Today's Belize News: June 12, 2013
06/12/13 06:29 AM
06/12/13 06:29 AM
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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
The San Pedro Sun
SAGA chicken cook-off
On June 6th, the Saga Humane Society monthly cook-off took place at Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar and Grill. Eight exquisite dishes featuring chicken were entered, with all donations going towards the SNIP (spay and neuter) program. The ticket line was long and crowded as no one wanted to miss out on the delicious food. The array of savory chicken dishes was grand, and paired with a tasty cocktail from Runaway Bar, it was a treat that just couldn’t miss. For the minimal contribution of $10, lucky attendees got to sample all the treats and cast a vote for their favorite entry. After tasting and voting the count was tallied and winners were chosen. Letty Hernandez’s fruity curry chicken dip took first place for a most delicious and different take on chicken dip. Placing second was the Spanakopita in Tzaziki sauce, a tasty Greek-style pastry made by Fido’s Restaurant and Bar .Feliz Bar and Grill took third place with its Buffalo Chicken Dip; yum!
OCEANA condemns GOB’s outright disrespect for Oil case ruling
Since Supreme Court Judge Justice Oswell Legall handed down his decision on April 16 declaring all offshore oil contracts “unlawful, null and void” and an injunction restraining the government, the servants and agents of the Government of Belize has refused to ensure compliance with the ruling.
The most recent outright disregard for the ruling is exhibited by this week’s release of the Belize Petroleum Contract Map dated May 2013 which is after the April 16 court ruling. The map clearly shows Princess Petroleum Ltd and Providence Energy Ltd. with their full offshore oil block in tact as if there was never a ruling even declaring said contracts unlawful, null and void.
“This action by the Government’s servants, the Petroleum and Geology Department under the Ministry of the Energy is a flagrant disrespect and disregard for our courts, since Belizeans must keep in mind two principles of law: 1. courts do not make rulings in vain and 2. No court in making a ruling against a Government or the crown needs to take coercive action to force the administrative arm of the state to obey a decision of the judicial arm of the state,” explained Audrey Matura Shepherd, VP Oceana in Belize.
OCEANA Awardees revealed at World Oceans Day Cocktail
“We are extremely proud and gratified to honor Dr. Melanie McField with the Oceana in Belize Ocean Hero Award for 2013! And our Wavemaker Award 2013 goes to the Ottley Family,” announced VP Oceana Audrey Matura-Shepherd during a celebratory cocktail party at the Caracol Room on Saturday, June 8th, 2013. “Truly, Dr. McField, who is not present tonight to accept this award, is a Belizean who has consistently and unselfishly worked toward the protection of Belize’s marine resources. And the Ottleys, whenever we have issued a call for assistance, they have consistently volunteered and assisted Oceana with accomplishing its mission,” Audrey stated.
Saturday’s festivities also included the opening of a photographic exhibition in conjunction with the Radisson Fort George Hotel. SEA PEOPLE, the photo exhibit, is mounted in both the Villa Lobby and the Colonial Lobby. The images capture the people, places and fish from the coastal communities of Belize, from Sarteneja Village up north to Barranco down south, and aim to address issues of juvenile fish overfishing to the destruction caused by gillnets.
The photos will remain on display until June 14th, 2013. Members of the public are invited to stop in to view the exhibit between 9:00am and 7:00pm.
San Pedro Cancer Society celebrates 3rd year with anniversary banquet
The San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS) held its first anniversary banquet celebrating 3 years of existence in San Pedro. The SPCS was founded on June 15, 2010, and has since been working hard to create awareness, raise funds and assist cancer patients on the island. In the three years of existence, 18 cancer patients have been assisted. Unfortunately, four have lost the battle to the disease. As a group, the SPCS has also lent a hand to non-cancer patients who needed support from the community. Throughout all the fundraising efforts, SPCS has donated over $14,792.50. Those accomplishments were highlighted in a small ceremony at Elvi’s Kitchen on Saturday, June 8th. Giving the welcome remarks was Alyssa Muñoz, who reiterated the importance of the SPCS’s contributions, and the need to continue educating and informing the general public of this disease. Guest speaker at the event was Melanie Paz. Melanie spoke of how cancer has touched her life twice. While one beloved family member lost his battle, she mentioned the triumph of her aunt who, for over 20 years, has long outlived the 3 months her doctors had given her. It is stories such as those that keep the society’s members motivated, and certainly gives them the drive to continue to help.
Jenessa Sierra of San Pedro Ties Second Place in Countrywide PSE Exams
The Primary School Examination (PSE) results were announced on Friday, June 7, 2013 and amongst the top students countrywide is one student from Ambergris Caye. Over 7,000 students sat the PSE this year and Jennessa Sierra of San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC) tied in second place with two other students from the Cayo District.
The top finisher this year is Siyun Ye, from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning in Belize City. She topped her peers easily with an overall total of 391 points, six more than the second place finishers. There was a three way tie for second between Vincent Hulse and Nelson Esteban from St. Andrews Anglican in Cayo along with Jenessa Sierra from San Pedro RC School with a total of 386 points.
San Pedro Cancer Society Celebrates Third Anniversary with Awards Banquet
Coming up on their third year of working for the community, the San Pedro Cancer Society held its first banquet in celebration and appreciation towards all the people who commit to the society and those who assist the group in its endeavors. The event took place on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at Elvi’s Kitchen.
When the disease started affecting more island residents and there was more need of assistance and education, was when a group of individuals organized the San Pedro Cancer Society. The very founding members had family affected by the terrible disease. This was three years ago and today the Society has been able to donate over $11,092.50 to directly assist 18 cancer patients, four of which are no longer with us (may they rest in peace). Assistance to them included treatment, medication and traveling expense to the Dangriga Cancer Center.
Pic of the Week:
At the Tortilla Factory in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
El Patio Tortilla Factory has been one of the long-standing businesses in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, providing fresh corn tortillas to the island on a daily basis. How convenient is it to ride you on your bicycle, like this precious young girl, up to the counter and order fresh and hot corn tortillas by the pound. Tortillas are a staple food in Belize and incorporated into many meals.
Misc Belizean Sources
Belmopan Weekly June 7 2013
34 min video....
Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium
The 11th installment of the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium (BAAS) is scheduled for July 2nd ‐ July 5th, 2013 in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize. The primary objective of the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium is to disseminate current archaeological and anthropological information to the people of Belize, the tourism industry and the general archaeological and anthropological community. It is envisioned that the conference will provide an interdisciplinary arena that will allow students, staff, faculty and practitioners to discuss and exchange ideas about the latest developments in the field. Edited versions of the papers presented at the Symposium will be included in our annual publication series entitled “Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology”.
New Horizons fixes hospital sterilizers throughout Belize
A member of New Horizons is using a specialized skill set to repair steam sterilizers throughout Belize.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rosalinda Alfaro, biomedical equipment technician from the 59th Medical Wing at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is repairing steam sterilizers with various problems in the towns of Belmopan, Orange Walk and Dangriga.
The steam sterilizers are used for sterilizing instruments used for surgery.
Previously, the sterilizer in the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan was broken for three months. The heating elements were no longer working and needed to be replaced to get the steam generator running again.
Staff members from the hospital spent approximately 15 hours per week driving to sterilize equipment. Alfaro overhauled the steam generator and replaced the heating elements and flange on the machine.
Lots of photos of the repaired Sir Barry Bowen Bridge in San Pedro
VIDEO: Belize City Tourist Guide
I make a short video in Belize City about why I believe it is worth seeing when one visits Belize. It represents a country in the infancy of independence and all that is good and bad in these early stages.
Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed
The Science Museum of Minnesota is preparing for their Mayan exhibit, and they have numerous Belizean artifacts on loan. NICH has some pictures of them setting up the exhibit. Dr. Jaime Awe will be presenting on the 21st and 22nd of June, about cave rituals in Western Belize, and also about figurines from Cahal Pech.
The SMM has pictures up too: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151477741723292.1073741828.5905048291.
There's a behind the scenes video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGY9X1KE80M.
And some info about Dr. Awe's lectures: http://sites.hamline.edu/mayasociety/June_2013_Jaime_Awe.htm
Father's Day Friday Dinner
Meluchi's will be having a special this Friday, an early Father's Day dinner and dance. They'll have the Aldana Family Band playing there for the occasion. Tickets are on sale now, and are only $25 per person. What are you doing for your dad for Father's Day?
"A great opportunity to invite your Dad out for Father's Day and give him a treat of his lifetime in the Company of great music by the Aldana's Family Band with Golden Oldies and music from the '80's & '90's while dining and bonding with that special one. Show him your love for him and invite him to Meluchi's this Friday night June 14th as from 6:30pm. It will be fun!"
