7 News http://www.7newsbelize.com/ en-US Tue, 17 Oct 2017 03:44:55 +0000 Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter Missing For Days, Dutch National Found Dead http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42247 Roggema got lost in the jungle on Monday inside St. Margaret's Village on the Hummingbird Highway. There were several searches to find him but they turned up nothing until today. 7news' Courtney Weatherburne and cameraman Codie Norales were first on the scene along with the search team when the forensics team arrived. Here is their story.

Courtney Weatherburne reporting It's in this dense jungle that 69 year old Chris Roggema got lost. On Monday morning around 10:00, Roggema along with a couple men including a land surveyor went to document GPS readings on a plot of land in St. Margaret's Village on the Humming Bird highway. Roggema was interested in buying it. But he wasn't feeling well. The men warned him not to go in his condition, but Roggema insisted. His friend Jaime Perez wasn't there on Monday but gives the account.

Jaime Perez, Friend "We told him he is not in the position to go to the jungle, because he was being sick for a week."

Courtney Weatherburne, reporter "What type of sickness did he have?"

Jaime Perez, Friend "He had like a cough and fever. But also he says that it doesn't matter, that he wanted to go. So he came along with Mr. Martinez and his wife and they came here with their GPS."

But soon, Roggema realized that decision to tag along wasn't the best because as they were finishing up to leave, he started to feel weak and he could hardly walk. So the land surveyor told Roggema to stay put while he goes for the vehicle to pick him up. But when he returned Roggema wasn't there. He called out to Roggema and he answered but by that time Rogemma was far off the trail and the surveyor couldn't get to him.

Jaime Perez, Friend "We left Mr. Chris over that side and also when he hollered for Mr. Chris, he was in that direction. So he said Mr. Chris come back you are in the wrong trail. So he answered 2 times and when Mr. Martinez called for him again, there was no answer."

Courtney Weatherburne, reporter "You shouldn't have been that far. Why didn't Mr. Martinez maybe go and try to get him from where he heard him?"

Jaime Perez, Friend "Well Mr. Martinez doesn't know this are so much."

Roggema's friends suspect that he got desperate and couldn't wait for the land surveyor to get back so he wandered off on the wrong path.

So that was the last time anyone saw or heard from Roggema. Since then villagers along with police and BDF have been searching for him in the bushes and couldn't find him.

Until today at 12:00 noon when the search team found his body about a quarter mile from the plot of land he went to see on Monday.

Walter Santos, Volunteer Group "I said lets narrow the search, start from where he was. We were going to do a hasty search, but narrow which is like a comb search. The smell start coming in and we start seeing vultures flying around."

The forensic team were on the scene around 2:00 to inspect the area and confirm the body's location. So far friends believe that it was his sickness and being exposed to the elements at his age that killed him.

Jaime Perez, Friend "I just feel like and saw the point that he was not in a position being as his age."

Courtney Weatherburne, reporter "It's natural causes you believe at this point?"

Jaime Perez, Friend "Yeah, it's natural causes."

It is a very sad end to Roggema's life. His friend shared the moments he will cherish the most.

Jaime Perez, Friend "Well it's very sad, because I know Mr. Chris for the last 15 years and I know his kids. They came and visit us and their kids plays with my kids and we cook food together, he is a very nice person, very happy person."

His children flew in from the states today and raced over to see their father for the last time.

Jacob Roggema, Son "My dad, he was a good man. He loved Belize. He loved all his children."

And he loved Belize as well - but now Roggema will never get to enjoy his home on this St. Margaret's property - a dream he wanted so badly.

Angel Fuller, Son "I will always remember him as loving Belize, not really wanting to go to the States. He just loves the rainforest."

Roggema leaves behind 6 children. He had been living in Belize for about 30 years and owned Coco Plum Garden Spa on Caye Caulker. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Beloved Taxi-man and Firebrand Activist Albert Cattouse Killed http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42248 If you watch the news, you've surely seen him in the mix or various protests as a COLA supporter.

In fact, just last week he was there agitating at the fuel protest.

