UB Graduates 471On Saturday 471 students graduated from UB in the University’s 17th Commencement exercises. The students received accreditation at the Associates, Bachelor, Certificate, and Diploma levels in Management & Social Sciences, the Education and Arts, Science and Technology, and Nursing, Allied Health & Social Work.
Their guest speaker was Godwin Hulse, the Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management. He spoke to the graduates in a 32 minute Keynote address about the importance of education.
Here’s an excerpt of that presentation:
Hon. Godwin Hulse - Keynote Speaker
"There's a theme I selected for my presentation today as you did not give me a theme and I think that was on purpose but it is one that I have cherished from I was a kid and that is 'education is the only forward for Belize' and I want you all to always remember it. When I was a young man, my dad never used the term 'education' - he said it was too elusive and to learn every thing you have an opportunity to learn, everything, if it's to cut the grass then he told me to learn to do it well, wash the dishes - learn to do it well, kill a mosquito - learn to do it well. So when you look at my seaming disconnected CV people said 'Lord man he couldn't make up his mind what to do' - I simply learned everything that came my way and learned to do it well. There's an Intel commercial that you may be seeing and it struck me and in addition to saying that education is the only way forward, this commercial says and it is a private sector inititave - it says 'education is our primary philantrophic endeavour' - what a wonderful thought coming from a private sector institution."
Tropical Depression #2 crosses the country
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Schools across country close in wake of Tropical Depression #2
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Toledo in direct path of TD2
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Western Pines murder by axe
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G.O.B. says “secret agreement,” but Financial Secretary Joe Waight signature on document
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Brother of Ministry’s Secretary detained with Chinese Passports
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Foreign Affairs will help lay student to rest
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Caught on camera: Cayo cops flip suspect on head in truck
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14 year old accuses teacher of carnal knowledge
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Mike Menjivar’s home shootout with GSU in court
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Who shot Valley of Peace resident?
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3 women argue; 2 women stabbed
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Pallotti School music teacher plays to higher heights
The National Institute of Culture and History and the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize announce the international recognition of young Belizean violinist Courtney Gillett. Gillett, who lived her [...]
Football Telethon raises over $100 thousand…400 more needed
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Road to the Gold Cup features Woodrow Wilson West
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Sports Monday highlights with Guru James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports. The age old rivalry between Belize Telemedia and Mirage Lady Rebels produced another monster showdown Friday night inside Rogers Stadium [...]
Belizean Violinist Returns From Intense Music Training At Julliard
Belizean Youth Musician Courtney Gillett a violinist and the principal violinist and coach in the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize, began playing Suzuki violin at the age of ten. Now at the age of 26, she has a vast amount of achievements, especially in music. Gillett has ...
Venezuelan Embassy Meets With Leaders For Solidarity
On Saturday the Venezuelan Embassy hosted a meeting with several representatives of Belize’s sector including leaders of the opposition party, Mayors from across the country and other social leaders. Love News was present at the function and we spoke to Venezuela Ambassador to Belize, His E...
Activist Says He Was Replaced At University Without Notice
While the country slowly floods because of a passing tropical depression, the University of Belize also slowly floods with controversy and in the center of it is UB Lecturer, Patrick Menzies, or in this case, former lecturer, since he says he headed to UB’s Central Campus in Belmopan to tea...
Orange Walk Police Nabs Armed Robber
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Committee For September Celebrations Gears Up For Activities
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Police In Southern Belize Seeks Teacher For Carnal Knowledge Investigation
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Russian Ambassador To Belize Presents Credentials
This morning, His Excellency Eduard R. Malayan, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Belize, presented his credentials to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency, Sir Colville Young. In his speech, Ambassador Malayan extended warm greetings from His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President o...
Belize's Trade Union Congress Supports GOB Move On International Registries
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Tropical Depression #2 Brings Heavy Rains and Winds To Belize
Marion Ali, Reporting The second Tropical Depression for the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane season slammed into Belize this afternoon at around 13 MPH with wind gusts of up to 41knots. The storm formed at around nine this morning, some 98 miles ENE of Punta Gorda Town and 60 miles E of Monkey ...
World Bank and SIF Raise Questions On Incomplete Construction In Dangriga
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Residents In Southern Belize Cautioned on Possibility of Flash Floods
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Planned Countrywide Activities Lead Up To UN Public Service Day
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Tropical Depression Number 2 Batters Belize With Heavy Rains
This year’s Hurricane forecast calls for a total of 16 named storms, 9 of which are expected to become hurricanes, including 5 major hurricanes between Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Tropical Storm Andrea was the first named storm of the Atlantic season which developed on the 5th of June 2013. It didn’t raise flags for Belize since it made landfall along the Florida Big Bend region, slamming with heavy rain and wind. Andrea did not develop into a hurricane but did cause flooding and storm surge on the areas affected.
And today Tropical Depression number two formed in the Caribbean just off the coast of north-western Honduras, close to Belize causing heavy rainfall across the country. According to Chief Meteorologist at the National Meteorology Service, Dennis Gonguez, the system is expected to move west into parts of Belize and the Yucatán Peninsula over the next 24 hours, most likely as a tropical depression. Heavy rain will be the greatest threat over these areas along with portions of Guatemala and Honduras.
ICB Orange Walk Robbed At Gunpoint
Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town turned into a crime scene on Saturday as a female employee of the Insurance Corporation of Belize Orange Walk Branch was robbed at gunpoint while inside the business. The perpetrator, disguised as a customer, gained entrance to the establishment and demanded that the employee, who was alone at the time, hand over all the cash. Luckily for the victim, her colleagues in Corozal became suspicions when they called her on the company’s line and her cell phone and she did not answer. Instead her cell phone was answered by the robber as he made a wrong move. CTV3 News’ Reporter Victor Castillo arrived at the scene minutes after the incident and filed the following report.
Victor Castillo – Reporting
It was a busy Saturday morning but that did not stop a lone gunman from making his way into the Insurance Corporation of Belize Orange Walk Branch, located on Belize Corozal Road and robbing Customer Service Officer Ruth Martinez, who was alone at the time, at gunpoint.
At around 9:00am, a male person appearing to be an ordinary customer, showed up at the entrance door with documents in hand. The door, which can only be opened from inside was unlocked by Martinez. That is when her worst nightmare began. CTV3 News understands that as the robber entered the business, he pulled out a gun, pointed the weapon at Martinez, took away her cell phone, and demanded that she open the cash vault. Fearing for her life Martinez did as she was told.
Faber Chastises Teachers For The Second Time
In his press conference last week Thursday, the Minister of Education made a daring move as he trashed the Belize National Teacher’s Union. But it’s not the first that Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, uses strong language when referring to teachers. We’ll get to that part of the story in a while. Faber’s latest attack was due to a number of issues storming the education sector including the disappointing PSE results. In his statement the Minister categorically stated that while teachers are asking for a salary adjustment of 30% they are doing nothing to improve the PSE results. For context here are his remarks.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
“It is absolutely amazing and I’ll go on a limb that teachers are saying that we want a salary adjustment of 30% when the government is saying we can’t afford it but then we have the same old results and there is no denying that teachers have a tremendous effect on what these results are and correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t hear the Union talking about how we can improve professionalization in the teaching service at all and I challenge them it is not a quarrel but a challenge I said before and I will do it again we want you to insist that teachers get more professional training. It is the ministry that provides the continuous professional development training in the summer time, is it not, the unions collect dues from teachers $20 dollars a month I paid for ten years, what out of that do they invest back in making sure that our teachers are trained, the ministry provided the certificate of education program paid for 95% by the ministry the other 5% by the teachers what do the Union do, but we have a Union in this country and I will get into trouble again for it that fights for teachers who are incompetent, some of them who are molesters, some of them who don’t do their job in the classrooms and the Union officials know it but we fight for them they are not functioning , they are not doing the best job but the minute the principal or the management or the ministry tries to bring them up there is a champion called the Union who fights against.”
Gian Ghandi Says He Knew Nothing About 10 Year Extension Granted To BISL
Following the most recent back and forth between Prime Minister Barrow and former Prime Minister Musa and former Attorney General Francis Fonseca regarding the so called secret agreement which purported to extend the contract for the management of the IBC and Ships Registries by Belize International Services Limited, the Ministry of Finance issued a press release today.
In his press conference on June 12th, the PM boasted that the takeover of the two companies was completely legal because the letter that granted the extension to BISL was indeed illegal. But former Prime Minister Said Musa and former Attorney General, Francis Fonseca, who signed the agreement back in 2005, have indicated that there was no secret agreement since the issue was brought to cabinet and that the legal counsel in the Ministry of Finance did know about the letter.
The agreement, signed on March 24th 2005 between G.O.B. and BISL, states that in consideration of a payment of one point five million dollars U.S., the Government agrees and confirms the extension of the duration of the Agreement to eleventh June 2020. Six weeks after, on May thirteenth 2005, the Ministry of Finance issued a letter asking that one point five million dollars US, payable by Belize International Services Limited, be paid to the Central Bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. The purpose was explicitly stated as follows – “for the purchase of the option to manage and operate the International Business Companies Registry and the Shipping Registry from 2003 to 2020. The letter was signed by Joseph Waight as Financial Secretary and it was copied to the Hon. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize and the Legal Counsel in the Ministry of Finance, Gian Gandhi.
Ambassador of the Russian Federation Presents Credentials To Governor General
This morning, a new Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Belize presented his credentials Governor General Sir Colville Young at the Belize House.
In his speech His Excellency Eduard R. Malayan, extended warm greetings from His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, to the Governor General and people of Belize.
He further expressed the possibility to deepen the relationship between the two countries not only in the political and diplomatic spheres, but also in trade, culture, education and technical cooperation.
Logging Season Closes
In the month of April 2013 the illegal harvesting and exportation of Rosewood, despite a moratorium set in place back in March of 2012, caused huge public outcry.
This prompted the Government of Belize to declare a 19 days amnesty for those in possession of the precious hardwood and to approve the sale and export of rosewood with government splitting the profits from sales with exporters.
While it seems that the illegal harvesting of Rosewood has died down on Saturday the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Forest Department declared the logging season closed. This means that between June 15th and October 14th the harvesting of trees will not be permitted.
According to the Ministry of Forestry the closure of logging activities coincides with the arrival of the rainy season which is not conducive to logging operations. Apart from an increased risk of loss of human life, logging during the rainy season often results in damage to forest soils and to public access roads.
Of note is that there will be no consideration for extension of forest permits and licenses after the closure of the season. All forest produce not removed from the license areas prior to this date, automatically becomes the property of the Government of Belize.
The logging season will re-open on the October 15th 2013. All applications for licenses for the next logging season should be submitted by November 30th, 2013 to the respective district office which will subsequently be forwarded to the Chief Forest Officer, Forest Department, Belmopan. Application forms are available at all district offices.
San Estevan Library Has A New Name And Logo
For well over 10 years, the San Estevan Library has been providing students with informative and educational literature free of cost. Students, without a doubt, have made good use of the service and most recently, now enjoy the facility of computers to further enhance their learning capacity. So as to attract more student attention, the former San Estevan Village Council along with librarian, Nancy Canche, launched a competition for students in order to find a name and a logo that will best describe the Library.
Fidelmar Hernandez, Former Chairman of San Estevan Village
“A few weeks ago we had a meeting with the librarian and the village council and we decided to give a prize to the standard II to standard XI classes whose over come up with the best logo and name for this library because for the moment we have it as San Estevan library.”
Irvin Aragon – Reporter
“How many persons more or less have submitted entries for this competition?”
Fidelmar Hernandez, Former Chairman of San Estevan Village
“We have approximately about 12 to 14 logos and names.”
And So Was Yummy Restaurant
Apart from ICB and Lucia’s Guest House, another establishment was robbed at gunpoint but not over the weekend. This time the robbery played out on Thursday June 13th at around 6:30pm when three men entered Yummy Restaurant located on San Antonio Road Orange Walk and robbed the owner and one of the female employees at gunpoint.
According to the employee, the first individual to enter the restaurant was armed with a firearm. After he made his demands, two other men entered the restaurant and assisted the first robber in the crime.
“Solo entro el primero y parece que se arrepintió y después agarro la pistola y dijo que es un asalto y entraron dos más y agarraron un laptop y salieron y se fueron.”
Irvin Aragon – Reporter
“A qué horas paso?”
“A las seis y media de la tarde.”
Irvin Aragon – Reporter
“Llamaron a la policía, que fue lo que paso después?”
"Belize In You, Belize In Me, Land Of The Free" September Celebrations Theme
September is a little over two months away and already the soca music can be heard playing at the distance as Carnival groups prepare for the annual road march. The patriotic month is held every year under a theme and this year is of no exception.
The National Celebrations Committee held a competition for the 215th Anniversary of the Battle of Saint George’s Caye and the 32nd anniversary of Belize’s Independence and this year’s winner is Jeanelle Mencias from the City of Belmopan. Mencias’ submission was among 125 entries received by the National Celebrations Committee which was selected as the winner. Mencia’s theme is, “Belize in you, Belize in me, Land of the Free.”
According to an official release by the National Celebrations Committee, the theme was selected because, and we quote, “it engenders a spirit of personal pride and nationalism about being Belize and Belizean.” Jeanelle Mencias will receive a cash prize of $1,000.
Man Marries Twice, He Now Has The Law To Face
A man from the Toledo District is tonight under investigation for the crime of Bigamy. Bigamy is when one is legally married with more than one person at the same time. Yesterday morning, sixty-seven year old Faustina Coc of Punta Gorda Town reported to police that her husband, whom she had been married to for the past twenty years, was married to another woman.
According to Bol, she and Ambrocio Bol were married in April of 1997 and have lived in the Cayo district since. Last month, May of this year, her husband married Magdalena Chiquin of San Felipe Village in the Toledo District. As a result of this second marriage, we all know that Hell has no fury like a woman scorned, and scorned was the sixty-seven year old first wife.
Association Of Churches And Evangelical Ministries Oppose Gender Policy
One of the main topics on the Barrow administration’s agenda is the gender policy. The Prime Minister has gone on record to say that he believes the National Revised Gender Policy 2013 is a good policy and as a result, he will not withdraw the policy as some organizations have requested. The Evangelical Church has stood against the terminologies used in the policy and believes that they are left open for wrong interpretation. The church has stated that the gender policy is a very dangerous document and puts in jeopardy the freedom of speech Belizeans on a whole enjoy today.
During his press conference on Wednesday, the Prime Minister stated that he has met with leaders of the churches but his position has not changed, however, he is open for dialogue so as to rephrase certain sections of the policy that may be subject to misinterpretation. As for withdrawing in entirety the policy, the PM says absolutely not. The Association of Churches and Evangelical Ministries is formed by approximately 75 churches country wide with each district having their own executive. Yesterday, the executive issued a press release in which it condemned the National Revised Gender Policy 2013 and urged the Prime Minister to withdraw the policy. We spoke to the president of the association, Oscar Barrera, who told us more.
New Exhibit Opens At he BHOC
52 years ago, on Tuesday, October 30th, 1961, Belize was rocked by Hurricane Hattie which caused major destruction having spent only three and a half hours over Belize. With recorded winds of 160 mph and gusts of up to 200 mph, the storm surge reached between 13 to 15 feet above sea level. Taking the brunt of the storm were the Turneffe Islands, Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, followed by Belize City and the Stann Creek District. In commemoration of the aftermath of the storm, a new exhibit is on display at the Banquitas House of Culture and reporter Irvin Aragon along with Cameraman Kenric Simpson visited today and relived that historic event; here’s their story.
Irvin Aragon- Reporting
"Eye of the Storm - Fifty Years since Hurricane Hattie" is the name of a new exhibit that is on display at the Banquitas House of Culture. Hurricane at Halloween, refers to a devastating hurricane which struck British Honduras some 52 years ago, just as the residents of British Honduras were starting to breathe a sigh of relief because the 1961 hurricane season would soon be ending, however, unexpectedly, a powerful Category 5 hurricane named Hattie hit Central America on Hollow’s Eve.
Armed Robber Holds Up Insurance Office In Northern Belize
One man has been charged for a robbery at a business establishment in Orange Walk Town on Saturday. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story.
“Orange Walk Police has charged one man for the robbery of the Insurance Corporation of Belize, ICB office in Orange Walk Town. The incident played out on Saturday morning around 9. Reports indicate that the man identified as Stanley Tillett of an Orange Walk Town address entered the ICB office and immediately pulled out a .22 pistol and pointed it at the female employee who was alone in the building at the time. Reports are that Tillett ripped out the phone line, tied the woman and placed her behind the counter; he then searched the cash register taking an undisclosed amount of cash but before he could finish his heist, an employee from a nearby business who says he normally check on the woman at the ICB office stopped by to make his routine check.”
“That was when my superior told me to go and check and see what happened and what is going on and if everything safe, if everything is alright. When I reached and I looked through the glass I saw a male person standing but I never saw the girl; so, I said maybe she is at the back with the papers; so, I knocked on the door and the man came and opened it. As I was looking to go inside he pulled out the gun and aimed it at me. The man said, ‘you come in wrong time now it’s you who is going to get it and who sent you; the man says I feel like killing you right now; you have spoiled my day and messed up my move; so, with that in mind the man hit me in my head and then he said I have to tie you.”
Plans for September Celebrations Underway
September is less than three months away and that means that the September Celebrations Committee is already gearing up the preparations. Love News today spoke with the President of NICH, Diane Haylock who told us more about what’s in the making
DIANE HAYLOCK, President, NICH
“We have recently selected the theme for this year’s celebration which is. “Belize in you, Belize in me, land of the free” – short and sweet. We have sent out that information so people can now begin to use that theme in promoting their own events, whether at the national or local levels. I think there were 145 entries; we have a subcommittee of the celebration commission that goes through the entries and then they short list and the commission itself makes the decision. So, we had a short list at our last meeting of 7 entries that was selected and the back and forth among us and you know finally choosing this one, I think it sort of resonated with us; BELIZE IN YOU, a play on BELIEVE IN YOU and it’s a play on the word, Belize. “Belize in you, Belize in me, land of the free” – it was short, it was sweet. Sometimes people write these long sentences for themes and then they don’t role off the tongue very, very easily and that for us ended up being catchy and as short as it was it had a lot of significance.”
The winning theme for this year was contributed by Jeanelle Mencias from the City of Belmopan. Haylock says they hope to encourage young people to devise creative pieces centered on the theme to artistically express what it means to them. And of course one of the highlights of the September Celebrations is the Carnival which Haylock says is getting along despite shortcomings.
Teacher Incriminated In Carnal Knowledge Report
Police are looking for a teacher from the Toledo District. This follows a report by a 14-year-olkd student who told police that on May 29 she went to the teacher’s house in Santa Teresa Village where he had sexual intercourse with her. Medical examination was conducted on the minor which revealed that she was carnally known.
Belize Welcomes Russian Ambassador to Belize
This morning, His Excellency Eduard R. Malayan, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Belize, presented his credentials to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency, Sir Colville Young. In his speech, Ambassador Malayan extended warm greetings from His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, to the GG and the Belizean people. Ambassador Malayan further expressed the possibility to deepen the relationship between Belize and the Russian Federation in several forms including political, diplomatic, trade, culture, education and technical cooperation. During his visit Ambassador Malayan presented his Letters of Credence to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington and CEO, Alexis Rosado.
Belize Gets Rains and Wind From Tropical Depression #2
The second Tropical Depression for the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane season slammed into Belize this afternoon at around 13 MPH with wind gusts of up to 41knots. The storm formed at around nine this morning, some 98 miles ENE of Punta Gorda Town and 60 miles E of Monkey River and made landfall somewhere between Dangriga Town and Independence Village at around three this afternoon.
Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorologist
“As the system moves across here all this will be swinging in that direction over the northern part because the circulation is counter clock wise so this will be swinging up towards the northern part of the country.”
Gonguez said that the roughly two inches of rainfall that inundated some of Belize City streets on Sunday and Sunday night were associated with the Depression. By the time the depression passes over Belize over tonight, it would have dumped another three inches of rainfall over the country, and that is cause for concern.
Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorologist
“We’re looking at, in the north this afternoon and this evening up to about 3 – 3 ½ inches up in the north and that could cause some issues then the activities switches to the south tonight where we could be getting 2 – 2 ½ inches between tonight and tomorrow morning. We are looking at the rains being the bigger threat than the winds.”
While the greatest part of the storm has passed, the system will continue to deposit rain over the country and Gonguez advises people in low-lying areas to make the necessary adjustments.
Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorologist
“You should take the necessary precautions to safeguard life and property if you see the waters are rising in your vicinity.”
Even when the system leaves our area that will not be the last of it.
Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorologist
“It appears that when the system goes into the Bay of Campeche, it could regenerate into a depression once it maintains its status across the Yucatan Peninsula.”
Incomplete Construction In Southern Belize Causes Revenue Loss
Residents of Dangriga are become uneasy because of the slack an important project in that municipality has taken, since it is a means of revenue for the municipality. Correspondent Harry Arzu has more on the issue.
“The delayed work on the existing Dangriga Market is becoming more of a concern for the residents of this municipality and more so for Mayor Gilbert Swazo.”
“On Wednesday, June 12, 2013, Representative of the World Bank accompanied by their counterparts from the Belize Social Investment Fund was in Dangriga to conduct their midyear review after the phase one component of the Belize Municipality Development Project which consists of the construction of the extension to and the refurbishment of the existing Dangriga Municipal Market. The review included a meeting and a site visit to the market project. During the meeting, I as the Mayor and on behalf of the people of Dangriga explicitly expressed concern on the snail pace speed of the project and its token employment of the residents of Dangriga. I also, as a consequence demanded forcefully yet respectfully that the contractor increase the number of Dangriga residents on the project and to speed up the construction of the project without compromising the quality. The World Bank Representative also expresses their concern on the present state of the project and their disappointment with the contractor for having completed only about 40% of the project.
Flash Floods Are Likely In Southern Belize
The Stann Creek NEMO met this afternoon to discuss the current weather situation. Correspondent Harry Arzu has more details on the meeting.
“The incessant rains continue to affect the Stann Creek District as a result of the tropical depression that is passing over Belize. A number of primary schools were given permission to close their doors today despite the fact that primary school students were scheduled to start their third term promotional examination here in the municipality. However, NEMO Stann Creek says they are on alert and is monitoring the weather. Mayor Gilbert Swazo is the Chairperson for NEMO Stann Creek.”
“We continue to monitor the tropical depression and along with the Regional Coordinator and the District Coordinator we continue to issue advisory in relation to the likely impacts of the rainy condition. We are giving advisory to all those flood prone areas within Dangriga and within Stann Creek District to be vigilant and to be on the lookout for flash floods. We continue to monitor and at this time we have given advisory to residents within the Stann Creek District and Dangriga in general.”
Belize Joins In UN Public Service Day Observation
Sunday will be observed as the United Nations Public Service Day and Belize will join in on observing the day. But for the entire week starting today, the Ministry of the Public Service will engage in a series of activities to celebrate those public officers who have delivered sterling service over the years. Chairperson of the Public Service National Committee, Freya Parham August, told Love News that the public officers even have a chance to get free check-ups as well.
FREYA PARHAM AUGUST
“What we will be having on Friday in lieu of the 23rd is an award ceremony and the ceremony is going to be held in Punta Gorda. We have been rotating the ceremony in the different municipalities just to interact with the citizens from different parts of the country. On that day we will be recognizing public officers who have done outstanding work, who have committed their lives, so to speak, for the last 25 years, to the government and people of Belize. So, that is what we will be having on Friday that is the highlight in Belize for our Public Service Day. This week we will be having a week of activities across the country; today in Belize City they will be having a Health Day where public officers can come in and get free tests.
Violin Teacher Attends Julliard 2013 Starling Symposium
Belizean Youth Musician Courtenay Gillett a violinist and the principal violinist and coach in the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize, began playing Suzuki violin at the age of ten. Now at the age of 26, she has a vast amount of achievements, especially in music. Gillett has recently returned from Julliard’s 2013 Starling De-Lay Symposium for Violin studies, which provided intense music training her. She says she applied for the program as a teacher and became a participant.
“It was to explore how to use violin technique and to help your students get better sound; in this case they focus on the Bach, Partitas and Sonatas and also some other technical studies such as Kreutzer and what it was – it was master classes; so, they had student artists who performed for us and while there, they had professional teachers who came up and they gave their critique on how you can change the sound; it’s all about sound production. As musicians, we can’t allow ourselves to stay the same; when we perform, if I sing today in one way, I don’t expect that ten years down the road for it to sound the same way. It has to evolve even better; so it’s how to get your students to produce even better sounds; not to concentrate on playing notes but creating music.”
Now Gillett is getting prepared to join the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, YOA, in touring Central America. She told us what she looks forward to in that venture.
Body found in Western Paradise area
Police have confirmed the discovery of the body of a man inside a house at mile 8 on the George Price Highway. Complete details are not known at this time but police have announced that the body showed apparent chop wounds to the head and have classified the incident...
Two Guatemalan xateros arrested in Belize’s Forest
Two Guatemalan xateros found in Belize’s forest were arrested and charged in San Ignacio. Acording to reports, on Friday the 14th June, the Joint Forces Team on patrol in the Chiquibul base at Tapir Camp detained two male Hispanic persons who were maneuvering to cross the main Caracol Road....
NEMO issues Advisory on Tropical Depression
Belizeans spent a very wet Father’s Day weekend as a result of severe rains affecting the country. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) this morning confirmed that the rains are a result of Tropical Depression No. 2 which formed several hours ago from an area of disturbed weather right...
Dangriga family’s home destroyed by fire
A Dangriga family is tonight asking the public’s assistance after their home was completely destroyed by fire. It happened over the weekend and our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu spoke to the owner of the home. He filed the following report. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: A two-story wooden structure...
University of Belize Fires Professor Patrick Menzies
University of Belize Fires Professor Patrick Menzies. Mr Menzies is well known within the media circle as a social activist and the UB Lecturer, whose students recently conducted a research which shows that the University of Belize is overcharging students for some courses. This afternoon, Menzies showed up to...
PUP gearing up to lead national demonstration
Earlier this year the People’s United Party (PUP) had plans for a national demonstration to highlight alleged abuses and inefficiencies of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP). But there has been nothing heard of it since and members of the press asked Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca about it on...
NTUCB declares support for Government’s move to recover registries
Last week we aired the Opposition Leader’s response to allegations that he and former Prime Minister Musa signed a secret agreement to extend Management Services Agreement for the International Business Companies Registry and the Shipping Registry for another seven years from 2013 to 2020. In a press release issued...
Life sentences in prison for two men still stand
They were accused of cold-blooded murders in 2002 –after robbing bottling giants Bowen and Bowen, then fleeing the country. First tried and convicted in 2004, the cases of Leslie Pipersburgh and Patrick Robateau have gone as far as London, England and the Privy Council to be decided. But after...
Stabbing and shooting in Belize City
There was both a stabbing and a shooting incident in Belize City over the weekend. On Friday June, 14th, at 9:30pm police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw RUSHELL LOPEZ, Belizean Domestic of a Fabers Road address, suffering from (2) stab wounds to the left side...
Belmopan Police investigates shooting and incidents
Belmopan Police investigates shooting incident. On Sunday June 16th shortly after 1pm. Police visited the emergency ward at that Western Regional Hospital where they observe Edwardo Antonio GARCIA, a Salvadoran Farmer of Valley of Peace Village, suffering from a single gunshot wound to the upper rib cage area. Garcia...
Local Musician returns from two-week training at Juilliard Music School
Burrell Boom native and musician and teacher Courtney Gillett has scored a pair of major accomplishments. She has just returned from a two-week training for music teachers at the world-renowned Juilliard Music School in New York City, and soon leaves for Panama as Belize’s first and sole representative in...
Toledo Police investigate Carnal Knowledge accusation
Police in the Toledo District is looking for a teacher after a carnal knowledge report by one of his students. Over the weekend a 14yr, old student visited the Police Station in the company of her father and reported that on May 29th around 7:45pm she went to her...
Police investigate firearms offence and robbery
On Saturday June 15th, Police conducted a searched at the residence of 31yr old Omar CALDERON, of Orange Walk Town. Present at time of the search was CALDERON and a 16year old minor. As a result of the search police recovered a black plastic bag containing (12) rounds of...
Belizean Artists First hosted Father’s Day Song Competition and Concert
On Saturday night, the Association for Belizean Artists First (ABAF) hosted its fifth annual Father’s Day Song Competition and Concert, which for the first time is being held among high school entrants only. Ahead of the concert, on Friday Promoter Tony Wright told us how his organization collaborated with...
Football legend maintains Hostel Field for 27 years
Last week, we met football legend and community activist Bernard “Dubu” Thomas, a star forward on the Coke Milpros teams of the late 1980’s and later on the over-35 Ebony Lake football team. But for the past 27 years, he has been known for something else: a one-man effort...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Ocean Academy graduates 10!
Ocean Academy High School held it’s annual graduation ceremonies on Friday, June 14th.
10 students graduated with their high school diplomas.
Canadian musician, Danny Michel, was the guest speaker.
Congratulations to all the graduates on a job well done! May your future be as bright as the Caye Caulker sun.
Congratulations to the staff, faculty and friends of Ocean Academy high school as well. You are an oasis of hope for the village.
Crazy Weather on Caye Caulker
Tropical Depression 2 which formed over Belize yesterday is blanketing the country with heavy rains and gusty conditions.
Out on Caye Caulker, heavy breakers are rolling in from the reef. Locally, this heavy surf is referred to as “rekaladas”, or rolling waves.
The sea is at the level of some of the piers at this point, and there has been some erosion along the seashore.
Thank You from Tracie Young
Tracie Young ran for councilor and won with a total of 315 votes. Chairperson was won by Mr. Wayne Miller, other councilors are Enelda Rosado, Julian Rosado, Ilda Marin, Ralph Humes and Raul Young.
The June 16th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- Jarod “Steel Bob” Lamb Finally Captured:
Jarod “Steel Bob” Arthurs Lamb
has been on the San Ignacio police’s
most wanted list since the January
2013 home invasion/murder of
Belizean businessman Steven
Valencia in his Loma Luz Boulevard
home in Santa Elena, Cayo.
Lamb, who had managed to evade
the police for over five months while
committing more crimes, was today
caught off guard when Belmopan
police was alerted of his location.
San Ignacio police informed that
Lamb, 25, Belizean laborer of Ontario
village in the Cayo district was
captured in neighboring Camalote
village. He was escorted to the
Belmopan police station where he is
to face charges for crimes he is
accused of committing in that area.
- BECOL Warning
Reliable reports reaching us
indicates that the Tuesday, June 4,
2013, planned testing of BECOL’s
early warning system, in the event of
a dam break, failed.
The rather embarrassing incident
reportedly occurred in the presence
of representatives from the National
Emergency Management Organization
and from the Department of the
Environment both legally charged with
overseeing such exercises.
The system at San Ignacio fire
station failed as well as the one
located at Black Rock Resort. The
siren was to have blasted seven times
for three consecutive minutes at three
minute intervals none of which
The failure now begs the question:
Is BECOL really prepared to issue
the relevant warning in the event of a
dam break, or will residences in the
destructive path of the dam feel
before they hear the warning?
- Hon Rene Montero -
Delivering On His Promises:
In fulfilling his manifesto promise to
support young athletes in Cayo
Central, Minister of Works and
Transport, Hon Rene Montero,
today handed over a thousand dollar
check to the captain of the Georgeville
The donation explained the coach
could not have come at a better time
as the Georgeville football team is
preparing to play, in Georgeville, a
friendly match against a Guatemalan
team. The coach is asking villagers
from Georgeville and surrounding
communities to come out and support
As works continue to progress in
the village, with the upgrading of
streets, refurbishing of the community
center and support for the feeding
program in the village primary
school, Minister Montero pledged to
continue supporting the community
and the entire Cayo Central
- St. Andrews Excels In PSE:
Bernice York Institute of Learning is
this year’s top PSE student, the
management and staff St. Andrews
Anglican Primary School in
San Ignacio are proud to have
produced the next two top students
in the Primary School Examination
St. Andrews Primary School’s
Vincent Hulse and Nelson Esteban
tied for 2nd place both receiving
perfect scores in Math and Science
finishing the examinations with an
astounding 386 points out of a
Other top PSE St. Andrews School
students are Alain Morris and
Zahara Zul who both tied in 6th
- Evangelism In Politics:
When televangelist Silas Malafaia
gathered 40,000 followers outside
Brazil's congress this week, it wasn't
just to raise their arms to the sky and
praise the Lord.
The rally was a show of support for
lawmakers who oppose abortion and
same-sex marriage and a message to
other politicians that they should not
ignore Brazil's fast-growing evangelical
churches if they want to stay in
"Gay activism is moral
garbage," Malafaia roared into the
microphone to a cheering crowd on
the grassy esplanade of the Brazilian
capital. "Satan will not destroy our
- Belizeans In The United States And Abroad Agressively
Demanding Full Citizenship Rights In Their Homeland:
By: Wellington C. Ramos
When the Government of Belize
started the debate to educate
Belizeans throughout the country on
the Referendum Initiative to take the
Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute to
the International Court of Justice
(I.C.J.), many Belizeans in the United
States and Belize became insecure
about their current citizenship status.
Since the 1980’s the Government of
Belize has been granting citizenship
status to many Guatemalans who
entered the country illegally. These
citizens now have the right to vote,
run for political office and become the
Prime Minister of Belize. While, the
Belizeans who were born in Belize and
became citizens of the United States
and other countries, are not entitled
to these same fundamental rights
unless they renounce the citizenships
of their new countries.
- Response to Briceno’s letter
on behalf of Fortis:
Contributed by: Candy Gonzalez
Mr. Briceno penned a Letter to the
Editor that Fortis, Inc. used in a full
page ad as part of their attempt to
quash any objections to their purchase
of C.H. Energy, in upstate New York.
One of the letters opposing the
takeover was from Robert
Kennedy, Jr., who spoke of Fortis’
record in Belize. Briceno felt
“compelled to correct the errors
in the commentary and present
your readers with an accurate
account of the developments that
took place under my watch”.
Unfortunately, his “accurate
account” is about as accurate as his
pronouncements back in 1999-2008.
One has to wonder if Mr. Briceno
even wrote this letter. The reason I
say this is because he refers to the
NEAC as the “National Environmental
The NEAC reviews all Environmental
Impact Assessments. The
Department of Environment was part
of Briceno’s portfolio, Wouldn’t he
know the NEAC stands for
the “National Environmental
- Belize Embassy in Washington Raises
funds for the Inspiration Center:
The Embassy of Belize in Washington
has raised US$60,000 for the
His Excellency, Ambassador
Nestor Mendez, who is visiting
Belize, handed over the cheque to the
Special Envoy for Women and
Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow
The donation is the proceeds of
several fundraising events hosted in
Washington between October 2011
and May 2013. The majority of the
funds were raised at a hugely
successful gala on February 16th,
2013, which brought in over
US$40,000. Mrs. Barrow is
extremely grateful to Ambassador
Mendez and his team for their hard
work and dedication as well as the
Belizean diaspora in Washington for supporting the important cause of
providing a safe, inclusive environment
for children with disabilitiesto
access much needed services.
- Fuego Bar and Grill- At The New Cayo Welcome Center:
After a barrage of photos and
tempting advertisements promising the
latest and greatest “elevated
Belizean street cuisine” I was
excited to attend the tasting preview
for Fuego Bar and Grill this past
Monday. Fuego made a great first
impression as I stepped up the
sidewalk of the new Welcome
Center into the patio area with simple
clean edges and clever little flairs of
style making their appearance
as drinks we served and dishes
popped out of the kitchen. The
interior of the restaurant continued to
warm the taste buds with oversized
photos of the local market and
glowing lamps dangling over the bar
illuminating Leo Arguelles and his
team of Mixologists as they blended
and twisted to keep up with thirsty
Trays of tiny little treats began to
make their way out of the kitchen
window where I could see Chef
Jesse Mas was in his element
constantly smiling and making sure
every morsel was up to his standard.
Each dish that was served was unique and enticing and well prepared. The
tastes were a brilliant mix of local
flavor and international styling.
- National Gender Policy Issue
What’s The Fuss? Part 1:
On May 17th, news broke about
the new Revised National Gender
Policy developed by the National
Women’s Commission, and the
INCLUSION OF SEXUAL
ORIENTATION into the Gender
Policy. Turns out that Caleb Orozco
and UNIBAM were actively brought
into the process of CREATING the
new Gender Policy, and that this
Policy was already APPROVED BY
CABINET IN MARCH!!
Now hold on a minute!! You trying
to tell us that while Govt was
fighting UNIBAM with one hand
in Court, they had ALREADY
APPROVED a Gender Policy
months before, and UNIBAM
helped draft it and it includes the
homosexual agenda? How can this
- Official Results of the June 9th Village Council Elections:
- Santa Elena Primary School Receives Much Needed Assistance:
The Infant one and two students of
Santa Elena Primary School have
been housed in two trailer home
classrooms for the past ten years. The
classrooms have since deteriorated
considerably, with one of the major
problems being the flooring of the
buildings. We have echoed these
sentiments to our community and
other stakeholders at every opportunity
we get, but to no avail.
The cries of our teachers reached
the ears of Mr. Richard Zul and
Lucille Sosa who visited our school
and saw the urgent need for the
repairs of the floor and immediately
contacted their partner, Mr. Robert
Trausch who has been bringing
teams to Belize for the past years to
do voluntary services in various
Proactive, retired couple, Gary and
Jerry Dennis, heard about the plans
to renovate the floorings at SEPS and
assisted Mr. Zul with the ground work
before the arrival of the main team.
Hence, the students from Nederland
High School in Colorado have spent
the last week under the guidance of
their teacher Ms. Lorie Kinczel
working on the flooring of three much
- STAR Humor
- Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
- Letters to the Editor
- Public Notices
Crazy Wet Weather
The one inch of rain that we got yesterday during Lobstermania pool party felt like 7, we could have had a great wet tee shirt contest The band got rained out and anyone who was not taking shelter under the tents or in the pool bar got drenched as well.
At one point someone offered me a towel and I had to laugh there was no way I was staying dry until the rain stopped. Between floaty toy wrangling and trying to keep the taco cam streaming a good pool party view, I got soaked big time. It was pretty funny, every time I asked someone sitting in the bar if the webcam view looked ok they gave a few directions to reposition it and would say ‘it looks great.’ Then wen I got back to check it myself on the laptop, it looked all tilted like a drunken monkey had set it up
Why I would like to be an eco-kid
Hi! My name is Lillian Aguirre. I live in hope creek village on the Stann creek valley road. I am attending hope creek Methodist school. I am in the class of standard 4. My favorite sport is volleyball, my father is a diver at Marisol caye, and my mother goes to school at the junior college in Dangriga. She loves nature as well as I do; by the way I am 11years old!
I want to be an eco-kid because I love nature and would like to help to protect the rainforest. When I visit the rainforest, the shade from the canopy of tree refreshes me. The smell of green trees relaxes me and the singing of the birds inspires me. I hope and pray that I might find and fallow a jaguar’s paw prints on a trail or I may look up high above and see an owl staring at me. If I am lucky I hope to see soldier ants carrying leave to build their homes wild pigs grunting by howler monkeys hanging on trees branches like thunder.
“I Can’t Stand the Rain” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I mentioned in the previous edition that it rained for the greater part of Sunday and right through the night. Well, it didn’t abate and rained just as hard yesterday morning.
A rainy and blustery view from the veranda around 8.30 am.
I had intended to wash the golf cart because the dusty roads, (and especially on the road north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) make it look very dirty. And very quickly. I then was going to spend some ‘quality time’ on the beach with my book. Well the rain put paid to that idea. I can’t stand the rain when it stops me from doing things that I want to do.
With my plan in tatters there was only one sensible form of recourse for me. No, not go back to bed, but to Estel’s for breakfast. What would you have done in the same circumstances? Exactly.
So. I got the raincoat out of the cupboard (haven’t had to wear it for nearly a year) and went for my breakfast and found a nearly empty Estel’s . Very unusual. Just as unusual was that I sat inside. It made sense to do do because even though they had the ‘rain shades’ down the rain was getting through them to hit the tables on the deck.
In the afternoon I made the trip to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize on my own because Rose wasn’t feeling the greatest. The best place for her was in the dry at our rented condo.
Raggamuffin Tours Summer Promotions
Raggamuffin Tours offers a unique 2 night/ 3 day sailing, snorkeling and fishing adventure from Caye Caulker to Placencia. The tour is unrivaled in quality and value for money and is a must for all who enjoy the Caribbean and the magic it holds.
The tour is devised to take passengers away from the high tourist traffic and population areas of San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Belize City by traveling South. Customers are offered the chance to access the more remote parts of the inner reef and therefore some of the world’s most highly regarded snorkeling and even fishing opportunities.
The Cat Lady of Caye Caulker, Belize
Beyond the sounds of the waves and the beat of the reggae music on Caye Caulker, you might also hear a “meow,” or maybe 86 of them.
This side of the island is home to P.A.W.’s, run by Madi Collins. She started the animal sanctuary after returning home from the United States.
One day in 2003, she was on the dock next to her home and saw a bag floating in the ocean. Four kittens were trapped inside. Madi jumped into the ocean to rescue the kittens and nurse them back to health.
“My life changed forever …” Madi told me. “People out here don’t want cats. They beat them or they throw them out in the ocean to die.”
Ten years have passed since then. As I visited her in November 2012, I saw the toll that working 12 hours every day has left on her. She said she feels pain, but the cats keep her going.
“If I die, who’s going to take care of them?” she said. “The culture here in Belize isn’t like the United States. People won’t think twice about abusing animals.”
GMO Products to stay away from
Ensuring that your family is healthy is a huge priority and buying non-GMO foods should be part of that process. If you are health conscious and want to keep GMO’s out of your diet, here is a list of products that contain GMO so you can avoid them. The list is not 100% guaranteed to list all GMO containing products but it’s a good start. Mainly you should read the ingredients list and research them to see how they may impact you and your family.
Baby Food ~ Genetically Engineered Ingredients
Nabisco (Phillip Morris)
Arrowroot Teething Biscuits
Infant formula Carnation Infant Formulas(Nestle)
Enfamil Infant Formulas (Mead Johnson)
Enfamil with Iron
Enfamil Low Iron
Enfamil Lacto Free
Enfamil Next step (soy and milk-based varieties)
A 6-Month Escape to Belize
Life was good in the States. We had a big house, two cars, and a community of friends in our Pennsylvania hometown. We had meaningful work and our weeks rushed by in a whirlwind of activity for both us and our children. We espoused the American view of “work hard, play hard.”
