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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
New Mayan herbal medicine book launched
The Maya of Belize had many herbal remedies for just about any ailment know to man, a wealth of traditional healing knowledge preserved by Don Elijio Panti, which his grand niece Aurora Garcia Saqui has now recorded and preserved for future generations, in her new book, “Ix Hmen U Tzaco Ah Maya”.
Judy Lumb and Dorothy Beveridge of the publishing house “Producciones de la Hamaca”, helped Garcia-Saqui edit her new work, and introduced Aurora at the launch of her new book at the Image Factory in Belize City on Tuesday morning, April 12. Aurora’s husband and collaborator in her work, Ernesto Saqui was also present at the launch to lead the audience in prayer; while their children Regina and Emanuel sang the national anthem.
Prime Minister Barrow Convenes National Security Council Meeting
The Government of Belize informs the general public that Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow convened a special meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) this afternoon in Belize City to address the issues surrounding the incident that claimed the life of a Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul Forest in Belize’s territory. The Prime Minister joined the meeting via telephone from New York City, where he is attending the signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Prime Minister briefed the NSC on the meeting he had with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales in the margins of the meeting at the United Nations Headquarters during the Paris Agreement signing. The Prime Minister confirmed to President Morales that an impartial inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the incident had begun and is led by the Organization of American States (OAS). Prime Minister Barrow recommended to President Morales that assistance be sought from the Government of the United States to deploy a criminal/forensic expert to provide the necessary technical expertise to the OAS verification exercise. He reiterated Belize’s position that the Belize security forces patrol was fired upon and only responded in self-defence.
Minister of National Security Concludes Meeting with Senior Command of Security Forces
With the conclusion of the meeting this morning between Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar and the senior command of our security forces, all security forces have been placed on high alert and a short term strategy has been devised to deal with further possible incidents along the border areas and in the Sarstoon.
A meeting of the National Security Council is to be held later this afternoon and the Council will be briefed on our military readiness.
The Ministry of National Security assures the public that the security forces of Belize will take any and all actions appropriate to preserve our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Minor Charged for the murder of Journalist Kareem Clarke
On Monday, July 6, 2015, Amandala journalist, Kareem Jabbor Clarke fell victim to gun violence. He was riding his bicycle around the bridge near Lakeview Street on Vernon Street in Belize City when he was gunned down. Clarke, 27, suffered five gunshot wounds on the left side of the forehead, back of the head, abdomen, right upper back and middle of the back. On September 9, 2015, police brought a 17-year old minor into custody in connection with Clarke’s murder. The minor was arraigned on murder charges, and on Tuesday, April 12th he was committed to stand trial at The Supreme Court of Belize. The initial inquiry was held at the Family Court in Belize City, and as a result, the minor was officially charged for Clarke’s murder.
Dental Volunteers give back to San Pedro
On April 16th, Dr. Pierre Boumerhi and a team of dental volunteers from Pennsylvania, USA arrived at La Isla Bonita on a quest to provide a week of dental services at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II from Monday, April 18th to Friday, April 22nd.
The dental group and volunteers dedicated a full week starting from 8AM to 11:45AM and 1 to 5 PM; providing the community of San Pedro with dental services such as cleaning, cavity fillings, fluoride applications and tooth extractions. Not only were their services open to all ages, but free of charge. They also donated useful supplies to the polyclinic’s dental room.
Dr. Boumerhi studied at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Dental Medicine, and along with the support of his wife, Holly Boumerhi, they decided to become active in helping those who can’t afford dental work.
“Years ago, I help set up a clinic in Jamaica, but my kids were younger and I never had the opportunity to practice and help out. Since my kids are now older, I have more free time to give back to the community and volunteer,” said Pierre.
