?To me, the arts are beauty. A sense of beauty is of fundamental importance to every human being because it is the reflection of God, the Divine Artist ?I feel dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts. It is not mere translation or abstraction from life ? it is life itself. It is the only art where we are the stuff of which it is made. The material for dance is air, the movement breath, and the source is love. Every dance is a kind of fever chart ? a graph of the heart.?
Mary Elvira Valdes, March 14, 1989
The Alliance Bank branch located in Pomona Valley, Stann Creek District, was the scene of a hold-up by three armed and masked Hispanic men, who stormed into the bank shortly after 11:00 this morning and escaped with two bags of money from a teller.
Police say that Carlos Quintero, who is believed to have been taken as a hostage by the three men, was fatally shot. He was found dead, tied up in the driver?s seat inside a small brown taxi with l/p-D-6071, abandoned by the robbers. According to the Officer in Charge (OIC) at Dangriga Police Station, Justo Augustine, who spoke briefly with the newspaper this evening, police are presently seeking two other suspects believed to be in the area, but that information is sketchy at this time.
This morning, 51 employees from Western Transport Limited (WTL), a subsidiary of Novelo?s Bus Line Limited, went on strike.
The WTL workers assembled at the Novelo?s office in Benque Viejo before 3:00 a.m. and refused to begin their scheduled runs for the day until the receivership management came to Benque and agreed to speak with them.
Attorney Wilfred ?Sedi? Elrington told Amandala today that a report that the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Ralph Fonseca, gave in an interview to Love FM yesterday, Wednesday, that he, Elrington, received a loan from the St. James Building Society for $763,000, was false.
The St. James Building Society, a company controlled by Glenn Godfrey, has benefited from foreign funds secured by the Social Security Board. The SSB has taken a severe beating over the use of its funds to promote the businesses of ?cronies? of the government, but Elrington, an official of the Opposition United Democratic Party, had been named by Fonseca as one of those who had been a beneficiary of SSB?s largesse.
International eyes have continued to watch the state of Belize?s affairs. In today?s online edition of the Economist, the recent controversies involving Social Security, Cabinet and the shuffling that formally shed Hon. Ralph Fonseca of the finance portfolio were highlighted in an article titled, A shadow on the beach: The party?s over for the Caribbean?s spendthrift governments.
?Mr. [Said] Musa knows that the voters will not have a chance to vent their fury at this cynicism until an election in 2008,? said the Economist, referring to the latest maneuverings in Cabinet. ?Belize has rather less time to sort out its finances. Since Mr. Musa took office in 1998, public debt has increased from 41% of GDP to 93%, much of it borrowed at commercial rates.?
Amid public concern over the way Social Security funds are being spent, Mrs. Narda Garcia, the Chief Executive Officer of the Social Security Board (SSB), confirmed that the SSB has recently spent millions on a large quantity of land on San Pedro Ambergris Caye, which it yet has no plans for.
Reports to our newspaper are that on June 23, 2004, the Financial Secretary, Hugh McSweaney, wrote the SSB, offering it 2,000 acres of land for $7 million. The land, according to McSweaney?s letter, would be good for tourism development projects and would ?augment [SSB?s] future investment income.?
The Social Security Board?s (SSB?s) chief executive officer, Mrs. Narda Garcia, publicly attacked Amandala?s credibility this afternoon when she suggested that we had ?made up? the figures that had been published on page 7 of our Sunday edition, #1889 of August 22, 2004, figures giving a breakdown of the SSB?s investment portfolio. The statement was made in a press conference held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. The proceedings were aired live on national radio and recorded by the two TV news houses.
When she was questioned by Channel 7?s News Director, Jules Vasquez, about the bank deposits as at June 30, 2004, listed in our publication last week, Garcia commented that the figures were ?probably what they [Amandala] made up??
A Crooked Tree man who was offered bail late this afternoon at the Magistrate?s Court had to spend another night behind the slammer because his family did not know that he was in police custody. After Magistrate Sharon Frazer offered Oscar Flowers, 29, bail, she asked him if he had anyone to bail him.
Flowers told the court that police had not allowed him to make a telephone call to his family.
Magistrate Sharon Frazer said that she has been observing that many persons are appearing before her and are saying that they have not been able to communicate with family members because police would not allow them to make a phone call after they were arrested.
For the second time in six days?and since the Social Security scandal broke?the Prime Minister, Hon. Said Musa, delivered a premeditated speech to the nation of Belize that practically ignored the most pressing national concerns today. In his latest speech on Wednesday night, August 18, the Prime Minister took about seven minutes before he mentioned ?social security funds and public finances??and that was all he said specifically about those matters. It was disagreement over these same national matters that had allegedly caused over half of his Cabinet to resign on Monday.
Before the Prime Minister breathed those five key words, he spent minutes talking of peripheral and past matters, and condemning ?false prophets of doom and gloom.?
The badly decomposed body of a male person was stumbled upon late Monday evening, at around 5:30 p.m. by some children who had gone into a swampy mangrove area to cut ?line stick.?
They found the skeletal remains of a person lying in the mud and immediately the authorities were alerted.