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Former Assistant Commissioner Elodio Aragon Jr. Wins Convention In O/W East
The General Elections are three years away but with both major political parties already setting the stage by holding conventions to elect their Standard Bearers it would seem that elections are not that far. Over the weekend the ruling party held convention in the Orange Walk East Constituency where two candidates, who already have a political back ground, threw in their hat in the political ring. Backed up by his father, former Minister Elodio Aragon, Elodio Aragon Junior, Former Deputy Police Commissioner went head to head against former UDP Town Councilor and teacher David Constanza. It was in deed a tight race that at the end even prompted allegations that the winner bought over the election. Our news team was there to capture the highlights and filed the following report.
Flamboyant Street in Orange Walk Town was closed off to a sea of red shirts and populated with tents - it looked like a political festival had come to town. But inside on Zericote Street, at the entrance to Louisiana Government School, it was intense and competitive despite it being a UDP Convention.
Former Deputy Police Commissioner, dubbed ‘Son of the East’ Elodio Aragon Junior went head to head against former UDP Town Councilor and six form teacher David Contanza who was looking to enhance his political carrier by contending the title of Standard Bearer for the Orange Walk East Constituency. Both candidates felt extremely confident in what would be a close race for the east.
Bus Loaded With Tourist Ignited By Fire, No One Is Hurt
A group of tourist received the fright of their lives this afternoon as the bus they were traveling in burst into flames near mile 25 of the George Price Highway.
Images we received show the bus completely engulfed in flames and fire fighters doing their best to dose off the inferno.
We have been unable to confirm what caused the bus to catch fire but we can tell you is that luckily, no one was injured.
BTB Holds Consultation On National Classification System
The Belize Tourism Board’s quality Assurance team was in the Orange Walk District today to conduct consultations with stakeholder on improving the quality standards of their services. It is all about providing a good night’s rest to customers. Compliance Officer of the Quality Assurance Department, Shola Babb says the team has completed the National Classification system for accommodations and is now conducting its second round of work by meeting with the stakeholders.
“Last year the compliance team for the quality assurance department went around the country to do our standards check on all properties and now we are back again to go around with our second round of audits. We came back to Orange Walk to speak to them about what they find out, because they all received reports, so we talking to them about what they received in their reports and how they feel about the different ideas that we gave them and about the legislation that we put in place.”
BTIA O/W Chapter Discusses Issues Affecting Industry
The Orange Walk Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association held a forum over the weekend to share updates on issues affecting the industry stakeholders. The event saw the participation of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP). Chairperson of the BTIA, OW Chapter, Yvette Torres, told us more.
“The Belize Cane Farmers having lately with BSI/ASR position of the cane farming of the bagasse. We can say what they were trying to come in agreement with and so basically it is for them to share with us their status at this point in time and also we had the VIP’s which is the anti-corruption movement from Belmopan, they just appraised us with their vision and their existence and what is their way forward in this movement. So it was BTIA decision that me wanted for us to have a better understanding with what is really happening in our community and with our national issues and how we can engage in these types of forums with them.”
Preparing Future Professional Football Players
Primary School students do not only score some of the best academic achievements in Orange Walk. There are those students who become some of the best sports athletes as well, and one school in town may very well be honing the skills of some of the best football players the district has known. How so, you ask? Well through friendly football matches amongst classes. Here is a look at the initiative at the La Inmaculada Primary School.
Today was a great day for a football match! The morning sun was bright and warm. The teams were dressed and ready to play ball and parents were present to cheer their favourite team on.
The players – male and female teams from room six and seven of the La Inmaculada Infant division.
Philip Alvarez Park Gets Facelift
Last week we reported on a group comprised of teachers and students from Mills Christian School in Edmonton Alberta, Canada who are carrying out community service projects throughout urban and rural areas of Orange Walk Town. This weekend, the group’s efforts were turned to the Philip Alvarez Park, a favorite recreational spot for many residents of Union Town. We caught up with the team and asked of their efforts, which are nearing completion.
no-photoDavid Calbert– Group Leader, Mills Christian School
“Our school actually sends teams to a few different countries; we have been to Mexico, right now we have one team at the Dominican and we have another one in southern Belize and two in Jamaica right now so they are doing some of the projects, working in some villages, doing house builds and things like that. We ended up coming down to Belize a few years ago with a different organizations that had some inroads and so and when we got here we just got in love with it so we were just trying to find ways of building into the community and in finding ways to be practical help and to also be practical application of what we think our faith is about.”
Philip Goldson Highway Records Another Fatality
This afternoon, shortly after midday, the Philip Goldson Highway registered its 2nd fatal traffic accident when it claimed the life of a 47 year old man from the Village of San Joaquin in the Corozal District. While police are still trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together all indications are that the victim was under the influence of alcohol when the accident and that might have contributed to the fatality. Reporter Victor Castillo was at the scene of the traffic accident and filed the following.
Tonight the remains of 47 year old Ricardo Eustacio Castellanos lies at the Corozal Community Hospital’s Morgue tonight while his family members prepare to lay him to rest.
