Today's Belize News: October 18, 2014
10/18/14 05:42 AM
10/18/14 05:42 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
Homemade cookies make rainy island days awesome!
One thing that is for sure, we love food around here! From the delicious rice and beans to seasonal fruit snacks and elaborate spreads. We just love anything that tickles our taste buds and make our tummies happy.
What made me happy was walking into one of the longest established stores on the island, San Pedrano’s, and seeing these jars full of COOKIES! Homemade cookies by Regina: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip. When I saw on them at the counter, they were still warm, having recently been stacked in their jars ready to tease and tempt shoppers. At 50 cents a cookie, it was REALLY easy to drop $5 and get enough to share with my coworkers.
Government of Belize Explains Decision on Cruise Ship Passenger and Imposes Travel Restrictions for West Africa
he Government of Belize took a decision on Thursday, October 16, 2014 not to facilitate a request from the US State Department to evacuate two passengers from a Carnival Cruise ship that docked in Belize that same morning. The main passenger of concern is an employee of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who was listed as low risk for Ebola by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States. It was explained to the Belize Government that the CDC had updated its requirements from self-monitoring for these low risk persons to active monitoring and; out of an overabundance of caution, the United States wanted to transport that passenger along with her travelling companion in a private plane back to the United States. The US State Department reported that the passenger had been checking her temperature and checking for any other symptoms of the disease. There were no signs or symptoms reported. The doctors on the cruise ship confirmed this to be the case after conducting their own examination .Both the passenger and her travelling companion volunteered to self-quarantine on the ship.
Repeat Champions! San Pedro wins the 20th National Darts Tournament
The San Pedro Darts Team has claimed the championship title at the 20th Annual National Darts Tournament for the second year in a row. Held from Friday, October 10th to Sunday, October 12th at Hode’s Place in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, the tournament was organized by the Belize National Darts Federation. Teams from across the country participated in the tournament, and in the end, the San Pedro Darts Team took home the grand prize.
The tournament was divided into seven categories: team, men’s single, ladies’ single, men’s double, ladies’ double, mixed double and mixed field. Each category consisted of participating members shooting a series of darts towards a dart board from a seven-foot distance. The dart board has an outer ring called a double ring, a triple ring, an outer bull and an inner bull. Points are awarded depending on where the dart lands on the board; the aim is to land as close to the inner bull as possible.
Belize slow at tapping into potential 1/2-billion dollar tourism market
Belize has been slow to tap into a potential half-a-billion dollar tourism market, something that other Caribbean countries have been enjoying. With over 150,000 small family-sized private aircrafts in the United States of America (USA), over 40,000 of these planes fly annually to Caribbean destinations such as the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and even Puerto Rico. It is a ½ billion dollar market that other destinations such as the Bahamas have embraced, implementing special mechanisms to facilitate its full potential. But just as the Boogie in Belize sky diving activities conducted by Tsunami Skydivers were some years ago, authorities in Belize have not been as receptive to the idea as other neighboring countries. Earlier this year, Parker told The San Pedro Sun that with minimum efforts and an insignificant budget, Belize can begin to attract thousands of private, family owned aircraft that are currently flying to the Bahamas. He explained that all that is required is an ongoing campaign to invite private aircraft owners to come to Belize and a coordinated effort between the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and the Airport Concession Company. This would allow for a better streamlining of arrival and departure procedures at the airport, which would attract a new form of tourism.
‘Barbells for Boobs’ – San Pedro CrossfitCFS observes cancer awareness month
October is cancer awareness month, and locally, there have been many fundraisers and ongoing efforts to bring awareness and help to those battling cancer on the island. San Pedro San Pedro CrossfitCFS did its part this past Monday, October 13th by hosting a special holiday workout with its members. Those who participated were asked to wear pink for breast cancer awareness. San Pedro CrossfitCFS Cancer WOD-3After much running, squats and some heavy barbell lifting, the sweating, tired members still dug deep for loose change and notes. A total of $180.90 was handed over to Coach Liliana, who indicated that the funds would be given to the San Pedro Cancer Society. San Pedro CrossfitCFS encourages members to participate in wholesome activities and fundraisers whenever they can, for as a community we grow better and stronger too!
Cruise Ship Passenger Quarantined after Ebola symptoms
The Government of Belize was contacted today by officers of the US Government and made aware of a cruise ship passenger considered of very low risk for Ebola. The passenger had voluntarily entered quarantine on board the ship and remains free of any fever or other symptoms of illness. The Ebola virus may only be spread by patients who are experiencing fever and symptoms of illness and so the US Government had emphasized the very low risk category in this case.
Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, the Government of Belize decided not to facilitate a US request for assistance in evacuating the passenger through the Phillip Goldson International Airport.
The GOB reassures the public that the passenger never set foot in Belize and while we remain in close contact with US officials we have maintained the position that when even the smallest doubt remains, we will ensure the health and safety of the Belizean people. The Prime Minister has called a press conference tomorrow morning to further address any concerns that may arise from this event.
Police still seeking robbery suspect
Police are still looking for the main suspect in the robbery that occurred on Tuesday, October 7th. The incident took place around 1:20PM and left Milo’s Center security guard, 28-year-old Cleofosio Robert Assi suffering from a single stab wound to the right shoulder. He was attacked on Barrier Reef Drive by a male person and robbed of a manila envelope containing cash and checks.
Initial reports reveal that Assi was on his way to make a bank deposit when he was attacked. A struggle ensued between both men, but the attacker managed to get away with a back-pack containing the envelope. The attacker ran towards the beach and headed in a southerly direction towards Central Park. Civilians at the park tried to subdue the attacker, during which time the bag fell and the envelope burst. The civilians rushed for the scattered money, allowing the attacker to escape.
National Telethon to Protect Belize Chiquibul Forest National Reserve
Belize’s non-profit organization Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) is stepping up to the plate and heading a national Telethon aimed at raising funds in support of the Park Rangers’ Program of the Chiquibul National Park. The Chiquibul Protection Telethon takes place this weekend, Saturday, October 18, at Memorial Park in Belize City.
For some time now Rafael Manzanero of Friends for Conservation and Development has been asking for much needed assistance for the co-management of the Chiquibul National Park. He has been trying to push much needed awareness about the encroachment of Guatemalans in the park who are helping themselves of the area’s natural resources.
Memorial Service Held for Eric 'Bird' Garcia
Ocean Tide Beach Resort and the Garcia Family extend thanks to all who have helped during their difficult time, including Mr. Patojo & his divers, The Belize Coast Guard for being there all the time during searches, Ramon’s Village Dive Shop, Elito Arceo and his Seaduced team, Billy Phillip Leslie and TUFF-E-NUFF Boys, Sandy Leslie and Searious Adventures crew, Jackie Gonzalez and her family and all the family and friends for their support. Rest in Peace Eric; Fly Free "BIRD".
National Telethon to Protect Belize Chiquibul Forest National Reserve
Cruise Ship Isolated Ebola Health Worker While on Belize Port
Belizeans got a bit of a scare last night after word got out that a passenger on board the Carnival Magic cruise ship docked outside of Belize City on Thursday, October 16, 2014, was showing symptoms similar to that of the Ebola virus. The Government of Belize was quick to send out a press release indicating that the US government made them aware of the situation a hand but that the passenger was considered of very low risk for Ebola.
The passenger had voluntarily entered quarantine on board the ship and remains free of any fever or other symptoms of illness. It was later learned that the passenger in quarantine on board the cruise ship was a Dallas health care worker who handled specimens from an Ebola-infected patient, but had not had direct contact with the patient Thomas Eric Duncan who was the first to die from Ebola in the United States.
Misc Belizean Sources
Government of Belize Explains Decision on Cruise Ship Passenger and Imposes Travel Restrictions for West Africa
Ambassador of Argentina to Belize in San Pedro
Ambassador of Argentina to Belize, His Excellency Mr. Omar Nuske and his wife Mrs. Beatriz Ramirez Nuske visited the San Pedro Town Council and presented Mayor Daniel Guerrero with an Argentinian flag. Thank You Ambassador Nuske, the San Pedro Town Council greatly appreciates this gift.
Perspectives from the Past
Our final lecture last night was a fascinating one. Mr. Owsald Staine's memoirs of Corozal Town in the 1940's captured all in attendance. This gentleman gave the name of the first taxi driver who ran customers up and down to Consejo Village when it was the only departure point to Mexico, he recalled the name of the first Ferry Operator at the Rio Hondo international crossing ...!! We are so grateful to Mr. Oswald and all of our lecturers who participate in the series. A special thank you to our collaborator; the National Library Service and Information System for filming all of the lectures.
