The Belize Times
16 APRIL 2017 | ISSUE NO: 5041
The Truth Shall Make You Free
www.belizetimes.bz | $1.00
ALL 8,867 UP FOR GRABS AT THE ICJ…SAYS SEDI
BCCI Demands Investigation into Alleged GST Scam BREAK THE CORRUPTION CHAIN TUESDAY, APRIL 11TH, 2017 - For Immediate ReleaseThe Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“BCCI”) views with deep concern the recent revelations in the media regarding the alleged manipulation of General Sales Tax (“GST”) audit results by Management personnel at the Department of GST, as well as the apparent widespread facilitation by Police Officers in the transport of contraband of goods across the Belize/Mexico border. The BCCI calls on the Government to immediately launch a thorough, complete and transparent investigation into the allegations made by the GST Officer, particularly due to the mandatory and onerous nature of penalties imposed by the Court for failure to pay GST assessments. Any methodology used by the Department of GST in auditing businesses and making assessments must be uniform and fair to the taxpayer as well as the Government. While there is a need for government to increase revenue, the BCCI maintains that this should be done through the auditing of businesses that fail to pay any GST, and not by unfair practices directed towards those that comply. The BCCI calls for an impartial examination of procedures adopted by the Department of GST along with implementation of corrective measures so as to assure the business community of the objectivity and fairness of GST audits. This is imperative in order to restore stakeholders’ trust and confidence in the GST department.
The BCCI also notes that while the Police Officers involved in the contraband of goods as shown on Channel 7’s newscast were charged for an “Act of Prejudice to Good Order and Discipline” and placed on interdiction, there is no mention that the statutorily prescribed fine of three times the value of the goods was levied against them. These officers were engaged in criminal activity and as such, we demand that they are subjected to the usual and full penalty that would be imposed against any other contrabandista. There can be no leniency when police officers are caught breaking the very laws they are sworn to uphold.
COUNT KEEPS RISING
Our nation’s economy is failing because of decades of corruption, not just by high officials, but also by those in the public sector whom we entrust with our socioeconomic wellbeing. Whether carried out by public official or private sector person or private citizen, contraband and other forms of corruption weaken our economy and our nation. Corruption and subjective application of rules are unacceptable in any society
Tuesday, 11 April 2017 It is time to break the corruption chain and take our country back from those who would steal it, or sell it out for pennies! – BCCI Release, April 11, 2017 Is the Department of General Sales Tax perpetuating a massive scam to unfairly and illegally milk extra money from their registered agents? Is that another way in which the Government of Belize is trying to source much-needed revenue from already overburdened taxpayers? That is what the Belize Chamber of
2017 44 DEAD
ALL 8,867 UP FOR GRABS AT THE ICJ…SAYS SEDI Tuesday, 11 April 2017 “Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determine finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the Parties?” That is the question that Belizeans will have to answer whenever they go to referendum on whether the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute should be submitted to the ICJ for final resolution. We have known that Guatemala claims almost half of Belize’s territory from the Sibun to the Sarstoon but last week Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington said the referendum question means that Guatemala claims all of Belize. He explained on a rare appearance on KREM’s WUB Morning Vibes that if the question was not framed so broadly, “Guatemala may one day come back and say ‘look, we did not resolve this part of it so we have to go to Court. We didn’t resolve that part of it so we have to go to Court.’ So once the matter is put in this broad way, then the Court will deal with the matter definitively. In other words, we are not saying what claim, if any, Guatemala has to the Sibun or what claim it has to the Sarstoon. No. It’s everything.” So when the show host asked, “in reality...we put up the entire country?” Elrington responded that since 1939, Guatemala has claimed all of Belize, and does so up to now. This notwithstanding that Guatemalan officials and media report that their country is only claiming almost half of Belize. Elrington proceeded to add that if the Guatemalans are claiming that the 1859 Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty does not exist, then they are claiming the entire country. Of the position that the Guatemalans are only claiming from Sibun down to the Sarstoon, he said “that is not the legal position.” Elrington insisted that they are not doing anything prejudicial to Belize and are simply saying to the Court, “tell us then, what, if any part of this country Guatemala is entitled to. Once the Court pronounces on that, Guatemala can’t come and say well, we nevah touch the cayes, or we nevah touch the
LOCAL 13 Apr
THE BELIZE TIMES
island or we nevah touch the river, no! Because everything was put on the table based on their position as articulated on the 21st of September 1939.” Elrington has affirmed that “whatever the Court says is Belize’s territory, that is what I will go with.” At the same time, he is unprepared to accept that Belize could stand to lose even a sliver of the country’s territory and waters based on Belize’s entitlement according to law, but how many times have we heard the same story and been slapped with adverse court orders? What’s more, a few minutes later into the show, in confused Sedi fashion, he ascertained that Belize’s Western and Southern borders will not be changed because no Court will disturb an established boundary. He proclaims that in Belize’s case our borders have been established by two treaties but shortly after turns around and says that when it comes to the Southern maritime area, from the Sibun downwards, that must be determined by International Law. So why the need to include all of Belize in the referendum question? Well, seconds later he says the Maritime border cannot be identified unless the Western border is agreed on. Moments before, he had said in one breath that Guatemala recognizes our borders but shortly after he stated that because of Guatemala’s claim, Belize’s borders are no longer accepted in international law as the point from which we can move to establish our Maritime border. So, are we the only ones who remember the Belize Territorial Volunteers and the media trips to the Western and Southern borders where they saw border markers clearly established? We maintain that it is dangerous to go to the ICJ under this confused and borderline senile Foreign Minister. The risk of losing what we hold most dear, even an inch of the 8867, is just too great.
WEATHER 14 Apr
BCCI Demands Investigation into Alleged GST Scam Continued from page 1
Commerce wants to find out. Today that body issued a stinging release directed at government, in which it “calls on the Government to immediately launch a thorough, complete and transparent investigation into the allegations made by the GST Officer, particularly due to the mandatory and onerous nature of penalties imposed by the Court for failure to pay GST assessments.” The release comes after a leaked letter from a concerned senior GST officer to the Solicitor General raised serious questions about seemingly arbitrary methods of assessing registered agents for GST. The four-page letter dated December 28, 2016 suggests intervention at the highest levels of the department to assess businesses at much higher collection figures than those arrived at by the auditor, in some cases more than double the auditor’s amount. However, despite protestations, the auditor in question says he was called into meetings by his superiors and shut down so he “reluctantly did what I was told knowing that it was wrong.” He added that when he checked with a senior Certified Public Accountant about the method, that accountant only laughed because the method being imposed “used Zero Rated Income (Sales) to find Standard Rated Income (Sales) in a manner that I have not seen in all my years doing Accounting work” and certainly not contained “in any Accounting or Auditing text in the world.” His higher ups furthermore instructed him not to show the agents the method used to assess them and because none had an accountant on staff, they did not appeal. He wrote, “since then this seems to be the general modus operandi of our Department… reports are sent from the Auditors and they are changed at some level of Management, based on feelings.” The auditors are then required to “own up” to the changes. That raised a problem for the senior GST officer because while some of the assessments went un-appealed, others were questioned and he was uncomfortable defending assessments that were not his own. In one case, the officer assessed a business for $73,000 and when his report came back from up top, it was with the instruction for the collection to be raised to $100,000. In another case, his assessment was $30,000 and that was increased to $71,000. What’s more, he was told to apply this method to other taxpayers but when he pointed out that in one case, their method would have them owing the taxpayer over $41,000 they backtracked and ordered that the method be used only on a case by case basis. So, when the taxpayer owed the Government, the method could be used but otherwise, it should be set aside. The officer expressed discomfort with another practice of having the auditors use three methods of auditing for management and then
choose the one that yielded the highest collection figure. The officer is therefore questioning whether the management at the Department should influence the outcome/final report and assessment of an auditor. That is the purpose of the letter to the Solicitor General: for him to determine if any law provides for this and also to warn that if the matters end up in Court, his office would be called on to represent the Government of Belize. The GST officer suggests that there should be a standard and reasonable method of assessment for each business type that should be adhered to regardless of the outcome. He further writes, “if the Commissioner is directly involved in assessing taxpayers, her decision at the time of the review under the above section [Section 42 of the GST ACT] will not be impartial and could be further grounds for appeal.” In its release, the BCCI goes on to state that “the Corruption and subjective application of rules are unacceptable in any society if it is to function for the benefit of its citizens, and where found such abuse of office must be dealt with energetically, visibly and to the fullest extent possible. No Belizean is above the law, not police officers, our ministers, or management at the Department of GST.” GST Commissioner Betty Ann Jones was unavailable to answer the media’s questions and two assistant commissioners were in meetings when we called for comment. Based on figures provided in the 2017/2018 budget, 27.5 million dollars of GST has been outstanding for more than two years but reports are that a similar amount is owed by GOB in refunds to taxpayers which have been unpaid.
The Belize Times
14 APR 2013
ISSUE NO: 4840
The Truth Shall Make You Free
serving Belize since 1957 as the longest continuous newspaper. Founder: Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, People’s United Party Leader Emeritus OFFICE MANAGER
Fay Castillo EDITOR
Roberto Peyrefitte Printed and Published By TIMES NEWSPAPER LTD. Tel: 671-8385 #3 Queen Street P.O. BOX 506 Belize City, Belize
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THE BELIZE TIMES
Cops Harass & Detain Castro’s Whistleblower
WAS IT ON JOHN SALDIVAR’S INSTRUCTIONS? Tuesday, 11 April 2017 Alvarine Burgess, the famous whistle-blower who fearlessly took Minister Edmund Castro to task over a huge visa hustle, is turning her eye to Belmopan Police. She was unlawfully detained for 12 hours, according to her, on the command of a minister. Burgess explained that she was at the FFB field on Saturday April 8th, to support her son who plays with Freedom Fighters who were competing against the Bandits FC. The game got underway and just before 9p.m. she was cheering on her son and his team, admittedly firing off some curse words. However, she notes that she was not the only one cursing. But she was the only one singled out by a cop on duty at the game. He left her alone when she pointed out that he was being biased. When she continued cheering on her team, she says a UDP supporter hollered from atop the bleachers, “every time she come dah game she always wahn di seh wahn latta ra%#&.” So Burgess turned around and asked “So weh happen? You mad ‘bout that? You want turn it up then?” At that, the other woman advanced toward her and that’s when the same cop returned and told her to leave the stadium but Burgess fired back, “no touch me!” so he called three female police officers to assist him. When they came, Burgess pointed
out once more that the other lady had come after her. The WPC promised to take the second woman out too but when Burgess was being escorted out, she noted that no one approached the other young lady.
