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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
First ever labour Day beach bash at ‘Secret Beach!’
Perhaps the most anticipated beach parties in the entire country of Belize take place on Ambergris Caye. The island is already well known for its festive vibes all year round, and for this year’s Labour Day weekend celebrations, DJ Chabo along with DMad 1, Dehydration Mighty Soud took party lovers to a different level of beach partying. Sponsored by My Beautiful Belize Visitor Guide, Green Lizard Juice, and Belikin Beer, the first-ever beach bash brought island residents to the not-so ‘Secret Beach.’
The location was unknown to me. I heard about it a few times, but in reality had no idea where it was, other than ‘a couple miles up the coast’ of the island. So the day came and I was excited to be at this new spot that everyone had been talking about. I mean, no one wanted to miss this first beach bash at the Secret Beach. It was the inauguration of an annual event and was definitely a ‘be there or nowhere’ event!
After a good drive, the beach came into view and soon I was in the middle of the live jamboree. People lined the beach and danced to the tunes of DJ Chabo.
Potential Zika case returns back negative
On Wednesday, April 27th, the Ministry of Health (MOH) shared some highly anticipated news after receiving the results from one of several blood samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad to be tested for the Zika virus. The MOH confirmed the result from the first patient to be negative for Zika, but was tested positive for Dengue—another leading disease that is carried by the same Aedes Aegypti mosquito. After Belize was listed under the “Center for Disease Control” (CDC) list of travel advisories, speculation to whether or not the country has Zika raised concern locally and internationally. In April, southern districts of Belize had several outbreaks of potential cases and samples were collected and sent out for additional testing. Because Belize does not have equipment to properly detect mosquito-borne diseases like Zika, Dengue, or Chikungunya, the waiting period take weeks.
“Experience the Power of Plants” at SPHS Science Fair
From coconuts to carrots to coffee beans, the healthy benefits of Belize’s plants were creatively demonstrated at San Pedro High School’s (SPHS) annual Science Fair on Friday, April 29th. The Angel Nuñez Auditorium showcased thirty-three vibrantly decorated booths that focused on this year’s theme of “Experience the Power of Plants.” SPHS is never short of talent, whether it be sports or academics, and these students showcased their creativity and uniqueness. The SPHS student body, teachers, parents, and community members visited the different booths, evaluating, and critiquing each group’s performance. Belize is known for its abundance of exotic plants, fruits, herbs, and roots which have many healing properties. Students excelled at utilizing the array of flora that are readily available in the country for their projects. Each group brainstormed brilliant ideas, and came up with products in the form of teas, juices, oils, food, and pastries. The ultimate purpose of these products was to help boost the immune system, support weight loss, reduce hypertension, cholesterol, anemia, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
SPRC says good-bye to Shirlee Arnould
After six plus years of dedicated work as the Branch Coordinator of the San Pedro Red Cross Branch (SPRC), Shirlee Arnould left the country on Sunday, May 1st, bound for a new adventure in her professional life. To commemorate her time in office, the SPRC, along with close friends, held a farewell dinner party for Arnould on Wednesday, April 20th at El Divino Restaurant. Before the party started, Arnould was acknowledged by the entire SPRC staff for her hard work and dedication to the organization. The Media and Communications Officer of SPRC, Laurie Norton thanked Arnould for her unconditional assistance to the organization and commended her for always maintaining the branch up to date with its daily functions. At the meeting it was also announced that while a new Branch Coordinator is chosen, Aimee Fearneyhough will remain responsible for the First Aid/CPR Training functions of the branch. All inquiries are to be directed to her at [email protected] or via phone at 629-8707. When it comes to Blood Drives and Blood Requests, Heidi Simmons will be responsible, and she can be contacted via [email protected] or via phone at 605-8798. All other SPRC related inquiries should be directed to the Chairman, Eiden Salazar at 610-0597 or via email at [email protected]
3 males detained for possession of drugs and firearms
On Tuesday, May 3rd, three Hispanic males were detained and arrested for the possession of drugs and illegal firearms. Police Constable (PC) Genero Samos #1025, along with (Corporal) Cpl Jose Blanco #400 were conducting mobile patrols on Sea Grape Drive in San Pedro Town, when shortly after, information was received that the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch personnel had detained three male persons at a dock located at the Mosquito Coast Area, approximately one mile south of San Pedro Town. PC Samos walked toward the beach to a dock, where they saw three men detained by three security officers of the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch. The men were identified as 20-year-old Christian Espat of San Pedrito area, 19-year-old Rene Kumul of DFC area and 20-year-old Jose Armando Guillen, Salvadoran of Sea Grape Drive, all in San Pedro Town. The security officers also brought forth a black knapsack that the detainees left after attempting to escape.
