Today's Belize News: April 14, 2017
04/14/17 06:17 AM
04/14/17 06:17 AM
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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
2017 San Pedro Sun Easter Egg Hunt
And the winner of the 2017 San Pedro Sun Easter Egg Hunt is Claudia Herrera. Come by the San Pedro Sun office on Tuesday, April 18th to claim your prize courtesy of Rapidito Loans. Congratulation! Big thanks to all those who participated in this year's contest.
San Pedro’s Justice of the Peace participate in training session
The San Pedro Association of Justice of the Peace and Commissioner of the Supreme Court held a training session on Saturday, April 8th. The meeting took place at the San Pedro Town Council’s Conference Room and was attended by 50 Justices of Peace (JP), several Senior JP’s, and a few Officers of the Supreme Court. The purpose of the training was to familiarize the San Pedro Chapter with all of the basic forms, including the revision of what materials they are and are not authorized to sign.
National President of the Association of Justice of the Peace, Danny Madrid facilitated the training. As JP’s play an important role in society, Madrid explained that it is crucial to train them all. Madrid has been going to every district to establish the groundwork for all associations, acquainting JP’s with new laws, as well as the stipulations of the procedures.
Report claims Belize is the 3rd fattest country in the world
An article published in June of 2016 in the online publication ‘Gazette Review,’ listed Belize as the third fattest country in the world for 2017. The other two countries above Belize in a list of the top ten most obese countries were Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. To confirm this claim, The San Pedro Sun contacted the Ministry of Health (MOH) to shed more light into the matter.
MOH in Belize acknowledges that there is an issue with obesity in the country; however, they believe that Belize should not appear as the third fattest country on the list. According to the Director of Health Services (DHS), this report can be disputed. “It does not provide the data source for any of the countries, so that is the first issue we would need to clarify.” The DHS also believes that the results in that research may reflect just the estimates of the World Health Organization.
Joel Nagel removed as Ambassador of Belize in Austria
San Pedro businessman Joel Nagel has been asked to leave the post as Belize’s Ambassador to Austria by the Austrian Government. The unexpected action was due to the allegedly poor performance of Nagel as a diplomat, accusing him of neglecting his ambassadorial duties for his own personal business work.
Nagel, who was also appointed as Belize’s permanent representative to the United Nations offices in Vienna, Austria, is a US attorney, and the founder and managing partner of the international law firm of Nagel & Associates LLC in Pennsylvania USA. He is also the chairman of Caye International Bank, an investor of Caye Exotic Caye Beach Resort, and the legal counsel and Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer for Grand Baymen Belize in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.
At the time of his assignment in September of 2015, Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Wilfred Elrington stated that Nagel was the best option for the post at the Belizean Embassy in Vienna.
Team Seastar are the champions of the SPTC Co-ed Softball Tournament
After weeks of intense competition, Team Seastar are the 2017 champions of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) Co-ed Softball Tournament. The final matches were held on Sunday, April 9th at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex where four teams: San Pedro High School (SPHS), Quality Reef, Seastar and Extreme battled on the pitch for third, second, and first place of the competition. Following the last game, each team was presented with their individual trophy. Quality Reef proudly accepted their third place along with medals for each player. Second place was next and SPHS’s Lester Gamez came forward to accept the trophy. Then, receiving the championship trophy was Team Seastar, who raised it high as they loudly cheered their victory.
Gangs In Belize City March For Peace, A First In Belize
On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, rival gangs in Belize City came together for the first time in history to march for peace. All of Belize’s gangs and gang leaders were joined by the Belize Polize in the march through the streets under the theme "Walk for peace, we are humans”.
The peaceful march was organized by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams and several gang leaders took time to speak to the media and recognize that Williams as been influential in the intervention for peace in the streets of Belize City. Williams has also been assisting the gang members to seek employment, education, job training and that some have even joined apprenticeship programs.
Misc Belizean Sources
SAN PEDRO AUTHORITIES PREPARE FOR EASTER WEEKEND
In preparation of the upcoming Easter weekend, The San Pedro Town Council met with a number of agencies to discuss the level of preparedness and readiness of the island. Present at the meeting were all elected Town Council officials along with representatives of the Belize Red Cross (San Pedro Branch), The Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, SP Fire Department, San Pedro Traffic Department, San Pedro Liquor License Board, Police Department and the Belize Coast Guard.
Doctors and support staff will be available to attend to patients in the announced section of the clinic. Residents and visitors are reminded for the emergency number for the clinic for the Easter Weekend is (501) 660-2871.
An Evening of Joyful Music
The National Youth Orchestra of Belize presents an evening of joyful & exciting music in Corozal District on April 29th at the Corozal Community College Auditorium starting at 6:30p.m. Special performance by the C.C.C Marching Band. See you there!
Belize Museum Holiday Schedule
The Museum of Belize and Houses of Culture wishes everyone a safe and blessed Easter Holiday weekend, kindly take notice of our closure dates.
Easter Message 2017 by John Briceno
Easter is a time of hope and great joy for Christians everywhere. It is a time to reflect on the sacrifice of our Creator. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life.” John 3:16. For this reason, Christians believe that Easter is a reminder of the promise of a new start the exciting prospect of a brighter future.
On Easter Sunday when you and your families gather together to worship, attend church services and reflect on the renewal that is at the center of this special spiritual event, I ask you to pray for your families, friends and more so pray for Belize. Pray for a stronger sense of community; for those who are victims of the senseless violence that has taken over large communities across our country. Pray for peace, for wisdom and guidance and pray especially for a more fair and just nation.
As we welcome the promise of Easter and as we go to the many parts of our nation to rest and socialize with family and friends be safe and be renewed by the real message of Easter, which brings with it the promise of peace and regeneration.
From all of us in the PUP and from my family to yours I extend our best wishes for a happy Easter.
Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative - YLAI
Are you a young and creative entrepreneur? Are you an innovative civil society leader? Do you want to launch and advance your entrepreneurial ideas and to effectively contribute to social and economic development in your community? Become a #YLAI fellow! Applications for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative - YLAI professional fellows program are now open!
To learn more about this amazing program and to apply, check out https://ylai.state.gov/fellowship/
Hurry, the deadline is April 23, 2017.
5K Run/Walk for Camp Joy Belize
in Support of 5K Run/Walk for Camp Joy Belize, Miss Debs will be donating a percentage of our Thursday sales to the event. The more you buy, the more we give! Come on out and bless this wonderful camp for Special Needs individuals here in Belize.
Barranco Day is an option for the weekend
St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church is having an excursion from Pound Yard bridge Holy Saturday at 8 a.m. and returns Easter Monday and the round trip costs is $40 from Belize City to Barranco.
NO TO CYBERBULLYING!
An Embassy representative reached out to and empowered a group of Belizean high school students at the University of Belize "Stand Up! Speak Up! No To Cyberbullying!” educational campaign event. Being a parent of a victim of cyber bullying, he encouraged the students to open up to their parents and find help.
"Pajarito" Survives Being Knocked Down
Last night, we told you about the late breaking news on the George Price Highway at around mile 8. That's where a man was knocked down while he was trying to cross the road.
Well, we know more about him tonight: he's been identified to us as Guatemalan Julio Lemus, better known as "Pajarito". He survived the impact, but police say he is in critical condition. For the last few years, LEMUS has been living in Lindo's Alley, and his business is selling scrap batteries and copper to the Belize Recycling company.
That's where he was going last night at around 6:50 when he was knocked down. The vehicle that hit him was a black Toyota 4 Runner, driven by 27 year-old Nory Novelo. She was heading from Belmopan to Belize City, when she saw a woman riding a bicycle across the road. Novelo blew her horn, and she tried to avoid hitting the woman, but instead she ended up knocking down "Pajarito"
Four Revolvers Stolen From Independence Police
Curbing crime over the weekend just got a little tougher for the police Intermediate Southern Formation. That's because four .38 revolvers were stolen from KBH security in Independence Village sometime last night. Police are still recording statements from security guards and could not give much details. They were called out to the scene at KBH sometime around 7:00 this morning when the theft was discovered. So far, one person has been detained for questioning.
Elena Payola Like PUDP?
Next week Wednesday and Thursday, the Belize National Teachers Union is holding its 2017 Convention, and this time, the executive posts are up for grabs. Luke Palacio has served as the Union's president for 3 terms. So, in this election, he'll have to step aside and let someone else run for the post. Three candidates are offering themselves for president.
They are Mario Mesh from Corozal, Troy Coleman from Stann Creek, and well-known labour Senator Elena Smith, who's has a national profile as part of the Senate Select Committee that has been digging into Immigration Department irregularities.
