Today's Belize News: August 29, 2014
08/29/14 06:10 AM
08/29/14 06:10 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun
Ahhh The Split!
Caye Caulker’s Split is the most recognized location on our sister island. And for good reason too. Just look at those hues…on a hot day, there is nothing better than a sip of Belikin while perched on the seawall soaking in the rays and relaxing your mind…
Legends and Ghetto Boys competing for the tournament win
The Island Cup Football Tournament is drawing to an end, and teams are vying for the big win. The sixth round of games was played on Sunday, August 23rd, with six teams giving it their all on the field. Not wanting to miss a single moment of action, football fanatics gathered early at the Ambergris Stadium to witness the grueling matches under a blazing hot sun. Unfortunately only one team can take the Island Cup and so far the competition is clearly between Legends and The Ghetto Boys. Currently the Legends are leading the competition, with the Ghetto Boys closely behind. Even though the Ghetto Boys are newly formed, they have already made their mark in the tournament and have not lost a single game yet.
The next round of games will be played on Sunday, August 31st starting at 10AM. The tentative schedule for games include: Joker Boys versus Catrachos, San Pedrito FC versus Dorados, San Pedrito versus Eleven Pirates and The Legends versus Ghetto Boys.
Oceana in Belize Exposes Belizean Youth to the Wonder of the Sea
The journey to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll has intimidated more than a few Belizeans; orange jackets doing little to comfort the fears of the blue depths beyond the Barrier Reef. But my young companions’ eyes are filled with curiosity, not fear, as they beheld the stunning color palette of the Caribbean Sea. The brown tones of the only sea they’d known, the “hangar,” easily replaced by more blues than a box of crayons. The immersion of color continued as the always picturesque Half Moon Caye appeared on the horizon: green and yellow coconut fronds swaying above a sandy white shore while red footed boobies and magnificent jet black frigates dot a cloudless turquoise sky.
It’s a scene that calls to one’s soul. And the boys can’t wait to soak in the moment. Minutes later they dive into the sparkling, salty water, eager to show off their swimming, splashing, and floating abilities. The sound of their carefree laughter carries above the constant crash of waves. The salt stings their eyes but there are no complaints. The sound of the ebb and flow of the coral beach mimics applause. This trip has been years in the making and I cannot understand why. Belizeans enjoying Belizean resources is truly priceless.
Read more: Oceana in Belize Exposes Belizean Youth to the Wonder of the Sea - My Beautiful Belize
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Jessel Lauriano representing Belize at 2014 Miss Freedom of the World
26-year-old Jessel Lauriano has been in Prizren, Kosovo, located in Southeast Europe, since Friday, August 15th as she participates in the 2014 Miss Freedom of the World Pageant. The fourth installation of this pageant is scheduled for Sunday, August 31st and will see the participation of beauty delegates from 21 countries. Jessel is original from Belize City and is the holder of the titles of Miss Freedom of Belize 2014 and Miss Heritage Belize 2014.
PUP hosts Endorsement Convention
The Belize Rural South (BRS) People’s United Party (PUP) town council slate and standard bearer hosted their first endorsement convention on Saturday, August 23rd in San Pedro Town. The convention was held at the Central Park under the theme “We are the change, we are more, we are PUP” and saw a crowd of over 500 party supporters gathered. The purpose of the event was to introduce the candidates to the public and present the party’s agenda for the upcoming Municipal Elections on March 4, 2015, and General Elections in 2017. The PUP town council slate includes Conchita Flota, Marina Kay, Alex Noralez, Mundo Nuñez, Omar Guerrero, and current councilor Gualberto Nuñez Jr., along with Mayoral candidate Doctor Giovanni Solorzano. The BRS PUP Standard Bearer candidate is Elito Arceo.
Ramon’s Village Observes One Year Anniversary of Devastating Fire
A year ago on Wednesday, August 27, 2014, the worst disaster to ever strike Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Belize occurred with a massive fire destroying 28 cabanas, Pineapples Restaurant, the Purple Parrot, Ramon’s Gift Shop and the general offices, laundry and warehouse at the resort. Valiant firefighting efforts by the San Pedro Fire Department, San Pedro Police Department, citizens of San Pedro and the employees of Ramon’s Village saved the resort from being a total loss.
A year later any trace of a fire has been completely erased and the iconic resort is flourishing with guests. The owners of Ramon’s Village, Richard and Gina Headrick, along with Director of Operations Steve Sherwin, arrived at the still smoldering ruins of the resort on August 29, 2013. It was on the beach that day that a determined Richard Headrick told the assembled group of despondent employees that Ramon’s Village would be built back bigger and better than ever before. Over the course of the next 101 days, hundreds of San Pedro craftsmen joined with the employees at Ramon’s Village to transform the scene of a disaster back into a lush tropical oasis.
Misc Belizean Sources
Leases issued to 105 residents of Bullet Tree Falls Village
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources & Agriculture, Honourable Gaspar Vega in collaboration with UDP Cayo North Representative, Mr. Omar Figueroa presented 105 Leases to the residents of Bullet Tree Falls Village in Cayo in a ceremony held yesterday in that community.
Of the over hundred leases issued, 40 were the regularization of documents, and for these first-time lease holders, these papers provided a solution to decades-old uncertainty regarding ownership of the land on which their families reside.
The Ministry of Natural Resources & Agriculture covered the survey & subdivision costs in an effort to provide these families with security and legal rights to their property.
6 New Rotary Scholars
The 6 new Rotary Scholars have started high school with the Rafael Cal Memorial Scholarship. Thanks Rotary!
"On Monday, 25 August, six students started their High School education as Rotary Scholars. These outstanding Students were selected from the six Primary Schools in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena area and will be sponsored for their four years of study by the Rotary Club of San Ignacio's Rafael Cal Memorial Scholarship. This year, the Rotary Club of San Ignacio is sponsoring a total of 24 Rotary Scholars attending High Schools in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena area - Eden SDA High School, St. Ignatius RC High School, and Sacred Heart High School."
Market Vendors Graduate
The graduation ceremony for the Cayo market vendors that took SBDC's business training had 32 vendors receiving their certificates of completion. Congratulations to all the recent graduates!
"32 San Ignacio Market Vendors graduated from a business training program that was organized and led by SBDCBelize and CARILED."
Belize GDP 2nd Quarter 2014
Belize economic information for the 2nd quarter of 2014.
"Economic Outlook - Preliminary estimates indicate that the level of economic activities increased by 8.7%, during the second quarter of 2014 - A cumulative growth (up3.7%) was registered for the first half of the year."
Orquidea Negra Dance Company
Orquidea Negra performing at the Flor de la Feria pageant. Great talent and dance choreography.
"includes a afro dance and modern dance (Sail)"
Back to School Rave
The Cave Garden is having a back to school rave on Saturday. The Raging Masters will be mixing, so you'll get good music and no talk. Enjoy!
"SO i hear lot a things wa d pop off next week but guess what it wa d pop off da Cave Garden with RaGing MaSters Sounds, cOME AND JOINS US AND PARRTYY, this time benque style, free shots, free rage poppers, and dancers!! come on out and enjoy!!"
Accused By Aunt, Alleged Arsonist Goes To Court
On Wednesday's newscast, you saw homeowner Sonya Harris's devastation after her home in the Gungulung Area of Belize City burned down. The Belizean American made a direct and emotional accusation that her nephew did it - because she wouldn't let him sell weed in her home. Well, it seems the police agree: today they charged 27 year old Darrell Alvarez with arson. He appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith to hear the charge. No plea was taken because the offense is indictable. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offense is of a serious nature and if granted bail the defendant might interfere with the complainant and other prosecution witnesses. Chief Magistrate Smith upheld the objection and she remanded Alvarez into custody until October 3rd.
Hon. Castro Says He's Sorry For Opponent Arthur Saldivar
The big news in political circles continues to be Arthur Saldivar's suspension from the PUP. Saldivar is the standard bearer for Belize Rural North but yesterday the PUP National Executive decided to suspend him based on the allegation that he helped himself to nine hundred thousand dollars of his client Melonie Coye's money. The PUP has appointed a committee to investigate the charge and report back to the executive for a final decision by September 17th.
Insiders suggest to us that it is a process pre-ordained to get rid of Saldivar - who, some feel, has become a liability to the party because of multiple allegations of professional impropriety.
But, it's not that simple to just purge a duly elected standard bearer and Saldivar's camp is digging in for what looks like it will be a protracted battle for control of Belize Rural North. This evening at 5:30, Saldivar convened a committee of the Belize Rural North Committee and they have promised to issue a release later this evening. The Committee feels that it was bypassed - and that the executive tried to do the Committee's job when it suspended Saldivar. So…it's a fight for real now…and in the days to come, we can expect it to flesh out as the Saldivar camp fight for its political life.
Former UDP Chairman Says Saldivar Suspension Is Acceptable
Another politician who has a valid perspective on the Saldivar suspension is former Chairman of the UDP Patrick Faber. As Chairman, he had to preside over many conventions and he knows that once a standard bearer is elected, getting rid of them is...let's say...complicated. And that's why, he says, so far he agrees with the cautious course endorsed by the PUP Executive:..
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"Like in the case of Saldivar, if he did not at the time of the application process, if there is one; let's say hypothetically, like in the UDP we have a form that says is there anything out there that might embarrass yourself that will cause embarrassment to our party and you had to declare it. If we find later on that you did not declare it we reserve the right to pull you back or to disqualify your candidacy, then to me that is fair, that is how we operate in the UDP and yes there are instances where that has come up. You are right, it is a slippery slope, it kind of throws a dark shadow over the party. Other people who are in the party or those who might be considering to run for the party might be dissuaded. If that is what they are going to bring to the party might as well be dissuaded and don't come. But I don't see anything wrong with it as long as there is due process, that is very important and if I am to dabble just a bit, that is exactly what I heard the Leader of the PUP said yesterday."
More Sour Times In Sugar Industry
Tonight, there are concerns coming from cane farmers in the north following a letter from Tate and Lyle, the British company a major purchaser of Belizean sugar. According to the letter, in the next sugar crop, they stand to lose 83% of their revenue from that overseas sale.
Tate and Lyle wrote to the Cane Farmers Association two days ago informing them that starting with next year's crop, the company will only buy ten thousand tonnes of their sugar under the Fair Trade Agreement - usually they buy fifty to sixty thousand tonnes.
The reason put forward is that market forecasts for the sale of sugar are down, and that there is not the same type of demand as there was in the past. For the farmers it means that they stand to lose $5.7 million dollars. So, the association held an afternoon meeting with all of the 18 branch chairmen to inform them, and to seek their input on a course of action.
