Today's Belize News: September 3, 2014
09/03/14 05:49 AM
09/03/14 05:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
San Pedro Athletes take top prizes at Lionman Triathlon
Local athletes dominated the 15th Annual Lionman Triathlon held on Sunday, August 31st with Kent “Bob” Gabourel taking first place in the male category and Brandon Santos taking first place in the junior category. But Kent and Brandon were not the only San Pedro athletes to place high in the competition as Jordan Santos took second and Kian Ancona took third, both in the junior category. The triathlon started at 6:30AM at the Sand Lighters Promenade on New Town Barracks, Belize City and saw the participation of several local and international athletes. The Lionman Triathlon dares athletes to complete a 1500 meter swim, a 40 kilometer bicycle ride and a 10 kilometer run. The triathlon is divided into four categories: male (over 18 years of age), female, junior (under 18 years of age), master (over 40 years of age) and relay team. The triathlon tests the athlete’s endurance in the three disciplines and builds endurance and stamina.
Another Older Person a victim of Senseless Crime
The National Council on Ageing once again is appalled at the increasing numbers of older persons being targeted and becoming victims of senseless crimes.
Following the vicious attack on the Westby family in Crooked Tree Village and Mr. and Mrs. Augustine in Hopkins Village, resulting in the death of Mrs. Augustine, we hear the case of Mrs. Agripina Coc in San Pedro Columbia. This case is particularly worrying since it appears that Mrs. Coc was aware that she was being stalked by an unknown person.
This was obviously not a frivolous concern of Mrs. Coc and because of her age maybe her concern was not taken as seriously as it should have been.
The NCA once again requests that greater attention be paid to older persons in their communities because they are more vulnerable than most and not able to defend themselves against attackers.
Fashion Show For A Worthy Cause
In efforts to support a friend, Alicia Cisneros Sanchez, who was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, Forever Fancy Boutique will he hosting a fashion show this Saturday to raise funds for her medical expenses. Come support a worthy cause; please be a part of this!! God bless you all, let's kick cancer's butt!!!
Interest Free Student Loans – Apply NOW
The Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund – Interest Free Student Loans
The Organization of American States offers supplementary is offering financial aid to students completing their last two years of undergraduate or graduate studies in US universities.
For more information contact:
Organization of American States
Executive Secretariat for Integral Development | Education | Rowe Fund
1889 F Street N.W. (769) Washington DC 20006
NEW (202) 370-9760 | [email protected]
www.oas.org | www.oas.org/en/rowefund | www.facebook.com/rowefund
25 Years Ago:
Things We Take for Granted – Meat
The other day as I was opening a can of corned beef for a quick lunch, I recollected the times when my brother and I used to fight for the rights to open the can of corned beef in the 1950’s. Why such a big deal you might ask! Well I am talking about a time in San Pedro’s history when there was no kind of meat on the island, at least not as frequent as today, nor the variety and it was not readily available like driving over to the meat shop and obtaining your supply of meat.
Indeed I am talking about a time when fish formed the main menu seven days a week and that is morning, noon and evening. To tell the truth the mothers who were the housewives had to be innovative and creative in order to have it appear that there was variety in the menu. There was fried fish, and there was fish fillet also fried. A favorite on a daily basis was fish in soup with red recado also called “Chechac”. Sometimes there was a clear fish soup with oregano, some lime and lots of olive oil. A delicacy was baked fish. Dry corned fish was smoked directly over Charcoal, and sometimes over the grill. Boiled fish was also served with boiled ripe plantains all fixed up with lots of fresh coconut oil sort of like a guacamole.
ConnectAmericas, New Internet-based Network To Help Belizean Companies Go Global
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is facilitating a mission from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the presentation of a new digital social networking platform to help companies, particularly small and medium-size businesses throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, expand to international markets.
ConnectAmericas, dedicated to promoting foreign trade and international investment, will afford Belizean businesses to opportunity to connect with clients, suppliers and investors throughout the region and all across the globe.
Membership in the social networking platform is free and allows individuals and companies to take online courses, learn about financing options, access databases with useful trade data, and build business relationships with trustworthy international contacts.
Misc Belizean Sources
Our Unsung Hero, Marcus Canul
Why September 1st is a very important date in the history of the North, particularly Orange Walk and Corozal. Very little is taught in schools, written and heard about Marcus Canul. As we celebrate our independence, let us recognize Marcus Canul and his legacy to be a pillar in our Belizean history and heroes. September 1st should be celebrated as a National Holiday in memory of the last day Marcus Canul fought the British in northern Belize. It is not clear whether the Baymen clan, British intruders or their British West Indies military force killed Marcus Canul but that was the last day he was defeated and killed while he and his group defended their lands in Orange Walk.
Belize had already been transformed in the Maya World we know today before the arrival of the pirates who after became the Baymen clan.
The Maya World consists of the States of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo in Mexico; Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in Central America. And it has about 500,000 square kilometers.
OAS Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund Interest Free Student Loans
The Rowe Fund is an educational loan program of the Organization of American States (OAS) that helps citizens from Latin America and Caribbean OAS Member States finance their studies or research in accredited universities across the United States by awarding interest-free loans of up to $15,000 dollars.
Caribbean Exporter’s Toolkit
Any business can export products or services but the process can be complex and challenging and success is far from guaranteed. Yet, when it is approached with careful deliberation, exporting can be a rewarding growth strategy for any business. Whether you are a sole trade offering consulting services or manage a 500-person manufacturing facility, exporting offers you opportunities for growth, increased sales and diversified markets. But a marketable product or service is only the beginning. Exporting takes time and effort. It also takes resources and a strong commitment to compete beyond your current borders. If you are focused and committed you must first assess your readiness to enter the global marketplace. Follow our 10 Steps guide to help to achieve success in exporting.
Design Caribbean is the region’s leading contemporary design event displaying the Caribbean’s finest handmade designs and innovative products.
Design Caribbean is the re-branded Caribbean Gift and Craft Show (CGCS), which was staged for the first time in 2011. Design Caribbean has received plaudits from exhibitors, visitors, buyers and the press for successfully re-establishing the event, as the largest contemporary design trade event in the Caribbean.
Inspired by the passion and talent of both distinguished and aspiring artists, Design Caribbean showcases the very best of the region’s finest handmade products and innovative designs – in contemporary craft, music, fashion and film.
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez.
September this year Belize will be thirty-three
Dah now we weh know if it’s truly free
This pending sugar slump threatening wi economy
Will reinforce that we got independence symbolically
Unless wi start thinking and strategizing early
Partnering with countries round we
Everybody mi di jump pan Sedi
But they have information that we are not privy
They saw it coming already
That’s why he ran to Guatemala and agree
From in the 70s Price mi know
That the sugar quota mi wah get slow
Now we will neva know
Why he did not warn the country before
It’s one big puppet show
With just ova two years to go
Cane farmers may have to consider now fi sure
That the country has the capacity to grow cocoa
Baffu Magazine - Issue 2
Baffu Magazine's second issue is out. Unique, interesting, and wild. The first article is about Noh Mul. It's online, and it's free.
Benque HoC 13th Anniversary Celebration
The Benque House of Culture is celebrating 13 years this Saturday, and they are teaming up with the Embassy of Mexico to have a concert for the occasion. The Benque Marimba Academy, Benque Viejo Marching Band, and the Ayre brass quintet will all be performing. The event starts at 7:30pm. Happy anniversary, Benque HoC!
"Make it a date and let's celebrate the Benque House of Culture 13 years Anniversary Celebration with a musical concert featuring ' Ayre' from Merida Yucatan, our very Champions, the Benque Viejo Marching Band & Benque Marimba Academy...."
Belize Jaguars at Copa Centroamericana
The Belize Jaguars are in the United States, where they are competing in the Copa Centroamericana, and warming up for the Gold Cup. They play in Washington D.C., Dallas, Houston, and L.A. over the next 2 weeks. Go Jaguars!
"Our Belize Jaguars will be going up against Central American power houses with the intent to qualify for Gold Cup 2015. Our boys are hyped and confident especially since we're being led by much respected head coach Costa Rican Le Roy Sherrier Lewis. The Jaguars need your support as they do battle in huge U.S. Stadiums against Honduras, Guatemala and Salvador."
