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Maya Leaders Claim Victory Against Government and US Capital Energy
Justice Michelle Arana handed down a verdict in favor of SATIIM in a suit brought against the Government of Belize and US Capital Energy Belize Limited. Executive Director of SATIIM, Greg Choc, says that Justice Arana’s ruling is a reaffirmation of their right to work the land of their ancestors and a rebuke to a government that has not shown any sort of respect to the Maya Community.
“The Government consistently disrespect our communities, disrespect us and we must now know that we have rights and we continue to challenge those violations before the court and consistently the court has affirmed those rights.”
Justice’s Arana judgment speaks of two crucial issues; one, was the permission granted by GOB to US Capital to conduct road construction and commercial oil drilling within the Sarstoon Temash National Park ultra vires the National Parks System Act and the Petroleum Act? And is the decision of GOB to permit US Capital to conduct commercial oil drilling in the park unlawful? Senior Counsel Eamon Courtney represented SATIIM.
“Two declarations: the first is that the decision to give the permission to do the road construction and the commercial oil drilling was irrational and unreasonable and it follows that it was unlawful. The second declaration is that the decision to allow the road building and commercial oil drilling was in breach of the legitimate expectations of the claimants based on their rights under the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People and the International Law and the cases that have already been decided in Belize – that is their right to free, prior and informed consent to this type of activity; it consequently means that the decision is unlawful. Then the judge ordered that the Government engage the claimants, the Mayas in this case, in consultations and negotiations in respect to any license, permit or permission in the Sarstoon Temash Park.”
Teenager Hitches Ride on Beer Truck and Gets Injured
A 15 year old student of Tubal Technical and Vocational Training School fell off a Bowen and Bowen delivery truck this morning and is at the KHMH recuperating from a broken leg and serious head injuries. The student, Alexander Willoughby decided to catch a ride by jumping behind the truck and jumping off while the truck was passing by Tubal. Willoughby miscalculated and the jump nearly proved fatal. Director of Tubal, Lyndon Bailey told us what happened.
“This morning on his way coming to school, apparently, he hopped on a Belikin truck at the speed bump and when the truck was reaching Tubal he tried to jump off but apparently, the truck was going too fast and he fell and hit his head and broke his feet. Apparently, when the truck slowed down to cross the bump, he hopped on the back of the truck and I believe that the driver didn’t know that he was behind the truck and by the time the truck moved from the bump to where Tubal is he tried to jump off but I believe the truck was going too fast and he received a lot of injuries.”
Two Tourists Caught Up in Traffic Incident
A traffic incident occurred just before three o’clock this evening in the vicinity of mile four and a half on the George Price Highway in the Belize City jurisdiction. It involved a white Toyota Previa van that was traveling west heading towards Sunset Park at mile eight while the gold sedan was heading to Belize City. Renee Trujillo and cameraman, Brian Castillo were at the scene just minutes after it occurred and they managed to speak to both drivers of the vehicles involved in the incident. Edmond Carter was the driver of the white Toyota van.
“I was traveling going home to eight miles and the vehicle was coming from Belmopan and it ran into me by the speed bump. Another vehicle was in front of it and it cut out so it could overtake.”
The gold sedan which was being driven by Orlando Arnold of a Maskall Village address in the Belize District was carrying two tourists. They were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Boulevard Shooting Leaves Two Critical
Two young men were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital just after five o’clock this evening as their bodies were riddled with gun shots at a locksmith’s workshop on Central American Boulevard in Belize City. As we arrived on the scene, Police had just begun cordoning off the scene but the two victims had already been transported to the KHMH. The authorities on the scene were tight lipped about the incident but Love News has learnt that the two victims are 18-year-old, Anfernee Romero of a Central American Boulevard address and 26-year-old, Troy Hyde of a Curl Thompson Street address, both in Belize City. We have been reliably informed that both men are listed as critical up to news time tonight.
Magistrate Takes Businessman to Court for Fender Bender
Fifty-six year old Phillip Gallaty, the manager of Victor Bryant and Company who allegedly caused damage to a vehicle owned by Magistrate Stephanie Gillett, was charged with driving without due care and attention when he appeared today before Senior magistrate Sharon Fraser. Gallaty pled not guilty to the charge. He was allowed to leave without bail because he was summoned to court. He is to return to court on June 26. The incident occurred on Saturday, March 22. According to the allegation, Gallaty reversed his white Toyota Hylux pick-up truck into Gillett’s vehicle while it was parked at mile 2 and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Gallaty admitted that he was at the scene but he said that he was not aware that an accident had occurred. Gillett’s vehicle received minor damages.
Businessman Says He Can’t Make Social Security Payments Due to Bankruptcy
Forty-five year old Jose Gomez, the owner of Belize Logistics Services Limited, was fined 500 dollars today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to failure to make contributions to Social Security Board from August 2013 to February 2014. Gomez was given until May 31 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve five months. Senior Magistrate Fraser told Gomez that he has to clear arrears in payment to Social Security board because he was brought to court before for failing to make payment to Social Security Board. Gomez said he has four employees and he has arrears because his business has gone down to the point of bankruptcy.
Late Evening Shooting in Belize City; Man Shot to Head
A man was shot to the head this evening in Belize City. Information is sketchy at this time but reports are that the incident happened at the Port Loyola area. Police have been processing the scene. We will have more information on this latest Belize City murder as it...
