7 News http://www.7newsbelize.com/ en-US Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:27:00 +0000 Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter FIRE SWARMS GLENN STREET http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43382 Today we went to the scene and spoke to some of those affected.

Sahar Vasquez reporting Eight families were left homeless in the early morning blaze, their prized possessions and the place they once called home now scattered among the sea of ashes.

The fire started at an abandoned house on Glenn Street and then spread to two other adjacent structures, completely destroying them, while two more houses sustained water damage.

Jenny Trapp's house was almost burnt to the ground too, but firemen were able to save it before the flames reached. To do that they had to take the hose into her house.

Voice of: Jenny Trapp, Resident "When the firefighters were outing the house the fire was coming to this side. When they were outing the house they said they don't want any more houses to catch on fire so they went in my house through the window and they started to out the house from there because if they did not out it my house would have caught on fire."

Sahar Vasquez, reporter "Did your house sustain any damage?"

Voice of: Jenny Trapp, Resident "Yes, water damage from the hose. My whole house is messed up and some fire things are in the house. All kinds of things. The sofa set and everything is messed up."

Sahar Vasquez, reporter "So the hose Kind of wet everything up?"

Voice of: Jenny Trapp, Resident "Yes wet everything up."

Even though her house sustained a lot of water damage Jenny Trap still feels extremely thankful that her house was spared.

Sahar Vasquez "But for you was it worth it seeing as though it saved your house?"

Voice of: Jenny Trapp, Resident "Yes, I Thank God because me and my two kids, well it is only us right now so Thank God because I don't want to start over again."

Unfortunately, not all residents were as lucky as Trapp. For Rutilo Villanueva and Anastasia Conorquie all is lost. They saw the fire when it started and never thought that it would make it to their home.

They are both frustrated because they feel it could have been avoided if the fire department did not run out of water.

Rutilio Villanueva, Resident "Well last night our neighbour came and woke us up. When I got up the first house was on fire. We got out and tried to escape because the fire was already big. We tried to take out what we could but we couldn't."

"They could have controlled the fire from there to avoid other houses getting burnt but then the truck ran out of the water and then from then they took another hour to get water from the canal. It was from then that the fire spread and they couldn't control it anymore."

Anastasia Conorquie, Resident "The thing started at one house so they could have at least tried to out that one. They came and then no water. We offered to help them with buckets of water. The police they pushed us up and said we can't use any buckets because nobody is supposed to be around the fire. Well if you all have no water we should be able to take matters into our own hands and help."

Conorquie and Villanueva are just two of the victims in a total of 28, and for them, they have to start the painful process of rebuilding their lives.

Ruitilio Villanueva, Resident "I lost everything ma"am. Everything. I don't have anything right now only this suit of clothes I have on me right now. Yes, ma"am."

Sahar Vasquez "Did you live there by yourself?"

Rutillo Villanueva, Resident "No, ma'am. I lived with my entire family. Upstairs and downstairs."

Sahar Vasquez "So you lived with Mr. Villanueva?"

Anastasia Conorquie, Resident "No, I live upstairs at my father in law."

Anastasia Conorquie, Resident "No I was sleeping with my kids and then someone came and knocked on my door. She told me that there was a fire and I needed to get up. I said that I don't need to get up because that other house is far so our house won't get burnt. When I went back to my bed my brother in law came up and grabbed me and told me lets go. The downstairs is already on fire. Everything is gone. No pampers. No nothing. Today all I could have buy is two medium pampers for a dollar. Everything is gone. I just went to borrow clothes from my sister. We do not have anything."

Anastasia Conorquie, Resident "All I could have done was grab my kids and left. One has on socks right now and the next one doesn't have anything but what he has on." ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Fire Chief Responds To Criticism Of A Failed Firefight http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43383 Ted Smith, Fire Chief, Belize Nat'l Fire Service "A 10 minutes to 1, the department received and responded to a structural fire at #14 Glenn Street. On arrival, 2 structures were found on fire. One was fully engulfed in flames, the fire was already in the free burning phase and the open stage. A second structure located east of that structure had fire coming out of the attic area, upper story, which is another 2 story wooden structure. The department went into operation and contained and extinguished the fire. At the conclusion of fire fight, three 2 story wooden structure were totally destroyed by the fire."

