Today's Belize News: September 19, 2014
09/19/14 05:53 AM
09/19/14 05:53 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 Racers to participate in World’s Biggest Sailing Race
The San Pedro Racers (SPR) will be part of Bart’s Bash, a sailing race that will be simultaneously taking place in several destinations across the world. The event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 21st across 65 countries,and is expected to be the biggest sailing race yet. The aim of Bart’s Bash is to set a record in the Guinness Book of World Records, and to be the “Largest sailing event in the world”. Belize’s venues for the all-day event will be Caribbean Villas Hotel.
Bart’s Bash is hosted by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, a charity organization aimed to inspire the next generation of youth through sailing in the United Kingdom and around the world. As part of the event, sailing clubs from across the globe will race at their locations. At the end of the race, all sailors will receive an overall world rank according to their score in the race. So far, Bart’s Bash will see the participation of 10,796 sailors from 728 clubs. In addition to attempting to set a world record, the race will also serve as a fundraiser for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.
Belizeans participate by the thousands in Carnival Road March 2014
Thousands of patriotic Belizeans participated in the 2014 Carnival celebration that took place on Saturday September 13th in Belize City. The event started around predawn with the annual jouvert and ended with the afternoon carnival parade complete with feathery, glittery and elaborate masquerades. The jouvert set the stage for much the anticipated carnival road march, which left the Caesar Ridge Road and made its way along Central American Boulevard, culminating on Marine Parade at the BTL Park. From steel pan bands mounted on large double deck trucks to blaring speakers playing the Rolly Polly Soca beat of Mista Killa; the atmosphere was celebratory and filled with color and fun.
SICA Foreign Minister discusses steps to trade with CARICOM
As part of the Pro-Tempore Presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA), Belize hosted the summit of Council of Foreign Affairs Minister. The event took place on Ambergris Caye on Friday September 12th and was a follow up to a two-day technical meeting held the days prior to the ministerial summit. The meeting focused on five areas and saw the Foreign Ministers discussing and brainstorming ideas related to trade and reaching out to other regional organizations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Chikungunya Disease Approaches Belize
Eight cases of chikungunya have been confirmed by health officials in the bordering country of Guatemala, central city of Esquintla. This makes Guatemala the second Central American country after El Salvador to have confirmed cases of the disease. Belize’s health officials have been placed on alert and the CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, says that they are keeping an eye on the matter.
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is urging member countries that have mosquitoes that transmit dengue and chikungunya to step up their vector-control efforts and prepare for a possible increase in patients suffering from these diseases.
Misc Belizean Sources
Road on North Ambergris Caye
Here's a look on the progress on the paving of the road on North Ambergris Caye...enjoy!
Benque Independence Variety Show
Mount Carmel primary put together a variety show in Benque to celebrate September.
"A plethora of young talents, shared their patriotic spirit and love for Belize at the Ms Independence and Mr.Independence Variety Show, organized by Mount Carmel Primary School. Here is a peek, kudos to a splendid show, it is a true reflection of efforts and rich abundance of talents that will foster an enriched society."
Claudia Garcia Receives Princess Diana Award
Congratulations, Claudia Garcia, for being the first Belizean to receive the Princess Diana Award! The BNE Energy of Life program hosted the award ceremony for Ms. Garcia, who graduated from Eden High School. Thanks, BNE! Keep up the great work, Ms. Garcia!
"The Diana Award is presented to inspirational or socially active young people who have made a positive difference to the lives of others and their communities."
Parade Route, San Pedro Independence Day
Join us for Independence Eve on the 20th of September at Central Park, starting at 10, to welcome our 33rd Independence! We will have entertainment by the San Pedro Dance Academy and Fireworks! Come visit the booths at the BLOCK PARTY (starting at 7) that will be lined up on Barrier Reef Drive!
Join in on the fun for the Jump Up parade on the 21st of September starting at 1:00 p.m. See Route attached.
We hope everyone has a safe and happy Independence Day!
Long live Belize!
Parade Route, San Pedro Independence Day
Here is a video of the route for the Jump Up Parade on the 21st of September.
Little Miss Pandy Show 2014
Congratulations, Ms. Rachel Cruz, for being named this years' Little Miss Pandy Show. Pandy has had quite a few events this month, including the talent show, and the Miss Pandy Show.
D Catch Anniversary Bash
D Catch is having their 1st anniversary party on Saturday. It's going to be a ceviche Saturday.
"Time to party!!!! Come and join us, we only turn 1 once! There will be lots of give away by D Catch and Bowen and Bowen. Don't miss out it will be lots of fun, fun, fun!!!!!!"
Benque Independence Variety Show
Mount Carmel primary put together a variety show in Benque to celebrate September.
"A plethora of young talents, shared their patriotic spirit and love for Belize at the Ms Independence and Mr.Independence Variety Show, organized by Mount Carmel Primary School. Here is a peek, kudos to a splendid show, it is a true reflection of efforts and rich abundance of talents that will foster an enriched society."
Corozal Art in the Park 5th Anniversary
Art in the Park began in 2009 as the brainchild of Debra Wilkes, who still spearheads this project. It functions under the auspices of COLCHA, which is is a Corozal entity dedicated to "Celebrating, promoting, and preserving the cultural heritage, art and history of our community as we identify our nich within the tapestry of National Belizean Identity." (From the Mission statement)
For the Fifth Anniversary Celebration music was provided by the very popular Corozal musical group Caribbean Roots. Artisans displayed around the fountain, and the walkways to the streets in Central Park were filled with a wide variety of food vendors.
There were hundreds and hundreds of folks present for this event!
The program for the night consisted of the recognition of a number of artists who have been loyal and are almost always present for the monthly Art in the Park. Also recognized were a number of groups that have been physically and financially supportive. These artists and groups are found in the gallery of pictures below.
3 Dead, 5 Injured In 24 Hours; Suspected Gang Flare Up
Today, Belize City residents woke up shell-shocked after 7 hours of violence yesterday that left three dead, and five others with gunshot injuries. It all started at 2:00 pm with the murder of Cyril McFoy Robinson at the corner of Euphrates Avenue and Dean Street. The gunman was targeting his son, the George Street affiliated Brandon Tillett, and ended up killing the 56 year old Robinson and shooting another man - both of whom were playing dominoes under a house.
That police say that single event sparked a night of eruptive violence across the city, the kind that has not been seen for some time. And the crime spike didn't only scare residents, it did the same for politicians. This afternoon, Prime Minister Dean Barrow scheduled an emergency meeting with Belize City police this afternoon at the Raccoon Street police station, first to find out if they responded adequately after the McFoy shooting, and second, to see if they are doing anything to make sure the spike doesn't continue.
Police: Retaliatory Shootings Caused By BT Dad's Death
And what will be done is the immediate enforcement of all gang related crimes on the book - some that have never been used before. We'll get to that, but first to what really triggered yesterday's violence. First, there was the McFoy murder at 2:00 pm, and then at 7:20 pm, Clifford Flores was shot to the midsection on Faber's Road, and then 55 minutes after that 26 year old Joseph Roland was shot in the head on central American Boulevard, and then at 9:15 pm, there was a shooting on the northside, near Angel Lane which is beside St. Mary's School. That's where four men were shot, including 26 year old John Avilez, who received multiple shots to his midsection. Two of those men, Flores and Avilez died. And today police said all that violence is a direct result of the murder of Brandon Tillett's father, Cyril McFoy Robinson:.
Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster, Deputy Commander, Eastern Division
"Brandon Tillett is a member of the George Street gang and we have other affiliates of Jane Usher gang who is affiliates of George Street. We have member from south side gang detained who we believe are having conflict within each other as it relates to this latest incident."
2nd Flores Male Murdered
And while police say they are remaining vigilant - tonight, three city families are grieving.
The first Belize City resident who became a casualty of this latest flare-up was 25 year-old Clifford Flores who was gunned down on Sylvia Arthurs street, right in front of his house.
Flores was shot at around 7:20 p.m., in the middle of the newscast. Our cameraman arrived on the scene shortly after, and today, we went to speak with Flores' family members, who were in the midst of their grief. Daniel Ortiz has that story:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
Tragedy revisited the home of the Flores family last night at around 7:20 in the first City shooting on Caesar Ridge Road area. 25 year-old Clifford Simeon Flores and his 2 friends were sitting on a vehicle here in front of their house when an SUV drove past. A gunman opened fire from that vehicle in the direction of the group. Flores was injured 3 times, once to the abdomen, and twice to the lower back.
University Student Murdered; A Gang War Casualty
And, two hours after Flores was killed, 10 gunshots rang out on Angel Lane, in the vicinity of Pinks Alley. Four men were shot, one of them fatally: he is 26 year-old John Avilez who lived in Angel Lane.
Avilez was hanging out with 3 other men, 28 year-old Nigel Ferguson, 30 year-old Mark Alamilla, and 28 year-old William Savery right outside his house when a vehicle drove up around 9 p.m.
Police say that a man exited that vehicle and fired several shots at the entire group, making it the third shooting of the night. Ferguson was injured in left cheek, while Allamilla was injured in the left upper leg. Aviles suffered 2 injuries to the right side of his chest and 1 to the right arm, and his companion, Savery took a bullet to the right side of the buttocks.
All 4 men were rushed to the hospital where doctors tried for approximately an hour and a half to save Aviles' life. Unfortunately, he passed away from his injures while undergoing treatment.
Investigators Unsure About John Avilez's murder
The Avilez murder is particularly unsettling because the 26 year old was a UB student who was not known to have gang ties. So why was he killed, if the murders were retaliatory? Today, his family didn't want to talk to the media, but the police told us what they know:..
"The death of John Avilez, the UB student. Was he the intended target, was he not? Was someone in that group socializing at that moment the intended target or was that as is being suggested a random shooting?"
ACP - Desiree Phillips - OCED
"That is pre-mature for us to indicate if he was the intended target. The investigation is pretty young and obviously it's continuing."
Joseph Roland Shot In The Head; Survives
The 6th and final person who was the target of a retaliation type shooting last night was another 26 year-old, Joseph Roland, a resident of Pelican Street. He was targeted at around 8:15, one hour after Clifford Flores was shot, and 1 hour before John Avilez and his 3 companions were targeted.