First ever Labour day weekend bash at ‘Secret Beach.’
Belizeans across the country celebrated the Labour Day Weekend with a variety of fun activities. From the popular Agriculture and Trade Show in the capital city of Belmopan, to sporting events and beach parties, the entire country was in a celebratory mode. Ambergris Caye was no exception, and on Sunday, May 1st, island residents enjoyed a great beach party at the popular spot known as “Secret Beach” located north of San Pedro Town. The all day bash began shortly after 10AM, with a huge crowd of people making their way to the beach area within the Grand Belizean Estates development. People arrived via boat, golf cart, motorbike and even bicycles, nobody wanted to miss this one of a kind event. Revellers danced the day away to the finest tunes brought by DJ Chabo, DMad 1, and Dehydration Mighty Sound. Bartenders kept the drinks coming, including the famous ‘Green Lizard Juice.’ Fabulous prizes were raffled during the event, and drink specials were announced at the end of every hour. Before the event wrapped up, Karma and Nitro performed on stage, to the delight of the attendees.
Fundraiser held for Frank Panton
The island community never fails to lend a helping hand. On Friday, April 29th, a coin drive, and food and bake sale was held to raise funds for Winston Frank Panton. Panton, an active member of the community, is in need of financial assistance following his cancer diagnosis. As such, long-time friends of Panton, volunteers from Red Cross, and students from La Isla Bonita Elementary gathered to raise money for Panton’s medical expenses. If you would like to assist Frank Panton with donations to help finance his medical costs, please contact him at 628-2542. The San Pedro Sun would like to acknowledge Frank Panton in this difficult time, along with his great achievements and efforts that have helped the community of San Pedro.
A visit to the doctor led to the discovery of Panton having an advanced state of cancer. The disease has spread to his spinal cord, and he now needs immediate medical attention. Marisa Salazar, a long-time friend of Panton, willingly assisted the drive and invited people to stop by and make a donation. “We are trying to raise funds so he can get treatment. Even though we are showing support, he needs a lot of prayers too,” said Salazar.
Faith Edgar crowned Miss SPHS 2016-2017
It was a night of beauty and elegance on Saturday, April 30th as San Pedro High School (SPHS) hosted their annual ‘Miss SPHS’ pageant. Hundreds packed the Angel Nuñez Auditorium for an exciting show comprised of many entertaining segments, and of course, the election of the 2016-2017 SPHS beauty ambassador. After one last performance, the lovely ladies made their final appearance onstage dressed in beautiful gowns. But, beauty went beyond looks in this category as it also consisted of a “Q & A” segment. All four contestants were challenged with randomly selected questions based on community and social issues. Each contestant answered her question with grace and to their best intellectual ability. The pressure in the auditorium escalated as the announcement of the winner finally arrived. But before announcing the winner of Miss SPHS 2016-2017, Nuñez announced the winner for the side categories. Lisandra was named Miss Popularity, while the titles of Miss Photogenic and Ms. Congeniality were both awarded to Janelly, and Miss Amity and Miss Eloquence went to Norma Lopez.
The first runner-up was Janelly Aban, and the new Miss SPHS, Faith Edgar, was crowned by the outgoing Miss SPHS Shelia Chi. The crowd cheered loudly for Faith, who graciously waved from onstage. Among many prizes, Faith received a one-year scholarship to SPHS, a one-day sailing tour with 15 friends, various gift certificates, and a grand prize from Warpaint.
Atlantic Hurricane Season Predictions for 2016 - Always Good to be Prepared
The Season’s Activity Highly Depends on a COLD BLOB in the North Atlantic - Did you know that 2016 already had a hurricane developing outside of the Atlantic Hurricane Season? Hurricane Alex developed in January, becoming the first hurricane for 2016, breaking normal records of storms developing within the hurricane season. So the first storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season will be named Bonnie. Hurricane predictions for this year has a forecast of a slightly above average season.
Not to scare anybody, but the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be the most active since 2012, according to a forecast released by The Weather Company, an IBM Business. This still has it at an average season when it comes to storm activity.
