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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
Family seeks assistance after child is electrocuted
The family of a 13-year-old Antoney Acosta are desperately asking the community for help after their son was electrocuted. The young boy survived, but suffered severe injuries that resulted in the loss of both hands. He has been flown out of the country and is presently receiving treatment at a hospital in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Acosta is a student at the San Pedro High School who, due to financial difficulties, was only taking classes at night in order to help his parents during the day. His father, Winston Castellanos describes him as a well-behaved child who was dedicated to his school work. He and the family are devastated by this tragedy.
It was a rainy day on Monday, October 17th when Castellanos’ son visited him at a construction site to deliver his lunch. He never imagined what he would find when he descended from the second level of the building where he works. Apparently, young Acosta came in contact with a live electrical wire, and when Castellanos found him on the ground, he was trembling and foaming at the mouth. Acosta was rushed to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, and from there he was immediately flown to Belize City. Despite the efforts of the doctors, they could not save his hands which were greatly damaged due to the high electrical voltage he received.
Traffic Accident on Pescador Drive leaves one in critical condition
The San Pedro Traffic Department, along with the San Pedro Police Formation are investigating a traffic accident which took place shortly after 1PM on Pescador Drive in downtown San Pedro. In the incident, 40-year-old Hector Espat was badly injured after he was knocked down and ran over by a Polaris cart. He has since been taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II where he is being treated.
Preliminary, unofficial reports are that Espat was riding his bicycle heading north on Pescador Drive and upon approaching the San Juan roundabout he was hit by a Polaris vehicle. Eye witnesses reported that Espat ended up under the vehicle, badly hurt. He received severe injury to the right side of his face, head and upper jaw. The driver of the Polaris has been detained and is in police custody awaiting the results of the investigation regarding the accident.
SATIIM Community Forest Patrols Stopped by Guatemalan Military
The Guatemalan military stopped a community forest patrol organized by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management to monitor deforestation and illegal activity on their ancestral lands in southern Belize.
“Only if you are military, no fishing, no protected areas,nothing,”said a Guatemalan military representative to the patrol team. “Once you ask permission, we will accompany you,” he added.
This incident is the latest in military confrontations with civilians on both sides of the border. In April, Belize soldiers shot and killed a 13-year-old Guatemalan boy. In response, Guatemalan Defense Minister William Mansilla announced the deployment of 3,000 troops on the border.
While SATIIM forest patrols have previously been accosted by the Guatemalan military in this historical contested border area, this is the first time the Mayans were informed they could only enter under Guatemalan military escort.
Belize in Scuba Diving Magazine's 2017 Readers Choice Awards
Each year Scuba Diving Magazine asks its readers to vote for their favorite dive operators, liveaboards, dive sites and more to produce its list of the Best of the Best. Needless to say, Belizean businesses have made their way into the list as top choices from people all around the globe.
When you're scuba diving at a new destination, the experience is only as good as the dive operation, instructor or divemaster who is guiding you through the ocean and liveaboard cruise ships are the ultimate getaway for scuba divers. The winners below were chosen by popular vote (regardless of location) and ranked based on their category.
Most Unusual Dive Sites (1. Great Blue Hole, Belize).
Best Dive Operators (#16. Amigos del Mar, Ambergris Caye.)
Best Liveaboards (#2. Belize Aggressor III).
Best Dive Resorts (#19. Turneffe Island Resort, Belize).
Inauguration of New and Improved Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport
Friday, October 11th, 2016 Belizeans gathered at the municipal airport of Belize to witness the new and improved now named Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport.
General Manager of the Belize Airports Authority (BAA) Mr. Nicholas Ruiz, Minister of Tourism Mr. Manuel Heredia, BAA Board of Directors Mr. Severo Guerrero along with Tropic Air and Maya Island Air presidents expressed how they hope this project serves as an example to the other airports in Belize. With brief descriptions on how this project was accomplished and while sharing memories of Sir Barry, Mr. Barry’s wife, Dixie Bowen and Hon. Manuel Heredia had the distinct honor in cutting the ribbon.
