leave over a year after vacating her office in the Ministry of Immigration. That’s because she reportedly couldn’t [...]
An International Investigation for Pastor Lucas? Said Says Yes, P.M. Says No
The heinous murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas in early July, as well as the call for an external investigation also came up in the House today. Pastor Lue was beheaded [...]
Kareem Musa Discusses Anwar Barrow’s B.T.L. Salary
How much is the Prime Minister’s son, Anwar Barrow, earning as Chairman of the Executive Committee at B.T.L.? That’s what Area Representative Kareem Musa asked in the House this morning. [...]
Re-Registration Coming; Re-Districting to Create 10 New Constituencies
There has long been a call for re-registration of the electoral roll and for re-districting of the electoral boundaries. The former has only taken place in 1996 and 1997 after [...]
Baby Aiden Matus Turns Up Safe in Belize City
On Thursday night, we reported on the alarming report of the kidnapping of nine-month old Aiden Matus from his home in the south. The baby boy was with his mother, [...]
Police Have No Answers Yet in Doyle Garbutt Murder
Meanwhile, police are still looking for answers in respect to Wednesday night’s murder in the Saint Martin’s area of south side Belize City. Thirty year old Doyle Garbutt was shot [...]
Angelus Press Helps City Students Get Back to School
A hundred Belize City students will be the recipients of much needed back to school goodies courtesy of the Angelus Press. Today, at its headquarters on Queen Street in the [...]
More Help for Hurricane Earl Victims, This Time from the U.S.
By early afternoon, the U.S. Ambassador to Belize Carlos Moreno was handing over a fifty-thousand-dollar donation of mattresses and other relief supplies to the Red Cross for the victims of [...]
Eastern Division South Holds Back to School Drive
Today, the Eastern Division South Police Department hosted the first of three back to school drives at its headquarters on Raccoon Street. Aside from the officers donating books and some [...]
#517135 - 08/27/16 12:15 PM
Re: Today's Belize News: August 27, 2016
13 of Barrow’s former and current Ministers named in immigration scandal!
John Saldivar of Belmopan, Erwin Contreras of Cayo West, Gaspar Vega of Orange Walk North and Rene Montero of Cayo Central are among a list of high-ranking UDP Cabinet ministers who allegedly had intervened in the nationality process without any provision to do so in the Nationality Act between 2011 and 2013, according to an explosive audit published by the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley.
Manuel Heredia of Belize Rural South and Pablo Marin of Corozal Bay round out the list of current UDP ministers named for intervening in the nationality process during the period audited. Former UDP ministers like Eden Martinez of Toledo East, Elvin Penner of Cayo Northeast and Ramon Witz of Cayo South were also pinpointed by the audit.
Retired UDP ministers Santiago Castillo and Carlos Perdomo of Caribbean Shores along with Gabriel Martinez were also listed by the Auditor General.
Explosive Immigration audit leaked
A damning special audit leaked to the media earlier this week, detailing multiple cases of fraud in the issuance of Belizean visas, nationality and passports—including the high profile case of Korean national Won Hong Kim—is due to be tabled in the National Assembly tomorrow, when the House of Representatives meets in Belmopan and the audits should become public documents.
The audit, published by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, helps explain how Belize has in recent years seemingly become a hideaway for hoodlums, as persons alleged to be human traffickers and money launderers were listed among those fraudulently assisted with Belize Immigration documents.
Bradley now calls for a police investigation into missing files (164 of which could not be found in October 2013 for nationals of Guatemala, Honduras, China, Britain, Nigeria, Lebanon and Taiwan), allegations of fraud, and possible police collusion in her set of recommendations.
Kidnapped 9-month-old baby found
A mother was at home in bed with her 9-month-old baby when two men went into her house in Bella Vista, in the Stann Creek District, at about 1:00 this morning, pointed a gun at her and demanded $50,000.
She did not have that kind of money to give them, and so, at gunpoint, the men took away her baby and drove away in a grey SUV.
At about mightnight tonight, however, we recieved news through Facebook that the baby, Aiden Matus, was found, incredibly, in a cemetery in Belize City, unharmed, by PC Martinez and a Corporal.
Jasmin Alert had been activated and a countrywide alert had been put in place to find the baby, Aiden Matus, who is of Hispanic descent.
51-year-old woman’s throat cut in Caye Caulker
A woman was murdered yesterday morning in Caye Caulker.
Jennifer Coleman, 51, a domestic, was found lying face-up on Adventurera Lane at about 10:30 yesterday morning, with a large cut wound on her neck. Police rushed her to the hospital, but she was declared dead on arrival.
Police believe that the killer may have been known to Coleman, and gained entry into her house, where he cut her throat. Coleman ran out of the house to escape her attacker, but she fell in the street not far from her house.
Neighbors told police that they did not hear any noise or commotion.
Police have picked up a man who they said went to her house frequently.
Guatemalan minor killed in crossfire, but not by BDF: OAS report
An “independent and transparent” investigation conducted by Dr. James E. Hamby, retired Special Agent of the US Army Criminal Investigation Command, and Dr. Patricia Rosa Linda Trujillo Mariel, Head of Criminalistics of Mexico’s Federal Police, has revealed that Julio René Alvarado Ruano, the Guatemalan minor who was shot on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, during an enforcement operation led by the Belize Defence Force (BDF), was not killed by military fire, as Guatemalan authorities had alleged.
It appears that the bullets which injured the minor came from a .22 caliber weapon and a shotgun – not from a high-powered military rifle, according to a copy of the report leaked to KREM News.
Commander of the BDF, Brigadier General David Jones, told the media earlier this week that he expects his soldiers would be exonerated by the findings.
The changing personas of Dean Oliver Barrow
On the heels of an IMF prescription for immediate tax increases during the Said Musa administration of 2004, the then Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) called an emergency town meeting on November 17, 2004, at which then Opposition Leader Dean Barrow roared, “The problem with this government is the fact of their undiluted corruption. Promises have been made by them that they have no intention of keeping, that they’re incapable of keeping. But I tell you any UDP government that I lead will never be engaged in corruption! As soon as it rears its ugly head, I personally will cut it off. And I will tell you I will sharpen a special machete with blades on two sides so that every time it springs upright, so I will chop it off. And if it means the government has to fall, then so be it. Let the consequences be damned, the people of this country deserve better and I am determined to give them better.”
Nine years later on October 11, 2013, at a press conference after allegations of a visa hustle emerged in which the Cayo North East area representative, Elvin Penner, was accused of selling immigration documents to Won Hong Kim, a South Korean who was in a Taiwanese prison, Dean Barrow, now Prime Minister, said that he told his Cabinet, “If there is one thing that can and would bring down this government, it is hustling in Immigration. I have heard that ministers are procuring visas for people. I’ve said pretty much in every second Cabinet, if you [the Ministers] are doing so (I have no proof), for God sakes stop it! Stop it! That is what would cause the government to fall.”
U-10 and U-13 games in Orange Walk
This weekend, it will be the final week of the first ever U-10 Tournament in Orange Walk, the Orange Walk Football Association (OWFA) U-10 Tournament. The teams are ranked by their won-loss (W-L) records: #1 Vibes Alive (3-0); #2 Minions (2-1); #3 Real Madrid (1-2); #4 Barca Shock (0-3).