Misc Belizean Sources
FREEKS WILD WORLD to Film in Belize in May!
Dr. Freek Vonk is world famous in the Netherlands for his television programs, in which he shares his love for wildlfe with his viewers on his popular documentary series FREEKS WILD WORLD.
SECOND NATURE, is a collaboration between Dr Freek Vonk and TVBV, creating high-quality productions, combined with a lot of passion and a great fascination for nature and animals. Recent titles include 'Freeks Wild World', 'Freek Vonk in Latin America' and a series on wildlife crime in South Africa.
Dr. Freek Vonk is an internationally renowned Dutch biologist with a PhD in snake venom from
Leiden University. He works at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden and has 15 years of experience in handling reptile species, and published in prestigious scientific journals like Nature, Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. He is a writer for National Geographic Magazine and a host/presenter for several successful TV-documentaries about evolution and biodiversity. Besides the program Dr. Vonk is active in many other media like, radio, magazines and has many followers on social media.
FREEKS WILD WORLD is broadcasted on the Dutch public channel NPO3, in a series of 20 episodes of which 5 episodes will be filmed in Belize in May! The upcoming series will be aired in the fall of 2016 and the show is expected to reach over 500,000 viewers per episode.
For his upcoming shoot in Belize, the Belize Hotel Association and our representative in Europe, Sander Langeveld, were instrumental in securing accommodations at our member properties and assisting with other logistics that were required.
We look forward to welcoming Dr. Freek Vonk and the Second Nature team to Belize this month!!
Letter: Egregious and dictatorial move by Belize PM, from Belize Progressive Party (BPP)
Amid the egregious and dictatorial move by the Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow, to intentionally impinge upon the rights of Belizeans to move freely on the Sarstoon River, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) commits to ensuring that such contemptuous treatment of our citizens shall not be summarily dismissed. We contend that accountability must be ensured.
We draw the attention of the public to the following points, which are imperative, moving forward, so as to not afford the willful despotism of the political directorate to go unchecked. These include:
• Assessing the response of the Guatemalan Congress, regarding the PM’s surrendering of sovereignty over the northern portion of the Sarstoon River, by way of his enacting the S.I., in light of Guatemala’s current, physical control of the area
Costing & Pricing Workshop
Mrs. Vicky Heredia.
Date of Workshop:
May 12th, 2016.
9am - 12 noon.
La Inmaculda Credit Union's Training Room, 5 Park Street, Orange Walk Town, Belize. Objectives: The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills and capabilities to determine all costs related to the production of their goods or services and to consequently apply an adequate price that encompasses all the costs and allows them to make a profit while still being feasible for customers. Objectives of the training is to enable participants to better understand the importance of costing and pricing, acquire information about techniques used to calculate costs, acquire information on how to adequately price a product or service, participate in exercises that allow to engage in costing and pricing. Expected outcome: Competent individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively calculate cost of producing their product and service and to implement pricing that will allow their business to be profitable.
Life of a Yogi with Alexandra Santos, on Caye Caulker
Coming this June 3,4,5! This workshop will teach you about nutrition , your body and Yoga!
San Pedranos with drugs, ammo. and Sub Machine Gun
On Tuesday the 3rd of May, 2016 while police were conducting mobile patrols on Sea Grape Drive San Pedro Town they were handed over three men who were detained by the South Neighborhood Watch personnel at a pier located at Mosquito Coast area approximately 1 mile south of San Pedro Town. The men were identified as 20-year-old Christian Espat of San Pedrito area, 19-year-old Rene Kumul of DFC area and 20-year-old Jose Armando Guillen Salvadoran of Sea Grape Drive. The security guards also produced a black knapsack which they indicated the male persons left behind after attempting to run away containing 11 shotgun cartridges and three rounds of 6.75mm ammunition.
At the pier also was a vessel with a 115 h/p outboard engine with the name SUPA D. A search of the vessel yielded a large yellow plastic which contained 978.8 grams of Cannabis. A search of the area also led to the discovery of one 12 gauge pump action shotgun Mossberg Maverick model S/N 9127L black in colour, loaded with four 12 gauge cartridges and one black MP-40 9mm Sub Machine gun with retractable/folded butt bearing number 3200 along two empty magazines. All men were jointly charged with Drug Trafficking and (2) counts of Kept ammunition without a gun license, Kept Prohibited Firearm and Kept a firearm without a gun license.
