More News: Scroll up from here
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Yvon Noralez, graduate of Caye Caulker Ocean Academy, wins National and International Scholarships recognizing Creativity and Youth Leadership
Belize’s Yvon Noralez is one of 25 students from 13 countries to be awarded an Adobe Creativity Scholarship administered by the Institute of International Education. The Creativity Scholarship program provides financial support to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, a strong creative portfolio and commitment to pursuing a career in a creative field. Yvon is interested in developing his talents in photography and graphic design. Funded by the Creativity Scholarship, he will start sixth-form Fine Arts studies in the fall at St. John’s Junior College.
Yvon was eligible for this full scholarship opportunity because of his participation in the Adobe Youth Voices Program (AYV) classes at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy. AYV follows a creativity curriculum and provides the digital tools, training and professional mentorship students need to develop essential skills such as self-expression, collaboration, flexibility and persistence. All AYV students produce original projects in video, photography, animation and other digital media categories spotlighting issues important to them.
TWO KILLED IN STANN CREEK DISTRICT
One chopped in the head during argument while drinking; the other stabbed to death by irate car driver.
Two men were killed in separate altercations – one in Silk Grass Village and the other in Bella Vista. Blas Alvarado, 39, of Silk Grass, was chopped in his head while drinking in front of a store in the village at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and Marlon Anthony Martinez, 32, of Bella Vista, was stabbed in his heart during an altercation at about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday while walking home after a party in Bella Vista.
Police said that Fidio Mendez, 45, a Honduran residing in Silk Grass, was arraigned for the murder of Alvarado in the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, July 9. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 22, when he will be taken to face charges in the Supreme Court, to which his case will be traversed.
In the case of the death of Marlon Martinez, Jose Montes, 31, was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder, said Independence police. He was taken to the Independence Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, July 9, and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 22, when he will be returned to face charges in the Supreme Court, to which his case was also traversed.
KREM’S TONY WRIGHT ACKNOWLEDGED AT CAYE FEST 2013
Wright was honored for being a singer, songwriter, artist, poet, community worker, activist and radio personality.
The award-winning musician and entertainer, Tony Wright of KREM Radio, has again been awarded for his continued musical contribution and promotion of Belizean music. This time he was acknowledged as a songwriter, singer, artist, poet, community worker, activist, and radio personality at the Los Angeles Caye Fest 2013, at the Hollywood Park Casino.
The Certificate of Acknowledgement was presented by the Consulate General of Belize to California, honorable Roland Yorke. The presentation was made on Sunday, July 7, on the Caye Fest stage in front of hundreds of people who went to the fest to enjoy the various performances. Wright had travelled to Los Angeles to co-host the Caye Fest and to entertain the audience.
The award acknowledged Wright’s prolific work in the field of music, which started in 1966 in Belize. His first recording was made in California in 1971. It became a hit, and his popularity rose. Wright later recorded other hit songs like “Independence Now” in 1981, which was performed by many bands and singers on Independence Day.
DEA GRABS FFB VICE-PREZ IN HOUSTON
There are some who believe that he was the man responsible for Belize losing its national team head coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis, not long after Sherrier led us to our best performance ever in UNCAF, and to secure our first ever berth to CONCACAF’s Gold Cup.
Tonight, that man, FFB vice president Rawell Pelayo, is sitting in a Federal Detention Center in Houston, Texas, after he was denied entry to the US by US Immigration officials and reportedly hauled away by DEA agents.
Pelayo was accompanying FFB president Ruperto Vicente to see our Belize national team play its first match in the Gold Cup against the mighty USA, in Portland, Oregon. Vicente said Pelayo was right behind him in the immigration line at Houston, but while the clean-cut Vicente easily passed muster with US immigration officials, not so for Pelayo.
Vicente said it was like seeing an alligator swallow up someone next to him, and not being able to do anything about it.
Vicente would go on to see Belize lose to the US national team, 6 to 1. Pelayo, who reports first said was denied entry to the US because of visa issues akin to those of national team player Elroy Kuylen, was led into a room and later taken to the federal detention center.
MASS OPPOSITION TO GENDER POLICY 2013 DRAWS OVER 2,000 IN CAYO
March on Dangriga planned for the weekend.
Belize Can founder Patrick Menzies, one of several Belizeans who have stepped to the frontline in opposition to Belize’s Revised Gender Policy 2013, told us that more than 2,000 Belizeans who paid their own expenses attended Cayo’s Constitutional March as a sign of public support for Belize’s Constitution, but also as a signal that they do not support the recently approved policy.
Menzies said that those Cayo protestors, as well as the over 4,000 who were estimated to have participated in last Friday’s march in Toledo, were “not a rent-a-crowd,” but people who paid their way to go out on a work day to participate.
The people, he said, came out to send a message that they will stand for the Belize Constitution, which acknowledges the supremacy of The Creator.
Notably, though, an official of the Council of Churches, one of two prominent Christian alliances (the other being the Evangelical Association of Belize) has indicated to the media that it has not yet taken a formal position; although they are concerned that the policy might pave the way for the legalization of homosexuality in Belize.
THREE IMMIGRANTS BEFORE THE COURT
Two to be deported and the other gets $1,000 fine.
Three immigrants appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court today, Tuesday, to answer to separate immigration offenses.
Esvely Castro, a 26-year-old Honduran national, was fined $1,000 plus $5.00 cost of court after she pleaded guilty to the offense of failure to comply with a visitor’s permit.
Castro legally entered Belize on December 17, 2013 and was granted stay in the country until April 14, 2013, but she never left the country. She was ordered to pay $50 to the Immigration Department for each of the three months during which she overstayed in Belize.