According to Burgess, once at the steps, the WPC received a call and proceeded to inform her that they would take her to the Police Station instead. This was done without any explanation but she complied. While
at the station, another cop told her sister who had gone to follow up on her detention, that Burgess would be held overnight on the instructions of a UDP Minister. Burgess says she is sure the Minister who was present at the game heard her “making all that noise.” She readily accepts that if the officer believed in good judgment that she ought to be put out because of her cursing, she would have no issue with it but affirms that she was not cursing anyone directly or disrespecting the officer. She believes this was victimization “to the fullest. Remember that I have done something to Minister Castro and all of them are the same pack of wolves,” she pronounced. She was not released until 9 Sunday morning after the officers received a phone call from someone whose identity was not disclosed to her. Even then, she says she got no explanation as to why she was detained without being charged. She has since contacted her attorney and intends to sue for unlawful detention. Belmopan Police have confirmed the detention but has not released any details of the case.
A BELIZE THAT WORKS! Coming off the heels of a successful budget debate, the Party Leader and members of the Southern Caucus of the PUP took their message from Independence Hill to the many villages of Stann Creek West. Stann Creek West, the second largest constituency in the nation with twenty-six villages was the first stop on the Party Leader’s 2017 tour. The southern swing of the Party Leader’s tour will cover some of the poorest communities in Belize. As his main focus the
Party Leader, together with Deputy Party Leader and Stann Creek West Area Representative Rodwell Ferguson are addressing key issues like growing poverty, corruption and government incompetence. The Party Leader is also taking the opportunity to listen to the people and to share his plans for building a Belize that works for everyone. A crucial part of his message is what he calls the Belizean Bill of Rights, which speaks to providing every Belizean access to a piece of land. He said, “With land we immediately create opportunity for uplift and personal
A Time of Peace and Promise
The Hon. John Briceño, the PUP Secretariat, the Belize Times & the PUP Family wish all Belizeans a safe and blessed
Easter is a time of hope and great joy for Christians everywhere. It is a time to reflect on the sacrifice of our Creator. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life.” John 3:16. For this reason, Christians believe that Easter is a reminder of the promise of a new start and the exciting prospect of a brighter future. On Easter Sunday when you and your families gather together to worship, attend church services and reflect on the renewal that is at the center of this special spiritual event, I ask you to pray for your families, friends and more so pray for Belize. Pray for a stronger sense of community; for those who are victims of the senseless violence that has taken over large communities across our country. Pray for peace, for wisdom and guidance and pray especially for a fairer and more just nation. As we welcome the promise of Easter and as we go to the many parts of our nation to rest and socialize with family and friends be safe and be renewed by the real message of Easter, which brings with it the promise of peace and regeneration. From all of us in the PUP and from my family to yours I extend our best wishes for a happy Easter.
growth.” Second that Belizeans are able to own a decent home. Third is education - every Belizean should be given the chance to go to school, from kindergarten to junior college. “If we will give our young people a chance at success, it must start with a good education,” the Party Leader said. As an example he made reference to the once successful Hands Foundation which was started by Hon. Rodwell Ferguson and provided every high school student in the Stann Creek West division with a $300 grant at the start of every school year. That program, which provided assistance for thousands of high school children, is a clear example of the kinds of opportunities that the PUP intends to provide as a means of bringing about an end to poverty especially where it most prevalent in the south. The PUP leader’s fourth tenet deals with basic health care, which means every Belizean should be enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program. Fifth and most important, the driving force behind it all is jobs - good jobs that can lead to meaningful careers; jobs that will give Belizeans a chance for personal growth and prosperity and provide a hand up for those at the very bottom of the economic ladder. The Party Leader’s tour of the South Continues next week and will include stops in other parts of the Stann Creek West division as well as Toledo East and West. Accompanying the Party Leader on the tour are Hon. Mike Espat, Hon. Oscar Requeña and members of the Southern Caucus of the PUP.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Questions to Ministers
Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please confirm or deny reports that senior members of Cabinet have asked him to delay his departure because they feel that the Member for Collet is too immature and irresponsible to lead the UDP at this point? Would the Member for Collet and Minister of Education please explain clearly how those who received the MILLION dollars were selected, since there were teachers who did not march but still supported the strike? Could he further say if he is willing to provide a clear accounting of that money to verify that indeed a MILLION was handed out?
Would the Member for Collet and Deputy Prime Minister please confirm or deny reports that in his divorce case before the Courts it was revealed that he physically and mentally abused his wife on multiple occasions? If that is so, could the Member please say if he feels that he qualifies to be the Prime Minister of Belize? Would the Member for Belmopan and Minister of Defence please provide details of the ‘lover’s quarrel’ between he and his right hand, his oversized military liaison who he allegedly slapped and then left on the side of the road in Pomona? Could he further say if he is concerned that his ‘personal’ business will now start leaking out? Would the Member for Belmopan and Minister of Defence please confirm or deny credible reports that his US Visa and US visas held by his two ‘run-men,’ Mr. Grant and Mr. Neal have all been cancelled? Would the Member for Belize Rural North and Minister of NEMO, Transport, Sugarcane and Visas please clarify the identity of the female, a Ms. Westby, in whose name he has allegedly placed parcels of land? Could he further clarify his relationship with that female? Would the Member for Belize Rural North and Minister of everything shady please explain why the trucks carrying his sugarcane travel only at night? Could he also confirm or deny reports that he recently fired shots at cattle farmers near his canefields in the community of Isabella?
IF DAH NOH SOH!
Go figure… Government is all happy and stuff cause they say their CEO ride thing raised much more than the $50,000 that was projected. Woohoo…$70,000 to fight cancer in Belize. And there’s this bozo-looking Patrick posing off on his bike like he’s done wonders. But check this out. Just days ago the same fool-fool fellow decided to take ONE MILLION dollars and use it to punish the BNTU for proving that he is a balls-less wonder. Can you say ONE MILLION? So here we are, boasting about $70,000 for Cancer, and using ONE MILLION for a one-time handout. There’s something very wrong with that picture…very wrong. If I weren’t such a jovial, Christian type fellow I’d tell Patrick exactly what he can do with his million dollars. Please don’t go… There are very, very credible reports that a majority of senior Ministers in Cabinet have approached Dean Oliver begging him to stay. Seems like the ailing leader was planning to stumble off into that goodnight by mid-2017, and the plan was that the half-man, half boy would be anointed as leader of the UDP and Prime Minister. But that’s not going exactly as Dean O envisioned it. We know that he’s been looking at other people in the UDP to take over. Hell, he was even reportedly looking at Mark Espat, his new golden boy. This bloated scribe understands that the idea of the PUP’s Judas becoming the UDP’s saviour didn’t go over well with Party insiders so that idea was quickly scrapped. There’s no word tonight if the tired old man has decided to hang on a little longer, at least till elections next year, but whatever the case, it’s not looking good for the political runt. It gets worse… My friend tells me I shouldn’t hate, because hate is too strong. She’ll scold me, but I hate child molesters and child predators. They deserve a special place in hell. I also hate men who beat up on women. They piss me off. You know, to the point where I’d want to tie them up on a fire ants and put honey on their testicles. That sort of hate. Anyway so through no fault of my own I managed to get my hands on a document which speaks very ill of our Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education. This is the man who stands on podiums at schools and tells children they should be just like him. He is also a man who beats women, and abuses women. Trust me when I say that this is not a man I would want as a leader of this country. I felt dirty after reading that document. Real. I won’t get into the unpleasant stuff before Easter. But I will get into it. Stay tuned. Asst. Commissioner of Vehicles… As we go to press, there is reliable information suggesting that the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, is actively seeking to have the transfer of Asst. Commissioner Chester Williams expedited. Despite being the Southside’s most effective commander to date, Williams, who it appears has become a threat to the ComPol’s peace of mind and ego, was to be transferred to the prosecution branch of the Police. Then the ComPol apparently decided that would still give Williams’ too much visibility and media time, so he then assigned Williams to the Professional Standards Branch, effective July 1. But like divine intervention, in quick succession cops started coming under scrutiny for idiotic, dangerous and illegal behaviour, which would have meant that Chester would still have more than his share of the limelight. That precipitated another quick decision from the ComPol who is not exactly known for quick thinking. Last this overweight scribe was informed, Williams is now destined for the Mechanic Section of the Police Department, where he will apparently serve as assistant to Chris Noble. Noble was placed in charge of vehicles after he and the Commissioner fell out some time ago. Gangstas Sales Tax… Can you imagine that this government, the same one which just found $1M for a political handout, would actively cheat persons and organizations who make payments of GST to the relevant department? Not so hard to imagine right? Leaked internal documents seem to suggest that senior officials including the Commissioner of GST were assessing persons more than they should have been paying. Now that’s serious business, shady business, even maybe criminal business. But here’s the multimillion dollar question. Was the Commissioner of GST following instructions from the Minister or Ministry of Finance so that GOB could shake down businesses to increase the flood of money into its coffers? The Chamber has come out swinging because the truth is that shit is tough in this country, maybe not for the ministers or their families or cronies, but for most everybody else. Let’s see what comes out of this one.
THE BELIZE TIMES
EDITORIAL Political Suicide
“In these difficult economic times, GOB continues to SQUANDER PUBLIC FUNDS in an effort to BUY PUBLIC SUPPORT, and to keep our people SUBSERVIENT, AFRAID, INTIMIDATED, POWERLESS AND POOR.” – BNTU Release, April 4, 2017 It is with no real regret, or even surprise, that we announce the timely passing of Patrick Faber’s ill-conceived and sickly political aspirations. Because dead they are, following the incredible decision by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education to take $1MILLION from public coffers as a political handout to those teachers who did not join the BNTU in its strike action of October, 2016. According to the pint-sized (intellectually-speaking) politician, he believes that it is perfectly okay to hand out Easter baskets with cash, taxpayers’ cash, to certain select teachers so they can enjoy the four-day vacation. It does not seem to matter to Faber that just a week past Belizeans were presented with an austerity budget in which we were told, not asked, to collectively pay for GOB’s mismanagement and abuse and corruption and greed, almost $100MILLION. We were told that we could expect higher prices of everything, from basic goods to fuel to construction materials to purchasing foreign currency to pay for imports. Last week a pack of bacon sold for $5.85. This morning it sold for $7.00. Everything has gone up. Everything. So how is it that in one moment, Faber and his boss, Mr. Barrow, can force Belizeans to bail them out, and in the next moment find $1MILLION for a totally political process? How does that happen? The Chamber of Commerce, umbrella organization for businesses which have been doing poorly under this Barrow regime, and will find it even harder to survive because of Barrow’s ‘Bouncing Backward’ Budget, lashed out immediately – “Now if you just came out of a Budget – a tightening of the belt type of Budget – how is it that you can just pull a million dollars out to pay teachers who did not strike? That makes us in the business community wonder how genuine was, really and truly, the implementation of the tax increases. If you could have just pulled out a million dollars so easily, it would then say to us that there must be funds available otherwise, and if there are such funds available then why could they not have been used for other reasons...” stated BCCI President Nikita Usher. The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, representing all workers’ unions in the country, similarly condemned the decision which seems to have been the brainchild of Patrick Faber – no surprise there. The NTUCB “issues a very sombre, serious and emphatic warning to the Government of Belize; as it relates to what can only be described as a very poorly conceived decision to pay an “honorarium” to a select few; among the Teaching Professionals of this country. There is absolutely no way, under the principles of equity and fairness, that the NTUCB could ever support such a decision.” The BNTU is without a doubt the target of Faber’s wrong-headed move. He was brought to his knees by the teachers of that union who have no use for his clownish, immature, arrogant behaviour. And when he tried to punish them by withholding their salaries, he was forced to back down again. Now Mr. Faber, in a gross over-compensation for the beating his ego has taken, wants to use OUR money to divide the union The Christian Workers Union spoke out against Faber’s ridiculous plan and in support of the BNTU, stating that “Apart from the unmitigated hubris, doling out a million dollars to specifically undermine BNTU and unionism generally in our beloved nation, the CWU sees no justification for this reckless action especially given the challenging economic times we are now experiencing and which will look likely to get worse. How this move helps Belize bounce back escapes us.” It is the end for Mr. Faber’s political ambitions, even if his stunted ego does not allow him to accept that. He alienated the BNTU long ago, and now he has drawn the wrath of the more powerful NTUCB, the Chamber of Commerce and others who KNOW this this is the wrong thing for Faber to do – wrong on so many levels, not least the fact that he is using OUR money to make his political point. What a stupid, petty, irresponsible man he is. Faber has indicated that he will not change his mind. The NTUCB, and separately the BNTU, have indicated that they will not meekly wait and murmur not. The BNTU’s Council of Management met this past weekend to decide on a way forward, while the NTUCB has made its stance clear – “The NTUCB cannot and will not watch the seeds of union busting being planted and nurtured! Not now, NOT EVER!!!” The days ahead will be very interesting.