Eco-Kids Camp 2016, Chaa Creek
Chaa Creek's #Eco-Kids summer camp gives 24 lucky primary school children the opportunity to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience filled with fun and learning for 7 Days at our Macal River Camp
Contact Jared Bradley via [email protected] for entries and more information or visit http://ow.ly/4n9KB6.
Guatemalas Military action in Belize affects Indigenous People
Guatemala is notorious for its modern day attempt at Genocide of indigenous people, during their civil war, for which many of the perpetrators of the Genocide have not yet been brought to justice. Guatemalas claim to fame is the slaughter of indigenous people. True to form and fulfilling the worlds expectation of them their policy of not allowing Belizeans in the Sarstoon river affects only indigenous people who immediately felt the result of that policy. They cannot provide for themselves in their traditional way. That right to provide for themselves in their traditional ways are rights protected under international law. Another right they violate is using the Sarstoon River which borders Belize and Guatemala without the free prior and informed consent.
The Guatemala Military is so powerful one wonders if their Government which is supposed to be civilian is not a case of the Military tail wagging the dog. Their policy to be overly aggressive in the Sarstoon affects indigenous people the day it was crafted. The Guatemalan government never cared for indigenous people their history proves that and their current situation as well. The Guatemala Armed Forces backed this current President. He needs them to stay in power. But the policy of keeping Belizeans out of the Sarstoon river is one that affects the indigenous people on their ancestral lands. It must immediately end. I urge the Garifuna Nation to address this issue!
Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Zoolander No. 2.
Tribute to Mama Show
TUNE INTO Tribute to Mama Show on Sunday, May 8th from 10:30am - 12pm. Live on KREM.
Fantasy Dining "wine n' dine on island time," Caye Caulker
Looking forward to hosting the karaoke that night!! Hoping our hard working Moms can make it out for a fantastic night, I can guarantee the entertainment will be lots of fun!
Belize belongs to Belizeans
By Wellington C. Ramos.
The Guatemalan claim to Belize, like all the claims that exist among the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, has its roots in the Treaty of Tordesillas that was signed between Spain and Portugal in 1493 and approved by the then Catholic Pope Alexander VI of Spain.
Neither Spain, Portugal nor the Catholic Pope had the right to come all the way to this part of the world to take away the land of the indigenous people of this planet. Such action is deemed as genocide committed by all those who were involved in this inhumane act.
All territories taken by these individuals must be returned to those who were there at the time they came to use force to wage an unjustified war against these people's nation states. In addition, all titles to land obtained by these Europeans must be voided and the lands must be handed back to the true owners – the indigenous people who live in these countries today.
Just look at the way Spain treated the Mayas in Guatemala from the time Alvarado conquered that nation state in the 1500s. It is the same way that the Guatemalan people and government have been treating the Maya people since Guatemala became independent in the 1820s.
Saga Humane Society in San Pedrito today
Saga Humane Society will be in San Pedrito today offering free spay and neuters. Don't miss the chance to fix your dog....no more unwanted puppies equals happy mama dog
Government of Belize Cautiously Optimistic about Meetings in Washington D.C.
The meeting among the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, the Belize Foreign Minister, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, the Permanent Representative of the United States to the OAS, Michael Fitzpatrick, and their respective delegations just concluded at the OAS Headquarters in Washington. The discussions covered the overall bilateral relations between both countries including the Sarstoon River. The Belize delegation are cautiously optimistic of the results and expect a statement to be issued later tonight by the Secretary General.
The Belize delegation returns to the country tomorrow afternoon and the Government will provide details of the meetings in a press briefing on Friday.
500 residents of Indian Church/San Carlos, Orange Walk District Will Now Have Easier Access to Quality Potable Water
Inauguration of Indian Church/San Carlos Hybrid Solar Water System will be held at 10 a.m. on May 5 in Indian Church/San Carlos, Orange Walk District.
Approximately 500 residents of Indian Church/San Carlos villages will now have easier access to the continuous supply of reliable quality potable water to meet their daily water needs such as drinking, washing, bathing and cooking.
The hybrid solar water project was funded by the Government of Belize at a cost of $867,333.29 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. It represents the unwavering commitment of the Government addressing the basic needs of Belizeans, in the areas of water, sanitation and health.
