7 News Belize

7 News Belize HeadlinesWednesday, May 04, 2016

Shots Rang Out In Japan Area of Ladyville
Murder is making headlines again tonight – except this time it's not in the Cayo District.  There are two more killings to report – both in the Belize District.  The fir...
Man Gunned Down On Dangerous Block, Clinic Reportedly Denies Him Admission
And then this morning, there was a murder in the city.  It happened on Gibnut Street – in a gang area known as "123rd".  As we found out today, the victim Troy Cole ran into th...
Southside Commander Blasts NHI Clinic
As you heard, the family is very angry with the NHI Clinic which allegedly closed its doors to Cole.  And the Southside Commander, ACP Chester Williams joins them. He say Troy Cole'...
Was Child Raped By Cop? Benque Police Investigate
Benque Viejo police are investigating the report of a minor who was raped in that Western Town. Reports tell us that the alleged suspect is a police constable.  But, speaking today with t...
Immigration Director Maria Marin Moves On After Three Turbulent Years
A new Director of Immigration has been named, and she's getting ready to take office.  Career Foreign Affairs Officer Diana Locke takes up the post of Director Of Immigration and Nat...
Cops Investigate Discarded Fetus Found In House
City police are investigating another death. But this one is a little more complicated. According to police they responded to reports of a discarded fetus at a Jane Usher Boulevard add...
Cayo Family Getting Ready To Bury Two Mothers
Tonight the Mai and Miralda families are setting up and preparing the family home for a wake. Miriam "Betty" Mai and her sister in law and close friend Daisy Miralda were killed...
Police Find Suspected Truck Used In Camalote Double Murder
Police have found the grey truck and the weapon they suspect was used in the Sunday's Camalote double murder. They found both in Belize City. As we told you, Akeem Thim...
Gelion De Leon Was Robbery Turned Murder
Police say 55 year old Gelion De Leon's killing was a robbery turned murder. As we told you, De Leon was killed early Friday morning about a mile away from his home in Camalote...
Showgrounds Crowd Slightly Down, But, Still, a Stabbing
Food, drinks, entertainment, a variety of plants, agricultural produce, even deals on toilet paper and fruit juices – all that and more were found at the Agriculture and Trade Show gro...
Epilectic Drowns On Hummingbird
An epileptic drowned early Saturday morning near his home. 33 year old Emmanuel Flores went swimming in a creek near mile 28 on the Hummingbird Highway, but apparently he got a seizure a...
Late Evening Murder
There was another southside shooting half an hour ago near our studio- and reports say it was fatal. It happened at the corner of Prince Street and East Canal – just around the corner...
GOB Confident About OAS Talks
What is the future for Belize and the Sarstoon?  That is what was being discussed in Washington DC for the past two days.  And tonight, the Government says it is cautiously optimistic....
Guats Hold The Hardline In Statement
And while government says it is cautiously optimistic, the Guatemalans – in their public pronouncements are keeping up the hard line.  Today, the Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Ministr...
PUPís Plans
But in the meantime, the Sarstoon is still a hot button issue in Belize.  Last night, we told you about the meeting which the PUP National Executive held to discuss Government's Sar...
PM: PUP Exclusion Not Deliberate
As you heard in one of those 5 resolutions, the PUP is calling out the Government for excluding the Opposition's Representative in the recent bilateral talks. They've interpreted that ...
Belize Complained Of FM Morales Harsh Words
Earlier in the news, we told you about that strongly worded press release from the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry which continues to condemn the fatal shooting of their 13 year-old national J...
Southside Police Try To Keep City Cool
At the top of the news, we told you about the City Murder of Troy Cole and just now you heard about tonight's apparent murder on Prince Street. Plus, there are the recent murders of Ke...
City Rivalries Real
So, is Eastern Division South making interventions to ensure that there are no retaliations for "Shiney", "Gambis", and now Troy Cole? That's what we asked, and Commander Chester Williams...
Search 7 News Archive Click here for Yesterday's News Click to search entire archive
Free News

Subscribe to 7 News Belize RSS News Feed

ADVERTISEMENTS:

7 News Belize - News:
Important Note: This Internet version of 7 News is a verbatum transcript of our evening television news script. Many interviews on our newscast are conducted in Creole. In the interest of clarity for our foreign readers, we attempt to paraphrase the Creole quotes in English

Shots Rang Out In Japan Area of Ladyville

Murder is making headlines again tonight – except this time it's not in the Cayo District.  There are two more killings to report – both in the Belize District. 

