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Maranco tries to tap 50 million barrels of dense oil in Orange Walk
During Tuesday’s budget debate, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow announced a major oil find—an estimated 50 million barrels—in northern Belize. Today, Amandala got some details of the find from Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Dr. Colin Young, who told us that while the company, Maranco, has estimated that the crude oil reserve within a 2,500 to 3,000-acre chunk of northwestern Orange Walk could total 50 million barrels, preliminary indications are that the oil will be difficult and more expensive to extract than the crude at Spanish Lookout, which is a lighter crude.
“50 million barrels in the ground does not translate into recoverable crude,” said CEO Young.
Amandala readers will recall that recoverable reserves at Spanish Lookout were estimated at 10 to 14 million barrels of oil.
Young said that Maranco made the find after assessing the South Canal Bank #3 site, but the oil is 16 api (a unit of measure used by the American Petroleum Institute). This contrasts sharply with the crude that Belize Natural Energy found at Spanish Lookout, which Young said is 38-40 api crude.
Judge orders elections for Belize Ex-Services League
Mckesson Garrett, head of the Belize City branch of the Belize Ex-Services League, told Amandala today that a decision handed down by Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel, mandating the Belize Ex-Services League to hold elections which would include the general membership from the various branches across the country, rather than two representatives per branch, could restore stability to the organization and bring the kind of unity that they have not enjoyed for over a decade.
Garrett said that in advance of that biennial meeting, due to be held next month, at which members should vote to elect “fresh blood” to govern the organization, the Belize City branch will host a meeting of its 60 or so members.
That meeting is due to be held at Canada House on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 30.
The Belize City branch and the executive management of the League have been locked in a bitter dispute for years.
Erin Davis, 18, who was involved in a tragic road accident on Sunday, March 9, in Burrell Boom, in which two persons were killed, died 17 days after the incident due to the massive head injuries he suffered as a result. He went into a coma after being injured, and did not recover.
The Davis family of Administration Drive, Belize City, is devastated and is mourning the death of Erin, who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) at about 2:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon.
Police reports are that at about 5:15 Sunday evening, March 9, they went to the scene of a reported traffic collision in the Burrell Boom area near the riverside, where they saw two vehicles with the front portions extensively damaged.
Their investigations revealed that Lindbergh Tucker, 20, the driver of a white Honda SUV, was driving out of the Boom Road when he collided with a white KIA Sportage coming from the opposite direction, driven by Karim Silva, 31, who was accompanied at the time by his daughter, Ashley Silva, 3.
FINALLY, PENNER CRIMINALLY CHARGED!!
One hundred and eighty-nine days after Prime Minister Dean Barrow fired Minister of State Elvin Penner on September 19, 2013, for his issuance of a Belize passport and nationality paper for an unqualified South Korean criminal, Won Hong Kim, the Cayo North East area representative was arraigned this morning in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on two criminal charges filed in a private lawsuit by the grassroots activist organization Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA).
The COLA case against Penner comes after months of at least three government investigations that have yielded no results.
Although it appeared that immigration laws had been broken, the Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration, told the nation that their internal investigations dealt only with public officers of the department, and Penner was not going to be questioned because he did not fall under the rules of the public service.
There have been an Auditor General investigation, an internal Ministry of Immigration investigation and an investigation by the Financial Intelligence Unit, all of which produced nothing.
KAREN BEVANS SOUGHT AS NEW BTB DIRECTOR
In February, we reported that Karen Bevans had resigned from her post as Chief Operations Officer of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) after 25 years of service at the company, but Amandala has confirmed from an official source that the Office of the Prime Minister has been in negotiations with Bevans to have her fill the recently vacated post of director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB).
Laura Esquivel-Frampton resigned from that position earlier this month, after seven of BTB’s managers complained to Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia, Jr., about her leadership and penned their signature to a vote of no-confidence.
Furthermore, our newspaper had received reports that the BTB came out of 2013, which saw healthy tourism growth in both the cruise and overnight sector, being millions of dollars in the red.
Amandala understands Bevans met with Heredia and Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday to discuss the terms of reference for the BTB post, but at news time tonight, we were told that she had given no indication what her final decision is.
“THIS IS A MATTER OF MONEY”
Greg Ch’oc, executive director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM), said that the NGO and the Maya communities of Toledo which have joined them to challenge a decision by the Government of Belize to grant a petroleum concession over what they insist is their ancestral lands.
“…will not stop until we achieve [our] rights guaranteed by the Constitution.”
In a case lodged before the Supreme Court last year, SATIIM led a claim against the Government of Belize and US Capital Energy, challenging the decision to permit the company to drill in the Sarstoon National Park and to furthermore grant a concession to the company without the free, prior, informed consent of the Maya – as specified in the Maya land rights ruling by former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh.
However, Michael Peyrefitte, the attorney for US Capital, told the media today that the Maya want the company to drill, and Peyrefitte said that the only reason the Maya have gone to court is that they want a bigger share of the pie that other Belizean landowners would get from petroleum production.
“It’s about money,” insisted Peyrefitte, who also sits as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
A relative sent us some information today along with an SMU (Southern Methodist University) website link on a young man who has made some major strides toward his dream of playing professional football in the U.S.
