Today's Belize News: November 12, 2014
11/12/14 03:14 AM
11/12/14 03:14 AM
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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
National News: Phone conversation believed to be the murderer of Ramon Cervantes Sr surface
Family members of the late former Senator and Mayor of Orange Walk Town Ramon Cervantes Sr. were back at the police station to give another police report on the request of the Belize Police Department. That request was as a result of the revelation of a recorded telephone conversation between Vilma Cervantes and Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, the person believed to have executed the murder of the well respected Orangewalkeño. Following the release of the recording, Belize Police Department said that the only person wanted for the murder so far is El Pelon-Castillo who is a fugitive and is being sought with the assistance of Interpol. The phone conversation was released to the press during a memorial service in honor of Mr. Cervantes on Wednesday November 5th. The call was allegedly made to the Cervantes family home one month prior to its release, and was made by someone who identified himself as Castillo and whose voice sounds much like that of the wanted person. The caller made serious allegations, indicating that a senior elected Belizean Parliamentarian and Cabinet minister as well as a senior member of the Belize Police Department stationed in Oragne Walk Town was the mastermind behind the torture and execution of Cervantes Sr.
TCC beats SPHS to claim National Volleyball Championship
The Toledo Community College (TCC) male volleyball team beat the San Pedro High School (SPHS) team to claim the National Secondary School Volleyball Championship. Female Champions are the St Catherine Academy (SCA) girls of Belize City. The two-day event took place at Orange Walk Town’s Multi-Complex Auditorium on November 7th and 8th.
Four male and female volleyball teams converged in Orange Walk Town to try and lay claim tothe top title. Representing the Northern Region were Muffles College High School (Female) and SPHS (Male). The Western Region was Belmopan Comprehensive High School (Male and Female), while Central Region SCA (Female) and St John’s College (Male). The Southern Region representatives were Stann Creek Ecumenical High School (Female) and TCC (Male).
BTB Provides Multisectoral Customer Service Excellence Training
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced that on Thursday, November 6, 2014, that the organization held a Leadership for Service Excellence session for stakeholders of the public sector and Government agencies at the Belize Institute of Management.
This session was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Service and tied into their strategic management plan for Customer Service. Agencies that were in attendance included: Immigration & Customs, Post Office, Belize Police Department and Tourism Police, NEMO, NICH, BELTRAIDE, Coastal Zone Mgmt., Income Tax and Traffic Dept. Special Guests included three members from the National Initiative of Service Excellence (NISE) in Barbados that worked along with these agencies which are directly or indirectly involved in the front line in the Tourism Industry.
Increase in Economic Growth Expected for Belize, Status Upgraded to Positive
In a report released by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) on Friday, November 7, 2014, Belize’s ‘B-/B’ sovereign credit rating was affirmed and its outlook upgraded to positive from stable.
The company attributed this change to the new $140 million investment in “sugar and nontraditional agricultural products” stating that the country’s economic growth prospects are increasing and “will likely improve Belize’s external liquidity.”
Misc Belizean Sources
Blessed Rememberance Day to those who served
Remembrance Day, 11/11/2014 at 11:11 hrs this morning (4 photos)
Remembrance Day observed at Price Barracks, Ladyville this morning. FSM doing his Muster.
COROZAL SUDDEN DEATH
On November 10th, 2014 about 7:00 a.m, Corozal Police visited the second floor of Gabriel Hoare Market (our fruit vendor's market), Corozal Town on an open area and discovered the motionless body of 52 year old Errol Reyes, a homeless Belizean seen lying face up apparently dead. The person was dressed with a blue sweater, beside was a blue jeans pants and his hands were on his chest. The body was then transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where it was pronounced dead at 7:30 a.m. The body was viewed and no sign of injury or violence was observed. Police investigations continue.
ART IN THE PARK
You are invited to our monthly ART IN THE PARK this weekend. Bring out the entire family for a night of fun and entertainment. Bring your wallets out to support our local artists and artisans.
Congratulations to our unsung heroes!
Corozal Town's living legends- World War ll veterans - Mr. Vera and Mr. Correa at yesterday's remembrance service honouring our fallen servicemen.
COROZAL WEEKEND BASKETBALL!!!!
Mixed Martial Arts Caged Fight
In the first heavy weight title belt in Belize, Mexican National Juan Rojas will try to pound his muscle on Belize's Adran Ramirez. The 8 fights between Mexico and Belize takes place inside the Belize Elementary Auditorium on Saturday November 29th from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Health and safety risks put stop to Canal works
The cleaning of the Douglas Jones Canal has been stopped by the Ministry of Works because of Health and safety concerns.
The Ministry wants a: cleaning works methodology
b: de-watering staging area for sludge
c: Proper PPE for workmen
d: less loitering of workmen in area
e: workmen to work beyond arms reach
Paving the Way for Private Sector Growth
The role of the private sector is particularly vital today amid strong signals by some Caribbean economies of returning to positive growth in 2015.
This view has been shared by Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) Pamela Coke-Hamilton, on the eve of a two-day international colloquium designed to facilitate dialogue between regional and international private sector leaders, politicians and academics.
Coke-Hamilton said the role of the private sector was even more critical today than previously given its importance in driving economic growth. “So to the extent to which the private sector continues to make the necessary investment and diversify their base of operations and engage in innovation, then the economies will continue to improve and increase growth,” the Executive Director continued.
PADF Youth-Focused Entrepreneurship Program Launches First Group of Micro-Businesses in Belize City
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) announces the official launch of two micro-businesses under the second phase of the Youth Engagement Services Project (YES!), a program that targets youth who have limited opportunities in order to support youth-initiated micro and small businesses that increase access to jobs and encourage entrepreneurship in Belize City.
The program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Belize, is building on other services to complement ongoing activities by providing youth from marginal areas the essential elements of technical training and business advisory services so they can succeed in the labor market.
During Phase I, participants completed a 12-week tailored training program in entrepreneurship through SBDCBelize, under the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE). Youth participants received training on start-up and improved business tactics and business plan development in order to be prepared to start their own business or improve an existing one.
BSR-ASI Drives Ahead To Capture Cane Farmers
Last night we told you how the sugar mill, BSI-ASR had made a bold and unheard of move - urging the 5,500 cane farmers in the north to bypass their association - and sign contracts directly with the mill.
It's a daring maneuver and one heck of a gamble -which, if successful, would radically re-arrange the commercial landscape of the industry. Today was day one of the experiment when ASR-BSI called farmers from Corozal and Orange Walk to conferences learn more about the contract. The meeting started at 8:30 in Orange Walk Town and 7News was there:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
This morning over 200 cane farmers filled the hall at Gala Lounge in Orange Walk Town for what was dubbed a "pre-harvest conference."
Mac McLachlan, V.P. Int'l Relations - ASR
"We are aiming to try to have informative sessions with all harvest group leaders and that's about 370 in total in both Orange Walk and Corozal; about 170 in Orange Walk and I think we got pretty close to that number here."
Cane Farmers Assoc. Holds Its Ground, But Can It Hold Members?
And that is just fine by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. The "wait and see" approach gives them some latitude to negotiate in a very pressurized situation, and also it offers them the opportunity at plausible deniability; meaning that, until some big farmer actually signs a contract, BSCFA executives can still say that the farmers have not defected from the association, they are just hearing for themselves what BSI has to offer.
The Association held a meeting with its 18 directors this morning at its headquarters in Orange Walk Town - and after that they had a press briefing - as a prelude to a full press conference tomorrow. CEO Oscar Alonzo told us that they reject the BSI-ASR maneuver:..
Oscar Alonzo, CEO - BSCFA
"We view this matter with great concern okay. This new approach that BSI has embarked upon in order to try to settle a negotiation process and this is the thing that we will examine tomorrow and denounce the ruthless, manner in which ASR/BSI, an American transnational cooperation in now trying to introduce a new mode of economic activity that has serious implications for the future and the welfare of the cane farmers."
Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, "No Mas"
And while the cane industry is at a crossroads unlike any it's seen before - so too is the PUP of Orange Walk East. That's because today Area Representative Marco Tulio Mendez formally announced that he will not seek re-election and is stepping down as standard bearer for his party.
Much like the PUP's Joseph Mahmud in Cayo North - though he's stepping aside, Mendez will stay on as Area Representative and serve out his term.
