Today's Belize News: April 3, 2015
04/03/15 06:07 AM
04/03/15 06:07 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun
Bowen and Bowen says there is no issue with supplies on the island
Is there a beer shortage on the island? That is a question many local islanders, businesses and resort representatives are asking, after their requests for supplies have either been rationed, or not been met at the Bowen and Bowen Distribution Center on Ambergris Caye. The company has been allowed a brewing monopoly in the country for decades, and as such the unavailability to meet supply upon demand is causing inconveniences to residents and businesses alike. But Bowen and Bowen Limited assures residents that there is enough supply to meet the demands of the island.
For over two weeks, several individuals and business owners have indicated to The San Pedro Sun that the company has been unable to meet their order requests. According to these business owners, this has been the case for the last year or so, claiming there appears to be a “supply shortage” not only with Belikin beer products, but also with the line of soft drinks that they carry.
Miss San Pedro Michelle Nuñez visits Charlotte, North Carolina USA
Miss San Pedro 2014/2015 Michelle Nuñez was recently in Charlotte, North Carolina to represent On Eagles Wings Ministries (OEWM) Belize. Not only is Nuñez the beauty ambassador for the island, but she is also the director of Shaping Healthy Identities through Nurturing and Empowerment (SHINE) and a board member for the OEWM Belize Chapter. Her visit was from Wednesday, March 25th to Sunday, March 29th. The purpose of the trip was for Nuñez to familiarize herself with OEWM and to learn valuable knowledge and tactics that can be implemented in San Pedro. Nuñez toured the OEWM Hope Home, a safe home for under-age victims of sex trafficking. She also met several residents living in the Hope Home and shared on her work in San Pedro with the SHINE members. She also participated in a leadership conference for Charlotte area business leaders, a human trafficking awareness event, and a fundraiser for OEW Hope House. “Everything I learned was very enlightening and has provided me with the basics to improve my work in San Pedro,” said Nuñez.
San Pedro to observe a ‘dry’ Good Friday
The San Pedro Police Department, San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board will once again be enforcing a ‘dry’ Good Friday. No stores, supermarkets, bars or restaurants are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages from Thursday, April 2nd at midnight to Friday, April 3rd at midnight. Only hotels will be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages, and even then, it will be to bona fide guests only. In addition, residents are not allowed to drink in any public area. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is strictly limited to the confines of their home where it cannot be visible to the public.
Budget Debate sparks heated arguments: Opposition says PM Barrow took 8 years to almost double the national debt
The House of Representatives took two days to debate the proposed national Budget 2015/2016 before accepting and passing it to the Senate for ratification. During the 26th and 27th of March, the meeting sparked heated arguments over the estimated figures, and the opposition People’s United Party (PUP) took the opportunity to chastise the government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Amongst the highlights in the heated debate was the use of the PetroCaribe funds to finance government programs, and the fact that the United Democratic Party Government of PM Barrow has doubled the national debt from $1.7 billion in 2008 to $2.7 billion in 2015.
The proposed Budget 2015/2016 was presented on March 13th by PM Barrow under his platform of “continuing with the transformation.” PM Barrow proposes to spend $1.1 billion in the next fiscal year. Barrow said that his government will see increased spending in areas such as the health sector, education, infrastructural development, social programs, sporting facilities and tourism sector. He explained that in the area of security, the proposed budget makes allocation for new intakes of law enforcement officers. PM Barrow also made it clear that the Government of Belize will use the PetroCaribe funds to drive some of the government programs into fruition and as such will “Roll the PetroCaribe” funds.
Private Sailboat Stuck on Reef by Hol Chan Marine Reserve
It is already Easter Break in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize and the island is booming with activity, from tourist enjoying all the fun adventures out at sea or on the beach, the restaurants are teeming with activity and the hotspots around the island throwing Easter parties; all gearing up for a busy long weekend of celebrations.
With the fun and safe celebrations, at times come some mishaps like this private sailboat running around in the reef very close to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. It is located approximately in front of Pelican Reef Villas, three miles south of San Pedro Town.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve personnel and rangers have already been alerted to the situation and departed early this morning, Thursday, April 2, 2015, to the site to start running damage assessments to the reef and work on removing the vessel from the reef before it makes more damage.
Misc Belizean Sources
9th Chocolate Festival of Belize
May 22nd - 24th 2015.
The ninth annual Chocolate Festival of Belize and Toledo will take place on 22nd, 23rd, and 24th May 2015. The event kicks off with the Gala event, Wine and Chocolate on the Friday night from 7pm to 11:30pm. The event is being held for the second year at Garbutt’s gorgeous marina on Joe Taylor Creek. Surrounded by both the lagoon and the ocean this night brings you nothing but good times, good friends and live music from the Caribbean Roots Band all the way from Corozal, an array of delectable hors d’oeuvres including deep fried lion fish and shrimp and, of course, how could we forget – Chocolate from Belizean chocolatiers!
The Taste of Toledo Street Fair is held on Front Street in Punta Gorda town, from the Uno gas station all the way down to the Punta Gorda library. The pedestrian-only street fair features cultural displays and areas showcasing Toledo's five main ethnic groups: Kriol, Maya, Garifuna, Mestizo and East Indian.
Weed report for Thursday.
On 01.04.15 at about 4:00p.m., police on operation in the San Mateo area conducted a search in an abandoned lot where they found a transparent plastic bag containing 126 grams of Cannabis. No one was found in the immediate area. The Cannabis was sealed and labeled as “Found Property.”