According to police, he was standing at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Antelope Street Extension. He was buying food when a man ambushed and shot him in the left side of his head just behind the ear.
He was rushed to the KHMH, and where Doctors found that miraculously, the bullet did not hit any major blood vessels, nor did it injure his brain. When we stopped by his house today, his friends told us that he has been released from the hospital, and he is walking around, if only gingerly.
PM Barrow: Police Will Enforce All Laws On Known Gang Members
You've already heard - in very general terms how police are responding to the troubling spike in crime. But, there are specifics as well; namely, enforcement of anti-gang laws that have been on the books but have never been used. The Prime Minister explained that use of these laws and the handling of them, formed a large part of his meeting with the police today:..
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"The police and ourselves discuss how a longer term basis you can removed these people from the equation. I am saying that we have passed all sorts of laws. There is an offence on the statute book that has been there for years. We've tried to tweak it. We tried to make it more robust, but that essentially said membership in a gang is illegal. I am now learning that one of the persons being detained will be charge with some offence of causing public terror. That reassures me, because you are very unlikely to get them for the actual offence of murder, of shooting somebody. Then the question of affiliates is raised. We are told we have some extremely recruits that are being use a trigger persons.
Law Enforcement Seize Half-a-Mil In Cocaine
Last night the Customs Department, the police special patrol unit, BDF and customs set up a checkpoint between miles 61 and 62 on the Northern Highway and they scored with a major drug bust.
At around 7:30, they stopped a Toyota pickup with Corozal plates driven by 36-year-old Ranchito Resident Axel Fuentes. Fuentes is a fisherman by profession, and he had a few iceboxes full of fish. But, sharp work by the customs team picked up something a little odd about one of the iceboxes. It was full of fish, but seemed to be too heavy. So they took the icebox to examine it closely and found that it had a false bottom: 6 inches of the icebox's depth was concealed by a fake fiberglass covering. So they cut it open and found 18 bricks of cocaine totaling
18.89 Kilos - that's 41 pounds! That product has an estimated street value of about half a million Belize Dollars - and more than twice that on the US market.
KHMH Went Into Mass Casualty Mode
So, the big story tonight is about the crime spree that left three men dead yesterday. But, a huge and under-reported part of the story is the response of the KHMH - which is the trauma center for the vast majority of shooting victims.
Well last night, with six shootings after 7:00 pm, the hospital had to go into mass casualty mode. The hospital today issued a release saying that at 7:35
it activated its Mass Casualty Plan due to the six (6) gunshot casualties that arrived simultaneously at the Accident and Emergency Department.
The "manpower pool" was activated where extra KHMH personnel such as all surgeons, available nurses, support staff and the management team were called out to assist with the emergency crisis. They performed three emergency surgeries.
Increased Security Around St. Ignatius Primary Following Next Door Murder
And one other institution that had to react in the wake of the shooting was St. Ignatius School. The school is immediately adjacent to the house where Cyril Mcfoy Robinson was playing dominoes when he was killed. As many as eight shots rang out at 2:00 in the afternoon when school was in session. It left the children understandably traumatized and terrorized - we caught this picture of a child who was being taken back to school but couldn't reach because of the police tape.
Today, in response, the Ministry of Education sent in a team of counselors from the Anglican and Methodist Missions. A ministry spokesperson says that 7 counselors were present and facilitated talk therapy and art therapy in an attempt to allow students to deal with the crisis.
And while that is good and well, the school is in a gang zone, in the middle of a gang war. So what are police going to do. That's what our colleague Luis Wade asked at the press conference today:..
GSU's Capacity Will Increased
And while that thought about additional security at the school came almost as an afterthought - beefing up the GSU even more is a top priority. The unit already had 35 men, but now it's going to get more. Commissioner Whylie said today that the Gang Suppression Unit is the point of focus in this gang war:..
Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police
"If you look again at the number for the GSU and whilst they are our primary strike force in terms of attacking and dismantling the gangs, again their numbers are being beefed up because it is a huge task that they have to deal with. The GSU will be in the face of these players who continue to plague our society in particular in Belize City. My directive to them is that each and every individual must be arrested and charged for whatever infractions of the law that they commit."
Does More Police Numbers Curb Crime?
And all this talk about beefing up the GSU, got us wondering about the effectiveness of police deployments. Two years ago, before the precinct system the eastern division patrol branch had approximately 150 officers; but now with the precincts, there are at least three times that number spread across the four precincts - a 200% increase. Add to that the 10 man quick response team and the 35 man GSU and that's a lotta cops on the street. Additionally, police are going to add 50% of the new intake to eastern division. But, crime still spikes as it will. So we asked are the increased numbers effective:.
Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police
"I can commit that over 50% of that recruiting squad again will be deployed to Belize City."
"It seems from the outside that you all keep throwing more personnel at the problem, but you are not fixing it. We don't know the crime statistics for Belize City because you refuse to release it, although you promise, but I am saying that it appears that you all think that this is a problem and can be solved with man power, but you are at 300% more and the problem is still there. So obviously it is not the problem that can be solved with man power. Do you sir know what the problem really is and you have any idea how to really fix it?"
Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police
"There is a number of issues Jules. In terms of your number that you quoted I cannot say that that was the number that was at the existing patrol branch. You must understand that Belize City has grown, it has expanded, not only in terms of businesses, houses etc., but also in terms of population. And so yes we put numbers because I dint believe that we'll ever have sufficient numbers, but what we have got to improve on is the community engagement."
BEL: "Connecting Homes, Improving Lives"
Many of you living in the urban areas, don't know what it's like to live without electricity.
The closest experiences you may have are those occasional power outages. But many people living in the rural areas live in a perceptual state of darkness, where, for some, their only sources of light, is the restricted glow of candle light or stolen or borrowed electricity. BEL's "Connecting Homes, Improving Lives" project that was launched today, is changing that reality for rural communities across the country by installing free service entrance for rural residents. Today an official ceremony was held in Camalote Village and one of the recipients, Mark Andrews explained how this light initiative will light 'up' his life.
Sean Fuller, Senior Manager, BEL
"The European Union, the Government of Belize and B.E.L. initiated a project to electrify forty-three communities throughout this country. At the end of the project, we did a survey and we realized that about thirty or forty percent of the customers within these communities are connected to the system. The additional sixty or so percent of residents just could not afford the basic service entrance required to connect to the network. So the savings that we realized from the initial project, we went back to the EU and requested the use of those savings to install service entrances for the needy.
Coye Suit Against Arthur Saldivar Filed
Up to yesterday, exiled PUP candidate Arthur Saldivar's supporters could still say that he had not been criminally charged and that no suit had been filed against him for Melonie Coye's money. But, now, sources tell us that the suit was filed by Eamon Courtenay at the Supreme Court this morning. Courtney had written to Saldivar in July requiring him to return the money by the end of the month.
Meonie Coye alleges that on June 12th. she went with Saldivar to the Central Bank to recover 1.6 million dollars of her family's money from the Financial Intelligence Unit.
She says Saldivar left with nine hundred and four thousand dollars in a suitcase and since then he has refused to return the money. Her attorney Eamon Courtenay wrote in the letter that there is no lawful basis on which Saldivar is holding unto the nearly one million dollars.
Arthur Vs PUP, The Remix
So, the Saldivar saga continues. After being booted as a standard bearer in the PUP National Executive meeting yesterday he says he is consulting his supporters in Belize Rural North. Things unfold late in the evening yesterday - so we didn't get a chance to put all Saldivar's choice comments in context. We do so tonight - as we look back at the press conference to announce his removal and Saldivar's entertaining response:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
After the meeting - members of the executive stood and milled around and while you might get the idea that it was a decision lightly taken…
Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the PUP
"It is never easy for anyone to sit in judgment if you like of any colleague of theirs. So it was not an easy decision. It was not a decision taken lightly."
But, it was taken:
Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the PUP
"With immediate effect, Mr. Arthur Saldivar is removed as the standard bearer for Belize Rural North for the People's United Party and is removed as a member of the national executive of the party."
Arthur Saldivar, Former PUP Std. Bearer - BRN
"If that is the decision then the party has abandoned me."
Machel Montano 3rd Concert In Belize
With all the advertising both on TV, radio and social media, you should know that Trinidadian Soca Superstar Machel Montano is set perform in a headline event on the Independence eve.
It's also his third visit to the country, and his last major concert happened in 2005 when he was the UNICEF Youth Ambassador. In that event, he performed for thousands of primary and high school youths.
But his first visit was in 1998, when he was only just making his rise in the Caribbean Soca scene. In that concert, he and his other performers brought out thousands of fans to the Belize City Civic Center. Concertgoers may remember that at that event, there was hardly any standing room in the entire Civic.
Today, at a press conference held at the Bliss, he told the local media that he's hoping to draw similar if not bigger crowds at his 20th night concert, given that the local soca scene has grown. Here's how he explained it:
Belize Celebrate Independence With Mexico
3 days remain before Belize's Independence Day while Mexico celebrated their independence on Tuesday with a Military Parade at Zocalo Square in downtown Mexico City and Belize was represented in the grand parade by the Belize Coast Guard. The Heads of the Belizean delegation were CEO in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell, and Coast Guard Commander John Borland. Mexico celebrated its 204th anniversary of Independence on Tuesday.
Sr. Supt. Broaster Defends "Not In My City"
And now, for two more news items on the police press conference. We know we've already done like ten of them, but it's very rare that we get a chance to grill the entire police command about crime. We're trying to understand, or to see if they understand what really drives crime - which brought us to the Not In My City operation. It was launched with much fanfare on August 12th. and was supposed to make September safe. But with last night's spree of shootings, we wondered, is it effective? Here's what Senior Superintendent Broaster said about it today:..
"Are you concern that this happen in the middle of an operation that you all I believe in the midst of a quite heavy operation with extra personnel and here you have this outburst of violence and there is no ability to contain it?"
Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster, Deputy Commander, Eastern Division
"Jules, there will always be incidents that occur in any time period or within any operation, but what we intend to do is to ensure that the escalation of this violence does not go any further. We will be implementing other measures that will mitigate the escalation of these violence very shortly."
