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The San Pedro Sun

PM Barrow appoints Cabinet, Senators, Cabinet Secretary and Speaker of the House
A new Cabinet was appointed today, Tuesday March 13th, following the re-election of the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow’s administration last week. Eleven of the elected seventeen parliamentarians from the ruling United Democratic Party were appointed as Ministers while all remaining six were appointed as Ministers of State in various ministries. Four Senators were appointed as Ministers through the senate. The speaker of the House is Attorney Michael Peyrefitte while the Cabinet Secretary is Carlos Perdomo

Ambergris Today

You Too Can Eat Like Royalty in Belize
Belize knows how to throw a party and definitely goes “all the way” to make guests feel special, royalty or not! :) I can definitely tell you that Prince Harry made it out of Belize a couple pounds heavier because at the Diamon Jubilee Block Party held on the day of his arrival to the country, he indulged in some fantastic food prepared by some of the best Chefs in the country. When you travel to distant places, food is a major part of your trip. Getting to know the place also involves trying out the local cuisine and sampling some refreshing drinks. Belize is known to serve up a mean collection of food that transcends a large group of cultures which make our country such a diverse one. Food in Belize is influenced by cultures from the Maya, Garifuna, Meztizo and Creole and Prince Harry had the pleasure of indulging in so much of this ridiculously delicious food that he is probably still digesting it. Here are some of the tasty dishes HRH Prince Harry had to sample while in Belize:

Marco Gonzalez Project Receives Funds
The Non-Profit Organization Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Ambergris Caye Ltd. (MGMSACL) is proud to have received grant monies of $7,000 U.S. from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. Mr. Matt Fowler, formerly of Mr. Joe’s Grocery, is a member of the Board of Directors for both the MGMSACL and the Upton Foundation and his love for the island has remained steadfast as he works to provide funding for the Maya Site Project. This time, the grant money was also earmarked to help two other local organizations. On Monday, March 12, 2012, funds were distributed to South AC Neighborhood Watch for membership and continued security they have been providing for the past two years and money went to much needed grounds maintenance in the form of volunteer help from SAGA. (SAGA housed the Fowlers pets when they moved back to the US.)


My Vision for the Nation as Prime Minister of Belize by: Andre k. Alamina
Our country is polarized by politics so much so that in the past 30 years of our short independent history, representatives from both political parties have rarely, if ever, united amenably for the betterment of our country as a whole. Instead, they eradicate or undermine policies set in place by the previous administration, essentially starting policy making from scratch. This, I believe, is one of the major reasons why our country has found such difficulty in making large economic, social and cultural strides towards a better Belize. If I were given the opportunity to lead this nation as its prime minister, my first order of business would be to create a master plan for the next 10 years in Belize. It will be a realistic, but challenging and robust blueprint that includes the prospective future for healthcare, industry, immigration, housing, education and other factors. Among the many things I will need to accomplish with the initial establishment of my administration, one of the first things I will need to do is to seek and surround myself with people who are of high integrity, competency and committed to the development and betterment of our country. As the Prime Minister, I will never have all the answers, and I will need to be advised by talented and knowledgeable Belizeans living within the country, and those who are members of the Belizean diaspora overseas (who constitute for a large percentage of our educated population). These individuals will be chosen based solely upon knowledge of their proven efficiency, not based upon whether they hold a seat in the House or simply because they are members of my political party.

Cross Training Exercise
Yesterday I discovered a new way of cross training and it turned a routine chore into a different kind of water exercise. I needed a break from work and decided to do some cleaning. As I was listing to music and washing both bathroom sinks I started noticing my movements and how I could alter them to get more bang for my buck. Instead of just rubbing back and forth around the edge of the sink, I took my cloth in my right hand and circled the whole thing a few times. Then I repeated the motion with my left hand, making big ovals and really stretching into it. Next I used the horse stance from tai chi,knees bent slightly and butt tucked in. Holding one end of my cloth in each hand and moving my arms towards my chest and away. As I practiced this I was buffing the tap handles and working on my triceps and pecs in a chest press motion. And of course there is the good old wax on wax off move from The Karate Kid this is great to keep in mind while wiping the counters. Warning: This method of cross training may lead to spontaneous dancing and actually make cleaning fun.

