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The San Pedro Sun
Guest Editorial: This Neverending Immigration Scandal
I wrote the note below a few days ago because I needed to express what I was feeling as a Belizean about the latest manifestation of corruption in the immigration department. This business of selling our identity for a metaphorical thirty pieces of silver must come to an end once and for all. It has gone on for far too long in multiple ways through multiple governments and has hurt the country immeasurably.
Yesterday morning, I listened as the Prime Minister disavowed former Minister Penner (whom he had previously fired after learning about Citizen Kim) and expressed his desire that Penner resign his position as a representative in the House, stating essentially that the UDP was done with Penner. It was a big step for the leader of a country in which political calculations almost always outweigh thoughts of what’s best for the nation in the minds of those who run her affairs. In that context, the PM is to be commended for walking away and risking further narrowing of an already narrow majority of House seats. But it isn’t enough. Penner hasn’t been punished nearly enough to either learn a lesson or to serve as a deterrent to others who would follow his example.
The Belize Police Department reports a decrease in major crime in 2013
The Belize Police Department has released the latest crime statistic, reporting a slight decrease in crime for 2013 as compared to 2012, and an increase in arrests for the year. In the months of January to September of 2012, a total of 2,070 crimes were reports as compared to 1,845 that have been reported from January to September 2013. The numbers show that major crimes have decreased by an estimated 11%, and has fallen is all districts except Stann Creek and Toledo. Those districts experienced a rise in major crime.
Erick Santizo Attends International Course for Physical Education Teachers
San Pedro High School’s Biology Teacher/Volleyball Coach, 22 year-old, Erick Santizo attended a four day International Course for Physical Education Teachers in Tortola, British Virgin Islands from Friday, October 4, 2013 to Wednesday, October 9, 2013.
The International Course for Physical Education Teachers was held under the auspices of The North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Confederation through the Regional Development Center in Dominican Republic. There were 21 teachers who finished the course, hailing from Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Belize, Curazao, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & Grenadines and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Saga Halloween Spooktacular
Saga Howl-o-Ween Spooktacular bring out the entire family and pets for a fun filled day at BC's Bar on Sunday, October 27, 2013.
There will be lots to eat and drink! Great Raffles and Live Music!
Pet Costume Competition at 2:30pm
Prizes for Scariest, Funniest, Cutest, Best Couple (Pet and Owner) and Most Original!
Don't Miss Out!
Pic of the Week: Monster Lobsters in Belize
They do exist! We have posted pictures of these giant lobsters on our Flashback posts and thought that they were a thing of the past due to overfishing. But Jody Leslie hit the jackpot when he went fishing last week and came back home with these two Monster Lobsters, as he called them. You don't need more than one to fill up your plate or belly!
Foreva Fancy Holds Second Annual Fashion Show
Foreva Fancy High Street Fashion Boutique in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, held its second annual exclusive fashion show on Saturday, October 19, 2013, at Kama Lounge where 18 local models showcased the latest in high street fashion for 2013.
Belize City television personality Indira Craig was host to the fashion show at the ultra posh Kama Lounge. Those in attendance were treated with a spectacular runway show that showcased the newly stocked clothes of the island boutique. The final segment of the show highlighted the theme of the rave after party which followed the runway presentations. It was an evening of high fashion, entertainment and beautiful models.
The Hot Ducunu With a Hot Jingle!
"Dorian’s Angels" are always on the lookout for the latest buzz in town! This week we bring to you the ever-popular “Hot Ducunu”! That’s right this delicious Belizean treat is hitting the streets, and the tables, of La Isla Bonita with a bang!
Most street vendors have a horn or bell announcing their way down the streets of town so that one can rush to buy their delicious treats, but this particular island character has quite an interesting jingle that gets stuck in your head.
Mark Anthony Fitzgibbon, most commonly known as “Soft and Tender”, sings his jingle down the street with much enthusiasm and delight. From the smallest child to the oldest adult, everyone knows the jingle “Hot Du Cu Nu – Hot Tamalitos”!
