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FORMER KKK IMPERIAL WIZARD IN BELIZE
“The KKK is far from ‘dead’ and unfortunately is on the rise again in membership because of racial problems all over the USA,” ex-KKK member turned Christian tells Amandala.
Many Belizeans were surprised to find out this week that a millionaire who has been operating a prominent beachfront hotel in San Pedro is actually a former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader from Denham Springs, Louisiana, USA. We don’t yet know if the businessman in question, millionaire William “Bill” Wilkinson (born Elbert Claude Wilkinson), has obtained Belizean citizenship, but indications to our newspaper are that he has been in Belize living peacefully since the 80s.
Some Belizeans have expressed concern, though, that the San Pedro-based businessman has not publicly renounced the KKK, which we understand is very much alive today – and still recruiting.
Wilkinson served as Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the KKK from 1975 to 1984. He established a rival breakaway group of David Duke’s Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the 70s and 80s, right before he migrated to Belize and established a multi-million-dollar seaside resort hotel on the island. In 2002, Wilkinson was featured in an article in the San Pedro Sun, which said “Like a true San Pedrano, Bill has lived those years unselfishly and continues to do so day after day, doing his part to provide security and shelter…” (The article did not mention his KKK connection.)
An ex-KKK member whom Amandala contacted today told us that he knew Wilkinson personally back in the 70s, when Wilkinson was the Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the KKK in Denham Springs.
SENSATIONAL CAYO RESCUE OF KIDNAPPED US CITIZENS!
Quick, admirable police work today led to the rescue of two American Indian students from Saint Paul, Virginia. Two men had abducted them and their host at gunpoint this morning from a driveway in Bullet Tree Village, Cayo District.
Theo Cocchi, 43, a Belizean businesswoman and owner of Parrot Nest Hotel, situated in Bullet Tree, told police that at about 8:00 a.m. today, Thursday, she was leaving her business, Parrot Nest Resort, in her white KIA Sportage SUV, along with two guests, Kathen Kotay, 18, and Manish Kotay, 22, American Indian students from St. Paul, Virginia, (USA) who are sister and brother. Cocchi told police that while exiting her driveway, she was approached by two Hispanic men armed with what appeared to be handguns. The men boarded and took control of the vehicle, drove off and then stopped near the cemetery area, where they met with two other Hispanic men.
The four men then drove off with their captives in the direction of the Paslow Falls Road in Bullet Tree. The abductors then stopped the vehicle and told Cocchi that she needed to get US$75,000 in two hours’ time, and that they would hold Manish and Kathen Kotay until she got the money. The men took away Cocchi’s Smart cell phone and ordered her to drive away and get the money, and when she returned to give them a call. They told her that she must not inform the police, or else they would kill her family.
PENNER RECALL PETITION “A DEAD DUCK”
Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai said at a press conference held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza this morning that the Elections and Boundaries Department is compiling a file to be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), who would advise on whether charges should be brought under Section 9 of the Recall of Elected Representatives Act, which makes it an offense to forge a signature on a petition or to willfully sign the petition more than once.
Tamai was reporting on the findings by her Department, and was joined by a team of senior public officers from other Government departments, who had in December 2013 reviewed the 2,002 signatures on a petition submitted by the People’s United Party (PUP) to recall Cayo North East area representative Elvin Penner.
Of note is that Penner, who was sacked last September from Cabinet after Prime Minister Dean Barrow said he had been involved in improprieties in the issuance of a Belizean passport to an Asian, has not faced any legal sanctions. Penner has resisted public calls from Barrow and the UDP to resign from the ruling party. Since that call was issued in October, Penner has said he will not resign, and there has been no visible pressure from his party to get him to do so.
US FUGITIVE WANTED FOR MURDER MIGHT BE IN BELIZE
The San Bernardino police, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States (FBI), are on a hunt for an American accused of killing his wife in their home in San Bernardino, California, who may possibly be hiding in Belize.
Their investigation led them to believe that Edly Atherley, 29, has friends and relatives in Belize. The announcement was made on Thursday, January 2, in California, when the San Bernardino County District Attorney, Michael Ramos, said that Atherley has been charged with murder, and if convicted, faces 26 years to life in state prison.
According to the San Bernardino Police Department newspaper, the Sun Homicide, Atherley is suspected of killing his wife, Ashley Atherley, 28, who was found dead in their home on Sunday, December 1. Officers said the attack appears to be the result of domestic violence.
When police went to the house, on December 1, they found Ashley with her throat slit, stabbed multiple times and badly beaten.
DEADLY SEASONAL INFLUENZA OUTBREAK KILLS 2, HOSPITALIZES 4
For those who might not be aware, the flu season is definitely upon us; however, this time around, the virus – which is not typically known to be deadly – has claimed at least two lives and reportedly has led to the hospitalization of at least five others.
Amandala understands that four more persons are presently being treated for acute respiratory distress at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).
Technical personnel from the Ministry of Health have concluded that the cases are being caused by an advanced strain of the influenza virus, which is unprecedented in Belize. The exact strain will not be known until this Friday when test results come back from CARPHA in Trinidad. The test samples were taken from the first victim who died at the KHMH on Christmas Day. That particular victim tested positive for influenza and died from acute respiratory distress.
