Today's Belize News: November 10, 2012
11/10/12 08:20 AM
11/10/12 08:20 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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The San Pedro Sun
John Greif II San Pedro Airstrip officially renamed and inaugurated
The John Greif II San Pedro Airstrip was officially renamed, unveiled and inaugurated after being in renovation for the past two years. The event took place on Thursday November 8th and present for the occasion were members of parliament as well as members of the Greif family and other high profile dignitaries and local airline representatives. The event was twofold: to officially inaugurate the airstrip and to officially unveil the renamed airstrip that proudly boasts a bronze bust of the late John Greif II.
Officially welcoming the dignitaries to the event was Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero who said that project is welcome and will enhance and compliment the evolving tourism industry and the fast-growing municipality of San Pedro. Following Mayor Guerrero’s welcome remarks, Louis Ake, the Regional Manager of Central American Corporation for Air Navigation Services (COCESNA) in Belize, explained the magnitude of investment that was pumped into the renovation of airstrip facility in San Pedro. “More than US $2.3 million has been invested. This project was comprised of the following: the construction of 2175 meters of perimeter fencing, the rehabilitation and resurfacing of the runway and the taxiway, the construction of a new airport parking area, the installation of the runway and taxiway lights and the installation of a precision approach pathway indication lighting system which will provide visual aid for landing aircraft. The project was financed and managed by COCESNA,” said Ake.
Announcing the Grand Opening of GAÏA Riverlodge
The newly renamed and redesigned GAÏA Riverlodge is set to open its doors this Saturday, November 10th. Formerly the Five Sisters Lodge, this scenic property which has been closed for renovation since August, will officially relaunch as GAÏA Riverlodge with a fresh aesthetic and wonderful amenities.
“We are thrilled to welcome our first guests,” says Daniel Lighter, owner of both GAÏA Riverlodge and its sister property Matachica Resort and Spa, located in Ambergris Caye. “This is such an exciting time for us and we look forward to further developing our services and relations within the Belizean community.”
Tucked away inside the lush Mountain Pine Ridge Forest, GAÏA Riverlodge has been redesigned with major upgrades to the signature cabanas as well as the main lodge building. The sixteen cabanas now boast hardwood floors, bathrooms with hand-painted Mexican tiles, panorama windows or private verandas with relaxing hammocks. Handmade Mahogany furnishings and luxurious Matouk and Frette linens also add to the comfort to the revamped lodge.
Concerns at public meeting on crime yields positive results
Hardly a week after the public meeting on crime at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium there are positive results coming out of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), who over the past week, held several emergency meetings with various business people and stakeholders. Five new police officers have been assigned to the San Pedro Police Formation and housing, along with transportation, has also been secured. In addition two very substantial donations were received by the SPTC, which was handed over to police on Thursday, November 8th.
When speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Daniel Guerrero explained that after the public meeting on Tuesday October 30th, many people expressed willingness to assist both the SPTC and the Police Department on the island to address the crime situation that has spiked out of control. One of the first persons to reach out was John McAfee, renowned businessman and part-time resident of northern Ambergris Caye. “Due to concerns of the people in the last meeting we promised to go into first gear. Mr. John McAfee called me immediately after hearing about the concerns as it related to crime…he came very generously and said he will equip the police force in San Pedro with anything that he could at the time and is willing to give even more. He has promised the Council that his boat is available anytime for the Police Department if they need it. He is also willing to host all five police officers in five air-conditioned rooms at his establishment and transportation for them will be free of cost via Coastal Express,” said the Mayor.
Inauguration of The John Greif II San Pedro Airport
The number one tourist destination in the country of Belize now boasts a newly renovated and safety enhanced airport, the John Greif II Airport. The official inauguration took place on Thursday, November 8, 2012, where officials of the Belize Airports Authority, COCESNA, distinguished guests and media gathered at the airport to witness such important event.
Donation Arms San Pedro Police to Help Combat Crime
Mr. John McAfee was more than pleased to help out the community of La Isla Bonita which he calls home. His donation included equipment for the police officers, housing for five police officers and a boat for transportation. Equipment donation included tasers, handcuffs, hydration packs, flashing lights, metal detectors, pistol belts, pepper spray and batons, to name a few.
On behalf of Minister Heredia, Mr. Kevin Gonzalez, presented a short speech to those in attendance and also presented six of twelve Motorola hand-held radios for the department. Assistant Superintendent Vienie Robinson delivered the vote of thanks after the official presentation of equipment which was carried out by Mr. John McAfee, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Mr. Keving Gonzalez.
Celebrity Spotting - Arlett Teran Dining in San Pedro, Belize
Mexican telenovela actress Arlett Teran was spotted at two different restaurants in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize this week as she vacationed in La Isla Bonita. Known mostly for her villain roles in Mexican telenovalas (soap operas) one of Arlett’s first roles was in the Tu y Yo (1996) soap opera, where she appeared as a villain. She soon starred in more soaps such as Mi pequeña traviesa (1998) Tres mujeres (1999), Rafaela, Zacatillo Un Lugar en tu Corazon, Mañana es para Siempre, Yo Amo a Juan Guerendón and in the movie Amor Inesperado (2000).
Join the Diabetes Awareness Walk
Everyone is invited to join the San Pedro Diabetes Association in their first Diabetes Awareness Walk-A-Ton on Sunday, November 11, 2012. The walk will commence at the Central Park at 6:00 a.m. heading to Victoria House and back. Please join in the walk!
*Breakfast will be served for those who participate.
Misc Belizean Sources
TABLE ROCK JUNGLE LODGE EARNS FODOR’S CHOICE 2012 DISTINCTION FROM FODOR’S TRAVEL
Fodor’s, the leading name in travel guides for over 75 years, today announced that TABLE ROCK JUNGLE LODGE has been recognized as a 2012 Fodor’s Choice selection. This distinction designates TABLE ROCK as a leader in its field for service, quality, and value in the 2012 year.
The editors and experts of Fodor’s have been selecting only the top fifteen percent of their listed properties and activities as Fodor’s Choice award recipients since 1988. Every year, Fodor’s writers experience, examine and evaluate thousands of hotels, restaurants and attractions in their travels across the globe. While every business included in a Fodor’s guide is deemed worth a traveler’s time, only those offering a truly remarkable experience are given the Fodor’s Choice designation.
For more than 75 years Fodor’s has presented travelers with the very top recommendations from hidden-away restaurants to can't-miss museums, to make sure they’re making the most of their travels. The 2012 Fodor’s Choice recipients are the best of the best, providing a remarkable experience in their price range or category.
The Aguada Hotel
The Aguada Hotel has a nice looking website. There's been some confusion since the old one has been taken down. The newer site address is: http://aguadabelize.com/ and it suits the Aguada perfectly. Their new road is coming along nicely too.
"This bucolic setting is attractively landscaped with blooming trees, orchids, iguanas, over 63 species of birds, and a lovely array of foliage and flowering plants. Combined with a charming atmosphere, attractive hardwood interiors, an excellent restaurant and bar, swimming pool complete with a patio, and all located in the best valued hotel in Belize; The Aguada is hard to beat. This quiet getaway is a welcome change from the hectic pace of downtown San Ignacio."
ATLIB Volleyball Nationals at SHJC
The ATLIB volleyball nationals are today at Sacred Heart Junior College. The UB Black Jaguars will be defending their number 1 position. The festivities start at 9:00am. There will be food and drinks available.
Archaeology Department Hosts Training in Placencia
Training sessions will be held on November 16 and 17 at the Placencia Community Center from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Nov. 16 Session:
· Focuses on the general Maya
Nov. 17 Session:
· Focuses on the sites of Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Serpon.
Tour guides, as well as students and the interested general public are encouraged to attend.
Institute of Archaeology
Where did the water go in 5 Blues Lake
The Five Blues Lake national park in the Cayo district is a ten-acre natural wonder neatly situated in the tropical rain forest of southern Belize. But a phenomenon which was first observed about six years ago is back. Virtually all the water from the lake has disappeared. According to the president of Friends of 5 Blues Lake, Mario Perez, he started to notice the water disappearing from the lake in the middle of October and now it is almost all gone. Perez says that the last time that the lake dried up, it took three hundred and forty four days for the water to return. Unlike the incident in 2006, Perez says that this time around, much more water has been left on the bed of the lake than the last incident.