Reporter "So, this fire, what do you think it was? I know the investigation isn't done, but what are you guys suspecting?"

Ted Smith "Well we are not suspecting anything. We will let the investigation lead us to the cause of that fire."

Reporter "Okay a lot of neighbors, or a lot of people in the area were saying that there is an abandoned lot. A lot of people go there to maybe smoke and they don't light it out properly. Do you think that that could have been a cause?"

Ted Smith "Preliminary investigation revealed that the structure was unoccupied at the time."

Reporter "So people said that you guys came but then the fire truck ran out of water. You had to go back and then come back which led to the fire spreading. What's your comment on that? I know the fire truck can only hold so much water and there's not much places to go other than the sea."

Ted Smith "The magnitude of fire that we arrived there to meet, overwhelming the response capacity of the department in the initial stage. We did not have enough water onboard those 2 units to combat that fire. Our immediate action was to protect the adjacent structures as much as possible. After the water was exhausted, both units were deployed to try to resupply the scene with water. It takes longer than one would've want within the department for the scene to be resupplied but once the scene was resupplied, the fire was then contained before it can spread down and destroy any other structure. If you go out on the scene and you can see where the fire burns and where the fire stops, you will notice that the other structure was extremely close and the fire did not burn those other structures that were extremely close. It is because, once the scene was resupplied with water, supplementary water came back, we were able to effectively fire fight and contain the fire before it spread on to other structures."

Fire Chief Smith also mentioned that the wooden structures were very old causing the fire to burn more quickly. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 28 Affected By Fire, CEMO Responds http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43384 Hon. Edmund Castro - NEMO Minister "In this case on Glenn Street it was 3 building that was totally destroyed and consist of 8 families and a total of 28 persons affected so we teamed up with NEMO, normally would have a package as it relates to fire victims where we provide table top stove mattresses and sheets and that sort of thing. So standard basic NEMO package that we provide for each family, then we have the human services which will kick in and see how best they can assist some of the families in terms of perhaps help them with somewhere to go for a short period of time until they could get back on their feet.”

Phillip Willoughby - City Councillor, Disaster Mgmt. "They are extremely hopeful, they recognize that the fire has happened to them. I don’t if it has sunken yet because you know when you are looking for your pillow and your bed tonight its not going to be your home that you will be walking in to, so that will set in I guess a little bit later on. That will take its toll but we hope that we can mitigate against that and return them to some state of normalcy."

Officers from the Human Development Services are working closely with these victims to assist them. Depending on need and individual cases –these victims may be assisted with rent for up to 3 months.

Now, on another angle of the story – Councillor Willoughby used this opportunity to highlight the issue of dilapidated buildings which ties into this tragedy.

Phillip Willoughby - City Councillor, Disaster Mgmt. "The residence of Belize City take the time out to understand sometime ago when the city made a proactive approach to deal with these abandon and derailment buildings. Its becoming a perennial problem if you notice where these fires originate from. These abandon and derailment buildings. So ill take this opportunity to say lets start this process, it doesn’t have to be as a result of a hurricane or a tsunami. You see how because of this fire now 28 people are now homeless because of an abandon and derailment building. Lets deal with these abandon and [] building. Lets take them down."

Tonight, the majority of the individuals whose homes were destroyed are staying in dorms at the MCC facility. Two families are with relatives. This is until a medium term arrangement can be put in place by Human Services Department. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Attorney Andrew Bennet Could Face Magistrate Soon http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43385 So, it is now in the hands of the chief magistrate Sharon Fraser - to issue a provisional warrant for his arrest - which, again, could happen later this week or early next week. After that, the crown counsel and his attorneys will go before her for her to decide if the evidence is enough for a prima facie case. If she agrees, she would issue a warrant for his committal to Belize central prison. In the modern era, we have never witnessed an attorney sent to prison for any period of time.

We note that even if the Chief Magistrate decides that he should be extradited, he has multiple avenues to fight it in the Courts, and a final appeal to the Foreign Affairs Minister himself. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Cement Truckers Strike, Block “Scabs” At Border http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43386 The issue is Maya Cement which comes from a company called CEMEX in Mexico. They used to have a warehouse in the Cargo section, but recently changed that. Now, the new arrangement is that the 13 members of Northern Cement Truckers Association have to go over to Chetumal to load the cement. But they don't want to do that because one of their fellow truckers ended up in jail years ago when there was an accident at that original pickup location. So, they've gone on a strike - leaving thousands of sacks of cement waiting on the Mexican side to be trucked into Belize.

