FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Friday until Monday, May 25-28, 2012
Conditions this past week improved by Wednesday as a surface low and trough producing the showery weather drifted ENE away from Belize. A tropical disturbance SE of the Carolinas this afternoon is becoming a bit more organized and the NHC is giving this system an 80% chance of forming into a tropical cyclone this weekend. Elsewhere in the tropics, a tropical wave is moving into the eastern Caribbean at 10-15 mph. In the NW Caribbean, the persistent trough of low pressure south of central Cuba will drift westwards over the next two days and will reach Belize and Yucatan by Sunday and Monday. Meanwhile, in the upper atmosphere a trough over the Bahamas and Central Cuba will swing westwards this weekend, and will provide support to the low level trough in the area this weekend.
Hence, we can expect fair weather with only isolated showers today and on Saturday, but conditions will become increasingly favourable for showery outbreaks with thunderstorms on Sunday through Monday, especially over the sea and coast at first, then over most districts by late Sunday and Monday. Showers will decrease on Tuesday. Kindly note that the 2012 rainy season at most localities in Belize began almost two week early this year.
Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.10 – 0.25 of-an-inch on Friday, increasing to 0.25 – 0.50 on Saturday, especially over the sea and coast. On Sunday and Monday daily rainfall totals will be 0.50-1.25 inch especially over the north and west.
CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report
Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Toledo Cacao Festival… a Sweet Sensation
Last weekend the Toledo District hosted their sixth annual Cacao Festival. Over the years this sweet event has grown in popularity, with each year offering more variety, entertainment and excitement. This year was no exception and the Festival was very well attended by hundreds of tourists and locals alike.
The Festival kicked off on Friday evening, May 18th with the very popular Wine & Chocolate reception. Held on the lovely grounds of the elegant Coral House Inn in Punta Gorda, the poolside venue and thatch-covered booth areas offered an inviting appeal to a night of socializing and sampling the best in Belizean made chocolates while sipping excellent red and white wines. Guests were also treated to a traditional Maya dinner of pork pibil with corn tortillas, creamy cassava and tasty corn with black bean salads.
Of course dessert was on everyone’s agenda, and four different booths were in attendance to showcase their hand crafted chocolates. The Cotton Tree Chocolate booth was very busy with their dark chocolate with bacon samples, a wild success that disappeared quickly, other treats offered included Ginger S’ mores, Milk Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs and Coconut Dark Chocolate. San Pedro based Kakaw Belizean Chocolate booth was also hopping as guests sampled pineapple, bananas, marshmallows and corn tortilla chips dipped in a variety of chocolate fondue’s, some laced with spicy chili or infused with coconut rum. At Cyrila’s Chocolates, Juan and Abelina Cho offered samples of their chocolate products along with Cyrila’s cacao wine, yum! Also for sale was their powdered cacao, baking chocolate, homemade coco butter lip balm and coco butter soaps. Goss Chocolate offered a variety of samples as well, ranging from extra dark to milk chocolate, all super delicious.
Traffic Safety Poster and Essay Contest Nears Deadline
With plans well underway for the “Importance of Traffic Safety” poster and essay contest San Pedro Town Councilor Kenrick “Kenny” Brackett invites students to participate with the chance of winning great prizes.
The poster contest is slated for primary grade students and is divided into three different age groups. Group One consists of Infant I and II, Group Two includes Standard I, II and III and Group Three includes Standard IV, V and VI. The students are to design posters that include the various traffic signs such as pedestrian crossing, stop, yield and roundabout and what they mean. All posters must be designed by hand and presented on standard sized Bristol/poster board. Along with the submission each age group must collectively create an advertising “jingle” or ad promotion to go along with the poster. A $350 cash prize will be awarded to the 1st place winners of each group and teachers from the submitting classes stand to win prizes as well.
For high school students there is an essay contest which is divided into two different groups, 1st and 2nd Form as Group One and 3rd and 4th Form as the Second Group. The theme should not only include the purpose of the signs listed above in the poster contest but the dangers of drinking and driving as well as why traffic safety is important. The essay must be at least 300 words long but no longer than 500. Submissions must be typed, double-spaced and hand delivered in hard-copy form. Each of the two groups will also collectively create an advertising “jingle” or ad promotion to go along with the essay. A $500 cash prize will be awarded to the 1st place winners of each group and teachers from the submitting classes stand to win prizes as well.
Youth Rally Positively Impacts San Pedro Youth
The youth are the future of our country and as parents, educators, family members and friends, it is very important that we guide them in the right direction and encourage them to hitch their wagon to a star and never give up. With this in mind, in a collaborative effort between Belize Telemedia Limited, RESTORE Belize and the Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (BELAIFA), on Thursday, May 24, 2012, students of San Pedro High School were addressed by professional motivational speakers from across the United States.
Toledo Hosts Successful Cacao-Fest
The Toledo Cacao-Fest 2012, which was held this past weekend in southern Belize, drew scores of locals and tourists alike; wanting to experience Toledo's celebration of Cacao and its rich natural heritage. The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) reported being in attendance at this unique and cultural event and had representation from both its National and Placencia chapters.
The Wine and Chocolate Night held at the Coral House Inn on Friday, May 18, was a rainy yet elegant affair as vintners, wine merchants, chocolatiers and beer brewers alike, displayed their most exquisite spreads for all attendees. The wide array of red and white wines, chocolates and confectioneries, liquors and chocolate beers, were accentuated by the local artists playing colorful music and the grand fireworks display held at the closing of the event.
