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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
And the premiere of San Pedro's very first telenovela, La Isla Bonita, has kicked off!
Look out for more red carpet photos... (5 photos)
Isla Bonita Telenovela red carpet highlights!
Man shot dead in San Pedro
San Pedro police have confirmed that a male individual was shoot and killed between midnight and 1AM in the San Pedrito area. Police believe he was ambushed when exiting a bar near his home. The individual sustained four gunshots. Police have recovered one 9mm bullet shell from the scene and one suspect has been detained. Police continue their investigation. The victims name will be released later today.
Veralina Rivas Awarded Officer of the Month for August
Woman Police Constable (WPC) 1672 Veralina Rivas was the proud recipient of August’s Officer of the Month Award. WPC Rivas was honored in a small ceremony on Monday, September 1st at the San Pedro Police Station. Her effectiveness and rational thinking in the past month earned her the recognition and prizes that come along with the title.
Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Superintendent Luis Castellanos and Deputy Mayor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez were present to hand over the award and prizes. According to Castellanos, WPC Rivas carries herself in the police station with pride and always puts her work first. “WPC Rivas has never once complained when tasked to do something, even more she goes the extra mile to ensure that her cases are properly dealt with. WPC Rivas also takes the initiative in making decisions that will help the police station and has never let her personal life interfere with her working profession. For these and many more reasons, I believe she is the best candidate to receive the award,” said Castellanos.
163 days later, Police houses have still NOT been relocated
The San Pedro Police Department officially received their new housing barracks on Wednesday August 13th, thanks to the efforts of the San Pedro business sector. However there are still two houses that have not been delivered after months in the making. The two homes were originally donated to the Belize Coast Guard by the San Pedro Business Association (SPBA) and after they were vacated, were given to the San Pedro Police Department. Founding member of SPBA Elito Arceo, was prepared to move the houses months ago, but the San Pedro Town Council stepped in to take the task.
Exploring the country one village at a time!
Tamara has been in love with the name of this village since she heard it, and now, here I was, finding a way to go visit it! Excited at the prospect of finally setting foot in Double Head Cabbage, we began planning our first of hopefully many forays into the back roads of Belize. Room? Booked at the Howler Monkey Lodge. Wheels? Crystal Auto Rentals had us covered.
National Call to Action Conference on Women and Girls’ Financial Health
The National Call to Action Conference on Women and Girls’ Financial Health, hosted by the Special Envoy for Women and Children on Friday, August 29th, was a great success. The event was a continuation of the 20,000 STRONG Women’s Empowerment Campaign and had the participation of over 200 women and young ladies from across the country. These included aspiring, emerging and successful entrepreneurs who engaged in discussion about the opportunities, challenges and needs of women as business owners. 10659218_726061954148252_9063213613522004424_nThis exercise is a precursor and will inform the design of an economic development program that will support women entrepreneurs in starting, growing and sustaining their business. Collecting firsthand information from these women as well as organization working in entrepreneurship development was, therefore, a vital first step toward ensuring that program will be properly tailored to fulfill its purpose.
YJ’s Deli still operating on public land
Why is YJ’s Deli, located at the corner of Angel Coral and Black Coral Streets still allowed to operate on public land, free of charges? That is a question that has been on the mind of many island residents since the deli should have moved by June 14th. The deli was opened and allowed to provide food for construction workers of the San Pedro Boardwalk Project over three years ago, but that project was inaugurated in March, 2014, yet the deli is still operational. The deli is owned by the family of Joel Chi, the driver for the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Manuel Heredia Jr. Back in May, the SPTC confirmed that YJ’s Deli had not been paying municipal tax and in fact was not even registered in the data base. Furthermore, in a previous interview in May, Mayor Daniel Guerrero explained that once the project was completed, the agreement was for the business to move out by a given time since that was an agreement under the Sustainable Tourism Project (STP). He also said that a reminder letter would have been sent to owners of YJ’s Deli. That time expired on June 14th, and as of press time, the business was bustling with patrons. Six months after the project was inaugurated, YJ’s Deli is still fully operational.
Moho Chocolate Factory - From the Bean to Chocolate Bar Tour
This week’s blog post took me to Moho Chocolate Factory and Cafe in Belize City, where I hung out with some of the most talented chocolatiers in the business. They showcased to me how their chocolate made from organic cacao is produced and taken from the bean straight to the bar.
Moho Chocolate was established in January 2012 and is a producer of one of the highest quality chocolates made in Belize. All of the cacao used is sourced from Maya Mountain Cacao which is located in the pristine rainforest in the Toledo District of southern Belize; and farmed by local entrepreneurs.
During the chocolate tour, I was informed by Charles that the Maya’s believe that chocolate is a good use for the rejuvenation, fertility and strength of the body. It is a fact that up to this day the Maya’s still believe and use the chocolate for its amazing properties.
Chocolate contains 300 minerals, including: Copper - for growth and healthy enzymatic reactions, Zinc - for a strong immune system, and better digestion, Manganese – for better absorption of calcium, making healthier bones and Sulfur – for the proper function of our cells.