The first happened last night in an area of Ladyville, known as Japan – which is in the same general area that has witnessed two other murders this year.  The victim is 31 year old Lloyd Robateau – not known to police as any kind of troublemaker, but he was shot multiple times in what appears to be a very deliberate execution.  Emanuel Pech has the story.  

This wooden bungalow located about two hundred yards inside an overgrown in the Japan Area, is where 31 year old Lloyd Gerald Robateau was gunned down last night. He had been living here by himself for the past year.

This was his refuge after a long day's toil. However last night, this same refuge, turned into a violent crime scene.

Witness- Murder on Ladyville
"I mi deh inna my house the sit down on the sofa."

Emanuel Pech
"What did you hear?"

Witness- Murder on Ladyville
"Because my bwai was right across at the neighbour and then he gone borrow a lighter. And when he gone inna the house, he get in and I hear gun shots."

Emanuel Pech
"How much shots?"

Witness- Murder on Ladyville
"8, 9 shots."

Earlier that night Lloyd had contacted a friend who had agreed to meet with him.

Then around 9 pm, before his friend arrived, Lloyd went outside to the back house for his evening bath.

But as he was climbing down these steps a lone gunman appeared and let loose a barrage of bullets in his direction - killing him on the spot.

ACP Edward Broaster- OC, Eastern Rural Division
"One Lloyd Gerald Robateau, 31 years, labourer of Japan area received multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body and lower body. When we processed the scene we recovered 17 expended shells and 3 live rounds. Mr. Jones was taken to the KHMH where he was pronounced dead on arrival."

Police couldn't say just how many bullets found their target although they said that the bullet wounds were numerous. But just what lead to such a violent end for this Ladyville resident, whom police say was not a known trouble maker?

ACP Edward Broaster- OC, Eastern Rural Division
"The initial investigation that we have conducted indicated that Mr. Robateau had a conflict with some individuals about a month or two ago and we believe that this incident may have been the incident which led to his death."

Emanuel Pech
"Is there any indication that this confrontation might have been fuelled by drugs or gang conflicts?"

ACP Edward Broaster- OC, Eastern Rural Division
"No, neither drug or gang."

Robateau's relatives, who raised him from childhood, didn't want to comment. Reporting for 7 news Emanuel Pech.

Police say they are looking for a particular individual whom they believe can assist them in their investigations.


Man Gunned Down On Dangerous Block, Clinic Reportedly Denies Him Admission

And then this morning, there was a murder in the city.  It happened on Gibnut Street – in a gang area known as "123rd".  As we found out today, the victim Troy Cole ran into the nearby NHI clinic for rescue, but – not wanting trouble - they shut their doors on him.  7News was out there shortly after the shooting:..

Shots rang out at about 9:00 this morning on Gibnut Street. The victim this time is 26 year old Troy Cole.

Police say he was on riding this bicycle towards Curassow Street when a single gun man opened fire.

Eyewitness - Troy Cole Murder
"I just hear about a couple shots at least 4 or 5 shots but when I run out and I come out I just see a young boy on the ground and then he get up back and run. I see he get back up and run come this way and when he run come this way I see a next one jump on bike and gone so and that's the only thing I see you know."

The one who got up and ran was Troy Cole. Wounded and bleeding he limped over to Universal Integral Health Centre, located only a few yards from the actual shooting. But the hospital shut its doors to this bleeding man. This the family believes ultimately lead to Cole's death.

