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Belizeans for Justice full force ahead in Hurricane relief efforts

Belize Hurricane relief efforts

Hurricane relief efforts

Channel 5 Belize | Belizeans for Justice is not only about appealing for good governance, the group has been busy since the hurricane with its own relief effort. The founders of the group have been appealing to private businesses to provide food, portable stoves and clothing for victims. Yolanda Schakron told News Five about the devastated areas that they intend to help and the other relief effort that will be held over the weekend.

Yolanda Schakron, Founder, Belizeans For Justice

“Today we got a real generous donation from Cuellos Distillery makers of Caribbean Rum. They donated forty, two-hole stoves, beans, rice, cooking oil and other food items. We will be distributing this to Hattieville some people in Yarborough and other rural villages in the Belize district. Tomorrow we will be at the Battlefield Park from eight o’clock; we’ll be having a food drive. You can bring your can foods, we’ll be accepting clothing and we’ll be selling barbecue—chicken beef and pork. And we will be using the money to help some of the victims of hurricane who need roofing and stuff like that for the homes, construction supplies.” (more…)

Belize Coast Guard asks Mariners to beware of thieves

Love FM | The Belize Coast Guard is asking all mariners to secure their vessels as vessel theft is on the increase. Just yesterday they recovered a stolen vessel in the Turneffe Atolls. Love News spoke with Operations Officer at the National Coast Guard Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis.

Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis; Operations Officer, National Coast Guard

“The patrol at Calabash Caye was deployed to the site where the vessel was sighted. We found a vessel belonging to Belize Academy of Diving. All navigation equipment was removed from the vessel and all mechanical equipment was removed from the vessel. The vessel was stolen about a month ago. It was towed and secured at safe harbour. It is important for mariners to be aware that vessel theft is on the increase. Over the past few months we have seen an increase in vessel theft. There are two to three incidents per month so mariners be aware, vessel owners be aware ensure that your vessel is properly secured. If you can put it on trailers that would be excellent. If it must remain in water then maintain security watch for your vessel especially at night.”

Soberanis says that perpetrators often strike between 12 midnight and 6 in the morning.

Veterans Day Observed

Love FM | Every year, the Belize Ex Services League commemorates veteran’s week to pay homage to those veterans who contributed and played a role in World War one and two. A memorial service was held on Sunday to highlight the event and Bernard Adolphus, President of the Belize Ex Services League told us more.

Benard Adolphus, President of the Belize Ex Service League

“So what we did in Belize, reference to all of the commoner countries too because it’s on the 11th because some people believe that it’s on the 14th, it’s on the 11th when the treaty was signed. 11th hour on the 11th month we celebrate. Normally it’s on a Sunday but because it fell mid- week the thirty of us decided ok the Sunday before the 11th which was the 7th. Hence the reason we gathered together the diplomatic quo, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the commissioner of Police and others. The bell guides, they were out there and we paid homage.

The service was held under Bishop Wright from the Roman Catholic Church and father Valentine conducted the service and we had the Belize Defence Force was in attendance and also the Coast Guard was in attendance plus others. And that was important for all of us to see all the Belizeans out there in remembrance especially in particular those in the British legion, plus members of the fallen and that is important too because without the fallen members we are nothing. The family members that supported came forward and paid their respect and then we have the ex services league and members of the family laying their cross at the end of the ceremony. Prior to that we have the Prime Minister and dignitaries put down reefs at the monument. Richard, Hurricane Richard destroyed… well, the top 4 feet is destroyed completely. So we are trying to seek funds to try and replace that because that is important and symbolic to those people who have gone ahead of us.”

Veterans Day is officially observed on Thursday, November 11th. (Today)

Caye Caulker man arrested and charged for rape

Love FM | A Caye Caulker man is behind bars after he was arrested and charged for rape. Jorge Aldana reports.

