#518714 - 11/04/16 10:35 AM
Today's Belize News: November 4, 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
Garifuna Council announces activities for Garifuna Settlement Day
Garifuna Settlement Day falls on Saturday, November 19th this year, and the National Garifuna Council (NGC) San Pedro Branch has launched several events that will be held to commemorate their culture and heritage. With the assistance of Foreva Fancy Boutique and the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, the events will serve to promote and raise awareness on the rich Garifuna culture. This year’s celebrations are being held countrywide under the theme “Rísiti, Pántati, Gabafuti, Iúnrahowa meme la Rich, Proud, and Powerful, let us continue to preserve it.”
Have you ever wanted to indulge in cultural cuisine like boil up or hudut, or even delicious sweet potato pound? Your opportunity is here, as the NGC San Pedro Branch will be hosting a food expo on Saturday, November 12th at the Central Park. All are invited to come out and support the council by purchasing these staple Garifuna meals and desserts.
On Sunday, November 13th, the council will partake in their spiritual devotion by hosting a Garifuna Mass at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church (SPRCC). The Garifuna Choir will be present to help praise and worship at this event.
Police officer Zani Savala charged for two counts of theft
Following two separate reports made by a local taxi operator and a local dive instructor in San Pedro, Police Constable (PC) Zani Savala has been arraigned for two counts of theft. Details from the San Pedro Police Department indicate that PC Savala abused his authority, and stole $100US from the dive instructor, and $175BZ from the taxi operator. Police investigated the reports, and after conducting an identification parade, Savala was arrested. On Wednesday, October 26th, PC Salava appeared before the Magistrate Court, where he was charged and then granted a $3000 bail with two sureties. According to acting Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemmott, during a transparent investigation on the two claims, it was confirmed that PC Savala stole monies from both the taxi man and the diver. “On two different occasions, PC Savala extorted the victims and stole their money without their knowledge. PC Savala conducted a search on a diver at the police station, where the diver accused him of swindling. On a different occasion, PC Savala went to assist the taxi driver, whose taxi broke down, and upon doing that, he took the driver’s money,” said Jemmott.
All-Saints Day celebrated at San Pedro RC School
As a yearly tradition of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCPS), All-Saints day was celebrated on Tuesday, November 1st. Many children came dressed up as their favorite saints, and participated in indoor activities, such as a mini parade and a costume contest. A few lower and middle division classes walked over to the Roman Catholic Church to attend a mass at 9AM.
Due to the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) strike and inclement weather, Principal at SPRCPS, Roxannie Kay, explained that the school chose not to host a fair this year. “Since we are a Catholic School, the meaning of All-Saints Day is integrated into our curriculum. I believe it is important for students to learn the significance of this day. Many unexpected events arose, and we hope to have a fair next year,” said Kay.
All-Saints Day is a formal holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1st. The day is dedicated to the saints of the church, and those who have attained heaven.
Our World project brings dance show and treats to the island
For many years, Debbie and Larry Heimgartner have been visiting Ambergris Caye, and with each visit they continue bringing their love and positive vibes to the youth of the island through the ‘Our World’ project. On Monday, October 31st they visited the San Pedro High School (SPHS) and the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) where they engaged in different activities with the students. Students were happy to see them again, as they brought ballet dance and some icy cold snacks.
This year the Heimgartners brought with them two ballet dancers from the United Kingdom (UK) who have performed in different countries around the world. The dancers, Rosy Nevard and Jenny Morrison, are part of the international dance academy known as Nova Grace Productions. Both of them began learning ballet from the age of three, and for around 25 minutes they delighted the students of the SPHS. The dance presentation called ‘A Glimpse into our World of Dance,’ featured the two ballerinas graceful on stage flawlessly executing every number of their dance performance.
Hearing Solutions in San Pedro
As part of the Belize Mission Project and Christian Dentistry Association, a medical team from Colorado and Florida, USA, offered “Hearing Solutions” to the general public on Monday, October 31st. Many community members headed to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II to take advantage of free hearing services, including hearing tests, wax removal, hearing aid fittings and a variety of hearing aids.
The team leaders of this service were Dr. Phil Bangle, Medical Director; Buddy Jewell, Hearing Instrument Specialist; Christine Jewell, Audiologist; Dr. Linda Cox, Audiologist; and volunteers Ron Cox and Jean Bedell.
After receiving a slip, patients were called into a room for a general checkup. Doing the examinations was Audiologist Cox, who inserted two different ear utensils into the patient’s ears to determine whether or not the ear canal and drum are normal. A set of headphones was then placed on the ears to detect hearing frequencies in both ears. Afterwards, Buddy Jewell cleaned the ears of any wax, which he said could improve the hearing quality of a person.
Belize Electricity Limited Apologizes to Angry Sanpedranos
There might not be enough apologies Belize Electricity Limited can offer the people of Ambergris Caye after a power interruption left the entire island without electricity for the entire night. The evening was a very important one for baseball fans who were excited to witness the final game of the World Series. The Chicago Cubs’ victory was suppose to be the highlight of the evening, but rain, poor satellite cable signal and the outage plagued the island town.
Nevertheless, fans were resourceful enough to find live feeds on their cellular phones and a few managed to watch the game and parade in the rain and darkness of the night. No amount of consolation can replace the precious moments lost as fans were eager to watch the Cubs win. And today, many would not want to hear the reasons as for the power outage, but bellow is the press release from Belize Electricity Limited with their explanation and apology:
Letters to the Editor - Dear Prime Minister...For Our Children
I saw a video interview with you which made me feel very uncomfortable as a Caye Caulker resident and that feeling won’t blow over as a lil’ breeze. Even if I am not a young man anymore, I feel I am obliged to participate in the democratic political process even if I am not a lawyer because of my four young sons who are born here on Caye Caulker who love the sea and the reef and love to fish. Most fishermen might not dare to address you or maybe can’t find the words allowed for publication when they express their feelings concerning that GOB still might consider oil exploration in the waters outside our coast even close to the Blue Hole. Did our voices not reach your ears or your heart after the people arranged referendum about oil exploration? Because it was not arranged by the GOB? Since you say there is so little money to spend on the democratic process maybe we should use that money on a referendum for more than only this question at the same time.
Department of Environment Advises on Overwater Structures
The Department of the Environment (DOE) of Belize has released information advising the general public that environmental clearance is required for the construction and renovation of Overwater Structures. Overwater Structures, depending on their size and location, could have significant impacts on the environment, and as such, the Department, in consultation with key stakeholders, prepared the National Environmental Guidelines on Overwater Structures.
Misc Belizean Sources
Help Miss Universe Belize get to the Phillipines
Every dollar and cent counts! Bex has already had many adventures as Miss Belize! You can be part of the BIG one on the Road To Miss Universe: www.gofundme.com/missbelizeuniverse
Belize Investment Portfolio Campaign Public Sector Sensitization Session
The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, through the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with Connect Americas and the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), is launching the Belize Investment Portfolio Campaign. The campaign is expected to foster the development of a national portfolio to fast-track investment generation efforts, both local and foreign, through targeted matchmaking of pre-packaged investment concepts and projects.
Through the advancement of this campaign, BelizeINVEST, a unit of BELTRAIDE, mandated to serve as Belize’s National Investment Promotion Agency (IPA), expects to further substantiate investment concepts submitted by key public sector Government Ministries and stakeholders into actionable business cases aligned with national development priorities.
The National Environmental Guidelines on Overwater Structures was finalized back in 2010 and is available for download on the DOE’s website at www.doe.gov.bz. For the purpose of these Guidelines, the following definition for “overwater structure” is used: Any structure suitable for use as a restaurant, bar, dive shop or dwelling especially for commercial purposes and the enjoyment by tourists, which extends in any part beyond the shoreline of any public water or publicly-owned water body and includes pontoons and floatels.
These structures have been proposed primarily for tourism purposes in the coastal areas such as the offshore cayes, riverbanks and lagoons. The DOE recognizes that developments of this nature should be conducted in a prudent and regulated manner, and hence developed such environmental guidelines for the benefit of all.
SARTENEJA TO BENEFIT FROM NEW HEATHCARE CENTER
According to the Social Investment Fund (SIF) more than 2,000 residents of Sarteneja Village, Corozal will benefit from services administered at a new healthcare facility.
SIF held a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Sarteneja Health Center.
The health center project is being financed by the Government of Belize at an estimated cost of $789,300.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Ministry of Health Portfolio and is expected to be completed within a period of five to six months.
The health center which is expected to provide better access to healthcare to over two thousand Belizeans will significantly contribute to the reduction of the prevalence of Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers among others since it is expected to be equipped with rooms for consultation, examination, treatment, pharmacy, dispensary, laundry, an asthma bay area, sterilizing room, waiting area for patients, and male and female bathrooms measuring.
Vacancy at BEL
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Call Center Representative in the Customer Care Department.
Artisans at work in the Toledo District
The Chiac Family creates a variety of crafts, part of the Unique Belize collection!
Belize's Wonder Women! Mrs. Nicole Haylock-Rodriguez
Ms. Nicole Haylock-Rodriguez serves as the Deputy Coordinator for the National Security Council Secretariat, Belize Ministry of National Security (MNS). In this position, she is CEO George Lovell, MNS right hand. Most recently Ms. Haylock has been charged with heading up the Technical Support Team currently revising Belize’s 2008 National Security Strategy. She has done a fantastic job coordinating with all ministries within the Government of Belize, as well as with other non-governmental stakeholders to ensure that the 2016 National Security Strategy is all-encompassing, as well as enforceable. This most recent task is in addition to her everyday tasks that include overseeing the development and implementation strategy of the Joint Intelligence Operation Center (JIOC).
B2B Waste to Energy and Renewable Energy Fair
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in Partnership with the GIZ, The Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is hosting Belize’s First B2B Waste to Energy and Renewable Energy Fair at the Belize Biltmore Plaza, in Belize City on the 9th November, 2016.
Event Highlight: Presentation of the “Potential Study on Producible biogas and renewable energy from biomass and organic waste in Belize” by TNO Consultants for GIZ / J-CCCP.
The business to business (B2B) fair will serve as:
A forum for waste to energy and renewable energy networking
An opportunity for stakeholders in the sector to learn about renewable energy, renewable energy & energy efficiency financing programs and waste management solutions
Tropical Splash in Corozal
For all you "Tropical Splashers" - It's Official - Our 1st Thirsty Thursday at our New Location. Tropical Splash is back at their new location at the Corner of 7th Avenue and College Road (where Panorama was). Come by and bring the entire family and enjoy our rich smoothies.
BEL Locates Fault Responsible for San Pedro Power Interruption
A few hours prior to daybreak today, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) crews completed their search for the cause of a power interruption that affected entire San Pedro Town for over 7 hours, starting 8:59 p.m. last night.
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye is connected to the national electricity grid via a submarine power cable which enters the sea from the Belize District coastline, originating at the Maskall Substation.
This section of the power system traverses remote, swampy terrain that is inaccessible by road. Efforts by BEL crews to identify the fault responsible for the power interruption required overcoming the challenging terrain, unstable weather condition and intermittent availability of communication in the area.