There are many youth with Belizean parentage in the U.S., and it is always refreshing when we hear of their success academically or in the sporting arena, especially if they show appreciation for their Belizean roots. And it could be a great inspiration for our youth back home in the Jewel.
According to information on the team roster, #26 Deshawon Nembhard is a 6’1″ 170 lb Freshman defender/midfielder on the SMU men’s soccer team in Dallas, Texas.
Below we print a brief extract from an article appearing recently on the team’s weekly web page, followed by some information on Deshawon provided by his uncle, Derrick Morgan.
EDITORIAL: POWER, AND THE PEOPLE …
At this newspaper, we try to be careful with words. Indeed, we have to be careful with words, because our newspaper words do not just quickly blow away into the wind: our words are printed in black and white, and they will last for generations. The words we use are there for us to be judged by, and so our words bring a weighty responsibility along with them.
We have a phrase we have been using at Amandala for decades, which is, of course, “power to the people.” It was used by the Black Panther Party founded by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in Oakland, California in the late 1960s. But it was a Belizean who was visiting Belize from that said city of Oakland, California in the spring/summer of 1969, who introduced the young UBAD cultural movement to the South African word Amandla. (This Belizean was Bert Simon, who soon returned to the United States and converted to the Nation of Islam. He is now Nuri Muhammad.)
Our understanding of Amandla at the time was that it translated roughly in English to “power to the people.” Over the years, we have come to understand that Amandla is part of a call-and-response ritual in South Africa where the speaker cries Amandla, or power, and the people respond, Ngawethu, which means roughly, the power belongs to the people. (In that summer of 1969, we chose to call our newspaper Amandala, adding an extra “a” to make the word more easily pronounceable.)
FROM THE PUBLISHER
The anti-British colonialism vibes of the nationalist revolution in Belize were also pro-American vibes. Belizeans who travelled to Panama to work during the 1930s/1940s had been struck by the grand nature of American planning and construction in Panama. The Americans did not do things in the cheap, niggardly way in which the British had always operated in Belize. Belizeans became impressed with America, and even more disappointed with Britain.
George Price’s boss in old Belize City, Bob Turton, sold his chicle to P. K. Wrigley in Chicago, and our sources say Mr. Turton and Mr. Price travelled together to New Orleans often, to transact banking business there or on their way to Chicago, where Wrigley’s chewing gum headquarters were located, or to New York City and Boston, where Mr. Turton was doing some of his mahogany business.
Mr. Turton’s chief business rival in British Honduras was the Belize Estate and Produce Company (BEC), and BEC was, of course, always favored by the British colonial establishment in Belize. Bob Turton, the illegitimate son of a British army officer and a Creole lady, had to quit school at the age of 9 and fend for himself. He became British Honduras’ second native multimillionaire, after Isaiah Morter, who had made his fortune in coconuts.
Exports down, imports “continue to swell,” inflation up
The 2013 trend of declining receipts from Belize’s major exports has continued into February 2014, according to information just released today by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).
“Belize export receipts for February 2014 stood at $49.5 million. This represents a decrease of approximately $12 million or 20 percent over the same month last year,” the SIB said.
It added that export receipts for all major exports, except marine products, declined.
“The largest fall in earnings occurred in the export of sugar, which fell by roughly one-half to $7.7 million,” the report said.
Poor weather conditions and the delayed opening of the sugar factory was the cause of declining sugar revenues, the SIB said. However, it noted that the 2014 forecast for sugar production was generally good.
Crude oil receipts were also down, despite an increase in world market prices. According to the SIB, this is because Belize exported slightly less crude oil in the month, resulting in a $2 million reduction in revenues.
Bagasse negotiations continue between BSCFA and BSI
The second in a series of intensive discussions to resolve a quantum payment for the multifaceted sugar cane byproduct known as bagasse was held this past Tuesday, March 25, at 2:00 p.m. at the BSI Staff Club in Orange Walk.
Representatives of the two major stakeholders in the sugar industry, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and the mill operators Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/ American Sugar Refineries (ASR), convened once again to hopefully hammer out a new sugar cane purchasing agreement since the infamous 2-month impasse in which cañeros refused to deliver cane to the mills unless they were given a percentage of the profits that BSI/ASR hauls annually from the sale of bagasse.
Today, vice chairman of the BSCFA’s Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, spoke to Amandala about the developments in the negotiations and explained that the sugar compromise is being worked out under a positive light.
Ortega told us that the meeting went well and just as they expected. He stated that BSI provided their counterproposal to the cane farmers, in which the company presented a proposed formula they derived for apportioning payment to the farmers for the bagasse, in addition to the most practical and feasible sum of money they are able to disburse in exchange for bagasse.
Sex, murder, mayhem and confessions
It is said that ignorance of the law is no defense and thus the assumption of our Common Law legal system is that every citizen knows the laws and as such cannot plea ignorance of it. Along with this assumption is that our people are equally “educated” and for me education is beyond being book smart – it’s about being aware, knowledgeable and competent to engage in sober well informed discussions. The whole premise of a democracy is likewise under the understanding that citizens of a democratic society are “educated” or enlightened. So when we keep our people ignorant, uninformed and “uneducated” we cannot expect that the socio-political system we operate under will ever be as functioning as it should be.
