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The San Pedro Sun
Islanders join in celebration of centenarian Cecilia Guerrero Lara’s birthday
Close family members and friends of Ambergris Caye’s longest living resident joined her in the celebration of her 100th birthday. Centenarian Cecilia Guerrero Lara turned 100 years on Sunday November 9th, making her the oldest San Pedrana. Cecilia is the aunt of current San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero. The management and staff of The San Pedro Sun, joins the rest of the island residents in wishing Cecilia Guerrero Lara a happy birthday.
Belize has hit the 1 Million mark!
As of October 2014, Belize has seen one million visitors into the country, through overnight and cruise arrivals, two months earlier than forecast.
In October, tourist arrivals increased by 6.7%, exceeding the initial projection which estimated that October would have seen a decrease of 10.82% in overnight arrivals. For cruise arrivals, 56,144 visitors were scheduled for October, but there was a total of 1,769 more cruise visitors over that forecast number.
According to the Belize Tourism Board’s (BTB) projections set forth earlier this year, it was expected that Belize would hit the one million mark at the end of the year; however, we’ve surpassed this figure earlier than was expected. In the past nine years, Belize hit the one million mark twice, in 2005 and 2010, with 1,036,904 and 1,006,547, respectively. Belize is well on its way to having the most visitors ever in its history. The arrival of 1,018,705 visitors last month has already surpassed the 2010 arrivals.
Island players to compete in UNCAF Beach Soccer Cup
Twelve island residents left on Tuesday, November 11th en-route to El Salvador to participate in the 2014 Central American Football Union (UNCAF) Beach Soccer Cup. The tournament is being hosted in collaboration with the Salvadoran Football Federation and will be held at the Estadio Nacional “Centro Recreativo Costa del Sol” from Friday, November 14th to Sunday, November 16th. Four out of the seven UNCAF member countries will be participating, namely El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica and Guatemala. This is the first time that Belize is participating in this tournament.Belize National Beach Soccer
The Belize delegation is composed of team members Kent “Bob” Gabourel, Hazael “Chief” Requeña, Rony Abel Mejia, Jesse “Pinchi” Smith, Julius Brandon Gonzalez, Jordi Craft, Reggeri “Jerry” Trejo, Sean Alexander Mas, Jason “Tyga” Sutherland, Thomas “Sony” Baptist, Mario “Mayito” Chimal and Louis “Luisito” Valdez along with coaches Alex Noralez and Hector “Tito” Alamilla Jr. The team has been practicing for the tournament for the past weeks leading to their departure. All members are well acquainted with beach soccer as it is one of the primary forms of football played on the island: barefoot and on the beach!
Dorados Football Club takes the lead in the Mayor’s Cup
The Mayor’s Cup five-a-side Football Tournament is already in its second week of games, and one team has quickly risen to the top: Dorado’s FC. The second week saw ten matches being played over three days of football fun. Each game day, loyal fans came out to the Honorable Louis Sylvester Arena to support their favorite team.
The first match on Thursday, November 6th saw Island Pure FC facing off against Airstrip Taxi Strikers FC. Both teams brought a good game, and Island Pure is not one to accept defeat easily! An unexpected late goal by Island Pure gave them the win with a 3-2 score. Next up was Eagles FC against Pro Divers FC. With no wins yet, Pro Divers FC desperately needed a victory and luckily they managed to defeat Eagles FC in a 2-0 point game.
Blanca Velasquez wins the 2014 Optimist National Championship Regatta
On the weekend of November 8th and 9th, the Belize Sailing Association and Tipsy Tuna Bar and Grill hosted the combined Optimist National Championship Regatta (BIZ14) and the Tipsy Tuna Sailing Regatta. The regatta was held in Placencia and saw the advanced sailors competing in the BIZ14, while novice sailors participated in the Tipsy Tuna Regatta. At the end of the regatta, top prizes went to members of the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), with Blanca Velasquez taking first place in BIZ14, Jerdon Anderson taking the sailor of the year award and Faith Noel taking the female sailor of the year award.
