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Sunday, October 21, 2007
A PRINCIPAL PROTECTING STUDENTS LEAVES A TEACHER SEEKING JUSTICE
SAN IGNACIO, Cayo, Thursday, October 18,2007:
He is a former Inspector of Police, a former Analyst in the Ministry of Finance, and now he is a former Math Professor of San Ignacio's Sacred Heart Junior College.
His name is Anthony "Kevin" Rosado, 31, part-time Math Professor at the University of Belize, Belmopan Campus.
How did he become a former teacher at Sacred Heart Junior College?
Rosado informed that when he reported for work, at the college, last Monday, October 8, 2007, he was presented with a short letter informing him that his services were no longer required.
Rosado alleges that he was told to clear his desk and to leave the campus voluntarily or face the prospects of being removed by campus security. Rosado said "I packed my things and left. Hater tried to find out the reason for such drastic action but no one in
Three San Ignacio Police Promoted
SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Cayo, Thursday, October 18,2007:
The Police Department today announced several promotions within the junior ranks of the department to take effect as of Tuesday, October 16, 2007.
The ripple effect of this latest round of promotions extended to the San Ignacio Police Formation as three deserving veteran constables were elevated to the rank of corporal.
San Ignacio's three new corporals are #77 Mateo Carrillo, #152 Darius Martinez and Woman Corporal #639 Rachael Serrano.
We must acknowledge that there was a time a few years ago when we were very concerned about the behavior of constable Mateo Carrillo. Over the past several months however, this constable has taken on
W/Cpl. #639 Rachael Serrano
a different approach to policing. He has since demonstrated that he has the potentials of becoming an effective shift supervisor and so it is only fitting that we congratulate the new Corporal Mateo Carillo on this promotion and at the same time wish
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authority at the school wanted to speak to me. I later found out that a close relative of mine, accompanied by her mother, visited the school four days earlier, on Thursday, October 4, where the girl lodged a serious allegation of impropriety against me. Since no one at the school wanted to speak to me on the matter, I proceeded to retain the services of Attorney Ellis Arnold. He wrote a letter addressed to the school's principal, Mr. Chris Aird, as he was the person who signed the letter of termination. In the letter Mr. Ellis Arnold basically informed Mr. Aird that the manner in which the dismissal
Anthony "Kevin" Rosado, 31
took place constituted a violation of my constitutional rights and a miscarriage of natural justice as I was not given an opportunity to
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Cops Charge Charlie
SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Cayo, Wednesday, October 17,2007:
Santa Elena Tailor, Charles "Charlie" Trapp, 47, was today arrested and charged for the offence of drug trafficking.
A police report indicates that a patrol saw Trapp acting suspiciously as he was carrying a black plastic bag. He was reportedly stopped and when the bag was searched, it was found to contain marijuana.
Trapp was detained and transported to the police station in San Ignacio where the marijuana was placed on the scale and found to weigh 70.3 grams (2 1/2 ozs). Trapp appeared before Magistrate
Kathlene Lewis on Thursday, October 18 where he pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was offered bail in the sum of $2,000.
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Sunday, October 21, 2007
Will Belizeans Ever Be First To Benefit?
Burns Avenue, in the center of San Ignacio Town, is usually buzzing with pedestrian activity and vehicular traffic especially on Saturday mornings.
Downtown San Ignacio was even busier last Saturday, Ocober 13, as an invasion of strange men was seen in town crowding the sidewalks while making their way to Scotia Bank.
We found out that these men are Nepalese engaged in the construction of the dam at Vaca Falls.
They came out from the project site, we were told, to collect a one hunderd dollar stipend they requested to celebrate the end of Ramadan on a Saturday which is the usual rest day in their native Nepal.
Several Belizeans on Burns Avenue, and in the vicinity of the bank, were openly expressing concern about this evident importation of a foreign labor force while the rate of unemployment is high across the nation.
With general election in Nepal slated for November 22 this year, we can hardly fault the political leaders in Nepal for securing employment of their people across the globe while our political leaders appear unable to do likewise for its citizens who live "just across the street" from the project site.
Apart from depriving locals of much needed employment, this situation raises several other pertinent concerns as follows:-Are these Nepalese workers and their employers paying into the social security fund?
If the bulk of the food they consume is directly imported by container loads they hardly ever come out from the project site for entertainment purposes and the larger portion of their earnings is withheld what are they actually contributing to the local economy?
If they fall ill or are injured on the job, do they utilize the services of local medical practitioners?
Being so many in numbers, and with only so much professional expertise that any project can entertain, under what employment classification is this foreign workforce entering our country?
Are they paying pertinent fees
for work permits? In fact, is their arrival even recorded by Belize's Immigaration Department? Of late there has been much talk in Belize about trafficking in persons with government publicizing that the holding of another person's passport could be a sign of trafficking in persons. The question therefore is:- Who is holding on to the passports of these imported Nepalese laborers? Furthermore, are they getting a stipend while the remainder of their earnings is withheld? Who is doing the withholding?
How many more of them will be imported by the time real construction commences at the dam?
If we are always bombarded by the "Belizean First" rethoric, why are Belizean workers not getting first preference on a project for which we will all be repaying for a very, very long time?
Where are our political leaders while all of this is taking place? Are they sleeping at the wheel of governance or are they actually compromised to the point of incompetence while the masses of an employable local work force continue to have a hard time to provide for themselves and their families?