Students Perform at Festival of Arts Showcase
The Island's primary school children participated in the Festival of Art that was held on Thursday, May 24, 2012, at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium, San Pedro High School, were they presented colorful, vibrant and fun performances. The showcase allowed them the opportunity to enter the national competition for the Festival that will take place at a later date in Belize City.
Misc Belizean Sources
ADO bus Belize to Houston
I've twice been to Belize this year, the first in January / February and again last week. Since I hadn't been to Cancun for a few years, I decided to brave it and take the ADO bus to Cancun on my way back to Houston to test the service out.
My kids travel to Belize at least once a year to spend the summer with their dad, and sometimes they use this route. I'd never heard them complain. What's there not to like about Cancun?
The first eye opener was that a one-way ticket from Cancun to Houston costs half the price of a one way ticket from Belize to Houston. At about US$200 (or so) one way, I could actually splurge on a nice hotel, spend a night or two in Cancun, eat to my heart's content, and still arrive in Houston under the price of the one way from Belize to Houston (US$450+)...
Belize Tourism Board announces new appointments
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has announced that, after a national search to find the best candidates for the position of director of tourism and director of marketing and industry relations, it has selected two well-respected and highly qualified Belizean candidates.
Selected as acting director of tourism is Laura Esquivel Frampton, and as the new director of marketing, Alyssa Carnegie.
As the new acting director of tourism, Frampton is no stranger to the tourism Industry. She has and continues to work in the Belize tourism and services industry; a professional career that has earned her over twelve years of experience, four of which were spent at the Belize Tourism Board as the director of quality assurance.
During her years at the BTB, Frampton instituted many initiatives to assist in facilitating the development of programs for industry quality of service and standards. She led the launch of an intensive customer service course that targeted government and private agencies across Belize. She also spearheaded the upgrading of standards for tour guides.
She initiated the Pro Chef Program that single-handedly trained Belizean chefs and upgraded the preparation standards for cuisine and beverage services. In addition, she successfully lobbied for the Horse and Buggy Regulations, which was passed in 2009; as well as the Fort George Tourism Zone Statutory Instrument, which was signed in 2010.
BFREE Hosts University of Florida
BFREE was visited by a group from the University of Florida Tourism majors.
"After a semester of hard work on their Tourism Plans - ten students from the UF Tourism Planning class visited Belize to experience BFREE first hand."
Cayo District on BelizeSpot
Belize Spot has their Cayo page up! Looks great too. Check out their site. This is the month for great new websites.
"Experience the best of Cayo with Belize Spot. Find Out Everything you need to know about Cayo | Belize Spot - Best Places in Belize."
Birding at El Pilar Archaeological Site
“I never thought that Bird Watching would be
such an adventurous activity that I would enjoy
I went along with a very nice couple “Mary & John” and our guide “Fermin”. As a begining birder myself, I depended a lot on Fermin’s experience on spotting the different birds. On our way to El Pilar, we stopped at a number of times along the road-side, where Fermin would show us his “hotspots” for birding. My plan was to take as many pictures, of as many birds as possible, for future reference and Fermin even helped me in taking some close up pictures with his scope, as my normal camera’s zoom wasn’t strong enough most of the time for the ones far away. When we reached the entrance of El Pilar, we took a Birding path “Bird’s without Borders”, which offered us right off the bat with a beautiful bird (male) called “Slaty-Tailed Trogon” and I got to take some nice pictures of it.
Once we entered the site, it was a bit of a challenge spotting the birds as we were right underneath the jungle canopy… NOT a challenge for Fermin, as he had no problem finding them for us; I started to get a little neck pain from looking up the trees trying to spot a rare bird (Name), and then what do you know? I single-handedly spotted a “Red-Lored Parrot” and had Mary and John’s gratitude for it.
Xunantunich Archaeological Site pictures
Some great shots of Xunantunich were taken with the Protected Areas Conservation Trust group took the Zambia Environmental Management Agency group to visit Xunantunich. ZEMA is currently visiting, and learning about the role that PACT plays in Belize. Perfect spot to mix business with pleasure.
PACT Serves As A Model for Zambia
The ZEMA team visited the Elijio Panti National Park where they met with Fernando Tzib of the Belize Development Foundation (BDF; co-manager of the national park). They experienced firsthand the implementation of a project “Sustainable Management of the Eligio Panti National Park” funded by PACT ($94,300) and also the experience of the grantee. Tzib gave a brief introduction on the national park, the work BDF does and the current PACT Grant. The main objective of PACT Grant project is to improve infrastructure within the park in order to provide professional educational tours, research and touristic opportunities to increase revenue generation for park sustainability. A system will also be put in place for the monitoring of illegal logging and commercial extraction of medicinal plants, plant products and poaching.
The women’s group in San Antonio (where the park is located) also prepared a traditional dish of escabeche for them to experience and corn porridge for dessert. They enjoyed both as their staple dish is made from corn. Chibesa also learned to make the corn tortilla, a recipe she plans to try at home.
Of all our experiences, we found that like Belizeans, Zambians are very hospitable and friendly people and we all got along great! We plan to maintain contact with ZEMA to assist as the fund develops.
Although Okra is full on nutrition, many people refrain from eating them due to the fact that they don't know how to prepare them. This recipe will show you how to make them as a side dish to any menu. After frying, the okra tastes sweet and the combination of the onions make them irresistible.