Dixie Bowen stated that ever since Barry first landed foot in Belize his dream was to have his own airport. With humor she said that she even believed that he might have loved his airplanes more than he did his family.
The San Pedro Town Council and CARILED Strategic Plan to Make San Pedro a Green Environment
On Thursday, October 10th, 2016 residents gathered at the Lions Den as the San Pedro Town Council held a pubic consolation based on a local economic development strategic plan for San Pedro Town. This program falls under CARILED- Caribbean Local Economic Development Project that is coordinated by Leidi Urbina here in Belize.
Mayor Daniel Guerrero along with Leidi Urbina gave an overview on what this project is and how they plan to accomplish it. Mayor Danny stated, “With the help and support of the local business anything can be accomplished, we will do our part as long as they do theirs.”
Many business owners and locals who were present gave their opinion on the projects overview to reduce Styrofoam, Plastic, and other materials that are harmful to the environment and replace those with green products such as Eco showers, Solar powered hotels and vehicles, Eco Friendly paint, begin recycling and much more. The main goal is to become a Green Friendly Environment.
Misc Belizean Sources
Belmopan screening of the short film ‘Yochi’
The Pig & Parrot Club at the British High Commission Residence Compound has very kindly offered to host a special evening Belmopan screening of the short film ‘Yochi’, recently premiered at the Belize International Film Festival and just today announced as the WINNER in its category. Those who couldn’t make the premier have the perfect opportunity to see the movie this Wednesday evening 16 November. The clubhouse opens as usual at 7.30pm and we will be screening the 25 minute film outside on the patio at 8.30pm prompt.
You MUST submit full names of all guests by email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by 12:00 on Wednesday 16th in order to be on the list to gain access to the clubhouse (unless you are on the regular P&P email distribution, in which case just respond in the normal way). There is a cap on the number of people who can gain access, so first come, first served! You should ensure you get a response from me to confirm your names have been added to the list for the evening!
We all look forward to seeing you there and would like to take this opportunity to thank the British High Commission and David and Grace Chun for helping to bring Yochi to Belmopan this week.
Please do not turn up at the Clubhouse without first confirming with me that you have been added to the list!
TROPIC AIR ANNOUNCES SERVICE TO CHETUMAL, MEXICO
Tropic Air announced today that on January 16, 2017, and subject to final Governmental approval, it will inaugurate non-stop service between Belize City International Airport (BZE) and Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico (CTM).
Chetumal becomes Tropic's third destination in Mexico and its 6th international route, and it will be the only airline to operate non-stop scheduled flights between these two historically close cities.
Initially, Tropic will fly to Chetumal three times weekly, with a schedule that will allow for fast, convenient connections to/from InterJet flights to Mexico City. In April, the frequency is planned to increase to five time a week. In Belize City, Tropic Air will offer easy connections to/from domestic destinations such as San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Dangriga and Placencia.
“Our customers have been asking for this for years, so we have been working closely with our partners in Chetumal to finally make it a reality. We are excited!" said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air.
Yochi Tour dates
Yochi Film is the winning Short Film of the 2016 Belize International Film Festival, and you still have a chance to see it!
Filmed in Cayo, Yochi is the story of a 9-year-old selectively mute Mayan boy who guards a nest of endangered Yellow-Headed Parrots in Belize’s pine savannah. When his beloved older brother, Itza, returns from the city, Yochi learns that he’s in debt and has turned to poaching – setting the brothers on a collision course. Yochi is a film about connection, finding your voice, and protecting that which is most sacred to you.
November 15 - Orange Walk Central Park at 7:00 pm
November 16 - National Heritage Library, Belmopan at 12:00 pm
November 17 - Cayo Welcome Center, San Ignacio at 7:00 pm
San Pedro High School Celebrates. Boys take National Volleyball Championship
BELIZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SHINES ITS SPOTLIGHT ON THE WINNERS
The 11th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday night with the DigiCell 4G LTE Closing Night Awards Concert presented by the Music Ambassador of Belize at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts.