PM Bristles; Says Government Didn't Pay Gangs
And in one last news item from the press conference, we'll show you how the PM bristled at the suggestion that his government paid gangs to keep the peace.
It is one of the most unpopular initiatives ever undertaken by his government - but to hear the PM tell it, it never happened - he says people are confusing issues with a work programme:..
"Is the state still paying gang members and....."
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"What kind of question that "do you still beat your wife?" It's of that nature that you can't answer because what will you say? We were never paying gang members. When did that happened?"
"In the streets they were saying they were and actual gang members."
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"People we had a work program at one time that you all know about. It work for a while and thereafter it didn't work. There was never any payment to gang members to say hold it down. We try to create employment opportunities, now we are doing so on a far more sustain basis because we got more monies and thank God we are doing it by way of the private sector, but there was never any payment to gang members in the context that your question seems to be placed."
Major Flooding In Blue Creek Toledo
There has been major flooding in Toledo in the past few days particularly in Blue Creek Village and Big Falls Village. Kenton Parham, District Emergency Coordinator for Toledo says that the flood waters rose to 15 to 18 feet above the local bridge. A local rice cultivator stated that he lost about 100,000 pounds of rice as a result of the flood; he states it is a total loss. Although Parham states that there were no causalities in the villages and that the flood waters have relatively subsided, this level of flooding has not been experienced in a while.
Five families had to be evacuated but returned home within hours…
2 Dead, 6 Injured in Retaliatory Shootings, Belize City On Lockdown
Belize City came under siege on Wednesday. In a spate of seven hours, three men were murdered. It started in the early afternoon when Cyril McFoy, the father of a [...]
P.M. Barrow Meets With Police High Command to Address Crime Wave
The overnight violence in Belize City immediately prompted Prime Minister Dean Barrow to call a meeting with the brass of the Belize Police Department to address the ongoing reprisals that [...]
Government Pledges Additional Financial Resources to Tackle Crime
In an attempt to quell fears of further violence, P.M. Barrow has pledged that government will expend whatever financial and material resources necessary to address the ongoing issue of gang-related [...]
6 Men Detained in Overnight Shooting, Will They Be Charged?
Barrow says that he does not believe that any of the six men who are presently in detention will be charged for murder, that he says would only succeed a [...]
18 Kilos of Cocaine Found In Icebox Full of Fish
Police and Customs officers made a huge bust on Wednesday night in Orange Walk. Just under forty pounds of suspected cocaine with a street value of over one point three [...]
Dangriga Police Crack Down Drugs and Ammunition
Still in the south of the country – Dangriga Police report that this morning they conducted anti-drug operations in that municipality. The operation included the Special Branch Unit, the Dangriga [...]
Subdivision on North Ambergris Caye on Indefinite Hold
Tonight, News Five can confirm that a subdivision planned in Northern Ambergris Caye, about four miles from the town, is on hold. That subdivision – forty acres of wetland and [...]
Manuel Heredia on Hol Chan Marine Reserve Expansion
And then there’s the other issue. News Five has verified that the forty acres surveyed for the subdivision is completely within an area proposed for a marine reserve expansion. Information [...]
Vetting Committee Set Up to Review Visa Regulations
Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse told News Five last week that he recently brought to Belize the passport issued illegally to Korean national Won Hong Kim back in September 2013. [...]
Godwin Hulse Draws Parallel Between Arthur Saldivar and Elvin Penner
Attorney Arthur Saldivar was dumped on Wednesday by his party following a meeting of the P.U.P. Executive. Saldivar was removed as standard bearer for the Belize Rural North but says [...]
Another Allegation of GSU Brutality on Jane Usher Boulevard
In this newscast, we have carried untold numbers of allegations of brutality at the hands of the police. Tonight, residents of the Jane Usher Boulevard are alleging that they were [...]
ComPol Whylie Assures More Boots on the Ground
At the top of the newscast, we told you of the three murders and shootings that transpired in a span of seven hours on Wednesday. The violence has put the [...]
Police Brass Discuss Gang Matrix
Assistant Commissioner of Police Dezeree Phillips and Deputy Officer Commanding Eastern Division Edward Broaster also explained the gang matrix, as it relates to the ongoing criminal activities. According to Phillips, [...]
B.E.L. to Electrify a Thousand Homes for Free
Forty-three communities across the country will be added to the national grid. Included are a thousand Belizeans who will get free service entrance installations for electricity. The project is called [...]
Dancehall Artists Alkaline in Belize
Despite the crime, there are a number of concerts planned for this weekend in Belize City and Cayo. This morning, Soca King, Machel Montano appeared on Open Your Eyes inviting [...]
Thief Invades Homes In Xaibe Village
Today a massive man hunt by residents and members of the Daniels family in the village of Xaibe was promptly activated in the outskirts of the village after an alleged thief gained unauthorized entrance into their home.The incident occurred a little before midday today. 41 year old Delia Daniels went to a nearby store in the village when a Hispanic man made himself into her house by removing the screen of her kitchen window.Upon her return, she realized that her window was wide open. Daniels told us that upon arrival she felt that the perpetrator was still inside her home. A neighbor informed Daniels that they saw the culprit allegedly wearing a yellow shirt, jump over the fence and ran across the road into a nearby cane field and fled.
Cervantez's alleged Killers Go Back To Court
Accused murderers twenty-two year old Noe Daniel Gonzalez, twenty-eight year old Mateo Pott and nineteen year old Angel Antonio Cardenas were escorted back to Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court this morning.
Since the much sensationalized incident occurred, the trio have been charged of kidnapping and murder of 71 year old Ramon Cervantes Sr which occurred on July 2nd. Other charges on their rap sheet include firearm offences for a twelve gauge shotgun and five shotgun shells. Noe Gonzalez, Mateo Pott and Angel Antonio Cardenas were taken to the Belize Central Prison this afternoon. They are to reappear in Court on October 28th, 2014.
Survey Reveals Increase In HIV Cases In Corozal
In the month of June, the Ministry of Health, released its 2013 report for the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country and the results were damning. The report showed that over the past three years, the number of new cases of the virus is continuous. The data even showed that there are more men affected with the disease. In Corozal, the Commission of AIDS also conducted a survey last year which brought to light the fact that there has been a slight increase of patients with the virus.
Elmer Cornejo – PR AIDS Commission
“In 2013, I just receive that report, in 2013 there were over 200 cases of new HIV infections, of that if I am not mistaken around 60 or so were new HIV cases that were people under the age of 30.”Victor Castillo – Reporter“Now, what is this showing now?”
O/W, The Place To Be for The 21st September
With the biggest Independence Parade set to take place in Orange Walk just a few days away, Belizeans from all corners of the country will make their way anticipating the biggest celebration in Belize’s September Calendar of activities. Public Relations officer at the Town Council, German Novelo, says there will be fireworks and entertainment with the action kicking off tomorrow night with the Drum Fete.German Novelo – Public Relations Officer, OWTC“On the 18th we are having the Drum Fete at the Fort Cairns Market Plaza, on the 19th we are having the children’s rally and a mass at 6:30pm on George Price Avenue in commemoration of the Honourable George Cadle Price, 20th night we have flag raising ceremonies, cultural presentations, official flag raising ceremonies and we have confirmed that we are having the best fireworks. We will be having four bands playing on the 20th night. On the 21st we are having the ceremonies at 3:00pm followed by the parade I assure you that we will not disappoint Belizeans as during the parade we will be having Oscar B backed up by Youth Connection Band.”
Jouvert Coming To Orange Walk
The much anticipated 13th Annual Drum Fete is scheduled for Thursday at the Fort Cairns Plaza and promises to live up to its reputation with a series of dance presentations and the newest routines the Central Drum Corp has created for this year. Director of the Drum Corp, Eldred Neal, says members of the Central Drum Corp will put on a show that you don’t want to miss.Eldred Neal – Director of the Drum Corp“It’s no other place than Fort Carns Plaza, it is right behind the Town Hall and it start immediately after the news come Thursday 18th September on Centaur TV and Live on Fiesta Radio so for those of you who can’t make it out stick close to the television screen because we are going to be bringing you the treats of this year’s colours and sounds and of course what is to become the 21st day of September. Central drum corp. has been around for too many years long before I got here but I know this in fact is the 13th year of the Drum-Fete and it has been held at the Fort Carns Plaza so for those of you who have been a part of it and for those of you who will be the first time and interest you to come out and I really want to say kudos and a big thank you to my sponsors; Tropigas who always gives you more, Smart, Bringing People together, Old Maters Rum, the Spirit of Belize, Shell One Stop and of course your friendly Central Drum Corp, members and family.”
Arthur Saldivar Removed As PUP Standard Bearer For Belize Rural North
The People’s United Party today announced that they have decided to dismiss one of their own. Viewers may recall that Standard Bearer for the Belize Rural North Constituency, Arthur Saldivar, was suspended last month pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct and accusations of taking and failing to return over $900,000 from former clients Melonie and Marlene Coye.
The Coye’s were released from charges of money laundering following a successful criminal appeal in March in which Saldivar represented them.Today, the PUP, having received the report from a committee set up last month to investigate the alleged wrongdoings, took the decision to remove Saldivar from the post of Standard Bearer and also as a member of the PUP Executive. Party Leader Francis Fonseca reportedly said today that the decision was weighed against what was best overall for the PUP and the entire country.
O/W Town Council To Appeal Justice Young's Decision
At the end of the day the Orange Walk Town Council has 21 days to appeal Justice Young’s decision and that is exactly what they will do. Under what grounds you may ask? Mayor Bernard explains.
Kevin Bernard- Mayor of Orange Walk Town
“This case definitely will be appealed by this Town Council because of the fact that when the Mayor now, the contract is one thing, the Mayor signed an agreement to pay De’mars Stone company on February 15th 2012 a few days before the election, there was never another council meeting after August 16th 2011 and worst so any decision for us to get into any agreement to pay De’mars Stone Company, those were our points in fact that this case we believe can and we can win in an appeal court and I believe that we have strong points that we can fight on and I believe that the people of Orange Walk needs to know that every amount of money that this council has had to be burden with; the Social Security debt, the Income Tax, the old RB’s bill, the old San Martin gas station bill, the old Landy’s and sons debt and all these debts that was left by the previous council for us to take care and if we now add on the De’mars Stone company bill you are talking about almost four hundred thousand dollars by the end of February just by the Social Security, the overdraft and the income tax we would have paid over $426, 000.00.”
