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The San Pedro Sun
San Pedro celebrates the end of the Mayan Calendar
San Pedro residents and visitors came together on December 20, 2012 to bring in the 14th B’ak’tun by observing and celebrating the close of the 13th Pik cycle in the ancient Maya calendar known as the Long Count. December 21, 2012 was a highly anticipated date that came 1,872,000 days after the beginning of the current Maya era that, according to ancient hieroglyphic texts, came about via a mythical creation. The 21-12-12 date is based on archaeologists’ and researchers’ findings on a monument in Tabasco, Mexico in the 1960s, and it brought with it, many speculations on what would occur on this day.
Being part of the Mundo Maya, Belize was no exception when it came to celebrating this historic date, while nodding to the rich history and culture of the Maya people whose awe-inspiring civilization is still being studied and has brought much attention to the countries they spanned during the height of their reign.
In San Pedro Town, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) held an all-night event at the Central Park with live music, dance presentations, Maya ritual presentations, food and drinks, and even fire works for the crowds to enjoy. The event started a little after eight and went straight on till the wee hours of the morning. Speaking to the public about the Mayas and the impact they had on the country was Angel Nuñez, Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero, and Minister of Tourism Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr.
Entertainment included Lucio and the New Generation band and Rompe Raja. The Corozal Community College (CCC) presented traditional Mayan dances with elaborate costumes depicting fire dances and the deer dance. The night was full of excitement and great talent. The event could not have had a better end than the performance at sunrise of an Ancient Mayan Ritual on the beach in honor of the end of the 13th B’ak’tun.
Marco Gonzalez Maya Site receives donation of Bze$17,000
December 18, 2012 – Jan Brown, Chairman of the Board, Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Project is proud to announce the receipt of a $7,000 USD donation from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. They have been very supportive through the efforts of Board Member Matt Fowler, now residing in the US. Along with this came another donation of $1500 USD from an anonymous donor.
These funds will be used in the upgrading of the grounds at the entrance of the Archaeological Reserve. Use of the monies are being considered to raise the level of the surrounding land and build a palapa with picnic tables for guests to enjoy their experience even more. Also, upgrade of the current boardwalk is high on the priority list. Another consideration is the establishment of a pier for guests to arrive by boat. Recent donations from the Foundation and guests have included the Fee Collection Booth, a two-section restroom, work on the boardwalk, maintenance equipment for site improvement and installation of interpretive signage throughout the site.
Accepting the donation was Jan Brown, Chairman, and Peter Nolan, President of the Project Board of Directors. These donations truly make for a Happy Holiday spirit at Marco Gonzalez.
Our wild honeymoon
On our honey moon to Belize I didn’t want my wife, Stacia, and I to have a typical Belizean experience. Instead I set out in a search for wilder activities. Our passion for the wilder side of life led us to Vince and Cherie, the founders of American Crocodile Education Center (ACES). The excitement started on our first night in San Pedro when we were invited to join Vince, Cherie and Evan on a mission to set a crocodile trap for a troublesome and large crocodile. The night did not end there; we followed by heading to relocate a crocodile that had previously been captured. The excitement of capturing a crocodile in an enclosure and then having to relocate it further up north to an area not inhabited was exhilarating, not to mention that we had a croc lying on our laps. On our way to the area they choose to relocate the croc the cart broke down. Thankfully Carts Belize came to our rescue and we are absolutely grateful to them for that.
Mayor Guerrero Discusses Issues with San Pedro Police
At the meeting, Robinson commented that one of her primary concerns is that residents are not reporting these incidents enough for her department to conduct investigations. She stated that she has heard and read about lots of incidents, cases and issues but because there are no official reports in her department, she cannot conduct proper investigations; they are all ‘rumors’ to the SP Police Department.
Robinson urges island residents to file reports so that investigations can be carried out. She said that most of the time these issues are blown up in the social media and chat sites and there is nothing she and her department can do if there are no official reports made. Mayor Guerrero agreed with her and urges residents to exercise calmness to avoid building more tension. He has committed to work closely with the police to find solutions to these issues.
