BPP Demands Referendum In Four Matters
The Belize Progressive party this morning held a press conference to discuss the Country’s economy, governance and Security. As part of their demands the party is asking for a comprehensive referendum on four matters which they believe are of national importance. The first, taking the unfounded Guatemalan claim to the ICJ, secondly, signing unto the UN convention against corruption, decriminalizing marijuana and lastly on the people’s perspective regarding the ruling on section 53. Today the party announced that the BPP is willing to spearhead that poll but in order to do so they need approximately three hundred thousand dollars. Party treasurer, Robert ‘Bobby’ Lopez says he has been given the task of raising the money.
Prime Minister Talks About Patrick Farber's Fiasco
As we had reported on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber’s government issued vehicle was plunged into the sea near Marine Parade on Sunday night. During a press conference held by the DPM he confirmed that his vehicle had been stolen from the residence of his girlfriend where he had left it, but even though his story was corroborated by the police, many are not swallowing that pill but apparently the Prime Minister is. Yesterday during his press conference, the media asked him about the Minster’s account of how his 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser ended in the Caribbean Sea. Here is what he had to say.
Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize:
“He had called me from the Sunday night because when I first heard about it I thought that maybe he had been in the vehicle and I was concerned about his safety. He said no and from then he told me that the vehicle had to have been stolen and now clearly a question has arisen, stolen by whom? And the police have been told to try to get to the bottom of this and as I know that’s where things are.”
BPP Leader Speaks On Masons's Case
During their press conference earlier today, the Belize Progressive party also spoke about the conduct of government officials in the recent matter of William Mason, and the Party is not happy with their behavior. Here is what Party Leader Patrick Rogers had to say about the appointment of Senator Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police.
Patrick Rogers – Party Leader BPP:
“Look at Pastor Llewelyn Lucas, they want to stop it right at Mason kill the man when we are BPP are convinced that somebody is more culpable than whoever beheaded that man, do you think that unelected Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police can send his policemen after elected men to investigate elected member of that Cabinet, it won’t happen so we then don’t feel comfortable with Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police because he didn’t do anything for ministry of lands and I am sure as hell that he didn’t do anything at the Immigration department where we still see our documents are free for all on the world market.”
Hurricane Relief Comes Pouring In
Today marks exactly two weeks since Hurricane Earl made land fall in Belize as a category one storm bringing with it destructive winds and flooding rains, causing financial outlays to the Jewel estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. In the wake of the disaster, relief efforts have been mobilized and include generous donations from various organizations including the EU and IDB, racking up roughly one point two million dollars in grants and related funding from international partners, which according to PM Barrow is just about the peak of what GOB will be receiving.
Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize:
“We’ve gotten something from CDB or if we’ve not gotten it yet it’s certainly on the way. The CEDEMA man is coming in tomorrow and I think he’s bringing two hundred thousand Euros or about a hundred thousand U.S., something like that.”
No Tax Increments Due To Hurricane Earl
As previously mentioned initial assessments from damages caused by hurricane Earl was estimated at about 105 million dollars, which comes at a time where Belize’s economy is faced with substantial burdens from major blows like the BTL arbitration award and the second Superbond payments which is coming next year. So will this situation then translate to higher tax rates for the people of Belize? That's the question that was posed to the PM yesterday.
Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize:
"There will be no tax increases before certainly the next budget year. I'm not saying there will be tax increases then but if tax increases have to come they can't come until then. Especially it was not in my contemplation in any event but especially now with hurricane Earl. You don't respond to a disaster where lives have been shattered by increasing taxes on people."
PUP Officially Speaks Out On Section 53 Ruling
Immediately following the decision by the Supreme Court to amend section 53 of the criminal code of Belize, legalizing gay sex between consenting adults, leader of the opposition, Hon. John Briceño took to Facebook to provide his input on the ruling, proclaiming his respect for the ruling.
Today an official statement was issued by the party concerning the amendment of Section 53 of the laws of Belize and in their release the PUP declares their support for Belize’s principles which respects the value of social justice and the fundamental faith and freedom of human rights, stating quote “While we may believe that we the people should ultimately determine how we as a society should choose to live and be governed, we in the People’s United Party respect the decision of the Supreme Court as the rule of law. At the same time, we also respect the right of those who wish to challenge the decision of the Chief Justice in a higher court. We firmly believe that governance ought not to be about our personal impulses or private domain, but should always be about honoring the will of the people. We remain steadfast in our belief in social justice and therefore maintain our position that there can be no room for hatred among Belizeans.”