A woman told her family that she was raped last week. But what adds to the incident is the allegation that after the woman was raped she feared for her life. That is what triggered an intensive manhunt for the accused rapist which ended over the weekend. News is that the accused in behind bars. To protect the victim’s identity we will not release her name but according to police the report was made on Saturday.

The victim told Caye Caulker Police that even after she was raped the man told her not to tell anyone or else he would return to hurt her. The woman managed to identify the individual as one Ligi Pasto Rasado a resident of Caye Caulker Village. Initial investigations reveal that the woman, a domestic, was home alone sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 pm on Tuesday November 2nd. She took her medication and went to sleep. The medication made her drowsy. The woman went on to explain that when she woke up she noticed standing in front of her naked. The woman told police that she was ordered to remove her clothes and not to scream. Fearing for her life the sick woman took off her clothes after which the man had sex with her against her will.

After she was threatened the woman decided not to tell anyone including her family. However, after her family noticed a change in her behaviour she eventually told them what happened to her. The victim was taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic where she was examined by a medical officer. Rosado has since been arrested and charged for rape. He appeared on Monday November 8 at the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Patricia Arana. Magistrate Arana explained to him that his charges are indictable and as such no plea would be taken. As a result he was remanded to Hattieville Prison. Rosado is schedules to reappear in court on December 7.

20,000 undocumented migrants living in Belize?

Amandala | Information leaked to the media this week indicates that the Barrow administration is planning to grant permanent resident status to an estimated 20,000 illegal immigrants living in Belize, some of whom have also been working illegally in Belize. Speaking with Amandala Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said the move is “recognizing that these people aren’t going anywhere; [so] let’s put them on the road of legitimacy.”

The government had made no official announcement to the public, and there was no statement until we probed the Prime Minister on the matter. Under the program illegal migrants who can prove that they, as well as their children, have lived at least two years in Belize would be allowed to apply. (Legal migrants can apply for permanent residency after living in Belize for a year.)

Barrow said that the program won’t take effect before the start of the next financial year, April 2011. However, the work plan we have seen calls for preparatory work to begin as early as September 2010, with application forms being accepted in the first three months of 2011 – January to March. The program is projected to end June 2011.

The government would have to spend at least a quarter-million dollars to get the program going—the cost for additional temporary staff and equipment and supplies; but the program could generate $3 million to $5 million in revenues to the government. The cost per adult would be $250 and the cost per child would be $100. Each would pay a $25 stamp fee. (more…)

Archaeological Reserves Entrance Fee Increase

PR | The Institute of Archaeology, National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) hereby informs the general public and its tourism stakeholders that in accordance with Statutory Instrument #40 of 2010, Gazetted 1st May 2010, the NICH Board of Directors has approved the following entrance fee increase to the Archaeological Reserves.

The following fee increase will become effective on 1st June 2011:

Reserve Resident Admission Non Resident Admission
Nim Li Punit $10.00 $20.00
Lubaantun $10.00 $20.00
Serpon $10.00 $20.00
El Pilar $10.00 $20.00
Barton Creek $20.00 $20.00
Cerro Maya $10.00 $20.00
Caracol $15.00 $30.00
Actun Tunichil Muknal $50.00 $50.00

The following fee increase will become effective on 1st October 2011.

Reserve Resident Admission Non Resident Admission
Cahal Pech $10.00 $20.00
Xunantunich $10.00 $20.00
Altun Ha $10.00 $20.00
Lamanai $10.00 $20.00
No Hoch Cheen $20.00 $20.00

The Institute of Archaeology, NICH takes this opportunity to assure its stakeholders that we will continue our efforts to create exciting destinations that will make a positive contribution to the tourism industry in Belize. We would like to reinforce our commitment to ensure equal access to the reserves by all users and to continue developing the appropriate infrastructures that are reasonably necessary for the full enjoyment of our archaeological parks.

