More News: Scroll up from here
APSSM President Castellanos resigns
On Tuesday, Belmopan saw a massage demonstration as union members converged on the steps of the National Assembly t...
Another fatal traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway
A fatal road traffic accident occurred last night, shortly after 9pm. It happened at mile 76 on the Phillip Goldson...
Road traffic accident on the George Price Highway early this morning
Another road traffic accident took place on the George Price Highway early this morning. A Grey Chevrolet Captiva w...
Numerous Carnal Knowledge reports
Two men have been arrested and charged for carnal knowledge of a thirteen year old girl. On Tuesday morning, someon...
"Mix-up" annoys taxi operators in Tourism Village
Taxi operators in the Tourism Village yesterday were up in arms feeling that their livelihoods were being affected ...
A Belmopan Hospital that does not exist
A case of Health Care Fraud going on in Belize? Well that is just what Plus news is trying to ascertain; www.belize...
Mayor's trip to Guatemala promotes good relations
Today, Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley updated the press on recent initiatives of the Belize City Council. As ...
The University of North Texas is collaborating with Belize’s Forensic Science Service to study Belize’s population genetics
A US university is conducting DNA research in Belize. The University of North Texas is collaborating with Belize’s ...
Pedestrians encouraged to use the overpass at the SanCas/Belcan roundabout in Belize City
First built under the administration of Manuel Esquivel in 1996, the overpass at the SanCas/Belcan roundabout in Be...
FFB says they will keep their coach
FFB says they will keep their coach. Football fans have spent most of this week celebrating Belize’s success in the...
BELTRAIDE launches Belize’s first business magazine
BELTRAIDE has launched Belize’s first business magazine. Belize entrepreneurs have reached the heights of Forbes Ma...
BELTRAIDE holds workshop for stakeholders in outsourcing
This morning the Belize Trade and Investment Service (BELTRAIDE) held its latest workshop for stakeholders in the b...
Young painter Briheda Haylock will launch her second exhibition
In news from the art world, young painter Briheda Haylock will launch her second exhibition, Megalomania, at the ...
One Step Forward
I fully recognize that any issue concerning teachers is very sensitive given that they enjoy ample public support in whatever venture they undertake. Many of us know that teaching is referred to as the “noble” profession, and most certainly all of us have been under the influence of teachers at some point in our lives.
This time around, however, many opinions hold that teachers are not coming across as balanced as they have in the past, mainly as a result of the extensive demands being made on the Government. In truth, I have heard comments from many persons who have no interest in unions or in politics that the 30% to 36% salary increase is truly unreasonable for any union to put forward in a proposal, or worse even, to threaten industrial action for.
Thing is, the Unions are saying that they have not received any “adjustment” in wages since 2005. When asked about the $50 yearly increment, which has aggregated to $350 monthly since 2005, they say that GST eats all of that up. Well, it does that for us out here too, you know; rich and poor, employed and unemployed, we all must face the GST.
Beltraide launches New Magazine
BELTRAIDE, the investment promotion arm of the Government, launched a new magazine called Invest Belize. Ceremonies marking the milestone were held at the Biltmore hotel on Wednesday, January 30th. With a sleek, stylish and glossy finish, the magazine is the latest investment promotion tool being put forward by BELTRAIDE.
No Hope in Amadi - UB Students Serious about Education
Hope Amadi, President of the University of Belize’s Student Government, led a protest in Belmopan City on Monday, January 28th, based on the Ministry of Education’s decision to discontinue the subsidization of fees for new enrollees of the institution. Amadi received little support since the students had been aware of the adjusted fees for over six years.
Belize to Gold Cup 2013
The National Football Team got a welcome back 'celebrity style'.
The National Football Team of Belize made history in San Jose, Costa Rica when Deon McCauley sealed a victory over Nicaragua with a second half injury time tiebreaking goal. It was Belize’s first win in the UNCAF Copa Centro Americana Tournament and it secured Belize’s first ticket to the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. Belizeans looked on with extreme pride as our guys displayed raw athletic ability and natural talent in competitive play against seasoned professionals. Though they only finished in fourth place, the Belize Jaguars were the highlight of the tournament.
Charged for Murder on San Pedro
Edward Barahona, 33, a laborer of the San Isidro area of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, appeared in Magistrate's Court on Tuesday January 29th where he was formally arraigned on charges of murder. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was read a single charge for the killing of 25-year-old Byron Estrada a resident of San Pedro. Since murder is an indictable offense, no plea was taken and Barahona was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until March 21st, 2013. He was told that his next court appearance will be in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court. He had to be brought into Belize City because of the unavailability of a magistrate on the island on Tuesday.
Byron Estrada, was attacked whilst inside the bathroom of Daddy Rock Night club, on San Pedro Ambergris Caye on Saturday, January 26th, 2013. According to police, they received information of a stabbing incident at the night club. When they responded they found Estrada, bleeding from his neck, chest and back. He received as many as 22 stab wounds.