3+ Days Later: Baptist Church Denies Pastor
On Wednesday's Newscast, 7News showed you 46 year-old Julio Cesar Garcia, the purported pastor from Franks Eddy Baptist Church who is in prison for allegedly having sexual intercourse with an 11 year-old female, a member of the church.
The 11 year-old alleged that Garcia had intercourse with her once in the church house and on another occasion at his home.
As a result, police arrested and charged him with 2 counts of unlawful carnal knowledge and he was arraigned and remanded to prison on Wednesday.
It is a heinous case of abuse of authority and trust, and the community is trying to recover from this betrayal.
But if you noticed, we used the word, "purported", because the Baptist Association of Belize says that Garcia is not the pastor of the church, in fact, they don't even know if he is a pastor at all.
In a press release sent out from the Association - ALMOST FOUR DAYS AFTER THE STORY BROKE, they refuted any claim that Garcia is associated with the Franks Eddy Baptist Church.
Some Stolen Steel Returned
Last night we showed you an 18-wheeler with thousands of lengths of fraudulently obtained lengths of steel parked outside a hardware store in Corozal - without any police guard.
And our expose seems to have forced the hand of higher-up's in the police department - who originally didn't want the steel moved from Corozal - even though it was the subject of a criminal investigation in the Cayo district.
This morning, they let the truck return to Midwest Steel in Spanish Lookout with three thousand lengths of steel. But that's only part of the fraudulent transaction. The suspect bought five thousand lengths of steel for sixty-one thousand dollars on Saturday with a bogus check.
Three thousand of those have been returned, but two thousand are reportedly still in the warehouse of the Corozal hardware store. And again, it seems the owner is getting special treatment from Corozal police - who appear reluctant to move in and confiscate everything - even as the items are believed to be the proceeds of fraud.
Six Years For Boyfriend Killer
It is an interesting study in contrasts that yesterday Lavern Longsworth was sent to prison for life for killing her common law - while today a man who killed his ex-wife's new boyfriend got six years in jail. The circumstances are clearly different, but the contrast in sentences is also stark.
38 year-old Alvaro Gregorio, the man who was convicted of killing his estranged wife's lover, 37 year-old Roberto Jimenez Juarez Marroquin, will serve 6 years more in jail.
Gregorio was convicted last week Thursday, after a jury of 12 convicted him of a lesser charge of manslaughter after 5 hours of deliberation.
In the trial, evidence came out that on October 8, 2008, Gregorio allegedly went to his wife's home and was talking to her when Marroquin arrived 15 minutes later. The men argued, and Gregorio stabbed Marroquin in the chest with a kitchen knife, causing him to bleed to death.
In his mitigation hearing today before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, both Gregorio and his attorney, Simeon Sampson addressed the court.
Sampson reminded the court that this was Gregorio's first conviction. He also told the court that under the circumstances, as described by Gregorio in his dock statement, the fatal wound was inflicted due to a fight and in self-defence.
And the Crime Ridden Areas Are ...
The five Crime-Ridden areas designated for Belize City have been gazetted.
They are all in the Lake Independence and Pickstock areas. Special area 1 encompasses all that area north of Garbutt Street, west of Giles Street, south of Camberbatch Street and east of MY Street, north of M and M Street and west of Garbutt Street.
Special area 2 encompasses all that area south of Police Street extension, east of the junction of Linda Vista Street and the Western Highway, and west of Lacroix Boulevard.
Special area 3 encompasses all that area south of Holy Emmanuel Street, west of Lacroix Boulevard, north of Police Street extension and east of Emma Street.
Special area 4 encompasses all that area to include south of Lavender Street, east of Jasmine Street, north of Croton Lane, east of Flamboyant Street and West of Oleander Street.
Special area 5 encompasses all that area north of Poinsetta Street, east of Black Orchid Street, west of Causarina Street and south of Mahogany Street.
Police Descend On Mayflower Street
A gang area which has not been designated as crime-ridden is Mayflower Street. But it was subjected to an extensive police operation this afternoon.
Over the years, the Mayflower area has developed a reputation as being the base for one of the most feared gangs in Belize City, the Ghost Town Crips.
But, there are also non gang affiliated residents of the area.
So today, 7News was called out there because some of the residents were upset by the actions of some of the officers. We were surprised to find a resident who had absolutely no problem with police doing their job. She says it's because she has nothing to hide:
Resident of Mayflower
"The police already came to my house. They entered my house, and they asked if I had drugs or weapons. I told them no, only my son and I live here. I just came from work, after I washed and cleaned up. I don't know what happens outside. I just stay inside with my son. We only go to work or school, and then back home."
ACP Whylie's Wife Upbraids GSU
Five officers of the GSU are in hot water after they came up against the wife of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie.
Today's Amandala reports that the five officers - two corporals and three constables - are on interdiction for allegedly assaulting Whylie's wife.
The paper reports that Mrs. Whylie saw the GSU arresting a male, and thought they were bring too rough. She cautioned them for what she thought was unnecessary roughness. That's when one of them allegedly injured her finger and another reportedly backed up a vehicle into her.
She made a complaint - and all five officers on the patrol were placed on interdiction. They remain on interdiction tonight even though only one or two officers were implicated in wrongdoing. The official position - as we understand it - from the police top brass is that all five had other complaints against them as well.
We should note that it is irregular that officers are placed under interdiction for a complaint of excessive force. Typically, such matters investigated, internal charges are brought and a fine assessed.
Fuel Prices Come Down, Finally
The pump price of premium fuel has finally tumbled from its record high of twelve dollars and ninety-seven cents per gallon.
On Wednesday at midnight, the price of a gallon of premium fuel dropped by one dollar and thirty cents, and regular dropped by eighty cents per gallon.
So, premium fuel is now eleven dollars and sixty seven cents, and regular is now eleven dollars and twenty seven cents - per gallon.
The change in price is due in part to a sharp decrease in the world price for crude oil. The next shipment of regular fuel only is scheduled to arrive on Monday. But under the new arrangement with Venezuela - the change in price for this fuel will not be reflected at the pump until the current inventory at the PUMA depot is depleted.
It's worth noting that the octane rating of the regular and premium fuel from Venezuela currently available in Belize is slightly exceeds the ratings of the "Magna" and Premium fuel available in Mexico.
Rancharan Runs Away From UNO
And while octane is up and prices are down - one family of local gas station owners is moving out!
The Rancharan's who have been running the Bel-China Texaco for eight years are leaving the gas station. This is after they could not reach an agreement with the successor to the Texaco Franchise, UNO.
As we've been reporting, UNO changed things up on the dealers - taking over the gas sales at all the stations that used to be Texaco.
That's how the Central American company does business but today the Rancharan's told Monica Bodden that's not how they do it, so they had to part ways and do their own thing:..
Nolberto Rancharan - CP Gas Representative
"We are in preparation of relocating the Rancharan family gas station to one and a half miles on the Northern Highway where the A&R service station formerly was and effective on Sunday we will be relocating to that location continuing business and serving the people of Belize City."
"Can you guys tell us why you guys chose not to work along with UNO?"
Haylock's Bus Nor Re-instated
Last week Friday it was announced that Haylock's bus line had been suspended for a week.
That's after 9-year-old student Martin Noble fell from a moving bus that was Ladyville bound. The suspension should have ended today, but the news tonight is that it continues. That's because as we understand it, the bus line only presented six of its nine busses for inspection.
The terms of the suspension were that the Department of Transport would conduct a comprehensive inspection of all the buses in that fleet to determine their road-worthiness.
And so, the suspension stands at least until that is completed.
In the meantime Martin Noble has been making a remarkable discovery. He's back at home and his father expects to be back in school on Monday.
Castro Says Standees Will Be A Thing Of the Past
And while Martin Noble is recovering, the issue with overcrowded buses still hasn't changed. In an interview with the media last week, Minister of state with responsibility for Transport Edmund Castro that there are policies in place to stop overcrowded buses - but the Ministry cannot police every bus that moves.
Well, we caught up with the Minister of Transport in San Pedro yesterday and he told us that overloaded busses will soon be a thing of the pass:...
