The news will be a bit brief for the next week or so due to time constraints
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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
Police investigating death of 13-year-old Faye Lin Cannon
San Pedro Police are currently investigating the death of an American minor believed to have been physically and sexually abused. According to official reports, police responded to a “Sudden Death” alert at a hotel approximately one and a half miles North Ambergris Caye where they discovered the body of 13-year-old Faye Lin Cannon. Present at the scene were the child’s adopted parents, two American nationals, David and Anke Doehm. During initial investigations, Faye’s parents testified that she was mentally ill and would physically hit herself against the walls during her attacks. They also claimed that the child had been inside her room for the past three weeks refusing to come out or eat anything. According to the mother, Faye had complained of difficulty breathing on Sunday, July 2nd.
The body was later transported to the Karl Huesnuer Memorial Hospital in Belize City where a post mortem examination conducted indicated that the child had been physically and sexually abused and the cause of death due to compression on the chest causing internal hemorrhage. Both parents have since been detained by San Pedro Police, pending investigation and charges.
Over a hundred runners participate in Belize Fitness Cancer 5K
In an effort to further raise Cancer awareness and show solidarity with those affected by the disease, Belize Fitness held its first annual 5k ‘Cancer Run,’ on Saturday, July 1st. Over a hundred participants joined celebrity runners Nicole Amato, Tatiana Girardi and Holly Barker at the Sancas Plaza at 6AM. The designated route went all the way to the Northern Ambergris Caye Police Booth and back to the start line. For a $20 registration fee participants not only helped to spread awareness but also raised funds for the San Pedro Cancer Society. Runners were provided with a number, a dry fit shirt, breakfast, and drinks. At the end of the run, four top participants were awarded in four categories.
Central Bank of Belize to introduce new Automated Cheque Processing
On Tuesday, July 4th, the Central Bank of Belize announced their plans to launch ‘Automated Cheque Processing’, which is a new component of the Automated Payment and Securities Settlement System (APS3). Starting on Friday, July 7th, all cheques deposited countrywide will now be processed electronically, allowing for faster clearing time. As APS3 seeks to reform Belize’s national payment system, it provides the groundwork to facilitate the electronic transfer of funds domestically, for both large and small value payments, including an instant funds transfer feature. Through APS3, financial institutions are connected in a local network, which will enable banks to provide customers with services to make electronic payments quickly, safely, and securely anywhere in Belize. This project provides a wider range of payment options such as (1) Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for low-value payments (which includes bulk payments, such as payroll and accounts payable) within the same day, (2) Instant Funds Transfer (IFT) (an electronic payment that is available 24/7) within a few minutes, (3) Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) for high value payments within an hour, and now (4) automated clearing and processing of cheques by the end of the next day.
Police Report: Drug Trafficking
On Monday, July 3rd, San Pedro police conducted a search at the apartment of 31-year-old Jermain Dion Zuniga, construction worker of San Pedrito area, San Pedro Town. The search led to the discovery of three parcels of cannabis, weighing a total of 953 grams. Zuniga has since been arrested and charged with ‘Drug Trafficking’.
Panama’s Felix LT to perform at Costa Maya
The International Costa Maya Festival is a celebration of art, music, culture and entertainment. With an international pageant and fun line-up of performances, the committee is tasked with discovering performers for everyone to enjoy. One such artist gracing this year’s festival stage is Panamanian Reggaeton singer Félix LT. He will make his Belize debut on Friday, August 4th, priming festival-goers before the Undisputed Queen of Soca, Alison Hinds, takes the stage.
A versatile performer, Felix’s “Romantic Style” lyrics and harmonies are based on daily life. Under the production of renowned music producer Carlos Ariza, better known as Caito, he is currently promoting his latest song entitled “No Quiero”. He has also recorded several remixes with international artists from Honduras and Belize, including a remix of the song “Húndele el Clutch” with Renato, Supa G, MC Loco, Glen King and Yoel el flow del movimiento. Be sure to swing by the festival to check out this rising star, and of course, enjoy some reggaeton fun!