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From Front Page
answer to the charge against me. He gave the school a deadline of Tuesday, October 16 to rectify the situation. Over the weekend, I was advised that the San Ignacio police had a charge for me and that I should present myself to the station to be formally arrested and charged. With Monday being a holiday, I visited the station accompanied by Attorney Ellis Arnold, on Tuesday, October 16, where I was arrested and charged for Aggravated Assault committed against my niece (the daughter of my deceased brother). I was taken to court where I pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered bail in the sum of $2,000 to return to court on November 15. The latest development on this matter is that I have been advised that my niece is now prepared to let the authorities know that the allegation and the statement she gave to the principal and to the police are false. The Lord works in mysterious ways and so I trust that she will come forward to clear the air" concluded Rosado.
In the process of getting the other side of this matter, we called the school and informed of our intention to meet with Principal Christopher Aird.
Mr. Aird later returned our call and, despite indications to the contrary, he promptly accepted our request to meet and discuss the matter. On Wednesday, October 17,
Three San Ignacio
From Front Page
Corporal Darius Martinez is a dedicated and hard-working officer. He is the driving force behind the police community program in this area. He is additionally known to regularly expend long hours, especially on the weekends, as he goes about coordinating the different activities of the various neighborhood watch groups and the local branch of the Police Cadet Corp.
Having been transferred to San Ignacio just a few months ago Woman Corporal Rachael Serrano is relatively new to the San Ignacio Police Formation. She is currently in charge of the Domestic Violence Unit with responsibility for sexual offenders
a brief meeting took place with Mr. Aird and his assistant, Mrs. Marjorie Shaw, inside the principal's office. They were open and frank in their discussion leading us to conclude that they both take seriously their responsibility to protect all the students in their care. The swift action, taken on this latest report, resulted from the existence of an allegation, three months earlier, which might have shown poor judgement on the part of teacher Rosado. In this instance it did not amount to much as it was never brought to his attention.
"/ have a lot of little girls on this campus to take care of said Principal Aird "If I have to go down while protecting them, then I am prepared to shoulder the consequences. The message must be made clear: As role models at this school, we must not only impart the subject matter to our students but we must also instill values and discipline in them We must care for them and we are obligated to threat them as the precious human beings that they are" concluded Principal Aird.
For his part, Mr. Rosado informed that he regrets the situation has progressed to this stage all of which could have probably been averted if only his right to natural justice was respected and upheld. Rosado additionally informed that he will allow the legal process to take its course and that he will be guided by the advice of his attorney.
and runaways. She enlisted into the Department in October 1994 and is therefore, this month, celebrating the 13th anniversary of her enlistment. Over the past 13 years she has served in Corozal, Mango Creek, Belize City, Caye Caulker and now in San Ignacio.
We therefore join with the community in congratulating corporals Mateo Carillo, Darius Martinez and Woman Corporal Rachael Serrano on this their latest advancement within the Department.
We wish them all the very best as they now take on the additional responsibility, in a more senior capacity, to serve the community with dedication and distinction.
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Sunday, October 21, 2007 STAR Tel: 667-7827 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
One Side Of The Marion Jones Saga
American Flag and unwavering obedience to the ASO.
They very well know that very few are the professional and amateur sports persons who do not, knowingly or otherwise use performance enhancement substances.
The ASO is fully aware that if they should sanction all such persons; sports, as we know it, would be left with very few participants thereby rendering it almost nonexistent. While I do not condone illegality in any form or faucet of life, Marion Jones' only sin is that she chose to make that victory lap, seven years ago, with the Belizean flag in view thereby shaving off from the total glory of the star spangle banner.
Marion paid tribute to Belize at the heights of her glory it is therefore only fitting that Belize stand by her side in this, her time of most need. s/ Francisco Cano, San Igancio.
Marion Jones Saga
trained hard but found themselves in second or third place because of Jones's cheating and because they had the moral fibre to rely on their own strengths and efforts without resorting to artificial stimulants.
Dr. Asling also mentions the fact that Jones may remain as Belize's Sport's Ambassador. To hold up a liar and a cheat as a role model to all of our young children and up-coming athletes is a completely ridiculous idea. It is also a direct insult to all of the other athletes or sportspersons that this country has produced or is producing.
In my humble opinion, the name of Marion Jones should be painted over wherever it stands and her name removed from the annals of our country's sport's history forever. John Acott Santa Elena, Cayo
It saddens my heart to have heard about the evil that has recently befallen Belize's Sports Ambassador, Marion Jones.
I am one of those many Belizeans who is of the firm belief that she is suffering the consequence for "disrespecting" the American Sports Oligarchy (ASO) as she toted the Belizean Flag on her victory lap around the Olympic stadium in Sydney, Australia seven years ago.
Marion Jones is in the company of a vast majority of athletes who knowingly or otherwise use performance enhancing substances. She does however have the dubious distinction to be among the few that the ASO has chosen to crucify. The yardstick used by the ASO to select those to be punished are many and varied. One of which we are almost certain they used is that unquestionable allegiance to the
Another Side Of The
A few lines, if I may, to reply to Dr. Asling's letter in last week's edition of your newspaper concerning Marion Jones, where she suggests that we should all, "feel nothing but the deepest sympathy for her."
Dr. Asling, of course, is entitled to her opinion as is everybody else but I would like to say that I feel nothing but disgust for Ms. Jones and I wonder if Dr. Asling would still feel sorry for her if she was from Chile or Russia or had connections elsewhere but Belize.
Marion Jones is a professional athlete and as such, she is very much aware of what can be achieved by the use of banned supplements and performance-enhancing drugs and she also knows that it is illegal to take them.
Not only did she voluntarily and secretly do so but she also vehemently denied to many tribunals and committees over a long period that she would ever do such a lowly thing.
If sympathy is outgoing, perhaps it should be directed at all of the other fine athletes who also worked and
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I will be the first to admit that teenagers can become rebellious at times during their early teen years. They are constantly being pressured by their friends to have a boyfriend/ girlfriend and do whatever it takes to be with that person, even if it causes problems in their families.
