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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
After a hurricane: What happens with the trash?
The San Pedro Sun contacted the Solid Waste Management to find out. Emerson Garcia explained the process of gathering debris after a natural disaster, as well as the recommendation that were given to San Pedro. “The whole idea was for all the municipalities countrywide to put all of the debris in the transfer station. Once it is in the station, it was going to be cut into three or four pieces and then moved to the mainland’s landfill. The majority of debris in San Pedro was used as landfill. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) went ahead and collected it. It was used to put in some lands or roads as landfill. First, we didn’t advise them to do that because it could be a problem in the future when it starts to decompose. Even though we recommended them to store it temporarily in the station, the SPTC took the initiative to use the debris as landfill,” said Garcia.
Island Invasion Volume 7
King of the Island and Hypastatic entertainment invaded San Pedro Town on Saturday, August 27th with another segment of Island Invasion. Under the theme “Cheap Thrills”, the event was held at the Lions Den, and featured a premier DJ lineup.
Doors were opened at 10PM, and ladies had free admission up until 1AM, while men were admitted for $15. Light and Sound was provided by DJ Tracks, with musical entertainment by DJ Callie, DJ Julian Blue Wave Sounds, DJ Hypastatic Sovereign Sounds, and DJ Biggz Air Invasion Sounds.
The music drew in hundreds of people, looking for the best in the latest dancehall, soca, reggae, hip hop, pop, and techno tunes.
Local Church Organizations urge the Government to appeal Section 53
The decision from the Government of Belize (GOB), not to appeal the recent ruling by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin which overturned Belize’s sodomy law, or Section 53 of the Criminal Code, has disappointed the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) and the Roman Catholic Church. In separate letters addressed to GOB, both religious organizations urged Prime Minister Dean Barrow to appeal the decision for the well-being of the future generations of Belize.
The NEAB claims to represent 280 churches in Belize and even though they have not formally said that they will appeal the court ruling, they mobilized their members for what they called a prayer patrol around the National Assembly and government administration buildings in the City of Belmopan. The first protest was organized on Tuesday, August 23rd followed by a second one on Tuesday, August 30th, while Cabinet was in session.
Belize Soldiers Come Under Fire at Chiquibul Park by Illegal Poachers
The Government of Belize has issued a press release informing the nation that on August 31, 2016, a Belize Defense Force (BDF) reconnaissance patrol came under fire within the Chiquibul National Park, approximately 259 meters east of the border. The purpose of the patrol was to follow-up on an official order to leave that was issued on August 22, 2016, to illegal settlers within the Chiquibul National Park.
It has been reported that unidentified persons within the Chiquibul initiated gunfire as the BDF patrol approached the location where the illegal settlement was discovered. The BDF patrol returned fire in self-defense and withdrew to safety. No military personnel have been reported to have sustained any injury and no indication of any casualties have been discovered.
Misc Belizean Sources
South Ambergris Caye Neighbourhood Watch: No September Meeting
This is the time of year when the island gets quiet and when we traditionally skip the monthly general meeting of the members. As in the past, there will be no general meeting in September - but hold on to your hats . . . . October 1 we will be holding our annual potluck get together at Caribe Island. You bring a dish, beverages will be available for a small (or generous) donation. Yes, adult beverages! You will get a separate email with details as the date draws near. Remember - you can make your regular donation from the comfort of your home by clicking this link. It will take you to our online donation shopping cart - which is in Belize dollars. Enjoy your month of September celebrations where ever you are!
SBDC Workshop: BUSINESS PLAN DEVELOPMENT
Presented by: Mrs. Vicky Heredia, Business Advisor, SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Workshop Date:
September 08th, 2015.
9am to 12pm. Free of cost. The purpose of this workshop is to help participants understand what the elements of a business plan are. The time constraints of the session, and sensitivity of private client information, do not allow the participants or the facilitator to actually draft any component of the business plan during the workshop. However the workshop instead should be lead as a brainstorming session to allow participants to be thinking of what would be included in their specific plan. Then later they would write their business plan using the ideas generated during this workshop. Therefore the class should be very informal and mostly discussion based. The manual provides pointers, but it is up to the participants to come up with their own specifics. Trainer should actively engage the participants throughout the workshop to be sharing ideas and thinking of how each element of the business plan comes into play in their specific business.
Safeguard Our Cultural Patrimony
As September comes around and we focus on our Belizean culture and identity, let us not forget our heritage and patrimony. Help us fight looting and the illicit trafficking of our past. Report all looting activities, do not buy or sell antiquities. Let's keep the history of our country vibrant by keeping the pieces and stories here.
Belize Bird Rescue partnering with Reimers Feed Mill
We want to give a HUGE thank you to Reimers Feed Mill who have just launched a nation-wide partnership program with us! Starting today in the Belmopan branch, and soon throughout the rest of the country, you can donate supplies desperately needed at BBR through Reimers. With certain purchases we will give you a free book or gift pack as a thank you for your help!
Today and Tomorrow are the opening days for Reimers in Belmopan with discounts and give-aways. Go check it out. Support them, and support us and even get something cool to take home for yourself!
Probability, Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress for Sep-Dec 2016
We're growing concerned about the potential for Coral Bleaching in the Caribbean this year. 4-Month Outlook looking a lot like 2005. Coral Reef Watch.
