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Remnants of a suspected drug plane found in Spanish lookout
There is a report tonight that a small single engine plane has crashed in the Spanish Lookout area. Details have been slow in coming in but police confirm that the [...]
Crops destroyed in Valley of Peace by Green Tropics and farmers want compensation
Aerial sparing carried by the Spanish company, Green Tropics, has caused the destruction of about a million dollars in crop in thirty-two farms in the Valley of Peace area. As [...]
Day two of the budget debate
As we bring you the news tonight, the Budget Debate is still raging in the sacred chambers of the National Assembly in Belmopan. All members of parliament from both sides [...]
Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington fires a broadside into the P.U.P. center
In theory, the purpose of the two-day session currently in the House of Representatives is to debate the 2014 – 2015 Budget. But in fact, after twelve speakers from both [...]
Mark King responds to Julius Espat
On Sunday unknown persons entered the home of P.U.P. Area Representative for Cayo South Julius Espat, in Belize City. Espat told News Five on Monday that despite the presence of [...]
Are you better informed of the budget after two days of debate?
And our question for tonight is: After two days of debate are you better informed of the budget? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or [...]
Guatemalan truck carrying contraband goods from Western Free Zone shot at by military
News Five has received multiple reports of an incident at the Western Border several weeks ago. According to credible sources, contraband operators in two trucks coming from Benque Viejo del [...]
EU blacklists Belize from international fisheries
On Monday, the Council of the European Union formally imposed a sanction on Belize, as well as two other countries, for failure to comply with international regulations in the fight [...]
Flitches of mahogany found in Maya Mountain Forest Reserve
Last week, our friends at PGTV reported that a container of rosewood was detected near Trio Village and taken to Big Falls Port ready to be exported. While there is [...]
2 San Pedro tour guides charged for attempting to corrupt a police officer
Two San Pedro men are in trouble with the law tonight. Twenty-eight year old Arglye Jex, a tour guide of Coral Street in San Pedro and thirty-three year old Lewis Caal, [...]
6 men including a minor busted in Ladyville for drug trafficking
A group of six, comprising five adults and a sixteen year old minor, was back in court today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano for drug trafficking after police found about four [...]
Errol Andrews claims they were brutalized by cops
When they were leaving the court today several of the men were bandaged and were limping or suffering from injuries they allegedly sustained at the hands of police. Before departing [...]
Shooting victim from Ladyville clings to life
Corey McKay of Ladyville remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in critical condition following a shooting on Monday morning in the Bobo Hill area of the village. McKay [...]
P.U.P. writes National Security Minister on amendment to Firearms Act
The issue did not make it in the Minister’s presentation during the budget debate, but today the People’s United Party wrote Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, for an update [...]
Who is Khalid Belisle?
As we’ve told you, most of the budget debate never touched on the budget, but there was plenty of entertainment. On the opposition side, there was a lot of ‘call [...]
2014 Preschool Festival of Arts
The 2014 preschool festival of arts opened on Monday at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. Hundreds of preschoolers from Belize District are performing in dance, music and drama [...]
A traditional Mayan wedding inspires cultural tourism in the north
The Santa Rita Monument stands proudly at the northern entrance of Corozal Town. Once a thriving trading center for the Mayas, it has now been transformed and restored into a [...]
Motorcycle Ignores Indicator and Collides with Vehicle
A man received minor injuries after he was involved in a traffic accident that included a motorcycle. It happened near mile three on the Philip Goldson Highway. When we arrived on the scene we observed a silver Nissan car with damages to the front right portion and a white a burgundy motorcycle. Both drivers were heading into Belize City. The driver of the car told us off camera that when she arrived on Mile 3 she put on their signal to indicate that she would be making a left turn. However the driver of the motorcycle, who, according to eyewitnesses, was coming with great speed, did not pay attention to the signal and attempted to overtake the car. That is when the car hit the motorcycle flinging the driver some 30 feet away. Fortunately no serious injuries were recorded and police are investigating.
Government Responds to EU’s Decision to Ban Fish Imports
Over the weekend, Love News ran the story of the EU’s decision to ban its member states from importing fish from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea and to ensure that the union’s fishing vessels do not operate in the waters of these countries. It comes as a surprise to many as the media has been reporting on several measures being taken by the Government to ensure this decision was not taken but the fact remains that it has been taken and today, the Government of Belize, through its Press Office issued a release stating that they have noted with concern, the decision and that they firmly believe there was absolutely no justification for this action as Belize has taken all necessary steps required by the E.U’s Directorate General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The release goes on to say that the EU’s decision was made based on information that is outdated and that no credit or consideration has been given to the measures that Belize has adopted over the last six months in an effort to strengthen its high seas fishing regime. In October 2013, Belize enacted a new and robust High Seas Fishing Act which came into effect on November 8, 2013. The Act was supplemented by the Sanctions Regulations and the Licensing Regulations, both of which came into force on March 12, 2014. These regulations which prescribe stringent penalties for violations of this Act would make the High Seas Fishing Act fully operational – a key demand of the EU. In addition, Belize has signed a contract with a South African Company, Capricorn Fisheries Monitoring, to provide On Sea Observer services for Belize flagged vessels, at a cost of about US$200,000 for the first year. This program takes effect from April 1, 2014. In addition to the above measures, Belize has also prepared monitoring and surveillance regulations, as well as a national plan of action, to eliminate IUU fishing.