Police report that after he was attacked, Estrada managed to make it outside of the club's bathroom while the partying was still taking place in the establishment. He collapsed from his injuries when he reached the bar area of the club. He was later assisted by persons inside the bar who took him outside for assistance.
Estrada was rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic where he succumbed to his injures at about 4:32 a.m.
Of note is that in February 2007, Barahona was convicted of the murder of 25-year-old David Vasquez, who had been killed in June of 2005. He appealed the conviction and his sentence was set aside by the Court of Appeals in June of 2007.
Also of note is that Byron Estrada's younger brother, 18- year-old Charlie Espat and his cousin 17-year-old Daniel Alamilla were found dead in Santa Martha Village in June 2012. At the time they were believed to have been the victims of murder as a result of drug dealings. No one has been arrested for those murders.
Second Trial by Judge gets underway
The murder trial against 22-year -old Nicholi Rhys, got underway in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth A. Benjamin on Tuesday, January 29th. The case is one which is being pursued without a jury, the second such case in Belize's history.
Accused of sodomizing 14-year-old Boy
A dispatcher at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, 20-year-old Clinton Roca appeared in Magistrate's court on Friday, January 25th after being accused of sodomizing a 14-year-old boy on three separate occasions.
Roca appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he was charged with three counts of committing an unnatural crime. No plea could be taken from Roca since the matters are indictable. In court, prosecutor Corporal Noel Muschamp argued against bail citing the serious nature of the offences and asked that the interest of the young boy be taken into consideration since Roca could interfere with him. Countering the arguments was Roca's attorney Lionel Welch, who stated that there is no indication that his client has tried to interfere with the victim and that if the court thinks that that is possible that conditions be set for his bail. After reviewing the submissions, Magistrate Cayetano offered Roca bail in the sum of $5,000 under the condition that he must stay away from the virtual complainant. Roca’s next court date is set for March 26th, 2013.
Man accused of exposing himself
On Monday, January 28th, 42-year-old Mark Anthony Sewell appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was charged with exposing his person in public. He appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart where he was additionally charged with one count of threatening words for allegedly threatening his sister-in-law Margaret Sewell. He pleaded not guilty to the offence and told the Magistrate that incident occurred at a yard where his family house is located and that it was his brother’s yard he was in. He said that he had just come to his family yard after coming from sea and that he went to urinate. He also told the magistrate that he never threatened Margaret Sewell. Magistrate Stuart told him that he need not explain himself at this time as he had pleaded not guilty and that the matter will go to trial.
Magistrate Hettie Mae-Stuart offered him bail in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount with conditions that he not interfere with the Seawell and that he must stay 100 yards away from her and if he does not comply with the conditions of his bail, she will revoke his bail and he will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison.
Sewell’s next court date is set for March 7.
Canadian Man dies while detained
An investigation has been ordered into the death of 35-year-old Canadian National Jeffrey Donald Furgala, who died while he was detained by police in San Ignacio.
A police report states that Furgala had been detained on Saturday, January 26th at around 10:12p.m. He was detained after he was found in the Savannah Area of San Ignacio Town apparently under the influence of alcohol. The report continues to state that he was detained for his personal safety after he was unable to give an address where he resides. He was then placed in cell no. 3 at the San Ignacio Police Station.
The police report continues to say that on Sunday, January 27th at around 1:00 a.m. they heard a loud noise, which sounded like someone falling and thereafter, a loud snoring coming from the cell.
Two Teenagers Arraigned for Murder of Maskall Villager
On Thursday, January 24th, 19-year-old Clive Geban and a 15-year-old, both of Maskall Village, were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for the Saturday, January 19th, 2013 murder of 61-year-old Ervin Morales, who was stabbed and chopped to death.
The teenagers were escorted in cuffs to Court #1 where they appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. There, they were read two criminal charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Morales.
Due to the nature of the offenses, no plea was taken from the teens. They were then both denied bail and remanded; the 15-year-old was sent to the Belize Youth Hostel, while Jones was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until March 7th, 2013.
On Saturday, January 19th, 2013, Morales was stabbed then chopped several times to the head and body. His attackers, believed to be a group of three, then wrapped his body in a sheet and then placed him on his bed and left him there to die.
The motive of the murder is said to be robbery as Morales’ wallet, which contained money, was stolen during the murder.
Mexico presents in Belize the art exhibition “Jazz and more”
The Embassy of Mexico invites the public to the opening of the art exhibition “Jazz and more” by the Mexican artist, Enrique Hernandez on January 31st, 2013 at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City.
Dara and Another Food Drive
Dara Robinson is making the rounds once again and he stopped by our offices on Wednesday, January 30th to ask the public to assist him in his ongoing feeding program which he runs at #6 Dunn Street in the King’s Park area of Belize City.