Ministry of Health and Belize Emergency Response Team Agree
to a Temporary Resolution
The Ministry of Health and the Board of Directors for Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) have agreed to a temporary resolution. Negotiations will continue with all involved to come to a permanent conclusion in the way forward to sustain the management and essential services provided by BERT.
A formal letter of agreement was issued today by the Ministry of Health which stipulates the Government of Belize commitment to a grant of $45,000 per month. The grant will be for a maximum period of six months while negotiations continue over the long term financial sustainability of BERT land services.
The Ministry of Health on behalf of the Government of Belize and BERT are committed to ensure quality emergency services continue to serve the people of Belize.
MINISTER OF DEFENSE AND NEW CEO COMMENCE TOUR OF
BDF COMMAND CENTERS AND INSTALLATIONS COUNTRYWIDE
As Minister of Defense, Hon. John Saldivar and his new Chief Executive Officer, Felix Enriquez, have commenced a tour of BDF command centers and installations countrywide.
Yesterday, September 1, 2016, the Minister and his CEO, accompanied by BDF Commander Brigadier General David Jones, visited the BDF Headquarters at Price Barracks, Ladyville.
The Minister and his CEO were given a full tour of the facilities at Price Barracks including command and training centers, living quarters and the force’s hospital, which is gradually being upgraded to meet NHI standards and serves the needs of BDF soldiers and personnel as well as civilians from surrounding communities such as Ladyville and Lord’s Bank. They also inspected physical damage to residences and facilities on Price Barracks caused by Hurricane Earl.
BPP officially launches the People's Referendum Initiative
Amid the dysfunction that occurred on Friday both inside the National Assembly, as well as outside, which involved a few who saw fit to go beyond the ambit of the law, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) was hard at work, touching base with the people.
Unfortunately, the media chose to highlight the sensational spectacle and virtuoso performance put on by the PUDP. Additionally, they acknowledged that the effort of the Church was hijacked.
In case you were unaware, the BPP launched its effort – The People’s Referendum – Friday August 26th in Belmopan, outside the National Assembly Building, during the sitting of the House. Simultaneously, the effort was also launched online. By way of this undertaking, unlike any other political party in the history of Belize, the BPP wants to hear from you!
Poets Corner: Stand
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez.
Taking our country back
Means the people must have the Auditor General‘s back
If it is she is being threaten to be sack
If it is she’s being authorized and what not
Her resolve is that she is truly brave
Her resolve is that integrity will not be fazed
Her resolve is that she’s about transparency
Her resolve is that she’s loyal to country
We need to all be practical
The AG is a public official
Working in the midst of scoundrels
The country standing by her is critical
She has made official
What we’ve long been sceptical
Of corrupt officials
For doing her job she’s on trial
Let’s not make this political
Her safety must be protected
Her position must be respected
Her position must be tenured
MEXICO RECEIVES GOVERNOR GENERAL OF BELIZE, SIR COLVILLE YOUNG
Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Release no. 378; Mexico City. This is the first visit of Sir Colville Young to Mexico since he was appointed as Governor General of Belize by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young is visiting our country from August 29 to September 2nd, 2016, invited by Anahuac University where he gave a lecture on "Lectures on Literature of the Caribbean".
During his visit he also met with more than 30 Ambassadors from Mexico City to Belize.
In recognition of the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belize and Mexico, the Governor General visited the National Museum of Anthropology, toured the Historical Diplomat Archives of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and met with the Undersecretary, Ambassador Socorro Flores Liera, with whom he discussed the excellent level of bilateral relations between the two countries. In this context, Undersecretary Flores endorsed the friendship and closeness of our country to Belize.
Bamboo Bar Grand Reopening
From www.facebook.com - September 2, 12:29 PM
Bamboo Bar had a wild grand reopening party. Lots of good, and loud, music from some great artists. BBQ too.
Bamboo Bar got a lot of great pictures.
"Ascenthium, Eddie Allen, and Barefoot Skinny played at Bamboo Bar's Grand Reopening, and it made for an amazing day, and night. What a rain there was, too."
Belize Bus Cooperative Blocks Mexico's ADO Buses
When ADO buses started running from Belize City to Cancun and Merida in August 2011 - there were concerns in the public transport industry that the luxury buses would try to squeeze in on the local market, and take away passengers from the buses which run the northern routes. But those fears were never substantiated because the ADO buses ran straight to the Mexican side of the border.
But, five years later, those same fears have resurged. According to the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative's workers, the ADO bus is jeopardizing their business by running during their paid run. That caused a commotion this morning when the BBOC tried to stop them from leaving the terminal. 7News was on the scene from before the commotion started and Courtney Weatherburne has the story:...
Cops Arrest One For Unlawful Protest
Police did hold one man for the illegal protest - and today the Deputy Commander for Southside told us that he will be charged:..
Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson - Deputy OC, Eastern Division South:
"I spoke to the persons who were standing in front of the ADO bus who were employees of BBOC and for the most part the majority of them cooperated and moved from in front of the bus. We had on person who we had to arrest, because he was not cooperating with us and we subsequently move the buses that was causing the obstruction and the ADO bus went on its way."
"Can you name that person and is he still is custody and what charges will he faced?"
Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson - Deputy OC, Eastern Division South:
"The person is in custody and he will be charge before the day is finish. There will be at least 3 charges."
