Today's Belize News: April 17, 2014
04/17/14 05:30 AM
04/17/14 05:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Getting inked with George Alamilla
Getting a tattoo is a pretty big deal. Wherever you are in the world, the right tattoo artist is the key to ensuring that you have the sickest ink around. Figuring who gets to permanently mark one’s skin is important. In San Pedro, George Alamilla is considered the man for ink. George, also known as Inkman, has had a plethora of canvases in the form of many San Pedranos. On bare skin, he creates elaborate masterpieces in multicolored ink. Inkman is truly a skilled artist, sought by many to create statement pieces on their body. I’m talking everything from cute little butterflies to menacing skulls to entire underwater scenes, jaguars, tribal- whatever your tattooed little heart desires, and George is the man to create them for you.
Atlantic Bank hosts Choose and Cruise Loan Fair
Atlantic Bank, San Pedro Branch, in partnership with Captain Shark’s, F&S Golf Cart Rental and Dealer, Rick’s Custom Carts and FC’s Aluminum, hosted a loan fair on Saturday, April 12th in the Atlantic Bank Sub-office parking lot from 9AM to 2PM. The Choose and Cruise Loan Fair provided the community with the opportunity to not only view and compare prices on golf carts, but to also apply for low interest rates on new and pre-owned golf carts. Golf carts, motorcycles and accessories were specially priced at the fair. Customers wanting to apply for loans were assisted by Atlantic Bank employees, and some approvals were given that same day. For those who missed the fair, Atlantic Bank will be hosting the Choose and Cruise Loan Fair again on July 12 and November 8, 2014.
Linda Miller is the New Canadian Warden for San Pedro Town
Linda Miller, San Pedro Town resident has been appointed as Canadian Warden for San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Miller, a born and raised Canadian, has been living on La Isla Bonita for the past seven years and is the operator of UnBelizeable Property Management. As of January, 2014 Miller is a representative of the Canadian Consulate in Belize, and has been tasked to assist Canadians travelling to or living on the island. Miller, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, informs the general Canadian populace that there is an upgraded system for the registration of Canadians living abroad. All Canadians living or travelling to Belize are urged to register, as this provides vital information to the Canadian Government to assist in case of an emergency while in another country. The system also provides information on emergencies at home (Canada) while out of the country. The re-registering process only applies for those who registered before December 14, 2008. Registrations can be made online at www.travel.gc.ca/register. To learn more about registering or in need of assistance while in San Pedro, contact Linda Miller at 626-6749 or email@example.com.
First Lady of Belize Kim Simplis-Barrow Featured on Harper’s Bazaar Interiors Magazine
Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, First Lady of Belize, had a photo shoot for international magazine Harper's Bazaar Interiors and they've released a fun behind the scenes video about the entire experience.
On his video post on YouTube, Harper's Bazaar International Style Editor Luigi Irauzqui invites viewers to take a look behind the scenes of HARPER'S BAZAAR INTERIORS: KIM SIMPLIS' BELIZE April 2014. The magazine crew spent five days traversing the country and capturing the First Lady amidst breathtaking views that Belize has to offer, including scenes from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, that include resorts like the celebrity private island resort of Cayo Espanto, El Secreto and Victoria House.
San Pedro Youth Cadets Enjoy Island Life
The San Pedro Youth Cadet Corps Program has been in full swing for about three months now and the 20+ children that have enrolled in the program are thoroughly enjoying themselves with events and exercises that are being prepared for them.
Just this past week the young cadets were hosted by the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Coast where they learned the ins and outs of their operation on the island. They visited the Coast Guard outpost and were giving a great ride on board one of their speed patrol boats. They were also treated by My Secret Deli to a delicious luncheon.
Celebrity Talk Show Hosts of MoJoe on Return Visit to San Pedro, Belize
Ambergris Today caught up with Montserrat Oliver, Yolanda Andrade and Barbara Coppel as they arrived in San Pedro Town today April 16, 2014. The three amazing television host, personalities and actresses were super friendly and energetic. They were so full of life as they arrived via Maya Island Air; celebrating that they are back on the island on vacation.
The MoJoe talk show is aired under the Mexican television network Unicable and in San Pedro it can be viewed on Telehit (local channel 30) which rebroadcasts it. Ambergris Today was so happy to meet up with Montserrat and Yolanda once again and wishes them, and Barbara, a great time in the #1 Island in the World.
Mayor Getting ready for Easter
Mayor Daniel Guerrero made his rounds today around town as he visited the San Pedro Police Department, San Pedro Fire Station, Traffic Department and the Poly Clinic to make sure the personnel of each department is prepared for the Easter Weekend rush and large influx of visitors.
Defining Gender Roles in Society
- by Ryan Ancona - In this week’s Teen Talk I would like to talk about gender roles. First of all what are gender roles? To sum it up gender roles are expected behaviours from a certain gender. Certain examples of this would be like expecting a guy to like the color blue and a girl to like the color pink.
I have noticed in a lot people my age that I meet that they have this idea of what a girl should do and what a guy should do. This kind of mentality is a common concern, but if you do have this mentality it is not your fault. From when you are in preschool, society pushes this mentality on you. We were taught that girls play with Barbie dolls and boys play with trucks.
Misc Belizean Sources
Ambergris Divers Easter Beach Party
April 19, Starts at 11am
San Pedro Town Council: Please be reminded that our offices will be closing at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow Thursday, April 17, 2014.
Also, GOOD FRIDAY is DRY FRIDAY. Absolutely NO ALCOHOL should be sold on this day. Grocery stores/Supermarkets that have alcohol products on display must cover them OR remove them off the shelves. We ask for your cooperation and understanding.
Trees of Belize (2013), second edition. Kate L. Harris. Bay Cedar Publishing, Cheltenham UK. 122pp. ISBN: 978-0-9927582-0-2
“With more than 750 native, and not-so-native tree species prevalent throughout the forests, savannas and cayes of Belize, their correct identification can be madly exasperating - each palm virtually indistinguishable from the next. From allspice to ziricote, this book describes seventy of Belize's most significant and more commonly-encountered species - providing the reader with a wealth of information as to their incredible properties, traditional uses, and Mayan folklore. Thoughtfully written and beautifully photographed, Trees of Belize provides an enjoyable insight into the diversity and splendour of Belize's tropical flora. This is a comprehensive and concise guide - and perfect for natural history enthusiasts, tourists, and locals alike.”
BRRI 2014 Birdathon Results
The Belize Raptor Research Institute had their annual Birdathon, and while Lamanai Outpost Lodge won - with 205 species! - Cayo lodges won 4 of the spots, with Mountain Equestrian Trails taking 2nd, Black Rock Lodge taking 3rd, and Mariposa coming in 5th.
"The 2014 Bird-a-thon results are in! A special thank you to all of the 14 teams and 10 lodges that participated this year in our 4th Annual Bird-a-thon and 2nd Annual Lodge-a-thon competition to make our annual fundraising event very successful... The Bird-a-thon was the buzz of Belize in March as teams competed to find the most bird species in their region... We are still voting on the Best Bird of the Bird-a-thon and will announce it shortly, as well as the winners of various prizes, the team species’ lists and participants. Every team wins something for participating in this friendly fundraiser for research and conservation in Belize. Thanks to all of the sponsors for supporting our efforts!"
Belizean teachers assist New Horizons as translators
Eight teachers and the principal at Progresso Roman Catholic School in Progresso, Belize, volunteered their time April 10-12 to help translate between U.S. and Canadian health care providers during New Horizons Belize 2014.
The school officials assisted with translations during general medical, dental and eye exams for patients more comfortable speaking Spanish. Though many people in the region may understand and speak English, they may not be as comfortable with the language as they are with Spanish.
"A lot of the people are hearing what the doctors are saying in English. They might understand, but they may not feels as comfortable responding in English," said Delia Peralte, the school principal.
Problem Jaguar "Edgar Hill"
Since being rescued in November 2013, Problem Jaguar "Edgar Hill" has settled in well at the Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation center off-site at The Belize Zoo. Edgar Hill was reluctant to venture out into his run. But the days of coaxing the fellow to go and have a day out are over. He is especially fond of his swimming pool, and expresses a great deal of Panthera onca behaviour...such scratching trees to sharpen his claws, and playfully rolling in the sun. More research involving our rehabilitated jaguars is developing in concert with the University of Belize's Environmental Research Institute. We are very proud of this important program!
DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE (31 photos)
On April 10, 2014, The San Pedro Town Council, the Belize NAtional Road Safety Demonstration Project in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Project under the Social Investment Fund hosted its national campaign launch of their latest don't drink driving campaign under the theme: "Think Before You Drink. Don't Drink And Drive."
All municipalities were scheduled to launch the same campaign on the same date and same time. The event officially opened with the national anthem which was performed by high school students, Martha Alicia Vasquez and Elina Palma, and then followed the invocation by Mr. Clive Welsh from the Lighthouse Christian Radio. Mayor Daniel Guerrero offered the welcome address which he emphasized that we all try to drive safely at all times and especially during the Easter weekend. Councilor Kenrick Brackett (councilor responsible for Transport), was not only master of ceremonies but also spoke on the importance of this campaign and how we can benefit from it. Mr. Marion Mejia provided the public with vital statistics on drunk driving as well as important facts on alcohol. Following Mr. Mejia, Mr. Tirso Galvez, Operations Officer of the Department of Transport, presented Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Mr. Chris Nuñez with the stickers, posters etc. Mr. Tirso also presented Mayor Guerrero and Mr. Nuñez with a Digital Breathalyzer Machine and made a demonstration to show the different ways to use the machine. At the event, Mr. Rafael Torres and Mr. Moose shared with the public their experience with drinking and driving and how it has affected them.
"Think Before You Drink"
Jingle produced for the launch of the campaign "Think Before You Drink. Don't Drink And Drive."
Come join us for Placencia Belize Lobsterfest 2014
Scheduled from June 27 -29, 2014, the Placencia Lobsterfest is a grand celebration of the opening of the lobster season in Belize attracting thousands of local and international visitors. The event is organized by the Placencia BTIA and the Placencia Village Council and has long been a traditional mainstay of Placencia’s economy.
What to expect at Placencia Lobster Fest 2014:
Game for kids
Belikin beer drinking contest
Biggest lobstah’ competition
Mr. & Ms. Physique
Student Group Helps at CDI
Students from the Munro Academy on Cape Bretton Island, Canada, helped out at the Cayo Deaf Institute. They did a lot during their week there, from helping to dig some septic lines to scrubbing roofs. They even brought down 9 Ipads for the school.
"While at the Cayo Institute, the students enjoyed a camp experience, and they were always busy helping to dig holes for septic systems, scrubbing roofs, cleaning ceilings and helping in the kitchen... As part of their fundraising for the trip, the students also raised money to purchase nine iPad Minis for the institute... The Cayo Institute had a special night when they cooked tortillas, chicken and beans and everyone sat around the fire to enjoy their meal."
Many closures for Easter Holy Week
Many businesses and Governmental and NGO offices will be closed for many if not most of the days during Holy Week. Some will close as early as Wednesday afternoon, 16 April and may not open until Tuesday or even Wednesday 23 April of the next week. Check to be sure you have enough of essential foodstuffs, medical prescriptions, and other requirements. The good thing about this is that many workers will be able to share this spiritual time with their families.
