Today's Belize News: May 6, 2015 - 05/06/15 11:44 AM
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
Three men arrested for murder of Jose Rigoberto Beltran
Three men have been formally arraigned in San Pedro’s Magistrate’s Court for the murder of San Pedro Taximan Jose Rigoberto Beltran who was murdered in his vehicle on April 28, 2015. Luis Campos (23yrs), Mark Arzu (19yrs) and Santos Garcia (18yrs) have been charged with Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until their court date of June 13, 2015.
Phase Two of Paving North Ambergris Road Commences
Work has commenced on the second phase of paving of the road on North Ambergris Caye which, when complete, will see a total of seven miles of paved road from the Boca del Rio Bridge northward. Phase two of the work will constitute paving a three-mile stretch of road from Belizean Shores Resort up to Mile 6 by Portofino/Canary Coves and expected to be completed in three months. The first part of Phase Two includes the widening, elevating and leveling of the road that will run parallel to the electrical high-tension wire. This part of the phase (supplying and placing of hardcore material on the road) is being jointly funded by the San Pedro Town Council and the Government of Belize (GOB), but the cost of paving the road will be covered by the GOB.
Ministry of Health Contributes to Ongoing Discussion on Suicides
The Ministry of Health notes the widespread discussion in the media on the recent alleged suicides involving well-known Belizeans. As the country’s ministry responsible for mental health information and treatment, we would like to offer this press release as our contribution to the discussions on this very important issue. Firstly, we would like to express our sincere condolences to the families and all others that have been affected by suicides in Belize. Every person lost by suicide is a life filled with potential and possibility cut short.
Misc Belizean Sources
Support your......FEMALE CYCLING IN BELIZE.
Cycling Federation of Belize
Galen University Offering Online Courses
Galen University has some new business programs - International Business and Entrepreneurship - and 4 of the programs will have online courses. They are offering grants of up to 20% if you apply by July 18th. "Education Changes Situations!!! Don't MISS out on great career OPPORTUNITIES at Galen University!!"
Belize opposition party seeks support to repeal PetroCaribe legislation
The main opposition People’s United Party (PUP) is calling on the business community here to support its move to have the Dean barrow government repeal the PetroCaribe Loans Act that makes special provisions for borrowing money from Alba Petrocaribe (Belize Energy) Limited. PUP leader Francis Fonseca said that a letter was being circulated to the business as well as the general community, seeking support for the initiative. “We want as many people, as many of our partners, as many of the social partners, the businesses, the Chamber of Commerce to sign on to this letter. We are seeking their support in sending this letter. If we have to go at it alone we will,” Fonseca told reporters. “ So the first step is to circulate it to them, that is where we are now, to get, to have them look at it, to have them review it, get their input, perhaps they want to make amendments to the letter.
Saturday Night Madness with NEBL
9th of May, 9pm. At the San Pedro High School
Peace Rally at Central Park Thursday May 7th
The members of the Mama Vilma Family Home Organization will be in attendance for the candle lit walk and Peace Rally at Central Park Thursday May 7th at 6pm and invite everyone to stand in solidarity with the family and friends of victims to the increase of violence on our island! We believe if we stand up together we will stand strong!
BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, May 5, 2015: 65. FANTASY 5: 20 30 10 26 39 U
Education Week at the SIPL
The San Ignacio Public LIbrary is celebrating Education Week, and they had Sacred Heart's infant 1 class over for some story telling. Thanks, SIPL! The students sang a song for Ms. Teresita. "Education Week 2015 kicks off with Sacred Heart Primary School Infant 1. They had a blast of fun. Libraries: Valuing Literacy, Fostering Change & Shaping Minds"
RUDY MIGUEL WINS MEXICAN CYCLING CLASSIC!
How many Belizeans remember this incredible victory by Belize most celebrated cyclist of all times, Rudy Miguel, also a two time Cross Country champion? What was the name of the cycling classic, and which part of Mexico did the race took place?