But something was missing. The lifestyle we were living was too stressful, too busy, too unhealthy, and too expensive. We found ourselves accumulating—and worrying about—unnecessary stuff. We felt we were running on a work-and-spend treadmill that didn’t get us anywhere and left us exhausted. In the name of living the good life, we felt we were actually losing ours.
So last winter my husband Kevin and I decided we needed a break—a family escape—from what we knew to be “normal.” We realized we couldn’t stay where we were with our four kids and find the change we wanted.
We focused on Central and South America because of their proximity to the U.S., their warm tropical climates, and their low cost of living. We spent many hours online researching and talking to expats who lived in the countries we were considering: Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, and Ecuador. We paid flying visits to several places to see in person if we would like it there.
Ultimately, we decided on Belize, nestled between Mexico and Guatemala and facing the morning sunrise over the Caribbean Sea.
A sparsely-populated country of around 300,000 people, Belize is English-speaking. It’s also very affordable and would allow our family of six to live comfortably, even without selling off everything we owned in the States.
President Otto Pérez Molina: Guatemala Dry Canal Plan Well Underway
Guatemala’s President Otto Pérez Molina, has said that his country’s plans for a dry canal between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are more advanced than a similar project being undertaken by Nicaragua, The president made the statement in Taiwan, where he is on an official visit.
In an article published in Guatemala’s Prensa Libre newspaper today, Perez is quoted as saying that “there is a difference” between the Guatemalan dry inter-oceanic canal and Nicaragua’s project made official in a concession given on June 13, to the Chinese company HK Nicaragua Canal Development.
“Nicaragua’s project is more akin to the Panama canal,” while Guatemala’s is “a project of 390 km, with oil and gas pipelines, a federal expressway and railway line,” said the President.
Tropical depression heads towards Belize
Tropical depression number two formed on Monday in the far western Caribbean Sea and, at 5:00 pm EDT, was 10 miles northeast of Monkey River Town, Belize, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, with higher gusts.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, the depression was moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph and this general motion, with a decrease in forward speed, is expected over the next couple of days.
On the forecast track, the centre will move over Belize and northern Guatemala on Monday night and early Tuesday, and over eastern Mexico later on Tuesday. The depression could emerge into the southern Bay of Campeche by early Wednesday.
Weakening will occur as the centre moves over land on Monday night and Tuesday. Some strengthening is possible by early Wednesday if the centre emerges into the Bay of Campeche.
June 17, 2013
FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
Specials and Events
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
Wolfe’s Woofers: Talking to the ladies
Well, of course what would you expect to happen at Ladies' night at Wet Willy's? FUN of course!!
ABC celebrates Father’s Day
The students at ABC Pre-School on Ambergris Caye had a very special day on Friday June 14th. All students were invited to bring along their dad to a Father’s Day event that the management had planned as part of the school’s calendar of events. The Father’s Day event included arts and a few songs which the students had prepared weeks in advance.
“This is the first time we have had so many dads for an event like this. We are happy that they took time out to be with their kids,” said a very happy Wil Alamilla, Principal of ABC Pre-School. He said that the event is part of the school’s many activity which forms part of their school’s curriculum. “Today we invited the dads of all the kids. Events like this allow family member to come and spend time with their children at school and see what they are doing.”
Misc Belizean Sources
Caye Caulker Election results
Official results...meet your new CCVC Councillors!!!
Enelda Rosado 414,
Tracy Young 315,
Julian Rosado 298, Ilda Marin 270,
Ralph Humes 258,
Raul young 243
Congrats to our new Chairman of the Village Council Mr. Wayne Miller
Official tally is Marcial Alamina 29, Errol Guizar 53, Wayne Allison Miller 303, Eduaro Arceo 108, Mineli Young 234 and 40 rejected votes.
BECOL Warning System Failed
Reliable reports reaching us indicate that the Tuesday, June 4, 2013, planned testing of BECOL's early warning system, in the event of a dam break, failed.
The rather embarrassing incident reportedly occurred in the presence of representatives from the National Emergency Management Organization and from the Department of the Environment, both legally charged with overseeing such exercises.
The system at San Ignacio fire station failed as well as the one located at Black Rock Resort. The siren was to have blasted seven times for three consecutive minutes at three minute internals non of which reportedly occurred.
The failure now begs the question. Is BECOL really prepared to issue the relevant warning in the event of a dam break, or will residences in the destructive path of the dam feel before they hear the warning?
Belize Takes Steps to Improve Internet Service
After ranking dead last in a recent survey of Internet pricing and speeds in English-speaking Caribbean countries, Belize is taking steps to improve.
The country’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) hosted Belize’s first Internet Exchange Point Open Forum, bringing together international and local stakeholders to discuss options for improving the quality and lowering the cost of Internet services for Belizeans.
PUC Commissioner Kimano Barrow stated, “The PUC wants to create an environment where Internet based companies and entrepreneurs can thrive in Belize. We were able to get two internationally recognised experts in this area to share their knowledge with our local stakeholders.”
Over 65 persons representing ISPs, business, government agencies, civil society groups and academia, attended the half-day event in Belize City on June 6. Interactions centered on the economic and social benefits of improved local Internet service and how best these benefits can be realised in a Belize context. Bill Woodcock and Bevil Wooding from the US-based Internet research and training firm Packet Clearing House (PCH) facilitated the special forum.
Catwalk in the Jungle
The Catwalk in the Jungle Fashion Show at the Cayo Welcome Center last night was an outstanding success. The venue was filled as the models of all ages showed the fashions on the catwalk. Kubuli sponsored the event, and had special prices on beer. There was a silent auction with such great prizes as resort stays, canoe trips, and phones. Emmanuel Mangar was there strumming, and Almost 7 ended the night with some rock and roll.
"What a great night at the Cayo Welcome Center! It was packed, and the fashion show went off without a hitch. Emmanuel Mangar played, as did Almost 7(a mix of Ascenthium and Echoes). The models did a wonderful job on the catwalk."
Calla Creek's New Basketball Court
Feelgood news of the day. 4 the World has finished the basketball court at Calla Creek primary school. Thanks for all your hard work over the years, 4 the World.
They've also uploaded a little video entitled 'What If,' of which some was filmed in Calla Creek.
"We finished up the baskeball court last week in Calla Creek and put basketballs at the tienda that any kids in the village can use whenever they want to play."
Chaa Creek's Eco Kids Summer Camp
There's still time to submit essays for Chaa Creek's Children’s Summer Camp Scholarship Program. They have a short video out about the program.
"Every year we team up with a number of private sector businesses to offer a weeklong summer camp scholarship program for Belize's resident school children between the ages of 8 to 13 years old in order to educate them about biodiversity, natural resource conservation, the ancient Maya, traditional healing, and the three "R's" Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The program aims to install memorable values that will have an impact on the way children conduct their lives, their relationship with our fragile Earth, and the sustainable development of our future."
SCNW Box Kart Race
The Santa Cruz Neighborhood Watch is having a Box Kart Race today at 10am at the Santa Cruz park. There's no fee to enter the race. This event will be for everyone, so bring the family out for some fun and games. Call 600-8947 for more information.
Caye Caulker Chronicles
New Village Council for Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker Village has a new village council.
On Sunday, June 16th, villagers elected Mr. Wayne Miller as the new Chairman.
Six councilors were also elected. They are:
Enelda Rosado 414
Tracy Young 315
Julian Rosado 298
Ilda Marin 270
Ralph Humes 258
Raul young 243
Now that the election and campaigning is over, it’s time to rally behind our new chairman and councilors to make the village work for all of us.
Congratulations to the new council!
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
Here in Belize we’re celebrating in the usual fashion, as well as having a special Father’s Day celebration and song competition at the at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City, which sounds like a great idea.
The competition will feature songs in different genres done by students and is being hosted by the Association for Belizean Artist First and the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports. Belizean Artists First vice president Jorge Ernesto Babb had this to say:
“My message to the fathers is to go to the Bliss and listen to the children and get the wisdom and the understanding that they are putting out for you; they love you, they honour you, respect you and they want to unite with you.”
U.K. Territories to Join Tax Agreement
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said Saturday that Britain's 10 crown dependencies and overseas territories—including financial centers like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Jersey—will sign an international convention to help combat tax evasion.
Together with advancing free trade and increasing corporate transparency, combating tax evasion and avoidance is among the priorities of Britain's presidency of the Group of Eight nations this year. Mr. Cameron is due to host a G-8 summit, with leaders of the U.S., Japan, Germany, Russia, France, Italy and the European Union, on Monday and Tuesday in Northern Ireland.
The leaders of the overseas territories and crown dependencies agreed to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters following meetings with Mr. Cameron on Saturday. The convention is led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and has been signed by more than 50 nations.
The crown dependencies and overseas territories—Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Anguilla, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man—also agreed to produce action plans about providing information on who owns which companies and who benefits, the so-called beneficial ownership, Mr. Cameron said.
Local film for Belize Film Festival
Local short film Sweet TnT written and directed by Trinidadian Andre Johnson, has been selected for the 2013 Belize International Film Festival (BIFF), a major accolade for this filmmaker and Trinidad and Tobago, since the mission of this prestigious Film Festival is to “highlight culturally stimulating films to the Belizean audience.”
The film will compete with 13 others from countries including the United States of America, Cuba, Ukraine, Poland, France, Australia, and Spain.
Sweet TnT was produced by The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (ttfc) and Johnson and was shot on location in several areas of Trinidad and Tobago. It was screened in 2011 at the Portobello Film Festival, London and The Antigua International Film Festival, Antigua and as part of Dark Tales from Paradise.
Sweet TnT was combined with Radica directed by Francis Escayg and The Midnite Affair directed by Ryan Khan to form Dark Tales from Paradise, which was the premier feature film to open the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival 2010.
New World Oil and Gas secures six-month extension for Danish licences
New World Oil and Gas, an oil and gas operating company focused on Denmark and Belize, has secured a six-month extension in work programme commitment deadlines for Licences 1/09 and 2/09 at its Danica Jutland Project in Western Denmark.
The company said that the extension had been discussed with Danica Jutland ApS and the Danish North Sea Fund, the company’s 20% full-paying partner, and approved by the Danish Energy Agency. It said that the agreement would allow the results of the recent acquisition of 3D seismic survey and some soil geochemistry work over the Jensen prospects to be incorporated into a forward work programme on these licences.
In addition to allowing New World more time to evaluate the 3D data interpretation and the prospects defined by the survey, the extra six months would provide New World with more time to continue on-going discussions with potential farm-in partners, the group added.
William Kelleher, Chief Executive Officer of New World Oil and Gas, said: ‘We continue our efforts to secure a farm-out agreement that will allow us to drill as many of our drill-ready prospects as possible at our Danica Jutland Project and, at the same time, highlight the value we have created to date through our seismic acquisition programme.
De Vos and Canada Win
New Town signing Jason De Vos captained Canada to a second 4-0 victory over Belize within four days as they progressed to the semi-final stages of CONCACAF's lengthy World Cup qualifying campaign.
De Vos played the full 90 minutes of the game - his 46th full cap - picking up a yellow card in the first half. Canada's goals came from Tomasz Radzinski, Dwayne De Rosario (2) and Jim Brennan.
Head coach and former Town defender Frank Yallop was pleased with the 8-0 aggregate victory: “Good to get through to the next round. With two very good results, we are looking forward to the semi-final round.”
Disturbed weather has medium chance of becoming tropical cyclone
An area of disturbed weather associated with a tropical wave near the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras became better organised on Sunday, with a medium chance of developing into a tropical cyclone.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, although this system is expected to move over Central America Sunday night, some development is possible if the disturbance emerges into the northwestern Caribbean Sea in a day or so.
This system has a medium chance -- 30 percent -- of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours. Regardless of development, heavy rains and gusty winds are likely over portions of Central America during the next couple of days.
Belize Food – Best Served at Street Food Stands
Belize, as of right now, is probably our favorite country. The beautiful weather, beaches, and people make it a place where I would consider moving to. However, the most fun we had was eating Local Belize Food at the tons of food stands that are as varied in food as they are in character.
Yes this is a Food stand and was a great spot for a quick morning coffee while looking for a place to get some breakfast.
How to Ditch a Vehicle in Belize: A Running Diary, Part I
After a whirlwind 72 hours last week that saw me leave home with my prized Jeep and return empty-handed, I figured the story deserved it’s own kind of post. So… welcome to my Belize-trip running diary! And yes, if you’ve ever read any of Bill Simmons’ running diaries over at Grantland.com, I’m not ashamed to say I totally “borrowed” the format from him. At the very least, I hope this gimmick makes for more interesting storytelling, as I’ll narrate it exactly as the event unfolded. On with the diary:
June 16, 2013
FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
Specials and Events
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
Manatee mortality rate on the rise
Manatees occur along the coast of Belize and have been studied for the past 16 years. Presently, an NGO, Sea-To-Shore Alliance along with its local partners conducts research which focuses on movements and ecology of the Antillean manatees. Over time, 161 manatees have been captured and approximately 40% of them have been tagged with a satellite and/or radio transmitter for tracking purposes.
Caye Caulker Village Council Chairperson Candidates provide answers at a peaceful forum
Islanders on Caye Caulker will be going to the polls on Sunday June 16th. While elections at the village level are a little different than town and national elections, a number of people have openly declared their intention to run as candidates. Five people will be running for the position of Chairman. Ahead of the elections, The San Pedro Sun newspaper, working in partnership with the Caye Caulker Village Council hosted a “Meet the Candidates Question and Answer Forum” on June 12th. The five candidates are Wayne Miller, Philip Errol Guizar, Mineli Young, Marcial Alamina III and Eduardo Arceo. The event was well attended and questions ranged from issues relating to tourism, development, infrastructure and roads, taxes, noise pollution, governance and even crime. Each candidate was allowed four minutes for an opening statement where they introduced themselves as well as the reasons why they are running for Village Council.
Misc Belizean Sources
San Pedro Sailing Club Lobsterfest National Regatta 2013
Come watch the young sailors of Belize battle it out on the water and enjoy a charity beach BBQ and presentations by ACES (a live crocodile) and Belize Shark Awareness (no live shark unfortunately)
Belize Football Telethon
Final Total for the Telethon: 115,079.84 Thank you Belize!
(Belize National Football Team)
SCNW Box Kart Race
The Santa Cruz Neighborhood Watch is having a Box Kart Race tomorrow at 10am at the Santa Cruz park. There's no fee to enter the race. This event will be for everyone, so bring the family out for some fun and games. Call 600-8947 for more information.
ROWKIDS in San Antonio
Feelgood news of the day. Rowkids has been in Cayo a lot lately, and in San Antonio, they've just finished building new restrooms for the primary school students, and installing a new Safe Water system there to provide safe drinking water. Thanks, Rowkids!
"Great team of Servents from New Life Church as they workedin San Antonio Belize. Finishing 6 restrooms and and installing electric in the Safe Water Building. They worked hard and played hard. Showing Christ's live. More pictures to come so keep checking back."
"Pictures of the 6 new bathroom that Wright Christian Acadamy from Tulsa Ok. helped build in May 2013. Huge blessing for the 165 Student at this primary school. Great job Wright Christian!"
SHC's Future Bus Stop
Sacred Heart College is getting a new bus stop. There will be a big area for buses to pull in so they can load and unload students safely. This will also stop there from being any traffic backups because the buses won't be stopping in the middle of the road anymore. Congratulations, SHC!
"SHC is getting a bus stop, which will be safer for the students, and will ease up on traffic since the buses won't stop in the middle of the road, like idiots. Looking great so far, and they are moving quickly."
Fuego Bar and Grill Opens
The Fuego Bar and Grill has officially opened. They opened on Tuesday night, to much fanfare. They have a beautiful place at the Cayo Welcome Center. They open at 4:00pm Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Churches Oppose Gay Pageant
Yesterday the Association of Evangelical Churches and Evangelical Missions from Orange Walk sent out a press release stating their opposition against a gay pageant that was planned to be held on June 29th. In the release the association claims the event violates the principles and moral values of the majority of Orange Walk residents and at the same time promotes the lifestyle of the homosexual community. We spoke with the organizer of the event, Marcos, who told us that at no point their agenda was to “pervert” the Orange Walk community.
ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING
“Well for now we are just basically standing back and allowing the churches to do what they have to do; we don’t want a conflict with the churches, we are not people to cause violence or anything like that. This is just solely a private event and we will keep it like that; all our guests are registered and we will give the churches the opportunity to do what they have to do and when they are done, we will just continue with our private event..”
“Are you guys are planning on moving the event from that place to go somewhere more private?”
“We are still meeting with our partners at this moment but that is a possibility. We don’t want to be confrontational with any of the church members and also the safety of my guests and the people attending, that is very important to us. So, for that reason we are thinking about making some changes from the current location.”
“This not the first time you guys are holding this type of event; now they are calling it a homosexual pageant how you would describe it?”
“I would describe it as an entertainment for people of our interest; there is no way possible that our agenda is to pervert the society. All the guests that are attending are people of our kind; people that share similar interest and it is not a public event and it is very private and positive, for that matter. So, our intension is just simply entertainment for our group and people of our kind.”
“You are saying, ‘people of our kind’ what do you mean by that?”
“Well by that I mean the LGBT; the gays, bisexual and stuff like that; people that share similar interest.”
The organizers have postponed the event and are planning to move the venue for the pageant.
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Tracie Young for Councilor
Tracie Young shares some of her views with you and asks for your support on Sunday.
Eduardo Arceo’s Message to the Islanders
Village Council elections are set for Sunday!
Village Council elections on the island of Caye Caulker are set for Sunday, June 16th.
Five candidates are vying for the post of Chairman, while at least fifteen people have thrown their hat into the ring for the six councilor positions.
There are two full slates that have been presented. The remaining candidates are all running as independents.
Lobster season opens today
Lobster season opens today.
The opening of the season heralds the coming of the yearly Lobster Fest.
The season runs for 8 continuous months, after which it closes for 4 so that the lobsters can reproduce.
The village of Caye Caulker, long before it was discovered by tourists, was a fishing village whose main catch was lobster.
The first and largest fishing cooperative in the country of Belize was started here on Caye Caulker, and is still in existence today.
Melting and loving the new taco cam view
It is a totally melty day out there, unless you are lucky enough to be in air conditioned places today, be prepared for your showers to feel like they lasted 3 minutes if that.
Loving our new live streaming resort cam view from Grand Caribe go to taco cam page to check it out. For those of you who cannot make it, we will be broadcasting Lobstermainia 2013 at Cowboy’s pool bar live so you can still join the fun. I am sure a few of you will be adding San Pedro Lobster Festival 2014 to your travel list while you watch.
Going to go take a break and rest up for the opening night party tonight at El Divino. This years menu: Lobster Sushi Roll, Tropical Lobster and Key Lime Pie price $50 BZD.
Will add a few pics of last night’s boxing match in central park and a short video clip to this post asap.
Go Girls Go! Chaa Creek likes the “Girls Fly” Initiative
Every now and then something comes along through the bush telegraph that grabs our attention and makes the day a little bit brighter.
This time it’s a report that that Belize’s First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow is behind an interesting initiative that kicks off with an exciting event this month.
Word is that over ten thousand Belizean girls are expected to become involved in “Girls Fly” a motivational program designed to help young women realise their dreams by believing in themselves and others.
Led by Gael Sylvia Pullen, a businesswoman, media host and speaker from the US, the effort also involves the very inspirational Ms Simplis Barrow and Dr Carol Babb, the Deputy Chief Education Officer from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and sounds like a very worthy endeavour.
The three women met with the local media on June 10 and described Girls Fly as an inspirational week of motivational talks and activities, beginning June 24, for Belizean girls and women.
Ms Sylvia Pullen said the idea is for, “…girls and women from the local community to have an experience that empowers them into believing into their dreams, to understand the power of their dreams and to celebrate them”
The Good and Bad of Feeding Lionfish to Other Marine Life
The invasion of lionfish into areas of the world where they are not natively found has become a huge problem in the marine world. Lionfish were typically only found in warm regions of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and thirty years ago, there were no sightings of lionfish in Atlantic waters off of the coast of the USA.
However, over the last ten years or so, they have become more and more common in areas like North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Bermuda and Belize, and have even been identified as far north as New York.
Why Is The Lionfish Invasion A Bad Thing?
The lionfish invasion is problematic for several reasons. For example:
Lionfish are voracious eaters. They herd juvenile reef fish and feast on them, their stomachs able to stretch to three times their original size as they gorge, and the stomach contents of dead lionfish have shown that not only do they eat lots of juvenile fish, but they also favour a lot of different species. Reef fish are key factors in keeping a reef clean. If there are no more fish to eat the algae on the reefs the reefs will die and this will have catastrophic consequences.
Lionfish have no natural predators in these areas.
They breed prolifically all year round.
Drinks for Dieters
Ok folks. Time to get a post on having fun while trying to be healthy. Here are a few things to help you on your way….
While alcohol is fat-free and low in carbs, it’s important to remember that it’s the calories that count when it comes to weight management. As you know, alcohol and dieting don’t mix well—your body processes alcohol first, leaving carbohydrates and fats to get stored as fat instead of getting used as fuel.
June 15, 2013
FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
Specials and Events
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
Silly for Sliders
We all have things that we look forward to throughout the year. Maybe it’s a holiday or celebrating your birthday that you eagerly anticipate each year, or maybe it’s a favorite season or event? Some could say they live for the opening season of baseball while others can’t wait for mangos to ripen on the tree. Whatever the occasion may be, you find yourself counting the days, hours and minutes until the long awaited day has arrived. Gushing with embarrassing enthusiasm you find yourself acting like a kid on Christmas morning or the birthday girl who finally got her pony, your zeal and excitement is off the charts.
One such occasion that has me salivating in anticipation each year is the opening of lobster season on June 15th. Of course this means bring on the grilled lobster, the stewed and stirred and baked and broiled lobster…all a delicious treat, but you can have them…because I will be waiting on the doorstep at Casa Picasso on the evening of June 15th waiting for LOBSTER SLIDERS!
Prom 2013 – SPHS Graduates get Glam!
Thursday June 13th was a highly anticipated night, as San Pedro High School (SPHS) graduates had the opportunity to dress up for that most glamorous of occasions: Prom Night! As always, a crowd awaited the arrival of the couples, dressed to impress, as they walked the red/purple carpet heading to their party station at El Divino at Banana Beach Resort. Below is a gallery of some of the evening’s looks.
Matachica launches San Pedro Day Camp
Just in time for the summer holidays, Matachica Resort and Spa is pleased to announce the launch of San Pedro Day Camp. After identifying a need for summer activities for Belizean children, Nicholas Lighter, son of Daniel Lighter, owner of both properties, established a brand new summer program, San Pedro Day Camp.
Nicholas and four of his Montreal-based classmates have banded together to fundraise and organize San Pedro Day Camp, a nonprofit summer camp that will offer fun outdoor activities to local children to enjoy the summer months with friends. The camp will offer daily activities such as swimming, soccer, football, volleyball, dodge ball, beach games, treasure hunts, snorkeling, board games, and arts & crafts.
Based at Isla Bonita Elementary School, San Pedro Day Camp will host 50 children each week throughout July. As a result of their fundraising efforts in Canada, Nicholas and his team are able to cover all expenses for the program, including free camp T-shirts, daily snacks, games, sports equipment and arts & crafts supplies. Each child will be able to enjoy the fun of summer camp without any costs to their families.
An overview of the national PSE results
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports officially released the Primary School Examination (PSE) results late on Friday June 7th, and one student from Ambergris Caye is amongst the highest in the country. 13 year-old Jennessa Sierra of San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC) came in second in the entire country from amongst 7,359 students who sat the exams. She tied with two other students from the Cayo District. According to Miriam Pott Codd, the Education Officer for Belize Rural South, of the 197 registered students, 192 sat the exam on two separate dates earlier this year. Sierra did not only capture the highest in both her school and on the island, but tied with Nelson Esteban and Vicente Hulse of Saint Andrews Anglican School in the Cayo District for second place countrywide. She obtained a total of 386 points of a possible 400 points. A few minutes after receiving the good news at her home, an overjoyed Sierra spoke to The San Pedro Sun. “It feels great and I am amazed. I knew that if I put my all I would do good. I didn’t expect to do so well!” she said. “I want to thank my parents, teachers, friends and everyone who helped me.” Sierra added, “This means a lot to me and I don’t have words to describe how I feel.” She plans to attend San Pedro High School (SPHS).
Belize in Cover of National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine June/July Issue
National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine June/July issue features Belize’s Turtle Inn on its cover. The magazine features the World’s Best Eco-lodges where it highlights 25 spots to sleep in the wild. Here is what National Georgrphic wrote about Belize’s Turtle Inn:
A Night In Dubai Themed Prom for San Pedro High
San Pedro High School Prom Night has become a spectator’s sport on Ambergris Caye as hundreds flocked to the street outside of Banana Beach Resort, prom venue, to marvel at the beautiful dresses and suits worn by the senior class of 2013.
This year’s prom theme was “A Night in Dubai” and was held at El Divino Restaurant on Thursday, June 13, 2013.
Misc Belizean Sources
“Biggest Ever” Lobster Fest Kicks Off in Belize
This year’s series of Lobster Fests celebrated along Belize’s Caribbean coast and cayes is set to become the biggest yet, with three main festivals taking up most of the month of, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s food and beverage manager.
“The Lobster Fests have always been something people all over Belize look forward to, and as more and more travellers discovered Belize, the seasonal parties began growing from small local celebrations to major events.” Ms Fleming Bradley explained, “And this year, judging from the number of enquiries we’ve had, we’ll be seeing the fests biggest yet,” she added.
Originally held in fishing villages to celebrate the opening of lobster season in June, the lobster fests would welcome in the first catches of the season and the long awaited return of income for many of the villages’ inhabitants. Musical groups would arrive and along with conspicuous consumption of seafood and drinks there would be dances and beachside barbeques.
Caribbean fisheries experts attend 9th CRFM Scientific Meeting
National and regional fish experts from across the Caribbean are meeting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines this week for the 9th Annual Scientific Meeting, organised and sponsored by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM).
The group—which is meeting in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines this week, until Friday, June 14—is currently engaged in working group meetings to conduct scientific data analyses for providing advice to the region’s fishery managers, to review fisheries management progress and ongoing challenges, and to identify priorities for advancing statistical and other scientific approaches required to support new and emerging management needs of major fisheries within the CRFM membership and the Wider Caribbean.
During this 9th Annual Scientific Meeting, national fisheries reports from CRFM member states—which provide details on production data and the fishing fleet—are also being presented.
Catwalk in the Jungle Models
The Catwalk in the Jungle Fashion Show is tonight at the Cayo Welcome Center. It starts at 7:00pm. Emmanuel Mangar will be performing during the event. A portion of the proceeds from the event will got to a feeding program to support families with children who are unable to provide nutritious meals for the kids.
Commemorating our Fishermen – 18th Annual Lobster Festival!
Caye Caulker’s biggest annual event, Lobster Fest is just one week away! We are anticipating another exciting weekend celebration commencing with the Miss Lobster Fest Pageant Friday evening at 7pm and ending with the beach party on Sunday, June 30. As the official lobster season opens today, June 15, fishermen will set their lobster traps and get ready to reel in the bountiful catch and so we mustn’t forget why we celebrate: “to commemorate all the fishermen who have made Caye Caulker what it is today.” Caye Caulker began as a fishing village, with lobster as its main catch. Today fishermen observe conservation policies which regulate their catch. The length of the lobster’s tail must weigh over four ounces or the cape length/carapace must exceed three inches. The lobster season ends in mid-February, 2014.
As we kick off the new lobster season during next week’s Lobster Fest, we can expect an array of lobster dishes, fourteen food booths, a live band, local DJs and eight other booths including The Fisheries Department, Wildlife Conservation, and the Belize Shark Project. Contests including the “biggest-lobster” contest and perhaps another “greasy pole climb” contest will also highlight the weekend. This highly sought out annual event is a celebration for the entire family –the young and the young at heart and we encourage those who miss the island to visit next week, or to simply visit our Facebook page for a mini play-by-play of Lobster Fest 2013. Let the celebration begin!
Belizean Student Dies In Taiwan Cycle Accident
Tonight a family in the Cayo district is making preparations to bring their loved one home – after Clarencio Coc died in Taiwan where the 26 year old was on an academic scholarship.
According to reports posted by Belizean students in Taiwan on Facebook, last night in Pingtung, Taiwan, Coc was on the back of a motor scooter driven by a Guatemalan student, Mervin Hernandez when it was hit by an out of control car.
Hernandez was reportedly crushed under the car while Coc flew into a ditch. It was in a heavy rain, so he was reportedly carried downstream – and rescuers took some time to find his body. But by the time they did, he had already drowned.
The accident is reported to have happened near the entrance to their school, the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology.
Convicted Quadruple Murderers Denied By Appeals Court
You probably remember convicted quadruple murderers Leslie Pipersburg and Patrick Robateau. In March 2004, they were convicted of killing security guards Kevin Alvarez and Fidel Mai and civilians David Flores and Cherry Tucker after a robbery of Bowen and Bowen in July of 2002.
They appealed that conviction at the Privy Council, and in February of 2008, the court quashed it and set aside their death sentences.
They were granted a retrial, which took place in April of 2011, where they were convicted a second time, and sentenced to life in prison.
Well, they weren’t satisfied with that, so they filed an appeal which was heard today at the Court of Appeal.
Attorney Simeon Sampson presented the court with one main ground on behalf of his client Patrick Robateau. After the session 7News discussed it with him outside of court, and here’s how he explained it:
Simeon Sampson - Attorney for Patrick Robateau
"Robateau was intercepted in Mexico, apparently in flight and he was taken by the Mexican authorities to our Belize Embassy in Mexico City where he was met by Mr. Figueroa, our Ambassador at the time, and the case for the prosecution - not the trial - was that when the Ambassador was apparently investigating this matter, it was back and forth with the Belize authorities and so forth.
Belizean Detained In Cuba With Chinese Passports
Tonight, a Belizean man is detained by authorities in Cuba after he tried to get into that country while carrying two Chinese Passports. 7news has learned that he is 28 year old Carlos Murga who was intercepted flying into the Jose Marti Airport in Havana Cuba over last weekend. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belize has confirmed through a spokesperson that the Belize Embassy in Cuba is aware of his detention and is assisting him as they would any Belizean detained by a foreign authority.
Now, a case like this points immediately to the possibility of human smuggling and visa fraud – and in previous cases Cuba has been known as a gateway for this type of illicit activity. Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse confirmed today that his ministry is aware of the case and is quote, “gathering information so that it can get a clear picture of what has taken place.”
Hon. Briceno Defends Fortis
Former PUP Leader John Briceno is making news tonight after a thousand word letter he wrote to a US Newspaper was used as an advertisement by Fortis in New York Newspapers.
You’ll recall that Fortis used to own BEL and still owns BECOL. Well, now Fortis is trying to purchase an electric company in the Central Hudson Valley in New York State and must appear before the New York Public Service Commission to prove their worthiness. Opponents of the FORTIS in the US have enlisted the support of conservationists in Belize – and Fortis, it seems has enlisted Briceno.
His letter is in response to a newspaper commentary published in the US by Robert Kennedy, Jr. in which he said that Fortis has a deceitful past and pointed to its track record in Belize when the Chalillo Dam was built in 2003 – when Briceno was Minister of Natural resources.
An Educational Legend Retires
Today was the last day of the 2012-2013 high school year at Wesley College in Belize City, and it was also the last day for Brenda Armstrong as the school’s principal.
She’s a career educator had an institution-defining tenure of 24 years as the school’s leader, but she’s decided that it is time for her to retire from the teaching profession. But after so many years, one just doesn’t end a profession without a major disruption in routine and lifestyle. So 7News caught up with her today where she discussed the decision.
She also told us about the hundreds of Belizeans she’s influenced, and how her final class gave her a grand send-off yesterday:
Brenda Armstrong - Outgoing Principal, Wesley College
"That going away session was really a heart-warming experience, 24 years as a school leader is not a short time and it doesn't hit you until you actually are in the position of having somebody read a citation for you, or write a poem for you, sing a song and all of that was done by my students and they really made me feel very appreciated. In fact it was called Appreciation Day and it made me realize that I have touched the lives of a lot of people.
FFB Needs Half Mil
Tomorrow will make exactly 2 weeks since Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Barrow held the Inspiration Telethon to raise half a million dollars for the Inspiration Center.
And now the Football Federation of Belize is hoping the public is still inspired to give them – half a million for their historic run to the Gold Cup.
They’re asking each Belizean to donate at least 1 dollar to fund the National Team’s first appearance in the Cup, which will be played next month in the US.
They’ve organized their own Telethon, which happens tomorrow, and this evening, 7News spoke to a representative of the FFB, who explained how it will work:
Marlon Kuylen - Executive Member, FFB "Well we're hoping that the Belizean citizens continue to display the patriotism that they have or they did when we were playing in Costa Rica. We can only do as good as our funds allow us to. Right now that the team is in full camp which means 4-5 days they'll be at the federation, it's costing us around $13,000 a week. We have to train in the Mountain Pine Ridge because of the altitude in Salt Lake City where we will play Costa Rica so the players need to do that kind of training to get used to it. Then again there's the diet, a special diet that they have to abide by and if we don't get the funding, something will have to suffer."
Marin On Mute But Popular At The Polls
Health Minister Pablo Marin is probably the only politician in recent memory who’s made news by not saying anything. Marin appeared front and center at a press conference two weeks ago to discuss the 13 babies that died in the pediatric intensive care unit. But he was the only one at the head table who didn’t say anything. Now, to put it kindly, he is not a man known for his oratorical skills – and it was a heated event, so we could kind of understand his role there as a mute placeholder.
But others have taken exception to it – and now are taking further exception because at his press conference this week – the PM basically said, it’s ok if the Honourable Marin keeps quiet, because he wins elections. Here’s what the PM said, and what the Leader of the Opposition had to say in response:..
Reporter "This is your Minister of Health and he does not say a word - I don't know if he was not allowed to speak or he chose not to speak."
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "You know I was at that press conference and I'm doing a press conference and there's three Ministers, four Ministers here - it's good to welcome Santi back after his accident - and they don't speak.
UDP Claiming Village Victories, PUP Playing The Romantic
And while Fonseca took issue with Barrow’s explanation about Marin’s popular successes as a fair trade for his press conference quietude – the background issue is that success at the village council polls.
We are loathe to get into village council politics, because the slates do not run under PUP or UDP colours and to know who’s running for which party, you’d really have to know the village personalities.
But it’s made it to the news tonight because– and with just a week left to go, the UDP is boasting that it has made impressive gains in the number of village councils it controls. Those gains have been largely in the Belize District Stann Creek districts while the PUP has made gains in the Toledo District. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister boasted that the UDP has increased its hold on village seats by 10% since the last round of council elections in 2010 which would mean that in 2013, Francis Fonseca’s PUP is faring off worse than John Briceno’s did in 2010. Here are the comments of both political leaders:…
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"This Sunday is the last Sunday in the 2013th Village Council election. Every single Sunday the UDP has been recording massive victories, we're now at a point where we're at 67.7% of the seats we have won. In 2010 we won 54."
Seeking Community Healing
For as many problems as there are on the southside of Belize City – there are thinkers with solutions – some say a curfew will help, others say poverty alleviation, some say more community policing. But having an opinion is easy, it’s doing the work that’s the tough part. And that’s why Perry Sticks Smith stands out; he’s planning his second day of healing for this weekend at the Albert Hoy Field on Raccoon street. What’s a day of healing? Well it started early this year in the George Street community after the Dean Street Massacre. Sticks plugged into that effort and used it as a model which he’s now taking to the Queen Square and Mesopotamia Divisions. He explained:….
Perry Smith, AKA Sticks - Care-taker, Dubu Field "All those days of healing started from Dean street from the tragic quadruple murder that took place. That community saw that they needed to rebuild their morale, build back up their spirit and show that they aren't like what everybody thinks they are. I was out there and I saw that it is beautiful that it sparked form a tragedy but it was something beautiful that needs to be taken not only on Dean Street because other communities are suffering just like how Dean St. is suffering. In the Lake Constituency, right at St. Martin's we had the second day of healing in April and during that day of healing - Ptita came to me and told me he is with me and wanted to work and that he had a community that we needed to 'buss' next, and that was Dubu Field."
The Garifuna Collective Taking Up Andy’s Torch
The Garifuna Collective is going on a major, 25 stop North American tour with Canadian Folk Singer Denny Michel. The collective has collaborated with Michel on a few songs – and this video shows them rehearsing for the tour this week in San Pedro.
But the tour won’t just be collaboration, the Collective has its first album named Ayo – a word that means goodbye, a nod to the band leader they used to tour with, Andy Palacio. Now, the collective is forging out on its own with this new album – which will be released in July when they are on tour.
And while that album – produced by Ivan Duran – should be well received, Michel’s album with the collective has already been nominated for a Juno award – which is the like the Canadian Grammy’s.
Concert for The Youths
Tomorrow, the Institute of Creative Arts is organizing a concert for the youths as part of the schedule for this year’s Festival of the Arts. It is part of ICA’s effort to use the arts as an avenue of outreach to Belizean youths and they’ve put together a line-up of big name Belizean artists. The Creative Arts Development Officer explained more about the show:
Joseph 'Stamp' Romero - Creative Arts Development Officer ICA
"As we move to finish the Fesitval of Arts calendar we have a huge concert planned for the youths, it's one of those concerts where we allow the arist to give back to their community. A lot of our recent artists are just proud to be a part of this event, this is another event where they can say they are a part of something huge, something that helps develop the young people artistically. So people can come out and see Nello Player, Jackie Castillo, Jenko, Ernestine Carballo, Denise Castillo, Belize Generation Dance Company, TR Shine just to name a few so we have a really great line up of artist who just basically said yes to the idea to doing a concert just for the young people."
"Ok so tell us what exactly are you guys hoping to accomplish?"
Joseph 'Stamp' Romero
"Well we have one featured act, Marlen Vancin, from E.P York he's one of the young artist that I've seen that shows a great deal of promise and so tomorrow she's featured with these bigger acts.
Tony Wright Wants Kids To Feel Fathers Day
Sunday is father’s day and Promoter and Musician Tony Wright is organizing his fifth annual Father’s Day Song Competition and Concert. But this year, there’s a change. He recruited the involvement of the Ministry of Education and gotten high schoolers to participate. The rule is they have to write inspiring songs about fathers – which they’ll perform with a band. Wright explained:..
Tony Wright - Promoter, Father's Day Concert
"First it started with mothers and we didn't have any problem with that but we definitely thought that Dad needed some love also. We have a lot of dads out there that put out their all for their children and so it's all about Dad and we wanted them to write lyrical content concerning Dads. We didn't want anything with 'deadbeat dad' we wanted something with upliftment with Dad. They will have a variety of music, some will sing reggae, some will sing rap and some will do punta so it's a variety of different music." ‘
The concert will be on Saturday night at 7:30 at the Bliss Center.
The first place winner will win a thousand dollars – plus get a thousand dollar scholarship.
RDX in BZE
They are one of the hottest dancehall groups in the Caribbean with hit songs like Jump and Kotch – and tonight RDX is in town to perform at a weekend concert. The group who has been touring in Europe this year landed in the jewel this afternoon and one of their first stops was here at 7news.
Renigade - RDX
"First and foremost I'd like to just say that it's a pleasure being here, it's coming to you all shortly. I want to big up all the Belizeans here at home and abroad and RDX is here. It's a good feeling. This place hot though and they said it will be hotter tomorrow night."
"You guys just touched down?"
Delomar - RDX
"Yes we just touched down and as Renegade just said it's a wonderful vibe. The second time around and that time we were like in the country area and now we're in town. We're ready to mash up the town."
Is G.O.B.’s $30 Million tax assessment of BISL lawful?
The government took control of the Belize International Services Limited (B.I.S.L.) and nationalized the International Business Companies Registry (I.B.C.R.) and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) on Tuesday, [...]
Teachers’ Union meets to respond to Education Minister’s verbal assault
The international business community is not the only sector that is taking a hit from G.O.B. The Belize National Teachers Union (B.N.T.U.) is considering its next move after Minister of [...]
OCEANA says G.O.B. refuses to accept ruling of court
The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities it’s in its own battle with OCEANA Belize. On Thursday, the ministry sent out a release responding to a recent [...]
But how does G.O.B. continue to defy court orders?
The ministry has also proceeded to issue maps indicating areas currently being held by various companies, including Princess Petroleum and Providence Belize Energy, for oil exploration. The Petroleum and Geology [...]
Belizean student killed in accident in Taiwan
A Belizean studying in Taiwan has passed away. Clarencio Coc has been studying Plant Health at the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology in southern Taiwan since 2010. According [...]
How do P.S.E. students fare in Social Studies and Science
By now you are aware that the seven thousand five hundred and thirty-three students that took the Primary School Examination did not perform well in English and Math. The Ministry [...]
Coalition says teachers won’t get raise on G.O.B.’s schedule
The potential of a commercial oil find by Maranco Energy Belize Limited in northwestern Orange Walk was used by Prime Minister Barrow much like a dangling carrot back in April, [...]
But Maranco’s Production Sharing Agreement is favorable to G.O.B.
The report was generated using cost data from BNE’s Spanish Lookout oil field, the existing terms of Maranco’s production sharing agreement, as well as corporate tax. The Production Sharing Agreement, [...]
Senior citizen busted by his wife for marrying another woman
Crime in Belize is typically categorized by murder, assault, carnal knowledge, robbery and burglary… So it is rare when a case falls out of those categories. But a senior citizen [...]
Murder suspect on the run with his son
An all points bulletin, issued for the apprehension of Sergio Moran, whom it is strongly believed brutally killed his wife on Wednesday in Caye Caulker, remains in effect tonight. Moran [...]
Duo loses appeal and remains convicted of robbery/murder
Twice convicted multiple murderers Patrick Robateau and Leslie Pipersburgh were in the Court of Appeal, just one of the their many stops during a legal process which has gone from [...]
1 year anniversary of Jasmine Lowe’s murder
When thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe disappeared in June, 2012, the nation joined her parents in fear, and Cayo residents combed the land for clues. The murdered teen’s death changed [...]
They robbed him, but court gave him bail
Two Belize City men were today charged for a robbery of an Orange Walk businessman in the court of Magistrate Adolph Lucas. The duo, twenty-eight year old Jaime Villanueva and [...]
Entire Maskall family hauled to court for marijuana charges
Also in court, four persons including two females, one a minor and the mother of a one month old newborn were in court today facing charges for drug trafficking. Earlier [...]
Tests show Cross Country cyclists rode drug free
Immediately following the 2013 annual cross country cycling classic held in late March, several cyclists were selected to take a mandatory anti-doping test of which Channel Five was one of [...]
