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The San Pedro Sun

Social Security Board Assumes the Presidency Pro Tempore of CISSCAD
The XXXIII Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Social Security Institutions in Central America and Dominican Republic (CISSCAD) is being held in Belize City during March 1 to 2, 2012. The highlight of this meeting includes the formal handing over of the Presidency of the CISSCAD from Lic. Marlon de Souza, Deputy Director General of the Social Security Institute of Panamá to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Social Security Board, Mrs. Leticia Vega. The tenure of the Presidency is for a period of two years from 2012 to 2013. CISSCAD member countries will be developing a work plan to execute the CISSCAD’s Strategic Plan 2012-2016 under the theme “Advancing social security through integration and collaboration.”

Skydiving Boogie Moves to Nicaragua
For the last seven years the February skies over San Pedro have been decorated with the colourful parachutes of the Boogie in Belize contingency. Organized by Richard Grimm of Tsunami Skydivers, the annual event was one that the residents of San Pedro, and certainly the skydiving thrill seekers looked forward to each year. Unfortunately this yearly tradition has come to an end with the Boogie now moving to a more accommodating Nicaragua. According to Richard Grimm, holding the popular event in Belize, which attracted over 200 participants from around the world each year, was anything but easy. “Hosting eight events in seven years was a struggle for me. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) didn’t do much to help out. They would sponsor the welcoming dinner at the Blue Water Grill each year but that was pretty much the extent of their assistance,” stated Grimm.

People’s Referendum: NO to Offshore Oil Drilling!
Residents of San Pedro Town came out in numbers on Wednesday, February 29th to vote in the People’s Referendum concerning offshore oil drilling in Belize. Polling stations opened countrywide at 6AM and in San Pedro Town it was no exception. The organizers in San Pedro were out very early ensuring that when the polls were opened, the entire machinery would be up and running. A steady stream of voters was observed throughout the course of the day. Many electors were out in shirts that clearly said “No to Offshore Drilling,” indicating the sentiment of a majority of voters that turned up to participate in the referendum process. Similar to any election process, those that promoted a No-Vote to offshore exploration and oil drilling in Belize were out with flyers educating people why it should not be entertained in Belize’s pristine waters.

Ambergris Today

Maya of Belize Judge Cooking Competition on BBC America
Yes! Belize is finally getting the recognition and international attention it deserves. From the big shows like ABC’s The Bachelor to A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Values, a host of other networks are including and featuring Belize in their programs. What’s best is that they are visiting Belize and promoting our country with excellent footage. The latest exposure comes from BBC America that has just released the extended launch trailer for its new original unscripted adventure-cooking-competition series NO KITCHEN REQUIRED before the world premiere on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. From the creators of Chopped, NO KITCHEN REQUIRED follows three chefs as they are dropped into the most exotic and remote places on earth where they will work with the locals to hunt, fish and forage for ingredients to create a locally-inspired meal that will be judged by the community.

Video Pick: Gerry Debuts Music Video
Ambergris Today’s got talent! Well we always knew that we had the stuff to produce a great media house and keep you informed of what is going on in Belize, but did u know we can sing? Actually it's our very own Gerry Badillo who can belt out the good notes. A while back Gerry posted the release of his first single, 'Ya No Quiero Verte Mas' which debuted his interest and talent in music. But now Gerry shows us his skills in directing, producing and packaging his song into a music video.

Belize Votes Resounding No to Offshore Oil Drilling
The message could not be any clearer; Belizeans do not want Offshore Drilling in the country. This has been proven with the outcome of the People’s Referendum that asked the voting populace of Belize if they agreed with Offshore Drilling in the country. The voting took place on Wednesday, February 29, 2012. Results from the People’s Referendum, organized by Oceana Belize and Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, indicate that 96% (28,208) voted NO, 4% (799) voted yes for Offshore Drilling out of a total of 29,235 overall voters.


Blogs

San Pedro Red Cross
The Belize Red Cross is pleased to announce the reactivation of a vibrant and well functioning San Pedro Branch. The first community information session and volunteer registration will be held this Saturday, March 3rd from 10:00am to 1:00pm on the upper floor of El Divino Restaurant, Banana Beach Resort, San Pedro Town. Members of the Belize Red Cross cordially invite all Ambergris Caye residents to attend, meet the Red Cross team and learn how Ambergris Caye can benefit from and assist the most vulnerable people of the community and the rest of Belize by having an active Red Cross office in San Pedro.

Guatemala Cruise Day 5: Return to San Pedro
As I mentioned at the end of yesterday's post, I nabbed the 4:30 am night watch shift, which meant I'd get to see the sun rise. Even though I hit the hay early and got everything ready to go the night before (binoculars, camera, windbreaker, hat, etc.), the alarm on my cell phone startled me when it rang at 4:25. It was pitch dark, and as I struggled up into the galley, I was relieved to see Ruthie just getting off her shift. She very kindly made me coffee before retreating to her cabin. Nothing had ever tasted better. I took the helm with Simon, and it was eerie not being able to see anything in front of us. To the port side, I saw a city and asked him if it was Caye Caulker or San Pedro. "Belize City", he replied. Duh...I really was sleepy. Obviously we weren't far enough along for either of the Cayes.

Getting Married in Belize! Helda and Robbie Wed PLUS A Bonus Wedding
Getting married on Ambergris Caye promises white sand, tropical flowers, warm breezes, aqua blue water, happy guests, probably a little Bob Marley ("I wanna love you, every day and every night") and yes, plenty of rum punch. Yesterday was a Leap Year, a special day to get married...but it was doubly special since Helda and Robbie, the owners of the popular Roadkill Bar GOT MARRIED on the beach. And lots of San Pedranos were in attendance. Even Pedro's Inn, Peter in a skirt. But let's back up. We pulled up to park at the hotel/resort next door to the wedding site...at Carribean Villas...and ANOTHER wedding was happening. This hotel is a fantastic spot to be married. A very cute palapa bar and fantastic beach front location, the wedding was just getting started.