Winners were announced in seven categories:
1. Best Narrative Feature SABINA K (Bosnia/USA) Director - Cristobal Krusen Special Jury Mention IXCANUL (Guatemala/Fance) Director - Jayro Bustamante
2. Best Documentary Feature HEXA: GRANDSON OF THE RULERS OF BRAZIL (Brazil) Director - Washington CarvalhoSpecial Jury Mention I AM FROM WHERE A RIVER RUNS/YO SOY DE DONDE HAY UN RIO (Nicaragua) Director - Rossana Lacayo...
BELIZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL closing awards ceremony
Talent across the generatons! Great photos Shyne Barrow
Dance X BZ 2016
Dance X BZ 2016 is coming to BELIZE CITY, ORANGE WALK and SAN IGNACIO!
Remembrance Day Ceremony in Corozal
A wonderful morning at the official Remembrance Day Ceremony at Memorial/Soldiers Park. Corozal's BDF soldiers, BDF Cadets, Police Cadets, Scouts, Government Officials and the community attended in honour of WW 1 and WW 2 soldiers who died in the name of freedom. It's inspiring to see all ages carrying on this Commonwealth tradition.
See you Tuesday at the Embassy's Artisan Fair!
POSTPONEMENT OF THE COMPLETION OF THE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY
The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum would like to inform the general public that the completion of the offshore multibeam and sea seep survey will be postponed until public consultations on the survey are conducted.
The Ministry will inform the general public of the schedule of the public consultations so that interested persons may attend.
The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum, through the Geology and Petroleum Department, will continue to ensure that the petroleum sector is developed in a responsible and environmentally conscious manner which can contribute to the sustainable development of Belize.
Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum
The major political parties in Belize will not give us the right to vote unless we demand it
Commentary by Wellington Ramos. I have been involved in advocating for the rights of my Belizean people since I arrived in the United States in 1978. We who live in this country will not get the government of Belize to give us our rights to vote by proxy and other rights that we deserve, unless we organize ourselves and demand these rights. Belizeans living in the United States and abroad need to conduct public forums in all their communities to determine what are our priority needs. Then approach the government with our demands as citizens of Belize.
From the conversations I have been conducting over the years, some of the issues that have been surfacing are the Belize-Guatemala dispute, the neglect of our citizens by the government of Belize, lack of representation in the Belize government, land issues, lot issues, housing issues, services by our government representatives abroad, corruption in government, crimes at home, the length of time in processing and receiving a passport and investment opportunities that are available.
Live performance of The Wabagari Dance Group
The Embassy of Mexico in collaboration with the
Luba Garifuna Cultural Museum
cordially invites the general public of Belize to come and celebrate the
and enjoy a live performance of The Wabagari Dance Group
On Thursday November 17th, 2016
At 6:00 pm
At the Mexican Cultural Institute
Caye Caulker Liquor License Renewal Notice
Deadline December 8, 2016
BTIA Cayo November Meeting
Now is the time to get involved with the BTIA. The last big meeting of the year is Thursday, November 17th, at 5:00pm, at the Cahal Pech Resort. You can meet the new board.
"BTIA Cayo Chapter invites ALL tourism stakeholders (Hotels, Tour Operators, Restaurants, Bars, Individuals, and Students) to our first chapter meeting to discuss some important events including the tourism destination branding for San Ignacio/Santa Elena and the greater Cayo district, new official Cayo Tourism Festival, introduction of BTIA CAYO new board members, discussion on Guatemalan tour busses and the impact it has on our local industry, among other things. TOURISM IS OUR BIGGEST RESOURCE, LET'S WORK TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE IT!! The future depends on what we do today!
Meeting venue: Cahal Pech Village Resort, San Ignacio Belize, see you there!! Thursday November 17th, 2016 at 5pm."