Hon. Edmund Castro
"We have some of the bus company now selling tickets; Shaw Bus Company, I think Westline is now selling tickets, so they are coming around and some of the ones that are not selling tickets as yet, they are working on their ticket books and how to fit it in. We still have and we would like to eliminate the rushing on busses both in Belmopan and the Belize City terminal, but as soon as all this be cleared and stop when each and every bus company start to sell tickets because then you will be able to go to the terminal purchase your ticket and come back and catch your bus 5 minutes before the bus take off."
"Minister explain to us ticket system."
Medical Union Meets
In every field of expertise, there are regular updates to procedures and practices, and as a result, the professionals also need to update and change accordingly.
That was just what the Belize Medical and Dental Association did on the first day of their 31st International Congress.
7News stopped by and asked the President what were the topics of focus.
Dr. Andrew Cervantes, President - Belize Medical and Dental Association
"We are having our 31st international medical congress and this is for doctors and dentists and it is whereby we have invited national experts and international experts to come and to help us upgrade our knowledge and current concepts on medicine and dentistry."
"Can you tell us a little bit about topics were spoken on today and the ones you will focus on tomorrow?"
Dr. Andrew Cervantes "We have had very important talks this morning. Both national presenters and international presenters, we've had one doctor for example come to talk to us about how to improve the quality of healthcare that we give both for public institutions and for private institutions. Something very necessary because many times - once we belong to a system its kind a hard to want to implement change. It has been am eye opener because this doctor brings experience from visiting many countries in Russia, Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean and he has now come to share this knowledge here in Belize for us to be able to improve that standard."
McAfee, the Generous, Pray For Us
You may remember John McAfee - he's the American who was in the news in May when the GSU raided his compound in Orange Walk and found lots of guns.
Since then, he's made enormous claims in the local and international media. These include various threats supposedly made against him by police and other nefarious forces.
So imagine our surprise today when we saw in the San Pedro sun that Mcafee made a lavish donation to police in that island town yesterday.
The Sun reports that McAfee donated 40 Stun guns, 7 SWAT batons, Professional SWAT batons, 2 Security Pro batons, 60 assorted brands and types of pepper spray, 46 assorted heavy duty metal handcuffs, 12 Premium Led flashlights, 7 streetwise metal detectors, 5 High Sierra brand hydration backpacks and a battery charger amongst an arsenal of equipment.
He also handed over a small vessel with engine to the San Pedro Police. The donation comes out of a public meeting on crime held last week in San Pedro. Mayor Daniel Guerrero explained that after the meeting McAfee reached out with an offer of equipment as well as use of his boat, and apartments on northern Ambergris Caye.
The Value Of A Shoe-Shine Man
Even in the world of informal everything where spit-shined shoes have been replaced by scruffy tennis shoes - there's always a place for the shoe-shine man.
And that's the role Herman Welch plays. As far as we know, he's the only shoe shine man with a semi-permanent instillations in Belize City.
He told us how business has been up and down lately:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
The last time we met Herman Welch a year ago, he was at the Commercial Center - but now he's moved to the Radisson. The commercial center location was the city center - but it also made him a target to young troublemakers:
Herman Welch, Shoe-Shine Man
"There is a little problem with the kids there throwing stones, so Mr. Scott was nice to bring me over here and I came with Mr. Scott."
And now he's at the front of the Radisson - the city's biggest busiest hotel:
Herman Welch, Shoe-Shine Man
"The business is the same as over at the Commercial Center because the same clients I have come here. The only difference is there is a change in the price."
Salvation Army Gets In The Swing
When you hear the Salvation Army bell jingling that means Christmas is around the corner. It started today as it customarily does in early November. Monica Bodden was out there to hear the first strains of Christmas music:...
Monica Bodden reporting
It was a festive atmosphere this morning in front of the First Caribbean Bank -as the Salvation Army band ushered in the Christmas spirit with their trumpets and saxophones blowing some of the most sweet-sounding Christmas melodies. It was the launch of the Annual Salvation Army Red Kettle appeal.
Major Joliker Leandre - Regional Commander
"This is an annual event and the motivation behind it is to help those who are less fortunate than we are throughout Belize and throughout the world no matter how far you will see the Christmas Kettle of the Salvation Army. The public will always donate, will always give something. We have a number of Christmas activities but they are all ongoing programs, so the gifts given to the Salvation Army are not only for the Christmas period but it's for the year."
The Kettle Appeal initiative had a jump start this morning - when the First Caribbean International Bank handed over a cheque of 15 thousand dollars. It is the bank's second year of contributing towards the worthy cause.
Statutory Instrument signed for Crime Ridden Areas
Sections of Belize City are bracing tonight for the joint operations that will take place in designated Crime Ridden Areas. Officers will have no need for warrants for searches. Entire neighborhoods can be cordoned-off and passage in and out of those neighborhoods will be restricted for duration of the searches. The statutory instrument called the [...]
Mayflower residents get searched; one person claims abuse
But even before patrols begin in the crime ridden areas, there are serious allegations being made following a search of a house on Mayflower Street as police crackdown on crime in the south side hotspots. At about two this afternoon, uniformed police, the anti-crime unit and the B.D.F. were in the neighborhood of Mayflower Street. [...]
Mayflower resident wants police to work in crime area
Sandra Uter says she is not against the search of the area and supports the police’s fight against crime. According to Uter, the situation on mayflower is worsened by criminals who seek refuge in the area to avoid apprehension. Voice of: Sandra Uter “The only thing I noh do, I noh tell lie pan [...]
Teenagers in custody for murder of Dennis Williams
A trio of teenagers remains in police custody tonight, following the brazen midday murder of fifty-four year old Dennis Williams on Thursday. Williams, an employee of Three Star Quality Chicken, was fatally shot during a botched robbery of the establishment which is located on Vernon Street. According to Belize City police, two male persons entered [...]
Baptist Church says man accused of sex crime not a pastor
The Baptist Association is distancing itself from Julio Cesar Garcia. Garcia is the man who has been named in the sexual abuse of an eleven year old school girl from Frank’s Eddy. That story broke on Monday and on Wednesday Garcia was charged with carnal knowledge in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. The residents of Franks [...]
4 GSU cops in trouble for incident involving top cop’s wife
Four police officers attached to the Gang Suppression Unit are tonight on interdiction, following an incident in October during which the wife of Assistant Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie was reportedly assaulted by the team. It is alleged that Sandra Whylie and her daughter bore witness to the physical abuse of a young man, who [...]
Early childhood development will be focus of ministries
To make a cohesive plan will take the concerted effort and planning from the Ministries of Human Development, Health, Education and non-governmental organizations. Criminal activities, including murders, have been carried out by the hands of youths. Perhaps that is why Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation says that joint [...]
How many carnal knowledge cases this week?
This week alone, we reported on four suspected cases of carnal knowledge. One alleged perpetrator was taken to court this morning and is on remand tonight. Twenty-three year old Adam Choco, who is a salesman from the Northern Highway, was charged for sexually abusing a fifteen year old girl this past Monday. Choco was unrepresented [...]
Murder to manslaughter; wife couldn’t testify against him
Thirty-four year old Alvaro Rene Gregorio, of the San Mateo Area of San Pedro, who was accused of killing Roberto Jimenez Marroguin on October eighth, 2008, was sentenced today to ten years in prison by Supreme Court judge, Troadio John Gonzalez. The sentence is retroactive to the day he was remanded for the stabbing death [...]
B.D.F. wants his job back; he said he didn’t cheat
On Thursday night, we reported that a Belize Defense Force Lieutenant is fighting his termination. Leslie Roberts claims his woes started in January 2010 when he and another Lieutenant took a Junior Command and Staff course in Jamaica. Roberts was sent home because it was alleged that he cheated on an assignment. Roberts told News [...]
Trouble for the P.U.P. and its northern caucus
In news of a political nature, there is trouble tonight in the usually united Northern Caucus of the P.U.P. According to reports, Florencio Marin, Deputy Party Leader and Corozal South East Representative Florencio Marin Jr. is trying to flex his muscle in the caucus by endorsing a New Executive in the Corozal Bay. At the [...]
Northern Regional allegations discussed at Medical Congress
There have been persistent reports of allegations of malpractice at the Northern Regional where at least fifteen persons reportedly developed life-threatening complications after surgery. But that’s not an issue that is being discussed at the thirty-first Congress of the Medical and Dental Association which is ongoing at the Bliss Institute. The conference is being attended [...]