Castellanos’ life was cut short shortly after midday today when he was knocked down between miles 73 and 74 on the Philip Goldson Highway in the Village of Louisville in the Corozal District. When we arrived in the area police was already processing the scene but the body of the deceased still stretched on the highway in a pool of blood.
13 Year Old Drowns In Dug Out Pond
A teenager lost his life on Sunday after an outing with friends turned deadly. The 13 year old drowned in dug out pond located in a marl pit near the Village of Chan Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District. While authorities in Orange Walk Town are still investigating the drowning our news team headed out to the area today and filed the following report.
At first glance, this dug out maul pit seemingly looks like a refreshing dip on a windy Sunday afternoon, but little did a trio of friends know, the outing would end in tragedy. Thirteen year old Luis Uh, better known as ‘Paisita’ of a Mahogany Street Address, Orange Walk Town and two other friends decided to visit this area, a maul pit, located some two miles off the Chan Pine Ridge road near the dumpsite.
But the afternoon outing turned deadly after 3:00pm. Orange Walk Police was informed of the suspected drowning a little before 4:00pm and dispatched a team from the CIB and Crime Scene Branch to the secluded area.
Belizean Importers Delayed at Mexican Border
Several importers of Mexican goods are stuck at the northern border unable to enter Belize since Friday last week. Arturo Cantún has the details.
ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING
“Approximately 50 cargo trucks filled with Mexican goods are parked at the northern border on the Mexican side. These include trucks with goods destined to Belize as well as Guatemala and Honduras. Since Friday, importers and exporters have been unable to get clearance for their goods as the license for the only custom brokers at the border on the Mexican side has been suspended by the Mexican’s Ministry of Finance. We spoke about the situation with Belize’s Honorary Consul in Chetumal, Licenciado Jorge Valencia.
“The situation at the Mexican border is that the Customs Brokers’ licenses were revoked and since they are revoked, they cannot do any type of documentation either for importation or exportation because the system won’t accept the number they have as their license. So, until their licenses are placed in order again, they won’t be able to work. I spoke to some people earlier this morning at the Mexican customs and they are working to resolve it. What happened is that on Monday, it was a holiday in Mexico and this took place on Friday evening and since today is their first working day, they are seeing if they can resolve this as soon as possible. It is affecting Belizean importers because they cannot export from Mexico to Belize; all their goods are stuck at the border because there is a lack of customs brokers. I believe and I hope that it should be resolved by the end of the day or first thing in the morning.”
Police News: Escaped Prisoner, Stolen Vehicle
A Belizean laborer has reported to the authorities that his green and black Suzuki Side-Kick vehicle was stolen between the hours of one and five o’clock on Monday, February 3, 2014. The Belize City resident, 38-year-old, Syrus Welch told police that his vehicle, with license plate C-62886 was parked at the taxi stand on the George Price Highway. Investigations are on-going.
A bus rented to Richard Arnold caught fire on the George Price Highway near mile twenty five yesterday at around 1:40pm. Police along with the Belize Fire Department responded to the scene and efforts were made to extinguish the fire. Reports are that the bus belongs to Linsdale Blease who had rented it to his stepson, Gregory Duran who in-turn rented it to Richard Arnold. The cause of the fire is still unknown and investigations continue.
Interpol Leads Immigration Officers to Alleged International Human Trafficker
Alleged international human trafficker Blanca Rodriguez, a 40 year old Honduran national who is wanted in Honduras for human trafficking, was fined one thousand dollars today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton after she pled guilty to failure to comply with the conditions of her visitor’s permit. She was ordered to pay the fine forthwith, in default six months imprisonment. She was unable to pay so she was taken to prison. At the end of her term she will be deported to Honduras. Immigration officers, acting on information they received from Interpol, went to a house at Sunset Park yesterday and picked up Rodriguez. She arrived in Belize about three weeks ago via the western border and she was given a permit to stay in Belize for four days and because she had violated the conditions of her permit she was arrested and charged.
Taxi Driver Fined for Facilitating Honduran with False Document
Twenty-four year old Belizean national Dyron Galves, a businessman and taxi driver of Castle Street who tried to help a Honduran woman to get a Belizean visa by using a false document, was fined one thousand dollars today by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart after he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty to a charge of assisting a person to use a falsified document. Galves was ordered to pay three hundred dollars forthwith and the balance by March 4, in default six months imprisonment. Galves paid the three hundred dollars and he was released. On December 3,2013, Galves and Honduran national Rebecca Garmendia went to immigration office in Belize City with her passport and a job letter from Galves which claimed that he worked for Chinese businessman Zen Hui Yan at a peanuts supermarket on Kelly Street. When immigration officers checked they found that Galves did not work for Yan. When they went to Tang’s Supermarket, owned by Yan and they interviewed Yan he told then that he did not sign any job letter and he did not give anybody permission to use his name.
