Today's Belize News: October 23, 2013
10/23/13 05:44 AM
10/23/13 05:44 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Sagebrush continues to work with San Pedro community
As part of their vision to “Know Christ and Make Christ Known”, the Sagebrush Community Church hosted a family football camp on Saturday, October 12th. A team from the main campus church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, along with soccer pros David Baca and Kristen Gracyzk hosted the football camp north of the bridge. Each child was given a soccer ball and pump to use at the camp. At the end of the camp, they were able to take home their new toys.
Sagebrush also provided a healthy lunch of chicken burritos to the children and parents who took part in the camp. According to Meredith Nohvaiy Melton, Missions Director of Sagebrush Community Church, their aim is to build relationships in the community and set an example of love, grace, and mercy through their service.
Foreva Fancy’s High Street Fashion Show
Foreva Fancy’s second Annual Exclusive Fashion Show was a night for High Street Fashion. 18 gorgeous models took to the runway at Kama Lounge on Saturday, October 19th, showcasing the latest in Fall/Winter fashion. Eager fashionistas made their way to Kama Lounge for a great show that commenced shortly after 8PM. With the pumping music of DJ DZL the show was ready to go. Hosting the show was the ever fashionable media personality, Indira Craig. After formalities and introductions, the show which was decided into five segments got underway starting with Oxblood Obsession. Oxblood is the new trend in color for this fall/winter; it is a deep maroon, more closely resembling a rich red wine. From Burberry Prorusm to Jason We, Oxblood was a hit on the international winter fashion runways. This dark color was presented on stage in an equally dramatic manner,opening with the introduction of “The Witches of East End”.Beautiful models sashayed down the runway in a fusion of ensembles that ranged from elegant and casual, all showing the Oxblood Obsession trend.
San Pedro Lions Club turns 38 years
The San Pedro Town Lions Club held a special ceremony and dinner/dance to celebrate their 38th anniversary on Saturday October 19th. The event had the participation of Lion members from the District B-8 Mexico as well as other local dignitaries. “But we cannot allow the legacy of our chartered members to die. We must keep moving forward as a club and as Lion members. It is rewarding and interesting to be a part of a team that volunteers, lead projects, meet as a group and also have fun – we do all this and more as a Lion member. I want to remind you that we are not here for self-gain, or to receive recognitions. We are here to improve our community and other communities around the world,” concluded Kumul.
Counting the ways to spend your days on Ambergris Caye: Chicken Drop (#5)
Thursday nights belong to Wahoo’s Lounge and their World Famous Chicken Drop – for sure! Doug and Noele are great hosts/owners – energetic and super friendly, and have continued with the grand old Chicken Drop tradition. The Chicken Drop is quite famous after international film productions have catapulted it across the screens of millions over the years.And how does it play out you may ask? Well, you pay for a ticket which corresponds to a number on a huge board on the ground surrounded by a net. The price ranges from $1 to $10 depending on the game. A (well-fed) chicken is brought out and after a hilarious ritual of a gentle shake and … (you have to be there to see it, we can’t give EVERYTHING away) the chicken is placed onto the board inside the fenced area. After a while, well – everything you put in at some point must come out.
Filmmakers Highlight Saga Humane Society’s Hard Work in San Pedro
A film crew from Utah was following members of Saga as they worked around town and promoted the importance of spaying and neutering island pets. They were here just in time as the group hosted a Snip-a-thon throughout the island. This has been a two-year project in the making and producers, along with directors of Saga, are happy that it finally becoming a reality.
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.
Misc Belizean Sources
Volunteer dermatologists at the Lion's Den Oct. 29
There will be volunteer dermatologists at the Lion's Den Tuesday Oct. 29 and Wednesday Oct 30 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. For any questions contact Dr. Wil Lala 226-2716
The Garifuna nation and the fight for reparatory justice
I participated in the first regional reparations conference, held in St Vincent and the Grenadines, from September 15th - 17th and I had the opportunity to address the gathering as the only representative of the descendants of our ancestors whose lands were “stolen” by the British, committed genocide and forcibly exiled them from St Vincent and the Grenadines in 1797. I was delighted to listen to the presentation by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Reparation Committee, which was based on the genocide and exile of our ancestors.
In his opening ceremony address, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the descendants of the Callinago, the Garifuna, the Amerindians, and the Africans have an especial obligation to fight for reparatory justice. “After all, their forbears were directly affected and, most importantly, together, they constitute the majority population across our Caribbean.”
In 2011, the Garifuna Coalition published a press release supporting Prime Minister Gonsalves’ call for reparation for the genocide against the our ancestors by the British. My participation in the regional reparations conference brought me full circle in my long career advocating for the well being of the Garifuna people.
Roots Wraps & Smoothies
There is a new entrant to the culinary landscape in San Ignacio town. The proprietors of Roots Wraps & Smoothies today informed that they will be launching their new venture, a healthy Belizean fast food service. The launch is scheduled for Saturday, November 2nd from 9 am to 5 pm. Located at number 38 West Street, Roots Wraps & Smoothies is advertising itself as “a healthy lunch bar in downtown San Ignacio serving raw, vegan and vegetarian food for the whole family.”
Divaz Bocawina Adventure
The Divaz Next Door and the winners of their online competition had a great trip to Bocawina to do some zip lining and waterfall rappelling.
"We had a wonderful adventure sponsored by Bocawina Adventures & Eco Tours Ltd and PLUSTV BELIZE. Thanks as well to John & Emo Rentals (674-1970) & TASBelize for the flyer."
Benque's Noche de Cuenta Cuentos
The Benque House of Culture and CACHE are having another Noche de Cuenta Cuentos on Friday, November 1st, starting at 7:00pm. Once again David Ruiz, along with others like Pedro Can, will be telling some thrilling tales.
In related news, the Finados alter display is that same day, and it will be an homage to Mr. Elias Awe. It will start at 9:00am and go until 5:00pm.
"Noche de Cuenta Cuentos, Story telling in Benque by our very own story tellers featuring Mr. David Ruiz, Pedro Can among many others.. Join us in an unforgettable thrill of real life experience at your Benque HOC Lawn"
Car Smash and Cut at SHC Fair
The Sacred Heart College fair and business expo is this weekend. Here are some pictures of the vehicle, along with some power tools, that you can cut, drill, paint, and smash up. On Friday, the SHC parade will start at 9:00am. The talent show is in the evening at 6:00pm. The fair and business expo starts at 9:00am on Saturday. Go out and have a fun day with the family, while enjoying some good food and games...and drill a hole in a car.
"The Isuzu Trooper that you can cut up and smash at the Sacred Heart Fair this Saturday, October 26th."
COROZAL PARENTS PROTEST
in-front of Ministry of Education - In Red is the new District Officer in charge of Min of Education, Mr. Lopez. He finally decided to come out of his office after the parents waited in the scorching sun for over an hour! Lopez claims that the Ministry of Education is not responsible for anything being taught to the schools but rather the Head of each school. He went further to state that no schools will be forced to teach anything that is contrary to their belief, YET, The Gender Policy page 23 States that all publicly financed educational institutions, Even Religious Schools MUST teach what is in the Policy!! Is the District Officer not aware of what the Amended Policy reads. This is a public service provided by the CD!
Special Envoy speaks out against Amandala newspaper article
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, has taken aim at the substance of an article publishes in the October 20 edition of the Amandala newspaper.
In a statement issued this morning, Mrs. Barrow expressed “very grave concern” about the article which appeared under the heading “Bake it Again” with the byline Colin BH.
According to the Special Envoy “the statements made in this article advance a culture of rape and sexual violence against women and girls. It seeks to blame the victim while providing excuses for the perpetrator. The fact is that rape is not about sex, but about power and control. Rape is rape; it is NEVER excusable and it certainly NEVER is the victim’s fault!”
WIN-Belize speaks out against Amandala newspaper article
The Women’s Issues Network of Belize has also issued a statement condemning the Amandala article on the issue of rape which appeared in the Sunday, October 20 edition of the newspaper.
WIN-Belize in its statement condemned the article saying that “the tasteless and nonsensical comments … were written without consideration for the emotional harm such comments would cause victims and families.”
The organization also called for the newspaper and the writer of the article “to apologize to the women and children of Belize.”