Monthly Lionfish Tournament Winners – October

October Monthly Lionfish Tournament Belize

October Monthly Lionfish Tournament

Ecomar | ECOMAR launched the “Lionfish: Wanted Dead or Alive” campaign In conjunction with the Belize Fisheries Department in December 2008 after a lionfish was sighted at Turneffe. By Jan 2010 lionfish are being sighted on most dive sites throughout Belize and lobster pot fishermen are also capturing lionfish in their lobster traps. Each Month winners are announced for most lionfish caught in 3 categories, Fishermen, Tour Guide and Boat. The October 2010 winners are:

1st Manolo Magana 160
2nd Antonio Munoz 90
3rd Engenio Santos 75

Tour Guide
1st Ediberto Palma 352
2nd Rudy Duran 274
3rd Michael Hancock 132

1st Nadeska 90
2nd Shy 82
3rd Isabel 75

Belize National Library Service Story Writing Contest

PR | Persons desirous of entering the Story Writing Competition being sponsored by the Belize National Library Service and Information System, in commemoration of its 75th Anniversary, are asked to note that the closing date has been extended from October 31 to November 5, 2010 at 4.00 p.m..

Max, the Killer Jaguar, captured and euthanized

Belize Jaguar

Jaguar caught and euthanized

Channel 5 Belize | Bruce Cullerton was mauled to death by Max the Jaguar, on Monday night. It is a stunning and rare event and also a tragic one. Cullerton was the neighbor of Richard and Carol Foster, two outstanding film makers for the National Geographic Channel. Cullerton was an established roving mechanic and his remains will be cremated and the ashes will be scattered near the entrance to one of his favorite caves. But back to the cat, Max fled from captivity when a mango tree fell on his cage. How it came in contact and killed Cullerton has still not been ascertained but it is believed that he was attempting to save his dogs from the jaguar. On Tuesday night, Max was captured by a team of animal experts. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was has the details of Max’s capture.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Four year old Max, a male jaguar which escaped from captivity during Hurricane Richard over the weekend was snared and euthanized around ten-thirty p.m. on Tuesday after the vicious mauling of Bruce Cullerton the night before. Cullerton was planning to relocate to the United States for medical treatment on the day he was killed. He was a neighbor and family friend of Richard and Carol Foster, both renowned filmmakers. Cullerton was attacked and mangled by this hundred and thirty pound cat as it prowled the grounds near their properties situated off the Western Highway. It is uncertain what led to the deadly encounter but officials from the Forestry Department and the Belize Zoo were quick to respond to the animal’s capture. With help from Omar Figueroa, a jaguar researcher who also works in the area, Max was lured and caught several meters away. (more…)

Belize Red Cross Relief Appeal

Belize Red Cross

Belize Red Cross

7 News Belize | With the unfolding disaster in the aftermath of Hurricane Richard – you may be wondering why you haven’t heard from the Red Cross. Well, that’s because since Monday they have been carrying out assessments in the areas that were affected by Hurricane Richard. The work of the Red Cross took them to areas of the City, the Belize River Valley, Gales Point, and parts of Belmopan. But the work continues, as Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Lilly Bowman told us that their assessments have identified numerous families in need and they are requesting the public’s assistance:

Lilly Bowman, Director General – Belize Red Cross
“After having these rapid and initial assessments, we have found that at least 110 families have been greatly or partially affected and that’s roughly about 550 person that need assistance right away so while we were doing the assessments we have been distributing items like hygiene kits, blankets, tarps, clothing of course and whatever cleaning items we had to assist with. Not everybody has been receiving because assessments probably were not completed, however today we have 5 teams going out again into the Belize City area and like Rockville, Gracie Rock area, a few in the Belize River Valley. as I mention we don’t go empty handed we give what we have. However there will be much more assistance that these people will be needing. Food will just begin today but with the food and water, we are coordinating it with the ministry of human development within NEMO so that we ensure that we reach everybody that really needs and we are not duplicating efforts.” (more…)

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