Belize Refused Carnival Passengers With Ebola Concerns
When we left you last night - there was anxiety all across Belize - because a Carnival cruise ship had two passengers on board that were considered Ebola risks. Initial reports said they were on a tender awaiting permission to enter the tourism village for a connection to the Phillip Goldson International where an air ambulance was waiting.
Well a whole lot has happened since then - and much more is known.
But, to cut immediately to the chase: they were not on a tender, did not leave the ship, and did not have Ebola. CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister Audrey Wallace was the first line of contact with the US state Department on the super sensitive issue, and she explained the status of the two passengers at a press conference today:
PM Barrow Turned Down Secretary of State Kerry's Ebola Request
So, they never set foot in Belize - but the US State Department tried mightily to get them to pass through here - meaning that the Prime Minister had to hold firm - as the requests kept coming from higher and higher offices in the state department - culminating in US Secretary of State John Kerry.
A timeline we've put together shows that the first request came at 9:40 am - after 3762 cruise tourists had already disembarked and gone about their tourism business all across Belize. From there the requests continued right through until 8:30 pm - a full eleven hours of back and forth proposals and counter proposals - culminating in a final, firm "no" to the request.
We caught unto the story at about 7:15pm - and Jules Vasquez picked up the action there at the old Customs Wharf - near the tourism village:
Passport Handlers Were Cautious
So, to make it clear again: the passengers of interest - a 59 year old female lab supervisor from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospitaland her male partner a 60 year old, did not disembark in Belize, and they did not leave the quarantine area in the ship, and they are not presently showing any signs of having Ebola - but this will not be known for sure until the next four days or so - when the 21 day incubation period ends. She is on her 19th day since she was exposed and she is showing no symptoms.
But then, there's public concern that maybe the nearly 3,800 cruise visitors from the Carnival Magic who did come unto land could have been infected on the ship and could be carrying the virus, and could have spread it to those Belizeans they came in contact with.
Again, not a possibility. All the information on Ebola shows it is not contagious during the incubation period. It is only contagious when the symptoms are present. Second, it is not an airborne virus like the flu; it had to be transmitted by bodily fluids.
Immigration Ban Enacted
From what we have been able to find out - when the passports were handed back over to the Coast Guard, only the shipping agent employee - and not the police or immigration handled them. The Coast Guard officers were reportedly wearing gloves. Again, all precautionary, because no one on the Cruise Ship was presenting symptoms of Ebola infection. A release from Carnival Cruise Line says the female is deemed by CDC to be very low risk. She and her partner remain in isolation on board the ship and is quote, "not deemed to be a risk to any guests or crew." The release adds, quote, "at this time it has been determined that the appropriate course of action is to simply keep the guest in isolation on board.
Still, we note press reports that today that the ship did not get clearance to dock in Cozumel, Mexico - so it is heading back to Galveston, Texas - where it is scheduled to arrive on Sunday.
Ebola Quarantine Structures and Areas To Be Identified
And a quarantine area will also be set up at the Phillip Goldson International - particularly for any visitor arrive from Dallas Forth Worth, which has direct flights to Belize.
The Prime Minister also announced the establishment of a quarantine area in Belie City:..
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"We are looking at the possibility of the Cleopatra White; two rooms there being converted. We don't want to simply stand down the services there, but in the meantime two rooms are being prepared and if we had to use it then of course all those services would be cut off there. Looking at in the context of the BDF Price Barracks area at some place where we could put another of the Mennonite houses in case we had to move somebody from the airport presenting the symptoms to that spot. But at the airport itself, one of the Mennonite houses will be in fact put on site so that there is an immediate quarantine area for any further screening that might be necessary - if somebody looks a little bit suspicious."
Alleged Weed Dealer Silent In Court
25 year old Calbert Hubert Young, is in jail tonight after police busted him inside his home with over 45 pounds of weed in two sacks and two plastic bags. He was today fined and confined when he was convicted of a single count of possession of a controlled drugs with intent to supply to another person. He was sentenced to 5 years for that and also hit with a fine of $10,000 dollars in default three more years in jail.
On September 15 of last year, the GSU raided his Belize City home and when he was asked if he had anything to declare, he told police, "I have a sack of weed inside my room."
General Jones Says Bze "€“ Guatemala Military Relations Improving
On our Tuesday and Wednesday newscasts, we told you about the high level meeting between Belize and Guatemala at the state and law enforcement level. That meeting was to discuss the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie, an armed incursion at the Valentine Conservation Outpost, in which the 40+ armed Guatemalan civilians from La Rejoya Village were trying to lure BDF Soldiers into an ambush after threatening to burn down the facility under construction.
Brigadier General David Jones was a part of the Belize Delegation who met with his counterpart from the Guatemalan Armed Forces. During their meeting, they discussed how both countries could cooperate to prevent future conflicts such as the Valentin Incident, and how to decrease illegal activities.
Jones told the media in a press conference today that the decision made was that both militaries will do joint patrols at the border, separate from the Link-up operations they currently employ:
BDF Trying to Hold Down 51 Miles Of Border
But in the meantime, the Belize Defence Force has to defend against civilian incursions along the 133 miles of border the country shares with Guatemala.
Statistically, the problem areas are focused along 51 miles of that 133. That is the hotspot where mass illegal incursions and activities continue to happen. Among that 51-mile slice includes the border areas of the famous Chiquibul National Park, the Caracol Archaeological Reserve and the Bladden Nature Reserve. Of that 51 mile hotspot, 19 miles of the border demarcation belongs to the Chiquibul, which remains under constant pressure.
The BDF Commander discussed how the fight at the Belize Guatemala frontier has been going from a military stand-point:
Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defence Force
"Apart from the areas in the Chiquibul, the entire north and south of the country - there is a lot of contraband activities happening cross border between Belize/Guatmala, also between Belize and Mexico and there is a lot of drug trafficking activity that occurs in these areas. What I want to just point out briefly looking at the map behind us, this area from the north up there is the border with Mexico where the Rio Hondo starts.
BDF Success With Incisive Gallop
One of the chief operations that the BDF has been employing to deter illegal activities is the Incisive Gallop operation. As we've told you, the idea behind it is that the BDF employ reconnaissance teams to gather intelligence about the illegal activities along the hotspots, and then Incisive Gallop is launched with mass deployment to destroy illegal farms and detain cross border interlopers.
More than 90 soldiers and law enforcement officers are deployed for a week, where they move along and conduct surgical strikes.
There have been 3 Gallops so far, and today he discussed the second one which happened in May:
Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defence Force
"The second operation that went in May, this occurred in the area of Valentin Camp, Cohune Ridge Sebada, Ceibo Chico and all the way up north - Arenal. 21 plantations of various crops such as corn, cassava, beans, and pumpkins were destroyed. Whatever has been planted in that area, the soldiers and the other supporting agencies who went in with us conducted the destruction of these operations. A total of approximately 118 acres of illegal plantations we destroyed on that second operation. it's quite a number of acres to be cutting down in a short period of time and with the distance that the soldiers need to cover is a long area they need to cover."
BDF and US Blaze Up Weed Plantations
As we you on Wednesday, the BDF collaborated with the US Military's Joint-Task Force Bravo over a 5-day campaign to destroy all marijuana plantations. They managed to burn and destroy $54 million dollars worth of drugs, and today the Commander explained that this operation was happening simultaneously with the third Incisive Gallop.
Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defence Force
"Way down in the middle here, these were all in the Chiquibul over ten thousand marijuana plans were destroyed in the Chiquibul and the remaining 38,841 plants were in the Toledo District. There were a lot more plantations along the borderline, but it is very challenging to go there. We only had the helicopters for a short period of time, so we weren't able to go to the others, but there is still a number of marijuana plantations along the AZ be it inside the Chiquibul or along the other portion of the western border."
BDF Doesn't Want Pictures Posted
And finally from the General for tonight, he had a bone to pick with the press and others who had been posting pictures on the social media about the areas under tension, such as the Valentin Outpost.
Toledo Floods Unexpected
Due to an intense thunderstorm on Wednesday night in the Toledo District, the villages of San Miguel and San Pedro Colombia experienced serious flooding, the likes of which they haven't seen in a generation.
The water hasn't receded completely, and the villagers are still waiting for the situation to improve. Two families had to be evacuated because their homes became inundated.
Of important note is that the Rio Grande is in close proximity to both villages, and it has contributed to the flooding. The residents tell our colleagues from PGTV that such a flooding has not happened in 2 decades.
CITCO Hit With Huge Judgment
You must pay Belize Waste Control half a million dollars. That's what the Supreme Court told Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley today in a default judgment order after the sanitation company sued City Council for arrears.