Opposition Party Writes to Security Minister on Amendments of Gun Laws
Forty two days ago the main opposition party, the People’s United Party had submitted a letter to the Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar enclosing a list of proposed amendments to the Firearms and Crime Control and Criminal Justice Acts. The letter, dated February 12, 2014 was drafted and sent to Saldivar on the heels of the Gino Peck case which had ignited much controversy among the public, leading to the demand of the revision of the laws pertaining to firearms and bail. Well, according to a copy of a letter that we received today, the People’s United Party wrote again to Minister Saldivar requesting an update on the status of not only a response to the amendments proposed by the PUP but perhaps more importantly, on the series of public consultations and revision of the relevant laws.
Joint Operation Yields Six Arrests For Drug Trafficking
Six persons, one of them a 17 year old boy, were arraigned on a charge of drug trafficking when they appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The adults were 27-year-old, Ruben Depaz, 32 year old Sanjay Rudon, 39 year old Alfred smith, 26 year old Errol Andrews and 41 year old John Fuller. Fuller, who was evidently in pain and Andrews, who bore bruises to his right thigh, both claimed that they were beaten by the police. When asked by Magistrate Cayetano if they knew the officers who beat them, Andrews and Fuller said that they could not see their faces because they were made to lay face down before they were beaten. Magistrate Cayetano allowed them to sit while they were being arraigned because of their injuries. They all pled not guilty to the charge. They were released on bail of $5,000 each. Their case was adjourned until May 20. The bust occurred shortly before 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 23, at a residence in Ladyville. Police from Ladyville and police from Belize City, in a joint operation, went to the residence and surrounded it. The police reported that when the occupants of the house saw them, one of them threw a black plastic bag to the back of the yard in an attempt to get it over the fence. According to the police, the bag landed on one of the officers. The police retrieved the bag and when they opened it they found that it contained cannabis. The cannabis amounted to 104.5 grams. As a result, all the occupants were arrested and charged.
Dangriga’s Area Rep Says PM Uses Pretty Words in Budget to Fool Belizeans
One of the more sober presentations came from the representative from Dangriga Ivan Ramos. He spoke of the need for representatives to set a good example for the young people. Ramos said this budget like those before has been cited as being the best budget yet.
HON. IVAN RAMOS
“Our economic performance – these are important indicators about the direction that the Government is prepared to take this nation. Like the other budgets introduced in 2012/2013, 2013/2014 – the Prime Minister characterized the 2014/2015 budget as the best budget ever; then, in my view, it is the best budget and I have heard that being repeated over the past two years, there should be milestones, there should be significant areas where the people can say yes, it will make a difference in the lives of the people. Mr. Speaker, we cannot say this, even after I have gone through the budget and the budget now exceeds one billion dollars to be spent in this country. This sounds pretty if you listen to the Prime Minister over and over again because he characterized it and put it in words hoping to fool the Belizean people but the facts are stubborn, Mr. Speaker, about the performance of this economy under this Government. It is simply not growing.”
Area Rep Says Nothing in Budget Is For Corozal Southwest
Area representative for Corozal South West Ramiro Ramirez used his presentation to lament the lack of work within his area. He listed requests he has made to central government seeking assistance.
HON. RAMIRO RAMIREZ
“The problem here with this budget, they’re talking about billions but nothing is for Corozal Southwest. I could recall, my speech on the 13th July, 2012, I asked for a police station in Libertad – nothing is done; road from Libertad to Buena Vista – nothing is done; a water reservoir for Concepcion – nothing is done; San Victor road – thanks to the cane farmers, a company measure for sugar, the road has started; it’s not done yet but thank you to the cane farmers. Again, in Louisville, I asked for a water reservoir – nothing is done; San Narciso – electricity for San Narciso and San Roman – nothing is done; a community centre for Santa Clara – nothing is done. Three years ago; three budgets – in this book they talk about billions but nothing for Southwest.”
Vital Statistics Upgrading to Digital System
Elrington said in this new budget it will see the appointment of an Ambassador to Venezuela and upcoming changes at the Vital Statistics unit which should ensure better service.
