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BREAKING NEWS: Standing House committee meets Tuesday for “Gender Neutral Rape Bill” public hearings
Yesterday PlusNews reported on the online article from Gay Star News titled “Belize prepares for gay sex law to be axed.” , the article says, “While much more work is needed, Orozco told Gay Star News he was delighted with progress, saying: ‘It seems the stars are aligning for us.’ … The...
Caleb Orosco says “stars are aligning” with Barrow’s Gender Neutral Rape Bill
Are the stars lining up for UNIBAM and Caleb Orosco? Well, that is what Gay Star News has reported as coming from the mouth of Mr Orosco. On the online article titled “Belize prepares for gay sex law to be axed.” , the article says, “While much more work...
Guatemala protests statements made by Belize’s Foreign Minister
Belize and Guatemala; the two countries have been unable to settle border disputes and Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory and when the simultaneous referendum which was scheduled for this month was scrapped by Guatemala, it undoubtedly pushed a resolution further away. Now there are reports that the government of...
BWS hit by attempted attack and bomb threat
There was concern at the Belize City head office of Belize Water Services Thursday afternoon when the building emptied as a result of a bomb threat called in around 12 noon. Earlier in the morning there was damage to two vehicles in the Central American Boulevard...
Fire destroys house in Lake Independence
There was a fire in the City this afternoon that destroyed a single wooden structure in the Lake Independence area. Fire Department officials responded to the scene in the “Ring Road” sometime after noon but were unable to save anything in the structure. Information to us is that there...
Plus TV investigates land disputes in Cotton Tree Village
Last week a man by the name of Rudolph Tucker, locally known as “Rasta”, reported to the media that he wants justice for the demolishing of his two houses and the removal of his title to a piece of land in the Cotton Tree Village, Cayo...
VIP says they will support Recall of Elvin Penner
Much has been said about the recent passport scandal involving former Minister Elvin Penner. The Prime Minister had acted quickly after receiving information of Mr Penner’s involvement from INTERPOL, and fired Elvin Penner as Junior Minister. But calls for a criminal investigation have intensified from various sectors of society....
Amendment to the Criminal Code tabled at Senate meeting
The Amendment to the Criminal Code, Chapter 101, which was tabled at Wednesday’s Senate meeting, seeks to “Make provision for the extension of the offences of extortion and corruption to the private sector; to create the offenses of piracy, insider trading, hostage taking and illegal restraint, fraud and illicit...
BTL warns customers about scam
Belize Telemedia Limited is putting out a warning to prepaid customers that it has been targeted by scam artists. With more here is general manager for public relations and customer services, Dionne Miranda. Dr Dionne Miranda - BTL Public Relations “We are not exactly sure. We are investigating and...
Residents in Salvapan, Belmopan come together to repair street
Residents of Belmopan have longed complained about the condition of the city’s streets. But last week, a group in the Salvapan area, decided to get up and do something about it. The video you are viewing was provided to us by a resident in the...
Duo found not guilty of attempted murder
Jermaine Belgrave and Jeffery Flowers were accused of attempted murder due to an incident which took place in March of 2012. According to PC Harold Grinage and PC Alexis Banner, on that date, the two officers were in mobile patrol. According to PC Grinage’s testimony,...
Candle-light Vigil in memory of Suzenne Martinez
One year has passed since the senseless killing of 20 year old Suzenne Martinez. Ms Martinez was murdered, as she made her way home from school. Her body was discovered not too far from her home in San Ignacio, a few hours later. Suzenne’s favorite...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Conch season now open!
Conch season officially opened October 1, 2013.
These large mollusks are a staple delicacy is many a coastal Belizean kitchen.
And the shells are gorgeous. By far the most well known conch delicacy is the Belizean conch (pronounced conk) ceviche, or a lime-marinated salad which features the conch as the main ingredient.
But ceviche is not the only way the conch is prepared. Some people make fritters out of it.
BELIZE’S MAIN ECONOMIC SECTORS CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE
Agriculture, petroleum and power generation—three of the major economic sectors in Belize—continued to struggle in the second quarter of 2013, after underperforming during the first three months of 2013. However, weak performance in those sectors was offset by gains in fishing, construction and Government services, according to a report for the second quarter of the year.
“Oil production continued its downward spiral, falling by 26 percent and reaching its lowest level for any calendar quarter in the past three years,” said the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), in a release issued today.
As for electricity generation, that fell by a similar margin due to insufficient rainfall at the two hydroelectric plants, the report added.
The report indicates that, “After a mere 0.1 percent increase in the first quarter of this year, the economy of Belize edged up 1 percent in the second quarter, putting growth for the first half of the year at 0.5 percent.”
SIB said that the 3 most influential contributors to the slight economic upturn in the second quarter were fishing, construction and Government services.