US Citizen Found Dead At Guest House - May Be Suicide
The body of a US Citizen was found at a Belize City Guest House this morning - and police suspect suicide. 47-year-old Robert Thomas Scruton was found dead in room 34 at the Three Star Guest House on Meighan Avenue this morning. His taxi-man went there to pick him up at 10:00 am, but found him dead on the floor with a cut wound to the inner arm, and abrasions to the left wrist. The injuries are believed ot have been made with a glass bottle. Police have not ruled out homicide but suspect suicide due to the cutting nature of the wounds. Additionally, police have learned that the American software technician appeared to be a heavy driver and was going through a divorce.
He arrived in Belize last Friday - and was her to celebrate his birthday at Caye Caulker. He returned from the Caye yesterday - and was last seen alive last night at 10:00 when his taxi-man delivered food to him.
Police Hit A Dead End On Denvo Murder Investigation
27 year old Denvo Banner's body was found in Lemonal five days ago - he had been shot to the head. It is the first murder reported in the small village of 150 residents in a very long time - and tonight police are no closer to solving it. They had detained a suspect earlier this week - but he was released due to a lack of evidence. Regional Executive Officer Inspector Fredrick Gordon told us more today:..
Inspector Fredrick Gordon, Regional Executive Officer
"We had a person of interest in respect of the murder. As a matter of fact it was two persons that was detain in respect to the murder of Mr. Banner."
"Those persons have been released without charges?"
Inspector Fredrick Gordon, Regional Executive Officer
"There is an ongoing investigation at this time."
"Are you able to say what angle you are looking at? You all know any motive for anyone that killed this man?"
PC Chulin Shot Himself, Accidentally
A policeman shot himself in Trench Alley early this morning. 25 year old Constable Victor Chulin was pulling up his pants when his nine millimeter pistol accidentally went off and he shot himself, reportedly, in the groin area. He was rushed to the Hospital, and is stable. But, police say they are investigating for any breach of protocol - and if he is found negligent, he will receive disciplinary charges.
The gun was a nine millimeter pistol, which apparently did not have the safety engaged.
Police maintain a fixed presence in Trench Alley where Chulin shot himself.
Faber Says He's Helping Cabinet Colleagues, Despite Rift
It's back to school time - and all over Belize parents are scrambling to come up with the money for uniforms, schools supplies and fees. Altogether it can be very expensive and a terrible burden on families. In many cases, some of that burden has to be shouldered by politicians - who are under pressure to service their constituents.
Reliable reports tell us that pressure recently resulted in some major friction within the ruling UDP - and at least one ranking minister accused the Education minister of hoarding the resources which should be shared amongst all. Today Faber told us that he distributes equitably:..
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"And so I don't know that any of my colleagues are dissatisfied. Everybody wants a little bit more, that is true and some believe that they deserve more than others but that's not how I operate in the Ministry of Education."
Faber Says CXC Results A Mixed Bag
We also asked Education Minister Faber about the recent CXC results. It's a mixed bag where there is a general upwards trend, but problems persist in traditional trouble subjects such as math.
Faber discussed the prognosis going forward since Government will pay for some CSC's tests in the coming school year:..
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"We are satisfied that there are improvements and in fact the number of students who are now taking these larger number of CXCs. In my time in high school for instance, I did 8 CXCs and that was considered to be a lot and now we have students who are doing - I met one yesterday who had 16 CXCs; about 12 grade one, 3 grade two and 1 grade three - these are 16 passes and we are seeing more and more of this happening and that is a very good sign for us in Belize in terms of us competing for the regional awards for the CSEC examinations. On the other side there is still a good number of students who aren't at the point where they are taking these exams and that has to concern us. I see it on a daily basis, the students who come asking for job in the government service for instance, and the public service has a basic requirement on most jobs of a high school diploma and 3 CXCs and you have still many people who are finished with high school but don't have any CXCs and we are hoping that this can be changed because of course of our plan now to pay for CXCs CSEC examinations for our students."
Menzies Explains Jasmine Link Mix-Up
Last night, we told you about the embarrassment with Police Department's website linking to a porn site. As we showed you, the link is supposed to belong to belong Jasmine Alert, the organization which releases urgent bulletins to the nation for missing children. The Jasmine Alert was launched in 2012 in memory of Jasmine Lowe, who was brutally murdered in Cayo after being missing for several days.
The police department is one of organizations linked into the Alert system, so logically, a link to their website was posted on their official page. But, recently, when visitors clicked that link, jasminealert.com, it took them to a porn site. Of course, when it hit the news, it caused major embarrassment, but at least it prompted the website managers to pull it down.
The Executive Director of the Jasmine Alert, Patrick Menzies, has been put in the hot seat because of it. Today, taking a break from occupying Belmopan, he explained to us that indeed that link (jasmine-alert.com) which now takes web surfers to view porn, was once the web domain name for Jasmine Alert. The problem, he explained, began when the organization couldn't continue to pay the web fees to maintain it:
Crystal Water Production Slowed By Water Line Plant Breakdown
Many of you may have noticed that 5 gallon bottles of Crystal Water has been scarce in stores for the past week. That is because there was a break down in Crystal's water line plant last week Thursday. They also experienced difficulties obtaining the bottle caps from suppliers in Mexico. A company representative told us it was just a temporary disturbance in the 5 gallon production process and it will be normalized by tomorrow.
Work Starts On Old Northern
The Old Northern Highway is one of the most battered and tattered stretches of road in Belize. The road was mostly abandoned in the eighties when the new Northern Highway was built - and since then it has steadily degraded. Now, most of it is just like a one lane road with some very jagged edges. It's unfortunate because the highway connects visitors to one of the most popular Mayan sites, Altin Ha. But, the Area Representative says that work will soon start to repair the first five miles:..
Hon. Edmund Castro
"Within the next two weeks we will be signing the agreement for the construction of the refurbishment of the old northern highway. The first phase is 5 miles from San Hill into the New Hope Bridge. By the time we complete with that segment of the highway hopefully the Korean funds will kick in so we could complete other 15 miles."
Maskall Needs A Police Station Repair
And so, the old Northern Highway will be rehabilitated, and Maskall village got a new library today, which we'll tell you about later. But, what about the Maskall police station. Honestly, there's no nice way to say it, the place looks like a crackhouse inside! No police officer lives there because none can. We asked the area representative about it today:..
Hon. Edmund Castro
"It's in bad shape. I will not tell you a lie, the police station in Maskall needs some renovation similar to this building, but we can't get everything and do everything in month or one year. We've been working and this is the result. About 4 months ago this building looked terrible, worse than the police station. Now look at it now. The children are saying that this is the prettiest building in the village."
"So is the police station next?"
Hon. Edmund Castro
"We are working on that."
Castro Says Cultural Tolerance Is A Must
And while we had the chance, we asked Castro about the recent fare up in the news over the speaking of the Garifuna language in a bank in Dangriga. Castro's father was Garifuna, and while he doesn't speak the language, he says the idea that it would be banned is abhorrent:..
Hon. Edmund Castro
"For us to hear in 2014 foolishness like this, we should never condone such foolishness if it's true. When I go to the bank I talk creole to the teller and I don't hear that they tell the teller that they can't answer me in creole. My amigo is close to me in the bank and he feels more comfortable to express himself what he wants to do with his money in the bank he speaks in Spanish and if the person there can assist him and communicate with him in the language of his choice, then I don't see they firing anyone that speaks Spanish in bank. I think if the allegation if it's so they really need to take a check at themselves."
First Caribbean Bank - which was accused - has flatly denied that it has any policy or practice banning use of the Garifuna language.
Kraal Road Lashes Out Against GSU
Earlier this week we showed you the citizens on patrol programme and the effort being made by police to mend relations with the community. But it seems that for every step forward, the police department makes two backwards. That's what we found yesterday when we visited Kraal Road. IT is a gang area - and police were descending with force. Monica Bodden has the story:..
Monica Bodden reporting
We arrived on Kraal Road just after 5 yesterday evening and were greeted by an angry mob of area residents - Accusing the GSU of police harassment and abuse.
The officers were inside two separate yards conducting searches - Some of them stood on the sidelines and in the middle of Kraal Road with guns in front of the crowd.
Voice of: Area Resident
"Miss we just came from a funeral and the young man that they have in there just came from funeral and they are beating him, he is vomiting and they punch him in the mouth. They are roughing up my grandmother. She is 55 years old, nobody need to be roughing her up. The police is always coming at our house and we respect them and now they are saying that if any of us say anything they will beat us."
Old Road Gets New Library
Welcome back to 7news - for all those outside the city, we apologize for the 40 minute break in transmission; there is a citywide blackout in Belize City - which is still underway. BEL has not located the cause yet. But, we continue with the news for all our viewers outside the city.
In the age of electronic everything, the role of the library is often overlooked. But, the National Library Service is pushing on and pushing into remote communities with its mobile library service. One of those communities is Maskall which was serviced for decades by the mobile library - visiting the village on the old northern road in Landrovers, vans, and even taxi's! But, finally now Maskall has a library of its own. The building was opened today and 7News was there:..
Hon. Edmund Castro, Area Rep. - Bze Rural North
"It's the prettiest building in Maskall. As you pull the curve you see our library."
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
The papaya coloured library stands out indeed - and when the ribbon was cut today it opened a new world to the students from Lady of Lourdes RC.
7 girls will grace the stage with their beauty and talent at the 6th Annual Independence Day Junior Pageant. They have been practicing since the start of this month and according to the coordinator of the pageant, Karen Vernon, the audience is in for a treat. Today we joined them at their rehearsal and she explained the purpose of the pageant and the progress these young ladies have made.
The pageant will be held at the Bliss Center at 5:00 in the evening this Sunday. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Bliss or from the contestants.
Boxing Down For The Count, But Recovering
In the fast few years, boxing has been making a steady comeback, and a big part of this pugilist's renaissance is regular international bouts. On Saturday in Orange Walk there will be another one as a contingent of Belizean boxers take on a Mexican delegation.
One of the coaches visited our office today to talk about it, and to introduce his boxers to the nation. Here's what he told us about the event:Fight time is 7 p.m. on August 30, at the Orange Walk Complex in Orange Walk Town.
Garifuna bank employee instructed not to speak her native tongue
The Christian Workers Union which represents bank employees has joined the chorus of condemnation against the Dangriga Branch of the First Caribbean Bank. Recently, a bank employee, Uwahnie Martinez, was [...]