Protocol For Sarstoon Still In Negotiations
The negotiation between Belize and Guatemala for a Sarstoon Protocol has been ongoing for several months, and the last that we heard from the discussions was that an agreement was expected to be drafted by the end of the year. During yesterday’s press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on the issue stating that the process to establish a protocol was halted by the Guatemalans who are awaiting the result of the investigation into the death of 13 year old Julio Alvarado, to return to the negotiation table.
Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize:
“It does appear that matters in so far is trying to get in the formal Protocol are stalled and this is deliberate on the part of the Guatemalans, they had indicated that they wouldn’t do anything until the report comes out with respect to the death of the minor, it is my understanding that that report is going to be released fairly shortly my understanding, I would say as soon as that happens hopefully we can get the Guatemalans come back to the table and to some extend I suppose that will depend on what is contained in the report and I have no idea as to the contents but I can say with certainty that it is to be given to both governments fairly soon.”
Evangelical Association Requests GOB to Appeal S.53 Ruling
The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) is calling upon the Prime Minister of Belize to appeal the ruling of the Chief Justice on the Section 53 lawsuit. On August 10th, some three years after the close of the Caleb Orozco vs Attorney General case on the constitutionality of Belize’s...
Catholic Bishop begs GOB to appeal
Bishop Dorrick Wright of the Catholic Church also sent a letter to Prime Minster Dean Barrow dated August 15, 2016 in which he urges the Prime Minister, on behalf of the 120,000 people of the Belizean Catholic Church, to appeal the Supreme Court decision. The letter states that it is imperative to a...
PM says GOB won’t appeal S53 ruling
Well, Government has no plan to appeal the section 53 decision. That is what Prime Minister Dean Barrow, with his new Attorney General on his right and the Solicitor General who argued the case on his left, said today at a press conference called specifically to give Government’s response to the Se...
Church leaders disappointed in GOB’s response on S53 appeal
Several church leaders were in attendance at the press conference held by the Prime Minister today. After the Prime Minister made it clear that his Government has no intention of appealing the decision made on the constitutionality of the section 53 law, the church representatives gave their reactio...
Belizean Man dies in Fatal Traffic Accident in Mexico
A Belizean man was the victim of a fatal traffic accident in Mexico. 50 year old Rene August, also known as “Willie B”, a resident of Santa Elena, Cayo District died on Tuesday night in Vera Cruz, Mexico while driving down from the US to Belize. August was part of a caravan of Belizeans driving do...
Minor in sodomy case to be guarded by State
The Department of Human Services is intervening in the case of the 11 year old boy who accuses his 16 year old older brother of anally assaulting him in his sleep last Friday. While Police investigations continue, the Department, after speaking with the boy’s family, is taking charge of his ca...
Many teachers out of job due to incomplete training
In February of this year, the Ministry of Education announced that over one thousand three hundred teachers from primary and secondary institutions are expected to lose their jobs this coming school year because they did not complete education training. Back in 2008, the ministry notified teachers o...
GOB will not appeal changes to Section 5
Prime Minister Dean Barrow along with government’s legal advisors, the Attorney General, Vanessa Retreage and Solicitor General Nigel Hawke held a press conference in which he announced that the government will not be appealing the decision by the Chief Justice last week to amend Section 53 of the Criminal Code of Belize.
As it stood the section read as follows: ‘Every Person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.’
to this the Chief Justice added: “This section shall not apply to consensual sexual acts between adults in private.”
The Chief Justice declared that Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, Chapter 101 contravenes sections 3,6,12 and 16 of the Belize Constitution to the extent that it applies to carnal intercourse against the order of nature between persons.
Put up $2,800 and receive $23,000 in 4 weeks - FIU says get rich schemes unsustainable
For the past few weeks the Financial Intelligence Unit has been warning Belizeans about getting involved in pyramid schemes that have apparently taken root here. The FIU says that while the schemes are not illegal they do stem in fraud.
Adding to those who are warning against the schemes is Dr. Albert Williams a professor of Finance and Economics in the MBA program at Nova Southeastern University in Miami. Williams says that the way the programs are structured they are simply unsustainable. They do not follow the definitions of an investment. Williams asks “If companies can only get 5%, 10% and 20% returns on investments how can anyone get a 700% return on an investment?”
16 year old to be charged with sodomy of 11 year old brother
Police in San Ignacio are investigating a case in which an 11 year old boy was sodomized by his 16 year old brother. The matter was brought to the attention of police by another older brother who reported that the 11 year old had been sodomized. Police and social workers are investigating the matter and have since arrested the 16 year old.
Reports indicate that the 11 year old was asleep when his 16 year old brother sodomized him. Tests conducted on the younger brother have confirmed that he was indeed raped. Police are now preparing charges against the 16 year old which are likely to be laid on Thursday August 18.