NEW FIU DIRECTOR APPOINTED
Today, the Government of Belize announced that former Commissioner of Income Tax, Eric Eusey, has been appointed as the new Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). His appointment became effective on January 1, 2014.
Apart from being a former Commissioner of Income Tax, Eusey is listed as a member of the Board of Directors of Belize Telemedia Ltd., as well as the Chairman of the St. John’s Credit Union Board.
Eusey assumes the post from former FIU Director, Marilyn Williams, who had given notice in September 2013 that she would not be applying for a renewal of her contract, which was due to expire on December 31, 2013, since she intended to go into private practice.
At the time that Williams vacated her office, the FIU was in the process of investigating the “Penner Passport Scandal,” but no further information was ever provided from the FIU on the status of those investigations.
AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT ON “PENNER PASSPORT SCANDAL” MAY BE COMPLETED BY FEBRUARY
Auditor General Dorothy Bradley did not hold a press conference today, as we had reported in Monday’s issue of the Amandala, but she invited members of the media who had made previous requests for an update on the investigation of the “Penner Passport Scandal” to “sit in” with her to discuss – in general terms – how the Audit Department goes about carrying out such investigations, because, as we understand it, she cannot discuss the specifics of her current investigation at the Immigration Department at this point in time.
Bradley also made it clear that she is not presently in a position to discuss the findings of her investigations or to hold a press conference until she has completed her report and handed it in to Minister of Immigration, Hon. Godwin Hulse, and the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow. Until the enquiry into the Immigration scandals, which began on October 28, 2013, is completed and the final report is submitted, no detailed information can be released, she noted.
BSI HOLDS “FRUITFUL” MEETING WITH BSCFA
There is now a sliver of hope for the once undecided 2014 sugar cane crop season after a promising meeting was held this afternoon between the feuding parties, sugar producer, Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), and sugarcane farmers, who are represented by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA).
Today, the executives of the BSCFA met with BSI representatives in Orange Walk Town to proceed with discussions in an effort to break the ongoing impasse between the two parties (over payments for bagasse), and to hopefully set a new start date for the new sugar crop season, which has now been delayed for some 6 weeks.
During the meeting, BSCFA presented a proposal to BSI which will later be taken to BSI’s parent company, American Sugar Refineries (ASR). A subsequent response from ASR is expected at least by this Friday morning, January 10.
After the meeting, BSI’s Financial Controller, Belizario Carballo, told the media that it was a rather fruitful session. He said, “I think that we had a very fruitful and positive meeting; I think that we have established positive bases on which we can move ahead. We have some tentative agreements in terms of how we can move forward with the start of [the] crop [season], and we are in the process of concluding negotiations for a new agreement, including negotiations for a payment for bagasse.
CCJ TO HEAR CASE OF JANAE MATUTE IN FEBRUARY 2014
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has indicated that it intends to hear the appeal of Georgia Matute and Janae Matute against Dr. Raju Meenavalli at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, February 10, 2014, at the seat of the court in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Matutes had won the $2.13 million lawsuit in 2012, after an appeal of a 2008 decision by the Supreme Court of Belize.
Meenavalli is accused of having miscalculated the stage of the mother’s pregnancy, and so Janae was delivered at 36 weeks via C-section. Janae, currently a student at Belmopan Comprehensive High School, was born in 2000 with lung problems and developed a lifelong disability known as cerebral palsy. She is now 13.
Her mom, Georgia Matute, had told us in 2012 that although Janae goes to school, she has to personally do a lot for her: The teenager has to be fed, clothed and bathed.
HOW IMPORTANT IS FOOTBALL?
Latest word is that the Sports Council will delay “renovations” at the MCC so the scheduled high school football competition can proceed.
Belize has yet to enjoy the pleasure of a Premier or Prime Minister who is a bona fide football fanatic, and can thus properly appreciate and acknowledge the full depth and impact of football, and sports in general, on the life of our people and nation.
We have indulged in these sports pages on a number of occasions to focus on the personality and contributions to our sporting life by some of the giants of our times.
On the home scene, we not too long ago marked the passing of Belizean football legend Louis “Bembe” “The Mugger” Garbutt.
We have also noted the great love of sports, and appreciation of its tremendous value for peace and harmony among peoples, by no less than the late, great Madiba, Nelson Mandela of South Africa; may he rest in peace. Football was very dear to his noble heart.
FFB INTER-DISTRICT WEEK 6 RESULTS
The FFB (Open) Inter-District Football Tournament continued with Week 6 games over the past weekend in the four zones of the competition.
On Sunday, January 5, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium, Police FC clipped MnM Steelers, 2-1, with 2 goals from Cyril Martinez (52’ & 89’); while Edwardo Martinez (68’) got the only goal for the Steelers. Meanwhile, at the Toledo Union Field, it was GB United, 4-3, over Mavericks, with Pedro Tejada (22’ & 31’) and Dagaberto Garcia (88’ & 89’) sharing the scoring for GB United, while Andre Logan (46’, 50’ & 87) scored all 3 goals for Mavericks.
Both Zone 2 games were also on Sunday. At the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, Roaring Creek United dropped Hope Creek Pumas, 2-1, with a goal apiece from Orin Reneau (50’) and Scott Casey (79’); Hope Creek’s goal was by Octavio Ramirez (70’). And at the Carl Ramos Stadium, San Martin FC won by default (3-0) over Green Gold FC.
