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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Rebecca Rath dethroned?

Enriquez announced that she will be stepping aside in her capacity as national/creative director of the organization. She says she is taking some time to pursue other interests.

There will not be a 2017 Miss Belize pageant.

Effective immediately, Rebecca Rath's 2016 - 2017 Miss Belize reign ends. The 2017 title and its respective duties have been assigned to 2016 first runner up Marcia Moody.

Enriquez also addresses some of the allegations made by Tony Rath in his five part series, 'Rocky Road to Miss Universe.' (Click Here for that series.)


BELIZE CITY, Belize -- Greetings my beloved Belizeans. First, I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported Queen of the Jewel throughout the years. I would especially like to thank our corporate partners: BTB, NIGH, Great Belize Television Channel 5, McNab Visual Strategies, The Best Western Biltmore Plaza, Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow, Maruba Resort, Midas Resort, The Ministry of Education, and Bowen & Bowen.
Our epic return to Miss Universe was a monumental accomplishment in pageantry. The overwhelming amount of support Rebecca received from Belizeans at home and abroad speaks volumes about our ability to stand together as a nation. Rebecca represented our country well and will forever be remembered as the young woman with the beautiful smile and engaging spirit who took Belize back to the world stage.

It has been an honor to serve my country as National Director of such a prestigious franchise. Alongside the glory, there has been many personal sacrifices and lessons learned by all parties involved. While I reflect and project upon our infinite room for growth as individuals and as an organization, the humbling reward of facilitating the realization of a young lady's dream of representing our jewel at Miss Universe has been my motivation and inspiration throughout this entire journey.

Since the coronation of our first queen Annlyn Apolonio in 2010, I have witnessed the metamorphosis of our delegates as they learn to confidently express themselves while expanding their academic and professional horizons. Their experiences have helped them to form lifelong friendships and collectively represent Belizean women as glamorous icons of grace. Several of our finalists have become household names and familiar faces on local billboards and television. Others have become school teachers, nurses, professional bankers and counselors--all while maintaining that special element of beauty that resonates in all aspects of their lives. We are extremely proud of this accomplishment.

After careful consideration and the resolve that the dream we envisioned for Belize to return to Miss Universe has been realized, I have decided to take some time to pursue my personal goals. I have accepted another position whereby my passion and talent for helping people achieve their dreams will continue to flourish. We will not be holding a 2017 Miss Belize Pageant. It is my understanding that several parties have applied for the 2017 Miss Universe Franchise and to date none has been confirmed.

As aforementioned there will no commencement of a 2017 Miss Belize Pageant. Effective immediately, the official title of Miss Belize 2017 and all affiliated duties as the reigning Miss Belize will pass to our 2016 first runner- up, Marcia Moody of San Ignacio in the Cayo District. Marcia will represent Belize in the 2017 Miss International Pageant in Japan later this year. We would like to thank Rebecca Rath for being an outstanding beauty ambassador as our Miss Belize 2016 winner.

I would like to thank my partners Orson Elrington and Reynaldo Malik for their time, enthusiasm and expertise in making the project a reality. A special thank you to Mr. Gregory Vernon, Ms. Karen Vernon, Ms. Holly EdgeII, Ms. Diane Haylock, Mrs. Karen Bevans, Mrs. Melanie Nicholson, Ms. Lara Goldman, Ms. Karen Pike and Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow for your unwavering encouragement and much needed guidance.

Thank you to my family and friends Ernie Alpuche, Dale McDougall, Jackie Castillo, Clive Myers, Georgia Joseph, Richard Holder, Sherima Guity, Tanya Carter, Vanessa Grant, Pietra Arana MD, Brian Fan and Ryan Walker: There are no words to describe your sweetness and dedication. Your laughter, talent and support was always enough to illuminate every occasion. To Hon. Patrick Faber, Hon Roland P. Yorke and Music Ambassador Mr. Shyne Barrow I humbly thank you for your generosity and your belief in our cause. It is because of you that I understand that we must above all serve our country with pride in any capacity that facilitates good will. I assure you that I shall continue to do so to the best of my ability.

