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The San Pedro Sun

Island community must unite to fight Crime!
Concerned San Pedro residents have come together once more in an effort to unite against the recent surge of crime. Headed by Footprints for Peace, residents of all ages participated in a solemn walk of solidarity followed by a gathering pledging support in the fight over crime. Around 200 residents participated, demonstrating their point of contention. Many of those affected by violence also took time to voice out their opinions and feelings, offering potential solutions for the island. The event started shortly after 6PM, as residents congregated at Central Park dressed in white, ready to walk across Town Core in a show of solidarity for the fallen victims of crime. The walk was triggered by the recent murders of two taxi operators as well as the increase in organized crime activities in San Pedro. Jose Rigoberto Beltran and Dionisio Trujillo are two most recent murders out of the seven persons that have been killed in 2015 on Ambergris Caye, including 2-year-old toddler Charlie Espat.

Letter to the Editor: Recommendations for Mayor Daniel Guerrero
Dear Mr. Mayor, Please, take a moment to just once listen and understand. How much money do you believe has been placed upon this wonderful and tiny island by foreigners who have come here to invest? How much money do you think has been placed here by local business people who have sunk their life savings into running their own businesses here? People who have arrived here with their funds, lived here, been born here, all using their money to build resorts, restaurants, shops and bars etc. Additionally, those businesses employ many, many local people who otherwise would not have jobs. Do you actually believe that foreigners (who are much more mobile with their wealth) are sitting here with their heads in the sand ignoring what’s going on? The answer is “NO”, they see and hear the same things and the same complaints the tourists are making. Those businesses have seen record losses this year. RECORD. When a business starts to see major losses, the owners look to other places to operate. When that happens, the business is sold, closed or worse they write it off as a loss and simply walk away. ONE single business may employ 50-100 local residents’ possibly more. Larger businesses employ even more. Local owned family businesses close with no funds to support the family. Foreign investors that sell and walk away are more mobile to do so, right or wrong, they will leave.

American woman robbed of over $3k
53-year-old American National, Gloria Horne has reported to the San Pedro Police that on Friday, May 1st she was robbed while driving home. Horne told police that while driving her golf cart past the San Pablo Area en route to her residence in the DFC Area at about 10PM, she was attacked by three male individuals who were riding on bicycles. One of the men (of dark complexion, slim build and about 6ft in height) grabbed her off the golf cart and started punching her in the face. She stated that she begged him to stop attacking her, but he did not seize. Horne stated that she feared for her life and was screaming for help as she believed that they were going to kill her. The while the one man was beating her, the other two grabbed her brown purse, valued at $200US. The purse contained her driver’s license valued at $123US, bank card, prescription Ray Ban sunglasses valued at $500US, white Iphone 4s valued at $400US, Android tablet valued at $125US, diamond necklace with a cross valued at $250US, and $70US cash for a total value of $1,668US or $3,336BZ. They also damaged the golf cart horn, valued at $25BZ.

Celebrating 30 years of The Rum Punch II!
She is not fancy; her humble exterior belies how much she truly means to so many, but The Rum Punch II is hands down, the BEST adventure on the water. Built by hand over two years, from mahogany wood, she is solid. Her red exterior and off-white sails stand out over the hues of blue and green waters. She’s not huge; in fact, she’s perfect for no more than a dozen people on board ready to enjoy some adventures on the water. With owner George Eiley at the helm, a gallon of his extra special rum punch at the ready, cruising the Caribbean is a breeze! And for 30 years, The Rum Punch II has been providing an escape for those who seek it, if only for a few hours. The Rum Punch is my happy place, and has been for a long time. It has also made George very happy in the years he’s navigated the waters on board her. He regaled us with stories of his foray into this sailing adventure, which officially started in 1985. Oh those tales of island hopping all along the coastline of beautiful Belize!!! His photographs show us but just a few glimpses into his daring adventures overnight.

SPTC addresses improper sewage disposal
San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has taken new steps to ensure that raw sewage is properly disposed of. The issue was raised on Friday, February 20th after several residents identified a local cargo operator dumping raw sewage onto the roadside that leads to the island’s dumpsite. As such, SPTC members met with representatives from Belize Water Service Limited (BWSL) and the Department of Environment (DOE) on Monday, March 30th to discuss how incidents such as these can be prevented. While plans are made to construct the leaching bed, BWSL will allow cargo operators to dispose of raw sewage into the ponds themselves. Of course, operators would need to inform BWSL in order to have the proper supervision during the time of dumping. “It’s going to take time to build the leaching bed so in the meantime these person that do this business of cleaning septic tanks will be allowed to dump raw sewage into the ponds. BWSL will have employees designated to supervise them. The supervision is just to ensure that there is no damage to the ponds because the composition of the Sewage Pond is very delicate,” said Gonzalez. BWSL ponds use natural bacteria to break down the composition of human waste, so if the raw sewage collected from septic tanks has additives and chemicals, it could kill the bacteria.