Belize Reggaeton News: Multifacetico Records proudly presents Baby It's You (Yo Te Quiero) Music Video
I am proud to bring to you this fresh new music video -- originally produced here in Belize. I have to commend these guys on the amount of work that was put towards the compilation of this awesome video.
Multifacectico Records proudly presents "Baby Its You (Yo Te Quiero)" music video shot in the beautiful Caves Branch Jungle Lodge in the Cayo District, Belize.
TENSIONS HIGH AT BENQUE BORDER AFTER FLARE UP OVER STOLEN TRUCK
Tensions are elevated at the Benque Viejo border tonight - after a heated incident today. The fuss is over this pickup truck, a 2008 L200 Sportero - that has the marks of a stolen vehicle.
It was parked at the Benque Viejo-Melchor border crossing, in the area known as No-Man's-Land on Tuesday and left there. And then customs and police noticed that the Mexican license plates had been removed.
So, just before noon today they moved to impound the pickup with a tow-truck - and that set off a firestorm of protest from vested interests on the Guatemalan side of the border - including the woman who claims that she owns the truck - along with taxi drivers and money changers.
They claimed that the truck was parked in Guatemalan territory - and they called police on that side of the border to get it back. Armed Guatemalan Civil Police responded - with vehicles, on the Belize side of the border!
It could have escalated into a major incident, but fortunately, calmer heads prevailed and the Officer Commanding from Benque Viejo, Superintendent Ralph Moody called his counterpart in Melchor to demonstrate to him that the vehicle was in Belize, and that the person claiming to be the owner was not.
And that's because the owner is nowhere to be found - likely because the pickup was stolen. That is confirmed by the fact that the VIN number has been tampered with - and the vehicle is registered to someone in Chetumal. You can see the VIN number in this picture where they have tried to change the "P" into a "B".
It came to Belize through the northern border and then was left off to the side at the western border - probably until a stolen vehicle ring or rings could make arrangements to slip it into Melchor.
BATTERED WOMAN SPEAKS ABOUT MAN HUSBAND WHO THREATENED A BUTANE BOMB
Last night we told you about Jose Marciano Mendez - the Orange Walk man - who threatened to blow up himself and his entire block because of a domestic dispute with his wife.
He is now recovering from fairly minor burns and is pending charges of attempted arson.
But it turns out his very dangerous action is only the culmination of a history of abuse. His wife who has been a victim for over a decade today told Monica Bodden about the history of violence.
We warn you that some of the content she discusses may not be suitable for children.
Here's the story...
Monica Bodden reporting
A domestic dispute turned into attempted suicide around 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon - When the alleged abuser tried to blow himself up with butane gas.
It happened at the home of 41 year old Evangelina Correa - which is located on San Narciso Street in Orange Walk Town.
BRIAN BROWN GOES TO COURT, BUT FAMILY COURT
On Wednesday, we told you about the elusive Brian Brown who turned himself into police in the presence of his attorney. Well today, he was taken to court - but not any regular court.
Brown couldn't be arraigned in Magistrate's Court, because all the Magistrates were finishing up a 2-day seminar.
But he had to be arraigned, so he was taken instead to Family Court, which only deals with minors and family-related matters.
In court, Brown was read eight charges. The first 6 were all drug trafficking counts for 800 grams of crack cocaine, plus another 307 grams of crack cocaine totaling about two and a half pounds.
Then there's 110 grams of cannabis, 361 grams of cannabis, 291 grams of cannabis, and 17 grams of cocaine, which police say they found in 6 different areas of the house.
He was also charged with one count of possession of a bong, and finally, he was also charge with one count of possession of an unregistered bullet proof vest.
NOT FOR PROFIT GETS PREYED ON BY THIEVES
The Humana People to People Store on King Street in Belize City is a not for profit store - its revenues go to help needy children.
But that hasn't stopped criminals from preying on the store this past week.
Over the long weekend, burglars broke in through the back door and stole over 13,000 dollars' worth of clothing merchandise.
The store's profit, made from the sale of that merchandise, is funnelled to the parent organization, Humana, which is an NGO that helps children around the country.
This morning, we spoke to the storekeeper, who asked appear off-camera, and she told us about the discovery of the burglary when they opened on Tuesday morning.
Here's how she explained it:
Voice of: Carminia De La Fuente - Shopkeeper, Humana People to People Store
"We closed Saturday evening around 3:30-4 o'clock in the evening, and we didn't come back until Tuesday because Monday was a holiday, so we came back Tuesday morning. When we came in here in the morning, we found out that the backdoor was broken in, and that some bails were missing, also clothing inside the shop. The backdoor was all in pieces, and we call the police. They came about half-an-hour later for the report."
"So, tell us about what was stolen."
Voice of: Carminia De La Fuente
"We have wholesale and retail in the shop. The wholesale, we lost 19 bails which came up to a total $10,820 in wholesale. And in the retail, we lost 710 pieces, which came out to $2,670, to a total of $13,490 as our losses. This is the 3rd - the second that it has been broken into, and we had robbery when it was opened. So this was the 3rd time we are having a loss. Humana is an NGO, and we have child-aid in Toledo and Corozal, so whatever profits we make here, it's for those organizations. So whenever we have a loss, they have a loss."
MAN ESCAPES DEATH BY MISFIRING GUN
Belize City Resident Raymundo Chi tells police that he could have been killed last night - if the gun being pointed at him hadn't snapped, twice(!).
