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The January 13th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • From Jail To Jail Again - Puc Is back In Jail:
    the community for the New Year is said to have occurred a mere ten hours after the passage of the old year. In this incident, an estranged boyfriend, fresh out of prison, is reported to have attacked and inflicted five stab wounds to a former girlfriend. San Ignacio police reports that acting on a 911 call at around 10:45 on New Year’s Day, a team of policemen rushed to #12 on 15th Street where they encountered a bleeding woman standing outside the house. She was later identified as Julisa Flores, 25, Guatemalan laborer of the same address. The accused, later identified as Alvin Puc, 31, Belizean laborer residing in the village of San Jose Succotz, was encountered on the scene in the custody of a group of neighbors who had effected a citizens’ arrest.
  • Recording The Passing Of Mr. Godsman Ellis:
    It is with profound sadness that we record the January 9, 2013 passing of a pioneering Belizean, Mr. Godsman Celestino Ellis, 83. Godsman Celestino Ellis was born in Honduras on November 9, 1929. He passed away on January 9, 2013, exactly two months after his 83rd birthday. Although he was born in Honduras, his visionary Belizean father by birth decided it would be best to register his son in British Honduras. When Godsman Ellis was only eight months old his father returned to British Honduras where Godsman would spend the rest of his life. He attended Sacred Heart Primary School in Dangriga up until he was ten years of age, when he was approached by an instructor named Eric Sebastian requesting for Godsman to accompany him to Xaibe Village in the Corozal District where he completed his primary education. It was in the Corozal District that the young Godsman Ellis was afforded the opportunity to learn the Spanish language. It was also in Corozal that he discovered his appreciation for the Maya culture.
  • Cousin Charged in Cousin’s Stabbing Death:
    Ten days after the December 21, 2012 stabbing death of a Santa Elena man, police is reporting the arrest and incarceration of the man they believe committed the crime. The accused murderer Joseph August, 22, was first detained shortly after December 22 discovery of the body of Rene Vera inside the bedroom of his residence on Bishop Martin Street in Santa Elena. Although August was reportedly found with scratch wounds to various parts of the body, the evidence was reportedly insufficient to proceed with the murder charge. He was held for the prescribed 48 hours and was released.
  • Conorque And Gongora Facing Assault Charges:
    A man who is said to have used a knife and a gun to assault a male resident of Esperanza Village was today remanded to prison on two aggravated assault charges while his young accomplice, similarly charged, was freed on a three thousand dollar bail. San Ignacio police reports that at around 7:00 pm on Sunday, December 30, 2012, the victim, Gabriel Pennil, 30, Belizean farmer of Esperanza Village departed the home a friend he visited in Georgeville Village. Pennil was reportedly on his way to the bus stop in Georgeville, when in the area of the basketball court, he was attacked by two male persons he has known for over eight years. In a statement to the police the victim informed that one of the male persons pulled out a knife with a wooden handle, from his waist and advanced towards him in a stabbing motion. He said that the second person ordered him not to make any foolish moves. He identified the attackers as Jovan Conorque and Brandon Gongora.
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Misc Belizean Sources

Rights of Belizean citizenship should be made clear - there is too much confusion
A person who is born in the country of Belize is automatically a citizen of Belize. A person who was not born in Belize but is the spouse, child or other offspring of a natural born Belizean citizen can apply for Belizean citizenship through marriage or “citizenship by descent", providing that he or she comes from a country that accepts Belize's territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty. Most countries in the world accept Belize as an independent country except Guatemala, so legally Guatemalans are not entitled to Belizean citizenship. Even though thousands of Guatemalans have been granted Belizean citizenship in the past, this act was in violation of the Belize Constitution as it now stands. Guatemala has been claiming Belize for years as their territory and, due to this, all Belizeans were considered citizens of Guatemala up until the independence of Belize on September 21, 1981.


