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Couple Robbed In Corozal
A young couple was robbed of their belongings on Saturday night in Corozal Town. Seventeen year old Marieana Gilharry and twenty year old Adolfo Medina were walking on Second Street North Corozal Town around 8:30 in the night, when two men of dark complexion approached them. The men were on bicycles, had on warm caps and were dressed in black shirt and pants.
One of the men produced a knife and told the couple to hand over their belongings while the second pulled Gilharry’s gold chain from around her neck. Gilharry then handed over three gold rings, a bracelet, a red watch, and her brown purse that contained a ten dollar bill and her cellular phone. The total value of all items stolen stands at $547.00. The men also relieved Medina of his cellular phone.
Corozal Police Discover Traffic Accident On Philip Goldson Highway
Free Clinic Provided To Residents Of The North
For over five years Bethel University from Minnesota USA and the Iglesias Bautista Manuel in the Village of Xaibe have partnered on bringing Medical Brigade Teams which are comprised of medical students to visit the different areas so as to render their medical expertise to villagers, free of cost. Today reporter Victor Castillo caught up with the medical team at the Xaibe Community Centre as they offered their services to patients.
Denny- Team leader
“We are in Xaibe doing a medical clinic. Like I said these students are medical students. A lot of them will be going into nursing; some of them will be going into pre-med or medical schools to further their studies and become doctors of all sorts including surgeons. This is a great experience for them and I hope for the community too. The students are testing blood pressure, sugar and temperature and they are also getting a medical history."
The team reports that the most common illness among those they have seen is Type 2 Diabetes and common flu. With the assistance of Doctor Oscar Rodas, patients are provided with necessary medications.
Big Play foundation Donates Books To Sandy Hunter Library
We have heard politicians use them and we’ve seen them very often on social media but no matter how cliché they are, there is much truth to quotes like “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”, “reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”, or “reading is dreaming with eyes open”. And on Saturday, children proved this all to be true as they were part of a very short ceremony in which the library received a donation of much need books.
Dalila Ical– Reporting
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies; the man who never reads lives only once”, goes a quote and from the look on the faces of these eager young ones, there must be much truth to this.
It was quite a sight to behold at the Sandy Hunter Library’s front lawn as they dug into a pile of new books donated by Belizeans living in the USA. Representative of the Play Big Foundation in Orange Walk Fernando Sanchez says the donation came about from prior communication with the library officials who expressed a need to expand the resources at the library.
Retrial Of Felix Brothers Commences At Corozal Supreme Court
Today the Corozal Magistrate Court was converted to the Supreme Court as the platform was set for the fifth hearing on the case of the Felix Brothers. Viewers may recall that on April 10th 2006, Mitchum Heredia was ambushed and killed near a car outside his T Street home in Belize City. He had just arrived home when two men held him up and shot him multiple times to the head and body killing him on the spot.
A year later, brothers Maurice and Emory Felix, were jointly found guilty of Heredia’s murder by 12-member Jury. They were sentenced to life imprisonment. Upon appeal, on June 20th, 2008, a retrial was ordered. The retrial was granted after the judge of the Court of Appeal ruled that the men never got a fair trial when no identification parade was held in the case against them. Apparently, the trial judge, Justice Adolph Lucas, told the jury that holding an identification parade would have been a waste of time because the prosecution’s main witness had named the Felix brothers as the shooter that day.
The Importance Of Early Childhood Education
Early childhood is a crucial stage of life in terms of a child's physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Growth of mental and physical abilities progress at an astounding rate and a very high proportion of learning take place from birth to age 5. It is a time when children particularly need high quality personal care and learning experiences. In this light and in lieu of Child Stimulation Month being observed in learning institutions across Belize, Reporter Maria Novelo and Videographer Jesus Melgar take a deeper look into the benefits of early childhood education.
Maria Novelo – Reporting
“We all know that from birth to 7 years that is the critical time for a child and that is where all the learning, if what they didn’t learn then don’t expect them to reach 10 years and they didn’t get it, it is going to be difficult for them to enter primary school.”
Fairtrade To Increase Sugar Cane Quota, Says BACFA Chairman
The 2013/2014 crop season got off to a late start due to the halt of negotiations between the Belize Sugar Industries Limited and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association over revenue sharing of Bagasse. But that impasse now forms part of the past and the crop season is on the right track. So much so, that tonight word is that Belize will be exporting more sugar starting this crop season. According to Vice Chairman of the BSCFA Comittee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, Fair Trade has increased its quota from fifty thousand tonnes. The BSCFA received the letter for the new demand in the month of February.
Alfredo Ortega – Vice Chair
“Nos mandaron una carta de que lo van a auge mentar a 60,000 por Tate & Lyle a la Union Europea y también vinieron unas personas de los Estados Unidos de que se comprometieron de que van a comprar 5,000 toneladas pero eso es bajo USA Fair-Trade así es de ahí propuesta para 65,000 toneladas este ano que se van a vender bajo el comercio justo.”
SATIM Files An Injunction Against US Capital Energy
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) has applied for an injunction at the Supreme Court for what they say is the increased pre-drilling activities by US Capital Energy. SATIIM has provided images they say prove their claim.