Dara’s feeding program asssits 40 children from primary schools in the area and in order for him to maintain the daily program, he does fund raisers. This year, on the occasion of Bob Marley’s birthday, Robinson will once again hold a food drive. He will be at the Princess Margaret tennis court from 1 to 10 p.m. where he will place a barrel for anyone to contribute non-perishable food items. These items will be used for his feeding program and whatever he is unable to use there, he distributes in the community to needy families.
Dara says that in the past he held the food drive along with the Tribute to Bob Marley but the tribute overshadows the food drive so this year he has opted to separate the events and hold the tribute on a different days and locations. He added that this year’s tribute is the 11th running and will be held on February 9th at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk starting at 8p.m. A second one will take place on February 10th at the Princess Margaret drive tennis court starting at 4 p.m. Both these events are also fund raisers for his feeding program and they will be observed under the theme “Belize Unite.”
Drought and Precipitation Statement
Rainfall collected from weather stations across Belize showed that north and inland areas of the country got well below normal rainfall, whiles central coastal and most of the south got normal to well above normal rainfall. Rainfall forecast for the month of December was for normal rainfall for the entire country. These well below normal rainfall totals continue to cause the Inland areas of the country to plunge into severe meteorological drought.
Assessment of the drought conditions over inland areas of the country, showed that that part of the country have been experiencing severe meteorological drought conditions since June-July-August and which have progress right through to the October-November-December season.
Drought condition in the northern parts of the country started in August-September-October season, as slight meteorological drought and reached severe drought in September-October-November season, but have lessen to slight meteorological drought in the October-November-December season.
Seasonal Drought Likely for Belize
Earlier this month, the Climate Section of the National Meteorological Service Drought and Precipitation Statement forecasts “… Northern and Inland areas (can) expect Moderate drought to persist during the January-February-March season.” and “No drought is expected for the entire south and central coastal areas”. It also forecasts Normal rainfall country wide during January to March 2013. The Climate Section also reported that most of Belize experienced varying degrees of meteorological drought throughout most of the 2012 dry and the rainy seasons.
The statement provided the following details on drought during 2012:
1. Inland areas experienced Severe Drought conditions June to December;
2. In Northern areas Drought commenced in August and became severe September to November;
3. Coastal areas were under moderate drought conditions September to November;
4. The southern areas (near South Stann Creek) experienced serious to severe drought conditions during June to August; and
5. Extreme southern areas did not experience drought conditions.
The Climate Section defines Meteorological Drought as “…a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time, usually a season or more.” Other types of drought are Hydrological, Agricultural, and Socioeconomic Droughts.
Like the small craft warnings, no one pays heed to the Meteorological Office cautions and statements, and we are surprised when there is a tragedy at sea, flood events, or there is insufficient rainfall for the dams and crops. Maybe that Office needs to trumpet its analyses results a little louder.
Escuela Mexico in Belize celebrates its 30th Anniversary
The “Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico”(ESTM), in San Roman Village, Corozal District, celebrated its 30th Anniversary on Friday, January 25th. The Official Ceremony was headed by its Principal, Carlos Castillo, and the Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez. More than 800 people attended, including school officials, teachers, students and their families.
The Escuela México is a technical/vocational high school that was built and donated in 1982 by the Mexican Government as a symbol of recognition of the Independence of Belize. In January 1983, formal classes began with an enrollment of sixty-eight (68) students and a staff of five teachers. Since its establishment, the student population has grown considerably. The enrollment now stands over 600 students.
In 2006, Mexico donated US$ 700 thousand dollars for the expansion of the school premises, in order to establish the Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College, which opened its doors in September 2007.
Today, this institution is managed by a Belizean Board of Directors. Throughout the years, Escuela Mexico has improved its academic standards and has achieved high marks at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). The school premises are also an important center in the Corozal District for cultural and educational events.
In his address, Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez highlighted the outstanding contribution that in the last three decades its graduates have made to Belize’s development.
Monthly Rainfall & Temperature Forecast For Belize (January 2013)
Prepared by The National Meteorological Service
Several agro-meteorological stations across the country were used to make the rainfall and temperature forecast for the month of January. This was done by using the data set for the period 1981-2010, along with global models, observations and subjective input.
The forecast is issued in the form of terciles probabilities of above normal, normal and below normal. The probabilities add up to 100%.
Above Normal - (33% of highest values in the dataset)
Near Normal - (33% of middle values in the dataset)
Below Normal - (33% of lowest values in the dataset)
Thus, based on the dataset 1981 to 2010, along with the other inputs, the rainfall forecast is for Normal Rainfall and Slightly above Normal Temperature for January 2013 for the entire country.
Probabilistically, there is a 25% chance ...
UN International Year for Water Cooperation
Every year on March 22nd, Belize and the Global Water Community celebrate World Water Day, but this year, The United Nations dedicated the entire 2013 as the International Year for Water Cooperation.
Annually, many activities are conducted in the celebrations for World Water Day, and when the celebrations are over, we move on to another event. One of the objectives of the International Year for Water Cooperation is to encourage everyone to be proactive through the incorporation of water and water cooperation issues into their 2013 agenda.