OPPOSITION CALLS FOR SENATE INQUIRY INTO PASSPORT SCANDAL
Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman this afternoon issued a call on the Senate to launch an independent investigation into the recently disclosed passport scandal for which former Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry Elvin Penner, the United Democratic Party area representative for Cayo Northeast, was forced to resign two weeks ago, after a revelation that Kim Won-Hong – a South Korean who had been jailed in Taiwan, had been fraudulently given Belizean nationality and a Belize passport.
“I think all of us as citizens need to know what happened, how it happened, who caused it to happen, who is responsible and most importantly of all, we need the assurance that it will never occur again,” Senator Shoman said.
She invited the ruling United Democratic Party administration to table a motion at the next sitting of the Senate “to convoke the Senate to exercise its powers” and if not, the Opposition is prepared to bring that motion at the next Senate meeting.
“We passed a raft of legislation today, Mr. President, in order to satisfy the entire world, that we do not condone nor do we support illegal activity in Belize – nothing less than the integrity of our nationality certificate and our passport is at stake. I join the call that is coming from the media, that is coming from citizens, that is coming from civil society, that is coming from the Opposition for there to be a full and proper accounting of what occurred, not only in relation to this matter, but what are the weaknesses in the system and what assurances we can have that such an incident will never occur again in order for us to have to put the Prime Minister of this country in a position where the resignation of the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration had to occur – that is utterly, utterly shameful,” Shoman said.
WANTED: PENNER’S HEAD!
PM Barrow blames Immigration employees for Penner scandal; PUP gives him until Monday to resign.
Won Hong Kim’s files, fingerprints disappear from Passport office
Evan “Mose” Hyde, of Krem Radio’s WUB morning show wants Penner to be investigated; the Opposition PUP badly want his neck; the media is hot on his smoking trail; and many citizens want to see him hauled before a court.
Yes, former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, with emphasis on Border Protection and Immigration, Hon. Elvin Penner, whose seat is in the Cayo North East constituency, and who had responsibility for the Department of Immigration, is a wanted man, despite being desperately defended by Prime Minister Dean Barrow.
Tonight, credible reports were that, probably because of the enormous stress, Penner has been hospitalized in a Belize City hospital, reportedly the Medical Associates.
MOSE “LIGHTS FIRE” UNDER POLICE TO CRIMINALLY INVESTIGATE PENNER
A formal complaint has been lodged by Krem Radio’s WUB talk show host, Evan “Mose” Hyde, in order to launch a criminal investigation into the ongoing passport scandal involving Hon. Elvin Penner, the Cayo Northeast area representative who now says that he was duped by an identity thief.
The complaint was made after several unsuccessful attempts by Hyde to reach the Police Department via phone on his morning talk show, “The Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes (WUB).” His calls were cut off at least twice, while on air, before he finally got through to the office of the Police Commissioner, but still he had no luck.
After numerous calls to various police formations, Hyde was directed to Sergeant Solomon Westby at CIB Precinct 2. After his show, Hyde then went to the Racoon Street police station to make a statement, based on what he termed as “significant irregularities” at the Immigration Department.
FISHERIES CONFISCATE 1,200 POUNDS OF CONCH VALUED AT $167,000
The Fisheries Unit, while conducting maritime operations on Northern Two Caye in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll area on Saturday, September 28, in an effort to enforce the closed season for conch, which ended on Monday, September 30, when the season opened, found and confiscated an icebox containing 5400 units of conch, which together weighed about 1,200 pounds.
The conch, which were fillet and had already been processed, were stashed in sixteen sacks in an ice box nestled in mangroves. No persons were found in the area, so the products were taken into custody by the Department and labeled as found property.
Hampton Gamboa, Fisheries Supervisor of the Conservation Compliance Unit, told Amandala that on Saturday, September 28, they were conducting searches at Northern Two Caye on Lighthouse Reef Atoll when they found the ice box containing the products. He went on to say that a magistrate will order a disposal of the confiscated products.
The Fisheries Supervisor said that that if the men who harvested the illegal conch had been captured and taken to court, they could have expected to pay a fine of $167,000, since the court assigned a value of $30 to each unit of conch, of which there were 5,400.
DIGICELL USERS BEWARE!!!
An international scheme is apparently being perpetrated by sophisticated phone hackers, in which an international call is placed to Digicell phone numbers in the region. However, when subscribers return missed calls, all their credit is automatically stolen.
Amandala understands that a great many cell phone users have been affected; and these incidents of telecommunications rip-off have received a vast amount of attention on various social media outlets, especially Facebook.
Today, Belize Telemedia Limited, the agent for Digicell in Belize, warned its customers via text message about the fraud. The message said “BTL advises that fraudulent international numbers are calling our Digicell numbers. You are advised not to return any calls to avoid being defrauded.”