Cane farmers facing huge drop in sugar sales to Tate and Lyle
A letter from Tate & Lyle delivered to the B.S.C.F.A. on Tuesday has sent shockwaves through that Association, which governs eighteen branches in Orange Walk and Corozal. Citing the fluctuating [...]
Still no payment for bagasse to cane farmers
While the impending Fairtrade disaster has taken center stage with the B.S.C.F.A. and the five thousand plus cane farmers in the north, there is plenty of turmoil in the industry [...]
Darrel Alvarez arraigned for burning down his aunt’s house
A man who police claim confessed to burning down his aunt’s home in the Gungulung area of Belize City is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Twenty-seven year [...]
Edmond Castro talks about Arthur Saldivar’s predicament
The People’s United Party has suspended, attorney Arthur Saldivar as standard bearer for the Belize Rural North Constituency. That happened on Wednesday at a meeting called by the executive to [...]
US national found dead in hotel room
The body of an American national, Robert Thomas, was found today in his room at a guest house in Belize City. Just after ten this morning, a taxi-man who would [...]
Belize Police Department website directs to a porn site
In June 2012, twelve year old Jasmine Lowe was found dead on a lonely street in the Cayo District. Her death sparked unprecedented awareness and action, and in her name [...]
Man sentenced to 10 years for robbery
Convicted robber, twenty six-year old Dillon Diamond is serving his first night of a ten year sentence for attempted robbery. The Taylor’s Alley resident is accused of holding up at [...]
Cop accidentally shoots himself
Just before one this morning, police constable Victor Chulin had to be hospitalized for a gunshot wound to his leg. The officer was reportedly on Cemetery Road in front of Trench [...]
Elections held for Police Association
You may not be aware of it, but there is a body entrusted with looking after the rights of Police Officers countrywide – from the rank of constable all the [...]
Dangriga Mayor denounces action of the First Caribbean Bank
This afternoon, Dangriga Mayor Gilbert Suazo, himself a prominent member of the Garifuna community, denounced the action of the bank. According to Mayor Suazo, the idea of restricting employees of [...]
Maskall finally gets a library
A new library was inaugurated in Maskall Village earlier today. For decades, the rural community has been without a public facility which caters to the academic and literary needs of [...]
The 24th annual National Women Softball Championship
Seven teams from across the jewel are participating in the twenty-fourth annual National Women’s Softball Championship held by the Belize Softball Federation. Starting this Friday at six-thirty p.m. at the [...]
Inclement weather forecast for the weekend
The Belize Tourism Board announced today that the Village Arts and Craft Expo that was scheduled for this weekend has been postponed until November first due to the inclement weather [...]
Healthy living looks at back to school tips for parents
It’s back to school season! Parents across Belize have been busy getting school books, stationary, uniforms school bags and just about everything the children need for a brand new academic [...]
25 Workers Allegedly Fired In Corozal
Four point four million dollars was allocated by Central Government to “concrete” one mile of the Philip Goldson Highway in Corozal from in front of the Social Security building right up to Santa Rita Hill. With over a month into the project, reports reaching our news room today were that twenty-five workers assigned at the road construction in Corozal were sent home with the reason that there was no more money. Reporter Victor Castillo caught up today with one of the unhappy ex-employees who claims that they were not given any notice prior to this morning’s lay off.
Former worker – Road Project Corozal
“They stop the job, they no money no deh and I wonder about because I know a lot work is left to do and we have the materials and things and according to what I notice something wrong and the people that they have working they just stop us and I think that is really bad because they should have notified us and tell us that material is not there but we have the materials but they just stop the job like that and they just send like 25 of us.”
Card Machine Broken Down At The Northern Border
When travelling across the Belizean Border, sometimes the long lines to get your passport stamp takes a lot of time however, to avoid long lines, the Immigration department had launched the issuance of a Belize Immigration Card which you present at the border and makes the process easier and faster.
But tonight information reaching our news room is that for more than a month now the issuing of the cards has ceased without any notification at the northern border. Our News crew got in contact with Immigration manager Francisco Rejon at the northern border who referred us to the director of immigration in Belmopan.
Its All About Road Safety In Corozal
Preparations for the new school year are in full gear. In Corozal, part of these preparations is road safety for students. Julio Uk coordinator for Build Belize has been working hand in hand with the Corozal Police Youth Corp in this regard.
Today as an exercise, Uk gathered the cadets at the intersection of 5th Avenue with 2nd Street North leading to the St. Francis Xavier Primary School. The area is one of the busiest streets in town and Uk’s intention was to show students how to utilized the pedestrian ramp.
Julio UK – Coordinator
“Today’s activity is to get more of the community policing cadet involve in their safety and today is a practice that we will be showing so that other children in the community can see how they use the ramp and we are starting on September 1st when school opens again with a hand held stop sign which will eventually be indicating how the motorist need to respond seeing the sign, the sign will be the indicator as to when to go and when to stop so toady the viewers will see it on television so we hope that parent might becoming aware of what will be the new changes at the ramp especially when they are waiting so they have to wait on the signal of the crossing guard and the stop sign that will be the indicator.”
Consultation On BMDP To Take Place In O/W
The Orange Walk Town Council will be holding another important meeting with residents of town next week. Today Mayor Kevin Bernard told us that this meeting will focus on the Municipal Growth Plans, an initiative under the Belize Municipal Development Project. According to the Mayor, in the process of launching the growth plan, those leading the initiative are conducting a series of consultations with stakeholders. A meeting was held last week with managers of town councils and another meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday.
Kevin Bernard – Mayor of Orange Walk Town
“The municipal growth plan is a 5year, 10 year, 15 year plan is a working document as it goes along you need to modify it you need to cut where you need to cut but what we are doing is simply explaining to the residence how we are going to be having a series of meetings like I said we started last week with the mangers of the council, next week Tuesday on the second of September there will be one with the PUP representatives, the standard bearer, executive members and I know there will also be date where there will be a consultation with the United Democratic Party people and there will meeting with the church leaders, education leaders and the business community and the NGO’s and so forth so I know that the meeting will end off in October with the public meeting to launch the entire growth plan that we have done through the local working group...
Free Medical Clinics Offered To Residents Of Rural Areas
In last night’s newscast we told you about the team of medical professionals from the Operation Medical Clinic in Florida, USA, who are currently in the country. Today, we visited them at their first clinic at San Jose/San Pablo villages in Orange Walk. Dalila Ical – Reporting
The medical team consists of various professionals, among them a pediatrician, internist, two general practitioners and for this year the team brought with them a dermatologist.
The team began clinics early this morning and by mid-morning a large group of villagers has gathered at the San Jose Multipurpose Building to take advantage of the free services. Michelle Richard is a pharmacist on the team and spoke about their experience so for the morning.
Pastor Gillett Speaks On Serious Accusations Against Teacher Of Progresso Village
Yesterday we reported on the on-going feud between parents, teachers and the union Administration at the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Progresso Village. The situation has escalated to the point where parents are alleging that two teachers are incompetent, tardy and have been drinking on campus. While several of them share the same sentiment, they explained yesterday that on countless occasions, they tried to meet with the SDA Management however; there concerns have gone in the wind. Today, we contacted Pastor Leslie Gillett, the General Manager of the SDA Schools throughout Belize to weigh in on the issue at hand. Gillette says steps are being taken to resolve the issue.
Pastor Leslie Gillett – General Manager , SDA Schools
“The Press Release is saying well, first of all like in any other school in the country of Belize there are problems at the Progresso School we recognize that of course that be taken to resolve the problem, to correct the anomalies that maybe there, that there is no reason or which to get rid of anybody at this point from Progresso School because there are all issues that can be corrected by people doing and saying differently from how it has been done.”
Bagasse Negotiations Continue At A Standstill
At the top of the newscast we told you about Tate and Lyle’s decision to reduce the amount of Belize’s sugar sold to the European Market under Fair Trade from 50 to 60 thousand tonnes to a minimal 10,000 tonnes for the 2014/201 5 crop season.
Cane farmers did not receive the news well since it signifies a major loss in Fair Trade premiums and as mentioned by the Vice Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, they are of the idea that Tate and Lyle seeks to pressure cane farmers into accepting BSI’s proposal of 51 cents payment per ton of bagasse, with the latest move.
GDP Is Up Says SIB Report
The Statistical Institute of Belize indicates that the economy performed much stronger in the second quarter of the year with an 8.7 growth. This, coupled with the less rapid economic expansion of the first quarter of this year resulted in growth of 3.7 percent for the first six months of 2014 says the SIB report. This is being attributed to higher levels of production for the period from April to June of this year across most of the major economic sectors, including Agriculture, Electricity and Water, Manufacturing, and Hotels and Restaurants.
And while the SIB reports a growth in the economy, it pointed out that inflation holds steady at 1.3 percent in July. This did not change from the previous month. The SIB states that the average rate of inflation from January to July 2014 is1.5 %. Higher prices were recorded in the categories of ‘Transport’ and ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’. For the first time in three years, the ‘Food’ index fell marginally in July, with lower prices across most food categories. With an inflation rate of 2.5 percent, Santa Elena/San Ignacio recorded the greatest change in the consumer price index. Belize City and Punta Gorda had the lowest, with inflation rates below one percent in both of these municipalities.
Team Of Professionals To Offer Free Medical Clinics In Rural Areas
A team of medical professionals from the Operation Medical Clinic in Florida, USA, are currently in the country. Today, the doctors stopped by our studios to share with the public where they will be at and at what time they will be carrying out consultations. The team, says Doctor Nancy DeSilva, comprises of a host of dynamic professionals.
Dr. Nancy DeSilva – Dermatologist
“We have like a paediatrician who takes care of children, we brought internist who takes care of the heart, the stomach, the kidneys then we have the dermatologist who is me and I take care of the skin head and nails and we have for the asthma and the breathing problems and we have the paediatrician who takes care of the children and we will be doing a free medical clinics in different parts of the the country.”
MCHS Athletes To Represent Belize In CODICADER Games
2014 makes it 8 years since Belize has been competing in the Central American Junior Scholastic games - or CODICADER - as it is well known. Representing Orange Walk are three athletes hailing from the Muffles High School, we caught up with the trio’s Coach Gilbert Cummings who says they will be participating in track and field.
Gilbert Cummings – Sports Coordinator/Coach
“It’s the first time for two of them one of them has been there before when she was in second form she represented at the same competition before but it was in El Salvador and the two others is their first time.”
Belizean Busted With Drugs In Costa Rica
A Belizean was busted with six point five kilos of cocaine in Costa Rica and is now in police custody. The La Nacion Media reported that a thirty seven year old man who was known only by his surname, Tillett was caught on Sunday night at the International Juan Santamaria Airport in Costa Rica.