Mother Nature, I Love/Hate You - To Hopkins, Belize
Our lifestyle gives us regular opportunities that ‘normal’ society doesn’t often provide anymore – glimpses of innumerable stars in a pitch black sky; a path of light across a watery surface of glass, leading to the moon in her full glory; the coo of doves each morning as you prepare breakfast; the chirp of geckos each night; the bellow of howler monkeys as you fall asleep. But along with all the beauty is my constant, unrelenting nemesis. The one affliction and torment that at times makes Mother Nature almost unbearable. Biting ants. Mosquitoes. Sand flies (aka jejenes, noseeums). Flies. Gnats. Fruit flies. Cockroaches. Spiders. And countless other flying, creeping, crawling things. We’d been attacked in the night by biting sand flies while we camped in Ladyville, Belize. We all looked as though we had a severe case of the chicken pox, and itched like mad. A week long ‘vacation’ with friends on Ambergris Caye had cured us – (one major benefit of indoor living, reduced exposure to bugs.) We were back to norma

Gene Therapy Could Help Corals Survive Climate Change
Has great implications for Belize. A microbiologist is harnessing beneficial bacteria to help coral reefs weather pollution, overfishing and climate change...

Botanically Belize
My new little eBook is published! Botanically Belize is a garden/travel book about my adventures in Belize. I went for about 3 weeks in December/Jan. and explored almost the whole country, by way of a tiny little pickup truck and my awesome boyfriend, Matt. We went cave tubing, Mayan ruin trekking, hiking, horse back riding through the jungle, and came across tons of little adventures and friendly locals along the way. I also got to further my obsession with Cacao!

Visiting Belize with an authentic Ceviche recipe
With the availability of fresh seafood ceviche is a very popular dish. It is cool and refreshing in the hot climate and it does not require traditional cooking. Instead the fish is “cooked” by marinating in lime juice. Belizean ceviche can be made from fish, conch, and lobster, whatever is available. This ceviche may keep the cook cool by not requiring the use of a stove, but it may heat up the diner as it contains habanero peppers and Marie Sharp’s Habanero sauce (a Belizean hot sauce)...

Postcards from North Ambergris Caye
Relaxing in the hammock. Hibiscus at the neighborhood grocery store. Yoga on the dock. The Rum Punch II tied up at the Palapa Bar. Snorkeling off the dock. Egret wading at sunset. Sunset over the lagoon.

Texas drought twists migrations of many birds, some seen in Belize!
The Associated PressTexas drought twists migrations of many birds. Some ducks just kept flying south — all the way to Belize in Central America.

Eco-Fashion Show to debut during Prince Harry’s Visit to Xunantunich
Every designer dreams of the chance to showcase their creations to world. For one Belizean designer that dream is about to come through, on Saturday, March 3rd. His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales, with representatives of several of the world’s major media houses in tow, will visit the archaeological site of Xunantunich where they’ll be taking in more than panoramic views and ancient Maya temples. At the site, there will also be female models wearing high fashion outfits made from recycled materials like newspaper, bottle caps, plastic tarps and magnetic tape. The designer behind the eco-fashion show is Joris Hendrik, a twenty-year old Belizean university student who dropped his major in Architecture to pursue a career in couture. “I have always had a thing for fashion but I actually started sketching designs when I was fifteen,” Hendrik says. “And I knew I wanted to do a different type of ‘Belizean’ with my clothing.”

Channel 7

Too Big to Ignore: 30,000 Vote In People's Referendum
Well, the polls closed at 8:00 last night and results were tabulated overnight. They were presented today and - as might have been expected from yesterday's turnout - the numbers were off the charts - not only in how many voted - but in how many were opposed to offshore drilling. We went to OCEANA's office to hear the results today of an unofficial referendum - with really only one side of the issue campaigning and Today - whatever fatigue accumulated over a night of counting ballots - was overtaken by the rush of success that far surpassed expectations: Audrey Matura - Shepherd - Vice President, Oceana "We want people to that we are proud to announce that the total amount of voters who came out was 29,235. Give them a round of applause." There was no shortage of self-congratulation, but with good reason - the results validate all the Coalition has been saying. Of the 29,235 who voted countrywide - 28,208 - a resounding 96% - voted no to offshore drilling:

GOB Will Hold Down Gas Price
"A tanker is in town" - those who've been around will know that means gas prices are about to change - and with the current trade sanctions on oil-exporting Iran - that means that prices can only go up. Indeed, as we understand it, under the current formula prices are supposed to go up to twelve dollars and fifty-two cents per gallon of premium - that's almost one dollar up from the present mark of eleven dollars and sixty three cents. That would be a killer for consumers, and politicians, because elections are going to be held in a week. So, we understand that government has taken the decision to change the revenue formula and absorb the difference in cost so that the price can stay unchanged. Bottom line to you the consumer? Don't worry, the pump price of fuel won't increase - for about a month. But, after that, there's no telling what will happen, particularly if tensions around Iran remain high. World Oil prices surged higher today - to almost 110 US dollars per barrel - because of tensions over Iran.