Saturday, August 27, Barracks Field
10:00 a.m. – #3 Real Madrid vs #4 Barca Shock
11:00 a.m. – #1 Vibes Alive vs #2 Minions
Closing ceremonies, trophies and awards will be issued after the games. Come and witness the completion of the first ever U-10 tournament.
U-13 Town Council Tournament
The Town Council U-13 Tournament continues in Orange Walk Town:
BAA Annual General Assembly is this Saturday, but the President remains
The Rio Olympics have come and gone; no satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming from the Belize Athletics Association (BAA) or the National Olympic Committee (NOC) for the exclusion of Belize’s most outstanding active athlete, Kaina Martinez, from our Olympic team roster; but this Saturday’s BAA Annual General Assembly will not be contesting the post of President, held by Deon Sutherland, the man who led the 3-athlete Belize contingent, including Brandon Jones, Renick James and Katy Sealy, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The “Wild Card” choice of Sealy over Martinez has been widely condemned by Belizean sports fans as grossly unfair and inconsistent with the Olympic spirit. A heptathlon athlete, the Wild Card rule required that Sealy compete in a single track event, and, predictably, she was blatantly overmatched in the 110m female hurdles; whereas the reigning Central American 100m female champion and record holder, Kaina Martinez would have been expected to at least be competitive in her 100m heat, perhaps even moving on to the second round.
Weekend Warriors race results
Below are the results from Weekend Warriors (WW) Race # 3 of the current 5-race Series, held on Sunday, August 21.
The “A” Class rolled off from Rockville Junction at 9:00 a.m. and finished on top of Busman Arnold Hill, some 40 miles later; whilst the “B” & “C” together left from Mile 25 at 8:30 a.m. for a 35-mile run.
Top finishers in Sunday’s race were:
“A” Class – 1st place Andrew Brown (Kulture Megabytes, 1:44:03); 2nd Kent Gabourel (Kulture Megabytes, st); 3rd Andrew Vasquez (BFSC – El Pescador, 1:44:33); 4th Kirk Sutherland (Digicell-4G, 1:44:35); 5th Warren Coye (Santino’s, 1:45:10).
Belize District boys win Atlantic Bank/Atlantic Insurance U-17 Football Championship
The road to the FIFA U-17 World Cup began for Belize at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan over the weekend, where the Belize District selection won the Atlantic Bank/Atlantic Insurance Under-17 Football Championships. The Football Federation of Belize (FFB), under Acting-President Marlon Kuylen, had assembled some 160 of the country’s best U-17 players, representing the 8 football district/regions of the country, for a 3-day showcase tournament, whose objective was to help the FFB select the National U-17 team to represent Belize at the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers for the Central American region, to be held in Panama in November of this year. Participating district/regions included the six districts – Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize, Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo – along with the capital, Belmopan, and the Mid-South area, which includes players from Independence and surrounding villages. While the luck of the draw, unequal travelling distances, and the number of games packed into 3 days of competition would not necessarily make it a legitimate “national championship,” the purpose was served to have all the teams countrywide showcase their talent, as the first step in putting together a National U-17 Selection.
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) lost a golden opportunity to increase the political discomfort of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) when the PUP rushed to support the pro-LGBT ruling of the Belize Supreme Court on Wednesday, August 10, 2016.
Played at its highest level, politics is not about the personal opinions or preferences of the principals. Politics is about establishing positions which the majority of the people (adult voters) support. Politics is always about numbers, majority numbers: 51 means power; 49 amounts to defeat.
It is many years since the Belizean people have marched in numbers in the population center or the new capital. Yet, the explosive issues have come fast and furious – Elvin Penner, rosewood, Chiquibul, Sarstoon, Harmonyville, Petrocaribe, BTL, William Danny Mason, and now, issue of all issues – the homosexual law.
The injustice at the Hondo
It pains me that we should no longer sing “From proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon …” in our national anthem. Guatemala has truncated the Sarstoon River from us and our very own GOB has prohibited the Rio Hondo from us.
Any Belizean who wishes to traverse the Northern Santa Elena Border has to have a travel document stamped and approved by the immigration authorities to be able to access the Rio Hondo, meaning the casinos, the Commercial Free Zone, and the river proper.
That policy, not a law, is in violation of each and every Belizean citizen’s constitutional right to traverse national territory without impediments. We realize that we must have immigration authorities, but they must respect our Belizean citizenship and allow us to pass without a travel document, especially if we are not leaving the country. But, even if we wish to leave and re-enter our country, we should not be penalized, according to the requests of the United Nations.
Brian Ellis Plummer on crime
I would like to add to the discussion about crime.
Crime costs Belize millions annually in security costs, health, law enforcement and other related impediments.
So far the approach to combating crime in Belize and the Caribbean has been combative instead of preventative. All our police forces have been militarized, triggering an arms race between law enforcement and criminals. This has yielded little success.
I would suggest a more comprehensive approach with societal re-engineering. The military or combative approach should be available occasionally, but the mainstay must be education and an adequate social safety net. Criteria-based public assistance.
Neri O. Briceño writes Olympic President
Dear Mr. President:
I write to you as simply a man, a Belizean and citizen of the world. I come without medals, honors, positions, degrees and titles; just an ordinary man. A man and his nation who are being represented internationally by your organization and the picture I am seeing is not representative of me or the country we all live in.
On July 4th, 2016 I wrote to the President of the International Olympic Committee regarding the choosing of Katy Sealy over Kaina D. Martinez to represent Belize in Female Athletics (Track & Field) in Rio 2016. All indications are that this was a totally unfair decision which was not made in the interest of the nation of Belize or in the spirit of the Olympics. I am still convinced that Katy was the wrong choice and my opinion regarding the matter will not change. I will continue to advocate this matter at every level until Olympics representation in Belize is changed so that it reflects Belize, represents Belizeans and works for the promotion of ALL athletes in Belize.
Unions pressure Barrow
In a meeting with the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM), Public Service Union (PSU) and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) last Wednesday in Belize City, Prime Minister Dean Barrow requested that they all agree to a deferral of a previously proposed salary increase until next April.
According to the Prime Minister, the framework of the collective bargaining agreement allows for the government to review the proposed salary adjustment if there was “a change in material circumstance.” That change “in material circumstance” was attributed to the recent damages caused by Hurricane Earl, according to PM Barrow.
The term “material circumstance” to which Barrow refers is contained in item 10 of the proposed framework for salary adjustment, which states, “In the event of any extra ordinary circumstances which affect either revenue or expenditure, then the parties reserve the right to re-open discussion.”
$15.8 mil to curb illegal encroachment on Chiquibul
The Chiquibul Forest—the largest expanse within the Maya Mountain Massif—and particularly the area spanning the Belize-Guatemala border, has been under sustained pressure from illegal activities for over a decade, and today, the Government of Belize finally announced an “unprecedented investment” aimed at curbing the pillaging of Belize’s natural and cultural patrimony by Guatemalans who illegally enter into Belize to exploit the area.
Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, announced the launch of the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative (CFII) at formal ceremonies held at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza this afternoon, adding that they hope to have a measurable impact on the ground.
The genesis of the Section 53 challenge: Part 2
Buggery or anal intercourse between males is only aone of severl sexual acts which are deemed a violation of the sacred books of the three dominant world religions—Christianity, Islam and Judaism. For example, the Torah or the Books of Moses contain commandments against bestiality, incest and rape, and the Laws of Belize criminalize these acts as well. The violations spelt out in the aforementioned sacred books are called “ecclesiastical crimes;” and they made their way onto civil law books in many countries across the world—not just in Belize.
