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Former Minister Driver Acquitted Following Death of Minister’s Wife
Justice Denis Hanomansingh today directed the jury in the southern court session, to deliver a verdict of not guilty against 30-year-old, Venancio Salam. Salam’s plight began in May 2010 when he was driving a burgundy Nissan Navarro, property of the Government of Belize and assigned to the then Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Juan Coy. Salam was driving in the area of Indian Creek Village in the Toledo District when the vehicle, carrying former Minister Coy and his wife, Brigida, suffered a tire blowout on the driver’s side, causing the vehicle to overturn. Coy’s wife died at the scene of the accident while both Coy and Salam were transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital via a BATSUB helicopter. Initial investigations led authorities to render the charge of manslaughter against Salam but over the years as the legal proceedings took place; the charge was altered to causing death by careless conduct, of which he was today declared not guilty. Salam was represented in court by Leo Bradley Jr., while the prosecution was represented by Lindberg Willis.
Dangriga Market Refurbishment Undertaken by Cayo Company
On Wednesday Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund William Lamb will hand-over the project site to representatives of CB Construction of San Ignacio, Cayo District for the completion of the refurbishment and expansion of the municipal market in Dangriga. The new contract was signed last week. The final contract price is one million two hundred and twenty eight thousand three hundred and ten dollars and ninety five cents. The refurbished market is scheduled to be completed within six months. Construction works will entail the rehabilitation of existing Ferro-concrete of the market building including the fish section, extension of approximately 2,000 square feet for additional stall space for some vendors who are occupying the market’s parking-lot. In addition, this refurbished market will provide over 40 stalls. The Dangriga Market Project, is considered one of the largest infrastructure projects under the Government’s 30 million dollars Belize Municipal Development Project, and is being implemented by the Project Implementation Unit of BMDP under the umbrella of the Social Investment Fund. Its financing includes counterpart funding from the Dangriga Town Council and a World Bank loan.
Contracts Awarded For Capital Projects in Belize
The Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize (GOB), is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. The investment project was initiated yesterday with a contract signing for consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure at the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities. The contract was awarded to Benque Viejo based firm, LAR Architects and Associates headed by consulting architect Luis Ruiz. A second contract was signed and it was for the Falcon Field Recreation Center and Facilities. The winning contract was awarded to Belize City based firm, International Environments Ltd headed by lead architect Daniel Arguelles. BIL, along with technical support from the Ministry of Works, is working closely with the Local Government Representative for the area. The investments to be financed as a prerequisite to any commencement of the civil works, and relevant to this contract, include the design and construction as related to any environmental management, approved design plans and construction for both projects.
Belize Waste Control Takes CitCo to Court Again
The never-ending saga of Belize City’s sanitation woes wound up once again before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning, as Belize Waste Control, one of the City’s two sanitation partners, once again pressed for action to be taken against Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley. The Council is once again...
Person Found Dead in Guinea Grass Village Died of Alcoholic Stupor
Last night we told you about the dead body that was discovered by an Infant two student of Guinea Grass Village, Orange Walk, when she went to use the bathroom. Today, police issued an official report. Investigations have revealed that on Saturday, March 29th, at around 8:00 am...
The Belmopan Market Vendors Are Moved Again
The Belmopan Market is on the move again. On May of 2013, the Tuesday and Friday Market vendors were relocated from the old Civic Center to the Agriculture and Show Grounds with plans to move them back to the Civic, when renovations are completed. The plan to move them...
Planned Protest Against Greg Choc
Executive Director of SATIIM Greg Choc has been very vocal in the NGO’s stance. However, one organization is discontented with their motives and is tabling their concerns through a scheduled protest on Thursday, in Punta Gorda, Toledo. Joseph Estephan, founding member of Toledo Association for Belizean Rights says he...
Has National Assembly Clerk Hired Someone to Kill Pawpa Mena?
Dangriga police are investigating a serious allegation made against the Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster. According to a known criminal, Jermaine Mouse Miranda, he was hired by Eddie Webster to kill UDP standard bearer for Dangriga, Pawpa Mena. Miranda told Dangriga police that in early march, he...
Preliminary Inquiry Awaits Santos Carvajal
On Monday we reported the story of 51 year old Santos Carvajal, who faces dismissal from his special constable post with the Police Department. He is also criminally charged with carnal knowledge of a female minor. That case went to court today and he was told that the matter...
Will Darrell Run for Mayor Again?