Power interruption 6:00am to 8:00am, Thursday, September 4, San Pedro
: North San Pedro from Blue Reef Resort to Tranquility Bay Resort. BEL to energize new high voltage lines and replace utility pole in North San Pedro.
FISHING REPORT: Week of August 23 – 30th, 2014
We have had nothing short of a stellar month of tarpon fishing here at El Pescador. We are thrilled for our anglers who have landed fish of their dreams. And for the newly initiated, now you know! It’s a hunting game – a state of mind – a time to put it all together. It’s a time to establish a team with your guide – so you are talking the same language, reaching your goals together. I have seen the guides grow throughout the years and they have learned skills to help with all the steps that go from “seeing the fish,” to “landing the fish.” There are a lot of steps – and they all count. Remember to practice your cast, even if it is 5 minutes. When you are staring at a giant tarpon approaching you, when you are waiting for the timing of your shot, when that thin black line from a distance turns into a creature that has been around for 100 million years, you want to be ready. From your family at El Pescador we thank you for sharing your time and dreams with us!
BCVI Clinic today
Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) will be holding their monthly free clinic at the San Pedro Lions Den tomorrow (Wed) from 8:30 - 2PM.
20th Commonwealth Games  (10 photos)
Check out our Belizean Athletes at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Scotland 2014
MCCAULAY JOINS NATIONAL TEAM FOR CENTRAL AMERICAN CUP
Atlanta Silverbacks midfielder Junior Burgos - from El Salvador - and forward Deon McCaulay - from Belize - will each be with their respective National Teams for the next two weeks participating in the Central American Cup 2014. Both players had previously been listed on their countries' preliminary rosters and were named to the final 23-man squads Sunday evening.
The two-group, seven-team tournament begins this Wednesday, September 3 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. with a triple-header featuring 2014 FIFA World Cup quarterfinalist Costa Rica taking on Nicaragua at 5:30 ET, followed by Honduras facing Belize at 7:30 ET, and wrapping up with El Salvador against Guatemala at 9:30 ET.
Progress on the paving of the road on North, Ambergris Caye. (9 photos)
EXPO Belize Market Place
Reminder that EXPO Belize Market Place takes place this weekend at the ITVET Grounds in Belize City.
Taiwanese Ambassador visits Corozal House of Culture
The House of Culture was delighted to have an impromptu visit by the Taiwanese Ambassador this evening! Mr. Benjamin Ho and wife Jennifer, along with Douglas Chang of the Taiwanese Embassy. It was a pleasure meeting the newly appointed Ambassador and an honour to introduce them to our historical landmark; the Corozal House of Culture.
We're getting closer and closer to finishing the Central Enclosure for the Spider Monkey Complex. We have contracted Neto and his crew, from Sarteneja who, over the last few months, have shown great skill in finding solutions to every problem thrown their way. The framework is now completed (as of this morning!) - standing 36 feet high at the highest point.
How to ensure chainlink fencing panels are 100% monkey proof and fully tensioned? No problem! The have spent painstaking hours knitting the rolls together to form six single panels, each 25 feet long and 25 feet wide, and one for each side, and then tensioned them using the weight of a log....impressive!
Tomorrow we raise the roof...
Power interruption, 8:00am to 2:00pm, Saturday, September 6: entire Orange Walk District
BEL to repair equipment at the Orange Walk Substation and replace poles and crossarm on the transmission system.
Guava Limb's 1st Anniversary
The Guava Limb Café had their 1st anniversary party on Saturday, and it was a beautiful event. The San Pedro Scoop(no relation) came over to see how amazing the best restaurant in Belize celebrated.
"The dinner menu was a buffet – and a Mayan feast. Perhaps the guests wouldn’t be here yet but the food was ready right on time. And look at this menu? Impressive... This was no cheese dip and beer fiesta. Beautiful food, beautifully presented and the drink of the night? White sangria with fresh cantelope."
Maimed By SUV, Francis Gill Back Home
Imagine leaving home after midnight to go buy a fried chicken, and then waking up the next day in the hospital with your right foot amputated from the knee down. It's almost unimaginable, but that's just what happened to Francis Gill early on Saturday morning at Key Lee restaurant in Belize City.
As we told you last night, eyewitnesses report that 42 year old Gill had some hard with 33 year old Devon Jones outside Key Lee - which is the former Li Chee at 12:45 am. Jones was with his girlfriend and after she had gotten her shrimp order, they left. But what no one expected was that Jones would then drive his Chevy Blazer over the sidewalk, and ram into Gill, but once but twice. He shattered Gill's right leg - and to the horror of onlookers, his leg actually came apart right there in front of the restaurant.
It's an unimaginable scene, and Gill remembers very little, if anything of the event. Today he came out of the hospital - and he agreed to speak to Monica Bodden off camera. He told her how he's dealing with life as an amputee:...
Family of 61 Year Old Toledo Woman Speaks
And while the Gill maiming is the most viscerally arresting story coming out of the weekend - the other, involving the rape and murder of a 61 year old woman in rural Toledo is the most disturbing. As we reported, on Saturday night, Coc reportedly left her home in san Pedro, Colombia, went to the shop to buy, and never returned. Her family went out looking for her, and at around 7:30, they found her nude body beside the main road at the southern entrance of the village. She had a large chop wound to the center of her head. A search around the area also led the officers to find pieces of clothing and blood stains, which they believe must belong to her.
She had been raped and murdered - and unthinkable and excessively cruel end, especially in a small, peaceful village. Her post mortem was held today, and her son told the media what the family knows so far about the murder:..
Ronaldo Coc, son of deceased
"At Saturday at 2 o' clock my mom says that she will be going to my uncle's place to deliver some container and then she was bought 10 pounds of rice coming back home. Coming back home she met a lady and they had a conversation there for a little while and then she left. After leaving there it's about 200 yards down a little hill and there she was murdered. So from 2 o' clock to 4:30 - that's when my dad got worried about where she was because she has never gone that long. When I came back and visit them it was almost 5pm and my dad had already left to look for her and so I went and look for her too. And as 5:30 reach we realize that something was wrong because she did go far. The family got together quick as possible because she has never stayed out that long, so we started to look round and around until 7:30 when they found the body that I never expected what had happen to my mother."
PUP Says Disband The GSU
We've featured complaints against the Gang Suppression Unit in our newscast regularly. Recently, showed you what residents from Lakeview Street and Kraal Road had to say about alleged excesses inflicted by officers from that embattled unit.
It must be noted that while there have been many complaints against the unit, in December of last year, the Government of Belize had to pay $175,000 compensation to residents of the George Street for excessive behaviour for a raid in August 2011. Then the National Security Ministry apologized to residents of Taylor's Alley in April 2012 for the unit's behaviour when they conducted a raid through that neighbourhood in 2011. Then there is businessman Miguel Menjivar in Belmopan who launched his own lawsuit against the Unit for the raid conducted on his house.
So, the Unit's behaviour has been called into the question many times in the past, and at the Cordel Hyde Convention on Saturday, the Former 2 Term Prime Minister and current Area representative for Fort George Said Musa called for the hard charging, elite unit to be abolished. Here's his controversial comments:
When Is a Lecture a "Leckcha"? Ask Silvaana
The University of Belize's Faculty of Education and Arts launched Di SilvaanaUdzLechka Series today at the Jaguar auditorium in Belmopan. This is part of a year round series of events hosted at UB entitled the Jaguar Salon Series. The objective of this Lecture series is to introduce students to writers and poets from Belize and abroad and to develop an appreciation for reading as well as the writing process. Courtney Weatherburne has more on the story.
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
Apart from the classroom sessions at the University of Belize, many academic activities are held to engage students and foster critical discussions. One of those activities is the Di Silvaana Udz Lechka series named in honor of Dr. Silvaana Udz for her contribution to Literature and Arts in Belize. Ivory Kelly, one the organizers of the lecture series strongly supports the importance of informal education and training in the development of the student.
Ivory Kelly, Organizer
"It is not sufficient for our university students to pursue training or preparation for the job market. That is an important aspect of education of course but we also want to develop other aspects of their gifts. Students who are creative in the arts are able to apply those creativity in the workplace and just to feed their souls and so we really wanted this series to galvanized that aspects of our students development."