City Owes Waste Control Half-a-Mil, They May Strike
Tonight the Belize City Council owes could be facing a strike by its waste collector, Belize Waste Control - and it could mean garbage piling up at your front door! 7news has confirmed that City Hall owes Belize Waste Control more than half a million dollars in arrears for municipal garbage collection. That's 14 weeks that the City hasn't paid and Mayor Darrell Bradley said that Waste Control will just have to wait, because right now the council just plain doesn't have the money to pay.
Bradley explains that this is what happens every year, and it evens out in late December into March, when taxes are paid into City Hall and that cash flow is used to even out the Waste Control arrears. But Waste Control says that this year's arrears are extreme - and are made even worse by the fact that a few of the weeks of arrears date back to 2012.
Whatever the case, City Hall says it can't pay and won't pay until December, while Waste Control says it's already had to send home 5 workers and could be getting ready to strike as early as Friday. That could be saber rattling or it could be for real, but the mayor says that the council has already paid Waste Control half a million dollars towards a court judgment, and it just doesn't have any more money to give Waste Control until December.
Chief Magistrate: G. Sewell Must Be Extradited
This morning, the Chief Magistrate ruled that the United States Government has established a case against Gary Sewell, and that he should be extradited.
As we've reported, according to US authorities, Gary and his brothers, Mark and Dwayne, allegedly imported cocaine into the US through Mexico, and sold marijuana in Texas from December 1994 to August 1997. They are also allegedly responsible for 1 million dollars in drug proceeds sent to Houston, Texas; Lakeland, Florida, and Belize.
Gary Seawell has been fighting that extradition since 2010, and as we told you, his attorney, Arthur Saldivar, made submissions on the last adjournment of this case that the depositions or affidavits before the court, had no oaths on them. He further claimed that these documents held no legal ground for the court to consider because they weren't properly authenticated, and that they were equivalent to hearsay.
Today, after considering his arguments for 4 weeks, the Chief Magistrate ruled against Saldivar's submissions, and more than that, she went a step further by ruling that having perused the evidence, Gary Seawell should be extradited.
SATIIM Versus US Capital Underway in Supreme Court
In July, we told you about the decision which SATIIM and the Mayan Communities of the south made to take US Capital Energy to court to block the company from conducting oil exploration inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park.
Well, today before Justice Michelle Arana, that big court case started in for which members of the Mayan Community came down to listen to in person.
Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, who represents SATIIM and the communities made a 3-hour presentation to the court today, and afterwards, we asked him to outline his client's case.
"Our clients are the villagers and the leaders of the villages who are seeking in this case to have the court consider whether or not the activities that are purportedly authorized by the administrator of the Sarstoon Temash National Park can lawfully be done. In essence the villages on the outside of the Sarstoon Temash National Park just on the outside are saying that - that is their traditional lands that they have customary land titles to those lands and that it is unlawful for the government to give US Capital the right to go in and do drilling on their lands and especially to give permission to do that drilling without consultation and without their free prior and informed consent. Those are essentially the arguments that we put to the court and Mr. Barrow is going to reply tomorrow morning."
GSU Makes Another Major Weed Bust
Last night we told you how the GSU busted a hundred pounds of marijuana in a sting operation, well tonight, the unit is reporting the seizure of 22 pounds of weed in Belize City. It was found yesterday afternoon in a swamp in the Dyke area located off Faber's Road Extension. The unit found an old refrigerator in the swamp, and inside they found a large garbage bag stuffed with 10 small black bags with a combined weight of 1.6 kilograms.
About a hundred yards away, the officers came upon a large blue chlorine bucket and inside that they found 65 small black plastic bags weighing a total of 7.4 kilograms. Also inside the same bucket was 1 parcel of compressed high grade weed weighing 1 kilo. All the drugs combined weighed a total of 10 kilos, or 22 pounds.
No one was found in the immediate area, but the GSU says it is close to a reputed drug trafficker's residence.
Fired Water Workers Take BWSL to Court
In February, 7News told you about the 7 employees who the Belize Water Services Limited sent home in a purge after emails and letters were circulated around about sex scandals happening within the company.
Well, as we told you, 6 of these employees, Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo, Journett McKoy, and Mark Menzies, filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court claiming damages for wrongful termination, because the company's administration allegedly fired them without proof.
Today, after more than 5 and a half months, that lawsuit began today before Justice Courtney Ashton Abel, and 7News was there. After a short in-chambers session with the attorneys from both sides, Justice Abel announced in open court that he will adjourn the matter until tomorrow to give both sides to make a meaningful attempt at settlement talks.
Outside of court, 7News spoke to the attorney of one of the aggrieved employees, and he briefly outlined the employees' case:
Kareem Musa, attorney
"We sued for wrongful termination and what that entails is a suite that covers damages, it covers loss of salary. For instance, my client had 12 more years until retired. He would have been 62. He has been employed with BWSL for the past 33 years, believe it or not. He has quite a remarkable track record with the company. He was terminated after serving that company well for so many years and there are actually performance appraisals that went in his favor each and every year."
At 40 years old, the entire concept of CARICOM feels a little middle aged, flabby in the middle, dull around the edges, and not sure if it is coming or going. But instead of going through a mid life crisis, the regional organization is re-strategizing and re-branding. The CARICOM Secretariat has embarked on a reform process called "Turning Around CARICOM: Proposals to Restructure the Secretariat." The development of a strategic plan for 2014 - 218 is the centerpiece of this effort, and it means that the secretariat is going to every member country in the region, all 15 of them to solicit ideas from a broad cross section of society. They're making stop number 11 in Belize where today they spoke to the media. Secretary General Irwin Larocque explained that CAIRCOM can no longer be seen as an abstract political entity; the citizens of CARICOM have to feel it and believe in it:..
Secretary General Irwin Larocque
"It has to be one that sees the community as being more relevant, as being more responsive, in a timely to the needs to the people on the street. I think the people are not feeling us sufficiently. Why are we doing things of we are not talking about it, if we are not making the persons be aware and feel then it is almost as we are not doing it. Part of our re-branding has to be not only to be relevant but to be seen to be relevant, to be felt."
Amandala Columnist Draws Heavy Fire From Within and Without
In last Friday's Amandala satirical columnist and humorist "Colin bh" wrote at length about the proposed amendments to section 46 of the criminal code. Speaking about rape, Hyde wrote, quote, "the rape of a male by a male is more heinous than the rape of a female by a male. Consider that (1) the female might one day fall in love with the male; (2), the female provoked the immature/crazy male to commit this act; (3), it is a natural act; (4), the female might be entirely whorish, so the act is of little consequence." Those remarks have drawn an avalanche of criticism from a number of agencies and from within his own newspaper. The Women's Issues Network, the National Committee for Families and Children, the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the Women's Commission all issued releases today condemning the article. The Women's Issues Network release says, quote, "the comments portray the image of women as objects of shame, or as sexual objects. Women are still seen as something that exists primarily for men's gratification... to say that rape of a female by a male is not as heinous as the rape of a male by a male is beyond comprehension for rape is forced penetration and the trauma associated with such an experience is the same for both male and female." END QUOTE.
Did PM Diss His Deputy?
And while Adele dissed Colin, in Los Angeles many are saying the Prime Minister dissed his deputy, GASPAR VEGA. Amateur Video of the PM's town meeting with Belizean Americans on Sunday shows him speaking about corruption at the Ministry of Natural Resources. Here are those remarks:..
WomenÂ’s Political Caucus Reloads
The Women's political caucus has been around, off and on, since 1991 - but decades have passed, and even in the era of the Women's Department and the Women's Commission, there is still only one elected female in the House of Representatives. And so, the women's political caucus has come back on the scene. They-re-launched with an event at the Radisson today where we found out that the mission is the same, but the approach is different:...
Dorla Bowman, President - Belize Women's Political Caucus
"What do we need to do to change the mindset of the people of Belize so that they can be more understanding and supportive of women? One of the key things within this action plan that we want to explore and implement is changing the mindset of people and that means looking at the root cause of why women don't support, why men don't support women for political office and what is keeping women back from getting into political office. We are going to take it from the primary school level right up."
