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The San Pedro Sun
Shooting Incident Involving BDF Results in One Fatality
The Ministry of National Security regrets to announce that around 12:41 pm on October 4, 2012, in the Ceibo Chico area, Cayo District, Belize, some seven (7) miles east of the Belize/Guatemala border, there was a shooting incident involving the BDF resulting in one fatality.
The deceased is believed to be a Guatemalan citizen.
Members of the Police Crimes Investigation Branch have been deployed to the scene of the incident. Accompanying them are officials from the Organization of American States (OAS) and a representative of the Guatemalan Embassy in Belize.
Further details of the incident will be provided when as become available.
US doctor and nurse volunteer and train PolyClinic staff in Emergency Medicine
A doctor and a nurse from the U.S. have been on the island volunteering and conducting training in medical emergency response at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II. Certified Emergency Physician Dr. Mike Mazzeferro and registered Emergency Trauma Nurse Jodie Harnish, who both work at Bayfront Medical Center Level 2 Traumatic Center in St Petersburg in Miami, U.S. have been donating their time to train some of the nurses and doctors at the clinic in the handling of traumatic emergencies. Along with the training, the two also worked to set up and prepare an emergency or “code” cart inside the emergency room.
Speaking to The SPSun, Dr. Mazzeferro said that the two have been helping and giving hands-on training in just about anything that the clinic requires of them while in Belize but their main goal is to offer training and share ideas on dealing with traumatic emergencies. “Given the amount of time we are here we share ideas on emergency medicine that they would like us to address. Some of these things are common things and problems that they may encounter on a daily basis,” said Dr. Mazzefferro. The team of two has been going over some of the things that need to be in place at the clinic to efficiently deal with traumatic emergencies as well as the procedures that need to be followed when handling such emergencies.
Tropic Air announces service to San Ignacio/Benque Viejo del Carmen
Press Release - San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, Tuesday, October 3 , 2012 - Tropic Air announced today that it will be inaugurating daily non-stop passenger and cargo service to San Ignacio (Benque Viejo del Carmen) on December 10, 2012. Service will be from San Pedro and Belize City and will use the Maya Flats Airstrip, which is conveniently located between San Ignacio and Benque Viejo, and near to many of the major hotels in area.
The new service is a direct response to requests from its valued customers, and carries through on the airline’s commitment to the people of Belize. It also will allow for the growth of tourism in both regions, facilitating easy and quick transfers for visitors, and for increased trade between Cayo and the rest of the country.
SP’s Baldemar Graniel receives highest PUP award, the George Price Award
Former Mayor of San Pedro Town and long standing member of the People’s United Party (PUP) in San Pedro Town, Baldemar Graniel was recently presented with the Right Honorable George Price Award. Graniel is also a longtime member of the San Pedro Lions Club, a Senior Justice of the Peace and Commissioner of the Supreme Court. He was given the award during a ceremony to mark the 62nd birthday of the PUP that took place on September 29th at Independence Hall located at the PUP Headquarters on Queen Street in Belize City. Graniel was given the award by the Party Leader of the PUP Hon Francis Fonseca along with 34 other Belizean awardees from the 31 electoral divisions.
Graniel has been a political activist on the island and a member of the PUP from its early stage of establishment. Graniel, who is a former Mayor of San Pedro Town, has also been a candidate in various elections under the PUP ticket, some of which were successful. Graniel’s contributions to the PUP in San Pedro are too many to mention and he has earned the respect of many residents on the island. “I am very happy for the recognition of which I am proud but humble to have received,” said Graniel, adding, “this is one of the most valuable and significant awards in my life.” According to Graniel, he was surprised when he was informed that he was nominated for the award by several residents of San Pedro. “I never believed I would be nominated for such a prestigious award. It goes to show that when you work hard, it never goes unnoticed. To me it is significant because it is the highest political award given by the PUP in honor of the person who led the country to independence,” said a very happy Graniel.
Family Business Chain Donates $10K to SPHS Baseball Team
In their continued effort to make a difference in the community through education, youth initiatives, and health care, the family of businesses [The Phoenix Resort, Blue Water Grill, Wine de Vine, Paradise Management, Caliente, and Red Ginger] are donating $10,000 to the San Pedro High School Baseball Team for their upcoming trip to the CODICADER games in Panama from October 12-15, 2012.
“We are so proud of the high school baseball team and we’re delighted to have the opportunity help them go to Panama and represent our island and our country,” said Kelly McDermott Kanabar. “We wish the team good luck and we’re excited that they will get the opportunity travel and see the world. Of course, we’re especially proud of Conrad, a player on that team whose mom has worked at Blue Water Grill since 2003. And Mukul and I are grateful that we can continue to do our part to support education, youth initiatives, and healthcare in San Pedro. We believe that that we’re only as smart, healthy, and happy as our friends and neighbors, which is why we’re committed to continue using our businesses to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Tropic Air Announces Service to San Ignacio/Benque Viejo Del Carmen
Tropic Air announced today, October 4, 2012, that it will be inaugurating daily non-stop passenger and cargo service to San Ignacio (Benque Viejo del Carmen) on December 10, 2012. Service will be from San Pedro and Belize City and will use the Maya Flats Airstrip, which is conveniently located between San Ignacio and Benque Viejo, and near to many of the major hotels in area.
