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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, and other specials
The San Pedro Sun
FCCA and BTB host annual children’s holiday party in Belize City
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) partnered up with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) once again to host their annual Christmas Party on Friday, December 16th. Held at the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City, the party was well-attended by 200 students from eight different schools, along with their teachers. This celebration definitely brought the Christmas spirit to the students, as they were made to feel more than special.
The staff of the Norwegian Pearl and BTB treated the special guests to refreshments and food. While the DJ hyped up the room with the latest songs, Ozzy the Clown offered entertainment by way of balloon art, creating hats and animals for the excited kids. The staff also distributed Christmas goody bags for the kids to enjoy. Afterwards, the children had several opportunities to play games for prizes and even get their face painted. Near the end of the party, the staff of the Norwegian Pearl Cruise line took on the role of Santa’s helpers, as they passed gifts to Santa so he could distribute them to the girls and boys. There were very big smiles on the boys’ and girls’ faces as they opened and played with their gifts. More games were on the agenda, and teachers had the chance to be in the spotlight with a hula-hoop competition.
Prime Minister Barrow delivers end of year press conference
A series of modifications in the current Government’s administration were announced on Tuesday, December 13th by Prime Minister Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow. At his last press conference for 2016, held in the capital city of Belmopan, Barrow briefed the media on the departure of Attorney General and Minister of Natural Resources, Senator Vanessa Retreage, and the changes in his third cabinet reshuffle.
Barrow began the press conference by clearing all speculations in connection to Retreage’s resignation. He explained that she had given a one- year time limit of service upon her appointment in November of 2015. Retreage, who was present at the press conference, thanked Prime Minister Barrow for the privilege to serve the government, and the people of Belize. She further explained that due to both family and business commitments she is returning to her private practice.
Another spectacular Caribbean Christmas Colors Contest
For the eleventh year, The San Pedro Sun staff toured across San Pedro Town judging colorfully lit houses for their annual Caribbean Christmas Colors Contest. The competition is held to recognize residents who decorate their houses in the spirit of Christmas, and Caribbean Christmas Colors is intended to give back to a community that promotes holiday joy.
With brightly lit homes adorned with festive ornaments and twinkling lights, San Pedro residents certainly seemed to be feeling the holidays. On Friday, December 16th, judges secretly drove around looking for those holiday homes. As far as three miles north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge all the way to the DFC Area, there were lights to be seen, some in obscure locations, while others proudly shone like beacons.
After a fun tour, deserving homes were awarded based on categories. Fabulous prizes were given to: Best Overall, Best Theme, Most Creative, Jan Jensen Memorial, North Star, Honorable Mention, Mrs. Claus’s Choice, Best Business, Reason for the Season, and Santa’s Special Pick.
PACT awards $2.28 million in grants to Belize organizations protecting the Chiquibul
Four Belizean conservation organizations were awarded a total of $2.28 million on Tuesday, December 13th, through the Protected Areas Conservation Trust’s (PACT) Environmental Management Fund. The recipients of this important financial aid were the Belize Defense Force (BDF), the Forestry Department, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), and the Ya’axche Conservation Trust.
The initiative to strengthen these organizations that operate in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve began in August of this year. The Ministry of the Environment unveiled the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative, which will see an investment of an unprecedented $15.8 million over the next two years. During the unveiling in August, the Ministry promised to outlay the finances as soon as possible, and that has now begun. Executive Director at PACT Denicia Francisco said the reason these institutions were awarded such financial assistance came from the fact that they are directly involved in the protection of Chiquibul. “Over the next two years, $2.5 million dollars will be made available to these organizations from the PACT’s Environmental Management Fund,” said Francisco.
Belize Participates in Food Safety in Fishery Sector Training
“This course will allow the streamlining of our laboratory testing capabilities and has provided a better understanding of what the EU wants,” said Avis O'Reilly-Richardson, Senior Chemist from the Food Safety & Technology Laboratory, Bahamas.
“There are many areas in my country where there are no controls; e.g. imports, fishing vessels, etc. The information received as well as the discussions with other participants will help me to develop systems for these controls in the future,” another participant said.
Dr. Susan Singh-Renton, CRFM’s Deputy Executive Director and CRFM's Project Coordinator, welcomed the course saying that it “…allowed the trainees to develop a stronger understanding of the full extent of laboratory and regulatory requirements for fulfilling international sanitary standards for fish and fishery products, and allowed them also to share lessons and best practices in considering possible solutions for many of the challenges faced in putting the methods into actual practice in their home countries.”
Misc Belizean Sources
Secret Santa strikes!
A mother of 9 in Ladyville was treated to $300 grocery shopping courtesy a secret santa coordinated by Ladyville Police. The media went along and spoke with the grateful recipient after she completed her Christmas shopping at Sky Supermarket.
Secret Santa strikes again!
A mother of 4 kids & 3 grand kids was treated to Christmas shopping at Bottom Dollar in Belize City. A secret santa, through the Police Department, treated the family to $300 worth of groceries. The Majestic Alley resident was taken by surprise!
SECRET SANTA STRIKES FOR A THIRD TIME TODAY - THIS TIME ON THE SOUTHSIDE!
Last year the Rural Eastern Division Police pioneered the concept of a "Secret Santa," police acting as the agents of anonymous donors to spread Christmas cheer. This afternoon on Southside, ACP Chester Williams took up the initiative, selecting retired mother of 13 Dawn Flowers to receive 300 dollars worth of groceries at Publics Supermarket on Central American Boulevard. The Iguana Street resident was surprised that police came to her door and dismayed when they suggested someone at publics complained about her. But she was humbly grateful and appreciative. Christmas hampers will be handed out in Belize City tomorrow while the regular RED Secret Santa is ongoing in Ladyville.
