FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
WEEKLY WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: May 28 – June 4, 2012
Two systems were responsible for the outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms last week and over the weekend. The first was a persistent low pressure area over and just offshore Belize that eventually drifted NE towards Cuba by late Wednesday. While, in the upper atmosphere, a westward drifting short-wave trough moved over Belize on Sunday and its axis now extends from NW Bahamas south-westward across the eastern Gulf of Mexico and central Yucatan Peninsula and Guatemala. This feature is forecast to continue its westwards displacement as an upper anticyclone migrates westward over northern Central America by Thursday of this week.
A weak tropical wave will make its way westward over the central and western Caribbean this week, reaching the Yucatan and Belize coasts by late Wednesday. Otherwise, the airflow in the NW Caribbean will become drier in a weak SE’ly current as we approach the weekend. Showers may likely be on the increase once again on Sunday afternoon and Monday.
Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch over north-western and northern Belize on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, with amounts of 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch in the higher terrain and some parts of the coast. Daily accumulations will decrease on Thursday through most of the weekend over the country as the airflow becomes drier and more stable. We can expect daily totals of 0.10-0.25 of an inch especially in the N and NW regions.
Tropical Cyclone Outlook:
The models are not forecasting any tropical cyclone formation over the Caribbean during the next five days.
CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report
El Pescador Fishing Report, Week of May 20 – 27th, 2012
I heard Judy say the other day, “We are having an early summer and that’s all there is to it.” OK. I agree. As long as we have short periods of rain, I’m OK. But shut out days are tough. We did have one of those, but everyone was a super good sport. And when the weather cleared, some headed up the beach to chase tailing bones, and then some went in the lagoon and found adventure standing in the canoe and casting to schools of bones as they passed by...
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
Red Cross Holds Basic First Aid Training in San Pedro
The Belize Red Cross, in coordination with the San Pedro Red Cross volunteers conducted a basic first aid training session on Ambergris Caye. The training took place upstairs of Fido’s Courtyard on Saturday, May 19th and saw the participation of 30 community members. The training was facilitated by Red Cross Instructors Delcy Berry of Belize City and Chris Berry of Belmopan City.
During the training, participants were given an overview of basic first aid and its importance in saving lives, the Good Samaritan Law which involves obtaining consent from an injured person prior to administering first aid, methods to implement safety measures to prevent disease transmission while administering first aid, the steps to take in implementing emergency actions and administering Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and other basic first aid. The training covered written material, oral participation and hands on practical training using mannequins.
23 million dollar CARILED project launched by T&T PM while in Belize
Belize hosted a major Caricom meeting and a three-day forum that saw the launching of a $23 million dollar project by the Trinidadian Prime Minister Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is an organization of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM’s main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy.
The three-day event saw the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) forum which drew the participation of the Commonwealth Secretary General His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Ministers of Local Government of the Caribbean, Local Government Leaders and representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The event took place from Wednesday, May16th and ran through Friday, May 18th at the Princess Hotel in Belize City and was hosted by Minister of Local Government Hon Senator Godwin Hulse and former Mayor of Belize and outgoing Chair of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) Zenaida Moya.
Kindest Kid San Pedro Award Winner announced
Be Kind Belize on May 24th announced the winner of the first ever Kindest Kid San Pedro Award. The announcement and presentation of awards were done during a well attended Youth Rally at the Rafael Angel Nunez at the San Pedro High School. The first place award winner is Mariano Calderon of Island Academy. Second place was awarded to Faith Azueta from San Pedro Roman Catholic School while the Be Kind Belize Choice Award went to Naomi King from Island Academy.
According to Colette Kase of Be Kind Belize, the idea of the Kindest Kid San Pedro Award was for the schools and community to recognize and award students that are exceptionally kind. “We hope that the community can take notice and that other children can take them as a role model and for them to find out that kindness is not something that they should avoid but something they should embrace,” said Kase. It is the hope of the organizer that through the award program, which she hopes will be done annually, children will be able to be more kind to their friends, family, animals, the environment and to the community and for them to understand how important it is to be kind.
Minimum wage increases approved by GOB
The general public is hereby advised that the Honourable Senator Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management, in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by section 7(6) of the Wages Councils Act, Chapter 302 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition, 2000-2003, signed Statutory Instrument No. 55 THE WAGES COUNCIL (WAGES REGULATION) (CONSOLIDATION) (AMENDMENT) ORDER, 2012 and Statutory Instrument No. 56 WAGES REGULATIONS (MANUAL WORKERS) (AMENDMENT) ORDER, 2012 on the 8th May, 2012, which has been Gazette on the 26th May, 2012.
Statutory Instrument No. 55 The Wages Council (Wages Regulation) (Consolidation) (Amendment) ORDER, 2012, provides for:
Un-skilled workers employed in the citrus industry in cleaning, picking, transporting, processing and handling of citrus for a minimum wage of $3.30 per hour
For domestic workers employed full-time or part-time from $3.10 - $3.30 an increase of $0.20
For shop assistance employed full-time or part-time (excluding students who may be employed outside of school hours or during school vacation in premises covered by the shops act) $3.10 – $3.30 an increase of $0.20.