230K Stolen/Recovered in Armed Robbery Of Bank, Alleged Robber Killed
Two hundred and thirty thousand dollars was stolen this morning just before 9:00 in an armed bank robbery at one of the most crowded areas of the city - the San Cas Plaza at the Belcan roundabout. It is the most daring armed robbery in Belize City has seen - and it left one man dead. It also terrified those living near to or alongside the Belize River between the Belcan and Haulover bridges. They heard an extended exchange of gunfire between police and the bank robbers - who tried to escape across the river. Monica Bodden found out more about what looks to have been a well-orchestrated, well-executed and ultimately, foiled bank robbery.

OAS Election Observers In Belize
Earlier on we told you about the People's referendum - which, its critics will say had no independent body overseeing it, but for the first time, Belize's General and municipal elections will be overseen by the Organization of American States. The OAS Observer Team, headed by Ambassador Frank Almaguer, arrived in Belize today and met with the Elections and Boundaries Commission this afternoon in Belize City. After signing the agreement with the Chairman of the Commission, Alberto August, Ambassador Almaguer said the role of his team is simple: Ambassador Frank Almaguer - Head of OAS Observer Team To Belize "First of all were delighted to be in Belize, and very pleased that the Elections and Boundaries Commission, the Government and the authorities invited the OAS to come and observe the General Elections for March 7th, which is the first time, Belize will have had OAS observers.

Honduran, Wanted For Murder, Being Prepared For Deportation
Last week we showed you an MS-13 gang member that was shipped out of Belize because he is wanted in El Salvador. Well, tonight authorities are preparing to ship out a Honduran who is wanted for murder. 23 year-old Jaime Caballero, a farmer of Honduran Nationality, is currently in the hands of the Criminal Investigation Branch. He is going to be processed to be deported to his home country. Immigration officials received a tip that Caballero was in Belize, and on Tuesday he was intercepted on Freetown Road. When he was asked for his travel documents, he couldn't produce any, so as a result, he was charged with failure to produce a visitor's permit.

Man Will Spend 3 Years For Nineteen Pounds Cannabis
After a 2-month trial, 30 year-old Denroy Williams has been found guilty of trafficking 19 pounds of cannabis. He will spend 3 years in prison for this his second drug trafficking conviction. He was jointly charged with his brother, 28 year-old Micka Lee Williams, and their friend, 26 year-old Shawn Whitaker, According to police, on March 2, 2010 at around 8 p.m., the Gang Supression Unit began trailing behind a vehicle reportedly belonging to Micka Lee Williams from Roaring Creek to Hattieville Village.

Profile Of A Player
Tonight's profile is about Clinton Pulu Lightburn. In terms of his basketball accomplishments - he might be the greatest of all time - but his legend only survives by word of mouth - because there's no tape of his heyday in the 70's - and no statistical records. But his legend continues to evolve - Pulu is a thinker, a teacher and a futurist. In this weeks; profile, he tells us about life beyond basketball:

After Shakeup, Social Security Still Making Appearances
Belize's Social Security Board may have gone through a senior shake-up recently, but it's putting its best foot forward to host a regional meeting. The Council of Social Security Institutions in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CISSCAD) held its 33rd ordinary meeting today in Belize. The highlight was the formal handing over of the Presidency of the CISSCAD from Panamá to Acting Chief Officer of the Belize Social Security Board, Leticia Vega. The member countries will be developing a work plan to execute the CISSCAD's Strategic Plan 2012-2016 under the theme "Advancing social security through integration and collaboration." Former President Marlon de Souza talked about some of the objectives:

Police Minister Snaps At Journalist
As we told you earlier in the news, the police today held a press conference to give the media an update on the bank robbery at First Caribbean near the Belcan Bridge. According to our records, it is the first police press conference in over a year! And that's a story in itself! But, our next story is about the dismissive behavior of Police Minister Doug Singh - who told a journalist that he would be asked to leave the press conference if he kept pushing a certain line of questioning. The reporter is Rowland Parks of the Reporter Newspaper - and he was pressing the police to give an explanation as to why deadly force was used on Albert Assi - after the weapons he had used to shoot after police had apparently been left in the getaway boat - and Assi had already been incapacitated with a gunshot to the leg. We pick up the exchange where the officer commanding Eastern Division ACP Elodio Aragon avoided answering Parks and was telling the press that more updates would be coming. Still, Parks pressed on, and that's when the police minister snapped at him.

Channel 5

Shots fired after heist of First Caribbean Bank
A major bank heist took place this morning at FirstCaribbean Bank at the Save-U Plaza. Four armed robbers in disguise eased themselves into the bank and held up the tellers. They fled with a reported two hundred and thirty thousand dollars from the banks vault in a getaway SUV. That part of the robbery appeared ...

One robber shot dead; over $200,000 stolen
The robbers got away in a silver Honda SUV that took them to the area of the roundabout near the Esso Depot where a small skiff was on standby on the banks of the river. But the cops soon caught up with the robbers, killed one and got back about one hundred and sixty thousand ...

Over 29,000 vote in Oceana’s Referendum
Close to thirty thousand registered electors voted on the issue of offshore drilling on Wednesday. By any stretch, it’s a huge turnout for a relatively short campaign that led to the mock referendum organized by the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage. After fourteen hours of voting countrywide, the final results were tabulated by three ...

Police Department Ready for Royal Visit
The highly anticipated royal visit is upon us; this Friday, Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, fondly called Prince Harry, will be arriving in Belize. There is a media frenzy by the international press to cover the royal visit. This station will be bringing you live coverage of his arrival at the PGIA, followed ...

OAS Mission arrives in Belize to observe elections
While the prince is on his way to Belize, an Observer Mission from the Organization of American States has arrived to monitor the March seventh national elections. The three representatives were tied up in a meeting throughout the afternoon with the Elections and Boundaries Commission at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building on Mahogany Street. In ...