PLB PLAYOFF SCRAMBLE CONTINUES
As best we can tell, there has never been a Belize football season, either in the amateur days or in the semi-pro era, as competitive as this one. Seven teams are in this Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Opening Season 2013-2014 which kicked off in the last week of September, 2013; and with the final regular season games scheduled for this Saturday night, January 11, six (6) teams still have a shot at making the 4-team playoffs.
There were two back matches scheduled for last night, but only 1 was played, at the FFB Stadium, and it was a 0-0 draw between Belmopan Bandits FC and Belize Defence Force FC, who are both now tied at 16 points along with FC Belize, who have already completed their regular season. Both the Bandits and BDF have 1 game remaining this Saturday.
The other back match, Verdes FC vs Police FC, takes place tonight at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, and Police cannot afford a draw; they must win if they are to keep their playoff hopes alive. Verdes is already secure with a spot in the post-season.
SPORTS COUNCIL AND THE MCC
The National Sports Council responded to criticisms from this and other corners with a press release yesterday, January 8, explaining that the closure of the MCC is according to a plan previously discussed with the FFB General Secretary and the Premier League President.
According to the release, “On September 18, 2013, the Ag. Director, Mr. Patrick Henry, sent an official correspondence to Mr. Maito Perdomo, President of the Premier League of Belize, outlining the discussion and agreement made at the July 26, 2013, meeting,” “to discuss upgrade and major works to the MCC Grounds.” In response to reports of their directive last week that the MCC would be closed this past Monday, the release conceded that “the MCC Grounds will remain open until both on-going competitions are completed;” and ended with, “The facility will be closed at the conclusion of all on-going competitions.”
There are two important points to consider in light of the Sports Council release. First, football never really ends for any length of time in Belize City. When one competition ends, another soon begins. And second, no mention was made of any other suitable venue which would be made available during the time the MCC is closed; neither was any idea given of what the “upgrade and major works” at the MCC entailed.
Trent Hardwick of the Belize Sea Scouts (BSS) emerges as Belize Sailing Association’s National Champion in the Optimist Class after 2 days of tough sailing over the weekend. With variable weather that saw mostly north-westerly winds between 15 and 30 knots in front of Bird’s Isle, sailors used mostly light-wind techniques and risky strategies. The smaller sailors had an obvious advantage, but experienced sailors still topped the races with better technique.
Here are the other top finishers: Antonio Ricardez, Jr. of the Belize City Sailing Club (BCSC) took 2nd place – silver, and Christopher Young of Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC) took the 3rd place – bronze. The other Top-10 finishers were: 4th, Nashira Ricardez of BCSC; 5th, Isaac Ritchie of Placencia Sailing Club (PSC); 6th,Tyler Garbutt of PSC; 7th, Carlos Villatoro of PSC; 8th, Wilson Rivera of PSC; 9th, Jazmin Campos of CBSC; and 10th, Carla Lopez of PSC.
Bird’s Isle Regatta trophies were also presented by Henry Young, Jr. of Bird’s Isle Restaurant, which provided the seafront venue for the regatta. The top sailors of the regatta were Jerdon Anderson of San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), who received the prize for the 1st Male; and Blanca Velasquez received the trophy for being 1st Female.
PROGRESS, PROBLEMS, AND PHILOSOPHY Editorial
In a modern and functional urban home today, a Belizean family needs a car, a refrigerator, a stove, a washer, a dryer, a home computer. You would also like to have a microwave oven, a couple television sets, a couple radios, cell phones, laptop computers, and the sophisticated third millennium gadgetry which combines telephones with computers.
We do not manufacture any of these equipments and appliances in Belize. We have to buy them from rich countries; in Belize’s case, we purchase most of our equipments and appliances from the United States. But many of these products are actually manufactured or assembled in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, or Mexico. This is because American companies, which own the manufacturing patents, have been “outsourcing” the actual factory production to these other countries and then shipping the finished products back to the United States for worldwide distribution. The labor costs are so low in other countries compared to America’s unionized labor costs that American companies can outsource production, pay for the shipping, and still make more money than they would manufacturing same in the continental U.S.A.
There are Belizean products the Americans and the Europeans buy from us. These include sugar, citrus, bananas, fish, lobster, shrimp, cacao, and papaya. On the world market, the unit price of our primary products is much less than the unit price of the manufactured products we import into Belize in order to “keep up with the Joneses.” It’s a tricky concept to explain. Let’s just say, as an example, Belize has to produce hundreds of pounds of sugar when we want to buy a single washing machine.
PUP TO TAKE EBD TO COURT
Last week, the petition that was launched by the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) for the recall of the current UDP Cayo North East area representative, Hon. Elvin Penner, was flatly struck down before the process could have gone any further, which led to heavy criticism from the PUP, who accused those involved of “playing politics.”
Well, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) came out swinging today, and even claimed sabotage with regard to the 337 petition signatures that have been recently disqualified by the Elections and Boundaries Department – the government body which was responsible for the vetting of the over 2,000 signatures.
Yesterday, in Belize City, the Elections and Boundaries Department held a press conference, in which a group of senior public officers – including Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai – did their best to explain why they had to disqualify the over 300 signatures and justify the ineligibility of those signatures.