Dr. Frazer Out; Allan Slusher's In At UB
In November of last year, 7News told you about Dr. Cary Frazer's sudden decision to make an exit from the University of Belize and from his post as President of the institution.
It involved a letter he sent to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Minister of Education where he complained about bureaucratic pressures and breakdown between his office and the Board of Trustees. According to Frazer, the Board's micromanagement of the university, and lack of financial support from the Government made it difficult for him to develop the institution to the level he had initially planned.
So, his departure will officially take place next month, and at this time, there are moves afoot to get Economist and former Central Bank Governor Allan Slusher installed as a temporary president. We'll tell you all about that. But first, when we got an opportunity to the speak with Harrison Pilgrim, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, this afternoon, and we asked him about the process they will go through to identify who will be Frazer's permanent replacement.
Slusher Has The Confidence Of The UB Board
So, as viewers may have noticed, when Frazer's letter became public, he sort of faded into the background, on a leave, where it was suggested that the board obliged him to make a pre-departure exit. In his absence, Dr. Wilma Wright, a holder of a Doctorate degree, took over as Acting President, leaving her post as Provost to run the University. That's been happening for over 4 months now, as we told you, Allan Slusher, will take over from her.
That appointment is in its final stages, and Slusher's work history is notable. He was a Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, the Region's Nominee at the World Bank, who served for 2 years, and he worked at Caribbean Development Bank for more than 15 years, where he retired as a vice president.
There is, however, one chink in the armor; he is only the holder of a Bachelor's Degree. When that announcement was made inside the University, it caused some protestations from the Faculty and Staff at UB who felt that an individual who does not hold a terminal degree shouldn't be the head of management. The reason was that there are persons who are persons employed currently and who are believed to be more qualified than Slusher. There was also the suggestion that his appointment was going be done chiefly because influence of the political directorate. More than that, some faculty members viewed it as a possible vote of no-confidence of Dr. Wilma Wright's management so far.
NCL's ECP Is Complete. Next!
Exactly a week ago, Norwegian Cruise Line's executives hosted a media tour on their luxurious cruise Ship, the Norwegian Jewel. It was to try to change the perception that cruise tourists aren't cheapos, and to show the Belizean public what their operation looks like behind the curtains.
On that excursion, 7News spoke with Colin Murphy, the Vice President, of the cruise company's Destination & Strategic Development, and he basically despite the resistance being mounted by the opponents Harvest Caye project, "it is going to happen."
That's exactly the sentiment we got today when we spoke with Michael Singh, the CEO of the Ministry of Trade, who was present at the very initial stages of this project, when it first emerged.
Here's how he explained it:
Mike Singh - CEO, Ministry of Trade
"As of today the ECP has been completed by the Department of the Environment. NEAC has approved the project and the next phase as you rightly said is for us to enter into definitive agreement. We have been working on the terms of that agreement which will follow pretty much the terms of the MOU which has already been released. Once that definitive agreement has been done, at that point then the project really has the green light to move ahead."
NEAC Ignored; BTIA Will Take Them To Court
And as we told you last week, about the letter from Belize Tourism Industry Association to NEAC Chair and the Chief Environmental Officer Martin Allegria that the environmental appraisal committee needs to rescind their approval of the Harvest Caye Cruise Port.
President of the Placencia Chapter of the BTIA, Stewart Krohn, Confirmed to us Allegria responded to their attorney, Godfrey Smith. He said that not surprisingly, Allegria defended the decision to approve the Harvest Caye project, saying that they were well within the rights of the law to do so, which they did properly.
Krohn told us that a decision has been made by the BTIA to bring that court case where they will challenge NEAC's decision via judicial review proceedings.
The Life Of A Career Cyclist Ended Callously
Our headline story last night was the shooting death of Ernest "Dangalang" Thurton, who was killed in the Junesville area. It's a seemingly senseless killing of a long time athlete just so that his assailant could rob him of supposed monies he had on him.
Today, 7News went back to get a few more answers on it, and Monica Bodden reports:
Superintendent Alford Grinage
"On Tuesday the 15th April about 3:30 pm police was inform about shots fired in the St. Martin's De Porres area whereby the police responded. They responded to #12 Junesville whereby upon reaching they observe the lifeless body of a male creole decent person lying face down on the ground beside a coconut tree. Initial investigations reveal that Mr. Thurton went to the residence as a caretaker for his relative who now resides in the United Stated whereby he was attacked by two male persons who fired a single shot which caught him to the left side of his chest. He was pronounced dead at the hospital a few minutes later."
Eddison Johnson Reportedly Hunted His Trespassers Down
On Monday, we told you about how 53 year-old Edison Johnson shot and killed 23 year-old Saul Garcia and 24 year-old Luke Cox when he found them on his farm in Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. Though it may look like Johnson was protecting his property from thieves, he was charged with 2 counts of murder because he broke the law when he shot and killed the men. Today, we spoke with Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, who told that she has reviewed all the materials that Orange Walk Police has furnished so far, and that they still need to do some follow up work. DPP Vidal said, however, that the evidence at this time shows that indeed Garcia and Cox went to Johnson's farm to steal from him. As we told you, Johnson found that his houses were cleaned out of all the valuables, and a part of his roofing was torn off. It seems that the men intended to steal the sheets of zinc which were on the ground, and Johnson caught them.
G. Smith And R. Fonseca Back In With PUP?
The PUP held a National Executive meeting last week and, while Party Leader Francis Fonseca hosted a press conference immediately after, he didn't tell the press about some important party business. The executive voted to make well-known attorney Godfrey Smith it's new National Campaign Manager. The high profile addition is major news because Smith is seen as Michael Ashcroft's go-to guy in Belize. His appointment to the party executive in such a senior post would seem to suggest that Smith might be able to rekindle Ashcroft's interest in the PUP - which could translate into a much needed infusion of campaign financing for the opposition.
At this point though, that is speculative. All we do know is that Smith who often publicly positions himself as an independent essayist is now fully back in the PUP inner circle as a chief strategist and to some extent, fund raiser - which is how Ralph Fonseca defined the post when he was Said Musa's national campaign manager. The new arrangement as we understand it is that Smith will Chair a national campaign committee.
NGO'S Support SATIIM's Injunction Move
SATIIM and the Mayan Communities in the Buffer Zone are patiently awaiting their post-judgment injunction hearing against the Attorney General and the Ministry of Forestry to restrain them from extending US Capital's Drilling Permit which ends on April 30. But while they do so, they've also gain support from 3 members of the NGO Community.
Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) and The Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO), and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have all thrown in their voices in favor of the move to try to block the permit extension.
All 3 organizations have issued statements in strong condemnation of the Government if such an extension is has been or is to be granted.
The Coalition said, "Government should be the shining beacon of following the Rule of Law and in protecting the human rights of its citizens."
The Hype For Cross Country
Every year, hundreds of fans line up along the Western Highway eagerly awaiting their favorite cyclist running in the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic.
It's pretty much a part of the Easter Celebration, and today the President of the Cycling Federation of Belize told us about the preparations they've made for it this year. We couldn't help but notice how excited he was about Saturday's race:
Dion Leslie - President, Cycling Federation of Belize
"We are on the brink of having a Belizean win 3 consecutive times, so you now all of that coupled in with just the overall hype and the fact that cross country is something that is embedded in the DNA of every single Belizean because your Easter vacation does not start until cross country is finish, you can't eat, you can't drink, you can't do anything until you heard the end of cross country and so it's something that we are all excited about and we know this year will be exciting, not only because of the prizes that we've gathered but because of the competition coming, both the foreigners coming in and the level where our local riders are right now, we expect it to be exciting, fast dynamic race filled with surprises throughout the entire 140 plus miles."
BELTRAIDE & UB Collaborate For Enterprise Development
The University of Belize and BELTRAIDE signed a memorandum of Understanding today, which will see future entrepreneurs passing through the institution get an opportunity to bring their business ideas to life.
The MOU will allow BELTRAIDE's Small Business Development Center activate at a higher capacity so that persons interested can receive training on different enterprise management techniques.
7News attended that signing and spoke with representatives of both bodies:
Harrison Pilgrim, Chair, Board of Trustees, UB
"We need to look further than the university because the University of Belize was formed from a partnership you could call it of 5 different institutions and the objective of government at that time and continues to be the goal of the administration is to ensure that this partnership yields benefits for the people of Belize and so it is not a partnership with BELTRAIDE for the benefit of the university but we need to see a partnership with BELTRAIDE together. We will be developing young minds and will be training young entrepreneurs and that will auger well for the development of Belize."
Elderly mother of Anglican Bishop is robbed at her home
It is the kind of crime that is considered utterly shameless and unimaginable… preying on the elderly. But tonight, we report on a barefaced theft that could have very well [...]
2 detained for the murder of Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton
Two men are in police detention for the senseless murder of forty-one year old cyclist Ernest ‘Dangalang’ Thurton. He was killed by a single bullet to the left side [...]
B.T.I.A. to take NEAC to court on EIA to Norwegian Cruise Lines
The Belize Tourism Industry Association which has consistently opposed the Norwegian Cruise Lines port at Harvest Caye is heading to court having exhausted a number of other avenues. It is [...]
A look at the shooting death of two robbers in Carmelita
Luke Cox and Saul Garcia are dead while Guinea Grass shop owner Edison Johnson is in jail, charged for two counts of murder. The deadly incident occurred on Friday at [...]
Deceased homeless amputee was 67 year old Gilbert Domingo
Around midday on Tuesday, the body of a homeless amputee was carted off to the morgue from the sidewalk at Mule Park in the downtown area of the City. His [...]
Alan Slusher appointed Interim President of UB
Former University of Belize President Dr. Cary Fraser demitted office in mid-November of last year, amid a swirl of controversy as to whether he was indeed granted leave by the [...]
2 firearms are taken off the streets; one was stolen from Precinct Two
Two firearms were recovered in the past few days by police…one on Rhaburn’s Alley near the residence of fifty-seven year old Alfonso Cruz who was murdered on Saturday night and [...]
2 men receive Supreme Court Bail
Two persons, an interdicted cop and a Ladyville businessman, were offered Supreme Court bail today. The cop, PC Ronald Sutherland, was on remand for not adhering to bail conditions. Sutherland [...]
A new justice appointed to the Supreme Court
The appointment of a new justice to the Supreme Court is imminent. Justice Sonya Young of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines arrived in the Jewel on Tuesday and was today [...]
Belmopan resident maimed while trying to break up a fight
A Belmopan resident, who stepped in to break up a fight, ended up a victim of maim. Thirty year old Leon Humes reported to the police that after he socialized [...]
Tips to keep you safe during the Easter Holidays
The Belize Police Department has been making the rounds of the media in the days before the Easter weekend. It is unfortunate, but true, that traditionally during this time there [...]
6th Street in King’s Park permanently a one-way street
In March, business operators and residents of Sixth Street in King’s Park raised the alarm when City Hall changed the street to one way overnight. Business owners in particular claimed [...]
MAMAS Undergoes Classes To Upgrade Themselves
There are many ways to make a living; it’s a matter of innovation, creativity and in some cases courage to step out of the norm. And that is exactly what some women have chosen to do as they have signed up for classes under the Mujeres Ayudando a Mujeres a Superarse, MAMAS, program. The program has been ongoing for years but throughout the course of its implementation, the courses provided for women have been evolving ever so quickly. Today, the women are taking barbering classes under the cosmetology class. Today we joined the women as they were busy working and learning.