The $1,000 fine and the cost of court were to be paid forthwith. Castro was able to make her payments before midday today and was released into the custody of the Immigration Department, where she will remain until she pays her fees for her overstay.
ACQUITTED OF KILLING SOUTH SIDE GANG LEADER, NICHOLI RHYS IS CHARGED WITH HARM
On February 15 of this year, Nicholi Rhys, 22, was acquitted of killing gang boss Andre Trapp, but today, he was back before the court on a charge of harm.
According to police, they investigated a report made by Shantel Waight, a resident of George Street, which occurred yesterday. Although we don’t know what type of injury she sustained, it was classified as harm by the doctor who examined her at the hospital.
Their investigation led to Rhys’s arrest and he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith unrepresented and pleaded not guilty to the charge. There were objections, but he was offered bail of $500 and one surety of the same amount, with the conditions that he stay away from Waight’s house and workplace, and he must report to the Queen Street Police Station every Monday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
As mentioned above, Rhys was acquitted earlier this year of killing Andre Trapp, the reputed boss of the South Side Gang, on June 10, 2010. It was a sensational show of bravado, as Trapp was shot and killed on the steps in front of the Magistrate’s Court while the courts in the building had been in session.
WILMAR VICEN, MARLON MARROQUIN, AND GEOVANY GABERETTE, CHARGED WITH WOUNDING
Today, Wilmar Vicen, 24, Marlon Marroquin, 18, and Geovany Gaberette, 29, were taken before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart and read a total of five charges. Vicen, a salesman, Marroquin, a bakery assistant, and Gaberette, a laborer, all of whom are residents of Spanish Town, Ladyville, were all charged with wounding Henry Samayoa.
According to police, Samayoa, 27, at 11:00 Saturday night, was heading home with his stepfather when the three men attacked him. The first man hit him with a piece of 2 x 4 lumber on the right side of his head, and he fell to the ground.
While on the ground, Samayoa was hit by the second man with a metal pipe several times on his body, resulting in him suffering a fractured right hand.
After assaulting him, that man then allegedly told him, “I will kill you.”
ROBBERIES, CHOPPINGS, FIRE
Police said that about 2:50 p.m. on Friday, July 5, they were informed of a robbery of a store at the corner of Hopkins and 1st Streets in Kings Park. According to the storeowner, around 1:55 p.m., three men of dark complexion, one of them armed with a shotgun, entered the store and stole cash, as well as an assortment of jewelry and phones, which together totaled around $2,875 in value. The three men then ran toward the direction of Baymen Avenue. Police investigations continue. As at press time, no one has been arrested, nor any of the stolen items recovered.
There had been another incident of robbery earlier that Friday, July 5. According to a 46-year-old man who visited the Queen Street Police Station to report that he had been robbed around 6:14 a.m., he was jogging on St. Joseph Street when two men approached him and took away his chain, watch and cell phone. The chain is valued at $1,500, the cell phone at $1,200 and the watch at $350. Police launched an investigation, but up to press time, no one has been arrested and the items have not been recovered.
COROZAL FUGITIVES CAPTURED IN ORANGE WALK
Two robbers on the run from Corozal police after stealing a taxi driver’s car and brutalizing him with the butt of a gun were captured in Orange Walk at about 6:30 yesterday morning, Tuesday. The men were travelling in the car, which had been stolen in Corozal, when police apprehended them.
Police say that the two robbers are Edwin Bardarez, 26, a construction worker of Belize City, and Robert Hill, 36, a mechanic from Alta Mira, Corozal. When police approached the men to arrest them, Edwin Bardarez allegedly pointed a gun at them, but did not fire it.
When police searched the two men, they found with them a Belize passport in the name of Gregorio Monteroso, and a black Motorola cell phone with calling number 607-1962.
Police charged Bardarez with aggravated assault for pointing a gun at police, and he was jointly charged with handling stolen goods along with Hill. Hill was additionally charged for handling stolen goods in connection with the discovery of the passport.
The men were taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court today and they were remanded at the Belize Central Prison until August 28, when they will be returned to court.
NO KILLING THE GOOSE AND THE GOLDEN EGG: MINISTER HULSE
Cabinet commissions more fact-finding before possibly approving Norwegian cruise port at Harvest Caye, Puerto Azul resort at Northern II Caye and Stake Bank cruise development
Cabinet held yet another meeting Tuesday to discuss a proposed US$50 million cruise port at Harvest Caye, and while a signal of government’s inclination was expected to proceed at that Cabinet meeting, all that we could glean from that session is that Government is prepared to give a provisional “yes” – which means that unless the investment can solidly meet five parameters Government said is now being applied to all investment proposals, they won’t get Cabinet support.
The talks have not only been about Harvest Caye, though. Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, NEMO, and Immigration & Nationality Services, Godwin Hulse, has been appointed to head Cabinet’s Investment Subcommittee, and according to Hulse, they have been tasked to review two other projects: the Stake Bank proposal and the Puerto Azul proposal.
The other committee members are Minister of Trade, Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection – Erwin Contreras; Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development – Santiago Castillo; Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development – Lisel Alamilla; Minister of Tourism and Culture – Manuel Heredia, Jr., and the Minister of State in Hulse’s ministry – Elvin Penner.
THIRD WORLD SUMMER CAMP STILL NEEDS HELP
Third World Youth and Sports Summer Camp coordinator Dion Flowers complained to our sports desk yesterday that contributions are slow in coming in to assist the Sports Camp, which has registered over a hundred children from age 3 to 15 years, male and female. Flowers said he was particularly disappointed when, after much turnaround, he was asked to sign a note for a donation of only $50.00 from the Belize City Council.
The camp continues, nevertheless, and this morning we stopped by the Third World field around 9:00 o’clock where we witnessed a group of about thirty children lined up and dutifully reciting a morning prayer, after which, they all sang the national anthem.