A new month-long photo exhibit has opened at the San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC) and it features scenes from the island’s younger years. The exhibit is by none other than professional wedding photographer Kay Scott who has been living on the island for over three decades. In her time here, she has captured stunning time lapses of the simple village life which was once San Pedro. Together with the San Pedro House of Culture, Scott organized an exhibit of over 70 pictures that was open to the public for viewing on Thursday, April 30th. Titled “Village Life in San Pedro”, the exhibit features photographs from as far back as 1982 when Scott first visited the island. At the opening ceremony, Scott reminisced on the scenes of San Pedro that made her fall in love with the island. Most of Scott’s pictures show a time before tourism became the island’s top industry, when fishing was the main way of life in San Pedro. The nostalgic pictures take you back to a time of sandy streets and wooden houses, before golf carts and even cable television.

Ambergris Today

Miss San Pedro Michelle Nunez is a Busy Queen
When Miss San Pedro, Michelle Nuńez, is not busy with her regular ‘Queenly” duties as beauty ambassador of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, (attending community events, hosting pageants, inaugurating businesses, travelling abroad, assisting at fundraising events) she is even busier working on side projects associated with S.H.I.N.E. (Shaping Healthy Identities through Nurturing and Empowerment). The S.H.I.N.E program was developed by Michelle Nuńez and sponsored by On Eagles Wings Ministries. Michelle serves at the Director of S.H.I.N.E. which keeps her on her toes as she works with young women between the ages of 13 and 16. The program’s goal is to empower and motivate girls to reach their full potential. Currently, Michelle is working with a group on the first semester of the program involving them in fun activities to boost self esteem and encourage healthy decision-making.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Hands Across the Sand
Our friends from Oceana cordially invite everyone to come on Saturday, May 16, 2015 to come together and stand in solidarity against Offshore Oil drilling. Take this opportunity to come and unite in one silent solidarity to send your powerful message that we love our country and that we care for our children's future.

BEL position open for PR
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Senior Public Relations Officer in the Public Relations Unit.

The U.S. Embassy has two new vacancies for a Protocol Assistant and a Supply Supervisor. Please click on the link if you are interested in applying and joining our team!

BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, May 8, 2015: 73

Belizean Ruler of Mexico's 90 Miles Ciudad del Carmen Cycling Classic. The first Belizean cycling sprinter to first win Mexico's renowned 90 miles Ciudad del Carmen Cycling Classic was the legendary Belizean cycling machine, Noel Gordon in 1969. Gordon later went to win the race two consecutive times before Rudy Miguel won his Mexico's Merida Cycling Classic in 1972. In the Annual Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classics of 1969, 1970, and 71, Gordon placed in the top five of riders entering the National Stadium but had never won the grueling 144 miles cycling classic.

Channel 7

Lucilla Bartley Gets Acquitted Of Murder
After spending 4 years on remand for the stabbing death of Osborne "Fish" Gordon, 52 year-old Lucilla Bartley, aka "Chilla" is at home tonight after Justice Troadio Gonzalez acquitted her in a trial without jury this morning. Viewers may remember that Gordon was stabbed to death on April 24, 2011, at around 1:30 a.m. on the corner of Cemetery Road and Curassow Street. Shortly after police started investigating the death, Bartley was charged with the crime of murder, and she was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Well, it came out in her trial before Justice Gonzalez Bartley was the one who gave police a caution statement admitting to fatally stabbing him, but she claimed self-defence. Nevertheless, the decision was taken to charge her with the capital offence. In the trial, evidence emerged that Bartley, who once had a romantic relationship with Gordon, was walking with another man on Cemetery Road. That's when Gordon spotted him, and in an apparent drunken rage, he approached her and threaten her life with a knife. She told the court that she had a history of domestic abuse with this man, who often beat her severely. She says that Gordon attacked her, and she had to defend herself.

Kachief Charged For Derrick's Murder
On Wednesday, we told you about the murder of 18 year-old Derrick Romero, who became the 3rd teenager to be violently killed in Orange Walk Town. Well, police have made and arrest, and tonight that young man is at the Belize Central Prison. The man who police believed pulled the trigger is 20 year-old Kachief Sylvester Bevans, a resident of Waight Street, Belize City. He was formally arrested and charged with the crime of murder, and he was arraigned today in the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court. Due to the Nature of the Offences, he couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date, which is set for June 30. As we reported, it happened just after 10 on Wednesday morning in front of Romero's apartment building on Sittee River Street. Romero was socializing with several persons when a gunman approached them and fired 5 or more shots at him. No one else was injured, but Romero suffered multiple gunshots to the body, including one to the neck area. He was rushed to the KHMH, but he died while undergoing treatment.