Thank you to Mr. Fred Dixon for Mars Caribbean Garden Restaurant, Ms. Lorna Smith for Little Belize Restaurant, Radio Belize Mix, True Belizean Channel, Office of the Consulate General in Los Angeles, Photographers Clyde Gillett, Louis Reyes, and Mario Vera.
Thank you to Al sponsors A Queen of the Jewel- Miss Belize Universe including NICH, Bowen and Bowen the BT8, The Belize Bank, the Ministry of Education, Pink Boutique, Pelican Beach Resort, Great Belize Television- Channel 5, Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, Cafe Michelle, Char Loves Swimwear, Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, McNab Visual Strategies, Midas Resort, Ka' ana Resort, and Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow.


1. From 2006 to 2008 Opal Enriquez was hired as a choreographer for Pageants Belize Organization which was under the direction A Margaret Johnson. Despite the fact that she was never compensated, Ms. Enriquez continued to work as a volunteer in order to assist In giving young ladies of Belize an opportunity to better present themselves on the world stage. Since then several winners have trained and resided as guests in her Los Angeles home along their journey to represent Belize abroad.

2. The scholarships for every crowned Queen of the Jewel are provided by the Ministry of Education and available on demand when proof of acceptance and enrollment are made available by the winner. Scholarships are funded directly to said institution. Former queens, Annlyn Apolonio and Destinee Arnold, have received their scholarships in full and other prizes.

3. Despite sponsorship agreement for payment of entire entrance fee, no funds for entrance fee were paid to Miss Universe or Opal Enriquez by lnsukba Lyons at any time. Mr. Lyons made several phone calls and promises but ultimately he made no payment.

4. Cinematographers/Photographers William Byrd and Krystina Byrd have demanded payment from sponsor Insukba Lyons and Sibs International for footage and labor on the Miss Belize Universe Project. Unfortunately, footage will not be released by the Byrd brothers until Mr. Lyons has made payment to them in full. No mention of Queen of the Jewel, Opal Enrique., or any partner of Belize was made in any lawsuit.

5. Accommodations at the Golden Phoenix Hotel, ground transportation and meals in Manila for National Director, Opal Enriquez, were sponsored by photographer Brian Fan ($82.00/nt). Mr. Fan accompanied Ms. Enriquez to Manila and photographed Rebecca during competition.

6. Manila, January 25th : All delegates were released to meet with their directors and families by order of the Miss Universe Organization. Through messenger and email communication, Rebecca was informed that Ms. Enrique. was waiting for her in the hotel lobby. While other delegates came to excitedly greet their respective directors, Rebecca refused to see Enriquez. She then suggested that they could possibly meet after dinner and proceed to go directly to her parents. Other directors took notice of this and began asking questions. For purpose of presentation and not to undermine the ten years of hard work it took for Belize to return to the MU arena, Enriquez brushed off comments and deferred attention from Rebecca by asking for pointers on how to deal with pare.. Several spoke of their own parental stories, solicited great advice and hence the energy changed from questioning to light and positive. There were no judges present. For the remaining days leading up to the competition, Rebecca proceeded to seek advice from Ms. Enriquez via messenger and she refused to meet with her in person on several rehearsal breaks while other delegates met with their directors.

7. As confirmed by the Miss Universe Organization, placement in the finals is solely based on delegate performance in scored categories. Contestant scores are never released at the close of the pageant and there is was no numerical placement beyond top thirteen in the 2016 pageants despite reports from bloggers.

8. National gifts for the contestants were sponsored by BTB, NIGH and the Music Ambassador. Rebecca transported the CD of Belizean music to Los Angeles, while Ms. Enriquez had in her possession, the other items provided by BTB. All parties were aware that it would take a few days to burn and package 100 Cd's. However, the bag of gifts was present in Rebecca's luggage at the Los Angeles Airport prior to her departure to Manila. After insisting that Philippine Airlines refused to check the bag because it was too soft, Therese Rath returned the bag of gifts to Opal Enriquez but retained the $400.00 USD (proceeds from Los Angeles fund raiser) she received from Ms. Enriquez. Ms. Enriquez later arrived in Manila with the cloth bag of gifts for the delegates as a checked bag. Shortly thereafter Rebecca was contacted to distribute the gifts to the delegates. She politely declined to pass out said gifts and stated that she would be passing out the books of photos from her father.