"En estos difíciles tiempos económicos, el gobierno sigue derrochando fondos públicos en un esfuerzo por comprar apoyo público y para mantener nuestro pueblo SUBORDINADO, ASUSTADO, ACOBARDADO, INDEFENSO y POBRE." – Comunicado de Prensa de la BNTU, 04 de abril de 2017 Es sin pesar e incluso sin sorpresa alguna, que anunciamos la muerte providencial de las aspiraciones políticas mal concebidas y enfermizas de Patrick Faber. Porque muertas están, luego de la decisión increíble por el Viceprimer Ministro y Ministro de Educación de tomar 1 millón de dólares de las arcas públicas como un soborno financiero político a esos maestros que no se unieron a la huelga del Sindicato de Maestros de octubre de 2016. Según este político diminuto (intelectualmente hablando), cree que está perfectamente bien repartir canastas de Pascua con dinero en efectivo, dinero en efectivo de contribuyentes, a ciertos profesores seleccionados, para que puedan disfrutar las vacaciones de cuatro días. No parece importarle a Faber que apenas hace una semana los Beliceños fueron presentados con un presupuesto de austeridad en el que nos informaron, no preguntaron, que colectivamente hemos de pagar por la mala gestión y abuso y la corrupción y avaricia del gobierno, casi $ 100 millones. Nos dijeron que podíamos esperar precios más altos en todo, desde productos básicos para la alimentación a los materiales de construcción a la compra de divisas para pagar importaciones. La semana pasada un paquete de tocino se vendió por $5,85. Esta mañana se vendía a $7,00. Todo ha subido. Todo. ¿Cómo es que en un momento, Faber y su jefe, el Sr. Barrow, pueden forzar a los Beliceños a rescatarlos, y en el siguiente momento ellos encuentran 1 millón de dólares para un proceso totalmente político? ¿Cómo es que sucede eso? La Cámara de Comercio (BCCI por sus siglas en ingles), organización coordinadora de las empresas que han estado haciendo muy mal en este régimen de Barrow y a quienes les resultará aún más difícil sobrevivir debido al presupuesto 'Rebotando Hacia Atrás' de Barrow, arremetió inmediatamente – "ahora si usted acaba de salir con un presupuesto – un presupuesto del tipo ajuste de cinturón – ¿cómo es que puede sacar así nomas 1 millón de dólares para pagar a maestros que no hicieron huelga? Eso hace que nosotros los de la comunidad de negocios preguntemos que tan genuina era, real y verdaderamente, la ejecución del aumento de impuestos tributarios. Si ustedes pueden haber sacado 1 millón de dólares tan fácilmente, entonces eso nos dice que deben haber otros fondos disponibles no especificados por allí y si hay fondos disponibles, entonces por qué no podrían haberse utilizados para otros motivos...", declaró el Presidente de la BCCI Nikita Usher. El Congreso de Sindicatos Nacionales de Belice (NTUCB por sus siglas en ingles), representando a los sindicatos de todos los trabajadores en el país, condenó igualmente la decisión que parece haber sido una idea original de Patrick Faber – algo que no nos sorprende. La NTUCB "le manda una advertencia sombría, seria y contundente al Gobierno de Belice; en lo que se refiere a lo que sólo puede ser descrito como una decisión muy mal concebida para pagar "honorarios" a un selecto pequeño grupo por entre los profesionales de la enseñanza de este país. No hay absolutamente ninguna manera, bajo los principios de equidad y la justicia, de que la NTUCB pudiera apoyar esa decisión". El sindicato de maestros (BNTU por sus siglas en ingles) es sin duda el objetivo de esta jugada desatinada de Faber. Fue puesto de rodillas por los maestros de ese Sindicato a quienes para nada les sirve su comportamiento bufonesco, inmaduro y arrogante. Y cuando trató de castigarlos con la retención de sus salarios, se vio obligado a ceder otra vez. Ahora el Sr. Faber, en un grave exceso de compensación por la paliza que ha tomado su ego, quiere utilizar nuestro dinero para dividir al Sindicato. EL Sindicato de Trabajadores Cristianos (CWU por sus siglas en ingles) manifestó su oposición contra el plan ridículo de Faber y en apoyo al Sindicato de Maestros (BNTU por sus siglas en ingles), afirmando que "aparte de la absoluta arrogancia, repartir 1 millón de dólares es específicamente socavar a la BNTU y el sindicalismo en general en nuestra querida nación, la CWU no ve ninguna justificación para esta acción imprudente, especialmente teniendo en cuenta los difíciles momentos económicos que estamos viviendo ahora y que al parecer probablemente empeore. Cómo esta medida ayuda a Belice a recuperarse se nos escapa." Esto es el fin de las ambiciones políticas del Sr. Faber, aunque su ego mal desarrollado no le permita aceptarlo. Él enajenó a la BNTU hace mucho tiempo, y ahora ha provocado la ira de la más poderosa NTUCB, la Cámara de Comercio y otros que saben que Faber está obrando mal – mal en muchos niveles, no menos importante el hecho de que está usando nuestro dinero para lograr su objetivo político. Que hombre tan estúpido, mezquino, irresponsable que es. Faber ha indicado que él no va a cambiar de parecer. La NTUCB y por separado la BNTU, han indicado que no van a esperar sumisamente y sin murmurar. El Consejo de Administración de la BNTU se reunió este pasado fin de semana para decidir sobre la manera de proceder, mientras que la NTUCB ha hecho claro su postura: "¡la NTUCB no puede y no vera las semillas antisindicales plantadas y cultivadas! ¡No ahora, no nunca!" Los próximos días van a ser muy interesantes.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Three Injured as City Shootings Escalate
Tuesday, 11 April 2017 Three Belize City residents who from all appearances are innocent and law abiding citizens continue to recover from gunshot injuries they received on Sunday, April 9, 2017. The first is 21 year-old Earlin Butler Jr., who is an employee of the Vital Statistics Unit. He was at his home on Rivero Street, and sometime at around 7 a.m., someone came all the way to his yard and opened fire on him. He was injured in the chest and abdomen, and he had to be rushed to the KHMH for medical treatment. All indications, at this time, are that he will make a full recovery, and his family is very grateful for the outpouring of concern and support from those in the community closest to him. No one knows why he was targeted because he is reportedly a hardworking young man who stays away from trouble.
LIQUOR LICENSE NOTICES Notice is hereby given that Rajesh Chawla is applying for a Renewal of a Shop Liquor License to be operated at “Lin Chi Store”,# 16 Cemetery Road,Belize City, Belize District under the Intoxicating Liquor License Ordinance Revised Edition 1980. Notice is hereby given that Rui Xin Chi is applying for a Renewal of a Publican Special Liquor License to be operated at “Hong Kong Game Room”,# 50 Queen Street, Belize City, Belize District under the Intoxicating Liquor License Ordinance Revised Edition 1980. Notice is hereby given that Meitian Qu is applying for a Convenience Store Liquor License to be operated at “139 Store”,# 139 Neal’s Penn Road, Belize City, Belize District under the Intoxicating Liquor License Ordinance Revised Edition 1980.
Earlin Butler Jr. At around 9 p.m., 14 hours later, 84 year-old Ignacia Alpuche and her son, Miguel, were sitting in the living room of their house on Antelope Street, when stray bullets came flying in through the door and walls.
The Alpuche family was having a memorial event for the patriarch of the family who passed away one year ago, and a few minutes before 9 o’clock on Sunday night, they heard the sound of gunshots fired on the Street. Miguel Alpuche realized that he got shot when he attempted to get up and saw that the floor was stained with blood. It turned out that it was his blood; one of those bullets struck him in the right foot. He realized a little while later that his elderly
mother was grazed on her back by a bullet which passed by the sofa. They’ve received medical treatment for the injuries, and they are back at home. They were not the target of this shooting; it appears that the gunmen were firing at a man who ran up Antelope Street in the direction of their house. In the wild spray, some of those bullets found their way into this family’s home, bringing danger all the way into a place that should be their safe haven.
THE BELIZE TIMES
Free After a Decade Behind Bars… Mark Seawell Walks!