He held a quite somber press conference at his divisional office in Orange Walk East today to explain that he is doing it based on the advice of doctors:..
Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area Rep. - OW East
"I've made up my mind that yes I will be stepping down as the Standard Bearer for the Orange Walk East constituency because of the recommendations that have been given to me. And of course being a doctor considering the risks factors that are involve with this, with the activity that I have been doing, I have definitely made up my mind. I am deeply honored I would say to have been supported by the people of the Orange Walk East constituency. I have been honored to be serving them this period, but for the best interest of my people because of the activities that will be coming; the campaigning and of course being out there constantly for them I think that there is a another person that supposed to be having that role and there are people that definitely will be moving this area in the best way for the party."
ELODIO JR RESPONDS
But his former UDP opponent in the East says he should step down. We found UDP Standard Bearer Elodio Aragon at his office just around the corner from Dr. Mendez's, and he said he sympathizes, but he also wants an active representative:..
Elodio Aragon, Jr. - Standard Bearer OW East
"And I understand why he is doing this. I think people all understand of the health issues that he say he has and our hearts go out to him, but we must also be mindful that we are representing and we who make the commitment to serve the people of Orange Walk East and this country, we have a responsibility to them and it would be good if he could go one step further and relinquish his post so that a bi-election could be held and at the end of the day the people could select a representative that they want and that would be there to represent them and to be there to assist them with their concerns and needs, a simple thing, the community vote; the community votes goes to the representative. That community vote could do a lot for the people or Orange Walk East. But it is all up to him. At the end of the day he is the duly elected representative and he will have to make that decision. But on my part I wish him well, I wish him the best of health. I hope he recovers and live a fruitful and successful life."
Corwin Mendoza Body Still Not Found
Tonight in Roaring Creek, the family of 24 year-old Corwin Mendoza continues to search for him, and as we told you last night, they fear they won't find him alive.
He was last seen in the village on Sunday night, when he was attacked by 2 men who stabbed and beat him to death. The reason that his family has been searching the river is because police believe that his body was disposed of in the creek, which empties into the Belize River.
It's an ordeal that no family wants to find itself in, and today, 7News travelled to Roaring Creek to speak with them. Daniel Ortiz reports:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
For the second day in a row, Coast Guard, civilians and relatives of Corwin Mendoza have been searching for his body in the river. The teams don't believe that they will find him alive, and for his immediate family that conviction without proof has been taxing.
Jessie Mendoza - Brother of Missing Man
"At the moment we still haven't been able to locate his body and yesterday the Coast Guard they were diving and doing search within the Roaring Creek and it was unfruitful, so we call it off at about 6pm yesterday evening. And today they are searching more downstream within the river in hopes of finding the body and really that's where we are at the moment. He does not reside here at my parents' home, but he is always in contact with them and if he had not come by for breakfast or probably just come by to say hello or drop off his daughter then we know that something definitely is wrong because he would have made contact already."
Man Found Dead With Hands Tied, Mouth Bound
And while Belmopan police have suspects in their first murder for 2014, Belize City police don't have much to go on in a murder that happened sometime over the weekend.
56 year old William Garbutt's body was found last night - but Monica Bodden found out that he had likely been killed from sometime over the weekend. Here's her story:...
Voice Of: Cousin of the Deceased
"As far as I know it's my aunt who found out about it. One of the neighbors called her and told her the situation. Then this morning my cousin text me about after 6am to tell that they found Bill dead in the house."
Monica Bodden reporting
58 year old William Garbutt - known to many as Bill was found dead inside his home. Police visited his Pine Street address around 10 last night after neighbors reported of a foul scent coming from inside the bungalow house.
"Rioters" To Be Charged
August's spirited protest on the Benque Road by Succotz Villagers made for one of the most visually memorable news events of the year. The villagers got riled up because there was the perception that Deputy Commissioner Miguel Segura was being protected from prosecution for his involvement in that accident which killed Yolanda Consuelo Valencia and seriously injured his taximan Yanie Evan Cu. Turns out he wasn't being protected from prosecution, but now, neither are those rioters!
7News has confirmed that some of the participants have been charged with rioting.
As we had shown you, on August 19, a large group of residents blocked the Benque Road for over 7 hours with burnt tires. At the height of the protest, it devolved from civil disobedience into a riot when persons in the crowd threw rocks and pint bottles at law enforcement officers who where trying to put out the fire and open the road.
Wilfredo Magana More Than A Historical Footnote
At the top of the newscast, we told you all about the moves and counter-moves between ASR-BSI on one side and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association on the other. Both are jostling for control of the cane farmers as the opening of the crop is only a month away. Right now it's too early to tell how it will go - but one man who's observing with bemusement is Wilfredo Magana. You probably don't know his name; he isn't a big time politician or some high rolling shot caller; he's a small cane farmer who - along with other farmers had a radical idea in 2007: they challenged the supremacy of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. At the time, the law said that all cane farmers had to be members of the BSCFA and had to pay what's known as a "cess" back to that organization.
But, Magana and a few fellow farmers said it wasn't fair because it denied them the freedom of association guaranteed to them by the constitution. In 2009 the Supreme Court pronounced that they were right - and that landmark decision is what has enabled BSI-ASR to go around the BSCFA and appeal directly to the farmers to sign independent contracts absent the association.
Man Gets 2 Years For Breaking Into Car
42 year-old Jason Wade, a resident of St. Matthew's Village, is spending the first night of a 2 and a half year sentence after pleading guilty to theft in Magistrate's Court. He was caught in the act and detained by the owner.
The police reported that they received a report yesterday of a burglary in progress at a residence on Faber's Road Extension. When they arrived at the scene they saw Daniel Chavarria in his yard with the culprit, Wade, in his custody. Chavarria reported that Wade had broken into his vehicle that was parked in his yard and had stolen several items that amounted to $1,260 dollars in value.
Ex Cop Eligio Cites Long History of Police Abuse
Former police officer Fredrick Eligio is in the news again claiming police harassment. Eligio has been living on Caye Caulker for 17 years, left for one year and has now returned. But he claims that police have been constantly harassing him and detaining him for several crimes on the island that he says he has no connection to. He came to our studios today to express his frustration.
"Ten years ago until now, the policeman they labeled me as a criminal; somebody that likes to thief, a robber. I have two sons that lives in Caye Caulker also, big men, they have their own job and thing. I get enough of it because every time they catch me and release me. Anytime anything happens on the caye; a robbery, a theft or whatever, they hold me. This is what I want the commissioner to know that I get enough of it. Just about 3 weeks ago when all this weather was coming down, the rains and thing, somebody went to report of some kind of burglary - I just went back on the caye 3 weeks ago after that year that I spent in Belize and right after that the person went to report that they broke into his place and straight at me they come."
Street Workers Complain About Layoff
In October we told you about the commencement of the municipal drainage project. Work has started with heavy trenching on Douglas Jones Street and off Calle Al Mar by the Princess Casino.
But this morning work on Douglas Jones stopped after the Ministry of Works sent a cease and desist letter to contractor Medina's Construction Ltd. The release instructs David Medina to shut down the project until certain health and safety measures are reinforced. These include providing personal protective equipment to workers and providing a cleaning works methodology. Apart from that workers must be monitored because the letter says that businesses have been complaining about loitering.
Now, these manual labourers are mostly street guys who are getting a rare opportunity at a straight job - so this morning when they got the news that their component of the project was being halted - they were fuming. 7News was there:..
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
These are the tools that the employees working on the Douglas Jones Canal Project at Cinderella Plaza put down this morning after the Ministry of Works sent this letter ordering that all drainage works in the area cease immediately. Now these 30 plus disgruntled workers, who have no other source of regular income, are making a public outcry to get the contract reinstated. They say it's the complaints of businesses in the area that caused this stoppage.
Cops Keep Healthy
The Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department has coordinated a health walk for tomorrow morning. Police officers from all 4 precincts will be participating in the walk and are inviting the public to join. Today Police Press Officer, Douglas Hyde told us why the walk will be beneficial in more ways than one:
The walk leaves from in front of the Yabra Community Policing Center at 5:15.
Shoplifters Hot Rock Bottom At Bottom Dollar
Employees of Bottom Dollar Store say that a couple shoplifted twice from the business place. Getting away with it once, they tried again yesterday, but this time, the security guard was ready for them. So tonight, 29 year-old Bernard Seawell and 29 year-old Shelly Saragosa must pay fines for theft.
