AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE
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|San Pedro Daily||Tuesday
April 15, 2014
|Front Page||Weather||foto of the day||Regional News||Classified Ads|
Miguel “Motita” Fuentes
shot on northern Ambergris Caye
One man was retrieved from the sea off northern Ambergris Caye after he was shot on Sunday April 13th. The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Miguel Fuentes aka “Motita,” a fisherman of a Boca del Rio address in San Pedro Town. At the time of the incident, Fuentes was accompanied by 18-year-old Christian Espat and 20-year-old Brian Espat, also fishermen of a San Pedrito Area in San Pedro Town.
According to police, the incident occurred sometime around 5PM in the Bacalar Chico Area on north Ambergris Caye. Fuentes told police that he and the Espats were walking on the beach when they were accosted by a group of five men, one of whom took out a firearm and started shooting at them. In the process, Fuentes was shot twice, once to the left hand near the elbow and once to the right side of the back. The trio then ran into the sea to take cover from the bullets and it was from there that they were later retrieved by a passing vessel.
One of the people inside the vessel was US National, Dr. Gregg Godfrey. His intervention and medical expertise helped save the life of a heavily bleeding Fuentes. “We were travelling in the Bacalar Chico Area and we noticed three individuals waving their hands frantically and we went upto them. We noticed that one of them was shot and we pulled him into the boat and he said that somebody shot him with a big gun,” explained Dr. Godfrey.
Once inside the boat, Dr. Godfrey managed to splint and bandage the wound, and then rushed Fuentes to San Pedro Town for medical attention. Fuentes was taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II for treatment and later airlifted to Belize City, where he remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).
All three individuals are known to authorities on Ambergris Caye and because the incident occurred in an area known for criminal activities, police strongly believe the shooting has to do with a fight over drug-turf. Police continues their investigation into the incident.
A fleet of support vehicles
donated to the Ministry of Health
This morning, the Ministry of Health received a fleet of health support vehicles from the United Emirates. The twenty-six vehicles are valued at three hundred thousand dollars; essentially they are three-wheeled motorcycles with a cover unit equipped with seating and stretcher to transport patients. The Ministry of Health says they will be distributed to hospitals around the country on a priority basis and will not be replacing the ambulances. Both the Ministers of Health and Tourism and Culture attended the ceremony this morning in Belize City.
Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism
“I had the visit of Sofia, who is stationed in Brussels…she and her family visited San Pedro about almost two years ago and I came up with the idea of how you all can help San Pedro to be able to get something that will be adequate enough for the island—not only San Pedro, but Caye Caulker, Placencia; those more remote areas. And she said I will work when I go back and make sure we can do something and about three months ago, she called me and said that she had identified through some friends in Dubai that they had this special ambulance—this three wheeler ambulance. At the time I said, what would a three-wheeler ambulance look like and what can it do. After they were assembled, I can see that they are perfect for the needs that we need. They are not sophisticated but it is something that can bring more comfort to tourist or our locals, up north or down south of San Pedro and including the area like San Pedrito, San Juan and downtown San Pedro. So I am much appreciative of the embassy, and also Minister Elrington who was instrumental in making sure they arrived over here properly and so.”
Pablo Marin, Minister of Health
“We don’t want people to confuse. This is not an ambulance; this is a support vehicle. This is for areas that we want to do outreach works or like San Pedro is small, so we can leave one of these mobile units in different areas so it will be faster for them to reach the clinic. So it is more a support vehicle.”
“Are you able to say…we’ve received twenty-six of them? Am I right? So the whole country has needs; how they will be deployed?”
“Well our technical people will give us the advice…definitely San Pedro will be receiving three of them. It is about three hundred thousand [dollars] worth; it is twenty-six mobile, service vehicles. This is what we have right now, but by next week, next two weeks, we will be able to know exactly where the rest of the mobile vehicles will be going.”
“Now, we see on it that it says Dubai, United Arab Emirates; that’s one of the riches countries on earth. Just looking at it from outside, you would say that no way one of the richest countries on earth di use den yah lee thing fi ambulance or fu health service vehicles?”