Mayor dragged one more time to court to decided old city debt
The headlines and the country’s immediate future are both mired in court battles. The former managers of the registries and OCEANA Belize are not the only people taking on G.O.B. [...]
Taiwan gives scholarships to Belizean students
Earlier this year, in January, the Taiwanese Embassy held a scholarship briefing with students, teachers and principals from various educational institutions across the country. It was to provide information on [...]
Artist’s works are Contagious
Contagious…it is a new exhibit that is launching tonight at the Image Factory. Although presumed to be the works of several artists, it is in fact the artwork of nineteen [...]
Jeanelle Mencias writes September Celebrations Theme
The September celebrations are months away but the National Celebrations Commission held its 2013 competition for the theme. And earlier this week, the commission announced that this year’s theme is: [...]
Driver's License Fee Increases
If you drive a motor vehicle and you have to renew your driver’s license then you will have to pay an additional 20 dollars hereafter, no matter where you live. Today Belize City Mayor told Love News that it was a decision that came from the Ministries of Transport and Local Governmen...
Organizer of Gay Pageant Says Event Is Private
Yesterday the Association of Evangelical Churches and Evangelical Missions from Orange Walk sent out a press release stating their opposition against a gay pageant that was planned to be held on June 29th. In the release the association claims the event violates the principles and moral val...
Belize Prepares For A Special Father's Day Event
Father’s day will be internationally observed this weekend and in Belize there is preparation for a special event geared toward that special person and that is a song competition. The competition is being hosted by the Association for Belizean Artist First, which is an organization th...
Concerned Residents In Dangriga Discuss National Gender Policy
The Revised National Gender Policy has been in the forefront of controversy lately. As a result we have been reporting on various discussions led by different groups and organizations who oppose to some of its content, the latest being that of the Association of Churches and Evangelical Lea...
Scholarship Recipient Dies In Taiwan
A Belizean student has been confirmed dead following a traffic accident in Taiwan which occurred around 9:45 on Friday night in Taiwan which is sometime after 8:00 o’clock local time. He has been identified as twenty six year old Clarencio Coc of San Antonio Village in the Cayo Distri...
Possession of Sea Cucumber Deemed Illegal Shortly
The Belize Fisheries Department sent out a press release this morning informing all fishermen and the general public that in accordance with the law, no persons shall take, buy, sell or have in possession, export or attempt to export any sea cucumber after June 30th of this year. The Ministry of ...
Family of Eight Loses Home In Fire
A family of eight has been left homeless after a fire completely destroyed their houses in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “On Thursday, June 7 sometime around 6:15 Belmopan Police responded to information received that a house in the Salvapan Area in Panama...
Another Dismissal By The Belize Court of Appeals
An appeal by 27 year old Leroy Gomez, who was convicted of rape and robbery and was sentenced to 15 years for each offence, was dismissed today by Belize Court of Appeal. Gomez’ conviction and sentence were affirmed. Gomez’ attorney, Hubert Elrington, had appealed on five g...
Guilty Verdict Upheld For Convicted Murderers
Appeals by Leslie Pipersburgh and Patrick Robateau, who were convicted of two counts of murder and were sentenced to life imprisonment, were dismissed today by Belize court of Appeal. Their convictions and sentences were affirmed. The main ground of appeal for Pipersburgh was that there was no ev...
Sugar Factory Workers Receive Dividends Earlier Than Expected
LOVE NEWS understands that some 400 hourly paid BSI workers today received 30% of dividends owed to them by the sugar processing company before ASR acquired majority shares in October 2012. This represents approximately 1.5 million dollars. The workers received 50% upon the signing of ...
Weekend Graduation For University of Belize
Over four hundred students are expected to graduate from the University of Belize this weekend. Students who have successfully completed their course of studies will receive diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor and Certificate levels tomorrow at the Seventeenth Commencement Exercise at the U...
Elderly Citizen Sodomized In His Village
Unconfirmed information to Love News is that an elderly man of Armenia village was raped by two young men from the village. Our sources tell us the incident happened on Tuesday night as the elderly man was on his way home. We understand that in the process the...
Leader Of The Opposition Says There Was No Secret Agreement
In a lengthy press conference held in the old capital yesterday, the Prime Minister of Belize revealed the details of what he called a secret agreement made between Belize International Services Limited, (B.I.S.L.) and the Musa Administration. The agreement, which gave BISL and extension to operate for 10 years, was signed back in 2005 by then Prime Minister Said Musa and then Attorney-General Francis Fonseca. But according to the now Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, the Prime Minister is just finding an excuse to divert from the real issues affecting the country.
Honorable Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition
To the substantive issue of disagreement, it was a letter of agreement…this was an old agreement that dates back to 1993—some ten years before I became a member of parliament. But when this matter came up—and this is a matter that was discussed in cabinet and I recall that discussion quite clearly—it was a discussion about the performance of the company, how it had been doing and generally the discussion that was generated demonstrated that the company was doing well; it had served Belize well.
Who's To Blame For Bad Performance In PSE Results
This year, a total of seven thousand five hundred and thirty students sat the Primary School Examination which indicated a 5% increase over last year. This year’s results, which were released last week Friday, show that despite having top scorers in every district, there is nothing to applaud for when it comes to overall performance.
While subjects such as Science and Social Studies have steadily improved to satisfactory performance, Math and English continue to be the centre focus for most of the stakeholders in the education system. That was revealed today during a press conference held by the Ministry of Education in Belize City.
Christopher Aird, Chief Education Officer explained that English is one of the areas that needs urgent attention since half of the student body that sits the PSE, is scoring below performance.
Miscalculation Leads To Inconsistency In PSE Grades
Yesterday CTV3 News received several calls from irate parents stating that the Ministry of Education was retracting their child’s PSE scores because an error was committed with the calculation. Most of the calls were made by parents of students enrolled at Trail Farm Government School.
Every year the Ministry of Education releases two PSE reports. One is provided to the principal of each school and the second, an individual report, is made available to each student that sat the exam.
While both reports should enclose the same grades some schools have discovered that the grade of the student is either higher or lower showing a discrepancy on behalf of the Ministry of Education. This, we are made to understand, is taking place country wide and today when we questioned Minister of Education Patrick Faber about the situation, during a press conference held in Belize City, he was vague in his response.
No Need For Pablo To Apologize For Death Of 13 Infants
During yesterdays press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow fielded a number of questions from the media as he touched basis on a number of national issues including the KHMH scandal. The P.M mentioned that as it pertains to the death of 13 infants at the nation’s referral hospital back in March, the draft final report prepared by the Pan American Health Organization is looking to give a black eye to the KHMH. All indications are that as a result of the report, two persons are about to resign from their position at the hospital.
Now, all of that sounds good. But what shocked the nation yesterday was the response provided by the P.M when asked why the Minister of Health Pablo Marin did not address the nation on the issue during a press conference held at the KHMH back in May. In his response the Prime Minister beat his chest keeping to his motto that a party is all about winning elections. So, if the parents of the dead infants expect an apology from the Minister of Health, well, it’s best they wait sitting down.
Minister Of Education Lashes Out At BNTU
The main topic of discussion for today’s press conference held by the Ministry of Education was to discuss the 2013 PSE results. We’ll get to that in a few, but for now we’ll tell you that the overall results are not good. But who’s to blame? Apparently it is the teachers because today Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, lashed out at the Belize Teachers Union. The minister says that one of the reasons the results have not been able to improve is because the union has not given the Ministry its full support. The Belize National Teacher’s Union is the largest union in the country of Belize which provides a number of services for teachers and those in the education system. But according to the Minister, the union has been failing miserably which has taken its toll especially in the results of not only the PSE, but all other examinations that are conducted throughout the year. The lack of professionalism and proper ethics in the classroom spells failure, according to Faber.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
“It is absolutely amazing and I’ll go on a limb that teachers are saying that we want a salary adjustment of 30% when the government is saying we can’t afford it but then we have the same old results and there is no denying that teachers have a tremendous effect on what these results are and correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t hear the Union talking about how we can improve professionalization in the teaching service at all and I challenge them it is not a quarrel but a challenge I said before and I will do it again we want you to insist that teachers get more professional training.
Controversial Revised Gender Policy Is Here To Stay
The revised Gender Policy 2013 continues to gain major opposition from the religious sector. On June 7th Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with church leaders from Belmopan to discuss the contents and the language used in the policy, which according to church leaders, promotes homosexuality. But even after the meeting, the Prime Minister has categorically stated that the policy is here to stay. And he made that clear yesterday during his lengthy press conference in Belize City.
Dean Barrow Prime Minister of Belize
“To the extent that there is that paragraph that calls for diversity that is a matter of principle for the Government of Belize and cannot be reviled for, however as you know I have met with a number of church leaders last such meeting being on Friday I was accompanied in that meeting by ministers Godwin Hulse, John Saldivar and Lizell Alamilla and I reiterated my position I will not withdraw the gender policy but I have said repeatedly to the extent that there is terminology used to the extent that are wordings there are language formulations that are being misunderstood that are subject to misinterpretation the government is perfectly willing to sit with the churches and rework the language in order to put matter beyond any doubt, already there were three such formulation that were agreed that could be reworked that group was the representatives of the Belmopan pastors there is clearly a far larger body that they tell me will sent formal submission to government by way of brief being prepared by lawyers, we will look at that I thought we could work things out without the presence of the lawyers, you know when lawyers get into any equation that trouble and if they call for their lawyer I would have to call for my lawyers and I don’t think that is necessarily helpful but in any event suffice it to say that we made some progress on Friday against the backdrop of my insistence and I believe the acceptance on the part of churches that there would be no withdrawal of the policy.”
Education Is Everyone's Business
At the Ministry’s press conference today, the Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, highlighted a number of issues of utmost importance to the education system particularly the role every stakeholder plays. While the Minister stated that his Ministry has been carrying out its responsibilities with utmost attention and dedication, there is room for improvement.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
“I want to begin with the role of the school in terms of what can be done about these results and of course we implore schools to take ownership for their performance and for the quality of education that they deliver, that is a must. Self-evaluation and development of school improvement plans are key so I want to challenge all principals, you heard Mr Lopez say we are going to get deeply into the analysis of these results but we want you to study the trend after it is presented to you. The ministry has said to our schools, we want you to take ownership, we want you to be able to self-reflect and come up with your own solutions and not wait on the ministry to put in place a one size fits all approach you to help you fix the problem that exist in your school, so we want the school to do it part. Does the ministry have a role in dealing with these grades that we aren’t happy with? Yes we do. We examined this performance nationally and we used it as a basis for further informing of our policy decisions. We also wish to provide pressure and support for school to improve. The ministry is not to be in the classroom everyday monitoring teachers, and that is to say we are depending in our management and our principals to be doing that role but I will be getting into that role of what we expect of them in just a minute but it is to tell as well that the ministry sees as one of our responsibilities to be pressuring those and supporting those more importantly. It is not a fight we want to be supporting you to make sure that you are doing what you should be doing as to improve on the quality of education.”
High School Students Perform For Their Fathers
Father’s day will be internationally observed this weekend and in Belize there is preparation for a special event geared toward that special person and that is a song competition. The competition is being hosted by the Association for Belizean Artist First, which is an organization that aims at highlighting Belizean artists and music, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports and will feature songs in different genres done by students. Vice President of the Association is Jorge Ernesto Babb.
JORGE ERNESTO BABB
“In this competition we selected 10 finalists from 6 different high schools in Belize City because this competition is dealing directly with the students at the high schools because it is in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.”
“So what is your primary objective of having a father’s day song out there?”
“Well we have found out that in the past, most Belizeans only want to celebrate Mothers’ Day and have big ceremony for Mothers’ Day; so, five years ago we said better we attack the father’s day thing and just concentrate on this and put the dedication that the children today big up their fathers; because the fact is that many children say their fathers left them and went about their business; but that’s the reality of their character; I would say that is not our business but we want to unite them and have children sing for them because the reality is that if it wasn’t for our fathers we wouldn’t have been here and if it wasn’t for your mother you wouldn’t have been here and so it is both of them to unite as one and you need to big up two of them, no one is better than the other; 2 of them come as 1 because as the bible says leave your mother and father unite as 1.
National Gender Policy Still A Pressing Issue
The Revised National Gender Policy has been in the forefront of controversy lately. As a result we have been reporting on various discussions led by different groups and organizations who oppose to some of its content, the latest being that of the Association of Churches and Evangelical Leaders. A group in Dangriga is stating their dissatisfaction with the policy and will hold consultations on the matter. Here is Correspondent Harry Arzu with the details.
“A number of concerned citizens from Dangriga have organized a series of consultations for the residents of this municipality to discuss National Gender Policy. A community activist and one of the organizers of the events told Love News that influential organizations from this municipality were not consulted or involved in the drafting of the policy.”
“The objective of this community forum is to inform members of this community of the content of the revised National Gender Policy 2013 about things in this policy that could impact the lives of our children, morality and family life. The fact that all stakeholders were not consulted in the drafting of this policy speaks of the total disrespect for the views and opinion of all stakeholders.”
“Despite the fact that the Prime Minister said that he will not withdraw the policy, what is it that you intend to accomplish form the consultation?
“For the members of this community to decide where we desire to be taken; what we intend to achieve is to register the concerns of the attendees with intention to protest against this policy. I am inviting all parents, parents to be, guardians, teachers, youth and all others in between to join in the struggle for our children’s future.”
The first consultation to discuss the revised National Gender Policy takes place on Saturday, June 15 starting at 6pm at the Benguche Community Centre.”
Belizean Dies In Road Accident In Taiwan
A Belizean student has been confirmed dead following a traffic accident in Taiwan which occurred around 9:45 on Friday night in Taiwan which is sometime after 8:00 o’clock local time. He has been identified as twenty six year old Clarencio Coc of San Antonio Village in the Cayo District who was attending the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology and resided in Pingtung. Love News understands that Coc was travelling on a motor bike along with a Guatemalan student when they collided into a car. The Guatemalan, Melvin Hernandez died on the spot while Coc died while undergoing treatment at the hospital. Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, David Wu says there is still much more information to gather from the accident but he shared with us the information that the embassy has so far.
“About 11 o’clock this morning, we received a phone call from Taiwan telling us that there were two students, both of them were scholarship recipients, they were starting in Pingtung Technology University. At the time, we only knew that they were in a very serious car accident; their nationalities are Guatemalan and Belizean, the Belizean is Clarencio Coc. My embassy with Belize’s Foreign Ministry and also our Foreign Ministry and Belize’s embassy in Taipei, we are working very hard to get more details and get contact with the family. Now, we have the primary report from the University where Mr. Coc was starting. One of the lecturers told us unofficially that both students went to a party on Friday evening and on the way back to the university, they had a collision and the driver was the Guatemalan and he passed away; the Belizean student was seriously injured and rushed to the ICU but he passed away later. We have been trying to get in contact with Coc’s family; the information in his file at our embassy, it states that he was a scholarship recipient in 2010 and he only had one year left to become a graduate of the university. We really regret such tragic news and now, we are working with Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; his sister has already been notified and we are trying our best to see in what way we can help his family.”
Clarencio Coc is a former Food Processing Technician at the Tumul K’in Center of Learning. Wu says that a number of Belizean students will shortly leave to pursue new scholarship opportunities in Taiwan this year and he provided the following advice for the safety of students to pursue this educational venture.
Sea Cucumber Season Closes Soon
The Belize Fisheries Department sent out a press release this morning informing all fishermen and the general public that in accordance with the law, no persons shall take, buy, sell or have in possession, export or attempt to export any sea cucumber after June 30th of this year. The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development says that any person found in possession of sea cucumber after the 30th of June will be charged and prosecuted in a court of Law in accordance to the Fisheries Regulations.
Belmopan Fire Leaves Eight Homeless
A family of eight has been left homeless after a fire completely destroyed their houses in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports.
“On Thursday, June 7 sometime around 6:15 Belmopan Police responded to information received that a house in the Salvapan Area in Panama Street Extension, Belmopan was engulfed in flames. Upon arrival at the scene, they observed two wooden houses adjacent to each other with zinc roofing, one measuring 20 by 15 feet and the other measuring 12 by 12 feet along with the contents were completely destroyed by fire. Love News spoke to one of the owners of the house, Mrs. Yolanda Saki, 45-year-old, Belizean vegetable vendor of Panama Street who said that sometime around 6pm on the same date, her daughter 24-year-old, Jennifer Saki went to buy at a nearby grocery shop leaving Yolanda’s five grandchildren with her at home. Saki said it was very hot inside the house so she decided to go outside along with her grandchildren to sit down on some bags of sand. About ten minutes of sitting outside, she heard a loud pop like the sound of a gun coming from inside the house. She immediately ran inside the house and noticed that her house was on fire. Saki, along with her neighbors tried to extinguish the fire but was unable to do so. The value of the houses and items are yet to be ascertained. The cause of the fire is still unknown. Police investigation continues.
Love News understands that there was nothing the family could salvage from the fire and they were left empty handed. To help the family you can call 624-5684 or 666-6720.
Workers at Belize Sugar Industry Get Early Dividends
LOVE NEWS understands that some 400 hourly paid BSI workers today received 30% of dividends owed to them by the sugar processing company before ASR acquired majority shares in October 2012. This represents approximately 1.5 million dollars. The workers received 50% upon the signing of the subscription deal on October 2ndlast year. The agreement was that after the payment of 50% of money owed to them since 1998, nine months after BSI workers would receive 30% of the monies owed. That brings them to July 2, 2013; but it seems the money came before that date, which is not bad. The remaining 20% of that money is expected to be paid in April 2014; thus closing that chapter of dividends owed to the workers for almost 14 years. In March this year (2013) the company announced a three million dollar profit sharing among the entities that owned shares from BSI before majority shares were acquired by ASR. That amount was approximately 2.4 million dollars.
University of Belize Graduation Set For The Weekend
Over four hundred students are expected to graduate from the University of Belize this weekend. Students who have successfully completed their course of studies will receive diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor and Certificate levels tomorrow at the Seventeenth Commencement Exercise at the UB Central Campus in Belmopan. Of the four hundred and seventy one graduates, two hundred and ninety eight are females and one hundred and seventy three are males. The largest number of graduates totalling one hundred and fifty-three is from the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, followed by one hundred and thirty three from the Faculty of Education and Arts, one hundred and thirty two from the Faculty of Science and Technology and fifty three from the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health and Social Work. During the ceremony students will receive the official white, gold and purple honour chords recognizing those graduating with Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude respectively. There are forty three honour graduates. The President of UB, Dr. Cary Fraser, has extended congratulations to all graduates for their dedication, commitment and achievement saying quote “The University continues to play a significant role in nation building by educating and empowering future leaders to become decision makers who can create opportunities for Belizeans and chart the way for future generations.” End quote. The ceremony will kick off at 10:00 am and the feature address will be delivered by Guest speaker, Senator Godwin Hulse who is also the Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management.
Police Seeking Young Men Following Sodomy of An Elderly Man
Unconfirmed information to Love News is that an elderly man of Armenia village was raped by two young men from the village. Our sources tell us the incident happened on Tuesday night as the elderly man was on his way home. We understand that in the process the senior citizen received injuries and had to be taken to the hospital by a concerned villager. He is receiving treatment at the KHMH. In the meantime, residents of Armenia have expressed their concern over the incident as no one has been arrested. We understand the elderly man lives with is elderly wife. Police continue their investigation into this incident.
Patrick Faber says media gave wrong impression on PSE comments
Yesterday, after the Hon. Patrick Faber’s press conference, headlines for media outlets countrywide were less than flattering for the Minister in charge of education. And this morning, he called in on Rise and Shine to shed further light on some of the issues he addressed, issues he says were...
Belizean student in Taiwan involved in fatal traffic accident
A Belizean studying in Taiwan was involved in a fatal traffic accident. Clarencio Coc, originally from Cayo, was along with a Guatemalan student, going home from a party, when the motorcycle they were on crashed into another vehicle. The Guatemalan student, who was the driver of the cycle, was...
Francis Fonseca defends signing of the BISL agreement
Yesterday we gave you a rundown of the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca’s response to Prime Minister Dean Barrow calling him and former Prime Minister Said Musa out on Wednesday. The Prime Minister said in that Press conference that the two former Ministers signed a ‘secret’ agreement to...
Belize based company ordered to close
The National Post, which is a national Canadian based newspaper is reporting that Global Pharmacy Canada, which can be found online, is being ordered to close its Ontario Canada operations amid disclosure that it’s actually a Belize based company. According to the article, Global Pharmacy Canada advertise its “dedicated...
Fire in Belmopan leaves family homeless
Two houses were burnt to the ground last night in Belmopan on Panama Street in the Salva Pan area. It happened shortly after 6 o’clock. Owner of one of the homes, Yolanda Saki, says that her daughter had recently gone to a nearby store and left her five grandchildren...
Elderly man on life support after he is brutally beaten and sodomized
Disturbing reports reaching plus news is that an elderly man was beaten on Monday night and sodomized. Plus news has confirmed that the incident took place on Monday night in the Village of Armenia where the individual was socializing at a local bar. The elderly person was under the...
Opposition Leader says good leadership is needed in schools
Francis Fonseca is a former Minister of Education and presided in the early years of the Primary School Examination. Eleven years later with little change in the mean scores, Fonseca says it’s time for a serious look at the education sector. Hon. Francis Fonseca – Leader Of The Opposition:...
Orange Walk Mayor will not support transvestite pageant
Last night, we told you about a pageant for transvestite males that has been stirring controversy in the north. Pastors and other concerned citizens in Orange Walk are contesting the Ms. Gay Goddess Pageant, which sees male contestants from across the country. The show was slated for June 29th,...
Man in Southern Belize may face bigamy charge
A man in southern Belize may be facing a bigamy charge. Yesterday, a 67 year old housewife of the Magoon Area, visited the Punta Gorda Police Station and reported that her husband, whom she has been married to since 1997, wed another woman in May of this year. The...
Meet the Author Program honors Lawrence G Vernon
The Meet the Author Program, initiated by the National Heritage Library of Belize, honors Belizeans who have contributed to the literary output of the nation, and the latest author to be recognized is Lawrence G. Vernon. He joins the likes of Felicia Hernandez, His Excellency the Governor General of...
GLENFORD “BUCKET” BERMUDEZ, 42, WINS APPEAL AFTER 2 LAWYERS “FOUND NO LEGAL GROUNDS”
Appeal Court President Manuel Sosa said that “The jury was subjected to contradictory and confusing direction.”
Glenford “Bucket” Bermudez, the ex- BDF soldier who was convicted of fatally shooting his wife, Racquel Requeña Bermudez, 41, had his appeal allowed when he appeared unrepresented before the judges of the Court of Appeal.
It was alleged that on November 22, 2007, Bermudez ran his wife’s car off the Hattieville/Boom Road when she was heading to the Belize Central Prison. After the car ran into a ditch, Bermudez allegedly shot Requeña with a shotgun to her head, causing her death.
Bermudez then unsuccessfully attempted to end his own life by tying a piece of wire around his neck and attempting to hang himself from a tree.
Bermudez was convicted of the murder on April 27, 2011, and was sentenced to life in prison by Justice Herbert Lord.
KEON “GAMBIS” WILLIAMS, 35, ACQUITTED OF UNNATURAL CRIME AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CHARGES
The male victim, now 17, told the court that he lied to police in his statement.
Keon “Gambis” Williams, 35, walked out of court a free man after Justice Adolph Lucas, Sr., instructed the jury to find him not guilty. This came about after the first witness, the now 17-year-old victim of the alleged unnatural crime and aggravated assault, took the stand and told the court that his mother made him give the report to police.
He also told the court that he wants to drop the case and what he told the police in his statement was a lie. When asked by the Crown’s representative, Kaysha Grant, if he was threatened or promised anything to make such a statement to the court, the minor replied no.
According to police, the child and his mother went to the police station and reported that sometime in November of 2009, the child, then 14, was at the BTL Park on Albert Street when he was approached by Gambis, whom he had known for three years. Gambis told him to take off his pants, after which Gambis turned him around and had anal sex with him.
GUAT DAD KILLS WIFE, FLEES WITH SON, 9
A 28-year-old mother, Julia Moran, of the Black Neighborhood of Caye Caulker, was viciously killed and mutilated in her home, and her husband, Sergio Moran, has since absconded, taking their 9-year-old son with him.
The incident occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12.
Moran lived upstairs of a house that was one of four houses in the yard of a “Ms. Paula,” her landlady. Her neighbours told police that they heard “noise and ruction” at about 12:30 Wednesday morning when Moran’s husband, who is a chef at Roses Restaurant, came home.
According to Moran’s neighbours, they heard her husband knock on the door, but there was no answer, and the door was not opened. The husband, they said, then kicked open the door and went in, and an altercation with his wife began.
The neighbours said that after about 45 minutes, they heard him threaten his wife with violence, and they heard her say, “Don’t do it Sergio,” and then there was silence.
2 STABBED IN ORANGE WALK; 1 ASSAILANT REMANDED
Two men, who were stabbed in two separate incidents on Saturday, June 8, in Orange Walk, are now being treated for their injuries at the Orange Walk Hospital. The victims are Misael Valdez, 18, of Trial Farm, who is in a serious condition, and Irvin Cantun, 28, of San Jose Palmar, who is in a critical condition.
Valdez suffered stab injuries to his chest and neck, while Cantun was stabbed in his neck, chest, and stomach.
Alejandro Itzab, 40, a Belizean laborer of San Jose Palmar Village in Orange Walk, has been charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm in connection with the stabbing of Cantun. He was taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Tuesday, where he was remanded at the Belize Central Prison until August 8, when he is to be returned to court.
2 ACCUSED MURDERERS CAPTURED
The second of two vicious Cayo criminals who had terrorized the districts has been captured, and they are both locked away at the Belize Central Prison on charges of aggravated burglary, murder, armed robbery and other violent offences. They have been remanded to prison until August 8.
Police said that the men, identified as Marvin “Bamboo” Neal, 25, of San Ignacio and Jerod “Steel Bab” Arthurs Lamb, 27, were the killers who went into the home of Steven Valencia in Santa Elena Town on Tuesday, January 29, and killed him in front of his two children, ages 4 and 7, and robbed him of $7, which was the only money found in Valencia’s house after they ransacked it. Valencia was shot once in the center of the upper back, in the right thigh and in the ankle.
Police also contend that on Tuesday, April 16, the same two killers went into the home of a woman in Rumors Resort on the Benque Viejo Road, Cayo District, where they beat and choked her, tied her up and left her to die in her laundry room. They then went into her home, from which they stole various items, then got away.
265-GRAM WEED BUST ON SANTA CRUZ ROAD
The “weedist” walked into the hands of policemen on mobile patrol.
San Ignacio police have labeled a bag containing 265 grams of marijuana as an exhibit, to be used as evidence against a man who was found with the drug and was arrested and charged with drug trafficking.
Police say that about 2:15 a.m. Saturday, June 8, on Santa Cruz Road in Santa Elena, Cayo, while they were on mobile patrol, they saw a man of Hispanic descent dressed in a white T- shirt walking down the road. The officers reported that upon seeing the police vehicle, the man threw a black plastic bag into the bushes to the side of the road and continued walking towards the vehicle.
Police immediately stopped him and took him back to the area where he threw the bag, and retrieved it. They said that in his presence, they opened the bag and found that ganja was in it.
DANGRIGA SPORTS STATS
Interoffice basketball finals:
The Finals of the Dangriga Town Council Interoffice Basketball Tournament were held last Friday at the Why-Not Island. Third place went to Belize Bank. First place went to Police, as they defeated Digicell-4G to gain the championship.
Father’s Day Over-40 cycling:
This Sunday, there will be a big Over-40 cycle race in conjunction with Father’s Day. The Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association will be hosting its second Annual Over-40 Male Cycle Race, starting from Waruguma Shed on Ecumenical Drive at 10:30 a.m. and head to Silk Grass Village and back, with one lap around Dangriga Town and finish in front of Family City Supermarket. Registration per rider is only $5.00. First place $300.00; second $200.00; third $100.00. Station prizes will be provided for both going and coming. For more information, riders can contact Mr. Peter Morgan or Moses Lopez at 625-4022.
Primary school volleyball:
According to results from yesterday at the Why-Not Island in the Stann Creek District Sports Council Primary Schools Volleyball Regional tournament, representing the Stann Creek District next week Friday at Bird’s Isle in Belize City will be Sacred Heart Primary males and Holy Angels females.
BELMOPAN CITY COUNCIL KIDS AND YOUTH CUPS 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND
The Belmopan City Council Kids and Youth Cups 2013 climaxed this past weekend at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium with All Star games on Saturday, June 8, and championship games on Sunday, June 9, for both the Kids and Youth Cups.
All Star games
The opener on Saturday saw the Belmopan City Council Kids All Stars defeating Orange Walk Kids All Stars, 4-0, with goals from Tahj Reid (7’), Dalton Moreira (17’), Darrel Matute (30’) and Tyzae Carr (33’). And in the nightcap, it was Belmopan City Council Youth All Stars prevailing by a similar 4-0 score over Orange Walk Youth All Stars, with goals from Noah Moro (28’), Jairo Lopez (33’ & 63’) and Tarique Humes (69’).
The Belmopan Football League, the organizers of the tournament, want to extend their thanks and appreciation to La Immaculada RC School and Mr. Carlos Umana for accepting our invitation to participate in this year’s All Star games for the Belmopan City Council Kids and Youth Cups.
LORD MICHAEL’S GHOST Editorial
“The middle class in rich countries is shrinking, and a tiny set of people is accumulating unimaginable riches. Groups and individuals with huge wealth use it to gain inordinate political influence. The ’99 percent’ feel swindled, impoverished, and exploited by the rich and powerful 1 percent.”
- pg. 218, The End of Power, Moisés Naím, Basic Books, New York, 2013
In late 2011, then PUP Leader Johnny Briceño resigned, and the Albert area representative and then PUP Deputy Leader, Mark Espat, became Interim Leader. During his 11 days as Interim Leader, Mark Espat was endorsed by 30 of the 31 area reps/standard bearers for leadership of Belize’s oldest political party.
In early 2008, following the resignation of the 1996-2008 PUP Leader, Said Musa, Mark Espat had been one of three candidates for PUP leadership, along with the aforementioned Briceño and present PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca. Espat and Briceño had withdrawn their candidacies because they wanted a more democratic convention, with more delegates given a chance to vote. Francis Fonseca was supported by the aforementioned Musa, Ralph Fonseca (his first cousin), and PUP Leader Emeritus, Rt. Hon. George Price.
Mr. Briceño then re-entered the race, supported by Mr. Espat and another PUP Deputy Leader, Cordel Hyde, and defeated Mr. Fonseca in a PUP leadership convention.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
In our editorial on Tuesday, we pointed out that the heat on the ruling UDP should definitely be more intense than it is, given the amount of “hot button” issues which have arisen recently and thrown a negative light on the present administration. We suggested that there may be a disconnect between the philosophy/policies of the Opposition PUP and the interests of the trade unions/workers of Belize. In this column, I would go even further: I would say that this present PUP does not seem to have harnessed the energies of the youth.
The PUP came out of the March 2012 general elections somewhat surprised by their 14-seat performance, and definitely upbeat. There were a couple area representatives from the South and the West, in fact, who were thrilled by their ascension in the power structure of the party, and they wanted to protect their new national power. For sure, after the last generals the PUP embarked on a period of several months where it seemed as if they were convinced they could win in 2017 (or whenever) by concentrating on the Districts outside of Belize, Districts where they had won more seats than the UDP in 2012.
It appears at this stage that the UDP this year have won more village councils than they did in 2010, when Orange Walk Central’s Johnny Briceño was leading the PUP. The village council results are not all that unexpected, because Belizean villagers, like the bulk of Belizean voters, are more politically sophisticated than they have ever been. They realize how immensely powerful the national government is, that the UDP may control Belmopan for the next four years, and so the pragmatic villager will not rush to go against the UDP at this stage of the political cycle. This pragmatism favors the ruling party, as well as the fact that the UDP village slates have more resources available for campaigning and election day logistics.
HY NOT “PUNTA ROCKERS” INSTEAD OF “JAGUARS”? Letters
Why did our football team come up with the name for our national team, “Jaguars”? I think the University of Belize has already used “Jaguars.” We should have been innovative and used a name like “Punta Rockers” to help promote our cultural music. For example, look at Jamaica and Trinidad national team names – Reggae Boyz for Jamaica and Soca Warriors for Trinidad. Both are promoting their type of music for which theIr countries are famous. Although the jaguar is a native of Belize it is still associated with other countries. Just an observation
NOT THE SAME PM, SAYS HAKEEM Letters
In 2008 when the Barrow administration came into power I thought this administration would solve Belize’s problems and make us proud. But after listening to the PM at the press conference on Wednesday I am convinced it’s not the same PM that was elected 2008.
I was very disappointed when a reporter asked him why the Minister of Health didn’t speak at the press conference concerning the babies and the answer he gave. He told the reporter he won’t blame Minister Pablo Marin because Minister Marin is winning village council elections in Corozal and that’s good for him.
Come on, Mr. PM, are village council elections more important than the lives of those babies? Sometime ago when Doug Singh was Party Chairman for the UDP, he mentioned that this Barrow administration is not to govern, but to win elections. Now I see where he’s coming from. Shame on this PM; he must be losing it.
PLEASE, MR. PM, DECLARE BELIZE GMO-FREE! Letters
Dear Prime Minister Barrow,
Once again the eyes of the world will be on Belize as it struggles with the disclosure that GMO soybeans are illegally growing in Northern Belize.
I am not alone in considering this to be a serious issue, not unlike that of an ecoterrorist, who, by the very nature of cross-pollination, intentionally contaminates the surrounding environment (including water systems, numerous non-targeted animals, insects and organisms, and the soil) with a man-made protein whose characteristics and actions are barely understood. Vertical transfer and resistance are already being noted in scientific studies that these proteins are having impacts well beyond those desired by the biotech industry.
The world is rapidly awakening to the existence of adverse and understudied GMOs – to their many and serious dangers and negative effects. I am sure you are aware of the highly-publicized March Against Monsanto that happened in 436 cities in 52 different countries on May 25. The mainstream media chose to ignore the event, but the Internet overflowed with photos, blogs and videos of the phenomenal participation of over 2 million people.
RESPONSE TO JOHN BRICEÑO’S LETTER ON BEHALF OF FORTIS Letters
Hon. John Briceño penned a Letter to the Editor that Fortis, Inc. used in a full page ad as part of their attempt to quash any objections to their purchase of C.H. Energy, in upstate New York.
One of the letters opposing the takeover was from Robert Kennedy, Jr., who spoke of Fortis’ record in Belize. Briceño felt “compelled to correct the errors in the commentary and present your readers with an accurate account of the developments that took place under my watch.”
Unfortunately, his “accurate account” is about as accurate as his pronouncements back in 1999-2008.
One has to wonder if Mr. Briceño even wrote this letter. The reason I say this is because he refers to the NEAC as the “National Environmental Assessment Committee.” The NEAC reviews all Environmental Impact Assessments. The Department of Environment was part of Briceño’s portfolio, Wouldn’t he know the NEAC stands for the “National Environmental Appraisal Committee”? He should know that but the article misnames it not once, but twice.
He states that there was complete disclosure and public consultations, but this is less than accurate. There was no full disclosure on the secret contracts that the government signed with Fortis until after BACONGO sued the Department of Environment and the Public Utilities Commission.
PETER KING CONTRERAS, 44, PLEADS GUILTY TO MANSLAUGHTER
Today, Peter King Contreras, 44, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his mother-in-law, Argentina Garcia, 50.
The facts which were read to the court stated that at 9:30 a.m. on December 13, 2010, Garcia arrived at King’s Cuisine Restaurant, which was operated by Contreras, and located in Ladyville. Garcia had gone to the restaurant to see her daughter, Lesley, who was Contreras’ common-law wife.
At about noon that day, Contreras offered Garcia a ride to the intersection of Philip Goldson International Airport road and the Philip Goldson Highway in order for her to catch a bus back to Indian Creek, where she resided.
According to Contreras’ caution statement, which was recorded at 6:56 a.m. on December 14, 2010, “It was whilst on the way to the intersection that Garcia and I got into an argument, where she told me ‘Why would Lesley want a loser like you?’
“After that, I punched her twice in her face and then a struggle ensued and she attempted to exit the vehicle. But I stopped her by using a rope, and I used that same rope and choked her to death.
BELIZE TRYING TO AVERT EU SANCTIONS OVER IUU FISHING ON HIGH SEAS
“…Belize keeps an International Merchant Marine Registry responsible for vessel registration which does not ensure that vessels flying the flag of Belize have a genuine link with the country.”
- Official Journal of the EU, November 2012
“…Belizean authorities were not empowered to require information from and to conduct administrative investigations of operators, registered owners and beneficial owners of the fishing vessels flagged to Belize,” the journal said.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced on Wednesday that a primary justification for the Government of Belize’s decision to take full control of the merchant shipping registry, along with the registry for International Business Corporations (IBCs), which were being managed by Belize International Services Limited under a contract dating back to 1993, is to avert impending sanctions by the European Union (EU), which they have threatened to impose due to allegations that Belize—which has about 130 flagged vessels operating on the high seas, but only 28 of which land products in the EU—has been deemed uncooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Barrow said that the EU, by way of the Commission decision of November 2012, has served Belize notice that unless the country gets control of the registry and does something to regularize the operations of the registry and in particular of the fishing fleet, its exports to the EU will be banned.
PERRY “STICKS” SMITH DOES IT AGAIN: ANOTHER DAY OF HEALING AND CANDLELIGHT VIGIL
After a successful Day of Healing and candlelight vigil event that was held in the Lake I community in April, in which over 700 people participated, Perry “Sticks” Smith is organizing a similar event, which will be conducted in the communities of Queen Square and Mesopotamia at the Albert Hoy Football Field, next to the Raccoon Street Police Headquarters. The Day of Healing and candlelight vigil for these neighbourhoods will be held on Sunday, June 16, Father’s Day.
Smith said that the aim of the event is to provide an opportunity for neighbourhood residents to show love and appreciation for each other, to make an effort to take back their community, and to appreciate and nurture the talents of the children. It is designed to be a family fun day, on which parents will come out with their children, to have wholesome fun and engage in friendly competition, and to see the talents of the children.
Some of the activities planned for the occasion include writing competitions, drawing, lime and spoon races, a football tournament, a volleyball game, and plotting of the maypole. Medals and trophies will be given to the winners, and parents participating in the competitions will also be given medals and prizes, Sticks said.
After so much has been said about the contaminating effect of chemically engineered grain, it has been shocking to learn that GMO soybean seeds have not only been smuggled into Belize, but actually planted by Mennonite farmers of Orange Walk.
Government takes over ship registry to avert EU sanctions
The Government of Belize has taken control of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) to prevent a ban on Belize’s marine exports to the European Union. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained that the EU has served Belize a written notice saying [...]
Domestic abuse ends in murder on Caye Caulker
A woman was savagely murdered on Caye Caulker on Wednesday and her husband, who is wanted for questioning by police, disappeared in the predawn hours, Caye Caulker Police reported. Around 12:15 p.m., police visited the Estella Street home of Julia Jennie Moran, 28, located in the Black Neighbourhood of Caye [...]
GOB: Oceana being reckless
The Government of Belize has said that despite Oceana’s accusation that it is disregarding a court ruling on oil contracts, it is actually trying to keep Belize from getting sued by the oil companies.
Part III: Horizon 2030, National Sustainable Development Strategy: Vision, Values, Goals, Constraints, Implementation and Evaluation
As stated last week, the Vision for Belize’s development captured in Horizon 2030 reads as follows: “Belize is a country of peace and tranquillity, where citizens live in harmony with the natural environment and enjoy a high quality of life. Belizeans are an energetic, resourceful and independent people looking after [...]
The Minister of Health and KHMH
There are some things that are just too absurd to be ignored at times, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s suggestion that the Minister of Health cannot be held accountable to any degree for last month’s neonatal deaths at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is certainly one of those things.
Eriean Jang wins 19th annual Coca Cola Spelling Bee
Eriean Jang of Sacred Heart R.C. School in Dangriga, Stann Creek district, won the 19th annual Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee hosted by Bowen & Bowen Ltd and the Ministry of Education.The now famous spelling contest took place at the University of Belize gymnasium in Belmopan on Friday, June 7.
Belize & Mexican businessmen explore trade partnerships
Belizean business people explored possibilities of trade partnerships when they met with representatives of 14 Mexican companies at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City on Thursday, June 6.
Belize Waste Control may seek contempt ruling to force Mayor Bradley’s hand
Attorneys for Belize Waste Control (BWC) and Belize City Council (BCC) met in the chambers of Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana on Monday, over a court judgment for $2.3 million that the BCC has failed to pay and for which Mayor Darrell Bradley could be cited for contempt of court.
Chef says he strangled his mother-in-law; didn’t know what to do with the body?
A man who admitted to killing his mother-in-law and drove around Ladyville with her body in his vehicle pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on Tuesday, in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas.
CJ withholds judgment in Oceana vs. GOB case
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has reserved judgment in the case of Oceana and others vs the Government of Belize until June 20. The CJ decided to delay the judgment after the case’s conclusion on Tuesday where attorneys for Oceana and the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, Godfrey Smith [...]
No pardon for imprisoned former president in Peru
Imprisoned former Peruvian leader ,Alberto Fujimori , won’t receive a pardon because the nation’s president has determined that he does not have a terminal illness, officials said Friday.
Ecology woes spark protests in Turkey
What began in late May as a demonstration focused on the environment – opposition to a plan to build a mall in Gezi Park – has evolved into a crusade against Erdogan that’s spread around the country.
Four tips to get kids to eat their vegetables
Was it announced to all children that vegetables are pure evil, dooming health-conscious parents to resort to sneaking nutrition into their meals? Well, it’s about time vegetables became a daily expectation on child dinner plates, instead of an occasional curse. According to kids cooking.about.com, kids have to be exposed to [...]
What causes nightmares and how to stop them
Although nightmares are more commonly seen in children, at least half of adults have occasional nightmares. In fact, between 2 and 8 percent of adults frequently suffer from nightmares. What are Nightmares?
Brilliant spanks Sunrise in SMART Harrison Parks cricket playoffs
Brilliant of Crooked Tree outlasted Sunrise of Lords Bank 144-122 in the first semifinal match of the 2013 SMART Harrison ParksNational Cricket Competition in Lord’s Bank on Saturday, June 8.
Camalote, Grace Kennedy & Wolverines win in Cayo softball
Undefeated Camalote United, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and the Esperanza Wolverines all enjoyed big victories when the Miley Garcia Softball Competition continued under the auspices of the Cayo Softball Association at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza Village last Sunday, June 9.
