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Today's Belize News: January 11, 2013 #454974
01/11/13 08:36 AM
01/11/13 08:36 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,002
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

Ambergris Today

MELT is Here! Home of the Guerrilla Cheese in Belize
MELT your heart’s delight with LOTS and LOTS of MELTed cheese! Located on the beach at the Exotic Caye Resort, MELT specializes in artisan grilled cheese sandwiches. Comfort food at its best is what we have to say. Open for breakfast and lunch, this charming cafe will start with morning eggs, fresh fruit smoothies, the finest South American coffee, herbal tea, fresh Lemonade and Ice Tea. For lunch, it's grilled cheese sandwiches, green or grain salads, homemade soup de jour, small plates, fresh Mex dishes, and the chef's daily special. It’s the ingredients that make the food and MELT makes sure it uses real imported butter and imported, top quality Vermont and Wisconsin cheese; plus, their breads are prepared fresh every day! Enjoy delicious grilled cheese sandwiches like the All American, Chicken-Itza (filled with savory Mayan spices, peppers, onion, tomato and 3 cheese blend), Supreme Pizza Melt (pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers and onions) and the Big Sal (turkey or turkey sausage, pepperjack cheese, grilled onions, pickles and jalapeños). There are great MELTS that you have to keep going to try them all and pick your favorite; there are even vegetarian options. MELT is open from Monday to Saturday from 7a.m. to 2p.m.

Hope Kitchen Delivers Happy Meals
It was a proud moment for the members and volunteers of Fate Gives as they saw their charity’s inaugural event take place and deliver happy meals to smiling faces. The new project entitled “Hope Kitchen” provides a healthy meal to families that might not otherwise be able to afford the luxury of a dinner out on Ambergris Caye. The first soup kitchen event was held at Sandbar on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, which saw many families arriving to the establishment and sitting down to enjoy a hearty meal for the evening. Members of the organization worked very hard all day to prepare this meal and sent out invitations to various neighborhoods for less fortunate residents to come out and enjoy a free meal. For the initial event Fate Gives partnered with local San Pedrano, Hermojenes “Moncho” Acosta, known as “Teacher Moncho”, who identified families in need who would benefit from the Hope Kitchen project. But Hope Kitchen is open to the public as the premise behind the charity event is for diners to pay what they can afford, whether it is $1 or $10. People who can afford to pay a meal are encouraged to pay as much as they can as a way of donating and keeping the Kitchen providing meals to those who need it.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Good advice (crime in belize city)
So... as Belizeans we are very conserned with the violence situation in our spot and thing and thing same way, yo dig? so we decided to give some advice on the situation we are currently in. hope this video is and inpiraton to everyone that wtches it and i hope it speaks to the inner man. i know we call out some leaders, but its just the questions that are on our minds and maybe it plants a seed for u to stat questioning the possbilities for youself. We are not saying any one is dealing with drugs or gang. but sometimes it makes u wonder. so pray for our sweet baby, sugar plum, dumplin Belize and thing same way. remember to like our page and stay up to day on what we is doing and thing same way yo dig?

ICJ referendum with Guatemala info-Important info for voters
In October of this year there will be a referendum on whether Belize should submit to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a determination on the Guatemala claim of Belize. I humbly believe that all Belizeans should participate in this referendum as it may be the only opportunity for us to ever record our opinion on this very serious matter, most importantly though it must be a conscience vote, one that truly reflects each voters opinion on this issue - whether it be a yes or no vote. It is our democracy that must prevail. While the question on the referendum will be a simple one, the issue is much more complex, therefore as Belizeans we have the utmost responsibility to understand the issue, only then will we be in a position to truly vote our conscience. When the vote is over and the result made clear, it should not matter whether the result was a yes or no, what should matter is that Belizeans have spoken.

Assistant Superintendent Marco Vidal was named the commander of the new unit; in media interviews soon after, he spoke out in support of a government bill to permit police to hold people in preventive detention for up to 21 days.[3] In 2011 and 2012, the GSU was involved in a number of controversial raids. In March 2011, the nephew of PUP supporter Yolanda Schakron was delivering goods to a wake for purported gang leader Charles Woodeye; he got caught up in a sweep conducted by police officers who had been trailing the funeral march, and one of them broke his arm with a baseball bat.[4] Then in February 2012, a group of men invaded a home on Dean Street and beat its residents with bats and clubs, leaving four injured, while soon after, a group of men at Taylor's Alley were also beaten. Commander Marco Vidal initially attempted to deny involvement of his officers, but PM Barrow stated that he believed the GSU was involved.[5] There were various responses to the controversies. Taylor's Alley residents rejected the government's apology.[6] The Belize Times accused the GSU of being a rogue unit of the United Democratic Party.[7] One plank of the People's United Party platform in the 2012 elections was the disbandment of the GSU in favour of increased emphasis on neighbourhood watch groups and traditional police patrols.[8] Despite the controversies, in April after the elections Minister of National Security John Saldivar expressed his support for the GSU.[9] Less than a month later, the GSU conducted another controversial raid, this time on the Orange Walk Town home of McAfee computer security company founder John McAfee. The GSU killed his dog, confiscated his passport, and arrested him on weapons charges. McAfee maintained that the charges were false and that the raid was retaliation for his refusal to donate money to a UDP politician.[10]

Broccoli Cheese Soup
In this video, I use the broth I made the other day to make broccoli cheese soup. This is so comforting during the cold and rainy season. This soup is rich, thick, creamy and hearty.

The Belize Shark Project
Rachel Graham studies sharks. She live captures, measures, tags and releases them. When she asked if I would document some field work for her (actually it was an assignment for Men's Journal), I jumped at it. There is little I find more exciting or adrenaline pumping than swimming with a tiger shark, even if it is controlled by a line around its caudal fin. The film crew is from National Geographics "Born to Explore" series, and yes that is the star of the show Richard Wiese.

ICJ Presentation at SHJC
Sacred Heart Junior College students heard from the MoFA about the ICJ. "Both rooms were filled with SHJC students, faculty and staff as the representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented on the history of the Belize Guatemala land dispute and the referendum which will decide if both countries will take it to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)"

Belize Zoo Turned 30 Yesterday
Happy 30th birthday to the Belize Zoo! In other news, Pat the Jaguar's 2 cubs are doing great at the Milwaukee Zoo. "It's exactly 30 years to the day since TBZ Founding Director Sharon Matola nailed a little wooden hand painted sign to a little backyard zoo, cycled her bike down the road to the old Western Highway bar known as JB's, and announced "If anyone's bored, feel free to drop by Richard's Foster's place up the road, it's now a zoo." The sign read simply "The Belize Zoo," and has evolved from that last ditch effort to save a hand of wildlife to a stronghold for conservation and environmental education in Belize. We thank ALL our visitors, friends, and supporters that have joined us on an incredibly journey. Take a look at our brand new entrance sign, and here's to another 30 years. Happy Birthday, TBZ!!"

PD Change Of Command Ceremony
Yesterday, at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan,, command of the Belize Police Department was officially handed over to Allen Whylie, the newly named Commissioner. Best of luck! "After being sworn in by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, the new Police Commissioner, Allen Whylie, spoke to the gathering saying, 'We are challenged with the issue of crime countrywide, but in particular, in Belize City. I want to tell you, don’t despair. I am committed; the leadership is committed; the government is committed to make the necessary change to ensure that the citizenry across this country, and in particular Belize City, can enjoy the level of safety and security that they deserve. And as we make this change today in the Belize Police Department, I want to ask the citizenry to partner with us, to walk with us on this journey that we can truly, truly be successful at the crime fighting efforts.' "

Chicken Bingo at Mr. Greedy's
Yes, you read it right. Chicken Bingo, where you can 'win a crapload of money.' You might be asking, 'They do what with that poor chicken?' It's a game where you can bet on the bingo squares, and if the chicken...does it's business...on that square, you win. They set up a big bingo board on Burns avenue so everyone can gather around. Mr. Greedy's will be doing Chicken Bingo on Wednesday nights, starting around 7pm.

