FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Weekly Fishing Report
Just a great week for tailing bones in the lee! And some dandies in the 4 – 6 lb. range caught on both fly and spin. Weedguards needed for those turtle grass flats on your bonefish flies. (Seems I always get stuck with not enough flies with weedguards in my box!). With the morning and late afternoon rising tides, we have good fishing both in the lagoon as well as the front up the beach.

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Quince, Part 2...
The sharp, pungent smell of smoke woke Sara from her deep sleep. Her nose twitched, and she sneezed, once, twice, three times. Rubbing her bleary eyes, she finally opened them well enough to take in the thin film of smoke pouring through the open window. She heard shouting from somewhere outside, and when she drew close to the window, she saw the sun shining fiercely down on two men clad in shorts and long-sleeved work shirts. Between them, they carried a rack of meat that they placed over a waiting grate. Sara drew in a deep, smoke-filled breath, filling her lungs, closing her eyes and smiling widely. The big day was here.

The San Pedro Sun

Standard Bearers Debate Q&A: Education
On Wednesday, February 15th, 2012, the first ever Belize Rural South Standard Bearers debate was held in San Pedro at the Sunbreeze Hotel Conference Room. Candidates Mike Campbell, Patty Arceo, Bobby Lopez and Manuel Heredia Jr. squared off on topics ranging from crime and corruption to education and tourism. Over the next few days we will be presenting a verbatim transcript of all the questions, answers and rebuttals by each candidate for you to view, read and discuss in detail. We now get to our first topic… Education

BTB presents Tourism Arrivals for 2011
The Belize Tourism Board held its annual meeting to issue the Official Announcement of 2011 Tourist Arrivals, in San Pedro Town in the form of a Press Conference, on Wednesday February 15th at The Phoenix resort at 10:45AM. Presenting at the conference were: Javier Paredez, Interim Director of BTB; Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture; Miss Yanick Dalhouse, Director of Marketing and Laura Esquivel, Director of Quality Assurance and Destination Outlook. Offering the welcome and opening remarks was Mr. Paredez, who stated that the overnight and cruise arrivals for the fourth quarter reached historic proportions this year. Following this, Hon. Heredia took the floor to present on the Tourist Arrivals in Belize for 2011. There were 57, 964 visitors in the 4th quarter in 2011, representing a 6.5% increase from the same period in 2010. This marked a continuous increase from 2008-2011. With a total of 12,093 visitors, October saw a 1.4% increase over last year from 11,931 in 2010. This was followed by an 8.3% increase in November at 18,908, compared to 17,451 in 2010. December’s arrivals of 26,945 in 2011 marked a 7.6% increase compared to December 2010.

Belize Coalition: New Date for People’s Referendum
The People’s Referendum is now going to held at the end of the month, Wednesday, February 29th. Remember this date. It only comes every four years. Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Resources calls on all registered voters of Belize to come to the polls to vote on the issue of offshore oil exploration and drilling. The People’s Referendum gives voice to the thousands of Belizeans denied the chance to vote on the issue of offshore oil exploration and drilling. This resulted when the Elections & Boundaries Department, solely on the basis that the petition signatures were inconsistent with those on the record cards the Department held. In announcing the new date for the People’s Referendum, the Coalition reiterates its invitation to all Belizeans to support this historic and unprecedented effort, recalling the words of Belizean Hero the late Hon. Philip Goldson, “The time to save Belize is before we lose it!”

San Pedro RC School’s Annual Cultural Day 2012
The San Pedro Roman Catholic School held its annual Culture Day on Friday February 17th. The event, celebrating the various cultures that make up our beautiful country, takes place yearly on the Friday prior to the celebration of San Juan Carnaval. The day is celebrated with groups of students from every class showcasing group projects that best depict their assigned cultures. Represented were: the Chinese, East Indian, Mestizos, Garifuna, Creole, Mennonite, Mayas and even North Americans. Each booth displayed cultural food and methods of preparation while students explained the history of the various cultures as well as their contribution to the country. From cultural music, dance presentations to chickens in coops and a darling baby milking a (cardboard) cow; the presentations were quite creative as well as entertaining.

Approval of Production Sharing Agreements
The General Public is hereby notified that on January 24, 2012 Cabinet reviewed production sharing agreement applications made by petroleum companies to the Government of Belize for exploration blocks in the Corozal District. After reviewing the applications Cabinet has awarded these exploration blocks to Manti Exploration and Production Company Ltd. Cabinet advises that the General Public has ten (10) days from the date of this release to make representation and offer any objections to the award. Should members of the public have objections to this award they may submit their objections in writing to the Geology and Petroleum Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Market Square, Belmopan City or via fax 802-3538 or email geology@mnrei.gov.bz no later than February 29, 2012. The General Public is advised that they are welcome to visit the Geology and Petroleum Department to obtain general information on the applications.