The new service is a direct response to requests from its valued customers, and carries through on the airline’s commitment to the people of Belize. It also will allow for the growth of tourism in both regions, facilitating easy and quick transfers for visitors, and for increased trade between Cayo and the rest of the country.
“When we inaugurated San Pedro Sula earlier this year, we promised the people of Belize to add even more exciting destinations. With the support of our resort partners and the area residents, we now feel the time is right to add San Igancio to our growing network” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “We hope that in the coming months, we are able to add flights and other destinations from San Ignacio”.
Cenote Falls Receives License to Operate Casino in Corozal
DHS Holding, Co. announced on Monday, October 1, 2012, that the Belize Gaming Control Board has awarded DHS Belize, LTD a license to operate a land-based casino, contingent upon site plans, environmental clearance and inspection. With the license granted, DHS Holding, Co. can now begin its development of the long-anticipated Cenote Falls Hotel & Casino in Santa Elena, Corozal District, Belize.
Company President Charles Barrett stated, "This is great news. These contingencies are the norm for obtaining a gaming license and should in no way hinder our efforts to move forward."
About the company - The primary focus of DHS Holding, Co. is directed to pursue mergers and acquisitions of companies with potential for growth and success. DHS is aggressively moving to develop and expand on both domestic and international opportunities that include building a hotel and casino in Belize and launching an online casino through DHS Belize, LTD, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DHS Holding, Co.
San Pedro Joins World Event 100 Thousand Poets/Musicians for Change
It's a worldwide concept that started out with "100 Thousand Poets for Change", but the musicians around the world were invited the following year to get into the spirit of calling the world to change - a change from violence, political corruption, crime and all the negativity in the world.
Musician Tim Bud (aka Barefoot Skinny) spearheaded this movement in San Pedro, Belize, by gathering as much local musicians on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Entertainers, musicians and singers from across all musical genres convened on stage at Roadkill Bar, on Coconut Drive, to jam for the cause.
Misc Belizean Sources
Conch season begins on Ambergris Caye
October 1st kicked off a season that I love in Belize – the season of conch. (Pronounced “conk”). These large mollusks, when prepared properly, are delicious, just tender enough and flavorful. And the shells are gorgeous.
This particular time of year is something of a double whammy. Not only can you enjoy Conch in all of its delicious forms but it is also lobster season. The two overlap from October 1st to February 15th…the ideal time for seafood lovers to visit Belize.
Don’t mess with my conch.
Here are some of the favorite Belizean preparations:
1. Conch Ceviche: Probably the most popular, almost every restaurant or food stall on the island makes their own ceviche. And though it has some pretty basic ingredients, chopped tomato, onion, cilantro, seasoning, lime and conch, you’d be surprised how different it can taste.
Belize’s El Secreto Officially Opens
The El Secreto resort in Belize has officially opened.
The resort, which is located 11 miles from San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye, is accessed by a private 30-minute boat ride from San Pedro Town, the largest town on Ambergris Caye.
The property has 13 thatched-roof stand-alone villas; three of the villas are steps from the ocean; another four feature garden views, and five lake villas surround the property’s salt-water lake.
Each of the villas features a king-size bed, a marble bathroom, an LCD flat-screen television and a private outdoor jacuzzi, among other amenities.
El Secreto also has an IKAL Spa Villa featuring a variety of treatments and its own fresh water pool.
The project comes from Mexico City-based developers Abraham Roffe and Abraham Saade.
Soul Project Movie Screening
The Soul Project, Cayo's new cultural center, will have their grand opening around November. They have been testing out the movie projector lately with flims like Kurse a di Xtabai.
Tropic Air Coming to Cayo
Tropic Air has announced that it will be flying to Cayo starting in December. They'll be flying to the new Maya Flats airstrip which is located between Benque and San Ignacio. The flight will leave Belize City at 12:00 noon, and arrive in Cayo at 12:40. It will then leave Cayo at 12:45, and arrive back at Belize City at 1:30. Great news for Cayo.
Belize Mega Bingo Results For (03 October 2012)
Mega Bingo BelizeStraight Line 100.00 Each (10 Balls)
11 73 36 40 1 68 52 70 66 17
Y 125.00 Each (13 Balls)
11 73 36 40 1 68 52 70 66 17 50 28 67
T 150.00 Each (22 Balls)
11 73 36 40 1 68 52 70 66 17 50 28 67 7 37 6 49 34 75 27 35 18
Letter X 750.00 Each (26 Balls)
11 73 36 40 1 68 52 70 66 17 50 28 67 7 37 6 49 34 75 27 35 18 19 9 42 23
Inside World 1000.00 Each (29 Balls)
11 73 36 40 1 68 52 70 66 17 50 28 67 7 37 6 49 34 75 27 35 18 19 9 42 23 41 44 59
Polonio Was Seventh Murder in 5.5 Days
When Steven Polonio died from multiple gunshot wounds yesterday evening in Belize city - his was the 7th murder countrywide in five and a half days - a staggering, scary statistic.
Police believe his killing was gang related - and two prominent gang figures have been named as suspects. Monica Bodden found out more from police today:...
Monica Bodden reporting
It happened here at the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Street where 20 year old Steven Polonio was shot 7 times.