“Well if Dubai is using these kinds of service vehicles this means it is very convenient very essential in all the urban areas. And this is what we are going to use. And definitely we are already looking to get two new ambulances coming in and we are already looking to get about four more to service the entire country. But this is not an ambulance; this is a service vehicle.”
The two police houses
still not moved
Three weeks after the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and the Deputy Mayor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez promised to move the two houses donated to the San Pedro Police Department, no action has been taken. Moreover, there seems to be no real indication as to when the houses will be moved.
The houses were donated to the police by the San Pedro Business Association (SPBA) to alleviate the terrible, dilapidated living conditions of the San Pedro Police personnel. SPBA member Elito Arceo had offered to execute the move, but stepped down after Mayor Guerrero publicly stated that the council was ready to do so. But it has been over three weeks now and the houses are still sitting in the San Pablo Area. When Nuñez was questioned, he set yet another date and indicated that the houses will be moved before the Easter Holidays.
Nuñez said that efforts are being concentrated in completing another project that will also help to alleviate the living condition problems. He said that the new buildings of the barracks are moving ahead. Financed by a small group of business people on the island and spearheaded by Mukul Kanabar, it is expected that the new barracks will be completed soon. In fact, the Deputy Mayor stated that all the wiring for the two-story building has been installed and windows are being put in place.
Because he is donating his time with the two projects, Nuñez said that as soon as time permits, the two buildings will be removed. The San Pedro Sun will continue to follow up on the progress of these two projects.
San Pedro Traffic Department
now equipped with Breathalyzer
As part of the Belize National Road Safety Demonstration project, the Belize Transport Department has donated a breathalyzer to the San Pedro Traffic Department (SPTD). The breathalyzer is a device used to measure alcohol levels in the blood using a breath sample. This device seeks to crack down on irresponsible driving and prevent traffic accidents caused by drunk driving. Mayor Daniel Guerrero of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and Head of the SPTD Chris Nuñez were on hand to receive the breathalyzer during a short ceremony held on Thursday, April 10th at the Central Park to launch the “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign.
The ceremonies started shortly after 10AM with the singing of the Belize National Anthem by San Pedro High School (SPHS) students Elina Palma and Martha Alicia Vasquez, followed by a short prayer by Clive Welsh. The program continued with a welcome address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero. He stressed the importance of driving responsibly, especially during the Easter Holidays when the streets of San Pedro become congested with vacationers. “Drinking and driving can lead to many accidents where not only the person drinking is harmed, but innocents as well. It is important to follow traffic regulations and to have a designated driver when out drinking,” said Guerrero. Guerrero also congratulated the traffic wardens on the excellent job they have been doing, but reminded them to work on their public relations. “The wardens are not here to be rude and unpleasant with the public, they are here to enforce the laws and regulations. I ask all the traffic wardens to approach motorists with cordiality. Of course if force and back up is needed, a warden reserves all right to contact the police or to enforce their authority,” said Guerrero.
The event continued with a couple of testimonies from residents whose lives have been affected by driving under the influence. Rafael Torres spoke of his experiences while driving under the influence of alcohol and how at many times he endangered the lives of other without even knowing.
Following the testimonials, Head of the SPTD Chris Nuñez, and Town Council Accountant Marion Mejia presented the “Think Before You Drink: Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign. This campaign, which was launched simultaneously every municipality and city in the Belize, is part of the National Road Safety Project aimed to reduce mortalities caused by drunk driving. According to statistics, annually over 1.3 million people are affected worldwide by drunk driving. As part of the campaign, the Belize Transport Department has equipped traffic departments from across the country with a breathalyzer to crack down on drunk driving. According to the laws of Belize, a person conducting a vehicle should not have more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood (0.008).
Driving under the influence can result in fines, the suspension of driver’s licenses, imprisonment and a possible criminal record.
Transport Officer Tirso Galvez demonstrated the proper use of the breathalyzer before officially handing it over to Mayor Guerrero and Officer Nuñez.
The San Pedro Traffic Department urges all motorists to respect traffic regulations and not to drink and drive. Random traffic check points will be held, and found breaking traffic regulations or driving under the influence will be fined.
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