San Pedro Sailing Club Takes Belize National Championship
Sunshine, blue skies, crystal clear water, bright white Optimist boats and enthusiastic sailors. What is missing from this perfect picture of paradise? WIND!! On November 8 and 9, 2014, the Placencia Sailing Club hosted 15 sailors from clubs all over the country as they competed in the final regatta of the season, the Nationals! Competing sailors qualified for the Nationals by participating in all six qualifying regattas held earlier this year. The sailor making it all the way to the end of the final two days of racing is named the National Champion. This is a lot of pressure on sailors who got little to no support from the wind this past weekend.
After a several hour delay on Saturday, the sailors took to the water to sail their best with little more than a light breeze. In these unusual conditions for sailing, four races were completed. At the end of day one, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place were held by San Pedro Sailing Club members.
Belize Participates in Chetumal Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission 2014
More than 50 Belizean companies/entrepreneurs participated in the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission to Belize, at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City.
During the event, organized by the aforementioned Chamber and the Mexican Embassy, 19 Mexican companies from Chetumal, Mexico, had the chance to meet with their Belizean counterparts to identify trade and investment opportunities.
Among the products and services being sought/offered during the Trade Mission were food and beverages; construction materials; hardware; auto parts; office supplies; sports equipment; cell phones and its accessories; security devices; education opportunities.
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry also participated in the event, presenting the business and investment opportunities in Belize to the Mexican entrepreneurs. One of the main goals of the Trade Mission is to foster the networking activity among entrepreneurs from Belize and Mexico, in this case Chetumal.
Misc Belizean Sources
Belize FISHING REPORT: Week of November 1st – November 8th, 2014
Thank you to our wonderful returning guests! Stanley and Phyllis, Leo, Richard and Monalisa, Frank, Bob and Carolyn – you make it special for us when we see your smiles returning to the dock. A big shout out to Jason from Break Water – we really enjoyed your group and look forward to seeing you next year.
It was a mixed up week, and the change of season is noted. Crisp mornings as a mild cold front moved through, and then some days opened up with weather “like you read about. “ Flat calm. Fish were rolling, jumping and hiding. Sometimes flat calm days can be really tough – it makes the angler up their game to make that beautiful presentation to the fish. Mornings around here start off with the shrill from our grackles – a long call, followed by some high pitched punctuation. The sun comes up about six am and with it, beautiful red, pink and orange sun rises. Quiet time quickly turns to anglers and guides moving about making sure all is ready for the day.
We are looking forward to celebrating El Pescador’s 40th anniversary next week. So stay tuned!
3 minors accuse teacher and scout leader of sexual assault.
A 16 year old Farmer of San Jose Village in the Toledo District reported that at 5:50pm on October 31st he went to Santa Cruz Community Center where he was to meet Martin Palma, his scout leader. The boy said that Palma gave him alcohol to drink and at 10:00 p.m., he was awaken by Palma touching his chest and privates. Palma allegedly told him that he will give him $1,000.00 for his silence.
Another 16 year old scout reported that at 8:00 p.m., less than two hours after the first incident, he was awaken by Palma, who was touching him on the chest and loosening his belt buckle. Palma also allegedly offered $1000 for his silence.
Bel Elec job vancancies
Vacancies exist at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Apprentice Lineman I in the Transmission & Distribution Department.
Monchie Cervantes Won't Retract, Apologize or Back Down From Claims Against DPM
Last night we told you about the letter from Attorney Rodwell Williams to Ramon Monchie Cervantes. Williams wrote on behalf of his client, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega demanding a reaction, an apology, an undertaking not to repeat the libel, and the payment of damages.
That's a request not to be taken lightly: Williams recently won the largest libel award in Belize's history when attorney Arthur Saldivar disparaged the Prime Minister's conduct and integrity. Now Cervantes has accused the Deputy Prime Minister of far worse…so what did Monchie have to say about it today? We went to his office at San Isidro Hardware in Orange Walk Town to ask if he'll apologize - and let's just say, we weren't too surprised at the answer:...
"It demands that you make an unequivocal and full retraction. Will you do so today?"
Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes Jr.
"He also ask for an apology. No. I have nothing to apologize for and there is nothing for me to retract and so I won't apologize."