Statutory Instrument No. 56 Wages Regulations (Manual Workers) (Amendment) ORDER, 2012, provides for:
Manual Workers except for those who are engaged in agriculture, agro-industry or export oriented industries from $3.10 – $3.30 and increase in $0.20.
Manual Workers engaged in agriculture, agro-industry or export oriented industries from $2.50- $3.30 an increase of $0.80.
The general public is also reminded that students who may be employed outside of school hours or during school vacation in premises covered by the shops act remains at $3.00 an hour.
Guinea Grass Students and Teachers awed by field trip
Some 20 students and 5 teachers of the Guinea Grass Pentecostal School visited Belize’s Barrier Reef for the first time last weekend courtesy of Oceana in Belize. The event, part of Oceana’s community education and outreach campaign, was granted to the top 20 standard six students as a graduation treat in an attempt to expose them to Belize’s marine wonders and encourage them to learn more about, and help protect, their marine patrimony.
“Wow!” “I want to come back again tomorrow.” “I am so glad I got to make this trip.” Were some of the comments of the very excited students who explained that they learnt about some these marine areas and animals in their science class but never thought it would be so amazing to actually experience it. At part of the tour the students travelled to Caye Caulker on Saturday, May 26th. They were accompanied by Belizean tour guides who briefed them on what to expect and on the use of snorkeling gear, as none of the students had previously snorkeled
Belize host 26th CARAIFA Congress in San Pedro
San Pedro Town was the venue for the 26th annual Caribbean Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (CARAIFA) Congress which took place from the 20th to the 24th of May. The conference was celebrated under the theme “Today’s Excellence – Tomorrow’s Legacy.” Over 130 participants from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Cayman, Dominica, St Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Belize took part in the five-day event at Coco Beach Resort.
In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Congress Director Harry Pilgrim said that it is the third time that Belize has hosted the CARAIFA congress. “CARAIFA is the only organization within the Caribbean that effectively brings together insurance advisors and other professionals from across the region fostering cooperation and upholding high ethical standards within the insurance industry,” said Pilgrim.
The congress was geared to sharpen the skills of the advisors and insurance agencies to better serve their clients. Secretary General of CARAIFA Marcelle Fenton hopes that after the congress, participants would increase their professionals. “We hope that we can increase the professionalism of our members and members’ territories. If an individual is able to access individual needs and interface with people, they can ensure that when a breadwinner passes on those who are left behind will not suffer. We represent food, shelter, clothing and overall peace of mind for that family if any tragedy should occur,” said Fenton
“Tender Buff” Water Buffalo Meat… Beefier than Beef
Tender Buff (Water Buffalo meat) has been known for its nutritional qualities and it is also known for having high levels of Omega 3, a fatty acid that is commonly found in marine and plant oils. This polyunsaturated fat is known to lower triglycerides, according to a study performed by the Food Technology Institute of the INTA Castelar. Because of its nutritional qualities which give it a marketing edge in today’s more nutritionally conscious society where fat and cholesterol tend to be avoided, it has a significantly lower fat content in the lean meat, it is less prone to marbling (white flecks of fat within the meat muscle) and has approximately 43% less cholesterol than beef, according to the Australian buffalo industry council inc report. Meat is a good source of proteins and irons, yet its consumption has been associated with unfavorable cardiovascular effects. Whether this applies to all types of meat it is unclear. A study done by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in September 2010 showed and came to the conclusion that the consumption of Tender Buff (water buffalo meat) seems to be associated with several beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk profile, specifically, water buffalo meat has less fat and is richer in proteins. An extensive research shows that recent consumers of water buffalo meat showed a significant decrease in total cholesterol and triglycerides level, lower pulse wave velocity, as well as a more blunted response to oxidative stress in comparison with subjects who had never consumed water buffalo meat. Findings suggest that water buffalo meat could be recommended as a safer and healthier alternative to cow meat, whereas continuing to provide a substantial proportion of the recommended daily allowance of protein.
BTB Welcomes New Acting Director Of Tourism & Director Of Marketing
As the New Acting Director of Tourism, Laura 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, Laura 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 which 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 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. Mrs. Frampton currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of North Florida and is now pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration
Prime Minister leaves the country
Press Release – Belize Press Office
Belmopan, 28th May, 2012. The Office of the Prime Minister informs that Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Barrow, has had to be hospitalized in response to a complication arising out of her treatment for breast cancer.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow will leave Belize today to be by her side during this time.
During the absence of Prime Minister Barrow, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister will act as Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Barrow is expected to return to Belize at the weekend.
EU signs Financing Agreement with GOB on Climate Change
Her Excellency Paola Amadei, Head of Delegation, European Union, arrives in Belize to present her credentials to the Governor General of Belize and for an official visit, after taking office in Jamaica March of this year. Ambassador Amadei’s official visit will include the signing of a Financing Agreement with the Government of Belize (GoB) on Climate Change.
As a result of the signing of the Financing Agreement on Climate Change, Belize will benefit from a Climate Change Project entitled ‘Enhance adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change in national policies’ which aims to develop a resilient water sector and enhance climate change governance through the establishment of a Climate Change Office. The European Union (EU) will contribute Euro 2.9 mn (BZD 7.25 mn) and GoB will contribute Euro 0.3 mn (BZD 0.75 mn) to the project.