Belize Telemedia Limited to debut DIGINET in San Pedro Town
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) CEO Rochus Schreiber and his team paid a visit to La Isla Bonita on Friday, June 23rd. While on the island, they announced that San Pedro will be the first municipality to experience DIGINET, a new service which will offer superfast fiber-based internet up to 100mbps for homes and businesses. The island is expected to be fully connected to this upcoming service by August 2017.
Nemo Minister In The South Following Weekend Flooding
On Monday and Tuesday, July 3rd and 4th, 2017, Minister of National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro was in the South to assess the impact of flooding over the weekend and the effectiveness of the National Emergency Management team in the Toledo District, which was affected by the floods; and in the Stann Creek District, parts of which were momentarily placed under flood warning on Sunday afternoon.
The Minister stopped first in Dangriga where he met with Mayor Francis Humphreys and NEMO Southern Regional Coordinator Keith Emmanuel at the Stann Creek Emergency Command Center (EOC). They visited key locations at Sarawee and Hope Creek where the North Stann Creek River had to be monitored during the flood threat, which fortunately did not materialize over the weekend.
Belize Canoe Association To Compete In Guatemala
The Belize Canoe Association (BCA) is trying to develop the sport of kayak alongside the country's traditional canoeing. On Tuesday, July 4, 2017, the BCA sent four athletes - namely Avis Guydis (female), Chris Guydis, Bayron Cruz and Brandon Lind - to Guatemala City for a kayak competition.
This competition is called the Copa CentroAmericana and it is a regional event for Caribbean and Central American countries being hosted by the Guatemalan Canoe/Kayak Federation to build the sport in this region.
Could 13-Year-Old Faye’s Death Been Prevented? Community Rallies For Hope!
The death of 13-year-old Faye Lin Cannon sent shockwaves throughout the island community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. After island residents discovered that her post mortem report showed that she had been the victim of sexual and physical abuse, residents blamed themselves for not doing more for her; even save her life.
Even though police have not charged Faye’s parents David and Anke Doehm for her death, investigations continue into the case that is being treated as a homicide; Cannon’s parents will remain in custody for 48 hours.
After Faye’s death, alarms started ringing in residents minds. Could they have done something to prevent her death? Is the community guilty of not helping? These questions arise as residents recall various instances where human services were made aware of possible child neglect/abuse on Faye and her sisters.
Adoptive Parents Detained As Police Investigate Death Of 13-Year-Old Girl
The adoptive parents of 13-year-old Faye Lin Cannon have been detained by the San Pedro Police as they investigate the death of the American minor believed to have been physically and sexually abused.
Police reports indicate that on Monday, July 3, 2017, at around 8:50a.m., they responded to a report of a “sudden death” to a hotel located 1 1/2 miles north of San Pedro Town where in a condo they saw the body of 13-year-old American student Faye Lin Cannon. Both American parents were at the condo when the police arrived to investigate.
Misc Belizean Sources
The Placencia Breeze July 2017
INSIDE July 2017 What’s Inside Pg 3 Recycling at Lobsterfest Pg 5 Tour Guide Training / Lobsterfest Vendors Form Pg 7 From the Fire Hearth - Lobster and Mangos / Lobsterfest Duck Race Pg 9 Seine Bight News Pg 10 Lobsterfest Raffle Prizes Pg 11 Croc Corner / POV Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA Members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 19 Beach Cleanup / Placencia Lobsterfest Art Winner Pg 20/21 Placencia Peninsula Guide Pg 22 PHS News Pg 23 Pop-up Placencia Pooch Parlour! Pg 24 Rotary News / 11th Battle Cancer Walk/Run Pg 25 Chocolate Festival Pictures Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 Fitness Page Pg 28 Cruise Ship Passengers arriving in Placencia Pg 29 Placencia Regatta Winners Pg 30 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 31 Calender of Events.