He was intercepted by the Drug Control Police about eight on Sunday night who requested he open his hand luggage. In the luggage, Costa Rican authorities found 29 boxes of pilot brand markers which contained 290 individual markers. Of these, 284 were discovered to be filled with cocaine. The drug was confiscated along with ninety-one dollars Tillett was carrying on him.
Drought Watch In Effect For Belize
There is the possibility that there are more challenges ahead for farmers as a drought watch is out for Belize. But Belize isn’t the only country facing potential, and in some cases, serious effects of drought. The Caribbean Drought and Precipitation Monitoring Network which was launched in January 2009 under the Caribbean Water Initiative, CARIWIN, and which aims to increase the capacity of Caribbean countries to deliver equitable and sustainable Integrated Water resources Management, issued a drought bulletin earlier this month.
CARIWIN recommends that water conservation measures continue as much as possible, particularly across the eastern Caribbean and Jamaica, as below normal rainfall is likely across much of the region for the next three months and leading into the 2015 dry season. It also gave rainfall summary for the months of May, June and July in the eastern Caribbean.
Corn Producers Affected By Climate Change
We are almost in the middle of the hurricane season which is when we should be experiencing more rain, but that hasn’t been the case in the past weeks in the north. The climate has clearly shifted this time of the year and it is bringing about some undesired troubles specifically for farmers in northern Belize. Presently, farmers who should be seeing a good yield of corn are instead facing significant losses. Extension Officer at the Orange Walk Agriculture Department told us more about the situation.
Leonardo Eck – Extension Officer
“Over three thousand five hundred acres was lost due to the drought.”
Dalila Ical –Reporter
“Speaking money wise how much is that?”
Leonardo Eck – Extension Officer
“I could safely say that it is over nine million pounds that is being lost due to the drought.”
Arthur Saldivar Suspended By People's United Party
And in a showing of wits and zeal, the People’s United Party today made a huge decision to suspend PUP’s Standard Bearer for Belize Rural North, Arthur Saldivar pending the outcome of an investigation on an allegation made against him on wrong doings by his former clients. The allegation, says Party Leader Francis Fonseca, is something they take very seriously. The media waited for comment at the PUP’s headquarters and thanks to our colleagues at 7News, we are able to provide you with the clip on this major decision coming out of Independence Hall as it pertains to Saldivar’s status within the party.
Tate & Lyle Drastically Reduces Sugar Sold To Fair Trade
Tonight there is not good news for the Sugar Industry much less cane farmers and the economy of the north. Tate and Lyle, the company that purchases Belize’s sugar from the Belize Sugar Industries Limited and then sells it to the European Market has decided to cut back on the amount of Belize’s sugar sold under Fair Trade. Now, this is huge, because it translates into a significant financial loss witnessing a major trickle effect. Carmelita Perez has that story.
Carmelita Perez – Reporting
Tonight cane farmers are traveling on a rocky road, the future of the Sugar Industry is uncertain and Belize is about to experience a huge economic loss. That’s because Tate and Lyle has informed the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association that they are cutting back on the amount of Belize’s Sugar that is sold under Fair Trade. And it is a huge reduction indeed, from 65,000 tonnes last year, translating to approximately 6.9 million dollars in Fair Trade Premiums to a minimum of 10,000 tonnes for the 2014/2015 crop. If we do the figures, this translates to a financial loss of more than 5 million dollars.
Cane Farmers To Receive Fair Trade Premium Until Sugar Is Sold To Consumers In The EU
And if you think the story ends there, then think again, because it doesn’t end there. In the letter, Tate and Lyle also informs the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association that with immediate effect, Tate and Lyle Sugars is also changing the schedule on which they pay all cane producer association including the BSCFA for Fair Trade sugar.
The association receives U.S$60.00 per ton of sugar sold to Fairtrade, the highest premium paid out to certified Fair Trade organizations worldwide. With the change in payment, the BASCFA will no longer be paid within 30 days. Instead, the association will receive their premiums until the sugar is sold to consumers in the EU.
Alfredo Ortega- Vice Chairman BSCFA, COM
“Ahora su sistema de pago va hacer hasta que el consumidor compre el material en el shelf así es de que es otro punto de que puede durar dos tres años que se venda ese material y hasta entonces nos van a estar dando el premio de esa azúcar así adonde nos ponen que es realmente y nos hacemos la pregunta casi nos podemos decir que tenemos la respuesta nosotros mismos hacia donde nos quieren arrinconar pero la pregunta es para ellos adonde nos quieren mandar, que es que están buscando de nosotros quieren teneros intimidados por medio de que no aceptamos sus cosas a como ellos los plantan eso es algo injusto y realmente para mí el mundo entero se debe de dar cuenta el tipo de manipulación, el tipo de juego que tiene ASR/BSI con Tate & Lyle en todo esta situación.”
Re: Today's Belize News: August 29, 2014
08/29/14 06:12 AM
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Minister Faber Says Increment Should Be Dependent on Performance
With the recent 6.75% increment for teachers, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber says they should take the initiative to enhance their teaching methods.
HON. PATRICK FABER
“I am certain that the union has communicated and this has been their long standing position that they are not opposed to a kind of system to be improved on or be put in place a new system all together that will see the increments being tagged to performance. There is a system in place now but we all agree that it is not very efficient, it is not very effective. In fact people get it almost automatically and while at the time when we were engaged in the collective bargaining agreement it was not in our best position to suggest that we will not give the raise only unless we get a new instrument to measure performance and all that. The unions all agreed when they set up the sub committees to do exploration to see how we can become more efficient and save on revenue and all that this was one of the things we had suggested that a new system of evaluating how teachers and public servants perform.
ITVET Plans Countrywide Launch For New Academic Year
Monday, September 1, will mark the opening of a new academic year and in recognition of this, the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber will be at the Stann Creek Branch of the Institute for Technical and Vocational Educational Training (ITVET) to do an official opening of the new school year. But while the Minister will be in southern Belize, all the other branches of the ITVET will be hosting a special program to welcome the new students and to further encourage the existing ones enrolled in its institution countrywide. Love News spoke with Dr. Margarita Gomez, the Director of the Employment Training and Education Services.
We feel that it is very important to recognize, to acknowledge and encourage our new trainees and so what we felt would be important is that we start a tradition of actually having an opening ceremony at each of the ITVET where they would officially welcome these trainees, they will give them information in terms of why they are there, why they should remain. We don’t want to do it just from the management perspective doing that or us from the ministry level. We feel that if they hear directly from the people in the industry to have a good guest speaker from the industry to give them their experience of what they have gone through in life and how being a trained skilled person can benefit them in their life.
Patrick Talks About CXC and Increment
In mid-August, the Ministry of Education released its CXC Examinations Preliminary Results for May and June 2014. The Preliminary Results for the May-June 2014 sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) shows that three thousand forty-nine candidates divided into 1,344 males and 1,705 females registered for 32 of the 35 subjects offered at the CSEC level. The candidates registered for the May-June 2014 CSEC sitting represent a decrease of 56 candidates or 1.8% compared to the May-June 2013 sitting. As for the students’ performance, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, says he is partially satisfied.
HON. PATRICK FABER
“We are satisfied that there improvements and in fact the number of students who are now taking these larger number in CXC’s ,my time in high school for instance I did 8 CXC’s and that was considered to be a lot. Now we have students who are doing, I met a student who had 16 CXC’s about 12 grade 1′s, 3 grade 2′s and 1 grade 3, those are 16 passes and we are seeing more and more of this happening. That is a very good sign for is in Belize in terms of us competing for the regional awards for the CSEC examinations. On the other side there are still a good number of students who aren’t at the point where they are taking these exams and that has to concern us. I see it on a daily basis the students who come asking for a job in the government service for instance and the public service has a basic requirement for most jobs and three CXCs and you still have many people who are finished with high school but don’t have any CXCs.
BSI On Talk Again
The 18 directors of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association met this afternoon to discuss the letter from Tate & Lyle Sugars which was sent on Tuesday informing the farmers that there might be a drastic cut to the Belize sugar quota that sells under the Fairtrade logo. Spokesperson of BSCFA spoke with the media this afternoon to explain what the association intends to address the matter.
It is something that will harm us and we will be sending a letter to them. We will be analyzing very indepthly this situation and we want to know if it is really the market out there that is causing this situation or if it is another thing so we will be analyzing this situation and looking forward to sending a letter to Flocert and Tate and Lisle again to see what is the market situation into this because the letter that they sent is not so clear. They are saying that the market situation is the problem but it takes us into bad situation right now because it just came in in surprise.
Alvarez Faced Arraignment for Arson On House
Earlier this week Love News brought you the story of a house fire that left home-owner, Sonia Harris completely distraught and in tears. From the day during the interview with Harris, she had indicated to us that it was her nephew, Darrell that had set her house on fire and while we were on the scene, we were privy to information that the nephew had confessed to a senior police officer.
SONIA HARRIS: From last night Darrell was going to burn my house down with me my husband and my brother in here sleeping. Darrell was planning to burn my house down from last night. I just left my house not even two minutes I went to by aunt and my niece saw him going down when my house was burning. Darrell lit my house on fire and went down the block, my niece saw him. My nephew stayed in here for two years without paying me rent, I never charged him rent. My nephew wanted everyone to feel like this is his but this is mine. My nephew is threatening to burn down my other house that my sister lives in. As I turned my back my nephew lit my house on fire, for what? I did nothing to him.
Gordon On Banner
The body of twenty seven year old Denvo Banner Duhaney was found in a shallow grave in Lemonal Village on Saturday August 23. His family had reported him missing a couple days prior after they were unable to get in touch with him. Duhaney’s decomposing body was found behind the village’s school and the post mortem revealed that he had been shot once to the head. Inspector Gordon told us that they have previously detained two men question but were forced to let them go…
Yes we have a person of interest detained in respect to the murder. As a matter of fact it was two persons that were detained of interest in respect of the murder of Mr. Banner.
but then those persons have been released without charges?
Yes. There is an ongoing investigation at this time.
Gordon Says No Lead On Carcamo
Forty three year old Kevin Carcamo, the Chairman of Hattieville,has been missing since July 20. His family and the Belize Police Department launched an intensive search for him in the Freetown Sibun Area. Carcamo worked for the company, Discover-sies as a linesman. Discover-sies offered a ten thousand dollars reward for this safe return. But no one has collected the reward because no one knows where he is. Not even the police department. The family thought there was a lead when, what they thought, was human blood was found in the area where Carcamo went missing. Today, Rural Executive Officer, Inspector Fredrick Gordon, told us that the specimen was sent for testing and the results show that it was not blood. Gordon says that they have no new leads.