In Bloom Performing 'Your Love'
In Bloom rocked the house at Lucky 5 this past weekend as they were joined by A Cold Day in May's Solangel Moreno. Here's the musical interlude of the day: The Outfield's 'Your Love.'
"Another "In Bloom" Video, this one of us Covering "Your Love" Originally By "The Outfields" at Lucky 5 Sports Bar And Grill In San Ignacio Town, In the Beautiful Cayo District of Belize!!!! More Videos Coming Soon, Check Us Out On Facebook!!!!!"
Fuego Opens Today
Fuego Bar and Grill opens today. They released their menu recently, so you can tell they'll have a good selection, and be pretty affordable.
"Elevated 'Street Food' - farmer's market to table. Our chefs utilize Belizean ingredients from the farmer's market next door and present it their way in a very comfortable and current setting. Our mixologists tell their own stories with fresh fruit juice concoctments. Choose from our music menu and enjoy downtown San Ignacio - it's people, shops and attractions."
Catwalk in the Jungle Fashion Show
The Catwalk in the Jungle Fashion Show will be this Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center, starting at 7:00pm. A portion of the proceeds from the event will got to a feeding program to support families with children who are unable to provide nutritious meals for the kids.
CARICOM Song Competition Extended
The deadline to enter a song for the Caricom song competition has been extended until the 28th of June. The song should celebrate the history, culture, and traditions of the Caribbean. The winner will take home $10,000. For more information, call 227-2110. Good luck!
OCEANA Back To Court Against Government
Today, OCEANA Belize, the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, and COLA all got their opportunity to present to Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin why the injunction against the Government of Belize should not be lifted.
Viewers may remember that at the last adjournment, GOB’s attorney, Denys Barrow, presented his case as to why the injunction granted by Justice Oswell Legall should be lifted in relation to the 6 PSA’s which were declared null and void for offshore oil drilling.
Today, there was another marathon of legal arguments, and we’ll get to that later but first, Oceana released a copy of the oil exploration maps that the Department of Petroleum and Geology currently recognizes as valid.
They are outraged to find out that weeks after the contracts for Providence Energy and Princess Petroleum were declared null, their oil blocks remain intact.
So, we spoke to them about it, and we got a response from the Government. Here’s how that conversation went.
Dr. Colin Young - CEO, Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology
" Based on our advice from our attorney the judgment from Justice Legal specifically did no squash the PSAs. He declared that the contracts were null and void, however, we are of the opinion, based on the advice from our attorney, that the judge refuse specifically to squash the PSAs. Based on that advice, then the companies are not injuncted and the companies still in fact can proceed with exploration so based on that advice they have not been removed from the contract map"
Belize Gets Guatemala Into A 0-0 Draw
Last week in Antigua Guatemala, Foreign Ministers from throughout the America’s converged for the OAS General Assembly. Today, that same ancient city saw two regional football powers meet for a friendly match when Belize’s National Selection played its Guatemalan counterparts. The match started at 3:00 pm at the Pensativo Stadium. For the first half, with Woodrow West in Goal both sides had multiple opportunities on goal, but neither could convert.
In the second half, the Belize side brought in Shane Orio as goalkeeper and though a difficult half – where Guatemala had the majority of possessions, he managed to get the national team to a nil-nil draw. It’s a respectable score and speaking to us minutes ago, Orio told us that it was a good challenge:
The Alliance Strikes Back: Says IBC/Immarbe Nationalisation Will Cost GOB 60 M USD
If you thought the IMMARBE and IBC Registry nationalizations coolly announced by Government yesterday might go down without a great hue and cry, just a few minutes before newstime, Belize International Services Limited – or BISL, the Ashcroft-allied co-owners of the registries sent out a release saying it quote,
“expresses its surprise, disappointment and indignation at the Government of Belize’s unilateral decision…”
The release asserts that BISL has quote, “a legally enforceable contractual right to operate and manage these two registries until June 2020.”
The release also discloses that just before the takeover, Government’s Tax Commissioner sent BISL a tax assessment for over 30 million dollars, even though, BISL argues, it is tax exempt, as are its employees. The statement says it had not been taxed for the 20 years it operated the registries.
And so, BISL says government’s takeover is a “flagrant breach of contract” and quote, “exposes the government to yet another round of expensive litigation…(in which it) will be liable for an amount estimated to be in excess of 60 million US dollars in damages.” End quote.
Late Evening Shooting In City
A shooting occurred at 6:00 pm in Belize City. It happened in the Collet area between Antelope Street and Pitta Street. One man was shot in the yard of a family member and he was taken to the KHMH. Monica Bodden just came from the area where she spoke to a resident – who says the victim was a Hispanic male was not familiar to them:…
Voice of Neighbor
"I saw someone in a white tee riding on a bicycle through the burial ground and that's all I saw. After I heard to shots, I went from where I was and I saw right up into the crime scene and I saw a person in white tee. I can't describe him but that's all I saw and all I can say. The person that was on the ground was the one that got shot. From the crime scene, I heard him drive off to the hospital, we didn't see him after the building and he drove to the hospital and that's all I saw."
Wayne Samuels Facing Multiple Civil Actions In Court
Business facilitator Wayne Samuels was back in THE MUNICPAL Court today – settling some of his debts.
7news has learned that Samuels was arrested on the strength of 4 warrants in relation to a bank and 3 private individuals who he owed $16,153 dollars.
He was ordered to make payments on these debts to which he was able to pay $7,500. We understand that since then other civil complaints have come up against him – and those other matters have been adjourned to the 17th. of June.
Samuels told us he had promised some business people gun and labour licenses which eh was unable to come through with because of changes in the labour office and special branch department of the police.
Merlene’s Return To A Major Position
Merlene Bailey Martinez had a well publicized downfall as CEO of the Social Security Board – but since then she been steadily regaining her footing as a leading holder of public office. She was named chair of the transport board a year ago and now we have learned that she has been named the Pots Commissioner. She takes over from John Flowers who quite a few months ago. Bailey-Martinez is highly trained but has no known expertise in Ports. We requested an interview form here, but today she was too tied up in what we were told were intense technical meetings to speak with us.
Man Who Killed Mother-In-Law, Drove Around With Her In Car, Pleads guilty
He killed his mother in law and drove around with her in his car, but today 44 year-old Peter Contreras pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Contreras, the owner of Kings Cuisine Restaurant, who was charged with murdering his mother-in-law, 50 year-old Argentina Aravello, is tonight at prison awaiting a sentence after taking his plea in the Supreme Court today.
The incident occurred on December 13, 2010 in Ladyville, where Aravello went to his restaurant, located on the airport road, to visit her daughter, Leslie Contreras. Peter Contreras offered her a ride, and while they were on the way, they got into an argument.
That argument, led to a physical confrontation, where Peter Contreras punched her twice in the face. She tried to get away, but Contreras used a rope to pull her back in. He later used that rope to strangle her, and he then drove around with the body for hours.
La-La Milk, A Strange Change
Merchants say LA-LA Milk from Mexico is the most popular milk in Belize – and that’s why we took note today when we got two angry calls saying that one store was selling defective milk without the safety seal. We went looking for answers.
Jules Vasquez reporting
So, we went into K-Park Grocery, hidden camera and all to find this pack of milk – and sure enough, open it and there appears to be no seal – it’s already been punctured. We took it up with the manager who told us that’s how LaLa Milk is now packaged.
To prove it, he then took us to see sealed boxes, opened them and it was the same.
Pradeep Badalani - K-Park
"It's coming like that from Mexico, not from our store - it's selling all over the country just like that."
The Cost Of Looking Grand For A Prom
On Friday, we told you about the student’s lesson in prom economics – where high school finishers and their parents have to find the money – hundreds of dollars to pay for the biggest party of a student’s young life. Years ago – that meant turning all kinds of tricks to get a suit from the states or to have one sewn locally. But one local business has filled that vacuum with a service that has the high schoolers lining up every year. Monica Bodden found out about the economics of renting a top notch prom outfit:…
Monica Bodden reporting
Belize Dry Cleaners has an inventory of hundreds of suits , every style, color and flavor imaginable. And every year in May and June these suits leave the warehouse and go into the show room where they take on a new life as prom suits giving some young man shining social armor for the biggest night of his life.
Malva Palacio - Supervisor
"Right now, business has picked up and it's hectic because there is lot of high schools and colleges that are having proms and graduations at this time"
"Can you tell us how far how many outfits have you guys rented?"
Young, Gifted and Restless
In 1972, Nina Simone recorded the song, “To Be Young Gifted and Black,” which is really a celebration of youth and her race.