Monday, April 10, 2017 Mark Seawell, the accused narcotics trafficker who’s been languishing in jail for 10 years, has been released following a decision from the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Mark Seawell, like his brother Gary, was being held in prison on a faulty committal warrant, and thus, the Court ruled that his extradition to the US must not be allowed as a result. This decision came after 6 days of deliberation from the Chief Justice on new arguments from Seawell’s legal team. On Friday, March 31, the Chief Justice re-opened a habeas corpus case that he had already heard exhaustive legal arguments on. He closed that case in August of 2013, but in the 3 and a half years since then, Seawell was still waiting for him to deliver a decision. So, his at-
Mark Seawell torneys used the lengthy delay to his advantage and asked the Court to consider allowing them to make new arguments as to why he should not be extradited. Those arguments are very similar
to the successful points that the attorneys made for his brother, Gary Seawell, at the Court of Appeal. It was only 4 months ago in December 2016, that the Appeal Court found that the warrant for Gary Seawell’s committal to the prison, which was issued by the Chief Magistrate, was faulty, and that he was being unlawfully imprisoned. Readers may be aware that a committal warrant is the order which the court makes authorizing the state to detain or imprison any defendant. In Mark’s case, attorneys Anthony Sylvestre, Bryan Neal, and British Barrister Ben Cooper, submitted on his behalf that the then Chief Magistrate, Margaret McKenzie, failed to issue a proper committal warrant for his detention at Kolbe. Firstly, they say that the McKenzie, as the examining magistrate, failed to issue a warrant of committal
Two More Cops Interdicted for Contraband poral Marroquin, who was the commander of the vehicle at the time. Rojas was his backup, and having been sufficiently convinced, Police Commissioner Allen Whylie, directed that they be charged with the offense of prejudice to good order and discipline. That’s a disciplinary charge, and both officers have been placed on inAbner Marroquin Tuesday, 11 April 2017 The embarrassment for the Police Department continues to grow after 2 more officers were allegedly caught in another contraband operation. Those two have now been charged as well. They are Police Constable 885 Elston Rojas and Police Corporal 263 Abner Marroquin. According to their police bosses, customs officers from the Northern Border Station handed over video surveillance of the men trying to move their contraband. This incident happened on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at around 2 p.m. That’s when a police pickup passed by the checkpoint and refused to stop. The customs officers set chase after the police mobile, but the two officers escaped in the police truck by diverting into a feeder road. Those customs officers did search the area, and they found a bag matching that they saw in the pan of the pickup. It was taken to the Corozal Police Station, where it was opened, and inside, the authorities found an assortment of slippers, socks and underwear. Police and the customs officers then worked on identifying the vehicle and the occupants, and their investigation led them to Cor-
terdiction from duty. This is the 3th pair of officers in less than a week and a half who have engaged in behaviour which does no good service to a Department which is already perceived as riddled with inefficiency, corruption and mismanagement from top to bottom.
07 7 that complies with the Extradition Act. Secondly, they contend that Chief Magistrate McKenzie failed to state the offenses proven against Mark Seawell in the warrant of committal. Finally, they told the Chief Justice that the then Chief Magistrate failed to send a report and a certificate of committal to the Foreign Minister Their position is that these errors in procedure were fatal, and a breach of Mark Seawell’s constitutional rights. After hearing and considering the arguments made by Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin returned on Thursday, April 6, with a stunning decision. He agreed with Mark Seawell’s legal team, and he discharged all extradition proceedings against Seawell. He granted a writ of habeas corpus, which took effect immediately, and allowed for Mark Seawell to exit court a free man for the first time since February 2007. Outside of court, reporters flocked Seawell to get a comment from him, and asked him to stand and speak for a short while. He was having none of it and responded, “I can’t stop. Don’t you see? I am free; it’s been too long.” And readers could definitely agree that it unfortunately has been too long. His attorneys, and other trained legal minds say that he has a strong case against the state for unlawful imprisonment. He has lost 10 years of his life at the hands of the slow grinding pace of the judiciary, only to find a fatal error in procedure was committed years ago. He is unable to get back that decade of his life, and his children have grown up without his presence in their lives. The Government and the taxpayers ought to brace for the possibility that he could decide to sue for compensation.
0 88 SS FI N AN CI DI AL ST RE SS
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DIT E R C ON UNI
The Board of Directors The Board of Directors Management & Staff of Management & Staff of
wish its member-owners and all Belizeans a wish its member-owners and all Belizeans a
Happy, Blessed, and Safe Happy, Blessed, and Safe Easter Season 2017 Easter Season 2017 Our 73rd AGM Our 73rd will be held onAGM Saturday, willApril be held on2017 Saturday, 29th, at April 29th, 2017 at Center SCA Multipurpose Mercy SCA Multipurpose Mercy Center at 2:00 pm sharp! at 2:00 pm sharp!
HRCU will close at 1:00 PM HRCU will close at 1:00 PM on Holy Thursday! on Holy (April Thursday! 13, 2017) (April 13, 2017)
Our ATM’s in Belize City and Independence Our ATM’s Belize City andcan Independence remain openin24 hours. You also access remain open 24 via hours. You also access your accounts ATM’s oncan Network One! your accounts via ATM’s on Network One!
THE BELIZE TIMES
Swearing in of OW North
Swearing in of OW Central
PUP NOTICE The People's United Party informs ALL supporters in all nine (9) municipalities countrywide that applications are now being accepted for the posts of MAYOR & COUNCILORS for the March 2018 Municipal Elections. For further information, please contact your local Executive Chairperson or the PUP Secretariat.
8 JAN 26 FEB 21 29 AUG JAN 16 APR
THE BELIZE TIMES TIMES THE BELIZE
Alicia Thompson Wins 28th Women’s Cross Country
Belize City, April 9, 2017 Team Belize Bank Swoosh’s Alicia Thompson won the Cycling Federation of Belize’s 28th annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic from San Ignacio to Belize City on the George Price Highway on Sunday morning, to win the $3,000 first prize and the winner’s garland of roses. Gabrielle Lovell led from the getgo, taking the 1st station prize at the Public Works compound in Santa Elena; and Kaylyn Gillett sprinted to win the next 2 prizes: a $150 gift certificate at Running W Meats and a gift package passing Galen University. Alicia sprinted to win the big station prize of $400 at Go Slow at mile 62.5. She also won the Queen of the Hills trophy; as she scored the most points climbing the hills at Three Sisters at mile 60, Brick Wall at mile 53 and on Old Man Hill in Teakettle Village at mile 51. Gina Kavesh won the $100 prize offered by N.I.C.H. at the ATM cave; and Patricia Chavarria took the next prize at the Teakettle Community Center. Alicia sprinted to win the $150 station prize at Garbutt’s PUMA Service Station in Roaring Creek, with Patricia taking the $75 second prize. Gina Kavesh of the USA won the next $100 prize from Belmopan Aggregates at the Belmopan roundabout with the Hummingbird Highway; and Alicia took the next 3 prizes of $100 at the Art Box, $200 at the George Price Blvd intersection, and at St. Matthew’s Village. Kaya Cattouse won the $100 prize at Mahogany Heights, but Alicia swept by to take the next $50 prize at La Democracia. Patricia
took the lead to win the $100 prize from Quality Poultry at the Belize Zoo, and Kavesh took the next prize from Victoria’ Secrets at Rockville. Alicia was in the lead to win the next 2 prizes at the Hattieville Police Station and at Mile 10; then Patricia Chavarria won the prize at mile 8; and Kaya took the next $500 prize at the Mile 6 bridge. Kavesh was pacing the Faber’s Road junction to win a $100 prize; while Patricia sprinted for the $500 prize at Leslie’s Imports. Kavesh led at the Cemetery Road roundabout with Central American Blvd, but Alicia took the next $500 prize at the BelCan bridge. Kavesh swept the last four station prizes passing KHMH, Nazarene High school and Marion Jones Stadium, but was beaten in the final sprint to the finish.
Top 3 Elite Females
1st Alicia Thompson - Team Belize Bank Swoosh - 3:57:49 2nd Patricia Chavarria - Chavarria Cycling $1,500 prize & trophy 3rd Kaya Cattouse - Team SMART/C-ray $750 prize & trophy. 4th Gina Kavesh - Team Elliston Coaching 3:57:54 - $150 prize & medal. 5th Gabrielle Lovell - Team DigiCell 4G 4:07:30 - $75 prize & medal. 6th Joan Hanscom – Team Elliston Coaching 7th Anthea Sutherland - Team BSFC San Pedro - 4:07:32. 8th Tharalee Ordonez - Team Belize Bank Swoosh - 4:28:55 – 1st Youth - $300 9th Paulita Chavarria - Chavarria Cycling – 2nd Youth - $200 prize 10th Kaylynn Gillett – Team Belize Bank Swoosh - 4:49:34 - 3rd Youth $100 11th Alicie King - Team Belize Bank Swoosh - 5:12:17.
Top 3 youths
Jewel Fury & OW Gladiators Win in FFB Female Football Champ Amiri Hoare
Jayda Brown wins header
Hoare Wins Don Omario U-19 Cup in Table Tennis
Zulma Ortega vs Eris Galdamez All participants
8 MAY 31 26 JUL FEB 12 JUN 14 16 19 AUG APR JUN
2016 2016 2017
Matus Bombers U15 & U-17, Hattieville U-15 & San Pedro FC Win Thru to BDFA Mclean Football Finals
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BES Girls & Boys, Hummingbird Girls & Holy Redeemer Boys Victorious
11 09 SPORTS 11 Verdes Upset BDF 3-0 in PLB Football
Warriors' Denroy Lopez attacks San Pedro FC
Gilroy Thurton scored Verdes' 2nd goal
THE BELIZE TIMES
Southern Leaders United… A BELIZE THAT WORKS FOR ALL OF US!
This past weekend PUP Leader John Briceño, flanked by Southern leaders Rodwell Ferguson, Oscar Requeña and Mike Espat concluded their final leg of a tour which has seen them visiting all communities in the South. Many of our people have been neglected by this current administration, treated like they are not important and have no role to play in the development of our country. Our leaders have presented a message of unity, strength and hope. Under a new PUP government, Belize will work for all.
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NORTHERN FISHERMEN CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY LTD. Telephone: 44488, 44460 Fax: 501-2-30978 49 North Front Street P.O. Box 647 Belize City, Belize C.A.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:25-26
The Management and Staff of Northern Fishermen wish all Belizeans a
Happy and Blessed Easter!
THE BELIZE TIMES
MY PERSPECTIVE By Dolores Balderamos Garcia
OUT OF HELL
March 8, 2017 was International Women's Day. It was also a day purely Out of Hell in a Government-run hostel for young girls outside of Guatemala City. The most analytical and comprehensive account of what happened and why is the one from the New Yorker Magazine on March 19 written by acclaimed writer and journalist Francisco Goldman. I recommend it. I will try to draw from his fairly long article, and also to make some comparison of the horrific event in Guatemala and the just as horrific death of three Belizean teenage girls at the Youth Hostel at Gracie Rock last year. Two days before the terrible inferno at the Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asuncion (what an ironic name for that hostel), there had been a riot of the teenagers there, as they protested inhumane conditions and rapes of many girls. The hostel, originally designed for 500 residents, at the time housed some 800, and instead of being a place for care and refuge it had become a nightmarish jail and place of abuse. On March 7, during the riot many girls started throwing rocks at their teachers and the police, shouting “Rape us here in front of everybody!!” Many girls escaped for a time. Years before, several staffers were found guilty of sexual abuse, and some punishments amounted to torture and clearly violated the children's human rights. Many girls were prostituted to “maras” or gang members. And the institutional neglect was horrendous. The Secretariat for Social Welfare had completely ignored numerous complaints from parents and concerned officials. The count of those who died on March 8 now exceeds forty girls!! What happened in essence is that after the escape and riot, many of the girls were locked up in a classroom, not even being allowed to go to the bathroom. They were given mattresses without blankets, and in order to call attention to their plight, a few girls lit mattresses on fire. The police guarding the classroom ignored desperate cries from the girls to open the doors, saying that they should suffer because they were good at misbehaving and escaping, so they should be good at outing the fire. Before long dozens of girls were literally on fire, and the terrible carnage became apparent when the fire was finally put out, burnt bodies counted, and victims taken to hospital with un-
imaginable burns. As with the fire at our own Youth Hostel in which three girls perished, it was not clear who had the keys to the room where the girls were detained. Hostel officials blamed the police. And likewise both horrid occurrences took place after the girls had escaped and were recaptured. Evident too is an abominable breakdown of institutional responsibility, even after warning signs and several prior incidents that should have alerted authorities to serious problems in both cases. In Guatemala, however, unlike here at home there has been hell to pay. The Minister of Social Welfare, Carlos Rodas, initially did not resign, but later he was forced to tender his resignation, and by March 13 the Minister, Vice-Minister Anahy Keller, and the Director of the Hogar, Santos Torres were arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter, abuse of minors, and breach of duty. Also Attorney General, Thelma Aldana ordered an investigation into prosecutors who may have received the terrible complaints of abuse and not responded to them, saying that if they are found guilty of negligence they will be subject to administrative and even criminal penalties. Here at home very little has come out about the investigations and inquest into the deaths of our young girls. It has been pretty hushhush. I understand that the inquest found institutional breakdowns but no individual or individuals directly criminally liable. Also it appears that only one of the families has received significant financial compensation thus far, a clear indication of acceptance of Government liability. How different things are here. Earlier, I wrote that I was shocked that there has not been more outrage as to what was allowed to happen here. If a light is not shone brightly on what happened and the public is not given information, how can we ensure that there is no repeat of this Belizean tragedy? I believe that we should have demanded far more information than authorities were willing to divulge. Last year in Belize and March 8 this year in Guatemala were days Out of Hell for poor, vulnerable young girls. Yes, it is always the poor and vulnerable who suffer the most abuse and neglect. We cannot speak for Guatemala, but we must make sure that this does not happen here again.