It happened around 7:15 on La Croix Boulevard when the 27 year old Chi was standing near his vehicle. He says a man named Richard - who he has known for the past 14 years - started an argument with him. Chi got back into his car, when Richard took out a handgun, pointed it at him, and pulled the trigger twice, but somehow the gun did not fire. Chi drove off and police are looking for this Richard who lives on Antelope Street.
NEW MARKETING BOSS AT BTB, COMING OVER FROM BTB
Earlier this month, we reported that Laura Esquivel had gotten the nod to be the new Acting Director of Tourism. That has been confirmed today in an official release along with the announcement of another appointment: New Director of Marketing Alyssa Carnegie - who is presently the boss the Government Press Office.
Carnegie will take over from Yanick Dalhouse - who has been on secondment from Belize's tourism marketing firm in Wisconsin, BVK. No date for Carnegie's transition has been announced - but we know she has to give a month's notice.
The issue as we understand it is that no replacement Director for the Press Office has been identified.
JOSE SHOMAN HAD TO BE READY FOR WHATEVER
Tonight, 23 year old Norman Slusher is in police custody pending charges for murder and attempted murder. Slusher is the man accused of killing Jason Canto at barbershop in Belize City two weeks ago.
He hasn't been charged yet - because he was only just released from the hospital. He has been recovering from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdominal area.
Those shots were fired by a businessman, Jose Shoman, who was defending himself - after Slusher and another man charged into the barbershop with guns.
Slusher and his accomplice could have been trying to pull off a very daring hit, or could have been going to rob the bejeweled Shoman, but as we'll show you tonight, they crossed paths with a man, who had to be on guard at all times - even when he was at a canal side barbershop.
Here's the story:..
Jules Vasquez reporting Jose Shoman is probably the only Belizean - and certainly the only wealthy Belizean - who has ever come forward to publicly expose a plot to harm his family:
(December 15, 2008)
"They would have gained entry by force, try to have everyone tied up and then robbed for what they can and then after that then wouldn't leave any witnesses; they would have started with my children, my wife, and the rest of the family. This isn't something to be taken lightly."
FLEET FOOTED FIREMEN GRADUATE
Today, 24 recruits graduated from training to become full-fledged fire fighters for the National Fire Service.
It's the first pass-out for the department for the 2011-2012 term, and it was celebrated with a ceremony at the Cleghorn Street Fire-station.
7News was there, and we got a chance speak to this year's star recruits about the challenging nature of their 15 week training, and what's next now that they are official members of the department.
Here's what they told us:
Col. Francis Thomas - Fire Chief
"Today marked end of the second step toward increasing the human resources for the Fire Service. This is intake one of 2012, and these guys have been trained in the basic fire-fighter drills. They've been taught how to handle the ladder, the hoses, how to use the pump, how to conduct search-and-rescue, and RTA in terms of vehicle accidents. They've been posted to different districts and stations within the country, so that we can have adequate numbers at the different stations. Right now, we have only 2 fire-fighters manning each one of these vehicles, as it is."
HELP FOR HATTIEVILLE
There are all kinds of statistics about schools and schoolchildren - but no statistic to say how many of those school kids have hungry bellies that keep them from learning.
The best school administrators can do is set up feeding programmes, but finding the resources to keep those running can be a challenge.
That's why the Hattieville Government School is happy for a partnership with the Consortium for Belizean Development, an international non-profit organization which offers aid to Belizeans.
Back in November of 2010, representatives of the organization toured the school and took special interest in its feeding program, which was desperately in need of equipment.
They promised help to the feeding program's organizers, and today, they delivered. The director of the organization officially handed over a donation of a heavy-duty commercial stove and a deep freezer to improve the efficiency of the feeding program.
Here's what the Director of the Consortium, and the Belize District Education Officer had to say:
Luis Richards, Director for Consortium for Belize Development
"On behalf of members of the consortium for the Belizean development I take this opportunity to make this presentation to your school of a brand new 6 burner commercial stove with a working oven and a full size deep freezer so that more food can be stored and a large gas tank filled with propane."
"We are hoping that with these donations the community group led by Mrs. Coleman will be able to prepare for not just some of the students but all of the students who can benefit from the feeding program."
Slain 11 year old laid to rest
The sixth child to be killed in the past two years as a result of street violence was laid to rest this afternoon. Eleven year old Daniel Matura, a standard three student of the Muslim Community Primary School, was churched at the Muslim Masjid on Central American Boulevard where family, peers and friends were overwhelmed [...]
US to help destroy Cuthkelvin’s Meth precursor containers
The Customs Department seized six containers measuring forty feet each in March. They have been sitting at the Customs compound since then under close surveillance. The cargo in the containers is methylamine hydrochloride, which is known to be used for the manufacturing of methamphetamines or crystal meth, a highly addictive drug. Its value has been [...]
American Sugar Refining to purchase Belize Sugar Industries
The sale of the Belize Sugar Industries is inching toward fruition. Negotiations for American Sugar Refining to purchase controlling shares of B.S.I. continued today at Tower Hill Factory where executives of the Belize Workers Union met with the management of B.S.I. to agree on the terms under which the union will relinquish its majority stake [...]
Premature Release of Sugar Industry called ambush, deceit and trickery
But prior to this morning’s meeting, the sale was running into trouble. A press release was issued to the media castigating BSI and the Board of Directors of B.S.I. Employee Holdings Ltd. for what the Belize Workers Union describes as, “tactics of ambush, deceit and trickery.” The memo also urged all workers to abstain from [...]