San Pedro Town prepping to combat Zika
Currently, San Pedro is actively producing a municipal action engagement preparedness and response plan to combat Zika and promote vector control interventions that prevents the spread of the virus. The dynamics of Zika is rapidly changing, and so far, San Pedro is the only municipality in Belize to instill a plan as it relates, not only regarding Zika, but all vector borne diseases. As the plan for San Pedro is broken down into four areas: the actual drafting of the plan, the educational component, eradicating mosquitoes, and preparing for confirmed cases, the SPTC is looking to target the student population by having educational campaigns and several activities. “We will use children to voice child friendly ads as it relates to mosquito-borne diseases and children are San Pedro’s largest group that could help successfully promote awareness about preventative methods,” said Aldana. In the coming weeks, the SPTC will be proactive in educating children by visiting schools and lecturing inside classrooms. The SPTC will be sharing flyers that include information relating to mosquito borne diseases, distributing educational kits, and a poster competition is being arranged.
Matachica donates vehicle to Police Department
Matachica Resort and Spa is no stranger to giving back to La Isla Bonita. In the past, Matachica has embarked in projects to help various organizations. The San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) has benefitted from the resort’s generosity, having received help in both housing and transportation.
On Friday, April 15th, Gricel Graniel, Executive Director of Matachica, Daniel Lighter, Owner, and Mayor Daniel Guerrero, handed over a 2003 Saturn VUE SUV to the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB). Receiving the donation was Office in Charge the Coastal Executive Unit, Sandra Bowden and Deputy Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Henry Jemmott. “We had already donated vehicles to the police, but one of them had a mechanical error. Instead of fixing the vehicle, we decided to donate another vehicle to the CIB Unit of the SPPD because they really needed a replacement,” said Graniel.
San Mateo residents to benefit from CDB grant
Residents of San Mateo, Ambergris Caye are rejoicing at the news that a grant has been allocated by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to alleviate some of the structural problems in their subdivision. Representatives of the CDB, Belize Water Services (BWS), and The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) held a series of consultations at the Holy Cross Anglican School (HCAS) in an effort to better understand the issues affecting San Mateo.
The first consultation took place on Tuesday, April 12th, where one of the topics discussed was the proper installation of a sewer system. The consultation provided first- hand insight into the living conditions residents face every day in San Mateo. CDB Consultant Dr. Roy Young acknowledged that knowing the vulnerabilities when it comes to their surroundings will further assist them in improving the quality of life for the residents in that area of the island.
Belize/Guatemala Tension Peaks with Shooting of Guatemalan Minor
The Government of Belize has requested the support of the Organization of American States (OAS) in conducting a verification exercise to ascertain the facts surrounding the shooting incident which occurred on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park in western Belize.
According to initial reports, Belizean security forces were on a patrol to investigate illegal clearings in the protected area. At about 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, they detained without incident, 33-year-old Guatemalan national Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, who was found conducting illegal activities in our Chiquibul National Park.
As darkness descended later in the day, at about 7:00 p.m. the patrol came under fire. The patrol returned fire in self-defense and decided to depart from the location which is approximately 580 meters east of the border. Prior to departure they conducted their standard clearance procedure and discovered the seemingly lifeless body of a minor.
Misc Belizean Sources
Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar in session at Price Barrack
Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar is in session this morning at Price Barracks, Ladyville with Commander of the Belize Defence Force Brigadier General David Jones; Rear Admiral John Borland, Commander of the National Coast Guard; Acting Commissioner of Police Russel Blackett; and CEO Colonel (Ret’d) George Lovell of the Ministry of National Security.
This strategic military planning session is in advance of and in preparation for the meeting of the National Security Council to be held later today to determine our further course of action in light of the developing situation on our borders.
From the Yellow-headed parrot monitoring crew
Charles Britt, Roni Martinez, Isael Mai, and others (posted on FB today): "Past evidence of nest poaching is obvious as this female Yellow-headed Parrot sites at the entrance of a nest cavity. The machete chop marks remain from a previous year when a poacher opened up a hole to access the chicks." To Alejandro Horcasitas, Ilana Lapid, Daniel Velazquez Artist, Alex Alonso, your films are going to help tell this story. Thank you Carol Farneti Foster for advising/consulting on these - you're invaluable!
Belize Alumni Association Board Elections
Belize Alumni Association is holding its annual board elections on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at the U.S. Embassy Belmopan. If you participated in a U.S. Embassy Exchange program please join us in electing your board members! Or run for a position!!!