Well, along that line, a new art exhibit called, Young, Gifted and Restless – celebrates youth in art. It features 6 artists and today we got a look at what is described as a provocative and diverse art display.
Kim Vasquez - Youth Development Officer, ICA
"The exhibits - we have two of them, one of them will open tomorrow night here at the Bliss Center that one is entitles Young, Gifted, Restless and we have a six upcoming professional artists showcasing their exhibit. It is being curated by Gilvano Swasey and their art, I would describe it as very disturbing, provocative, very diverse. Each one of them brings something different and it's worth while coming out to see and then on Monday we will launch the Children and Teenager's portion of the art exhibit on the National Festival of Arts - that's over at the Government House of Culture. Both of these exhibits will run up until July 6th. Both of them are open to the public, you can join us here tomorrow at 7pm for the launch - we will also have some entertainment. One of the artist, Galvez, that is in the exhibit is very multi-talented and will also be showcasing his music as well."
Another Government nationalization: another legal battle for registries
In 2009, the government of Belize nationalized the telephone company, B.T.L. and the electricity company, B.E.L. Today, government went further and took over control of the Belize International Services Limited [...]
New G.O.B. oil maps include areas for null and void contracts
Finding oil, testing for the grade and quantity are only some of the hurdles that come with the petroleum industry. The ink on the contracts is also soaked in controversy. [...]
Maranco’s Oil Show; what does it hold for Belize?
Since discovering oil in Laguna Seca, an area within the northwest corner of the Orange Walk District, Maranco Energy Belize Ltd. has been trying to determine whether the promising show [...]
Nil: Belize versus Guatemala in football
On the Road to the Gold Cup 2013, Belize played Guatemala this afternoon in Antigua, Guatemala. While the National ‘A’ Selection, the Jaguars, ended its second international friendly game with [...]
Belize to host major teen basketball competition
Turning to basketball, the Belize Basketball Federation (B.B.F.) participated in the annual COCABA meeting on June first in Montelimar, Nicaragua. Following that meeting, it was confirmed that our local ballers [...]
Activists says some south schools have not received P.S.E. results
Seven thousand five hundred and thirty-three students sat the 2013 Primary School Examination. There are three moments that define the exam: the nerve wracking day one, and the sighs of [...]
Man pleads guilty to strangling his mother-in-law
Forty-four year old Peter King Contreras was escorted to the court of Justice Adolph Lucas this morning for trial for the murder of his mother-in-law. At the start of the [...]
Cousins at War
A feud between two cousins on Sunday has resulted in charges being brought against the pair. This morning, twenty-six year old Vivian Martinez and twenty-four year old Lauren Young were [...]
Talking streets with Belize City Mayor
Stories on the street works being done in Belize City are not new, and neither are stories of frustration, congestion, inconvenience and even loss of revenue caused by that work. [...]
Is there anything left in the Municipal Bond offering?
In November 2012, the Belize City Council launched its Municipal Development Bond. It was a novel idea to raise much needed money for infrastructure works and it was greeted with [...]
Cattle Sweep for diseases
A cattle sweep is taking place in rural Belize to detect two diseases that affect livestock and can be harmful to humans if consumed. The process is in three phases [...]
Young Artists Put Works On Display
The works of six young artists are on display tonight at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The exhibit entitled “Young, Gifted, Restless” seeks to bring to attention the creative imagination of the artist including that of Alex Sanker who has made the creative arts both his pa...
Attorneys Speak Out Following Court Session Against Government of Belize
Earlier in the newscast we told you about the ongoing court case involving OCEANA Belize, the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, COLA and the Government of Belize. Today’s court session concluded after 5 o’clock and Love News manage to speak to Attorney for the Government Denys B...
Eye Care For Residents In Southern Belize Via New Horizons 2013
Over seventeen thousand Belizeans have been aided by the New Horizon Program under the US Military. Now they are offering Ophthalmological services in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “Free eye care is currently being provided to the residents of th...
Police In Belmopan and San Pedro Investigate Robbery and Shooting
A student of Belmopan has reported that his house was burglarized in his absence. The twenty five year old student reported to police that he left Belmopan on the fifth of June to go to Belize City. When he returned the next day he discovered that his house was burglarized. Stol...
Orange Walk Police Raid Results In Discovery of Drugs and Firearms
Police operations in Orange Walk Town led them to the discovery of drugs and firearms. Around 9:30 yesterday morning, police visited an apartment on Tate Street and a search was conducted. They discovered two bags containing two thousand one hundred and twenty one point three grams of...
Young Man Stabbed In Northern Belize; Police Investigates
An eighteen year old man was stabbed in the Orange Walk District and police are looking for the assailants. Investigations revealed that the man, Misael Valdez was walking on Robin Street in the Village of Trial Farm along with a friend, when three other men suddenly came out of Pelican Str...
Cayo Police Investigates Death of Farmer
A twenty two year old man from the Cayo District lost his life in a road traffic accident yesterday. According to reports, police visited Duck Run three Village, located in the Spanish Lookout Area around seven yesterday morning. When they arrived they saw the body of a Hispanic man l...
Businessman Confesses To Killing Mother-In-Law
Forty-four year old Peter Contreras, the owner of King’s Cuisine Restaurant who was charged with the murder of his mother-in-law, 50 year old Argentina Aravello, pled guilty to manslaughter today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until June 18 i...
Belize Petroleum Association Wants Standardized Industry
Last week Tuesday the Belize Petroleum Association sent out a press release encouraging GOB to standardize the petroleum industry that would give investors’ confidence that the industry is unbiased. CEO in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, Dr. Colin Young ...
Mixed Signals For Cruise Tourism In Southern Belize
It is no doubt that tourism is one of the biggest income generators for Belize’s economy. The debate lies in how tourism is brought and what the attraction is and although Belize City has been the hub for cruise ship arrivals, an up-roar has been stirred with the idea of cruise touris...
Maranco Second Phase of Oil Drilling Will Determine Quantity
At the beginning of April of this year, the Government of Belize issued out a press release announcing that Maranco Energy Belize Limited had discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in their concession area in the Orange Walk District on March 30. At that mo...
GSU Descends In Orange Walk, Three Persons Detained For Firearm Offences
Two residents from Orange Walk Town including a woman have been charged with several offences after police searched an apartment located on Tate Street Orange Walk Town. The search was conducted yesterday at around 9:30 in the morning. Inside the apartment police found two bags containing a total of 2121.3 grams of suspected cannabis, one .380 caliber pistol without serial number which was found on the floor and 50 rounds of .380 ammunition. Thirty one year old Melvin Gentle, Belizean laborer of Otro Benque and 30 year old Magali Cuellar, Belizean domestic of Savannah Street were inside the apartment at the time and were unable to produce a gun license. As a result they were both arrested and charged for the offence of drug trafficking, and kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license.
On Saturday night while some Orange Walkenos were attending the Tommy Lee concert, the Gang Suppression Unit was raiding houses in Orange Walk Town searching for drugs, firearm and ammunition. And that is exactly what they found when they searched a residence located on Asuncion Street. Reports are that while several persons were inside the house, police found Sofia Luna in possession of four .410 rounds of Ramington ammunition. As a result of the finding, Luna was arrested and charged for unlicensed ammunition and was remanded to prison until her next court date.
Armed Robbers Hold Up Marchand's Poultry
A brazen daylight armed robbery has left a family from Orange Walk Town in shock after they experienced the horrible ordeal. On Sunday June 9th 2013, at around 10:30 in the morning, two male individuals, one brandishing a gun and the other a knife, barged into Marchand’s Poultry located on Cemetery Street and demanded that all valuables be handed over.
Owner of the establishment, Carlos Marchand, his wife and a customer were inside the business at the time of the robbery.
Luckily no one was injured but Marchand had to hand over $800.00 in cash to the robbers before they made good their escape. One of the men is described as being of clear complexion, tall, slim built and has braided hair while the second is said to be of dark complexion. Police investigations continue.
Weekend Leaves Two Persons With Stab Wounds, One Person Is Charged
A man from the Village of Trail Farm in Orange Walk is tonight recuperating from multiple stab wounds at the Northern Regional Hospital. On June 8th, at around 11:00pm, 18 year old Miseal Valdez was walking on Robin Street in Trail Farm, along with a friend, when three male persons attacked him. Reports are that the three individuals came out of Pelican Street on to Robin Street and stabbed Valdez multiple times. While the reason for the attack is unknown, police are looking for three suspects who will be facing charges of attempted murder. Valdez is presently admitted at the NRH in a stable condition.