Ambergris Today

To the Polls to Vote on Offshore Oil Exploration
The People’s Referendum – the People will go to the Polls to vote on Offshore Oil Exploration - Press Release, Belize City, Belize, February 14 - On Wednesday, February 29 2012, all registered voters of Belize will be able to go to the polls to vote on the issue of offshore oil exploration and drilling as the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage will be carrying out a national People’s Referendum which will allow all registered Belizeans to vote on the issue. The Coalition is aiming at capturing the opinion of at least 10% of the registered voters.

Flashbacks: The Ever Popular "Las Chinitas"!
So what is your favorite Carnival Group or theme ? Could it be Doña Fora’s, Feliz’s, or Cholo’s Dance Gang? They are all good. Back in time, the favorite groups which showed up dancing on the streets every year were Los Negritos, El Torito and Las Chinitas. Every boy and girl wanted to be a part of these three comparsas.

Who is Don Juan Carnabal?
Carnival has been celebrated since the 1930’s in the humble village of San Pedro and the idea has always been the same - to continue the festive spirit that Don Juan Carnabal once founded. Supposedly he was a rich personality who used to break many women’s hearts and had dozens of girlfriends and concubines. Prior to the commencement of lent, on “Sabado de Bando”, there was a big festival in San Pedro featuring music, dancing, food and bacchanalia. The festive spirit continued for three days of Carnival from Sunday to Tuesday and on Wednesday the period of lent with fasting and sacrifice commenced. Legend tells us that after Don Juan Carnabal died, the village continued the celebration in his honor. Now they made an effigy of Don Juan carving a face from a coconut and stuffing the clothing with grass. At the end of the festival at Central park there was a re-enactment of Don Juan’s wedding where his concubines lamented that he was getting married.

Belize Rural South General Elections Nominations 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012 marked the nominations for standard bearers running for the General Elections which will be held the same day as Municipal Elections, March 7, 2012. The San Pedro Town Council Nominations were held on Wednesday, February 15, 2012, and today, Belize Rural South Standard Bearers were nominated. The People’s United Party Blue Wave was the first political party to hit the streets of San Pedro Town at 10:30 a.m. At the end of the day all three political parties and their supporters will have headed to the Town Council to officially nominate their candidate who will be running for seat at the General Elections on March 7, 2012. Officiating the nominations were members of the Election and Boundaries office.

SPRCS Open Day: A Cultural Experience
Belize is a melting pot of cultures - there are the Mestizos, Maya, Garifuna, Creole, Mennonites, Chinese, and East Indians. All these ethnic groups were highlighted during San Pedro RC School’s Open Day on Friday, February 17, 2012. There were booths depicting the ethnic groups’ life style, religion and beliefs, food, history and much more. Students from the SPRCS dressed up the part and some even danced to popular songs of each ethnic group. It was a day filled with lots of educational displays and fun for all to enjoy. Below are some pictures for you to enjoy the rich and diverse cultures that make up our beautiful Belize.

San Pedro Carnaval 2012 Kick-Off Party
The San Pedro Carnaval celebrations were kick started with a party at Central Park on Saturday, February 18, 2012, with plenty of dances, food, drinks, a short skit and the crowning of the new Miss Carnaval 2012. The San Pedro Town Council put on a lively show with dance presentations provided by the San Pedro Dance Group that provided entertainment of modern lively Carnaval music and the Dynamic Dancers that reenacted the traditional old Carnaval comparsa dances. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of “Los Enmascarados” (Masked Men) who traditionally took to the streets before Carnaval to scare the children of the village. Los Enmascarados took to the stage in full costume and entertained the audience. Doña Flora’s comparsa dancers also provided a show of the traditional street dancing presentations on stage.

Mennonites and ‘Nacas’ Ruled Carnaval Day One
The painting and street dancing (comparsas) were in full swing on the first day of Carnaval in San Pedro, Belize as the traditional celebrations commenced on Sunday, February 19, 2012. Carnaval revelers took to the streets of downtown to enjoy in the painting while other residents came out to see the fun and entertaining comparsas (street dancers). The San Pedro AIDS Commission was fun bunch with their interpretation of “Las Nacas” and doña Flora’s group dressed up as Mennonites and took to the streets with their lively song and traditional Carnaval dancing. Students from the Ambergris Caye Elementary also joined in the fun with their own comparsa. More painting and dancing continue until Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Enjoy the pictures and videos that Ambergris Today has prepared.