Bail For Alleged Shooter With Bullet Lodged In Spine
On Monday, we told you about Leroy Goff, the apparent paraplegic who was arraigned in the Magistrate's Court. He was and read charges of dangerous harm and aggravated assault, and remanded. Goff is accused of shooting Delson Paguado and pointing his gun at Paguado's 14 year old brother. According to reports, Goff opened fire on Paguado in front of his home in San Pedro. After firing another shot and threatening the younger Paguado, Goff tried to escape but was shot and subdued by the neighbors. That was at the end of March, but because of his condition Goff has been in the hospital since then with a bullet lodged in his neck.
Bail For Teenaged "Chopper"
Today a 19 year old was released on $10,000 dollars Supreme Court bail. Edwardo Cosme was charged with attempted murder and dangerous harm for allegedly chopping Edwardo Sanker several times in San Jose, Orange Walk. It happened back in February. Cosme was granted bail on the condition that he is to go to the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court as required by the Magistrate; another condition is that he is to report to Orange Police Station every Wednesday, starting on April 19, and until the charges are disposed of. Also, Cosme should not interfere with any of the prosecution witnesses.
The Man, The Plan, The Canal
Work to clear the heavily silted Yabra Canal continues. And, now, the city is getting serious by damming up one area of the canal so engineers can dredge out the others. Master and Commander of the Canal plan is Councillor Phillip Willoughby:
Phillip Willoughby - City Councillor:
"What we are doing now, is: 1) we have dammed-off the mouth the Caribbean Sea that connects through east collet and west collet canal. We have blocked off where east canal and west canal connects through Z town right here and we have blocked off the Kut Avenue bridge. The purpose of doing so is for us to: 1) pump out the additional water that is left in the canal and that would enable us to create a dry area of the canal so that when we get to the next step to excavate the material from the canal, there is less liquidity in it. We will get, I presume more value for money if we extract just the silt rather than it being more liquefied than silt."
No Trick! Truck Turned Over
A top heavy truck carrying logs tipped over on the Northern Highway this morning. This 18 wheeler was seen lying like this on the side of the highway from early this morning. It happened right at the Boom Junction. Presumably, the 18 wheeler keeled over when the mennonite driver turned from the Boom Road unto the northern highway. Reports say he was heading north to Orange Walk with a truck load of pine.
A Boating Bonanza!
Today, throngs of Belizean beach lovers and water buffs crowded into the water taxi terminals to head out to the cayes. For the water taxi services, it's a bonanza: boatfuls of passengers queuing up for every available boat.
We spoke to a representative of San Pedro-Belize Express, about how they're handling the Easter rush...
"We didn't expect for today to pick up so quickly, but per run we are sending at least 3-4 boats more than we usually do, so it's a large crowd."
Alex Courtenay, 7News:
"So I guess on Thursday's before Easter, is this crowd normal, is this more than you would expect?"
BERT Doesn't Want To See You This Easter
But the water taxi's cannot just be counting heads and money - that also have to keep a close eye on safety. In fact, everyone does. Whatever travel plans are, the authorities are hoping that you will stay safe, and avoid unnecessary risks.
Too often, the Easter Weekend is plagued by fatal traffic accidents or drownings. So, BERT urges you to enjoy while staying safe. BERT's lead trainer shared a few tips to make your vacation a safe one. Here they are:
Javier Canul, BERT:
"Since it's the Easter vacation, I just want to give some words of caution and some word of advice to different people all over the country - if you are travelling on the highways, they need to make sure they stay off their cell phones."
Good Friday Fish Finders 2017
And, if you listen to that old time superstition, then Good Friday is not the day to travel. In fact many will be at home or with their families, eating a fish meal.
Indeed, finding fish for Good Friday is a big deal in Holy Week. For Christians, fish is the meal of choice as a religious observance on the day that Christ died. But, it's gone from a purely religious custom to a deeply embedded cultural practice where everyone who can afford it: agnostic and believer, sinners and saints share the same meal. That can mean fried, baked or bar - b- qued fish, or, alternately, a good "sere." Today Sahar Vasquez went to the fish market to find out what's selling and what's cooking:...
Belize Has 6 Of Interpol's Most Wanted
An online report from News America Now says that 257 Caribbean nationals are on Interpol's current Most Wanted list.
160 of them are from the Dominican Republic; Jamaica is number two with 54 names; the Bahamas, Suriname, and Guyana, each have eight; followed by seven Haitians; while Belize has six nationals on the list. They are: 69 year old Boris Vostry, a national of both Belize and the Czech Republic who is wanted by the Czech Republic to serve a sentence for fraud. Next is 34 year old Miguel Matus who is wanted in Belize for murder. Then, there's 26 year old Lincoln Bejerano - who is wanted in Belize for escape. Next of Jaime Leonel Rivas, a 29 year old from San Ignacio also wanted in Belize for murder. Next is the famous Joseph Ryan Budna the 37 year old who is wanted not in Belize or Guatemala, but in the US for Hostage Taking, Conspiracy to Commit Hostage Taking, and Using and Carrying a Firearm during and in Relation to a Crime of Violence. Finally, 40 year old Manuel Castillo Mendez is wanted in Belize for murder.
The Man Who Tried To Fly
The easter weekend starts tomorrow - and tonight, devoutly religious Christians may go to Church, to remember Christ's agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. But when we speak of religious devotion, few can match the singular act of faith - pulled off by Edgar Sanchez in January of 1961. That's when he went to La Immaculada Church in Orange Walk like everyone else; but while they go to worship, he went to sacrifice. In September of 2004, Alfonso Noble retraced this remarkable history with rare documentary footage:
On Sundays here at La Immaculada Church people come for absolution but 43 years ago one man came here with a divine directive so overpowering that it led to one of the single greatest acts of devotion ever seen in Belize. But was it devotion or madness? Edgar Tasiano says his memory of that day begins with the recollection of his wife cutting his hair.
Cross Country, Looking Ahead
Tonight, the roughly 90 cyclists participating in this year's Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic, are in various stages of readiness: some will go for the garland, while others just hope to hang in there and complete the 144 mile ride. Today, a far less celebrated part of the tradition took place in the city with the annual parade of cyclists. And, as per tradition, only a few came out. But we did get a chance to speak to the president of the Cycling Federation as well as a few riders, among them, American John Delong. A pickup truck ran him over on the western highway before last year's race and he told us how he and his team have recovered.
Deon Leslie, President - Cycling Association:
"It's something that we brought back as tradition having a parade through the principal streets of the city, so the fans can see who is here, who is riding on whose team, because not everyone follows cycling through the entire season - majority of people tuned in for the Cross Country and within the season we have people changing teams and what's not. So it's something to highlight the sponsors of course, to highlight the riders, to highlight the sport in general to see which foreigners have come in so far. So it's something just to big up the race and we've done it since we've gotten in 4 years now and we hope it continues."
Evening Accident on George Price; Elderly Man Knocked Down
There was a near fatal accident on the George Price Highway just before seven on Thursday night. An elderly man was hit by a 2008 Toyota Four-Runner driven at the [...]
Coming Together: Diane Finnegan Asks Marco Vidal What Are His Intentions for Southside
The move to bring together various Belize City gangs to discuss a possible peace treaty is being facilitated by the Belize Police Department, as well as the Youth Apprenticeship Program, [...]
Time for the System to Work with Youth, Not Against
With peace talks underway and another ceasefire in the days ahead, is there any optimism that the truce can be lasting? That’s what we asked Finnegan at the peace march [...]
Government Says G.S.T. Commissioner Has Full Powers
On Wednesday evening, the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Finance, dismissed any suggestion of manipulation by senior management of the General Sales Tax Department of audits carried out [...]
Greedy Choke Puppy? The Effect of Higher Taxes and Relation to Contrabanding
Despite the Government’s belt-tightening measures, if the allegations being made from within the G.S.T. Department have substance, do they not go against the stated intentions of limiting the pain of [...]
Does Chester Williams Have Political Ambitions?
Since breaking news of imminent transfers within the Eastern Division jurisdiction a few weeks ago, there has been speculation whether ACP Chester Williams’ relocation to Belmopan is politically motivated. The [...]
Edward Broaster Endorses Move to Belmopan
ACP Edward Broaster is moving on up. It was announced over a week ago that he is taking over as the Commander of Operations, a promotion that will see him [...]
CitCo Turns Attention to Neglected Yabra Canal
For the past several months, there has been a backing up of silt in the Yabra Canal. The congestion has not only become an eyesore in the area, but it [...]
Cleaning Up on the Highways
And from the Canal to old tires and other breeding grounds for mosquitoes – Willoughby says they held a meeting on Wednesday with the Ministry of Health and they highlighted [...]
B.T.B. Addresses Issues at Tourism Village
Stakeholders in the Fort George Tourism Zone are pushing back against efforts by the Belize Tourism Board and Belize City Council to regulate traffic around the Zone, out of the [...]