The kids are being supervised in various games during the day, but, according to Flowers, food and refreshment are needed to help make the camp an enjoyable experience for the children.
SEA SCOUT TRENT HARDWICK, AGE 10, WINS THE 2013 SAN PEDRO LOBSTERFEST REGATTA WITH A WILD FINISH
Twenty young sailors from Belize City, Placencia and San Pedro skippered Optimist dinghies for 2 days in ideal waters and conditions off Banyan Bay Resort during last weekend’s thrilling Lobsterfest Regatta on June 22-23. For some of the skippers, this was their very first regatta, ever…
The sailors were divided into two evenly matched fleets of 10. Each fleet raced four times. The day’s races placed 10 skippers – the top 5 from each fleet – in the finals; however, the other 10 were far from done. On Sunday, they raced against each other in a 2-race, runner-up series. The top three were Tyler Garbutt of Placencia, Davin Puc of San Pedro, and Carlos Villatoro of Placencia.
Then the top 10 from Saturday took to the boats for their 2-race final. The first of these two 2-lap races was the most dramatic race of the regatta. Faith Noel of San Pedro, who had sizzled to the top of Saturday’s leader board with one 1st and three 2nd place finishes, looked to be continuing her dominance; however, Jerdon Anderson of San Pedro and the Sea Scouts’ Trent Hardwick would not let her break free of their pursuit. Both Jerdon and Trent had taken a first away from Faith on Saturday, and in this race, the lead changed among these leaders several times. Faith rounded the final mark ahead of Jerdon and Trent. Riding white-capped swells on the run to the finish, Jerdon, not Trent, appeared to be the threat. Then, somehow, Trent, from behind and to the right of the 2 leaders maneuvered between them, but still behind. Suddenly, and barely 15 yards from the finish line, the crest of a wave caught Trent’s boat. He surfed that crest, cutting between his two surprised rivals to a stunning victory. The wave deposited him across the line, barely a second ahead of Faith and maybe a half second more ahead of Jerdon. Attached photos tell the story.
COACH ON THE “HOT SEAT”
Last night on Krem’s Press Cadogan Sports Show, host Gilroy “Press” Cadogan called for the firing of coach Ian Mork of the Belize national team. And on this morning’s Krem WUB, Belizean educator/activist and patriot Ms. Sandra Coye also called for the immediate dismissal of Belize Jaguars coach, Ian Mork; and, understandably, it is a sentiment shared by not a few disappointed Belizean fans, after Tuesday’s 6-1 Gold Cup disaster against the USA.
Last night, Channel 7 News aired the comments of suspended assistant national team coach Charlie Slusher; and, despite his reported previous transgressions, Charlie’s comments are worth noting, as “fish from river bottom.” Perhaps that is because it is pretty much the same thing we had gleaned a few weeks ago from at least 3 players on the national team, and two were defenders.
Our players, like soldiers, are trained to follow the coach’s instructions; and, especially now that they are being paid, and have signed a contract as well, it is to be expected that a rebellion is not likely to occur. But some things take time to learn, especially when our football system has not developed our players with the textbook/blackboard approach. Understanding what is on the blackboard, and being able to translate that into action on the field of play is something that takes time to develop. And when you try to change in a couple months, what was learned over a period of years, there can be problems. Perhaps the players feel that speaking up will be viewed as insubordination, and result in being “benched.”
EDITORIAL: TUESDAY’S SPORTS, TUESDAY’S POLITICS
There were two different aspects, at least, to Belize’s Gold Cup game Tuesday night against the superpower United States of America. The first aspect was clearly a sports aspect, and the result was devastating to Belize on that level.
We Belizeans had been spoiled, you see. In the 1950s, we watched Ludwig Lightburn, a youth from Lightburn Alley off Hyde’s Lane in old Belize, walk into Madison Square Garden in New York City and beat the best lightweight fighters in the world. In the 1970s, we celebrated the Golden Girls and we celebrated a slim teenaged Belizean girl, Glenda Ellis, as she hit a two-run double to defeat the mighty United States of America in ladies softball, while a humble young lady from Gales Point Manatee, Margaret Usher, held the American bats at bay with her mystifying deliveries. And we Belizeans had cheered two decades ago when a young man from across the street from this newspaper, a young man who had been innocently expelled from Gwen Liz High School, Kirk “Shabba” Smith, fought through all the adversity to lead Utah’s Weber State into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA basketball tournament. We expected more than we should have reasonably expected on Tuesday night. We Belizeans had been spoiled, you see. Now we understand and appreciate, even more, the greatness of Ludwig, of Glenda and Margaret, and of Shabba.
The other aspect of Tuesday night’s game was socio-political, and on that level, Tuesday night, the days leading up to Tuesday night, and the popular Belizean reaction following Tuesday night, have been sweet and spectacular successes. We Belizeans, at home and abroad, have come together in an unprecedented fashion.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
At 4-1 in the second half, it was clear that the United States had Belize by the throat on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning is always a tough time for me where this job is concerned, so I really wanted to turn off the television and radio, hopefully then reduce my adrenaline levels and get some sleep. On a night like Tuesday when your national football selection is being bombed, sleep is difficult and troubled, but any sleep is better than no sleep at all.
They say when you don’t have anything good to say, then you don’t say anything at all. So, when I got up on Wednesday morning, which is when I usually write this column, I was in no mood to do my column. The game had absorbed most Belizeans for days, so there was no other subject to discuss: the only subject was we against the world.