And while police hunt for Valdez’s aggressor’s, they have arrested one person for Saturday evening’s stabbing incident in the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar. As mentioned last night, the incident went unreported and up to news time the name of the victim had not been released. All we knew was that the victim was stabbed at around 5:15pm on Saturday and that he was in a critical condition at the Northern Regional Hospital. Tonight little has changed except for the fact that police have revealed the name of the victim and his attacker. According to police reports, on Sunday June 9th, Irvin Cantun identified Alejandro Itzab as the person who stabbed him on Saturday June 8th while in the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar. As a result, police arrested Alejandro Itzab, a 40 year old Belizean laborer of Palmar Village in Orange Walk for the crime of attempt murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm.
Guatemalan Troops Deployed To Adjacency Zone
On Monday June 3rd a Guatemalan national was shot by Belizean forces patrolling near the Caballo area in the Chiquibul after he was caught approximately two miles inside Belizean territory. The victim, later identified as 27 year old Edgar Alexander Sacasa, was transported to the Western Regional Hospital in a critical condition since he was unable to be transported the same day, due to the terrain and weather conditions. Reports are that a team of patrol officers stumbled upon a plantation and a thatch structure in the Caballo camp area and while they were securing the area, Sacasa came upon them. He was on a horse and he was carrying a firearm. Authorities say they ordered him to stop, but Sacasa ran off into nearby bushes. Patrol officers say they fired two warning shots and Sacasa who fired back at them. The patrol team subsequently returned fire, and Sacasa was hit four times – twice to the upper back and once to the lower back and left elbow. He also sustained a large bruise to the back. It is believed that Edgar Alexander Sacasa was conducting illegal activities within Belizean territory.
Restoration Of Santa Rita Archaeological Site Completed
In Early January 2013, the conservation of one of the most important Maya sites in the Corozal District was launched by the Institute of the National Archaeological Department with funding obtained under the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). Through the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Cultural Heritage Centre, the AFCP assists eligible countries in preserving their cultural heritage. Seeing potential in Belize, the AFCP awarded BZ$100,000 to the National Institute of Culture and History’s Institute of Archaeology for the reconstruction of Santa Rita. Today, after almost 6 months the conservation project has been completed. Reporter Victor Castillo tells us more.
Victor Castillo - Reporting
The archaeological site known to be the ancient City of Chetumal, Santa Rita, was in much need of reconstruction since the area was under a deplorable condition. At the beginning of this year, a group of experts directed by Dr. Jaime Awe from the Institute of Archaeology and managed by George Can, launched the restoration project of the Maya Site with funding obtained under the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, AFCP.
Belize's National Football Team Holds Its Ground In Guatemala
In preparation for the Gold Cup Tournament which will take place on July 9th of this year, with the first match being between Belize and USA, the Belize Jaguars played a friendly match against Guatemala’s National Selection in the “Estadio Pensativo” in Antigua Guatemala, today. The game proved to be very intense as Guatemala sent out a very offensive team in the first half of the match.
The Guatemalan team; however, was unable to pass the defense of the Belize team. Both goalkeepers, Woodrow West and Shane Moody, played for this game; one in the first half and the other for the second half of the game. By the time the whistle was blown, signaling the end of the match, the score was nil, nil representing a big win for the Belize team.
Belize and Guatemala remained in the same group in the second round of the CONCACAF world cup qualifiers. Although they ended up as the group winners, Guatemala’s team could not proceed to the third round of the CONCACAF as they lacked two goals to rank third in their group in the third round.
Oceana Tells GOB "You Are Not Above The Law"
On February 5th 2013, Attorney Godfrey Smith, representing Oceana Belize and other organizations such as Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, concluded his oral arguments challenging the validity of six offshore Production Sharing Agreements in the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall. The PSA’s, were awarded between the years 2005 and 2007 to Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, Petro Belize, Princess Petroleum, Providence Energy Belize and Sol Oil Belize.
On April 16th 2013, Oceana Belize scored what was considered the biggest victory in the history of modern Belize as Justice Legall ruled in favor of the claimants declaring all offshore oil contracts “unlawful, null, and void”. In his ruling, Justice Legall stated that the minister who signed the contracts exceeded his jurisdiction when he entered into the agreements without first having or considering and environmental impact assessment of oil exploration on the environment.
Young Artists Display Art Works
The works of six young artists are on display tonight at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The exhibit entitled “Young, Gifted, Restless” seeks to bring to attention the creative imagination of the artist including that of Alex Sanker who has made the creative arts both his passion and career. Sanker has been painting for more than 12 years and during his career he produced many pieces including a painting of his son.
“I came up with this concept for Caribbean Rum; they had a lizard basically drinking from the bottle and I have a whole story behind it but the concept about getting a painting on a canvas and the story behind is basically like a puzzle, putting on the last piece will make all the difference but on that specific piece there is a story behind it that the viewers and the people that come to the art exhibition could actually read it and could actually see the painting unfold in front of them. The story has a lot of humor behind it; so that’s what I try to do it’s all acrylic, it’s a technique that I do; it takes a long period of time to build up because as you know art critics and also artists know acrylic latex is a very soft medium of paint but with a lot of patience and time I have developed a technique where I could actually build it up off the canvas and for right now that is one of my best works and I think for the next 20 years that will always be my piece that I will put in all my exhibition to open it.”
The work of Sanker is more traditional compared to the work of Briheda Haylock who prefers to produce conventional work of arts with the use of mannequins.
Man To Be Sentenced For Murder of Mother-In-Law
Forty-four year old Peter Contreras, the owner of King’s Cuisine Restaurant who was charged with the murder of his mother-in-law, 50 year old Argentina Aravello, pled guilty to manslaughter today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until June 18 in order to give Contreras’ attorney, Ernest Staine, time to prepare a plea for mitigation. The incident occurred around 6 p.m. on December 13, 2010, in Ladyville. The facts of the case disclosed that Aravello went to the restaurant, located on the Phillip Goldson International Airport Road, and Contreras offered her a ride and she accepted the offer. While they were at the junction of Phillip Goldson International Airport Road and Phillip Goldson Highway an argument ensued between them. Contreras then reportedly punched Aravello twice in her face and a struggle ensued between them. Aravello then tried to exit the vehicle and Contreras used a rope to pull her back into the vehicle. Contreras then used the same rope to strangle Aravello.
Is Southern Belize Ready For Cruise Tourism?
It is no doubt that tourism is one of the biggest income generators for Belize’s economy. The debate lies in how tourism is brought and what the attraction is and although Belize City has been the hub for cruise ship arrivals, an up-roar has been stirred with the idea of cruise tourism in the south. Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced in an interview that the Norwegian Cruise Line which was being contemplated as a possible avenue to bring tourists to the south has gotten a big no no. Last week Love News spoke with a member of the Placencia Tour Guide Association who was concerned about some statements allegedly made by Minister Hulse to other media that the Association had agreed for cruise tourism in the south. The Tour Guide told us that the Association has never agreed for large cruise ships to arrive in the south, explaining that they did say they were willing to accept small boats of like two hundred and fifty tourists but that large tourism ships were not acceptable. But it appears that the sentiment isn’t shared by all in the south for today we got a call from Lester Richards, a resident of Independence Village who told us that he along with other community members want cruise tourism in the area as soon as possible.
Government Sets More Profitable Revenue Terms With Maranco
At the beginning of April of this year, the Government of Belize issued out a press release announcing that Maranco Energy Belize Limited had discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in their concession area in the Orange Walk District on March 30. At that moment, the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities were not releasing the full details of the oil find. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry, Dr. Colin Young, at the moment, Maranco Energy Belize Limited should commence their second phase of drilling operations in order to determine whether or not the quantity of crude oil believed to be present beneath the earth is in commercial quantities.
DR. COLIN YOUNG
“In terms of the Maranco oil find in the South Canal Bank #1 well, the company has completed its testing. Unfortunately they had some technical difficulties while doing that but they believe that what they have seen is good enough to report to the Department of Geology that they will proceed to drill an appraisal well as allowed under their production sharing agreement that allows them about 18 months to complete it and after that process they will be able to indicate whether or not the field is commercial or not.
Re: Today's Belize News: June 12, 2013
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OCEANA makes presentation in court on oil PSAs
This morning in the Supreme Court, OCEANA in Belize presented its side of the arguments to keep in place an injunction granted by Justice Oswell Legall as part of his April 16 ruling invalidating six production sharing agreements for exploration of offshore Belize sites for oil. A backdrop to...
Man dies after motor bike crashes
There was a fatal road accident on Sunday. 22 year old Hever Valdez, a Belizean farmer, left his San Ignacio home at around 7:30 pm on Sunday night on his Meilun motor bike. By the next morning, the body of the young man was discovered on Duck Run III...