What’s Behind Rising Fish Prices at Easter Time
Ten dollars a pound! If your jaw dropped when you heard that price for retail of whole fish this Holy Week, be assured, ours did too. In fact, unconfirmed reports [...]
Former Mayor Unveils Religious Art Pieces
At this time of the year, Belizeans, like millions across the world, celebrate the Easter season according to their beliefs and their religious denominations. It is said to be the [...]
BERT Gives Residents Tips for Emergencies
The official authorities have been very handy for tips to Belizeans to have a safe and happy Easter weekend. Earlier this week, we had the point of view of chief [...]
Tourists Reminded to be Careful, but Belize is Safe
In an interview with News Five, B.T.B.’s Karen Pike addressed the persistent reports of persons working inside the Tourist Village warning away cruise ship tourists from buying from vendors outside [...]
Churches Remind of Importance of Easter
While many Belizeans are on their way to their vacation spot to spend the Easter holidays, is the Christian tradition being lost to secular activities? Earlier today, a symbolic artwork [...]
89th Cross Country Cycling Classic Countdown
The hallmark event for the Easter weekend is the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic which is in its 89th running. The event is one that is very much anticipated by persons both home and abroad. Kwame Scott is the Public Relations Officer of the Cycling Federation of Belize; he spoke of the upcoming race. […]
Belize Tourism Board Offers Tourism Scholarships
The Belize Tourism Board is announcing the availability of four scholarships currently being offered to Belizeans in the area of tourism. Of the four, one is for an Associate’s Degree Program; two for Bachelor’s degree and the other for culinary studies. The Associate’s degree in Tourism offer comes with a 2-year tuition payment with requirements […]
Adulterated Fuel May Cost More In the Longer Run
The long Easter weekend is the time when majority of families who can afford to travel away from home would pack their bags and head out for some sea, sun and relaxation. Just in time for the many road trips that will be taking place, the Belize Retail Service Station Association (BRSSA) sent out a […]
Teenager Granted Bail in Chopping Incident
Nineteen year old Edwardo Cosme, a laborer of San Jose Village in Orange Walk who was remanded into custody on charges of attempted murder and dangerous harm, was released today on a bail of ten thousand dollars that was offered to him yesterday by Justice Adolph Lucas. The incident occurred on February 24 in San Jose Village. […]
Disabled Goff Remanded then Granted Bail
Thirty year old Leroy Goff, an apparent paraplegic who was remanded to prison on charges of dangerous harm and aggravated assault, was released on a bail of $7,500 that was offered to him yesterday by Justice Adolph Lucas. According to the allegation, on March 23 in the San Mateo area of San Pedro Town, ambergris […]
Nicholas Busted with Crack Cocaine on East Canal
Fifty-two year old Calbert Nicholas, an unemployed of Tibruce Street, appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, for having one point four grams of crack cocaine and was charged possession of controlled drugs instead of drug trafficking. Nicholas pled guilty to the charge. He was fined two hundred dollars and he was ordered […]
Belize Sees Improved Ratings from Moody’s
Another report is out from Moody’s Credit Rating Service which has given Belize an upgrade in its long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer and senior unsecured ratings to B3 from Caa2. The report is dated April 11, 2017 and indicates that Belize has a stable outlook. According to Moody’s, the key drivers of the upgrade of […]
Where is the Approval for the $1M For Teachers?
The Belize Network of NGOs is expressing its support for the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize in regards to Government’s decision to pay an “honorarium” to the teachers who did not participate in the October 2016 strike. The Belize Network of NGOs issued a statement in […]
GST Administration Denies Allegations of Calculated Manipulations
The Ministry of Finance has responded to concerns raised by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry over allegations of manipulation of General Sales Tax audit results. The Ministry says it rejects any suggestion of manipulation on the part of the GST Senior Management of any Audit carried out by mid-level to lower level GST […]
Gold Panning in Belize: A Favorite Unwelcomed Activity for Guatemalans
More Guatemalan gold panners were found inside the Chiquibul forest on Monday. According to Friends for Conservation and Development, BDF soldiers, police officers and FCD Park Rangers were on patrol when they detected activity some six point five kilometers inside the Chiquibul Forest. The patrol unit knew gold panners were nearby because they observed murky […]
Lemonal Road hotmix complete
On February 20th, without great fanfare, the paving of the road from Bermudian Landing to Lemonal village was completed. The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow had first announced that the paving would take place in his 2015 Independence Day Address, and now the hot-mix paving of the road is complete.
The road provides an easy access for tourists to visit the popular Archaeological Site at Lamanai, but it also brings great benefit to the residents of Lemonal, one of the oldest communities in the Belize River Valley area, as explained by Village Chairman Kenroy Reynolds.
“The paving of the road from Bermudan Landing to Lemonal comes as a great help to the people of Lemonal Village, because before we only had one bus that used to run on Fridays, because the road was in a deplorable condition. Since the paving of the road, we have a regular bus run; and people that used to live in Belize City and had to pay rent, can now come home and catch the bus every morning and come back in the evening from work,” Reynolds explained.
Gang Truce worked on as shootings take one life and injure three
Three separate and unconnected shootings have left 3 Belize City residents injured, and one dead. It appears that all the victims were not the least bit connected to the gun violence which have affected their lives.
The first victim is 21 year-old Earlin Butler Jr. who was shot on Sunday, April 9, at his home on Rivero Street. It happened sometime around 7 a.m., and though not much is known about the incident itself, reports say that he was in his yard when someone approached him and shot him in the chest and abdomen.
He was rushed to the KHMH for medical treatment, and his family indicates that the doctors have managed to save his life. The expectation is that he will recover from the attack. As for the motive, well, that’s the subject of uncertainty and speculation. Butler is a clerk at the Vital Statistics Unit, and all reports on his character suggest that he is a hard-working youth who stays away from trouble and the street life.
More cops interdicted for contraband
Another pair of police officers are being accused of behaving like contrabandists. This time, the officers are from the Corozal District, and swift action has been taken against them.
The Customs Department reported that on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at around 2 p.m., officers were at the Northern Border Station, at the edge of Santa Elena, Corozal. That’s when a police vehicle, with two police officers, passed through the mandatory checkpoint, and refused to stop, so that they could be searched.
The customs officers chased after them, but the police pickup evaded them by diverting into a feeder road where a package was thrown out of the vehicle. The customs officers searched the area, and that’s when they found a black plastic bag, which matched the description of the bag that the officers spotted in the pan of the runaway police pickup.
Beyond the Horizon 2017 is a truly collaborative effort
Beyond the Horizon 2017 BTH, a combined readiness exercise between U.S. Army South and Belize government agencies has begun, providing medical and construction programs for communities throughout Belize. With the start of BTH, the Belizean people have remained welcoming and with much gratitude to our development partners from abroad.
As recently as Sunday, the first medical services event was held at the Ladyville Community Center in the Belize District. These medical services continued to April the 13th after which it will re-start in the same Ladyville area on April 17-21. All medical service events are open to the public and do not require an appointment. The medical events will open at 7:00 a.m. and the line will be closed at 3:00 p.m. to ensure that everyone waiting will be processed by 5:00p.m. The medical services event will offer family medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, optometry, and dentistry. A release from BTH organizers urges that all participants bring plenty of drinking water as weather conditions are expected to be very warm.
New NEMO office and coordinator for Belize Rural South
As part of preparations for the upcoming Hurricane Season, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has relocated to a new office in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye.
The new office is located in a central area just opposite the San Pedro Airport, on the second floor of a building that houses Wings San Pedro Department and Furniture Store on Coconut Drive. Also, a new NEMO Coordinator - Ms. Vanessa Parham - has been assigned to Belize Rural South which includes Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker.
CEO Caucus “We’re with You” Cancer Ride 2017
The CEO Caucus held its second annual Cancer ride on Saturday April 8th, 2017 with the theme of this year’s ride “We’re with You”. Riders rode from mile 25 on the George Price Highway to the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan.
All cyclists, cycling enthusiasts, citizens, and those affected by cancer were encouraged to be a part of the ride to bring awareness to the terminal illness. The Caucus urged those aforementioned to join in the pledging of $50,000 toward national efforts to combat cancer. The beneficiary of the pledge was the Cancer Treatment Center of Dangriga. Their goal was in an effort to augment the capabilities of their ever increasing assessments and services.
Citco targets derelict structures for demolition
In December of last year the Belize City Council received an order from the Supreme Court to demolish the eastern portion of a building that sits at the corner of Allenby Street and Amara Avenue. The order came as a consequence of the departments of Health, Police and Fire as well as the City Council deeming the structure to be unsound. And unsound it is, the columns and beams literally disassemble upon them just being touched.