Monday was the deadline for candidates for the United Democratic Party (UDP) to contest the Mayoralty of Belize City to submit their names. The list thus far looks like this: current Deputy Mayor and councilor Bernard Q. Pitts, Jr.; former deputy Mayor Dion Leslie, and former councilor Leila Peyrefitte....
Construction Company Burglarized of $45,000 Worth of Equipment
Belmopan police have one man detained pending investigation of a burglary that left one business owner over $45,000 in the hole. according to police reports, David Medina, the owner of Medina’s Construction, reported that he was hired by Santanter Farm in the Banana Bank area to build a sugar...
SIF Moving Forward with Dangriga Market
The refurbishment and expansion of the Dangriga municipal market is back on track as SIF handed over the project site today to representatives of CB Construction of San Ignacio. A new contract with respect to the Dangriga market was signed by SIF’s new Executive Director, William Lamb and representatives...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Easter Sailing Regatta
April 19th and 20th, Caye Caulker
WOMAN SERGEANT TUCKER’S CONDITION “GRAVE” AT KHMH
A female police officer, who is a mother of three, is currently on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) following what was reportedly a hypertensive condition that caused her to faint while going to a public event which was held at the ITVET compound on Freetown Road in Belize City this past Saturday, March 29.
Amandala understands that Sergeant Kimari Tucker, 43 – attached to the Precinct 4 Belama Substation –was accompanied by friends and family, who were all on the grounds of ITVET, where the concert was being held, when she suddenly collapsed even before reaching the concert itself.
Yesterday, her family told KREM News that she was in a serious condition at the Intensive Care Unit of the KHMH, where she had been declared brain-dead, but was still breathing on her own at the time.
Today, however, we were informed that her condition has “deteriorated significantly,” as she is currently on life support, and her blood pressure has escalated, which has resulted in complications which appear to be life-threatening.
BWS FIELD WORKER CHARGED WITH RAPEBWS FIELD WORKER CHARGED WITH RAPE
A Belize City man who is employed at Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) as a field worker was arraigned on a single count of rape when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning.
The accused man, Eugene “Portion” Reneau, 51, did not have to enter a plea, because his case will be heard on indictment after a preliminary inquiry is held to determine if there is a prima facie case against him.
Reneau, a resident of 59 North Front Street, was released on a $1,000 bail, plus one surety in the same amount, and his case was adjourned to May 29.
The allegation against Reneau is that on Friday, March 28, at about 2:30 a.m., he raped a 26-year-old Ladyville woman, who told police that he put a knife to her throat.
According to a police report, Ladyville police, acting on information they received, visited an area around Mile 10½ on the Philip Goldson Highway in Ladyville, where they saw a man, and a woman of Creole descent, about ten feet from the roadside, in the swamp, standing in a pool of water.
GUAT FARMER SHOT DEAD IN CHIQUIBUL
The problem of unchecked incursions inside Belize’s prized Chiquibul Forest, particularly inside the Chiquibul National Park, and the clear and present danger these incursions pose—not just for Belize security forces but also for Guatemalan campesinos who exploit the area for illegal farming and other illegal activities—came into sharp focus again over the weekend with the killing of Tomás Desdicho Ramírez, 29, of San Marcos, Petén, Guatemala.
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Guatemala president Otto Pérez Molina, who issued a joint statement today, agree on one thing – that the incident happened inside Belize, but the question now is whether the Belizean military officer who shot Ramírez was “culpable” for the death—or whether he was justified in shooting Ramírez.
Belize police said that Ramírez, who was allegedly found armed with a Maverick Mossberg Model 88 12-gauge pump action shotgun, was shot in the upper right side of his body, his abdomen and right leg.
Belize police have told Amandala that Ramirez’s body arrived in San Ignacio at around 8:00 a.m. yesterday, Sunday, and it was positively identified by officials from the Embassy of Guatemala in Belize. A post-mortem was scheduled for Monday afternoon.
“BAD CARD” MURDERED AFTER BIG LOTTERY WIN
One day before his 57th birthday, and a little over 9 hours after winning a “substantial sum” of money through his selection of the single number 75 in the Sunday lottery, Dean Lyons, 56, was shot to death yesterday evening while sitting on the steps of a house on West Canal, a short distance from Mike’s Club.
His family is devastated over his sudden death.
According to a police report, police visited West Canal between Water Lane and Orange Street, where they saw the body of Hector Dean Lyons, a self-employed man of Cemetery Road, Belize City, on the steps in a sitting position, with his head hanging down, with a gunshot wound in the left side of the head and an exit wound in the right side of the head.