And, that's the standoff. And, to break it, CEMEX went ahead and hired two other truckers to bring in cement. And that's what caused the trouble today when the truckers blocked one of those newly hired trucks from leaving the parking compound.

Police were called to the area and had to ease tensions. Eventually, the vehicle blocking the truck was moved and it proceeded to the cargo section.

The truckers were then called into a meeting with customs officials which ended without resolution. The truckers say their "strike" continues until their concerns are addressed.

This will invariably have an effect on the supply of cement in the market, since these 13 trucks haul major loads of product every day. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Suspected of Matricide, Andy Rhaburn On The Run http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43387 Yesterday morning in Carmelita village, he bludgeoned his 53 year old mother Braulia Pech to death with a crowbar, and then ran off. Police responded quickly and followed his trail into the bushes surrounding the village but found nothing.

Tonight, they are asking anyone who sees him to call police or -800-922 TIPS.

His family says he had a history of unstable behavior and in the past his mother had to call police to have him removed from the home where they lived together alone. His sister said he was taking medication to keep him stable, but he would become violent when he came off the meds. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Police Prosecutor Could Be Investigated For Botching Case http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43388 You'll remember it as that lawless police incident which happened in April of last year. Police charged two of their own, Constables Darnell Madrill and Norman Coye with wounding because several civilians - including Alfredo Cowo - were injured when they fired their service weapons indiscriminately to try to disperse an angry crowd.

So, with video footage to assist them, you'd think that police would have a strong case against PC Madrill and Coye, but not so. The family told us that the case was dismissed last week on what should have been the first day of trial before the sitting magistrate. That's because the prosecutor, who was supposed to have shown up and led the evidence against the accused officers, didn't appear. The Cowo family felt that they did not get justice for that incident.

Tonight, police are committing to investigate what caused such a critical failure. Assistant Police Commissioner Chester Williams, the Commander of the Professional Standards Branch, said via text message, quote, "If the prosecutor was aware of the court date and failed to appear without any reasonable cause then...he can be dealt with disciplinarily. That matter you are talking about will be looked into by my office to ascertain the reason behind its dismissal," end quote.

The Police Legal Advisor, Senior Superintendent Bart Jones added, quote, "In any case where a police officer absents himself from any duty without a lawful excuse, it's an offence against discipline." End quote. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 A Home For Ms. Arnold http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43389 She swallowed her pride, and came to us for help in publicizing her plight. Tonight, that call has been answered. Thanks to an effort from southside community policing tonight she has a house.

Today Arnold received the home and she couldn't be happier.

Reporter "You just got your brand new house today. How are you feeling in terms of this? I know it's not ready but you have it."

Donna Arnold, Mother of 6 "Well I feel good because if I didn't go on the media, no one would've noticed me. That's why I went on the media so they know I'm here. Thanks to the good Lord this is the beginning of it."

Reporter "So the house just came."

Donna Arnold, Mother of 6 "It just came today this afternoon."

Reporter "Okay so what's the plan now?"

Donna Arnold, Mother of 6 "Well the plan is that we fix it up, fix the inside, then we change up some boards, paint it over, bring it more to the front to see what more we can add on to it."

Reporter "Who gave you the house?"

Donna Arnold, Mother of 6 "Mr. Noble came and he started to ask around for help and everyone started to chip in with him. They're doing something around the neighborhood like a program too, so he's helping me."

Reporter "Okay so by when you think you can move in?"

Donna Arnold, Mother of 6 "Well hopefully by Tuesday."

Reporter "Were you expecting it to happen so quickly in terms of getting a better living space?"

Donna Arnold, Mother of 6 "Well I really needed it but I'm not pressuring anyone. I understand everyone is chipping in and it's their money out of their pocket, it's just assistance. By the grace of God its good people so everyone came together and this is what I got."