Melanie Parham- Aunt of Deceased
"NHI actually closed the door that he couldn't enter in you but he still manage to push it open you know because he get hit in his chest piece and then the blood mi the pour. So when I reach he tell me help me help me, get a taxi but I run for taxi and nobody wa help ah. So when I manage, I ask who kill ah this, that, that then so he start talk, because he talk good until we come to hospital he walk in himself. When we talk to the doctor they tell we he straight, just pray and they just will care ah in the theatre. Minutes after 2 police come, they say he dead, he can't dead right so you understand, it has to be hospital kill da man because according to doctor when you da gang member, big heads, if you get shot they will lef you mek you dead."

And one reason the hospital may have closed its doors on Cole is fear of ongoing gang warfare in the neighbourhood. That entire area is gang affiliated and known as "123rd". But when we asked South Side Commander Chester Williams about the gang element today, he declined comment.

ACP Chester Williams- OC, Eastern South Division
"As is customary I do not believe in venturing into the past of a person who have fallen victim to a crime. Our objective is not to look at his past even though from our investigation standpoint we do that in order for us to arrive at a motive. But I do not think it serves the victim any good for us to be singing what his past has been. He has passed on and the least we can do is to give him that respect by not going public with what his past is."

Daniel Ortiz
"Is an element of your investigation the possibility of street justice?"

ACP Chester Williams- OC, Eastern South Division
"You're asking your question in another way and I am not going to answer the question again."

Troy Cole was a known street figure – whose name had been mentioned in a major homicide, but his family says he was trying to turn his life around. Reporting for 7 news Emanuel Pech.
Cole did not die on the spot – he died about two hours later at the KHMH, and so he was able to name his attacker. As a result police are looking for one known suspect. 

Tensions have been rising in that area since last week. Just this past Sunday there was another shooting incident at the Corner of Curassow and Antelope Street, which left two men injured.


Southside Commander Blasts NHI Clinic

As you heard, the family is very angry with the NHI Clinic which allegedly closed its doors to Cole.  And the Southside Commander, ACP Chester Williams joins them. He say Troy Cole's death could have been prevented if the Clinic employees would have acted differently. Williams, condemned the hospital for what he says is a shameful act.

ACP Chester Williams- OC, Eastern South Division
"After the shooting took place, Mr. Cole ran to Universal hospital which is right nearby and when he went to the hospital, he was refused medical treatment at that hospital. He was put out and the door was locked on him. He was left outside to bleed until the police vehicle arrived and took him to the hospital. That is unprofessional of a medical institution. Doctors and medical institutions have a legal obligation to treat injured person who they come into contact with. And I have said to the administrator of the hospital that I'm going to write them about what took place today because it is a shame. So what they did is uncalled for and it must be condemned and it does not matter who the person is, it could be the worse criminal, they still have an obligation to treat every person they come into contact with."

We tried to get comment from the Integral Health Centre but they made themselves unavailable.


Was Child Raped By Cop? Benque Police Investigate

Benque Viejo police are investigating the report of a minor who was raped in that Western Town. Reports tell us that the alleged suspect is a police constable.  But, speaking today with the Deputy Commander for Benque Viejo police, he told us, he cannot confirm if it is a police officer or not because no identification has been made When we asked if a police officer has been named in the compliant, again he said he cannot confirm. 

The Cayo Commander Senior Superintendent Andrew Ramirez told us that it is only an initial investigation at this time.

The minor is reportedly form the Stann Creek District.


Immigration Director Maria Marin Moves On After Three Turbulent Years

A new Director of Immigration has been named, and she's getting ready to take office.  Career Foreign Affairs Officer Diana Locke takes up the post of Director Of Immigration and Nationality Services tomorrow.  Locke confirmed it to us today saying, quote, "I look forward to my new challenge and serving the people of Belize in another capacity."  Locke had been at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 24 years – much of that spent involved with Immigration work for Foreign Affairs – so she is very familiar with the Department. 

She takes over from Maria Marin, who was at the helm from early 2013, during the Penner and post-Penner era, some of the most administratively difficult and most publicly scrutinized times in the Department's history.  It emerged that something like a shadow department had been in operation during this period, facilitating nationality documents for phantom applicants of dubious origin. 