Belize LGBT Push for Hate Speech and Hate Crime Legislation
The Caleb Orozco Vs. Government of Belize over the constitutionality of section 53 case has still not received a ruling as yet. It is almost a year since arguments were wrapped up and the Chief Justice decision was expected. While that judgement is still in the air, Orozco and...
Where in Belmopan is Saldivar’s Mytheon Solutions?
Mytheon Solutions; the existence of this company was brought up by the Former Prime Minister, Hon. Said Musa, at the budget debate last week in reference to comments by Area Representative for Belmopan Hon. John Saldivar’s as he announced his favoured candidate for Mayor of Belmopan, Khalid Belisle. While...
Lake I Boulevard Squatters; Time to Move Drawing Nearer
It made national headlines in June of 2011 – a group of Belizean citizens squatting, or occupying, land in the area then known as Chetumal Street South. They were evicted by Police who were clearing the way for the Lake Independence Boulevard to be constructed through the area and...
Businessman and Magistrate in Fender-bender
Victor L. Bryant and Company Limited manager Philip Gallaty, Jr., 56, was in the Magistrate’s Court today answering to a charge of driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention. Normally, such matters would be handled by the Civil and Traffic Court Magistrate Stephanie Gillett across town at...
Employer Can’t Pay Social Security
Social Security contributions are typically paid jointly by employers and employees to ensure maximum coverage. But business is reportedly so terrible for one Albert Street businessman that he could not pay what was owed for four employees from August of 2013 to January of 2014 – and it is...
Two Mega Sporting Facilities for Cayo
The Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) has signed contracts for the design and construction of two first class sporting facilities for the Cayo District. On March 31st contracts were signed with International Environments Limited and LAR Architects and Associates.
International Environments Limited is a Belize City based firm that will be responsible to execute the Falcon Field Recreation Rehabilitation Project in San Ignacio Town. The contract includes consulting services, architectural designs and infrastructure construction at the facility. Lead architect Daniel Arguelles signed the contract on behalf of International Environments Limited.
LAR Architects and Associates is a Benque Viejo Town based firm that will be responsible for the execution of the rehabilitation of the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities. The firm will provide consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure. The scope of works includes a feasibility study inclusive of public and one-on-one consultations with residents of the area, socio/environmental studies as it relates to environmental management, approved design plans, bidding documents inclusive of cost estimates and operational recommendations for the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities. Consulting architect Luis Ruiz signed on behalf of LAR Architects and Associates.
Guardian Bombers are National Male Softball champions
The Guardian Bombers are the National Male Softball Champions of Belize. The 2013 National Male Softball Championship was played on Saturday March 29 and Sunday March 30, 2014 respectively, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball. The championship featured the champions Guardian Bombers and sub-champions Oceana Strikers from the Belize City Association and the Belmopan Bombers from the Cayo Association. The Esperanza Wolverines also from the Cayo Association were also scheduled to have played in the championship, but for unknown reason the team was a no-show to the championship.
On Sunday March 30, 2014, in the championship game, the Guardian Bombers playing in the national championship for the first time, scored first and never looked back from the bottom of the 1st inning, when it established its supremacy as the best male team in the country by defeating the Oceana Strikers quite handily by the score of 9-4.
The budding champions, the Guardian Bombers, batting in the bottom of the 1st inning scored 4 runs on 4 hits when it sent a total of 8 batters to the plate for an early 4-0 lead. The lead was extended when in the bottom of the 2nd inning it scored 4 more runs for a commanding 8-0 lead. The 4 runs in the inning were keyed by pitcher Milton Flores’ 2 run homer and short stop Nelberth Flowers’ solo blast over the centre field fence. The Guardian Bombers in two innings sent a total of 16 batters to the plate where it bombed the pitching of rookie Jerome Carr for an assortment of hits including 2 home runs and 2 runs producing doubles.
Quick Response after November Floods
Calbert Thompson and Delio Requena could hardly contain their happiness when they were handed the keys to their brand new homes in the Hillview area of San Ignacio on Wednesday April 2. The houses were handed over after the two families lost everything they owned during the floods that affected the Cayo district in November of last year.
Immediately after the unfortunate incident, Area Representative for Cayo Central, Hon. Rene Montero made an appeal to the Prime Minister for assistance and it was quickly granted through the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). On hand to do the presentation were Minister Rene Montero; Minister of NEMO, Hon. Godwin Hulse; Mayor of Santa Elena/San Ignacio John August and other officials. Minister Hulse noted that the assistance was one that was urgently needed by the families and had to be executed without delay.
The houses came at a cost of $17,500 each and are a part of the government's response to assist those who were affected by the floods late last year. While the buildings were being constructed for the two families, NEMO took up the responsibility of paying for accommodations for the families.
Equipment for St. Luke’s Marching Band
Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez along with his deputy, Hon. Mark King, handed over just over 14 thousand dollars worth of band equipment to St. Luke's Methodist school for them to be able to participate in this year's Band Fest.
The equipment includes 4 metal cowbells, 5 cymbals, 4 guiros, 6 bass drums with carriers and 5 snare drums with carriers.
According to Hon. Mark King, the donation is part of an initiative by the IDB called Community Action for Public Safety project (CAPS). Minister Martinez added that the project focuses on helping young people including schools to get involved in positive activities.
Hon. Martinez adds that under the 10 million dollar CAPS project which will be spread over 4 years, construction of new building at Gwen Lizarraga High School as well as the Youth Hostel are underway.