THINKING OUT LOUD BY: KEVIN BERNARD
At the end of this week we will celebrate Easter, a much anticipated long weekend. For many of us Belizeans, it is a time for merry-making, partying, drinking and just enjoying four days away from work. For others, it is just about getting away with family and friends. But Easter is much more than that, especially to those of us raised in the Christian faith. It is said to be the time of Jesus’ resurrection, a spiritual time for many of us. I urge all of you, then, to party if you will, but spend at least a moment reflecting on our relationship with God, and for sure, spend a moment counting our many blessings because as a people, we are blessed. I believe that just as we reflect on your relationship with God, it is also important to think about our roles as Belizeans, as members of the tight-knit Orange Walk community in particular, but as residents of this country we all love very much. There are so many things which are not going as they should, so many things that need to be changed. I have said it before and I will say it as many times as necessary. We need to get away from the divisive politics and we need to start looking at what is good for us as a people, and good for the country regardless of Party colour or party affiliation. I was angry last week when it was announced by Minister of Education Patrick Faber that he would take $1M dollars and give it to teachers who did not go on strike in October 2016. I was not, and am not angry with the teachers who will get that money. We are living in difficult times. Of course, I wish with all my heart that those teachers would refuse that money and petition the Minister to instead use it to fix schools urgently in need of repair, or to provide schools with materials critical to education, or to fund feeding programs, or so many other things that need attention. But I am a realist. These are hard times, and very few persons would refuse their share of $1M just before Easter. But as a people – red, blue, green, yellow, whatever - -we need to stop this wasteful spending. Seriously! We are not a first world country
with coffers bulging as they once were with Petrocaribe monies. In fact, just a couple weeks ago we were told, all of us, that we need to pay more taxes because the government has no money! Where in the hell is this $1M coming from? While that $1M will make a few teachers happy for Easter, it is all of us taxpayers who will need to pay for that $1M. All of us. Because Orange Walk is always my priority, I cannot help but think about what could have been done with $1M, or even half of that million…how many streets we could have upgraded or paved, how much infrastructure could have been refurbished. I think it is an outright shame, and I am angry at the UDP’s representative in Orange Walk East, Elodio Aragon, who seems to have no problem with that money being used as a onetime political handout. I look around at all that we have achieved over the past months, all the streets that have been paved, and all the streets that are even now being paved. I look at all the work being done not for PUP, or for UDP, but for our people because at the end of the day we are one people. And to tell you the truth I am saddened by what is happening in our country. Even though these challenging times affect ALL of us, we are way too divided to stand together and stand united. Even though corruption affects ALL of us, we are way too divided to stand together against it. Even though abuse and misappropriation and mismanagement affect all of us, we are way too divided to fix those things. Many of our people are blinded to the many wrongs taking place because of party colour. We need a change. We need to stop thinking Party, and start thinking about what is right and wrong, for us and for this country we love. As I prepare to celebrate this Easter with my loved ones, it is my prayer that we can somehow find a way to heal the political divide and chart one path of development. As we all enjoy these days of Easter holidays, be safe and be at peace. I wish you all much contentment. There are dark days ahead.
THE BELIZE TIMES
On Bubby-Suckers, Party Fanatics & Jackasses
You will notice and appreciate that I used the word jackasses as opposed to others I am prone to using. I have started, in my relatively old age, to go to Church and my God says I should try to be a better person and not curse so much. He also says that I should be kind to idiots, but I figure He will understand that a career blasphemer and sinner like me can’t become a saint overnight. I refuse to suffer fools gladly, and lerd help me in this political arena there are way too many fools.
One of my friends and a media colleague has informed me that I should not hate anybody. She says hate is too strong a word. So just let me say here that I disgust persons who cannot think for themselves and align themselves as fanatics to a party, any party. I am making particular reference to those who have most deservingly been awarded the dubious title of bubby-suckers. These persons firmly attached to Dean Barrow’s wrinkled bubby have allowed themselves to be bought and paid for, leaving any integrity or independent thinking by the wayside. I have attended numerous press conferences hosted by Dean Oliver. Every single one has been carefully choreographed to allow the participation of bubby-suckers. UDP Ministers, CEOs, political officers, cronies, hired thugs and crumb-pickers are present at every conference. They hang on to Dean Oliver’s every word, cheer on command, heckle when necessary and just generally dance to the tune played by that tired old piper. In my time at the periphery of poli-
tics, I have come across many low-level bubby suckers, those who possess little intelligence but follow orders in return for a little suck. These persons can be found on the ground at political events or lately, on social media where they hide behind fake profiles and generally spew venom and hate against anything PUP. There are also mid-level bubby-suckers, persons like the sour former-Senator who also acts as a bubby-facilitator. She has made millions off the bubby, certainly not because of her charm and talent, but because she acts as Dean’s main thug and bully. I’m not sure where Alberto August fits into the bubby organizational chart. His obvious lack of intelligence should have him firmly in the low-level bubby category, but through hard work and determination he has dragged himself up to mid-level bubby sucker. I’ll leave him there for now. And then, there are the high-level bubby-suckers – those Ministers and CEOs who have latched onto the bubby with eager lips while hands are left free to plunder coffers accessed through that vigorous suck-action. On a more serious note, I am always ashamed to see these persons become mindless sycophants who have turned their backs on everything that is right, everything of principle or moral value, simply to stay within that inner circle of privilege and power. I’m not naïve…many of them, CEOs included, have become paid members of the circle of thieves. It’s real. There is serious money to be hustled when that upper echelon on the organizational structure is reached. One bubby sucker in particular galls me greatly. Godwin Hulse was once perceived, by some, as a man of integrity. I suspect that it was all an act. He is now nothing more than a flatulent old windbag which Dean Ol-
2017 2nd Highest
Unemployment in the Country
iver blows now and then. Hulse, as long as the UDP is in power, will continue to convince himself that he is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but he is a nobody…just another bubby-sucker. The truth is that he has failed in every single Ministry in which he has been placed, and never takes any blame for the messes under his watch. It is like he lives in this fantasy world where he is king. To hear him speak now makes me sick. All the bullshit that comes out of his mouth is truly overwhelming. The woman who could not win an election despite all the resources in the world and who has now become the Minister of Natural Resources is another. What happened in that Ministry is no political fabrication, no made up, imaginary corruption! Gaspar Vega used his power to do all sorts of things which ensure that he and his family would be wealthy beyond their every expectation, and it came at a heavy cost to us. In fact, it will cost generations to come. But Carla Barnett was placed in the Ministry of Natural Resources, replacing Ms. Retreage who may have started becoming too curious, and since then there has been not one word coming out of the Ministry. The corruption there isn’t buried deep, and it is substantiated by documentation. So why is it that this self-proclaimed bastion of integrity is doing nothing? Seriously, many bubby-suckers are just stupid jackasses and annoy the hell out of me. But some at the higher-levels are dangerous for the country. We cannot continue to accept bubby-sucking and political fanaticism – not where any party is concerned. It seems that the bubby releases mind-numbing toxins and inhibit rational thinking. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Bubby-suckers should go to hell. AMEN.
A DANGEROUS MF…! - Part I
By: Norris Hall Why is it that local television reporters like to shove their microphones into the face of Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (MF)? Is it that he shoots and spews so much crap that they find, somehow, his nonsense to be comic relief from the daily drudge of reporting on the constant flow of blood into the streets and on the depressing economy and commonplace corruption, that there is hardly anything else positive to report? Or perhaps is it that the Minister is seeking some of his own form of relief and sees the microphones as phallic symbols and goes off on them in desperation to ease his pain from his broken bromance with his Guatemalan counterpart and the diplomatic mess he has created? He is so, so often removed from reality and has made so many crazy pronouncements that are usually far removed from the political reality of the Guatemalan claim, that at times, hinges on treasonous remarks that sound like Guatemalan speak, or an Agent, and not representing the vital national security interest of Belize. OUTRAGEOUS Most of his outrageous utterances are made before he puts his brain into gear, or apparently, before he tastes his words and spit them out. More often than not, his statements made on the national and international stages are generally inconsistent with the case for Belize as an independent nation. He speaks but not in defense of Belize as an independent nation with its national boundaries defined in the supreme law of the land - the Constitution. In fact, he often challenges the territorial integrity of Belize. Despite numerous legal opinions by international jurists in support of Belize’s independence that is supported by international law and treaties, he continues to ignore what is an overwhelmingly strong case for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the overwhelming continuing support of the United Nations. He persistently flies in the face of the accomplishments of the People’s United Party on its attainment of independence and international recognition of Belize as a member of the family of nations. Is it that he is so blinded by hate, and so determined to destroy that achievement that he has become a well-paid agent of Guatemala? DUPED Is it that the supporters of the ruling party have been so duped, died in the wool or have become so dependent on political hand-outs, that they continue to put party pol-
THE BELIZE TIMES
itics before their own survival as a people and nation? We will not at this point review the number of treaties, in particular the 1859 treaty that establishes the boundaries of Belize. This is a country that over the years has evolved with its dynamic multi-ethnic population. It has become a small polyglot of people with its unique diverse customs and cultures. The MF’s most recent outrageous pronouncement is yet another insult to the people of this country. He continues to rehash his “invisible borders” theory. He recently described the Belizean people as “squatters”: “It is just like you are on a piece of land all your life, but you are a squatter. You can’t do anything with that land,” he publicly declared as he spoke to the microphones. JUDAS Is this really Belize’s Foreign Minister, or is this man who now brazenly speaks for and on behalf of the Guatemalan government, a Judas? The frightening and dangerous thing is that he seems to be getting away with it and perhaps even gets an endorsement by the leadership of his Party. Why is it, that as a people, we continue to entertain this madness and flagrant deception? The MF appears to be unstoppable. At a recent press conference with the visiting Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), he told the media that “Belize’s borders are not internationally recognized.” This is what the Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs, an elected politician in the parliament of this country declared even though he has sworn to defend the Constitution of Belize. NO ABSTRACT This is no abstract discussion. This is no tangential intellectual pontification. This is a harsh betrayal of everything that the people of this country struggled and fought for - baymen or not! The Foreign Minister of Belize also recently declared: “Our maritime borders have never been agreed upon. That has to be agreed upon. We don’t have any maritime borders agreed upon in the sea.” It is hard to believe that this dangerous MF, Belize’s Foreign Minister, who is supposed to represent this country’s national interest and who heads negotiations with Guatemala over that country’s claim to Belize, is not aware that Belize’s maritime borders have been established in accordance with international law. It is time for a national outcry against the stupidity of this man with his wild and idiotic assertions that haves become a threat to our national security and integrity or probably it is a clever betrayal as we watch with our eyes wide shut.