HON. WILFRED ELRINGTON
“It is a matter that has been causing the Government of Belize great pain as well as the public of Belize because the entire system is a system that is outmoded, Mr. Speaker; many of our systems in Belize are outmoded; we are trying to put old rind into new rind skins. Anybody who knows the Bible will tell you from the days of Moses, you know that will not work; you have to find new institutions and new mechanisms if you are in fact to satisfy the needs of the present society and so, at the Vital Statistics Unit, we are transforming the whole thing, we are digitizing the whole system and I can assure you, Mr. Speaker and I can assure my friend on the other side that within the next sixty days we will have the entire system so digitized that the people from PG won’t have to come to Belize City to get their wedding certificate or their birth certificate or death certificate. You will simply have to go to the main district/town, make your application for it and in many cases you will be able to get it either the same day or the next day because it is being digitized.”
Elrington Discredits George Price in National Assembly
The debate of the 2014/2015 budget entitled “Bettering people, building Belize – a budget for all” wrapped up a short while ago in Belmopan. The first presenter was Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington who began his intervention by responding to comments made by the area representative for Fort George Said Musa. Elrington said the comments were a misrepresentation of Belize’s history. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca rose on a point of order accusing Elrington of trying to rewrite history and diminish George Price’s legacy.
HON. WILFRED ELRINGTON
“There was nobody in Belize who wanted independence in the manner in which George Price was advocating for it because nobody trust him and if you think, Mr. Speaker, that I am not telling the truth, I will refer you to this book written by Godfrey P. Smith, we all know who is Godfrey P. Smith. Let me invite you, Mr. Speaker, and I have it here, to turn to page 237, it says, ‘order was restored ultimately after the dispute, after the shutdown but Price was disappointed because he had wanted the Belizean people to move forward to independence unified instead of being deeply divided on the issue. He knew that the reaction to the Heads of Agreement stemmed from the distrust that a large segment of the population held of him which was partly as a consequence of his own actions and the perception that he nursed as a secret ambition to Latinize the country.’
National Budget Debate Continued on Day Two
Day two of the budget debate was held today at the National Assembly Building. Speakers on both sides of the house continued arguments for and against the Proposed Budget for 2014/2015. We’ll take a look at some of those arguments. Hon. Wilfred Elrington- Attorney General and Area Representative for...
Government Reacts to EU’s Banning on Belizean Fish
Yesterday, we reported on the EU’s decision to blacklist Belizean fish products from being imported in its countries. The EU says that Belize, along with Cambodia and Guinea, is a ‘non-cooperating third country’ in the fight against illegal fishing. The Belizean Government has responded to the bann saying, “The Government...
Sought Alleged Murderer of Earl Baizar Hands Himself to the Police
27 yr Gabino Garnett Jr. handed himself to San Ignacio police yesterday. Garnett was being sought by police for questioning in relation to the murder of 19 year old Earl Baizar. Baizar was stabbed and killed in San Ignacio Town on March 8th 2014, sometime after midnight. According to...
BASKETBALL STAR STRANGLED UB GRADUATE?
Vince “Vinnie” Garbutt, 21, a student and star player on Galen University’s basketball team and a resident of the Kontiki area of San Ignacio, appeared before San Ignacio Magistrate Nardia Morgan, who arraigned him on one count of murder today, Monday, for causing the unlawful death of Kayla Burgess, 24, on Thursday, March 20.
When Magistrate Morgan read the charge to him and asked him if he understood what she had just read, Garbutt, appearing perplexed, answered, “No, I don’t understand.”
Morgan then explained to him what the murder charge meant and that he did not have to enter a plea, because, she explained, “this court will only hold a preliminary inquiry. You will not be tried here.”
Garbutt told the magistrate that he had given a confession statement to police on Friday, because he “never had a chance to speak to an attorney.”
Following the formalities of the arraignment, Morgan remanded him to the Belize Central Prison, until his next court appearance on June 24.
DOUBLE TRAGEDY FOR DANGRIGA FAMILY – 2 DEATHS IN 22 HOURS
The Pasqual family of Dangriga is mourning the death of two of their family members who died less than 24 hours apart.
Tanya, 38, died 6:30 Friday morning at the Dangriga Hospital after being ill, and her father, retired BDF soldier Warrant Officer Class 2, Henry Pasqual, 66, was knocked down and killed at about Mile 2 on the Valley Road early Saturday morning, at about 4:30, while riding his bicycle in the area of the Bowen and Bowen Distributors on his way to Pomona from Dangriga.
Henry Pasqual was doing his regular early morning exercise when Courtney Campbell, 67, who was driving his vehicle from Pomona to Dangriga, lost control and slammed into him.
Pasqual suffered massive head and body injuries and was declared dead on the scene. He has joined his daughter at the morgue, awaiting a post-mortem to certify the cause of death.
ARACELY CAHUEQUE WALKS!
The former Corozal beauty contestant, Aracely Cahueque, 21, who was charged with three counts of abetment to commit murder for the gruesome October 2010 killing of Raylene Dyer, walked away from the indictments this morning after Justice Dennis Hannomansingh instructed the 9-member jury in his Belmopan Supreme Court to return formal not guilty verdicts, abruptly ending the trial, which had 16 more prosecution witnesses.