I read and heard some very damning comments about our judicial system and while some are so true, lots are based on ignorance of our system and our people not realizing that they too have a role. Now, let me say up front that I am in no way saying all is well with our system and that it should remain as it is, but we first appreciate it before we constructively dialogue about what to change.
From the swamps to the hills, and back! …
This newspaper is 34 years old, and over the years we have written many editorials about the Cross Country race, the Holy Saturday cycling race which is so much a part of our collective Belizean psyche.
Next Saturday’s race will be the 75th race in the history of British Honduras/Belize, and things have changed. Nowadays it is the norm that foreign riders win the race. On Holy Saturday 2003, if there are 10 riders coming back through Hattieville, 7 or 8 will be foreigners; and if there are 5 riders coming back, 3 or 4 will be non-Belizeans; if there are 3 riders coming back, 2 will be from outside. This has become the pattern.
The Mexicans had been coming, from Chetumal and Cancún and Ciudad del Carmen, from as far back as we can remember, from the 1950’s, and only one ever won – Pablo Calderon in 1971. And though Pablo was a threat again in 1972, a threat turned back in 1972 by Anthony “The Tank” Hutchinson in his thunderous ride through the Cayo hills, it was the “team concept” which really began foreign domination in the late 1980’s.
Belizean rum receives international recognition
Distilled products manufactured by Traveller’s Liquors Ltd. have been on the shelves of Belizean merchants for over 60 years, and today the company exhibited superiority in the world of spirits yet again as another one of their products – this time Traveller’s Classic White Rum – was rated, for its flavor, at the top of the list of white rums from around the world.
The FiftyBest.com – raters of the globe’s finest wines and spirits – recently hosted a White Rum Tasting competition in New York, where 20 contenders were evaluated for the distinguished “Best White Rum” awards for 2014, and Traveller’s Classic White Rum of Belize emerged as the victor.
The product was awarded a gold medal, and today the proprietors of Traveller’s Liquors invited the media to the Heritage Museum at Mile 2 on the Philip Goldson Highway where they delightedly made the announcement.
General Manager of Traveller’s Liquors Ltd., Amanda Perdomo, said, “In 2013, we won 2 awards in London; the 5 Barrel [aged rum] won gold in the Masters Spirits competition, and the 1 Barrel won silver. This year, we submitted the Traveller’s Classic White rum to TheFiftyBest.com for a tasting competition, and out of 20 rums, we got a gold award, so we’re very proud of this rum.”
2 GUATEMALANS ARRESTED IN CHIQUIBUL FOREST RESERVE
Two armed Guatemalans who illegally entered Belize through the Chiquibul National Park were met by a Belizean composite patrol, who promptly arrested them. The two persons have been taken into custody at the San Ignacio Police Station and were charged with keeping firearms and ammunition without a gun license.
The men, Jose Sub Coc, 21, a Guatemalan farmer of Cah Bom, Alta Vera Paz, and Pedro Lopez Ica, 36, a Guatemala farmer of Monte Los Olivos, were both taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, where they were arraigned on the firearm possession charges. They have since been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until May 30, when they will be returned to court.
The incident occurred about 9:00 a.m. Monday morning in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. The patrol reported that they saw two Guatemalans, who were armed with a .22 automatic rifle and a 9mm pistol.
Belmopan City Council Mundialito
The Belmopan Football Association (BFA) held Week 3 games in the Belmopan City Council Mundialito Youth Cup 2014 on Sunday, March 23, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. In game 1 at 10:00 a.m., YWAM-Netherlands shut out Piccini-France, 4-0, with goals from Naim Wilson (37’ & 51’), Zachariah Zimmerman (67’) and Adrian Waight (83’). Game 2 saw Armenia-Portugal registering a 3-1 win over Mountain View-Italy, with Carlos Gonzalez netting a hat trick (34’, 60’ & 80’) for the winners, while Marlon Jones (71’) scored for Mountain View. It was target practice in game 3, as Valley of Peace-Korea bombarded Maya Mopan-Chile, 13-nil, with goals from Savier Sanchez (5’, 9’ & 54’), William Flores (14’), Elvin Umana (34’), Henry Sanchez (39’ & 42’), Jose Delgado (63’), Ector Gomez (70’), William Perez (46’), Jason Sanchez (45’) and Nelson Martinez (60’ & 71’). And in game 4, it was Central Site-England, 2-1, over San Martin-Mexico, with a goal apiece from Ajani Banner (35’) and Jamal Tejada (38’), while the lone goal for San Martin was by Jonathan Lopez (47’).
Belize City’s No Limit Soldiers defeat the Culture Warriors in Dangriga
The Belize City (Smart) No Limit Soldiers made the journey to the Y-Not Island in Dangriga to take on the hometown Culture Warriors. The Soldiers made the trip along with some No Limit fans early Saturday afternoon, as they departed from Belize City around 2:30 p.m. The team managers made it a priority to have the Soldiers in Dangriga early, so they could have sufficient time to stretch and warm up properly for the game. This was definitely necessary, because in past road games the Soldiers would often struggle in the 1st half, before hitting their stride in the 2nd. On this day, however, the Soldiers were early, so early, in fact, that they had time to walk around and soak in the culture capital of the country. The people of Dangriga welcomed the No Limit Soldiers, and were very hospitable to the visiting team for the duration of their stay.
