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THE REPORTER

Volume 51, No. 45

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

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Sunday November 11th, 2018

Price: $1.00

Missing Money at Excelsior? Teachers Threaten Lawsuit Against Principal Thursday, November 8, 2018

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Pg. 3

Serial Predator GUILTY – Again! Pg. 39

By Marion Ali

eachers at Excelsior High School in Belize City are up in arms and are demanding an explanation of why their social security, insurance and income tax payments are several months in arrears when the deductions have been taken out of their salaries. The Reporter has learned from inside sources at the school that in October, one of the teachers received a call from her insurance company, informing her that her payments were two months in arrears. The teacher inquired about it and found out that her deductions were made out in cheques along with everyone else's but had not been paid to any of the three institutions. In the case of one of the teachers, her Social

BNTU’s Show of Strength Awakens GOB

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Family Identifies Remains Samuel August of Son, Missing Since May Charged for Murder Thursday, November 8, 2018 By Michelle Sutherland

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he family of Roaring Creek resident Oswald Arnold, 20, who went missing during a fishing trip in May of this year, has received the closure they craved after his skeletal remains were found on a farm on the opposite side of the river in Teakettle Village. On Thursday when the Reporter spoke to Police they would not confirm that the re

Thursday, November 8, 2018

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By Marion Ali

amuel August, 35, the man who took the backhoe he works with for the Belize City Council to plow into a home on Faber’s Road, resulting in the deaths of his son and motherin-law, was formally charged today with Murder. August was committed to the mental facility in Belmopan after psychiatric evalu

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elizeans were thrilled this week to learn that the Police had captured eleven Guatemalan smugglers and one Belizean businessman along with 15 bales of cocaine weighing in at 1,056 pounds, and a number of pistols including one heavy caliber hand gun. This was big news! Everybody knows that the cocaine in coming in by plane and by boat from South America. But until now we did not know who are the agent or agents in Belize and how the drugs are being sent out. The bust last week opened a window on the activities of the drug cartel in Belize and held out the promise that at last the Police are about to get a handle on the people manipulating the drugs and the arms to agents in Belize. These guns have allowed city gangs to terrorize Belizean homes and businesses with looting and shooting on a scale not seen before. But Belizean expectations of some relief from the oppressive crime wave came crashing down when they learned that no one has been charged for drug trafficking, and that two kilos of cocaine were stolen from a Police strong room at the Queen Street Station where the cocaine was kept. The Police say they have not been able to charge the smugglers with drug trafficking, because they first have to receive official certification that the drugs seized were in fact cocaine. This process of certification takes time, the Police explained. Of all the asinine situations we have ever encountered in Belize, this is the absolute worst! Any police recruit can be taught to taste the powder and know cocaine when they taste it. If it is bitter in taste and numbs your tongue, it’s cocaine! A simple low-cost NIK chemistry kit is also available to law enforcement officers. It will reveal in a few seconds whether the suspect powder is cocaine. Cocaine, like marijuana, has an unmistakable smell of kerosene or benzene. This is a hallmark smell. If it does not smell of kerosene or benzene, it’s not cocaine! The red-tape idiosyncrasies of our legal system are causing Belize law enforcement to get a black eye! It is also causing mounting frustration and resentment among our people who are fed up with the drugs and the violence. We want to use this editorial space to advise our political leaders that voters will exact a heavy price at the polls if leaders do not become more efficient in conducting the war against drugs and against street violence.

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

THE REPORTER

Power, Money, and Service

Dear Editor: The UDP standard bearer convention in the Port Loyola Division on Sunday, November 4, 2018 had more than average turnout for political conventions in the area, because it was also a leadership contest for the Party with unlimited cash. In leading up to the event, Ministers Faber and Saldivar, who are each vying to replace Barrow as Party Leader and Prime Minister, if he steps down a couple months before the next general election as promised, joined together and financed the standard bearer bid of defeated City Councilor Phillip Willoughby with tons of cash. That was done to block a possible three-way leadership race with Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, whose candidacy for standard bearer in the Port was lavishly financed by Denise “Sister B” Barrow, who is the PM’s sister, as well as several Ministers including Anthony “Boots” Martinez, the Area Rep for Port. Peyrefitte’s leadership ambition was also indirectly supported by the PM. Willoughby won in the four way race on Sunday. Either Faber or Saldivar will therefore most likely be the new UDP leader and PM early next year if PM Barrow keeps his promise to step down from office a couple months before the next general election. Due to terrible unemployment in Port, especially among single mothers, many persons from the division used Sunday’s convention to earn from $50.00 to $200.00, depending on what a person did for a particular candidate. Scores of those persons also made it clear that they have no allegiance to the red and only came out for the money because things are dread in the area. Most Ministers use taxpayers’ money derived through bloated contracts to finance political campaigns. If a minimum of 1,500 persons were paid $50.00 each to be at Sunday’s Convention that amounts to $75,000.00 of taxpayers’ money in giveaways for a one day event. What a naked abuse of taxpayers’ money! If these Ministers can spend over $75,000.00 of

taxpayers’ money on a convention, why can’t these same Ministers use taxpayers’ money to provide us with land, jobs, better healthcare, proper housing, adequate roads, recreational facilities and other basic things for a better life that we, the taxpayers of this country, rightly deserve. The new UDP standard bearer for Port is all glitter with no results. Years ago he was rejected as a candidate in the Freetown Division due to nonperformance. This person cannot be trusted when big money is involved. In the words of former UDP City Councilor Dean Samuels, “He courted the people of Albert for over a year, then suddenly accepted an offer to abandon his candidacy in the division.” As Operation Officer for NEMO the new standard bearer for Port denied housing assistance to Miss Dorla Smith and many other persons in the division, whose homes were severely damaged by hurricane, because they were suspected of being PUP supporters. In his 12 years at City Council, instead of denouncing the massive corruption under Mayor Moya with under-depositing and Mayor Bradley with bloated contracts for concrete streets, the new UDP standard bearer for Port pretended not to see, hear or know of anything wrong at City Hall. This person was also rejected as his party’s Mayoral candidate for City Hall, and in the recent City Council election in March he was part of the UDP slate that was soundly rejected by the residents of Belize City, including the good people of Port, for nepotism, cronyism, burdensome taxes, wanton neglect of the city and corruption. Despite tons of money for his political campaign, the new red standard bearer for the Port Loyola Division built tiny bleachers without a top that can barely seat 6 persons at the basketball court on Penn Rd. Power, money and service should benefit the people. People in Port are tired of suffering for over 15 years under the red. Sincerely yours, Gilroy Usher, Sr.

Dear Editor: In the 1990’s the statisticians stopped including people not looking for jobs and part-time workers as unemployed. This paradigm shift indicates that globally political leader will pay little regards to the marginalized and still have relatively low unemployment rates like Belize currently has. I’m a mathematician so I know the power of numbers to sway the populace. This deliberate manipulation of facts needs to be corrected. Secondly, success in a country must not be measured by GDP (gross domestic product) but by the percentage of the population with disposable income - people who are above mere survival and can fully express their humanity. Thirdly, the education system needs to prepare students for the future. The public school system was introduced around 1900 and has barely changed in curriculum or methodology. Technology is the future. Students must be taught using technology and designing technology must be added from primary school. Failure to add designing technology will make the children obsolete in a modern technological world. Technology must be applied to improve the citizenry quality of life not just to make a few rich on the backs of the many. Building a just society is difficult, but living in an unjust society like most countries of the world is more difficult. The laws are usually made to benefit the elites in a society because they have a lot of political clout. We either do the right thing or suffer in crime and disharmony. To solve the

crime and other social ills a more inclusive economic and political system must be implemented or else Belize will go around in circles. You reap what you sow. Brian Plummer

You Reap What You Sow THE REPORTER

Phones: 501- 227-2503 / 227-1767 Fax 501-227- 8278 P.O. Box 707 e-mail: reporternewspaper@gmail.com editoreporter@gmail.com website: http://www.reporter.bz Publisher Editor Assistant Editor Financial Controller

General Manager Lithographer Journalists Video Producer Desktop Publisher/ Graphic Designer Accounts/ Advertising Chief Printer Office Assistant

Harry Lawrence Mike Rudon Jr. Marion V. Ali Rosa Maria Lawrence Lisbeth Ayuso Rodolfo Castro Benjamin Flowers Michelle Sutherland Alexis Milan Jackie Fuller Rodolfo Castro Leroy Bood Misael Muñoz


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

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BNTU’s Show of Strength Awakens GOB Missing Money

Thursday, November 8, 2018 he Belize National union branch leaders. The teachers also Teachers Union marched over to the (BNTU), this week sent a loud message to the steps of the National government of Belize and Assembly and chanted in particular, the Ministry songs with messages of of Education with a dem- solidarity. Many teachers onstration in Belmopan carried signs expressing on Wednesday to display their frustrations with their lingering discontent the ministry. Members with the ministry's re- of the Opposition, invised hardship allowance cluding People's United school list and unsettled Party (PUP) leader John negotiations over Pro- Briceño, joined the teachposal 22, which the union ers at the Civic Center, maintains will negatively expressing his solidarity impact the pensions of with their cause. Inside teachers at church-run the Civic Center, union schools, as well as the members acknowledged withholding of commut- the support from the Opposition but cautioned ing allowances. Over 1,000 teachers that if their party were to from all over the country take office, the teachers descended on Belmopan would still fight the same on Wednesday morning cause if they do not listen in support of their union to the concerns of the and their President, Elena teachers. Smith told the ReportSmith. Teachers lined er that Prime Minister the streets and marched Dean Barrow had written around the ring-road beto the union, expressing fore filing in to the Civic his opinion that the matter Center for a rally with did not have to escalate impassioned speeches to the point of a demonby Smith and union supstration and requesting porters such as Christian Workers Union President, a meeting between the Mose Hyde and other union and Ministry of Education after discuss-

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ing it in Cabinet the day prior. That meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday. Smith said if there is no resolution reached by the end of the meeting, the Prime Minister will need to personally step in. Smith, however, said the union is hopeful that the meeting will be productive given the PM's noted concern. The teachers took issue with the re-categorization of hardship allowance as it asserts that several schools, who desperately need the assistance, have been taken off the list. The BNTU grow weary after several attempts to have the matter addressed went ignored by ministry officials, according to the union. Smith said under the re-categorization several rural schools have been placed on other lists based on certain criteria but the union believes it should be consulted as the official bargaining agency for teachers. The other major point of contention, Proposal 22, would see teachers and support staff from Catholic Schools receive

only 70 percent the value of their pensions after retirement. "We want to ensure that those persons are given 100 percent of their pensions just as any teacher at any other institution of education," Smith told the Reporter. The teachers have also taken issue with outstanding commuting allowances being withheld from teachers. The union is also upset that annual increments have consistently been paid late. Smith said some teachers have even retired being owed years of outstanding increments and are not receiving a fair package. Smith added that their membership has also expressed willingness to take the matter all the way if attempts at resolution are unsuccessful.

at Excelsior?

Cont’d from pg. 1 Security arrears date back all the way to June and her income tax arrears date back even further to the month of May. When the teachers asked the school's principal, Dawn Watters, she could not provide a response immediately, but the following day she told them that she used the monies to purchase school supplies because the Ministry of Education was not providing sufficient funds for the school's operational expenses. She also reportedly told them that she has informed the Ministry of the situation and the Ministry will pay the teachers' arrears by the end of November. We could not get confirmation from the Ministry of Education on the matter, but the teachers say that if the payments are not made, they intend to bring a lawsuit against Watters. They also want some form of disciplinary action taken against her, since they say she could not show receipts of how the monies were spent on what she claims they were spent on. We contacted Watters to get her reaction to the allegations and she said she would call us back. She hasn't.

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Sunday, November 11th, 2018

THE REPORTER

Nobody Charged in Connection with Drug Seizure Tuesday, November 6, 2018

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By Benjamin Flowers

he Belize Police Department discovered a massive amount of cocaine in southern Belize and detained 12 persons believed to be involved; however, five of those persons (all Guatemalans) went to Court this week and none of them were charged with any drugrelated offences. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, “"We cannot take people to Court based on our intuition. We are a country of laws and the rule of law is paramount and so if the evidence is not there to link anybody to whatever crime we believe they may have committed then the legal and the appropriate thing to do is to release them from custody.� Last week Police were a lot more upbeat, as Police Commissioner Allen Whylie explained that the department found an abandoned vehicle near the La Democracia junction with some 15 bales of cocaine. The bales contained a total of 440 parcels of cocaine which weighed almost 480 kilograms. Police also saw a single engine airplane trying to land in the area, however the plane circled several times and then flew off. Whylie said that through surveillance operations, the department detained two Guatemalans staying at the Golden Tree Hotel, three at a checkpoint in Hattieville along with a Belizean man, and another five Guatemalans on a boat which was leaving from a Belize City dock. The hotel and checkpoint busts led Police to several handguns and a 40 caliber pistol, which is a prohibited firearm under the laws of Belize. The five detained from the

Guatemalan set free boat were originally a group of ten, but Police later released the other five, two women and three minors. On Monday, Bernardo Carias, 46; Sergio Godoy, 54 (the two caught at Golden Tree), went to Court along with Rodolfo Lopez Moreira, 38; Marco Vinicio Palencia, 41; and Gilberto Gomez Jimenez, 40 (who were detained in Hattieville) all went to court facing firearm and immigration charges. Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford granted removal orders

Guatemalans detained at Hattieville Checkpoint for all of the accused, stating that they must be removed from Belize within a reasonable time. From the Golden Tree bust, Bernardo Carias pleaded guilty to the firearm charges so that Godoy could be set free. Meanwhile Mario Rodolfo Lopez Moreira pleaded guilty for the firearms charges with respect to the Hattieville bust, to set his other co-accused free. In both cases, all men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until Magistrate Emmerson Banner passes sentencing on November 8.