So, why was he violently killed last night? And who would want him dead? That's what our news team has been trying to find out since we started following the story last night. Daniel Ortiz reports:

Daniel Ortiz reporting 72 year-old Albert Cattouse was found dead inside his taxi cab last night on Hicatee Street. The senior citizen was shot to the back of the head, and there was another gunshot wound to the forehead, which could have been a second injury, or an exit wound.

Police say that he was driving his Lincoln Town Car from the direction of West Collet Canal, heading toward's Dolphin Street. When he was passing Bocotora Street, bystanders heard the sound of gunfire. Minutes later, Cattouse's car was found in a drain near the Rogers Stadium fence. That suggests that the killer may have been inside the vehicle, but that is not known for certain.

His niece told us that as far as she's aware, the area where he was killed is not somewhere he frequents.

Bernadette Cattouse - Niece of the Deceased "After the end of the news, Channel 7 News said that a taxi person got killed by Roger's Stadium. So, whenever they say that a taxi person get killed, my mind goes to my uncle."

"I called my other uncle, who is Otto Cattouse, and I explained what happened, and he said, okay, let me call him. He called and got the same thing. So, then, After that, I hung up and he called me back, and said that a person that's his neighbour from Lords Bank, where he lives, by the name of Carol - I don't know her last name - called him and told him, that she saw my uncle coming down to Belize City 6:30 in the evening. She said that she questioned it and said, why is he coming down this late? So, obviously he got a phone call for a job. After that, I don't know what happened because at night time, he would never go around where that happened, especially that street. My uncle would never do that. He's very cautious."

No one knows why he was killed, but what his friends and family feel certain of, is that it wasn't a robbery.

Bernadette Cattouse "He was having problems with his kidney and different things, so, he's at home sick. So, I think he got a phone call that lured him to his death. He did not get robbed, they had everything, his car keys, his money in his wallet, his phone, everything."

"Everybody knows my uncle, he's an activist. He's loud, he's outspoken. He doesn't care. I even used to run joke with him and say, 'Uncle, I saw you on news, you're in front. Be careful.' I would tease him like that, but other than that, he's a very nice person, a caring person, a family person."

"He was very boisterous, I am not sure which night it was, but he was saying a lot of stuff on the news. And, I just feel it's behind that, that they lured him and killed him."

Daniel Ortiz, reporter "So, you think that it's because of his outspoken nature that someone targeted him."

Bernadette Cattouse "Yes, yes."

Albert Cattouse lived a quiet life as a taxi man who was very close with his relatives.

Bernadette Cattouse "He doesn't have any kids. He was not married. Us as the oldest nieces and nephews, we were like his kids. We were very close. And, he's the one that kept the family together all the time."

He was also a fiercely loyal activist for the grassroots organization, COLA. They were also a part of his family, and those members had a deep sense of respect for him.

Geovanni Brackett - President, COLA "When we had different various programs, he would contribute out of his pocket, school supplies to kids, helpings out programs to donate chairs to Timmy Stamp. He helped out on various ways. He supported even the days of healing. Even if he wasn't there, his finance was there. He was a man to love."

Perry "Stix" Smith - Activist for Youths "I get to know Mr. Cattouse when I joined COLA, and when I started doing Days of Healing, Mr. Cattouse was one of the gentlemen who used to always tell me, 'Stix, Don't stop what you're doing.' Sometimes, he would see me on my bicycle riding with chicken or rice, and he took those things, and he put it in his vehicle and drove it to my house for me. When he came, 'Stix, you know we don't have a lot of money, we are not rich people. Take this. I took a few dollars from him to go buy some beans, buy something toward Days of Healing."

Yhoni Rosado - Businessman/Activist "We met Mr. Cattouse about 6 years ago, through COLA, and since we fight for justice, we have something in common. We were very easy, nice, laughing people, but when we are fighting for justice we get very serious, and we get very emotional, and I saw that in him. I opened a tired shop about 2 years ago, and he was the first person who stopped in there."

