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The San Pedro Sun
Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association Agree to Memorandum with BSI/ASR
The Office of the Prime Minister welcomes the decision of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association yesterday to sign a memorandum with Belize Sugar Industry (BSI) providing for negotiations to fix the quantum of payment for bagasse; and providing for a start date for 2014 deliveries. The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is pleased that the efforts of the Government in getting ASR/BSI to accept the obligation to pay farmers for bagasse, have helped with this breakthrough.
The OPM also takes the opportunity to announce that the two million dollars ($2M BZD) worth of works on sugar roads that GOB promised, will commence immediately.
Jhoan Hernandez is the first Belizean to win the CA Junior Angler of the Year Award
An 11 year old student of Holy Cross Anglican School captured a regional award for his dedication in fishing. Jhoan Hernandez, a resident of San Mateo Area on Ambergris Caye was awarded the Central American Junior Angler 2013 Award by Accurate Reel, located in Costa Mesa, California. It is the first time that a Belizean was nominated and has won such an award, which seeks to recognize junior anglers in the Central American region.
An emotional Hernandez received the surprising news on Thursday January 9th when he was visited at school during a small assembly. Presenting a picture plaque with the signatures of the board members of Accurate Reel was Rudy Lewis of Strike Force Belize and Roberto “Robbie” Guerrero, President of the San Pedro Game Fishing Association. In presenting the award, Lewis said that the recognition acknowledges the dedication of the person and encourages him to pursue his dreams. “Some of the people that fished with us at Strike Force Belize and use Accurate Reel products made the nomination and he was selected from among other nominees from Central America. This is the first time a Belizean has received such award and it is an honor to be presenting him with this distinction.”
Sinesio Rash-Diamond in the Rough
My Beautiful Belize loves attending local art shows. Not only are there plenty of cool original pieces to be purchased, but the talented artists that create the wonderful, work are there by the multitudes from painting to sketches, carvings and other art forms that portray iconic aspects of Belize, talent abounds.
It was there that we ventured upon 23 year old Sinesio Rash. Sinesio’s vividly sketched canvasses quickly caught our eye and as you see for yourself the work he does, I’m sure you’ll understand just why he is our newest Diamond in the Rough. Sinesio was born in Punta Gorda Town on October 4, 1990, and he is currently residing in Corozal Town in northern Belize. It was at age 2 that Sinesio started picking up early forms of art, as his older brothers introduced him to sketches which he would often try to mimic by doodling versions of his own. Sinesio would even resort to drawing on the back of labels from canned goods when he needed a surface to create his craft. Today the very talented Rash enjoys sketching, painting and tattooing.
New York Times Lists Belize in ‘52 Places to Go in 2014’
As Belize’s popularity keeps rising, more and more magazines, websites and blogs keep highlighting the country with positive vibes and accolades. Best dive sites, best island in the world, best beaches and best places to retire are just a few of the lists Belize has been featured on. The Belize Tourism Board indicates increasing trends in the tourism industry and is working hard in keeping up the good image of the country as a top destination to visit.
With this said, one of the first highlights of this year comes from the New York Times that has listed Belize in the ‘52 Places to Go in 2014’. How about that? “More flights and lodges in Central America’s eco-frontier” says the post about Belize.
Pic of the Week: What Does the Pelican Say?
What does the Pelican say? We are not quite so sure, but this one was very quiet as it stood still perched next to the Amigos del Mar Dive Shop, in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. It was catching some rays as the early moring sun rose to a busy Saturday morning. The staff at Amigos del Mar was already preparing for a busy day of snorkeling and diving while the rest of San Pedro was just waking up.
Misc Belizean Sources
Bridge repairs well underway! One side has been completed! (4 photos)
BAD to let those BIG trucks, cars over - this bridge was NOT built for that torcher!
SAN MARCOS, SAN PABLO AND DFC RECEIVE MORE HARD CORE! (9 photos)
Nice job but when will it reach the airstrip area that is the entrance to san pedrito the 3 streets have not gotten any help!