On 01.04.15., Ladyville Police conducted an anti-drug operation in Sandhill Village, Belize District where they found three black plastic bags. One bag contained loose cannabis and the other contained several aluminum foil paper parcels each containing cannabis. The bags were taken to the Ladyville Police Station where the black plastic bag of loose Cannabis amounted to 153.2 grams, the black plastic bag containing 82 small aluminum foil paper parcel, each contained Cannabis amounted to 191.4 grams and the small black plastic bag containing 64 small aluminum foil paper parcel each containing Crack Cocaine amounted to 5.9 grams. All Drugs were deposited as “Found Property.”
Another two dead manatees this week in Belize
Bringing the total to 19 in the first quarter of this year. We have two high risk areas - the Belize River and the mouth of Placencia Lagoon. The Belize River area has high use by cruise tour boats. The Placencia Lagoon mouth is about to become part of the transit route for boats from Harvest Caye to Malacate.
If you are a boat captain, please slow down in these key manatee areas. If you are a tour guide, please ensure your boat captain obeys the No Wake zones and that you place a spotter on the bow of the boat when moving through these key manatee areas. 19 manatees in three months - that is too high a mortality rate for the population to sustain.
The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church shares its schedule for 2015 Holy Week
Looting inspection in Armenia
Institute of Archaeology personnel, along with constables from the police department, carried out a looting inspection in the village of Armenia. The destruction is quite fresh and we are asking anyone who may have information to contact us or the nearest police station to bring the culprits to face justice.
World Health Day 2015
The Ministry of Health joins the Ministry of Agriculture and the Pan American Health Organization in wishing all Belizeans a happy and healthy World Health Day for 2015.
Man Hacks Stepson To Death
Tonight, a Belize City family with 8 children is in the throes of grief and incomprehension after a violent episode last night ripped their family apart.
42 year old Patrick Castillo allegedly chopped his 20 year old stepson, Guatemalan Jose Maderos to death just after 9:00 last night. It happened in the family home at the corner of Kut and Amara Avenue in Belize City - in plan view of the small children.
Daniel Ortiz has this report form the scene last night:...
Daniel Ortiz reporting
When we arrived at this house on 3 Kut Avenue, respond to a report that there had been a chopping incident.
We found this man detained by a police. He was placed on the sidewalk in handcuffs, while the officer called for reinforcements.
Family Says Murder Was Because Stepson Stepped On Sister's Toe
So far police are still gathering statements and have not brought charges - you'll hear their side of the story shortly. But, first, to the family. Last night the seven surviving children - the youngest only 7 - witnessed their father and stepfather kill their brother.
We are told it was the culmination of a long history of confrontation between the father and stepson - and it all came to a head because Jose Maderos stepped on his sister's toe.
I found out more from the family today. We warn you though that we did the interview at the family home - which is awash in blood - and if you are sensitive - you might want to take a five minute break for this story:..
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
It is behind this old cluttered chest of drawers that 42 year old Patrick Anthony Castillo hid his machete.
According to his family he has been sharpening his machete every day this week, telling them he was going to chop the yard, but he never did.
Police Say Alcohol Was Involved
Tonight, Patrick Castillo is in police custody pending charges. Police arrested him on the scene last night where he reportedly gave a confession that he did it. But, police would not discuss that today - or anything much else other than to say the two men were fighting and the deceased had been drinking:..
Supt. Hilberto Romero, O.C., CIB, Eastern Division
"Our investigation revealed that he has a dispute with his stepfather Patrick Castillo Sr. As a result at some point somebody pulled a machete that resulted in Jose Maderos being chopped several times to the body. There was a fight and a lot of blood was on the scene and we are looking at all of that. At some point there was some fight between both of them."
Mike Rudon, Ch5
"Is Mr. Castillo pleading self-defense at this time?"
Boat Explodes, Romy Badillo Critical
4 experienced boatmen are fortunate to have survived a boat explosion which happened at the waterfront area of Belize City, known as Hangar, near the municipal airstrip.
It happened at 1:05 p.m. and information to 7News is that the men were launching a boat with an inboard engine when a fire spontaneously ignited onboard. The fire quickly caused an explosion, the force of which sent one of the men flying into the sea. The others had to jump before the blaze fully engulfed the entire vessel.
City Councillor Dion Leslie was right there when it happened, and he described to us what he saw:
Dion Leslie, City Councilor
"Myself and my mom, we heard a large explosion which rattled the windows in the house and we ran outside. We notice that a boat that was 500 yards from shore was on fire and one of the occupants had already been thrown into the water and the other three was still on the boat and so everyone who was out there started screaming at them. Some of them took a little long to jump, maybe due to the explosion, they were a little dazed and confused afterwards and finally two of them jumped into the water, leaving one other gentleman in the boat.
Teenagers Charged For Arson At Hostel
Last night, we told you that investigators ruled that the fire at the Youth Hostel was arson. Well tonight, 2 girls and 1 young woman, all of whom were housed in the dormitory which burnt down, have been criminally charged for arson. The young woman, 18 year-old Erlene Baizar, is on remand tonight at the Belize Central Prison.
Baizar, and 2 female minors, ages 12 and 13, were arraigned today before the newly appointed Magistrate Ladonna John on the single charge of arson, and because it is an indictable offence, no plea was taken. The police prosecutor objected vigorously to bail being granted, but the Magistrate granted the 2 minors bail. In Baizar's case, the Magistrate remanded her until April 7, during which time an assessment of her mental health will be done.
The other 2 minors were offered bail of a thousand dollars, but only the 13 year-old was able to meet bail, since her family was present at the arraignment. That child was allowed to go home in the care of her parents after she posted bail. The 12 year old was remanded to a youth holding facility.
NTUCB Questions Decision By Labour Senator Ray Davis
Despite howls of protest form the opposition, The Petrocaribe Loans Act has been approved by the House and the Senate. But the National Trade Union Congress of Belize says it rejects the piece of legislation as un-democratic. But that wasn't the impression the public got on Monday when the Senate met in Belmopan and the Labour Senator abstained on the vote. In the end it passed with a slim six to five majority. Well, some in the labour movement were none too happy about that vote - and last night Ray Davis was called to account to the general council of the NTUCB. The meeting was held at the PSU office on Kut Avenue in Belize City - and 7News was there. We caught up with Davis at about 8:45 when he was leaving before the end of the meeting:...