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

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PM and Minister of Education Extend Olive Branch of Sorts Thursday, November 8th, 2018

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he Belize National Teachers Union's (BNTU) planned demonstration, which took place in Belmopan on Wednesday and saw over a thousand teachers turn out, sent a loud message to the Ministry of Education and the government, so loud in fact, that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has extended an olive branch to the Union in the form of a requested meeting between Ministry of Education officials, including Minister Patrick Faber and members of the Union's executive. Barrow had written to and spoken with Union president, Elena Smith, on Tuesday explaining his belief that the matter did not have to materialize into a demonstration. Smith said Barrow assured he had discussed the matter with Cabinet and urged that a meeting take place to settle whatever differences exist. Barrow has instructed the Ministry of Education to meet with the Union on Monday and hear their concerns to settle the matter before the union decides it needs to take further action. Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, also told

the media that he had written to the Union requesting a meeting. Faber said the ministry could not support the BNTU's move to protest but said he intends to approach the meeting with an open mind and an objective view in order to mend fences with the Union. Faber added, however, that the Union wanted to push an "elaborate posse to a meeting and that is never productive.� He said other mechanisms to resolve the matter had been presented to the teachers and stated that the Ministry has never closed the doors for negotiating with the BNTU. Faber also declined to comment on the specifics of the meeting, saying he did not want to preempt the meeting on Monday and make comments that could potentially derail the meeting before it even begins. He clarified that he has not been a part of any of the previous meetings on hardship allowance. He also said he feels very strongly about the matter but said the position he has put forward publicly is simply in an attempt to advance the education system. "The children are the bottom of all this.

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister They are the underlying factor for which we work. So, that is my only agenda, no hidden agenda, no gripes against President Elena or anybody in the Union," Faber said. But even as he extended his olive branch on behalf of his Ministry, Faber also noted that a non-school day was not granted on the day of the demonstration and as such teachers should have been present in class. He said the Ministry has not yet taken a position on whether or not to dock the salaries of teachers who attended the BNTU protest on Wednesday.

PM Says Potential Cuban Tourists Will Save Corozal Free Zone Thursday, November 8th, 2018

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ast week during the Prime Minister's first press conference since returning to Belize from Cuba where he took surgery on his ailing back, PM Dean Barrow addressed a wide range of public and national concerns. A primary concern was the sustainability of the Corozal Free Zone given plans in Mexico by its newly elected president to convert border municipalities, including Quintana Roo which is heavily frequented by Belizeans, into a free zone of sorts. Barrow announced that those changes would not be immediate and said that every effort would be taken to ensure the sustainability of the Corozal Free Zone. Barrow also told the press that he expected a potential influx of tourists from Cuba to boost productivity at the Free Zone. According to Barrow, Belize's Ambassador to Cuba, H.E. Lou-Anne Burns, is working on establishing direct flights between Havana and Belize via Bahamas Air. Barrow explained that if this does materialize, Ambassador Burns has already arranged with a Havana tour company that a bus trip to the Commercial Free Zone for shopping would be a part of the tour package. "As far as is humanly possible then, we've got this new threat from Chetumal fully covered," Barrow told the press. Concern among the business community mounted when Mexican President-Elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that Quintana Roo and other Mexican border states would be converted into free-zone states with significantly lower Value Added Tax (VAT) rates and standardized prices on fuel. Many feared that the move would effectively cripple business at the Corozal Free-Zone, which has already seen a number of businesses close down due to a lack of productivity in the sector.


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Sunday, November 11th, 2018

Mental Health Facilities Overcrowded, Says MOH Thursday, November 8th, 2018 By Benjamin Flowers

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man suffering from an acute psychiatric disorder escaped from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital last week, opening up a discussion about the availability of space at mental health facilities operated by the Ministry of Health. Director of Health Services for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, told the Reporter that the reality of the acute mental health facility is that there is no space, due to the neglect of the family members of mental health patients. “The truth is that many families drop off their loved ones there and never come back for them. They just leave them there and forget about them. That’s the major reason for the facility being overcrowded and not having any space for new patients,” Manzanero said. He stressed that the incident emphasizes the responsibility that families must take up when it comes to the care of their loved ones with mental health issues, pointing out that the staff of the MOH had to hold a clothing drive last month for patients who had been abandoned at the facility. He called on all

Belizeans, particularly the relatives of persons suffering with mental disorders, to ensure that those persons are taken care of and receive the support they need. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, explained that Samuel August, who was under Police guard at the KHMH was to be transferred to a mental health facility in Belmopan; however there was no space for him. Police were keeping him at the KHMH until arrangements could be made to get him institutionalized but on the morning of Friday, November 2, he eluded the guard, stole a vehicle, and crashed it into a backhoe on the Phillip Goldson Highway near Maheia’s construction. During his manic episode, August also tried to take his own life by stabbing himself repeatedly with scissors. Williams said that

August was to be kept at the facility until Police got directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions on how to proceed with the case. On Wednesday, October 31, August, an employee of the Belize City Council, took a heavy duty backhoe and plowed it into a house located at the Corner of Faber’s Road and Marjorie Parks Street. The initial impact killed two people, Louise Young 53, and her grandson Samir August, 5, the son of Samuel August. August then chased down a third victim, Britanny Craig with the backhoe and ran her down, then continued to unleash destruction on another home and a vehicle before he ran the backhoe into a drain. Young had recently won a battle in the family court for the custody of August’s three children. Family members laid Young and Samir August to rest today, November 8 following a thanksgiving mass at the Church of St. John Vianney on Faber’s Road.

Body of Newborn Exhumed

Thursday, November 8th, 2018 the incident on November By Michelle Sutherland 5th after receiving certain ndependence Police information. They said are seeking one perthat around 11:00am, that son for questioning in same day they visited relation to the discovery Mucu's home and followof the body of a newborn, ing an interview with her found discarded inside a proceeded to the back of shallow grave in Trio Vil- the yard where they came lage in the Toledo district. across a shallow grave. An investigation by From the grave they Police has established exhumed the body of a that on November 4th, female child which was Guatemalan domestic wrapped in a plastic bag. Dominica Mucu, 39, gave An onsite post-mortem birth to a female child at examination conducted her home in Trio. on the remains certified Police say that Mucu that the infant was 28 told them that the child weeks old. The cause of was born premature and death, however, was unon the following day the determined. infant suddenly stopped The Reporter was breathing and died and made to understand that was subsequently buried. Mucu's common-law Police say that they husband was allegedly only became aware of responsible for the baby's

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burial, however Police would not confirm that. In Belize, the law stipulates that every birth and death must be documented. On Thursday, we asked ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, NCIB, what type of charges will be brought against those responsible for the illegal burial, and he explained that "pending the investigation a possible charge depending on the evidence could be concealment of birth." According to Myvett, authorities are also looking at another angle. "From our investigation, it was also shown that at no point did the mother of the baby attend any clinic or have any contact with any medical authority during her pregnancy," he explained.

THE REPORTER


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

San Ignacio Police

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Accused Robber of Freetown

Closing in on Robbers Drug Store Remanded Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 By Michelle Sutherland

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uthorities in San Ignacio have managed to locate and impound a getaway motorcycle believed to have been used in the commission of an armed robbery at Lily's Store in San Ignacio on Monday. Police are reporting the possibility of charges to be leveled against the two culprits before the end of this week, provided that they can be located during the manhunt that has been launched. The Reporter was in-

formed that both men have been positively identified by witnesses and through surveillance footage from the establishment. While no one was injured during the broad daylight robbery, a customer who was inside the store was also robbed of an unknown amount of cash. The Reporter was made to understand that the gun-wielding Hispanic assailants escaped with more coins than hard cash, amounting to less than $300. An official Police report states that the

robbery occurred at around 10:45am, on November 5th, at the grocery shop which is located at Thornley St. In surveillance footage the men can be seen strolling into the e s ta blishme nt a nd looking around while waiting for store owner Jian Fan Chen, 28, to walk behind the counter before they both pulled out their weapons, cranked them and took aim. Police sources say that the men demanded that Chen hand over his cash. He complied and stuffed the money in a bag before the men managed to escape.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

By Michelle Sutherland

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yan Cole 24, o f a Ti b r u c e Street Address in the St. Martin de Porres area of Belize City, was arrested, charged, arraigned and remanded to the Belize Central Prison earlier this week for the armed robbery of Freetown Drug Store. On Monday Cole was taken to Court where he was read charges of robbery and aggravated assault. He was denied bail and remanded until November 9th. The well-known pharmacy is one of the few that remain open late at night, and it was robbed of approximately $4,000 by three unmasked assailants who entered the store just after 9:00pm, on November 1st. Multiple security cameras placed in the establishment captured as two men with

caps pulled low over their faces entered the business. A third individual followed closely behind and could be seen extracting a gun from the waist of his pants and pointing it at a security guard and another man who was seated outside. At one point the security guard could be seen trying to overpower the gunman before he, along with the other man was shoved inside the establishment and instructed to lie flat on their stomachs. Owner of the business Raul Acevedo revealed that when the first two men entered, one of them asked for ibuprofen while the other one took out a gun and pointed it at his face and demanded money. According to Acevedo, it was at that point that the third gunman brought in his hostages and along with his accomplic-

Ryan Cole, charged for Robbery and Aggravated Assault es they jumped behind the counter and cleaned out the cash drawers. ASP Alejandro Cowo told the Reporter that the footage captured the robbers in full action and was of such good quality that investigators were able to identify Cole almost immediately. Cowo also revealed that Police have a second suspect in custody who they are questioning, however none of the stolen money has been recovered while the third culprit is still on the run.


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Sunday, November 11th, 2018

THE REPORTER

Minister Wants a Say Over Environmental Projects Thursday, November 8th, 2018

Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of the Environment

Design Work on

Stake Bank Begins Thursday, November 8th, 2018

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nvestors in the Stake Bank Cruise Port, Stake Bank Enterprise Limited (SBEL), announced that design work for the much anticipated cruise port facility was set to commence this week. The project is expected to have a significant impact on the cruise tourism sector, particularly in Belize City where the need for a cruise port to accommodate larger ships as the industry continues to grow became apparent in recent years. According to SEBL, the port will provide the cruise industry with a state-of-the-art docking facility 10 minutes away from Belize City with the capacity to accommodate four of the world's largest cruise ships simultaneously. The 25-acre island will feature areas and facilities for tours, tender dispatches, retail, cultural attractions, beaches and passenger and crew services. The project, being spearheaded by Belizean investor Michael Feinstein, expects to be a major source of employment for the local population within the next three years. The tourism industry accounts for 30 percent of the country's GDP and is a significant source of foreign exchange. The project has the support of both the public and private sectors and is expected to significantly boost the cruise tourism industry, which has seen consistent growth over recent years with the country seeing record numbers of arrivals. The group of investors said groundbreaking on the project is scheduled for January 2019 with full construction set to begin immediately after. The project is expected to be completed by the start of the high season in 2020.

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By Marion Ali

inister of the Environment, Dr. Omar Figueroa says he wants to have a say in developmental projects that come to his Ministry before decisions are made on their approval or refusal. Figueroa told reporters last week that he asked and got permission from Cabinet a few weeks ago to look at the entire environmental clearance process that the Department of the Environment (DoE) applies when considering applications for clearance. "A lot of this process actually flies below the radar of the Minister, so this doesn't necessarily have to come to me," Figueroa informed, "especially after NEAC (National Environmental Appraisal Committee) approves projects and the ECP (Environmental Compliance Plan) gets approved. It doesn't come to me; yet the Minister ultimately is responsible. So we're actually looking at how to tighten the entire process, make it more transparent, more accountable," he continued. Figueroa said that with respect to the development on Newtown Barracks for Moe's Pizza Restaurant, there were no serious concerns that he thought would prohibit the project from proceeding. That project had been put on hold by the DoE for breach of procedures on the part of

the developers, Ekatarena and Haisam Diab, who we were made to understand did not have all the documentation required before she went ahead and started construction of the restaurant building. What has drawn more concern after the Diab project came to light is the report that the DoE has already given the green light for the construction of a gas station not far from the said location, at corner Barrack Road and Newtown Barracks. This project is far more controversial than the Diab development because while the National Fire Service had rejected the service station being placed so close to the sea and in a residential area, the DoE had approved it. This is the very reason why Figueroa says he wants to have a look at all applications that come to the DoE. "That's exactly what I'm telling you because the DoE can issue an ECP right now without it coming to me as the Minister, and that's why we're trying to tie up some loopholes there because it is creating a problem. NEAC reviews proposals and then the DoE signs off on them and it doesn't come to me many times until sometimes I hear it through the news," Figueroa pointed out. Figueroa clarified that he does not want to have the authority to sign off on any application, but if he is going to be held accountable as the Minister with that portfolio, he wants to at least review the applications.