The Court documents were filed on March 12th, 2013. SATIIM today issued a press release under the heading “US Capital Energy and Government of Belize Taunt Supreme Court”. According to the release since Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana reserved judgment on the case between both parties on October 23rd, US Capital has not suspended its pre-drilling activities. SATIIM states quote, “US Capital Energy, most likely with the blessing of the Government of Belize, has been working around the clock engaging in pre-drilling activities, which are part-and-parcel of exploratory drilling operations. These activities, from our view, continue to violate the National Parks System Act and the Rights of the Indigenous Communities,” end quote.
Police Continue To Investigate Broad Day Light Robbery
Yesterday we reported on the brazen daylight robbery at Joshwell’s Fashion located on Queen Victoria Avenue which netted thieves over $2,000 worth in electronics, cash and merchandise. While investigations continue, tonight police are in the process of obtaining a technician who will review a surveillance tape that captured inside SP Store.
It is believed that the men who robbed Joshwell’s Fashion were inside the store prior to the assault carried out upon Blanca Lopez, proprietor of the clothing store. Second in Command of the Orange Walk Police Department, Inspector Selvin Tillett, says they want to look at the footage closely so that they can be certain who the perpetrators are before making an arrest.
Santa Familia Project Halted For Two Weeks
Yesterday we told about the ‘hold’ on the works on Santa Familia Street, which falls under the Belize Municipal Development Project being carried out by the Social investment Fund. Up to Wednesday of last week the project was running smoothly, but things changed when residents began expressing discontent on the way the drains were being built.
Several calls were made to the Orange Walk Town Council, who after investigations, found out that the layout of the drains being built will pose flooding problems in the long run. Based on the complaints lodged, Mayor Kevin Bernard requested that the construction of the drains be ceased in order for an analysis to be made. Tonight, we can report, that after a meeting with representatives of the council, SIF and the contractor, in this case Demar’s Stone Company, it was decided to that all operational works in the area will be halted for two weeks.
Repercusions On The Resignation Of Director Of Tourism
Following the abrupt resignation of Laura Frampton Esquivel, Director of Tourism at the BTB last week Wednesday, Manuel Esquivel and his wife Kathy have also resigned from all their held government posts and appointments.
Reports indicate that this move is in protest of their eldest daughter being pushed out of the BTB. According to 7News, respected past UDP leader Manuel Esquivel resigned as Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister in a letter sent to him last Thursday March 13th.
While he did not comment on reasons for his resignations, it is of note that he confirmed to stepping down as government appointed director on the BTL and BSI boards. On the same date Esquivel submitted his resignation to the PM, his wife reportedly did the same and resigned as Chairman of the National Aids Commission. She has held this post since 2002 and told our colleagues at 7News that she was resigning for personal reasons.
Union Calls for Boycott of Bowen Products
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has called for the boycott of products from Bowen and Bowen Limited on Friday. The Unions say they view with disquiet and concern the recent release of nineteen employees from the company under the pretext that their employment status has become redundant. According to the Union the circumstances leading to the employees feeling compelled to step out publicly with their plight is a travesty accelerated by a total breakdown of industrial relations. The Union has called for the reinstatement of the workers. To drive its point home, the union is calling on its membership and the public at large to join in the boycott. The NTUCB also expresses solidarity with the Pharmacists Association of Belize. Last week the Pharmacists Association of Belize registered its discontent with the appointment of the director of drug directorate. The Association questioned the way the person was hired as well as the lack of qualification to fill the post. The NTUCB says it cannot stand idly by and allow such an important area in our health services to be ruined by faulty and questionable employment procedures resulting in the employment of unqualified individuals. It calls for an immediate resolution to the matter.
Trial Resumes for Raylene’s Murder
The trial of Aracely Cahueque continued today in the Belmopan Court before Justice Denis Hanomasingh. Cahueque is on trial for child stealing and is believed to have been the mastermind behind the 2010 murder of Raylene Dyer. Today, the jury returned to the court room following the culmination of a trial within a trial regarding Cahueque’s caution statement. Taking the stand, in a surprising turn of events was Brandon Budna. Budna was one of the three men acquitted last week for Dyer’s murder. He took the stand before the jury and testified and is expected to resume his testimony in court on Wednesday. A conviction in the case of the Crown Counsels, Cecil Ramirez and Kayshia Grant rests heavily on Budna’s testimony. Cahueque’s attorney, Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley addressed the media following day-one of the trial.
“Well what has been happening is that someday last week, a jury was, in fact selected in the trial of Aracely Cahueque following shortly after the murder trial of three persons accused of actually killing Raylene Dyer in Roaring Creek on the eighth day of October 2010.
Biscayne School Suffers Fourth Burglary For School Year
Biscayne Government School is located on mile 26 on the Phillip Goldson Highway and when night falls, the school becomes the focus of thieves as it was last night. The burglars broke into the Standard Six class room of teacher Eugene Contreras. The thieves made their way into the class room through the front door.