Dr. Dionne Miranda, Public Relations Officer for Belize Telemedia Limited, told KREM News today that they conducted investigations to find out how the ploy worked, and when they checked into their system, they realized that the theft of credits was made possible, not when customers receive calls, but when they attempt to return such calls.
THE MIGHTY AVENGERS MAKES HISTORY – FIRST CAYO FOOTBALL AWARDS AND MIGHTY AVENGERS HALL OF FAME
Football was being played yesterday with the opening weekend of the Premier League of Belize tournament, but football history was made earlier in the afternoon at Henry’s Eden Resort a couple miles outside of San Ignacio on the Benque Viejo Road, where some of the district’s greatest football stars of yesteryear gathered along with relatives, friends, football fans and invited guests for the first ever Mighty Avengers Hall of Fame and Cayo Football Awards ceremony.
Just a couple weeks ago on September 15 in Belize City, the first “Mugger Day” was held in honor of Belize City football legend Louis “Bembe, the Mugger” Garbutt, who passed away on June 28 in New York. His close friend and legendary teammate on Independence, Serapio “Big Mole” Alvarez, also passed away less than two months after the Mugger; so the day turned out to be a memorial for him also, as well as a forum for fans to reminisce on other great football stars of the past, some deceased and some still with us. Present at the gathering was Mole’s ailing younger brother, Ramon “Lee Mole” Alvarez, himself a gigantic star of the 1970’s. And shortly afterwards we learned that another legend, Angus “Mr. Ball” Vernon is reported to have suffered a stroke. (By the way, does anyone know if Angus has yet received the Meritorious Service award?) The times seem to be directing the football family to look back and give recognition and show appreciation to the past stars who have lighted up our sporting life by their performances on the football field, as well as by their character off the pitch.
THE COUNTDOWN IS ON!
The groundwork has been done, and the final touches are being put on preparations for next weekend’s boxing open-door event out west in San Ignacio.
There are no Premier League football games scheduled for next weekend in San Ignacio, so the main attraction will likely be the boxing showcase where San Ignacio/Santa Elena residents are welcome to witness the start of a new era in boxing. Boxers seeing action will be from Lions Den Gyms in San Ignacio and Ladyville, as well as from San Pedro and Guatemala.
Lions Den Gym managers Clinton Tucker (Ladyville Lions Den) and Frank Martinez (San Ignacio Lions Den), who together organized the event, are determined to see boxing return to prominence on the Belize sporting scene; and they say they are committed to youth development, and not just the commercial side of boxing at this time. That will come in the future; but right now, it’s all about getting the youngsters involved, and getting the community involved.
COROZAL BAY REGATTA SET FOR OCTOBER 12
The general public and all sailboat enthusiasts are invited to attend the annual Corozal Bay Regatta on the weekend of October 12-13. The series of sailboat races will take place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, featuring up to 5 races with the youth sailboat Optimist. This regatta is being hosted by the Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC), under the auspices of the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA).
There are many unsung heroes in Belize that bring Optimist sailing to reality for our youth sailors. This month’s National Ranking Regatta recognizes outgoing CBSC Commodore, Libby Fitzgerald (retired), who led “the fleet” and kept the Youth Sailing Program in focus for CBSC, developing affiliations with the BzSA, not to mention her many hours “in the water” with the sailors. We welcome CBSC’s new Commodore, Gerard Cordts, who has been the “main stay” of the youth sailing program at CBSC from the start.
PASSPORT POLITICS Editorial
We can’t say for certain who pulled the Prime Minister’s coat on the case of the illegal Belize passport for South Korean national Won Hong Kim. What we know for sure is that while sitting in a Taiwanese prison, awaiting extradition to face embezzlement charges for hundreds of millions of dollars, Kim was granted Belizean citizenship and later purportedly applied for and got a Belizean passport.
We must acknowledge that Prime Minister Barrow acted posthaste in ousting Elvin Penner from his post as Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration. That was within his right and responsibility as the head of Cabinet, and it is a responsibility he arguably could have abdicated.
No doubt the Prime Minister must have been exasperated: this is a man whom he appointed to the post of second-in-command at the scandal-ridden Ministry of Immigration even after he was caught on camera days before the last general elections personally organizing scores of immigrants in the Belmopan parking lot of the Immigration offices.
Despite public concern at the time, he appointed this same man to this same ministry, a government ministry where even monks would be tempted.
GUATS CRY FOUL TO OAS
Guatemalan’s Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that its Foreign Minister, Fernando Carrera, had sent a protest note to the Secretariat of the Organization of American States, copied to Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, as well as the Group of Countries Friends of Belize and Guatemala, taking issue with the statements he made in his official address on Monday, September 30, 2013, at the 68th UN General Assembly held in New York City.