Fifty-two year old Francisco Camara, the chief of security of Santiago Castillo Group of Companies, reported to police that two persons were seen on camera stealing items from Bottom Dollar, on North Front Street. The items included 1 Enfamil premium baby milk and 2 Febreze car fresheners having a combined value of $42. That happened on October 27, and the couple got away before a security guard could apprehend them. But they returned yesterday to Bottom Dollar Store and stole one magnum tonic wine, valued at $4.50. This time they were apprehended and handed over to the police.
FECTAB On Why They Can't Compromise
Last night we told you about the meeting between FECTAB and the BTB which went into the night. Both sides are trying to find a way ahead that will allow BTB and NICH to hold to its standards for cave safety while allowing FECTAB members to earn a living. The main issue is the 48 inch rule which prevents anyone under four feet tall form entering the caves. That's a disadvantage to the local tour operators who specialize in family tours. They say that yesterday's meeting brought them no close to a resolution:..
David Almendarez, Fantasea Belize
"On the 17th October they implemented a 48 inches rule which basically says that any kids that we take under 48 inches, we can not longer take. We've been dialoguing with the BTB and NICH since then. Today we were supposed to have a meeting where we can address these issues and they can formally hear our concerns. We believe that they've heard our concerns for the past 3 weeks already, so basically we gathered here again to reiterate our concerns and they are going to sit down and digest it and get back to us before the end of the week - that's what we've been told."
"I understand that you guys walked out of the meeting. Give us an update as to what transpired?"
Vanessa Champgne Latest From Court
Vanessa Champagne Paris, the transgender individual known legally as Porfilio Rodriguez, has been facing a charge of aggravated assault for threatening Caleb Orozco's sister, but tonight, he's closer to being acquitted if the complainant does not show up on the next adjournment.
His accuser is Golda Orozco and she says that he pulled a knife on her. The problem is that for the past 2 days, police have been trying to get Golda Orozco in court to testify against him. She and Paris didn't show up yesterday, and today, she didn't show up today either.
B.S.I. Commences Information Session with Caneros Sans B.S.C.F.A.
There is a crisis of significant proportions brewing in the sugar-cane industry, lifeblood of the north and one of the country’s largest export-earners. A.S.R.-owned B.S.I. on Monday announced that following [...]
B.S.C.F.A. Holds Emergency Meetings in Response to BSI Sidestepping
Even as B.S.I. was trying to convince farmers to jump the B.S.C.F.A. ship, that body was holding emergency meetings with the eighteen directors of the different branches. Today’s round of [...]
P.U.P. Issues Statement on State of Sugar Industry Deliberations
The People’s United Party has issued a statement in respect of the developments in the sugar industry. The party says the B.S.I./A.S.R. decision to bypass the B.S.C.F.A. is unprecedented and [...]
Do you think A.S.R. should bypass B.S.C.F.A. and deal directly with cane farmers?
Tonight’s question is: Do you think A.S.R./B.S.I. should bypass B.S.C.F.A. and deal directly with cane farmers? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your [...]
Ministry of Works Pulls Plug on Douglas Jones Canal Project
Work on Douglas Jones Street in Belize City came to an abrupt stop this morning. A letter from the Ministry of Works to the Flood Mitigation Project which in turn [...]
Benqueño to be Arrested and Charged For August Protest
Tonight, News Five has been able to confirm that at least twenty persons from Benque Viejo del Carmen and Succotz have been summoned to appear in court on Thursday, November [...]
98-Year-Old Woman Raped in Belize City
There is an utterly disturbing report tonight concerning the alleged rape of a ninety-eight-year-old Belize City woman. The incident occurred on Friday night while the elderly woman was asleep at [...]
Repeat Offender Jason Wade Sentenced to Prison for Burglary
A repeat theft and burglary offender was today sentenced to two and a half years in prison for a similar crime. Forty-two year old Jason Wade, who also goes by [...]
Champagne Paris Back in Court, Case Adjourned Yet Again
The trial of twenty-six year old Perfilio Rodriguez, aka “Vanessa Paris Champagne,” was set to commence on Monday for the offense of Aggravated Assault with a knife upon Golda Orozco, [...]
Search Continues for Roaring Creek Man Believed to be Murdered
Police suspect that Corwin Mendoza, who has been missing since Sunday, was murdered and his body disposed of in the river at Roaring Creek. Mendoza’s family says he left his [...]
William Garbutt Killed Inside His Pine Street Home
On Monday night at about ten o’clock, a decaying body was found at a house on Pine Street, Belize City after neighbors alerted the police that something was awry in [...]
P.U.P.’s Marco Tulio Mendez Steps Down as Orange Walk East Area Rep
Reports circulated last week but tonight there is confirmation – popular P.U.P. Area representative for Orange Walk East, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, has decided to step down. He made the [...]
U.D.P. Organizes Rally in Support of Petrocaribe Loan Motion
In other political news…A special sitting of the House of Representative is slated for next week Tuesday in the Capital. In an ad aired in this newscast, the U.D.P. called [...]
NICH and B.T.B. Mum on Cave-tubing Fiasco
On Monday, we reported that a late-afternoon meeting between the National Institute of Culture and History, the Belize Tourism Board and representatives of FECTAB ended into the night in a [...]
Joeth ‘Chyna’ Pratt Still Missing One Week Later
The mysterious disappearance of Joeth Pratt, an employee of Cisco Construction Ltd., conjures up recent memories of the loss of Hattieville Chairman Kevin Carcamo, who also went missing a few [...]
Preparations for MMA Mashup Underway
There is a serious daily beat down that is occurring right here on Coney Drive and it hasn’t and won’t make it into any police report. Eight Mexicans and eight [...]
U-16 Ballers off to Panama for COCABA Basketball Championship
The under-sixteen national basketball team left the country on Monday en route to Panama for the 2014 COCABA U-sixteen Basketball Championship Tournament slated to start on Wednesday. The delegation consisting [...]
Representatives From World Bank Evaluates Infrastructure Works In The North
A World Bank team headed by Yoonhee Kim were in Belize last week to visit and meet with officials of the Social Investment Fund on progress made in the different Belize Municipal Development Projects around Belize. According to a release, projects visited included the newly refurbished and expanded Dangriga Central Market, the on-going works in Orange Walk on the Central Park, Santa Familia Street as well as proposed works on North/South Park Street and Lovers Lane. During the official tour to the north, the officials also visited the proposed rehabilitation of the existing market, on 1st street, 6th avenue and the rehabilitation of the multipurpose sport complex in Corozal. Head of the mission, YoonShee Kim, described the meetings with SIF as a “successful mission”. The team departed the country last Friday.
Foul Play Ruled Out In Death Of East Indian Woman
Corozal police are ruling out foul play in the death of a 60 year old East Indian man that occurred on Saturday in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. According to the report made by Police constable Nelson Phillips, while conducting his duties at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone at the main entrance, his attention was drawn to an East Indian male person walking towards the bus stop who suddenly dropped to the ground on his knees. At that time P.C Philips rushed to assist the individual and noticed that he was having trouble breathing. With the assistance of some good samaritans, the person was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where doctors tried to save him but unfortunately Vaswani died around 7:30pm.
Cane Farmers Dissatisfied With Third Payment
While the Sugar Industry currently finds itself in turbulent waters today it pumped millions of dollars in the Belizean economy as cane farmers received their third payment for the 2013/2014 crop. It was lower than last year and the reactions we got from Corozal cane farmers proved that they are not satisfied with the third and final payment. Victor Castillo reports.
Cane farmers from all corners of Corozal Town came out today to receive their third payment for the 2013/2014 crop season. The final estimate total for the crop season amounted to $67.52. Compare that to last year when cane farmers received $74.20 per ton of cane, you get a reaction of total dissatisfaction.
Man Arrested For Possession Of Weed
Officers attached to the Corozal Police Department were on patrol in the village San Antonio in the Corozal District when their attention was drawn to male person, who upon seeing the police mobile hurriedly walked inside a yard. As a result officials followed the individual later identified as Kenrick Ivan Pelayo and when they caught up with him conducted a search on his person which resulted in the discovery of a small amount of green leafy vegetable substance suspected to be cannabis. The suspected drug was found inside a brown leather wallet. The 32 year old Belizean Driver of San Antonio Village was arrested and charged for the offence of possession of controlled drug.