Belizean Youth Artists Excel In Taiwan
Young Belizean artists have been recognized for their talent in Taiwan's 44th World Schoolchildren Art Exhibit. Children aged six to fifteen from 53 countries were invited to submit their art pieces. Thirty thousand did that, and one Holy Redeemer Student got a bronze medal while 5 others were recognized with select national awards. Today they were honoured with Certificates and medals at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall. We found out more:..
H.E. David Wu, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize
"Last April they sent 12 works of art to Taiwan to participate in the World Children Art Exhibition. Again, this year a very talented Belizean school children won 1 bronze award and 5 selected works. We think this is wonderful because we hope that there are many talented Belizean school children that can have this kind of art work to participate in the international art exhibition."
"My particular painting is about 3 girls who got into the principal's office for doing something bad. It's about a lot of children that always gets into trouble and they like to wear short clothes."
National Secondary School Sports Gets Major Boost From Bowen Sponsorship
This afternoon the executive of the National Secondary School Sports Association held a press conference to celebrate the signing of an agreement for sponsorship between the association and the Bowen and Bowen Company for their regional and national secondary school tournaments. The terms of the agreement were revealed and the president of the association spoke about its benefits.
"We signed an agreement with Bowen and Bowen - a sponsorship agreement to sponsor our national and regional tournaments that are held for 5 disciplines throughout the school year. National Secondary School Association has 4 regions in north, south, central and west and so therefore all these regions, the host school as well the regional executive will be able to benefit from this agreement."
"The agreement basically is lends to our beverages; all our drinks are fully sponsored by Bowen and Bowen in terms of what we give to the students and in terms of what we sell for fans. It's a big plus for us. If you look at the dollar value it totally amounts close to $20,000 for the year."
Man Accused Of Touching Teenager Arraigned
53 year-old Merdardo Cocom is out on bail tonight after he was taken to court for indecent assault.
According to a 15 year-old female, last week Friday, Cocom caressed her chest. As a result, he was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and he was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and he was granted bail of $1,000, which he was able to meet. He must return to court on December 2.
Alleged American Killer Found in Belize
An American accused of murderer was hiding out in Belize. Everett James Morris, who has been charged with murder, has been caught and sent back to the US to stand trial.
US media reports say that Morris was found in San Ignacio, and he was arrested after a combined effort from Belize Police officers, US Marshalls, and Interpol. He agreed to turn himself into the American Embassy, and he was flown to Houston last week.
Morris is accused of beating 51 year-old Jorge Olivarez to death in the US. Olivarez's body was found on September 10 in San Juan, Texas.
Charley Black Explains Flopped Concert
Dancehall superstar, Charley Black is no stranger to Belize. He has been in and out of the country for the past 4 years performing and has even done several video shoots for his music videos here in Belize. But while he has a strong fan base in Belize, on Saturday night, his concert was a complete flop. Today he is blaming that turnout on his promoters who he claims were not promoting him at all. Today in an interview with Monica Bodden, he explained his disappointment in Saturday night's show, and how he plans on making it up to his fans.
Charley Black will be performing at Thirsty Thursday's Bar on Friday night and then on Saturday he heads to Dangriga Town - where he will be performing alongside Sweet Pain Band.
The list of thousands who were approved nationality
On September nineteenth, Elvin Penner was relieved of his appointment as minister of state after credible information landed at the Ministry that he had signed off on a nationality certificate [...]
D.P.P. says she hasn’t seen the police investigation into passport scandal
The passport scandal has dominated the media for weeks, night after night, and tonight there is still more to report. Elvin Penner is back in the country, and is awaiting [...]
Chief Magistrate rules for Gary Seawell to be extradited
Gary Seawell was in Magistrate’s Court today to hear a decision on a request for extradition to the U.S. Gary is the brother of Mark Seawell, and both men have [...]
SATIIM versus U.S. Capital…day one in court
SATIIM, the Mayan communities in the Sarstoon-Temash buffer zone, U.S. Capital Energy and the Government of Belize had their day in court today – or at least the first day, [...]
Should millions of dollars be spent on teachers and public officers or Cayo Northeast?
And tonight’s question is: If the government has millions of dollars in its coffers, should it be spent on: Teachers and public officers or Cayo Northeast? Send your comments and [...]
Activist, Patrick Menzies, attempts a shutdown of schools
Patrick Menzies is a community activist who has aligned himself with the Hispanic evangelical churches in Belize. And using that platform, he has now launched a move for a national [...]
N.T.U.C.B. fiery release at government on Occupational Health and Safety Bill
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize says the government is nonchalant where the safety of employees is concerned. That is the basis for a fiery release sent out over [...]
53 year old man charged for indecent assault of 15 year old
A fifty-three year old man is in trouble after a fifteen year old minor claimed that he rubbed his right hand down her breast last week Friday. When Medardo Cocom [...]
Indian businessman pleads guilty to assaulting female customer
An Indian businessman of Miami Fashion Store in downtown Albert Street also appeared in court. Bhishan Kumar Issrani is accused of hugging a female student inappropriately when she went to [...]
GSU anti-drug operation in city yields 20lbs of weed
In its latest anti-drug operation in the City, the Gang Suppression Unit retrieved over twenty pounds of marijuana. The bust took place on Monday afternoon in the Dyke Area of [...]
Belize Women’s Political Caucus launches a 2-year action plan
Women in public office have been a rarity in Belize’s political landscape when compared to the number of men who have offered themselves for candidacy in municipal and general elections [...]
NSSSA now has Bowen & Bowen as its exclusive sponsor
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association, the governing body for high school athletics in Belize, has joined forces with Crystal Bottling Company after several unsuccessful attempts at forging a productive [...]
Article in Amandala newspaper stirring outrage
There is an uproar tonight among various organizations, including the National Women’s Commission and the Special Envoy for Women and Children, following the publication of an article entitled “Bake It [...]
Belizean students excel in international art competition; one student makes it in the top 3
A ten year old student from Holy Redeemer made to the top three in an international art competition. Tasia Sutherland competed among students from around the globe and her piece [...]
Sacred Heart College invites you to its annual school fair and business expo
This weekend, the Sacred Heart College will be hosting its annual school fair and business expo on its grounds in San Ignacio. The event will feature businesses from throughout the [...]
A regional re-branding campaign by CARICOM
CARICOM has been a fixture within the Caribbean since its establishment in 1973 through the Treaty of Chaguaramas signed by four countries: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad. While CARICOM is [...]
Jane Usher basketball court and surrounding area gets illuminated
If you take a walk down Jane Usher Boulevard, you will see a difference in the neighborhood. That’s because the area of the basketball court which is heavily populated has [...]
A sneak peek at From Yes to I Do Season 3
At eight-thirty tonight, season three of the tremendously popular reality show, From Yes to I Do, premieres. In this season, five couples are competing to win an unbelievable wedding which [...]
Choc Wants To Know Which Maya Community Leaders Norwegian Consulted With; Injunction Hearing Against US Capital Energy Starts
Last two weeks Love News shared the details of a press release issued out by Norwegian Cruise Lines in which it says it has the support of 12 Mayan Communities down south in regards to the Harvest Caye Project. In the release, NCL says that in a public meeting, leaders of the 12 Mayan Communities publicly demonstrated their support for the project. But today, spokesperson for the southern Mayan Communities, Greg Choc said that he doesn’t know of any Mayan Leader who attending the said meeting.
“I have been trying to figure out which villages NCL claimed to have consulted or which community leadership NCL has claimed to have consulted; I have found none so far. I really don’t know and that is one of the reasons why, I think it was last week, that I asked that NCL disclose who those community leaders are so that I think a greater discussion can occur among the communities on the proposal of NCL. If there is evidence that the communities, members of each of those 12 communities were to endorse NCL’s proposal, meaning that there was the free primary consent by the communities, affixed their signatures without coercion to a document, then I would be worried but I have seen no evidence to that other than what I have seen in NCL’s press release that they have consulted 12 leaders. The leaders, as I have said before, their mandates come from the communities and a leader can endorse but traditionally, the community will have to endorse. So, while the leader may endorse in principle, for me, the greater mandate has to come from the communities.”