“GOOD SAMARITAN” PAYS THE ULTIMATE PRICE: DEATH
A well-known vehicle body repairer, Don Tillett, 45, of Supaul Street, was declared dead at about 8:30 Monday evening at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was rushed there by his family after he fell off his bed at his home, and was not responding to their efforts to revive him.
Tillett was at home recovering from a serious beating he had endured at the hands of three individuals to whom he had given a ride on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, January 1.
According to the police’s official report, Tillett told them that on New Year’s Day, sometime after dark (he does not remember the exact time), he went to check on a house off Central American Boulevard in Belize City in a silver Dodge Neon car, which belongs to Tillett’s nephew, Roque Riverol. On the way, Tillett reportedly stopped on an unnamed street to give a ride to three men, one of East Indian descent and the other two of Creole descent.
Upon reaching the junction of the street and Central American Boulevard, however, Tillett was hit on the back of the head by the man seated behind him, rendering him unconscious.
TWO KILLED IN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS IN SOUTHERN BELIZE
Two men lost their lives as a result of two separate road traffic collisions on Monday on the Southern Highway. The men are Juan Oh, 68, of Santa Rosa, and Charles Paul Noralez, 49, of the Wagaierale area, Dangriga.
At about 6:00 Monday morning, Juan Oh was knocked down and run over by a motorcycle while riding his bicycle on the Southern Highway at about Mile 23 between Santa Rosa and Mayan King Banana Farm.
The driver of the motorcycle was Freddy Acosta, 18, a bus conductor. Oh was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, after which he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but he died shortly after while doctors were trying to help him.
Police reports are that Acosta, of San Roman, Stann Creek District, was driving his blue Meilun motorcycle on the Southern Highway, from the direction of Santa Rosa Village towards Mayan King, and upon reaching Mile 23 in the vicinity of Santa Rosa Village, he hit Oh, who was riding a bicycle in the same direction when Oh attempted to cross the road from right to left.
CANE FARMERS TO MEET WITH BSI ON WEDNESDAY
It’s January 2014, and the cane season still hasn’t started; what’s worse is, no one can say for sure when, or if, it will start. A part of the reason is the heavy rains that have been pummeling the country since last August, but the largest part of it is the still-simmering dispute between the cane farmers and BSI/ASR over payments for bagasse.
The latest timetable projected that the season must start on January 15, 2014; however, the stalemate between the cane farmers and the factory owners continues, so the season will more than likely not begin on that date.
The latest point of contention between both sides is that BSI wants to negotiate with the farmers on a payment for bagasse, but the farmers want them to put it in writing that a payment will be made before any meaningful negotiations can begin.
That fairly fundamental difference prompted a meeting last Friday, January 3, among the branch chairmen of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), who convened to discuss the latest letter to the association from BSI on New Year’s Eve. They also discussed an MOU that is in the works to be presented to the Prime Minister; which the BSFCA said will be beneficial to all parties.
CUBAN NATIONAL DEYSI REYES AVILA, 53, CHARGED WITH USING A PASSPORT THAT WASN’T HERS
Avila and her son, 15, tried to enter the country using Panamanian passports with correct pictures, but different names
Deysi Reyes Avila, 53, a Cuban mathematics teacher, was charged with using a passport that wasn’t hers and allowing her son to use a passport that wasn’t his, when she appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano this evening.
Immigration prosecutor Albert Munnings told the court that at 5:00 yesterday evening, Avila and her son arrived on the Avianca flight 414 at the Philip Goldson International Airport from San Salvador, El Salvador.
While Avila was in the line at the immigration desk, an immigration officer noticed that she was acting suspiciously, and when she arrived at the desk, another officer observed inaccuracies in the port of entry forms that she filled out.
Avila and her son were thus asked to join the officers inside their office at the airport, where she was interviewed. As she was being interviewed, she introduced herself as Nairoby Aleyda Gonzalez, and her son as Ricardo Gonzalez and showed the officers their Panamanian passports, which had the appearance of authentically and lawfully issued documents.
HAITIAN NATIONAL, SANON VERTUS, FINED $1,000 FOR FAKE BELIZEAN VISA
Haitian national Sanon Vertus, 37, was charged with attempting to use a visa which had not been issued by a lawful authority.
According to the Immigration Office’s prosecutor, Vertus arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport yesterday and Immigration officer Eldon August, who was stationed at the airport, escorted him to the Belize City office after he realized that Vertus’ visa, numbered V00076309, inside his Haitian passport, was a fake.
While Immigration officer Gilroy Guzman interviewed Vertus, checks were being made with the office in Belmopan that confirmed that the visa had not been printed or issued by Belize authorities.
THANKS TO DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY INC. COMPTON ALUMNAE CHAPTER Letters
— by Sharon Mejia
Greetings in Jesus’ holy name, the one whose birth we celebrate at Christmas time. Please allow me to use your widely spread newspaper as a medium to thank friends of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Compton Alumnae Chapter. They have blessed over eighty students of Hattieville Government School with school supplies, and a few parents and elderly people were happy to receive gifts as well.