"But above all, I came here to tell this city, and this country, that they have killed an activist, a nice man."

Moses Sulph - Activist "I can remember the first time I spoke with him on Albert Street. He said, 'Mr. Sulph, I took off my political hat, and put on [the] activism hat to support young people like you all, who are doing the right thing."

Cattouse is described as the man who refused to compromise his principles of social justice to the point that he would criticize even his fellow activists from COLA.

Geovanni Brackett "Cat, like his niece said, is very straight up, so, when he wasn't happy with me, he was the one that put the most pressure on me. But, he came right back, and he said, 'Brackett, I love you, let me come speak to you. And we would have that kind of relationship. This really hurts."

Perry "Stix" Smith - Activist for Youths "We lost a national treasure, people, a national treasure. Over 50 years, this man has been standing up and fighting for this country."

And even after those 50 years, he still had the vitality and fire of the younger activists in his circles. Just last week, Thursday, we saw him on the frontlines of the protest, where it was being demanded that the government reduce the gas prices, to ease the burden on poor people.

File: October 5, 2017 Albert Cattouse - Taxi Driver/Protester "The government have taxi men under pressure, because you have a lot of rental cars out there, you have family members out there and the prices that the gas are under you have to run for small fare. The people say they don't have it, so taxi men are under pressure. I myself is under pressure too, but I try to work around the people and I try to monitor and I try. The prices are too high and like I said a while ago, this fight for crisis - we've been fighting this for over 10 years."

That's also the last time that "Stix spoke with him.

Perry "Stix" Smith "The last time I talked with Mr. Cattouse was out at the march to lower the gas prices, and he told me, 'Stix, what's happening to you, activists? It's like you all are just getting quiet. We are not hearing anything from you all. What happen? Your voices are getting quiet.' So, I told him, 'Mr. Cattouse, you already know that we are living in some dangerous times right now. You know all the threats we get behind the scenes, we don't go out there and speak about those things publicly. I am threatened so many times. So many threats I get. You get threats. Moses and those guys get threats. Nigel and those guys get threats."

Cattouse may have been killed in one of those random and senseless acts of violence, but the activists around him interpret his murder as a message directed at them to keep quiet.

Geovanni Brackett "When I heard nothing was stolen from him, I - I think it is the conclusion of all of us in the activist community, and the family that this was a hit."

We in the activist community see this as an act of aggression against the activists as well because that killer doesn't know the quality of the man that he took.

Yhoni Rosado "Being an activist, or being outspoken against our country, Government, which is very small, you become an easy target. So, I hardly go out."

Moses Sulph - Activist "We believe, Belize Leaders for Social Justice and other activists believe that this can be a message being sent to us, and we want to make it clear that we are not going to sit back and allow these things to happen." ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Police Minister Denies Any Possibility Of A Political Connection to Murder http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42249 Now, none of our interviewees actually accused the ruling UDP Government, but the clear suggestion was there that perhaps it was politically motivated. So, this evening, via phone, we asked Police Minister of State Elodio Aragon about that suggestion.

He told us that police investigation indicates that this theory of a political assassination is the furthest thing from the truth. Here's how he put it:

Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs "I am just calling to first of all give my condolences to his family. The loss of their loved one and also to reassure the public out there in regards to this incident and of course all the other shooting incidents that have resulted in murders as such."

"We have been looking at all these situations, all these murders that have been taking place. I know for this week we have had 3 murders thus far in Belize City and I want to reassure the public that the police is looking in the situation. We know what is triggering these things and we are working on it. I know that the first 2 murders we had, for instance, we know they are drug related. This third murder we had this week in terms of the Albert Cattouse is still under investigation. I think we have an idea of what has transpired, but you know there is a lot of work that has to be done and I won't be going into details in that regard. But I just want to reassure the public that we as the police department, directives have been given that will look at mounting additional patrols to look at how we can curb this situation. But definitely it is a concern to us. Like I've always said public one murder is one murder too much."