Belize Reaches Agreement with Bond Creditors
Belize has reached an agreement in principle with creditors to restructure about half of its unpaid debt after "long and arduous" talks, allowing the country to avoid default, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said on Friday.
Barrow told a press conference that he would release details of the restructuring of the $544 million bond at a later date.
"The agreement is comprehensive and it is sustainable," he said.
Mark Espat, leader of Belize's negotiating team on the debt restructuring, explained that details of the deal could not be made public until they were explained to all of Belize's creditors.
Misc Belizean Sources
McAfee house for sale
Incredible beachfront home on Ambergris Caye, Belize. Only 4.5 miles from San Pedro town in a very desireable area surrounded by other upscale homes. Great sandy beach, large living areas with private bedroom villas. Mature landscaping with coconut trees. Offered exclusively by RE/MAX Islands Real Estate.
Immigration puts 40 small business photographers out of business nationwide
Nationwide, the BELIZE IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT has put out of business about 40 private sector passport photo photographer shops NATIONWIDE in the last month with a new photo MONOPOLY.
Wife went last week for the fourth trip to put in my application for renewal of expired passport.
All the way to Belmopan. New rule, the photographs were invalid as the IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT NOW REQUIRE YOU TO TAKE YOUR PASSPORT PHOTO in their Belmopan office, by their monopoly! Trip before that, a month earlier they rejected my renewal application on the grounds that the it had to be witnessed by a JP in my community, who knew me. Could not use Belmopan JP's. Don't know any J.P.s personally. But got it witnessed here in San Ignacio.
Minor Murdered In Hopkins Boxing Day Melee
The Christmas Holidays were mostly peaceful across Belize - particularly in the city where only one non-fatal shooting was reported. And we might have gotten through Christmas and Boxing day without a murder were it not for a crazy event last night in Hopkins. It resulted in the killing of a minor, a 17 year old who was caught up in a misunderstanding with a much older man. Daniel Ortiz found out about the demise of Luke Dayton Nunez, Jr:..
Daniel Ortiz reporting
While the rest of the country was enjoying the end of Boxing Day, the family of 17 year-old Luke Nunez Jr. was mourning his untimely death.
When we caught up with them today, their grief was still fresh; they couldn't accept that he was no longer with them.
Police say that his alleged killer has since been picked up.
Sgt. Wilfredo Ferrufino - OIC Dangriga CIB
"On the 26th Dangriga Police visited the Emergency Room at the Southern Regional where they observed a male individual suffering from stab wounds to the right side of his chest and his head. The victim was Luke Nunez Jr. of Hopkins Village. He succumbed to his injuries whilst undergoing treatment."
"The Investigations revealed that he and one Wilfred Garcia was in altercation earlier that day in Hopkins Village when Garcia Inflicted injuries to him."
Immediately after the stabbing took place, Nunez alerted his family of the dire condition he was in.
Cousin Accused Of Sunday's Stabbing In Griga
And Nunez's murder became the second stabbing death in the Stann Creek district in three days. As we reported, on Sunday night 23 year old Robert Alexander Pinnock was stabbed to death in Dangriga Town.
The man who allegedly did it has since been arrested and charged, but to Pinnock's family, it's no compensation for his loss, especially because the accused is his very close cousin.
7News caught up with his father today, and he became very emotional when he told us that he personally questioned the accused:
Sgt. Wilfredo Ferrufino - OIC Dangriga CIB
"On the 22nd December Police visited the Emergency Room of the Southern Regional Hospital where they saw one, Mr. Pinnock suffering with a stab wound to the left side of his chest. He was undergoing treatment and succumbs to his injuries about 10:52pm that same night. Investigations have revealed that Mr. Pinnock was at a private function in the New Site area of Dangriga when he got into an altercation with Glenford Chavez who inflicted the injuries to him."
"Tell us what's the situation with Mr. Chavez, has he since been charged?"
Hugh Thomas Jr Shot Not Far From Where His Dad Was Shot 10 Years Earlier
And while those murders happened in Stann Creek, as we said at the opening of the news, thankfully, Belize City was relatively peaceful this weekend. There was one shooting though. It happened on the early morning of the 26th and it involved 20 year old Hugh "Angel" Thomas Jr who was shot at the corner of West and King Streets.
