FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro remains mostly UDP
Heredia takes BRS. Danny Guerrero is Mayor, Split SPTC Council: 5 UDP & 1 PUP In the House: UDP 17, PUP 14 – Dean Oliver Barrow remains Belize’s Prime Minister After months of anticipation, voters turned out in full force on Wednesday, March 7th to decide both the General and Municipal elections. When all ballots were accounted for countrywide, the United Democratic Party managed to capture 17 seats out of a possible 31 seats in the National Assembly officially forming the new Belizean government. Two of those seats, Cayo Central (Collet Motejo – PUP vs Rene Montero – UDP) and Cayo North East (Orlando Habet – PUP vs. Elvin Penner – UDP) are reportedly to be contested in court. In San Pedro the United Democratic Party (UDP) won the Belize Rural South Constituency re-electing incumbent Jose Manuel “Junior” Heredia Jr. as the Belize Rural South (BRS) Area Representative. 4,987 electorates out of a total of 7,100 registered voters (70.23%) cast their votes in the General Elections in Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. In the San Pedro Municipal elections, Daniel Guerrero and five of his six councilors won for the UDP, and 1 PUP councilor candidate, Gualberto “Wally” Nuñez, now make up the new San Pedro Town Council. Below are vote totals....

Heredia re-elected as Belize Rural South Area Rep.
On Wednesday, March 7th United Democratic Party (UDP) incumbent Jose Manuel Heredia JR was re-elected as Belize Rural South (BRS) Area Representative. At around 1AM on March 8th the third-term victor addressed an enthusiastic crowd that had gathered at the San Pedro High School where voting Area 37 was held. In the company of UDP San Pedro Mayor Elsa Paz, Heredia gave thanks to those who have showed their support over the years and pledged to continue his service to Belize Rural South.

Thousands to go to the polls in double elections
Today March 7th, thousands of Belizeans are going to the polls to choose a new Municipal and Central government. Since 6AM this morning, the polls were open to allow for voting to start at 7AM. In San Pedro the election process started as planned. Political Organs were in high gear even before 6AM. Banners, tents, flyers and billboards from the different political parties and candidates were installed to encourage electorates to give the various camps their support. Once the polls were opened at polling station 37 at the San Pedro High School, a large number of electorates were allowed to enter to start the electoral process. By the time voting started, a long line had already formed that extended outside of the school’s compound.

Polling Station Update: 1PM
As of 1:00pm this afternoon voter turnout in the Belize Rural South General Elections has reached 1,911; which accounts for 26.92% of the total electorate. In San Pedro Town Council Municipal Elections, 1,519 voters have turned out to vote or 24.17% of the voter total

Polling Station Voter Turnout: 2PM
As of 2:00pm this afternoon voter turnout in the Belize Rural South General Elections has reached 2,645; which accounts for 37.25% of the total electorate. In San Pedro Town Council Municipal Elections 2,172 voters have turned out to vote or 34.54% of the voter total.

Polling Updates at 5:00pm
As of 5:00pm today voter turnout in the Belize Rural South General Elections has reached 4,035; which accounts for 56.83% of the total electorate. In San Pedro Town Council Municipal Elections 3,421 voters have turned out to vote or 54.4% of the voter total.

Polling Station Gates Now Closed – Final Vote being cast
At 6PM at all polling station #37, the main gates were officially closed. With tight security by the San Pedro Police, only electorates already in line are allowed to remain in the polling areas. In San Pedro, there was a last minute rush and at 6PM the lines were packed with hundreds of individuals waiting to vote. Polling Station 37 - San Pedro The last count received from returning officers in Belize Rural South were given at 5PM. At that time, in the Municipal Elections, 3421 individuals had come out to place their votes. This marks a total of 54.4% of voter’s turnout. In the General Elections, the last count received by The San Pedro Sun was at 5PM when 3,455 voters of the 6,289 voters in San Pedro had turned out to cast their votes, while in Caye Caulker a total of 580 of their 802 voters had turned out to cast their votes. This brings the total number of individuals that casted their votes in the General Elections to 4,035, a percentage of voters’ turnout is at 56.83%. Gates now closed at Polling Area 37 With the gates closed, we are awaiting a final count of the overall voters turn out which we expect to receive sometime around 9:30PM. Any information received prior to that time will be updated on our website as they become available.

Ambergris Today

Belize Votes The UDP Back in Power
The country of Belize has been declared red once again with the United Democratic Party taking the majority of seats in the House of Representatives in the double elections that took place on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. It was not a landslide victory, but the UDP took 17 of the 31 seats needed to claim victory. This time around, the PUP was able to capture a larger seating than last elections, with 14 seats. "This has been the most exciting race," commented a voter who was anxiously awaiting the results. "This election is very tight and tense, I can't even study good," commented another. In San Pedro, Manuel Heredia Jr. managed to hold his position in government with 49.7% of the votes (2,479), besting out three other candidates out of the 4987 votes that were cast in San Pedro and Caye Caulker. The voter turnout in the BRS constituency was 70.23%. Manuel Heredia managed to win all nine boxes in San Pedro while Patty Arceo took both boxes in the neighboring island of Caye caulker.

Blogs

TV Crew Films at Faux Chicken Drop!
Last night, Tuesday night, was Election Day Eve. And like in many places, Election Day is a national holiday...but unlike many places, Election Day is a dry holiday in Belize. You heard me. No alcohol served or sold. So lots of people go out the night before. I went (first) to Wahoo's Lounge. I love the owners and PLUS, they promised a celebrity. A real film crew. I'm there. They were staging a fake Chicken Drop for the TV filming. (For the usual Chicken Drop...you need to stop by on Thursdays.) What's up with the new chicken costume? I'm not going to lie...I'm totally digging it. So here is the full story...Ty Sawyer is filming in San Pedro. Another Shade of Blue. I'll be honest. I'd never heard of him. (And I watch TV like a 65 year old retiree.) But lots of crew and equipment? I'm there!