Police said that their initial investigation reveals that at about 7:25 last night, Lyons, a taxi driver with other sources of income, was sitting on the steps of a house next to the sidewalk on West Canal when a dark-complexioned man wearing a black shirt rode up to him and asked for some money.
RENOWNED EVANGELIST ON YEARLY VISIT TO BELIZE
A Jamaican-born former pioneer and businessman turned evangelist who made Belize his home in the early 1970’s is presently in Belize, and decided to share the interesting story of his life’s journey and encourage individuals to follow in his footsteps.
Today, Amandala spoke to Pastor and Evangelist Ludlow Walker, 77, who travelled the world as a “Sea Pharoah” in his younger years, but came to Belize in the early 70’s and eventually built a hotel called the Mopan Travel Lodge at Mile 15 on what was then the Western Highway which was called Tropical Park.
According to Walker, it was the first efficiency apartment hotel that was built in Belize and there were a lot of business people and political officials who used to visit the location, mentioning that it is also the place where he met esteemed gentlemen such as former UBAD president Evan X Hyde and the late former PUP politician Ray Lightburn.
“On March 8, 1981, I turned my life over to Jesus Christ. I was divorced from my wife at the time and out of love for my family, I asked God to give me back my wife and 2 children with a pledge to serve him until my last day on earth.
KREM TV’S MARYAM ABDUL-QUAWIYY CROWNED MISS AFRICAN QUEEN 2014
Last Saturday, the 6th edition of the Miss African Queen Pageant took place at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City, and Krem TV’s news anchor Maryam Abdul-Quawiyy emerged as the winner of the contest in which five other participants also vied for the title.
During the pageant – which was organized by the advocacy group “Concerned Belizean Women” – the six delegates displayed their passion and knowledge of African Heritage through historical and cultural presentations while showcasing a measure of poise and elegance which had to be proven worthy enough to take home the crown for this year’s competition.
In the end though, there could only be one winner, and Ms. Abdul-Quawiyy walked away with the crown.
Today, she told Amandala that it was important for her to take part in the pageant because young black Belizean women need to see more examples of people like themselves doing something positive and gaining respect.
EDITORIAL: Déjà vu, one more tractor blade!
DÉJÀ VU, ONE MORE TRACTOR BLADE! Editorial — 01 April 2014
A football and basketball trip to Peten had suffered the worst accident in Belize’s sports history. Four young men had been pinned under the Peten truck after the truck’s left side had been raked asunder by a protruding, unlit tractor blade. As they screamed in pain, in the darkness, someone lit a match to see better. But the truck had overturned, and fumes from its gasoline tank had filled the air. There was an explosion and fire. Gilroy Buller, Errol Clarke, Kyrle “Old Man” Turton and Charles “Buki” Leslie were burned to a crisp. Jaime Zaldivar was badly burned, and ended up losing a leg to the surgeon’s knife.
The thing about the tragedy near Mile 8 on the Western Road was that no one paid the price for it, except the ill-fated athletes, and their friends who walked around in a daze for weeks. For high quality Belizean athletes to be traveling in a truck, not a bus, across the border with a driver no one had ever seen before, was not considered unusual in those days. For their deaths to go just like that, no one really to blame legally, was not considered shocking. Insurance companies almost never paid claims in 1971.
The owners of the lowboy and tractor which had caused the accident were Belize Sugar Industries, the subsidiary of the superrich British transnational, Tate and Lyle, which could have afforded to pay some damages. But this was a story which ended up lost in the dark confusion and ignorance which is the “history” of sports in Belize.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
At Spanish Caye during the school summer holidays in the early 1960s, it would be the basic Charles Hyde and Telford Vernon families on the northern side of the caye, while on the southern side, which was owned by the Belisle family, two of my grandaunts, Maggie and Edwina Belisle, would usually be in effect.
In those days civil servants here worked until 12:30 on Saturday afternoons, so that my dad, Mr. Telford, and other working-age adults would come out to the caye on Saturday afternoons. They would bring ice blocks packed in sawdust in crocus sacks, chicken and meat for Sunday dinner, fruits and vegetables from the market, and various grocery commodities. They would return to Belize City on Sunday evenings to report to work Monday mornings.