Police say Thomas was standing at the corner of West and King Streets when at 1:10 am when a dark skinned male came from West Street and shot him in the leg. Thomas was taken to the KHMH, but has since been released.
It is of note that more than ten years ago, in May of 2002, the then 27 year old Hugh Thomas Sr, also known as Angel was shot at the corner of King and Far West Streets. In that case, Thomas Sr was riddled with bullets in a daylight shooting and did not survive.
"Chicken Dread" Back In Court
Today Paul Ferguson better known to the public as Chicken Dread was back in court again. This time though, it was Municipal Court on two counts of selling fry chicken and fries on Albert Street without a trade license. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and his case was adjourned until the 31st of January. Today 7news caught up with him as he was leaving Municipal Court. He told us what his next step is going to be:..
Paul Ferguson - Fry Chicken vendor
"I went to court for the two charges that Mr. Butler brought against me for selling fry chicken on the sidewalk. The status right now is that they adjourn it until the 31st January."
Geovanni Brackett, reporter
"From the last time you spoke with the Mayor, is there anything different because I think you were told that it was okay for you to be out there. What are you being charged for and what is the next step from here?"
Paul Ferguson - Fry Chicken vendor
"We will continue going to court, I am not going to back down. I am still going to sell my fry chicken - that's the only means I can get money to pay my bills. We will fight them - it is something that is petty as I have said before. They want me to get a trade license, I am on my way to the City Council right now to see if I can get a peddlers license - which I know they will deny me because of the ongoing battle in court. I am not going to back down. If they don't give me a peddler license, we will see how we can acquire a peddler license from through my mom or my sister or somebody else. I am not going to back down, I am still going to sell my fry chicken - If I go to jail, that's what's going to happen because this is something I am doing for years. If they want me to get a trade license - everybody on Albert Street got to get a trade license. As you all can see it's something real petty - we are going to fight."
Special Branch Busts
The Special Branch continues to turn out those Marijuana busts - so much so that we might be tempted to say that weed is going out of style, except we know it's not.
But the supply chain for is definitely being affected with busts like this one. 13 pounds found in one of those famous abandoned lots on Fabers Road Extension. Dogs from the K-9 Unit searched out a large crocus sack stuffed with 53 plastic bags.
And then on Boxing Day, Special Branch information led police to the residence of 38 year old Curtis Alexander YORK, on Flamboyant Street. They found that the electrician had a milk-pan with 187 grams of cannabis inside. CURTIS was charged for "Drug Trafficking".
GSU Gets Stolen Gun
And the Special Branch weren't the only ones busy during the holidays; the GSU with whom they seem to be developing a healthy rivalry for high value busts was also making the rounds.
On Monday afternoon, they intercepted a 1995 Toyota Camry car in front of the Princess Hotel and Casino. They searched the driver, 34 year old Belmopan resident Jason WILLIAMS, and found a Ruger 9 mm pistol with a magazine containing 14 live rounds hidden in his the crotch of his pants.
He was arrested and charged for kept unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Interestingly, that same firearm was reported stolen from a vehicle in Orange Walk Town, in February, 2012. So, WILLIAMS will be additionally charged for handling stolen goods. The GSU reports that WILLIAMS was deported from the USA for conspiracy to drug trafficking in 2009.
Jamaican LBGT Advocate Wont Travel To Belize Because OF Restrictive anti-Gay Immig Law
Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican attorney and HIV activist who has traveled to all parts of the Caribbean giving presentations about the impact of homophobia on the HIV response - was invited to Belize by UNIBAM to conduct training and sensitization sessions in Belize City on the 14th to the 16th of January.
But he says he can't come because he is unwilling to break the law to conduct these sessions. The Immigration law of Belize states that prohibited immigrants include, quote "Any prostitute or homosexual who may have been living off or receiving proceeds of prostitution or homosexual behavior," end quote.