Shortly before 4:00 a.m. the fault was found on a terminal structure located along the Belize District coastline where the power line transitions from overhead to submarine. Thereafter, the fault was rectified and power supply was restored to San Pedro.
Green Sun Belize
There's a new green business in Cayo. They are specializing in solar hot water heaters at this point. Using the sun for free energy. Great idea!
"GreenSun ltd. was established by a couple who fell in love with the nature and culture of Belize and settled down in Cayo. The vision? Increase awarness to sustainable use of energy. How? Something new under the sun.. Solar water heating, Solar power, Biogas, grey water treatment, Aquaponics - the sun is the limit."
Fisheries Department Fundraiser
Asking for your kind support to assist our friend in conservation. November 11, 11am - 2pm, at the Fisheries Department, Margaret Frive, Belize City
Belmopan branch of the Belize Cancer Society opens multicultural center
The Belmopan branch inaugurated its new multipurpose center named in honor of longtime Belmopan cancer advocate, Ms. Beverly Swasey, for her lifetime achievements. The center will house the branch, conduct outreach, and host cancer awareness, prevention, and counseling programs. The multipurpose center is the first part of three development phases ultimately culminating in Belmopan's first hospice care facility.
The building is a grass roots project funded by private citizens, businesses, the CEO caucus, the Government of Belize, and many community members. Deputy Chief of Mission Adrienne Galanek attended the opening celebrations. The Pannerfix Steel pan band from Our Lady of Guadalupe primary and high school, Belmopan's Senior Steppers, and Mr. Ben McKoy provided first rate entertainment.
"Dia de los Finados" exhibition in San Pedro
The opening of "Dia de los Finados" exhibition has been re-scheduled for Friday, November 4th at 7 pm. Kindly join us as we honor our dearly departed.
Paradise Theater playing this weekend
You Know His Name,
Hands of Stone.
This Friday and Saturday night the theater will be hosting Ponco Laduarte comedy show at 9pm. Performed in Spanish $25
Teachers Union Says It Won't Let Minister Have His Way
Earlier in the week we told you about the Minister of Education's plan to bypass the teachers union - and go straight to the school managements to discuss making up teaching days for time lost due to the 11 day strike. The Minister's position is that teachers will be paid for those extra days - and the suggestion seems to be that they can stand to lose a few days' pay right now, since they'll make it up during those extra days.
And then yesterday Faber told LOVE News that the deadline for submissions for November's paysheets had passed, and he hadn't heard anything from the Teachers Union President on how to proceed - so the paycut for 11 strike days would go into effect. The Minister said, quote, "we will proceed with the deductions in the month of November."
Well that dismissive comment stirred the BNTU beast, and today President Luke Palacio called a press conference to say Faber's mistaken on that deadline for the submission of paysheets:
BNTU Asks For Clarity
But it looks like the most important thing right now is clarity. That's because there's some ambiguity. The Minister says that teachers will be paid for extra make up days - but he has not established clearly if that would offset the loss in earning from the strike. He has also not established how lost time in the classroom will be made up. The BNTU explained why these issues have to be clarified.
Luke Palacio, President - BNTU:
"We are not clear whether they are saying that they are going to pay the teachers for those 11 days. What the minister had said resoundingly and it's in the news that they are going to deduct the 11 days at the end of November. This is not yet clear to us. So are they saying we are not going to deduct? And then when you make up the time in the January and Easter break that they are talking about, are they going to give additional compensation? That is not clear and that is why I think Mr. Frazer has made the point that the ministry seems to be playing a game and hoping that people will continue to become confused and try to go against the teachers. The position remains absolutely clear, we were prepared, we are still prepared to make up the time. That, we continue to insist is the purview of the management and the teachers to meet and settle this thing once and for all."
Hon. Montero Explains Bradley Estate Confusion
3 weeks ago, we told you about the land dispute over the landholdings in the Bradley's Bank Estate in Santa Elena town. This is disputed land in the Cayo District acquired from businessman Santiago Mendoza. He was allegedly threatening to bulldoze the houses on the 20 acre property, because Government acquired his land and didn't pay him a dime of compensation.
That immediately put the residents in distress because they say that they got the land from Government, and they've been paying their leases.
So, when we caught up to Area Representative Rene Montero today at another event in Orange Walk, we asked him about it. He said that Government has been trying to compensate Mendoza, but his asking price is too high.:
Hon. Rene Montero:
"As far as I am concerned there is no dispute. The government in 2005 acquired that land. Acquired it through publishing it in the gazette and inform the owner who is Mr. Santiago Mendoza. After that we issued it out to the residents of the area which have constructed their homes and we have already put in infrastructure there; roads, electricity and water. So as far as I am concerned there is no dispute. That land belongs to the government of Belize. Government of Belize acquired it, so it is Mr. Mendoza's duty to go to the ministry of works and to try get compensation for it, because it was legally acquired. Governments all over the world universally have the right to acquire land for public purpose and that's what we did."
Hon. Montero And The Harmouche's - A Special Relationship?
And Montero was in the hot seat today. We used the opportunity to ask about the Auditor General's Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department. In it Dorothy Bradley questions the recommendations he made for Lebanese Nationals Saad Mohamad Harmouch and Wael Harmouche.
She flagged those in her Nationality Audit, pointing out that several shortcuts were taken to get these persons their Belizean Nationality. She also notes a particular letter which he wrote to Former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan in January 2012, which says, "Ms. Meighan, please facilitate me with the following nationality for the ceremonies to be held on the 13th January 2012: 26536, 26537, 26543, 27020, 23414, 22999 and 30743."
Now, you'll remember the stance that all the ministers who've written this type of recommendation take: They make the distinct point that these letters are requests, and are always qualified with words like "If all is in order" or something to that effect. They say that it is a request, and not a demand to approve these persons for their immigration documents. We brought it up today with Montero, and like the other elected politicians, he stuck to that same position. We challenged him on that, and here's how that conversation went:
Did Hon. Montero's Family Get Special Compensation Payouts?
One final topic we grilled the Minister on was reports we had been receiving that his brother and sister have also gotten some of those sweet land compensation deals which we've been showing you. You'll remember them as the ones where land titles are sold for cheap, and then the Government buys them back exponential profits, all at the expense of the taxpayers.
Our reports suggest that Montero's brother and sister each got a 250 thousand dollar pay out, and so we asked him about IT today. Here's how that back-and-forth went:
Daniel Ortiz, 7News:
"We've also heard tell that persons within your family and yourself supposedly got compensation for properties and at very huge profit margins. Jaime Montero, your brother, supposedly $250,000 for land on Northern Ambergris Caye. Was there any such deal in which your brother benefitted?"
Bert Vasquez Will Stand Trial For Forcible Abduction Of Teenager
Alleged girl killer Bert Vasquez has been on remand since 2012 - and he could go to trial next month not for murder, but for forcible abduction and harm upon a 16 year old girl - which is alleged to have happened over 5 years ago in May of 2011.
The minor, who was 16 at the time, says that Vasquez forced her into his vehicle at the Pound Yard Bridge in Belize City, and took her to an area in the Vista Del Mar area where he pistol whipped him with what appeared to be a gun causing an injury to her nose.
Today the case went before Justice Adolph Lucas for case management where Lucas heard from prosecutor, Janelle Tillett and Vasquez's attorney in the case management, Christelle Wilson. At the end of that session, Vasquez's trial was tentatively set for December 9, 2016 - which is five weeks away.
Charged For Standees? Seriously?
Our next story is about charging a bus driver because he was carrying standees. Now, if you're a regular commuter you're probably checking your calendar to make sure this isn't some kind of April Fool's day prank - because…standees? That's such an everyday occurrence that it's like cracking down on mosquitoes after a hard rain.
But, as out of place as it may seem, a Benque bus driver was slapped with a fine dollars for having 15 persons in excess on board his bus. It happened on October 13, 2016 between Miles 14 and 15 on the Western Highway.
23 year old Wajib Guerra from Benque Viejo town was arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza in the Belize City Magistrate's Court for a single charge of carrying passengers in excess. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty. He was fined $500 dollars, which he was ordered to pay before January 3, 2017, or, in default, serve 5 months in prison.
HPV Vaccine For All Std. IV Girls
HPV is a virus that many contract and they don't even know it. While most people only carry the virus for one to two years, it is easily transmitted and can lead to much more serious conditions, like cervical cancer.
The Ministry of Health, National Cancer Society, and other stakeholders have joined together in an effort to prevent HPV. Today, they announced that HPV will be included in the Belize National Vaccination Schedule for children.
Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services - MOH
"There is ample data, two reasons: there is lots of data suggesting that we have higher rates of cervical cancer. Unfortunately, cervical cancer we are identifying in very late stages of the disease. It is not that people are coming in in the early stage. Data from last year, for example, that we have managed to capture in the BHIS, suggest that there were twenty one cases and thirteen patients died as cancer last year.
Modiri's Principled Stand Against Paumen Could Spell Trouble
Last night, we showed you part 1 of our interview with Iranian American Businessman Michael Modiri. He's the man who has become sort of famous for reporting that his neighbour, American Tour Operator Bradley Paumen masterminded a plot to kill him. They have unresolved business in the criminal courts because Paumen is out on bail right now for charges of abetment to commit murder.
As we showed you, Modiri claims that Paumen continues to trespass on his Franks Eddy Property to run his million-dollar Dark Night tour, even though the Supreme Court has sanctioned him for it. Modiri is making a stand to stop this trespass by blocking the road which Paumen needs to use to ferry his guests to his tour compound.
Modiri says that he has had enough, and he will not be pushed around by Paumen anymore, but why would he risk conflict with a man he's accused of plotting to kill him? Well, he says that he had plans to set up his own tour company to make use of the Dark Night cave system, and after years of planning, he will not give up on it. Yesterday, he shared a few details on how he came to buy the land, which now puts him in direct confrontation with Paumen:
Global Recognition For Belizean Do-Gooder
Manuela Lue is no stranger to being recognized for her accomplishments. She co-founded the Belize Rosary Mission, and is the Director of the BNE's Energy for Life Program who has been featured in The Catholic Times multiple times for her work with the youths in both Belize and the US.
Most recently, Lue was awarded the 2016 Commonwealth Youth Worker Award for the Caribbean and Americas region. She was chosen for her work in with the Energy for Life Program where she acts as a mentor to help young people become community leaders and entrepreneurs. Lue and the four other regional winners will travel to London next week to share their experiences, and present their work at an international symposium.
Cubs Victory Brings Joy To Belize
Tonight, Chicago Cubs fans all over the world are basking in the afterglow of victory because those loveable losers are losers no more. The "Cubbies" broke the longest championship drought in any major US sport last night when they won the deciding game 7 of the World Series - in what's being called one of the greatest games ever. And why not? The Cubs did it in extra innings, on the road, after coming back from a 3 - 1 series deficit. It gets no more dramatic than that - and throughout the game, where the score against the Cleveland Indians was up and down, true fans got a mixture of butterflies and blood pressure - wondering if the legendary curse of the goat could be overcome at all. We sat in with some of those familiar fans at the NICH café, and witnessed the rollercoaster emotions of a Game 7 date with destiny:...