The Dangriga Culture Warriors are a very young, athletic and exciting team to watch, and it’s because of that the Soldiers made every effort to slow down the game to negate the speed of the young Warriors. As a result of the game being slowed down, the score was slightly lower than what the Belize City No Limit Soldiers would normally produce. They were very much in control through the 40 minutes of action, as the team continues to improve their shooting. Team No Limit shot 21 for 36 (58%) from the charity stripe, and even shot a better percentage from behind the arc than they did on 2-point field goal attempts, as they hit 50% of their shots from the land of 3 and only 34% on 2-pointers.
“Ladies” is ready for Holy Saturday Half-Marathon
A dedicated long distance Masters runner, 53-year-old Anthony “Ladies” Flores visited the sports desk this morning to serve notice that he is ready for this year’s annual Holy Saturday Half-Marathon race. “In my Masters category, I expect to have strong competition this year from Louis Haulze and Michael ‘Big Wire’ Lewis,” asserted Ladies. “Big Wire” is better known for his cycling achievements, having won all the major cycle races, including the Cross Country; but Ladies says he saw Big Mike training for the foot race, and expects good competition from him on Holy Saturday.
The annual Half-Marathon (approximately 13 miles) will take off shortly after the start of the Cross Country Classic on Holy Saturday morning, and will journey from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 8 on the George Price (Western) Highway and back to Leslie’s Imports.
Junior Cross Country
This Sunday, March 30, will see the 15th running of the Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic, which will take off from the Succotz Ferry at 9:00 a.m. and travel on the George Price (Western) Highway to finish in front of Leslie’s Imports on the outskirts of Belize City, approximately 72 miles.
The Cycling Federation of Belize will hold its Technical Meeting for the event tomorrow, Friday, March 28, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the NOC Conference Room upstairs of Doony’s on Albert Street. Deadline for registration is today, Thursday, for Youth riders (14-16 yrs) and Junior riders (16-18 yrs).
Last year’s race was a photo finish, with the victory going to Zamir Guerra in 3:34:38. There was a tie for 2nd place between Michael Wagner and Tarique Flowers, who both also clocked 3:34:38.
Traffic accidents prevalent in rural Belize
A disturbing number of traffic accidents have occurred within the jurisdiction of the rural Belize District over the past few weeks, and this past weekend the phenomenon continued, as there were a jaw-dropping four more road traffic accidents in that municipality, leaving at least three more individuals in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).
One of the most serious of the incidents happened on Sunday evening after two employees of Bowen and Bowen Ltd. had left from a company function in Ladyville.
Upon reaching the curve before the Burrell Boom cutoff, the grey Jeep Cherokee that they were traveling in reportedly ran off the road and overturned several times.
The victims were 38-year-old Ian Nunez of Poinsetta Street in Belize City, and 35-year-old Deon Geban of Fabers Road, also in Belize City. Nunez suffered a broken pelvis, spine, hand and foot; while Geban was injured in the back, shoulder and foot.
Stann Creek fishermen protest dredging at South Water Caye Marine Reserve
The Stann Creek Fishermen Association (SCFA) this week sounded the alarm that a company is dredging inside the South Water Caye Marine Reserve – even as fishermen from the community have been locked out for years from fishing in the protected area, after having been told that they could not continue their usual fishing activities inside the reserve.
The association said that they are exhorting the Minister responsible for fisheries to call an emergency meeting on this.
Earlier this week, Amandala consulted authorities at the Department of the Environment (DOE) on the reported dredging inside the protected area, and we were told that the DOE knew nothing of it.
We tried contacting the CEO responsible for fisheries, as well as authorities at the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, but no one was available to speak with us.
Police anti-crime operations impact San Pedro
A 2-day police operation called Operation Ambergris Caye was conducted by the Eastern Division Police on San Pedro in response to a spate of crimes that was disturbing the peace of the island.
The operation began Thursday morning and concluded Sunday morning.
Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, commander of the operation, said that the purpose of the operation was to address the increasing number of shooting incidents and other crimes being committed on the island town and to ensure that San Pedro returns to being the tranquil place it has been known to be – a place where both residents and tourists can feel secure.
As part of the operation, officers searched 250 persons, 20 premises, and 20 known drug bases. Ten suspected vehicles were stopped and checked; and 8 persons were arrested on various offenses, including immigration.
Of those arrested, one person was detained for immigration offenses; another person was arrested for possession of a crack pipe, and a deportee was detained for failing to report to the proper authorities.
Protruding plough on towhead causes traffic accident; 5 injured
A truck driver’s alleged indiscretion almost cost the lives of roughly 18 to 20 passengers who were on board a James Bus on the way to Belize City last night after a projecting heavy duty farm tractor’s rake ripped open the left side of the bus like a tin can.
Around 7:15 p.m. last night, near Mile 44 on the George Price Highway, a passenger bus belonging to James Bus Line from Punta Gorda was on its final route to Belize City when it was raked in the side by a protruding piece of a farming machine that was being carried on a towhead that was coming from the opposite direction.
Luckily, there were no casualties, but five people, including Oscar Cal, a resident of Colombia, Toledo, who was the driver of the James Bus, sustained injuries.