Peter King Contreras pleads guilty to strangling his mother-in-law to death
41 year old Peter King Contreras pleaded guilty to strangling his 50 year old mother-in-law to death with a rope. The murder happened 12 days before Christmas of 2010. According to police, on that day, 50 year old Argentina Garcia went to a restaurant owned and operated by Contreras. ...
18 year old recovering from stab wounds
An 18 year old is tonight recovering at the Northern Regional Hospital, after he was attacked and stabbed. According to Miseal Valdez, around 11 that night, he and a friend were walking on Robin Street in Trial Farm Village, when three men ambushed him, stabbing him multiple times. He...
Man hospitalized after being shot in San Pedro
Another young man is tonight hospitalized after being shot. The incident happened in San Pedro on Seaweed Street. The victim, a 20 year old laborer of the San Mateo Area, was walking on the street, when a man reportedly approached him and pointed a gun at him. The victim...
Lara Budd seeks answers from KHMH after baby dies
In February, first-time mother Lara Budd gave birth to a full-term son, Clarence Tillett Jr, with no complications other than a slight case of jaundice which caused the hospital to admit him. But shortly thereafter he began to get sick and died after only four days of life. Since...
Police Graduate from Squad Drill Course
A two-week long Squad Drill Course for police officers wrapped up at the Belmopan Training Academy last week. The course saw the participation of close to 20 officers who are non-commissioned officers, corporals and sergeants, attached to the various formations and sub-formations around the Country. The Squad Drill Course...
Fatal traffic accident claims one life
There was a fatal road traffic accident on Sunday night in the north. It apparently was caused due to two tires being blown out. It happened between miles 73 and 74 on the Phillip Goldson highway where a Red Isuzu Rodeo SUV was being driven with 6 persons inside. ...
Leon Gray charged for attempted murder of Malcolm Wagner
24 year old Leon Gray was charged for the attempted murder of Malcolm Wagner who was shot at and grazed by a bullet last week Tuesday. Late this evening, alleged PIV member, Leon Gray, was arraigned in court. for the June 4, 2013 attempted murder of Malcolm Wagner. Allegations...
GOB taking control of business companies registry and IMMARBE
GOB says it will be taking control of the International Business Companies Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE). Management Services Agreement between the Government of Belize and Belize International Services Limited for the management of the two registries comes comes to an end, today, 10...
Belize City Council back in court for BWC debt
The Court of Appeal began its second session for the year today. Among the criminal appeals listed for hearing are Glenford Bermudez for the murder of his common-law wife, Edward Buller for manslaughter of a girl friend and Veola Pook for murder of her common-law husband. Meanwhile….The debt owed...
Police seek Robert Hill for alleged armed robbery
Corozal Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Robert Hill in connection to an armed robbery report. On Wednesday June 5th June, Corozal Police responded to information received of an armed robbery at Chang Li Game Room which is situated on 4th Avenue, Corozal Town. The owner...
Police looking for Austin Sutherland for suspected burglary
Police in the north would also like the public to help them in locating Austin Sutherland. On Tuesday June 4th, the owner of “The Breeze Hotel which is situated on 1st Avenue Corozal Town, reported that on the 1st of June, at about about 3:35 am his room in...
Jamaican Pastor says the LGBT issue is not about rights but acceptance of lifestyle
Last week, Plus TV’s Rise and Shine guest was Jamaican pastor and social activist, Reverend Al Miller. Miller discussed the global homosexual agenda, citing the same methods and tactics being used in Belize as also being used throughout the wider Caribbean community. While UNIBAM has gone on record to...
Janae Matute scores high in PSE
When the first half of the Primary School Examinations was sat back in March, we introduced you to Janae Matute – a vibrant and gifted 12 year old, who was born with Cerebal Palsy – a motor condition that causes physical disability in human development. But being differently-abled does...
Vector Control dealing with mosquitoes
This week Belize City residents have been tormented by mosquitoes, reminding us that we are now in the rainy season. With the resurgence of the pesky insects comes the specter of diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, which are spread by the Aedes aegypti and female Anopheles mosquitoes...
Girls Fly program initiated in Belize
American organizer Gail Sylvia Pullen has felt a deep connection to Belize and particularly its girls and women, whom she credits for boundless compassion to her own family and countless others. She has been moved to give back, first working with a project with Special Envoy for Women and...
OCEANA celebrates World Oceans day
World Oceans Day was this past Saturday and the leading Belizean conservation society for marine issues, OCEANA in Belize, took time out to honor those who make their living from the sea. It opened an exhibit photographed by former journalist Alex Ellis titled “Sea People,” 19 photographs taken in...
KILLER BEES KILL 5 DOGS
The Africanized bees, in a separate incident, also sent 7 people to the hospital
Killer bees were on the attack in the north last week – stinging people at about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday in Libertad Village, and killing 5 pitbull dogs at about 9:00 a.m. on Saturday in Corozal Town.
The individuals who were swarmed and bitten on Thursday were taken to the Corozal Hospital, where 7 of them were admitted to ward. Among those who were stung was a 12-year-old boy who was hospitalized, but none of the cases was critical.
The victims have since been treated and released.
A witness, 37, said that about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, she was walking in Libertad Village when the bees started to surround and sting her. Two men who saw what was happening rushed to her rescue, and the bees stung them all over their body, as well.
Some of the villagers who tried to help those who were being attacked, were themselves also stung by the swarm. All of the victims, however, managed to run to safety. They were eventually taken by a vehicle and later, an ambulance, to the Corozal Hospital.
GLENFORD “BUCKET”BERMUDEZ, CONVICTED MURDERER, GOES BACK TO COURT OF APPEAL
Bermudez is attempting to have his conviction and sentence quashed – for the third time.
Ex-Belize Defense Force soldier Glenford “Bucket” Bermudez, 42, appeared today before the Justices of the Court of Appeal, where, for a second time in only three months, a lawyer informed the justices that after perusing the case file, they found no legal grounds that would support an appeal.
On April 27, 2011, Bermudez was convicted of shooting and killing his wife, Racquel Requeña Bermudez, 41, after a jury of twelve deliberated for just over four hours and arrived at a guilty verdict.
It was alleged that on November 22, 2007, as Requeña was driving her taxicab on the Burrell Boom Road, she was forced off the road by a vehicle being driven by her estranged husband, Bermudez, who then used a shotgun to shoot her in the head, causing her instant death.
Reports are that after allegedly killing Requeña, Bermudez then drove further up the Hattieville/Boom Road to the Burrell Boom dump site, where he met some men and asked one of them for a piece of rope or wire because he wanted to catch a cow.
KAIBILES FOR PETÉN-BELIZE BORDER
Guat prez Pérez Molina had said he would use the Kaibiles “in anti-narcotics efforts”.
Amandala has confirmed from official sources in Belize that the Guatemalan military plans to beef up its presence inside the Petén, right next to Belize’s Western border, with a deployment of its elite special forces – the Kaibiles.
In April we reported that Guatemala’s military is acquiring six state-of-the-art light attack planes: A-29 Super Tucano airplanes, from Brazil. Guatemalan officials have indicated that the planes would be used in anti-narcotics operations, as well as in efforts to combat deforestation caused by illegal logging and other unsustainable activities in the said Petén region.
Chief Executive Officer in the Belize Ministry of National Security, Ret’d BDF Col. George Lovell, said that he learned about a month ago of Guatemala’s plans to put a number of battalions in Petén, near the Belize border, and those battalions “could be made up of Kaibiles.”
“We are concerned. We look at these things and… make an assessment of what is the implication of the amassing of numbers along the borders,” said Lovell.
He added that discussions about such issues take place at a military-to-military level and even in regional meetings. This particular issue was raised with Guatemala at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Guatemala said that they are repositioning troops, but not indicating a posture of aggression towards Belize, the CEO said.
LEON GRAY, 24, CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER
Police say he shot at Malcolm Wagner, 23.
Today, Leon Gray, 24, was charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and wounding, all of which were the result of an alleged shooting incident that occurred on June 4, 2013.
According to police, at 7:05 a.m. on June 4, they received a report of a shooting incident at the corner of Flamboyant and Vernon Streets. Police responded to the report and went to the scene, where they found Malcolm Wagner, 24, a resident of Flamboyant Street, suffering from an abrasion to his elbow.
Wagner reported that he was at the corner of the street when the two men — one of whom was wearing a mask— approached him on a motorcycle. The masked man then pulled out a gun and fired in his direction, causing the injury.
Police, after investigating the shooting, determined that Gray, a resident of #17 Fern Lane, was one of the two men who were on the motorcycle that day, and charged him for the crimes.
INTEROFFICE BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS UNDER WAY
Four quarterfinal playoff games took place on Friday night (into Saturday morning) at big Bird’s Isle with all 8 participating teams seeing action according to their seed positions in the regular season of the Interoffice Basketball League competition.