Pink Caught Clerk and Security Guard Red Handed
A security guard and a sales clerk have been detained for doing a number on Pink Boutique in Belize City. The allegation is that the pair teamed up for at least a month to slowly siphon out a substantial amount of inventory - valued in the thousands of dollars. Here's how they did it; the clerk would collect the stolen items during the course of the day, then she would put it in a bag and hand it over to the security guard - because, who would distrust a guard, right? He then waited for the Security company's Transport to arrive nightly to do its contracted work of securely locking up the mega - boutique. From there he would hop in the security vehicle, and leave out safely with the stolen items. But, they were caught on security camera, and picked up last night. Tonight, they remain detained but no charges have been brought.
Cops Trying To Catch Kidnapper
Last week, we told you about 9 month-old Baby Aiden Matus, who was kidnapped from his mother in Bella Vista Village. A few hours after the story hit the evening news, the kidnapper or kidnappers abandoned the baby in the Belize City.
The cops found him in the Lord Ridge Cemetery area, and since then, they've been trying to find the men who stole him from his mother. But they're having some difficulties, and they need your help with decoding a clue.
That clue is the recording of a phone call which the mother made to one of the kidnappers frantically pleading with them to give her proof that the baby was still alive. In the tape, the kidnapper is demanding a ransom for his safe return, and you'll hear that now. The cops are hoping that you will recognize the man's voice. Here's that moment when the mother is pleading for picture evidence that he is still alive so that they can agree to pay the money:
BERT And The Ministry of Health Compromise
Last night we told you about the deadlock between the Ministry of Health and the BERT Ambulance Service. Well, just half an hour ago - the Ministry of Health announced that they have agreed to a temporary resolution with BERT's Board of Directors. The release discloses that a formal letter of agreement was issued today by the Ministry of Health which commits the Government of Belize to a grant of $45,000 per month. This will run for six months while, quote, "negotiations continue over the long term financial sustainability of BERT land services."
The release says, quote, "The Ministry of Health…and BERT are committed to ensure quality emergency services."
A Press Conference About Punching Holes, Not Filling In Blanks
Two hours, forty-nine minutes - that's how long the Prime Minister's marathon press conference lasted yesterday. It's just about the longest press conference we can recall him having - but that's because it featured presentations from the Department, and the Ministers of Immigration. And while it dealt nominally with the Auditor Generals reports, the press conference was more about punching holes in those reports that it was about filling in the blanks. Last night we presented some of what was said, tonight - with the luxury of time to put it all together - we have a broader overview:...
House Speaker Threatens Auditor General With Lawsuit
And House Speaker Mike Peyrefitte is one who says he will be suing the Auditor General. On Wednesday, Peyrefitte wrote the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley scolding her for wrongly listing him as someone who recommended a passport when he was not authorized to do so. Peyrefitte is a member of the house, so he was authorized. Plain and simple, it's a mistake, but Peyrefitte is not letting it slide. He tells that Auditor General that she has caused a quote, "huge stain" on his character and he demands an immediate written apology and an amendment of the report. He warns Bradley that if she does not do so, he will quote, "have to exercise any legal means to clear" his name.
BDF Explains Ejection of Guatemalan Poachers
In last night's news, we only had a short briefing from the Government on the latest shooting in the Chiquibul.
We've since learned that it happened on Wednesday morning in the El Retiro area, which is about an hour and a half walk south from the Valentin Conservation Post.
That's where the BDF were going to enforce an Order to Leave on some 15 Guatemalan campesinos who were found in July illegally occupying Belizean territory. They had built this small settlement of 5 houses, right near the border on Belize's side.
The settlement was tucked on the western side of a hill, which is hidden from view. Because it is concealed in the lay of the land, the BDF almost missed it the first time. It was only due to a vigilant soldier who climbed the hill just to be thorough. He spotted the houses, and alerted his superiors. They checked, and confirmed that by GPS coordinates, these people were within Belizean Territory.
Does The BDF Want An Apology From Guat Officials
So, the BDF dodged the bullet in that incident, and they're also looking to move forward from the fatal shooting of the Guatemalan minor, Julio Ruano.
They've been exonerated in an OAS independent Investigation, but as we showed you, the Guatemalans are not accepting the findings.
So, does that make things difficult for cordial relationship between the BDF and the Guatemalan Armed Forces to continue? That's what the press asked the BDF Commander today:
"Magdalena Talamas who is the OAS secretary general's representative on Belize-Guatemala affairs has said that they do not pronounce themselves on individual incidents, yet they put out a release repudiating the death. As the commander for the force who has been maligned by the Guatemalan president, foreign minister, etc., do you expect that the OAS would have put out a statement on what were the findings so that this is disseminated?"
BDF Whirly Birds Coming Along Fine
But, while the Commander is looking for that tense moment to pass, he's excited that his soldiers are right on schedule for the training to fly and repair their very own helicopters.
As viewers will remember, the Taiwanese handed over those helicopters in April. The Commander told us that the soldiers who are being trained, have already been conducting aerial missions with the trainers, sort of like student drivers, with the trainers monitoring their control of the aircraft:
Mejia To Jail For Gun
19 year old Stephen Mejia is in jail tonight after he was charged for an illegal weapon. Yesterday morning, police were patrolling on Dunn Street when they saw two men on bicycles acting suspiciously.