Plans To Work On Maskall Police Station Next
While Maskall has a new library, the Maskall Sub Police Station is in a dilapidated state. We have received several reports that officers stationed there find it very difficult in leaving in the structure. Castro says that, he is looking into it….
“It’s in bad shape, I will not tell you a lie. The police station in Maskall needs some renovation similar to this building but we can’t get everything and do everything in one month or year we have been working and this is the result about four months ago. This building looked worse than the police station now look at it. Like what the children are saying, this is the prettiest building in the village.”
Castro Shares On The Garifuna Issue
Belize Rural North Area Representative, Edmund Castro, is also of Garifuna Heritage and he is not happy about the allegations made against CIBC First Caribbean International Bank. Two days ago the National Garifuna Council fired a release stating that it is looking into an allegation that the Bank is prohibiting individuals to speak the Garifuna Language. Castro weighed in the matter.
“I think it is pure foolishness and we need to get rid of and push racism as far away from us as possible. I think the bank manager needs to be checked. The institution needs to be checked of those allegations. My father was Garifuna and my mother was Creole, I grew up in this area but I acknowledge and appreciate every language and we know that the more languages you know to speak is that much more people you can communicate with in the world. So for us to hear in 2014 foolishness like this, this we should never condone such foolishness if it is true. When I go to the bank I talk Creole to the teller and I don’t hear them tell the teller that they can’t answer me in Creole or they will fire the teller.
Jasmine Alert Has Been Hacked
The Jasmine Alert system which was created two years ago has been hacked. This means that the domain name for the website that was being used is no longer valid. The system was put in place in memory of young Jasmine Lowe who was brutally murdered. Executive Director for Jasmine Alert, Patrick Menzies explains
“The Jasmine Alert (dot) (com) domain name which means that that is the name when you type that in you are supposed to get the website. We’ve owned that for over two years problem is that due to financial constraints we actually lost it a few months ago in July. Because of that we tried to get it renewed the cost was very high, the company refused to return it to us so we are not sure if the company who is using it right now actually owns it or if it is being used by the hackers. Up to yesterday, what I did was I bought Jasmine Alert (dot) (org). instead, up to yesterday that was working but yesterday evening they took that over by somehow blocking it inside the server in the US. So right now I worked almost three hours on this trying to get it connected and it will not reconnect.
Castro’s Perspective On The Saldivar Suspension
Yesterday, Attorney Arthur Saldivar and the PUP’s Standard Bearer for Belize Rural North, was suspended from his own party after allegations were made against him by his former client, Melonie Coye. The Party’s National Executive met and decided to suspend Saldivar pending an investigation into the matter. That investigation is expected to end in two weeks and the PUP will decide Saldivar’s fate. Today we asked his political opponent Edmund Castro and the former Chairman of the UDP, Patrick Faber, to comment on the matter.
“I don’t pay much attention to what the PUP do or does or with Mr. Saldivar; he is a non-entity out here in the Belize Rural North area. If you notice what we are doing, we are producing and delivering for the people of the Belize Rural North area. We don’t get sidelined and distracted by what Arthur Saldivar and the PUP is doing because they can’t win anyway. If he comes or they send somebody else or if they come together in twos and threes I will still beat them.”
Sweet Honey In The Rock To Share Their Honey
The Acapela Group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, is in Belize to perform as part of the US State’s Department, Arts Envoy Program. The goal of the program is to share the best of U.S. arts community with the world to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration and to demonstrate shared values and aspirations. The group’s first performance is tonight at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts and Creative Supervisor, Caroline Maylard, told us what the audience can expect.
“They can expect I think to have a good time number one. I think they will hear some things that will be culturally familiar in terms of the depth and the messages that are in our music, the arrangements. I think a lot of times people in Belize are used to hearing contemporary music and top 40 music and really hearing the music that comes really through the African diaspora from Africa to South America up through Central America and through the Caribbean and into the United States and up into Canada. That is our experience and I think our African culture and our Africanness really cant be erased. We all do it in one way or the other and we are happy to share how we do it.”
El Piano Internacional To Entertain Belizean
El Piano Internacional is the name of a concert that will take place tomorrow at the Bliss Center for the Performing arts. The concert will be conducted by Mexican Pianists, Ricardo Tovar, Carlos Camacho and Ricardo Moo. According to the musicians, concert goers are guaranteed a wonderful show which will feature some familiar songs.
“Music from different periods from classical music, we will be interpreting pieces and compositions from Shubert, Mozart and also Brahms, Ginastera and we think that you people will enjoy it. We have a lot of surprises that may be likely to you all. So we hope that you enjoy this concert. We will be playing some of Belizean music like Good morning miss lady and Ding Ding walla and there are other surprises.”
American tourist found dead in guest house
Police have taken a statement from the landlady proprietor of 3-Star Guest House on Meighan Avenue, Belize City, after the lifeless body of a visiting American was found on Thursday morning, inside a room at the hotel.
47 year old Robert Thomas was found around10:16 a.m...
Belize City man charged for arson
Earlier this week a sudden fire erupted at the Holy Emmanuel Street, Belize City, property of Belizean-American Sonia Harris...
Cop shoots himself in the leg
Around 12 :30 Thursday morning, 25-year-old police Constable Victor Chulin was shot to the leg. The shooter? PC Chulin himself!
According to police reports, PC Victor Chulin was standing on Cemetery Road in front of Trench Alley, Belize City...
School robbed of computers days before re-opening
School opens on Monday September 1st and students and teachers of Xiabe Roman Catholic School are gearing up for the first day back. But there is a already a damper on the new school year as thieves made off with five laptop computers from the principal’s office last week...
Cocaine on San Pedro
San Pedro police were tipped off Wednesday afternoon about some unattended drugs. At about 3:15 p.m. a search was conducted in an abandoned lot at the corner of Swan and Glitter Street, San Pedro Town by members of San Pedro Quick Response team , CIB and SB personnel...
Arthur Saldivar suspended, as party investigates allegations of wrongdoing
Suspended! That is the word from Independence Hall, after the People’s United Party’s (PUP) National Executive convened a meeting on Wednesday to discuss, among other things, allegations of misbehavior on the part of sitting Belize Rural North standard bearer Arthur Saldivar, who is also a prominent attorney.
It is alleged that Mr Saldivar relieved former clients Melonie and Marlene Coye, who were released from charges of money laundering following a successful criminal appeal in March, of some $900,000 in monies recovered from the Central Bank, where it had been held under lock and key pending the result of the appeal.
English First at First Caribbean
The National Garifuna Council of Belize is investigating allegations that the Dangriga branch of the First Caribbean Bank is discouraging its employees and customers from speaking Garifuna within the premises of the institution. These allegations have caused much discussion and the National Garifuna Council says it that if it is true, it is a serious matter. Our Dangriga Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details.
Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent
“Some employees from the First Caribbean International Bank, here in Dangriga, and by extension the residents of this municipality, are complaining that they are being discriminated against, by the said bank. They are reporting that they are being discouraged from speaking their native language at their workplace among themselves and with their customers.
Caretaker Melvin Hulse answers land concerns of Santa Cruz villagers
Last week, Plunews brought to you the story of Santa Cruz village in the Stann Creek district and the villagers’ concern over the surveying of prime land in the village. Santa Cruz village is located right at the roundabout on the southern highway at the junction with the Placencia road. Several large businesses are going up in the area and land prices are beginning to soar.
On, August 10th, surveyors appeared in the Village and, without the knowledge or the support of the village council, began surveying two huge parcels of land in the middle of the community; land community leaders say that is desperately needed for the community’s own development. The lands, according to the cadastral are areas that have been reserved for green spaces and community buildings but the survey is being done to convert the community land into private properties. Here is what the Vice Chairwoman Hilama Robles, told us.
Belize’s sugar quota cut by 55 thousand tons
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is still at odds with the Belize Sugar Industry and with no clear resolution. On Wednesday things were looking even worse for the BSCFA.
In a letter dated Tuesday the 26th of August, Tate & Lyle Sugars, a member of the ASR Group of companies, sent a letter from London, to BSCFA, informing them that the purchase of sugar for the 2014/2015 would be 10,000 tons, 55 thousand tons less than last year. It also informed them that the premium price which is US$60 will be paid until after the product has been sold to consumers as Fairtrade sugar.
Since Belize’s sugar has been sold under the Fairtrade umbrella, the sugar quota bought by Tate & Lyle has been at a stable 50 thousand tons. Last year saw an increase with 65 thousand tons. The reduction in sugar quota, according to the letter, is as a result of the market vulnerability. The letter signed by Simmon Gibbons, Senior Vice President of International Operations, says the company will endeavour to increase the volume, should sales of Fairtrade prove to be higher than previous forecasts. But according to Alfredo Ortega, spokesperson for the Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association, the reason for the decrease has nothing to do with market vulnerability.
PSU and BNTU set up Trust - No Beneficiaries identified
Over the past couple of weeks, representatives of the unions have been making the media rounds trying to explain how a trust which they set up is going to work. And they are finding it extremely difficult to find persons to side with them because the trust has among other problems, not identified who the individual beneficiaries should be.
The trust was set up almost a year ago on September 4, 2013 and since that time the document and its contents have been kept out of the public domain. In 1997, the then Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel had given the B shares in BTL for the Unions to hold as compensation to public officers who had their annual increments suspended between 1995 and 1997. 16 years after the shares were presented and the Belize National Teachers Union and the Public Service Union have now finally set up the trust. In fairness to the unions however, the trust could not be set up as easily since in 2004 the PUP Musa administration sold the shares to Jeffrey Prosser right from under the unions’ noses. To appease them at the time, Musa replaced the original B shares with C shares in BTL. At this point in time the unions hold 794,732 shares in BTL which have earned in excess of 5.5 million dollars in dividends (see Insert 7).
17 years since the original offer was made to compensate the public officers who were affected by the salary freeze interest was aroused in it on July 23, when the government of Belize announced that 3.06 million dollars which was being held in a Government Savings Account had been transferred to the Trustees of the Public Sector Workers’ Trust. That sum in addition to $2.04 million dollars which the unions already had access to as an accumulation of dividends from 2007 to 2013 from BTL share dividends amounted to over 5 million dollars which now makes up the trust.