Viewers may remember that in April, BWC took the Mayor to court for arrears and they retained Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay as the attorney. The last we heard was that both sides had arrived at an out-of-court resolution.
Well, it seems that things didn't work out as planned, and as you've heard the Mayor lament many times on the news, there is nothing to be done to stop the council from falling way behind on their weekly arrears with the company to clean up the city. This more than likely was once such instance, and this time the sanitation company pursued its rights in court.
Why Were Immigration Lines Long
Monday October 13th was a holiday, the end of a long weekend – and as usual many people spent the day going across the border to Chetumal for recreation and shopping. But when they came back, they met some extraordinarily long lines – all because only one officer was on duty – at the end of a long weekend that’s never enough. Today we asked the Director of Immigration what went wrong:..
BHS Befriends St. Martin's
Belize High School is the only private high school in the city - and one of only a handful in the country. And while the school is considered elite, today, for their school service day they tried to show that they aren't elitist.
The entire school body spent a day with the students and teachers of St. Martin's De Porres Primary School on Partridge Street in Belize City.
I stopped in to see how the interesting social interaction was going:…
BHS has been doing the service day at St. Martin's since 2010.
What Are Streets Saying On Ebola
At the top of the news tonight we told you all about last night's Ebola scare - but what are Belizeans saying about it ? Are they properly informed ? Well the general facts vary but when I hit the streets today I found one common sentiment among the public and that's doubt in our health system's readiness and responsiveness:
For clarity the disease is not air borne like the flu virus. It is transmitted through contact with blood and bodily fluids of the infected persons who are showing symptoms.
A Mexican Opera in Belize
When you hear the word "Opera" for most, images of women in flamboyant dresses and top hats and men in overalls with white wigs are evoked. Well our next story is about a visiting Mexican Opera where the performers wont necessarily be draped in elaborate or outlandish costumes, but they will be bringing the drama and passion that defines this form of art to the Bliss stage. I found out more today:..
"Voices from Mexico and Venezuela" will be playing tomorrow night at the Bliss Center at 7.
Bring Boxing Back
For the past few months, we've been telling you about a few of the major boxing events that local boxers have been participating in, such as the recent bout between Belize and Mexico in Orange Walk 6 weeks ago.
There are local personalities who wish to bring back boxing to it's former glory, but for those who don't know the finer details to the sports or how, the Boxing Federation of Belize is organizing a seminar.
They hope that all coaches, referees, and persons interested in the sport to show up to learn or refresh themselves on the rules and statutes of how the sport is governed.
It's president stopped by to say that all in the community is welcomed to attend.
The conference takes place at the ITVET Compound on October 25 - which is a week from Saturday - at 10 a.m.
Health CEO: Chik V Is Coming, But Not Here Yet
Tonight, all the news has been about Ebola, but Chikungunya is a much more real and present health danger. IT’s swept across the Caribbean and caused a national emergency in Jamaica. And now privately conducted tests in Belize are coming up positive for it – but officially these are not being reported as Chikungunya because the tests – according to health CEO Peter Allen – are inaccurate:...
Chiquibul Needs Your Help
The Chiquibul protection telethon will be held tomorrow at the Memorial Park from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The NGO which co-manages the Chiquibul - is asking the public to help it fund 20 rangers to protect the embattled forest at a cost of twenty four thousand dollars per ranger. FCD Volunteer and the driving force behind the telethon Valerie Woods told us how you can help:..
Join Indira Craig and I tomorrow as we co-host the telethon along with our colleagues from all Belize's other media houses. It starts airing live on Channel 7 and all other TV and radio stations at 10am.
Ebola Scare Off the Coast of Belize City!
The possibility of a threat from the deadly Ebola virus placed the nation on edge on Thursday night, but tonight there is a sigh of relief. The scare started when [...]
Carnival Magic Passenger is Quarantined Onboard Cruise Ship
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was also at this morning’s press conference to quell fears. He reiterated that if there had been any way at all that he could have assisted [...]
P.M. Barrow Says No to Medevac from P.G.I.A.
Barrow says that he thought that was the end of the matter, until he was informed later in the day that the plane was in the air. But despite the [...]
West African Visitors Banned from Landing in Belize
A regional response to the threat of Ebola in the Caribbean earlier this week, prompted several island nations, including the government of St. Lucia and Jamaica to restrict the influx [...]
Ministry of Health Outlines Comprehensive Response to Ebola Threat
The immediate implementation of those new immigration policies is one prong of G.O.B.’s preparation for the threat of Ebola. The Ministry of Health, in the face of Thursday’s wake up [...]
Quarantine Area to be Set Up at P.G.I.A.
The order for seven hundred and fifty hazmat kits has already been placed through the Pan American Health Organization. The order will be some time in coming, since those kits [...]
Will There Be Any Repercussions for Belize’s Rejection of Cruise Ship Passengers?
Will there be repercussions for rejecting a U.S. request to allow the quarantined passenger to be brought on shore? The government was being assured that the lab technician was low [...]
US State Department Disappointed in Belize’s Decision to Decline Request
While P.M. Barrow doesn’t expect repercussions, the U.S. State Department has expressed disappointment in that decision not to have the cruise ship passengers disembarked and flown out from the P.G.I.A. [...]
Ministry of Tourism Kicks Ebola Mitigation Plan Into High Gear
While the scare of Ebola washing up on the shores of Belize is very real, its impact on the tourism industry can be potentially devastating. The multi-agency approach notwithstanding, the [...]
Passengers on Carnival Magic Disembark in Belize City Despite Ebola Threat Onboard
Social media went ballistic Thursday night following reports, factual and exaggerated, that there was a potential threat to Belize from a passenger on board the Carnival Magic. The wide-scale panic [...]
U.S. Air Ambulance Lands at P.G.I.A. Despite P.M.’s Persistence
But we go back to the issue of the air ambulance. While P.M. Barrow remained steadfast in his decision not to have the quarantined cruise passengers medically evacuated from the [...]
3 More Conservation Posts for Chiquibul National Park
While the eyes of the nation are fixated on a departing cruise ship and a perceived threat, on Saturday the organizers of a telethon are hoping that you’ll keep the [...]
B.D.F. Launches Operation Gallop
At least four times for the year, the Belize Defence Force carries out a large-scale operation called incisive gallop. Approximately one hundred soldiers, acting on intelligence, focus on one area [...]
B.D.F. Commander on Joint Belize-Guatemala Commission Meeting
A delegation from Belize, including government and opposition representatives as well as B.D.F. and Police commanders, travelled to Guatemala this past weekend to meet with their counterparts. At the end [...]
The Pulse of the People on Ebola Threat
Tonight, Carnival Magic is heading towards Galveston, Texas. But there were hours of high anxiety when news spread like wildfire that there was a possible threat of Ebola. We took [...]
Women In Politics, An Initiative by WIN-Belize
Even though there have been small steps, the odds are against women who want to become involved in the front lines of politics. One organization that wants to reverse these [...]
Re: Today's Belize News: October 18, 2014
10/18/14 05:43 AM
10/18/14 05:43 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
More News: Scroll up from here
Belize Celebrates World Food Day
Today is observed as World Food Day. In Belize it is being commemorated under the theme, “Family Farming: feeding the world, caring for the earth, creating affordable, accessible, sustainable, healthy and nutritious food in Belize”. The day has been observed since 1981 and this year, the global objective of the theme is to end hunger.
The day was celebrated with an event held at the ITVET compound in Belize City where the aim was to highlight the importance of family farming, smallholder farming and urban agriculture by focusing attention on efforts to reduce hunger and poverty, provide food security and nutrition, improve livelihoods, manage natural resources, protect the environment and achieve sustainable development in the country.
Belizean Faces Death Penalty In US
This week a Belizean accused of murder and wounding appeared in court in the US to answer to charges but a judge postponed his arraignment. He is twenty-seven year old Carim J.
Cruz who is accused of shooting one woman to death and wounding a second person on August 16th in a parking lot outside the Geisha House Sushi and steak restaurant in Las Vegas USA.
LICU Celebrates International Credit Union Day
October 16th is observed as International Credit Union Day and this year it is being celebrated under the theme “Local Service, Global Good.” And if we take into consideration this year’s theme, La Inmaculada Credit Union fits it perfectly as they are highly recognized locally and internationally for their service and work.
Over the years LICU has grown to be one of the number one banking institutions countrywide extending their services all the way to Belmopan. And that is where the institution celebrated International Credit Union Day today as they also commemorated their first anniversary.