Police will continue to work to get the house ready for the family. It was made available through the joint effort of a Christian pastor and the southside community police. We'll tell you when she and her six kids have moved in - and that should be in a week's time. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 PACT Tells Employees Go Home, Get Ready For A Pay Cut http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43390 According to a release from PACT, they did an organizational review and concluded that the organization needed to be, quote, "re-designed…to reduce and contain administrative costs." So, a consultant came up with what the release calls, a "new operational framework."

But, this framework aims to make PACT far leaner. The release refers to, quote, "modified job functions" - and "increased operational efficiency," which are buzzwords for retrenchment.

And that's where the kicker comes in. The release says, quote, "it also includes a modified compensation program that responds to the recommendations for PACT to reasonably reduce overhead costs as part of its long- term financial planning." Translation? Across the board pay cuts.

It continues, quote, "The migration to the new systems necessitates a discontinuation of the status quo inclusive of the current employment conditions." Translation? Everyone kinda just lost their job - or if not their job, whatever pay arrangement they had, is no more.

But, the release adds, quote, "in accordance with all legal requirements for reform of this nature, employees will be transitioned over a period of one week."

PACT's office is closed during the one-week period - so we couldn't get comment from the Executive Director.

Reports say the workers are planning to go to their union. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Is There A Mark Pollard Murder Conspiracy? http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43391 You'll remember that the 49 year-old went missing back in July of last year, when he went on a morning run, and since then, his family has been searching for him.

They've been helped along by Uc-Espat, who's recently been taking on the role of private investigator, and he's earned their trust. He came forward to the press on last Friday with 2 phone calls which he thinks that the department should have acted upon. In those calls, the speaker suggests that Pollard is not missing, but actually dead. The caller also suggested that a dispute over inherited properties is the motive for that supposed demise.

The family still has hope that Pollard is alive, but they can't take any chances, and they have handed over these phone calls, believing that at the very least, the caller should be treated as a suspect.

Well today, Espat called another press conference and asked Mark Pollard's son to explain in his own words why he thinks that the police aren't showing the interest in his case. Here's an excerpt of that those calls, and Malcom Pollard speaking on the unsuccessful searches for his father:

Voice of Caller: "I'm begging you right now, in Jesus Christ's name, hand over that key, and get rid of this sh**, because you cannot handle none of those properties. That's why Mark get kill, over those property, okay. That's all I am saying to you, okay."

Malcom Pollard - Son of Mark Pollard "Throughout this entire investigation, from since the moment my father went missing, we've just been pushed around. We've just been set back, like we have no sort of say, no sign of importance towards the police. Every time we went to them, I went to them with this voice message. This voice message has been shared amongst 2 CIB's, and both dragged their feet. They both dragged their feet. No one have any kind of thought that my father is murdered. Everyone still believes that he is alive, but somewhere out there hiding, or somewhere being held captive. I shared this recording to the police before this lady touched down in Belize, before she arrived, and she arrived on December 4. And I shared this message with the police way ahead, and nothing had been done."

Jose UC Espat - Helping in the Search "They had enough time, from the 24th of November to the 4 December of the person's arrival. They had enough time to seek legal advice, to see what charges could be laid on the person, to see what could have been done to investigate deeper into this matter."

Malcom Pollard "Majority of the family members are known surroundings, by their individual peers. But, due to certain circumstances, they only persons whose lives might be in very serious danger, would be mine and my sibling's."

As you heard, Malcom and his sibling would be next in line to inherit the disputed properties through the strength of a will of his grandfather, the original owner. Responding to Press inquiries earlier this week on Mark Pollard's case, the department spokesperson said quote, "Police are seeking one person for questioning in regards to the investigation." ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Missing Man’s Mother Calls On Police http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43392 Here’s how she explained it this evening:

Sharlene Nicholas - Mother of Jahmaal Humes

"My son Jahmaal Humes has been missing from since the 20th day of December, and so far, all we have experienced with the police is frustration, heartaches, and a whole lot of turn around from the police force. Now, I'm not here to bash anybody, as Mr. Espat says, or to discriminate, or find fault. But, I believe that the police is not doing a proper investigation, and working as much as they could, in order to find my son. On the 20th day, we started doing searches for my son. On one of the searches, we had - a guy came out there with my son's tennis, stating that - after the police picked him up, he stated that he bought the tennis from my son on the 7th of December, which is impossible. Me and my daughter, I saw my son the 18th in that tennis, and my daughter saw him the same day he went missing in that said tennis. I kept calling and asking them what they were doing pertaining, if they did any DNA, anything to see if maybe, they find blood or whatever on that tennis. They stated that they could only - didn't answer my question - stated they could only hold the guy for 48 hours, and then let him go. The guy was eventually let go. I don't even know to this day if he was ever picked up and questioned once again. However, we kept doing our searches, and each time I called, they couldn't give me a straight forward answer on what is being done. We get tips after tips. Every tip or information we got, we passed on to the police, and I know that some of them have not been followed up. Over the weekend, we get several different tips, and we came up with some very sensational tips, where we went all the way out to Corozal to follow that lead. We started from all the way down in Orange Walk. And it's kind of frustrating on my family. I have not been eating guys. I have not been sleep. I need answers about my son, and I know the police and BTL, a 100% could do much more because this is someone's life."

As you heard, the family mentioned BTL because they want to get access to phone records from his cellular phone to determine if he was threatened or if he was in any kind of trouble. As far as we know, such records can only be lawfully obtained with a request from the DPP. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Contraband “Cosa” http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43393 On Saturday, January 13, police were operating a checkpoint in Pomona Village, when they tried to stop an SUV that ran the checkpoint.

The cops set chase through Hope Creek Village and eventually intercepted the SUV, a silver Kia Sorento, without plates.

Inside, the cops found 50 year-old Alvarine Burgess, and 41 year-old Milton Palacio, both from Mango Creek.

They searched the vehicle and found a stash of contraband, including soft drinks, 77 cartons of cigarettes, 2 cases of beers, a 1-litre bottle of Ciroc, a quart of Black Label, and a few assorted snacks.

Burgess and Palacio were taken to the Dangriga Police Station, and the vehicle, a rental, was handed over to customs.

Customs still has the rental and the goods. They are currently awaiting the official report from police - and after that they will talk to Burgess about a settlement - which is the standard procedure. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Senate, Wheel and Come Again http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43394 As we understand, it has been postponed because two senators from the government side are unavailable.

The Senate meeting has no urgent business on the agenda - and is led by a supplementary appropriations bill for Petrocaribe spending which is produced quarterly. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Drinking Man Stole Cops Bike, “By Mistake” http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43395 Lanza says he simply made a mistake. He went to the police station on Sunday night to make a report. When he was finished, he grabbed his bike and rode home. But, the 35 year old grabbed the wrong bike. He told the court that he had been drinking and thought he jumped on his bicycle - but it turned out to be the property of of WPC Tanisha Davis.

Lanza appeared before Senior Magistrate, Aretha Ford in Court #2 where he pleaded not guilty to theft. He was granted bail of $600 dollars and is due back in Court on March 13th. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Canadian Cruiser Named Kong With Coke http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43396 At around 1:00 today, two special constables on duty at Terminal 1 of the Fort street Tourism Village searched Forty-two year old Ryan Kong when they saw him acting suspiciously. They found 0.9 grammes of cocaine in a plastic bag in his back pocket.

He pleaded guilty when he appeared today before Magistrate Michelle Trapp. He was fined $500 dollars plus $5 dollars court cost, which he paid immediately. If he had defaulted on payment he would have served 2 months.]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Fire On JR http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43397 It burned so fast, they didn't even have time to call the fire department. Carrying biuckets, the police and neighbours put it out before fire truck arrived or it would have spread to nearby homes.

The house was completely destroyed. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Potato And Onion Farmers Call Out For Protection http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43398 Jules Vasquez reporting These potatoes in the field and these rows of onions may make a pretty picture but there’s a lot of investment behind all this acreage. For example, these irrigation rigs are critical to the crop. They pump all day but are fuelled by gas engines and must filter through thousands of feet of irrigation hoses. Then there are the costs of pesticides and fertilizers, it adds up to quite a chunk of money.

Max Hernandez- Farmer, San Carlos “It’s almost $5 thousand for one acre. In total, between the onion and the potatoes, it is almost 60 acres. That’s almost $300 thousand dollars of investment.”

And recovering this investment is a priority and a concern. Since last year the farmers were forced to leave their potatoes rotting in the field. So this time they are getting the word out early. They have 30 acres of potatoes and 30 acres of onions.