Daniel Ortiz, reporter "Members of the Albert Cattouse family and fellow activists from within the grassroots community, they have the strong suspicion that he was killed due to his outspoken behavior as an activist. At this current moment his form of activism was focused against your government and the suggestion is that it may be some sort of fanatical supporter of your government that committed this crime."

Hon. Elodio Aragon "None at all. That is an outrageous allegation and I want you all to know from the police side of things we are looking at it. We have certain information in regards to what transpired out there, but that investigation is still ongoing and it had nothing to do with who Mr. Albert Cattouse is."

The Belize progressive party released a statement which says, quote, "The BPP is saddened, once again, by yet another senseless murder.... Mr. Cattouse was a true born Belizean who unflinchingly stood up for what he believed, which distinguished him as being one of the few activists who did so without fear. This is a national tragedy and anyone with information concerning this most unfortunate incident is encouraged to do the right thing, in the hope of bringing the perpetrator(s) to justice." End quote.

The BPP was joined by Moses Sulph's organization, known as Belize leaders for Social Justice. Their statements says, quote, "Belize Leaders for Social Justice condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of Mr. Albert Cattouse A human Rights Defender and Local Activist... Belize Leaders for Social Justice is offering a $5000 Reward to information leading to the Arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of this Cowardly Act." End quote. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Who Shot Ernest Raymond Jr In Griga? http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42250 Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 COLA Presses For Transparency On Faber's Road Contract http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42251 Sounds good, but at just about 8 million dollars per mile, it's still very steep. Add in favored - contractor Imer Hernandez, and even the average eyebrow would be raised.

Seems that's what COLA thinks too. The activist group has gotten its attorney Kareem Musa to write to the CEO in the Ministry of Works requesting a copy of the contract under the Freedom Of Information act.

COLA is asking for the contract, all the tenders submitted in what the Ministry described as a "selective tendering exercise", and the proof of the Contractor General's consent. the Freedom Of Information act provides that a response should be forthcoming in two weeks.

The political party known as the VIP has also sent out a press release saying that the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act, provides that any procurement or sale contract above Five Million Dollars shall be subject to the open tendering procedure. This one was only "selective tendering" and that's why the VIP says that it must be rescinded.

The last contract to pave Faber's Road was awarded 20 years ago in the mid 90's and the value of that contract was 1.86 million dollars for 1.6 miles of road. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Mealy-Mouthed Ministry Comes Again http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42252 The release adds, "the eight-inch thick, high-strength, reinforced concrete is necessary to accommodate heavy-duty transport vehicles commuting to and from the Port of Belize."

The release adds that the Ministry of Works considered the impacts on Faber's road from regular wear and tear, increased traffic loads, infrequent maintenance, city and business expansion and the unpredictable effects of several tropical storms and hurricanes. It adds that the Contractor's offer was consistent with the engineer's estimate and current construction rates.

Now, it sure sounds like a desperate attempt to cover up an error - even if the only error was one of cardinal sins of the Ministry of Works - that they refuse to invite the press to their contract signings. If they did, we could have asked all the tough questions up front, and there wouldn't be all these mealy-mouthed excuses after the fact. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The Importance of Statistics http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42253 Diana Castillo-Trejo, Deputy Director General, SIB "We usually observe this day every year. October 15th is the official day so we are celebrating today. We use this day to highlight the important work that is being done with respect to statistics by SIB as well as other partner agencies that produce statistics. So today we have with us for example the police department their statistical unit, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Human development, the Ministry of agriculture, the Central Bank."

"And On statistics day we like to focus on younger people so we have invited all the schools in the Belmopan area from primary school all the way to UB to come in and to take a look at what we do, hopefully to spark a little interest in statistics and mathematics in general in them."

"Well statistics first of all, the numbers paint a picture for us of where our country is. It tells us how we are progressing in meeting the goals that we have as a country. It helps to highlight areas we need to address so we have economic statistics, socio-economic statistics, education statistics, health statistics all of these will help to highlight what are the issues we need to address as a country. They help us plan for the future and they help us to track the progress we have been making."