The Belize Times
Barrow Exposed!!! – Another get-rich “Legal Fees” scheme for Barrow Attorneys
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has schemed another round of expensive legal battles as a result of Government’s hostile takeover of the privately managed International Business Company Registry (IBC) and the International Merchant Marne Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) on Tuesday. According to the PM, even though the Government is at its worst point financially, he is prepared to fight “to death” or did he mean “to debt”.
Belize International Service Limited (BISL), which held the management contracts for IBC and IMMARBE since 1993, warned on Monday that they will pursue damages to the highest level which could see the Government become liable for over US$60m as a result of the takeover.
Where Belize sees distress over the reckless and irrational actions of the UDP Government, Prime Minister Barrow sees dollar signs. Barrow’s anticipated takeover of the IBC registry and IMMARBE has nothing to do with the actions of the former Musa Administration and not entirely with the international pressure over its proper regulation.
Fired SSB CEO gets job as Port Commissioner
Merlene Bailey Martinez who was removed from office as Former Chief Executive Officer in the Social Security Board, after it was exposed that she was guilty of insider trading and had ...
Mayor disobeys court order! – Rogue Mayor either pays up or goes to jail!
By the skin of his teeth, this past Monday Mayor Darrel Bradley once again avoided going to jail for not paying a Belize City Council’s debt owed to Belize Waste Control. On ...
No apologies for 13 dead babies! – PM defends Pablo Marin, says he is performing where “it matters”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is a very cold and callous man. He proved just as much on Wednesday when he conveyed that he still had confidence in Pablo Marin ...
Sweetheart Deal – GOB buys out Espat building for millions
Mark Espat is a slippery guy. He is one thing today and next he is holding a dagger behind you tomorrow. As we have been telling ...
UDP Politics as Usual…
NO Clue… In terms of this crime thing, can we realistically expect 2011 to be any different from 2010? Can we expect a decrease in murders, in home invasions, in assaults, in robberies and shootings and thefts? The government ...
In characteristic heavy-handed nature, Dean Barrow strong-armed control of the International Business Company (IBC) and International Merchant Marine Registry (IMMARBE) Registries on Tuesday the 11th of June, 2013. The two registries were previously managed by a private company by way of a Management Services Agreement entered into with the Government ...
Horizon Academy dominates Judo competition
The Red Dragon Judo Club hosted the first ever Primary School Judo Championship at the Horizon Academy Primary School with 5 primary schools participating on June 2nd. Lightweight category 1st place – Victoria Usher (Horizon Academy) 2nd place – ...
Brilliant dazzles Sunrise 144-122 in cricket semifinals
Four-time national champs, Crooked Tree Brilliant dazzled Lords Bank Sunrise with their bowling to win the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks national cricket semifinals in Lord’s Bank on Saturday ...
Camalote defeats Shooting Stars 15-3
Camalote’s star pitcher Francine Salazar struck out 6 batters in her 15-3 inning mercy rule shutout of the Las Flores Shooting Stars, who committed 5 errors and left 2 runners ...
Mother Nature obstructs oil discovery
The Barrow Administration is running out of gas, literally. The oil fields in Spanish Lookout, discovered in 2005, are expected to be depleted by the year 2020. Already, Government’s revenue from the export of crude oil through Belize Natural Energy is falling, and with no economic ...
Contagious: art by Julian Veronin Kuo
The new show at the Image Factory may have some us spooked especially with the current situation at the KHMH. Contagious, quite unlike the tragedy at Belize’s national referral hospital, features ...
AMAZING GRACE – Jesus the Bartender?
Many times I wonder what Jesus would be doing if he was here on earth today. If he was in Belize visiting for a month, what would his daily activities be? I believe it would be a much more difficult experience for those who claim they believe in him than ...
The World is Flat: FREE Online Education Courses
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph Technology has provided us with many great learning tools. Stimulate your mind with these FREE online courses that can be taken anywhere or anytime and are available year-round. Enrol in at least one course, and challenge yourself to learn something new today. Through E-Learning you have ...
Belize’s potential in the Garment Industry
By Richard Harrison In 2000, Belize exported BZ$40 million worth of garments. Today our export of garment is ZERO. The one garment exporter closed down....they used to produce clothing with DICKIES brand. Belize has the capacity to support a robust garment industry for the domestic market....and expand outward from there. Instead of ...
SCALES OF JUSTICE: Checking yuh Change
By anthony sylvestre My friend observed the other day that the Prime Minister Dean Barrow keeps making a lot of noise and we aren’t checking our change; that the Prime Minister says a lot of stuff that doesn’t make sense to divert our attention from the real issues and gets away ...
2013 Valedictory Speech by Steven Lam of Belize High School
“At the end of the day, it has all been said before. But this is the end of our ‘day’ here at Belize High School- history has been made - WITH us and BY us. And so for us ...
2013 Valedictory Speech by Justyn Peter Craig of St. John’s College High School
As Ms Gongora has said, I am a man of very few words. Therefore, the task of preparing this valedictory speech to the Class of 2013 was far more daunting than taking the recent Spanish orals for the CSEC exams ...
Will UDP’s Denny Grijalva ever face charges?
The Orange Walk Police Department are dragging their feet with the investigation into the destruction of the archaeological site, Noh Mul, located near Nuevo San Juan village in the Orange Walk north constituency. The BELIZE TIMES has ...
Tubal Institute – The Leading Pioneer of Vocational Education
There is a no-so-well known school off the beaten path in Ladyville Village in the Belize District ...
REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – YOUNG MANDELA: THE REVOLUTIONARY YEARS
By FRANCIS W. FONSECA As I write this column, television images of a frail, 94 year old Nelson Mandela are being carried throughout the world as this great man nears the end of life’s journey. If News reports of the gravity of his health situation are accurate, it may even be that ...
Belize faces sanctions for “money laundering and terrorist financing”
The February 2011 report and recommendations from the European Fisheries Control Agency on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is not the only document being ignored by the Barrow Administration. The BELIZE TIMES has discovered that Belize ...
Prejudices still alive in Belize
Dear Editor, “I have a dream”. Fifty years ago, on August 28th, 1063, American Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., uttered those words in his most famous speech. Using that captivating refrain, Dr. King expressed his dreams or hope that one day people would enjoy life free from racial prejudice. ...
Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear
Dear Editor, We’d like to address this issue of gay rights. As Christians, we’d like to make it known in no uncertain terms that this is NOT something we will entertain in any shape or form in our nation of Belize. Firstly, we have nothing to prove. People were not our idea, ...
BAGMO asks PM to step up fight against GMOs
Dear Prime Minister Barrow, Once again, the eyes of the world will be on Belize as it struggles with the disclosure that GMO soybeans are illegally growing in Northern Belize. I am not alone in considering this to be a serious issue, not unlike that of an EcoTerrorist, who, by the very ...
Nursing Student seeks remedy for faulty UB program
Dear Editor, I am a student nurse at the University of Belize. I would like to express my concern with respect to a practicum course NURS 3101 P, Care of the Adult Population Practicum, that was carried out at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. I decided to come forward when I saw ...
SHAME ON THE PM
Dear Editor, In 2008 when the Barrow Administration came into power I thought his administration would solve Belize’s problems and make us proud. But after listening to the PM at the press conference on Wednesday I am convinced it’s not the same PM that was elected 2008. I was very disappointed when ...
The June 16th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- PM Barrow: “Bring it On!”
Restoring Honour to our National Flag!:
first came in a
brief Press Release
on Monday June
10, which read,
“The Ministry of Finance announces
that the Management
Services Agreement between
the Government of Belize and
Belize International Services
Limited, to manage the International
Registry (IBC) and the International
Merchant Marine Registry
of Belize (IMMARBE) comes
to an end, today, 10 June 2013.
Accordingly, the Government
of Belize will assume control of
the two Registries with effect
from tomorrow, 11 June 2013.”
The release promised that
the Prime Minister would give
a full briefing on the matter on
Wednesday, June 12; and he did.
At his Press Conference,
the Prime Minister recounted
that a master agreement was
first signed on June 11, 1993, only
days before the June 30th snap
elections called by then Prime
Minister George Price; a ten year
agreement wih Belize International
Services Limited which
managed IMMARBE and the IBC
Registry with the option to renew
for another ten years. When
that ten years was about to expire
in 2003, the Government’s legal
Counsel, Mr. Gian Ghandi, advised
in writing to BISL that because
of a fundamental change
of circumstances, they could
no longer exercise the option
to renew for another ten years.
- “The More Things Change...”:
Chairman, Editorial Board. In our edition
week, in an
of the Crawl Caye Project
– a Lesson in Transparency,
we had just reiterated
the stark difference between
of Prime Minister Dean
Barrow and the administration
it, led by former Prime
Minister Said Musa, with
regards to their respective
modus operandi in
and undertakings that
have far-reaching implications
for the Nation
and its People.
We had just recounted
the fact that,
in contrast to the open,
cautious and methodical
manner in which the
handled such matters,
the Musa Administration
was one that, besides
being hasty and reckless,
by serial style secrecy.
As if we needed
one more reminder
of this, news broke this
week of yet another secret
agreement signed by the same two who endorsed
the infamous Accommodation
and his former Attorney
General, Francis Fonseca.
This one was for the purported
‘extension of an
extension’ of a contract for
a company called Belize
International Services to
manage the International
Companies Registry (IBC)
and the International
Merchant Marine Registry
of Belize (IMMARBE).
- Chile Donates Computers:
The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, through a donation
from the Embassy of Chile,
presented Six (6) laptop
computers to Our Lady of
Guadalupe High School in
Belmopan, on Wednesday,
June 12, 2013 at 12:00pm.
The Government of
Chile is donating computers
to one high school in every
CARICOM country as a symbol of its commitment
to assisting CARICOM
countries in education.
The Chilean Government
has always provided support to
Belize through the provision
of specialized training courses
for officials in areas such as
diplomacy, cooperation and
language training, and provides
scholarships for higher studies.
His Excellency Renato Sepulveda Nedel,
the Ambassador of Chile
to Belize with residence in
San Salvador was on hand to
present the Laptops on behalf
of the Chilean Government.
Receiving them on behalf of
Our Lady of Guadeloupe High School was the institution’s
Principal, Mrs. Barrette Belisle.
- Support Our National Football Selection::
FFB Official Telethon, Saturday June 15, 2013, MCC Tennis Court, Newtown Barracks, Belize City
- Exciting Softball in Cayo District: Ismael ‘Miley’ Garcia Competition in Progress:
In the Cayo District,
there’s an exciting Softball
Competition that is in
progress, and, as of this
week, we’re bringing you
regular updates on it. The
Competition is sponsored by
UDP Cayo South Caretaker,
Ismael ‘Miley’ Garcia.
This past weekend,
Camalote United, Roaring
Creek Grace Kennedy and
Esperanza Wolverines were
all victorious in games
played at the Joan Garbutt
Stadium in Esperanza, on
Sunday afternoon to be exact.
The first game featured
Camalote’s star pitcher,
Francine Salazar, who earned
a 15-0 shutout victory over the
Las Flores Shooting Stars in
three innings, as the mercy rule
was applied. She struck out 6
batters in the process. In that
game, the Las Flores Shooting Stars committed 5 errors and
stranded 2 runners on base.
- Speaking Truth Even When We’d Rather Not:
By Zelda Hill. Belizeans, in general,
thought to have
been a non-confrontational,
and cowardly species.
That notion has
been overruled as individuals
and groups all over Belize
are openly demanding
better quality of life, good
governance of our wealth,
equity of access and answers
from our stewards.
Those who prefer to accept
their plight or to not
“rock the boat” may do so
out of fear or hopelessness,
or perhaps the matter that
would cause them to break
their composure has not yet
raised its head.
For the Church in
Belize that time has arrived.
Truth, which we value and
honor, is under attack! We
must rise to its defense
even in a time when it may
seem inconvenient to do so
and even when we’d prefer
to be silent.
Those who prefer to
accept their plight or to not
“rock the boat” may do so
out of fear or hopelessness,
or perhaps the matter that
would cause them to break
their composure has not
yet raised its head. For the
Church in Belize that time
has arrived and the truth,
which we value and honor,
is under attack. We must
rise to its defense even in
a time when it may seem
inconvenient to do so and
even when we’d prefer to be
- Elections and Boundaries Department: Results of Village Council Elections:
- UB Graduation Coming UP:
Students who have
successfully completed their
course of study at the University
of Belize will receive their
diplomas at the Associate,
Bachelor, Certificate and
Diploma levels on Saturday
June 15, at the University’s
Exercises, Central Campus,
Belmopan. The ceremony
will commence at 10 a.m.
Of the total number of
471 graduates, 298 are females
(63.3%) and 173 (36.7%) are males.
The largest number of
graduates are from the Faculty of
Management & Social Sciences
(FMSS) totalling 153, followed
by the Faculty of Education
and Arts (FEA) with a total of
133, the Faculty of Science and
Technology (FST) with 132,
and the Faculty of Nursing,
Allied Health & Social Work
(FNAHSW) with a total of 53.
- Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology,
and Public Utilities Responds to Oceana:
The Ministry of Energy,
Science and Technology and
Public Utilities notes with regret
a recent press release by Oceana
in which it persists in putting its
spin on the judgment delivered
on April 16th, 2013 by Justice Legall
concerning certain oil exploration
contracts awarded by the
previous government. In that
judgment, His Lordship made
certain declarations against the
Ministry but not against the oil
companies. Most importantly,
the Judge specifically refused to
quash the oil exploration contracts.
The legal consequences
that follow from what the Judge
ordered as well as what he refused
to order are purely a legal
issue. For that reason, the Ministry
has obtained and has acted
upon legal advice from one
of the nation’s most respected
attorneys at law , which states
in the clearest possible terms
that the effect of the Judge’s refusal
to quash or terminate the
contracts is to leave them fully
enforceable by the oil companies.
That advice emphasized
that no order or judgment was
made against any oil company,
none of which was even a party
in the court case. This point was
fully made by the Ministry in its
written and oral arguments to
the Honourable Chief Justice on
its recent application to stay the
effect of Justice Legall’s judgment.
Consistent with the legal
advice received, the Ministry is
obliged to treat the contracts as
binding and enforceable against
the country of Belize by the oil
- Crawl Caye Off Limits: Cruise Tourism NOT Off the Table :
We doubt many
of you caught
it, but last week
in our story
titled, “The Case of the Crawl
Caye Project - a Lesson in Transparency,
Thoroughness”, we mistakenly reproduced
a photograph of Hunting
Caye instead of Crawl Caye.
For that we sincerely
apologize, although we will hasten
to point out that the error on
our part did not minimize in any
way the principal point of our story,
which is that the current government,
unlike the one that preceded
it, is an administration that
thoughtfully and thoroughly considers
pertinent issues and concerns
before entering into agreements
and undertakings that have
far-reaching implications for the
Nation and its People, and that
it invariably conducts the entire
process in a transparent manner.
And while we admittedly
erred, we should be readily
excused, we contend, for having
mistakenly brought you that
splendid aerial view of Hunting
Caye, also in Southern Belize,
which is no less precious
an island than Crawl Caye.
Furthermore, in following
up this week on the substance
of the story, we get the
opportunity to print for you, not
one, but two photographs of the
real Crawl Caye, hoping that in
so doing, we make it up to you.
- Drill & Discipline Course Completed at National Police Training Academy:
were held this
past Friday, June 7,
for close to Twenty
Police Officers who completed
a two-week squad drill course
conducted at the Police Training
Academy in Belmopan.
The course was for
non-commissioned officers, corporals
and sergeants who are attached
to the various formations
and sub-formations around the
country; and its purpose was
to have the participating Police
Officers sharpen up their
drill-skills, something which
keynote speaker at the Ceremony,
Acting Director of Training,
Senior Superintendent Chester
Williams reminded them is an
integral part of their discipline
as members of one of the nation’s
leading security forces.
Williams noted that everywhere
in World, disciplined
forces must engage in such drills,
which though they vary in specifics
from country to country, have
the same basic objective, mainly
that of instilling discipline in
the individuals who are part of
a uniformed and coordinated
team that operates as a single
unit in executing its functions.
- One Week to Go: UDP Extends Lead in Village Council Elections:
This past week, the
UDP again scored overwhelming
victories nationwide in
the Village Council Elections,
which are nearing completion.
In Corozal, the UDP
swept all 7 seats in Libertad, Caledonia
and Paraiso, and won five
seats including the chairmanship,
in Patchakan, leaving the
PUP with only 2 councillors.
In Orange Walk, Deputy
Prime Minister and Orange
Walk North Area Representative,
Hon. Gaspar Vega won
the last two of the villages in his
constituency, San Jose and San
Luis, completing a 9 out of 9
sweep over his PUP opponents.
The UDP also won August
Pine Ridge in Orange South.
In Cayo Central, Hon.
Rene Montero is also 8 out of
8 to date, with only one village
to go. This past week, he
took San Antonio, where the
UDP slated was unchallenged.
- Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat Bounce Back in
Game 4 Against Spurs to Tie the Series:
LeBron James was going
to deliver on his Game
4 guarantee, no question
about it. He’s simply too talented
and too battle-tested
to be held down this long.
But Game 4 was more
than just redemption for
James. It was Dwyane Wade
living up to his reputation and
Chris Bosh living up to the
hype. It was Miami’s celebrated
Big Three, maligned after
their no-show performance in
Game 3, wresting back control
of the NBA Finals with a collaborative
effort for the ages.
“It was on our shoulders,
honestly,” James said. “When all
of us are clicking at the same
time we’re very tough to beat.”
- Spelling Bee in Belmopan:
The Champion Comes from the South:
Following two rounds
of eliminations countrywide, 12
finalists participated in the exciting
grand finale of the 2013
Coca-Cola National Spelling.
The competition, which began
in February with the participation
of 271 primary schools, culminated
on June 7 at the UB Sports and
Recreation Center in Belmopan.
A tie for the first and second
place spots emerged at the
end of the first eliminating reserve
list round; the contest rules then
allowed for the spell-off for third
place to proceed, and it was Toledo’s Hilda Saki of St. Benedict
R.C. that emerged in the Fourth
Round as the third place winner
with the spelling of the words “fylfot”
and “nappe.” She received
a $1,500 educational prize from
Bowen & Bowen Ltd., parent company
of Coca-Cola in Belize, and a
tuition and book grant for one year
from the Ministry of Education.
- Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
Playoff Results for Weekend - June 1 & 2
Battle Royal and Friday’s fun
I know am not the only one who feels like they are going through a Battle Royal inside themselves right now. For me it’s another round of trying to find some sort of balance and curb my overactive junkfoodie ways I have been working hard to keep the extra few pounds which was my junk food bonus, tone up and loose my Buddha belly by Sunday’s Lobstermainia 2013 pool party. Now that is a tall order.
For fun I looked up the meaning of Battle Royal and a few of them caught my eye:
Merriam Webster b : a violent struggle
Thesaurus.com Definition: fierce fight
Synonyms: intense battle
It was not long before my mind wandered I got thinking about a Royal with Cheese from Melt at Exotic Caye Resort and why it can be so hard finding balance when it comes to food and health.
Here is a good health related article on Expatify.com about pharmacies and prescriptions for expats in different parts of the world. I found it very interesting and directly applicable to living in Belize. I know many people here who use a pharmacist as a primary medical councilor. And while they do regulate some drugs and sometimes require a perscription, it is not always enforced.
Why I want to be an Eco-Kid
My name is Olivia Frisinger and I am ten years old. I am related to San Pedro and Colorado. I believe we should save animals habitats. I hope to take pictures of colorful animals. I love to go horseback riding. I love hiking to see wildlife.
I live in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. Now I have been living in Colorado for the last six months. It is not the same environment in Colorado; no beaches or golf Cart, but in San Pedro not as much wildlife popping out of the forest. I want to do something fun for the summer so I wanted to go to Eco Camp.
I love the tropical jungles and I want to know about the animals to save their habitats. I know that a lot of the jungle is being destroyed worldwide. I want none of the colorful animals to become extinct. The way to start helping the rainforest is to learn all about it. I want to go to your camp to start learning.
“Superstar” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Keen to get the stuff we have had in storage in the UK since we departed for Ambergris Caye over a year ago (some of it being in storage for far longer than that as we gradually cleared our previous home of possessions) I ‘fired’ off an email to Ismael Gomez the broker we are using in Belize City to ‘smooth the way in’ for our consignment.
He has submitted details of our load to “BTB” (Belize Tourism Board) and we just now need permission to import the stuff without having import duty applied (this being one of the benefits of gaining admittance in to the Qualified Retirement Program (“QRP”).
When we get the O.K. I can contact Excess International Movers in the UK to put our stuff on a boat but it is looking increasingly unlikely that it will arrive (the journey will take between seven to ten weeks) by the time that our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize is completed. Oh well. Best laid plans and all that!
Rose and I spent time in the morning finalising the layout for shelving, drawers and hanging rails for our respective walk-in closets and then Rose laid them out more clearly, and with the exact dimensions that we want, on her computer. We now just need to review one more time to be certain that they will give each of us what we want. Then they will be ready to be handed over to Daniel Camal the building contractor for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Did illegal fishing trigger takeover move?
The Belize newspaper Amandala reported on the assumption of control over the International Business Companies (IBC) Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE), saying: “ ... operations which were estimated to net the Government $11 million in revenues in this year’s budget.”
In an article published on Tuesday, the newspaper continued: “A statement issued by the Government of Belize today said that the Management Services Agreement under which the registries were privatised comes to an end at the close of business today. That contract, an official source tells us, involves a major financial player in Belize — British billionaire Michael Ashcroft, whose interest in the agreement links back to Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited.
“Waterloo, an IBC in the British Virgin Islands, has indicated in published reports that it holds 50 percent interest in Belize International Services Limited, a joint venture company which operates the international open shipping and company registry business in Belize. The other major party of the agreement is Morgan & Morgan of Panama.
“Amandala understands that the Ashcroft group and the Panamanian investor have controlled the operation of the registries since 1990. First, they were engaged under separate three year agreements: one for the IBC and the other for the shipping registry. However, in 1993, the then People’s United Party (PUP) administration issued one 10-year agreement to the parties, for both registries, with an option for a renewal for another 10 years.
Belize’s Conservation Balancing Act
In comparison to many of its neighbors in Central America and the Caribbean, Belize has pursued a very effective and comprehensive policy of conservation in order to capitalize on the growing segment of eco-tourism. However, given the stresses of economic development, Belize is facing a difficult balancing act when it comes to determining the limits of environmental and cultural conservation.
Like most Caribbean countries, Belize is burdened with extremely high-energy costs—yet it was expected that this would change when Belize discovered deposits of oil in 2005. This recent discovery of oil has sparked a debate about the future of Belize’s economic development. Earlier this year, the Belizean court stopped government plans to begin contract offshore oil deposits to inexperienced companies in the Meso American Reef—the world’s second largest barrier reef and a World Heritage Site. Due to the devastation brought by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the decision to drill within such an ecologically sensitive and important zone was regarded as highly controversial within Belize. The court case resulted from the work of conservation organizations sparking a “people’s referendum” in which 96% of those who participated voted against offshore drilling.
Sun sets on Army training in Belize
The British Army Training Support Unit Belize, or BATSUB, has been announced as the latest victim of the defence cuts, although some specialist training will continue in the country.
British Forces News reporter Charlotte Cross has been with British soldiers on the last large scale jungle training in Belize as the base prepares to be mothballed…
Second Lieutenant Sam Westlake takes off his helmet and shakes the sweat from his hair and eyes, gratefully dumping his daysack on the ground. It weighs a good thirty pounds, and he’s spent the last five hours carrying it on his back as he and his platoon race across rough ground, assaulting enemy position after enemy position. As always with British Army exercises, the enemy is positioned uphill, forcing the infantry soldier to overcome his weary limbs and straining, burning lungs, as he pushes on to the final attack.
This is the culmination of a three-week Platoon Commanders Course in the devastatingly harsh terrain of Belize. With access to nine thousand square kilometres of primary jungle and open plains, many thousands of infantry troops have undergone the tough training Belize is famous for… almost 9,000 of them in the last three years alone.
June 14, 2013
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Specials and Events
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The San Pedro Sun
In search of the elusive Whale Sharks
After an hour and half boat ride, we finally arrived at Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve. Just outside the reserve, Ed our knowledgeable guide took the opportunity to brief us about the procedures while swimming along with the whale sharks. Just as the briefing was over, our attention was drawn by the presence of a curious Hawksbill turtle that poked its head from the water, perhaps to greet the visiting humans and to take in some fresh air. It swam toward us for a couple of pictures before moving on. Ed signaled that it was time for us to move on as well. A quick boat ride over the reef brought us close to about half a dozen of dolphins that jumped out of the water, breaking away and escorting the vessel through the channel. It was a spectacular short show, one I had seen only on television, and now here I was, living it.
Our divers resurfaced and we all made our way back inside the vessel for a quick break for lunch at the ranger’s station. Just as we anchored for lunch, I got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to marvel at a pod of six bottlenose dolphins frolicking right in front of us. It was a spectacular show as they sprang into action creating a spectacle in their natural environment. The fully mature adult dolphins sprang out of the water and into the air then splashed back into the water for a dive. All their movements were well synchronized as if they were choreographed to do so. I was determined that if I had failed on my close encounter with whale sharks, then I would settle for the dolphins. It was sight to behold and I just had to get in the water. I gradually came in close proximity to them, stopping short at a couple feet taking in the breath-taking view of the playful creatures. Under the water, two calves swam in whirlwind motions almost as if dancing to a specific tune. They whistled and clicked at each other as they synchronized their motions. Above water, the adults tested their speed and agility by jumping far into the air. Unbeknownst to them, they were putting on a spectacular show for those still onboard the vessel and in the water. After nearly 20 minutes they disappeared into the distance making their way beyond the reef. Occasionally they would jump out of the water as if to say “follow us!”
Tropic Air announces new Placencia & PGIA flights from San Ignacio
“We are celebrating an increased presence in San Ignacio, connecting local and tourism travellers with a growing number of places in Belize and abroad”, said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “Our new non-stop flights between San Ignacio and Belize International allow passengers access to the International Airport’s global network, an enhanced travel experience, and demonstrates our commitment to the Cayo District. In addition, our new non-stop between Placencia and San Ignacio connects western Belize with the adventures and beaches of the south for the first time”
Visually impaired Rowan Garel to dive the Blue Hole
On June 5th young Rowan Garel celebrated his 15th birthday. Rowan’s birthday has taken on much significance since he has focused attention on others, using his reach to aid other like him to be able to do normal activities. And what makes him so special? Rowan was born blind. The visually impaired teen has not let this get in the way of accomplishing great things and in fact has broken barriers while experiencing the world around him. In 2011 Rowan climbed the one of the highest summits in Belize, Victoria Peak in two days and in 2012 he journeyed across the country walking 92 miles. Both astonishing achievements were done to raise funds for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) which is the only organization in Belize that caters to the blind or visually impaired. On July 14, 2013 Rowan will make yet another achievement; he will become the first visually impaired person to dive the Great Blue Hole. The purpose of the dive is to raise funds and awareness for BCVI. According to Rowan, it’s not about the personal achievement but the funds raised and awareness such daring ventures gain. “What I’m interested in is raising funds and awareness for the only program in Belize that deals with blind or visually impaired people and they have a rehabilitation program which is completely free of cost. Take that away, and all the blind people, like me, will just be behind with everything, there would be no one there to help them along and that is what motivates me.”
Island Deals Store burglarized
On the morning of Monday June 10th, an employee of Island Deals discovered that the store, located on Barrier Reef Drive, had been broken into. Entry seemed to have been gained through the front door as the latches appeared broken to allow access to the store.
The store was closed on Saturday June 8th at 9PM and it was not until on Monday June 10th at 9AM that it was noted that the store was broken into, and owner of the store, PrakashWadhwa (PK) immediately contacted the police. First inspection of the scene revealed that cellphones and eight racks of clothing were missing.
Belize Embassy in Washington Raises funds for the Inspiration Center
The Embassy of Belize in Washington has raised US$60,000 for the Inspiration Center. His Excellency, Ambassador Nestor Mendez, who is visiting Belize, handed over the check to the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
The donation is the proceeds of several fundraising events hosted in Washington between October 2011 and May 2013. The majority of the funds were raised at a hugely successful gala on February 16, 2013, which brought in over US$40,000. Mrs. Barrow is extremely grateful to Ambassador Mendez and his team for their hard work and dedication as well as the Belizean Diaspora in Washington for supporting the important cause of providing a safe, inclusive environment for children with disabilities to access much needed services.
The Inspiration Center will provide medical care, physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, psychological care and social work among other specialized services to assist children with disabilities to be more productive and independent despite any impediments. The center will also assist disadvantaged children with afterschool programs, giving them access to computers and other resources to ensure their optimal development.
Caye Caulker, Belize Could Possibly Boast Largest Marine Cave in the World
Caye Caulker could possibly be sitting on the largest marine cave in the world. The entrance of the cave system is located on the west side of the island called Tarpon View, by some, where tarpons inhabit. The cave was first explored back in 1981 when the first owners of Belize Dive Services Paul Heinerth (to this day an International cave diving pioneer and author of many books on the subject) and Chuck Hattel dug into the cave.
Belize Dive Services was bought by Chip Petersen in 2009 and in November 2012 he and Bill Oestreich ‘Bert’ (both recognized Cave Dive Instructors) entered the cave once more. Chip’s real dream in purchasing BDS was to follow the footsteps of his predecessors and access the cave system to allow Belize to realize the potentials of this natural beauty; so when his mentor Bert turned up on Caye Caulker, he seized the opportunity.
Tropic Air Announces Flight Schedule From San Ignacio, Cayo
Tropic Air announced today two new non-stop flights from San Ignacio. The flights to Placencia and the Belize International Airport, both start on November 15, 2013.
“We are celebrating an increased presence in San Ignacio, connecting local and tourism travellers with a growing number of places in Belize and abroad”, said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “Our new non-stop flights between San Ignacio and Belize International allow passengers access to the International Airport’s global network, an enhanced travel experience, and demonstrates our committment to the Cayo District. In addition, our new non-stop between Placencia and San Ignacio connects western Belize with the adventures and beaches of the south for the first time”
Police Barracks Update – Donations Needed!
The much needed Police Barracks is finally becoming a reality thanks to several donors who teamed up to give the first monies towards this much needed project. Construction on the two storey building has commenced and it will have eight rooms, each with its own bathroom. In addition, each room will have a small balcony.
To date the group has contributed $20,000 to the new barracks. They currently have $15,502.35 in the bank. This amount is not sufficient to complete the project, so money needs to be raised. If you are interested in contributing, kindly email Mukul Kanabar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Misc Belizean Sources
The Revised National Gender Policy Should be Withdrawn
Written by: Godfrey Smith
I had followed only from the fringes the brouhaha that had bubbled in the media over the Revised National Gender Policy and had been meaning to bring myself up to date on the issue. After a day of courtroom arguments, I downloaded the document, summoned up my reserves of mental energy, readied myself to analyze a document thick with controversy and thorny with social implications, and then delved in.
The revised policy is the product of the National Women's Commission of Belize and is funded by the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). It examines inequalities experienced by both women and men in Belize and recommends strategies to correct gender disparities in five priority areas: Health, Education/Skills Training, Wealth and Employment Generation, Violence Producing Conditions and Power and Decision-making.
Caribbean fisheries experts attend 9th CRFM Scientific Meeting
National and regional fish experts from across the Caribbean are meeting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines this week for the 9th Annual Scientific Meeting, organised and sponsored by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM).
The group—which is meeting in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines this week, until Friday, June 14—is currently engaged in working group meetings to conduct scientific data analyses for providing advice to the region’s fishery managers, to review fisheries management progress and ongoing challenges, and to identify priorities for advancing statistical and other scientific approaches required to support new and emerging management needs of major fisheries within the CRFM membership and the Wider Caribbean.
During this 9th Annual Scientific Meeting, national fisheries reports from CRFM member states—which provide details on production data and the fishing fleet—are also being presented.
As in previous years, the scientific meeting information enables fisheries managers to understand more about the status of key commercially important fisheries across the region, and required management actions to ensure sustainability and continued profitability of the industry.
Belize government seizes control of Bermuda-listed company's assets
The government of Belize has assumed control of two registries that are 50 percent owned by Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited (WIHL) a Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) listed company, whose majority shareholder is Lord Ashcroft, a major Conservative Party donor and former deputy party chairman.
The entities involved are the Belize International Business Companies Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize.
In a filing on Thursday, WIHL expressed “…its disappointment and outrage at the government of Belize’s unilateral decision... the latest in a clear and expanding pattern of the government’s rejection of private investment in Belize and clearly sends the unmistakable signal that no investment, whether local or foreign, is safe in Belize.”
“BISL intends to vigorously defend its contractual rights and pursue its claim in damages to the highest level of the legal system in Belize and will exercise all options available to it to vindicate its rights,” WIHL added.
The Economics of a Maranco Commercial Oil Find shows no Revenue Inflows until 2015
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage with the assistance of an independent oil expert developed an economic profile of a Maranco Commercial Oil Find at South Canal Bank 1. The results of the economic profile showed that Government is not expected to receive any revenue inflows until 2015. This projection period for any revenue generation from a Maranco Commercial Oil find is important as Government has tied the salary adjustment for teachers and public service workers in the next fiscal year which is April 2014 to a commercial find at Maranco’s South Canal Bank 1. There is no projected revenue in 2014 and projected revenue inflows to the Government in 2015 is BZ$24 million.
Of interest is that Government receives inflows earlier than with other production sharing agreements (PSAs) as the cost recovery arrangements for Maranco are vastly different than the existing PSAs. Cost recovery for Maranco is 65% allowing Government to begin receiving funds from the production sharing much earlier than other PSAs which allow 100% of the production revenue to be used for cost recovery before the Government receives anything other than Royalty.
More Cayo Flights for Tropic Air
Tropic Air announced today that they'll be adding two new non-stop flights from San Ignacio. The flights will be to the Placencia and Philip Goldson airports. They've decided to skip the Summer busy season, so the flights won't start until November 15th. Tropic Air currently has one flight a day to Cayo.
“'We are celebrating an increased presence in San Ignacio, connecting local and tourism travellers with a growing number of places in Belize and abroad,' said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. 'Our new non-stop flights between San Ignacio and Belize International allow passengers access to the International Airport’s global network, an enhanced travel experience, and demonstrates our committment to the Cayo District. In addition, our new non-stop between Placencia and San Ignacio connects western Belize with the adventures and beaches of the south for the first time.'”
SHC Art Exhibit
The SISE House of Culture is having the opening of the Sacred Heart College Art Exhibit Friday, June 14th, at 6:00pm. See some great art from the SHC students. Thanks, SISE HoC!
Belize in You, Belize in Me, Land of the Free
We have a winner! Congratulations, Jeanelle Mencias, for coming up with this year's September Celebrations theme: "Belize in You, Belize in Me, Land of the Free." Shouldn't something that rhymes with 'you' be in the 3rd place? Like, ' The Baymen Knew.' Anyways, well done, and she will get $1000 for winning the competition.
"Belmopan resident Jeanelle Mencias has won the competition for the theme for the September Celebrations. A statement today from by the National Celebrations Commission announced that the theme to be used for the 215th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and the 32nd anniversary of Belize’s Independence is: “Belize in you, Belize in me, Land of the Free.” The official release says Mencias’ submission was chosen from among 125 entries and was selected because “it engenders a spirit of personal pride and nationalism about being Belize and Belizean.” As her prize, Mencias gets a cash award of BZ$1,000."
Play for Peace Basketball Tournament
The Benque DYS is having their 'Play for Peace' basketball tournament at the end of the month. If you are interested, you can contact Jimmy Leslie, or show up on June 18th at 7:00pm at Deacon's Court.
"The Department of Youth Services in Benque Viejo in collaboration with the Benque Viejo Youth Sports Club present 'Play for Peace Basketball Tournament.' This tournament is scheduled to start on June 27, 2013 and end on July 11, 2013. Registration Deadline is June 22, 2013. For more information visit the Department of Youth Services in Benque Viejo and contact Jimmy Leslie at 633-5050. Or contact Mark Rosado at 631-5877 from Benque Viejo Youth Sports Club"
Benque Marimba Academy at NFoA
The Benque Marimba Academy represented Cayo well at the National Festival of Arts at the Bliss Centre. The Benque House of Culture has some great pictures from the event. Congratulations on a great performance!
"The road to the highest platform in Belize, the Benque Marimba Project prepared, traveled and showcased their fine artistic skill to the Nation of Belize, June 6th, 2013."
Danny Michel and The Garifuna Collective
Danny Michel is in Belize, playing with the Garifuna Collective. Here's a musical interlude with them rehearsing with 'This is What is.' Hopefully they will come over and play in Cayo before they all head to Canada for their tour together. If you notice, Sam Harris, who plays with the World Culture Band at Lucky 5 and around Cayo, is there on guitar.
They also did 'Break it You Buy it.'
Catwalk in the Jungle this Saturday
The Catwalk in the Jungle fashion show will take place Saturday night at the Cayo Welcome Center, and it'll be free too. Emmanuel Mangar will be performing during the event. A portion of the proceeds from the event will got to a feeding program to support families with children who are unable to provide nutritious meals for the kids.
"Its going to be a FREE fashion show event in our area. Everyone is invited to this great event where we are going to have tons of surprises, entertainment, fun, ect. Come out and delight your eyes with our sexy models who will be show casing spectacular cloths from different boutiques and designers. The best thing from this event is that its FREE TO THE PUBLIC. So no excuse for not being There. We are also going to have local artist to entertain the public. Every one is welcome...."
Paraguanana Grand Opening
Paraguanana, the CACHE cafe at Centennial Park in Benque, will be having its grand opening this evening, starting at 4pm.
In related news, CACHE will be having a Jumble Sale at the football field in Santa Cruz on Saturday at 9:00am.
"June 14th is the grand Opening of the CACHE Snack shop under new management! Be there at 4 p.m. New ambiance, new menu, & great entertainment! Be there!"
Fighting Faber Throws Blows At Teachers’ Union
Today Education Minister Patrick Faber led a press conference on the results of the PSE. And while that’s news which interests a large section of the population, it’s not the headline tonight – and that’s because Faber made bigger news by sharing what might be called, “inconvenient truths” about the teaching profession and the Teachers’ union. He spoke about their request for a 30% wage increase in view of the quite dismal PSE results – calling that proposed increase “ridiculously high” and, apparently, un-deserved:
Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education
"The role of the teachers union; you know it's absolutely amazing and I'll go out on a limb that teachers are saying they want a salary adjustment of 30% when the government is saying that they can't afford and then we have the same old results. There is no denying that teachers have a tremendous effect on what these results are."
And Faber wasn’t through with the Teachers Union there, he criticized them for standing up for deviant, sub-standard teachers:
Hon. Patrick Faber
"But we have a union in this country and I will get into trouble again for it. That fights for teachers who are incompetent, some of them who are molesters, some of them who don't do their job in the classroom and the officials know it. But we fight for them - they are not functioning, they are not doing the best job and the minute the principal or the management or the ministry tries to bring them up, there is a champion called the Union that fights against."
Husband Killer Viola Pook Appeals Lifetime Sentence
But, first, we go to the Court of Appeal where convicted husband killer Viola Pook’s appeal heard today. Two years ago, Pook was convicted of burning her common-law husband to death. As we reported, she stood trial before Justice Herbert Lord, where evidence was presented that on New Year’s Eve of 2008, in Rancho Dolores, Pook doused 46 year old Orlando Vasquez with gasoline and lit him on fire. He suffered first and second degree burns to 70% of his body and died two days later.
The conviction depended greatly on an alleged confession, which she gave to the first officer on the scene, but which she later denied when the case went to court. And now, that confession statement is the main issue of contention that her attorney, Simeon Sampson, relied on to try to convince the Court of Appeal to overturn the conviction.
Her case was heard, and after the session, 7News spoke with Sampson, where he explained his case:
Simeon Sampson - Attorney for Viola Pook
"The Sergeant Zuniga said when he asked him what happened, she blurted out 'I caught him on fire' - that is a confession/admission. When the client came on and when this confession was about to be led into evidence by sergeant Zuniga - the judge allowed him to rattle it off without satisfying himself as the law requires that before the admission received into evidence, he must satisfy himself beyond a reasonable doubt on the basis of evidence 'I caught him on fire' was not obtained by promise of favor, pressure or oppression or under irregular behavior on the part of the police. The law says that the police satisfy the judge.
Husband Still At Large After Wife Chopped to Death
Sergio Moran is still at large – after his wife 28 year old Julia Morran was chopped to death yesterday in Caye Caulker. As we reported, it happened in the morning and at noon, island police discovered the body covered with sheets in a bedroom inside the house they shared. She is believed to have been killed at around 1:00 am when she was heard screaming. Two hours later Sergio Moran was seen leaving the house along with their 7 year old son. He is from Guatemala and is believed to have headed to that country. At the scene, police found a machete, knife and handwritten notes.
Accused Of Killing Wife, “Bucket” Bermudez Gets A Re-trial
43 year-old Glenford “Bucket” Bermudez, the ex-BDF soldier who was convicted and sentence to life in prison for killing his wife, is tonight on remand awaiting a retrial after the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction today.
In April of 2011, his case was heard before the Supreme Court where evidence was presented that on November 22, 2007, he shot his wife in the head at close range with a shot gun, killing her instantly.
After his case was traversed several times to the next session of the Court of Appeal, it was finally heard to completion today, and none of the hard evidence against him mattered.
Without even an attorney to advance his case, the Justices of the Appeal Court tore into the material from the case, and they zeroed in on what they referred to as misdirection of the jury by the trial judge.
President Justice Manuel Sosa used words like “egregious”, “misleading”, and “gross” when referring to the trial judge’s direction to the jury. He also said that Bermudez’s unsworn statement was, quote, “carelessly thrown at the jury.” End quote.
Mayor Says City Hall Is Moving Forward With Streets
For the past two weeks – traffic in the City has been strangled by the closure of the Belcan Bridge – forcing traffic to funell through the two other bridges – which has been further complicated by the closure of a large portion of North Front Street.
Well, the news tonight is that it’s only just begun, as the first half of the northern approach to the Belcan Bridge has been completed and work has started on the second half of that same approach.
Today Mayor Bradley told us that when that is completed, the council has already engaged private contractors to start on the round-a-bout - which is the busiest in Belize. Sounds like pure gridlock stress to us, but the Mayor was unperturbed.
Leader Of The Opposition Fonseca Defends Decision to Sign
Last night on the news, you heard the Prime Minister allege that former Prime Minister Said Musa and former Attorney General Francis Fonseca had signed a secret and ultimately illegal document giving Belize International Services Limited two extensions on their contract to operate the IBC and Ships Registries. We didn’t have time to get an on-camera comment from the opposition leader yesterday but along with KREM Radio, LOVE TV and PLUS TV, we did speak to him at length today about the Barrow allegation and the broader context of the registry agreement. Here’s how that went.
Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader Of The Opposition
"Typical Dean Barrow, when his back is against the wall - this is exactly what he does. He comes out with some bogus issue to try to divert the attention of the Belizean people away from the real problems, eating away at his government by a showman. The substantive issue that he raised in terms of this allegation of some secret agreement - well obviously the original agreement was signed in 1993, the letter that he's talking about in 2005 which extended the agreement another seven years, was absolutely not a secret. This was a letter and the agreement was vetted by the Attorney General's Ministry and the solicitor General at the time, it was vetted by officials of the Ministry of Finance, it went through the Cabinet as I indicated yesterday. Certainly we acted on the advice on the officials of the Attorney General's Ministry and in the Ministry of Finance."
The PSE, Everybody’s Failed, But Only the Kids Got An “F”
And while Fonseca’s leadership is being criticized by his former colleague, today Education Minister Patrick Faber was the one doing the criticizing – as he tried the explain the universal failure that accounts for the PSE results – where thousands of children scored less than 50% - which is considered a failing grade. At the outset, Faber made it clear that he wasn’t trying to defend anything and then went on to defend a system that is failing its students.
Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education
"Let me point out from the start that I am not here to defend."
Jules Vasquez reporting
Today’s press conference, with presentations from Ministry officials, and attendance form school principals and managers was about the PSE, not defending the consistently abysmal grades, but, in a sense sharing of the blame.
Hon. Fonseca Backs Up Faber On Key Issues
Today former Minister of Education Fonseca says he agrees that teacher training is a priority and those who are not trained have to go.
Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition
"Yes teacher training is critically important - we have to train our teachers, we have to give teachers every opportunity to get properly trained. Yes we have to weed out of the system teachers who are not effective, not performing and short changing our students. If not performing well and they're there to collect a salary then we have to get rid of them and that is where we have to work with the churches to make sure that that is being done, that teachers are being properly supervised and properly assessed. And when they're not functioning and failing our children, they need to go."
Fonseca also agreed with Faber on the issue of Corporal punishment – to which he said there must be alternatives:…
Hon. Francis Fonseca
"We have to accept that there are other ways of dealing with our children, I recognize that a lot of the teachers and the churches don't accept that, they believe that it was a mistake but I said at the National Assembly - I supported it at the time. I still support it, I think we have to find the right balance."
Theme For September Celebrations Chosen
“BELIZE IN YOU, BELIZE IN ME, LAND OF THE FREE”
– that’s the theme for this year’s September Celebrations. It was the submission of Jaenelle Mencias and was picked from over 125 entries made to the September Celebrations Commission. For her catchy suggestion, Mencias wins one thousand Belize dollars.
City, UNICEF, Restore Bze Work With Southside School
There was a signing of a memorandum of understanding this morning between the Belize City Council and Excelsior High School. It includes the opening of a renovated computer lab with a donation from the City Council of 6 new computers and the unveiling of internal walkways and drainage done by employees of the Council. The MOU and other projects are a part of a larger plan being coordinated by the Belize City Council, UNICEF and Restore Belize to carry out series of intervention activities in the Faber’s Road Area of Belize City. The mayor explained.
Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council
"We're trying to broaden our relationships with community assets including schools and we're doing a lot of intervention program in the Faber's road area in Belize City, we're doing a lot of infrastructures with the streets and the drainage. Faber's road, Nurse Findley Crescent, Gill street and we said that it's a project that we wanted to have more impact, we wanted to have a relationship with Excelsior, this is something that we've been talking about for two months. So what we have done today is we signed a formal MOU which now authorizes the council to continue working with Excelsior as being a real asset in this community. What we also did today is that we unveiled the renovated computer lab. The workmen for City council were here through out the last week and a half and doing all the works to facilitate to renovate the facility, tiling of the floors, painting of the walls and installing posters. The city council donated six brand new computers to them, we had our IT people come through and check the wiring and things like that, ensuring that they have internet access and wifi.
Tonight’s profile is about Doctor Corinth Morter Lewis. She’s a highly trained educator and well-received author – but those achievements belie her humble Belize City upbringing. She grew up on Eve Street – and some of the most vivid memories of her youth recall the slop bucket she was forced to clean with “carbo-negros” and watching the funeral of her absentee father as a stranger. She tells the profile how that gave her the motivation to achieve:..
High School Student Wants Art To Be “Contagious”
Tomorrow night, the Image Art Factory is showcasing the talent of SJC High School Student Julian Kuo. He has been preparing an exhibit of about 55 paintings, which he produced between February and April of this year.
It is his first exhibit, which he has appropriately named, “Contagious”, because he wants to inspire other Belizeans to take up art.
He gave 7News a preview today, and he spoke to us about his work:
Julian Kuo - Artist
"In my art work I try a lot of different style. I want to show everybody that art is easy, you can create your art if you enjoy doing art. So you can see I have an abstract, human, landscape - so I want to make people like art and also they would want to start their own art when they've seen my show. Every artwork I can describe my own story in them so when I do my work, I have to think what I need to present in my show. In the artwork I would like people to think about the story of the art so that when people look at it they will create their own story to describe this work."
It Went “Swimmingly!”
Today at the YWCA Swimming Pool, students from 13 primary schools in Belize City competed against each other in a swim meet organized by the “Y”.
It’s part of their mission to teach the children about the sport and provide them with in depth water training. To test how well they’ve retained the swimming lessons, the facilitators then put them up against each other and awarded the winners with trophies.
It is a great initiative to provide the children with a positive outlet, and 7News asked the General Secretary to explain the history behind it:
Sonia Linarez - General Secretary, YMCA
"This is the sixth annual YWCA Fiona Stevenson swim-meet. We started this program many years ago because there was a need for swimming, to teach children to swim in Belize. We have many water ways but many of the students and children of Belize, both young and adults were not able to swim and we started a swim program here. With funding from the Fiona Stevenson foundation in England we were given assistance that we were able to provide free swimming lessons for many schools. This year we have been doing a program for 13 schools in Belize City and these children come for eight sessions. Those that are far away from the YWCA - we even provide transportation through the program, it has enabled over 200 children to be a part of the swim program. We have Fence Boys School, Holy Redeemer, Trinity, Stella Maris - every year we make sure they are a part of the program, Ephesus, Christian Central, Ebeneezer, St. Luke's Methodist and St. Martin de Pores and of course the YWCA. "
Secret contract? But Financial Secretary Joe Waight knew
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was very vocal about what he called a secret agreement between G.O.B. and Belize International Services Limited at his press conference on Wednesday. In his own [...]
More litigations ahead. Government takeover not legally airtight
At his press conference Wednesday, the PM described the agreement to extend the contract for the management of the IBC and Ships Registries as having been signed off in secret [...]
Radio hosts face libel suit from former Prime Minister
This morning during the United Democratic Party’s radio station, WAVE, Minister of National Security John Saldivar spoke about the management contracts. Saldivar and his co-hosts made some very serious allegations [...]
P.M. explains why OCEANA has it wrong
On June twentieth, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will issue his ruling on government’s application for a stay of execution of an injunction handed down by Justice Oswell Legall. The ruling [...]
Ministry of Energy responds to OCEANA’s claims
In a release sent out by the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, earlier today, it pointed out that no order or judgment was made against any [...]
Everybody’s responsible for poor P.S.E. results
Seven thousand five hundred and thirty-three students sat the exams, a five percent increase over last year. The top twenty six students have been highlighted for their achievement. But the [...]
She killed her husband, Pook’s case taken to Appeals Court
Fifty-five year old Viola Pook, sentenced to life in prison for the New Year’s Eve murder of her common law husband in 2008, appeared in the Court of Appeal today [...]
Stealing a 5 gallon will get you arrest
In magistrate court, a repeat offender made another scheduled appearance. Thirty-four year old Denfield Lemmott, was arraigned on a single count of theft when he appeared in the magistrate’s court [...]
City Hall takes care of Excelsior High School
Many of the repeat offenders at the magistrate court lack basic education. That is why it is important for schools to be constantly upgraded and the training of teachers are [...]
Contemporary artists on display at the Belisle Art Gallery
A prolific art exhibit is currently hung at Belisle Art Gallery. The curator had scoured the country for artists who are constantly working to improve their trade. Some of the [...]
Profile on Ian Gaynair from the National Football selection
Training continues for the Belize Jaguars as they prepare to take on the United States, Cuba and Costa Rica in three games to be played in the United States for [...]
Healthy Living finds out where to get true blood
Banks are institutions that help the economy of a nation to thrive, but this week Healthy Living visits a bank where giving helps to literally save lives. Friday, June fourteenth, [...]
Former Attorney General Comments on PM's Revelation of An Alleged Secret Agreement
On Wednesday Prime Minister, Dean Barrow disclosed what he termed as another secret agreement by the PUP Administration. The Prime Minister said that the agreement, was signed between Belize International Services Limited, former Prime Minister, Said Musa, and the then Attorney General, Fra...
Belize Coalition To Save Our Natural Heritage Gets Independent Report On Oil Find
On Tuesday CEO in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, Doctor Colin Young, told Love News that Maranco Energy Belize will soon begin the second phase of drilling operations at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well to determine whether or not crude oil is availab...
Church Leaders Meet In Northern Belize To Discuss Gender Policy
Church leaders in Orange Walk met to discuss the gender policy. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL “The association of churches and the Evangelical of ministries of Orange Walk joined several others churches and movements in opposition to the gender policy movemen...
Belize City Mayor Gives Major Boost To Secondary School
This morning the Belize City Council and Excelsior High School signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will greatly benefit the school. But other than just the signing of the MOU, the event also featured the opening of a newly renovated computer lab where Mayor Darrell Bradley presented a donat...
Minister of Education Discusses Exam Results
The Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, held a press conference today to discuss the Primary School Exams results. On Monday we reported that the seven thousand 359 students who sat this year’s PSE scored a mean average of 57.8% in English, while in Math they scored a mean average o...
Woman Convicted of Burning Up Her Husband Appeals Conviction; Court Reserves Its Decision
Belize Court of Appeal today reserved its decision in the appeal of 56 year old Veola Pook, a resident of Rancho Dolores who was convicted of the murder of her common-law husband and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Pook’s attorney, Simeon Sampson, had appealed on the ground that the lea...
Retrial Ordered For Man Convicted of Killing His Wife
An appeal by 43-year-old Glenford Bermudez, who was convicted of the murder of his wife and was sentenced to life imprisonment, was allowed today by Belize court of Appeal. Bermudez conviction and sentence were quashed and a retrial was ordered. Bermudez, who was not represented by any attorney, ...
Forest Home Recreational Park Completed Through Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust
An inauguration ceremony for Forest Home Village recreational park was held yesterday in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “Opening prayer was done by Pastor Gideon Richards who also did the blessing of the park. A key person in the vi...
Police Continues Search For Man Following Wife's Murder
Police continue to look for Sergio Moran following the murder of his wife 28-year-old Julia Jennie Moran in the Black neighborhood of Caye Caulker on Wednesday. Police say just after midday yesterday they visited the residence where they found the woman’s lifeless body on a bed covere...
Young Artist Puts Art Pieces on Display
The word Contagious is defined by the free dictionary dot com as “Transmissible by direct or indirect contact” and artist Julian Veronin Kuo has used the word Contagious for his acrylic on canvass art collection which will be exhibited at the Image Factory. Kuo who is nineteen, ...
Mix Up In PSE Grades?
If your child was among the over seven thousand students who sat the 2013 Primary School Examination you probably already know his or her grade by now. But were you provided with the correct one? By now you must be wondering where we are getting at. Well, the thing is that this afternoon we received several calls from concerned parents of students of Trial Farm Government School who sat the exam.
According to the parents, their child’s grade is being retracted since the Ministry of Education conducted an error upon calculation. One parent said that her child scored 84 percent on the exam or at least that is what she was told. When the child received her grade slip provided to students by the Ministry of Education, it contained a different grade than the one given out by standard six teacher’s of the institution. Here is how it works. Every year after the PSE, the Ministry of Education releases two reports, a school report provided to the management of each school and an individual report made available to each student that sat the exam.
Maranco's Oil Find Still Undetermined To Be On Commercial Quantities
Back in March Government announced that Maranco Energy Belize Limited had discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well located in the Gallon Jug area in the Orange Walk District. Since then Maranco has been trying to determine the commercial potential of the oil show and after more than two months there has still been no confirmation on the extent and feasibility of the finding. And that is because testing is still being carried out. According to CEO for the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, Doctor Colin Young, the oil company will drill an appraisal well which is allowed under the company’s current Production Sharing Agreement. Maranco, says Young, has up to eighteen months to complete the appraisal well which will be used to determine whether or not black gold runs through the area in commercial quantities.
The drilling of the appraisal well should commence sometime next week. But what will Belize’s cut if oil in commercial quantities is found? According to CEO Young, Maranco will pay Government 15% on the first 5,000 barrels of oil extracted while they will receive 85%. The extraction of an additional five thousand barrels of oil will yield Government 40% in revenues while Maranco will retain the remaining 60%.
PAHO'S DRAFT FINAL REPORT GIVES A BLACK EYE TO KHMH
During today’s press conference the Prime Minister also gave the media an update on the investigations carried out at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital by the Pan American Health Organization in relation to the death of 13 babies at the hospital back in the month of May. Based on the draft final report, things are not looking good for the KHMH. In fact, today the Prime Minister reveled that two persons are about to resign from their post at the national referral hospital.
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize
“The Government cannot short responsibility that is why I was there, that is why I offered my condolences, I continue to do so, that is why I said to the board any investigation that takes place, they asked me about the possibility of liability, of people suing, I said I don’t care what the liability would be you are to cover up nothing, you find negligence you are to identify the negligence and let the people sue and be compensated man we can’t be playing the fool with a tragedy of those sorts of dimensions. I understand that a head of this draft final report that PAHO has prepared one person has already resigned to be confirmed and I understand that a second person even higher up than that person is about to resign. I don’t yet know what the draft final report is saying; I gathered from the chairlady that it does not put the KHMH in a good light whether it goes to the extent of saying person (a) and person (b) is negligent I don’t know but please if that is so then the consequence must follow, whoever was negligent must face disciplinary action and if there is negligence compensation must be given to the families there can’t be no getting away from that and I would never ever try to side step that kind of responsibility.”
Injured Guatemalan National Was On Belizean Soil
As we told you yesterday, On Monday June 3rd a Guatemalan national was shot and hit four times- twice to the upper back and once to the lower back and left elbow by Belizean forces. The security forces found in his possession 2 cell phones, 1 .22 rifle, and several rounds of ammunition. BDF soldiers offered aid to 27 year old Edgar Alexander Sacasa and it took twelve hours to transport him through rough terrain to the Western Regional Hospital where he was admitted and subsequently had to undergo surgery. Today in his press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicated that a joint team comprised of Belizean and Guatemalan counterparts has visited the area and concluded that Scasa invaded Belizean territory.
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize
“A joint verification team including officials from Guatemala, the OAS and the Government of Belize visited the area and confirmed that he incident had occurred well within Belize. The foreign minister or rather the CEO who accompany the foreign minister to the OAS meeting in Guatemala had a discussion with the deputy foreign minister in Guatemala, as I recollect the foreign minister did not even raised the incident with our foreign minister so presumable the fallout of this incident would be minimal especially if the man makes a full recovery.”
Prime Minister Releases Details Of Takeover Of Two Registries
On Monday June 10th, the Government of Belize announced that it was taking over the management services agreement with Belize International Services Limited, (B.I.S.L.) to manage the International Business Companies Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE), effective Tuesday, June 11th. Both companies had been privately and profitably managed since 1991, but that, according to the Prime Minister, will no longer be, as the contract between the Government and BISL has expired. However, when the Barrow Administration informed BISL’s management that they were to prepare to hand over the companies, they responded with what is being called a secret agreement in which they were purported a 10 year extension by the then administration.
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize
“The 24th of March 2005, it turns out that on that day a secret agreement was signed between BISL and the then Prime Minister and the then Attorney General who is the current leader of the opposition, the Honourable Francis Fonseca, and that secret agreement not only purported to recognize and validate the exercise of the option which Ghandy had already said was invalid but as well it purported to extend the life of the agreement after the exercise of the option for another seven years up to the 11th of June 2020 for a consideration of US$1.5 million dollars, understand what is happening , they already operated for three years then they got the new agreement which gave them ten. When they started operating for the second ten under that agreement by way of exercising the option, Ghandy said you can’t, it is not valid. The Prime Minister and Fonseca obviously said ignore Ghandy and then two years later signed this secret document saying to them via SL not only is the exercise of your option to renew valid, we are going to give you when that option we are treating as valid finally expires in June of 2013 and additional seven years of until 2030 which will make up all together for a grand total of something like 30 years that these people would get to control the two registries. Now of course, nobody was aware of the existence of that agreement “March 24th of 2005” that Musa and Francis Fonseca signed. I have checked through directly in one case and through a third party in another of persons who were member of the cabinet on 24th March 2005 and they are quite clear that that agreement was never disclose to the cabinet, because as well no official neither Ghandy nor the financial secretary or anybody else in the public service was ever made aware of that letter, this current administration wrote on the 6th of May of this year to BISL saying that since of the face of the agreement that they had their period of control of the registry expires on the 10th June 2013, please prepare to hand over control of the registry as a consequence of fluxion of time, as a consequence as a coming to an end of the contractual agreement, please prepare to hand over control of registry to the Government of Belize. In response BISL then produced this secret agreement of 24th March 2005 and stated that in view of this agreement there is no need for any meeting we have invited them to come and sit us to discuss the logistics of the hand over. Well you can imagine how shock we were, we checked to see whether there was any copy of that agreement anywhere in the file in Belmopan and of course we came up with a big fat zero.”
P.M Admits Investigation Into Destruction Of Noh Mul Taking Too Long
At his press conference today the Prime Minister touched basis on a number of issues including the destruction of Noh Mul. Surprisingly the Prime Minister admitted that the investigation is taking way too long despite the fact that Denny Grijlava, the owner of the company accused of destroying the Maya edifice for land fill, has basically accepted responsibility. In the words of the P.M, it’s about time that charges are levied against those found responsible.
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize
“The file was given to the Director of Public Prosecutions who was directed that additional police worked be done to complete investigations into the matter. Police hope to do the additional work by Friday, there are two critical issues; they need to record a statement from the camera man or men that did the video recording and the drivers of the equipment are still not positively identified, the video recording available but the DPP doesn’t think that is sufficient for prosecution purposes. The DPP is obviously being extremely careful she want to be sure that when she gives the directive to lay charges the case will be water tied, yes I am concerned that the officer in charge of the investigation, whom I shall not mention name, did not from the start get some of the material or all of the material that the DPP is now sending him back to get, this report was brought to my house by Coronel Lovell after I had spoken to him during the day making blame that I wanted to be able to report to the public and that I would not be at all pleased if couldn’t report that this thing has happened or is about to happen imminently, I signaled that in my view it is taking too long no getting away from that.”
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Former Attorney General Says PM’s Behavior Is Disgraceful
On Wednesday Prime Minister, Dean Barrow disclosed what he termed as another secret agreement by the PUP Administration. The Prime Minister said that the agreement, was signed between Belize International Services Limited, former Prime Minister, Said Musa, and the then Attorney General, Francis Fonseca, and it extended the contract to 2020. But today Fonseca told reporters that Mr. Barrow is creating mischief.
“It is the response of a prime minister, who in my view is desperate; he is presiding over a government in crisis, a government that is being rocked by scandals week after week and is typical Dean Barrow, whenever his back is against the wall, this is exactly what he does, he comes out with some bogus issue to try to divert the attention of the Belizean people away from the real problem eating away at his government: corruption, nepotism, incompetent; so, I want to make that very clear that that is what took place at the press conference; it was a show by a show man. The substantive issue he raised in terms of this allegation of some secret agreement, well, the original agreement was signed in 1993, ten years ago even before I became a member of parliament. The letter that he is talking about, the letter of 2005 which extended the agreement another 7 years, it was absolutely not a secret; this was a letter and agreement vetted by the Attorney General ministry and the Solicitor General.
Salary Increase For Teachers May Take Much Longer Than Expected
On Tuesday CEO in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, Doctor Colin Young, told Love News that Maranco Energy Belize will soon begin the second phase of drilling operations at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well to determine whether or not crude oil is available in commercial quantities. The appraisal phase of the drilling operation will span for a period of eighteen months, well after 2014- so it would be after those eighteen months that teachers and public officers will know whether or not a salary adjustment is forthcoming. We say so because Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stated that the probability of public officers and teachers obtaining a salary adjustment is highly based on whether a commercial quantity of oil is discovered. But the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage says that teachers and public officers might have to wait even longer. The Coalition obtained the services of an unnamed oil expert who developed an economic profile of a Maranco Commercial Oil Find at South Canal Bank 1. The oil expert determined that GOB will see twenty four million dollars revenue until 2015 and a decline of revenue in 2020.
Evangelical Movement Will Protest Planned Homosexual Pageant
Church leaders in Orange Walk met to discuss the gender policy. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story.
“The association of churches and the Evangelical of ministries of Orange Walk joined several others churches and movements in opposition to the gender policy movement. The member held a meeting yesterday at Estereo Carlos in Orange Walk to further discuss the matter and the way forward; Renaldo Rio vice president of the association tells us more.
“We are opposed because the gender policy is against our constitution; if you read the constitution you will find that the constitution is putting God in supremacy; if you read carefully, the gender policy you will find out that they are not taking any consideration in God; so they are refusing God because that is the main point of the homosexuality, they don’t believe in God, they reject God. They will say, ‘yes, we believe in God’ but my question is, what kind of God? God rejected this kind of behavior and secondly, we reject the gender policy because this will affect our society in the moral issues, education, behaviors; education will be one of the most affected area because as soon as this pass they will start redefining family, redefining sexuality and this will be affecting our children because they are the ones who will receive this information in the schools; institutions will be affected, churches, preachers, businesses, if they say, ‘no, I don’t want a lesbian in my company’ – you will sue me because you will say I am discriminating you.”
Belize City Council and Secondary School Sign MOU
This morning the Belize City Council and Excelsior High School signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will greatly benefit the school. But other than just the signing of the MOU, the event also featured the opening of a newly renovated computer lab where Mayor Darrell Bradley presented a donation of six desktop computers. In addition Mayor Bradley announced the internal walkway and drainage for the high school as well as other infrastructural works that are and will be done in that area. According to Mayor Bradley, the MOU is part of a larger project being coordinated by the Belize City Council, UNICEF and Restore Belize in order to carry out a series of intervention activities in the Faber’s Road Area of Belize City. Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Excelsior High School, Marshall Nunez, says that after two months of discussion is certainly a pleasure to see that all the dotted lines have been signed but the Principal of the school, Gayle Thompson says that this is just the beginning.
“We are trying to broaden our relationships with community assets including schools and we are doing a lot of intervention programs in the Faber’s Road area of Belize City and we are doing a lot of infrastructures with the streets and the drainage, Faber’s Road, Nurse Findley Crescent, Gill Street and we said that we wanted the project to have more of an impact and we want to have more of an impact and we wanted to have a relationship with Excelsior; this is something we have been talking for about two months and so what we have done today, is that we have signed a formal MOU which now authorizes the council to continue working with Excelsior as being an asset in this community and what we also did today is that we renovated the computer lab, workmen from the City Council were here throughout the last week and a half doing all the works to renovate the facility, the tiling of floors, the painting of the walls, installing posters; the city council donated six brand new computers to them.
Minister of Education Says School Management Needs To Take Responsibility For PSE Results
The Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, held a press conference today to discuss the Primary School Exams results. On Monday we reported that the seven thousand 359 students who sat this year’s PSE scored a mean average of 57.8% in English, while in Math they scored a mean average of 54.2%. Minister Faber said that the performance of students is everyone’s collective responsibility. He said he wanted the managing authorities of the various primary schools to take ownership for their students’ performance on the PSE.
Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
“We want the managing authorities as well to take ownership of the performance of their schools and the quality of education that is delivered in their schools. I feel very optimistic about this; we have some great managers and there’s a lot to be desired in terms of them taking ownership of this performance and for them to be doing in terms of improving the quality but their hearts are in the right place. In fact, one of the discussions we have had at our senior management level is in fact, the leaders may need training and we may need to start insisting on a set of conditions or criteria or qualifications they need to have in order to manage our schools and that is a discussion, that I take it, our managing authorities are willing to have. How is it that you will manage a school when you don’t know what to look for? And it’s not blame again, it’s saying to the managements, let’s work together to make sure that we have key people who are competent in place to help to make suggestions to improve the schools.
Rancho Dolores Woman Convicted For Killing Spouse Appeals Decision
Belize Court of Appeal today reserved its decision in the appeal of 56 year old Veola Pook, a resident of Rancho Dolores who was convicted of the murder of her common-law husband and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Pook’s attorney, Simeon Sampson, had appealed on the ground that the learned trial judge had erred in law when did not satisfy himself that the alleged confession statement that Pook gave to police Sergeant Zuniga was given voluntarily. Sampson contended that the judge should have done so before he allowed the statement to be admitted as evidence. Pook’s common-law husband, Orlando Vasquez, was set on fire and burned to death at his home in Rancho Dolores on December 31, 2009. Pook was convicted of his murder on July 8, 2011. She was sentenced to life imprisonment on July 20, 2011. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal, represented the respondent at the appeal hearing.
Court of Appeals Order Retrial For Convicted Murderer
An appeal by 43-year-old Glenford Bermudez, who was convicted of the murder of his wife and was sentenced to life imprisonment, was allowed today by Belize court of Appeal. Bermudez conviction and sentence were quashed and a retrial was ordered. Bermudez, who was not represented by any attorney, did not put forward any ground of appeal, but the judges of Belize court of Appeal saw that the learned trial judge had misdirected the jury in several instances. And so a retrial was ordered. The facts of the case were that on November 22, 2007, Bermudez shot and killed Raquel Bermudez on the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road. Mrs. Bermudez, who was a taxi driver at the time, was driving on the road when her husband stopped her vehicle and shot her. Bermudez tried to hang himself afterwards. Bermudez was convicted on April 27, 2011 and he was sentenced on May 12, 2011. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal, represented the respondent.
BNE Charitable Trust Donates Park To Southern Village
An inauguration ceremony for Forest Home Village recreational park was held yesterday in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.
“Opening prayer was done by Pastor Gideon Richards who also did the blessing of the park. A key person in the village level achievement was former Forest Home Village Council Chairman, David Duncan who gave the welcome and also spoke of the park project.”
“We are gathered here today to celebrate one of the projects achieved under my leadership: this recreational park facility you’re seeing here today. To give you a brief rundown of how this project came about, I will start by saying I saw the call of proposals by the Trust in several categories. I immediately saw a category that would fit a recreational park for our community based on the Trust’s criteria. I saw that this was an important opportunity especially since our village didn’t have a park. I filled out the application the Trust provided in September 2012 and the work began. The Trust and I have worked very closely, filling out the necessary paper work, justification of the project, budgets, etc. were provided. The project took its process and despite all the delays it was approved in October 2012 and the work got started around the last week in March 2013 due to circumstances beyond our control, nonetheless it is here and it’s completed, This recreational park will enhance the quality of life for the people of Forest Home by offering a safe outdoor space to play, exercise or spending time with the family.
Police Seeks Husband Following Woman’s Murder
Police continue to look for Sergio Moran following the murder of his wife 28-year-old Julia Jennie Moran in the Black neighborhood of Caye Caulker on Wednesday. Police say just after midday yesterday they visited the residence where they found the woman’s lifeless body on a bed covered with some sheets and blankets. The body had several chop wounds. According to police neighbors reported hearing noise coming from the home after one yesterday morning and shortly after Sergio Moran leaving the home with the couple’s child. Police say they retrieved a machete, knife and papers from the scene. Investigations continue into the incident.
Art Collection Is ‘Contagious’
The word Contagious is defined by the free dictionary dot com as “Transmissible by direct or indirect contact” and artist Julian Veronin Kuo has used the word Contagious for his acrylic on canvass art collection which will be exhibited at the Image Factory. Kuo who is nineteen, has been painting from the time he was four years old. Today Love News spoke with him and he told us more about his collection.
“At first, I painted on my wall at home; my wall was a mess. I learned a lot online and had a lot of my drawings on my wall and found that I am interested in art and so I started to create my own art. This is my first exhibition in Belize; I started in February up to April and I have fifty five pieces here; I have abstract, human and landscape. In each artwork, I have my own story in my mind, so if I have an idea, I just use my materials and draw it. In each artwork I want everyone to describe it from their own point of view. I have my own story for each artwork but I want them to think about their own story to describe it; this is what Contagious is about. When people walk in and they see different kinds of artworks and different kinds of art style, I want people to love art and make them think that they want to do it because painting is happy.”
Kuo says he studied at the Art Center in Belize for three years and plans to head to Mexico to continue studying art. The exhibit will be launched tomorrow at 7:00 pm and will remain open until the 5th of July.
Belize’s Prime Minister Reveals Secret Agreement Signed Under Musa Administration
On Monday the Government of Belize issued release announcing that it would take control of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize, IMMARBE, and the International Business Companies Registry, IBC. The takeover came into effect yesterday. Both companies were being semi-managed by the Belize International Services Limited, BISL. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow laid out his reasons for the move. Prime Minister Barrow explained that the contract for the services being rendered by the two entities expired this past Monday this week after the past government signed what he called a secret contract with the owners of BISL. The Prime Minister broke it down chronologically starting with what occurred in 1993.
RT. HON. DEAN BARROW
“There are some of you who want to call it nationalization; the Government’s course of action is justified for any number of reasons but in particular, in consequence of the fact that the European Union by way of the commission’s decision has served us notice that unless you get control of the registry and do something to regularize the operations of the registry and in particular of the fishing fleet, you will have exports to the EU banned. We will put in place measures to regulate and to control the activities of the Immarbe fishing fleet; we are perfectly conscious of the fact that if those measures don’t work, we may, as a last resort, deregister the fishing fleet, we are not going to run any joke, we are not playing games. The fact, of our exports to the EU having to be protected at all costs mean that if we have to deregister the fishing fleet or particularly those fishing in the EU zone, we will do so but only as a last resort but people need to know about our seriousness of purpose. I see them making threats about how many millions of dollars they are going to sue us for, well, when you look at what was collected over the last few years, the figure they are talking about is outrageous and laughable but in any event, that they will seek legal recourse, that is their right and I say, bring it on.”
Leader of the Opposition denies secret agreement for registries
Today PLUS News and other media spoke to Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca about accusations made against him and former Prime Minister Said Musa at Wednesday’s press conference. Those accusations were made by current Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He charged that Musa and Fonseca secretly extended an agreement...
Patrick Faber says we have too many unqualified teachers
Last week’s release of the results of the 2013 Primary School Examinations (PSE) revealed that from 2012 to 2013, not much has changed in terms of mean performance. In response to questions about whether it is time to do away with the exam as a true test of student...
Orange Walk Pastors object to Gay Pageant
Ms. Gay Goddess – this is the newest insertion in Belize’s pageant world. It is a competition for transvestite males – that is a male who sometimes wears clothes traditionally worn by women. The photos you are looking at are those of the contestants and were obtained from the...
DPP is investigating Noh Mul destruction
Its destruction raised international eyebrows and local ire, but six weeks after the first discovery of the rotted-out center of the Noh Mul monument in Orange Walk District, charges have not been laid against contractor Denny Grijalva and his assistants. The Prime Minister today gave an update in the...
PM comments on shooting of Guatemalan in Chiquibul National Park
The Government has another headache to deal with in the matter of a shooting incident last week in the Chiquibul National Park. Prime Minister Dean Barrow gives details. Prime Minister Dean Barrow: There shooting incident, as you know, that occurred on June 3, 2013 between the hours of 2...
Belize City residents complain of garbage problem near Bus Terminal
The Belize City Council is after businessman Arun Hotchandani, owner of its former compound at Pound Yard Bridge on Cemetery Road which now contains a vendors’ market facility and parking for buses. The area has been home to rotting garbage and a foul stench for some time now and...
Excelsior High School gets much needed assistance
At its height in the 1990’s it was regarded as an athletic, if not academic, powerhouse on Belize City’s Southside. But thereafter it declined to the point where it was a junior high school and then a candidate to be taken over by the Ministry of Education for a...
Belize City Mayor promises minimal disruptions during road improvements
After the ceremony at Excelsior PLUS News spoke with the Mayor on multiple substantive issues involving City Hall. For several weeks now Belizeans living in the Old Capital have been inconvenienced by re-routes of traffic from major traffic centers, including the Belcan Bridge exit and entrance from Princess Margaret...
Glenford “Bucket” Bermudez will be re-tried on murder charge
42 year old Glenford “Bucket” Bermudez will be re-tried on a murder charge after an appearance in the Court of Appeal this morning. Bermudez was convicted of murder in April of 2011 by a jury for the shooting and killing of his wife, Hattieville resident Racquel Requena Bermudez. But...
PM updates on oil drilling status
You’ve heard the Government’s determination to have Belize become a successful exporter of petroleum. But two efforts in the North and South of the country have proven apparently barren. First, to the Maranco oil show in Orange Walk. According to the Prime Minister, it hasn’t been much of a...
Inspiration Center will be completed by September
This year’s Inspiration Telethon, an effort by the Special Envoy for Women and Children to raise funds for the construction of a facility which will cater to children with disabilities and special needs, trumped its projected mark. Meanwhile, the Embassy of Belize in Washington has been hosting several fundraising...
Theme for September Celebrations announced
“BELIZE IN YOU, BELIZE IN ME, LAND OF THE FREE.” That is the theme chosen by the National Celebrations Commission for the 2013 September Celebrations, now just 2 ½ months away. The announcement was made this morning and the winning entry out of 125 was sent in by Janelle...
Another PUP Secret Deal!!! Said Musa and Francis Fonseca signed it!
It would appear that the misdeeds of the past PUP administration will continue to haunt the Belizean people for an undetermined amount of time. This became evident as Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow once again exposed the past PUP leader and Prime Minister Said Musa and the current PUP Leader Francis Fonseca for having signed yet another secret agreement with Ashcroft-related interests.
PM Barrow called a press conference on Wednesday, June 12th following the Government of Belize’s taking over the International Business Companies Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) on Monday, June 10th. The companies registry, through various agents sets up offshore companies in Belize. IMMARBE for its part registers foreign sea vessels in Belize so they are able to fly the Belizean flag.
The Government moved to take control of the companies on Monday, June 10th after the expiration of an existing contract, which allowed the two companies to be under control of Belize International Services Limited (BISL), an Ashcroft-related company. The Government wrote to BISL informing them of this, only to be told that there was a contract between the Government and them that extended into 2020. Prime Minister Barrow stated during the press conference that, despite best efforts to locate the contract, it was unsuccessful and only came upon a copy after it was furnished by BISL.
Bernice Yorke’s Siyun Ye tops P.S.E.
The results of the Primary School Examinations (P.S.E.) were released on Friday, June 7th, and Siyun Ye from the Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning is the top performer in the class of 2013. More students sat this year’s P.S.E. than ever before with 7,359 candidates taking the exam on Monday, March 18th and May 6th.
Siyun Ye recorded a score of 391 out of a possible 400 points. Ye said the exam was easy but she did not expect to be the top performer. Her only challenge was to finish the essay section of the English paper in the time allotted. Sherry Ali, Principal of Bernice Yorke, said she knew that Siyun Ye would do well because “she is a brilliant student and extremely hard working”. Bernice Yorke has been one of the most impressive institutions for a long time now and its students have recorded the best performances in the last two Primary School Examinations. Ali tributes the school’s success in the P.S.E. to its emphasis on early childhood education. She said, “Early childhood education is the launch pad to have students prepared to meet the challenges of primary education.”
GOB wants Legall’s Ruling clarified
On June 20th, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will rule on a decision by Justice Oswall Legall,which gave Oceana an Injunction restraining the Minister of Natural Resources from executing production sharing agreements with Princess Petroleum Limited and Providence Energy Belize Limited.
At the conclusion of the arguments, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, who is representing the Government of Belize, explained that it is absolutely necessary for the ruling to be made in favor of Government since it is “undesirable when the Government is in a position where persons looking on and perhaps not having a full keen appreciation of all the facts, they see the Government doing something and things that the government is doing is disrespecting a court order or violating some order made by the court or as has been said disregarding and violating the rule of law.”
According to Barrow, Legall’s ruling did not quash the contracts between the Government and the oil companies since Oceana’s claims against the Government came too late. Even so, the decision deemed the issuing of the PSA’s illegal; however, the companies continue to have reasonable expectations under their contracts since these were not quashed. Legall’s decision however, does limit Government’s regulatory powers over the contractors and as such it is necessary to have the injunction stayed.
Equality for Women - Temporary Special Measures and Quotas
The Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), makes provision for countries to adopt the use of quotas and temporary special measures. These measures are intended to fast-track and facilitate women's ability to function as equal partners in development, globally. Despite the commitment made to CEDAW, to the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Millennium Development Goal #3, Belize, like many of its global and regional counterparts, is still lagging behind in the implementation of its commitment; specifically, the commitment to facilitate the process of ensuring that more women are able to fully participate in the political life of the country, at every level.
The progress towards leveling the playing field for women has been advancing slowly but steadily across the globe, as well as in the English speaking Caribbean. This progress is due in no small part to the adoption of temporary special measures, quota systems, and legislative changes specifically designed to ensure that women are represented at the decision making table in Parliament.
More than 50% of the countries in the world utilize some form of quota system. There are primarily two types of quota systems, namely candidate quotas and reserved seats quotas.
Immigration and Nationality Department celebrates 27 Years
Hon. Elvin Penner, Minister of Immigration and Nationality
Some twenty seven years after opening to the public as a separate entity of the Police Department, the Immigration and Nationality Services held an open day last Friday at its Headquarters on Dry Creek Street, near the Mountain View Boulevard in Belmopan. The special guest and speaker for the occasion was the Hon. Elvin Penner, who has direct responsibility over the Department.
Assuring Quality - Ensuring Relevance
After a year of discussion and analysis, the President of the University of Belize, Dr. Cary Fraser today officially launched the Institutional Curriculum Review at the University’s Central Campus, Belmopan. Shortly after his appointment, the President identified the curriculum as a major area requiring intervention and a comprehensive review. Today’s launch was scheduled for the university community. In July, the institution will schedule the launch of its curriculum review for the broader public.
CITCO forges Partnership with Excelsior High School
The Belize City Council is signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Belize City Council and Excelsior High School on Thursday, June 13th at the grounds of Excelsior High School on Faber’s Road in Belize City, Belize.
Corozal Town’s Face Lift
Corozal Town has completed the implementation of Phase 1 Belize Municipal Development Project, which was officially launched in Corozal on Monday September 24th, 2012. Under the first phase, 1st Street North, Zuzuc Street and Punta Gorda Street were paved. The first phase was completed with $1.2 million being invested in the upgrades.
The second phase of the Corozal projects will commence by the end of November and will see the rehabilitation of 6th Avenue, 1st Street South and a sporting complex will be constructed in the south end of Corozal Town.
Under the Belize Municipal Development Project, the government of Belize is investing $30 million dollars in various municipalities including Belmopan, Benque Viejo Del Carmen, San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Corozal and Orange Walk. In Corozal, $2.1 million will be implemented in the various projects.
Updates from PM Barrow
Prime Minister Barrow gave updates on several issues at his press conference on Wednesday, June 12th. Though the main topic discussed was the ending of agreements between the Government of Belize and the Belize International Services Limited, Prime Minister Barrow fielded questions about the shooting in the Chiquibul Nature Reserve, investigation into the destruction of Noh Mul, the Revised National Gender Policy and the oil discovery in northern Belize.
Public and Private Sector unite at Business Forum
Private sector representatives from the energy, agricultural and tourism sectors, financial institutions, wholesalers, construction companies and others joined officials of Government for the Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) on Wednesday, June 5th.
San Estevan’s New Concrete Road
The upgrading of streets using concrete has become contagious in Belize after Mayor Darrell Bradley proved that the paving of streets in such a manner is viable. That contagion has now spread all the way up north to San Estevan village where the residents there are now enjoying the use of a new concrete road which was built through the efforts of the UDP Caretaker in the Orange Walk Central Constituency, Denny Grijalva and the UDP candidates for the upcoming village council elections.
Genetically modified Soybean Seeds In Northern Belize
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) issued a release on Friday, June 7th confirming the discovery of genetically modified soybean seeds in Northern Belize on May 24th. These seeds were tested at BAHA's Plant Health Diagnostics Laboratory in Central Farm and were proven to be genetically modified. Further tests were conducted by Eurofins Genescan Laboratory in the U.S. on May 30th confirming tests previously done by BAHA.
Pauline rises, Max falls and Boxing wins
There were six boxing matches between Belizeans and Guatemalans on Friday night, June 7th, at the Biltmore Plaza and after all the punches were thrown the result was a 3-3 draw. Promoter James Adderley deserves a ton of credit for treating local boxing fans to quality entertainment as Belizean boxers had the opportunity to step into the ring with regional champions and other tested fighters.
In the first bout of the night, Colin Lamb squared up against Franklin De Leon. The match went the entire four rounds. Lamb showcased impressive power hooks that kept his opponent hesitant to attack. However, his inability to throw a jab made the fight harder than it should have been. The judges were split in their decision but Lamb won the fight. For him to move up another level, Lamb must develop a respectable jab and work on his straight punches.
Allan Geban faced Milton Moran in the second fight of the night. Geban was the most impressive male boxer of the night. He came out swinging as the bell rung. At times, he was a bit wild but, according to Geban, that was because his opponent was pressing down on his head. Geban’s greatest strength is his quick hands that he never lets rest. There are some who would prefer he fights a bit more under control but that could potentially limit his aggressiveness. He put on a fireworks show in the fourth round to secure a unanimous victory. As long as Geban learns to maximize his reach advantage, he could contend for amateur hardware.
Tuff “E” Nuff advances to semi-final round
Orlando Bowen top scored with 19 points for Police against the CYDP
The 2013 Interoffice Basketball League competition knockout round of the playoffs was played on Friday, June 7th, at Bird’s Isle with four games on the schedule.
In the first game of the evening, Tuff “E” Nuff eliminated Digicell by the score of 84-66. The top scorers for Tuff “E” Nuff were Ashton Edwards with 33 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 steals; and Raul Roches and Winston Pratt with 15 points each. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Digicell were Lennox Cayetano and Devon Lozano with 14 points each.