Max Hernandez- Farmer, San Carlos “The idea is to send the message to the minister of agriculture, we have local product. The thing is the government helps protect us by not importing, no contraband, not giving permits to the special people so as to support the local farmers that want to sell their products. Last year we had a big problem to sell our products.”

Hon. Jose Mai - Area Representative “We decided now to bring the media out here to look before we have a crisis so that the government cannot come and say that they did not know that there were 30 acres of potatoes and 30 acres of onions under production and therefore they imported that and then the farmers are losing their shirt.”

The problem is the wholesale price - the farmers need the middlemen to pay them 85 cents a pound minimum for potatoes:

Max Hernandez- Farmer, San Carlos “I don’t know who put the 75 cents a pound per potatoes man. We don’t make a profit for that. Encourage the government to help us sell our product, fresh products, healthy products, at a price where we will make a profit. Right now for the investment to not fail the average is 85 cents a pound.”

Hon. Jose Mai - Area Representative “He wants 85 cents for his pound, for a pound of potatoes, but you go to the market and see what is the cost of potatoes right now. Many Belizeans prefer to buy an imported potato at a high price than to support the farmer selling at 85 cents a pound. Now the middleman who will buy potatoes from Max, those people will sell at $1.25 or $1.50 a pound. The store will sell it at $1.85 to $2 a pound. The farmer will get the smallest share. It is very sad.”

It’s the small farmer’s plight. They take great risks and lovingly tend their lands but the vagaries of supply and demand and the cruel logic of the marketplace can leave them exposed.

Hon. Jose Mai - Area Representative “Faced with high and compounded interest rates, the farmers are losing their shirt. I was in the neighborhood last week visiting farmers when I met three bankers in this area seeking to collect from farmers who are owing them. The farmers are at a loss at this time.”

And that's probably why you don't see any boys among these men who live off the land.

Max Hernandez- Farmer, San Carlos “You see the age for every farmer right now is 50 years old. The young farmers are less - why because the young farmers see that farming doesn’t make business because it doesn’t make money.”

Regarding the issuance of import permits Agriculture, CEO Jose Alpuche today told us that it is “a delicate balance to strike at the start and end of any crop, as the amount does not meet domestic demand.”

He said surveys of production have already been done and imports will be limited as production increases.

As for the price, he stressed that these products are not price controlled. He added, quote, “We will do all we can to protect both farmers and consumers.”

He adds that his ministry just ended another 3 year project to assist onion farmers in the north. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Woman Wins Major Medical Malpractice Case http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43399 Her attorney, Michel Chebat, told us her complaint was against Dr. Gilberto Landero, a medical practioner who is still working at the Western Regional Hospital.

2 years ago, Bonilla, who’s a serving police officer, started having pains in her abdomen. She was admitted to the Southern Regional Hospital, and she was later transferred to the Western Regional Hospital. She was supposed to undergo an exploratory surgery to diagnose what medical ailment she was suffering from.

Dr. Landero performed the surgery, and when he went in, he misdiagnosed her with a cancerous womb. He removed her womb and her left ovaries, without her consent, a medical procedure which caused her great distress because she had intended to have children.

Bonilla spoke with the Amandala Newspaper and said that the doctor’s actions afterwards caused her to get suspicious, and she was later called by an employee of the Western Regional Hospital, who told to retrieve her removed uterus because the doctor was supposedly trying to dispose of it. She did so and sent it abroad for tests to determine if indeed her organ was cancerous.

Chebat, her attorney, told us that he took the case to the Supreme Court on her behalf, and they sued the doctor on the basis of medical negligence. After case management, an expert witness gave her report, supporting the misdiagnosis, and it was at that point that the Government and the Doctor accepted liability.

Both sides made submissions to the court on the quantum of damages that is ought to be awarded to Bonilla. After deliberation, Justice Sonya Young ruled on Monday that she is to be paid $250,000. ]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Let There Be Light For Four Toledo Villages http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=43400 The villages of Crique Sarco, Indian Creek, Gold Stream, and Medina Bank - which are all off the electric grid - have been selected for a project which will install solar power panels with battery storage to the tune of $2.736 million US dollars.

This is coming out of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Belize is represented by Minister of State Frank Mena.

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