Yesterdays amazing super moon covered by a bit of clouds in Dangriga.
Photo by Eagle Eyes Photography
Devastating Weekend Leaves Four Dead Including Grandmother and 7 Year Old
It's been three days of devastating violence: In the 8 hours between Friday afternoon at 4:30 and Saturday morning at 12:15 AM, three people were killed in the Belize district, including a 7 year old boy, while three others were shot including two female minors. And in Dangriga, nephews allegedly chopped off a grandmother's head so that they could steal a few thousand dollars.
Indeed, a dizzying panorama of violence, and we begin in the city with the murder of 7 year old Tyler Savery - which is where we left off on Friday. Tyler died on Daly Street from a single gunshot to the chest, while his cousin, Porshan Pipersburgh, died the next day from two gunshots to his chest.
Today, Tyler's mom, Shakera Young, gathered up tremendous courage and composure to speak to the media to make a plea on her son's behalf to stop the violence. Daniel Ortiz has that story:
Police Have Four Suspects For Child Killer
Today the officer commanding northside, ACP Dezerie Phillips was asked to respond to this mother's plea that police do more to arrest and interdict ruthless killers. Here's how ACP Castillo responded this morning at a press conference featuring the three Belize District Commanders:...
"She lost her only child and so she basically sent a message to you all asking please do more because she is not the first mother who lost a child."
ACP Dezerie Phillips, OC, Eastern Division North:
"I clearly understand her cry, her pain, the anger that she feels, but I have personally assured her at the visit that I made to her and I am also doing this publicly in providing an assurance that we are doing the best that we can. Yesterday we had two persons in custody, this morning we have four persons in custody..."
Did Internal Gang War Lead To Child Killing?
And while police are calling on the public to help, the fact is that whenever the murder is gang related, witnesses are reluctant to cooperate for fear of retaliation.
Street information suggests that there is an internal war, which has been flaring up within Pink's Alley - and that's what led to Friday's double murder. Today police would not comment on this - even when the media pressed them for answers:...
Jules Vasquez, 7News:
"Are you able to speak at all on the gang dimension?"
ACP Dezerie Phillips, OC, Eastern Division North:
"Sadly not at this time, simply because we have not been able to establish a motive and until you establish a motive then you know exactly where it's coming from or where it came from."
Mechanic Murdered A Block From Home, "Stamma" Charged
And, eight hours after that murder there was another killing in Belize City. 41 year old mechanic Andrew Williams was killed a block from his home. At 12:20 AM, He was driving a Toyota car with Taxi license plates when he came under fire from two men walking in the opposite direction. Williams barreled across the sidewalk, ran over a food stall, and ended up smashing a zinc fence. He was dead - while police were quick to respond and detain one man at the scene. The cops told us more at today's big press conference:
Sgt. Gladmir Cu, CIB, Southside:
"Police responded to a shooting incident which occurred at the corner of Periwinkle Street and Mahogany Street where upon arrival, police saw the motionless body of a dark male person inside a dark green taxi car. Initial investigation reveals that whilst the driver, who was later identified as Andrew Williams, was driving down Mahogany Street heading towards Vernon Street. When passing the passing the junction of Tibruce Street he was followed by a male person who fired several shots towards the vehicle which lead to the death of Andrew Williams. An investigation was carried out into this incident. Several persons were interviewed and statements recorded where at the conclusion it leads to the arrest of a male person whose name is Kareem Smith for the crime of murder."
Family Heard When They Killed Loved One
As you just heard, Williams was killed only a block from his home. That means his family heard the gunshot that killed him - but they couldn't have known that it was their own loved one lying dead behind the wheel of his brother's taxi. Today, his sister told us how they got the news. Fearing for her safety because threats have been received, she asked to appear off camera:...