Just a Saturday In San Pedro
Let me start by apologizing. For some reason, I don't want to get on the internet. It's not that it doesn't work, I just don't want to log on. It's madness, I know! I am a total addict. Let's see if I can shake this horrible affliction. Perhaps I need inspiration. Let me tell you about my Saturday afternoon. The weather has been glorious. I mean seriously ridiculously fantastic. Really just the usual March. So I headed over to Lily's for some ceviche with my friend, Bonnie. Lily's Treasure Chest remains in my top three for ceviche. It is seriously old fancy slicing like Victoria House, no olives that make El Divino's ceviche so unique (and so good). It is simple. And FRESH. It takes 20 minutes to prepare and you know that they are slicing each veggie to order. We were sipping Belikins at Cholo's and they brought the ceviche over. With plenty of chips. Check out Bonnie's dog Pepe eyeballing the food.

Why Belize is a Backpacker’s Paradise
Untouched beaches, Mayan ruins hiding around every corner, and amazing flora and fauna are only a few of the reasons that make Belize such an enticing place to visit. A British Commonwealth, the tiny country is the only in Central America where English is predominately spoken, and it has long been a favorite spot for Canadians, Americans, and the British alike (note that we are speaking about the Cayes; Belize City and Belmopan can well be skipped). However, aside from those looking for a luxurious stay, Belize has also always been a great destination for backpackers for the following reasons:

Maya Ruins in Belize: Visiting Lamanai
Nearly every travel magazine and media outlet has included Belize in their round up of “must visit” destinations for 2012, mainly because the end of the Maya calendar takes place on December 21. And the recent visit by Prince Harry certainly did wonders for putting Belize on even more travelers’ radars. I guess for once I was ahead of the curve on something as I’ve been traveling to Belize regularly since 2005. I already know how cool the country is. But thanks for the backup National Geographic and TIME Magazine. Belize is a really a country that has it all for me – rich history, vibrant culture, and certainly no shortage of amazing cuisine. Those elements, along with the very special friendships I’ve made during all my trips, are the main things that bring me back at least once a year. I’m often asked by many first-time Belize travelers which is the best Maya ruin site to visit if you only have time for one. While I certainly have not explored every Maya temple in Belize, my recommendation is visit Lamanai.

Misc Belizean Sources

2011 Cruise ship arrivals in Belize down 3.7%
Destination Period Arrivals %change vs. 2010 Belize Jan-Nov 631,177 -3.7

Map of Oil Wells in Belize 2012

Total contribution of Travel & Tourism to Belize 2012

The official appointments list post election 2012
Name Portfolio Minister of State CEO

Channel 7

PM Names High Powered Senators To New Cabinet
After retreating to Placencia for the holiday weekend - the Prime Minister came back to Belmopan with a Cabinet line-up full of surprises. The new group was presented at a press conference this afternoon in Belmopan - and as we found out, the PM called upon some - what you might call - latent UDP's to fill out what he hopes will be the best government ever. That's a tall order to fill - and here's who he says can fit the bill:.. Jules Vasquez reporting When the new ministers came walking into the NEMO conference room, onlookers saw more than a few strange faces - and that's because the PM went in a most unusual direction when choosing his senator-ministers: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I had two options; to go the traditional route and to look for tried and true UDP party activists and make them senators and ministers or to go the route of looking for the best talent, the best brain power, the best expertise that would be available to me so that I could form a cabinet that could be seen by all the people of this country as reflecting an effort to harness all of the skills available to UDP in order to produce the best government possible." And those Senator Ministers are these four - Lisel Alamilla, of the Yaaxche Conservation Trust, Godwin Hulse, formerly a senator for the business sector, Joy Grant, formerly ambassador to the European Union and David Gibson, former CEO in the Ministry of Public Service. They are now all UDP senators and join a cabinet led by seasoned, veteran politicians:

New Senator - Ministers Speak
And the first National Party Council meeting will be on this Saturday. That's when Senators Godwin Hulse, Lisel Alamilla, Joy Grant and David Gibson - who have never been directly painted as UDP die-hards - will have to go to the UDP Headquarters and meet with the politicians who are now their colleagues. It's particularly interesting for Godwin Hulse - the former Senator for the business sector. Well, he's now a UDP Senator - and he told us why he could not turn down the Prime Minister's offer:..