Hezbolla Hysteria Has B'zean Arabs Losing Visas
The name Hezbollah has been in the local news more than once - always in reference to Arabs, mostly Lebanese who are accused of some illicit involvement. The most notable was the famous Rafic Labboun who used bogus documents and corrupt officials to get a Belizean passport in the name of a deceased Mennonite, Wilhelm Dick. US intelligence chatter said he could be associated with Hezbollah - and that may have started the whole ball rolling.
The Hezbollah connection came up again this weekend when Por Esto newspaper in Quintana Roo reported that another Lebanese Belizean had been intercepted in Tulum, Mexico on Thursday, August 28th and that he was part of a Hezbollah cell in Belize.
Now, that's really bad news because Hezbollah is one of the most feared militant groups in the Arab world and the US and Europe consider it a terrorist organization.
The National Bank, One Year Later
Today the National Bank celebrated its 1st Anniversary. Although it is a new bank, Deputy General Manager Janet Arnold says they are doing well so far but, conceded that, inevitably there will be difficulties in the initial phases of operation. She shared some of those challenges.
Janet Arnold, Deputy General Manager
"We are celebrating a major milestone. I think we have accomplish just about exactly what the Prime Minister was saying; provide affordable banking services to all Belizeans. As our motto says "Of the people, for the people" really those are the people we have catered to. A nutshell 20 million was put aside for the bank. we have approved up to 23 million at this time. We have disbursed 13 plus million, so I think we are not only on target, we are well beyond the plan. We have to admit we have experience some delays, but understandably it's been so many applications which it is good in a way because it tells us that we are providing a service that is clearly very needed. We have added staff basically to address this need, so we do expect the timeframe, the turn around to be much better after this."
Resolution In Baby Deaths At KHMH
Who can forget last year when 13 babies died inside the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit?
Well, 5 out of the 13 families took the hospital to court and sued them. That case ended today without going to the Supreme Court, instead, it went through the new mediation process. After more than a year and a half refusing to accept blame for the babies, the Hospital will now be doing so in the form of an apology, and an award of damages.
7News was outside of court when that resolution was reached, and we spoke to both parties about its significance:
Dr. Gary Longsworth - CEO, KHMH
"We arrived at a settlement but we cannot disclose anything about it, it's all confidential."
"Are both parties satisfied sir?"
Dr. Gary Longsworth - CEO, KHMH
"I imagine so."
"Do you feel that the compensation was satisfactory?"
Tenth: Examining The Historicity and The Mythology
For decades now, historians and intellectuals have been wrestling with the Tenth of September and the Battle of St. George's Caye - critics question its validity both as a patriotic cornerstone and a historical assertion.
Tomorrow morning at the Bliss Center, both the historicity and the mythology of the Tenth will be examined at a forum called "St. George's Caye, the truth revealed; exploring the facts and implications." Director of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research, Nigel Encalada told us they will go to the historical record:…
The event is the first being held by the newly formed history association.
Belmopan Vendors Complain
There is a rift between the Belmopan city council and the capital's market vendors. Last month, a very distraught market vendor came to our studios to tell her side of the story.
The issue is that the market-day area, which is located directly in front of the Civic Center in Belmopan, is being renovated and the market vendors had to relocate, first, to the Agriculture and Trade Show grounds and, then, to their present location along the ring road near the Roman Catholic Church. According to the vendors this move has crippled them. Apart from losing business, the fees for their spots at the new market are simply unaffordable. Courtney Weatherburne has the story:
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
It seems like a casual Tuesday market day here in Belmopan, but the thing is a ripple of discontent moves among the vendors. We are here to find out why:...
Janice Baine, Herbalist
"The reforms that they have made in the first place they have taken our $40 a month and told us all those contracts no matter how many years you are in the market you are void. So now you will go and you will pay $10 a market, so if you look at it we were paying $4 a market day, now we are paying $10 a market day. We have terrible conditions here, for example, we have to a dollar to go and use the market there which is a little bit bizarre because if you look at somebody they might visit the bathroom 4-5 times a day - that's a little steep for public bathroom and also which is a problem we don't have places to wash our hands. First thing that we would like to see them do is to put an exemption and an amnesty on every outstanding debt that we have acquired for being here because you forced us into this debt by raising the price so high, you tax us and remember the ability to tax is the ability to destroy."
Stephan Gets "Cinco"
Tonight, 22 year old Stephan Anderson, a laborer of 7 Ebony Street, who was charged with firearm offences, is spending his first night of a 5 year sentence after he was convicted in Magistrate's Court.
The incident occurred around 7 on June 16, 2013. According to the evidence, Anderson was riding his bicycle on Vernon Street and when he turned into Lakeview Street and saw the police mobile coming from the opposite direction he turned around and headed on to Sibun Street. Sergeant Keith Clark, the arresting officer, testified that he saw when Anderson take a black object from the waist of his pants and throw it into an empty lot on Ebony Street. When the police retrieved the object it was a 9 millimeter pistol with 8 rounds of ammunition.
US Embassy Gives To Capital Cops
The US Embassy donated a kit of computer supplies to the Belmopan Police today. These items include 3 computers, peripherals along with 10 radios and polo shirts for the citizens on patrol. OC in Belmopan Howell Gillet also commented on another initiative: The Belmopan Police are partnering with the Kolbe Foundation in a clean-up campaign scheduled for next week. 20 inmates will clear the area near Riviera which is known as a crime prone area.
Supreme Court Orders Mediation in Deaths of Five Neonates at KHMH
In early May 2013 there were thirteen reported infant deaths at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. A subsequent investigation revealed the presence of a deadly bacteria, enterobacter cloacae, in the [...]
Musa’s Fiery Remarks at Cordel’s Convention Angers GSU Boss
There has been no love between the People’s United Party and the Gang Suppression Unit and tonight those bad relations have reached rock bottom. Complaints of police brutality at the [...]
Inspector Mark Flowers Launches Personal Attack on Said Musa
Those comments made by former Prime Minister Said Musa on the political podium at Saturday’s Lake Independence convention have angered GSU Commander Mark Flowers. Now normally politicians and police keep [...]
Former P.M. Says Flowers’ Comments Are Unbecoming of a Public Officer
Well this afternoon, the former prime minister did come back to the media. Speaking at today’s press conference, Said Musa described Inspector Flowers’ response as an emotional attack on him. [...]
P.U.P. Demands the Removal of GSU Boss
The reaction from the P.U.P. was swift. The Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca reiterated the call for the disbandment of the Gang Suppression Unit, as well as the removal [...]
Do you believe that the GSU should be disbanded?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe that the GSU should be disbanded? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our [...]
Residents of San Pedro, Columbia Still on the Hunt for Suspected Killer
There have been new developments in the murder of sixty-one year old Agripina Coc. The mother of nine children was brutally chopped to death near her home in the village [...]
Arthur Saldivar’s Fate as a P.U.P. to be Decided by National Executive
P.U.P. Belize Rural North standard bearer Arthur Saldivar remains suspended tonight amid an ongoing investigation into a number of serious allegations that are directly affecting his candidacy in the next [...]
Chief Magistrate Suspends Phillip Gallaty from Driving Following Traffic Accident
In March of this year, fifty eight year-old businessman Phillip Gallaty was accused of reversing his double cab white Toyota Hilux Pickup truck into the front bumper of the vehicle [...]
MADISCO Employee Charged for Drug Trafficking
A Madisco employee was this morning convicted in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith for drug trafficking. He is Kent Mendez, who was jointly charged with two of [...]
Is CitCo Keeping Up with its BML Arrears?
In early August sanitation matters between Belize Maintenance Limited and the Belize City Council came to a head. City Hall was in arrears to the company eighteen weeks, and because [...]
National Council on Ageing Issues Statement on Violence Against the Elderly
In the recent months, several elderly persons have been victims of violent crimes. Back on July thirtieth, Betty Westby as well as her mother were victims of a frightening home [...]
National Bank Celebrates One Year Anniversary
The National Bank of Belize, the country’s sole government-owned lending institution, is celebrating a milestone achievement this week. Since opening its doors to the public on September second, 2013, the [...]
Belmopan Police Formation Introduces Inspector Stephanie Grinage
Inspector of Police Stephanie Grinage is one of several officers to have been promoted within the Belize Police Department recently. With extensive experience, working various posts over the past seventeen [...]