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Not an Easy Road‌ Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

By Marion Ali

P

rison sentences usually mean repeat incarceration for many people, once they get caught up in the system; but Enrique Clarke used his time behind bars to convert his life from crime and violence to walking 'the road less traveled.' The 39 year-old father of three went to jail at the age of 16 for Manslaughter by gunshot - a crime he says he regrets having committed. Confinement for many years, he says, is punishment that takes a toll on the human psyche. Clarke decided he would transform his life behind prison gates for the 12 years that he spent there. He spent his days engaged in welding and metal work under the tutelage of the prison's facilitators. In 2007, after four attempts to earn parole, Clarke finally did and was freed, cutting his 25-year prison sentence by half. It has not been an easy road for Clarke upon re-

integration into society. Having little to no financial support to purchase the tools he needed to carry on with his skills inhibited his chances of earning his keep. For three months he hunted for a job, Clarke said, but his prison record ruined his chances of becoming employed. Despite this impediment,

with the inmates and in the process, urging them to change their lives. After a year of working at the prison, Clarke found employment closer to home in the city. Throughout his employment with the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project, Clarke also learned to do carpentry and masonry, building houses for a few years. But he never

ing whatever monies he could save to purchase the equipment and tools he needed to do basic welding jobs. His boss gave him welding jobs to do and saw his talent, he said; she offered to help him purchase heavier equipment so he could take on bigger jobs - to one day own his own welding company with a steady

he kept his will to do right and that sent him back to the prison - not as a prisoner however, but as a paid program facilitator, interacting

gave up his welding talents he picked up while behind bars. In 2012 he got a different job as a pump attendant at Uno Gas Station, us-

stream of customers to sustain his family. Eventually, Clarke had saved up enough money to purchase the

Page 9 equipment he needed to become his own full-time boss and small businessman, taking on jobs as they came. But since he finally made that bold move four months ago, even that has its share of challenges, as he found out and shared with us in his own words. "If yoh tend fi nuh have wah strong will and strong mind yoh wudda give up because the bigger job always goh to the big company weh advertise. Then I wudda have to do the same work fi far cheaper than the big companies because customers nuh know me soh deh trust nuh deh wid me. Deh trust the man with lotta years," he lamented. We visited Clarke's very humble family home off Holy Emmanuel Street in the Lake Independence area where he does his work from his yard. There is no sophisticated signboard or building to mark his business. In fact, it is just a yard; but behind his house and on the compound were strewn enough pieces of metal or different sizes of discarded gas tank cylinders to indicate that some type of metal work is done at that residence. Away

from view in a corner of the yard were some unfinished works he had been doing on a grill door he was making for a customer; and behind that was a beautifully crafted, finished one. In another portion of the yard was a barbeque grill he had just made from a recycled butane cylinder. Its price was far cheaper than the average grill of the same make on sale anywhere else that we could find. And right beside the grill, Clarke was stooped over, busily cutting steel rods for another job he had just landed. Looking up between breaks from cutting the rods, Clarke sang the lines from Buju Banton's "Not an Easy Road" as if to be explaining to us in song what he was experiencing in life. But when he paused a few minutes later from his work, he told us that he will strive to see his business prosper because prison life is nothing he wishes to endure again. If you wish to help this hard-working Belizean man with welding or carpentry jobs, you can contact him at: 605 7661.


Page 10

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

Alleged Cop Killers Arraigned

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 Memorial Hospital from a By Benjamin Flowers gunshot wound to the right hree men were tak- thigh, which he sustained en to Court on two in a firefight with Police. separate occasions this They are all remanded week to be arraigned on to the Belize Central Prischarges of murder with on and are scheduled to respect to the shooting reappear in Court on Janudeath of Police Constable ary 8, 2019. The trio was Osbourne Martinez. also jointly charged with On Monday Rayford robbery. While in Court, Mejia, 19 and Glen Lo- Myles told the Magistrate pez, 21, had their day in that several Police OfCourt before Senior Mag- ficers have threatened to istrate Aretha Ford, while kill him in retaliation for Tyrique Myles went be- Martinez's death. fore the Court on Tuesday. The entire tragic situMyles went on a later date ation played out on the because he was recover- morning of Friday, Noing at the Karl Heusner vember 2, when Police

THE REPORTER

T

Glen Lopez

Tyrique Miles responded to a call of a robbery in progress at the Belcove Hotel on Regent Street West. Officers met the three suspects still on the scene and a gun battle ensued. In the shootout, Martinez got shot to the right ribcage and was taken to the KHMH, where he died while receiving treatment. Since his death, various members of the Police Department have received counseling, to help them cope with the trauma. Deputy Commissioner

of Police Chester Williams said that Martinez’s death was difficult to cope with for many officers because he was just doing his job, trying to ensure that members of the public were safe when he had his life taken from him. “PC Martinez's death is heart-wrenching for all of us. In the Department, we see each other as brothers and sisters even though we may have differences of opinion. We may have issues among

Rayford Mejia ourselves at times but we when responding to cerdo love and appreciate tain types of crimes. Several high-level ofeach other. When he was killed it was like a family ficials have issued statemember had been killed,” ments in the wake of Martinez’s death, includWilliams said. He noted that the De- ing Police Commissioner partment had received Allen Whylie, Minister 100 bulletproof vests last of State in the Minisyear, but could not con- try of National Security firm that Martinez was Elodio Aragon Jr., Naone of the officers who tional Security Minister received a vest. Williams John Saldivar and Leader said that the entire situa- of the Opposition John tion has the Department Briceño. Prime Minister looking at a need for more Dean Barrow also visited training when it comes to Martinez’s family to offer the rules of engagement his condolences.


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Page 11

San Pedro Woman Charged for Murder Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

dro and opened fire on Lipka, who was counting money at his cash register, with his back towards the gunman. He was struck several times in the face, neck, chest and abdomen but after he collapsed, the gunman walked up to him and pumped five more bullets into his head at close range. The assailant then ran

down Coconut Drive towards the southern end of the island. Lipka died within minutes. Police had initially charged three persons, Betancourt included, the day after the murder, when a search of a hotel room which they occupied unearthed several rounds of illegal ammunition. Betancourt, and the other two, Leon

Walford and Carlos Hernandez all face charges of 'possession of ammunition without a gun license' but were granted bail afterwards and are now awaiting trial. Then late last month Police announced that lab tests conducted on a pistol which they had later found matched the shells they recovered

from the murder. Betancourt's name has been involved in a couple noteworthy busts, one in 2016 when she was nabbed in a car with over four pounds of weed sitting in a box on her lap, and again in 2017 when a Police search at her house yielded several rounds of 9 millimeter ammunition.

leased the details of Barrera's post-mortem examination which certified his death as due to Acute, Pulmonary Edema due to electric injuries as a result of the lightning strike. Back in September, Chief Meteorologist Catherine Cumberbatch gave the Reporter an interview in which she explained that the safest place for anyone to be during a thunderstorm is indoors. Cumberbatch also explained that during a thunderstorm it is important to avoid standing

under trees. The Chief Meteorologist advised persons who are caught in the middle of a field during a thunderstorm to make themselves the smallest possible target by bending down since lightning is known to strike the tallest object in the nearby vicinity.

Spanish Lookout Farmer Struck by Lightning

Tracy Betancourt, charged with businessman’s murder Police sources told By Marion Ali the Reporter today that an Pedro resident investigators believe Tracy Betancourt, Betancourt acted jointly 21, will spend Christ- with someone else to mas in the Belize Cen- cause Lipka's murder. tral Prison, charged We understand that cops with the murder of actually have evidence American businessman to suggest that she was Lamont ‘Monty’ Lipka, the mastermind behind while Police look for a the killing which ocsecond suspect in the curred around 9:30 on six-month-old crime. the night of Sunday, Betancourt, who was May 13th. On that night, arraigned on Monday, a man entered through must now appear again a side door at Tropiin Court on January 30, cana Bar & Grill on Coconut Drive, San Pe2019.

S

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

By Michelle Sutherland

O

n Friday, a Honduran farmer from the Green Hill area of Spanish Lookout died after he was struck by lightning during a storm. San Ignacio Police say that just after 4:00pm, they were called out to farmland in the village where they observed the motionless body of Jose Barrera, 20. On Monday ACP Joseph Myvett, Head,

National Crimes Investigation Branch told media that "his coworker was spoken to by Police—one Earlin Romero, 23, who reported that while they were walking towards a shed on the farm, lightning struck and apparently caused Jose to fall to the ground, which resulted in his death. His body was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital.” On Tuesday the Police Press Office re-


Page 12

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

Peyrefitte Down but Not Out

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 "I will never say never." By Marion Ali And while Sunday's he convention crushing defeat to forr a c e f o r U D P mer City Councillor, Standard Bearer in Port Philip Willoughby took Loyola may be over, away Peyrefitte's chancbut we might not have es of being Port Loyola's seen the last of Senator elected Area RepresentaMichael Peyrefitte just tive, his ambition to beyet, despite the fact that come leader of the UDP he did not emerge the is not quite dead. When victor. we asked him if there Today, the Reporter is any way that he can asked Peyrefitte if we still contest for the UDP are going to see a come- leadership, and if so, back in his political ca- would he, his short rereer. While he said he sponse was: "In politics was returning his focus anything is possible." fully to the Attorney Area Representative General's Ministry to Anthony "Boots" Marwhich he is appointed as tinez, who was backing Minister, he responded: Peyrefitte, told reporters

T

Senator Mike Peyrefitte, AG

after the event that he rfelt the Opposition, People's United Party (PUP) had a hand in the outcome. "We were out-maneuvered quietly and easily in the afternoon yesterday and you know like when they say 'you don't see what is happening to you. ... The PUP wasn't joking with us. This was a UDP convention. It was supposed to be a convention for the supporters of the United Democratic Party. But lo and behold only to find out that the strikeoff list was never honored by the party - there was no strike off list at all." When asked, Martinez showed reluctance to resign from his seat in order that a by-election can take place for a new Area Representative, either Philip Willoughby or the PUP's Gilroy Usher, Sr., to deliver the goods and services to the people of Port through the constituency office. Martinez had indicated previously that he will retire on Nomination Day, not Convention Day.

THE REPORTER


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Page 13

PUP Member to Introduce Bill for Diasporan Vote Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

By Marion V. Ali

P

UP Caribbean Shores Area Representative Kareem Musa will embark on an unusual undertaking in an effort to attempt to have Belizeans living abroad be able to register and vote in next April's ICJ Referendum. The move is unusual because it is hardly ever the case when an Opposition Member of Parliament rises to present a motion to the House of Representatives for an amendment to the Constitution. But that is exactly what Musa hopes to do because under Section 5 (2) of the Belize Law, everyone who registers is required to be living in the country for at least two months beforehand. This means that they must return home and assume residency in Belize for at least two months in order to qualify them to register - except for students, diplomatic and government workers abroad, who are allowed under

the Representation of the People's Act. Musa is proposing that a second exception be included in the law "tailored specifically to deal with the registration of Belizeans living abroad...what that entails then is that there will have to be a separate list and their voter identification cards will have to stipulate that they're being registered under Section 5 (2) (A) that will allow them just to vote in the referendum," Musa outlined. The Parliamentarian said this amendment would not allow these persons to also vote in an election, since they should not be able to vote for an area representative in Belize if they live in Los Angeles, for example. The way Musa envisions this being successful for the Referendum but not creating loopholes for any future election is if on the day following the Referendum, those Belizeans' names would automatically be struck off the voters' list until

they can satisfy the requirement laid out in Section 5 (2). Be liz e a ns living abroad, Musa pointed out, contribute greatly to the development of Belize through remittances to the tune of $33 Million each year and want to have a say in the future of their country. "I thought it best that we present a Members' Bill because it is a very under-utilized Bill that is provided for in the Standing Orders. It is actually Standing Order 83, which allows any Member of Parliament, be it government side or opposition, to present a Bill," Musa shared. The challenge with such a Bill, he informed however, is that it is that much more burdensome on opposition members to get it through a bureaucratic and time-consuming process successfully. "It is not like the normal Bill that the Prime Minister comes to the House and presents in one day and three readings and the Bill is passed. As a matter of

fact, it's going to take a three-month period of advertising this Bill in three issues of the gazette, as well as putting it in the newspaper. ...In addition, we're going to have to present it to the Clerk of the National Assembly. Then there's this three-month waiting period before the Bill can actually be presented," Musa explained. Representatives of the Diaspora had met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow recently to share their opinions on the current laws that prohibit their masses from voting, according to Musa and he is counting on the importance of this matter to get the success he seeks in this effort. But even if Musa gets his proposed Bill to be tabled, getting the majority of the Members to vote in his favour is another feat. That's where he hopes that there will be unison - a rarity in the House. "It is my hope that the Prime Minister will take on this baton and will take carriage of

Kareem Musa, Area Representative, Caribbean Shores this particular Bill and the three-month period I think that it can get required for published bi-partisan support. It's notifications before it such a huge national is- can be tabled in the sue and I think that this House and with the Refis a golden opportunity erendum scheduled for for both sides of the April, considering the divide to say 'Listen, let frequency with which us unite on this particu- House meetings are lar issue for the benefit held. of those Belizeans who Musa shared his view we know have con- that, based on the pulse tributed greatly to our of Belizeans, generally country and let us allow speaking, there might them the opportunity be a chance for a second to register and to vote Referendum in the next come April 10, 2019.'" year or two, if BelizTime is of the es- eans vote no in this one. sence, however, with


Page 14

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

THE REPORTER

It Takes a Village: Cordelah’s Journey

Cordelah Duran Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 for all the assistance By Benjamin Flowers they have been giving “It takes a village to us from the beginning.” raise a child,” is a comArana explained that mon enough proverb the sudden health comknown by the young plications had made and old. The proverb Cordelah unfit to travel emphasizes that there and she would posare numerous aspects sibly have missed her to child rearing that next chemotherapy require the support of appointment, but the everyone in that child’s overwhelming support surrounding environ- from so many people ment. put the child in a poThis week, the “vil- sition where she was lage” stepped up in well enough to make a major way to en- the trip. sure that seven-yearShe noted that there old Cordelah Duran, a are still challenges on cancer warrior battling the horizon, including Acute Lymphocytic the physical toll that Leukemia (cancer of chemotherapy takes on the blood), could con- patients, the continued tinue her fight. Fol- travel back and forth lowing a blood transfu- for treatment and the sion over the weekend, cost of medication, but Cordelah began feeling she has renewed faith sick and before long and courage after seeshe was vomiting up ing how many people blood and in urgent came forward to help. need of blood donors; Arana is also carhowever those were in rying on a fundraisshort supply. er, selling t-shirts to What started with a help with expenses small petition for as- - the shirts bearing sistance on Facebook, Cordelah’s photo with turned into a full-scale the text “Fighting Canrally of the “village” cer.” Those wishing with 12 persons com- to support Cordelah’s ing forward to do- continued fight against nate the blood she so cancer can order by desperately needed. contacting Arana at Cordelah’s mother, 631-0335 or 602-8470. Delilah Arana, spoke Kids t-shirts are $15, with the Reporter in adult white shirts are elation at the outpour 20 and colored adult of support that came shirts are $25. during their family’s Cordelah’s battle darkest hour. with cancer began “I can’t thank you all back in August with enough. All the prayers, only a slight pain to her all the people that came side. As her condition to donate. Thank you all worsened, her famso much,” Arana said, ily decided to take her fighting back tears. “I to the hospital, where also want to thank the after some tests, they Belize Cancer Society received the shocking

news. “I was devastated,” Arana confessed. “I just couldn’t understand how this was happening to my child.