Yolanda Gomes – GM LICU
“The theme Local Services Global Goods is very, very relevant because we taking all of our local services, we bringing it to the homes of our entrepreneurs to the citizens of our communities and we are also reading out to the rural areas and we are also commemorating and highlighting the Belmopan Branch that we are celebrating our one year anniversary this month and we deiced to create the big bang and the focus in Belmopan rather than at our main offices, so we are having our market day, our open day whereby we have invited quite a number of our entrepreneurs and also some NGO’s who share our vision of being social responsible.”
Works On Central Park Gets Underway
For months now we have been hearing about the soon to commence renovation of the Orange Walk Central Park and that time is finally here. If you have been around town recently then we are sure that you are well aware of the heavy machinery seen around the park. That’s evidence that work on the project has initiated. Today we caught up with Mayor Kevin Bernard who shared his sentiments on the initiation of the much anticipated project.
Kevin Bernard– Mayor O/W
“It’s something that we have been waiting for quite some time as you know there was a lot of delays that at first the park should have started in June of this year but there were some delays due to the fact that the world bank has to go through some tight process and so I understand they had to resubmit bids for contractors again evaluation and so forth and so the final approval was made by the world bank and so the work has now been commenced, this will take ninety days to complete and I must inform residence that there will be some inconvenience, we know that there is work going on the highway and work is going on in central park and we are doing work also in some other areas in terms of street work and so I would like to ask the residence to bear some patience, it is an inconvenience but it is for the development for our municipality, in terms of the central park there is two phases, right now is the interior of the park itself and I understand that the design works are being prepared for the street around of the park.”
Another Teen Goes Missing
Tonight, we have another missing person to report. Authorities and family members of 16 year old Liliana Teck of Libertad Village are asking for the public’s help in locating their loved one.
Judith Tesecum of Libertad Village, Corozal District, reported that on Saturday October 11th, around 8:30a.m, her 16 year old daughter Lillian went missing.
Liliana is of Hispanic descent, has light brown skin, long black hair, brown eyes, is about 5 feet one inch in height and weighs about 130 pounds. She was last seen wearing a gold coloured dress and a pair of black shoes. The mother suspects that her daughter is in the company of a male from Carmelita Village.
Garcia Still Missing After Three Days
Three days after Eric ‘Bird’ Garcia was reported missing at sea, today the searches by islanders tour operators, coast guard and other authorities have yielded no positive results. As we reported, Garcia was among the trio that set out to sea for a fishing expedition in the Tres Cocos area of Ambergris Caye on Monday afternoon. It is being reported that the rough sea conditions caused the kayak to capsize and the men drifted apart.
Since the incident, two of the men, 25 year old Jamal Martinez and 28 year old Joseph Hernandez have been rescued as they held on to a buoy and unto the kayak. Yesterday when we spoke with David Ayala, Patrol Commander of the Northern Operation Base in Ambergris Caye, he stated that while they are remaining optimistic that they will find Garcia, only his green trousers has surfaced with no trace of his body. Despite the inclement weather putting a damper on the rescue efforts, the search for Garcia continues.
Incessant Rains Cause Flooding In Toledo
The incessant rains in the Toledo District are wreaking havoc in that municipality as flooding has been reported. The hardest hit area so far is Golden Stream Village where as many as one third of the families residing in the community was flooded out of their homes as a result of torrential rains on Tuesday night and on Wednesday. Other parts affected by the flooding are villages along the Southern Highway.
Toledo district coordinator for the National Emergency Management Organization, Kenton Parham, says 17 persons were evacuated and were being given emergency shelter in Big Falls Village. Teams from NEMO-Toledo have been out doing assessments in flooded areas and are reporting that flood waters are also affecting Blue Creek and Aguacate Villages. Commuters and motorists should note that bridges in both communities are now closed to vehicular traffic with as much as 3 feet of water covering the bridge.
Concern Grows As Ebola Virus Spreads
The Ebola virus continues to be at the top of health priorities in many countries. Belize is at risk and concern grows since the Ministry of Health is not adequately prepared to handle any eventuality of the virus being found here.
In the US, the virus was detected in Texas and an emergency alert was sounded yesterday in the event of any outbreak seeing that more cases are being diagnosed there. Late yesterday evening, the US media reported that a second nurse who has been diagnosed with Ebola told the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention she had a slightly elevated temperature prior to flying to Dallas from Cleveland, Ohio, but wasn't "told she couldn't fly" since she didn't meet the threshold for a fever.
Belize Defense Force Operations in The Chiquibul Forest
The Belize Defense Force called a press conference this afternoon to update the media about their recent operations they carried out in the Chiquibul Forest and near the Belize-Guatemala border. The Incisive Gallop Operation was carried out over a span of nine days from September 26 to October 4. Commandant of the BDF, Brigadier General, David Jones, shared what the operation yielded. But before we get to that- we share an update on the killing of Special Constable, Daniel Conorquie which occurred on September 24 at the Caracol Archeological Site. Conorquie was shot to death by Hispanic men believed to be Guatemalans, who escaped the scene by following a trail leading to a village in Guatemala. Since the Belize-Guatemalan Joint, Commission Jones says that they know where the killers are and are working with their Guatemalan’s counterpart to detain the men.
Belize Remains Free From Mosquito born disease Chikungunya
Ministry of Health says Belize remains free of the mosquito borne disease Chikungunya. CEO, Dr. Peter Allen, told Love News that while that is the status now, it is only a matter of time before the first case is reported in Belize. He said in the meantime the Ministry continues its work to keep the country free of the disease and emphasized that residents also have a part to play.
“Jamaica has been having a significant problem with Chikungunya and so has Suriname and actually had to declare emergencies in both of those sovereign nations. I am happy to confirm that in Belize we do not have any confirmed cases yet and there are none confirmed in Benque. We are aware that there are some reports of cases and we do have a concern about a test that some in the private sector are using, a rapid test for Chikungunya, because it is not very sensitive and it is not very specific for the Chikungunya pathogen.
c-1 Fourth Form Class of GLHS Giving to The Less Fortunate
Eighteen Students of C-1 fourth form class of Gwen Lizarraga High School were at Battle Field Park in Belize City dishing out chicken soup for the less fortunate. It’s part of their Service Learning Session. They would normally carry out community services projects like cleaning a park, but this time they decided that they feed the hungry. We stopped by this afternoon and here is why the group decided to do what they did.
“Our students usually do community service. We are trying to move away from that and so that they can have an appreciation of just giving back and as a class they decided that the best thing that they would do is to help feed the poor or homeless.”
“Reporter Hipolito Novelo”
“What lesson should the students learn you would say at the end of the day?”
“They would learn the lesson of giving back, giving back selflessly to those who need because some of us understand what it is to have little, but we do not understand what it is to not have so that would be a good lesson that they would learn from today.”
Ministry of Health Proactive Measures Towards Ebola
During this morning’s press conference, much attention was put on arrivals at the Phillip Goldson International Airport and cruise passengers. When we spoke with Immigration, Minister Godwin Hulse, we asked about other port of entries especially the northern and western borders.
“Minister Godwin Hulse”
“Because persons are coming from Europe and various places and as they pass through the US or wherever they are coming from Panama and so they are basically in transit and may not be screened properly this is why we have set the 30 limit. Persons on the northern and western border however, if the foreigners would be subject to the same screening, but Mexicans and Guatemalans really we can only look at what Ministry of Health has said in terms of symptoms, that is why we have converted the cells to hold people and get in touch with Ministry of Health. Now the only thing we can do there is be vigilant and to ensure that our front line people are not directly exposed; but you will recognize it is more of a difficult challenge because we do not know whether the Mexican or Guatemalans has come in contact with anybody. Those countries are monitoring as well and so they provide for us a sort of intermediate defense for persons coming into their country who would then come into Belize, but where their own citizens are concerned if there is an outbreak in Guatemala or Mexico we will have to really seriously ratchet up or be more vigilant at those borders and the efforts that we are going to implement are in the cases of those two borders.”
Jaime Andrews Charged With Rape
Twenty-seven year old Jaime Andrews, a fisherman of Lavender Street, was charged with rape when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. No plea was taken because the offense is indictable. Andrews was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until October 21. The incident occurred on October 12, when a woman reported to the police that Andrews had sex with her without her consent.
Aspiring Female Political Leaders Complete Training
The Old Belize Pavilion in Belize City was the venue for what was referred to as a convocation ceremony, featuring women who are desirous of holding political office in Belize. The ceremony saw the presentations of several speakers including the former Mayor of Belize City, Zenaida Moya, as well as the current Mayor, Darrell Bradley. Bradley admitted that there are many challenges and trials that will be encountered, but what will be even more challenging is the fact that women will have to work even harder to become on par with men in politics.
“It is very important that we also recognize in our society that we have many challenges. I will not want to paint a brush on the political landscape. As Ms. Moya said, it is very difficult. So the last thing I will say to you this morning is to navigate that political landscape and to be successful you need to bring the tenacity of a woman to that political office.