Leviticus 20:13 says: ‘And a man who lies with a male as he lies with a woman: both of them have done an abomination, they shall certainly be put to death, their blood is upon them.” (The Scriptures, 1998 version)
Notably, even European jurisdictions once meted out sentences of death by burning upon homosexuals; but today, those countries have legalized and even liberalized homosexuality.
Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan ignored FIU letter: Auditor General
On September 30, 2013, the Office of the Auditor General received a copy of a memorandum from the Immigration and Nationality Department regarding some missing visas.
However, during the early stages of the Visa Audit, a passport scandal had emerged which compelled the Auditor General to expand the audit to both the passport and nationality departments.
The audit revealed that the Government of Belize (GOB), through various departments, had facilitated several international alleged money launderers and human traffickers to obtain Belizean passports. Furthermore, questionable practices by the former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan, have resulted in a loss of government revenue in several instances.
According to the audit, “the Vital Statistics Unit has been illegally facilitating these citizens by registration to change their names.”
Issue #33 of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online here!.
Click HERE to download the PDF
Industrial Uses Of Hemp
A Short History of Cannabis Hemp Since ancient times, until this century, hemp was used throughout the world to provide food, fiber, paper, medicine, shelter and fuel. In the early 1900’s Henry Ford used fuel made from hemp to run the first cars, and believing that hemp would play an even larger role in the automobile industry, he built a car body made from hemp fiber that was stronger than steel, yet only a fraction of the weight (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srgE6Tzi3Lg). Ford’s engineers found ways to extract methanol, charcoal, tar, pitch, ethyl acetate and creosote – all from hemp and all of which are fundamental ingredients used throughout industry. But since the prohibition of hemp in the 1930’s, these ingredients have…
From The Editor
Fruits and Vegetables in Belize’s Markets Tested for Pesticide Residues? Currently Belize has no regular testing system for pesticide residues of fruits and vegetables sold in our stores and markets. Belize law does not mandate any pesticides residue testing of our foods, so there is no way to declare that they are safe or not. Belize products sold for export must meet the demands of the importing country, usually including pesticide residue testing. Importers bringing produce into Belize however, do not need to have any pesticide residue testing done. Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, a country cannot impose restrictions on imported goods which are not required for the same domestic goods. Thus, in order to mandate pesticide residue testing…
To The Editor
Dear Editor, Subject: Lack of thinking hinders ag development Agricultural development has a future. Scientists in Kenya at the International Centre of Inset Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and Rothamsted Research, UK in collaboration with other partners developed a natural method for controlling the corn-borer moth. A ground-cover plant, silverleaf desmodium, dissolves moth eggs laid on it; planted in fields between rows of corn, desmodium gives off compounds that repel the stem borer moth. Its roots suppress weeds including striga, a serious parasitic weed of corn. Napier grass, planted at the edge of fields, attracts stem borers out of the field to lay their eggs on it instead of the corn. The sharp silica hairs and sticky exudates on the Napier…
Potato Research In Peru
Of all the countries in the world, Peru is one of the most interesting in agricultural history. The diversity of plants and climates from rainforests to snowy mountains to hot deserts are all in a place about 1/8 the size of the United States. The origins of many important food crops such as potato, sweet potato, and certain peppers are here. Researchers in Peru and around the world are aware of the great importance of this region and many are devoting their life’s work to improving agriculture for the country’s people. I wanted to learn more about this curious place of so much diversity. The potato, for example: many thousands of varieties grow only in Peru – nowhere else. I…
Beyond The Backyard – Ghosts Of The Graveyard
They stand erect and tall as guardian soldiers, swords at the ready, ever on duty in our cemeteries. The dagger like plants of Draceanaafromontana and then Yucca were planted at the headstone or in place of one at unmarked graves to ward off evil and keep restless spirits from wandering. They are profoundly significant as a symbol of eternity and mourning in the cultural beliefs of tropical Africa. The tradition continued throughout the Americas and the Caribbean settlements, the Yucca becoming our sentinel. The name Yucca applies to more than 50 species that have mostly adapted to all types of terrain and share characteristics of appearance and chemistry. They are evergreens, drought tolerant, spread rapidly, fire adaptive, prefer full sun…
Belize’s First International Beekeeping Symposium
Beekeeping is an agroforest activity that protects the environment, contributes to food security through the pollination of crops, and represents an important, albeit underdeveloped, industry that could provide employment to many Belizeans. In time, beekeeping has the potential to become a source of foreign exchange through the exportation of honey and other hive products such as beeswax, propolis, pollen, bees and manufactured products such as soaps, creams and shampoos. On May 27th and 28th, 2016, the beekeeping community met at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio to address the potential of beekeeping in Belize and its present challenges. The two-day event was organized by Cayo Quality Honey Producers Cooperative (CQHPC). CQHPC is based in the Cayo District and was…
Optimizing Corn Yield With Nitro Xtend+S
By Edwin Gomez, Axel Hidalgo, Wilbert Ramclam, Eddie Friessen and Albert Reimer The increase in productivity corresponds to the increase of total dry matter as a result of nutrients absorption (Karlen et al, 1987). Furthermore, the adoption of best management practices for the use of fertilizers is necessary to increase and stabilize yields and promote agricultural sustainability (Ciampitti et al, 2007). With these important factors in mind we conducted trials to evaluate the effect of a new product called NITRO XTEND that inhibits the enzyme urease which is responsible for breaking down nitrogen into ammonium. A crop of corn yielding 10,688 pound per acre would need to absorb approximately 219, 42, and 42 pounds per acre of nitrogen (N), phosphorus…
Those who study the Ag Prices at a Glance page in the Belize Ag Report’s centerfold, will have noted that it has been a good while since Class A corn has been even priced. (It has been marked N/A for not available). Bel-Car refers to Class A corn as dark yellow high quality type which is most desirable for their corn meal, rather than strictly feed corn. Class A has more endosperm and less germ and has high vitreousness. High endosperm kernels are usually brighter orange color, rather then yellow. Hard vitreous kernels have better nutritional, dry milling, breakage resistance and pathogen resistance qualities than soft opaque kernels. After Spanish Lookout’s trials of a new hybrid variety of a Class…
21 st Meeting of the Coordinating Group of Pesticides Control Boards of the Caribbean 6 – 10 June 2016
The Pesticides Control Board of Belize is pleased to report that the hosting of the 21st Meeting of the Coordinating Group of Pesticides Control Boards of the Caribbean (CGPC) held in Belize from 6 – 10 June 2016, was a resounding success. The meeting was held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in San Ignacio, Cayo under the theme: “A changing climate! A changing world! Responsible pest and pesticide management – our responsibility.” Mr. Carlos Fuller of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre based in Belize was the keynote speaker during the meeting’s first technical session. The CGPC is comprised of representatives from the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Boards or Authorities of the countries of the Caribbean, and associate members…
Building Life In The Soil