Marin demitted office on Friday April 29th.


Cops Investigate Discarded Fetus Found In House

City police are investigating another death. But this one is a little more complicated. According to police they responded to reports of a discarded fetus at a Jane Usher Boulevard address this morning. The area was marked off as a crime scene, and here is what police had to say about it:

ACP Chester Williams- OC, Eastern South Division
"I have not obtained sufficient information about the fetus but from what I have been briefed by the investigators is that sometime last night they had received information of a female who might have had a miscarriage of a 4 month fetus and she apparently had disposed of the fetus in a shallow grave in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. So what the police did this morning was to basically go into the area of Jane Usher and to see if they can find and exhume the fetus and there after we'll be looking at the possibility of probably concealment of the birth of a child or as the case may be. So we're looking at that and we do not know if it is a medical termination of a pregnancy or it was one that was deliberately done but if it was one that was deliberately done then that is a crime. So we'll look at it when we have obtained all the necessary information that we need then we will see how we progress with that investigation."

Police continue investigations.


Cayo Family Getting Ready To Bury Two Mothers

Tonight the Mai and Miralda families are setting up and preparing the family home for a wake. Miriam "Betty" Mai and her sister in law and close friend Daisy Miralda were killed on Saturday evening inside Betty's Beauty Salon. It was a regular Saturday for the girls, they were hanging out with a few friends in the Salon as Mai finished blow drying a customer's hair. But the history of Mai's violent relationship with her ex common law husband Andy Bustillos, crushed everything that day. Bustillos walked into the salon and shot and killed both Miralda and Mai. He also tried to shoot their other friends but the gun jammed and they were able to run away. That's when Bustillos shot himself in the head. Yesterday the family told us that they didn't know Bustillos was abusing Mai and that they wished Mai had said something so they could try to save her. But, the family now has to find a way to cope with this reality. Mai's mother Maria Rodriguez told us yesterday that the hardest part now will be raising all the kids that Mai and Miralda left behind.

Maria Olga Rodriguez, Mother of Mai
"I know she dead but inna my mind I feel that she the work and then no dead she living but whe I the think they pickni how I will do with them, they have a pa but they still need a ma because they small yet. And then I say how they pickni because me done got an age, I got 65 and then I wash I say but I can't wash lot, I get tired quick; anything that I do I get tired. Then I say how will I work with them pickni."

And the man responsible for causing these families so much agony and sorrow is 31 year old Andy Bustillos. As we told you, he shot himself in the head after killing Miralda and Mai, but he survived. He is in the hospital recovering and reports are that he is speaking and responding well. Rodriguez told us yesterday that she knew he had survived but that she won't take justice into her own hands:

Maria Olga Rodriguez, Mother of Mai
"Well I say that I left everything to god and I will see how I will manage with them pickni ya that's it because I go da church, we go to church lot. Well I know god will help me, I will come out, I will see how I will do with they pickni, they will eat what I eat and so but I left everything to god. Da god will deal with that I can't say nothing else."

When we spoke to police today, they told us that as soon as Bustillos fully recovers he will be charged. In terms of the suggestion that Bustillos's boss at Anchor Security was indirectly responsible for the murder by leaving a crazed Bustillos with the company weapon, we called Anchor Security multiple times yesterday for a comment but could not get through.


Police Find Suspected Truck Used In Camalote Double Murder

Police have found the grey truck and the weapon they suspect was used in the Sunday's Camalote double murder. They found both in Belize City. As we told you, Akeem Thimbrel and Shawn Lopez were both shot up near Thimbrel's home in Camalote on Sunday night. Akeem had just come from visiting family members when he met his cousin and close friend Shawn Lopez. Lopez was drunk and Thimbrel was taking him home when gunmen pulled up in a truck and opened fire on them. Now, as we told you, neither Thimbrel nor Lopez were the targets. The hit was reportedly sent for a friend who lives close to where the young men were shot. Residents say that the girl who is in police custody is the one who sent the hit. That is after a confrontation she, her boyfriend and the intended target had earlier that Sunday. The girl, her boyfriend and the suspected shooter are detained.  