Survey Finds There Is A Lack Of Information When It Comes To HIV
In 2013, the Commission of Aids group in Corozal Town conducted a survey where Corozalenos were asked to answer a number of questions pertaining to the HIV Virus. The findings of that report were released last month and it shows that there is a lack of information when it comes to the way HIV/AIDS is transmitted. One of the major concerns brought up was the transmission of the virus by mosquito bites.
Elmer Cornejo - PR Aids Commission Corozal
“Something that we found out while doing the survey because the survey was for young persons and a few people were thinking that HIV could be transmitted through a mosquito bite but obviously that can’t happen because the HIV virus only affects humans and cannot be transmitted otherwise other than through body fluid, through sharing needles and through blood transfusion so more than like you cannot get a HIV positive or if you get a mosquito bite.”
Streets In Orange Walk Will Be Ready For Parade Route
There is no doubt that the question that many Orange Walkenos are asking at the moment is whether the streets of Orange Walk Town, particularly those where the 21st parade will pass through will be in good conditions. While there is no shying away from the fact that some streets in Orange Walk continue to be in need of repair, it is also a fact that the Orange Walk Town Council has been upgrading streets as fast as they can go and with no held from Central Government we know that can’t be that fast. But what Orange Walkneos and visitors can rest assure is that come the 21st of September the streets that make up the parade route will be in good condition.
Justice Young Ruled That Former O/W Mayor Acted Out Of His Jurisdiction
Yesterday in the Supreme Court of Justice Sonya Young, the Orange Walk Town Council was ordered to pay Denny Gijalava, owner of Demar’s Stone Company here in Orange Walk, almost $100,000 inclusive of interest and court fees for streets fixed in Orange Walk. The agreement with Girjalva was made by the previous UDP Town Council headed by former Mayor Philip De La Fuente. The then town council paid Grijalva $90,000 and agreed to pay the remaining balance of the contract which stood at $138,000 in installments.
But when the PUP Town Council was elected in 2012, they refused to pay Grijalva the remaining balance under the claim that proper procedure was not followed by De La Fuente. So, Grijalva took the matter to court and won. Yesterday when we interviewed De La Fuente he stated that the ruling was justifiable since Mayor Bernard, who at that time was a counselor, and all other councilors were in agreement of Grijalva being hired to pave the streets. The yes was allegedly given during a council meeting held on August 16th 2011. But, not so fast says Mayor Bernard. While he agrees that a council meeting was held, he totally refutes that the council agreed to hire Girjalva.
Upgrade On Visas
In January legislation was passed for the creation for a visa vetting committee. Minister Hulse said that has been done and the Committee has been hard at work.
“We are in the process now of reviewing the entire visa regulations, there are about 60 of them over the years. We are trying to amalgamate them, not trying, we are amalgamating them into one so that there is one document with all the respective content that have wavers etc. etc. The committee is up and running we are also going to be establishing specific visas because you have to understand that this country’s visa laws dates back to 1963 and so when we got independence they still obtained. We are now going to create the student visa, employment visa or what you call work permit visa, visitor visa and all of those so that we clear up because what is happening is a lot of people get visitor’s visa come to Belize, they come here intending to work and then they stay and they get stamped. We want to clean up all of that and we are working in that direction.”
Shooting Terror Unfolds In The City
“As we mentioned, six persons were shot – two died and another is at the KHMH fighting for his life. It all happened in a span of two hours and we start with the murder of 25 year old Clifford Simeon Flores. Flores was along with two friends sitting on a vehicle on Caeser Ridge Road when a SUV approached and a person from the vehicle fired several shots at them. Flores was hit to the abdomen and lower back. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and died while undergoing treatment. Flores was shot at around 7:20 last night and 45 minutes later gunfire rang out on Central American Boulevard and this time 26-year-old Joseph Roland was shot. Roland who is from Pelican Street was standing at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Antelope Street Extension purchasing food when a man snuck up on him from the rear, pointed a gun to his head and fired a single shot. He was rushed to the KHMH where he is now fighting for his life. An hour later, terror was unleashed on an unsuspecting group hanging out on Angel Lane. Four persons were shot but one died. 26 year old John Avilez was with the group when a vehicle came from the direction of North Front Street and a male person came out of the vehicle and fired several shots in the direction of the men. Avilez received gunshot wounds to the right side of the chest and left arm. He died while undergoing treatment at the KHMH. 28-year-old Nigel Ferguson of Brides Alley was shot to the left cheek, 30-year-old Mark Alamilla of Pinks Alley received injury to the left upper leg, 28-year-old William Savery of Angel Lane was shot to the right side of the buttocks. Ferguson and Alamilla are in stable conditions while Savery is in a critical condition.”
K.H.M.H Activates Mass Casualty Plan
The pause in gun violence over the last few days in the streets of Belize City rendered some semblance of peace and ceasefire particularly among the gang members of the old capital. But when shots rang out yesterday afternoon next door to St. Ignatius Primary School on Euphrates Avenue in Belize, just minutes before the time of dismissal, many residents, unaware of the gang affiliations and network, did not anticipate that it was the start of a hail of shootings that, some hours later, would descend upon the city’s streets. It got so grave that even hospital authorities were forced to up their effectiveness through the activation of their Mass Casualty Plan after six injured persons were delivered, simultaneously, to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The Mass Casualty Plan takes effect, according to hospital authorities, when the normal flow of emergency care is interrupted or outdone. As a result of the plan’s activation, human resources were increased as additional help was summoned via support staff, nurses, surgeons and doctors. The plan even extends to its security services as additional guards were called in last night to secure the facility’s perimeter as well as giving the staff a sense of security while carrying out their duties.
National Service Day Celebrated In Memory of Hon. George Cadle Price
Three years ago on September 19, a blanket of melancholy enveloped Belize as the news on the death of the country’s first Premiere, George Cadle Price spread like wildfire. His death in 2011 came just two days short of Independence Day and ten days away from the sixty-first anniversary of the party he once led. Price was admitted to the Belize Healthcare Partners on Wednesday, September 14 after he fell at his Pickstock home where he was born and lived until the time of his death. Price or Preesho as he was affectionately referred to by many, left an imprint behind and a legacy that has been embedded in our history books. His funeral service which was held on the steps of the National Assembly, as a symbol and recognition of the works he put in to make us independent was flocked by many from all over the country. John Briceno, who was the PUP’s Party Leader at the time of Price’s passing, referred to Price as a man who was strong enough to lead a revolution and gentle enough to walk softly among the less fortunate.
“He was a man who walked among us like ordinary folk; never ever flinching in his love for Belize and for the people. He was strong enough to lead a revolution and gentle enough to walk softly and comfortably among the less fortunate. He so loved Belize and what this tiny nation could become that he dedicated his entire life in her service. His family was the Belizean people, his home stretched from the proud Rio Hondo to the Old Sarstoon. Perhaps it was what we all saw in him that made us love him so much for he was a man who believed in God and loved all people and he always believed in the future.”
Minister Hulse Says Passport Is In the Hands of The Police
Last week it was revealed that Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse brought back the controversial passport that was issued for South Korean Won Hong Kim. Today Minister Hulse was asked whether Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action, COLA who brought a private prosecution against Elvin Penner who was implicated in the case had requested the passport. While he said he was not aware of any such request he went into the process involved.
“I brought the passport yes so there is a chain of custody that you always have to have. The ambassador gave it to me properly signed over I signed it over to our CEO and the police so the last thing I know is that it is in the hands of the police. I don’t know where it is going from there. I know it’s supposed to go to the DPP for the police to deal with that and as you know this minister never interferes with the police and police business, absolutely not.”
Households to Benefit from B.E.L’S Project:Connecting Homes, Improving Lives
A special ceremony was held in Camalotte Village in the Cayo District for a project entitled Connecting homes, improving lives. This is a collaborative effort of Belize Electricity Limited, the Government of Belize and the European Union. Sean Fuller explained how the project came about and the objective.
“In early 2010 Belize Electricity Limited submitted a project proposal to the European Commission ACP EU energy facility entitled ‘Provide Electrification to marginal and oppressed rural and peri-urban communities in Belize from renewable energy sources through grid extension. This project was approved for grant financing from the European Union on December 6th 2010. The goal of the tripartheid initiative between the European Union, Belize Electricity Limited and the Government of Belize is to provide electricity supply to improve the standard of living, to provide opportunity for economic growth and to remove the peril of unsafe and unauthorized electricity supply to the identified rural and peri-urban areas. 43 urban and rural communities across six districts throughout the country of Belize were selected. That translated to some 1700 households comprising of approximately 8,500 individuals. At the end of the process however a survey showed that most of the households, as much as 50%, were not able to afford the cost of installing the basic service entrance required to connect to the grid.”
TIDE Launches CleanUp Campaign
The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment along with several of its partners will be conducting a cleanup campaign on Friday. Love News got the details from TIDE’s Education and outreach coordinator, Norman Budna.
“The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment TIDE jointly with the Toledo Education Department and the Punta Gorda town council and the Belize National Scout Association is inviting the public to participate in the international beach and water ways cleanup campaign. The event is scheduled for tomorrow September 19th starting at 9AM to 11:30AM. Areas of clean up are inland water ways and Punta Gorda coastal beach. Ocean and waterways trash ranks as one of the most serious pollution problems of our time, much more than that it is an eyesore in the water and the shore affecting the health of people, wildlife and economy. Whether we live on a beach or thousands of miles from the coastlines we all have a profound stake in an ocean that is healthy and abundant. For example trash that is in the water injures swimmers and boat goes, it harms and wildlife. It drives away tourists and their wallets and ensnares the boat propeller; it is a costly navigation hazard. Although marine debris is one of the most challenging problems it is also one of the most preventable.
Re: Today's Belize News: September 19, 2014
09/19/14 05:53 AM
09/19/14 05:53 AM
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Belmopan Mayor discusses residents’ concerns
Mayor Simeon Lopez, Mayor of the Capital City of Belmopan, appeared on Rise and Shine morning show Wednesday morning, to address various issues of concern to residents of Belmopan.