Six Year Old Dies After 11 Year Old Neighbor Shot Him to Head
6 year old Travis Polanco died this afternoon after his 11 year old neighbor shot him in the head with a 16 gauge shotgun. It happened on Saturday evening around 5:00 in the Valley Community - at miles 18 on the Hummingbird Highway. Little Travis was playing near a palm tree about 45 feet away from his house when his 11 year old neighbor shot him through his window. Travis' father told us today that he saw Travis jumping and running wildly about and that is when he realized his son was shot. Travis was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital then to the KHMH where he died today at around 12. We spoke to Travis' parents today after they made the hardest decision of their lives. Gurly Bahadur, Mother "They told me that my baby brains is dead and only the life support machine is keeping him alive." Courtney Weatherburne "Was it a situation where the family decided that it was time to pull the plug and you couldn't see your son suffer anymore?"
BDF Stole From B-SAG
23 year-old BDF Private James Webster is out on bail tonight after he was taken to Magistrate's Court for burglary today. His superiors allege that he broke into the BDF's Special Assignment Group's weapon's storehouse and stole a pistol. The theft happened on last week Thursday. Webster's accuser say that he went on the Price Barracks compound, broke into the BSAG's building and stole a service Beretta Pistol, valued at $2,000. According to police they recovered the weapon and connected the theft to him. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where he pleaded not guilty. He was granted bail of $2,000, which he was able to meet, and he will have to return to court on July 31.
Father Says Son Was Stabbed In Head For No Reason
As we reported last night, 24 year old Dernell Brown was fatally injured on Saturday night at the National Agriculture and Trade Show. Brown was stabbed in his head - so deep that the knife was left projecting from his skull. He never regained consciousness and died yesterday morning at 9. Police told us he got into a fight with a group of men because of a dispute over a female. But when we spoke to Brown's father today, he had a very different account: Horace Brown, Father "The young man told me that they were heading home. They say that my son was walking to the back and the guys just attacked them. They say that they had my son and he turned back to help, but the other two guys that were with them ran away. The x-ray shows that the knife went through his head. The doctor said that it was an inch away from popping through the other side of the head. On the x-ray, it shows that the knife went across the two eyes. I don't know if he was a trouble person.
Jack Gets Justice From GST In Benchmark Judgment
6 Weeks ago, Importer Jack Charles made the news when he challenged local rice producers and accused them of gouging the general public with high the high price of rice. Well tonight, Charles, is back in the news tonight after he challenged the government and won a victory against the Sales Tax Department. His grievance with the GST office goes back to February 2013 when the Sales Tax Commissioner sent Xtra House, a letter saying that he owed 5 years of arrears - a total of 1.1 million dollars. Of course, Charles disputed that assessment as arbitrary, but due to Sections 42 and 45 of the law, to get an appeal or review of that decision, he would have had to pay 50% of the figure assessed - a cool half a million dollars - or to be precise, just over 550 thousand dollars. Charles's position at the time was that he couldn't come up with that money within 15 days. So, he filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court in which he claimed that the way the GST Act is designed, it violates his constitutional right to access the Supreme Court or the GST tribunal - because he'd first have to pay half of the taxes upfront.
Teacher Preyed On Male Students Through Facebook Chats
Last night we told you the about the Mopan Technical high school teacher accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a male student. Well, today the Education Officer from the Ministry of Education, Yma Casey confirmed that the Teaching Services Commission has dismissed teacher Elito Puc from the school and that the Chief Education Officer has revoked his teacher's license. This is following an investigation by the TSC's Board of Directors. Now, the details of the case have not been disclosed - what we know is based on streams of Facebook messages which we have received - and they show a pattern of highly disturbing beahviour. Some of the messages we have seen show the teacher trying to bribe or solicit, nude pictures and sexual favors from the male student in exchange for lunch money as seen in these screen shots.