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY PHOTO CHALLENGE
World Environment Day is a day that is celebrated worldwide, including Belize, in recognition of the value and benefits the environment provides to us and other living organisms. This year (2017) the Department of the Environment (DOE), organized an online photo challenge under the theme “Connecting People to Nature” in commemoration of this day. The theme appeals to us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share. The photo competition asked members of the general public to submit original photos that captured their favourite spot in nature in Belize or how they connected with nature; in addition, they had to briefly share on social media their story about that photo using the hashtag #BelizeWithNature.
BELTRAIDE Launches new volume of INVESTBelize Magazine
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), through its technical unit, BelizeINVEST, officially launched its fifth Volume of the INVESTBelize Magazine today, Thursday, July 6th. The launch is the unfolding of yet another precious chapter showcasing Belize as an Investment destination!
Since its inception in 2012, the magazine is widely known for its effective promotional platform showcasing business success stories and investment opportunities in Belize.
This year’s theme, ‘Belize, Your Competitive Hub for Investments’ provides investors, capital suppliers, opportunity seekers, and business professionals from around the world, with engaging articles, success stories, current business statistics, and upcoming projects and services in Belize.
Belize Delegation Attends 38th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM
St. George’s, Grenada. July 6, 2017. Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington attended the 38th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) held in St George’s, Grenada on July 4th to 6th, 2017.
CARICOM Heads of Government reiterated their support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of Belize. They urged the development of a protocol for the Sarstoon and expressed hope that the referendum would be held as soon as possible to allow for the Guatemalan claim to be referred to the International Court of Justice.
Digital Border Crossing Card
The Department of Immigration implemented the use of the Digital Border Crossing Card on 1st July 2017 following months of consultation with and notification to the Corozal Free Zone (CFZ) Management, as well as the major established businesses in the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) area.
In a meeting held with the CEO of the CFZ in January 2017, the use of the border crossing card was welcomed as a means to facilitate the movement of persons employed in and those visiting the Free Zone, as well as for Belizeans who wished to use the card to pass the Immigration Controlled point. In April of 2017, the major business establishments in the EPZ and CFZ were notified of the availability and use of the card and were provided with the necessary applications to supply their employees, enabling them to obtain the card before the implementation date. Provisions were made for the issuance of special cards to foreigners who were holders of Temporary Employment Permits and Permanent Residents who were employed in the Zone. To date, some 2000 cards have been approved and issued.
Emergency Family Plan
Here's a useful guide from NEMO to assist you in creating an emergency family plan for the hurricane season. You can find a guide from NEMO at https://goo.gl/iQLaLc.
NATIONAL CELEBRATIONS THEME WINNER
The National Celebrations Commission is pleased to announce the winner and theme for the upcoming September Celebrations. After careful deliberation by the Commission, the submission made by Ms. Janine Sosa was selected.
The theme focusses on our unified Belizean people, cultures, and country. This year’s theme calls on us to recognize the often difficult decisions that must be made to ensure our nation’s progress. It acknowledges the moment in which we take pleasure in the victories of our past and present, and uses these accomplishments to strengthen our advancement into the future.
Over 250 entries were submitted for this year’s Theme Competition. A panel appointed by the National Celebrations Commission then narrowed the field to the top 58 entries. Each entry was scored and Ms. Sosa’s entry attained the highest score, claiming the grand prize of this year’s National Celebration Theme Contest 2017.
The theme for this year’s Celebrations will be:
"Belize: Confronting Challenges! Celebrating Triumphs! Renewing our Resolve!"
Western Dairies 50th anniversary
You are invited to our celebration country wide from the 7 to 11 of August 2017
Belize Fishing Report, June 26th - July 2nd, 2017
Stronger winds are continuing this week, but the bonefishing has remained fabulous. Some of our anglers have been boating over thirty a day. We are having overnight rains with some pop-up showers but not enough to affect any fishing. If you are an avid bone fisherman, it is a perfect time to be here.
Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
BUster's Mal Heart.
US Parents Detained For 13 Year Old Daughter Found Dead in San Pedro, Police Say Abuse
Tonight there is a very ugly and tragic story coming out of San Pedro. This 13 year old, Faye Lin Cannon is dead, and she appears to have died as a result of extreme physical and sexual abuse. The parents called police to their condominium unit on northern Ambergris Caye on Monday morning, saying the teenager was unresponsive. Her mother Anke Doehm told police that Faye woke up at 7:00 am, asked for water and went back to bed. 15 minutes later, her father, David Doehm found the child unresponsive. They called the police and a doctor confirmed that she was dead. But this was no ordinary death that the young girl endured. Her body was seen with multiple bruises to the arms and legs, plus she had a swelling on the right side of her head with a cut wound on top of the swollen area.
Boots Says Senators Need To Show Respect
Yesterday we showed you the fiery exchanges in the Senate hearings. It was the first time that UDP Ministers Anthony Boots Martinez and Edmond Castro testified and they surely made quite an impression - launching sharp and cutting remarks at the Senators. Well, Anthony Boots Martinez doesn't think he was rude at all; he says he might have gotten a bit too riled up, but it's not anything out of norm when it comes to him. This evening in an interview Martinez explained as much and added that really, it's the Senators who should check their behavior.
Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez:
"In my humble opinion I referred to what was before me in committee. I referred to what was in the senate report. I referred to what was the terms of reference of the committee. I need not to respond to anything outside of the committee."
Hon. Martinez Says Restraint Is Difficult
We also asked Martinez what he thought of his colleague Edmond Castro's testimony. Martinez didn't answer directly because he says he didn't hear it, but he took the opportunity to call out PUP Senator Michel Chebat on his line of questioning. While Castro didn't think twice before attacking Senator Mark Lizarraga- Martinez says he had to hold himself back from insulting Chebat.
"In terms of Castro testimony he called out Senator Mark Lizarraga on a personal issue regarding his maid. Did you think that was appropriate to bring up in that case? Did you hear that part where Castro actually called out Lizarraga on that?"
Panton Says Minister Colleagues Need To Be Mindful of their Role
We also asked Minister of State Tracey Taegar Panton about what she thought of her colleagues' behavior in the senate hearings. Panton says she didn't see their testimonies but reminded them of their role as government representatives.
Hon. Tracey Taegar Panton, Minister of State, Investment Trade & Commerce:
"I didn't see the senate inquiry yesterday, for me Wednesday is my constituency day so I am very busy doing work for the residents of the area. I have seen comments on Facebook but not that I can speak to directly. I will say that as leaders, as parliamentarians, as government representatives, we are all expected to carry ourselves with a certain decorum, we are expected to facilitate questions and answers as is necessary and I hope that my colleagues did that, I don't know in the manner in which they did becasue I didn't see the presentation first hand but I would say we do have a responsibility to carry ourselves with a certain decorum."
New Border Cards No Big Deal Says Immigration Dept.
There was an uproar at the northern border on Saturday when the Immigration Department implemented a new twenty dollar digital border crossing card for Free Zone workers and regular visitors.
The workers say they already earn very little and can't afford it, and claim that the new measure was thrown on them without sufficient notice.
Well, the Immigration Department put out a release today saying that it implemented the card on Saturday after months of consultation with the Corozal Free Zone Management, as well as the major businesses in the Zone.
Mark Pollard Still Missing
Tonight, Belize City resident, Mark Pollard is still missing and his family is growing increasingly worried. The 49 year old went for a morning run on Monday - and hasn't been seen since. This morning his family did a search around the Haulover bridge where his run was expected to finish - but they found nothing. The Coast Guard is also searching and they have found nothing.
If you have any information about Pollard you can contact the family at 620 8107 or 6012014.
Crazy Home Invasion In Roaring Creek
Yesterday, Guatemalan chef, Axel Ibarra, was taken to the hospital after being brutally beaten in his Roaring Creek home. Ibarra told police that at 4:30 that morning, he was in his bedroom when two men known to him as Jose Juarez and Richard Trapp, broke in and began to punch and chop him. Ibarra eventually fell to the ground and Trapp stamped him in the face several times. The men searched his pockets and took $400 before leaving. Both men are from St. Matthews Village, and police have detained them for questioning.
Record Volume Of Sugar Produced
The sugar crop - which started in December finished last week - and ASR/BSI reports that it produced a record amount of sugar.
That's a total of 144,086 metric tonnes, eleven thousand more than last year, and two thousand more than the previous record set in 2015. And they accomplished this feat despite grinding about 23,000 fewer tonnes than last year.
The increase in sugar production from less cane is owed to good cane quality, and improved factory performance, not to mention good weather for most of the crop.
In Depth: The Sarstoon Exploration
Yesterday our news team joined an expedition to the upper Sarstoon to see if they could find any oil traces in the river which forms Belize's southern boundary. That's after an oil tanker toppled over on the Guatemalan side on July first, spilling thousands of gallons of oil into the Rio Chacon, a tributary of the Sarstoon. We showed you a small part of that story last night, and tonight, Alex Courtenay has the full report:
For years the Sarstoon River has been a hotbed for political and military tension. And at the beginning of the month, the southern border between Belize and Guatemala came under threat from a potential environmental disaster.
On July 1st, an oil tanker crashed as it was travelling on the Pan American Highway. The tanker tipped over, spilling about 4000 gallons of crude oil into the Rio Chacon below. The Rio Chacon feeds directly into the Sarstoon, and then into the Caribbean Sea, which means that if left unchecked, an oil spill could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Belizeans.
Will UDP Hold Door Open For Darrell
Turning now to politics, what is the status of the mayor of Belize eCity, Darrell Bradley? Weill he run for office again? Seems like that's a question we ask ourselves every three years because the mayor flip - flops frequently. Yesterday we asked the deputy party leader if the party will keep the door open for him and for how long:...
Hon. Patrick Faber - Deputy Prime Minister:
"As far as I know its only Dion Leslie who has put in his application so far and I heard rumors that Councilor Willoughby will also put it in, but I don't know that he has put it in. I am not able to confirm that he has."
Justice Barrow Assumes Post On CCJ Bench
Today prominent Belizean attorney and brother of the Prime Minister, Denys Barrow, officially assumed his seat as a Justice of the Caribbean Court of Justice. Barrow, who has practiced law for over 4 decades, was selected over candidates from throughout North American and East Europe.
Aside from his practice in Belize, Barrow has served on multiple international benches, including a short stint on the Belize Court of Appeal. He is one of 7 judges on the CCJ bench.
The Many Mysteries of "Ephre"
Yesterday, the Sports Council threw a major press conference to welcome international "futsal" player Paco Sedano. If you didn't know his name that's because "futsal" isn't popular in Belize, but in Europe its huge and that's where Sedano plays for the legendary Barcelona FC. So, he's a big name, but he was only here as a spokesperson for a project that's much bigger than sports? How big? That's what Jules Vasquez tried to find out:...
Castro and The Ukranian Recommendation
UDP Ministers Edmond Castro and Anthony "Boots" Martinez appeared before the Senate Select Committee yesterday and we're all still trying to put it in context today. You saw some of that at the top of the newscast, but now we got back to yesterday's testimony for some more of the heated and haughty exchanges.
We've already showed you how Castro chose to attack the credibility of PUP Senator Michel Chebat and Business Senator Mark Lizarraga. He also dismissed the list from Former Immigration Director Maria Marin, which flagged the frequency of visa recommendations from ministers, as "garbage" and "hearsay".
The Committee even retrieved copies of recommendation letters for visa applicants which had his ministerial office's letterhead and his signature, and he refused to acknowledge them as his. He said that these were "forged" and even though they "looked like his", he wasn't "sure" that they were.
Hon. Boots, Mr. "Yessir"
Minister Anthony "Boots" Martinez also had to answer for one visa recommendation he sent. It's for a Chinese applicant, Wen Zan Yu, who applied to visit Belize in 2013.
The Auditor General does not complain specifically about Wen Zan Yu, but she did not think that the person who sponsored Yu should have been allowed to do so. That person is Zian Li, and at the time he was only a permanent resident, and so, the Auditor General does not believe that he should been allowed to host Wen Zan Yu.
Yesterday, Martinez was asked about it and he acknowledged that he made a recommendation letter, but he said that he did it on behalf of the sponsor, who he knows, not the applicant.
A New Magazine For Investors
BELTRAIDE today launched the fifth volume of its INVESTBelize Magazine. It's a publication designed to attract investors and showcase opportunities in Belize. This year the theme is: 'Belize, Your Competitive Hub for Investments', and we found out that it's about demonstrating how innovative business models can work in Belize:
Lejia Melanie Gideon, GM, Enterprise and Innovation, BELTRAIDE:
"The theme for the 5th Volume for the Invest Belize Magazine is Belize your innovative hub for investment. We decided that this was the most appropriate theme because the companies that we are seeing more and more setting up shop in Belize is using a lot of creativity in how they design their businesses and how more important how they deliver their product and services so again it was just showcasing all of the innovative companies we have in the country so far."
Scotiabank and Its Students
Yesterday, Scotiabank had its 11th Anniversary of Educational Grant Celebration where it handed out 60 educational grants - with no less of a special guest than the Minister of Education. Scotia's Country Manager explained:
We Say Downsizing, Scotibank's Shaw Says Right-Sizing
And while we had Shaw, we got a chance to ask him about what we understood to be downsizing at Scotiabank - where over a dozen senior staffers have moved on. We heard that it was as many as 18, and he agreed that many had moved on - but didn't want to characterize it as a downsizing:...
Michael Shaw, Managing Director - Scotiabank Belize:
"Let us set the record straight, it is neither 17 nor 18. The truth is that only to date, only 8 of those persons displaced and they still have an opportunity to find an employment with us because they haven't truly left our system yet, so as soon as opportunities comes up they have first preference in applying for those jobs so we have not lost 17 or 18 persons. Part of this exercise..."
Vidal Getting Vital Info From Community
Moving now to police matters, yesterday we showed you Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal;'s entrance tot he Southside with his first meet and greet session. He held that in the area of North and South Creek, which had seen a string of shots fired days earlier. He discussed his approach to the community:...
Capital Cops Brought Down Crime
MOVING NOW TO BELMOPAN POLICE, according to OC Howell Gillett between January to June 2017 major crimes in their jurisdiction dropped by 35 percent and he says it is as a result of community support. Gillett gives us the breakdown.
OC Gillett says they will continue to work on their community policing efforts.
Senate Debates Tax On Land Transactions For Foreigners
And finally, tonight to today's Senate Meeting. There was robust debate to the changes in the taxes on land transactions by foreigners. Here's the back and forth on that divisive issue:
Rare Praise For PM From Business Senator
And while the Senators disagree on the effect that this amendment may have on the real estate sector, they were a lot more bipartisan when the Economic Development Council Bill was tabled in the Upper House today.
This is an advisory body that has been embraced for years by Prime Minister Dean Barrow to discuss ways to strengthen the economy from the private sectors' perspective. This law intends to ensure that the EDC will have institutional longevity. So today, Business Senator Mark Lizarraga, who is usually opposed to the Government, congratulated the Barrow Administration on the decision to enshrine it:
Hon. Mark Lizarraga, Business Senator:
"Today the business community is pleased that after many years we have finally gotten a piece of legislation, although not perfect. Don't get too happy."