During the week until they returned the following Saturday, I would be in charge of keeping the caye supplied with fish and conch. I was the oldest of the Hyde children. Mr. Telford’s stepson, Bunce Longsworth, was a bit older than myself, but he was not as trained in the sea life. Besides, my maternal uncle, Roy Belisle, had made me captain of his sailing sloop, Kitty, the only sailing boat on the caye during the week. So, Bunce deferred to me.
Prevention of Corruption Act deadline for disclosure
The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) reminds all persons elected to town and city councils, House of Representatives, Senate and the Speaker of the House that today, March 31, is the stipulated deadline date for submission of annual financial disclosures.
VIP also calls on the Prime Minister to fulfill his legal obligation without further delay and appoint members to the Integrity Commission.
Redmond writes on Belize citrus
It is time for citrus growers to demand world market prices for their fruit. For years, Belizean citrus growers have been paid prices which are much lower than the world market price for citrus juices. The citrus processors in Belize have traditionally produced citrus concentrates, which sell for much lower prices on the world market than the ready-to-drink juices produced in consumer-ready packs, such as the “Tetra Pak”. These types of packs have the advantage that they can be distributed and stored without the need for refrigeration.
Over 85% of the world trade in citrus juices is in these single-strength juices and not in concentrate form. Yet, we in Belize continue to produce concentrated juices. The citrus processing plant in Stann Creek has all the equipment necessary, including the packaging machines and extra storage capacity, to produce single-strength orange juice.
Clear the fog
For too long certain clerics and Catholic Religious women have been making public statements and taking postures which have been causing confusion in the minds of sincere Christian people. I think it is time to clear away the fog and dispel the black smoke.
As far as I know, Almighty God has never abrogated any of His commands to suit man. Certainly, He has not changed His Sixth and Ninth Commandments, which enjoin all men, gay and straight, to live pure and chaste lives; to the married, this means fidelity; to the unmarried, chastity and abstinence.
Before the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930 all Christian churches subscribed to the belief that the use of artificial methods of preventing pregnancy is immoral. This decision taken by vote opened a Pandora’s Box; and since then, the whole world has gone sex crazy.
Big up, Tingy
The late Michael Tingling waged a memorable boxing battle with Leroy Hardiman at the Crystal Palace in Orange Walk Town back in the days. He was in the employ of my late uncle, Ernesto Cuello, who had sponsored one of the best in Belize, David Dakers.
This was before these guys.
“Tingy,” as he was known, put up a good fight, but as Fitzroy Guisseppi (hope the spelling is correct) commented, “Tingy can’t tek knock in a ih head.” He went down after being caught twice in the head. The first one stunned him and the second one put him down. Can’t remember which round.
He was very good, but Hardiman was better. If he was younger, that racist in Chicago could never have hurt him.
A few weeks later, Hardiman and Shorty Clarke fought their “Smoking Joe vs Muhammad Ali” type war at the Crystal Palace in Orange Walk Town.
PUP RESUMES FIGHT TO UNSEAT ELVIN PENNER WITH APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW OF REJECTED PETITION SIGNATURES
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) today has resumed its fight to unseat the disgraced United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative for the Cayo North East constituency, Elvin Penner, with an application for a judicial review of the Chief Elections Officer’s decision to reject over three hundred signatures that it had collected in its election petition to trigger a recall referendum for Penner.
The judicial review application was filed on behalf of Orlando “Landy” Habet, the PUP standard-bearer for the Cayo North East constituency, along with four other registered voters from the constituency.
PUP senator and attorney Lisa Shoman told reporters outside of the Supreme Court Registry, just before the papers were filed, that the Party is filing the judicial review application for the referendum petition to have the court make a decision on the 337 signatures that the Chief Elections Officer rejected in the party’s election petition drive.
Belize immigration officers nab Cuban trio believed to be heading to the U.S.
An anonymous tip to Belize immigration officers led to the arrest of three Cuban nationals who had entered Belize illegally and were found at a hotel in Belize City. They were charged with entering Belize illegally and were fined $1,000 plus $5 cost of court when they were arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
They pleaded guilty before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, who imposed the fines and signed an immigration removal order for them to be deported back to Cuba.
The three are Roberto Raul Ronaina Hernandez, 32, a professor; Ernesto Rodriguez Tanquero, 23, an engineering student; and Dayani Perez Hernandez, an economist.
When immigration officers visited Bay View Guest House, located at #58 Baymen Avenue, they found the Cubans inside room #8.
According to court records, when immigration officers asked for identification papers, the trio were able to produce their Cuban passports.