Plues Street Problems
Five days after he left home to go meet a friend, Plues Street resident Denfield Bowen has still not re-appeared. His family carries the grim expectation that he is dead - but they have not been able to find him. And while there is anxious worry on Plues Street - this morning at dawn -residents say there was also police brutality and widespread panic. According to residents at around 5 this morning they were awakened by loud banging on their doors and noise coming from the street as at leats five police trucks police rolled in. They said the officers told them they were looking for guns and ammunition. But in the process, the residents claim that they were assaulted and harassed by the cops. One child who is only 7 years old claimed that he was slapped by a police officer. Today 7news spoke with his mother.
New PUP Candidate Jones Got 182K From GOB Via Judgment
Lloyd Jones was yesterday introduced as a new, high profile candidate for the PUP in Belize Rural North. He has trumpeted himself as a man of unbending principle who is independent minded, and true to his convictions. But, he "kinda" dodged when the media asked him about a court case he had with the Government of Belize. Here's how that went:.. Reporter "Last week we had an interview with Mr. Castro and we ask him about your standard bearer for the PUP in BRN and we ask him what he thought about your candidacy and he said that he is not at all moved and that you were actually a disgruntled UDP turned PUP and that you actually has some sort of legal matter before the courts with the United Democratic Party or with the Barrow administration. How do you respond to that sir?" Lloyd Jones, PUP Candidate - BRN "Well I am unfamiliar. You should have ask him that, what he was referring to, because I don't know."
Tourist From Washington Drowns
A tourist drowned at Silk Caye near Placencia Village yesterday. 64-year-old David Rowley from the USA was on a diving tour of the North Wall area of Silk Caye. About 10 minutes into the dive - at a depth of 35 - 40 feet, Rowley grabbed one of his legs in pain. The dive instructor tried to communicate with Rowley but got no response and took him back to the surface. He had no response when he got up to the boat, and CPR was performed for 15 minutes, but the tourist did not respond. He was pronounced dead shortly after being rushed to the Robert's Grove dock at noon.
Motivated Enough To Walk On Glass
Last night, we told you how the international motivational speaker, Bert Oliva, and his crew have returned to Belize for a 4th Year. They are on a mission to inspire and motivate 50,000 persons, mostly children and youth, to reach their full potential to become successful in both their private and professional lives. They are here for 10 days, and on each they, they will be speaking to several hundred children countrywide. This year, however, instead of focusing on the high schoolers, they will be speaking exclusively to students from standards 5 and 6. That tour started today where several hundred students from Holy Redeemer, St. Ignatius, and Grace Primary Schools all sat in at the Bliss Center for 2 and a half hour session with Bert and his speakers. 7News was there and we spoke with one of the brave student from St. Ignatius, who made sure to sign up for the activity which requires the volunteers to walk on glass with their bare feet. Here's what she told us about the experience:
Mark Medina's Funeral
And the background to this Plues street event is the rift that's happening in the George Street Gang - Plus Street falls within that turf. As a result of it Denfield Bowen is missing and Brian Brown is in the hospital with burn injuries. It all started one week ago Mark Medina was executed in an area on Iguana Street known as Crenshaw. Since then no one has been charged for his murder. Today the notorious George Street gang figure was laid to rest. Belize City police were on high alert today after strong information this week indicated a deepening rivalry between members of the George Street Gang. While Brian Brown is still hospitalized for burns at the KHMH, and Denfield Bowen is still missing from off Plues Street, there was just no telling what could have happened today.
3k For An Essay?
If you are between the age of 12 and 16 and are an avid writer you could win $3,000 US dollars, of course you have to earn it by submitting a 500 word essay in English to the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association's Children's Essay Contest. The theme is "How the cruise industry has improved your country". The contest is separated in two categories including the Junior Division which caters to children ages 12 and under and the Senior Division which incorporates children ages 13 to 16 years. The deadline for submission is June 12th. If you are interested you can email the Cruise Coordinator Maria Guerra at email@example.com for more information or visit the BTB office.
Taiwan Masters The Art Of Giving
The Taiwanese government is known for so many assistance programs to the country of Belize - from budgetary support to installing an air conditioner at the Museum of Belize. And they're also staunch advocates of art education at the primary school level. Last year the donated 17 thousand US dollars to buy art materials for students and today they donated another 47 thousand US dollars for the second phase of the project: first, to train teachers, and second to develop a curriculum. The handover over was held today at the House of Culture and Taiwanese Ambassador David Wu told us more:...