PRAYERS ARE EXTENDED TO PAUL NABOR WHO IS IN THE PG HOSPITAL
Seventy-four-year-old Paul Nabor hails from Punta Gorda, a sleepy, coastal town of 6,000 in southern Belize. This parandero, or old master of the Paranda musical style, is also a buyei, a spirit medium and healer who attends to his congregation at a Garifuna temple he built in Punta Gorda.
Brown Street and Staine Street in Belmopan will receive it's first coat of tar and chippings (pave).
Residents are asked to park in their yards or on another street Tuesday. Residents on the neighboring three streets are asked to be on the lookout the rest of the week. Please park where your vehicle will not be an obstruction.
WHO IS BOB RENEAU THIS ART OF A PERSON!
The legendary Belizean dance instructor, musical composer and painter Bob Reneau is not your typical kind of artist today. He was a special breed of Belizean artist that could not be duplicated ever in the history of the arts in Belize. His range varies from Belize's most brilliant Choreographer, to one of Belize's best folk music composers, to one of Belize's most colorful painters. Bob Reneau was also a skillful fashion designer and tailor who designed many of the costumes for his dynamic dance troupes that made the now National Institute of Culture & History (NICH) or The Bliss Center for Performing Arts exploded with dance and galore in the 60's and early 70's.
TRIBUTE TO A SPECIAL LADY
Back in the sixties, something strange was taking place on the verandah of the St. Catherine Elementary building near the sea. The creative process of invention was being implemented as the long iron railing became the stretching barre as budding ballerinas did their plies. These young pre-teen and teenage girls were learning the basic technique and exercises of classical Ballet under the critical eye of their dance mistress.
That time was the beginning of what became the lifelong contribution to Belizean dance, culture and growth. Mrs. Mary Valdes, with her vivid imagination, commitment to excellence and positive attitude, taught dancing to girls whose physical growth was paralleled by the spiritual and ethical values of honesty, integrity, sharing, and love for fellow human beings.
DYS Logo Design Competition
The Department of Youth Services is having a logo competition for youths between the ages of 15 and 24. The deadline is January 31st, and you can download the forms at their website here. ; If you have a great idea, you might win an Ipad 4.
"Belizean youths - 'Have your say!' This is a Ministry of Youth & Sports initiative. The winner of the logo competition gets an IPAD 4 and the bragging rights! Visit any of our offices nationwide and register today...."
King's Children's Home Moves to New Building
Feelgood news of the day. The King's Children's Home, which is a Belmopan based non-profit dedicated to helping and providing residential care for kids in difficult circumstances regardless of culture, race, or religion, moved into their new building.
UNIBAM says the killing of Joseph Sanchez was “inhumane”
The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) has sent out a strong statement denouncing “the vicious, senseless and inhumane killing of young Joseph Sanchez.”
Sanchez, 18, was stabbed and killed early on Sunday morning on Elston Kerr Street in Belize City. The UNIBAM statement says that the organization “calls for the most comprehensive investigation to send a clear message to the rest of society that in Belize we won’t tolerate this kind of hate crime.”
The official police report says that Sanchez’ body was found around 1:50 am “dressed in a white sleeveless blouse and a short green and black skirt with an apparent stab wound to the center of the chest.”
While the police report states that investigations “revealed that Joseph Sanchez was walking alone on Elston Kerr Street when he was approached by two male persons who tried to rob him and before fleeing, inflicted the injuries,” the UNIBAM statement explains that “the entire advocacy movement shares the family’s confusion, anger, and grief.”
“This type of violent crime is more likely to occur in a society with established stigma against gays lesbians and transgendered people,” the UNIBAM statement says, going on to explain that “laws that criminalize any part of the lives of these people help sustain this type of stigma.
PM says work on fixing sugar roads starts immediately
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today announced that BZ$2 million worth of works on the sugar roads in the north will commence immediately.