BNTU Says it Is Not About the Salary
The Belize National Teachers Union, BNTU, today held a post-rally press conference at its Belize City headquarters. The event was to give a report card on the support the Union received at its rallies and to unveil its plan for the next two months on issues it deems of national importance to which it feels the Government should give urgent attention. In all instances, the Union reports at least a 90 percent turnout of its branch memberships in the respective municipalities where the rallies were held. Its President, Luke Palacio, underscored that teachers did not hold the rallies solely to get their salary adjustments, but also to get the government to address issues such as corruption and classroom hazards. Another sticking point for the Union is the social security coverage for people traveling to and from work, which National President, Luke Palacio, said needs clarification.
“In terms of the social security, the to and from work, we know that a couple weeks ago in the Amandala newspaper, the Social Security did put a release in there where they were talking about coverage of our employment injury to and from work and we feel that the release seems to be somewhat contradictory.
Corozal Police Puzzled by An Apparent Suicide in Corozal
The body of a Hispanic man was collected off the Philip Goldson Highway between miles seventy three and seventy four by Police officers in Corozal. Reports coming out of the Corozal Town Police Station indicate that on Monday, February 3, 2014, Police were called out to the area at around 12:15pm when they encountered the man later identified as 46-year-old, Ricardo Eustacio Castellanos, an unemployed resident of San Joaquin Village in the Corozal District. Upon arrival at the scene, police also encountered a green Toyota Corolla sedan parked about four hundred feet into the road side. Investigations revealed that the taxi, bearing license plates CZL-D-1913 was being driven by 56-year-old, taxi driver, Giovanni Correa also of San Joaquin Village heading in the direction to Orange Walk when the deceased reportedly threw himself onto the highway in the path of the oncoming taxi. The impact caused severe injuries to his head and face and killed him on the spot. The scene of the incident was processed by the investigators and Police noted that there were no damages to the car. Castellanos was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at around 2:22pm. The taxi driver was issued with a notice of intended prosecution and the body of deceased awaits a post mortem examination as the matter remains under investigation.
Manhunt is on After Escaped Prisoner
Authorities are on a man hunt for an escaped prisoner. The prisoner escaped on Monday around 4:30pm, while Police were transporting inmates from the Belize Central Prison. When the police van reached the Cotton Tree pedestrian ramp, 29 year old prisoner Edwin Paula jumped out and escaped. Police are now...
BNTU Declares Rallies a Success
This morning representatives of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) met with the press in Belize City. The Union has been rallying its membership across the country in the month of January to the delight of some and the chagrin of others, especially the Government. But according to Belize...
BNTU Keeps Pressure on Government Corruption
The Union’s key message, apart from its fight for a salary adjustment, is prodding the Government to adequately address key national issues especially corruption. Today, Mr. Luke Palacio touched on some of the Government’s responses, beginning with the Occupational Health and Safety Bill. Mr. Luke Palacio- President of the...
Ministry of Education Discusses Financial Reform
This morning the Belize City press sat down with officials of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports including Minister Patrick Faber to review latest developments in education. This included proposals to revise and streamline fee schemes in high schools, school subsidies and grants and payment of examination fees...
Alleged Human Trafficker to Serve Jail Term
40 year old Blanca Rodriguez, said to be wanted by INTERPOL for alleged involvement in human trafficking, was today read a charge of failure to comply with conditions of a visitor’s permit in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. Rodriguez pleaded guilty and began a six-month jail term after being...
San Joaquin Resident Knocked Down and Killed
A 46 year old resident of San Joaquin Village lost his life in a vehicle accident yesterday. The incident occurred at about noon, near miles 73 and 74 on the Philip Goldson Highway. According to Police, a 1996 Toyota Corolla driven by 56 year old cab driver, Geovanni Correa,...
Mexican Border Traders Gets Stucked on Their Side
Since Friday of last week, importers and exporters had been prohibited from crossing the Mexican border with Belize. This caused some 50 cargo trucks, destined for Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, to be backed up at the border. According to Mexican media, the license granted to the customs brokers were...
Salvadoran-Belizeans Denied Voting Rights at Their General Elections
Last Week Friday we aired an exclusive interview with the Ambassador of El Salvador to Belize, H.E. Ambassador Rolando Ramos, who we caught up with as he was about to leave for El Salvador with a score of five buses full of Salvadorans who live in Belize. They were...
Waste Control Issues at Punta Gorda Hospital
It is a Hospitals responsibility to ensure they implement the best sanitation policies and that those policies are enforced. However, Plus News has received credible information, that the Punta Gorda Hospital is undergoing a garbage crisis. We have received Allegations regarding sanitary neglect that contaminated garbage is being to...
The atmosphere at the Magistrate’s Court on Friday appeared surreal, as the sound of voices from an impromptu, illegal protest filtered inside the courtroom where the sentencing fate of Corporal Gino Peck, who had been found guilty of having illegal ammunition in his possession, would be determined. “Free Corporal Peck now,” the crowd chanted.
Inside the courtroom, no one in authority made any attempt to quiet the protesters, as Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith accepted a submission suggested to Gino Peck’s defense attorney by Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, and imposed a fine of $600 for Peck’s three ammunition convictions.
For the mitigation hearing, Peck was represented by his attorney Simeon Sampson, Senior Counsel, who was joined by Ellis Arnold, Senior Counsel.
But it was the DPP’s assistance to the defense that averted the up to eight-year prison sentence that Peck’s conviction under the Fire Arms Act had mandated.