In the opener it was Tuff E Nuff over Digicell-4G by an 84-66 margin. For Tuff E Nuff, Ashton Edwards had 33 pts 4 rebs 5 stls, Raul Roches 15 pts 12 rebs, and Winston Pratt 15 pts 5 rebs 3 assts; while Digicell had Lennox Cayetano with 14 pts 8 rebs, Devon Lozano 14 pts 5 rebs, Karim Thompson 12 pts 8 rebs, and Eddie Thompson 10 pts 10 rebs.
Game 2 saw Oceana “No Limit” prevailing, 89-74, over Dep’t of Youth Services. Leading No Limit were Jacob Leslie 26 pts, Greg Rudon 18 pts 6 rebs, Vince Garbutt 13 pts 6 rebs, and Kurt Burgess 12 pts 14 rebs 3 assts; while for Youth Services, Adeem Trapp had 31 pts 3 assts, Jamir Enriquez 15 pts 6 rebs, and Brian White 11 pts 12 rebs 4 stls.
2013 RF&G 2ND BI-ANNUAL NATIONAL RANKING TOURNAMENT RESULTS
The 2013 RF&G 2nd Bi-Annual NATIONAL RANKING Tournament took place last weekend at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Mercy Lane.
With four different Divisions, A, B, C & WOMEN, and some 66 players taking part, the event started on Saturday, June 1, with the C-Division Round Robin competition, and continued on Sunday, June 2, with Round Robin competition in all Divisions.
Competition format was a Round Robin qualification round, from which the top 2 from each group would advance to the Double Elimination Finals in each Division.
In the A-Division, 5 of the top senior players competed, with 4 making it to the Double Elimination Finals. The final results were as follows:
A-DIVISION: 1st – Tyrone Tun; 2nd – Zhi Chen; 3rd – Carlos Cui; 4th – Billy Musa, Jr.
In the B-Division, 16 players took part, with the top 8 making it to the Double Elimination Finals. The final results were as follows:
QUO VADIS, PUP? Editorial
If we are to judge from their propaganda organs, the leadership of the Opposition PUP is somewhat frustrated by the fact that the workers’ unions of Belize have not entered a militant, marching mode. There are many numbers of issues which have embarrassed the ruling UDP lately. These include teachers’ raise of pay, rosewood, Noh Mul, the Hernandez contracts, the gender policy controversy, the KHMH infant mortalities, repeated immigration scandals, and the list goes on. The level of confusion and corruption in the Barrow government has not been matched by agitation outburst in the trade unions.
Some recent history is important here. Early in 2004, the Opposition UDP had marched in Belize City against various abuses, primarily financial, taking place in the second-term PUP Musa government, which was less than a year old at the time. The response from the Belizean people was lukewarm.
About five months later, in late July of 2004, however, a serious scandal broke in the Social Security Board, involving the abuse of many millions in social security funds. This was Ralph Fonseca’s Finance Ministry, and the man in the eye of the storm was then the PUP’s highest ranking “crony” – Glenn Godfrey, who had been the PUP Belize Rural South area representative between 1989 and 1998, and a PUP Cabinet Minister from 1989 to 1993.
This scandal involving their social security subscriptions caught the eye of Belizean workers. So did the challenge of 7 PUP Cabinet Ministers in early August, a couple weeks later, to the Musa administration’s financial policies. When the UDP decided to march again a couple weeks later, the unions were center stage. The street response of the outraged Belizean people was massive and dramatic.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
“Land tenure or land ownership is the basic social problem of Guatemala, and portends to be such until some sort of revolution can completely reverse the present patterns of ownership.”
- Thomas and Marjorie Melville, Guatemala, the Politics of Land Ownership (New York: Free Press, 1971), p. XI
“The current conditions of distribution of resources in the agricultural sector have accentuated an unjust duality … While great plantations have mechanization, credit, corporate facilities, and, above all, great extensions of land, so that 82 percent of the agricultural land is held by a few exporters, the rest of the people, 90 percent of the population, live a subsistence economy, with only 6 percent of the agricultural capital and no necessary social and economic infrastructures … The violence is in the system, which denies the majority of Guatemalans access to power, wealth and culture.”
- Christian Democratic Congressman (and Social Christian labor union leader), Julio Celso de Leon Flores, quoted in Guatemala Report #3
“Guatemala’s land story can be summarized in two simple striking facts: 2.1 percent of landowners own 62 percent of the arable land, and 87 percent of landowners own 19 percent of the arable land.
“The 2.1 percent are rich agro-export barons, owning large haciendas, called latifundias or fincas, that grow crops and ship them to the United States, Europe, or Japan. The latifundias generally use the most fertile lands in the country, such as those on the Pacific Coast producing cotton and cattle, and the Pacific mountain slopes yielding Guatemala’s major export crop, coffee.
MISMANAGEMENT? THE UNINVESTIGATED MYSTERY OF NOVA
I am sick of it! It’s been six years plus since Nova shrimp farm closed its doors, and every now and then I bump into someone who remarks, matter-of-factly, that the farm failed “due to mismanagement.” Just this past Saturday, I met an old acquaintance at the cricket game in Lords Bank, and the subject came up again.
It hurts each time, because I was a part of that “failed” company, a manager, in fact, and I don’t like failure. But, I am obviously biased, so I have kept my peace, hoping that someday, somebody, some Government, perhaps, would find it within the bounds of their civic duty to find out what went wrong, why hundreds of their citizens had to be put out of work, and what could possibly be done to remedy the situation.
The murder rate has escalated during the past few years, and one has to wonder what part the closure of two of the largest employers, Williamson Industries and Nova shrimp farm in 2006-2007, had on the socio-economic conditions, and by extension the crime situation in the Belize District and Belize City in particular.
Be that as it may, please allow me to get this “Nova mismanagement” bit off my chest. Perhaps it may spur some young aspiring politician or potential investor to take a second look at a project that embodied the true meaning of sustainability and environmental harmony, while bringing many jobs with dignity to the surrounding area.
Below are some thoughts I jotted down in frustration some years ago:
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE KEEPS EYE ON BELIZE
The Government of Belize has said that the US$50 million proposal from Norwegian Cruise Line for a cruise port at Crawl Caye in southern Belize is off the table; however, the company has informed our newspaper that it will keep looking at options in Belize.
“Going forward, we will continue to look for development options both in Belize as well as other areas in the Caribbean,” the company said, without providing specific details.
The company had been in negotiations with the Government, as they looked at whether they could set up an alternative port for their passengers.
“We think that if we can develop a destination that is Belizean, where the workers and the people that they meet are Belizean, and where the atmosphere and the vibe and the culture is Belizean, in a high quality, international standard, destination, we think we will do much better – and introducing them to a part of the country – in a sensitive way – that is gorgeous!” Colin Murphy, NCL’s Vice President, Destination & Strategic Development, told Amandala Monday. “The environmental people, the technical people have concluded that that particular development would unduly disturb the ecology and the environment there, and therefore they do not recommend that location. So the promoters understand that: Crawl Caye is off the table,” Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality Godwin Hulse, told us.
GOB ASSUMES CONTROL OF IBC AND IMMARBE
The Government of Belize will, as of Tuesday, June 11, 2013, assume operational control of the International Business Companies (IBC) Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE)—operations which were estimated to net the Government $11 million in revenues in this year’s budget.
A statement issued by the Government of Belize today said that the Management Services Agreement under which the registries were privatized comes to an end at the close of business today. That contract, an official source tells us, involves a major financial player in Belize – British billionaire Michael Ashcroft, whose interest in the agreement links back to Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited.
Waterloo, an IBC in the British Virgin Islands, has indicated in published reports that it holds 50% interest in Belize International Services Limited, a joint venture company which operates the international open shipping and company registry business in Belize. The other major party of the agreement is Morgan & Morgan of Panama.
Amandala understands that the Ashcroft group and the Panamanian investor have controlled the operation of the registries since 1990. First, they were engaged under separate 3-year agreements: one for the IBC and the other for the shipping registry. However, in 1993, the then People’s United Party (PUP) administration issued one 10-year agreement to the parties, for both registries, with an option for a renewal for another 10 years.
PSE 2013: ENGLISH AND MATH RESULTS NOT SO GOOD
The results for the 2013 Primary School Examinations (PSE) are out, and the number of overall passes is sufficiently within the average range. However, the English and Math sections of the exams were considerably below expectation.
According to the Ministry of Education, 7,359 students sat the PSE this year – a 5.2 percent increase in the number of candidates registered for the 2012 exams.
For the Math section, 39 percent of the students made grade C or better and 45 percent made grade E. Only 15 percent made grade A.