In the statement, Guatemala said that it “rejects any insinuation” that it plans to subvert Belize by violence or military action.
Carrera told OAS Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza in the note that whereas Elrington indicated in his speech that Guatemala unilaterally backed out of the plans to hold simultaneous referenda on whether the territorial differendum should be settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—that vote having been set for this Sunday, October 6, but aborted after Guatemala pulled out of the agreement—it was Belize, Carrera said, which unilaterally changed “the rules of the game,” when it amended its referendum laws to mandate that 60% of the voter population must participate in the referendum to make it valid. Carrera said that the change introduced unequal conditions which Guatemala found to be unacceptable.
THE 1968 BLACK POWER SALUTE
To quote the lyrics from the song, “Ain’t it funny how time slips away”: “Well hello there, my, it’s been a long, long time. How am I doing? Oh well, I guess I am doing fine. It’s been so long now; it seems it was only yesterday, and ain’t it funny how time slips right away”.
I can remember a small Belize team getting prepared for the October 12th – October 27th Olympic Games in Mexico City. It seems to me it was just yesterday Colin Thurton, Sonny Meighan and others were at the M.C.C. Grounds training and were in high spirits getting ready to participate in the Games.
I can remember in the evenings, especially on the weekends, that there was a very high level of public participation in the training of our athletes. Fans came out in droves in special support for our athletes and so it was that they left the shores of British Honduras for Mexico City.
There was controversy over sending a Belizean delegation to the Games. Arguments were that our athletes were not ready, were not prepared, were not suited and were not relevant for these Games. It was said that they were “out of their league” and that it would be a waste of time and money to send athletes to these games. The naysayers argued, let’s get a bunch of youth and train them over the next four years, prepare them well and then participate.
IDEAS AND OPINIONS – HIGH STANDARDS
— by Janus
Unless we set high standards, our country will never become the great nation it was destined to be. High standards of conduct and performance should be established and maintained in every sphere of our private and public lives but, especially, in our schools, in our public services, in our government and, above all, in our House of Representatives, the highest institution in the land.
If we had high standards, the officer in charge of a Coast guard vessel that was to escort the Dominican Prime Minister on a trip to San Pedro, Ambergis Caye, would have been at least fifteen minutes early, instead of hours late. What is more, the Commandant of the Coast Guard would be in touch with him to make sure he could complete his mission and, if he could not, there would be a vessel on standby to take his place. Why all this careful preparation? Because the President of Dominica was the personal guest of the Prime Minister of Belize and, our country’s reputation as a good host was at state.
If we had high standards a Maya Monument would not be bulldozed for material to build roads. How remiss is our public education. Why is it that every schoolboy and schoolgirl does not know what a great treasure is our Mayan heritage and that these monuments are priceless?
DIRTY SCANDAL … NO ACTION
— by Audrey Matura-Shepherd
It is possible that a person’s mind and/or a nation’s psyche could be so saturated with the negatives and scandals that they just become desensitized, sinister, or fatigued that they just cannot “deal with it” anymore. But for a person or nation to reach that point it has to be that internally, their reasoning mechanism just cannot or does not want to process one more thing, because the psyche is now detecting it as the norm, not as a mind-boggling, shocking, jerk-you-out- of- your-senses event.
For some reason it seems that this is the very thing that has happened in Belize, especially because we have still not wheeled out of the reality of all that the UDP administration has unearthed and publicized and pontificated about the wheelings and dealings of the past administration managed by representatives of the PUP. When news of the secret deals were made public, it was madness… many were shocked while some got confirmation of what they suspected. That was a moment!
MOTORCYCLE COLLISION CLAIMS LIFE
Javier Moody, 19, a resident of Gardenia, died this morning about 9:00 o’clock at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, of massive injuries he suffered after he was involved in a road traffic accident, along with his girlfriend, while travelling on his motorcycle between Miles 16 and 17 on the Philip Goldson Highway (formerly known as the Northern Highway), in the Sandhill area.
The injuries he sustained had included damage to his kidneys and liver.
CYCLIST DEAD; DRIVER SAYS HE WAS BLINDED BY HIGH BEAM
A Salvadoran clothes vendor, known only as “Sergio,” who resided in San Ignacio, died after a vehicle hit him, killing him almost immediately. Sergio was riding his bicycle on the side of the road when the vehicle hit, and then rolled over, him. He was pinned under the vehicle, which dragged him on the road for a short distance before it came to a stop.
The incident occurred about 7:30 Monday evening near Chuc’s Gas Station in San Ignacio on the Benque Viejo Road.
Rene Guidel, 33, a businessman of Mosquitoville area in San Ignacio, was arrested and charged with causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, and manslaughter by negligence. He was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, Thursday, to answer to the charges.