PUC ANNOUNCES 6.4% WATER RATE INCREASE
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced at a press conference held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel this afternoon that water rates are due to increase in April by 6.4%—that’s an average increase of $1.04 on every 1,000 gallons a customer consumes, or $6.40 for every $100 worth of water consumed from the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL).
The existing rate is $16.24 per 1,000 gallons, and the increase would take the rate up to $17.28 per 1,000 gallons.
The new rates would apply until March 31, 2015; but the public has 15 days to comment on the preliminary PUC decision.
On December 31, 2013, BWSL had applied for a rate increase of 16.25%, in line with their business plan which calls for $25.679 million worth of capital investments; however, the PUC said that after reviewing BWSL’s proposal and considering the company’s past performance and its ability to fund investments, the PUC has reduced the capital investments by $11.35 million, to $14.326 million.
BOAT COLLISION CLAIMS 1 LIFE, LEAVES 9 INJURED AND 2 CRITICAL
The Gentle family of Crooked Tree Village is today mourning the death of their son, Benjamin, Jr., 20, who was killed in a two-boat collision at about 5:30 a.m. on Friday morning in the Crooked Tree Lagoon.
Benjamin was travelling with nine high school students, who are attending various high schools in Belize City and Ladyville, on a Coast Guard boat shuttle from Crooked Tree to the causeway for onward travel to Belize City and other areas, when they were hit almost broadside by another Coast Guard boat.
The Coast Guard was assisting over 500 villagers daily to access the road because floods, for the last three months, have devastated the causeway linking Crooked Tree to a road leading to the Northern Highway. The boats also assisted in transporting goods and other necessities for the village.
In addition to suffering huge chop wounds to his shoulder, under his right arm and on the right side of his lower back, Gentle sustained massive injury to his midsection and died almost immediately. Gentle was declared dead on arrival at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
CITRUS INDUSTRY IN CRISIS MODE!
While the sugar industry is scrambling to recover significant losses that were incurred due to an 11-week delay in the start of the season, there is huge uncertainty within the citrus industry, which happens to be another vital industry that supports the Belizean economy.
As we had reported earlier this week, this predicament has arisen due to the fact that payments to local citrus growers for orange and grapefruit deliveries that have been made to the processing plant, belonging to the Citrus Products of Belize Ltd. (CPBL), have been repetitively lagging since last October when the 2013/2014 citrus crop season commenced.
In order to address the very serious matter, an emergency meeting was called by the executives of the Citrus Growers Association (CGA), which represents the interests of the citrus farmers.
That meeting – which was initially set for last Saturday, January 25 – was held today at the CGA’s headquarters, located at Mile 9 on the Stann Creek Valley Road.
ELODIO ARAGON, JR., IS UDP STANDARD-BEARER FOR ORANGE WALK EAST
The governing United Democratic Party (UDP) held a standard-bearer convention for the Orange Walk East division on Sunday at the Louisiana Government School. After the ballots were tallied, Elodio Aragon, Jr., emerged as the new UDP candidate for Orange Walk East.
Some 2,384 votes were cast, with Aragon obtaining 1,327, defeating David Constanza, who received 1,033 votes. There were 24 spoilt ballots.
Aragon, who resigned from his public service job as Deputy Commissioner of Police to enter the political arena, told Amandala that he wanted to thank the UDP voters of Orange Walk East for supporting his candidacy.
“I am looking forward to serving the people of the Orange Walk East constituency. We want to make Orange Walk East the pride of Orange Walk Town,” Aragon said.
In reference to his opponent, Aragon added, “he is a good candidate and it was a great race.”
VEHICLE STOLEN FROM BDF OPEN DAY
Quite a number of vehicle owners have fallen victim to car thieves, and today, one such victim came to Amandala, frantically trying to locate her SUV, which had been stolen over the weekend.
Khadijah Castillo, who lives in the Ladyville area, told us that last Saturday, February 1, she was at the annual BDF Day Fair, where her vehicle keys got misplaced during the day, and this led to her vehicle being subsequently stolen later that night.
Castillo – who was visibly distraught – said that she was attending the dance that was being held on Saturday night in Price Barracks when her vehicle was stolen from the parking lot between 12:00 midnight and 2:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.
She explained, “Initially, earlier in the day, the keys were misplaced on the BDF campus, after which we got the spare keys to remove the vehicle from the compound. Later in the night, I went back out to the dance, and when I was leaving to go home, I discovered that the vehicle was missing. It’s a black 2005 GMC Envoy with license plate number BZ C-44411.
EDITORIAL: The gun law
“One military arena in which some of the traditional hierarchies remain intact is arms sales – at least of the traditional kind. The same dominant suppliers – the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, Italy – still account for the overwhelming majority of arms deals, in a top tier that has held intact for decades.”
- pg. 144, The End of Power, Moisés Naím, Basic Books, 2013
It is fair to say that the legal minds of Belize have failed us where this gun law is concerned. We have to point the finger of accusation at the Bar Association, which is the organized body of lawyers, attorneys, barristers, and so on in this country. Where was the Bar Association when the gun law was being contemplated, when it was drafted, when it was debated, and when it was being implemented so drastically as to imprison great grandparents and minor children in its unconstitutional net?