Cal and four of his passengers suffered various degrees of injuries and were rushed to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, while the others were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City.
Traffic collision again in San Pedro
A three-way collision occurred at about 9:00 Friday night on Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro, and two persons are hurt as a result.
The collision occurred when a motorcycle hit a bicycle, after which it slammed into a golf cart in which four people was travelling. The person riding the bicycle was hurt, and three persons from the golf cart were thrown out, causing one of the passengers to be knocked unconscious.
Harold Arthurs, office assistant at Cart Belize Golf Cart Rentals San Pedro Town, told police that he was driving a company golf cart, and three persons were with him, including his cousin, Ericka Castro, 20.
Just after they passed Crazy Canucks Restaurant’s entrance, Arthurs saw a motorcycle coming from the opposite direction, which knocked down a young boy who was riding on a bicycle. The motorcycle driver lost control of the motorcycle after that, and then the motorcycle hit the golf cart.
5 persons missing: 3 from Belmopan, 1 from Toledo and 1 from Belize City
Five persons have been reported missing — three from Belmopan, one from Mafredi, Toledo, and one from Belize City.
Missing from Belmopan are Touri Conorque, 13, a student who failed to return home from school yesterday; Izidoro Zacharias, 52, who went out on Friday and failed to return, and Ami Polanco, 15, a student who left home to go to school about 7:00 yesterday morning and has not yet returned.
Missing from Mafredi, Toledo, is Rosas Tobar, whose 15-year-old daughter reported her missing to police.
In Belize City, Alex Myers remains missing since Wednesday, March 12.
About 4:30 this afternoon, Markeisha Thomas of Sapodilla Street, Belmopan, told police that her daughter, Touri Conorque, 13, did not return from school at the time she usually does. She has not been seen nor heard from since. Conorque is of brown complexion, is 5 feet 5 inches in height and weighs 110 pounds; she is slimly built, has brown eyes and was last seen wearing her school uniform, which is a light brown blouse and khaki brown jumper. At about 5:30 yesterday evening, Maribel Bolon of Garza Street, Belmopan , went to police and reported that her brother, Izidoro Zacharias, 52, left home about 5:00 Friday evening and since then, she has not seen nor heard from him. Zacharias is a resident of Brazil Street, Salvapan. He is of fair complexion, is 5 feet 6 inches tall, is slimly built, has dark eyes, and his top front teeth are missing.
Corozal police carry out new initiatives to combat crime
The Corozal police have embarked on new initiatives to combat crimes in the district. Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Commander of Corozal District police, said that the initiatives began yesterday.
A two-man motorcycle team will now patrol the business and residential areas. The patrol will carry out stop-and-search operations, and random searches of suspicious persons in the area will be done. The initiatives will be for an indefinite period, and will be carried out from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening, from Monday to Friday.
Commander Ramirez said that two officers have been assigned to carry out the initiative. Since the beginning of the exercise yesterday, the stop-and-search effort has already confiscated four grams of weed and two persons were arrested as a result.
Ramirez said that the initiatives boost the ones presently in place, so that there are always ongoing security patrols in the town.
Plane destroyed by fire after it crashed in remote Spanish Lookout area
A six-seater Cessna plane believed to have been used to transport cocaine has been destroyed by fire in a remote area of Spanish Lookout. It was found abandoned on a feeder road Tuesday morning by law enforcement authorities.
At the time of the discovery, there was no one around, and the cargo was nowhere to be found.
Police believed that the plane crash-landed and unnamed persons deliberately set it on fire. Police strongly believed that the plane was used to transport cocaine.
An investigation, in collaboration with Aviation authorities, has been launched by police, but so far, no one has been detained.
Motorbike slams into car turning left across highway
A motorcyclist is fortunate to have only received minor injuries after he collided into a car which was reportedly turning into a lane on the Philip Goldson Highway yesterday morning.
The incident took place at Mile 4 near the Benny’s Apartments where, according to eyewitnesses, the motorcyclist – who was driving a white and burgundy motorbike – suffered serious abrasions to his body after making a failed attempt to overtake the car – a silver Nissan Altima, which was in the process of making a left turn, across the opposite lane.
The front portion of the driver’s side of the car was subsequently damaged, while the cyclist –identified as Noel Leal, Jr., 29, of Buttonwood Bay in Belize City – was violently hurled into the air, reportedly landing some 30 feet away.
Both drivers were apparently heading into Belize City, and eyewitnesses claim that the female driver of the car – who was unhurt – had put on her signal to indicate that she would be going left. However, the cyclist, who was allegedly traveling at a high speed, apparently did not notice the signal, and so slammed into the turning car.
HOMBRE PERFECTO NO HAY: MARCO ANTONIO SOLIS
It was neither my wish nor intent to diminish the image of Rt. Hon. George Price in our history with my view on Sir Manuel’s role in same. I was just stating what was backed up by the “Tribute to Falo Fonseca” in the Amandala of the same date. Both Mr. Price and Mr. Esquivel have their magnificent roles in our history but like the Marco Antonio Solis song says, “Hombre perfecto no hay”. We all are humans and no one is perfect, except “Jesus, the Christ”.
Mr. Price had a vision of a politically independent Belize, which he achieved, but it took Esquivel to straighten up the finances of that dream come true. It cost them both.