The young man who was standing at the corner around 5:40 yesterday evening - was approached by a gunman who opened fire - hitting him to the face and the upper left side of his body.
Polonio was rushed to the KHMH fighting for his life, but succumbed to his injuries just 30 minutes after.
Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer
"On Wednesday October 3rd at approximately 5:30pm police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 20 year old Stephen Polonio of 2867 Armadillo address in Belize City suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the face and the left side of his body. Polonio succumb to his injuries whilst undergoing treatment at approximately 6:20pm yesterday evening."
A Protest for Suzenne
The Jasmine Low protests in San Ignacio in June made history when the community came together and demanded justice. And more than justice, they wanted a lynching of her alleged killer, Bert Vasquez.
And today in San Ignacio, they came out for the latest murder victim, Suzenne Martinez - who was found murdered yesterday morning. That visceral rage was not there, but instead Jules Vasquez found a hardened resolve to demand that justice be done. Here's his story:...
Jules Vasquez reporting
Columbus Park, in the center of San Ignacio town was the sight of a hastily arranged impromptu protest to town meeting this afternoon.
The crowd was not as energized or as outraged as they were for Jasmine Lowe, but that is understandable because Suzenne Martinez was not missing for days like Jasmine; she disappeared one night, and was found dead the next morning.
Her friends, family and supporters still had a strong and clear message though; they want justice for Suzenne, and they want it swiftly.
BDF Kills Another Guate W/In Belizean Territory
For weeks we've been telling about the gold rush in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul. It has dozens of Guatemalans coming over to Belize to pan for Gold in the Ceibo Chico Creek.
And now, the inevitable has happened: A Guatemalan Citizen was shot and killed by the BDF this afternoon.
According to a press release, it happened at 20 minutes to 1:00 today seven miles east of the Belize/Guatemala border. That is well inside Belize, but because of the diplomatic implications, it has to be treated with sensitivity. And so even though it is not being treated as a homicide, the CIB has been deployed to the area along with officials from the (OAS) and a representative of the Guatemalan Embassy in Belize.
In July the BDF shot and killed another Guatemalan Luis Alberto Ramirez in southern Belize also well inside Belizean territory.
Mexican Police In Chunox Home Invasion?
Tonight, a Corozal family is still shaken up by a home invasion which took place in Chunox Village. It happened at around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, when 2 armed Hispanic men attacked them just as they arrived home.
Today, Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez, briefed the media about the incident, including the most recent development in the investigation, which led them to believe that the assailants may be Guatemalan policemen.
Here's what he told us:
Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer
"Darlene Cabral, 25 years old housewife of the same village, Chunox village in the Corozal District reported that approximately 7 o' clock on the 2nd October upon arriving home with her husband and her children she notice that her house was being ransacked and immediately thereafter she was accosted by a Hispanic male person who brandished a 9mm firearm at her and proceeded to tie her up. At the same time she heard shots firing and she saw her husband running."
A Done Deal: ASR Acquires BSI Majority Shares/ Pays Off Debt
The Belize Sugar Industry had been saddled with tens of millions of US dollars in debt for years, but tonight, it has a fresh start, a complete reset - all the numbers on its balance sheet are a rolled back to Zero.
And that's because American Sugar Refinery has paid off the full indebtedness - 64.8 million US dollars - in exchange for 78.6% equity in the company's shares.
With that $64.8 million US, BSI paid off all its debts which it owed to International Netherlands Group (ING), the Belcogen Consortium of Lenders, and the Government of Belize.
Viewers may remember that GOB stepped late in 2011 and loaned BSI 10 million Belizean dollars to jump-start cane crops and as a measure to get ING to give BSI a one-year extension on its 20 million US dollar debt.
Well, all of those debts are paid with ASR owning majority of the company and BSI Employee's Holdings Limited controlling the rest of the 21.4% shares.
This evening, we spoke with BSI's CEO, Joey Montalvo, and via phone, he told us that not only are the bills paid off, BSI now has cash in hand.
Here's what Montalvo told us about the current make-up of the shares of the company:
Fiona Freed of Charge For Bullet In Baby Bag
Today in Magistrate's Court, 32 year-old Fiona Mitchell, a food vendor of Fabers Road, was acquitted of keeping a single round of ammunition.
The incident happened in August of 2011, when the GSU searched the house and found 1 live round of .32 ammunition inside a baby's knapsack. It caused quite a fuss in the area at the time - as our cameras were in the area and the GSU tried to get us to stop taping. The GSU charged both Mitchell and her common-law husband, 38 year-old Mark Lewis with keeping unlicensed ammunition.
Lewis was not brought to trial because he was murdered on February 2, 2012, while he was sitting in his van in the parking lot of Belize Healthcare Partners Limited.
But the case went on. The prosecution called 3 witnesses who testified to the discovery, and when they closed their case, Mitchell's attorney Brian Neal made a no case submission.
Will Venezuelan Election Change Things In Belize?
Right now, Venezuela is getting ready for Presidential elections on Sunday. Populist president Hugo Chavez is going for a third term against young rival, Henrique Capriles.
And because Venezuela is often depicted in US media as having less than free and fair elections the Venezuelan Embassy in Belize held a small conference today to explain the procedure.