5 Million for Flood Mitigation in Belize City
A relief from excessive and prolonged flooding for Belize City residents is now on the horizon. Four sets of contracts under the Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program were signed on Monday of this week by the Hon. Rene Montero, the Minister of Works and Transport. The contracts were signed with three major partners in the conference room of the Ministry of Works and Transport on Power Lane in Belmopan on Monday of this week.
Works for the Bill Lindo Canal, which will involve the construction of concrete lined and earthen canal was signed with Meheia’s United Concrete Supplies and will cost $892,250.00. The works for this project should start on September 4th and be eight months in duration.
Meanwhile; a contract for Link Road (Apollo Street), to carry forward an upgrade to this street, was also signed with M and R Construction Ltd, which has been budgeted for $1,077,425.86. This work should start on September 4th and end on May 2, 2015.
GDP Growth is 8.7 Percent
According to initial estimates from the Statistical Institute of Belize, the economy of Belize grew by 8.7 percent in the second quarter of 2014, April to June. This is a significant recovery from a disappointing first quarter which saw the economy contracted by 0.4 percent. The cumulative economic growth for 2014 now stands at 3.7 percent and the expansion is due in large part to the performance of the agriculture, manufacturing, electricity and water, hotels and restaurants, and construction sectors.
From April to June of 2014, the agriculture sector grew by 26 percent. Sugarcane deliveries rose by 80 percent and citrus rose by 68 percent when compared to the same time last year. Jefte Ochaeta, Statistician of SIB, says the huge second quarter growth in the sector is because of late starts to the crop year. There were disagreements between farmers and production companies in the sugarcane and citrus industries. Those disagreements resulted in late starts to the crop year and poor first quarter outputs. However, it also led to better than normal second quarter outputs as deliveries peaked later than is usually the case. The increase in deliveries resulted in an increase in manufacturing as sugar production increased by 68 percent and orange concentrate rose by 58 percent.
Entrepreneurship is Focus of Women and Girls’ Financial Conference
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow, is inviting all women and girls to attend a conference on women and girl’s financial health at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on Friday, August 29.
The conference has been dubbed a “National Call to Action” and will feature some of the country’s most successful women. Kim Barrow says the aim of the conference is to higlight the advantages of entrepreneurship. Individuals will have the opportunity to hear from successful entrepreneurs as they share their experiences. They will speak about the early challenges they faced, how they overcame those challenges and what is in store for the future.
Judith Alpuche, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, says the panel will address several issues facing women in the economic environment. She added that “we have our women and girls highly visible in the education system (especially secondary and tertiary) but when we look at the labour force the unemplyment rate is almost double for females.” She asks, “What is it that women face? Why are we not seeing them in the economic environment? What are the limitations that exist? What is the support that they need?” Alpuche says those are the questions that need to be asked so that policy makers can come up with a good diagnosis of the situation and move forward with solutions.
Bridging the Gap!
The United Democratic Party will once again change the lives of Belizeans through infrastructure works come December when the new bridge, joining Chetumal Street on the Northside to what will be known as Lake Independence Boulevard on the Southside, is inaugurated. The opening of the bridge will have an immediate and considerable impact on residents of the surrounding communities both socially and economically.
For starters, those who reside in Belama and Buttonwood Bay will breathe a sigh of relief as the new thoroughfare will alleviate the morning rush hour traffic congestion between Haulover Bridge and San Cas Plaza. Motorists heading to work in Belmopan will no longer have to sit in traffic for upwards of 45 minutes simply because there was no alternative route. If you consider that those same motorists will save 15 minutes on their return trip, that’s a whole extra hour a day which could be put towards a productive activity such as exercise. That’s also 5 extra taps on the snooze button every morning.
Largest Crystal Meth bust in Belize
Police have reported that the largest Crystal Meth bust was made in Belize on Thursday, August 21. According to police, personnel from the Anti-Drug Unit were in the Louisiana area of Orange Walk town in an unmarked police vehicle when they spotted a black Toyota Camry car swaying across the street. The police pursued the car and tried to have the driver to pull over, instead the vehicle tried to elude police. It headed to Liberty Avenue where the driver lost control forcing two occupants of the vehicle to try to escape. Police fired shots at them and would eventually catch up on them.
When police made a search of the vehicle, they found an icebox with 18 parcels of what would later be determined as Crystal Meth. An additional 12 parcels were also found inside a soap box all weighing 54.7 kilos. Both the icebox and the soap box were found in the truck of the car.
Police have since arrested and charged 49-year-old Ruperto Eulalio Reyes of # 5 Sittee River Street, Orange Walk Town along with his passenger 52-year-old Pascual Terrero Pineda, Cuban of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro Town. They were taken to Orange Walk’s magistrate’s court where they were each charged with one count each of drug trafficking of a class B drug. No plea was taken from the men and they were remanded to prison until September 30.
While police report that the value of the drugs in Belize is in the region of 2 million dollars, the street value of the same quantity in the U.S. can be as much as 12 million U.S. dollars.
Police Believes A&R’s Security Guard Setup Robbery
Police have arrested and charged A&R’s own Security Guard for his connection to the robbery of the establishment on Wednesday, August 20.
Leroy Ciego, 28, appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Monday, August 25, where he pleaded not guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit robbery. According to reports, just after closing time on Wednesday (6:27 p.m.), the A&R security guard at the front door was held up at gunpoint and led into the store by a tall dark skin male wearing a stocking over his face. The gunman’s accomplice guarded the door while he ordered everyone to lie on the floor. The gunman then went to the supervisor’s office and took a bag containing $9,084.66. He then searched the workers and their children and took away their cell phones, jewelry and other personal items. Before exiting the building, the gunman led the employees up to the second floor where he ordered the supervisor to open a safe which had one container with $1,969.65 in cash and another with $1,225. The men then made good their escape.
Denvo Banner found in shallow grave
The Missing Lemonal Resident, 27 year-old Denvo Banner, was found buried in a shallow grave behind a school in his village 2 weeks after going missing. The autopsy on his body revealed that he had been shot and killed, but the fatal wound was a bullet to the head.
His sister reported him missing on Saturday August 16, but the last time he was seen alive was the Saturday before that, which was August 9. He had told his family in Lemonal Village that he was going to visit a relative in Silk Grass Village, but he never made it.
On Saturday, August 23, his family accompanied a team of police officers to an area in the vicinity of St. Lukes Methodist Primary School. There, they found his decomposing corpse folded up in a shallow grave which was half the length of his size.
Ten Years for Attempting to Rob Cell Phone
Dillon Diamonds has been sentenced to serve ten years at the Belize Central Prison for a failed robbery attempt of a cellular phone. The 26-year-old Taylor’s Alley resident is convicted of holding up a group of three Hispanic males near East Canal with a homemade double barrel sawed off shot gun.
Diamonds tried to rob Geovanni Quijano of his cell phone but was unsuccessful because a police mobile pulled up in the area and he was caught red handed. Diamond threw the shot gun into a nearby canal and hid behind a parked vehicle. That’s where police officer Ashton Flowers found him still wearing his stockings mask.
Angel Dorado and Shaquille Baeza Charged for Gang Tattoos
Shakedi Baizar, 19, and Angel Dorado, 34, appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton on Friday, August 22, to face a charge of displaying gang membership.
On Thursday, August 21, police conducted searches in the Mile 8 community of the George Price Highway. During those searches, they came across Baeza and Dorado who are both residents of the community. Baeza was arrested after police saw a tattoo on his inner arm “GAZA” which they believe is a tribute to the George Street Gang in Belize City. In Dorado’s case, nothing incriminating was found on or near him during the search. However, police noticed two tattoos on his arms. One arm had “O” and the other “G”. On the streets this is read as Orginal Gangsta and police arrested Dorado because they believe he was paying homage to the Bloods gang.
Jason Gillett Remanded for San Pedro Shooting
A George Street associate has been identified as the man who fired four shots at Germaine Zuniga in the San Mateo’s area of San Pedro Town on Monday, August 18.
According to police reports, Zuniga was riding his bicycle in the San Mateo area around 7:55 p.m. when he saw Jason Gillett, also known as Killa, with whom he has had an old dispute. According to Zuniga, Gillett pulled out what appeared to be a chrome nine millimeter firearm and fired four shots in his direction. Fortunately for Zuniga, the shots missed. Zuniga made a report to police and Gillett was arrested and charged.
Big Monday Morning heist at Heritage Bank
Belize City Police from Precinct 3 continue to investigate an armed bank robbery in which approximately $40,000 was stolen.
It happened on Monday, August 25, at the Heritage International Bank and Trust at the corner of Craig Street and Barrack Road. The entrance into this bank can only be opened by security guards who have to buzz customers in. That’s why when two men pretended to be legitimate customers at around 9 a.m., they were allowed into the bank. They then reportedly asked for one of the cashiers, and when that person went to speak with them, one of the men immediately went around the counter to the cash register area.
That man then grabbed two of the cash pans, filled with cash, an as he made his way toward the front entrance, the cashier tried to stop him. The other man then reportedly pulled out a weapon, pointed it at them, and ordered them to stay back. He then struck one of the security guards with the gun 3 times before they both went out the way they had come in.
Street Justice Protocol? Charged for Lying about Shooting Incident
For many Belizeans, Street Justice is perhaps the only reliable system in the country today. Many great religious leaders and philosophers of old have famous quotes denouncing such belief. We are told to “turn the other cheek” and we are warned about the dark consequences of “an eye for an eye”. Those warnings only enter deaf ears in Belize today. In Belize today, no unkind stare is to go unnoticed; no harsh words are to go unanswered and no advancement should be met with retreat.
“If yo shoot atta me yo betta kech caz wen I coh fi yo I noh di miss.” – Anonymous Belize City Street Youth.
There is an order to the madness of Street Justice; a process to be followed if one is to ensure that Justice is served.
Teenager Charged with Cayo Murder and Belize City Attempted Murder
Joseph Vaccaro Jr, 19, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand after he was arraigned on charges of murder, attempted murder and dangerous harm in two different jurisdictions.
Vacarro was arrested over the weekend and on Monday, August 25, he was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrates Court where he was arraigned for the murder of Victor Vargas. On Saturday, August 16, 34-year-old Victor Vargas was stabbed twice in the neck. He was socializing and got into a fight, allegedly with Vaccaro, whom he had a previous misunderstanding with. Vaccaro allegedly stabbed him in the neck during the fight and Vargas ran down the road trying to get help. He eventually collapsed on the veranda of a neighbour’s house.