Mr. Evan X Hyde also has a huge role in our history. He is the revolutionary who publishes the truth. That is why Amandala remains the best newspaper in Belize. He may take sides but will always publish the truth. He feuded with both Prime Ministers because that is his role in our history, to “Fight the Power”.
MURDER SUSPECT HANDS HIMSELF IN
Gabino Garnett, Jr., 23, a laborer of San Ignacio who was wanted on murder charges in San Ignacio and has been on the run from police, was arrested today and charged for the death of Earl Baizar, 19, of Dangriga.
Garnett was arraigned today at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on the murder charge, and has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison.
Baizar was stabbed in the chest on Saturday, March 8, in front of the Atlantic Bank in San Ignacio during an altercation with a man who later was identified as Garnett.
Police said that Garnett stabbed Baizar four times in different part of the body — the left side of the chest, the left hand, his left underarm and his right thigh — during an altercation on March 8.
Drug smuggler escapes from police, but over 5 pounds of weed confiscated
Benque Viejo police confiscated over five pounds of compressed cannabis which was abandoned by a drug smuggler who escaped from police officers when they tried to arrest him. The drug has been labeled “found property” and [...]
Best Man won’t make it to the wedding, because he’s remanded to prison
A Belize City man who was supposed to be the best man at his brother’s wedding will not be attending, unless he can get special permission from the authorities at the Belize Central Prison, where he [...]
Belize City man arraigned for month-old robbery of high-tech cellphone
A Belize City man was arrested and charged for the robbery of a high-tech cellphone that occurred a little over a month ago. Kadeem Olivera, 19, a construction worker of 76 Neal Pen Road, pleaded not [...]
Woman escapes rape in Punta Gorda
A woman, 24, who is a German national visiting Punta Gorda, escaped being raped by a man who attacked her while she was swimming in the sea. The man tried to hold her down and take [...]
5 men and minor arrested for 104.5 grams of cannabis
The men allege that they were badly beaten by police Five men and a 16-year-old minor were arraigned on Tuesday morning before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on a single count of drug trafficking, for 104.5 grams of [...]
Lucius Myers, 33, found guilty of keeping unlicensed ammunition
He was sentenced to 5 years Lucius Myers, 33, who the Gang Suppression Unit believe is an affiliate of the Ghost Town Crips Gang, was found guilty of “kept ammunition without a gun license” and sentenced [...]
Stolen car recovered
A Nissan Sentra car, the property of Michael Jorgenson, a taxi driver and resident of La Croix Boulevard, valued at about $5,000, which was reported stolen from in front of his house sometime between 12:30 to [...]
Money changers robbed on the Western border
Two money changers who work at Belize’s western border with Guatemala were robbed by two men, believed to be Guatemalans, who stole over $2,700 from the money changers, after which the robbers fired shots in the [...]Two San Pedro tour guides attempted to bribe Superintendent Broaster
Two San Pedro tour guides attempted to bribe Superintendent Broaster
Two San Pedro tour guides who were arrested for possession of a small quantity of cannabis, for which they pleaded guilty and were fined $200, are still not yet out of the woods, as far as [...]
Facey robber captured in San Pedro and remanded
Eulalio Witz, 59, a mason of the San Pablo area, San Pedro Town, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was taken to the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court on charges of aggravated robbery, possession of stolen goods, 3 counts of forgery and 3 counts of claiming upon a false document. He was remanded until May 17.
Police said that about 1:30 Monday afternoon, a businesswoman, the co-owner of a store on Northern San Pedro, was robbed by Witz at knifepoint of her purse, which contained her chequebook, cash and her personal documents.
The businesswoman, who lives in the Northern San Pedro area, was giving Witz a ride from the center of the town to the north of San Pedro Town and upon passing Lost Encantos, Witz, also known as “Hector,” pulled out a knife, put it at her side and took away her purse, which contained the cash and other items, and ran away.
The woman promptly alerted her husband.
Shortly after, at about 6:50 that same Monday evening, according to police, they responded to reports of a fight behind the RC Primary School in Northern San Pedro and on their arrival, the husband of the businesswoman who was robbed by Witz handed over Witz to them. The businessman had hunted him down, captured and beat him.
Penner charged, out on bail!
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner, the man at the center of the seven-month long “Citizen Kim” scandal, was charged Thursday with two counts “making a false statement” in the Belmopan Magistrate court.
Penner pleaded not guilty to both charges, and was granted and met bail of $2,000 plus one surety in the same amount.
The charges were brought under Sections 3 (A) of the Passports Act and under Section 22 of the Belize Nationality Act, through a private prosecution case initiated by activists, Geovanni Brackett, the president of the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, and Nedal Jihad McClaren of the Commoners Movement.
Brackett’s and McClaren’s attorney, Kareem Musa, who represent the men pro-bono, spoke to reporters following the court proceedings.
He commended McLaren and COLA for being the ones to press forward with the charges against Penner “at a time when nobody else wanted to step up.
“There are many other ministers who feel as they are abnormal. They need to face the courts as well,” Musa added.
Oil found in Northern Belize! But how to extract 50 million barrels of thick crude !