Dalila ical – Reporting
The women are already about half way through the cosmetology program which goes beyond the manicure and pedicure lessons. It has extended to teaching women to do various forms of art such as face painting for children, which has been one successful addition. Iliana is one of the students who have found the lessons both fun and fulfilling.
The True Meaning Of Easter
After living and celebrating the holy and penitential season of Lent, we enter into Holy Week which is the holiest and most important time in the Liturgical Year. Holy Week is the time in which we enter into the Paschal Mystery of Christ in a most unique and profound way. This reaches its climax in the celebration of the Triduum, the greatest of all liturgies, on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil when faithful’s truly walk with Christ and enter into his saving mystery.
Even though the Triduum is celebrated over three days, it is actually one liturgy that begins Holy Thursday evening and ends late Holy Saturday night. In fact, it is often called the “mother of all liturgies.” Through the Triduum, we literally walk and journey with Christ from the celebration of the Last Supper, to the Agony in the Garden, through the Passion and Crucifixion, unto the celebration and joy of the Resurrection. It is a powerful and moving experience that Catholics experience during the Lenten season. Today we stopped by at the La Inmaculada Parish Office and spoke with Sister Adalberta Chuc who spoke to us on the schedule of events for the Catholic Church.
Orange Walk Police To Increase Patrols Around Areas
The Corozal Police Formation has formulated several plans in order to keep Corozal Town and its rural areas safe during the Easter break. And the Orange Walk Police Formation is not staying behind. Police Officers will be working overtime during the holidays to keep the town and surrounding areas secure and as crime free as possible. Deputy Commander of the Formation, Inspector Selvin Tillett, shared some tips that the public can follow to ensure their own safety.
Inspector Selvin Tillett – Deputy Commanding Orange Walk Police
“Our ultimate goal is for us to give the best of what we have during that period so you can enjoy your Easter break, police will have increased foot mobile, motorcycle and now we have bicycles, bicycle patrol in the area so if you see vehicle checkpoints, you see police man patrolling the areas, visiting homes and areas where usually people go out on vacations and business places.”
Dalila Ical –Reporter
“Will these be tightened as well in the night time?”
Inspector Selvin Tillett – Deputy Commanding Orange Walk Police
“This will be right through the Easter. Highway patrols, vehicle checkpoints all available at Orange Walk we will put I place.”
School Is Out But Students Of BMHS Still Hard At Work
While school is out for the Easter break, the students at Bishop Martin High School were busy entertaining the children at the Sandy Hunter Library with their renditions of folk tales from our history. Today when we stopped by at the library, students were presenting their stories to a handful of kids in the library’s reading program. English Teacher at the School, Ester Tepaz told us more on today’s activity.
Ester Tepaz – English teacher, Bishop Martin High School
“They are stories based on the folktale characters and they are stories which they had to interview their gran parents to get, they are not the traditional stories you find in the textbooks because these are original stories told to them by their grandparents because one of the problems we find with kids is that sometimes they claim that they do not have an idea of what to write on so when they were asked to interview their grandparents they came up with many ideas and so that was created into stories and then the best stories were chosen to make Jumbo story books like the ones you see presented here today and that is what we showcase here today.”
BTIA Wants Judicial Review of Harvest Caye EIA
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is insisting that the Department of the Environment’s National Environmental Apparaisal Committee erred in approving the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and addendum for the Norwegian Cruise Lines project at Harvest Caye. BTIA attorney Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith wrote to Chief Environmental Officer Martin...
Homeless Man Dies in Albert Street
In the heat of the midday sun, a homeless man, confined to his wheel chair, died alone in Albert Street. The unidentified amputee often hung around Albert street during the day and at night could be seen in Queen Streets where a group of homeless people make their bed....
Police Begin Hunt for Killers of Ernest Thurton
This afternoon, Superintendent Alford Grinage, officer in charge of the Department’s Precinct 2 in Belize City, updated the press on the still-young investigation into Tuesday afternoon’s brutal murder of Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton. The 41 year old cyclist and messenger for Santiago Castillo Limited, who resided at Queen Charlotte Street,...
Man Tries to Break up Fight; Loses Eye
A man who tried to break up a fight lost his eye in the process. According to Police reports, at around 2:00 am on Saturday, 30 year old Leon Humes, Belizean construction worker of Belmopan City, after socializing with some friends at a night club, went to purchase food...
Thief Poses as Collection Agent
Police are advising the general public to be on the lookout for a con artist. At around 12:05 pm on Tuesday April 15th, 76 year old Belizean Retiree of Southern Foreshore, Belize City reported to police that around 10:00 am, on that same day, she was visited by a...
Mytheon Solutions Trade License; Just Issued?
Many questions still surround the evasive Mytheon Solutions, a credit company that allegedly distributes phone credit to all departments under the Ministry of National Security; this includes, police offices, BDF solidiers and the Belize Coast Guard. Two weeks ago, Plus News managed to get a copy of the registration...
Jimmy’s Wireless in Belmopan Robbed
Jimmy’s Wireless located on Constitution Drive, Belmopan, was robbed this morning sometime between 11 am and 12 noon. A male person, after stuffing his bag with thousands of dollars worth of electronics, inconspicuously walked out the front door. General Manger Judy Dueck spoke to Plus News earlier this evening...
Galen Eagle Band Launches Music Album
They have been making quite a name for themselves over the past few years and today, Galen’s Eagle’s Band released its first music album titled “I am the Alpha and the Omega”. The CD, which features nine songs, was released on PlusTV’s Rise and Shine this morning. Producer Lloyd...
Church in Orange Walk Burglarized
According to Orange Walk Police, some time between last Friday night and Saturday morning, thieves broke into the Life Ministry Church located on Chan Pine Road in Orange Walk. Marcia Pech, who made the report to police, stated that the church lost approximately BZ$20,421 worth of items. We understand...
APAMO Supports SATIM
APAMO says it is in full support of SATIIM’s application for a Post-Judgment injunction and impending ‘on the ground’ actions to restrain US Capital Energy Belize Ltd from conducting oil drilling in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The organization says that “The issuance of an extension to US Capital...
Firearm Stolen From Police Station Leaves Terrible Trail
18 year old Kevin Rodriguez was one of three men murdered over the weekend in Belize City. Officer Commanding Precinct Two Superintendent Alford Grinage says police may be closing in on solving the case over the next few days. “…Rhaburn’s Alley, but I know that the one that was...
Easter Road Trips Just Got More Expensive
Easter weekend is a time when a lot of families jump in their vehicles and hit the road to go somewhere for the long weekend. Well, that trip just got a bit more expensive as the cost of fuel is up once again. As of midnight Tuesday, the cost...
Bones Dug up by Street Workers May Be Human
Police have confirmed that on Monday on Iguana Street Extension, workers for Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) unearthed a set of bones while digging trenches as part of the concreting project on Central American Boulevard. Precinct 2 Police were called to the area along with Scenes of Crime technicians...
Wife Says She Has Evidence Husband’s Death Is Not Suicide
William Lloyd Webster, a Canadian National died at the age of 63 on Sunday December 23rd 2012, in Santa Elena, Cayo District. According to reports, Webster’s lifeless body was found hanging from the noose of rope tied to a beam of his house in Santa Elena. Police formerly listed...
Anti Crime Easter Campaign in Cayo
The Easter Holiday is literally right around the bend, but while the end of this week is the signal for the start of a laid back weekend, the police are cranking up the patrol as the Anti Crime Easter Campaign gets underway: “From the 7th of this month, we...
Darrington Louriano killed at Mike’s Club
Darrington Louriano, a 27 year-old Belize City man who is known to police, was shot and killed inside the well-known Mike’s Sporting Club on Regent Street on Saturday, April 12. Louriano was the younger brother of 57 year-old Hector “Bad Card” Lyons, who was also killed execution style in the vicinity of Mike’s Club 13 days before.
According to police, at around 6:30 p.m., Louriano was socializing with the other patrons of the bar when a dark-skinned man walked in and fired several shots at Louriano fatally injuring him in the head. The gunman ran off, leaving the entire bar of patrons terrorized by the incident. They also watched as Louriano took his last breath and died on the scene, after which police came and removed his body, and process the scene.
At the club at that time was, Minister of Human Development, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, who told the media that he was a mere 10 feet away from Louriano when the attack was executed on him. He recounted how the older patrons of the bar risked personal injury to try to escape being in the path of the gunfire. Martinez says that he thinks that it will be a while before those regulars will feel safe going back to Mike’s Club after Louriano’s killing.
Two men killed in separate traffic accidents
Apart from the 5 men who died from gun violence from Friday April 11, to Sunday April 13, there were 2 men who lost their lives to fatal traffic accidents.
The first one happened just before 8 p.m. at mile 19 and a half on the Northern Highway in an area of Sand Hill known as Edge Water. Raymond Allen Sedacey was riding his bicycle back home after going to one of the neighborhood shops. He was trying to cross the road when an empty Tillett Bus heading north knocked him down. Sedacey suffered massive head and body injuries and died almost instantly. His bike was launched like a projectile at another resident who was at the side of the road, and he got struck in the head.
Arson Victim from Cayo needs your help
Agustin Avelino Martinez, 82 years of age is one of the victims of a recent two storey house fire at Number 31 Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena Town, in the Cayo District. The Naturalized Belizean was alone sleeping on April 4 at about 10:45 pm in the upper wooden flat when he was awoken by the heat and smoke from the flames. Don Ting hurriedly got up but in his desperation to come out of the building walked into a live electrical circuit and was slightly injured on the left leg.
Police continue to investigate the burning of the abode measuring 20 by 80 feet, with a concrete lower flat and a wooden upper living space, which they now believe was as a result of arson. As a result, Police continue to look for Mark Estell, who they believe can answer questions relating to this arson.
BEL impersonator caught
Belize Electricity Limited has issued a release asking residents to be wary of individuals who go around posing to be employees of the company. BEL explains that employees and contractors carry an authorized BEL identification card. Anyone who claims to work for the company should be asked to present the identification card. BEL also states that no employee of theirs will ever request payment for services conducted.
The release was prompted after a resident of Buttonwood Bay reported to police on Friday April 11 that there was someone who claimed to work for the company and offered to pay the resident’s bill. Apparently the conman had been doing this for weeks where he went to various persons and offered to pay their bills and he even offered a discount if they paid their bills through him. He would then take their money and never be seen again. The one Buttonwood Bay resident was on to the con and pretended to want to use the service. He instead called the police and the con man was caught.
Police are yet to release the identity of the conman or whether or not he was charged.
Two Cubans and a Nigerian busted at PGIA with fraudulent documents!
On Thursday April 10, Immigration officials intercepted three men who were trying to make their way into Belize using fake documents. The men, were identified as Joel Jaimes Gonzalez, 40, who carried a fake Guatemalan passport under the name Nestor Bayona Carreno while his twin brother Joany Jaimes Gonzalez carried with him a fake Guatemalan passport under the name Felipe Bayona Carreno. A third man, Nigerian national, Patrick Joshua Aibaengbee, 53 was also found trying to enter the country using a fake Belizean visa.
The bust occurred at the Philip Goldson International airport at around 4:00p.m. as the three men tried to make their way into the country after coming off an AVIANCA flight from El Salvador. According to Immigration Officials, airport staff noticed discrepancies in the travelling documents of the three men who were all travelling together. The men were then detained and upon closer inspection it was deemed that the documents the men were travelling with were not authentic.