One of them allegedly threw a black object over a fence and sped off. When the police caught up with him, they brought him back to the area and found a 9 millimeter pistol with 9 live rounds. Mejia was arrested and charged, and today in court Magistrate Carlon Mendoza put him under mandatory remand until October 26th.
Disaster Money From Mexico
To whom much is given, much is required and that's what the Red Cross has been dealing with in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl. The humanitarian organization has received donations from various agencies and embassies and today the Mexican's did their part with 50 thousand US dollars in cash, as well as some material donations form the Mexican private sector. The ambassador told us more today:...
The Mexican private sector also donated 2400 bottles of water.
Undaunted By Cabinet Demotion, Saldivar Tours BDF
Minister John Saldivar had his portfolio downsized due to his connection to William Danny Mason, and since the Auditor General's Reports have been issued, his name has been ringing in the news for signing some suspect via recommendations. But, undaunted, Saldivar is picking up with defence right where he left off with police. According to a release, Saldivar and his new Chief Executive Officer, Felix Enriquez, have commenced a tour of BDF command centers and installations countrywide.
Yesterday, that took them to BDF Headquarters at Price Barracks, Ladyville where they toured the facilities which took a battering during hurricane Earl. Notably, the force hospital, will be upgraded to meet NHI standards open to soldiers as well as civilians from the surrounding communities of Ladyville and Lord's Bank.
PM Explains Special Select Cmte
Last night we told you about all the furor which was raised when Senator for the churches Ashley Rocke voted in favour of a joint select committee - proposed by the government - to investigate the Auditor General's reports. Forget about all that forgiveness and mercy stuff, the Churches called immediately and in unison for his removal. But what really is this new creature: A joint special select committee comprised of membership form both the Senate and the House? And who would lead it? The Prime Minister explained yesterday:...
Rt., Hon, Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"The proposal sir is for that joint select committees membership to reflect what we have agree in terms of the public accounts committee which is to be reconfigured, that there would be all 3 of the social partners on the joint select committee, 2 opposition, so that together they would make 5 and 6 for the government side. The chair of the committee come from among the social partners. Obviously if you're Mr. Questioner have anything to do with it, that chair could never be Senator Rocke and we will never agree to Senator Lizaragga. So I think Ms. Elena Smith better get prepared to step up."
An Accountant APB!
And while the Prime Minister has agreed to reform the Public Accounts Committee and hold public hearings on the Auditor General's reports, setting up the long inactive Integrity Commission is not so simple. That's because it requires the membership of an accountant, and that person would have to submit to the stringencies of becoming a Politically Exposed Person, or PEP. Now, PEP's have to disclose all their sources of income, all their earnings…basically, all their business. The Prime Minister has complained for years that he can't find an accountant who's willing to do this - and eh told the media that a member of the Chamber's of Commerce's Board of Directors - who is an accountant - confirmed the same in a meeting with the business community yesterday:..
Free Zone Still Needs Immigration Check
And you won't find many politically exposed persons at the Corozal Free Zone gambling or looking for cheap liquor. But, Belizeans regularly visit those zones in the north and west looking for a weekend break. Many are peeved when they have to check in with Immigration since the Zones are within Belize. Well, yesterday, the Director said, like it or not, it is the law:
"We are also enforcing the law to ensure that all persons including Belizeans who are departing and arriving in Belize are recorded into the system, with special emphasis on persons who travel through the northern and western border to visit the free zones. I think we have a habit in the past of going across the border and not checking in. These are requirements by law and we are enforcing them, so I am sharing that information with you that you will know that you need to check in at immigration department the moment you try to depart beyond the station."
Police Release Recording Of Kidnapper of Baby Aiden Matus
An infant was kidnapped last week from his home in the village of Bella Vista in southern Belize. There was little information to go by at the time because the [...]
Bus Wars Erupt; Driver Charged as Bus Cooperative Goes to War with ADO
The Belize Bus Owners Cooperative (BBOC) and ADO bus company of Mexico have escalated a rivalry over a key bus run in the North of Belize. Beginning this morning, ADO, [...]
Police Say Situation Could Have Been Handled Differently
The driver faces charges of obstruction, assault of a police officer and disorderly conduct. Senior Superintendent Dawson explained that apart from transport issues, the police were mostly interested in restoring [...]
“Surprised” Trade Union Congress Wanted Senate Inquiry on Immigration
The Senate on Wednesday rejected a motion for a senate select investigation into the Immigration scandal. On Thursday, the Prime Minister announced that the Chamber of Commerce would support a [...]
N.T.U.C.B. President Wonders: Will Prime Minister Make Joint Committee Appointments?
Trade unionist Elena Smith is the last senator standing among her social partner colleagues, based on an informal process of elimination conducted by Prime Minister Barrow on Thursday. During a [...]
N.T.U.C.B. Frowns on Senator Ashley Rocke’s Change of Heart
Senator Ashley Rocke has come under intense scrutiny from the churches, whom he represents in upper parliament, since voting against the Senate Select Taskforce. In the aftermath of that critical [...]
P.M. Barrow Insists He Will Not Throw Auditor General under the Bus
News Five tried today to seek comment from the Office of Auditor General Dorothy Bradley concerning the Immigration Special Audit Reports. But she was unavailable. However, we have received reliable [...]