Help the Salvation Army Kettle Drive
Across the globe and in Belize, the chiming of the Salvation Army bells fills the air. The organization today kicked off its annual Kettle Appeal in downtown Belize City. This year, the money raised will be used to provide baskets for four hundred needy families. The Red Kettle will be seen at many locations throughout [...]
World Bank wraps up session to start Social Policy
Earlier in the week, Representatives of the World Bank had the opportunity to support the government via a technical workshop where the policy and planning units of the Ministry of Health, Education, and Human Development came together along with technical staff from NGO’s, civil staff, organizations to reach a common understanding of what social protection [...]
Primary School students are All Saints at the Battlefield Park
If you were in the downtown area today, you would have seen young primary school children cleaning up the Battlefield Park. The students who attend the All Saints Primary School say the initiative is their contribution to the problem of homelessness and is in line with the Anglican Diocese theme to promote a healthy environment. [...]
79 year old Grandfather Charged For Aggravated Assault
Yesterday Orange Walk Police detained the grandfather of a two year old baby girl after the child’s mother accused him of exposing his private parts to the 2 year old. The mother of the child told police that on Tuesday at around 8:30am she was at home preparing to go visit her mother-in-law who lives next door, when she noticed that her two year old daughter ran ahead of her into the house. When the mother followed the child into the house, the 2 year old was already seated on her grandfather’s lap. At that instance the mother noticed that the 79 year old man had his private parts exposed. As mentioned last night, the individual, whose name we will not reveal in order to protect the child’s identity, was detained pending investigations and today when he appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court, he was charged for the crime of aggravated assault. Bail was offered to him to the sum of $2,500 plus one surety which he met. As for the two year old CTV3 News understands she was examined by a doctor who confirmed that she was not sexually abused.
One Man Found Guilty Of Carnal Knowledge While A Second Is Charged For Two Counts Of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Back in July of 2010, Romero Jimenez, who is a naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala, was convicted of carnal knowledge after a female minor from Corozal, who was 12 years old at the time, came forward and reported to police that Jimenez had sexual intercourse with her against her will. The judge sentenced Jimenez to 17 years in prison, but 3 months later, on October 13th 2010, an appeal was allowed in the Belize Court of Appeal where Jimenez’s conviction was squashed, set aside and a retrial was ordered. Jimenez was offered bail to the sum of $10,000 which he was unable to meet and as a result was shipped back to the Belize Central Prison.
Jimenez’s retrial commenced on November 5th of this year and concluded today at the Northern Session of the Supreme Court here in Orange Walk where he was found guilty of carnal knowledge by seven of the 9 jurors that heard the case before Judge Herbert Lord. Defending Jimenez was Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson while the prosecution was represented by Crown Counsel Cristophe Rodriguez. Sentencing is set for November 29th.
Steel Purchased With Fraudulent Cheques Ends Up In Corozal
Police in the west are tonight investigating a case of obtaining property by deception that tails all the way to the Corozal District. CTV3 News understands that on Saturday November 3rd, a male individual visited Midwest Steel in Spanish Lookout. While at the establishment the individual identified himself as an employees of Belize Water Services Limited and purchased 5,000 lengths of steel, two thousand 3/8 steels, one thousand half inch steels and two thousand ¼ inch steels all to a total value of $68,388.75 which he paid for with what resulted to be a fraudulent check. Now what does that have to do with Corozal Town? Well, according to our sources, the individual sold the 5,000 lengths of steel to a hardware store in Corozal. CTV3 News understands that the person contacted the owner of the hardware store after which a cash transaction was made. The businessman paid the individual a total of $20,000: $8,000 in check and the rest in cash. The check, we understand, was cashed on November 5th by one Rivera Moir who police are looking for.
But the story does not end there. Police reports indicate that on Friday November 2nd, at around 3:45pm, a male individual of dark complexion visited one of the branches of Caribbean Tires and purchased 100 sheets of plywood valued at $6,024.38 and paid with a Scotia Bank cheque number 053. The following morning, the same individual purchased 150 sheets of plywood valued at $9,466.88 and paid with a Scotia Bank cheque number 060. When the cheque’s were deposited to Scotia Bank, the manager of Caribbean Tires, Judy Perez, was informed that the cheque’s were fraudulent since account number 94868 does not exist. Police are looking for Keith Harris in connection to this incident.
Belize Medical Council Investigates Alleged Cases Of Malpractice At The NRH
This station has been closely monitoring the serious allegations of malpractice brought against the Northern Regional Hospital by numerous women. As we reported, the Belize Medical Council was set to meet yesterday in order to discuss how the cases of alleged malpractice will be handled. Reports to CTV3 News are that the meeting did take place in Belize City.
Reliable reports indicate that the Medical Council recommended that one of the female doctor’s who performs surgery at the Northern Regional Hospital be placed on administrative leave effective immediately until further investigations into the cases are conducted. However; we have been informed that the recommendation of the Belize Medical Council did not sit too well with Minister of Health Pablo Marin who is now blocking the council’s decision. We tried extensively to get in contact with the President of the Belize Medical Council, George Gough for comment, but our efforts proved futile.
1st Phase Of BMDP Soon To Be Completed In O/W
By now you might have heard about the Belize Municipal Development Project. But if you haven’t then let me tell you that it’s a municipal infrastructural venture aimed at developing municipalities across the country. Here in Orange Walk, phase one of the project is already half completed. Tangerine Street and Avilez Lane were two of the four streets on the list to be upgraded with funds from the BMDP. Tonight the Orange Walk Town Council is pleased to announce that work on the streets has been completed and they will soon be opened to traffic.
Kevin Bernard, Mayor OW Town
“They have finally laid the hot mix which we refer to as the asphalt cement on that street and so the street will have to be closed for a 24 hour period to give it a healing time and so that street will be open to vehicular traffic on Friday. In phase one with all Santa Familia, San Ignacio, Aviles Lane and the Tangerine street is about 1.2 million dollars that was allocated in those funds where the council had to put contribution as well as you know initially it was only $824,000 where the council had paid $24,000 and the world bank provide with the $800,000 now they took that up to an additional month so we had to find an additional thousands of dollars to ensuring that these street were fully completed.”
BSCFA Says It's Not Broke
Over the last few days the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has come under attack. Allegations are that the organization is broke and has had to rely on the 2012/2013 Fair Trade Funds in order to pay employees. But that budget is yet to be presented and approved by cane famers during a meeting scheduled for November 25th. So, is there something to hide? We went looking for answers and today when we questioned the Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, he told us there is nothing out of the norm with the 2012/2013 budget.
Alfredo Ortega- Chairman BSCFA, COM
“El ano pasado tuvimos nuestra junta el 29 de Noviembre este ano lo vamos hacer el 25, claro teníamos programado para el 11 de Noviembre, sin embargo se aplicó un nuevo sistema este ano de como se desarrolla el Budget porque anteriormente se sentaban los técnicos acá desarrollaban los Budget y solo los presentan a los caneros, una queja grandísimo que a sucedido y los auditores nos han dicho que haiga mayor participación de los caneros. Este ano el C.E.O. implemento un sistema adonde dimos una primera ronda en todos los branches, los 18 branches, adonde los caneros se sentaron en grupo y decidieron cual es su prioridad, cual es la necesidad como un need assessment de branch, cuando se dio esa ronda de junta con los branches vinieron los técnicos y se sentaron entonces allí ellos aplicaron basado a lo que necesitaba cada branch en su prioridad entonces ellos les pusieron números financieros, esto entonces se dio para una segunda ronda a los branches para que los caneros de los diferentes branches ahora decidan como modifican. Cosa que hasta en esos momentos no hemos terminados porque por uno u otra razón habido problemas con algunos branches y hay tres a cuatro branches que todavía van a ir a juntas en estas fines de semana para culminar esto y eso entonces nos a traído atrasos para que se alargue mas la junta que se cambio para el 25 de Noviembre.”
Based on the delay of the meeting the Committee of Management wrote to FLOCERT requesting permission to use some of the Fair Trade Funds in order to continue with the everyday activities.
BMHS Annual Food Extravaganza To Be Held On Saturday
Bishop Martin High School’s annual Taste of Orange Walk Food and Extravaganza has been gaining momentum over the years. The food fest is considered as one of the institutions biggest fundraisers whereby the money is used for the maintenance of the school. This year the activity is scheduled to take place on Saturday at the Fort Cairns Market Plaza and according to teacher Roselle Carballo you won’t be disappointed.