The people of Belize became horrified by the explosion of violent crime in the early 1990s, and they turned desperately to the dormant death penalty. The Belizean people were told by the politicians, however, that the European Union was very much opposed to our proposed hanging of convicted murderers, because this was something the Europeans considered inhumane and dreadful. The Belizean people were told that the Europeans were being friendly to us in various trade and other arrangements, and that the Europeans would become hostile and break off these trade arrangements if we began to hang convicted murderers.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
I ran into a very successful businessman on Friday afternoon when both of us went to look for the same person. This gentleman is from the generation of Belizeans before mine, and one of the aspects in which his story is a great one is that he never got the opportunity to attend high school, whereas all of his close childhood friends did.
Over the years, the gentleman and I have spoken briefly on several occasions, but it may be that Friday was the occasion for our longest conversation ever. Almost certainly, it was our most probing, perhaps actually challenging. I would say that he is not bitter about his tough childhood, but it is for sure that he is triumphant in his adult success, which is spectacular.
Before our time, there were stories like this. I don’t think Isaiah Morter, our first native millionaire, attended any kind of high school. Bob Turton dropped out of primary school when he was nine years old. It is possible to do business without being educated, but on Wall Street today the business leaders are educated to very high levels. They all have Master’s degrees in business administration at a minimum, and some will have degrees in law and accounting besides.
BNTU HOLDS FINAL RALLY IN TOLEDO
The last of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) nationwide rallies was held in the Toledo District today.
This morning, teachers from the Punta Gorda and Toledo Rural branches assembled at the Toledo Sports Complex before marching toward the Toledo Central Park, where there were a host of presentations from the BNTU Punta Gorda branch president, Hilton Garbutt, as well as Toledo Rural branch president Steven Cho, and the fiery BNTU national president Luke Palacio. There was also a presentation by the Leader of the People’s National Party (PNP), Wil Maheia.
In his address, Palacio updated his membership on Thursday’s meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow.
In that meeting, seven union leaders from the Belize National Teacher’s Union, the Public Service Union (PSU), and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) sat with the Prime Minister, to discuss a projection on revenue collection and a floor for the salary adjustment which was promised to the teachers. The floor is defined as the minimum increase that Government can commit to.
CONSTANCE LOCKE PASSES AT 81
Relatives and friends are currently mourning the death of a beloved mother, grandmother and housewife who died of natural causes on Friday, January 31, 2014, at the age of 81.
Ms. Constance May Locke nee Olivera was born on November 26, 1932, and lived on Bocotora Street in the Queen’s Square division in Belize City.
She is described as a very active and outspoken mother of four daughters, who was good with her hands, and used to do sewing and crafts.
According to her relatives, she was also a caterer and a very good cook who used to make pastries such as lemon pie, as well as other niceties such as meat pies and panades. They told Amandala that she will be remembered mostly for her outspokenness.
BNTU PLANS TO “KEEP THE PRESSURE ON” AHEAD OF BUDGET READING
The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) plans to hold a press conference tomorrow morning, at which it will update the media and the general public on its plans to step up the momentum of its national activism leading up to the reading of the next national budget in just a few months.
Representatives of the BNTU and the Public Service Union met last Thursday with Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow to advance talks about the promised salary adjustment for teachers and public officers.
Kathleen Flowers, BNTU’s 2nd national vice president, who is also head of the Belize District branch, told Amandala today that the BNTU executives also met over the weekend.
“We are looking at continuing to advance this cause. It is not a one-off thing. We will try to sustain this until [the] reading of the budget,” Flowers told us.
AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD APOLOGIZES
On December 30 and 31, 2013, I made certain statements on Channel 5 news and in the Amandala. In these statements I implied that Mrs. Beverly Castillo abused her office as CEO in the Ministry of Natural Resources in order to facilitate title to a specific property for her mother and son.
These statements were unfounded and Mrs. Castillo has consistently denied that she abused her office in the manner that I implied, and I fully accept her denial. I retract the statements made and apologize to her for the harm done to her name and reputation as a result of my statements.
Death in Cristo Rey, San Ignacio; police declare suicide
Police said that Cesar Antonio Tzib, 49, a resident of Cristo Rey, San Ignacio, committed suicide by hanging himself by the neck in an unfinished concrete building in the village on the Cristo Rey Road.
They took him down and took him to the San Ignacio Hospital. The gruesome discovery was made on Thursday.
Police said that they responded to a report of a suicide in Cristo Rey Village. On their arrival, they saw Tzib in a kneeling position, with a hammock wrapped around his neck. He was immediately released from the hammock and taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where Doctor Chen of the San Ignacio Hospital, declared him dead on arrival.
Labour Commissioner intervenes on behalf of 36 terminated security officers
The Christian Workers Union (CWU), which has come to the aid of the 36 security officers of the Belize City Council’s Security Department who got their walking papers from the council in a meeting held on January 21, 2014, had some “good news” to report this afternoon.