Bulletproof jacket not prison proof for Brian Brown
The infamous Brian Brown was on the run for a week, after the GSU spent hours raiding his Fabers Road property on May sixteenth and found a cache of illegal items, including cocaine. Brown, accompanied by Attorney Dickie Bradley, handed himself over to police on Wednesday and was taken to court this afternoon. The arraignment [...]
2011 Human Rights Report aims at Belize
The United States Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 has been released. Almost two hundred countries were evaluated for human rights issues. In respect of Belize, the report highlights numerous instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian control. The worst abuse documented was the use of excessive force [...]
What kind of Hurricane Season is expected for 2012?
The 2012 hurricane season officially starts on June first, but there have already been two named storms. Tropical Storms Alberto formed more than a week early near South Carolina while Hurricane Bud recently weakened to a tropical storm as it headed to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. While that put a lot of people on edge, [...]
Fire Service gets new recruits
After training for three months, two dozen recruits donned their well starched and crisp uniforms and received certificates as full-fledged firefighters at a ceremony held this morning at the Fire Department in Belize City. They all had their personal stories on why they chose to take on the risky career. And among their ranks we [...]
Trail begins after San Pedro security guard murdered
Trial began today against one four persons accused of killing San Pedro Security Guard, Antonio Almendarez during a burglary at Fido’s Restaurant on July twenty-sixth 2005. Shandoy Jeffords was charged, not with murder, but with Manslaughter. The allegations are that when Almendarez was tied up and gagged, injuries were caused to his neck which proved [...]
Humana People to People burglarized by inhumane
Humana People to People is an international movement that assists children and families in need. In Belize, one of its initiatives is a used clothing store on King Street, which raises funds for the cause. But sometime between Saturday and Tuesday, the store was broken into and cleaned out by thieves. The Manager, thirty-one year [...]
How to tell if you are financially literate
Do you know how to pinch pennies and save wisely? Well, if you don’t you might learn some ‘money sense’ from Unity Presbyterian Primary on Antelope Street Extension. Since last year the school has been a part of a financial literacy pilot project. The school got onboard the program called ‘Project Belize’ launched by Price [...]
B.T.B. gains new members to its ranks
We reported on May sixteenth that Laura Esquivel Frampton was moving up as Director of Tourism. The Belize Tourism Board today issued a release, officially announcing that Frampton, who was the Director of Quality Assurance for four years, is now the Acting Director of Tourism. Her achievements in the tourism industry include the launch of [...]
Have an awesome time with the Liberty Winds Quintet
The Liberty Winds, you might not have heard of them before but they are a renowned classical wind quintet. The five musicians are known for the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn. They have travelled across North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, performing alongside major ensembles and orchestras. Their collection includes a [...]
Man Threatens To Blow Up His House With Him Inside
Today the life of residents living on San Narciso Street were placed at risk by a man who threatened to take away his own life by blowing up his house with him inside. Reports are that a few weeks Marciano Mendez and his common-law wife were involved in a domestic dispute. Eva Correa decided to leave Mendez allegedly after months of abuse. And that is what led to today’s incident. Reporter Hipolito Novelo and cameraman Kenric Simpson have the story.
At around 4:00 this afternoon spectators clustered on San Narciso Street, ironically, expecting a big explosion. Fortunately that didn’t happen. What did happen though is that Marciano Mendez, better known as “Gordo”, put the lives of the entire neighbourhood at risk.
With the intention of taking away his life Mendez opened the gas tank and cut the hose that connects to the stove releasing deadly fumes inside his residence. Reports are that Mendez then demanded to see his common-law-wife, Eva Correa, within 15 minutes or else he would blow up the house and the entire neighbourhood. Fearing for their lives neighbours called the fire and police department. Police Officers were the first on the scene and right after their arrival a small explosion was heard coming from inside the house.
Sandro Urbina, Witness
“The thing is that I was sleeping and my mother woke me up and she told me to come and see at the back. So when I did I saw Dragon Unit in the property and I just saw this big explosion of fire. I told my mom to go to the front just to be safe but then I was hearing fireman. I went to my house to see if anybody was in our property and I saw the man surrendered. The firemen were splashing waters and after a while the police came in and arrested him. He was acting like if he couldn’t get up and then the police with their batons they were whopping him on his leg and all over his foot. Then a police officer got so angry that he started hitting hit harder with his baton and took him.”
Dismembered Bodies unidentifiable U.S Embassy Seeks Information
Twelve days ago Mexican authorities found the dismembered bodies of 49 people stuffed in bags and dumped on a main road leading to Texas near the northern city of Monterrey, in what appeared to be the latest in a string of drug gang killings. The bodies of 43 men and six women were found on an isolated stretch of road, scattered in a pool of blood at the entrance to the town of San Juan, on a highway leading from Monterrey to the border city of Reynosa. According to international reports a banner found at the site left a threatening message in the name of the Zetas drug cartel.
The bodies were found in the early hours of Sunday May 13th, seeing the large deployment of local, state and military officials to the scene. Complicating the investigation and the identification of the bodies is the fact that all the victims were headless and hands and feet were also missing. Speculations are that the victims, who it is believed were killed at another location at least two days before their bodies were found, might be immigrants. As mentioned the bodies were mutilated beyond recognition making it difficult for the victims to be identified.
In sight of this revelation the U.S Embassy is asking the general public if they know of any missing Belizean who was traveling to the United States by land in mid-May 2012 to contact the U.S Embassy Section by e-mail at [email protected] or by telephone at 822-4011 extensions 4245, 4224 or 4223. The U.S. Embassy Consular Section will forward all inquiries to the appropriate authorities.