Channel 7

Post Mortem Examinations Show...
From morning to evening, three post mortem examinations were conducted on the bodies of three of the dean street murder victims - 40 year old Keino Quallo (Quayle-lo), 30 year old Leonard "Ghost" Meyers and Albert "Long John" Fuentes. According to his family Ghost Meyers was stabbed 38 times, while Long John Fuentes was stabbed five times. The post mortem finished late this evening, and Monica Bodden spoke to the Meyers and Fuentes families just a short while ago. Fuentes's mother asked to appear off camera: Voice of: Mother of Albert Fuentes "When I arrive at the hospital I see that he had a big cut wound under his left eye and his chest. I wasn't happy with the one under his eye because that looked real deep; they dig it out. I ask the doctor if he could test his blood and he told me yes but he believe that it was something that they made him inhale and he told me that he could do it. He looks at me and he tells me that I am very smart because he was thinking the same thing. I believe that they were drugged before the murder happened." Monica Bodden "Did he mention to you if he will conduct these tests to find out if they were drugged or anything?" Mother of Albert Fuentes "Yes he did say that to me but when the post mortem finished he didn't tell me anything - they just handed me the certificate and that was it." Monica Bodden "So basically you guys didn't find out much from the post mortem?" Mother of Albert Fuentes "Nope, nothing else, that's all. They didn't even want friends to in. I ask to see his whole body and they only took him out like half way; I only saw up to his chest. All I can say that it felt like when I was giving birth; really hurt, like something that just rip from inside me especially to see him in that condition."

Was OW shooting Drug Related?
Tonight, 2 Orange Walk men are at the hospital recovering from serious gunshot injuries which they received last night in a shooting. They are 41 year-old Amin Mendez and his son-in-law 26 year-old Evander Bennett who were found lying in an alley in the Little England area of Orange Walk Town at around 8:40 p.m. The circumstances surrounding the near slaying of these men are peculiar, so 7News caught up with the Officer Commanding Orange Walk Police, and he outlined the information they have so far: Sr. Supt. Joseph Myvette - OC, Orange Walk Police "Last night sometime shortly after 8pm we received information of persons receiving gunshot injuries in the area of Little England. As a result we deployed two teams of police officers; one to Little England and the other to the Northern Regional Hospital where at the hospital they observed two male persons with multiple gunshot wounds. Those persons were later told to us are in stable condition. One was later transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment. Our investigation into this matter continues. We have been at the investigation immediately after receiving the information. What I can tell you is that we are looking for a particular suspect since then and as we speak we are still out there looking for this person." "We have not been able to confirm that information but we are working on it. We know for certain that after speaking to witnesses that both victims were in a conversation with the allege shooter a few minutes prior to the incident occurring." Daniel Ortiz "I have receive information that these individuals - the victims, are connected to underworld dealings here in Orange Walk. Do you believe that base on the information from police that that information is correct?" Sr. Supt. Joseph Myvette - OC, Orange Walk Police "No. At this point in time we will try to stick to the facts and if the facts prove otherwise then we will be able to say that."

Rosewood Still Rolling
There's a Rosewood moratorium in effect - but the illicit trade of the prized hardwood continues. Last night, though, villagers of Golden Stream led by the chairman of the Alcalde Association, Alfonso Caal stopped a trio of Chinese Rosewood smugglers who had amassed a thousand flitches of Rosewood. Around 7:00, Caal and some of his villagers heard the commotion and called police who took hours before an off duty officer finally showed up. They then called PGTV who got these images. KREM Journalist Yaya Marin was working with PGTV and today told KREM Radio that the Forestry and Police Officers on the scene appeared reluctant to make an arrest. Tomorrow morning at Golden Stream - the Minister of Forestry is expected to make a statement on Rosewood.

A Racecourse Robbery
Crime on the city's southside has been low this week as the police lockdown remains in effect for Western Dean Street an its adjoining areas. But that doesn't mean crime has stopped altogether. This afternoon at around 1:30 on Racecourse street two men held up a Chinese Grocer at Quan Sing Store. The female proprietor told us that one of the men had a long gun which he pointed at her, while the other stood watch at the entrance to her store which does not have burglar bars. They grabbed her boledo laptop computer and a small amount of cash from the drawer. She says this is the third time they have been the victims of armed robbers.

Whylie Assumes Command
Yesterday evening in Belmopan, Allen Whylie assumed command of the Department he entered 26 years earlier. The change of command ceremony was held at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. Police Minister John Saldivar welcomed Whylie - and pointed to the tough job ahead:.. Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of Nat'l Security "We must re-align our human resources to provide us with the best possible mix in order to ensure continuous growth. Today we install a new leader for the police department; Deputy Commissioner Whylie. I have the utmost trust and tremendous vote of confidence in you. I expect that under your leadership that performance will exceed expectations and that you will hold with the standards of excellence that are the hallmark of the core values of the Belize Police Department." Allen Whylie - commissioner of police "We are challenged with the issue of crime countrywide but in particular in Belize City. I want to tell you that don't despair, I am committed - the leadership is committed, the government is committed to make the necessary change that the citizenry across this country and in particular Belize City can really enjoy the level of safety and security that they deserve and I will work tirelessly - the seniors officers and the members of this police department will work tirelessly."

Micah G. Gets Love
And one youth who would never end up in that facility is Micah Goodin. He did the right thing in high school - and got a scholarship for it - but was we told you last night, the funding has dried up - and now, with one semester left to go before he finishes sixth form - he can't pay his school fees. Well, that was yesterday, last night, several generous members of the public saw his plight, and they reached out a helping hand. We spoke to him this evening, and he had nothing but gratitude to the Belizean public for the assistance: A press release from Goodin's organization, Nation Builders National Youth Movement voiced its, quote, "utter disappointment in St. John's College Junior College and the Police Department's Community Policing Unit for their failure to properly manage and monitor the "Do the Right Thing" Scholarship Programme." End quote. They also demand an apology and a proper explanation of the situation to quote, "all students affected". Finally, the organization is calling on both institutions to try to find a replacement donor or donors for the program so that it can continue to provide for those needy students.

CEO Peter Allen Called Police On Irate Nurse
CEO in the Ministry of Health Dr Peter Allen had to call the police yesterday when an irate nurse would not leave his office. The nurse Dianne Pascascio told us that she was irate because Allen had long been victimizing her. She says it culminated this week when he blocked her from entering a training course being offered at the University of Belize. She says she went to his office in Belmopan and demanded answers - and that's when she claims he bumped into her - and claimed that she pushed him. Allen called the police, whose headquarters are in the adjoining building - but Nurse Pascascio was escorted out through the back before they arrived. Allen told us he has no personal grudge against Pascascio and wishes she had conducted herself with greater decorum. She told us she's had it with the CEO who has stalled her increments, and frustrated her in other ways. She told us she will still try and get into the training programme.

Cemetery Complaints Alive And Multiplying
For the past week, 7News has been following the less-than-smooth transition at the Cemetery as the Belize City Council has taken over management and control. Well tonight, undertaker David Coye, owner of the well-known Coye Funeral Parlor is the one kicking up dust. According to him, as part of City Hall's new rules are being enforced for everyone, except a select few. Here's how he explained it: David Coye - Coye Funeral Home "I have purchase that space to build a tomb for a funeral either Sunday or Monday. They denied my payment and they show me a notice on their wall that the new prices from $150 - it is now $250 just today and it comes with a new application fee of $25. They insist to me that I have to pay $1,000 so that City Councils' workers can build the tomb." "Goldbourne "Easy Glen" Adolphus went to purchase two spaces yesterday for an undertaker. I guess he is doing his hustling. He went there and they accepted his payment. Goldbourne doesn't have any construction business, no kind of business at all. Anyway they accepted his payment for two space and them some guys who claimed that they are relatives is building the tombs."