I’m Headed to Cancun to Represent Belize at TBEX
I’m so very excited to share this bit of news with all of you, as I can finally announce something really big for myself, Ambergris Today and Belize. I am traveling to Cancun, Mexico, next week for the TBEX Travel Bloggers Conference. However, I am not only going to the largest blogger’s conference as an attendee. I have been honored by the organization to represent Belize and participate as a panelist speaker.
Embassy of Belize in Mexico Launches Website
The Embassy of Belize in Mexico officially launched its website on 1st September, 2014. The site, which will be in both English and Spanish, contains information that may be useful to Belizeans as well as to residents of Mexico and other neighboring countries.
The primary aim of the site is to encourage greater awareness about Belize, its system of government, and its unique geography, culture, and people. The website also serves to promote Belizean exports, investment opportunities, and tourism, and will provide information about consular services as well as educational opportunities.
Travellers Liquors Unveils New Flavored Belizean Rum
September is here and what better way to celebrate than with Travellers brand new “Belizean Rum”. The Belizean distillery just added a new flavor to its line of gold rum which they claim to be their best taste yet. The new rum hit stores countrywide today for Belizeans and visitors to enjoy during the country’s patriotic celebrations.
At a media conference held at the company’s headquarters in Belize City on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, Travellers held the official unveiling of their new rum. “The Belizean Rum has come a long way and a lot of hard work has been put behind in making this rum, from the design to formulating the rum,” stated Travellers chemist Mr. Jose Reyes. “This is not a premium aged rum; it’s a premium rum. Selected from the most mature and finest aged barrels used to blend and flavor.”
Misc Belizean Sources
The flag of Belize
The flag of Belize is a continued version of the earlier flag of British Honduras (the name of Belize during the British colonial period).
British Honduras obtained a coat of arms on January 28, 1907, which formed the basis of the “badge” used on British ensigns. The coat of arms recalls the logging industry that first led to British settlement there. The figures, tools, and mahogany tree represent this industry.
From 1950 onward an unofficial national flag was in use. It was blue, with a modified version of the arms on a white disc in the centre (sometimes a blank white circle was used as the coat of arms was difficult to draw).
The national motto, Sub Umbra Floreo, meaning “I Flourish in the Shade”, is written in the lower part of the coat of arms.
Happy 33rd Independence to all Belizeans at home and abroad.
Artist Erwin Chan
Belizean artist Erwin Chan from the Cayo District attend the 25th Annual art Exposition of Guatemala's Regional School of Art "Humberto Garavito" in Guatemala. Congratulations to this great local artist.
Taiwan Computer Donation Ceremony
Sacred Heart College was the host of the Taiwanese computer donation ceremony yesterday. The new Taiwanese Ambassador, Benjamin Ho, gave a short, inspiring speech, and then presented the donated computers and projectors to many of the local primary schools, and SHJC's Hands for Life club, which works with the Taiwanese student groups every Summer. A big thanks to the Taiwanese Embassy, and all the great students from NTHU that spent a huge amount of time and effort acquiring the computers!
"In July and August 2014, 12 volunteers from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan visited Belize again for the fourth time. During their stay, the volunteers learnt that many elementary schools in Cayo District still did not have sufficient computer equipments and stationery for students’ learning. To improve the learning environment for the students, the volunteers sought assistance from Taiwan and secured the donation of these above-mentioned equipments and materials. "
Belikin Beer has a new look. They've changed the labeling on their beer bottles. They still have Altun Ha on there, and they kept the same great taste. Amusing musical selection for the commercial: the epic theme from 2001.
"Belize Brewing Company proudly presents the new look with the same great taste of Belikin Beer! Produced by Ben Popik & Joanna Popik of Island Films.
Corozal Community College
As we begin this new school year, we want to remind parents that is is very important that they be involved in their children's education. We are organizing a series of meeting in September and are asking parents to make every effort to attend and become familiar with the policies of the school and meet their children's teachers.
Below are the dates for the meetings by forms:
September 11 (Thursday) - Fourth Form
September 16 (Tuesday) - Third Form
September 18 (Thursday) - Second Form
September 23 (Tuesday) - First Form
The meetings will begin at 3:00 p.m. at the Rudolph Wade Auditorium. Please make every effort to attend and be punctual.
May you all have a wonderful weekend.
September Celebrations in Cayo
The SISE Town Council has made a complete schedule of Cayo's September Celebrations events. There's a lot on there, and it looks like there's an activity on most days, and this weekend too.
Belmopan has a calendar of events too.
Maria Estella and Maybelline Beauty Show
Cayo's Maria Estella took her Maybelline Beauty Show on the road. She had a session in Cayo, and then one in Belize City. Daniel De La Torre was on hand to show how best to use the beauty products, and Danny Chung got some great before and after shots.
"Both days were very successful. We hope that everyone who came out was pleased with everything they learned and bought. You were all a very receptive audience and we couldn't be more pleased. If there were any items that you missed out on, remember we distribute all over the country. We know everyone is excited to see their pictures, so those will be posted as soon as possible. Look out for them this coming week! Don't worry, this isn't the last of it, Daniel De La Torre was super impressed with the audience so he will be back. Thanks everyone!."
National Service Day
September 19th is National Service Day. It was created in honor of George Price. It's a day to help out in the community, and there will be plenty of community service events happening that day.