Two Men Lose Their Life In Separate Traffic Accidents
Over the weekend, two persons lost their lives in separate road traffic accidents recorded in the North. The first was recorded on Saturday night when Orange Walk police responded to a call for help around 9:50pm. Upon arrival near a bridge located between Trinidad and August Pine Ridge Villages, police observed a black single-cab Mazda Pickup truck on the right side of the road with extensive damages. Preliminary information indicates that 24 year old Alonzo Vasquez, resident and farmer of Trinidad Village, was driving the vehicle from August Pine Ridge towards Trinidad and upon reaching the bridge area he lost control of the vehicle. It is reported that the pick-up truck flipped several times and as a result Vasquez was flung out of the vehicle. Vasquez is said to have sustained massive head and body injuries. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Northern Regional Hospital.
The second fatal road traffic accident was recorded last night around 6:30pm and it left yet another family in mourning for their loved one. The incident occurred between miles 51 and 52 in Carmelita Village, Orange Walk District. According to Jaime Sansenio, he was travelling from Belize City to Orange Walk in his 1992 Dodge Dakota when a cyclist travelling in the same direction was clipped and knocked off his bike.
Marco Mendez Resigns As Standard Bearer For Orange Walk East
Orange Walk East area representative, Marco Tulio Mendez, has officially announced his resignation as standard bearer for the People’s United Party. Last week Party leader Francis Fonseca told the media Mendez would be stepping down because of health reasons. Two persons have expressed interest in the area, present town councilor Josue Carballo and three time area representative Dave Burgos. Mendez said he will not endorse any of the candidates but will leave the PUP East committee to decide. We understand that the East Committee supports Carballo but the decision will be made at an upcoming convention.
Missing Man Body Retrieved From Mopan River
Over the weekend, the body of Oteniel Contreras was retrieved from the Mopan River in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Contreras had gone missing on November 3, and many believe that he had drowned. That belief turned into a fact, after his body was found on Saturday morning. However, Contreras’ family expressed dissatisfaction because the Belize’s Coast Guard was not part of the search. Today Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis of the Belize Coast Guard was asked why and here is what he responded.
“When we received the call it was approximately three days after the incident had happened and we explained to the family at the time that is usually the time when a body resurfaces so we recommended that rather than a subsurface search be conducted that a surface search be conducted because we have never had a case or an incident where the body surfaces before or after three days, normally two and a half days and the body normally surfaces. We look at the time when they estimated that he went under to the time when we got the call, it was then that we looked at all that and said it is best that a surface search be conducted.
Bernard Seawell And Shelly Saragosa Charged With Theft
A couple who went to the same store twice were charged with two counts of theft when they appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. They are 29 year old, Bernard Seawell and 29 year old, Shelly Saragosa. Seawell plead guilty to the charges. He was fined three hundred dollars for the first count and two hundred dollars for the second count. He was given until January 31, 2015, to pay both fines. If he defaults on payment, he will serve six months for each count. The sentences are to run concurrently. The charges were withdrawn from Saragosa. The first theft occurred on October 27. Fifty-two year old Francisco Camara, the chief of security of Santiago Castillo Group of Companies, reported to police that two persons were seen on camera stealing items from Bottom Dollar Store, located on North Front Street. The items included one can baby milk and two car fresheners having a combined value of forty two dollars. The couple got away before a security guard could apprehend them. But they returned yesterday to Bottom Dollar Store and stole one magnum tonic wine, valued at four dollars and fifty cents. This time they were apprehended and handed over to the police.
Jason Wade Plead Guilty To Theft
Forty-two year old Jason Wade, a resident of St. Matthew’s Village, was sentenced to two and a half years today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he plead guilty to theft. Wade had two previous convictions for theft and one for burglary. The theft occurred 12:30 yesterday morning. The police reported that they received a report of a burglary in progress at a residence on Faber’s Road Extension and when they arrived at the scene, they saw Daniel Chavarria in his yard with the culprit, Wade, in his custody. Chavarria told police that Wade had broken into his vehicle that was parked in his yard and had stolen several items that amounted to one thousand two hundred and sixty dollars in value. The items included a measuring tape, one Samsung cellular phone, a hammer drill a headlight and a number of clothing. Wade took the police and Chavarria to an adjacent yard where they recovered the stolen items. Before he was sentenced, Wade asked Senor Magistrate Fraser for leniency. He told her he has a drug problem and he asked her for help. She told him that the sentence she is going to give him will allow him enough time to get into the Ashcroft Rehabilitation Center at Belize.
Search Continues For Missing Roaring Creek Man
The search is ongoing for the body of 24 year old Kerwin Mendoza. Mendoza is believed to have been stabbed to death over the weekend and his body dump in the Roaring Creek. The coast guard along with other authorities and Mendoza’s family has not ceased the search with the hopes that Mendoza’s body would be found. Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis of the Belize Coast Guard gave us an update.
“The Belize Coast Guard is currently supporting the Police operation in Belmopan in the search for one Mr. Mendoza, who is at this time reported as missing. Yesterday, we provided divers as police believe he may have been disposed of in the creek that flows through Roaring Creek. Currently the search is ongoing; we are assisting providing people who are conducting a surface search on the river from Roaring Creek all the way to Banana Bank. We have also suggested that a secondary sweep be conducted of the creek as well. I know the police is also conducting a land base search so it’s a massive search effort trying to locate the missing individual and to bring closure to the family as well.”
Minister of Education Introduces Belize Education Road
The first public meeting of the Belize education road show was held last night in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.
“The event held at the Father Ring Parish hall had the attendance of some 400 participants including a cross section of parents, students, teachers, school administrators and senior officials of the Ministry of Education and Inter-American Development Bank. Opening remarks were given by IDB country representative in Belize, Anita Jessen.”
“This education project is part of a whole program of projects that the IDB is supporting in Belize. We have full priority areas which the IDB is working in Belize which are education, tourism, transport and trade policy. In the education area, this program is our flagship program and it’s the one where we work with the Ministry of education. They are the implementers of the program, they are the executors of the program and it is IDB finance but also with the counterpart funding from the government.
BSI And ASR Representatives Says BSI Seek Individual Commercial Agreements
After two years of negotiations with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association and still no headway for the signing of a new commercial agreement, today BSI announced it’s moving ahead with sugar cane producers that want to work for the best of the industry. The announcement was made this afternoon via a press conference, but a letter had already been sent to the BSCFA informing the association that represents some 5 thousand cane farmers about the transnational company’s intentions. In short, BSI / ASR is telling cane farmers that after two years of negotiations for a new agreement and still no possibility of signing a new one the milling company has taken the decision to skip the association and deal directly with the farmers for the sake and purchase of sugar cane. Chief Financial officer for BSI, Belisario Carballo opened the session by informing about BSI’s position.
“A timely commencement of the crop is clearly for the benefit of farmers not only at the beginning, but in the ultimate results of the crop. We do not foresee any prospect in the near future of being able to secure and agreement with the BSCFA on behalf of all sugar cane farmers.
“Train The Trainer” Workshop At The Coastal Zone Management
A “Train the Trainer” five day workshop started today in the conference room at the Coastal Zone Management. It’s a Leadership for Service Excellence workshop and participating are officials from the Belize Tourism Board, Immigration & Customs, Post Office, Belize Police Department and Tourism Police, NEMO, NICH, BELTRAIDE, Coastal Zone Management Income Tax and Traffic Department. Selected members of the participating organizations have been chosen to receive the full training, which will provide them with the knowledge, information and material needed to become trainers in Customer Service Excellence for their agencies. We stopped by at the training this afternoon and here is what we found out.
Armeid Thompson :
“So what you see being covered is not just the element of the Discover How To Be brand and what that really means to all of us as Belizeans, but it is specifically geared towards facilitation skills; how do you engage your audience, how do you motivate the people within your sector also looking at the internal customer as well as the external customer; because all the research tells us that the only way we can give the best kind of service is if our internal strategy and our systems are in order. We have thirty representatives from the different sectors, we also have customs, we have immigration, we have labor, we have the post office, we have general sales tax, we have elections and boundaries, we have the police unit, we also have the institute of creative arts and some BTB staff also participating in it.”
Four Individuals Charged For Firearm Offenses; Two Pleaded Guilty
Two persons pleaded guilty to firearm offenses in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details.