Butane Standards Coming In, Finally
Two years ago - we blew the lid off the butane scam that was stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from consumers annually. Since then, a lot has changed in terms of consumer consciousness -but sadly, in terms of regulation, a lot hasn't - and we'd hazard to say that the troubling status quo has been restored - much to the disadvantage of consumers. Butane trucks are not using scales and consumers aren't demanding it - and without that kind of check and balance- we'd guess that it's mostly business as usual in the butane trade. But, finally regulations and standards are being introduced. Most prominent among these is the requirement that all so called butane - which is really liquid petroleum gas - now be imported at a 60/40 mix - that's 60% propane and 40% butane. It's a major gain for consumers because when we tested two years ago, some of the so called butane out there was actually 90% propane or more - which burns much quicker than the 60/40 mix. The importers will have to show third party certification to prove that they are importing this mix. And the pricing regime will also change. Instead of reviewing invoices form suppliers - the price will now be tagged to an international index. According to an official release, The Bureau of standards will now embark on a phased-in compliance program which quote, "it aims to implement in the shortest possible time," - but does not state any specific timeline.

Man Died In Prison, Family Says Foul Play
Two weeks ago, we told you about 48 year old Florentino Ayala - the Orange Walk resident who was found dead inside his cell at the Belize Central Prison. According to CEO of the prison, Earl Jones, Ayala was found inside his cell at the special care section at around 7:30am on Monday. Jones said he was displaying signs of psychotic behavior, so he was placed there under special care for his own benefit. But today when 7news caught up with Ayala's family at the morgue - who were also waiting their turn for his Post Mortem to be conducted, they told us, they strongly believe that their loved one was murdered inside his cell since he was found with injuries over his body. Norma Ayala, Wife of Deceased "I was in Orange Walk that day on Tuesday morning when I received a notice from a man from August Pine Ridge not a police, not an official from prison. It a man from August Pine Ridge who call me and he gave me the notice. At that time I didn't know what to do - if to go back to the prison or the hospital or go back to my house. I wait for a time to decide what to do." Monica Bodden "So the villager came and told you that your husband died. I understand that you call the prison to inquire what happen. What were you told happen to him?" Norma Ayala, Wife of Deceased "The man that I spoke to told me that the police said that when they got the body from prison - that he had injuries all over his body. I don't know if that is true because I have not receive the body at this time." Monica Bodden "Who told you that at the prison?" Norma Ayala, Wife of Deceased "A man named Earl Jones."

A couple times on this newscast we've told you about Linda Blease - who's gained fame as an international DJ in demand in Kingston, Jamaica the most scene-setting city in the Caribbean. And while you know about the fame behind her name, you probably didn't know that Ms. Blease is actually a Caye Caulker Girl, raised by grandparents after - as she puts it - her mother "whipped out." That troubled beginning and her meteoric ascent to DJ dominance are the subjects of tonight's profile:..

"Ghost's" Family Gets Ready For Burial With Trepidation
As we told you at the top of the newscast, post mortem examinations were conducted on three of the four Dean Street murder victims today. They were all stabbed to death, and Leonard Ghost Meyers got it the worst: his mother claims he was stabbed over 30 times. But for the Meyers family, they now have to bury their loved one - which they plan to do on Sunday in their home of Gales Point. But they say police have already given them a warning - this is how they explained it to us today:.. Area Resident "They say that they will meet us through the coastal road. We won't have peace in burying our loved one?" Monica Bodden "That's what you guys heard?" Area Resident "Yes that they will meet us through the coastal road. Can't we have any peace since they had already messed up everything and now they are dealing with us like this. We are getting enough of this, we are grieving."

Fawda's "Mayday!"
And while those areas remain under guard, it's not enough to satisfy the always outspoken Phillip Fawda Henry. He's not letting the crime issue rest. He wants a curfew, a new government that is neither PUP nor UDP, a mass people's uprising and a whole lot more. He led a four person protest in downtown Belize city this afternoon where he entertained the media by scolding…you!:.. Phillip "Fawda" Henry - Protesting Crime/Government "I am here to show the Belizean citizen what they need to do; they need to step to the plate and care for their country and take it over. We need to get this in your living room people, wake up and smell the coffee. Belizean I think you all are the dumbest set because you all don't want to wake up. You all need to drink some gramoxzone and kill yourself because the two blue and the red they are misleading us and this nation is sinking like titanic and it is sinking rapidly. I don't want to be one of those ones who is saying mayday, mayday, mayday. We need to get to the point." Henry and his crew say they plan to have a larger protest soon.

Channel 5

Scouring for evidence where 4 men were gutted
The area surrounding Dean Street and Plues Street remains under heavy police guard tonight. This evening, the crime scene where four George Street gang members were massacred was re-visited by personnel wearing K.H.M.H. scrubs and the police looking for more evidence into Monday night’s mass murder of Keino Quallo, Albert “Long John” Fuentes, Leonard “Ghost” [...]

Families react at the result of post mortems
Earlier we told you that police were back at the scene of the murder of four George Street murders. Autopsies were conducted today on the bodies of the four   massacred sometime on Monday night at their apartments at the corner of Dean and Plues Streets. The George Street affiliates had a horrific death; they were [...]

US travel warning on Belize stops medical mission
Following the murder of the George Street associates, the U.S. Embassy issued a travel advisory for Belize regarding gang-related homicides. And though there was no indication of threats to U.S. citizens the release said quote “There is a possibility that retaliatory violence could take place. As a precaution, the Embassy’s Regional Security Officer has advised [...]

Ranguy in court for killing mother, sister and step-father
The man accused of the brutal murder of his mother, sister and stepfather in Ladyville was in court today. Twenty-six year old Jared Avery Ranguy has been behind bars since November twenty-second, when he was arraigned. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning, represented by Attorney Arthur Saldivar. But since his case [...]

Near fatal shooting of two in Sugar City
Belize City has been quiet following the mass murders on Monday, but up north there was a near fatal shooting in Orange Walk Town on Wednesday night. The well-known businessman Amir Mendez Senior and Evander Bennett were engaged in an altercation with one Noel Zetina, who is evading police. It turned ugly for Mendez and [...]

Illegal rosewood harvested down south
A moratorium on the extraction of rosewood is still in place in the south and an assessment has reportedly not yet been completed, but the harvesting of the precious wood continues unabated in the Toledo District. On Wednesday night, a delivery truck preparing to load a large number of rosewood pieces was detected by the [...]

Will you walk for peace?
Stop the Violence! Today a mini peace walk was held in downtown Belize City. It was organized by former political aspirant, Phillip “Faada” Henry. The walk is as a result of massacre of the George Street four during the course of Monday night. The walk, which started at Battlefield Park, lasted only a few minutes [...]

No peace for undertakers; particularly Coye
Ever since the Belize City Council announced it would be taking over the responsibilities of building tombs and vaults at the Lord Ridge Cemetery and Eternal Gardens, undertakers briefly kept quiet on the decision. A few residents, however, have readily made their discontent known about the tombs built by City Hall. And one particular undertaker, [...]

Warrior and minor aggravated burglary charges
Eighteen year-old Jamel Warrior, along with a seventeen year-old minor, were jointly charged for aggravated burglary, following a break-in at the residence of Li Cheng Luo, proprietor of 88 Shopping Center on Neal’s Penn Road.  The duo is accused of entering Luo’s home on January fourth, and stealing over seven thousand dollars in items, including [...]

Police say international funding died for scholarship recipient
Do the Right Thing, is a youth oriented program devised by the Community Policing Unit. It looks for at-risk youths to recognize and invest in their future by awarding them scholarships. The 2010 third place winner, Micah Goodin was a poet whose thirst for thought provoking words, became quenched by advocacy.  Goodin became a founding [...]

Scholarship recipient and Nationbuilder mad
You heard the National Youth Program Coordinator mention that Goodin was the poster boy for the Do the Rait Thing Program. And though there was no malice and only a depleted program that caused the loss of the scholarship, the student blasted both his school and the youth program.   Micah Goodin, Lost Scholarship “Both [...]

Pomp and circumstance for changing of police command
The crime rate in Belize, particularly murders, has reached a historical high and it appears to only be getting worse with every violent killing, the heinous sexual crimes against women and children, the frequent shootings and other firearm related offences. With no change in sight, residents no longer feel safe and some have started seeing [...]

COLA says going to ICJ is unconstitutional
Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action (COLA), is calling on citizens to reject taking the Belize/Guatemala dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).  COLA says the decision to subject Belizeans to a one-sided decision and referendum should be considered unconstitutional. Geovanni Brackett, COLA’s President, says it attempts to circumvent the procedure established by our [...]