More road traffic accidents – one man dead
A life was lost and two persons suffered massive injuries in three separate traffic collisions that occurred in Belmopan, Blue Creek in Orange Walk, and on the George Price Highway respectively.
The three collisions occurred on Tuesday, March 25.
Jacob Niekoleis, Jr., 18, died after he slammed into a fence when he lost control of his motorcycle.
Police said that about 3:00 Tuesday afternoon, Niekoleis, Jr., suffered massive head injuries and an injury to his ribs as a result of the accident. He was rushed to the Blue Creek Village Clinic, after which he was taken by air ambulance to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment. However, at about 8:15 that same Tuesday night, he died due to the injuries.
In another incident, Alexander Shepherd, 49, was injured in the leg and hand after he was knocked down by a truck in a hit-and-run-collision while riding his bicycle on the George Price Highway.
Body found in bathroom by young students in OW
Some unsuspecting infant students from the Guinea Grass Roman Catholic Primary School in the Orange Walk district made a dreadful discovery this morning when they came upon the lifeless body of a Hispanic man inside one of the female bathrooms at their school.
Although details have so far been sketchy, Amandala understands that the discovery was reportedly made sometime after 9:00 this morning when two female students went to use the bathroom.
When they opened the door, they reportedly saw the body of a man with his head hanging inside one of the toilets.
The man has since been identified as Azael Gomez, a 30-year-old resident of Guinea Grass.
Husband held up wife at gunpoint, then stole her vehicle keys
Gladys Dominguez, 47, a businesswoman of Sapodilla Street, Corozal Town, told police that she was held up at gunpoint by her estranged husband, who assaulted her, and stole her vehicle keys and escaped in the vehicle.
The incident occurred about 2:30 Friday at a beauty salon on 3rd Street North, Corozal Town.
Dominguez was at a beauty salon when her husband, from whom she had separated, entered the salon and pointed a gun at her head and told her, “I will shoot you if you do not give me the key for the vehicle!”
According to police reports, Dominguez tried to escape by walking away from her husband, but he followed her, and that was when he allegedly pushed her, then slammed her several times against the wall, and then punched her on the left and right sides of her head.
Fearing for her life, and concerned about the welfare of everyone who was in the salon at the time, she handed over the keys to her beige SUV, valued at $6,000, to her husband, who then drove away in it.
Young Adrian Lopez drowns
Corporals Matthew and Lynnette Lopez of the Dangriga Police Station are mourning the death of their son, Adrian Lopez, 8, a standard 1 student of Sacred Heart RC School in Dangriga, who drowned in the Dangriga River (North Stann Creek River), in the New Site area while in the water with a group of friends at about 3:00 Saturday afternoon.
Adrian was floating on a piece of foam when he slipped off, went under and did not resurface.
His mother, Corporal Lynnette Lopez, said that they were unaware that Adrian had gone swimming with friends. They were at home on Saturday, and became alarmed around 6:00 that evening when he had still not come home, and went looking for him.
The boys who were with him did not say anything to them initially about what had occurred, but at about 7:00 that night, they went to the parents and began to relate pieces of what had happened.
TIGERSHARKS AND WESTERN BALLAZ TIED
After Week 8 games in the inaugural National Elite Basketball League tournament, involving 8 teams from across the country, the San Pedro Tigersharks and the Cayo Western Ballaz are tied with 22 points at the top of the standings. Belize City (Smart) No Limit and Dangriga Warriors each have a back match pending, and Toledo Diplomats have 2 back matches remaining.
In weekend games, on Friday night, Belize City (Smart) No Limit travelled north to Orange Walk and came away 1 point winners, 76-75, over home standing Orange Walk Running Rebels; all other games were on Saturday, and the scores were all lopsided. In Corozal Town on Saturday, visiting San Pedro Tigersharks won, 86-68, over Corozal Heats; in Dangriga, the visitors were again successful, as Cayo Western Ballaz were 61-48 winners over Dangriga Warriors; and in Punta Gorda, it was the visiting Belmopan Bandits blowing out the Toledo Diplomats by an 86-41 score.