P.U.P. Comments on Barrow Press Conference
The People’s United Party has reacted to the Prime Minister’s press conference held on Thursday. The P.U.P. had tabled a motion for a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Immigration [...]
Government Makes Compromise with BERT; $45,000 for 6 Months
The Government, in a press release this evening, announced it has reached agreement for the continuation of emergency services by BERT. G.O.B. has committed to grant Belize Emergency Response Team [...]
B.D.F. Commander Confirms Guatemalan Settlement in Chiquibul is No More
Today, Brigadier General David Jones, Commander of the Belize Defence Force, issued an update to last night’s report about a group of soldiers who went to verify that Guatemalan citizens [...]
Crooked Tree Health Center’s Verandah Collapses; Health Ministry Promises Replacement
In the village of Crooked Tree, Belize District, health authorities had to take matters into their hand when part of the building housing the clinic caved in. The facility was [...]
British-Belizean Pedophile Pleads Guilty to Indecent Assault of Placencia Boys
Back in December 2012, David Taylor, a naturalized Belizean was accused of molesting four young boys in Placencia. Tonight, he is behind bars serving a two-year prison term imposed [...]
Strike Team Finds Youth With Unlicensed 9-Millimeter Pistol
Also behind bars tonight is nineteen year old Stephen Mejia, an unemployed resident of Antelope Street Extension, after being busted on Thursday with a nine millimetre pistol loaded with nine [...]
N.T.U.C.B. President on Complaint Letter from Unions
Back to the N.T.U.C.B…..an internal memo criticizing the General Council of the Congress for its style of management was leaked to the media earlier this week. In the communiqué, signed [...]
Immigration Minister Cites Higher Visa Payments from Chinese Nationals
Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse insists his troubled department has not tried to keep its records secret in relation to the issuance of visas, especially to Chinese nationals. It turns out [...]
Are Recommendations for Visas Really Important?
The Immigration Minister also defended the purpose of recommendation of persons to receive visas. He says it’s about who knows you, not who you know. Senator Godwin Hulse, Minister [...]
P.M. Questions How to Conduct Immigration Investigation
Thursday’s three-hour press conference included a live walk-through presentation by Immigration Officer Diego Bol covering the entire immigration process from start to finish. It was not taped, but it was [...]
Mexico Chips in With Hurricane Earl Donations
It’s been exactly one month since Hurricane Earl hit south of Belize City and swept through Belize and Mexico. While there were no casualties in Belize, in Mexico up to [...]
Red Cross Continues to Distribute to Affected Families
According to Ambassador Quesnel, the amount was determined following assessments from the Government and the Belize Red Cross. The Red Cross has helped approximately five hundred families across the Belize [...]
Zika is Now Endemic on Caye Caulker
Earlier this week, we told you about an increase in the number of persons visiting the health facility on Caye Caulker with symptoms similar to that of zika. So far, [...]
Belizean-American Boxer Returns Home with Championships
Fans of boxing on the Showtime Network are quite familiar with the name Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller. He’s the larger than life Belizean athlete who is taking the sport by [...]
Ty Linares’ “Summer Sun Medley” Gets Music Video
There’s a new music video that has gone viral on social media in Belize. Summer Sun Medley is the new single of Belize City artist Ty Linares featuring Et Dan [...]
Audit report questions nationality certificate signed by Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse
The brother-in-law of Kim Simplis-Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, has been approved for a Belizean passport, which was highlighted in the Special Audit of the Immigration Department, because the auditors contend that he did not qualify for Belizean nationality.
Both Prime Minister Barrow and his Immigration Minster, Senator Godwin Hulse, who signed the passport, insist, however, that Peter William Dahlstrom, a Swedish national, who resides in London, UK, qualified to receive such a passport due to his marriage to a Belizean.
Dahlstrom applied for the passport on April 5, 2012 and gave his address as 61 Southern Foreshore. The necessary police report was waived, and his application was marked “urgent ok,” the auditors found.
Dahlstrom was recommended by Erle Grinage of 7 Poinsettia Lane, who stated that he has known the applicant for two years.
Pastor Ashley Rocke stabbed churches in the back!
Senator representing the Churches, Pastor Ashley Rocke, is in hot water for voting down an Opposition PUP motion to appoint a Special Select Committee to investigate the illegal or irregular issuance of over 55,000 passports and other immigration documents between 2011 and 2013, the period the audit covers.
In an interview with Amandala this morning, Pastor Rocke said that he voted against the motion because the counter-proposal which was suggested by the Leader of Government Business, Senator Godwin Hulse, made more sense to him.
However, Senator Hulse never formally introduced a counter-motion, which remained as just a suggestion, during yesterday’s senate meeting,
Amandala asked Rocke if his decision to vote no was in his personal interest or in the interest of the churches he represented.
Rocke, however, abruptly ended our telephone interview.
UDP blocks Senate inquiry 7-5
The Senate will not appoint a Special Select Committee to investigate the findings of the recently tabled Auditor General’s report on corruption in the Nationality and Immigration Department for the years 2011-2013.
During Wednesday’s Senate meeting, the Government commanded a majority who voted against that Opposition-sponsored motion.
From the onset of the Senate meeting, it appeared that the social partners would have supported the motion in hopes of arriving at a 6 to 6 deadlock, triggering the President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang, to have to cast the tie-breaker vote.