On Monday April 10, the Belize City Council moved on demolish the eastern portion of the building as per the court order, however there was resistance by the occupant of the structure forcing a stop to the project. Councilor Philip Willoughby, who is spearheading the move, had taken the position that the structure would come down on Monday but closer inspection by the council’s technical team including the city engineer and town planner it was determined that more than just the eastern portion of the building was unsafe. So a stop was put to the work and now the council is seeking that the courts declare that the entire building is unsafe.
Brazil Corned beef ban lifted
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and Ministry of Health (MoH) have lifted the temporary suspension on the importation of corned beef from Brazil.
The temporary suspension which took effect on March 23rd was prompted after reports from Brazilian authorities that several major meat processors had been processing tainted beef and poultry meat. The companies were also alleged to have paid hefty bribes to officials in exchange for sanitary licenses.
In order to verify the safety and wholesomeness of corn beef already in country, samples were collected from importers’ warehouses, retail shops and supermarkets. Microbiological testing conducted at BAHA’s Food Safety Laboratory did not detect any pathogens.
Julius continues to fight the PUP leader
At every instance it has been proven that there is a game of one-upmanship between the PUP’s party leader and Julius Espat. On Monday of this week that was proven again as Espat did a longwinded interview with LOVE FM on just about every topic there is under the sun. He commented on issues relating to the economy to the teachers being paid and honorarium and the ICJ.
On the latter issue Espat was clear, he said that he does not support going to the ICJ and while he was unable to explain with any convincing rationale why he’s taken this position, what he was able to again clarify is that he is his own man. Basically he told the nation once again that he is not following Johnny Briceno. He made it clear that he has contradicted his leader on this issue before and will continue to do so.
Our Leader is not a Pirate…He is the Father of Economic Independence
The month of March was quite a dizzying month, as we saw the Right Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow renegotiate the scandalous PUP Superbond to more reasonable terms as well as present and pass a fair, balanced and upbeat national budget that allows the economy to rebound and flourish while still protecting the citizens who are financially most at risk. By so doing he has practically silenced the self-proclaimed pundits, the naysayers and the modern-day Cassandras who for months had been pathologically predicting only gloom, doom and hard times.
All the UDP representatives and senators made quite constructive interventions in support of both the budget and the Prime Minister’s presentation. However, in particular, both Senator Aldo Salazar and Attorney General Senator Michael Peyrefitte, when contrasting the bogus, dubious and invisible projects in the PUP Superbond compared to the sound and tangible investments of Petrocaribe, summed it up best by noting that “our leader is not a pirate!”
The Ministry of Health takes multi-tasking to a new level
With the celebration of World Health Day in Belize on Friday, the Ministry of Health continues to work in addressing the many challenges facing the Nation. The Ministry of Health currently has to deal with the issues of non-communicable diseases, hypertension, diabetes, life style changes, smoking, drinking, road traffic accidents and mental health issues and has had to rev up its multitasking approaches.
Friday’s launch of World Health Day focused on depression. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.
Passport processing resumes
The Department of Immigration and Nationality Services hereby informs the public that it will resume normal processing of applications for renewal and issuance of new passports on Monday 10th April 2017.
Persons wishing to apply for expedited passport services may now submit applications to the office in Belmopan. Applications for normal passport services continue to be accepted at all district offices except Orange Walk and Dangriga.
Please contact the department at 822-3860 or 822-0284 if there are questions. The Department of Immigration and Nationality Services regrets any inconvenience caused during this period.
Consultation on the Impact of Child Labour in the Belize Sugar Industry
On Monday April 10, the Government of Belize and the European Union set out on a partnership to find out just how much a part of the sugar industry child labour is. Their goal is to collect statistics on the issue which will be used to ensure that Belize is operating within the child labour policies of the Fair Trade International’s policy.
According to Diana Shaw of the Child Development Fund, incidents regarding child labour will be studied especially in the sugarcane producing areas of Belize in the Orange Walk and Corozal districts. The country needs to be able to report to Fair Trade International and other partners that steps are being taken to eliminate child labour and prove that international sugar is being produced in a way that is not harmful to children.
Tourism Arrivals Show a Steady Increase in 1st Quarter of 2017
The statistics for the first quarter of 2017 has shown a small but steady increase in tourism arrivals, even after an unprecedented growth in 2016. In a press release of Monday, April 10, the Belize Tourism Board said that this observance establishes Belize as a popular tourist attraction and destination and that it also shows that the stakeholders are working very diligently.
Overnight tourism saw a 2.7% increase by March of this year. March typically tends to be the summit of the tourism season in the country. Last March saw over 43,000 tourists while this March saw an increase to over 44,000. This total has made a record as the highest number of tourists to visit Belize within a single month.
Travel advisory Easter 2017 - Mexico
If the vehicle is to travel beyond Quintana Roo (for example, to Merida which is in the state of Yucatan), a temporary import permit must be purchased at the Chactemal Border (Chetumal Border Immigration) at the BANJERCITO Bank. Banjercito working hours are 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday. The cost of the permit is US$51 plus tax and payment can be done in cash (US$) or credit card. Depending on the model of the vehicle, a deposit (between US$200 and US$400) is required, refundable on cancellation of the permit.
UB Welcomes Vice President (Academic Affairs) Dr. Mariot Simon
The University of Belize is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Mariot Simon as Vice President reporting to the President on Academic Affairs.
Dr. Mariot Simon graduated from the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship with a Doctorate in Business Administration with a specialization in International Management. He also holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Agricultural Economics. He has extensive experience in economic development, emerging sectors development, export market development and international marketing. He worked for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in that country’s national economic development agency where he worked in export marketing, industrial development and investment promotion. He also managed a World Bank funded grant programme aimed at increasing the export competitiveness of businesses.
The University of Belize and Belmopan City Council strengthen partnership for national development
His Worship Khalid Belisle, Mayor of Belmopan, made a courtesy call on the new President of the University of Belize, Professor Clement Sankat on Wednesday, 5th April at the University’s Main Campus in Belmopan. This was a familiarization meeting allowing the two leaders to discuss how best the Belmopan City Council and the University can work collaboratively in such a way to simultaneously contribute to the Development of the Municipality, the University and the nation of Belize as a whole.
In a show of good will, Mayor Belisle has committed to assisting the University to upgrade a portion of road way and adjacent parking lot on the university grounds and Professor Sankat has committed to assist the Belmopan City with access to research/academic data suitable for special projects the Mayor may want to pursue. One of these projects will be the Mount Pleasant Creek Development including an Ecological Assessment and recommendations for upgrading and recreational use.
More Gold panners detained in Chiquibul
On the 10th of April, a patrol Unit comprised of BDF, Police and FCD Park Rangers detained 4 adult gold panners and one minor found gold panning in the area of Ceibo Chico, Southern Chiquibul. These four adults and the minor were escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station for charges to be laid on the adults for illegal entry and mineral extraction without a permit.
The patrol unit detected human activity due to the signs of murky water flowing downstream which indicated there was activity in the creek upstream. On approach the personnel observed two adult male persons digging with a long iron bar in the creek. As the team moved closer they spotted six other, adult male persons, and a minor 6.5 kilometers inside the Chiquibul National Park.
Wildlife Conservation Society Belize Trains Members of Belize Marine Stranding Network
Over 30 members of the Belize Marine Mammal Stranding Network (BMMSN) met from April 5th- 7th, 2017 at the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute’s Training Room. The purpose of the meeting was to reorganize the BMMSN and to establish better communication and data management.
On-site field workers were offered training by the WCS. These workers, who respond to cases of distressed marine mammals and sea turtles, came from WCS, Wildtracks Belize, Southern Environmental Association (SEA), OCEANA, Toledo Institute for Development and Education (TIDE), Forest Department, Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation Development (SACD), Sea to Shore Alliance, Fragments of Hope, UB Environmental Research Institute (ERI), Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association (TASA), Fisheries and Forestry Departments, and veterinarians from across the country.
Cop charged for contrabanding
Last week Wednesday, the Commissioner of police was informed by Channel 7’s news director Jules Vasquez that there was a video which showed police officers caught carrying what appeared to be contraband beer into a police vehicle in the Botes area of the Orange Walk District. At the time Vasquez said that the video was in the possession of the Professional Standard’s Branch, who had it for 6 weeks prior.
At the time of being informed, Compol Allen Whylie said he was not aware of the video and requested that Vasquez provide it to him, which took place. Upon receiving the video, Whylie directed that an investigation be carried out and instructed the acting commanding officer of the Orange Walk Formation, Inspector Jose Mendez to do so.
Re: Today's Belize News: April 14, 2017
04/14/17 06:18 AM
04/14/17 06:18 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Aaron Wilson fined for pretending to be a public officer
On Monday April 10, Aaron Wilson was imposed two non-custodial fines of $2000 each by Judge Lucas. Wilson, who was represented by attorney Christelle Wilson in court, was accused of impersonating a public officer in 2010.