Charged For Armed Robbery At New Asia
We told you last night how robbers attacked the New Asia Restaurant, located on Vernon Street, on Wednesday night. Well, police have made a quick arrest and tonight, 22 year-old Dixon Montero is at the Belize Central Prison in connection with that incident in which the security guard was shot by the fleeing assailants. Dixon Montero, who is a Honduran National without legal immigration status in Belize, was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. He was read charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. Due to the nature of the offences, no plea was taken, and he was denied bail. He will be brought back to court on June 3. As we told you, it happened at around 8:50 in which two men barged into the long standing Chinese Restaurant. One of the men was armed with a gun, and they made it all the way to the cash register, where the armed robber pointed the weapon at one of the proprietors. She shouted for the guard, and that apparently spooked the assailants who tried to flee. On the way out, they met Security Guard Victor Hendy, who was on duty. He was on the phone trying to call for help, and as soon as the men saw him, the armed robber shot him in the neck and ran off into Mosul Street. He continues to receive treatment at the KHMH.

Dangriga Robbery Suspect Claims Severe Police Brutality
Right now, 21 year-old John Pasqual, a resident of Dangriga Town is at the KHMH receiving treatment for what appears to be a brain injury. His family is claiming that police from Dangriga put a beat down on him, and caused the injuries. Pascual, who has been encountered by police before, is accused of participating in the robbery of a drug store with 2 other men which happened on last week Friday night. The details, as far as we were informed, is that police responded to the robbery in progress, and saw when the men were trying to escape. A few shots were fired, and Pasqual, according to his family, jumped off the bridge into the water to avoid being captured by police. His brother, who was allegedly a witness to the crime, reportedly went to where Pasqual was hiding, and escorted him to the police station, and handed him over to police, knowing that he was one of the prime suspects. That's where the situation gets clouded, and his family says that between Friday night and Tuesday when he was finally arrested and charged for robbery, he was injured in the head, reportedly in police custody, and now he has suffered some effects of what appears to be brain injury. His sister, who asked to appear off camera, explained what she knows about the robbery and the alleged police brutality:

How Did Veronica Die From Meningitis?
Last night we told you about the 5 year old student from Stella Maris Veronica Cal. She died on Wednesday morning from what looked like a case of meningitis. Well, the post mortem was done today and it has been confirmed. We spoke to her father Mario Cal today and he told us that it all started last Thursday night when she first vomited. Veronica suffered throughout the weekend - not being able to eat or much less hold down any fluids. Cal told us that they gave her Tylenol to try and ease the symptoms but it only got worse. That is when they rushed Veronica to the emergency room at the KHMH on Sunday afternoon. While the family had hopes for her to recover, Veronica died on Wednesday morning at 9:08. Now the family is left with more questions than answers as to why their child died. Mario Cal, Father of Veronica Cal "So early in the morning Wednesday, because I can't sleep the whole night but I have my phone beside me. I think when I looked at the sofa, I think I fell asleep right there. When I heard my phone ringing, I hurriedly answered it 'what?' The person said, 'the baby is dying the machine went down'. What I said ill hurry call my son and things like that and hurry send my son. I hurriedly took a shower then went. When I arrived, the baby came back. But you know, I stayed right there, they didn't let us go in and see the baby. I saw the doctor rushing, and about 5 minutes after that same thing again. They tried to fight for her life again but it didn't come back."

DJ Usher's Criminal Complaint Heard By Police Higher Up's
The issue concerning the frightening confrontation between Edison Usher and another man at the Romy Badillo fundraising event is still ongoing. At this point, police are looking for Shadir Marin in connection with this incident and when he is brought in he will be charged. For context, Usher came to our studios a week ago and told us that Marin pointed a gun at his face at the event. Usher told us that he was only trying to deter Marin from driving over the cables and wires as he was setting up his DJ system but Marin took it to another level. We will keep following this story.

Disgruntled "BRN" Resident Ask Opposition To Rethink Major Lloyd Jones' Endorsement
Retired Major Lloyd Jones... He was recently announced as PUP's replacement in Belize Rural North after 7 months without a standard bearer in that constituency. But, it appears that he's been met with some resistance in the communities he is expected to win over. Today, our newsroom was emailed a press release from a nameless, faceless individual who purports to speak on behalf of the voters of Belize Rural North. It is unsigned, and there is the very high possibility that it is only political mischief. But, on the off-chance that it isn't, the release says, quote: "We the people of Belize Rural North are very sad and disgruntled over the fact that the Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition and our beloved People's United Party, has said to us, indirectly, that we are foolish, dumb and not civilized. He calls the Prime Minister, Hon Dean Barrow a dictator when he himself, Hon. Francis Fonseca, is acting like one. He is not in power and look what he is doing and treating us the people and loyal supporters of the PUP."

The Governor General To Visit Taiwan
Belize's Head of State, the Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, will be visiting the Republic of China (Taiwan), from 10th May to 15th May 2015. During the Governor-General's visit, the Government of Taiwan will launch the publication of Chinese translation of Sir Colville's book of short stories entitled "Pataki Full". It is believed that this translation marks the first time that a book by a Caricom writer will be translated into Chinese. As such, this is a historic occasion and marks a notable strengthening of the ties of culture and friendship between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Belize. During Sir Colville's absence from the country, H.E. Mr James Murphy will be acting as Governor-General of Belize.