The Cubs cave at NICH was silent for long spells last night, the muted tensions, the Cubs fans swallowing hard - their dejection palpable late in the evening.
These fans wear their passion on their chests. Every strikeout a celebration, every missed swing a reason for anxious concern and every pivotal play is breathless anticipation often followed by dejection and the agony of lost opportunities, complete with gesticulations.
Area Representatives Gets Cozy In Cubs Jacket
And while that particular championship after party went on well into the morning, one well-known cubs fan, went to bed early just so that he could get up early and show off his Cubs World Series jacket. No, we're not talking about a 12 year old, this is a grown man, and a well-known national figure, who was eager to get work at his political clinic so that his constituents could see how fancy jacket. If you don't know by now who we're talking about, allow us to introduce you to Michael Finnegan, Chicago Cubs uberfan:...
The governor of the state of Illinois has declared Friday as "World Champion Chicago Cubs Day".
When Caring Becomes Really Caring
Caring for someone isn't the same thing as "caring" for them. In other words, you might genuinely want to help a sick or disabled person but you simply don't know how to. Those skills come with training. The Belize Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities hosted a 4 day training for care givers on how to handle and cater to the elderly and special needs kids and how to respond to emergency cases. We stopped by the ITVET for the closing ceremony to find out what valuable techniques these caregivers learnt.
There were 3 persons trained to be care giving trainers and 20 who participated in the training sessions. This initiative was undertaken in partnership with Healing Hands in Canada.
Cheers For K-9 Cop
Last night you saw the intelligent canine officers in their element, scouting for drugs and guns and missing persons. Well just as these dogs are awarded for their stellar work with a rubber toy, the K-9 handlers are recognized too, And No!! Inspector Hamilton doesn't scratch them behind the ears and say "That's a Good boy!!" He honors them with a certificate and a day off. Yesterday a short impromtu ceremony was held to recognize September's officer of the month.
Insp. Brent Hamilton, Head, K-9 Unit:
"In the police department we have where every month have gone beyond the means, have gone beyond the extra mile, have just been outstanding in the month. It is by the police department, every month, we try to recognize a good police officer."
"The officer for September for this year , 2016 is no other than from the K-9 Unit, the only female officer, we refer to her as our sister, as our mother , as our cook, as our everything she is the one who keeps us together."
New Roads In OW South
Residents living in those villages that make up the Orange Walk South will now have a smooth ride thanks to a 2 new roads that have been paved. Those are the Yo Creek to San Antonio Road, and the August Pine Ridge to Blue Creek Road.
They were made possible through generous funding from the European Union, who partnered with the Government of Belize to raise just over 20 million dollars to cover the Costs. Our team is still on the road, and tomorrow, we'll have more on these new roads.
Ministry of Education & School Managers Cut Holidays to Restore Lost Time From Strike
Students will be spending six additional days in classrooms to make up for lost time during striking days. The Chief Education Officer, Doctor Carol Babb, says that the six days [...]
Teachers’ Salary Deductions Will Go Ahead
But even as the teachers will be spending more time with the students in the academic year, will their salaries be docked? Doctor Carol Babb says deductions will be reflected [...]
B.N.T.U. Slams Government Interference, Questions Whether Management Caved In
Even as teachers are back in the classrooms, the B.N.T.U. and the ministry remain at odds. On Tuesday, Government issued a release stating that it is in direct discussion with [...]
B.N.T.U. Claims Victory With Ministry Concession on Authority
While the ministry’s decision to skirt the gridlocked union can be seen as high-handed, Palacio says that B.N.T.U. will continue advocating for the rights of its membership, as well as [...]
Is Ministry Sending Mixed Messages Over Time Recovery and Salary Deduction
But is the Ministry of Education sending mixed messages with respect to their salary deductions? Palacio says that on one hand, the ministry says it will dock salaries at the [...]
G.S.U. Senior Personnel Demand Apology Over Alleged Sexual Harassment Allegations
The issue of sexual harassment within the workplace isn’t new to the Belize Police Department. With several hundred officers within its ranks, cases of unsolicited advances among officers have been [...]
Attorney’s SUV Collides With Crowded Bus; No Injuries Reported
An SUV traveling to Belize City collided into a bus loaded with passengers on Wednesday evening. The accident caused a disruption in the flow of traffic for hours on the [...]
The Dark Night War Resumes: Bradley Paumen Accused of Getting Illegal Access Through Michael Modiri’s Property
Convicted tour operator Bradley Paumen finds himself in another bind tonight with his Dark Night Tours, after rival businessman Michael Modiri cut off access to his property near Frank’s Eddy [...]
Michael Modiri Says Paumen Has Refused to Settle Deadly Dispute
According to Modiri, he has tried to strike an agreement with Paumen for the use of his land as an access point; however, Paumen has refused to accede to Modiri’s [...]
CSEC Results Were Good; Local Examiners Want to See Even Better
In Tuesday’s newscast, we showed you some of the top performers in the 2016 CXC’s CSEC and CAPE examinations. But, what about Belize’s overall performance? According to the CXC local [...]
Belize Advances in Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination
And the marks for Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations have been consistent and students are performing extremely well. Vargas says the students have demonstrated that they prepared well and he explains [...]
Trial for Sales Representative Accused of Sex Assault on Minor
A sales representative accused of sexually abusing a minor earlier this year will have to stand trial at the Supreme Court for two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. Following a [...]
Bert Vasquez to Stand Trial in December for 2011 Abduction
Bert Vasquez, who is on remand for murder was before the court today for another allegation against him for which he is charged with forcible abduction and harm upon a [...]
Chicago Cubs Finally Win World Series! Belizean Fans Celebrate
“The Chicago Cubs are World Series champions.” Before Wednesday night, that phrase had never been uttered or written anywhere since 1908, the team’s last victory. But after a heart-stopping ten-inning [...]
Manuela Lue is Regional Commonwealth Youth Worker for 2016
Manuela Lue, one of three directors of the Energy for Life Program, a non-profit company run in conjunction with Belize Natural Energy Limited, has been shortlisted as regional finalist for [...]
OCEANA Pans Minister’s Comparison of Belize with Ecuador on Petroleum
On Monday, Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Junior, while confirming that Government is committed to maintaining its moratorium on offshore petroleum exploration activity, remained insistent that Belize needed to at [...]
HPV Vaccine to be Given to Schoolgirls in Cancer Fight
Over four thousand girls are expected to receive the HPV vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer. While Belize has one of the highest cervical cancer mortality rates in Central America, [...]
Canadian Group Trains Caregivers For Disabled Persons
Training concluded today for caregivers of persons living with disabilities. A Canadian group, Healing Hands, has been in Belize working along with the Belize Assembly of Persons with Diverse Abilities [...]
Healthy Living: Surviving Adult Acne
It’s part of the teenage experience that we are glad to leave behind. There were even a lucky few who never had to face this challenge as adolescents. It’s a [...]
Chicken Dread and Dougie Bury the Hatchet…
A politically charged fracas that ensued outside of a popular Belize City nightclub on Sunday morning between two political opponents has been settled. Footage of the disturbance outside of Sit [...]
…But, Will Douglas Grant Still be Charged for Firearm Offense?
The complaint by Ferguson was withdrawn on Tuesday evening after he agreed with Grant not to proceed with the criminal matter. This afternoon, ACP Chester Williams explained the possible scenarios. [...]
What is the Fate Press Office Director Dorian Pakeman?
There is another case involving another political operative. It involves Dorian Pakeman, the Director of the Government’s Press Office. Pakeman hit and killed Gardenia resident, Dean Dawson. Pakeman was driving [...]
A Cop is Detained in Jeon Peebles’ Murder
A cop is tonight in custody of his colleagues in connection with the execution style murder of Belize City resident Jeon Peebles. The twenty-five year old father of one was [...]
Police Won’t Confirm Arson in Tragic Death of Kaylee Alvarez
Police are no closer to determining the cause of the fire that claimed the life of two year old Kaylee Alvarez last Thursday in the Conch Shell Bay Area. As [...]
Belize City Motorist Succumbs to Fatal Traffic Accident One Week Later
The family of thirty-eight-year-old Rafael Marin is tonight mourning his untimely death following a traffic accident last Thursday night. The father of two was knocked down by a motorcycle in [...]
Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez Speaks On Withdrawal Of Charges
On last night’s newscast we told you about the charges of aggravated assault and carnal knowledge which were filed against well-known Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez in early 2015 and were dropped yesterday after the police informed the Court that they will not be proceeding with the case.
In February 2015, the personal and political life of the former PUP Orange Walk East Area Representative was dragged through the mud when he was charged with six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. In August 2015 those accusations intensified when he was charged with an additional three counts of carnal knowledge.
With the charges dropped, Mendez can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Today we got an opportunity to speak with. He was emotional and told us how the entire ordeal affected his life and how he plans to leave it all behind now that it is all over.
Young's' Attacker Remanded To Prison
Last night we told you about Gilbert Young, a resident of Savannah Street who was assaulted by an individual personally known to him after an argument reportedly ensued between both men on Saturday night allegedly over political affairs. Tonight we can tell you that while he had been detained by Orange Walk Police following the incident, forty one year old Michael Shaw Sr. better known as ‘Taicos’ the driver of Rachel Dominguez the president of the National Sports Council was officially charged this morning for ‘Aggravated Assault’ and ‘Dangerous Harm’. CTV3 News understands that Shaw was denied bail and was remanded to prison until the 3rd of November.
As a result of the incident, Young sustained a fractured skull and according to reports from a family member, he had to undergo immediate surgery. Young is currently recovering from his injuries at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
Speaker Of The House Says "It Wasn't Me"
In yesterday’s newscast, we aired interviews with House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte on the legal matters for which he appeared in Court. Peyrefitte also addressed the strange goings on his Facebook page which literally forced him to call it quits on social network.
A week ago, a controversial post appeared on Peyrefitte’s page which enraged the LGBT advocacy group, UNIBAM. The post was accompanied by a link to the youtube video of the controversial Buju Banton song “Boom Bye Bye”.
UNIBAM spokesman, Caleb Orozco, did not miss the post and fired away his own comments at the House Speaker on his Facebook page, accusing him of hate speech. According Peyrefitte, the post was not done by him and he claims that his account was hacked.
Signing Of UNCAC Is On Its Way
In accepting the sweeping changes to the nation’s governance system pressed by the Opposition and social partners, Prime Minister Dean Barrow committed to signing the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on December 9th. Critics responded that the commitment by the Government was only a delay tactic since the global anti-corruption treaty could only be enforced upon ratification and not just signing.
Well, there’s been a slight change of plans as today a Government press release indicated that to expedite the process, the Prime Minister would sign an Instrument of accession that would be submitted to the United Nations Secretary General to bring the treaty into force in Belize on that very day.
Cuban Ambassador Presents Credential To GG
The credentials of Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, Her Excellency Lissette Perez Perez was cordially accepted today by the Governor General of Belize, H.E. Sir Colville Young who welcomed her to the country expressing his appreciation to the Republic of Cuba for their continuous commitment to Belize. And while Ambassador Perez reaffirmed her country’s vow to strengthen the existing bilateral agreements with Belize and the CARICOM, she also expressed her pleasure of being in the country.