Attorney General sworn-in as New Senator and Minister of Natural Resources
On Monday August 15, Attorney General Hon. Vanessa Retreage was officially sworn-in as a Senator and a Minister.
Ms. Retreage was first sworn-in as a Senator before the President and other members of the Senate at the National Assembly Building during the Senate Meeting. Thereafter, the new Senator took her Oath of Allegiance, as the new Minister of Natural Resources, before H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House.
Hon. Vanessa Retreage’s appointments come after the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow’s announcement of a Cabinet shuffle on Monday, August 1st, 2016.
Taiwan contributes to hurricane Earl relief efforts
On Friday August 12, the Government of Belize received a check for US $100,000 from the Republic of China on Taiwan. The check was handed over at a ceremony at the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize City.
Handing over the check on behalf of the Taiwanese government was H.E. Ambassador Benjamin Ho. In making the presentation he expressed his delight in seeing the resilience and solidarity of the government and people of Belize in the aftermath of the storm, which made landfall on Wednesday, August 3rd, destroying homes and causing serious damage to infrastructure and the agriculture and tourism industries.
17 year old minor arraigned for murder
A teenager, 17, will be celebrating his 18th birthday behind bars on December 19, 2016 after he was remanded to the Belize Wagner’s Facility located at the Belize Central Prison for the Friday, August 12, 2016 murder of Jason Steven Young aka “Packson” who was gunned down on Dolphin Street, in Belize City in front of Belize Dry Cleaners Ltd.
The 17 year old minor was whisked to the Belize Family Court on Monday August 15 where he was read a single charge of murder for the killing of well known football player, 37 year old Jason Young, aka “Packson”.
Packson met his untimely death on Dolphin Street shortly before 7:00 on Friday morning, August 12, 2016.
William Mason’s wife granted Supreme Court bail
Wife of William Mason, Melissa Ferguson appeared in Supreme Court on Monday August 15 before Justice Troadio Gonzalez on a bail application. Ferguson had applied for bail on Friday August 12 but the matter was adjourned until Monday.
After hearing the application, Justice Gonzalez granted Ferguson bail in the sum of $12,000 which she met. Conditions to her bail are that she must surrender all her travelling documents to the Belmopan Magistrate Court clerk and she must report to the Belmopan Police station every Friday effective Friday, August 19, 2016.
Egbert Baldwin charged for murder
Egbert Baldwin, 18, who recently began residing in the Ladyville area after moving from Libertad Village, Corozal District was remanded to the Belize Central Prison for the murder of John Michael Williams which occurred on August 2, 2016 in the Ladyville area just days prior to hurricane Earl hitting Belize.
Baldwin appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was levied a single charge of murder. Due to the nature of the offense no plea was taken and Baldwin was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until December 19, 2016 when he is due to be given his disclosure and on January 14, 2017 when he is expected to see his case go to PI for murder.
Luis Carter charged for murder on San Pedro
On Tuesday, August 9 of this week, 33 year old Luis Emmanuel Carter, the man accused of shooting and injuring 30 year old Dwayne Alexander Hyde on La Isla Bonita, San Pedro saw his bail application rejected at the Supreme Court by Justice Troadio Gonzalez in light of the death of the shooting victim who succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, July 27, 2016.
On Thursday August 11, almost a month after the shooting of Hyde, Carter was officially levied a single charge of murder when he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. He appeared before Magistrate, Carlon Mendoza where he was read a single charge of murder for the July 27, 2016 killing of 30 year old Dwayne Alexander Hyde, who was shot on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 on San Pedro.
Three charged for robbing popular TV Chef
On Tuesday August 16, three men appeared in Magistrate’s court following the robbery of popular TV Chef Ainsley.
31 year old Kareem Betancourt, a Tour guide with Chukka Tours; 20 year old Jermaine Wagner, a Fisherman of #173 Neal’s Pen Road and 18 year old Lemar Lamb; appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where they were jointly charged with one count of handling stolen goods. Lamb was additionally charged with robbery.
In court, Lamb pleaded not guilty to robbery but guilty to burglary while his other two accomplices charged with handling stolen goods jointly with him pleaded not guilty.
Michael Modiri appealing $150,000 in damages granted to him
On Thursday August 11, attorney for Michael Modiri, Nazira Myles of Chebat & Co., filed a notice of appeal challenging the amount of damages awarded to her client.
The appeal was filed before Madam Registrar, Velda Flowers in the Supreme Court.
Myles appeared at the court but the respondent, Bradley Pauman, the owner of Dark Night and Daylight Adventure Tour, was a no show in court. Nonetheless the matter was filed against Pauman.