Popeye's is looking for two house keeper
Applicant must bring a valid social security card when applying.
(visit office to apply!)
5K Jungle Race
Hurrah to our friends at US Embassy Belmonpan, Belize for kicking butt during their 5K Jungle Race - part of the DSS Global Race for Charity Challenge. They raised $482 for DSF!! You are awesome!
BELIZE 2017 - LE GUIDE NUMÉRIQUE
The Belize Hotel Association prides itself in taking bold steps to break into new markets in various innovative ways. One such way is through strategic advertising in several languages allowing us to promote our members and Belize in many different parts of the world.
Petit Fute is the editor of city guides and tourist and travel guides for 40 years and covers more than 630 destinations in France and worldwide, including 90 exclusive guides. In 2015, over 3 million tourists chose Petit Fute to organize their stay. The "country guides" are practical guides written for individual and group travelers. They also treat the cultural aspects of the destination and are printed in colors with a number of maps and pictures. Petit Fute offers paperback, Ebook and Web versions for its guides.
Their latest project was to produce a 300 page Belize guide in French, that will be sold and distributed in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, French Canada and other French speaking countries throughout the world.
The Petit Fute team, spent two months in Belize staying at different hotels, visiting restaurants, doing tours, sightseeing, and learning the country and its landmarks. After experiencing our country and what it has to offer, they compiled their recommendations based on what they felt would be most appropriate for the French traveler.
In addition the country receives added marketing being prominently featured in the the third edition of the Le Guide de la plongee/ Diving in the world guide.
Lets get our splash on this Thursday at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar at 2pm.
Unauthorized Use of the Ministry’s Name and Logo
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation has been made aware that an entity or group is using the name and logo of the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation to promote a "Take a Child Home for Christmas” campaign. The Ministry, however, has NOT been contacted by any group or individual regarding such a campaign and is not collaborating with the entity promoting the program. The group’s use of the Ministry's name and logo, as well as the name and picture of the Dorothy Menzies Child Care facility is therefore not only unauthorized by the Ministry, but is misleading to the public. The group has been asked to cease and desist from advertising any such campaign using the Ministry’s name, logo, or residential care facilities.
Governor General Hosts Annual Christmas Party
Toyota Chiquibul Expedition
AN UPCOMING EVENT: FCD has partnered with Toyota Company for the Toyota Chiquibul Expedition, which will take Toyota owners to learn the wonders of the Chiquibul Forest. Toyota drivers, look out for your invitation to join and help protect the Chiquibul!!!
Belize History Association Newsletter
The first issue of our Newsletter is now live. Read/Download/Share to learn more about our activities and snippets of our history.
No One Detained For Killing Woman In Front of Grandkids
Cayo police are still looking for the man who executed 68-year-old Paulina Urbelina Sanchez. On Sunday night around 7:30, Sanchez was standing at the door of her Santa Elena home when a lone gunman emerged and shot her. She fell and bled out on her verandah in front of 2 granddaughters, aged 7 and 8. What's even more disturbing is that Sanchez's murder may be linked to a family land dispute over Sanchez's house - where she was killed. The report is that the man was hired to get rid of Sanchez so a relative can take over her property. The suspected relative is believed to be out of the country at this point. But police are looking into this angle and still have to confirm if this is the motive in this case. Sanchez leaves behind 29 grandchildren.
Source of Deadly Dispute Was Religion, Not Liquor
Belmopan police are also trying to close the San Martin murder case: they still haven't found the main suspect Howard Martinez. Martinez allegedly stabbed his friend 27 year old Freddy Cerritos on Friday evening. They were hanging out, having a religious discussion but that exchange took a sudden turn and Martinez stabbed Cerritos about 8 times. Family and friends are still in shock as to what would drive Martinez to snap. Well the police today confirmed that it wasn't liquor because there is no evidence that liquor was involved so it's a case where a conversation went from religious to murderous. If you see Howard Martinez kindly call Belmopan police.
Accused of Brutal Beatdown of 93 Year Old Neighbor, Chester Norales Gets Off
Last year on December 27th, 93 year old Patrick Grant was robbed and almost beaten to death in his Fern Lane house. It made major headlines because the 93 year old was beaten so viciously, and the alleged attacker was his neighbor 36 year old Chester Noralez.
Although Grant has physically recovered from that traumatic experience, he will now have to face the unsettling fact that his alleged attacker, Noralez will be roaming free. That's after Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer struck the case out of court because police lost the case file. So Noralez got off both charges of dangerous harm and burglary. Noralez has a pending sexual assault case before the court.
Man Robbed of 20K Chain, Almost Loses Life
A man was robbed of his $20,000 chain last night and nearly shot in the head for it. 53 year old Griffith Moody was outside his house loading his vehicle when an armed man approached him and told him to turn over his belongings. Well, Moody gave up his chain but not before the man fired a shot that grazed his head. Police told us more about this brazen theft.
Sr. Supt. ALDEN Dawson, Deputy OC, ED South:
"Police visited the KHMH emergency ward, they met one Griffith Moody, 53 year old of #8 Lakeview Street. Police learned from that time from Mr. Moody that he was in front of his residents along with a friend, loading some items in his van when he was approached by 3 masked male persons, one of the persons placed a gun to his head and made demands of his property, fearing for his life he handed over a gold chain which valued $20,000 and while doing so the male person fired a single shot which caused a wound at the right side of Mr. Griffith's head. At this point the injury is not life threatening and he is in a stable condition."