NOTICE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BELIZE A.D. 2016 (DIVORCE) ACTION NO.: 300 (KEYLA ESTHER GUERRERO TOBAR PADILLA PETITIONER ( BETWEEN( AND (GENIEL TOBAR PADILLA RESPODENT TO: GENIEL TOBAR PADILLA TAKE NOTICE that the Petition for dissolution of marriage dated 6th October 2016, endorsed with a notice to you to appear and answer the charges therein has been filed in the Supreme Court of Belize by KEYLA ESTHER GUERRERO TOBAR PADILLA of Dove Street, San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, Belize, and that you are required within 14 days of the second publication hereof to enter an appearance at the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court in Belize City, Belize should you think fit so to do and thereafter to make answer to the charges in the said Petition and FURTHER TAKE NOTICE that in default of your so doing the Court will proceed to hear the said charges proved and pronounce judgement your absence notwithstanding. This Petition is filed and this Notice to appear is by M.H.CHEBAT & Co. of 53 Barrack Road, Belize City, Belize, Attorneys-at-Law for the Petitioner KEYLA ESTHER GUERRERO TOBAR PADILLA. DATED the 29th day of March 2017 REGISTRAR OF THE SUPREME COURT Note: Any person entering an appearance must at the same time furnish an address for service within two miles of the Supreme Court.
For Sale By Order of the Mortgagee Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd., a company duly registered under the Companies Act, Chapter 250 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition, 2000, and having its registered office at Cor. Albert and Bishop Streets, Belize City, Belize, hereby gives notice of its intention to exercise its power of sale as Mortgagee under a Deed of Mortgage made the 7th day of October 2009, between WILBOURNE C. CUTHKELVIN & YCELA CUTHKELVIN of Hope Creek Village, Stann Creek District (hereinafter called “the Borrower”) of the one part and SCOTIABANK (BELIZE) LIMITED (hereinafter called “the Mortgagee”) of the other part, and recorded in Deeds Book Volume 24 of 2009 at Folios 1041-1070, the said Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd. will at the expiration of two months from the date of the first publication of this notice sell the property described in the schedule hereto. All offers to purchase the said property must be made in writing and full particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained from the said Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd. SCHEDULE ALL THAT piece or parcel of land being Lot No. 44 comprising of 861.020 Square Yards situate in Hope Creek Village, Stann Creek District, bounded and described as shown by Plan No. 732 of 1997 attached to Minister’s Fiat Grant No. 732 of 1997 TOGETHER with all buildings, erections and developments standing and being thereon.
DATED this 3rd day of April, 2017. MUSA & BALDERAMOS LLP 91 North Front Street Belize City Attorneys-at-Law for Scotiabank (Belize) Ltd.
THE BELIZE TIMES
From Rags to Riches Anwar Barrow
Monday, 10 April 2017 If there is one thing that can be said about these UDP politicians, now and when they are finally kicked out of office, it is that they made much of the time they were given to fool the people. It is likely that every single UDP Minister will have accumulated vast assets when the political bell finally tolls for them, and certainly more than a few of them will be multi-millionaires. It is frankly disturbing to see that some of these persons went into politics with nothing, and in the space of a few years have come up big time. And the remarkable transformation has not been limited to just UDP Ministers who seem much more focused on personal enrichment than on actually doing the job for which they were elected. Look at privileged Belizeans like Anwar Barrow. In 2007/2008 Anwar Barrow was looking around to see what he could get into, without a clue what he would do. Less than ten years after, the son of the Prime Minister is a millionaire, with a money-lending operation that has expanded to the entire country. All this while he was raking in dough from BTL as a special Director of the Board and then as the head of the company. He also reportedly has amassed vast wealth in properties and land all over the country. That didn’t happen because of any particular skill – he is just the son of a Prime Minister who believes firmly in bold, brazen nepotism. The Belize City Council is a prime example of persons who are doing absolutely nothing tangible to make the lives of residents better, but are paid very handsomely for the nothing that they do so well. Look at Dean Samuels, our favourite barber turned wealthy politician. Years ago this fellow was struggling like all normal Belizeans to make a living. Now he is living the life of a privileged UDP, with regular fancy parties in his mansion in Hattieville and
fancy rides galore. Wouldn’t we like to see a list of Samuels’ assets before and after politics? And that has been the story, really, of all the Councillors including Dion Leslie, Phillip Willoughby, Alifa Elrington, Alain Gonzalez and certainly the man at the helm, Darrell Bradley. They have all been able to access salaries to the tune of almost $4000 a month for doing nothing. Bradley, who gets much more than that, has been able to work as a full-time attorney, driven to Court every day in his municipal vehicle, while still being paid as a full-time Mayor. The city has suffered as a result of this abuse. Not only are taxpayers made to foot the bill for the huge salaries of all these Councillors, but the outrageous neglect has been clear to see. The city looks worse now than it did just 5 years ago. In fact, it ap-
pears that this Council has forgotten that there is a Southside, since poverty has grown in that area and there has been no attention placed on ever deteriorating conditions. It is time for Belizeans to start looking at all these UDPs that have gotten rich at the expense of taxpayers. Way past time.
Which UDP driver owns this house?
Which UDP councillor owns this house?
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THE BELIZE TIMES
By: Major (Ret’d) Lloyd Jones The announcement by Patrick Faber, the Minister of Education and Dean Barrow’s heir presumptive that GOB will award an honorarium of $1 million to those teachers who did not go on the anti-corruption strike sent shock waves throughout Belize. Quite properly, the BNTU has condemned such a naked attempt at union busting and bribery. The BNTU has been joined in the condemnation of such waste by the Chamber of Commerce, the NTUCB and the CWU. None of the justifiable criticism has phased Patrick Faber and Dean Barrow as they plough ahead with their twisted logic that those teachers who abandoned the BNTU and the Belizean people should be rewarded for what these ridiculous politicians perceive as loyalty to the UDP. Every Belizean should be aware by now what really is the focus of the UDP: not to govern and lead Belize along a sustainable developmental pathway; their focus is on petty politics and electioneering. They have maintained that focus since 2008 and because they have won 3 consecutive elections they believe that the Belizean people are in accord with their self-centered politics. They have failed to realize however that PetroCaribe has evaporated, the productive sector is in decline and the oil fields have dried up. Faber and the UDP can no longer hoodwink the Belizean people who are now beginning to
realize that you can’t eat cement streets. When your child falls ill you can’t take him/ her to the civic center for treatment. The illusion is over and Barrow, Patrick and the UDP have wrecked our economy and they can pretend no more! In the current climate Patrick Faber’s honorarium is irresponsible, it is obscene and it is dishonourable. At a time when Belize faces its worst economic challenge ever, and at a time when Dean Barrow has cruelly increased taxes on the poor, Faber has the “Zenaida Beads” (also known as balls) to give away $1 million? It is our understanding that each teacher will receive about $500, our only question to those teachers is this: is this what your integrity is worth? He has cleverly timed the honorarium to coincide with the Easter break, a time when Belizeans go out of their way to spend money they do not have. The irony of course is that it was during this very time that Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Patrick’s offer to the teachers is $1 million. I guess he factored in inflation!
Everybody understands that the $1 million could have been put to better use. Just last weekend the CEOs held a ride for cancer which reportedly raised $70,000. Just imagine that, the Minister squanders $1 million and right thereafter the CEOs turn to the Belizean people and say please help us raise money for cancer. Where was your concern when Faber committed $1 million of taxpayers’ money to bribing the teachers? The $1 million that Faber intends to squander could have gone to the improvement of cancer treatment facilities in Belize: a far more meaningful endeavour. If the CEOs really cared about cancer they would have written a joint letter to Faber urging him to spend the money on cancer treatment but no, they sat idly by and said nothing. They dare not upturn the apple cart. Such utter and complete hypocrisy. The useful purposes for which the $1 million could have been used are many. Just a few months ago we saw Edmond “Clear the Cane” Castro boasting about bringing water to the good people of Biscayne. What he did not say is that his UDP government could not find the meagre $1 million dollars that it would cost to bring water to Biscayne. They had to go hat in hand to the Germans. The UDP government behaves like an
alcoholic husband who drinks out his pay then sends his wife to beg the area rep for “help.” By Castro’s own admission, there are many villages in Belize Rural North without potable water: Boston, Bomba and Maypen we mentioned. Why not spend the money on getting these people water? What about health? We are hearing very troubling stories about the lack of proper medication at the public hospitals; why not spend the $1 million on that? Oh here is a great idea, what about proper ambulances? Or adequate backup generators for our hospitals? What about the much vaunted CSI Belize facilities? Do we really need to show you how much more good we could have done with the $1 million? The honorarium coming at the expense of the public purse is ill-conceived. It is an insult to the taxpayer who must fork out more of their hard earned money to pay for a government that has grown out of control. A government that can magically find $1 million to bribe teachers but can’t find money for the things that are really important to the average Belizean: health care, education, housing, crime fighting and other emergency services? This latest move by Faber and the UDP is another indicator of their reckless approach to public finances. The economy is imperilled, cost of living has spiralled out of control but hey let’s have a feast! Does Tacos and pibil come to mind? We wish that those teachers, already having failed to stand up for Belize and against corruption, find it in the hearts to at least reject these million pieces of silver as a makeup gesture. As a kind of penitence if you will. After all…its holy week.
BUT CANT BUILD HOMES FOR THESE YOUTH
THE UDP CAN GIVE THIS MAN $557 MILLION!
THE THEBELIZE BELIZETIMES TIMES
Fiscales del MP contabilizan el dinero que fue localizado en un camión en San José Pinula en 2016.