New Guatemalan Foreign Minister appointed
While on the referendum, there are major changes in the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry to report tonight. Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros has stepped down and is being replaced by Fernando Carrera, the Minister of Economic Planning and Programming for the Presidency. Caballeros, according to reports from Guatemala, is on his final mission to Kuwait where Guatemala [...]

Healthy Living assists children dealing with crisis
There have been countless stories, in this newscast and other media discussing the events that unfolded on Tuesday in Belize City. The debate on who did it, whether we over-reacted or who is to blame will likely continue to rage on.  The panicked shutdown of Belize City also led to the closure of schools; leaving [...]


Police Seek Men Following Reports of Carnal Knowledge and Teenage Pregnancy
Police are looking for two men following reports of carnal knowledge by two underage girls. In Orange Walk, a fifteen year old girl, accompanied by her mother, went to the police to report that on December fourteenth, the teenager had sexual intercourse with her boyfriend. ...

COLA Issues Updated Position Paper on Belize Guatemala Referendum
The group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, best known by the acronym COLA has issued an update on its previous position paper opposing the proposed referendum on taking the unfounded Guatemalan claim to the ICJ. In its updated statement released today, COLA said that even...

Post Mortem Results Revealed on Recent Killings
Post mortem examinations on the bodies of three persons killed over the weekend have been completed. According to the results obtained by Dr. Hugh Sanchez, twenty two year old Feeshia Felix died as a result of severe brain injury due to gunshot injury to the head. Felix was...

US Residents Combines God and Basketball for Youths in Belize
The country was shaken on Monday when a gruesome scene of murder was uncovered in Belize City. Among the victims was an eighteen year old, making us wonder what awaits the youth in such a crime infested country. But it seems that there is hope for our youngsters as a group ...

Police News
Forty five year old Israel Ranchanran has been arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking after marijuana was found concealed in his underwear and on his person. Police say Rancharan and two other men were intercepted at a police check point between miles fifty five a...

Orange Walk Police Seek Man Following Shooting Incident
Two men of Orange Walk Town are hospitalized with gunshot wounds following a shooting last night. They are 41 year old Amin Mendez Sr. of Liberty Avenue Orange walk town and 26 year old Evander Bennett of Gravel Lane Orange Walk, both have been transported to the KHMH. ...

Four Men and A Teenager Charged With Aggravated Burglary
Five persons, among them a 17 old boy, have been charged in connection with an aggravated burglary which occurred on January 4, upstairs of 88 Restaurant, located at the corner of Neal Pen Road and Central American Boulevard. The adults are 19 year Jamel Warrior, 20 year old Mich...

Bus Driver and Conductor Busted
A bus driver and conductor today ran into trouble with the law. Acting upon information received Police searched a bus and discovered nine kilograms of suspected cannabis. Reports are that shortly after nine o’clock this morning a search was conducted on a D & E b...

Duo Remanded On Firearm Charges
Two persons, 18 year old Lyson Cacho and 20 year old Diondroy Mckoy, were charged with aggravated assault when they appeared in court today. They were also charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. They pled not guilty to the charges and they were remanded into cu...

Belizean Labourer Charged With Attempted Murder
Twenty-one Kenyon Dominguez, a laborer of Jasmine Street, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Dominguez was also charged with aggravated assault, use of deadly means of harm and wounding. He was remanded into custody until February 22. The incident occurr...

Opposition Leader Makes Recommendations to Prime Minister
The Opposition People’s United Party yesterday offered the hand of cooperation to the government in a bi-partisan effort to address the crime situation in Belize. Prime Minister Dean Barrow publically welcomed the gesture from Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca during his mi...

Police: No New Developments In Quadruple Murder
Twenty four hours after the discovery of bodies of four men in an apartment building in Belize City, investigators are still trying to piece together clues that will tell them of a possible motive for the brutal slayings. Forty year old Keino Quallo, thirty year old Leonard Myers...

Prisoner Wounds Prison Officer
Twenty-nine year old Jermaine Belgrave, who is on remand on a charge of murder, was charged with wounding a prison officer when he appeared in court today. Belgrave pled not guilty to the charge. His case was adjourned until February 18. The incident occurred on January 2. Reports are ...


PUP calls for Commission of Inquiry into quadruple murders
The Opposition People’s United Party yesterday offered the hand of cooperation to the government in a bi-partisan effort to address the crime situation in Belize. Prime Minister Dean Barrow publically welcomed the gesture from Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca during his mid-afternoon press conference on Tuesday. Today, Fonseca issued a statement offering two recommendations for Prime Minister Dean Barrow to consider on the way forward. In a sit-down with reporters this afternoon at his law offices in Belize City, Fonseca said that since too many questions still linger about who may have committed the mass murder, the Prime Minister should appoint a Commission of Inquiry, which would once and for all dispel any suspicion of state-sponsored executions. The PUP leader also recommends that the government should desist from any facilitation of gang leaders. Love News asked Fonseca if he and the People’s United Party are categorically refusing any dialogue at all with gang leaders, even as he extended the hand of cooperation to work alongside the government in addressing the crime situation, which could include on the ground intervention in the crime-ridden areas. Fonseca says that he made the recommendations today after inter-party consultations following yesterday’s press conference by the Prime Minister.

Investigation of quadruple murder inches along
Twenty four hours after the discovery of bodies of four men in an apartment building in Belize City, investigators are still trying to piece together clues that will tell them of a possible motive for the brutal slayings. Forty year old Keino Quallo, thirty year old Leonard Myers, nineteen year old Albert Fuentes and twenty eight year old Anthony Perez were found dead by police just before eight o’clock on Tuesday morning in an apartment building at the corner of Dean and Plues streets. An official police report issued today said that the bodies of Quallo, Perez and Fuentes were found in the corridor of the apartments whilst the body of Myers was found inside bedroom number nine. Police say all four men had multiple stab wounds to their bodies. During the Prime Minister’s press conference yesterday afternoon, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie announced that a team of three senior police officers, headed by the head of CIB Alden Dawson as the lead investigator was assigned to the case. During the press conference it was also announced that a special proclamation was being prepared which would have the effect of sealing off what has been described as Zone four, inclusive of the George Street area of Belize City. Prime Minister Barrow told the nation that an intermediary was being designated for residents of the area to be able to share information with the police. And just as a liaison was set up for the residents of the George Street area to communicate with the police, the Prime Minister also announced that Deputy Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon, Junior was the point man for the media to get official information on the quadruple homicides. Today, Aragon, told Love News that there has been no new developments in the investigation.

New COMPOL takes over command of Police Department
The handing over of command of the Belize Police Department took place this afternoon in the nation’s capital. Correspondent Fem Cruz was present for the pomp and pageantry and files this report.

Inmate charged with wounding prison officer
Twenty-nine year old Jermaine Belgrave, who is on remand on a charge of murder, was charged with wounding a prison officer when he appeared in court today. Belgrave pled not guilty to the charge. His case was adjourned until February 18. The incident occurred on January 2. Reports are that Belgrave and three other prisoners got into an altercation and Belgrave managed to overpower one of them and take away a prison made knife. When prison officer Isidiro Yam intervened he was wounded on his arm.

Laborer charged with attempted murder
Twenty-one Kenyon Dominguez, a laborer of Jasmine Street, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Dominguez was also charged with aggravated assault, use of deadly means of harm and wounding. He was remanded into custody until February 22. The incident occurred around 9:20 a.m. on January 6. Twenty-five year old Justin Richards reported to the police that he and Leroy Zuniga Jr. were standing on Flambouyant Street when Dominguez rode up to them on a beach cruiser bicycle and fired a shot at them which grazed him on his lower back. Zuniga was unhurt. Dominguez was positively identified as the gunman in an identification parade that was held yesterday.