Dark cases of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
In other news, across the country the commission of sexual offences remains rampant. Earlier this week two instances were reported in the Cayo and Stann Creek districts. Belmopan police are investigating an allegation of unlawful carnal knowledge which was reported by a teenager on Wednesday morning. According to the fourteen year old she visited her ...

Illegal immigrant wanted for Murder in Honduras
An undocumented Honduran National was not just seeking a new life in Belize, but perhaps a new identity. Twenty-three year-old Jaime Caballero was caught in Belize on Freetown Road on February twenty-eight without travel or nationality documents. He was arraigned today in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where he was ...

Manslaughter charge for man with deadly punch
On Monday morning, shortly before ten fifty-two year old John Myers was involved in a quarrel with another man, when he hit Myers to the face causing him fall and hit his head on the concrete. Myers, who was slumped in the corner of a snack shop on Mahogany Street, later died from the injuries ...

Honda Passport theft
A Honda Passport, described as bronze in color, belonging to insurance advisor Myrna Paul was stolen on Wednesday afternoon from North Front Street. The vehicle, valued at eight thousand dollars, bears the license plate number BZ-C-40794 and was parked along the busy street between two o’clock and five o’clock in the evening. Paul reported that ...

P.N.P. says voting areas are not optimal in the South
In the south, Will Maheia, the leader of the People’s National Party and deputy leader of the Belize Unity Alliance today dispatched a letter to the Chief Elections Officer to complain that polling stations in the Toledo East Constituency are impractically located. Maheia says that if not rectified, voters in the constituency will be disenfranchised. ...

Burnt House a case of political victimization?
We reported on Wednesday night that the vehicle of P.U.P. standard bearer, Dr. Francis Smith, had been set on fire at the New Road Gas Station. It’s a case of arson that is believed to have been politically motivated, but it is not limited to Belize City. Down south in Punta Gorda, two houses were ...

Cayo North East Political Bloody Machete Match Up
In the west, the rivalry between party supporters is known to get contentious. On Sunday in the village of Los Tambos, U.D.P. supporters of the Cayo Northeast Division claim they came under attack from followers of the opposition. The incumbent area representative Elvin Penner says he does not believe his opponent was involved but thirty-nine ...

Healthy Living goes deep into ingrown hairs
They say beauty knows no pain. There are numerous ways to remove hair for women; for men it is more limited. But this simple act of grooming can come with consequences. Healthy Living finds out more about the pesky and unsightly ingrown hairs. Marleni Cuellar, Reporting When it comes to hair removal, we all have ...

LOVE FM

LADYVILLE HOMEOWNER ROBBED
A burglary has been reported in Ladyville village in the Belize district. Sheila Gentle reported to police that around eleven fifteen on Tuesday morning she was at home when she heard a noise coming from one of the bedrooms. Upon making checks Gentle says she saw a man coming into her house through one of the bedroom windows. Gentle says she attempted to run away, however, she was chased down and caught by the same intruder. Gentle says that the intruder instructed her to sit down on a chair in her living room. Thereafter, three other men reportedly entered the house and allegedly removed assorted items. The alleged burglars reportedly made good their escape in Gentle’s car, valued at twenty three thousand US dollars. Police say the reported value of the stolen items from Gentle’s house is fifty six thousand and thirty nine dollars. Police investigations continue. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

ARMED HOLDUP REPORTED AT JEWELLERY STORE
An armed robbery was reported in Belize City on Wednesday morning at the Profile Jewellery store situated at the Commercial Center in Belize City. According to salesman Edwin Garnett, around eleven thirty tomorrow morning, he along with co-worker Sheena Harriage were inside the store when they were accosted by two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun and the other with a knife. The two employees were ordered to lie on the floor and as they did so, the gunman proceeded to take an undisclosed amount of gold and silver jewellery from the shop, while the man with the knife searched Garnett and took one cellular phone, sixty five dollars in cash and his driver’s license. The alleged robber also searched Sheena Harriage and took away her cell phone, in addition to a DVD player. Before leaving, the alleged robbers raided the cash register of one hundred and thirty dollars in cash after which they both walked out of the store and made good their escape. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

CAR DESTROYED BY FIRE IN SAN IGNACIO
A car was destroyed by fire this morning in San Ignacio. Elaine Berry reporting… “At 10:05 a.m. the Fire Department responded to a fire at 13 Blancaneaux Street in San Ignacio. On arrival they came upon a 1993 Mazda Protégé engulfed in flames. Fire officials managed to contain the flames and quickly had the fire under control. The cause of the fire was because of an electrical fault. Ernest Wilshire, a mechanic was working on the car when it caught fire. The car was extensively damaged. The cost of the damage is estimated at $2,300.00.” Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

POLICE DESTROY MARIJUANA PLANTATION
Police in the Toledo district have discovered and destroyed a large marijuana plantation. According to reports, an anti-drug operation was conducted between five o’clock and eight o’clock on Wednesday morning in the area of the Nim Li Punit Mayan archaeological site in Indian Creek village. During the operation, police say they found the marijuana plantation containing six thousand, two hundred and fifty four plants ranging from two to four feet in height. No one was found in the area and police say all of the marijuana plants were uprooted and destroyed. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

WOMAN CLAIMS COMMON LAW HUSBAND SEXUALLY ASSAULTED GIRLS
In Bella Vista village, police are investigating a report of an indecent assault upon two girls ages three and five years old. The children’s mother reported to police that on Tuesday morning around six fifteen she was awakened by her common law husband. After letting him into the house, the woman says she followed him into the bedroom where both girls were asleep and saw the man undress the girls and sexually assaulted them. The mother also reported to police that she also witnessed her common law husband indecently assaulting both girls on separate occasions in the month of January. Investigations continue. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