This year, Belize will undoubtedly celebrate World Water Day again; however, Belizeans need to become more knowledgeable of the impact of our activities on our water resources and how we can contribute to the sustainable management of this resource. Teachers throughout the spectrum of our educational system can conduct classroom activities, projects, research, literary reviews, guest speakers, etc. to keep water in the limelight this year.
The media can play a crucial role in keeping water issues in the forefront through guest appearances on the talk shows, technical discussions, video presentations, trivia, etc. where possible on radio or television programs.
National Sports Council will not recognise any Cycling Elections until UCI comes to Belize
The National Sports Council informs the public that after the November 24th, 2012, Belize Cycling Association (BCA) Annual General Meeting at which no elections of officers were held, the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports had determined that the mandate for the former Executive of the BCA had expired. Acting in good faith, the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports instituted an interim committee to be chaired by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association to conduct the affairs of the BCA until proper elections for an Executive of the association are held under a mutually agreed (UCI/NSC) conditions.
COPACI indicated that they would arrive in Belize on January 20th, 2013 to work with the National Sports Council to chart the way forward for cycling in Belize. The indicated deadline was reached and COPACI did not arrive with no prior communications received to indicate reasons for their failing to show up in Belize.
On January 24th, 2013, a correspondence from COPACI’s President dated January 22nd, 2013 was forwarded to the Chairman of the National Sports Council by the former President of the BCA, which indicated that COPACI’s President cannot arrive in Belize until after February 10th, 2013 but appearing to sanction elections for an Executive to be held on Saturday, January 26th, 2013.
The National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports hereby declares that they shall not sanction any elections for an Executive of the Belize Cycling Association prior to the UCI and the National Sports Council arriving at a mutually agreed position on the way forward for cycling in Belize, and therefore, shall not accept the results of any elections held prior to such a position been formed.
FFB calls Female Players to camp for Central American Games
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) informs the public that for this weekend there will be no training for females and U-20 males. Females are to report to camp on Monday, February 4th and should be at the FFB Headquarters for 9:00am. Camp for the females will be from Monday to Wednesday. Players are asked to bring their own equipment.
The following are the players who are to report to camp:
1. Idiana Ramirez
2. Ermin Ferguson
3. Rashida Guerra
4. Zulma Ortega
5. Miriam Villamil
6. Sheran Tracey
7. Jennisha Scott
8. Leonella Chuc
9. Iris Centeno
1. Ashanti Velasquez
2. Heidi Cob
3. Jaslyn Cadle
4. Iris Galdamez
5. Cindy Bush
6. Beatrice Alfaro
Wesley Girls and Excelsior Boys leads in High School Football
The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC Grounds with a number of games over the last few days.
On Monday, January 25th, in the female game played, the tournament’s leading team Wesley College blanked Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 3-0 to finish as the number one team in the girls competition. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Shanice Neal (2) and Elisha Bernardez.
In the male competition, Wesley College won over Sadie Vernon Technical via the default route.
On Saturday, January 26th, in the female game, Wesley College shut out Excelsior High School by the score of 3-0. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Shanice Neal (2) and an auto goal by Esmeralda Coe (Excelsior).
In the first of two male games that were on the schedule, Excelsior High School won over Sadie Vernon Technical via the default route.
In the second male game, Anglican Cathedral College edged St. John’s College by the score of 3-1. The goal scorers for Anglican Cathedral College were Devaun Zuniga, Calvin Reneau and Sergio Luna, while the lone goal for SJC was scored by Tarique James.
Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition begins
The 2012-2013 Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition commenced on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 at Rogers Stadium with one game in the female competition.
This year’s female competition will see the participation of Anglican Cathedral College, Edward P. Yorke High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Maud Williams High School, Nazarene High School, Pallotti High School and Wesley College. The teams in the male competition are Anglican Cathedral College, Maud Williams High School, Nazarene High School, St. John’s College and Wesley College.
The games from Monday-Friday will commence at 4:30 pm at Rogers Stadium while the games on Saturday will commence at 9:30 am out in Ladyville.
The competition will continue on Thursday, January 31st, 2013 with one game in the male competition between Anglican Cathedral College and Maud Williams High School. On Friday, February 1st, there will be two games in the female competition. In game one it will be Edward P. Yorke High School against Maud Williams and in the second game it will be Ladyville Technical against St. Catherine Academy.
Telemedia to defend Interoffice Softball Title
The Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition will commence on Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 with the Traditional Showcase Marathon at Rogers Stadium that will conclude on Sunday, February 3rd, 2013.
The Marathon Competition will feature 8 teams including the defending Interoffice Champions Belize Telemedia. The other teams that will participate in the Marathon include Guardian/National Sports Council, Baby Ruth Baaba Shap, Kit Kat Baaba Shap, KHMH, Police, Belize Bank, Tuff “E”Nuff, and BWSL.