On October 3, 2007 my granddaughter arrived home at about 4:30 pm with a male companion. She was engaged in a relationship with this person to which my son totally objects especially since my granddaughter, whose legal guardian I have been for the past 8 years, is only 14 years of age and the boyfriend is about 20 years old.
Shortly after her arrival, my son entered the house along with his friend Jeovanni and when he saw the boy inside the house, an exchange of harsh words errupted between my son and the young man.
My granddaughter intervened on the boyfriend's behalf telling my son that he can't tell her who she can be with. The boy walked out of the house. My son left shortly thereafter in the company of his friend. After they were all gone, I lectured my granddaughter and she went to her room. I thought nothing else of the incident.
Afew days later my son came home telling me that Sacred Heart College had terminated his services with immediate effect and all he was told was to clear his desk and leave or security will escort him out of the compound. Subsequently my son filed legal action seeking constitutional redress and damages against Sacred Heart College.
On October 16, my son was arrested and taken to court for aggravated assault against my granddaughter.
Prior to his arrest, I went to the police station to give a statment to the investigating officer. At first she
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refused to take my statement but I insisted and so she finally decided to take my statement telling me that no matterwhatis said, she will still charge my son.
I also begged the lady police to bring in my granddaughter's boyfriend but she just looked at me and smiled.
I was also made to understand from Sacred Heart College that the investigating officer informed them that I could not have witnessed the incident as I was not at home when the incident unfolded at 4:3 0 pm on October 3 because, they say, I was at the casino as the log book at the casino indicate that I entered at 2:00 pm. While I will admit that I indeed entered the casino at 2:00 pm, the purpose of doing so was to look for my daughter as her husband was trying to contact her. I stayed inside the casino for no more than 5 minutes after which I returned home from the casino which is within walking distance from my home.
The obvious bias manner in which the investigating officer is handling this report has resulted in me losing confidence in the San Ignaio Police Department.
I conclude by saying that within a few days time, the truth shall come to light and this entire incident will be put to rest.
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Page 4 STAR Tel: 667-7827 Email: email@example.com Sunday, October 21, 2007
RACE OF S
Who's left to claim the gold after Jones owns up to being a drug cheat?
By Rob Draper
ATHLETICS has been left facing chaos after the tearful confession by American icon Marion Jones on the steps outside a New York court that she was a drug cheat.
The sports is preparing to strip Jones of the three Olympic gold medals and her multiple world titles. But that will leave the athletics authorities with the thorny question of who to honor with the gold medal for the 100 meters at the Sydney Games in 2000.
Directly behind Jones in that event (now surely the most tainted women's race in history) was Ekaterina Thanou. But the Greek athlete was subsequently barred from the 2004Athens Olympics and received a two-year ban after she attempt to evade drug-testing there.
More damningly, US prosecutors say that Patrick Arnold, the chemist who produced Jones' designer steroids and who last year was j ailed for three months, was also supplying Thanou's coach, Christos
Tzekos, meaning that she had access to the same drugs as Jones.
In fourth place, and now in line for a bronze medal, was Merlene Ottey, who failed a drug test for nandrolonein 1999, although she was controversially cleared by the International Association of Athletics Federations to run in 2000.
Fifth was Ukrainian Zhand Block, another athlete who received designer drugs from the B ALCO company that supplied Jones. In fact, only Jamaican bronze medalist Tanya Lawrence has a 100 percent unblemished reputation among the five in Sydney.
IOC and IAAF chiefs are now working on a formula that would remove Jones, who also won golds in the 200m and 4X400 relay, from the record books without honoring
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Lord Coe, vice-president of the IAAF and chairman of the London 2012 Olympics, said: "I would be uncomfortable about handing these medals back down the field without any serious thought. We have to reflect quite carefully before we simply proceed with some protocol that says the medal are just handed down."
IAAF president Lamine Diack and Coe are understood to be determined that Thanou does not benefit from Jones' disgrace and talks with the IOC had already begun to ensure that it does not happen.
Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, said: "The only good that can be drawn from the revelation is that her decision finally to admit the truth should play a key part in breaking the back of the BALCO affair."
Jones, once worth millions but now on the verge of bankruptcy, is likely to receive a three-month prison sentence in January after admitting she took illegal drugs before and after the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
This week the United States Anti-Doping Authority will deliver their report of Friday's court hearing, when Jones admitted tying to federal agents about taking drugs, to the International Olympic Committee and the IAAF.
Jones is certain to lose her individual Olympic titles and IAAF chiefs will
also remove the world titles she won over 100m in 1999 and 200m in 2001, years in which she had now admitted taking drugs, and pursue her for $1 million of prize money.
However, court records show that Jones assets are just $2,000 and last year a bank foreclosed on her $2.5m mansion in North Carolina.
Coe said: "There's no point being naive or coy. Of course, this case is damaging. I'm the vice-president of a sport that survives on its credibility. People have to sit in that stadium and know that what they're watching is legitimate. But it is the postscript to an ugly chapter in our sport. We are again being brought back to the rubble of those BALCO days but some solid things came out of that, in the setting up of the US Anti-Doping Agency, increased out-of-competition testing and the potential of increasing drug bans for four years."
Britain's leading female athlete and world marathon champion Paula Radcliffe said: "We should be pleased. One of the biggest frauds has been caught. Her medals should be taken away and a lifetime ban imposed."
Ed.. Note: We thank Mrs. Priscilla Wiltshire for providing us with this clip and for requesting its publication.
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Sunday, October 21, 2007 STAR Tel: 667-7827 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By: John Acott, Santa Elena SAN IGNACIO, Saturday, October 20,2007:
Members of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio would like to thank all those persons who attended their recent fund raising dinner.