Tension at Government School In Northern Belize
There was tension this morning at Paraiso Government School as a parent was detained by police. Information to LOVE NEWS is that President of Belize CAN Patrick Menzies was at the school to make presentation on the proposed amendment of the rape act. LOVE NEWS understands that Menzies also encouraged parents to don’t send their children to school as a form of protest against the government. A parent who was present for Menzies presentation decided to take her child back home and this is when things got heated. We understand that the principal told the parent that she cannot take her child home because the child was now under the care of the school. The mother refused to comply and it was then that the principal called the police department to intervene. We got in contact with the Corozal district education officer Jamal Lopez who told us the Ministry is still investigating the situation that transpired. Until around 11:30 this morning we understand the mother was being detained by police at the school compound. Just before news time our sources tell us that a crowd of teachers had gathered in front of the school gate and the police department had sent extra policemen to the school. We will have more on this situation in our subsequent news report.
Police In Southern Belize Investigates Road Traffic Accident
Two persons were injured this afternoon in a car accident near the Swasey Bridge on the Southern Highway. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports.
“Two persons sustained head and body injuries as a result of a road traffic accident that happened today. Independence Police told Love News that the incident occurred shortly after 12pm near the Swasey Bridge on the Southern Highway. Remedial investigations revealed that 26-year-old, Mohammed Fieso and 26-year-old, Josh Paromal Kumar were traveling from Punta Gorda Town towards Independence Village in a green Toyota Forerunner SUV. Upon reaching the mentioned location, the driver of the vehicle who police say they cannot ascertain at this time, lost control of the vehicle and ran off the left side of the road and into a ditch. As a result, Fieso received a deep cut wound to the right side of his head, face and upper arm while the other individual complained of pain to the chest. They were both transported to the Independence Polyclinic and subsequently to the Southern Regional Hospital for further treatment. The vehicle received damage to its front left portion. Police continue their investigation into this latest accident. Reporting for Love News, I am Harry Arzu in Dangriga.”
Deputy PM Agrees with the ‘Hot Bed of Corruption’ Statement
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is on a visit to Los Angeles where aside from seeking medical attention for his back, he is also meeting with Belizean Americans. Some of the comments the Prime Minister made at one of the gatherings has caught the attention of many, when he admitted that the Lands Department is quote “a hotbed of corruption”. Today Love News sat down with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Lands Gaspar Vega to get his views on the Prime Minister’s comments.
“I am the first to agree with the Prime Minister, truthfully. The Prime Minister had spoken of a direct situation and the reason he knows about it is because of me mentioning it to him and the level of frustration we are going through in our ministry. Openly, I have said it over and over again, we have achieved a lot in this ministry but I always say there is more that can be done to be able to get to the level that would be acceptable by all citizens.”
Successful Weekend for GSU
In the early part of 2010, the present administration introduced the Gang Suppression Unit in an effort to combat the rising crime rate particularly in the city at that time. Since then, while the GSU has been labeled as being a rogue unit by certain sectors of society, there is no doubt that they have been crucial in the removal of illegal drugs, weapons and firearms off Belize’s streets. This past weekend, the GSU reported that they had confiscated just under one hundred pounds of marijuana during a sting operation in western Belize. In that operation, two men were detained and those two were arraigned today in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court while one of the men remains at large.
Utility Company Goes To Court After Firing Workers
On May 2, we told you about the lawsuit that was filed against the Belize Water Services Limited. That lawsuit was filed by six former employees of the company who are claiming that they were wrongfully terminated. In their termination letter, each of the workers was told that their post had been made redundant in a restricting exercise BWSL was undergoing. However, the disgruntled former employees told Love in May, that BWSL did not comply to the redundancy and restricting provisions in the governing contracts with the employees. Furthermore, the employees believe that BWSL is using the excuse of redundancy to fire them when the real reason, they say, was that the former employees were involved in the dissemination of a scandalous letter. Kareem Musa, Attorney for Mark Menzies-one of claimants, addressed the media outside the court room this morning.
Magistrate Leaves Attorney ‘Stupefied’ Following Court’s Ruling
Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith handed down a decision this morning that orders the extradition of Gary Seawell to the United States of America. Seawell who is wanted in the US for drug charges and money laundering was captured back in 2010 after a warrant for his arrest was issued in 2007. When he was captured in Esperanza Village, Cayo, Seawell was found in possession of high-power weapons. Since his detention, Seawell has been waiting for the decision of the court. Seawell’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar told the media that the ruling of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith left him in shock.
“Surprise is not the word; the word is shocked; the word is dumbfounded, stupefied, mollified.”
“Can you elaborate as to why you are feeling those particular feelings that you are feeling over this ruling?”
Police Do Not Suspect Foul Play In Death Of French National
Yesterday the badly decomposed body of 73 year old Michellin Nayard, a French retiree living in the village of Ranchito Corozal, was discovered by three of her neighbors. Nayard, who relocated to Belize several years ago, lived alone in this rented house. It was around 11:00 yesterday morning that neighbors became concerned after not seeing her for days, since October 8th to be exact. The fact that a bad stench was coming out of Nayard’s home also raised a red flag.
CTV3 News understands that neighbors entered Nayard’s home through the front door which was opened. Her body was found lying on the floor of her bedroom and we understand that the house was ransacked.
Yesterday when reporter Victor Castillo visited the scene, the suspicion was that Nayard could have been murdered since a suspicious blue van was seen leaving her yard on the afternoon of October 8th, the last time she was seen alive.
Re: Today's Belize News: October 23, 2013
10/23/13 05:45 AM
10/23/13 05:45 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
More News: Scroll up from here
Deon Yorke murdered in the streets of Belize City
Belize City’s latest murder took place late on Friday evening. According to police 28 year old Deon Yorke of Pickstock Street was walking on New Road minutes before midnight, when at the corner with Hyde’s Lane he was approached by a single armed man who shot him twice in...
Two men shot in Belize City on Sunday night
Two men are fortunate to be alive after they were shot at on Sunday night. The shooting also took place shortly before 11:30 in the old capital, on Central American Boulevard. Initial investigation revealed that an eighteen year old and a 26 year old were riding on the boulevard,...
PUP meet the signatory target to trigger recall in Cayo Northeast Constituency
Word coming out of the PUP camp is that the party has acquired or is very close to acquiring the number of signatures required to trigger the recall mechanism in the Cayo Northeast. While, current area rep, Elvin Penner has yet to decide whether he will voluntarily step down...
Autopsy reveals Michael Reynolds died from Third Degree Burns
Last week, we reported on the death of 33 year old Michael Reynolds, whose charred remains were found in his home, in a corridor leading to his bedroom. His body was burned beyond recognition and so a cause of death could not be certified at the time. On Monday,...
Couple die in traffic accident
A couple lost their lives in a traffic accident as they made their way home from a relative’s home going. The accident occurred on Saturday night on the Placencia Road. With more on this tragic incident, here is our Dangriga Correspondent Harry Arzu. Mr. Harry...
Hospital Administrator accused of fraud
We have been following the economic scandal unfolding at the Southern Regional Hospital. The Auditor General was commissioned by the Ministry of Health to conduct an audit at the medical facility after suspicion of irregular activities were reported. The last we told you is that some 189 cheques were...
Stevedores claim they are not properly represented by their union
The Stevedores continue to sing injustice on the part of the representatives of their Union. It is publicly known, that the Stevedores, in late August, pleaded for the resignation of President Antonio Gonzalez and the General Secretary James McFoy of the Christian Workers Union. Dion Pitters and Raymond Rivers...
National Association of Village Councils holds AGM
This past Saturday at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan, representatives of 191 village councils and 3 community councils met for the annual general meeting of the National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO). The meeting comes after village council elections...
Zamorano University Recruiting Agricultural Students in Belize
Do you, or someone you know aspire a career in the agriculture sector, and is seeking financial aid to pursue an accredited degree in this field? Well we’d encourage you to tune in to this following feature. Currently, representatives from the reputable Zamorano University are...
Prime Minister Barrow Responds to Los Angeles Residents
In the past few days, the PM has met with Belizeans living in Los Angeles, Californa. At one gathering, the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow entertained an open conference with attendees. One person questioned the PM on the type of land issue we have come to know...
Important Health and Satefy Bill…Taking too Long to Hit the Table?
The NTUCB in a press release expressed their sheer rage at the GOB their “…refusal; to bring the Occupational Health and Safety Bill (OSH Bill), to the House of Representatives for its due course of readings and public debates.” According to the press release, “Over the past ten years,...