Belize Wins Gold at NCCWMA
Belize won a gold medal at the North, Central American and Caribbean World Masters Athletics Championship, which was held in Costa Rica last week. 3 Belizeans competed in the championship, and Daland Jones won the gold in the shot put competition. Congratulations, Daland Jones!
Security Guard Killed" ... For His Gun?
This morning at around 7:30, A security guard was shot on Sibun Street in the area of the city known as "Bak-a-Town". By noon, he was dead from his injuries.
It's an unusual crime because, by all appearances, the victim, 21 year-old Corey Howard was a working man with no connections to any of the city gangs, the shooting defies known crime patterns.
Tonight, his family is grieving his loss, and they're trying to make sense of his violent end, which has all appearances of one of those street slayings we've seen so many times.
We spoke to police this afternoon, and to his family half hour before news time. Here's what they told us:
GSU's Back Is "Got" By The PM
There was a robbery foiled by the GSU today - more later, but, so the GSU is back in the headlines tonight, but, this time, for the right reasons. But, the issue of whether the unit does more harm than good is still very much a public and political debate.
Today at the House Meeting in Belmopan the Prime Minister conceded there have been excesses but still endorsed the overall effectiveness of the Unit and its commander. That's after he stayed far from the war of words between former two term Prime Minister Said Musa and Inspector Mark Flowers:..
Mike Rudon, Ch5
"Could we get a comment from you on the exchange from the former and the head of the GSU?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"They both said more that enough aren't they?"
House Debates Crime/GSU
But the debate about crime in general and the GSU specifically was not limited to those comments from the Prime Minister - it was also discussed on the House floor. That's where the representative from Toledo West, Oscar Requena discussed the recent heinous murder of Agripina Coc in his constituency. But when he moved from there to Belize City, that's when he entered the crosshairs of the police Minister John Saldivar. Here's how their exchange went:..
Hon. Oscar Requena, Toledo West
"What is unprecedented though about it is the number of women and girls that are being targeted. We have seen many examples Mr. Speaker of innocent hard working Belizean women and young girls who are being murdered and slaughtered across this country by criminals who are running across this nation. When a man cannot provide for himself and his family, it is an attack on his manhood. When a woman cannot provide for her family, it is also an attack on her self-esteem and integrity and these are the issues that this government has to address Mr. Speaker. Just 3 days ago Mr. Speaker we witness on national television the incidents happening in the streets of Belize City in which a young man was beaten and it is allege that he was beaten so bad that he even soiled himself Mr. Speaker.
GSU Foils Robbery
Earlier on, you heard the Prime Minister's endorsement of the GSU and its controversial commander, Inspector Mark Flowers.
And, today - in the middle of a public debate, the GSU proved its worth and showed why they're not going anywhere anytime soon. That's after they foiled a robbery in progress on Fabers Road.
Here's how it happened, 3 men went to rob the Fabers Road Snack Shop. They almost made off with major loot and electronics, but because the GSU had prior information, they got a police officer out on the scene in time. It led to a shoot out, but at the end, all 3 suspects were detained. 7News was on the scene shortly after and we spoke to the commander about the details:
GOB Moves To Bar Mandatory Bar Membership
Earlier on, you saw the discussion in the House of Representatives about crime - but that was about it for across the floor fireworks today - in what was mostly an unremarkable House Meeting.
But there was important legislative business, namely the introduction of two prices of long - anticipated legislation, namely the Firearms Amendment Bill and the Legal Profession Amendment Bill.
The Legal profession bill seeks to install the Chief Justice as the chairman of the general legal council and to make it so that lawyers no longer have to be members of the bar association. The Prime Minister discussed both:..
"Is this a symptom of your fatigue with the Bar Association? You have said that it is instrumentalize by a group of PUPs."
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
New Gun Law Is A Work In Progress
The other bill that was introduced and will have to go for lengthy consultation is the Firearms Amendment Bill and the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Bill. The firearms bill has to do with who all get arrested when a gun is found at a property, and the crime control and criminal justice has to do with bail for firearm offences.
As has been widely publicized, the gun laws have come under heavy criticism as being oppressive and based on a presumption of guilt, rather than innocence.
So, government has changed it - but the legal drafting went right up to the very last minute and from the PM's comments today it was clear that it is still a work in progress:...
"The average man and woman would just want to know what has been describe as an odious position in the law that everyone in a household or in a vehicle gets taken under joint enterprise."
Hon. Briceno Says KHMH Compensation Not Enough
One other subject of great public interest that came up at today's House Meting was the KHMH and the recent settlement in the case of five of the 13 babies who died inside the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in May of 2013. According to Orange Walk Central Representative John Briceno, the families got ten thousand dollars each for their babies:..
Hon. John Briceno, OW Central
"It is only at the mediation that the CEO decided to make an offer. An offer of a measly $10,000 for each mother Mr. Speaker. Mothers that have been grieving, they have been suffering, they have been wondering why is this happening to them, why is it that the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital which supposed to be the premier hospital in this country have let them down. Mr. Speaker this is not just a slap in the face of these women or these mothers but also an insult to the memory of these children. $10,000 for the death of 5 of the innocent children from an institution and ministry that is riddled with corruption, mismanagement and wasteful spending."