Over 100 guests attended the special occasion which was held in the Caracol Room at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.
The occasion was a great success and all of those fortunate enough to be able to purchase one of the limited number of tickets, thoroughly enj oyed themselves.
Special thanks go out to Rotarian Johnny Roberson who organized the dinner; those who donated items that were auctioned during the meal and of course, those who bid and purchased the auctioned items.
Thanks also go out to the two auctioneers, Julian Sherrard and Dan Habet who did such a good job
supply of computers; building of toilet blocks; supply of school materials, books, etc.
We again thank everyone for making this year's fund raising dinner the success it was. Thank You!
Some of the Guests at this year's Rotary fund raising dinner
and to our 'special' guests, Bill and Cathy Butcher from the Aguada Hotel in Santa Elena. Welcome back Bill!
We are happy to report that almost $5,000 was raised and this will be used to supplement the club's
"Educate Our Youth" programme which covers schools in San Ignacio/ Santa Elena and surrounding villages. Some of the projects include: twenty five 4-year high school scholarships; school renovations; supply of school desks and chairs;
Together Let's Clean Up Cayo
PRESS RELEASE from THE TWIN-TOWN'S CRIME COMMITTEE. For Immediate Release, Tuesday, October 16, 2007:
The Twin-Town's Crime Committee is starting a new initiative to combat rising crime levels in our community and flyers are currently being handed out around the towns.
The project is designed to supplement the national Crime Stoppers programme by inviting Cayo citizens to provide tips on crimes or criminals but at a local level.
Two plain black post boxes have been installed in San Ignacio and the public is invited to jot down any information they have relevant to crime on a piece of paper and casually drop it in one of the post boxes. One box is on the side wall of the Post Office and the other is downstairs from the Courthouse.
John Acott, chairman of the Twin-Town's Crime Committee stated, "We are convinced that many of our citizens are very proud of our beautiful towns but are concerned about rising violence, burglary and other criminal incidents.
We believe they are willing to help in making our towns a safe and better place to raise their families and we have provided a very simple but confidential method of doing that.
We do not want to know their names and there is no monetary reward but every tip we receive will be re-typed by a committee member and passed to just one senior police officer.
We do not expect arrests to result from every tip we receive
because you do need evidence for that but just knowing the names and addresses of these criminals is a big advantage in the ongoing fight against crime.
We urge every person with information to do this small thing. It is your children and grandchildren that will suffer if
crime continues as it has in other towns and cities of Belize and it is your responsibility to do your part in preventing this. These are your towns and it is time to start fighting back against the criminal elements that steal our hard-earned goods and harass our people." concluded chairman Acott.
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St. Vincent Pallotti RC Primary School Receives Rook Donation
Unitedville, Qctobet 12th 2006 St. Vincent Pallotti RC Primary School was today the recipient of reading books and supplies due to the initiative of one young Unitedville resident and the assistance of a local company.
At a brief ceremony held in the school's chapel, Miss Tricia Cove, 17, (a Unitedville local and employee of Belize Natural Energy Ltd) handed over two l>oxes of story books and miscellaneous supplies to Principal Bertha Perez. Also in attendance was Mr. Mike Juan, Chairman of Unitedville Village,
Miss Coye, who works full time at BNE while attending Sixth Form at night, had wanted to begin a reading programme at the school, but work and evening classes left her unable to do so. Still eager to help the students in some way, she approached Belize Natural Energy for assistance. The company was impressed with Miss Coye's commitment to her community, and offered to donate reading books and other miscellaneous supplies for the school.
Principal Perez expressed her thanks to Miss Coye and Belize Natural Energy, stating that she was proud of Tricia as a former student of St, Vincent Pallotti RC Primary School for wanting to help the students in any wav she could.
I Miss Tricia Coye (right) hands over books to |^ Principal Bertha Perez (left),
St. Vincent Pallotti RC Primary School students will benefit from books and supplies
STAR Tel: 667-7827
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Peter Thompson's Tasty Boil-Up. In The Mix, The Bullet Tree Road, STAR Newspaper, SIS, BDF, Habet Shell, The Policlinic and the MOW.
By: Peter Thompson, Santa Familia Village, Cayo, Monday, October 15,2007:
I am an avid reader of your newspaper and applaud your efforts to inform your readers with true events occurring within our beloved country, Belize.
In one of your last newspaper issue I read an article in "Letters to the Editor" where concerns regarding the Bullet Tree Road Upgrade were highlighted. It would be informative for your readership to be made aware of the name of the Contracting Firm; Contract Sum; Contract Duration and Scope of works. I ask because it is absolutely necessary for two steep hills on the Bullet Tree road to be cut down to make it more accessible. I understand that the road is to be upgraded to paved standard and therefore would like that the Ministry of Works ensure that the gradient of the two hills are reduced.
I know your newspaper is still in its infant stage as regards to capital and human resources but having a responsible j oumalist fully involved in investigative journalism is a necessity in this time and age.
It would really be an honour for our hometown to see the STAR Newspaper bring out more articles that are fully researched and presented in a manner that would empower its readership. The General Elections are close and for the electorate to make an informed decision factual information and credible analysis of its/their impact(s) is / are crucial.
Akey player in this Newspaper was trained in intelligence gathering in Venezuela and by British Forces Belize and has been involved in journalism for some time now. It would be most welcome by the newspaper readership if he would cover the following topics in detail in future issues of the newspaper:
1. Re-establishment of the Security Intelligence Service. Why was the SIS disbanded? The SIS was vital in preserving our National Security Interest and would be most helpful to the Police Department and BDF.
2. The Publisher of the Newspaper is anti-BDF. Why given
the unresolved Belize Guatemala Dispute would he be so misguided as to recommend that the BDF be reconstituted into a Police Force? Given his expertise in intelligence gathering and service in the police department this is really disappointing to say the least.