“I saw the door and immediately I said, they broke into my classroom. It was a really bad feeling because I know I have a lot of stuff in there and right away, I thought, computer’s missing. Definitely, a crow bar was used to break one of the bars from the door and then they pried open the rest of the door. Then they went into the store room inside the classroom that had most of the IT devices; most of our stuff is in there and they broke a hole in that door; probably a small person went through that hole to be able to get inside.”
HIPOLITO NOVELO NARRATING
“Stolen were several pieces of IT equipment all to a total value of more seven thousand dollars.”
“First of all, I saw that the stereo set was missing; the projector that we use almost every day; when I checked around I found that four of our laptops were missing; three Dell and one Lenova – one of them have very recently important information that we worked on last Friday. Each Dell laptop is like twelve hundred dollars, the Lenova is like fourteen hundred dollars, the stereo that we just bought is three hundred and fifty dollars and the projector is about five hundred and fifty dollars. The two copiers, the three desktops and the television are still there. “
Investigation Into Crooked Tree Accident Still Ongoing
Forty six days ago, two separate investigations were launched by both the Belize Police Department and the Belize Port Authority after two boats collided on the Crooked Tree Lagoon causing one young man’s death and injuries to several students and commuters. To date, the investigations remain open as Robert Garcia of the Belize Port Authority told Love News Centre that the investigation is on the heels of being wrapped up and that a comprehensive report should be produced within an approximate two weeks. Meanwhile, we tried contacting the Officer in Charge of that area but to no avail. While these investigations are ongoing, the Belize Coast Guard did say that measures were put in place internally ensuring more supervision, standard requirements on board are adhered to, among others. The incident occurred on the lagoon waters in Crooked Tree Village, Belize District on January 31, when a confiscated skiff in the Coast Guard’s possession collided with another vessel that was transporting villagers to the mainland. According to Elton Bennett, the Vice Commandant mentioned, the preliminary investigation did hint to some mechanical failure but that would have to be verified and confirmed by the final report, which, once again, is expected to be released within the next two weeks. In the incident, 20-year-old, Benjamin Gentle lost his life.
SATIIM Seeks Injunction Against GOB and US Capital Energy
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM has filed for an injunction against Government of Belize and US Capital Energy. According to SATIIM despite assurances from the oil company that they would not drill in the area until Justice Michelle Arana delivers her judgement, activities have resumed. SATIIM says after the arguments ended before Justice Arana last October, one would expect that a law abiding and socially responsible company would suspend its activities out of respect for the Belizean justice system until a judgment was delivered. The organization says US Capital has been working around the clock engaging in pre drilling activities which are part and parcel of exploratory operations. As a result of this SATIIM says it filed court papers last week seeking an injunction.
GG Welcomes New Ambassadors to Belize
Four ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency Sir Colville Young on Monday at the Belize House in Belmopan. His Excellency Yasser Mohamed Ahmed Shaban of Egypt, His Excellency Alessandro Busacca of Italy, His Excellency Hans-Christian Kint of Belgium, and Her Excellency Eva Hager of Austria all expressed their pleasure and gratitude to be representing their countries in Belize. Each ambassador expressed in their speech to the Governor General their country’s interest in strengthening relations with Belize. Governor General received the credentials and welcomed the ambassadors to Belize.
Top Associations Make Public Outcry to Boycott Bowen and Bowen Products
The Association of Public Service Senior Managers, the Belize Communications workers Union and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize say they are calling on all their members and the wider public to boycott all Bowen and Bowen products on Friday, March 21, 2014. This is to further display...
Alleged Kidnapper Aracely Cajeque Case Gets Deeper in Court
Ms. Aracely Cahueque is still before the courts answering to her possible involvement in the gruesome murder of a young mother and the kidnapping of that mother’s 3 month old baby. So far, the judge has thrown out the affidavit from the police inspector since he had written it...
Another Belize City Youth Gets Shot
Francine Pitts, the mother of little Eyannie Nuñez who was shot and killed in 2010, has had to face another traumatic experience as another son has been shot. She told our colleagues at Krem news that all day on Sunday, she felt a sense of foreboding. When she received a...
Accused of Robbery and Stabbing Assault is out on Bail
19-year-old Damian Leslie is out on bail and is due back in Court on May 6th. Leslie is accused of robbing a female of her bike and stabbing another in one day. This morning, he was unrepresented before Magistrate Hettie Mae-Stewart where he was charged with one count of...
Ms. Rashida Kira Sedacy Meets Bail in Court
Yesterday, we told you about the former cashier at Travellers’ Liquors Limited, Rashida Sedacy, who had over 100 counts of theft charged against her. There were so many counts, that her case could not be processed by the end of the day yesterday and so she had to go...
Accused Drug Trafficker Mr. Gary Seawell Faces Another Trial for Extradition
Accused drug trafficker Gary Gordon Seawell had his day in court today. He is accused of masterminding a large-scale cocaine moving operation between Belize and the U.S. state of Ohio from 1994 to 1997. But American authorities waited more than nine years to begin the process of extraditing him....