“Four persons and a female minor were arraigned today in the Dangriga magistrates court for fire arm offenses. They are, 41 year old Linda Usher, 18 year old Israel Usher, 18 year old Nanigi Lewis and 19 year old Troye Augustus. At the trial, Israel Usher and Troye Augustus pleaded guilty for the offenses and were both sentenced to ten years in prison. The incident stems from a search that was conducted at a house on Saturday November 8th at about 2:56pm by the quick response team personnel. At the house, which is located on #2469 New Site Area of Dangriga, police discovered 1 .32 caliber auto pistol with a serial number P103422 loaded with a magazine containing a single .32 live round of ammunition hidden inside a knapsack in the bed room of Linda Usher. At the time of the search were the mentioned persons who were arrested and charged for keeping a fire arm and ammunition without a license but charges were later dropped against three of the other persons since Usher and Augustus pleaded guilty.”
Attorney Godfrey Smith Won Case For Titan Associates
Back in September, news broke that six corporate executives with business operations in Belize were being accused of a half a billion money laundering scheme. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, the individual accused are believed to quote, “devised not only a fraudulent scheme but an elaborate corporate structure based on lies and deceit designed to enable U.S. citizens to evade and circumvent our securities and tax laws. They set up sham companies with figureheads at the helm in an attempt to deceive U.S. law enforcement and regulators and bragged about their scheme to their clients”, end of quote. Companies accused included Titan International Securities, Inc., Legacy Global Markets S.A.; and Unicorn International Securities and the heads of the companies 70 year old Robert Bandfield, a U.S. citizen; 51 year old Andrew Godfrey, a citizen of Belize; 34 year old Kelvin Leach, a citizen of the Bahamas; 29 year old Rohn Knowles, a citizen of the Bahamas; 45 year old Brian De Wit, a citizen of Canada; and 44 year old Cem “Jim” Can, a citizen of Canada are being sought by authorities in the United States of America. Currently Leach and Knowles are fighting an extradition request from the US. While that is still before the courts, today the “Titan Associates” won a major victory. On September 24th, a freezing order was granted and the assets of those accused were temporarily place on lock down. However, just before 12 noon today, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin removed the restraint order as explained by Knowles’ Attorney, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith.
Leadership For Service Excellence Session Held Through Partnership Belize Tourism Board And Ministry of Public Service
Several members from the public sector and Government agencies converged inside the training rooms of the Belize Institute of Management last Thursday, November 6 for a session, dubbed, Leadership for Service Excellence. The training was held through the partnership of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Ministry of Public Service, in line with their management plan for Customer Service. Following last week’s training, several persons were selected to continue with the second phase of the sessions which is a Train the Trainer aspect, geared at imparting more knowledge via several sessions with the objective of having them sufficiently knowledgeable to pass on the information to others.
Opening of Remembrance Week By Govenor General
The Govenor General of Belize officially opened Remembrance Week yesterday via a speech aired on Love FM. Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in member states of the Commonwealth since the end of the First World War in recognition of members of their armed forces who died in the line of duty and was a day specifically designated by King George the seventh on November 7, 1919. Here is an excerpt of the Governor General’s address.
Sir Colville Young
“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918 the first world war came to an end with the signing of the Armistice. On the Sunday nearest to the 11th of November each year we hold a solemn service in memory of the brave men and women who risked their lives and in many cases gave their lives for the safety of their families and loved ones in the first and second world wars. Assist service which is attended by ex-service men and women, uniformed services, boy scouts and girl guides as well as the general public. There is a two minute silence followed by the laying of the traditional poppy wreathes.
Bernard Adolphus Speaks Of The Importance Of Remeberance Day
The Governor General of Belize officially opened Remembrance Week yesterday via a speech aired on Love FM. Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in member states of the Commonwealth since the end of the First World War in recognition of members of their armed forces who died in the line of duty and was a day specifically designated by King George the seventh on November 7, 1919. President of the Belize Ex-servicemen League, Bernard Adolphus spoke to Love News on the reason behind Remembrance Day.
“Our men did a lot for the war effort and that is in a nutshell and I can go on because so many men in Punta Gorda, Mr. Petillo they contributed a lot and so with that in mind like everyone else, like each Common Wealth country, we fight and take this time to reflect on those people who contributed to the war effort which makes it as a result of their contribution some way or the other peace and tranquility came to the region at that time. Those veterans who we are responsible for, we have a record of 11 veterans from WWII who are still alive.”
Fire In Popular Business Establishment Leaves A Man Homeless
A fire Saturday evening completely destroyed a popular business establishment, Burger Hut, in Orange Walk Town. The incident occurred around 5pm on Saturday when the proprietor, Rodrigo Gonzalez, was not home. Dalia Can is a neighbor, who told Love News that she had observed a small fire from the window.
“Near this kitchen window, I saw like there was a lite candle but I did not expect that it was a fire, I thought it was a worker in the house. Suddenly I looked near the window again and I saw the flames going up more and more. So when I saw this fire going up more and more that is when I called and that is when she came running.”
Can told us that she quickly alerted the next door neighbor who is the mother of Rodrigo Gonzalez and they all tried to salvage the structure.
“We ran and moved the butane tank because the first thing I thought was that my house was going down too. So I called my husband and then had him call the fire station because we didn’t know the number so he called them but they did not get here in time. So by the time they got here the house was already on fire. The fire station truck ran out of water so they went and looked for water so by the time they came back the house was engulfed already.”
Re: Today's Belize News: November 12, 2014
11/12/14 03:15 AM
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Search for Corwin Mendoza continues in Roaring Creek
An anonymous phone call yesterday alerted the Belmopan police that 24 year old Resident of Roaring Creek Village Corwin Mendoza, believed to have been missing since Sunday evening, was murdered and his body disposed of in the nearby creek.
Belmopan Police, along with assistance from the Belize Coast...
Dave Taylor In Court For Child Pornography
Two years ago, Placencia police were investigating a case of sexual abuse of young boys, allegedly at the hands of a volunteer tutor Dave Taylor. Child pornography was allegedly found on the accused man’s laptop and he was eventually charged.
Tomorrow, Wednesday November 12, his case goes to court...
Shoplifting couple caught and charged
The old Creole proverb “Every day bucket go da well, one day the bottom drop out,” may apply to a pair charged for theft for shoplifting twice from the same store.
29 year old Bernard Seawell and 29 year old Shelly Saragosawere read charges of two counts of theft, and Seawell pleaded guilty befo...
Red-handed thief blames drug addiction
Accused thief and admitted drug addict 42 year old Jason Wade of St. Matthew’s, Cayo District, will be given the next two and a half years to clean up his act...
Cane Farmers ask Sugar Industries Board to intervene
The Belize cane Farmers Association is made up of 5,444 farmers, through 370 reaping groups and 18 branch associations...
House Fire in Cayo
There was a house fire in San Ignacio yesterday.
According to 57 year old Cesar Martinez, at about 1:45 a.m. he was awakened by his daughter, who told him that her brother Walter Martinez’s house was on fire.
Cesar Martinez made checks and saw the 15×15 wooden structure building with zinc roofing ...
Brian Hyde Challenges Charge of Assaulting Police Officer
18 year old Brian Hyde, a resident of Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District, is facing a charge after allegedly assaulting a police officer.
But Kaila Morales, the aunt of Brian Hyde, believes the charge sheet is questionable and now seeks to challenge it at court.
The entire scenario reportedly bega...
Execution-style murder in Lake I
A disabled man was found murdered gangland-style shortly after daybreak on Saturday, November 8, at his home in the Lake Independence area of Belize City.
Police said that the victim, Ernel Kenroy Young, 40, also known as Ernel Welcome, who reportedly had a colorful criminal past, was discovered sometime after 9:00 this morning lying motionless on his bed at #3 Casuarina Street.
Amandala understands that Young, who had been crippled in an accident a few years ago – and had suffered speech and mobility problems – had asked his uncle, with whom he lives, to buy him a bottle of milk at the nearby store.
Joeth Chyna Pratt’s strange disappearance
Joeth Chyna Pratt, 38, a resident of Lords Bank, Ladyville, employed by Cisco Construction Company as a truck driver, has been reported missing since Tuesday, November 4.
Presently, a search party consisting of the police, elements of the Belize Defence Force, workers of CISCO Construction Company, and rangers of TIDE, is searching in the Medina Bank area of the Toledo District to find her.
However, the search has so far been fruitless.
