Friday, March 30, 2012

What's in the news in Belize?

Man Caught Allegedly Trying to Traffic a Teenaged Girl 

53 year-old Jose Alfaro, a Guatemalan businessman of Ladyville, was arraigned for attempting to commit human trafficking when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith.

It is alleged that sometime between February 22 and March 16 of this year, and on March 17, he tried to recruit a 16 year-old female minor to become a prostitute in his bar in Ladyville.

Alfaro pleaded not guilty to two counts of the same charge, but he couldn't be granted bail because the prosecutor objected on several grounds.

The prosecutor told the court that Alfaro is a flight-risk because he is a Guatemalan national. Secondly, the prosecutor asked the court to consider the serious nature of the crime, its penalties, and the age of the victim. He also objected to bail on the grounds that he may be able to interfere with the victim and the witnesses.

After considering the prosecutor's objections, Chief Magistrate Smith remanded Alfaro to prison and adjourned the matter until April 26.

Legalize it!  Regional Security Meeting Discusses Drugs 
A regional security meeting was held over the weekend in Guatemala. It was billed as a summit but only two heads of government attended. 

Panama’s president Ricardo Martinelli and Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla were in Antigua for the meeting. Belize was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington and Minister of National Security John Saldivar. Representatives from Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua also attended the meeting which was chaired by Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina. 

The meeting was proposed by Perez Molina to legalize drugs in the region as part of a regional security plan. The Guatemalan president proposed several options for dealing with drug-related violence in Central America, including creating a regional court to try drug trafficking cases, getting economic compensation from the United States for seized drugs and decriminalizing the transport and consumption of drugs. 

Panama’s president said that the proposal deserved more consideration and analysis. The leaders did not come to an agreement during Saturday’s meeting but Perez Molina described the summit as a success. Elrington and Saldivar have returned to the country, but we have not confirmation as to what position Belize took at the meeting.

Taxicab Operator Propositions Female Passenger
Lincoln Miguel, 38, a taxicab driver of Belize City, was today brought before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart to answer charges of unlawful imprisonment and common assault.
It is alleged that on March 20, 2012, a 23- year-old female left her home and caught Miguel’s taxi, a grey Honda Civic bearing license plates #D6733, and asked to be taken to her work.
Whilst en route to her work, Miguel told her that he wouldn’t take her to work; that was when he asked her how much money she made and propositioned that he would pay her that amount of money if she stayed with him.
The female, who became fearful for her life, managed to jump out of the moving vehicle and run into her work place as the car was passing by.
No plea was taken from Miguel, but he was offered bail of $6,000 and a “suitable surety”; the bail was offered under the condition that he does not interfere with the complainant, her family or any of the prosecution witnesses.
Miguel could not make bail and was remanded to prison until his trial. The case was adjourned to May 2, 2012.


  1. Scary, so amazing to get news on a first hand account from you. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It is a scary thought that these are common occurrences everyday... that it's a real possibility that it can happen to people you know and love. I am glad to see the government and nations representatives are working toward a solution though. I pray they find a common ground to stand on and find a solution that will work for everyone :)

  3. So interesting that local news doesn't change that much from one place to another!

  4. Such scary experiences going girls are going through...I'm always glad God is everywhere at the same time!!