Belize and Trinidad are the only two countries in the Western Hemisphere to have such a ban and Tomlinson considers it a violation of his right to freedom of movement within the Caribbean Community.
He has initiated a challenge to Belize's Immigration Act before the highest court in the region, the Caribbean Court of Justice -CCJ. Hi would - be host, Caleb Orosco told us more:..
"At this point he is going through a process where invitations were sent out, he decline those invitations because of existing, in his mind discriminatory laws between two countries; Trinidad and Tobago and from there he is calling his government to take charge of the issue otherwise he would do it himself. There is a specific timeline which he intends to give his government to respond to his request before he proceeds."
Drama At Magistrate's Court With Pam And Horse
There was major drama which unfolded at Belize City Magistrate's Court after some well-known personalities of the Southside Gangsters were arraigned in connection with murder about an hour before news time.
On Monday, 7News told you about 23 year-old Cassian Bennette, a reputed personality from SSG who was arraigned and remanded for the murder of 19 year-old Raheem Requena, who was gunned down on Kuth Avenue on December 19.
Well today, 30 year-old Jermaine "Horse" Garnett, a reputedly well-known figure in SSG and Kenneth Barrow were arraigned today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart for the very same murder of Requena.
They were remanded to prison January 30, 2013. But the case is getting more tangled because according to police 42 year-old Pamela Garnett, the wife of Jermaine Garnett, along with her son, 24 year-old Mark Vernon, aka Mark Gentle, were arraigned before Magistrate Stuart for attempting to suppress evidence.
Putting The Boxing Back In Boxing Day
Last night, Mahogany Productions and BTL put the "boxing" back in Boxing Day with an amateur boxing card at the Biltmore Best Western. The fights pitted Belizeans against a visiting contingent from Chetumal. Channel 7 aired it live, and Jules Vasquez has a recap:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
The River Hall at the Biltmore Best Western was filled to capacity with a crowd of eager and sociable boxing fans. And they got a show: There were scintillating exchanges, devastating combinations, some showboating - entourage of young girls and One fighter even had an entourage.
One epic low blow which led to Anderson Pitillo declaring victory from a stretcher and of course, there was the home court advantage, animated fans and nonstop cheering.
At the end of the night, the Belizean fighters won three of the seven bouts, but two of those wins were by technical knockout, spectacular, dominant performances by Alex Neal and Max Pain Williams:
Alex Neal, WINNER BY TKO
"After when I saw that I was faster than him, I decided to turn it up on him because the punches that he was throwing want hurting me so I just turn it up on him. I get up from 4:30 in the morning, run and do my skip; I do running for over an hour then I do my sit-ups, pushups and from there my trainer puts me in the gym - that is from Sunday to Sunday for 4 months."
Salima Barrow's Effort Continues
We've already told you about the PM's youngest daughter, 7 year old Salima Barrow and her lemonade stand initiative which raised thousands of dollars for children living with cancer.
On Sunday she took it to the Belize Zoo which teamed up with her Children Helping Children with Cancer Fund. On Sunday the Zoo donated half the proceeds from their gate receipts to the Fund.
Richard and Carol Foster captured video of the event and shared it with us:
Tonight's profile is about Joel McDougal - a fitness trainer. He explains how he gained an interest in fitness training after dropping out of sixth form:..
VIDEO: Channel 5's Christmas Spectacular 2012
Boxing Day murder in Hopkins
There was less violence recorded over the Christmas holiday. As expected, several burglaries occurred and fights, but so far only one man has died as a result of the injuries he received. News Five’s Duane Moody travelled to the idyllic tourist destination, Hopkins Village where a social event on Boxing Day, ended in tragedy. [...]
Belize City resident narrowly escapes being murdered
A Belize City man was also injured over the weekend, and he is lucky to be alive. Twenty year old Hugh Thomas, a resident of West and Bishop Streets, escaped grave injury in the early hours of Boxing Day after being assaulted an armed assailant. At around one-thirty on Wednesday morning, police visited the trauma room [...]