She is always smiling, always joyful. I just couldn’t understand how this was happening to her.” Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, is the most common type of cancer found in children. The disease affects white blood cells called lymphocytes, stunting the maturity of those cells and releasing the immature cells into the body. The symptoms may include bleeding from the gums, bone pain, fever, frequent infections, frequent or severe nosebleeds, lumps caused by swollen lymph nodes in and around the neck, un-

derarm, abdomen or groin, pale skin, shortness of breath and/or weakness, fatigue or a general decrease in energy. The news meant that the once cheerful little girl, who was preparing to attend Standard 1 at St. Ignatius Primary school, would need to undergo treatment that was for the most part out of the family’s reach. It also meant that she would be out of school for a long time, ma k in g p r o mo tio n to Standard 2 impossible. Through assistance from the Belize Cancer Society, they were able to go to Oran Hospital in Merida, where Cordelah has received several rounds

of chemo, each more powerful than the last. “Doctors say she has a 75 percent chance of the cancer going into full remission. If that happens, there is a bell that they ring at the hospital and a big celebration that they have,” Arana added. While Cordelah was not well enough to speak for herself, she acknowledged that she is looking forward to the day she hears the bell ring at Oran Hospital and she leaves there with the victory over cancer. Until then, it will be the support of her family and the Belizeans so inclined to form a part of her “Village” that will keep her going.


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Page 15

Chester Threatens Another State of Emergency Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 By Michelle Sutherland

I

Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams

n the aftermath of an alarming rise in the number of armed robberies over the past weeks, Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has threatened to impose

another State of Emergency and lock down major hotspots for the Christmas season. The robbers, operating out of known gang groups and through what is suspected to be an organized ring, have targeted businesses such as Midtown Restaurant and Bar, Freetown Drug Store and El Paso Fast Food. Last week Friday, PC Osbourne Martinez was fatally shot and killed after he responded to the scene of a robbery at the Belcove Hotel. At a press briefing on Monday, November 5th, apart from announcing a boosting of manpower on the ground to stem the occurrences, Williams also detailed plan B - “The robberies are very much annoying, to say the least and I will tell you that we are monitoring the activities of the different gang groups very closely. And if we see that they continue these kinds of actions as well as targeting each other so much so that it puts the lives of ordinary law-abiding citizens in some degree of threat, then we might move to invoke another State of Emergency and have them away for the Christmas season." Williams pledged that if the gangs continue to meddle in criminal activities the Police Department will do all in its power to ensure that the masses do not suffer at the hands of

the minority for the upcoming holiday season. Readers might recall that the last controversial State Of Emergency was enacted on September 5th during the highly festive September celebrations. That declaration at the time encompassed the gang-infested neighborhoods of George and Banak Streets The provision of that instrument gave Police the authority to incarcerate suspected gang members for up to 30 days. During that first dragnet, over 100 persons were initially detained. However only 51 presumed gang members were incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison.

Belizean Charged with Manslaughter in Mexico Freed Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 By Michelle Sutherland

Y

Romario Pech

o Creek resident Romario Pech, 23, was reportedly set free from a Mexican prison last week Friday after he was found not guilty of the murder of his cousin, Saul Pech. According to local media reports, Pech was found not guilty of manslaughter in a trial without a jury which commenced a week ago. He had been languishing in a Mexican prison since May 2017, after he was detained in the aftermath of his cousin’s fatal stabbing at a motel in Chetumal. Back then reports specified that Pech had traveled to visit his cousin and the duo had celebrated the visit with a night of socializing. However, upon their return to the apartment, a couple playful jokes were exchanged and Romario got upset. Saul then reportedly went outside for a couple minutes and when he returned Romario, who was heavily intoxicated, went into the kitchen for a knife and allegedly drove it into his cousin's chest. Both cousins were part of the rock band, Wonderless.


Page 16

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

THE REPORTER

Second Cohort Graduates from Police Mentorship Program

O

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

n Monday, eighty-seven youth officially completed six months of training and graduated in the second cohort of the Eastern Division Police Youth Mentorship Program 2018. The graduation ceremony was hosted at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The program which officially kicked off in May with 110 participants and 30-35 mentors is devised to keep at-risk youths in school, divert them from gang recruitment and develop respect for self, community and those in authority. Inspector Elroy Carcamo, O.C, Community Policing, Eastern Division, explained that “For the first three months, the youths were introduced to life skills through the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program along with motivation thoughts, law enforcement as a career, spirituality and educational tour; while for the final three months, it was more a mentor bonding time, educational tour with some presentations in partnership with YWCA, NDACC just to name a few. Some of the topics covered in life skills were goal setting, decision making, conflict resolution, anger management, effective communication, and bullying.” In an interview with the Reporter, National Youth Program Coordinator Douglas Hyde stated that "these are the young persons that we can positively say won't commit crime and that is the objective. The idea is to change their minds and hearts to not look at crime as a solution but to be leaders." "In terms of their behavior, we have seen behavioral changes in the majority of these kids. We have gotten exceptional feedback from their teachers, parents, and guardians. We have seen kids that were shy transformed into individuals wanting to take on leadership roles. We see more of them become positive role models and stronger persons in terms of their presentation and attitudes. The working relationship with the Police is very important and we want to build on that communication with youths," asserted Hyde. The program activities were held every weekend. It also got exceptional reviews from

DCP Williams poses with youth from program

the mentees themselves who told the Reporter that they would do it all over again if they had the chance. The third recruitment cohort is already in

Another youth receives certificate planning and parents, guardians or anyone who is interested in signing up can contact any community policing officer in their neighborhood for assistance.

Youth Plan to Raise Their Voices Over ICJ Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

F

By Marion V. Ali

alling in line with the education campaign on whether Belize should or should not take our border conflict with Guatemala to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the youth arm of the Nancy Marin Youth Foundation in San Ignacio is planning its own rally, dubbed: "Raise Youth Voice." Founder of the Foundation, Nancy Marin told the Reporter today that the organization created the platform for the youth because the youth population has been asking questions and there is a general feeling that they are not informed about the topic well enough and that many of them are not enthused to even register to vote. The youth share similar opinions and ask similar questions to other ordinary Belizeans on the ICJ and Belize-Guatemala matters. Two of them Marin shared were: "If the UN approved our Independence after all the claims and treaties, why do we need to prove anything at Court? Another (concern) is that the risk of losing territory is too scary. They feel they have not been given the opportunity to really speak out,” Marin said. The rally is scheduled to be held at the Welcome Centre in San Ignacio on the afternoon of Saturday,

S U D O K U Medium Puzzle

Sudok u rules are extremely easy: Fill all empty squares so that the numbers 1 to 9 appear once in each row, column and 3x3 box. Tip. Use a soft erasable pencil. Start with the easy puzzles, then move on to the harder ones. Make small pencilmarks to show which numbers are allowed in empty squares. This will come handy when analyzing techniques are used. Never guess! Only make moves based on logical deductions.

November 10, beginning at 2:00pm. It is open to everyone and will include speakers: Sharon Burgess; Seidy Gomez; Don Hector Silva; Dr. Jose Espat; Dr. Cesar Ross; Nancy Marin and a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. People will be allowed to ask questions and share their views and sentiments on the issue. This first-ever rally planned by the organization will become an annual event to give the youth a platform for free speech and the opportunity for them to be heard. The Nancy Marin Foundation provides programs that are focused on national development through professional youth exchange that promotes youth participation in civil society, and political and economic development.

Answer to Puzzle


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Page 17


YOUR WEEKLY SPORTS UPDATE

Page 18

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

THE REPORTER

SCA Girls Win Volleyball Championship T

Belize City, November 2, 2018

he 10-time national champions, the St. Catherine Academy girls won their 21st Belize City volleyball championship in the finals, organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) at the SCA auditorium in Belize City last Wednesday and Friday, October 31 – November 2. Fatima Ramirez, Marci Mejia, Ayah Safa and Olivia Mckenzie led the SCA attack, hammering kills on plays set by Allyana Musa and scoring block kills, with Jazanni Rodriguez scoring on service points. They took the first set 25-12. Aejelee Thurton, Dh-

wani Gurnani and Joslyn Kee led the BHS counterattack, scoring hits on plays set by Allyson Hidalgo and Kim Nandwani. Himanshi Chandwani and Caley Wade helped receive to make a fight of the second set, but SCA prevailed: 25-19. SCA’s coach Lupita Quan introduced Ingrid Novelo, Iman Safa and Gareth Bruce to sweep the third set 25-5. The second final on Friday was a repeat affair as the SCA girls made short work of the BHS girls: 25-6, 25-11, 25-3! Team trophies and individual medals were presented to the champions and sub-champi-

SCA girls win volleyball championship

ons in the awards ceremony after the finals. SCA’s Fatima Ramirez

won Best Attacker and Most Valuable Player awards, while her team-

mates Marci Mejia won Best Server, and Allyana Musa won Best

Setter. BHS’ Aejelee Thurton won Best Defense.

Kevin Cortez served four aces, Lysel Thompson scored a hit and had one service point, and Ian Ferrera served an ace to win the first set: 25-15 Joel Creary led the BHS counterattack, hammering four hits at the net on plays set by Jared Mena. Creary also had three kill blocks. Anthony Usher and Allan Auil each hammered five kills, Usher also serving an ace, while Christopher Ning had two kill blocks and three service points. Sergio Pech scored two hits,

Jonah Coye scored a hit, and James Courtney had one kill block, but SJC took the next two sets: 25-16, 25-18. SJC profited from BHS’ 38 errors and service faults, but also conceded 22 points to their opponents by errors. The BHS boys won more points in the second final on Friday, but SJC still prevailed in three sets. Gavin Taylor led the attack with nine hits at the net, and two kill blocks. Ernest Broaster scored nine hits and two aces, and Lysel Thompson ham-

mered five hits and had two kill blocks. Ethan Dawson and London Cocom each scored three hits; while Kevin Cortez scored a hit and two service points to win the first set: 25-19. Alan Auil Jr. rallied the BHS counterattack, hammering 10 kills at the net, and Sergio Pech scored four hits and served two aces. Joel Creary had three kill blocks, Anthony Usher scored three hits, and Christopher Ning scored a kill block and served an ace. James Courtney scored two hits, and

Jared Mena served an ace, but the SJC boys prevailed 27-25, 25-17. SJC benefited from 40 BHS’ errors, but they also conceded 34 points on errors. Team trophies and individual medals were presented to the champions and sub-champions in the awards ceremony after the finals. SJC’s Ernest Broaster Jr. won the Best Attacker, Best Server and Most Valuable Player awards, while Kevin Cortez won Best Setter. BHS’ Joel Creary won Best Defense.