Meet UWI Open Campus Head: Dr. Luz Longsworth
Viewers may know very well about the University of the West Indies Open Campus. It is an innovative tertiary level institution in which students from all over the Caribbean pursue higher level education via the internet and a computer. They have access to the ease of lessons, video teleconferencing with professors, and tailored studies to meet their needs, all without the requirement of having to fly to the school's headquarters, and having to go into classes if the student does not want. Well, the newest Acting Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor of this institution is Dr. Luz Longsworth. She's Caribbean national whose parents lived and worked in Belize for many years. She comes highly qualified after generating over 25 years of experience in both academia and business in Belize, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands. This morning, she organized at meet and greet with the press of all the different territories, where there are branches of the Open Campos, including Belize. The site head told us today about the importance such an exercise:

There's Now A Red Cross Android App
You don't have to be a doctor or a certified therapist to deal with an epileptic seizure or even a heart attack, you can simply download the new First Aid By Belize Red Cross App on your phone to find out what to do in these critical situations. Although you won't be able to operate on anyone or prescribe medication, this app offers useful techniques and responses to a number of emergencies. Today in celebration of World Red Cross Day, the Belize Red Cross launched this new app at the Battlefield Park and the field officer told us how this app can save a life. Terence Woodye, Field Officer, Belize Red Cross "What this app does, it serves as a complementary to the first aid class we teach at the office. The app gives you as an individual better confidence when there's an accident or emergency. You can access this app on your phone anywhere. If you're traveling, commuting on a bus, or when you have your free time, you go and access the app as it tells you what to do in cases like burns, if someone is unconscious, how to care for someone that is choking, bleeding etc. This involves the same steps we do in our first aid class but what this app gives you as well is that confidence. It is also universal as it gives you videos and graphics that even kids can follow since they have tablets these days. It could be downloaded on iPhone, androids, smart phones and tablets.

Intelligent Art Discovery
Last night we reported on the multifarious art exhibit at the Image Factory entitled "Culture Uncovered". Well, there is another upcoming art exhibit that caters to that diversity: it's the National Festival of Arts Showcase Exhibit and the theme for this year is "Intelligent Art". Artists from all over the country are invited to submit their works in whatever form they choose. We spoke with the coordinator of the event, Rachael Heusner today and she told us about the significance of this year's theme. Rachael Heusner, Coordinator "Well, we're sending out the call because we want people to be interested and to produce work along the lines of intelligent art. And you might ask why, yea why intelligent art. Well because many people think art is just pretty pictures that you put on a wall. So we're trying to help people to appreciate that art could go to another level, you know. Art is something that can teach us, it can tell us a story, it teaches design. You know, there's so many that's used in advertising so we want young people to think a little bit outside the box. A little bit further and teach us something with your drawings and paintings or whatever it is that you want to produce. When it comes to art, somebody might put a dot on a piece of paper and say well that's art, that's intelligent art. But you know, just, something might be beautifully executed, it might be a drawing of a shoe, but it's done to a nice level. So the whole thing is, it's so broad, I'm sure that we're not going to have that much rejections but we're just trying to force the artist to think a little deeper. To think 'how can my art educate someone else?'."

Mr. Program's Tribute To Mothers
Belizean Artist, Mr. Program hasn't been featured on our newscast since 2 years ago when he delivered his latest musical single at the time which was called, "Tek It Easy". Before that, he hadn't been in the news since 4 years since his rise on the local music scene with the popular song, "See I Rise". But, he's back tonight, and he's asking for the love of the mothers in the Mother's Day season to launch his latest musical creation. He dropped by our office to tell us about it: The video is available on Youtube.

Channel 5

Woman Freed of Murder After 4 Years Behind Bars
Almost four years ago, then forty-eight year old Lucilla Bartley, a single mother of two, was charged for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Osborne Gordon, and remanded to the Belize [...]

Belize City Resident Charged for OW Murder
Twenty-year-old Kashief Bevans was arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrates Court this morning on a single count of murder.  His indictment follows the shooting death of eighteen-year-old Derrick Romero who [...]

16 Year Old Roaring Creek Resident Arraigned for Agric Murder
There is another arrest regarding a murder last weekend. A sixteen year old minor from Roaring Creek is tonight spending his first night behind bars following his arraignment for the [...]

Radar Down at the National Met Service
If you’ve visited the Belize Met Service website anytime in the past six months, you’ve likely seen the words – RADAR IMAGE NOT AVAILABLE – with an explanation that the [...]

Below Normal Activity Expected for 2015 Hurricane Season
Earlier we told you about the Met Service’s radar which is down, and has been down since last year October. But even so, the Met Service is doing its thing, [...]

All 4 Accused in Theft at Treasury Receive Bail
David Enriquez, Francis Palacio, Hassan Palacio and Octaviana Lopez…Police believe all four are involved in the bold theft of half a million dollars from the government treasury. Enriquez, charged with [...]