The announcement of the commencement of the repairs to the sugar roads come in the aftermath of the signing of a memorandum between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industry (BSI) paving the way for negotiations on the amount to be paid for bagasse.
A short statement from the office of Prime Minister Barrow notes that government “is pleased that the efforts of the Government in getting ASR/BSI to accept the obligation to pay farmers for bagasse, have helped with this breakthrough.”
Toledo Community College gets 3D printer
The Toledo Community College has acquired a state-of-the-art piece of equipment to be used by teachers. The new 3D printer was recently installed and is now operational. A teacher at TCC Marcel Palma, spoke with our Toledo Correspondent Juan Caal about the new piece of equipment. The Toledo Community College promotes itself as “a school that prepares employable graduates with good work ethics. Further education is our student’s second nature as they aspire to become nationalistic citizens in leadership positions with high moral values. A highly trained, motivated and dedicated staff will see this vision a reality.”
Peter Eden Martinez was chosen to be the UDP standard bearer in the Toledo East constituency
Martinez garnered 1,311 votes in a constituency convention held on Sunday in Punta Gorda town. His challenger in the convention, Heston Wagner received 390 votes. Congratulations Peter Eden Martinez.
Remembering Julian Cho (April 6, 1962 – Dec. 1, 1998) by Jerry A. Enriquez
It was not the type of news that I was prepared to receive on December 1, 1998. But then, who can ever predict what will happen each day or any moment in life? The only permanence in life is its impermanence. We know not the day or the hour.
“Hilá numada” (My friend is dead) was all I could say when the Garifuna helper at my home wondered why tears were quietly streaming down my face as I reclined silently in my living room sofa with eyes closed trying to fathom the news of passing of my friend Julian Cho. She quietly handed me a glass of water and a handkerchief. After that hour of mournful reflection I emerged with a resolve to continue supporting friend’s work. It’s why I became a Board member of the Julian Cho Society and supported the struggle through the courts.
Julian’s life was cut short at 36 years old, during the prime of his leadership in the Toledo Maya Cultural Council (TMCC). His unanimous election as Chairman of that organization in December 1995 had turned the tide of the history of his people’s struggles.
18 Year Old Transgender Youth Killed, Was It a Hate Crime?
Tonight Belize LBGT community is reeling from the murder of one of its own. Joseph Sanchez, a Belize City teenager who identified with a transgender orientation was found dead on Sunday morning at 2:47 am in the Collett area of Belize City; he had been stabbed and dumped on the side of a street.
When police found the body on the sidewalk of Elston Kerr Street at 1:50 am, they thought it was a female, because the victim wore a white sleeveless vest, a short green and black skirt, with women's underwear and matching physique, and wearing a woman's hair style, makeup and jewelry. But Sanchez, who called himself Prince Joe was known to dress in drag, and wore a weave.
Police took the body to the morgue as a female, but didn't know the true sex of the victim until they found his phone and traced the number, it led them back to Joseph Sanchez, an 18 year old who was openly transgender. His murder - which is being called a hate crime has fused two burning issues: violent crime and violence against gays. We look at both in our report on the story:..
Let There Be Cane! New Sugar Deal Signed!
But first, to a story that's making national headlines tonight: the standoff in the sugar industry is officially over.
The cane farmers agreed to a compromise agreement on Sunday, and both sides signed the agreement an hour and a half ago. It's only an interim agreement, but it's a very major breakthrough because it allows for the beginning of the crop season in one week.
7News was at the signing which just finished a few minutes ago, and our team is heading back - we'll have that story for you a little later on.
How The Sugar Deal Almost Went Sour
And while today's signing was delayed by more than two hours - that has nothing on the marathon session yesterday - where the farmers had to all agree to move forward, though with a very uneasy truce. Daniel Ortiz found out that the farmers almost didn't agree - even though everything was on the line. Here's the report from San Roman in the Corozal District:..
Daniel Ortiz reporting
Hundreds of cane farmers attended the general membership meeting in San Narciso Village to hear from their association's executive about how far they've progressed in the bagasse dispute.
