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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
Those long walks on the beach
Taking a walk on the beach on Ambergris Caye can yield all manner of surprises.
Sargasso still insists on showing up on our shores, and it’s getting old for sure.
But if you know where to look, all manner of surprises can pop up…like, this:
Sitting on the soft sand and checking out the families out for a beach day…birds flying by gracefully overhead
Enjoying the romance of a sky turning pink and rosy as the sun sends its last rays out before night settles in.
Decriminalization of Marijuana document released
The Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee (DOMC) has released the document on the decriminalization of Marijuana. In March 2012, a small group of public and private Belizean citizens were tasked to research and make recommendations to assist Belize’s policymakers in considering the amendment of current legislation to decriminalize possession of up to ten grams of marijuana. Members include:
Chairman and Businessman, Douglas Singh
Public Servant, Rhea Rogers Chang
Travel Consultant, Katie Valk
Retired Public Servant, C. B. Hyde
Entrepreneur, Jeremy Spooner
Attorney, Donelle Harding Hawke
Director of National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) – Belize, Esner Vellos
Entrepreneur, Susan Fuller, and
Activist, YaYa Marin Coleman. The document includes the objectives, findings and recommendations on this issue, and can be read here.
Editorial: Innocence Lost
We all knew this day would come, it was just a matter of time. And so the story unfolds, when early Tuesday morning little two-year old Charlie Daniel “Danny” Espat, while sleeping with his parents, was killed by bullets that peppered through the wall of the apartment he knew as home. Home…home sweet home…a place of solitude and safety…a place of sanctuary and love…home, where a two year old can be murdered in his sleep. The dimensions of little Danny’s home extends much further than the four walls of the apartment he was killed in, because his home is OUR home, our San Pedro Town, OUR Ambergris Caye, OUR supposed place of solitude and safety. No longer is La Isa Bonita a quaint little village with a fishing problem, we are now a concrete jungle with a deadly drug problem.
Yes, we all knew this day would come, we all said SOMEDAY a baby will die, but have we become so immune to the violence that there is no public outrage? Dare I ask, is outrage only a privilege for members of the community who carry a higher social status? OR, are we so calloused that some may figure that since Danny’s father has already lost three sons to violence he should be good at dealing with losing a fourth? Where is the consideration for a mother, who critically injured by the stray bullets is mourning the death of her baby…a little person who graced this earth for less than a thousand days…a little person who did not ask (or choose) the life he was brought in to…a baby who died for the sins of others.
Tammy Peterson sought by Police for the crime of “Obtaining property by deception”
48-year-old Eliceo Rivero, owner of Thunder Bolt Water Taxi and resident of Corozal Town, reported to the Corozal Police Department that on Thursday, February 5th at about 10:30AM he received a telephone call from phone number 610-0226, and when he answered the call, he heard a female voice on the other end, who identified herself as Tammy Peterson of San Pedro Town, and that she belonged to the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club. A conversation started between them where Peterson requested to obtain the complainant’s services to bringing a total of four small sailing boats from San Pedro to Corozal Town on Thursday, February 5th. Rivero agreed and told Peterson that the cost would be $400BZ as he will be charging $100BZ per boat.
San Pedro House of Culture Burglarized
Several artifacts from the Marco Gonzalez Archeological Reserve were stolen on Sunday, February 22nd after the San Pedro House of Culture was broken into. The precious Maya artifacts had been excavated from the site and taken to the House of Culture on Angel Coral Street to be displayed for viewing. Councilor Guillermo “Mito” Paz, who is in charge of the House of Culture, reported to the San Pedro Police that the building had been burglarized sometime during this past weekend. He stated that on Friday, February 20th at around 4:30PM, he locked up the House of Culture as it is not open on the weekends. On his return on Sunday, February 22nd he noticed that the front door of the building was wide open. Robbery House of Culture-3After inspections, Paz noted that several artifacts were missing, including two conch shell rings, four Quincunx, three stone axes, a small ink pot, a rare jade ear flare, three net weights, two arrow heads, a loom weight and a conch shell spoon. Police are currently investigating the incident but there are no leads as yet.
2015 Mayoral Candidates participate in Debate
The debate was composed of eight question, with candidates being allotted three minutes to answer. The issues highlighted in the questions included crime, education, garbage, development, culture, sports, transparency and accountability.
The first question asked candidates what part of the team the Mayor plays and what can he do to assure that the team is successful. Solorzano indicated that the Mayor plays the role of the leader, but that at the same time every person on the team plays a significant role. “Each person in my slate plays a very important role. They all have roles in the community as well, but together we make a team. When united we make the team strong and are able to get things done,” said Solorzano. Guerrero said that his team is like a family, united. “I have always been very open to team work. United we can bring out ideas together. I gave a portfolio to an Opposition councilor that proves that I’m open to anyone,” said Guerrero. Lopez indicated that the VIP slate practices leadership all around, as every member of the team plays a vital role and is a leader within themselves. “If elected we will abide by the Town Council Act and all meetings between the Mayor and councilors will be open to the public. Democracy is only alive if the community is participating. We need to work united as one. I will ensure that every one is included,” said Lopez.
