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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
Police Report – Arson
29-year-old Wendy Lineth Carpio of San Marcos Area reported to the San Pedro Police Station that on Sunday, May 15th, while she was home sleeping she was awakened by a banging noise and noticed it was her neighbour yelling that her blue 4-door-Ford car with license plate SPC- 4095 was in engulfed in flames. She immediately went outside and noticed her car in flames. The value of vehicle is $15,000. Police are investigating the matter which is believed to be an act of arson.
8 teams to advance to the second round of the Five-a-Side Football Tournament
The first round of the Five-a-side football tournament has come to an end and only eight teams are advancing to the second round. The games took place on Sunday, May 15th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium and after a series of intense matches these are the teams that qualified: Catrachos, Pro Divers, United FC, Scorpion, Island Pure, Boca Bombers, Los Dorados and E and L. The games were tight with each team picking their best players to try and win a spot in the second round of the competition. From the Under 11 to the Senior’s category, teams gave their all, delighting their fans during game time. The second round of tournament will begin on Thursday, July 7th and run through Sunday, July 24th.
SPTC donates golf cart to health inspector
The San Pedro Town Council donated a golf cart to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II on Friday, May 13th. Receiving the welcome donation was Health Inspector Horris Patten, who expressed that the golf cart will be used to conduct health inspections through the week, and will assist him in performing his daily tasks. The Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II extends their gratitude to the SPTC for this donation.
Island students participate in Reef Trivia Contest
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve held its 11th annual Reef Trivia Contest at the San Pedro House of Culture on Wednesday, May 18th. The program commenced at 9:30AM and seven students from Island Academy, Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School (NHSDAS), and Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School (CCRC) participated in the contest. The purpose of the competition serves to test each contestant’s knowledge about reef conservation, marine ecosystems, and protected areas through education.
In round one, Yari Flores (ACES), Matilde Carillo (NHSDAS), Mia Gonzalez (Island Academy), Lupita Aldana (CCRC), Edward Polanco (ACES), Astrid Ruiv (NHSDAS), and Ethan Ancona (Island Academy), were asked one basic question about corals, sea turtles, and sea grass question by Mariela Archer, Environmental Educator at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Judging the contest were Cecilia Guerrero, Nidia Chacon, and Shakera Arnold. New Horizon’s Astrid Ruiv was the lucky first place winner, and she took the grand prize of a roundtrip ticket courtesy of Tropic Air, a 7” Samsung Galaxy Tablet, a backpack filled with school supplies, an engraved trophy, and $600 will be donated to her school. In second place, Island Academy’s Ethan Ancona also received a 7” Samsung Galaxy Tablet, a backpack filled with school supplies, and an engraved trophy. In third place, ACES Edward Polanco to a prize of a backpack filled with school supplies and a $50 gift certificate to A&R. All eliminated contestants who participated were given a t-shirt from Hol Chan.
Letters To The Editor:
San Pedro Not as Advertised
We had booked an island vacation but not a traffic vacation with parking problems. The high traffic is wrong for a small island with just one road and very, very wrong for tourism.
I am not sure about the rest of the year but Easter conditions were not what we as tourists had in mind. Something major needs to be changed or the last tourist will have visited soon.
Letters To The Editor:
Tourists Are Just Seen as an Entitlement
We were regulars since 2009, some years even twice a year. We used to love this island, it was cozy and unique. First we stayed at a hotel in/near town, than further South and a few times up North. Sometimes we visited just the 2 of us but three times we also brought friends and once our kids. Finally we must quit.
We saw it coming over years, the worsening situation on this island but for some years we were somewhat still hopeful that logic eventually would prevail. By now we have no hope.
The many years of "no rules, no regulations, no plan, no foresight, no vision" has smashed this originally so beautiful island to the very bottom in attractivity.