Courtney Weatherburne, 7News:
"Were all 3 men armed or it was just one of the 3 who came up and shot him to the head?"
Sr. Supt. ALDEN Dawson, Deputy OC, ED South:
"One of the 3 men was armed who fired the shot and caught Mr. Griffith in the head. There is 2 persons in custody at this time and the investigation continues."
Still No Resolution in Dean Dawson Knockdown
It's been over 8 months since Dorian Pakeman knocked down and killed Gardenia resident Dean Dawson Sr. But, police haven't been able to decide whether they should bring criminal charges against the Government Press Office Director, who's currently on unpaid leave, or if he should go free.
Pakeman has been unable to report to work because the Prime Minister, to whom he answers directly, is waiting for DPP's office to decide. On the other side is the victim's family and friends have also been forced to wait for what they believe is a just outcome. And so today, we asked Rural police if they're any closer to arriving at a decision. Assistant Police Commissioner Edward Broaster told us that the DPP has the case file, and she has given them certain directives:
ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural:
"As far as what I was briefed, I think it was last week we got the file back from the DPP and there were two directives that were not complied with and as soon as those directives are complied with, that matter will be dealt with."
Ministry Complains About Bogus Foster Care Programme
Today, the Ministry of Human Development reacted strongly to a Facebook campaign named, "Take A Child Home For Christmas." The flier prominently features the ministry's logo and the Dorothy Menzies Children's Home, and urges the public to, quote, "provide a temporary, safe and caring environment where children can seek refuge". The flier says that the initiative is Organized by a group called "Insiders Belize Cooperative."
Well, the Ministry sent out a release this evening saying don't buy into it because it's bogus. The Ministry says it quote "has not been contacted by any group or individual regarding such a campaign...(which is) misleading to the public". The group has been asked to shut down the facebook campaign, pronto. But for those who do want to help a foster child at Christmas, the ministry does operate what's called a "Respite Program." Through this program, interested persons work with the Ministry to give holiday and weekend care for children in foster homes. If you want to be a part of that you can contact the Department of Human Services at 227-2057/227-7451.
Two For Murdering Man At Doctor's House
In January, a trio of men were charged for the murder of Ian Robert Blair which happened at the home of his friend Doctor Marcos Rugama on Simon Lamb Street.
Well, only two of them will stand trial for murder and other charges. 22 year old Max Orosco and 19 year old Windell Thurton, will be tried in the April 2017 session of the Supreme Court.
This is the conclusion of a Preliminary Inquiry into the murder. They will also be on trial for attempted murder, dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and aggravated burglary against Dr. Rugama who was stabbed in the chest. A television was also stolen.
Both men told the court that they will be calling witnesses to give alibis for their whereabouts at the time of the murder.
Police Still Can't Say Who Was Driving Pickup In Collision That Caused Three Deaths
Orange Walk police still cannot say who was driving the pickup that crashed into a Tillett Bus on Saturday night on the Yo Creek Road. There is some confusion because the massive impact caused the passengers in the pickup to be flung from their seats. Police also cannot say yet whether speed or alcohol were a factor in the collision. But, regardless of what caused it, three families are spending Christmas grappling with the loss of three young lives: 22-year-old Minor Hernandez, 26-year-old Jason Gongora, and his cousin 22 year old Giovani Gongora. All three were neighbors in Yo Creek, and for the families, the pain and the loss is immense. Here's how a cousin of Jason Gongora put it:...
Kenny Gongora, Cousin, Jason Gongora:
"I always loved him like my brother because that is what he is, my brother and that is how I always saw him, like my older brother, and he was a man very happy,loving with his sisters and with his mom, with his parents, he was always very caring and he liked to joke around with his little sisters, my aunt, his mother told me that every night when they were going to bed, they joked around before going to sleep and they told each other jokes as brothers and sisters among themselves and in truth I will always remember Jason as a loving, humble person."
Santa Comes Early For City Council
Last week we showed you how the City Council got a street sweeper as part of the municipal drainage project. Well, this week, Santa gave councilor Willoughby another early Christmas present: this one even more grand. It's a vacuum truck with all the bells and whistles, and we found out how it works today:...
Make way on the roadways for the City's newest acquisition, locally this would be called a sludge truck, but its known industrial as a Vacuum Truck.
It's been acquired to clean out these drains built in the municipal drainage project. It's a fairly simple proposal - big hose sucks drains clean. That is at the most basic level.
But it is also a lot more complex and precise. This nozzle for example is inserted into the drain - And the hose can snake for hundreds of feet to emit a high pressure spray Which can still be heard and seen coursing through the drain two hundred feet away.
sort of a pressure washer for the sewer - After that the drain can be seen flowing freely in inky black swirls. But this drain was easy, it was only recently built.
Rural Cops Using Technology To Foil Burglaries
Every year around the holiday season, police have to prepare for a spike in crime, particularly burglaries and thefts. The criminals always appear to be looking for that "Christmas come-up", and in Belize Rural, the cops have had to foil 3 break-ins in the past few weeks. Fortunately, a very vigilant community assisted in two instances, but the thieves are getting smarter in their attempts to stay one step ahead of the police.
This morning, the Commander of the Rural Eastern Division told us that they need the communities in their jurisdiction to make sure that they don't get complacent.
ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural:
"They need to be very vigilant. We had last week a couple guys coming with weed wackers pretending to be cutting yard and attempted to burglarize several homes. Fortunately, we were on top of them and they had to run and leave their weed wacker. Talk to your neighbors and let them know what's happening. We have people like for example in the Lake Garden area and other areas forming their WhatsApp chat so that they can communicate with each other and report suspicious activity and really communicate with one another."
Southside Cops Caring For Community
Though they have fewer square miles to cover than the rural cops, police on the southside are also on high alert. Deputy OC for Eastern Division South Senior Superintendent Alden Dawson told us more about their Christmas police patrols and the fun activities they have planned for Southside residents.
Secret Santa's Shopping Spree
It's only 5 days to Christmas, but Rural police played Santa today. It's a neat program where the cop basically use the Department's bad reputations to randomly detain people for no reason at all, and then quickly make up for it by giving the pretend detainees a Christmas gift they could never expect. That's how it went this afternoon - and we'll get to that but this morning it was more straightforward where Police selected residents for a 300-dollar shopping spree, sponsored by Secret Santa. Daniel Ortiz has that story:
Secret Santa Gives Bucks On The Bus
Well, the shopping sprees continued this afternoon in the city, followed by our favorite: Secret Santa on a bus. That's where commuters get hauled off the bus about some mystery complaint, and then learn that Secret Santa is gonnna make their day. Alex Courtenay was there for the afternoon session:...
Alex Courtenay reporting:
This afternoon's giveaway was held in two sections. The first was $300 shopping spree at Publics in Belize City, but there was a catch. The winner had no idea it was coming.
"When the police showed up a while ago, what were you thinking?"
Dawn Faber - Shopping Spree Winner:
"I wanted to know who made a complaint about me because I didn't harass anybody from I know myself. When I got in this place I started to cry because I said 'mien who made a complaint against me when I know I'm no kind of problem'."
Simone, Come Home!
She won 5 Olympic medals in Rio, and now Simone Biles is coming to Belize to celebrate. The world's top gymnast, has often been quoted as saying that Belize is her favourite place to vacation, and that's because her step-grandmother - who she calls her mother is Belizean Nellie Cayetano Biles.
And while she's visited Belize many times before, on Thursday Simone Biles will arrive as a guest of the nation. She's accepted an invitation from the Tourism Board to vacation in Belize.
So, if you want to see her in person, there'll be a motorcade through the main streets of Belize City on Thursday starting at 4:00 from the Biltmore. The motorcade will end at the Battlefield Park in downtown Belize City where there will be a brief welcome ceremony.
The New York Times reports that Simone Biles is a dual citizen of Belize and the USA. She boasts regularly about how much she loves to fish in Belize.
Cayman Cared For Coleman
Last month, James bus driver Tyrone Coleman returned home from Cayman after receiving life saving heart surgery. Coleman, was diagnosed with coronary artery disease, which restricts blood flow to the heart. His family did their best to raise money to fly him to the US to undergo surgery, but they were unable to cover the costs. That's when they got an email from the Belize-Cayman Association telling them that their expenses were covered. The hospital where Coleman received his surgery, Health City, has released a video about his experience. Here's a small part of it...
The surgery was a complete success, and Coleman is currently at home recovering.
Teachers and Government Still Can’t Decide When to Come Back to School
Teachers and students across the country are officially on Christmas vacation. Some are enjoying time with friends and family, while others are catching up with their to-do list ahead of [...]
United Nations Votes for Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation Issues
The United Nations is set to appoint an independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity issues, following three contentious rounds of voting at the international body in New York [...]
Senior Citizen Robbed and Shot Overnight on Lakeview Street
Crime continues to grip the city. A shooting overnight has left a fifty-three year old Belize City resident hospitalized. Griffith Moody was outside his home on Lakeview Street with a [...]
Charges Coming For Dorian Pakeman in Accident?
Gardenia Mechanic Dean Dawson was knocked down and killed earlier in March of this year and so far there has been a lot of back and forth, but no one [...]
Homeless “Jane Doe” in Belize River Still Unnamed a Week Later
Police are no closer to identifying the body of the woman retrieved from the Belize River last Wednesday. When it was fished out of the river, it was noted that [...]
American Charged With Forty-Year-Old Double Murder of Tourists to Belize
After as many as forty years, a double murder case has been cracked. An American from California has been charged with two counts of maritime murder for the deaths of [...]
Behind Prison Walls, Inmates Hope for New Lives
A recent ruling by the Court of Appeal will have significant bearing on the lives of inmates convicted for murder. The decision primarily hinges on parole rules mandating that those [...]
Chester Noralez’ Case for Savage Beating of Neighbor Dropped in Court
Thirty-six-year-old Chester Noralez, a repeat offender, accused of brutally attacking an elderly neighbor last year, is home free tonight after the court struck out the matter against him because his [...]
Accused Killers of Ian Blair to Stand Trial
Two Belize City men will have to stand trial for murder at the April 2017 session of the Supreme Court as well as a slew of other offenses including attempted [...]
Christmas Surprises and Cheer for Rural Eastern Division
Around this time in 2015, Rural Eastern Division Police based in Ladyville were stopping buses along the Philip Goldson Highway at a checkpoint. They selected certain passengers and in typical [...]
Secret Santa Works Overtime on Northside
Kris Kringle, Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus – fairytale or not – a Secret Santa was out and about today spreading Christmas cheer from Ladyville to Belize City with his elves [...]
Southside Mom Gets Needed Help from Police
The Police’s Secret Santa was all over the Belize District today. This afternoon he came down to Southside and specifically to Iguana Street, where a mother and step-mother of thirteen [...]