General Manager of La Inmaculada Credit Union Suspended
Today, the Board of Directors of the La Inmaculada Credit Union issued a release on an internal investigation taking place at that institution. That investigation has been common knowledge for [...]

David Akierman, Outgoing Exec. Chair of Corozal Commercial Free Zone
There is word of a major shake up at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. U.D.P. stalwart, David Akierman, is being removed as Executive Chairman of the zone; a job he [...]

Honduran Man Charged for Attempted Murder of Security Guard
A Honduran national has been charged for the shooting of a Security Guard working at a Chinese restaurant.  After two days of investigations, police believe they know who shot Victor [...]

B.N.T.U. Clarifies – Petrocaribe Was Not Used for Salary Adjustments
The ongoing Petrocaribe rollout is proving to be the most controversial undertaking of the Barrow administration.  Depending on who you ask, the program is a redeeming feature which has seen [...]

Union Disagrees With How Petrocaribe Loans Act Was Passed
While Palacio says that there may not be a problem with the rollout of the funds, the subject of constant disagreement is the manner in which the Petrocaribe Loans Act [...]

2013 National Child Activity Survey Report – Key Facts and Figures
Today at the Jaguar Auditorium of the University of Belize, Belmopan Campus, the Statistical Institute of Belize and the International Labour Organization officially launched the findings and final report of [...]

Belizean Professor, Doctor Luz Longsworth, Assumes Principalship of UWI Open Campus
Since the beginning of May, there have been two major changes in the administration of the University of the West Indies.  Senior management changes, including the promotion of Professor V. [...]

…Changes Took Effect May First
Professor Barriteau’s move to the Cave Hill Campus comes as incumbent Sir Hilary Beckles transitions to his new position as Vice Chancellor of the university.  That change also came into [...]

The Best of 2 of the Premier League of Belize
The Premier League of Belize is now in finals battling the best of a two game series. On Thursday night in Belmopan, the Belmopan Bandits and Verdes FC played a [...]


Ramon Cervantes and Gaspar Vega headed to trial in July
The lawsuit for slander of the character of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is headed to trial in July, and Vega himself will take the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has disallowed an application by counsel for Gaspar Vega, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, to amend the statement of claim to reflec...

Police update on Cervantes murder suspect
And while the Deputy Prime Minister returns to court in two months for the case brought against Ramon Cervantes Jr. after he aired on live radio a voice recording accusing Gaspar Vega of orchestrating the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr  the voice behind the sensational accusations, 37 year old Manuel...

Update on Orange Walk murder of Derrick Romero
There is also an update on the Orange Walk murder which we reported in yesterday’s newscast. A broad daylight shooting claimed the life of 18 year old Derrick Romero, of Settee River Street, Louisiana Area, Orange Walk Town...

Persons arrested for robberies in Dangriga
Two persons have been remanded to Hattieville prison in connection to two robberies which occurred in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

Said Musa not ready to leave politics
The Right Honorable Said Musa, now 71 years of age, is in his seventh term of office as area representative for the Fort George division in the House of Representatives and will seek an eighth term in the upcoming general elections...

Orange Walk Police Under investigation For Abuse of Auhority
A few weeks ago a couple of police officers attached to the Orange Walk Police Station got in trouble with the law when a video that went viral captured them at the residence of Andres Rodriguez beating him up...

Young artists exhibit at Image Factory
Art is considered part of a nation’s culture...

Helpage honouring senior mothers]
  The 10th day of May is internationally recognized as Mother’s Day. An entire day dedicated to all the wonderful women without whom we wouldn’t be in this world today. Help age Belmopan saw the importance of celebrating their senior mothers at this morning’s senior session. Evan Dakers - Chairm...

Security guard shot during robbery attempt
Police areseeking one person from the Taylor’s Alley area in Belize City in connection with the robbery of New Asia Restaurant on Vernon Street in Belize City just before 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday...

Minor Murdered Brown
One person was charged today for the murder of 24 year old Dernell Brown but we will refrain from using his name because he happens to be a  minor...

Three men flee from cops leaving behind firearm
Early this morning, police were patrolling on Dean Street heading in the direction of Euphrates Avenue their attention was drawn to three male persons walking on Dean Street almost at the corner of Euphrates Avenue...

Drugs found in Guinea Grass
On Wednesday May 6, police found 19 pounds of Marihuana in Guinea Grass Village. Police say they visited an area about 2 miles out of Guinea Grass Village where they found a white sack containing 16 parcels inside amounting to 19 lbs or 8,618 grams...

Albert Division contenders trade barbs ahead of endorsement
Tomorrow, Friday, May 8, United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate for the Albert division and former CEO in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Tracey Taegar-Panton will be endorsed during a Mother’s Day event at the House of Culture...

Burrell Boom man remanded for sex charge
Burrell Boom resident Jamil Seguro is accused of fondling a teenager’s private area while she was bathing in the Belize Old River at Burrell Boom on April 23. Today he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith and pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault of the 13 year old...