7News was there and here's an excerpt of the presentation, where the Embassy spokesperson described their sophisticated electronic voting system:
Gabriel Sanchez, Charge D' Affairs - Venezuelan Embassy
"There are two machines over there that they have when you go to the center for voting. Basically when you go there - it serves like a calculator and you present your ID to the president of the board then you are going introduce the number in that calculator. After that if it is approved you have to press your finger print in the machine. When that is finish you are going to go to the second machine which is the secret machine that is fully covered and nobody is going to see because you are going to exercise your right to vote."
Soldier Accused of Selling Ammo to Gangs Gets Off
It made huge news in December of 2008 when two BDF soldiers were caught on the Northern Highway with a trove of dangerous ammunition, allegedly stolen from the Price Barracks Compound. Information to police was that they were going to sell (1,340) one thousand three hundred and forty rounds of 5.56 ammunition to Belize City's street gangs. Those are the kind of rounds used in assault rifles such as M-16's and AR-15's.
At the time, BDF Sergeant 30 year old Emmerson Michael and BDF Lance Corporal 29 year old Henry Williams were intercepted in a BDF Land Rover.
Fast forward four years and today the now 34 year-old Emmerson Michael, BDF Sergeant, was acquitted of the firearm offence before Justice Adolph Lucas.
The prosecution, represented by Stevanni Duncan, called several witnesses to testify against Michael. But the main witness was the officer who was in charge of a checkpoint at the time reported that he busted both men in the Land Rover which Michael was driving and while Williams had the ammunition in a bag between his legs.
INDIGE-NOW Festival Will Name New Location Later
Last night we showed you FFB President Ruperto Vicente, explaining that he would rather the MCC Grounds be used for nothing other than football.
And it seems the authorities at NICH heard him loud and clear, they have decided to move the "IndigiNOWBelize" - the World Indigenous Music Festival to a new location on October 12 - 14th.
The new location for the festival is still being decided, and the final location will be announced at a later date, but according to NICH, October 12 -14 is still officially booked.
San Pedro Sun Names Another Slovak Fugitive
Last week we told you about press reports from Slovakia which said that another fugitive form their country was in San Pedro. Well today's San Pedro Sun reports that the Slovakian man is Viliam Misenka who is listed on the Interpol wanted list.
The paper says that a senior member of the Police Department in Belmopan confirmed to The San Pedro Sun that they had been aware of Misenka's presence in San Pedro Town.
In an interview with 7news, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse denied any knowledge of Misenka's presence in Belize. Here's what he told us last week Friday:..
"We see in the Slovakian media - I know you wish to thread carefully but that another Slovakian person in interest is in Belize. Is this information that you at the immigration ministry have received?"
Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration
If Hulse seemed reluctant to comment, he may have been wise not to - as last time his comments resulted in the up-ending of the case to expel the other wanted Slovakian Karol Mello.
PROFILE: Reuben Novelo
Reuben Novelo is a young and successful entrepreneur, and he is already making a major impression on the private sector with his innovative approach to business administration.
He tells the profile tonight that being a part of a big, hardworking family groomed him into man able think on his feet.
Here's what he had to say about the machine he invented to improve the efficiency of his unusual, but successful business
“Dodo” shot and killed in rival gang territory
There are two suspects in the murder of Steven Polonio, whose street name is “Dodo,” but no charges have yet been brought against anyone. Polonio was shot after five o’clock on Wednesday evening and died about an hour later while undergoing surgery. It is not known what he was doing in rival gang territory when [...]
Chunox family speaks about home invasion by Mexican police
Two Mexican nationals, both carrying, Mexican police identification are in police custody tonight after a frightening home invasion in the northern village of Chunox. Police are looking for a third suspect, who they believe was involved in the incident. On Tuesday, the house of Julius Foreman, a fisherman, was ransacked purportedly by the three Mexican [...]
ASR purchase of majority shares of B.S.I. complete
The Belize Sugar Industries is now officially an asset of American Sugar Refining Limited. The boards of both B.S.I. and ASR issued a joint release announcing ASR’s successful purchase of seventy-eight point six percent of the B.S.I. Group at a cost of sixty-four point eight million US dollars. The debts owed by B.S.I. to ING [...]
Cayo residents in full force following murder of UB student
The brutal killing of Suzanne Martinez has left the western communities in shock and angry. Today, members of the town council and locals staged a mini demonstration in front of the police station in San Ignacio. The crowd called for justice and the death penalty to be implemented. The demonstrators are still trying to come [...]
Fleecing of Belize: Ministry buys lumber/cement from gas station and tires for stripped vehicle
The auditor general uncovered suspected cases of fraud in different ministries during the review of government finances for the period 2010-2011. According to the audit, government suffered great financial losses because the regulations as it relates to accountability were not adhered to. On Wednesday night, we reported on the two law firms of choice which [...]
Integrity: C.E.O. of the Ministry of Works resigns
There are reports tonight that the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Works has called it quits. Carlson Goff was recruited from the Caribbean Development when the government won a second term in office in the last general elections in March. His appointment was seen as a move to bring integrity and confidence to the Ministry [...]
B.D.F. soldier Not Guilty of keeping 1,000 rounds
After thirteen years of service, the fate of Belize Defence Force Sergeant, thirty-four year old Emerson Michael today landed in the hands of a jury. Charges were levied against the soldier after he left the B.D.F. compound in Lords Bank in a land rover carrying one thousand, three hundred and forty live rounds of ammunition [...]