So far security forces in Mexico have arrested Daniel Jesus Elizondo known as El Loco or the Madman. Elizondo is said to be the local leader of the Zetas cartel that left threatening massages alongside the corpses. He was detained on May 18th in Northern Nuevo Leon where the 49 mutilated bodies were found.
Vehicle Vendors To Pay $30.00 Fee For Use Of Space
News coming out of the Orange Walk Town Council tonight is that a $30.00 fee will be charged to vendors stationed at the east side of the Central Park. That’s right where vendors are constantly seen selling vehicles and other items. Nine spaces have been allotted to the 13 vendors and basically they will be paying $1.00 a day for their use of the space. Orange Walk Town Mayor Kevin Bernard shared more details.
Kevin Bernard, Mayor, O/W
“The council has earlier made a decision in terms of the changes we are talking about within the town when it comes to spaces used by vendors, whether vehicle vendors or market vendors we are putting cost to these things and assigning a rate to those vendors that are utilizing our space especially the prime space around the Central Park. I want to state openly for the record that this council intention is to bring back life to Central Park we want to renovate the park we already started doing some work there but the whole long term plan is to really bring back the park for the people of Orange Walk.”
Vendors were informed of the changes yesterday during a meeting held between them and members of the council. As was expected the news did not go too well for certain merchants.
Kevin Bernard, Mayor, O/W
“The council has decided that $30.00 per month will be charged to each vehicle vendor for the nine spots that are allocated to them. Yesterday we met with the vendors and some agreed to pay and some said they will not pay. Initially the charge would have been $50.00; I went back to the council and then took the response back and informed them that it was $30.00 and so there was a bit of back and fourth and I took the matter back to the council and the council made the decision that what will be charged is $30.00 and that would be the final decision.”
According to Mayor Bernard an official letter informing vendors about the council’s final decision was handed out to them this afternoon.
Special Needs Student Goes To High School
A few weeks ago 7176 students across the country sat the P.S.E. Here in the Orange Walk District 911 students, including 2 private candidates and 9 special Ed students, sat the exam. Mindy Uk, a student of Saint Peters Anglican School is one of the Special Ed students that registered to sit the exam this year. She is still awaiting the results which are expected to be released by the end of June. But Mindy, like many other students will not have to wait until the results of the exams are in to find out if she was accepted by a high school. UK, who is visually impaired, has been accepted at Technical High School becoming one of the first Special Ed students from Orange Walk to be accepted by a high school within the district. And today the good news just came pouring in for the 16 year old who received a laptop from Cuellos Distillery Limited.
Mindy Uk- Laptop Recipient
“I want to be a radio announcer. This is something that I have like since I am small. I like music and to send text messages and to send request for the people who are listening. I listen to radio everyday and to the radio announcers and I want to be like them. I want o talk on Fiesta F.M.
Paula Lizarraga- Itinerary Resource Officer Orange Walk
“We taught that when she reached standard six she would say this is it I am going to stay home, I have accomplished what I wanted but no she was persistent and she said I need to take my P.S.E, I need to go to high school and all of us were like what, what is the other step coming. We were all surprised really even Miss Briceno, her mom was surprised too and we said lets give it a shot and she has had good support.
Three Scholarships Awarded In Memory Of Greg Flowers
On Monday November 28th 2011 we ran the story of 17 year old Greg Flowers. Flowers, was an aspiring UB student whose dreams and goals were halted by fate after he drowned in the Macal River in Belmopan on Friday November 25th 2011. Over 6 months have passed since the tragic accident and Flowers’ memory still lives on. Determined to make a difference, Greg’s mother, Lara Flowers, who lives in the US, teamed up with Greg’s aunt, Beverly Flowers, who just happens to be the principal of Carmelita Government School and provided three scholarships to needy students in Greg’s memory.
Greg Flowers was a brilliant student. After successfully completing Muffles College High School, Flowers decided to further his studies at the University of Belize in Belmopan where he focused his studies in Science. But on Friday November 25th 2011, death came knocking on Flowers’ door. In the click of a second the aspirations of the 17 year old were completely wiped out as he drowned in the Macal River in Belmopan.
Today his Facebook page has been plastered with condolence messages. Most of the wall posts are dedicated to his memory- memories when he was a student, a friend and a son. Determined to keep her sons memory alive, Lara Flowers, in collaboration with her sister Beverly Flowers, provided three scholarships to needy students from Carmelita Government Primary School and Trinidad Government Primary School.
Fuel Prices Finally See A Reduction
Tonight there is some good news for fuel consumers. After several consecutive price hikes since January 1st 2012, fuel prices at all gas pumps countrywide finally saw a reduction at midnight yesterday. This is surely good news for consumers who for the past four months have found the need to dig deeper into their pockets to purchase a gallon of fuel. Now, fuel prices did not see a dramatic decrease but in these hard economical times any reduction is welcomed. Premium saw a reduction of 81 cents as it went from $12.32 to $11.51. Regular on the other, hand saw a reduction of 41 cents as it will now be sold for $11.05 per gallon. Diesel went from $10.85 to $10.39 seeing a reduction of 46 cents. Kerosene was the only fuel that did not see a reduction as it remained at $8.70 per gallon.
New market for Dangriga
A special ceremony for the launch of the Dangriga market project took place today. We join correspondent Harry Arzu for the details.