In a press conference held today by president of the CWU, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, she declared that the Labor Commissioner, Ivan Williams, has intervened on behalf of the workers who have been laid off.
Matura-Shepherd stated, “The Labour Commissioner called the CWU office this morning and informed us that he had gotten all the correspondence. He was apparently out of office for a while, but he assured us that he would intervene because, based on what he was seeing, the Belize City Council had not complied with their statutory obligations to give all the notices they should. We had even inquired if he had gotten any notice as the Labour Commissioner, and we found out that [actually] he did not get any notice.
Man, 40, sexually abused his daughter, 14
The 40-year-old father of a girl, 14, is in police custody pending charges of multiple counts of incest against his child, under the age of 15, and indecent assault upon on a female child.
The daughter, 14, told police that her father had sex with her regularly, against her will. The child charged that he has been taking advantage of her since 2011, the acts being committed when her mother was not at home.
In September of 2011, he took her to a house in the village and raped her, the girl said. She reported that in 2012 and 2013, he engaged in sex with her frequently.
Last week, on Thursday, January 30, she was at home sleeping in her bed when her father came into her room, awakened her and raped her, the girl reported.
MEXICAN STATE POLICE STEP UP EFFORTS TO CAPTURE CRIMINALS, DRUGS AND GUNS ON THE MEXICAN HIGHWAYS
The Mexican State Police of Chetumal, Mexico, have brought into use a Filter Review System to capture individuals for whom arrest warrants have been issued, guns, ammunition, drugs and stolen vehicles, by installing surveillance cameras and maintaining database stations on the federal highway between Chetumal and Bacalar, to the village of Huay Pix in the Chetumal area.
The systems were installed yesterday. Police operate a checkpoint where vehicles travelling on the highway must stop and the names of the occupants of the vehicles are loaded into a database to make checks on their identity before clearing them. A camera also scans the vehicles for illegal and contraband goods.
According to Diario De Chetumal, the database has been used to clear over 300 vehicles and 400 people since it was put into operation yesterday.
LETTERS: ATTN: THE MEXICAN AMBASSADOR
On Thursday, January 23, the last container load of merchandise was allowed by the Mexican authorities to be exported from Mexico into Belize.
It is not until Tuesday, February 4, that we might know when another will be allowed. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect something like this to happen in a great country like Mexico, and for so long. I know that the amount of exports to Belize is insignificant to their whole picture but man, this is unbelievable, when the whole world knows that exports are super important to a country’s economy.
There are millions of pesos lost in sales, extra costs to merchandise stuck at the border, plus orders put on hold because of this situation. The Belize government has also lost millions in revenue.
PLB Belikin Cup
Game 1 in the Finals of the Premier League of Belize’s Belikin Cup Opening Season 2013-2014, between home standing #4 seed FC Belize and visiting #1 seed Belmopan Bandits FC, ended in a 1-1 stalemate yesterday evening at the MCC Grounds. In front of a massive crowd with vuvuzela horns blowing, the Bandits took the lead early on a 5th minute strike from Deon McCaulay, kicking into the southern “ragamuffin” goal, from off a centering pass from the right side by midfielder David Trapp. The FC Belize defence appeared unsettled early in the game, and they hesitated just long enough for Deon to grab the opportunity and send a sharp grounder that caromed off the inside of the right goal post, past a diving Glenford Chimilio in goal for FC Belize. The equalizer for FC Belize came at the 17th minute of second half (62’), off a similar play, as it was FC Belize’s Stephen “Breds” Baizer serving the center across goal from the right goal line for an advancing Mark “Kelo” Leslie to slap in the equalizer past the Bandits’ Woodrow West from point blank range.
Game 2 in the home-and-away semifinals series were played over the weekend in the FFB (Open) Inter-District Football Tournament 2013-2014.
On Saturday night, February1, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, it was the home team, MnM Steelers grabbing the 2-0 win over Progresso FC with goals coming from Dion Burgess (34’) and Gilbert Rivars (90+’). The victory gave MnM Steelers a spot in the Finals, because their previous meeting had resulted in a 2-1 win for Progresso; thus the Steelers prevailed in the series by an aggregate score of 3-2.
MAN BUSTED WITH GUN IN JANE USHER BOULEVARD AREA
Police said that at about 5:30 Thursday evening, they were on mobile patrol in the Jane Usher Boulevard area when they saw a man whom they recognized.
He was stopped and police conducted a random search on him for drugs, weapons or ammunition. They found a 9 mm pistol on him. The gun was loaded with a magazine containing 7 live rounds.
Police demanded a license for the gun and ammunition, but the man was not able to provide one. He was immediately arrested.
Man stabbed in San Martin, Belmopan
A man is being treated at the Belmopan Hospital after he was stabbed in the left side of the chest, in the left arm, and sliced across the left cheek.
Benjamin Guerra, 43, a mason of Mexico Street, Belmopan, told police that he was at home at about 10:45 Saturday night when he got into an argument with his nephew, 25, who stabbed him multiple times.
Guerra was rushed to the Belmopan Hospital, and is reportedly in a critical but stable condition.
His nephew has fled the house and has since gone into hiding.