Hon. Vega Says, "Talk To My Lawyer"
And while Cervantes continues to play it cagey on that issue, today the man who is suing him didn't want to play any games about the pending libel suit. We caught up with Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega at an event outside Orange Walk and he said the matter is in the hands of his attorney:..
Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister
"Rodwell Williams already sent the letter, so there is very little that I can say. It's in his hands and I have said what I had to say and I would like we just leave it there."
"Do you think it was irresponsible for Mr. Cervantes to do this along with the media houses that broadcasted the event?"
Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister
"Like I've said, I had said what I had to say. The rest the attorney will take care of it."
"Do you think this has affected you politically?"
Vega: Government Can Only Do So Much For Sugar
But one burning public issue that Vega has to comment on is the impasse in the sugar industry. He's the Deputy PM, the Minister of Agriculture and the UDP's political boss in the north. The sugar standoff is so huge it touches all three of those spheres of influence.
But, right now, the sugar industry is also a sort of political third rail, too highly charged for any elected official to come down squarely on either side of the issue.
So today, Vega was perhaps deliberately vague on what the government will do:..
Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture
"All we can do is continue to encourage them to come around the table and ensure that both parties compromise as much as possible for us to be able to start a crop with at the best, the least challenges possible. I think that we cannot start dictating or demanding. We have to negotiate, we have to come around the table. Like I always say gone are the days when you can pull a stick and pull a machete or whatever the case may be. We have to learn to negotiate with each other. I still believe that there is room for that and we shouldn't give up on it."
They Rioted; They Got Charged
In August, they rioted in Succotz, and today - like a hangover after a spree - 15 persons went to court to answer for it.
Tonight, 15 of the 20 people who police initially charged for the August 19 illegal protest in Succotz village are out on bail of $300 dollars. That's after they answered to a court summons for charges of rioting and unlawful assembly this morning at the Benque Viejo Magistrate's Court.
You'll remember that villagers erupted into protest in support of the late 54 year-old Yolanda Consuelo Valencia, and her taxi driver 28 year Yannie Evan Cu - victims of an accident allegedly caused by Deputy Police Commissioner Miguel Segura.
A just cause for the community - but intolerable lawlessness for police. And now, the cops say they can prove that 18 of these people actively participated in that protest. 7News was at their arraignment this morning, and Daniel Ortiz has that story:
Teenaged Girl Missing, Family Says Cop Abducted Her
Tonight a 15-year-old female high school student is missing and her parents believe she is with a police constable. Michael Wagner, the father of fourth former Vanessa Wagner became concerned when the student of Esperanza Village did not return home from school yesterday evening.
This morning the family made an official missing person report at the San Ignacio Police Station. Police then escorted them to the teenager's high school to press her friends for information about her whereabouts. That's when information emerged that Wagner had been having a Facebook relationship with a police constable. We note that this suspect is attached to the San Ignacio Police station and is on interdiction after he was charged with indecent assault of a 14 year old Cayo girl.
Now, he is believed to be with this 15 year old in parts unknown - the subject of profound concern for her father whom we spoke with today:..
Michael Wagner, father of missing teenage girl
"We kind of hang out until roughly midnight last night and then this morning about 4am I got up and went out and check again and then about 7am we went to the police because if we had gone to the police before we would have gotten anything done because it have to be like 24 hours before the police do anything right, as far as I know is the law in this country and so that's what happened and the police got involve, we went to high school and we met with the principal, the teacher and the student and when the police was questioning them that's when we got the information of who she went with."
BTB's Director Of Marketing Resigns
The Belize Tourism Board's Director of Marketing Alyssa Carnegie has resigned. As far as we could determine, there's no controversy surrounding her departure, she's just moving on after two years - likely to her own tourism venture.
Marketing is the core function of the BTB and Carnegie oversaw a major rebranding, where Belize's marketing mantra went from the very direct "Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret," to the abstract, "Discover How To Be. "
By all outward indications, it's paid off in spades as the Tourism Board today announced that this year, Belize has reached the one million visitor mark - through overnight and cruise arrivals - two months earlier than forecasted.?