In game two, No Limit eliminated Youth Services by the score of 89-74. The top scorers for No Limit were Jacob Leslie with 26 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists; and Greg Rudon with 18 points, and 6 rebounds while the top scorers for Youth Services were Akeem Trapp with 31 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal; and Jamir Enriquez with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
In the third game of the evening, Sir Belikin eliminated Allied Insurance Abyssinians by the score of 96-80. The top scorers for Sir Belikin were Dorian Jones with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals; Ty Bradley, Steven Williams, and Keith Acosta with 13 points each. For Allied Insurance Abyssinians, the top scorers were Darwin Leslie with 31 points, 9 rebounds 2 assists and a steal; and Rupert Brown with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals.
Belize Elementary, Hummingbird Elementary and Holy Redeemer to play for Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Titles
The Semi-final round of the Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Championship ended on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013, with four games on the schedule. In the first girls’ game played, Belize Elementary School eliminated Holy Redeemer School by the score of 25-14 and 25-8 to earn the rights to play for the Belize City Title. In the second game played, Hummingbird Elementary School eliminated St. John Vianney by the score of 25-16 and 25-4 to earn the next final spot in the championship.
In the boys’ semi-final round, Holy Redeemer eliminated St. John Vianney by the score of 25-15 and 25-21 to advance to the championship round, while in the second game, Belize Elementary School eliminated St. Martin’s De Porres by the score of 25-19 and 25-18 to earn the other final spot.
The championship game in the girls’ competition will be played between Belize Elementary School and Hummingbird Elementary, while the boys’ championship game will be played between Holy Redeemer School and Belize Elementary School.
The championship game has been scheduled for Wednesday June 12th, at 1:15 pm at Bird’s Isle in Belize City.
The champions and sub-champions will represent Belize City in the District finals scheduled for Tuesday, June 18th, at Bird’s Isle.
FIFA’s Development Officer in Belize
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is please to inform the public and football fans that FIFA Development Officer Julio Rocha and his assistant Yariela Phillips arrived in Belize on Monday, June 10th, 2013. The purpose of their visit is to finalise the implementation of FIFA approve Goal Project proposal for Belize. This proposal is divided into Youth Development, Stadium Infrastructure and Office Remodeling. The two member team will leave the country on Friday, June 14th, 2013.
Olympic Day Run set for Sunday June 23rd
The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association has announced that the Annual Olympic Day Run is scheduled for Sunday, June 23rd, 2013. This year’s Olympic Day Run will actually take place on Olympic Day June 23rd. It was on June 23rd, 1894 that Baron Pierre de Coubertin began the task of reviving the Olympic Games. The Olympic Day Run is a vital part of Olympic Week celebrations throughout the world.
The run will start at 6:30 am from in front of Brodies on Regent Street; then turn left into Albert Street at the Belize Bank; down Albert Street into Albert Street West then turn right onto Cemetery Lane. At the end of the Cemetery, turn left unto Yarborough Road and continue down Regent Street back to James Brodie & Co.
The first 150 participants registered on the morning of the run will receive a commemorative T-shirt. The winners will also receive medals in recognition of their performance.
Miley Garcia Softball Competition rolls on in Cayo
The 2013 Miley Garcia Softball Competition in the Cayo District continued on Sunday, June 9th, 2013, with three games on the schedule. The games were all played at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza Village.
In the first game of the day, the defending champions and the competition’s favourite Camalote United blasted Las Flores Shooting Stars by the score of 15-0. The winning pitcher was Francine Hoare and the losing pitcher was Guadalupe Chicas.
In game two, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy also blasted Belmopan Capital City Emeralds by the score of 12-0. Leandra Guy was the winning pitcher for the Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy while Dana Mae King was tagged with the lost.
And in the final game of the day, the host team Esperanza Wolverines won over the Ontario Rebels by the score of 6-1. The unknown, Shareeni Soberanis bested the veteran and experienced Kenrene Gillett.
The competition will continue this coming Sunday.
14th Annual National Individual Time Trial and Road Championships
The 14th Annual National Individual Time Trial and Road Championships are scheduled for Sunday, June 16th and 23rd, 2013.
The Individual Time Trial is scheduled for Sunday, June 16th, commencing at 8:00 am from the CDS Gas Station in Burrell Boom, travels south toward to Hattieville turning at the Round a-bout and the return to CDS for an approximate 20 miles. The event is Open/Masters/U-23/Masters Category.
The Junior/Youth/Women category will commence from CDS Gas Station, travel south for six miles, to a marker on the Burrell Boom Road and then return to finish at CDS Gas Station for a total of 12 miles. Riders will start at 2-minutes intervals.
The Road Race is scheduled to start at 8:00 am, for the Elite, Masters, U-23 and Masters Categories from in front of the Orange Walk Town Hall (lead out to the Caribbean Tire round-about), travels on the Philip Goldson Highway, turning to the Boom junction unto the Boom road exiting at Hattieville unto the George Price Highway to Mount Hope (turning point on the hill top just behind Mount Hope) to finish in front of Belmopan Comprehensive School after completing two laps around the Ring Road for an approximately 115 miles.
The Road Race for the Junior/Youth and Women’s categories is scheduled to commence at 9:05 am from in front of the Police Station in Hattieville, travels on the George Price Highway to Mount Hope (turning point on the hill top just behind Mount Hope) to finish in front of the Belmopan Comprehensive School after completing two laps around the Ring Road for an approximate 63 miles.
Registration to participate in any of the events is $25.00 each which is payable at the Heritage Bank Account #1599.
Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition winding down
The Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition is fast winding down at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City.
The playoffs for this year’s Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition commenced on Friday, June 7th with 6 games in the boys’ competition. In game one, St. Martin’s De Porres School defeated St. Ignatius School by the score of 17-25, 25-18 and 18-16. In game two, Holy Redeemer School eliminated St. Ignatius School by the score of 25-15 and 25-22. In the third game of the afternoon, Holy Redeemer School defeated St. Martin’s De Porres by the score of 23-25, 25-13 and 15-5. In game four, Belize Elementary School defeated St. John Vianney School by the score of 25-14 and 26-24. In game five, Belize Elementary School defeated Queen Square Anglican School by the score of 25-6 and 25-14. Meanwhile in the sixth and final game of the afternoon, St. John Vianney School eliminated Queen Square Anglican School by the score of 25-17 and 25-20.
The playoffs then continued on Monday, June 10th with the girls’ competition. In the first of four games played, Holy Redeemer School won over St. Mary’s School via the default route. In game two, Belize Elementary School defeated St. John’s Primary School by the score of 25-11 and 25-4. In game three, Hummingbird Elementary School defeated All Saints’ Anglican School by the score of 25-3 and 25-12, while in the final game it was St. John Vianney School defeated Muslim Community School by the score of 17-25, 25-18 and 16-14.
Graduation for Participants of Squad Drill Course
One Friday, June 7th, 2013, graduation ceremonies were held for close to twenty police officers, who completed a two-week long squad drill course conducted at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The course was for non-commissioned officers, corporals and sergeants, attached to the various formations and sub-formations around the country. Its purpose was to have the participating officers re-sharpen their drill skills, something which keynote speaker at the ceremony, Acting Director of Training, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams reminded them is an integral part of their discipline as members of one of the nation’s leading security forces.
Pleads guilty to strangling his mother-in-law
On Tuesday, June 11th, 41- year-old businessman Peter King Contreras appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas for the start of a murder case against him in the killing of his mother-in-law, 50-year-old Argentina Garcia. Garcia was killed on December 13th, 2010. Before the trial got underway, however, King pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in the killing.
Charged after being found drunk
On Tuesday, June 11th, Belize City resident, 43-year-old Ernestina Reneau was arraigned on a rare charge of being found drunk in a public place.
Belizean Girls Fly
Gael Sylvia hopes to touch the lives of 10,000 Belizean girls and women as she introduces Girls Fly to Belize from Monday, June 24, to Saturday, June 29th. Girls Fly is an international organization dedicated to the empowerment of girls and young women.
The Secrets to the Success of a Leading Primary School in the Country
What are the secrets to the success of the Saint Andrews Primary School in San Ignacio? How were they able to get four of their students to be within the top 25 performers of the PSE 2013?
Both Vincent Hulse and Nelson Esteban from Saint Andrews Primary obtained 96.5% in their PSE results, and in so doing received top ranks in the National PSE. But then came more surprises; Zahara Zul came in thirteenth with 95.25% and Alain Morris, with a similar mark, and both came from the same San-Ignacio based Anglican School.
Vincent Hulse, who expressed thankfulness on Tuesday for coming in second in the National PSE, credits his success to the power of God, working hard, having supportive teachers and reviewing subjects that he was formerly weak on.
While third place winner in the National PSE results, Nelson Esteban says that the product of his work also came with the support of his parents.
“I managed to get high grade because I studied a lot. I did all my homework and the homework that we got were based on the questions that we got for PSE. My teachers pushed me and my parents too”, said Esteban.
Standard Five teacher, Christina Velasquez says that the special approach that teachers at Saint Andrews School have for their students also helped in getting the high marks at the National level. Teachers at Saint Andrews work individually with the students on problem solving; particularly in finding out mistakes with students and are consistent with that approach. The walls of the class rooms at Saint Andrews are also covered with much visual aids and this is for a special reason, says Velasquez, since some students are visual learners while others learn by holding objects. In addition, says Velasquez, no child should be left behind for each pupil is considered special and have the ability to be great achievers.
Why I Love Nature
I want to start by saying that there are many ways to be an eco-kid, but one main reason why I want to be one. I want to be an eco-kid, well, because I just love nature.
I always dreamed of being taught about my environment and how to protect it. I ask myself questions about the environment and do observations and research on it. I want to find out if roaches bite, what types of bugs live on plants, how many types of medicinal plants we have in Belize, and many more things about science and my environment. When I am not reading fairy-tales, I am busy reading my father’s science books that he uses to teach with.
Last year, I did a science computer program to improve my knowledge on science. I enjoyed it because I learnt a lot of fun facts about science. I want to be an eco-kid because I love animals and plants and am fascinated by their interactions. I go to my backyard and have tons of questions based on what I observe. How can wee wee ants destroy an entire plant in just hours? Why is the water in the creek green? Why did I have a row of beautiful orange plants grow after my dad cleared a portion of my yard? I want to find out so much about my environment.
Romantic Things to Do in Belize
Even a single gal like myself can’t help but notice Belize’s romantic aura. The coconut trees on not-so-distant islands, the rainforests with waterfalls, the fresh water rivers and birds that greet at sunrise, and the towering Mayan temples–it’s no wonder more couples than ever flock to Belize for their weddings, honeymoons or just a private getaway. Even ABC’s The Bachelor headed here for some romantic dates (the episode aired in February 2012).
Add a lack of monstrous high rises, no chain resorts, and fewer crowds: it’s hard to beat in Central America and the Caribbean.
Romance in Belize can be as easy as walking along the shores of Caye Caulker or laying on a dock on a starlit night.
But there are a few other unique places and ways to experience the magic, when you’re on a special voyage a deux. You won’t be able to do it all on a short visit, but you can at least select a couple.
Swim and picnic by waterfalls: Belize has stunning falls and parks, particularly if you head inland to some of the less crowded spots. Good choices include Butterfly Falls by Hidden Valley Inn in the Cayo District, or Rio Blanco National Park, just an hour’s drive outside the southern town of Punta Gorda. More than likely, you’ll be the only ones there. Another beautiful day trip would be to the Blue Hole National Park.
Rent an island: Belize’s offshore islands or cayes (pronounced “keys”) are straight out of a Caribbean postcard. Over a dozen have small on site resorts, from charming cottages to higher end villas. Better yet, you can rent an entire caye to yourselves, complete with staff. Look into the two-acre French Louie Caye for three day stays or week-long stays. If you have even more cash available, you might want to rub elbows with jet setters at the exclusive Cayo Espanto.
“Higher Ground” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Suitably ‘armed’ with my passport, a utility (Belize Electricity Limited) bill for our lot in Tres Cocos, a completed application form and BZ$65 I set off at 10.30 am yesterday morning
for the Post Office in Pescador Drive hopeful that my third attempt at renting a P.O. Box would be successful.
On arrival I was ushered straight in to the manager’s office and after he had taken photocopies of the utility bill, the information page in my passport, my “QRP” ID card and my Belize Drivers License he ceremoniously handed me three keys for my P.O Box and issued me with the address for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Whilst with him I took the opportunity of finding out whether C.A. needs to be included within the address or not. He very quickly, and somewhat forcibly, informed me that it is not required. Belize is sufficient – it has it’s own international postal code which is BZ (Emily posted on 8 June that she had heard (correctly) that C.A. is not required within the address fields).
With my one task of the day (OK it did take four visits to the Post Office to accomplish it) successfully completed I returned “home” (our rented condo), grabbed my book and went and spent some quality time lounging on the beach (it’s a hard life!).
WORLD BANK's Jun-13 Economic Prospects for Latin America and the Caribbean
After a sharp recovery from the global economic crisis in 2010, when regional output expanded by 6 percent, growth in the Latin America and the Caribbean decelerated markedly, to an estimated 3 percent by 2012. Supply side constraints have become apparent in some of the larger economies, where output was near or above potential during the recovery phase, and which contributed to relatively high inflation and deterioration of current account balances. Despite a sharp deceleration in growth, regional output is only now in line with potential GDP. Cyclical factors such as lower commodity prices and generally subdued global activity, in particular in high-income countries, have also weighed on growth. Private consumption remained relatively robust, while the contribution to growth from investment and exports weakened considerably.
Outlook for 2013-2015: The factors that have contributed to the deceleration in growth in the post-recovery period will continue to weigh on economic activity over the short-to-medium term. Growth in the region is expected to accelerate only modestly to 3.3 percent in 2013, and to about 3.9 percent over the medium terms. Growth is expected to firm somewhat from a very weak pace in Brazil and Argentina, while slowing down in most of the commodity exporters, largely on account of weaker commodity prices. Growth in Venezuela is expected to decelerate markedly as highly expansionary policies are reversed. Meanwhile Paraguay will see one of the sharpest accelerations in growth this year, on account of normalization in agriculture output. Growth in Central America will benefit over the medium term from firmer growth in the United States and improvements in terms of trade. Growth in the Caribbean will be held back by large fiscal adjustments necessary to bring fiscal deficits to sustainable levels and help reduce public debt burdens.
Belize Takes Steps to Improve Internet Service
After ranking dead last in a recent survey of Internet pricing and speeds in English-speaking Caribbean countries, Belize is taking steps to improve.
The country’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) hosted Belize’s first Internet Exchange Point Open Forum, bringing together international and local stakeholders to discuss options for improving the quality and lowering the cost of Internet services for Belizeans.
PUC Commissioner Kimano Barrow stated, “The PUC wants to create an environment where Internet based companies and entrepreneurs can thrive in Belize. We were able to get two internationally recognised experts in this area to share their knowledge with our local stakeholders.”
Over 65 persons representing ISPs, business, government agencies, civil society groups and academia, attended the half-day event in Belize City. Interactions centered on the economic and social benefits of improved local Internet service and how best these benefits can be realised in a Belize context. Bill Woodcock and Bevil Wooding from the US-based Internet research and training firm Packet Clearing House (PCH) facilitated the special forum.
Cayo Has Best Mayan Sites
While the list of Belize's amazing Mayan archaeoligical sites should be a top 20, out of the 5 on this list, Cayo has 3: Xunantunich, Caracol, and Actun Tunichil Muknal. They forgot Cahal Pech and El Pilar. The article gives great descriptions of the sites, and describes Cayo too: 'laid-back San Ignacio is the quintessential traveler’s hub, the launch pad for exhilarating adventures in the remote Cayo District, a wild place where ancient mysticism and incredible biodiversity coalesce to provide a sensual and cerebral adventure of epic proportions.'
"What Xunantunich may lack in scale, it makes up for in its supreme location, crowning a limestone ridge that affords panoramic views of the Cayo District and the patchwork terraces of neighboring Guatemala... Radiating from the site’s ceremonial axis -- the pyramid of El Castillo -- are a series of residences built for the city’s elite denizens, in addition to a ball court, all which date from the Classic Period, circa A.D. 200 to 900. Rising from the jungle to a vertigo-inducing 135 feet, El Castillo features restored stucco reliefs that during the city’s heyday would have adorned the perimeter of the entire pyramid. Despite being one of the most heavily touristed of Belize’s Maya ruins, in part due to its accessibility, a supernatural aura holds sway. The name, Xunantunich, translated as 'Stone Woman,' dates to the late 19th century when, so myth and legend has it, a female figure dressed in white ascended the stairs of El Castillo before vanishing into the temple’s stone walls. The city reached its zenith around A.D. 750 before an earthquake, interpreted by the Maya as the wrath of God, precipitated its demise."
June 13, 2013
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Specials and Events
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
Domestic abuse escalates to murder in Caye Caulker Village
Continuous physical abuse and domestic violence has resulted in the death of a woman in the village of Caye Caulker. The victim has been identified as Julia Moran originally of San Pedro Columbia in the Toledo District and a resident of Back Street in the Black Neighborhood. Police were informed that she may have been possibly hurt and was locked up inside her house, but when they arrived shortly around 11:30AM on Wednesday, June 12th they found her dead. Police are looking for her husband, Sergio Moran, Guatemalan national, for the murder. According to neighbors sometime after 1AM, they heard arguments upstairs of the wooden building. “The guy came in about 12:30AM and knocked on the door. She did not open the door so he kicked it open after which he locked it. About 45 minutes later my wife and I opened our door after we heard a commotion and the struggle upstairs in their house. I heard when the girl said ‘Sergio, please don’t do it.’ Then I heard him said in Spanish ‘shut the f$*@ up…I am going to kill you.’ After a few moments, I heard nothing else. This morning when we got up and the neighbors were talking about the incident and realized that no one had seen her, we said to ourselves that perhaps she may have been killed. She was not someone who stayed locked up late; she would get up very early and come out and talk to all of us,” said Benedict Lopez her neighbor who lived in one of the many structures in the same yard. Lopez said that the couple, who had a seven year old boy, lived a very contentious relationship. “They used to go through a lot of arguments and we don’t get into wife and husband fight.”
First ever All-star basketball competition
Andre Almendares from team Jaguars won both the three point competition and the points accumulation competition.
However, the night was not over yet, as the best players from across San Pedro took to the court to play in an All-star basketball game. The two teams (East and West) were sure to deliver a great game. It was an extremely tight game, but in the end, team West rose to victory in a 54-53 point game. Most Valuable Player for the event was Ron, aka “Big Ron”, from team Tarpon.
The night was a huge success displaying the talent of our various basketball players. Organizers would like to thank all those who came out to show their support. Great thanks go out to The San Pedro Town Council and Saija’s Construction for sponsoring the event.
Lobster Fest 2013- It’s hAPPening!
It’s almost that time again and with lobster season literally right around the corner our favorite crustacean is looking to make its way ashore! In preparation for its arrival the San Pedro Lobster Festival committee has been working hard getting everything in place for the big event. The 2013 Lobster Fest promises to be nothing but amazing-and most definitely worth while to say the least. In addition to the loyal participants that partake in the event, some new businesses have jumped on board, adding to the array. Due to the high demand for lobster, the Belize Fisheries department has set laws and regulations to safeguard the population of the spiny lobster for future generations. In Belize, the legal weight of a lobster tail for consumption must be over four ounces, or the carapace must exceed three inches. The carapace of a lobster is referred to the part of the crustacean where the head connects to the tail all the way to the center of the pair of small spines located between the two eyes. While lobster season will last till February 15, 2014 The San Pedro Sun reminds all fishermen to fish responsibly, and consumers to adhere to the laws in place to ensure delicious lobsters for many years to come!
Amigos del Mar Team captures third place in Mahahual fishing tournament
A fishing team from Amigos del Mar on Ambergris Caye captured third and fourth place in the annual Dorado de Plata Fishing tournament in Mahahual, Mexico. The annual two-day event tests the ability of some of the best fishermen in high seas fishing. Over 250 fishermen onboard 40 vessels set out on June 8th and 9thfor this year’s competition. Ambergris Caye’s very own, ‘Another Boat’ captained by Mike Hancock, along with Andre Paz, Shadany Bradley, Irvin Chacon, Mario Donis and Daniel Gregorio were sponsored by Amigos del Mar. The group of fishermen performed impressively in the tournament. Another Boat captured a total of nine Dorado; one of the largest, a 30.8 pounds fish, was captured on day one and placed them in second place. But on day two of the event, the Mexican teams were hungry for a win, especially since a Belizean fishing team had topped the previous Copa Governador earlier this year in Mahahual. Despite the competitiveness, Another Boat managed to stand its grounds and reeled in a bigger Dorado weighing 31.8 pounds. That was not enough since two Mexican teams captured a few larger Dorados thattopped Another Boat’s haul by a few ounces.
Belize Police Graduate From Squad Drill Course
On Friday, June 7, 2013, graduation ceremonies were held for close to 20 Police Officers who completed a two-week long Squad Drill Course conducted at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The course was for non-commissioned officers, corporals and sergeants, attached to the various formations and sub-formations around the Country. Its purpose was to have the participating officers re-sharpen their drill-skills; something which keynote speaker at the Ceremony, Acting Director of Training Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, reminded them is an integral part of their discipline as members of one of the Nation’s leading security forces.
San Pedro Tourist Guide Association Promotes Dive Safety in San Pedro
The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) has undertaken great steps to ensure that diving is done in the safest way possible. Below they outline four major accomplishments completed in the month of May 2013.
*A seminar on updating all dive professionals in diving was conducted. The PADI forum was conducted at the Sun Breeze conference room on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Over 75 dive instructors and dive masters from both San Pedro and Caye Caulker attended the event. The forum ensured that dive professionals got all updated materials and procedures when dealing with the safety of diving and training.
Belikin Beer Celebrates the Natural Beauty of Belize
Misc Belizean Sources
Ready or Not, Here We Are!
June is a month for Graduations, annual rites of passage and new beginnings for students in Belize and throughout the world. Young teenagers complete Primary/Elementary School (Standard 6) while older teenagers graduate from Secondary (High School), and adults graduate from Tertiary (Sixth Form or University). Most of the students who graduate from Primary (Standard 6) typically will head straight into a High School or Technical School, if their families can afford to pay for it, while students who leave or graduate from High School will enter the workforce, the military, or opt to continue studying, or choose a combination of employment and continuing education. Those students who graduate from a university with an Associate, Baccalaureate, or other degree are now ready to enter the workforce as career professionals. Nonetheless, each year brings more challenging and complex academic and career options. This month thousands of young Belizeans who are graduating, from Primary up through University level, face increasingly complex and pivotal crossroads and new phases in their lives. How ready, though, are they to make crucial decisions and take on the world? If they are ready, are there places for each of them in today’s world?
VIDEO: Belikin - NATURE
Belikin, the beer of Belize, celebrates the natural beauty that Belize has to offer. Belikin is proud to call Belize, this lovely place, full of nature and culture, its home.
Directors: Funk Brothers
Producer: Chelsea Stier
Directors of Photography: Chayse Irvin, Dana Morris
Camera Assistant: Matt Cabinum, Arturo Rojas
Gaffer: David Miller
Key Grip: Virgile Dean
Jib Operator: Brian Gaetke
Placencia and Laughing Bird Caye in Belize Among the World's Top 100 Beaches
"Placencia has great beaches, but it's the adventures to be had that make this a top 100 beach destination. Jungle rivers, Mayan ruins and fantastic wildlife make this one a beach trip with various purposes," reads the description of Placencia beaches, from a recent publication by CNN Travel."
We met up with Natalie Ranguy, the Guest Services Manager at Chabil Mar, to chat about this honor for the area.
"Placencia is a small traditional fishing village of about 1300 full time residents, so we don't always get that much international recognition. What makes us so special is our location along the southern coast of Belize on a 16 mile long peninsula, at the end of which, lies our Village of the same name."
"And to top if off, the list includes Laughing Bird Caye, a Belize National Park, just 11 miles off the coast of Placencia Village, where so many of our guests snorkel and scuba dive while visiting with us. It is a beautiful little piece of paradise and The CNN Travel list describes Laughing Bird so nicely - "Reaching barely a meter above sea level, this protected isle is less than a hectare in size, but offers one of the best day trips off the Belize coast. A huge amount of coral, bird and marine life call this place home, which is why so many visitors call it perfect", says Natalie.
New Horizons help Belizeans see more clearly
U.S. military medical personnel partnered with the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired and the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, Belize, to conduct an ophthalmology medical readiness training exercise May 31 through June 14.
Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine dealing with the functions, structure and diseases of the eye.
The 15-day medical exercise is part of a larger exercise called New Horizons. The team is conducting cataract surgeries, retina laser procedures, and pterygium removal. Pterygium is a growth of scar tissue that grows from the white part of the eye onto the cornea and is very common in Belize due to intense UV radiation from the sun.
New Horizons partnered with the BCVI and the Southern Regional Hospital to coordinate the logistics and patients required for the MEDRETE.
SIPL Summer Kids Program
The San Ignacio Public LIbrary is doing a Summer Program for kids between the ages of 5 and 12. The dates are from July 1st through the 5th, and the activities will be held at the SIPL. The theme will be 'Endangered Species of Belize.' Contact them at 804-0459 or by email at email@example.com.
"Summer Program 2013. All parents are advised to sign their children as soon as possible since there are limited spaces available."
MTA: Mr. Lawrence Vernon
The National Heritage Library is having another Meet the Author day tomorrow, and this time they are bringing in Mr. Lawrence Vernon.
"The National Heritage Library on Mountain View Blvd. in Belmopan is having its sixth segment of Meet the Author to be held on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Mr. Lawrence G. Vernon is the featured author, editor, researcher and librarian for this event. He has contributed dozens of articles, book reviews and chapters to Belizean publications throughout the years. His research has yielded several books, including, Cultural Groups of Belize, From the Pages of our History and A History of Political Parties in Belize: 1950-1981."
Belize Zoo Conservation Camp
The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center will be having their 20th annual Conservation Camp from July 1st through the 5th. Students between the ages of 12 and 17 are welcome to apply for the Summer camp. It'll be a great time, and they'll also learn about wildlife and conservation while taking field trips. Contact them at 822-8000 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
"The Zoo is once again hosting it's Summer Conservation Camp. Students ages 12-17 are invited to sign up! Call or email us for more details.
**Note: Preference will be given to first time campers this year. Camp veterans will be put on a waiting list."
VIDEO: Bare Pantry Show in Belize Part 2
This vlog covers day 6 through 8th of our Belize adventure.
Barrow to Ashcroft Alliance over Offshore Registries: “Bring It On!”
Yesterday Government took over the operations of Immarbe and the IBC Registry. Now, these are what are known as offshore operations, so, outside of the Belizeans who work at the registries, the takeover has very little effect on everyday life in Belize. But, it’s a major move in the broader picture, because these registries generate millions of US dollars in revenue annually and they do so for a company that’s part of the Ashcroft Alliance, and another called Morgan and Morgan that’s a Panamanian law firm. So even though most of us might not see it, the stakes are high – and to verify that, you just need to look at the 60 million US dollars that the Ashcroft Alliance says it will claim as damages.
But today when he held a press conference to explain the whole takeover, it looks like Prime Minister Dean Barrow wasn’t feeling the heat one bit. He told the media that it’s not nationalization, it’s a legal and necessary transition. Here’s how he explained it:…
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"This is not a nationalization, this is not in any way in the same category as BTL and BEL. This is the government of Belize determining that the contractuary agreement that these people had to run these two registries has come to an end. And that the secrete purported extension signed by Said Musa and Francis Fonseca is of no validity, therefore, the government has moved to assume control on a completely legal basis. The government's course of action is justified for any number of reasons but in particular in consequence of the fact that the European union by way of the commission decision has served us notice, that unless you get control of the registry and do something to regularize the operations of registry and in particular of the fishing fleet - you will have exports to EU band
Man Shot Multiple Times By Masked Men Escapes Serious Injury
But turning first to other news, a woman was murdered in Caye Caulker this afternoon – and the key suspect is her husband. Our team is just back from Caye Caulker and we’ll have that story a little later, but first….an update on the shooting we told you about last night.
At 6:00 pm, 30 year old Arturo Varela was shot in a yard on Antelope Street Extension. Police say he had an argument with his common-law wife and as he was leaving his house, he saw two men pulling on ski – masks in the adjoining yard, which is where his mother-in-law lives. He ran back inside his house, but the masked men kicked open the front door and fired several shots at him. Fortunately, he was not seriously hurt and the KHMH reports that he has been treated and released. Police have detained four persons all of Antelope Street Extension. The fight he’d had with his wife is believed to be related to the shooting.
Two More Men Shot In City
Less than 2 hours after that shooting, more shots were fired on the city’s southside. This one happened on Pine Street at 7:40 where shots were fired at 39 year old Cecil Gill and 57 year old Rafael Francisco Aguet by a man standing at the corner of Hondo and Ebony Streets.
Gill was shot to the nose and the left foot while Aguet was shot to the left shoulder. Both men are stable and under police guard at the KHMH.
Woman Killed In Caye Caulker; Suspect Husband Flees
Tonight, Sergio Morran is believed to be on the run with his 7 year old son – after his wife was murdered on Caye Caulker today.
We say “on the run” because he is a suspect in the tragic homicide – which happened early this morning. Daniel Ortiz went out to Caye Caulker and he has this story.
Daniel Ortiz reporting
The upstairs house in the area of Caye Caulker, known as "Black Neighbourhood", seemed tranquil at its location overlooking the coast. That, coupled with the freshly laundered clothes swaying in the wind, would mislead a casual observer into thinking that it was just another Wednesday afternoon.
But that was the furthest from the truth, as cordon tape, along with the mass gathering of police officers and onlookers signaled that terrible violence had been committed there.
27 year-old Julia Morran was killed inside that house - her home - early this morning.
PM Expects Minimal Fallout From Guate Civilian Shot In Chiquibul
As you saw at the top of the news, today, the Prime Minister held a press conference to talk about the take-over of the offshore registries – but he also took time to address topics of public interest. First, is the case of the Guatemalan civilian shot by Belize security personnel in the Chiquibul one week ago. His name is Edgar Alexander Alveno and he was shot in the Caballo Camp area of Chiquibul. The Prime Minister today told the media that Alveno fired first:
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"After Mr. Alveno had fired on the BDF patrol, they returned fire and Mr. Alveno was shot. Members of the Patrol disarmed him, searched and found two cell phones, one 22 rifle and 11 rounds of ammunition. He received 4 shots - the BDF medics who are obviously outstanding attended to him, tried to bind up his wounds, it took a while given where they were to walk and carry him to a point where the ambulance was waiting to take him to a hospital - this process lasted about 12 hours. The medics did such a good job that he was taken to the hospital, surgery was done on him and he is now in a critical but stable condition."
A joint verification team including the Guatemalans and the OAS has confirmed that the shooting occurred within Belize. The PM says he expects minimal fallout if Alveno survives.
PM Agrees: Police Taking Too Long To Press Noh Mul Charges
The Prime Minister also addressed the situation at Noh Mul. It’s been almost five weeks since the story made the news – and still, no charges have been brought against De-Mar’s stone Company which has admitted to bulldozing the ancient Mayan temple. Today, the Prime Minister told the media why it’s been taking too long:..
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"They need to record a statement from the camera man/men that did the video recording and the drivers of the equipment have still not been properly identified. The video recording is available but the DPP doesn't think that's sufficient for prosecuting purposes. The DPP is obviously being extremely careful, she wants to be sure that when she gives the directive to lay the charges - the case will be water tight. Yes I am concerned that the office in charge of the investigation whom I shall not name, from the start did not get some of the material that the DPP is now sending him back to get. This report was brought to my house last night by Cornell Lovell after I had spoken to him during the day making claim that I wanted to be able to report to the public and that I would not be at all pleased if I couldn't report that this thing has happened or is about to happen imminently. I signaled that in my view it's taking too long."
PM Will Bend But Not Bow On Gender Policy
And last week Friday, the Prime Minister met with the Belmopan Churches to discuss the Gender Policy. It’s created a great deal of furor among some Christian sects because of the interpretation that it seems to be mainstreaming homosexuality. But the Prime Minister says he’s willing to bend but not bow: he will not rescind the policy:…
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"I reiterated my position - I will not withdraw the Gender Policy but as I have said repeatedly to the extent that there is terminology used, to the extent that there are wordings, language formulations that are being misunderstood that are subject to misinterpretation - the government is perfectly willing to sit with the churches and rework the language in order to put matters beyond any doubt. Already there were three such formulations that we agreed could be reworked. We made some progress on Friday against the backdrop of my insistence and I believe the acceptance of the part of the churches that there will be no withdrawal of the policy."
PM Discouraged About Once “Encouraging” Oil Show
And, finally, the PM spoke about what was once called “an encouraging oil show in northern Belize”. Well those hopeful words went out over two months ago – and it’s not so encouraging anymore. The PM explained:..
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"That's not going as well as we would have hoped. They are having great difficulty getting the oil to flow in a way that would confirm or help them to confirm of the volume is there - that's in respect to the well that has already been dug. They are now drilling a second well and they are going to do a directional drilling, instead of straight vertical well - this will be a kind of horizontal well, almost and they are hoping that that would help to solve the problem."
How The Registries Deal Got Done And Why GOB Says It Was Illegal
All those comments were made in a press conference that lasted for one hour and forty-five minutes – followed by another 20 minutes of one on one interviews. Indeed, the Prime Minister laid it all out today – especially in the case of the Ship and IBC registries. He showed up at the press conference with a thick file – and delved deep into the creation and continuation of the Registries. We looked at some of the paperwork dating back to 1993 – and the so-called secret extension agreement.
Jules Vasquez reporting
This agreement was signed on 11th June 1993, mere days before the June 30th general elections this is the master agreement signed by the then PUP government. It was a 10 year agreement with Belize International Services Limited which managed IMMMARBE and the IBC Registry with an option to renew for another ten years.
When that ten years was about to expire in 2003 Government’s legal counsel Gian Ghandi wrote to BISL saying that due to a fundamental change of circumstances and they could no longer exercise the option to renew for another ten years.
Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"That letter, I'm told by Mr. Ghandi was written after he had advised Ralph Fonseca and Said Musa of the legal position that he took. The Prime Minister turned right around and told BISL 'you can ignore Ghandi's letter and simply continue to operate the agreement and we in effect will treat your exercise of the option to renew as valid.' "
Gambis Gets Off
Keon “Gambis” Williams is free of charges tonight after he was acquitted today before Justice Adolph Lucas. Over 3 years ago, it was alleged that he had molested a 14 year-old primary school student.
According to police, the boy reported that in November of 2009, he was at the BTL Park when he was approached by Williams, who allegedly sodomized him. The boy continued that on a second occasion, Williams held him against his will at an abandoned building near the Foreshore area, but a bystander rescued him before Williams could assault him.
As a result, Williams was charged with committing an unnatural crime, and aggravated assault. He was forced to await trial, which came up finally, and when the boy, who is now 17, took the stand, he recanted his written statement to police.
He said that nothing like this happened, and that he told his mother this much. When he was asked about his statement, he suggested that he didn't freely give it. He went even further and told the court that he wanted to drop the charges. Because there was no evidence against Williams, Justice Lucas directed the jury of 9 to acquit him, setting him free.
Meighan Family Alleges Continuing Police Abuse
The Meighan family of Banak Street in Belize City made headlines on March 6th, when the entire household was shipped off to the Hattieville prison – after the GSU claimed to have found two rounds of live 9mm ammunition in their home.
Because no one wanted to take ownership of the bullets, the entire family was imprisoned. Shelly Meighan, her daughter Shanice Meighan and her 17 year old son received bailed 3 weeks later – while her older son Ellis Meighan served out his 3 months on remand.
He was released from the Hattievielle prison on bail pending his following court date. But less than 24 hours later, the GSU was back at the Meighan’s resident looking for him.
The family says that they are being constantly targeted by the GSU – and today, the women of the house Shelly Meighan made an angry plea to cease the harassment. She asked to appear off camera.
Voice of Shelly Meighan
"The officer asked me where Ellis was and I asked him why, he said he needed to see Ellis and I went off.
Santi Says He’s Retiring From Competitive Racing
Last week we told you that Minister of State Santino Castillo had been seriously injure din a cycling accident on the Western Highway. And that’s why we were surprised to see him today in the front row at the Prime Minister’s Press Conference. He told us he’s recovering faster than expected, but after decades of competitive cycling, he won’t be going faster on the road:…
Hon. Santino Castillo - Will Retire From Competitive Riding
"Jules I have a collapsed lung that is presently back at 80%, that's the most serious part - I can't travel at high altitude none at all for two months. I have a rib, #6 that punctured it, I broke two of my fingers - one which had to be retendonized and of course the colar bone. Truth be told due to my healthy condition, I don't drink or smoke, I'm actually out sooner than doctors expected and I expect it to continue."
"Will you ride again?"
Hon. Santino Castillo
"Jules I will ride again, but I have to re-evaluate if it's just for excercise - this happening racing and of course when you race, chances of this type of injury greatly increases. We were sprinting at 36 miles an hour and all hell broke loose when I touched the rider's wheel in front of me trying to pass him for the victory so I might have to just do it for my health. At 57 I can't take another 'lick' like this."
Castillo was also feeling well enough to address the issue of the challenge from Mayor Darrell Bradley who’s indicated that he wants to challenge him for the UDP seat in the Caribbean Shores division. Castillo says that’s a long ways off.
Rotary Renovates Children’s Home
The Dorothy Menzies Childcare Center has been in operation since 1975. It has provided a temporary safe and caring environment for children of all ages, races and backgrounds to seek refuge during difficult periods in their lives. But to sustain one of Belize’s biggest orphanages, it takes a lot of resources – and that is why the Rotary Club of Belize has been engaged with the institution over the last 3 years to conduct a renovation project.
Maria Coye- President, Rotary Club of Belize
"Well as you know Rotary is a Humanitarian Organization - we do raise funds. So this time we are in the third phase of the refurbishing of the home . The first phase was moving the kitchen out of the building into the downstairs of where the activity center is - the second phase we dealt with separating the boys from the girls and we built bathrooms and we refurbished the bedrooms that they now sleep in. Now we're in the third phase that we're renovating the top floors for the girls, putting in bathrooms and making the space more pleasing to them so that the girls have their own space."
Prime Minister explains nationalization of registries
Prime Minister Dean Barrow called a press conference his morning. He touched on a number of subjects, but the hot button issue was the recent take-over of two private companies. [...]
Was management of registries part of a secret agreement?
P.M. Barrow says that the agreement signed between B.I.S.L. and former Prime Minister, Said Musa, and the then Attorney General, Francis Fonseca, was done in secret. That documentation sets out [...]
Leader of the Opposition and Former P.M. says no secret agreement
As we’ve told you, the agreement in the spotlight was signed by Said Musa and Francis Fonseca in 2005, and extended B.I.S.L.’s contract to 2020. The legality of that document [...]
Takeover of registries will cause multimillion dollar litigation
Government assumed control of the registries on Tuesday morning; and there will be much discussion and yes, expensive litigation ahead. B.I.S.L. is confident that it holds a valid agreement and [...]
PM concerned about Denny Grijalva/Noh Mul case
It’s apparent that this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the registries are concerned. But while it is the big issue right, there is another of [...]
PM says Health Minister has no apology to make about neonatal deaths
The death of thirteen newborns at the K.H.M.H. in the month of May and the deadly bacteria outbreak in the neonatal intensive care unit is another big issue which is [...]
Woman is hacked to death and her husband is on the lam
A mother of one was murdered in her house in Caye Caulker; her mutilated body was found around noon hidden under clothes on her bed. Her family says Julia Moran [...]
Did sympathizers of his wife shoot him?
And in Belize City, there were two shooting incidents on Tuesday evening in South Side Belize City which left three persons suffering from gunshot injuries. The first occurred around five-thirty [...]
2 persons shot on Southside Belize City
But as police were processing the scene on Pitters Street, shots rang out in close proximity of the well known Pratts Fried Chicken. Two cousins, Cecil Gill and Rafael Francisco [...]
Teen says sodomy incident didn’t happen
The case against Keon ‘Gambis’ Williams, accused of sodomizing a fourteen year old student, ended today with an acquittal of the charges that were initially levied on him in 2009. [...]
Safa wants to come home free from suspicions of Hezbollah
The alleged terrorist suspect who took the identity of a Mennonite Wilhelm Dyck that died shortly after childbirth has been released from prison. In August 2012, a Belizean passport, driver’s [...]
P.M. says injured Guatemalan was shot in Belize
A Guatemalan national was shot by the Belize Defense Force last Tuesday in the Chiquibul and remains hospital under guard at the Western Regional Hospital. Prime Minister Barrow explained today [...]
Wife of Guatemalan national asks Human Rights Attorney for help
The report from the government on the shooting of Sacasa says that the soldiers on patrol found a make shift thatch roof shed within Belizean territory. And while securing the [...]
Recovered from injuries, Santi Castillo ready to ride again
Among those who attended the Prime Minister’s press conference this morning, was the Minister of State, Santino Castillo. Castillo was involved in a cycling accident on the George Price Highway [...]
Santi will ride to victory on streets of challenger/mayor
Eager to get back on his feet, Santi is facing a challenge, not from a competing cycling team, but from a member of his own party. Belize City’s Mayor, Darrell [...]
Highlights of Belize/Guatemala football game
A telethon will be held this Saturday to assist the Belize National Team to raise funds and we will be showing that event live from the Princess Pool side. The [...]
Dorothy Menzies Childcare Center gets upgraded
The Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center in Belize’s mission is to ‘provide a temporary safe and caring environment where children can seek refuge during a difficult period in their lives.’ [...]
Well known Caribbean musician, Glen Washington in Belize
Legendary Reggae artist Glen Washington is back in the Jewel after thirteen years. The soulful crooner is here to perform for one night only during a pre-Father’s Day concert at [...]
Prime Minister Explains the Taking Over of International Registries
On Monday the Government of Belize issued release announcing that it would take control of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize, IMMARBE, and the International Business Companies Registry, IBC. The takeover came into effect yesterday. Both companies were being semi-managed by the ...
PM Updates On Investigation Into Neonatal Deaths
At this morning’s press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow updated on the investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of at least 13 neonates at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Prime Minister Barrow said the results of the PAHO investigation are in the draft stage but...
PM Says No Withdrawing of The Gender Policy
The revised gender policy has been the topic of the discussion and controversy since its release a few weeks ago. The churches have made known their strong opposition to certain sections within the policy. While the Prime Minister has said repeatedly the policy will not be withdrawn, ...
Verification Team Confirms Guatemalan National To Be On Belize Territory In Last Week's Shooting
Guatemalan national Edgar Alexander Alveno remains hospitalized recuperating from gunshot wounds inflicted last week. Alveno was in Chiquibul Area on Belize’s side of the border when he was shot by Belizean security forces. Earlier this week Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre rep...