50K Bail for 54 Kilos of Meth
Ruperto Reyes a resident of Orange Walk, who was remanded to prison on a charge of drug trafficking for over 54 kilograms of crystal meth, was offered a bail of fifty thousand dollars today by Justice Herbert Lord. The bail was offered on the condition that Reyes surrender all of his travel documents and that he reports to Orange Walk Police Station three times each week until the case is concluded. So far Reyes has not met bail. Reyes was represented by attorney Phillip Palacio. Crown Counsel Portia Staine represented the Crown.
Main Witness Foils Murder Case; Accused Walks Free
Thirty-two year old Karim Barona, charged with the murder of 41 year old Elvis Rhamdas, was freed of the charge today when a nolle prosequi was entered by Crown Counsel Kileru Awich in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. The nolle prosequi was entered because the main witness could not be located. Rhamdas was stabbed multiple times in his body between 8:30 and 9 p.m. on April 29, 2011, while he was at the corner of New Road and Victoria Street. Yesterday when the trial started, three formal witnesses had testified for the prosecution. Barona was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre.
Coast Guard Rescues Fisherman at Sea
The Belize Coast responded to a distress call this afternoon at around 2:30 pm. Reports are that a fisherman, 37 year old Abigail Tun, of Chunox Village in the Corozal District, was operating in the Turneffe Area. A press statement from the Belize Coast Guard points out that Tun was suffering from chest pain- he was not breathing properly and his neck was inflamed. Officers patrolling Calabash Caye were deployed to where the vessel was. Tun was brought to the Coast Guard Headquarters, where he was met by medics from B.E.R.T. before being transported by ambulance for further medical assistance.
PM Speaks on Possible Ebola Virus Threat to Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow flanked by his CEO, Audrey Wallace, Immigration Minister, Godwin Hulse, and CEO in the Ministry of Heath, Dr. Peter Allen, addressed the nation to set the record straight regarding reports that Belizeans might have been exposed to an Ebola patient. CEO Wallace wasted no time in assuring the Belizean public that the case did not involve an Ebola patient. Wallace went through the time line from the time the Prime Minister’s Office was notified at nine forty on Thursday morning until sometime after seven o’clock last night when the Prime Minister spoke with United States Secretary of State, John Kerry.
“The US was asking for the two passengers to be disembarked and held in quarantine in Belize terrestrial soil until Friday morning when the plane would medi-vac them to the US. When informed, the Prime Minister immediately said no to that request being of the view that it would assuredly expose Belizean healthcare workers and security personnel to some risk. He further decided that any possible window of opportunity had then passed and the US embassy was advised that Belize would now in no wise facilitate the requested evacuation. Shortly after 4PM the US embassy called again that notwithstanding the Prime Minister’s decisions an evacuation flight had been arranged and the plane would be leaving the US for Belize.
Homes in the south affected by flooding
Heavy rains experienced in the South on Tuesday night resulted in overnight flooding in the Toledo District, where at least 20 homes were affected by the rising waters.
Several communities were affected, however the most affected community was the Golden Stream Community, located about 28 miles south of Punta Gorda on the Southern Highway. The community is an area prone to flooding; the last flood at Golden Stream was about 3 years ago.
The flood waters continued to affect certain areas on Tuesday .
On Wednesday, NEMO District Coordinator for Toledo, Kenton Parham, spoke to PlusNews about the flood situation, and explained the efforts made to ensure the affected people get the necessary assistance from the National Emergency Management Organization.
Ladyville man found murdered on Burrell Boom Road
22 year old Gregory Richard Goodfellow of Perez Road, Ladyville, Belize District, was killed sometime around 8:30 Wednesday night in the vicinity of the Burrell Boom-Hattieville Road.
According to Police, they responded to a report of shots being fired in the area, and found Gregory Goodfellow lying dead on the right side of the road toward Hattieville, half a mile from the Burrell Boom Bridge, of multiple gunshot wounds to the body, the hand and the head.
Five 9mm expended shells were recovered from the scene.
On Thursday morning, Inspector Frederick Gordon, Officer in Command at the Ladyville Police Station, briefed reporters on the still-young investigation. In short, police have not made much progress.
Coast Guard responds to fisherman’s distress call
On Friday at approximately 2:30 pm, Coast Guard responded to a distress call by Fishermen operating in the Turneffe area.
Information received was that a fisherman was suffering from chest pain, not breathing properly and his neck was inflamed. Coast Guard assistance was requested, and so the Calabash Patrol was deployed.
The patrol located the fishing vessel and took the individual to Coast Guard Headquarters, where he was met by medics from B.E.R.T. The ailing fisherman was transported by ambulance for further medical assistance.
Murder trial scrapped after main witness not located
32 year old Karim Barona is free despite being accused of murder.
His trial for the murder of 41 year old Elvis Rhamdas began on Thursday before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Supreme Court. Three formal witnesses testified for the prosecution and the main witness was scheduled to take the stand today. However, he could not be located and so the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, represented by Crown Counsel Kileru Awich, entered a motion of nolle prosequi, indicating that Karim Barona was free to go unless and until the witness could be located and brought to trial.
Elvis Rhamdas was stabbed multiple times in his body between 8:30 and 9 p.m. on April 29, 2011, while he was at the corner of New Road and Victoria Street, Belize City.
Fisherman charged with rape
Police have charged the man they say forcibly raped a woman on October 12.
Twenty-seven year old Jaime Andrews, a fisherman of Lavender Street, Belize City, was charged with rape when he appeared on Friday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Jamie Andrews was denied bail, and he was remanded into custody until October 21.
The incident occurred on October 12, when the woman reported to the police that a man she identified as Andrews had sex with her without her consent.
Accused drug trafficker receives bail
On August 20, Orange Walk Police recovered some 54.7 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine or “crystal meth” from a suspicious black vehicle traveling in town. 30 separate packs located in a red cooler and a carton box were recovered. The men in the vehicle tried to outrun police in the direction of Liberty Avenue, but the driver lost control and then they tried to leave on foot, but the Police caught them.
That driver is 49 year old Orange Walk Town resident Ruperto Reyes, and he had been remanded to prison on drug trafficking charges.
But he was offered bail on Friday of $50,000 by Justice Herbert Lord. The bail was offered on the condition that Ruperto Reyes surrender all of his travel documents, and that he reports to Orange Walk Police Station 3 times each week until the case is concluded.
Iconic businessman Karl H. Menzies dead at 86
Iconic businessman Karl H. Menzies, 86, owner and founder of Karl H. Menzies Company Limited and group of companies, died at his home with his family on Saturday due to natural causes after battling a long bout of illness.
A church service to honor “Karlie” (he was cremated earlier) will be held today, Thursday, at the St. Joseph Church on St. Joseph Street at 2:00 p.m.
His daughter Kay said that her dad was a humorous person – a quality for which he was well-known, but when the occasion required it, he was of the utmost seriousness. He started from humble beginnings in the Mesopotamia area, where he lived with his parents and 18 brothers and sisters. Karlie worked himself up to the point where he founded and operated his own businesses, and his is a true success story.
Belize not ready for Ebola
The outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that has been ravaging multiple countries in West Africa, where over 4,000 persons have died, is projected to become worse. On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that by December, the number of persons contracting the disease will rise to between 5,000 to 10,000 new cases per week, as compared to about 1,000 per week during the last four weeks – a figure which reportedly includes suspected, confirmed and probable cases.
In Belize, officials at the Ministry of Health have begun a late scramble to put in place the necessary contingency plans to cope with the eventuality of Ebola on Belize’s shores.
Although Belize is considered to be at a low risk for a spread of the virus, the Ministry of Health has nonetheless indicated that the threat that Ebola poses is real.
Ladyville resident executed on the Boom-Hattieville Road
Richard Gregory Goodfellow, 22, a resident of Perez Road in Ladyville, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the body and head.
His body was found at about 8:30 last night on the side of the Hattieville-Boom Road about one hundred yards away from the Boom Bridge when travelling from the junction of the Philip Goldson Highway and the Burrell Boom Road, towards Hattieville. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival at about 12:40 this morning.
Sometime after 8:00 last night, residents of the Hattieville Boom Road alerted police that shots were being fired in the area. Police responded to the reports and went into the area, and that was when they found the lifeless body of a male person lying on the roadside. He was dressed in a red t-shirt, a pair of long blue jeans pants with a “Phat Farm” logo, and a pair of grey and black tennis shoes.
Ebola scare in Belize City Harbor!