Downtown of Old Capital Safe for Shoppers
While residents are finalizing their last minute shopping and preparations for Christmas, the sad reality is that it is also a time when there is an increase in the number [...]
Burglars Getting Slick in Ladyville; Community Watch Will Help
For most Belizeans Christmas is a time of spreading cheer but it’s also a time when criminals spread fear –robbing and burglarizing homes. Those criminal elements have been around the [...]
Belize Bank, Mercy Kitchen Share Christmas with Families in Gungulung
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for twelve Belize City families who otherwise would have had things a bit harder this time of year. Thanks to an enduring [...]
What’s Hot for Christmas gifts? News Five Goes Shopping
There are only four more shopping days before the Christmas. Across the City, the rush and buzz is in the air as shoppers look for deals. But what items are [...]
A Double Murder In Belize Thirty Eight Years Ago, One Man Is Charged
A 75 year old elderly man has been arrested in California for a killing that happened in Belizean waters over 38 years ago. Two British students, Peta Frampton, and her boyfriend Christopher Farmer came to Belize on vacation in June of 1978, the couple hired American Sailor Silas Duane Boston to take them to Mexico on his yacht. But the couple never made it to their destination, as it was uncovered that Boston ended up killing them in July - and dumping their bodies in the sea. According to ABC 10 in Sacramento, Boston almost got away with this cruel crime until an investigation into his wife’s death rekindled police investigations and led to Boston’s arrest in Northern California last week. According to ABC 10, Boston’s two sons, who were just boys when the incident occurred, confessed to police that they had witnessed the murders. The elderly man appeared in a California court where pled not guilty to the murders. Boston ended up in Belize with his sons Christopher and Vince in the 70's, while he was running away from statutory rape charges in California. Boston is also being accused of killing his wife Mary, who went missing in 1968.
BBB Concern About Belize's Increasing Debt
The Belize Business Bureau, which is a chartered private business sector group, has raised alarm over the economic situation in the country. The Bureau issued a release today indicated that it is concerned that Belize is at risk of devaluation if the state of affairs is not corrected. The release notes that Belize is facing seven major issues, including revaluation of the Belize dollar, unsustainable GDP to debt ratio that could possibly rise to 101.7%, negative GDP growth, loss of correspondent banking, and a widening funding gap. The release notes that the IMF had warned in 2015 that if the GDP to debt levels increased to 100%, it would reflect a 30% depreciation of the Belize dollar. The Bureau advised that to maintain the exchange rate, Belize needs monetary discipline, minimal uncertainty and a controlled trade balance.
Orange Walk COPS Gear Up To Fight Crime
The Orange Walk Police Formation has undertaken several security measures in an attempt to minimize the level of crime throughout our town in sight of the fast approaching Christmas season. The reason for that is the fact that majority of culprits seem to take advantage of the festive season to carry out their criminal acts and their targets often results to be the business community. Yesterday during an interview with Inspector of Police Jose Mendez, he elaborated on specific measures that the department is implementing across the community to fight crime. Jose Mendez – Inspector of Police, Orange Walk Town:
“At this Christmas Season the premier element will be there and we have our met and greet programs, community policing programs whereby the police interact with the business community especially advising them as to their security measures to be more efficient, our personnel visited thee areas and advise them as to if they see anybody suspicious within the area they could dial our 911 number which is free so they can give us the information for us to respond to it.”
No Charges Against Pakeman As Yet
Popular mechanic Dean Dawson of Gardenia village was killed in an accident on the Philip Goldson highway back in March this year involving the Director of the Government Press Office, Dorian Pakeman.
But a full 10 months and a half later, there has been no resolution to the case and it is still not known whether Pakeman will be charged or not. As you may be aware, it was discovered that Pakeman had traces of cocaine in his blood at the time of the accident. Today, ACP Edward Broaster, the officer commanding Rural Eastern Division was asked for an update. ACP Edward Broaster – Officer Commanding Eastern Division:
“As far as what I was briefed, I think it was last week we got the file back from the DPP and there were two directives that were not complied with and as soon as those directives are complied with that matter with be dealt with. I think it has something to do with the reports from the forensic las as soon as those labs are completed action will be taken in regards to that matter.”
Centaurs' Corozal Winner Collects His Prize
A lucky Centaur Cable customer has already felt maximum Christmas cheer when he came by the Centaur office on 4th Avenue to pick up his Christmas raffle grand prize.
76 year old Feliciano Tun of 8th North Street here in Corozal Town was selected as the winner at Centaur’s Expo and Bram held on Saturday. This morning he picked up his prize and he told us just how much he will enjoy his new gift. Servulo Baeza - Manager, Centaur Corozal:
“Don Feliciano Tun acá le presentamos la televisión que gano en la rifa y que es como la compañía le muestra el aprecio a ustedes los clientes por ser parte de la familia de Centaur so una vez más Feliz pascua y que disfrute de su nueva televisión.”
Feliciano Tun, Winner, Centaur Corozal Christmas Raffle:
“Le doy gracias a la compañía pues que he ganado y que Dios quiera que sigan adelante ustedes. Me siento muy alegre que pues me toco la suerte y pues yo no pensaba eso pero me vinieron a decírmelo y pues le digo no creo nada de estas cosas y pues que hasta que lo bidé en la televisión que pasaron mi nombre haya y pues ni nuera vino a ver que si es cierto y pues esa muy bonito el servicio como lo dan ustedes y pues Feliz Navidad para todos y para ustedes también.”