Stann Creek Villagers Protest Outside House
And while Briceno protested the ten thousand dollar payment inside the house, outside there was another protest, this one about land.
A group of about 40 villagers from Stann Creek gathered at the steps of the National Assembly building to voice their concerns because they say they their village lands are the subject of a land grab. Courtney Weatherburne heard their complaints.
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
While there were the usual fiery exchanges between members of the House, a small but vocal crowd of protesters assembled outside. Silk Grass and Santa Cruz residents are claiming that UDP Standard Bearer Melvin Hulse is illegally selling off their land and according to them, it is facilitated by corruption in the Lands department.
First Caribbean Bank Cautioned For Discrimination On House
And one subject that did not escape comment in the House today was the allegation of language discrimination at the First Caribbean International Bank. As has been widely reported, the Bank has been condemned because a senior staffer Uwahnie Martinez alleges tat she was scolded for talking to a customer in Garifuna. She is one of two Garifuna employees at the Dangriga branch of the Bank and other reportedly has also filed a grievance with the Christian Workers Union.
Today the Area Representative for Dangriga named that other long time employee:..
Hon. Ivan Ramos, Dangriga
"It was not the employee that started the conversation. It was the customer and so the employee basically responded in Garifuna. Mr. Simeon Joseph Jr. has been with the bank from the time of Barclay's Bank for 32 years. A respected gentleman, an intelligent and productive gentleman, one that has the admiration of the Garifuna community and I believe by extension of Belize because he has also worked at other branches. Uwahnie Martinez, a Garifuna woman again concern with the same issue. She was born in Hopkins, she is a Garifuna. Her first language is Garifuna, so to be told that she cannot speak Garifuna in the bank, this is unacceptable and I come here today to ask this honorable house to reaffirm then to the Belizean people and to all of us that discrimination will not be tolerated anywhere in this country."
Mayor Says He Will Have A Solution For Belmopan Market Vendors
On Tuesday we told you about the distraught market vendors in Belmopan who claim that the city council is charging them outrageous fees for a spot at the new market place in front of the Civic Center. Well, today at a meeting between the Mayor and the vendors, he told us that the fees are not outrageous at all and that he has negotiated a feasible payment plan with the vendors.
Simeon Lopez, Mayor - Belmopan City
"As to increase in prices no, it's only $2 per day. What we were suggesting you can pay the one thousand dollars plus in advance and that's okay, we don't have to collect from you from the rest of the year again. Lots of them couldn't meet that and we agree well, we will charge you per month."
Arthur Goes Viral
In the past three weeks - attorney and PUP politician Arthur Saldivar has become one of the most talked about national figures - and, let's just say, most of those discussions don't center on his positive traits.
And tonight it's gotten even worse - after a video emerged where he's caught in an unfortunate exchange with a managing shareholder of Roberts Grove Resort in Placencia.
The video was captured, allegedly by Boris Mannsfeld last week Saturday, August 30. Saldivar is confronted by Mannsfeld holding a camera, and he let's off a few choice words. He clearly is being baited, but, much to his detriment, he falls for it - and the rest is viral video history after the video was posted on youtube last night. We've had to bleep and blur out a few parts, but here it is:
Speedbump fiasco On Princess Margaret Drive
Last night on the news, we spoke to Francis Woods of CISCO Construction about Central American Boulevard and whether it will be ready for Carnival Day next Saturday.
We also used the opportunity to ask him about the speedbump confusion on Princess Margaret Drive. That road was recently paved without speedbumps, and then the jackhammers came in to install speedbumps, and then those jackhammers came back to destroy those speedbumps, so that new ones could be installed. Woods told us, it's their bad:..
Francis Woods, Contractor - CISCO Construction
"We were quite upset, that was a simple miscommunication between ourselves and the person that did it. However we are taking them out and putting a very soft bump. We want that the bump still is there to slow down traffic, but that it's not very dramatic going over it. We want to consider cyclist as well because they have to go over it. Whenever we have races and stuff we want to make it nice enough that they can go over it easy."
Mas From The Mas Camps
A few minutes ago - you probably heard thumping music in the background of this newscast. Don't get it wrong, we're not having a September party - that was the carnival motorcade, just part of the riotous buildup to Carnival Day.
All of it is an effort to foster that true Carnival spirit - which Monica Bodden and Codie Norales got another heaping serving of when they went to the Mas camps last night. Here's what they found:..
PM Exposes PG Mayor
And from carnival we go right back to politics. Today the Prime Minister ended the house meeting with allegation of a very irregular transaction by the mayor of Punta Gorda town and two of his councilors, here's how he described it:..
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"But that a part, that Punta Gorda Town Council administered by his great People's United Party and in particular stewarded by Mayor Anthony Fuentes gave instructions to the Toledo Teachers Credit Union Limited to make deductions from the council's subvention monies forwarded by government to repay a loan of $32,187.42 that the PUP Punta Gorda Town Council had secured from the Toledo Teachers Credit Union Ltd. In addition to that, the mayor you see instructed the Toledo Teachers Credit Union Ltd. to also take out from the town council monies deductions in order to repay the personal loan of the PUP Mayor of the Punta Gorda Town Council. Toledo Teachers Credit Union Ltd. shall maintain direct deduction from the subvention for commitments for 3 of the officers of the Punta Gorda Town Council in respect to the mayor and deputy mayor and the particular PUP councilor in relation to their personal liabilities herein considered. You want the government to give monies to your town councils when their town councils behave in this fashion? Give instructions for government monies to be use to service their personal loan? Sir, not today, not tomorrow, not ever."
