"Help for Fearful Witnesses
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has proposed two solutions to the now prevalent judicial phenomenon of witnesses recanting statements, resulting in seven murder trials ending in acquittals since January this year.
DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal told The Reporter that the first proposal comes in the form of a new legislation that will put measures in place that will allow for the validation of a witness’ statement, even if that witness recants his or her earlier testimony.
The second proposal, Vidal explained, is the formation of a new victim-care unit.
She said that in terms of giving aid to witnesses, the Commissioner of Police has agreed to assign officers to the DPPs’ office to receive special training in assisting witnesses prior to and during trial.
There have been 17 murder trials ending in an acquittal since the beginning of this year, and seven of them have been due to key witnesses refusing to testify, recanting earlier statements, or simply claiming to have forgotten the details of the event in question. Four of the seven recantations occurred this month."
Not really an update but good news all the same:
"Controlled Price Of Butane Down, Down, Down
World oil prices have been going down - but the controlled price of Liquid Petroleum Gas - which we commonly call butane, has remained constant. That is until tomorrow - when it takes a huge dive. The controlled price is going down by thirty dollars per hundred pound cylinder across the board! So, in Belize City where the price of a hundred pound cylinder [about 24 gallons] is BZ$126.00 dollars - that will now be BZ$96.00 for basic butane [or about US$2/gal]." ($2 BZ = $1 US)
What about that graphic, you ask?
Well, it has sadly become a common refrain from, usually, the younger generation vis-a-vis expats. Another one is "Dey got, we no got" as an excuse for "teeving" as theft is called here. Most, and I really do mean the greater majority, of Belizeans are friendly, welcoming, and accommodating. Just as there a few bad apples in any group, we expats also have our share that spoil it for everyone. Yes, the "Ugly American" (regardless of provenance) still exists.
That written, expats generally have money, time, motivation, and/or experience that allows them to be productive members of any society and there are many involved in a wide range of activities including conservation, animal rescue, volunteerism, youth groups, teaching, and more. There are many expat-led organizations doing wonderful work here in Belize and, of course, a fair number of Belizean-led organizations too. Expats tend to be volunteers and there's a large number of individual volunteers helping causes they support. We're developing an extensive list of NGO/NPOs in Belize that we will soon publish online to help them get more visibility and recognition for their efforts.