"Some in the labour movement or should say Audrey Matura-Shepherd has indicated that your abstention at the Senate meeting on the Petrocaribe Loans Bill was dubious/shady?"
Hon. Ray Davis, Senator - Labour
"She will be coming out of the meeting in a short while."
"Was that sentiment voiced in there?"
Hon. Ray Davis, Senator - Labour
"No. I am saying that when she comes out, then you will have a good opportunity to really have a discussion with her on that."
Fire Department Prepares For The Worst
The Thursday before Good Friday - colloquially referred to as "Holy Thursday" is a day of hustling and bustling - particularly in the city where many are trying to get out on the road or the waterways. But, traffic ground to a halt today in Belize City when the fire department staged a disaster simulation at a busy intersection. It was an elaborate scenario of many things going wrong that required a multi-agency response. We spoke to Fire Chief Ted Smith about how it played out:..
Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"We had simulated an RTA to traffic accident. The scenario was simple. The police was chasing a vehicle. The suspect were involved in illegal activities. The vehicle ran under high speed and then it hit a butane LPG truck that was making turn at the round-about and a third vehicle that was coming also got involved in the accident. The truck, when it was hot at the tail, it broke a pipe and caused butane to escape rapidly. The responding unit primary role was to ensure that the casualties were safely rescued. But at the same time they needed to neutralize the threat from the LPG that was spilling/leaking out. So, they did both; they neutralize the threat by advancing on the LPG tank providing two stream of water for safety and security and they closed the main valve from the LPG truck and shut down the leakage before an ignition could have occurred and from there they move on to extricate the casualties from both vehicles."
City Councilor In Car Crash (Again)
City Councilor Alifa Elrington famously totaled the mayor's pickup in an accident in Crooked Tree in late February. In that one the vehicle was extensively damaged and she had to be hospitalized. Well, today she was in another accident, this one far less serious - but a major collision nonetheless. It happened in Belize City at the corner of Dean Street and Amara Avenue. Councilor Elrington was coming down Amara Avenue in a Land Rover Discovery when she "t-boned" a Mazda Tribute that was travelling on Dean Street across Amara Avenue. No one appeared to be hurt but the Tribute was badly damaged, while, this time, Elrington's vehicle appeared mostly intact. Elrington had the right of way because the stop sign is on Dean Street. We'll follow up for police details next week.
Going Good Friday Fish Finding
Tomorrow is Good Friday - and whether through religious observance or cultural inertia, chances are you will be eating fish. But finding that right cut and type of fish at just the right price is an art unto itself - and the fish market at Conch Shell Bay in Belize City is a perfect place to see the laws of supply and demand at work in real time.
The fisherfolk do brisk business and make a mean sales pitch, while the shoppers navigate the fish market with the sure and shrewd knowledge of which fish goes just right with that Good Friday meal. I found out more at the fish market today:...
Henry brought out 450 pounds of fish and depending on the size, the price of fish ranges from $8 to $10 dollars a pound. Several experienced shoppers say more people come out to get the last minute fish in the evening up until Easter Sunday.
The Garland And The Glory
The garland and the glory - those words have been drummed into the collective national conscious for 87 years - because the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is more than a race, it is a cornerstone of nationalism, and, in fact, we claim the cross country more zealously and guard that garland more jealously than the French do the famous tour de France and its yellow jersey.
And on Saturday - once again - all that goes on the line when just over a hundred riders compete in the 87th riding of the Cross Country.
In 2013, Belizean Darnell Barrow held on to win, but last year, international rider, Juan Pablo Magallanes took it back for the foreigners.
So, who will win this year? That's what we asked the cyclists when they had a ceremonial ride through the city this evening:
The race starts at 6 a.m., and our news team will be out there from start to finish to update you on Tuesday's newscast.
A Stepfather Hacks His Son To Death for Stepping on Daughter’s Feet
Forty-two-year-old Belize City resident Patrick Castillo is currently detained by police after a grisly chopping murder on Wednesday night. According to reports, an altercation between Castillo and his stepson, twenty-year-old [...]
N.T.U.C.B. Breaks Radio Silence on Polemical Petrocaribe Loans Act
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize held a meeting late Wednesday evening to formally discuss issues concerning the recently passed Petrocaribe Act, as well as Senator Ray Davis’ decision [...]
Boaters Critically Injured Following Explosion at Sea
At least two people are critically injured after a boat exploded and caught on fire. Unconfirmed reports are that at least four men launched a boat about ten minutes after [...]
Teenage Trio Charged for Burning Down Youth Hostel’s Female Dorm
Three persons were arraigned today for a fire at the Belize Youth Hostel compound at Mile twenty-one on the George Price Highway. The fire on Tuesday gutted a section of [...]
Sheffield Brown Arraigned for Groping Chinese Businesswoman
Thirty-nine-year-old Sheffield Brown is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being unable to meet bail for allegedly groping a Chinese businesswoman. Brown, a resident of Welch Street, [...]
Accident Simulation in Belize City – How Prepared are First Responders?
The response time and how effective you respond to the scene of an accident is critical when it comes to minimizing any casualties or loss of life. It is the [...]
Safety Tips to Prevent Fires During Easter
Fire Chief, Ted Smith, also gave safety tips to homeowners who will be leaving their homes unattended for the Easter holidays. Ted Smith, Fire Chief, National Fire Service “If [...]
Where are Belizeans Off to this Easter Weekend?
While it has its religious significance, many Christians will find themselves inside a church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For many others, a trip to the cayes or [...]