New Contractor for Dangriga Town Market
On Wednesday April 2, the Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund (SIF), William Lamb Jr. handed over the Dangriga Town Market project site to CB Construction. The handing over took place after the company was selected as the contractor to complete the works which had been commenced but came to a halt after the former contractor alleged improprieties by some executives at the SIF.
Since the allegations, the project had come to a standstill but has now been reanimated after CB Construction won the bid for completion having had no objections from the World Bank and the Contractor General. The completion of the project is valued at BZ 1,228,310.95 the contract for which was signed on March 24.
The refurbished market is scheduled to be completed within six months. It will enable vendors to operate in a more pleasant and safe working environment, foster and enhance their livelihoods, offer better service to consumers, and provide a modern facility for residents to interact.
Construction works will entail the rehabilitation of the existing ferro-concrete market building including the fish section, extension of approximately 2,000 square feet for additional stall space for some vendors who are occupying the market’s parking-lot. In addition, this refurbished market will provide over 40 stalls.
Accountability Seminar held in Belmopan
Both the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture IICA and the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute CARDI held an accountability seminar on Wednesday of this week at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. It was an opportunity for both partners in development to review their programs of activities since 2013 and meet with a large list of stakeholders, seeking to guarantee food security for Belize. Representing IICA Belize and doing so since October 2012, was Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim. While CARDI, was represented by Dr. Anil K. Sinha, an agronomist who has been working in Belize since January of 1983.
IICA operates in 34 Countries around the World providing assistance in such areas as technical cooperation for agriculture and food safety. Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim told the attendants today that the accountability seminar was being held in partnership with CARDI to show the “…challenges, opportunities and partnerships; to provide farmers with solutions to be more productive.”
Such examples of partnerships are like the one IICA Belize has had with the Ya’ axhe Conservation Trust to improve crop yields in the Toledo District. Bartolo Teul from Ya’axhe described the cropping technique now in use by his group in which legumes are planted on slopes to add Nitrogen to the soil and at the same time decrease the incidences of landslides. Other areas of cooperation that IICA now has in Belize is the assistance given to farmers to increase their corn production. Yvette Alonzo, Agriculture Economist and Policy Analyst at IICA described how farmers in Jalacte and San Vicente in the Toledo District now use post harvest technologies. She added that farmers in those two villages are now using ‘shellers’ capable of producing some 440 pounds of corn per hour.
BEL seeks rate reduction
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) submitted an application on April 1, 2014, to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP) for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
BEL’s application requests a reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate from 44.65 cents to 43 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). BEL’s proposed reduction takes into consideration the most recent forecast of cost of power and the opportunity to pass on savings to customers, by continuously seeking ways to lower the cost of electricity in Belize in the short term and long term. It is also in line with the Company’s Mission “to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.”
In December 2013, BEL applied for a reduction in electricity rates after revisiting its Value Added of Delivery in consideration of an increase in hydroelectricity production in Belize and Mexico and subsequent reduction in the cost of power. A 4 cents per kWh decrease in the Mean Electricity Rate was approved by the PUC for the period January to June 2014.
Brackett Coming out the Closet
The Plus TV crew seems to be peeking out of the closet more and more each passing day. After a few years of hiding in the dark with his PUP flag, Patrick Andrews was the first to fall out. Louis Wade is leading the smear campaign against Julius Espat’s opponent and it now appears that Geovanni Brackett also cannot hide who he is anymore. He now attaches himself to the hip of Said Musa’s son (the Musa one) on every public appearance. It is also known that Brackett now relies on the arrogant young Musa for lunch money. It is not surprising that the leader of COLA, who is known for his love of the spotlight, has easily taken a backseat to Kareem Musa in the Penner witch hunt. After all, Musa fed him well in Belmopan that day.
And after Brackett is thirsty and his throat is hoarse from shouting empty threats into the video camera, he frequents Hour Bar where his looty PUP friends buys anything he wants. Brackett has been seen at Hour Bar on occasions with Winston Smiling. He has been seen socializing at the establishment with Troy Gabb. And, he has been knocking back drinks with the $30 million man himself, Tony Novelo.
Closing days of the Honorary Consulate of Mexico in Corozal
The Embassy of Mexico informs that the Honorary Consulate of Mexico in Corozal will close temporarily from 7 to 23 April 2014.
During that period of time and in case of emergency, Mexican nationals can request consular assistance at the following telephone number or directly at the office of the Embassy in Belmopan or at the Consular Section in Belize City: + (501) 602-8677
In order to request any other information, Mexicans and the general public can address the Embassy of Mexico’s consular section in Belize City at the telephone number 223-0193 or 223-0194, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm or write to [email protected] or visit the consular section office at the Institute of Mexico, located at the corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street, Belize City, Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (noon) and from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.
Evan Cowo is Corozal South East’s Standard Bearer
The final UDP convention to select standard bearers for constituencies that do not currently have sitting area representatives was held on Sunday March 30 in the Corozal South East Constituency. Being the last convention of the season, it was not in the least bit disappointing to have 2,463 voters come out to cast their ballots. In the end it was Evan Cowo who emerged victorious with 1,338 votes while Alexander Ortega received 665 votes. Daisy Maroquin received 316 votes and Alexander Cruz received 119; there were 25 spoilt ballots.
The election took place at the Calcutta Community Center and residents from across the entire constituency came out to select their standard bearer. The final convention was the largest recorded by the United Democratic Party as there was a constant flow of voters from the start of the polling at ten. The voting continued well past the deadline of 5 p.m. being the longest one to be completed as well as the longest one to be counted.