Security Guard Murdered In Morning Shooting on Sibun Street
It has been rather quiet over the past few days in the Old Capital…that was until this morning when the silence on the streets of the city was shattered by [...]
Armed Robbery on Fabers Road, Quick Response Leads to Arrest of 6 Persons
There was a late-morning armed holdup in Belize City today, where thieves entered a business establishment on Fabers Road Extension and proceeded to lift several items, including cash from the [...]
Belize City Teen Allegedly Raped Inside a Hotel
Police are also reporting a disturbing incident of rape in the city. A seventeen-year-old female minor is reporting that she was raped inside a hotel on the Phillip Goldson Highway. [...]
GSU Commander Highlights the Successes of Its Operations
The Gang Suppression Unit, in recent days, has come under sustained fire from the public for its strong-arm approach to crime fighting. Of late, there have been allegations made against [...]
P.M. Barrow Comments on Gang Suppression Unit
Following today’s sitting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Barrow was asked about the exchange between former Prime Minister Said Musa and GSU head Mark Flowers. The exchange has [...]
Stann Creek Residents Protest House Meeting Over Land Issues
While things inside the House of Representatives were relatively tame today, comparatively speaking, there was a very vocal protest outside the House. About one hundred villagers travelled a long way [...]
John Briceño Condemns Paltry Settlement from K.H.M.H.
Earlier this week, five mothers of babies who died in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in May 2013 received settlement from that institution. Investigations by the Pan American Health Organization [...]
…and Widespread Corruption at the Hospital
That wasn’t the fiery debate just yet…that came when Briceño went after former K.H.M.H. Director of Finance Carlos Perera. Perera was fired by the K.H.M.H. Board recently, following a series [...]
Body of Dangriga Resident Washes Up on Beach
Dangriga Police are tonight investigating the sudden death of a forty-five-year-old resident. Details are that the man went swimming earlier this morning and his body was later found floating near [...]
ASR Clarifies Fair-trade Sugar Misconceptions
There was quite a scare in the sugar industry last week, when it was announced that there would be a considerable reduction in the quantity of fair-trade sugar to be [...]
P.M. Barrow on Sugar Cane Farmers Association
Prime Minister Dean Barrow lashed out at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, the body which administrates the eighteen cane-farming branches. ASR has maintained that the decision to reduce quota [...]
National Bank 1 Year Later
The National Bank of Belize recently celebrated its first birthday, with much the same fanfare with which it celebrated its birth. Today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow lauded the institution which [...]
Honorarium Concert at B.T.L. Park
This weekend in Belize City promises to be quite eventful and fun-filled, with lots to do for the entire family. While there is the Sir Barry’s Belikin Bash and the [...]
Mas Camp 2014 Wraps Up in Belize City
The Carnival Road March 2014 is a week away and since Tuesday of this week, the fourteen bands competing were judged in the preliminary stage of the event. Thursday was [...]
The North Records Another Suicide
There is another suicide case to report tonight, 36 year Fidel Catzim, a mechanic from Sarstoon Street took his own life sometime in the wee hours of this morning according to authorities. Deputy Commanding the Orange Walk Police formation, Inspector Selvin Tillett says the exact events that caused Catzim to allegedly kill himself are unclear.
Inspector Selvin Tillett – Deputy Commander, OW Police
“On Thursday 4th of September, at about 6:10am acting upon information police visited Sarstoon Street in Orange Walk Town and upon arrival they saw the lifeless body of a male person identified to be Fidel Catzim 36 year a Belizean mechanic of above mentioned address was seeing hanging on a beam inside his room, initial investigations reveals that he was at home with his nice Nikita flowers hanging with an electrical wire inside his bedroom apparently dead, he was last seen alive about 1:00am todays date at about 9am the post mortem examination was conducted on the body of Fidel Catzim and has caused death as a consequence of hangin.”
BSI And BSCFA To Resume Discussion on Commercial Agreement
A meeting between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited is scheduled for Monday September 8th 2014 to resume negotiations for the Commercial Agreement. Currently no agreement exists between the miller and the producer to purchase sugar. While both entities agree on most of the conditions placed on the agreement, the negotiation on bagasse revenue sharing is proving to be a setback for the agreement to be signed. So, will anything change during the upcoming meeting? We will let you decide for yourself.
Mac McLachlan- International Advisor ASR Group’s
“We have put forward a formula for the payment of bagasse which we believe it is sensible, it is scientifically based and that we believe should form part of that agreement.”
Has The Ministry Of Transport Address Taxi Issues At The Northern Border?
Last week we had the opportunity of interviewing Chief Transport Officer Crispin Jeffries on several issues dealing with road safety including drunk driving. In that Interview we also asked him for an update on the issue with Belizean and Mexican taxi drivers at the Old Belize Chetumal Border. At that time Belizean taxi drivers claimed that the Mexican taxi operators were invading their territory thus affecting their business.