PUP "Resign" Mark And Cordel
And while the Prime Minister is using the opportunity given by his slender majority to fashion a sort of Cabinet Dream Team - the two men indirectly responsible for the UDP's March 7th. victory, Mark Espat and Cordel Hyde, have been declared persona non grata in the PUP. Well, not quite persona non grata. In a quite tame maneuver, the party's 31 standard bearers met today in Belize City and chose not to expel the former deputy leaders but to declare that they had, quote, "effectively resigned."

21 Year Old Slain In City
There was a murder in Belize City on Sunday night. It happened around 9:00 when 21 year old David Hernandez was just around the corner from his home on Berkley Street. Hernandez was s standing on Racecourse Street, about 25 feet away from the junction of East Canal when 3 shots were heard, and he was seen collapsing to the ground. His father told us today that he kept close tabs on his son - but that night, he feels they shot the wrong person:...

Murder In Mahogany Heights - Could It Be Related To 8 Year Old’s Killing?
And while that 21 year old was killed in the city on Sunday, this morning, the body of a 23 year old was found in the forested areas surrounding Mahogany Heights. At 6 am this morning police received information of a body lying on a footpath in near Mahogany Heights. When they went there they found the body of 23 yr old Herman Garbutt lying at the junction of two paths. He had multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. Police found three expended 9 millimeter shells in the area. Now the backstory to this killing is important. Herman Garbutt was the uncle of Eyannie Nunez - and, reports were that he was the target when that 8 year old was shot as she slept in her home on September12th., 2010.

Armed Robbery In Placencia Forces Bar-owner To Close Down
Police have been holding it down - but Placencia has witnessed a few too many unreported robberies for residents and business owners. But this one is being reported: On Saturday night at around 10, Mango's Restaurant and Bar, which is located in the Maya Beach Area of Placencia, was robbed. Today, 7News spoke to the establishment's owner, Frank Da Silva, a 56 year-old Canadian businessman, who had just been released from the hospital for a gunshot injury he received during the robbery. He asked to speak to us off camera, but he told us that 2 dark complexioned men entered the business place and ordered 4 four beverages.

Mennonite Man Killed In Recreational Aircraft Accident
THIS WEEKEND, a Mennonite rice farmer was killed in a recently purchased airplane. Christopher Reimer, the 22 year old rice farmer and born Belizean of the Blue Creek Village in Orange Walk purchased a microlight aircraft a week ago from Placencia. He was flying over the village on Sunday at his usual height of about 100 feet when the plane malfunctioned and crashed near the airstrip and the police station. Reimer died upon impact at around 8:30 Sunday morning. The cause of the malfunction is unclear since, according to sources, the plane, when purchased, appeared to be in good condition and had been approved by the civil aviation department. Reimer will be buried tomorrow. As for the plane, the microlight is a light aircraft designed for sports and recreation; thus, the requirements have been changed and adapted for this specific niche.

GSU Nabs Home-made Shotgun
Police say that they've found what they believe to be an improvised weapon. On Sunday night, at around 10 when the Gang Suppression Unit responded to the murder of David Hernandez at the corner of Racecourse Street and East Canal, they received a report that a firearm was being disposed of. The responding officers then went an area of George Street where they found a home-made firearm under a pickup truck. The Scenes of Crime personnel were then brought in to try to retrieve prints, but police have not announced that any were found.

Deranged Daughter Stabs 73 Year Old Mother
A 73 year old woman is recovering from stab wounds inflicted by her own daughter- even after 3 people tried to restrain her. On Friday, what started as a quiet lunch in Orange Walk Town turned very ugly. 73 year old Martha Carlos was at home on Zericote Street when two of her daughters and an employee entered the house around noon. As they were preparing to eat, Carlos' 48 year old daughter retrieved a knife from the kitchen and attempted to stab her mother. Her sister knocked the knife out of her hand, but that did not deter the determined daughter who went for another knife, pushing her mother into a room next to kitchen. The three women tried to restrain her, but they were unsuccessful, and the 73 year old woman, who is diabetic, has hypertension and recently survived a stroke, took another blow to her health.

