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| Hattieville Chairman Kevin Carcamo Still Missing 48 Hours Later
Jul 22, 2014
The family of Kevin Carcamo, the Hattieville Chairman, is clinging to hope tonight. It is forty-eight hours since the linesman, who is employed by Discoverseis, has been missing. A search party has grown to about a hundred strong and widened its hunt of Freetown Sibun where Carcamo went to work on Sunday for the company that is conducting seismic testing in the area. But even as his wife is hopeful, with every passing minute, there is the distinct possibility that the well-liked chairman won’t be returning home. News Five’s Isani Cayetano speaks with the family and the company representatives in the following report.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
The mysterious disappearance of Hattieville Chairman Kevin Carcamo on Sunday, in the vast expanse behind Freetown Sibun, has for a second consecutive day seen a group of Discoverseis employees, villagers, as well as police and Belize Defense Force personnel scouring the wilderness in search of the missing linesman. The company, contracted by Big Creek Holdings International to conduct geophysical work within the block, has suspended all operations and is intent on finding Carcamo at all costs. On Monday afternoon, a three-hour flyover of the area, an intricate flight path seen here in blue, yielded nothing from above. By a quarter of eight this morning, a team of BDF trackers again penetrated the area, covering a geographical distance of roughly twelve miles, to no avail.
Marvin Manzanero is the Assistant Project Manager with Discoverseis.
Marvin Manzanero, Assistant Project Manager, Discoverseis
“I am pretty confident that we’ll find the person, okay. We won’t give up, you know, that’s part of our team. You know, Mr. Carcamo is a hardworking guy, he’s very social. In no way we’ll leave him out there okay. I guess they would do the same for me and for anybody that works for the company.”
An emergency response plan has since been activated, the family of the forty-three-year-old however, including his common-law wife Shawna Bonner, is tonight with bated breath. It’s been forty-eight hours and no trace of Kevin Carcamo has been found.
Shawna Bonner, Common-Law Wife of Missing Chairman
“Bwai ih rough right now mein. I noh sleep from Sunday ‘til now. I not even eat yet, ih rough.”
“What have you been told, either by the company or those who are in search of your husband?”
“All weh dehn di seh dehn di look, dehn di look.”
That concentrated effort has seen approximately one hundred men combing a swath which extends all the way from the bank of Freetown Sibun to Northern Lagoon, along Line 24 where he was last contacted.
“We organized a crew to go out there in search of Mr. Carcamo. Where we were presently working is this area right here, about forty-five minutes walk along the line from the Freetown Sibun, okay, right where this marker is. This is the location we last… Where we completed our operations was here right. From here we started walking out in a single file here, crossing the river in our boats and then driving off to [Hattieville] which is about twenty minutes drive to our Hattieville sub-base”
While Discoverseis is expending all resources to recover Carcamo, there has been, nonetheless, a serious breach in protocol.
“First of all, we try not to work as late right. The latest we want to work there is 4:30 p.m. right, because you have to start walking out of the line. So no one will have the chance, you have time to see. We also have a buddy system; you cannot be by yourself in the field. You’re not supposed to be by yourself in the field. So I’m not sure what actually happened there, you know. Something got broken there or what happened broke the system actually. But the system has always worked. We’ve been doing this for, I don’t know, eight years now, ten years and we’ve never had this type of incident like this.”
Shawna Bonner, on the other hand, is holding on to faith that he will be found alive and well.
“How have you been holding up? I know yesterday you were in more of an emotional state and today you seem a bit more composed.”
“Because ah done cry already from morning. I done cry soh. As ah get up ah cry because ah done used to ahn.”
“Tell us a bit about Kevin. I know from talking to other people yesterday that he is someone who is somewhat familiar with the area, having hunted these grounds before.”
“No idea. I neva ask ahn yet and ih neva bring me ya fahn I know ahn then. And ih neva talk bout back deh yet so I noh know nothing bout Kevin dah back deh.”
The reality, at this point, is that with every passing moment the hope of finding Carcamo alive is slowly fading. Bonner acknowledges the worst case scenario:
“Dehn noh wahn find ahn. Ah noh wahn sih ahn. That’s it with he. If dehn cyant find ahn dat da di worst thing, ih noh wah come home, ih noh wahn come home. Ih noh matta how dehn bring ahn home to me, I wahn ih come home.”
Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.
| Nasley Somerville A No-show At PSC Hearing
Jul 22, 2014
Nasley Sommerville, the former administrator of the Southern Regional Hospital, was a no show at a scheduled Public Services Commission hearing today in Belmopan. Sommerville was named prominently in an audit of the Southern Region which pointed to the misappropriation of over three hundred and seventy thousand dollars. It is alleged that Sommerville, over the course of two years, made unrestricted use of funds in the hospital’s Maternal and Child Health account. The audit report was very specific, and a check of our archives revealed that the investigation has been ongoing since July 2013, with the participation of the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Police. A check of our records also shows that at least three times since 2013, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Health, Peter Allen, has told the media that he has been calling the Police for an update, but was unable to contact them. While Sommerville has somehow managed to escape criminal liability, at least since July 2013, she has also managed to evade the Public Serves Commission, the body which dispenses judgment on public officers accused of misconduct. Today was the day scheduled for the hearing, and News Five has confirmed that up to Monday evening, Sommerville had confirmed that she would be attending. But she didn’t. We are informed that because she was a no-show the hearing has been adjourned, but we have been able to confirm the adjournment date.
| Puerto Azul Versus Conservation Community
Jul 22, 2014
There are still more questions than answers where the Puerto Azul mega-tourism project is concerned. Government has maintained that it can’t provide much information because the concept is still in a very preliminary phase; it is fluid and is yet to get a green light. But concern over the project is not going away, and has prompted reaction from a coalition of tourism and environmental entities including OCEANA, the B.T.I.A. and the Belize Audubon Society. The coalition has sought more concrete details from G.O.B., but with no success. And in the wake of information that the developers have received a terms of reference for an EIA, the group issued a joint release today. Their opposition to the project, they say, is primarily based on its massive scale in an undeveloped area.