PLEASE NOTE YOU MUST BE AN ALUMNI TO PARTICIPATE!!!! Please note the U.S. Embassy will verify your status as an alumni when you RSVP.
List of Belize Alumni Association Board Positions and Duties:
Each member is elected to a one year terms.
Elections will be held April every year to coincide with the first election.
Seine Bight Rising
Imagine a beachside village of dynamic artists and entrepreneurs; this is Seine Bight. Yet, no tourism touches this town due to appearance. Help us paint the homes in bright colors to share Seine Bight with the world!
Ocean Academy and the High School Innovation Challenge
Ocean Academy's Buddy Magana (alumni 2015) and Principal Heidi Curry joined the Ministry of Education to speak on national TV about the High School Innovation Challenge (interview starts at 1:29 at https://vimeo.com/162693845). Our school team won last year with their mobile app "Hire Belize" to address high youth unemployment. Ashtasia and Adaly, members of last year's winning team, are again competing with a new student team in this year's challenge themed Innovation in Education. Before the Ocean Academy interview is an interesting interview about Robotics at Belize High School, which is a topic our students also find very interesting.
Farmers Market at The Truck Stop
Our first monthly Farmers Market is this Saturday from 11am-2pm, and we have some GREAT vendors. With Debbie Piratehearts, Ian Anderson, Harriette Fisher, Home Baked Bread - and more, The Farm House Deli, Belize Chocolate, Ricky's Spice Shack - Belize and Ambergreens Ltd. Organic Aquaponics Greenhouse.
Prime Minister Barrow Convenes National Security Council Meeting
While at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Prime Minister Barrow met with the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and apprised the United Nations of what has transpired and the increase tension between both countries, and requested the UN's good offices to urge both sides to respect the Confidence Building Measures. He also met and briefed the CARICOM Secretary General and the Prime Minister of Barbados. Prime Minister Barrow also spoke to the OAS Secretary General via telephone and updated him on the situation surrounding this issue.
The Belize security forces assured the NSC that they are on a heightened state of alert and will remain vigilant. The lines of communication remain open between the Belize Defence Force and the Guatemalan Armed Forces and our international partners and allies remain fully briefed on this situation.
Prime Minister Barrow gave an audio statement which has been circulated to the media and he will address the nation at a press conference on Monday after he returns to the country.
Global Big Day - May 14th, 2016
What is a Big Day? Big Days have become a tradition among birders. You form a team, start counting birds from midnight and end midnight, a full 24 hours of crazy fun birding. Ideally you want to cover a not-too-large area but with as many different habitats as possible, in order to get the most diverse set of birds. A Global Big Day is precisely that... ALL over the world! But, what exactly is eBird? Every single professional birder uses this to keep track of his/her own sightings but more than that, eBird maximizes the efficiency of that effort and uses your data for a bigger conservation purpose.
eBird is a real-time, online checklist program, which has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.
eBird’s goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence. For example, in May 2015, participants reported more than 9.5 million bird observations across the world!
PM Barrow Meets President Morales In NY: Pledges to "De-Escalate"
Tonight, Belizeans can breathe just a little easier - because the news at this hour is that Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with his Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales in New York - and Morales agreed to de-escalate. It happened in the margins of the signing of the UN Climate Change Agreement - which both leaders are attending at the United Nations. Via telephone, the Prime Minister sent a synopsis of the meeting to Belizean media houses. Here's how he explained their meeting.
"I have today met with President Morales in the marching of the UN Climate Change signing ceremony. I have indicated to President Morales that the position taken by him and his government cannot conduce to peace and that there is an immediate need to de-escalate tensions. We agreed that all measures will be taken to achieve end. We agreed that while we are awaiting the results of the inquiry, contact/dialogue must be maintained to ensure that there are no breaches of the peace that exists between Belize and Guatemala."
The View Across The Sarstoon Clear
According to the Guatemalan Government's twitter feed, most of those troops will be deployed to the Sarstoon area, which the Guatemalan's seem to want to annex - even though half the river is theirs, and half is for Belize.