Violent chopping incident with 18th Street Gang member
Belmopan Police are investigating a chopping incident that has left one of its residents hospitalized. On Christmas Day, twenty-eight year old Amancio Ico, who is allegedly part of the Eighteenth Street gang, got into a fight with another group of persons, reportedly from a rival gang. According to police, Ico’s machete was taken away and [...]
Burglaries and thefts across the Christmas holidays
Forty-one year old businessman Luis Castillo left his home on Electric Avenue sometime after seven o’clock on Christmas Day to visit family and friends in the Eight Mile community. When the mechanic returned several hours later, he discovered that his residence had been burglarized. The fence at the rear of the premises was breached and [...]
Police recover drugs in Belize City
On Monday afternoon, at about three o’clock, a team of Special Branch officers, assisted by the K-9 Unit, came across a large crocus sack containing over thirteen pounds of cannabis in an abandoned lot on Faber’s Road Extension. The drugs were concealed inside fifty-three individual plastic bags. No one was found in the immediate vicinity [...]
Entire family; including Horse, arrested on murder related charges
It’s not uncommon to see two members of the same family appear in the Magistrates Court, but today an entire family was hauled before the court and remanded to prison on charges related to the murder of nineteen year old Raheem Requeña, who was gunned down on December nineteenth. Thirty year old Jermaine Garnett, also [...]
Woman says cop helped her escape from the law
Pamela Garnett may soon be facing additional charges for allegedly threatening Marie Alvarez. She was arrested on Christmas Day for that offence, but today it was the police officer who was on duty while Garnett was detained that appeared in court to face charges. That’s because Garnett managed to escape from custody and when she [...]
Chamber gives its views on renegotiated bond
The government announced on December twenty-first that an agreement in principle was reached in the restructuring of the superbond. Once finalized, the new terms would provide a hundred and fifty million U.S. dollar debt relief for Belize. It’s welcomed news for the economy and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has issued its [...]
BCCI tells Government to keep debt sustainable
Young also spoke on the benefits of the debt relief to Belize’s business sector and he says the current goal should be to ensure that the country does not fall back into unmanageable debt. Alberto Young “Well, first of all, from a risk stand point, it places Belize at a lower risk. First of [...]
Pauly goes to court for frying without a license
In just over a week, Paul Ferguson has been charged for insulting a Special Constable, relocated from his usual spot in front of Femina Store on Albert Street to the Battlefield Park and then ordered to stop selling his fried chicken since he doesn’t have trade license. Well, today Paul Ferguson’s battle with the Belize [...]
Sweet Sugar Crop says B.S.I.
While life at the court continues to be dreary, farmers who live near Sugar City are forecasting a bright start to 2013. Sugar production at the Belize Sugar Industry’s Tower Hill Factory has increased considerably when compared to last year’s crop. The current yield, according to factory manager John Gillett, is exceptional, resulting in a [...]
McAfee explains how he “escaped” questioning in Belize
Now, for the man who jumped out of the frying pan and landed in the fire, or rather a detention cell in Guatemala. John McAfee, the American national who police wanted to question about the murder of his neighbor Gregory Faull, is back in the United States, following a creative and entertaining time on the [...]
Special Branch Makes Several Arrests
The Police’s Special Branch was busy this past weekend and their efforts resulted is several arrests. In the first instance, on Saturday afternoon, three youths have been arrested on drug related charges. Police say that on Saturday, the visited the home of twenty five year...
Retired Belizean Loses Home In Fire
About one hundred and sixty thousand dollars were lost to a house fire in Orange Walk Town. The cement house which was situated on Dangriga Street belonged to seventy two year old retired Belizean Thomas Arzu. Arzu reported that around 7:15 on Friday night, he was at home w...
Mahogany Heights Residents Complain of Water Shortage
Residents of Mahogany Heights have been taking to the airwaves complaining about a shortage of water in their community. Reporter Marion Ali has the story. “Maybe in the Freetown Division and in Freetown Sibun there is water to take care of the daily human ne...
City Council Employee Poses as Minister to Get Donations for Christmas
Thirty-eight year old James Swazo, a supervisor at Belize City Council, was charged with two counts of obtaining property by deception when he appeared in court on Monday. Swazo pleaded not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of $3,000.00, wh...