Cop attempted to sodomize victim, 19?
Ombudsman Lionel Arzu told Amandala today that he has never before received a report of police brutality in which the police have been accused of attempted sodomy against the victim. The allegation which has come to the fore from Victor Daniel Howe, 19, seems to be unprecedented. Howe claims that a detachment of about 8 law enforcement officers—who the teenager said were dressed in green uniforms and who appeared to have been drinking—brutalized him and stood by laughing as one of their team members made a move to sodomize him in the Benque area. Like the Ombudsman, Ret’d. Colonel George Lovell, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, was deeply troubled by the allegation and both men have undertaken to look into the matter.

Suspected meningitis at Stella Maris School
Despite assurances from officials of the Ministry of Health, concerns are being raised regarding the recent death of a young student of Stella Maris School in Belize City who was reportedly diagnosed with “presumptive meningitis” prior to her death. Amandala understands that the child, Veronica Cal, 5, of Hunter’s Lane in Belize City, died this past Monday, May 4, while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), three days after being stricken with the condition, which, we are told, quickly deteriorated and led to her passing. Her father, Mario Cal, told the media today that it started with vomiting, which led to a fever, and later to other complications.

Mopan Tech teacher fired for homosexual advances to students
A male teacher from the Mopan Technical High School in Benque Viejo Town, Cayo District, has been fired for allegedly making sexual advances to several male students via social media. The allegations surfaced in late February of this year, at which time the said teacher was placed on suspension while the Ministry of Education carried out an investigation. After analyzing the case, the Teaching Services Commission (TSC) reportedly sent the male teacher – whose name we cannot call since he has not yet been charged by police – a letter of termination over the past weekend and effectively banned him from the Mopan Technical High School. Officials from the Ministry of Education have also indicated that the Chief Education Officer has revoked his teacher’s license.

Boat captain, Romaldo “Romi” Badillo, Sr., succumbs
Veteran seaman and boat captain, Romaldo “Romi” Badillo, Sr., 59, of Belize City, who had been fighting for his life at a hospital in Guatemala after he suffered massive burns to about 60 percent of his body, died this morning at the hospital, almost a month after the boat in which he had been travelling exploded. The sad news of his passing was confirmed by his family this morning. The grieving family said that they will make further comments on the death and provide other pertinent information at a later date, and declined to say more this morning. At about 1:00 Holy Thursday afternoon, at “the Hangar” dock near the Belize City Airport, there was an explosion aboard a boat in which Captain Romi, as he was popularly known, and three other men — who were going to Saint George’s Caye to carry supplies for the Easter vacation – were traveling. One of the three men was Stephen Bradley, the owner of the boat, and the other two were Wallace Flowers and George Gonzalez.

Well-known educator, trade unionist, and humanitarian, Mrs. Eloisa Santos Trujeque, 77, who had been ailing for the past 6 months, passed away while receiving medical treatment for pneumonia at the Belize Healthcare Partners hospital yesterday, Wednesday. The eldest child of a family of 9, Trujeque was born on West Street in the Mesopotamia area of Belize City in 1938 and grew up to be an instrumental part of her church and her community during her life. She was well-respected, and had been involved with St. Ignatius Parish since her youth and later joined two local missionary groups who offered spiritual support to their community and country. Trujeque started her teaching career at St. Ignatius Primary School on southside Belize City in 1967, where she served as principal from 1968 to 1993.

Shotgunned victim, 6, dies after being taken off life support
After an agonizing five days on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City, Travis Polanco, 6, who was unfortunately shot in the head with a 16-gauge shotgun by another minor last Thursday, April 30, succumbed to his injuries at about 10:30 a.m. today. Initial reports were that Polanco and his young neighbor – who police said is actually 11 and not 9 years old as was previously reported – were playing near a palm tree about 50 feet away from Polanco’s house at the Valley Community on the Hummingbird Highway in the Stann Creek District when the 11-year-old boy suddenly went into his house, retrieved his father’s licensed Harrington and Richardson shotgun from a room, pointed it through his window and allegedly shot the 6-year old student, who was reportedly standing about 5 feet from the street.

Women Cross Country Classic is next Sunday, May 17
The 26th Annual Women Cross Country Cycling Classic for 2015 is scheduled to take place next Sunday, May 17, starting at 8:00 a.m. from Queen Elizabeth Park in San Ignacio and “tentatively finish at BTL Park” on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City, a distance of approximately 73 miles. The Cycling Federation says it is “still soliciting sponsorship for the event, finishing prizes and station prizes. If you would like to contribute, please feel free to contact us by calling either of the following individuals: Orson Butler – 602-1390; Leticia Westby – 625-8173.” Defending champion is 5-time winner, Shalini Zabaneh; while the record of 3:07:29, set by Mexican Brenda Aguayo in 2007, still stands. Strong contenders are expected to include 2012 Women Cross Country champion Kaya Cattouse; 2015 Krem Classic winner Alicia Thompson; and young Patricia Chavarria, who has 2nd in the 2014 Women Cross Country.