The project will support the strengthening of the National Climate Change Office which is providing economic, social and environmental expertise to meet the Government’s objectives. The proposed action also foresees to address capacity development of water governance mechanisms, such as the National Integrated Water Resources Authority, to facilitate coordination among water resource managers and users as well as provide the legal basis for responsible management of the country’s water resource base. Finally, physical interventions are foreseen in the form of pilot projects which should result in better adaptation to and/or better mitigation of the negative effects of droughts, flooding, soil erosion (also in coastal areas) and salinization.
BTB Welcomes New Acting Director Of Tourism & Director Of Marketing
Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce 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 Mrs. Laura Esquivel Frampton, and as the New Director of Marketing Mrs. Alyssa Carnegie.
Morgan Cartwight Crowned Miss ACES 2012
Ambergris Caye Elementary School held its annual Miss ACES Pageant on Friday, May 25, 2012, at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Two brave contestants gave it their all and at the end of the night lovely miss Morgan Cartwight walked away with the title of Miss ACES 2012.
Morgan Cartwight (Standard V student) and Logan Grey (Standard III student) were the only two contestants and accompanied by outgoing queen Miss Aces 2011 – Yari Flores. The girls formally introduced themselves during the casual wear segment, after which they came out in beautiful costumes depicting sea creatures. Logan presented herself as a parrot fish, giving a brief description of her costume and the creature she represented while Morgan came out dressed as a sea horse and also gave a brief description of her costume.
Work Starts on San Pedro’s New Cemetery
It is no news for residents of San Pedro to hear that the cemetery located at the end of Barrier Reef Drive on the beach side has surpassed its maximum capacity and cannot accommodate more bodies for burial. But the good news is that the San Pedro Town Council and Hon. Manuel Heredia have allocated land south of Ambergris Caye for a new cemetery.
On Thursday, May 24, 2012, Ambergris Today accompanied Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. as they made a site visit to inspect the five acres of land which was recently acquired by Central Government for a new cemetery.
Teen Talk: Drive Down Memory Lane
So this week I asked my peers: “What is the constant reminder of the inner child you turn to for bliss and comfort?”
Teen Talker: “Grandma’s food, flashbacks of times when my grandfather cut sugar cane for us to chew on, and watching adventurous innocent children on the hunt for kittens or playing with ‘mud tamales’. These touching memories constantly remind me of the bliss once lived and to keep looking forward to more.”
Steve Perera & Shelley Estephan Nuptials
“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved” With this Steve Perera (son of Eneyda Perera & Estevan Perera II) and Shelley Estephan (daughter of Dana Perdomo & Michael Estephan) sealed their love for each other in Holy Matrimony at a ceremony held at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, May 27, 2012.
Old Timer or Modern Sanpedrano? #14
When you got home for lunch during the week and you did not get a piece of pig tail in your beans, you felt cheated and on Sunday you felt cheated if you did not get corned beef soup. Your school supplies were two exercise books and a pencil or pen. You argued which empanadas and garnachas were better- Mrs. Rosita’s or Mrs. Lara’s.
Pic of the Week:
Paddle Boarding to the Bar
Paddle boarding is becoming quite common and a new popular sport here in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. After enjoying some time out paddling in front of town, these tourists spotted BC's Bar and Grill headed to shore where they started changing: "Cervecas Please". There are not many places in the world were you can paddle board up to a bar and enjoy a cold beer!
Misc Belizean Sources
BNE Trust gives Belmopan Comprehensive New Classroom
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust had their inaguration celebration earlier this month at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School. BNE built a brand new classroom building to alleviate BCHS' overcrowding. They've done many projects in Cayo over the last year, including one at Sacred Heart Primary and Santa Elena Primary schools.
Thank you, BNE Charitable Trust!
Institute of Creative Arts Poster Youth
The Institute of Creative Arts has chosen their 2012 Poster Youth. They chose one from each district. The Cayo district's Poster Youth is Vivian Mauricio. She is in the dance troupe Orchidea Negra with her sister, and if you haven't seen them, you should be sure and catch them at the next Cayo cultural event. Vivian began dancing at the age of 5 to much acclaim. She recently participated in NICH's 6 month training program, and currently teaches dance to youth.
Congratulations to Vivian, and all the Poster Youth!
NBHA Belize race pictures
The National Barrel Horse Association of Belize had another successful event this weekend. There are some good pictures in there.
Town Meetings with Minister of Education
There will be a town meeting with the MoE tonight at CET.
"The Ministry of Education is cordially inviting all stakeholders to a Public Town Meeting hosted by the Hon. Patrick Faber. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May, 29, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. at the Cayo Center for Employment Training.
The Minister will also be hosting the meeting in Belmopan of residents of that area, the meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at the Belmopan Civic Center."
Belize Zoo in Top 10 Zoos of the World
The Belize Zoo made it on the top 10 list for best zoos in the world! Of course it did, it has only local animals that have been rescued or rehabilitated, and they are kept in their natural habitiat. The Tropical Education Center got mentioned too.