Ambassador Perez travelled to Belize in the company of her husband and H.E. Said Guerra of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Forecast for the Remaining Hurricane Season
The country has been experiencing an onset of consistent rains lately and in the region they have caused major damage. We visited the MET office this morning where Forecaster Michael Gentle explained what is causing the rains and what we have to look out for in low lying regions. He also spoke about the hurricane […]
From the Attorney in the Baby Nina Custody Battle
Baby Nina Charlotte Barrera Perez was returned to her mother last week after her father was accused of psychological abuse against the girl and her mother, Analis Gutierrez. Attorney Anita Alicia Penados Cambranes who represented Gutierrez spoke about the arduous process in getting Baby Nina reunited with her mom. ANITA ALICIA CAMBRANES “Good afternoon, viewers […]
Minister Elodio Aragon Speaks on His Experience as a Policeman
Fifteen days into his new portfolio and already Minister Elodio Aragon Jr is looking at ways to transform the Belize Police Department. We’ll tell you all about his plans in an upcoming feature but for tonight, we thought we’d let you get to know the former police officer a little better. Renee Trujillo sat down […]
Belize Protectors Prepare for B2V Race in Las Vegas
In January 2016 we first heard of The Belize Protectors; it is a team made up of law enforcement officers of Belize who would be representing Belize at the B2V Race in Las Vegas, Nevada. The training went on for weeks after that and in March 2016, the Belize Protectors went in and came out […]
#518715 - 11/04/16 10:36 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: November 4, 2016
United Nations anti corruption law effective December 9
“Actors in the private sector are not only victims of corruption and part of the solution to it; they are also part of the problem.” – (Transparency International, UNCAC and the Private Sector).
Cabinet has announced that Belize will accede directly to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) when Prime Minister Barrow signs the Instrument of Accession on Friday, December 9. The original plan was to sign the Convention on that day with Senate ratification at a date to be determined. The plan now is to call a Special Session of the Senate to formally consider and approve a motion authorizing accession to the UNCAC. Following approval by the Senate, the Prime Minister will, on December 9, sign the Instrument of Accession that would be submitted to the United Nations Secretary General bringing the treaty into force in Belize on that very day.
Btl’s Internet on Steroids - Hypernet
On Saturday 29th October we at this newspaper had the honor to have been represented at Belize Telemedia’s launch of it’s newest service in internet technology in the country. The event took place in the Los Lagos Community. That service is known as HYPERNET. The service is available for residential use only at this time in the area and marks the first time BTL has laid infrastructure in the area.
According to BTL’s Product executive, Janine Salazar, the service brings internet speeds of 5, 10, and 12 megabytes, to an area that previously could only get up to 2meg, due to the mix of wireless and copper land line connection. She explained that, “we chose the areas that we did because we wanted to take the service into areas where we didn’t previously have infrastructure,” She explained that Los Lagos is one of 6 such areas to receive the service under the phased rollout. Full coverage of the entire or most of the country is to follow over time as they continue to put in the necessary infrastructure to facilitate its roll out.
House Speaker sues Auditor General
Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, whose office should represent the highest levels of accountability, is being forced by House Speaker, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte to own up to a mistake she made in her Audit Reports. She erroneously named him as a person who was not authorized to sign recommendations for passports as a Member of Parliament.
Instead of coming clean to the Belizean people and owning up to that error, the Speaker of the House has no other choice but to take her to court. He is seeking to get the Chief Justice to compel her to make a public apology, and amend her Special Audit Reports into the Immigration and Nationality Department.
Hon. Elodio Aragon meets with top officers in the Police Department
Belize’s new Minister of State with responsibility for the Police, the Hon. Elodio Aragon Junior met with his top officers on Friday at the Belmopan based Police Training Academy. Having served in the Police Department for some 17 years, and now armed with a master’s degree in criminology from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, his first officer conference in the Nation’s Capital was another step in bringing a positive impact to the Police Department. It was during his meeting with 128 ranking officers that Minister Aragon set up the pace “…to bring me up to speed with you the commanders where we are as a department…”
The Hon. Elodio Aragon now holds the task to look at the policy direction of the Police Department and to ensure that the work gets done by the 2000 plus police officers.
Eamon Courtenay fails to squeeze $90 million from GOB
The Barrow Government has won a victory against the Ashcroft Alliance in the Supreme Court. It has affirmed that the takeover of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE), and the International Business Companies (ICB) Registry were lawful. The best news is that Government does not have to pay the Alliance any compensation for the nationalizations. The former owners were claiming 45 million US dollars in compensation, and the court has ruled that they are not entitled to any of that money.
Readers are aware that IMMARBE is the entity which sells the Belize flag for use by ships abroad. The ICB Registry is the Government operation which registers offshore companies so that they are legally allowed to run their business in Belize. It also gives them a degree of secrecy in their affairs. These registries should have been returned to the Belizean people. Past PUP administrations entered into an agreement with the Belize International Services Limited (BISL), which is part of the Ashcroft group of companies.
Road to August Pine Ridge, Blue Creek and Yo Creek to San Antonio Roads officially opened
Work under the AMS 2010 Feeder Road Rehabilitation Projects – Phase 3 Lot “B” (August Pine Ridge to Blue Creek) and Phase 3 Lot “B2” (Yo Creek to San Antonio), has been completed and on Thursday 3rd November 2016 these roads will be inaugurated.
The rehabilitation of the August Pine Ridge to Blue Creek Road which is 13 miles long and the Yo Creek to San Antonio Road which is 3.7 miles come at a total cost of BZD$ 21 million. The road construction was financed by the European Union and the Government of Belize through funds from the Accompanying Measure for Sugar 2010.
The August Pine Ridge to Blue Creek Road and Yo Creek to San Antonio Road are of major importance for the agricultural, tourism and social development of Northern Belize. These roads posed additional transportation cost and hardship to farmers because of their deteriorated conditions. The rehabilitation consisted of the supply, construction, installation, and completion of the following: Site clearance; culvert and drain construction; provision, transportation, placement and compaction of fill and surface dressing to pavement standard with double and single chip seal.
Electricity and more for Bomba Minister Castro delivers!
Hon. Edmond Castro continues to deliver for the people of Belize Rural North. After tireless lobbying by Minister Castro, the go ahead was given for an electricity expansion project into the beautiful village of Bomba and now it finally has electricity.
This is great news for residents of Bomba who don’t ask for much from the public purse. The people of this village are proud hard working individuals who don’t believe in hand outs. However, access to the national electricity grid is not too much to ask for and it has been long passed due. Minister Castro took their request to Cabinet and managed to attach it to a larger Belize River Valley development project. This project has seen water and electricity expansion throughout the area. Hon. Castro says, “There’s one word that best describes it: TRANSFORMATION!”
HOLY COW! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win!
The devil may not be enjoying his cold day in hell but who doesn’t love to see pigs fly across a starry sky lighted by a gigantic blue moon??? We have finally gotten the answer to how often these things happen, every 108 calendar years.
The Cubs are World Series Champions! The geniuses from Back to the Future were off by one year, but time travel is an inexact science so you shouldn’t hold that against them. The Hollywood producers that actually got the closest to predicting a Cubs World Series ride are those from the Rookie of the Year (1993). A young unfazed kid with a magical right arm that comes out of nowhere to lead the “lovable losers” to the promised land – yes I am talking about Kyle Hendricks – and doesn’t he look exactly like Henry Rowengartner from that classic? Enough babbling. If you all don’t know by now, I am a die hard Cubs fan so expect no objectivity in this article. The Cubs are World Series Champions! And I am going to say that a lot in this piece.
A plan to make education relevant again
There are very few Belizeans who are working in positions for which they were trained at school. Likewise, most graduates are qualified for skills that they will never use in their professional career. Belizean students are entering fields of studies for which there are no jobs and employers are desperately in need of skilled workers in fields that are not being offered. These realities have caused many to conclude that school is a waste of time. Student morale is extremely low and many school aged males don’t even bother. The Ministry of Education’s number one priority is to make education in Belize relevant again and has championed a number of initiatives that have caused progress. The CARICOM Secretariat has this same goal high on the regional agenda and has developed the Regional Education and Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy to take a regional approach to making education relevant for the 21st Century.
Forest Department responds to human-jaguar encounters
In response to the recent reports of jaguar sightings and attacks on livestock in the Laguna and Yemeri Grove areas, Toledo District, a Forest Department response team has been dispatched to assist farmers and ranchers in livestock husbandry techniques to prevent loss of livestock. The team, consisting of wildlife conservation experts, are also monitoring hotspots and conducting public awareness in these communities in order to better mitigate and reduce human-jaguar conflicts.
Forest Department/Panthera representative, Ms. Shanelly Carrillo, explained that even-though jaguars are recognized as an important flagship species both for conservation and tourism, farmers often see them as a nuisance. She noted that with the continuous expansion of farming communities into once pristine forested areas, there is an increasing likelihood of jaguar encounters. Apart from their shrinking habitats, the jaguars’ dwindling natural food sources due to overhunting have also forced them to seek other alternatives outside of the protected areas. Consequently, they pose a direct threat to livestock and other domesticated animals. In some instances, these human-jaguar conflicts lead to the retaliatory killing by residents.
Guatemalan Congress agrees to referendum
The Guatemalan congress according to PrensaLibre has resolved to deal with the referendum over the territorial dispute with Belize in such a manner that it does not have to be held simultaneously in both countries.
In an agreement signed in 2008 as part of the confidence building measures, one of the points was to have a simultaneous referenda in Belize and Guatemala where the territorial dispute must be submitted for decision to the ICJ. Guatemala has maintained that half of the Belizean territory belongs to them and has from time to time flexed its military muscle to try and impose itself upon Belize.
This dispute has carried over for almost two centuries and countless efforts to try to come to a peaceful resolution have failed. The fact is that up to date the social and political differences have impeded any forward movement with respect to the referendums being held in both countries.
Julius Espat looking for sympathy at the Supreme Court
On Friday August 26th, Julius Espat, Area Representative for Cayo South was named in the National Assembly and was subsequently ejected from the House of Representatives. He has maintained that he was improperly removed and as a result has now sought to take out a suit against the Speaker of the House.
Apparently the cutting of his almost 4 thousand dollar a month salary is putting a hurting on Espat so much so that he has appealed to the Supreme Court for a decision on whether or not the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte acted in accordance to the law in having him ejected from the House.
Ministry of Education discusses how teachers will make up lost school time
The Ministry of Education sent out a release on Tuesday November 1 in which is stated that, "in light of the stalemate reached with the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports & Culture... will be meeting with Managing Authorities to discuss plans for making up a significant portion of instructional time lost as a result of the recent strike."
The release notes that teachers will be compensated for time that is made up and it further notes that "where a school will not meet the requirement of 180 school days within its regular schedule of school days, then unless otherwise approved in writing by the Chief Education Officer, special arrangements shall be made by such school to fulfill this requirement. Any such arrangement must be approved by the Chief Education Officer."