As the vice principal of the school, I wish to convey our heartfelt gratitude for the act of kindness shown to our students who have received the much needed supplies, and we look forward to a visit from some members of the Sorority Chapter in May of 2014. May the Lord abundantly bless you all.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
In our mid-week editorial, I wrote of the “collapse of the Creoles.” This must seem a strange and contradictory statement to the Maya and Garinagu in the north and south of Belize, because they would look at Belize’s political landscape and see that there are seven “Creole-looking” area representatives from Belize City and they are all powerful Cabinet Ministers in the Government of Belize. In fact, the Prime Minister of Belize is a Creole.
Now, perhaps the most important aspect of Belize’s political system, the two-party parliamentary system, is that it forces Belizeans to unite across ethnic and religious lines if they want to achieve political power. The ethnic and religious composition of British Honduras was quite diverse before the nationalist movement began in the colony in 1950.
Ethnic and religious differences amongst the population of the colonized natives always make the job of the colonial master that much easier, because he exploits the fundamental differences amongst the natives in order to facilitate his rule over a territory he has essentially occupied.
It is in the nature of most human beings that they resent having to live under the rule of occupied forces, and so they are always resisting occupation in various forms. Minority elements of the said occupied peoples, for various reasons which feature self-gain, are, for their part, always collaborating with the occupiers or colonizers. When a nationalist uprising against colonialism begins in a territory, as it began in Belize in 1950, then the population is divided by political lines. There are those who are resisting, and those were the People’s United Party (PUP), and then there are those who are collaborating, and these were the National Party (NP) in 1951.
In 1950, the dramatic division in the native population of Belize was not primarily ethnic or religious: it was political. But in 1956, there was a power struggle in the nationalist PUP, and the visual leadership of the PUP changed from Creole faces to become a Mestizo one. In 1958, one of the two Creole leaders who had been overthrown in the PUP, Philip Goldson, made an alliance with the colonialist NP, resulting in the formation of the National Independence Party (NIP). An ethnic consciousness began to affect Belize’s party politics with the coming to power in the PUP of the Mestizo George Price in 1956.
Byron Pope wins KREM New Year’s Classic
Byron Pope of the Benny’s Megabytes team won the Elite race of the 24th annual KREM New Year’s Day cycling classic from the Corozal Free Zone along the Philip Goldson Highway to the finish line at Mahogany Street in Belize City on Wednesday, January 1. Pope broke […]
Shalini Zabaneh wins KREM New Year’s Female Classic
Defending champion Shalini Zabaneh of the Sagitun team shaved 37 minutes off her previous time, clocking 2:35:17 as she won the female race of the 24th annual KREM New Year’s Day cycling classic from the Orange Walk Town Hall to the finish line at Mahogany Street in […]
Big freeze shatters North America temperature records
Weather records have tumbled across North America, with freezing temperatures even in the southern US. The most extreme arctic blasts, blamed on a weather pattern known as the polar vortex, were said to have affected nearly 190 million people. In Kentucky, an escaped prisoner turned himself in to get out […]
Salvadoran ex-leader questioned in Taiwan payment inquiry
Former Salvadoran President Francisco Flores has told a congressional panel that he received cheques worth $10m (£6m) from Taiwan during the last two years of his presidency. Mr Flores, who governed from 1999 to 2004, denied the funds were for his personal use. He said Taiwan donated the money to […]
Failure to expel UDP Cayo South Area Representative, Alvin Penner from the House of Representatives has been a devastating blow to PUP strategy planners who counted on starting the election season 2016/17 with a bang. Penner was wounded and vulnerable after his party abandoned him for his role in the […]
B.N.T.U. rallies for 5% pay increase
The Belize National Teachers Union is calling on Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow to set a five percent pay increase, over the next three years, as the baseline for any pay hike in ongoing wage negotiations as part of a collective bargaining agreement between the […]
Belize district farmers get flood relief
Farmers in the Belize District, who were severely affected by the flooding from the last two month’s unprecedented torrential rains, have received assistance from the Ministry of Natural Resource and Agriculture. Livestock producers in the Crooked Tree and Blackburn areas received animal feed from the […]
Caribbean Tech Ambassador Bevil Wooding Receives LACNIC Lifetime Achievement Award
The Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC) has announced that Caribbean-based technology expert Bevil Wooding is the 2013 recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award. Established in 2009, the prestigious LACNIC Award honours people who have contributed significantly to the development of the Internet and the Information Society in […]
FIU gets new director
Former Commissioner of Income Tax Eric Eusey is the new director of the Financial Intelligence Unit. According to a government release, Eusey assumed office on January 1, taking over from former Director Marilyn Williams whose five-year tenure ended in December 2013. Eusey assumes office in […]
NTUCB calls on Godwin Hulse to review minimum wage
“We are asking Minister of Labor, Godwin Hulse, to look at the living wage proposal and use this to replace minimum wages,” said National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) President Dylan Reneau. According to Reneau, the formula for living wage calculates for the […]
Ministry of health launches investigation
A series of influenza cases, leaving one dead and several hospitalized, has prompted the Ministry of Health to launch an investigation. Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts explained Thursday that the patient who died over the Christmas holidays tested positive for Type-A Influenza. Samples […]
New genetic clues for rheumatoid arthritis cure