Topics ranged from street works happening in the city, renovations of the Civic Center and the relocation of the market...
Work Soon On Maya Mopan Bridge
On Tuesday we told you about the bridge in Maya Mopan, Belmopan, that is in need of some urgent repairs. The bridge, which has been standing for some 15 years, has been deteriorating over time making it hazardous for vehicles to cross...
Belmopan Market is a Parking Lot; Mayor Had No Say
Simeon Lopez, Mayor of Belmopan, addressed the matters concerned with the controversial Belmopan Tuesday/Friday Market, and the 2.2 million dollar grant given to the Government by the European Union to build a Market.
But before we get into the money matters, we first asked the Mayor to definitive...
Market Rent Increased $2 Since Renovations Begun
The Mayor of Belmopan, Simeon Lopez, recounted the Vendors’ plight when the City Council moved towards a change in the financial regime under which they operated from.
Mayor Simeon Lopez explained the backdrop of that story
Simeon Lopez – Mayor of Belmopan
“Before they left, they were paying ten...
PUP drops Arthur Saldivar as Standard Bearer
On Wednesday, the main opposition People’s United Party (PUP)’s National Executive decided to remove Arthur Saldivar as its Standard Bearer for the Belize Rural North Constituency, as well as from its National Executive...
Murder reported in Belize City
There was a mid-afternoon murder in Belize City.
The shooters, who visited a yard on Dean Street and Euphrates Avenue on Wednesday afternoon around 2:00 p.m., did not get their man, but they did end the life of another and sent a third to the hospital...
Fatal Traffic Accident on Southern Highway
There was a fatal traffic accident on the Southern Highway early Wednesday morning. A police officer died in that accident.
29-year-old Police Constable Marvin Sedacy of Cattle Landing, who was serving with the Traffic Department in Toledo, died around mile 4 on the Southern Highway, when the Ford E...
Patriotic Forum In Belmopan Considers Our Future
There was a forum held in Belmopan on Tuesday night as part of the September celebrations, reflecting on Belize at 33 years of Independence...
Man looks for his 15 year old Daughter
Francis Coc, a resident of Maya Mopan area, Belmopan, is calling on the public’s assistance in locating his 15 year old daughter Briana Barrie Coc. According to Mr Coc, on Monday, September 14th, after what seemed like a normal day, his daughter apparently went missing.
Man Charged For Murder Of Ariel Diaz
On Monday we told you about the body of Ariel Diaz, who was found on Saturday somewhere in the Duck Run three area, Spanish Lookout, with his head almost completely decapitated.
On Wednesday, Luven Perrez, a Guatemalan National, who is believed to have been socializing with Ariel Diaz prior to his m...
Assault charge dropped after witness changes testimony
The accuser of a man remanded on murder and attempted murder charges now says police forced him to make a statement implicating 22 year old Deondray McKoy, in an incident of aggravated assault...
GSU bust man with unlicensed firearm
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) say they took another firearm off the streets.
22 year old Gildon Rivers of Antelope Street Extension, Belize City, was remanded after pleading not guilty to keeping a firearm without a gun license, when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.
On Monday, ...
Objections Raised to Proposed Upgrade of Government House in Belize City
On September 10, during ceremonies to mark the 216th anniversary of the Battle of St...
Erotic and Jump Street Posse Mash Up the Place!
There were fourteen bands registered for this year’s Carnival Road March and at the end of the day one band was allegedly disqualified, one was M.I.A. and two were crowned champions.
Registered to compete in the junior large band category were Pickstock Carnival Band from the Victoria Street area, Jump Street Posse from the Albert Street area, Sunshine Masqueraders from the Yarborough (Southside) area and Trenchtown Masqueraders from the Bailar area. Dynamic Dancers and Western Paradise were registered in the small band category. Registered to compete in the senior large band category this year were Eternity Mass Band from Lake Independence, Mother Nature’s Creation from the St. Thomas Street area, Soca Warriors Mass Band from near Queen Square Primary School, Erotic Carnival Band from Caribbean Shores area and Soca Moca Carnival Band from the Rogers Stadium area. Registered to compete as senior small bands were Belizean Jewels from Euphrates Avenue, Evolution Mass Band from the Fort George area and Rampage Carnival Band.
Hogs throw Hog outa Hog Pen! PUP gets rid of Arthur Saldivar
We cannot begin to imagine what kind of soul-searching the PUP must have gone through in the past 21 days but it appears that they believe they have found something that resembles it. This, after they decided to once and for all rid themselves of Arthur Saldivar. Saldivar has a whirlwind of allegations of impropriety swirling about him and the stench that is rising from these allegations is too much for even the PUP to handle.
This party which is known and is proven to be the most corrupt in this country is holding its nose while simultaneously casting Arthur Saldivar out of their hog pen. Their leader, Francis Fonseca, boldly made the declaration on Wednesday afternoon during a press conference. Saldivar was immediately removed from his position as PUP standard Bearer and member of the national executive of their party.
Fonseca says the decision was taken after they reviewed the outcome of a so-called investigation which was carried about Saldivar’s behavior. In typical PUP fashion, the outcome of the investigation was not made public so what it did or did not uncover about Saldivar’s behavior will never
Saint Catherine’s Academy floats Bond to finance Multipurpose Student Center
Administrators of Saint Catherine’s Academy announced on Monday, September 15 that they will be floating a bond to finance a Multipurpose Student Center. The bond will be for $2,850,000 and will be in three series for 10, 20 and 25 years. The bond will be initially earn 4% interest with a step up to 5% at the end of 10 years and 6% at the end of 20 years. The bond issuance will be done in denomination of $1000 dollars and similar units thereafter.
According to the institution, the finances will be used for the center which will house a basketball court, cafeteria, locker rooms, showers, public restrooms as well as a stage to accommodate performances and commencement exercises at the institution. The upper floor of the building will have a fitness center, toilet facilities and a dormitory.
Work Continues in the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena
Major infrastructural works continue in the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena as preparations are being made to infuse more funds into the area to boost employment. Major streets in the busiest section of San Ignacio Town have recently been completed bringing back to normal the free flow of traffic in the area.
The section of Burns Avenue bordered by Atlantic Bank, Scotia Bank and the Belize Bank has been upgraded to cement and with a 4 feet tiled sidewalk at a cost of $150,000.00 A former deteriorated section in front of the San Igancio Police Station, know as King Street, has also been cemented at a cost of $225,000.00
The greatly improved aesthetics and permanency of roads in the business section of San Ignacio was done by PEC Company Ltd from Red Creek and could not have been done by the San Igancio and Santa Elena Town Council alone.
Old School blast White Eagles in Vega Cup Tournament
The Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday, September 14, at the Trial Farm Football Field in Orange Walk with four games on the schedule.
In the first game of the day played, Old School blasted White Eagles FC by the score of 9-1. White Eagles were the first to get onto the scoreboard when Osmy Medina scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 8th minute of play to give his team a temporary lead.
Meanwhile, the goals for Old School were scored by Eliazar Itza in the 14th, 25th, 28th, 62nd, 73rd, and 83rd minutes of play, Oliver Hendricks in the 17th minute of play, Adlair Chan in the 83rd minute of play and an auto goal by number 39 of White Eagles.
Oscar Quiroz Jr. of Western Spirit captures September Criterium
The Cycling Federation of Belize in partnership with the Belize City Council and Leslie’s Imports sponsored the Annual September Criterium held on Sunday, September 14, 2014, on Albert and Regent Streets downtown Belize City.
In the Elite Category, it was Oscar Quiroz Jr. of Western Spirit that captured first place in the 30 laps event. Darnell Barrow of SMART took 2nd place, Giovanni Lovell of BTL took 3rd place, and Nissan Arana of Predators took 4th place while Gregory Lovell also of BTL took 5th place.
In the junior category, 1st place went to Keion Robateau of BECOL Uprising. The second rider to cross the finish line was Tariq Flowers of Benny’s Megabytes, third place went to Kaydin Pinello of BECOL, fourth place went to Delon Gentle of BECOL Uprising and fifth place went to Zahir Figueroa also of BECOL Uprising.
Sagitun FFB President’s Cup champions
The Football Federation of Belize 2014 President’s Cup came to an end on Saturday, September 13, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium with the second and final game of the championship.
In the game played, Sagitun FC and the visiting San Antonio FC played to a 3-3 draw. However, because Sagitun FC had won game one by the score of 2-1, Sagitun was crowned the champions of the President’s Cup tournament by an aggregate score.
Sagitun FC got on the scoreboard first when Delone Torres scored the 1st goal of the game in the 10th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was extended when Delone Torres scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 17th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. Still in the first half of the game, Sagitun FC scored yet again this time when Rollin Burgess scored his team’s 3rd and final goal of the game in the 25th minute of play for a 3-0 lead.
Cycling Federation to hold Test Races towards National Team
The Cycling Federation of Belize will be holding its second and third test races this coming Saturday September 20, 2014 and on Monday September 22, 2014.
The second test race is scheduled for Saturday September 20, 2014 commencing at 2:00 pm on the Boom Circuit.
The third test race is scheduled for Monday September 22, 2014, commencing at 2:00 pm on the Princess Margaret Drive between the SJC Round-About to A Street.
Securities Fraud suspects await extradition
For the past week, Belize has been making major news in different business newspapers in the US and the region after the US Department of Justice unsealed a case in New York which named 6 defendants who have ties to the country and have been doing business in the offshore sector. In that multi-count indictment, US authorities are accusing these men of helping more than 100 US citizens and residents to defraud the US Government of approximately 1 billion Belize dollars in a tax evasion scheme.
These businessmen are Bahamians 34 year old Kelvin Leach, 29 year old Rohn Knowles; Canadians, 44 year-old Cem “Jim” Can, and 45 year-old Brian De Wit; 70 year-old American Robert “Bob” Bandfield; and the only Belizean, 51 year-old Andrew Godfrey. They have been named in the indictment including 6 corporate defendants (meaning that their businesses are being treated as defendants) IPC Management Services, LLC; IPC Corporate Services Inc.; IPC Corporate Services LLC (collectively, IPC Corp); Titan International Securities, Inc. (Titan); Legacy Global Markets S.A. (Legacy); and Unicorn International Securities LLC. All 12 of these defendants are accused of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering.