At 4-1 in the second half on Tuesday night, I felt I owed it to our national selection to stay with them until the very end. At 4-1 in the second half, we were about to be “blown out,” as we say in sports. This is a time when your opponent has complete control and you are being attacked by feelings of panic. At times like these on the battlefield, men drop their arms and run. Belize could have been beaten worse on Tuesday night, but our young men did their best under the circumstances: they held up their heads when everything was falling apart. As a Belizean, I owed it to them to suffer through those 20, 25 minutes of hell.
BATSUB DONATES MILITARY VEHICLES TO BDF
At an official ceremony at Price Barracks, Ladyville, today, Wednesday, the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) handed over 17 four-tonners to the Belize Defence Force (BDF).
Brigadier General David Jones said that the donation resulted from an initial meeting with a member of the Ministry of Defense for the British Government.
“I told him that one of the critical lack of capacities that the BDF has is lack of troop-lifting vehicles,” Jones said. “And I noted that BATSUB had a number of these vehicles; they have scaled down and are not being used. We are in desperate need of these,” he added.
The initial plan was for the BDF to receive six of the vehicles, but that number was increased to 17 – almost triple the originally planned amount. Each of the four-tonners costs about BZ$300,000.
General Jones said that the donation could not have come at a more opportune time, as the BDF has been deploying soldiers in greater numbers along the borders recently and they didn’t have the vehicle capacity for the troops.
“With these vehicles we could deploy up to an entire battalion strong,” he said. “In the past we haven’t been able to deploy up to a company with the trucks that we have. Now we can deploy more than a company, up to an entire battalion, probably up to 300 guys we can deploy with this new addition we have.”
AMANDALA POLL RESULTS: BARROW, ASHCROFT AND LONDON
Poll says, Ashcroft financed and arranged the whole thing.
Do you believe that the Prime Minister’s London trip was facilitated and financed by Lord Michael Ashcroft?
(a) Yes, Ashcroft financed and arranged the whole thing (41.24%, 120 Votes)
(b) Partially, I think Ashcroft arranged but taxpayers will pay the bill (26.12%, 76 Votes)
(c) I don’t believe that (32.65%, 95 Votes)
Total Votes: 291
Our new poll: Should the Government allow the sowing of Genetically Modified crops such as corn and soy in Belize?
IDEAS AND OPINIONS – HOW HOMOSEXUALS BECAME GAY
It might have begun with this encounter between a member of the homosexual fraternity and a being from another world. He was a brilliant PR man, who had been given the task to find a word to describe homosexuals, hereafter to be referred to as “HMXS.” A word that would make the fraternity think better of themselves and, that would appeal to the people HMXS refer to as “straight.” This was important because, the majority of straight people tend to be kind-hearted and generous, thinking that all homosexuals suffer from an affliction.
The PR man was at a desk in his study, where he had been for many hours trying to find the right word. Around him were rolled up note papers strewn all over the floor, containing his discarded efforts. He was getting tired and sleepy. Five long hours without a break. Oh, yes, some of these HMXS are committed, as well as, talented. He was about to get up and retire to wherever HMXS go to retire, when he felt that there was something in his left ear and, a small mouth whispered, “Wait, I have the word you have been looking for.”
He didn’t know it but, there was a tiny little demon curled up in his ear, lying on his back, with his hands behind his head, as if he were in a hammock. At another time, the PR man would have jumped up and run out of the house, thinking he was being pursued by a ghost, but now he was desperate and, would listen to the devil himself.
“What is the word?” asked the PR man.
“You’ll be surprised,” said the Imp.
“No, I will not be surprised. Very little surprises me. What is the word?”
DARA ROBINSON CONTINUES FUNDRAISERS
2nd annual Ride for Hunger and 6th annual Lucky Dube Tribute to be held in August.
Dara Robinson invites the public to be a part of the second annual Ride for Hunger to be held on Saturday, August 3, 2012.
The ride is another initiative spearheaded by Dara in support of his feeding program. Registration will begin at 5:00 a.m. on the day of the event. Participants will be charged a $5.00 registration fee. The ride will commence at 6:00 p.m. sharp. Dara said that the objective of the ride is to increase awareness of the hunger which affects many in the community and to fundraise for his feeding program for the upcoming school year.
The ride will start and end in front of the Smart office building on the Philip Goldson Highway. There will be a raffle after the ride is completed. The ride will proceed along the Philip Goldson Highway, turning onto the Burrell Boom road, proceeding in the direction of Hattieville Village, then moving onto the George Price Highway heading back into Belize City. Riders will go through the City via Central American Boulevard and Princess Margaret Drive and back onto Philip Goldson Highway and will end in front of the Smart office building. There will be a brief break at the CDS Gas Station on the Boom Road. CDS, incidentally, is donating two 100-pound gas tanks towards the feeding program.
PGIA STARTS NEW BORDER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FRIDAY
At the Philip Goldson International Airport at 8:00 this morning, Immigration authorities implemented the newly computerized border management system, which Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, NEMO, and Immigration & Nationality Services, Godwin Hulse, has said is intended to improve data capturing and security at all Belize’s border entry and exit points, particularly in cases in which visitors receive visas upon arrival in Belize.
Currently, a pen and logbook system is in place, but the implementation of the new system will mean that everything will be computerized. This should ensure that there is better tracking of migrants.
“What we are saying is that right now, as you know, when you come in, you go through Immigration but when you go out, you really don’t, and so [we] don’t have any proper data as to who leaves the country. This is what this new system is going to do. So tomorrow, we are launching it at the PGIA, it’s countrywide, at all the border points, so that we will be able to track,” Minister Hulse said.
ANOTHER DUMMY BOMB FOUND IN CARMELITA
Another dummy bomb was found in the Carmelita Village area. It has been taken to the Orange Walk Police Station, and will later be taken elsewhere by the officers to be destroyed. The dummy bomb is a military training aid, and poses no threat. The device was brought to the Orange Walk Police Station by a few villagers who discovered it.