TWO MEN CHARGED FOR SEXUAL OFFENCES
Police in Belmopan are investigating two reported cases of carnal knowledge. On Tuesday, a fourteen year old student went to the Belmopan police station, accompanied by her father, to report that on the night of January twenty fifth, a man asked her to meet him near the Brodies supermarket, which she did. The man has been identified by police as thirty two year old businessman Miguel Padilla. The girl says that Padilla took her to his apartment where they engaged in sexual activity. Padilla has since been arrested and charged for the crime on carnal knowledge. The second incident also involves a fourteen year old student. The girl told police that on Saturday night, she visited her boyfriend Carlos Carabantes at his house in the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan. During the visit, the girl claims she and her boyfriend engaged in sexual intercourse. Police continues to investigate the report. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

CAYO TAXI DRIVER SHOT
A taxi driver from the village of Arenal in the Cayo district was the victim of a shooting incident on Wednesday morning. He has been identified as twenty three year old Minor Najaro. According to police reports, a mobile patrol that was heading towards the western border, spotted Najaro’s car parked on the right hand side of the road in an area known as Puga’s Game. Police say that upon making checks, they saw blood spots on the steering wheel and outside of the car. Investigations reveled that Najaro was transporting a man from Benque Viejo del Carmen towards the border, when upon reaching Puga’s gate, the man fired a single gunshot hitting Najaro behind the right ear, with the bullet exiting the left cheek. The alleged shooting reportedly made good his escape by running towards the Mopan River. Police investigations continue. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

CHILD STIMULATION MONTH BEGINS
Activities in observance of Child Stimulation month have started in Dangriga. Harry Arzu reporting… “In connection with child stimulation month in this municipality, an official opening ceremony was held at the BTL Princess Royal Park. At the even preschoolers entertained the large gathering of parents and other guests with their talents of singing, poetry and other educational activities that they have learnt in the classroom. Following the ceremony the preschoolers along with their parents marched through the principal streets of Dangriga in an effort to let the public become aware of child stimulation month. Therese Ariola is the Preschool Coordinator for Stann Creek District and she told Love News that there are 32 preschools in the district. For the rest of this month preschoolers will be participating in various events and activities within their communities.” Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

WOMEN’S MONTH ACTIVITIES BEGIN
A number of activities will be taking place around the country in observance of Women’s month. The activities started today. Cynthia Williams is the Human Development coordinator at the women’s Department. Cynthia Williams – Human Development Coordinator, Women’s Department “We have activities throughout the country since we have one officer in each district. One of the first activities for us is a women’s fitness session that will begin today in partnership with Body 2000, these sessions will be held from Monday to Friday with the exception of March 7, 8, 12. It will be a variety of sessions including spinning, Latin dance workout, core strengthening and stepping, introduction to weights and flexibility, that is our very first activity and we are inviting all women to be a part of it and since the month is being celebrated under the theme “Connecting girls, inspiring futures, we are ensuring that we include girls throughout the different activities that we are organizing and many of the agencies are also doing it. On Saturday we will be having a girl to woman value session. We will be looking at what are the values that girls have today, what is the value that women have and how can we begin to understand each other so we would be able to continue in the preparation of our girls. We have realized that in order for our women to be empowered we also must begin with our girls ensuring that they have things that they need, ensuring that they have the support and role models for them to be able to be inspired for their future.” Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

WOMEN’S MONTH ACTIVITIES BEGIN
A number of activities will be taking place around the country in observance of Women’s month. The activities started today. Cynthia Williams is the Human Development coordinator at the women’s Department. Cynthia Williams – Human Development Coordinator, Women’s Department “We have activities throughout the country since we have one officer in each district. One of the first activities for us is a women’s fitness session that will begin today in partnership with Body 2000, these sessions will be held from Monday to Friday with the exception of March 7, 8, 12. It will be a variety of sessions including spinning, Latin dance workout, core strengthening and stepping, introduction to weights and flexibility, that is our very first activity and we are inviting all women to be a part of it and since the month is being celebrated under the theme “Connecting girls, inspiring futures, we are ensuring that we include girls throughout the different activities that we are organizing and many of the agencies are also doing it. On Saturday we will be having a girl to woman value session. We will be looking at what are the values that girls have today, what is the value that women have and how can we begin to understand each other so we would be able to continue in the preparation of our girls. We have realized that in order for our women to be empowered we also must begin with our girls ensuring that they have things that they need, ensuring that they have the support and role models for them to be able to be inspired for their future.” Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

MAN WANTED IN HONDURAS PICKED UP IN BELIZE
Twenty-three year old Honduran National Jaime Caballero, wanted in Honduras for murder, was picked up by Immigration Officers on Tuesday evening, February twenty –eighth, on Freetown Road. Caballero had no travel documents so he was charged with failure to produce a visitor’s permit. He pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared today in Court. He was fined one thousand dollars by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. If he defaults on payment of the fine, he will serve six months. Immigration officers have learned through Interpol that Caballero is wanted in Honduras for murder. So Immigration officers escorted Caballero to Queen Street Police Station and handed him over to the Crimes Intelligence Unit. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