Now that river is right at the edge of the Toledo District, so today we flew down to Punta Gorda to see if they had started any amassing of troops or arms on their side of the river. Daniel Ortiz reports:...
Shortly after arriving in PG, the Belize City based media houses quickly boarded the boat arranged by Border Activist Wil Maheia.
The intention was to go the Sarstoon Border, since hearing the bold public statements from Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales to increase military presence at the Borders.
Guate-Fear In Belize's Southern-most Town
And so we've already show you what it's like on the banks of the Sarstoon River where Guatemalan troops are not visible in any significant numbers. But how do the folks in Punta Gorda feel? Here's what they told us about the possibility of hostile troops very near to them, which could escalate if just one soldier has an itchy trigger finger:
Later on, you'll hear public opinion from the streets Belize City.
PUP Says Pres Morales' Motives Transparent
At the top of the news you heard about the Prime Minister's meeting with the Guatemalan President who has agreed to de-escalate. Time will tell what that means on the ground, but in some sense, the damage is already done. Observers say President Jimmy Morales has already shown his hand as a reactionary. One who completed his one hundredth day in the Presidency today and is not getting rave reviews in his home country. In fact, a huge protest was held today in Guatemala City by tens of thousands of indigenous people. So he could be using the old Belizean threat as a distraction. And the PUP didn't mince words in accusing him of that today. The PUP held an emergency executive meeting today - and when it was done the new representative in the Belize Guatemala negotiations Eamon Courtenay addressed the media.
Eamon Courtenay, PUP Rep., BZ, Guatemala Relations:
"The People's United Party condemns in the strongest possible terms, the aggression by Guatemala by amassing troops at the border. We also condemn and reject its assertion of sovereignty over the Sarstoon. "
Opposition Finds OAS Language Curious
But while the Prime Minister's statement served to somewhat take the edge off a very tense period in Belize's history, the OAS may have taken things in the other direction. The Organization issued a statement today that angered many Belizeans.
It notes the central event, which is the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan minor. The statement says, quote, the "OAS...repudiates the death of a Guatemalan minor at the hands of a Belizean patrol...During the incident on April 20, in addition to the death of the minor, his father and brother were wounded by gunfire. The OAS expresses its most sincere condolences to the family.
It adds, quote,
"This incident reinforces the need to observe the confidence building measures in place, in order to prevent future confrontations or situations that could put at risk the peace and stability in the Adjacency Zone, as well as in the area of the Sarstoon River."
PUP Still Considering A Revised Position ON ICJ
And finally from the opposition, the party has yet to reach a final, revised position on the ICJ. Today, Senator Courtney explained the concern:..
Eamon Courtenay, PUP Rep., BZ, Guatemala Relations:
"This type of behavior by Guatemala does nothing to give the Belizean people any confidence that that is a realistic approach. This could be very counterproductive is people want this matter to be resolved at the ICJ, but the party has the matter under review. I can tell you that the debate within the party is robust, the debate is not one side at all. I can't tell you what the outcome is going to be, but what I can tell you is this, the fundamental concern of the People's United Party is what is happening on the ground day in day out, what is happening in the Sarstoon day in day out. I think it is, and I speak for myself, romantic to talk about going to the ICJ when Guatemala tells me I can't go down to Sarstoon. I think it is divorced from reality to talk about going into the ICJ and asking the Belizean people to vote yes in a referendum where we have the Guatemalans invading the Chiquibul. These things are connected and if Guatemala is not behaving today like a responsible member of the world community of nations, then we don't go to court with them."
City Is Militant Against Guatemala
So the last we heard officially from the Guatemalan President, he had given his army directions to amass at the Belize border. And the Guatemalan Government's twitter page has been regularly posting pictures of the armed forces on the move, saying they are, quote, "going to protect the sovereignty and protect the population" in the adjacency zone.