“How can I improve soil biology or encourage soil life on my land?” From organic to no-till farms, this is one of the most asked questions in agriculture today. Before that question can be answered there are other questions that need to be answered. Will the benefits from following a proposal to build life in the soil be profitable enough to be economically feasible? Will such a program justify the time and effort required? What type of changes may be needed to achieve the goal in a proper manner? The answers to these questions will help determine what may or may not be possible under varying sets of circumstances. There are no simple one-step plans that will apply to every…
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) And Green Cane Harvesting
In 2015 the Department of the Environment (DOE) started a national project entitled “Belize Chemicals and Waste Management Project”, which aims to manage and dispose of all existing stockpiles of POPs, as well as reducing the release of unintentional POPs (UPOPs) into Belize’s environment. In the past DDT was used extensively to control mosquitoes that carry malaria and dengue. Other chemicals continue to be used in agriculture. Now it is being recognized that these chemicals have unforeseen negative effects on human health and the environment. POPs can be transported by wind and water, and affect people and wildlife far from where they are used. They exist for very long periods of time in the environment and can accumulate and pass…
Belize Livestock Producers Association News
Belize is now proceeding with cattle sweep 4. Based on our good results indicating a healthy livestock population, and proposals at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) we may qualify for some testing reductions. The OIE has drafted changes for the entire world, that, if accepted, would only require 3 tests for brucellosis under some conditions, rather than the currently required 5. Currently we must test 99.9% of our livestock, but we have applied to test only a representative percent of 22.7% of livestock for the fourth sweep. If those results are clean, they could be accepted and used to declare our official status. Throughout the country, it would then involve selected herds, identified into 6 risk areas: breeding…
Working Together To Reduce Predator Attacks On Livestock
Livestock production in Belize is common and increasing. Many farms and villages lie in close proximity to the forest, potentially putting their animals at risk of predator attack. Livestock predation is frustrating and economically damaging, particularly for small-scale farmers who may lose a substantial proportion of their herd if they suffer repeated attacks. Understanding how predators, such as jaguars, pumas and coyotes, use the forest and agricultural lands, and how livestock are managed within the landscape, is helping us to identify practical, cost-effective non-lethal methods to deter predators from attacking livestock. Panthera works in partnership with the Forest Department’s Wildlife Program and theUniversity of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute (UB-ERI). Our applied research combines ecological and social science to understand the…
Sustainable Harvest International (SHI)
SHI-Belize began its work teaching farmers in Toledo about organic gardening and agroforestry in March 1999 with only 3 staff members who were Agroforestry extensionists with agricultural backgrounds. The project included 40 – 45 families. Since 2005, when Nana Mensah became SHI-Belize Country Director, the organization greatly expanded in staff from 3 to 9, geographic scope to include Stann Creek and Cayo, number of farmers from 45 to 115, and project scope to include small animal husbandry and micro-business development. At the moment we are in the final stage of completing a project with 21 families in the village of Otoxha; the project was funded as a grant from the Australian government. Under this project we issued 21 sets of…
Sheep Projects In Belize
The Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) in Belize, funded by International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), signed an agreement with the Belize government in December 2015 to assist with a 3 year small ruminant project which will run until December 2018. The project is a joint project between Belize and TTM, whereby funds are granted to the host country. TTM will assist with management and Mr. Pin-Nan Lee, a small ruminant specialist is assigned to oversee the new Central Farm sheep breeding facility. The budget of the project is US$1.274M over 3 years, with US$350K provided by the Government of Belize. While the project was initially planned to include both sheep and goats, a decision was made to focus solely on…
Forest Fires – All Is Not Well In Belize
The rainy season has started; no longer the gloomy grey dome of smoke choking us and distressing tourists because the rains have cleared the air from the fires of the dry season. Incredibly extensive and costly fires have persistently been devastating the countryside and biodiversity year after year. Before Belize gained its independence fires were considered a very serious business. Extension officers of colonial Belize worked with farmers in the fields every day of the week and issued official fire-permits to farmers to burn their milpa clearings. It was mandatory that all cleared land have a 6-foot wide fire-pass around the entire perimeter. The extension officer of the area would ensure that the fire-pass was well done and up-to-date for…
Surinam cherry bushes grow all over Belize; they have pumpkin-shaped fruits that are botanically berries, but resemble cherries. If you are not familiar with Surinam cherries, imagine classic bing cherries with eight ribs growing on beautiful glossy evergreen leaved bushes. The cherries/berries look like cherries, but do not taste like cherries. The taste of the Surinam cherry fruit when ripe is said to resemble fig, mango, green pepper, with undertones of balsam and apricot, and even a touch of pine-like resin and tobacco aftertaste. Before the fruits are ripe they are tart, acidic and bitter tasting. It is best to pick only the fruits which are dark red and readily fall into your hand. There is a rare variety of…
Blue Moon Over Big Falls
Chocolate lovers congregated for the gala event of the 10th Annual Cacao Festival, now being called the Chocolate Festival, on May 20, not quite the full flower moon evening (full moon was actually Saturday) but close enough to add magic to the magnificent setting around the pool and lush tropical gardens at Big Falls Lodge, Toledo. This year the exhibitors offering samples of their products and very informative discussion regarding their procedures and mission were: Xoco, an event sponsor who focuses on supplying high end quality cacao beans to chocolatiers worldwide and now farming in Belize. Cotton Tree, who makes chocolate exclusively from beans from the Toledo District. Each batch of chocolate is created from the beans of a single…
The Majestic Mango
Stately, massive mango trees are the glory of a tropical farm. No other fruit is anticipated with such eagerness; no other fruit tree is so abundant to the point of overwhelming when they bear well. The varieties are as different as apple varieties and each one may have its own loyal devotee. Grafted mango trees begin to bear from 2 to 3 years from planting and continue for many, many years. As I write, the view through one of the windows of our house is fully dominated by the foliage of a mango tree about 20 yards away; it may be 40 years old and is bearing again this year. It used to bear only a type of mango known…
Fertility From The Deep – Nature’s Perfect Nutrient Blend for the Farm – Written By Charles Walters
The hypothesis that the diversity and abundance of chemical elements contained in ocean water could provide “nature’s perfect nutrient blend for the farm” was tested within the context of innovative farming methods proposed and implemented by Dr. Maynard Murray in the mid-20th century. In his book, Mr. Walters describes the inspirational, scientific and practical evolution and implementation of Dr. Murray’s ideas and the experiments he conducted to revolutionize modern agriculture in terms of providing healthier food for an increasingly unhealthy human population. Dr. Murray had taken his medical training at the University of Cincinnati and spent a decade testing the art and science of his profession. While working many years in Boston hospitals, Dr. Murray became increasingly appalled by the…
Breakfast is Served! You Name The Dish.