Furthermore, the water project will significantly contribute in the reduction of water-borne, food borne and vector borne diseases in addition to communicable and non-communicable diseases for residents of Indian Church/San Carlos, and by extension, the people of Belize. Thus the completion of the water project also demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the Government of Belize to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals, as it relates to water; which is to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
Elisa Espinosa Gomez and Mingo Tor nuptials
The International Costa Maya Pageant committee sends congratulations to Elisa Espinosa Gomez and Mingo Tor for their wedding day this Saturday.
BEL is working to restore power supply to portions of Belmopan and portions of the Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize Districts
Currently experiencing power interruptions as a result of bad weather in those areas.
BEL is repairing fallen high voltage lines, responsible for power interruption affecting Pueblo Viejo, Saltillos, Copper Bank, Chunox, Orchid Bay, Sarteneja, Joseito Layout and Dominguez Layout since 8:02pm Wed May 4
BEL apologizes for the inconvenience while our crews work diligently to restore power supply as soon as possible.
FCD research staff learn about crocodilian research. Thanks to Dr. Vellez, Dr. Isabelle and others that have made this collaboration possible.
Flock of 86 Leucophaeus pipixcan
Colleagues, I present a pleasant surprise. During the Southern Big Day on May 2nd, we encountered a flock of 86 Leucophaeus pipixcan, migrating along the southern coast of Belize. This is perhaps the first photo-documented evidence of this species migrating through Belize in these numbers. Previously the species was only known from one or two poorly documented records. This sighting brings new light to our understanding of the migratory patterns of this species. Keep your eyes open.
Shots Rang Out In Japan Area of Ladyville
Murder is making headlines again tonight – except this time it's not in the Cayo District. There are two more killings to report – both in the Belize District.
The first happened last night in an area of Ladyville, known as Japan – which is in the same general area that has witnessed two other murders this year. The victim is 31 year old Lloyd Robateau – not known to police as any kind of troublemaker, but he was shot multiple times in what appears to be a very deliberate execution. Emanuel Pech has the story.
This wooden bungalow located about two hundred yards inside an overgrown in the Japan Area, is where 31 year old Lloyd Gerald Robateau was gunned down last night. He had been living here by himself for the past year.
This was his refuge after a long day's toil. However last night, this same refuge, turned into a violent crime scene.
Witness- Murder on Ladyville:
"I mi deh inna my house the sit down on the sofa."
"What did you hear?"
Man Gunned Down On Dangerous Block, Clinic Reportedly Denies Him Admission
And then this morning, there was a murder in the city. It happened on Gibnut Street – in a gang area known as "123rd". As we found out today, the victim Troy Cole ran into the nearby NHI clinic for rescue, but – not wanting trouble - they shut their doors on him. 7News was out there shortly after the shooting:..
Shots rang out at about 9:00 this morning on Gibnut Street. The victim this time is 26 year old Troy Cole.
Police say he was on riding this bicycle towards Curassow Street when a single gun man opened fire.
Eyewitness - Troy Cole Murder:
"I just hear about a couple shots at least 4 or 5 shots but when I run out and I come out I just see a young boy on the ground and then he get up back and run. I see he get back up and run come this way and when he run come this way I see a next one jump on bike and gone so and that's the only thing I see you know."
Southside Commander Blasts NHI Clinic
As you heard, the family is very angry with the NHI Clinic which allegedly closed its doors to Cole. And the Southside Commander, ACP Chester Williams joins them. He say Troy Cole's death could have been prevented if the Clinic employees would have acted differently. Williams, condemned the hospital for what he says is a shameful act.
ACP Chester Williams- OC, Eastern South Division:
"After the shooting took place, Mr. Cole ran to Universal hospital which is right nearby and when he went to the hospital, he was refused medical treatment at that hospital. He was put out and the door was locked on him. He was left outside to bleed until the police vehicle arrived and took him to the hospital. That is unprofessional of a medical institution. Doctors and medical institutions have a legal obligation to treat injured person who they come into contact with. And I have said to the administrator of the hospital that I'm going to write them about what took place today because it is a shame. So what they did is uncalled for and it must be condemned and it does not matter who the person is, it could be the worse criminal, they still have an obligation to treat every person they come into contact with."