Harvest for Kids Hits the Record for more Reaching Out
The organization known as Belize Camping Experience has made waves with its innovative approach to getting at-risk youth involved in making a difference in their lives, both physically and spiritually. On the 12th of this month, at Banana Bank in Cayo, they demonstrated that approach...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Norwegian Cruise Line Is Hiring
The recruitment process for jobs on board NCL is slated to start in a few days!
TEXAN MAN, WANTED FOR HOMICIDE IN US, SURRENDERS TO EMBASSY
Belize and US authorities have confirmed to Amandala that a Texan who was wanted for a homicide in Hidalgo County, Texas, USA, but who had been staying in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize, has been flown back to the USA to face charges there.
Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez confirmed to Amandala that the American, who has been identified as Everett James Morris, 45, turned himself in to the US Embassy in Belize after he heard that he was being sought by law enforcement authorities. San Ignacio police facilitated the process, Martinez said.
A spokesperson of the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office told our newspaper today that Morris was expected to arrive in Hidalgo today to face charges for the homicide of Jorge Rodriguez Olivarez, 51, who was reportedly beaten to death with a blunt object.
TRIPLE SORROW FOR THE ROCHES FAMILY
On top of the grief they’re going through as they mourn the death of their mother, Dolores Roches, 68, the Roches family of the Lakeland area of Dangriga is now grappling with two more deaths which occurred after their mother was buried on Saturday at the Dangriga Cemetery.
Mark Roches, 48, and his common-law wife, Elizabeth Domingo, 34, who both travelled from Seine Bight, where they lived, to bury his mother in Dangriga, are both dead. They were travelling back to Seine Bight in the pan of a pickup truck with three other people, when the truck became involved in a traffic accident.
They were thrown out of the back of the truck, and suffered massive head and body injuries that caused them to die almost immediately. Three other people were in the cab of the pickup, including the driver, but they did not suffer any serious injury.
“LANDS … HOTBED OF CORRUPTION,” SAYS PM IN L.A.
Recently, there has been great public uproar about the irregularities within the Immigration Department that have been exposed throughout the years, the last being the embarrassing immigration passport scandal involving ex-Minister of State, Hon. Elvin Penner, which erupted over the past month.
Hon. Penner was fired by Prime Minister Dean Barrow after the corruption charge was brought to his attention, and after rallying to Penner’s corner in the weeks immediately after the scandal exploded into the public’s consciousness, PM Barrow had to ask the embattled Cayo North East area representative last week to resign from the UDP or the House of Representatives.
Well, the Immigration Department appears to have company in its corrupt ways – it has been confirmed, by no less a personage than PM Barrow himself, that the Lands Department may be just as corrupt – a belief that has been held by many Belizean citizens because of the unbelievable problems they’ve had in dealing with the department over the years.
MIDNIGHT MURDER ON NORTHSIDE
At around 12:00 a.m. this past Saturday, October 19, 2013, two shots were heard in the vicinity of Hydes Lane, at its junction with New Road, which happens to be just one block away from the Queen Street Police Station.
Moments later, 28-year old Deon Yorke, better known as “Diddy”, of #13 Pickstock Street, Belize City, was seen lying on the ground, in the middle of the intersection, apparently dead.
Shortly after, police arrived at the scene and saw Yorke suffering from two gunshot wounds, which had been inflicted by an unknown assailant. Police immediately took the victim to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where, unfortunately, he died while receiving treatment for his injuries.
Frantic and distressing screams and shrieks echoed into the night as Yorke’s neighbors and relatives learned of his death.
MAYA VS GOB HEARING DUE TUESDAY
The land rights dispute between the Government of Belize and the Maya of Toledo continues unresolved, and tomorrow Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana is scheduled to commence hearing at 11:00 a.m. in the case lodged by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and four Maya communities adjacent to the Sarstoon-Temash National Park. The case was lodged against the Government of Belize in a challenge to a decision to grant US Capital Energy permission to drill in the area, which the claimants deem to be ancestral lands, without consulting them.
The Supreme Court of Belize and the Court of Appeal have both declared that Maya customary land rights exist in Southern Belize; however, there is now a dispute over how those rights are to be enforced.
In July, SATIIM, supported by the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), filed a court claim, challenging the lawfulness of the Barrow administration’s decision to permit drilling inside the protected area—a move which they said violates Maya customary land rights as well as laws governing activities that can be carried out in a national park.
ELVIN PENNER HAS RETURNED, BUT WILL NOT RESIGN – YET!
Reports to Amandala suggest that the beleaguered Cayo Northeast area representative, Hon. Elvin Penner, has returned to the country after he purportedly went to Guatemala to receive medical attention for “blinding headaches and hypertension.”
However, Penner told the media that he believes that the time is not right to make any public statements as yet.
Last week Tuesday, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow “invited” Penner to resign from his post as area representative, and to also resign from the United Democratic Party – a request that has been categorically denied by Penner, who said in a telephone interview last week that he will meet with “his people” this week before making a decision.
Penner said that he hopes to complete his consultations in two weeks, after which he expects to meet with Prime Minister Barrow to deliver his decision in person. Barrow left the country last Wednesday for fundraisers in Los Angeles, and is not expected back in the country until this Friday, October 25.
WHAT A RACE! BDF TAKES SOLE LEAD AT WEEK 4 OF PREMIER LEAGUE BELIKIN CUP
Official game details are not yet in, but our reliable sources indicate that there were 3 shutouts, all low scores, in all 3 Saturday night games in Week 4 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Belikin Cup Opening Season 2013-2014 this past weekend. And the standings now show Belize Defence Force (BDF) FC at the top of the standings with an impeccable 3-0 record. Meanwhile, pre-season favorite and defending champion Police United FC find themselves still winless after 3 outings. (See standings at bottom.)
Due to the uneven number of teams in the competition, causing one team to “rest” each weekend, the standings have to be viewed with this fact in mind. Three teams have already played 4 games, while the other four teams, including Police, BDF, Verdes and San Ignacio United, have played only 3, and thus each have a game “in hand” that could change the standings picture significantly. But, neither Police, Verdes or San Ignacio can catch BDF with a victory, and BDF still has a game in hand, so they are presently in a very good position. But the season is still young, and no team is yet “out of it.”
BELIZEAN CYCLIST BYRON POPE QUALIFIES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 2014
Yesterday, the Belize Cycling Association (BCA) issued a press release stating that cyclist Byron Pope had done well enough at the Caribbean Cycling Championship in Curacao over the past weekend to qualify for the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico. Two female cyclists – Shalini Zabaneh and Kerah Eiley, and five male cyclists – Byron Pope, Edgar “Nissan” Arana, Joel Borland, David Henderson, Jr., and Robert Liam Stewart represented Belize at the Caribbean Championship in the ITT (Individual Time Trial) and the Road Race.
The BCA’s release was jubilant, declaring “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!”
It continued: “…There were eight (8) slots available for countries to participate in the Central American and Caribbean Games… Our Byron Pope was able to finish in 10th place overall in the road race and get the eighth and final qualifying slot.” (66 cyclists finished the male road race.)
ALBURN RIVERO 20/20 CRICKET COMPETITION UNDER WAY IN BURRELL BOOM VILLAGE
The Alburn Rivero 20/20 Cricket Competition, originally scheduled to open in Double Head Cabbage on October 12, finally kicked off this past Saturday, October 19, in Burrell Boom Village.
Nevertheless, on October 12, the promised 2012 season trophies, sponsored by SMART, were handed over to champions Excellence of Double Head Cabbage and sub-champs Western Eagles of Rancho Dolores; but the 20/20 games had to be postponed due to the pitch being too wet in Double Head. In any event, Excellence, whose captain Kene Broaster will reportedly not be returning from Los Angeles until January of next year, had elected not to participate in the 20/20, so the tournament was moved this past weekend to Burrell Boom instead.
Belize National Cricket Association (BNCA) Development Officer Conway Young reported on the games played this past Saturday, October 19, in the opening round of the Alburn Rivero 20/20, which follows a double-elimination format (teams drop out after losing two games).
LIVING THE LIFE Editorial
In Belize’s culture and value system, it is apparent that we now rate people according to the amount of money they have and according to their pay scale. Simply put, the more money you have and earn, the more prestige you have.