Amanda Burgos, Executive Director, Belize Audubon Society
“The project is in process. That’s the best way to put it. As far as we have gotten all indications yes they do have a terms of reference for an EIA. They have proceeded with all the studies and all of the analysis they need to compile that document. Obviously the terms of reference of the EIA will outline exactly what information they have to compile…be it oceanographic or dealing with solid waste – it will outline all of those technical issues and questions that we have had. Hopefully all of that is being compiled right now. From what I have been told and all indications are that there are elements that are desired, for instance a marina and a certain amount of villas are being required as per the developer’s needs. However the concept is apparently living, however the question is to the scale – the question has always been a matter of scale. We have had concerns as to – is this the location for a citadel or even an event? I think there was reference to special events being hosted that have a degree of infrastructure that will be needed. The reality of that location I think from the aerial and even from the maps they’re saying is roughly twelve hundred acres…but from all indications and documents I have read only about two hundred and thirty acres of it is solid land…the rest is wash-over mangrove so the question is can you really achieve what they are desiring on the parcel of land that they are in process of buying? We really want to keep it in the present. We want it to be in the conscious mind of Belizeans. We want them to know what is happening in the country. We have gone on several times and my colleague Miss Chanona has gone on the books basically to say that it is a national issue and we have to keep it in the national forum. People need to be aware of what is happening and the realities of what our system is facing.”
There is also growing opposition based on the fact that Lighthouse Reef is home to the Blue Hole and the Halfmoon Caye natural monuments, both World Heritage Sites, and the development would likely have a severe impact on those sites.
| Do you believe the quality of life laws are affecting only the poor people?
Jul 22, 2014
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe the quality of life laws are affecting only the poor people? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to email@example.com.
| GSU Raids Supal Street Residence Elderly Woman Arrested for Drug Possession
Jul 22, 2014
The Gang Suppression Unit conducted an operation today in the south side Belize City. The target was a property on Supal Street belonging to an elderly resident, seventy-two year old Marina Plunkett. The search occurred sometime after ten this morning, and by the end of the operation, five men and three women including the elderly woman were carted away by the officers. According to Plunkett’s granddaughter, Kimberly Alvarez, the officers claimed that during the search they discovered three bags containing six point five grams of crack cocaine. The family says they are certain persons living in the house do not use the drug, but they believe that it was planted by the GSU officers. Alvarez spoke to News Five this morning saying that aside from her grandmother; two other females were arrested leaving their children unattended.
Kimberly Alvarez, Granddaughter
“I went to Patrick office and when I come back I see an amount of police in front of my grandmother’s yard. I see that they had like five young man against my grandmother’s fence and my grandmother deh inside the do the search with the police and two young lady that live with my cousins. And the GSU do the search so we stand up on the street side. And when the search done and everything, I see they handcuff and I ask my cousin girlfriend what they are taking them for. And they say they find drugs behind the thing. When we ask what kind of drugs, they said three bag of crack. Well no crack-head noh live round yah. We noh deal with crack, we noh think nothing. Dehn di ker my grandma; my grandma eighty years old. My grandma noh even deal with dende.”
“So you grandmother was also taken in?”
“Yeah; eight of them they ker. Eight—five bwai and three gial.”
“What you feel happened?”
“I think the GSU plant it ina the yard. They plant it because nobody ina this yard noh deal with crack. So they plant it ina the yard. They mussi tired ah come and do search and noh find nothing so they come now and they want find something and so they come and plant something.”
“This is the first time that they’ve done this?”
“First time…first time dehn come because every other time dehn come dehn noh find nothing. So they mi tired ah noh find so they plant something and they ker eight of them. My grandmother noh deal with drugs.”
“Why would they target you guys though?”
“I noh know. They fi know why. I noh know what dah they intention.”
“What do you want to see happen now?”
“They need to, when they come, they need to do proper search and stop di plant thing pan man. If they find something, we wah agree to it, but if they plant it we noh wah agree to it.”
Late this evening, Plunkett and her seven family members: Michael Plunkett, Kathleen Reyes, Carlos McKenzie, Kareem Williams, Tamika Faber, Raymond Alvarez and Sheffield Nemrod-Fitzgibbon were arraigned for drug trafficking before Magistrate Herbert Panton. They were charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply to another person or persons for drug trafficking. The group pleaded not guilty to the charge and was given bail of one thousand five hundred dollars each except for Plunkett, who was granted self-bail in the sum of five hundred dollars. Fitzgibbon, however, remained in custody because he owes the court for a conviction of aggravated assault in December 2013. They are all due back in court on September twenty-sixth.
| Corozaleno Armando Vasquez Charged With Drug Trafficking
Jul 22, 2014
A Belizean electrician from Corozal has been charged with drug trafficking after a search of his car yielded a significant stash of cannabis. The Border Patrol Team was on operations at the northern border when their checkpoint was approached by a man identified as thirty year old Armando Vasquez. Vasquez was asked to pull his Chevy Lumina to the side while officers searched him. Nothing incriminating was found, but Police then searched his car and noticed a slit in the driver’s seat. When they checked it out they found two transparent plastic bags containing what later weighed in at five hundred and five grams of marijuana. Vasquez was escorted to the Corozal Police Station and charged for drug trafficking.