Keion Robateau new Junior Cross Country Champion 2014
There were a few prominent names to watch among the field of 20 Junior cyclists that started out from the Succotz Ferry yesterday morning at 9:00 in the 15th Annual Junior Cross Country Classic; but Keion Robateau was not one of those names. Some of the recent big names among Juniors had already moved on to the U-23 category, namely Giovanni Lovell, Joel Borland, Austin Armstrong, Jr., Deezan Spence, and Oscar Quiroz, Jr. (Youth riders are 14 -16 yrs, and Juniors are 16-18 yrs; after their 18th birthday, they move up to U-23.) So that, among recent champions of major Junior cycling events were defending Junior Cross Country Champion Zamir Guerra; top Junior finisher in the recent Belmopan Cycling Classic, Tarique Flowers, who also won this year’s Krem Classic for the Juniors; and Delon Gentle, who has been a consistent contender, being the 4th Junior in the last Krem Classic, the Junior champion in the Valentine Classic, and the 2nd Junior in the Belmopan Classic. But, from the records we have been able to peruse, Keion Robateau had, up until yesterday, still not broken into the top-3 group of Junior finishers in any of the major races. His best finish was 5th Junior in this year’s Belmopan Classic.
AMERICAN RETIREE FOUND DEAD IN SARTENEJA
Late Friday afternoon, an American national who lives in the community of Sarteneja in the Corozal District was found dead in his warehouse, reportedly with multiple gunshot wounds to his body.
Police reports are that the decomposed body of Dennis Frank Waltz, 77, was discovered by villagers on Friday, March 28, after he went missing the day before and his motorcycle was subsequently found on the outskirts of the village sometime earlier in the day.
According to Corozal police, at about 4:46 p.m. last Friday, they visited the property of Waltz, a retired American. When they checked a concrete warehouse with zinc roofing, they found a man dressed in a pair of blue jean shorts, white socks and brown tennis shoes, lying motionless in a sitting position in a corner of the building, He had apparent gunshot wounds to the mouth, the right upper side of his chest and the top of his head.
Teofilo Rodriguez, 44, who is also a resident of Sarteneja, told police that he checked Waltz’s property after his motorcycle was found outside the village Friday morning. Villagers, however, sensed that something was wrong from the day before, on Thursday, March 27, when the victim could not be found at his residence.
Alleged burglar of Biscayne Government Primary School remanded
The Biscayne Government Primary School was burglarized between March 17 and 18, and according to reports made to police, a number of electronic devices were stolen, some of which have not been recovered. Police investigations, however, have led to the arrest of an 18-year-old village resident, who was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods.
Joshua Smith appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned him on the two criminal charges.
But when Smith asked the court prosecutor, Inspector Hector Rodriguez, if there was any objection to his being granted bail, the prosecutor said he was objecting to bail on the grounds that the police are still conducting an investigation into the burglary, and that some of the items have still not been recovered.
Rodriguez told the court that if granted bail, the accused man might interfere with the police’s investigation.
The Chief Magistrate upheld Rodriguez’s submission and denied bail to Smith, remanding him into custody until his next court appearance on April 11.
Tourists report rape and jacking in Placencia; police say couple “concocted” story
Placencia police are investigating an allegation that a tourist couple was held up by two men and the woman raped while they were walking on the beach in Placencia, at about 11:30 Friday night.
Initial reports were that a Canadian couple who were visiting Placencia were strolling on the seaside when two men approached and held them up at gunpoint. The man was allegedly beaten and held captive at gunpoint, while the men took turns to rape the woman, who each put a knife at her throat.
The male victim told police that at gunpoint, he was taken to the bank to withdraw money from the ATM by one of the thieves, while his wife was held hostage at knifepoint by the other bandit.
The man reported that after obtaining money from the bank, he was forced to take the thieves to their room, where the thieves stole their belongings, and then they escaped.
The Belize Times
Benque Free Zone update
This update was sent in by an eye witness.
Western Border update: 31-3-14 @1:30PM
Game of cat and mouse, while Guatemalan security forces went for lunch, time to work fast! :)
Despite the gun fire and confiscation of goods by security forces earlier, see pics inside SAT office, the trafficking of contraband of illicit goods continue flowing from the Benque Viejo Free Zone, using under aged youths to carry in the goods through the contraband trails into Guatemala. The logic they run faster and the Guatemalan authorities will not arrest minors;
See attached pictures of youths going up the trail, and youths coming back FOR MORE!
Note: This is done in front of the OAS office, what IMAGE WILL THIS SEND WHEN IT’S TIME TO GO TO ICJ?
Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve
Dive operators off the coast of Placencia and Hopkins in Southern Belize have access to one of the most amazing experiences in the world. For 10 days after the full moon during the months of March, April, May and June, every year Snappers spawn around Gladden Spit and attract numerous Whale Sharks to dine on clouds of Caviar.
Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve has been drawing divers for years, with not a guarantee, but merely a possibility that they might have a chance to dive alongside the largest cartilaginous fish in the world. Like many giants, their massive form is accompanied by a gentle nature.
My Tour Around the Sanctuary Belize Mega-Project in Southern Belize
And before I start, as with any development, particularly one of this unprecedented size in this area, there is lots of information and some controversy out there. I am in absolutely no position to judge any of it on my website. This visit, as a guest of Sanctuary, was my very first. I asked them if I could see the area (via email) and they incredibly graciously invited me for two days. To mix with their potential investors, to meet their sales people, to stay at their resort, Kanantik, all with no ground rules or discussion beforehand. Just an invite. They SO didn’t need to do that. They could have told me that it was for potential investors only – and I would have been fine with that. It’s private land after all…
Our group had been prepped with a really impressive presentation about the vision behind Sanctuary, the Belizean owner/investor Johnny Usher and some of the many features of the project. The part that clearly grabbed the most participants was what Sanctuary calls the “5 Ecosystems” on the land. From river to tropical savannah to jungle to Caribbean marine to coral reef all on one property. And how the developers plan to make sure that all of those all kept intact and healthy.
Belize elected to top level UN Security Council
In a surprise move, Belize has been elected to the UN Security Council, and will be sharing an office with Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, who requested the move “in order to work in close proximity with the Belizean advisors,” he said.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry said that It was a surprise move, but necessary given recent events in the world.
“We need a country that is laid back and recognises the value of preserving nature and having a good time.
“We were also looking for a nation to provide some killer dance beats to our meetings, and Belize fit the bill.
“When the nation offered to provide their great barbeque to all General Assembly meetings, it cinched the deal,” he said.
Happy April Fools Day!
This Lion no King
It’s stunningly beautiful, and when you see it majestically move though the water encircled by a massive mane of feathery fins, you understand how the Red Lionfish got its name.
It even gives off that “I’m cool and I know it. No one messes with me,” vibe.
People come from around the world to see it its natural habitat since it’s that spectacular.
We’ve seen it in Belize and across the Pacific Isles, and it never fails to captivate.
Like its namesake, it’s very dangerous and predatory. Just ask anyone unlucky enough to have been stung by one of those beautiful, feathery fins. So fishermen and divers stay away from it – with good reason.
It also has a huge appetite, and is eating its way unopposed though the Belize Great Barrier Reef system, causing considerable damage as an invasive species.
Now, what’s interesting is that the meat from the Lionfish is considered a delicacy and is indeed delicious – if you’re game to catch it.
Enter the marine conservation organization “Blue Ventures” which is trying to create a market for the fish as a way to combat its negative effects on the reef. The conservation group is working on teaching fishermen how to catch and clean the species without getting stung with the right handling and processing techniques.
16 Alarming Airline Secrets That Will Change How You Fly
Previously, we've had minor freak-outs upon learning that people habitually steal airplane lifejackets and the flight crew will refill your water bottle if you ask. But have you ever wondered if pilots stay awake the whole flight, or if anyone's touched your complimentary pillow before? [Spoiler alert: LOTS of people have.]
A curious Reddit user asked airline professionals for facts about flying we might not already know. The answers (from flight attendants, pilots, engineers and frequent fliers) revealed a series of secrets you're going to wish you never knew... either because they're so useful, or because they're so utterly revolting.
We've added a few of our own world-rocking facts to the list, and we've gotta tip our hat to Viral Quake for posting some of the Reddit thread's most startling secrets. We should also mention the validity of individual Reddit comments can't be completely confirmed.
That being said, we're already thinking about flying from a whole new perspective.
The World’s Best “Starter” Offshore Haven?
The small country of Belize nestled on the Caribbean coast of Mesoamerica doesn’t really fit in. Belizeans speak English, so they aren’t part of the Central American region culturally, and, as the country itself is tucked below Mexico on the Yucatan peninsula, Belize is not really part of Central America geographically either.
European settlement in Yucatan was initiated by the Spanish, but the area around Belize became a buccaneer’s haven as English pirates realized that Belize’s coastline served as a good base for their attacks. Eventually, they also started logging logwoods for textile dyes. While Spain and England disputed control of the area for more than a century, the English settlers were mostly left to their own means. Finally, at the end of the 18th century, the Spanish lost a naval battle off the coast, and Spain stopped trying to expel the English from the region. Still the settlers were mostly left on their own, and the large landowners established their own local government.