25 Years Ago: Belize Home Remedies – Clean Up Your Eyes with Tiny Rocks
PIEDRA OJO. Piedra means rock and ojo means eye. How in the world can you cure or clean your eye with a rock? Ah, here is the secret! This was no ordinary rock; it was a medicinal rock and it was the only way folks of yester years could clean their eyes of sand, saw dust or any impurities that found their way into their eye. This little rock, the size of half a grain of rice, was obtained from tiny snails in the sea that very often crept in the lobster traps of the fishermen. Whenever a fisherman spotted one, he would gently save it and bring it home because he knew of its curative properties.
You had to open the tiny snail and in its flesh you found this little shiny white pearl-looking thing which we called the rock. It was actually about half or one fourth the size of a rice grain. Whenever one had a particle of sand, dust or any foreign object in the eye, mom or dad would place one of these little pearls/rocks under the eyelid and send one to bed for an hour or three. Incredibly, but factual, this little pearl (or rock) travelled all over the eye under the eyelid and collected any foreign object and brought it to the outside. When one woke up after a three hour rest, the pearl would by then be outside the eye and would be covered with dust or sand or whatever was bothering you.
San Pedro Town Council Donates Truck and Motorcycle to Police Department
Superintendent of the San Pedro Police Department, Luis Castellanos, mentioned that he wished the department would have a vehicle for each of his rotations (more than two trucks) so that the police officers can me more efficient with their duties. He mentioned that the lack of vehicles puts a strain on the only one (or two vehicles at times) that is operational on a daily basis, thus ware and tare is faster.
Requests for more vehicles for the San Pedro Police Department are ongoing to Central Government, the various Ministries, organizations and foreign aid entities, but they are hard to come by, according to Castellanos. At the commencement of his term in office, Mayor Daniel Guerrero was able to donate a pickup truck to the department. Today, at the end of his term he handed over another much needed vehicle to the San Pedro Police, along with a brand new motorcycle and body bags.
Mayor Danny indicated that the motorcycle was acquired through an anonymous donor with the assistance of Armando Graniel Jr. The truck was passed down to the Police Department as the Town Council acquired newer vehicles for their foremen. Custom work on the truck to suit the needs of the Police Department was donated by FC’s Aluminum.
Belize Issues Measles Advisory - Free Vaccine Available
The Ministry of Health has been advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of an outbreak of Measles at the Disneyland Resort in California in the United States of America (USA). In addition, cases are being reported in Canada and one case related to the Disneyland outbreak has been reported in Mexico.
Measles is a contagious disease characterized by fever, rash, runny nose and red eyes. It spreads through air droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Although Measles remains prevalent in many parts of the world, Belize has been free from the disease since 1991. In order to maintain our Measles free status, the recommended and most cost-effective public health approach is to advise persons to get vaccinated with the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Misc Belizean Sources
SAN PEDRO TOWN COUNCIL DONATES TO SP POLICE DEPARTMENT
On, Thursday, February 26, 2015, The San Pedro Town Council handed over a white Ford Ranger pick-up truck and a brand new red Honda motorcycle and some human remains pouches to the San Pedro Police Department.
Master of ceremonies, Mr. Jorge Aldana, invited superintendent to the podium to offer the Welcome Address. Other remarks were given by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Russell Blacketh, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ms. Desiree Phillips, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Mayor of San Pedro Town, Mr. Daniel Guerrero, President of Neighborhood Watch Committee, Mr. Steve Spiro and ending the ceremony was Deputy Mayor, Mr. Gabriel Nuñez.
These vehicles are very much needed for the San Pedro Police Formation in their fight against crime in San Pedro Town.
NEW HORIZON NEW CLASSROOMS & PALAPA
On Thursday, February 19, 2015, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Mr. Dan Listwin of Canary Coves visited the New Horizon S.D.A. School to witness the completion of new classrooms, palapas and picnic tables. The school also received a new paint job and other upgrades. The total cost of the project was approximately $90,000 which was covered by both the San Pedro Town Council and Mr. Dan Listwin of Canary Coves. Thank you Mr. Dan for you contribution towards education.
EGGED IN THE FACE
Today as Elvin Penner exited the Courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, he was pursued by an angry mob of PUP supporters who threw eggs at him and chanted "Jail Penner NOW." According to Penner, people should stop chasing a ghost.
The 2nd annual Citrus Festival is Sunday, March 1st, in Belmopan.
"Bambu Tee will be at the Citrus Festival this Sunday, March 1st at 11am on the lawn of Blue Moon Restaurant at the Belmopan Traffic Circle. This Fest is promoting Health and Charity and other vendors and organizations will be there displaying their goods.. Don't miss this opportunity to give something back to the community and to show support for the non-profit programs. Come Enjoy a Refreshing Bambu Tee on location. See you there."
Chiquibul from Above
The Belize Forest Department got some great pictures of Cayo from above. They got some good pictures of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. Beautiful, as always.
