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IMF TELLS GOB TO MODERATE WAGE INCREASES AND BROADEN GENERAL SALES TAX BASE
It recommends “protecting spending” on infrastructure, internal security, and social programs.
Amid calls from the trade unions for wage adjustments for public officers, the International Monetary Fund has issued a statement following the conclusion of its annual Article IV Consultation with Belize on June 21, 2013, in which it calls on the Government of Belize to moderate wage increases and broaden the general sales tax base.
Furthermore, it recommends “protecting spending in such priority areas as infrastructure, internal security, and social programs.”
“[IMF Directors] stressed that raising the primary surplus to levels consistent with debt sustainability would require strong adjustment efforts, including moderating wage increases and broadening the base for the general sales tax. Over the medium term, it will be important to strengthen public financial management and implement a tax reform that promotes growth and fairness,” the report said.
The IMF executive directors, said the report, congratulated Belize authorities on the strong economic performance last year, as well as the successful completion of the external debt exchange.
KOLBE PRISON HEALTH SITUATION “HORRIBLE”
Amandala has received reliable information that Belize Public Health Authorities have filed a damning report declaring that the female holding cell facilities, as well as the kitchen facilities at the Belize Central Prison, run by Kolbe Foundation, are largely unsanitary for inmates.
Health authorities have called on the management of the prison to undertake swift corrective action, and we understand that they have given their commitment to make improvements.
Health authorities found that the kitchen and recreational facilities at the prison are grossly infested with houseflies; and even worse, flies were allowed to “pitch” on food, such as freshly baked bread, which were not properly covered at the time of the inspection that was carried out in June.
Health inspectors note that houseflies can be carriers of infectious diseases such as typhoid, cholera, salmonella, tuberculosis and anthrax.
It calls on prison authorities to immediately take measures such as screening, proper garbage disposal, and sealing sewage cracks in order to improve sanitation.
PRISON CEO FIRES 2 MORE STAFF
Allegations are that they were fired for revealing information about the attempted rape of a female officer by a senior officer.
Amandala’s calls to Kolbe Chief Executive Officer Earl Jones, to ask him about two more staff terminations this week, have gone unanswered; however, we were able to confirm that the Office of the Ombudsman has been informed of the two additional firings, which come on the heels of a series of terminations reported by the Belize Central Prison Coalition.
Labour Minister Godwin Hulse had commissioned Labour Commissioner Ivan Williams to investigate allegations of arbitrary and unusually high numbers of terminations at the prison; however, our newspaper has not been informed of the outcome of those investigations.
Two cases were reported to our newspaper this week – and whereas terminations, generally speaking, are not illegal, the circumstances under which the July 16 terminations reportedly occurred are being questioned by the Coalition.
Gaspar Camara, who was a basic grade officer employed at Kolbe since 2008, and who had worked in the records section for the past two years, told us that by letter dated July 16, 2013, and signed by CEO Earl Jones, he was terminated with immediate effect.
PM “HARDHEADED”: BISHOP DORICK WRIGHT
“I wish the Prime Minister wouldn’t be so hardheaded …” “… homosexual, gay – I am opposed to it.” “… if the people are telling him this thing is not right … I think he should look at it.”
– Roman Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright.
Patrick Menzies of Belize Can to Obama: “…keep your trash in the White House!”.
New US Ambassador supports LGBT agenda.
Belize Census released in 2010 said that Roman Catholicism remained the single largest religion with 40% of the total population saying that they belong to that Christian denomination.
“Why go into the school to teach the children that the anus is a sexual organ? Why is UNICEF financing UB $100,000 to put up a gender department?” – Lascelle Arnold
This morning, the fifth in the series of demonstrations being led nationwide by Christians, but which have also garnered support from non-Christian Belizeans who are likewise opposed to the Gender Policy 2013, took to the streets of Belize City. What was most significant about this episode of the demonstrations, dubbed Constitutional Marches, is that the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Belize, Bishop Dorick Wright, was at the frontline of the parade, sending a message to the Barrow administration that he does not support the policy which Cabinet had approved back in March.
In an exclusive interview with Amandala after the parade and rally at Memorial Park, Belize City, Bishop Wright, who heads the most populous religious denomination in Belize, told us categorically that he cannot support the new gender policy.
“Anything that is homosexual, anything that is gay – I am opposed to it. Not for myself, but for the future. I am closer to the cemetery than I am to this life, and I am concerned about our children. I don’t want this sort of thing to be imposed on our children, so I cannot support this in any way,” Wright said, who, we understand, made the sacrifice to demonstrate despite battling health issues.