The ugliness of electronic billboards, advertising sign bonanza all over the island, high traffic in combination with arrogant and unsafe driving, unsightly developments, no apparent zoning law (every junk yard gets mixed in), no sustainable transportation system, dangerous boat traffic, lack of infrastructure to name just a few . . . .. "Viva to a cheaper version of Mexico but at higher prices"!
Commonwealth Urges Peaceful Settlement of Belize, Guatemala Border
The Committee reiterated and endorsed the firm support of the Commonwealth for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize, as expressed consistently and most recently in the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Communiqué. The Committee encouraged all concerned to work towards a peaceful and final resolution of the longstanding disagreements concerning the border between Belize and Guatemala.
The Committee encouraged progress to be made through dialogue between Belize and Guatemala, and urged both parties to honour the terms of the Agreements reached in 2005 and 2008.
Misc Belizean Sources
Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project Residents and Business Engagement Meeting
The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project completed its first Residents and Business Engagement Meeting for the Foreshore, Albert and Regents Streets areas. Our inaugural meeting was a success and we thank all of the residents/business owners who attended. Our next meeting will be held in about two weeks. We will communicate the date and time by next week on this page. Our plan at these meetings is to share the Mission, Vision, Objectives and Strategies for the Downtown Rejuvenation Project. Make it a point to attend one of our meetings and be a part of the change. — at Government House ~ House of Culture (NICH).
Taipei International Tourism Expo
Belize is well represented at the Taipei International Tourism Expo 2016.
Have lunch with a cop!
May 26, Sea View Restaurant, Ramada Princess
PRESS RELEASE from the National Assembly of Belize
The Honourable Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House of Representatives, met with the Honourable Mario Taracena Diaz-Sol, Speaker of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala at a meeting hosted by the Nicaraguan Government through the XVIII Extraordinary Meeting of FOPREL (Forum of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments of Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean Basin). The meeting was held on Thursday, 19th May 2016, at the Congress Conference Room in Managua, Nicaragua.
The meeting also had the participation of Speakers and Deputy Speakers of the parliaments of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica. At the meeting, the Honourable Peyrefitte briefed the Speakers of Central America about Belize’s perspective in relation to the recent incident that occurred in our Chiquibul Reserve where a young boy lost his life.
Televisa's TV host of "Mojoe" Montserrat Oliver in Belize
There she is - we found her. Her vacation started from Tulum, Mexico down the Costa Maya to Ambergris Caye Belize. Actress, Producer, Entrepreneur, Televisa's TV host of "Mojoe" Montserrat Oliver of D.F. Mexico City caught enjoying the best of Belize with our friends at Amigos Del Mar on our little paradise, Ambergris Caye. Welcome to Belize Monsterrat and enjoy your vacation.
The Corozal Town Council embarks in a plan of action to keep our parks and playgrounds litter and loiter free
We fully support the efforts of the Corozal Town Council to keep our community safe and clean. The Corozal Town Council has embarked in a plan of action to keep our parks and playgrounds litter and loiter free.
These two signs have been recently erected at Rainbow Park on 1st Avenue. One warns of fines up to $500.00 for anyone caught dumping garbage at or littering the park. The second signs warns that NO PUBLIC DRINKING or SMOKING is ALLOWED.
This is a great initiative that should be implemented and enforced in all our parks and playgrounds, especially our Central Park.
Black Pearl River Run 2
Ascenthium will be playing at the Black Pearl River Run this Sunday. The festivities will be around the wooden bridge, and it all starts at 2:00pm.
"In San Ignacio! we hit the stage with Almost 7 from Belize City! Black pearl's River Run is gonna be epic! tons of cool bikes, good
rock n roll and an awesome experience! see you there."
Tropic Air Helps Octavia Waight Centre
Tropic Air raised $450 for the Octavia Waight Centre. Thanks, Tropic Air!
"As part of the airline's largest charitable fundraiser of the year, Tropic Air business partners, staff and Customers joined efforts and raised $450 for the Octavia Waight Centre in San Ignacio. A check was presented to the organization on Friday, May 6th."