Environmentalists should be celebrities; CZMAI lecture series
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute hosts a monthly educational series for members of the environmental community. The seminar series has been conducted by researchers and scientists who use very technical language. But for this month’s seminar, the CZMAI has taken a different approach and invited the host of the Wake Up Belize Show, [...]
Harvest for Kids needs your help
Summer may be long gone, but that doesn’t imply that camps have gone on hiatus until 2013. The Belize Camping Experience continues its work with youths. This Saturday the organizers are taking a group of young people to Banana Bank, outside the nation’s capital for a program called Harvest for Kids. According to the director [...]
Healthy Living examines prevention of whopping cough
The Ministry of health announced that recently suspected cases of whooping cough or Pertussis were detected in Springfield, Cayo where a close knit Mennonite community has settled. The fear is that the cough is contagious and persons especially children who have not been vaccinated are exposed. This week, Healthy Living sat one on one with [...]
Duo Robbed At Gunpoint on the Coastal Road
A resident of Harmonyville is still in shock after she and her brother-in-law were held up at gunpoint while working at Manatee on the Coastal Road. 27-year-old Carla Campos told Love News that on Wednesday October 3, she and her brother-in-law 33-year-old Jose Campos left home sometime...
Couple Charged for Ammunition; Husband Dies Prior to Trial; Wife Acquitted
Thirty-two year old Foina Mitchell, a food vendor of Faber’s Road, charged with kept ammunition without a gun license, was acquitted of the charge today. Mitchell was also charged with aggravated assault and harm on a female officer of the GSU but those charges were dismissed yesterday ...
Sergeant of Belize Defense Force Acquitted of Ammunition Charges
A jury of five women and four men deliberated for almost four hours today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas before it found 34-year -old BDF sergeant Emmerson Michael not guilty of kept ammunition without a gun license for 1,340 round of 5.6 calibre bullets. The jury’s verdict was un...
Will Belize and Guatemala Go To The ICJ?
Reports in the Guatemalan press say that a meeting between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the president of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina will take place on October nineteenth. Prensa Libre reported in its online edition today that the meeting originally scheduled for this weekend at the OAS off...
Sale of Majority Shares in BSI Completed
The deal allowing American Sugar Refining Limited to acquire majority shares in Belize Sugar Industries Limited has been completed. Effective Tuesday, October 3, all of the outstanding loan notes owed to creditors, including ING, by BSI had been paid up and the investment transaction perfecte...
Guatemalan Killed on Belizean Soil
There is not a lot of information available but the Ministry of National Security has confirmed that a Guatemalan national has been killed. A release from the Ministry says sometime around 12:41 this afternoon in the Ceibo Chico area in the Cayo District, some seven miles east of the Be...
Salvapan Resident Investigated For Double Murder In The Cayo District
In last night’s newscast we brought to you the gruesome murder of twenty year old UB student Suzenne Martinez of San Ignacio Town. Martinez’ body was found in a drain not more than 500 feet from her house at about 6:30 in the morning of October 3rd.
Suzenne Martinez was attending classes at the University of Belize’s Belmopan Campus in a Science field and was last seen with her friends eating at a Chinese Restaurant in Belmopan. Pictures posted on the popular social network Facebook, show Martinez eating Chow Mein with three of her classmates and friends. Suzenne’s parents became concerned when she failed to arrive home at her usual time and made a missing persons report that same night minutes to midnight.
Suzenne’s body was discovered by a passerby who then called it into the police. Her twenty-three year old brother Jamid Martinez was on his way to work when he noticed the police and several persons down the street from his home. Jamid immediately knew something was not wrong and suspected the worst, his little sister had been found. Six hours later, police had one person in custody for questioning and pending further investigation.
Another Guatemalan National shot near the Belize/Guatemala Border
As we being tonight’s newscast, there is another shooting incident to report near the Belize/Guatemala Border in the Ceibo Chio Area of the Cayo District. This area is approximately seven miles east of the Belize/Guatemala Border. In a press release issued by the Ministry of National Security this afternoon, the Ministry stated that the incident occurred sometime around 12:41 of the early noon, there was a shooting incident involving the BDF resulting in the death of one individual. The individual killed in this latest shooting involving the BDF near the Belize/Guatemala Border is believed to be of Guatemalan Nationality.
The release further stated that an investigating team consisting of members of the Police Crimes Investigation Branch has been sent to the area accompanied by officials from the OAS and the Guatemalan Embassy in Belize. We will continue to gather information into this latest shooting and bring to you any new developments in this case.
100 Vehicle License Stickers Missing From The OWTC
There is a major robbery to report tonight and it stems from within the Orange Walk Town Council. It was not a robbery of cash but of a hundred vehicle licence stickers with an estimated value of $10,000. According to Mayor of Orange Walk Kevin Bernard, he was notified of the discovery via telephone on September 26th but was only told that licence sticker #32 was missing. Bernard ordered that business proceed as usual and on the following day, the Town Administrator discovered that and additional ninty-nine stickers were missing. The vehicle registration stickers carry serial numbers 19301 to 19400. The town administration carried out their own internal investigation at the traffic department but it seems that nobody knew anything. It was not until September 29th that the administrator shared his findings with Mayor Bernard who was in Belize City attending a workshop. Yesterday, Mayor Bernard had a discussion with the traffic manager who was instructed to file an official police report. According to Bernard, their investigation has revealed that the stickers were stolen within an eight day period.