New Director of Tourism
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce the appointment of our new Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans.
Mrs. Bevans joins the BTB after 25 years of service with the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). She began her career at BTL as an Administrative Officer, then, was promoted to Manager of Administration, Human Resources, and Public Relations, followed by General Manager of Marketing and Administrative Services, which later changed to include further responsibilities of Business Development, Marketing and Sales, and then named the Head of Business Development, Marketing and Public Relations. After a reorganization of the company, she was appointed the General Manager of Business Development and Marketing, and then became the acting Chief Operations Officer, before her latest position as the Chief Operations Officer. She, therefore, brings with her a wealth of knowledge in administration, marketing, public relations, sales, and management, having held the various positions in her ascension to Chief Operations Officer. She holds a MSc degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a BSc degree in Management and Psychology from the University of Ozarks in Arkansas. Her past position allowed her to attend several international training sessions in Executive Management, Leadership, Public Relations, Business Development, and Marketing, which gave her vast exposure and allowed her to network with international firms.
Belize - European Union Political Dialogue
The first ever Belize – European Union Political Dialogue, as provided for under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement was held in Belize. The objective of the dialogue was to engage in discussions on issues of mutual interest and share information on the actions and initiatives that both Belize and the European Union are undertaking in the economic, social and political areas.
Ambassador Paola Amadei, accompanied by the resident British High Commissioner, led the EU delegation; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Wilfred Elrington, led the Belize delegation.
High on the agenda for the dialogue were issues relating to Economic and Political Developments; Border Issues, International, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing; Visa arrangements for EU and Belizean Nationals; Promotion and Protection of Human Rights; Crime and Security; Regional Integration and Cooperation; and Climate Change and Natural Disasters.
Another incursion, another Guatemalan killed in Chiquibul
The Belize/Guatemala relations is once again being tested following the death of another Guatemalan man who was killed by Belizean Law enforcement personnel on Saturday, March 29. It happened inside the Chiquibul National Forest Reserve on the Belizean side of the border, and according to the BDF officers, the man fired at them first.
At around 4 on Saturday afternoon, the BDF and police officers were on patrol along with FCD rangers. They were about 4 miles north of Rio Blanco, and 2 miles within Belizean territory when they found a clearing. As they moved in to investigate they found 2 huts along with food as well as some 50 marijuana plants and seeds. The lawmen quickly assumed that they had come up on an illegal operation and took precautionary measures while they investigated the find. They would soon come up on two armed men who were ordered to put down their weapons. Instead of complying the men opened fire on the officers forcing them to return fire.
In the aftermath of the gunfight 26 year-old Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, a resident of the village of San Marcos in Peten, Guatemala was fatally injured. When that happened, the other man ran off, and shortly after, the Belizean law enforcement team recovered a 12-gauge pump action shotgun from the deceased. In the near vicinity, they found a live 12 gauge cartridge and 5 expended 12 gage shotgun cartridges.
Outstanding Women of 2013
The Women’s Department of Belize recognized 22 women on Thursday, March 27th, at its 9th Annual Outstanding Women’s Awards Ceremony. In each of the last nine years the Department has honoured women from all districts who have made significant contribution to their communities and stand as role models to younger girls. The 22 women honoured this year is another impressive group.
The Women’s Department honoured two women from each district, an older and a younger woman. In the Belize District the Department recognized Tanya Thompson and 20-year-old Hydea Golanche. Thompson is the President of the Rotaract Club of Belize. She has volunteered in numerous community agencies; including YWCA, National AIDS Commission, Help Age and the KHMH Pediatric Ward among others. Golanche is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in English Education at the University of Belize. She also serves as a youth ambassador for Belize and member of the Youth Advocacy Movement of the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA). She volunteers at the Belize Theatre Company and as a facilitator at the Caribbean Shores Resource Center.
New Playground for St Martin De Porres Primary
The infant students of St. Martin De Porres Primary School are enjoying a fancy new playground that was donated and assembled by the Rotary Clubs of Edmonton Glenora and Edmonton Downtown from Canada.
On Wednesday, April 2nd, Rotarians from Canada and Belize gathered at the school to witness for themselves the joy on the faces of the kids who will enjoy the many attractions of the playground. The structure includes several differently designed slides, monkey bars, ring tossers, a track rider and a talking tube. The last three may be unfamiliar to most Belizeans. The ring tossers are pairs of metal rings that the users grip, use to swing and release to fly through the air. The track ride is a handle extended down from a pipe that the users grip and rides from one side of the bar to the other. The talking tube is a fun piece of equipment. It is basically a megaphone, a device consisting of a pipe stretching from one side of the playground to another. An individual can say something into the megaphone at St. Martin on one end and the other person hears it clearly at the other end. The children are not yet familiar with the three new attractions of the playground; therefore, the various slides are currently the most popular attractions of the playground.
PUP Stuck on Penner
The PUP is back on the prowl to try to recall Elvin Penner from his seat as Area Representative in the Cayo Northeast Division. On Monday, March 31, a mere 4 days after Penner’s arraignment in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court, Lisa Shoman, acting as attorney for Orlando Habet and 4 other residents of Cayo Northeast, filed an application in the Supreme Court.
They are trying to get the court to grant a judicial review of the decision of the Chief Election Officer, Josephine Tamai, to reject 337 signatures when their recall effort was formally presented. Tamai explained the different issues which presented themselves when they were vetting the signatures to see if the threshold has been met, and in her opinion those signatures were irregular that's why they were disqualified.