What would you call a dish of green banana flour, seaweed, powdered milk, sugar and peanuts with water added and cooked for 15 minutes? That nutritious combination is being developed into a product at the Central Farm food processing test kitchen for the school feeding program. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forest, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) project, headed by Anna Howe, was started in July 2015 with the help and direction of a food specialist to find the combination of ingredients to (1) use local ingredients (2) make a tasty, nutritious breakfast food for the school feeding program at minimum cost, and (3) explore the marketability of such a product. Anna and her crew of 5 are testing…
Rainy Season War
The rains have fallen, the flowers and plants are blooming and the mosquitos are buzzing. That high pitched sound there little wings make in the night time is more than annoying, mosquitos are Vectors of Malaria, Yellow Fever, Chikungunya, and now a new player….Zika! Most of the above mentioned are transmitted by the same villain, Aedes aegypti, which is distributed worldwide, except in the coldest of places. Female mosquitos require blood meal for the protein required by her developing egg brood. Dusk and dawn are active feeding times for mosquitos, and we all know the wet season bed time ritual mentioned above ……..hearing, but not knowing where the attack will eventually come. Vector transmission takes time, as the virus must…
The University of Belize College of Agriculture at Central Farm (UBCF) will host prominent soil fertility expert Neal Kinsey for the 3rd time in Belize, on February 27th –March 1st 2017 (the 2016 course was held earlier in Feb 2016). The upcoming course will be a new course to Belize; the 3 day Intro 2 course begins with a day and a half of trace minerals. Workbooks for the new course are available now for paid registrants of the next year’s Intro 2 course. All are welcome to attend this course – students, teachers, private sector. Contact David Thiessen at 670-4817. Neal reports that this is “the favorite course” of farmers. Mark your calendars for Sustainable…
NATS/Agric Show 2016
The National Agriculture Trade Show (NATS) name has morphed into Agric Show. The 2016 Agric Show, held on the fairgrounds in Belmopan from April 29 – May 1, drew 39,500 visitors. The 50 acre plus fairgrounds have been updated each year with a vision to eventually use the NATS fairground for a year-round Saturday marketplace with new barns, a permanent horticulture garden and tilipia farm as a training ground for future farmers in Belize with the support of Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega. Mr. Vega is dedicated to helping small farms succeed with the goal of helping Belize reduce its dependence on imports and become more secure in food production and distribution. Some highlights of the 2016 Agric Show included…
Agriculture Prices At A Glance
#517136 - 08/27/16 12:15 PM
Re: Today's Belize News: August 27, 2016
Police drag Julius out of House of Representatives
For the first time in Belizean history, a member of parliament was forcibly removed from a meeting of the House of Representatives by police. The Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte, ordered that the area representative for the Cayo South constituency, Julius Espat, be removed […]
Churches team up with COLA to protest at upcoming House meeting
The Alliance of Leaders and Ministers of Belize, a religious based organization, has joined with Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action (COLA) and IWantMyCountryBack, to stage a protest at the upcoming sitting of the House of Representatives. The organizations said this week that the protest is not a form of […]
Government invests $15.8 million into CFII
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development launched the historic “Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative” on Tuesday at the Biltmore Plaza, which will see over $15 million invested into the preservation of the Chiquibul forest (CFII). In trying to curb the amount […]
Yardman accused of burglarizing home
The home of the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank ,Christine Maud Vellos was burglarized in mid August, and police say ther yard man is the culprit. Leon Prince, 32, a construction worker managed to deceived the Vellos family and steal more than $3,000 worth of jewellery from their home. […]
Doyle Garbutt shot in the head through his van
The lifeless body of Doyle Garbutt, 29, a resident of Dolphin Drive, was discovered in his white van on Balaam Street on Wednesday night. According to police reports, some time around 10:00 p.m., officers received reports of a shooting on Balaam Street. When they responded […]
Section 53 ruling will help the mental health of LGBT persons, says MHA
The Mental Health Association (MHA), this week, voiced its support of the Supreme Court striking down Belize’s sodomy laws, saying that it will have positive effects on the mental health of LGBT persons. The Association’s manager, Kathy Esquivel, on Monday described the move as “long overdue,” pointing […]
Zika virus harmful to adult brains too new study finds
As the Zika virus global health crisis continues to evolve, new data is suggesting that the virus attacks adult brain cells, not just children as previously thought. A new study done by researchers from both the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Rockefeller University in New York, […]
Woman appeals to driver who knocked down and killed her husband to provide for his child
The funeral service for Lionel Villanueva, 32, is still in the planning stage, but his untimely death comes at a time when his six year-old son will return to school and his wife is appealing to the driver who knocked him down for assistance. Adelino […]
Norwegian Cruise Line donates $100,000 to Belize
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Europe’s leading cruise line for eight consecutive years, responded to Belize’s plea for aid and donated BZ $100,000 to assist the Belize Red Cross in its hurricane relief efforts last Friday. Senior Vice President of Destination & Strategic Development for NCL, Colin Murphy, […]
BTB awards six with scholarships
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) awarded six students with scholarships to help them further their studies in the field of tourism, on Wednesday. The BTB invested approximately $50,000 into the scholarship initiative. BTB’s Director of Quality Assurance and Industrial Standards, Herbert Haylock called it a “worthwhile investment […]
APAMO needs help
The Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), Belize’s leading network of non-governmental conservation organizations, is asking for help in providing funds to recover from Hurricane Earl. According to APAMO, over 45 percent of its members suffered severe damages to their headquarters, field stations, gift shops, equipment, […]
Police look for man who killed mentally challenged woman
The investigation into the stabbing murder of Jennifer Coleman, 51, a mentally challenged woman, on Tuesday night continues in Caye Caulker and a manhunt is underway, after police found her bleeding on Aventura Street, where she lived. She had apparently been attacked inside her apartment […]
Man missing at sea
Deron Lizama, a Belize City resident, went missing while at sea last Friday and all attempts to find his thus fas far have been fruitless. According to Lizama’s sister, Kim Lizama, he went missing last Friday while making a cargo delivery trip to the different cayes. He, […]
The special forensics report on the shooting and tragic death of 14 year old Julio Rene Alvarado Duarte in the Sapote area of the Chiquibul Forest on the evening of April 20, 2016 is in. It states conclusively that the child was not killed by any member of the BDF […]
Stench of Corruption AG’s report reveals wrongdoing and proceedural sidestepping
The eyes and ears of the Belizean nation will be fixed on the National Assembly this weekend, at a meeting of the House of Representatives when the long awaited special audit into visa and nationality irregularities will be tabled, following the sensational Penner passport scandal of September, 2013. Those audits […]
Leaked OAS report vindicates Belize
The independent expert report on the shootings in the Adjacency Zone (AZ) involving the death of a 14 year old Guatemalan boy has vindicated the Belize Defense Force. While Guatemalan officials maintained that the BDF randomly began shooting at unarmed civilians on their side of […]
Nine-month-old baby kidnapped from home at gunpoint!
A young mother made an emotional plea for help on the Belize Buy & Sell Facebook page Thursday morning, claiming her nine-month-old son had been kidnapped at gunpoint. Police later confirmed the incident and an all points alert was sent out to the public to […]
Over 1000 protest at National Assembly
Over 1000 supporters gathered in Belmopan today as a sign of protest against the Government of Belize, on several national issues. The protest held in collaboration with the #IWantMyCountryBack group, Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action, Alon with several unions amd other church groups, are […]
The Belize Times
TRAITORS! – UDP SOLD OUR BIRTHRIGHT
The list of UDP Ministers, Area Representatives and so-called UDP caretakers who are named in the very comprehensive Audit Department investigations into Visa, Immigration and Nationality irregularities between the years 2011-2013 is a scandal and disgrace, though certainly not a surprise. It is also, undoubtedly, the tip of the rotten iceberg in what has been proven to be a systematic, orchestrated and brazen sale of our Belizean birthright to the highest bidder.
Contained in three booklets – one each for Visa, Immigration and Nationality, hundreds of pages chronicle the rape of our systems and procedures by unscrupulous officers put in place by their political bosses. The shameful evidence that Ministers of Government intervened to facilitate Visas, nationality documents and passports without any vetting, for foreign nationals In the Visa – many of them with questionable backgrounds – is highlighted throughout the pages of the reports by the Auditors.