Duo charged with aggravated assault
Two persons, 18 year old Lyson Cacho and 20 year old Diondroy Mckoy, were charged with aggravated assault when they appeared in court today. They were also charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. They pled not guilty to the charges and they were remanded into custody until February 20. The aggravated assault occurred on January 7. Akeem Augustine reported to the police that while he was riding his bicycle at the junction of M and M Street and Lacroix Boulevard two persons rode up behind him on bicycles and one of them pointed a firearm at him and told him that the next time they see him they will kill him. Augustine reported the incident to the police and as a result the police went to a house at Cet Site where the two defendants reside. The police reported that when they arrived the two defendants locked themselves in a room and they saw when a firearm was thrown through a window. The police reported that when they retrieved the firearm it was a point 38 pistol with five rounds of ammunition.

Visiting US University students engage in service learning program
A group of doctors from the Western Kentucky University in the United States is visiting Belize on its eight year of its service learning program. This morning Love News caught up with them and spoke with the Director of the Belize Learning Program, Dental Director Daniel Carter. As part of their program, today rural nurses underwent a special training at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City and family medicine physician, Sherry Jones told us what it was about. Jones said the nurses showed a lot of interest and excitement in the training and Carter told us that he has been able to adapt to the culture making his experience a good one every time he visits Belize.

Dangriga awaits cruise ship docking
A cruise ship will be docking in southern Belize at the Commerce Bight Port early next week. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. Earlier this week we reported that the Orange Walk Town Council had expressed concern at the appointment of the new liquor licensing board in that municipality. Deputy Mayor Josue Carballo told Love News they were not satisfied with the members of the new board and the way they were appointed.

Double Head Cabbage resident wins big Christmas prize
The twelve days of Christmas have come and gone. But for one family in Double Head Cabbage the season of giving and receiving extended to this afternoon. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett went to the Belize River Valley today to bring you the following story.

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Downtown Belize City shuts down
Business across Belize City came to a screeching halt on Tuesday, January 8th following shooting incidents which took place in the George Street Gang territory. The shootings are believed to have been responses by those in the neighborhood after the discovery of the bodies of, Albert Fuentes 19, Leonard 'Ghost' Meyers 30, Anthony Perez, 28, and Keino Quallo,40, in an apartment located at the corner of Dean and Plues Street in Belize City; this is the heart of the George Street Gang territory. The bodies were brought down from the apartment building to the great distress of those who had gathered in the area; among them were family members and friends of the deceased who wanted to get a look at their loved ones. Even as police were processing the scene gunshots began to ring out in the area and the fear of possible injury to innocent persons sent the business and school communities across the city into prevention mode. This caused the closure of virtually all businesses and schools across the city starting with those nearest to the George Street neighborhood. The first school to close down was St. Ignatius Primary School followed by Wesley School both of them being the nearest to the hot zone. The closure sent a ripple effect across the city virtually forcing all schools, even those far from the area to close down. These were followed by businesses closing down and activity in the city coming to an almost stand still.

No Retaliation from George Street Gang, says PM
Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow held a press conference on Tuesday, January 9th, to appraise the nation of the developments following the discovery of the bodies of four residents of the George Street Area, who are known affiliates of the George Street Gang. The bodies of 40-year-old Keino Quallo, 30-year-old Leonard Myers, 28-year-old Anthony Perez and 19-year-old Albert Fuentes were found at an apartment building at the corner of Plues and Dean Streets on Tuesday morning. At the press conference, the Prime Minister was flanked by the Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar; Minister of Housing, Hon. Michael Finnegan; Minister of Social Transformation, Hon. Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez; CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Col. George Lovell, Commissioner of Police Designate, Allen Whylie; Commander of the Belize Defence Force, General Dario Tapia; and Officer Commanding the Crimes Investigation Branch, Superintendent Alden Dawson. During the press conference, the PM announced that he held a meeting with leaders of the George Street Gang in an effort to placate high tensions that had begun to escalate in the neighborhood. Coming out of the meeting was the bad news that the George Street gang was convinced that the killings had been executed by the police, more specifically the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU). This allegation stated the Prime Minister was, “utterly unfounded” and it constituted a serious allegation against the integrity of the GSU, the Security Forces and the Government of Belize.

Quadruple Homicide at George Street Base
Residents of Belize City were hit with frightening news as they began their morning activities on Tuesday, January 8th, when reports of four bodies being discovered in an apartment building at the corner of Dean and Plues Streets were on most morning talk shows. Speculations and rumours about who were killed, how they were killed and who killed them spread far and wide even before the identities of the bodies were confirmed. It led to a massive assembly of neighbours and residents of the surrounding areas at the scene of the massacre. Police arrived at the two- storey building at 7:50 a.m. and found the lifeless bodies of 40-year-old Keino Quallo, 30-year-old Leonard “Ghost” Myers, Jr., 28-year-old Anthony Perez and 19-year-old Albert “Long John” Fuentes on the second floor. The bodies of Keino Quallo, Anthony Perez and Albert Fuentes were seen in the corridor of the apartments and the body of Leonard Myers was found inside Room #9. All four men had multiple stab wounds to their bodies and there was no sign of forced entry. By 8 o’ clock, there were a couple dozen angry onlookers and by 8:15 a.m. there were over a hundred. The crowd openly expressed its resent for the police officers as they processed the scene. The ugliest verbal assaults came from the women in the crowd. They spoke of ways to get back at the police - by seducing and leading them to ambushes or by killing their family members. The anger was particularly focused on the Gang Suppression Unit, who residents believe is responsible for the horrible act. They blame the GSU because they say “the police are the only ones that can come into Gaza turf”.

Kevin Lee’s Defense
The trial of massage therapist, Kevin Lee, began late 2012 and on Wednesday, January 9th, the defense made its submissions before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Lee is being accused of sexually assaulting one of his clients on April 6th, 2011 during a massage therapy session. The woman claims that during the massage, Lee touched her inappropriately on her breast, buttocks and also attempted to touch between her legs. Lee gave a sworn statement in court with the assistance of a translator. He said that the woman was lying because on April 6th he used a machine to give her the massage. According to Lee, the woman came to him on two separate occasions for treatment. The first time was on March 28th, 2011 where he gave her a healing massage by rubbing her back only and the second was April 6th, 2011. In court, Lee’s attorney, Alifa Elrington-Hyde, presented a yellow notebook and a receipt book in an attempt to prove his innocence. The yellow notebook, which he claims is used to keep records of his business has the first name of the woman for the two dates which he said she came. The DPP, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, challenged the sudden appearance of the books. She asked how was the book not found in his office or spoken of during the police investigation. She pointed to the fact that different client names in the book had the same receipt numbers and even a remanded prison inmate’s name was in the book as a client. The trial against Kevin Lee was adjourned until January 18th.

New Rules in the Butane Industry
The Belize Bureau of Standards has announced several new protocols to be introduced in the butane industry by the Technical Committee for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The biggest change is in the area of pricing and quality of the substance. In the past, the Ministry conducted periodic review of prices based on invoice submissions from the LPG importers. Those invoices did not always reflect the quality and origin of the product. In an effort to achieve stability in domestic prices and standardization of quality for LPG, the Bureau has implemented a new LPG Importation Protocol to be adopted by all importers and domestic producers, regardless of product origin. An established minimum standard mixture of 60:40 propane to butane will be implemented to ensure that all consumers receive high quality LPG. Mixtures are to be verified by third party certificates as a means of ensuring that all importers are abiding to the set standards. The Government anticipates that this newly established index will eliminate variations in controlled prices based on source of supply. This index was made effective on December 1st, 2012. There are also standard specifications for the marking and labeling of gas cylinders; inspection, testing and requalification of portable LPG containers and filling, handling, storage, transportation and location of portable cylinders. These mandatory standards were gazetted effective November 5th, 2012. The Bureau is now embarking on a phased-in compliance program which aims to implement the new standards in the shortest possible time.