Land Woes in Gungulung
A trio of residents from the Holy Emmanuel Area is tonight up in arms because despite years of asking for a street to access their houses, they have had no [...]
Sir Barry’s Belikin Bash is Here Again
The Sir Barry Bowen Belikin Bash, formerly known as Belikin Fest, is a popular event in string of activities for the September Celebrations. The three-day event, which is traditionally held [...]
SDA Management Has Until Friday To Investigate Accusations Made Against Principal And Teacher
Yesterday we told you about the dissatisfaction from parents of Progresso who are requesting from management to remove and replace principal Wilbert Tamai and teacher Alvaro Tzul of the Progresso Seventh Day Adventist School. It’s a situation that has been brewing for some time, and one week before school started, the complaints mounted escalating to allegations of drinking on campus to complaints of incompetency.
We reported yesterday that parents opted to not send their children to school and if they did, they were accompanied by their parent. And while those concerns were posed to General Manager of the SDA Schools, Pastor Leslie Gillett, their request for change has not been met. Pastor Leslie has gone on record to say that there is a process to be followed as it pertains to situations as this and classes must go on. Well, it didn’t sit well with the parents and today a handful of them arrived at the Education Center to see if the Ministry of Education can intervene. District Education Officer, Carla Alvarez gave us an update on the situation at hand.
Heat flares up between PUP and GSU
HEAD OF GSU, MARK FLOWERS
“I am certain that by now this man must have by now awakened and realized the magnitude of irresponsibility that he displayed. I am certain that by now he would have regretted saying and passing those remarks.”
These are the words of Inspector Mark Flowers, the head of the Gang Suppression Unit, who was referring to comments made this past Saturday at Cordel Hyde’s endorsement convention by the country’s past Prime Minister, Said Musa, regarding the GSU and the party’s opposing views of the unit. As you heard Flowers was certain that Musa would have regretted his words but regret is certainly not the case….as a matter of fact, the People’s United Party summoned the media houses at their headquarters on Queen Street in Belize City to reiterate their views. While Area Representatives and standard bearers from all districts were present, the Party’s leader, Francis Fonseca and Musa were the ones who took the head table. The conference followed a press release that was issued just after one o’clock this afternoon calling for the removal of Inspector Mark Flowers as the leader of the Gang Suppression Unit, not only because of the disrespect that the party claims were rendered against Musa but also because Flowers is viewed as being unfit for the position he currently holds.
Romeldo Coc says several complaints were made in the past about the suspect
A post mortem on the body of 61 year-old Agripina Coc was conducted this afternoon at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital Morgue. Her alleged killer is still on the loose and villagers of Columbia Village are hunting him down. According to Coc’s son, Romeldo, several complaints were made in the past against the man who he thinks murdered his mother. Coc says his brother, Florencio, briefly spoke to the alleged killer and he bragged that he had committed the crime but he would never be caught.
“Due to the recapture, capturing him its very hard when the village started to raid a place he got away but finally when they looked at it they changed clothes. Then an hour after that they found where he was again, they raid the area again and they found another set of clothes. So they found out that somebody is supporting him. That is when they found out some phone business going on too and that’s when the village found out really they really capture the families yesterday.”
Good Bye Dr. Gary Longsworth
Dr. Gary Longsworth, is on his last days as his contract comes to an end at the end of the month. Longsworth had requested his contract to be renewed but that request was denied by the KHMH Board of Governors. Today, Longsworth, said that he believes he did a more than satisfactory job as the CEO of the KHMH.
DR. GARY LONGSWORTH
“I leave at the end of September.”
“No my replacement has not been chosen yet.”
Battle of St. George’s Caye, disproving all myths, exposing the facts
A lecture will be held tomorrow in which, historic information and facts will be shared about the Battle of St. George’s Caye. According to the Research Assistant, at the Institute of social and Cultural Research, Selene Solis the presenters will look at disproving all the myths and exposing the facts.
INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RESEARCH, SELENE SOLIS
“In this lecture tomorrow morning there will be exploration of the major facts and archival documents, specific documents that they will be making reference to in order to dispel some of the erroneous ideas of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and its significance in our nation’s development. So it will be an open forum essentially, there will be two presentations but there will be a question and answer segment for the public so we do invite all public, all Belizeans in general to come in if they are able to the Bliss Center for the Preforming arts. Teachers and Students particularly will be co-presented by Mr. Francis Humphries, he is a historian, retired teacher with over 30 years of experience with teaching and in research and there will also be Mr. Fred Hunter Sr. who is a history enthusiast himself, historian and is a past politician so he has years and years of experience and research under his belt. We are looking at really just opening up a channel for Belizeans that they start thinking and reflecting about these significant days and start going to important historical primary facts and reflecting on our nation as it is and as it was and envisioning and idea for the future so we are really looking at full attendance, public support, teacher and school support.”
Settlement agreed upon in the case of thirteen dead babies
the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital was rocked by scandal when thirteen babies died in its neonatal intensive care unit. The unit was temporarily closed down and a team brought in. Investigations revealed that the deaths were caused by the outbreak of the bacteria Enterobacter cloacae. Five of the affected parents took legal action against the KHMH. It has been over a year and today both parties went into a mediation session. Reporter Hipolito Novelo was outside the courtroom and has the story.
“After a three hour mediation session a settlement was agreed upon.”
CEO OF KHMH Gary Longsworth
”We arrived to a settlement but we cannot disclose anything about it. It is all confidential.”
“Are both parties satisfied?”
GARY LONGSWORTH I imagine so.
Shopping Plaza Welcome at Vernon Street
The residents of Vernon Street in Belize City will be getting a boost in visitors and much productivity via the opening of a shopping plaza. Renee Trujillo tells us more in this report.
“The area of Mayflower Street in Belize City has always been a neighborhood associated with gang and criminal activities. As a matter of fact the area had become even more renowned when in 2008 when the first ever grenade was reported on the streets of the old capital. Years later two retired Belizeans who had lived in the United States for over two decades are back home and for the last three years had begun works on the neighborhood via a three story shopping center. As far back as the mid 70′s Lillette Soberanis has had title for the property at number 47 A Vernon Street where the green concrete structure now sits ready to be utilized for businesses of all sectors. Love News visited the location today to get an inside look and to find out more.
“We have 12 units that we will be renting for different prices because they have different sizes and then the upper level will be a residential but it hasn’t been finished yet so what we are looking for is to get these rented at all businesses. We are hoping maybe for a pharmacy, maybe a restaurant, someone asked about a boutique and we hope that the first one will be a boutique so are looking forward to changes in this area, people who will be coming in and bringing people into the neighborhood making it positive.”
Relatives of Suspect in Murder of Elderly Woman Detained.
The search continues for the main suspect in the murder of 61-year-old Agripina Coc of San Pedro Columbia in the Toledo District. Since the body of the elderly woman was found, villagers have been up in arms, demanding justice. On Monday evening they detained a number of the relatives of the suspect. Correspondent Paul Mahung has been following the story.
Paul: The family members were first taken to the police station in the village by village leaders and members of the community as explained by one of the village volunteers and justice of the peace Miguel Choco.
“At about 4PM this evening a large number of the community in San Pedro gathered together to hold a public meeting. The Alcalde, the chairman and the concerned citizens came up with a plan that the family should be detained for police questioning. It is not in the police custody but the community and they asked why they had to do that, it’s simply because that are the one connected to this boy. They fed him in the morning, fed him in the afternoon and fed him in the evening. So they did it for a purpose so as to keep the family and the son here for two nights and then the people will go and do a search. We made that decision today. We are prepared to go and surround the house tonight incased he comes.”
Usher Family Believes There’s A Cover-Up in Relative’s Murder
A 38-year-old mason of Belize City is dead and his mother has resigned herself to a case that police will never solve. It was in the wee hours of Sunday morning on Faber’s Road Extension in Belize City when Michael Usher was hit by a spray of bullets just a few blocks from home. Just before five o’clock in the morning, police reported that Usher was riding a bicycle towards Central American Boulevard from the direction of the George Price Highway when he was approached by a man, who fired the fatal shots at him. Usher was hit twice in the head and four times in the upper back region. Inspector Hilberto Romero, Head of the Criminal Investigations Branch spoke to the media on this matter.