Cahueque is now the fourth and final person accused of involvement in eighteen-year-old Raylene Dyer’s heinous murder to be acquitted. Her head had been cut off and her body dumped in a river, never to be found.
The acquittal verdict so inflamed Raylene’s relatives that a fight between broke out outside the court between the women from her family and women from Aracely’s family. Police and others who knew the families had to intervene to restore order.
Earlier this month, the three men accused of the brutal execution – Jason Anderson, Darren Banner and Brandon Budna – walked from the murder indictment due to bungled police investigative methods.
MAN, 28, TRIED TO RAPE BOY, 14
A 28-year-old man of Corozal, known only as “Daniel,” has been taken to the Corozal Magistrate Court on charges of trespassing, attempted unnatural act and aggravated assault of an indecent nature in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court.
In court today, however, the family of the victim told the court that they wanted no further action against Daniel, and the Magistrate withdrew the charges against him and he walked out of court a free man.
Police say that at about 7:30 Saturday night, a 14-year-old boy of Corozal was at home alone when a man known to him as “Daniel” entered the house, took off his pants and showed the boy his private parts.
Daniel reportedly advanced towards the boy and told him, “You like boys, right?”
The minor, according to what he told police, answered, “No”.
Opposition says “noodles budget” reflects “ugly reality”
In less than 30 minutes, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca delivered what Belmopan area representative and Minister of National Security John Saldivar said must have been the shortest reply ever to the national budget presentation made on Friday, March 7, but while Fonseca’s response may have been short on words, it was long on punches.
“The budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 is what many describe as a ‘noodles budget,’” said Opposition Leader Fonseca, the People’s United Party’s representative for Freetown.
Saldivar said that, to the contrary, this is “another wonderful budget for yet another wonderful year to come…” – quite a different picture from that painted by Fonseca, who said that “The Belizean people’s reality is ugly bad!”
Under the government of the ruling United Democratic Party, more and more people line up at the ruling party’s area reps’ offices for handouts – help to buy groceries and pay their bills, the Opposition Leader commented.
EU fisheries sanctions against Belize begin
The European Commission (EC) announced out of Brussels, Belgium, today that it has moved to take concrete, historic action against Belize and two other countries: Cambodia and Guinea-Conakry, for alleged illegal fishing, by imposing new trade sanctions against them – this on the claim that these three countries have been “acting insufficiently against illegal fishing” on the high seas.
It is the first time that such measures are being adopted at this level of the EU—an economic and political partnership between 28 European countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
“Today’s decision by the Council means that fisheries products caught by vessels flying these countries’ flags are now banned from being imported into the EU,” it said.
Apart from banning EU vessels from fishing in the waters of the blacklisted countries, it also said that “Other forms of cooperation, such as joint fishing operations or fisheries agreements with these countries will no longer be possible.”
Editorial: ENTER GODFREY
If the attorney, one-time PUP politician, and online columnist, Godfrey Smith, wished to throw bouquets at Sir Manuel Esquivel, Belize’s two-term Prime Minister, then this was Mr. Smith’s eminent right as a citizen of Belize and a player in our public affairs. And, so he did last week in his online “Flashpoint” column, which was published in the weekend issue of The Belize Times, the official newspaper of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP).
Mr. Smith described Sir Manuel as “the United Democratic Party’s only statesman – living or dead,” “the elder statesman of the UDP,” and referred to his government leadership as “marked by personal integrity, fiscal discipline that restored the financial health of the economy and a clear-headed attempt to drum up foreign investment.” Well, this was definitely not the broadcast political opinion of the PUP during the years when Mr. Smith was the party’s General Secretary, which was before he became the PUP’s Pickstock constituency candidate in 2002. But, such discrepancies in Godfrey’s last two decades constitute an aside.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Looking back, I can recollect that it was Mr. Wilhelm Arnold who pushed for us to become an organization in early February of 1969. In fact, he took us to his farm at Mile 26 on the Old Northern Road, and there a cultural organization called the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) was formed.
Mr. Arnold was one of Belize’s most successful black capitalists, and it is for sure that he had a specific direction in which he wanted the new organization to go. But the organization soon began to be influenced by the young socialist attorneys, Assad Shoman and Said Musa, especially after Lionel Clarke left permanently for New York City and yours truly became the president. This was not at all to Mr. Arnold’s liking, so he departed the scene.
By early 1973, UBAD was four years old and had become a political party, in August of 1970. UBAD had been tested and proven worthy in three separate Supreme Court trials involving its leadership, several Magistrate Court’s trials, and various demonstrations and public encounters with the forces of the ruling People’s United Party (PUP). In addition, the UBAD Party had contested the December 1971 Belize City Council election as a coalition partner of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Philip Goldson’s National Independence Party (NIP). In early 1973, UBAD was still young, but UBAD was already experienced and established.