As you heard, the police statistics unit was among the participants. They wouldn't give us any current crime stats but discussed the system they use to get their data.

Owen Lucas, Analyst, Police Statistics Unit "Our basic system we called the police network system, that is CIMS. And this system is located in each police station when you go to a police station the police record your report into that system and as soon as your report is levied into that data system, we do statistics on it and it also analyze the data."

"We also do statistics on a GIS platform that shows the public what happens in their community. So it's a visual analysis of what is happening."

Courtney Weatherburne, reporter "Of crime in particular communities."

Owen Lucas, Analyst, Police Statistics Unit "Yes. In terms of crime."

"This is the Salvapan, Maya Mopan and San Martin communities in Belmopan City, in this area here. What you are looking at is how establish and key points of interest including schools and fast food areas which is really business establishment impacting crime. Crime happens most in that surrounding area. And this is crime from July 2016 to December 2016. So it's not a recent crime that is happening, because we already found what was happening."

Courtney Weatherburne, reporter "You have more police presence in those areas?"

Owen Lucas, Analyst, Police Statistics Unit "We have more police patrol and we can do it on a timely basis when the crime occurs, because we do those type of analysis on which dates it occurs, so we can more or likely send resources into that area on that certain date and time."

The theme for this year's stats day is "Improving the lives of people, advancing the action plan for statistics in CARICOM. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Pink Eye Outbreak May Be Of Historic Proportions http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42254 In terms of numbers, it's the biggest outbreak in decades; eleven thousand people have shown up at clinics countrywide with it.

Today we got the latest figures:...

Jesse Chun, Sr. Biostatistician, MOH "What you see on display here is result of some work that we've been doing especially with the electronic data that we now have via the Belize Health Information System, I think the volume of data that we now have is such that we can really present especially data on vital statistics, births and deaths and as you can see also we have some charts there with the current state of pink eye outbreak that's currently ongoing."

Courtney Weatherburne, reporter "Tell us about that? Where are we right now in terms of the recent statistics?"

Jesse Chun, Sr. Biostatistician, MOH "I'd say that we are currently in the middle of the outbreak. As you all may have heard it came from up north and it eventually spread to Belize District and that's where we are seeing the majority of the cases which is expected, because it's the population center, but it's gotten all the way down to Toledo, so we've been seeing some cases in Toledo and we expect the numbers to keep coming in, because as I said we are in the middle of the outbreak. So just to highlight the extreme outbreak is we actually saw over 3,000 cases for last week alone which matches the number of cases that we've had for the whole year last year 2016."

To go over it last week's figures alone match last year's total. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 BNTU Opposes Justice of Appeal Parke http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42255 In a very measured press release, the BNTU says that its council of management unanimously agrees with the Bar, and concludes, quote, "there seems to a be a clear violation (of the constitution) with regards to his qualification for this esteemed post."

Quite oddly, the release reads, at times like something the Bar Association itself would put out, saying, quote, "there are members of the Bar who have indicated their intent to challenge the matter in court and those who have also indicated their intent to refuse to sit before Mr. Parke if he is ever declared a Justice of the Court of Appeals," end quote.

And the BTNU goes a step further, referring to the Prime Minister's admitted relationship with Parke as a college buddy, the BNTU asks, quote, "how extensive is our PM';s relationship with this individual?"

The conclude by saying, "we..stand in solidarity with the Bar Association…and appeal to the Prime Minster to reconsider his position," end quote. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Can’t Trust It! http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42256 On the other side is the Public Sector Workers Trust - which was set up by the BNTU and the PSU to manage the proceeds of those BTL shares 20 years later.

Those retired public officers now have a Supreme Court judgement which says the trust is invalid. Now, they are trying get the Trust to give up control of the 7.8 million dollars in value which those BTL shares have yielded. But, it's not proving easy, because it's a pot of gold, and no one who's sitting on it, will give up without a fight.

And that's probably why, the Public Sector Workers Trust, which is on the defensive, sent us a letter taking issue with several aspects of our story on Wednesday.