For those of you who don’t know what a Ducunu is, let me explain! This is a tamalito made of corn and is rich in flavor. Ingredients include fresh onion, coconut milk (or evaporated milk), butter or vegetable oil and salt. The corn is husked and the greener leaves are used to wrap the tamal. All the ingredients are blended together and placed on the green leaves and placed upright on a pot and but to boil. The dish is usually eaten as is or accompanied with delicious stew chicken.
5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Blogging about Belize
I started blogging on January 3rd 2010 as part of my New Year’s resolutions. I had decided that I wanted to improve my writing and was searching for a place to share my thoughts. For the first two years I wrote on a blogspot.com account and later graduated to host my own blog at Belizeadventure.ca.
Today I’ll share a few lessons I’ve learned since I started blogging with the hope that more people in the Belize tourism industry write about Belize and work together to generate a bigger buzz that will benefit everyone.
1. You don’t need to be an excellent writer to get started
Don’t let anyone tell you that your writing isn’t good enough for you to blog. However, I’m not saying that you will write as if you’re sending text messages with pals who can finish your sentences. I remember after a year of blogging i went back to my first posts and had a good laugh at all the mistakes I made; writing constantly improved my writing significantly.
Misc Belizean Sources
10th Annual Saga HS Halloween Party
Are you ready for a barking good time? Join Saga Humane Society this Sunday for the BEST party of the year. Sunday Oct. 27 11am-4pm at BC's on the beach. There will be games, raffles, silent auction, food and laughter.
EDUCATION IN BELIZE: STRESSING THE POSITIVE (FROM CHALLENGES TO SOLUTIONS)
In many of my articles I focus on suggesting urgent changes that should/could be made to Belize’s Education system. I also encourage Education policymakers and educators to stop living in the past, and start adapting teaching methods that are more in line with 21st Century ways of working, learning, and living. However, I realize that being human we tend to be very sensitive, and my repeated promptings, i.e. “we should or should not” and “let us or let us not”, may eventually end up annoying the very people who the promptings are meant to inspire and/or stir to action. Therefore, this week’s article focuses on highlighting positive actions that are/can be taken by many parents and educators in Belize who work everyday with young people. Stressing the positive to our Youth, through our actions, is most effective, and provides them with memorable consequences and lessons that can help them grow and mature. Parents and educators who make concerted efforts everyday to provide positive examples, at home and at school, for young people to follow are Belize’s greatest heroes.
Lower cost insurance for low-income Belizeans
On September 30, 2013, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Insurance Corporation of Belize (ICB) signed a technical cooperation agreement to jointly finance a project to develop and implement sustainable micro insurance solutions in Belize. The project is designed to increase formal insurance coverage for lowincome people throughout the country. The aim is to provide affordable property and agricultural micro insurance coverage that is specifically tailored to the needs of beneficiaries in rural and agricultural areas, as a means of maintaining income levels in the event of weather-related losses affecting the crops, houses and properties of insured persons. The agreement was signed by IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno and Thomas Erdulfo Nuñez, Chief Executive Officer of ICB, at the 16th annual FOROMIC in Guadalajara, Mexico. FOROMIC is the leading conference on micro, small and medium enterprise development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
STOP SIGNS AND NEMO HURRICANE AWARENESS SIGNS GO UP IN SAN PEDRO! (8 photos)
Several STOP signs were placed in the San Pablo Area and the D.F.C. Area and Hurricane Awareness signs were placed downtown.
Metal Haven Bash Tickets
Metal Haven concert tickets go on sale this week. Ascenthium, No Te Creo, Emendo, Lisergia, and As Moonlight Falls will be rocking Benque on November 2nd.