MAN FINED AND CONFINED FOR DRUG OFFENCES
Thirty year old Denroy Williams a.k.a. “Moo”, one of three persons charged with drug trafficking for eight point nine kilograms of cannabis, was sentenced to three years and was fined ten thousand dollars today after he was found guilty of the charge. The other two defendants, Williams’ brother Mica Ice Williams and Shawn Whittaker, were not called upon to answer the charge. Denroy Williams had one previous conviction for drug trafficking and four convictions for possession of controlled drugs. The bust occurred around eight p.m. on March second, 2010 on the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road. Denroy Williams was in a pick-up truck that did not stop at a police check point in front of the Hattieville police station. When the police caught up with the pick-up truck, Denroy Williams was in the pan of the vehicle and a crocus sack containing the cannabis was thrown out of the vehicle. Denroy Williams gave a statement to the police in which he admitted he had knowledge of the cannabis in the vehicle. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

MAN CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER
Thirty-three year old Elario Frank Elijio, a laborer of Morning Glory Street, was charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of fifty two year old John Russell Myers Jr. when he appeared today in Court. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith did not take a plea from Elijio because the offence is indictable. She denied him bail and remanded him into custody until March 30. The incident occurred on Monday morning, February twenty seventh on Mahogany Street near to a fast food shop. According to reports, Myers got into an argument with another man and he was punched. Myers is alleged, fell and struck his head and died on the spot. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

MAN CHARGED WITH BURGLARY AND OTHER CHARGES
Forty eight year old Leon Smith, a resident of Foster Drive in Hattieville, was charged with three offences when he appeared today in Court. The offences were burglary, theft and escape. Smith pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until April twenty third. Smith has a court fine for which payment is outstanding and for which he will serve four months. The theft occurred on February thirteenth at the residence of Orlando Verdes, located in Hattieville. It is alleged that Smith stole twelve coconuts from a tree in Verdes’ yard. The burglary occurred on the following day, February fourteenth. According to the allegation, Smith entered as a trespasser, the dwelling house of Verdes and stole one medium size gas tank and one hundred and thirty DVD’s, all to a total value of six hundred and twenty dollars. The escape occurred yesterday. The police reported that Smith escaped from lawful custody while he was b3eing detained at Hattieville Police Station for burglary. Smith said he ran from the police station to go to the hospital because he was suffering from chest pains from being beaten by the police. He said he was caught by the police before he reached the hospital. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer has instructed the police to take Smith to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment before he is taken to prison. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

COALITION RELEASES REFERENDUM NUMBERS
Yesterday was a busy day for the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage as they held the People’s Referendum, as a way to give a voice to many who were silenced when signatures were rejected from a petition to host a national referendum. People came out by the numbers to vote and the results were released today at a press conference in the front yard of the OCEANA Belize office. Ninety six percent of the twenty nine thousand two hundred and thirty five voters came out, voted no to offshore oil drilling while the remaining four percent voted yes. Vice President for OCEANA Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd went more in detail with the results at the conference this morning. Audrey Matura Shepherd – Vice President, Oceana Belize “We had 143 spoilt ballots and 25 missing and this may sound funny but apparently people got the ballots and walked away with it, I wonder if those were the mischievous operatives. 25 ballots went missing. For the Corozal District what we had, we had a total of 3,501 voters came out and that is only in the District itself because a lot of them did vote in San Pedro or Belize City where they live or work. There we had 98% of the people of Corozal say no to offshore drilling and 1.5% said yes, that .5% may have accounted for spoilt or missing ballots. In the Stann Creek District we had a total 3,721 voters went out to cast their vote, 95% of them said no to offshore drilling, 4% said yes. In Caye Caulker we had 478 registered voters went out to cast their vote, of those 97.2% said no to offshore drilling and 1.8% said yes. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

OAS OBSERVER MISSION IN BELIZE
The chief of the observer mission from the Organization of American States for next week’s double elections in Belize has arrived in the country. The team is being led by Ambassador Frank Almaguer and the OAS observer mission is in response to a formal invitation from the government of Belize. According to a release from the OAS, the observer mission will formally begin its work today following the signing of the electoral observation agreement between the OAS and the Elections and Boundaries Commission. Ambassador Almaguer, who is the former United States Ambassador to Honduras, says he is delighted and honored to lead this first OAS election observer mission to Belize and that one of the guiding principles of the team he heads is to help create an atmosphere of public trust and encourage citizen participation in the electoral process. He explained that as part of his mandate, Almaguer will be meeting and conducting interviews with the electoral authorities, political, governmental and international community representatives, as well as with members of the media and of civil society in Belize to gain a thorough understanding of the electoral dynamic. The OAS election observer mission team will be installed today and will observe the electoral process in the days leading up to the election as well as Election Day activities from the opening of the polls to the counting and dissemination of the results. Following Wednesday’s joint elections, the observer mission will present its findings during a press conference and then forward a report to the OAS permanent council in Washington, D.C. Story at http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=

ALLEGED BANK ROBBER SHOT AND KILLED
An early-morning robbery at First Caribbean Bank at San Cas Plaza today resulted in the shooting death of one of the alleged robbers and the recovery of a parcel containing the stolen money. It all unfolded shortly before nine this morning when two armed men walked into the bank and stole an undisclosed amount of money. They reportedly ran out of the compound and got into a boat that was docked at the foot of the Belcan Bridge. The men were reportedly about to reach their planned location to transfer into a getaway vehicle but that was where they were met by police who had been alerted, A crossfire between someone in the vehicle and the police led to the shooting death of one of the alleged robbers, nineteen year old Alberto Asi. Love News was on the scene shortly after and spoke with terrified residents on the southside of the Haulover Creek where the shooting happened. Resident 1 “The baby that was on the bed is for my neighbor, she lives closer to the river where the incident happened and so ran when the thing happened and I told her to come inside and leave her baby inside. This is craziness. It was high powered weapon they were using. It passed through one wall and came through the other.”