"Chiquibul, Cockscomb, Victoria Peak, Maya Mountain North"
University of Belize 11th Annual Opportunities Fair
Yesterday, The U.S. Embassy participated in the University of Belize 11th Annual Opportunities Fair!!
We were pleased to share information with the students about the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program.
The Hubert H. Humphrey fellowship program is a one year program of non-degree academic study in the areas of Sustainable Development, Democratic Institution Building, Education and Public Health, that fosters an exchange of knowledge and mutual understanding between American citizens and their professional counterparts from Belize.
Second Annual Beach Party Sat. at Corona Del Mar
Second Annual Beach Party, Saturday, February 28, 2015 starting at 2 PM at Corona Del Mar's Seahorse Bar. Benefiting Sunshine Scholarship Foundation. There'll be live music! Games! Beach-side barbecue, silent auctions, drinks specials.
The #Belize Forest Department hereby reminds the general public that, as per the Wildlife Protection Act (CAP 220), a license is needed hunt and sell the following game species:
• Chachalaca, Black-throated Bobwhite
A valid Dealer’s License issued by the Forest Department is also needed for the sale of these game species.
The Forest Department reminds the public that it will be monitoring and enforcing these laws during the La Ruta Maya River Challenge from March 6 -10, 2015. All hunters and vendors are advised to apply and obtain the necessary licenses prior to this event at the Forest Department Offices located in Orange Walk, Belmopan or San Ignacio.
A Belizean Speaks about Belize and nationality
"I must admit, I struggled with being called a Diaspora Belizean for years but with time I've learnt to embrace it. I don't think it'll be easy for me to accept being labelled a 'Belam' however. What am I...a fish now?
I am a #BELIZEAN...end of story.
For starters, our constitution needs to be amended and that's a no-brainer. A simple show of hands in the House of Representatives will suffice. My US born daughter whom I nationalized a Belizean can run for Prime Minister in Belize but if I become a dual citizen here in the states: I can't, even though I am a born Belizean. Meanwhile, a Guatemalan-born nationalized Belizean is running for parliament to represent me.
What are we...blind?
And let's define our so-called 'participation in society'. In my case, my entire family remains in #Belize. I'm talking lock-stock n barrell [mother-father-brothers-uncles-aunts-cousins] and then some. They undergo the same hardships that every other Belizean suffers...hardships that are somewhat neutralized by my assistance and remittances. I own property in Belize...I do business with an Orange Walk bank and credit union. I am directly and indirectly affected by the decisions and policies put into law by the clowns we're voting for. And yet I shouldn't have a say in which clown goes to the circus? If they're sticking it to my people I shouldn't have a say?
Road to CONCACAF Match
The Verdes and the Bandits are playing this Sunday at the Broaster Stadium. It'll be quite the match, and the New Sensation Band will be playing. They'll have a cool half time show too.
SARITA ACOSTA: A BELIZEAN AMBASSADOR & THE FORMER 1979 MISS BELIZE!
Belize's Miss Universe contestant, Sarita Acosta continues to represent Belize wherever she goes. The former 1979 Miss Belize, and the only Belizean to have reached the 7th. spot runner up in the top 10 of the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant, is a Belizean Ambassador for Belize forever, and her warm smile and personality continues to represent the country of Belize in the Belizean diaspora. Belizean Legends remember the day the Belizean queen made all Belizeans proud at home and abroad, and we are honored to make her the Belizean Legends personality and Legend of the month. Respect Sarita; always you hear!
Penner Gets Stoned With Egg
Disgraced politician Elvin Penner appeared today in the Supreme Court before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The "CJ" had ordered him to appear for the criminal appeal against him. That's the one where activists turned private prosecutors Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren are trying to overturn his acquittal by Belmopan Magistrate Aretha Ford.
The case turned on the decision from Magistrate Ford to refuse an application from the prosecutors' attorney, Kareem Musa, to summon Police Commissioner Allen Whylie. The prosecution wanted the court to order him to disclose the police investigation file into the passport scandal.
Today before the Chief Justice, Kareem Musa, the attorney for COLA and Penner's attorney, Tricia Pitts Anderson, made their case for and against the Magistrate's decision .
Lord Ashcroft Appears, Here For The Beer?
And while that was happening at the Supreme Court, just across the swing bridge Michael Ashcroft made a surprise appearance. He showed up unexpectedly at a press conference on the decriminalization of marijuana. But he wasn't there to talk about weed, he was there for the beer! He told me about it:..
Lord Michael Ashcroft
"The reason that I landed up in the middle of a press conference here is that I was coming by on a boat and I saw Jeremy Spooner standing there and I called out to him and he suddenly said, "If you come ashore, there's free beer. " Well, that was enough for anybody, wasn't it? And then I found of course that it was in the middle of a conference on the decriminalization of marijuana, so I have nothing to do with the subject at all."
Lord Ashcroft: "Would be very surprised" at Campaign Financing
And while he had no opinion on marijuana, what we wanted to hear was his view on the upcoming municipal election. Dating back to the 90's, Ashcroft has been perhaps the most influential campaign financer in Belize's history. The billionaire has pumped millions into both the PUP and UDP. But now his fight is with the Barrow Administration, and so, we wondered - with just days to go before the election - is he here to weigh in decisively for the PUP - which is starved for campaign cash? He told me, that's not what this trip is about:..