The Art of the Hot Cross Bun, a Perennial Easter Treat
You know it’s not Easter in Belize until you’ve had a hot cross bun. The tradition of making cross buns and enjoying them around this time of the year is [...]
Search For Missing 15 Year Old Continues
The search continues for fifteen year old Marisol Patt from Orange Walk. Police and family members continue their search for the teen that has been missing for several days. Family members say that fifteen year old Marisol Patt was last seen two Sundays back when she left her house around midday. She has not returned and the family is concerned for her safety. The mother of the teen, Fernanda Copo says that she believes her daughter has run away with someone they know and have shared that information with the police. Marisol Patt is described as being five feet five inches in height, has brown hair, brown eyes and weights about one hundred and forty pounds. Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Patt is asked to call 627-9605 or the nearest police station.
BEL Seeks To Reduce Electricity Rate
Today, the Belize Electricity Limited submitted an application to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP) for the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. In this application, BEL is requesting an average reduction of 10.4 percent in the Mean Electricity Rate from 41.29 cents to 37 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). The release says that the proposed rate reduction is attributed to a significant reduction in the cost of purchasing power from Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), following Mexico’s move to dispatch energy at a cheaper price, by utilizing hydroelectricity and moving to the use of cheaper, cleaner fuels such as natural gas and other renewable energy sources, compared to heavy fuel oil and diesel. The release ends stating that copies of BEL's submission are available for viewing at the office of the PUC located at 41 Gabourel Lane in Belize City.
Ministry Of Natural Resources Meets With Local Rice Producers
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture makes headway in the rice crisis. As we have been reporting, a business man has proposed to import rice from Guyana at a much cheaper price and which in turn would be sold at a far more comfortable price to the consumer. This has become a threat to the survival of the local rice producers across the country. In an effort to address the situation, the ministry has been meeting with rice producers to find the best solution to the problem since March 17th. Today the ministry issued a release in which it states that they have made some progress. Ministry officials met with rice producers today and agreed on three things.
Cops Nowhere Close To Solving O/W's Latest Homicide
Yesterday we told you about the murder of 57 year old Ricardo Triminio who was shot to death whilst inside his snack shop namely “Munchies” on Progress Street in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. And while police processed the scene looking for clues, they came up empty handed. And today, a check with authorities did not prove favorable since they still don’t have any concrete leads or suspects. Cops say nothing inside his shop was believed to be stolen so they have struck out robbery as a motive. Meanwhile, their investigations continue. Anyone with information in this latest homicide is asked to come into the police station. Viewers are reminded that all information relayed will be kept anonymous and confidential.
Fire Department Advises Residents of Preventative Measures
With the hustle and bustle anticipated for the long holiday weekend, Fire Chief Ted Smith used the media today to advise residents on ways to protect their homes over the weekend.
Most people will be out of their homes up until Monday. If you have any emergencies or if you notice suspicious activities in your area, you are being urged by the Belize Police Department to call 911 and inform them of the situation. The long holiday weekend extends up to Tuesday, April 7 when normal working hours will resume and businesses will be reopened.
Annual Easter Fair Scheduled in San Ignacio
The San Ignacio Santa Elena Town Council will be holding its annual municipal fair this weekend. Cecilia Flowers is the Chairlady of the Municipal Fair Committee and she says this year promises to be bigger than previous years.
The Municipal Fair is one of the biggest revenue earners for the Town Council. Public Relations Officer and Director of Tourism, Michael Preston explained where the proceeds will go.
One of the features of this year’s fair is the dunk tank where newly elected Mayor Earl Trapp will be the target.
Re: Today's Belize News: April 3, 2015
04/03/15 06:07 AM
04/03/15 06:07 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Belize City Council introduces online payment for taxes
Residents of the Old Capital now have additional means of meeting obligations to the Belize City Council for trade licenses collected every December and property taxes collected by the start of the new financial year in April...
Murder of Orange Walk Business Man
Orange Walk Police are still trying to piece together the timeline of events leading to the murder of 57 year old businessman Ricardo Triminio, who was murdered inside his snack shop sometime after midnight on Tuesday March 31st...
FFB Gets April Fools Scare
The Football Federation of Belize got a big scare today when they were informed that one of the players on the National Beach Football Team went missing while the delegation was passing through Guatemala enroute to Belize...
VIP’s position on Petro Caribe Loan Bill
Yesterday The Christian Workers Union sent out a press release condemning the passage of the Petro Caribe Loans Bill 2015, and stating for the record that they distance themselves from the decision of the Union Senator Ray Davis who abstained his vote on the controversial bill...
CitCo sanitation litigation settled, wages a concern
It has been several months since more than 175 former workers of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) joined the Belize City Council to continue their employment after months of wrangling...
Orion Classic to be held in Placencia
Earlier this week we announced the new executive of the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBBFF). The first event being organized by the executive takes place in Placencia over the Easter weekend and we spoke to BBBFF executive member Josephine Gault about it.
Josephine Gault – Organizer, ...
Ailing Stephen Okeke pleas for TV Ramos bust money
Today we spoke to Stephen Okeke, creator of the bust of Thomas Vincent Ramos and many other sculptures of national heroes and related monuments...
National Beach Football Team Returns Proud; despite loss
12 football players along with their technical staff travelled to El Salvador to represent Belize at the 2015 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Champions...
No Deon, No Goals for Belize
In other football news, the official FIFA website posted an article on its world cup news section called “No Deon, no goals for Belize.” The title is self explanatory. The article says it was no surprise that Belize struggled to score a goal without Deon McCauley.
It says that quote, “One of the bi...
Cannibis Busts in Belize
The Police Department continues to remove illicit drugs off the streets. On Tuesday March 31st at round 11 am police in San Pedro while conducting patrols in the vicinity of the water taxi area San Pedro, searched a bag in the possession of 51 year old John Estero of Dangriga...