STEVEN BUCKLEY FACES KHMH $6,561 BILL DUE FRIDAY
After being mistakenly shot in the head by police, Buckley cannot work.
After being mistakenly shot in the head by police, Buckley cannot work
Steven Buckley, a former construction worker who had to be hospitalized after he was shot in the head by police, told Amandala today that police have not yet given him any compensation to help pay off a $6,561 bill he told us he has received for expenses incurred while he was hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).
In fact, the “final notice” Buckley received this month from Credit Masters Systems says the bill is due tomorrow, Friday, July 19. It goes on to say that failure to pay will result in a public notice and court action.
Buckley said that he has gotten his second letter demanding payment.
Minister of National Security John Saldivar told journalists this morning when asked what police will do to help Mr. Buckley that he will look into the matter.
“The Commissioner [of Police] is currently out of the country, but as soon as he returns, I will have a sit-down with him and see how we can work out something amicable. I do believe that, if it was the case that he was mistakenly shot, that something needs to be done to work out a solution. I will sit with the Commissioner and work something out. I don’t believe that this needs to drag out much longer,” the Minister said.
BARTENDER SHOT IN SAN PEDRO
Miguel Dominguez, 31, a bartender of Sea Grape Drive of San Pedro, was shot in the arm and the side of his torso and is presently receiving medical treatment at the San Pedro Polyclinic. The incident occurred about 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, in front of the football field in San Pedro.
According to the man responsible for shooting Dominguez, the shooting was an act of self-defense. He said that at about 3:00 on Saturday evening he was approached by Dominguez in front of the football field as he was walking on Angel Coral Street in San Pedro. He said that Dominguez pulled out a knife and attempted to stab him, and, fearing for his life, he responded by pulling out his licensed .9mm pistol and firing a single shot at Dominguez.
Police have said that charges will not be brought against Dominguez’s shooter , but as soon as Dominguez is well, he will be arrested and charged with aggravated assault..
GABRIEL SALAZAR, 23, ACQUITTED OF MURDER
Justice Hanomansingh ruled that excessive force was used to get oral confession.
Salazar and three other men were just recently acquitted of the double murders of James Swan and Edward Gutierrez.
Gabriel Salazar, 23, walked away from the Dangriga Supreme Court a free man on Monday after he was acquitted of killing Francis Johnson. The murder occurred during a robbery on September 9, 2009, in Johnson’s Store in Big Falls, Toledo, in which the store’s owner, Johnson, was shot and killed in the process.
Three other persons were alleged to have committed the crime with Salazar, but all four men had fled the country in an attempt to reach Honduras. It was while there that the men allegedly attempted to commit another robbery and Salazar was shot by Honduran police who had responded to a report of the ongoing crime, while it is believed that the other three were shot and killed by Honduran police.
Salazar was returned to Belize, where the charges had been brought against him. Last week, the trial began before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in Dangriga, with attorney Simeon Sampson representing Salazar.
ROMOLO GARCIA, 55, FOUND GUILTY FOR CHOPPING ALBERTO HERRERA ON BOTH HIS HANDS
Garcia’s defense to the court was that Herrera chopped himself while in a drunken state.
Romolo Garcia, 55, a cane farmer of Hattieville, was today convicted of use of deadly means with intent to cause grievous harm after a jury returned with an eight-to-one ratio of guilty.
In April of 2011, Garcia was entertaining his friend, Alberto Herrera, 64, at his home when an argument ensued, which quickly turned violent and ended with Herrera suffering chop wounds to his left forearm near his elbow, and to his right hand. The chop to his right hand severed all five of his fingers on that hand.
In the trial, testimonies of two of the witnesses — Herrera and the police officer who recorded his statement, Cpl. Victor Lima, had to be read to the court after it was proven that they both were dead. Herrera died as a result of septic shock after his fingers had been severed and he was diagnosed with diabetes. The stumps which had remained after his fingers had been severed had become infected.
Cpl. Lima was shot in his chest while responding to a burglary in progress in Hattieville, and died several days later.
MISSING BELMOPAN TAXI DRIVER FOUND DECOMPOSED
Vultures were feeding on the body.
A taxi driver of Belmopan, Jose Martin Umana, 45, who was missing since Saturday, July 13, was found by his brother-in-law, Marin Aleman, on the ground in a state of decomposition behind a cohune tree in an area between George Price Boulevard and the Western Highway at about 4:30 yesterday evening.
A postmortem exam was conducted onsite to certify the cause of his death, but the autopsy was inconclusive due to the advanced state of decomposition of the body. Umana was buried immediately after the autopsy.