Blogs

Carnaval in San Pedro: Dancing and Lots & Lots of Paint
Why let New Orleans and Rio De Janeiro have all the fun? San Pedro, Belize has been celebrating Mardi Gras for as long as anyone can remember. It is three days of dancing, partying and lots and lots of paint. Yesterday, Sunday, was day one. And we saw the first comparsas...I think a uniquely San Pedro event. From what I can tell "comparsa" is a word used to describe a Latin American carnival-like parade of dancing and costumes. Our twist? Men dress like women and women like men. Why? Who knows?...it's just fun. Day One also means lots of kids out with a mix of paint and water. Day Three brings out the older kids and adults with the paints. The clock tower was covered in huge tarp, smartly. There is no doubt that it would have been covered in multi-colored hand prints.

Featured Fruit: Sapodilla (kriol we say sapadilli)
This delicious, sweet fruit is about the size of a tomato. It is one of Belize's little super fruits I like to call them. Tiny delicious snacks that are jam packed with all kinds of good stuff for your body. I had to research what this little fruit is good for and I am amazed. I found this amazing fruit is good for fighting Colon Cancer, hemorroids, constipation, hemoraging, strengthens bones, improves eye quality, and get this ladies it helps our skin look younger. :) This fruit has the texture of a necterine and kinda taste like a cinnamon apple, brown sugar mix and for the most part this fruit isn't seedy. It has 1 maybe 2 or 3 seeds in it, well that i have ever seen. One website said that it has 13 seeds per fruit but I dunno about that one, all the times i've eaten this fruit i've found maybe 3 the most in it. the seeds are black and shiny and are easy to plant. Some more fun facts about Sapadilli is that the latex that comes out of the bark as used by the Aztecs as a base for chicle. And there is another species of Sapadilli that the latex is used to make "Balata" which is then used to make rubber boots, mechanical belts and other industrial rubber products, Crazy!!!

Belize’s Yellow Heliconia Caribaea
The Yellow Heliconia Caribaea which is a member of the plant family, Heliconiacaea. This tropical flower is native to Central and South America and is abundantly found in Belize, the Amazon rainforest, and some islands in the South Pacific. The flowers of this species are highly modified leaves in the shape of lobster claws with two arcs of air canals in its leaf axis, five fertile stamens, lateral stamens of inner and outer whorls fertile and no perisperm. It grows to a height between 9 to15 inches and its foliage is banana like with waxy white coating on stems and lower midrib.

Photo of the Day: God of Fertility
I spent the morning in Belmopan, Belize, exploring a river cave that the ancient Mayans believed was a gateway to the underworld. The partially underwater cave was used by the ancient Mayans for bloodletting, fertility rituals, and human sacrifice. By the light of my headlamp and with the help of my guide, Esperanza, I saw artifacts dating from 400 AD that are still in the cave, including this sculpture of a fertility God, one of only three known images in Central America.

A whole-food nation and other truths
Six weeks have passed since the start of my food exploring in Belize. I have just melted the tip of the iceberg, scratched the surface, and digested my appetizer course. I have found that three things weave themselves through the collective eating vocabulary of this country: the types of ingredients, the source of kitchen skills, and the ripe enthusiasm for food that bursts in any conversation that starts with, “So what do you like to eat?” 1.) Belize is is a wholefood nation. Before the surge in popularity of organic foods and the accompanying camps of the health conscious, the self-righteous, and the diet bewildered who are just trying to do their best, Belizeans had the farm-to-table phenomenon down pat.

Channel 7

Merlene Bailey Martinez Returns To SSB... But Wasn't She Fired?
On Friday we reported that Merlene Bailey Martinez had been terminated. That's what the Amandala reported based on a conversation with Chairman Lois Young - who is out of the country. Tod...

Yolanda and Martin, Brother and Sister Co-Candidates?
As everyone should know by now, on Friday, Yolanda Schakron's nomination as a candidate for the PUP in Lake Independence was rejected and, at the last minute, her brother Martin stepped in...

PUP Lake I Committee Steps Down
And while Glavez and his sister are confident - their campaign took a major, consequential hit this afternoon. The Lake Independence Executive Committee that had gotten Cordel Hyde...

PUP CITCO Slate Launches Manifesto
And so there's bad news for the PUP again tonight, but the party soldiers on - today presenting its city council manifesto. Lead by Karen Bodden, the team said they are about solution...

Another Taxi Man Murdered
Driving a taxi is probably one of the most dangerous professions in the country. Between 2011 and the few weeks that have gone in 2012 so far, our count shows that eight taxi men have ...