"'The Best Little Zoo in the World' was founded nearly 30 years ago to provide sanctuary for wild animals used in a documentary about tropical forests. Today the zoo, located 29 miles west of Belize City, exhibits more than 150 animals native to Belize. A major draw is the represented five wildcat species found in the Central American country: jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay and jacuarundi. The Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program is just one of the zoo’s initiatives that help to promote conservation and awareness, and to protect Belize’s natural resources."
WORKING MAN KILLED IN "GHOST TOWN"
There were three murders countrywide this weekend and three shootings as well.
We start in the city where two men were killed - one figure with enemies in the underworld, and another, a working man - with no street history.
We begin with the working man - Eldon Lewis who was killed last night on Mayflower Street. Mayflower has been in the news many, many times before the base for the Ghost Town gang. Except, 37 year old Lewis was not in any gang - he was in the area to buy a one dollar weed. But something went very wrong - and he ended up riddled with bullets.
7news was on the scene last night - and here's the story:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
When we arrived on the scene, police had moved the body from where it was found under a house unto the street - another body headed form Mayflower Street to the morgue.
The playful nature of the children just feet away from a dead man show just how accustomed they have become to this kind of violence in their neighborhood.
And while these youths have had to become accustomed to violence in a community that is exploding in their midst -the deceased Eldon Lewis had his own three month old child at home this is the last thing his wife could have expected when he left home last night.
Today she stood alone outside the KHMH back entrance - she had just been to the morgue to see her dead husband:
Tanya Bowen, Wife of Deceased
"I just find out this morning like after minutes to seven, I notice that he didn't come home last night. I got up to see where he was because he is not the type of person that sleeps out. Before I reach the shop to buy a phone card to call him, Mrs. Finnegan called me and asks me if I heard that Eldon got shot."
She said he had left home to go to his usual hangout at Mayflower street.
Tanya Bowen, Wife of Deceased
"After 4 or 5 he came to ask me for one dollar, he says that he is going to buy something and come back. He never did come back."
CAR DEALER TARGETTED AND KILLED AFTER LEAVING NIGHTCLUB
The next murder is not so straightforward. It's about Anthony Mayen, a car dealer who was marked for death when he left the Tropicana Nightclub after 4:00 on Sunday morning.
Mayen and his brother were leaving the club when two men came up and opened fire on the car they were in. After the spray of gunshots, Anthony Mayen lay dead with 8 gunshot wounds. Now there are all kinds of stories in the streets about what may have led to this execution outside a nightclub, but police - publicly at least - are sticking to the straight story - and his associates are not talking.
Here's what we found out:..
Monica Bodden reporting
The murder of 42 year old Anthony Mayen happened outside the Tropicana Lounge Nightclub in Tourist Village at around 4:40 on Sunday morning.
Mayen who was at an Old School dance had just exited the nightclub along with his relative 37 year old Darrell Mayen.
The two men proceeded to their grey Mercedes Benz that was parked on Fort Street - while at their vehicle, 2 gunmen approached them and began to open fire. Mayen was shot 8 times to his body - execution style.
He received 3 gunshot wounds to his abdomen, 1 to his chest, 2 under his right armpit, 1 to the right side of his back and 1 to the right arm.
Mayen died almost instantly. His brother Darrell Mayen was shot once to his right shoulder and is listed in a stable condition.
TEENAGER KILLED IN GREATER BELMOPAN
And while those killings happened in the city, an 18 year old was murdered in Belmopan over the weekend. It happened in the Maya Mopan area just before midnight on Saturday. Valentino Coc was chopped up in his yard. The Police Press officer told us more.
Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer
"On the 26th of May police were called out to an area known as the Maya Mopan area where they saw Valentino Coc in the yard with several chop wounds to the face and right hand."
"Coc was transported to the Western Regional Hospital and eventually to the KHMH in a very critical condition. He succumbs to his injuries whilst undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital."
"What investigators have gathered is that he was involved in an altercation with some persons known to the police where he ran from that group and he was fatally injured."
CANCER COMPLICATIONS: PM GOES TO BE WITH WIFE
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country urgently today to travel to Miami to be with his wife, Kim. According to an official release - she is experiencing complications as a result of her treatment for breast cancer. As we understand it, the PM was supposed to travel later on this week - but the situation carries some urgency, so he travelled today to be with her.
No doubt it is trying, running a country, and managing a spouse's stage 3 cancer, while also raising a small child. On Saturday, the PM took part in the Cancer Walk - and told us about the difficulties of juggling his various responsibilities while managing medical emergencies that arise:..
Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"She herself is very strong and so that helps me. It's a bit of a juggling act but by and large because the trips abroad are scheduled trips, one is able to plan around them."
"Last week I had to rush out because she had a little bit of a setback. They discovered fluid in her lungs and she had to be hospitalized while the fluid was being extracted and they had to test the fluid. There was a fear that perhaps the cancer might have spread. Thank God the tests don't show that but except for that sort of thing when there is an emergency on schedule trip that I have to make - I am able to balance the two things and nowadays with technology and the ease of communication we are able to keep in touch and be on top of what's happening and so it's been manageable."
"The biggest thing though for her and by extension for me is the out pouring of support on a continuing basis for the people of this country. That's been the prayers, that's been I think the best thing about this whole experience - the way she has been so lucky to have benefitted from this tremendous show of support and genuine sympathy on the part of the Belizean people."