Aleman told reporters that yesterday evening he was driving his car on the George Price Boulevard searching for Umana when some John Crows (vultures) attracted his attention.
He stopped, got out of the car and went to see what was attracting the birds, and behind a cohune tree, he found his brother-in-law lying on the ground face down. He was in shorts, and had no shoes.
Aleman said that on Saturday when he was told that Umana was missing, he began to search for him immediately. He was in Ontario searching for him when police found his taxi car, with its stereo missing, but Umana was nowhere to be found.
NATION BUILDERS’ STATEMENT:
GOB must get serious about Sports/Youth Development.
The Nation Builders national youth movement commends the Belize Jaguars National Football Team for their participation in the 2013 Gold Cup. The journey, although short-lived, proved that despite the struggles and tremendous challenges facing our country, we are a resilient people and have the capacity to compete with sports giants on the world stage. We commend every member of the national team – from player to staffer – for their efforts to uplift our country.
We consider the Belize Jaguars Team, which was one of only five national teams that advanced from the UNCAF tournament in March, as heroes, and recommend that each member be properly recognized and respected, principally by the Government of Belize.
We also call on the Government to get serious about sports development as a key area of youth development. The current policy on sports development is an oppressive, lazy and poorly thought-out strategy that needs immediate revision. We recommend meaningful investment in Sports, including adequate neighborhood parks and proper sporting facilities, assisting with the creation of community sports clubs, sponsorship of community sports events, the implementation of strategic sports programmes in primary school and high school that encourage academic and sports development instead of the current isolated tournaments that have low-impact, and the adequate sponsorship of our national sports teams.
HOOP DREAMS BELIZE ARE U16 COPA CANCUN CHAMPS
Hoop Dreams Belize’s performance was outstanding in the U16 Copa Cancun Basketball Tournament.
The team traveled to Cancun, Mexico on July 10 and returned on July 15. The U16 male category comprised of 13 teams divided into 3 divisions – A, B and C.
Hoop Dreams Belize dominated the A division, winning all four games, imposing their defensive and offensive excellence throughout the entire tournament. The fans packed the stadium, appreciating the high energy and classy display of unselfish basketball performed by our young basketball ambassadors.
Game 1 – Manatees 37, Hoop Dreams Belize 64
Game 2 – Hoop Dreams Belize 71, Club Roscos 21
Game 3 – Hoop Dreams Belize 74, Mapaches 38
Game 4 – Hoop Dreams Belize 62, YBOA 23
Advancing to the semi-finals and eventually to the finals was a great accomplishment, being that the teams we faced were bigger, representing structured clubs supported by huge fan bases from as far away as Mexico City and cities near the US border. 109 teams participated in the tournament.
BELIZE JAGUARS RETURN, A TIME FOR REFLECTION
Our Belize National “A” Team, the Jaguars, returned to Belize this morning to a warm but modest reception from fans and family members at the Philip Goldson International Airport, after losing their third Group Stage game yesterday at the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013 in the USA. It was Belize’s first time participating in the prestigious Gold Cup, which features the 12 best national teams in the North Central American and Caribbean Football Association, the regional football body known by its acronym, CONCACAF.
There were many hurdles facing the team before even boarding the flight out of Belize on Friday, July 5, and the sheer demands of their travelling and playing schedule, the much higher level of opponents than they are accustomed to, the strain of the high altitude encounter in game 2 against Costa Rica, along with their eagerness to accommodate the throngs of excited Belizean fans in the U.S., all took their toll on the Jaguars, who appeared lethargic in game 3 yesterday against Cuba, falling 4-0, the last goal coming in injury time. It was a devastating loss, but one from which the team must learn many lessons for the future about playing at this level of competition.
Gold Cup 2013 is history for the Belize Jaguars, who will now have the luxury of looking at the rest of the competition at home on T.V., and start planning in earnest to qualify for the next Gold Cup in 2015.
PARTIES, CHURCHES, UNIONS AND THE STREETS Editorial
At the macro level, the leaders of Belize’s two major political parties are cynical people. That is to say, they do not really care what you think or what you have to say unless you have a lot of money or unless you can put people in the streets. The leaders of the two political parties usually represent constituencies which are considered “safe” for their respective parties.
At the micro level, or the level of the individual area representatives and standard bearers, there is usually more skittishness. The area reps and standard bearers keep a very close eye on their constituencies, and they are immediately interested once any organized movement of people, no matter how small the group, begins stirring around in their divisions. After all, over the years several constituency elections in Belize have been decided by fewer than twenty votes, so any movement of people, no matter how small, can decide an individual Belizean politician’s electoral fate.