Man Stabbed, Robbed Swing Bridge
And there was a crazy broad daylight stabbing in the downtown area of Belize City today. It happened - at of all places - on the swing bridge at 10:20 amidst the regular hustle and bu...

21 Year Old Murdered In OW
And there was also a brutal murder in Orange Walk Town. The body of 21 year old, Abel Arturo Robinson was found today with a gunshot to the head. His body had been deposited in some bus...

City Man Dies In Jet-Ski Accident
This morning 33 year old businessman Andrew Blades - of Blades Ice-cream Parlor- passed away at the Belize Healthcare Partners Limited - after he was involved in a Jet Ski accident. Th...

Dave Habet Injured In Accident
Well-known Businessman Dave Habet was injured in a serious accident last night on the western highway. IT happened around 7:30 near the Burdon Canal bridge when - according to police -...

City Shooting Leaves Two Injured
On Friday night two Belize City men were shot while socializing near the intersection of North Front Street and Pinks Alley. The incident happened around 9:45. The men told police that a pi...

Coalition Reveals Dramatic Anti-Offshore Poll
And turning now from crime, if you watch the news or any current affairs programming, you'll know that OCEANA and the Coalition may have lost their effort to trigger a referendum - but a...

Aikman Poll Gives UDP Edge
And another public opinion survey of note was held on Friday. As we had told you Derek Aikman staged his call - in mock election where he called a sample of voters from each division and as...

Five Years For One Round
47 year-old Anthony Stevens, also known as Anthony Lopez, or "Razzle Dazzle", will spend 5 years in jail for possession of a single round of ammunition. On February 17 at around 3:30 p...

Cops: Gilharry Grew Grass
20 year-old Jason Gilharry, A UB student of Corozalito Village, has been accused by police of cultivating 2,300 marijuana plants. Gilharry was arraigned in the courtroom of the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer, today. He has to answer to 2 counts of unlawful cultivation of marijuana plants, 1 for 2000 and the other count for an additional 300. According to police, acting upon intelligence gathered, on February 19, the Anti-Drug Unit conducted a search in an open area in the Corozalito Village on the old Northern Highway. They found two lots with 2000 plants and a second area with 300 more. Police also say that they discovered Gilharry in the area at the time of the search, and as a result, he was arrested and charged. Gilharry pleaded not guilty to charges, and he was granted bail by Senior Magistrate Frazer after his Attorney, Arthur Saldivar, made submissions that he is a student seeking higher learning, and that he has no history to suggest that the allegation against him is solid. His bail came in the amount of $8,000 plus two sureties. He is to return to court on April 17.

Shiney Acquitted Of GSU Charge
Last week, we told you about the acquittal of Gerald "Shiney" Tillett in the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for an alleged confrontation with members of the Gang Suppression Unit a year ago. Well, He was again acquitted today of a charge made by an officer of the GSU. This one is of note because it was allegedly committed on August 26, 2011, that fateful Friday evening when the GSU rained down upon George Street's base. His acquittal is very significant when placed into context. The GSU charged Tillett for issuing a death threat against one of their officers, Elmer Nah. They also charged Carlos "Zimbab" Abraham with using obscene language, for which he was acquitted on December 30 of last year. GSU also said that one of the residents threw a projectile at their vehicle. The police department used all these alleged occurrences, and others, as reasons why GSU had to use necessary force to subdue the residents of George Street. When the matter was called up again before Magistrate Robert Ordonez, Officer Nah did not show up to testify, and as a result, Magistrate Ordonez dismissed the charge. This is the second charge brought against Shiney, which did not stick. Tillett was represented by attorney Kareem Musa.

Governing Body Investigates Belize Track And Field
With all the political fanfare and controversy of last week Friday, we shorted you a story, even though the newscast was lengthy. That story involves the Belize Amateur Athletic Association or BAAA as it is better known. From as early as September of last year, the BAAA had been having some internal turmoil at the executive level of management. The duly elected President, Ian Gray, was at odds with 6 members of the committee of management, whom he suspended for 6 months. This suspension came after he was accused of financial misconduct, usurping the authority of the members and making decisions without their notice or approval. They then sought to remove Grey from office.

Channel 5

Cordel’s Lake I Committee says goodbye
It’s less than three weeks to the general elections and another bombshell was dropped in Lake Independence this afternoon. Last Friday, the nomination of Yolanda Schakron, who looked like a sure winner, was rejected when government through a resident of the area, put forward an objection. Well, earlier today the Cordel Hyde Committee, announced it [...]