MAMAS Continue To Empower Women
There are a number of initiatives that are carried out across the north to empower women in society. One group however, has without a doubt left their mark here in the Orange Walk District, Mujeres Ayudando A Mujeres a Superarse, MAMAS has been operating for over ten years, offering a number of courses to women interested in learning a trade and making a financial difference in their lives. This past Saturday a group of women who took part in the cake decorating, and cosmetology classes graduated with honors. According to coordinator of the MAMAS group, Ofelia Novelo, the aim of MAMAS group is not only to assist women in the community but empower women to become self-sustainable.
Ofelia Novelo- Coordinator MAMAS:
“La importancia en cualquiera persona en aprender diferentes oficio es para que sea el benéfico para ellos y su familia; uno para tener un poco de dinero así van saliendo adelante ayudando a sus esposos y pagando su colegio de sus hijos todo haciendo sus productos que ellos hicieron este ano ese es la importancia de ello y el beneficio que ellos tienen para poder salir adelante en esta vida.”
Double maritime murder, cold case cracked
–A United States federal indictment for Silas Duane Boston, 75—a California man who had reportedly been charging tourists to snorkel and scuba dive in Belize without a license decades ago and was accused of murdering some of his clients—was recently unsealed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California in a 38-year-old cold case in which two British lovers who had been visiting Belize as a part of a one-year overseas tour met their torturous deaths in what experts certified as asphyxia by submersion—or drowning by force.
US investigators were able to land the arrest of the man, reportedly from a convalescent home, earlier this month, after finally receiving statements between October 2015 and February 2016, from multiple sources, among them Boston’s own sons, 11 and 13 at the time, whose accounts claim that the British couple, Christopher Farmer, a doctor, then 25, and Peta Frampton, a recent law school graduate, then 24, were tortured and killed before their travelers’ checks were forged and spent.
Disappearance of police file thwarts case
In the criminal justice system, all kinds of stories emerge to suggest that all is not well. Apart from the constant parade of accused murderers walking from indictments, critics contend that cases before the lower courts are thwarted by all kinds of “hanky-panky”.
This morning, Chester Norales, 36, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser in a case for which he was first arraigned last December, when police charged him for committing burglary and dangerous harm against his next-door neighbor, Patrick Grant, 93.
It turns out, though, that the prosecution could not proceed with the trial, because there was no police case file. This left the Magistrate with the only option of striking out the charges against Norales, who walked away a free man today.
Callous murder of Paulina Urbelina Suarez, 61
A widow of Santa Elena was murdered on Sunday night, and police are investigating the possible connection between the woman’s murder and a land dispute with relatives.
Superintendent of Police in Santa Elena, Richard Rosado, said that Paulina Urbelina Suarez, 61, was killed by a person who was closely acquainted with her and her family, but they provided no further details.
Police reports are that at around 7:30 on Sunday night, Suarez was on the verandah of her home in Santa Elena Town when she saw a male of Hispanic descent walking towards her with a pistol in his hand.
She pleaded with him not to kill her but as she retreated into her house, the armed invader followed her inside.
In the presence of her three relatives, Suarez was shot multiple times in her upper body, as the gunman emptied the magazine of his pistol before leaving his crime scene.
3 youths dead after horrific RTA
Three young men lost their lives and one other person was critically injured in a tragic road traffic accident which happened on the Yo Creek Road, near Orange Walk Town, this weekend.
According to police, the collision occurred near Cuello’s Distillery at about 9:00 Saturday night, when a Ford F-150 pickup collided with a Tillett passenger bus, resulting in extensive damage to both vehicles. The impact of the collision tore apart the engine and transmission from the passenger bus and crushed the pickup with the passengers inside, causing them to die on the spot from massive head and body injuries.
The young men were removed from the mangled pickup by a team from the Orange Walk Fire Service with the “Jaws of Life” cutter.
The accident victims, all of whom lived in Yo Creek Village in the Orange Walk District, are Minor Hernandez, 22, an electrician of Yo Creek, Jason Gongora, 22, and Giovanni Gongora, 26, a construction worker.
Benque cop, PC Edif Sierra, arraigned in trafficking of 8 Salvadorans
Police Constable Edif Sierra, the Benque Viejo cop accused of involvement in the trafficking of 8 undocumented Salvadorans, was arraigned on Friday in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, where he was offered bail of $2,000 for allegedly facilitating the commission of an offense under the Immigration Act and a further $500 for traffic offenses.
He was able to meet bail and has been ordered to return to court on January 27, 2017.
Sierra is also facing internal disciplinary sanctions from the Police High Command for “prejudice to good order and discipline,” as well as charges from the Traffic Department for failure to affix a vehicle registration plate and driving an unlicensed motor vehicle.
Superintendent Richard Rosado, Commander of San Ignacio Police, said that the eight Salvadorans found with PC Sierra were also taken to court on Friday for illegal entry into Belize. They pleaded guilty and were all fined $1,000, to be paid immediately. They were able to pay the fine, and an order was issued for their deportation back to Salvador.
Simone Biles, celebrated Olympic gymnast, arrives in Belize this Thursday
Simone Biles, 19, the US gymnast with Belizean citizenship who famously snagged 4 gold medals at the recent Rio Olympics, is due to arrive in Belize this Thursday, December 22, when she will be welcomed with a grand motorcade through the main streets of Belize City.
Biles, who has received the 2016 BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year Award for breaking new ground, is “the first American and fifth female to win four gymnastics gold medals at a single Games,” according to the BBC.
