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Screwdriver attack leads to remand for estranged boyfriend Print E-mail
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Thursday, 20 July 2017 13:10

Belize City man, Keith Middleton, the ex- boyfriend of a woman attacked with a screw driver, is spending time at the Belize Central Prison after he was denied bail on July 18, 2017 when he appeared before a Belize City Magistrate on two criminal offenses.

Middleton is a 30-year-old unemployed resident of Jane Usher Boulevard. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith for the offenses of aggravated assault with a screw driver and wounding of his ex-girlfriend, Muteeshe Smith. In court where Middleton was unrepresented, he was read two charges, both to which he pleaded not guilty.

Allegations are that on Sunday, July 16, 2017, he attacked his ex-girlfriend, Muteeshe Smith while armed with a screw driver and caused a wound to her. In a report given by Smith, she was walking when she met Middleton. The two got into an altercation and he pulled out a screwdriver and attacked her. According to Smith, she sustained a cut wound to the eye and abrasions to her forehead and abdomen.

Fearing that Middleton could cause more harm on his ex-girlfriend if released, he was denied bail by the Chief Magistrate and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until August 31, 2017.

 
Senate inquiry proceeds with senior cops testifying Print E-mail
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Thursday, 20 July 2017 00:00

Police Commissioner Allen Whylie and the retired police officer, Julio Valdez were called to testify before the most recent Senate hearing on Immigration. Members of the Senate Select Committee were trying to find out how serious the police department is treating the irregularities that have been revealed in the Auditor General’s reports on Immigration.

The first witness of the day was Julio Valdez, who retired with the rank of Superintendent of police in 2014. At that time, he was the deputy to Assistant Police Commissioner Russell Blackett, who held the post as the Commander of the Department’s National Criminal Investigations Branch.

Valdez testified before the Senate that back in October 2013, he was instructed to commence an investigation into the breach of the Immigration Department. Valdez was tasked to find out how the attorney and failed PUP politician, Arthur Saldivar, ended up with a number of files that belongs in the care of the Immigration Department. Valdez said he investigated how government property left the Department’s Belmopan office and ended up in Saldivar’s hands.

The retired officer said that he was never able to conclusively find out who took those files out and gave them to a civilian. He said that while investigating, he began inspecting the files, and started finding irregularities. Several of the applicants for Belizean nationality, according to Valdez, did not qualify, because they arrived in Belize only a month before they were granted citizenship. In several instances, the officer reportedly found that the applicants were recycling addresses all over the country, and some of them were even made up. He also found that the immigration stamps for some of these applicants were forged to look like they were in Belize for the required number of years.

He said that a few months into his investigation, he was told to focus his inquiry back on how the files left the department and were handed over to Arthur Saldivar. The Senate tried to get him to reveal who gave him these instructions, but he “refused to answer, due to legal ramifications”.

In the afternoon session of the hearing, Police Commissioner Allen Whylie was called to testify, and he insisted that he did not try to block Valdez from doing his job. He said that he encouraged the investigator to get to the bottom of these questionable Belizean nationality applications. He said that contrary to the PUP’s smear campaign against him at the time, he never got in the way of proper investigations. When the Senators challenged him, he insisted that he didn’t and if he hears of anyone accusing him publicly, he will sue that person for defamation of character.

The Senate also challenged Whylie in an extended conversation about his decision to delay a police investigation into the Immigration Department. On several occasions, he patiently explained to the Committee that he was seeking to put the police department’s resources to other uses while the Auditor General conducted her investigation. He made the point that he did not want to direct that a parallel investigation be commenced because it would be counter-productive.

The PUP Senators, who are out to get as much political mileage as they can, refused to accept his very reasonable explanation. He committed that as soon as the Senate Select Committee is done with their investigation, and produces a report, whatever recommendations made that the police must act on, it will be done.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 July 2017 13:50
 
Bomba farmer on remand for sexual assault upon a minor Print E-mail
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Thursday, 20 July 2017 00:00

A Bomba resident and farmer is behind bars after he was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on two counts of sexual assault upon an 11-year-old student of Northern Belize. He is 40-year-old Jorge Cerraras. Cerraras was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser for the two sex related offenses. He was unrepresented in court where he pleaded not guilty to both offenses.

Allegations are that on two separate occasions in June 2017, he inappropriately touched the minor. The child made a police report in the presence of her mother. She said that on June 15, 2017 she went to a shop in Bomba and upon returning home, she passed the home of Cerraras. As she was passing, Cerraras, someone she knew, called her inside the house. Inside the house, she was called into his bedroom where he took off her clothes and began to touch her inappropriately.

On the second occasion on June 19, 2017, she was again called inside the house and undressed. He began to have sexual intercourse with her and when she told him that he was hurting her, he stopped and made her go home.

Cerraras was denied bail and remanded into custody. He is due back in court until September 26, 2017.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 July 2017 13:51
 
Water being provided to over 1,000 villagers in Southern Belize Print E-mail
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Thursday, 20 July 2017 00:00

The Government of Belize, through the Social Investment Fund, made their commitment of addressing the basic needs of Belizeans in the areas of water, sanitation, and health and has recently funded solar energy water systems in Pueblo Viejo and Conejo Creek. This initiative has been made possible through a $1.5 million grant from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Water and Sanitation System Enhancement Sector of the Basic Needs Trust Fund Programme.

The official inauguration will take place on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at the pump house on Conejo Creek by Hon. Erwin Contreras and Hon. Hugo Patt.

Apart from meeting the daily needs of the villagers, the implementation of the system will also significantly decrease the vulnerability of the villagers to contract water, food, and vector borne diseases.

The work for the Pueblo Viejo Solar Energy Water System includes the rehabilitation of an existing 13,500 gallon capacity tank that has, since its inception in 2004, become inoperable.  There will be the construction of a pump house and fence and the installation of a solar and diesel powered generator.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 July 2017 13:51
 
San Ignacio being beautified Print E-mail
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Thursday, 20 July 2017 00:00

A beautification program by the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council is now underway. Such a program is important considering that the Twin Towns with its many attractive settings is a magnet for tourists and locals alike.

To inform visitors to the Twin Towns on their location, a large sign composed of foam and concrete has now been completed by a highly skilled craftsman Jorje Can. Mayor Earl Trapp Junior tells the Guardian that by the end of this week an artist will be brought in to decorate the ‘San Ignacio’ sign and hopefully make it a perfect backdrop for photographers alike.

Another project to enhance the San Ignacio market has already been completed in the form of a mural painting by United States of America citizen Wayne Edwards. His labor of love attempts to depict the Twin Towns through the ages, with different cultures contributing to it’s development. While the Town council provided the paint and brushes, Wayne Edwards’ colorful work was done at no cost to town folks.

 


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