GSU weed bust goes to court
Police have charged a man and two women with possession of multiple amounts of cannabis intended for distribution. 38 year old Eugene Gabourel; 54 year old Donna Castillo and 55 year old Desiree Cadle pleaded not guilty to all charges before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith...
NTUCB condemns PetroCaribe Bill
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) is considering taking some form of action in protest of the recently passed PetroCaribe Bill, its President, Marvin Mora said.
According to Mora, they made several suggestions as possible displays of opposition against the Bill during their executive meeting on Tuesday night.
He added, however, that they have not made a final decision, and as such, he was unable to say what those suggestions were.
Mora was able to say, though, that the union categorically condemns the passing of the PetroCaribe Bill in the House of Representatives last week.
Boat bursts into flames, injuring captain
A small skiff burst into flames while being launched from the “Hangar” area in Belize City after 1 p.m. on Wednesday, leavinar dock near the municipal airstrip when a small explosion occurred.
Residents said they heard a loud bang. The fire and police departments were summoned to the scene and the occupants of the vessel were taken to the hospital for burn injuries.
According to Anna Badillo, Romi’s wife, her husband is currently being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for second degree burns. Badillo is currently listed in critical but stable condition.
Badillo said her husband, who is a captain by profession, told her that he was going out to sea but she does not know where they were going.
Orange Walk businessman murdered inside shop
Orange Walk police are following a few leads into the shooting murder of businessman, Ricardo Triminio, 57, in Orange Walk Town early Tuesday morning.
Triminio, who owned Munchie’s snack shop at #10 Progress Street, usually kept his small business open late into the night. That was when police believe someone pounced on him.
Triminio’s mother, Vivian Triminio, has said she heard a volley of gunshots around 2 a.m. that morning, but thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.
Six hours later, at around 9 a.m., a sanitation worker sawTriminio’s bullet-riddled body on the floor of the business. He had been shot in the face, chest, left arm and both shoulders.
Boat explosion leaves boat captain seriously injured; passengers swim to safety
A boat explosion in the ‘Hangar’ area of Belize City on Holy Thursday has left the boat captain with serious burn injuries to his body and five passengers with varying degrees of injuries.
The incident happened shortly after 1 p.m. and The Reporter understands that the passengers had to escape seious injuries by jumping into the sea and swimming to shore.
The Belize Times
Barrow could face criminal charges – New Petro-Caribe legislation will not affect legal challenge
Prime Minister Dean Barrow could face criminal prosecution if a legal challenge currently waiting to be heard before the Supreme Court succeeds, confirming that his Government’s administration of millions of dollars in public funds is in violation of our laws. Various attorneys with absolutely no political axe to grind but guided by civic duty and conscience, including Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck and Magali Marin-Young, have stepped up and are leading the Opposition PUP’s legal case against the arrogant actions of Prime Minister Barrow. The PM’s borrowing of millions of dollars, BZE$228,614,710 to be exact, which were obtained through the Alba Petro-Caribe initiative between September 2012 and August 2014, tipped the scale between what is legal and what is outrageously illegal. The borrowing was illegal.
Gunman Hunts Down Jaime Chavarria!
Someone wanted Jaime Chavarria dead and twice this month they attempted to take his life. They succeeded in the second attempt which occurred on Monday night.
The 26 year old construction worker was shot dead in an abandoned yard through an unnamed alley on Berkley Street in Belize City. This area is not far from the busy downtown of the old capital.
Police found Chavarria lying motionless, face up, and bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds.
Police believe that Chavarria was walking through the yard when an unknown gunman ambushed him and shot him. Chavarria had little chance of escape or survival.
Senate Trashes PetroCaribe Bill – Legislation passes after 6-5 vote in favour, Union Senator abstained
In a tense, thick and incredibly unstable atmosphere, the Senate met in the City of Belmopan today to debate the Budget and the highly controversial ALBA (PetroCaribe) Belize Energy Limited Loan Bill.
The UDP Senators – Hon. Godwin Hulse, Hon. Joy Grant, Hon. Gerardo Marconi Sosa, Hon. Juliet Thimbriel and Hon. Lisel Alamilla were in pure defensive mode, trying their best to convince the Belizean people that over US$114 million (BZ$228 million) in loans could be dipped into wantonly and without proper authorization from the National Assembly.
The PUP and Private Sector Senators – Hon. Lisa Shoman, Hon. Anthony Sylvestre Jr., Hon. Patrick J. Andrews, Hon. Fr. Noel Leslie (for the Churches), Hon. Mark Lizarraga (for the Business Sector) and Hon. Ray Davis (for the Unions) were not as convinced – not by the bill, nor by the 2015-2016 Budget debated in the House the week before. And it showed, especially in the fiery presentations by Senators Lizarraga, Shoman, Sylvestre and Andrews.
PUP: On Campaign Mode!
The People’s United Party (PUP) kicked off its 2015 campaign planning on Sunday March 29th at Leslie’s Farm at Mile 51.5 on the George Price Highway with a full day working session.
One hundred and twenty-five persons participated, comprised of members of the National Executive, Standard Bearers, parliamentarians, businesspersons, members of constituency executive committee and friends and supporters of the PUP.
The Party Leader, Francis Fonseca, stated that “the objective of this full-day event was to hear frank views as to the challenges facing the party, as well as to receive recommendations, arising after vigorous debate, as to the strategies required in taking the party to victory.”