9. Artist Alex Sankey was commissioned by NIGH to create a painting to be submitted as the National Gift from Belize. The gift was personally delivered to Rebecca at the Philip Goldson Airport by Mr. Sankey. The Miss Universe Organization received the description of the painting two weeks prior and agreed that it met the requirements of an appropriate national gift. Shortly after Rebecca's departure to Manila, Therese Rath reported to Ms. Enriquez (via email) that the painting by Alex Sankey was lost in Texas seven days before their arrival in Los Angeles. To resolve the issue Ms. Enriquez suggested the use of another Alex Sankey painting. Therese refused and then informed us about the Pen Cayetano painting, which they had in their possession for the first time.

10. Opal Enrique. was not contacted by the Raths or the promoter whose initiative it was to purchase a car for Rebecca via public funds. She reached out to Rebecca to initiate a discussion. While she agree that a new car is a prize fit for a queen, she was not in favor of the public being asked to donate personal funds to a cause that was not affiliated with a charity or pursuant of an academic goal. She continued by saying that if the auto dealer wished to provide an annual gift for the winner of the pageant in exchange for promotion that would be viable. Otherwise, anything other than the purchase of a ticket to a pageant event, is too much to solicit from the public. "Our job as pageant organizers, is to enhance and entertain, not to drain". Ms. Enriquez states that she was not aware of any loans being affiliated with this matter and if that were the case, she would have advised differently.

11. Proceeds from the Go Fund Me Account were used to pay for and transport the feathers and materials needed for the Scarlet Macaw costume wom by Miss Belize at the Miss Universe Pageant. Proceeds were also used to replace a crown that was broken while in the queen's possession. No funds were misappropriated from this account. The total amount collected was $2460 USD.

� Two orders of feathers for Scarlett Macaw costume - $1450.00 USD
� Beads purchased for Scarlet Macaw costume $150.00 USD
� Cash given to Rebecca Rath for wardrobe $780.00 USD
� Processing fees deducted by go fund me $221.00 USD
� Replacement crown for Rebecca Rath $195.00 USD

12. As clearly stated, wardrobe prize is based on value and not cost. Rebecca's evening gown has a retail value of $4000.00 USD. This price was negotiated down to $1000.00 USD by Enriquez. Larissa Manor agreed that the balance would be sponsored by Shimmer Boutique. Fernando Wong and Shimmer Boutique received much international exposure for their sponsorship.

Breakdown of wardrobe and other prizes presented to the winner of the Miss Belize Universe Pageant 2016 are as follows:

� Evening gown $8000.00 BZD
� Eight-piece cocktail wardrobe provided by RH Creation for Queen of the Jewel $1200.00 BZD
� Gift certificate from Pink Boutique $ 500.00 BZD
� Custom hair extensions $600.00 BZD
� Dress silk pants and top from National Director $160.00 BZD
Additional Prizes
� 1 IPad provided by Cellular World
� 1 IPhone provided by Cellular World
� Vacation Package to Maruba Resort provided by Maruba Resort
� Vacation Package to the Victoria House provided by STB
� Scholarship for $25000.00 USD provided by Ministry of Education.
� Complimentary national travel throughout Belize provided by Music Ambassador, Shyne Barrow via Maya Island Air

Opal Enriquez speaks about Rebecca Rath and the next appointed Miss Belize Marcia Moody. Enriquez says it is about moving forward. Rebecca Rath is Miss Belize 2016.
Marcia Moody is Miss Belize 2017. Rath's reign is cut a few months short to accommodate Moody's entry into a pageant.
The Miss Universe Pageant is a private entity that sells licenses. It is not run by countries or government agencies. The license for a Belize candidate is held by Enriquez.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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NICH distances itself from Pageant press release

May 29th, 2017

The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), wishes to inform the general public that the institution is in no way associated with the content and explanation contained in the said press release 'Miss Belize "Crown Chronicles" (Vol. XIII) Statement front Opal Enriquez' issued and dated May 26, 2017. The NICH logo was inadvertently placed on the press release. In this regard we apologize for this oversight.

Just for clarity, NICH owns the 'Miss Belize' name and has granted Queen of the Jewel permission to use said name for the purpose of the coronation (or installment) of Miss Belize ambassadors. Although a representative from the Institute of Creative Arts, NICH sits on the BOD of Queen of the Jewel, it functions and activities are separate and apart.

The National Institute of Culture and History wishes Queen of the Jewel all the best in all its endeavors and remains committed to the promotion and development of the Belize cultural agenda.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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Pageant Organizer Says Rebecca Rath Still Queen??