Was Child Raped By Cop? Benque Police Investigate
Benque Viejo police are investigating the report of a minor who was raped in that Western Town. Reports tell us that the alleged suspect is a police constable. But, speaking today with the Deputy Commander for Benque Viejo police, he told us, he cannot confirm if it is a police officer or not because no identification has been made When we asked if a police officer has been named in the compliant, again he said he cannot confirm.
The Cayo Commander Senior Superintendent Andrew Ramirez told us that it is only an initial investigation at this time.
The minor is reportedly form the Stann Creek District.
Immigration Director Maria Marin Moves On After Three Turbulent Years
A new Director of Immigration has been named, and she's getting ready to take office. Career Foreign Affairs Officer Diana Locke takes up the post of Director Of Immigration and Nationality Services tomorrow. Locke confirmed it to us today saying, quote, "I look forward to my new challenge and serving the people of Belize in another capacity." Locke had been at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 24 years – much of that spent involved with Immigration work for Foreign Affairs – so she is very familiar with the Department.
She takes over from Maria Marin, who was at the helm from early 2013, during the Penner and post-Penner era, some of the most administratively difficult and most publicly scrutinized times in the Department's history. It emerged that something like a shadow department had been in operation during this period, facilitating nationality documents for phantom applicants of dubious origin.
Cops Investigate Discarded Fetus Found In House
City police are investigating another death. But this one is a little more complicated. According to police they responded to reports of a discarded fetus at a Jane Usher Boulevard address this morning. The area was marked off as a crime scene, and here is what police had to say about it:
ACP Chester Williams- OC, Eastern South Division:
"I have not obtained sufficient information about the fetus but from what I have been briefed by the investigators is that sometime last night they had received information of a female who might have had a miscarriage of a 4 month fetus and she apparently had disposed of the fetus in a shallow grave in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. So what the police did this morning was to basically go into the area of Jane Usher and to see if they can find and exhume the fetus and there after we'll be looking at the possibility of probably concealment of the birth of a child or as the case may be. So we're looking at that and we do not know if it is a medical termination of a pregnancy or it was one that was deliberately done but if it was one that was deliberately done then that is a crime. So we'll look at it when we have obtained all the necessary information that we need then we will see how we progress with that investigation."
Cayo Family Getting Ready To Bury Two Mothers
Tonight the Mai and Miralda families are setting up and preparing the family home for a wake. Miriam "Betty" Mai and her sister in law and close friend Daisy Miralda were killed on Saturday evening inside Betty's Beauty Salon. It was a regular Saturday for the girls, they were hanging out with a few friends in the Salon as Mai finished blow drying a customer's hair. But the history of Mai's violent relationship with her ex common law husband Andy Bustillos, crushed everything that day. Bustillos walked into the salon and shot and killed both Miralda and Mai. He also tried to shoot their other friends but the gun jammed and they were able to run away. That's when Bustillos shot himself in the head. Yesterday the family told us that they didn't know Bustillos was abusing Mai and that they wished Mai had said something so they could try to save her. But, the family now has to find a way to cope with this reality. Mai's mother Maria Rodriguez told us yesterday that the hardest part now will be raising all the kids that Mai and Miralda left behind.
Police Find Suspected Truck Used In Camalote Double Murder
Police have found the grey truck and the weapon they suspect was used in the Sunday's Camalote double murder. They found both in Belize City. As we told you, Akeem Thimbrel and Shawn Lopez were both shot up near Thimbrel's home in Camalote on Sunday night. Akeem had just come from visiting family members when he met his cousin and close friend Shawn Lopez. Lopez was drunk and Thimbrel was taking him home when gunmen pulled up in a truck and opened fire on them. Now, as we told you, neither Thimbrel nor Lopez were the targets. The hit was reportedly sent for a friend who lives close to where the young men were shot. Residents say that the girl who is in police custody is the one who sent the hit. That is after a confrontation she, her boyfriend and the intended target had earlier that Sunday. The girl, her boyfriend and the suspected shooter are detained.
Now, that is only one element to the story, the communities' pain and outrage after the murder of these boys is still simmering. So much so that the police will meet with the Camalote Chairman and residents tomorrow to avoid any other retaliatory acts. We say â€˜other' because as we told you, a group of angry residents torched a vehicle, which they say, belongs to the person who sent the hit. Yesterday Belmopan police told us about their community approach.