Major burglary in Belmopan
A major burglary has been reported in Belmopan. Businessman Kashi Raza Jaffery, 35, reported to police that sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday, his establishment, namely Bismillah Furniture located on Forest Drive in Belmopan was burglarized. Jaffery says that an assortment of electronics and household items, in addition to $595 in cash was stolen in the burglary. When the cost of the stolen items was added up, the total value was placed at $20,510. Police investigations continue.
Teen shot in the elbow during altercation
A sixteen year old boy was the victim of a shooting incident in Belmopan. The incident happened on Wednesday in the Salvapan area of the capital and police say Yasmani Aguirre was shot in the right elbow during an altercation. According to police, Aguirre was assisting friends in fixing a motorcycle when they were accosted by four persons who were armed with machetes and two homemade firearms. During the confrontation, police say one of the men began chopping up the motorcycle and that Aguirre tried to chase them off by throwing rocks at the group. It was then that one of the attackers fired a shot which caught Aguirre in the right elbow.
Busted with bags of weed in her house
An anti-drug operation in Belize City on Wednesday morning has led to the discovery of a large amount of Marijuana and the arrest of one woman. Police say that during the operation, a search was conducted at the home of thirty three year old Teresita Elena Flores on Pelican Street Extension, which led to the discovery of multiple bags all containing marijuana. When weighed, police say the drugs totaled sixteen thousand, seven hundred and ten grams, or just over thirty six pounds of weed. Teresita Elena Flores was arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking.
City administrators prepare for Hurricane Season
June first is fast approaching and this means that for six months thereafter, the hurricane season will take centre stage on many people’s agendas. The Belize City Council is no different and today, the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, met to discuss the issues that will be relevant in the event a storm threatens the old capital. Top on the agenda is the integrity and worthiness of hurricane shelters, and Councilor Philip Willoughby said that whatever shelters appear on the list are ready to be used.
CEMO also announced that it will no longer house its CEMO headquarters at the Charles Bartlet Building on Mahogany Street. In fact, in the event of a hurricane, CEMO will now station itself inside one of the City’s media houses. The planners over at CEMO said that it will use the third floor of Channel Five’s building on Coney Drive to conduct its operations during a hurricane. This raised concerns among reporters present but according to Councilor Willoughby, it is all for safety reasons.
Willoughby says that CEMO’s usage of Channel Five’s building is a goodwill gesture and will come at no cost to the Council. Meanwhile, the buildings that will be used as such in Belize City are as follows — on the south side: Salvation Army and Queen’s Square Primary Schools, Grace Primary’s new school building, the Maud Williams High School, Saint John Vianney Primary, Saint Martin de Porres and Saint Luke’s Primary Schools, and the new Presbyterian Primary School on Antelope Street Extension. One the north side, City residents can shelter at the UB Education and Engineering buildings, Pallotti High School, and Trinity Methodist School.
Hurricane season a week away
The 2012 Hurricane Season official starts on June first; but there are already named storms and even hurricanes swirling in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Residents of the hurricane-prone areas such as the Caribbean and Belize may be able to breathe a sigh of relief this year as forecasters at Colorado State University say a less-active hurricane season is in store. Meteorologists Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray say there is a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. They forecast 10 named storms in the Atlantic Basin, of which only four will become hurricanes and two will become major hurricanes. A major hurricane is a category 3, 4 or 5 storm. That compares to an average of 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes and three major hurricanes a year for the period of 1981-2010. The forecasters base their prediction on the cooling of the Atlantic Ocean over the past several months and the increased chances of an El Nino, or warming of Pacific waters, over this year’s hurricane season.
Fire Department sees its first pass out for 2012
This morning in Belize City 24 fire fighters made it through 15 tough weeks of training. Today was payday when they...
Dispute brewing within the Bus Terminal Taxi Cooperative
Dispute may be brewing with the Bus Terminal Taxi Cooperative. Seems that some new members -four to be exact - have...
One resident's 'handyman' efforts causes catastrophe in neighborhood
The rains are here and with excess deluge come major run-offs - Belmopan is famous for massive downpours and draina...
BTL hosts youth motivational conferences
Belize Telemedia Limited partnered with different organizations to host two days of motivational conferences for yo...
Belize City clothing store is target of black market bandits
A popular used clothing store was the latest target of Belize City burglars. Carminia De La Fuente the Shop Manager...
San Ignacio anchors weekend Cancer Walk
The San Ignacio Branch of the Belize Cancer Society will be holding a Cancer Walk in recognition of Cancer Month. T...
Marsha Reid goes to jail for lover’s murder
Yesterday morning (May 24), 38 year old Marsha Reid turned herself into Dangriga Police as she was the only suspect...
Domestic dispute takes bizarre turn
On Thursday afternoon (May 24) Orange Walk Police responded to a domestic dispute at #18 San Narciso Street. They s...
Sarteneja fishermen still lost at sea
Sarteneja Fishermen are still lost at sea. On Saturday April 21st, 59 year old Silverio Tepaz, Tiobaldo Tepaz and M...
Man escapes uninjured after gunman opens fire
Raymundo Chi a 27 year old Belize City resident reported that on Thursday May 24 he was inside his vehicle on La Cr...
Teen detained in connection to illegal gunplay
Last night we shared about the shooting of 16 year old Yasmani AGUIRRE here in the City of Belmopan. Police have de......
Tourist hangs himself in hotel room
Nicholas Theodore Pappas, 57, an American who was on a visit to San Pedro Town, was found with a rope tied around his neck attached to the railing of his hotel room in the island town.