Now, that is only one element to the story, the communities' pain and outrage after the murder of these boys is still simmering. So much so that the police will meet with the Camalote Chairman and residents tomorrow to avoid any other retaliatory acts. We say ‘other' because as we told you, a group of angry residents torched a vehicle, which they say, belongs to the person who sent the hit. Yesterday Belmopan police told us about their community approach.

Supt. Howell Gillet, OC, Belmopan
"We could always suspect that they could continue on that path if they are of the belief still that these two people were responsible or assisted in the demise of these two people but what we're doing, we're doing a number of things. I am in dialogue with the chair person for that village and I believe its tomorrow we are going out there to meet with the people of that area of Camalote to try to allay their fears and also to update them on the progress of the investigation. So we'll be doing a meet and great I believe tomorrow it is and then also we will have the chairperson along with us to see how we could deescalate tensions that that currently exist in that village."

In terms of the investigation, police still have to test and confirm if the vehicle and gun they found are the ones used in the hit. No one has been charged as yet. We will keep following this case.


Gelion De Leon Was Robbery Turned Murder

Police say 55 year old Gelion De Leon's killing was a robbery turned murder. As we told you, De Leon was killed early Friday morning about a mile away from his home in Camalote. His body was found in front of the Cedar Hill Ranch. Reports are that he left his house on Thursday evening, and about 8 hours later, the watchman at the farm heard the guard dogs barking. Shortly after that, he heard several gunshots. The police were then called in, and they found De Leon's body at the corner of the fence right next to a white vehicle.  De Leon was cut to the neck, and he had gunshot wounds to head and left shoulder. Yesterday Belmopan police told us they have one person for questioning.

Supt. Howell Gillet, OC, Belmopan
"Just over this weekend I think it was yesterday we brought somebody into custody who was last seen with the victim before his death. So we're going through the process now of interviewing him to see what we could come up with. As with the investigation proceeded we've learned now the wallet from the deceased was missing and his licensed firearm was also missing. So that tells us clearly it's a case of robbery which turned to be murder also."

De Leon was originally from El Salvador.


Showgrounds Crowd Slightly Down, But, Still, a Stabbing

Food, drinks, entertainment, a variety of plants, agricultural produce, even deals on toilet paper and fruit juices – all that and more were found at the Agriculture and Trade Show grounds over the past weekend. While all that attracts Agric Showgoers, in the middle of all of that, violent commotions are not uncommon. 2 men were stabbed on Saturday night at the Showgrounds near the exit.  Both men got into a fight over a women and one of them, 28 year old Jaime Torres was stabbed to the chest, head and chin. Torres stabbed the other man but he wasn't seriously hurt. Torres was taken to the hospital but he discharged himself. Now police say they have to follow up on this incident because it could escalate since none of them want to press charges.

Supt. Howell Gillet, OC, Belmopan
"We received information almost some minutes before 12 AM that there was a fight at the entrance to the National Agriculture and Trade Show ground on the Roaring Creek side of the entrance and we did find out that it was one James Torres, he is from Teakettle Village who was stabbed to the neck and the head and the upper torso. He was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital but he later discharged himself. He is not cooperating with the police so there is little information that we have. We also found out during our investigation even though he is not requesting any police assistance or to be taken to court we also found out that the other person that was involved in the fight got injured too. So we are looking at it from the viewpoint that there might be retaliation since he's not requesting court action and from that angle we are trying to defuse the situation. Our people are actively trying to pursue both of them to have dialogue with them to see if we can deescalate the tensions between the two. I think it has to do with a female relationship and also alcohol might have contributed to it."

In terms of the Agricultural Trade Show, 39,500 people attended. That's 500 less than last year.


Epilectic Drowns On Hummingbird

An epileptic drowned early Saturday morning near his home. 33 year old Emmanuel Flores went swimming in a creek near mile 28 on the Hummingbird Highway, but apparently he got a seizure and drowned. Police told us when they found the body there were no signs of harm on Flores' body.