Kevin Bernard, Mayor O/W
“One Friday 28th, the administrator carried out another investigation but this time with our finance officer whose the sole custodian of those article and items, however, during the period 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th he was not in office due to an issue that he was on suspension and therefor he had to be visited until the discussion took place with him until the 28th of September, now at that point in discussion Mr. Vargas who is the finance officer informed that on the 18th of September he had done his previous check of those sequence and sequence thirty two was there in the cabinet and was in the Town Council, now where and what time these stickers went missing could only been between the 18th after that check was done to the 28th until it was actually discovered. I was informed via telephone of the incident and the actual findings that indeed after checks have been made in the cabinet that these stickers had gone missing.”
Cane Farmers Demand More From GOB While BSI Changes Ownership
On the 26th of September the House of Representatives passed the “Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Bill” which focused on granting American Sugar Refinery, the largest sugar refinery in the world, major tax exemptions. These major exemptions saw opposition from both the opposition People’s United Party and the Belize Cane Farmer’s Association. Regardless, the bill was read three times and then passed on to the Senate for their approval on the 28th of September. Cane farmers are saying that if the major tax exemptions could have been given to ASR, which is acquiring the company, then those same exceptions could have been extended to the Cane Farmers. Earlier this week, the BSCFA sent a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow requesting a meeting and expressing their concerns on the Bill. CEO for BCSFA, Oscar Alonzo, told us what all was outlined in the letter.
InidgiNOWBelize Concert To Change Venue
And from choosing the Belize Football Federation’s National Selection, we turn now to choosing a new venue for the first ever World Indigenous Music Festival.
For about a week and a half now, the National Institute of Culture and History has been promoting the first ever “InidgiNOWBelize” Concert which is the World Indiginous Music Festival scheduled to take place from the 12th to the 14th of October at the MCC Grounds. Cultural musicians from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Belize are all scheduled to take the stage showcasing their music.
But, in another bit of news coming out from the BFF, they have officially written NICH and the Director of Sports expressing their disapproval to the use of the MCC grounds as venue to the event. BFF President Ruperto Vicente stated that the pitch will be subject to severe damage due to the driving of vehicles on it. Vicente stated that after the King and Queen Carnival presentations, the pitch was embedded with deep ruts caused by vehicle tires. Vicente also stated that the field is used every weekend by women, youth and children participating in scheduled tournaments and games.
As a result of BFF’s concerns, NICH issued a press release today stating that the venue for the World Indigenous Music Festival will be changed. The release states and we quote, “The change is outside the control of NICH and its partners since approval for the use of the grounds had been granted well in advance of the Festival. It is unfortunate that the decision to not allow the use of MCC was made nearly on the eve of the Festival. Nevertheless, the Festival will continue and an alternative venue is being sought. The new venue will be announced shortly.” End of quote.
The United Nations Democracy Fund starts
The National Gender and Democracy Forum a joint initiative by the The Women’s Issues Network of Belize in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme with support from the United Nations Democracy Fund is now underway at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. The main aim of the two day event is to Strengthen Women’s Representation in National Leadership in Belize. Various lectures are scheduled for today including that of Jamaican Gender Specialist and consultant, Lynette Vassel who told Love News what she her lecture will be focusing on.
Vassel says that there are many barriers that hinder women from reaching leadership status in politics.
The participation of Indigenous women is also of utmost importance according to Vassel. She explained why.
Vassel commented that the most important thing she wishes women would take from the forum is for them to recognize that in the twenty first century their unity is their strength and women have to be open to understanding each other’s differences instead of being so critical. Other presenters for today include Ann Marie Williams and Myrtle Palacio. Tomorrow’s highlights feature Remarks by Executive Director of the Women’s Issues Network of Belize, Carolyn Reynolds and special remarks by Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Anthony “Boots” Martinez. The forum will end with the formation of an advocacy body. Once again the doors open at 8 am.
Corn harvesting will be held at Belmopan
A group of young people from Belize City will travel to the Belmopan area this weekend to take part in a first of its kind corn harvesting exercise. Twenty acres of corn was planted earlier this year as part of a project called Harvest for Kids, organized by a group called Belize Camping Experience. The corn is now mature and ready for reaping. Director of Belize Camping Experience Alexander Perez says the huge combines are ready for application to the ripened corn field.
The project takes inner-city children and exposed them to basic country living in the hopes of impacting their lives before they fall victim to crime and violence. Perez says it is an unconventional approach to life skills training.
Murder in San Ignacio
By now the murder count for 2012 has long surpassed the century mark … with a full three months still left in the year. And while each killing is described as a senseless act of violence, the murder of a promising young San Ignacio woman has left the community in shock. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went to Cayo this morning to chronicle this tragic story. Here is what they found out.
The National Team has a new coach
The Football Federation of Belize has named its national team coach. LeRoy Sherrier Lewis of Costa Rica heads a coaching team including Assistant Coach Charlie Slusher, Goal Keeper coach Kent Gabriel and Technical Director Renan Cowo. Sherrier Lewis arrived in the country earlier this week. Today he was officially introduced to the media. President of the FFB Ruperto Vicente told Love News what were contributing factors to Sherrier Lewis’ selection as coach.