MÁS DE UN MILLÓN DE DÓLARES PASAN A FAVOR DEL ESTADO
El Estado de Guatemala incauto más de US$1 millón (unos Q9 millones) y un camión que fueron extinguidos por las autoridades. Ciudad de Guatemala 7 de Abril de 2017 La Unidad de Extinción de Dominio del Ministerio Público (MP), informó que los dólares eran transportados en el camión C-579 BPY, el cual fue detenido el 13 de mayo del 2016 en el kilómetro 16.5 de San José Pinula. El vehículo era conducido por Henry Estuardo Hernández, quien enfrenta proceso penal por lavado de dinero, informó el MP.
El MP logró demostrar que el camión fue utilizado como medio para la comisión de una actividad ilícita, pues Hernández nunca pudo demostrar el origen del dinero. Camión y dólares incautados en San José Pinula en mayo del 2016. (Foto Prensa Libre: MP) ¿A dónde van los bienes extinguidos? La Ley de Extinción de Dominio refiere en el artículo 47 que los recursos extinguidos deben utilizarse en el combate al crimen organizado. El 20 por ciento de los recursos tendrá destino exclusivo para gastos de las unidades de Métodos Especiales de Investigación y las fuerzas de tarea o unidades encargadas de la interceptación aérea o marítima de drogas. Otro 20 por ciento son para fondos privativos del Ministerio Público y deberán ser invertidos en los programas de protección a testigos. El 18 por ciento de los recursos van a los fondos privativos del Ministerio de Gobernación para entrenamiento y adquisición de equipo para apoyo de unidades de investigación relacionadas con la Ley de Extinción de Dominio y para la PNC. El 15 por ciento va a la Secretaría Nacional de Administración de Bienes en Extinción de Dominio; el 25 por ciento para el Organismo Judicial y un 2 por ciento para la Procuraduría General de la Nación.
Juan Carlos Monzón, es colaborador eficaz en los casos de corrupción La Línea y Cooptación del Estado.
ABOGADOS OFRECIERON US$100 MIL A JUAN CARLOS MONZÓN PARA CALLAR EN EL CASO COOPTACIÓN
El colaborador eficaz, Juan Carlos Monzón, contó al juez Décimo Penal, Walter Villatoro, detalles de las reuniones que sostuvo con tres abogados que le ofrecieron pagarle en dólares para que cambiara su versión en el caso Cooptación del Estado Ciudad de Guatemala: 7 de Abril de 2017 La revelación de Monzón fue durante una audiencia de anticipo de prueba en el juzgado antes mencionado, que conoce el caso contra los tres abogados, quienes guardan prisión preventiva por el delito de obstrucción a la justicia. Según lo revelado, el 18 de octubre de 2016, los abogados, José Gerardo Martínez Búcaro, sindicado en el caso Cooptación, Luis Gustavo Montoya García y José Vielman, visitaron a Monzón en su celda de la cárcel Pavoncito. Monzón dijo al juez: "llegaron a la cárcel en una camioneta. No hay registro de la visita en el Sistema Penitenciario”. “Me llegaba a buscar a la prisión, quiero pecar de ingenuo señor juez, estoy casi seguro, a José Gerardo, lo utilizaron para llegar conmigo, porque saben de la amista que tengo, que tenía con él. El cinismo de llegarme a ofrecer dinero, una comisión, para que yo les diera clientes o para que cambiara mis declaraciones en los casos. Hablándome de Dios, fue frustrante para mí”, dijo Monzón. El colaborador eficaz, afirmó que él grabó la conversación, con una grabadora en forma de bolígrafo que luego entregó a la Fiscalía Especial contra la Impunidad (Feci). En su declaración, Monzón dijo que la grabadora se la prestó su compañero de celda, Salvador Estuardo González, alias Eco. Los abogados Martínez Búcaro, era el representante legal de la empresa Representaciones Allience, S. A., que adquirió inmuebles para la exvicepresidenta, Roxana Baldetti.
Cont’do pagina 23
Joaquín Guzmán Loera fue extraditado de México a Estados Unidos el 19 de enero de 2017
4 DESAFÍOS GIGANTES QUE PRESENTA EN ESTADOS UNIDOS EL JUICIO A JOAQUÍN “EL CHAPO” GUZMÁN TRAS SER EXTRADITADO DESDE MÉXICO En los tribunales de Nueva York han sido acusados peces gordos de todo tipo y color, desde capos mafiosos hasta ejecutivos de Wall Street. Por BBC Mundo / EE. UU. 4 de Abril de 2017 "Es un caso inusual", advirtió el propio juez de la causa, Brian Cogan, aludiendo en febrero a información confidencial que recibió del Gobierno sobre los riesgos que plantea la detención de Guzmán. Garantizar un juicio adecuado a alguien que escapó dos veces de cárceles de máxima seguridad en México y es acusado de liderar un cartel que maneja miles de millones de dólares plantea grandes dificultades a la fiscalía y la defensa, según expertos. "Para ambos lados es duro", sostiene Rob Heroy, un abogado
que defendió al mexicano Carlos Ramón Castro-Rocha —sentenciado por producir y exportar heroína a EE. UU.— y que antes fuera asistente de un fiscal de distrito en Carolina del Norte. "No sé si alguna vez hubo una acusación a alguien de escala tan grande en Estados Unidos. No se me ocurre. Si hubieran traído a Pablo Escobar sería otra historia, pero no lo trajeron. Y me sorprende que hayan traído al Chapo", dice Heroy a BBC Mundo, comparando a Guzmán con el fallecido líder narco colombiano.
Aquí, cuatro de los mayores desafíos que plantea este juicio que promete ser histórico: 1. Los testigos Desde que el Chapo fue extraditado a Nueva York, la fiscalía afirma que apoyará sus acusaciones en "decenas de testigos que realizaron transacciones cara a cara con Guzmán, para probar el poder de Guzmán, la corrupción y la violencia dentro del cartel de Sinaloa". Por ejemplo, indicó que proveedores y transportistas de drogas mexicanos y colombianos, así como distribuidores en EE. UU., pueden hablar de las operaciones ilícitas de Guzmán, mientras otros testigos detallarán los asesinatos cometidos por orden suya. A esto, agregó el Gobierno, se sumaría evidencia física y conversaciones grabadas ocultamente de Guzmán discutiendo Cont’do pagina 23
THE THEBELIZE BELIZETIMES TIMES 2015
Narco mexicano Beltrán Leyva es condenado a cadena perpetua en EE. UU
Un juez de EE. UU. condenó este miércoles a cadena perpetua a Alfredo Beltrán Leyva, líder de uno de los carteles del narcotráfico más conocidos de México, alias "el Mochomo" y extraditado a Estados Unidos en 2014 para ser juzgado por tráfico de drogas ton
Por EFE / Washing-
10 de Abril de 2017 El juez de la Corte del Distrito de Columbia, Richard J. Leon, exigió también a Beltrán Leyva el pago de una multa de más de US$529 millones, la cifra de beneficios que obtuvo del tráfico de al menos 27.9 toneladas de droga entre los años 2000 y 2012, según cálculos del magistrado. Durante la vista para dictar sentencia, el juez resaltó en varias ocasiones la "magnitud" del caso y llegó a decir que el proceso penal contra Beltrán Leyva es el "caso de mayor escala" que ha evaluado la Corte del Distrito de Columbia, en Washington, en los últimos 15 años o "incluso antes". Beltrán Leyva recibió la sentencia frente al juez, de pie, al lado de su abogado y después de haber ofrecido un
El narco mexicano Alfredo Beltrán Leyva fue capturado en enero del 2008
testimonio de varios minutos en el que admitió haber traficado con drogas. Se defiende No obstante, el acusado defendió que su papel en el cartel de los Beltrán Leyva se limitaba a ayudar a vender droga en la ciudad de Culiacán, estado de Sinaloa, noroeste de México, a su hermano Arturo Beltrán Leyva, fallecido en diciembre de 2009 y que, según él, era el verdadero líder del cartel. "Acepto la responsabilidad de mi ofensa que fue trabajar para mi hermano Arturo y vender droga en Culiacán", dijo Beltrán Leyva, de 46 años y vestido con un traje marrón de una pieza. Imputación La pena impuesta a Beltrán Leyva concuerda con la petición de cadena perpetua de la Fiscalía, que, sin embargo, pidió una multa de US$10 mil millones, un monto muy superior
a los US$529 millones impuestos por el juez. Por su parte, el abogado de la defensa, Eduardo Balarezo, reiteró su petición de una pena de 25 años de prisión y exigió al juez que tuviera en cuenta la buena voluntad de su cliente, que se declaró culpable en febrero de 2016 del cargo de tráfico de cocaína y metanfetaminas, uno de los seis delitos que se le imputaron. A la salida de la audiencia, Balarezo aseguró que recurrirá la sentencia, acción para la que disponen de un plazo de 14 días. El proceso ha alcanzado una notable importancia porque la Fiscalía ha detallado en varias ocasiones la alianza que unió en la década de 1990 a los Beltrán Leyva y al cartel de Sinaloa, liderado por Joaquín "el Chapo" Guzmán, extraditado a EE. UU. en enero y encarcelado en Nueva York a la espera
4 DESAFÍOS GIGANTES QUE PRESENTA EN ESTADOS UNIDOS EL JUICIO A JOAQUÍN “EL CHAPO” GUZMÁN TRAS SER EXTRADITADO DESDE MÉXICO Cont’do de pagina 22 transacciones de drogas. De ser hallado culpable, Guzmán, de 59 años, podría recibir cadena perpetua. La pena de muerte ha sido descartada en el acuerdo de extradición con México. De todos modos, una pregunta está abierta: ¿quién va a testificar contra Guzmán exactamente? Heroy señala que los fiscales "siempre dicen que tienen testigos", pero presentarlos ante la corte será el mayor desafío del gobierno. "Imagino que el Chapo fue un tipo muy cuidadoso, estoy seguro que no estaba sentado ahí conduciendo tratos de droga mano a mano y entregando cocaína a todos. Probablemente solo hablaba con cinco o seis personas, y esos hablarían con otros", explica. "El Chapo podría tener un chance de juicio porque el Gobierno podría no encontrar quien testifiquen sobre algo que específicamente hizo. E incluso si encuentra testigos, podrían no querer venir a la corte o el Gobierno no querrá exponerlos", agrega. De hecho, en un documento enviado a la corte en marzo para mantener el confinamiento solitario de Guzmán
en una prisión de máxima seguridad en Manhattan, la fiscalía alertó sobre la posibilidad de que se intente silenciar a quienes puedan dar su testimonio. "Hay un riesgo sustancial de que las comunicaciones o contactos del acusado con personas asociadas con el cartel y algunas otras terceras partes podrían resultar en la muerte o lesiones corporales graves de personas, incluidos potenciales testigos en este caso", sostuvo el Gobierno. El juez Cogan ordenó mantener protegida la información relacionada al caso, incluido el testimonio de personas, exigiendo al equipo de la defensa y otros obtener una autorización previa de acceso a través de un abogado mediador nombrado por el gobierno. 2. La seguridad Garantizar la seguridad adecuada en un juicio como el de Guzmán es otro reto gigante para el Gobierno, no sólo por la fama de evasor de prisiones de que el acusado trajo de México. Las dos audiencias públicas que el Chapo tuvo hasta ahora ante el juez ocurrieron en medio de impo-
nentes operativos policiales, que incluyeron el cierre parcial del puente de Brooklyn para el paso de la caravana de vehículos que lo transportaban. La defensa ha calificado como "draconianas" las condiciones de reclusión de Guzmán en el Centro Correccional Metropolitano de Manhattan, argumentando que su aislamiento en una celda 23 horas al día estaría afectando su salud mental y física. "Guzmán está retenido bajo las peores, más restrictivas condiciones de cualquier preso detenido actualmente por el gobierno de Estados Unidos", afirmaron los abogados defensores en una petición al juez el miércoles. La organización de defensa de derechos humanos Amnistía Internacional envió una carta a la fiscalía, obtenida por BBC Mundo, donde pide acceso a la cárcel y expresa preocupación porque las condiciones de encierro de Guzmán "parecen ser innecesariamente duras e infringir estándares internacionales de tratamiento humano". Pero el Gobierno calificó de desacertados los reclamos sobre la salud del acusado y replicó que las medidas especiales de reclusión son necesarias.