Supt. Howell Gillet, OC, Belmopan
"This incident with the drowning that occurred on Saturday morning; sometime around 6:30 we received information that there was a possible body seen in a creek around mile 28 on the Hummingbird Highway. As its customary we proceeded there and we did confirm that it was the body Mr. Emmanuel Rivera Flores. He was 33 at the time and he was a Salvadoran labourer of that area. We also found out from family members that he was an epileptic patient and he might have gone to the creek to swim as is customary of him to do on a daily basis and he might have had a seizure while swimming there. There is was no visible or other signs of trauma and we the police we don't suspect any wrong doing or any foul play."

Police has ruled this case a sudden death.


Late Evening Murder

There was another southside shooting half an hour ago near our studio- and reports say it was fatal. It happened at the corner of Prince Street and East Canal – just around the corner from 7News. We know that police rushed a male victim to the KHMH – and multiple credible reports say he was pronounced dead on arrival at the KHMH. No identity is confirmed at this point. Those on the scene tell us that the victim was a teenager. We’ll have more details tomorrow.

GOB Confident About OAS Talks

What is the future for Belize and the Sarstoon?  That is what was being discussed in Washington DC for the past two days.  And tonight, the Government says it is cautiously optimistic. 

The meeting included OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, Belize Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington, Guatemala's Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, and the Permanent Representative of the United States to the OAS, Michael Fitzpatrick.  Government sent a release a forty minutes ago saying, the meetings "just concluded at the OAS Headquarters in Washington." The release adds that, quote, "discussions covered the overall bilateral relations between both countries including the Sarstoon River. The Belize delegation are cautiously optimistic of the results and expect a statement to be issued later tonight by the Secretary General."

There will be a press briefing to discuss it on Friday.


Guats Hold The Hardline In Statement

And while government says it is cautiously optimistic, the Guatemalans – in their public pronouncements are keeping up the hard line. 

Today, the Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Ministry put out their own statement in reaction to the Prime Minister's comments yesterday.

The Guatemalan Government summarizes Prime Minister Barrow's comments as failed attempts to justify the killing of 13 year-old Julio Alvarado Ruano to the media and the international community. As you are aware, they believe that the BDF hunted the 13 year-old down and callously shot him to death. The BDF say that they were shot at in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul, under the cover of darkness, and they returned fire to defend themselves.

Once again the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry describes  the shooting as an inexcusable act of violence perpetrated by irresponsibility and lack of professionalism.

The strongly worded statement from the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry says that they have asked the Secretary General of the OAS to form an ad-hoc commission of inquiry, consisting of experts, to find out the circumstances of the 13 year-old's killing. 

In relation to the movement of troops to the Guatemalan side of the Adjacency Zone and the Sarstoon, the statement says, quote, "Guatemala…will defend its sovereignty, territorial integrity and welfare of its citizens at all costs and sparing no efforts."


PUPís Plans

But in the meantime, the Sarstoon is still a hot button issue in Belize. 
Last night, we told you about the meeting which the PUP National Executive held to discuss Government's Sarstoon Law. They have decided to actively defy it by going to the Sarstoon themselves.

They say that this trip will take place sometime within the 30-day ban to demonstrate that they believe it is an unjust restriction of movement of Belizeans. But, there were 4 resolutions coming out of yesterday's meeting, and during his press conference, Opposition Leader John Briceño explained each:

Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition
"Well on the first one what we're saying is we believe that it is an unjust law, the Sarstoon law. We in effect are preventing citizens to go in an area that clearly belongs to us as Belizeans and what in effect the government has done over the next 30 days is that preventing us from going there yet the Guatemalans have impeded access to the entire Sarstoon River even on the section that clearly belongs to Belize. Secondly where I believe that we have always felt that when it comes to defending the territorial integrity of our country that this should be a national effort, that we should not play party politics on this; that is why when I was elected the party leader I decided immediately that we are going to cooperate and work with the government. The government has assured us that we are going to be partners with them and that we're going to be consulted every step of the way when it comes to issues pertaining to Belize-Guatemala. Unfortunately certain actions that the government has taken have shown that they no longer believe in this bi-partisan effort."