Darrell Carter Dodges Jail - he owes GST
Darrell Carter is a PUP mouthpiece that appears every Monday on a talk show called the Business Hour on Love FM. The show, if we were to judge by the name, should seek to give advice to people on how to run a business. That however is less than what the talk show does. On a weekly basis, Troy Gabb, the other co-host and Carter pick all manner of topics which have nothing to do with business and everything to do with politics and try to run-down the government.
Well maybe Carter should be concentrating on getting his own business in order before he chooses to host a business hour. It seems that he needs more than a business hour to rescue himself though. He was again dragged before the Magistrate’s Court on the force of a committal warrant.
In August 2013, the court ordered that Carter pay $11,000 out of a $22,000 judgment which he owed the General Sales Tax department. Of the $11,000 he was ordered to pay when the judgment was made, Carter had only paid $7,000 leaving $5,000 up in areas plus the other half in balance too. At the time Carter had agreed to pay $500 monthly to settle his areas towards the $22,000 but that was not being done.
Man Killing Croc Put to Death
Carl Diaz, 47, was killed by the jaws of a crocodile on Monday, April 7th, in the Green Estates area of Lord’s Bank Village. Diaz is originally from Benque Viejo Town but frequently fishes in the Ladyville/Lord’s Bank area. He was fishing in the area around 3 p.m. on Monday April 7. It is believed that he was just about to call it a day when he went to take a rinse in the water. It was at this time that the crocodile took its opportunity to attack. Another fisherman in the area reported that he heard screams and saw a crocodile dragging the man’s body. That fisherman made some noise to gain the crocodile’s attention which caused the beast to release its prey. At this same time a group of kids were heading towards the pond to swim and they also heard screaming. They went to check and saw Diaz’s body near the pond. His right leg was almost severed and he had multiple bite wounds across the body. Diaz was already dead.
Residents of the community joined Vince Rose of the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary in Ladyville to search for the killer. Being aware of the increased activity in the area, the crocodile went into hiding. It was not until Thursday, April 10th, that the search party came across the creature’s den. The group of volunteers dug the killer out of its hole and Rose lured it out. It was a mature 12 foot male fresh water Morelet crocodile. According to Rose, it was 45 to 55 years old and weighed 500 to 550 pounds. The crocodile was euthanized, burnt and buried.
Popular Cyclist killed
Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton, a well-known cyclist, was gunned down at around 4 o’clock on Tuesday, April 15. Thurton, who was a hard working, man and an athlete, is believed to have been killed because his assailant intended to rob him.
Thurton had just left the Income Tax Department on business for his employer, Minister of State, Hon. Santiago Castillo and he was looking after a house for one of his relatives, and while on the street, known as Cumberbatch, in the Junesville area of the City, a gunman shot him in the back.
Thurton fell to the ground and bled out while his assailant managed to escape, and by the time area residents responded, he had already passed away.
Marroquin Drury Out on Bail from Charges relating to Police Shootout
On Tuesday, April 15th, attorney Bryan Neal was able to secure bail for Marroquin Antwon Drury from Justice Adolph Lucas at the Belize Supreme Court for $7,500.
A police mobile unit chased a group of men in a maroon Astro van at high speed within the city on Friday afternoon, March 28th, following a shooting on Mahogany Street. The sequence of events led to the arrest and charge of 22-year-old Marroquin Drury.
According to police report, at around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, officers of the Gang Suppression Unit intercepted a maroon van which was heading from the Complex area on Mahogany Street where someone had just shot at Joshua Lewis. The officers fired shots at the vehicle and when it came to a stop one man had already jumped out and another was seen fleeing the vehicle. Inside the vehicle was the driver, identified as Drury. By the time officers caught up with the van, Drury had already called for his attorney, Bryan Neal. Neal was at the scene where police searched the vehicle and nothing incriminating was found. However, Drury was detained by police.
Farmer kills two men defending his property
Edison Johnson, a 50-year-old businessman and farmer from Guinea Grass Village, has been charged and arraigned for two counts of murder after he shot and fatally wounded two men, who he says were trespassing on his farm on Friday, April 11.
The men he killed are 23 year-old Saul Eliseo Garcia, a labourer of Rhaburn Ridge Village, and 24 year-old Luke Cox of Carmelita Village.
Johnson’s farm is located between miles 46 and 47 on the Northern Highway, and it is in a remote area, some 1 and a half miles in rough terrain, where there are no other houses nearby. The family hadn’t been to the farm for almost a week, and during that time, thieves burnt their farm down, tore off parts of the roofing for their 2 houses, and stole all the valuable items they had in the houses. That’s how Johnson found his property, where he had invested his family’s savings as a sort of retirement plan.
Two more Murders in the City
Two more persons were killed in Belize City by gun violence over the pre-Easter weekend. 57 year-old Alfonso Cruz was killed at around 9:30 p.m., some 3 hours after the Mike’s Club killing of Darrington Louriano, and on Sunday, the following day, at around 11 p.m. 18 year-old Kevin Rodriguez was shot to death.
Alfonso Cruz, who is a well-known, hardworking man, who operates heavy equipment, was sitting on an old refrigerator inside his yard on Rhaburn’s Alley when a gunman with absolutely no regard for human life, shot him in the chest. An eyewitness told the media that before Cruz was randomly targeted, the shooter allegedly pointed the gun and pulled the trigger at another man, but it jammed. When he finally got it working, he picked Cruz as a target and callously shot him to death. He died while in transit to the KHMH.
Enfield Reyes Charged for Shooting at Wife
A domestic dispute between a business man and his wife has turned for the worst now that the wife has accused her husband of pulling out his license firearm and firing a shot at her. Fortunately for the 29-year-old woman, the shot missed but the incident has left her traumatized and forced her to apply for a restraining order.
According to reports, 31-year-old Enfield Reyes got into an argument with his wife at their King Street residence on Sunday Night, April 13. The argument got heated and Reyes pulled out his licensed firearm and fired a single shot. At the time of the incident, the couple was at home with their two-year-old daughter. Police responded to the incident and arrested Reyes.
Lisa and SSB’s $3.34 Million
It seems that madam Lisa Shoman has a penchant to read the Guardian Newspaper with an eye for detail. Well here is something for her to read, proof read and dispute.
In 1992, Harry Courtenay secured 3.34 million dollars from the Social Security Board to purchase shares in a hydroelectric company, BECOL. While the money was taken from SSB, the board claimed that they never received the shares which they had paid for. This started a long and drawn out legal battle over the $3.34 during which time Courtenay was taken to court and criminally charged for the money. In a trial by jury he managed a not guilty verdict in 1997 but SSB was not satisfied and opted to pursue a civil suit against Courtenay.
By July 31, 1998 a judgment was passed by Justice George Meerabux, against Courtenay in the civil suit after he failed to submit a defense. That ruling had it that Courtenay should pay back $3.34 million dollars along with 6.5% interest. Courtenay’s legal representation would resist the ruling however and entered arguments on his behalf which were denied by the court and it was ordered that he must pay the $3.34 million dollars to SSB. The legal wrangling continued thereafter with Courtenay’s legal representation asking the Supreme Court to put the judgment aside. That was denied however.
Government of Dubai Donates 26 Community Health Vehicles to Belize
The Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, have donated twenty-six health support vehicles to the Government and people of Belize. On Monday, April 14th, the Ministry of Health held a brief ceremony to officially announce the donation.
Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, says the donation is only the beginning of a relationship that will see Belize benefit greatly from the well resourced state. He says, “This is really just a foot in the door.” The vehicles are three-wheeled motorcycles with a passenger cover attached which is equipped with seating and a stretcher to support patients. Dr. Allen says the vehicles will be used mainly for community health outreach. He says they will be used for public events. Medical teams will be transported with medical kits to events where there are mass gatherings and provide services when needed. The vehicles will also be used as mobile clinics and to make home visits to senior citizens. Dr. Allen says there are many ways in which the vehicles will be used but “they are not replacements for ambulances”. According to the Ministry of Health, “The vehicles will be distributed to identified priority regional and community hospitals across the country where there are transportation and logistical challenges.”
Union Praises Anwar Barrow for Role in Collective Bargaining Agreement
The Shareholders of BTL were first to give a nod of approval for the ascension of Anwar Barrow to the post of Chairman of the company. However, the most enthusiastic support has been expressed by the workers of the telecommunications company. The Communications Workers Union issued a press release on Thursday, April 10th, praising the new Chairman for his instrumental role in the recent collective bargaining negotiations. The release went on to say, “The Union is also of the view that the stewardship of the company is off to a good start under the chairmanship of Anwar Barrow.” It is a resounding endorsement from the workers of the company.
The Union has approved a three year proposal from the executive committee of the company which will be instituted retroactively to October 1st, 2013, for a yearly salary increase of 4 percent. The three year agreement also includes a 1 percent increase in company and staff pension contributions, a $25 per month increase in phone allowance and free 4G service for staff members. Employees of BTL are more than happy with the package and staff morale is at an all time high at the state owned company.
Re: Today's Belize News: April 17, 2014
04/17/14 05:30 AM
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FARMER KILLS THIEVES – CHARGED WITH MURDER!
Edison Johnson, 50, owner of the Johnson Farm located in the Carmelita area, Orange Walk District, appears to have become the latest victim of one of Belize’s strange gun laws – he is charged with murder for fatally shooting two men who he found burglarizing his property on Friday evening.
One of the men died almost immediately, while the other man was found dead at about 9:30 the following morning, Saturday, April 12, the day after he was shot. The two bodies are in the morgue in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
Johnson has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 20, on charges of two counts of murder after he was arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Monday.
Many citizens believe, however, that Johnson should never have been charged at all, since he was only protecting his property and his life from the thieves.
SAN CAS MESSENGER, 41, MURDERED
Shortly after 4:00 p.m. this evening, a well-known cyclist and office assistant for the San Cas group of companies, was callously shot to death during an apparent robbery attempt that took place in the area known as “Junesville,” located behind the Charles B. Hyde Complex Building in the Lake Independence area of Southside Belize City.
The victim, identified as Ernest Thurton, 41, popularly known as “Dangalang,” a father of six children, who had been working for San Cas for the past 20 years, was reportedly making a routine check at his sister’s house near Cumberbatch Street, which he had been caretaking, when he was ambushed by two assailants and viciously shot once in the right side of his midsection. He was left to die on the ground next to a coconut tree in his aunt’s yard.
Amandala understands that the perpetrators were lay-waiting the unwary office assistant to rob him, but when Thurton realized what was about to happen, he ran, and the gunman fired a single shot that caught him in his midsection, killing him almost instantly.
“MAHOGANY MAN,” BERT TUCKER SUCCUMBS TO PROSTATE CANCER IN JAMAICA
Adalbert “Bert” Tucker, Belize’s Ambassador for Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, famously known for his activism for the community-based project, the Belize River Valley Development Program (BELRIV), passed away last Thursday in Jamaica after his battle with prostate cancer—one of the leading cancers among Belizean men and the ailment which recently claimed the life of another well-known Belizean, attorney Lionel Welch.
Belize’s Honorary Consul in Jamaica, Elecif Arthurs, told Amandala this morning that Tucker will be buried in Belize and they are in the process of registering his death and preparing the body for burial within the next two weeks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she said, will make a formal announcement.