DPP Has Urged For Additional Info In The Noh Mul Case
Last week the Director of Archeology Doctor Jaime Awe told Love News he expected that charges for the destruction of Noh Mul would be laid early this week. During his press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said key evidence is missing from the investigations- evidence which is expected to b...
Head of Business Bureau Says He Is Optimistic on Possibility of Trade Agreement
Last week we reported on the Mexican Trade Mission that visited to market their products in Belize. Fourteen businesspeople, mainly from Merida were here to access markets in the local arena. But while the Mexicans came to broaden their marketing horizons, Belize currently does not ha...
Belize's Embassy in Washington Raises 60K For Inspiration Centre
The Embassy of Belize in Washington has donated sixty thousand US dollars towards the Inspiration Center. The money raised by the embassy was handed over in the form of a cheque to Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow by Ambassador Nestor Mendez yesterday. According to a...
Burglary In The West; Armed Robbery In The South
An armed robbery took place yesterday afternoon at BWEL on three and a half miles on the Stann Creek Valley road. A forty seven year old plant supervisor reported that around 3:00 pm he was in his office when two dark complexioned men, one armed with a shotgun and one with a machete, entere...
Police Investigate Separate Shootings In Old Capital
Two men are injured following separate shooting incidents in Belize City. The first occurred shortly before 6:00 pm.. The victim, thirty year old Arturo Varela, a Manager of Antelope Street Extension, reported that around 5:30 pm yesterday, he had an argument with his common law wife....
Domestic Dispute Leads To Woman's Death In Caye Caulker Village
A woman was reportedly murdered by her husband in Caye Caulker. Love News understands that the murder occurred sometime last night or early this morning. It is reported that Sergio Moran, a Guatemalan National inflicted deadly chop wounds to his wife Julia Moran, who is originally fro...
Local Children's Home Gets Boost From US Military and Rotary
There was a lot to sing about today at the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Centre as the 60 children residents now have more amenities at their facility. The residents are housed there for a number of reasons: they’ve been abandoned, neglected or abused in their home settings and their fam...
Hurricane Hattie Exhibit Opens In Orange Walk
A new exhibit was opened today in Orange Walk Town. Reporter Dalila Ical reports: DALILA ICAL “A new exhibit “Hurricane Hattie” was opened this morning at the Orange Walk Banquitas House of Culture. The opening was attended by students. Coordinator at the Banquitas...
Orange Walk Woman Remanded On Ammunition Charge
A twenty two year old woman from Orange Walk has been remanded to prison for keeping ammunition. On Saturday June 8th, members of the GSU conducted a search on a house on Asuncion Street where they found four 4-10 caliber ammunition. Present at the time of the incident was twenty two year old Sop...
Final Document on Neonatal Investigation To Be Released Shortly
At this morning’s press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow updated on the investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of at least 13 neonates at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Prime Minister Barrow said the results of the PAHO investigation are in the draft stage but as far as he can say, one person has already resigned and another high level official is expected to follow suit.
Rt. HON. DEAN BARROW
“I have been informed by the chairperson that the draft final report of the PAHO people is now extant, has been done, that has been submitted to the board and PAHO and the board are going over it, with a view to the finalization. It is a draft final document and they are trying to reach to the point where we can eliminate the word, ‘draft’ and there will be a final document that should not take more than another day or two and then the KHMH board will come to the media and as I understand it, will share that document with the media and the public. I said to the board, any investigation that takes place; they asked me of the possibility of liability, of people suing, I said I don’t care what the liability would be, you are to cover up nothing; if you find negligence, you are to identify negligence and let the people sue and be compensated we can’t be playing the fool with a tragedy of those sort of dimensions. I understand that ahead of this draft that the final report of PAHO has prepared, one person has already resigned, to be confirmed and I understand that a second person even higher than that person is about to resign. I don’t yet know what the draft final report is saying; I gather from the chairlady that it does not put the KHMH in a good light; whether it goes to the extent of saying person A and person B is negligent, I don’t know, but please, if that is so then the consequences must follow and who is negligent must face disciplinary action and if there is negligence, compensation must be given to the family.”
The results of the PAHO investigations are expected to be released shortly.
National Gender Policy Will Not Be Withdrawn
The revised gender policy has been the topic of the discussion and controversy since its release a few weeks ago. The churches have made known their strong opposition to certain sections within the policy. While the Prime Minister has said repeatedly the policy will not be withdrawn, once again today he said he is open to discussions that could lead to changes with the language used in the policy.
RT. HON. DEAN BARROW
“I have met with a number of church leaders; the last such meeting being on Friday, I was accompanied in the meeting by Ministers Godwin Hulse, John Saldivar and Lisel Alamilla and I reiterated my position that I will not withdraw the gender policy but as I have said repeatedly, to the extent that there is terminology used, to the extent that there are wordings, there are language formulation that are being misunderstood, that are subject to misinterpretation; the government is perfectly willing to sit with the churches and rework the language in order to put matters beyond any doubt. Already there were three such formulations that we agreed could be reworked. That group was the representative of the Belmopan pastors; there is clearly a far larger body that they tell me, will send formal submissions to government by way of a brief being prepared by lawyers; we will look at that. I thought we could work things out without the presence of lawyers; you know, whenever lawyers get into anything then that’s trouble and if they call for their lawyers, I will have to call for my lawyers.”
Injured Guatemalan National Was On Belizean Territory; Verification Team Confirms
Guatemalan national Edgar Alexander Alveno remains hospitalized recuperating from gunshot wounds inflicted last week. Alveno was in Chiquibul Area on Belize’s side of the border when he was shot by Belizean security forces. Earlier this week Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre reported that the shooting occurred on their side of the border. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said a verification team has confirmed that the incident did indeed occur on Belizean soil.
RT. HON. DEAN BARROW
“This shooting incident, as you know that occurred on June 3, 2013 between the hours of 2 and 3pm a Guatemalan national, Edgar Alexander Alvano was shot by Belizean security forces during an operation in the Caballo camp area of the Chiquibul National Park, he was encountered two kilometers east of the Belize/Guatemala border. So, he was well within Belize’s national territory. After Mr. Alvano had fired on the BDF patrol, they returned fired and Mr. Alveno was shot. Members of the patrol disarmed him, searched and found two cellphones, (1) .22 riffle and 11 live rounds of ammunition. The BDF medics, he received four wounds, the BDF medics who obviously are outstanding attended to him, they tried to bind up his wounds; it took a while, given where they were to walk and carry him to a point where the ambulance were waiting to take him to a hospital. How long did that extraction process last, Colonel? – About 12 hours but the medics did such a great job he was taken to a hospital and surgery was done on him and he is now in a critical but stable condition; apparently recovering with each passing day. A joint verification team including officials from Guatemala, the OAS and the Government of Belize visited the area and confirmed that the incident occurred well within Belize. The Foreign Minister or rather the CEO who accompanied the Foreign Minister to the OAS meeting in Guatemala had a discussion with I believe, the Deputy Foreign Minister in Guatemala. As I recollect, the Foreign Minister did not even raise the incident with our Foreign Minister, so presumably the fallout from this incident is going to be minimal especially if the man makes a full recovery.”
Charges To Be Levied Shortly for Destruction of Noh Mul
Last week the Director of Archeology Doctor Jaime Awe told Love News he expected that charges for the destruction of Noh Mul would be laid early this week. During his press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said key evidence is missing from the investigations- evidence which is expected to be handed over to the Director of Public Prosecutions by Friday.
RT. HON. DEAN BARROW
“The file was given to the Director of Public Prosecution who was directed that additional police work be done to complete investigations into the matter. Police hope to do the additional work by Friday and there are two critical issues. They need to record a statement from the cameraman or cameramen/camera persons that did the video recording and the drivers of the equipment have still not been positively identified; there are the video recordings available but the DPP doesn’t’ think that’s sufficient for prosecution purposes. The DPP is being extremely careful; she wants to be sure that when she gives the directive to lay the charges, the case will be water tight. Yes, I am concerned that the officer in charge of the investigation whom I shall not name did not from the start, get some of the material or all of the material that the DPP is now sending him back to get. This report was brought to my house last night by Colonel Lovell after I had spoken to him during the day making it plain that I wanted to be able to report to the public and I would not be at all pleased if I couldn’t report that this thing has happened or is about to happen imminently; I signaled that, in my view, it’s taking too long; no getting away from that.”
The man at the center of the controversy is the owner of De’Mar’s Stone Company, Denny Grijalva.
Business Bureau Supports Trade Agreement with Mexico
Last week we reported on the Mexican Trade Mission that visited to market their products in Belize. Fourteen businesspeople, mainly from Merida were here to access markets in the local arena. But while the Mexicans came to broaden their marketing horizons, Belize currently does not have a full agreement to trade local merchandise with our neighbors. But President of the Belize Business Bureau, Arturo Lizarraga, says if we go by recent comments from our Prime Minister, Dean Barrow that should soon change.
“One of the encouraging things that we recently heard on the radio is our Prime Minister saying, the debacle on the fact that we did not attend the Guatemalan investment forum and we are playing catch up and one of the most important things I think the PM said is that he is now interested in a full blown agreement albeit with protection for Belize. I think that should have been done quite a while ago with Central America because if we do that then we establish Belize as the portal, as he was commenting but I think the other item on the agenda and the last meeting they had had at the Biltmore, we had brought it up with the gentleman, Gomez who is from the Caribbean of establishing Belize City as a headquarter or as a depositary of all trade matters for Central America and the Caribbean. I believe that Mexico is the biggest player, Mexico is our biggest market even though we have tourism coming from Canada and the United States, Mexico will replace that market as a larger market but we have to seek it out and I think this small visit, it might appear small but this is one of the many other processes where they look for market access and there are looking at Belize and Belize is very small as a market but if we can position ourselves for Mexico and Central America as the gateway to the Caribbean then I think we will have more investment and people who will be looking to use Belize as a distribution platform. We only have a small partial scope with Guatemala; so I think what I just previously said about Belize pursuing for a full blown agreement with the protection of Belize being a smaller country should apply to Mexico as well.
Another Big Score For The Inspiration Centre In Belize
The Embassy of Belize in Washington has donated sixty thousand US dollars towards the Inspiration Center. The money raised by the embassy was handed over in the form of a cheque to Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow by Ambassador Nestor Mendez yesterday. According to a press release from the office of the Special Envoy, the donation is the proceeds of several fundraising events hosted in Washington between October 2011 and May 2013 which brought in over forty thousand US dollars. The release says Barrow is extremely grateful to Ambassador Mendez and his team for supporting the important cause of providing a safe inclusive environment for children with disabilities to access much needed services. This donation comes at the heels of a nationwide telethon which met and surpassed its mark of five hundred thousand dollars for the building of the Inspiration Center. The Special Envoy for Women and Children and partner CARE-Belize are committed to meet the goal of completing the Inspiration Center by September and have it operational by the end of this year.
Armed Burglary at Gas Depot; GOB Department Reports Stolen Items
An armed robbery took place yesterday afternoon at BWEL on three and a half miles on the Stann Creek Valley road. A forty seven year old plant supervisor reported that around 3:00 pm he was in his office when two dark complexioned men, one armed with a shotgun and one with a machete, entered the establishment. One of the men ordered him not to move. The man with the firearm reportedly hit him behind his head causing a large cut wound. The men then searched the table and took an undisclosed amount of cash from the day’s sales. They also took his wallet which contained personal documents, then made good their escape. Police have detained one man from the Wagierale Area of Dangriga in connection with the incident and are seeking another.
Over five thousand dollars in items was stolen from the Ministry of Agriculture Department in Central Farm. An extension officer reported that between the hours of 4:30 pm on the 10th of June and 7:15 am yesterday, persons burglarized the Horticulture Office located on the George Price Highway in Central Farm. Stolen were a number of electronic items and seeds valued at five thousand four hundred and seventy five dollars and the property of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Two Separate Shooting Incidents Reported In Belize City
Two men are injured following separate shooting incidents in Belize City. The first occurred shortly before 6:00 pm.. The victim, thirty year old Arturo Varela, a Manager of Antelope Street Extension, reported that around 5:30 pm yesterday, he had an argument with his common law wife. When he was leaving his house he observed two men putting on ski-masks on their faces in his mother-in-law’s yard which is adjacent to his. He immediately ran inside the house when he saw the men, but they managed to kick open the front door and fired several shots at him causing him multiple wounds. Varela was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is listed in a stable condition. Police have detained four persons of Antelope Street Extension pending the outcome of the investigations.
The other shooting incident took place shortly before 8:00 pm and caused injuries to two men. They are thirty nine year old laborer of Pine Street, Cecil Gill and fifty seven year old Rafael Francisco Aquet, also a laborer of Pine Street. Reports are that both men were walking on Pine Street heading home from the direction of Ebony Street, around 7:40 pm when a man standing at the corner of Hondo Street and Ebony Street fired several shots at them. Gill received gunshot wounds to the nose and left foot and Aquet received a wound to the left shoulder. Both men were admitted to ward in a stable condition and police continue to investigate.
Woman’s Throat Slit During Domestic Spat
A woman was reportedly murdered by her husband in Caye Caulker. Love News understands that the murder occurred sometime last night or early this morning. It is reported that Sergio Moran, a Guatemalan National inflicted deadly chop wounds to his wife Julia Moran, who is originally from Punta Gorda. Police were reportedly alerted by Julia’s brother in-law who lives close to her house, that he had heard a dispute last night and had not seen Julia since. When police visited the house, they found Julia’s body with chop wounds to the back of the head, the face and multiple other chops, one of which we understand severed several fingers. It is reported that Sergio Moran boarded the first boat out of the island along with the couple’s son who is said to be about seven or eight years of age. But it wasn’t only Julia’s body that the police found in the house. Love News understands that Sergio left a note explaining why he killed his wife, almost three months after they had separated. According to reports Sergio states in the note that he did it because his wife was unfaithful. He reportedly also indicated that he will return to his country of birth. We understand police have set up checkpoints trying to locate Moran.
US Military and Rotary Constructs Family and Counselling Centres for Local Children’s Home
There was a lot to sing about today at the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Centre as the 60 children residents now have more amenities at their facility. The residents are housed there for a number of reasons: they’ve been abandoned, neglected or abused in their home settings and their family units are no longer deemed safe for them. The place they now call home was the venue for a ceremony marking the upgrade. The highlight of them all was the construction of a new Family Care and Counselling Centre, built by the US Military and worth some $200,000 US. Deputy Military Liaison Officer, Demetrius Taylor was the overseer.
Marion Ali, Reporting
Chief Demetrius Taylor, Deputy Military Liaison Officer, US Army
“Upstairs is four rooms where they have the conference centre and the conference area; they have rooms for the counsellors to work with individuals on one on one. We shouldn’t have any issues for the next 15 – 20 years with the building.”
And along with the building comes the facility’s new resident Counsellor, Patricia Brown.
Patricia Brown, Licensed Family Counsellor
“All of them come with histories; some of them are pretty horrible for kids to deal with but now they are learning that life can have different choices, they have control to make better choices for their future and that’s what we are here to guide them in doing.”
House of Culture Hosts Exhibit on Hurricane Hattie
A new exhibit was opened today in Orange Walk Town. Reporter Dalila Ical reports:
“A new exhibit “Hurricane Hattie” was opened this morning at the Orange Walk Banquitas House of Culture. The opening was attended by students. Coordinator at the Banquitas House of Culture, Yvette Torres tells us more.
“It is very important for us to know what a disaster such as hurricanes can do to our buildings, to our structures, to our country itself and to the people; for people to be aware of the seriousness when they hear about hurricane. On this exhibit, in particular, you will see the looting, the disaster of the buildings, the infrastructure loss that happened during that time of that hurricane and the assistance that was rendered to Belize that time. We think it is very important since the hurricane season has opened from June to November and for us to be aware of the precautions that one should have when they hear about hurricane.”
The exhibition is a travelling exhibit that has been to the Museum of Belize and in Corozal. The exhibit will be at the Banquitas House of Culture until the end of August.
Ammunition Charge Levied Against Young Woman From Northern Belize
A twenty two year old woman from Orange Walk has been remanded to prison for keeping ammunition. On Saturday June 8th, members of the GSU conducted a search on a house on Asuncion Street where they found four 4-10 caliber ammunition. Present at the time of the incident was twenty two year old Sophia Luna. She was consequently arrested and charged for kept ammunition without a gun license. She appeared in the Orange Walk Magistrate Court yesterday. The case was adjourned and Sphia Luna was remanded to prison until July 10th.
Murder in Caye Caulker
Tonight, there is tragic news coming out of Caye Caulker. A woman was murdered and her husband and six year old son are presently missing. Details are still sketchy at this time; however, one neighbor who spoke to the local media “San Pedro Sun,” says that around 12:30 am...
Prime Minister announces takeover of registries
Earlier this week, the Government announced that it had re-taken the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) and International Business Companies Registry upon the expiration of an extended contract with Belize International Services Limited (BISL), a joint partnership between Panamanian law firm Morgan and Morgan and BCB (formerly...
Two resignations announced at KHMH after neonatal deaths
According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, perhaps as soon as the end of this week, the final report of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)-led inquiry into the deaths of 13 babies at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital will be released. Here is the status report. Prime Minister Dean...
Police investigate two separate shootings
Police are investigation two separate shooting incidents occurring within three hours of each other in Belize City on Tuesday night. In the first, taking place just after 5pm, 30 year old Arturo Varela, of Antelope Street Extension was shot at several times, allegedly by two masked men. The men...
Three local organizations targeted by thives
Three local organizations were targeted by bandits. In the first incident, a laptop, the property of the Special Envoy, was reportedly stolen from out of the Conference Room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office in Belize City. The computer went missing sometime between 6th and 3st of last...
Belmopan School Receives 5 Laptop Computers
What makes the world tick? Technology perhaps? Industrial Science and electronic components have for years been occupying a solid presence in the many sectors, and the ability to keep up with this ever-changing technological world is crucial to the education sector. In view of this, the Government of Chile...
Top PSE student from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning
It has become an annual tradition to profile the top scorer in the Primary School Examination (PSE), who earns the accolade by producing the highest overall score in the examination among four subjects, English, Math, Social Studies and Science set in two testing days a few weeks apart. This...
Judgement reserved in OCEANA application
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has reserved judgment in an application by the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment to stay an injunction given against him by Justice Oswell Legall in April as part of a judgment declaring several production sharing agreements with companies exploring for petroleum unlawful, null...
Hip-hop 101 Summer Camp aims to be positive experience for youth
Another school year is coming to a close and that means summer is almost here; for children, summer is all about vacation and fun. However there are numerous camps which different organizations host yearly to have kids engages in diligent summer activities. Plus news spoke with James Gentle, owner...
Caye Caulker Chronicles
Possible Murder on Caye Caulker – Update
There are reports about a murder of a local woman that transpired between the evening of Tuesday, June 11th and morning of June 12th. Police suspects foul play and is looking for the husband and missing son of about 9 years old, believed to have fled to Guatemala.
More details to follow as it becomes available.
Chairman candidate question & answer forum held
A question and answer forum for candidates aspiring to become the next Village Council chairman for Caye Caulker was held at the Community Center last night.
It was organized by the San Pedro Sun.
The questions were relevant and many.
To get the best glimpse into the minds of the candidates, we think it best to refer you to a facebook page which has video clips of candidates’ responses to the questions they were asked.
You can find the Caye Caulker Elections facebook page HERE.
Five candidates (to date) are running for the position. They are Mr. Wayne Miller, Mr. Marcial Alamina, Miss Mineli Young, Mr. Phillip Guizar and Mr. Eduardo Arceo.
Chaa Creek Applauds Belize Government Reef Decision
The Belize Natural History Centre at Chaa Creek has applauded a recent government decision to deny approval for a large cruise ship project in an environmentally sensitive area of Southern Belize, according to the Centre’s assistant manager Brion Young.
Mr Young said that the decision sends a clear message that Belize is serious about protecting its natural environment.
“When the proposal to build a large cruise ship facility at Crawl Caye in Southern Belize was announced, alarm bells were set off all across the Belize,” Mr Young said. “It’s not just environmentalists who were concerned, but stakeholders in Belize’s tourism industry as well. We have a great reputation as a clean, environmentally conscious travel destination, and that’s something we want to maintain,” he said.
Belize’s main travel industry body, the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), has come out strongly against the proposal. According to a BTIA news release of May 30, 2013, “By opening the Southern portion of the country to large scale cruise ship visitation, the proposal fundamentally contradicts the country’s tourism master plan and irrevocably positions Belize as a mass tourism destination. This 180 degree shift from Belize’s identity as an authentic eco cultural destination is inexplicable in view of the uninterrupted success of Belize’s dynamic overnight tourism sector.”
Taking it Slow in Caye Caulker
If you’re looking for a place to relax and take it slow, consider Caye Caulker to be your next destination choice!
The island motto is “Go Slow,” and you will stand out like a sore thumb if you don’t choose to spend your stay this way. The food is fresh and full of flavor. The people welcome you with big smiles and friendly hellos. It’s not difficult to understand why some visitors plan to stay a week and end up staying a lifetime. Getting around the island and finding accommodation is a piece of cake. There are many places of all price ranges to stay on the island. Hostel dorm rooms cost around $12 CAD while a hotel deluxe suite can set you back $200 CAD per night. Wherever you choose to stay or how much you decide to spend, your view will most likely be the same. Since the island is only made up of three streets—Back, Middle, and Front—it is best to explore the island by foot or bike. You can also choose to rent a golf cart for the day or take golf cart taxis around the island as you please.
RFP NOTICE- CONSULTANT: STRATEGIC PLANNER
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), invites proposals from qualified contractors to provide consultancy services for the execution of a Strategic and Sustainability Plan (2014-2018) for CAIPA. Contractors are invited to submit a detailed technical proposal that demonstrates their capacity to undertake the assignment and a financial proposal.
The proposed consultancy is being undertaken in the context of the 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme.
Suitable applicants must submit a proposal (including a technical and a financial sub- section) that seeks to achieve the stated objectives.
Standard for Public Comments: Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) wishes to notify the relevant stakeholders and the general public that the standard “Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality” is being developed by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). The Final Draft CARICOM Standard “Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality” is out for public comments and inputs into its technical contents. Stakeholders are asked to note, on approval of the standard by COTED, the BBS will adopt the same as a national standard. The deadline for submission of comments to the Bureau of Standards is July 31st, 2013. The standard is also available on request from the BBS office and website at http://www.bbs.gov.bz . Comments can also be mailed to the BBS Office or email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I Can See Clearly Now” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Anxious to see if any of our windows had been fitted and unable to control our curiosity Rose and I set off today to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize a lot earlier than is our normal practice (that is aside from the major concrete pouring days which obviously have now finished) and got there around 10.30 am.
As we drove in to the lot we could see activity on the southern side of the Second Floor – windows were being installed! No time for us to take our usual bottom to top approach. It was up to the First Floor and then up the scaffolding to the Second Floor where we found Nicholas securing the middle of the three windows that will provide daylight for he stairway between the First and Second Floors.
With the three windows installed Nicholas and Angel moved on to start fitting the window above where the toilet in my bathroom will be. Porfelio though was inspecting the work already carried out to ensure that it was correct.
Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Apple/Cranberry Crisp on t'Barbecue
Thishere is a greet deessert to prepare on t'barbecue. T' wunderful aroma waftyun' frum t'barbecue will make y'all hurry wit t'mane corse jes so y'all a'ken have deessert. It’s a purrfeck deessert to take along campyun'. T' dry ingredyints fer t'oppyun' a'ken be mixet at trayler an' put n' a zippet plastick poke. And t'res a'ken easilee be preparet at t'campsite.
Wild Belize, a different scene than Durham
I wrote this while sitting in my room one evening last week in Indian Church, Belize, while I was covering an archeological dig.
While I was expecting to see a lot of wild animals on this trip, I wasn't prepared for all the dogs in this small village of just 250 people.
Trixie belongs to the owners of the place I'm staying this week. She jumps a lot and has long nails so I have giant scratches along my arms, but it's alright. She has a gentle soul; she was just excited.
Then there's the adorable little puppy. I wish I could bring him home for a better life, one where he's not hanging around the local restaurant waiting for scraps. I sneak him food and he laps it up the second it hits the ground.
'PARKER LEWIS' STAR
SUES Filmmakers Over
Leg-Shattering Boat Crash
Corin Nemec -- star of the '90s sitcom "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" -- is suing the filmmakers he claims are responsible for the boating accident that mangled his leg, insisting it's THEIR fault he suffered permanent injuries ... and now he's out for payback.
As we previously reported, the accident occurred in January in Belize -- Nemec was riding on board a boat to the set of B-horror movie "Rise of the Dinosaurs" ... when the vessel slammed violently into a submerged barge.
Nemec told us the crash sent him flying into the side of the boat -- and as a result, he broke his femur in 3 places, lost TONS of blood, and needed emergency surgery (including blood transfusions) to keep him alive.
June 12, 2013
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Specials and Events
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
SAGA chicken cook-off
On June 6th, the Saga Humane Society monthly cook-off took place at Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar and Grill. Eight exquisite dishes featuring chicken were entered, with all donations going towards the SNIP (spay and neuter) program. The ticket line was long and crowded as no one wanted to miss out on the delicious food. The array of savory chicken dishes was grand, and paired with a tasty cocktail from Runaway Bar, it was a treat that just couldn’t miss. For the minimal contribution of $10, lucky attendees got to sample all the treats and cast a vote for their favorite entry. After tasting and voting the count was tallied and winners were chosen. Letty Hernandez’s fruity curry chicken dip took first place for a most delicious and different take on chicken dip. Placing second was the Spanakopita in Tzaziki sauce, a tasty Greek-style pastry made by Fido’s Restaurant and Bar .Feliz Bar and Grill took third place with its Buffalo Chicken Dip; yum!
OCEANA condemns GOB’s outright disrespect for Oil case ruling
Since Supreme Court Judge Justice Oswell Legall handed down his decision on April 16 declaring all offshore oil contracts “unlawful, null and void” and an injunction restraining the government, the servants and agents of the Government of Belize has refused to ensure compliance with the ruling.
The most recent outright disregard for the ruling is exhibited by this week’s release of the Belize Petroleum Contract Map dated May 2013 which is after the April 16 court ruling. The map clearly shows Princess Petroleum Ltd and Providence Energy Ltd. with their full offshore oil block in tact as if there was never a ruling even declaring said contracts unlawful, null and void.
“This action by the Government’s servants, the Petroleum and Geology Department under the Ministry of the Energy is a flagrant disrespect and disregard for our courts, since Belizeans must keep in mind two principles of law: 1. courts do not make rulings in vain and 2. No court in making a ruling against a Government or the crown needs to take coercive action to force the administrative arm of the state to obey a decision of the judicial arm of the state,” explained Audrey Matura Shepherd, VP Oceana in Belize.
OCEANA Awardees revealed at World Oceans Day Cocktail
“We are extremely proud and gratified to honor Dr. Melanie McField with the Oceana in Belize Ocean Hero Award for 2013! And our Wavemaker Award 2013 goes to the Ottley Family,” announced VP Oceana Audrey Matura-Shepherd during a celebratory cocktail party at the Caracol Room on Saturday, June 8th, 2013. “Truly, Dr. McField, who is not present tonight to accept this award, is a Belizean who has consistently and unselfishly worked toward the protection of Belize’s marine resources. And the Ottleys, whenever we have issued a call for assistance, they have consistently volunteered and assisted Oceana with accomplishing its mission,” Audrey stated.
Saturday’s festivities also included the opening of a photographic exhibition in conjunction with the Radisson Fort George Hotel. SEA PEOPLE, the photo exhibit, is mounted in both the Villa Lobby and the Colonial Lobby. The images capture the people, places and fish from the coastal communities of Belize, from Sarteneja Village up north to Barranco down south, and aim to address issues of juvenile fish overfishing to the destruction caused by gillnets.
The photos will remain on display until June 14th, 2013. Members of the public are invited to stop in to view the exhibit between 9:00am and 7:00pm.
San Pedro Cancer Society celebrates 3rd year with anniversary banquet
The San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS) held its first anniversary banquet celebrating 3 years of existence in San Pedro. The SPCS was founded on June 15, 2010, and has since been working hard to create awareness, raise funds and assist cancer patients on the island. In the three years of existence, 18 cancer patients have been assisted. Unfortunately, four have lost the battle to the disease. As a group, the SPCS has also lent a hand to non-cancer patients who needed support from the community. Throughout all the fundraising efforts, SPCS has donated over $14,792.50. Those accomplishments were highlighted in a small ceremony at Elvi’s Kitchen on Saturday, June 8th. Giving the welcome remarks was Alyssa Muñoz, who reiterated the importance of the SPCS’s contributions, and the need to continue educating and informing the general public of this disease. Guest speaker at the event was Melanie Paz. Melanie spoke of how cancer has touched her life twice. While one beloved family member lost his battle, she mentioned the triumph of her aunt who, for over 20 years, has long outlived the 3 months her doctors had given her. It is stories such as those that keep the society’s members motivated, and certainly gives them the drive to continue to help.
Jenessa Sierra of San Pedro Ties Second Place in Countrywide PSE Exams
The Primary School Examination (PSE) results were announced on Friday, June 7, 2013 and amongst the top students countrywide is one student from Ambergris Caye. Over 7,000 students sat the PSE this year and Jennessa Sierra of San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC) tied in second place with two other students from the Cayo District.
The top finisher this year is Siyun Ye, from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning in Belize City. She topped her peers easily with an overall total of 391 points, six more than the second place finishers. There was a three way tie for second between Vincent Hulse and Nelson Esteban from St. Andrews Anglican in Cayo along with Jenessa Sierra from San Pedro RC School with a total of 386 points.
San Pedro Cancer Society Celebrates Third Anniversary with Awards Banquet
Coming up on their third year of working for the community, the San Pedro Cancer Society held its first banquet in celebration and appreciation towards all the people who commit to the society and those who assist the group in its endeavors. The event took place on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at Elvi’s Kitchen.
When the disease started affecting more island residents and there was more need of assistance and education, was when a group of individuals organized the San Pedro Cancer Society. The very founding members had family affected by the terrible disease. This was three years ago and today the Society has been able to donate over $11,092.50 to directly assist 18 cancer patients, four of which are no longer with us (may they rest in peace). Assistance to them included treatment, medication and traveling expense to the Dangriga Cancer Center.
Pic of the Week:
At the Tortilla Factory in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
El Patio Tortilla Factory has been one of the long-standing businesses in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, providing fresh corn tortillas to the island on a daily basis. How convenient is it to ride you on your bicycle, like this precious young girl, up to the counter and order fresh and hot corn tortillas by the pound. Tortillas are a staple food in Belize and incorporated into many meals.
Misc Belizean Sources
Belmopan Weekly June 7 2013
34 min video....
Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium
The 11th installment of the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium (BAAS) is scheduled for July 2nd July 5th, 2013 in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize. The primary objective of the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium is to disseminate current archaeological and anthropological information to the people of Belize, the tourism industry and the general archaeological and anthropological community. It is envisioned that the conference will provide an interdisciplinary arena that will allow students, staff, faculty and practitioners to discuss and exchange ideas about the latest developments in the field. Edited versions of the papers presented at the Symposium will be included in our annual publication series entitled “Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology”.
New Horizons fixes hospital sterilizers throughout Belize
A member of New Horizons is using a specialized skill set to repair steam sterilizers throughout Belize.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rosalinda Alfaro, biomedical equipment technician from the 59th Medical Wing at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is repairing steam sterilizers with various problems in the towns of Belmopan, Orange Walk and Dangriga.
The steam sterilizers are used for sterilizing instruments used for surgery.
Previously, the sterilizer in the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan was broken for three months. The heating elements were no longer working and needed to be replaced to get the steam generator running again.
Staff members from the hospital spent approximately 15 hours per week driving to sterilize equipment. Alfaro overhauled the steam generator and replaced the heating elements and flange on the machine.
Lots of photos of the repaired Sir Barry Bowen Bridge in San Pedro
VIDEO: Belize City Tourist Guide
I make a short video in Belize City about why I believe it is worth seeing when one visits Belize. It represents a country in the infancy of independence and all that is good and bad in these early stages.
Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed
The Science Museum of Minnesota is preparing for their Mayan exhibit, and they have numerous Belizean artifacts on loan. NICH has some pictures of them setting up the exhibit. Dr. Jaime Awe will be presenting on the 21st and 22nd of June, about cave rituals in Western Belize, and also about figurines from Cahal Pech.
The SMM has pictures up too: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151477741723292.1073741828.5905048291.
There's a behind the scenes video on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGY9X1KE80M.
And some info about Dr. Awe's lectures: http://sites.hamline.edu/mayasociety/June_2013_Jaime_Awe.htm
Father's Day Friday Dinner
Meluchi's will be having a special this Friday, an early Father's Day dinner and dance. They'll have the Aldana Family Band playing there for the occasion. Tickets are on sale now, and are only $25 per person. What are you doing for your dad for Father's Day?
"A great opportunity to invite your Dad out for Father's Day and give him a treat of his lifetime in the Company of great music by the Aldana's Family Band with Golden Oldies and music from the '80's & '90's while dining and bonding with that special one. Show him your love for him and invite him to Meluchi's this Friday night June 14th as from 6:30pm. It will be fun!"
In Bloom Performing 'Your Love'
In Bloom rocked the house at Lucky 5 this past weekend as they were joined by A Cold Day in May's Solangel Moreno. Here's the musical interlude of the day: The Outfield's 'Your Love.'
"Another "In Bloom" Video, this one of us Covering "Your Love" Originally By "The Outfields" at Lucky 5 Sports Bar And Grill In San Ignacio Town, In the Beautiful Cayo District of Belize!!!! More Videos Coming Soon, Check Us Out On Facebook!!!!!"
Fuego Opens Today
Fuego Bar and Grill opens today. They released their menu recently, so you can tell they'll have a good selection, and be pretty affordable.
"Elevated 'Street Food' - farmer's market to table. Our chefs utilize Belizean ingredients from the farmer's market next door and present it their way in a very comfortable and current setting. Our mixologists tell their own stories with fresh fruit juice concoctments. Choose from our music menu and enjoy downtown San Ignacio - it's people, shops and attractions."
Catwalk in the Jungle Fashion Show
The Catwalk in the Jungle Fashion Show will be this Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center, starting at 7:00pm. A portion of the proceeds from the event will got to a feeding program to support families with children who are unable to provide nutritious meals for the kids.
CARICOM Song Competition Extended
The deadline to enter a song for the Caricom song competition has been extended until the 28th of June. The song should celebrate the history, culture, and traditions of the Caribbean. The winner will take home $10,000. For more information, call 227-2110. Good luck!
OCEANA Back To Court Against Government
Today, OCEANA Belize, the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, and COLA all got their opportunity to present to Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin why the injunction against the Government of Belize should not be lifted.
Viewers may remember that at the last adjournment, GOB’s attorney, Denys Barrow, presented his case as to why the injunction granted by Justice Oswell Legall should be lifted in relation to the 6 PSA’s which were declared null and void for offshore oil drilling.
Today, there was another marathon of legal arguments, and we’ll get to that later but first, Oceana released a copy of the oil exploration maps that the Department of Petroleum and Geology currently recognizes as valid.
They are outraged to find out that weeks after the contracts for Providence Energy and Princess Petroleum were declared null, their oil blocks remain intact.
So, we spoke to them about it, and we got a response from the Government. Here’s how that conversation went.
Dr. Colin Young - CEO, Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology
" Based on our advice from our attorney the judgment from Justice Legal specifically did no squash the PSAs. He declared that the contracts were null and void, however, we are of the opinion, based on the advice from our attorney, that the judge refuse specifically to squash the PSAs. Based on that advice, then the companies are not injuncted and the companies still in fact can proceed with exploration so based on that advice they have not been removed from the contract map"
Belize Gets Guatemala Into A 0-0 Draw
Last week in Antigua Guatemala, Foreign Ministers from throughout the America’s converged for the OAS General Assembly. Today, that same ancient city saw two regional football powers meet for a friendly match when Belize’s National Selection played its Guatemalan counterparts. The match started at 3:00 pm at the Pensativo Stadium. For the first half, with Woodrow West in Goal both sides had multiple opportunities on goal, but neither could convert.
In the second half, the Belize side brought in Shane Orio as goalkeeper and though a difficult half – where Guatemala had the majority of possessions, he managed to get the national team to a nil-nil draw. It’s a respectable score and speaking to us minutes ago, Orio told us that it was a good challenge:
The Alliance Strikes Back: Says IBC/Immarbe Nationalisation Will Cost GOB 60 M USD
If you thought the IMMARBE and IBC Registry nationalizations coolly announced by Government yesterday might go down without a great hue and cry, just a few minutes before newstime, Belize International Services Limited – or BISL, the Ashcroft-allied co-owners of the registries sent out a release saying it quote,
“expresses its surprise, disappointment and indignation at the Government of Belize’s unilateral decision…”
The release asserts that BISL has quote, “a legally enforceable contractual right to operate and manage these two registries until June 2020.”
The release also discloses that just before the takeover, Government’s Tax Commissioner sent BISL a tax assessment for over 30 million dollars, even though, BISL argues, it is tax exempt, as are its employees. The statement says it had not been taxed for the 20 years it operated the registries.
And so, BISL says government’s takeover is a “flagrant breach of contract” and quote, “exposes the government to yet another round of expensive litigation…(in which it) will be liable for an amount estimated to be in excess of 60 million US dollars in damages.” End quote.
Late Evening Shooting In City
A shooting occurred at 6:00 pm in Belize City. It happened in the Collet area between Antelope Street and Pitta Street. One man was shot in the yard of a family member and he was taken to the KHMH. Monica Bodden just came from the area where she spoke to a resident – who says the victim was a Hispanic male was not familiar to them:…
Voice of Neighbor
"I saw someone in a white tee riding on a bicycle through the burial ground and that's all I saw. After I heard to shots, I went from where I was and I saw right up into the crime scene and I saw a person in white tee. I can't describe him but that's all I saw and all I can say. The person that was on the ground was the one that got shot. From the crime scene, I heard him drive off to the hospital, we didn't see him after the building and he drove to the hospital and that's all I saw."
Wayne Samuels Facing Multiple Civil Actions In Court
Business facilitator Wayne Samuels was back in THE MUNICPAL Court today – settling some of his debts.
7news has learned that Samuels was arrested on the strength of 4 warrants in relation to a bank and 3 private individuals who he owed $16,153 dollars.
He was ordered to make payments on these debts to which he was able to pay $7,500. We understand that since then other civil complaints have come up against him – and those other matters have been adjourned to the 17th. of June.
Samuels told us he had promised some business people gun and labour licenses which eh was unable to come through with because of changes in the labour office and special branch department of the police.
Merlene’s Return To A Major Position
Merlene Bailey Martinez had a well publicized downfall as CEO of the Social Security Board – but since then she been steadily regaining her footing as a leading holder of public office. She was named chair of the transport board a year ago and now we have learned that she has been named the Pots Commissioner. She takes over from John Flowers who quite a few months ago. Bailey-Martinez is highly trained but has no known expertise in Ports. We requested an interview form here, but today she was too tied up in what we were told were intense technical meetings to speak with us.
Man Who Killed Mother-In-Law, Drove Around With Her In Car, Pleads guilty
He killed his mother in law and drove around with her in his car, but today 44 year-old Peter Contreras pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Contreras, the owner of Kings Cuisine Restaurant, who was charged with murdering his mother-in-law, 50 year-old Argentina Aravello, is tonight at prison awaiting a sentence after taking his plea in the Supreme Court today.
The incident occurred on December 13, 2010 in Ladyville, where Aravello went to his restaurant, located on the airport road, to visit her daughter, Leslie Contreras. Peter Contreras offered her a ride, and while they were on the way, they got into an argument.
That argument, led to a physical confrontation, where Peter Contreras punched her twice in the face. She tried to get away, but Contreras used a rope to pull her back in. He later used that rope to strangle her, and he then drove around with the body for hours.
La-La Milk, A Strange Change
Merchants say LA-LA Milk from Mexico is the most popular milk in Belize – and that’s why we took note today when we got two angry calls saying that one store was selling defective milk without the safety seal. We went looking for answers.
Jules Vasquez reporting
So, we went into K-Park Grocery, hidden camera and all to find this pack of milk – and sure enough, open it and there appears to be no seal – it’s already been punctured. We took it up with the manager who told us that’s how LaLa Milk is now packaged.
To prove it, he then took us to see sealed boxes, opened them and it was the same.
Pradeep Badalani - K-Park
"It's coming like that from Mexico, not from our store - it's selling all over the country just like that."
The Cost Of Looking Grand For A Prom
On Friday, we told you about the student’s lesson in prom economics – where high school finishers and their parents have to find the money – hundreds of dollars to pay for the biggest party of a student’s young life. Years ago – that meant turning all kinds of tricks to get a suit from the states or to have one sewn locally. But one local business has filled that vacuum with a service that has the high schoolers lining up every year. Monica Bodden found out about the economics of renting a top notch prom outfit:…
Monica Bodden reporting
Belize Dry Cleaners has an inventory of hundreds of suits , every style, color and flavor imaginable. And every year in May and June these suits leave the warehouse and go into the show room where they take on a new life as prom suits giving some young man shining social armor for the biggest night of his life.
Malva Palacio - Supervisor
"Right now, business has picked up and it's hectic because there is lot of high schools and colleges that are having proms and graduations at this time"
"Can you tell us how far how many outfits have you guys rented?"
Young, Gifted and Restless
In 1972, Nina Simone recorded the song, “To Be Young Gifted and Black,” which is really a celebration of youth and her race.
Well, along that line, a new art exhibit called, Young, Gifted and Restless – celebrates youth in art. It features 6 artists and today we got a look at what is described as a provocative and diverse art display.
Kim Vasquez - Youth Development Officer, ICA
"The exhibits - we have two of them, one of them will open tomorrow night here at the Bliss Center that one is entitles Young, Gifted, Restless and we have a six upcoming professional artists showcasing their exhibit. It is being curated by Gilvano Swasey and their art, I would describe it as very disturbing, provocative, very diverse. Each one of them brings something different and it's worth while coming out to see and then on Monday we will launch the Children and Teenager's portion of the art exhibit on the National Festival of Arts - that's over at the Government House of Culture. Both of these exhibits will run up until July 6th. Both of them are open to the public, you can join us here tomorrow at 7pm for the launch - we will also have some entertainment. One of the artist, Galvez, that is in the exhibit is very multi-talented and will also be showcasing his music as well."
Another Government nationalization: another legal battle for registries
In 2009, the government of Belize nationalized the telephone company, B.T.L. and the electricity company, B.E.L. Today, government went further and took over control of the Belize International Services Limited [...]