Police believe that the training device was left behind by the British Forces on the training ground behind the village, near the area of the Sand Pit.
In February this year a similar training device was bought by Alvaro Tzul, a recycler for scrap iron from San Andres in the Corozal District. The villagers who saw the device became alarmed and called police, who called the Belize Defence Force bomb experts, who put their fears to rest and assured them that it was a training device and was not designed to explode.
The dummy bomb is currently in the possession of the Orange Walk police.
CARICOM HEADS URGE EARLY DATE FOR BZ AND GUAT TO HOLD ICJ REFERENDUM
Elrington reports to CARICOM on BZ-Guat relations.
Belize was the only member not represented by Head of Government
The 34th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from July 3-6, 2013, concluded over the weekend and a communiqué issued at the close of the meeting highlights the major outcomes.
Information provided in the communiqué shows that Belize was the only one of 15 CARICOM countries not represented by its Head of Government.
According to the release, Belize was represented by Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington.
At the meeting, Elrington updated the gathering on ongoing efforts by Belize to find a final and definitive resolution to the unfounded claim by Guatemala over Belize’s territory.
“They expressed concern that Guatemala has reneged on the agreement to hold a referendum on 6th October 2013, in accordance with the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to submit Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime claims to the International Court of Justice of 2008, and emphasized the importance of preserving the Special Agreement which commits both parties to resorting to the International Court of Justice for a final determination of the Guatemalan claim,” said the communiqué issued by the Heads of Government.
GUAT COURT LEVIES ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGES AGAINST BUDNA
Information reaching Amandala today is that Belizean Joseph Budna, incarcerated in Guatemala following a 25-year conviction for kidnapping and extortion—a sentence he is appealing—appeared in court in Petén on Monday, where he was read an additional charge of attempted murder against a team of the Guatemala special police squad.
Budna was furthermore charged with the possession of a .40 handgun, which police allege he had used to engage in a shootout with them last September, when they moved to apprehend him on claims that he was a ringleader in a cross-border extortion/kidnapping band.
Budna—who has been transferred back to Zacapa jail, located south of Belize, near Guatemala’s border with Honduras—is to return to court on July 22, 2013.
The Belize Times
“Retrograde & Abusive” – New Law removes Central Bank oversight of GOB
The Opposition People’s United Party has described a new legislation which was passed under stealth by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow on June 20, 2013 as “retrograde & abusive”.
Statutory Instrument 63 introduced an amendment to the Exchange Control Regulations Act (Chapter 52) which removes all supervisory and/or administrative authority of the Central Bank of Belize over any and all transactions with Foreign Bank Accounts operated by the Government of Belize.
The S.I. declares that the exemption includes “any transactions in relation to any securities or otherwise, or for any other dealings in foreign currency” of all Government Ministries and departments.
This is a very unusual law, with an ambiguous and possibly dangerous purpose. The PUP, which is wide awake and always on guard on behalf of the people of Belize, is very concerned. The PUP members of the Public Accounts Committee, led by Chairman Hon. Julius Espat, have launched an investigation into the recently passed S.I.
Face of Brass! – Sports Minister denies funds to National Team, but shows up for game in Portland
The real stunner in Tuesday night’s game between Belize and the United States wasn’t so much the loss at the end of the 92 minutes of play, but that the Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth had ...
Barrow living in a bubble! – PM “sensed” economy was “humming along”, why doesn’t he ask Belizeans
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is living a totally different reality from most Belizeans who are struggling to cope in today’s depressed economy. While the PM flies first class all over the world, Belizeans have been eating ...
Police torture in Belmopan?
29 year old Edwin Paula is in remand at the Kolbe Correctional Facility even though he is bruised and battered and endures severe ear and ...
THINK ABOUT IT
ANOTHER TRIAL FAILS It was not to be. What unfolded in front of their eyes was evidence that the Belize Police had resorted to torture and coercion to obtain a confession from a minor. No professional investigation. No compliance with the constitution of Belize to afford a person in detention ...
Editorial: The Secret Behind Patrick Andrews
There is seismic political activity in Belize. The right wing Judeo Christian talk show host, Jason Patrick Andrews, has declared his membership in the People’s United Party and his campaign to become the Standard Bearer in the Belmopan constituency. Without prematurely marking the final settlement of his launch, we will all agree ...
Ladyville Jaguars claw Esperanza’s Gentle Touch 3-2
The Ladyville Jaguars enjoyed a big win at the Norman Broaster Stadium when they toppled the 4-time national champs, Esperanza’s Gentle Touch Girls, 3-2 on Saturday, July 6. Shameika Franklin created the Ladyville girls 1st opening when ...
Tuff e’Nuff are 2013 Interoffice Champs
The undefeated defending champs Tuff e’Nuff won their 4th interoffice basketball championship in 7 years as they ran over Oceana No Limits: 91-80 in Game 3 of ...
DHC Excellence wins cricket finals game 1
Defending national champs Double Head Cabbage bowled out Crooked Tree’s Brilliant 84-79 with 6 wickets to spare in Game 1 of the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks national cricket ...
The Masters’ Plan doesn’t include Castle Street
There’s been a lot of talk lately about a “Master Plan” for Belize City. Mayor Darrel Bradley claims that in the chaos of building cement streets haphazardly and poorly, and causing major traffic hazard, he is actually following a “blueprint” that is laid out in a Master ...
New US Ambassador is no fan of UDP’s Denny Grijalva
On Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 US President Barack Obama nominated retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno as the ...