Not sick and Not Tired in Front of any Fence
The following are thoughts in reference to ‘the publisher’ of the Amandala. In a recent issue the phrase “sick and tired” popped up… and another article in the same newspaper by a contributor also mentioned the phrase ‘sick and tired’.
The only cure for the sick is rest [maybe the long rest] and for the tired….well, the same cure [the long rest].
Amandala-October 9, 2016-The Publisher:
Publisher: “......I try to avoid opinionated discussions….I did my best to HUMBLE myself.......it became HOSTILE..!
An expected and clear outcome when there is no capacity of dialogue and exchange of ideas; acceptance and respect of opinions. The conviction is of always ‘being right’ [the publisher, of course], or for the other to accept that he is right [the publisher, of course]; but if someone sticks to his guns [ideas, opinions] there is no other recourse but to insert hostility to end the discussion.
San Ignacio Police continue with their neighborly outreach
San Ignacio Police continued last week with their community outreach programs. On Tuesday 25th October 2016, between the hours of 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm Deputy Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police Formation Assistant Superintendent Daniel Iche along with members of San Ignacio’s Community Oriented Policing Program COPP’S conducted a Meet and Greet focusing on Second, Third and Fourth Street San Ignacio Town.
By itself, COPP in San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town continues to be an astounding success. COPP is a full-service, personalized policing where the same officer is assigned to a specific geographical area on a permanent basis out of satellite offices or booths preventing crime and resolving community problems. The objectives of COPP are to reduce the likelihood of a person becoming a victim of crime, identify the problems, concerns and fears of community members as well as identify and eliminate the hazards that may promote crime or disorder.
Gunned down in a barber shop
George Young, 37, a Belize City man, was killed in a barber shop shoot-out, which has also left another young man seriously injured.
On Saturday, October 29, at around 5:30 p.m., Young, who is better known as “Jaro”, was at Buck’s Barber Shop, which is located at the corner of Mohamed Ali Street and South Creek Road. His friends and family say that he was a regular customer who stopped by every weekend to get a shave. While the barber was working on him, a lone gunman walked into the shop, and opened fire on him immediately.
Young was caught completely off-guard, and he was shot several times to the chest, the legs, and to the back. While the gunman was retreating from the business place, he stopped 19 year-old Abraham Craig, who was also inside. The gunman then shot Craig several times in the chest, the abdomen, and the back, after which he ran into Mohamed Ali Street, making his escape.
Bail for men that allegedly brutalized Camalote cop
Sanjay Casey and Belhem Guzman, both of Camalote Village, Cayo District, are out on bail after being at the Belize Central Prison for over a week on remand for allegedly beating a police officer almost to death on Sunday, October 16. Attorney Dickie Bradley successfully applied for bail on their behalf at the Supreme Court on Friday, October 28. The Crown had heavy objections to bail since the victim is still hospitalized but Justice Herbert Lord granted it in the sum of $4,000 each with conditions that the accused report to the San Ignacio Police Station every Monday and Friday of the week and not interfere with the victim, his family or any of the police witnesses.
According to reports, young Police Constable Mark Rodriquez, who is attached to the Belmopan Police Formation, was going about his normal duties when he was viciously attacked by two men that Sunday night in Camalote Village. He was checking on a case with the owner of the Sirenita Bar when he was cornered by the men and beaten to an unconscious state.
Columbian woman attacks pregnant immigration officer at PGIA
Jessica Gonzalez Roman, 22, a Columbian national visiting her boyfriend in Belize, has to pay $1,200 to immigration officer Addie Pacheco, 39, who she assaulted at the Philip Goldson International Airport on Friday, October 28.
According to reports, Roman arrived at the PGIA on Friday and walked up to Pacheco’s cube to be processed. She was upset by Pacheco’s treatment and started cursing and making a scene. Pacheco is pregnant and wished not to deal with the stress; therefore, she called another officer, Patricia Hyde, to assist. After Hyde showed up, Roman continued cursing and eventually grabbed Pacheco by the hair. She pulled her hair with one hand and punched Pacheco in the face with the other. The attack caused Pacheco’s $1,700 prescription glasses to fall and break. Hyde and other officers eventually managed to restrain Roman. Police were called and she was arrested. Pacheco was issued with a medico legal form where a doctor said he saw no visible injuries to her and no harm to her pregnancy.|
Crack and marijuana found at home of Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King, 42, and his common-law-wife, Sherlette Banner, are out on bail after they were taken to court on Friday, October 28, for marijuana and crack cocaine that was found at their premises in Hattieville Village. According to police, a unit executed a search at the couple’s residence on Thursday, October 27, and found six grams of crack cocaine, 13.79 grams of crack cocaine, 121 grams of cannabis and 40 grams of cannabis in different parts of the house.
The couple was represented by attorney Herbert Panton when they appeared before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez on Friday. They pleaded not guilty to three counts of drug trafficking and one count of possession of a controlled drug. There was no objection to bail which Magistrate Rodriguez granted in the sum of $4,000 each plus one surety of the same amount. They are due back in court on December 28, 2016.
Caught hiding a firearm
Warren Davis is behind bars at the Belize Central Prison on remand after police claim they caught him trying to dispose of a 9 mm pistol loaded with 9 live rounds of ammunition. Allegations are that at about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25, PC Paul Herrera and other officers we conducting mobile patrol on Pitter Street when they spotted Davis riding a bicycle towards them. From about 10 feet away they saw him push his hand into his pants waist, pulled out what resembled a firearm and threw it into a yard where it landed on the roof of a house. Police say that after Davis threw the object he jumped off his bicycle and ran away from the area. The officers informed control room of the situation and other mobile units were alerted. One of those units caught up with Davis shortly after. He was returned to the area where he was seen throwing the object. A search of the house’s roof led to the recovery of a Sig Sauer 9 mm pistol loaded with 9 rounds of ammunition.
Drugs found near house in Benque
On Wednesday October 26, 2016 about 5:50 am, Benque Viejo Police along with the K9 Unit conducted an anti-drug operation at mile 8 1/2 on the Hydro Road, and with the strength of a search warrant, a search was conducted at the residence of Jose Francisco Martinez. Present in the house at the time were 45 year old Jose Francisco Martinez, a Belizean Businessman, 40 year old Miriam Khalil Martinez, a Belizean Domestic Worker and a 14 year old Belizean Student.
Benque Police found nothing incriminating inside the house; however approximately 15 feet behind the house Police were alerted by a K9 dog. Police were able to find a black plastic bag containing a green vegetable like substance suspected to be Cannabis.
Fatal hit and run
There was a fatal hit and run near Belmopan over the weekend.
On Saturday 29th October 2016, at about 1:09 pm, Belmopan Police visited Mile 46 on the Hummingbird Highway, where about fifteen feet off the highway, they saw the motionless body of a hispanic descent male person. He was lying face down with multiple injuries to his body. He was also seen wearing a blue in colour t-shirt, khaki pants, and a pair of black shoes. That person was identified as Damian Anastacio Paredes, a 50 year old Belizean Labourer of Orange Street, San Ignacio Town Cayo District.
Walter Jimenez pleads guilty to drug trafficking
Walter Jimenez tried to sneak over 500 grams of marijuana on barge leaving the Port of Belize compound for San Pedro on March 17, 2015. He was caught by the security guard on duty, Deon Barrow, and police were called to the facility. Jimenez claimed he was drunk but this did not stop police from arresting and charging him for drug trafficking.
Trial was scheduled to commence on Wednesday, November 02, a year and a half later. However, Jimenez chose to plea guilty to the charge of drug trafficking in court before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He threw himself to the mercy of the court hoping for only a fine. There is a mandatory fine of $10,000 for drug trafficking convictions and the option of confinement for three years.
Jason Gillett’s past catches up with him in San Pedro
Jason Gillett, a Belize City resident who moved to San Pedro to make a better life, unfortunately had it cut short when a gunman shot and killed him. It happened on Wednesday, October 26, in a part of the island known as San Mateo. That’s when the 30 year-old, who was better known as “Skilla”, was socializing with his friends at his favorite spot.
Some time after 6 p.m., a gunman reportedly rode up on a bike and opened fire on him. Gillett suffered 5 gunshots to the chest and the back of the head. He collapsed in front of a church building named, “Iglesia De Cristo”, and that’s where police found his lifeless body. The officers have been very brief with the details, and they have commented saying that it is too early in their investigation to discuss the motive of the shooting, or possible suspects. They did indicate that they have received information which they intend to follow up on. His family, who did not want to speak with the media, did share that he moved out of the city to try to get away from the street life he was involved in as an affiliate of the “Gaza”. He got a job as a fisherman, and they suspect that past enemies may have come after him that evening.
Justin Hyde will stand trial for attempted murder
Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith says that there is sufficient evidence for Justin Hyde, 21, to stand trial in the Supreme Court for two counts of attempted murder. In a Preliminary Inquiry conducted on Wednesday, November 2, prosecutor in the case, Inspector Egbert Castillo, presented statements from several witnesses including the victims, Aaron Munnings and Wendy Lambey. Hyde was represented by attorney Tricia Pitt-Anderson. The charges stem back to a shooting incident that took place almost a year and a half ago.
On the weekend of Friday, April 17, 2015, a gunman forced himself into the home of Wendy Lambey on Curl Thompson Street and opened fire indiscriminately. According to Lambey, she was home with relatives when she heard the sound of gunshots coming from the veranda. She then realized that her 18-year-old son and his friend, Aaron Munnings, were being chased by a gunman.
Police officer free from extortion charge
Police Officer Amir Moh, 33, has been facing an extortion charge since January of 2012 and now he is free from that cloud hanging over his head and career. The prosecution’s case against Moh fell through when the complainant recanted his statement in court on Thursday, October 27.
According to police, Moh was manning a checkpoint at Mile 8 on the Philip Goldson Highway on Thursday, January 26, 2012, when he extorted Alexander Tate of $70 for a traffic violation. Tate, a medical technician, said that around 10:30 a.m. he was towing a vehicle in his silver Toyota Tercel when he was stopped by Moh at the checkpoint for a vehicle insurance violation. It was at this point, police say, that Moh told Tate he would be “criminally charged” if he did not hand over money. Tate told Moh he would pay when he returned from Lords Bank where he was heading because he didn’t have money on him. Tate then marked the serial numbers of seven $10 bills and gave them to Moh after returning from Lords Bank.
Jeon Peebles picked up by police found dead hours later
The family of 25 year-old Jeon Peebles are convinced that police had a hand in his very violent murder. At the very least, they are demanding that police give a detailed account of his whereabouts when they detained him, because hours later, his lifeless body was found riddled with bullets, as though it was roughly disposed of.
His family says that he was on Mahogany Street on Sunday night, October 30, when he was taken into custody by two police officers, who are yet to be identified. That was around 7 p.m., and his family and friends contacted different police stations to try to find him, and possibly bail him out. Their attempts were fruitless, and less than 13 hours later, his body was discovered on a dirt road off the Hattieville Boom Road. It was partially nude, and he had been shot several times in his head and the body.