Travis Polanco Taken Off Life Support
The family of six year old Travis Polanco from Pomona Valley, Stann Creek District, is tonight grieving his death, five days after he was shot to the head by another [...]
11 Year Old Shooter in Human Services Custody
The shooting of Travis occurred last Thursday and it was until this afternoon that police sent out a release on what transpired. Contrary to the family’s report that the two [...]
George Street Affiliate ‘LL’ Still Missing
As the family of Travis Polanco grieves his death, the family of twenty-seven-year-old Denfield Bowen Junior fears the worst. Bowen Junior, known to family and friends simply as LL, has [...]
Intensive Search by Family and Friends Continues
The stevedore was last seen wearing a white tee shirt with R.I.P. Kareem Lopez emblazoned on the front and Robbery on the back. Bowen was also clad in a pair [...]
Two Men Still Detained for Trujillo Murder
Tonight San Pedro Police have released three of the five persons detained for the murder of taxi-man Donicio Trujillo on Sunday. Trujillo was found early that morning on the side [...]
Second Suspect Detained for Agric Murder
A second suspect has been detained by police in connection with the murder at the National Agricultural and Trade Show Grounds. Shariff Anderson Andrewin of Cotton Tree was taken into [...]
Former Vital Stats Building Abandoned…With Files Inside
In April, 2013, the Vital Statistics Department was relocated from Gabourel Lane to the corner of Hyde’s Lane and New Road in Belize City. The official rationale for the move [...]
P.U.P. Says NO to ICJ
The People’s United Party has finally, though not yet officially, established some sort of concrete position on going to the International Court of Justice to settle the unfounded territorial dispute [...]
Opposition Wants 13th Senator Appointed…Will File Claim
Last week, the People’s United Party took to the streets, and this week they’re taking the fight back to the Court. It’s not about Petrocaribe…well, not directly. This time, the [...]
Elrington Says Maritime Borders Not Defined
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington came under heavy fire some time ago for comments made on Belize’s terrestrial boundaries. His technical definition of the western border with Guatemala, which he described [...]
B.D.F. Soldier Charged for Stealing Beretta at Price Barracks
A B.D.F. soldier, who was living at Price Barracks, Ladyville, the head quarters of the B.D.F. has been charged for a burglary at his work place based on allegations that [...]
Skeet Remanded for Firearm Offences
A well-known street figure of Mayflower Street, Belize City was taken to court this morning for a shooting that occurred on Banak Street two weeks ago. Art Skeet appeared before [...]
Regional Project Seeks Strengthening of Fisheries Regulations
A regional project inclusive of CARICOM member states seeks to strengthen fisheries food safety regulations. The purpose is for the Caribbean to be able to access the international markets for [...]
Motivational Speaker Bert Oliva Back in Belize
Motivational speaker Bert Oliva is back in Belize. Today, he started a tour in Belize City meeting with primary school students where, through words and activities, he demonstrated the power [...]
Belizean Makes it to the NFL
Belizean born athlete Rakeem Nunez-Roches has been drafted to the National Football League as a sixth round pick and defensive line for the Kansas City Chiefs. He is the first [...]
Taiwan Assists NICH Arts Program
In July 2014 NICH received around seventeen thousand US dollars for the start of the Primary School Art Skills Training Project. Seventy-eight students from standard two through six participated in [...]