AMAZING GRACE – Kingdom and Belize Football
The whole country was glued to their television set last night as our national football team played their hearts out in a match against the United States. One of our players scored an amazing goal that caused me to stand to my feet to do a victory dance! We did ...
Dara plans fundraisers for feeding program
Ending child hunger in Belize will take an enormous effort from all relevant stakeholders, especially the Government of Belize, but until they wake up and recognize the worsening crisis before us, one man is remaining consistent with his goal of building awareness on the issue. For the ...
HOME ECONOMICS – Belize, entrepreneurship, revolution & youth
By Richard Harrison Revolution is the epitome of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is the taking of action based on having identified where that action can yield potential gains, over and above the potential risks. There have been calls in certain quarters in Belize, for revolutionary change. This call is mostly from those romantic academic thinkers ...
The 2012 Human Rights Report on Child Sexual Violations
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph The Belize 2012 Human Rights Report became available for the world to review a few weeks ago. Outlined below is a summary of its findings pertaining to human rights violations that impacted our country's children. It is amazing to note that the issues that I have ...
Concrete Monuments, Cinderella Mayor
The question for Mayor Darrell Bradley is whether he believes he can make a mistake. We bet that he thinks he cannot because he is the protégé of no other than his leader Dean Barrow. Men like Dean Oliver, including ...
Reflections of the Public Square – Football “Unity”
By Francis W. Fonseca National Unity is empty rhetoric in Belize. There are but a few moments in our history that we can point to some semblance of Unity. The death of George Price is perhaps the most recent and clear example of Belizean Unity. We were, for the most part, united in ...
Patrick Andrews announces PUP candidacy
The People’s United Party, as the only viable alternative to the failed UDP Government, continues to attract new blood and energy. The PUP is a revolutionary political movement committed to social justice and people’s development. This ...
Belize Action’s Cayo march draws crowd
It wasn’t anything compared to the massive turnout in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District on Friday July 5th, but the crowd that turned out to support the Belize Action’s “Constitution March” in San Ignacio, Cayo District, ...
Thank the lord it wasn’t Mark Espat
Dear Editor, We must be proud of our national football players. Not only did they show great courage in the game against the US powerhouse team, but they proved that they are in the Gold Cup for their country and not themselves. Three of the players, I believe Woodrow West, Ian Gaynair ...
How wrong were the pup spokesmen, Jack?
Dear Editor, An article penned by Amandala newspaper Asst. Editor, Adele Ramos last weekend entitled “BATSUB to boost presence in Belize” was very misleading as to the unofficial/official visit/vacation to the United Kingdom by Dean Barrow and his entire family paid for, according to Barrow, by the poor people of this ...
GOB hiding Guatemalan pilot school?
Dear Editor, Unconfirmed but reliable report is that there is a Guatemala Flying Pilot school operating in Belize at the Philip Goldson International Airport. The reported cost of this school is something like $60,000.00 US currency. Report is that a Minister’s two children are enrolled in this pilot school. The question many ...
Frustrated Lands employee writes
Dear Editor, Kindly allow me to vent my frustrations about what is happening at the Ministry of Natural Resources & Agriculture (Lands Department) in Belmopan. Not only are the hundreds of customers who visit the place on a daily and weekly basis extremely frustrated with the service and the run around they ...
Dear Editor, I'm fighting hard not to comment and to just observe how far our government will insist that they should not pick up the tab for our national football team in their quest to be the best at the gold cup tournament in the United States at this eleventh hour. The ...
Black out days are back?
Dear Editor, I woke up upset, mad and outraged on Sunday morning. First I thought I forgot to pay my light bill and that BEL had cut us out, but on a Sunday? I checked the neighbor and they were out too. They were also mad. Then we found out it was ...
A Quick Look Around San Ignacio, Belize – Mr. Greedy’s, The New Visitors Center and More
San Ignacio is the second largest city in the county of Belize…which really just means that its population hovers around 20,000. Belize is a small country. Very small. Population about 325,000, land mass the size of the state of Massachusetts.
Look at the scale on the map!
But…even though it’s just a few hours from Ambergris Caye (or even less than an hour if you take Tropic Airs relatively new flight), it’s very different. Surrounded by greenery, a gorgeous river and lots to do, a stop in and around San Ignacio along with visiting the Cayes is a great way to see both the jungle and the beach when visiting Belize. And the bonus? It’s a very cool town and a great place to spend a few days.
San Ignacio has change quite a bit since I was last there…good changes. They have closed down a main road to all car traffic…pedestrians only. Would LOVE to see a boulevard like that in San Pedro. Tough though with the small size.
Why I want to reduce Global Warming
My name is Briannie Rash and I am 12 years old. I live in San Pedro Columbia Village but I attend big Falls Roman Catholic School.
I would like to be an eco-kid because I would like to reduce global warming which causes holes in the atmosphere. All this is due to air pollution which is a result of burning things such as bottles, cans, and other plastic things. This is not healthy for the environment especially for plants which give us oxygen.
An eco-kid conserves. Water is essential to life so we should not waste it. We could teach others as well how important it is for our daily lives. Without it we may die of thirst. Water is also important for marine life. The garbage we throw in the water kills the fishes.
Will Carlos Moreno be confirmed as the new US Ambassador to Belize?
President Obama yesterday nominated retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno as the next U.S. ambassador to Belize.
If confirmed by the Senate, he would be America’s ninth ambassador to the former British Honduras, which became an independent nation in 1981. He would succeed Vinai K. Thummalapally, a scientist and entrepreneur who was an Occidental College classmate of Obama and became the first Indian American to hold an ambassadorship.
“Superstition” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
First job of the day yesterday (well after catching up with the news via my The Times on-line subscription) was to take our golf cart to Captain Shark’s for its first service.