The contradiction is that ours is a society which is always boasting about how much we believe in God and how Christian we are. The fact of the matter is that the Christ of the New Testament was very much a man of austerity, committed his only public act of violence against the bankers of his time, and specifically declared that it was very difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.
In our lifetime, Belize has changed a great deal. In the old days our people valued courage, dignity, ability, integrity, class, style and other qualities more than we rated money. Why this was so, and why this has changed, we can’t really say. For sure the influence of the United States, which began increasing by leaps and bounds after Hurricane Hattie in 1961 and self-government in 1964, has contributed to Belize’s modern materialism, hedonism, and love of money. We live just 600 miles from the largest economy and the most dominant culture in the world, and we have become Americanized.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
It’s difficult for a Creole to talk about people and things Garifuna. The history between the two groups of black people is so delicate. Myself, in the beginning I had thought I could discuss matters freely in these pages, because I had come out of the Roman Catholic educational stream here, most Garifuna in Belize being Roman Catholics, and because the UBAD organization I led had emphasized the African ancestral commonalities between the two groups, or tribes. At the time of Dr. Ted Aranda’s removal or resignation as UDP Leader in late 1982, and his subsequent political moves in 1983, however, there was an extraordinary atmosphere, and my sense was that I could not say what I thought about this situation. (Dr. Aranda had become the first Garifuna leader of a major political party in late 1979.)
As a relatively educated nationalist, I am much aware of how dangerous tribalism and ethnicity have been in the post-colonial Third World. A terrible civil war was raging in Nigeria when I was going to school at Dartmouth, and I remember that there were two Dartmouth students from Nigeria who did not speak to each other as a result of that war. One was Saleh Jibril, and I believe he was Muslim, and a non-Ibo, which is to say, he was either Hausa, Fulani or Yoruba, or some mixture thereof. The other Nigerian was a bearded, post-graduate engineering student by the name of Joseph Mhoude, who was definitely an Ibo.
HERBALIST HARRY GUY TALKS ABOUT THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER AND HIV/AIDS
October has been declared Cancer Awareness Month, and all are encouraged to wear pink to show solidarity with those who are battling cancer, and to remember those who have died due to the disease. However, according to herbalist Harry Guy, 65, those suffering with HIV/AIDS and various types of cancer can have hope.
Guy, a San Ignacio resident, says he has formulas and remedies that put full-blown AIDS and cancers into remission and enable those struggling with these diseases to live normal, healthy lives after his treatments. And these (cancer and AIDS) are just two of the ailments that he says he can address and alleviate.
In an interview today with Amandala, Guy said that he has been a herbalist since 1992, and that since that time he has assisted hundreds of people suffering with cancer and HIV/AIDS, among many other diseases, with tremendous success. For those who have accessed his remedies promptly after early detection of HIV or cancer, treatments are no longer than 3 months. In the case of HIV, after 6 weeks a blood test is carried out to assess the effect of the treatment and after 12 weeks a final blood test is conducted. He said that terminal cancers are hard to cure, and treatment periods usually extend to two years, but there are many with terminal cancer, he said, whom he has assisted to live healthy lives. He said, however, that patients are urged to seek treatment before cancer reaches the terminal stage.
COMMERCE BIGHT PORT –AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REAL DEVELOPMENT
Careful observations and analysis of development strategies that have been implemented by successive PUP and UDP administrations for southern Belize reveal a distinct underlying colonially-rooted bias that has persistently excluded Belizean Maya, Garifuna and black Creole residents from becoming integral players and substantial beneficiaries of the resources in their area. Such deeply rooted bias is revealed through the dynamics of race and ethnicity, political and economic interests of the oligarchy, narrow city-centric view of national development and the behavior of investors in relation to state actors and the people.
Consequently, despite the fact that southern Belize and particularly the Stann Creek District has the highest concentration of major industries (e.g. citrus, banana, aquaculture, tourism) compared to all other districts, overall investments have shown an exclusion of a significant percentage of the native local population. For example, unlike the sugar industry in the north where small farmers participate and benefit, the banana industry has long ago obliterated small farmer participation. The industry is controlled by eight growers who own a combined 7,000 acres of farms that thrive on incentives and cheap labor imported from across the border.
PARENTS/STUDENTS OF JULIAN CHO TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL PROTEST
A peaceful protest was held in front of the District Education Center in Punta Gorda Town this morning.
Amandala understands that the protest was conducted in order to raise public awareness about a particular situation involving a teacher from Julian Cho Technical High School in that district, who has been prevented from obtaining an extension on his teaching license.
Apparently, the teacher, who is also head of the Science Department, Mr. Abdullah Adebara, a Nigerian-born, who has taught at the school for 10 years, is unable to renew his passport, therefore he has not been given an opportunity to renew his work permit.
MAN FOUND DEAD IN HOUSE DESTROYED BY FIRE
Post-mortem indicates that he was killed by flames.
A post-mortem conducted on the charred remains of Michael Reynolds, 33, of Sister Benedict Street, of the Antelope Street Extension area, certified the cause of his death as “asphyxia by mechanical aspiration due to third degree burns by dry heat.”
The autopsy was conducted by Doctor Mario Estrada Bran, police coroner, on Friday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
Police reports are that at about 2:26 a.m. on Friday, the charred remains of Reynolds were recovered from the floor of his house, a plywood structure measuring 20 feet by 14 feet and elevated approximately 3 feet off the ground, which was completely destroyed by fire.
FABIAN MARTINEZ DIES ALMOST A WEEK AFTER MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
A man is dead one week after a vehicle crashed into him at the junction of the Fresh Pond and the Boom Hattieville Roads, while he was travelling on a motorcycle, at about 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 12.
Fabian Martinez, a Ladyville resident, died at about 12.35 a.m. Monday, October 21, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he had been fighting for his life in the Intensive Care Unit.
Police reports are that Martinez was travelling on a motorcycle from Ladyville to Fresh Pond when, upon reaching the Fresh Pond junction with the Boom Hattieville Road, an SUV hit him, causing him to receive massive head and body injuries.
The driver of the SUV told police that he crashed into the motorcycle because the driver turned right without indicating.
BELIZEAN KIDNAPPED WITH 43 OTHERS IN MEXICO
Mexico’s National Security Commission reported on Friday that they had rescued 44 people who were kidnapped from a bus terminal in Reynosa Mexico, at the US border—among them a Belizean national whose name has yet to be released.
Amandala contacted the Mexican Embassy in Belize, Belize Police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more details, but none of them was able to provide us any.
In a press release, Mexican authorities report that the persons, who were tricked into thinking they were being taken to a safe house, were being held hostage inside a home at Reynosa, Tamaulipas, while their captors tried to negotiate money from their relatives for their release.
However, police on patrol in the area were alerted to the situation by a woman who began screaming for help.
I HAD A DREAM! (MORE LIKE A NIGHTMARE) Letters
— by Phillip de la Fuente
I dreamt my beautiful Belize had some leaders who were not at all interested in the development or progress of its people.
I dreamt we had a leader who was afraid to protect or demarcate our border, another leader who was allowing our rosewood to be cut down, another leader doing the exporting of the rosewood, and leaders giving away our oil, and islands, and lands, and culture, and heritage. One leader, quien no esta manchando su mano, but allowing these things to happen.
The supervisory committee, who oversees them all, the ethics and integrity committee, sees nothing wrong with anything. Remember, the aims and objectives of the party and government (sections 8,11,12,13) clearly state what they should be doing.
COLIN BH ON THE HOT SEAT Letters
— by Colin B. Hyde (Colin bh)
I have been forwarded two correspondences (one from a male and one from a female) which declare that they found one of my articles last week, “Bake It Again” (to be specific), to be distasteful. I am of course concerned. I do not write with intent to offend anyone and I am especially unhappy when I hear of any female aggrieved by my opinions, or anything I did, for that matter.
In respect of the article, Bake It Again, I would love to respond, but I really don’t know – to what? Was my entire article distasteful? Was half of it distasteful? Was it a line or two?
Until such time that I am apprised of exactly what the problem is, allow me to say this: I have my failures in this world, but I like to think that the women who know or have met me consider me to be extremely respectful, and very caring.