Tucker had recently traveled to Jamaica to seek treatment for his condition, but his condition was reportedly too far advanced.
Tucker is a former United Nations Advisor to several countries in the Caribbean and Africa. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and Harvard.
COLD-BLOODED EXECUTION AT MIKE’S CLUB
On Saturday sometime after 6:00 p.m., a social gathering at the famous Mike’s Club at the corner of Regent Street West and West Canal was transformed into a crime scene.
Some of the club’s patrons were playing dominoes, a few were focused on the billiards table and others were watching television and conversing when a man, gun brazenly in hand, walked in and shot Darrington Lauriano, 27, to death.
Police reported that Lauriano, a resident of both Belize City and San Pedro, was shot once in the right side of the forehead, once beneath the nose, once in the right cheek and once in the left arm. He died almost instantly.
After firing the shots, the killer, described as a youth who was dressed in a white T-shirt, dashed out of the club, escaping into the streets from which he had come.
Reports are that Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Port Loyola area rep, was in Mike’s when the shooting occurred, and he had to dive for cover.
Businessman, 31, shot at wife, 29
A businessman who has been in police custody since Sunday, when his 29-year-old wife reported to police that he pulled out his licensed firearm and fired a shot which missed her, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm.
Enfield Reyes, 31, a businessman of a King Street address, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison until his next court appearance on June 6.
Reyes is being represented by attorney Ellis Arnold, Senior Counsel.
According to the complaint against Reyes, on Sunday, he became involved in a domestic dispute with his wife at their King Street home, and he allegedly pulled out his licensed firearm and fired a shot at her, but fortunately, he missed.
His wife reported the incident to police and demanded court action. Besides demanding court action, the traumatized wife is also seeking a restraining order against him.
NCL hosts media tour of Norwegian Jewel
In an effort to sway negative public perception about the impact of their cruise tourism activities in Belize, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) engaged members of the media on a tour of The Norwegian Jewel, where they were afforded an opportunity to take a look at the grandeur of the ship itself, as well as to observe environmentally healthy initiatives which are employed by the company, which plans to unveil a cruise tourism project in southern Belize as early as next year.
Since private tourism stakeholders in the south have constantly blasted the intentions behind the project, NCL found it necessary to publicize how they conduct business on the seas, since they have received the go-ahead from the National Environmental Assessment Committee (NEAC) to proceed with their proposed Harvest Caye project.
The state-of the-art, fully air-conditioned luxury vessel contains 16 decks which hold 11 dining areas, villas and suites, several bars and lounges, a fully equipped fitness center and spa, pools, clubs, arcades, medical centers and a number of casinos, is staffed by over 1,100 crew members from 60 different countries, and has enough space to comfortably accommodate about 2,500 passengers.
PUP discuss Elvin Penner and other national issues with the media
The Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca, was the main presenter at a press briefing Thursday afternoon at the party’s Independence Hall headquarters. Fonseca discussed matters of national importance along with newly appointed PUP senator Anthony Sylvestre and the Cayo North East PUP standard bearer Orlando “Landy” Habet, who is one of three persons challenging the Chief Elections Officer’s decision not to admit over 300 signatures in the petition to trigger a referendum for the recall of the disgraced former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Elvin Penner.
Fonseca told the media that the police’s investigation into the Elvin Penner passport scandal has been stalled, even after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin had ordered Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, to proceed with and conclude the investigation, when he issued a writ of mandamus against the Commissioner in a judicial review last month.
PUP reviving effort to recall Elvin Penner with judicial review of rejected petition signatures
On May 29, Elvin Penner is scheduled to return to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, where he has been charged with two criminal offences in a private lawsuit by the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA).
The issue of his recall, however, resurfaced in compelling fashion when Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel ruled to allow the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) a judicial review of the Chief Elections Officer’s decision to invalidate 337 petition signatures on December 30, 2013.
A judicial review seeking a writ of certiorari against the Chief Elections Officer for her exclusion of 337 signatures was successfully argued by PUP attorneys Lisa Shoman and Anthony Sylvestre, representing claimant Orlando Habet and four others from the Cayo North East constituency.
Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai and the Attorney General were represented by the Deputy Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, who opened the hearing submitting that Habet and two of the applicants did not have the requisite “locus standing” for the application.
EDITORIAL: Fighting for survival
The shooting murder of Darrington Lauriano which took place early Saturday night at Mike’s Club, just two blocks away from Belize City’s Central Police Station, occurred a few feet away from Port Loyola area representative and Cabinet Minister, Anthony “Boots” Martinez.
Martinez gave an interview to Channel 7 in which he explains that he dove to the floor in an act of self-preservation. There is little doubt that the other people who were in the club will tell similar stories. A form of the Genovese syndrome has hit Belize big time.
Four other murders occurred over the weekend, two of them on a farm in Carmelita, a village outside of Orange Walk Town. What reportedly happened in Carmelita was that the owner of a farm caught burglars stripping his home and opened fire on them with a shotgun, killing two of them. This is how these situations routinely play out in American movies, and gloriously so for enthusiastic audiences, but the traditional British law in Belize was always strictly against victims using lethal force against thieves. We have, nevertheless, seen numerous occasions since Belize’s 1981 independence where the law has been lenient on robbery victims who have used lethal force, but the Carmelita victim who employed lethal force has been charged with murder and remanded to the Hattieville prison.
Four “blood moons,” the first visible from Belize around midnight on April 15
Forecaster Francisca Wellington told Amandala today that the total lunar eclipse—a phenomenon known as the “blood moon,” because the moon will appear copper red—is expected to be visible from Belmopan sometime after 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night, and data available to her indicates that the eclipse will run for 3 hours 35 minutes, with the total lunar eclipse spanning 1 hour and 18 minutes.
Information Amandala has obtained from NASA’s website indicates that tonight’s “blood moon” will be one in a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses to occur roughly six months apart in 2014 and 2015. NASA says they will occur on April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015; and September 28, 2015.
This is called a tetrad, but what is rare about this tetrad is that it also falls on the dates of two major Scriptural feasts: the Passover (Pesach) and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), in both 2014 and 2015.
What we have lost as a nation…
As we all go into a frenzy this Easter, let us take time out to remember the reason for the season … it’s not only spring when flowers bloom and birds sing and the wind blows the kites up high … It is the season of spiritual renewal and re-birthing. It is always a good time to reflect on ourselves and to see how far we have accomplished our New Year’s resolutions and if we need to get back on track or change course. The same way we do our annual spring cleaning because we want our house to be clean, we need to do our spiritual spring cleaning because we want our life to be meaningful.
Ironically, the season of Lent leading up to the Resurrection of Christ used to be very solemn, as people did not dare drink, eat in excess or use profanity. The forty days leading to Holy Sunday when Christ resurrected from the tomb had a holiness about it, a sacredness and a sense of compassion and love about it. But that was in time past as now Belizeans do not even know what is Lent, much less respect it … for some it may seem like no big deal … But it reflects what as a nation we have lost …
“I really no wan go da jail!” fisherman tells magistrate
A Belize City fisherman with fifteen years’ experience on the sea begged Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer not to send him to prison after he pleaded guilty to being in “possession of out of season lobster tails” and “four hawksbill turtles,” which are endangered, protected species, when she arraigned him this morning on the two charges that the Fisheries Department levied on him.
The fisherman, Lionel Sedacy, a resident of 47 Amara Avenue, was remanded to prison along with two other men on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, for allegedly firing on a Coast Guard patrol boat that had gone to investigate a robbery report in the area of Middle Long Caye last Thursday.
When asked to enter his plea, Sedacy said he was “guilty with an explanation.”
“I am going to bring back Penner.”
Or the mis-education of a generation...
Some thoughts ran through my head this morning when I heard the foreign investor representative of the Harvest Caye project given a long rostrum on Love FM News, telling the nation that, regardless of all the opposition from the BTIA and Placencia residents, he had the comfort and the assurance from no less than the Prime Minister, in the House of Representatives, that “It is going to happen.” So, they better get used to it.
It is amazing the things that happen in Belize.
They say a people who don’t know their history, are bound to repeat their mistakes.
It’s almost funny, if it wasn’t so serious, and frightening, the ignorance, as in mis-information, mis-education, or simple lack of information provided to our Belizean people.
A lot of shortcomings can be addressed and corrected with the energy, enthusiasm and creativity of our nation’s future, our young generation; but only IF they are provided with, and exposed to, important historical information.
Some of us grew up as children of UBAD. I marched in a UBAD demonstration for the 18-year-old vote at the age of seventeen. We were concerned about our country, about our future. That demonstration also called for a free radio, when Radio Belize, the only station, was totally controlled by the government.
“T-Bug” fatally knocked down by commuter bus
A villager who was making a routine trip to a nearby shop met a tragic end this past Saturday after he veered into the path of an oncoming commuter bus that was traveling in the opposite direction.
The victim – who was riding a bicycle at the time – was hit and died instantly after he was violently flung into the air and landed a distance away from the vehicle before it reached a halt on the right hand side of the road.
The incident occurred shortly after 8:00 p.m. near Mile 19 on the Philip Goldson Highway, and Rural Executive Officer Assistant Superintendent Christopher Noble, who was on the scene within minutes of the fatal traffic accident, gave reporters an initial account of the incident, while urging drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to be careful on the road, especially as we approach the long Easter weekend.
Joint US and Belize law enforcement destroys over US $29 million worth of drugs
A joint anti-drug operation conducted in different areas of the country between Belize law enforcement and the US military Joint Task Force Bravo, announced that the operation was successful and that over US $29 million worth of drugs were destroyed. The operation was conducted last month, March 15 to March 20.
The operation destroyed 34 marijuana fields and about 57,283 mature marijuana plants. In addition, the team also found and destroyed 25 pounds of marijuana seeds.
Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and caving ladder training for 52 Belizean lawmen who took part in the operation.
Due to the huge success of the operation, future joint operations will be carried out.
Lab results for Valley of Peace crop damage still pending
It has been almost a month since Green Tropics – a sugar cane company which was clearing thousands of acres of land to plant sugar cane – was fingered by vegetable farmers in the Valley of Peace village in Cayo as being responsible for significant crop damage, and while the company maintains its innocence, the farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture are patiently awaiting the verdict via plant samples that were sent abroad for testing.
The company had used an airplane to spray an industrial herbicide while conducting massive clearing of land near the Valley of Peace on March 15, but fell into hot water, so to speak, when farmers from the area alleged that the herbicide which was sprayed by Green Tropics killed their crops.
The test results were scheduled to be in by last Friday, April 4, but today when we contacted the Chief Agricultural Officer, Roberto Harrison, he told us that the Ministry is still presently waiting for the results to be sent back from El Salvador, however he expects that they should be in by tomorrow, after which they will be able to determine whether the damage to the crops was indeed caused by the herbicide that was used by Green Tropics.
Philip Goldson Highway accident claims life
Mario Choc, 27, a sales clerk of 3 ½ Miles, Philip Goldson Highway, Belize City, was knocked down by an oncoming vehicle at about 8:40 Saturday night, and suffered injuries to both of his legs, his right hand and head.
Choc died on the scene. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where he was declared dead on arrival.
Choc was at Mile 3 on the Philip Goldson Highway, and was walking to the driver’s side of his vehicle, in which he was about to head out of the city, when he was knocked down.