According to a press release, the PM is expected to return this weekend. During his absence Deputy Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister. Later on, we'll have more on the Cancer Walk.
HIV INFECTION NUMBERS DOWN, FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW
The HIV numbers for 2011 have been released and they show a decrease in the number of new infections for the fourth year in a row. A total of 226 new infections were recorded in 2011, a 7.4% decrease from 2010.
It's a quite remarkable downward trend, and the 226 cases is less than half of what was reported at the peak in 2004 - when 457 new infections were recorded.
The majority of the new cases continue to occur in the age group between 20 to 34 years. And, a higher number of new infections were reported in men even though fewer of them were tested.
Most of the cases are still concentrated in the Belize District, with Cayo and the Stann Creek showing the second and third highest numbers.
Presently, 1,358 HIV infected persons are receiving medical care from the thirteen different facilities giving anti-retroviral treatment countrywide.
GUATE'S TRIED TO PULL SENIOR COP'S GUN IN CHAMPON
On Friday we told you about the heated incident at the western border - which had things running very high between authorities in Benque and Melchor.
Well it was more serious than had been originally reported to us. As we told you, it was all about this red pickup, a 2008 Mistusbishi L200 Sportero. The truck appears to have been stolen - and various border operators were trying to smuggle it into Melchor. But, it was in Belize and customs took possession of it - which is when things got a little chaotic.
The police account of the incident is far more serious: it details how even Guatemalans - tried to pull a senior policeman's gun in Belizean territory!
At 11:45 am, when the police got a two truck to haul away the pickup, a female known as ANA who operates in the middle of the no border buffer area called Champon claimed that she was the owner of the pickup. She then pushed the tow truck driver telling him not to move the pickup. Another Guatemalan who called himself "LOQUILLO" also tried to stop the tow truck driver.
The OC in Benque Viejo, Superintendent Ralph Moody then stepped in and Ana pushed him! The other one, Loquillo then drove a van in front of the truck to block it from being moved. He was told to move it, but refused and when he was approached he took out a black pistol resembling a 9mm pistol, cocked it and handed it over to an unknown person through the passenger side window.
Superintendent Moody then tried to get the keys from Loquillo and it another Guatemalan tried to pull the gun off Moody's waist, but the weapon fell to the ground. Loquillo then exited the van and stood aside as the cocking of another gun was heard. The van was then moved and the pickup was taken into Customs compound.
KARL HEUSNER JR. TO PRISON
26 year-old Karl Heusner Jr., who is no stranger to the police, is at prison tonight after he was busted with an unlicensed firearm and a bag of marijuana.
According to police, on Saturday at around 10 p.m. they were on mobile patrol when they saw Heusner at the corner of Wagner's Lane and Simmon's Alley.
The officers said that he was acting suspicious because he had one hand in his back pocket and the other on the front of his shirt.
As a result, when he entered a yard, one of the officers chased after him, and grabbed him on the arm. Immediately, a bag of suspected marijuana fell out of his shirt, and when the officer searched him, he found a chrome and black .38 revolver with the serial number filed off. The gun was also loaded with 5 live rounds of .38 ammunition.
Police charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and drug trafficking after it was discovered that the bag contained 113 grams of marijuana.
GSU GETS GSG FIGURE
And while Heusner is on remand for a gun, 23 year-old Nelson Martinez is his fellow inmate tonight because of the very same offense.
According to the Gang Suppression Unit, at 9:40 p.m. on Saturday - 20 minutes before another patrol caught Heusner - they were on George Street conducting operations when they saw Martinez riding a bicycle at the corner of Bishop and George Streets.
When the GSU officers approached him, he sped off trying to escape. Just before he was caught, Martinez reportedly pulled out an object and threw it over a fence in yard which is very near to his Plues Street address.
When he was detained, the officers located the object he threw away, and discovered that it was an Austria Brand Glock 9 mm pistol, which contained 13 live rounds of ammunition. This pistol also had the serial number filed off. As a result, they arrested and charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.
He was brought to Magistrate's Court today where he was arraigned and remanded to prison until July 11.
ANOTHER PEN ROAD SHOOTING, THIS ONE NON-FATAL
A NON FATAL shooting in the city over the weekend left two males injured.
It happened last night around 11 on Neal's Pen Road. According to taxicab driver, Kevin Young - he was driving his grey Honda Civic Taxi cab on Neal's Pen Road and at the corner of Monroe Street, he stopped to pick up four friends. That's when a red motorcycle with two passengers pulled up next to his car and someone opened fire.
Young was shot to the right arm and a 17 year old minor was shot to the right foot. Police Press Officer, Fitzroy Yearwood, discussed the incident.
Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer
"This is where a taxi driver Kevin Young is saying that he was driving his vehicle and he stop to pick up 4 friends. Upon doing so two men on a red motorcycle approach them firing several shots at them injuring Young and a 16 year old minor who was a part of the group that was with Young. They were transported to the KHMH where they are listed in serious condition."
So far there are no suspects.
TURNING FIREARMS INTO SCRAP METAL
And while gunplay continues to create chaos in the streets - police today received a new tool to help them properly dispose of weapons that have been found or confiscated.