19-YEAR-OLD WOMAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER
This morning, 19-year-old Stacey Jones, an unemployed resident of #10 Victoria Street in Belize City, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court after she allegedly injured another female in an early morning stabbing incident on October 11, 2013, on North Front Street in Belize City.
Jones, who was unrepresented, appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where she was read three charges. Jones was charged with one count of attempted murder, one count of grievous harm, and one count of use of deadly means of harm upon Acteshia Nunez.
2 ESCAPE DEATH ON CENTRAL AMERICAN BOULEVARD
Two men are alive after they were fired upon and hit while riding two separate bicycles on Central American Boulevard towards the Deep Water Port at about 11:35 Sunday night in front of Kings Store.
Elroy Perdomo, 18, of Kraal Road, was shot in his buttocks and his ankle, while Steven Lambey, 26, of Reggae Street, was shot in the right side of the abdomen and the left calf. They were both taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where they were treated for the injuries, and Perdomo was later released after being placed on observation.
The other man, Steven Lambey, has been admitted to ward, where he is recovering, in a serious but stable condition.
THREE GUNMEN REMANDED FOR CRISTO REY STORE HOLDUP
Three men from Corozal have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison on charges of robbery, possession of stolen goods, aggravated assault, possession of prohibited firearm and keeping ammunition without a gun license.
Corozal Police charged that Keith Bennett, 23, of Vivas Layout, Corozal; Yasmin Monima, 18, of Port Saul area, Corozal Town; and a minor, 16, also of Vivas Layout, were the three robbers who went into a Chinese store in Cristo Rey, Corozal, at about 2:30 Thursday afternoon, pistol-whipped the head of the storeowner, then stole over $2,000 in cash and goods, before escaping.
Police, who responded quickly to reports of the crime, said that they captured Keith Bennett, who was armed with a pistol, in the area. Bennett then led them to an area in a cane field in the Patchakan area, where he handed over a sawed-off shotgun, which was identified as one of the guns used during the robbery. The other men were also captured on the Patchakan Road.
4 FISHERMEN CAUGHT WITH UNDERSIZED LOBSTER TAILS
One pleaded guilty and was fined over $9,000, while the other three saw their charges withdrawn.
A total of 431 undersized lobsters, otherwise known as “crayfish”, were confiscated by Fisheries Department officials at a fishing camp, south of Caye Chapel, which led to the arrest and detention of 4 well-known fishermen.
They are 50-year-old Luigi Marin, of #15 3rd Street in the Kings Park area of Belize City; Gerald Foreman, 24, of #3 Pinks Alley in Belize City; Hubert Palacio, 30, of a Perez Road Address in Ladyville; and Mark A. Sewell, 43, a fisherman/watchman of #182 Vista Del Mar Area, also in Ladyville.
The men are all lobster trap fishermen from the area south of Caye Chapel, said Fisheries Prosecutor, Hampton Gamboa.
According to Gamboa, there have been a number of encounters with persons in that area, but finally, they have been able to make an arrest and carry out the subsequent confiscation of undersized lobsters. He told Amandala that they received a tip from a member of the public on Tuesday, after which they launched a joint operation with the Gang Suppression Unit and headed out to South Caye Chapel at around 9:00 or 10:00 Tuesday night. Upon reaching one of the fishing camps on the island, Gamboa said, “We searched the premises and were able to find two iceboxes; one was partially filled, and the other just had a couple lobsters. After the officers’ procedure of weighing each individual [lobster], we ended up with four hundred and thirty-one undersized lobsters.”
COP CRIMINALLY CHARGED AFTER DOMESTIC DISPUTE
Occasionally, law enforcement officers have been caught on the wrong side of the law. One such case occurred late last month, and today the accused officer was made to face charges at the Magistrate’s Court in Belize City.
28-year-old police constable Ronald Sutherland was slapped with three criminal charges after allegedly abusing his common-law wife. Tanisha Ortiz, of a Police Street address in Belize City, made a report to the police on September 26, 2013, in which she stated that Sutherland, who is her common-law husband, assaulted her with a machete, causing a wound, and also threatened her life after the two got into an altercation at her Police Street home.
BELIZEAN WOMAN CAUGHT STEALING FROM CHETUMAL STORES
A Belizean woman has been arrested and charged with theft by Chetumal police after she allegedly was caught stealing liquor and clothes at the Plaza de America Shopping Mall, and the Melody Clothing Store in Chetumal on Thursday.
The woman, identified as Shirley Ardeth Arnold (also known as Shirley Lambey), 34, an unemployed Belizean, has been detained at a Chetumal Police Station, and is waiting to be taken to court on the charges.
According to Friday’s edition of the Diario de Chetumal, an online Mexican newspaper, Arnold was arrested by the State Preventive Police in Chetumal after she was caught stealing inside a convenience store located at Plaza de America, after allegedly committing the same offense at Melody, on the same day.
ALBERT WALLER, 34, CHANGES PLEA TO GUILTY; SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS AND FINED $10,000
Waller had initially pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, where his mother and stepfather were also charged
This afternoon, Albert Waller, 34, a resident of #188 Neal Pen Road, changed his initial not guilty plea to guilty after the court prosecutor informed the court that his guilty plea to the lesser charge of drug possession would not be accepted.
On July 4, 2013, members of the Gang Suppression Unit went to the home of Waller with a search warrant to search his house and yard for drugs.
Present at the time of the search were Waller, his mother, Cherry Mae Flowers, 55, and her husband, Cecil Flowers, 60. When police searched under the house, they found a black plastic bag which contained suspected cannabis. Another small amount was found on Cecil Flowers, for which he was charged with drug possession.
COP GETS $3,000 FINE FOR MANSLAUGHTER CONVICTION
The judge also recommended that he be reinstated as a police officer.
The long-awaited sentencing of a former police constable, Burton Caliz, 30, was finally delivered, and amounted to a fine in lieu of further jail time, and a recommendation for his reinstatement in the Belize Police Department.
The sentencing took place in the Supreme Court in Belize City in front of Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez. Caliz had been charged for the manslaughter of San Pedro resident, Leroy Pilgrim. He, Caliz, was found guilty of manslaughter by negligence in the shooting death of Pilgrim, and after waiting to hear his fate for over two weeks, he left the court smiling, since he was fined $3,000 instead of being given a custodial sentence, which would have meant no more than 5 years behind bars. The fine was ordered to be paid by January of 2014.
“Above the Clouds” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I slept like a baby (or maybe I didn’t? Well I didn’t wake up crying. Or needing to be changed. Or a feed. So why do people use this expression to describe a good sleep?) on our first night in our new home.
OK, so we are currently living in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment whilst the First and Second Floors get finished (still waiting for three toilets to arrive (one for the apartment and the other two for Rose’s and my bathroom), the remaining door locks to be fitted, the closets to be finished (the larger bedroom in the apartment, the bedroom on the First Floor (Rose’s handicraft room) and mine) and the general snagging and tidy up of our lot. But we don’t care too much because we are in.
I wasn’t up as early this morning (told you I slept like a baby) but I was out on the front step (chose a different location to yesterday) with my mug of coffee and the iPad just before 05.00 hours. I mention the step because until we get patio chairs (must get around to placing the Miami shipment order today!) steps are likely to be what I sit on when I venture outside. It’s a hard life!
Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro Rises From the Devastating Fire with Miraculous Speed
Less than 2 months later, the turn around is nothing short of miraculous. Ramon’s Village brought in construction companies and a small village of almost 150 workers to rebuild at lightening speeds. I took a look around yesterday and, after a month away from San Pedro, I really could not believe the progress.
Take a look. A HUGE push to open for “the season”.
First pictures from the beach side where Pineapples Restaurant has been re-opened (in a MUCH smaller way since the kitchen totally burned to the ground) for over a month.
Chaa Creek Welcomes New US Ambassador to Belize
Carlos Roberto Moreno has just been confirmed as the new US Ambassador to Belize by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in what the owners of the of the Lodge at Chaa Creek call welcome news with positive benefits for Belize.
“Ever since receiving news of President Obama’s nomination of Mr Moreno last July we have been following the news closely and waiting for confirmation,” Chaa Creek owner Lucy Fleming said, “So it’s certainly good news to hear that his nomination has been confirmed.