In English, 47 percent made grade C or better and 28 percent made grade D. Only four percent made grade A, while 15 percent made grade B.
The overall performance in Social Studies and Science was quite encouraging, with 70 percent and 79 percent respectively making grade C or better.
We spoke to personnel from the Examinations Council today, Monday, and we were told that there will be a press conference on Thursday, June 13, at which the results of the PSE will be discussed.
MARCIANO UH, 61, DIES IN COROZAL TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
The Uh family of Trial Farm, Orange Walk is mourning the death of their father, Marciano Uh, 61, who died after he was in a road traffic accident while travelling with his family from Corozal Town to Trial Farm Village. The tragedy occurred between Miles 74 and 73 on the Philip Goldson Highway at about 6:50 p.m. on Saturday, June 8.
Police said that six Uh family members were travelling in an Izuzu Rodeo when the driver, Marciano Uh, lost control of the vehicle, causing it to run off the road and overturn. Five of the family members received various degrees of injuries, but Marciano Uh, a cane farmer, died of massive head and body injuries.
The other five family members were admitted to ward, where they are receiving medical treatment.
Police say that when they arrived on the scenethey saw the red Isuzu Rodeo on the left hand side of the highway extensively damaged, with its two front tires “busted.” They saw two men and three women with various degrees of injuries on the side of the highway, and another man was seen, apparently dead, about three feet from the vehicle.
The June 9th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- Three Weed Arrests In Benque:
records the seizure of over 15
hundred grams of marijuana in three
drug operations resulting in the arrest
of three male Hispanic persons.
In the first incident, acting upon
information received, at around 6:00
am on Friday, May 30, Benque Viejo
police conducted a search at the
residence of Jose Israel Zetina in
Arenal Village. The search resulted in
the discovery of 60 grams of weed.
Zetina was consequently arrested and
charged for drug trafficking. He
appeared in the Benque Viejo Town
courtroom of magistrate Hurl
Hamilton where he pled guilty to the
drug trafficking charge. He was
ordered and paid the imposed one
thousand dollar fine.
- Security Guard Shoots
San Ignacio Man:
A man allegedly under the influence
of alcohol was shot by the security
guard posted at Roses Chinese Store
and Restaurant in San Ignacio.
The police reports that on Sunday,
June 2, 2013, at around 9:15 pm
an emergency 911 call was received
requesting police assistance at Roses
Restaurant located on the George
Price Highway on the western
outskirts of San Ignacio Town. Upon
arrival the police encountered a
creole decent male person suffering
from three gunshot wounds, one each
to both legs just above both knees
and the third to the upper arm.
The injured man was identified
as Rupert Rowland, 24, Belizean
laborer of a San Ignacio Town
address. Rowland was placed in the
police vehicle and rushed to the San
Ignacio Community Hospital.
- Step Father Convicted of
Assaulting and Wounding Girl:
Seven months after he was charged
and pled not guilty on aggravated
assault of an indecent nature and
wounding his step daughter, Rosabel
Mancia was today found guilty of
both charges and sent to jail.
The incident stems from an
October 31, 2012 report made by the
fifteen year old step daughter of the
35 year old Salvadoran convict of a
Santa Cruz address in Santa Elena
Town. The girl told the police that at
around 10:30 one night five days
prior to making the report, Mancia
entered her room and punched her in
the face while she was sitting on her
bed. She told the police that since the
incident she has been suffering from
- Is It Double Standards, Indiscipline or Just Plain Arrogance?:
I am unable to say what happens in
other parts of the country but in our
community I can, with all authority,
say that there certainly exist double
standards in terms of law enforcement.
Is it actually double standards or is
it really a display of indiscipline or
maybe even utter contempt for those
who supervise them or, heaven
forbids, total incompetence on they
part of those who supervise them?
The matter at hand is the enforcement
of the law as it pertains to the
wearing of helmet by motorcyclists.
The sighting of a traffic warden
writing a traffic violation ticket as he
stands beside a non-helmet wearing
motorcyclist, is regularly seen.
- Suspected Drunk Boy Crash In Front Of Police Station:
Of all the places to crash, a 17 year
boy, suspected to be drunk, drove the
vehicle he was driving into the street
light pole in front of the police station
in San Ignacio.
At around 1:30 on the morning
of Sunday, June 2, the policeman
working the front desk inside the
station heard a loud crashing noise and
upon stepping out of the station he
saw a vehicle crashed into the street
light pole at the corner of Buena Vista
Street and King Street.
Bleeding from an injury to the nose,
sitting behind the steering wheel of the
extensively damaged blue Toyota
Tacoma truck, was a young male
person with the strong aroma of
alcohol on his breath. Sitting next to
the driver was another male person
also bleeding from injuries suspected
to have been caused by glass particles
from the shattered windshield.
- Doctors and Nurses benefit from Advance
Training in Gynecology:
Doctors of the U.S.
Military Air Force – New
Horizons 2013 and
Midwives from Project
HOPE also of the U.S. held
a two day training session
in Advance Life Support In
Obstetrics last month
in Dangriga Town. The
training had the
participation of 29
specialists in Gynecology
and Obstetrics from the
Northern, Western and
Southern Regions as well
as Medical Officers,
Nurses Midwives and
Front Line workers in
At the opening of the
training, an overview
presentation was done on
theMaternal and Child
Health Program. Training
on specific subject areas
included Post Partum
Hemorrhage, Interruption of
Delivery, Assisted Delivery
– Use of a Vacuum, Monitoring
of Labour and Interpretation
of Monitoring graph,
Maternal Resuscitation and
Emergency C-section. Communication
doctors and nurses in
times of an emergency was
part of the training where
alarm codes and courtesies
were highlighted. The training
also had a practical
section where the trainees
worked with mannequins and
- Dentist rewarded at Annual Dental
The Dental Department,
Ministry of Health in
partnership with San Cas
Group of Companies and
Wrigley’s ORBIT brand
May 16th to
under the theme: “Brush and
Floss Every Day to Keep
According to Senior Dental
Health Surgeon, Dr. Raphael
Samos, the objectives of the
workshop were to review the
action plan of the Department
and to discuss future
- Advice on Smoke
The Ministry of Health advises
the General Public that
due to recent sustained bush
fires around the country there
is a risk for vulnerable individuals
of over exposure to
smoke. The smoke associated
with these bush fires has
the potential to irritate eyes
and cause breathing problems.
chronic lung conditions and
asthma are advised to avoid
areas with intense smoke.
Use a masks or wet rags if
you cannot avoid the smoke.
Persons with chronic lung
conditions in general and
asthma in particular are
advised to have medication
on hand and are also
reminded to go to the nearest
health facility for respiratory
support if needed. Special
attention must be given
to the elderly and very young.
- MOH Partners
The Ministry of Health will
partner with Peace Corp Belize
to conduct a workshop on
Maternal, Newborn and Child
health (MCH) including
sessions on non-communicable
disease (NCDs) to be
held later this month. The main
purpose of the workshop will
be to ensure technical sessions
on MCH and NCDs, to
provide agency and country
specifics on the work that
Peace Corp will do within
communties in Belize alongside
health workers and also to
assist Peace Corps Belize to
adapt and integrate the
language and technical content
for Pre-Service training.
- Matron Roberts Polyclinic held successful
Annual Health Fair:
Matron Roberts Polyclinic II
in collaboration with the
Region, and others partners
in health organized its Annual
Health Fair and Wellness
Activities at the Matron
Roberts Polyclinic II grounds
on May 24th, 2013 under the
theme, “Your Health, Your
Life, Act Now.”
Visitors had the opportunity
to learn more and take
advantage of Primary Care
services at the grounds. These
included outpatient services,
maternal and child health
services, nutrition and
wellbeing, dental health
services and mental health
- Official Result Of The 2 June 2013 Village Council Elections:
- Codd’s Drugstore Allegedly Robbed:
The sales clerk from Codd’s
Drugstore in Santa Elena reported to
police that the store was robbed by a
Hilda Zometa, the sales clerk, told
the police that she was behind the
counter inside Codd’s Drugstore
located next to A&R Store on the
George Price Highway in Santa Elena
when at around 7:00 pm on Friday,
May 31, 2013, a man entered the
store, pointed a gun at her, demanded
money and made off with almost 900
In the statement to the police the
clerk reported that the robber,
allegedly posing as a customer,
entered the drugstore at around 7:00
pm and requested a bottle of
- The Blue Hole - Nominated for the "8th Wonder of
The Belize Tourism Board is elated
to announce the submission of Belize's
Great Blue Hole, as the "8th Wonder
of the World", a title which can only
be achieved with your help!