BELIZEAN BOXER DIES IN CHICAGO
Michael Tingling, 59, a veteran boxer of Belize City who used to fight at the Big Birds Isle in the heydays of boxing, who afterwards migrated to Chicago, died on Wednesday at the St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois.
Tingling was approached by a man who punched him in the chest while he was protecting his daughter, 15, from the man, who was menacing her. Tingling, who has a pacemaker in his chest, went into cardiac arrest following a physical exchange with the Caucasian man, 59-year-old Joseph Firek, who Chicago police say had an extensive criminal record. Tingling was rushed to the hospital, but he died about 45 minutes later, at about 2:45 Wednesday evening.
Road accident in Corozal sends driver to the ICU in KHMH
Jesus Chicas, 21, of San Roman, Corozal District, is presently admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he suffered head and body injuries in a road traffic accident in front of Carias Cool Spot in Concepcion, Corozal.
The accident occurred at about 8:30 Friday night, between Miles 73 and 74 on the Philip Goldson Highway.
Chicas was driving a pickup, from Corozal to Orange Walk when it collided with another vehicle, an Isuzu Rodeo, being driven by Zamir Herrera, which was travelling from the opposite direction.
Travelling with Chicas at the time was Sebastian Martinez, who suffered a wound to his forehead.
Child, 3, “critical” at the KHMH
A recent spike in traffic incidents in rural Belize over the past few weeks has left a number of people either injured or deceased, and this past weekend, there were a few more accidents to add to that tally – including one involving a 3-year-old child who is presently in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City.
Amandala has confirmed that Romeo Florez, Jr., 3, was knocked down by a passenger bus on Sunday, March 23, in front of the Adventist Church in the village of Scotland Half Moon, which is located between the villages of Burrell Boom and Bermudian Landing.
Today, we spoke to Rural Executive Officer, ASP Chris Noble, who outlined what happened. Noble said that, based on what they’ve been informed, the child was hit by a passenger bus which was travelling toward one of the villages. ”We are looking into it and we are asking persons who were on the bus or who may have seen to come forward and report it to the Burrell Boom police, the Bermudian Landing police or the Ladyville Police Station,” said Noble.
Welder’s head crushed by 14-wheeler dump truck
Just after 4:00 Saturday afternoon, the life of a Honduran national came to a tragic end when his head was smashed by a 14-wheeler dump truck after he was knocked down while attempting to cross the pedestrian ramp near the bus stop at Mile 1 on the George Price Highway in Belize City.
Amandala was on the scene shortly after it occurred, and eyewitnesses told us that the victim had fallen off his black beach cruiser bicycle at the same time that the truck was approaching the pedestrian ramp, and it was while he was in the act of getting back to his feet that he was fatally run over by the vehicle, which was loaded with sand at the time.
The driver’s sideman, Gregory Longsworth, gave us his account of what transpired. He said, “I saw the man stumble and drop off his bike, and he ended up right under the front wheel [of the truck]. I then told the driver that he had knocked down somebody and then he stopped.”
Travel and tourism netted BZ$1.2 billion or 36.6% of GDP in 2013: WTTC
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has released a report indicating that for the year 2013, travel and tourism netted Belize BZ$1.2 billion, or 36.6% of GDP, in 2013. WTTC forecasts that travel and tourism in Belize should grow by 4.5% during 2014.
Statistics recently released by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) indicated that tourism arrivals grew in 2013 by 5.7% for the cruise tourism sector and by 6.1% for the overnight tourism sector.
WTTC’s report said that, “The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the sector was 46,823 jobs (33.0% of total employment).”
COFFIN DENOUNCED PRICE AND QUIT PUP IN 1956
(by “Oldtimer,” originally published in the Friday, May 13, 1983 issue of Amandala.)
The eulogies paid by the People’s United Party to the late William Lloyd Coffin last week, especially the one by Minister Rogers, are a classic example of how the PUP perverts and defaces the history of Belize in general and of the PUP in particular.
The truth is that in 1956 Coffin denounced PUP leader George Price and walked out of the PUP annual convention! Here are the facts.
Coffin was chairman of a “rump” meeting of the PUP held at Liberty Hall on Barrack Road in June, 1956. The PUP leader, Leigh Richardson, Jr., was trying to justify his personal change of policy to favor Belize’s entry into the West Indian Federation. He was supported by PUP assistant secretary Philip Goldson, Chairman Coffin and GWU President Herman Jex, among others.
International Day of Forests observed, but Belize’s forests reportedly remain under attack
While today is being proclaimed as the International Day of Forests across the globe, there are credible reports that our lush forests in the deep south of the country are still being pillaged and our valuable rosewood stock is continuously being depleted, even after a moratorium was passed in February of 2012.
According to the United Nations General Assembly, the purpose of the day is for nations to celebrate, and bring awareness to the issues relating to, the world’s forests while undertaking local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees.