That is on the strength of a 6.7% increase in arrivals in October - which is impressive considering that a decrease of 10.82% in overnight arrivals was forecast.
Calling Out The Call Center
Today call center workers at ACCETEL BPO called out the media to air their grievances. The workers claim that their boss, Emroy Castillo, has failed to pay them for about 4 weeks and that, additionally, he has not been paying their Social Security. Now, they are out of work because operations at the call center have ceased. These workers - who chose not to disclose their identity- discussed their issues with us today.
Voice of: BPO worker
"The issue is that our boss Mr. Emroy Castillo made an arrangement with us. He opened a business, we were hired on the 5th September and on the 27th October he told us that we were not supposed to come into work, so we were on standby basically. We waited, time passed and he told us no work until further notice and then on 31st we were supposed to be paid but he made a promise telling us that he couldn't pay us until the 3rd the latest. So we told him okay no problem. On the 4th, he came to us telling us that we had to wait until Friday, that he didn't have the money, he had to sell his house and lot. When he finally paid us we got out two weeks' pay and then he told us that the business was closed down. We didn't get any letter stating that we were terminated. He owes us 4 weeks' pay at this point and we want to know how we can get our money from him. We've tried contacting him and wed don't get any information."
Monchie's Mom And Murder Mastermind Manuel Had Land Dealings in 2014
At the top of our newscast tonight, you saw Ramon Monchie Cervantes talk about why he will not apologize for or retract his very serious allegations against Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega.
Cervantes says he can't do that because he must do justice to the memory of his father - who was murdered - in what he says was a botched political assassination - which meant to take him out - so that he would not be a political threat to his UDP opponent in Orange Walk North, Gaspar Vega.
But, there are other theories out there - and one of them is that Manuel Castillo - the alleged murder mastermind - could have had a grievance with Ramon Cervantes Sr, or his family. We know that they did have a land transaction earlier this year - but today Monchie Cervantes told us that it was concluded amicably. He discussed the transaction in detail today:..
"Was there a land transaction ongoing, pending, yet unresolved between Mr. Manuel Castillo and Ramon Cervantes Sr.?"
Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes Jr.
Will Murder Conspiracy Narrative Factor In OW North Campaign?
And while the land deal is concluded the battle between Cervantes and Gaspar Vega is only in its initial stages. Eventually, it will play out at the general election polls in Orange Walk North where Vega is considered the prohibitive favorite. But will Cervantes, in his effort to topple a powerful incumbent, use his murder conspiracy narrative against Vega? We asked him today, first about whether - with all that has happened - if he will still run at all:..
Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes Jr.
"It's been something hard. I've given it a lot of thought and I've spoken to my family about it and my family is in full support of me going ahead as a candidate of Orange Walk North. As a matter of fact that is what my dad would have wanted. My dad was a very brave and courageous man and I know if he could come directly to speak to me he would say don't worry about me, I am in a good place and you go ahead with your election."
"Do you think it will help you in your campaign having put out a narrative which implicates your opponent? Is it something you will say 'you can't trust that guy because he is involve in X.Y.Z?'"
Faber Magnanimous With Micah, Snide With Shoman
Another political race in which the dynamics just changed is in the Collet division. PUP newcomer Micah Goodin was made to step aside for former city councilor Yasmin Shoman - in her first run as a general election candidate. She hopes to unseat Faber who is a three term incumbent - one that beat his last opponent by over 1500 votes. That makes him also the prohibitive favourite heading into any head to head political contest in Collet - which is probably why Faber was charitable with Goodin, and dismissive of Shoman:..
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"I said I would never would have said anything unkind about Micah, in fact he is somebody who I observed and I looked at as an up and coming potential star in whatever he does. As to the new opponent, I won't be so kind in that she is no new comer to politics. She of course was a city councilor for 6 years in this country, in the city.
Teenager Accused Of Shooting Teenager
18 year-old Deshay Williams, a construction worker residing on Banak Street, is on remand tonight after being taken to court for shooting another teenager last night.
18 year-old Stanley Flowers Jr., a BDF Volunteer, told police that he was riding his bike on Gibnut Street at just before 7 last night. He says that when he arrived at the Fullers Lane intersection, he was approached by Williams, who he also knows at "Shady". He says that Williams pulled out a weapon and fired two shots, one of which injured him in the right hand. Police picked up Williams today, and charged him with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until January 23 of next year.