In line with that the Guatemalans sent out a lengthy press release this morning disputing what the Belize government put out yesterday. The release refers to the murder of Danny Conorquie and the shooting of Staff Sargent Lambey. It says, quote, "The Government of Belize insinuates in their press release that there have been Guatemalans who killed a member of the Belizean Police Force and who shot at a member of the BDF. If the Government of Belize has proof of that, they should present it and not limit themselves to accusation without proof."
National Security Council Meets
And while Belize City citizens are ready to go to war to protect their home, they might be consoled to know that the National Security Council has also taken a hardline. Security Minister John Saldivar met this morning with the senior command of the security forces. A press release says that quote, "all security forces have been placed on high alert and a short term strategy has been devised to deal with further possible incidents along the border areas and in the Sarstoon."
To follow up on that, a meeting of the National Security Council was held this afternoon at the Prime Minister's office - and it was chaired by Acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. It finished at a few minutes to six, and he briefed the media on the most important decisions taken today:..
Into The Chiquibul Tangle
And so while all this happens in the foreground, in the background lies that vast expanse of green - 414 resource rich square miles, which are being daily plundered by Guatemalan campesinos for land, and by bandits for logwood, Xate, Gold and wild game as well as endangered species.
By sheer coincidence, our news team of Emanuel Pech and Angel Noble were on a 12 mile hike in the Chiquibul on the same day the shooting happened - and, in fact, if they didn't have to pull out by nightfall, they might have been near to where it happened.
Yesterday we showed you the first part of that report came upon the first illegal clearings for milpa farming. Tonight, we have part two of that report as our team treads deeper into the Chiquibul, in the middle of a hot zone for illegal encroachment. Here is that report.
Small Girl Drowns
A little girl, who suffers from epilepsy, drowned in the village of Biscayne yesterday. According to police, on April 21st sometime around 3:45 in the evening 8 year old Kimera Dominguez, a student of 24 miles Philip Goldson Highway, was at home when she ran outside to meet her cousins who were coming off the school bus. However to go from her house to the road side, she had to cross a man-made pond. Authorities believed that as she was making her way across this pond she fell inside. She couldn't swim, and as resulted drowned. Her cousin pulled her out and tried to administer CPR, but in vain. She died before authorities could reach.
Que Viva Vendors
And in news that is completely unrelated to the Guatemalan situation, on Wednesday, the Belize City Council gave a couple of South Side Food Vendors a tent. If you can recall, last week, Darrel Grant and his wife Ishtar Williams, a young couple from West Collet Canal, were victimized by some Tourism police officers who forced them to take down their shed. This was done with no authority from the police department nor from the Belize City Council. It became a problem when a neighbor, who is also a special constable complained that they were conducting their business too close to his property. So he seems to have taken it upon himself to order them to take it down. But that's where he stepped out of line. The City Council made their own investigation into the matter and found out that even the community praised them for their positive impact on the children in the area. So after some discussions, on Wednesday they delivered the promised tent.
Belize Breathes (A Little) Easier
So, to recap where we are tonight - no amassment of troops or arms were seen on the Guatemalan side of the Chiquibul today. But the Guatemalan government continues to post pictures on its twitter feed, like these which show the military attending the funeral for 13 year old Julio Alvarado - who was fatally shot by the BDF. They also continue to post pictures of their military mobilizing to the adjacency zone. And there are also photos of his injured father recovering in the hospital. The BDF says they came under fire from the Guatemalans on Wednesday night 380 meters inside Belize, and were forced to return fire in the dark. The child's body was not found until they were clearing out the area.
Prime Minister Barrow Addresses Heightened Border Tension
There is an escalating crisis between Belize and Guatemala that is reaching tipping point. In recent days, Guatemala has adopted an aggressive stand against Belize especially in the Sarstoon where [...]
PM Barrow Reminds Guatemalan President about the Murder of Danny Conorquie
Guatemala earlier today issued a statement saying that ten Guatemalan civilians had been killed by Belizean troops. But there is also the murder of Danny Connorquie and the shooting of [...]
P.M. Meets with Senior UN and O.A.S. Officials in the United States
As tensions continue to mount, the Prime Minister is meeting with high level officials from the United Nations, the O.A.S. and the international community. Here on the ground, the government [...]