I dropped the cart off just after 8 am and then walked the short distance to Estel’s for a hearty breakfast and a bit of ‘quality’ time on the iPad. With breakfast finished I went straight to Atlantic International Bank to pay the electricity bill and then straight on to The Greenhouse to get some of the ingredients for the chicken curry that Rose is making for dinner. I do love Rose’s curries ( that compliment ( a sincere one at that) will hopefully guarantee that she cooks another one very soon).
Having done the shopping I took a leisurely walk along the beach back to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After peeling the onions (my one culinary duty in the preparation for dinner) I read for a while (still haven’t finished the book yet) whilst Rose made the curry and after she had finished we took the road route and collected the ‘cart from Captain Shark’s and set off immediately to see what progress had been made on our home and got there around 2 pm.
Churches and associates using sewing talents for others
With needles and thread, Lubbock residents are touching the world with comfort, charity and a Christian message.
Volunteers from Calvary Baptist Church have completed 20,000 pillows in 10 years for medical facilities in Lubbock, troops in Afghanistan, and women in prison in Mexico.
Westminster Presbyterian Church has a group called Piece Makers who not only sew clothing for aid to the people of Belize, but they have volunteers who travel to that country as sewing teachers to equip women to make a living.
The Piece Makers also attract Catholic, Baptist and Nazarene volunteers, according to Paulette English of Westminster.
Vicki Tracy of Bernina Sewing Studio assists in the work in Belize by providing some sewing machines to Westminster, and by serving as a kind of clearing house for donations of fabric and thread.
“They have purchased some machines from us, and we have given them some,” Tracy said. “But I am amazed — they have stayed with this program for 14 years.”
Danny Michel performing with Garifuna Collective at folk fest
New album recorded in Belize with producer Ivan Duran... Danny Michel with the Garifuna Collective, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Main Stage performance, Saturday, July 20 at 5 p.m. For complete schedule visit thefestival.bc.ca.
FOR his latest album Toronto rocker Danny Michel decided to do something completely different from anything he’d done before.
His new eight-song disc, Black Birds are Dancing Over Me, recorded last winter in Belize, features Michel performing with musicians from the Garifuna Collective. The recording sessions took place over several months but the actual concept for the album started percolating in Michel’s subconscious many years before.
“I first went to Belize over 10 years ago on a trip, loved it, and I’ve gone back every year since,” he says. I got more and more involved in the community and started working with a school there and always kept thinking it would be great to make a record there. The music and the vibe has been slowly sneaking into my music over the last few records and this time I thought ‘let’s do it right’ and do the whole album there.”
Hanging out on Caye Caulker, a small island off the north coast of Belize, Michel listened to a lot of local Garifuna punta music including records by Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective produced at Ivan Duran’s Stonetree Studios.
Women are the backbone of Garifuna music
Even though it’s been mostly men who have traditionally performed Garifuna music in public producer Ivan Duran says it is the women who are the cultural anchors.
“Yes we are,” agrees Desiree Diego, a member of Umalali, The Garifuna Women’s Project ensemble set to perform Sunday at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. “Women are the writers and composers of most of the songs sung by men. The men take the songs to the stage but women are the backbone.”
Duran, one of the people responsible for the emergence of Garifuna music on the international scene, started researching the women’s contribution to music more than a decade ago. In tandem with the late Andy Palacio he set up The Garifuna Collective, a multi-generational group of musicians from Belize and Honduras, to investigate all things Garifuna. A few women, including Diego, were used as backup singers on the sessions but considering how important they were to music creation it must have been surprising to Duran how few women were available to perform it. They were busy doing other things.
Even before he had any idea of what he would do with the material Duran began recording women singing in natural settings — kitchens, living rooms, in the streets or in the Garifuna temples, usually documenting voices that had never been recorded before. Like Alan Lomax did in the American South, Duran was documenting an unknown sonic world.
Garifuna carry on deep culture work
Interview with Andy Palacio from 2007... Three Garifuna girls pose for the camera as an unseen adult yells at them to get back inside. As his demands grow louder their smiles get wider. Black Carib skin offsets pearly white teeth and precocious manners.
They’ve done this before these Garifuna girls — ignoring an elder to get a closer look at strangers from elsewhere. The isolated Garifuna, cut off from the rest of the world on the coasts of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, have been able to maintain their traditional culture well into the 21st century. Despite the constant bombardment of TV and the Internet chipping away at their unique identity they continue to find common ground as a community. And thanks to cultural ambassadors, such as the late Andy Palacio, the Garifuna appear to be in good hands for the future.
Belize players say they refused bribe to fix match against U.S.
Two Belize soccer players say they rejected a large bribe to fix Tuesday's match against the U.S., which the Jaguars lost 6-1 anyway.
The Associated Press reports international soccer officials are investigating the allegations by Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West. When an official showed them a photo of a man suspected of match fixing in other countries, the Belize players confirmed it was the same man who approached them Sunday, according to the AP.
Belize coach Ian Mork told the AP that the targeted players, who do not play professionally, were approached at their Portland, Ore., hotel by a man who had also been at their hotel in Guatemala City in June when Belize played Guatemala.
"He was wanting to become friends and come visit Belize," Mork said, via the AP. "Then all of sudden he also showed up in Portland. It was through this kind of friendship of wanting to support the Belize team. It was obviously part of a plan to target our players."
Belize players praised for refusing to throw match
Belize, the tiny nation bordering Mexico and Guatemala, was already a fan favorite at the Gold Cup given its massive underdog tag.
But the national team likely gained even more supporters after players turned down a "large amount of money" to throw a match against the U.S. at the tournament.
Two of the players, Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair, told CONCACAF officials about the incident and after an investigation was launched, it led to "positive identification of the individual attempting the bribery," the governing body said in a statement.