TEENAGER, 19, CLINGS TO LIFE AT KHMH
A teenager is clinging onto life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH)’s Intensive Care Unit after he crashed while travelling on a motorcycle in Sandhill. Javier Moody, 19, a resident of Gardenia, suffered massive internal injuries, including damage to his liver and kidneys. His condition has been declared as critical, but stable.
The incident occurred about 2:00 Sunday afternoon on a curve in Sandhill, between Miles 16 and 17 on the Philip Goldson Highway.
Reports are that Moody and his girlfriend, Valarie Garel, were travelling on a motorcycle to Sandhill from Ladyville when he lost control of the motorcycle, ran off the road and slammed into a tree.
Moody and Garel were thrown off the motorcycle. As a result, Garel suffered a broken jaw and a broken leg, while Moody’s hands were broken and he suffered internal injuries, which led to the collapse of his kidney and liver. Garel is recovering in a stable condition in the KHMH, but Moody is fighting for his life at the ICU.
RESIGN OR BE RECALLED Letters
I write on behalf of the people of Belize, and in particular, the people of the Cayo North East Division to DEMAND your immediate resignation as the Member for Cayo North East Division in the House of Representatives of Belize.
I am authorized by the National Executive of the People’s United Party to advise you that if you fail to resign as the member for Cayo North East by 5 p.m., Monday, October 7th, 2013, the People’s United Party along with the electors of that division, will initiate your RECALL as the Divisional Representative for the Cayo North East Electoral Division in accordance with the RECALL OF ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES ACT, No. 20 of 2010.
SAFER ROADS SAVE LIVES Letters
— by George and Candy Gonzalez
On September 30, Monday night, another death occurred on the George Price Highway (Western Highway) on the road coming into San Ignacio, from Benque. Before this most recent death, there have been many accidents, at least two deaths and some serious injuries.
Everything, from buses, trucks, motorcycles and cars, seem to think it is a racing area. It seems as if some are going as fast as 60 miles an hour.
Children going to Bishop Martin from Trench Town and Kon Tiki usually cross the road at Trench Town. That is where a speed bump needs to be to slow the traffic. Another problem is that the kids going to other schools walk down the road. There is no place on the right side of the road, going toward town, for them to walk because the grass ends at the street. Therefore, they walk in the street unless they cross over to the other side. This situation is an accident waiting to happen.
WHY DID PM BARROW’S NEWSPAPER, THE GUARDIAN, IGNORE THE “TERRIBLE INSULT” TO PM SKERRIT?
— by Sally Caretella
When I heard that the Dominican Prime Minister would be visiting Belize, I was delighted. Perhaps closer ties would develop between the two countries and I would at last be able to take my husband to meet my extended family in Dominica. Had history played out differently, Roosevelt Skerrit would have been my prime minister.
Whatever happened? I have watched the news channels, I have read the newspapers, I have listened to the chat shows and I am still at a loss.
I could not believe that such a terrible insult could happen and be ignored by certain quarters. On Monday, I found The Guardian. Absolutely no comment, as far as I could see. We were told that Prime Minister Skerrit is Prime Minister Barrow’s personal friend. Why would his Party newspaper ignore what happened?
BASKETBALL IN PULU’S TIME WAS THE BEST Letters
— by Hakeem Bush
I’ve read with much pleasure the From The Publisher column concerning basketball in the 70’s and 80’s at Birds Isle, and the early days at the Civic Centre.
I remember growing up as a little boy in the 70’s and 80’s, going to these games with my mom. She was a hard Belikin Wheels fan; those games used to be exciting. I got to see the last of the games being played at St Ignatius. I clearly can remember the Old Parr team and Baygon, with Butty Neal and the late, great Wilton Cumberbatch in action.
Being a student at St. Ignatius, we used to be the envy of other primary schools, because most of the basketball games were being played on our turf. The best part of basketball was when Clinton Pulu Lightburn came on the scene with Home Builders at Birds Isle. I remember those heated games with his old team Belikin Wheels, Carnation and Old Parr or Grand Marnier. Pulu took basketball to another level and I think this guy, along with Norman Nunez in football, needs to get the highest award of distinction in sports.
In fact, Pulu was so well-respected and liked that when you would go to play on a junior team, everybody wanted to wear No. 11, because that was Pulu’s number. I mentioned to someone the other day that if you left Belize in the early 80’s and went to live in the States and came back today, you would be shocked that basketball is still being played where you left it over 30 years ago.
CARNAL KNOWLEDGE AGAIN – THE 15-YEAR-OLD IS PREGNANT
Despite the repeated warning issued by police to men not to have sexual relations with female minors, incidents of carnal knowledge continue to be reported. A 25-year-old man of Punta Gorda now faces jail time of 8 to 12 years if found guilty of the charge of carnal knowledge after it was reported that he seduced and impregnated a 15-year-old girl.