Cop dies in traffic incident
A police officer from the Punta Gorda Police Station was killed in a terrible traffic accident on the Southern Highway on Wednesday, September 17.
It happened between miles 3 and 4 at around 7:45 a.m., when 28 year-old Constable Marvin Sedassey was driving his brown Ford Escort car heading toward his home in Cattle Landing. Police aren't sure at this time what caused the accident, but the constable's vehicle ended up in the lane of a white freight truck. The head-on collision crushed and compressed the front end of the escort and Sedassey died from massive head and body injuries he suffered on impact.
Alden Sutherland Arraigned for Arson
Hector Choj, Manager of JEC, was the victim of arson when his $60,000 grey 2008 Toyota Tacoma was set on fire on Sunday, September 14. On Wednesday, September 17, police escorted Alden Sutherland, 39, to the Belize City Magistrates Court since they believe he is the man responsible for starting the fire.
In a report to police, Choj said he parked his vehicle on Saturday, September 13, around 8:30 a.m. in front of his apartment on Youth for the Future Drive. At about 2 a.m. on Sunday, September 14, he was informed by a security guard from the JEC Company that his vehicle was on fire. By the time Choj rushed downstairs to check the security guard had already out the fire. Destroyed was a grey fiberglass wheel valued at $1,183, a Hankook tire valued at $581 and a bed liner which was in the pan of the truck valued at $2,126.21.
Francis Fonseca does not know the difference between a Trade Agreement and a Loan!
Journalist Jules Vasquez has planted a bee in the head of Leader of Opposition Francis Fonseca. That bee has obviously become an annoying buzz in Fonseca’s head, a head which under normal circumstances would have been devoid of any idea much less a thought. Now the often subdued Fonseca is wondering out loud whether a TRADE BALANCE due to Petrocaribe from the purchase of fuel and oils is a loan that should require approval by Parliament.
Not being a LAWYER as is Fonseca, one will choose to apply logic here.
• The balance being debated is as a result of a trade. Belize received fuel and oil (commodities) for 40% of value paid in the short term and 60% on preferential terms.
• The exchange of goods and service is continuous and volumes dynamic as is consistent with TRADE.
• The extension of preferential payment terms is at the discretion of the CREDITOR and to the best of ones knowledge did not require a sovereign Government guarantee.
• LOANS have fixed value fixed terms and occur once and normally involve transfer of CASH, not exchange of continuous goods and services.
Fuentes pays himself before doing the people’s work
Viewers almost shed a tear for Anthony Fuentes as he appeared on television on September 9th claiming that he did nothing wrong when he tied the subvention which Punta Gorda town receives to a private loan which he owes at the Toledo Teachers Credit Union.
A loan agreement which the Guardian has received shows that in May of this year the Town Board entered into a loan agreement with the credit union for $32,187.42 the money was supposedly counterpart funding of 2% under the Belize Municipal Development Project. There is great concern whether the council should have even entered into this arrangement especially since the town is completely strapped for cash, being unable to even carry out its rudimentary functions. More worrying is that there was no approval granted for the loan to be made by the ministry of finance as is required by law.
Young Motivator Awarded Key to Belize City
Anthony Gabourel Gill is no ordinary 12-year-old California kid. He is a youth motivator whose speech delivery has been compared to that of the legendary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gill has been visiting Belize for the past three years to speak to primary and secondary school students and in recognition of his contributions to Belize the Mayor of Belize City, His Worship Darrel Bradley, presented him with the Keys to Belize City on Monday, September 15.
Mayor Bradley says presenting the Key to the City to Anthony Gill is “perhaps the best presentation I have been able to do as Mayor”. Bradley says, “He is a force for good in the world. He is a force for change.” Mayor Bradley says the Key to the City is reserved for visiting members of government, statesmen and people who have made significant contributions to Belize City. The Mayor says, “You Anthony stand tallest among them even though [in terms of height] you may be the shortest among them.”
Two faced Lisa Shoman speaks against and condones domestic violence
On Monday, August 12th 2013, PUP Port Loyola Standard Bearer Gilroy Usher Sr. was charged with Harm after beating his 51 year old wife, Magdalena Usher, in the head with, of all things, a pint bottle. Now it’s terrible enough to beat a woman, but to beat a 51 year old woman in the head with a pint bottle, well you be the judge of that. Usher appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer the charges to which he pleaded not guilty, he was offered a $900 bail and his case was adjourned to the 25th September of the same year. At the time of setting the adjournment the Magistrate ordered that, “he attends the Batterers Intervention Program at the Women’s Department. He must also not interfere with the complainant” – in this case his wife – and he must temporarily move in with his daughter at Lizarraga Avenue. In a subsequent Press release on the same day Gilroy announced that the matter had been amicably resolved and that Magdalena would withdraw her complaint. Many wondered at the time why the complaint was withdrawn but it is the complainant’s prerogative to do so. In Magdalena’s case allegations abounded that Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia accompanied by, you guessed it, attorney Lisa Shoman herself, visited the complainant and persuaded her to withdraw the charges.
Murder and retaliation in the City
At press time on Wednesday night, September 17, police sources told our newsroom that there were 3 separate shootings in the City, and it is believed that they are all connected with the murder 56 year-old Cyril McFoy Robinson which happened 5 hours earlier.
McFoy Robinson was inside his yard at around 2 p.m. at the corner of Dean Street and Euphrates Avenue, which is right beside St. Ignatius Primary School. He was playing dominoes with 3 other men when a gunman ambushed them and fired shots into the crowd. 45 year-old Sean Cherrington was shot in the leg while McFoy Robinson was injured in the head. He died on the spot while police managed to rush Cherrington to the hospital for treatment.
It is believed that Robinson was not the intended target for that shooting, and that the gunman may have been looking for Robinson's son, Brandon "BT" Tillett, who was reportedly on the scene but managed to escape when the bullets started flying.
Body found in Cayo almost decapitated
A body was found in the Cayo District which had almost been decapitated. At about 4:40 am on Sunday of this past weekend, police responded to a report that a male person was lying on a street on Duck Run Three in the Spanish Lookout Area. The body was found in an area known as Emerald Trail and it was that of a Hispanic descent man with low hair cut. He was wearing a grey in color t-shirt with blue jeans pants.
On further inspection, the authorities identified the male person as being 34 year old Guatemalan laborer of Duck Run Three, Pedro Ariel Diaz Guillen, who had a large cut to the upper body, near the neck almost severing the neck.
Moses Coc clubbed to death in San Pedro
For 2014, San Pedro has been experiencing a spike in violent crimes on the island, and in the last 2 weeks, there have been 2 murders.
The latest one happened on Saturday, September 13 at around 11 p.m. 31 year-old Moses Coc, a salesman who lived on Sea Grape Drive on the Island, was walking with his friend on Swan Street when they were attacked by a dark skinned man. That man continuously clubbed Coc in the back of the head with a piece of wood until he collapsed on the ground. He was picked up by a passing vehicle and transported to the Polyclinic, but the injuries to the head were too severe. He succumbed to his injures while he was being attended to by one of the doctors.
Contraband goods found in Western Belize
An operation launched by San Ignacio Police at around 2:20 pm last Friday has netted goods that had not passed legally through Belize’s Western Border gateway at Customs. As a result of this and other incidents, efforts are now being made to improve on security at Belize’s border.
On the strength of a search warrant, Police visited the residence of a couple on the Paslow Falls Road in Bullet Tree, at first officers did not find anything illegal. On further inspection of their yard, Police found two large holes in the ground measuring four feet in depth and five feet in width covered by zinc and lumber over which were coconut leaves, branches and dirt. An assortment of soft drinks were found by Police, along with 153 cases of beer and 64 cases of beer at another location under-ground.
As a result of this incident, Cleofido Balan and Virginia Balan, along with the goods, were taken to the Custom Station on the Benque Viejo Border.
Brandon Walter Escarpeta Convicted for G...
A Belize City teenager who chose to lie to the police about his real name must pay the court $105 by November 30, 2014 or serve two months in prison. 18-year-old Brandon Walter Escarpeta of #27 Berkeley Street in Belize City is accused of committing a mischievous act when he told police on Tuesday, September 16, that his name was David Walter Escarpeta when he knew his true name to be Brandon Walter Escarpeta.
Escarpeta appeared in court on Wednesday, September 17, before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he was unrepresented and wasted no time by pleading guilty to the offense. Since the offense is a misdemeanor and it was Escarpeta’s first offense for such a matter, he was imposed a non-custodial sentence in a fine of $100 plus $5 cost of court fee.
Man fine $100 for walking an un muzzled ...
On Thursday September 4 Ian Herrera appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with permitting an unmuzzled ferocious dog to be at large, being a Pit Bull. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offence for which he was fined $100 and $5 cost of court. In court Herrera told the Chief Magistrate that the dog was actually like a Chihuahua who likes to wag its tail and is friendly. To this the Chief Magistrate replied that a Pit Bull is not a friendly dog and she then fined him.
Herrera has until September 12 to pay the fine in default, 1 month imprisonment.
Paul Morgan killed on King Street
Police continue to investigate the murder of 40 year-old Paul Rubio Morgan, who was shot and killed on King Street on Friday night at around 8 p.m. At this time, it is being investigated as a drug related, or gang related shooting because Morgan is reputed to have been a drug peddler.
He was seated in his green and white Ford Explorer, which was parked at #37 Kings Street, and that's when a lone gunman on bicycle took advantage of the opportunity to ambush him. That shooter fired several shots at him, injuring him in the head, chin and left eye, rode off before police arrived a short time later. Morgan was rushed to the KHMH within a very short time later, but he died of the serious injuries he received.
GSU Busts Gildon Rivers with Empty .380 ...
The Gang Suppression Unit has taken another dangerous gun off the streets of Belize City. On Monday, September 15, 22-year-old Gildon Rivers was busted inside his home with an empty .380 revolver.