15 year old gang raped
Kevin Buller, 22, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after a 15-year-old minor reported that he and two other men had sexual intercourse with her against her will. Police are searching for the other two men but Buller was detained and charged on Thursday, October 27.
The minor in the presence of her mother told police that on Wednesday, October 26, she went to a house on Antelope Street Extension where she had sexual intercourse with her boyfriend. After she had sex with her boyfriend, which is also unlawful since she is not at the age of consent, she alleges that three other men kept her inside the house and had sexual intercourse with her against her will. One of the men is known to her as “Pisa”. The minor was taken to a medical doctor for examination and it was confirmed that she is carnally known.
Turf war claims another man in San Pedro
Nieves Antonio Paguada, a 44 year-old hardworking man, was shot and killed on San Pedro just over 48 hours after 30 year-old Jason Gillett. It happened in the same area, and police also have reasons to believe that the murders are connected.
On Friday, October 28, at around 11 p.m., police responded to reports of a shooting, and when they arrived in the San Mateo area, they found Paguada’s lifeless body. He had 4 gunshot injuries, 3 in the abdomen, one to the rib cage area, and one to the chest. By that time, the culprit had already fled the scene.
Alrick Smith free from abetment to murder charges
Alrick Smith, a notorious criminal figure of the Ladyville area, is free of the charge of abetment to murder 11 members of Cynthia Lozano’s family. According to Ladyville police, on May 14, 2016, Smith solicited to cause the death of Cynthia Lozano, Jerome Lozano, Justeen Lozano, Cassidy Lozano, Amber Lozano, Celine Lozano, Sherdon Lozano, Camryn Lozano, Athlee Lozano, and Shemera Williams. Cynthia Lozano is the mother of Casey Lozano, one of three persons shot over the weekend of Saturday, May 14, on Marage Road, Ladyville. In that exchange, Lionel Rhamdas was shot fatally. Smith is said to be an in-law of Rhamdas and the charge stems from his intended retaliation.
Toddler ran over by his aunt in Spanish Lookout
A child has lost his life in Spanish Lookout as a result of a traffic accident. At about 6:00 pm on Tuesday of this week, 22 year old Elnora Braun of Spanish lookout was driving an Isuzu pick up into a yard when she accidentally knocked down her 4 year old nephew Kyson Braun. The child was taken to the Western Regional hospital however he succumbed to the injuries. San Ignacio Police continue their investigation.
FC Belize and Verdes FC play to a draw in PLB Competition
The Premier League of Belize Opening Tournament competition continued over the last weekend with a number of games on the schedule.
On Sunday 30th October, 2016, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, the host team FC Belize and the visiting Verdes FC played to a 1-1 draw.
The host team FC Belize made it onto the scoreboard first when Jordi Lopez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 22nd minute of play via a penalty kick that gave his team a 1-0 lead. FC Belize’s defence was able to protect the slim lead well into the second half of the game, and it was not until the 88th minute of play that Verdes FC made it onto the scoreboard when Jarret Davis was able to convert a penalty kick into the equalising goal for his team that tied the score at 1-1.
East Coast Ballerz and One Love win in game one of Sugar City Hoops finals
The Sugar City Hoops Basketball Tournament entered its championship round on Saturday 29th October, 2016, with game 1 in the finals in both categories. The championship series is utilising the best of three format.
In the U-17 and under competition, East Coast Ballerz defeated Ever Ballaz by the score of 57-43.
The top scorers for the East Coast Ballerz were Norris Fisher with 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals; Kristan Puerto with 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and blocks and Javier Rosado with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist. For the Ever Ballaz, the top scorers were Emmanuel Torres with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal; Tyrique Dawson with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals and Shane Pollard with 7 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.
2017 Copa Centroamericana Groups Selected
The Central American Football Union (UNCAF) has made its selection for the group stage for the upcoming 2017 Copa Centroamericana Tournament. Belize, being a part of the seven (7) UNCAF Nations, has been placed in Group A, which includes Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The Tournament will be held from 13 – 22 January, 2017 and will be hosted by the Republic of Panama. The top four teams will qualify for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, while the fifth-place team will advance to a play-off against the fifth-place team from the 2017 Caribbean Cup for the final Gold Cup berth. All matches will be played at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City.
Belize to participate in CONCACAF Beach Football Championship
The Football Federation of Belize will participate in the up-coming CONCACAF Beach Football Championship scheduled for February 20-22, 2017, in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Football Federation of Belize had representation in Miami, Florida, USA, where the draw took place on Monday 17th October, 2016 in connection with the 2017 Beach Football championship.
At the draw, Belize was placed in Group A which consists of the Bahamas, Jamaica and Guyana. The other groupings include Group B: Mexico, Guatemala, Canada and Guadeloupe; Group C: USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua & Barbuda and the US Virgin Islands while Group D includes El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Softball Federation names National U -22 Female Team to represent Belize in Central America U-22 competition
The Executive Committee of the Belize Softball Federation today November 1st, 2016, named the 18 U-22 female softball players that will represent Belize at the XIII Central American U-22 Female Softball Championship scheduled to commence on Friday 4th November, 2016, at Rogers Stadium.
The XIII Central American U-22 Female Softball Championship will feature the national teams of Costa Rica, El Salvador and Belize as the three countries will battle for softball supremacy on the mainland.
The Belizean team will be led by Head Coach Nelberth Flowers and his coaching staff will consist of Assistant Coaches Floyd Flowers and Ruth Lamb, while the pitching coach is Brandon Bood.
What would P. S. W. Goldson do?
The Guatemalan Congress has agreed to present to its citizenry the question of having the claim adjudicated at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The next step in the process will be referenda in Belize and Guatemala. If both sets of voters agree – the ICJ will get to work on settling the claim!
Citizens have two main classes of duty to country: 1) Civic and 2) Military. In the first, we vote in the best interest of our self and our country. In the second we take up arms to defend our country. The duty that is in front of us now is to vote in the best interest of the Jewel!
Defeating the unfounded Guatemalan claim is of supreme importance to Belize’s Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity. Evan X Hyde wrote on page 9 of the Wednesday June 10th, 2015 issue of the Amandala that: “The Guatemalan claim is a threat to Belize’s very existence…a serious issue…more than serious…dangerous.”
Youth Talks - The future of Belize
Belize needs us. We are nearing the “future” they always told us about. The one in which we’d be doctors, politicians, musicians, parents, and whatever else. The future, the one that was in our hands, is even more in our hands now and we need to start to make serious decisions that will not only positively impact ourselves and immediate families, but also the families of those that cannot help themselves, everyone else, and even our country itself. One way to do that is through science. Science is such an applicable and resourceful field that without it, I think we’d be very lost. I believe we could all, in some form or the other, contribute to science and its advances as it affects us.
Science is the gateway to technology. With the advent of new technology in the grander scheme of the world, if we are really looking out for Belize, its people and future, we need to start applying it to our country. For instance, renewable energy is becoming more and more common and practical. It reduces harmful emissions into the atmosphere and could even preserve our health, economy, and society.
#518716 - 11/04/16 10:36 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: November 4, 2016
The Belize Times
ONE YEAR OF HELL…
As we go to press, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has yet to speak on the scandalous documents which continue to be leaked from the Ministry of Natural Resources. The latest to be revealed show that the brother of Gaspar Vega, Eduard Vega, and UDP insider Dean Williams both shared a $400,000 pay-out in a land deal made possible by then DPM Vega. That document joins another in which Vega transferred crown land to a company for $6540.30. That land was flipped, costing taxpayers $1,000,000. And there is another in which Vega’s son Andre Vega received $400,000 from the Ministry in compensation, when he had paid only $15,000 for a parcel of land. There are reports that during Gaspar Vega’s terms as Minister of Natural Resources, GOB paid out approximately $70M in compensation and owes $100M more which has not yet been paid. This massive land scandal, in a place that the Prime Minister himself referred to as a hotbed of corruption, is what will take the United Democratic Party into its first anniversary of “The Best is Yet to Come.” For Belizeans, it has been a year of hell, in which all of the Prime Minister’s fat corruption chickens have come home to roost.
Rat-Infested Belmopan Restaurant Given Green-Light by MoH…
In early October, pictures taken during a public health inspection of a popular Chinese restaurant in Belmopan were leaked on social media and caused an immediately outcry and outrage for two reasons – one, the pictures documented incredible filth in the food preparation area of the restaurant, piles of rat droppings strewn between condiments and sauces and two, the restaurant was closed less than 24 hours before it was allowed to reopen to the public.
Today the Ministry of Health issued a release addressing “queries on Public Health Violations at a Belmopan Restaurant.” In that release the MoH makes reference to the leaked pictures, and explains that “the reported conditions of this establishment were investigated by the Public Health Department in Belmopan with support from the Belmopan City Council over a two-day period on October 4th and 5th, 2016.
DOUGIE DODGED A BULLET
Via text this afternoon, in response to a query, Assistant Commissioner of Police and Eastern Division North Commander Dezerie Phillips explained that “Paul Ferguson visited CIB office Queen Street at 5:13 on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 and gave a further statement requesting no Court action into the report he made against Douglas Grant on October 30, 2016.”
At least up to the time of that report Grant, an employee of the Ministry of Defence and political confidante and best friend of Minister of Defence John Saldivar, was ALLEGEDLY being sought by Police in relation to an incident outside a Belize City nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Video from a surveillance camera clearly shows an argument between Grant and chicken vendor Paul Ferguson. Grant walked away, clearly intoxicated, and the footage then shows him pulling his gun, racking the slide and then pointing it into the air. From the video, which is without audio, it appears that the weapon was actually discharged, and then Grant kissed it for some unknown reason, all the while still shouting at Ferguson, who was at least 15 feet away from him during the entire exchange.
Above the Law
For there to be good governance…accountable governance and a healthy respect for the people who elect politicians to office, those politicians must realize, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are not above the law. They are not untouchables. They are not special. In fact, by the very privilege of the office allowed to them by the people, these politicians must be held to a higher standard across the board. Whether this government or a future one, be it UDP or PUP or one of the emerging alternative parties – politicians must be subject to the same law, and same repercussions for breaking the law, as any normal Belizean.
We watch as unbridled, unapologetic, bold, brazen corruption is revealed at the Ministry of Natural Resources. This is no small change, penny-ante hustling. This was brutal rape over a period of years, under the then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega. What is emerging is a tale of institutionalized corruption, using the system to plunder tens of millions of dollars from public coffers to enrich family members, friends and cronies. There was little attempt to conceal the outrageous hustling.
Sweetshots & Topspinners Win Thru to Bros. Habet Table Tennis Playoff
The 8th annual Brothers Habet table tennis team league is into its semi-finals and finals round on Sunday November 6 after completing its 5th round of the tournament at the Belize Elementary auditorium last Saturday.
Fifteen teams began the tournament and the top 4 teams from each division have made the playoffs. The format for the semi-finals is set as the 1st Division’s top 4 are the Sweetshots, the Prodigies, Racqueteers and SJC Wildcats. The 2nd Division’s top 4 are the Topspinners, Racqueteers, Bismark and the Strikers. The 3rd division’s top 4 are the Youngstars, ACE, C-Ray and T3.