Leroy Sherrier Lewis, coach national team
Sherrier Lewis told us he is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in getting the national team to the next level.
Tryouts for the national team will begin this Saturday at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town.
Updates on the oil spill on the George Price Highway
On Thursday of last week, we reported on an oil spill on the George Price Highway between the community of La Democracia and the Jaguar Paw Junction. The spill occurred on Thursday morning when an oil tanker experienced a malfunction. Today, Love News spoke with Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria for an update on the incident.
Robbery in Punta Gorda Town
Four firearms are missing from the Fisheries Department office in Punta Gorda town. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details in the following report.
Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood says bye to the BPD
For the past two years, the public face and the voice of the Belize Police Department has been Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood. But effective today, that is no more. In a brief statement issued to the media early this morning, Inspector Yearwood announced his departure from the police press office by thanking the Belizean public for allowing him into their living rooms on a daily basis since February seventeenth, 2010. “The time has now come for me to move on,” writes Inspector Yearwood, pointing out that while he will no longer be the police press officer, he will continue to protect and serve the people of Belize. But the departure of Yearwood from the Police Press Office does not mean that he is out of the department altogether. In fact, Inspector Yearwood is being reassigned within the police department, a new assignment which amounts to a promotion of sorts. The veteran police officer has proceeded on holiday, and when he reports back to work, Inspector Yearwood will be the new officer in charge of the north side Belize City police precinct, which includes the Balema areas and Caribbean Shores. The RSV News Centre publicly acknowledges Inspector Yearwood’s dependable service in facilitating coverage of the crime beat over the course of the last two years, and we wish him all the best in his new assignment.
At the Leo Bradly Library 3 new launches
The Department of the Environment launched three Publications at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City, this morning. The publications are “Wealth Untold”, “The Guide for Developers 2012”, and “Supplement to the Compendium on Environmental Protection and Natural Resource Legislation in Belize. According to Chief Environmental Officer at the Department of the Environment, Martin Alegria, the books took a course of over four years which included a lot of research and consultation before completion, in order to have the best publication possible. He gave us an overview on the books.
Alegria told us just how they intend to put the books to use
Lisel Alamilla, Min. Forestry, Fisheries
This morning’s Launching ceremony included an Address from Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla who explained how one of the Publications, Wealth Untold will come in handy for schools.
BREAKING NEWS: BDF shoot and kill Guatemalan on Border
A Guatemalan citizen was shot and killed a the Guatemala border this afternoon. Detils are still sketchy but accord...
EXCLUSIVE: Three mexican Police detained in Belizean territory
Three Mexican police officers have been detained in connection with a home invasion in Belize. A family in Chunox w...
Female UB student murdered in San Ignacio
Another University of Belize student murdered. Plus News travelled to San Ignacio this morning to bring you details...
Twenty year old man killed; riddled with bullets
A Belize City man was shot and killed yesterday evening at about 5:30 pm. The latest victim to gunshot is 20 year o...
Teenager says he was forced at gunpoint to rob
A teenager says he was forced at gunpoint by gang members gunpoint to commit a robbery. This morning, 19-year-old M...
BDF Acquitted of keeping unlicensed ammunition
34-year-old Emerson Michael, was today acquitted of the charge of keeping unlicensed ammunition. The 13 year vetera...
Circle K Supermarket in Corozal robbed
Corozal Police are still investigating the armed robbery of the Circle K Supermarket on the San Andres road. That r...
Belize basketball 3x3 Team returns to Belize
Their story goes back to September when the under 18 – National basketball selection almost did not get to particip...
FFB disapproves of Football field turned parking lot
The FFB voiced its dissatisfaction with the use of the MCC Grounds for a cultural festival and the Sports Director ...
Air Dispatcher stabs coworker outside a bar
A Belizean Air dispatcher at Phillip Goldson International Airport, Luis Rivera, was stabbed by a co worker. On the...
Fire at Foam Factory
At around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9th three workers at the Belize Foam Factory were mixing chemicals to make foam, when fire broke out in a portion of the compound located at mile 2 and 1/2 on the George Price Highway. Fire officials quickly responded to the scene and within a matter of a half an hour, the fire had been put out.
Teenage Volunteer Soldier Charged for Murder at BDF Camp
The Belize Police Department have arrested and charged a teenager for the crime of murder in the shooting death of 21-year-old Volunteer Soldier, Clifford Isaac Cruz. Police investigations revealed that Cruz was on duty at the Militia Hall B.D.F Camp, located at 1½ miles on the George Price Highway, when he got into a misunderstanding with a 17-year-old Volunteer Soldier, Michael Rhaburn. Rhaburn then took his issued M16 rifle, pointed it at Cruz and fired a single shot. The bullet entered Cruz’s stomach and exited through his back. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he later succumbed to his injury. Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Raphael Martinez, confirmed that Rhaburn was charged with murder on Wednesday, October 3rd.
Illegal Logging continues in Chiquibul
The Friends of Conservation is reporting that illegal logging activities are continuing in the Chiquibul Forest with one more logger being arrested and charged.
Retirees Victims of Violent Home Invasion
Police have arrested a known burglar in connection with the aggravated burglary of the home of Stephen and Ursula Patnett Lewis on Monday, October 1st.