Indian Merchant Robbed In South; Suspect From City
On Saturday in the south, an Indian Businesswoman was robbed of cash and assorted items valued at $7,400 - and police say the culprit is from Belize City. YOGYATA MOHNANI, the 23 year old owner of Life Style Store on Fadden Avenue, in Independence Village reports that at around 8:10 p.m. two men strode in and one of them pointed a gun at the woman shouting, "This is a hold up." The men robbed them of assorted electronic items valued at $4,400 dollars along with $3000 in cash. The police have since detained a man with a long criminal record from Iguana Street in Belize City for this crime. They are still looking for the another suspect.

Ruta Maya Finishes In Record Time
And taking a break now from all that bad news, the 15th Annual La Ruta Maya Race culminated in Belize City on Monday. After three days on the Belize river, the final leg started out with only one and a half minutes separating the first place team, Belize Bank Bulldogs and second place, the Oceana Wave Makers. That meant a furious rush to the finish at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City - where an especially fast final leg led to a new record time - and a photo finish between Belize Bank and Team Ziprider and an epic, finish-line spill:...

The CEO Line-up
And finally tonight, we go over the new Chief Executive Officers who will get to lead the newly organized ministries. Sharman Hyde will be the CEO of Finance and Economic Development. Beverly Castillo will be the CEO of Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Mike Singh will be the CEO of Trade, Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer protection. Dr. Wendel Parham will be the CEO of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous People. Dr. Colin Young will be the CEO of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities. Alexis Rosado stay on as CEO of foreign affairs. Col. George Lovell will be the CEO of the newly reconstituted National Security. Lawrence Sylvester stays on as CEO of Housing and Urban Development. Carlston Goff will be the CEO for works and Transport. Lindsay Garbutt stays on as CEO for Tourism and Culture. Dr. Peter Allen stays on as CEO for Health. Candy Saldivar is Godwin Hulse's CEO in Labour Local Government, and NEMO Marion McNab is CEO for Public Service and Elections and Boundaries. Judith Alpuche stays on as CEO for Human Development. David Leacock stays on as CEO for Education and Youth.

Channel 5

New Cabinet has 2 women; 15 Ministers, 2 Junior Ministers
The U.D.P. government won seventeen of the thirty-one divisions throughout the country in last week’s general elections. Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicated last week that he would mull over the configuration of new ministers and ministries. This afternoon at the NEMO conference room in Belmopan, the PM was flanked by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, ...

Will environmentalist agree with Liselle?
At a first glance it appeared that the PM placated his critics when he appointed Liselle Alamilla as a minister. Her appointment would secure a second female minister and her conservation background as the director of Ya’axche Conservation Trust would mean that environmentalists would receive a senator and a minister that would support them. But ...

Senator Hulse, now Minister; will he conform?
According to the prime minister, the four senators are U.D.P.s. Senator Charles Gibson was selected to be Minister of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries. Gibson is a career public officer and is well known in the Capital. But more so, the fourth senator appointed as minister is well known farmer, orator, and independent thinker, ...

Mark and Cordel excommunicated from P.U.P.
While Prime Minister Dean Barrow was putting the final touches to his Cabinet, the People’s United Party met at Independence Hall. The opposition party has still not conceded the elections because of alleged Election Day irregularities for which it has filed three petitions in court. The P.U.P. is blaming its defeat on Mark Espat and ...

New Cabinet Secretary, New Speaker of House
When the House meets next Wednesday for the first time in this term, there’s going to be a new speaker. That was revealed among other appointments that were announced today. That presentation included the other U.D.P. senators and the Cabinet Secretary. Dean Barrow “There are some other appointments that I can disclose at this time. ...

C.E.O. Reappointments to New Ministries
The elected representatives were not the only people holding their collective breath to see if they would be doled out responsibilities in the government. The Chief Executive Officers (C.E.O.) for the ministries also waited and listened if they would continue to hold their posts. In most of the redesigned ministries, C.E.O.’s remained the same, however, ...

Before his murder, he told his father take care
The murder statistics went up by three over the extended holiday weekend bringing the list to seventeen since the beginning of the year. The latest homicides were recorded in Orange Walk Town and Mahogany Heights. In the City a twenty-one year old was gunned down on Racecourse Street. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports on the ...