Former Prime Minister and his Spouse Resign from Their Posts
Ex Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel and his wife Kathy Esquivel, have both resigned their posts in what is believed to be a protest of their daughter being squeezed out of the Belize Tourism Board as director. The two-term former UDP prime minister has resigned from several boards that he...
Belize City Family in Urgent Need After Their House Got Burnt Down
A Belize City man needs help picking up the pieces after his house burned down on Friday night. Iguana Street Extension resident Anthony Leslie told us today that he learned his house was on fire after going to police to report being beaten up by relatives of a young boy accused...
ALBERTO AND MELVIN PLOTTED AGAINST ME: DELROY
Longtime United Democratic Party (UDP) official and now political aspirant, Delroy Cuthkelvin, has voiced his anger at the way the UDP Stann Creek West convention to select a standard-bearer was conducted.
Cuthkelvin has publicly blamed UDP chairman Alberto August and former minister Melvin “Flippin” Hulse, for colluding to illegally manipulate the voters’ list to ensure that he, Cuthkelvin, did not stand a chance in the convention.
Cuthkelvin made a decision to boycott the convention hours before it was supposed to be held due to what he classified as a “fraudulent” voters list that he could not stomach.
In a press release dated Saturday, March 15, Cuthkelvin’s committee stated that at an emergency meeting which took place the day before, on Friday, March 14, Alberto August insisted on using a “block-out” voters list of just under 900 electors which, according to the committee, was fraudulently compiled in collusion with him, August, and Hulse.
Sir Manuel Esquivel, KCMG, PC—the ex-Prime Minister who led the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) to its first general elections victory in 1984 and the current finance advisor to Prime Minister Dean Barrow—has confirmed to Amandala that he has resigned from all his government appointments, and his wife, Mrs. Kathy Esquivel, has separately confirmed that she, too, has resigned from her prominent appointment as head of the National AIDS Commission—this on the heels of the abrupt departure of their daughter, Laura Esquivel-Frampton, from her position as head of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), following a letter by 7 BTB managers to Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia, Jr., expressing a “vote of no confidence” in Esquivel-Frampton’s leadership.
On Thursday, March 13, the day after the BTB announced Esquivel-Frampton’s resignation, her mother resigned from the National AIDS Commission in Belize with immediate effect.
2 MORE SAN PEDRO MEN MISSING
Vincent Crawford, 32, and Dean Joseph, 35, of the San Mateo area of San Pedro, have been reported missing since they left home on Saturday, March 1.
Tessa Ochaeta, Dean Joseph’s common-law wife, reported that Joseph left home that Saturday with a man known to her as “Chuku.” They were going to work as security guards at a construction site in the Robles Point area of northern San Pedro.
Since then, however, the men have not been seen or heard from.
Police report that two security guards in the northern Ambergris Caye area saw Crawford and Joseph and five other men at about 10:30 that Saturday morning, March 1. The men were walking along the beach in a northerly direction.
The guards reported that Joseph and Crawford said that they were going to camp at a base in the Bacalar Chico area in northern San Pedro, and the men then left. The guards say that that was the last time they saw them.
MOTHER’S FOREBODING BECOMES REALITY – SON SHOT 4 TIMES
A disturbing premonition a mother had all day Friday, March 14, that something bad was going to happen, proved true when her son was shot four times later that night.
Dezhaun Humes, 19, was reportedly returning from buying food for his girlfriend when an unknown assailant/s fired several shots in his direction near his home on Jane Usher Boulevard.
Humes – who is a student at Wesley College Evening Division – was shot in his mid and lower body and yesterday, his mother, Francine Pitts, told us that for some bizarre reason, ill feelings had been brewing inside her prior to the incident until she received a frantic call from her son’s girlfriend around 11:00 p.m. on Friday night.
Pitts said, “My son was returning from buying food for his girlfriend, and upon his arrival back home, he encountered the person who shot him between 10:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. I got the call at 11:00 p.m., but to be honest, I felt a pain in my stomach for the entire day, and I can’t tell what that pain was about, but I also had a constant feeling that something would go wrong.”
Editorial: SPHERES OF INFLUENCE
52 years ago a nuclear war almost broke out just north of us. In Belize, we would have looked up into the sky and thought that God had decided to end the world. But in October of 1962, it would have been mortal men, in the form of Americans and Russians, who had so decided.
The people of Crimea have just voted to secede from the Ukraine, where the people recently overthrew a democratically-elected president and set up a new government. Ukraine’s democratically-elected president had been pro-Russian, whereas Ukraine’s new government is pro-European Union (EU). The EU nations are military allies of the United States in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty.
U.S. President Barack Obama, under pressure from Arizona’s Republican Senator, John McCain, who was the Republican Party’s candidate in the 2008 presidential election and recently accused Obama of having the U.S. look “soft” in the Ukraine/Crimea matter, has loudly declared that America will not accept the secession vote in Crimea.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Before his assassination in 1961, Rafael Trujillo, the absolute dictator of the Dominican Republic, had been in a quarrel with the Roman Catholic Church. At one point in his historical novel, The Feast of the Goat, Mario Vargas Llosa, a Nobel Literature Prize Laureate from Peru, has one of Trujillo’s top aides quietly point out to him thusly, with respect to the Church: “They have not been beaten in two thousand years.”