The Government of Belize, at about 10:43 tonight, issued a press release confirming information received by Amandala earlier this evening that a female passenger aboard a cruise ship, Carnival Magic, may have had contact with the Ebola virus, and the American government had sent an air bus to transport her out of Belize and back to the US.
The woman, a lab technician, reportedly was one of about 70 workers who came in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who traveled from Liberia to the United States infected with the Ebola virus, and died at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday at 7:51 a.m. after he was treated with an experimental drug.
Amandala was told that the woman was accompanied on the cruise ship by her husband.
Reports to us are that the woman and her husband were put in quarantine aboard the ship, which was anchored in the Belize City Harbour. It is not known how the woman was allowed to leave the US, in light of the possibility that she may have been exhibiting symptoms of the Ebola virus.
Belizeans honoured by the Queen
Five distinguished Belizeans were honoured for their dedicated and outstanding services to their community. The presentations took place today at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The insignias were presented by the Governor General of Belize, H.E. Sir Colville Young, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.
Receiving the insignia for Commander of the British Empire Award was Dr. Ellsworth Grant, for his contribution to Medicine. Mr. Patrick Andrews and Mr. Stephen Duncan received the insignia as Members of the British Empire for their contribution to Community and Banking
Talking football – Part 4
We continue to highlight excerpts from a “1962 Souvenir Programme” provided to us by Mr. Phillip S. Hall, who was then Secretary of the Belize Football Association.
Although the visiting Jamaican football team was listed as St. George’s College Old Boys, the biographical notes on some of the players appearing on pages 76 and 78 of the booklet indicate that many of the players were Jamaican national team players at that time. For example, Kenneth East, the captain of the team at 32 years of age; Lascelles Williams, the team’s 23-year-old vice-captain; Johnnie Fraser, 23 years; Donald Miller; Cecil Choe, 31 years; Denzil Lue; Daniel Simpson, 22 years; Winthorpe Bell, 18 years; and Peter Chavannes, 20 years, were all members of the Jamaican national team.
Weekend Warrior race results at TIDE Fish Fest in P.G.
Here are the results from the 2 Weekend Warrior (WW) Cycling Club races held down in Punta Gorda over the weekend in conjunction with the TIDE Annual Fish Fest:
In the A/B class, they rode from TIDE Compound to Mafredi Village and return, for 32 miles.
Top “A/B” finishers were: 1st place – Santino Castillo (Santino’s, 1:46:24); 2nd Shelton Graham (Santino’s, st); 3rd Jim Scott (Santino’s); 4th Daniel Cano (Digicell-4G); 5th Warren Coye (Santino’s); 6th Ryan Willoughby (Stationery House/Medina’s Jwlry); 7th Salvador Alvarado (FT Williams); 8th Nelson Zayden (Stationery House/Medina’s Jwlry); 9th Ernest Olivera (FT Williams); and 10th Clarence Tesecum (FT Williams).
Phillip Willoughby Cup 5-A-Side in full swing at Yabra Field
By request of the players, the 5-A-Side Phillip Willoughby Cup tournament games are being played 30-30 (30 minute halves) instead of 25-25 as previously planned. Starting at 11:00 a.m., all 10 registered teams saw action yesterday, Monday, October 13, with a number of fans turning out at the Yabra Football Field.
The goals are 4-foot squares; the playing field is marked out at 60 yards long by 40 yards wide; and there is a 10-yard arc in front of each goal, restricting attackers from shooting inside the arc, and defenders from “posting up.”
A number of teams still feature “semipro” players, who will have to be replaced on their team’s 8-man roster whenever they have signed up to participate in the upcoming Premier League of Belize Opening Season competition, which is said to commence this coming weekend.
Editorial: Belize’s real
From 1944 to 1954, there was a democratic revolution of sorts in Guatemala. When that revolution entered the phase of land reform under President Jacobo Arbenz, the United States government and its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) decided to overthrow the Arbenz government, which they did. Arbenz gave up power and left Guatemala without offering military resistance to the invading forces of Carlos Castillo Armas, the Americans’ choice as his replacement. So it was that the gains of the 1944-1954 Guatemalan revolution were reversed, and the Guatemalan peasants became landless once again.
The Argentine physician, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, happened to be in Guatemala when Arbenz was overthrown, and he felt that the critical mistake Arbenz made was that he had not armed the Guatemalan people to protect their revolution. Guevara afterwards travelled to Mexico, where he met and joined Fidel Castro, who was preparing a group of Cubans to invade Cuba to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista. Batista fled Cuba on New Year’s Day of 1959, and Castro took over. He soon declared himself a Marxist-Leninist and began a land reform (amongst other things) similar to what Arbenz had initiated in Guatemala. The United States government and its CIA decided to overthrow Fidel, as they had done Arbenz, but Castro armed the Cuban people and they successfully resisted the American-financed and sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion in April of 1961.
Sugar industry partners still in disagreement
A daunting stalemate continues to overshadow the future of the sugar industry of Belize since the two main stakeholders, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), and the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), alongside its parent company, American Sugar Refineries (ASR), have locked horns and stuck to their respective positions as they each seek to get their preferred terms embedded in a new sugar cane purchase agreement between producer and miller.
The parties sat at the negotiating table for another round of discussions yesterday, Thursday, October 9, and during that meeting, members of both entities met to review the BSCFA’s draft counterproposal to BSI/ASR’s newly-proposed commercial agreement, which was presented to the executives of the cane farmers’ association a little over a month ago, on September 8 — the date the two entities last met.
BSI/ASR is maintaining its position that the company is intent on hammering out the details of the new agreement by the time the next crop season begins in the next six weeks, since, according to BSI’s Financial Controller, Belizario Carballo Jr., they (BSI/ASR) prefer to conclude negotiations once and for all, rather than to enter into an interim agreement, such as the one that was signed prior to the commencement of the last sugar cane crop season.
From the Publisher
Two of my sons are public figures in Belize. My eldest son, Mose, makes public statements most weekday mornings as host of a talk show on KREM Radio/TV. He is also frequently invited to address schools and organizations. My second son, Cordel, was recently endorsed as the Lake Independence standard bearer for the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), after a hiatus of a couple years. (He had represented Lake I in the House from 1998 to 2012.) He addresses PUP conventions and rallies, in addition to being a weekly panelist on the KREM Radio Sunday morning sports show.
Of late, I get to talk with Cordel more frequently than I do with Mose. I would say that these two talk much more frequently with each other than they do with me. (Only a couple years separate them in age.) For the purposes of this column, it is important to note that: that they are more in contact with each other than they are with me.
Letters: Romel Cuello’s ideas for the border
Methinks that if we plan to defend our borders, we must build population centers along the area. The intruders are people who live there. We must send people to live, not just visit. I know some of our strong youth are badly in need of a purpose in life, and what is better than land to work on and call their own?
If we only try to mind it, and not live and love it, we will lose it.
Government must start encouraging communities along our border with Guatemala if we intend to have them respect us.
Letters: Help Hopkins!!
As the clock ticks and the sand erodes the beach at the north end, we lost another 4 coconut trees from the last ebbed high tide here in Hopkins. That is 5 rows of coconut trees all down from erosion when I planted each one of them 15 years ago!
HELP Hopkins – we need a retaining wall. I at Kismet have lost 200 feet of beach. I have no beach, now losing the yard, I am 15 feet from the tide flowing in to my front steps to Kismet, where I used to be 200 feet!
I beg for help. I will come up with the sand bags if you can donate several truckloads of sand and river rock. Silicone fence material would be ideal for containing rocks for the retaining wall that is a must NOW!!
Letters: Of truck mufflers and “jake brakes”
Everyone who has listened to the news lately has heard the term “Quality of Life” used by the officials as an excuse to regulate bicycle bells and lights. As reported, the Transport officers and police regulatory action have included delays, tickets and some monetary fines for the owners. It is simple; you must have a bell and light on your bike, as the law requires.
Everyone who lives in Belize within about a quarter mile of any road a semi-truck operates on, knows the true meaning of “disturbing the peace”. The loud exhaust noises from these trucks truly diminish the “Quality of Life” for us.
Once isolated to a few, they have now become a plague upon the peace and quiet in Belize. I have asked at the Transport Office and the Police Station what the fee is to register a motor vehicle without a muffler. All have told me there is no such fee, as mufflers are required on all motor vehicles. Further, if a vehicle has no muffler, it would not be issued a license plate. Then how are these trucks operating on our roads, intentionally disturbing our peace and quality of life with, it appears, complete immunity?
Daniel Conorquie left to the slaughter
Despite the many revelations that have surfaced after the execution of Police Special Constable Danny Conorquie, there is still a grave level of incompetence being displayed by the Government and they just don’t seem to get the gravity of the present. This is rather alarming for me, since I grew up hearing that George Price and the PUP wanted to sell us out to the Guatemalans and that it was Philip Goldson and the UDP that were our only line of defense against that sell-out. So it is ironic that the PUP has taken the lead and taken the proverbial “bull by the horns.”