Glen Crawford, 25, of Maxboro, Sandhill, told police that he was travelling from the city to Maxboro in a Ford Ranger pickup truck on the Philip Goldson Highway, when, upon reaching in front of New Horizon Building on the highway, he slowed down to allow an ambulance that was travelling in the same direction to overtake him.
Road traffic accident in Hattieville
The Mendez family of Belmopan was involved in a road traffic accident in Hattieville in which the vehicle they were travelling in overturned.
Sarina Mendez suffered minor injuries – abrasions to her right hand and right knee. Her son, 13, along with her daughter, 9, and her niece, 21, all escaped unhurt
Mendez was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released.
Carlos Mendez, 46, of Belmopan, was traveling along with his wife, Sarina Mendez, and their children and a family member to Belmopan from the city at about 9:00 Sunday night, and upon reaching an area between Miles 17 and 18 on the George Price Highway, a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction suddenly swerved into his lane. To avoid a collision, he swerved to the right, off the road and as a result, flipped over.
IBIS is helping police link stolen gun to multiple crime scenes
The police are using the mighty IBIS (Integrated Ballistic Identification System) to investigate a gun stolen from them, which was recovered in the Jane Usher Boulevard area, and allegedly was used in multiple shooting incidents, including a murder that occurred about two weeks ago.
Corporal Jorge Lemus, the Admin Officer for Precinct #2 Police, confirmed that the weapon was stolen from Precinct #2.
The powerful, high-tech state-of-the-art IBIS is used by forensic analysts and police investigators worldwide. It expedites the highly labor-intensive and time-consuming task of matching ballistics information in police investigations.
The Corozal police step up public safety campaign for the Easter holidays
The Corozal police force, under the command of Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, has undertaken a campaign to ensure public safety over the Easter holiday.
The police advise the business community and the public at large that as we enter the Easter season, criminal elements are expected to step up their unlawful activity. While the police will commit to doing its constitutional part, they ask the public to do the same.
Residents are urged to report anything suspicious in their area, either vehicles or persons. Businesses are advised to close on time and not risk opening after the prescribed hours. Take nothing for granted. Do not walk in isolated areas alone. Avoid going out alone with a huge amount of cash and/or jewelry. Do not over-consume alcoholic beverages, and know those with whom you are socializing.
Correction to “Laura Baptist Middleton recovering at the KHMH”
In our Sunday, April 6, 2014 issue of Amandala, in an article titled “Laura Baptist Middleton recovering at the KHMH,” we said that the principal of Sadie Vernon High School, Laura Baptist Middleton, collapsed in her office and was found lying on her office floor by the vice principal.
Amandala was later informed that the principal did not collapse on to the floor, but to a chair, and that it was not the vice principal or the acting vice principal that found and assisted her, but some teachers who had come to her office.
Maya threaten to block US Capital
Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, has confirmed that the Government intends to issue an extension to its permit to US Capital Energy to continue petroleum operations inside the Sarstoon-Temash National Park—a move which has the Maya community up in arms, and threatening protest action to stop the oil company from proceeding with works inside the park.
Indications to our newspaper this morning are that the Government is looking at revisiting the position it took last week to extend the permit, which expires at the end of April, but we have had no signal yet that it has, in fact, decided to change its stance.
After a meeting held on Friday, April 11, the communities of the Sarstoon Temash region and the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) issued a communiqué, expressing their concern over news that the Cabinet has taken a decision to extend the current permit of US Capital Energy.
3 foreign nationals charged for using fraudulent documents
An AVIANCA flight touched down at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) arriving from El Salvador on Thursday, April 10, and when three passengers disembarked and presented their travel documents to Belize Immigration officers, it turned out they were traveling on fake documents and were immediately arrested and questioned, before they were charged.
Immigration officers discovered that the Guatemalan passports that twin Cuban brothers Joel and Joany Gonzalez, 40, presented were fake.
Also, upon a close examination of the Belizean visa that Nigerian national Patrick Joshua Aibaengbee, 53, presented, immigration officers realized that it was an old type of visa that is not in use anymore, so he was charged for using a fake Belizean visa.
J. C. Arzu makes a strong Peini statement
I’m writing about the community named Saint Vincent Block, also known as Cerru, a Garifuna property in suburban Punta Gorda Town, aka Peini.
In 1924 the Garinagu of Peini pooled their meagre resources to purchase 1,000 acres of land just outside the town, in honor of the struggle of their ancestors in St. Vincent who gave up their lives in an attempt to defend their land and culture against the British.
This Saturday, April 12, 2014 marks the 217th anniversary of the involuntary arrival of the Garinagu to the shores of Honduras Central America. Following the murder of the Garinagu’s Paramount Chief Satuye, aka Chatuye, on 14 March 1797 (see Pen Cayetano’s painting at the Belize City Library of African and Indian Studies), the survivors were forced off their homeland Saint Vincent (now Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), and shipped at sword and gun point nearly 2,000 miles away to Roatan, Honduras. Obviously it was intended that they were never to return home.
BELPO: “Where is the respect for the law, SATIIM, the indigenous communities and the people?”
On April 3, 2014, Justice Arana handed down her decision in the action brought by Sarstoon/Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and others to stop the incursion into the national park for the purpose of oil exploration. Despite previous court decisions and government agreements on respecting the rights of the indigenous peoples, it was confusing and disturbing to see this matter back in court.
What prompted the return to Court had to do with the Government’s granting permission and permits to US Capital Energy to enter the National Park for the purpose of conducting petroleum exploration drilling activities and to build an access road to carry out such activities.
The Court declared that permission to allow road construction and commercial oil drilling was irrational, unreasonable and it follows that it is unlawful. It violated the legitimate expectations of SATIIM & Buffer Communities as established by the two “Maya Land Rights judgments” from the Supreme Court of Belize as well as the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People”, signed by Belize, and international law.
Last night, Cayo Western Ballaz (9-1) hosted the Corozal Heats (2-8) at the Sacred Heart College auditorium in San Ignacio Town, in front of a packed and very loud stadium. Corozal Heats came out firing, taking a 13-0 lead at the start of the game by hitting 3 three-pointers, capitalizing on the home team’s slow start. Corozal was able to extend the lead to 21-4 in the first quarter, but after a timeout by the home team, they were able to regroup and cut the lead to 28-18 at the end of the first quarter. By midway through the second quarter, Cayo Western Ballaz was able to put their stamp on the game, taking a 31-28 lead, as they went on a 16-0 run, and never again surrendered that lead. At the half, Western Ballaz was up 41-37. The game got a bit physical in the first half, as 3 technical fouls were awarded.
In the third quarter, Cayo Western Ballaz was able to open up the lead to 61-49. The second half was filled with technical fouls, as the home team picked up 2 more technical fouls, an unsportsmanlike foul and a disqualifying foul, while Corozal Heats also got 2 technical fouls. The game ended 80-65 in favor of Cayo Western Ballaz, who extended their winning streak to 6 in a row.
Cross Country Cycling
Cross Country Cycling Classic winners
1928 Elston Kerr; 2nd Norris Wade
1929 Elston Kerr; 2nd David Graham
1930 Norris Wade; 2nd Elston Kerr
1931 Donald Lightburn; 2nd Anselm Waight
1932 No race (1931 hurricane)
1933 Robert Ferguson; 2nd Donald Lightburn
1934 Robert Ferguson; 2nd Herbert Gentle
1935 Donald Lightburn; 2nd Dinsdale Lord
1936 Donald Lightburn; 2nd Hendicott Croft
1937 Jose Sosa; 2nd Jim Melin
1938 Jose Sosa; 2nd Luther Tucker
1939 Ben Sanchez; 2nd Jose Sosa
1940 Hendicott Croft; 2nd Ben Sanchez
Ben 9-Ball Tournament
The Belize Billiards Sports Federation (BBSF) organized the 2nd Annual Ben Bounahra 9-Ball Tournament on April 12 and 13, where the venue was Mike’s Cue Club in Belmopan. Here’s more and how it concluded with a bang.
Twelve teams from across the jewel registered, namely: Toledo United of PG; Di Rookies, Camp 6 and Link-Up from Cayo; Barrio Fino, Special Effects, Twin Stars and BRC Shooters from Belmopan; Riverside and Elements of Belize City; Route 88 of Orange Walk; and a Team Corozal. By the end of the second day, it was only two teams left standing around the table in the final, which saw Elements and Toledo United showing their talent and skills to become the champs.
It must be mentioned that it was “déjà vu” all over again, as Toledo needed to win Elements twice, since they were undefeated going into the final; but Toledo won the first match and failed to do so on the second, which is exactly what transpired last year.
Belize Muslim Community
The National Primary School Softball Championships got underway today with games being played at two separate venues including the Rogers Stadium and Queen’s Square Football Field in Belize City.
Six teams, each representing one of the 6 districts of Belize, squared off in both the male and female categories from 9:00 a.m. until late evening, when the female and male winners were crowned at the conclusion of the tournament.
Participating district champion teams were:
Belize District – (Female – F) Muslim Community; (Male – M) Crooked Tree Gov’t.
Cayo District – (F) Camalote St. Jude RC; (M) Camalote St. Jude RC.
Corozal District – (F) Corozal Methodist; (M) Xaibe RC.
Orange Walk District – (F) Carmelita Gov’t; (M) Carmelita Gov’t.
Stann Creek District – (F) Richard Quinn RC; (M) Independence Primary.
Toledo District – (F) Aguacate RC; (M) Aguacate RC.
Police United suffers first defeat
It was do-or-die for FC Belize, whose fading playoff hopes hinged on a victory yesterday against previously undefeated Police in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Belikin Cup Closing Season 2013-2014. League leading Police came into the MCC riding high with confidence, having drawn once and winning 5 of their 6 previous outings. But on this Sunday they would be without their regular sweeper, Kishane “Grill” Pech, who was suffering from a toe injury; and FC Belize were featuring their new young striker from Orange Walk, Michael Whittaker, on whom their hopes were raised for a turnaround in fortunes, as he would combine with league leading scorer Jarret Davis to make the FC Belize attack one of the most formidable in the Premier League.
Well, the hype was not all hot air, as the young man from the north delivered in impressive fashion to give FC Belize the goal they would defend all the way to gain a desperately needed 1-nil victory against Police United yesterday at the MCC.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
The indications are that two of my esteemed, ranking contemporaries, Ornel Brooks and Bert Tucker, died within some hours of each other last Thursday, April 11. Brooksie died in Belize City on Thursday morning, while Adalbert passed in Kingston, Jamaica on Thursday night.
Before I discuss my departed brothers, let me say that the Easter Week publication of Amandala has always been one of my favorite issues, because most readers will take it along with them to their Easter vacation spot, which means that readers will have more leisure time to examine the various articles than would be the case with the usual weekend issue.
This Easter Week column is by way of paying personal respect to the achievements of these two outstanding brothers, and I also hope to honor the families from which they came while sharing memories with their friends.
As far as I can figure out, Deputy Premier C. L. B. Rogers decided to train a new kind of specialist policeman following the Belize City uprisings occasioned by the release of the Seventeen Proposals in the spring of 1968. The traditional policemen had experienced a lot of problems dealing with the Thirteen Proposals’ disturbances in 1966, so the 1968 uprisings convinced Mr. Rogers, who was Minister of Home Affairs and therefore responsible for domestic security, that he needed a more militarized unit for special assignments. Cabinet agreed, and what became known in the streets as the “paramilitary” was born.