Voice of: Family Member:
"When I heard the gunshots my gentleman asked me 'Terry did you hear that?' I said 'yes I hear it'. After that I couldn't go back to sleep, I just felt my heart got full. My phone rang about 15 minutes after. My little sister called me in tears and said 'Ter, they just killed Andrew'. Right there I started to cry, I just came out of bed, put on my clothes and went to Mahogany Street. I saw the ambulance out there and a lot of people. When I arrived, I just saw my brother's head hanging down in the car in the passenger side and his feet are by the driver's side."
Teenaged Girl Grazed On Cheek
And so those are the murders - but the weekend's death toll in the Belize District could have been even greater because four other persons were shot - two of them female minors - and one of the girls was shot in the cheek, while one man was shot in the head, but they all survived.
Three of the shootings happened on Sunday night in the city. The most serious is a 13 year old who was grazed by a bullet across the cheek on Raccoon Street Extension. A written police report says it happened while she sat inside her house watching television at 10:30 last night. But, today at a press conference, the lead investigator says it happened closer to ten, and she wasn't inside; she was outside on the stairs. They both agree she was grazed to the cheek:
Sgt. Gladmir Cu, CIB, Southside:
"Whilst the minor was outside by the stairs of the house, shots were fired whereby she received the injury to the left side of her cheek. Several persons were interviewed. This investigation is still at a young stage, persons are being sought for this investigation and persons are being detained for questioning."
14 Year Old Girl Shot To Both Legs
The other female minor who was shot is only 14. She was shot to both legs at the corner of North Creek and Curasow Street - in the same general area of the first shooting. This also happened on Sunday night but about two hours before the 13 year old was shot. Police say in this case, the child was in the company of an adult male. If you hear the audio go blank, it's because we have blocked out the child's name from the police account:...
Sgt. Isaias Sanchez, Precinct 1 - CIB:
"The information is that Anjalee Flores who are friends, were standing right at the corner of Curassow Street and North creek when a vehicle drove pass them and fired one single shot causing the injury to Hilda. So far the police have a recording statement from a witness and have positively identified a gunman. We are seeking one person."
Man On Bike Shot By Motorbike Gunman
The third city shooting victim is an adult male, Davaney Flowers. He was also shot on Sunday night between the time when the two female minors were hit. And, he was also hit in the thigh. He was riding on King street when two men on a motorbike opened fire on him. Police said it's a mystery because 33 year old Flowers is a working man:..
Sgt. Isaias Sanchez, Precinct 1 - CIB:
"The motive of that incident is still unknown. We are working on the case and Davaney Flowers is a known person who works at the Sexy Chicken food on Barrack Road as no gang member, no gang associate. He is a workman. So the motive of that is still unknown at this time."
What Is The Southside Solution?
So, three shootings and one murder happened between Friday at midnight and Sunday night on the Southside. The commander says they are launching patrols and entering into mediation to contain and quell the violence:...
ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside:
"We have stepped up our patrols particularly in the affected areas and the residents of the extensions as well as those in the North Creek area will see increase operations in those areas and those operations are geared at curbing the current situation. We know that the problem existed before. We have dealt with it before and it manifest itself again. So, we are in the area currently. Where both shooting are concerns we have good leads and we expect arrest in both of them hopefully today or by tomorrow the latest. And we are hoping that with that, we will see some calm in the area."
Stann Creek Grandmother Hacked To Death For A Few Thousand Dollars, Nephews Suspected
A 63 year old Salvadoran woman was found buried in her back yard in Dangriga. Victoria Castillo went missing on Wednesday evening. The family thought she had traveled to Guatemala to see her daughter because her passport, and other personal belongings were not in the house. But when they called her family in Guatemala, she wasn't there. Well relatives and friends teamed up to go look for her and today they told us about this weekend's horrific discovery. Courtney Weatherburne has more:
Victoria Castillo was a devoted Christian. She would always arrive early to open and clean the church for evening meetings and Sunday service. But the pastor's wife got concerned when Castillo didn't come to church for the Wednesday gathering.
Armede Padilla, Family Friend:
"When I didn't see her show up , it was like 6:30 when I passed by, the place was closed so I called her phone and it went to voice mail, yes Wednesday like around 6:30 in the evening yes."