Farewell to my Islanders teammate, Romaldo “Romy” Badillo
We received the heartbreaking news late this morning of the passing of Romaldo “Romy” Badillo, a Belizean gem, football fan nonpareil, and my former teammate on the Islanders football team of Caye Caulker, way back in the early 1970’s (1974-75 season). Romy, a retired Fisheries Officer and then tour guide/boat captain, was seriously injured in a boating accident a few weeks ago and was undergoing treatment for severe burns in a hospital in Guatemala. Our sincere condolences to his wife, Anna; his brother, Amado, another past football teammate; and his other family members, relatives and friends. R.I.P. brother Romaldo “Romy” Badillo.

Devin Daly visits the Jewel
Belizean basketballer, Devin Daly, 20, who attends Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Michigan, USA, is presently in the country to conduct practical biology work as part of his course in Conservation Biology at the notable public university. The graduate of St. John’s College departed Belize 3 years ago on a full basketball scholarship at LSSU, where he majors in Conservation Biology and minors in Fish Stock Management, while playing point guard on the school’s basketball team, which is known as the LSSU Lakers. That team has notably won 2 state championships with the assistance of Daly, who has stepped up his game to the point of earning the title of the team’s 6th man. The promising young “baller,” who is now in his 3rd year at the university, spoke with KREM News today after he delivered a motivational talk to students at the Belize High School, and he expounded on how it feels to be back home and ensuring that he continues to give back to his community, while he does school work.

Cricket Corner: Excellence will continue
Over the weekend in the Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2015 under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, only two games were played due to inclement weather. In Zone One, Police damaged Bright Star, 216 to 77. For Police, Llewellyn “Luggy” Sutherland and Sylbert Martinez top scored with 40 runs each; and Austin Gillett and Annal Kanaujia took 3 wickets each. For Bright Star, Andy Dominguez scored 17 and took 3 wickets. Excelsior won by default over Excellence, who did not show up. In Zone Two, Wicked Eleven won over Sunrise, 166 to 74. For Wicked Eleven, Travis Robinson scored 49, while Darwin Rhaburn and Walter Flowers took 4 wkts each. For Sunrise, Jermaine Baizar scored 12 runs, and Garreth Joseph took 3 wkts.

Belizean cyclists sweep Cedral Classic 2015 in Cozumel, Mexico
A contingent of 8 Belizean cyclists travelled to Cozumel, Mexico, over the weekend, and returned triumphant, after sweeping the top prizes in all categories of the Cedral Classic 2015 road race. The Elite/Masters “A” and U-23 road race was 60 miles long, and 1st place was taken by Brandon Cattouse, with 2nd place going to Byron Pope, and Phillip Leslie took the 5th position. For the U-23 category of the same race, 1st was Giovanni Lovell and 2nd Delawn Abraham. In the Masters “B” race, which travelled 45 miles, Belize was again dominant, as Ray Cattouse took 1st place, while Isaiah Willacey settled for 4th place. And in the 35 mile long Female race, Belize’s only participant, Kaya Cattouse took 1st place over Mexicans Laura Rodriguez of Merida, who was 2nd, Fabiola Rodriguez of Cozumel in 3rd, and Aracely Cervantes, also of Cozumel, in 4th place.

Petrocaribe, PUP, and the ICJ
The activist Ya Ya Marin Coleman recently pointed out on her Sunday Review show on KREM Radio/TV that what worries her about the Petrocaribe moneys are the implications for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) matter. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), which has increased its electoral popularity with the Petrocaribe windfall, is on record as being in full support of the “yes” vote in a referendum for Belize to submit Belize’s differendum with Guatemala to a panel of ICJ judges. The ruling of the ICJ would theoretically be binding on both Belize and Guatemala, which claims half of Belize in the aftermath of a dispute with Great Britain which began in the colonial days of the nineteenth century. At a Monday morning press briefing this week to announce his candidacy as the People’s United Party (PUP) standard bearer for the Belize Rural North constituency, Major Lloyd Jones (Ret’d) reiterated a position he has been expressing on air and in print for years – that the time for appeasement with Guatemala is over and that under no circumstances should Belize go to the ICJ. The fact that Major Jones was saying this at Independence Hall in the presence of PUP leadership, made the statement stunning.

From the Publisher
Over the long holiday weekend I was channel hopping on cable television and happened upon a Western called The Tall Men, starring Clark Gable, Robert Ryan and Jane Russell. The movie had already started when I caught it. There were a couple story lines which seemed far-fetched, but the camera work was good and the action was moving along. I ended up watching the movie to its conclusion. Near the end of the movie these guys have been driving a herd of cattle, about 5,000 head or so, to Montana all the way from Texas, and just about the last obstacle on their long journey is an ambush by a large group of Sioux Indians. I could not believe that I found myself wishing for the stars to get past the faceless, villainous Native Americans. What I’m saying is this is how the movie portrayed the Sioux, who are fighting for their own territorial rights. This is the power of the filmmaker’s art. The filmmaker gets you to identify and sympathize with those whom he chooses to project heroically, and whomever he chooses to be the bad guy(s) will be the one(s) you and I, as the audience, will see in that light.