Father/Husband murdered while parting a fight
Prior to the murder of David Hernandez, in Orange Walk Town a twenty-four year old man was stabbed while attempting to break up a fight early on Friday night on the San Antonio Road. Cristobal Santos managed to make it back to his home but soon succumbed to the injuries to his abdomen. Police have ...

Marked Man Murdered
The latest murder victim was found this morning. He is twenty-three year old Herman Garbutt Junior, who was found dead under a tree in Mahogany Heights with gunshot wounds. Family members told us off camera that at around eleven o’clock on Monday night, at least two gunshots rang out. While police haven’t been able to ...

Blue Creek resident dies in flying accident
The community of Blue Creek is grieving the death of one of their own. Twenty-four year old Christopher Reimer died in a freak accident on Sunday when his hang glider malfunctioned and he plunged to his death. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports from Blue Creek. Isani Cayetano, Reporting Hang gliding, a recreational activity popular within ...

Robbery and Shooting in Placencia
A robbery at Mango’s Restaurant and Bar in the Maya Beach area of Placencia took a violent turn when the culprit opened fire on the owner. Businessman, fifty-six year old Frank Da Silva, reported to police that shortly before ten o’clock on Saturday night, he was at Mango’s along with two customers when men entered. ...

Minor says she was victim of incest
A fifteen year old student in the Toledo District is reportedly a victim of sexual abuse and at the hands of her own father. The alleged incident occurred over two months ago, on January fifth, but the teen has just found the courage to go to the police. She has reported that her father had ...

Man threatens to kill his significant other, a cop
And in court today, the ex common-law-husband of a police inspector accepted responsibility for threatening to kill her. Honduran national, thirty-five year old Pablo Martinez Herrera has lived in Belize for fourteen years and has permanent residency. But tonight, he is a resident at the Central Prison. Martinez appeared before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart and was ...

Monday Sports mash up with James Adderley
Good Evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The 2012 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge took front and center in our nation over the weekend drawing thousands of fans from all across the country. WE pick up the action on Day II and it’s Oceana Wave Makers challenging the mighty Belize Bank ...


New technology tracks La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
And while the La Ruta Maya organizers say that the event had grown leaps and bounds over the past 15 years, this year, the race also involved a special feature for online fans. People halfway across the world could view the race live online via GIS technology. Managing Director of Total Business Solutions, Loretta Palacio, explains how the technology works and what it offers. Palacio says that her company is able to also carry the Annual Cross Country Cycling Classic. The only requirement is that the organizers need to forward the names of the teams or others who are interested in being a part of the coverage to Total Business Solutions in advance.

PUP throws out two of its members
The People’s United Party today made an interesting announcement. Earlier today the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, named his Cabinet, and we will have the details of that coming up. But first, we report on the PUP announcement, that it has lynched its former Albert and Lake Independence Representatives, Mark Espat and Cordel Hyde as PUP members. In addition to this, the Party’s Chairman, Henry Usher, told Love News late this evening via phone that the party is going ahead with its petitions to the courts over the denials for recounts in two of the constituencies where it narrowly lost.

Prime Minister announces new Cabinet
Prime Minister Barrow today announced his new cabinet. Ava Diaz Sosa has the story.

Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge ends in photo finish
The 15th annual La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge concluded yesterday at the foot of the Belcan Bridge. Reporter Marion Ali has the details of the four day competition.


PM Barrow announces new Cabinet
Hon. Dean Barrow and his party has been granted a second term in office and today Prime Minister Barrow announced h...

Four Senators, also to serve as Ministers introduced
At the press conference today the Prime Minister introduced four senators who have been appointed as Ministers. Fir...

Prime Minister Dean Barrow sworn in
Prime Minister Dean Barrow took his oath of office on Friday March 9 for his second term. The swearing in ceremony ...

Leader of the Opposition on alleged illegalities in March 7th elections
While Prime Minister Dean held his press conference today to announce his members of the new cabinet the Peoples Un...

Police open murder investigation into death of 21 yr old Alberto Hernandez
A young man succumbs to his injuries whilst undergoing treatment at the KHMH. On Sunday March 11th at 9:00pm, Polic...

Mayor of Dangriga and his council sworn in to office
Mayor Gilbert Swaso and his council have been sworn in to office. Area Representative Ivan Ramos along with numerou...