If you start any kind of group in any political constituency in Belize, whether it is a sewing group or a sailing group or a sports group, you can end up deciding an individual politician’s electoral fate. The individual politician has to find out, as quickly as he can, in what political direction your group is likely to head. If you are likely to head in his opponent’s direction, the politician will seek to sabotage and intimidate your group, no matter how small, in any way he can. If you are likely to be favorable to him, then the politician will nurture you and your group. If you insist on being independent, both parties will become suspicious of you. You will then be attacked from both sides of the political spectrum.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
A May 2013 paper produced by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) essentially says that the Government of Belize has been investing more money in the education system over the last ten years and getting out less where positive results are concerned. This is a research paper put together by three impressive scholars, and the work is scientifically done.
The most important thing to note is that the research period basically covers five PUP years and five UDP years, so you have to throw the party politics out and look at the financial inefficiencies of Belize’s education system. For many Belizeans, especially older ones, it’s quite difficult to throw out the party politics, a big reason being because spokesmen for the two political parties are the loudest voices we hear every day, and they are not only loud: they are aggressive and they are abusive.
This IDB paper is so scientific that at one point there is a mathematical formula introduced which must really be like something at the level of the complicated banking derivatives. This is big time academic stuff, and it is corroborating what domestic observers like Assad Shoman and the late Leroy Taegar have been saying for many years.
Personally, I have seen the same things Shoman and Taegar were seeing, but I do not consider myself in the intellectual category of these two gentlemen. I came home to Belize in 1968 after a first degree, and what I have done over the years is try to translate some of the graduate ideas into a language which the masses of the Belizean people can understand. In the first few years of that process, I felt isolated because of the intellectual programs through which my mind had been run: in other words, it took a while to come off the university high. As all these 45 years have passed, however, I have fallen quite a bit behind where pure academics are concerned, and the result is that I am not so sure of myself in the intellectual sense.
MAYOR’S ADVISERS “DON’T KNOW SQUAT!” Letters
by Thomas Charlesworth
After a drive through downtown Belize City I was astonished to see that our Mayor has gone ahead with his plan to block the street between the bank and Mule Park.
This last Wednesday I listened in to him praising his work and his Council saying that the “Master Plan” was made public three years ago and is on the City Council web site. Well, let me say, since the streets start getting cemented was the first time that I had heard of it; second thing, how many Belizeans have a computer, let alone have Internet?
On the WUB 2 cents Cam, a participant made a comment about the Master Plan: he said he doesn’t know and he doesn’t think the Mayor knows, and I tend to agree with him.
The Mayor also said that all indications to him were that the temporary blockage of the street there at the Mule Park and the bank was working; apparently, his advisers don’t know squat, because that blockage has caused more of a traffic jam than ever.
“THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF BELIZE FROM THE 17TH CENTURY TO POST-INDEPENDENCE”
by review by Alan Slusher
Barbara Bulmer-Thomas and Victor Bulmer-Thomas
Cubola Productions, Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize, 2012
Paperback; 214pp; US$24.00
Barbara and Victor Bulmer-Thomas have done us an enormous service in producing a very readable, concise text that traces the modern macro-economic history of Belize from the days of the earliest settlement by the British adventurers in the 17th century through to present times, and that analyses the factors that influenced that history. It is written in a way that makes what it says easy to understand and fully accessible to practically everyone in Belize. I stress “macro-economic history” because it is not a general history, and it is not detailed; it covers political and social developments only insofar as these are directly linked, through cause or effect, to economic developments, and it covers only the broad trends and strands of Belize’s economic history. It is worth noting that a detailed history, even if limited to the economics-related aspects of Belize’s evolution, would not be easily accessible to the general reader. Perhaps in compensation, the authors have included an extensive bibliography that will facilitate exploration of all aspects of the country’s history by the interested reader.
The book is published by Cubola Productions, of Benque Viejo del Carmen in Cayo. Cubola’s director, Montse Casademunt, has maintained her strong ongoing effort to bring to Belizeans the works of authors and editors (Joseph Palacio, Nigel Bolland, Jaime Awe, and Karla Heusner among them) critical to an understanding of who we are and where we have come from.
WIN-BELIZE “FULLY ACCEPTS” GENDER POLICY 2013
UNIBAM is listed among its 14 active members.
The Women’s Issues Network of Belize (WIN-Belize)—an alliance of nationally prominent NGOs—has issued a press release saying that it has contacted its member organizations and they have “reached consensus on the full acceptance of the Revised National Gender Policy 2013,” which some opponents say is in line with a foreign agenda to eventually legalize same-sex marriages in Belize and to furthermore set up a legislative framework for special and protective rights to LGBT persons.