"Tickets go on sale this week! they will be sold at Corozal, Orange Walk , Belize city, Belmopan and Cayo! Updates on the locations will come this week! Here's an idea of how the tickets will look! Remember its $25 before $30 at the door"
Wildlife Medicine in Cayo
Medicine and Conservation in the Tropics sounds like a great course, and New Mexico State University is offering it to their students, who'll get 3 hours of credit for the class. Students will learn Wildlife Medicine at the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, and have trips to the Green Iguana Conservation Project, the Belize Zoo, and Xunantuich.
"There's a Wildlife Medicine in Belize class over spring break! Check out this flyer here and if you're interested contact Dr. Tim Ross at [email protected]"
Cayo Highlighted in Brickell Magazine
Cayo and the San Ignacio Resort Hotel really steal the article that just came out in Brickell magazine. The article, Breathtakingly Belize, starts on page 130. Oddly, they didn't post many pictures of Cayo, instead going for the overused sea shots, but they do have the SIRH and Cahal Pech.
"Adventure reigns in this part of the country and I learned a lot on this leg of the trip about The Great Outdoors. The most amusing being that male iguanas have 2 penises; the most useful that bags of water on a table will keep the flies away; and the saddest that the average lifespan of butterflies is less than a month...but at least they’re drunk on nectar the whole time!
A brief jaunt to Chaa Creek, an award-winning eco-luxury lodge with its own on-site organic farm and open-air spa, yielded encounters with tree monkeys, tail- thrashing black iguanas and elusive jaguars, among many other critters. Bring water and a spray mister if you visit: There’s no A/C on site. My favorite part of the experience in this part of Belize was by far the people. They are a sweet, peaceful bunch. A walk through the neighborhood features quaint little shops, small businesses operating out of homes and lots of roadside farmer’s markets."
Be her Breath Video Release
Melonie Gillett released the video for 'Be Her Breath' in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's a touching video, shot around Belize, and it features cancer survivors, and their familes. They have some good signs, including, 'Live, Love, Laugh,' and 'Cancer Sucks.' Kim Simplis-Barrow has positive messages throughout the video.
In related news, there will be a cancer walk this Saturday starting at Esperanza, and ending at the Cayo Welcome Center.
Cristo Rey Family Fun Day
Cristo Rey had their Family Day Sunday. Looks like they had some good food and fun games.
International Archaeology Day Exhibit
The Institute of Archaeology celebrated International Archaeology Day by having an exhibit at their main office in Belmopan. They got many great pictures of the event and the primary school students that were able to attend it. Dr. Jaime Awe, Antonio Beardall, and the rest were there celebrating the event and imparting their knowledge of archaeology. Daniel Meza, of New Life Presbyterian School in Orange Walk, won the poster competition. Thanks, IA!
SHC Auditorium Gets Basketball Court
The Sacred Heart College auditorium now has a basketball court painted on it. Thanks, BECOL. You can see the auditorium this weekend at the SHC Fair and Business Expo, which will be Friday and Saturday.
"More walls have been added to the Sacred Heart College auditorium. And a basketball court has been added."
Snorkeling at Ambergris Caye
In addition to being close to Belize City – an hour and a half boat ride away or ten-minute Tropic Air flight – Ambergris Caye and San Pedro are ideally situated for snorkeling – an activity you can’t miss while in Belize. The island offers quick access to the Barrier Reef and is in close proximity to some of the better known snorkeling spots in .
You’ll have two choices: either a snorkel in town — for days when you want to stay close to shore — or sign up for a half- or full day snorkel tour by boat. All of the snorkeling areas worth experiencing require a boat ride and a licensed tour guide – but the marine life and coral you’ll see is well worth it.
Here are the best snorkel spots in and near town:
NOVA scienceNOW : 32 - Profile : Arlie Petters
How does a poor kid from Belize become one of the world's premier researchers in the esoteric field of gravitational lensing? Hard work and persistence help, as NOVA scienceNOW reports in this profile of Arlie Petters, Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Duke University.
Penner Returns From Guate, Stull Giving No Indication of Resign, Remain or Face Recall
Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner returned to Belize from Guatemala yesterday morning at 10:00. Accompanied by his parents, he came right through the western border - didn't check in at the Immigration Desk - and proceeded to his home on 10th Street in San Ignacio.