Police charge Ladyville shooting victim for knife, but withdrew it in court on a technicality
A Ladyville man, Oscar Perez, 31, who was involved in a bar brawl on April 5, which started inside the Blue House Bar and ended outside on the Philip Goldson Highway in front of the bar, was charged in a Belize City court with “being in possession of an article with a blade longer than three inches,” but the charge was withdrawn because of a technical loophole related to the size of the blade Perez had been carrying.
Police say Perez stabbed Dennis Burke, 47, who shot him with his licensed firearm and who, nevertheless, was remanded to prison on a charge of “discharging a firearm in public.”
On Friday, Perez, a construction worker, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned him on the single charge of possession of an article with a blade longer than three inches, to which he pleaded guilty.
Supal Street resident shot on Dolphin Street
Five men lost their lives in separate shooting incidents that took place over this past weekend, but one shooting victim is lucky to be alive today after he also came under fire while riding on a street in southside Belize City in broad daylight on Saturday.
Police said that they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital this past Saturday, April 12, where they observed Glenford Alvarez, 21, of a Supal Street address, with an apparent gunshot wound on the left foot.
Investigators then found out that at about 10:45 that morning, Alvarez was riding a bicycle on Dolphin Street in front of Wesley Upper School when he was approached from behind by a dark-complexioned male person riding a beach cruiser bicycle who pointed what appeared to be a pistol in his direction and fired several shots at him, causing his injury.
Kevin Rodriguez, 19, gunned down on Curl Thompson Street
Amidst an apparent resurgence of gun violence across Belize City, another young man met his untimely death after he was ruthlessly gunned down as he stood inside a yard on Curl Thompson Street in the Port Loyola area last night at around 11:00.
Amandala understands that Kevin Rodriguez, 19, was already inside the house of his mother’s church sister where he was staying, in the aforementioned yard, but stepped out after receiving a phone call; however, instead of meeting the person who called him, Rodriguez was met with gunfire and died within minutes after being shot three times by a gunman.
Police reported that they visited Curl Thompson Street in the Jane Usher Boulevard area on Sunday, April 13, at approximately 11:00 p.m. and saw the motionless body of Kevin Rodriguez, with apparent multiple gunshot wounds to the upper and lower part of the body.
2 shotguns stolen in Paraiso and Monkey Bay
Two weapons, a 12-gauge and a 20-gauge shotgun, were stolen from their owners in two separate incidents.
The 12-gauge Harrington and Richardson shotgun, S/N AU629146, valued at $250, was stolen at about 4:30 Saturday morning from its owner – Eloy Briceño, 43, a ferry operator — in Paraiso, Corozal District, where he resides.
Briceño told police that he had gone hunting early in the morning in the Paraiso area and was carrying the shotgun on his motorcycle. He parked the motorbike and put the gun beside the motorbike and went into the bushes, he said.
According to Briceño, when he came out of the bushes shortly after, the shotgun had been stolen.
GSU makes bullet and weed bust at Far West Street house
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) searched a house on Far West Street on Sunday and found two .9mm rounds and a small quantity of marijuana. But the homeowner, a nurse’s aide, had to be hospitalized, because her blood pressure went dangerously high because of the bust, and she was unable to be arraigned in court on Monday.
Bernadette Samuels, 48, is expected to be arraigned as soon as she is well enough to appear in court, her attorney Bryan Neal told the court.
The five other persons who were present when police made the bust pleaded not guilty to the ammunition and possession of controlled drug charges when they appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who said, before remanding them to prison, “I can’t offer unno bail! That means that all a unno gwine da jail.”
Coast Guard and pirates clash at sea
There was a dangerous confrontation that occurred just after midday yesterday in the waters located 20 miles southeast of Belize City after five fishermen made a desperate call to the Belize Coast Guard alerting the authorities that they were in the process of being robbed by three men, two of them Hispanic and one of Creole descent.
The Coast Guard officers responded immediately and upon reaching the scene, they spotted the robbers – who were in a mid-sized skiff with a 50-horsepower engine registered as Dannica – and set chase, but the combative assailants reportedly refused to be apprehended without a gunfight, which ensued while they were being pursued by the marine officers.
Amandala understands that the would-be robbers fired several shots at the Coast Guard, who responded similarly with gunfire in a high speed chase and shootout that reportedly went on for two and a half hours until the bandits were finally cornered and detained near the reef.
Today, we spoke to the Coast Guard’s Fleet Commander, Lieutenant Greg Soberanis, who recounted the incident and told us how they managed to intercept the pirates.
Sea pirates remanded to prison
Three Belize City seamen who, according to police, were engaged in acts of piracy on the high seas and who fired at a Belize Coast Guard vessel that was attempting to intercept them were arraigned and remanded to the Belize Central Prison after appearing in court Monday morning.
The men, Lionel Emmanuel Sedacy, 37, Giovanni Murillo, 28, and Everal Teck, Jr., all appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned them on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm against Jose Reyes and Dobian Montero.
All pleaded not guilty to the charges, but because the offences were committed with a firearm, bail could not be granted and they were remanded to prison until their next scheduled court appearance on June 13.
The incident for which the men are charged occurred on Thursday, April 10. Around 6:45 p.m. on that day, the Belize Coast Guard was called by fishermen and told that they were being robbed of their products somewhere southeast of Middle Long Caye, which lies about 20 miles from Belize City.
Robberies reported in Belize City
Two burglaries reportedly occurred in Belize City which resulted in total losses to their victims of over $9,000 in cash and goods.
Cambranes Bakery of Freetown Road in the city was burglarized sometime after closing at 9:00 Friday night, and before its reopening at 5:50 Saturday morning. Thieves stole a 12-inch monitor valued at $800, and cash, to a total value of $1,615.
The bakery owner, Salvador Cambranes, 56, told police that he is sure that he secured the bakery at the end of the workday on Friday night.
Also, at about 3:00 o’clock Friday morning, Gilbert Ellis, 97, was in his house on Nurse Seay Street in Belize City when he was awakened by a noise in the lower flat of his two-flat house. He got up to see what was happening, and went to the lower flat, and that was when he found that the house’s lower flat had been burglarized.
Armadillo Street resident remanded on attempted murder charge
A resident of Armadillo Street was remanded to prison after he was arraigned on attempted murder, use of a deadly means of harm and wounding charges when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Monday.
Hugh Thomas, 22, an unemployed resident of 21 Armadillo Street, was not required to enter a plea, because the charges laid on him are indictable, and will be heard in the Supreme Court.
Because the offenses were committed with a firearm, Frazer told Thomas that she could not offer him bail and remanded him to prison until his next court appearance date on May 30.
Thomas is accused of the March 16 shooting of Hortence Lynch, a seventeen-year-old minor.
Woman raped in the Dump area of Punta Gorda
A 24-year-old woman of Pomona Valley was raped by a man who took her to the Dump area of Punta Gorda after the woman asked him for a ride to Punta Gorda from the 6-mile junction of the Southern Highway and the Stann Creek Valley Road.
The incident occurred about 1:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The woman told police that she was travelling from Pomona to Punta Gorda and got a ride in a vehicle with a man whom she did not know.
The woman said that after they passed Bella Vista, the man began to touch her legs and her vagina without her permission, and when they arrived at the Dump area in Toledo, instead of going into Punta Gorda Town, the man drove the car into San Antonio Road and turned left into a little road off the highway, where he raped her.
Chinese store robbed in Corozal
Less than a week after two Chinese stores were robbed on the Santa Rita Road in the Corozal District, another Chinese store has been robbed, this time in Paraiso; three thieves got away with $450 and a bicycle.
Police’s quick investigation led to two men being detained, and two more men from Belize City are being sought.
Police said that at about 3:00 Monday evening, Hui Bang Chen, 52, a Chinese businessman of corner Philip Goldson Highway and Paraiso junction, reported that around 2:50 p.m. that afternoon he had been at his store, Jing Jing Store, attending to customers when three men entered the store, one of whom was armed with a gun.
San Pedro resident escapes death
Miguel “Motita” Fuentes, 25, of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro Town, is lucky to be alive after he was shot multiple times in San Pedro. He is now recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and is in a serious but stable condition.
According to police, Fuentes was walking on the beach in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro with two friends at about 5:00 Sunday evening, when five men approached them and one of them fired at Fuentes and his friends, hitting Fuentes in the hand and in the side and back.
The three friends scrambled for cover and went into the sea to escape the gunfire, and the five men then left the area.
Fuentes and his friends were rescued by a boat that was travelling nearby, which took them to the Texaco Pier, from where police took Fuentes to the San Pedro Polyclinic, where he was stabilized before being taken to the KHMH for further treatment.
57-year-old murdered “for no reason”
There are currently more questions than answers surrounding the inexplicable murder of a 57-year-old father who unfortunately ended up in harm’s way while sitting on an old refrigerator inside his yard this past Saturday night at about 10:00 p.m.
Police report that they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital sometime after 10:00 p.m. on the night of April 12, where they saw Alfonzo Cruz, 57, a resident of #2 Rhaburn’s Alley, with an apparent gunshot wound to the left side of the chest and the left lower back.
According to police, their initial investigations revealed that Cruz was with his friends at his home in the alley when a lone gunman, who was riding a bicycle, approached and fired several times at Cruz.
Hundreds missing after ferry sinks off South Korea
Almost 300 people remain unaccounted for after a ferry carrying 459 people capsized and sank off South Korea. The ferry, carrying mainly school students, was travelling from the port of Incheon, in the north-west, to the southern resort island of Jeju. Among those on board were high school students on […]
Drug rehab centers upgrade quality of service
Drug rehabilitation centers in Belize are increasing the quality of service provided to their clients through a new system developed by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission.
The Reporter spoke today with Ismael Vallejos, Director of Jacobs Farm Rehabilitation Center, who explained that he was among two Belizean delegates who participated in a regional training seminar in Nassau, Bahamas last week. The seminar, funded by the Organization of America States, was to train rehab representatives in employing a new client data entry system which will not only ensure more relevant and comprehensive data to authorities and stakeholders, but also greater confidentiality to clients. “The seminar also provided a forum for drug rehab representatives to network and share ideas, which will benefit the quality of the service we are able to provide.”
Santino’s cyclist/messenger shot dead
Veteran cyclist, Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton, 41, was shot dead shortly after 4 p.m. on Monday in the Junesville area, Lake Independence Division, Belize City. Thurton’s killers pounced on him while he stopped briefly to check on a house that he was taking care of for an aunt while on an errand as a messenger with San Cas Company.
Based on initial reports, Thurton tried to run but his killer fired a shot that struck him in the left side and he fell under a coconut tree where he died.
While the motive is thought to be robbery, the police are scheduled to brief the press this afternoon on details of their investigation into this incident.
Alleged con artist on the loose
Police have issued a warning to Belize City residents to be wary of an alleged con artist who is impersonating a money collector for a local cable company. The warning follows a reported incident today in which a man allegedly collected money from an elderly woman while pretending to be a collecting agent for the cable provider.
The 76-year-old year woman who lives on Southern Foreshore told police that at around 10 this morning a man who appeared to be in his 50's visited her home, claiming to be a collector for the cable company and told her that she was arrears. The woman continued that the man said that to avoid disconnection she needed to pay $20, which she agreed to do. She said that the man promised to go get her a receipt and return.