In January, almost immediately after the recall petition failed, the PUP claimed that they intended to take this matter to court, but it took them some 2 months to finally work up to it. It’s a rather interesting coincidence that in the short time following Penner’s highly publicized criminal charging, that this maneuver is put into motion.
Another successful Fair in San Jose Succotz
A three day fair to celebrate the cultural life of San Jose Succotz Village in the Cayo District was successfully held. The San Jose Succotz Fair began with much fanfare last Friday at about 8:00 p.m with the visit by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and his team. It was a night where outgoing queen Rochelle Patt gave up her crown to the entrant queen Julie Valdez. This was followed by music from the Gilharry 7 Band and ‘Sonido Majico’, only to be stopped by a brief blackout at 12:30 p.m.
The fun filled activities continued on Saturday with tube races in the rushing Mopan River that cuts through San Jose Succotz. Then on Sunday, there were pig head dances, greasy pole and musical entertainments from cultural groups.
Chairman of San Jose Succotz, Emigdio Manzanero, says that funds from the Succotz Fair will be used to acquire weed eaters to keep his village as clean as possible. San Jose Succotz is near Benque Viejo del Carmen and the Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve. Manzanero says that much garbage is generated from visitors going to Xunantunich and he is currently seeking more assistance to address the garbage issue.
Bad Card, robbed and killed
Hector Dean Lyons, a well-known Belize City resident, was murdered in an execution-style slaying on Sunday evening, March 30, at around 7 p.m. His shooting death happened a few hours before his 57th birthday, and a few hours after he had won big cash from the Boledo Lottery Draw.
He was sitting on the steps of a house on West Canal Street, a short distance away from his favourite hangout spot, Mike’s Club, and he was talking to a friend when a gunman ambushed the pair. The man rode up on bike, held Lyons up at gunpoint, and robbed him of his wallet. With no regard for the elder man’s life, the gunman then mercilessly executed him with a single shot to the right side of his head, which sent Lyons’ friend running across the street for cover. Lyons died almost instantly, and the gunman rode off and escaped.
Prisoner gets ear bitten off on prison bus
Convicted prisoner Cruz Allen had to be rushed to the KHMH on Wednesday April 2 after he got into an altercation on a prison bus and had a portion of his ear bitten off.
The fight took place onboard the prison bus sometime between 8a.m. and 9a.m. when prisoners were being brought to court from the Belize Central Prison. By the time the bus came to a halt at the Court Parking Lot area at around 8:50 a.m., Cruz had already been badly injured.
We understand that there was a misunderstanding onboard the bus just before they arrived at the parking lot where someone bit off a piece of his ear. Only Cruz knows who bit off a piece of his ear but he is not saying much to authorities.
After receiving medical attention Allen was escorted back to court sometime around 11:50a.m but his case was put on hold because of his injury.
Marquin Antwon Drury Charged for Shooting in High Speed Chase
A police mobile unit chased a group of men in a maroon Astro van at high speed within the city on Friday afternoon, March 28th, following a shooting on Mahogany Street. The sequence of events have led to the arrest and charge of 22-year-old Marquin Drury.
According to police report, at around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, officers of the Gang Suppression Unit intercepted a maroon van which was heading from the Complex area on Mahogany Street where someone had just shot at Joshua Lewis. The officers fired shots at the vehicle and when it came to a stop one man had already jumped out and another was seen fleeing the vehicle. Inside the vehicle was the driver, identified as Drury. By the time officers caught up with the van, Drury had already called for his attorney, Bryan Neal. Neal was at the alleged scene where police searched the vehicle and nothing incriminating was found. Drury was detained by police.
Man in Cayo charged for Murder
Gabino Garnett Junior was arraigned on Thursday of last week before magistrate Nardia Morgan in San Ignacio Town, where he was charged for murder. He was wanted in connection with the murder of 20 year old Stann Creek resident Earl Baizer, which had occurred on March 14, 2014.
At about 12:30 am on that Friday, San Ignacio Police had received a report of a male person that had allegedly been stabbed and as a result had been taken to the San Ignacio Hospital on Bullet Tree Road. On arrival at the Hospital, Police noted that the dark complexion male person had received stab wounds to the left side of his chest and a cut wound to the left hand, left under arm and right thigh. The male person was later identified to be Earl Baizer, who succumbed to his injuries at about 12:50 am that same morning while undergoing treatment at the hospital.
Gregory Goodfellow Charged for Ladyville Shooting
No arrest has been made for last weekend’s shooting incidents that took place in Ladyville Village; however, police believe they have solved a shooting incident that occurred on the night of February 16th.
According to police report, Alfred Smith and Gregory Goodfellow were on the Ladyville basketball court when they had an argument which led to a fistfight. Goodfellow then left the area but returned with a shotgun. According to Smith, he had just moved his head when he heard a loud bang. He then realized that he was shot at but was missed. Smith escaped unharmed.
Police arrested Goodfellow over the weekend. On Monday he was escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court where he was read a single charge of aggravated assault with a firearm upon Alfred Smith. In court, Goodfellow pleaded not guilty to the charge. No bail was granted since the offense was committed with a firearm. He will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on May 20th.
Elvin Penner goes to court
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner, and a sitting member of the House of Representatives, was arraigned on Thursday, March 28, on 2 criminal charges for his role in the passport scandal involving South Korean fugitive Won Hong Kim. At this time, he is out on bail, awaiting his next court date.