"In terms of political funds, or funding for campaigning for either party, would you care to comment on that?"
Lord Michael Ashcroft
"Well over the years and in many countries including the United Kingdom, I've made political contributions and it's fairly well known in Belize that over the years I have helped both parties. Uhm, I don't believe that one party should be dominant in a small country, because when party is dominant, it can lead to excesses in many areas. And I believe there has to be a thriving opposition. So, in cases where perhaps a government has twenty something seats and an opposition has a handful, then I think oppositions at least need something to put their case, ah, to the public."
City Shooting Happened In View of Schoolchildren
There was another shooting in the city this morning. It wasn't fatal but it was very disturbing. That's because it happened in plain sight of a group of Wesley Primary School students who were lined up for a school trip.
At 7:20, when they were about to get on the bus, 37 year old Marlon Budran of a Wagner's Lane address was standing on the corner of South Street and Wagner's lane when 2 men on bicycles rode up towards him and opened fire. Budran was shot twice - one of the shots to his head. He was rushed to the KHMH where he is in a stable but critical condition. The commander of Precinct one, Superintendent David Chi today told the media what police know:..
Supt. David Chi, OC - Precinct One
"Sometime around 7:30 this morning, today 27th February, police visited the A&E at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they saw one Marlon Budran, 37 years old, of a Belize City address, suffering from two apparent gunshot wounds. Police carried out an investigation to the matter where he reported that he was walking in the neighborhood when he was approached by two other male persons on separate bicycles, who inflicted those wound son him with a firearm. He manages to run away, where he was not injured further."
Pulling Police Teeth To Find Out About Shooting
And while at the press briefing this afternoon, Superintendent Chi also briefed the media on the yesterday's murder on Cedar Street. That's when 29-year-old Herbert BOWDEN was killed in a yard by a gunman. Chi told us what police know.
Supt. David Chi, OC - Precinct One
"On yesterday's date about in the afternoon hours, police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital again, where they saw the body of one Herbert Bodden, 29 years old, resident of Belize City, suffering from numerous gunshots wounds to the body. Investigations reveal that sometime yesterday afternoon whilst in the vicinity of Cedar Street, he was accosted by some male persons where one of them fired shots at him causing his demise."
"In relation to that, any leads as to what could have been the motive behind his murder? And if there is anyone that the police are looking for in connection with this murder?"
Will GOB Legalize It?
Very regularly on the news you hear about people being caught with negligible amounts of marijuana and made to face fines or confinement for it. And it leads us all to wonder, is it time that Belize like other countries decriminalize the possession of small quantities of marijuana? Well the Decriminalization Of Marijuana committee launched its final report today and if it is approved, many will be getting off the hook. We were at the launch today where the committee unveiled the report after almost three years of gestation.
Rhea Rogers, Committee Member "Let it not be a criminal offence for anyone to be found in possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana and such individuals should be subject to administrative penalties as referred to in section 2 below."
Courtney Weatherburne Reporting
This is just one of 11 recommendations that the decriminalization of Marijuana Committee proposed in their report.
SSB Board OF Directors Meets (Finally)
And we also got to ask Doug Singh about his other job, as chairman of the social security board. As we've been reporting, the Board of Directors had been unable to meet because the unions were boycotting meeting after government rejected their board appointee. That's because he is the General Secretary of the Christian Workers Union which represents Social Security Workers. Well, that difference has been put aside, but maybe only for the time being. The board met yesterday and Singh told us how it was done:..
Doug Singh, Chairman - SSB
"This is my understanding that they have issue a new letter to the Prime Minister requesting the appointment of Ms. Emily Turner and Mr. Tate and the substantive director and Mr. Floyd Neal as the alternative director. So they have shifted it and they've put a caveat in there that, that will be for as long as the collective bargaining agreement is being negotiated. I would imagine that that means that, after the completion of the negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement that, they would expect that they would then change their recommendation and have them be a substantive member. That recommendation still goes against the principle that the board is advocating. The board believes that representation on its board should not be allowed for anyone that represents the union, so whether he is an ultimate capacity or whether he will be after the collective bargaining agreement, it would still be in conflict."
Yolanda “Bex” ‘Darrell’s Missing Hilux
You may recall that grey 2013 Toyota Hilux that Mayor Darrell Bradley started driving in November 2012. It was a sore point for Belize Waste Control at the time because the City was struggling to pay the sanitation company for its services. It owed half a million dollars to the company, but the City Hall found $60,000 to purchase the Hilux for the Office of Mayor, and that earned the mayor the criticism that the he didn't have his priorities in order.
Well, now the PUP is saying that the vehicle has been significantly damaged. We heard reports of it on Monday and so, we contacted the mayor for comment via text. He didn't respond, and today, his opponent, Yolanda Schakron reminded the mayor that he hasn't said a thing about it.