An international team of researchers has found more than 40 new areas in DNA that increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. The work is the largest genetic study ever carried out, involving nearly 30,000 patients. The investigators believe new drugs could be developed to target these areas that could one […]
Cornerstone of Belize’s Development
Last year definitely witnessed a palpable increase in the number of government-sponsored infrastructure projects, ranging from Belize City Council’s cementing of streets to the Poverty Alleviation Project. In the short-run, we must admit that these projects have had a positive effect, which was clearly evident in the phenomenon of works […]
BTB, FECTAB see eye to eye on ‘price war’
The Belize Tourism Board agrees with the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB)’s position that Carnival Cruise Lines recent price changes are dangerous for the industry, BTB Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel-Frampton said Tuesday. “We agree with FECTAB on this, because it is not good for the local […]
BEL ok’s PUC’s 4cts/kwh rate cut
Belize Electricity Limited has approved the Public Utilities Commission’s decision to cut electricity rates by 4 cents per kilowatt hour, effective January 1. The company informed the P.U.C. last Friday, January 3, that it had no objections to the final decisions, which was compatible with the […]
Less than 100 murders in 2013
The Police Department released its annual crime statistics and the most notable statistic is the dramatic reduction in murders from the year 2012 to the year 2013. In 2012, there were 145-recorded murders while in 2013 there were only 99-recorded murders; that’s a 31 […]
Hit and Run Driver suffers heart attack and dies
The suspected driver behind the wheel of a New Year’s Day hit and run accident on Central American Boulevard died on his way to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) Monday night following heart complications. Don Tillett, who had been in an induced coma […]
Haitian with fake visa pleads with Magistrate to not to send him home
A Haitian man who entered Belize on a fake visa pleaded with Magistrate Clive Lino not to send him back to his country, telling the Magistrate that Belize is a smaller, but better place. Sanon Vectus, 37, an auto mechanic, pleaded guilty to a […]
Electrician charged with manslaughter by negligence
An electrician and resident of Los Lagos, Ladyville, was released on a $5,000 bail, after he was arraigned on manslaughter by negligence and other related charges before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, on Monday. Cayetano told Jason Grant, 31, that he would not take a plea […]
Immigration investigation: End is in sight!
An investigation into the Immigration Department, whether it was remiss in carryng out its duties in the issuing of passports, visas and permanent residenc may be completed by the end of February, Auditor General Dorothy Bradley told reporters on Wednesday. However,there is still much work […]
Sugar battle sweetens up!
The 2014 sugar cane harvest may begin by January 16, if American Sugar Refinery, majority shareholders of Belize Sugar Industries Limited, agrees to the terms of a compromise agreement for payment for bagasse. The BSI management had worked out the agreement with representatives of the […]
Recall dead! – GOB blames “poor vetting”
Better vetting of the 2,002 signatures presented to Governor-General Sir Colville Young on November 28, 2013 by officials of the People’s United Party (PUP) could have saved the petition to recall Cayo Northeast area representative Elvin Penner. This is the view ofChief Elections Officer Josephine […]
The Belize Times
Kidnapping in Cayo
Two businesspersons were victims of a kidnapping in the Cayo District. The Police are reporting that on Thursday January 09th, they received a report of a kidnapping at a resort in Bullet Tree Village. They went to the Chaa Creek Office located on Burns Avenue, San Ignacio ...
In the year-ending issue of the BELIZE TIMES, we promised to deliver yet another bombshell of a hustle involving none other than the already-embattled Edmund “Clear the Checks” Castro. Well, it is ...
PUP Rejects Recall Petition Sabotage
Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca has rejected the Elections and Boundaries Department’s decision to invalidate the Recall Petition against Elvin Penner and has warned that the People’s United Party will challenge the move in Court. In addressing ...
SABOTAGE – … UDP GOVERNMENT protects Penner AGAIN
Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai had a very hard time defending and explaining the Elections and Boundaries Department’s unpopular decision to disqualify the Recall process triggered by the people of Cayo North East against disgraced UDP politician Elvin Penner.
Considering the political consequence of a successful recall petition against Elvin Penner and how it would have threatened Dean Barrow’s power and control of the House of Representatives, many are not surprised by the Elections and Boundaries Department decision. Yet, it is unacceptable.
Tamai claimed that despite the 2,002 petition signatures garnered in support of Penner’s recall, which met and surpassed the amount required to trigger a Recall under the Recall of Elected Representatives Act (2010), the Elections and Boundaries Department disqualified the process because after they eliminated 337 petitions for various reasons, the remaining amount found to be valid did not meet the required amount.
THINK ABOUT IT
ELECTIONS OFFICE IS WRONG The decision of the Elections office, and by extension the Government, to reject the recall petition is wrong. Very wrong. Legally as well. The Government sent CIB (Criminal Investigation Branch) to check on whether or not some persons who could not sign their names and placed ...
New Year, Same Rules
By G. Michael Reid The year 2013 will have to be considered one of the worse years of corruption ever in Belize. Belizeans hardly had the time to digest one scandal before another one was sitting on the plate. It is comforting to hear the unions declare 2014 as a year ...
THE YEAR OF HOPE
2013 was a depressing year for most Belizeans. It was a year of hardship, disappointment, tribulation, and downright sufferation. To add insult to injury, Belizeans also had to bear witness to the unending saga of corruption and incompetence from a government led by a ruthless dictator hell-bent on holding onto power ...