The WIN-Belize network is made up of a range of organizations, including private sector, environmental and activist organizations.
The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which has highly praised the new gender policy, is listed among its 14 active members.
At least one of those organizations—the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)—has told us, though, that while YWCA officials had agreed to support the WIN-Belize position on the Gender Policy, the board of the organization has yet to say where it really stands in regard to the new policy.
Sonia Linares, YWCA’s Executive Secretary, told our newspaper today that she had indicated to WIN-Belize that they would like more information and clarity on the policy in question.
THE BOAT WORLD IN OLD BELIZE
by Arthur Belisle
My two grandfathers were both boat builders – James Osling and Joseph Belisle. James Osling had his own dockyard. These yards used a large structure called the “ways,” and a smaller structure called the “cradle,” to haul up the boats, along with a block-and-tackle and a winch.
There was a Public Works Department (PWD) boatyard at the Barracks which took care of the ferry at Haulover. In the old days there was a ferry where the Haulover Bridge is presently. We also had two dredges, one operating in the Haulover Creek and one at sea.
Other dockyards along the Haulover Creek were owned and operated by Dickie Jones, Philip Rowland, John Arnold, Bill Sebastian, and Clifford Betson.
Where the bus station is on West Collet Canal not far from the Pound Yard Bridge is where the slaughterhouse used to be. They used to bring cows from Honduras. There was a portion of land they used to call “grassy piece” where they kept the cows from Honduras.
There was a boatyard at Fisher Waterside.
There were two kinds of boats: one kind for shallow water and another kind to operate at sea. My grandfather, James Osling, and Clifford Betson were said to be the best when it came to building tunnel boats.
IDEAS AND OPINIONS- GENDER DIVERSITY
Is there such a thing? Yes, if you can make words mean what you want. All you have to do is listen to the Master, according to the Humpty Dumpty principle. No, if what you refer to is an absurdity. What it refers to is that gender is determinable by group sexual preference. Let’s examine the relationships of human sexual relationships.
The reality is, first of all, that sex and gender are synonymous. If your sex is male, you are of the male gender and, if your sex is female, you are of the female gender.
There are only three different kinds of sexual relationships, which is called copulation. The three relationships are between a male and a female, two females or two males. When a man and a woman copulate, they remain male and female of different sex and gender. When two women copulate, they remain female of the same sex and gender and, when two men copulate, they remain male of the same sex and gender.
What is this Gender Diversity all about? As far as I know there are two genders, male and female, the same as sexes in the animal kingdom. Inanimate objects are said to be neuter, which means having no gender. It has been so from the beginning.
The idea of Gender Diversity, which means more than two genders, seems to be an absurdity. Do we have to accept it? Yes, if according to the Humpty Dumpty principle, all that is needed is for the Master to say a thing and it becomes a reality. In this case, the Masters of the World have decided that there shall be Gender Diversity. Which world? The world under their control. But, that can’t include Belize, a sovereign, democratic country, in which the will of the people forms the basis of government. We are a democratic country but, the power of the people is in the hands of the Executive. The Rulers of the World have the power to “persuade” a government, during its term of office, to carry out policies which the people, if consulted, would reject.
A CAMPAIGN FOR A RAINFOREST ACADEMY
The Columbia River Cooperative has announced the launch of fundraising efforts to open a Rainforest Academy in 2014 in San Pedro Columbia, Toledo – a village with an estimated population of 2,000.
Lisa Kile, a Belizean-American who has lived in the village for decades, and who teaches at the Toledo Community College in Punta Gorda, told Amandala that she donated land for the new school on her premises (for a token consideration of $1.00) so that the project can be implemented.
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education David Leacock confirmed to our newspaper that the group has submitted its application. Leacock said that the normal procedure is for the District Council to conduct an inspection and make a recommendation to the Chief Education Officer, Chris Aird. Leacock said that he could not yet provide any details on the status of this particular application.
Gilroy Usher and Lisa White Kile, who share a son, told us more about the project: Usher, a former employee of the National 4H Club in Belmopan, said that he and Kile had an idea to set up an academy with an agricultural emphasis.
REMEMBERING NORRIS E. WADE AND HHL
Few people in this world tried harder to make life’s road easier for me to walk, so this corner cannot allow Mr. Norris Edgar Wade (N. E. Wade, Mr. Wade, My/The Boss, Norris) to go into the hereafter without a public salutation.