Primary schoolers march for Daniel Matura, 11
The children demand “peace and justice, now!” Is anyone listening? Fueled by grief over the sudden loss of one of their own - 11-year-old Daniel Matura, a standard three student killed on Monday morning, May 21, and propelled by frustration by the authorities’ seeming inability to stop the crime wave that has taken fifty-two lives to date this year, including twenty-five in Belize City, it was the turn of students of the Muslim Community Primary School on Central American Boulevard, accompanied by their older fellow students from Excelsior High School and St. John Vianney R.C. down the street on Fabers Road, to take to the streets, demanding peace and justice, NOW!
Three charged with Oasis Restaurant robbery
Bayview Oasis Restaurant and Bar is located at Mile 4 ½ on the Northern Highway; it’s a place to dine, imbibe and enjoy the atmosphere. But at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, it “posed” as the perfect place to carry out a robbery.
Cop, brother and friend charged for brazen M/Health Hilux theft
The Hilux was stolen from the Central Health Region compound on May 8... The gold Hilux, the third vehicle to have been stolen from the Ministry of Health, was reported stolen by Mark Arnold on May 8, and details were sent out for assistance in recovering the vehicle. The VIN for the vehicle isMROFR22GX00530497, bearing license plates BMP B-0136, and it was valued at $44,500.
Stabbed to death in his sleep
She was charged by Dangriga police today, but because no magistrate was available in Dangriga to arraign her, she was taken to Belmopan, where the arraignment was conducted. Police allege that she was the person who killed her boyfriend, Corporal Donovan Castillo, 37, of the Belize Coast Guard, while he was sleeping in his home in Dangriga.
Retaliatory shooting on Boulevard kills Daniel Matura, 11
The family of Kaylon Matura, 28, who was killed last Wednesday right outside his home on Central American Boulevard, were making final preparations to lay him to rest later that day. His young cousin, Daniel, 11, had just seen the body lying in state and was on his way to do an errand.
Belizean Americas win 2nd Annual Belize Golf World Cup sponsored by Corkers Restaurant
$1,050.00 was raised and will be donated to the Dangriga Cancer Society by tournament sponsors Corkers Restaurant and the Belize Amateur Golf Association.
FFB delegation to FIFA Congress in Budapest, Hungary
On Monday, May 21, a delegation from the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) left for Budapest, Hungary to attend the 62nd FIFA Congress and 2nd Medical Conference.
BAAA contingent to Central American Junior Championships in Salvador
Leaving by bus yesterday afternoon from the Civic Center compound was a Belizean contingent of student athletes to the Central American Junior Championships in athletics which are being held in San Salvador, El Salvador from Friday, May 25 to Sunday, May 27.
Christian Sports Reach ‘ballers undefeated, drop Tigersharks, 53-42
For the second year in a row, the visiting Sports Reach basketball team out of Campbellsville, Kentucky, USA, has maintained a spotless record against local teams, as they expanded their record to 5-0 in games played over the past week in Orange Walk, Belmopan and now Belize City with a 53-42 victory last night over San Pedro Tigersharks at Birds Isle. Though there is no Belizean semi-pro league right now, the Tigersharks are not exactly pushovers, as they feature Keith “Superman” Acosta and Stephen “Muerte” Williams. The Sports Reach squad also had a 5-0 record last year. They arrived in Belize on Saturday last, have played every night since, and should have little difficulty with tonight’s encounter in San Pedro with a San Pedro High School selection.
Lee Mark Chang’s election petition against Francis Fonseca “stillborn:” Courtenay
Witnesses in election petition against Francis Fonseca, alleging bribery, do not sign new affidavits in time for hearing; CJ strikes out case... Fonseca’s attorney calls bribery allegations “scurrilous”... “I would say that perhaps this is good for Belize because let the warning go out that where a person even attempts to bribe, it can bring a candidate crashing down,” said Young.
Daniel Matura, 11 – the pain
For any Belizean with a heart watching the television news on Tuesday night, it was just simply (but excruciatingly) painful. There was the photo of 11-year-old Daniel Matura. His young, tender, innocent life was snuffed out of him by a sick young man with a stupid gun.
Ideas and Opinions - Crime and Corruption
They are two of the main reasons why the quality of our lives is not what we would like it to be. We are entitled to expect a better quality of life, than we now have because, we live in a democratic state, where the people choose citizens, who put themselves forward as persons of honor and integrity, to govern us and, serve our best interests. Putting yourself forward as someone who may be entrusted to serve the nation, by pursuing those two noble objectives, is to undertake to complete a sacred contract. Serving your fellow countrymen is serving your Creator, which is in compliance with the first commandment. You are not elected to be a Member of the House of Representatives, and be called Honorable, to use your high office for any other purpose than to serve the people.
Editorial: On our own...
In the United Kingdom (UK) earlier this week, the Deputy Prime Minister admitted that there was a yawning gap between the life chances of the disadvantaged and the affluent. Essentially, he was forced to admit that in the UK, once you are born poor, you stay poor. An alarming study had revealed that, among other inequalities, only 7 percent of their children attend private schools, but these schools provide 70 percent of the High Court judges.
We need a counter-revolution
The world human rights agenda is supremely hypocritical. Since 1973when Roe VS Wade legalised abortions in the USA, hundreds of millions of the most innocent human beings - unborn babies, have been brutally murdered with the consent of their own mothers.