Police United blasts FC Belize 2-0
Defending champions, Police United FC, are still in the hunt for a spot in the 2013-2014 Belikin Cup football playoffs as they dumped FC Belize 2-0 for their 2nd win ...
Byron Pope wins KREM New Year’s Elite Cycling Race
Team Benny’s Megabytes dominated the KREM New Year’s Day cycling classic elite race, with Byron Pope winning the race and Mexican import Carlos Lopez taking 2nd. Pope clocked 3:48:11 to ...
Brown Bombers are SMART Mundialito Champs
The Brown Bombers won the 2013 SMART Mundialito football championship held at the MCC Garden in Belize City on Sunday, December 22. The Bombers bombed the defending champs, Hattieville United Youth Sporting ...
AMAZING GRACE – Book Covers… which is yours?
“Man is not what he thinks he is; he is what he hides.” French novelist, André Malraux captures the essence of man’s ability to deceive in this one profound quote. How often have we all heard the age-old proverb, “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Sometimes, what you ...
The rains & why industrialization is so important
By Richard Harrison Belize generates income from petroleum, tourism, primary agriculture (banana, papaya, shrimps, corn, beans, beef) and secondary agriculture (sugar and by-products, citrus concentrate, juices and drinks), and off-shore financial services. Notice I did not say profits or wealth...these only result when income exceeds expenses. Petroleum became the new kid on the ...
Ending Childhood Hunger
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph "When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, ‘Now, is that political or social?’ He said, ‘I feed you.’ Because the good news to a hungry person is bread." - Desmond Tutu As we enter a new year, we must remember to address the impact of childhood hunger ...
LeRoy Banner called to the Bar – Belize River Valley’s First Attorney
By Roy Davis On December 13th, in a brief and quiet ceremony at the Court of the Chief Justice, Hon. Kenneth Benjamin, Crown Counsel Leroy Banner, 31, became a member of the bar association. To support his application, banner received affidavits from ...
The PM’s Disconnected New Year’s Message
In his short and empty New Year’s message filled with platitudes, the Prime Minister, put on a display of his hypocrisy and disconnectedness. After being adamantly opposed, when in Opposition, to the ...
WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – On the Community Vote & Christmas Program
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia I would like first of all to wish all Belizeans a Peaceful and Constructive New Year 2014. May we all find the patience, resilience and fighting spirit that are so needed in facing the challenges of life today! I also wish all residents of Belize Rural Central ...
Elvin Penner’s Sins, UDP Crimes
A Recall in Cayo North East would make Dean Barrow look bad as he is the chief architect of the making of disgraced UDP area representative Elvin Penner. Penner was caught on national ...
It’s time for a National UPRISING
By Norris Hall The time is ripe to mobilize all Belizeans across the political spectrum, religious persuasions, the Trade Unions, businesses, farmers, students and all Belizeans at home and abroad who have a stake in this nation, in a national protest against the abuse of power, incompetence and in-your-face corruption by ...
BNTU National Presidential Address
By Mr. Luke Palacio, President, Belize National Teachers’ Union The Belize National Teachers’ Union greets the nation of Belize in this festive season and at a time when our nation is at ...
The Cold Front Moves out and Leaves a GORGEOUS Day in San Pedro
Yesterday was a chilly rainy dark mess of a day for just about everyone. But it was the tail end of the cold front…at last…and this morning, the sun rose over a pretty cloudless sky. Here are a few picture along the beach in the Boca Del Rio area just north of San Pedro Town.
Yesterday’s puddles will clear up soon…at least the ones on the basketball court in Boca Del Rio Park.
Still one of my favorite buildings, Caye Casa Boutique Hotel.
Adrian just lounging in the sun…not something you see Belizeans doing all that often. Vitamin D levels are critically low!
Maiden of the Rock: Xunantunich Maya Ruins
Just fifteen minutes from Ka’ana, on a journey over the river and through the woods, lies another world. A world of ceremonial temples, ancient artisans and stunning rainforest views.
Perfectly situated on top of a natural limestone ridge, the views from the ruins at Xunantunich are unparalleled. From the top of the largest pyramid, El Castillo, you can take in a stunning 360-degree panorama of jungle-covered countryside and small villages, stretching all the way in to Guatemala.
Last inhabited over 1,000 years ago, Xunantunich (pronounced “Shoe-nan-too-nitch”) is one of the most impressive Mayan sites in Belize. The name means “Maiden of the Rock” or “Stone Woman”, after the ghostly Mayan woman who is rumored to have appeared to some local villagers over a hundred years ago. Keep an eye out for her!
A History of Muslims in Belize
How Islam came to this small Caribbean nation, as seen through the quest of Hakeemah Cummings’s father to find guidance during a time of flux.
My parents’ home country is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. Nestled in the strip of land between North and South America, Belize is a tiny nation rich with a vibrant cultural mix of both Latin America and the Caribbean. Its sandy beaches on the coast of the Caribbean Sea make it a coveted destination for honeymooners and its diverse wildlife makes it a sanctuary for conservationists. Central America and the Caribbean have historically served as a crossroads for the exchange of culture, goods and ideas. This is precisely how Islam was introduced to Belize.