He was a hero in Belize Agriculture when Central Farm was under the stewardship of the first wave of university-trained local scientists – pioneers named Norris E. Wade, John E. Link, Elias Juan, Godsman Ellis, and Balmore Silva. Ah, it was the age of the Green Revolution and they were the first ones charged to lead Belizean farmers into the brand new world. Oh! what an exciting age. That story, their stories, and the stories of those who followed shortly after, are the stuff of legends.
N. E. Wade was my boss on my first real job. I was about twenty or so when I went to work at Hummingbird Hershey Ltd. (HHL), an experimental cacao farm owned by Hershey’s (Hershey Foods Corporation of Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA) at about Mile 35 on the Hummingbird Highway. It was envisioned by Hershey’s that HHL would become the single largest cacao farm in the world. I was not the only young fellow hired to work in second tier management on the farm. There were colleagues of mine from the Belize School of Agriculture – Anthony Castillo, Charles Garbutt, and Gaspar Martinez – and Simon Willacey, a young junior college graduate, working there too.
Norris E. Wade, the farm manager at HHL, and my uncle, James V. Hyde, were very close friends. They were both university-trained. In a country where many did not have such opportunities, I guess that gave them a special camaraderie. From the day I met Norris, he was in my corner.
CORRUPTED SMS PROBLEM SHOULD BE FIXED BY WEEKEND: SMART
SMART customers have been complaining that since last week, they have been receiving text messages which they cannot read, because they are being transmitted with junk characters, instead of legible characters; and likewise, people they have been texting have been receiving their messages in illegible form.
SMART’s PR Manager Ian Courtenay told Amandala today that the problem—which was triggered by an upgrade in their SMART Message Service Center—should be cleared up by this weekend.
According to Courtenay, when the system was upgraded, the problem was reported by customers using particular types of phone devices, and the problem, he said, is handset-specific. SMART has had to communicate the information to Tango, its overseas service provider.
Courtenay told us that, “those [bad texts] should be cleared up by this weekend.”
GUATEMALAN AND HONDURAN NATIONALS TO BE DEPORTED FOR ILLEGAL ENTRY INTO BELIZE
Olvin Lopez, 24, and Marcelino Juarez, 18, appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court today, Tuesday, where they were both found guilty of illegal entry into Belize and deemed to be prohibited immigrants.
Juarez, a Guatemalan, was a construction worker residing at a Mahogany Street address in Belize City. He pleaded guilty to the charge read against him and agreed to the facts of the charge read in court. A removal order was issued for his deportation to Guatemala at a time to be determined by the Director of Immigration.
Juarez was handed over to immigration officers today from the Queen Street Police Station. The immigration officers escorted him to the Immigration office for questioning. The officers requested from Juarez his passport or any other form of travel documents, which he was unable to produce. He was therefore deemed to be a prohibited immigrant. Juarez has been in Belize since December 2010, when he entered Belize via the banks of the Mopan River in Benque Viejo del Carmen.
Lopez is a Honduran who was also working in construction and resided at a Belize City address. He pleaded guilty to his charge and agreed with the facts read to him in court. Lopez was fined $1,000, plus $5 cost of court, which were to be paid forthwith, or he would serve six months in prison. A removal order was issued for him to be deported to Honduras and would take effect after he pays the fine or serves the six-month sentence.
A great Belize resource
One of the places I recommend most to people is the Ambergris Caye Belize message board. Lately it has been to people for it’s classified section, you can always score good deals there.
Recently I posted AmbergrisCaye.com classifieds because I wanted to get a land-line telephone. Within 24h I had a phone call from Guest Supply House, and my number was not even listed in post, within 48h I had an email from the Kumars who have a spare cordless phone. Now that is what I call fast action
A few other classifieds that are always worth checking are San Pedro Sun, Ambergris Today, and San Pedro Daily. I have been recommending all 3 lately to people who are apartment hunting from afar. Recently Dick placed a few ads in San Pedro Sun newspaper one apartment for rent and one marine gas tank for sale for sale. He got calls right away in regards to the 2 bedroom apartment he is renting.
Today the two of us are heading north, I decided to bring Dick to my fishing meeting so he can meet Rudy. I figured it is time my 2 wing-men meet in person since they both love boats and fishing.
Belize International Film Festival a Cinematic and Cultural Success
The lights have gone up on the 8th annual Belize International Film Festival, bringing to a close four days of independent film industry networking and the showing of films from around the world, further cementing Belize’s reputation as something more than just a pretty face – the little country is maturing into a cultural and artistic powerhouse in the region and the world.
This year’s festival kicked off on July 12 and had close to 50 entries from all over the globe, with winners spanning the globe from Canada and Holland to Australia, which took best Feature Length Narrative with Ivan Sen’s “Toomelah”.