INSPECTOR HILBERTO ROMERO
“Police responded to a shooting incident on Faber’s road where they saw the lifeless body of a male person who was identified as Michael Usher with several gunshot wounds to his head and body. He was taken to the KHMH and was pronounced dead on arrival. The police commenced an investigation, statements have been recorded; however, so far no one has been charged for this crime. We have not established a motive at this time. Michael Usher was known to the police; he had been charged before for several crimes ranging from theft, robberies and burglaries.”
Altercation Leads to Man’s Leg Being Amputated
A resident of Kelly Street left home late Friday night to get food from the popular Lee Key Restaurant of Freetown Road, in the company of two friends….but little did he know that he would have been caught in an incident that has now left him with a severed right leg. 43-year-old, Francis Gill is presently admitted in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with his family soliciting for blood donation. Today, the police officers of the Community Public Relations Unit held a briefing today and this is what they had to say regarding the incident.
INSPECTOR HILBERTO ROMERO
“He reported that he had an altercation with Devon Jones. As a result Devon Jones then reversed his vehicle into him causing injury to his foot. He was taken to the hospital where his foot had to be amputated. Devon Jones has now been charged for maim and aggravated assault and will be taken to court today. The incident happened about 1:35am by the restaurant on Freetown Road that area of Lee Chee. It was a fight that started in front of Lee Chee and that led to him receiving those injuries as a result of the vehicle being reversed on him. Police apprehended Jones shortly after.”
Head of GSU Says Musa’s Comments Were Irresponsible
The statements made by the two-term Prime Minister and Senior Parliamentarian were such that left many puzzled, particularly since the comments could be interpreted as championing the criminal elements and encouraging disrespect to the law enforcement officers, particularly the GSU. Today, the Head of the GSU, Inspector Mark Flowers told Love News that he is disappointed at Musa’s comments and views them as being nothing short of irresponsible.
INSPECTOR MARK FLOWERS
“I have heard the comments on the midday news today and I was appalled. I was shocked and disappointed. I find it very frightening the comments made by the senior parliamentarian. The kind of comments are treacherous to say the very least and certainly unnecessary. What it does is two things, it gives people this sense that there is going to be impunity from crime if ever his wishes were achieved and two, it creates and it’s going to create an environment of hostility whereby his comments; this parliamentarian is endangering people lives.
Re: Today's Belize News: September 3, 2014
09/03/14 05:50 AM
09/03/14 05:50 AM
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Businessman found guilty of reckless driving
On Tuesday, 56 year old manager of Victor L. Bryant and Company Limited, Philip Gallaty, was found guilty of driving without due care and attention. His penalty is a $100 fine to be paid by Wednesday, and he has been disqualified from driving in Belize for six months.
On Saturday, March 22, while at Friendship Restaurant at Mile 2 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway, Mr Gallaty allegedly accidentally reversed his white Toyota Hylux pick-up truck into a parked vehicle belonging to Magistrate Stephanie Gillett. Ms Gillett’s vehicle suffered minor damages.
Philip Gallaty, in testimony, admitted to being in the parking lot but says he does not remember hitting any other vehicle.
Man found guilty of keeping unlicensed firearm
22 year old Stephan Anderson began a five-year prison term for keeping firearm and ammunition without a gun license.
Police on mobile patrol around 7:00 a.m. on June 16, 2013 spotted Stephan Anderson riding a bicycle on Vernon Street, Belize City. As he turned into Lakeview Street, he saw the mobile coming at him from the opposite direction and, according to arresting officer Sergeant Keith Clarke, he turned around and rode into Sibun Street. Toward that street’s intersection with Ebony Street the mobile pulled up behind him and Sergeant Clarke alleged he saw Anderson pull a black object from his pants waist and toss it into an empty lot. Police immediately detained Anderson and took him back to the area where they retrieved a black 9mm pistol with eight live rounds in the magazine.
Protests in Columbia, Toledo, over murdered mother
On Saturday, 30th August, the peaceful village of San Pedro Columbia, in the Toledo District, received the shocking news that a murder had been committed in their community.
According to Police reports, 61-year-old Agrapina Coc, a Belizean housewife of Columbia, Toledo, left home at about 12:30p.m. to purchase goods at a local store, but she did not return home.
A search was conducted in the area by the family members and at about 7:36p.m Saturday night , the nude body of Agrapina Coc was discovered about 10 feet beside the main road at the Southern entrance to the Village.
Police say that she received a large cut wound to the centre of her head. The immediate area was searched and police were able to find several pieces of clothing with blood stains on them.
PlusNews Toledo Correspondent, Jose Caal, spoke with one member of the family.
Two dead, two injured in fatal traffic accident
Two persons are dead and two others injured following a fatal traffic accident that occurred between miles 46 and 47 on the George Price Highway, near the Hector Silva Airstrip in Belmopan. According to police investigations, sometime around 8:00 pm on Friday August 29th, a grey Chevy Tracker, driven at the time by 20 year old Lenin Mayavan, an Indian Medical student of Ladyville, Belize District, was travelling in the direction of Belmopan, when it collided with a red Mitsubishi Pickup, driven at the time by 67 year old Luis Romero Urvina, a Belizean Businessman, of Orange Walk Town, as it was coming from the opposite direction. Superintendent Howell Gillette – Officer Commanding Belmopan Police
“The Tracker, according to our investigations, swerved into the left lane of incoming traffic, and the pickup hit the Trucker to the side, which caused it to flip over.
Three persons were in the Tracker, two of whom died, and one person was in the Mitsubishi pickup. That person sustained injuries, for which he’s seeking medical attention, at private medical facility, at this time.”
Woman, 61, murdered; Toledo villagers outraged!
Residents from the tranquil village of San Pedro Columbia in Toledo are extremely angry and fearful, following the brutal murder of a woman from the village that occurred over the weekend, and as a result, over a hundred of them, most with sticks and machetes, have embarked on a relentless quest to find her killer, at any cost.
Their outrage stems from the discovery of the nude, lifeless body of Agripina Coc, 61, which was found a short distance from her home in the village late this past Saturday, August 30, after she was allegedly murdered by a fellow villager who, according to the angry villagers, will be found and handed over to police “dead or alive,” if police do not do their job and find him first.
As of press time tonight, villagers are reportedly holding a candlelight vigil in her memory at her home in the village.
PUP renews Lake I love affair with Cordel Hyde
Saturday, August 30, marked the return of Cordel Hyde, the three-time People’s United Party (PUP) area representative for the Lake Independence constituency, as standard-bearer for the division.
By 4:00 p.m., the St. Martin De Porres football field on Vernon Street was teeming with people from all across the vast Lake Independence area and from many other areas of the country, for a momentous political event, as Cordel Hyde waded through crowds of supporters to take his seat with the PUP Leader Francis Fonseca, and two former Party Leaders, Rt. Hon. Said Musa and Hon. Johnny Briceño.
Also present on the stage for the endorsement convention were Deputy PUP leaders Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia and Hon. Florencio Marin Jr., former PUP Agriculture Minister and Cayo Central standard-bearer Dan Silva, Orange Walk East area representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, and the PUP standard-bearers for Pickstock and Orange Walk East divisions respectively, Dr. Francis Smith and Ramon “Munchie” Cervantes.
2 minors, 17, shot in botched armed robbery
Two of four robbers are recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after they tried to rob the Western Dairies Ice Cream Parlor on Freetown Road at about 4:30 Friday afternoon and were shot by an alert employee.
Unofficial reports to Amandala are that at about 4:30 Friday afternoon, two delivery trucks of Western Dairies drove into the compound after making deliveries, and four men riding on separate bicycles rode into the yard at the rear of the ice cream parlor, jumped off their bicycles and two of them pointed guns at the workers as they were about to reload the trucks.
The gunmen ordered the employees to lie on the ground and announced that “this da wah robbery!”
Collision on George Price Highway claims 2 lives
Two persons lost their lives and two others were injured in a tragic road collision between a Chevy Tracker and a Mitsubishi pickup that occurred on the George Price Highway between Miles 46 and 47 at about 8:30 on Friday morning.