Biles is connected with Belize, which is one of her favorite destinations to relax, because Nellie Biles, the daughter of the late Silas Cayetano, a Garifuna man of Belize, adopted Simone and her sister in 2001. Simone is the biological granddaughter of Nellie’s husband, Ron, an American. Her biological mother is Shanon Biles.
Home teams prevail, Bandits over FC Belize, and BDF over Police in PLB Semifinals
The fabled home-court advantage played a big role in both games over the weekend to determine which two teams would make it to the finals of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017. The first leg of the semifinals had been played the previous weekend, when #3 seed Police United dropped #2 seed BDF, 3-1, at the Norman Broaster Stadium; and #1 seed Belmopan Bandits came from behind jairo-rochez-img_0389to secure a 1-1 draw against #4 seed FC Belize at the MCC Grounds. This past Saturday night, the Bandits were at home for the decisive game 2 at their Isidoro Beaton Stadium; while BDF returned to their home base at the MCC Garden to attempt the herculean task of surmounting the 3-1 advantage held by visiting Police United. And there was celebration for the home fans at both venues.
Yabra 10 & Under Grassroots Semifinals results; Finals this Saturday
The knockout semifinals in the Yabra 10 & Under, Grassroots Football Competition were played on Saturday, December 17, at the Yabra Field. In the first semifinal, #1 seed City Boys defeated #4 seed Face of Belize, 1-0, on a goal by Tom Moguel. The other semifinal saw #2 seed Carlston FC gaining a 2-nil victory over #3 seed Ladyville Rising Stars, with a goal each from Tayshawn Broaster and Kenyon Pratt.
The Finals will be played this coming Saturday, Christmas Eve, at Yabra Field.
Saturday, December 24
1:30 p.m. – (3rd place game) Face of Belize vs Ladyville Rising Stars
2:30 p.m. – (championship game) City Boys vs Carlston FC
Award ceremony follows.
Chief Thursday Race results – December 15
Here are the results for the regular weekly Chief Thursday Race for December 15, which went from Leslie’s Imports to Hattieville and back. 28 Weekend Warriors (WW) and Elite riders started the race, and 21 completed the ride. Finishing order was: 1st place – Richard Santiago (1:01:35); 2nd Ernest Bradley (Smart, st); 3rd Herman Requena (Smart, st); 4th Adrian Faux (st); 5th Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray, 1:02:02); 6th Darien Anderson (Benny’s, st); 7th Ron McKenzie (Benny’s, st); 8th Sahir Guerra (st); 9th Byron Pope (Benny’s, st); 10th Robert Mariano (Digicell-4G, 1:02:13, 1st “A” rider); 11th Kenroy Gladden (Kulture Megabytes, st); 12th Vallan Symns (Kulture Megabytes, st); 13th Santino Castillo (Santino’s, 1st “B” rider); 14th Kaya Cattouse (C-Ray); 15th Alicia Thompson (Kulture Megabytes); 16th Nelson Zayden, Jr.; 17th Palas Joseph (Lampaz); 18th Gilroy Robinson (Santino’s); 19th Dean Belisle (Bel-Cal); 20th Colin Maheia (FT Williams); and 21st George Abraham (Bel-Cal).
SHJC Scorpions and Kings are crowned SSBA Champs; 3 more divisions to be decided on Thursday
The San Ignacio & Santa Elena Basketball Association (SSBA) tipped off its finals on Saturday night in the Under 19 and Senior divisions. In game 1, defending Under 19 champions, Pepsi Christian Ambassadors lost their first and only game of the season against Kings, who claimed the U-19 title. Kings was led by Bryton “Bushy” Young, who had the game high with 9 pts, while Shevaughn Harris finished with 8 pts. Tevaughn Lennan was the top scorer for Pepsi Christian Ambassadors with 8 pts. In the nightcap, the young and upstart Senior Squad from Sacred Heart Junior College defeated the #1 seed, Maraton Mambas, 55-51, to cap off two upsets for the night. Jamie Carbajal had the game high with 18 pts for SHJC Scorpions, while Karl Williams sank 16 pts, and Jarret Davis netted 10 pts in the win. Michael Lyons was the top scorer for Maraton Mambaz with 14 pts, and Vandell Fuller finished the game with 11 pts.
Editorial: Power corrupts
During the 1960s, the People’s United Party (PUP) won 51 out of the 54 House seats contested in the 1961, 1965, and 1969 general elections in Belize. During those years, a kind of sneering class superiority became more manifest amongst some of the frustrated middle class Belizeans who supported the National Independence Party (NIP). The NIP core felt that the PUP base was less educated, more vulgar than they were, that the PUP base was unscrupulous and dishonest, and the uppity NIP felt that PUP Leader, Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, was exploiting the poor and the uneducated. When Mr. Price appointed a relatively illiterate PUP lady from Hattieville to the prestigious Senate, there was a great outcry from the NIP followers, who considered such a move to be disrespect, perhaps even mischief, on Mr. Price’s part, the type of move the NIP felt had become typical of him.
As the years went by and power began to corrupt the PUP’s leaders more and more in the 1970’s, a more sophisticated Opposition emerged in 1973, when the United Democratic Party (UDP) was formed, incorporating the aforementioned NIP, the People’s Development Movement (PDM), and the Liberal Party. The new UDP was more hard-nosed about its political campaigning than the NIP had been, and the new UDP actually included a faction of the divided, street-based UBAD Party, so that there was somewhat less of a middle class attitude in the UDP. At the same time, the PUP was becoming somewhat less roots, because its continued success attracted more middle class support.