The marathon competition will utilise the Double Elimination Format, and the abbreviated 5 innings or 1 hour whichever comes first rule.
The regular season is expected to commence on Friday, February 8th, at 7:00 pm at Rogers Stadium. The playing days for the regular season are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Saturdays, the games will commence at 3:00 pm while on Sundays it will commence at 1:00 pm.
Passenger’s Account of fatal Road Traffic Accident
The driver of Tillett's bus being pull out of the wreck
On Saturday, January 26th, at about 7:00 a.m., a red Toyota Forerunner SUV collided into a Tillett’s Bus, which was travelling from Belize City to Chetumal between Mile 31 and 32 on the Phillip Goldson Highway.
Populists never have to wrestle with their conscience since they never take a principled stand. They merely take a reading of popular opinion and make it their own. It’s easier to be a populist when in opposition because you never have to face the real consequences of popular options. A statesman, on the other hand, sometimes has to take an unpopular position because in his or her considered opinion it is correct. An family analogy would be to compare thoughtful parents who guide their children by example and of necessity take some decisions that are not popular with their children with parents who seek to please their children by allowing them to have their own way at all times.
Both the current governing and opposition parties supported a bipartisan approach to the Guatemalan claim. They both supported the process that took us to the agreement or compromis for making a decision to submit the claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Both Belizean parties to the talks agreed that taking the issue to the ICJ was the best option but they also agreed that only the Belizean people could take that decision. The agreement therefore involves holding simultaneous referenda in both Guatemala and Belize on the question of whether to submit the claim to the ICJ. Naturally, this is an issue that is very emotive and many Belizeans feel fearful of possible negative consequences. A vociferous few do not even want to allow Belizeans the opportunity to hear the arguments and make up their own minds. Most of these people have very few strongly held principles except to gain publicity by opposing the government on any and all issues. It is therefore not surprising that they oppose any process that seeks to educate the general public so that Belizeans can take their own informed decision.
Barbed Wire Noose - $1.2 Billion around Tax Payers’ Necks by 2029
Jose Castellanos, President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, said they have estimated that their salary adjustment would cost the government an additional $22,500,000 in 2013, $45,000,000 in 2014 and $75,000,000 in 2015. Based on the unions’ estimates by 2029, the final year of the pre-restructured Superbond, the salary adjustments being requested will cost tax payers an additional $1.2 billion. Government has been firm in saying to the unions that tax payers cannot afford to take on the increase at this time but the unions “shall not be moved”.
On Tuesday, January 29th, the Belize National Teachers Union held a demonstration in the capital city, Belmopan. Over 2,000 teachers attended and marched around the city’s Ring Road chanting “Solidarity Forever” and “Salary Adjustment”. It was an impressive display of unity as the teachers marched towards the steps of the National Assembly building. They were energetic yet peaceful and effective. The massive crowd stood strong even at the peak of the sun’s wrath as they listened to poems and sang motivational songs. Though many of them were out from as early as 9 a.m., they remained responsive throughout numerous speeches lasting until 2:20 p.m. In their addresses, the union leaders pledged to stand strong in their meeting scheduled with Prime Minister Barrow for 10 a.m. on Friday, February 1st.
Prime Minister to Meet with Union Leaders
The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, is scheduled to meet with leaders of the Public Service Union (PSU), Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 1st, to discuss their request of a 30% salary adjustment.
The union leaders have justified their demand by pointing to a bigger than expected GDP growth and “savings on the Superbond”. President of the APSSM, Jose Castellanos, is the union’s key economic advisor. His presentations have caused his credibility as an economist to come into question. He speaks of GDP as if it is a calculation of Government revenue. Castellanos said that Government has money because they were expecting a 3.5% growth and the actual figure is closer to 7 %. Therefore, it is 3.5% more than expected which is equal to $35 million. While he may be correct that GDP grew more than Government expected, there is no direct relationship between GDP growth and the public purse. At the introductory level in economic studies, one learns that GDP is calculated by adding consumer spending plus investment plus Government spending and net export to import. In a perfect scenario, that $35 million would come from taxable enterprise from which Government revenue would only amount to a few million dollars.
National Football Coach will stay in Belize
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) held a press conference on Wednesday, January 30th to announce that Le Roy Sherrier Lewis, the coach for the Belize National team, will continue being the coach.
President of the Football Federation, Ruperto Vicente said as much when he went through the entire sequence of events that led the coach to resign and then now, return to his former position. According to Vicente, on Saturday, January 26th, after the Honduras match up which took place on Friday, January 25th, Sherrier accepted full responsibility for the loss as he believed that team Belize could have won that match. Sherrier attributed the loss to tactical changes which did not work out for Team Belize. While in communication with the Federation, Sherrier also gave them the opportunity to review, and reevaluate everything that happened in Costa Rica and left it for the Federation to decide what to do with the coach. He also set up some tasks for the Federation to carry out. Up to that point, the coach had indicated that he would not resign.