30 streets completed in Belmopan, more underway
Hon. John Saldivar, Area Representative for Belmopan, confirmed to the Guardian that in the past few months, Belmopan City has seen 30 streets paved either through the use of the asphalt method or concrete. The latest addition to the number of streets pave is Victoria Street in the Habet Heights of the city. Work is currently underway on Maya Mountain Street, Almond Boulevard and Chiquibul Street. Work will commence shortly on Cemetery Road in Salvapan which will also be cemented. Other streets being worked on in Las Flores include Zultana, Monja Blanca, Guacamole, Lirio, Jasmin, Tulipan, and Flor de Mayo Streets.
Under Hon. Saldivar’s watch, the street upgrades in Belmopan city have been implemented in an organized and meticulous fashion where the entire neighborhoods are uplifted, ensuring that when an area is done all streets are paved. Some of the neigborhoods that have been upgraded include the Judges Area, the Caribbean Villas area and more recently the Habet Heights area.
So far, with various sources of funding including the Ministry of Finance, RECONDEV, and the World Bank’s Municipal Development Project, 5 million dollars have been invested in the city.
Neighborhood Watch Group and Police in Cayo paint over graffiti
Members of both the San Ignacio Police Formation and the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association (CNWA) teamed up on Tuesday morning of this week to paint over unsightly markings at three locations in the Cayo District. The team travelled to the Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School, the Hawkesworth Bridge Section of Santa Elena and the Police Booth on Bullet Tree Falls road to erase graffiti and other symbols of criminal activities in those areas.
This week’s work is just one example of the Police and Community working together.
“...we work hand in hand with the Police and that graffiti will not be tolerated,” says Ernie Braun, President of the CNWA, the main catalyst for the community effort.
Even from Tuesday’s work, some paint and equipment have been left over and the CNWA representative says that the grouping remains open to continuing the work to get rid of reprehensible markings from off of Cayo’s publicly owned structures.
Corozal’s Municipal Slate ready
On Sunday, August 31, the town of Corozal will officially endorse the UDP’s slate for the 2015 municipal elections. Preparations are being completed at the Andres Campos Civic center where the official ceremonies will be held on Sunday, August 31, starting at 10a.m.
There will be raffles of household items, and bicycles among other items and more importantly the slate will be endorse. The team contesting the elections will include three time mayor, Hilberto Campos along with teachers: Esteban Cruz, Rafael Castillo, Stacy Chi and Elva Perez as well as retired Medical Officer, Nicholas Gomez and businessman Hilberto Campos.
In a release, the team asks Corozal residents to come out to support the candidates to ensure a victory for the UDP which will see continued progress for Corozal town under Mayor Hilberto Campos and the UDP Area Representative for Corozal Bay, Hon. Pablo Marin. (Turn to Insert 1)
Dangriga ready for Municipals
It was a festive atmosphere at a packed Ecumenical College multipurpose complex on Sunday, August 24 with prizes, music and speeches as the people of Dangriga officially endorsed the Mayoral and 6 councilor candidates who will represent the United Democratic Party in the upcoming Municipal Elections slated for March 4, 2015.
The activities started at 3 in the afternoon with the swearing in of the candidates by UDP Party Chairman, Alberto August. Then it was on to the candidates who all pledged to work hard to return the municipality of Dangriga back to its former glory. Under the PUP, the town has been steadily sinking into hopelessness with streets being broken up and garbage not being collected. Simply put there is no vision for the town at this point in time. That however is soon coming to an end as each of the young dynamic candidates gave their vision of how improvement will come to Dangriga in all areas. Those presentations were capped off by Francis Humphreys who boldly stated that Dangriga will soon once again be the Culture Capital of Belize. He expressed confidence in his young team members whom he says he is the oldest among but whom he added have great experience to lead the town.
Grain Growers Association seek to promote planting of GMOs
The Belize Grain Growers Association held their Annual General Meeting in Spanish Lookout village on Tuesday, August 26th. At the AGM there was the election of a new chairman who will be Albert Reimer; Vice Chairman, Frank Redmond; Secretary, John Carr; Treasurer, Henry Wolfe; Board member representing industry, Wilmot Simmons and Board member; Ronald Reimer. Members elected will serve for 2 years and their agenda during their tenure is to educate the public about GMOs. They will also seek to lobby government to allow Belizean farmers to plant both GMO corn and soybean.
According to one board member, “If Belize can import and eat GMO and GMO food derivatives on a daily basis, then local farmers should be allowed to plant them too!”
There are about 500 grain growers countrywide producing 55,000 acres of corn, 30,000 acres of red kidney beans, 20,000 acres of rice and 15,000 acres sorghum.
The Difference in Leadership is as clear as Day is to Night
It’s been over two months since the incident with PUP Belize Rural North Standard Bearer, Arthur Saldivar, occurred. It is alleged that he accompanied Melanie Coye to the Central Bank sometime in mid June to retrieve Coye’s 1.6 million dollars as ordered by the court.
The loot, it is alleged, was placed in two separate carrying cases, one containing $940,000 and the other $660,000. It is alleged that Saldivar might have made off with the bigger haul and has reportedly failed to turn it in to its rightful owner, an allegation Saldivar denies in one breath while in the other he speaks about the client owing him legal fees to the tune of 100% of the clients rescued funds.
Something is not right here. The client has since engaged the services of Eamon Courtenay. Saldivar lashes back at Courtenay, with the allegation of the 3.34 million dollars from the Belize Social Security Board that is alleged to have been misappropriated by Courtenay’s Father, Harry, when he served as Chair of the Belize Social Security Board in the 1990’s.
Plus TV sued again
Plus TV is once again looking at the prospect of being sued. The most recent threat comes from
Minister Liscell Alamilla who has, through her attorney, served notice on the television station that they may have libeled the minister on August 11 when there were different hosts on the show. Among those hosts was Geovanni Brackett and Patrick Andrews.
The minister contends that the hosts spewed libelous allegations against her and now the station has until September 5 to apologize.
Road Safety a priority
A public meeting to introduce road safety issues to Belmopan residents was held at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development on Wednesday night of last week. Present at that meeting were members of the Belmopan City Council, Social Investment Fund, Government Officials as well as the team from the Belize Road Safety Project.
An introduction to the Belize Road Safety team was made by the Mayor of Belmopan, Simeon Lopez. The first to speak was Ms. Mavis Johnson who related the clear benefits of wearing seat belts when in a moving vehicle.
Current research suggests that the use of seat belts in a vehicle protects approximately 90% of drivers and passengers. More than 60% of traffic injuries in Belize over the past year were due to the fact that seat belts were not being used. Even at 25 miles per hour, from the people who are ejected from a vehicle, 75% will die.
“If you think seatbelt is uncomfortable, try to think you being in a wheel chair,” warns Ms. Mavis Johnson.
SATIIM shows its PUP colors
It has supposedly been in the works for just over a year now, but Greg Ch’oc, the controversial Executive Director of SATIIM, will take a break from leadership, and in a very nepotistic manner his sister-in-law, FroylaTzalam, will take over the post.
Ch’oc, who’s been leading the organization for 17 years now, will be leaving to go study law at the University of the West Indies Cavehill Campus in Barbados. His reasons are that he intends to help SATIIM and the Indigenous communities by building capacity as a lawyer. What he has never made public is who is funding his legal pursuit. The Guardian understands that it is through a scholarship which is offered to indigenous people and which ought to have been made publicly available for members of that community and taken up by some young deserving individual. Instead Ch’oc took it and is now leaving.
Trailblazing - Ann-Marie Williams
This week Trailblazer Tuesday features a very familiar face; Ms. Ann-Marie Williams.
Ann-Marie Williams will forever be remembered as the intrepid journalist who first exposed Belize’s biggest Immigration/Passport Scandal in 2002 and won her and Channel 5 a Caribbean Broadcasting Union Award (CBU) for Best Investigative Journalism.
The first girl and the middle child of six children, it seems journalism was a natural progression for Ann-Marie. She started working as a young announcer at 17 years old at the lone Radio Station at the time, Radio Belize. She was a quick study and had a meteoric rise in broadcasting having received training to read the major newscasts less than six months on the job. She also produced several programs, among them Women’s World and Fun Time.
UNICEF and Mayor’s Association Discuss Child Friendly Municipalities
Mayors and administrators of municipal governments across the country assembled at the Biltmore Plaza on Tuesday, August 26, to discuss ways to make their communities more child friendly.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) is challenging Belize’s local government leaders to make a conscious effort to implement policies that improve the quality of life for children living in their municipalities. The challenge is part of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative which was launched in 1996. A Child Friendly City, according to UNICEF, “is a city, or more generally a system of local governance, committed to fulfilling children’s rights.” Through the Child Friendly City Initiative, UNICEF supports local governments in implementing goals, policies, programmes and structures that protect and promote children’s rights.
Warrior’s Views on PG’s state
In the legal circle both circumstantial and substantial evidence is admissible in the court of law, so I always try my best to produce evidence. History is there to validate my statement that Punta Gorda Town is a town that has been neglected for many years under the People's United Party. Mayor Fuentes went into office in 2012 and continues his party's legacy of neglecting this municipality. Well the evidence is there to show that the United Democratic Party is doing massive infrastructure work across the country. Punta Gorda Town has benefited from this massive infrastructure work. West street will be completed in a few more weeks and the concreting of other main vein streets in Punta Gorda Town is about to commence.
A few weeks ago, I saw a television interview with Mayor Anthony Fuentes where he cried foul play, mentioning that his party is not in power. Prior to the 2012 municipal election Fuentes told the residents of Punta Gorda Town, that if he wins the 2012 Town Council election (he never said if he and his party wins) that he would uplift the overall image of Punta Gorda Town in the areas of infrastructure, sanitation, and economic development.