- STAR Humor
- Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
- Letters to the Editor
- Public Notices
An AMAZING time in San Pedro by Brian Swisher
My three friends and I decided to visit San Pedro Belize this year for a guys trip and were certainly not disappointed. We put in a lot of research (which is how we came across Tacogirl blog and met a lot of great people on the island, including Belizeans, Canadians, Americans, and every mix in between.
Our favorite spots were Lola’s, Fido’s, and Wet Willy’s to have a few drinks at night. In fact we all signed a “Baltimore Shirt” and donated it to Wet Willy’s because the owner is from our state, right outside of Baltimore. Small world.
I just received an email from Mick Fleming, who with his wife Lucy owns and operates The Lodge at Chaa Creek and whom I‘ve known since even before Chaa Creek was a small family farm the Flemings were trying to support themselves with.
Goes to show what hard work and perseverance will do…
Anyway, Mick’s a man of few words, so when I get something from him I pay attention. He forwarded an excerpt from an article titled, “Truly Great Companies Add More Than They Extract”, by Tony Schwartz that obviously struck a chord with him.
Reading it, I thought, “This is so Chaa Creek” and defines the sort of business model the Flemings have always operated under and goes hand in hand, I believe, with everything else that’s made Chaa Creek such a success on so many different levels.
So, at the risk of embarrassing Mick, I thought I’d share it here, as it applies not only to a successful business, but to a worthwhile life.
BTB Village Expo 2013
“A House Is Not Home” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Knowing that the windows, tiles and paint were being delivered to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize yesterday, Rose and I really wanted to make an early morning visit but we controlled ourselves. Daniel Camal, our building contractor, and his guys definitely didn’t need us getting in their way. So I focused on other stuff.
Up at 3.45 am (must stop going to sleep in the evening on the couch) and made a cup of instant and straight on to the veranda to read The Times online. Once finished catching up on the news I spent a couple of hours reviewing some schedules for a contract that an ex-colleague in the UK had sent me. After I had sent my comments and suggested amendments to him it was time for a quick shower and shave and then on with the ‘T’ shirt and shorts (it’s so easy choosing what to wear here!) and I set off for the town.
First stop was a visit to Atlantic International Bank Limited‘s branch in Pescador Drive to withdraw some money (again). Unusually for a Tuesday it was quite busy and there was a long queue.
With the money in my pocket I headed off to the Post Office just up the road to find out if the manager had worked out how I could be given a P.O. Box without being able to provide a utility bill. He had! I just need to take a copy of a bill for our lot that Daniel Camal has received (Daniel is responsible for all electricity and water costs until we take possession of our new home). The fact that it will not be in my name doesn’t appear to matter!
The Union – Marijuana Documentary
Ever wonder what British Columbia’s most profitable industries are? Logging? Fishing? Tourism? Ever think to include marijuana? If you haven’t, think again. No longer a hobby for the stereotypical hippie culture of the ’60s, BC’s illegal marijuana trade industry has evolved into a seemingly unstoppable business giant, dubbed by those involved as ‘The Union’.
Commanding upwards of $7 billion Canadian annually, The Union’s roots stretch far and wide, directly and indirectly affecting all areas of our society. With 65% to 85% of all ‘BC Bud’ being exported to the United States, it’s clear that the BC marijuana trade has become an international issue with consequences that extend far beyond our borders. When there are record profits to be made, who are the players, and when do their motives become questionable?
Why is marijuana illegal? What health risks do we really face? Does prohabition work? What would happen if we taxed it? Medicine, paper, fuel, textiles, food, etc. Are we missing something here?
Follow filmmaker Adam Scorgie as he dives head first into Canada’s most socially acceptable illegal activity. Along the way, Adam demsytifies the underground market and brings to light how such a large industry can function while remaining illegal. By interviewing experts from around the globe, including growers, clippers, police officers, criminalogists, economists, psychologists, medical doctors, politicians and pop culture icons, Scorgie explores the cause and effect nature of the business behind getting high.
Belize: The Best of Both Worlds
Where is Belize on a map? Ask this question and many people could probably only point in the general area. This Central American country is frequently overseen or not even considered when thinking of a destination to visit. Here, visitors can discover spider monkeys, snorkel on one of the largest coral reef systems in the world, wander through Mayan ruins and dine on fresh ceviche by the ocean. Belize is a country exploding with nature, diversity, kind people, history, and so many active adventures to be had!
My experience in Belize started with a few days in the jungles of the Cayo District. We stayed at the foothills of the Maya Mountains in a thatched roof cabana where I not only enjoyed the company of my husband but also a few scorpions and spiders. Authentic experience? You got it.
Our lodge was located on a Mayan site, so not only were you in close proximity to nature but also to history and culture. During these days in the jungle we became accustomed to the sound of howler monkeys, caught sight of toucans, were accompanied by swarms of bats each night, and were always subconsciously prepared to flee at the site of a jaguar! We also had the opportunity to explore Actun Tunichil Muknal, an archaeological site inside of a water-filled cave, in which we saw artifacts and skeletal remains of ancient Mayans. Our journey to nearby Guatemala led us to the mystical Tikal ruins where we learned even more about this people group and their intriguing history. Our guide was of Mayan descent, so we did not just receive information but personal insight into the local culture.
It was a blessing, but not a vacation
The pastor's wife announced to our group, "You know those beautiful white sandy beaches and the lovely blue waters in Belize? Well, you are not going there. This is a missions trip, not a vacation.”
And it was. We saw the real Belize, not the touristy places — from the remote jungle areas where the Mayan people live in thatched roof houses to the even more remote area, where Samuel's Sanctuary started in the midst of the tall green mountains covered with palm trees and vines and jungle brush.
A place where the howler monkeys growl like large dinosaurs, but only look like ordinary black monkeys, to the cities like San Ignacio where some of the sidewalks are uneven and unclean.
The streets smell dirty, but the people are friendly and the market was piled high with fruits and unusual spices. It was better than any farmers market I have ever experienced.
We held two children’s crusades. One of them was at the Mayan church. The children were excited about the puppets we used to share the plan of salvation and many prayed to receive Christ.
STICK WITH IT
There aren’t too many parents who would be pleased when their daughter winds up in a sticky situation.
But Heather and Dean Davison couldn’t be happier that their 11-year-old daughter, Cami, has found a worthwhile hobby she can really stick to — making all kinds of items from duct tape, then selling them for a good cause.
That’s right. The Jonesborough girl has turned one of her favorite pastimes into a philanthropic effort.
Her completed projects — notebooks and magnets — are sold to raise money for a Bible quiz mission team in Belize.
Cami, along with her parents, her brother, Carter, and sister, Cayden, made the connection with the Belize Bible quiz team through family friends, Chris Carter and his wife, Jordan, who are now missionaries in the country.
“It was through them we learned that the quiz team comes to the United States,” Heather Davison said.
“They came to the states last year and this year they came to do Bible quiz at my school,” Cami, a student at Providence Academy, said.
The Davisons, along with several others from Jonesborough’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Sinking Creek Baptist Church, of Elizabethton, visited the country on a mission trip two years ago and decided to try to help. Cami’s penchant for making and selling the duct tape items was perfect as a fundraiser, she said.
CONCACAF announces details of inaugural Under-15 Championship
The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) on Tuesday announced the competitors and details of the inaugural CONCACAF Under-15 Championship, to be held in the Cayman Islands from 14-25 August.
Twenty-two nations from across the region will participate in the tournament, an initiative of CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb with a view towards strengthening the game at the youth levels among all of the Confederation’s members.
“We are proud to host such an impressive number of our member associations for this inaugural under-15 tournament, which will give the Confederation’s younger stars the chance to demonstrate their talents on a larger pan-regional stage,” said Webb.
“It is our belief that supporting youth football by every possible means is fundamental to the widespread development of our sport across the region and the world. Through this tournament we hope to take an important further step towards assuring substantial opportunity for all of our Confederation’s youth.”
Belize Free Trade Zone Emerges as Cigarette Smuggling Hub
A free trade zone in Belize's Corozal district has become a hub for the regional contraband cigarette trade, highlighting both Belize's role in regional smuggling and how the lax customs regulations in such zones create criminal opportunities.
Black market cigarettes from countries such as India, China, Switzerland, Paraguay, and Panama are sold in Belize's northeast border region, tax free and for a fraction of their normal legal price, according to elPeriodico.
An official from tobacco company Phillip Morris International (PMI), who accompanied ElPeriodico's reporters to Corozal, negotiated the purchase of 10.8 million cigarettes -- a quantity that would normally cost a Guatemalan retailer $500,000 -- for $314,000.
Best Explanation Of Religion I Have Ever Heard, And I'm Practically An Atheist
"I might reconsider this whole agnostic thing after seeing this.
53 Quotes That Will Make You Rethink Everything
“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again...
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