The Tracker was traveling to Belmopan, and the pickup was travelling to Belize City, in the opposite direction, when they collided. The Tracker veered to the left lane and slammed into the truck, the impact of which smashed the right side of the Tracker and trapped the two passengers on the right front seat and backseat, who died almost instantly.
Police believe that the Tracker veered across the road, when the driver lost control of the vehicle on the curve, ending on the left side of the road. The driver of the pickup truck, who tried to avoid the collision, cut away to the left but the right front portion of the pickup impacted the center of the Tracker, causing the tragic collision.
Mason, 28, executed on Fabers Road Extension
In spite of the police’s ongoing crime prevention operations which are aimed at restoring a sense of security in apprehensive city residents, a determined gunman managed to eliminate his target during the pre-dawn hours of yesterday in the Fabers Road Extension area of Belize City.
Police say that as an unsuspecting Michael Usher, 38, rode his bicycle from the direction of the George Price Highway towards Central American Boulevard after 4:00 a.m. yesterday, Sunday, he was fatally shot multiple times in the head and body.
Authorities responded to the scene near #9719 Fabers Road Extension sometime after, and Usher’s body was later transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 6:00 a.m.
“Sugar bullet” killing Belizeans faster
Whereas violent homicides tend to grab the national news headlines, there are some insidious villains slipping under the radar, as even more Belizean lives are being lost to the deadly trio: diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, which continue to emerge as leading killers in Belize and which account for 60% of non-communicable diseases, largely linked to unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Up to Thursday, August 28, forty-seven cancer cases had been diagnosed through the public healthcare system, the latest case being cancer of the larynx in a man still in his productive years and possibly linked to smoking.
“In Belize, one in three adults die by non-communicable diseases [NCDs] before age 60, and that is premature death,” said Dr. Manuel Ramirez, coordinator of the Research Center of INCAP for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases (CIIPEC), at a lecture held on Friday morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City.
Transvestite Perfilio Rodriguez arraigned
He is, perhaps, Belize City’s only publicly known transvestite. That role, however, is not acceptable when it comes to the standards of appearance at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, where the strict dress code is enforced by the court’s security guards and police officers.
Perfilio Rodriguez, 19, who prefers to be called “Vanessa Champagne Paris” and was dressed as a woman when he was first arraigned on an aggravated assault charge in July, appeared at the court building this morning wearing a pair of slippers, his feminine accoutrements whittled down, except for the round hips that he was sporting. He was denied entry by a female security guard, who spotted his pair of slippers.
Rodriguez made an attempt to speak to the Clerk of Courts, but due to the slippers, he was further denied entry to the court’s office.
Gun law amendments to the House on Friday
Revisions introduced to Belize’s gun laws dating back to 2008, and which have been called “draconian,” “demonic” and even “asinine,” could be expunged, at least partially, with a new bill due to be taken to the National Assembly as early as this Friday, September 5, 2014.
Six months ago—amid a howl of protests against the legislation which has seen even elderly persons with no prior criminal record being placed on mandatory remand at the prison, just because they were on the same premises where illegal guns and/or ammunition had allegedly been found—the Barrow administration promised to revisit the laws it had put in place over 6 years ago.
Today, we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow to update us on the status of that revision, and he told us, “…there is a House meeting next Friday and I hope and believe that the amendments will be presented for first reading at that meeting next Friday.”
Wanted man captured in San Pedro
The long arms of the law reeled in a fugitive who was on the run from San Pedro police. Jason Gillett, 25, of San Pedro, who has been on the run from Monday, August 18, was captured on Friday, August 22, in the San Mateo area after eluding police for five days.
Gillett was wanted on charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault with a firearm, and was taken to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, where he was arraigned on the charges and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 24.
Inspector Jemmott, the Deputy Commander of San Pedro police, told Amandala that there was no magistrate in San Pedro, so Gillett was taken to Belize City Magistrate’s Court to be remanded for the charges.
Victim’s mangled leg had to be amputated
A Belize City electrician was charged in court with one count of maim and one count of aggravated assault after he reversed his Chevy Blazer into a man who was leaning against a cement wall, with whom he had had an altercation on Freetown Road on Saturday night, August 30.
The victim’s left leg was completely mangled and had to be amputated immediately.
Devon Jones, 33, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who did not require a plea from him, because his case will be tried on indictment at the Supreme Court.
Victim told police that after an argument, the driver reversed his car against him while he was leaning against a cement wall
Police charged Jones with the maiming of Francis Gill, 43, a taxi driver. Court prosecutor Corporal Christopher Smith had objected to Jones being granted bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the offense and the fact that the prosecution has a strong case against him.
Editorial: Cordel’s implications for Dolores
One of the interesting aspects of party politics in Belize is how developments in one constituency or area can impact on the political landscape in another constituency or area. The major political parties are national organizations. They field candidates in every one of the 31 electoral constituencies. Interpersonal or professional relationships between and among these candidates are often sub-surface, but highly significant.
Take the UDP situation in Belize Rural North before the 2012 general election, for example. The UDP area representative, Edmond Castro, had been removed from Cabinet and made a backbencher by Party Leader/Prime Minister Dean Barrow some time before the election. A Belizean in California had made an allegation against Mr. Castro. It appeared that Mr. Barrow would actually have preferred to have Castro replaced as the party’s standard bearer. Castro was even challenged at the constituency convention level before the election, but he survived, easily.
Winty J – ‘Ballers need help in Mahogany Heights; 2nd Mugger Day
Still active veteran footballer and music/cultural activist 65-year-old Vincent Albert “Winty J” Johnson vented his frustration with the Director of Sports this morning at our sports desk. “I have been living in Mahogany Heights since 2006,” said Winty J, “and I have begged the Sports Director repeatedly for help with a couple goal posts, and he has steadfastly refused to help us.”
Winty said this has not stopped his community from organizing football games for the youths. “From time to time, we cut some sticks and make goal posts, but the wood rots and breaks after a while; and the field is not all grass, so the football also wears out quickly on the sand.”
Belize Jaguars head to the US for Nations Cup
Notwithstanding their traditional hurdles in terms of preparation and financing, the National Men’s Football “A” Selection, affectionately known as the Belize Jaguars, left the country today to partake in the Nations Cup tournament which kicks off in the United States this Wednesday, September 3.
Amandala was at the Philip Goldson International Airport this morning as they were preparing to board their flight, and we spoke to a few of the enthusiastic players who were all in good spirits, and they basically gave us the indication that despite their challenges, the team is prepared to go out and do their best in order to hopefully advance throughout the tournament and make their country proud once more.
Evan Mariano, who has gained additional international exposure since he got an opportunity to play for a team from Houston earlier this year, said, “I feel confident enough, during the two weeks that we had training, it was really intense, and I believe that the coach put us in enough shape to play these games. We did it already in Costa Rica, and we plan to do it again under the same coach. We will go out there and play our hearts out, and we just want everybody to watch the games and support us, regardless of the outcome.”
Belize National “A” Team faces tall odds at Central American Cup
Whenever two elevens take the field, there is always hope from either side; but it helps for Belizeans to be mindful of the enormity of the task up ahead for our squad in its quest to try and qualify once again for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The 7 Central American countries have been divided into two groups for the upcoming UNCAF Copa Centroamericana or Central American Cup, which will be played in the U.S. for the first time in its 13 editions, from September 3 -13. Group A – Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama; and Group B – Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Belize plays Honduras on September 3, Guatemala on September 7, and El Salvador on September 10.
After a single round-robin, the top 2 teams from each group automatically qualify to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, with the fifth place finisher, decided between the 2 third place teams, then entering a two-leg playoff with the fifth place finisher in the Caribbean Football Union’s Caribbean Cup for an additional berth in the Gold Cup.
Undisputed Half-Marathon king, Leon O’Brien extends his reign at BDF Sports Day
We await the details of the race results in the various categories of Saturday’s BDF Sports Day races, namely the Half Marathon, the 10k and the 5k, as well as a number of shorter distances around the grass track at Price Barracks. But one thing we know for certain, and that is that 28-year-old Leon O’Brien continues his reign as king of long distance running in Belize, winning the Half-Marathon by a significant margin ahead of his perennial closest competitor, 29-year-old Kenrick Duncan.