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Dawn Joseph and Ron Velez
5 MEN TOOK SEXUAL ADVANTAGE OF 5 YOUNG GIRLS, AGES 10, 11, 13 AND TWO 14
Four of five men who took sexual advantage of little girls have been charged with carnal knowledge and have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Two of the men are from Corozal: they are Lazaro Amaya, 60, a jeweler of a College Road address, and Aldo Alan Moreno, 34, of Paraiso Village.
Police said that Moreno impregnated a 14-year-old girl. The girl and her mother went to the Corozal Police Station and reported that Moreno took advantage of her many times over a four-month period, starting September of last year and continuing until as recent as last Thursday, January 24.
Police took her to a doctor at the Corozal Hospital, where, after she was examined, it was declared that she had been carnally known, and also, that she was three months pregnant.
Police immediately went to Moreno’s home and arrested and charged him with carnal knowledge of a child. He was taken to court, yesterday, Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, Lazaro Amaya was taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court and remanded on similar charges, although his victims were even younger. Police said that Amaya took advantage of two little girls, ages 10 and 11, who are related.
The mother of the 11-year-old, who is also the grandmother of the 10-year-old, took the girls to the Corozal Police Station to report that sometime between January and July, 2011, Amaya took sexual advantage of the two children.
A NEW BEGINNING?
According to Maya wisdom, 2012 completed a significant calendar cycle. Also, in 2012 Belize held General and Municipal Elections and the majority chose to keep most of the same people/party in government. The Minister of Education, his entire ministry, the Chief Education Officer, and Heads of various Churches continue to head/steer our Belizean Education Systems and Programs. However, how many of these leaders work directly with our young people on a day-to-day basis? How do they keep abreast of 21st Century challenges that keep “adding up” in Primary and Secondary schools throughout Belize today? The biggest challenge in this new era continues to be trying to move school boards, administrators, and teachers away from the antiquated, Colonial Era “one-size-fits-all” education philosophy that schools adamantly cling to in Belize. There are many other 21st Century challenges that confront educators and teachers every single school day in our rapidly changing world and new cycle of time. The largest challenge being faced right now is convincing those in charge to pay teachers a decent salary that they can “live on”. Many developed countries are not fully satisfied or totally happy with their Education Systems. Belize is a fairly young (Independence 1981) and developing country, and current Education Systems remain quite under-developed. We have quite a ways to go to catch up with and be able to meet the needs of Youth in 21st Century Belize. Our greatest needs right now (to even approach being considered adequate) include:
A Tale of Five Cities: San Cristobal Dining (Part 1)
I had planned on a blog post on the birds of the Orquideas Moxviquil botanical garden for today, but when I looked at our "birds" photo folder, I realized that it included photos from many different sites on our trip, so I am going to wait and do a bird photos post after the other trip posts, as I have done in the past. So today, instead of birds, you get food!
Our favorite restaurant in San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico quickly became the TierrAdentro Cultural Center and Cafe. As I was working on this blog post, I came upon an excellent article providing much information about the restaurant and the center's goals. I didn't know until I read the article that the cafe had been recommended as one of the top five places to eat in San Cristobal by the New York Times. Not bad! In addition to the cafe, there are Zapatista co-operatives selling art pieces and crafts in the same building.
As an aside, I knew almost nothing about the Zapatistas until we got home from this trip and I read a little. I didn't much care for history when I was in high school or college, but I'm finding it more interesting now that I'm older. Turns out that we missed a parade of Zapatista rebels in San Cristobal just a few days right after we left. That would have been a unique travel experience.
Making the move to Paradise
Over the years I have met many people in person or via email that have their own version of ‘Living the dream’ and moving to paradise. They all seem to share one thing in common, a thirst for knowledge and finding out how others have gone about doing what they want to do.
Today’s guest post comes from Ron who I met while he and his wife Kathy were visiting back in Feb 2012 almost a year ago. Their version of living the dream ended up in Akumal Mexico not far from Belize. As I went back over Ron’s emails to check the month we met, I found a very fitting email signature that he had at the time - 3/4 of the Earth is covered by water and 1/4 by land. Clearly God intended us to spend 3 times as much time fishing and diving than mowing the lawn – I am sure many of you feel same.
I would like to dedicate this to John Lori and their one year old Madison who have bought land in south Ambergris Caye and plan to build. He and I have been emailing back and forth all morning about their dream and what it is like here. I put him in touch with John East who writes Belize Building a New Life blog which details their house build in North Ambergris Caye and what it has been like for John and his wife Rose in regards to making their move to Belize.
Let’s talk about the Weather!
All year round we talk about the weather and, when you live on an island that’s lifestyle is so linked to the elements, it becomes the focus of your lives and livelihood!!
Dry season or wet season, lets be real, we can receive rainfall at any point in the year – we live in the tropics and for holiday makers expecting perfect weather it becomes hugely disappointing when the weather is less than perfect – we understand!!