My father was first introduced to Islam in 1983. Before his conversion, he described himself as one of the rebellious youth of the time. “I rebelled against every form of organised authority, be it religion or government,” he told me.
My grandmother was a church-going Christian, but from a young age my father had already chosen a different course. He and his friends banded together in a concerted effort to interrupt church services, heckling ministers in the midst of sermons and boldly suggesting that community leaders address the everyday issues faced by the people: community cleanliness, civic empowerment and education instead of preaching religion.
In the late 1970s, he joined a political movement founded during the power struggle between neighbouring Guatemala and Britain over the territorial ownership of Belize, which became fully independent in 1981. The Belize Action Movement aimed to strategically and systematically boycott key governmental agencies and corporations within the country to force the government into resolving the power struggle and restore the quality of life to the Belizean people.
Cost of Belikin Beer and how to shop at the distributor
There are two separate distributor buildings and there has been some back and forth between the two over the years leaving some people wondering exactly how pick up and returns work. While you can still drop empties off at the old Belikin Beer distributor across from Island academy from 9:00am – 11:30am or 1:00pm – 3:00pm, most transactions are happening out of the Crystal Water & Ice Distributor located south of town. To get there travel south on the main road out of town until you have to make a right, to continue on. Keep going straight past the gas station intersection and on your right hand side you will find Crystal water and Ice. Their hours of operation and contact number are 226 – 4441 Monday – Friday 8:00pm – 5:00pm and Saturday 8:00pm – 12:00pm
Beer pricing in BZD: Regular Belikin $49.95 a case of 24 beers plus $11 deposit for a total cost of $60.95 lighthouse and stout the same price. Guinness $72.10 with a case deposit of $8.60. Premium is out of stock right now.
Water 5 gal jug: $25 deposit for 5 gal plastic $3.60. They also used to sell plastic water dispensers but the guy I spoke to on the phone said they did not have any right now.
Soda: Fanta Coke and Sprite are also available by the case and cost $17.88 with $11:00 deposit.
Hooray For Our Fine Feathered Friends in Belize
Former US President Jimmy Carter is universally respected for his work with Habitat for Humanity, and justly so, as the organisation goes around the world building houses for people.
Not so well known is Michael Keys who, with his son, Larkin, hikes deep into the savannas of Belize to build houses for birds. Trudging in with ladders and chain saws, they climb up trees to carve holes into which they insert a wooden box.
Voila – a new home for yellow-headed parrots, who will hopefully nest and produce offspring to boost the population of this endangered species.
Mr Keys is a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, stationed at Florida’s St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. He and his son are coming to Belize later this month, where they’ll spend some 18 days clambering some 30 feet up trees and installing the birdhouses.
“This is a species that could go extinct and I have this one specialised skill that can help,” Keys said. “I’m not a heart surgeon or anything. So this is my contribution to helping the habitat.”
Guatemala and Belize Working to Resolve Dispute
The Governments of Guatemala and Belize have agreed to increase bilateral measures to strengthen relations between both countries, despite the pending resolution of a territorial dispute dating back to 1859, they said today in this capital city.
Wilfred Erlington, Foreign Minister of Belize, and his Guatemalan counterpart, Fernando Carrera, agreed yesterday to create a Joint Commission to increase measures to boost confidence and propose others to strengthen bilateral relationships and avoid any kind of conflict, said the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry.
The old dispute deals with Guatemala´s demand for 12,700 square kilometers from among the hundreds of islands and cays belonging to Belize; almost half of the total territory of that former British colony.
Foreign ministers of both countries held "a successful and productive meeting on January 9, 2014, in Belize City, where they talked about various issues of common interest", said the official communique.
Jack Chivers Realty changes hands; Lakes County cheerleader says he'll keep selling
Over the years, Chivers said he has sold at least 176 resorts and hotels, as well as small-town newspapers, printing companies and radio stations. He also acquired land for the Menard’s stores in Moorhead, Bemidji and Detroit Lakes.
Chivers said the commercial sales worked hand-in-hand with selling lakeshore properties.
He owns a home on Big Detroit Lake, and he convinced many businesspeople that he met that they, too, could own a little piece of lakeside heaven.
“Essentially, all my adult life I’ve looked out a window and looked at a lake,” Chivers said.
Chivers at one time also owned Travel Travel in Detroit Lakes, another travel firm called Magnum America’s Hunting and Fishing Tours, and Captain Morgan’s Retreat, a resort in the Central American country of Belize. However, he no longer has a hand in any of those ventures.
Christmas storm underlines Caribbean’s vulnerability
Guyanese President Donald Ramotar says the death and destruction caused by intense rainfall in three Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries over the Christmas holidays is a sign that the region has no time to lose in fortifying its resiliance to climate change.
A slow-moving, low-level trough on Dec. 24 dumped hundreds of millimetres of rain on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica, killing at least 13 people. Following the deadly floods and landslides, the Guyanese government approved financial support of 100,000 dollars each for St. Lucia and St. Vincent and 75,000 to Dominica.
“The scientific evidence is showing that for our region, which is one of the most vulnerable, these weather events will become more frequent as the impacts of global climate change intensify,” Ramotar told IPS. Guyana’s coastal plains are approximately six feet below sea level.