One Man, Two Women and a Boy arrested for Robbery of Hotdog Vendors
Police have detained two men and two women in connection with the robbery of two food vendors and a minor on Sunday, January 6th, near the Battle Field Park in Belize City. According to police, a food vendor reported that at about 3:30 a.m., she was at her hotdog stand near the Battle Field Park when she was approached by two dark complexion males and two dark complexion females, who ordered food from her. While preparing the food, one of the men approached her and placed a firearm to her side. He then proceeded to rob her of $675. The group then moved over to another vendor where they robbed her of $200. A 17-year-old student who was around at the time was also robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash. The group then fled the scene; however, quick police response led to the pursuit of one of the suspects in which at the corner of Dean and Plues Streets he threw an object over a fence. He was caught and taken to the spot where the object was thrown and police recovered one black glock pistol containing one 9 mm live round in the magazine. The man was escorted to the Police station where he was identified as 20-year-old Andrew Talbert of #79 Allenby Street. He was then charged with Keeping Firearm and Ammunition without a Gun license. Three additional persons were later detained. They are 18-year-old Desiree Waight, 21-year-old Theresa Elijio and a 14-year-old minor. Talbert appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, January 7th, where he pleaded not guilty to the firearm offenses and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until February 19th, 2013. He reappeared in court on Tuesday, January 8th, along with the three alleged accomplices in the robbery. They were all charged with three counts of robbery and will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until their next court appearance on February 19th.

Belizean football referees certified by FIFA
The Football Federation of Belize Referee’s Department is pleased to inform the general public that four Belizean Referees are certified by FIFA to officiate at the international level. The FIFA certified Referees are Irfan Basdemir and Christopher Reid, while the two FIFA certified Assistant Referees is Ricardo Ake and Daniel Catzim.

Feeshia Felix shot dead in Her Bed
Police response to the murder of 22-year-old Gill Street resident Feeshia Felix has resulted in the detention of several individuals. According to police reports, CIB personnel visited #6 Gill Street at about 2:50 a.m. on Saturday, January 5th, where they saw Felix lying motionless on her bed with a gunshot wound to the forehead. Her brother told police that he was awaken by the sound of gunshots at around 2:40 a.m. After the shots stopped, he called out to his sister but there was no response. He then went to check inside her bedroom where he saw her motionless body with the injury to the forehead. Police retrieved ten 9 mm expended shells from off the street in front of the house. Two slugs were also retrieved from inside the house.

Marvin Foreman murdered on Central American Boulevard
Police are looking for two men in connection with the murder of 27-year-old Marvin Foreman. Sometime around 3 p.m. on the afternoon of Saturday, January 5th, Foreman, a resident of #4314 Louise Bevans Street, was in front of a Chinese grocery shop located at #3424 Central American Boulevard when two men of dark complexion approached on bicycles. One of the men pulled out a firearm and fired several shots at him. Foreman was struck multiple times to the abdomen and hip. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but succumbed to his injuries at 4:10 p.m. Police recovered thirteen 9 mm expended shells from the scene and three slugs. They have not confirmed if the shooting is related to the murder of Feeshia Felix, who was killed earlier that day.

Man pleads guity to possession of .40mm bullet, entire family still remanded
Patrick Gordon, 51, was sentenced to 3 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession of a .40 mm caliber bullet and 6 months for smoking weed inside his Sawmill Area home in Hattieville. On Thursday, January 3rd, at about 8:00a.m., police executed a search at Gordon’s house where they found the bullet inside a carton box under a bed inside the house. As a result of the discovery, everyone at home at the time was taken to court and charged for keeping prohibited ammunition. Police also say that upon entering the house they smelled marijuana smoke. Patrick Gordon, his common-law wife, 45-year-old Karen Gillett, her older daughter, 25-year-old Rondean Gillett, her 18-year-old daughter, Sheridean Gillett and her 17-year-old daughter, were taken to court and appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on Thursday afternoon. Gordon pleaded guilty to the offence of keeping the ammunition and smoking weed. He told the court, “I was wrong for holding it in my house but I wish that the court would have leniency on my family.” He was then sentenced to 3 years for the ammunition and 6 months for smoking weed. The charges were not withdrawn against the rest of the family since the prosecutor indicated to the court that he would have to get a directive from the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether to withdraw charges against the others.

Marlon Harris gunned down on George Price Highway
Police are investigating the shooting death of 33-year-old Marlon Harris of #7632 Lionel Tillett Street, Belize City. Police visited Mile 2 on the George Price Highway at about 8:25 p.m. on Saturday, January 5th, where they saw a dark green four door Toyota Corolla in a small ditch on the right hand side of the road (facing towards Belize City). They saw five bullet holes on the driver’s side door and seated in the driver’s seat was the motionless body of Marlon Danny Harris. Police observed gunshot wounds on the left and right side of Harris’s body. Police have not named any suspect in relation to the murder.

Brothers charged for New Years Day Shootings
Police have arrested and charged 23-year-old Akeem Hubert Humes for the murder of 45-year-old Orlando Sylvestre Williams. At about 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday, January 1st, Williams was near his home at the corner of Dean Street and West Canal having a conversation with a friend, when a light complexion man came walking on Dean Street from the direction of Plues Street and fired several shots at him. Williams was struck multiple times and died on the spot. Police retrieved seven 9 mm expended shells, one slug and one copper jacket from the scene. Police arrested and charged Humes for murder on Friday, January 4th. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was remanded to the Hattieville Prison until February 15th, 2013. Police also arrested and charged Humes brother, Shakeem Baizar, for the attempted murder of 48-year-old Marco Valle. He was additionally charged with dangerous harm and the use of deadly means of harm upon Valle. At about 9:40pm on the same date, January 1st, Marco Valle and a friend were riding on separate motorcycles on Regent Street heading towards the Swing Bridge and upon passing in front of Welworth Store, a young man rode beside them and fired a single gunshot, which hit Valle in the left temple. Valle was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is still on life support. Police retrieved one 9 mm expended shell from the scene. Baizar was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until March 12th.

Clarence Lamb charged for BTB Robbery
22-year-old Wagner’s Lane resident Clarence Lamb appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, January 7th, to answer to charges relating to the robbery of the Belize Tourism Board’s (BTB) office on Wednesday, January 2nd. On that day, two men entered the BTB office, located on Regent Street, at about 4:30 in the afternoon. One of the men had a firearm in hand and the other was armed with a knife. The gunman placed the gun through the cashier’s service window and demanded money. It was at that point that one of the security guards set off the alarm in the building and confronted the men. The men then rushed out of the building but not before the security guard opened fire and hit one of them in the foot. The injured robber did not make it very far as he was picked up by Tourism Police about forty yards away on South Street. He was taken to the hospital for treatment and identified as Clarence Lamb from the Jump Street area. The other man escaped down Regent Street. The men’s take from the robbery amounted to $1,732.78, but they didn’t get away with it. Lamb was unrepresented in court where he was slapped with 10 charges. Those include one count of keeping firearm without a gun license and one count of keeping ammunition without a gun license for a .38 revolver which was found in his possession with 6 live rounds. He was also charged with one count of robbery and seven counts of aggravated assault upon BTB employees. Lamb pled not guilty to all 10 charges and due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until February 28th, 2013. Police are still looking for the second suspect in the robbery.

Victor Pratt charged of Robbery of San Cas Employee
Victor Pratt will spend his 26th birthday behind bars. That is because he was charged along with Micshak Flores for the robbery of over $40,000 in cash and cheques from San Cas employee, Leroy Cassasola. On December 27th, Cassasola reported to police that he went to collect money from Tommy’s Store, located on Central American Boulevard, at about 6:20 p.m. He placed the money into a knapsack and as he got on his motorcycle, he was approached by two men; one was armed with a gun. The men ordered him to hand over the knapsack and other personal items. According to Casssaola, fearing for his life, he complied with his attackers demands. The robbers take amounted to $19,000 in cash and some cheques which upped the total to some $40,250. Flores was captured shortly after the incident took place. He appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on January 3rd and will be held on remand until his next court appearance. Pratt appeared in court on Monday, January 7th, where he was read a single charge of robbery. He was unrepresented and due to the fact that the offense was committed with a firearm, no plea was taken and he was remanded to prison until his next court appearance on March 5th.

Trenton Webster remanded for Robbery of Magistrate’s Court Cashier
On Friday, December 28th, a gunman held a Police Special Constable and a Belize City Magistrate’s Court cashier at gunpoint and snatched away a green Belize Bank bag that contained $7,634.90 in cash.