Schakron and Galvez; Bro and Sis for Lake I
As we said, we caught up with businessman Martin Galvez, when he addressed an audience of party supporters at Independence Hall. Galvez, the proprietor of Royal Wholesale, is a last-minute addition to the roster succeeding Yolanda Schakron. At the launch of the P.U.P. City Council manifesto today, he publicly declared that he won’t be haunted [...]

Cab driver stabbed over a dozen times
Now to crime news; a taxi operator was viciously murdered inside his cab over the weekend. Before mid-night on Saturday, he was found with close to fifteen stab wounds inside his vehicle in the vicinity of Lacroix Boulevard. Police still haven’t been able to determine a cause for the latest homicide, although it doesn’t appear [...]

Merlene Bailey Martinez resigned or terminated?
Last week, we reported that the Social Security Board decided to terminate Merlene Bailey Martinez as C.E.O. for insider trading at the S.S.B. We also reported that chairman Lois Young is opposed to the termination. Young is out of the country for health reasons so the acting chair is Dennis Jones. The board’s decision was [...]

P.U.P. City Council announces Manifesto
At Independence Hall this afternoon, the People’s United Party launched its City Council manifesto for the March seventh elections. It’s a blueprint of forty six solutions that the P.U.P. is putting forward to advance the quality of life in the City. The team of eleven, headed by mayoral candidate Karen Bodden, says it wants solutions [...]

P.U.P. Standard Bearers bring head in Corozal
In Belize City, the opposition party is outing constant fires, but in the north, the People’s United Party drew thousands at a mammoth rally held on Sunday in Corozal Town. By any measure, it was a gigantic crowd that was energized as the four standard bearers seized the moment to tackle their opponents and advance [...]

On the Campaign Trail in U.D.P. Pickstock
In our campaign trail series, tonight we feature the Pickstock U.D.P. candidate and sitting area representative, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington. Elrington’s contender is Dr. Francis Smith, who we will follow on Tuesday. In the division, Elrington showed us one of his proudest achievements, the Samuel Haynes Institute, which was inaugurated in March 2009 and for which [...]

Oceana’s Poll says Bring the Referendum
A week ago, the government announced that it will not be holding a referendum on oil exploration. Still, one of the driving forces of the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage has commissioned a poll to measure people’s perception on oil exploration and drilling in offshore and protected areas of the country. Oceana Belize along [...]

Legal Action a possibility without offshore referendum
Oceana Belize has taken the brunt of the Prime Minister’s sting over the lost referendum. However, Audrey Matura Shepherd says it will go forward with its own nonbinding Referendum on February twenty-ninth. When asked, the Oceana VP says that court action would come rather than a demonstration. Audrey Matura Shepherd, VP, Oceana Belize “We were [...]

Oil Company to get concession for Corozal
There’s more news on oil exploration; the government announced today that a concession for exploration blocks in the Corozal District has been awarded to Manti Exploration and Production Company Limited. It is headquartered in Texas and also has operations in Louisiana, Canada and the South Pacific. The company, which has twenty years in the oil [...]

2 bodies found—1 in Orange Walk and the other in Stann Creek
Earlier in the newscast, we reported on the murder of taxi driver, Alexander Montero. Up north, twenty-one year old Abel Robinson was found dead in the Palmar Area of Orange Walk. The cause of death is unknown because of the advanced state of decomposition. Police are not ruling out murder, but a post mortem is [...]

2 Acquitted of Murder
Thirty-two year old Seidi Salazar and her forty-three year old brother, David Uk have been acquitted of the murder of thirty-year old Mario Chi. Chi, who was living with Uk’s wife, Ana, was at home on October twenty-fifth in 2009, when someone walked in and fatally shot him. The following day, San Ignacio police arrested [...]

Rape charge for Oyinkro Akpododor
A university student may have to trade in the classroom for a prison cell if he is convicted on a charge of rape levied against him today. The accused student is eighteen year old Oyinkro Akpobodor, a naturalized Belizean who is originally from Nigeria. A sixteen year old minor has alleged that Akpobodor raped her [...]

Weekend of crime and shooting
And while there is at least one confirmed murder, there were other violent incidents that took place in the city in the last three days. Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Police and Public Safety, Raphael Martinez, briefed the media on the crime stories as well as two accidents, one of which turned fatal [...]

The World of Sports with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and we’re certainly glad to be with you for this portion of Sports Monday. Week 2 in the PLB brought with it a full slate of 6 matches spread across the nation so we journeyed north to San Felipe where FC San Felipe Barcelona hosted FC Belize in a battle [...]