Acting upon information received, the GSU raided the home of Rivers located at #96 Antelope Street Extension. The officers charged into the house and found Rivers holding the .380 revolver. When Rivers saw it was the police he dropped the firearm and police took him into custody. No bullet was found in the gun.
National Women’s Softball
The XXIV National Women’s Softball Championship will be played from October 3-5, 2014, at Rogers Stadium.
The National Softball Championship is played between the champions and sub-champions of the Affiliated Associations that makes up the National Federation.
The championship will feature from Belize City Belize Bank Bulldogs (Champions) and Beacon (Sub-champions), from Belize Rural Sunrise of Lord’s Bank (Champions) and Burrell Boom Orchid Girls (sub-champions), from the Cayo Association Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy (champions) and Esperanza Wolverines (sub-champions) and from Orange Walk Carmelita’s Caribbean Queen the number one seed.
The championship will commence on Friday, October 3rd at 6:30 pm with game one between Beacon and Roaring Creek and this will be followed by game two, which will see Belize Bank Bulldogs against the Esperanza Wolverines.
The championship will then continue on Saturday October 4, 2014, commencing at 9:00 am with a total of six games, and then the championship will concludes on Sunday October 5, with five more games.
A Reenergized GSU
Inspector Mark Flowers took reigns of the Gang Suppression Unit four weeks ago and since he did so there has been a reenergized unit once again operating in the streets. The unit which earned its reputation as riding hard and fast on criminal elements in the city had gone into a state of dormancy. During that spate, the gangs in the city flared up and the shootings were persistent with regular shootings taking place in the city.
Flowers told the Guardian that under his watch he has increased the operational presence of the unit, driven solely by intelligence. He himself accompanies the officers at times he added. At this point in time he said the unit’s primary concern is criminal activity through gangs which orchestrate all manner of criminality including armed robberies and retaliatory action against one another.
Belmopan PUP Mayoral Candidate has mixed loyalties
Jose Chacon is the Mayoral candidate for the People's United Party in Belmopan and he is but months from declaring his candidacy and baggage is already being exposed. The Guardian Newspaper is reliably informed that this Chacon was born in El Salvador and has political aspirations in Belize. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, but Chacon needs to decide whether he will be a politician in Belize or a politician in his home country.
Reports are that during the last elections in El Salvador he was one of the main organizers to coordinate Salvadorans living in Belize to travel to their home country to vote for the winning party the FMLN. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, after all ties with home countries are never torn or erased. What is wrong however is that this Chacon character is a politico in El Salvador and is now attempting to enter political office in Belize. This leaves us to ask, where will his alliance really at. Will it be in Belize for the people of Belmopan or in El Salvador. Residents of Belmopan need to ask him that question when next they see him, if they ever do.
MOWT Signs More Contracts for Infrastructural Works
Today, Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Rene Montero, signed more contracts for infrastructural works at the Ministry of Works and Transport Conference Room in the City of Belmopan. The works include:
• The pavement of five miles of the old Northern Highway with hot mix asphalt cement commencing from the intersection of Phillip Goldson Highway and the old Northern Highway. The works will be executed by Rodla Construction at a cost of BZ$3,498,675.00;
• Concrete pavement of Olivia Sentino and Cayo Streets in Punta Gorda Town and the concrete pavement of Ramos Road and a section of Ecumenical Drive (from highway to bridge) in Dangriga Town. Both projects will be executed by Cisco Construction Limited at a cost of BZ$662,523.00 and BZ$782,907.00, respectively;
• Construction of a four-leg roundabout at the intersection of the George Price Highway, Faber’s Road and Lake Independence Boulevard. The 150 feet roundabouts will be constructed out of reinforced concrete. A similar roundabout will be constructed on the Phillip Goldson Highway to regulate traffic flow at the intersection with Chetumal Street. The works will also be executed by Cisco Construction Limited at a cost of BZ$3.6M;
September Celebrations Events held in Cayo
A series of events relating to the September Celebrations have been successfully held in the Cayo District. In all these events there was a constant reminder of this year’s Tenth of September theme, “Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize!”
For the first time ever, Zone Ten Neighborhood Watch and the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association (CNWA) joined forces for the morning of September 10th with a parade through the principal streets of Santa Elena Town into San Igancio Town.
“It was great and well supported for a first time Santa Elena parade. The crowd was hype and exited with the presence of Lova Boy and Ernistine Carballo,” said Ernie Braun, President of the CNWA.
Later during the day of September 10th, official ceremonies were held at the Administration Building in San Ignacio Town. It was an opportunity for outgoing Queen of the West, Vania Patt, to again hand over her crown to incoming Queen Carmelita A. Lara. In her speech the new Queen of the West for 2014-2015, Carmelita Lara, said she was accepting the crown with pride and dignity and thanked the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, John August, and the September Celebrations Committee for organizing the Tenth events. Mayor John August also took the opportunity to inspect a standing guard of Belize Defense Force soldiers.
Primary Schools in Cayo receive much needed computer equipment
Some eight primary schools received on September 4, 2014 at the Sacred Heart College Campus in San Ignacio Town, a considerable donation of computers and stationery from students in the Republic of China, Taiwan. These computers will now be utilized to enhance education at schools around the Cayo District.
In delivering the laptops to recipients, H.E. Benjamin Ho, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, said that a Country without education has no hope.
“Information and Communication Technology ICT today is not a luxury, it should be a must for everyone…nobody should be denied of ICT,” said Ambassador Benjamin Ho.
Schools like the El Progresso Government School received eight laptops and one projector while Buena Vista Primary School received seven laptops.
Newly equipped with their laptops, both teachers and primary school children will now be able to link with anyone around the World.
No Safe Place
Several recent news stories underscore the dangers that confront women and girls worldwide. In Afghanistan seven men have been sentenced to death after being found guilty of gang raping four women returning from a wedding with their families. The women were first separated from their husbands and then robbed and raped. The only unusual feature of this story is that the men were actually charged for a crime that too often goes unreported and unpunished because women have a legitimate fear that if the crime is reported it is the women who will be charged and punished for adultery. The reason why justice was meted out so swiftly in this case was probably because the husbands felt disrespected by the actions of the perpetrators.A UN agency reported that African Union Peace Keeping Forces stationed in Somalia were routinely raping and sexually assaulting women and girls at their camps with the knowledge of those in authority. Similar reports concerning the soldiers of Peace Keeping forces in other countries are all too frequent. Although some of the sexual activity is probably commercial, the volume and age of the females suggests that a high percentage is coerced.
Toledo woman accused of drug trafficking
A woman from San Pedro Columbia village, Toledo was busted with just over two pounds of marijuana in her bag on Wednesday morning. According to police reports, officers intercepted and boarded a James Bus in Big Falls village and conducted a search on 26 year old Ana […]
Sisters charged for ATM card theft
A court prosecutor is out $910 because the persons who found his lost automatic teller machine (ATM) card refused to return it, despite his warnings, and dishonestly obtained money using it. 20 year old receptionist Chelsea Martinez, who works at the Blake Building on Pickstock Street, and her […]
Police outline targeted response to crime spike
After a deadly night in Belize City which reportedly forced the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) to implement its mass casualty plan, the senior officials of the Police Department and Prime Minister Dean Barrow called a briefing this afternoon at the Racoon Street Police Station. Wednesday’s killings were […]
Major drug bust reported in Orange Walk
Police in Orange Walk have arrested a man from Ranchito Corozal following the discovery of a large quantity of cocaine. 36 year old Axel Fuentes was driving a Toyota pickup truck when it drove up at a police checkpoint around 8:30 pm on Wednesday between miles 56 […]
Shooting incidents kill 2, leave 5 others injured
Seven persons were victims of three separate shooting incidents in Belize City last night. Two of the victims died. In the first incident, 25 year old Clifford Flores was shot multiple times as he and a friend sat on a vehicle on Caesar Ridge Road. Police say […]
Tubing down the Macal River: Belize Floating Paradise
Anyone familiar with Chaa Creek’s history would know how important the Macal River was in those heady days before there was road access into Mick and Lucy’s family farm. One of the young couple’s first major purchases was a hand carved dugout canoe, locally known as a dory, which joined the small flotilla of farmers and neighbours making their way with produce into San Ignacio town every Saturday market Day.
Yes, the Macal was indeed the lifeblood of the area and essential to living in what was a beautifully remote farm back in the day before cars, telephones, electricity and many 20th century comforts made their way in. Supplies, communications and visitors usually came by way of the river, and a last-minute night time dory ride made it possible for the Fleming’s first child to be born in the relative comfort and safety of town.
We’ve seen every form of waterborne transport imaginable, from dories, canoes, skiffs and rafts of all kinds plying the Macal, and one of the more recent additions has become one of our favourites:
Humble inner tube, take a bow!
Tubes and the Macal seem like a match made in heaven. Gently making its way through the lush rainforest to San Ignacio Town before joining up with the Mopan to continue to the Caribbean Sea as the Old Belize River, the tranquil Macal is as inviting as they come. Wide enough but not too wide to easily swim across, usually serene and always lined with plenty of places to pull over and have a swim, snack or picnic, and with a colourful variety of birds, iguanas, monkeys and other forest dwellers in attendance, the Macal elevated tubing to new heights.
“Abracadabra” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Some of you (OK none of you -but allow me a little bit of ego) may have been wondering why I haven’t put out an edition lately. Quite simple really, there’s not been much that I’ve felt inclined to sit down and write about.
There’s only so many times (me? I want it to go on forever!) you want to know that I got up early, made a mug of black coffee, grabbed the iPad and headed out to the veranda (the western, lagoon facing one) to enjoy “me time”.
So what’s forced me out of this period of blogging inactivity. A force of nature that’s what.
Yesterday morning I was sitting out on the veranda – probably been there a couple of hours or two mugs of coffee – when my reverie was broken by shouts from Rose telling me to get a machete and the key for the front gate and get down to the Garage on the ground quickly, very quickly. “Why” I called out. “There’s a snake there” she shrieked back. Obvious terror in her voice.
Staying at the El Rey Hotel: The Best Hotel in Belmopan, Belize
While travelling in Belize we decided to spend a couple of nights in Belmopan. Belmopan is the capital city of Belize and often sadly acts as merely a stop over for some. However we wanted to check this place out so we found the El Rey Hotel online and booked in for a couple of nights. It’s now my job to convince you to also spend a few nights in Belmopan – you will love it. It’s a relaxed, calm and peaceful city and best of all you can escape the tourists and explore what is the third smallest capital city in the world.