CHURCHES TELL GOB – “ACT OR PAY THE CONSEQUENCES”
After almost 2 weeks of being taken lightly by the Barrow Government, the Christian leaders from the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) staged a protest in front of the National Assembly building in Belmopan. Holding placards and banners condemning homosexuality and calling on the government to act NOW, they marched on the streets in front of the building which, at least symbolically is the seat of power in Belmopan.
These protesters who came out, and many others via social media, talk-shows and other forums, continue to demand that the Prime Minister change his mind on appealing the Chief Justice’s ruling to legalize gay sexual acts conducted in private.
About 1000 evangelists who are members of churches in the Orange Walk and Toledo Districts came out in support of the demonstration. Organizers had timed it for maximum effect to coincide with the weekly Cabinet meeting which unfortunately did not happen because Prime Minister Dean Barrow is out of the country.
The Disappearing Middle-Class in Belize
In August Category One Hurricane Earl made landfall somewhere around Ladyville or Sandhill. With winds of up to 90 mph, it battered Belize for more than 6 hours. After the all-clear was given, this relatively weak hurricane had, at least according to GOB, put a $158 million dollar beating on our people and economy. What Hurricane Earl really did was expose the growing level of poverty in Belize. This is a reality that not too many in the government want to accept or discuss at all.
For years now people who look seriously into how our economy operates have been saying that collectively as a nation we are getting poorer and that the segment of our population most affected is the middle-class. What Earl did when it hammered us for hours is to expose a hidden reality in Belize; that there are many people who are one crisis from becoming impoverished or from losing their lifesavings.
OAS Reports Clears BDF in Chiquibul Shooting
The OAS investigation into the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul in April is done, and the report is FINALLY in. Initiated in June, 2016, it was conducted by retired US criminal investigator and forensic scientist Dr. James Hamby and a forensic scientist from the Mexican Federal Police, Dr. Patricia Trujillo Mariel. Both spent weeks visiting the site of the incident which resulted in the death of Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano and the wounding of his father and younger brother. The incident occurred within Belizean territory and the BDF and FCD Patrol involved maintained that they were fired on by unknown assailants in the dark, requiring them to return fire. Belize took unprecedented heat and condemnation from Guatemala, including an accusation of human rights violations by Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales.
A Teacher of All…to ALL!
Similar to the “teacher of all things” Jesus Christ, Mrs Jeanette Bennett was a teacher to many. Born to Edward Lord, a mercantile clerk and Rosita Ordonez, a domestic, on April 8th 1934 she began her steps in life.
Mrs Bennett was a faithful wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, Justice of Peace but first and foremost she was a teacher.
Ms. B began her teaching career at a young age at Holy Redeemer in the early 1950’s. She often recognized a student of hers, the man behind the ‘zinc fence’ Evan X Hyde.
Her teaching career at Holy Redeemer became short lived when she married her lifelong partner J Alexander Bennett, an educator and teacher at that Institution. J Alexander was given an assignment to teach in the little village of Succotz in the West. Ms. B bore her first of seven children in Succotz, Philip Bennett on May 11th 1957.
Belize City Man Dies in Tragic RTA
Lionel Hamilton, the 28 year-old Belize City resident who also went by the name “Lionel Villanueva”, was killed in a terrible traffic accident on Saturday morning, August 20.
It happened sometime between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. at around mile 4 and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Police were called to that location where they saw a grey Dodge Neon Car with its front portion smashed in. A short distance away, they found Hamilton’s lifeless body lying on the side of the road. On the scene, they found a green van, which had collided with the car. Its front portion was also extensively damaged.
First Section 53…Next Gay Marriage?
The Church and the Government continue to disagree in the wake of the Section 53 judgement recently handed down by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in the Supreme Court. The Church and many of their supporters claim that it is not just about Section 53, but about opening a door which should be left firmly closed. But what exactly does the judgment do in the context of gay rights in Belize?
The Prime Minister, at a press conference held last week to address the ruling handed down after a three year delay, claims that the judgement does nothing more than decriminalize private consensual acts that were caught up with the net that is Section 53. He balked at the suggestion that it is opening the door to lawsuits from persons agitating for more gay rights gains.
That Special Machete…
Mr. Barrow has lost that special machete, his moral compass and without a doubt any golden legacy he hoped to leave in his wake. Always a conceited man, a legend in his own mind, it is a certainty that he became consumed with political success. All that fancy talk about doing better for the Belizean people has been reduced to nothing more than another rhetorical flourish for which the eloquent, hollow gentleman has become famous.
On Friday, the Prime Minister will bellow and bluster and bleat like a rear-ended goat, but the reality is that anything he could tell the Belizean people will have lost its lustre, tarnished by the ripe, stinking evidence of most foul corruption pervading the sanctity of his own Cabinet. How will the Prime Minister explain away hundreds of pages outlining the most disgusting, disturbing rape of our birthright by his own Ministers with whom he broke bread? How will he dismiss not a suggestion – BUT A DECLARATION – by the Auditor-General, Dorothy Bradley that Ministers acted ILLEGALLY when they interfered in the established process to grant Visas at our borders?
The PUP Welcomes Queen of the Bay Candidates
Early this morning the beautiful candidates for the prestigious Queen of the Bay Pageant, along with chaperones and committee members, visited Independence Hall in the old capital, Belize City. There they spent some time on Vibes Radio before enjoying an informal breakfast with Party Leader John Briceño and other representatives of the Party. It was a pleasure to host the country’s brightest young, talented women who will carry on the long and proud tradition of the Queen of the Bay, to be held in Belize City this Saturday.
El Odio Plays UDP Blame Game
UDP Junior Minister and Orange Walk East Area Representative Elodio Aragon Jr. followed in the footsteps of his political boss Dean Barrow when he tried to deflect blame and shame from his fellow elected UDP politicians who are named in the Auditor General’s Special Audits into the disgraceful and criminal hustling at the Immigration and Nationality Department.
By now Belizeans are starting to appreciate just how widespread the abuse and the cheapening of national patrimony has been under the UDP. While the audit were only for the period 2011-2013, who knows exactly how long it had been going on? Aragon’s UDP colleagues are being named as persons who issued instructions and manipulated systems all over the public service from port commanders to Immigration officials, to Belizean Embassy officials, clearing all the red tape, and all the checks and balances.
Stand Against Corruption
Corruption is the malignancy at the heart of a large number of issues in our lives today. It destroys employment and keeps down development, costing the Belizean economy millions of dollars consistently. It traps the poorest in the most desperate poverty as corrupt government officials siphon off funds and prevent hard-working people from getting the revenues and benefits of growth that are rightfully theirs. It takes indispensable assets from our schools and medical facilities. Corrupt individuals and companies evade the taxes they owe.
If we continue to hide from this problem, how will we expect our country which is blessed with natural resources ever break out of the poverty trap? We have to deal with corruption if we are to have any hope of a truly prosperous and secure future. Yet while corruption is such a huge problem, the government’s efforts to deal with it are weak because so many times they are the root of the evil.
Did the Court Sentence a Mentally-Challenged Man to Prison?
A nineteen year old Lake Independence man who pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary was sentenced to serve two years in prison this morning, when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith who imposed the sentence.