Setting the stage for dictatorship
Last week Thursday, the Prime Minister of Belize introduced into the House of Representatives a Bill that in the view of many represents a major step toward dictatorship. The bill was taken through all three readings and it seems our Prime Minister has a very short memory. One of the things he railed against incessantly while in Opposition was the rushing of Bills through the House in one sitting. According to Section 49(2) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, “An interval of not less than ten days must lapse between the first and second reading of a Bill….” There is however, and as usual, a loophole. The law goes on to state that “unless the House, on motion made and question put, agree to proceed with the Bill at an earlier date or forthwith.” Since assuming office (the House meets at least four times for the year with several Bills being presented at each sitting), there might have been 1 (one) Bill that has seen the required time between readings. What is the rush here; in particular with a Bill of such huge importance and of such potential consequence?
The answer to this is easy but not obvious. In October of last year, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Julius Espat filed a motion in the courts of Belize attempting to restrain government’s reckless spending of Petro Caribe funds. In an interview given at the time, Espat explained his purpose for the lawsuit, “…we are seeking to make sure that the Government of Belize, any party that forms the Government of Belize, ultimately follows the law.
Barrow is above the Law or so he thinks
“It cannot be true! For it would mean that Mr. Barrow is above the National Assembly.” Said a lady at the market on Saturday morning.
But it is true. The Prime Minister of Belize has rammed through a law that he is not answerable to anyone for millions of dollars he has been spending and will continue to spend without prior approval of the Legislature.
Since September of 2012 Mr. Barrow has had the arrogance to commence borrowing and spending of Petro Caribe monies to the tune of almost three hundred million dollars.
This has been done without any prior approval of the National Assembly.
Neither has Mr. Barrow bothered to follow the relevant laws of the country by accounting to the nation for the spending of these millions.
It should be noted that the Constitution of Belize, the supreme law of our country provides safeguards when it comes to public funds.
Section 114 states, “all revenues or other monies raised or received by Belize….shall be paid into and form part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Belmopan Mystics spanks SQ Stars 3-1
The Belmopan Mystics spanked the Simon Quan Stars 3-1 in Belize district volleyball competition at the Belize Elementary Gymnasium on Saturday.
Mystics’ Kori Diego, Kaylani Reid, Alvree Mortis and Kayla Dawson scored points on plays set by Daniella Gibson and Kaylene Flowers to win 25-23, 19-25, 30-28 and 28-26. Khristal Jones, Jhonique Anderson, Loren Henry and libero Vivianni Avila took the court to help the Mystics win the last 2 sets
Stars’ only reprieve came in the 2nd set when Marika Zuniga, Precelia Hoare, Rebecca Rath and Mya Musa hammered kills at the net and blocked the Mystics to win the 2nd set 25-19.
Team SMART dominated 16th Junior Cross Country
Team SMART Zoom Cycling dominated the 16th BEL Junior Cross Country Classic held by the Belize Cycling Federation on the George Price Highway on Sunday, March 29, taking the first 3 places and with 4 riders finishing in the top 10.
Team SMART’s Ernest Bradley, looked a lot like his father, legendary Cross Country great Ernest “Jawmeighan” Meighan, as he took the win in solo fashion in 3:30:52.
Bradley outdistanced his teammates to sweep the last 4 station prizes coming into the city: $100 at the Hattieville police station, $50 at the BEL gas turbo-generator, 4 cases of Crystal juice at the Mile 6 bridge, and $50 at Old Belize, as well as the $800 1st prize, a tablet from VIP Wireless and a 4-year scholarship from the Ministry of Education.
Belize enters Round 2 of World Cup 2018 qualifiers
The Belize Jaguars have advanced to Round 2 of the World Cup 2018 Russia qualifiers, by an away goal in the 20th minute from Elroy Kuylen to tie against the Caymans Islands 1-1 in regulation time Game 2 at the Truman Bodden Stadium in Georgetown, Grand Cayman on Sunday.
The Jaguars, presently ranked 164th in FIFA’s world rankings, will now gear up to take on the Dominican Republic, ranked 107th according to FIFA, on June 8, and host the Santo Domingo squad for the rematch on June 16th.
Last Wednesday’s 0-0 Game 1 draw in the City of Belmopan had put the Jaguars under notice that they needed to score goals if they wanted to qualify to the next round, but it was Caymans’ Mark Ebanks who worried Belize fans when he scored first in the 5th minute.
GOB lacks “political will” to fight Money Laundering and Financial Crimes, says U.S. Report
The United States Government, through the recently-released 2015 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) which was tabled by President Barack Obama before the U.S. Congress, criticised the Barrow Administration for lacking “political will” to adequately fight money laundering and financial crimes.
This is a black eye for Belize, for yet another year, as the nation has been designated a “major money laundering country” in the 2015 report.
The report further listed Belize under the “Jurisdictions of Primary Concern”, which is a designation for countries considered a high-risk in global financial irregularity.
“A major money laundering country is defined by statute as one whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking,” explained the report.
The document noted that “dirty money” sourced from criminal activity and financial crime is a threat to democratic institutions: “Jurisdictions flooded with illicit funds are vulnerable to the breakdown of the rule of law, the corruption of public officials, and destabilization of their economies”. Sounds too familiar to the Belize we are living in!
Getting the job done in OW South – UDP Neglects – PUP Works!!
The Hon Jose Mai, the Village Council of Yo Creek and the residents of Yo Creek this week embarked on a street repair campaign in the village of Yo creek.
For a long time the Hon. Jose Mai and the village Council have been asking the Ministry of Works to do repairs on village Streets. The Ministry of Works has never done so. At the Inauguration of Orange Walk South highway, Hon. Mai spoke personally to the Minister of Works and requested his intervention. The Minister responded that he was unable to repair the streets in Yo Creek because his Ministry did not have money to do so. He referred the Hon. Mai to the Prime Minister. When the PUP area representative finally made contact with Prime Minister Barrow, the Prime Minister told him that his Government was unable to allocate funds for the repair of streets in Yo Creek.