When she couldn't get Castillo on her cell, Padilla called Castillo's husband who had just returned home from Guatemala, but he had no idea where she was either.
Shot To Head, Likely To Survive
And in one last gasp of violence from the Belize District - a man was shot in the head last night in Ladyville, but he is expected to survive. Rural commander Edward Broaster told us about Anthony Vansen's unlikely survival:...
Broaster says that the bullet did not penetrate his skull but fractured it and caused a huge swelling. For this reason, he is in an induced coma and is in a critical condition, but is expected to survive.
Reloading The Bond
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned the country on Saturday afternoon after traveling to New York City on official business. He was there along with Economic Ambassador Mark Espat and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight to speak with Belize's financial advisors. They are finalizing the country's plan approach bondholders to convince them restructure the Superbond, for the second time in less than 4 years.
The Government needs immediate relief from the crippling bullet payments which start next year.
When the PM landed at the PGIA on Saturday, we spoke to him to discuss what the strategy will look like to get buy-in from bond holders. Here's what he told us:
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize:
"I went together with Ambassador Espat and the Financial Secretary. We went to finalize matters with our legal and financial advisors prior to officially notifying bond holders and the public that we are going to be seeking to restructure. We have agreed our strategy and now it is a matter of actually engaging the bond holders in the face to face negotiations which Ambassador Espat will lead together with the city group which is the sort of financial intermediary advisories."
Will Bondholders Lose Patience with "Malpago" Belize?
The Government's press release from last Wednesday said that this restructuring effort is due to, quote, "The serious economic and financial challenges currently facing the country…" End quote.
That statement also said, "Belize's economy has significantly underperformed in comparison with the projections used at the time in setting the terms of the 2038 Bonds."
As we said, this is 3 years and 8 months after the Superbond 2.0 was floated. That was a refinancing of the original Superbond, which in itself was a re-financing and consolidation of a bunch of high interest bonds that the Musa Administration had racked up. So, this is the third time government is going to bondholders to re-finance. We asked the Prime Minister about the effect it could have on the confidence of bondholders:
PM Dean On President Donald
And, as we told you last week, Prime Minister Barrow was in New York when Donald Trump was elected in the 2016 Presidential Elections.
We asked the PM for his thoughts on the election outcome, and he spoke very cautiously:
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize:
"Cleary their democracy worked. The elections obviously were not rigged and the fact that Mr. Trump was able to confound all the pundits and posters is something of which he is no doubt extraordinarily and justifiably proud. We as a fellow democracy certainly congratulate the people of the United States on what was a peaceful election and we congratulate Mr. Trump as the president-elect."
Daniel Ortiz, 7News:
"What are your impressions of the man? He is currently in his country facing a show of no confidence from thousands of Americans?"
SATIIM Stopped By GAF
The Sarstoon River is once again ground zero for Belize/Guatemala relations after the conservation NGO, SATIIM, was stopped for a second time this year by the Guatemalan Armed Forces.
It happened last Thursday when a forest patrol was on the way to monitor deforestation and illegal activities on their ancestral lands in Southern Belize.
The last time this happened was in April of this year, and this time, SATIIM made sure to capture the entire encounter on video. They've posted it on youtube with English Subtitles so that non-Spanish speakers can understand what the Guatemalan soldiers said. Here's that video unedited:
Today, we caught up with SATIIM's Executive Director, and she told us that she will seek clarification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
On Motorbike With Loaded 9
City Police making a routine traffic stop last night found a 24 year old with a loaded gun. Officers who were patrolling Central American Boulevard searched Kent Moss after they saw him riding a motorcycle without license. They found a Black 9 millimeter Glock pistol with (8) live rounds of ammunition in his right front pocket. Kent Moss was arrested and charged for "Kept unlicensed firearm and Kept unlicensed ammunition". Notably, one of last night's shooting victims was shot by two men on a motorbike.