"We want to thank Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair and recognize them for their bravery and commitment to preserving the integrity of our game," CONCACAF said.
Belizean players demonstrate integrity in rejecting match-fixing
Imagine for a second that you're Belize soccer player Ian Gaynair. You don't make much money in your tiny Central American country, and now a man is in front of you offering you cash to lose a game by maybe a little more than you're already expected to. Who would notice? You're Belize. You're supposed to get blown out by the United States. Who cares if it's by four goals or by six?
That was the temptation facing Gaynair and teammates Woodrow West and Andres Makin last Sunday, two days before their Gold Cup opener against the U.S. in Portland. But instead of taking the money, Gaynair refused and reported the incident to his coach, Ian Mork, who reported it to CONCACAF.
"I told him, 'We can't take that money,' because at the end of the day our entire country is behind us," Gaynair told 7 News Belize. "We can't just sell out our country for a little bit of money ... We might not be making a lot of money in Belize, but still we have to look at our career and our future."
The Belizeans may well be the worst team at the Gold Cup, and they may have lost 6-1 to the U.S., but Gaynair, West and Makin are so far the stars of the tournament in my book. By refusing to become part of global soccer's rampant match-fixing problem, Gaynair, a defender, even scored Belize's lone goal against the U.S., briefly narrowing the score to 2-1 in the first half.
How common is match-fixing in soccer? Earlier this year, Europol announced the results of a two-year investigation, saying that nearly 700 matches around the world were under suspicion. In 2011, former FIFA director of security Chris Eaton told me he had information that suggested games in that year's Gold Cup had been manipulated. And in 1997, U.S. players John Harkes and Roy Wegerle refused an approach to throw a World Cup qualifier against El Salvador that was meaningless to the American team.
Belize Government Ignores Maya Land Rights, Grants Oil Permits to US Company
The Belize government has issued permits to US Capital Energy and is allowing the company to proceed with oil development activities on Maya land, despite the fact that the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and even Belize’s own Supreme Court have given support to the legal and political claims of Maya communities to inhabit 500,000 acres of their traditional rainforest territory.
In 2007 the Belize Supreme Court ruled that the Maya villages of Conejo and Santa Cruz have customary title to the lands they traditionally use and occupy, in accordance with their ancestral land tenure system. A similar court ruling in 2010 expanded this right to all Maya villages in southern Belize. Despite the fact that these rulings were never appealed and therefore remain in full effect, the Belize government has issued permits for oil development on these lands, and in doing so is “denying the Maya peoples’ rights to our lands, and is disregarding the authority of the courts and the fundamental tenants of democracy such as security of property and the rule of law.” According to Cultural Survival, US Capital Energy, a Texas-based company, has already cut over 200 miles of seismic trail for oil exploration in the Sarstoon Temash National Park and traditional Maya territories, resulting in forest fires that have destroyed 400 acres of forest to date. It has also been alleged that Capital Energy has attempted to bribe Maya alcaldes, traditional leaders similar to mayors, to support the project.
Belize's Character Proves They Belong on CONCACAF's Biggest Stage
Belize lost to the USA 6-1 in their first ever Gold Cup match. But they've already won in a much bigger game on the world stage, and this game isn't played on the soccer field.
TWEET 15 SHARE 442 2 COMMENTS ⋆REC (1)
This has nothing to do with how Belize performed against the United States, in the country's first ever CONCACAF Gold Cup game, a 6-1 loss on Tuesday night. This has nothing to do with Belize keeper Shane Orio's solid individual effort in front of goal, despite allowing six on the evening. This has nothing to do with Ian Gaynair's unmarked header in the box in the 40th minute, Belize's first ever goal in a major competition.
But this has everything to do with the actions of Gaynair and his teammates Woodrow West and Andres Makin Jr., who were approached by a gentleman offering money in exchange for fixing Belize's first group game against the United States. In an age where match-fixing scandals are rampant in the world - Italy, Nigeria and Asia just to name a few - three Belizean players on a team with only two full professionals on the roster did the only thing that came to their mind.
They said no. And they reported the incident to the Belize federation and CONCACAF.
The Black Carib Wars: Freedom, Survival, and the Making of the Garifuna
In The Black Carib Wars: Freedom, Survival, and the Making of the Garifuna (University Press of Mississippi), author Christopher Taylor offers the fullest, most thoroughly researched history of the Garifuna people of St Vincent, and their uneasy conflicts and alliances with Great Britain and France. The book presents documentation of one of the oldest native heritages of the Caribbean, and is the closest thing to a direct link to the region’s history before colonialism.
The Garifuna — whose descendants were native Carib Indians, Arawaks and West African slaves brought to the Caribbean — were free citizens of St Vincent. Beginning in the mid-1700s, they clashed with a number of colonial powers who claimed ownership of the island and its people. Upon the Garifuna’s eventual defeat by the British in 1796, the people were dispersed to Central America. Today, roughly 600,000 descendants of the Garifuna live in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, the United States, and Canada.
The Garifuna — called “Black Caribs” by the British to distinguish them from other groups of un-integrated Caribs — speak a language and live a culture that directly descends from natives of the Caribbean at the time of Columbus. Thus, the Garifuna heritage is one of the oldest and strongest links historians have to the region before European colonialism.
Louisiana Air Guardsmen help build schools in Belize - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2
BELLE CHASSE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) National Guard provides learning facilities for 500 students in Belize, receives valuable training. (Louisiana Air Guardsmen help build schools in Belize: BELLE CHASSE, La.
Go Diving in Belize (Video)
Diving in Belize is unprecedented. It is one of the top activities in Belize, which is known as a top scuba diving and snorkeling destination in Central America, and for good reason.