LOVE FM

CHARGE STRUCK OUT AFTER VICTIM FAILS TO SHOW
A charge of threat of death against 32-year-old Gerald Tillett of George Street was struck out today when the virtual complainant detective constable Elmer Nah failed to appear. It was alleged that on August 26, 2011, Tillett told Nah that he will be the first from the GSU to be killed. Tillett was also charged with damage to property and throwing missiles. The allegation is that on August 26, 2011 Tillett threw missiles at a police pickup truck and damaged the back glass valued at $600.00. Those two charges still stand, the trial for them was adjourned until March 28. Tillett was represented by attorney Kareem Musa.

MAN GUILTY OF FIREARM CHARGE SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS
47-year-old Anthony Stevens also known as Razzle Dazzle a resident of Euphrates Avenue charged with kept ammunition without a gun licence was sentenced to five years after he pleaded guilty to the charge. Magistrate Roberto Ordonez who imposed the sentence explained to Stevens that the Magistrate does not have any discretion to exercise because the offence carries a mandatory sentence of five years. Stevens said he has no conviction but Magistrate Ordonez recalled him coming to court for possession of pipe using the name Anthony Lopez. The incident occurred around two p.m. on Friday, February 17. A police officer was a motorcycle patrol on Euphrates Avenue and when Stevens saw him Stevens began to act suspicious. Stevens ran when the officer approached him and the officers pursued him and caught him. When the officer searched Stevens he found one Aguila brand 16 gauge cartridge in the right back pocket of Steven’s pants. Stevens said he found the cartridge but he did not get a chance to turn it in.

YOUTH HIT WITH DRUG CHARGES
20-year-old student Jason Gilharry was charged with two counts of unlawful cultivation of cannabis when he appeared in court today. Gilharry pleaded not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of $8,000.00 which he met. His case was adjourned until April 17. The bust occurred yesterday in Corozalito Village in the Belize District. The police, members of the Anti Drug Unit reported that when they searched an area in Corozalito they found two plantations, one containing 20,000 cannabis plants measuring five to eight feet and the other containing 3,000 cannabis plants five eight feet long. According to the police, Gilharry and two other persons were in the area but they only managed to apprehend Gilharry. The others escaped.

UNIVERSITY STUDENT CHARGED FOR RAPE
18-year-old University student Oyinkro Akpobodor, a naturalized Belizean originally from Nigeria, was charged with the rape of a 16-year-old high school student when he appeared in court today. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to Akpobodor that she will not take a plea because the offence is indictable. She offered him a bail of $6,000.00 and adjourned his case until April 12. The incident occurred on January 29. The girl reported to the police that she went with Akpobodor, to a house in King’s Park and Akpobodor had sex with her without her consent. As a result, police detained Akpobodor and charged him with rape.

ORANGE WALK POLICE INVESTIGATE DEATH OF YOUTH
Manuela Ayuso Cantun reporting… “The body of 21 year old Abel Robinson was found lying face up under a tree in a heavily vegetated area off a remote road in Palmar Village. The discovery was made by his family who had organized a search party early this morning. The last time he was seen was on Friday. Robinson’s long time friend, Jay Arnold says Robinson had been preparing for a job interview which should have taken place today. Robinson’s family say they made a missing person report over the weekend since they kept hearing rumors that Abel had been abducted and killed. It was his brother, Reynaldo Rivero, who discovered the body just as they had decided that Palmar would be the last area to search for the day. Family and friends were distraught at the discovery. And while they have gotten the closure they had been looking for all weekend the family is not pleased with the police. Police are looking for two Orange Walk men who they believe can assist with their investigation. Love News understands that this killing was over an unreturned unlicensed firearm that was loaned to one of Robinson’s friend.”

TAXI DRIVER STABBED TO DEATH
Belize City Police are investigating a stabbing incident that claimed the life of a taxi driver. Marion Ali reporting… “La Croix Boulevard in the Lake Independence Area was where Police recovered a blue Civic Honda taxi car driven by Alexander Montero. Inside, the mutilated body of the 53 year-old lay awash in his own blood. It appeared that Montero either ran off the street after suffering the stab wounds or was forced off by his killer and was then stabbed at the location. But neighbours told Love News that they saw or heard nothing strange prior to the incident and were only awaken when the police came later in the night to secure the crime scene. Montero shifted gear in 2011 from the public service and became self-employed as a taxi driver. He operated from the Farmer’s Market area. But sources tell Love News that just a few hours before his body was discovered, Montero left the Karl Heusner Memorial compound at around ten on Saturday night, presumably on a job. Police have impounded the taxi car which Alexander Montero was renting to conduct his business.”