SJC Boys Win Volleyball Championship T

Belize City, November 2, 2018

he St. John’s College boys won the Belize City volleyball championship, sweeping both finals organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) at the SCA auditorium in Belize City last Wednesday and Friday, October 31 – November 2. The SJC boys eliminated the Belize High

School boys in three sets in the first semifinal on Wednesday. MVP Ernest Broaster Jr. led the SJC offensive, hammering 10 kills at the net on plays set by Kevin Cortez; Broaster also served three aces. Gavin Taylor also hammered seven kills and had three kill blocks, while Ethan Dawson and London Cocom each scored three hits. Best Setter

MVP Ernest Broaster Jr. won Best Attacker & Best Server Sports 2

SJC boys win volleyball championship REPORTER

November 11th, 2018


YOUR WEEKLY SPORTS UPDATE

THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

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SCA Girls Win U17 Football Championship

SCA wins BDFA U-17 football championship

SCA’s Aaliyah Herbert scored 3 goals

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Belize City, November 2, 2018

he St. Catherine Academy girls won the Under-17 football championship in finals organized by the Belize District Foot Association at the MCC Grounds in Belize City last Friday, November 2. Aaliyah Herbert scored three goals to finish as the tournament’s top striker with 18 goals; as she led the SCA girls to a 2-1 win in a penalty shootout over the Ladyville Rising Stars, after a 2-2 draw in regulation and overtime. Herbert and Carlene Tillett led the SCA offensive, with the help of Mia Gonzalez and Alyssa Martin on the wings, with Wareyni Gillett and Cayle Rodriguez at midfield. Team captain Jasmine Castillo anchored the Rising Stars’ defense with the help of Lorraine Stephens, Shanice Tillett and Seleaney Goodin, but the fleet-footed Aaliyah Herbert escaped their marking to drill home the first goal past goalkeeper Jennifer Langshaw after eight minutes of play. Mary Davis and Deynia Blake led the Ladyville counterattack, supported by Jensy Fuentes and Kishana Anderson on the wings, and by Latisha Anthony. Track star, Saudy Rivera anchored the SCA defense with the help of Nisa Reyes, Davan Rudon-Nelson and Rianna Chebat, but speedy Mary Davis outran them to blast home the equalizer past

Saudy Rivera scored SCA’s 1st penalty

the goal. SCA’s first try also went wide of the uprights, but Saudy Rivera drilled her shot dead center just under the crossbar, and over a diving Fuentes. Lorraine Stephens scored Ladyville’s third try; while Fuentes stopped SCA’s third try. Ladyville’s fourth try and Aaliyah scored her 18th goal to give SCA a 2-1 lead. It was all over when Mahoganie Ellis came up with a big save to stop Ladyville’s fifth try: 2-1 final. The Pallotti High School girls won the consolation match for third place by default when the Gwen Lizarraga girls were a no show. The Rising Stars had advanced to the finals by a 1-0 win over the Gwen Liz girls when Deynia Blake scored the winning goal after 17 minutes of play in last Wednesday’s semifinals. The undefeated SCA girls had also qualified to the finals by a 10-0 win over the Pallotti girls last Wednesday evening. Wareyni Gillett scored the first goal after seven minutes of play and Cayle Rodriguez scored a second goal two minutes after. Gillett scored third goal six minutes later to lead 3-0 until Aaliyah Herbert scored a fourth goal five minutes before intermission. Carlene Tillett scored a fifth goal two minutes later and Aaliyah scored a sixth goal to lead 6-0 at the half. Cayle Rodriguez scored a seventh goal two minutes after the break and Tillett scored an eighth goal 12 minutes later. Wareyni Gillett completed her hat trick with the ninth goal two minutes after, and Aleeca Muslar came off the bench to score the 10th goal three minutes before the long whistle. FFB vice president Marlon Kuylen was on hand to present team trophies and individual medals to the champions and sub-champions, and the consolation third place trophy to the Pallotti girls.

goalkeeper Mahoganie Ellis after 16 minutes of play. The pressure of the Rising Stars attack won a free kick five minutes before intermission. Jensy Fuentes stepped up to execute, and Mahoganie Ellis fumbled the save. Mary Davis pounced on the loose ball and booted it into the back of the net for the Ladyville girls to lead 2-1 at intermission. Aaliyah Herbert equalized the score seven minutes after the break, when goalkeeper Jennifer Langshaw could not hold on to a shot from Carlene Tillett, deflecting the ball to Aaliyah, whose right-away shot found the back of the net: 2-2. SCA coach Henry “Pulu” Gillett refreshed his attack line with Aleeca Muslar and Charlize Hunter replacing Gonzalez and Chebat, while Skylar Guerrero relieved Nisa Reyes on defense. Mary Davis had to abandon the field with leg cramps, and Rising Stars’ coach Daniel Smith introduced Shaniya Bainton and Brianna Flowers to strengthen his attack. But neither side could gain the advantage in the remaining regulation time, nor in the 20 minutes of overtime, and Jensy Fuentes donned the goalkeeper’s jersey to replace Langshaw in goal. In the penalty shootout, Ladyville’s first try hit the crossbar and the second sailed over November 11th, 2018 REPORTER

Sports 3


YOUR WEEKLY SPORTS UPDATE St Luke’s Girls & Queen Square Boys Win

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Sunday, November 11th, 2018

THE REPORTER

Belize City, October 31, 2018

he girls of St. Luke’s Methodist School and the boys of Queen Square Anglican School will represent the Belize District at the upcoming national primary schools football championships to be hosted by the National Sports Council at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City on Friday, November 9. Both schools won the Belize District football championships played under pouring rain at the MCC Grounds last Wednesday, October 31. Samryn Rancharan had scored the winning goal for St. Luke’s to repeat at district champions, by their 1-0 victory over the Belize City sub-champions, the Queen Square Anglican girls. Similarly, Aaron Nicholson scored the winning goal for the Queen Square Anglican boys’ 1-0 victory over the Belize rural champions, Ladyville Evangelical, in the boys’ final. The Our Lady of Lourdes RC School girls from Maskall won the consolation match for third place 1-0 over the island champions: the San Pedro RC School girls when Faith Tuyul scored the winning goal. The New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist boys won the consolation match for third place: 4-0 over the city sub-champions, the Ebenezer Methodist boys, with Steven Almendares scoring two goals, and Franklin Oliva

Champions - Queen Square boys won 1-0 vs. Ladyville Evangelical and Jose Velasquez each scoring a goal. The Queen Square girls had advanced to the finals by a 1-0 win over the Maskall girls, when Melissa Quan scored the winning goal in the first game of the morning. The St. Luke’s girls had also qualified to the finals by a 3-0 win over the San Pedro girls when Samryn Rancharan scored two goals and

Judith Estell added a third goal. Jareth Tablada scored two goals for the Ladyville Evangelical boys to qualify to the finals by a 2-0 win, eliminating the Ebenezer Methodist boys. The Queen Square boys had advanced to the finals by a 1-0 win, when the New Horizon boys blundered into an autogoal.

Delio Arruebarrena scored 8 hits

Ben Wu hammered 6 hits

SQ Dragons Lead Interoffice Volleyball T

Belize City, November 2, 2018

he defending champions S.Q. Dragons remain undefeated as they enjoyed their third victory in the interoffice volleyball competition organized by the Belize District Volleyball Association (BDVA) at the SCA auditorium in Belize City last Friday night, November 2. Cubano Delio Arruebarrena led the Dragons’ offensive, hammering eight kills at the net on plays set by Karen Quan; he also had a kill block and served an ace. Ben Wu hammered six hits and Nelissa Ramirez also scored four hits at the net. Julian Quan and Karen Quan scored two hits each, Julian also served an ace; and Alex Quan and Peter Quan each scored a hit to win the first set: 25-21. Juan “Chico” Marin led the DigiNet counterattack, hammering four kills at the net on plays set by Emily Turner; he also had three kill blocks. Otis Clother hammered four hits, had a kill block and a service point. Victor Hernandez scored two hits and a block, Rasheed Pollard scored a hit, and Kimani Williams served an ace. The Dragons profited from their opponents’ 23 unforced errors and service faults to win the second set: 25-22; even though they conceded 25 points by errors. The H.R.C.U. Eagles had enjoyed their first victory: 2-1 over the Belize Defence Force on Thursday night. Darren Leal, Charles Canton, Chris Reid, Nigel Alvarado and Sherylee Thurton scored hits at the net on lays set by Tanesha Encalada to win the first set: 25-20. Edward Broaster rallied the BDF counterattack as he, Francis Usher, Tarique Avila and Dennis Torres scored hits at the net on balls set by Enita Aranda and Rondeen Jones to win the first set: 25-17, but the Eagles prevailed in the third set: 15-9.

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REPORTER

November 11th, 2018


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

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YOUR WEEKLY SPORTS UPDATE Stars U16, Stars U15 & Yellow Dragons U19 Win

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Belize City, November 2, 2018

he Stars U-15, the Stars U-16 and the Yellow Dragons U-19 all enjoyed

victories when the Division II volleyball competition organized by the Belize

Gareth Bruce served 2 aces

District Volleyball Association (BDVA) continued at the SCA auditorium in Belize City last Thursday and Friday nights, November 1-2. The Stars U-16 dominated the Stars U-19 in two sets last Friday evening. Gareth Bruce led the U16 Stars’ attack, hammering 10 hits and serving two aces on plays set by Iman Safa. Jayda Smith also scored six hits, and Iman Safa scored four hits. Haley Thurton scored two hits; while Letisha Lamb scored a hit and two service points. Ingrid Novelo scored a hit, and liberos Sofia Solano and Jaidan Reyes took turns on the court to help receive and set the ball to win the first set: 25-16. Juliana Ramos led the U-19 Stars’ counter-attack, scoring four hits at the net on plays set by Ashli Habet, and Julianna also served three aces. Dhwani Gurnani had two kill blocks and two service points, while Ashley Cabrera and Camryn Hinds each scored a hit and Morgan Miles served an ace. The U-16 Stars also benefited from

Gareth Bruce hammered 10 hits their opponents’ 25 errors to win the second set: 25-14. The U-15 Stars had toughed it out to win in three sets over the VolleyMoms on Thursday evening. Daniela Bou-nahra, K a y l e i g h We b s t e r, Mckenzie Peyrefitte and Avianka Avila led the attack with the help of Ashlee Estrada and Jevia Leslie to win the first set: 25-22. Judy Hoare rallied the VolleyMoms counterattack with the help of Lauren Sosa, Karen Brown, C a r l e n n y s Ve n t u r a and Elain Bou-nahra

on plays set by Avelina Matus to take the second set: 2514. Youthful energy prevailed in the third set as the U-15 Stars took it away 15-12. The Yellow Dragons U-19 dominated the Eagles in the male game on Friday. Christian Castillo hammered 10 hits and two kill blocks as he led the Eagles’ attack. Jamal ‘Blocker’ Galvez hammered six hits, scored a kill block and served five aces; while Corey Gomez scored two hits, two kill blocks and served two aces. Tarique Avila scored

three hits and had two service points, and Dennis Torres scored two hits and a block. Devin Garbutt scored a hit and served two aces, and Luis Marin scored two hits for the Eagles to win the first set: 25-20 Reuel Black led t h e U - 1 9 Ye l l o w Dragons’ counterattack, hammering six kills at the net on p l a y s s e t b y Ry a n Arnold; Reuel also had three blocks and two service points. Kaelen Ingram also scored eight hits at the net; while Latrell Solis also scored three hits and two kill blocks. Xander Bennett scored six hits, and Tavion Ford scored four hits and a service point. Miguel Rosado scored two hits, and Raul Castillo hammered a kill to win the second set: 2624. The Eagles also profited from their o p p o n e n t s ’ 2 3 e rrors to take the third set: 15-13; though they also conceded 17 points by errors.

Stars U-16 won 2-0 vs. Stars U-19 November 11th, 2018

REPORTER

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YOUR WEEKLY SPORTS UPDATE

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Sunday, November 11th, 2018

THE REPORTER

Caye Caulker Survivors & Caesar Ridge FC Win

Belize City, November 3, 2018

deflect it into the net: 7-0. Michael Robinson Jr. gambled with a long shot from 35 yards that found the back of the net: 8-0. The BDF goalkeeper had no chance of stopping Dylan Flores’ left foot shot: 9-0. Caesar Ridge goalkeeper Denzel Lewis came off his line to forestall and attack, and was beaten when BDF’s Avaunt Kelly drove the ball into the empty net: 1-9 some 19 minutes after the break Kenroy Allen, Jebran Wagner and Kishane Magdaleno came off the Caesar Ridge bench, and Kenroy Allen would score a 10th goal minutes later: 10-1. Jose Martinez now mounted a solo effort to drive home an 11th goal, and the BDF keeper grabbed nothing but air as Jebran “Sucku” Wagner delivered a 12th goal: 12-1. Jose Martinez blasted in his second goal go make it 13-1, an only 10 minutes of regulation remained when Shamar Gabriel scored a second goal for the BDF to trail: 2-13. The game was in injury time when Wagner’s pass to center found Jadon “Cheetes” Macgregor in front of the goal for the finish: 14-2 final. The Lucky Strike FC got the easy bye to a win when Fort George FC were a no show for their

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he Caye Caulker Survivors, Lucky Strike and Caesar Ridge FC all scored big wins in the Peace Cup Football Tournament organized by the Conscious Youth Development Program, while FC Elite and City Boys drew 1-1 at the MCC Grounds in Belize City last Saturday, November 3. The national First Division champions – FC Elite struggled to a 1-1 draw with City Boys in the first match of the morning. Only three minutes of regulation time remained when Kenny Linarez Whitfield Fisher finally scored for FC Elite scored 3 goals for to lead 1-0. The game Caesar Ridge FC had been very physical throughout, with six yellow cards issued to could not stop Trayvion the City Boys. Delroy Martinez from scoring a “Thinman” Andrews second goal 17 minutes salvaged a draw out of after the break. Martithe jaws of defeat when nez would embarrass he equalized for the goalkeeper Miguel Neal City Boys in the final to complete his hat trick minutes of play! 10 minutes later: 3-1. The Caye Caulker Only nine minutes Survivors survived to of regulation remained post a 3-0 win over when the Ebony Lake Ebony Lake FC in the d e f e n s e c o n c e d e d second game of the a penalty and Heber day. Lincoln Murillo Reyes converted for the and Ricardo Marin led Survivors to trail 2-3. the islanders’ attack, Two minutes later Aussupported by Alexan- tin Lopez pounced on a der “Bobo” Joseph and loose ball when Nigel John Allen on the wings, Burgess fumbled the and by Sean Maas and save, and Lopez pushed Jamal Ford at midfield. the ball across the line Gravel Young anchored to equalize 3-3! Alas the Ebony Lake defense for Ebony Lake, eight with the help of Steve of the players walked Myles, Rayford Smith off the field as the goaland Malique Gentle, keeper protested that but they could not stop he had been fouled in Lincoln Murillo from the play. Since Ebony driving the ball past Lake had abandoned goalkeeper Nigel Bur- the field, the officials gess: 1-0 after six min- ruled the match a forutes of play. feit, in favour of Caye July Barrientos and Caulker Survivors. Kenrick Gabourel led Kenny Linarez had a the Ebony Lake coun- blast, scoring a hat trick terattack with the help as he led Caesar Ridge of Devon Davis and FC in a 14-2 romp over Luis Acosta on the the BDF in the third wings, and Normandy match of the day. KenCaliz and Trayvon Mar- ny’s left foot shot from tinez at midfield. Tray- the left flank found the vion Martinez escaped back of the net: 1-0 afthe island defenders to ter six minutes of play. drive home the equal- Kenny scored a second izer three minutes later goal from the left corner for a 1-1 draw at inter- of the 18-yard box five mission. minutes later: 2-0. Eric Neal anchored The pressure of the the island defense with Caesar Ridge attack the help of Heber Reyes, won a corner kick, and Steven Arnold and Da- Jose Martinez’s cross vid Aldana, but they Sports 6