Police detain suspect in connection with cyclist’s murder
Police have detained one suspect in connection with the shooting murder of Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton. Thurton was shot to death sometime around 4 p.m. on Monday while checking on an aunt’s house behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. His family believes that the motive was robbery and that his killer was trailing him since Thurton was a messenger for San Cas Company. His employer, Minister of State Santiago Castillo, Jr., later told reporters that Thurton only delivered cheques and prior to his murder, had gone to the Income Tax Department. He stopped on his way back from his errand to cheque on the house when his killer decided to strike.
Wildfires in Chile claim 12 lives, consume 2,000 homes
At least 12 persons are dead after wildfires in Chile consume 2,00 homes in Chile. That country’s Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo reported that 8,000 people are homeless as a result of the blaze.
Earlier, Chile’s National Emergency Office’s website, citing police, had said that at least 16 people were dead. It was not immediately clear why the reported death tolls were different.
More than 1,200 firefighters worked to control the wind-whipped blaze in Valparaiso and the suburb of Vina del Mar, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said. The wind hampered firefighters’ ability to create firebreaks, and the blaze had spread to more than 2,000 acres, Penailillo said. Bachelet said the firefighters were backed up by 17 aircraft and that additional police were being brought in to prevent looting in the areas abandoned by their residents. Many of the survivors suffered burns, and the most seriously burned patients were being transferred to hospitals in the capital, Santiago, about 75 miles away, the president said.
Report explains why higher fuel prices are better for business
Higher oil prices have been good for business, according to a report by an arilines writer. In the past six years, the report says, airlines have overhauled the way they operate to adjust to this new reality by exercising more discipline with things like offering fewer seats. This, he says, […]
Barney Brown wins Weekend Warriors’ Cross Country
Barney Brown of the Scotiabank team won the A division of the Weekend Warriors’ annual Cross Country cycle race from La Loma Luz Hospital in Santa Elena. Brown finished in front of Smart headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway in Belize City on Sunday, April […]
Muslim Community girls win primary schools National Softball Championships
The girls of the Muslim Community School, the Belize District Champions, won the national primary schools softball championships organized by the National Sports Council at the Rogers Stadium on Friday, April 11. Muslim’s MVP pitcher Essenie Ciego led the Muslim girls to an 11-4 win […]
Good night’s sleep good for brain health
A good night’s sleep may be essential to brain health, say Swedish researchers who found depriving healthy young men of a night’s sleep increased blood concentrations of brain molecules to levels seen in brain damage. Researchers from Uppsala Unversity report the findings of their small trial, which was funded mostly […]
Enjoy life more – your body will age better, study shows
A new study from the UK, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal claims that people who enjoy life will have better physical function and faster walking speeds than their more pessimistic counterparts. We already know there are health benefits associated with a positive outlook on life. A study from […]
Surveys: Crime has adverse effect on Caribbean development; Belize suffers only on local front
Studies conducted over the last year by the Inter-American Development Bank and the University of the West Indies indicate that crime has had significantly adverse impacts on development in the Caribbean. One report notes that in the Bahamas armed robberies and violent crimes are […]
Killer crocs – a closer look
The Easter holidays are upon us and many people are planning to spend the long weekend with family and or friends. The traditional Easter-time activities include at great deal of swimming and fishing in one of the many river, ponds, or lagoons across the […]
Belize 3rd most violent country in the region: 2012 UN report says
Belize had the third highest murder rate in the region for 2012, a report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says. The UNODC Global Study on Homicide 2013, launched last Thursday in London, presented 2012 statistics which showed Belize having a […]
City Council to settle with Waste Control
BELIZE CITY, Tues. Apr. 15, 2014 Sanitation company Belize Waste Control Limited has agreed to end its litigation against the Belize City Council, and the two sides will now sit down to work out their differences. On Tuesday morning before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, attorneys […]
For the 1.8 billion Christians around the world Holy Week is the most solemn time of the year. It recalls the events leading to the passion of Jesus and His death by crucifixion- a slow, agonizing torture which would end in asphyxiation. It was the most shameful of deaths, reserved […]
Attorney General gives NCL nod of approval
The Office of the Attorney General told the Belize Tourism Industry Association that they have no relevant claim against the Harvest Caye development. According to BTIA President Herbert Haylock, they received a letter from the Attorney General’s office Tuesday morning, which basically defends the […]
Farmer shoots and kills trespassers Attorney asks DPP to drop charges against his client
Hubert Elrington, the attorney for Edison Johnson, the farmer who has since been remanded to prison for having shot and killed two alleged trespassers on his farm, said he’s written to the Direct or of Public Prosecutions to get his client out of jail […]
Maya communities prepare for face off with US Capital
The Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management filed an injunction this week for the Supreme Court to stop Cabinet from renewing or extending any permission to US Capital Energy to drill in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. SATIIM filed for the injunction on Monday in […]
“No change in plans!” Contreras’ daughter will be appointed Director of the Drug Inspectorate
“No change in plans!” Contreras’ daughter will be appointed Director of the Drug Inspectorate
The Ministry of Health maintains that Danini Contreras, daughter of the Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras, will remain the Director of the Drug Inspectorate despite the Belize Pharmacy Association’s plea for her removal. “What I want to do is for me to better control the […]
Shopping in Belize: My Favorite Souvenirs On Ambergris Caye
Shopping for souvenirs on vacation is one of my least favorite things to do. I do NOT enjoy wasting quality beach, snorkel and tour time sifting through…junk. And often it is just that. Shot glasses, fridge magnets, junky jewelry, tacky t-shirts. What seemed funny when you riding on your vacation high, is more just…embarassing or useless when you get home.
BUT…shopping for quality, local made products is good times. Meet the artists and artisans. People have some fascinating stories. And there is nothing better when you get home and have something that you love and enjoy and use. Something that gets you day dreaming about Belize…
So here are my top picks for buying souvenirs in San Pedro. Stuff you can go home with an not feel like a total Jack Hoff.
Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
Chapter 4 of the Laws of Belize – THE CONSTITUTION OF BELIZE
Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
3. Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
(a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law;
(b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association;
(c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity; and
(d) protection from arbitrary deprivation of property,
the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.
Diving with the Whale Sharks in Belize
Diving with Whale Sharks, the largest living fish on the planet is an incredibly amazing experience and Belize is one of the few places in the world where you can get to experience this. We do have to warn you that in order to go on this expedition you need to book very early. There are limited spots available during the months the Whale Shark passes by, this is to help protect the sharks from being exposed to too much human contact as well as the other marine life in the area.
The average size of a whale shark is about 25 feet long but there have been recordings of ones well over 40 feet long. Don't let their size fool you though, they are gentle creatures that are merely curious and will readily come towards you if they don't feel threatened or harassed. Wouldn't you be curious too?
When can the whale sharks be seen?
The months of April and May are usually the best times to plan your trips to see these amazing creatures. With years of observation some people say the best time is three or four days before and after a full moon or new moon. However they can be seen throughout the summer months as well.
Jada's Eggie Bread: Easter Breakfast
Eggie Bread is the English version of French toast. Jada loves to make this simple recipe for Sunday morning breakfast or brunch. I love that the apple glaze replaces pancake syrup as I'm not a huge fan of syrup.
Approved Foreign Riders
86th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic
The Fish We Never Knew:
Looking Extinction in the Eye
I had asked Rocha where he worries the next extinction might happen, and he slid over to a jar holding Halichoeres socialis, the social wrasse. The inch-long fish lives in only one small area in the Pelican Keys in Belize. Habitat destruction and mangrove clearing has left it without much resilience. If nothing is done — and it’s not clear what there is to do, except that we are people and when we find out about things like this we feel like we should do something — it will probably be eaten to extinction by human-introduced lionfish. In January, Rocha’s IUCN group declared it critically endangered.
It’s the something that’s always the problem.
We put the fish away in the jar, and reversed down the collection aisle, past biological riches that would take decades to understand. Rocha spun the wheel on the giant library-stack cabinets to pull them back together again, locking the extinct and endangered fish back in the anonymous darkness.
Re: Today's Belize News: April 17, 2014
04/17/14 05:32 AM
04/17/14 05:32 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
More News: Scroll up from here
McDonald's foreign workers call it 'slavery'
Foreign workers recruited from Belize are accusing McDonald’s Canada of treating them like "slaves," by effectively forcing them to share an expensive apartment – then deducting almost half their take-home pay as rent.
“When we arrived at the airport, they said, ‘We already have an apartment for you,’ so at that point we already know we don’t have a choice of where to live,” said Jaime Montero, who came to Edmonton with four others in September to work at McDonald’s.
"We had to live there. We were told this is what we are doing," said another worker who didn't want to be named because he still works for McDonald's.
The Belizeans said their dream of making good money in Canada to send to their families quickly shattered. Instead, they pocketed less than $800 per month – which they said was barely enough to live on.
Lunar Eclipse from San Pedro Belize
Eclipse from my deck in San Pedro, Belize with a five year old Sony DSC-H50 9.1MegaPixel Camera..I only did the first half cause it got too late jeje
Video: GoPro Scuba Dive Trip to Belize 2013, 6min.
My scuba dive trip out to Belize at the end of October 2013. Shot entirely on a GoPro camera. Some pretty neat stuff like sharks, looking up at divers from the Blue Hole, loads of curious turtles and a very interested barracuda. Editing done by Colin Maythenyi; thanks!
Video: Belize - Under the Sea..., 7min.
Snorkeling at the Barrier Reef in Belize Cayes.
Video: Welcome to Belize, 21min.
Whatever you thought a paradise was, Belize is! Perfect destination for incentive travel and tourism! Country of rain forest, coral reefs, culture and adventure!
Video: PADI Open Water certification dives Belize April 2014, 20min.
Dives off Ambergris Caye, Belize, with Belize Pro Dive Center. First dive is outside the reef, second dive is at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, last bit of video is at Shark Alley.Video mostly shot by by Ben, age 11.
Video: 412 in Belize Central America, 6min.
Hattieville Prison Outreach,
Kings Childrens Home,
Belize Gospel Expo 2014
Video: Enter the Spider Monkeys, 2min.
The Spider Monkey Complex at Wildtracks, where many monkeys get rehabilitated before being released back into the wild, is finished, and some of the monkeys have moved in. Thanks, Wildtracks!
"The first of the satellite enclosures of the Spider Monkey Complex is completed, and Pancho, Theresa and Pippa moved over into their spacious new accommodation."
Video: Beautiful Views of the Cayo District, 2min.
Check out this video that highlights the panoramic and beautiful views of the Cayo District:
Video: Scuba Diving on the South Caye in Belize, 7min.
Video taken with a GoPro on April 5-6, 2014. Visibility was not great.
Video: belize mission 2013 720p, 13min.
A mashup of our 2013 Mission to Belize
Video: SELTZA LIVE IN "BELIZE" 2014..PT1, 5min.
SELTZA PERFORMING LIVE IN BELIZE 2014
Video: Belize City Skaters, 2min.
Video: Belize Zoo Trip With Dad!, 3min.
Baby Aruny Christiansen Perez First Trip With DAD at Belize Zoo
Video: Whale Sharks Placencia, Belize Pirates Cove Scuba, 1min.
Gladden spit marine reserve
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