In court, Lucas explained why the jurors only deliberated on two of the five charges against him and also explained their reason for a guilty verdict on the two charges of pretence of being a public officer rather than a special constable. Impersonating a public officer is a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
Lucas explained that while the charge would normally land Wilson in prison for 2 years, he is refraining from imprisoning Wilson.
Man charged for murder of Pastor from Cayo
San Ignacio Police have charged Gabriel Cunil for the murder of 79 year old Florencio Guillermo Bardalez, whose body was found at his farm in Esperanza Village on Monday of last week. A post mortem has so far indicated that Bardalez died from asphyxiation by bronchial aspiration and head trauma from a blunt instrument. Police were able to find a piece of stick and a stone near his body.
To remember Bardalez, who was a local Baptist Church Pastor, a candle light vigil was held by San Ignacio residents at the Columbus Park on Friday night. Justice of the Peace Landy Espat told participants,
“We are in solidarity with the Bardalez family, who suffered the loss of their father, grandfather…he was a dedicated pastor of his Church and did not deserve to go this way”
Man chops his son-in-law in Corozal
Gabriel Zelaya, 38, a resident of Corozal Town, is hospitalized after being chopped by his father-in-law, 59 year-old Armando Cobb. The two men ended up in a violent confrontation after Zelaya and his wife, Cob’s daughter, allegedly had another marital quarrel. There are allegations of continued domestic abuse, and Cob told police that he is sick and tired of his son-in-law attacking his, Cobb’s, daughter.
Residents say that on Friday night, April 7 at around 9 o’clock, Zelaya and his wife had another fight, and she suffered injuries to the ribs and jaw. The couple has developed a reputation for fighting and then making up.
Gold panners arrested and charged
Friend for Conservation and Development (FCD)are reporting that 4 persons have been arrested and charged after they were caught gold panning in the Chiquibul Forest reserve. According to the FCD on Thursday April 6th at 10:30a.m., FCD Park Rangers conducting a patrol detained four Guatemalan nationals from Monte Los Olivos.
The four men gave their names as 39 year old Roberto Chub Tec, 17 year old Waldemar Gabriel Maas Ac, 33 year old Jose Arturo Pop Caal and Elam Jose Sam Hor, 38 years of age. The four were found 8.6 kilometers inside Belizean territory. They told the rangers that they arrived at the location two days earlier to pan for gold due to the scarcity of any jobs in the community. These persons, along with another that escaped, were found with six vials, however, only 2 of these appeared to contain gold. In their camp, a black plastic bag was found with what appeared to contain marijuana; while a small amount of marijuana was found on Roberto.
Norman Humes charged with exposing his person in public
On Monday, April 10, Norman Humes was brought before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was read a single charge of exposing his person in public.
According to police, they saw the 62 year old man on Sunday, April 9th with his private part exposed in a public place, Queen Charlotte Street in Belize City. He was placed in police custody, read his rights by P.C. S. Tun, and charged with a misdemeanor.
In court before Smith, Humes told the magistrate that he was leaned against a lamppost where he was urinating. Smith discharged Humes of the offense and he was freed to leave. Neither a fine nor time in prison was imposed on him.
Leroy Goff, charged for San Pedro shooting
On Monday April 10, Leroy Goff was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He was read three charges: dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm with a deadly weapon, a firearm, against Delson Paguada, and one count of aggravated assault on 14 year old Tionne Paguada. During the incident, Goff was injured himself and underwent surgery at the KHMH. Goff is now confined to a wheelchair.
In court, Goff, who was represented by attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradely, pleaded not guilty to all three charges. Given the nature of the offense and the use of a firearm, Goff was automatically remanded to the Belize Central Prison, despite his conditions.
Paul Jex Jr. committed to stand trial for rape and aggravated burglary
On Tuesday, April 11, Paul Jex’s preliminary inquiry concluded before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Jex, as well as Brandon Baptist, Tyrone Meighan, and John and Sheldon Grinage, were committed to stand trial for the aggravated burgulary in a home invasion of diplomat Sarkis Bou Nehra’s home in Burrel Boom in December 2015.
In court, Jex was unrepresented and did not challege any of the prosecution’s evidence. Such evidence is DNA which links Jex as the alleged attacker and rapist of the watchman’s wife.
Paul Smith is sentenced to a month in prison for cannabis
On Tuesday, April 10, Paul Smith, an employee at the Radisson Fort George, was sentenced to a month in prison by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He was charged for the possession of a controlled drug.
Police were conducting a house search when they asked Smith if he had anything illegal to declare to which Smith replied he had some weed. The police claimed that he asked for an excuse but he was instead detained and taken into police custody where he was charged.
Randy Chambers strikes again - accused of robbing two men in Belize City
On Monday, April 10, 19 year old Randy Chambers was brought before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was arrainged on two counts of robbery. Chambers, who was unrepresented, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It is alleged that on April 5, 2017, Chambers, armed with a knife, robbed Isaac and Jamir Castellanos. According to police reports, Isaac was robbed of a silver link chain of unknown value while Jamir was robbed of a $250 silver link chain, $55 headphone, and $500 in cash.
Mark Seawell beats US extradition request
After 10 years on lockdown at the Belize Central Prison, Mark Seawell has been released following a judgment from the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. He is the third Seawell brother who was indicted by a US grand jury for narcotics trafficking, and he has been fighting – and has now beaten – his extradition to that country to face trial.
But, up until Thursday, April 6, 2017, there appeared no end to his lockdown. His stroke of good fortune actually dates back to November 4, 2016, 5 months ago. That’s when his brother, Gary Seawell, beat his extradition to the US at the Court of Appeal. Gary’s attorneys, Anthony Sylvestre, and British Barrister Ben Cooper, successfully argued before the Appeal Court panel that there was a flaw in procedure because the examining magistrate’s warrant for his committal to prison was missing.
Belize Athletics Association to hold General Meeting
The Belize Athletics Association informs its membership that it will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 12 April, 2017 at 6:00pm in the Conference Room of the National Sports Council at the NSC office corner Cemetery Road and Dolphin Street.
Dangriga Dream Ballers halt the San Pedro Tiger Sharks in a trap
The National Elite Basketball League regular season competition continued over the last weekend with three games on the schedule.
On Saturday 8th April, at the San Pedro High School Auditorium in San Pedro Town, the visiting Dangriga Dream Ballers stop the league leading San Pedro Tiger Sharks in their trap by upending it 79-73.
The top scorers for the Dangriga Dream Ballers were Dillmore Conorquie with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 9 steals; Quinton Bowen with 14 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists and Tahj Wells who also scored 14 points to go along with his 14 rebounds towards the big win.
For the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, the top scorers were George Williams with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Douglas Valley with 12 points and 1 rebound and Jamal Kelly with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.
Verdes FC whitewash the BDF FC
The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament continued over the last weekend with a number of games on the schedule.
The competition continued on Sunday 9th April, 2017 with two more games on the schedule. At the MCC Grounds in Belize City, the visiting Verdes FC whitewash the home team Belize Defence Force by the score of 3-0. The goals for Verdes FC were scored by Carlos Vasquez in the 55th minute of play, Gilroy Thurton in the 60th minute of play and Darrel Myvette in the 90+2 minute of play for the big victory.
And at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, Police United FC edged out the visiting FC Belize by the score of 3-2. The visiting FC Belize was the first onto the scoreboard when Russel Cassanova scored the 1st goal of the game in the 40th minute of play for the 1-0 lead. However, that lead was short lived, as Daniel Jimenez scored the equalising goal via a penalty kick in the 44th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. So the first half of the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Raymond Garbutt Sr. Cayo Softball competition continues
The 2017 Raymond Garbutt Sr. Cayo Senior Female competition continued on Sunday 9th April, out in Unitedville.
In game one, the Belmopan Bandits defeated the host team Unitedville Rebels United by the score of 4-2. The winning pitcher was Ashley Lucas and the losing pitcher was Nikita Perez.
In game two, Esperanza Wolverines won over the Belmopan Capital City Emeralds by the score of 13-4.
The winning pitcher was Kimberlyn Ortega and the losing pitcher was Leonie Aldana.
Alicia Thompson is the 2017 Female Cross Country Champion
The Cycling Federation of Belize held its 28th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic on Sunday 9th April, 2017.
The event started out in San Ignacio Town and concluded at the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks in Belize City. The 73 miles event attracted some 11 female cyclists including two Americans from Washington State.
At the end of 3:57:49, which is almost some 50 minutes slower than the current record that was set by Mexican Brenda Aguayo on 13th May, 2007, Alicia Thompson of the Belize Bank Swoosh, regained the garland she lost to Kaya Cattouse last year by crossing the finish line first to capture the 2017 Female Cross Country Title.