The men showed major interest, as they should, after all, they have held the country's sugar industry at a crossroads, a fact that they were very well aware of.
Their leaders faced them with all the cards laid on the table; they were seeking a mandate on whether to end the embargo and start to deliver the cane so that the season could start. For the latest developments, the executive of the association looked to their attorney to explain what has been happening behind the scenes since the breakthrough last week.
Father of 3 Murdered In City
Sunday morning started out with the news of a murder in the City, and by nighttime, there would be two more. One of the victims is Emerson McDonald, a 38 year old father of three known as Ras Emo. Just after 5:00 on Sunday evening, he was walking with a friend on Central American Boulevard near the corner with Neal's Pen Road when a masked gunman pulled up on a bicycle and opened fire. McDonald was shot in his back as he tried to run into a nearby yard for cover, while an innocent passerby, Joseline Maximo was shot in the leg.
McDonald was rushed to the KHMH by a friend but he died a little later around 7:00 pm; the 9 millimeter bullet damaged his heart. As it turns out, he was fatally shot just around the corner from his own home on Arlington Drive where his wife was sleeping and half a block from his family home on Neal Pen Road where his mother was resting.
Today, she told us they have lost a provider and a dutiful son:..
Man Killed While Walking With Aunt
That shooting happened at 5:00 pm on Sunday, and by 9:30 there would be another gun murder. The victim in this case was 25 year old Derrick Parham. On Sunday night at 9:30, he was walking with his aunt at the corner of Iguana and Curassow Street in an area known as 123rd block. They weren't far from home when a Red car pulled up and a "dark skinned" man with dread locks jumped out of the car and fired a single shot at Derrick Parham, hitting him in the back. He was rushed to the KHMH but died shortly after at 10:00 pm. Today, 7News spoke with his mother who told us that the gunmen ambushed him when he was returning home from a party, just a stone's throw away from his house.
Andrea Rosales, mother of deceased
"We were home in the yard and we heard 2 gunshots. My husband and one of my older sons they ran out, my daughters they ran out also. We were thinking anything of it, and then someone came and say that it was Derrick who got shot. He was coming from his aunt house. They had a birthday for her grandson, so there was eating and drinking at her house, so he was there and in the night they were coming home."
"What we understand that a red car drove up from behind and pointed the gun at him and fired 2 shots."
Education Minister Still Says Teacher Rallies Should Not Cause School Closings
On Friday we showed you teachers in Orange Walk and Corozal rallying for their pay increase, and also rallying against the government. The rallies continue this Friday in Belize City, where the teachers are hoping for a large turnout - which could mean that your child's school will be closed. Today, education Minister Patrick Faber told us that he is still not convinced that the rallies need to shut down school in each district that it moves to:
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"I still maintain the fact that schools need to be close down and that kind of flexing needs to happen. I believe that the relationship between certainly the Ministry of Education and the BNTU is a good one, but I believe that the relationship between the wider bodies that were involved in the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations and the Government of Belize, even at the highest level with the Prime Minister, very health and continues to work well, so that if that is the issue the 30% salary adjustment or anything else that was on the table as it relates to that Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiation then I don't see the need for it."
Major Bust Of Smuggling Ring In Benque; Products Come From Bz
On Friday, Guatemalan military and police descended on Melchor in an unprecedented operation that has led to the arrest of 37 smugglers, some of them Guatemalan Customs Officials.
A diagram of the group's criminal structure on the Guatemalan police website shows that they are called the Cigarettes Crew, and that's because one of the major things they smuggled was cigarettes from Belize. And we don't mean a few cartons; we mean container-fuls.
This helps to explain why there was such a flare-up ten days ago about the container of Chinese Made Modern Cigarettes. According to our investigations, hundreds of containers of this are brought into Belize annually destined for the northern and western free zones - and much of it is smuggled into Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador, and into Mexico from Guatemala.