In the Half-Marathon race (13.1 miles) on Saturday morning, leaving from around Mile 4 on the George Price (Western) Highway, travelling through Belize City and on to the Philip Goldson (Western) Highway, to finish at Price Barracks in Ladyville, Leon once again “blew away” the field, coming in all alone to register another triumph in his long list of Half-Marathon successes in Belize.
From the Publisher
In reading and editing the articles of the late Smokey Joe for about two decades, beginning in the last part of the 1980s, if I remember correctly, the one thing that always struck me was his love for Belize and for his friends and associates and contemporaries. Since Smokey (christened Selvyn Wade) travelled to the southern United States as part of a war manpower mission in 1944 at the age of 18, this means he was born in 1926 or so. And that means that Smokey grew up in some really hard times in old British Honduras. From whence the love?
The Great Depression in 1929 hurt the economy in British Honduras badly, because the market demand in the United States for our mahogany and chicle practically collapsed. Then the 1931 Hurricane two years later devastated the capital city, “Belize Town” as it was called back then. If that wasn’t bad enough, when the Americans ended their Prohibition on alcohol use in 1933, Belizeans’ profits from running rum to the U.S. Gulf Coast disappeared.
More Belizean boots at the border, but when?
Last week, we told you of reports of expanding incursions by Guatemalans into Belize, including survey lines being pegged as many as 5 miles inland and the construction of 9 dwellings inside the Chiquibul National Park.
On Friday, we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is also head of the National Security Council of Belize, what his administration will do about the worsening problem on the border.
“That’s a continuing problem which we continue to go at. There is clearly a need for increased collaboration on the part of the BDF [the Belize Defence Force] with the FCD [Friends for Conservation and Development]. Last year, I had indicated that Government was prepared to fund a number of new conservation posts. Not one has been built. I’ve asked the BDF what is taking so long…” Barrow said.
Barrow comments on Belize’s economic performance
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow has described Belize’s 8.7% GDP growth for the second quarter of 2014 as “phenomenal,” but said that the tremendous gap between Belize’s huge import bill and reduced level of exports is not desirable.
Barrow said that Belize has to increase its exports, but he does not know how soon the country can expect to reach a point where its exports outpace imports, as Belize is “an importing economy.”
The phenomenal 8.7% GDP growth for the second quarter of 2014 was also fueled by high levels of importation and Barrow explained that, “so many of the inputs that go into the very processes that then result in exports have to come from abroad.”
Garinagu in Dangriga protest at CIBC FirstCaribbean
n an awesome showcase of Garifunadüaü – the richness of the Garifuna culture – drummers and dancers, men and women, the young and not-so-young staged a defiant protest through the streets of Dangriga on Friday morning which culminated in front of CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank in Dangriga, precipitating a late evening press conference by the bank’s Belize City headquarters on Friday to say that the bank is sorry that there has been “a misunderstanding” amidst allegations that it has maintained a policy restricting conversations in Garifuna inside the bank.
Robert Mariano, president of the National Garifuna Council of Belize (NGC), told News 5’s Isani Cayetano on Friday, on the occasion of the protest that, “The NGC is totally unhappy with the rules of the bank where being in a Garifuna community, Garifuna people cannot speak their own language when doing transactions in the bank. As president, I have received several emails, calls, texts and even comments from people within our community and from other parts of the world.”
Arthur Saldivar’s executive committee protests PUP headquarters
The People’s United Party National Executive decided to suspend Belize Rural North standard bearer Arthur Saldivar on Thursday, until the Party concluded its own investigation into the allegation that he allegedly made off with over nine hundred thousand dollars from his former client, Melonie Coye.
Saldivar’s suspension, however, did not go down too well with his executive committee, which fired off an angry press release and staged a boisterous protest in front of the PUP’s Independence Hall this morning, demanding an audience with Party Leader Francis Fonseca.
None of the Party officials were at Independence Hall, however; only Fonseca’s driver, George Dominguez, and his advisor, Albert Vaughan were present, and they had to endure a few hard words from the protesting committee members before they eventually left.
Gungulung fire was arson?
Sonia Harris, 50, a Belizean-American who is presently on a visit back to Belize, became hysterical and almost fainted when, at about 12:45 this afternoon, she went to her home on Holy Emmanuel Street, in the Gungulung area of the city, and found it engulfed in flames.
Harris beat the side of the fire engine and shouted out that her nephew had burnt her house after threatening to do so, because she put his girlfriend out of the house so that her brother could move in. Police have detained her nephew, pending an investigation.
The angry homeowner, who was crying, said that her nephew set the house on fire after he had been threatening to do so, because she stopped him from selling drugs in her house and on her property.
Businessman found guilty of reckless driving
56 year old manager of Victor L. Bryant and Company Limited, Philip Gallaty, was today found guilty of driving without due care and attention.
His penalty is a $100 fine to be paid by tomorrow, Wednesday and he has been disqualified from driving in Belize for six months.
On Saturday, March 22, while at Friendship Restaurant at Mile 2 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway, Gallaty reversed his white Toyota Hylux pick-up truck into a parked vehicle belonging to Magistrate Stephanie Gillett.
Controversy continues; classes end early at El Progresso Government School
For the second day in a row classes were interrupted at the El Progresso Government School in the Cayo district as controversy continues to plague the institution.
The General Manager and Local Manager of public schools, accompanied by police officers, went to the school today to investigate allegations of misconduct leveled against the principal, Pedro Cano who is well liked in the community.
The Principal, Pedro Cano, was placed on administrative leave last weekend, just days before the opening of the new school year, because of a letter written to the Ministry of Education complaining of alleged misconduct by the principal.
Parents are also unhappy with the assignment of another teacher to a specific class, saying that she is not qualified and will hamper the children’s education if left to teach that particular class.
Security guard faces deportation
A security guard who reported a break-in at an apartment complex in Belize City is in trouble tonight for a different reason.
42 year old Nigerian security guard Uche Ochunkwo of Chancellor Avenue in West Landivar has been charged with failure to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit.
Ochunkwo saw a former occupant of the building using his key, which he had never returned, to break into the room of a former roommate and steal.
Ochunkwo reported the matter and police were called in. His troubles started when police asked him for identification and he gave them his passport.
Police: San Pedro Columbia villagers detentions were illegal
The officer commanding Punta Gorda police, Superintendent Simeon Alvarez says residents of San Pedro Columbia village had no rights to “detain” relatives of a man believed to have murdered a woman in the village on Saturday afternoon.
The body of 62 year old Agripina Coc was found a short distance away from her home in the rural Toledo village on Saturday evening.
Police are now looking for a man who they believe is responsible for the brutal slaying; but residents of the village met on Monday evening and decided that they would place the family of the main suspect under “communal detention” in the hopes of luring the suspect out of hiding.
An Amazing Day Hiking, Tubing and Sliding at Cockscomb Wildlife & Basin Jaguar Preserve
Many people visualize the ocean and the coral reef when they hear about Belize – I know I certainly did when I moved here. And that is how Belize is first seen by many. Even the very first visitors - the Spanish & British colonized along the coast – because much of the mainland was (and still is) dense practically impenetrable tropical jungle.
Even the jaguar’s need game trails to follow through it.
After pick-up (we were a group of about 10), we drove to the park. We stopped just outside in Maya Center to check out the gift shop. Lots of very pretty Maya crafts from the local ladies cooperative.
We drove up the dirt road, passed the jaguar crossing sign above and ran into this guy. Let me just answer your question – this is the only jaguar that we’d be seeing that day. In fact, Doyle has seen 3 of these cats in 14 years of touring here.
Best-selling author & Marketing Strategist David Meerman Scott visits Belize again!
Bestselling author David Meerman Scott is widely recognised as the world’s foremost expert on the new face of marketing, with one of his books, “New Rules of marketing and PR” having sold more than 300,000 copies in some 25 languages around the world.
We like Mr Scott, and his non pushy approach that stands traditional in-your-face selling techniques on their heads. He represents the gentler, kinder and yet more effective approach to marketing.
As it turns out, David likes Chaa Creek as well.
So we were most happy to have David, his mom Carolyn and his lovely wife Yukari Watanabe Scott visit Chaa Creek last week (August 25 2014).
By way of background, David had kindly mentioned Chaa Creek’s marketing team in the latest edition of his bestselling “New Rules of Marketing and PR”. As can be imagined, it’s gratifying that one of the world’s leading authorities in marketing understands what we do and why we do it.