Sydney Bradley scored Caesar Ridge’s 3rd & 5th goals to center found Sydney “Bucket” Bradley at the left post to tap it into the net: 3-0 after 17 minutes of play. Six minutes later Caesar Ridge sweeper Michael Robinson Jr. launched a long lob into the goal area, where Elmore Godoy booted it into the net: 4-0. Nelson “Cacky” Tablada Jr. advanced the ball up the left sideline to Sydney Bradley who again found the back of the net: 5-0 after 25 minutes of action. The BDF defense was in disarray, as Enrique Valdez mounted solo effort to drive in a sixth goal 13 minutes before intermission: 6-0. Caesar Ridge’s Jadon “Cheetes” Macgregor

Elmore Godoy scored Caesar Ridge’s 4th goal

and Andre Pitter re- hat trick six minutes lieved Elmore Godoy after the break with a and Bradley, and Kenny shot that the goalkeeper Linarez completed his got a glove on, only to REPORTER

scheduled match. The tournament continues on Saturday, November 10. November 11th, 2018


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Fun at the Belize Zoo! A

nd what a grand day at The Belize Zoo as we kicked off BOO AT THE ZOO for its fifth fabulous year. The darkened and spooky hallway led out to fun and excitement for both kids and adults. Treats were provided upon entry, which brought big smiles to our many ghosts and goblins. They all eagerly began to explore the zoo and search for the activities planned on this special day. And fun activities were indeed the call of the day. The Belize Raptor Center, BRC, brought their beautiful Spectacled Owl, “Luna” who never tires of meeting and greeting her admiring public. There were “raptor games” for kids to take part in, and there was a great deal of knowledge gained about birds of prey at this fun “stop station.” Making a first ever appearance was five week old Ghost. Ghost is a very sweet young barn owl who was a “runt” of a litter, and was swept aside by Mama barn owl. Parental neglect happens in bird clutches now and again. But fortunately, she is now much-loved and cared

C O L O R M E

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BOO AT THE ZOO! Loudest Ever!

for and will be an important Ambassador Barn Owl through the BRC outreach education program. The superb organization Wildtracks had a “Howlerween” station, and visitors loved seeing the Howler Monkey magic brought to the zoo by the Wildtracks folks. Their work with both Howler and Spider monkeys is an excellent address to these important primate species. It was wonderful to have their input at BOO AT THE ZOO. Crocodile Research Coalition, CRC, was happy to set up a sta-

tion by American crocodile Brutus. This gentle twelve and a half foot croc hung around the CRC station, giving our visitors a great view of a tremendously beautiful reptile. Education is a very strong part of the CRC program, and many fun “croc factoids” were shared with excited visitors. These top predators play a vital role in our country’s natural history, and sharing vital facts about the rare and hearty American crocodile was visibly appreciated by BOO AT THE ZOO guests. BUT…Crocodile adventures did not end

there at the home of Brutus. As you can see from the photograph, many at BOO AT THE ZOO had the opportunity to really get to know an American Crocodile. Rose the croc was more than happy to meet visitors and allow a very extraordinary encounter with her. She is very much the most people-loving crocodile in the world! A great day of fun, learning and “Spooky Success,” our fifth BOO AT THE ZOO aimed to please. This memorable day had people smiling, laughing and learning at The Best Little Zoo in the World.

United Band!

A Caterpillar Has Just One Job - to Eat During the larval stage, the caterpillar must consume enough to sustain itself through its pupal stage and into adulthood. Without proper nutrition, it may not have the energy to complete its metamorphosis. Malnourished caterpillars may reach adulthood, but be unable to produce eggs. Caterpillars can eat an enormous amount during a life cycle stage that typically lasts several weeks. Some consume 27,000 times their body weight during this life phase. A Caterpillar Has as Many as 4,000 Muscles in Its Body That’s one seriously muscle-bound insect! By comparison, humans have just 629 muscles in a considerably larger body. The caterpillar’s head capsule alone consists of 248 individual muscles, and about 70 muscles control each body segment. Remarkably, each of the 4,000 muscles is innervated by one or two neurons. Caterpillars Have 12 Eyes On each side of its head, a caterpillar has 6 tiny eyelets, called stemmata, arranged in a semi-circle. One of the 6 eyelets is usually offset a bit and located closer to the antennae. You would think an insect with 12 eyes would have excellent eyesight, but that’s not the case. The stemmata serve merely to help the caterpillar differentiate between light and dark. If you watch a caterpillar, you’ll notice it sometimes moves its head from side to side. This most likely helps it judge depth and distance as it navigates somewhat blindly. Caterpillars Produce Silk Using modified salivary glands along the sides of their mouth, caterpillars can produce silk as needed. Some caterpillars, like gypsy moths, disperse by “ballooning” from the treetops on a silken thread. Others, such as eastern tent caterpillars or webworms, construct silk tents in which they live communally. Bagworms use silk to join dead foliage together into a shelter. Caterpillars also use silk when they pupate, either to suspend a chrysalis or to construct a cocoon.


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Sunday, November 11th, 2018

THE REPORTER


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Page 25

All about The People

You Too Pablo?

L

Neri Briceno

ast week I wrote an article which pretty much was totally against the view of the Leader of the Opposition and the People’s United Party (PUP) in the national marijuana debate. As expected, I received a tsunami of texts, emails and Facebook messages reprimanding me about how dare I contradict the Party Leader on such a sensitive issue. The comments ranged from family ties to political allegiance to the repercussions of what can happen to me when the party comes into power. Regardless of all the

comments or in some cases warnings that I received, my view has remained unchanged and one that I will not withdraw. If the Party cannot accept dissenting views, then maybe they are not really ready for leadership. While I am by no means insinuating that those who contacted me were directed by the Party or the Party Leader to do so, it is painfully obvious that party zealots will do anything to ensure that their party get into power. I have always said, and I will repeat that I am no party fanatic. I have and will always be an independent thinker and sometimes my views will align with that of the VIP, BPP, PUP or UDP. I am convinced that there are good people in all our political parties, although I am having serious doubt that there are more than a very limited amount of decent

people in the UDP. The way they have managed the nation over the past terms in office is huge evidence of the people within that system that are either afraid, don’t care or are more interested in self-preservation than in love of country. With politicians increasingly making decisions with no consultation with the people they represent, we can expect to see more and more off the wall ideas, decisions and suggestions and the push by most of our political parties, big and small towards that move in the marijuana debate seems to be that case. My opposition to marijuana is based mainly on the fact that, as humans, the last thing we need is legal availability and accessibility to another mind-altering drug. With availability to alcohol so open and easy, why do we need anything else? To add to this al-

ready crazy mix-up, now here comes Pablo. Ask me what the Ministry of Health is doing meeting, soliciting or encouraging investment and I will say that they probably misunderstood their mandate, roles and responsibilities with that of Beltraide or the Ministry of Economic Development, Investment, Trade & Commerce. I would believe that with the deplorable state of healthcare in the nation ranging from dead babies to rats at the Western Regional Hospital to drug shortages to the falling roof at the KHMH, the last thing the Minister would be focusing on is marijuana or hemp production and cultivation. The recently exposed correspondences between the Ministry of Health and potential business investors have shown two things. One, that the Barrow administration has been caught with its pants

down and appears to fully support what Johnny was proposing and that if this idea was to pass and become law, the pie has already been divided up. As one person posted on Facebook, the Mennonites, investors and large farmers would plant it, the Chinese would retail it and we would smoke it. As with any other legally controlled substance, more than likely some sort of license would be needed to grow it and guess who those would be going to. Definitely not the ordinary man on the street. Any idea of the legalization of marijuana is meant to do one thing to the Belizean people and that is to keep us in a perpetual haze so that the government can continue to do whatever they like with us, while on the other hand we are overjoyed that we would have the legal ability to remain stoned.

Any government that cares would not be going down this direction. Rather they would be looking at improving healthcare, reducing crime and decreasing unemployment. Any liberal agency that does not focus on that is not in the interest of the nation and people need to start seeing when our leadership is trying to distract us. If we failed to see the mass increase in the number of marijuana related arrests since the decriminalization of 10 grams or the turf violence that has ensued after this, then we are totally blind and probably need to be led by the nose. This initiative is not meant to benefit anyone but big business and like tourism has done, foreigners that look nothing like us. We cannot remove the yoke of one master to become prisoners of another, and any legalization of marijuana will play right into that.

Hodge Podge

A Little Something for Everyone! In bygone days when doing can strain the tiny muscles surbusiness, men would shake rounding your spine. Adjusting hands and the deal was done. A your chair (or using a pillow) man’s word was his bond. Toso you’re leaning back a bit day hand shaking it out. Doing could ease that stiffness in 24 business involves both parties hours. signing a written contract with a lot of dos and don’ts. In these HOUSEHOLD HINTS days of greed, back stabbing, To b u f f a w a y k e y b o a r d and betrayal, there is no trust g r ime , u n p lu g it. T h e n g e n tly regardless of who you are. r u b a n e r a s e r o n a n d b e tw e e n Signing a contract is th e k e y s ; b lo w to r e p r o t e c t i n g b o t h p a rmove shavings. The ties involved, and if abrasive eraser will a person refuses to nix marks and dissign a contract, then lodge debris between The family that a a red flag should th e k e y s . prays together, stays go that he is not on together the up and up, and BEAUTY TIPS you should refuse to Toner is a final laydo business with that er of beauty product person. He might be to us after cleaning angry with you, but your skin. It will help as the Chinese saying you get a fresh look, goes, “Better you vex reduce puffiness, and than me vex.” tighten your pores. “Better to be safe than sorry.” HUMOUR We w e r e p o o r w h e n I w a s THINGS YOU SHOULD young, but the difference then KOW was the government didn’t Knowing a good friend has come around telling you, you your back boosts confidence were poor. and self-acceptance. If at first you don’t succeed, HEALTH tr y, tr y a g a in . T h e n q u it. N o Canadian researchers found u s e b e in g a d a mn f o o l a b o u t that sitting ramrod straight it.

COOTS


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Sunday, November 11th, 2018

Belize Ranking on ‘Ease of Doing

Business Report’ Drops By Benjamin Flowers

B

elize continues to fall on the Ease of Doing Business Index prepared by the World Bank Group, with the latest report ranking the country as 125 out of 190. The World Bank Group uses the report to benchmark business regulations, ranking countries by the average scores taken from 10 indicators. Those categories are: Starting a business, Dealing with construction permits, Getting electricity, Registering property, Getting credit, Protection minority investors, Paying taxes, Trading across borders, Enforcing contracts, and Resolving insolvency. While Belize remained relatively in the middle with respect to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region, ranking above Barbados but below the Bahamas, the country fell by four spaces, from its 121 ranking in 2017.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 Following the re- strategy for delivering lease of the report, the public services via onEconomic Develop- line platforms, amendment Council, the body ing the Belize Building tasked with address- Act to clarify the roles ing challenges in the and responsibilities of business environment the Central Building through dialogue with Authority (national regthe public and private ulator) and those of the sectors, issued a re- Local Building Units sponse, noting that there (municipalities) thereby is a possibility Belize leading to greater effiwill perform better on ciencies in applying for the index within the construction permits, next few years. and revising the Trade "While Belize’s rank License regime with the has fluctuated over the objective of introducing past few years, this is standardized applicanot indicative of a lack tion and transparency, of progress that is be- among others. ing made on the ground “Reforms such as since policy reform and these are critical for systemic improvements a country to receive a often require time to- higher rank in the Domaterialize,” said Mr. ing Business report, Ishmael Quiroz, Execu- however, since many tive Director of the Eco- of Belize’s reforms are nomic Development new or ongoing, it is not Council (EDC). until subsequent cycles The EDC noted that of the report that they there have been several will be reflected in imaccomplishments in the proved country perforareas covered by the mance,” the EDC said. Doing Business Report In 2006 Belize ranked include advancing Be- 56 out of a total 175 lize’s E-Government countries.