In the past we've witnessed many gun destructions before - where welding torches are used to destroy the firearms. But a new tool does it far more efficiently. It is a donation from a UN agency and part of a wider regional programme.
Here's how it will work in Belize...
Jules Vasquez reporting
It's called a hydraulic shear - and it's used to destroy weapons. No high tech sorcery or laser beams, it simply massive clamping power to crush and snap gun barrels and stocks leaving them in unusable metal scraps.
The devise is housed at the Queen Street police station and it is part of an initiative by The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affair's Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), called stockpile management.
Melanie Regimbal - Director, UN LiREC
"As many of you know all too well our region has the dubious honour of having the highest homicide and violence rates in the world. Nearly 80% of all homicides are committed with firearms either trafficked illegally across our borders or stolen from private or government facilities."
"Today we are here to oversee the handing over and training of the use of the hydraulic shears that will leave the government of Belize with permanent and effective capacity to destroy confiscated surplus and obsolete weapon until the material can be recycle and disposed of properly."
POLICE GO OLD SCHOOL WITH BEACH CRUISERS
And while the police department is taking a leap into the future with that hydraulic shears - they're also taking a step into the past with a new fleet of bicycles.
Over 30 Beach Cruisers - were donated by the ministry to the department.
If it seems retrograde, the officer commanding eastern division, Assistant commissioner Aragon told us - it's part of a wider plan:..
ACP Elodio Aragon, OC, Eastern Division
"Jules, you may think its low tech, but it's not. The bicycles will simply be used for our foot patrols to give them a little more mobility within specific areas. I believe that low tech will give us the opportunity to be not too fast or not too slow within certain areas and its going in between the foot patrols and the mobile patrols."
"How about if I challenge you and I say that its useless, in six months all these bikes will be wrecked or stolen and you don't have them here and the plan will have gone array. How will you respond to that?"
BZE MAN, GROWN IN STATES, DODGES DEPORTATION
A 47 year old man who was born in Belize, but has been in the states for 43 years, was almost deported. Henroy Underwood has quite a story of legal troubles which began in 2003, when the murder of Dernell Stentson.
In March of 2005, Underwood was driving an Acura belonging to a suspect in that case. When police stopped the car, they found 30 pounds of marijuana inside. Underwood denied any knowledge of the drugs, and was offered a plea deal for three years' probation. He was never informed that by pleading guilty, he was eligible for deportation since he was born in Belize.
But he was not deported. And six years later, Underwood left the United States for a cruise with his fiancée, and when he tried to return to the U.S., he was detained by immigration officials who tried to deport him. He was detained for 364 days in a place that had only 2 toilets for 60 people.
Because Underwood was not informed that by accepting the plea deal he was deportable, his sentence was overturned, but he was still going to be tried for the 2005 drug transportation charges.
He was then offered another plea bargain which he accepted, so the sentence was "time served". Underwood had been sentenced for the same crime - twice!
He's been told that he cannot leave the country again, and he says he doesn't plan to.
OREGON'S KILLER TO COURT
On Friday's Newscast, we told you about 22 year-old Henry Jacobs, who was charged for the April 30 murder of Brian Welch Requena, aka "Oregon". Well today, he was taken to court.
Due to the nature of the offense, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith could not grant him bail, and he was remanded him until July 5.
As we reported, Welch was walking along with two men on Faber's Road Extension, and he was heading toward Central American Boulevard. When he arrived near to the intersection, a gunman ambushed them and fired several shots in their direction. Welch was hit several times and he died on the spot.
Convicted Human Trafficker Appeals
In February of 2012, 7news told you about 41 year-old Yolanda Garcia, a Honduran National who was convicted of human trafficking in the Magistrate's Court.
Well today, her attorney came to court requesting bail for her because he is in the process of appealing that conviction in the Supreme Court.
Mansel Thurton, who is representing Garcia, made an application today for the stay of execution - which is equated to a request for bail - to Chief Magistrate Anne Marie
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, who prosecuted the case, objected to the stay on the grounds that Garcia has no ties to the country, and that if Garcia is granted bail, she will abscond because she will not risk the possibility having to go back to jail.
After listening to the submissions, Chief Magistrate Smith decided to deny the stay, and she further recommended that Mansel makes applications to the Supreme Court to expedite the process.
As we reported, Garcia was convicted on the strength of the 17 year-old complainant's testimony, who told the court that she was employed at Garcia's establishment, La Serenita Bar.
According the minor, Garcia allegedly told her that part of her job description was that she was required to have sex with customers for money.
She was sentenced to 12 months in prison and she has already served 3 months and 2 weeks.
Minimum Wage Increases By 80 cents/Hour for Agroindustry Workers
A new pair of statutory instruments sharply increases the minimum wage for those doing manual labour in agro industry. The new law says that Un-skilled workers employed in the agriculture, agro-industry or export oriented industries now qualify for a minimum wage of $3.30 per hour - up from $2.50 where it had been since 2007.
There's also an increase for domestic workers whether full-time or part-time; they go up from $3.10 to $3.30 an hour. Shop assistants employed full-time or part-time also get a twenty cent increase from $3.10 to $3.30 Manual workers not engaged in agriculture, also get an increase from $3.10-$3.30 an hour.