On Friday the girl and her mother, both of Conejo Village in Toledo, went to the police in Punta Gorda and reported that on two occasions, on July 19 and August 19, a man, whom she knew, engaged her in sexual intercourse. The police took the girl to the Punta Gorda Hospital, where the doctor who examined her found that she had been carnally known and that she was pregnant.
2 MEN CHOPPED IN THE WEST AND SOUTH
Two men, Feliciano Pedro Bol and Julian Esquivel are suffering from machete wounds after they were chopped in two separate incidents, in Toledo and Cayo.
Feliciano Pedro Bol, 35, a farmer of San Antonio, Toledo, was chopped on his hand; his thumb was damaged and his right middle finger was amputated as a result.
Bol told police that he was walking home from his farm in San Antonio about 9:00 Friday morning, when he met a man whom he knew, who is also a resident of the same village. He said that the man was armed with a machete, and as he approached, the man took out his machete and swung it at him.
Bol put up his hand to protect his head, causing his hand to be chopped. The man then ran away. Bol then went to the San Antonio Polyclinic, and afterwards he was taken to the Punta Gorda Police Station, where he made a formal report.
POLICE SEEK BANDIT WHO ROBBED PG RESTAURANT
Police in Punta Gorda are conducting an investigation to find the man who held up, robbed and fired shots in a restaurant in the town at about 11:00 Friday night. The gunman also robbed three customers in the restaurant, and got away with $230 and three bottles of rum from the restaurant.
Chinese businessman Kun Hang Zhu of George Price Street, Punta Gorda Town, reported that he was standing behind the counter of Sunshine Restaurant when an armed, masked man entered the establishment, carrying a pistol in his hand, which he pointed at him, and demanded money. The businessman said that he became fearful for his life and handed over $230 cash.
The bandit, without provocation, fired three shots in the restaurant; there were three customers in the restaurant at the time, Zhu said. The gunman then pointed his gun at them and demanded money and their belongings.
PC BURTON CALIZ, 30, FOUND GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER BY NEGLIGENCE AFTER JURY WAS SENT BACK TO DELIBERATE
Caliz was initially charged with manslaughter —then the charge was upgraded to murder, then reduced back to manslaughter — and was convicted in 2007
PC Burton Caliz, 30, was found guilty of manslaughter by negligence this evening after the 9-member jury was sent back to deliberate on their decision for a second time.
After Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez concluded his summation of the trial, the jury went into deliberation at 12:33 this afternoon to decide whether PC Caliz was guilty of manslaughter or manslaughter by negligence for killing Leroy Pilgrim back in February of 2004.
During the trial, which commenced on September 18 and was presented by attorney Leeroy Banner, witnesses testified about what they observed on February 12, 2004.
One of those witnesses, Sanjay Pilgrim, the brother of Leroy Pilgrim, told the court that he was on a boat in the San Juan area, and his brother Leroy had just arrived there. PC Caliz and Cpl. Vidal Cajun then arrived on separate golf carts and approached Leroy to search him, Sanjay said.
CARL PARHAM, 33, FOUND GUILTY OF BURGLARY AND SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS
Additional sentence has no effect, since Parham’s 5-year-sentence will run concurrently with a 7-year sentence he is already serving
This morning, after Magistrate Dale Cayetano heard testimonies from PC Kelvan Benguche and PC Lincoln Alvarez, he found Carl Parham, 33, a resident of Mahogany Heights, guilty of burglary and sentenced him to five years in prison.
During the trial, Marie Neal, also a resident of Mahogany Heights, testified that on March 18, 2012, she was at her home with her children asleep when she was awakened by a noise. When she opened her eyes, she saw Parham inside her room.
3 MEN CAUGHT STEALING 5 SACKS OF BEANS
Three of four men were captured stealing 500 pounds of red kidney beans in Spanish Lookout, from the home of a Spanish Lookout farmer, Norman Dueck, 37, by a neighborhood watch group in the area, who handed the thieves over to the police. The incident occurred about 11:30 Monday morning. The five sacks with which the men were found, contained 100 pounds of beans each, with each sack of beans having a market value of $250. Together the sacks totaled $1,250 in value.
After being arrested by police, the three men — identified as Benjamin Hurtado, 49; Hurtado’s 16-year-old son, and Jaime Morales, 22, all of Los Tambos Village, Cayo District – were charged with theft. They were taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court yesterday to answer to the charge.
The Hurtados pleaded not guilty to the charge, and were offered bail of $1,000 each, while Jaime Morales pleaded guilty and was given a 6-month jail sentence. Benjamin Hurtado was able to meet bail, and was released from custody and ordered to return to court on November 28, but his teenage son was unable to meet his bail, and remains in custody.