Francis Fonseca on the ground
While the sitting members of the party in government, including the Prime Minister, keep down-playing the issue and making excuses for not seeing the optic nor the threat of Guatemala to Belize, the Leader of the Opposition has trumped them and not only made public calls for unity, but has gone on “ground zero” in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve to get a firsthand understanding of the plight and fight in this area and along our borders.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow signs $67.5 million agreement with European Union
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow, has signed a 27 million Euro/BZ$67.5 million National Indicative Programme (NIP) for the period 2014 to 2020 with the European Commission, designed to advance the activities of the Government of Belize in alleviating rural poverty in Belize.
Signing on behalf of the European Commission was the Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs.
The Prime Minister indicated at the signing held in Washington, D.C on Friday, October 10, that this agreement, funded under the European Development Fund (EDF 11), is a signal of confidence by the European Union in the Government of Belize with respect to its development agenda.
Re: Today's Belize News: October 18, 2014
10/18/14 05:43 AM
10/18/14 05:43 AM
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PM handles Ebola scare
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, faced with a possible Ebola threat in Belize on Thursday, decided not to allow an American citizen passage through Belizean soil, despite a request from the United States.
Barrow’s office was first informed around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday that there was a passenger on board a Carnival cruise ship off the coast of Belize at ‘low risk’ for Ebola infection.
The US State Department explained that the passenger may have handled Ebola samples at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital. The US State Department made several appeals to the office of the Prime Minister to allow the passenger and her partner to be transported to the Phillip Goldson International Airport (PGIA).
Barrow, after consulting with the Ministry of Health, remained adamant that he was not willing to take the risk of allowing Belizean health officials to be exposed to any such threat. Late Thursday evening US Secretary of State, John Kerry contacted the Prime Minister making a final appeal and proposing alternative options to facilitate the passenger’s transportation. When Barrow wasn’t satisfied that all threats would be avoided, he refused the US appeal and the Carnival ship was escorted out of Belizean waters.
Hurricanes threaten in Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
Hurricanes are barreling through the ocean on both sides of the continental United States. Hurricane Gonzalo on Friday slammed the British territory of Bermuda in the North Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Ana is heading for the Hawaiian Islands and could cause trouble over the weekend.
Hurricane warnings were posted on Bermuda as Gonzalo raged through the region. The powerful Category 3 storm battered the island with wind gusts that topped 115 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, as it moved in a northeasterly direction at 16 miles per hour.
The eye of the storm was forecast to pass over Bermuda late Friday, the agency said.
Gonzalo could cause widespread power outages, property damage, dangerous storm surge and major flooding.
Gang boss says he gives up gang-banging! “ It’s not right to be killing each other ! ”, Roger Anthony tells media.
Former gang leader Roger Anthony, admitted Tuesday that he could face reprisals because of his decision to change his lifestyle and leave the gang, but he wants to change course and be a better person.
Anthony said in an interview with reporters that he will not work for the police and that he is not being protected by the police for his decision.
In answering questions from the media Anthony said that he is going to continue working as a labourer in the street infrastructure project to feed his family, and he prays that no one harms him as a result of his choice. Walking away from life in the gang is what’s best for him at this point in his life, he said.
The former gang leader told reporters that his reason for reform is because he thinks it is time that gang leaders make a change.
Search for missing canoer continues, even as hopes fade
The Belize Coast Guard has deployed additional divers in an effort to recover the body of a missing San Pedro canoer.
Coast Guard Operations Officer, Gregory Soberanis, told The Reporter on Wednesday that the search continues for Eric Garcia, who disappeared off the coast of Ambergris Caye when his canoe capsized around midday on Monday. .
“Additional divers, local men from San Pedro, have been deployed in the area, and so far we have found the pants that he was wearing,” Sobernis said.
Garcia was one of three canoers who capsized in the grand Caribe Area; the usually calm lagoon west of San Pedro Town.
Salvadoran man shot dead one block from Police Station
Jose Umana, a 33 year old Salvadoran labourer of Cards Alley, Belize City, was gunned down a few minutes before 9 last Saturday night on New Road, just one block away from the Queen Street Police Station.
Police say the prime suspect is a teenaged boy from the same neighbourhood.
Umana, according to information reaching The Reporter , had gone to buy at a nearby grocery shop, and someone approached and shot him in the middle of his forehead.
He died about an hour later while doctors treated him at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
A resident of the area told the Reporter that she was watching television when she heard four gunshots. When she looked outside she saw a critically wounded man on the street struggling to breathe.
Belize achieves record tourism growth
Third-quarter tourism statistics indicate that Belize has seen a considerable increase in tourism arrivals in both airport and cruise ship categories.
Statistics from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) provided by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) recorded 45,862 arrivals between July and September. This represents a four percent increase over the same period last year when the total number of arrivals was 44,133.
Visitor arrivals at Belize’s Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport were higher in every month of the third quarter than in 2013. This increase has led to a corresponding increase of overnight stays.
During the first nine months of 2014 Belize has seen a nine percent increase in airport arrivals, an 11 percent increase in overnight stays and a 45 percent increase in cruise ship arrivals.
CTO statistics show Belize hosted 238,400 visitors between January and August 2014, a 10.9 percent increase over 2013. Belize recorded 527,037 cruise ship visitors between January and June, a robust 36.9 percent increase over 2013.
Conservation Trust gives 1.1 million to 5 conservation projects in Belize
Belize’s Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) will be awarding $1,195,356.35 in project grants to five conservation groups later this month.
The largest grant of $599,708 will go to Friends for Conservation and Development for a project in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve for sustainable development and improved management effectiveness.
This project seeks to develop and implement a comprehensive financial sustainability strategy for Maya Golden Landscape, increase income generating mechanisms, and maintain protection, monitoring and enforcement of Mayan Golden Landscape.
The other large grant of $326,202.25 will go to Ya’Axche Conservation Trust in the Bladen Reserve, Toledo, for “a holistic approach to protected areas management of the Maya Golden Landscape”.
GSU chief denies hitting suspect. But suspect’s statement to Police may sink him!
Inspector Mark Flowers, head of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) says that the latest allegation of police abuse made against him holds no validity because the victim did not incriminate him in his complaint to the Ombudsman.
Flowers, who has come under heavy scrutiny and criticism since taking over the unit in August, was referring to an allegation made against him by mechanic, Allan McCoy.
McCoy claims that members of the GSU, Flowers included, physically abused him while he headed home from a club two weeks ago.
McCoy charged in a television interview that GSU cops detained and tortured him. One of the members, he claimed – a woman – poked his chest with a metal rod.
Inspector Flowers, McCoy further alleged, arrived at the scene and struck him in the back of the head.
McCoy, who was on his way home after spending some time at MJ’s night club, was driving a dark pick-up truck matching the one that knocked a GSU officer off his motorcycle on North Front Street.
New KHMH CEO plans on changing bad traditions and providing better care
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), plagued by allegations of malpractice over its 20-year life, criticism of mediocre service , and a general staff attitude of nonchalance, is about to undergo an about-turn under the stewardship of its new CEO, Dr. Adrian Coye.
Coye, who officially takes over the reigns from outgoing CEO, Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth at the end of October, told The Reporter this week that his ambition is to replace that negative perception with one where the hospital’s acronym will better suit a concept such as “kindness heals many hearts.”
Coye explained how he intends to transform Belize’s only referral public hospital into an institution where patient-care will be paramount and the the usual run-of-the-mill way of doing things will not be tolerated.
The change, he said, will come through a series of intense, focused training sessions aimed at changing the culture among professionals and civilian staffers across the board.
Social partners write to PM concerning 13th Senator
Senators representing the social partners wrote to Prime Minister Dean Barrow this week questioning his delay in appointing the 13th senator.
According to the letter, signed by Senator Mark Lizarraga who represents the private sector, Senator Ray Davis who represents the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) and Father Noel Leslie who represents the Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association.Tthe National Assembly has already debated, considered and passed the law but the implementation is pending, awaiting only the order from the Prime Minister.
The letter reminded Mr. Barrow of his United Democratic Party’s (UDP) 2008 manifesto pledge to implement an immediate reform agenda which, included and empowered the Senate by ensuring that those senators nominated by the opposition and non-government organizations together would constitute the majority.
Epileptic man will sue police
A bicycle offender, Leonard Joel Palacio Lewis, spent three memorable nights and four days detained at the Queen Street Police Station for riding his bike contrary to traffic on a one-way street without a bike light.