A shooting incident in Belize City on the morning of Boxing Day has left a man injured. Twenty year old Hugh Thomas was shot in the upper right leg just after one o’clock yesterday morning as he stood at the corner of West and King Streets. Police say that a man descr...
Final Draft on Annual Review Proceeding for BEL Completed
The Public Utilities Commission today announced that the regulatory body has made its final draft of the 2012 annual review proceeding for Belize Electricity Limited. The government owned Power Company is asking the PUC to grant a thirteen cents increase in the mean electricity r...
Chamber of Commerce Commends Prime Minister on Super Bond Negotiation
Last Friday Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the Government and bondholders had reached an agreement. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has commended the Prime Minister and his team. The Chamber says it looks forward to receiving specific details of the renegotiated t...
Burglars Have Thier Way In Corozal As A String Of Burglaries Are Recorded
Christmas has come and gone and luckily the north was free of major incidences. Nonetheless, various residents in the Corozal District, fell victim to the hands of burglars. The first report was made by 40 year old businessman of #1 North Street Corozal Town, Alvaro Sosa. Sosa reported to police that between 5:00am on December 24th and 10:00am on December 26th his house was burglarized and stolen there from was U.S$600.00, BZ$1,500.00, one Laptop valued at $1,500.00, several pieces of jewellery valued at $500.00, two wrist watches valued at $400.00 each and one Wii Game Console valued at $500.00. All stolen items totaled a value of $10,500.00. Police continue their investigation.
As for 55 year old Rosendo Perez, Belizean Musician of #2 A- Street North, Corozal Town, his house was burglarized between 8:00pm on Christmas night and 12:30am on December 26th. Stolen from Perez’s residence was one black laptop valued at $1,300.00, one blue Road Master ladies bicycle valued at $200.00 and one bottle of rum.
Trio Charged For Stealing Two Vessels and Outboard Engines
In the Corozal District two boats went missing in a matter of days. On the 23rd of December 53 year old Edilberto Escalante, cane farmer of Consejo Village in the Corozal District was at home when he was informed that someone had stolen his twenty three feet white fiber glass boat valued at $12, 000 along with its sixty horse power Yamaha outboard engine valued at $6, 000. According to reports the boat was docked at the landing in Consejo Village when it went missing. Escalante immediately organized a search party and in the wee hours of December 24th both the missing vessel and engine were located about 500 feet from Warrie Bight Village in the Corozal District.
But Escalante’s missing vessel was not the only one found. Moored near his boat was a white fiber glass boat with a 60 horse power Yamaha engine. The boat, which also went missing on December 23rd, belongs to 43 year old Alejandro Arana, a cane farmer of Consejo Village. The boat is valued at $3,300 while the outboard engine is valued at $6,000. Four nets valued at $1,500 were also found in the boat along with the three men who are suspected of stealing both vessels.
More Than $8,000 In Items Stolen From Residence
And on December 23rd the home of 30 year old Orlando Iglesias, Belizean manager of Port Saul Area in Corozal Town was burglarized between the hours of 4:00pm and 10:00pm. Stolen was one black I-Phone wireless with keypad valued at $2,500, one white Sony Lap-top valued at $1,000, one PSP valued at $500.00, one cell phone valued at $300.00 and one knapsack valued at $60.00. The total value of stolen items amounted to $4,360.00. Police investigations continue.
While Corozal police have their plate full investigating a series of burglaries, Orange Walk Police is investigating a burglary that left an Orange Walk businessman out of more than $8,000 in stolen items.
The 36 year old economist of San Martin Street here in Orange Walk Town reported to police that on December 22nd between the hours of 6:00am and 8:00pm someone entered his house and stole an assortment of jewelry and electronic items amounting to a total value of $8,439.00. So far no one has been detained.