The increases arise from reviews by the minimum wage second task force council which scheduled the increases in 2007 and 2008 to keep up with the cost of living.
Cancer Walk Pulls Record Crowd
The annual cancer walk began 15 years ago to raise cancer awareness. Every year, the numbers seem to grow, and the rise in awareness is mirrored in the increase of participants in the cancer walk. Organizers say three thousand people participated this year - which is a sharp increase from last year's walk when they estimate that twenty five hundred persons participated.
Luverta Medina, the vice President of the Belize Cancer Society, explained what the walk is about and what it means for Belize.
Luverta Medina, VP - Belize Cancer Society
"This is annual walk, we do this every year for the past 15 years and it's a way to show support to those who are fighting cancer and those who have lost the fight. Whenever one walk is finish we begin to plan for the next walk."
"The support, the people who just want to come in and volunteer and help us in everything that we do has been overwhelming, it is enormous. Prevention is definitely better than cure. Come out and take your yearly tests. If you see something different with your body then come out and find out what's going on with you."
"This is a disease that is affecting Belize in a big way."
Eric Rhaburn, Participant in Cancer Walk
"My mom died from cancer in 1996 so it's all about support and giving back. I feel good to be a Belizean right now. Every year the thing just gets bigger and bigger."
Janika Hilton, Participant in Cancer Walk
"I feel really good. The walk was nice and I participated because nowadays anybody can catch cancer and so I didn't mind walk."
"Young, Green and Clean"
A competition for high schools called Young, Clean, & Green held its final event on Sunday at Old Belize. The first campaign was a country wide clean up, and after its success, an international organization Alde-baran's started the "Young, Clean & Green High School Competition."
Almost 50 percent of all high schools participated in the event, and they were tasked to create a public service announcement, a primary school booklet, a shopping bag made out of natural recyclable materials and a 3 year concept about how schools could incorporate recycling, gardening, and composting.
We spoke to representatives of the 1st and 2nd place winners to find out more about their projects.
Patricia Acosta, SCA, District Winner, 2nd Overall
"At the beginning we started a contest of who could recycle the most paper and bottles and then we promise that class a prize and so that encourage the girls to start go out. Also we got some donations and we got some garbage cans collected. We have them all over the school campus, which helped minimize loitering."
"Our school is already clean and also what they do is in 1st form is have a gardening class. That helps us to have more fresh air on our campus because we plant around the school."
"I am really happy because personally I didn't think that we would make it this far. I am really proud of our school."
Changing the Climate On Climate Change Readiness
Paola Amadei, the Head of Delegation of the European Union came to Belize for an official visit - which included the signing of a financing agreement with the Government on climate change.
The project is called "Enhance adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change in national policies." The goal is to create a resilient water sector and enhance climate change readiness by establishing a climate change office.
The European Union will contribute EU 2.9 million - that's BZD 7.25 million - and GOB will contribute BZD $750,000, totaling 8 million to enhancing climate change.
It's an important project, and at the signing of the financial agreement Ambassador Amadei explained how much Belize will benefit.
Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister
"The project is for the purpose of like the CEO had mention - to strengthen capacity in the climate change section and especially this project will be having activities to do with the water management in our country."
Paola Amadei, Head of Delegation of the European Union
"As we speak negotiations are going in New York for the Rio Plus 20 Conference. The EU has been active together in this particular file. There is a common understanding and commonality of views and objectives between the EU and the Caribbean."
Prime Minister joins ailing wife for urgent medical treatment in U.S.
The Prime Minister left the country earlier today for Miami where his wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow is receiving treatment for breast cancer. Simpliss Barrow was re-admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening after developing complications relating to the cancer treatment. Having concluded chemotherapy, she is now receiving radiation. As we understand it, her heart was [...]
Tropicana style murder and shooting of Mayen brothers
By the time the weekend was over, three persons had been murdered. In the Old Capital, two were shot and killed. Car dealer Anthony Mayen and his two brothers left Tropicana Lounge, where they had been partying, at about four o’clock on Sunday morning. As soon as they got into their vehicle, they were ambushed [...]
Mayflower visitor shot and killed
Just before eight o’clock on Sunday night, shots rang out in elsewhere in the Old Capital. A Dangriga man was shot and killed in one of the City’s most dangerous hoods. A lone gunman opened fired killing Eldon Lewis instantly as he sat on a verandah. Lewis recently moved to the City and was employed [...]
Belmopan resident hacked and killed
In the capital, the family of eighteen year old Valentino Coc believes he was lured to his death. Coc left home to play football on Saturday evening. He did not make it back as just before midnight, he was chopped to death in the Salvapan area of Belmopan. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports. Delahnie [...]
Sunday night fare leaves cab driver and minor as shooting victims
There was other violence over the weekend. A cab driver and his passenger almost lost their lives when several shots were fired at about eleven on Sunday night. They are both lucky to be alive. The police press officer says that the victims are fully cooperating with the investigators. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press [...]
Melchor resident claims to be owner of stolen vehicle
Police are providing details on a scuffle near the Belize/Guatemala Border around eleven o’clock on Friday morning. There was an altercation between Benque Viejo Police and a group of Guatemalan nationals over a vehicle that is believed to be stolen. The pickup, a red Mitsubishi L-200 double cab, was parked adjacent to the OIRSA office [...]