Hon. Mai did not give up, however, and his persistence has proved worthy. Through the kind assistance of Tiechrob and Sons, the Hon Jose Mai procured fifty (50) loads of crushed material from. David Dyck of Blue Creek construction provided two dump trucks to transport the crushed material. The total value of the work being done in Yo Creek is $ 5000.
Budget Presentation by Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, Area Representative of Orange Walk South
Mr. Speaker, I do not plan to dwell much on the sorrowful inadequacies of the 2015/16 budgetary allocation for Agriculture since it is generally known that this is a reoccurring neglect which is most observable in the deplorable state of extension services being offered to our struggling small farmers.
I say so, Mr Speaker, because, we exhort and encourage our farmers to produce more, and thereafter we undermine their efforts by allowing the importation of competing agricultural goods.
Remember the onions and Belize Marketing and Development with the farmers in the north, Mr Speaker? How can we forget?
Remember the potatoes and carrot farmers again in the north, Mr. Speaker. And, of course, how can we forget the famous Uruguayan rice, Mr. Speaker.
And now it’s deja vu all over again with rice, i.e. Guyana rice!!
U.S. keeps Belize on “Major Illicit Drug Producing, Major Drug-Transit, Major Money Laundering” List
United States President Barack Obama has once again listed Belize as a “Major Illicit Drug Producing, Major Drug-Transit, Major Money Laundering” country in their 2015 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR).
The INCSR Report “provides the factual basis for the designations…on the major drug-transit or major illicit drug producing countries and money laundering”. One of its goals is to highlight efforts or the lack of such efforts to fight the drug trade and combat financial crimes. The designation places Belize and other countries under review by the United Sates Government for assistance and support.
The report declared that Belize continued to be a major transit country for illegal drugs destined for the United States from source countries in South America.
The report noted that the drug trade is carried out through undetected maritime channels and via air.
“…maritime vessels are able to avoid law enforcement detection by moving at night and using the hundreds of cayes (islands) to conceal their movement,” said the report, adding that the air transport of drugs is equally concerning as, “Belize has no air defense systems and limited capabilities to monitor aircraft at night”.
Hon. Francis W. Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition, Budget Presentation for Fiscal Year 2015/2016
Mr. Speaker, I rise to make my contribution to the debate on the General Revenue Appropriation Bill for Fiscal Year 2015/2016.
At the outset, Mr. Speaker, I offer two (2) preliminary observations based on the introductory paragraphs of the Prime Minister’s Budget Presentation.
Firstly, the Prime Minister boasts that this is the shortest Budget Speech he has ever read. He justifies this boast by explaining that he is sparing the Nation the oral presentation of the review of the economy 2014.
While I for one welcome less talk, the House Record should reflect that the true reason for the speeches brevity is its absolute lack of substance.
The Prime Minister, apart from his usual political rhetoric and grandstanding, has nothing to say and the Budget Speech has nothing to offer.
Mr. Speaker, it is not only the shortest Budget Speech, it is the “emptiest” budget speech ever read in this Honourable House.
UDP Town Council fires 7 in Dangriga
The politics of hate, divide and victimization that is the DNA of the United Democratic Party has kicked off in Dangriga, where the Council today issued letters of termination to seven employees.
Reports to the BELIZE TIMES are that letters to have been issued to employees informing them that they are no longer have jobs at the Council. Employees affected include the Secretary for the Works Department, Security Officer, Works Manager, Front Desk Receptionist and cashier in the Traffic Department.
There have been other reports of victimization throughout the country at municipalities which were held by PUP Town Councils – Punta Gorda and Dangriga. The BELIZE TIMES will continue to investigate.
Trade Unions condemn Petrocaribe Act; debate fate of Senator
A meeting of the General Council of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) took place Wednesday night in Belize City after the passage earlier this week of the Petrocaribe Loans Act, 2015, which passed by a slim six-to-five margin with an abstention by Senator representing the trade unions, Ray Davis. There is a concern that the unions were caught off guard by the presentation of the bill and following the meeting of the Union a briefing with Congress executives discussed the apparent disconnect between Senator Davis’ vote and the position of the Congress. But NTUCB members sought to correct those perceptions by issuing a strong public condemnation of what the Government seeks to do, which it has now been empowered to do by the Act – borrow and spend the funds coming from APBEL as part of the Petrocaribe program going back some two years. NTUCB President Marvin Mora said that the Government’s actions are completely contrary to the spirit of the passage of the Finance and Audit Act in 2005 and its reformed version in 2010. The Congress has maintained its call for transparency and accountability in Government’s financial appears and is opposed to anything that would suggest otherwise, said Mora.
Step-father accused of chopping stepson to death
A domestic dispute late on Wednesday night in Belize City between a stepfather and stepson ended in tragedy when the older man, 42 year old security guard Patrick Castillo of Kut Avenue, allegedly chopped his stepson, 20 year old Jose Jonathan Maderos, as well as his 13 year old stepdaughter by accident. Maderos died at the scene of his injuries while Castillo remains under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The sad story began after Jonathan’s mother and Castillo’s common-law wife, Rosa Mauricio, left for work at a nearby restaurant and her son went upstairs for a drink of water.
Two Injured and one fatally chopped in the Old Capital
Belize City Police are currently investigating a chopping incident in the Old Capital late Wednesday night.
According to authorities, they are presently taking statement from persons involved.
The victim has been identified as 20 year old Jose Maderos from Cut Avenue, Belize City. According to preliminary investigation, Maderos got in an argument with his step-father, 42 year old Patrick Castillo of the same address.
As a result the feud escalated causing Maderos to receive multiple chop wounds to his body.
Gorgeous Easter Weather is Here – Surveying for The Continuation of The Road & Price Reduction at Xaman ‘Ek
I thought I would take a walk yesterday and take a few pictures. The weather is breezy – the Easter Winds are here! – but gorgeous and sunny. And today, Holy Thursday, banks and government offices start closing down early and all of Belize heads to the beach.