Deportee Charged For Kept Unlicensed Firearm And Ammunition
On the eve of Christmas thirty four year old Jason Joseph Williams, clothes vendor of #5 Sosa Street Belmopan City was arrested and charged for kept unlicensed firearm and ammunition after members of the Gang Suppression Unit intercepted his gold in color 1995 Toyota Camry Car bearing license plate BC-43398. Reports are that Williams was travelling on Barrack road in front of the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City when the GSU searched his vehicle. Nothing incriminating was found inside the car but when officers searched Williams they hit the jackpot as a silver and black Ruger 9mm pistol with a magazine containing 14 live rounds was found hidden in his pants. Police have verified that the firearm belongs to a businessman from Orange Walk Town. The weapon was stolen from his vehicle in February, 2012.
Williams has been charged for kept unlicensed firearm and ammunition. It is expected that he will also be charged for handling stolen goods. In 2009 Williams was deported from the U.S for conspiracy to drug trafficking.
2012 Proves To Be A Deadly Year With 142 Murders
With only four days before the 2012 year ends, Belize remains a high-crime country largely due to the extremely high murder rate per capita standing as the sixth most dangerous country in the entire world with an average of just over 39 homicides per 100,000 residents. This year the murder statistics are soaring with an elevated record of one hundred and forty-two homicides to date.
At the start of the year, in the month of January, four murders were recorded while in February alone there were 10 murders. March decreased by two as compared to February with a count of eight homicides recorded. However, the blood bath had just begun as April proved to be the deadliest month in 2012 with twenty-one murders. Fifteen murders were recorded in the months of May and June respectively while in July there were thirteen murders. August and September each had ten killings. Murders recorded in October mounted to thirteen while November accounts for eleven. With four days to closing December, twelve murders are recorded to date. The 141 homicides account for ten minors and fourteen females.
Police press officer updates the medai on weekend crimes
As we told you earlier, there were two reported murders over the weekend, one in the Cayo District and another in Dangriga, but the police press office had no information forthcoming about those two incidents. Instead, at its last regular press briefing for 2012, Press Officer, Raphael Martinez, did shed light on a few other incidents that happened. One of those was a shooting shortly after seven last Friday night which has left 28 year old Keyron Ysaguirre with a gunshot wound to the left eye.
There was also a fatal road traffic accident on the George Price Highway on Saturday morning.
Police have since taken urine samples and a caution statement from Dougal and they have served him with a notice of intended prosecution. And while Belize may not yet be able to boast of having a witness protection program, with help from the US government, we will soon have a witness support unit. Assistant Commissioner, Elodio Aragon, Junior is the officer commanding Eastern Division.
Last week it was reported that two men were using the name of a serving Member of the House of Representatives to collect money and items to benefit themselves. This week, police have arrested one of the men whose name was called. The other, Goldburn Adolphus, has been released based on lack of evidence.
Meanwhile, with reference to three murders that occurred over the past few weeks, police have made some inroads and made some arrests. Senior Superintendent, Alden Dawson gave us the details.
Charges pending in Dangriga murder case
A Dangriga man is awaiting charges in connection with a Saturday night murder that that municipality. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details.
Santa Elena man found murdered in his home
Police in San Ignacio town are investigating a weekend murder in the twin-town of Santa Elena. The body of thirty six year old Rene Vera, an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Livestock section in Central Farm, was found inside his home on Saturday afternoon. Sources tell Love News that Vera’s body, which was found on the bedroom floor had as many as nine stab wounds to the chest and neck. Vera’s body is now awaiting a post mortem examination at the San Ignacio community hospital.
House destroyed by fire in Orange Walk
About one hundred and sixty thousand dollars were lost to a house fire in Orange Walk Town. The cement house which was situated on Dangriga Street belonged to seventy two year old retired Belizean Thomas Arzu. Arzu reported that around 7:15 on Friday night, he was at home with his family when he smelled and saw smoke coming from a back room. The family exited the building and no one was injured. All the household items valued at about ten thousand dollars were burnt. The house is estimated to be valued at one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Police continue to investigate this incident in which arson is suspected.
Concerns linger in the death of a Toledo man
Members of the family of a man who died, reportedly after an encounter with a police officer have expressed concerns about the ongoing police investigation. The chief investigator of the incident has also been talking with Love News about the incident. Correspondent Paul Mahung has that story in the following report.