Roselle Carballo, BMHS
“Each class is responsible for different dish we have arroz poblano, tamales colados, bar b que, pib, escabeche and turkey dinner and all this and the program is a whole day program it starts from nine o’clock with a short parade from shell one stop to the market center where the classes will be performing cultural presentations, we have East Indian, African, Mayan and so forth and the we will have ten set up where each class will have their cultural food on sale and the tickets are selling for ten dollars it comes with the meal a dessert and juice.”
You Decide What Projects Will Fall Under The Second Phase Of BMDP
Earlier in the newscast you heard Mayor Kevin Bernard speaking about the Belize Municipal Development Project which is funded by the World Bank. Even though phase 1 of the $5 million project for Orange Walk is yet to be completed, the planning for phase 2 is scheduled to commence by the end of this week. This time; however, the Social Investment Fund and the Orange Walk Town Council will consult with residents before deciding on how the $1.6 million allocated for phase 2 will be utilize.
Kevin Bernard, Mayor OW Town
“The purpose of this meeting is to start in the consultation phase for the phase two of the Belize Municipal Development Project and what we want to do is to highlight; one we will have members of SIF and the Ministry of Local Government to be here and it will be a short agenda because at the end of the day we just want to ensure we hear what are the priority areas the residence would like to see develop in the phase two allocation. I understand from the representative of SIF that this time around phase two we can see an investment or about 1.6 million dollars thereof infrastructure project we would want to implement. In phase one as you there were four street that were addressed and there were several other areas that were propose but this council has met as well in terms of identifying some other areas that we would want to propose to the residence at the same time while may have our proposals the residence they may also have their own ideas as to what they would want to see and this is the purpose of this meeting so that that phase could go through and we could highlight the priority areas and from there the world bank and SIF, the representatives can put together the project and see which project we can afford to use within those ranges.”
The meeting is set for tomorrow at the Orange Walk Central Park Central commencing at 7:00pm.
Last edited by Marty; 11/16/12 11:52 AM.
Re: Today's Belize News: November 10, 2012
11/10/12 08:20 AM
11/10/12 08:20 AM
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More News: Scroll up from here
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“SAFE ZONES” VS “CRIME-RIDDEN” AREAS: WHERE ARE WE NOW?
In June 2010, Prime Minister Dean Barrow conceded that Belize had been facing a crime crisis and he announced the launch of the RESTORE Belize program (RESTORE being the acronym for Re-Establish Security Through Outreach Rehabilitation and Education), operating under the Office of the Prime Minister, with the stated aim of steering the process of taking back Belize, and particularly lawless Belize City. Asked what his favorite part of the crime plan was, Barrow said that the “showpiece” was the establishment of “safe zones” in the city, and Government announced that two pilot safe zones on the Southside would have been established within the coming months.
Today, only one such safe zone exists, and it spans the area bordered by Central American Boulevard, Neal Pen Road, Fabers Road, and the Caribbean Sea in the Yarborough area, adjacent to the Cumberbatch Field. That area was declared a “safe zone” in August/ September 2010—more than two years ago. The government lacked the resources needed to establish the second “safe zone” in the Mayflower Street/Ghost Town area.
The socio-economic interventions in that zone have been limited, due to shortage of funds, and the security interventions have been even more limited and nowhere near enough to truly stem the tide of violent crimes in that area.
Sadly, reports of violent crimes, and particularly brazen murders, have not been quelled, and in fact, that stretch of the Central American Boulevard between Fabers Road and Neal Pen Road has continued to be the slaying ground of criminals among whose victims was a boy only 11 years young. Daniel Matura was shot to death in broad daylight in May 2012.
PARTRIDGE, SARSTOON-TEMASH, AND THE MAA Editorial
“Former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel and MP Dean Barrow toured the country with sitting Prime Minister George Price in support of the Maritime Areas Act.”
“The Patriotic Alliance for Belizean Integrity (PATI) was formed in December 1991 to respond to the Maritime Areas Act formulated to solve the Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory. The PATI dissolved into the National Alliance for Belizean Rights (NABR) on January 27, 1992.”
This is a difficult situation in which the Maya of the Sarstoon-Temash find themselves, and, as we pointed out last week, the situation is so similar to that in which the Native Americans found themselves in what is now the United States of America, that it is almost frightening. It is almost frightening because a lot of very bad things happened to the Native American tribes of North America, and these very bad things came as if out of nowhere and they came without warning. The Native Americans must have asked themselves: what have we done to deserve this? You live on land for generations, and you practice your way of life from time immemorial, and then a stranger comes from outside and that stranger sees something valuable in your land, something for which that stranger conceives a great desire, and what he sees is more valuable to him than who you are as a human being. So then, you must move off that land, or they will find a way to move you. This is what happened to the Native Americans, and this is what will happen to the Maya of the Sarstoon-Temash.
There are other human beings in Belize who are struggling to make a better life for themselves, and these other human beings include the Creoles, the Mestizos, the Garinagu, and the East Indians, many of whom also live in the Toledo District, and, of course, in the rest of Belize. It was quite predictable, and actually classic, that the oil company and its propagandists would seek to show the other Belizean ethnicities that their interests are different from those of the Maya, and that they should support the oil company against the Maya of the Sarstoon-Temash. Indeed, the oil company is so rich and powerful that it has even succeeded in turning Maya against Maya in southern Toledo.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
“A man once said: ‘A race which does not know its history is condemned to repeat it.’ AMANDALA will be publishing extracts of African and Indian history so that we can gain greater knowledge of self and kind.”
“It is impossible to return to the past. But we believe that a knowledge of the past, a knowledge of self and kind, will give us a mandate to revolutionize this corrupt, white-washed society in which we live.”
- pg. 1, AMANDALA No. 1, Wednesday, 13th August, 1969
“The ancient Maya civilization was one of the greatest the world ever saw. From about 250 to 900 A.D. they lived in the Golden Era, the ‘Classic Period’ of their wonderful yet mysterious civilization. By 900 A.D. and beyond, for reasons not yet clear to Maya scholars and laymen alike, they abandoned their great cities, some buildings still under construction, only to be shrouded in jungle.”
- pg. vii, THE SACRED MAYA SMOKING SHELL, Manuel M. Novelo, Belize, 2012
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where dust and moth consume, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither dust or moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break in nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
- MATTHEW, Chapter 6, verses 19 to 21
There are many people who say that they believe in God, but they live their lives in such a way as to show that what they really believe in, is man, and in material things. In Belize, the God most people believe in is the God Who originated, in specific description, from Rome and Canterbury, who, in turn, had followed basic prescriptions which came from Judaism. There are scholars who have argued and scholars who continue to argue that many of the precepts of Judaism were derived from the Egyptians, under whose rule the Jews were confined for more than four hundred years. As you go further back in time, things become more hazy.
ROMEL CUELLO DISCUSSES MARIJUANA: Letters
I fail to understand the reluctance of our government to ease the marijuana laws when it is plain for all to see that “crack cocaine” and alcohol are by far bigger problems.
We are not calling for legalization, only decriminalization; a stiff fine will do, jail time is not needed unless people are trafficking with it. Most people who smoke do it to “chill out,” for it operates mostly as a tranquilizer. A few do fly off the bat, but very few.
On the other hand, “crack cocaine” becomes the master with the first touch. Everyone who has a friend or relative on this stuff can testify to how horrible that addiction is. That problem needs to be criminally addressed.
Alcohol is legal, but needs to be highly regulated. I am noticing that in our country, most Chinese shops are more of a bar than a store. Bars have to be equipped with bathrooms; alcohol makes you urinate regularly. Shops or stores do not, so imagine where the relieving takes place. Public drinking should be strictly regulated since people who are high on alcohol are easily agitated.
The end product of alcohol and crack cocaine can easily be seen on our streets.
I know quite a few persons who are treating their crack addiction and/or alcoholism with marijuana. Just a few puffs to change the mood (no need for a whole joint), put some sense into your head, and get to work, problem solved one day at a time.
DISPUTE OVER MAYA LANDS AND OIL MAY BE HEADED TO COURT
US Capital spokesperson to the Mayas: “You can cry all you want, but the oil development is coming.”
Representatives of the Toledo Alcalde’s Association (TAA) and the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) began a public campaign today to firmly declare their position on oil exploration down south, in the resource-rich district of Toledo.