“When the Boat Comes In” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday morning I got up at 04.00 hours and went straight for a shower, a shave and a brush for the old molars ((long-time readers of this blog will know that quite a few of my teeth (implants) are actually quite young/new)) and then dressed (this doesn’t take too long when you’re wearing shorts and a polo shirt).
Downstairs in the kitchen by 04.20 hours and out on the veranda (yep, the western, lagoon facing one) by 04.25 hours with a mug of coffee (black, no sugar) and the iPad and straight in to The Times online. No wasting time listening to the ripple of the water. No trying to detect from which direction the chirruping of the birds was coming from. I didn’t have time for that today.
So why the urgency you’re probably thinking . You always give the impression of just sitting there and taking it all in. And I do normally. But not yesterday.
In all the years that we came here on holiday and especially during the twenty-seven months we’ve lived here permanently we have often spoken about, but done nothing about, “being there” when the Mennonites bring a boat over from the mainland laden with fruit, vegetables, milk, cream and eggs.
How many Belizeans does it take to screw in a lightbulb
A WikiLeaks cable shows that even when getting donations, GOB finds ways to generate income.
Notes on the Celebrity Data Theft
An interesting aspect of information security is how periodically it collides with other industries and subcultures. With more information than ever being stored and shared online and on connected devices hacking stories are frequent and are mainstream news. This was the case yesterday as dozens of celebrities fell victim to hackers who leaked hundreds of private photographs and videos stolen from web based storage services.
The summary of the story is that a number of personal and private nude images from high profile celebrities started appearing on online image boards and forums – most notably on anon-ib, 4chan and reddit.
The first pictures were posted nearly a week ago, but didn’t get much attention since they were being ransomed (censored previews being shared in the hope somebody would purchase them). It was only after a number of intermediaries purchased the images and posted complete nudes in public forums that the story exploded.
At least a dozen celebrities were affected by the photo dumps, with over 400 individual images and videos. A list of celebrity names published anonymously, and serving as something akin to a sales brochure, suggests that over 100 have had their personal data compromised.
After this story broke I spent some time immersed in the crazy, obsessive subculture of celebrity nudes and revenge porn trying to work out what they were doing, how they were doing it and what could be learned from it.
Copa Centroamericana, which opens at RFK Stadium, extends international soccer influx
Soccer teams from around the world visited the United States this summer for dozens of friendlies and preseason tournaments. The influx will continue over the next 10 days, only with greater stakes.
For the first time, the Copa Centroamericana, the region’s seven-nation biennial championship, will take place at U.S. venues, starting Wednesday at RFK Stadium with three matches.
In its first competition since the World Cup quarterfinals in Brazil, Costa Rica will field as many as seven first-choice players against Nicaragua at 5:30 p.m.
Boosting resilience in Caribbean countries
HAVING lived and worked for more than a decade in four Caribbean countries I have witnessed first-hand how Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are extremely vulnerable to challenges ranging from debt and unemployment to climate change and sea level rise.
Such aspects make the path towards sustainable development probably more complex than for non-SIDS countries. That was my experience, working closely with governments, civil society organisations and the people of Belize, Cuba, Guyana, and Haiti -- where I led the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) reconstruction efforts after the devastating January 2010 earthquake.
That's why the UN Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), taking place in Samoa September 1-4, is so important. It will provide an opportunity to increase international cooperation and knowledge-sharing between and within regions. And it takes place at a key moment, ahead of the Climate Change Summit at the UN General Assembly to be held on 23 September.
4,000 Gallons of Crude Oil Turn Mexico’s Hondo River Blood Red
Cleanup crews are racing to clean 4,000 gallons of crude oil out of the Hondo River before it reaches a nearby lake.
The Hondo River lines the border between Mexico and Belize. Nearly a mile of the river turned blood red after the spill, which was caused on August 27th when thieves drilled a tap into a gasoline pipeline.
Workers initially contained the deadly mess, but heavy rains caused containment ponds to overflow and spread the oil again.
Naked and Afraid: Snaketacular
There are over 3,000 species of snakes and every location on Naked and Afraid was bombarded with them. We have mentioned several times that it seems that snake is the only protein most of the contestants get, but we had no idea how prominent it actually was.
Here's how to cook it: Peel the skin, clean it, chop into strips. This way you can be sure the active nerves don't cause the body to slither out of the fire. Snake meat is very lean and can be tough if over cooked. (It should be noted that a snakes brain remains active after his head is severed... it can still eat and react to movement up to an hour after decapitation.) Commonly compared to chicken and places like China, Korea and Vietnam serve it in their traditional dishes. It is lower in cholesterol than pork or beef and considered to hold medicinal benefits.
Amazon, Belize, Madagascar: boas (known to eat pigs, monkeys and deer) has a constricting pressure up to 25 psi. Can weigh over 100 lbs and has a 25-30 year life span. Males wrestle each other to win females.
Central American Cup to showcase home-grown talent in the US
The final national team squads for the Central American Cup Tigo 2014 that kicks off tomorrow have been announced, boasting multiple World Cup players amongst MLS and Europe-based players. However, there is a strong contingent of home-based players in each squad, serving not only as a reflection of each nation's best 11, but also as a point of comparison for each nation's respective club leagues.
The best-known names that appear belong to those on the Costa Rican team that performed so well at the Brazil World Cup. Arsenal striker Joel Campbell is the noteworthy exciting attacking player on the roster, and a fellow England-based player Jose Miguel Cubero (playing at Blackpool) accompanies him. The squad is made up chiefly of young home-based players that are the likely contenders for 2018 World Cup spots.
Video: Open Your Eyes Interview in Belize with MusAid and NYOCB, 23min.
Channel 5's Open Your Eyes interviews Kevin Schaffter and Erin Fung of MusAid as well as Colville Young of the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize.
Video: The Peninsula Club and Marina in Placencia Belize, 5min.
The Peninsula Club is an amazing opportunity for those who are interested in real estate opportunities in Placencia Belize and will feature home sites, luxury villas, a lively shopping galleria with boutique shops and services to make life at The Peninsula Club effortless and exciting.
Video: Doreth Martinez: Belizean Softball Legend!, 24min.
The fifth episode of a documentary series called Belizean Legends that will profile Belizean softball legend Doreth Martinez as she discusses with Belizean Legends host Bilal Morris how Belize beat the 1970's's softball world champions national team the United States in the 1979 Pan-American Games. Martinez was one of the players on the bases that scored the winning runs after the hit from her teammate Glenda Ellis that gave the Belize national team a 2-1 victory over the United States. Here Martinez speaks about the U.S. ace pitcher Barbara Renaldo in that game that had boasted that nobody had ever hit her pitches until that day when the outstanding Martinez and Ellis broke that record. Martinez chronicled the Belize softball era that molded her whole life as a person, and how a country and a people supported them to succeed in the sport of softball.
Video: Belize - No Working During Drinking Hours, 13min.
Grab your Belkin beer and get ready to tickle the sharks. It's time for another tropical island adventure.
Video: Belize Honeymoon. Highlight Version, 9min.
Celebrating our honeymoon in Placencia, Belize at Robert's Grove Resort. After becoming Mr & Mrs Eve, we went hiking, river tubing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and sailing. We couldn't have had a better time together. So thankful to have such an amazing husband.
Video: Sustainable community development in Belize, 4min.
Capitalism is a world wide tool for development. It has been poorly used for selfish ends everywhere and has become a pariah to sensitive humanity. Used properly, ethically, it can be of great benefit to the world.The tools for this exist in ethically and conscience based business models.
Our 'Ethical Business Exchange' will undertake many seminars, presentations, trainings and consultancies in Belize and Central America.
The Organic and quality solar dried fruits model business is established locally and must export its products to become well used and financially useful.
Video: BELIZE FOR ALL RAISE YOUR FLAG AND WIN WITH LOVE SONG, 4min.
My 2014 Love FM's "Raise your flag and win with love song competition submission." You can text the number 1 to 3524 to vote for my song. Digicell users only. The competition will be judge by 40 percent of votes and 60 percent by judges. Votes cost 50 cents and a person can vote as much times as possible. Votes appreciated!!!
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