At the same time, residents from the Toledo district have been complaining about an increase in activity in the cutting and shipping of rosewood out of the district over the last few days.
Some 1956 PUP history
(excerpted from a paper by Lawrence Vernon, A HISTORY OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN BELIZE, originally published in Readings in Belizean History, Second Edition, published by BELIZEAN STUDIES, St. John’s College, Box 548, Belize City, May 1987.)
In City Council elections held on March 19, 1956, the PUP won an unprecedented landslide victory by getting all six candidates elected. These were: William Coffin, George Price, Jose Rivero, Tharine Rudon, Leopold Grinage and Jaime Staines. The National Party only seated two out of eight candidates, while one independent candidate was successful. When the Council met, George Price was elected Mayor; and he subsequently became the first PUP leader to read and present an address of loyalty to the Governor during the September 10 celebrations.
A rift occurred in the Party, when at the annual convention on September 27, 1956, the Party Chairman, William Coffin, presented a declaration charging Nicholas Pollard with conducting a public campaign of slander against leaders of the PUP.
Food safety alert – are you buying from a certified source?
The Public Health Bureau trained and issued food handler’s permits to 2,016 persons in the Belize District, the country’s most populous district, in 2013 – an increase of 22% over the previous year, 2012; still, they believe that there are several food vendors who have not bothered to obtain the required certification before venturing into the food market.
The ID card shown with the article is really a permit which food handlers obtain from the Ministry of Health, via the Bureau’s Environmental Health Unit, after going through a screening process (to determine if the applicant has diarrhea or boils in the skin, or if the applicant had visited a country where a disease of concern is prevalent) and 2 to 3 hours of training covering international food safety standards.
All applicants who pay their $20 fee must then sit an exam with 20 questions (multiple choice and true and false) and if they pass with at least a 70% grade, they are issued the permit.
Verdes, Police tie for PLB lead at Week 4
The picture changes quickly in this fast moving abbreviated Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2013-14 Closing Season, and with their defeat of Verdes on Saturday night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, home standing Police United have joined Verdes FC at the top of the standings. Police have the edge in goal difference.
Week 4 games of the PLB Closing Season were played over the past weekend, while Week 5 games take place on Wednesday.
The PLB secretariat reported today that a second half goal from Harrison Tasher (63’) stood up to give Police United FC the 1-0 win over visiting Verdes FC at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday night, March 22.
Boxing coming to Placencia
Lions Den Ladyville manager Clinton Tucker dropped by the sports desk this afternoon to inform us that plans are afoot to hold another in their series of boxing events across the country. The details are still being worked out, says Tucker, but the date they are looking at is Saturday, April 5, and the venue is the Tipsy Tuna resort on the beach side in Placencia Village.
“We expect to have 5 first time boxers from Placencia making their debut,” said Tucker, “and there will be visiting boxers from the Lions Den gyms in Cayo and Ladyville, as well as hopefully from George Swaso’s gym in Stann Creek and the Leopold Smart gym in Belize City.”
Belize City primary school softball
The National Sports Council coordinated Belize City Primary School Softball Tournament commenced on Monday, February 10, at Rogers Stadium with 11 female teams and 10 male teams participating. The females (F) were divided into two groups, A and B, and likewise the males (M). And after the regular competition, the top 2 teams from each group took part in the semifinals on Thursday of last week and today, Monday, March 24.
In last Thursday’ semifinals, (F) Muslim Community defeated Central Christian, 17-1; and (M) Buttonwood Bay Nazarene won, 10-6, over St. John’s Primary. And in today’s semifinals, (F) St. John Vianney edged Holy Redeemer, 4-2; and (M) Central Christian defeated Calvary Temple, 18-14. Championship games schedule:
4 City residents busted with over 6 1/2 pounds of weed
Customs were manning a checkpoint at northern border Four residents of Belize City were busted at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the northern border with 6 and a half pounds of compressed weed which they were [...]
Prisoner recaptured after escape attemp
Keith Bennett, 27, of Corozal, who tried to escape from out of police custody, was recaptured after police fired warning shots into the air, over his head, causing him to halt. While being taken to the [...]
Slaughterhouse Road mechanic charged with another robbery
A mechanic residing at #55 Slaughterhouse Road, who was released on bail after being charged with robbing a Chinese man last September, has been re-arrested and charged with robbery again. This time his purported victim is [...]
Pay it forward and important information and misinformation on donating blood in Belize
There is been a lot of talk about people being turned away from giving blood when they were able to in their native country. Today I will explain important information about donating blood in Belize that will help you understand the challenges the San Pedro Red Cross is facing in regards to building a healthy supply of blood for Ambergris Caye. I will also clear up some misinformation that has been brought to our attention. It is important for everyone to know, we have experienced staff on our blood drive committee and we do our research based on current procedures.