The BDF is a small force that should instead be upgraded in numbers to at least 5,000 and should be highly mobile in terms of land, air, and water. Three well maintained choppers is now necessary for this small compact force to monitor and drop soldiers quickly to various locations in our jungle. Peace is costly and if we love Belize we should be prepared to foot the bill. As it stands right now we have the BDF fully engaged in Police duties and receiving riot control training. We are not getting value for Money especially since it has come to light that several encroachments are in existence on the Belize Side. General Gillett and Colonel Heusner should do the honourable thing and resign or be fired for gross dereliction of duty.
An article on the merits and demerits of a small army is the way to go madam editor.
3. Habet Shell in downtown San Ignacio is closing down next week for major rehabilitation/remodelling works. Has this project received environmental clearance? Such a service is necessary to the motoring public but either the service station
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or Hawksworth bridge should be relocated. The Service Station should be relocated in the Public Interest. It is a potential environmental disaster waiting to happen if it remains at the present location. Columbus Park as well as Hawksworth Bridge is right near to it. Is the Ministry of Works on board with this project? IstheD.o.E on board? Not a good idea at all.
4. A small Polyclinic is being constructed to serve the twin towns of San Ignacio /Santa Elena as well as Benque Viejo. The Director of Health Services, Doctor Polanco, is from our hometown San Ignacio.
How can he betray his people with this Polyclinic that is wholly inadequate. An interview with Doctor Polanco, C.E.O Ventura and Minister Coye is a must, Madam editor. We have to get to the bottom of this disaster.
5. Is the Ministry of Works giving us value for money? Our road system seems to be deteriorating and maintenance appears to be done in an ad-hoc manner. What is the chief engineer doing? Does he have the resources to get the j ob done ? Is he in command since reports suggest that he has been posted to NEMO? How long will he stay at NEMO? Are the standard bearers calling the shots? We sure are not getting value for money madam editor.
Thank you very much for your time in reviewing my suggestions.
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Belize Gets $160,000 From USA For Its tZ^Z^^l Efforts Against Trafficking In Persons f*;*f*-
w O travel to the site or the construction
of the dam at Vaca Falls and investigate the situation of all those Nepalese laborers working on the project. A situation which carries several of the warning signs associated with trafficking in persons. But then again, does anyone really care that a foreign contractor might be engaged in trafficking in nationals from a foreign country into a host foreign nation. Or is the trafficking in persons program specifically designed to stem the trafficking in persons into the United States of America? If this is the case, then someone needs to come forward and tell us so, instead of giving us that dangerous feeling of the existence of double standards, being, one standard to prosecute Belizeans and the other which allows foreign contractors to operate in Belize with impunity. This being the case, let all ambiguities be removed and let the real name of the program come forward: i.e.-The anti-traffi eking of persons with intention the enter the United States Of America illegally.
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Belize), Belmopan, Thursday, October 18, 2007:-
A media release from the US Embassy in Belize informs that the Ministry of Human Development in Belmopan was the venue today for the handing over of a grant from the United States of America to the Government of Belize.
U.S. Ambassador Robert J. Dieter presented a grant of over BZ$ 160,000 to the Minister of Human Development Sylvia Flores for an Anti-trafficking in Persons Program. The grant aims:
a) to support victim assistance programs
b) judiciary training
c) public awareness programs and
d) the refurbishment of a shelter for trafficking victims.
"Our hope is that this financial assistance will assist Belize in continuing its work to rid itself of this deeply dehumanizing form of exploitation", said Ambassador Dieter. "This funding, combined with the hard work and dedication of the Ministry of Human Development working together with the U.S. Embassy, is evidence of the prominent commitment of the United States to stand by and support our partners to combat this modern form of human slavery".
The U.S. Embassy wishes to congratulate the Minister and Chief Executive Officer from the Mnistry of Human Development as recipients
Handing Over The Grant: Belize's Minister of Human Development, Sylvia Flores (L) and US Ambassador Robert J. Dieter (R)
of this Anti-Trafficking in Persons grant award.
The U.S. Ambassador closed by saying, "We look forward to seeing the positive impact this funding will have and believe working together we can make a difference, and together we can build a safer, freer, and more prosperous world for all".
We were trying to find out where, under the "The grant aims", could the use of some of these funds fall for the investigation of reports in connection with trafficking in persons.
We could not find any aspect of the aims which specifically speaks to this integral component of the program.
But then, probably the Government of Belize will have to continue footing that part of the bill through the work expended by all those public officers
from the various agencies who take time from their routine duties to deal with this program.
Why do we ask this question? Well, when we heard that funds were being made available for the Anti-trafficking in persons program, we were somewhat happy because we thought that those engaged in
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Sunday, October 21, 2007
Landbwners Complain Of iCkgaCOif Tactics
'RESS RELEASE From The Belize Association of Landowners
Contact: Jim Cavanaugh, Coordinator Phone: 804-4432/602-0236 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CAYO, Belize, October 17, 2007:
Belizean landowners are being illegally pressured by oil companies with the help of the Minister of Natural Resources to sign agreements that are taking unfair advantage of Belizean landowners. Belize Natural Energy and West Bay Exploration, both oil companies controlled by Alex Cranberg of Denver, Colorado, have had the Minister improperly intimidate landowners when his oil companies do not get what they want.
The new Petroleum Law very clearly requires that an oil company must negotiate a contract with the landowner or legal occupier before they can enter private land for oil activities. The purpose of the negotiations are to establish the amount of compensation for landowners for any interference and disturbance of the landowner's activities, and all actual damages that may occur to crops, structures, roads, fences and the like. The law provides that if the landowner and oil company can not agree on the
compensation, they must go to arbitration and resolve the agreement.