Tut Bay, Ladyville FC, Yabra FC, & Ebony Lake Win in CYDP Football
The Tut Bay, Ladyville FC, Ebony Lake FC, Yabra FC and Stars Academy posted big wins at the Conscious Youth Development Programme (CYDP) football competition at the MCC Garden over the weekend.
In Game 1 on Saturday, undefeated Coast Guard and Kelly Street FC drew 1-1 when Kelly St’s defender Shannon Flowers scored first in the 5th minute and Coast Guard defenders Ardel Avila equalized with a long lob from centerfield that goalie Keron Miguel fumbled.
Hattieville Riverside Boys Win BDFA U-17 Championships
The Hattieville Riverside boys won the Belize District Football Association under-17 football championship, sponsored by Maclean Insurance, taking the finals: 2-1 against Fabro’s Young Warriors at the MCC Garden on Sunday.
Richard Hinds scored the 1st goal in the 5th minute and Jadon “Cheetes” Macgregor caught goalie Shawn Billary off his line and scored a 2nd goal with a reverse kick into the empty net in the 15th minute for Hattieville to lead 2-0 at the half. In the 2nd half, Akeem “Bib” Sutherland and Jaheim Thomas came off the Warriors’ bench to strengthen their attacks, and Sutherland created the play for Kyle Samuels to score Warriors’ only goal. Hattieville might have made it 3-1 when they got a penalty, but Mario Rivera’s try sent the ball over the top.
A SENSE OF OCCASION, PLEASE…MR. PREACHERMAN?
Is the ecumenical movement, which enjoyed a certain level of success among the churches in Belize, alive or dead? Or has it been fragmented by the usual divisiveness that comes with Christianity? It would appear so, especially when thrown in the mix of a toxic blend of partisan politics and manipulation.
In recent developments, when the churches have had to take firm positions on moral issues, it appeared that they may have been reading and interpreting various scriptures, or even certain versions of the bible, on morality and authority. It has also become clear, by the pronouncements of certain clergymen, that the ruling political party may have infiltrated the leadership of certain churches and senior churchmen. They have been unabashed in their defence of the government, despite its sins and inequities.
The church in Belize is divided. It would appear that salvation is not nigh. This is based on some very strong political pronouncements that have been made from the holy pulpits. It would even appear that God has already selected his chosen ones.
MY PERSPECTIVE – NO ONE BUT HIMSELF
This is surely the winter of Belizean discontent with the Barrow administration, coming short months after the last general election of November 2015. Although the BNTU voted that teachers would return to their classrooms, and although there is determination to make up the lost teaching and learning time, there is still widespread unhappiness and disgust with the UDP government. More and more horrendous corruption that took place in the Ministry of Lands is coming to light. Some people really need to go directly to jail, not passing GO, not collecting $200, and certainly not enjoying any “Get Out of Jail Free” card.
Perhaps too much is said about the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, but he is the Head Honcho; the buck stops with him, so he must be held responsible. The PM loves to tout that he is not involved in any shenanigans, but he has repeatedly failed to be above board with the Belizean people. In relation to his family, he has ensured that all their nests are well and properly feathered, and this blatant nepotism is corruption and definitely not good governance.
Youths: The Future of our country
Young people are often considered representatives of the future as they bring new ideas and energy to add to the pool of knowledge that currently exists. They can bring enthusiasm and vitality which can lead to new discoveries and developments that can benefit society or even the world at large. Although not the only drivers of social change, young people are seen to be some of the key drivers engendering change. Whether this is inherent in the beliefs of young people or the hope for the future is placed upon them by older generations is not clear. However, Belize is changing and developing, and this affects the lives of the people living here in varying degrees depending on their individual circumstances. Therefore, there are many new opportunities becoming available that can provide very different futures for today’s youth that were not available to previous generations.
Thinking Out Loud
I was watching a video just now which shows Douglas Grant outside a club, obviously under the influence of alcohol. That video, from surveillance footage, shows Grant arguing with somebody who is at least fifteen feet from him. Grant then stones something at the person before pulling his firearm, cocking it and then firing it into the air while the crowd outside the club watches. It is clear from the video that there was no threat to him, nobody attacking him, nobody except one of his friends even within ten feet of him. It is an offence to pull out a firearm in a crowded area. It is an offence to pull out a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. It is an offence to discharge a firearm in public, and an offence to discharge a firearm while under the influence.
Yet from the video it is clear that members of the Police who approached the scene seemed to target the person Grant was arguing with, and not Grant who is known to be “ass and chamber-pot” with former Minister of Police and now Minister of Defence John Saldivar. In fact, if I’m not mistaken Grant is an employee of the Ministry of Defence.
THE WONDERER VERSUS CAPTAIN MORGAN!
Captain Morgan, a Welshman, was very famous when he WANDERED around the Caribbean Sea as a pirate, a privateer, a buccaneer, same difference. Bloodthirsty Morgan was widely viewed as a National Hero by the British under whose commission he ransacked and plundered what he could all in the name of mother country! When you look at a map of Belize you see island names such as Gallows Point, Deadman’s Caye and Man O’ War Caye. You must wonder how these names came about! Today in modern days we have a resort in Ambergris Caye, “Captain Morgan” that is polluting/contaminating/plundering our waters, the lagoon, the sea and the groundwater. The same waters the real Captain Morgan wandered around while wandering and plundering! No difference!
According to the San Pedro Sun, Captain Morgan was given a cessation order by the Department of Environment (DOE). This order was to shut down their operations due to non-compliance with the DOE, because for years they have lacked a proper wastewater treatment system and are polluting the environment – our environment, the environment we Belizeans and the tourists use, and oops our Belizean creatures such as the fishes, the turtles, the manatees, the birds, the crocodiles, etc. the defenseless!
Guatemalan Court Orders Baby Nina into Mom’s Custody
Guatemalan born baby Nina Charlotte Alexandra Barrera Pérez, now three years old, will soon be back in Belize with her Belizean mother, Analiz Gutierrez. Details of the sensational cross-border custody battle first made it into the public domain in mid-November 2015 when Analiz Gutierrez spread word on social media that the baby, then 2 years old, had been abducted. She pointed fingers at the Department of Human Services whose social worker she initially accused of acting in collusion with the Guatemalan father of the child, failing to provide formal identification and present documentation to back Nina’s forcible removal from the home. On Monday November 16, 2015 the matter went before the Family Court where it was ruled that the Department should have interim custody of the child for two months.
Police Minister Interferes in OW Assault
Elodio Aragon Jr. was announced as Minister of State with responsibility for the Police less than two weeks ago, but already his plate is full of politically volatile stew. One incident over the weekend involves two of his constituents, one, Michael Shaw, an employee of the National Sports Council and the driver of National Sports Director Ritchel Dominguez.
It was reported from Orange Walk that both men, Michael ‘Taicos’ Shaw and Gilbert ‘Malico’ Young were socializing at a home in Orange Walk Saturday night when they got into a heated political argument. That allegedly led to Shaw following Young home that night and hitting Young to the head and fracturing his skull, an injury so serious that the victim had to be rushed to the KHMH where he underwent immediate surgery to save his life.
Penner Rewarded! For Keeping His Mouth Shut?
On Thursday, September 19, 2013, the Prime Minister via a release dropped a bombshell – revealing that the (dis)Honourable Elvin Penner was fired from Cabinet with immediate effect. The release from his office stated that the Prime Minister, Dean O. Barrow “formed the view that, with respect to a situation brought to his attention on Tuesday, Hon. Penner, as Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry, did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances, which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers.” By way of explanation, the release added, “in a related development, the Office of the Prime Minister also announces that the Immigration Ministry, together with the Ministry of the Public Service, has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the issue of a Belize passport to a South Korean national.” That South Korean national was Kim Won Hong, prisoner in a Taiwanese jail at the time when he was illegally issued a passport.
From $6K to $1M…Vega Style!
Another of those shady land compensation deals has been exposed, and it has resulted in the Belizean taxpayers losing one million dollars. Once again, it happened under the watch of that “not normal” man, Gaspar Vega, whose ministerial integrity continues to be called into question.
The documents in our possession show that on February 15, 2012, Gaspar Vega, who was Minister of Natural Resources at the time, approved the transfer of a 1.677-acre piece of land in Placencia. The exact ID number in the Land Department registration system is Parcel # 3246, Block 36, in the Placencia North Registration Section. A check at the Companies Registry reveals that the Principals of the Ron J Company are of Indian ethnicity. The directors are listed as John Najendran, Sharon Peters and Richard Wilson.
Lands Corruption Gone Wild…Vega’s Brother Named!
The leaked documents from the Ministry of Natural Resources which put former Minister Gaspar Vega, his son Andre and UDP attorney Sharon Pitts on blast may have been the ultimate reason for his departure from Cabinet, but it is clear to all now that this straw which broke the corruption camel’s back was just the tip of the iceberg. The “compensation scam” may well have netted Vega’s family, friends and affiliates millions, but the hotbed of corruption had different layers.
Documents released this week chronicle what appears to be a crystal clear land speculation hustle. The records we have obtained show that UDP insider and former candidate Dean Williams received a lease certificate in 2009 for 2.82 acres of land on Spider Caye, approximately 19 miles East of Placencia Village, Stann Creek District. Three years later, on August 6, 2012 he received a title for which he paid $10,998. But four days before that, he had already drafted an agreement to sell the land to a foreigner for BZ$400,000!
“Jaro” Shot Dead in Barber’s Chair
Southside Police are trying to solve the murder of 37 year-old George Young, better known as “Jaro.” The father of 3 was killed by a gunman who caught him off-guard while he was getting a haircut.
The incident happened on Saturday, October 29, at around 5:30 p.m. at Buck’s Barber Shop, located at the corner of South Creek and Mohamed Ali Streets. Young was a regular at the barbershop, stopping by every weekend for a shave. He was in the barber’s chair when a gunman entered the shop and shot him several times to the back, the chest, and his legs. In the hail of gunfire, 19 year-old Abraham Craig was also injured the chest, abdomen and the back. Reports say that the gunman turned his weapon on Craig as he was exiting the barber shop. He then ran into Mohamed Ali Street, escaping from the area shortly thereafter.
Did Police Murder Jeon Peebles?
The family of Belize City resident Jeon Peebles continues to search for answers after the 25 year-old Periwinkle Street resident was found dead in an abandoned area off the Hattieville/Boom Road.
On Monday, October 31, at around 8 a.m., a passerby found his partially nude body in a dirt road off the main highway. He had suffered several gunshot wounds to the back of the head. It is believed that he was taken to that area sometime between Sunday night and early Monday morning, where his assailant or assailants killed him and left his body.
Toloza Stabbed to Death
Orange Walk police continue to investigate the stabbing murder of 25 year-old Manuel Toloza, a resident of the “Otro Benque” area of the town. His family strongly suspects that he was attacked by a known group of trouble makers from the Trial Farm area, but the Police say that until evidence is forthcoming to support that conclusion, they will not be able to act on any such reports.