MARITZA HERNANDEZ, 21, CHARGED WITH THEFT, HANDLING STOLEN GOODS AND DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
Hernandez was remanded into custody after it was learned that she is a Honduran with a temporary visa valid only until October 19, 2013.
Maritza Hernandez, 21, a Honduran domestic of #34 East Canal, is spending her first night on remand at the Belize Central Prison tonight after she was denied bail by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.
Hernandez was arraigned on charges of theft, handling stolen goods and damage to property after her roommate, Suyapa Barahona, made a report to the police.
According to that report, when Hernandez arrived at home at 4:00 Saturday evening, she found that Barahona had packed her belongings and had them waiting for her at the door. Hernandez, who according to Barahona appeared to be under the influence of something, became enraged, went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and went into the room, where she damaged a Sony brand flat screen television valued at $2,000.
DOUBLE MURDER ROCKS ROARING CREEK, CAMALOTE VILLAGERS
Belmopan police have their hands full this week after a total of four people were murdered in two different incidents over a 72-hour span in a set of events which is believed to have started on Saturday, when the first double murder reportedly occurred.
While taking an early afternoon swim in the Roaring Creek River at around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, a small group of young boys saw an object floating in the nearby waters and decided to take a closer look. To their dismay, they discovered the lifeless body of a 25-year-old Philippines national, later identified as Alry Rose Sardido. A swelling could be seen on the center of Sardido’s forehead, as well as abrasions to the upper right side of her head and temple.
Residents of the Roaring Creek area had reportedly seen the woman walking towards the creek, accompanied by a light-skinned male person, about an hour prior to the grisly finding. The two apparently went to the popular swimming area, known as The Falls, to escape the day’s humidity and enjoy the cool ambiance of the river. A search team made up of police and Coast Guard officials was subsequently formed to comb the area in an effort to find Sardido’s male companion ;after a white Toyota Tacoma with Belmopan license plates was also found at the scene.
JEFFREY FLOWERS AND JERMAINE BELGRAVE, BOTH 31, ACQUITTED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CHARGES
Flowers and Belgrave were accused of trying to kill cops Harold Grinage and Alexis Banner.
This evening, a 9-member jury returned not guilty verdicts for Jeffrey Flowers and Jermaine Belgrave, both 31, who were accused of shooting at police officers Harold Grinage and Alexis Banner.
The trial started on September 26 in Justice Adolph Lucas’ court, where the men were each charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault on PC Harold Grinage and PC Alexis Banner – charges which were as a result of a shootout on March 26, 2010.
The first witness to take the stand was PC Grinage, who testified that he and PC Banner were on mobile patrol on Baghdad Street when he saw Belgrave and Flowers, both of whom he had known for several years.
MURDER MADNESS GRIPS CAYO VILLAGES
Western Belize has certainly turned into a hotspot over the past few days due to a flurry of criminal activity, and now there appears to be another case of suspected homicide in the Arizona area of Teakettle in the Cayo District.
A 49-year old farmer and herbalist, Pedro Ruben Andrade Luna, set out from his home last Thursday, September 26, at around 1:00 p.m., to make his usual trip to gather “contribo”, roots and medicinal plants in a vast area, miles behind Arizona Village, known as Roaring River.
His family became concerned after he did not return home, and worse, he has not been seen or heard from since. They feared the worst, and were convinced that the father and husband had been executed by illegal immigrants who now inhabit the area.
According to Esmeralda Luna, his daughter, it was normal for him to go to the area and come back, and sometimes he would come back the next day, so they thought that he would have returned home on Friday, the following day.
14 Incredible Pictures From Around Belize
14 Amazing pictures of things that will make you want to jump on the next flight and come visit Belize:
ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal) Cave: Into Xibalba and back again
Hello again- this is Meg, with the second of my guest scoops. You may remember me (or not- I’m not proud!) from my previous scoop about Caracol.
This time, I’ll sum up our trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal- the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher. But first, a couple program notes:
1) No photos in this post are my own. A few years ago, someone dropped a camera on one of the skulls in the cave, and as such, cameras are no longer allowed. I’ve pilfered the following images from the internet, presumably taken by visitors before the rule changed. I’ll try to give credit where credit is due, and hope the original photographers don’t mind!
2) I am a scaredy-cat. Of all the things we did on our honeymoon which made me nervous (ziplining, climbing Caana at Caracol, diving, flying in a small plane, snorkeling at Shark-Ray Alley), this was the activity that gave me the most anxiety prior to the trip. In hindsight, I’m so glad we did it- and I was surprised by the things that bothered me vs. the things that really didn’t at all. With that in mind, I’ll mention a little of each, in case you’re a wimp like me. If you’re not a wimp, this trip shouldn’t bother you in the slightest!