Another provision of the Petroleum states that, if a landowner is unreasonable and wont let the oil company use their land, the Minister can issue an Order forcing the landowner to allow the oil company access. So what has been happening is Cranberg's companies use very heavy handed tactic by telling the landowners what they are "entitled" to, and if they don't agree the oil company will just have the Minister claim the landowner is "unreasonable" and order the oil activities to proceed. Period! That is not much of a negotiation. Cranberg has setup his own rules and implies his companies have the Minister in their pocket,
Spanish Lookout was the first victim. They advised they would certainly cooperate with the oil exploration activities, but requested that BNE please respect the cultural sensitivities of the Mennonite Community, and conduct their business under the same terms and conditions and everyone else in the Community. BNE responded that the government had given them unrestricted rights to do whatever they needed to find oil and SLO had no right to make any demands on
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them. A meeting with the Geology Department ended with a threat that if SLO did not cooperate fully, the Minister could take their lands away from them. A follow up letter from the Minister reaffirmed the threat.
BNE then approached Wan I Huang of Georgeville with demands for drilling a well, and while Huang was discussing the terms with his lawyer, BNE had the Minister issue an Order claiming Huang was unreasonable and demanding that BNE have access to more than 600 acres of their land without any compensation stipulated for two years.
Western Caribbean Fruit Growers (WCFG) of Blackman Eddy was the next victim as BNE demanded the right to run seismic lines through their orchards. WCFG said they would have to work out a schedule of damages and BNE immediately had the Mnister send a letter demanding WCFG come to his office in response to BNE "experiencing difficulties in obtaining consent."
Another Cranberg company, West Bay Exploration, has recently demanded that a landowner in August Pine Ridge area allow seismic exploration on his land which is under cultivation. The owner advised he would contact his attorney to develop a contract, but instead of negotiating, West Bay had the Minister send a letter demanding the landowner come to his office and explain why West Bay was "experiencing difficulties in obtaining consent"
Belizean Landowners have met recently to deal with this unreasonable practice of the Cranberg oil companies, of refusing to negotiate and resorting to political pressure to keep from paying reasonable compensation to landowners. The law i s clear with the requirement that oil companies must negotiate a contract for compensation with private landowners, and if they can not reach an agreement the problem is resolved by arbitration.
The oil companies refuse to negotiate, instead are demanding landowners accept their terms of
minimal payment for any actual damages, with no consideration of consent, interference with the landowners activities or disturbance of the property. By having the Mnister interfere with threats before the negotiations are completed destroys any possibility for obj ective negotiations.
The Belizean Landowners are therefore demanding that the Government of Belize and all Oil Contractors accept, consent, and honor the basic rights of all landowners and legal occupiers of Belize private property:
1) Where the contract area includes public land or land which is owned by or vested in the Government, such land shall be used at the discretion of the Government of Belize;
2) Where the contract area includes lands privately owned or legally occupied, such lands are not resources within the Governments' control", and shall be used only with the required permission of the private landowner or legal occupier;
3) The Government has the right to license their petroleum rights to oil contractors;
4) Landowners and legal occupiers have the right to:
a) determine the reasonable value for permission to use their property
b) establish reasonable rental rates and terms for the use of their property for oil exploration, drilling and/or production
c) determine a reasonable amount of compensation for consent, interference, disturbance and damages
d) determine the reasonable value of their petroleum rights
5) Oil contractors shall not exercise any of their rights under a petroleum contract except with the written consent of the owner or lawful occupier of any private land as specifically required by the Law;
6) No exploration or Production Sharing Agreement or any other agreement with an oil contractor or subcontractor shall grant to any party any rights or access to private property in contradiction to the Laws of Belize.
Is this being unreasonable? -End-
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South African Music Legend, Lucky Dube Shot Dead
By: Isaac Mangena, Frl, Oct., 19, 2007, 5:54AMFT JOHANNESBURG (AFP): South African reggae star Lucky Dube, one of the continent's biggest-selling artists, has been shot dead in front of his children during an attempted car hijacking in Johannesburg, police said.
President Thabo Mbeki was among those who paid tribute to Dube, calling him "a really great South African artist", while his killing reignited debate about the levels of crime in the country.
The award-winning artist, who recorded more than 20 albums in a career spanning two decades, was gunned down at close range on Thursday night as he dropped his young son off at a relative's home in the suburb of Rosettenville.
"The child had just got out of the car when unknown men approached him, trying to hijack (the vehicle)," police spokeswoman Captain Cheryl Engelbrechttold AFP. "He was shot and he died on the scene."
Witnesses said that Dube had tried to speed away from his hij ackers but was shot twice at close-range and drove his Opel Corsa into a tree. His daughter, who was also in the vehicle, was uninjured.
Fellow musician Mzwakhe Mbuli,
Lucky Dube, 43 Sunrise: August 3,1964 Sunset: October 17,2007
said the music industry has been robbed of a legend. "/ am devastated... out of words," Mbuli told AFP. "Lucky Dube's music internationally was a great success story. He was a legend. For me it's cold-blooded murder, until investigation proves me otherwise. Crime is out of control. Where is this country heading to? We really need divine intervention," he said.
Dube, who recorded albums in Zulu, English and Afrikaans, was one of the first artists to introduce reggae in South Africa.
According to his official website, Dube endured a tough childhood brought up on his own by his mother after his heavy-drinking father turned his back on his young son.He started one of the first people on the scene, his career in 1982 with the release of
Vigilante Attacks After Dube Murder
Reclaiming Their Streets From Crimins
Saturday STAR, Oct., 20 ,2007 11:56am
JOHANNESBURG South Africa By Kashiefa Ajam, Sheree Bega, Nape Raditlhare and Janet Smith
They told him: "It is people like you who murdered Lucky Dube. Then they pounced on him, beating him up so badly that the suspected thief had to be rushed to hospital with severe injuries.