It has widely been reported in all sections of the media that in September 2013, South Korean Won Hong Kim tried to use a bogus Belizean passport to avoid being extradited from Taiwan back to his country where he was wanted in connection with embezzlement in one of the country’s biggest enterprise, the SK Shipping Company.
It caused the Taiwanese authorities to investigate how he managed to travel to Belize to even get the passport because he was in jail the entire time. So, they made diplomatic requests of the Belizean Government, to offer an explanation, and when Godwin Hulse, the Minister of Immigration, did his digging, he found that Penner, who was the Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration, was somehow connected with it. He informed Prime Minister Dean Barrow of the situation, who took swift action asking Penner to resign from Cabinet because he didn’t discharge his duties in a manner above board. PM Barrow even made the matter public.
Eugene “Portion” Reneau Charged for Rape
Police have arrested and charged 51-year-old Eugene Reneau for the crime of rape.
According to a police report, they acted on information received and visited an area at Mile 10 ½ on the Phillip Goldson Highway at around 2 a.m. on Friday, March 28th. About ten feet from the side of the road, in a swampy over grown area, police saw a man and woman of creole descent. According to police, it seemed as if the man was covering the woman’s mouth and holding her against her will as she struggled to escape. Police ordered them to come out of the swamp and the woman ran to police and told them that she had been raped. The 26-year-old woman told them that the man held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her if she did not have sex with him. Fearing for her life, she complied with her attacker. The alleged rapist was detained and the woman was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she was examined by a medical doctor.
100 Hours Community Service for Weed Charge
At around 11:55 on Friday morning, March 28th, Jason Reyes of the Jane Usher Boulevard area was busted by police with 3.5 grams of weed. Police officers were on mobile patrol on Holy Emmanuel Street in the Port Loyola area when they saw Reyes and stopped him to conduct a search. During the search, PC Leal found some weed in one of his pocket and a second amount in another pocket. The weed in the first pocket amounted to 1.5 grams and the amount found in the other pocket weighed 2 grams.
Reyes appeared in the Magistrates Court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense of possession of a controlled drug. Instead of a fine or confinement, Chief Magistrate Smith ordered Reyes to complete 100 hours of community service. Reyes was employed working on the city streets infrastructure project. However, he did not inform the court at the time of sentencing. If he fails to complete the community service, Reyes will have to serve three months in prison.
Stole a chow mein and fried chicken
On Wednesday April 2, Sherman Rodney, appeared in Magistrate's Court to answer to charges of theft and threatening words. He appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he pleaded not guilty to both charges and bail was offered to him in the sum of 1 thousand dollars and one surety of the same amount.
Rodney was arraigned after allegations were made that on March 24, 2014, at around 11:40a.m. on Farber's Road he stole from Rupert Lopez, a bag containing a $3.00 fried chicken and a $5.00 chow mein. Allegations are that after he jacked Lopez of his bag of food, he also threaten to kill him when he allegedly uttered the following words, “If yuh go to the police ah wah kill yuh.”.
Joshua Smith Charged for Burglary of Biscayne Primary School
Sometime between March 17th and 18th, the Biscayne Government Primary School was broken into and numerous electronic devices were stolen. According to a police report, the take from the burglary included three Dell laptops valued at $1,000 each, another laptop valued at $1,400, a Sony projector valued at $500 and a Panasonic stereo set valued at $340. Police investigations led to the arrest of 18-year-old Biscayne Village resident Joshua Smith who was allegedly found in possession of items stolen from the school.
Joshua Smith was escorted by police to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, March 28th, where he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith to answer to two criminal offenses. He was charged with one count of burglary and one count of handling stolen goods. He pleaded not guilty to the offense and the prosecutor in the case, Inspector Hector Rodriguez, objected to bail on the grounds that the police investigation into the burglary is ongoing and some of the stolen items have still not been recovered. Chief Magistrate Smith upheld the objection and Smith was ordered to be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on April 11th.
Viola Pook to get a murder retrial
Viola Pook, 56, appeared in Supreme Court on Wednesday April 2, where she was informed that a trial date has been set for May 20, 2014. Pook had been convicted of setting her common-law-husband, 48-year-old Orlando Vasquez, whom she lived with for 23 years on fire, killing him.
Pook appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas who gave her the trial date. The Court of Appeal a few weeks ago had ordered that Pook should undergo a new trial.
After being given the news, Pook told us briefly that she was very happy with having a date set for her retrial. The only thing she lamented was that no relative was with her on this day. She however said that she is confident that on a second trial she will go home free of all charges.
Vasquez was set on fire with second degree burns to 70% of his body killing him after he was rushed to the hospital back on December 31, 2008 from the village of Rancho Dolores.
Muslim Community girls and Crooked Tree Government boys are Belize District primary schools softball champions
The 2013-2014 Belize District Primary Schools softball championship came to an end at Rogers Stadium on Tuesday April 1, 2014.
In the girls’ championship game, Muslim Community School edged St. John Vianney School by the score of 7-6 to capture the Belize District Title. The winning pitcher was Essenie Ciego and the losing pitcher was Camryn Hinds.
In the first game in the girls’ competition, Muslim Community defeated Holy Cross Anglican School by the score of 20-1.The winning pitcher was Essenie Ciego and the losing pitcher was Sayuri Novelo.
In game two, St. John Vianney defeated Pancontto Primary School by the score of 4-3. The winning pitcher was Camryn Hinds and the losing pitcher was Shanna Bood.