Bus Conductor From Benque Viejo Charged For Drug Trafficking
On Thursday, tenth of January, Belmopan Police acted on information received and conducted a search on an D and E bus bearing license plates BVO-00440 heading to Belize City from Benque Viejo del Carmen. The officers conducted the search in the presence of the bus conductor, eighteen year old Judith Angelica Molina of Benque Viejo Town. The search resulted in the discovery of a box tied with green string. When the box was opened, it contained another box within it which also had enclosed two parcels wrapped in duct tape. The two parcels appeared to be suspected cannabis and weighed a total of 4.5 kilos. As a result of the find, eighteen year old Judith Molina was arrested and charged with Drug Trafficking. Also present during the time of the search was 48 year old Ernesto Castillo, bus driver. Castillo was arrested and charged for assaulting a police officer as during the search, he pushed one of the officers. Castillo was fined $1,000 and given thirty-one days to pay or serve two years in prison.

New Exhibit To Be Featured At Corozal House Of Culture
Many of us are too young to remember or have lived through the worst storm in Belize’s history, Hurricane Hattie. Stories told by our grandparents and parents depict a horrific experience and the death of hundreds of Belizeans. Up to today, only several pictures of that tragic day have been seen by a handful of Belizeans. Well, that is soon to change. On Tuesday, January 15th, Corozaleños will be able to relive Hurricane Hattie once more with an exhibition set to open at the Corozal House of Culture. The exhibition is fruit of the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Museums of Belize, House of Cultures and the National Institute of Culture and History. The exhibition will be opened under the theme, “Hurricane Hattie Exhibit” with the objective of educating visitors on the monster storm that hit Belize in 1961.

Nearly Half a Million Dollars Goes In Flames
In March of 2012, Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla issued a moratorium on rosewood effecting the immediate stop of the cutting and exportation of this lumber. With the stop order issued on rosewood, an assessment of the remaining amount of rosewood should have been done in efforts of determining the sustainability of the product. Up to news time tonight, no such assessment and inquiry into the sustainability of Rosewood has been concluded. Yesterday, a delivery truck was caught attempting to extract a shipment of rosewood from the Toledo district and was quickly stopped by quick action by Alfonso Cal of the Toledo Alcaldes Association. Cal immediately reported the truck to the Police and Forestry Departments who responded quickly to detain the freight truck. An inspection by the Forest Department unveiled 765 round and short fledges along with 69 barrels, which are the stump of the rosewood already cut and prepared for sale. This latest incident has left many residents of the Golden Stream and Deep River communities disgruntled and up in arms.

Fifteen Year Old Charged For Carnal Knowledge
Tonight, a fifteen year old minor has been charged for unlawful carnal knowledge at the San Pedro Police station. According to the police sitrep, a fifteen year old female minor from Benque Viejo Town visited the police station in that municipality with her mother to make an official report of sexual abuse. The minor reported to police that sometime during the month of June and again in the month of December 2012, she travelled to San Pedro Town to visit a friend. The female minor reported that on both occasions the male minor took her to his father’s house where he had sexual intercourse with her. After making her report to the Benque Viejo Police Department, the female minor underwent a medical examination which certified that she had been carnally known. As a result of the report, the case file was handed over to the San Pedro Police where officers on the island arrested and charged the fifteen year old male minor with two counts of “Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.”

New Commissioner Of Police Officially Appointed
Well, it has now been made official. The Belize Police Department has a new hierarchy, but the same Minister. The Minister of National Security held their third pomp and ceremonial changing of the guard exercise since the UDP took over in 2008 on Wednesday January 09. Newly appointed Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie addressed the gathering at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. In his brief message, Whylir of e stated, “We are challenged with the issue of crime countrywide, but in particular, in Belize City. I want to tell you, don’t despair.” End quote. Being the third man to take up the mantle of ComPol, there’s not much hope or comfort provided to the residents of Belize in those words, unless Whylie intends to undertake very radical changes within the security forces of Belize. Minister of National Security John Saldivar thanked and praised outgoing Commissioner of Police David Henderson for his hard work and hands on approach during his tenure. Henderson now takes over as Director of the National Forensic Science Services which is amalgamated with the Scenes of Crime Unit. Swearing in of all the new posts were conducted by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. We wish Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and everyone in the Belize Police Formation all the best and hope they bring much needed relief and safety to the Belizean people.