Third Cattle Sweep Sees Prices Rising, Industry Developing
In August of 2012, we told you about the first ever Cattle Sweep in Belize. It was the start of an 11 million dollar project partially funded by the European Union to bring Belize's cattle industry up to international export standards. That meant extensive testing for two diseases: brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis. And now, two years later, only one case of tuberculosis has been detected after tens of thousands of cattle were tested in two sweeps.
The sweep and the disease free status has paid a real dividend for cattle farmers and we found out more when we went to the launch of the third sweep today:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
These cattle on Doni Urbina's farm outside Orange Walk Town were the first to have samples taken in the third cattle sweep.
That means squeezing a as much as a thousand pounds of bull, heifer or calf into a stall and taking a blood sample from the tail vein then fixing an electronic tag on the ear - a sort of passport for this cow - and all hundred thousand or so in Belize.
Accident Victim Yanie Cu's Family Appreciates The Support
Earlier in our newscast, we showed you how those accused rioters from Succotz were taken to court for that illegal protest staged to agitate for fellow villagers Yolando Valencia and Yanie Cu.
Police are now prosecuting 18 Succotz residents for it, but the relatives of the victims are cheering them; they were glad for the solidarity.
Today, we got a chance to catch up with the family of the driver, Yanie Cu, and discuss his health in the aftermath of the accident. His wife told us that if it were not for those villagers and their strong community spirit, she and her family would have been destroyed after their breadwinner ended up bedridden:
Roselia Cu - Wife of Accident Victim
"And then, that's when they reach to seek justice, and they reacted with the pain that they felt. And, I can't criticize them, because of them, I have travelled to go and see insurance. From them, I have food for my family, from the people, that have helped me, to make my children go to school. And persons who were there with my children when I left them, until today, they have helped me with food. Right here in Succotz, it's people for unity, and they feel the pain of the people."
Eddie Vega Shorted In Land Deal; DPM Says He Didn't Give Land
And while we had the Deputy Prime Minister before us today we did ask him about two issues that are outside of his ministerial portfolios. The first is the matter of his brother Eddie Vega - the mega-merchant from Benque Viejo. Eddie Vega has filed a police report requesting court action against Chinese Businessman Tommy Tang. Vega says Tang arranged to buy a plot of land from him near the Loma Luz Hospital for 350,000 thousand dollars - but when he went to cash post-dated cheques for the final 75,000 thousand dollars in April 2014, the account had been closed. And Tang, the owner of Three Flags could not be found.
Now, these things do happen in the course of business, but because his name is Vega and he is the Deputy Prime Minister's brother -talk immediately started that Vega, could have been coming up, speculating on a piece of land gifted to him by his brother, the lands minister. We asked Minister Vega about it today:..
DPM Says Nephew Not Off The Hook For Rough Spots On Road
And one other relative we wanted to ask the Deputy about was his nephew Imer Hernandez. He got the contract to pave the Belize - Corozal road through Orange Walk - and the first few miles have been finished. But, there are a few rough spots already showing up on this brand new road, and the media asked the Deputy about it today:..
Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister
"I don't really know what the situation is. To be sincere I am not an engineer. All we know is that we are going to check our work or what is being deliver at the end of the contract."
As you saw in the video, a number of areas on the road were being worked on today.
Talking Tertiary, Day 2
As we reported last night, the CANQATE conference, focusing on improving educational services at the tertiary level, is ongoing. The Minister of Education addressed the conference today and he discussed the importance improving this sector - especially in Belize where the number of persons with a first degree is among the lowest in the region:..
There are about 100 quality assurance professionals participating in this year's conference.
Hon. Faber: Roadshow's Recruiting Vital
And on the topic of improving education, Minister Faber also commented on the education roadshow "If you love Belize, Teach" and the benefits it will have on teacher recruitment and training.
The Roadshow continues tonight at this hour in San Ignacio and goes to Orange Walk tomorrow.