However, that situation never arose because Senator for the Churches, Pastor Ashley Rocke, who had risen earlier in support of the Opposition’s motion when it was initially introduced, had a change of heart.
Pedophile gets 2 years for indecent assault of 3 young boys
A British-born man, who became a naturalized Belizean, pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault today when he appeared in the Independence Magistrate’s Court, and was sentenced to serve two years in prison.
David Taylor and his attorney, Ellis Arnold, S.C., appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who imposed the prison sentence for the first-time offender after he changed his not guilty plea to guilty.
Taylor’s case has been before the court since December 2012. This past June, he hired Arnold to represent him in his trial.
The evidence against Taylor was so overwhelming that he threw in the towel and apologized to his victims, who are three minors.
Guatemalans open fire on BDF again, says GOB report
Guatemalans opened fire on a Belize Defence Force (BDF) reconnaissance patrol at around 11:25 on Wednesday morning, August 31, when the team was headed to El Retiro to check if a group of 15 illegal Guatemalans settlers—11 adults and 4 children—who were issued an order to leave (OTL) just over a week ago, had actually left the country, according to Commander of the Belize Defence Force, Brigadier General David Jones.
Jones told Amandala tonight that they do not know whether the people who opened fire on the BDF (while they were within the Chiquibul National Park, approximately 259 meters east of the border) are the illegal settlers. He said that the shots were fired by persons who were hiding in the bushes and the BDF returned fire and retreated.
An official statement just released by the Government of Belize explained that, “It has been reported that unidentified persons within the Chiquibul initiated gunfire as the BDF patrol approached the location where the illegal settlement was discovered. The BDF patrol returned fire in self-defense and withdrew to safety.”
Barrow and wife named in immigration audit
Of the 55,000-plus Belizean immigration documents issued with major irregularities, one is currently held by Peter William Dahlstrom, brother-in-law of Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow, according to the recently published audit by the Auditor General.
According to the audit, “Peter William Dahlstrom, a native of Sweden, did not qualify for Belizean nationality and was issued nationality certificate number 28265/12.”
Dahlstrom applied for Belizean nationality on the basis of his marriage to a Belizean and submitted a copy of his marriage certificate which proved that he did marry Sherrette Normandeen Simplis in 1994.
The audit into his nationality application further revealed that on April 5, 2012, Dean Barrow and his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, “stated that they had known the applicant for 20 years.”
City Boys/Shell U-10 & U-15 Football Summer Camp ends at Yabra
Yesterday afternoon at the Yabra football field, there were a few dozen kids, from around age 8 to 15, all geared up in their uniform jerseys and shorts, football “boots” and socks, and having the time of their lives playing football games under the supervision of camp coordinator, the legendary Jerome “Peeloff” Mejia, along with veteran Yabra star Reuben “Postman” Crawford and Steve “Gellies” Young.
The two-week camp, which ended yesterday, as the kids are about to return to school, was conducted each day from 3:00 in the afternoon. The event was organized by City Boys team manager Leaton St. Clair who secured the sponsorship of Shell Belize through former semipro star Rufino Lind. Leaton said that most of the equipment used at the camp – cones, footballs, uniforms and footwear for the kids – were provided by Chicago based Belizean Terrence Lord, who has been a regular contributor to the annual Yabra summer camps.
Excellence of Double Head to L.A. for friendly cricket matches
The Excellence Cricket Club of Double Head Cabbage will be travelling today to Los Angeles to take part in two friendly matches against a Southern California team. So said veteran Excellence player, Sylbert Martinez, this morning. “We will be joining up with Jason and Kene Broaster, and also Lloyd ‘Froggy’ Flowers, Jr. This will be Excellence at its best,” said Sylbert, who maintains that the team was not up to full strength in the recently completed championship finals in which they were beaten two games straight by three-peat champions, Easy Does It.
“We defeated Easy Does It twice in regular season,” declared Sylbert, “but three of our main players are now in Los Angeles.”
Belize’s Woodrow West playing “Big” in CONCACAF
Belize’s Police United goalie Keith Allen was named CONCACAF Champions League Goalkeeper of the Week for “Week 3, August 23-25,” after his heroic performance in Mexico against Pachuca in a 3-0 loss to the Mexican champion on August 23. Allen stopped 15 of 18 shots on goal by a dominant Pachuca, while his Police United squad never threatened their opponents’ goal. (See page 21 of Amandala for Wednesday, August 31, 2016.)
But another Belizean goalie, national team goalkeeper Woodrow West, in goal for former Honduran champions, Honduras Progreso, has also been stellar between the sticks in Champions League action. West was instrumental in securing a 1-1 draw recently in Trinidad against W Connection.
Dangriga sports stats
Here are some results from the Pomona Village Council Mundialito football tournament that was played at the Pomona New Site football field. The games were all played on Saturday.
In the opener, Spain from Pomona won over Argentina from Steadfast, 3 goals to nil, with Ashton Smith, Ornell Reyes and Tyray Estero getting 1 goal apiece. In game 2, Barcelona from Dangriga walked over Brazil from Pomona, 5 goals to nil. Khalydia Velasquez, a female player, scored 2 goals; Zion Ramos also got 2 goals; while Demille Flores got the other.
Spain topped the Group A regular season with 9 pts, while Argentina finished with 6 pts.