First, they say that the Esquivel administration gave the shares "IN ADDITION TO salary increases, not INSTEAD of those increases.

Second, they say they have no obligation to recover any of the money they've used, contrary to what we reported. This, in spite of the fact that the judgment plainly states, quote, "The Unions….should be ordered to recover any monies or funds invested."

The letter from the Trust does acknowledge that they are still continuing their loans program. That's a major bone of contention between the Unions and the retired public officers.

The retired public officers say that the trust is ignoring the judgment by offering loans to current public officers who should not be beneficiaries. They insist that this continuation of this loans program directly contradicts to the court's order. Here's how the judge put it: "GOB (intended) to benefit only the public servants affected by the increment freeze."

Well, the Trust says that they' don't agree, not according to their legal interpretation of the court's order.

They say that Justice Courtney Abel gave a verbal instruction that the "status quo" continues until a revised Trust Deed is drafted. They interpret "status quo" to mean continuing of operations, especially their loan scheme. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Father Please For Missing Child http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42257 He and the child's mother believe that someone she knows took her from the school compound, because she wouldn't just leave with strangers. Here's how he explained it to us tonight:

Anyone with information is asked to call telephone number 626-4232. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Belize’s Poultry Can Compete http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42258 But, can Belizean poultry find a foothold in Caribbean markets?

According to the manager of the Belize Poultry Association this is an opening long wished for:

Armando Cowo, Manager - Belize Poultry Association "I mean we were waiting for that with our fingers and toes crossed. We gotten that. The next step now which I have initiated is we wrote a letter to the minister of foreign trade saying that based on the approval of the 71st meeting held in Guyana last week, we are applying now to the government to assist us with getting market penetration in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. So now the government has the legal framework which was approved last week to go ahead and process that on our behalf and now we are hoping that by within the next two weeks we can have an answer from the government of Trinidad and Tobago. Maybe it might take a little bit more, but we have started the process. But the legal framework is there now for us to be able to do it."

"We have hit the ground running by applying for that and right now it's open to the hands of the government to assist us which I know they will do and they know they will do it because everyone is excited about this prospect of going into CARICOM with our chicken. Trinidad imports millions of dollars of chicken from the US, so we are trying to see if we can be a part of that market and of course as production goes up then we will try to target the other countries as well. So we are looking at the beginning of the growth of a home grown industry to go international."

Cowo says reverse market penetration by Caribbean producers is unlikely because Belize produces grain to feed its chicken while other Caribbean countries have to import grains to feed theirs. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Sister of Mercy Lives Up To Her Code http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42259 Up until June of last year, Sister Margaret was one of the last Sisters of Mercy still on staff at SCA. She ran the show as the Dean of Discipline at the all-girls school for many years.

Now, when you hear about a nun as the Dean of Discipline, it evokes all those enforcer stereotypes about a strict Catholic Education - but Sister Margaret defied, or perhaps re-defined the stereotype. She changed the way many students looked at the words discipline and demerit.

Now at 82 years old, Sahar Vasquez sat down with Sister Margaret to glean the wisdom of a career of service.

Sahar Vasquez reporting For those who truly know her, just say the name Sister Margaret, and you're sure to get an instant smile.

That's because this Sister of Mercy perhaps truly embodies that elusive quality of mercy and compassion. Born and raised in Belleville, Rhode Island she jumped at the opportunity to join the sisterhood in 1953.

Now, being a nun is not a profession many women jump at - because it's so restrictive - especially for those wanting a family. But that didn't deter a young Margaret Salisbury. She had many different aspirations as a child but all those vanished when she was inspired by a Sister.

Sister Margaret Salisbury, Sister of Mercy "I grew up in a small little Mill Village. We didn't have a Catholic school and two sisters of Mercy came to teach us religious summer school and on was Sister Pinelda. I had her. The first recess we had we went out and she played ball with us and I knew what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a sister."

When Sister Margaret first came to Belize in 1992, she was initially working as a volunteer at our Lady Of Guadeloupe Mercy Center but her heart desired something more. She wanted to help inspire young people and she got that chance when she was offered a job as a teacher at Saint Catherine's Academy.