Another murder at La Pasadita in Cayo
The motionless body of a Hispanic male was found at the entrance of La Pasadita Bar on the Iguana Creek Road in Spanish Lookout, Cayo at about 3:00 am on Sunday of this past weekend. The victim was observed lying face up in a pool of blood with three apparent chop wounds and one gunshot wound to the upper part of his body.
A further inquiry by San Ignacio Police has revealed that the victim, 41 year old Belizean Hever Miranda, (resident of a Duck Run Three address) had an altercation with two men. Those two men, Gladimir Bartolo Shish and Carlos Antonio Rodriquez Mendendez have since been charged with murder.
Police beating lands man at hospital
Toledo Resident Mario Makin had to be transferred from the PG Hospital, to the Dangriga Hospital, then all the way to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. He had to undergo a number of emergency life-saving surgeries after enduring a terrible beatdown, allegedly at the hands of the police from the Punta Gorda Station.
The San Marcos resident was socializing with his friend near a store in the village. The allegation is that the cops were attacking another man, and when Makin and his friend came out to see what the commotion was about their ire was then directed at him. The young man managed to escape, and from there, the story gets a lot more bizarre. The family says that the cops turned their attention on Makin, and that’s when they put a beat down on him.
Mother and daughter arraigned for stabbing incident
Shirley Mejia/Smith, 40, a Domestic of #1 Pinks Alley, along with her 17 year old daughter appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday August 16 where they were jointly charged with wounding after Shantae Gabourel, a patron attending the Belize Sound Fest was stabbed during a brawl during the Belize Sound Fest.
Both pleaded not guilty to the charge and since there was no objection to them being granted bail, Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser offered them bail in the sum of $1,000 each plus one surety of the same amount with conditions in which they both must stay away from the virtual complainant.
Ernest Stuart pleads guilty to escape but not guilty to drug trafficking
On Wednesday August 17, 39 year old Construction Worker, Ernest Stuart, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser where he was read charges of drug trafficking and escape from lawful custody.
Allegations are that on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, he was found in possession of 1.2 grams of crack cocaine which police claim they found in his left front pants pocket during a search at his yard, located at #15 Fredrick Street, Belize City.
Further allegations being made against Stuartare that whilst he was being detained by PC #2026, Davis, he escaped.
Groundbreaking for new Grace Primary School building
Hon. Patrick Faber on Wednesday August 17 officially broke ground at the new Grace Primary School’s compound on Faber’s Road for the construction of a new school building. The new building will be built at a cost of $562,300.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank with counterpart funding from the Government of Belize and the Grace Primary Parent Teacher’s Association. They contributed 30 thousand dollars for landfill of the new site.
The building will be a single storey reinforced concrete building measuring 121 feet long and 31feet wide. it will have four classrooms, male and female students’ bathrooms, teachers’ lavatory, administrative space, and an access ramp to accommodate students/visitors with diverse abilities. The new expanded structure will also be equipped with a verandah, reinforced aluminum louvered windows, security grilles and timber doors.
Put thine money where thine mouth is
For the past week or so ever since the court's decision on the challenge to certain parts of section 53 of the Criminal Code Chapter 101 of Laws of Belize, there has been a lot of opinions being passed around via talk shows and social media. Many of those interventions have come from Priests, Pastors, members or officials of various religious organizations and other persons who claims to be Christians. Very few of the views appear to have been well formulated. There have been some that appear to be contemptuous and may well cause the authors of those opinions to be taken before the court. Then there have been others that are just plain hate speeches.
For clarity's sake let's give a little background of what we are discussing here. A Belizean, Caleb Orozco, had taken the government to court claiming that the aforementioned section 53 violated certain of his right as proscribed in the Belize Constitution.
When the pyramid crumbles
Every so often we would hear of people running scams on others by using some sort of GET RICH scheme and at this time it appears to be a PYRAMID SCHEME being called Dream Catchers that has been employed to con Belizean women out of their hard earned money. We think to do it at this time of the year was crucial for the promoters, because it is the time when the job of getting the children prepared to go back to school for the new school year, falls mostly on the shoulders of the women, many of whom are SINGLE PARENTS. The crunch to get the monies needed for those activities are sometimes overbearing on those women and they could easily be had by the lure of a get rich scheme .
Hon. Patrick Faber launches program of celebrations in San Ignacio Town
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, the Hon. Patrick Faber officially launched the September Celebrations Program for the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday night of this past weekend. Hon. Faber was joined by Earl Trapp Junior, Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns. On Saturday, the Hon. Faber was also joined by the Queens, who will be vying for the Queen of the West Crown.