Herrera On How It Feels To Be Free
In 2014, Charles Herrera was charged for the murder of Ezekiel Hernandez Medina. He claims he stabbed Medina after he caught him trying to break into his car.
The case concluded today in a trial without jury before Justice John Gonzalez who acquitted Herrera. We spoke to Herrera's lawyer, Christelle Wilson, who told us why the judge decided the evidence did not prove that he was guilty.
Christelle Wilson - Herrera's Attorney:
"The judge said that after listening to all the evidence that was presented by the prosecution, he's of the opinion that it was merely a suspicious accusation that he was guilty of murder. The prosecution evidence was not solid enough to prove to him beyond a reasonable doubt that he could conclusively say that Mr. Herrera had anything to do with the murder of Mr. Medina. And the defense has always maintained its case that Mr. Herrera was innocent, you know."
One of the reasons the case went on for so long was because of a confession statement Herrera made where he admitted to defending his property because he thought that's what the police wanted to hear, and that it would prevent him from being charged with murder. At the time of the confession, however it was revealed that police had withheld food and water from him for over 5 hours. His lawyer explained how this forced statement factored in to the decision.
Hope For Heart Surgery Patient
Almost three weeks ago, Tyron Coleman was flown to the Cayman Islands to undergo a cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. Coleman was diagnosed with coronary artery disease, which restricts blood flow to the heart. This left Coleman in urgent need of a complicated and expensive open heart surgery, which could not be done in Belize. After, getting support from the public, Coleman's family was able to gather enough funds to send him to Grand Cayman for the surgery.
When he left Belize he was in critical condition, but after a successful surgery and recovering enough to travel, Coleman returned home. We spoke to him today and he told us how fortunate he was.
Tyron Coleman - James Bus Driver:
"It's like a miracle. It's really amazing and it is really a miracle, because when I was thanking the doctors for what they have done for me the doctors told me, they said it's not them that brought me back, they said it's God that brought me back, so it's really like a miracle."
SATIIM Speaks On 13th Senator
Last week we told you about how the NGO community formed a steering committee to help the other 143 registered NGO's to become compliant with the NGO Act, so that they can participate in electing the 13th Senator.
There are only 22 NGO'S in "good standing", and the other 121 have until December 16 to do so, or else they will not be able to participate in the January 2017 appointment of that new parliamentarian.
Today, while we had the opportunity, we spoke with Froyla Tzalam, who's the new steering committee's media relations officer. Here's what she had to say on their attempts to make the selection process more inclusive:
The new list of NGO's who are compliant under the NGO Act will be submitted on December 19.
Don't Fall For Funny Money
Belmopan police are reporting the discovery counterfeit twenty dollar bills in their jurisdiction - and they say they could be going around all over the country. The public is reminded to look carefully for the security features so that they don't get stuck with this funny money.
The Envelope Please!
The Belize International Film Festival came to a close yesterday. After several movie screenings and panel discussions with the filmmakers, the event closed with an awards ceremony. A winner was chosen for each of the seven categories. SABINA K won best narrative film, while HEXA: GRANDSON OF THE RULERS OF BRAZIL took the prize for Best Documentary. The Best Short Film was YOCHI, and WINGS OF HOPE won best short documentary. VOICES OF LATIN AMERICA/VOCES DE LATINOAMERICA was selected as the Best Environmental Film, and Melonie Gillet's SOCA MODE was the Best Music Video. Daniel E. Hyde's MANNA won the Most Notable Belizean Film.
The winners were selected from a pool of 34 films and 17 music videos from 20 countries.
Tropic Flies To Chetumal
Chetumal, a popular get away destination for many Belizeans, is now easier to get to than ever. Starting in January of next year, Tropic Air will begin nonstop flights from the Philip Goldson International Airport to the border city. Now, while you mightn't fly to Chetumal when it's easy and quick to get there by road, the idea is that the connection will be a springboard to Mexico City which is a huge international hub.