We live our lives glued to various weather sites, trying to accurately predict the weather for the benefit for both our customers on our sailboats and less so for ourselves. The science of meteorology is not an exact science – that which defines the weather is constantly changing and yet we are considered responsible for the weather changing!!! – Go figure.
I can understand it – you save all year for your annual vacation, you strategically plan for your suntan, your idilic photos on the beach and your cocktails at sunset – and when you arrive to when you depart all you see is rain, grey skies and chilly breeze!! It can happen (luckily very rarely), but it can happen!!
February’s Photo of the Month
Somehow this month we have been inundated with some beautiful photography, far more than normal!! It is for that reason that we find it hard to select one photo – but we have!
We were very proud to hit the front cover of Budget Travel Magazine last month and for that reason alone, we want our next FB profile to be our front cover – we want never to forget our moment of fame as we very much deserve it!!
For those who have not been lucky enough to read the article click here and go to pages 40 – 47!!
Castles made of Sand
Woke up (later than normal) this morning with what can only be described as a sore head. The after effects of drinking a few too many Belikins last night when Rose and I started off the night by going to Legends Burger House to catch the inaugural Blues Wednesday. The place was heaving and the sounds were great.
After a few beers there (who was counting) we headed off to the Roadkill Bar to find the place equally as busy. It was packed with the Jerry Jeff Walker Pickin’ Parties who all appeared to want to take part in the karaoke.
It was a fun evening but I paid the price in the morning and it took me much, much longer to ‘get in to gear’. I did come around eventually and Rose and I set off to see what was going on at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
As we’re driving down the road we could see a tipper truck parked up. When we got to the site we could see why. Wooden poles needed to be moved to allow the truck access to tip its load of sand for our castle.
"CHASING ICE" captures largest glacier calving ever filmed
Largest Glacier-Calving Ever Filmed....it makes the glacier calving we're seen in Alaska look miniscule.
On May 28, 2008, Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland. The calving event lasted for 75 minutes and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide. The height of the ice is about 3,000 feet, 300-400 feet above water and the rest below water.
See the through to the end. Some interesting info there. Forget charts, computer animations, etc. Just watch nature at work, as I keep advising which is studiously ignored.
Top Guatemala prosecutor pulls no punches
Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala's first female Attorney General, has locked up drug barons and prosecuted war criminals. For as long as she could remember, Claudia Paz y Paz was certain she would become a lawyer. Her grandfather, also an attorney, had inculcated in her that the rule of law was the only way to guarantee people’s rights.
Today, she is the first female Attorney General of Guatemala.
Inside her office, Paz paces back and forth from her mahogany desk glaring at the computer screen. On a window open to UStream TV, history was unfolding before her very eyes. For the first time in Latin American history, a national court was minutes away from ordering former dictator Jose Efrain Rios-Montt to stand trial for genocide.
When Rios-Montt seized control of the country in a March 1982 coup, it gave way to the bloodiest period of Guatemala’s 1960 - 1996 civil war. Paz was 16 years old at the time.
“I was in school when he took power. I can’t believe this is actually happening,” Paz told Al Jazeera as she opened her personal purple copy of Guatemalan Criminal Procedure Code.
Her name may mean “Peace and Peace,” and her bookish demeanour and curly brown hair could make her pass for a university professor.
But Guatemala’s top cop is as tough as they come, even if she is soft-spoken. Since taking the helm of the public ministry in 2010, she’s beaten impossible odds, successfully prosecuting war criminals and putting several of Central America’s biggest drug capos behind bars.
New World plunges on Belize abandonment
New World Oil and Gas (NEW) has plugged and abandoned a well in the Petén Basin in north-west Belize after finding insufficient hydrocarbons to merit running casing and well-testing operations.
Shares in the firm lost 44% on Monday morning to make it the heaviest faller on AIM. Interactive Investor users were trading the stock heavily, with twice as many choosing to sell as buy.
The Blue Creek #2A ST well was drilled to a measured depth of 11,650 feet on 27 January and logs and core samples were independently analysed, as well as mud logs and all other available data. It was determined that an active hydrocarbon system existed, and live oil shows were measured in the Y3 and Hillbank formations.
But after analysis and in consultation with New World's partners, Blue Creek Exploration and the government of Belize, it was determined that insufficient commercial quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were present.
The company believes the targeted trap was likely breached as a result of tectonic activity, and extensive residual oil was present along with high saturations of formation water.
New World said the significant amount of technical data produced by the Blue Creek #2 and #2A ST wells demonstrates that the company's acreage has received a petroleum charge and contains productive reservoirs. This data will also play a role during the drilling of the explorer's next well, Rio Bravo Well #1, in West Gallon Jug, for which New World is fully funded.
The location is drill ready, with a drilling pad, access road, base camp, water well and other infrastructure all in place. It is anticipated that the drilling of the well will commence in the first quarter of 2013.