With that said, I’ll get started. ATM is off the Western Highway near Belmopan, but it doesn’t feel all that near to the capital! We were in a group of six with our guide; the maximum group size is 8. We really appreciated the small group in the cave. We were never too far back to hear the guide’s instructions (in the trickier sections) or his explanations of what we were seeing.
Havana International Fair (FIHAV) 2013
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), within the framework of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) will be assisting CARIFORUM firms interested in exporting products to the Cuban market in participating in the premier trade fair in Cuba, the Havana International Fair (FIHAV) 2013.
The trade fair is being organized and promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment of the Republic of Cuba, the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, the Convention Palace and EXPOCUBA. FIHAV is a multi-sector commercial fair with the main industry sectors covered being consumer goods, machinery, equipment, information technology, raw materials and services.
Taiwan Film Festival
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) cordially invites you to a cocktail and screening of the Taiwan Film “Cape No.7″ for
CARIBBEAN BRANDS MAKES FINALS
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the Deutsche Geselleschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is pleased to announce that four of the 12 companies being supported to attend ANUGA on 5-9, October 2013, as part of the Caribbean Kitchen have been selected for the prestigious Taste13 awards.
ANUGA is the world’s largest and most important trade fair for the food and beverage industry with around 6,700 exhibitors from about 100 countries. This year there were over 1200 products that entered the competition and 53 made the final selection. To have 4 Caribbean brands selected is unprecedented and it is believed by the organizers that all eyes will be on Caribbean Kitchen’s pavilion next week to see how the products stack up against the international competition. “It is just amazing that the independent journalist jury decided to choose four products for the taste13 – selection, that are all part of the Caribbean Kitchen Pavilion at Anuga 2013. It proves that original well-conceived products do convince” stated Christine Hackman, Communications Manager for ANUGA.
The four companies that have been selected for the taste13 competition are; Baron Foods Ltd with their ‘Banana Ketchup’ (Saint Lucia); Beverages Caribbean Inc. with ‘Tiger Malt’ (Barbados); 10 Saints beer by 10 Saints Brewery Ltd (Barbados) and Fresh Fruits Flavours one of Marie Sharp’s Habanerno Sauces (Belize).
Canoeing Barton Creek Cave
If you’ve ever wanted to go back in time to see the way people once lived, get ready for the journey of a lifetime at Belize’s Barton Creek Cave! The scenic 60-minute drive to reach the cave is half the adventure: the trip allows you to experience two completely different cultures in one day.
Your first cultural experience starts as soon as you enter the Mennonite Community of Upper Barton Creek. A slow moving and ultra traditional group of people, the Mennonites still opt for horse-drawn buggies over motorized vehicles. This hardworking group of people are also credited with providing the local markets with much of its produce, grain and dairy.
It's a Whale! It's a Shark! Actually, It's the World's Largest Fish
The Whale Shark is the world's largest fish, and International Wildlife Adventures offers individual traveler trips to a small, remote resort on Glover's Reef in Belize to dive and snorkel with these gentle giants during the full moon in March through June.
It's a whale! It's a shark! It's a whale shark - and it's quite literally the biggest fish in the sea, reaching lengths of up to 40 feet and weights averaging 20 tons.
Despite the whale shark's size and relationship to the fearsome shark family, these huge creatures are filter feeders like baleen whales, eating mainly plankton and fish eggs. They migrate to the warm waters of Belize annually to feed on the eggs of spawning Culebra snappers. They generally ignore divers and snorkelers, making for an exciting-but-safe underwater encounter.
One of the best and most accessible places to dive with whale sharks is near Gladden Spit on the Belize Barrier Reef in Central America. This reef is the second-largest in the world, next to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Whale sharks arrive there with reasonable regularity around the time of the full moon in March through June, when the fish are spawning heavily.
Caribbean ambassadors meet with Washington DC mayor
On September 19, 2013, the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors in Washington, paid a courtesy visit on Vincent Gray, mayor of Washington, DC.
The caucus engaged in discussions with the mayor on a variety of topics including the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Caribbean Affairs, increasing trade between businesses in Washington and in the Caribbean, cultural collaboration, higher education and opportunities for technical support and integral development.
The Caucus was represented by Dr Neil Parsan (chair, Trinidad and Tobago), Hubert Charles (ambassador, Dominica), John Beale (ambassador, Barbados), Subhas Mungra (ambassador, Suriname), Nestor Mendez (ambassador, Belize), Deborah Mae Lovell (ambassador, Antigua and Barbuda), Niermala Badrising (ambassador, permanent representative of Suriname to the Organization of American States) as well as Marsha Coore-Loban (deputy chief of mission, Jamaica) and William Exantus (deputy chief of mission, Haiti).
The Plus Side of Pissing People Off
Doing anything remotely interesting will bring criticism. Attempting to do anything large-scale and interesting will bring armies of detractors and saboteurs. This is fine—if you are willing to take the heat.