From the Publisher
On Saturday afternoon on my computer I was listening to a speech by a Professor Sylvia Wynter in which she said that while young black males make up 6 percent of the population of the United States, they comprise 47 percent of America’s prison population. Her statement led me to wonder what would be the comparable statistics in Belize.
We have had a humanitarian crisis here for some three decades, a crisis originating in the slavery and colonialism brutality imposed on our ancestors by the British. But in the words of the late Tupac Shakur, “No one notices the youth unless they’re shooting …”
To make Belize’s human tragedy more complex, the political rulers of our society are of the same ethnicity as those who are the victims of a form of genocide.
Christmas week is not the time to pursue this topic, but it is for sure that this is a crisis which will grow worse in 2017.
For now, I will use my column today to draw your attention to excerpts from two articles which appeared in the November 26, 2016 issue of The Economist. The first is about oil and climate change, and the second discusses the phenomenal success of Indian immigrants in the United States. Their brilliance in engineering and science has been highly impressive.
It’s “Corto”! “Maradona” seeks help
–A few weeks ago, we heard reports of an Over-40 football player who had suffered a stroke, and was thus wheel chair bound. The story we heard, was that he had just buried his mother, whom he had lived with and taken care of, and was grief stricken on her loss, when, two weeks later, he himself suffered a massive stroke.
The wheel chair part is accurate; but Maradona, I learned yesterday, did not suffer a stroke.
What I also found out was that Maradona is actually a brother whom I have known for decades as “Corto,” being a very short player.
We will have a more detailed account of his story in our weekend issue. But for those who, like myself, were not sure who this local “Maradona” was, and who now seeks our help, we print his picture above, taken at his 4th Street home in Kings Park last night.
In brief, Maradona says he needs to raise around $2,000.00 for an M.R.I. on his spine so that an operation can be done for a pinched nerve, and he possibly could walk again. He can be reached at 663-5333.
Senate approves ICJ resolutions
At its sitting held in Belmopan on Thursday, the Senate approved two resolutions supporting the agreements signed by Belize and Guatemala 8 years ago to submit the territorial differendum to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), pending the outcome of national referenda to be held in both countries.
Apart from the resolution authorizing ratification by Belize to the 2008 Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to Submit Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime Claim to the International Court of Justice 2016; the Senate also approved a second resolution, authorizing ratification by Belize to the 2015 Protocol to the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to Submit Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime Claim to the International Court of Justice 2016.
Leader of Government Business, Senator Godwin Hulse of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), said that ultimately, the final decision on whether the matter will actually be adjudicated at the ICJ is in the hands of voters.
Breaking Belize News
Business Insider says come to Belize
Business Insider, a popular online publication, posted an article entitled “ 11 trips everyone should take in their 30’s,” in which Belize is listed at number two. Article here: http://www.businessinsider.com/trips-everyone-should-take-in-their-30s-2016-12/#argentina-1 The article offers a brief description highlighting some of the many leisurely things to […]
Tyron Coleman receives life saving surgery at Health City, Cayman Islands
In October, BBN reported of bus driver Tyron Coleman who was in need of assistance to undergo heart surgery. Story: http://www.breakingbelizenews.com/2016/10/22/tyron-coleman-financial-assistance-undergo-open-heart-surgery/ The James line bus driver is recovering and doing well thanks to Health City Cayman Islands. Coleman saw various doctors in Belize and […]
American accused of 1978 double murder in Belize
Silas Duane Boston, 75, was nabbed by the FBI on December 1 for the double murder of an English couple which occurred 38 years ago. According to ABC 10 in Sacramento, Peta Frampton and her boyfriend Christopher Farmer were on board Boston’s yacht named […]
International wheelchair foundation donates to Belizeans
Last week, a total of 35 new wheelchairs was donated by the International Wheelchair Foundation based in California. They were distributed on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker to 33 individuals and two organizations. The San Pedro Lions Club and the San Pedro Community Health […]
Elderly mother allegedly killed for land
Why would any want a 68-year-old mother, grandmother and widow shot to death? This morning Superintendent of the Santa Elena police formation, Richard Rosado, told Breaking Belize News that the murder of Paulina Urbelina Suarez was the result of an ongoing land dispute with […]
Tropic Gives Back to San Pedro
Tropic Air donated over $1,300 shared between the San Pedro Roman Catholic School and the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association in November as part of its ongoing #TropicGivesBack charitable campaign.Tropic raised a total of $1,384 for its October installment of the campaign. The school and […]
Belize~needs just a little more love?
Love, according to Merriam Webster English dictionary means: 1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt […]
10 travel tips to manage the Belize International Airport & Tropic/Maya Island Air like an expert!
Over the years, we have learned a ton from our own travel, and the questions and problems guests have had in getting here. Here are the top 10 tips we've learned on how to navigate the Belize airport and regional jet system like a pro!
1.) Tropic and Maya Island Air -
The most popular method of travel around Belize, is to take one of Belize's regional planes ("puddle jumpers") from the Belize International Airport (BZE) to the village airports (in our case, Placencia). You can pre-book this flight by going to www.tropicair.com, or www.mayaislandair.com. The flights are scheduled throughout the day to most larger villages. The flight is only 40 minutes long to Placencia, and once you're away from the mainland, the water turns beautiful shades of blue and turquoise. It is like an excursion in itself!
2.) Make it fun! Ask the pilot if you can sit in the co-pilot seat - they will let you if you ask. The right side of the plane shows you the Maya Mountains, the lagoon, and across the mainland. The left side shows you spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea - get your camera out!