Yolanda Schakron - PUP Mayoral Candidate, Belize City
"Mayor Darrell Bradley, we have heard that your vehicle was totaled, well, it's not your vehicle. It's the vehicle of the Belizean people, because it's us that pays for it, the 2014 truck. Where is it? We can't find it. I heard that one of your councilors totaled it. Come on, this is the people's money. You need to answer questions. Tell us how you spent that 20 million dollars."
Rosado Vs. Sanchez, Resolved
Viewers may remember that back in July of 2014, the founding Directors of the Ariel Rosado Memorial Foundation ended up in litigation and an ugly public fight where one pair was accusing the other pair of financial mismanagement. That's an especially serious allegation since the foundation goes around soliciting funds in the form of donations, and to properly run their social programs, they have to keep the confidence of their donors that the money is being used for the purposes it was given.
That's what Bruce Sanchez Sr. and son, Bruce Jr., were accusing Dr. Alvaro Rosado and his wife of doing, and they sought to prove it by disclosing certain cheques which they found questionable. Dr. Rosado, his wife, and other board members held a press conference the next day in which they carefully explained every single money transaction that the Sanchez men were complaining about.
But, it has left a taint on the objective behind the formation of the foundation. It was created in memory of the Late Ariel Rosado, a prominent cyclist who was killed in a traffic accident in 2011. Its business is to provide worthy candidates an opportunity to finish their education.
Maud Williams Students Get A Big Break
Maud Williams is not one of the elite schools in Belize City - and that's why it's news tonight that two students have gotten a big break to go on a special trip! Along with three other high school students in the city, they were chosen to represent Belize at the Central America Youth Ambassadors Seminar. They leave for Washington DC this weekend. These students will get to travel to different states and engage in leadership workshops with youth from other Central American countries and America. Today we spoke with two of the recipients who are beaming with excitement. They told us what they expect .
They leave for Washington on Sunday. They will be traveling to Idaho and Alabama. They return in 3 weeks on March 22nd.
La Immaculada Sick Out
Students at the La Immaculada RC Primary School showed up for classes today in Orange Walk, but they had to go home because all the school teachers and the administration failed to report to work.
Reports are that they are not happy with the local Catholic Management over the reinstatement of a student who was suspended. Our colleagues from CTV 3 News in Orange Walk tried to confirm if that is indeed the reason that the teachers decided to stage a sick out, but neither the principal or the President of BNTU in Orange Walk would address it.
Here's what the BNTU Branch President did tell them about the sudden decision not to have classes today:
Otillio Munoz, President - BNTU O.W. Branch
"I come and make presence here just to find out exactly what's the situation, just to find out that administration/teachers decided not to open the school today. What I can tell you and I will limit myself, is that it is a serious concern, that take them to make that decision not to open the school today. And they have had a meeting with management until Monday and I believe that Monday is too long. When there is a problem, you need to face the problem."
Penner Egged Outside Supreme Court
This morning, former Immigration Minister turned public pariah, Elvin Penner, had eggs, but it wasn’t sunny side up and it wasn’t for breakfast. The former U.D.P. Minister, who was fired [...]
Supreme Court Decision Scheduled for March 13th
Those protesters who gave Elvin Penner such a warm send-off had been gathered outside the Courtroom since before nine that morning. He was in court because COLA contends that when [...]
Mayor Bradley’s Vehicle Involved in RTA
Where is Mayor Darrell Bradley’s taxpayer-funded late model Toyota Hilux? That’s the question everybody’s been asking for a week now, and nobody at the City Hall is saying. Well, tonight [...]
CitCo Crowfooted for $2.5M Debt
And while the loss of his vehicle is surely bad news for the Mayor, there’s much more this week. On Thursday, and today, there were Court Marshalls at City Hall. [...]
BML Attorney Says Enough is Enough
Chebat says that the reason for the crowfooting is that the judgment remains unpaid despite them bending over backwards to reach some sort of arrangement with Mayor Darrell Bradley. [...]
OW Teachers Stage Sickout
Classes had to be called off today at La Inmaculada School in Orange Walk Town. Students got to school on time but teachers were nowhere to be found. Their sickout [...]
Another Shooting in the City
There have been two murders in the past two days in the City and this morning, those homicides were followed by a shooting near the Wesley Church in the downtown [...]
One Man Detained for Cedar Street Shooting
As we said, two men murdered earlier this week. In the case of twenty-nine year old Herbert Bowden, who was gunned down on Cedar Street, one man is in police [...]
Leon Gomez, Guilty of Manslaughter
Twenty-three-year-old Leon Gomez has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison since April 2010, following the death of Salvador Martinez who was stabbed multiple times during an altercation among [...]
Belmopan Mayoral Candidates Debate
As it relates to political debates, they are far and few, but on Thursday night, Plus TV and the Evangelical Association Belmopan Branch, held a mayoral debate in the capital [...]
Marijuana Committee Releases Findings
Earlier this week, small quantities of marijuana were decriminalized in Jamaica where the use of marijuana is a cultural issue. It took that country fourteen years for its parliament to [...]
Decriminalization Vs Legalization
According to the committee, the decriminalization of the possession of marijuana is not to be confused with the legalization of the drug. Even if it is passed into law, the [...]