Later…I took a ride back down to town. The surveys are placing pegs for the continuation of the road (which now stops at Belizean Shores). There were stakes up to Rojo and Mata Chica and beyond…soon we will have a road all the way up north. Honestly…i never would have believed it.
Not so immaculately cared for is the old Xaman ‘Ek – that also housed a Jambel’s Restaurant for a while. The price has recently been reduced to land value only.
The dock had crumbled…
Chaa Creek and National Geographic – A Mutual Admiration Society
Since 1888 National Geo has done an excellent job of fulfilling its mission to “inspire, illuminate and teach” the world about the world.
And who hasn’t been inspired to travel when reading the National Geographic magazine? Many of us got our first taste of wanderlust at an early age from the amazing photographs and stories behind that familiar yellow-framed cover.
So when the respected peripatetic journalist Costas Christ recently lauded Chaa Creek in the National Geographic Traveller we were very, very happy.
The March 27, 2015 article’s title, Seven Perfect Days in Belize immediately caught our eye, especially as Mr Christ is something of an expert; a Belizeophile, if you will.
As he wrote, “I have been traveling to Belize every year for more than a decade and am already planning my next trip.” He then goes on to explain why, listing English speaking, small, easy to navigate, and other factors such as:
“Local residents are fun-loving, friendly, and appreciate nature; nearly half of the country is protected rain forest… Just offshore lies the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere… Belize’s subterranean rivers make it possible to explore the country’s elaborate underground cave system—which might be the most extensive on Earth (National Geographic explorers have been mapping it since the 1960s… There are also dozens of Maya archaeological sites throughout…”
No Cars, No Hassles, Just White-Sand Beaches
“I’m just a beach person,” says Debbie Cooper, 63.
With that attitude, it’s no wonder that she and her husband, Bruce, 66, have called the tiny Caribbean isle of Caye Caulker 12 miles off the coast of Belize home for the past 13 years.
There are no cars on the island, and it receives a fraction of the tourists that Ambergris Caye, 11 miles to the north, does. Homes and restaurants on the beach face an impossibly blue sea framed by windswept palms. Lobster is a specialty when it’s in season.
There are a few stores with clothing, household goods, souvenirs, and groceries. Docks at regular intervals provide places for fishing and sunbathing. Access to the mainland or Ambergris is by water taxi or small prop plane.
‘You have to look after yourself in the jungle’
Infantry soldiers from across the area have been learning to fight and survive in one of the world’s toughest environments – the jungle. For the fourth part of a series of special reports, defence correspondent SAM BANNISTER joined the troops in their camp beneath the canopy.
Nothing prepares you for the sound of howler monkeys at 3 o’clock in the morning. Reputed to be the loudest animal on land, they earn their name from the loud, guttural howls which can travel for three miles through dense forest.
Their bellows are also utterly terrifying – at least to somebody who was comfortably asleep in their hammock 30 seconds ago.
But it’s all part of life in the jungle of Belize for soldiers on exercise.
Around 120 troops of the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (2PWRR) have been sent to the country on a tough jungle training mission.
Endangered Language Portraits. James Lovell is a Garifuna musician and language activist. He works tirelessly to teach children Garifuna, an Arawak Indian language, through song and performance in Belize, New York, and St. Vincent. He has been working with the Endangered Language Alliance on Yugacure, a project to repatriate Garifuna to its origins in St. Vincent, under the direction of Trish St. Hill. A Garifuna word which translates to yucca, a staple Garifuna food source, yuga is also a Vincentian colloquialism meaning “you got.”
HOW "CROSS BUN'S" ARE MADE..., 5min. Another staple for the Easter holidays is the hot cross bun and here in Orange Walk, the tradition has been upheld by a few great bakers. Here the bun is a spiced sweet bun made with raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday. We visited the home of one woman who enjoys making these tasty buns for a quick lesson on how they are made.
EASTER FISH AND VEGETABLE RUSH IN ORANGE WALK, 3min. The long awaited Easter weekend is here and Orange Walk residents are preparing for the long holiday. If you have any doubt, we invite you to watch images of this morning at the market where families were busy shopping and vendors were content.
The garland and the glory, 4min. those words have been drummed into the collective national conscious for 87 years - because the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is more than a race, it is a cornerstone of nationalism, and, in fact, we claim the cross country more zealously and guard that garland more jealously than the French do the famous tour de France and its yellow jersey. And on Saturday - once again - all that goes on the line when just over a hundred riders compete in the 87th riding of the Cross Country.
So, who will win this year? That's what we asked the cyclists when they had a ceremonial ride through the city this evening:
Sweet Belizean Girl- Anthony Richards, 3min. Belizean Classic Rare 45
Belize 2015, 23min. "The best things in life are the people we love, the places we've been, and the memories we've made along the way."
AEC Study Abroad to Belize, 7min.
Belize 2015, 3min. 7 days on Caye Caulker, Belize.
Belize, swiming with nurse sharks and stingrays, 5min.
Belize Sea Scouts, 7min. The Sea Scouts join the regatta off the coast of Belize City. The kids learn to chart and become disciplined while having fun.
Benedictine College Belize Mission Trip 2015, 7min. This year was a amazing trip to Benque. This is Benedictine's 7th of doing a mission trip in Belize. Hope you like the video!
Benque Viejo Marching Band- Belize Band Fest 2015, 15min. Este es orgullosamente el trabajo de Benque Viejo Marching Band en el Band Fest 2015. "our legacy never dies"
Thank You! From the Belize Missionaries & Students, 5min. This video is in honor of our wonderful and generous sponsors, without whom our mission trip would not have been possible.
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