This buccaneer background and the long-ignored status of the settlers set the stage for the Belizean culture that exists today. Today, Belize continues to follow its own independent path. Belizeans (there are about 350,000 of them in the country) keep to themselves, and the government interferes little with day-to-day life. That mentality helps to explain why Belize has developed into the offshore jurisdiction it has. When it gained independence from Great Britain in 1981, Belize had no real economy. The financial services industry that the British had initiated (including writing banking privacy into the constitution for the new country), therefore, took hold and became an important part of the scene.
Belize, European Union Review Bilateral Relations
Delegations of Belize and the European Union (EU) met here to review their relationship and discuss issues of common interest, according to statement by the Belizean government.
According to the statement, Foreign Minister of Belize Wilfred Elrington, who was heading the delegation, exchanged information on the actions and initiatives being undertaken by Belmopan and the EU in the economic, social and political areas.
The meeting was held under the Cotonou Agreement, which provides the framework for ties between the EU and developing countries.
The issues addressed included economic and political development, border issues, visa procedures, crime and security, human rights, climate change and others.
Caribbean Export hosts the 3rd Caribbean Conference of the International Financial Services
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in partnership with the Government of The Bahamas today commenced a three day high profile summmit: The 3rd Caribbean Conference on the International Financial Services Sector in the Caribbean Region under the theme "The Caribbean Engaging the World in Financial Services" at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, Nassau The Bahamas.
The financial services sector continues to be a vital sector for the development of Caribbean economies, to the extent that the financial services are the second largest contributors to gross domestic product (GDP) in the Caribbean region. The leading Caribbean Forum countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) involved in international financial services are The Bahamas and Barbados, along with Antigua and St. Lucia who also register the largest contribution of financial services to GDP of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries.
YOU BETTER BELIZE IT: WHY I DIDN’T LOVE BELIZE
Belize is paradise. Water so clear it is nearly transparent. White sand beaches. Hammocks hanging under palm trees. Everything you want when you escape your regular life for a few days. This is why so many people are drawn to Belize. It is a fantastic place to take a break from the doldrums of winter and the routines of everyday life. I was super excited to finally hit the beaches of Belize after 3 1/2 weeks of traveling through Guatemala.
Here is the thing. I didn’t love Belize.
I didn’t hate it either, I just didn’t love it.
I know, I know how could I not love a place that graces the covers of travel magazines? A place people flock to for ultimate relaxation. I can hear the grumbles of my friends wanting to shake me and remind me that its 0 degrees at home.
I think there are a few factors as to why I didn’t love Belize:
1. We did the same thing for 12 days straight- swim, lay, drink, nap, repeat-and I got bored.
2. It is an expensive place and tough to stick to a budget.
3. Everywhere we went was built and maintained for tourists, so we didn’t get to experience the “real Belize”
It is also important for me to say that there were two totally different parts to our time in Belize which I think plays a high factor in my feelings toward my experience. The first week was spent on Ambergris Caye. In a gorgeous, waterfront villa where, according to the workers, “We could have and do ANYTHING we wanted.” My parents, sister, and her boyfriend joined us for this leg of our trip, so it was a family vacation. We relaxed, we drank, we had fun together, and best of all, I rarely opened my wallet. This meant that the second part of our Belize trip was overshadowed by the previous week and was also a time where we needed to snap back to reality (or our strange concept of reality, which isn’t actually reality) aka budget hotels and cheap meals.
Your Flight’s Been Cancelled – Now What?! – Ten Tips For Trouble Free Trave
You hope it won’t happen to you. But what if it does? Do you know what to do if your next flight is cancelled? If you don’t, you should! In today’s oft over-crowded flights, it’s those who act fast that score the precious few available seats on that next flight out.
Not sure what do if your flight is cancelled? No sweat! I’m here to help. Here’s ten tips to help get you back in the air after your flight has been cancelled.
Prepare Before You Fly
An ounce of preparation before flight day can minimize day-of airport aggravation and frustration in the event of a flight cancellation. It might also get you back in the air more quickly. Here’s four tips you can do now to better prepare yourself for the potential of a flight cancellation.
1. book flights directly with the airline
Booking directly with the airlines will give you better leverage in the event of a flight cancellation. Third party bookings may save some cash upfront, but can be more problematic when rebooking a cancelled flight. Airlines typically first rebook those who booked directly with them.