Luke’s unsound logic
Last week we were treated to a Bunch of incongruent logic coming from Mr. Palacio, the leader of the trade union representing our nation’s educators. He is claiming that the teachers who did not go on strike are not entitled to an honorarium for attending classes during the PUP-orchestrated strike action, since, he claims, these teachers did not do any work because the students were absent from classes. As such, Palacio is recommending that the said faithful teachers refuse any such honorarium from GOB. Let’s examine Palacio’s fitful logic; the teachers who went on strike did not work, either, yet he fought to get them paid and they did. So what is Luke’s beef? He should be more concerned about the Chief Justice’s order to account for monies from the BTL shares set aside for deferred salary increases from retirees which he had no authority to access. Put back the money, Luke!!
A Saturday in Belize City, Check it out!
On Saturday last we at this newspaper took the opportunity of our being in Belize City, to move around in an effort to try and get a feel of what the Saturday vibez felt like. We arrived in the city, onboard a bus coming from the river valley area, we boarded that bus in the Ladyville area. Our time of arrival was just around 6:15a.m. As the bus stopped at the Save U area ,the first thing we noticed was, that all the TAXI CABS were getting jobs, from persons alighting the buses that stopped at that area, including the bus we were on. After a short stop the bus took a right hand turn and proceeded over the Belcan Bridge, then onto the Central American Boulevard. What caught our attention and that of many of the passengers onboard the bus, was that magnificent structure, off to our left at the foot of the Belcan Bridge. That structure is the Civic Center, that is presently under construction. We immediately started a conversation with a lady who was seated in the seat to our left. We asked her what she thought about the Civic Center. Her answer was “I can’t wait to see what it will look like when it’s finished, dis dah wan time deh Kyant seh govament d tief d money.” She told us that she remembers going to Basketball games at the former Civic Center. One such Basketball game she mentioned in particular was the Caricom Championship game in 1998 and how it brought cold seed over her body, when all the Belizeans at the game got up and sang our National Anthem. Another thing she remembered was going to concerts there. The Byron Lee concerts in particular were her favorite.
Bishop Philip Wright’s Easter Message 2017 “Resurrection – More than the Eyes can See”
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.
Its objective would be to educate them on the national issues of the day
In my opinion, Easter is the biggest event on the Christian calendar; Christ was victorious over death and we inherited the benefits! That was the best of all treats!
Human beings do offer each other minuscule treats from time to time. More often than not, we deceive each other, making promises that we absolutely have no intention of fulfilling. In 1944 Robert Sidney Turton told his secretary: ”George, I want you to run in the city council elections.” Many years later George Cadle Price told Godfrey P. Smith: ”I did it because I was told to do it. He told me to do it...” Arawack declared that “… the character and destiny of a coming nation rests to a very great extent in the hands of its politicians and the result may be either progress or chaos.” As a student of Belize History I have no problem declaring that after 67 years in politics (2011 – 1944 = 67) Price contributed more to chaos than to progress! Fiend Fire!
Murder on Holy Emmanuel Street
Rafael Mario Guerra, 39, a construction worker of Holy Emmanuel Street, Belize City, was gunned down at about 9:00 last night near his home.
According to police, a gunman exited a van, fired the deadly shots at Guerra, hitting him in his head and torso, and then got back into the van, which sped away from the area.
Guerra was taken in a police mobile to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. His body was then taken to the morgue, pending a post-mortem.
Police reported that Rafael Guerra was walking when a van, which was passing by, stopped a short distance in front of him and two men exited. One of them, carrying a firearm, opened fire on Guerra, hitting him multiple times.
Area residents reported that at least 10 shots were fired at Guerra.
Alvarine Burgess alleges unlawful detention
Whistleblower Alvarine Burgess was detained at the Belmopan Police Station on Saturday night by cops who she said received instructions from a senior ruling politician.
Burgess, a football enthusiast, revealed that she was at a football match on Saturday night as the Belmopan Bandits played against a team from Punta Gorda.
According to Burgess, sometime around 8:00 p.m., while the anthem was being played, she observed some young men behaving disorderly. She thought to herself that after the anthem was over, she would scold them.
She was cheering for her Punta Gorda team when a male police officer walked up to her and ordered her to stop the noise. She told the police officer that she was cheering on her team, just as other fans were doing.
UK money laundering probe leads to Belize
News has surfaced out of the UK that Susan Anita Barrington-Binns, a woman who is said to have lived and worked in Belize and who also operated Barrington Legal in West Yorkshire, England, is facing a 12-month suspension arising from a money laundering probe which involved the transfer of roughly £1.3 million (or about US$1.6 million) to Belize Bank International, an offshore bank in Belize, allegedly without proper due diligence to establish that the funds were legitimately obtained.
A document published last week by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), in a matter heard on March 7 by a tribunal, said that Barrington-Binns was accused of failing to give proper consideration as to whether there was an underlying legal transaction for receipt of the £1.3 million into the office’s bank account back in November 2013, and subsequent transfers of £1,269,725, presumably after legal fees were deducted, to a bank in Belize, using the lawyer’s own bank account.
Castro’s vehicle looted for passports and laptops
Amandala has been informed that thieves made off this weekend with two laptops and a series of passports which were in a vehicle allegedly owned by Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management, Hon. Edmond Castro.
According to sources, thieves broke into the Minister’s vehicle while it was parked at the Barry Bowen Municipal Airstrip in Belize City, sometime between Sunday night and early Monday morning.
When Amandala contacted Castro requesting a comment, he simply hung up the telephone.
Corozal cops in hot water after evading Customs checkpoint
Less than a week ago, an Orange Walk police officer was interdicted from duty after video footage emerged showing that he was the driver of a police mobile used to transport suspected contraband beers from Botes, Mexico to Belize.
Now today, Monday, three Corozal policemen are in trouble after Customs officers from the northern border station revealed video footage suggesting that they too may be engaged in facilitating the movement of contraband goods into Belize.
The Customs officers reported that at around 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, two policemen, who were transporting a black bag inside the pan of a police pickup, refused to stop at the Customs checkpoint and so they pursued the vehicle.
Beyond the Horizon 2017
A throng of people went out early on Sunday morning, April 9, to seek the medical attention that is being provided by United States soldiers from the US Southern Command, beginning at around 6:00 a.m. and continued in a steady stream throughout the day.
The services were provided under an initiative dubbed, Beyond the Horizon 2017, a medical mission provided on the Ladyville football field, which was transformed into a makeshift medical facility.
Amandala spoke with Sergeant John Evenridge, the public affairs specialist for Beyond the Horizon, who told us that their program is a partnership between the US Southern Command and the Belize Government.
“The Ministry of Health determines what services we should provide,” Evenridge said.
NEBL “In the Paint”
Who’s your daddy? If the playoffs ended today, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks would play the Dangriga Dream Ballers in the semi-finals. There are very few teams in the 2017 version of the NEBL that consistently gives the Tiger Sharks trouble; the Dangriga Dream Ballers is one of those teams. Since last year, the Dream Ballers have won three of four played between the two clubs, sweeping this year’s two-game series in impressive fashion; but more importantly, have established that they are more than capable of winning on the road, having won the last two meetings played on the island of San Pedro.
This was the case on Saturday night, as the Ballers entered 4th quarter play staring up at a seemingly insurmountable 67-56 deficit, in one of the league’s toughest arenas to play, particularly when trailing. But the Dream Ballers, for some unknown reason, seems comfortable playing in front of the San Pedro faithful.
BDF’s MCC blues continues
The Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Closing Season regular season is near its end. After Week 12 games this past weekend, and one brought-forward Week 14 game last Thursday, two teams have secured a playoff spot – Belmopan Bandits SC and Police United FC. The other two spots will be decided this week. Week 13 games are mid-week, and Week 14 games, to end regular season, are on Easter Sunday.
The long-range plan in their mid-season change of coaching staff was supposed to be built around team discipline, but some chemistry might have been sacrificed in the process, as BDF FC is now 0 and 2 in second-round action at home at the MCC Grounds. A couple weeks ago, on March 26, they were humiliated by defending champions Belmopan Bandits SC by a 4-0 score. And yesterday, in another pathetic display by BDF on their home turf, it was visiting Verdes FC coming away with a 3-nil victory.
BBBFF Strong Man & Woman Competition 2017 winners
The most anticipated event of the year, the Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation (BBBFF) Strong Man & Woman Annual Competition took place yesterday, Sunday, April 9. The competition was held at the BTL Park at the Newtown Barracks in Belize City, and saw a total of 14 competitors, both males and females. The females competed across four disciplines, which included bench press, squats, dead-lift & tire flip; while the males competed in six disciplines: bench press, squats, dead-lift, tire flip, formers walk & the ultimate crowd pleaser – the Vehicle Pull.
The overall winners for the females were as follows:
First Place went to Roberta Usher, representing Hill View Train Station Gym in San Ignacio Cayo.
Second Place went to Jasmine Armstrong from Hill View Train Station Gym in San Ignacio Cayo.