On Saturday, August 20, 2016 Mikel Angel Longsworth entered the Atlantic Bank storeroom as a trespasser. Nothing, however, was stolen from the room which is located at #26 Mahogany Street Extension, in the Lake Independence area.
An employee of the Atlantic Bank, Robert Leslie, was informed by Police that there was a burglary and when he went there sometime around 9:00 a.m. he found Police along with the man who had entered the store room.
Gunman’s Target Escapes Death after Gun Misfires
A man who went on a mission to kill another man but failed to do so because the firearm malfunctioned when he squeezed the trigger was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after unlicensed firearm and ammunition charges were read to him this afternoon.
Linsford Acosta appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza who read a charge of aggravated burglary to him.
Acosta, 32, a fisherman residing in the Belama Phase 2 area, allegedly went to the home of Adolfo McKoy, 50, a construction worker, who resides at 50 Iguana Street and entered as a trespasser on Saturday, August 20.
Accused Kidnapper and Mason Employee Gets Bail
Ryan Rhaburn, Manager of William Danny Mason’s Outback Ranch, was in the Supreme Court today along with his attorney, Herbert Panton for a bail application hearing, before Justice John Troadio Gonzalez. Earlier during the week Rhaburn was arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on two counts of kidnapping of Mennonite businessman Lloyd Friessen and his wife.
Friessen and his wife ended up fleeing from Belize after Mason allegedly began extorting money from him. But he returned to the country after Mason was arrested and charged with the murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas. Lucas’ head was found in a bucket in Mason’s vehicle in Belmopan on July 15th, prompting Belmopan Police to charge him and four others with the murder and kidnapping of Lucas.
SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN BELIZE…
And that something is Dean Oliver Barrow.
Dean Barrow was castigated by Church Leaders of the Evangelical Association during their historic march, prayers and speeches at the steps of the National Assembly.Mr. Barrow has become one of the things he has always feared. He is the object of mockery and scorn. His legacy is in tatters ever more.
New heroes are emerging in the Battle for a Better Belize. Pastors from Stann Creek, Toledo, Belmopan, Orange Walk and Corozal addressed the historic gathering of almost two thousand religious citizens. Twenty-five buses from the southern districts and five from the north rolled into Belmopan early Tuesday in protest against Mr. Barrow and his Ministers. It was Pastor Victor Hernandez who eloquently, throughout his sermon, made reference to Shakespeare’s well-known phrase from the play Hamlet- “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.
MY PERSPECTIVE – SPORTS LAMENT
The Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are now history. I have not watched much of them at all, what with no electricity for five days after Hurricane Earl and another three or four days until cable supply was restored. However, it has been difficult to refrain from thinking about sports, or sport as the British call it.
Of course we, as Caribbean people, have been exceedingly proud to see Usain Bolt cement his superstar status as the fastest human being over a period of more than eight years and three Olympics, the world’s most prestigious stage for track and field. I pondered on how this came about. Jamaica has less than four million inhabitants, but the emphasis placed by authorities on pre-eminence in track and field athletics has succeeded in producing dozens of top notch athletes and gold medalists. They simply cannot be beat, and they have to be highly commended for the astounding accomplishments of Jamaican track and field stars and superstars. We also remember the Cubans as well. I have learned that Cuba and Jamaica have tied for medals from the Rio Olympics.
Order…new or not
The Churches were able to draw a sizable crowd to Belmopan this past week where they protested against the government’s decision not to appeal the recent ruling of the Supreme Court in the United Belize Advocacy Movement’s (UNIBAM) case. Caleb Orozco was successful in challenging Sec. 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code which states that “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person … shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years.”
Lawyers for Orozco were able to convince the high court that the law as it stood was in violation of his dignity and human rights as guaranteed by Part 2 of the Constitution. Having successfully argued that point, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin had no choice but to declare the law null and void since, according to Part 1 (sec. 2) of Belize’s Constitution, “This Constitution is the supreme law of Belize and if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”
Thinking Out Loud
The Prime Minister is out of the country again. It seems like he’s always out of the country when there’s a crisis, and these days, crises are the order of the week. There’s another one brewing and bubbling this week – one that has been in the pot for a very long time. Mr. Barrow has been trying as best he can to hold down the findings of the Audit Department into the multiple passport, nationality and Visa scandals under his watch. But it’s out now.
I haven’t gotten a chance to go through the books just yet, but I hear the Audit Department is accusing multiple Ministers, Area Representatives and UDP caretakers of acting illegally in facilitating Visas and other documents for people who did not qualify. What has emerged seems like the worst nightmare for the Prime Minister who has stated publicly that corruption in Immigration would be one of those things that would bring down his administration. Based on what is in those audits, if the Prime Minister is serious and he has any principle, he should probably go ahead and call elections.
THINK ABOUT IT
Right in the midst of the hard time that has come upon our people a circle of hope has emerged.
This is a circle of hope and help.
Women are being encouraged to form a group of friends. One person brings in two friends. Four persons bring in eight and a circle is formed. Each person pays the person at the top of the circle. They then move from the bottom of the circle to the second level and then to a smaller third level and then to the top of the circle. Then it is their turn to collect.
Nobody holds anyone else’s money. Each person pays the person at the top of the circle.
This is a damn good idea – too good to be true. But it is working. So long as you can bring in two good and trusted friends the circle goes on.
Breaking Belize News
Julius Espat, media ejected from House Sitting
People’s United Party (PUP) area representative for Cayo South, Julius Espat, and Channel Seven News Director, Jules Vasquez, were both forcibly removed from today House Sitting in the National Assembly by police officers. Espat says the incident was fueled by the government, who did […]
Accident reported near Benque
Confirmed reports to Breaking Belize News desk is that a traffic accident occurred a short while ago on the George Price Highway near Benque Viejo Del Carmen in the Cayo District. The severity of the injuries sustained by passengers is not known yet. BBN will […]
House suspended after Cayo South member breaks protocol
There were extraordinary scenes inside the House of Representatives this afternoon as the Representative for Cayo South, Julius Espat, refused to leave his seat after he was “named” by Pickstock area representative and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. Espat was speaking on the adjournment and […]
Protestors not charged after throwing missiles at Police during demonstration
Just around high noon, what had been a peaceful protest on the steps of the National Assembly descended into scenes of near-riot after a protestor began firing missiles toward the Assembly building. Police responded with live warning rounds fire over the protestors’ heads. One […]
Belizeans the time to fight corruption is now
If you were caught committing a crime publicly, what would the consequences be? Would the police arrest you and lock you up? Would they hesitate? If you resisted arrest how would the police respond? You would be met with physical force and if you […]
Governor General travels to Mexico
Belize’s Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young is currently visiting Mexico City on an invitation made to him by the Anahuac University. During his visit to Mexico City Sir Colville Young will deliver readings in the CARICOM literature to the University including selections from […]
Person detained for throwing missile inside the national assembly
Reports reaching our newsroom are indicating that police have arrested a person for throwing missile inside the national assembly. This is a developing story and will be updated shortly. © 2016, www.breakingbelizenews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission […]
Police fire warning shots at protestors in Belmopan
We have received reports that police in Belmopan have fired shots in the air to deter protestors from stoning them. According to reports, additional law enforcement officers have been deployed in the area. Our reporters are in Belmopan and have reported that things are […]
The Church’s Hypocrisy
Pope Francis once famously remarked that the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations should apologize to homosexuals for contributing to their marginalization in society, citing the catechism, which states, “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” This should be […]
Belizeans rise against corruption, social decay in Belmopan
The Belizeans standing in broiling Friday sun at the seat of their nation’s government made clear that they are mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore. “It”, they perceive, is the slippery slope of moral and social decay […]
Belize – Analysis of the current status of PetroCaribe
By Richard Harrison: Belize…..do not take your eyes off Petrocaribe…..there needs to be an independent and comprehensive audit…..the numbers that the Government of Belize claim do not add up….many millions not accounted for….in his 2016 budget speech the PM of Belize claims that Belize had only received $325 […]
Abducted child found in Belize City
The child who was abducted from Independence Village yesterday has been found. According to reports, a resident of cemetery road saw an unidentified man dropping off the baby shortly after 10 p.m. in the cemetery area. The man then quickly fled the scene. The […]
8 Cool Belize TV Appearances
Being a small, relatively inconspicuous nation as far as media goes usually means that Belize sightings on tv are very few, and very far between, and that also means that when we do catch a glimpse of The Land of the Free, for better or for worse, we tend to get a little bit excited.