On the Campaign Trail in Benque
In the municipal elections countdown, there are only five more days to March fourth. Today, we headed west to Benque Viejo del Carmen where a councilor is aspiring for the [...]
Belize Looks At Convention Against Corruption
Belize has joined several other O.A.S. member states, including Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Trinidad and Tobago in consenting to receive onsite visits as part of the follow-up on the implementation [...]
5th Annual Street Art Festival Kicks Off
The Street Art festival has become a main event of the Institute of Creative Arts to showcase the diversity of the culture of art across the country. On Saturday, February [...]
Early Morning Shooting; Sudden Rise in Crime and Violence?
Another Belize City man was the victim of gun violence this morning. At approximately seven thirty this morning, Belize City Police responded to reports of shots being fired at the corner of South Street and Wagner’s Lane. There they saw, thirty-seven-year-old, Marlon Budran, lying on the ground with gunshot wounds to the head and leg. Superintendent David Chi, spoke to the media on this recent incident.
SUPERINTENDENT, DAVID CHI
“Sometime around 7:30 am this morning police visited the E&E at the KHMH where they saw one Marlon Budran of a Belize City address suffering from two apparent gunshot wounds. Police carried out an investigation into the matter where he reported that he was walking in the neighborhood when he was approached by two other male persons on separate bicycles who afflicted those wounds on him with a fire arm. He managed to run away where he was not injured further. He received one to the head and one to the right instep.
Ian Adolphus, Jr., 21, ambushed, shot to death
A Freedom Street resident who was blasted moments after he had stepped outside his yard at about 9:30 a.m. yesterday, Wednesday, died early this morning while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
According to police, Ian Adolphus, Jr., 21, also known as “Uno”, was walking near his home on Freedom Street in the Port Loyola area, and upon reaching its intersection with Justice Street, he came under fire from a dark-complexioned gunman on a bicycle who ambushed and then shot him in the arm and chest in broad daylight.
Adolphus – who suffered gunshot injuries to the right elbow, right shoulder, and left side of the chest – had been clinging to life in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the KHMH until he succumbed to his injuries 19 hours later, at 4:35 a.m. today.
Frustrated gunman kills innocent man
Herbert “Herby” Bodden, 29, of Tubruce Street in Lake I, a well-known car cutter, who goes around with his bicycle cart looking for old vehicles, which he cuts and chops up into portions with an axe and a machete, before selling the pieces of metal to recyclers, died after being shot multiple times in the chest and upper body at about 1:30 this afternoon in Kevin’s Vehicle Scrap Yard on Cedar Street.
Reports to Amandala by a witness who was at the yard are that a man known as “Alex” came to the yard and sat on a car, and shortly after, got up and went to talk to another man.
A lone gunman then went into the yard and began to fire at Alex, but Alex saw him first and managed to run away from the gunman.
PUP challenge Josephine Tamai
Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman told Amandala that she has grave concerns over a decision by the Elections and Boundaries Department to conduct simultaneous counting of ballot boxes in Belize City for next week’s municipal elections, because it could lead to chaos and mistakes, especially in the Lake I electoral division – the largest in the City – where there will be as many as 12 boxes to count on election night.
Yesterday, PUP Secretary General, Myrtle Palacio, wrote Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai, a three-page letter dated Wednesday, February 25, setting out concerns raised by Shoman after a meeting this Monday with Belize City Returning Officer Hugo Miranda.
In that letter, the Opposition also said that it is disappointed that the decision was made to move the ballot counting from the ITVET compound in Belize City to 10 different counting stations across the City, each to be supervised by a designated election clerk.
5 years for BDF corporal and wife
A Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier and his wife, who were both busted with an unlicensed handgun and a number of unlicensed ammunition, received a 5-year sentence after facing trial for the offenses in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Monday.
The incident occurred in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District, on December 22, 2011, when Crimes Investigation Branch (CIB) and Special Branch officers conducted a search at the home of Gerald August, 34, a BDF corporal, originally of Billy White, Cayo District.
Police said that while searching the house, they found a black Pietro Berretta pistol, with the serial number grounded off, inside a box with clothes.
Measles outbreak in US sparks local advisory
On Wednesday, February 25, the Belize Ministry of Health issued a measles advisory, indicating that it had been informed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of an outbreak of measles at the Disneyland Resort in California, USA, with additional cases being reported in Canada and one case related to the Disneyland outbreak being reported in Mexico.
Most Belizeans don’t know what measles is; that is because it has reportedly been eliminated from Belize since 1991, according to Health officials here.
WHO explains that, “Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. [The] Measles virus is highly contagious and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing.”
Marijuana decriminalization paper goes to Cabinet
The long-awaited final report from the Marijuana Decriminalization Committee will be released tomorrow, Friday, at Spoonaz Café on North Front Street in Belize City. Amandala has been reliably informed that a copy of the paper, which proposes to remove sanctions from the private and personal use of marijuana, has been sent off to National Security Minister John Saldivar, for presentation to Cabinet and hopefully by the time Cabinet meets to deliberate on the matter, it would have already had a gauge of public reaction to the recommendations.