Cristina Coc, spokesperson of the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA), said that no conversation about petroleum exploration can even begin until the Maya’s ancestral and customary land rights are acknowledged, because under law, their “free, prior and informed consent” is required, as owners of much of the lands upon which US Capital intends to explore for oil in Block 19.
Alfonso Cal, TAA president, said that many of their village leaders are asking about what jobs will be available. The alcaldes of 38 villages were called to a meeting last Friday, and they were asking questions about what is going on, because they have not been hearing anything from the government regarding the status of their lands, which are included in the US Capital petroleum concession, Cal added.
According to Antoinette Moore, SC, attorney for the Maya, both they and the government are awaiting the decision of the Court of Appeal, following the government’s challenge of the judgment by former Chief Justice Dr. Abdulai Conteh acknowledging that Maya people of Toledo own the lands in and around their villages which they had customarily used and occupied.
MAYA SECURE US ATTORNEYS TO FIGHT GOB, US CAPITAL
The San Francisco attorneys are from one of the best US firms
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) has, through its United States affiliates, been able to secure a commitment for pro bono representation from a major international law firm with 600 attorneys across the US, Beijing and London, to help with a land rights challenge they may be mounting against the Government of Belize, as the dispute between the Maya of Toledo and the government over petroleum exploration in the south deepens.
Greg Ch’oc, SATIIM’s executive director, told Amandala today that they want to take things one step at a time. He said that the mandate to seek legal representation was given to SATIIM by the four buffer communities of the Sarstoon-Temash National Park which have chosen SATIIM to represent them on the issue. Those villages are Graham Creek, Crique Sarco, Conejo and Midway.
“All four communities unanimously decided that the need for legal counsel is urgent,” SATIIM said in a press release issued today.
It said that the NGO had retained a legal team of local and international lawyers “to advise on violations to their rights committed during recent oil exploration activities and the prospect of future drilling on their territories.”
IDEAS AND OPINIONS – PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY OR REPUBLIC
Which is better for Belize? We have had a parliamentary democracy, as decreed by our Constitution, for the past thirty years. After that experience we should be properly able to evaluate and compare it with the republican system of government.
All our fellow members of Caricom, except Trinidad and Tobago, are parliamentary democracies. Trinidad and Tobago was originally a parliamentary democracy, but adopted the republican system, many years ago. So. They were in a good position to compare the two systems and, we can find out the reasons why they decided to change, in the event that we were contemplating the same step.
I always thought that we have a wonderful Constitution, the spirit of which is in the Preamble and, in our commitment to being a nation of faith expressed in the first words of that great document, thus: “We affirm the supremacy of God.”
The Constitution would have served us well if our elected representatives were all nationalistic with a vocation for public service. If they were, they would put the national interest above their party, and public service above self-service. We have not been so blessed. The majority parties in government, putting expediency above the public interest, have weakened our democracy by appointing almost all their colleagues to the Executive. That is the first weakness in our democratic system. The second weakness is worse.
ORDERS FOR CRIME-RIDDEN AREAS SIGNED BY AG. MINISTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY
Operations expected to take full effect on Friday, Nov. 9
By the time this weekend begins, Belize security forces—the police and Belize Defence Force—are expected to have full legal authority to carry out special operations across 5 square miles of Belize City which have been designated by the Ministry of National Security as “special areas” with “crime-ridden” status.
This will give cops, aided by soldiers, expanded powers to execute warrantless searches, as well as wider powers of seizure of property and arrest of suspects, as a part of a plan announced last week to stem a new wave of violent crimes which have citizens worried that the crime situation in the Old Capital has spiraled too far out of control.
Acting Minister of National Security, Erwin Contreras, signed the order today, November 8, and they were subsequently sent over to Print Belize to be published in the Government Gazette, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Ret’d Col. George Lovell has indicated to Amandala, adding that the order, declaring the special areas, will last for up to 30 days. The declaration is in accordance with Section 12(1) of the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act.
“We intend to not just go with a heavy hand on criminals, but take back control of these communities from the hands of criminal elements,” said Lovell.
“It is hoped that this will also help to strengthen the overall partnership and cooperation between the public and the law enforcement agencies as we continue working together towards restoring safety and security throughout our communities,” said a statement from the Ministry of National Security.
MURDERERS RULE! POLICE STATE NEXT?
The cold-blooded, bold-faced execution of a construction foreman as he was steel-floating the cement street being built by Maheia’s Construction on Electric Avenue in the “Complex” area of Lake Independence in Southside Belize City this morning, clearly brings home the fact that there are some individuals whose power to terrorize and kill has superseded the effective ability of the state, with its Legislature, Judiciary and Executive, to demand respect for the law. As a result, the defenceless citizenry are more and more vulnerable and fearful for their lives. This is a situation fraught with problems down the road, problems that might be even worse than those we now face and lament.
What is amazing in this present instance, and the same has occurred in more and more frequent situations, is that the executioners were reportedly not masked; and they were apparently well known to a number of the workmen on the work site, who, as they saw the two men riding up, immediately dropped everything and ran for their lives. The work foreman, who is from Sandhill Village, has had, to the best of our knowledge, no interactions, except for the young men on his work site, with any members of the rival gangs in Belize City. With no cause to fear anyone, he continued his work, the necessary steel floating of recently poured cement, before it became “set”. According to reports, the foreman never even saw who killed him, as the gunman (men) came from behind and shot him about 12 times in the back of his head and back.
Belize police, and BDF soldiers, since the latter have been deployed to support the police on the streets, have had approximately zero effectiveness in stopping the sniper-style murders in Belize City. The statistics prove that. (Perhaps the BDF should go back to guarding the Western border.)
HE TRIED TO STOP A ROBBERY – AND PAID WITH HIS LIFE!
Gunmen held up his workplace, and Dennis Williams, 54, got fatally involved
Innocent blood was again spilled in the city as the sens.eless gun violence claimed yet another life. Dennis Williams, 54, of Supaul Street, better known as “Bo,” was killed in his workplace at the Three Stars Quality Chicken on Vernon Street at about 11:00 this morning.
Witnesses said that two men went into the store to rob the business of the proceeds brought in by the delivery truck, which had just pulled up after the delivery and sale of chicken. One of the robbers aimed a gun at the salesman, and demanded the money, but Williams intervened and one of the men punched him in his face and he fell.
Williams got up and struggled with the thief to try and take away the gun. The gun fell from the robber, and the other thief picked up the gun and shot Williams in his neck. The two men then ran out of the store, into the hands of policemen on patrol who were going up Vernon Street, having been alerted about the robbery in progress.
Shortly after the two gunmen were captured, and while the men were being taken away to the Queen Street Police Station, a third person was captured when he came for his car, which was the suspected getaway vehicle.
Police also recovered a black Taurus 9mm pistol, which was thrown away by one of the two thieves when they ran into police while escaping from the store.
LIFE FOR LAVERN LONGSWORTH, 38
Longsworth was convicted of killing her common-law husband, David White
Today, one week after being convicted of the murder of her common-law husband, David White, 31, Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth, 38, was sentenced by Justice Adolph Lucas to life in prison, effective December 14, 2010, the day she was remanded for the crime.
White, on July 15, 2010, was doused with kerosene by Longsworth. After throwing the kerosene on him, she then set him on fire, causing second degree burns to his body, eventually leading to his death on August 2, 2010.
In a plea for mitigation, Longsworth’s daughter, Kyla Reynolds, 18, gave a statement to the court. In that statement, she recounted to the court that she loves her mother, no matter what she had done.
“I know she has made many cry, and sad…but when you do bad, you must suffer the consequence. And that is what my mother is doing.”
She continued by telling the court that when her mother and White used to fight, she would tell her to go to the police station, and she never went. She, instead, told her that she needed to understand the situation.
5 GSU COPS INTERDICTED – THEY ROUGHED UP TOP COP’S WIFE!
Amandala has confirmed that five officers attached to the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) are currently on interdiction for allegedly assaulting the wife of Assistant Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie.
We were unable to confirm the names of the officers, and the date of the incident. However, we were reliably informed that Mrs. Whylie witnessed the officers abusing a youth who was already handcuffed. She allegedly told the officers that there was no reason to “chance” the youth, since he was already restrained, but the officers became indignant and turned their negative attention on her.