The chief security officer of CISCO Construction told the media that at about 12:30 Tuesday afternoon, Joeth Pratt drove away in a truck from the compound in Belize City, and did not return.
That day, the company began a search for her in the Lords Bank area in Ladyville, and also in the city, but to no avail. A report was then made to the police.
98-year-old woman raped
A 98-year-old woman, who had been at home alone on Friday night on the Southside of Belize City, sleeping in her bed, was raped in the early hours of Saturday morning by an intruder who apparently forced open the door, and after raping her, reportedly threatened to kill her if she reported the matter to the police.
The rapist then ran out of the house.
The incident happened at about 1:30 in the morning. Amandala was informed by a family member that the elderly woman’s relatives, with whom she resided, had gone out, leaving her alone in the house.
BSI/ASR plays hard ball!
Just last week, we reported on the plight of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and its long, drawn out efforts at negotiation with factory owners Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/American Sugar Refineries (ASR) in the hopes of reaching a mutually approved commercial agreement for the upcoming sugar crop season, which is slated for the end of this month.
The only point on which both sides agree so far, is the necessity to strike a deal before the beginning of the new season, but BSI/ASR has jumped the gun, so to speak, by working around the BSCFA and extending an olive branch to “any and all” cañeros who wish to do business with them.
It is an astonishing tactic that comes straight out of left field, and today, during a press briefing, the principals of BSI/ASR told the media about the rationale behind their decision.
Appeals Court slashes Christine Perriott’s wrongful termination award over 50%
Today was the day for the delivery of judgments as the present Court of Appeal session came to an end. One of the judgments that the court handed down this morning was a decision on an appeal brought by the former Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) employee and trade unionist, Christine Perriott, who had appealed the amount of damages awarded to her by a lower court for wrongful termination from BTL.
In 2007, Perriott won a wrongful termination case against BTL in the Supreme Court and Justice John Muria awarded her around $350,000 in damages.
Perriott, however, was dissatisfied with the award and she appealed the case to the Court of Appeal, where she represented herself.
The judges at the Court of Appeal felt, however, that the award to Perriott was too high, so they reduced the amount by over 50 percent.
Health fair at Matron Roberts Polyclinic
A moderate-sized crowd gathered on the compound of the Matron Roberts Polyclinic, on Magazine Road, in the Pound Yard area of the city, to participate in a health fair which took place from 9:00 in the morning to 3:00 p.m. today, Friday, November 7.
The theme of the health fair was, “Good to go from head to toe”.
Many organizations took part in the fair, including the Diabetes Association of Belize, the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Unit, the Kidney Association of Belize and The National AIDS/HIV Commission, among others.
At the diabetes booth, attendees were checked for blood sugar levels to ascertain whether their blood sugar was high, which would make them prone for certain diseases. Diabetes that is not detected and treated leads to amputation of limbs, blindness and damage to internal organs, and ultimately, death.
Belize National Dance Company celebrates 24 years with Souls in Motion
The Belize National Dance Company held two concerts at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts over the weekend in celebration of its 24-year history. On Saturday night, Souls in Motion was performed on the stage by the dance company’s senior dancers, and then on Sunday evening, once more, the Bliss stage came alive with the same creatively conceived routine of Saturday’s show, but this time the dances were mostly performed by the dance company’s junior members in a matinee.
Souls in Motion is a high-performance, expertly choreographed presentation of 16 dance pieces embracing traditional ballet, ethnic cultural dances and modern contemporary dances. The children exploded on the stage in their colorful costumes, exciting the audience which was made up of many of their parents and relatives as well as dance aficionados.
Reflecting on TV Ramos’ musical legacy with Aunty Lily
On Thursday, November 13, the Garifuna community and friends at home and abroad will pay tribute to the late Thomas Vincent Ramos, the Garifuna hero who passed away on the same date in 1955 at the age of 68.
Ramos was a visionary Garifuna leader. He founded Garifuna Settlement Day (then Carib Disembarkation Day), which continues to be observed as an annual national holiday in Belize, as a means of gaining recognition for the plight and accomplishments of his people.
Ramos was also a talented songwriter, and his songs are always featured on his annual memorial.
On Friday, November 7, I got a chance to interview Ignacia Garcia, affectionately known as Aunty Lily, a Garifuna elder who learned the songs from Ramos when she was a teenager.
Today, Garcia, 78, of Lakeland, is perhaps the most vocal advocate for the preservation of Ramos’ musical legacy.
CONCACAF hosts seminar in San Pedro
Representatives from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) are in Belize for a four-day training seminar on beach soccer for coaches and players that was held in San Pedro Town today.
The seminar was aimed at preparing Belize to participate for the first time in upcoming Central American Football Union (UNCAF) Beach Soccer Tournament to be held in El Salvador from Wednesday, November 12, to Monday, November 17.
The Beach Soccer Seminar, which included theory and practical training, incorporated the participation of several football players, coaches and sports coordinators, including the President of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Ruperto Vicente.
“Listen, government leaders, listen!!!”
The Nation of Islam leader, Hon. Louis Farrakhan made the above plea during an address at Bird’s Isle back in the mid-1980’s, and we borrowed his words for this piece as they seem most appropriate. Our government, red or blue, MUST change their thinking and make some serious budgetary allocations for sports.
It is inexcusable that in 2014 the population center, and still the commercial and media capital of our country, Belize City, does not have a decent football stadium or basketball auditorium. Our Premier League of Belize representative, FC Belize has to play its “home games” in Orange Walk; while our basketball national coach, Matthew Smiling, announced recently that training of the national youth team is taking place in San Ignacio. And the present Minister of Sports and Junior Minister of Sports are both area representatives from Belize City.
Playoff race already hot at Week 4
The abbreviated Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2014-2015 is already half-way through its regular season for most teams, and already the fight to reach the playoffs is intense, with two teams, Paradise/Freedom Fighters and San Ignacio United, seemingly out of playoff contention, and one other, FC Belize, hanging on to a thread of hope. (See standings below.)
There are always shifting allegiances in professional sports, and the Premier League of Belize is no different, with a number of big names changing jerseys during the off-season.
While some well sponsored teams have “strengthened up” as a result, the negative impact has been felt most glaringly in the cases of Paradise/Freedom Fighters and FC Belize. The Toledo squad lost their former captain/sweeper Frank Lopez, midfield star Jordy Polanco, and most recent PLB Best Forward Franz Vernon; while the FC Belize roster no longer includes top striker Jarret Davis, former Best Goalkeeper Glenford Chimilio, and stalwart midfielder/defender Ryan Gill, all of whom are now with Verdes FC.
Epileptic found 5 days after falling into River
The body of Otto Contreras, 32, an epileptic of Calla Creek, Cayo District, was found between Calla Creek and Clarissa Falls at about 8:00 Saturday morning by villagers who were out looking for him.
The body was in an advanced state of decomposition, and it was buried in the area after a post-mortem was carried out which certified that the cause of his death was drowning.
Police said that about 10:00 last Monday morning, Contreras went to the Mopan River to wash sacks for feed when he fell into the water and failed to resurface.
From the Publisher
Very serious business is going on in Orange Walk Town. Perhaps the most serious aspect of this situation, from a constitutional standpoint, is the public indictment of the police leadership in the town. Theoretically and ideally, the police are supposed to be the first line of defence for the general citizenry, in the police’s role as the street arm of the judiciary. It is true that the present indictment of the Orange Walk police originates from interested political sources. But, you and I know that today’s business is more serious than the usual horse dead and cow fat.
The national leadership of the Police Department was already rendered lame duck, we submit, by events having to do with the Elvin Penner passport scandal from September 2013. It appears to the majority of the Belizean people that the Commissioner of Police decided, even after he was ordered to do so by the Chief Justice, that he could not or would not pursue an aggressive investigation of the Penner case. Under the circumstances, the Commissioner should have resigned. It is to be presumed that the executive arm of the Government of Belize, which had appointed him to the Commissioner’s post in the first place, preferred for him to stay put.
Dayjah Casimiro is Miss Garifuna 2014-2015
Dayjah Casimiro captured the highly coveted title of Miss Garifuna 2014-2015 at the annual pageant held at the Fr. Marin Parish Hall in her hometown, Dangriga, on Saturday night, November 8, as part of the Garifuna Settlement Day month of activities.