The Taking of the Palencia
Tonight the international Cargo vessel Palencia remains docked off Belize, under Port Guard. As we told you on Friday, Government seized the vessel when it landed at the Port of Belize to off load cargo on Friday. The reason is that the ship's owner owes a 9 plus million dollar fine for another ship that crashed into the reef two years ago. Today Government's attorney Denys Barrow explained how a ship can be arrested:..
"It is basic that you can acclaim against a ship that you can arrest the ship which has done damage which is to say, you make an application to the court and the court issues a warrant for the arrest of the ship. The object is that since the ship is the object that has caused the damage this ship stands liable to satisfy the claim for compensation for the damage. The ship therefore should not be permitted to leave the waters until proper arrangements in the form of security almost like bail is given for the ship to leave."
"However the ship that incurs the liability, the Paranga has long since flown or sailed."
BAA: Castro’s Cookie Jar?
More cheques have been revealed by the Belize Times showing payments paid to Minister of state in the Ministry of Transport Edmund Castro. When the first four thousand cheque was published in December, General Manager Kenworth Tillett told us that it was assistance for Castro's mother's funeral. But, now the Belize Times has published another check issued to Coye's Funeral Home for $3,337.50. The paper also published another cheque for $5156.55 - both issued in April and May of last year.
Sp what are the cheques for, and what is the justification for a statutory body under the Minister of Transport to be paying the relevant Minister of State?
Well, today when we reached Kenworth Tillett, he indicated that he hadn't seen the story. We emailed it to him, and he told us that he'd call us back. Up to newstime, he hadn't.
Supreme Court Opening: It Wasn’t A Very Good Year
On the second Monday in January every year, the Supreme Court of Belize has its ceremonial opening. We’ve covered it for 19 years now, but we’ve noticed that while the staid proceedings still carry an air of importance, this year Jules Vasquez wondered how much of that is self-importance? Here’s his report:…
Schoolteacher Sent To Jail For Impregnating Child
Tonight, 51 year-old teacher Verden Samuel Blease is at prison after he was taken court for having sexual relations with 14 year-old girl. The child, in the presence of her mother, told police that in October of last year, she went to a house with Blease, who she referred to as her boyfriend, where they had intercourse, which they had been doing for the past 8 months. She started feeling sick, and a medical examination determined that she was 11 weeks pregnant.
As a result of police, investigations, police charged Blease with 2 counts of carnal knowledge, and 5 counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature.
He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison until February 13, his next court date. The date on the charges suggests that Blease, who told police that he is employed as teacher, had been making inappropriate sexual advances toward the child for years.
Former Police Minister Robbed
Former Police Minister and current cabinet secretary Carlos Perdomo was robbed on Saturday morning.
Perdomo who lives in Caribbean Shores and has been doing his morning exercise in the area for decades had started riding. But on Saturday morning before 6:00 am he was held up by two men at the corner of Newtown barracks and Barrack Road. Reports are that they took his bicycle, his cell phone and his personal pouch.
Another man who tried to render assistance, was also robbed of cash.
Sugar Roads Still A Sore Point
As we told you in the top of our newscast, for the first time since the bagasse dispute broke, there is a truce between the cane farmers and the factory owners. And Monday at 10 a.m. is the date set for the first load of cane to be delivered and milled.
BTL Park: Can You Say When?
The new BTL Park in Belize City will make history for the most money ever invested in a public space. But that’s not the only extreme qualifier the park can claim. It may also be the most delayed high profile project in memory. But now, after a December of punishing rains, the Mayor told the media that they’re ready to name a new date.
Man Charged For Greengold Farm Murder
Last week Monday, we told you about the first 2 murders of 2014. One of them was the brutal chopping of 41 year-old Maria Domitilia Perez, a business woman from Benque Viejo Town.
Well, police say they've solved that one, and they've arrested and charged 51 year-old Manuel Ernesto Urguia Mencia, a Honduran manager of one of the Green Gold Banana Farmers.
He was arraigned today for murder in the Southern Sessions of the Magistrate's Court and he has since been remanded to prison.