After teaching for a while she was then promoted to the Dean of Discipline.

She retired last year at the age of 81. Her life was spent in service of others; it involved great sacrifice but she says she doesn't regret a thing.

Her passion for young people kept the flame alive.

Sahar Vasquez, reporter "You have been doing this for a very long time. What is the flame that keeps you going to do this?"

Sister Margaret, Sister of Mercy "I believe it is my passion for young people."

"I have always liked to work with young people and that is my passion and teaching is also my passion and so when I got up in the morning I was not fearful of what would happen I was looking forward to the day."

Sister Margaret has a large following of fans ranging from students to teachers and even parents. She has positively impacted and even changed the lives of many.

And while she retired more than a year ago, her absence is still felt by many of the girls, because their confidante is no longer always around.

Katia Pariente, Student "I miss you and I miss how you used to keep SCA and the lunch line so orderly and how you use to greet me in the morning and tell me a joke. I just miss your presence around the school."

Kayla Mahler, Student "She is just always there for you and she is always telling jokes you can always talk to her whenever you have problems or whatever. She is always there for everybody."

Naya Bodden, Student "To me, it was the way that she comforted us because every morning she just would come with a welcoming hug and she was always there if you had a problem so she was easy to talk to."

Sister Margaret has a special relationship with each and every girl she comes in contact with on the school grounds and it stems from her willingness to open her heart and mind to them no matter what the circumstance may be.

Sister Margaret Salisbury, Sister of Mercy "I don't know if you are one of those students that I have said to so many but the minute you walk through that gate you're my girl and I believe that. Once you walk through that gate we have a special relationship and I want that relationship to grow."

Sister Margaret doesn't let her age affect her spirit or work ethic. She currently volunteers at the Guadeloupe Mercy Center twice a week, and continues to check up on her girls. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Hon. Elrington In Chile http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42260 Violence and drug trafficking are reported to be the main subjects being discussed. Chile and SICA members committed to take joint actions in these areas.

But, there's a contradiction because Chile is one of the safest countries in Latin America, and the Northern Triangle of Central America is one of the most dangerous places on earth.

That's why Panama and Chile have committed to create a regional cooperation program to reduce high levels of insecurity for the population in Central America.

They also discussed climate change, natural disaster, and sustainable use of the ocean.

At least four regional presidents attended the summit. ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Watersheds And Conservation http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42261 Of course that's easier said than done: 8,000 square kilometers is a very large area to manage, so UB organized a stakeholder conference today at the Dream Valley Resort in Teakettle. 7news was there to find out more about this plan .

The plan is being funded by the World Wildlife Fund in Guatemala . ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Walk the Walk for Cleanup http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=42262 It is called "Walk For A Green Belize Clean Up", a collaborative effort between the Belize Audubon Society, the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Department of the Environment. Today organizers came by to tell us why you should get involved:...

Dareece Chuc, Belize Audobon Society Environment Education and Communications Director "We start in Belize City and end all the way in Benque Viejo. The way it works a group is assigned a mile to clean."

"They are to clean and bag all the garbage they collect and record that information. It is very important this initiative because it shows us that we do have an issue with solid waste management in our country but it also shows we have many Belizeans that care about our country and want to partake in initiatives like this to keep our country clean."

Tyrone Chimilio, Belize Solid Was Management Communications Officer "The Belize Solid Waste Management Authority is highlighting the importance of Proper Waste Disposal so we are collaborating with the Belize Audubon Society and of course the Department of the Environment is just to highlight the importance of the issues that we have been facing especially when it comes to littering."

"Yes um there is a 200 dollar prize for the group that brings out the most participants in terms of their teams as well as the amount of bags they collect."

The cleanup begins at 7 am tomorrow and it starts at the constitution park in Belize City.

Last year, they collected 785 bags of garbage yielding a weight of approximately nine thousand, eight hundred and six pounds of garbage.

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000