“He sounds ideal for the position,” Ms Fleming added.
President Obama tapped Carlos Roberto Moreno, a former federal district judge who also served on California’s state Supreme Court, for the Belize ambassadorship last July.
In the same announcement, Obama nominated Mark Childress as U.S. envoy to Tanzania, and had this to say about both men;
“These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
Tek Batty Wedding stirs controversy in Belize
Several hundred fundamentalist Christians calling themselves Belize Overeaction are today preparing to protest a heterosexual marriage due to what they consider to be a subversive move to promote the gay agenda.
According to one of Belize Overreaction’s leaders, Pastor Scott Squirm, reliable information has been received that homosexuals in Belize are about to use traditional marriage to legalize sodomy. “I was praying over the whole issue of marriage and asking the Lord to strike fear into the hearts of people who think marriage should be for anyone other than good Christian folk of opposite sexes” Squirm claims, “when Jesus Himself told me about a homosexual abomination that was about to go down in our God fearing Christian nation!” The abomination Squirm is referring to is the pending nuptials of Florita Tek and Leopold Batty, planned for this weekend in the nation’s capital of Belmopan. “NOT ON OUR WATCH!! NO SIR-REE!!!” declared Squirm, using FULL CAPS and no less than SIX exclamation points to emphasize exactly how serious this matter is to the moral fabric of Belize. “We are mobilizing all self appointed leaders, all unelected moral arbiters, and any Christian that fits in to our narrowly defined Body of Christ to join us in putting a stop to latest attempt to force the gay agenda on our heterosexual fundamentalist Christian nation!!!”
Touring Tikal, Guatemala with David Meerman Scott
Last year, I had the opportunity of touring Tikal with Marketing Guru David Meerman Scott , author of the bestselling book “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”.
I had invited David to Belize to deliver a talk on the Future of Internet Marketing to tourism stakeholders after reading his book in an SEO course that I attended in the US the previous year.
But David didn’t only want to educate Belizean marketers about his books; he was also interested in knowing how our Marketing Department at Chaa Creek used his ideas to market Belize and our products so I recommended that he stay at our eco resort to satisfy his curiosity. (see: www.chaacreek.com)
Even though Tikal is in Guatemala, it is one of the most popular tours that we sell so I convinced him that we should definitely explore this ancient Maya city together.
David was excited!
His excitement had to do with the fact that Guatemala would become his 72nd country to visit in the world.
Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Lawsy Linguine fer Acoupla
One-dish pasta recipes a'havin bee makin t'rounds un pinterest resantlee. Mos serve fer ta six…an' since thar air jes acoupla o'us fer mos meels…I deecided ta try a paret down vershun resantlee. My husban' is wunderin wen I will be servin it agin! Hoe much simpl'r a'ken it git…thun throwin everthang into one pot an' a'havin it un t'abull a shert wile lat'r?
Pumpkin coffee cake is a purrfeck recipe fer a partee
1 /2 cup butt'r
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 teespoon vanilla
4 aigs, 1 beete
2 cups flour
1 teespoon bakyun' sody
1 teespoon bakyun' powd'r
1 cup sour creem
16-ounce. a'ken pumpkin (1 3/4 cup)
1 teespoon pumpkin pie spice
On Vacation at El Secreto Resort
11 miles north of San Pedro Town on a spectacular and deserted stretch of beach with white sand and palms you will find El Secreto luxury beachfront resort. I wish I could say we were going on vacation, but it is volunteer work that brings us to this wonderful place. Over the next 2 days, El Secreto is having 25 staff trained in first aid and making Ambergris Caye a little bit safer.
Jermaine, Shirley and I headed out on the 6:30 am water taxi to the last stop which is 8 miles north, after that Ken had arranged for the El Secreto boat to pick us up and bring us to the resort. When we arrived they had us settle into our room and then we got right to the business at hand training the group.
Everyone seemed to be enjoying the course and as I watched I noticed people were asking questions and Jermain was making sure that everyone was doing their practice sessions correctly. Having attended many first aid classes, I can totally see why practice makes perfect and I do believe that it does take more than one course for some to get it right as there is so much to learn. I cannot wait till we start offering refresher courses so that everyone who has been trained can keep practicing and really be able to refine their skills.
Placencia’s Best Food Spots
Placencia isn’t only known for it’s nice beaches and great bars, it’s one of those places that pairs fine dining and hearty meals surprisingly well. One evening you can be having a luxurious dinner at an upscale restaurant and the next day you can be sitting under a shack on the beach and have the best breakfast you’ve ever had. You pretty much can equally enjoy each food experience and feel like a winner. Below are 5 of my favourite food spots in Placencia.
"Bake It Again" : Commentary In Belize's Leading Newspaper Condoning RAPE
On October 20, 2013 a commentary in one of Belize's leading newspapers, The Amandala (print edition only), was published under the heading "Bake It Again" by Colin BH. The statements made in this article condone the culture of rape and violence against women and girls in Belize and everywhere in the world. In my opinion, this is one of the worse editorial decisions I have ever seen in any of the major newspapers in Belize. Simply put, this is an endorsement of the rape and blaming of women and girls who are raped; rape is a violent crime and perpetrators everywhere should be punished.
Start-Up Reinvents the Bicycle Wheel
It’s rare that a company comes along and reinvents the wheel, but it looks like that is about to happen.
Superpedestrian, a start-up in Boston, announced on Monday that it has received $2.1 million in financing to help build a wheel that transforms some standard bicycles into hybrid e-bikes.
The product, the Copenhagen Wheel, is a design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology SENSEable City Laboratory. The original goal of the wheel was to entice more people to more bicycles in large cities in lieu of cars by giving them help from a motor.
While the new wheel is still round, it has technology that makes it different from most normal bike wheels.
The Copenhagen Wheel replaces the rear wheel of a bicycle. It includes a motor powered by a built-in battery and sensors. When someone pedals with the new wheel in place, the bike uses sensors and an app on a smartphone to measure the amount of effort the rider is putting into each pedal. It then offers an additional boost when necessary.
One of the most interesting components of the new wheel is that the rider doesn’t need to tell the bike when help is necessary, the wheel just figures it out using the sensors and gives the bike a push.
“Riding on a flat surface, or up a hill, will feel exactly the same,” Mr. Biderman said.
GOP asked ex-fugitive McAfee to testify on ObamaCare website
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce wanted to speak with John McAfee, the technology pioneer who last year fled a murder investigation in Belize, as part of their investigation into the flawed ObamaCare website, according to emails obtained by CNBC.
Sean Hayes, who serves as counsel for the committee, apparently reached out to Francois Garcia, an attorney for McAfee last week.
"Given the failures of Healthcare.gov, and Mr. McAfee's expertise, I was hoping he might be able to discuss his views with staff on the hill," Hayes wrote, according to the CNBC emails. "It would be an informal discussion: we would take notes but these would not be for attribution, it would mainly guide our oversight and review of the program."
Caribbean Export launches trade networks
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) officially launched the Belize National Trade Information Network (N-TIN) at the Radisson Hotel, Belize on October 11. Belize is one of six countries identified in a region-wide scan of the trade support institution landscape as being in the position to move ahead with the establishment of a N-TIN. The other countries include T&T, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Suriname, and Jamaica.
Over the past year the agency has conducted a series of workshops and consultative meetings with the selected countries to introduce the approach and methodology that will be undertaken in the formation of the N-TINs.
Reefs, Rainforests & Really Big Fish: Belize in 12 Days
Ready to get up close and personal with a whale shark, the world’s largest fish? If you answered yes, this itinerary’s for you. Over the course of 12 days, you’ll explore Belize’s wild jungles (expect ancient ruins, expansive caves, and plenty of howler monkeys) before setting out for the pretty Placencia beach, the incredible Belize barrier reef, and an area known as Gladden Spit, where whale sharks appear each year from April to June. Plan to snorkel or scuba dive alongside these gentle giants for an experience you won’t soon forget.
Day 1: Arrive at the Belize City airport. Visit the Community Baboon Sanctuary (a conservation project dedicated to preserving black howler monkey habitat) and the archaeological site of Altun Ha, a once-vital trade hub for the ancient Maya. Afterward, transfer to the Cayo District and Chaa Creek, a luxury resort and nature reserve in a pristine rainforest setting.
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