Letter to the Editor: Engineers need to invoke the law
Dear Editor, When a doctor fails, a person dies. When an engineer fails many people die. This in mind, allow me to say that it was encouraging to read the press release issued jointly by the Association of Professional Engineers of Belize (APEB) and the Association of Professional Architects of Belize (APAB) published in the Amandala newspaper of April 26, 2015. Infrastructure is critical to the development of a country. It is the linchpin that secures a nation’s ability to generate wealth. All-weather roads, good bridges, a resilient electrical network and safe structures are all necessary infrastructure that will help Belize develop into a more productive nation. However, those infrastructures, when not properly designed, constructed and maintained, may become a source of endangerment if they fail. The result may be injury or death to the unsuspecting public.

Electricity rates to dip to lowest rate in over a decade
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) yesterday announced its initial decision to reduce electricity rates by 15.24% – a reduction which would see electricity rates fall to 35 cents per kilowatt-hour, the lowest in over a decade. Back in October 2004, when the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) was privately owned and operated, the company proposed an increase in tariffs of 3 cents per kilowatt-hour, amounting to about 10%, bringing to an end a long streak of falling electricity rates, which the company said had lasted since 1984. Since then, electricity rates have been fluctuating, but they have been on a general downward trend since the 16.87% rate hike was imposed in January 2013.

PUP seeks court order for 13th Senator
The Leader of the Opposition, the People’s United Party (PUP), Hon. Francis Fonseca, through his attorney Eamon Courtenay, S.C., filed an application at the Supreme Court today, seeking an order for Prime Minister Dean Barrow to bring into force the provisions of the March 2010 Sixth Constitutional Amendment enabling the appointment of a 13th senator. The announcement was made this morning at the PUP’s Independence Hall headquarters, where Fonseca and Courtenay held a press briefing. In the fixed date claim, Dean O. Barrow is named as the first defendant and the Attorney General as the second defendant. Late this evening, Government responded to the PUP’s claim via a press release, which lamented, “That senator would be chosen by the non-government organizations, and would result in taking away the Government’s majority in the Senate. In turn that would mean that the Opposition, with the support of the 13th Senator and others, would be able to frustrate Government’s legislative agenda and delay or completely derail (even urgent) Bills.”

Bolton Bank on the auction block
A virtually pristine expanse of real estate west of the Haulover Creek is being put on the auction block next month in what the seller describes as the first ultra-luxury Caribbean basin real estate auction. Whereas the property is being promoted as a “prime area for resort hotel, residential and commercial development site… suitable for a city/airport/eco-hotel conference complex, world-class casino, and championship golf course,” the Government officials we checked with say they know nothing of the plan. Today, Amandala received a press release from Avalon Partners Ltd. in cooperation with Premiere Estates Auction Company announcing that on June 18, it will auction Bolton Bank in Belize along with a second property in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The property is located on the unpopulated side of the Haulover Creek, on the other side of the river, on the route to Belize City from the Philip Goldson International Airport.

Pat Cacho’s generosity helps provide a home for Destiny’s children
Destiny Daycare and Preschool, which is managed by two vibrant and dedicated sisters: Laurel and Yadira Diego, opened its doors on September 1, 2008 with six children. Today its enrollment has increased to thirty-six children, ages two months to four years. The Diego sisters come from a family of entrepreneurs. Their father, Melvin Diego (Melly), is famous for having the best homemade ice cream in Dangriga, and their mother, Laura Diego (Tun), has been known for her delicious pastries. Despite their many challenges, the Diego sisters have managed to keep things together, while focusing on their mission to provide the best possible early childhood education to each of the children in their care. A few years ago, Destiny was faced with an unexpected eviction from its first location on Isla Road in Dangriga. This experience motivated them to seek funding to purchase their own school. Cornelius Patrick “Pat” Cacho and his wife Leonie saw their appearance on Belize Watch on a trip home to Belize from the USA.

US teacher gets 15 yrs for seducing BZ minors via Facebook
David Wendel Thompson, who was nabbed by US law enforcement authorities in Miami while trying to fly to Belize, has been sentenced to 15 years in Florida, USA, after having pleaded guilty to enticing two Belizean minors, ages 13 and 15, via Facebook. He had apparently been in contact with the Belizean girls between December 2013 and February 2014. He took a flight to Belize on March 14, 2014, but was denied entry when he got here, and US law enforcement personnel arrested him when he returned to Miami. When US law enforcement searched his checked bag, they reportedly found condoms, a drug for erectile dysfunction, two brand new computer tablets (said to be gifts for the minors) and fliers for a hotel in Belize.