Private Hospital in Cayo celebrates Fortieth Anniversary
La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital (LLLAH) located in Santa Elena Town, Cayo continued to celebrate, on Saturday December 29th, its fortieth anniversary. In keeping with the celebrations, a state of the art imaging centre was dedicated in memory of Sylvan N. Roberts, Jr., who at the time of his murder on December 23rd, 2011 was a sonographer at the private hospital.

Changes in Police High Command for Greater Efficiency
David Henderson, Allen Whylie, Elodio Aragon and Miguel Segura The Ministry of National Security announces the following changes in the Ministry and in the high command of the Police Department to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness as we begin the New Year. Mr. David Henderson leaves the post of Acting Commissioner of Police and takes up the post of Director of the National Forensic Science Service.

GOB cannot afford to subsidize UB students anymore
In July of 2006, the University of Belize had announced that it would be increasing its fees to attend classes at that institution. Since that announcement, the Government of Belize paid the difference in increases. While at the time it was only supposed to have lasted for 6 months, that decision was carried forward up until the present. The Government now pays some 3 million dollars for students. But the reality is that the Government simply cannot afford to keep on footing the bill. This is especially so because according to Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, the assistance that is being given to students through grants and scholarships has increased. The Minister added that the assistance offered to students amounts to some $3 million spread equitably to as many of them as possible. The subvention that is being given to the University of Belize has also gone up exponentially. The subvention now stands at $10 million. Minister Faber added that the announcement is not one that should be taking students by surprise. As a matter of public record, the announcement was made at the National Assembly from the middle of last year. Additionally, only students that are newly registering at the university will be affected by the true cost that UB places on the services they provide. Students, who are currently enrolled at the institution, will continue to pay only a portion of the cost. This will be extended, according to the Minister up to a reasonable time. That is, people will be given enough time to complete their course of studies provided it does not extend beyond what the length of time it should take to complete the courses.

GSU denies Involvement in murders
When news broke in the George Street neighborhood that 4 affiliates of the George Street Gang had been executed in the heart of the gang's turf, speculation began to run wild that it was the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) that was responsible. The argument was that it was only the police who could go into the neighborhood and commit such an act because they are the only ones brave enough to do so. That, compounded by the almost daily aggressive interaction, has lent credence to the speculation.

Lionel Arzu Sworn in as New Ombudsman
Lionel Arzu was sworn in as Belize’s new Ombudsman by Governor General Sir Colville Young on Friday, December 28th, at the Belize House in Belmopan City. Up until his appointment, Arzu was a teacher at Julian Cho Technical High School in his home district, Toledo. He has also served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Belize, Toledo Campus; and project Coordinator for the2 Meso- America Project. Arzu holds a Master of Science Degree in International Commerce and Policy from Valparaiso University and a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts with Management and Computer Science concentration from Knoxville College.

Peoples Coalition contributes to Cayo Police
The Peoples Coalition of Cayo (PCC) continues to work with the San Ignacio Police Formation to further reduce crime. As part of the PCC’s major goal, work continued during this past week on a forty foot container on the San Ignacio Police Compound, which is intended to serve as an exhibit and evidence room.

Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar hands over Two Vehicles and Ten Motorcycles to Police Department
Hon. John Saldivar presents donation to police department Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar on Monday, January 7th, handed over two new Mahindra Pick-up Trucks and ten Meilun Brand motorcycles to the Belize Police Department.

Quality Controls at the Cemeteries
The Belize City Council has announced that effective January 1st, has taken over the work at the cemeteries as it pertains to digging of graves and construction of tombs. Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley has said that it is about quality control at the cemeteries. He explained that over the years, the tombs which are constructed are not up to standard and at times they collapse under their weight. This forces the City Council, which is ultimately responsible for the maintenance at the cemeteries, to have to go in after the tombs crumble to fix them thereby incurring additional expenses for the Council.

Fees structure for New and Incoming UB Students
The recent announcement by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports that it would discontinue the fee subsidy currently enjoyed by all students at the University of Belize (UB) will not come into effect till January 2013 and will only affect students entering from that point onward. The Government has advised that it will continue the fee subsidy for all students enrolled prior to January 2013.

The Year in Review 2012
The second half of the year closed on a real down note and with the presentation of his budget at the end of June, the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow tried to inject some optimism in the electorate. The 2012-13 budget, which would be normally be presented in April, was delayed by about eight weeks because of the General and Municipal elections.

Central Region Football Competition opens
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association Central Region 2012-2013 Football Competition opened on Wednesday January 9th, 2013, at the MCC Grounds here in Belize City. The high school’s football competition will see the participation of 5 girls’ teams and 7 boys’ teams. The schools participating in the female competition are Anglican Cathedral College, Excelsior High School, Ladyville Technical High School, St. Catherine Academy and Wesley College, while the teams in the male competition are Anglican Cathedral College, Excelsior High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Nazarene High School, St. John’s College, Sadie Vernon Technical High School and Wesley College. However, it is noticed that the defending champions Gwen Lizarraga High School is absent from this year’s competition in both divisions.

FFB calls U- 20 players to tryout
The Football Federation of Belize National Team Selection Committee in preparation for the 10th Central American Games scheduled for San Jose, Costa Rica from March 3rd -17th, 2013, has selected the following U-20 male and open female players to attend training this Saturday and Sunday respectively January 12th and 13th at 8:00 am at the FFB Headquarters. All players attending training are required to bring along a valid passport. The U- 20 male players selected are: Terrell Flores, Jeremy Gentle, Geon Makin, Avran Crawford, Khambrel Blease, John King, Dellon Torres, Collin Westby, Kendis Hernandez, Luis Torres, Kyle Flowers, San Leobardo Mendez, Jamil Cano, Nahjib Guerra, Eduardo Gongora, David Madred, Darrell Myers, Terrell Shepard, Denmark Casey Jr., Howard West, Gilroy Thurton, Sanjay Casey, Brandon Jones, Hari Ottoniel Cruz, Jorge Garcia, Kishane Suazo, Marlon Tesecom, Trevis Drysdale, Marvin Budna, Dennis Charley, Erenelsen Clavel, Erwin Chable, Wilmer Gonzalez, Amir Coh, Brian White, Jason Turton, Ricky Muschamp, France Vernon, Yusef Vernon, Carlton Thomas, Byron Chavez, and Jermaine Jones.

Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition opens this coming Monday
The 2012-2013 Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition will commence on Monday January 14th, 2013, at Rogers Stadium. There are 11 teams participating in the girls’ competition and 9 teams in the boys’ competition. The teams in the girls’ competition are Wesley Upper School, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School, Queen Square Anglican School, Muslim Community School, St. Martin De Porres School, Unity Presbyterian School, Central Christian School, and St. John Vianney School, Salvation Army School, Holy Redeemer School and St. John’s Primary School. Meanwhile, the schools in the boys’ competition are Wesley Upper School, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, Queen Square Anglican School, St. Martin De Porres School, St. John’s Primary School, Holy Redeemer School, Salvation Army School, Central Christian School and St. Mary’s Primary School.

The Elephant in the Room
There’s a huge elephant in the room that cannot be moved. It stands perfectly still while we work to pick up the dung it is dropping on the carpet, all the while ignoring its presence. Its name is geography. Belize is within the Central American geographical area and our current murder rate now puts us squarely within a region infamous for having the highest murder rates in the world. Jamaica and Trinidad also join as honorary members of the region. Sociologically there are many similarities such as poverty, inequality, unemployment and family breakdown exacerbated by migration. However, some or all of these sociological problems are shared by the majority of other countries in the world which have much lower murder rates. It is obviously important for countries to pay attention to sociological drivers of crime but equally obvious that there must be one or more other drivers. There has to be something else that all the countries in this region share and that brings us back to the elephant in the room, the elephant known as geography. The geography that we all share is being on the trade route from drug production centres in South America and proximity to the United States. This guarantees that organised crime in the United States has an interest in supporting criminal gangs along the drug supply route. Other shared similarities include large numbers of deportees often with few family or other ties to their countries of origin and criminal records and links to organised crime and criminal gangs developed in the United States. Our shared geography also ensures that our countries are flooded with weapons and ammunition from one of the most unregulated arms markets in the world.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Ocean Academy Business Fair
The Ocean Academy is having a Business Fair at the Central Park on Saturday, January 12th 2013 from 10 AM to 1PM.