New World abandons well
Belize-focused New World Oil and Gas (LON:NEW) has decided its Blue Creek well will not be commercially viable.
The Blue Creek #2A well was located in the Petén Basin in northwest Belize and was drilled to a depth of 11,650 feet by 27 January. However, after what the company has called 'careful analysis' the decision has been made to plug and abandon the well after it was deemed to hold 'insufficient commercial quantities' of oil.
The Blue Creek #2A well had been a sidetrack well drilled following the vertical well had reached its target depth.
The news will come as a disappointment after previous updates had determined that an active hydrocarbon system did exist and live oil shows had been measured. The company argued that a potential trap could have been affected by 'tectonic activity'.
New World tried to remain positive on the issue by confirming its next well to be drilled in Belize will be the Rio Bravo well #1 in West Gallon Jug for which it insists funding is already in place. Infrastructure is already in the place and drilling is expected to commence this quarter. The planned drilling depth is 8,400 feet.
Chief executive Bill Kelleher defended the 'tremendous job' done at Blue Creek, arguing all was not lost as the data 'will now be applied to our next well.' He also insisted that other drill ready prospects at Blue Creek would mark the 'next significant milestones' for the company.
Shares plummeted during early trading today by 40.6 per cent to 4.8p, valuing the company at £28.7 million.
Calgary man dies in police custody in Belize
An investigation is underway in the Central American country of Belize to determine how a 35-year-old Canadian man died in police custody over the weekend.
A statement from San Ignacio Police says Jeffrey Furgala, who is reported to be from Calgary, was detained in the Savannah area of the town Saturday night for public intoxication.
Police say he was unable to give an address of where he was staying, so was taken into custody “for his own safety.”
The statement says officers found Mr. Furgala unconscious in his cell next morning with blood in his nose.
Mr. Furgala was transported to a community hospital, then to another hospital for surgery, but was pronounced dead on Tuesday.
The commissioner of police has since launched an investigation into the events surrounding his death.
But the website 7Newsbelize.com quotes a police official as saying Mr. Furgala caused his own death when he slipped and fell due to drunkenness.
“We have recordings to show that this person was under the influence of alcohol, and he was assisted by two police officers out of the vehicle, into the station, and into the cell block,” Supt. Ralph Moody told the website.
“There was no police officer, or no one who caused injuries to that individual, ” added Supt. Moody, who is the officer in charge of San Ignacio
Belize Navidad: A reunion, a wedding, and the world didn't end
Just southeast of Mexico and due east of Guatemala, is the small, but beautiful country of Belize, formally known as British Honduras.
From the air, scattered cayes (pronounced keys), some just a few feet above sea level, intermingle with the world's second largest reef, a reef that stretches some 900 miles from Cancun to Honduras. The largest of these islands, Ambergris Caye, is home to the raucous and friendly city of San Pedro.
Belize and San Pedro have been highlighted in recent news due to John McAfee, the founder of McAfee, Inc. Although, this is the story that has brought Belize to attention of late, this is not what I focused on while I traveled there this past December.
The seats on the plane were large, albeit relatively old, and the leg room spacious. There was plenty of overhead room for carryon baggage. Champagne was poured; a cheese plate was given. First class was the way to travel. A dreadlocked black man wearing charcoal trousers and a suede jacket sat down next to me. His name was Lennox Lamb, and he was soft-spoken and we talked an hour in Spanish and an hour in English. English is the primary language in Belize, but most all Belizeans speak at least a bit of Spanish as well. Over Cognac and after our delicious dinner of halibut, he wrote down all his contact information and said to call him for anything while in Belize. A nice welcoming.
Belize Grows in Popularity as Spring Break Destination
Belize is becoming increasingly popular as a new Spring break destination with more and more students wishing to mix exotic adventure with the annual ritual of sun, fun and partying, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creeks Bryony Fleming.
Ms Fleming, the Belizean eco-resorts food and beverage manager, said that she has noticed a trend towards more adventure and activity-focussed Spring break vacations.
There has been a definite increase in enquiries about Spring Break options here in Belize and Im sure word of mouth and social media are driving much of the interest were seeing in recent years, Ms Fleming said.
In the past, the most popular Spring break destinations were the beaches of Florida, especially Daytona Beach, and Fort Lauderdale, as well as South Padre Island in Texas. However, since the 1990s Mexico has become increasingly popular, with Cancun hosting huge and often raucous groups of revellers.
Surfer Breaks World Record By Riding Enormous 100-Foot Wave
Garrett McNamara Breaks World Record By Riding Enormous 100-Foot Wave @BISportsPage #Garrett McNamara #World Record #surf #wave #Nazare #Portugal..."Whoa!!"
Google+ surpasses Twitter to take number 2 social network after Facebook
Google+ is the rising star when it comes to global social networking. Twitter, YouTube and Facebook all grew... You really should try Google+, it is so different that Facebook, and I find much more informative. It does take a little getting use to, but well worth the effort. If you join, circle me at: