Today's Belize News: May 12, 2012

Posted By: Marty

Today's Belize News: May 12, 2012 - 05/12/12 01:49 PM


Valid: Friday until Monday, May 11-14, 2012

Synopsis: A stable easterly to south-easterly airflow will persist across the NW Caribbean region and Belize this weekend. Surface heating and some influx of moisture could set-off some outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms mostly inland later on Sunday and Monday.

Rainfall Projections: Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch over most areas on Friday and this weekend. However, daytime heating and the influx of some moisture will provide the energy for localized showers and thunderstorms, but mostly in the interior on Sunday and Monday. Daily rainfall rates will be in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch on Sunday through Monday in some localities of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Orange Walk Districts.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Students sit the last Part of PSE
Standard six students from across the country sat the second part of the Primary School Examination (PSE) on Monday, May 7th. 197 students from primary schools in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village sat the exams at the San Pedro High School. The second part of the exam tests the student’s ability in two subject areas, namely Mathematics and Social Studies. The Mathematics had two parts, papers I which was the problem solving and paper II which was the multiple choice segment. In Social Studies, the students received 50 multiple choice questions which ranged from politics, to local government to current events. In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Kai Yu of New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist Primary School explained that the examination overall was easy with a few challenging questions mainly in the problem solving section of Mathematics. Yu said that while studying hard did help, mentoring and mock test prepared by the teachers played a crucial role in them sitting the exam.

The 8th Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge set; kayakers are ready!
Final preparations are ongoing for the 8th annual Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge Kayak Race that is scheduled for this weekend, May 12th and 13th. The challenge consists of two days of kayaking, a total of 42 miles, within the inner lagoons and along the shores of Ambergris Caye. The main purpose is to celebrate and highlight the importance of the ecosystem on and around the island. The challenge, which began back in 2005, has become one of the main events that islanders look forward to each year. This year, organizers expect in excess of 40 teams to enter the challenge with over $15,000 in prizes. The main organizer of the Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge, Elito Arceo, explained that the route has been marked and all the “nuts and bolts” are in place for the race which will kick off in two days’ time (Saturday May 12th) from the Barcadero area.

ACES rescues Tia the Anteater in San Juan
A Collard Anteater or Tamandua, was rescued in San Juan on Sunday night, May 6th, thanks to the quick response of wildlife specialists Vince and Cherie Rose, of ACES, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary. The little critter is now receiving care at the TAMANDUA World rehabilitation facility in the Cayo District. The Collared Anteater is not commonly seen on the island but at times has been reported roaming the streets in the less traveled areas of town as well as the northern area of Ambergris Caye. It is a nocturnal, terrestrial and solitary creature which lives in trees and is found in Central and South America. As its name suggests, it feeds mainly on ants, termites and bees extracted after ripping apart their nests with their fore-claws. The average size of a Collard Anteater is around 23 inches in body length; while the tail would range around 19 inches with an average weight of about 13lbs. The suffering Anteater, affectionately dubbed “Tia” (Aunt in Spanish) was found in San Juan under a London bridge in polluted water. According to Cherie, ACES was on a crocodile call in the area, when the little critter was found dehydrated, and apparently very tired. Her tail was bleeding from about three places and appeared to have bite marks, slightly healed, on her nose and neck.

“The Importance of Traffic Safety” poster and essay contest announced
Kenrick “Kenny” Brackett, town councilor responsible for transport has joined forces with The San Pedro Sun and Reef Radio to launch a traffic safety poster and essay contest under the title, “The Importance of Traffic Safety.” The poster contest is slated for primary grade students and is divided into three different age groups. Infant 1 and 2, Standard 1,2 and 3 and Standard 4,5 and 6. The students are to design posters that include the various traffic signs such as pedestrian crossing, stop, yield and roundabout and what they mean. Each of the three age groups will choose one winning poster to be submitted to the judging finale. Along with the submission each age group must collectively create an advertising “jingle” or ad to go along with the poster

ACCSD welcomes Environmentalists to San Pedro
Last week Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) were honored to have the visit of Ms. Lori Maddox and Heidi Weiskel from ELAW, USA along with colleagues Alejandra Serrano –CEMDA Mexico, Emilio d’Cuire – IDAMHO Honduras, Jeanette Noack – Alianza de Derecho Ambiental y Agua, Guatemala, Candy Gonzalez – Belpo, Belize and Mary Toy and Adrian Vernon – PCSD Placencia, Belize. They were welcomed by ACCSD with a tour to the proposed marine protected areas in the Mexico Rock’s, Los Bajos and Mata Cayo Frances Lagoon. During the afternoon they met at the ACCSD office for a meeting with the Board of Directors of ACCSD. The purpose of the reunion was to share the effects and strategies to preserve the natural resources shared among the respective countries. ACCSD briefly gave a description about the proposed marine protected areas they are currently working on, which are Los Bajos, Mexico Rocks and Mata Cayo Frances Lagoon. Each attendee was able to share their own strategies, methods and results on their countries and on goals which they are working on together with their communities to protect their environments.

Ambergris Today

Students Honor San Pedro Moms
Moms are so special and dear to all of us, and for this reason students of San Pedro celebrated in grand Mother's Day on Thursday, May 10, 2012. ABC Pre-School held the mother's day day arts and crafts session where moms got to enjoy a special day with their children. Teachers and students of San Pedro RC School held a mother's day program for all the moms. Students recited poems, performed dances and songs and there were raffles carried out throughtout the program. Below are some pictures for your enjoyment!

Environmentalists Share Their Knowlege with San Pedro
Last week The Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) were honored to have the visit of a group of environmentalist which consisted of Ms. Lori Maddox and Heidi Weiskel from ELAW, USA along with colleagues Alejandra Serrano –CEMDA Mexico, Emilio d’Cuire – IDAMHO Honduras, Jeanette Noack – Alianza de Derecho Ambiental y Agua, Guatemala, Candy Gonzalez – Belpo, Belize and Mary Toy and Adrian Vernon – PCSD Placencia, Belize. They were welcomed by ACCSD with a tour to the proposed marine protected areas in the Mexico Rock’s, Los Bajos and Mata Cayo Frances Lagoon. During the afternoon they met at the ACCSD Office for a meeting with its Board of Directors. The purpose of the reunion was to share the effects and strategies to preserve the natural resources shared among the respective countries.

Princess Presents Conservation Award to Minister Lisel Alamilla of Belize
On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) presented a Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership to Belize’s recently appointed Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development for her work to protect the Maya Golden Landscape as Executive Director of the Ya’axché Conservation Trust. The Honorable Lisel Alamilla received the award during a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London, hosted by Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) – the UK-based charity which organizes the international awards scheme. Her Whitley Award comprises a project grant of £30,000 (US$48,480) donated by The William Brake Charitable Trust, an engraved trophy and membership of the influential network of past Whitley Award winners.

Andy Palacio Gets Homage at Belize Consulate Los Angeles
Although one of his three large size art work on display is that of President Obama and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Greg Palacio’s painting entitled “Homage to Andy V. Palacio” created the most conversation during the official opening of his exhibit on Saturday, April 28th, at the office of the Belize Consulate in Los Angeles. With family, friends and supporters in attendance, Greg walked his audience through all sixteen pieces of his works emphasizing the motivation for each. Palacio has received several awards for his work. He has exhibited his paintings in the United States and in Belize, most notably at: The Findings Museum in San Pedro, California; California State University in Los Angeles; the Rialto Theater in Atlanta; Cambridge University in Boston, Massachusetts; Fields Museum in Chicago, Illinois; El Camino College in Torrance, California; the Pasadena Public Library, and the Bliss Institute in Belize. His work can also be found in private collections and in prestigious institutions, as well as gracing book covers, CD jackets, postcards, calendars, and in books.

Misc Belizean Sources

Chaa Creek's Summer Camp Scholarships
Chaa Creek is having their annual Summer Kids Camp from July 21st through July 29th. Kids can submit an essay about why they want to be an eco-kid, and win a scholarship for the camp. Once again, 24 children will be selected to receive the scholarships. The kids will have the time of their lives while learning about the jungle, the Maya, the history of Belize, and much more. "ATTENTION PARENTS: Chaa Creek's 2012 ECO KIDS SUMMER CAMP scholarships. The due date for essays is June 4th and the Summer Camp is at Chaa Creek from July 21st - July 29th. Thank you for your participation, feel free to share with other parents and friends."

Women's Cross Country Cycling Classic this Sunday
This Sunday, starting at 8:30am in Cayo, and ending in Belize: the 23rd Women's Cross Country Cycling Classic. Good luck to all! The SIRH posted a good picture for the C-Rey team. "The first female rider to cross the finish line will receive $800.00, a trophy, garland, $500.00 BTL phone package and 2 Hot Stone Massages. The second place finisher will receive $600.00, a trophy, and lunch buffet for 2. The third place person will receive $400.00 and a trophy, 4th place will receive $125.00 and a trophy, 5th place will receive $75.00 and a trophy, while 6th -10th places will receive medals."

Amber Sunset's Belizean Summer Specials
Amber Sunset, Cayo's newest eco-lodge is offering 50% off for Belizeans through September 30th. Treat yourself to a relaxing jungle getaway this Summer. For more information, call 824-3141.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
We tried this recipe for Pineapple Upside Down cake because it seemed simple to make and it required a cast iron pot. We absolutely loved the taste and texture of the cake which was surprising to us being that it didn't have any butter in it. The butter was actually mixed in with the brown sugar to top the cake.

Understanding the Complexity of the Modern Belizean Economy
Belize has a small, domestically focused economy that has experienced solid but unspectacular growth over the past twenty years thanks to strong population growth and the gradual development of its tourism sector, as well as a generally pro-business policy by both major political parties. Belize benefits strongly from its historic links to the United Kingdom and the tradition of free market capitalism it inherited, as well as the corporate legal framework integral to the British Common Law system. Although once dominated by a small number of “colonial” corporate entities, Belize now has a remarkably open economy where major international investors have been able to acquire and control significant assets such as the major electricity and water utilities. Nonetheless it should be noted that shortly after gaining power in 2008, the Barrow administration re-nationalized Belize Telemedia Ltd. (the dominant telecom utility) in order to remove it from the control of British financier Michael Ashcroft, which the Barrow administration appeared to feel was playing too large a role in Belize’s economy as he also owned the country’s largest bank. Belize’s 2010 GDP was estimated at USD 1.40 billion (official exchange rates) and USD 2.65 billion on a purchasing power parity basis. GDP grew at about a 4% compound rate from 1990-2008, although growth slowed considerably since then as a result of the global financial crisis. After remaining flat in 2009, it is estimated that Belize’s GDP grew by 2.0% in 2010, and is poised to return to trend-line growth of 3%-5% in 2011. Belize’s 2010 GDP was categorized into three major sectors (CIA Fact Book): · Agriculture: 22% · Industry: 20% · Services: 58%

Channel 7

Last night 3 people were shot and three of them killed countrywide within one deadly hour that saw killing in Belize City and Dangriga. We start our coverage of the very violent Thursday evening in Dangriga - where 36 year old James Hyde was executed. Now, these kinds of crimes are all too common in Belize City - but in Dangriga, it's unheard of. Jules Vasquez went south today to see what may be behind this one - here's his report:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The shooting happened here at this property at the corner of Riverside and Oak Streets. James Hyde, called Peca, was known to hang out with friends right here every evening. Last night at 7:20, he was sitting in this bloodstained chair, facing the North Stann Creek River when a pair of gunmen came out of a car and crept up from this side of the yard and released a hail of bullets on him. The force of the shower of bullets caused Hyde to fall backwards here. Random bullet holes can be seen all over the area.

And twenty minutes before that execution in Dangriga - there was a shooting in the city. 25 year old Leo Palacio was killed - and Elite cyclist and National Road Champion Byron Pope almost lost his life. 17 year old Dennis Talbert, 22 year old Pope and Palacio were hanging out at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Pelican Street when two dark complexion male persons approached them running from the direction of Curassow Street. Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood told us what happened next:.. Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Whilst these men were hanging out on Central American Boulevard they saw two dark complexion men on bicycle coming from the direction of Curassow Street. These men open fire when they approach them causing the injuries. The men rode off making good their escape afterwards."

And about one hour after that shooting - there was a wild shootout on the south side of Belize City - and 30 year old Jason Canto was killed. It happened at Dale barbershop on the canal side - where residents heard as many as twenty five shots fired. 7news was on the scene and we'll have that story for you shortly, but first, there is a quite remarkable development in the John McAfee case. You'll recall that McAfee is the American investor who was strung up by the GSU when they searched his Orange Walk Estate ten days ago. Well, this evening the Commander GSU says that a public officer tried to get a GSU officer to turn informant for McAfee - and tell her whenever the GSU will make a move on him again. Here's how it went down: On Monday of this week 44 year old Matilda GARNETT, a Second Class clerk who works at the Vital Statistics Unit allegedly contacted a member of the GSU and asked him to meet her. He did, and GARNETT, claiming that she was acting on behalf of McAfee proposed to the officer that if he would provide her with reports on the operations of the GSU as they related to McAfee, he would be quote, unquote, "handled" well. The officer reported the matter to the commander of GSU and a sting operation was conducted the following day. During that meeting, GARNETT is alleged to have introduced the officer to another person who she said was one of McAfee's "right hands", 40 year old Rodwell RICHARDS - a former policeman. He is alleged to have made the same offer to the officer and allegedly went as far as giving him $200.00 with a promise of being "well taken care of" once he kept them informed.

As we told you at the top of the newscast, three men were killed and three more injured in shootings across the country last night. We've already told you about two of those murder - and now we have the sotry of the third. One hour after the first shooting in the city which claimed the life of Leo Palacio, there was a wild shootout on the southside of Belize City - and 30 year old Jason Canto was killed. Here's what happened: Two men went to rob a businessman who was getting a haircut in Dale Barber Shop - and Canto sprang to his defence. A hail of gunfire ensured, leaving Canto dead, one patron wounded and one of the robbers with multiple gunshot wounds. 7news was on the scene and Monica Bodden spoke with Canto's family today. Here's the full story:.. Monica Bodden reporting This is where the shooting happened at Dale's Barber shop on West Canal at 7:45 last night. A crowd of spectators gathered around the scene - many in shock trying to digest what had just happened. Witnesses heard as many as 27 shots let go in a hail of gunfire. The victim, 29 year old Jason Canto lay dead inside the Baber Shop as

Last night we told you all about the case of Guatemalan Ismael Antonio Moran Enriquez. He was caught entering Belize with a loaded 45 Colt Pistol on Wednesday. It's a prohibited firearm but the Commissioner of Police David Henderson did not want him to be charged. The COMPOL says that Moran had no intent of entering the country and was just helping a woman across with a bag. But, there was no bag and no help being given. And so the Director Of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal found that the facts presented by the police were not borne out in the evidence, which was forwarded to her. She instructed the officer in charge of Benque Viejo to have Moran arraigned. That happened this morning - where he was read charges of possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition. He pleaded not guilty, and was remanded to prison. His case was adjourned until August ninth.

33 year-old Russell Gongora, a businessman of Los Lagos, was arraigned for harm in the Magistrate's Court today. It is alleged that Gongora's dogs attacked a man, but instead of helping the man defending himself, Gongora fought with him. According to police, 35 year-old Andre Gonzalez, an Airlines Manager, reported that he was walking on a street in Los Lagos on Wednesday, when he was attacked by two dogs that rushed out of a nearby yard. Gonzalez said that he pulled out a baseball bat to defend himself from being bitten by those dogs. But according to Gonzalez, that's when the owner of the dogs, later identified as Russell Gongora, came out of his house, and wrested away the baseball bat. Gongora apparently got angry because Gonzalez was using it on his dogs, and that's when he allegedly used it to strike Gonzalez all over his body. Gonzalez ended up suffering injuries to his lips, behind his left knee area, and to the left side of the back.

22 year-old John Chessman Jr., who was charged with double murder of 19 year-old Karen Crawford and 44 year-old Maurice Cadle, was acquitted today in the Supreme Court before Justice Adolph Lucas. This is the second murder trial in which he has walked free. On May 29, 2008, Crawford and Cadle were killed in Bermudian Landing in what police believed to be the product of drug-related activtities. One of the witnesses testified that at around 7:30 on that day he was walking home from work when he saw Crawford and Cadle socializing on Cadle's verandah along with another Bermudian Landing resident. That's when a gunman, whose face was not visible, ran from around the house and pointed the gun at them. The gunman was reportedly looking for Emmerson Wade, Crawford's boyfriend, who wasn't there at the time. According to the witness, he saw the gunman fire a shot which hit he house, and that's when he ran away to try to get help. Minutes later, he heard 3 more gunshots. During that time, the gunman, who police believed - but couldn't prove - came with 3 accomplices, and one of the men shot Cadle in the left temple area. One of the assailants then shot Crawford in the back of the head, and everybody escaped without any witnesses being able to identify them.

Often-times on the news - you'll hear members of the public complaining about the police. Some of the criticisms are fair; some are not, but the truth is that the Department remains a ripe target for criticism because many of its officers lack training and professional development. But that's what's been happening at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan this week: Management Training for Inspectors. A few of the participants told us what they were learning and how they plan to put it to use:.. Inspector John Sanchez, Deputy Commander, ADU "This training was geared up all about police management. It was gear up towards preparing us as managers - as young managers in the senior officer bracket of the police department to better plan and organize and lead our officers in the daily execution of their duty and by extension our deliverance of service to the wider public which we are mandated to do." Inspector Santiago Ciau, Commander Homicide Unit "We also train on analyzing evidence - how to represent evidence in court. What type of evidence you need to present in court and likewise we deal widely on police corruption. What measures needs to be taken to stop corruption, police brutality, measures needs to be taken to minimize it or to stop it on a whole and also we did the drills for police officers because there will come a time that you will need to do you training and drilling is a part of the training that we need to teach."

The 23rd Annual Women's Cross Country Classic will be held this Sunday, Mother's Day where 7 female riders will be competing for the title in the 70 mile long ride. The race may not feature as many riders or be as rich as the men's event, but the title is still prestigious. IT starts at the Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town at 8:30am and travels to Belize City for a finish at Leslie's Imports. Today 7news caught up with one of the organizers who told us that the race will be competetive. James Muschamp, Organizer "Sundays' race is slated to start at the Columbus Park in San Ignacio, at the foot at the Hawksworth Bridge just in front of the police station and it is schedule to travel along the Western Highway and finish in front of Leslie's Import." "To date we have 7 females registered for the race. The day is schedule to be a hot day, these females will be contending for the title of female cross country champion and we are expecting the race is going to be somewhat long." "In previous we had up to 15 riders riding the race. Over the last couple years the numbers of female have been declining somewhat. Over the last two years I've seen between 7 and 10 females riding the race. To see the numbers of females riding the race - they are still competitive, they just as competitive as the guys in the big cross country. It's just that females take on more than one role." "Some of these females are moms, some ate students. They all have different hats that they wear and on top of that they are riding against each other for the coveted title."

Earlier this week we told you about the prestigious international conservation award won by Minister of forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla. It's the Whitley Fund For Nature Award for inspirational conservation leadership for the work Alimilla did to protect the Maya Golden Landscape as Executive Director of the Ya'axché Conservation Trust. Tonight we'll share with you the video cataloguing that work - which was prepared by the Whitely Fund and narrated by renowned naturalist David Attenborough: As noted before, this is the second year in a row that Belize has a Whitley Award winner - last year a similar prize went to marine conservationist Dr Rachel T. Graham. But that's not all, Marine Biologist Nicole Auil Gomez was the first Belizean to win it back in 2005.

Channel 5

3 shot in Barbershop, one dead; prominent businessman the hero
Thursday night was an unusually bloody night. There were three murders within the span of an hour—two in Belize City alone and one in Dangriga. We’ll have full details of the all the murders. But we first start with the last murder for the night which brings us to Dale’s Barber Shop on East Canal [...]

More shootings; on Boulevard, 3 injured, one dead
The increased patrols throughout the former capital did little to deter gunmen from reaching their target. The shooting sprees, normally reserved for the weekend, continued unabated. Earlier in the night, police were called to another scene, this one on Central American Boulevard. Three men were shot and one was murdered. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports. [...]

Viewers have their opinion registered in online poll
This week’s question was: Should tax payers’ monies be spent to pay the gangs a weekly salary? It appears to have struck a chord among viewers and almost six hundred voted on our e-poll. Ninety-two percent said “no” to paying the gangs, while eight percent said “yes”. The blog section was also loaded with comments [...]

GSU charge McAfee associates for tying to corrupt a cop
The Orange Walk residence of millionaire businessman John McAfee was stormed by Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) personnel during a police operation on April thirtieth. The raid which resulted in the arrest of three security guards left a bitter taste in McAfee’s mouth and he later demanded an apology from the Belize Police Department. Tonight, two [...]

Did trouble follow a murder victim from Capital to Dangriga?
A man, originally from Roaring Creek, was murdered in Dangriga on Thursday night. James Hyde was at a yard where he and a group of friends regularly convene after fishing. That location is where he was ambushed from behind by at least three armed men. He is not known as a trouble maker among Dangriga [...]

Cops launch 2 investigations into Boco T’s death
  As previously reported in Thursday’s newscast, a criminal investigation is being conducted by the Belize Police Department to determine whether Kevin ‘Boco T’ Kelly, who died while in custody at the San Pedro Police Station, was indeed murdered. Kelly was initially detained on the night of April twenty-sixth following a robbery on the island [...]

Guatemalan charged for crossing border with loaded prohibited weapon
Guatemalan national, twenty-eight year old Ismael Antonio Moran Enriquez is tonight on remand at the Central Prison after he was caught at the Benque Viejo Border on Thursday morning with a point forty-five Colt pistol loaded with ten live rounds. The Melchor de Mencos resident, however, was not immediately charged but kept in detention and [...]

Russell Gongora charged with Aggravated Assault
Guns aren’t the only weapons that are causing charges to be levied in local courts. Apparently pets can also cause arrests. Two dogs belonging to Los Lagos resident, thirty-three year old Russell Gongora, reportedly attacked Andre Gonzalez as he walked by on Wednesday. But today, Gongora was read two criminal charges, not because his dogs [...]

Belize City man acquitted of double murder
John Chessman Junior, one of three Belize City men accused of executing a brutal double murder in Bermudian Landing in 2008, was acquitted of those charges earlier this evening. Chessman, who saw his case committed to trial at the Supreme Court following the collapse of similar cases brought against his accomplices, appeared before Justice Adolph [...]

Mother’s Day celebrated; kids say why mom is the best
Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday and most persons are making big plans for the special ladies in their lives. The flowers have been bought to be delivered on Sunday. However, one lucky mom was in the spotlight on this morning’s Open Your Eyes after her daughter submitted a winning story on why she [...]


Thursday, May 10 - POLICE NEWS
46-year-old Angel Espat, the manager of Shell Gas Station in Ladyville, who allegedly punched one of his employees, was charged with harm when he appeared in court. Espat pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of $1,000.00 and a...

Trade and commerce have been around for ages and many countries depend on their natural wealth or skills to advance their economies. Next week, Belize and Mexico will sit down for a third special trade mission to look at new ways of merging our assets in the field of infrastructu...

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture is implementing needed measures to assist the rice industry in the Toledo district. Paul Mahung reporting… “ The measures are in line with efforts being made by the Ministry of Natural Resources and...

Former employees of the Ministry of Works in Orange Walk Town are claiming victimization. Manuela Ayuso Cantun reporting… “Former employees of the Ministry of Works are claiming that their services were terminated as a result of political victimiza...

Election petitions filed last month in the Supreme Court of Belize between the two political parties have had political pundits and fanatics passing their opinions on how the respective judgment will go. That day will come one week from today but following legal arguments this af...

17-year-old Devin Daly, a student of St. John’s College recently participated in the King James Basketball Tournament in Ohio, USA. For the fourth year honor student, his performance at the tournament attracted the attention of college scouts and today surrounded by officials and...

Since the sudden death on April twenty-sixth, of thirty-four year old Kevin Kelly, known as Boco T, his family and friends have been vocal about their suspicion that the police were responsible for his death. Kelly died while in police custody at the San Pedro Police Station and ...



Single woman works to feed her family
With the approach of Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday, there is a flurry of activities designed to show special favors to that special woman. And with today’s hard realities, the day’s celebration will be especially sweet for one special lady. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Brian Castillo reports.

American national says he came to Belize to molest a child
The United States Justice Department is reporting that an American national has pleaded guilty to traveling to Belize almost eleven years ago to molest a child. Seventy two year old Roland J. Flath entered the guilty plea on Wednesday of this week during a federal court appearance in Milwaukee. Love News reported back in June of 2010 that Flath, who resided in Copper Bank in the Corozal district, was arrested by police on charges of allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage girl. According to initial report, the sexual assault of the minor began when she was ten years old. Flath was arraigned in Magistrate’s court; but absconded while on bail. He was arrested in February of last year by the Guatemalan National Civil Police and extradited to the United States where he was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and the U.S. Marshal Service. The case against Flath is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide United States initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. The program was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Flath faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

Guatemalan national charged for prohibited firearm
A Guatemalan who was nabbed at the Benque Viejo border crossing earlier this week has been remanded to the Hattieville Prison for being in possession of a prohibited firearm on Belizean territory. Twenty-eight year old Ismael Moran Enriquez, who reportedly had the loaded weapon in his pants pocket, crossed the western border asking Immigration authorities if he could assist a lady carry a bag through the border station. His problem was that when he did so, he was on Belizean soil with a firearm that is prohibited under Belizean law. The .45 Colt pistol was loaded with ten live rounds, and it is licensed in Guatemala, but to Moran’s boss. Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood told Love News that contrary to other media reports, Enriquez was dealt with swiftly.

Man walks free of double-murder charges
A jury of eight women and four men deliberated for about four hours and fifteen minutes today in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas before it found twenty two year old John Chessman NOT GUILTY of the murders of forty four year old Maurice Cadle and nineteen year old Karen Crawford. Cadle and Crawford were shot and killed around 8 o’clock on the night of Tuesday, May 29, 2008 in Bermudian Landing village. The chief evidence for the prosecution was a verbal statement Chessman gave to police Sergeant Nicholas Palomo that was admitted as evidence after a voire dire was held. Palomo said that on June third, 2008 Chessman told him that he, Chessman, wanted to know how he was linked to the murders because it was so clean. Palmo also said that Chessman told him that where Crawford fell was where the money was; but Crawford brought a flashlight when she should have brought a shovel. Palomo said he asked Chessman if he wanted to give a written statement and Chessman declined. One witness, Robert Panting, testified that he saw the two deceased and Owen Hendy on the verandah and a gunman came from behind the house and asked for Emmerson. Panting said he saw when the gunman opened fire. Panting said he witnessed when the police arrived and he saw Cadle lying on the ground in a pool of water with a gunshot wound to his right temple. Another witness, Owen Hendy, who had identified Chessman as the person who pointed a pistol at him and the pistol misfired three times, was not available to testify because he could not be located. Crawford was shot in the back of the head. Chessman gave a statement from the dock in which he denied having anything to do with the murders. Chessman was represented by attorney Trecia Pitts Anderson. In 2008, Chessman and his brother, Robert Gillett, were acquitted of the murder of Myra Naomi Garcia whose throat was cut with a samurai sword after was raped.

Murder in Dangriga
The murder flurry was not confined to Belize City. Dangriga police are also trying to solve the fatal shooting of thirty-seven year old James Hyde, who was shot dead while at a friend’s house. It happened at the Corner of Oak and Riverside Streets, reportedly by occupants of a white four-door car. At the receiving end were Hyde and two friends, Akeem Noralez and Michael Jackson, who lives at the address. Police are also investigating the motive of this fatal shooting.

City homicides claim two lives
Three more families are tonight mourning the senseless murder of their loved ones. Two of the homicides happened in the old capital, less than an hour apart. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett were on the crime beat early this morning.

Mexican trade mission headed for Belize
Trade and commerce have been around for ages and many countries depend on their natural wealth or skills to advance their economies. Next week, Belize and Mexico will sit down for a third special trade mission to look at new ways of merging our assets in the field of infrastructure. The whole effort aims to develop greater investment opportunities for Mexican and Belizean businesspeople who can find some common ground in their respective line of work. Head of the Mexican Embassy’s Trade, Tourism and Investment Unit in Belize, Marco Antonio Lopez, says the event will be open to all businesspeople who are looking for joint ventures. He assures that it is not the aim of the Mexican businessmen to compete with Belizeans or monopolize the market, but to increase their range, and perhaps even look to the Caribbean and Central America to market their products. The whole goal from the local standpoint, according to Events Planner and Public Relations Coordinator at the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, Nilda Sosa Riverol, is to create new and more innovative business opportunities for Belizean investors. The trade mission starts next Wednesday and runs thru to next Friday.

Election petitions continue through the courts
Election petitions filed last month in the Supreme Court of Belize between the two political parties have had political pundits and fanatics passing their opinions on how the respective judgment will go. That day will come one week from today but following legal arguments this afternoon for the two contenders, the PUP’s Martin Galvez against the UDP’s Mark King in Lake Independence, the attorneys for the two sides weighed in. Galvez is taking King to court on grounds that King did not declare prior to his bid for political office that he had a contract to provide security services for the Government of Belize. Galvez’ attorney, Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman, was confident that her arguments were solid. While Shoman is of that view, Senior Counsel, Denys Barrow, who represented Mark King, felt entirely different, and he made a submission to have the case struck out. The day’s proceedings were based on arguments over an old piece of legislation dating back more than two centuries ago. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will rule on the matter May 17th. Meanwhile, attorneys in the other election petition that was heard today, Senior Counsels, Said Musa for the PUP’s Orlando Habet and Rodwell Williams for the UDP’s Elvin Penner. On April tenth when the matter was first called up, Supreme Court Justice, Minette Hafiz, ruled that the bribery charge against Penner could be brought forth because the time allowed by law for that charge to be brought against someone had already expired. Today, Mr Musa, who argued that the time had not elapsed based on another date that he made reference to, asked the Supreme Court to consider the bribery charge to be allowed. Justice Hafiz ruled that she could not make a ruling on that matter and referred both sides to the Court of Appeal.

Alleged Freedom Street robber arraigned in court
33-year-old Jose Ayala, a supervisor residing on Freedom Street who allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint was charged with robbery when he appeared in court today. Ayala pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the offence was committed with a firearm. She also explained to him that if his attorney Simeon Sampson applies to the Supreme Court for bail and bail is denied the Magistrate Court cannot offer him bail even after the three months has elapsed. She remanded him into custody until July 4. The incident occurred around 5:33 p.m. on April 28. The woman, 23-year-old Shantae White reported to the police that she was walking on Newtown Barracks and she was approached by two men when she reached the intersection with Wilson Street. She said one of the men pointed a firearm at her and she handed over her white purse that contained $175.00, a pair of black shoes, her pink cellular phone, her wristwatch, her silver chain with eagle medal and her makeup kit. She said the items amounted to $935.00 in value.

Employer charged for hitting employee
46-year-old Angel Espat, the manager of Shell Gas Station in Ladyville, who allegedly punched one of his employees, was charged with harm when he appeared in court. Espat pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of $1,000.00 and adjourned his case until July 5. The incident occurred around 6 a.m. on Monday, May 7. The employee, 25-year-old Deloid Crawford reported to the Police that when he arrived at work Espat called him into his office and they had a discussion about him causing problem to Espat’s business. Crawford said Espat then punched him to the right side of his face and caused some harm. Crawford was given a medico legal form and the doctor examined him classified his injury as harm. Espat said Crawford disrespected him and his daughter.

Armed robbery in Belmopan
An armed robbery was reported in Belmopan yesterday evening. Fifty one year old Carlos Medina tells police that around five o’clock yesterday evening, he and an employee were standing in front of his residence when he was approached from behind by two men of dark complexion. One of the men reportedly pointed a black and silver nine millimetre pistol to Media’s face. Fearing for his life, Medina says that he dropped his black portfolio bag containing five hundred and forty eight dollars in cash, and several books on the ground. The gunman reportedly picked up the bag and both men fled the scene. Belmopan police say they are looking for twenty year old Emerson Faber and twenty year old Julian Dyer, both residents of George Street in connection with this incident.

American businesswoman held up and robbed
An American businesswoman was held up and robbed last night in her home in San Ignacio town. According to police, the terrifying incident occurred around eight o’clock last night when sixty year old Nancy Skiles was accosted by three masked men who were armed with machetes. Police say Skiles was attacked in her home in the Trench Town Area San Ignacio Town. Reports say that one of the masked men grabbed Skiles around her neck and told her not to say anything or she would be killed. Police say Skiles was ordered to lie on the floor and the robbers proceeded to tie her hands behind her back. Whilst on the ground, police say Skiles told them that she saw two other men dressed in black with masks covering their faces and armed with machetes. One of the men reportedly asked her for a Laptop computer, and when she said that she did not have any, the man punched her to the face injuring her upper and lower lips. The men proceeded to search Skiles’ house and stole her purse containing two thousand, five hundred dollars in cash and other documents. The three assailants then fled the scene. Police investigation continues.


Barber gunned down inside shop
The second murder took place about an hour later. Jason Canto was brutally murdered in his barber shop last night. ...

Officers placed on interdiction during internal audit Boco-T death's
A post mortem examination on the body of Kevin Kelly aka Boco T was conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on Tuesday w...

One dead, two injured in Belize City shooting
We start with the first murder of 25 year old Leo Palacio last night at around 6:30pm. Initial investigation reveal...

National Heritage Library hosts conservation tour
A wave of green was visible at the National Heritage Library building today; it wasn’t the grass but a group of Hol...

Forum on colon cancer and colonoscopy
Let’s change gears here…An important forum on colon cancer and colonoscopy was held last night (May 10) at the Geor...

Dangriga resident murdered by masked men
And the body count rises as another murder was reported out of the town of Dangriga. Local resident James Hyde was ...

Man walks free double murder charges
John Chessman has been acquitted of double murder charges today. He is the second suspect to walk in connection to ...

Vehicle stolen from BNE compound
The BNE TRUST is known for its charitable work within the Belizean Society. However not everyone will consider its ...

Weekend Village Expo at Princess Hotel
The Belize Trade & Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is collaborating with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) ...

ARACT embarks on new training initiate
The Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians (ARACT) was established with the passage of the R...


Roland J. Flath, 72, pleads guilty to molesting girl, 14, in Belize
Flath had absconded from Belize but he was arrested in Gulan, Guatemala... Roland Flath, 72, the US national who was busted in June 2010 in Copper Bank Village, Corozal, by Belize police, allegedly with pornographic materials on a laptop and desktop computer, and who had been accused of having sexual relations with a Belizean minor from the time she was 10 years old, until she was 14, had pleaded guilty in a US court to sexual exploitation of a Belizean minor, according to a release on Wednesday, May 9, by the US Department of Justice.

Moment of glory: SJC’s Devin Daly will play for Michigan College
Devin Daly, 17, dreams of one day playing in the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA) for one of his favorite teams, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shooting victim Frank Vasquez, 29, dies in hospital
Frank Vasquez, 29, a mechanic of Neal Pen Road, died of injuries sustained in a shooting incident on Saturday, May 5, on Wednesday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).

5 shot, 3 die in late Thursday night shootings
Leo Palacio, Jr., 25, of Racoon Street, was shot four times in his chest and side, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, while his two friends who were with him, suffered gunshot injuries. One was shot in his arm, a flesh wound, while the other was shot in his leg; the two were admitted to ward.

Manuel Teck Cucul, 79, charged for death of wife, Maria Chen, 82
Dangriga police yesterday arrested and charged Manuel Teck Cucul, 79, a Guatemalan farmer, with murder for the death of his common-law wife, Maria Chen, 82.

Will CJ throw out election petition against Mark King?
Decision on Thursday, May 17... Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today, Thursday, heard arguments in a petition by Mark King, the United Democratic Party’s Lake I area representative, asking the court to strike out the election petition filed by his political opponent, Martin Galvez, of the People’s United Party, on the claim that the petition discloses no real reason for the action.

Golf news – BAGA Tombstone & Bze Golf World Cup
This Saturday, May 12, is the BAGA (Belize Amateur Golf Association) 5th Monthly Tournament. It is a different format than normal, but we will still have Gross, Net and Senior trophies.

Launch of the Placencia Sailing Club
In the late afternoon of Saturday, May 5, two Optimists in line astern formation close hauled through the gap between the Placencia peninsula and the Placencia island. It had taken about 15 minutes of beating to wind from the Southwinds Resort to reach this point.

The grand finale Saturday night at FFB Stadium
Part 2 of Placencia Assassins vs Police United FC... It’s a new FFB administration, and a new Premier League of Belize hosting its first football competition in the post-Bertie era, and a national football champion will be crowned on Saturday night at the completion of game 2 in the home-and-away finals series.

David Michael Higgins charged for crystal meth
On Saturday, May 5, David Higgins, 44, arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport on an American Airlines flight from Dallas, Texas.

Ideas and Opinions - COMMON CAUSE
If there is a job to be done, and one man can’t do it. What should he do? Find another man of like purpose to help him. Then if the job is too big, add a third, and so on, until their combined efforts are more than enough for the task at hand. The same for a group, or an organization or a community. Make alliances with other groups, organizations, and communities until they become an overwhelming force to take a fortress or destroy a citadel, if those were their objectives. I am writing this article as a consequence of a conversation I had with a young man, the son of a great friend, who made major contributions to this society. His son is cut from his same cloth and has the potential to emulate his father. I am moved because he thinks that there are too many ills which beset the body politic. I am moved because he considers that the situation in our country is hopeless. It should be for the citizens of my generation, who shouldn’t expect to be around, if things ever change enough to please us, not for the younger generations. These generations have a job to do. Is the situation hopeless? How can we know that it is? Only if we do everything that we can to change it and fail. Here is an example of what I mean.

A Right? Absurd!
Common sense should tell Caleb Orosco that the only way for his petition to the Supreme Court of Belize to succeed is to prove that the cornerstone of the Belizean understanding of human rights is a figment of our imagination. As long as almost 100% of us believe in God as Creator and Supreme Lawgiver, homosexuality cannot be claimed as a human right.

Editorial: Education woes
It’s that time of the year again when thousands of our children will be graduating from pre-school, primary school, high school, sixth form and university. In the case of primary school we are looking at 7,000-plus Standard Six students – arguably the largest primary school leaving class ever.


Another new fruit and a few photos from our veranda
Sorry for the lack of blogging recently. It's been really hot and sunny, and we haven't done anything all that adventurous lately. We spend more time indoors hiding from the sun, but we do still ride our bikes into town most mornings to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and a few groceries. Yesterday Maria gave us some interesting little fruits to try out. They look like tiny little round limes that are kinda dried out and past prime. I'd heard of a small round fruit called craboo that is much beloved by locals, but after reading that it stinks and doesn't taste too good if you weren't raised on it, I wasn't too keen to try it. However, after googling, I determined that these little fruits were not craboo at all -- they are genip, also known as waya. Here's the web page that confirmed their identity: San Pedro Sweet Treats: Genip/Waya.

Hon Lisel Alamilla wins Whitley Award!
Belize glows with pride again as yet another of our Belize eco-warriors earns International recognition by winning a major conservation award in England from Princess Anne. Hon Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development was this years prize winner of thirty thousand pounds, donated by the William Blake Charitable Trust. Alamilla has been selected for the prestigious Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership for her work to protect the Maya Golden Landscape when she was Executive Director of the Ya’axché Conservation Trust – a post which she left after the election in February to become a Senator-Minister. Although Alamilla has been noted in the past for her more terrestrial work, she is very much linked with last year’s winner of the same award, Dr Rachel Graham, who is Belize’s resident Shark and all round Marine biologist who will not allow her to take her eye off our precious reef in her current position. Congratulations Lisel – it has been too long since you visited Caye Caulker, come back soon!

International Sources

Local students fundraise to benefit school in Belize
Students at Redcliff Middle School may not know poverty first-hand, but they are well aware of its existence. As a result, the entire student body - roughly 450 students - has taken it upon themselves to raise money for a school in Belize. The school is roughly the same size as Redcliff but without the same amenities. "One of our teachers - Mrs. (Natalie) Sampson - came back from Belize. It's a really poor country in Central America," said Mckenna Patriarche, a Grade 7 student who is also student body president. Sampson visited a number of schools in Belize, but it was one in the village of Ladyville (population 5,000) that left the biggest impression. "The students didn't have much at all," said Lauren Smith, spirit president. "The desks were all rickety but she was inspired because the kids were so happy and wanted to learn." Patriarche, Smith, finance president Jasmine Sodhi and class representative Katie White took it upon themselves to get the school involved in an effort to help those students.

Posted By: Marty

Re: Today's Belize News: May 12, 2012 - 05/12/12 01:50 PM

Local pastor travels to Belize to shepherd boy for eye surgery
On Tuesday, the Rev. Chad Ballard, senior pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church in Bastrop, will fly to Houston, where he will then be re-routed for about a three-hour flight to Belize. He's no stranger to the country, where in the outskirts of civilization’s tropical paradise suited for some there's also ubiquitous, harsh poverty for far too many. Ballard first become acquainted with a rural section of the country five years ago on a church mission's trip, which has since led to the creation of a non-profit organization called the Heavenly Vision Foundation (named after Scripture in Acts chapter 26); its mission is to help the locals there and has spurred seven trips of close to 40 members of Green Acres, including one just a couple of months ago. Ballard is also no stranger to many of the locals. One of them, an 8-year-old, is who Ballard will be transporting to another town Thursday for surgery to correct a severe cross-eyed stigma. The surgery was arranged by a fellow missionary from Texas, Ross Weaver, who has recruited physicians to perform the surgery on Jose, along with more native needy children.

Belize students here to learn teaching
Anel Andrade, an education student at Corozal Junior College in Belize, has been teaching in the Central American country for more than 15 years, but recently she received a little education herself from some Bainbridge teachers. “They had different activities, and it was a privilege to observe language arts and math lessons,” said Andrade, 36, who has taught school in Belize for more than 15 years. “It was very surprising the different strategies and what teachers used in the teaching methods during the class lesson. It was so interesting there wasn’t enough time.” Andrade, four other Corozal Junior College education students and their professor, Dr. Noel Carballo, were in Bainbridge on April 30 and May 1, shadowing teachers at Jones-Wheat and Potter Street elementary schools. This was the first time a Belizean delegation of students and their professor had visited Bainbridge College. Their time was also spent at some local retail establishments in Bainbridge, picking up school supplies to take back with them.

Ballplayer Statue Suggests Sports Were Big in Ancient Mexico
Sports may have been all the rage for ancient Mesoamericans, scientists say after discovering a portion of a figurine of an athlete near Oaxaca, Mexico. The figure indicates the activity known as "the ballgame" was even more widespread than thought in Mesoamerica, which extended from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The partial figurine shows about 2 inches (5 centimeters) of a male ballplayer's chest. The head and legs have been broken off. It seems to be wearing a ballgame costume, including a wide belt covering the abdomen and an elaborate mirrored collar like those worn by other examples of ballplayers known from other areas of Mesoamerica. "Because the ballgame is associated with the rise of complex societies, understanding its origins also illuminates the evolution of socio-politically complex societies," study author Jeffrey Blomster of the George Washington University said in a statement. "Exploring the origins and spread of the ballgame is central to understanding the development of the Mesoamerican civilization."

Diving for Underwater Offerings
We did not leave for the field until 9:30 a.m. Because our exploration diver Chip Petersen is using trimix (oxygen, nitrogen and helium) gases, double-checking the gas tanks before and after the hour-plus trip to Pool 1 is critical. Using this gas mix will allow him to safely and effectively explore depths beyond traditional scuba diving, and that is where we expect to find Maya offerings. At Pool 1, as the divers began getting their gear in order, Ernesto, Cleofo, Juan Antonio and Stanley constructed a ladder that the divers need to enter the pool, since the surface is eight feet below ground level. Placing a homemade ladder off the diving platform. Our videographer, Marty O’Farrell, noticed last season that the bottom of the pool is roughly half the size of its surface, because of the slope beginning on the south side going down toward the cave opening. Andrew explored the shelf approximately 15 feet below the surface beneath Structure 1, the ceremonial building (likely a water shrine) on the southwest edge of the pool. Why is this significant? Because this underwater topography (bathymetry) determines where divers search for offerings. If the Maya made offerings from this building, they probably would have either landed on the shelf 15 feet below or rolled all the way down, 150 to 200-plus feet. The depth is the first challenge.

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