Gelion De Leon Was Robbery Turned Murder
Police say 55 year old Gelion De Leon's killing was a robbery turned murder. As we told you, De Leon was killed early Friday morning about a mile away from his home in Camalote. His body was found in front of the Cedar Hill Ranch. Reports are that he left his house on Thursday evening, and about 8 hours later, the watchman at the farm heard the guard dogs barking. Shortly after that, he heard several gunshots. The police were then called in, and they found De Leon's body at the corner of the fence right next to a white vehicle. De Leon was cut to the neck, and he had gunshot wounds to head and left shoulder. Yesterday Belmopan police told us they have one person for questioning.
Supt. Howell Gillet, OC, Belmopan:
"Just over this weekend I think it was yesterday we brought somebody into custody who was last seen with the victim before his death. So we're going through the process now of interviewing him to see what we could come up with. As with the investigation proceeded we've learned now the wallet from the deceased was missing and his licensed firearm was also missing. So that tells us clearly it's a case of robbery which turned to be murder also."
Showgrounds Crowd Slightly Down, But, Still, a Stabbing
Food, drinks, entertainment, a variety of plants, agricultural produce, even deals on toilet paper and fruit juices – all that and more were found at the Agriculture and Trade Show grounds over the past weekend. While all that attracts Agric Showgoers, in the middle of all of that, violent commotions are not uncommon. 2 men were stabbed on Saturday night at the Showgrounds near the exit. Both men got into a fight over a women and one of them, 28 year old Jaime Torres was stabbed to the chest, head and chin. Torres stabbed the other man but he wasn't seriously hurt. Torres was taken to the hospital but he discharged himself. Now police say they have to follow up on this incident because it could escalate since none of them want to press charges.
Epilectic Drowns On Hummingbird
An epileptic drowned early Saturday morning near his home. 33 year old Emmanuel Flores went swimming in a creek near mile 28 on the Hummingbird Highway, but apparently he got a seizure and drowned. Police told us when they found the body there were no signs of harm on Flores' body.
Supt. Howell Gillet, OC, Belmopan:
"This incident with the drowning that occurred on Saturday morning; sometime around 6:30 we received information that there was a possible body seen in a creek around mile 28 on the Hummingbird Highway. As its customary we proceeded there and we did confirm that it was the body Mr. Emmanuel Rivera Flores. He was 33 at the time and he was a Salvadoran labourer of that area. We also found out from family members that he was an epileptic patient and he might have gone to the creek to swim as is customary of him to do on a daily basis and he might have had a seizure while swimming there. There is was no visible or other signs of trauma and we the police we don't suspect any wrong doing or any foul play."
Police has ruled this case a sudden death.
Late Evening Murder
There was another southside shooting half an hour ago near our studio- and reports say it was fatal. It happened at the corner of Prince Street and East Canal – just around the corner from 7News. We know that police rushed a male victim to the KHMH – and multiple credible reports say he was pronounced dead on arrival at the KHMH. No identity is confirmed at this point. Those on the scene tell us that the victim was a teenager. We’ll have more details tomorrow.
GOB Confident About OAS Talks
What is the future for Belize and the Sarstoon? That is what was being discussed in Washington DC for the past two days. And tonight, the Government says it is cautiously optimistic.
The meeting included OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, Belize Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington, Guatemala's Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, and the Permanent Representative of the United States to the OAS, Michael Fitzpatrick. Government sent a release a forty minutes ago saying, the meetings "just concluded at the OAS Headquarters in Washington." The release adds that, quote, "discussions covered the overall bilateral relations between both countries including the Sarstoon River. The Belize delegation are cautiously optimistic of the results and expect a statement to be issued later tonight by the Secretary General."
There will be a press briefing to discuss it on Friday.
Guats Hold The Hardline In Statement
And while government says it is cautiously optimistic, the Guatemalans – in their public pronouncements are keeping up the hard line.
Today, the Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Ministry put out their own statement in reaction to the Prime Minister's comments yesterday.
The Guatemalan Government summarizes Prime Minister Barrow's comments as failed attempts to justify the killing of 13 year-old Julio Alvarado Ruano to the media and the international community. As you are aware, they believe that the BDF hunted the 13 year-old down and callously shot him to death. The BDF say that they were shot at in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul, under the cover of darkness, and they returned fire to defend themselves.
Once again the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry describes the shooting as an inexcusable act of violence perpetrated by irresponsibility and lack of professionalism.
Last night, we told you about the meeting which the PUP National Executive held to discuss Government's Sarstoon Law. They have decided to actively defy it by going to the Sarstoon themselves.