Amandala was told that one of the officers then pulled Mrs. Whylie out of her vehicle and pushed her up against it. She told them that she was the Assistant Commissioner’s wife, to which one responded “Ah noh care who the f*#% you are. We dah GSU, we da boss!”
We were able to confirm that following the incident 2 corporals, 2 constables and a woman police constable were placed on interdiction and have been for at least two weeks now.
BAPTIST PASTOR, 46, “CHANCED” GIRL STUDENT, 11
The pastor allegedly had sex with the child in the church
Today, Julio Cesar Garcia, 46, a Honduran Baptist Church pastor in Franks Eddy Village, was taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, where two counts of carnal knowledge were read to him.
According to a police report, the victim, 11, told them that at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 28, Garcia had sex with her inside the church.
It was also reported that he had sex with her again, at 6:00 p.m., but this time, it was in his house, also located in Franks Eddy Village.
The child was taken to a doctor, who confirmed that she was indeed carnally known.
In speaking with the media, the mother of the child recounted how she found out about the assaults on her child. According to her, the child was getting ready for school when she was told of it. When she inquired from the child why she didn’t tell her father or her (the mother), the response was that she was ashamed of what had happened.
But the mother, probably not wanting to start making accusations without proof, decided to question her daughter further, and each time, the answer was the same. That was when she decided to go to the police and report the incident.
DPP discusses crime control measures
Last week’s announcement of GOB’s stepped-up crime-fighting measures has caused many to worry if individual’s constitutional rights could be tossed aside, but the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) says that even when the 1994 amendment to the Criminal Justice Act is activated, no one’s rights can be arbitrarily ignored.
On Tuesday, DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal said that while the Act gives police officers wide-ranging powers to conduct searches without a warrant, “they must still have probable cause and reasonable suspicion that an offence is being committed.”
She also said that the law, which she agrees is useful, should be revisited, because having to publish it in the Gazette what areas will be declared as “crime ridden”, takes away form the element of surprise.
She further explained that her office is in dialogue with the Ministry of National Security in respect to strengthening the Prosecution Branch of the Police Department.
“But nothing has been finalized,” she said.
Minister of National Security John Saldivar also announced last Thursday that his ministry would appeal to the DPP to object to bail for repeat offenders.
To this, Vidal explained that when a bail application comes to the DPP’s office and the person is an individual who is already on bail for a similar offence and they don’t see any reason on his petition why he should be granted bail, the DPP’s office would object to bail.
New $10 garbage fee for Belize City residents. Funds will be used to pay Municipal Bond, Mayor says
With effect from January next year, every Belize City household will have to pay a fee of $10 a month for garbage disposal.
The announcement came from Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley, who said the Belize City Council (CITCO) estimates that the new fixed charge will generate $1.09 million.
The funds will be used to help defray the cost of the municipal bond, Bradley explained.
Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) will serve as the collection agent, and as of mid-December, the garbage fee will be listed as a separate charge on the resident’s BWSL utility bills.
The charge is proportionate, Bradley said, to the cost of upgrading the city’s streets and the expenses incurred for CITCO’s social outreach program.
“We have to charge this fee to ensure that, while we’re providing these services, the Council doesn’t go broke,” he said.
Bradley also pointed out that the new charge is not unusual. It is a common practice in most towns across Belize. He said that such fees are usually proportionate to the amount of public services provided.
Bradley explained that it is important for Belize City residents to realize that they need to take an active role in the city’s development. This is one way in which they can participate, he said.
In some communities the system is so advanced that the government does not even function as intermediary. The residents themselves make direct arrangements with the sanitation companies.
Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth sentenced to life in prison
Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas handed down the mandatory life in prison sentence to convicted murderer Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth, after a mitigation hearing on Thursday, November 8.
15 year old Surie Baeza stabbed to death by stepdad
Reports from Rockwall, Texas, say 41-year-old Juan Enrique Torres, a Belizean, has confessed to killing his step-daughter, 15-year old Surie Baeza, during a knife attack.
Homeland security upgrade at key locations
The Ministry of National Security has received more than US$150,000 worth of equipment from the United States Government to improve national security at key government locations.
Practical ways to prevent Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, aside from lung cancer. One in every eight women are estimated to develop breast cancer in their lifetime according to the American Cancer Society.
The right fit – Give your running shoes some attention!
A knowledgeable shoe store staff person can usually notice how your foot functions, by watching you walk and run.
This is a skill gained through the experience of fitting thousands of feet, and from comparing notes with other staff members who are even more experienced.
St Catherine’s Academy girls win High Schools Volleyball Championship
The undefeated girls of St Catherine’s Academy repeated as Belize City High School Volleyball Champions, dominating the hitherto undefeated girls of Wesley College in the finals of the competition organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Friday, November 2.
St. John’s College boys win high schools volleyball championship
The undefeated boys of St John’s College repeated as Belize City high schools volleyball champions, dominating the boys of Wesley College in the finals of the competition organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Friday, November 2.
Pedophile Preacher? Pastor at Frank’s Eddy Village charged with carnal knowledge
Frank’s Eddy Baptist preacher, Julio Cesar Garcia, 46, has been charged with two counts of unlawful carnal knowledge and has been remanded to prison.
He was arrested after an 11-year-old girl reported that he had sex with her twice: once inside the church and a second time at his home.
The child, who attends the church and is a student at the Frank’s Eddy Government School, told police, in the company of her mother, that the pastor first had sexual intercourse with her on Sunday afternoon, October 28, 2012.
The Reporter understands that the incident happened after a youth event at the church. The child did not report the first incident and on Thursday, November 1, when her mother sent her to deliver something to the Pastor at his house, he allegedly invited the girl into his home and had sexual intercourse with her the second time.
Medical examinations revealed that the girl was carnally known, and that she might have contracted a sexually transmitted infection that has her suffering from a high fever. More tests are being taken to determine what is causing the fever.
Brave security guard killed by robbers
Belize City Police have detained two men for Thursday morning’s robbery that proved fatal for Three Star Quality Chicken’s 54-year-old security guard, Dennis Anthony Williams.
Shortly before noon, at least four men attempted to rob the establishment, located on Vernon Street.
Williams was shot in the neck, as he struggled with one of the armed robbers, whose gun fell to the floor.
According to reports, the robber’s accomplice picked up the gun and shot Williams, who died inside the store.
After Williams was shot, the would-be robbers tried to escape to their maroon coloured Mazda getaway car that was parked on Woods Street, but that attempt failed, because a policeman in the area fired a shot at them, causing them to run past the car and into a bushy open lot.
According to an eyewitness, one of the robbers threw his gun away, and it landed on the verandah of a house near the corner of Vernon Street and Woods Streets.
He said that he saw the men circle the area at least two times in their getaway car, before they attempted to rob the business.
Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez said that the robbers did not get any money.
Enid Williams, Dennis Williams’ sister, told reporters that her brother did not deserve to die like that.
“Desho,” as his family calls him, “was a very nice and caring person who did not trouble anyone. We want justice done for his killing”, she said.
Crime Control measures endorsed
The Crime Control Council (CCC), which has not met for sometime, voted Wednesday in favor of the Minister of National Security’s proposal to declare five areas of Belize City “Crime Ridden.”
The declaration comes on the strength of the 1994 Amendment to the Criminal Justice Act, which gives the police wide-ranging powers to combat crime.
The Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) representative on the council, Senator Lisa Shoman, told The Reporter that the PUP agreed to the proposal, after they reviewed both the proposed areas, and had seen a presentation from the Ministry of National Security.
Shoman said, “After having had an intense, serious discussion about the very strong need for fighting crime and balancing citizen’s rights, we expect that citizen’s rights will be upheld and they will stick to the law.”
CCC Chairman Michael Young told reporters that the Council only met because of the Minister’s proposed declaration. However, he said that in 2010 the government was given a special memorandum, which explained that once RESTORE Belize was established, it was a better organization to do the very same thing that the Council had been established to do.
“And that is the reason why the CCC has not been meeting.”
“But the law was not changed, and the CCC still exists as an entity and the concurrence of the CCC is required for the declaration … to be valid,” Young said.
Enjoying Warm Laundry and Pirate’s Treasure
It is very breezy in San Pedro today and I was sure glad to have laundry on my chore list, nothing better than playing with warm sheets on a cold day.
My Helena Montana weatherman sent me the picture below to remind me that it is not really cold here and compared to what I see in his office view, that I have to agree.