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced this week that some 50 million barrels of thick crude oil have been found in Orange Walk. However more testing needs to be done to determine if it can be extracted commercially.
He said that because of the complexity of the rock formation in the area, Maranco Energy Belize Limited will not be able to determine its commercial value without further testing and without financial and technical assistance from abroad.
Barrow, speaking at the end of the National Budget Debate, said that the company reported the test results of South Canal Bank #3 exploration well on Monday.
He added that the test results determined that the oil is located at between 4009 and 4026 feet deep under the surface, with a size of between 2500 to 3500 acres.
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Dr. Colin Young, explained that Maranco cannot determine if the find has commercial value without testing exactly how much oil the rocks can hold (porosity), and the space available between the rocks for the oil to pass through (permeability).
Belmopan Bandits bomb FC Belize 2-0 in Belikin football
By William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter Defending champions, the Belmopan Bandits posted their first victory in four outings in the Belikin Cup closing the season competition organized by the Premiere League of Belize: 2-0 over FC Belize at the MCC grounds on Belize City on Sunday, March 23. The game was […]
Barney Brown, Andrew Vasquez & John Borland win Weekend Warrior cycle race C
Barney Brown of Scotiabank Cycling Team won the “A’ Division when the Weekend Warriors Cycling Club held its fifth in a series of races, this time from Cotton Tree on the George Price Highway to finish at Leslie’s Imports in Belize City on Sunday, March […]
Inspiration Center officially launched
Inspiration Center officially launched
The Inspiration Center for children with diverse abilities was officially launched on Thursday with overwhelming support from a variety of contributors that helped to make the Center a reality. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow, said to the gathering at the inaugural […]
Kidneys highlighted in the month of April
Failure to care for any vital organ can result in death and kidneys fall into this category. Hoping to raise awareness of this organ’s importance, the Kidney Association of Belize (KAB) has chosen the month of April to launch an education campaign and fundraising effort. A Kidney Walk is the […]
Reading a novel triggers lasting changes in the brain
Lovers of literature can rejoice. A new study combines the humanities and neuroscience to take a look at what effects reading a novel can have on the brain. Researchers say exploring a book can not only change your perspective, but also it can change your mind – at least for […]
Cahueque, 21, walks free of murder
Aracely Cahueque, 21, the woman accused of being the mastermind of the October 2010 murder of Raylene Dyer, 18, walked out of court free of the charge, thanking God and those who prayed for her but saying nothing to the family of the deceased. […]
Vinnie Garbutt arraigned for murder of Kayla Burgess
A San Ignacio man has been remanded to prison for the murder of his girlfriend, 24-year-old Kayla Burgess. Twenty-one-year- old Vinnie Garbutt was arraigned before Magistrate Nardia Morgan on Monday on a single charge of murder. Due to the nature of the charge, no […]
Guats suspected in armed robbery at western border
Two Belizean money changers stationed at the Benque Border Management Compound were robbed at gunpoint at around 5:30 p.m. last Friday. The victims were at a small booth assigned to money changers and taxi drivers at the Belize/Guatemala border, reports say, when two men […]
Russia kicked out of G8
President Barack Obama and other world leaders have decided to end Russia’s role in the group of leading industrialized nations, the White House said Monday. The move to suspend Russia’s membership in the G8 is the latest direct response from major countries allied against Russia’s annexation of the Crimea. “International […]
Japan agrees to hand over nuclear material to USA
Japan and the United States have co-signed an agreement to remove and dispose of hundreds of kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and separated plutonium from the Asian nation. The fissile material will be transported from the Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) in Japan […]
Oceana offers assistance to GOB on EU fishery ban
Oceana has reached out to the Government of Belize to assist in removing Belize from the European Union’s (EU) blacklist for not acting promptly against illegal fishing. Oceana Vice President for Belize Janelle Chanona told The Reporter that Oceana stands ready to assist the […]
The Esquivel’s Decision
The critics of the Esquivels have not been as loud or as vocal as those extolling other UDP’s scandals, but nevertheless there have been harsh ones. And while these critics have been crucifying the Esquivels for being sour grapes, placed in the same situation I would dare […]
What do President Barak Obama of the United States, Secretary Xi Jinping of China, the United Nations and the International Red Cross have in common? They are all motivated by a desire to reduce soaring world population growth. The world population has exploded from 6 billion at the turn of […]
Construction on the Caye: The Ground Breaking of Diamante Residences, The Opening of a New Beach Bar, A New Crossfit Gym & More
Yesterday was the ground breaking of one of the biggest projects on the island – the Diamante development. Those who have visited will know the land. For the past 10 years or so, it has been the site of the very popular BC’s Beach Bar…
BC’s has been dismantled (perhaps to be moved elsewhere) and Diamante is being built in its place. The project is being managed/run and sold by the McCorkle/Guerrero family and many in town were there for the ceremony including the Mayor Danny Guerrero and the Minister Manuel Heredia Jr.
Construction has actually started and it’s happening fast! A sea wall, lots and lots and lots of really fine sand and more…
Favorite Blue Water Grill is on one side.
And Hurricane Ceviche Bar is off to the other. You can not say that the amenities won’t be available. This spot really is the HEART of town.