"On the third one we believe that it is unconstitutional that the government is doing so, we believe that it is only right that for us on behalf of the people of this country, especially our indigenous people down south; the Mayan people down south and the Garifuna who their livelihoods depend by fishing on the Sarstoon River. We believe that we have the ware with all, the legal expertise to take out this challenge against the government."

Hon. Cordel Hyde - Deputy Leader, PUP
"We will be meeting with the social partners to discuss with them what we intend to do and to try to come to some common agreement as to the way forward. We believe that our party leader has gone above and beyond the call of duty in trying to cooperate with the government on this issue and at a certain point that becomes counterproductive because we believe the government seems to believe that they can do certain things here and get away with it and we don't respond and I think the time has come where we have to respond. It's not just the PUP who is upset with that has happened, its across the country, all the significant social partners, all the people across this country are venting, are very angry about what's happening."


PM: PUP Exclusion Not Deliberate

As you heard in one of those 5 resolutions, the PUP is calling out the Government for excluding the Opposition's Representative in the recent bilateral talks. They've interpreted that as a "suspension" of the bipartisan effort on the Belize/Guatemala Territorial Dispute. 

Yesterday, when the Prime Minister was asked about the absence of the Opposition Leader's Representative in the Bilateral Talks happening in Washington DC, he said there was nothing sinister about it. According to the PM it was only that the Government wasn't given any kind of notice to make arrangements:

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"Now we had been trying  before Monday in fact pretty much all weekend to set up the meeting and the Foreign Minister who was to overnighted in Miami on Sunday and to come back to Belize on Monday was asked to hold on in Miami so that we could make certain that we would get these meetings. He was then once the meetings were confirmed asked to go directly from Miami to Washington. Alexis Rosado was in Guatemala and I think I spoke to him either Saturday or Sunday at which time again the meetings were not confirmed but I nevertheless told him to make preparations to be immediately available for travel should the meetings be confirmed. That is the reason why in such an incredibly fluid moment by moment situation we did not get a chance to involve the opposition."

The Reason that Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington able to re-direct to Washington so quickly this weekend for the Bilateral Talks with the OAS, and the Guatemalan Delegation was because he attended the Ninth UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum which was held in the Bahamas. That happened on last Week Friday and Saturday, and at the end of the two day event, the Ministers and Representatives of the UK and the Caribbean made 37 agreements in the areas of prosperity and sustainable development; global changes; and crime, security, and the rule of law.

One of the agreements says that the UK and Caribbean Nations quote, "support the efforts of Belize and Guatemala under the auspices of the Organization of American States to promote confidence and urge the parties to take the necessary measures to finding a lasting solution to Guatemala's claims against Belize at the International Court of Justice in accordance with their Special Agreement of 2008." End Quote.

That diplo-babble is in stark contrast to the declaration Guyana's territorial dispute with Venezuela. In their border issues, the UK and the Caribbean Ministers and Representatives say, quote, "…(The) Ministers reaffirmed their unequivocal support for the maintenance and preservation of Guyana's sovereignty and territorial integrity." End Quote. 

When Foreign Minister Elrington returns, we hope to ask him if that is a diplomatic failure for Belize since these friendly nations outrightly support Guyana's sovereignty and territorial Integrity, but is at this time only support Belize taking Guatemala's territorial dispute to the ICJ.

And in one more piece of news related to Belize's diplomatic front, we told you how the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Patricia Scotland, visited Belize last week for the first time after being elected to the post. 

She was in Belize until Monday and in her meeting with the Prime Minister on Friday, she declared her intention to call an urgent meeting of the ministerial committee on the Belize-Guatemala border dispute.

Well, the Commonwealth has released statement re-affirming Secretary General Scotland's commitment to call this meeting of the Ministerial Committee. The statement also says, quote, "Secretary-General Scotland reaffirmed the commitment made by the Commonwealth's 53 governments at their 2015 summit, to fully support Belize's sovereignty and territorial integrity." End Quote.