Today, Penner went to Spanish Lookout and when he returned home to find waiting media he refused comment and said that he had to meet with the Prime Minister - who's not returning until Friday. That suggests that he is still seeking some cover from his party - and even though the party has abandoned him - apparently, he's not quite ready to blow the whistle on other public officials who may have their own Immigration racket going.
PUP Gets Sufficient Signatures To Trigger Recall
But, the recall is moving forward, or at least we think it is. 14 days after the Leader of the Opposition's Resign or be Recalled ultimatum expired, and 16 days after the party started its signature drive, the Party today announced that it has collected the required number of signatures to trigger a recall. Deputy Leader For The West Julius Espat explained via phone this evening:..
Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"We have 1,758 petition signed that are vetted by us. The 30% based on the last list that we have, that would give us the 30%."
"As we saw with Oceana referendum attempt, they had a super abundance of signatures. However, a fair number of the signatures were not approved."
Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP
"We vetted them on the ground. We have an operational office there; we do it with photographs and everything. Then every now and then we sent it up to the Party headquarters. The Party headquarters have another team there made up of mostly attorneys that are going through that portion of the list."
Second City Murder In Two Weeks
And if Penner-Gate wasn't still such hot news, the headline tonight would be another Belize City murder. We say another because after a three month break from killing, October has reported two murders in two weeks.
The most recent happened on Friday night, just before midnight at the corner of Hyde's Lane and New Road, a stone's throw away from the Queen Street Police Precinct, where a gunman rode up and shot 28 year old Deon Yorke twice.
He was immediately rushed to the KHMH where 45 minutes later, he succumbed to his injuries.
This weekend, the media spoke with his family, and they opened up to us about how devastating his loss has been for them. Here's how that conversation went:
Lafaye Lewis, Girlfriend of Deceased
"There were two gunshots but my mind wasn't on him because I don't know him as somebody that goes over that side of town. I was sitting down with my friends and I ask them if they heard the gunshots and told me yes. A young lady ran and yelled Lafaye, its "Didi" and by the time I ran to see who it was the police was already taking him to the hospital."
Man Died From Smoke Inhalation As He Slept In Burning Home
When we left you on Friday - there was speculation that 33 year old Michael Reynolds had been killed inside his home on Sister Mary Benedict Street in Belize City house and burnt up.
But, investigators say that's not what happened. A review of all the evidence suggests that he came home from a night on the town, possibly inebriated, got home, plugged in electricity he was using from his neighbor and fell asleep in his chair. The wires weren't well connected, started to spark and caused the fire. Contrary to reports, there were no signs of violence on the body and A post mortem examination certified the cause of death as Asphyxia due to Third Degree Burns by Dry Heat.
Police also say that the door to his house was locked. All of those factors have caused them to conclude that there was no foul play, and it was an accidental death.
Division In CWU: Stevedores Soldiering On With October AGM, NTUCB Backs Them Up
In August, it made headlines when CWU President Antonio Pancho Gonzalez, under extreme pressure from the stevedores, agreed to an annual general meeting on October 26, 2013. He said that audited financials would be presented and that he would not run for office again.
Fast forward two months - and we are on the doorstep of October 26th - and, guess, what, moves are afoot to delay the meeting! On Friday a meeting of the representatives of 15 department and firms where CWU has members, 13 voted to put off the AGM until next year February. That's because the financials still aren't ready, the union is nearly broke and it can't afford an AGM.
Well, the stevedores aren't having it, and neither is the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. The NTUCB sent out a release this weekend saying, quote, "reliable reports have reached us, that the CWU is abandoning their proposal to convene the Congress...A word of caution to the bargaining units of the CWU - be forewarned, that since the existing "executives" has not lived up to its legal obligations, under Chapter 304 0f the laws of Belize, you run the risk of being decertified should you proceed with endorsing this evolving CWU proposal."