In sight of the situation, Jefferies told CTV3 News that the matter would be investigated and apparently it was. When we spoke to him last week he told us that the department addressed the situation and the Mexican taxi drivers are no longer allowed to work in the area. A few of them though, can be seen parked inside the casinos parking lot since they are hired by clients of the casinos.
Another Robbery Committed In Corozal
Tonight there is one more report of robbery that is coming out from the Corozal District. This time the victim is a 41 year old woman from the village of Ranchito. Today Ana Sosa walked in to the Corozal Police station and reported to police that on August 30th, around 2:00am while she walked around Maya Hotel located on the Philip Goldson Highway, she was attacked by four to five male persons.
According to her report made to police five days after, she was beaten by all five men and to make matters worse her red Samsung Galaxy phone with calling number 628-8080 of an unknown value was stolen from her. She also reported that her purse with personal documents and $80.00 was also taken.
100 Pound Cylinder Of Butane Reduces By $1.00
The price for a 100-pound cylinder of butane gas has gone down by $1.00. In the north, a hundred pound cylinder tank of Liquid Petroleum gas from Belize Gas Limited went from $115 to $114 and in Corozal the price went from $114 to $113. LPG from Belize Western Energy Limited, Southern Choice Butane, Zeta Gas and Tomza Gas went from $112 to $111 and in Corozal from $111 to $110.
Tate And Lyle's Move has Nothing To Do With Bagasse Negotiations
While it has been said that Tate and Lyle’s decision to drastically reduce the amount of Belize’s Sugar sold to Fair Trade is due tom the changing EU market, there are those who think otherwise. When the news first broke the first question that was asked was, Is Tate and Lyle pressuring cane farmers to accept BSI’s proposal of 51 cents payment per ton of bagasse? According to McLachlan, that is another misconception.
Mac McLachlan- International Advisor ASR Group’s
“That’s absolutely false and incorrect as I have mentioned before it is due to the market and it has nothing to do with the bagasse negotiations.”
Suicide, A Silent Killler
Known as the ‘silent epidemic’, in today’s society, suicide continues to be a major problem. Suicide is a huge but largely preventable public health problem, causing almost half of all violent deaths and resulting in almost one million fatalities every year, as well as economic costs in the billions of dollars, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Estimates suggest fatalities could rise to 1.5 million by 2020. But on a local scale in Belize, the Ministry of Health is indicating that the suicide rate for the country is 5.3 per 100,000, which is one of the lowest among Central American countries. But according to Eleanor Bennett, Nursing Administrator at the Ministry of Health, a single suicide case is one too many and that it is a serious issue that is related to mental illnesses such as depression.
Tate and Lyle Defends Its Decision To Reduce Quantity Of Sugar sold Under Fair Trade
On Tuesday August 26th 2014, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association received the shocking news that for the 2014/2015 crop, Tate & Lyle would only be selling a minimum of 10,000 tons of Belize’s sugar to Fair Trade. That’s 55 thousand less than what was sold for the 2013/2014 crop season. It is also a huge hit financially. For the 2013/201 4 crop season the BSCFA will collect close to 8 million dollars in Fair Trade premiums. But for the 2014/2015 crop the association will only receive a little over a million dollars due to the reduction.
While the association made a huge noise over the issue sighting that the drastic cut would affect cane farmers and the sugar industry on a whole, BSI/ASR, who owns Tate and Lyle, has kept silent about the situation. That is until today. In an interview with ASR Group’s International Advisor, Mac McLachlan, he told us that there have been various misconceptions when it comes to Tate and Lyle’s latest move. He also added that the cutback is not only for Belize but for suppliers across the board. Here is how McLachlan defended the company’s decision.
Mayor Darrell Bradley Speaks about Street project
The street works continue around Belize City and yesterday when we sat down with Maor Darrell Bradley we asked for an update.
MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY
“We are right now at 125 streets. Because of our projects we are kind of very mindful that we want to finish a lot of work going on into the rainy season. Right now we are finishing up Seashore drive which looks very nice; we are doing York Street and Lancaster Street. I am getting bids for the extension of Vernon Street and I am talking about the other side of Vernon Street across from Central American Boulevard onto the Western Highway. We are also looking at extending King Street from Canal to Canal that is one of the bids we are looking at also. We are going to finish West Canal, we did East Canal that is to be finished from Bishop Street to Regent Street West and then we are going to finish that and we are going to do West Canal and we are connecting a lot of the areas.
Slight Increase in Crime in Toldeo
A slight increase in crime has been reported in the Toledo District; here is correspondent Paul Mahung.
“Punta Gorda Police Station Sergeant Concepcion Cal spoke of the crime figures for last month as compared to that of July.”
“Major crimes for the month of August 2014 at the Punta Gorda Police Formation category 2014 are: murder 1, rape 1 , Carnal Knowledge 0, burglary 4, theft 1, robbery 1, a total of 8.”
“How does this compare to the month of July Sergeant?”
“For the month of July we have murder rated as 0 for that particular month, rape 0, Carnal Knowledge 0, Burglary was 1, Theft 3, Robbery 0 that was a total of 4. In comparison now we have noted that burglaries have gone up to 3 and we have 1 murder for this month in comparison to last month which was 0, that is equivalent also to rape which is 0 but this month it went up to 1 so there’s a big difference.”