The vigilante-style attack on Friday by about 20 residents from Bez Valley, Johannesburg, was the most threatening sign of a groundswell of popular anger in the wake of the reggae star's murder.
Fed-up South Africans, outraged at Dube's death, were reclaiming their streets from the criminals.
According to an eyewitness in Bez Valley, a woman was on her way to work when she was attacked by a man who stole her handbag. Her screams alerted a group of Athlone High School boys, who then chased after him.
"They caught him and held him down. Between 15 and 20 people heard the commotion and ran to where the boys were. They beat him up and all the while telling him that
it was people like him who had gunned down Lucky Dube. "
Some residents, said the eyewitness, recognized the suspect as being involved in other crimes in the area in recent weeks. "And then they assaulted him some more. "
Meanwhile, Gauteng police commissioner Perumal Naidoo has hand-picked a team of top investigators to track down the reggae star's killers. The team is led by Director Charles Johnson, who was responsible for apprehending Leigh Matthews' murderer, Donovan Moodley, and Brett Kebble's alleged murderer.
Despite this crack team, no arrest had been made by Friday night.
Late on Friday, police were still questioning Dube's two teenage children, Nonkululeko and Thokozani, who witnessed the botched hijacking of his car in Rosettenville on Thursday night. The singer was killed while driving them to a family member's house in the Joburg suburb at about 8.20 pm.
Dube is survived by his mother, Sarah; his new wife, Zanele and his seven children: Bongi, Nonkululeko, Thokozani, Laura, Siyanda, Philani and three-month-old Melokuhle.
a mbaqanga (a Zulu music tradition) album before crossing over to reggae in 1985.
One of his biggest hits came in 1989 with the single "Together as One" which became one of the anthems of the campaign against the whites-only apartheid regime which ruled South Africa until 1994.
Other big hits included "Taxman", "Prisoner", "The Way It Is" and last year's album "Respect".
In an interview with AFP last year, Dube said he was "proud of the progress made by South Africa since the demise of apartheid." Today, we are sitting here, enjoying freedom and everything, he said. "Of course nobody in South Africa thought things would be like this, because the apartheid era was a very difficult time for every South African."
South Africa is one of the world's most crime-ridden countries, with nearly 20,000 murders recorded in the last year.
Dube's killing was widely c ondemned by politicians and prompted calls in some quarters for the restoration of the death penalty.
Hailing Dube as "an outstanding South African", Mbeki said his killing underlined the need for unity in the fight against crime. "This is indeed very, very sad that this happened to an outstanding South African an outstanding musician, world renowned," Mbeki told reporters. "We must... make a commitment that we shall continue to act together as a people to confront this terrible scourge of crime, which has taken the lives of too many ofpeople and does so every day."
Farmer Brown decided his injuries from the accident were serious enough to take the trucking company (responsible for the accident) to court. In court, the trucking company's fancy lawyer was questioning Farmer Brown. "Didn't you say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine'?" asked the lawyer.
Farmer Brown responded, "Well I'll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule Bessie into the..."
"I didn't ask for any details," the lawyer interrupted, "just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'mfine'! "
Farmer Brown said, "Well I had just gotten Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road..."
The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question."
By this time the Judge was fairly interested in Farmer Brown's answer
and said to the lawyer, "I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule Bessie."
Brown thanked the Judge and proceeded, "Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side."
He continued, "I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting real bad and didn't want to move. However, I could hear ole Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans. Shortly after the accident a highway patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me."
Finally, farmer Brown came to the end of the story. "The patrolman looked at me and said, 'Your mule was in such bad shape I had to shoot her. How are YOU feeling?"
Grandma Is Now 100
The family wheeled Grandma out on the lawn, in her wheelchair, where the activities for her 100th birthday were taking place.
Grandma couldn't speak very well, but she could write notes when she needed to communicate.
After a short time out on the lawn, Grandma started leaning off to the right, so some family members grabbed her, straightened her up, and stuffed pillows on her right.
A short time later, she started leaning off to the left, so again the
family grabbed her and stuffed pillows on her left.
Soon she started leaning forward, so the family members again grabbed her, then tied a pillowcase around her waist to hold her up.
A nephew who arrived late came running up to Grandma and said, "Hi Grandma, you're looking good! How are they treating you?"
Grandma took out her little notepad and slowly wrote a note to the nephew, "Not very well. I want to, but they won't let me fart."
STAR Tel: 667-7827
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Another Bismillah Store Opens In San Ignacio
SAN IGNACIO, Cayo, Tuesday, October 16,2007:
It was over twelve years ago, in 1995, when Wilma Vanegas Mahmood originally of Benque Viejo Town and her husband Khalid Mahmood, opened the first Bismillah Store in San Ignacio, Cayo.
Over the years, the couple worked hard and tirelessly; and with their two sons coming of age the couple has been able to open other Bismillah outlets which they are now assisting to manage. Venturing into new businesses the family has been able to increase employment opportunities for many more Belizeans.
Tuesday, October 16,2007 marked the opening of the latest store, this one named Bismillah Traders located at #3 Burns Avenue in San Ignacio, Cayo, next to Scotia Bank. The new store carries a wide assortment of party
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supplies, cosmetics, baby items, toys and much more. In celebrating the opening the store is offering a 20% discount on all merchandise in stock. Bismillah Stores is widely considered to be a good corporate citizen. The
family has selflessly and generously contributed to many social programs and individual causes. Bismillah Stores has over the years contributed to sporting activities as well as private, governmental and
The Statue Of Our Lady Of Fatima Arrives In Santa Elena
SANTA ELENA, Cayo, Friday, October 19,2007:
As part of the First Pilgrimage of the Traveling Statue of Our Lady of Fatima to Belize, the statue arrived in Santa Elena Town, Cayo at exactly 10:00 am on Friday, October 19, for a short ceremony and a procession over the Hawksworth bridge into San Ignacio Town.