Rotary Makes Wheelchair Access Real
Disabled persons from Belize City and Orange Walk will benefit from a wheelchair donation by the Rotary Club. Today they held a ceremony at CISCO construction where wheelchairs were handed over to some of the recipients. We found out how the gift will improve their quality of life:
110 wheelchairs valued at $50,000 dollars were donated.
UNICEF Looking At Child Rights
UNICEF held a meeting today at the Radisson to review its country program on health. Their discussions focused on HIV/AIDS education and Child Rights. We spoke to Social Policy Specialist Ilija Talev about the objectives of the meeting.
Yhony Rosado’s Home Targeted by Armed Robbers in Daring Home Invasion
Yhony Rosado is a very outspoken tour operator; he has big stakes in the tourism industry as the proprietor of Cavetubing.com. As recent as last Friday, Rosado made bold and [...]
Fourteen Benqueños Charged With Rioting and Unlawful Assembly
This morning there was heightened Police presence at the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court and special units on standby at the Police Station around the corner. Based on evidence gathered at [...]
Ramon Cervantes Jr. Says He Won’t Apologize to Gapi Vega
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega stands accused of orchestrating a hit on Ramon Cervantes Junior. That very serious allegation was contained in a purported recording of wanted fugitive Manuel ‘El [...]
Gapi Vega’s Political Career Unfazed by Defamatory Statements
Cervantes will not apologize nor back down, and neither will Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. He told the media today that the matter is in the hands of his attorney [...]
Smart and BTL Head to Court
Attorneys for telecom providers Speednet and B.T.L. were in court this morning. Speednet Communications Limited filed an application for an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited on Wednesday to prevent the [...]
Data and Voice Services Extended to December Eighth
Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, representing B.T.L., laid out the fundamental principle behind B.T.L.’s move to terminate the agreement. He says that Speednet purchased the service for private use then turned [...]
Yani Cu: The Long Road to Recovery
Earlier in our newscast we showed you the protesters who were charged in the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court. The act for which they were charged was a cry for justice, [...]
Alyssa Carnegie Steps Down as BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations
Another resignation was announced today at the B.T.B. where a number of senior officers have demitted office in recent times. Today, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, joined [...]
NICH’s Forty-Eight Inch Regulation Suspended Temporarily
The B.T.B. announced today that it had reached its one million mark in tourist arrivals in the country. According to the release, one million eighteen thousand seven hundred and five [...]
Martin Palma Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teenage Boys
A scout leader, who is also a teacher of Forest Home, Toledo, is in big trouble tonight. He is Martin Palma, who went on a rampage sexually assaulting three teenagers [...]
Police Officer Charged After Knocking Down Pedestrian
A police officer was served with a notice of intended prosecution after he knocked down a man while driving a Government vehicle within city limits. Thirty-four year old police constable [...]
U-16 Basketball Team Doing Well at COCABA Championships
There is good news coming out of Panama where Belize’s national U-sixteen male basketball team has won its first game. On Wednesday night, the team faced off against Costa Rica [...]
Accutel BPO Shuts Down Abruptly, Employees Unpaid
Business process outsourcing is one of Belize’s fastest growing industries. Thousands of Belizeans have gained jobs from the outsourcing of customer service and other chores of business, primarily from the [...]
Landlord Says Emory Castillo Skipped Rent for Accutel Tenancy
The employees say this turn of events has hurt not only their financial standing, but also their job prospects. And as a check with the Companies Registry reveals, their employment [...]
CANQATE Hosts Annual Tertiary Education Conference in Belize
For three days, educators will be discussing the institutional development of tertiary education in the region with emphasis on quality assurance. The occasion is the annual conference of CANQATE, a [...]
Healthy Living shows you the face of diabetes
This Friday, November fourteenth, will be commemorated as World Diabetes Day. The day is spent advocating and building awareness about this very prevalent condition. It is estimated that up to [...]
BSCFA Corozal Branch Chairman Condemns Burning Of BSI/ASR Fields
Yesterday around midday approximately 15 hectares of BSI/ASR’s cane field located in an area known as Slip Dock in the Libertad Village was set on fire. With the cane field set ablaze, 400 hundred tons of cane valued at approximately $27,000 went up in smoke. In order to avoid any more losses, BSI/ASR has heighted security in the areas where their cane fields are located.