Psychedelic Blues Concert
The SISE House of Culture is having a special Full Moon Concert tonight, May 21st, at 7:00pm, at the Cayo Welcome Center. It'll be a Psychedelic Blues Experience, and Eddie Allen and his band will really tear it up. If you like music, you'll love this.
"SISE House of Culture invites you to a Full Moon Concert happening Tonight Saturday May 21st at 7 pm at the Cayo Welcome Center. Don't miss out!"
Wildlife in Belize Video Contest
The Department of Environment is having a video contest for World Environment Day, with the theme being 'Wildlife in Belize.' It's for primary and high school students, and there are prizes, including a domestic trip. Rules are here.
"Announcing World Environment Day 2016 Video Competition - Please tell as many students as you can..."
Chocolate Festival 2016 at Big Falls
Celebrating everything chocolate!
Marine Fair 2016
It was a long hot day but the Reef Week 2016 Marine Fair was a success. Organizations who took the time to come out and share their message with the students of San Pedro. Hol Chan wants to thank all those who participated, The Department of Environment, Solid Waste Management, OCEANA, Sea to Shore Alliance, Saga Humane Society, MarAlliance, and the Belize Fisheries Department. Also thanks to The San Pedro House of Culture for hosting the event at their compound.
Boca Del Rio cleanup
As part of Reef Week the Hol Chan staff went out to clean up the entrance to the river at Boca Del Rio. We all enjoy the water, so lets keep it clean by picking up our trash when we visit the beach so it odes not end up in the water.
Bulgarian ATM Fraudsters Plead Guilty
Ten days ago, we showed you the 2 Bulgarian ATM Scammers who are believed to have stolen thousands of dollars from Belize Bank ATM's from around Belize City. Initially, 25 year-old Halid Aptula and 28 year-old Georgi Petrov were each arraigned on 1 count of theft for only 500 dollars. Well today, when they were taken back to court for an adjournment, the police slapped on 17 additional counts of theft. And that's where the Bulgarians did a very surprising thing: they stood up and pleaded guilty to all charges brought against them.
As we told you they were caught on Saturday, May 7, by mere chance, after a vigilant internal auditor from Belize Bank spotted Halid Aptula in the act of scamming the Belize Bank ATM. Both men, it appears, had stolen pin numbers from persons outside of Belize. The investigation into the scam revealed that they had an interesting cyber theft scheme going on. They installed hidden cameras at ATM's outside of Belize, which captured PIN numbers of bank patrons. They then made fake credit cards, and they then came to Belize, where they used the stolen pin numbers and these fake cards to make mass withdrawals, all of which were stolen monies.
PUP Takes S.I. Challenge To Supreme Court
Yesterday, we showed you our interview with Opposition Leader John Briceno about the PUP'S trip to the Sarstoon River, scheduled for tomorrow. Member of the Party's National Party Council and the entire media, are preparing to go down to Punta Gorda, where they will try to get in or near the Sarstoon.
And while that is one front, on another front, Briceno and the party's legal advisor were in the Supreme Court before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning for the first hearing of their challenge to the Sarstoon Statutory Instrument. That's the now infamous law which restricts civilians from entering the Sarstoon for a period of 30 days.
The S.I. expires next week but the case went before the Chief Justice for the first time today, and the Government's attorneys told the court that they were not ready to file their arguments, given that the date for the hearing had been moved up. So, the Chief Justice adjourned it until June 27, by which time, the Sarstoon SI will be history. So, was the adjournment a setback for the PUP? Here's what Briceno and the PUP's legal advisor had to say about it:
Will Police/Coast Guard Block PUP's Sarstoon Expedition?
So, while the PUP has to wait an entire month to have their lawsuit against the Government heard, it's possible that their other planned Sarstoon action might not happen. Our information is that security forces will attempt to stop them from leaving Punta Gorda Town by boat - same as they did the Belize Territorial Volunteers 17 days ago.