National Security Council Convenes Urgent Meeting in Belize City
Here in Belize City, the National Security Council met this afternoon at the Office of the Prime Minister in Belize City, following a meeting this morning between Minister of National [...]
Opposition Leader Addresses Nation as Guatemala Increases Aggression
As the government of Guatemala becomes more aggressive, The People’s United Party has been swift in issuing a statement following an emergency executive meeting at Independence Hall. P.U.P. Leader John [...]
Is Guatemala Attempting to Annex the Sarstoon?
As we said, the People’s United Party held an emergency meeting this morning in light of the amassing of troops in the Sarstoon as well as at the Adjacency Zone. [...]
Senator Eamon Courtenay Weighs in on Belize/Guatemala Hostility
Senator Courtenay explains that once Guatemala moves its troops to exercise their so called sovereignty, it is a clear case of annexation which if left undone, becomes a permanent situation. [...]
True Story of Guatemalan Aggression must be Internationalized
Courtenay goes on to say that the internationalization of the Belize/Guatemala crisis, in light of the shooting death of a minor in the Chiquibul, is being used by Guatemalan army [...]
O.A.S. Issues Statement Repudiating Death of Guatemalan Minor in Chiquibul
Secretary General of the O.A.S., Luis Almagro, was sitting comfortably witnessing a Culture for Peace Program at the Adjacency Zone on Wednesday removed from what was happening at the Sarstoon [...]
O.A.S. is Aware of Guatemalan’s Pillaging Belize’s Natural Resources
Senator Eamon Courtenay, this morning expressed dismay at the O.A.S. pointing out that the organization is well aware of the plunder of Belize’s resources in the Chiquibul by Guatemalan nationals. [...]
Military Occupation of Sarstoon; Is it Really Happening?
Since we visited the Sarstoon on Wednesday for the inauguration of the joint operations Forward Operating Base a lot has happened. A Guatemalan minor was shot and killed in the [...]
Western Border Open but Business Slows Down Considerably
Aside from the Sarstoon, we headed to Benque which is the western town on the border with Guatemala. We witnessed Guatemalan children crossing the border to attend school in Belize. [...]
U.S. State Department Issues Release on Chiquibul Shooting
Apart from the O.A.S. and Mexico issuing statements on the latest developments between Belize and Guatemala, the U.S. State Department made a brief comment on the escalated tension. The press [...]
What is Mexico’s Interest in Belize and Guatemala Keeping the Peace?
The government of Mexico has also issued a statement. Our neighbor to the north reiterates its support for the efforts of both countries to advance the solution to the dispute [...]
Courtenay and Elrington Set Aside Differences in the Interest of Belize
The P.U.P. leader told News Five on Thursday that Senator Eamon Courtenay continues as his chief representative on the advisory group to the Belize/Guatemala issue. Former Minister Assad Shoman has [...]
Wil Maheia Lashes out at O.A.S.
The Organization of American States has issued a release on the fatal shooting of Guatemalan minor Julio Rene Alvarado, in the Chiquibul on Wednesday. The release states that, “the O.A.S. [...]
Will BTV Proceed with Planned Trip to Sarstoon?
The Belize Territorial Volunteers will be heading to Sarstoon on Saturday, April thirtieth. Or will they? Maheia has been accused of provoking the Guatemalans, so he is certainly on the [...]
Two Orange Walkenos Sentenced For Robbery
Two Orange Walk men were today sentenced to serve two years imprisonment after they were found guilty of the charge of robbery.
The two individuals, namely Gustavo Hernandez and Christian Sutherland were arrested and charged back in May 11, 2015 for the broad daylight armed robbery at Luda’s Fast Food at the corner of Guadalupe Street and the Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town.
At the time of the incident 41 year old Chinese businesswoman Ling Yu Huang reported to police that sometime around 2:45p.m on that day, while at her business place attending to a customer, two male persons with their faces covered and wearing camouflage hats entered the establishment and robbed them at gunpoint.