THE REPORTER


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

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Microplastics Are Everywhere — and That Likely Includes Your Poop

Tiny particles of plastic are seemingly everywhere: So-called microplastics have been found in the ocean, tap water, bottled water and soil. Now, they’ve even been found in our poop. In a small, firstof-its-kind study, researchers have found microplastics in stool samples from people around the world. The study “confirms what we have long suspected, that plastics ultimately reach the human gut,” study lead author Dr. Philipp Schwabl, a physician scientist at the Medical University of Vienna’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, said in a statement. Little is known about the health effects of microplastics, but there’s concern that the per-

vasive plastics may affect our gastrointestinal (GI) health and possibly reach other organs. “Now that we have first evidence for microplastics inside humans, we need further research to understand what this means for human health,” Schwabl said. Schwabl presented his findings today (Oct. 22) at UEG Week in Vienna, a European gastroenterology meeting. The findings have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Microplastics are bits of plastic that measure under 0.2 inches (5 millimeters) in length — about the size of a sesame seed or smaller. They’re formed when larger pieces of plastic pollution break down. Microplastics can wind

up in the oceans or the Great Lakes, where the particles are ingested by aquatic life and enter the food chain. Indeed, microplastics have been detected

croplastics as a result of plastic contamination from food packaging or processing. Still, data on human exposure to microplastics is scarce, and the

of analytical procedure, the researchers found microplastics in all of the stool samples they received. The most common types of plastic found were

in seafood, including tuna, lobster and shrimp, the researchers said. Humans are also likely exposed to mi-

new study is the first to quantify the particles in human stool, the researchers said. In the study, the researchers analyzed stool samples from eight healthy volunteers living in eight countries around the world: Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and Austria. Using a new type

polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate — two plastics that have a wide range of uses, including plastic bottles. On average, the researchers detected 20 microplastic particles per 10 grams of stool. The participants were not told to eat any specific diet, but food diaries showed that six of the participants consumed fish in the week before giving a stool

sample, and all of the participants consumed at least some plasticwrapped foods or drank from plastic bottles. Although the study was small, the fact that microplastics were found in all of the samples “indicates a high likelihood that also many other people involuntarily ingest microplastics,” Schwabl told Live Science. The researchers are planning to conduct a larger study to confirm the findings, and to see if they can identify factors linked with microplastics in stool, such as a person’s diet, lifestyle or where they live, Schwabl said. The researchers are also planning further studies to investigate the effects of microplastics on human health. Animal studies suggest that microplastics can enter the bloodstream and lymphatic system, and may reach the liver, Schwabl said. In addition, microplastics may cause damage to the intestines and affect how well the body absorbs nutrients, he said.


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THE REPORTER

World Pediatric Project Concludes

Surgical Mission in Belize Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 By Benjamin Flowers

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he organization World Pediatric Project held a surgical mission in Belize, from October 28- November 1, providing life-changing surgeries for children. The mission started with a clinic day at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on October 28 while the surgeries were held at the Belize GI Center on Blue Marlin Drive in Belize City. Some 60 children benefitted from surgeries such as Choanal Stenting, a procedure using stents to correct choanal atresia which is a birth defect causing blockage of the back of the nasal passage (choana); Correction of Anal Malformation; Colostomy closure; and Orchiopexy, a surgery to move an undescended testicle into the scrotum and permanently fix it there. The organization explained that it chose its patients for surgeries through referrals from partners at different hospitals across the country, as well as response to flyers and announcements. “We have been coming to Belize for the past eight years for this particular mission. Each year the patients from previous years are followed up along with new patients,” WPP said. “At the time Belize did not have a Pediatric General Surgeon in country. Even though we have one now with the partnership of the Cuban brigade there are still some cases that require specialized equipment." The organization also brings in a Pediatric Anesthesiologist, which enabled the surgeons to perform surgeries on preemies and very ill neonates.

Roaches to munch on…

and a drink of “tee” P

ress reports from Gwizhou, a city in China say that three managers of a home renovation company have been sentenced to spend 10 days in jail. They were punished for cruel and inappropriate treatment of employees who had failed to meet production targets. Photos on social media showed one unhappy employee being whipped with a belt. Others were forced to drink urine and eat a cockroach. Chinese police took action after the videos emerged. Other extreme forms of motivation at the firm included group slapping of one another in the face, withholding wages and having one’s head shaved. US Attorney General Bows Out US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced his resignation as chief law officer of the United States. The resignation follows months of criticism from President Trump over the Department of Justice’s handling of the Russia inquiry. The announcement came a day after midterm elections, in which Democrats took control of the House of Representatives but Republicans retained control of the Senate. President Trump announced that Matthew Whitaker, Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice, will be the new acting Attorney General.


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

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Sober Reflections

Never Gonna Be Alone! Mike Rudon Jr. You’re never gonna be alone! From this moment on, if you ever feel like letting go, I won’t let you fall… You’re never gonna be alone! I’ll hold you ‘till the hurt is gone – Nickelback Isn’t it funny how things never turn out quite the way you imagine? I remember listening to this song years ago. It’s about the relationship between a father and his daughter, and how he’s there for her every step of the way – literally from birth un-

til he takes his last breath. Because that is what good fathers do. I was probably drinking when I was listening to it, but in my mind I thought yes, that is who I am. I am a good father. I’ll always be there for my daughters, every step of the way. I’ll be their protector and guide and mentor and shoulder to cry on. And they will love me unconditionally, as I love them. And only death will part us – if God is good, certainly mine long before theirs. But when you drink, it doesn’t really work out that way, does it? Throw alcohol into the mix and it all goes to hell. My children have grown up, and I can see the toll my drinking has taken on them. I feel like all three of them still love me – not because I am this wonderful, amazing person, but because

there is still a bond that will never be broken. But it’s not like it was in the song. Because there are too many times that I haven’t been there. And even when I have been there physically, I haven’t really been there, if you know what I mean. And even now, as I write this, I’m still so caught up in the mess that I’ve made of my life that I can’t be the father I should be. It’s not easy writing this. But I have to be honest. It’s the truth. And I’m hoping beyond hope that my words reach some of the fathers out there who still have a chance to change things before it’s too late. Because you see that thing about it never being too late – well that looks good on memes. But there does come a point when it’s too late to go back, and too late to rebuild bridges and mend broken fences.

This past weekend I didn’t take a drink. And in that moment of utter clarity I realized what I’ve lost. I was able to spend real time with my children, and talk to them. I held my son close, and marveled at this person I helped to create (of course I take all the credit). We didn’t do anything particularly mind-boggling – no ziplining or diving the Blue Hole – but we just spent time together. And it was amazing. And sad. See, I don’t want to create this impression that I am a sit down on the street-side with a bottle of Red Top drunk, because I’m not. But when you drink most weekends, for all the good you are to your family you may as well go sit on the damned streetside. Real! My point is that we have to be there for our children. It is frigging

disturbing to realize how hard things are for them out there. Bullying is a serious problem in schools. Depression is a serious problem. Anxiety is a serious problem. Predators are serious problems. Alcohol and drugs are serious problems. And because I drink excessively, and let’s be real – so many of us fathers drink, we’re not the solace and sanctuary our children so desperately need. They don’t feel that they can run to us for shelter, because we’re trapped in our own little stinking liquor-filled worlds. They don’t feel that they can confide in us, because they don’t trust us. They can’t rely on us, because sometimes we’re there and sometimes we’re not. I got so sad writing this just now that I had to turn on some happy music to cheer me up a little. Donkey

doing ‘I’m a Believer’ from Shrek always makes me feel a little better. I felt good Monday morning. I was able to remember every moment of the weekend. I woke up with no uncertainty, no regrets and no anxiety. My problems didn’t go away overnight. I still hurt. But I had a good weekend. And it’s a start. So when do YOU start? Remember we’re in this together. If you’re a Friday drinker, make a date with your kids. And keep it. If you’re a Saturday drinker, decide to put down the bottle and take them for a drive instead. Same goes for Sunday. If you’re an everyday drinker, try breaking the cycle, one day at a time. I’ll never lie and say it’s easy. But if you want to do it, like I do…then we can. Keep the faith. Reach out. Stay strong.


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THE REPORTER

INSIGHTS

THE KING IS DEAD!

“Like in some senses, you would say you put Port Loyola as the kingdom. There is only one king in the kingdom. In other words if one of the candidates would come out as the heir to the throne - when there is an heir to the throne, the king doesn’t leave, until the king dies and which in Major Lloyd Jones this sense, the king will die (Ret’d) on nomination day, sir, in 2020. So whatsoever it is the people of Port Loyola will still visit the king, because it’s the king who has the goods and services, not Mr. Peyrefitte, not Dean Samuels, not AC Castillo, not Phillip Willoughby.” -Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez, October 2018 The lame duck area representative for the Port Loyola division, the Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez, raised a few eyebrows when in October he declared himself the King of Port Loyola. I understood well the point that he was trying to make, but to some he came across as being out of touch with the sentiments of the voters in his division. Boots’ royal decree was an attempt to remind the voters that it was he who was in charge of the treasure chest. The elected Area Representative of Port Loyola was therefore putting the voters of “Port” on notice that if they did not support the candidate he endorsed that there was going to be a price to pay. No other than the Prime Minister would later confirm that all goods and services can only flow through Boots. Boots’ thinly veiled threat was ignored by the voters on Sunday and his candidate was defeated. Boots

clearly does not comprehend that voters in Port and indeed across Belize are becoming disenchanted with a political system that is long on promises but short on delivery. In claiming his royal origins, Boots confirmed what many voters have come to suspect: that once elected these ordinary Belizeans become royalty! None of our elected officials has been as forthcoming as Boots about their royal status but we can tell by their actions and by their sudden majestic lifestyles. Boots, who in 2015 sensed the end of his reign, decided not to offer himself as a candidate for the 2020 elections. By doing so he thought he could avoid the ultimate punishment from the voters: being voted out of office! However, Boots in his hubris made the ill-fated decision to endorse Peyrefitte, thus giving the UDP voters in Port their chance to deal with him after all, albeit by proxy! Peyrefitte’s whipping on Sunday was therefore Boots’ whipping! The voters of Port have officially dethroned the King. Boots should be lucky that we are living in the 21st century because in the old days when a King was dethroned his beheading followed shortly thereafter. Willoughby’s win has created some interesting political dynamics in the division. A win by any of the other candidates would have been better for the PUP’s Gilroy Usher who will be contesting the seat for a third time. He, like the PUP, is hoping that the third time is a charm but Sunday’s convention has to, at the very least, cause Usher to recalibrate his political game plan. Port is a grassroots division and Willoughby is seen as grassroots, and so was Boots before he became King. Gilroy Usher is also viewed as grassroots and that will be to his benefit if he is to be successful at the polls in 2020. However, Usher still has to worry about the Dr.

Pitts effect. By all accounts, Dr. Pitts remains upset at the way in which she was treated in Port. Whether or not Usher can draw her in is yet to be seen. By some estimation, the UDP made a tactical error when they ganged up on Willoughby during the convention leading up to the last municipal elections. The UDP power structure gambled for Leslie’s money and threw Willoughby under the bus. Willoughby as the UDP’s candidate for Mayor might not have been enough to prevent the PUP’s assault but the contest would have been a lot more competitive. Willoughby’s rebound on Sunday is therefore to be admired no matter which side of the political divide you stand. Willoughby’s win on Sunday puts him in a much desired position. He will be courted, wined and dined by the two aspiring candidates for UDP leadership. Into whose embrace Willoughby falls will determine the support he gets in 2020. If he miscalculates it will be to the benefit of Usher who seems firmly in the Briceño camp and is thus likely to enjoy full support going into the 2020 elections. Willoughby must not discount Boots at this point because Boots has the means to hurt him come 2020. In politics, egos always come before righteousness and so if Boots feels disrespected by Willoughby, as he hinted in his now famous October interview, he can undermine his chances in the division. The question now is whether or not Boots is so hurt that he would rather see Usher win as opposed to Willoughby! Boots fell into ridicule after his comments about him being king. The ridicule has intensified following the defeat of Peyrefitte, the candidate he endorsed, but the truth is; the joke is on us. Boots entered politics a pauper. He might not be king anymore, but he ain’t no peasant; unlike 42% of the rest of us! The King is dead! Long live the King!


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

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No Excuses

Executions Save Lives

Nefretery Marin

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ur once peaceful paradise has now become the country with the world’s highest murder rate per capita. The types of gruesome, cold murders and the frequency are only becoming worse. This while Belize is

currently one of the few countries to still have the death penalty, by hanging, in our Constitution. While no executions have been carried out since 1985, Belize continues to support capital punishment. Belize has voted against all four U.N. General Assembly resolutions for a global moratorium on executions, most recently in 2012. According to the Cornell centre for Death Penalty Worldwide, Belize’s Crimes Punishable by Death are the following: Aggravated Murder. The law defines “Class A murders” as

murders committed in the course of or in furtherance of theft, murders by shooting or explosion, murder committed in the course of resisting arrest or escaping prison, murder of a police or prison officer, and any murder “related to illegal drugs or criminal gang activity.” [1] All murders, defined as intentionally causing the death of another person by unlawful harm,  [2]  are punishable by death. [3] Murder. Any murder which a Class A murder is not, is defined as a Class B murder, and includes mur de r c ommitte d without aggravating

circumstances. [4] All murders, defined as intentionally causing the death of another person by unlawful harm, [5] are punishable by death.  [6]  Where a member of the military commits the civil offense of murder outside Belize and is convicted by a court martial, he is liable to suffer death. [7] Treason. Where a member of the military commits the civil offense of treason outside Belize and is convicted by a court martial, he is liable to suffer death. [8] Members of the military may also be sentenced to death for a number

of treasonous offenses committed while carrying out their military duties (see section on Military Offenses Not Involving Death).” Lets keep in mind here that Treason, according to Cambridge definition, is (the crime of) showing no loyalty to your country, especially by helping its enemies or trying to defeat its government And while the United States and other world powers try to bully us into their “human rights “agenda…Their very own New York times has followed studies conducted on this very topic and According to roughly a dozen of those studies, executions save lives. For each murderer put to death, the studies tell us that, 3 to 18 murders are prevented. The results were better monitored, in Texas and other states that execute condemned criminals quite often and relatively quickly. The studies, performed by economists in the past decade, compare the number of executions in different jurisdictions with homicide rates over time; and they say that murder rates tend to fall as executions rise. Now, the mere fact that the United States can do these studies tell us that they are performing executions to protect the majority of their citizens… they were allowed by the world to execute Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq . The United States even put themselves at odds with signatory countries to the European Convention on Human Rights, and other international treaties that prohibit the death penalty and the extradition of suspects to countries where capital punishment may be carried out. Still this did not stop the “great defender of Human Rights”. What rights would they have then to try to discourage Belize from protecting our law abiding citizens by practicing the very laws in our very own constitution? According to the US

Embassy These are our murder rates … because of these they put up travel advisories against traveling to Belize , hampering the backbone of Belize’s economy.