Man Shot In City
26 year-old Steven Lambey, a resident of Reggae Street, continues to receive treatment at the KHMH after he was shot last night. At around 11:25 Lambey and 18 year Elroy Perdomo were riding on Central American Boulevard, and when they arrived in front Kings Store, someone fired gunshots at them. Perdomo was struck in the left ankle and leg, while Lambey suffered injuries to the right side of his abdomen, and his right calf. Both men were taken to the KHMH, where Perdomo was treated and released. Lambey was admitted in a stable condition.
Police have since detained 1 man for questioning.
GSU Sting Operation Nets 100lbs of Weed, Disrupts Arenal Connection
We've known the GSU to make effective raids and seizures, but it seems they've deepened their bag of tricks, and are tonight reporting just under a hundred pounds of weed netted in a sting operation. The GSU set up an undercover agent to set up then purchase 100 pounds of weed. It was set up on Saturday October 19th and went into motion between on and Sunday October 20th where 30 year old Anibal Gabino GARCIA, from Arenal, and 28 year old Sergio Isaias VEGA, from Benque Viejo were to supply 100 pounds of cannabis to a purported buyer on Sunday October 20, 2013.
On Sunday the GSU took their position on the Spanish Lookout road into the Buena Vista road where the pair, along with another man Gustavo RUIZ jr, were seen in a red taxi.
The car pulled into a picado off the Buena Vista road where all three got out the car and picked up two large parcels wrapped in black garbage bags from inside the bushes.
Norwegian Cruise Offers Job Training
10 days ago, 7News told you about the announcement which Norwegian Cruise Line made that they have the support of 15 Mayan Villages in the south.
And trying to generate some goodwill momentum, the company is announcing that they will begin their employment recruiting next week. A flier sent out from company, and forwarded to us by the Belize Tourism Board, says that the recruiting company called Mampa Employment Agency, will be in charge of the recruiting process. Representatives from Mampa will be in Independence Village on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, and in Punta Gorda Town for the rest of the week. Those 7 straight days of interviewing will be done for the pre-screening process.
On November 4, the Mampa team will remain in Punta Gorda to do a follow-up interview with those chosen from Punta Gorda. On November 5 and 6, the team goes back to Independence Village to do follow up interviews with those persons chosen from that village.
Killer Cop Caliz Fined, Not Confined
Tonight, Police Officer Burton Caliz Jr., who was convicted of manslaughter for the February 2004 shooting death of 23 year-old Leroy Pilgrim, is spending his third night a free man after his mitigation hearing, which ended with a fine instead of a prison sentence. As we told you, Caliz was initially charged with murder, but it was reduced to manslaughter, for which he was convicted in January 2007. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but he appealed and won after serving only 1 year and 2 months.
He was convicted of manslaughter but he appealed his conviction and won after serving 1 and a half years of his 10-year sentence. He stood trial a second time before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in September of this year, and he was once again found guilty, but this time of manslaughter by negligence.
B. Pope Gives Bze Cycling Hope
They were in Curacao over the weekend representing Belize at the 2013 Caribbean Cycling Championship Games. And today the 7 Belizean Cyclists returned home after quite successful tour. Belize had to compete in this event in order to qualify in the Central American and Caribbean Games next year. They were 8 slots available for countries to participate in the games next year and one of those slots went to Belize’s very own Byron Pope who finished 10th place in the overall road race -out of a hundred riders. Today 7news was at the airport to welcome home these athletes.
No AC, No Surgeries At Southern Regional
It's said that corruption is a tax on the poor, and nowhere is that more evident than tonight at the Southern Regional Hospital where the operating theater has been closed since Friday. Why? Because the air conditioner stopped working. Checks were made by the Ministry of Health's maintenance unit today and they reported that four new air conditioners are needed. Purchase has been approved and they should be installed by the end of the week. Presently, nearly the entire hospital is without air conditioning.