Guatemalan President Reacts On Fatal Shooting Of 13 Year Old Minor
Tonight the tension between Belize and Guatemala is on the rise as Guatemala is accusing Belizean authorities of fatally shooting a thirteen year old Guatemalan minor at the Adjacency Zone.
Today at around 5:00 in the evening GOB issued a statement on the matter, we will have that for you in a few, but the first to comment on the incident was Guatemalan press, Prensa Libre, who stated that sometime between the hours of 6:00 and 7:00 yesterday evening BDF soldiers allegedly shot and killed a minor, and injured two others while they were planting pumpkin seeds near the adjacency zone.
The report alleges that 48 year old Carlos Alvarado and his sons, 11 year old Carlos Alvarado and 13 year Julio Alvarado, were shot multiple times and that the BDF carried away the 13 year old boy who had received several gunshot wounds to the body. Reports coming from family members are that the minor allegedly died in a hospital in Belize while the others were taken to the Melchor de Mencos hospital for treatment.
Office Of The Prime Minister Response To President Morales' Statement
While GOB issued a release relating their version of what occurred at the Chiquibul, just before news time the Office of the Prime Minister sent out a release rejecting the version of events made by President Jimmy Morales during his statement issued today regarding the incident in Belize’s Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park.
According to the release, Belizean Security Forces and law enforcement officials would never perpetrate an armed attack on civilians especially minors except in exercise of the right to self-defense. The Government of Belize reiterates that the mandate and authority given to Belize law enforcement and security agencies to enforce Belizean laws and protect Belize’s natural resources and territorial integrity is at all times implemented on the basis of recourse to the use of force only as a last and justified resort, says the release.
CJC Ends Drug Awareness Week
The high rate of drug abuse among college students worldwide including Belize can be attributed to a number of factors ranging from stress and most commonly peer pressure.
Here in the north the Corozal Junior College (C.J.C) last week held a drug awareness week under the theme “Drugs are Bullies don’t let them destroy your school life.”
The week started off with radio talk shows and banner competitions on drug related topics. The week, which concluded on Tuesday, also included testimonials of recovering alcoholics and drug users. According to president of CJC Student Government, John Marin Jr. and Dean of CJC Jose Mai, agree that everyone should be involved in motivating students not to use drugs and alcohol.
Will OAS Investigates Shooting At Chiquibul?
As mentioned, the Government of Belize has requested the support of the Organization of American States in conducting a verification exercise to ascertain the facts surrounding the shooting incident that claimed the life of 13 year old Julio Alvarado.
Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro was asked during a press briefing, which we will tell you about in a few, to provide input on the shooting incident. Almagro expressed that while the OAS is deeply concerned about this incident, they cannot intervene on the issue until they are asked to do so by both countries.
General Jones Dissapointed About Guatemala Rejection Towards Proposals
As for Guatemala’s presence inside Belize’s territorial waters during the inauguration of the forward operating base, Commandant of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones, described it as alertness on their behalf:
Brigadier General David Jones – Belize Defense Force Commandant:
“Well, it shows that they are on alert and they are going to continuously be alert and apart from the BDF and the Coast Guard our civilian forces also has to be aware that the Guatemalans are alert, this is an international border it shared between us and them so they are rightfully concern if any one comes in to the river that they may be going in to Guatemalan waters so I am not surprised that they are here I expected them here because that is what they should if there some activity occurring in their side and we would see a lot of vessels coming in to the river we equally be alert as well too to take a look and to be concern on what is happening in the river.”
GOB Says Belizean Authorities Acted In Self Defense
Now, while the Government of Guatemala is claiming that BDF soldiers surprised Alvarado and his sons and opened fire on them as they were planting pumpkin seeds between 6:00 and 7:00 yesterday evening, a release from the Government of Belize is relating a different story.
GOB is saying that according to initial reports, yesterday Belizean security forces were on a patrol in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park in western Belize to investigate illegal clearings when at about 5:00 p.m. they detained without incident, 33 year old Guatemalan national Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, who was found conducting illegal activities in the Chiquibul National Park.