“Maroons: Africans on the Move,” won the Most Notable Belizean Film category and CEBU, from Cuba, won Best Short Film.
All, in all, it’s safe to say that the BIFF was truly an international affair, and congratulations must go out to the organisers for putting together such a successful cultural coup.
Why I want to become an Eco-kid
I would like to become an Eco – kid because I have become aware that the flora and fauna are very valuable for the survival of our planet and the human race. I notice in the international news that the world resources are under constant stress. In our country, there is illegal fishing, hunting, cutting down of pristine forest. Our resources are being invaded by our neighbour, our own people are engaging in illegal activities to harm our environment and that is very sad.
Since I like hiking, I think a good way to contribute in the preservation of our forest, birds and marine life is to become a Park Ranger. Being a Park Ranger will give me the opportunity to help avoid activities like what happened at Nohmul and help to stop the distraction of endangered species of birds and other animals. I will help save the green parrot, the scarlet macaw, the toucan, rose wood, mahogany tree and many more.
“At Last” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In recent weeks I have displayed a sloppiness in some editions when describing the time at which I have done something. A pm used when it should have been am. So from today abelizehomeforus will be using the twenty-four hour clock.
Not much of note as far as yesterday’s day-to-day stuff is concerned to inform (bore) you of (with). I did go to FC Aluminium (managing to get caught in the heavy downpour of rain in the process) to get a new holder for the fold-down windscreen (windshield for non UK readers) of our golf cart fitted. One of the two holders for the upper section of the windscreen (windshield) had either fallen off (unlikely in my opinion) or had been ‘helped’ off.
They didn’t sell them in ‘singles’ so I had to buy a pair and then had it and the remaining one riveted to the roof/body frame. While they were at it I also got them to put a rivet in to the plate that holds the lower section of the windscreen (windshield) to the frame. They are not going to ‘fall off’ now!
When I got home (well to the condo that Rose and I have been renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) it was time for lunch and then after that I helped (there may be a contrary view to this) Rose prepare our dinner of salmon fish cakes.
Gay Marriage and Other Wins for LGBT People Here Are Making Life Worse for Gays and Lesbians in Developing Countries
The last six months have seen a run of victories for LGBT people in Europe and America. This week, the British government voted to approve same-sex marriage, only just pipped to the post by the French, who celebrated their first same-sex weddings in May. The hated Defence of Marriage Act was struck down in the US by the Supreme Court last month and California's Prop 8, a similar piece of anti-gay legislation, has been dealt a deathblow.
But the successes achieved in Europe and America are adding to the challenges facing LGBT people in the global South. The achievement of equal marriage, parenting and adoption rights and full legal protection can actually impede the struggles in other parts of the world where the battles for LGBT people are about the most fundamental of human rights. 76 countries continue to criminalise 'homosexual conduct', punishable with prison sentences and hard labour. In five countries the death penalty still applies
Because they are losing ground in the West, our opponents are increasingly moving their resources (and their rhetoric and their hate) to more fertile grounds in developing countries. American Evangelical Churches are abandoning the fight against equality at home, in favour of supporting homophobic laws abroad. Why fight a losing battle against social liberalism in America or Europe, where you are increasingly ignored and ridiculed, when in Uganda, Belize or Nigeria you are welcomed with open arms. In this perverse way the successes of the LGBT movement in the North, and in particular in the United States, have acted to worsen conditions in the South.
Downers Grove resident treats patients in Belize
On his recent trip to volunteer in Belize, Mark Sleeper visited one hut across a swing bridge and surrounded by a trench to keep the endless rain at bay.
Inside was a 15-year-old girl who had never left the hut because of cerebral palsy.
“The only way I can express it is tragic,” said Sleeper, a Downers Grove resident and physical therapist. “The family either couldn’t get her out of the hut [because of the bridge], or they were embarrassed. The father believed that she was possessed by an evil spirit. He was waiting until the evil spirit left her and she could walk again.”
O.C. Boy Attacked by Ocelot on Vacation in Belize
A young boy was recovering at a local hospital on Friday after he was attacked by an Ocelot while on vacation in Central America.
Ronald Altender, 10, was on vacation with his family in Belize when they stopped to visit a zoo.
Ronald reached out to pet the wild cat behind a fence, and that’s when his mother said she heard screaming.
“I just lightly touched the fur that was over the fence and it bit my thumb and pulled on it,” Ronald said.
“I heard, ‘Mommy! Mommy! Help me!’” Holly Altender said.