Third Place went to Emma Jones of the Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation Gym (BBBFF) in Belize City.
Women Cross Country Champion
Regardless of what the rest of the cycling calendar this year has to offer, it is a foregone conclusion, at least at this sports desk, that the most outstanding record of women cycling achievement for 2017 resides with the garland on the shoulders of Ms. Alicia Thompson, who won this year’s Women Cross Country Classic on Sunday in a thrilling 3-woman sprint to the finish line that she won in convincing fashion.
The Cross Country is the biggest cycling event in Belize, but it can be argued that one good day may not automatically signify total dominance of the field for any long portion of the year.
But for Alicia Thompson, this year’s Cross Country was not just a smash hit, but a Classic 3-peat. In fact, it couldn’t get any better than this. Alicia started off the year by winning the second most prestigious cycling event in Belize, the Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic 2017, defeating rival Kaya Cattouse in a dramatic sprint. Alicia followed that up by winning the Belmopan Classic on March 12, this time crossing the finish line a comfortable 18 seconds ahead of Kaya and Patricia Chavarria, who sprinted together and ended in that order.
A million bucks of Easter basket
When the Deputy Premier/Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, first announced early last week that his United Democratic Party (UDP) government had, almost casually, found a million dollars to reward those teachers, presumably members of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), who had reported to their schools instead of supporting their union’s eleven-day October strike last year, it took a while for that announcement to register with the Belizean people. After all, the Dean Barrow administration had just presented a budget for 2017/18, which went into effect on Saturday, April 1, which was basically an austerity budget calling on Belizeans to support revenue increases for the government so that the ruling politicians could meet all their Ashcroft bills, their superbond payments, their infrastructure commitments, and so on and so forth. The Governor General’s signature of assent to that painful budget was hardly dry on paper when Faber broke the crazy news – a million bucks of Easter basket for those teachers who had been loyal to the UDP, Mr. Barrow, and himself.
THE UDP MILLION-DOLLAR FRAUD
In an interview with the media on 3rd April 2017, Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, casually announced, like nothing was wrong with it, that the Government of Belize had decided to pay $1 million dollars of public funds to those teachers who turned up at largely empty schools during the 11-day teachers strike last October, while many parents and other citizens kept their children out of school and marched in solidarity with the striking teachers. Since this announcement, the Government’s decision has been roundly condemned by the opposition People’s United Party, the Belize National Teachers’ Union, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the National Trade Union Congress and by the public at large. At the time of writing this, there has been no public response from the Government to the widespread condemnation of its decision.
Afro-descendants in Mexico – Mara Sanchez Renero hosts first exhibit in Belize
Through a captivating exhibit of 16 original photographs from Mexico’s Costa Chica region which merge culture, history and lifestyle with a breathtaking landscape, Mara Sanchez Renero, a Mexican woman photographer, is telling her story about The Cimarron and the Fandango: the unknown world of the Black Afromexicans.
This is her first time in Belize, and while here, she is also hosting over 30 Belizeans at a workshop entitled “An Experience with Photography”, being held at the Mexican Institute in Belize City.
Renero says that she takes portraits of one community and takes them to another community so that they can meet each other. This is the case with her photographic exhibition being held at the Museum of Belize, through which she is introducing two communities of Afro-descendants to each other.
Celebrating my brother’s mother – Elena “Edith” Labriel.
Wednesday 12th April 2017 marks the 220th year since the forced arrival of the Garinagu to the shores of Central America. Europeans coveting the Eastern Caribbean Islands my people happily inhabited for millennia, stole it. The Garinagu, having survived hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, drought, pestilence, illness and conflict; found themselves at war for our home islands. We lost that war to forces driven by greed, God and country.
Those greedy predatory Britons then imprisoned the just over five thousand surviving Garinagu on barren Balliceaux to die in an attempted genocide. The just over twenty-five hundred survivors of that attempted genocide were the ones shipped and, landed on Roatan, Honduras on Wednesday 12th April 1797. (The Gregorian calendar was only 214 years old, having been introduced in October 1582. Greedy Great Britain had only been using the Gregorian calendar 45 years).
A GLOBAL CRISIS IN MODERN MEDICINE
Hello everyone. It is apparent that even though there is a groundswell of a growing number of people who are turning to alternative medicine to address their medical needs and more people, globally, are beginning to understand naturopathic medicine, and there are those who grew up on their mothers and grandmothers bush knowledge who practiced some form of homeopathic medicine, still, based on medical evidence, far too many people remain unaware of how naturopathic medicine works, and its approach to health to blend body, mind, science and traditional and cross-cultural avenues of diagnoses and treatments. Naturopathic or “alternative” medicine focuses on the person as a whole; not on a person’s fragmented body parts. Everything in the body is connected in one form or the other. One cannot effectively, and should not, treat a person’s limb or organ, to the ignorance and oblivion of the rest of the person’s body, emotional, and mental wellbeing.
Two women and one man reported missing
As we go to press tonight, there is no indication that three people, including a disabled woman, reported missing earlier this week, have returned home.
In one case, Jennifer Cowo, 14, a student of Trial Farm, Orange Walk District, left home for school at about 6:30 on Monday morning, but her family is worried because they have not seen or heard from her since.
Gloria Hernandez, Jennifer’s mother, describes her as having a fair complexion and being slim built, with long, straight hair, and dark brown eyes. The girl, who stands about 5 feet tall and weighs about 120 pounds, left home wearing a pink sleeveless blouse, a pair of blue jeans long pants, and a black pair of slippers.
Another girl with the name Jennifer has been reported missing. She is Jennifer Gomez, 19, a student of Neal Pen Road, Belize City.
BTL workers stage walk out
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) employees walked out of their office on St. Thomas Street Wednesday afternoon, as a sign of discontent with their management.
Sources within the Belize Telecommunications Workers Limited, have said that the senior management of BTL have not been compliant with a memorandum of understanding, signed with the Union some years ago.
Breaking Belize News
KHMH needs your help in identifying this person
The KHMH is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying this man.
He was knocked down near eight miles on George Price Highway late last night.
Serious traffic accident on Mile 8
Last night around 6:50 , Nory Novelo, 27, reported that she was driving a black 2008 Toyota 4 runner heading from Belmopan to Belize city and upon reaching between miles 8 and 9 on the George Price Highway in front of the recycling company, she saw a female on a bicycle crossing from the left hand side of the road to the right and also an elderly man walking across the road from left to right.
Ladyville Police gets new vehicle
The Ladyville Police yesterday received a generous donation from the law firm of Courtenay and Coye.
The vehicle valued at $28,000 was handed over at the Ladyville Police station today.
Chris Coye said that the donation is to assist the police to respond quicker to calls since there has been an increase in burglaries in neighboring areas.
10 things you need to know about the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic
Here are 10 things you need to know about the race:
The race began in April of 1928, when Belizean Monrad Metzgen noticed the amount of bicycles people use to attend cricket games in Northern Belize. He proposed a cycling “expedition” to El Cayo. At the time, the road was a rough trail. The Governor, Sir John Burdon immediately pledged his support and offered a cup as a prize to the winner.
The winner of the first race was Belizean Elston Kerr.
5 police officers charged for illegal activity in 2 weeks
In only two weeks, five Belizean police officers have been charged for illegal and criminal activities.
The past weeks have been a public relations nightmare for the Belize Police Department.
It began when two crazed cops terrorized resident in San Pedro Town on April 1. A video was posted on social media showing one of the officers shooting the ground amidst a group of people in San Pedro. The video also shows a woman being “man handled”.
More gold panners caught in Chiquibul
Gold panning in Belize’s waterways is a persistent problem in the Chiquibul National Park.
Many Guatemalans have been encountered by FCD rangers and BDF patrols.
On Monday, five more gold panners were caught in the forest reserve panning for gold.
According to reports, FCD rangers observed murky waters in a waterway and went to a creek nearby and found two men digging in the creek with an iron bar and a minor along with two more men.
Belize City gangs march for Peace
Under the theme “We are humans”, gang leaders and gang members joined a peaceful march organized by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams.
Several gang leaders spoke to the media and said that they recognize that Williams has been influential in the intervention for peace in the streets of Belize City.
The Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic in Belize
For more than 80 years, Belize has celebrated the day before Easter Sunday with a popular cross country bicycle race.
The race was first held in 1928 after a local man noted that many Belizeans were using bicycles to attend cricket games. At the time, the George Price Highway was a rural road replete with potholes and bumps so the race was conceived as a way to further encourage local cyclists to travel to San Ignacio from Belize City to attend more cricket matches. The original winners finished the circuit in about 13 hours but today the record stands at just under six hours.