More burglaries in Belize City and San Pedro
Burglaries were reported by police in Belize City and San Pedro.
The second report of burglary was made by Jose Paz, a businessman of Boca Del Rio Drive in San Pedro, who told police that at about 5:30 Wednesday, January 29, he locked up his business, Milo International of Pescador Drive.
He said that at about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, he received a call informing him that his business had been burglarized. He rushed to his business place and saw a hole, measuring about 2 feet by 1 foot, in the center of the back room of the building. He then found that an assortment of electronic items and furniture had been stolen.
Police continue their investigation.
Zen Arcade. Why not take a Yoga vacation in Belize?
Aside from flying the coup on cold weather, for many, a vacation is often taken to recharge their batteries and rejuvenate themselves. After all who isn’t ready to feel refreshed and inspired?
Whether you live here or are visiting, why not take a Yoga vacation in Belize at Zen Arcade the new ‘vacation yoga’ hot spot in San Pedro town?
Enjoy a group class or private session at the tropical tree top Yoga studio. There is also a private poolside relaxing option and The Chaya Cafe will be a forming an alliance with world famous Rojo Lounge . This is scheduled to open in late Feb and will provide reasonably priced, delicious healthy food options created by Chef Jeff and his team. Rojo is known for wraps, salads, noodles, yogurts, granola, and smoothies. [We so need this, I can't wait :)] Chaya Cafe will also be offering beer and wine as well as a few other signature cocktails.
Zen Arcade phone number is is 226-3177 and their web site which will be live soon is Zen Arcade Belize. Located behind the old Belikin distributor across from Island Academy near the big pink grocery store south of town. Every First Sunday of the month Yoga class is free for everyone. Zen arcade is child friendly and Private Classes Available in house or out-call. Space is limited, first come basis.
CAVE TUBING IN BELIZE – GET THOSE BUTTS UP!
“Butts Up! Butts Up!” yelled a park ranger in a neon green t-shirt. Unfortunately, being in the front of our group, his warning came too late for me. My butt slammed into the large rock just beneath the surface of the water. I thought to myself, that’s going to leave a bruise!
We’d come to this small Central American country on a cruise for the holidays with Laura’s mom and sister. In doing some research, Laura discovered cave tubing in Belize. We’d been to caves in Turkey, but we’d never been cave tubing before, so this seemed like the perfect way to spend the day!
In the Mayan hills, about half-way from Belize City to the Guatemalan border, the limestone rock underground has been eroded by water to form massive caves. In one area, a tributary of the Sibun River called the Caves Branch River flows through these limestone caves – today this area is known as the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve (or the locals call it the Caves Branch).
Video: Wildlife in the rainforest of Belize
Wildlife footage from a nature reserve in the rainforest of northern Belize: capturing Spider monkeys’ intimidation techniques and the infamous Royal Rat. The 260,000 acre reserve is reputed to have the healthiest and most plentiful population of jaguars in all of Central America. To support the reserve’s ongoing conservation, Programme for Belize run two eco-tourism sites offering accommodation in the heart of the forest for guided or independent hiking, wildlife spotting, and exploration of an ancient Mayan archaeological site.
First dive of the month – 65 lionfish!
Continuing our great work at removing the invasive lionfish, February has started with A BANG!!
Tracy Allen, our Marine Scientist and PADI Instructor,, managed to remove a record breaking 65 lionfish in one dive, on Monday 3rd February!!
Excellent work Tracy, and Lionfish, be scared, be very scared!!
VIDEO: Evolutionist Bill Nye the Science Guy and Creationist Ken Ham debate at Creation Museum
Is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern, scientific era? Leading creation apologist and bestselling Christian author Ken Ham is joined at the Creation Museum by Emmy Award-winning science educator and CEO of the Planetary Society Bill Nye.
Top Ten Extraordinary Weather Videos of 2013
The year 2013 was another extraordinary one for weather extremes, with a world-record 41 billion-dollar weather disasters. With the rise of smart phones and YouTube, we now have an amazing capability to document and make available videos of disasters like these, and I present here my pick for the top ten most remarkable weather videos of 2013.
AFSOUTH prepares to execute New Horizons '14 in Belize
Members of Air Forces Southern have begun to trickle into Belize in preparation for New Horizons '14, a U.S. Southern Command exercise focusing on improving the joint training readiness of U.S. military members, partner nation civil engineers, medical professionals and support personnel through humanitarian assistance activities.
This will be the second year in a row that the New Horizons exercise has taken place in Belize. Last year, members of the Belize Defence Force, contractors throughout Belize and Airmen, soldiers, and Marines worked side-by-side to build community centers, medical clinics and schools.
"We are thrilled that the Belizean people have been gracious enough to invite us to conduct the New Horizons Exercise in their country for a second year in a row," said Col. Daniel Pepper, New Horizons '14 Air Expeditionary Task Force commander. "Our friendships and partnerships with the Belizean people have grown tremendously over the past two years and we look forward to strengthening our great relationship during this year's exercise."