We are all disheartened when people who would not even be questioned in the US or Canada have been turned away in San Pedro. We are continuing to focus on what we can do to climb this mountain and overcome our obstacles to make long lasting positive changes in the system. This is no easy task and we appreciate everyone’s help, support and feedback.
Capture that Springtime Love-Vibe
Ah, Spring… how many odes, love letters, songs and poems keep being dedicated to that time of year when all creatures great and small, turn their attention to love and life.
Spring is that time of year when everything starts thawing out, the heavy clothes come off, green buds appear on the branches, more birds sing and the world just looks good again.
And while it’s not so noticeable here in the tropics, it is in evidence, as the hummingbirds check out the new pollen on flowers and everything seems to wake up, as the days get longer.
Even that battered old Native American warrior Sitting Bull waxed romantic: “Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” The noble chief said.
“It’s All Over Now” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up around 04.45 hours on Saturday morning and out on the veranda (the western, lagoon facing one on the first floor) before 05.00 hours with my mug of black coffee and iPad. It’s still dark at that time of the morning but that suits me fine. I Ike this time of the day. Not being able to see so much ‘kicks’ the seeing and smelling and hearing senses in to ‘top gear’ mode. Well, it does for me anyway.
At this time of the day I find that I can smell the foliage of the trees (not ours yet because they are too young/small but there are plenty in the adjacent lots) so much more. There are also so many so any different sounds to listen to. The sound of mullet jumping out of the lagoon and re entering it ((I’m sure that there is a proper term to describe it but it escapes me at the moment and I really cannot be bothered to engage the memory cells ( for one because I’m just plain lazy and secondly for fear that the cells will fail me)), the sounds of the leaves rustling in the breeze, the birds saying ‘good morning’ to each other. Oh, and the screeching of the raccoons. I haven’t worked out yet whether they are fighting off potential predators or if this is just how they normally ‘talk’.
Lionfish spearing, Learning to dive and beach cleans!!
A fabulous few weeks in pictures with ReefCI!!
Belizean, US officials make final preparations for Corozal MEDRETES
Belizean government and U.S. military officials met March 24 to discuss final preparations for the upcoming New Horizons medical readiness training exercises, or MEDRETES, in the Corozal region in Belize.
Belizean and military medical providers will use the MEDRETES as an opportunity to learn from one another as they provide medical care to residents out of schools in Chunox, Progresso and Libertad.
"The three schools agreed to let us use their facilities to provide medical care, so we reconnected with the principals to make sure everything was ready to go," said Lt. Col. James Smith, New Horizons chief liaison officer. Belizean and U.S. medical teams will work side by side "to provide general medicine, dentistry and veterinarian care to the local population" and their pets.
From reef to plate - Belize combats the lionfish
A film by Katja Döhne. With its venomous sting and voracious appetite, the lionfish is one of the biggest threats to the world’s second-largest coral barrier reef in Belize. Now, human intervention seems the only way to fight the danger. Project goal: Combating the invasive lionfish in the Caribbean in a bid to protect the biodiversity in coral reefs
Size: The Belize Barrier Reef off the coast of Belize. Stretching over an area of 960 square kilometers, it’s the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere
Biological significance: The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world and is a UNESCO world heritage site, but one that’s considered to be in danger
Thai Union aims to re-flag MW Brands vessels in light of EU IUU sanctions
Thai Union Frozen Products said MW Brands will seek to reflag its Belize-flagged vessels to another country as a result of the EU sanctions on vessels flagged to Belize, Guinea and Cambodia, the company told Undercurrent News.
The company’s response comes as one fisheries lawyer has denounced the sanctions for being more show than substance.
Due to kick in soon, the sanctions against Guinea and Camdodia-flagged vessels are seen as having no significance for the EU or the industry, considering they will not affect any existing trade.
On the other hand the sanctions against vessels flagged to Belize could impact at least three tuna vessels owned by French canner MW Brands – owned by Thai Union– and Spain’s Pevasa.
What kinds of pooches did the ancient Maya favor?
Is that the Maize God or an ancient image of Elvis? What kinds of dog breeds were common to the ancient Maya area? How did the diets of the high and mighty differ from that of the hoi polloi in the Maya city of Palenque?
These are just a few of the questions to be considered when the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Mesoamericanists convenes Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29, at NIU.
Hosted by both the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the conference will draw participants from the United States and Canada. Archaeologists, art historians and geologists will present recent research on Mesoamerica.
Consolidated Water reports drop in 2013 net income
The Cayman Island’s largest water distributor has dipped in a dry spell after recording a drop in net income last year from $9.3 million to $8.6 million.
Consolidated Water develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of drinking water are scarce or nonexistent.
A report from the company said the recent decrease in net income was attributable to the earnings and profit sharing derived from the company’s equity investment, which dropped $1.3 million.