Belize Complained Of FM Morales Harsh Words

Earlier in the news, we told you about that strongly worded press release from the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry which continues to condemn the fatal shooting of their 13 year-old national Julio Alvarado Ruano. 

If you follow the letter of the Confidence Building Measures, statements like that are not permitted. On last week Friday's newscast, we showed you how Guatemala's President, Jimmy Morales, Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, and Ambassador Manuel Barillas have been undermining the Confidence Building Measures with their provocative statements in the press. They are on record condemning the shooting and accusing the BDF of human rights violations

Well in the Prime Minister's Press Conference, he was asked about the Guatemalan Foreign Minister's assertion to the Guatemalan Press that his Belizean counterpart came to an agreement that no Belizean would visit the Sarstoon Island. 

The Prime Minister told the press that he is unable to comment on it because Belize has complained of Foreign Minister Morales's behavior as undiplomatic, and he wouldn't want to fall into the same trap:

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"I've been talking about responsibilities under international law and within the context of the International Architecture Relations between states. We have certainly accused the Guatemalan Foreign Minister of violating those norms, those rules of behaviour and that's extremely regrettable and in fact to be condemned. I certainly don't want to fall in that same trap and therefore I will refrain from saying anything about the Guatemalan Foreign Minister's claim with respect to this supposed agreement made with Minister Elrington; I will refrain from say anything except that I do not believe him."

The OAS is expected to issue a statement tonight 

http://www.oas.org/en/media_center/press_release.asp?sCodigo=E-075/16

We'll also be there for the Government's press briefing on Friday – when they discuss the recent bilateral talks in Washington.


Southside Police Try To Keep City Cool

At the top of the news, we told you about the City Murder of Troy Cole and just now you heard about tonight's apparent murder on Prince Street. Plus, there are the recent murders of Keon "Gambis" Williams, and the Dangriga killing of George Street Boss, Gerald "Shiney" Tillett.

So, the Police weekly meet and greets is timely to try to hold down escalating Southside violence. Today, we met Assistant Police Commissioner Police Chester Williams on Regent Street West. He and his officers were greeting the residents on that street and the surrounding areas. One specific hotspot was the Taylor's Alley, which is the base of one of the City's most notorious gangs. Williams told us that he has a plan for this area and the neighbouring George Street:


City Rivalries Real

So, is Eastern Division South making interventions to ensure that there are no retaliations for "Shiney", "Gambis", and now Troy Cole? That's what we asked, and Commander Chester Williams said that he and his team have been doing everything they can to reason with the key players connected to these men. Here's how he explained his conversations with them:

ACP Chester Williams- OC, Eastern South Division
"We do our utmost best to see how best we can reach out to these people because violence is not the answer. If one person is killed, to go and kill another will not solve the problem, it will make the situation worse. As I've said to the crowd from George Street if you love Shiny so much, if his life is worth something to you; now that he has passed on, the right thing for them to do is to assist his parents in raising his 10 children that he has left behind. Send them to school, help them get an education, that will be special to him than to be out there trying to kill in his name; and I want to say the same for those who are affiliated with Keon Williams. We understand their pain, when you lose someone it is a terrible thing but to go out and kill in the name of someone who has died will never ever bring peace, it will make matters worse and so yes, we will continue to do our intervention, myself and Ms. Finnegan. But I will tell you that we can only do so much and there will come a time when the talking will have to stop and those who constantly want to be out there to commit criminal acts will have to feel the wrath of the police. When I say that I do not want to be misquoted, let me define what that means. It simply means that the police will be out there in full force targeting those persons who are constantly trailing or lurking around, looking for people to shoot or to kill; we will be after them. It does not mean that we will pursue them in any criminal way, i.e., to physically abuse them. There's s million ways to skin a cat and we're going to do it in a way that is consistent with the law."





Home | Archives | Downloads/Podcasts | Advertise | Contact Us

7 News Belize