While some travellers head to San Ignacio and base themselves there, that is just a tad too common, so Belmopan was the place for us. From my base in the El Rey Hotel in Belmopan, I was able to tour not only the city itself, but two separate day trips – one out to Actun Tunichil Muknal caves and another to Spanish Lookout and Xunantunich. I’ll cover those separately.
Friday’s Featured Food: WDs Ice Cream, Spanish Lookout, Belize
I really didn’t expect to be featuring a load of cool Belizean treats cuisine wise on my Friday’s Featured Food section, but then again if you’ve followed my journeys, you’ll remember I once worked as an ice cream seller in Bournemouth.
Even before that I was always a fan of ice cream, and while Tequila Ice Cream in Mexico and Facebook Ice Cream in Armenia went down a treat, Belize whipped up a super special ice cream.
We headed to remote countryside to try it and ended up in a village, or rather a collection of farms that form a large area known as “Spanish Lookout”. The most peculiar thong about the village of Spanish Lookout is that it’s not really a village, it’s not really Spanish and while it has views, it’s also not really a lookout!
Backpacking in Belize: Cave Tour of Actun Tunichil Muknal
When you hear about backpackers heading to Belize you think about beaches, sun and snorkelling. And yes all that stuff is cool and it really happens. I did it all too! But it was my plan in Belize to witness a load of other impressive things in the country not just for myself but also to show other travellers to Belize how diverse a country this is. For me, this included a few days in Belmopan, the capital, as well as Xunantunich, Placencia and a trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal. Thanks to my friend and DSL follower Ray for some extra cool tip offs for Belize (and a few photos which I’ll explain later), not all of which I found time for, but Actun Tunichil Muknal I did.
What is Actun Tunichil Muknal?
It’s an archaelogical reserve in deep Belizean countryside. As well as a nature trail, forests and rivers ATM (not a cash point) is most famous for its incredible caves, which was the pull for me. I had been to a fair few caves before (like Jenolan Caves in Australia , the Tiger Caves in Israel and Batu Caves in Malaysia) but this was a full on swimming experience in the caves!
We were going to be swimming in the caves!
Leaving Wildtracks...thoughts on leaving from Molly
For many people, leaving Wildtracks at the end of their stay is filled with emotions. Having to leave the animals you've cared for and the friends you've made after immersing yourself in the Wildtracks lifestyle, even for a month, is extremely hard for many. I have been lucky enough to avoid leaving and saying goodbye to everything twice by extending my placement. Now on my third attempt at a departure date I'm finally sitting at the Belize airport.
Leaving doesn't seem real at all. Even though I've gone through security and checked my bags, in my mind I am still going to be falling asleep at the Wildtracks supper table tonight. I have been lucky enough to stay and volunteer at Wildtracks for over eight months now and I can 100% say I am not the same person the walked on this tarmac in January.
Volunteering at Wildtracks is the chance of a lifetime, I know of nowhere else where I could get the kind of experiences I have had here. During my eight months here I have had the opportunity to work with the pre-release howler monkeys and see four of them released into the wild, I was able to see new cages built (including most of the new Spider Monkey Complex) and old ones torn down, I saw 17 new monkeys rescued as well as 2 manatee calves - and best of all, I was able to watch as those 19 new animals improved, becoming stabilized, healthy animals that are now being prepared for their release into the wild.
Belize consulate seeks to identify Belizean-born attorneys, dentists and physicians in Diaspora
The consulate of Belize in Los Angeles has sent out an alert asking members of the Belizean Diaspora to assist in identifying Belizean-born medical doctors, dentists and practicing attorneys. It is the intent to present certificates of appreciation to the professionals when the Belizean community in Los Angeles gathers to celebrate the victory at the 216th anniversary of the Battle of St George’s Caye and the 33rd anniversary of Belize’s independence on Friday in Los Angeles.
“Identifying physicians, dentists and attorneys will enable the consulate to bring another segment of its population into the Belize Diaspora Registry,” commented consul general Roland Yorke, emphasizing that those being honoured can reside anywhere in the United States.
Belize Consulate to Honor Belizean-Born Medical and Legal Professionals in Los Angeles
The consulate of Belize in Los Angeles has sent out an alert asking members of the Belizean Diaspora to assist in identifying Belizean-born medical doctors, dentists and practicing attorneys.
It is the intent to present certificates of appreciation to the professionals when the Belizean community in Los Angeles gathers to celebrate the victory at the 216th anniversary of the Battle of St George’s Caye and the 33rd anniversary of Belize’s independence Friday in Los Angeles.
“Identifying physicians, dentists and attorneys will enable the consulate to bring another segment of its population into the Belize Diaspora Registry,” commented consul general Roland Yorke, emphasizing that those being honored can reside anywhere in the United States.
Even though the consulate would appreciate their presence, they can designate someone to accept their certificate of recognition.
Desert-Dwelling Entomologists Visit the Rainforest in Belize
The chance to explore the vast biodiversity of a tropical rainforest is a rare opportunity for New Mexico State University students in the desert Southwest. This spring, the much anticipated Tropical Insect Ecology course, taught by Professor Scott Bundy, became available for a select group of students. A 10-day trip to the beautiful country of Belize can be an enriching opportunity for anyone, but for a group of like-minded students bent on scoping out arthropods in various tropical habitats, the excursion was also like experiencing an endless menagerie of the six-to-eight-legged variety. Southern New Mexico has an array of insects and arthropods — especially those adapted to extreme heat and little water — but Belize’s biodiversity of insects was astounding. Not only were the numbers of insects and arthropods bountiful, many were massive!
On our first night in the Cayo district, we set up light traps and were quickly bombarded by all manner of flying insects, small and large. Alien-looking praying mantises and scarab beetles were a welcome sight. Hundreds of moving, glittering flecks of light in the grass were actually the predatory eyes of wolf spiders and their kin that prowled along the forest floor. We soon realized we were in the very midst of their domain. Our legs were pockmarked with mosquito bites, but after that first night we were filled with excited anticipation of what the next day might bring. There was still so much to be seen!
Belize’s Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort Wins CTO/TravelMole Award For Sustainable Accommodation
The award is presented to “a destination or tourism-related company in recognition of excellence in planning and managing a diversified tourism product using sustainable tourism concepts and core values,” according to the CTO.
The award is presented jointly by the Caribbean Tourism Organization and TravelMole, the United Kingdom’s leading travel and tourism industry community.
“We started these awards to give our partners endorsements they can share with potential visitors so they can garner more business,” said Gail Henry, the CTO’s sustainable tourism product specialist. ”
there are persons keen on keeping their carbon footprint at a minimum during travel and through our award designations these properties and attractions can be easily identified.”
We Can Save the Caribbean’s Coral Reefs
PARROTFISH eat algae and seaweed. These brightly colored fish with beaklike mouths inhabit coral reefs, the wellsprings of ocean life. Without them and other herbivores, algae and seaweed would overgrow the reefs, suppress coral growth and threaten the incredible array of life that depends on these reefs for shelter and food.
This was happening in Bermuda, until the government in 1990 banned fish traps that were decimating the parrotfish population. Today, Bermuda’s coral reefs are relatively healthy, a bright spot in the wider Caribbean, where total coral cover has declined by half since 1970.
Last month, in a reminder of just how dire the situation facing the world’s coral reefs is, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it was listing 20 species of coral as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, including all of what were once the most abundant Caribbean corals. The action focused primarily on the projected impacts of global warming and ocean acidification. Carbon dioxide emissions are increasing ocean temperatures and making them more acidic — and less hospitable for corals.
World Land Trust ups the ante to protect big cats
As part of its ongoing work to protect big cats, World Land Trust (WLT) is urgently raising money to protect large areas of habitat for species such as tiger, puma, and jaguar.
WLT’s Big Cat Big Match will take place during the first two weeks of October. During this time, any donations made to the charity’s Big Cat Appeal will be matched pound for pound. So far £250,000 has already been pledged for the match funding pot.
Funds that will be raised during the Big Cat Big Match will be used to enable WLT’s worldwide partners to extend existing reserves, and create important new wildlife corridors to connect fragmented protected areas. The funds will also support WLT’s Keepers of the Wild Programme, which supports the employment of wildlife rangers in the reserves.
WLT Chief Executive John Burton commented: “After 25 years of conservation success in countries as diverse as Belize, Paraguay and India, we know that WLT’s model of land purchase and protection is making it possible for big cats to survive in the wild in Latin America and Asia. We aim to raise £500,000 during Big Cat Big Match so that we can continue to support big cat conservation in countries where we already have programmes and in other parts of the world such as Iran and Vietnam, where we are developing exciting new partnerships.”
The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme
The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is searching for inspirational young people across the Commonwealth who are making a difference in their communities.Exceptional people aged 18-29 will receive awards for leading the way where they live, in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth. We’ll support them to do more life-changing work.
Grants will be made to organisations in selected Commonwealth countries that can show they are improving the lives of young people. The grants will help individuals gain new skills, employment and a voice in their communities.
Video: Maya Island Air Tour of the Belize City Bay, 1min.
Video taken on board Maya Island Air of the Belize City Bay Tour experience. Contact us at 501-223-1140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and book your tour today!
Video: Snorkeling Belize, 1min.
Hol Chan Reserve and Shark Alley.
Video: CCCCC's Joseph McGann on 5C's investments in adaptaton to Climate Change Belize, 2min.
Video: Belize, Where's the Beach? Sept 2014, 21min.
I am not the normal tourist, I spend all my time with the locals doing what the locals do. I see stuff most don't, many times the locals don't get out to see and there is a reason.
Video: Who Da Belize?, 5min.
Belizeans come in all shapes and sizes...
Video: Belize second half, 14min.
My first diving with a sea turtle! Turtle @ 11:30.
Video: Belize 2014, min.
San Benito Poite and San Jose, Vacation Bible School ~ July 2014.
4 registered members (Rush1, bobcat bill, 2 invisible),
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Jan 29th, 2019