16-Year-Old Jamie Dominguez executed
Police continue their investigation into the murder of 16-year-old Jamie Dominguez. At about 1 a.m. on Saturday, September 29th, residents living near the corner of Vernon and Partridge Streets were disturbed by the loud sound of a single gunshot. That gunshot ended the life of Dominguez as the bullet struck the right side of his head, killing him instantly.
Steven Polonio shot in the Head
Steven Polonio died after he was shot to the head sometime around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3rd. Reports are sketchy as we go to press however, The Guardian was reliably informed that Polonio received at least one gunshot to the head. He was transported to the KHMH and died shortly while receiving treatment.
20-Year-Old UB Student Killed
Cayo residents are tested by tragedy once again. At 10:30 on Tuesday night, October 2nd, the parents of 20-year-old Suzenne Martinez visited the San Ignacio Police Station to file a missing persons report. Martinez left her home on 18th Street in San Ignacio Town at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday enroute to school at the University of Belize. Her parents became concerned when she did not arrive at home her usual time, between 9 and 10 p.m., and decided to get the police involved.
If no ASR, What?
I have not been to a House of Representatives meeting for many, many years and so last Wednesday, September 26th, was a treat for me as I listened to the live debate relating to the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Development Incentives Act, 2012. Both the Act and the Investment are now history, and since there have been so many commentaries on the subject, I will defer from discussing the merits of both issues so as not to be accused of being cruel to a dead horse.
There were a few things that jumped out at me during the House debate and over the airwaves, however, which I am itching to comment on. In last week’s edition of the Amandala, the editorial “Sugar and Spice; Sugar rolls the Dice…” presented a fairly balanced view of the situation in the sugar industry and the reasoning for BSI’s partnership with ASR.
I will comment later on one of the statements in the Amandala editorial but first let me try to condense a complex situation into a couple of simple sentences. Basically, the market crash a few years ago made BSI very vulnerable due to its recent investments in the Sugar Factory and Power Plant. This situation, coupled with a long period of undersupply of sugar cane, really perturbed the bankers and they simply called their loans. These international lending institutions now operate under strict guidelines rather than merciful emotions. When the financial relationship as a client is no longer profitable, or poses too much risk, they want their money back. You can’t hate them for that; it’s called capitalism, Jack.
Bishop Martin High wins National Nutrition Quiz Competition
Bishop Martin High is the 2012 champ
The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports held the 12th annual National Nutrition Quiz Competition on Friday, September 28th, at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel. Seven schools from across the country qualified to compete for the national title by winning their respective district competitions. Belize District was allowed two teams since they had a total of fourteen teams in their district finals. The seven teams that participated in the national competition were St. Viator Technical High from the Corozal District; Sacred Heart College from the Cayo District; Bishop Martin High from the Orange Walk District; Julian Cho Technical from the Toledo District; San Pedro High and Belize High School from the Belize District; and Delille Academy from the Stann Creek District.
UDP Reorganizing Constituency Executive Committees
The United Democratic Party continues on its efforts to ensure that constituency executives are in place and particular focus is being placed on constituencies, which the party was unable to secure in the last general elections.
New School Bags for the School New Year Hon. Saldivar Invests in Education of Belmopan Children
Hon. John Saldivar distributers school bags to children
It’s been roughly one month since primary schools reopened around the country, but many students in the Belmopan Constituency are still experiencing the thrill of newness that normally accompanies the first day of the school year. That is because, thanks to their Area Representative, Hon. John Saldivar, close to a thousand (1,000) primary school students in the Belmopan area are receiving brand new school bags.
AMERICAN WAY Features Kim Simplis-Barrow in October Editorial “The Fighter”
Kim Simplis-Barrow is my friend. She’s your friend, too, even though you’ve probably never met her. She’s a friend to the ideals of smart growth and fair housing; to education and the pursuit thereof; to all living creatures; to humanity. Throughout her life, she’s been committed not only to her native land, but also to the global community. Her philanthropic commitments have taken her around the world. She’s met kings and queens, presidents and premiers, noblemen and dignitaries. And they’ve met her. As the First Lady of Belize, Kim Simplis-Barrow and her husband, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, have represented their Central American country from continent to continent. Kim Simplis-Barrow is my friend, and friends stick together. That’s why I thought this column would be the perfect forum for telling her story to American Airlines’ passengers. Especially now, in October, which is, as you hopefully gleaned from the pink ribbon on the cover of this issue, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And my friend has stage-three breast cancer.
Belize discusses food security with the region
Belize hosted the 23rd meeting of International Cooperation Directors for Latin America and the Caribbean between the 1st and 2nd of October. Entitled "Regional Cooperation in the Area of Food Security," the meeting focused on ways in which the region can cooperate to improve food security as well as to take stock of existing agreements to achieve this goal.
Belize’s First True Science and Energy Policy
Dr. Cardinal Warde and Senator Hon. Joy Grant
There is a group of Belizeans that believe Belize should be an economic powerhouse in the region due to its geographical position, climate and young population however, that dream has been delayed because of our disregard for the latest technological advancements. Thursday, September 27th, 2012 may have been a normal day for most Belizeans but for that group, it was a day that should be penciled down in the country’s history.