Late on Friday evening we got a release form NICH and the Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize Friday. It was over two thousand words long, and amounted to Pageant Organizer Opal Enriquez responding to Tony Rath's many assertions alleging corruption, disorganization and bad-mindedness.

But tucked in there was a reel news gem. The release said, quote, "Effective immediately, the official title of Miss Belize 2017 and all affiliated duties as the reigning Miss Belize will pass to our 2016 first runner- up, Marcia Moody of San Ignacio in the Cayo District. Marcia will represent Belize in the 2017 Miss International Pageant in Japan later this year. We would like to thank Rebecca Rath for being an outstanding beauty ambassador as our Miss Belize 2016 winner."

So, we took that to mean that she was basically firing Rebecca Rath, or dethroning her via press release. It seemed a most unbecoming end for Belize's most beloved queen - and today via telephone, Opal made the media rounds to say that she's not dethroning Rebecca - its all a mix up:..

Opal Enriquez, Ms. Belize Pageant Organizer
"In terms of Rebecca, Rebecca can still make appearances. Rebecca can still do speeches. Rebecca can still do all the wonderful things that she has been doing as Miss Belize Universe 2016. Nothing is stripped from her, nothing is taken from her. I didn't kicked her to the curve, as somebody told me. That is not the case. Rebecca is still very much significant in terms of being a beauty queen in Belize."

"Belize does not have a license for Miss Universe for 2017. So, Rebecca Rath, Miss Belize Universe 2016 doesn't have a successor for Miss Belize Universe 2017. Rebecca has been informed that she retains the title of Miss Belize Universe 2016. Because there was no Miss Belize 2017. Allow her to garner the sponsorship that she needs, allow her to get the support that she needs and put Belize in a place where we are still in the international realm, we are still ready to compete, we're still prepared, we're still looking good."

Jules Vasquez, 7News
"Great, but it seems she herself has some misunderstanding about this."

Opal Enriquez, Ms. Belize Pageant Organizer
"You know what, here is the thing about that, and I felt terrible because the story that went out Friday, went out late Friday and I was under the impression that it was not going to be printed today and a letter for Rebecca to give to her and by the time got to Rebecca to email her and say "Bex, I need you to hear this from me, you're not being dethrone, you're not being fired, nothing is terminated for you, we just want to give Marcia some support. You're still a wonderful queen, you still can go ahead and do your appearances." I understand that there were some confusion even for Rebecca about the fact that she was being "fired" or dethrone. That is not the case."

And so while Opal Enriquez had nothing bad to say about Rebecca Rath - it's clear that she was stung by the scathing five part expose on the pageant which Tony Rath, Rebecca's father, published online. Opal said she's not any of those things he called her:.

Opal Enriquez, Ms. Belize Pageant Organizer
"Rebecca has made it clear that she does not want to do anymore pageants. You read the long expose from her Tony Rath. They have no desire to go through another rocky road to anything with me. I have no desire to continue being disrespected. I kind of chuckle to myself when "rocky road to Miss Universe" it wasn't exactly a walk in the park for me either. I've been in the pageant industry for a very long time and I do it out of the goodness and kindness of my heart and the love for my country, so the last thing I want is to be painted and vilified in such a negative way. I responded to the things that he said in the allegation. I'm not a thief, I'm not a bully, I'm not a narcissist. I'm simply a person who love my country who is doing the best I can to keep us in the international scene."

Jules Vasquez, 7News
"The most significant allegation made against you is that you told Miss Universe Pageant organizers that you would not be supporting Rebecca in any way. Did you say that to undermine her?"

Opal Enriquez, Ms. Belize Pageant Organizer
"I did not say that. It took me 10 years to get Miss Belize back in Miss Universe. What do I have to gain from something like that? I am still wondering where this is coming from and I'm thinking maybe it came from the same person who told Tony Rath that I stayed at a $350 hotel when I did not."

Rebecca Rath issued her own statement today basically saying goodbye and thanks to all those who supported her. She notes that no reason was given for what she interprets as the termination of her reign as Queen. She adds that she is not going anywhere and will continue to remain available and involved.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Orson Takes On Opal, Restores Rebecca Rath

The saga of Ms. Belize took another sharp turn this evening. First, on Friday Pageant Director Opal Enriquez sent out a release basically saying that Rebecca Rath's reign as queen was over. And then yesterday she rescinded that, sorta. And by then Rebecca Rath had already basically said goodbye. Well, today, two of Enriquez's partners in the Queen of the Jewel Pageant Venture, turned on her, and said her release was unofficial and bull and void. Orson Elrington and Reynaldo Malik who own two third's of Queen of the Jewel said that as minority owner, Opal Enriquez's statement was unauthorized and invalid.