Calendar of Events launched In Belmopan
“The Belmopan September Celebration Committee will officially launch their calendar of events this evening at the Independence Plaza in Belmopan. Love News spoke to Deputy Mayor and Chairlady of the Committee Anna Guy who shared with us the different activities planned for this year’s celebrations.”
Anna Banner Guy:
“This year the Belmopan September Celebrations Committee is very excited about keeping it at home. We plan to have all of our activities to be family oriented and a time for enjoyment in our own municipality. Today we are excited about the launching of the Belmopan September Celebrations and we’re handing out our calendars all over the city and have been doing that for the past week but we officially launch today at 6pm at Independence Plaza which is of course at the steps of the Assembly building.
18 years of Belize Expo Show
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry once again will be hosting the Annual Expo Belize Market at the ITVET Compound on Freetown Street tomorrow and Sunday. This marks the 18th year of the Trade show and this year it is expected to be even bigger and better than last year. There will be many small and medium businesses that will be promoting their products and services to the public. Love News met with BCCI, Expo coordinator Yorshabell Cattouse who spoke more about this year’s expo
“This year marks eighteen years since the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been organizing Expo Belize Marketplace. This weekend it takes place at the IT VET grounds on Freetown Road Belize City starting from 8am to 5pm. We have tickets on sale; it is 5 dollars adults, 3 dollars kids. If you want to buy your tickets in advance and not stand in the lines you can do so at our office on Coney Drive at the Western Union office and also at Doony’s on Albert Street and Totos on Orange Street.
Body of Dangriga Man Retrieve from Sea
The body of a food vendor was retrieved from the sea earlier today in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story.
“The body of a man was found floating in the sea here in Dangriga in front of Holy Ghost Primary School. He has been identified as 45 year old Simon Norberto, a food vendor of the Rivas Estate area of this municipality. His common law wife said that he left home this morning at about 5:10AM to go swimming like he did yesterday. Just before six this morning his body was found floating in the sea. Here is an eyewitness account from a person who was about to take a swim in the same area, Denmark Hernandez.”
“I was going to take a swim this morning and upon reaching Deep Pride in front of the Holy Ghost School I saw a bicycle and a couple clothes. I didn’t see anybody or anything so I decided to take a little work out. I was there and I tried to see if anybody would come out of the water from the surroundings from where I saw the bicycle and the clothes. I didn’t see anyone come out of the water around me so I decided to go in. It was when I was going in the water that I saw the body of a person floating and I thought it was a manatee or something. I decided to look at the body for a little while. Upon reaching the man I saw him and called the BDF because they were around and they came to the beach side and they saw the body. I realized it was the body of Simon Nolberto my neighbor in ‘Rivas’ Estate.”
Silk Grass Residents Protest In front of National Assembly Building
While members of the House of Representatives were meeting inside the National Assembly building, outside, residents of Silk Grass Village were registering their frustration and anger against the Lands and Survey Department. As we have been reporting for over a week now, a hundred villagers are upset that the officers at the Lands Department do not want to take their monies for leases they possess. Chairman, Soloman Andrews, told us what he hopes to achieve by way of the demonstration.
“From since 2008 they tried to go in to pay their leases and they can’t pay their leases so we drew the attention to the lands department and said look the people can’t pay their leases, they need to pay their lease because the grave period is soon up sometime early in next year and they still get denied to let the people go in and pay their lease. So three weeks ago they said that the people could have gone in and paid their lease and I sent the people to make cheques and they gave them all different dates, they also gave me a different date so we are here today to see what we can get resolved because the people need to pay their lease because the seven years is near and they need to pay their leases so that they can construct their property.”
Legal Profession Bill Discussed
Another significant bill that was introduced today at the Sitting of the House of Representative was the Legal Profession Bill. The Bill is the brainchild of Minster of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Wilfred Elrington. The Bill seeks to amend the Legal Profession Act, Chapter 30, to provide for the composition of the General Legal Counsel to remove the requirement of compulsory membership by attorneys-at-law to the bar association of Belize. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, spoke about the bill.
PRIME MINISTER DEAN BARROW
“The reconstitution of the general legal counsel with the Chief Justice as chair ought to result in not just a quicker initial hearing of complaints brought against attorneys at law by members of the public but bringing finality to such complaints more quickly. Let me explain. Before the matter had to go to the general legal counsel and the Chief Justice, no judge of the Supreme Court sat on the general legal counsel. The general legal council would make a finding and then that had to go to the Chief Justice for confirmation or for perhaps his disagreement. This way he chairs the thing so its a one stop kind of operation now and so there ought to be dispatched into dealing with complaints that’s the first major aspect of the amendment. The second is very straight forward, to remove this mandatory requirement that all attorneys at law become members and pay fees to the bar association of Belize. “
Area Rep slams down on Ministry of Health
Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceno, also criticized the Government of Belize and the Ministry of Health, after audit reports, proved that large sums of monies were being misappropriated at several health institution including the Southern Regional Hospital and Central Health Region. Briceno called out the former Financial Secretary of the KHMH, Carlos Perrera.