Editorial: Danny’s place in Belize’s galaxy
After the Special Constable Danny Conorquie, a young native of Georgeville in the Cayo District, was murdered in cold blood at the Caracol Maya site by a group of Guatemalans on September 25, 2014, the reaction of the Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs was strange, and unsatisfactory. He said that we didn’t even know if it was Guatemalans who had killed the Belizean youth.
In the aftermath of Danny Conorquie’s ultimate sacrifice, it emerged that the Belize Commissioner of Police had been advised in writing a few months earlier that there was growing danger at Caracol posed by precisely those groups of Guatemalans who shot down Danny. The police high brass apparently ignored that written advisory. That is a story in itself, beloved, and a sad one it is, especially when you link it to the reaction of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs after Danny’s heroism.
As the months went by after Danny Conorquie’s death in the line of duty, it became clear that the official position of the United Democratic Party (UDP) Government of Belize was that they wanted Danny’s murder to “blow ova like wahn lee breeze,” as former Prime Minister Said Musa famously said in Ladyville at the time of the G-7 rebellion against Ralph Fonseca in August 2004.
Rough letter from San Narciso PUP
Thanks to Dean Barrow, we are now known throughout the world as “the only English speaking country in Central America with one of the highest levels of corruption in the world.”
“We da wa important country.”
Kudos to you, Barrow. You did it.
Help for our people due to the ravages of Hurricane Earl was slow in coming and in small amounts. The international community is well aware of the situation in Belize. They are hesitant in giving money to this present government since they are not sure if the money will be used for the needs of the poor people, or just to fatten the UDP’s pockets.
The funny part in all this is that if the (UDP) was to call an election tomorrow, they would win hands down. Okay, let me explain. Belize people are so messed up and in need that come election time they vote for the person/persons who pay them the best. It’s a trend both parties started and now they have to live with it. The UDP has perfected this art.
Celebrating Belizean Conservation hero Bartolo Teul
Belize is blessed with a wealth of natural wonders and amazing people who serve to protect them – one of those people is Bartolo Teul.
Bartolo Teul of Big Falls Village, Toledo District, served in the Belize Defence Force for 15 years. During his assignment at all corners of Belize, he realized the need to protect the spectacular forests of Belize. That opportunity came from Philip Balderamos (who recently retired from the United Nations Development Program in Belize) in 1997 to establish a non-governmental organization. Ya’axché Conservation Trust was then established in 1998 to protect the newly purchased 15,000-acre Golden Stream Corridor Preserve which connects forests of the Maya Mountains to that of the coastal plains.
Neri’s follow up letter to the Olympic Committee
Dear Mr. Martinez,
Following up on correspondence dated July 4th, 2016 to Thomas Bach, President of the IOC and to you dated August 21st, 2016 which were also subsequently published in the weekly edition of the Amandala in Belize, Central America, please see attached signed copies of said correspondence. By affixing my signature to the correspondence, it should dissuade any belief that the correspondence was not genuine or probably written by another person.
Please consider this as an official correspondence to your organization with an expectation that some type of reply will be forthcoming. Your organization is the duly registered organization in the country tasked with representing our nation nationally, regionally and internationally with all things Olympics, and as such if you are representing us, then the people that you represent also want answers. As a citizen of Belize I can ask for nothing less.
Should Senators named in AG’s audit have voted on Senate inquiry?
At yesterday’s Senate hearing, the Opposition alternate senator, Michel Chebat, an attorney and senior counsel, had asked Senator Godwin Hulse, Leader of Government Business, to recuse himself from voting on whether the Senate should appoint a Senate Select Committee to investigate the findings contained in the Auditor General’s Report, because Hulse’s name appears in the report.
From a legal standpoint, the perception is that at least two of the Senators on the government side should not have voted in yesterday’s Senate vote.
Then there is the fundamental principle of natural justice — “Nemo Judex En Causa,” translated: “A man/woman cannot be a judge in his/her own cause.”
The Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator Godwin Hulse, has signed, according to the report, a nationality document and passport for an applicant who did not qualify under the law.
High rate of C-sections in Belize
More Belizean women are having babies via Caesarean section, according to a report just released following a joint study, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2015, conducted by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), in collaboration with the Government of Belize and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The report indicated that more than a third of Belizean women ages 15-49 years (an estimated 34.2%) delivered their babies via Caesarean section. The data is applicable to women who delivered babies within the past two years. Previous MICS reports have indicated that 28.1% of women in Belize had been delivering their babies by C-section.
Data published by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the years 2007 to 2014, and which quoted the rate of C-sections among Belizean women at 28%, put the global mean at 19%—still higher than what WHO deems to be the ideal rate.
Belizeans, I bring you good tidings
Our beautiful Belize is a country that’s in crisis. We are facing a severe financial and economic crisis where our sources of foreign exchange have fallen by some 15% in the first six months of this year. We have lost most of our access to US banks, and our excessive money printing is putting the exchange peg in trouble – our open economy depends on foreign exchange. We have several serious crime/social problems as leading members of our government have been implicated in the biggest immigration scandal in the history of Belize; a beheading of a pastor allegedly by a crime gang/syndicate headed by a person with connections to the highest levels of government. A neighbor (Guatemala) who keeps threatening our country with invasion; and a population that is very angry because of the Chief Justice’s recent ruling to change the meaning of the word “sex.”