In his main address on Saturday night, Hon. Patrick Faber referred to the theme for this year’s September Celebrations, Sovereign and Strong—Together as One. He said that it is in our young people that the future of our Country lies.
Ernest Staine can no longer practice law in Belize
The last time we reported on attorney Ernest Staine was at the end of March of last year when the Supreme Court ordered that his assets be sold in order for him to be able to pay a client whom he had collected 230 thousand dollars for but did not pay her.
We now report that Staine has lost his privilege as an attorney. In quite an unceremonious manner the General Legal Council announced last week that Ernest Staine has been removed from the Roll of Attorneys-at-Law and is therefore no longer eligible to practice law effective June 30th.
In mid 2014 Staine was involved in a transaction in which a property belonging to Rita McField was sold to Forward in Faith Ministries for 250 thousand dollars. The transaction saw the church organization give Staine the money for the property which is located on Douglas Jones Street.
CYDP 5th Annual Peace Cup to commence
The Conscious Youth Development Programme 5th Annual Peace Cup is scheduled to commence on Saturday 27th August, 2016, at the MCC Grounds.
According to the organisers, there is no registration fee and space is limited. The Registration forms for the 5th Annual Peace Cup can be picked up at the Conscious Youth Development Programme Office at 117 North Front Street in Belize City.
The winning team will receive $5000.00 cash plus individual trophies. The second place team will receive $3000.00 plus trophies and third place will receive $2000.00 plus medals.
Vicious chopping murder in Belmopan
Two men, brothers, were chopped on Tuesday night in Belmopan. The men 24 year old Walter Alvarado and his brother 33 year old Clerito Perez had gone out to buy food when they were attacked by a group of men who savagely chopped them. As a result of the attack Clerito lost his life while Walter ended up at the hospital receiving treatment for numerous chop wounds.
Walter Alvarado has told police that he and his brother had gone to buy food in the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan when 3 men confronted them. Alvarado says he had bought his food and was waiting on his brother as he had gone to buy two beers when the men started to harass him.
Belizean dies while driving through Mexico
Belizean diplomats in Mexico are working on having the body of 50 year old Belizean Rene August transported back home after he died in a traffic accident.
Reports are that at around 6:45 on Tuesday evening August was travelling along the Autopista Teami Veracruz – Córdoba, when nearing kilometer 74 in the municipality of Jamapa, Veracruz he lost control of the vehicle he was driving. The vehicle, a Ford Escape with which he was towing a Jeep Patriot ran off the road killing August at the scene. Reports are that it took well over 8 hours to remove his body from the wreckage. Juan Rudon, 67 who was also travelling with August escaped unhurt.
People’s Coalition of Cayo at the ready
An important meeting of the People’s Coalition of Cayo PCC was held at the Aguada Hotel and Restaurant in San Ignacio Town last Wednesday night to usher in new set of priorities for the organization. Chairing that meeting was William Butcher, who is also an avid Rotarian. According to Butcher, the PCC is in existence to help the police.
In a report filed in by Superintendent of Police, Anthony Richard Rosado and who is also Officer in charge of the San Ignacio Police Formation, when compared to June 2016, other crimes decreased for the month of July 2016 by 21% and major crimes decreased by 38%. When compared to the same period last year, major crimes also decreased by 35% within an area encompassing 38 villages and the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.
Lessons learnt in Western Belize with the passing of Hurricane Earl
While Hurricane Earl has long passed and gone, there are lessons to be learnt from that experience; especially in Western Belize, where on rare occasions the area becomes susceptible to flooding. Just a few hours after the passing of Hurricane Earl, the Macal River had risen rapidly and it surprised everyone at the levels that it would reach.
According to the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town, Earl Trapp Junior, “I think we have had a serious disaster here in our Municipality.” In addition to the blowing away of 12 roofs in the area, several businesses had lost thousands of dollars as a result of water damage from the Macal River as it rose past the Cayo Welcome Centre and neared to the Bismillah Store.
Chinese national ends up in jail for unpaid debts
Chinese national, David Wong, who is now a naturalized Belizean was apprehended last night at around 7:30 after he absconded from Belize and went to China. At the time he refused to pay money he owed to an accident victim after the Supreme Court made a ruling ordering him to initially pay $82,000. As a result of time passed that amount has now grown to $117,000 in lawyer fees, court costs and interest.
On Wednesday August 17 Wong who was unrepresented appeared before Supreme Court Judge, Shona Griffith while the claimant, Levin Aguilar appeared with his attorney, Mark Williams as they made attempts to get the money owed to Aguillar for almost 2 years.