The Committee’s proposals maintain the view that marijuana possession of 10 grams or less (that’s about a third of a pound), enough to fit in the cup of one’s hand, should be decriminalized. This does not mean that a person will not face any consequences at all if found in possession of 10 grams in public; rather, such possession in public spaces would attract a fine; and smoking in public would, if the recommendations hold, still attract criminal sanctions.
Anthony “Ladies” Flores predicts win in Holy Saturday half marathon
Veteran runner Anthony “Ladies” Flores predicts he will win the upcoming half marathon which will be held on Holy Saturday.
Flores told Amandala that he will leave for Dangriga, where he will work out on the soft, sandy beach, and will run 10 miles twice per day to build his endurance and stamina, on which he will depend to win the 13.1-mile race on a hard surface.
Flores said that he is expecting tough competition from the “upstart” Mark Godoy, Sr., who is also a veteran runner, but he is confident that he will defeat him.
According to Flores, the race will be held on Holy Saturday after the Cross Country Cycling Classic event has been concluded. The half marathon will commence from BTL Park, into Princess Margaret Drive, onto Central American Boulevard, right into Cemetery Road, then onto the George Price Highway up to Mile 6, after which the runners will turn around and return back along the same route toward the finish line at BTL Park.
Athletics past and present – Fernando Galvez
Born Fernando Galvez, but better known to most everyone as “Journey,” this carefree and energetic individual played a big part in long distance running in Belize throughout the years of his running career, a career that spans over quarter of a century. One day he told me, as I sat with him and interviewed him for this article, that running started from his good friend Louis Haulze, whom he saw come in from just running a race. He said to himself, “I could beat him;” so he started to train, till eventually he and Haulze started to run together, and he said he helped to train Haulze as well.
In 1987, he ran his first race, which was a 10k run. Haulze beat him; Joseph Carr was second; and he came in third place.
The love of running got stronger, so he kept at it, although the majority of his races were 10k (6.2miles).
He also did the half-marathon (13.1 miles). His first was the prestigious Annual Holy Saturday Race against legendary names like Polin Belisle, Joseph Carr, just to name a few. That race was won by Polin. An American Peace Corps, Paul Hamilton from New York, came in ahead of him, as he came in fourth.
BelCare means business
Appearing on Krem WUB this morning were the Chairman/founder of BelCare Football Youth Academy, New Jersey based Belizean Michael Lindo, and the organization’s President, Dean Flowers, a former Belize national team player, presently residing in Belize.
After making a huge “splash” in San Ignacio and Dangriga over the weekend, where hundreds of footballs and other football gear were distributed at BelCare Grassroots Football Festivals in conjunction with Adventures FC of San Ignacio and Umadagu FC of Dangriga, the gentlemen felt it worthwhile to give Belizeans across the country a better idea of what BelCare is all about, and the role they can play to help the organization succeed in its mission for Belize.
As noted in the President’s address in San Ignacio, BelCare Football Youth Academy, a non-profit organization which was incorporated on April 29, 2014, “is the brain child of our Chairman, Mr. Michael N. Lindo,” whose “pragmatic expertise and management skills” were vitally instrumental in the birthing of the organization and its successful launching in Belize.
Southern Regional Cycling Association monthly race
Dangriga Boys & Girls U-13 football: The Dangriga Boys and Girls Football Club U-13 Tournament, sponsored by Dangriga Cancer Centre, will continue this Sunday, March 1, at Ecumenical football field with 4 games. GAME 1 at 1:00 p.m. – Silk Grass vs Hopkins Esanigu; GAME 2 – Pomona vs Survivors; GAME 3 – Wagiya vs Umadagu; and GAME 4 – Montise vs Wagierale.
Cycling – Mr. T. Birthday Classic
The Southern Regional Cycling Association will be hosting its second cycle race for this year 2015 this Sunday, March 1, which will be the Mr. T, 8th Annual Birthday Classic. This race will start (and finish) from in front of the Ilagulei building on George Price Drive at 10:00 a.m. and head all the way to Hopkins junction on the Southern Highway and back. It is an Open race for amateur riders from across the country of Belize who wishes to take part. First place will receive $300.00; second, $200.00; and third, $100.00. Cash station prizes will be provided going and coming throughout this race. Registration per rider is only $10.00. For more information, amateur riders from across the country of Belize can contact Moses Lopez at 625-4022, or Mr. T at 662-3310.
Garden City rumble
With the relatively late entry of engineer Wilfredo Guerrero as a mayoral candidate, Belmopan, Belize’s capital city, suddenly had a sensational total of five mayoral candidates nominated for next week Wednesday’s municipal elections. Originally, there had been the ruling United Democratic Party’s (UDP) Khalid Belisle; the Opposition People’s United Party’s (PUP) Jose Chacon; and Hubert Enriquez of Vision Inspired by the People (VIP). Then the well-known Christian advocate, Richard Albert Smith, had thrown his hat into the mayoral ring. Finally, there came old Wilfredo.