Dangriga residents to demonstrate on Friday
A peaceful demonstration is being planned for Friday morning in Dangriga town. Organizers of the event, the National Garifuna Council Dangriga Branch and the Christian Workers Union, say it is to express dissatisfaction with allegations that the First Caribbean International Bank is prohibiting the speaking of the […]
Health service providers undergo training in Toledo
In-service training for health service providers in Punta Gorda town is being provided this week. A two day customer service training started today. According to the deputy Regional Health Manager Ruth McDonald, the training will go a long way in helping these front line professionals sharpen their skills […]
Belize City man charged for arson
Earlier this week a sudden fire erupted at the Holy Emmanuel Street property of Belizean-American Sonia Harris. From the very beginning she suspected that her nephew, 27 year old Darrell Alvarez, who held a grudge against her, conspired to set the premises on fire and he later admitted […]
American tourist found dead in guest house
This evening police are taking a statement from the landlady proprietor of 3-Star Guest House on Meighan Avenue after the lifeless body of a visiting American was found this morning inside a room at the hotel. 47 year old Robert Thomas was found around 10:16 a.m. His body […]
PG hospital sees increase in children with dehydration
Health authorities in Punta Gorda town are monitoring a situation of children suffering from cases of vomiting and dehydration. Authorities note that in the last couple of weeks, there has been an increase in the number of patients, especially children, who are being brought in to the PG […]
Policeman accidentally shoots himself in the leg
A police constable is recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg. He is identified by an official police report as 25 year old PC Victor Chulin. According to the official report, PC Chulin “was adjusting his trousers” when his 9 millimetre pistol “Accidentally went off […]
Land leases for Bullet Tree Falls residents
The government of Belize has distributed land leases to residents of Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo. According to a government press release, one hundred and five residents were presented with their lease documents during a ceremony that was held in Bullet Tree Falls village on Wednesday afternoon. The […]
The Fallacy of Neo-Liberal Economic Philosophy in Belize
By Richard S. Harrison, BSc Pharm, MBA
“Neoliberalism is a label for economic liberalism, which advocates — under reference to neoclassical economic theory — support for great economic liberalization, privatization, free trade, open markets, deregulation, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.
Neoliberalism was an economic philosophy that emerged among European liberal scholars in the 1930s attempting to trace a so-called ‘Third’ or ‘Middle Way’ between the conflicting philosophies of classical liberalism and collectivist central planning. The impetus for this development arose from a desire to avoid repeating the economic failures of the early 1930s which was mostly blamed on economic policy of classical liberalism. In the decades that followed, neoliberal theory tended to be at variance with the more laissez-faire doctrine of classical liberalism and promoted instead a market economy under the guidance and rules of a strong state, a model which came to be known as the social market economy.
Good Friend Taiwan Sparks Up Belize September Celebrations
As Belize’s September celebrations heat up, Taiwan is contributing a big spark with a generous donation of BZ$ 40,000 to sponsor this year’s fireworks.
On Friday, 22 August, the Taiwanese Ambassador Benjamin Ho presented Diane Haylock, President of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and Co-Chair of the National Celebrations Commission, with a healthy cheque to help fill the skies with the light, sound and colour of an enormous fireworks display.
“You know that it’s celebration time in Belize and, as has been the case for quite some time, the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize has contributed faithfully,” Ms Haylock said.
The Commission is officially responsible for sponsoring four events: the Official Opening of the Celebrations on St. George’s Caye, the Official Ceremonies for September 10 and 21, and the Flag Raising Ceremony on September 20, and Ms Haylock said that the donation will make a big contribution to what many are expecting to be the biggest September celebrations yet.
No Garifuna at First Caribbean Bank
The Belize Garifuna community in Dangriga and employees of the bank have made allegations of Racism and Discrimination against the Garifuna people that they cannot speak their native tongue at the bank. As if was not hard enough for the Garifuna people trying to keep their culture alive as it is, this banks adds to the already heavy load.
The Statistical Institute of Belize reported in its 2010 Census, that the Garifuna people is the second largest ethnic group in the Stann Creek District, who continue to contribute to the growth and development of Belize. Furthermore, the Garifuna language was being taught at the various Primary Schools here in Dangriga, with the goal that the children would embrace and feel proud of their heritage, but this is no more except at one Primary School. Moreover, in light of this recent discriminatory incident at the bank, and other workplaces, where employees are prevented from speaking Garifuna for fear of losing their jobs, the National Garifuna Council of Belize is saying that there is some credibility to the allegation, and is taking the matter very seriously.
My Freedom of Speech
By Audrey Matura-Shepherd
My Freedom of Speech is one of the Constitutional Rights I treasure and will guard with all my other freedoms…. one thing no one should ever ask me to give up is free speech. Let me tell you some of my many reasons why I treasure it so much and would never give it up:
I grew up in an era where I witnessed my father having to measure what he said so that the political party in power would not take away his cane-license or his land or his freedom.
I worked in the media in the days when what you say, report or repeat was censored and I fought it then and would fight it now!
I worked at an organization that believed they could pay me to never write again or speak publicly on any issue other than their own agenda… I turned them down.
I live in a country where our people are taken advantage of our less fortunate oppressed our professionals stay silent so as to keep a job…. and I see the injustice it creates…. but talking out and speak up for others would make a simple difference.
Re: Today's Belize News: August 29, 2014
08/29/14 06:15 AM
08/29/14 06:15 AM
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Explore Well-Kept Beaches In Belize Resorts
Belize resorts have golden and white sand beaches that are a boat or place ride away from Belize City. Many of these beaches remain a well-kept secret, discovered only by dive enthusiasts and anglers who venture off the beaten track. Here are our recommendations for the best Belize beaches, ranging from 15 miles of the Placencia Peninsula to the little-known, secluded plots floating atop turquoise waters.
The Placencia Peninsula is home to the longest stretch of beach in mainland Belize. Dubbed ‘barefoot perfect,’ it is the most popular sea and sand getaway in the country and stretches across 3 villages: Maya Beach, Placencia Village and Seine Bight. Take your pick – all of these beaches are public. Placencia Village’s tourist strip area has several bars and restaurants along its golden sandy coastline; whereas fine, while sand beaches are found along quiet Seine Bight and Maya Beach. Placencia is also an easy best Belize beach pick because of its top-notch wood, accommodations, nightlife and its decent mix of travelers and locals.
September is only 4 days away
and we're already seeing the patriotism. We love this beautiful collage from Miss Demoi's Williams! Who's ready for September?
5 Belize Stories You May Have Missed This Week
If you’ve ever dreamed about packing up and moving to a new country, Belize may very well have topped your list of potential destinations. The island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, for example, boasts some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, a warm climate throughout the year, a low cost of living and a thriving expatriate community.
Both the banking and government systems are stable and secure, and infrastructure is impressive, leaving many potential residents with one major concern: healthcare. Use this guide to get a better picture of the state of healthcare in Belize and Ambergris Caye.
Towards a climate resilient Belize
More than 170,000 Belizeans will benefit from improved climate resilient roads and capacity to manage climate risks and impacts as a result of a US$30 million project approved by the World Bank’s Board of Directors.
“This project will enable Belize to implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in the war against this global threat as it relates to the negative effects on Belize’s economic growth and welfare of its present and future generations,” said Ambassador Yvonne Hyde, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
Why homes in Costa Rica, Belize and Mexico are showing up in Chicago’s MLS
Recognizing that its member agents and brokers are not only selling to international buyers but representing listings in other countries, one of the nation’s biggest multiple listing services has streamlined the process for its members to enter, search for and market international properties.
Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, which serves nearly 40,000 members in the Greater Chicago area, worked with its MLS platform provider, dynaConnections Corp., to create custom international listing functions that are now live after being approved by MRED’s board of directors.
BELIZE: New medical tourism association
The tiny Central American state of Belize is the only one that has English as the official language, and a population smaller than many British towns, but it now has a medical tourism association.
The Belize Medical Tourism Association is open to healthcare and tourism professionals and institutions committed to providing specialized quality services to international medical travellers, while enjoying a unique tourism experience in Belize
Within the next five years the BMTA seeks to be the official, self-sustainable, and inclusive association driven by Belizean stakeholders, made up of internationally accredited entities.
Within ten years it seeks to position Belize as a leading regional destination for medical tourism.
The reality is that the country has a population of 340,000 and depends heavily on the million tourists it gets, 60% of which are American.
Caribbean fisheries officers off to Australia for training
Eighteen (18) senior fisheries officers and marine management experts from 10 member countries of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will take part in the 2014 CARICOM Fisheries Law and Management Training Workshop at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia. The training workshop is funded by the Government of Australia through the Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship Programme. This is the second training workshop for fisheries personnel from the CARICOM countries. Sixteen (16) officers from nine CARICOM countries were trained in 2012.
The programme aims to enhance the capacity of regional fisheries administration in CARICOM States through the provision of training in areas such as international fisheries and environmental law, marine resource conservation and management, and monitoring, control and surveillance.
Did you know Belize is the paradise of the new investor?
It’s true. Invest in Real Estate is a smart decision. But do it in Belize is smartest play. The land laws of Belize are derived mainly from the Common Law and English statutes of the 19th century, and what it means? Make this country an attractive choice for many retired and people looking to invest.
Here, some interesting things about this:
Belize Real Estate values have been steadily going up during the past ten years. This trend continues and any property purchased now at a fair price will most likely be an excellent investment for short and medium term planners.
Foreigner in Belize can buy property and get title to it in your own name. Full title is granted without any restrictions on nationality and place of residency.
Meet Me in Belize
We want to send you to Belize to meet the locals, who are waiting to show you the best the country has to offer, from its ancient ruins to its newest resorts. Ask our locals for the name of a must-see dive spot, the perfect bar for a sunset cocktail, or a store with the best handicrafts and not only will they tell you where to go, they’ll lead you there. After reading some of our locals’ tips, choose the region you’d most like to explore to enter the sweepstakes. If you are the lucky winner for a trip for two to Belize, pack your bags and we’ll meet you in Belize.
Video: UN Presentation: Belize, 5min.
The Las Vegas A Team presents Belize! The Country, the Food, the Customs.
Video: Touchdown at airport in San Pedro, Belize, 19sec.
Video: La Vie Marine de Belize, 1min.
Ca vous dit une petite balade au fond des mers ? Des raies, des tortues et des poissons de toutes les couleurs vous attendent.
Video: Another Side Of Belize—Look Beyond The Beaches To The Cayo District, 3min.
Jason Holland, International Living correspondent, offers a narrated video tour of Belize's pastoral Cayo District, and its main town, San Ignacio.
Video: San Pedro Summer Music Camp, 8min.
Summer Music Camp Inspires Young Island Artists - Music teacher Carlos Perrote just concluded his second annual Summer Music Camp after having held a very successful one for the first time last year.The musical camp offers mostly young students the opportunity to learn a variety of instruments and allows them to showcase their talent at a musical presentation at the end of the camp.
Video: Orquedia Negra Dance Company, 5min.
includes a afro dance and modern dance (Sail)
Video: Placencia Belize ocean view, 1min.
Video: BELIZE - Caye Caulker, 8min.
Scuba diving and snorkeling
Video: Belize 2014, 15min.
Diving in Belize.
Video: From Ridge to Reef: A Belizean Conservation Story, 6min.
Ridge to Reef is a nature conservation program that provides students with the skills and experience to do meaningful conservation work. This video chronicles the first expedition group's two-month-long journey in Toledo, Belize.
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