And while the company did not comment on the issue yesterday Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Corozal Branch, Ramon Aban, condemned the act.
Ramon Aban– Chairman BSCFA Corozal Branch
“Nosotros les estamos pidiendo a todos los caneros que por favor, no podía yo acusar si son caneros o no pero a las persona que lo hayan hecho que por favor suspendan esas clases de quemazones a las plantas porque no vamos a resolver nada en estar quemando planteles, las negociaciones se hacer o si tenemos un problema vamos a resolverlo en una meza lo vamos a resolver juntamente el gobierno de Belice, La Asociación, El Sugar Board y los cuerpos indicados para poder seguir ayudándolos adelante con esta industria solo así lo podemos hacer.”
Vega Speaks Vaguely On Possible Lawsuit Against Monchie
Vega was also drilled on other matters including that of the law suit to be filed against his political opponent, Ramon Cervantes Jr. for libel for implicating that he was involved in the murder of his father. And while the DPM has categorically denied that allegation, he spoke very few words on the matter.Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister
“You said it, Rodwell Williams already send the letter so there is very little that I can say it is in his hands and I said what I had to say and I just will leave it there.”
“Do you think it is irresponsible for Mr Cervantes to do this along with the media houses that broadcasted the event?”
Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister
“Like I said I have said what I had to say and the rest the Attorney will take care of it.”
DPM Demands Retraction And Apology, Cervantes Says No Way
Yesterday we told you about Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega’s intent to sue Ramon Cervantes Jr. after his family aired a telephone recording between Vilma Cervantes, wife of the late Ramon Cervantes Senior and a man alleging to be Manuel Castillo, the person police believe was the author in the death of Cervantes Sr. in July of this year.
As we have been reporting, the recording revealed damning allegations made against the Minister implicating him in Cervantes’ demise. In a recorded statement, the DPM indicated that the allegation made against him has endangered him and his family at the same time he denied having any involvement whatsoever with Cervantes’ death.
Now, Minister Vega is demanding a retraction from Cervantes Junior and payment for damages for defamation. The DPM’s lawyer, Rodwell Williams, wrote a formal letter to Cervantes Junior claiming that and we quote, “words were baseless, untrue and amounted to a very serious libel on our client and have caused him considerable distress and embarrassment and have put him and his family in fear for his own safety and well-being,” end quote. So, will Cervantes Junior heed to the DPM’s demands? From the looks of things, Cervantes won’t give in that easy as he emphatically told us today there will be no apology on his part.
Third Cattle Sweep Launched In The North
This morning, the third leg in the cattle sweep project taking place in rural Belize was launched. The aim of the project is to detect two diseases that affect livestock and can be harmful to humans if consumed. The process is in three phases prior to the exportation of the livestock to Mexico and Guatemala.
So far, sweeps have taken place in northern Belize and today Reporter Maria Novelo had a first-hand look at the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project that has a seemingly lucrative outlook for the Belize cattle industry and its stakeholders.
Maria Novelo – Reporting
Before local Belize beef can tap into the international markets and dinner tables, livestock farmers have to ensure that each head of cattle is disease free. Belize Agriculture Health Authority, (BAHA), which is the chief implementing organization, launched a cattle sweep project in the north two years ago. Today, cattle farmers and livestock cattle producers are reaping the benefits of that project.
DPM Comments On Current Sugar Impass
While the media was on hand to highlight the great strides made in the Cattle Industry, we had the opportunity to ask Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega about his view in the on-going BSI/ASR/BSCFA saga.
The association has gone on record to state that the presence of Central Government has been lacking in the negotiations, Vega says the Government can only act as facilitator, and not in the position to do or tell any of the entities what to do. Vega however, encouraged both entities to come to the table to find a compromise since farmers with huge obligations will be affected. Here’s how that exchange went.
Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister
“The government will continue to facilitate, we have always done that ready to ensure that both parties BSI/ASR and the Cane farmers sit around the table, I know that the negotiations still going on and all we can do is to continue to facilitate, continue to encourage them to come around the table and ensure that both parties compromise as much as possible for us to be able to start a crop with the best and the least challenges possible.”