The Roman Catholic Bishop in Belize, the Very Rev. Dorick Wright, has gone on the offensive recently against militant women’s movements and non-governmental organizations which are pushing birth control, abortion, condom use, and radical gender policies. My sources feel that the Bishop, who is a diabetic and experiencing serious vision problems, is being “wound up” by a couple aggressive and prominent members of the Catholic laity. But the Bishop has been coming on strong for some while, which is to say that his press releases the last few weeks are not out of character. We have to believe the Bishop knows fully and exactly well what he is doing.
OMBUDSMAN REPORTS MAJOR STONEWALLING BY POLICE
The Office of the Ombudsman was established 14 years ago, in 1999, as an independent entity to investigate complaints made by any person against the Government of Belize, including ministries, public authorities, town councils, the Police Department and any company owned by the Government.
Lionel Arzu became the third to assume that post on January 1, 2013, and he notes, in his first annual report, that of the 211 complaints received over the course of 2013, public authorities have not responded in nearly 7 in 10 of the cases.
Arzu said that, “Of the 211 cases, the largest number of complaints was against the Police Department and consisted primarily of allegations of the use of excessive force and police brutality. These make up almost 1/3 of all of the complaints received by our office.”
Likewise, his queries have also not been addressed by the Police Department.
BELIZE CELEBRATES REEF WEEK 2014
The largest international organization devoted solely to ocean conservation – Oceana – is working in Belize to protect the Barrier Reef from the potentially damaging effects of offshore oil drilling, and as part of that effort, Oceana in Belize has dedicated this week to highlighting one of our greatest natural wonders, The Belize Barrier Reef.
Although the 186-mile reef system is a spectacular sight and home to many rare species of aquatic creatures, it is increasingly threatened by overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change, and since 2009, Oceana in Belize has been helping to protect and preserve the second largest coral reef system in the world which stretches from the northeast tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to Amatique Bay, Guatemala.
Today, Amandala spoke to Oceana in Belize’s Vice President, Janelle Chanona, and she explained that the 2nd Annual Reef Week is a chance for all Belizeans to acknowledge the value of our reef, while supporting efforts to protect and preserve its existence.
MINISTER OF WORKS ADDRESSES SUGAR ROADS
The battered state of most of the sugar road networks in the Corozal and Orange Walk districts – which contributed to the delayed start of the 2013/2014 sugar cane season – were the subject of much discussion recently, and at the Government of Belize (GOB)’s annual budget presentation last Friday, March 7, the Minister of Works, Hon. Rene Montero, announced that those roads – which once stood in deplorable, even impassable conditions mainly due to excessive rains – are now receiving much-needed attention by way of contracts which were signed by GOB to conduct remedial works on those vital passageways.
In response to a question raised by Orange Walk Central area representative, Hon. John Briceño, Montero replied that over 100 sugar roads have been repaired in the northern districts.
Government had allocated funds totaling $2.7 million for sugar road works in late 2013, and Montero said, “In the Corozal division, there are 9 branches [of cane farmers associations]. $1,150,000 was allocated [for that division]. $8,998,256 has been spent and $243,850 is remaining. Funds to be allocated are $7,894.00.”
BELIZE STILL RANKS AMONG COUNTRIES WITH HIGHEST MURDER RATES
A recent World Bank report has classified Belize among a handful of Latin American and Caribbean countries which account for more than 30% of the world’s homicides.
The World Bank’s Citizen Security Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Rodrigo Serrano-Berthet, has revealed in a recent report by the World Bank – published on March 5 – that even though the Latin American and Caribbean states only possess 9% of the world’s population, almost one of every three murders globally are committed there.
In fact, the United Nations (UN) has qualified crime and violence in these areas as an “epidemic” and considers the region to be the most insecure in the world.
According to the World Bank’s report, 30% of the world’s homicides occur in these two regions, and the report adds that of the 50 cities around the world that have the highest homicide rates, 42 of those cities are in Latin America, including the top 16.
POLICE DEPT. STEPS UP DISASTER PREPAREDNESS EFFORTS
A 2012 report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) – a US-based national public health institute – revealed that Belizean authorities need to find ways to better respond to emergencies, and today the Police Department was one of the first to react by hosting a disaster preparedness workshop for members of the Eastern Police Division Communication Center, 911 operators and other members of the division.
It took place at the Queen Street Police Station conference room, and Mr. Eaton Williams, the Police Department’s acting communications manager and coordinator of the event, gave us an overview of what the workshop entailed.
He said, “It was a joint workshop where Mr. Wayne Usher from CEMO did a presentation for us along with representatives of the Belize Red Cross, the Meteorological Office as well as a psychiatric nurse from the Ministry of Health who all came in and spoke about disaster preparedness and management especially as it relates to the work that the 911 dispatchers do.”
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, 18, VICTIM OF HIT-AND-RUN
Victor Cassanova 18, of Altamira, Corozal, a student of the Corozal Community College, is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was knocked down at about 8:00 Thursday night while walking with his bicycle through the Rainbow Town Park in the Altamira area, Corozal Town. He was slammed from behind by a vehicle which did not stop; the impact hurled him into the air and he landed on the pavement.