POLL ON OFFSHORE DRILLING CONDUCTED
The results of a poll on offshore oil drilling were released today in Belize City. Commissioned by Oceana-Belize, the poll was conducted last week by independent pollster Yasmin Andrews. Audrey Matura-Shepherd is the vice president of Oceana-Belize. Audrey Matura Shepherd – Vice President Oceana Belize “After we’ve been asking the government to give us the 8,000 signatures that have been rejected, the name of the people and all that we can follow it up, we have not gotten any response. I recall seeing Ms. Yasmin Andrews on different shows and I saw that she did polls and so Oceana hired her and commissioned a poll because we wanted to know two things, we wanted to know what would have been the vote by our people that we collected signatures from, but many people say that would have been skewed because those are the people who signed the petition anyway but why we wanted to do is to show that there were people who signed those petition who would not have necessarily voted for a ban on offshore oil. We didn’t stop there, as part of the bigger package we also commissioned the second poll with her again with the same questions and everything but in this instance what we wanted the poll to do was to look at the entire country excluding our data base and to compare to see if the sample we got with the database of the persons who signed is comparative to the nation, are they a reflection of it.”

PUP PRESENTS BELIZE CITY MANIFESTO
The PUP team eleven, this afternoon launched its 2012-2015 manifesto at Independence Hall. The venue was packed to capacity as Mayoral Candidate for the PUP introduced the manifesto which is made up of twenty six pledges, which Bodden referred to as solutions to take Belize City back to what she referred to as better days. Bodden also referred to the manifesto as a supermarket and categorized the solutions as pertaining to the supermarket’s isles. Karen Bodden – PUP Mayoral Candidate “This afternoon we are proud to present to you 46 basic items that Belize City has been lacking for the past six years and these are the things that will make for the banquet that will come after March 7. Residents of Belize City are being invited to be a part of that banquet because it is time for all of us to be given the basics, we deserve it. Just be merit of being members of the human family we deserve to live with dignity. Our children deserve to grow up in a Belize City like the one I can so fondly recall; where they could walk down any street without being afraid, where families could sit in our parks because they are clean and they have family time and social evenings, where our families can meet and greet each other, where our streets no longer causes frustrations but rather it is a pleasure.

VICTIM OF HIT AND RUN RECOVERING FROM INJURIES
A fourteen year old boy is today recovering from injuries he sustained in a hit and run incident on the Western Highway last night. The victim has been identified as David Gillett, a resident of Camalote village. According to reports reaching the RSV Media Centre, the incident happened just past the WesStar gas station and the driver did not stop to render aid. The boy’s mother Dolores Torres told Love News this morning that the driver just kept on going leaving her son injured on the roadside. Torres says she has spoken to the police about the incident but has not made a formal report as she is waiting for some crucial information which she believes will assist the police in their investigation.

PUP LAKE INDEPENDENCE STANDS DOWN
The PUP Lake Independence Executive Committee has announced that it is officially standing down. A release from the Committee says that immediately following the announcement by three time area representative Cordel Hyde that he was not seeking re-election the Committee should have stepped down. The release goes on to say that the Committee opted as good PUPs to support the Standard Bearer Designate, a candidate that was proposed entirely by the Party's leadership however in the wake of the disqualification of the proposed candidate, and the Party's selection of a replacement, it felt the need to reconsider the position. The Committee says it will continue to maintain its commitment to its social justice values and the advancement of the constituency.

PUNTA GORDA POLICE INVESTIGATE TWO FIRES
Paul Mahung reporting... "Investigation continues into two cases of house fire in San Pedro Columbia Village in the Toledo District. Police report here confirmed that the first of both fire incidences happened last Thursday at about 4:30 am when a 25 by 30 feet wooden thatched roof building was destroyed by fire. The owner Armando Sho was not at home and Police investigation continues. Police also confirmed the second fire incident happened about 8 pm on Saturday when the thatched roof of a 16 by 25 feet concrete building and contents within were destroyed by fire. The owner of the house Andres Salam was not at home since he is employed out the Toledo District but his father Cypriano Salam is the immediate caretaker. Additional caretakers are his wife Saturina and other family members who live in a nearby building. Cypriano was also not at home at the time of the fire incident but his wife Saturina was at home next door. Saturina also confirmed that the roof of the building was totally destroyed along with a quantity of construction materials and family clothing that were kept within and she expressed the need for help in rebuilding the roof and replacing the materials lost. Anyone who wants to kindly assist in anyway can contact the family at phone # 630-1990 or 627-0738. Although the names were not released Police here confirmed that three villagers of San Pedro Columbia are in Punta Gorda Police custody pending investigation."

CTV3

LOVE TV

PlusTV

PUP introduces manifesto for Belize City Council
The People's United Party has launched its manifesto for Belize City Council. The pup team of eleven launched their...