So, is the PUP prepared for that possibility? Here's what the Opposition Leader had to say:
"I've gotten it on good grounds that the national executive will be stopped tomorrow. Will not even be allowed to go on the waters - will be stopped in PG by elements of the Coast Guard and the police. Are you surprised to hear something like that?"
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the PUP:
"Well I'd be most disappointed in the government and in the Prime Minister, because the Prime Minister last week made a pronouncement that he would lift the tight restrictions on Belizeans visiting the Sarstoon as long as you report to the B.D.F.'s Forward Operating Base. We are saying it is not a political trip, it is an educational trip."
Belizean Fishermen Caught Smuggling Conch In Honduras
We always hear about foreign fishers form Honduras and Guatemala raiding Belizean waters and then taking out of season catches south to their countries. But, it's a dirty trade in which Belizean fishers also play a role - and there's proof of that tonight.
A trio of Belizeans were caught last week Thursday in Honduras in an illegal fishing operation. They are Manuel Flores and Bartolo Jimenez from Belize City, and Jeffery Gongora from Ranchito, Corozal.
According to reports from Honduras the group were found at the entrance of the Alvarado Lagoon, in Puerto Cortes, Honduras. Inside the vessel the authorities discovered 600 pounds of conch in an icebox. The conch is believed to have been captured in Belize and then taken to Honduras for sale. The products were impounded and the men were arrested. The boat remains at the naval base in Puerto Cortes and the illegal catch has since been donated to an orphanage and home for the elderly in that country. As for the three men, they were handed over to the Honduran immigration department and are now awaiting deportation back to Belize.
Churches Say "No" To PUP
The Belize Council of Churches is saying NO to the PUP Sarstoon trip this weekend. Today they called the media to a press conference at the IVET conference room to present their position on several matters concerning the ongoing Belize/Guatemala dispute. But before we get into the broader scope of their position, here is what they had to say regarding tomorrow's PUP expedition:
Bishop Roosevelt Papouloute - Methodist Church
"We are just coming out of a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition and some of the members of the opposition party that were present and we have made our position very clear that we would support a stop to that trip tomorrow to give to the negotiation in the process to take its course as all diplomats seek to meet with those from Guatemala with the support of the international community to arrive at a peaceful resolution to this. So, yes we have call on the opposition party not to pursue that trip tomorrow."
Churches Take Position On Bze-Guat Dispute
Now back to the real reason of why we were called for the press conference today. The topic of the Belize/Guatemala dispute has been at the fore of National discussion for a while. But the churches are only now choosing to come out publicly on the matter. They prepared a one page document outlining their position on several key issues surrounding the dispute. They presented this to the media today.
Bishop Philip Wright - Anglican Diocese of Belize:
"The Belize Council of Churches calls on the people of Belize to support the peaceful approach that our government brings to the negotiation table. The Belize Council of Churches calls on the Government of Belize and the Opposition Party to work together for the common good of Belize and a peaceful solution to this problem. The Belize Council of Churches calls on all parties involved; governmental, political and nongovernmental to work for a united front at arriving at a peaceful resolution. The council calls on the media to be more responsible in its reporting so as to avoid an atmosphere in panic among all parties. The Belize Council of Churches calls among the Government of Belize, the Opposition Party and all who are intimately involved in the process to be resolute in their effort at maintaining Belize's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
But more than just putting forth a position, the churches say they are also actively pursuing solutions to the problems in their own way. For starters, they will be holding a day of prayer next week Sunday. But the most substantial move that the churches are making is the dialogue they are attempting to create with their Guatemalan counterparts. One of the those contacts is Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales. He made headlines earlier this week for his criticism of the Guatemala government using the territorial dispute as a distraction.