Today, VIA PHONE, Elrington explained what the true position is:..

OJ Elrington, Co-Owner, Queen of the Jewel
"It was an unsanctioned press release, so it was null, void and of no effect. Our position is that Rebecca never ever should have been relief of her responsibilities and that our position is that we fully intend to hold a Miss Belize pageant in 2017, that we fully intend to once again apply to Miss Universe to reapply to Miss Universe for the license and that we intend for Ms. Rebecca Rath to be person to hand over the crown on whenever we decide that the 2017 Miss Belize pageant will be held."

"Miss Rebecca Rath continues to hold her title unimpeded. We have full intentions to have a Miss Belize 2017 pageant and crown a new Miss Belize. We have full intentions to reapply for the Miss Universe 2018 franchise license and that how we intend in the next week to two to replace Ms. Opal Enriquez as the pageant director since we have accepted her resignation from the post."

So, just to repeat, two majority owners of the Pageant say, quote, "Rebecca Rath is still the reigning Ms. Belize Universe 2016-2017. She retains her title and will continue to perform her duties until her reign ends and the next Miss Belize 2017-2018 is crowned. It is the official position of the majority partners of Queen of the Jewel Ltd, that a Miss Belize pageant for 2017-2018 will be held." They will also be seeking to renew the Miss Universe license. Also, Elrington added that they accept the resignation of Opal Enriquez as Pageant Organizer effective May 26th., the day she sent out the release.

Channel 7

Clarification on Unauthorized Queen of the Jewel

Press Release Belize City - May 30, 2017 - On Friday May 26, 2017, the Pageant Director of Queen of the Jewel Ltd.', Ms. Opal Enriquez, issued a press release tendering her resignation effective immediately. The release also indicated that Miss Belize Ms. Rebecca Rath would be relieved of her duties as Miss Belize 2016-2017, and that the title and duties would be passed on to the 2016 runner up, Ms. Marcia Moody. This release by the Ms. Enriquez was unauthorized and the summary dismissal of Ms. Rath was unsanctioned.

Queen of the Jewel Ltd. is jointly owned by Mr. Orson Elrington, Mr. Reynaldo Malik and Ms. Opal Enriquez. Ms. Enriquez served as Pageant Director and has effectively resigned as of May 26, 2017. The organization accepts her resignation and will be taking steps in the coming weeks to ran the vacant position. It is unfortunate that her resignation has also brought into controversy the title of Miss Belize 2016-2017. The majority co-owners, Mr. Elrington and Mr. Malik, were not aware of Ms. Enriquez's release and learned about it at the same time as the rest of the nation and most regrettably, at the same time as Ms. Rath.

Officially, Ms. Rebecca Rath is still the reigning Ms. Belize Universe 2016-2017. She retains her title and will continue to perform her duties until her reign ends and the next Miss Belize 2017-2018 is crowned. It is the official position of the majority partners of Queen of the Jewel Ltd, that a Miss Belize pageant for 2017-2018 will be held. We will also be seeking to renew our Miss Universe license, however the outcome of that application is unknown but we will have alternative options for the winner of the Miss Belize 2017-2018 title. As mentioned earlier, we will be seeking the services of a new pageant director to continue our business. While we own 2/3 of the company, for various reasons we have left the running of the company and its affairs to Ms. Enriquez. Moving forward that will no longer be the case.

Queen of the Jewel Ltd. apologizes to Ms. Rebecca Rath and her family for this colossal overstep and wish to state officially that Ms. Rath has the organization's full support. We thank her for her continued representation of our country and look forward to a continued relationship.

We are also looking forward to having all parties of the company resolve this situation amicably and without further damage. It is the official position of the majority partners that a unilateral decision such as this is ineffective and we look forward to curing this issue within the organization.

We thank Ms Enriquez for all she has done and wish her the very best in her future endeavors. Last but not least, in the immediate future we will be meeting with all affected parties in order to restore normalcy.

(0.J. Elrington ) Co-Owner Queen of the Jewel Ltd.
(Reynaldo Malik) Co-Owner Queen of the Jewel Ltd.

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