Stann Creek family searches for missing man
Stann Creek Police are investigating a missing person's report. Our Dangriga Correspondent James Valerio filed the ...

OCEANA administrates poll on offshore drilling
Oceana commissioned a poll that selected 4000 participants countrywide who had signed the petition for a referendum...

BUA donates portable breathalyzers to the Belmopan Police Dep.
Belize Unity Alliance has made a donation to the Belmopan police Department. BUA member and standard bearer for Bel...

Taxi man found dead in cab
There was a murder in Belize City. It happened on Saturday night in the old capital on Daly Street. 52 year old tax...

OAS to observe upcoming Municipal and General Elections
The Organization of American States (OAS) will have an observer mission in Belize for the March 7th Municipal and G...

Aikman Academy poll predicts a UDP win
Dereck Aikman of Aikman and Aikman conducted a telephone poll last week and have released the findings. According t...

Two injured in drive-by shooting
There was a shooting incident on Friday night; also in Belize City. At around 9:30 Friday night, 55 year old Norris...

Child recovering after hit and run
A 14 year old boy was knocked down on Sunday night and is now recovering from his injuries. It happened in Camalote...

18 year old Oyinkro Akpobodor charged with rape
A 16-year-old high school minor of Belize City has reported that she was raped while at a home in the King’s Park a...

The Guardian

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Amandala

The Reporter

International Sources

ACES /ANIMAL PLANET PROJECT
Lots of awesome pics... ACES, American Crocodile Educational Sanctuary, Animal Planet Production Team and Photojournalist Michael Davis Animal Planet film work featuring Vince and Cherie working with the crocs here in Belize

Ivory Coast to Belize — tale of two frontiers
One has already defaulted on its debt and the other is at risk of doing so, but Ivory Coast bonds are wildly outperforming those of Belize in JPMorgan’s new NEXGEM frontier bond index. The index contains the debt of 18 frontier markets, and Ivory Coast was the best performing in January, after the borrower said at a roadshow in London last month that it hoped to resume making coupon payments on its debt this year. Ivory Coast stopped paying coupons on its debt in Jan 2011, when it was in the throes of unrest following a disputed presidential election. But the only way is up, now, it seems, for the $2.3 billion bond, which has made returns of 21 percent in January, according to JPMorgan. It’s the best performing debt in the NEXGEM index, which overall slightly outperformed JPMorgan’s closely-watched and broader EMBI-Global Diversified index in January. Belize, meanwhile, looks in danger of spiralling into default after Prime Minister Dean Barrow raised questions a few weeks ago about the government’s willingness to service a “super bond” totalling nearly $550 million. The next flashpoint for the bond is today, when a $23 million coupon is due (though today’s U.S. holiday may complicate things), and Belize is the worst performer in the index, with losses of 26 percent. However, JPMorgan, which remains marketweight (neutral) on the index overall, is still upbeat about Belize, which faces elections in March. Their analysts say: We have a bias to add Belize following the elections as we do not believe that a default is likely… Aside from the near-term noise, the economic news is relatively good, with growth holding steady in the 2.5-3.0% range, the fiscal deficit narrowing, and the public debt burden declining over the past couple of years.

Management of Eco-tourism and its Perception: A Case Study of Belize
Authored by Mr Kevin Griffiths Authored with Kapil Kathuria 'Ecotourism' plays a significant role in the economic sustainability of the Belizean economy. It is the understanding and perceptions of the tourist and tourism service providers towards 'Ecotourism' that will facilitate the continuation of the successful expansion of this market sector. This paper shows that there is a distinct lack of understanding regarding the definition of the term 'Ecotourism" and the variance in perceptions between service user and service provider. This variance and differing understanding stems from a wide range of definitions around the term 'Ecotourism' and the 'greening' of operations that would not readily fit into the ethos of 'Ecotourism' but use its messages to help promote commercial gains. This 'greenwashing' clouds the perceptions of the service user and fosters mistrust in operations that claim to offer 'Ecotourism' experiences. The consumer requires clear boundaries in terms of definition in order to make decisions as to which destination and experience to choose. This paper shows the wide range of understanding of the terminology and shows that attitudes to the sector are acceptable but in need of development and enhancement to fully capitalise on the potential of this market. Messages by service providers need to encourage education and awareness of the facilities and benefits of 'Ecotourism'. This awareness promotion should be matched with a system of independent verification of published standards. Without clearly defining the ethos of 'Ecotourism' the consumer will find it harder to accept messages that are not measurable and independently verifiable. The research here has identified areas of harmonisation between service users and service providers, it has also established areas for further development in order to sustain effect management of the sectors promotion and development. Publication Date: Feb 08 2012



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 10:54 AM)