Bishop Christopher Glancy - Auxillary Bishop. Roman Catholic Church"
"In the media this week there was reporting here in Belize, the arch bishop of Guatemala City and what he said in preaching about the situation. I called him yesterday, I know Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian from meetings that I have been with him both in Costa Rica and Bogota Columbia. I in fact visited him in his office as well in Guatemala City when I was there giving retreat to a group of priests."
Churches Say "Amen" To ICJ
We also asked the head table about their position on the ICJ. Should Belize go to the ICJ to resolve its territorial dispute with Guatemala? Here is the Council's consensus on that matter.
"What's the council's position on whether or not the matter should be resolved at the International Court of Justice? Have you sat and discuss a formal position on that matter?"
Bishop Philip Wright - Anglican Diocese of Belize:
"We believe we should go to the ICJ and pursue the diplomatic course."
Present at the head table in support of the positions taken today were Bishop Philip Wright of the Anglican Diocese; Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Glancy of the Roman Catholic Church; Bishop Roosevelt Papouloute of the Methodist church; Reverend Canon Leroy Flowers, past president of the Belize Council of Churches; Karen Taylor, president of the Black Cross Nurses Association; and Fred Shyu, of the Belize Chinese Christian Mission.
Melchor-ians Will Protest Against Guatemala City
And while the PUP goes to the Sarstoon in protest of the Belize government's law - and also against Guatemala's military presence - at the same time, Guatemalans will be doing their own protest out west. But they won't be protesting against Belize. Nope, they're protesting against their own government! It seems that since the Guatemalan government seriously stepped up its aggression one month ago - the flow of Belizeans over to Melchor has slowed to a trickle. Guatemalan Immigration authorities report a decrease of 80% in Belizean visitors - and that has put a serious hurting on businesses in that border town. And so, reports to security forces in Belize say that tomorrow, Melchor business owners will be protesting against their capital, Guatemala City for sponsoring the aggression against Belize which has ha da serious business backlash.
Alrick Smith charged for Planning Hit on Lozano Family
Police are making major progress in the fatal Ladyville shootout investigation. As we told you, both 19 year old Darwin Estuardo Prado and 28 year old Egbert Baldwin were charged with a number of offenses. Those include 3 counts of attempted murder, 3 counts of use of deadly means of harm, 1 count of wounding, 1 count of grievous harm and 1 count of dangerous harm. These charges were brought against Prado and Baldwin for shooting at Lozano's crew outside their Marage road house. But another ominous element has been introduced, in the form…of the infamous Alrick Smith. Yes...he is in the news AGAIN! for the second night in a row but tonight he is the one charged for abetment to commit murder. Now police had told us that they are examining the familial link between Smith and the deceased gunman Lionel Rhamdas - they are in-laws, and police said they had to be prepared for any retaliatory acts from Smith and his crew. Well so said, so done - after the death of his brother in law Rhamdas, Smith allegedly threatened the life of 11 members of the Lozano family including the mother Cynthia Lozano and her sons. Apart from Smith's charge, police also found a weapon that is believed to have been used to kill Rhamdas. Today at a press briefing Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster gave us more details.
From Threats To Action : Men Found Scouting Lozano Residence
Now although Smith has been charged, police remain alert and in tune with the street operations in Ladyville. That's how they caught 4 men and a minor in a truck, lurking near the Milpa and Marage Road Area - right where the Lozano's live. Police spotted them around 11:30 last night and they were all searched. No weapons were found but what raised the red flag was the fact that one of the men in the vehicle was Rhamdas's cousin. Police told us that last night was not the first time men were seen suspiciously scouting that area.
ACP Edward Broaster, O. C. Eastern Rural Division
"This last evening due to efforts of our police officers in the Milpa-Marage road area, we came upon a black pickup truck, C-27748 which was driven at the time by Glen Reneau, 34 years of a Neal's Pen Road address. A juvenile, 16 years of the same address, One Germain Patnet, 31 years of Manta Ray Boulevard, Curl Estrada, 28 years of Silk Grass Village and Dion Rhamdas of Manta Ray Boulevard in the area of Bobo Hill near the Milpa-Mirage road area. Upon seeing the police, the driver of the pickup, increased speed. However, the police managed to intercept them and we have been conducting searches in the area this morning to see if any firearms or what have you was thrown out."