Seven beautiful and vivacious Garifuna ladies competed. Ms. Belmopan, Taruni Gonzalez, was the first runner-up, while Ms. Hopkins, Cleandra Casimiro, was the second runner-up.
The other contestants were Ms. Belize City, Daphne Graham; Ms. Jacklyn Diego, Punta Gorda; Ms. Yvette Mariano, Seine Bight; and Ms. Georgetown, Daphne Fernandez.
Letters: Human warfare
Human warfare continues to be a problem in the world today. Several factors may contribute to this, such as high level of hormones and the environment. Gang violence in Belize City has drastically increased each year, and the populace is stunned by this predicament.
Belize, a beautiful country in Central America, with a population of 350,000 people, one would assume that the murder rate would not be high. Biology may contribute to human warfare, but the environment should also be taken into consideration.
Warfare is defined as a conflict between two mass enemies. “Human warfare is a perennial problem, and since human beings are living organisms, it seems logical to suppose that at least some of the bases of warfare lie in the biological organization.”
Belize’s economic outlook upgraded from stable to positive
The international ratings agency, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) announced on Friday, November 7, 2014 that it had revised Belize’s economic outlook from stable to positive.
“The positive outlook reflects our view that new foreign direct investment in Belize’s export sector is raising the country’s economic growth prospects and that this growth will support Belize’s external liquidity over 2014-2017,” S&P said, citing “the new $140 million sugar investment as demonstration of an improving political climate for investment.”
It said that new investments in sugar and nontraditional agricultural products have raised Belize’s economic growth prospects in the export sector, and could furthermore improve Belize’s external liquidity.
Editorial: The chatter and the climate
At this newspaper we had been anticipating an increase in political campaign violence down the road because of how much the political directorate had become involved with the various gang leaderships in Belize City.
Violence is one of the bases of gang credibility, and it is an area of relative expertise for them. The political parties are supposed to specialize in rhetoric and argument in their campaigns to convince voters to support their candidates on election day. Political parties and gangs are, quite needless to say, supposed to be distinct and separate from each other. The old saying goes, that “east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet”. Nevertheless, we know that in Jamaica, which has historically been like a big brother to Belize in many ways, serious gang violence entered electoral politics almost four decades ago, and the situation there has been very bad ever since.
The extreme violence which occurred in Orange Walk Town with the kidnapping and murder of Ramon Cervantes, Sr. some months ago, was linked to electoral politics in certain circles from the very beginning. The release of a recorded telephone conversation last Wednesday morning by the Cervantes family has made the accusation that party politics is involved with the Cervantes, Sr. kidnapping/murder, headline news in Belize’s print and electronic media, and indeed in the media across the border in the Yucatán.
No evidence to freeze offshore banking: CJ
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has been hearing arguments in chambers in a case brought by several offshore banking companies and their executives, who were indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury and whose accounts and assets the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) had secured a court order to freeze.
Chief Justice Benjamin ruled this afternoon to remove the freeze order because the FIU could not produce sufficient evidence to justify the continued freezing of the accounts.
In September, the U.S. indicted six offshore companies operating in Belize along with six individuals connected to the companies. They were indicted on multiple charges of money laundering and securities fraud, for allegedly scamming the U.S. tax system out of $500 million dollars.
BSCFA employs remedial measures to tackle child labor violations
This past July, FLO-CERT, the inspection and certification body that oversees compliance with Fair-Trade standards in more than 70 countries, placed the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) on a 6-month probation based on a spot check audit that revealed several non-compliances within the association, and yesterday, when Amandala spoke to the Chief Executive Officer of the BSCFA, Oscar Alonzo, he told us that the association is taking steps to remedy the situation in time for the next audit at the start of next month.
He conceded that the BSCFA’s re-admission into FLO-CERT’s good books is critical to the unimpeded progress of the sugar industry.
“We are in the process of implementing remedial measures. At the moment, we have a representative assisting us with this issue. The main issue has to do with child labor, and child labor not only happens in the sugar industry, but in all industries and I think it’s an issue that we have to deal with collectively, so we are seeing how we can embark on a proactive approach in relation to this, bearing in mind that we need to take a rights-based approach in regards to the protection of children and their welfare, but it’s a point where we need to keep that certain criteria because it involves issues of development and quality that are critical if the industry is going to progress and prosper”, Alonzo said.
Feuding tour operators quash old beef
“Bad blood” was put aside today when rival tour operators Yhony Rosado, of Cavetubing.com, and Vitalino Reyes, Sr., of Cavetubing.bz, reconciled their differences and embraced each other in a show of harmony during a press conference held by the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City.
The competitors were drawn together for a common cause – a unified opposition on the part of the operators to a new policy handbook by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), which stipulates that all children who go cave-tubing must be at least four feet tall, which, the tour operators said, is threatening the survival of their business by taking that market away from them.
The issue is apparently so serious that the men were forced to bury the proverbial hatchet and speak out in unison against the rulebook, which, according to the tour operators, was developed without consultation and published in July 2014 under the initiative “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites”.
Corwin Mendoza, 24, of Roaring Creek, is missing and foul play is suspected. He was reported missing from the village at about 11:30 Saturday night after he became involved in an altercation with two men, also of Roaring Creek.
Superintendent Howell Gillett, the Commander of Belmopan police, said that their investigation has led to two men who, he said, can assist them in finding Mendoza.
Gillett said that their investigation led them to an area in Roaring Creek called Drink Area, where blood was found, and searches have been concentrated in the area, but so far, Mendoza has not been found.
Corwin Mendoza is believed to be dead, but since his body has not yet been found, he is reported as being missing. Gillett said that the altercation was not an ongoing problem between the men, and it is not suspected to be gang-related.
Cervantes family gives telephone recording to police as “evidence”
The Cervantes family of Orange Walk Town, who have been on an emotional rollercoaster since the death of their patriarch, Ramon “Don Ramon” Cervantes, Sr., in early July, today went to the Orange Walk Police Station to turn in what they consider information that is critical to solving the puzzle about the events that led to Cervantes, Sr.’s brutal death.
Inside a manila envelope which was clutched in the palms of Marissa Cervantes, the victim’s daughter, was a sensational telephone recording, which contained allegations that a powerful sitting politician and a senior police officer, and other police officers, were involved in Cervantes’ murder.
The recording, which was played at a memorial for Cervantes and which featured a 15-minute conversation between the accused ringleader of the group which murdered Cervantes, Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, and Cervantes’ widow, Vilma Cervantes, gives a chilling account of the murder conspiracy, in which a Mexican criminal gang was mentioned as being in cahoots with the accused politician and local police officers.
BSI makes direct appeals to farmers over agreement
Citing stalled negotiations with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) over the new commercial agreement, producers Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and the American partners, American Sugar Refining, ASR, say they want to directly appeal to farmers to agree to start the crop without the […]
PUP Orange Walk East area rep. steps down for health reasons
Not more than halfway through his current term of office, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, the sitting area representative for Orange Walk East, today confirmed it will likely be his only term in office. Dr. Mendez suffered a herniated disc in a vulnerable section of his […]
Police to walk for health in Belize City
The Police Department is taking a more active interest in community development as part of its mandate to make the streets safe for all citizens. In Eastern Division based in Belize City, many residents can be seen walking the streets and occasionally running early in the morning or […]
William Garbutt, Jr., found dead at home
Police are on the trail of the killer or killers of 56 year old William Garbutt of Pine Street, Belize City, after a noxious smell brought residents out of their homes late on Monday night. “Bill,” as he was known to all, was found dead in his shack, […]
Red-handed thief blames drug addiction
Accused thief and admitted drug addict 42 year old Jason Wade of St. Matthew’s, Cayo District, will be given the next two and a half years to clean up his act. That is how long he will spend in jail after pleading guilty to theft before Senior Magistrate […]
Shoplifting couple caught and charged
The old Creole proverb “Every day bucket go da well, one day the bottom drop out,” may apply to a pair charged for theft for shoplifting twice from the same store. 29 year old Bernard Seawell and 29 year old Shelly Saragosa were read charges of two counts […]
The Miss Garifuna Belize Crown Stays in Dangriga
Beautiful Dangriga can boast of a back to back crown for the Miss Garifuna Belize Title.
Seven energetic, talented, creative, and ambitious young Garifuna ladies showcased their Garifuna pride during the Annual Miss Garifuna Cultural Pageant on Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at the Fr. Marin Parish Hall in beautiful Dangriga.