Victor Mason Gibbs granted bail after knocking down and killing Emily Guy
Victor Mason Gibbs the alleged drunk driver who on Saturday, July 30, 2016 caused the death of 54 year old Emily Guy appeared in magistrate’s court on Monday August 15 seeking bail. After hearing his application he was granted bail in the sum of 8 thousand dollars plus two sureties of 4 thousand dollars each. He also had to surrender all his travel documents to the Belize City Magistrate’s court and must report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday of the week and not interfere with any of the prosecution witnesses and not be arrested or charged with any other offense whilst out on bail.
Special constable accused of rape granted bail
On Friday August 12, Addison Gillett a special constable was granted bail at the Supreme Court by Justice Triadio Gonzalez in the sum of $8,000 plus one surety of the same amount or two sureties of $4,000.00.
Gillett was accused of aggravated assault with a gun and rape of a minor in Belmopan. He is accused of grabbing the minor at gun point in broad daylight then taking her to a hotel where he dragged her up the stairs and then at gun point raped her.
Murder trial concludes against Curtis Lamb, judge reserves judgment
A trial by judge concluded before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Belize City Supreme Court against 22 year old Curtis Lamb, a Belize City youth who at the time of his arrest was only 17. Lamb had been accused of the August 3, 2011 murder of Justin Roaches who was shot whilst socializing on the Gwen Lizarraga High School Basketball court.
Lamb’s trial began three weeks earlier and on Wednesday August 10 Judge Gonzalez heard closing arguments from sides. The crown was represented by Sheneiza Smith and the defence was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvester. After the arguments Judge Gonzalez reserved judgement to a later date.
Allegations made by the crown against Lamb are that he shot and killed Roaches. Roaches was shot 3 times to the body but according to the crown’s evidence, Roaches was not the intended target.
Bail granted then denied to Kimberly Lino because she is an American Citizen
On Friday August 12, two Belizean/American sisters, Kimberly Lino and Samanti Louis, accused and charged with aggravated burglary after a woman’s house in Dangriga was invaded by 3 women and a 14 year old minor were both granted Supreme Court bail in the sum of $30,000 and stringent conditions. The women had to provide the court with copies of their passports, visas, green cards and identification should they not show up to the Dangriga Magistrate Court on their next court appearance in the matter.
Before they could meet the bail, both sisters had to provide the judge with the documents for scrutiny and since their bail application was heard late Friday evening, they could not meet all the requirements as ordered by the court which forced the matter to carry on into Monday August 15.
Accused of having sex with a minor
A labourer of the Gungulung area in Belize City was remanded on Monday, August 15 after being charged with two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse for allegedly having sex with a 15 year old minor.
26 year old Kenroy Timmons, was arraigned before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read the charges. The child reported to police that on June 27, 2016, at the age of 15 years and 6 months, Timmons had sex with her. She also alleged that on a second occasion, on July 1, 2016, 5 days later, Timmons again had sex with her.
Breaking Belize News
BPP calls for comprehensive referendum on social issues
Take it to the people! That is the advice of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) on issues ranging from the recent decision on Section 53 of the Criminal Code, to legalization of marijuana use, to signing the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention. In terms of […]
UNDP joins hurricane relief efforts
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is donating roofing materials and cleaning kits to Belize City residents who were severely affected by Hurricane Earl. The announcement was made late this afternoon via a press release. The materials are expected to help 125 families repair […]
Belizean Student wins Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s Children’s Essay Competition
Belizean student Janae Elisha Rodriguez has won herself first place in the junior division in the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Foundation Children’s Essay Competition. The competition invited students from Latin America and the Caribbean to write about what they would like to see and […]
San Narciso man dies of alcohol intoxication
32-year-old Basilio Patt, a resident of San Narciso Village was found dead on Monday morning at the San Joaquin Fiesta Grounds in San Joaquin Village. Patt’s body was found around 6:00 a.m. by villagers who reported it to the police. The circumstances surrounding Patt’s […]
Corozal man drowns in the New River
Alberto Pott, 41, a resident and cane cutter of Caledonia Village in the Corozal District was found dead in the New River on Wednesday afternoon. According to Corozal police, around 12:30 p.m. someone who had gone to the river to fish saw Pott floating […]
DFC sponsors the Belize Protectors Association
The Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has contributed $5,000 to the Belize Protectors Association.
The Association is a team including personnel from the Belize Police Department, the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Coast Guard.
In March of this year they competed, for the first time, in the B2V race, a relay of 120 miles from Baker California to Las Vegas Nevada, USA. In their debut performance against over 8, 000 other competitors, the team of 25 ranked 14th overall and took first place in the mixed category.