As a result, Cassanova suffered injuries to his head and right knee, and complained of pain in the left side of his body. He was taken to the Corozal Hospital, after which he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment.
Woman found decomposing in house in Dangriga
Geraldine Lewis, a resident of Dangriga, was found dead and in an advanced stage of decomposition in her house on Sunday. A forced entry in the house was made, because she had bolted the doors from inside. The body was taken to the Dangriga Town cemetery, where it was buried immediately.
Information to Amandala is that Lewis, who had recently returned home after living and working in the United States for decades, had not been seen or heard from for about a week. She normally would be heard singing from her house, and every Sunday she would go to church.
On Thursday, an odor began to disturb people, but it was not distinct. On Sunday, however, the neighbors became alarmed because the smell had begun aggravating them. Houseflies were seen outside Lewis’ window, and buzzards were seen in the area.
Vehicle collision in San Ignacio
Four vehicles collided on Buena Vista Road in San Ignacio, but no one was hurt. One of the vehicles lurched into a nearby drain. The incident occurred about 2:30 this afternoon.
According to reports, a pickup truck was travelling on Buena Vista Road when the driver lost control and slammed into a vehicle that was parked on the roadside; that vehicle slammed into another vehicle that slammed into another vehicle, and the fourth vehicle was sent into the nearby drain.
Police have launched an investigation. The driver of the pickup truck reported that the brakes of his vehicle failed.
Letters: CZARNECKI LAMBASTS BISHOP DORICK
One of the headlines in the March 14th edition of the Amandala – “BISHOP WRIGHT FLOGS BFLA, UNIBAM, NAC AND THE RED CROSS” (even the Red Cross?) – left me saddened and a bit bewildered, the way I usually feel when encountering ignorance and superstition. As he exhorts the reader to “be vigilant” against the manifold threats loose in the land, threatening Belize’s moral foundations and family values, the good Bishop neglects to mention what is the greatest threat of them all to the well being of Belizeans – A CORRUPT POLITICAL SYSTEM!
Instead, he weighs in with quirky observations – distractions, really – such as viewing AIDS workers with suspicion, as though they had some kind of hidden agenda; vaccinations for children are maybe better off left alone, he says. Planned Parenthood also cannot escape the Bishop’s moral certitude as he equates making condoms available for the asking (goes a long way in preventing AIDS, for one) with proselytizing for promiscuous sex. Oh, I almost forgot, homosexuals come in for their usual thrashing too: is it true there’s one behind every tree?
Letters: RE: PHARMACISTS “BEX BAD” OVER DANINI HIRING!
The mind reels! Unbelievable! Yet another sad example of “let them eat cake!”
The corruption in Belize knows no restraints at all, and if this were Eastern Europe, say, in the forties and early fifties, people would be swinging from lampposts….How craven! Like a sick joke.
BOXER SAYS HE IS FINE, BACK IN THE GYM
Veteran Belizean boxer, Henry “Boxer” Gill, who returned home to live a couple years ago, and is passionate about getting the sport of boxing off the ground for our at risk youth, said he wants his friends to know that he is fully recovered from a recent ordeal, caused by some issues with prescription medications that he needs that were in short supply. Boxer dropped by the sports desk last Thursday to say that everything is okay now, and he wants his fans and friends to know that he is back in action, “bobbing and weaving.”
From ‘baller to balladeer, football great Gene Guild visits
Last Thursday night, Eugene “Japanese Bomber” Guild, on a short visit from New York, stopped by the sports desk on his way to a guest appearance on Tony Wright’s Thursday night show on KREM Radio, Belize Musicians Past and Present. Gene was accompanied by his older brother Emerson, still resident in Belize, who was also a member of the famous Berger 404 champion team of the mid-1970’s. Another footballer turned musician, Emerson is known in the Jewel for his “Singers and Players of Instruments” promotions.
We did an in depth interview with Gene on a previous visit back in October of 2012, where he explained that, after he had retired from playing competitive football in New York due to an injury in 1984, he eventually stumbled into a new career in music, singing to be specific.
Young Mexican rider
Twenty-year-old Mexican national Ignacio Prado, riding for the Benny’s Megabytes cycling team, rode away from his nearest competitor, Smart cycling team’s Herman “Hijo” Requena, around Mile 4, and made the final circuit around the NAPA and Smart roundabouts to cross the finish line in front of Smart all alone, to claim 1st place in the 33rd running of the Belmopan Cycling Classic, sponsored this year by SMART. Hopes were high for the only Belizean rider in contention as the lead duo neared the City to complete the 100-mile ride; but the Mexican “just walked away” around Mile 4, and there was nothing Hijo could do to stop him. Reportedly, Prado was recently a winner in one of the legs on a tour race in Mexico City.