They had to demonstrate their ability to dance Hungu Hungu, Chumba, Combination, Punta, and Gunjai.
They also had to do an introduction, main item, and answer question in Garifuna.
Decomposed body found in Belize City house
Police in Belize City are investigating the death of a man.
The Decomposed body of 56 year old William Garbutt was found inside a house on Pine Street late on Monday night.
Preliminary police reports say that neighbors smelled a stench coming from Garbutt’s house and alerted the police.
When authorities arrived, they say they found Garbutt with his hands tied behind his back and his faced tied with a cloth.
There was an apparent wound to the forehead.
Police say that Garbutt was last seen alive on Friday, November 7, 2014 as he headed home around 11:30 pm.
“Live Your Life” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
On Sunday I was up a little bit later than the norm but still out on the veranda (for first time readers it was the western, lagoon facing one) with my mug of instant black, unsweetened, coffee and the trusty iPad by 05.45 hours.
Still in good enough time to make my acquaintance again after a week’s break with the Sunday Times online. I read my chosen sections (Sport, Business, News if you’re interested) for around an hour disturbed only by Ziggy wanting feeding and the sound of the grader going past our front gate.
I then showered, shaved, brushed my teeth and dressed (yep, in that order) and then set off for breakfast at Estel’s Dine By the Sea. The timing was all important because the Swansea v Arsenal game was being broadcast on TV at 10.00 hours. Didn’t want to miss that. Or so I thought at the time!
The first thing I noticed on leaving home was how smooth the road was
Pretty, Friendly, and Affordable: Corozal, Belize
In the middle of Corozal, Belize, you’ll find a lively square where people meet to eat and talk in the shade of coconut palms and almond trees, or on benches under the clock tower.
I like to spend time there and Sundays is when Corozal is most alive with people. Many have the day off and the park is full of a diverse mix of people—a multitude of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds live in harmony. The people are friendly and outgoing. Most wave or say hello to you as you walk by.
I’ve lived here for a year now—leaving behind the cold in Minnesota for the tropical warmth and beauty of this stretch of northern Belize. For me, the low cost of living was the biggest draw—it’s very reasonable. I don’t have a large income but I live very comfortably.
Around Pleasanton: Teen headed to Belize to help orphanage
Next month, Pleasanton's Britney Cooper will travel to Belize to spend her holidays volunteering in an orphanage.
"I love helping others, and I plan to make it my life's work," said Cooper, 18, who graduated from Foothill High School and is attending her first year at Las Positas College.
Working with children is nothing new for Cooper. In addition to baby-sitting for five families, last summer she volunteered at a camp for children hosted by Valley Humane Society, and she worked as a camp counselor for the City of Pleasanton's Ridge Runners camp. In fact, working as a counselor, Cooper encountered a child she will never forget.
"There was a boy about 8 years old who was going through a tough time," Cooper said. "He was very shy and small for his age."
Some of the other kids would ask him how he could be 8 since he looked so small.
"This made him visibly upset," Cooper said.
So she decided to befriend the boy, spending time with him during hikes.
Student Kesha Pilot Proves Disabilities Don't Limit
Few things can stop Kesha Pilot.
Two years ago a car accident tried when it cost her the use of her legs, but this summer Pilot proved not even that could get in her way. She went to Belize on a school marine biology trip, making her the first paraplegic to do so.
“Going abroad is going to be an experience for anyone,” Pilot said. “But for me it was an even bigger deal.”
Belize, a small country about 1,200 miles away from Henderson on the coast of Central America, is home to the second largest coral reef in the world. The trip is one of two that James Engman, professor of biology and department chair, leads abroad each summer.
Engman has been organizing these study abroad trips since 1999, but this was his first time making accommodations like the ones Kesha needed.
Fortunately, they had time to prepare.
TREATY Energy Corporation Updates Shareholders on Developments
Chris D. Tesarski, Executive Chairman and CEO, Issues "Letter of Progress to Shareholders" on the Belize Project, the Colorado Acquisition, and MoreREATY Energy Corporation (OTCQB: TECO), a growth-oriented energy company in the oil and gas industry, today reported that Chris D. Tesarski, its Executive Chairman and CEO, is pleased to distribute via this release a "Letter of Progress to Shareholders" regarding the company's Belize project and the previously announced "Colorado Acquisition" and other pertinent developments.
AMAZON ANNOUNCES ANOTHER PILOT SEASON FOR EARLY 2015
Based on the British series of the same name, this dramedy follows a group of 40-something friends who reunite at the Belize home of a successful friend whose success extremely eclipses those of his pals. Rounding out the cast are Steve Zahn, Billy Zane, Romany Malco, Michael Imperioli, and Ben Chaplin.
Island Paradises of the Ultra High Net Worth
No man is an island, the saying goes, but for the ultra high net worth individual, a private island can be the ultimate getaway as well as the ultimate status symbol.
Blackadore Caye, Belize: Leonardo DiCaprio purchased this 104-acre island near the Barrier Reed in 2005 for a reported $1.75 million. The name alone is worth it.
Leonardo DiCaprio Net Worth: A Peek On One Of Hollywood’s Sought-After Leading Men’s Fortune As He Turns 40
Leonardo DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer with an estimated net worth of $220 million. He achieved international fame in James Cameron's "Titanic" in 1997. His role in "Titanic," which became the highest grossing movie at the time, earned him multiple awards and secured his place as one of Hollywood's sought-after leading men. An evidence that Leonardo DiCaprio owns a massive net worth is through the actor's list of owned properties. He owns a home in Los Angeles and an apartment in Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan. In 2009, he bought an island off mainland Belize on which he is planning to create an eco-friendly resort. And this year, he purchased the original Dinah Shore residence designed by mid-century modern architect Donald Wexler in Palm Springs.
Honduras Garifuna Community Resists Govt and Investor Attacks
“The government isn´t helping us because they say that we are not originally from here, we came from Saint Vincent Island more than 300 years ago, we fought for the independence from Spain, we fought side by side with Francisco Morazan, and every time they want to show Honduras to the world they show our dance and traditions, and now …. they insult us saying we are intruders,” explained David, a spokesperson of the Garifuna community.
The Garifuna are a people who have lived in the Honduran Atlantic coast for more than 300 years, but this year the Honduran government declared them intruders on lands that authorities sold to private investors for the construction of a multimillionaire tourist complex called Induras, ironically the Garfifuna word for Honduras.
Initially the government had promised that the tourist project would be made with the participation of the communities and they would receive 7 percent of all profits. That was how they won over the people of the community of Tornabe. Following that example, the community of Barra Vieja didn´t agreed to be part of the project and that was when things became violent.
On August 6 military forces threatened to forcefully expel the people of the community. They said they had an order from the National Port Industry that said those lands where theirs, though the Garifuna said they had lived there long before there was a National Port Company. They came to Honduras in 1797, even before Honduras as a nation existed.
Video: BELIZE MISSION PROJECT 2014, 12min.
A video collage of the Belize Mission Project 2014, Dentists, MD's, Audiologists, Hygienists, Assistants and volunteers make up a group that serves the people of Belize. In addition a Christian music group Evidence of Journey shares the Gospel of Jesus through their music throughout the country.
Video: 6 Cool and Mostly Free! Things to Do in San Pedro, Belize, 3min.
Many visitors go to Ambergris Caye to marvel at the sea life in its natural habitat, but San Pedro Belize also offers numerous other opportunities to experience local flora and fauna without venturing into the deep blue seas. Below are 6 things to do that happen daily or on an ad hoc basis, so you can catch them anytime during your San Pedro vacation. They are also mostly free, and are an affordable supplement to expensive diving or snorkeling excursions.
Video: Bird Watching Hotspots in Belize, 3min.
The diverse landscape of Belize offers a wide variety in bird watching locations, ranging from broadleaf forests to wetlands, mangroves to pine forests, and savannahs to rainforest. Home to 16 endangered bird species, Belize protects these ecosystems in its many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. What is good for the bird is good for the bird watcher. Here is a list at some of Belize’s protected areas to brief you on what to look for at the best bird watching spots in the country.
Video: Belize, 30min.
Missouri Southern State University
Video: Belize Sailfish Release, 5.5min.
Sailfish release aboard the 'Jolly Mon'.
Angler TJ Bowman. Captain Brandon Bowen. Mate Brett Bowen.
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