Belize Celebrates World Diabetes Day
Did you know that in Belize, Diabetes is among the leading cause of death in the country, with approximately 14 percent or about 49,000 Belizeans living with the disease? That is why, this year’s World Diabetes Day is being held under the theme “healthy Eating and Diabetes: Healthy Eating begins with breakfast”.
It highlights the importance of eating healthy to prevent Type II Diabetes and effective management to avoid complications. The initiative promotes the benefits of starting the day with a healthy breakfast, which can help individuals manage their weight and for diabetes, keep blood glucose levels stable.
BNLS Hold Reading Competition In Corozal
Reading is a complex cognitive process of interpreting symbols in order to construct or derive meaning in reading comprehension. In other words reading is very important to survive in this modern world and that is one of the primary reasons why the Belize National Library Service has organized a nationwide reading competition at the district level. Today 8 primary schools in Corozal Town, gathered under the Andres Campos Civic Center to see who will represent Corozal District in the grand finale in Belize City at the Belize National Library service Reading competition.
Jahmor Lopez – M.O.E
“This morning we had the competition or categories one and two and we are wrapping up with category three the upper division students, we have the participation of our two central zones the town schools, for our purpose we have central zone one and two we have the participation of Paraiso, Mary Hill, Corozal Nazarene, Church of Christ, Our lady of Guadalupe so we have eight schools participating and we extended an invitation to all those schools within the town zones but those eight field it students for three categories.”
Corozal Cane Farmers Meet With BSI/ASR
Yesterday, over 300 cañeros in the Corozal District gathered at the Andres Campos Civic Center for a presentation by ASR Group with the objective to highlight the agreements brought to them for the purchase of sugar cane. As you can imagine after the presentation by members of ASR/BSI, cane farmers were given the opportunity to express their sentiment in respect to the agreement presented to them. Here is how that went.
Cane Farmer- Corozal Branch
“Señores nosotros tenemos que ver que es que vamos a firmar si es que queremos firmar, señores pongan mucha atención y lean bien porque estos señores hablan bonita aquí pero cuando están en la meza de negociaciones son otras personas si con nosotros que somos 18 directores contrabajo nos hacen caso que tal será con 300 grupos dijo el como iba ser con un grupo iba hablar para que todos queden de acuerdo, señores pongan ojo en estos papeles y consultemos que es lo bueno para nosotros.”
Muffles High School Celebrates Champions Week
This week is being celebrated as the second annual Champion’s Week at the Muffles High School. For the faculty and student population it means a heap of activities and events that encourages moral values, life skills and positive attitudes in and out of school. Today, the students were engaged in motivational talks, our newsteam were on hand to speak to the organizers.
Yvette Hernandez – School Counselor
“Champions week ad it is to motivate our students and to be the best they can be, you know usually you hear that adults are reminding student or what they do that is not acceptable, things that they do wrongly but then on the other hand who is motivating them to be better persons.”
Maria Novelo – Reporter
“But then what are the activities that they are engaged in?”
Yvette Hernandez – School Counselor
“Ok on Monday we started with an assembly we had guest speakers and on Tuesday we had a poem and a song competition and yesterday we had posters competition and today we are having religious day and we are having guest speakers also talking them and on Friday we will close off with a champions run around the town and we are going to continue with a sports day all day.”
DPM Demands Apology and Retraction From Cervantes Or Else
After damning allegations from the Cervantes family last week alleging that a sitting Government Minister was implicated with the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr, today the recording played was used against the family with a file claim to sue. On November 9th, Attorney Rodwell Williams of Barrow & Williams wrote to Ramon Cervantes Jr., threatening to sue on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega.
The letter spoke on the recording aired on several news stations and we quote, “in their natural and ordinary meaning, the words mean and were understood to mean that Minister Gaspar Vega: was 1. Connected to the Mexican mafia 2. Paid money for the killing of Ramon Cervantes Sr, 3. Sent someone to kill Ramon Cervantes Sr, 4. Is corrupting the police and 5. Is engaged in criminal activity,” end quote.