“The cat just pulled the arm through the fence and got ahold of his finger, and it would not release,” she said.
Ronald was rushed to a hospital, and is now receiving additional treatment at Children’s Hospital Orange County.
Despite the incident, he said he is not afraid of cats, and he even wants to raise money to make the zoo safer for other kids.
Anyone who wants to donate to the animal sanctuary can visit: www.belizezoo.org.
The '4 Cs' Of Choosing Your Overseas Retirement Destination
If you've been thinking about retiring overseas, but haven't quite decided where you want to live, you're in luck. It's a big world and you have many wonderful options, from laidback beaches to pristine mountain environments and from bustling culture-rich cities to small, peaceful villages.
Of course, there are pros and cons to all these... so let's see if we can help you narrow down your choices.
We use a formula we call the "4 Cs" when we're analyzing a destination. They are: Comfort, Convenience, Cost and Culture. We want to make sure the destination ticks all those boxes. Just briefly, here's what we consider:
1. Comfort: This includes climate, terrain and safety. For us, that means no snow, a flat walk able urban area, and of course, we want it to be safe. We'd never consider any location that we don't feel is generally safe -- although no society is completely crime-free. Just as at home, you'll find rough neighborhoods in every big city. And while you'll probably never find your way to any of them, it's important to be selective about where you choose to live.
2. Convenience: For us, this means being close to an international airport, a good hospital, shopping and the entertainment amenities important to us.
3. Cost: We want the place we live to be affordable. Just makes sense.
4. Culture: You'll be moving to a foreign community so make sure you enjoy the local culture. And be sure that there are plenty of opportunities to keep yourself engaged... whether it's water sports or outdoor activities or music and theater and so on. Be sure your interests will be satisfied.
And then we add a fifth "C" -- calling. This is more intuitive than anything, but does the place call to us, and is it a place we want to live?
Now that we've laid the groundwork, which countries (and places within) should top your list and why?
If you've rarely traveled before, you don't speak a foreign language, and you'd like to stick close to home, we'd suggest Belize or Mexico.
Feds to Spend $500K for Job Creation – in Belize
The State Department through the U.S. Mission to Belize is planning to spend $500,000 to create jobs for youth in Belize.
“Marginalized youth are empowered when given a voice and opportunities. Equipping marginalized youth and their communities with economic opportunities and/or business training can help them reach their true potential as entrepreneurs and improve citizen security,” the grant announcement said.
The grant proposal seeks to “confront the root causes of violence and crime” in Belize “in a creative and effective way” and “to create positive cultural and social conditions, which are the foundations of a peaceful and orderly society.”
“Root causes in Belize include, but are not limited to, the lack of economic development, the lack of skills and/or tradecraft, the lack of conflict resolution skills, and/or the lack of opportunity for youth,” the grant said.
The Forbidden Island
Ever heard of North Sentinel Island? Probably not …even thought's one of the most unusual places on Earth. What makes it so odd? The people -they've been there a long time, completely cut off from the rest of the world.
Late on the night of August 2, 1981, a Hong Kong freighter navigating the choppy waters of the Bay of Bengal ran aground on a submerged coral reef. The ship, called the Primrose, was hopelessly stuck. But there was no danger of it sinking, so after radioing for assistance, the captain and crew settled in for a few days' wait until help arrived.
The following morning, as it became light, the sailors saw an island a few hundred yards beyond the reef. It was uninhabited, as far as anyone could tell: There were no buildings, roads, or other signs of civilization there -just a pristine, sandy beach and behind it, dense jungle. The beach must have seemed like an ideal spot to wait for a rescue, but the captain ordered the crew to remain aboard the Primrose. It was monsoon season, and he may have concerned about lowering the men into the rough sea in tiny lifeboats. Or perhaps he'd figured out just which tiny island lay beyond the reef: It was North Sentinel -the deadliest of the 200 islands in the Andaman Island chain.
8 Tips You Should Know Before Buying Your Next Digital Camera
Regardless of what you have been told, there is no such thing as a “do-it-all” camera. If there was a “do-it-all” camera, competition in the industry would suffer, seedy patents would be made, one company would monopolize everything, prices would skyrocket, their profits would fail, and eventually, we would no longer have cameras at all. At least that’s how I see it. It would suck.
With that said, this is precisely why different cameras exist, so from now on, I would recommend thinking of cameras as different tools. While all screwdrivers are tools, not all tools are screwdrivers. Make sense?
We at MakeUseOf know that purchasing a camera is a big deal, so we want to help. Below are just a few things to take into consideration before dropping loads of cash on something you will be using for quite a while.