Police Push Peace Project Among Ladyville Gangs
Now things are only getting worse in the Milpa-Marage Area since that Saturday morning shootout at the Lozano home. But how are police dealing this? Today they told us that their primary focus is gang interventions.
Broaster had told us that it is quite a challenge getting all the groups to settle their grievances because they all refuse to compromise or even speak to one another.
Peace Park At Pilar?
In our last segment we told you how the Melchoristas want back their Belizean customers, but archaeologists from Belize, Guatemala and the US seem to be getting along just fine at the El Pilar Mayan Site. And to prove it, the Guatemalan Minister of Culture and Sports Jose Urruela visited El Pilar earlier this week.
As you may be aware, a part of El Pilar is in the Cayo District in Belizean territory, and the other part is in Peten, Guatemala. Up until a few years ago, the Belizean tour guides have been afraid to take their guests there because they've been the target of Guatemalan bandits.
But, this ancient city could be a thing that unites Belize and Guatemala. That's because the Guatemalan Minister of Culture expressed on his Wednesday visit that El Pilar could become the symbol of peace and co-existence where both country's co-management this Natural monument.
Earlier, we showed you how the council of churches will try its own kind of ecclesiastical diplomacy, well, speaker of the House Mike Peyrefitte was in Nicaragua earlier this week to try his hand at Parliamentary peace-making. Peyrefitte is the Vice President of "FOPREL", the Forum of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments of Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean Basin, while the speaker of the Guatemalan Congress, Mario Taracena Diaz-Sol is the President. They met yesterday at the Congress Conference Room in Managua, Nicaragua along with Speakers and Deputy Speakers of the parliaments of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica.
According to a press release from the National Assembly Peyrefitte briefed the Speakers about Belize's perspective on the recent shooting death of a Guatemalan child in the Chiquibul Reserve.
Commonwealth Calls For Peace
And tonight, we have one more piece of news for you on Belize Guatemala Relations. That's the meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Committee on Belize which happened on Monday May 16. That's exactly as newly elected Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland, committed to when she visited Belize at the end of last month.
The committee, which chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, and comprising Barbados, Canada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria and Tanzania, as well as Belize, was briefed by Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington. He spoke to them on recent issues related to the Adjacency zone, and the discussions taking place between both country
Prisoners 'Pot' Picked up by Police
This afternoon police found 12 ounces of weed in front of the prison. The report is that a group of inmates were working outside when someone drove passed and threw out parcels of weed in front of the prison. One of the working prisoners was walking towards the drugs but he was stopped by a prison officer. Since the prisoner did not pick up the drugs, he was not charged. The weed was deposited as found property.
Illegal Loggers Charged
Yesterday we told you about the illegal logging operation that got busted in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. That's in the Stann Creek District. Two men were arrested and today they were brought before the court in Dangriga to be read charges of illegal entry into a national park and illegal logging of a protected area. Those men are Carlos Palacio and Donald Wewe of Silk Grass Village. In court today both men plead not guilty to the offence and were granted bail of $4,000 dollars plus a surety of the same amount. Carlos Palacio met his bail and was released however Donald Wewe was not able to meet bail and remains in police custody. At this time the Forest Department is still assessing the amount of damage done to the forest, so we cannot give you a figure on the loss. What we can tell you is that among the trees being felled were Mahogany and Sapodilla. As we told you yesterday, on Wednesday Park Rangers of the Mayflower Bocawina Reserve were conducing regular patrols in the area when they heard the distinctive sound of a chain saw. As a result they alerted APAMO, who in turn alerted the authorities. We will be following this case.