A Guide to Packing for Belize in the Rainy Season
It has many names – the low season, the off season, hurricane season but around here on Ambergris Caye, it’s generally called the rainy season. August, September, October, often into November, like in much of the Caribbean, the weather and the sea are warmer, the air more humid and there is always a chance of rain.
It’s the tropics…even the most gorgeous sunny morning can lead to dark storm clouds rolling by at mid-day, heavy rain that blows sideways for 20 mins and then back to bright sun.
You definitely have the chance for rain at night…or a shower or two during the day…or possibly a run of a couple rainy days but by no means does the “rainy season” mean that your whole vacation is a rain-out. The weather is…spontaneous. So being prepared will ensure that your trip is much more comfortable.
Keep in mind that there are GREAT reasons to visit Belize during this time.
Belize Destinations: 7 Underrated Places To Visit
There’s a small army of activities to participate in when you’re in Belize, some of our other posts can give you detailed guides of the wheres and how-tos of Belize’s most premiere destinations. Today, however, we’d like to bring you a few of the less known wonders that deserve just as much attention as the likes of Big Rock Falls and Victoria Peak.
Here Are 7 Underrated Belize Destinations In No Particular Order:
Doyles Delight: This is Victoria Peak’s direct western counterpart and the actual highest peak in Belize scraping past the aforementioned by just 4 meters (12 feet is an entire floor level anyway).
Following the construction and commissioning of the new dam, the floodgates were shut and the reservoir began to fill. Vaca lake was born and today is a long stretch of filled river which unintentionally created beautiful swimming waters and created access to newly river-bank accessible waterfalls.
Cockscomb basin: The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, unlike Vaca Lake, had nothing do to with people – we simply found a pristine eco-system and realized it was worth preserving! Cockscomb basin is home to many of Belize’s wildest and must elusive species, most famously of which are our very own Panthera onca (jaguar for short).
Belize has talent: 2016 National Song Competition opens September Celebrations
If you pay attention to the list of events between August and September each year, you will agree that Belize celebrates its official national days in grand style. One very popular activity is the annual National Song Competition, which is the breakaway of the celebratory season. It was my first time at the event this year, and let me tell you, I am a proud Belizean. Hundreds of revellers gathered at the Fort George Memorial Park in Belize City and joined in the singing and dancing. On stage, dancers accompanied the energetic performers, jumping around, exalting the name of Belize, and waving the Belize flag. It was truly a Belizean experience at a truly Belizean landmark, and I’d never felt so Belizean! The patriotic event is the beginning of a journey of festivities leading to the 218th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye on September 10th and our official Independence Day on September 21st ,which under the theme ‘Sovereign and Strong, Together as One,’ will bringing Belize’s 35th independence anniversary.
Belize blazes a trail
TINY Belize is having a moment of global fame. Simone Biles, the United States’ spring-loaded gold-medal gymnast, is also a citizen of the Caribbean state. Human-rights advocates, meanwhile, are more excited about the decision by its high court to decriminalise homosexuality. Section 53 of the criminal code, which threatens people who engage in “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” with up to ten years in prison, is unconstitutional, ruled the chief justice, Kenneth Benjamin, on August 10th. The decision may set a precedent for a conservative region.
It was a long time coming. Caleb Orozco, a leader of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, a gay-rights group, waited three years for a hearing after challenging the law in 2010. His campaign provoked attacks and insults. Churches fought it, both in the courtroom as “interested parties” and through the media. Lance Lewis, president of Belize’s National Evangelical Association, called the court’s ruling “an abomination”.
Belize commended for not appealing sex act ruling
The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) supports the government of Belize’s decision not to appeal the ruling that criminalising carnal acts, to include anal sex, is unconstitutional.
CVC said the Cabinet had a duty to regard and accept the court as ‘Guardian of the Constitution of Belize’, that the ruling brings Section 53 in conformity with the Constitution since the case had been exhaustively argued and the issues fully ventilated.
The group also views the decision of the government not to appeal as “an important and bold step forward”.
“It is especially noteworthy that Prime Minister Dean Barrow denounced violence, including hate speech, and called for Belizeans to treat each other with respect and dignity regardless of differences,” CVC said.
Belize is recovering from the Tropical Cyclone Earl
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) grants from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) for immediate relief operations 143,828 Swiss francs to support the Belize Red Cross Society (BRCS) in assisting 2,200 people (440 families) affected by Tropical Cyclone Earl.
The Tropical Cyclone Earl made landfall on 4 August, with wind gusts of up to 110 km/h, as estimated by National Hurricane Center of the United States. The cyclone was moving west at about 14 miles per hour. At its centre the hurricane was estimated to have wind speeds of 70 miles per hour. Major infrastructure and building damage were reported by the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO). Roads and streets were blocked in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City, and Ladyville, Belize River Valley, Orange Walk, Belmopan and other affected areas.