Police have been informed that Perez and Urgia Mencia had an affair, and their disagreement that night was allegedly a dispute about money, which Mencia believed that Perez had pocketed.
They'll have to investigate that information, but what police do know is that they found Perez murdered with multiple chop wounds all over the face.
A-Rod Supplier Bosch Was In Belize
Turn on any American news channel right now and the headline story is probably about Anthony Bosch - the founder of the Biogenisis Labs that allegedly supplied basbell star Alex Rodriguez with a steady stream of banned performance enhancing substances. But, what we've also learned in all the coverage is that Bosch went to medical school in Belize. The central American Health Sciences University today confirmed that Bosch graduated from their school. Due to confidentiality they couldn't say when he attended, but they did say that he graduated. The school is located at the Boom cutoff.
Farmers pen agreement with B.S.I.
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has finally signed an agreement with the Belize Sugar Industries and its parent company, the American Sugar refinery. The parties penned the deal at [...]
Cane farmers meet: sugar crop season set to begin on Monday
While there is a formal signing which ends the months-long impasse between B.S.I. and the B.S.C.F.A., it is an uneasy truce. There are farmers who support the start of the [...]
3 murders in the City: Cross-dresser killed on Elston Kerr Street
Three persons were murdered over the weekend in the city, all within proximity of their homes. The most perplexing is the murder of eighteen year old Jatnet Sanchez, a cross [...]
UNIBAM president says murder was a hate crime
As we said earlier, the police claim the murder of Joseph Sanchez was motivated by robbery. The family believes it is a crime of passion. But the leading advocacy movement [...]
Derrick “Beng” Parham killed short distance from house
The two other murders over the weekend also remain under investigation. Just before ten on Saturday night, twenty five year old Derrick Parham was shot in the presence of his [...]
Emerson McDonald, the 3rd murder victim for the weekend
The third murder occurred some fourteen hours later around five-thirty p.m. on Sunday. Thirty-eight year old Emerson McDonald of an Arlington Drive address in Belize City was shot once to [...]
…Suspect of murder, Patrick Bevans, shot by police
Police have since detained two men in connection with the murder; one of whom is currently at the K.H.M.H. following another shooting that happened just before ten that night. Members [...]
Drug baron arrested in Belize
Guatemalan national Adolfo Eribel Rodriguez Barrientos, the alleged successor of the Paredes organization, a principal drug trafficking ring in Guatemala, has reportedly been nabbed by D.E.A. agents in Belize. Rodriguez [...]
B.S.I. C.E.O. explains agreement
Late this evening, Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industry signed an agreement in principle on the payment of bagasse and agreed to start the crop on [...]
Supreme Court opens with all the bells and whistles
The traditional pomp and circumstance accompanied the opening of the Supreme Court this morning. The spotlight of the event is shared between the Chief Justice, the Attorney General and the [...]
Minister of Education says there is no breakdown with B.N.T.U.
The teachers have held two successful marches and rallies in Orange Walk and Corozal and are planning similar events in the City and the rest of the country. The Belize [...]
Minister to be deliberate in its response to B.N.T.U.’s action
Minister Faber also says that the Ministry will be deliberate in how it responds to what he called the sustained interruption of classes by teachers. Patrick Faber, Minister of [...]
B.T.L. Park soon to be opened
The launch of the B.T.L. Park was initially scheduled for December twentieth, but the rains interrupted the opening. Residents will now wait a few more days because the park will [...]
A teacher is arraigned for sexually abusing a minor
A teacher, who was accused of having sex with a minor since she was seven years of age, was today charged with seven criminal offenses including carnal knowledge and six [...]
Belizeans named to contraband ring across the western border
A sting operation recently conducted in Melchor de Mencos has resulted in the arrests of at least thirty-seven individuals believed to be operating a cross-border contraband smuggling ring. It is [...]
Sports Monday: the weekend sporting activities by James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The Belikin Cup concluded regular season play with 3 matches on Saturday that produced the 4 teams to make [...]