The Mighty, Magical Ceiba
We spend a lot of time getting excited about the wild animals we see during our Trans-Americas Journey but there have also been some pretty spectacular trees along the way including Sequoias in California and ancient Bristlecone Pines. In Central America, it’s all about the ceiba (pronounced say bah) and we fell in love with this magestic, mighty and possibly magical tree. A ceiba is usually the tallest tree in the jungle and can grow to more than 200 feet (70 meters) tall. The trunks are branchless and very straight, making them a favored tree for canoe making. A large ceiba trunk can yield a canoe large enough to hold 40 men. All of a cebia’s branches are at the very top of the tree where they radiate out like the ribs of an umbrella. The whole massive thing is held upright by wide buttresses at it’s base. The ceiba is the national tree of Guatemala where it’s actually illegal to cut one down. This explains why its so common to see one giant ceiba looming large in the middle of an otherwise cleared field full of crops or cows. The ceiba starts off its life with spikes that look a bit like shark’s teeth covering its trunk. As the tree matures, the spikes disappear.

VIDEO: A Belize Experience
USC Dornsife's Problems without Passports program offered undergraduates the chance to go to Belize, for the second year in a row, over the summer. Check out their experiences -- did that student just eat an ant?

How We Spent Seven Hours in Belize
The thought of just a seven hour window to wander around Belize was nerve wrecking and at the same time unsettling. Many questions came to mind: What if the ship leaves without us? What are we going to do if we are stuck in traffic or the van breaks down? Waking up early in the morning before 6am, we got ready to stay in line for the distribution of tender tickets for our boat ride from the cruise ship to the Belize City port. It was to be distributed on a first come first serve basis and according to the lot numbers. Those are the challenges for booking excursions from ‘the outside world’ (not with the cruise ship). Belize City had just experienced heavy downpour for days. The water was choppy and sky was grey as we sat on the first tender boat from the cruise ship to the port of Belize City.

2people1life Wedding No. 12 in Belize & Trash The Dress ✈ Guest Blog
We started planning our wedding in Belize, wedding number 12, with the help of the Toledo Ecotourism Association (TEA), a Community-Based Ecotourism operator, we had contacted them via email and come into contact with Reyes Chun, the TEA chairman. It wasn’t until we got to Punta Gorda (PG) and got to speaking with Reyes that we really realised the extent of the work that the TEA do in PG and the surrounding villages, you can read more about TEA on 2 people1life. After an eventful few days I said “it MUST get easier to arrange this wedding”. Well, we had been lucky enough to find a photography company who’s work we loved but they were on Ambergris Island which is 200 miles and a flight away. After a little persuasion they agreed to fly to Belize city and we agreed to collect them from there. Conch Creative’s images are very different to any others we have seen so far and we instantly clicked with Collette and Maya via email and knew they would be perfect. So that’s where we were heading… the day before the wedding. 200 miles to Belize City to collect Maya at the airport on the morning of the wedding and drive the 200 miles back in time for the wedding and then the day after the wedding drive the 200 miles back to Belize to drop Maya off in time for her flight back to Ambergris! But, it was a price we were willing to pay for the great images!

Belize Fast Facts
Belize is located on the Caribbean coast of northern Central America. It shares a border on the north with the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, on the west with the Guatemalan department of Petén, and on the south with the Guatemalan department of Izabal. To the east by the Caribbean Sea and off its coast sits the second-longest barrier reef in the world. Here as some fast facts on Belize.

LOVE FM

BELIZE ELECTION RESULTS

Here's turnout percentages in each division:

Districts listed here:, then click the Division in the District you are looking for

Here's Belize Rural South

Patty Arceo 28%
Manuel Heredia 35%
Roberto Lopez 4%

LOVE TV

Decision 2012: Cayo North
Photos

Voting Underway in Cayo North
Voters are coming out in Cayo North to vast their ballots. Here are snapshots.

International Sources

Belize government wins 2nd term, local television reports
BELIZE CITY, March 8 (Reuters) - Belize's centrist government seemed set to serve a second term after local media reported a narrow election win for the ruling party on Thursday. If confirmed, the election victory would open the door to a renegotiation of the tiny Central American country's $550 million overseas debt. The United Democratic Party won 16 seats in the 31-seat parliament to the opposition People's United Party's 14, Channel 5 television reported. One seat was unaccounted for, according to the station's unofficial tally. The governing party's majority was reduced from the 19 seats it enjoyed in its last term. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said before the election his first act, if re-elected, would be to renegotiate the terms of Belize's so-called superbond, which makes up half the country's debt and 40 percent of gross domestic product.

Belize government's re-election to fan bond worries
* Belize centrist government narrowly re-elected-TV * Win would move country step closer to bond negotiations * Tiny Central American country among top 20 debtors Belize appeared to move closer to a potential renegotiation of its $550 million overseas debt on Thursday after local media reported the tiny Central American country's centrist government narrowly won a second term in power. The United Democratic Party won a majority of 16 seats in the 31-seat parliament to the opposition People's United Party's 14, Channel 5 television reported. One seat was undecided, according to the station's tally. Official results are not due until later on Thursday. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said before the election his first act, if re-elected, would be to win more favorable terms for Belize's so-called superbond, which makes up half the country's debt and 40 percent of gross domestic product.



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 04:47 PM)