50 degrees to the south
When I leave Toronto, the temperature is hovering at 20 below zero. When I land in Belize City, it is hugging 30. Driving in to the city on the Northern Highway, the hot breeze styling my hair, I wonder what the body thinks of all of this. I am not sure if we are constructed with materials that can tolerate the addition of 50 degrees in the course of the length of time it takes to eat our oatmeal, shovel the driveway, start the car, salt the steps and slither in to work.
But despite the climate change, I still feel, oddly, at home.
Formerly the British Honduras, Belize achieved independence in 1981. It is a young country, the only English-speaking entity in Central America. It boasts the second-largest coral reef in the world (after Australia) along with rainforests, sugar plantations, marine treasures, Mayan temples, fertile fields of fruit and more cultural diversity than is common for this part of the world.
But regardless of the difference in the environment, there are similarities to NL, beyond the history as a British colony. I note that they have a very broad view of the use of condensed milk, adding it to tea and historically using it as baby formula (among other things). Both places have a term – a “boil up.” Except that here it is a dish of boiled eggs, fish or pigtails and sweet potatoes and plantains. Rather than tea and Vienna sausage in the bush.
A Peek into the Famed Mexican Cuisine
North American state of Mexico is known for its rich history, heritage, culture and cuisine. With the social media providing numerous avenues of publicity Mexican cuisine is riding on the wave of popularity the world over. Even before my five week sojourn in Mexico during Christmas and new year season I was aware of the varied flavors of Mexican cuisine, its famed chilly and variety of spices that gives an appealing taste to Mexican food.
Being a foodie I was eagerly looking forward to feel the popular maize-based dishes and other cuisine popular in different regions of Mexico. From reasonable street food eateries to traditional restaurants and cafes Mexico is filled with eateries everywhere. One can find people eating on the streets, parks, on trains, cars, market places and almost everywhere. There are markets lined up with food stalls offering an array of dishes filling and satisfying both the hunger and craving for food. Mexico offers one of the best street food cultures in South America. Mexican food is enormously varied, with myriad regional differences and full of surprises. Not surprisingly UNESCO has named Mexican cuisine as an intangible cultural heritage of mankind.
CUSTOMER SERVICE IN LATIN AMERICA: Not Always “A Sus Ordenes”
Just recently, I was traveling in South America…well, Uruguay to be precise. This wasn’t my first time either…it was my third. It was the first time for my partner, and our first REAL vacation out of Mexico (trips home to visit family in Canada do not count). For him, it was a real eye opener, as his career doesn’t require him to travel around a lot, so all his understanding on “Latin American Culture” is based on what he has experienced thru living in Merida, Yucatan.
Upon arriving in Montevideo, we took time to explore shops, talk to locals and take in the sights. As some of you may know, Uruguay is famous for its Meat and Wines, and to properly enjoy them, you have to go to a local’s house or one of the famous Parillada’s in town. Both of us were (as I have been on both previous trips) totally amazed at the level of care and attentiveness the service crews took at each restaurant we went to. They listened, understood, repeated orders to confirm, and brought you what you asked for without any mistakes. Just to be clear here, we ate at only 1 touristy place, and these experiences were shared through several restaurants of varying levels of quality. La Passiva and Don Pepperone (compared to Viejo Molina or VIPs or Chili’s) considered in Uruguay as the lower end spots, up to an upscale traditional Parillada in Punta Carretas Neighborhood (compared to being in Alta Brisa Neighborhood), all delivered the same level of care, not just to us, but to all their clients.
5 don't-miss spots in Belize
Protected rainforests, Maya ruins, Caribbean beaches and the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. Add English as the official language and the widely accepted U.S. dollar, and you can get a great vacation on easy mode in Belize.
Still, with so much to do, it can become a lot of work to fit it all in. Travelzoo editor Andrew Young recommends taking on just a little bit of this country in the heart of Central America at a time, and offers this list of his five top spots to get you started.
11 Travel Photos from Belize
Next up in the series of travel photos from Central America is this gallery from Belize…
Doing business or investing in Belize
Any Canadian interested in doing business or investing in Belize should first complete a thorough process of due diligence and investigate potential partners using a variety of information sources. Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service in Guatemala is aware of several cases of fraud. Any newcomer to the market should know that legal and administrative processes can involve many delays and challenges. There have also been legal and constitutional changes in 2012, such as the 9th amendment to the Constitution of Belize, that have had important impacts on the country’s telecommunications and energy-distribution sectors.
Although there is no Belize - Canada Chamber of Commerce, many members of the Canadian and British business communities have joined the American Chamber of Commerce. First time business travelers to Belize should consider this source of information.
5 Travel Photography Tips For Great Composition
Outlined below are five secrets for creating a great composition in a photo, which is particularly useful for taking shots of wildlife and nature when you are traveling. 1. Read it like a book We are taught from an early age that in order to read we move our eyes from left to right in order for the words and sentences to make sense. When something is learnt at such a tender time in our lives, it becomes second nature. Because our brains are programmed in this way, we tend to use this habit in most things we do. This is the same when looking at a picture, the human brain will automatically ‘read’ the image from left to right. Bearing this in mind, one can compose an image in a way that keeps the ‘reader’ fascinated throughout your ‘story’.