Police Investigate Murders In San Pedro
Authorities in San Pedro Town are making some headway with their investigations into the murders of Jose Riogoberto Beltran and Dionicio Trujillo, both taxi operators who were slain on separate incidents five days of each other. 23-year-old Luis Campos, 19-year-old Mark Arzu and 18-year-old Santos Garcia were jointly charged on Thursday, April 30th with one count of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Officer in Charge of Police, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott indicated that police had sufficient grounds to charge the men, as there were both witness reports as well as incriminating evidence to pin them to the murder. Jemmott also confirmed that the motive of the murder was to use Beltran’s cab as a getaway vehicle in the planning of a robbery. All three men have been arraigned at the San Pedro Magistrate Court and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 2015 for their first court hearing. Due to the nature of the offence, no plea was taken, and they were denied bail. Meanwhile, investigators are yet to formally charge anyone on the murder of 42 year old Dionicio Trujillo, who was stabbed to death, his throat cut, and his body left right beside his taxi van early Sunday morning. Police say they are still taking statements from the men they have detained and are following several leads. Both murders cases are being attributed to robbery.
PUP Moving Forward To Repeal Petro Caribe Law
Last week we told you about a letter that was drafted by the People’s United Party and directed to the Government of Belize demanding that the Petrocaribe act be repealed. The opposition has gone on record to state that if it is not done within 21 days of the submission, that their next move would be mobilizing Belizeans in support of the issue. And while there has been much scrutiny and debate over the process of the way the law was forcedly passed in the National Assembly, Fonseca says the law is aimed at protecting the Prime Minister and insulating him from criminal penalties. Yesterday, when the issue was brought up by Belize City media, Fonseca went on to invite the general populace to jump into their band wagon, creating an undeniable opposition stance against the Petrocribe Law ……Here is that clip…. “Sending this letter but we want as many people, as many of our partners, as many of the social partners, the businesses, the Chamber of Commerce to sign on to this letter. We are seeking their support in sending this letter. If we have to go at it alone we will. So the first step is to circulate it to them, that is where we are now, to get, to have them look at it, to have them review it, get their input, perhaps they want to make amendments to the letter. So that is the stage that we are at, once we’ve gotten that back and we’ve gotten some consensus and we know who will sign on and who won’t then we will proceed from there and the twenty-one days will start running from then.”
Trip Advisor Names Maracas Bar And Grill #1 Restaurant
Good food, great ambiance and fabulous music has contributed to the success of Orange Walk’s riverside Maracas Bar and Grill being named number one restaurant in Town, according to a public survey from Trip Advisor, an American travel website company. The establishment is a great option for dining on the riverside banks of the New River and they offer daily tours to the Lamanai Ruin. Maracas Bar and Grill was rated with 5 stars in their food, customer service, and atmosphere and in value of the experience. The establishment has garnered over twenty five positive reviews. It is note that a close second as best restaurant on the Trip Advisor site was Nahil Mayab followed by Cocina Sabor.
The Florida Carribbean Cruise Association Invites Belizeans For Annual Essay Competition
The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association today announced that it is once again inviting Belizean students to participate in their annual essay competition. This year’s competition is centered on the theme “How has the cruise industry improved my country?”. Participants are being asked to submit a 500 word essay will be judged on its content, creativity, style and grammar. The contest will be conducted in two age categories; junior division for children ages 12 and under and senior division for children ages 13 to 16. Prizes for each category stand at a handsome cash prize of $3000 US for the student and $3000 for the winning school. Deadlines for submissions are Friday, June 12th, 2015. More information of the contest can be obtained from Cruise Coordinator Maria Guerra at the Belize Tourism Board.
Social Wrasse Becomes Endangered Species
Belize is home to a portion of the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Hundreds of species of fish including the invasive LionFish inhabit this diverse coral reef system, many of them unique to the region. And recently, scientists have revealed that after examining the stomach contents of invasive lionfish caught on the inner barrier reef of Belize, they have discovered that nearly half of the diet of these aggressive fish consist of a critically endangered fish known as the social wrasse. The social wrasse is one of five coral reef fishes listed at the highest risk of extinction on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Found only on clear water reefs around inshore mangrove islands in Belize, “its combination of traits, small size, schooling, and low, hovering behavior—make it an easy target for the lionfish,” says Smithsonian scientist Carole Baldwin of the Division of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Social wrasses represented 46 percent of the fishes found in lionfish stomachs, making them the primary prey item of the lionfish. One lionfish had 18 social wrasses in its stomach.