Area Rep OW Central John Briceno
“Let me remind you Mr. Speaker and remind my honorable colleagues in this honorable house that way back as June the 19th of 2009 in this National Assembly I called that attention of the Prime Minister about the hustling and the corruption at the KHMH led by its ring leader the former CFO one Mr. Carlos Perrera a well-connected UDP lackey from Orange Walk, Belize City. He married to a beautiful young lady from Orange Walk and that is why he is in Orange Walk, he is from Belize City. He was the one that was leading the big hustling in the purchases of the medicines. Let me give you a few examples to remind ourselves as to what was happening. “
KHMH CEO’s action chastised by Area Representative for Orange Walk Central John Briceno
On Tuesday, through a mediation session, five of the thirteen mothers who lost their babies at the KHMH in May of 2013, agreed to a settlement offered by the Management of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. Attorney for the five mothers told the media that day, that both parties were satisfied with the settlement. Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceno, chastised the CEO of the KHMH for the amount of money paid to the five mothers.
Area Representative for Orange Walk Central John Briceno
“It is only at the mediation that then the CEO decided to make an offer. An offer of a measly $10,000 for each mother. Mothers that have been grieving, suffering, that have been wondering why this has happened and why it is them, why it is that he KHMH which is to be the premier hospital in this country have let them down.
Prime Minister Barrow agrees with Response from Head of GSU Mark Flowers
Earlier in the week Love News aired the comments made by former Prime Minister of Belize, Said Musa, about the aggressive tactics being exercised by the Gang Suppression Unit. Musa pledged that if the PUP would come into power at the next general elections, one of the many things they would do is to disband the GSU. The comments did not sit well with the Head of the GSU, Inspector Mark Flowers, who fiercely fired back at Musa by saying that Musa’s comments were irresponsible. That response sparked a wave of controversy between the People’s United Party and the GSU. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, backed up Flowers saying that he believes that the senior parliamentarian was out of line.
PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE DEAN BARROW
“I would like to feel that there is a stronger internal mechanism to deal with excess when they occur. I would like for us to have an ideal situation where excess don’t occur but that’s not going to happen, this is not a perfect world.
BSCFA debt written off by G.O.B
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has been having a rough couple of weeks. First, they have not come to an agreement with ASR over the payment of bagasse and they were later notified that Fairtrade would only take a specific amount of their sugar for sale. The BSCFA, however, received some sort of alleviation after the Government of Belize announced that it write off an outstanding balance to a loan owed by the BSCFA, as explained Prime Minister Dean Barrow.
PRIME MINISTER DEAN BARROW
“Mr. Speaker this is the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association loan right off number two motion 14. Whereas a resolution was adopted by this honorable house on the 12 December 2013 approving the right off of the sum of Belize $2,866,835 payable by the Belize Cane Farmers Association under the sugar price stabilization fund and whereas the association has now informed the government that the actual balance of the loan has changed and that has shone in the 2011-2012 audited financial accounts of the association is in fact $3,702,378 and not $2,866,835 as previously intimated and has requested the government to write off the balance $835,543 and whereas the view of the association’s audited financial statements there is no likelihood that it would be able to repay this balance in the foreseeable future.
Fire Arms acts to be Amended
The House of Representatives met today in Belmopan where several issues of national concern were discussed. Several bills were presented including one to amend the Firearms Act. In recent times several media reports have highlighted what is being called the unfair gun laws where several people are arrested and sent to jail without bail. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the acts aims to relieve hardship in genuine circumstances for those caught up in such situations.
PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE DEAN BARROW
“The drafting wasn’t being done quickly enough for various reasons I am not blaming anyone and at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday it wasn’t quite ready so it was agreed that the Minister and his people would get together with my favorite draftsman Mr. Gian Ghandi so that quick bit of work could be done. I only then saw the finished product yesterday and the rest of the cabinet had to sort of go on faith that the amendments would achieve the objective that we want and strike the fine balance but the question of joint possession and trying to ensure that there is not this automatic joint possession charge looking at who is the head of the household and providing circumstances in effect you can’t charge at all if you are to avoid the mischief.
Young Woman Set Up By A Friend To Get Rape
One man has been detained following a rape report. According to Police, the young woman was set up by one of her friends.
POLICE PRESS OFFICER RAPHAEL MARTINEZ
“Her friend arrived to pick her up in a taxi. The friend was apparently with her boyfriend and of course with an unknown man was sitting in this taxi cab as well. This young lady was taken to a hotel on the Philip Goldson Highway where her friend told her I will come back for you and that never did materialize. The young lady was then taken into a room by this unknown person to her and she was raped.”
The Police is asking the public, especially parents to be vigilant and to advise their children accordingly. As it relates to the suspect who is accused of the murder of 61-year-old Agripina Coc in the Toledo District, no charges have been filed as yet.
Chinese Store Robbed
Meanwhile a number of young men have been detained following a robbery at the corner of Lionel Tillett and Faber’s Road.
Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez
“This was at the corner of Lionel Tillet and Faber’s road extension here in Belize city where some young men robbed a Chinese store. However that is still being processed as we speak but I can tell you that we have since apprehended six persons and they are presently in detention. As I mentioned before we are processing this new development and we believe we have also recovered all the items that were stolen.”