Chaa Creek Hails The Rise of Healthcare in Belize
A novel new initiative between the US Military medical officers and their Belizean counterparts is good news for everyone living in or visiting Belize, according to Chaa Creek safety officer Emil Bradley.
Mr Bradley said a report by the US military’s Defence Video and Imagery Distribution Service (DVIDS) that Government of Belize and US military met 24 March 2014 to discuss final arrangements to prepare for the upcoming New Horizons medical readiness training exercises, or MEDRETES, in the Corozal region in Belize is excellent news for the people of Belize.
“Each year we see improvements to medical care in Belize that are keeping pace with population growth, the rise of ecotourism and the increase of people moving to Belize to retire, and this is great news.
“After all, superior medical care is the cornerstone to quality of life, and it’s heartening to see that health remains a priority in Belize,” he said.
According to the DVIDS report, initially, 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.
Exploring Mayan Masterpieces – Belize Family Travel Series
The time had come. Our biggest adventure yet was about to begin. The crown jewel of our week in Belize, and an adventure we still talk about today. We were about to embark upon an adventure that would find us up close and personal with an ancient civilization.
Step back in time with us as we spend our final day exploring two Mayan masterpieces buried deep in the jungles of Belize - Xunantunich and Cahal Pech.
Welcome to Xunantunich, where Mayan royalty once performed ancient rituals high up on ceremonial platforms. Where, at it’s peak, nearly 200,000 Mayans lived beneath the shadows of a towering pyramid called El Castillo. Welcome to an adventure sure to intrigue and mystify the whole family.
Encouraging lion onto Caribbean menus
A NEW project is underway to encourage Caribbean fishermen to include the deadly lionfish as part of their daily catch in an attempt to protect the world’s second-largest coral reef.
The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve World Heritage Site is 116,148 hectares and comprises seven marine protected areas. The second largest barrier reef system in the world, it is Belize’s number one tourist spot and crucial to the country’s fishing industry.
However, the barrier’s diverse ecosystem is under serious threat from the invasive lionfish, a native of the Indian and Pacific oceans that was introduced to the Florida waters in the 1990s.
There is a growing concern that the predominance of the fish poses a serious threat to the very existence of indigenous fish species, including the grouper and spiny lobster.
Fortis Inc. Announces Pricing of US$500 Million of Senior Unsecured Notes
Fortis Inc. ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") (TSX:FTS) announced today that it has priced a private placement to US-based institutional investors of US$500 million in Senior Unsecured Notes (the "Notes"). The Notes will be issued in multiple tranches with terms to maturity ranging from five years to 30 years and coupon rates ranging from 2.92% to 5.03%. The weighted average term to maturity is approximately 11 years and the weighted average coupon rate is 3.85%. Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, US$213 million of Notes will be issued on June 30, 2014 and US$287 million of Notes will be issued on September 15, 2014.
Net proceeds from the sale of the Notes will be used to refinance existing indebtedness, including the US$150 million 5.74% Senior Unsecured Notes of Fortis maturing on October 30, 2014 and C$125 million 5.56% Unsecured Debentures of a subsidiary maturing on September 15, 2014, and for general corporate purposes, including repayment of US-dollar drawings on the Corporation's committed credit facility.
The Notes will not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act"), as amended, nor will they be registered under any state securities laws. Unless so registered, the Notes may not be offered or sold except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.
Costa Rica Hosts First Meeting Of Lat Am CELAC Community
Costa Rica hosted the first meeting of the Quartet of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Foreign Ministry said.
The meeting was attended by the foreign ministers Enrique Castillo (Costa Rica), Bruno Rodriguez (Cuba), and Ricardo Patino (Ecuador), and the Ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Celia A. Prince, representing the Caribbean.
Costa Rica currently holds the pro tempore presidency of CELAC; Cuba fulfilled that responsibility last year and Ecuador will assume that mandate in the coming period, while the Caribbean is part of the quartet of the forum.
In a press conference held at Casa Amarilla, headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, Castillo reiterated the commitment of the current President Pro Tempore of contributing to strengthening political dialogue and CELAC consensus. CELAC is composed of Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.
There is no better place to reflect on my adventure in Belize than here on the go-slow Caribbean island Caye Caulker. Serenaded by the morning chorus of seabirds as I squat at the end of a wooden pier stretching out over crystal clear waters, I chuckle at the UK weather. Under the surface an eagle ray investigates the shallows, swiftly darting a barracuda before it returns to the depths.
One of my favourite days in Belize started with a boat ride over turquoise seas accompanied by a pod of dolphins. I was to dive into the Great Blue Hole, with its stunning contrast between light and dark blue waters. As I descended, I observed the walls studded with stalactites, overhangs and limestone formations originally developed as an Ice Age cave. Then, a rather large shadow appeared in the corner of my eye, leaving me overcome by a small moment of panic as I scanned the cuts with which I was afflicted while in the jungle. I took my leave of the black tipped reef shark and ascended to explore the outer reef. This was quite simply a scene from Finding Nemo: an underworld paradise with explosions of colour dispersed by exotic marine life and arty coral formations. Fascinated by an exceptionally bulbous fish inhaling and exhaling, I prepared to take a stunning photo; but, greeted by a curious moray eel, I politely allowed it right of way and retreated towards a nonchalant turtle seeming to watch life go by.