Soldier volunteers with Gold Star Teen Adventures
Second Lt. Olivia Schretzman, D Company, 326th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, recently participated as a mentor with Gold Star Teen Adventures during the Advanced SCUBA Trip 2016 and Alumni Advanced Outdoor Adventure 2016 in San Pedro and Belmopan, Belize.
The mission of Gold Star Teen Adventures is to enable healing, foster enduring relationships and develop character and leadership skills through adventure experiences in the surviving youth of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Kent Solheim created the organization after being seriously wounded in Iraq in 2007. He wanted teens of fallen heroes to experience the same comradery he found in the service.
Schretzman’s participation in the program has had a positive effect on the Gold Star Families, Soldheim said.
Belize sodomy ruling could have sweeping impact in Caribbean
Activists across the English-speaking Caribbean say last week’s Belize Supreme Court ruling that found the country’s sodomy law could have implications throughout the region.
Donnya Piggott, director of Barbados Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination, described the ruling to the Washington Blade as “groundbreaking and extremely promising.”
Barbados is among the countries in the English-speaking Caribbean in which consensual same-sex sexual conduct remains criminalized.
Piggott told the Blade that authorities earlier this year used the island’s sodomy law to charge a man who allegedly had sex with a 15-years-old. The colonial-era statute is rarely enforced, but the man could face life in prison if he is convicted.
“No change comes without initial backlash,” Piggott told the Blade, referring to the impact that the Belize Supreme Court ruling could have in Barbados. “So we have to brace ourselves for a stronger right-wing opposition, but apart from that I see (sodomy laws) tumbling like dominoes in the Caribbean.”
BELIZEAN STUDENT WINS LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN ESSAY COMPETITION
A Belizean student has won a Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Foundation Children’s Essay Competition for students in Latin America and the Caribbean.
FCCA Monday said that first place in the junior division was Janae Elisha Rodriguez from Belize, while Jacinth Hunkins from St. Maarten took the gold in the senior division.
The competition had invited students from schools around the Caribbean and Latin America to submit essays and FCCA said that in total, this year’s contest provided nearly US$20,000 to the participating students and their schools.
“There is nothing more fulfilling than helping children, and I am proud of all the ways the FCCA Foundation achieves this,” said FCCA president Michele Paige.
When you bring Marimba and Steel Band together!, 3min. Belize International Jazz Festival
Fireworks at San Joaquin Fiesta!, 4min. HAPPY 50 FIESTAS SAN JOAQUIN!!!
BELIZE 2016, 6min.
Dolphin and Spotted Eagle Ray during dive off Ambergris Caye, Belize., 4.5min. During a dive on the dive site "Mermaids Lair" off Ambergris Caye in Belize, a dolphin joined us as we descended to the bottom to begin the dive. He played with the nurse sharks that were swimming around and then swam off. Later in the dive a Spotted Eagle Ray allowed me to get close enough to get some good video.
Johnsen Belize Trip - May 2016, 12min. Blackbird Caye Resort
Belize / Caravana de la Alegría, 6.5min. EXCELENTE LUGAR PARA PLANEAR VACACIONES Y VIVIR EXPERIENCIAS ÚNICAS EN EL CARIBE BELICEÑO EN EL SIGUIENTE REPORTAJE PODRÁS APRECIAR PARTE DE SU BELLEZA ...
Belize Trip, 15min.
Belize 2016, 4min. Trip to Caye Caulker, Belize.
Belize Trip (Long), 11min.
Climate Change Club Trip to Trio Village, Belize, 5min. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre's (CCCCC) Climate Change Club program took students from Belmopan Active Youths, Belmopan Methodist High School and Belmopan Comprehensive High School to visit an agro-forestry concession which was developed by the Trio Cacao Farmers Association, Ya'axche' Conservation Trust and the CCCCC. They learned about the organic growing of cacao, bee farming and had a home visit with a member of the village. The students, who were encouraged to interact with the other clubs took photos of their trip to be used in the creation of flyers to be used on social media to promote sustainable development and best practices.
Belize Zip Lining, 5min.
Trailer for Marion Jones: Pride of Belize, 1.5min. The trailer features an upcoming documentary on the Belizean-American world class sprinter and track & field icon Marion Jones who captured the heart of thousands of Belizeans at home and abroad. After becoming the fastest woman in the world and making her mark as a world class athlete, Marion Jones visited Belize in 2001, the country of her mother's birth to a warm homecoming Belizean audience who lined the streets of Belize City to see the athletic phenom that made Belize proud and captured the hearts of government and people alike.