The incident took place on Saturday, October 29, in Trial Farm which is just outside of Orange Walk Town. Reports are that Toloza and other persons were socializing and drinking when he got into some sort of quarrel with a man which escalated into a fight. The two men walked away from that scuffle mostly unscathed, and while Toloza was walking away he was attacked by a group of five men, one of whom stabbed him in the chest and the back of his neck.
Drug Wars Escalate in San Pedro…Two Dead!
San Pedro police are scrambling to solve two separate murders, believed to be connected, while they try to keep the peace on the island. The two murder victims are 30 year-old Jason Gillett and 40 year-old Nieves Antonio Paguada. Both men were murdered within 3 days of each other. Police suspect that Paguada was killed as some form of retaliation for Gillett.
At around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, the cops responded to reports of shots being fired in the San Mateo area of the island. There, in front of a church building, they found Gillett’s lifeless body. He had been shot 5 times to the chest and the head. Reports are that he was hanging out at his favourite spot in that area and that’s when a lone gunman rode up on a bicycle and fired shots at the group. Gillett was the only one injured in the attack. Police have released no further information, and they say that their investigation has only just started. They have been given certain information which they cannot release, but which they intend to follow up on.
If Dah Noh Soh
A Man & his Chicken…
I can’t for the life of me understand what the baldhead chicken dread was thinking when he told Dougie there was no more chicken that night. Man what is wrong with you? Couldn’t you take one look at the guy and know that he is passionate about his damned chicken? Don’t you ever, ever be getting between that man and his chicken…that crap will get you shot. You should be grateful that the man was able to restrain himself after DJ Richie told him that Li Chee was still open. That big ole boy was so happy to hear that he kissed his gun and shouted hallelujah. Hell you’re lucky that northside strike-out team didn’t charge you for Denying Dougie his Chicken. Moral of this story – when you see Dougie coming out the club, find some damned chicken in a hurry, cause that boy be needing to get his munchies on.
Questions to Ministers
Could the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister of Belize say if he is proud to celebrate one year in office when instead of the best that was to come, his administration has run the country into the ground and rampant corruption is destroying his Party and his so-called legacy?
Could the Member for Queen Square and Minister of Police please update Belizeans on the alleged investigations into the corruption at the Lands Department, the corruption in Immigration and the William Mason scandal?
Could the unelected Senator and former Minister of Natural Resources please explain why he never revealed the corruption going on in the Ministry when he was there? Could he further say if ‘being a part of the team’ means actively covering up corruption when you find it?
The Central Bank Needs All Your US Currency
The effects of government’s risky payment to the Dunkeld and the BTL Employees Trust using foreign reserves from the Central Bank are now becoming evident as the business community is having a hard time accessing foreign exchange, specifically US currency, to conduct business.
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), this week started circulating a poll to its membership asking for feedback on the challenges many business owners now face in trying to find US currency. The Belize Times has learned the Chamber is so concerned that it is scheduled to have a meeting with CB Governor Joy Grant, who is currently out of the country, next week when she returns.
Breaking Belize News
Teachers to make up lost class time
In an interview with BBN this morning, the Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Carol Babb, announced that teachers will be allowed to make up time for the days missed during their industrial action. However, for the eleven days missed, teachers […]
Ministry of Health to roll out HPV vaccines
The Ministry of Health has acquired vaccinations via the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is a major cause of cervical cancer and which affects thousands of Belizean women in their late 20s. According to health officials, girls […]
Overwater structures require environmental clearance
The Department of the Environment (DOE) yesterday issued a press release advising the public that environmental clearance is required for the construction and renovation of Overwater Structures. Such structures depending on size and location, could have significant impacts on the environment, and as such, […]
Cubs win! Cubs win! – Holy Cow
Tonight Belizeans at home and abroad, particularly in Chicago, are celebrating as the Cubs clinch their first World Series championship since 1908 by defeating the Cleveland Indians in a nail-biting game for Cubs fans. The Cubs won back to back World Series championship in […]
8 Kid-friendly Belize Resorts to Consider for a Fun 2017 Visit
If you make a list of reasons to visit Belize with the kids in 2017, you can remove the topic of high air fares from the equation. New, direct flights from major North American cities are increasing like rabbits, so whether you’re an American Airlines regular, Southwest devotee, you’re collecting Delta frequent flyer miles or WestJet is your ride from Canada, 2017 makes an ideal year for a “family vacation.” Travel time from major cities is equally easy on families: short flights mean your kids won’t get bored. What better way to start a family vacation!
What’s in it for kids? Tell your youngsters that you’re thinking about vacationing in an old jungle river camp that’s morphed into a complex of 5-star tree houses and watch their eyes light up. This resort is off the beaten path and as “un-touristy” as it gets. Kids fascinated with biology, nature and jungles may just transform your Caves Branch holiday into a “Best Vacation I Ever Had” report!
Belize in November
November may mean cold winds and wintry weather in North America, but balmy temperatures and sunny skies in Belize make it the perfect time to visit. With the big crowds arriving later for Christmas and New Years, November is the ideal time to enjoy fabulous weather with plenty of affordable deals on tours, transportation, and lodging at some of the top resorts and lodges in the country.
Here are some exciting activities to enjoy in Belize in November:
November 19 is when the entire country celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Garifuna people. Enjoy traditional Garifuna drumming, plenty of tasty Garifuna foods like hudut (a fish stew made with coconut), street dancing, and parades. The Garifuna are a unique people descended from a mix of African slaves and native Carib islanders who emigrated to Belize more than 200 years ago.
The town of Punta Gorda in Belize’s southern Toledo District is the site of the annual Battle of the Drums Festival. Running through the night until the wee hours of the morning, the festival is an excellent place to see demonstrations of athletic prowess and dance to the hypnotic rhythms of Garifuna and other traditional musical styles..
Beneath the surface — caving and diving — Belize is breathtaking
“Fishing” for a tarantula — using a twig to tease it out of the hole in the ground it calls home — is cool by me, at least after I pull the thick sleeve of my rain jacket over my hand. But I draw the line at holding the scorpion spider that my guide, Alex Guzman, offers me. He had nonchalantly plucked it off its perch and it now rests in his palm, looking as sedate and nonvenomous as a spider the size of an adult’s palm can look.
It’s still a spider, though. The size of my palm.
Except it’s not a spider. Alex tells me this in an attempt to convince me that holding it isn’t such a bad idea. “So it’s a scorpion?” I ask. I’d rather hold a spider. But it’s not a scorpion, either. A scorpion spider is related to both spiders and scorpions, but is its own thing, which Alex assures me is not venomous. Whatever it is or isn’t, there’s no question it’s the size of my palm. I’m not sold.
My attention returns to the main attraction. We’re in the front cavern of a cave in the limestone-rich Cayo District in west-central Belize. The undulating walls, ceiling and floor are cartoonish and otherworldly — “The Snorks” on Mars — and glisten with mineral-rich water. It’s impossible to see the entirety of the chamber we’re in at once; sight is limited to the areas that our headlamps illuminate. As amazing as the features illuminated by our lights is the utter darkness surrounding us when we switch them off.
NMSU prof’s film focuses on endangered parrots in Belize
Ilana Lapid set out to tell a compelling story.
And people are listening.
Her latest feature film, “Yochi,” will premiere at the 2016 Belize International Film Festival on Thursday, Nov. 10.
If it wasn’t enough just to be in the festival, Lapid found out it is going to be the opening-night film. “When we found out that we were accepted, we were really excited to premiere our film there,” she says. “Then we found out about opening night and it took it to the next level. The Belize Film Commission has been supporting us, and they invited me to be on part of a panel.”
“Yochi” is a story of a 9-year-old selectively mute Mayan boy who guards a nest of endangered yellow-headed parrots in Belize’s pine savanna.
When his beloved elder brother, Itza, returns from the city, Yochi learns that he’s in debt and has turned to poaching – setting the brothers on a collision course.
“This film is a story about connection and finding your voice,” says Lapid, a professor at the Creative Media Institute at New Mexico State University. “And it poses the question, what are you willing to sacrifice to protect that which is most sacred to you?”
BANKING UPROAR LINGERS
The row between commercial banks in the Caribbean and the larger ones on the American mainland just would not go away.
In the past week, finance officials from across the globe and from multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) flew to Antigua for a conference on the latest developments in the sector as regional banks complain that they are being unfairly treated by American counterpart institutions.
Governments have since the beginning of 2016 been complaining that federal officials in the United States have stepped up pressure on American banks such as Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank to increase scrutiny on transactions from the Caribbean region because monitors think it is easy to stash illegal money in the Caribbean.
The result is that the Americans have moved to cut ties with banks in the region, forcing governments to organize the global conference both to seek a solution and to try to diminish the perception that the region is an offshore tax haven for people involved in dirty financial transactions.
OCEANA Hosts Seismic Consultations in Belize City, 8min.
San Pedro,Belize celebrating with the Cubs., 1/2min. We are Cubs fans to the bone! Despite the power outage San Pedro celebrated their historic win in fine fashion! Congratulations Cubs, we love you!!!!!!
Exploring the reefs of Belize in 4k by drone, 6min. Videographer Brandon Martin accompanied Rice Earth Science Professor André Droxler and graduate students to Belize’s coast to study coral reef health. The field trip was a part of a graduate level seminar on carbonates and climate change, and students spent the better part of each day gathering observations in the water, presenting their findings and attending lectures. For Martin, “This was a lot of work for me and a lot of learning for the students,” he said.
Coral reefs and global change in Belize, 4min. In the summer of 2015, Rice Earth Science Professor André Droxler and a group of students headed to Mason, Texas, for a summer of drilling core samples in half-billion-year-old microbial reefs. It was there I had the first chance to watch the Swiss professor in action. The combination of his accent, love of geology and his working relationship with students made the trip worthwhile. Sitting around after a long day in the Texas summer, he noticed my Rice T-shirt with the slogan “Unconventional Wisdom” on the front. With a sly grin and in that distinct Swiss accent he asked, “What is this unconventional wisdom?”
Belize Mission 2016, 8min.
GSU BRUTALITY IN COROZAL, 7min.
BELIZE COUNTRY CONFRENCE 2016, 35min. on Open Your Eyes...
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, 32min. on Open Your Eyes...
ACHIEVEMENTS IN MEXICO, 25min. on Open Your Eyes...
REMEMBERING HURRICANE HATTIE 1931, 6min. on Open Your Eyes...
Harvest Caye is opening soon...take a sneak peek at paradise!, 1min. From Norwegian Cruise Line
Here is a 2 minute video clip of the Osprey having lunch, 2min.
Royal Belize Island Resort, 1.5min. The Royal Island Private Island Resort in Belize.
Belize parade, 2.5min.
San Narciso U il' Xim dancing the U Pool K'eek'en,Corozal, 2min. The group U il' Xim from San Narciso dancing the U Pool K'eek'en(la Cabeza del cochino).
Miss Belize World 2016 Photo shoot at Acquafino Island Resort and Spa, 6min. Behind the scenes photo shoot with Iris Salguero, Miss Belize World 2016, as she prepares for Miss World pageant in Washington, DC. Shot at beautiful Acquafino Island Resort and Spa on Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Community Preparedness and Resilience in Belize, 7min. The Pan American Development Foundation
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