PlusTV

Separate bank heists, one suspect killed
First Caribbean bank robbery ends with one robber fatally wounded. This morning police responded to reports that th...

96% vote no to offshore drilling in mock referendum
The results are in for the People’s Referendum on offshore oil exploration & drilling. In an overwhelming show of s...

Northern Highway to be closed off for Prince Harry's motorcade
Prince Harry is arriving in Belize tomorrow March 2nd on the first leg in a whirlwind Caribbean Tour. Preparations ...

Child stimulation month kicks off
The month of March is celebrated as Child Stimulation Month. This year’s Theme, “Early Childhood Education Start Ea...

UB hosts "A Word from the Political Parties" student forum
The University of Belize through the Faculty of Education and Arts hosted a Student Forum: entitled “A Word from th...

PUP standard bearer's Mercedes Benz set on fire
On Tuesday of this week, Dr. Francis Smith vehicle, who is the PUP standard bearer for Pickstock was set on fire. A...

Taxi driver shot and left inside cab
Benque Vejio police are investigating a shooting which occurred yesterday. Police were on board a Police Mobile hea...

Mother allegedly catches common law husband molesting children
Police are also investigating a report of indecent assault upon a 3 year old and a 5 year old! A 31 yr old mother o...

COLA criticizes PM Barrow for superbond comment
Cola has issued a press release on statements made by the Prime Minister. On the 24th of February 2012, COLA facili...

CYAP launches campaign to encourage youth vote
The CARICOM Youth Ambassadors’ Program (CYAP) is represented in Belize by Dylan Williams and Kera Bowen both CARICO...

The Guardian

6,000 benefit from new Libertad Village Health Centre
On Friday, February 24, a new health center was inaugurated in Libertad Village. The Libertad Health Center will provide better health services and benefit almost 6,000 residents in four villages of the Corozal District. Hon. Gabriel Martinez was a guest speaker at the opening ceremony. He said that the new centre will serve the villages of Libertad, Concepcion, Caledonia and San Joaquin with quality health care, including general medicine, breast and cervical cancer screening, outpatient services, pre-natal, post-natal, child care and emergency services among many others.

UDP ACTION PLAN Always for the PEOPLE versus PUP-Manifesto Impossibilities, Shallow Rhetoric and Absent Leadership
The Hon. Dean O. Barrow, on the occasion of Mr. Price’s death said “there will NEVER be another PUP leader like George Price.” John Briceno, fully aware of his shortcoming, restricted intellect, and misunderstanding of what leadership is, quickly took it to heart and vacated the leadership of the PUP. The interim leader decided that ‘that bunch’ was obviously not worth leading. The situation got so bad that the literally unknown Arthur Saldivar threw in his name for leadership, as did ‘wonder boy,’ who wants to represent Cayo South. This sent the OLD PUP, NEW PUP, and the LOSS of IDENTITY into a tailspin. This was happening in public view; a party, which considers itself worthy of governing Belize, was unable to find a leader. Francis, after being coaxed, bottle-fed and promised he could emulate, threw in his name overnight and became leader, albeit with apprehension and fear knowing he did not possess the minimum characteristics to lead a mass party, much less being leader of the country. To show how void he is of leadership qualities, he evoked Mr. Price’s name, and to consolidate our observations, he made sure that Mr. Price’s picture is on the PUP manifesto cover under the caption “Deliverance for Belize.” No disrespect Francis, but you are no George Price and you cannot be saved from the grave. The man passed on his legacy, but since 1998, the leadership of the PUP has either been the most corrupt, burdened the Belizean people with debt, or enriched cronies and family members.

Voted 5 times in Oceana’s Referendum
Oceana conducted its ‘People’s Referendum’ on Wednesday February 29th where people came out to vote on the issue of offshore drilling. From our point of view, the entire exercise was filled with problems. Nonetheless it was held. So as to make the point, the Guardian kept in touch with one individual from Belize City, who travelled to Stann Creek and as an experiment, all his own, he decided to test the veracity of the referendum. His idea was to see how many times he could vote between Belize City and Stann Creek. Along the way, he documented his experiment taking pictures. By the time he was done he had voted 5 times.

Shackron’s Disqualification
At around 9 a.m. on Friday, February 17th, all parties crowded into the courtroom of Justice Oswell Legall. Attorneys Lisa Shoman and Magali Marin – Young represented the claimant Yolanda Schakron, while Attorneys Rodwell Williams and Michael Young represented Noreen Fairweather, the Returning Officer for Lake Independence, and the Attorney General. Attorney Lisa Shoman outlined her application for an injunction on the grounds that there is a threat, via a press release from the Government Press Office, that Schakron’s nomination would be blocked. Shoman informed the court that she needed an adjournment of the matter to confer with her client because it was still unsure that the Returning Officer would object to Schakron’s nomination.

Desperate PUP inciting violence
The People’s United Party is on an all-out campaign of violence. That was demonstrated on three occasions over the past weekend. In the first instance, on Saturday February 25th, PUP supporters, who lined up in front of the house of the Corozal South West PUP Standard Bearer in San Narciso Village, stoned buses as they passed in a motorcade. One of those persons, who was stoning the buses was identified to be a female teacher of Escuela Mexico. In another instance, a PUP supporter chopped three people at a rally being held by the UDP in the village of Los Tambos in the Cayo District on Sunday February 26th. During the rally, three PUP supporters rode their motorcycles in the gathering, taunting the crowd. When they were asked to desist one of them pulled out a machete and chopped three persons. One UDP supporter was chopped to the arm, another was chopped to the neck and a third received injuries to the head. The culprit has since been charged with wounding. During the entire episode one of the PUP supporters also broke the windshield of Hon. Elvin Penner’s vehicle.