New G.O.B. oil maps include areas for null and void contracts
Finding oil, testing for the grade and quantity are only some of the hurdles that come with the petroleum industry. The ink on the contracts is also soaked in controversy. [...]
Maranco’s Oil Show; what does it hold for Belize?
Since discovering oil in Laguna Seca, an area within the northwest corner of the Orange Walk District, Maranco Energy Belize Ltd. has been trying to determine whether the promising show [...]
Nil: Belize versus Guatemala in football
On the Road to the Gold Cup 2013, Belize played Guatemala this afternoon in Antigua, Guatemala. While the National ‘A’ Selection, the Jaguars, ended its second international friendly game with [...]
Belize to host major teen basketball competition
Turning to basketball, the Belize Basketball Federation (B.B.F.) participated in the annual COCABA meeting on June first in Montelimar, Nicaragua. Following that meeting, it was confirmed that our local ballers [...]
Activists says some south schools have not received P.S.E. results
Seven thousand five hundred and thirty-three students sat the 2013 Primary School Examination. There are three moments that define the exam: the nerve wracking day one, and the sighs of [...]
Man pleads guilty to strangling his mother-in-law
Forty-four year old Peter King Contreras was escorted to the court of Justice Adolph Lucas this morning for trial for the murder of his mother-in-law. At the start of the [...]
Cousins at War
A feud between two cousins on Sunday has resulted in charges being brought against the pair. This morning, twenty-six year old Vivian Martinez and twenty-four year old Lauren Young were [...]
Talking streets with Belize City Mayor
Stories on the street works being done in Belize City are not new, and neither are stories of frustration, congestion, inconvenience and even loss of revenue caused by that work. [...]
Is there anything left in the Municipal Bond offering?
In November 2012, the Belize City Council launched its Municipal Development Bond. It was a novel idea to raise much needed money for infrastructure works and it was greeted with [...]
Cattle Sweep for diseases
A cattle sweep is taking place in rural Belize to detect two diseases that affect livestock and can be harmful to humans if consumed. The process is in three phases [...]
Young Artists Put Works On Display
The works of six young artists are on display tonight at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The exhibit entitled “Young, Gifted, Restless” seeks to bring to attention the creative imagination of the artist including that of Alex Sanker who has made the creative arts both his pa...
Attorneys Speak Out Following Court Session Against Government of Belize
Earlier in the newscast we told you about the ongoing court case involving OCEANA Belize, the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, COLA and the Government of Belize. Today’s court session concluded after 5 o’clock and Love News manage to speak to Attorney for the Government Denys B...
Eye Care For Residents In Southern Belize Via New Horizons 2013
Over seventeen thousand Belizeans have been aided by the New Horizon Program under the US Military. Now they are offering Ophthalmological services in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “Free eye care is currently being provided to the residents of th...
Police In Belmopan and San Pedro Investigate Robbery and Shooting
A student of Belmopan has reported that his house was burglarized in his absence. The twenty five year old student reported to police that he left Belmopan on the fifth of June to go to Belize City. When he returned the next day he discovered that his house was burglarized. Stol...
Orange Walk Police Raid Results In Discovery of Drugs and Firearms
Police operations in Orange Walk Town led them to the discovery of drugs and firearms. Around 9:30 yesterday morning, police visited an apartment on Tate Street and a search was conducted. They discovered two bags containing two thousand one hundred and twenty one point three grams of...
Young Man Stabbed In Northern Belize; Police Investigates
An eighteen year old man was stabbed in the Orange Walk District and police are looking for the assailants. Investigations revealed that the man, Misael Valdez was walking on Robin Street in the Village of Trial Farm along with a friend, when three other men suddenly came out of Pelican Str...
Cayo Police Investigates Death of Farmer
A twenty two year old man from the Cayo District lost his life in a road traffic accident yesterday. According to reports, police visited Duck Run three Village, located in the Spanish Lookout Area around seven yesterday morning. When they arrived they saw the body of a Hispanic man l...
Businessman Confesses To Killing Mother-In-Law
Forty-four year old Peter Contreras, the owner of King’s Cuisine Restaurant who was charged with the murder of his mother-in-law, 50 year old Argentina Aravello, pled guilty to manslaughter today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until June 18 i...
Belize Petroleum Association Wants Standardized Industry
Last week Tuesday the Belize Petroleum Association sent out a press release encouraging GOB to standardize the petroleum industry that would give investors’ confidence that the industry is unbiased. CEO in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, Dr. Colin Young ...
Mixed Signals For Cruise Tourism In Southern Belize
It is no doubt that tourism is one of the biggest income generators for Belize’s economy. The debate lies in how tourism is brought and what the attraction is and although Belize City has been the hub for cruise ship arrivals, an up-roar has been stirred with the idea of cruise touris...
Maranco Second Phase of Oil Drilling Will Determine Quantity
At the beginning of April of this year, the Government of Belize issued out a press release announcing that Maranco Energy Belize Limited had discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in their concession area in the Orange Walk District on March 30. At that mo...
GSU Descends In Orange Walk, Three Persons Detained For Firearm Offences
Two residents from Orange Walk Town including a woman have been charged with several offences after police searched an apartment located on Tate Street Orange Walk Town. The search was conducted yesterday at around 9:30 in the morning. Inside the apartment police found two bags containing a total of 2121.3 grams of suspected cannabis, one .380 caliber pistol without serial number which was found on the floor and 50 rounds of .380 ammunition. Thirty one year old Melvin Gentle, Belizean laborer of Otro Benque and 30 year old Magali Cuellar, Belizean domestic of Savannah Street were inside the apartment at the time and were unable to produce a gun license. As a result they were both arrested and charged for the offence of drug trafficking, and kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license.
On Saturday night while some Orange Walkenos were attending the Tommy Lee concert, the Gang Suppression Unit was raiding houses in Orange Walk Town searching for drugs, firearm and ammunition. And that is exactly what they found when they searched a residence located on Asuncion Street. Reports are that while several persons were inside the house, police found Sofia Luna in possession of four .410 rounds of Ramington ammunition. As a result of the finding, Luna was arrested and charged for unlicensed ammunition and was remanded to prison until her next court date.
Armed Robbers Hold Up Marchand's Poultry
A brazen daylight armed robbery has left a family from Orange Walk Town in shock after they experienced the horrible ordeal. On Sunday June 9th 2013, at around 10:30 in the morning, two male individuals, one brandishing a gun and the other a knife, barged into Marchand’s Poultry located on Cemetery Street and demanded that all valuables be handed over.
Owner of the establishment, Carlos Marchand, his wife and a customer were inside the business at the time of the robbery.
Luckily no one was injured but Marchand had to hand over $800.00 in cash to the robbers before they made good their escape. One of the men is described as being of clear complexion, tall, slim built and has braided hair while the second is said to be of dark complexion. Police investigations continue.
Weekend Leaves Two Persons With Stab Wounds, One Person Is Charged
A man from the Village of Trail Farm in Orange Walk is tonight recuperating from multiple stab wounds at the Northern Regional Hospital. On June 8th, at around 11:00pm, 18 year old Miseal Valdez was walking on Robin Street in Trail Farm, along with a friend, when three male persons attacked him. Reports are that the three individuals came out of Pelican Street on to Robin Street and stabbed Valdez multiple times. While the reason for the attack is unknown, police are looking for three suspects who will be facing charges of attempted murder. Valdez is presently admitted at the NRH in a stable condition.
And while police hunt for Valdez’s aggressor’s, they have arrested one person for Saturday evening’s stabbing incident in the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar. As mentioned last night, the incident went unreported and up to news time the name of the victim had not been released. All we knew was that the victim was stabbed at around 5:15pm on Saturday and that he was in a critical condition at the Northern Regional Hospital. Tonight little has changed except for the fact that police have revealed the name of the victim and his attacker. According to police reports, on Sunday June 9th, Irvin Cantun identified Alejandro Itzab as the person who stabbed him on Saturday June 8th while in the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar. As a result, police arrested Alejandro Itzab, a 40 year old Belizean laborer of Palmar Village in Orange Walk for the crime of attempt murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm.
Guatemalan Troops Deployed To Adjacency Zone
On Monday June 3rd a Guatemalan national was shot by Belizean forces patrolling near the Caballo area in the Chiquibul after he was caught approximately two miles inside Belizean territory. The victim, later identified as 27 year old Edgar Alexander Sacasa, was transported to the Western Regional Hospital in a critical condition since he was unable to be transported the same day, due to the terrain and weather conditions. Reports are that a team of patrol officers stumbled upon a plantation and a thatch structure in the Caballo camp area and while they were securing the area, Sacasa came upon them. He was on a horse and he was carrying a firearm. Authorities say they ordered him to stop, but Sacasa ran off into nearby bushes. Patrol officers say they fired two warning shots and Sacasa who fired back at them. The patrol team subsequently returned fire, and Sacasa was hit four times – twice to the upper back and once to the lower back and left elbow. He also sustained a large bruise to the back. It is believed that Edgar Alexander Sacasa was conducting illegal activities within Belizean territory.
Restoration Of Santa Rita Archaeological Site Completed
In Early January 2013, the conservation of one of the most important Maya sites in the Corozal District was launched by the Institute of the National Archaeological Department with funding obtained under the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). Through the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Cultural Heritage Centre, the AFCP assists eligible countries in preserving their cultural heritage. Seeing potential in Belize, the AFCP awarded BZ$100,000 to the National Institute of Culture and History’s Institute of Archaeology for the reconstruction of Santa Rita. Today, after almost 6 months the conservation project has been completed. Reporter Victor Castillo tells us more.
Victor Castillo - Reporting
The archaeological site known to be the ancient City of Chetumal, Santa Rita, was in much need of reconstruction since the area was under a deplorable condition. At the beginning of this year, a group of experts directed by Dr. Jaime Awe from the Institute of Archaeology and managed by George Can, launched the restoration project of the Maya Site with funding obtained under the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, AFCP.
Belize's National Football Team Holds Its Ground In Guatemala
In preparation for the Gold Cup Tournament which will take place on July 9th of this year, with the first match being between Belize and USA, the Belize Jaguars played a friendly match against Guatemala’s National Selection in the “Estadio Pensativo” in Antigua Guatemala, today. The game proved to be very intense as Guatemala sent out a very offensive team in the first half of the match.
The Guatemalan team; however, was unable to pass the defense of the Belize team. Both goalkeepers, Woodrow West and Shane Moody, played for this game; one in the first half and the other for the second half of the game. By the time the whistle was blown, signaling the end of the match, the score was nil, nil representing a big win for the Belize team.
Belize and Guatemala remained in the same group in the second round of the CONCACAF world cup qualifiers. Although they ended up as the group winners, Guatemala’s team could not proceed to the third round of the CONCACAF as they lacked two goals to rank third in their group in the third round.
Oceana Tells GOB "You Are Not Above The Law"
On February 5th 2013, Attorney Godfrey Smith, representing Oceana Belize and other organizations such as Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, concluded his oral arguments challenging the validity of six offshore Production Sharing Agreements in the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall. The PSA’s, were awarded between the years 2005 and 2007 to Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, Petro Belize, Princess Petroleum, Providence Energy Belize and Sol Oil Belize.
On April 16th 2013, Oceana Belize scored what was considered the biggest victory in the history of modern Belize as Justice Legall ruled in favor of the claimants declaring all offshore oil contracts “unlawful, null, and void”. In his ruling, Justice Legall stated that the minister who signed the contracts exceeded his jurisdiction when he entered into the agreements without first having or considering and environmental impact assessment of oil exploration on the environment.
Young Artists Display Art Works
The works of six young artists are on display tonight at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The exhibit entitled “Young, Gifted, Restless” seeks to bring to attention the creative imagination of the artist including that of Alex Sanker who has made the creative arts both his passion and career. Sanker has been painting for more than 12 years and during his career he produced many pieces including a painting of his son.
“I came up with this concept for Caribbean Rum; they had a lizard basically drinking from the bottle and I have a whole story behind it but the concept about getting a painting on a canvas and the story behind is basically like a puzzle, putting on the last piece will make all the difference but on that specific piece there is a story behind it that the viewers and the people that come to the art exhibition could actually read it and could actually see the painting unfold in front of them. The story has a lot of humor behind it; so that’s what I try to do it’s all acrylic, it’s a technique that I do; it takes a long period of time to build up because as you know art critics and also artists know acrylic latex is a very soft medium of paint but with a lot of patience and time I have developed a technique where I could actually build it up off the canvas and for right now that is one of my best works and I think for the next 20 years that will always be my piece that I will put in all my exhibition to open it.”
The work of Sanker is more traditional compared to the work of Briheda Haylock who prefers to produce conventional work of arts with the use of mannequins.
Man To Be Sentenced For Murder of Mother-In-Law
Forty-four year old Peter Contreras, the owner of King’s Cuisine Restaurant who was charged with the murder of his mother-in-law, 50 year old Argentina Aravello, pled guilty to manslaughter today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until June 18 in order to give Contreras’ attorney, Ernest Staine, time to prepare a plea for mitigation. The incident occurred around 6 p.m. on December 13, 2010, in Ladyville. The facts of the case disclosed that Aravello went to the restaurant, located on the Phillip Goldson International Airport Road, and Contreras offered her a ride and she accepted the offer. While they were at the junction of Phillip Goldson International Airport Road and Phillip Goldson Highway an argument ensued between them. Contreras then reportedly punched Aravello twice in her face and a struggle ensued between them. Aravello then tried to exit the vehicle and Contreras used a rope to pull her back into the vehicle. Contreras then used the same rope to strangle Aravello.
Is Southern Belize Ready For Cruise Tourism?
It is no doubt that tourism is one of the biggest income generators for Belize’s economy. The debate lies in how tourism is brought and what the attraction is and although Belize City has been the hub for cruise ship arrivals, an up-roar has been stirred with the idea of cruise tourism in the south. Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced in an interview that the Norwegian Cruise Line which was being contemplated as a possible avenue to bring tourists to the south has gotten a big no no. Last week Love News spoke with a member of the Placencia Tour Guide Association who was concerned about some statements allegedly made by Minister Hulse to other media that the Association had agreed for cruise tourism in the south. The Tour Guide told us that the Association has never agreed for large cruise ships to arrive in the south, explaining that they did say they were willing to accept small boats of like two hundred and fifty tourists but that large tourism ships were not acceptable. But it appears that the sentiment isn’t shared by all in the south for today we got a call from Lester Richards, a resident of Independence Village who told us that he along with other community members want cruise tourism in the area as soon as possible.
Government Sets More Profitable Revenue Terms With Maranco
At the beginning of April of this year, the Government of Belize issued out a press release announcing that Maranco Energy Belize Limited had discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in their concession area in the Orange Walk District on March 30. At that moment, the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities were not releasing the full details of the oil find. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry, Dr. Colin Young, at the moment, Maranco Energy Belize Limited should commence their second phase of drilling operations in order to determine whether or not the quantity of crude oil believed to be present beneath the earth is in commercial quantities.
DR. COLIN YOUNG
“In terms of the Maranco oil find in the South Canal Bank #1 well, the company has completed its testing. Unfortunately they had some technical difficulties while doing that but they believe that what they have seen is good enough to report to the Department of Geology that they will proceed to drill an appraisal well as allowed under their production sharing agreement that allows them about 18 months to complete it and after that process they will be able to indicate whether or not the field is commercial or not.
OCEANA makes presentation in court on oil PSAs
This morning in the Supreme Court, OCEANA in Belize presented its side of the arguments to keep in place an injunction granted by Justice Oswell Legall as part of his April 16 ruling invalidating six production sharing agreements for exploration of offshore Belize sites for oil. A backdrop to...
Man dies after motor bike crashes
There was a fatal road accident on Sunday. 22 year old Hever Valdez, a Belizean farmer, left his San Ignacio home at around 7:30 pm on Sunday night on his Meilun motor bike. By the next morning, the body of the young man was discovered on Duck Run III...
Peter King Contreras pleads guilty to strangling his mother-in-law to death
41 year old Peter King Contreras pleaded guilty to strangling his 50 year old mother-in-law to death with a rope. The murder happened 12 days before Christmas of 2010. According to police, on that day, 50 year old Argentina Garcia went to a restaurant owned and operated by Contreras. ...
18 year old recovering from stab wounds
An 18 year old is tonight recovering at the Northern Regional Hospital, after he was attacked and stabbed. According to Miseal Valdez, around 11 that night, he and a friend were walking on Robin Street in Trial Farm Village, when three men ambushed him, stabbing him multiple times. He...
Man hospitalized after being shot in San Pedro
Another young man is tonight hospitalized after being shot. The incident happened in San Pedro on Seaweed Street. The victim, a 20 year old laborer of the San Mateo Area, was walking on the street, when a man reportedly approached him and pointed a gun at him. The victim...
Lara Budd seeks answers from KHMH after baby dies
In February, first-time mother Lara Budd gave birth to a full-term son, Clarence Tillett Jr, with no complications other than a slight case of jaundice which caused the hospital to admit him. But shortly thereafter he began to get sick and died after only four days of life. Since...
Police Graduate from Squad Drill Course
A two-week long Squad Drill Course for police officers wrapped up at the Belmopan Training Academy last week. The course saw the participation of close to 20 officers who are non-commissioned officers, corporals and sergeants, attached to the various formations and sub-formations around the Country. The Squad Drill Course...
Fatal traffic accident claims one life
There was a fatal road traffic accident on Sunday night in the north. It apparently was caused due to two tires being blown out. It happened between miles 73 and 74 on the Phillip Goldson highway where a Red Isuzu Rodeo SUV was being driven with 6 persons inside. ...
Leon Gray charged for attempted murder of Malcolm Wagner
24 year old Leon Gray was charged for the attempted murder of Malcolm Wagner who was shot at and grazed by a bullet last week Tuesday. Late this evening, alleged PIV member, Leon Gray, was arraigned in court. for the June 4, 2013 attempted murder of Malcolm Wagner. Allegations...
GOB taking control of business companies registry and IMMARBE
GOB says it will be taking control of the International Business Companies Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE). Management Services Agreement between the Government of Belize and Belize International Services Limited for the management of the two registries comes comes to an end, today, 10...
Belize City Council back in court for BWC debt
The Court of Appeal began its second session for the year today. Among the criminal appeals listed for hearing are Glenford Bermudez for the murder of his common-law wife, Edward Buller for manslaughter of a girl friend and Veola Pook for murder of her common-law husband. Meanwhile….The debt owed...
Police seek Robert Hill for alleged armed robbery
Corozal Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Robert Hill in connection to an armed robbery report. On Wednesday June 5th June, Corozal Police responded to information received of an armed robbery at Chang Li Game Room which is situated on 4th Avenue, Corozal Town. The owner...
Police looking for Austin Sutherland for suspected burglary
Police in the north would also like the public to help them in locating Austin Sutherland. On Tuesday June 4th, the owner of “The Breeze Hotel which is situated on 1st Avenue Corozal Town, reported that on the 1st of June, at about about 3:35 am his room in...
Jamaican Pastor says the LGBT issue is not about rights but acceptance of lifestyle
Last week, Plus TV’s Rise and Shine guest was Jamaican pastor and social activist, Reverend Al Miller. Miller discussed the global homosexual agenda, citing the same methods and tactics being used in Belize as also being used throughout the wider Caribbean community. While UNIBAM has gone on record to...
Janae Matute scores high in PSE
When the first half of the Primary School Examinations was sat back in March, we introduced you to Janae Matute – a vibrant and gifted 12 year old, who was born with Cerebal Palsy – a motor condition that causes physical disability in human development. But being differently-abled does...
Vector Control dealing with mosquitoes
This week Belize City residents have been tormented by mosquitoes, reminding us that we are now in the rainy season. With the resurgence of the pesky insects comes the specter of diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, which are spread by the Aedes aegypti and female Anopheles mosquitoes...
Girls Fly program initiated in Belize
American organizer Gail Sylvia Pullen has felt a deep connection to Belize and particularly its girls and women, whom she credits for boundless compassion to her own family and countless others. She has been moved to give back, first working with a project with Special Envoy for Women and...
OCEANA celebrates World Oceans day
World Oceans Day was this past Saturday and the leading Belizean conservation society for marine issues, OCEANA in Belize, took time out to honor those who make their living from the sea. It opened an exhibit photographed by former journalist Alex Ellis titled “Sea People,” 19 photographs taken in...
KILLER BEES KILL 5 DOGS
The Africanized bees, in a separate incident, also sent 7 people to the hospital
Killer bees were on the attack in the north last week – stinging people at about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday in Libertad Village, and killing 5 pitbull dogs at about 9:00 a.m. on Saturday in Corozal Town.
The individuals who were swarmed and bitten on Thursday were taken to the Corozal Hospital, where 7 of them were admitted to ward. Among those who were stung was a 12-year-old boy who was hospitalized, but none of the cases was critical.
The victims have since been treated and released.
A witness, 37, said that about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, she was walking in Libertad Village when the bees started to surround and sting her. Two men who saw what was happening rushed to her rescue, and the bees stung them all over their body, as well.
Some of the villagers who tried to help those who were being attacked, were themselves also stung by the swarm. All of the victims, however, managed to run to safety. They were eventually taken by a vehicle and later, an ambulance, to the Corozal Hospital.
GLENFORD “BUCKET”BERMUDEZ, CONVICTED MURDERER, GOES BACK TO COURT OF APPEAL
Bermudez is attempting to have his conviction and sentence quashed – for the third time.
Ex-Belize Defense Force soldier Glenford “Bucket” Bermudez, 42, appeared today before the Justices of the Court of Appeal, where, for a second time in only three months, a lawyer informed the justices that after perusing the case file, they found no legal grounds that would support an appeal.
On April 27, 2011, Bermudez was convicted of shooting and killing his wife, Racquel Requeña Bermudez, 41, after a jury of twelve deliberated for just over four hours and arrived at a guilty verdict.
It was alleged that on November 22, 2007, as Requeña was driving her taxicab on the Burrell Boom Road, she was forced off the road by a vehicle being driven by her estranged husband, Bermudez, who then used a shotgun to shoot her in the head, causing her instant death.
Reports are that after allegedly killing Requeña, Bermudez then drove further up the Hattieville/Boom Road to the Burrell Boom dump site, where he met some men and asked one of them for a piece of rope or wire because he wanted to catch a cow.
KAIBILES FOR PETÉN-BELIZE BORDER
Guat prez Pérez Molina had said he would use the Kaibiles “in anti-narcotics efforts”.
Amandala has confirmed from official sources in Belize that the Guatemalan military plans to beef up its presence inside the Petén, right next to Belize’s Western border, with a deployment of its elite special forces – the Kaibiles.
In April we reported that Guatemala’s military is acquiring six state-of-the-art light attack planes: A-29 Super Tucano airplanes, from Brazil. Guatemalan officials have indicated that the planes would be used in anti-narcotics operations, as well as in efforts to combat deforestation caused by illegal logging and other unsustainable activities in the said Petén region.
Chief Executive Officer in the Belize Ministry of National Security, Ret’d BDF Col. George Lovell, said that he learned about a month ago of Guatemala’s plans to put a number of battalions in Petén, near the Belize border, and those battalions “could be made up of Kaibiles.”
“We are concerned. We look at these things and… make an assessment of what is the implication of the amassing of numbers along the borders,” said Lovell.
He added that discussions about such issues take place at a military-to-military level and even in regional meetings. This particular issue was raised with Guatemala at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Guatemala said that they are repositioning troops, but not indicating a posture of aggression towards Belize, the CEO said.
LEON GRAY, 24, CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER
Police say he shot at Malcolm Wagner, 23.
Today, Leon Gray, 24, was charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and wounding, all of which were the result of an alleged shooting incident that occurred on June 4, 2013.
According to police, at 7:05 a.m. on June 4, they received a report of a shooting incident at the corner of Flamboyant and Vernon Streets. Police responded to the report and went to the scene, where they found Malcolm Wagner, 24, a resident of Flamboyant Street, suffering from an abrasion to his elbow.
Wagner reported that he was at the corner of the street when the two men — one of whom was wearing a mask— approached him on a motorcycle. The masked man then pulled out a gun and fired in his direction, causing the injury.
Police, after investigating the shooting, determined that Gray, a resident of #17 Fern Lane, was one of the two men who were on the motorcycle that day, and charged him for the crimes.
INTEROFFICE BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS UNDER WAY
Four quarterfinal playoff games took place on Friday night (into Saturday morning) at big Bird’s Isle with all 8 participating teams seeing action according to their seed positions in the regular season of the Interoffice Basketball League competition.
In the opener it was Tuff E Nuff over Digicell-4G by an 84-66 margin. For Tuff E Nuff, Ashton Edwards had 33 pts 4 rebs 5 stls, Raul Roches 15 pts 12 rebs, and Winston Pratt 15 pts 5 rebs 3 assts; while Digicell had Lennox Cayetano with 14 pts 8 rebs, Devon Lozano 14 pts 5 rebs, Karim Thompson 12 pts 8 rebs, and Eddie Thompson 10 pts 10 rebs.
Game 2 saw Oceana “No Limit” prevailing, 89-74, over Dep’t of Youth Services. Leading No Limit were Jacob Leslie 26 pts, Greg Rudon 18 pts 6 rebs, Vince Garbutt 13 pts 6 rebs, and Kurt Burgess 12 pts 14 rebs 3 assts; while for Youth Services, Adeem Trapp had 31 pts 3 assts, Jamir Enriquez 15 pts 6 rebs, and Brian White 11 pts 12 rebs 4 stls.
2013 RF&G 2ND BI-ANNUAL NATIONAL RANKING TOURNAMENT RESULTS
The 2013 RF&G 2nd Bi-Annual NATIONAL RANKING Tournament took place last weekend at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Mercy Lane.
With four different Divisions, A, B, C & WOMEN, and some 66 players taking part, the event started on Saturday, June 1, with the C-Division Round Robin competition, and continued on Sunday, June 2, with Round Robin competition in all Divisions.
Competition format was a Round Robin qualification round, from which the top 2 from each group would advance to the Double Elimination Finals in each Division.
In the A-Division, 5 of the top senior players competed, with 4 making it to the Double Elimination Finals. The final results were as follows:
A-DIVISION: 1st – Tyrone Tun; 2nd – Zhi Chen; 3rd – Carlos Cui; 4th – Billy Musa, Jr.
In the B-Division, 16 players took part, with the top 8 making it to the Double Elimination Finals. The final results were as follows:
QUO VADIS, PUP? Editorial
If we are to judge from their propaganda organs, the leadership of the Opposition PUP is somewhat frustrated by the fact that the workers’ unions of Belize have not entered a militant, marching mode. There are many numbers of issues which have embarrassed the ruling UDP lately. These include teachers’ raise of pay, rosewood, Noh Mul, the Hernandez contracts, the gender policy controversy, the KHMH infant mortalities, repeated immigration scandals, and the list goes on. The level of confusion and corruption in the Barrow government has not been matched by agitation outburst in the trade unions.
Some recent history is important here. Early in 2004, the Opposition UDP had marched in Belize City against various abuses, primarily financial, taking place in the second-term PUP Musa government, which was less than a year old at the time. The response from the Belizean people was lukewarm.
About five months later, in late July of 2004, however, a serious scandal broke in the Social Security Board, involving the abuse of many millions in social security funds. This was Ralph Fonseca’s Finance Ministry, and the man in the eye of the storm was then the PUP’s highest ranking “crony” – Glenn Godfrey, who had been the PUP Belize Rural South area representative between 1989 and 1998, and a PUP Cabinet Minister from 1989 to 1993.
This scandal involving their social security subscriptions caught the eye of Belizean workers. So did the challenge of 7 PUP Cabinet Ministers in early August, a couple weeks later, to the Musa administration’s financial policies. When the UDP decided to march again a couple weeks later, the unions were center stage. The street response of the outraged Belizean people was massive and dramatic.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
“Land tenure or land ownership is the basic social problem of Guatemala, and portends to be such until some sort of revolution can completely reverse the present patterns of ownership.”
- Thomas and Marjorie Melville, Guatemala, the Politics of Land Ownership (New York: Free Press, 1971), p. XI
“The current conditions of distribution of resources in the agricultural sector have accentuated an unjust duality … While great plantations have mechanization, credit, corporate facilities, and, above all, great extensions of land, so that 82 percent of the agricultural land is held by a few exporters, the rest of the people, 90 percent of the population, live a subsistence economy, with only 6 percent of the agricultural capital and no necessary social and economic infrastructures … The violence is in the system, which denies the majority of Guatemalans access to power, wealth and culture.”
- Christian Democratic Congressman (and Social Christian labor union leader), Julio Celso de Leon Flores, quoted in Guatemala Report #3
“Guatemala’s land story can be summarized in two simple striking facts: 2.1 percent of landowners own 62 percent of the arable land, and 87 percent of landowners own 19 percent of the arable land.
“The 2.1 percent are rich agro-export barons, owning large haciendas, called latifundias or fincas, that grow crops and ship them to the United States, Europe, or Japan. The latifundias generally use the most fertile lands in the country, such as those on the Pacific Coast producing cotton and cattle, and the Pacific mountain slopes yielding Guatemala’s major export crop, coffee.
MISMANAGEMENT? THE UNINVESTIGATED MYSTERY OF NOVA
I am sick of it! It’s been six years plus since Nova shrimp farm closed its doors, and every now and then I bump into someone who remarks, matter-of-factly, that the farm failed “due to mismanagement.” Just this past Saturday, I met an old acquaintance at the cricket game in Lords Bank, and the subject came up again.
It hurts each time, because I was a part of that “failed” company, a manager, in fact, and I don’t like failure. But, I am obviously biased, so I have kept my peace, hoping that someday, somebody, some Government, perhaps, would find it within the bounds of their civic duty to find out what went wrong, why hundreds of their citizens had to be put out of work, and what could possibly be done to remedy the situation.
The murder rate has escalated during the past few years, and one has to wonder what part the closure of two of the largest employers, Williamson Industries and Nova shrimp farm in 2006-2007, had on the socio-economic conditions, and by extension the crime situation in the Belize District and Belize City in particular.
Be that as it may, please allow me to get this “Nova mismanagement” bit off my chest. Perhaps it may spur some young aspiring politician or potential investor to take a second look at a project that embodied the true meaning of sustainability and environmental harmony, while bringing many jobs with dignity to the surrounding area.
Below are some thoughts I jotted down in frustration some years ago:
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE KEEPS EYE ON BELIZE
The Government of Belize has said that the US$50 million proposal from Norwegian Cruise Line for a cruise port at Crawl Caye in southern Belize is off the table; however, the company has informed our newspaper that it will keep looking at options in Belize.
“Going forward, we will continue to look for development options both in Belize as well as other areas in the Caribbean,” the company said, without providing specific details.
The company had been in negotiations with the Government, as they looked at whether they could set up an alternative port for their passengers.
“We think that if we can develop a destination that is Belizean, where the workers and the people that they meet are Belizean, and where the atmosphere and the vibe and the culture is Belizean, in a high quality, international standard, destination, we think we will do much better – and introducing them to a part of the country – in a sensitive way – that is gorgeous!” Colin Murphy, NCL’s Vice President, Destination & Strategic Development, told Amandala Monday. “The environmental people, the technical people have concluded that that particular development would unduly disturb the ecology and the environment there, and therefore they do not recommend that location. So the promoters understand that: Crawl Caye is off the table,” Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality Godwin Hulse, told us.
GOB ASSUMES CONTROL OF IBC AND IMMARBE
The Government of Belize will, as of Tuesday, June 11, 2013, assume operational control of the International Business Companies (IBC) Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE)—operations which were estimated to net the Government $11 million in revenues in this year’s budget.
A statement issued by the Government of Belize today said that the Management Services Agreement under which the registries were privatized comes to an end at the close of business today. That contract, an official source tells us, involves a major financial player in Belize – British billionaire Michael Ashcroft, whose interest in the agreement links back to Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited.
Waterloo, an IBC in the British Virgin Islands, has indicated in published reports that it holds 50% interest in Belize International Services Limited, a joint venture company which operates the international open shipping and company registry business in Belize. The other major party of the agreement is Morgan & Morgan of Panama.
Amandala understands that the Ashcroft group and the Panamanian investor have controlled the operation of the registries since 1990. First, they were engaged under separate 3-year agreements: one for the IBC and the other for the shipping registry. However, in 1993, the then People’s United Party (PUP) administration issued one 10-year agreement to the parties, for both registries, with an option for a renewal for another 10 years.
PSE 2013: ENGLISH AND MATH RESULTS NOT SO GOOD
The results for the 2013 Primary School Examinations (PSE) are out, and the number of overall passes is sufficiently within the average range. However, the English and Math sections of the exams were considerably below expectation.
According to the Ministry of Education, 7,359 students sat the PSE this year – a 5.2 percent increase in the number of candidates registered for the 2012 exams.
For the Math section, 39 percent of the students made grade C or better and 45 percent made grade E. Only 15 percent made grade A.
In English, 47 percent made grade C or better and 28 percent made grade D. Only four percent made grade A, while 15 percent made grade B.
The overall performance in Social Studies and Science was quite encouraging, with 70 percent and 79 percent respectively making grade C or better.
We spoke to personnel from the Examinations Council today, Monday, and we were told that there will be a press conference on Thursday, June 13, at which the results of the PSE will be discussed.
MARCIANO UH, 61, DIES IN COROZAL TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
The Uh family of Trial Farm, Orange Walk is mourning the death of their father, Marciano Uh, 61, who died after he was in a road traffic accident while travelling with his family from Corozal Town to Trial Farm Village. The tragedy occurred between Miles 74 and 73 on the Philip Goldson Highway at about 6:50 p.m. on Saturday, June 8.
Police said that six Uh family members were travelling in an Izuzu Rodeo when the driver, Marciano Uh, lost control of the vehicle, causing it to run off the road and overturn. Five of the family members received various degrees of injuries, but Marciano Uh, a cane farmer, died of massive head and body injuries.
The other five family members were admitted to ward, where they are receiving medical treatment.
Police say that when they arrived on the scenethey saw the red Isuzu Rodeo on the left hand side of the highway extensively damaged, with its two front tires “busted.” They saw two men and three women with various degrees of injuries on the side of the highway, and another man was seen, apparently dead, about three feet from the vehicle.
The June 9th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- Three Weed Arrests In Benque:
records the seizure of over 15
hundred grams of marijuana in three
drug operations resulting in the arrest
of three male Hispanic persons.
In the first incident, acting upon
information received, at around 6:00
am on Friday, May 30, Benque Viejo
police conducted a search at the
residence of Jose Israel Zetina in
Arenal Village. The search resulted in
the discovery of 60 grams of weed.
Zetina was consequently arrested and
charged for drug trafficking. He
appeared in the Benque Viejo Town
courtroom of magistrate Hurl
Hamilton where he pled guilty to the
drug trafficking charge. He was
ordered and paid the imposed one
thousand dollar fine.
- Security Guard Shoots
San Ignacio Man:
A man allegedly under the influence
of alcohol was shot by the security
guard posted at Roses Chinese Store
and Restaurant in San Ignacio.
The police reports that on Sunday,
June 2, 2013, at around 9:15 pm
an emergency 911 call was received
requesting police assistance at Roses
Restaurant located on the George
Price Highway on the western
outskirts of San Ignacio Town. Upon
arrival the police encountered a
creole decent male person suffering
from three gunshot wounds, one each
to both legs just above both knees
and the third to the upper arm.
The injured man was identified
as Rupert Rowland, 24, Belizean
laborer of a San Ignacio Town
address. Rowland was placed in the
police vehicle and rushed to the San
Ignacio Community Hospital.
- Step Father Convicted of
Assaulting and Wounding Girl:
Seven months after he was charged
and pled not guilty on aggravated
assault of an indecent nature and
wounding his step daughter, Rosabel
Mancia was today found guilty of
both charges and sent to jail.
The incident stems from an
October 31, 2012 report made by the
fifteen year old step daughter of the
35 year old Salvadoran convict of a
Santa Cruz address in Santa Elena
Town. The girl told the police that at
around 10:30 one night five days
prior to making the report, Mancia
entered her room and punched her in
the face while she was sitting on her
bed. She told the police that since the
incident she has been suffering from
- Is It Double Standards, Indiscipline or Just Plain Arrogance?:
I am unable to say what happens in
other parts of the country but in our
community I can, with all authority,
say that there certainly exist double
standards in terms of law enforcement.
Is it actually double standards or is
it really a display of indiscipline or
maybe even utter contempt for those
who supervise them or, heaven
forbids, total incompetence on they
part of those who supervise them?
The matter at hand is the enforcement
of the law as it pertains to the
wearing of helmet by motorcyclists.
The sighting of a traffic warden
writing a traffic violation ticket as he
stands beside a non-helmet wearing
motorcyclist, is regularly seen.
- Suspected Drunk Boy Crash In Front Of Police Station:
Of all the places to crash, a 17 year
boy, suspected to be drunk, drove the
vehicle he was driving into the street
light pole in front of the police station
in San Ignacio.
At around 1:30 on the morning
of Sunday, June 2, the policeman
working the front desk inside the
station heard a loud crashing noise and
upon stepping out of the station he
saw a vehicle crashed into the street
light pole at the corner of Buena Vista
Street and King Street.
Bleeding from an injury to the nose,
sitting behind the steering wheel of the
extensively damaged blue Toyota
Tacoma truck, was a young male
person with the strong aroma of
alcohol on his breath. Sitting next to
the driver was another male person
also bleeding from injuries suspected
to have been caused by glass particles
from the shattered windshield.
- Doctors and Nurses benefit from Advance
Training in Gynecology:
Doctors of the U.S.
Military Air Force – New
Horizons 2013 and
Midwives from Project
HOPE also of the U.S. held
a two day training session
in Advance Life Support In
Obstetrics last month
in Dangriga Town. The
training had the
participation of 29
specialists in Gynecology
and Obstetrics from the
Northern, Western and
Southern Regions as well
as Medical Officers,
Nurses Midwives and
Front Line workers in
At the opening of the
training, an overview
presentation was done on
theMaternal and Child
Health Program. Training
on specific subject areas
included Post Partum
Hemorrhage, Interruption of
Delivery, Assisted Delivery
– Use of a Vacuum, Monitoring
of Labour and Interpretation
of Monitoring graph,
Maternal Resuscitation and
Emergency C-section. Communication
doctors and nurses in
times of an emergency was
part of the training where
alarm codes and courtesies
were highlighted. The training
also had a practical
section where the trainees
worked with mannequins and
- Dentist rewarded at Annual Dental
The Dental Department,
Ministry of Health in
partnership with San Cas
Group of Companies and
Wrigley’s ORBIT brand
May 16th to
under the theme: “Brush and
Floss Every Day to Keep
According to Senior Dental
Health Surgeon, Dr. Raphael
Samos, the objectives of the
workshop were to review the
action plan of the Department
and to discuss future
- Advice on Smoke
The Ministry of Health advises
the General Public that
due to recent sustained bush
fires around the country there
is a risk for vulnerable individuals
of over exposure to
smoke. The smoke associated
with these bush fires has
the potential to irritate eyes
and cause breathing problems.
chronic lung conditions and
asthma are advised to avoid
areas with intense smoke.
Use a masks or wet rags if
you cannot avoid the smoke.
Persons with chronic lung
conditions in general and
asthma in particular are
advised to have medication
on hand and are also
reminded to go to the nearest
health facility for respiratory
support if needed. Special
attention must be given
to the elderly and very young.
- MOH Partners
The Ministry of Health will
partner with Peace Corp Belize
to conduct a workshop on
Maternal, Newborn and Child
health (MCH) including
sessions on non-communicable
disease (NCDs) to be
held later this month. The main
purpose of the workshop will
be to ensure technical sessions
on MCH and NCDs, to
provide agency and country
specifics on the work that
Peace Corp will do within
communties in Belize alongside
health workers and also to
assist Peace Corps Belize to
adapt and integrate the
language and technical content
for Pre-Service training.
- Matron Roberts Polyclinic held successful
Annual Health Fair:
Matron Roberts Polyclinic II
in collaboration with the
Region, and others partners
in health organized its Annual
Health Fair and Wellness
Activities at the Matron
Roberts Polyclinic II grounds
on May 24th, 2013 under the
theme, “Your Health, Your
Life, Act Now.”
Visitors had the opportunity
to learn more and take
advantage of Primary Care
services at the grounds. These
included outpatient services,
maternal and child health
services, nutrition and
wellbeing, dental health
services and mental health
- Official Result Of The 2 June 2013 Village Council Elections:
- Codd’s Drugstore Allegedly Robbed:
The sales clerk from Codd’s
Drugstore in Santa Elena reported to
police that the store was robbed by a
Hilda Zometa, the sales clerk, told
the police that she was behind the
counter inside Codd’s Drugstore
located next to A&R Store on the
George Price Highway in Santa Elena
when at around 7:00 pm on Friday,
May 31, 2013, a man entered the
store, pointed a gun at her, demanded
money and made off with almost 900
In the statement to the police the
clerk reported that the robber,
allegedly posing as a customer,
entered the drugstore at around 7:00
pm and requested a bottle of
- The Blue Hole - Nominated for the "8th Wonder of
The Belize Tourism Board is elated
to announce the submission of Belize's
Great Blue Hole, as the "8th Wonder
of the World", a title which can only
be achieved with your help!
- STAR Humor
- Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
- Letters to the Editor
- Public Notices
An AMAZING time in San Pedro by Brian Swisher
My three friends and I decided to visit San Pedro Belize this year for a guys trip and were certainly not disappointed. We put in a lot of research (which is how we came across Tacogirl blog and met a lot of great people on the island, including Belizeans, Canadians, Americans, and every mix in between.
Our favorite spots were Lola’s, Fido’s, and Wet Willy’s to have a few drinks at night. In fact we all signed a “Baltimore Shirt” and donated it to Wet Willy’s because the owner is from our state, right outside of Baltimore. Small world.
I just received an email from Mick Fleming, who with his wife Lucy owns and operates The Lodge at Chaa Creek and whom I‘ve known since even before Chaa Creek was a small family farm the Flemings were trying to support themselves with.
Goes to show what hard work and perseverance will do…
Anyway, Mick’s a man of few words, so when I get something from him I pay attention. He forwarded an excerpt from an article titled, “Truly Great Companies Add More Than They Extract”, by Tony Schwartz that obviously struck a chord with him.
Reading it, I thought, “This is so Chaa Creek” and defines the sort of business model the Flemings have always operated under and goes hand in hand, I believe, with everything else that’s made Chaa Creek such a success on so many different levels.
So, at the risk of embarrassing Mick, I thought I’d share it here, as it applies not only to a successful business, but to a worthwhile life.
BTB Village Expo 2013
“A House Is Not Home” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.