As a Nation, there are very tough decisions we must make and the death penalty must be high on our list of priorities. We simply must understand that we either want to protect the lives of criminals or the lives of the hard-working tax paying citizens of our country. We cannot do both…It has not worked and the longer we wait to make these tough calls the deeper into the darkness our country falls. If we continue to protect the lives & freedoms of murderers, rapists, burglars, thieves and criminal minds; then we fail to protect innocent lives. These murderers and criminals have become a nuisance to our society. How many more young lives will we lose? How many mothers won’t get to say goodbye? How many innocent children will be robbed of their innocence? How much more will our people take before we realize that it is our country that we need to take back? The wheels are in motion. We must push forward! We must unite, break the chains of corruption and build our nation the way it should be built. We make a few examples of criminals before things can fall into place. For most of us, Belize is all we have. There is no escape for us. We cannot just fly away. We must stand united for the future generations and for our peace.


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THE REPORTER

The paper-thin line between inefficient systems and corruption

I

n previous installments of the Business Perspective column we had discussed the effects of corruption. In particular, we have discussed empirical studies that have repeatedly underscored the fact that corruption weighs negatively on economic growth and development. However, at this juncture, it is useful to discuss the institutions that are designed to prevent corruption. Believe it or not, Belize actually has many anti-corruption systems etched into our laws. These include the Prevention of Corruption Act, which gives life to entities such as the Integrity Commission; the office of the Contractor General; the Auditor General; the Freedom of Information Act; the Finance and Audit Reform Act; the Public Accounts Committee (PAC); and several other mechanisms that have the dual purposes of fighting corruption in the public service while simultaneously encouraging increased efficiency in public spending. However, over the time, there have been

significant concerns raised regarding the efficacy of these institutions in their current form. Let us, for example, look at the Auditor General, whose job, in a nutshell, is to analyze how government spent and managed public funds. While it is our understanding that the audit reports for at least up to Fiscal Year 2013/14 have been completed, but not yet made public; and that the report for 2014/15 is in the works, two things must be noted. The first is that the most recent report that is publically available is for six years ago (FY 2011/12). The second is the fact that the report that is currently being prepared is for financial statements from FY 2014/15— roughly three fiscal years behind. Building on the second point, certainly it will not escape anyone that we are currently in FY 2018/19. If the present pace of the reporting is maintained, it is likely that we will not be hearing of the FY 2018/19 audit reports being prepared until, at best, FY 2020/21. Let’s put this in perspective. For this fiscal year, the

government has raised and collected tax revenues; and, it has spent said revenues. However, the Belizean people would not likely know whether or not our monies have been used appropriately until three years from now. This three-year wait, however, would not preclude the government from presenting the next fiscal year’s budget (FY 2019/20). Speaking hypothetically, if it is that the government plans to increase taxes for the upcoming budget, it is interesting to note that the Belizean people would be asked to endure another set of increases, without even knowing how the government managed the previous amount of funds that we had given them in FY 2018/19. Now, the appropriate question that ought to be asked at this juncture is whether or not the delays are within or outside the law. To answer that question, one must first recall that the Auditor

General’s Office relies on reports it receives from the Accountant General. Secondly, it is useful to underscore what section 15(1) of the Finance and Audit Reform Act (FARA) has prescribed: “Within a period of three months after the close of each financial year, the Accountant General shall sign and submit to the Auditor General accounts showing fully the financial position of the Consolidated Revenue Fund and other public funds of Belize on the last day of such financial year.” There is allowance for extensions for up to an additional three months; however, it is a bit conspicuous that delays of more than two to three years are well beyond what was allowed in the FARA. To address this, the Auditor General has made certain recommendations. Speaking in particular to the speed with which the reports come from the Accountant General’s Officer, the au-

dit report for 2011/12 states: “I take this opportunity once again, [to] sound the alarm on the following issues related to the stewardship of the Executive as outlined in my previous report. “The Accountant General has too many responsibilities to effectively monitor financial controls of the government. This set of responsibilities should be assigned to an independent unit that would also monitor the day to day financial activities for all Ministries and Departments.” The FY 2011/12 report also reiterates the recurring suggestion for internal audit units to be established within the public service. This same proposal could also be found in earlier reports, including the FY 2006/07 report in which the then Auditor General said: “While I am aware that the Accountant General has made some advances towards training and establishment of an

Internal Audit Unit within the Treasury, I need to reiterate that there exists no Internal Audit Units in the public service. There is an urgent need to establish an internal audit unit in every Ministry. That unit would be responsible directly to the Chief Executive Officer, to regularly review the internal control system that exists in the Ministry and to carry out internal audit work on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer.” Fundamentally, the Auditor General’s Office is an oversight body that is created under Section 120 of the Constitution. However, as the forgoing shows, there are clearly significant administrative and systematic changes that need to be made if this body would be able to ensure efficiency in public spending as well as provide the Belizean people with timely information that is useful in the fight against corruption.


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

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Belize Boasts First Victory in Concacaf Tournament Wednesday, November 7, 2018

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By Michelle Sutherland

ver the weekend the Belize Jaguars U-20 selection registered their first victory against Saint Maarten in the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship which is currently underway in Bradenton, Florida. On November 1st Belize lost their first match against Cuba with a 6-1 score. On November 3rd, they played against Antigua and lost 1-0 and on November 3rd the team made history by beating out Saint Maarten with a 4-2 score. Sometime this week the Jaguars are set to play Honduras and the Dominican Republic before returning home. While losing two of the games have disqualified the team from advancing to the 2019 U-20 World Cup Finals, the win is said to have boosted the team's spirits and upon their return, the coaches will be reviewing their strategies, strengths and weaknesses for future tournaments. Cruz Gamez from the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) told the Reporter that "they have been motivated with that win. They do understand that they are performing in a way that the coaches would have wanted them to perform. Unfortunately, the score doesn't reflect that. However, seeing the game we saw constant possession of the ball and the statistics show that. They are positive that they have been doing the right things. Maybe we have been missing our opportunities and technically we might have made some mistakes." Gamez told the Reporter that the U-20 selection has been engaged in constant weekend practices since January. "They have been trained to play more possession football which entails more organized tacti-

cal football from the back to the front. What we are used to playing here in Belize is that the keeper kicks the ball to the defense who then kicks it to the forward and by-passes the middle," he explained. In an interview with the Reporter, FFB's Vice-President Marlon Kuylen also explained that the new strategy was recently implemented and while changes are not expected to take place overnight the teams at FFB are getting extensive training and are responding very well to them. Kuylen also explained that the Federation is planning more tournaments between the various teams so that they have enough practice. "The Federation is also moving away from volunteers and is now focusing on hiring

qualified persons and placing them in key positions," said Kuylen. The team which includes 18 players and four technical staff departed Belize last Tuesday and will be returning on November 10th. "They were handpicked as the best from their respective teams. They will be returning to their clubs, and the federation will continue to call them up for training so that they can always be prepared," Gamez told the Reporter. Of the 34 participating teams from the Caribbean, Central American and North American countries the competition will determine the four CONCACAF teams that will participate at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.


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Sunday, November 11th, 2018

THE REPORTER

Willoughby Takes Port Samuel August Loyola Convention Charged for Murder

By Benjamin Flowers

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h i l l i p Willoughby is the new United Democratic Party standard bearer for the Port Loyola constituency, following a decisive victory at the November 3 convention. Some 2093 people voted at the convention, held at the St. John Vianney Primary School compound. Willoughby went up against underdogs Ac. Castillo and Dean Samuels, as well as current Attorney-General Michael Peyrefitte who had the support of Area Representative Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez and also allegedly the Prime Minister. When the votes were tallied Castillo received 33 votes, Samuels received 144, Peyrefitte 847, and Willoughby got 1,034. After his swearing in, Willoughby emphasized that his victory was actually a victory for the people of Port Loyola who made their voices heard. Willoughby,

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 known for his antigang violence advocacy work though his One Struggle group, said that he will use his new platform to continue pushing an agenda that will see young men given opportunities to turn away from crime and violence. He went on to say that the UDP needs to enter into a time of mending, with the focus of ensuring that the party is united and poised to secure a victory at the next general elections. His biggest opponent, Michael Peyrefitte, congratulated Willoughby on the victory and said that while there were superior forces working to secure him a victory, his loss came at the hands of the people within his own camp. “I honestly felt that they would vote for me. I was mistaken obviously, but I did, I felt good going into the count,” Peyrefitte said. “Obviously those people

who had on my shirts - a majority of them did not vote for me.” The next UDP convention will be held in the Freetown Constituency on Sunday, November 11.

Con’td from pg.1 ation done last week certified that he was mentally unhinged, but because of space issues at the facility, he was kept at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he had also been receiving treatment for injuries he inflicted upon himself. Despite the result of the evaluation that he is not of sound mind, Police took the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) office and went ahead with charging August with two counts of Murder. Other charges against him include Attempted Murder, Escape, Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Damage to Property. Police have since taken blood samples from August to determine if he was under the influence of any drug when he rammed the heavy duty equipment through the house shortly after 2:00 that morning. Meanwhile, funeral services were held today for five year-old Samir August and his grandmother, Louise Young, 53, both of whom were killed when Samuel August rammed the backhoe into their bedrooms as they slept.


THE REPORTER

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

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Family Identifies Remains of Son... Serial Predator GUILTY – Again!

Cont’d from pg. 1 mains were Arnold's and would only say that they will be awaiting the results of DNA testing to officially confirm that it is the missing man. In an interview with the deceased's mother, Rosita Orellana, she explained that she can positively say that it was her son's body since she traveled to Belmopan and identified a blue shirt, boxer shorts and a three-quarter pants that her son was wearing when he went missing. "Now I feel relieved. I always wanted to find my son's body and now that I have, I feel that I have gotten all the closure that I need. I just thank God that he has led me to my son once more, even if it is only his remains. At least now I can give him the burial he deserves," Orellana told the Reporter. Police say that the discovery was made by a caretaker who wandered a little too far into the bushes and found the skeleton laid out on the ground. The individual called the Police and around 10:30 a.m. on November 8th, authorities visited the location situated North-west of the village. ACP Joseph Myvette, Head, NCIB, told media that "the scene was inspected where an almost complete human skeleton was found with the exception of the head. Several pieces of clothing were found on the scene as well as an expended cartridge. The remains were removed and they are pending examination." Myvett additionally told reporters that based

on observation it appears that the body was at the location for months. Over those months, Arnold's mother says that while searches had to be called off, she had accepted the fact that her son was dead and that she was only searching for a body since he would never stay away from home for such a long period. Six months ago, Arnold left his home with four friends to go fishing on the Belize River from Iguana Creek to Roaring Creek Village. The following day when the group returned, Arnold was not with them and while family members and Police executed searches in the river and on the river banks, those searches were fruitless. The four friends were detained and questioned and according to one of Arnold's aunts, one of the individuals had confessed to witnessing Arnold's murder. His confession, though, included conflicting reports and at one point he allegedly told Police that Arnold was chopped to death and his body dumped in the river. In another confession, the individual allegedly changed his script and told Police that Arnold's body was dumped at an undisclosed location along the riverbank. None of those persons were ever charged and ACP Myvett explained that before anyone can be detained this time, they need to first ascertain that the remains are those of Oswald Arnold. Arnold's family believed that he was murdered because he witnessed a murder.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

T

By Benjamin Flowers

his week a jury found Bert Vasquez, who is already spending 10 years in prison for sexual offenses, guilty of another sexual crime. On Wednesday a 12-member jury found him not guilty on charges of forcible abduction, but guilty of attempted rape, after four hours of deliberation. Vasquez, who was unrepresented, is scheduled to return to Court on Wednesday, November 28 for mitigation pleas, then the Court will decide whether to sentence him at that time or at a later date. The Court had originally decided to give Vasquez until December 5 for his mitigation plea, given he had no attorney, but he requested that the hearing be given an earlier date. The complainant in the case said that on January 25, 2011, Vasquez took her to an area in Belama Phase 4 where he forced her at knife point to take off her clothes. In his defense, Vasquez said that he had a relationship with his accuser, but was not with her on the day of the incident. In 2017, Vasquez faced charges of forcible abduction and aggravated assault of an indecent nature. A 16-year-old girl accused him of abducting her and forcing her to perform sexual acts on him at gunpoint. A nine-member jury found him guilty which triggered his 10-year sentence. Meanwhile, Vasquez still has a pending murder trial in respect to Jasmine Lowe, a 13-year-old girl who was found dead in 2013. During an investigation, Police found a ring belonging to Lowe inside Vasquez’s vehicle, making him the prime suspect in the crime.


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The Reporter Remix November 11  

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The Reporter Remix November 11  

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