The above being said, we could probably count on our digits how many times Belize has been seen in mainstream media. Here are the eight Belize TV appearances we think are the coolest:
Your Belize Cooking Guide - How To Make Belizean Powder Buns
Have you ever tried Belizean Powder Buns? Whether you’re dipping it in a delicious cup of morning brew, having it as a snack while on-the-go or at dinner-time with your favorite portions of cheese; powder buns are tasty treat no matter the time of day!
Known locally as “Pow-da” bun, the pastry is a staple snack in Creole households across the country. Easy to make and even easier to eat, powder buns are a lightly sweetened, fluffy and typically crumbly, treat. Some seasoned travelers would even compare it to an English scone.
If you're a foodie like us, you'll be sure to enjoy our cooking guide to making Belizean Powder Buns:
September Celebrations!!!! Here’s Your Guide to the Big Events
Just this past week, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) released the official schedule of events for September Celebrations in San Pedro and around the country.2016 Schedule of September Celebrations, San Pedro, Belize
It IS my favorite time of year. So, if you are visiting Ambergris Caye in September or you are living here for the very first time, here is my guide to the activities. Get your red, white and blue ready!
Don’t be shy.
I am focusing on my home town of San Pedro in this post but there are some BIG events, like Carnival in Belize City or the Independence Day parade in Orange Walk that are SO worth thinking about.
During the first days of September, you will see the town, houses and golf carts decorated for the holiday.
Caribbean: Anti-gay law is ripe for reversal, Antigua says
If LGBTI rights activists in the Caribbean nation of Antigua & Barbuda mount a legal challenge, the courts there would likely nullify that nation’s ban on sexual relations between men, according to Antigua’s cabinet.
But the Antiguan government won’t take such action on its own.
As Antigua’s Daily Observer reported:
The government has said an outright no to repealing the laws [criminalising] buggery, a decision which has disappointed the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) community.
The Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda, on [Aug. 24], agreed that “the buggery law will remain unchanged”.
In the same breath, government acknowledged that the results which were obtained in the recent historic Belize case are likely to follow, should an interest group pursue this matter in the courts, since “our jurisprudence is similar”.
OAS probe absolves Belize in shooting of Guatemalan teen
Experts from the Organization for American States released a report Friday that indicates a Guatemalan teen killed in April near the two countries' border was shot by members of a conservation group.
The bullets that killed 14-year-old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano came from a shotgun and a .22 rifle carried by members of a Belizean conservation group, the Friends for Conservation and Development. The group was accompanied by a lieutenant of the Belize Defense Forces, but he did not fire the shots that hit the boy.
The patrol members said they fired in self-defense in a Belizean national park on the border.
The shooting had threatened to turn into a diplomatic tussle between the two countries and the latest flashpoint in a longstanding territorial dispute. Guatemala claims parts of territory governed by Belize as its own.
This Tourism Campaign's 'No Beachside Honeymooners' Rule Boosted Belize's GDP
Tourism campaigns for Caribbean destinations often have a similar aesthetic—sandy beaches, honeymooning couples, frosty drinks by the pool. But the Belize Tourism Board and its agency, Olson, had enough of that. For its latest ad campaigns, the BTB focused on local experiences unique to Belize and making flying to the country easier.
Three years ago, Olson started working with the BTB, launching "Discover How to Be," a campaign that showcased the country's culture and experiences you can have there. Olson and the BTB also worked with Southwest Airlines and WestJet Airlines to open up more routes and direct flights to Belize from the U.S. and Canada. The strategy worked—the campaign was responsible for increasing travel to Belize and boosting the country's GDP by 2.24 percent, according to the Central Bank of Belize.
"We set rules from the beginning—no honeymooners, no frozen drinks, nobody getting a massage by the pool," said Kevin McKeon, chief creative officer at Olson. "We want to go for someone who's a little more ambitious about what they're looking for in a vacation. The takeaway is you're going to meet some fascinating people and come back with a story you didn't expect to have."
NAU Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Mayan Tomb In Belize
An archaeology expedition led by Northern Arizona University has uncovered one of the largest Mayan tombs ever found in Belize. It’s the most significant discovery in more than century of research at the site.
The dig took place at Xunantunich in western Belize. NAU professor Jaime Awe brought his team of more than 30 students to the site. They uncovered a burial chamber five times as large as a typical Mayan tomb.
“Most tombs in the Maya world are sort of dug into existing buildings,” Awe said. “Not in this case! In this case, they constructed this tomb and then built the pyramid on top of it.”
The tomb holds the remains of what appears to be an important Mayan ruler, as well as animal bones and artifacts.
AdJENtures: Snorkeling in Belize, 2min. Footage taken on a snorkeling trip in Caye Caulker. Swam with some pretty cute sharks, stingrays, turtles, and fishes.
Belize Creole Brukdung Project, 3min. As you know singing is not easy. Here are some of our trainees learning proper singing techniques under the Belize Creole Brukdung Project which is being sponsored by the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project.
Blackadore Group second EIA consultation, 3min. Local fishermen tried to voice their concerns about overwater structures to the Blackadore Group last night at the second EIA consultation.
Here is the first compilation of important moments from the EIA:
, min. Channel 7's Jules Vasquez is dragged out of the House of Representatives as the media was ejected from the room. Video taken by our reporter as she was being removed.
Member of the media was manhandled by security forces as he was forcibly removed from the House of Representatives., 1min.
Honorable Julius Espat forcibly removed from the House of Assembly by armed forces., 1min. Despite the overwhelming number of police officers carrying him out, Hon. Julius Espat puts up resistance against further manhandling. When the leader of the opposition attempts to intervene, the police turn their attention on him as well.
Beautiful Belize - 5 weeks in 20 minutes, 14min.
Belize Carnival 2016, 22min.
Belize City Carnival Parade 2016, 7min.
3em3 :: Caracol e Placencia - Belize :: Um roteiro pelo país mais secreto do Caribe, 7min.
The Big Belize Surprise, 4min. Best reaction ever when my best friend realizes that we have shown up in Belize to surprise her. Living in separate parts of the country for almost 10 years means we don't get to see each other often, and this was the tropical vacation we always dreamt of taking together.
Belize Lazy River, 3min.
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