I will say it is cold enough for me to have broken out get my jeans out and be thinking of wearing long sleeves or a jacket to the party tonight. James Janmohamed is doing a Poppy Drive to raise money and Pedro’s Sports Bar is donating 25% of the bar take. Come on out, support a great cause, and enjoy some great live music with Gino and the Shack Shakers
A Few Things When I Was Up WAY Too Early This Morning
I got up way too early and headed into town. Not to take pictures (though I always end up doing that) but for another reason. But more on that in a few days.
Heading into town checking my watch and wearing a jacket. Thanks so much Doug who is staying at Mata Rocks for "donating" his golf cart to me.
And you guys say that I never put pictures of myself... Here is my apparently very hairy arm.
I didn't know bleach was produced on the island...anyone know where I saw this? For some reason I thought a big chemical plant was required for making bleach. I probably don't want to know the details.
An interesting bar. I've been once and I definitely don't remember seeing a piano. Maybe its removal is indicated by that red line.
Belize’s GAIA Riverlodge Set to Open
The newly-renamed and redesigned GAIA Riverlodge eco-resort in Belize will open Saturday, the project announced.
Formerly known as the Five Sisters Lodge, the property is opening after a renovation that began in August.
“We are thrilled to welcome our first guests,” said Daniel Lighter, owner of GAIA Riverlodge and its sister property, the Matachica Resort and Spa in Belize’s Ambergris Caye.
The eco-resort property has seen upgrades to its 16 cabanas, which now have hardwood floors, bathrooms with hand-painted Mexican tiles and panoramic windows or private verandas.
WINTER ISLAND ESCAPES: CAYE CAULKER, BELIZE
SIZE: Five square miles
TAGS: Manta rays, reggae bars, permit fishing
“Go Slow” is Caye Caulker’s official motto for a reason. A long, narrow scythe of land in the Caribbean, it has just three streets—Back, Middle, and Front—all of them unpaved. Fishermen and local shop owners join visitors to wade and swim at the Split, a channel where decades ago storms bisected the island. Several boats make the trip to Shark Ray Alley—where you can snorkel with rays and nurse sharks—but none with more adventurous spirit than Raggamuffin Tours ($50). The ecotourism pioneer Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, now in his eighties, still poles clients around the Swallow Caye marine reserve to observe manatees without spooking them. All year round, there’s unparalleled fly-fishing for bonefish, tarpon, and permit; go with the guides at Anglers Abroad ($330 per day). Front Street has punta and reggae bars and lodgings—like Colinda Cabanas (from $50), where you should request a beachfront room, and the Iguana Reef Inn (from $140). One block over, the Little Kitchen cooks up traditional Belizean salbutes (small, spicy tostadas) and garnache (fried tortillas with refried beans, cabbage, and the ubiquitous Marie Sharp’s hot sauces). Afterward, follow the locals to the Lazy Lizard for a cold Belikin beer.
Top 10 Maya Secrets
The Maya haven’t disappeared.
Just as the fall of Rome didn’t meant the end of Romans, the decline of great Maya metropolises, such as Guatemala’s Tikal, which reached its apex in the ninth century, doesn’t mean the indigenous people have vanished. About 40 percent of Guatemala’s 14 million people are Maya, and southern Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula are home to many more predominantly Maya regions.
Not only are the Maya enduring almost five centuries after the Spanish conquest, but their cultural traditions, agrarian lifestyle, and celebratory festivals continue on. There are more than 20 distinct Maya peoples within Guatemala, each with their own culture, style of dress, and language, and hundreds of thousands more Maya live beyond the borders.
The Maya don’t believe the end of the world is coming.
Apocalyptic movies may suggest the Maya believe the end of the 5,000-plus-year calendar—December 21, 2012—is an end-times moment, but that’s just not true. Many Maya may celebrate the beginning of the next 5,125-year cycle of the Long Count calendar just as we celebrated the new millennium. But they don’t believe the end of the world is on the horizon. If anything, they’re hopeful that a new era will usher in an age of higher consciousness, greater peace, and enhanced understanding among the diverse peoples on the planet.
The ancient Maya developed the concept of zero.
The Maya’s remarkable Long Count calendar relies on zero as a placeholder. While the idea of zero may have originated in Babylonia, it was independently conjured by the Maya, likely in the fourth century.
Zero in the Maya written language was often represented by a shell-shaped glyph. The Maya numerical system is based on factors of 20. So Maya numbers are composed of units of 1, 20, 400, and so on. To write the number 403, for example, a Maya would use a symbol for one unit of 400, zero units of 20, and three units of 1. That’s how they derived the concept of zero.
Caye Caulker rated as one of the best Winter island escapes in the World!!
We have to agree, and many of you would too … Caye Caulker has been rated amongst one of the 12 best winter island destinations in the world.
Caye Caulker is one of the smallest island getaways the magazine showcases but what we lack in size we make up for in charm!! The article has the island nicely summed up not only mentioning the snorkeling (of course Raggamuffin is their choice!!) but fishing, mantee watching with Lionel Heredia and not forgetting perfectly delicious Belizean food from the ‘Little Kitchen’ – finishing off at the Lazy Lizard!!
The only disappointment would that the lead photo for the article could have given a little more to our island beauty – just having a look at the Raggamuffin Facebook page could have given a better visual on our little paradise??
I couldn’t ‘Belize’ it?
AFTER several worldly, erudite barmen, waiters and stewardesses on the 160 000-tonne luxury cruise-liner Independence of the Seas announced they wouldn’t disembark at Belize City, the major port and former capital of Belize (nee British Honduras) as it was “the most boring place in the world”, I’m glad I ignored them.
How much do you know about the tiny statelette, which was Britain’s last colony on the American mainland, her only one in Central America?
Most, if not all, of the Americans I met on board an immediate post-New Year week-long cruise through the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean, skirting the Yucatan Peninsula with its iconic Mayan pyramid ruins in the jungle, sailing down the sinister-sounding Mosquito Coast, knew totally squat and didn’t seem to mind!
Nor had they heard of its former name: British Honduras, or neighbouring long-independent Honduras. They weren’t aware Guatemala had avaricious eyes on the place, nor that it was almost totally razed (in 1961) by a hurricane.
Odd people, Yanks, especially when travelling! Within 10 minutes of saying “hello”, you have their complete family history, religious leanings, politics, medical, dental and academic records and aspirations.
Travel letters: The wonder of Tikal
The magic and music of Tikal
I read David Kelly's article "Tikal's Lost World" [Nov. 4] while gazing at the extraordinary embroidered Maya calendar hanging on my walI. I purchased it in Flores during a trip with my husband in December and January.
Tikal was an absolutely magical place and the highlight of our seven-day trip to Belize and Guatemala. Instead of flying in and out of Guatemala City, we flew into Belize City and spent several days exploring the ruins, caves and jungle of Belize (all fantastic) before driving with a guide about three hours to Tikal.
After spending one night at the Jungle Lodge inside Tikal National Park, we went to Flores, which is a mecca for buying beautiful Guatemalan textiles and embroidered art. We arrived in Flores on Dec. 31 and spent a New Year's I will never forget. We danced to bands all night in the plaza in front of the church while the sky was filled with fireworks in every direction. Thank you for bringing back the memories.
In Guatemala, the lost world of Tikal
The woman in the shorts shrieked, grabbed her ankle and crumpled to the ground as though she'd been shot.
And in a sense she had.
"A bullet ant," surmised José Elias, our unflappable guide. "If they sting you, the pain will last 24 hours. Take care."
We left the stricken woman to her friends and plunged deeper into Guatemala's steamy jungle. Birds sang madly, chaotically. Emerald billed toucans alighted in the treetops. The spooky cry of a howler monkey echoed through the forest.
Elias plucked a fragrant leaf, crushed it and slipped it under my nose.
"Wild allspice," he said.
I skittered around a watermelon-sized termite nest, then caught a glimpse of something enormous looming through the canopy.
We were approaching the heart of Tikal, a sprawling metropolis of temples, palaces and pyramids deep in the misty rain forests of northern Guatemala. Once a vibrant city-state of 100,000, Tikal now lies empty, partly buried beneath moss, ferns and vines.
"You are coming to the cradle of Mayan civilization," Elias said. "The city has collapsed, but the Mayan race has never disappeared."
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