After the race, we asked the young champion if he will be returning to make a try at the Holy Saturday Cross Country. “Si me invitan,” (If they invite me), he replied. Benny’s Megabytes team manager Perry Gibson was all smiles when we posed the question to him, and also did not discount the possibility that he might also be bringing another foreigner along for the Cross Country. The Belmopan Classic champion is considered a marked man in the Country, being the last major race before the historic Holy Saturday race; and so far, only 3 Belmopan Classic winners have gone on to claim the garland in the Cross Country.
CISCO CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYEE REMANDED ON ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGE
Leith Bermudez, 18, an employee of Cisco Construction, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on charges of attempted murder and dangerous harm against Tarique “Hell Boy” Gillett, 17.
Frazer told Bermudez, “because of the sections under which you have been charged, it means that I cannot offer you bail until three months have passed. But your family can apply to the Supreme Court for bail.”
After explaining the process, she remanded Bermudez into custody until his next adjourned court date on May 5.
STOREKEEPER ROBBED IN STORE
A businesswoman of Orange Walk Town was robbed in her store, and the two thieves escaped with her gold chain. The incident occurred at about 9:00 this morning at the Palma’s Grocery Store, located on San Andres Street.
She told police that two men entered the store and bought cigarettes. One man then returned and ordered some other items, and when the woman reached over the counter to hand these to him, he suddenly grabbed her thick gold chain, pulled hard until it broke, and ran through the door with it.
The woman saw the two thieves riding away on bicycles, and screamed for help.
NEW TRIAL FOR VIOLA POOK, CONVICTED OF MURDER
The Court of Appeal has squashed the murder conviction and sentence of Viola Pook, 56, and ordered a new trial. Pook was serving a lifetime sentence after a jury found her guilty of the murder of her common-law husband in July 2011.
The decision of the Appeal justices centered on a remark that Pook made when she was initially questioned by police on December 31, 2008, the day police found her common-law husband, Orlando Vasquez, suffering burns to most of his body inside their Rancho Dolores home.
Pook, according to the testimony of Corporal Zuniga at her trial, told him that “da me catch him fire.”
Zuniga, however, had failed to caution Pook about her right not to say anything incriminating before consulting a lawyer and used the statement against her, which was the only evidence that linked her to the assault of the burn victim, Vasquez, who succumbed to his injuries two days later.
3 shot in North Creek Road attack
Three persons from the North Creek area escaped a vicious gunfire attack by two gunmen that almost took their lives while they were looking at a basketball game at a court on North Creek Road at about 8:30 last night, Sunday.
Justin Orellano, 24, of North Creek Road, was shot twice in his lower back, while Kenyon Moss, a laborer of North Creek, was shot in the right thigh.
An 18-year-old girl of Dolphin Street, a 4th form student of Gwen Liz High School, was shot in the right knee. They were all rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they were admitted, treated and later released.
Wilfred Peters, Jr., 49, who lives right next to the basketball court, said that many people were on the basketball court looking at the game, including some children from the area. Suddenly, gunshots erupted, and everyone scrambled for cover.
Simon “Pancho” Paulino dies in his sleep
Former Deputy Mayor and present councilor of Punta Gorda, Simon Martin “Pancho “Paulino, 59, of Far West Street, Punta Gorda, was found dead on his bed at about 7:30 yesterday morning, and no foul play is suspected.
Paulino’s girlfriend told police that she went to his house at about 8:00 Saturday night and did not get a response when she called for him. She looked through the window into his bedroom and saw him lying on his back on the bed, and she believed that he was asleep, and so she went home, she said.
At 7:30 yesterday morning, Sunday, she again visited his residence and saw him in the same position. She immediately contacted a family member, who went to the house to see what was happening, and found him dead on his bed.
Security Hired for This Weekend’s “Deal With the Devil” Wing Eating Competition at Lazy Croc’s BBQ: The Rules
This morning I was innocently strolling to Crossfit when I passed this flyer and stopped in my tracks…
While asleep the devil visited Mr. Tropicante in a dream and whispered the SECRET recipe for the world’s hottest pepper sauce. Now, Mr. Tropicante is offering To beat the deal with the devil, to any one mortal. Should any human be able to consume 6 Chicken Wings, in 6 Minutes, on the 6th night of the week they will win $1,000.00 BZD. Contest rules apply. Details at Lazy Croc BBQ.
I posted the flyer on MY facebook page and have received multiple emails, a few phone calls and lots of excitement. What EXACTLY are the rules for this contest?
SO…being the crack reporter that I am, I called Christiano from Lazy Croc’s to get the deets. And I’m not sure who is more giddy about this. Me or him.
HERE are the details that I was given:
The Deal With the Devil Wing Eating contest starts this Saturday, March 22nd at 6pm. The restaurant’s hours will be extended from 6pm to MIDNIGHT Saturdays and you can enter during that time period. Travellers is helping sponsor the event and the bar is open.
A plate of the 6 wings will cost $6bzd or $10bzd. The price is still being determined when Christiano meets with one of the devil’s minions later this week.
90% of the meat must be cleaned from the bones. Christiano or other Lazy Croc management will be the judge.
These wings will be DANGEROUSLY hot and a legal waiver must be signed by all participants.
During the six minutes, you can not consume any beverages or ice cubes.