A Tale of Five Cities: Merida, the food (part 2)
On Sunday around lunchtime, we were walking around downtown Merida where a variety of outdoor food vendors cluster to serve the shoppers and walkers. I wasn't very hungry but was hoping to find some Sopa de Lima (Lime Soup), a classic Yucatecan soup I'd heard so much about. Although the booth we stopped at said they had it to lure us in, they didn't actually, though they had some other kind of chicken soup. Realizing it was probably too hot for soup anyway, I settled for a cooling Horchata (a traditional rice beverage) to drink, and Barry got a panucho. Street food in Mexico is incredibly cheap and makes a good choice for lunch or a quick snack. Since we had such a light lunch, we decided to eat dinner early and tried one of our Tripadvisor picks, Amaro. Since we were eating so early, we had the place to ourselves. I started with a michelada, another specialty drink in Mexico, and Barry had one of their special cilantro/habanero margaritas. We also ordered some guacamole, chips, and salsa to whet our appetite as we perused the menu. I still had Sopa de Lima on the brain, and we'd planned to go for sorbet after dinner, so I decided to have a light soup dinner. Barry had a chicken dish. After our relatively light meal, we strolled back up to the Paseo de Montejo for some sorbet. We'd eyed this place the night before but had chosen fancy desserts at Hennessey's.

10 Cool Things You Didn’t Know About the Cotton Tree
The Ceiba Pentadra aka Cotton or Kapok tree is a tropical tree that is native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Northern South America. Here are ten interesting things about this tree: 1.) Kapok is the most used common name for the tree and may also refer to the cotton obtained from its seed pods. 2.) In Maya Mythology, the Ceiba tree is a sacred symbol. 3.) The tree grows to 200–230 ft tall and has a very substantial trunk up to 10 ft in diameter with buttresses. The trunk and many of the larger branches are often but not always crowded with very large, robust simple thorns. 4.) Adult trees produce several hundred 15 cm seed pods. The pods contain seeds surrounded by a fluffy, yellowish fibre that is a mix of lignin and cellulose.

Prime Minister Barrow Meets With Belize Gang Leaders Following Brutal Murders
The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, revealed in a press conference on Jan 9, 2013 that he has held talks with the leaders of The George Street Gang (GSG), a notorious criminal gang after four men were found dead in an apartment building on Tuesday morning. Local media said the men were tortured and their throats slashed. When security forces arrived on the scene to pick up the bodies, people of the neighborhood began pelting them with stones and bottles. The forces had to fire shots into the air to keep the crowd at bay and senior police officers and journalists were forced to scamper for safety as multiple gunshots were fired near the apartment building. The residents in the neighborhood alleged that the killings were a state-sponsored execution. Later in the afternoon Mr. Barrow told reporters at a press conference that he led a delegation that included National Security Minister John Saldivar for talks with the leaders of the GSG and said that an arrangement had been reached for them to leave Belize City and not seek retaliation against people they believe committed the murders. “I said they went under an arrangement with the government, they went completely of their own free will as a consequence of the discussion we had,” Barrow said, adding that the delegation made it clear during the talks “that it would be absolutely unthinkable for there to be any attempt at retaliation against innocent citizens. “I will say that right from the start of those negotiations, they freely volunteered their commitment that absolutely nothing like that would happen. Now I say to residents of the City, I say to citizens of this nation that notwithstanding that particular development...the security forces are putting in place all that is necessary to make assurance doubly sure.

Stairway to Heaven
It was that time of the month again today- time to renew our Visas. Pleased to say that this time we set a new record for processing time. Excluding the drive to the Immigration Department we were ‘done and dusted’ in eight minutes. With such a start to the day we thought we were in for a wonderful day but then the sky got very grey and then very dark . Within minutes the heavens opened up and there was a swirling rain. It didn’t last long though but the sun didn’t really emerge in full force. We had planned to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize but decided that it could wait until the rain stopped or at least subsided. So we moved to plan B which was to review the architect’s plan to do our best to avoid a repetition of the ground level stair access ( see yesterday’s edition ‘Cause & Effect’) problem. We focused our attention on the Ground and First Floors and identified a number of small changes we want to make e.g. not having a cabinet between the oven and the pantry but use the space to increase the width of the pantry, providing plumbing for a dryer in the utility room but fit a cabinet in the space ( we have never been avid users of dryers but you never know…),etc. With our list drawn up we are ready for the first of the formal weekly meetings that we have asked Daniel Camal, our building contractor, to have with us. The inaugural meeting takes place at 4pm on Friday at our apartment.

Daily Dingleberry 01-10-13 Is Whe Dis?
What’s all this about Micah Goodin? From all appearances, he di “Du Di Rait Ting”. He is President of the Student Council at SJCJC, Teen Belize Organization’s Personality of the Month, founder of A.R.M.E.D, a program aimed at mentoring young people, and the list goes on. One side says it is a simple matter of the scholarship program “Du Di Rait Ting” running out of funding BUT don’t you know how much money you have for scholarships BEFORE you give them out? Some say he took too long to complete his program and his share ran out. Others say it is retaliation, plain and simple for speaking out against Patrick Faber’s initiative to cut government subsidies of student fees. In any case, it would seem that he should not be left in the cold and he won’t be. Already, the Rotary Club and Kremandala have stepped forward to offer assistance. Things that make you go “What?”

International Sources

APP SMART: Taking a Deep Look at Tools for Scuba Divers
In the middle of winter there can be few more spine-chilling thoughts than the idea of slipping into the ocean for a dip. But at least one group of people are attracted to the idea of year-round: scuba divers. While high technology and water don’t mix well as a rule, the smartphone and tablet revolution has expanded to diving. Divers now have many apps to help them plan, execute and even train for their dives. For beginners who need to pass certification tests before they can dive freely, the Scuba Exam app (a restricted-feature version is free on iOS and on Android) is an ideal helper. Novice divers will enjoy its short history of diving, back to early diving-bell experiments by Guglielmo de Lorena in 1531. It also has a dictionary of diving terms and expressions, and you’ll get more terms with the app’s full version on iOS and Android ($4 each). But the app’s main feature is a practice quiz about best diving practices, with plenty of questions to prepare you for your diving qualification test. The app is not pretty to look at, nor is it very sophisticated. But the simplicity of its straightforward design will be useful to help you refresh your knowledge in your spare moments.

VIDEO: Kuhnert Family Pays It Forward
FOX2 highlighted the Affton residents, who were missionaries in Belize for a year.

Game Stop's Sweepstakes Gives You the Chance to Win a Trip to Belize
How would you like the chance to visit the kind of tropical setting featured in the "Far Cry" series of games? Well, if you enter GameStop PowerUp Rewards' Far Cry 3 Epic Reward Sweepstakes, you could win a trip to do just that. The grand-prize winner will receive a trip for two to Belize including a two-day guided hiking tour with a professional athlete, two Mountain Hardware Jungle Survival Kits, and more. The prize is worth $7,986. Entry into GameStop PowerUp Rewards' Far Cry 3 Epic Reward Sweepstakes is open to residents of the US, Guam, and Puerto Rico with a valid driver's license and current car insurance who are above the age of 18. Enter daily through January 31, 2013.

Slovak Hood From Belize Yacht Club Arrested In Venezuela
Damn! Should have stayed in Belize! Mr. William Mishenka, the buddy of Karol Mello, was residing at the Belize Yacht Club along with him last year. Both have been on the run from Slovak police for years. Mishenka was responsible for the largest heist in Slovak history. It was rumored Mishenka had a Venezuelan passport. That seems to be true as Mr. Mishenka was just arrested there by Interpol agents on the island of Margarita!! So Belize has one less international hood to deal with....not that the domestic ones aren't keeping the police busy enough......I guess that's good news..... Message to Karol -- hang tight on San Pedro, bwai --- the cops are just waiting for you to leave....LOL!

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