As we have reported, almost four hundred thousand dollars was fleeced from that hospital's Maternal and Child Health Bank Account between January 2010 to September 2013.
The hospital administrator Nasley Sommerville has been suspended and is the subject of a criminal investigation.
That's one of the many issues generating public outrage right now, and tonight, the National Trade Union congress of Belize has introduced another. It is called the occupational health and safety bill, one designed to protect workers, and the NTUCB says government has been dragging its feet in passing the bill for too lug. In a quite breathless press release, headlined "Vexatious, Vexatious, Absolutely Vexatious" the NTUCB says its patience has grown thin and the bill must be passed post-haste. The release ends saying, quote, "the NTUCB declares that as of today we rally the troops and we prepare to right the wrongs (multiple...mind you...) in our beloved land."
P.M. says there is a hotbed of corruption at the Lands Department
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in Los Angeles for fund-raising activities and meetings with Belizeans living in that area. While he is out, his deputy, Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar [...]
Elvin Penner is back in Cayo Northeast, but still not talking to the media
Former Minister of State and the man on the immigration hot seat Elvin Penner is back in Belize. He returned from Guatemala on Sunday, after receiving medical attention for hypertension [...]
U.D.P. Cayo Northeast Committee also wants Penner to resign
While Elvin Penner has not made up his mind if he is resigning, the People’s United Party says it now has enough signatures to start the process of a recall [...]
N.T.U.C.B. sends a strong message to government
According to the Prime Minister Dean Barrow, government coffers are overflowing and there are millions upon millions of dollars to hand out. That’s what the U.D.P. leader told constituents of [...]
Father of four is murdered following an altercation at a Belize City bar
Shots rang out in City on Friday night in the area of Hyde’s Lane and New Road. A twenty-eight year old father of four within close proximity of his house [...]
Another American fugitive nabbed in Belize
Last Friday, we reported on American fugitive, forty-seven year old Kenneth Hibbs, who was caught by San Ignacio Police on Burns Avenue. Hibbs was wanted by U.S. Marshalls for parole [...]
GSU sting operation yields 100 pounds of weed
A sting operation over the weekend conducted by the GSU has yielded a whopping one hundred pounds of cannabis. The unit arrested Anibal Garcia of Arenal Village, Cayo District along [...]
Julian Cho Technical High shuts down; there is no science teacher
In the south, a demonstration was held this morning by parents and students of the Julian Cho Technical High School and tonight, the school has closed its doors. It stems [...]
CWU administration has failed to honor legal obligations
The Christian Workers Union was suspended from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize in mid-August and tonight it is facing expulsion from the umbrella organization if it decides to [...]
Stevedores say DFC has not paid dues to CWU for years
The reason for the postponement of the congress is due to the current financial situation of the union. The forthcoming process, according to Pitter, should exclude the membership of the [...]
Each of 9 entities under CWU to present candidates for union executive
The congress, says Pitter, is predicated on an understanding that each of the nine entities would present individual candidates to participate in the election. Dion Pitter, Member, Christian Workers [...]
N.T.U.C.B. threatens to expel CWU from the Congress
The stevedores want the executive removed, and so does the N.T.U.C.B. That entity has sent a stern and final warning to the C.W.U. That warning is clear – if the [...]
Belizean Cyclist Byron Pope qualifies for upcoming Central America and Caribbean Games
Byron Pope, a seasoned rider on the local cycling front, has qualified to participate in the upcoming 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, following a recent competition in Curacao where [...]
Carlos Beltran sentenced to 8 months for handling stolen goods
A Belize City youth, who has been on remand since August for burglary, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment today. Carlos Beltran appeared in court this morning and changed his [...]
Female bar own charged for the common assault of a businesswoman
A female bar owner who allegedly attacked a businesswoman was today before the court to answer to two criminal charges. Twenty-four year old Delgy Vasquez from Ladyville was read charges [...]
Weekend sports with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The Belmopan Bandits needed a win Saturday night when they hosted a struggling, but always dangerous Police United inside [...]