Man found dead, suffered multiple gunshot wounds
Earlier this morning (March 13) around 6am, police visited a footpath in the Mahogany Heights area where they came ...

Teen arrested after shots fired at crowd
Belize City Police is investigating a report of aggravated assault. 23yr old Kendra Madrill reported to police yest...

Mango's Restaurant and Bar robbed, man shot
A well known Restaurant was robbed on the Placencia Peninsula. On Saturday about 10:00pm police responded to a Robb...

Belize Bank triumphs in La Ruta Maya 2012
The 15th consecutive running of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge got underway on Friday March 9 at the Hawkswort...

The Reporter

Lower gas prices and renegotiate the Superbond!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow reiterated his pre-election promise that the government of Belize would explore all avenues to relieve Belize of the onerous burden of the billion-dollar Superbond, with which the past PUP government saddled the country. The Prime Minister was speaking at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Thursday afternoon, March 8, at a press conference he had called to evaluate the March 7th General Elections.

Prince Harry - a great hit in Belize! Belize - a great plug for tourism!
HRH Prince Harry’s whirlwind 24 hour visit to Belize last Friday, March 2, did much more than represent Queen Elizabeth II as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It also highlighted Belize on the world stage as an exciting culture and adventure destination. The squadron of international journalists, photographers and television videographers who arrived to cover the visit broadcast reports on CNN, Sky News, Nine Network from Australia, ABC News, the Thomson Reuters News Network, ABC News Intercontinental, ABC News USA, the London daily newspapers – The Sun, ITV News, and the Press Association Ltd. Even Channel 5 and Seven News’ reports are sometimes picked up by the Caribbean News Association (CANA) and broadcast to the rest of the region.

Guatemalan Alcaldes go to Toledo to see forest damage first hand
Friends for Conservation and Development in Toledo hosted three recently elected alcaldes from Melchor de Mencos, Poptún and San Luis, and the Vice Alcalde from Dolores along with their councillors, for a site visit to the Chiquibul Forest over the weekend of February 25-26. The idea was to raise awareness about the environmental impacts taking place in the protected areas of Toledo and the heavy losses that Belize has been facing. Friends for Conservation took the delegation to visit the Caracol site where they observed first- hand the expanding agricultural frontier into Belize, and also witnessed the depredations wrought by illegal logging activity when they walked the trails used by xateros.

Two suspects remanded for $155,000 jewelry store heist !
Alfredo Petillo, 27 of Progress Street, Orange Walk Town, and Guishang Wagner, 22, an employee of the Conscious Youth Development Program, were remanded to prison after they were arraigned on robbery charges before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer in the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, March 6. Petillo and Wagner are accused of robbing Edwin Garnett at gunpoint of 691 pieces of gold and silver jewelry, valued at $155,503.44 at the Profile Jewelry Store in the Belize City Commercial Center on Wednesday, February 29.

Bank robbers elude cops! Three missing with thousands
Belize City Police are still looking for two men to question them about last Thursday’s armed robbery at the First Caribbean Bank. Police Press Officer Rafael Martinez told The Reporter the men were identified on the bank’s surveillance camera. Armed robbers had made their way into the First Caribbean Bank branch at the San Cas Plaza around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 1, and held employees at gunpoint while they helped themselves to an undisclosed amount of cash.

Queen’s Scout Fernando Oliva. He needs money for a visa to travel to the United States
The Belize Scout Association has selected an outstanding young Belizean, Queen’s Scout Fernando Oliva, to travel to the U.K. to represent Belize at Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in April. Oliva hopes to arrive in England towards the end of April, but first he has to find the funds to pay his airfare to the U.K. and back. The Scout Association of the United Kingdom will pay Fernando’s travel and other expenses while he is in the U.K., but he is faced with the task of raising money for his passage. He will also need money for a visa to travel to the United States. Fernando Oliva is one of five young people in Belize to hold the distinction of Queen’s Scout. His many works of honour and duty to God and Queen were recognized last March when he became a Queen’s Scout, reaching the pinnacle of a world youth movement which embraces millions of young men and women.