The former BDF soldier, a father of four children, endured what he described as “inhumane treatment” at the hands of police officers who denied him access to his epilepsy medication, forced him to remain in a wet cell and did nothing as he endured a beating from fellow cell-mates who thought he was gay.
His ordeal came to an end when Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood interviewed Lewis on Monday October 13th and granted him police bail in the sum of $100.
Lewis appeared in court on October 16th, to answer to two bicycle offenses.
Strengthen security in Chiquibul and make it a united effort, urges PUP
The opposition People’s United Party has brought recommendations to the Government of Belize on how to manage the continuing incursions of Guatemalan nationals into the Chiquibul Forest.
PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, accompanied by the Deputy Party Leader, Julius Espat presented a nine-point recommendation at a press conference held at Independence Hall on Wednesday.
Fonseca addressed issues such as the lack of manpower to police the area, the lack of funding for Friends of Conservation and Development, the co-managing authority of the Chiquibul National Park, and the need for equipment so that security forces can properly do their job.
Fonseca’s proposals call for a fixed budgetary allocation of $750,000 each year to Friends for Conservation and Development to strengthen their effectiveness and to allow them to increase the number of rangers from 6 to 24.”
European Union gives Belize $67 million to relieve poverty
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has signed a $67.5 million agreement with the European Union to advance poverty alleviation measures in rural Belize.
The money is an aid package to Belize from the European Union for the period 2014 to 2020.
Mr. Barrow signed the agreement in Washington D.C. last Friday. He explained that the agreement is being funded under the European Development Fund. It is a signal of confidence by the EU in the Government of Belize with respect to its development agenda, he said.
Belizeans will benefit from the grant money in areas that include energy and health.
The energy program aims at providing electrical power and supporting services to five rural areas.
Fisherman charged with rape
Police have charged the man they say raped a woman on October 12. Twenty-seven year old Jaime Andrews, a fisherman of lavender Street, was charged with rape when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Andrews […]
Days of Healing initiative goes to Victoria Street
This weekend the Community Days of Healing initiative returns with an activity on Victoria Street, one of the many places in Belize City which has seen unprecedented human warfare. We spoke to organizer Perry “Sticks” Smith today who said the event will have the usual games and fun activities as well as […]
Minister Louis Farrakhan to speak in Jamaica
Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan is back in the Caribbean on the 19th anniversary of the Million Man March, speaking to a large audience in the National Arena in Kingston, Jamaica, this coming Sunday. His parents are Caribbean natives and the 80 year old toured several Caribbean countries early […]
Government: “Abundance of caution” led to Ebola evacuation refusal
CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister Audrey Wallace and her boss Dean Barrow have said that the request of the United States Government to have Belize help evacuate an unnamed lab specialist from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to the United States via the Philip Goldson International […]
Man accused of drug trafficking receives bail
On August 20, Orange Walk police recovered some 54.7 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine or “crystal meth” from a suspicious black vehicle traveling in town. 30 separate packs located in a red cooler and a carton box were recovered. The men in the vehicle tried to outrun police in […]
Murder trial scrapped after main witness not located
32 year old Karim Barona is free tonight despite being accused of murder. His trial for the murder of 41 year old Elvis Rhamdas began on Thursday before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Supreme Court. Three formal witnesses testified for the prosecution and the main witness was scheduled […]
Belize announces measures to deal with Ebola
Belize today announced an immediate cessation of issuing visas to persons from West African countries currently grappling with Ebola. Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse made the announcement of the visa ban this morning, during a press conference in Belize City which was called […]
Carnival Cruise Lines issues statement on quarantined passenger
Carnival Cruise Lines today issued a statement regarding a passenger on one of its ships who is being monitored for Ebola. The unnamed passenger, who is a laboratory supervisor at Texal Health Presbyterian Hospital, is sailing on board the “Carnival Magic” and sparked grave concerns in Belize […]
Belize imposes visa ban for travelers from West Africa
Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse this morning announced that Beize has stopped issuing visas to persons West African countries where the Ebola virus is currently a health problem.
These include Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Citizens from these countries, under the new Immigration protocol which is effective immediately, are prohibited from travelling to Belize.
Road Trip with Chef Sean Kuylen: Buying Belize
I am a giant fan of Chef Sean Kuylen. Born and raised in Dangriga, Belize, trained informally, first by his family and then formally, at cooking school in the states, he returned to Belize to work at beautiful resorts like Hamanasi in Hopkins and Ka’ana in Cayo. He has BOUNDLESS enthusiasm for Belize and local food.
Just this summer, Sean opened his own place at The Curve Bar at the Sittee River Marina. Just a few minutes from Hopkins Village, the spot is casual-gorgeous, the food is Belizean but elevated and the view of the sunset over the river may be the best in the country.
(Here is my visit in August – “Chef Sean Kuylen Makes Old Belizean Favorites Fresh, New & Sophisticated…)
For the last few days, I’ve been down South helping the super-human workers and volunteers at the Hopkins Belize Humane Society while staying in a gorgeous suite at Hamanasi and eating great food.
Belize documentary series part 1
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rose Robin. Born 26/03/79 in England. I spent most of my childhood in France. My father taught me photography when I was 12. We had an improvised dark room in the bathroom, where I would spend hours of the day, enlarging and printing black and white photos. I have always enjoyed observing people. I was born empathetic and found beauty in the differences of people. I think that is why today I am a free lance journalist and documentary film maker. I have been traveling for 8 years, none stop, in countries around the world. My aim is to understand from local people what it is to live in their country, culture, and tradition. I interview them about their past, present, and the future they wish to see.
I have traveled through a few 3rd world countries. I like to stay for minimum 6 months and some times years. I always try to learn the official language. I have seen a great need for education, and freedom to express emotion. That is why today I teach in all the communities I visit. I have devised a workshop which I call ‘Free expression’. I teach, drawing, painting, mural art, film making, and stop animation. Today I would like to tell you about my travels through the Jewel of the Caribbean, Belize.
What really happened in the London Beer Flood 200 years ago?
Two hundred years to this day, a broken vat at the Horse Shoe Brewery on Tottenham Court Road flooded the local area with porter, a dark beer native to the capital, killing eight people and demolishing a pair of homes. George Crick, the clerk on duty, told a newspaper what happened: “I was on a platform about 30 feet from the vat when it burst. I heard the crash as it went off, and ran immediately to the storehouse, where the vat was situated. It caused dreadful devastation on the premises - it knocked four butts over, and staved several, as the pressure was so excessive. Between 8 and 9,000 barrels of porter [were] lost.”
The beer inundated the nearby slum of St Giles Rookery – an area of poverty and vice which inspired Hogarth’s ‘Gin Lane’ – flooding the cellars where whole families lived. Some of the inhabitants survived by clambering onto pieces of furniture. Others were not so lucky. Hannah Banfield, a little girl, was taking tea with her mother, Mary, at their house in New Street when the deluge hit. Both were swept away in the current, and perished.
Mexico fails to grant access to cruise ship carrying Texas health worker
The cruise ship carrying a Texas health-care worker who “may have” handled lab specimens from Dallas Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan is headed back to the United States after Mexican authorities failed to grant permission for the ship to dock off the coast of Cozumel, according to a Carnival spokeswoman.
The Carnival Magic had been waiting off the Mexican coast since Friday morning for its scheduled port visit. Mexican authorities still hadn’t given clearance by noon, so the ship continued to its home port of Galveston, Tex., where it was due back on Sunday, according to Carnival.
The health worker, a lab supervisor who has not been named, has shown no symptoms of the disease but remains on board and in voluntary isolation, according to Carnival. “We greatly regret that this situation, which was completely beyond our control, precluded the ship from making its scheduled visit to Cozumel and the resulting disappointment it has caused our guests,” read a statement from Carnival.
Chickness making a difference in Belize
Darryl Chickness won a scholarship to study science at Dalhousie University but he soon figured out he was in the wrong place.
“It just wasn’t for me. I wanted to learn things I could apply quickly and my mind kept drifting back to when I was a swimming instructor and a lifeguard,” he said.
He went to Holland College to become a paramedic and had no inkling he was embarking on a career that would take him to Belize and motivate him to set up an international charity, Bandage International. The work of that charity will be featured in Bandage, an Eastlink Television documentary to air Sunday at 9 p.m.
Video: Belize Lamanai Trip Video, 35min.
Navigator of the Seas, Galveston-Honduras-Belize-Cozumel 2014.
Video: PCC GLOBAL: Serve Belize 2014, 13min.
Krista Dabrishus documented her experience in Belize as a part of the PCC GLOBAL: Serve education abroad program.
Video: Whale Shark Diving in Belize, 3min.
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