Three Prunes from the PUP Manifesto
After four years of waiting, I feel cheated and disappointed. I have just gone over the PUP Manifesto and all they are offering are three things. The rest is polished rhetoric. This manifesto can be considered TIMID, which for the PUP means that they have run out of ideas. Let’s examine the offerings: All real agricultural inputs will pay 0% import duties. The effect of the above is reduced revenue to government of Belize. This initiative more than likely will not translate into lower agricultural prices since Government cannot force farmers to lower prices. What may very well happen is, because of lower production cost, farmers will look forward to even higher margins from contraband trade in rice, sugar, and corn to Guatemala and Mexico. One thing is almost certain are that a zero rated import duty on agricultural imports will definitely not translate to lower food basket prices. Threshold on personal income tax will be raised to $36,000 This is probably the best icing that will appeal to the average person. This however ,did not require much imagination. The downside to this is again a subtraction from Government revenue. That aside, it is enticing.

The Ministry of Agriculture Signs Projects for Technical Assistance
The Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization, has signed four projects for technical assistance,the projects that were approved are as followS: • The BELRIV Production and Marketing of Eggs and Poultry for Domestic Market with an approved budget of USD $9,998.00. • The Agro-processing Preservation of Local Fruits and VegetableS with a budget of USD $9,998.00. • The Formulation of a Strategic Plan for the Extension Development Policy (TCP/BZE/3401) and • The Assistance to Manage Huanglongbing in Belize (TCP/BZE/3402) with an approved budget of USD $410,000.00. This project will provide support by enhancing the country’s capacity to reduce the impact of HLB on the livelihoods of citrus farmers through the development and implementation of a holistic and cost effective area-wide strategy.

New Public Library for Santa Elena Town
Hon. Rene Montero, Area Representative for Cayo Central, launched the Santa Elena Public Library project on Monday, February 27. The project will see the renovation of a two-storey structure that currently houses the library and the addition of a computer resource center. Works on the existing structure includes the repairing of roof leaks, replacement of all eaves, fascia and ceiling boards, erecting a veranda block wall railing, installation of gutters, downpipes, water breakers, installation of new windows and solid timber doors, rehabilitation of the electrical and plumbing systems, floor tiles and repainting of the entire building. The new extension includes the construction of a fully air-conditioned concrete building with an insulated galvalum roof, reinforced concrete tiled floor, reinforced masonry block walls, galvanized aluminum louvered windows, burglar bars, solid timber panel doors and a male and female bathroom. As part of the project a 6ft-chain link fence will be erected around the compound’s perimeter. The extension will have a floor area of 650 sq. ft. and will be able to accommodate 15 computers along with a study area.

http://www.guardian.bz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4460:gas-increases-uncontrollable-government-playing-no-part-in-recent-spike-at-the-pumps&catid=40:politics&Itemid=90
On Monday, February 27, 2012, we saw the end of a painful seven day stretch in which the price of oil increased daily on the international markets. There are many factors that impact the price of oil. Experts are pointing to the Iranian nuke crisis as the reason for this recent spike. Analysts say a standoff between the Western world and Iran over its nuclear program continues to keep oil prices high. Western nations have been trying to get international inspectors into Iran’s facilities because of the fear that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. Iran continues to deny the claim and has threatened to disrupt oil supplies if action is taken against them. As a result, oil prices are at a 9 month high finishing at over US$109 per barrel last week. This has caused prices at the pump to increase across the world and as a country that imports gas, Belize is feeling the brunt of the increase. Since the price of gas has increased, the cost of getting the gas here has increased as well. It’s a double blitz that has been passed on to consumers. The government of Belize has no control over world oil prices and little control on prices at our local pumps.

Galen University’s Shameful Campaign Tactics
Numerous students of Galen University have complained to the Guardian that the school is operating as a base for the People’s United Party. The first report reached the Guardian three weeks ago when one student called to say that staff members were handing out PUP wristbands from out of the main office. There were no pictures to verify the report; thats why, the Guardian let that one slide. However, more students have come forward to express their frustration due to the campaign tactics of the faculty and staff of the institution. Scholarship students, who wish to remain anonymous, feel that they are being pressured to support the People’s United Party. One student said that she was asked to take part in the rehearsal and recording of a song. She was offended when she got the lyrics saying “We will vote for the PUP.” She decided to opt out of the project but is worried about the possibility of losing her scholarship.

Oliver del Cid is new Ambassador to Mexico
H.E. Oliver del Cid, presented his Letters of Credence to President Felipe Calderon in a ceremony at the National Palace in Mexico City, thereby formally accrediting him as Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico. The excellent relations that exist between Belize and Mexico were highlighted by Ambassador del Cid and President Calderon during their meeting and matters of mutual interest, such as bilateral cooperation projects, were also discussed. President Calderon conveyed his warm regards for the people of Belize and particularly expressed his best wishes for the speedy recovery of Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow.

New School Building for Corozal
On Wednesday, February 29, Hon. Pablo Marin launched a project for the construction of a two-storey; six-classroom school building at the Corozal Methodist School.The Corozal Methodist School is located in the heart of Corozal Town. The school opened its doors in 1859 and since then has witnessed the graduation of hundreds of students; some of whom are now prominent community members. Minister Marin said the need for the building is great because over the past six years, the school has seen a steady increase in its enrollment; this is due to the high demand for the school’s sound education based on the principles of discipline and religion. In 2009, the school’s enrollment was 492 students with 243 boys and 249 girls. In 2010, the school’s enrollment was



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 10:47 AM)