The race begins in Belize City at the Mile 1.5 mark on George Price Highway adjacent to Leslie’s Imports. The race continues along the Highway into San Ignacio Town in Cayo District. After reaching Queen Elizabeth Park, cyclists then follow the route back to Belize City as they compete to be the first to cross the finish line in Memorial Park.
We Review The Phoenix Resort Belize And Tasty Nachos
Sometimes in life you get what you pay for and sometimes, you don’t.
Luckily for us, The Phoenix Resort in the heart of San Pedro, Belize is worth every penny and earns its reputation as one of the best resorts on Ambergis Caye.
We were fortunate enough to stay at The Phoenix Resort for five days and had the opportunity to find out for ourselves what makes the place a Tripadvisor favorite.
A word of caution though, our Phoenix Belize review might make you book a one way flight to the island of Ambergris Caye off the coast of mainland Belize, so continue on at your own risk.
Tucked out the way at the north end of Barrier Reef Drive, known as front street to the locals, the unassuming side entrance of The Phoenix Resort leads into a shaded lot full of golf carts, which are the most common mode of transportation on the island of Ambergris Caye. On the left is a playground for kids, and up above is the hotel patio bar with free drinks during happy hour every day from 5 to 6 (local beer and rum only).
Explorer Series: Birder Eddy Estrada
All our tour guides are hand-selected for their knowledge of all parts of the Cayo district. But some become famous among our guests for one passion in particular. For Eddy Estrada, it’s the birds.
Belize is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over over 587 different species of gloriously colorful winged beauties covering our jungles. And Eddy is the man to go with if you want to catch sight of a Scarlet Macaw or colorful Honeycreeper or Motmot.
We sat with Eddy to talk about what he loves most about showing off these treasures to our visitors.
I have been a tour guide for the past five years, but I’ve been involved in tourism for over a decade. What made me become a tour guide was interacting with visitors to Belize and sharing my knowledge of my country with them. Our country is so beautiful and their are many things to make their experience un-Belizable!
San Pedro, Belize’s Busiest Thoroughfare: A Stroll Down Front Street, Part Two
In my last post, I started the walk down…actually UP…the busiest street in San Pedro, Belize. Officially named Barrier Reef Drive but ALWAYS called Front Street, the main avenue of town runs parallel to the ocean and parallel to the barrier reef.
Moving South to North, yesterday we stopped at the town hall. Right next door is the Spindrift Hotel – best known as the home to Caliente Restaurat – when you are craving great Mexican food and margaritas on the beach – and the CHICKEN DROP!
The view from the top floor of the Spindrift.
And then the easement to the beach and breakfast paradise…breakfast ALL DAY paradise, Estel’s Dine by the Sea.
Now, we are at Central Park.
Across from Central Park is a property that I’m a little bit obsessed with. It’s been there for decades and has recently been updated and opened as a hostel. Hostel La Vista.
San Pedro Ambergris Caye a calm view Holy Thursday
Earlier this year in the month of March the beach has been uplifted for this weekends Easter weekend 2017. Easter weekend in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is one of the busiest time of the year and one of the biggest celebrations on the island. Whether it’s celebration through religious activities, beach parties or sports activities the island is packed with visitors.
Belizeans from all around the country travel to the island for this specific time of the year. Just to witness dances, dj's live music, foam party, dance competition, live band music and more.Hotels and golf cart rentals have to be booked months in advance because it is impossible to find one during that period.2017 Easter weekend can be expected more than 3,000 visitors around the world. Today on Holy Thursday, a bunch of people from the main land where coming in on San Pedro Water Express. But, what I've saw on thunderbolts boat, I saw the boat filled with people. Surprisingly, it did not had more space to take more people. Things will start to move around on Saturday. Good Friday in Belize is celebrated without alcohol. Dry. The holy day is observed without alcohol sales. None at bars, restaurants, stores. But that doesn’t exactly mean no drinking. There are low key pool, beach and house parties galore. Low key.
23 Moments You’ll Experience At Victoria House on Ambergris Caye
I’m sitting at the beach bar at the Victoria House in Belize, enthusiastically attacking the best Greek salad I’ve had in years, and staring out at the impossibly crystal clear turquoise ocean.
Just out of my hearing, the kids are tearing up and down the white sand like two happy puppies. Later, we’re all heading out for an afternoon boat trip to Shark Ray Alley to snorkel with nurse sharks and stingrays.
Yes, this is what luxury is like on Ambergris Caye.
I should have expected something special here at Victoria House in Ambergris Caye, Belize. After all, this San Pedro resort has a swath of awards longer than my arm, including multiple TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence, 2012 Travel + Leisure Magazine Top 500 Hotels and Resorts in the World, and a 2013 Fodor’s Choice Award of Distinction. Not too shabby at all. You can check out the Victoria House reviews for yourself on Booking.com and TripAdvisor. Check prices here.
Cayman Islands, Belize to adopt BEPS international tax standards
The Cayman Islands and Belize have become members of the “Inclusive Framework on BEPS,” the OECD announced April 13.
The inclusive framework is a group of countries that have pledged to put into place minimum standards aimed at preventing tax avoidance and improving tax dispute resolution that were designed by OECD and G20 countries in the 2015 base erosion profit shifting (BEPS) project.
With the Cayman Islands and Belize joining, membership in the inclusive framework now stands at 96 countries and jurisdictions.
The commitment means that the two countries have agreed to adopt BEPS “minimum standards” on tax treaty shopping; implement country-by-country reporting for transfer pricing; limit benefits of any intellectual property or other preferential tax regimes; and fully implement the mutual agreement procedure in their tax treaties. The countries must also pay a fee to participate.
International credit rating agency upgrades Belize’s rating to stable
International credit rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service, (has upgraded the Government of Belize’s long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer and senior unsecured ratings to B3 from Caa2, stating that the country’s economic outlook is stable.
On Wednesday, Moody’s said the key drivers of the upgrade of Belize’s senior unsecured and long-term issuer ratings are the improvement in the government’s debt service profile and reduction in the risk of a subsequent credit event, following the recent restructuring of the government’s debt.
The rating agency said “lingering macroeconomic and fiscal vulnerabilities and risks to debt sustainability, which constrain Belize’s creditworthiness within the low ‘B’ category,” is also a key driver of the upgrade.
“The stable outlook reflects the balanced risks to Belize’s credit profile at the B3 rating level,” Moody’s said. “The risk of a subsequent credit event remains low through the outlook horizon, given the government’s more favorable debt payment schedule.”
Mom of Cobb teen who drowned on school trip in Belize suing district
The mother of a Cobb County teen who lost her son to an accidental drowning while on an international school trip to is filing suit against the school district, attorneys confirm.
Last year, North Cobb High School freshman Tomari Jackson and his classmates traveled to a wildlife sanctuary in Belize over the winter break and were on an excursion.
Thirty-two students and six chaperones were on the trip, which was intended to be an educational excursion to provide experiential learning for students in the NCHS magnet program. After a hike, students and chaperones were swimming in shallow water near a river bank, when Jackson went missing for an hour. A sort search by local authorities confirmed a parent's worst nightmare -- that Jackson had died.
GANG PEACE MARCH, 6min.
Belize Sports coverage in Spanish, 1hr.
Belize, 5min. The discovery of Belize by UNH Students March 12 2017
Spring break 2k17 belize, 3.5min.
Maya Mike Kickstarter Video, 2.5min. This successful Kickstarter campaign/video was produced by Michael Touby and I for the launch of his organic Belizean Barbacoa Hot Sauce product line, Maya Mike, manufactured in Belize by Marie Sharp's Fine Foods, queen of habanero. With the slogan, "Mindfully Made", Maya Mike not only values quality food products, but has dedicated 50% of its profits to educate Mayan farmers on agroforestry and sustainable farming methods as well as directly enroll farmers' kids into High School.
you betta belize it, 5min. Travel and adventures through the BEAUTIFUL Belize and Guatemala!
Scuba Diving in San Pedro, Belize. Ambergris Caye, 13min. The best of 6 dives in San Pedro, Belize. Including; Day and Night dive at Hol Chan, Bottom Time, Half Moon Caye and Blue Hole.
Beyond The Horizon - 672 nd EN CO - Belize 2017, 8min.
Belize Cave Tubing Cruise Ship Shore excursion: What to expect.,5 min. We booked this ourselves out of a tour operator in Belize City before we went on a cruise ship a few years ago. It was significantly less expensive than the cave tubing excursion the Cruise Line was offering.
BELIZE-2.0, 6min. Skydiving
World Famous Chicken Drop in San Pedro, Ambergis Caye Belize, 11.5min. Chicken Drop starts at 7:52 -- Today I'm not able to continue my dive certification so instead I explore Ambergris Caye and San Pedro. Every Thursday they do something special called the Chicken Drop here in Belize. It's crazy. Just watch and enjoy.
Unforgettable Belize, 5min. Trip to Belize by UNH students March 12th 2017.
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