We are intrigued by the independent candidates, Smith and Guerrero. They have no chance of winning, because they do not have any political machines to get out their voters. Even if they had such machines, their number of pledged voters would, from the get go, be way fewer than those pledged to the UDP, the PUP, and the VIP, respectively. We’re talking real politics here, election day politics.
Cayo is the District which has been targeted by evangelical Christian churches for decades. It may be that Toledo takes second place in this regard. Stann Creek is protected, so to speak, by its Garifuna spirituality, in partnership with Roman Catholicism, while Corozal and Orange Walk are firmly Roman Catholic. The Belize District, dominated by Belize City, the population center, is the most heathen of Belize’s six Districts. Belize City, incidentally, was founded by pirates: they worshipped the bottle.
PUP’s Palacio protests to EBD’s Tamai
Dear Ms. Tarnai,
At the meeting held by your Department on February 3rd, 2015 with political parties and independent candidates and other stakeholders for the Municipal Elections on March 4,2015, you provided us with your personal assurance that there would be consultation with us and timely follow-through on issues of concern which were expressed at the meeting, particularly in respect of the following matters:
a) the prompt settling by the Department of those Polling Stations not yet agreed upon and in particular the Customs compound;
b) the final location of all Counting Stations,
c) and how many individual ballot boxes would be counted simultaneously.
I am disappointed that in fact, such consultation did thereafter not take place and that the final list of Polling Stations and Counting Stations was published in newspapers in Belize last weekend, without consulting us at all.
Belize’s highest hope is in agriculture, not oil: Moody’s Investor Service
Belize’s oil revenues continue to fall, even as we move into 2015 and according to the latest economic report issued by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), there were no crude exports in January 2015, contrasting with BZ$13.1 million in exports the same time last year.
All in all, oil revenues paid to the Government of Belize have also been on a sharp decline. Oil revenues made up almost 1 in every 10 dollars the government received in 2010; today, it makes us less than 2 out of every 100 bucks paid into its coffers. And the situation where oil revenues are concerned is not forecast to improve unless Belize declares a new commercial discovery.
This slump in oil production is countered by strong performances in tourism and agriculture and if things continue to look up on those two fronts, it could allay fears that bondholders who had subscribed to the restructured bond offering which Belize made in 2013 could face substantial risks.
FIU case against Bahamians fizzles with no-case submission
This morning, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer ruled to uphold a no-case-to-answer submission made by attorney Godfrey Smith, S.C. in the Financial Intelligence Unit’s (FIU) case of “failure to declare funds” against two Bahamian nationals Rhon Knowles and Kelvin Leach, securities brokers who worked in the offshore banking sector in Belize and who are also the subjects of a United States extradition request to the Government of Belize.
Frazer’s ruling brought an abrupt end to the FIU case against the two men who she said “are freed from the charge.”
In September 2014, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) presided over an operation to dismantle some offshore banking entities in Belize: IPC Management Services, LLC; IPC Corporate Services Inc.; IPC Corporate Services LLC; Titan International Securities, Inc.; Legacy Global Markets S.A.; and Unicorn International Securities LLC.
The companies operated out of the Matalon Building on Coney Drive, and the operations against them and their directors began after they were named in a United States federal indictment which was unsealed in Brooklyn, New York, alleging “conspiracy to commit securities fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering that has deprived the US Government of $500 million.”
Belize and Caribbean can help restore stability to Venezuela: Ambassador
Last year, 43 people died in Venezuela’s protracted unrest and today, the society is still being impacted by political turmoil, which His Excellency Yoel Pérez Marcano, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Belize, says is linked to a planned coup d’etat which was expected to take place on February 12. Pérez Marcano says that there is still a plan to overthrow the current administration – a plan allegedly orchestrated by a small group of officers of the Bolivarian Force area and sectors of the civil opposition, among others.
While Venezuela has alleged that the US is involved in the coup attempt, Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the US Department of State, issued a statement last Thursday, February 19, 2015, from Washington, DC, which said that, “The allegations made by the Venezuelan government that the United States is involved in coup plotting and destabilization are baseless and false.”
Psaki’s statement added that, “The United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Consistent with the principles enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the United States reaffirms the region’s commitment that changes in governments must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful and in accordance with the rule of law.”
Gunman kills toddler sleeping in bed
Charlie Daniel Espat, 2, of San Pedrito, San Pedro, died after being wounded by bullets while lying in bed with his parents at about 1:30 Tuesday morning when gunmen entered the yard of his parents’ home and let loose a barrage of shots at the apartment in which they lived.
The bullets penetrated the wooden door and walls of the apartment and a bullet hit the toddler in the head. His mother, Aleyda Sandoval, 33, was injured in the elbow while trying to protect her baby, who died immediately.
The gunmen fired about 8 to 10 shots at the house, but their apparent target, Rolando Espat, Sr., was unhurt.
Sandoval is in a critical but stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH); doctors at the KHMH have said that a slug traveled from her left elbow to the area between her shoulder and her back.
Charlie Daniel Espat, on the other hand, was declared dead on arrival at the polyclinic on the island, due to a gunshot wound in the head.