Keion Robateau is Junior Cross Country Champion
The Cycling Federation of Belize held its 15th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic on Sunday March 30, 2014. The event started from the Succotz Ferry in San Jose Succotz Village to Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway.
Some 20 junior cyclists started the race and at the end of 3:41:27, it was Keion Robateau of BELCOL Uprising cycling Team that captured 1st place. Robateau was then followed by his team-mate Delon Gentle, who completed the race in a time of 3:46:00. The third rider to cross the finish line was former champion Zamir Guerra of Cayo High Road, and he was followed by Philip Mencias of Mando’s Cycling Team, and then followed by Tarique Flowers of Benny’s Megabytes Jr. to round off the top five finishers in the race.
The other finishers in the race included, Delawn Abraham of Benny’s Megabytes, Zahir Figueroa of BELCOL Uprising, and he was followed by Devin Azueta of Cayo High Road and he completed the course in a time of 4:03:41, followed by Darien Anderson, who is unattached and he finished in a time of 4:06:32, and then followed by Dennis Arnold unattached in a time of 4:07:33 to round off the top ten finishers in this year’s Junior Cross Country Classic.
Police United are the sole leaders in the Belikin Cup Tournament
The Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Closing Season Tournament continued over the weekend with three games across the country.
On Saturday March 29 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the Police United defeated the Belize Defence Force by the score of 4-1 to take sole first place position in the tournament.
The host team Police United were the first to get onto the scoreboard when Amin August scored the 1st goal of the game in the 60th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Danny Jimenez scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 67th minute of play for a 2-0 lead.
The lead was once again extended when Clifton West scored his first of two goals in the 69th minute of play for a 3-0 lead. The Police United’s final goal of the game was scored by Clifton West in the 84th minute of play for a 4-0 lead.
San Pedro Tigersharks maintain lead in Elite Basketball League
The National Elite Basketball League Competition continued over the last week with a number of games across the country.
On Thursday March 28, at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town, the Belize City based Smart “No Limit” edged the Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 76-75.
The top scorers for the Belize City Smart “No Limit” were Akeem Trapp with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, Gregory Rudon with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists, and Andrew Ortiz and Brandon Rogers with 8 points each.
For the Orange Walk Running Rebels the top scorers were Randy Usher with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists, Omar Tesecum also with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal, along with Ian Carcamo who contributed 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals, and Shemar white who also contributed 10 points, and 1 rebound.
Females Win 36th Annual UB Relathon
6 hours 29 minutes is the cumulative time that it took UB’s speedy females to reach the Engineering Department in Belize City, winning the 36th Annual UB Relathon on Sunday, March 30, 2014. The females started in Belmopan at the Market Square, while the males began in front of the Police Station in San Ignacio but both embarked on their journey at 8:30 a.m. The females ran with a singular goal in mind: 3-peat as champions. Their effort paid off when they crossed the finish line at 2:59 p.m. The males tried their best to win and closed the 20 mile handicap to only 3miles but fell short and finished 18 minutes later.
While it might appear to merely be a race to underscore the battle of the sexes, and the females are given a sizeable head-start to compensate for any physical differences, the premise is actually based on a mathematical principle of vectors and the average speed and time that females and males utilize to cover a mile. So let’s talk the history: The year is 1977, and Belize Technical College (BTC) student Dudley Marshall—athlete and member of the student union—is working on a novel idea to use as a fundraiser. Being an astute student, he is constantly looking for practical ways to use new educational theories and prove that education is always relevant and real-world. He spends countless hours brainstorming, eager to maximize the impact of his latest initiative while garnering support from all corners of life at BTC.
Mexico daylight saving time starts on Sunday, April 6th 2014
The Embassy of Mexico informs that on Sunday, April 6th Mexico will begin Daylight Saving Time (Horario de Verano). On that day, clocks in Mexico will go forward one hour. That means that Mexico’s local time will run 1 hour ahead of Belize’s local time until October 26th, 2014.
For example, 9:00 am in Belize local time will be in Mexico 10:00 am local time.
For those traveling within Mexico, the Embassy reminds that the Mexico Daylight Saving Time applies to most of the Mexican territory, including Chetumal, Cancun, Merida, Campeche, Mexico City and Veracruz.
If you are in transit through Mexico, please check your flight’s local time.
Police Sergeant dies unexpectedly
The Police Department continues to mourn the death of one of their own, 42 year-old Woman Sergeant Kimari Tucker, who died on the morning of Tuesday, April 1.
On Saturday, March 28, she attended a reggae Concert at the ITVET Compound at which 2 Jamaican artists were scheduled to be the headline performers. While enjoying herself, she suffered a stroke and passed out amidst the other concert goers. She had to be rushed to the KHMH, where the doctors were able to resuscitate her, but by that time, the bleeding in her brain caused its higher functions to stop completely.
Her family says that she was declared brain dead, and that she was being kept alive by ventilators and other machines. A few hours after the doctors recommended that it might be time to consider removing her from those machines and let nature take its course, Tucker’s organs started to fail. She passed away without having to force that difficult decision on them.
Ms African Queen 2014-2015
The sixth annual Ms African Queen 2014-2015 was held on Saturday, March 29th at The Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts.
Six beautiful, intelligent and elegant ladies competed for this title and after showcasing their Talent, Visual Poise and Platform Statements, Ms. Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy was crowned Ms African Queen 2014-2015. Although only one could walk away with the crown, they were all winners.