Before I deal with Belize’s problems, the good news is that a sea-change, an earthquake is occurring in Asia. September 2nd will see the start of three successive international summit meetings in Asia, which will establish the new reality that China, Russia, and India— not Obama and NATO—are creating and shaping that future.
Was Hon. Julius Espat properly suspended from the House of Representatives?
Last Friday, at the sitting of the House of Representatives, the Member for Cayo South, Hon Julius Espat, used un-parliamentary language that was critical of the impartiality of the Speaker of the House, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, who immediately asked for a minister to “name this person.”
The Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, the Member for Pickstock, answered the Speaker’s request, which was made a number of times.
Elrington’s motion, however, did not name Hon. Espat by name, nor was it followed by the necessary voting of the House, which would have sealed Hon. Espat’s fate. What followed next was a full-scale exercise of the power of the Speaker over his House. Police moved in and cleared the galleries, and not even the media was spared, then, Hon. Julius Espat was forcefully dragged out of the House’s chamber by police, who, it was later confirmed, were carrying out the orders of “Mr. Speaker.”
Belize economy continues to shrink
With a decline in production from major contributors to the national economy, Belize’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) continues to contract, with the tertiary sector, and primarily tourism, helping to buffer the negative effects of declines in sectors such as agriculture and fishing.
Overall, the Belize economy contracted by $22 million (or 1.5%) for the first six months of 2016, spanning January to June 2016. Jefte Ochaeta, SIB Statistician, announced at a press conference held today that there was a record 26% decline in the primary industries, led by sharp declines in the sugar, crude oil, banana and marine products.
The official data indicate that the Belize economy has contracted for the second consecutive quarter, with a decline of 1.6% for the second quarter following on the heels of a reported 2% decline for the first quarter of 2016. The statistical reports do not account for the impacts of Hurricane Earl, which struck in August.
Mexico assists Belize with hurricane relief
The Mexican government this morning contributed $50,000 towards the Belize Red Cross Society’s Hurricane Earl relief efforts. Mexican Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Quesnel told the Reporter that even though Mexico was also affected by Earl, his country saw the need to assist Belize, with whom […]
PM agrees to sign UNCAC as Chamber mounts anti-corruption campaign
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced on Thursday that he has met with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and has agreed to sign the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The announcement comes just as the Chamber prepares to mount a massive public […]
Crisis averted! Ambulance service still running for Belize District
The Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT), despite earlier indications that it would discontinue ambulatory services for the Belize District, is still responding to emergency calls. BERT Financial Operations Manager, Andre Carrillo, explained that as of Thursday, the organization and the Ministry of Health have reopened […]
Public corruption and Immigration scandals haunt Senate debate on GOB spending 2016-17
The repercussions of the secret 2005 BTL Accommodation agreement guaranteeing BTL’s former owners a 15 percent profit continues to haunt the UDP administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and figured in the debate on supplementary budget appropriations inside the National Assembly in Belmopan on Wednesday, […]
July was the hottest scorcher yet
By Marion Ali, Assitant Editor July 2016 was the hottest month on record yet, according to an analysis of global temperatures which scientists from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). The findings reveal that because the seasonal temperature cycle peaks in July, […]
National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan affirmed
The National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan, the innovative idea of the Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute (CZMAI), received “affirmative resolution” in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. Being the first of its kind in the Central American and the wider Caribbean region, “the Plan” aims […]
BNCF awards over $75,000 to YCT and APAMO
The Belize Nature Conservation Foundation (BNCF), this week, awarded over $75,000 in grants to the Ya’axche Conservation Trust (YCT) and the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) to assist them in the conservation of the protected areas. On an annual basis, BNCF gives grants of up […]
BCCI moving against corruption
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), the body representing Belize’s private sector, is mounting a massive public education campaign on the harmful effects of corruption to Belize’s development. The BCCI is calling on all private sector partners, including the media, to become a part of […]
Guatemalan Ambassador questions OAS investigation
Guatemala’s Ambassador to Belize, Estuardo Roldán, told the media in his country that he has doubts about the accuracy of the independent investigation commissioned by the Organization of American States (OAS), into the April 20 shooting incident near the Adjacency Zone. Roldán, who was recalled back to […]
Junie Balls’ son stabbed to death on ninth anniversary of dad’s murder
Two men with evil intent used the Soca Madness concert at the IT VET compound on Freetown Road early Sunday morning to carry out a plan to target and kill George McKenzie Junior, the son of the notorious former Pink’s Alley gang leader, George “Junie […]
Missing woman found dead in abandoned building
The decomposed body of Desiree Denise Gladden, 49, a resident of Oleander St. in Belize City, was found hanging in an abandoned building on the corner of Church Street and Bullet Tree Road on Sunday morning in San Ignacio. For days, residents in the area had been […]
OAS announced investigation into Conorque and Lambey shootings
The Organization of American States (OAS) announced that it will commission an independent investigation into the shooting death of Special Constable Danny Conorquie, and the non-fatal shooting of Belize Defense Force Sergeant Richard Lambey. OAS special Representative for Belize/Guatemala Affairs, Magdalena Talamas, announced on Saturday that the […]
If Belize had a Pulitzer Prize for TV-journalism it should go to Mr. Jules Vasquez of Channel 7 for his principled stand in refusing to abandon his work of recording the uproar at last Friday’s House meeting. Thanks to his tenacity and good judgement the Belizean public got a front […]