They say that this trip will take place sometime within the 30-day ban to demonstrate that they believe it is an unjust restriction of movement of Belizeans. But, there were 4 resolutions coming out of yesterday's meeting, and during his press conference, Opposition Leader John Briceño explained each:
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"Well on the first one what we're saying is we believe that it is an unjust law, the Sarstoon law. We in effect are preventing citizens to go in an area that clearly belongs to us as Belizeans and what in effect the government has done over the next 30 days is that preventing us from going there yet the Guatemalans have impeded access to the entire Sarstoon River even on the section that clearly belongs to Belize. Secondly where I believe that we have always felt that when it comes to defending the territorial integrity of our country that this should be a national effort, that we should not play party politics on this; that is why when I was elected the party leader I decided immediately that we are going to cooperate and work with the government. The government has assured us that we are going to be partners with them and that we're going to be consulted every step of the way when it comes to issues pertaining to Belize-Guatemala. Unfortunately certain actions that the government has taken have shown that they no longer believe in this bi-partisan effort."
PM: PUP Exclusion Not Deliberate
As you heard in one of those 5 resolutions, the PUP is calling out the Government for excluding the Opposition's Representative in the recent bilateral talks. They've interpreted that as a "suspension" of the bipartisan effort on the Belize/Guatemala Territorial Dispute.
Yesterday, when the Prime Minister was asked about the absence of the Opposition Leader's Representative in the Bilateral Talks happening in Washington DC, he said there was nothing sinister about it. According to the PM it was only that the Government wasn't given any kind of notice to make arrangements:
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"Now we had been trying before Monday in fact pretty much all weekend to set up the meeting and the Foreign Minister who was to overnighted in Miami on Sunday and to come back to Belize on Monday was asked to hold on in Miami so that we could make certain that we would get these meetings. He was then once the meetings were confirmed asked to go directly from Miami to Washington. Alexis Rosado was in Guatemala and I think I spoke to him either Saturday or Sunday at which time again the meetings were not confirmed but I nevertheless told him to make preparations to be immediately available for travel should the meetings be confirmed. That is the reason why in such an incredibly fluid moment by moment situation we did not get a chance to involve the opposition."
Belize Complained Of FM Morales Harsh Words
Earlier in the news, we told you about that strongly worded press release from the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry which continues to condemn the fatal shooting of their 13 year-old national Julio Alvarado Ruano.
If you follow the letter of the Confidence Building Measures, statements like that are not permitted. On last week Friday's newscast, we showed you how Guatemala's President, Jimmy Morales, Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, and Ambassador Manuel Barillas have been undermining the Confidence Building Measures with their provocative statements in the press. They are on record condemning the shooting and accusing the BDF of human rights violations
Well in the Prime Minister's Press Conference, he was asked about the Guatemalan Foreign Minister's assertion to the Guatemalan Press that his Belizean counterpart came to an agreement that no Belizean would visit the Sarstoon Island.
Southside Police Try To Keep City Cool
At the top of the news, we told you about the City Murder of Troy Cole and just now you heard about tonight's apparent murder on Prince Street. Plus, there are the recent murders of Keon "Gambis" Williams, and the Dangriga killing of George Street Boss, Gerald "Shiney" Tillett.
So, the Police weekly meet and greets is timely to try to hold down escalating Southside violence. Today, we met Assistant Police Commissioner Police Chester Williams on Regent Street West. He and his officers were greeting the residents on that street and the surrounding areas. One specific hotspot was the Taylor's Alley, which is the base of one of the City's most notorious gangs. Williams told us that he has a plan for this area and the neighbouring George Street:
City Rivalries Real
So, is Eastern Division South making interventions to ensure that there are no retaliations for "Shiney", "Gambis", and now Troy Cole? That's what we asked, and Commander Chester Williams said that he and his team have been doing everything they can to reason with the key players connected to these men. Here's how he explained his conversations with them:
ACP Chester Williams- OC, Eastern South Division:
"We do our utmost best to see how best we can reach out to these people because violence is not the answer. If one person is killed, to go and kill another will not solve the problem, it will make the situation worse. As I've said to the crowd from George Street if you love Shiny so much, if his life is worth something to you; now that he has passed on, the right thing for them to do is to assist his parents in raising his 10 children that he has left behind. Send them to school, help them get an education..."