de juicio. Cartel dividido La detención en enero de 2008 de Alfredo Beltrán Leyva produjo la ruptura entre el clan familiar y el cártel de Sinaloa, encabezado por "el Chapo" e Ismael "Mayo" Zambada, a quienes los Beltrán Leyva acusaron de traición por supuestamente haber entregado a Alfredo. El resultado de la ruptura entre las dos bandas criminales fue una violenta guerra entre ellas y el asesinato de miles de mexicanos, incluyendo políticos y numerosos policías.
ABOGADOS OFRECIERON US$100 MIL A JUAN CARLOS MONZÓN PARA CALLAR EN EL CASO COOPTACIÓN
Cont’do de pagina 22
Vielman Rosales, fue empleado del Crédito Hipotecario Nacional en el área procesal. Montoya García, fue el defensor de Martínez Búcaro en el caso Cooprtación. Cooptación del Estado Según la Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala (Cicig), en el desarrollo de la investigación por el caso La Línea, así como del análisis de la documentación incautada físicamente y dispositivos electrónicos, se encontró un inmenso esquema financiero, aparentemente inconexo, que incluía nombres, empresas, cheques, bienes, movimientos financieros etc., el cual reportaba operaciones incluso desde el año 2008, cuatro años antes que el Partido Patriota asumiera el poder. Algunos de estos nombres y empresas aparecieron en casos presentados por el Ministerio Público (MP) y la Cicig como La Línea, la Terminal de Contenedores Quetzal (TCQ) y el Caso del Lago de Amatitlán, y se tenía suficiente evidencia de participación en otras investigaciones en curso. “Esto llevó a la conclusión que no se trataba de un Gobierno cuyos miembros cometían actos aislados de corrupción, sino una estructura criminal mafiosa, que había cooptado el poder por la vía de las urnas en Guatemala, y cuyos principales dirigentes eran Otto Pérez Molina y Roxana Baldetti”, dijo la Cicig.
THE BELIZE TIMES
SCIENCE & TECH R
Gene editing opens doors to seedless fruit with no need for bees By Alice Klein Don’t like the seeds in tomatoes? You might be pleased to know that seedless ones have been created by gene editing. The technique will make it possible to make a much wider range of seedless fruits than is currently available – and also means farmers might not have to rely on declining bee populations. Whether we ever see such fruits on supermarket shelves, however, may depend on how regulators decide to treat gene-edited crops. Several types of seedless fruits, from bananas to cucumbers to grapes, are already widely available, but many have come about by luck rather than design. Seedless bananas are the result of accidental crosses between subspecies, for instance, while other seedless fruits stem from spontaneous mutations. There are a few seedless varieties of tomato, but they have taken breeders many years to create. Now Keishi Osakabe at Tokushima University in Japan and his colleagues have used the CRISPR gene-editing technique to deliberately introduce a mutation that makes tomatoes seedless. The mutation increases levels of a hormone called auxin, which stimulates fruits to develop even though no seeds have begun to form. The precise nature of the CRISPR technique meant that no mutations were introduced into other parts of the plant genome. The only obvious difference is that the mutant plant’s leaves had simpler, less intricate shapes than normal, because higher auxin levels also affect the formation of leaves. “We haven’t tasted them yet, but in theory they should taste the same,” says Osakabe. Freed from seeds A few attempts have been made at creating seedless tomatoes using earlier genetic-engineering techniques. But these methods were clunky and time-consuming, whereas CRISPR is quick, easy and accurate. Some “seedless” fruits just have very small seeds, and still
require pollination. But completely seedless – or parthenocarpic – fruit like this tomato do not require pollination at all. They could there-
fore improve food security by reducing our reliance on declining numbers of bees, says Saul Cunningham at the Australian National University The downside for farmers is that seedless plants have to be grown from cuttings, which may be more labour-intenstive. Tomatoes are usually grown from seed, but they can also be propagated by cuttings. Some people also like the flavour that tomato seeds add. Seedless ver-
Thousands of fake companies added to Google Maps every month By Timothy Revell Local businesses on Google Maps aren’t always as local as they seem. Tens of thousands of bogus listings are added to Google Maps every month, directing browsing traffic towards fraudulent schemes, finds a team of researchers at Google and the University of San Diego, California. As an example, a fraudster might list a locksmiths at a location on Google Maps when they don’t actually have premises there. When a potential customer calls the phone number listed, they are put through to a central call centre that hires unaccredited contractors to do jobs all over. Often the customer ends up being coerced into paying more than the original quoted price. To analyse the scope of this abuse, the group looked at over 100,000 listings that the Google Maps team had identified as abusive between June 2014 and September 2015. The fraudulent listings most often belonged to services like locksmiths, plumbers and electricians. Overall, less than one per cent of Google Maps listings were fraudulent, but pockets of fake listings emerged. In West Harrison, New
York, for example, more than 80 per cent of locksmiths listed were scams. The US was home to over half of the fraudulent listings, followed by India with 17.5 per cent. The team presented their findings at the World Wide Web Conference in Perth, Australia, this week. “People who need assistance can unfortunately be easily exploited. If you’re locked out of your house you won’t necessarily check all of the customer reviews – you just want to get inside,” says Michael Levi at Cardiff University, UK. Verification cards Google tries to minimise this abuse of maps by sending out verification postcards to locations people claim online. Users have to enter a unique code on the postcard before they can control the listing. However, the study found that
sions would, however, be ideal for processing into sauces and pastes. And CRISPR could be used to develop other types of fruit crop that don’t require pollination, as well as introduce beneficial mutations that improve traits such as stress tolerance, says Osakabe. Whether these seedless varieties make it to shop shelves may depend on whether gene-edited plants have to meet the same criteria for approval as genetically modified plants, which would greatly increase costs. Some argue that where gene-editing is used to introduce mutations already found in some of the plant we eat, it should not require such strict regulation. fraudsters could exploit a loophole to get around this. They could rent a post office box in the area to register their business and pick up the postcard. Google Maps then lets businesses change their address within the same zip code without further verification, so they could claim another nearby address on the map. In another scam, people falsely list themselves as owners of genuine hotels or restaurants shown on Google Maps. They then call the real business and trick an employee into giving them the postcard’s verification code. This allows them to control the business’s listing, for example changing the listed website to their own booking or referral site. When customers try to make reservations or order food, the scammer gets a cut for acting as a middleman. “Clearly there is a balance to be struck between making it easy enough for legitimate businesses to use Google Maps, versus making it difficult for illegitimate businesses to exploit it,” says Levi. It’s not clear exactly what tools Google uses to detect abuse, he says, so it’s hard to say if they’re doing enough. It wasn’t revealed how many cases of abuse Google finds in total. The researchers looked only at listings that were removed by Google after appearing online, but 85 per cent of all cases identified as bogus are caught by Google before their listings are live.
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NOTICE Notice is hereby given that the below company has been dissolved and struck off the International Business Companies Register with effect from the date indicated: ABASTANSA LIMITED - March 22nd, 2017 Keyforce Management Limited Registered Agent
NOTICE Notice is hereby given that the below companies have been dissolved and struck off the International Business Companies Register with effect from the dates indicated:
MURDER COUNT KEEPS RISING Tuesday, 11 April 2017 Unofficially, there have been 44 murders already, with the fourth month of the year, April, not even halfway done. The latest victim who fell to a hail of lead last night in the old capital has been identified as Rafael Mario Guerra, 39, a Salvadoran national of Holy Emmanuel Street. The incident occurred sometime before 8:00 Monday night as Guerra was returning to his home, walking on Holy Emmanuel Street. While Police have released very little information, they have confirmed that a white dollar van pulled up beside Guerra and two men exited and fired shots at him, killing him on the spot. According to Guerra’s niece, Jessica Acosta, her uncle had received a call from a friend who wanted to borrow something. He allegedly took that item to the friend and it is as he was returning home that he was killed. Unconfirmed reports are that his friend was with him, saw what was happening and ran, escaping likely death. That, of course, has raised speculation with Guerra’s family that maybe he was not the target of the orchestrated murder, and his friend was. Police have not stated whether they have any leads in the murder, or if they have a suspected motive. According to Guerra’s family, he did not drink or smoke and had no problems with anyone. They claim that he worked hard, and took care of his mother at home.
NIMZO CAPITAL S.A. - April 6, 2017 ICAZA BELIZE TRUST CORPORATION LIMITED
NOTICE Notice is hereby given that the below company have been dissolved and struck off the International Business Companies Register with effect from the dates indicated:
PUP NOTICE The People’s United Party informs all supporters in ORANGE WALK CENTRAL, and portions of ORANGE WALK EAST & ORANGE WALK NORTH constituencies that applications are now being accepted for the posts of MAYOR & COUNCILORS for the March 2018 Municipal Elections. The closing date for all applications for those interested in any of the above positions is Friday, April 28, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. For further information, please contact your local Executive Chairperson or the PUP Secretariat.
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NOTICE Notice is hereby given that the below companies have been dissolved and struck off the International Business Companies Register with effect from the dates indicated: MANAGE ACTION LTD. - March 29th, 2017 COTTAGE LTD. - April 7th, 2017 Belize Corporate Services Limited Registered Agent
PUP NOTICE The People’s United Party informs all supporters in COROZAL BAY and portions of COROZAL NORTH constituencies that applications are now being accepted for the posts of MAYOR & COUNCILORS for the March 2018 Municipal Elections. The closing date for all applications for those interested in any of the above positions is Friday, April 28, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. Please contact your local Executive Chairperson for further information or the PUP Secretariat.
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