A large gathering of faithful members of the Catholic faith was in attendance for the historic occasion. Also in attendance were students from St. Ignatius High School, and Santa Elena Roman Catholic Primary School. The marching band from Benque Viej o's Mount Carmel High School provided the beat for the procession across the bridge.
The Statue will remain in the general area from where it will be transported directly to the Phillip Goldson International Airport for the final farewell from Belize at 3:30 pm on Sunday, October 21, 2007.
On its six-day tour of Belize, the statue arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport at 9:30 am on Tuesday, October 16.
It then travelled to San Pedro Town where it remained until the following day, Wednesday, October 17, when it was returned to Belize City for an appearance, first at the Divine Mercy Church, then to St. Joseph Church and on to Holy Redeemer Cathedral.
On Thursday, October 18, it was moved over to St. Ignatius Church for a 6:00 am mass after which it was transported to the Central Prison in Hattieville from where it went to Belmopan for presentation to the Prime Minister of Belize and the Mayor of Belmopan.
It was then taken over to the Belmopan's Western Regional
cession, making its y\
Hospital and to Helpage and the Co-Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe all in Belmopan.
It departed Belmopan at on Friday morning, October 19 for the trip to Santa Elena Cayo where it was met in front of the Social Security Branch Office for a brief ceremony and the procession over the Hawksworth Bridge into San Ignacio. A6:30 pm mass was held a the San Ignacio's Catholic Church.
It then travelled to the western village of San Jose Succotz on
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Saturday, October 20, and on to Benque Viej o Del Carmen. That same Saturday it was returned to St. Ignatius Church in Santa Elena Town for a 3:00 pm mass.
A 6:30 and an 8:30 am farewell mass were celebrated at San Ignacio's Sacred Heart Church on Sunday, October 21 before the Statue departed for the Phillip Goldson International Airport for a final 3:30 pm farewell mass.
non-governmental agencies. It surprises no one that when a needy person takes to airwaves soliciting funds for medical purposes, to hear Bismillah Stores making generous contributions to such individual needs.
One of Bismillah Stores trademark activities is its Annual Independence Celebrations parade. This year's parade was the biggest ever ,with the inclusion of international marching bands and cartoon characters.
Bismillah Stores recognizes that its success is due in large part to support it receives from its countless valued customers as without the demand there would hardly be the market for expansion. The husband and wife couple recognizes the valuable input of their two sons who willingly wake up everyday with the desire and determination to serve the many people who shop at Bismillah Stores.
Mrs. Wilma said: "Of course the success could not have been possible without the team of 22 hard-working, dedicated, loyal and honest employees who continue to work side by side with the family as Bismillah Stores forges ahead with quality merchandise at reasonable prices thereby making Bismillah Stores the place where customer satisfaction is guaranteed."
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Venezuela's Vice President Responds To US Secretary of Defense
By: Chris Carlson
CARACAS ,Venezuela, October
4, 2007, (venezuelanalysis.com)
Responding to US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said that Hugo Chavez is a "threat to regional stability," Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Rodriguez affirmed that Hugo Chavez is indeed a "tremendous threat" to the "empires of the world," and assured they would continue to be a "greater threat" as time goes on.
"Of course he [Chavez] is a threat to the stability of the empires of the world, for those who consider themselves the world police, for those who think they have a right to invade countries and massively murder the population," replied the Venezuelan vice-president to a recent statement made by Robert Gates during a visit to El Salvador.
"And we are going to continue becoming a greater danger as the people continue to heed the call to get organized Without a doubt, we will convert ourselves into a danger for the despots of the world," Rodriguez continued.
The US defense secretary made the comment on Monday during a two-hour visit to El Salvador. At a joint news conference with Salvadoran President Antonio Saca, Gates called El Salvador "one of the most faithful coalition partners," due to the fact that it is the only Latin American country with troops in Iraq. Gates went on to praise its "important role in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations worldwide."
Gates then warned that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was mainly a "threat to the freedom and economic prosperity of the people of Venezuela." According to Gates, Chavez "has been very generous in offering their resources to people around the world, when perhaps these resources could be better used to alleviate some of the economic problems facing the people of Venezuela."
Gates made the visit to El Salvador as a part of a five-nation tour of Latin America. The defense secretary's tour will include visits to Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Surinam, some of Washington's strongest allies in the region. Analysts said the goal of Gates' Latin American tour is to not only shore up US allies, but also to counter the influence of Hugo Chavez in the region.
Chavez has also become a strong ally for US enemy, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has
made investments in Venezuela and increased economic ties with the region. Ahmadinejad met last week with the Venezuelan President after
"Every time they have tried it the only thing they have done is waste their time," he said.
"/ have no doubt that this guy is wasting his time and he is going to keep wasting his time. I think it is completely impossible to reverse this wind of liberty, of self-determination, of sovereignty, that the leaders of the continent are obligated to defend Now it is the whole continent that is struggling for its liberty and I doubt very much that this official
Foto: FLASH JO^B^^^^B^V^A
Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Rodriguez
will be able to come here and reverse the course of history," he concluded.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates
first traveling to Bolivia to meet with President Evo Morales. He also met this year with Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.
Vice-President Rodriguez assured that Gates' intention in Latin America was to undermine the alliances that President Chavez has built with other leaders in the region, but assured that he would not be successful.
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