Although there's no sandy beach, one of the unexpectedly delightful features of Campeche, Mexico is its gulf-front pedestrian and bike path. This path was only a couple of quick blocks from the Hotel Castlemar, where we were staying. It borders the Gulf of Mexico, providing a beautiful sunset view to the west, and a safe place to walk or ride a bicycle. We didn't have any bicycles with us, of course, but we enjoyed watching a few serious cyclists (on road bikes, even!) fly by. Barry was especially impressed to see how many locals were jogging or fitness walking in the early evening and morning. The path is long, and several attractive monuments and small parks are strategically placed along its distance. I never made it the entire way (saving my tired feet for the long trek to the bus stop with my pack), but Barry was determined to see just how long it was, so he walked its entire length. He discovered that it was over three miles long, end to end. Definitely a fine place to get your fitness on!

Yesterday saw the end of the tenth week since our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize began. With twenty-five percent of the project time lapsed Rose and I spent time today reflecting on the experience so far. We have found it exciting, exhilarating on occasions, thought provoking and sometimes it is all that we think and talk about. But, and it is. BIG, it is thoroughly enjoyable.

International Sources

Belize Rejecting Argentine Default Model Spurs Region-Best Rally
Belize’s dollar bonds are rallying the most in emerging markets after the Central American nation improved a restructuring offer that was worse than what Argentina gave creditors following its 2001 default. The debt has returned 18.6 percent this month, the most among 55 emerging-market countries tracked by JPMorgan Chase & Co’s EMBIG index. Bond prices rose 7.84 cents last week to 49.95 cents, up from a low of 30.11 cents on Aug. 23 following the government’s decision to skip a $23 million coupon payment, its second default in six years.

The Crystal Skull Saga: Indiana Jones Prop Spurs Lawsuit Over Artifact Stolen From Belize
If your pop culture memory is dim, you may not recall that back in 2008 the fourth Indiana Jones movie had Harrison Ford returning to his aging archaeologist-adventurer character for a quest involving a crystal skull. Now a lawsuit has been filed alleging that the featured crystal skull was in fact modeled on one illegally taken out of Belize by a real life adventurer. The lawsuit was filed last month, according to the Hollywood Reporter, by an attorney for Dr. Jaime Awe, who serves as the director of the Institute of Archeology of Belize, on behalf of the nation of Belize. It has multiple targets, including Lucasfilm (recently bought by Disney) and Paramount Pictures for their ”illegal profits” from using a skull in the movie that “clearly resembles” one claimed to have been stolen out of Belize by English traveller and amateur archeologist F.A. Mitchell-Hedges in the 1930s. The Hollywood Reporter quotes the complaint: ”Lucasfilm never sought, nor was given permission to utilize the Mitchell-Hedges Skull or its likeness in the Film. To date, Belize has not participated in any of the profits derived from the sale of the Film or the rights thereto.” Despite their stories of ancient curses and origins, there is much speculation about crystal skulls being authentic. The one housed at the British Museum was revealed to have actually been made in the 19th century, rather than by ancient Mayans, and the same was found to be true of the crystal skull at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris and the one at the Smithsonian.

Who Was Keino Quallo? By Aria Lightfoot
Who was Keino Quallo? Many people see a black unshaven face and a headline. “Four Gangbangers brutally murdered”. He matches what people think a “gang” banger looks like. They have no idea of who he is or where he came from, what led him down his path. All people know and feel is that they are stricken by fear because of violence. Any solution, even state-sanctioned murder, is an acceptable solution. The thinking is, he was a menace to society – so who cares, he probably have killed many more people and getting his just desserts. Not so fast… I met Keino in High School. I must have been about 14 years old, my second year in High School and he was one year ahead. Keino arrived in Belmopan with such notoriety. He was arrested in the U.S. for drug trafficking at the age of 15 years old. His father was a well-known attorney, Glenford Quallo, was recently murdered. Keino popularity grew fast at Belmopan Comprehensive School. He was charming, articulate, athletic, tall, and very intelligent. He was a snappy dresser and carried himself with a lot of confidence, therefore the women flocked him. We became friends because my best friend was dating his friend at the time.