Three San Pedro policemen will be on site monitoring the contest and the devilish crowd to maintain order.
You can not be under the influence or intoxicated during the signing of the waiver or during the contest.
Once you win the contest and the money, you can never EVER enter again.
If you eat the wings, you get $1000BZD! ONE. THOUSAND. DOLLARS!
Making Small Business Happen
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is working along with the Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize), a unit of BELTRAIDE, to create economic opportunities, promote social progress, and strengthen communities and civil society.
The program has three main objectives:
• Develop employability and entrepreneurial skills among youths by completing a 12-week training program on small business development as well as through work readiness and life skills methodologies
• Create opportunities for self-employment through modest seed funding in the form of matching grants for entrepreneurship initiatives
• Increase youth employability through hiring events and other services to match trained youth with employers in sector such as business outsourcing processes and tourism and hospitality
FRESH, TASTY, GORGEOUS. AMBERGRIS CAYE IN BELIZE IS A REAL TREAT.
"I fell in love with San Pedro," sings Madonna in her '80s hit "La Isla Bonita" – probably the first claim to fame of the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, that pretty island on Belize's north coast that's the song's namesake and the country's busiest tourist destination.
While Ambergris is no longer off the beaten path – Madonna might be surprised at the number of golf carts whizzing up and down the roads of the island – it's still a fun and relatively low-key destination that's popular with expats and short-term visitors alike. Here are five highlights to add to your must-do list.
While you can take a ferry from Belize City (and its international airport) to Ambergris Caye, you'll be missing out if you don't experience the country's internal air travel at least once. Upon landing at the international airport from Houston, we picked up our bags, then turned around and checked in again for our flight on Tropic Air. Along with our boarding passes, we were handed an in-flight magazine and a snack – not just any old nuts, but organic, Belize-grown peanuts.
Howler Monkeys, Alligators and more in Belize
One of the ports of calls on our Western Caribbean Cruise was Belize. We decided to take the Altun Ha Ruins and River Cruise Shore Excursion. It was a day filled with Howler monkeys, Alligators, and so much more!
The Altun Ha ruins are amazing. We were there in the middle of a torrential downpour and it was still really cool. We ended up getting drenched but it was warm so it felt refreshing or so I told myself.
Watch as 1000 years of European borders change
Fascinating look at border changes!
Health services administrator deploys to Belize to facilitate medical treatment
A field grade officer from Air Forces Southern has deployed to Belize in support of the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise.
Lt. Col. James Smith, a 16-year Air Force veteran, from Junction, Texas, is in Belize serving as the liaison officer between the Department of Defense and the Belizean Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.
Planning for this exercise, which began in August, has been an all-encompassing mission for the colonel and his planning team.
“As with any exercise, even the best planning requires on-the-spot adjustments and decisions once execution begins,” Smith said. “In my position, I have been given the latitude and scope of responsibility to make tough decisions that have wide effects.”
AFSOUTH NCO leads contracting team for New Horizons Belize
A technical sergeant from Air Forces Southern has deployed to Belize in support of the annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise.
Tech. Sgt. Ryan Schnepf, an Indianapolis, Ind., native who has been in the Air Force for 12 years, is here leading a three-person contracting/finance team.
His role in the exercise is to provide contracting logistical support to New Horizons task personnel and to establish contractual agreements with local businesses to purchase supplies, services and materials.
Schnepf, who has previously deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Oman, El Salvador, Canada, and Qatar, is deployed to Belize for the second year in a row.
“The best thing about this deployment is building relationships between the U.S. and Belize,” Schnepf said.
Bishop wants pro-condom, pro-choice groups out of schools
A prominent bishop in the central American nation of Belize has urged Catholic schools there to ban groups that oppose church teaching on sexual ethics.
Bishop Dorick Wright of Belize City and Belmopan named a Red Cross programme “Together We Can” and the National Aids Commission, which condone condom use; the gay rights United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) and the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA). He said these groups “foster programmes that ultimately undermine our Catholic values”.
He said these organisations’ activities and positions “are actively opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church” the twice-weekly paper Amandala reported.
The letter, dated 3 March, warned against Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) – the Belize arm of pro-choice group Planned Parenthood – which it said proposed an “agenda of sodomy, abortion, and sexual gender redefinition is seeking to radically change Belize’s Christian character.”
Caribbean’s Biggest Water Provider Reports Drop in 2013 Profit
Consolidated Water Co. (CWCO), the largest publicly traded water provider in the Caribbean, reported a 7.7 percent drop in profit last year as retail sales declined at its Cayman Islands base.
Net income for 2013 was $8.6 million compared with $9.3 million a year earlier as earnings and profit-sharing from its British Virgin Islands affiliate OC-BVI also fell, the Georgetown-based company said in a statement. Total revenue slipped 2.5 percent to $63.8 million while services income climbed 80 percent to $843,000 as management fees increased.
Consolidated Water also operates water production and distribution facilities in the Bahamas and Belize and expanded beyond the Caribbean with a seawater reverse-osmosis facility on Indonesia’s Bali island and a water-purifying desalination pilot plant in Rosarito in northern Baja California, Mexico.