Total revenue for the year ending December 31, 2013, decreased 2.5 percent to around $63.8 million, compared to $65.5 million in 2012.
Garifuna-American Heritage Month proclaimed at City Hall
Earlier this month at City Hall, March 11-April 12 was proclaimed Garífuna-American Heritage Month. Members of the Garifuna Coalition and others in the community were on hand for the honors. Heritage Month acknowledges the great contributions of Garífuna-Americans to the fabric of New York City and New York State.
Among the month of significant dates and scheduled events, Garifuna-American Heritage will be celebrated April 3 at Bronx County Courthouse and April 11 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, both starting at 5:30 p.m.
Mexican shrimp buyers hunt for product with EMS impact still being felt
Shrimp production in Mexico this year is expected to be in line with the very low levels of 2013, as early mortality syndrome (EMS) continues to impact farming and buyers hunt elsewhere for product.
According to sources in the country, production in 2013 was down between 45,000 metric tons and 70,000t.
“The semi-official figure was 55,000t but I think that is overstated, probably more like 30-35,000t,” said one source working in the Mexican sector. In 2012, production was 100,000t, before EMS hit last year.
“Only 50% to 60% of the farms will stock, the outlook is for the same as 2013, at best,” he said. “In general the measures being taken to minimize EMS are just shots in the dark based on anecdotal tales of “good” results. So they really have no idea if what they are doing will actually work.”
World Expert on Big Cats Coming to Skidmore
Skidmore hosts one of the world’s leading experts on big cats on April 2.
Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, labeled the “Indiana Jones of Wildlife Ecology” by Time Magazine, has spent a lifetime in the world’s last wild places hoping to preserve habitats and secure homes for some of the world’s most endangered mammals. Rabinowitz will present a talk entitled “Saving the World’s Big Cats for the Future.”
Rabinowitz helped to establish the world’s first jaguar preserve in Belize. His work also led to the creation of the world’s largest tiger preserve in Myanmar’s Hukaung Valley. He has conducted research on a number of species of large cat, including clouded leopards, jaguars and tigers, along with Sumatran rhinos, raccoons and civets. He also discovered a new large mammal species and the world’s most primitive deer, the leaf deer.
DOLPHIN TALE: SAFE IN BELIZE, SLAUGHTERED IN TAIJI
The captain cut the boat’s speed as we entered the lagoon. We were coming back from a day spent slowly meandering up Monkey River in southern Belize for some birdwatching and hiking newly cut trails in the jungle. About fifteen minutes after our driver/guide had steered into the Placencia Lagoon, we were treated to the best part of the day: "Dolphins," he said. "This is where they play."
Dolphins? A lagoon? Disbelieving, we looked for signs of their diaphanous bodies, spots of grey, slender dorsal fins popping through the lapping waves. After lolling in the water for 15 minutes, lapping our circular path, we're rewarded.
A pod of six seemed to be following us, circling in a wide circumference around it and diving under the bottom. Bent over opposite sides of the boat, the four of us had our eyes peeled. These dolphins knew this brackish lagoon, outlined by mangroves, and knew the patterns of their environment. They knew what a slow boat meant. Before long, one sprung from the water in a majestic arch, giving us gawkers a good splash.
"Whoa! We could have touched him!"
Belize’s 3 Best Beach Towns
Most expats who consider moving to Belize dream of living near the Caribbean Sea on a beach. Fortunately for them, Belize offers several beach lifestyle options. Right now, the three most popular beach areas expats settle are Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and the Placencia Peninsula.
Here’s a quick peek at each of these popular beach retreats…
Ambergris Caye: The World’s #1 Island on the Caribbean Sea
Ambergris Caye is the island that I’ve called home for the past six years—and I’m not the only one who has discovered its charms. For two years running Trip Advisor members have voted Ambergris Caye their favorite vacation island. But what’s it like to live fulltime in this hip, happening, tourist haven?
Caye Caulker: The Ultimate Laid-Back Island Lifestyle
Caye Caulker is blessed with the same gorgeous Caribbean seascape as Ambergris Caye. The two cayes are close. The water taxi between them takes only 20 minutes or so and both cayes are only a half-mile from the barrier reef. But there is a world of difference between these sibling islands, in terms of lifestyle…
Placencia: An Irresistible Beach Community
Placencia is a haven for beach connoisseurs. Kick off your flip flops and you can walk for miles along the wide sand beach.
The peninsula is 16 miles long, with the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Placencia lagoon to the west. The Maya mountains provide a gorgeous backdrop for the tranquil lagoon. But the peninsula is also close to all the diverse activities that the mainland offers. You’ll easily be able to reach them with a car.
25 Brilliant Prank Ideas For April Fools’ Day
April Fools' Day (April 1st) is fast approaching, so we thought we might offer a few prank ideas for the more mischievous pandas among you (and if you're not prone to mischief, now you'll have some idea about what to look out for). It's unclear exactly where the April Fool tradition originated, ...