First Runner up was Ms. Nicole Hamilton who also won Ms. Congeniality and Second Runner up was Ms. India Camiel.
Other prizes awarded were:
Best Talent & Miss PR (person who sold the most tickets) – Ms. Maryam Abdul- Qawiyy
Women in Arts fair held in San Ignacio Town
A “Women in Arts Fair” was held at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday of this past weekend as part of Women’s Month. Organized by the San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture in collaboration with the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Board, the fair was an opportunity for female artists to showcase their fine skills in pottery, jewelry, paintings and culinary products.
There was much to be learnt about pottery, especially at the hands of Ruby Dirks and Byron Evans from Dragonfly Studios. The couple from Blackman Eddy Village told us that their electric kiln transforms clay into beautiful pieces under extremely high temperatures.
Coming out to entertain the crowds was the Santa Elena Town based Indigenous Maya Marimba Band and the Cayo Flute group. Ms. Natalie Williams was also present to read some moving poetry.
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Flyboard Day Again!!!
If you missed the first flyboard day no need to worry. Reef Watersports is at it again!!! Don’t get left out!
Check out their facebook page at Reef Watersports for more pictures
My Tour Around the Sanctuary Belize (or BuyBelize.com) Mega-Project: Part Two
Sunday, I travelled with the sales staff, a rep from Atlantic Bank, some builders and the potential investors to Sanctuary Caye. One of the more beautiful places on earth. I wrote all about that. And took one thousand pictures.
Saturday was the main day. To show the visitors around Sanctuary – the mega-tour (and a bit adventure tour) of the HUGE project. Yesterday I wrote about the morning tour…of the marina and some of the land closer to the waterfront. We ended the morning at Sanctuary’s pool club on the common beachfront. There is not a huge amount of land on the Caribbean sea as part of this project but they’ve done pretty nicely with this area.
The views and the green pool are gorgeous. Behind the pool club is a mangrove lagoon and a view of the Mayan mountains…
The Iguana Fest
Here is a little, not so happy, story about what happens to female iguanas to get their eggs... I have tracked my path to my nest site: the location good, the soil moist, the river clear and swift-flowing. My excavations are almost complete. The eggs weigh heavy; it is time.
My tail is caught, I am hauled from my tunnel. There is strength; too strong for my writhing and flipping. My bite fails to connect, my thrashings ineffective.
“Fools Rush In” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Rose and I though do occasionally compile joint lists. And the one that we pulled together a short while ago included ‘arrange trip to Merida’. And not long after it was on the list Rose added ‘SOON’. With that kind of statement (instruction) what else could I do? Arrange it, that’s right!
So last Wednesday I booked two return tickets (well we also intended to return to Ambergris Caye) from San Pedro to Mérida (via Philip Goldson International Airport) via withTropic Air on the Friday service (the service also operates on a Monday and Wednesday).
We could have made the journey in a number of ways – water taxi to Belize City and then bus, water taxi to Corozal and then bus, fly to Corazal and then bus, water taxi to Chetumal and then bus (there may be other ways but quite honestly I’m bored now and it’s not as if this is a travel blog!) – but decided to take advantage of the discounted price (there’s still time to book because the offer runs until 15 April) offered for the expansion of routes by Tropic Air on 3 March.
General Assembly 15th Session – The Question of Belize
The General Assembly
Having considered the question of Belize,
Having examined the relevant chapters of the report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,
Recalling its resolutions 3432 (XXX) of 8 December 1975, 31/50 of 1 December 1976, 32/32 of November 1977, 33/36 of 13 December 1978 and 34/38 of 21 November 1979,
Having also heard the statement of the representative of Belize,
Recalling that the Sixth Conference of Heads of States or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Havana from 3 to 9 September 1979, reiterated its unconditional support for the Belizean people’s inalienable right to self-determination, independence and territorial integrity and condemned all pressure or threats to prevent the full exercise of that right,
Recipe: Amish cinnamon breed
I’m nairy shure perzackly whut makes thishere Amish. My fambly is ackshly good fambly friens wit un Amish fambly n' Indiannie whar my moth'r is frum. I’ve ett nuff o'breed, cookies, pies an' uther treets made by t'Amish n' thems parts o't' kuntry. I’ve ett Amish haystack, a combinashun o'salad, meat, cheez, condimants an' chips. But I’ve nev'r bee offerd cinnamon breed.
Here’s a'hopin thems fambly friens are’t holdin out un me! At leest noe, I a'ken make it un my own.
Amish Cinnamon Breed frum Redflee Creetyuns
Asbestos in Drinking-water
One of the primary goals of WHO and its member states is that “all people, whatever their stage of development and their social and economic conditions, have the right to have access to an adequate supply of safe drinking water.” A major WHO function to achieve such goals is the responsibility “to propose regulations, and to make recommendations with respect to international health matters ….”
The first WHO document dealing specifically with public drinking-water quality was published in 1958 as International Standards for Drinking-Water. It was subsequently revised in 1963 and in 1971 under the same title. In 1984–1985, the first edition of the WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality (GDWQ) was published in three volumes: Volume 1, Recommendations; Volume 2, Health criteria and other supporting information; and Volume 3, Surveillance and control of community supplies. Second editions of these volumes were published in 1993, 1996 and 1997, respectively. Addenda to Volumes 1 and 2 of the second edition were published in 1998, addressing selected chemicals. An addendum on microbiological aspects reviewing selected microorganisms was published in 2002.