Walk with Cancer Society to bring awareness
This year’s annual cancer walk was bigger than ever. Thousands woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to walk from Ladyville to Belize City to build awareness for cancer. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, family members and friends of persons who are afflicted or who have lost their battle to the disease were among [...]
Fisherman hooked for murder of Yanki
Another man has been charged in connection with the murder of forty-nine year old Brian Welch who was gunned down on Faber’s Road on April twenty-ninth of this year. Twenty-two year old Henry Jacobs appeared in court today where he was read a single charge of murder. No plea was taken and since the offense [...]
Bail denied for Honduran convicted of human trafficking
Forty-one year old, Yolanda Garcia, owner of Serenita’s bar on Regent Street West was found guilty of human trafficking of a seventeen year old employee. In February of this year Garcia, a Honduran national, was convicted of the crime and sentenced to one year in prison. But she is appealing the conviction and today, Garcia [...]
78 year old knocked down and killed at mile 69
An elderly Guatemalan national was the victim of a fatal traffic accident that occurred on the Western Highway on Sunday morning. Seventy-eight year old Celestino Perez Borando was hit by a Toyota Pickup Truck as he walked near mile sixty-nine on the highway. While he frequently walked that road, reports are that Perez stumbled into [...]
Disturbing acts of Vandalism at Sacred Heart
Over two hundred students from standards four and five at Sacred Heart Primary in San Ignacio were not in their classrooms today. A total of eight classrooms were hit by vandals over the weekend and when the kids showed up this morning, they had to be sent back home. But this incident is not the [...]
Take a juicy bite of Mango Festival
For a second year in a row, Hopkins held an all day Mango festival. Year round, this fruit is enjoyed by the villagers, but there is abundance in the mango season, which starts as early as May or June. So to avoid letting the fruit go to waste, last year, BTIA in Hopkins decided to [...]
Police get equipment to destroy weapons
Last August, the Ministry of Police was gifted with a firearm marking machine as a part of the OAS program ‘Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean’. That machine was expected to reduce crimes being committed with weapons and the firearm trade in the region, but it hasn’t deterred the criminals. Today, Belize [...]
GSU busts reputed George Street Gang member for gun and ammo
The Gang Suppression Unit made a significant arrest over the weekend. The Unit arrested a reputed George Street Gang member on Saturday night just before ten o’clock. The GSU approached Nelson Martinez at the corner of Bishop and George Street but he sped off on his bicycle. Martinez was pursued and according to the GSU, [...]
Ball Bouncing Sports Update with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. Game II of the National Female Football Championship travelled to the Carl Ramos Stadium on Saturday where the Dangriga Pumas played host to Suga City Girls who came in with a one game lead after last week’s convincing 4-1 victory in Game I. The [...]
Monday, May 28 - POLICE NEWS
An armed robbery was reported on Saturday afternoon in Belmopan. Eighteen year old Jared Cattouse who is the manager of Southside Meats, reported to police that as he was getting ready to close the establishment around two o’clock on Saturday afternoon, two Hispanic men, on...
CACAO FARMERS PARTICIPATE IN AGRICULTURAL TRAINING
A one week training program in basics of agriculture basics for cacao farmers concluded on Saturday in Punta Gorda. Paul Mahung reporting... “The training was in connection with areas of interest related to the Mayan House of Cacao and Chocolate Museum pr...
SHORTAGE OF WATER IN WESTERN VILLAGE
The Chairman of Cristo Rey Village in the Cayo District says officials are addressing the concerns of residents over a shortage of water in the village. Patrick Jones reporting … “The residents of Cristo Rey village have resorted to drawing w...
BELIZE POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES DONATION
Today the Belize Police Department got two handsome donations. One came in the form of mobility with thirty new bicycles and the other in the form of destruction with a hydraulic shears for firearms destruction. The donation came from the United Nations Office for Disarmame...
HUSBAND WAKES UP AND FINDS WIFE DEAD IN STANN CREEK
A Stann Creek woman was found dead at her home in Hope Creek village. Harry Arzu reporting… “Dangriga police are investigating the sudden death of a woman from the New Site area of Pomona Village. She has identified as 32-year-old domestic Si...
CLASSES SUSPENDED DUE TO VANDALISM
Hundreds of primary school children in San Ignacio Town had to be sent home today after their classroom was hit by vandals over the weekend. According to reports reaching the RSV Media Center, a three-classroom building at the Sacred Heart Primary School in San Ignacio town was v...
THREE WEEKEND HOMICIDES REPORTED
Three people were murdered in separate incidents in Belize City and Belmopan over the weekend. The first incident, which happened late on Saturday night, claimed the life of eighteen year old Valentino Coc, a resident of Salvapan area of Belmopan. According to police report...
PRIME MINISTER'S WIFE HOSPITALIZED
The wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow Kim Simplis Barrow has been hospitalized. A statement from the office of the Prime Minister says that the hospitalization of Mrs. Barrow is in response to complications arising out of her treatment for breast cancer. As a result of the hospi...
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.
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.”