Vatican appoints Rev. Christopher Clancy Auxiliary Bishop of Belize
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize is to have a new Auxiliary Bishop. He is Father Christopher Clancey, former Pastor of the Parish of St. Francis Xavier in Corozal Town and a priest of the order of St.Viator. He will be consecrated as Bishop in Belize City at St. John’s College Auditorium on Saturday, May 5, 2012, at a morning mass which will begin at 10:00. Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto, Papal Nuncio, will be the principal celebrant at that Mass, accompanied by Bishop Dorick Wright of Belize and Bishop Jacques Berthelet, retired Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Jeab Longueuil in Quebec, Canada.

UDP holds on to 6 municipal bodies, while PUP captures 3
More than 60, 000 registered voters countrywide went to the polls on Wednesday, March 7th to decide who will manage their towns or cities’ affairs for the next three years. After the results were tallied, they showed that the Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) had gained some ground since its last defeat, as it captured three of the nine municipalities that were in the hands of the governing United Democratic Party (UDP). The UDP mayoral candidate for Orange Walk Town, Ivan Leiva, lost to the PUP’s Kevin Bernard by 642 votes.

New sugar producer to begin operations in Belize. BELTRAIDE says this is one of many new investments
Contrary to what some may suggest, the S&P downgrades have not reduced the quantity of investments in Belize, as several new investors—including a new sugar producer, are set and ready to establish operations in Belize, Mike Singh, the executive director of Belize Trade and Investment Services (BELTRAIDE) told The Reporter on Monday, March 5. Green Tropics Limited, a Guatemalan-based company, has already invested approximately $12 million in land for sugar production. Singh said the company, which has already submitted applications for them to construct a new factory within the next two years, intends to run “their own sugar mill.”

Belize basketballers off to Lebron James tournament
Fifteen young Belizean basketball players will represent Belize at one of the world’s top Amateur Athletic Union basketball tournaments, the King James Classic for under-19 players, to be held in LeBron James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio on April 27-29. The Belize Basketball Federation introduced the 15 players at a press conference held at the National Sports Council offices at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City on Monday, March 5. Editorial
The People’s United Party under its new leader, Mr. Francis Fonseca has shown unexpected strength and resiliency after the debacle of his predecessor, Prime Minister Said Musa. The Party did not do well in Belize City, but in Toledo, in Orange Walk and Corozal and Cayo it did remarkably well, considering that it had only 30 days to mobilize its forces and taking into account the huge disadvantage it sustained in losing two key players - Mr. Mark Espat and Mr. Cordel Hyde during the four-week run-up. Byron Pope & Shalini Zabaneh win C-Ray cycling tour
Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes cycling team and Shalini Zabaneh of the Sagitun cycling team won their respective divisions in the first ever C-Ray Cycling Tour held under the auspices of the Belize Cycling Association on the Burrell Boom Hattieville Bypass and the Western Highway over the weekend, March 2-4. Three times Lionman triathlon champion Kenroy Gladden of the Horizon team won the Masters over-35 category, while Oscar Quiros, riding unattached, won the junior division. Byron Pope won the first stage on Saturday, a 30-mile circuit race from the CDS Gas Station in Burrell Boom to the Data Pro junction with the Northern Highway back though the Burrell Boom bypass to Hattieville and back to the CDS gas station. Shalini Zabaneh emerged as the female winner in this first stage, while Sherman Thomas of Team C4 won the masters’ category. Oscar Quiroz won the junior category. Pope also dominated the elites in the second stage of the tour an individual time trial from Leslie’s Imports to mile 9 on the Western Highway and back to Leslie’s Imports on Saturday afternoon. Shalini also had the best individual time among the women, while Giovanni Lovell of Team Lovell won the Junior category and again Sherman Thomas won the Masters’ category.

UDP sobered by 17-14 win
Voters of Belize returned the United Democratic Party to another term in government but not by the landslide margin UDP optimists had predicted. The UDP won by a narrow margin: 17-14. Two of those seats the Opposition People’s United Party say they will challenge in the Supreme Court. A PUP victory in court could tilt the scale in favor of the ‘blue’ 16-15. Indeed the UDP’s victory at the polls might well be labelled a Cordel Hyde or Mark Espat victory; because it was only their stepping down from running for another term, and the PUP’s last minute replacements that spared the UDP from humiliation at the polls.

International Sources

Belize, one of the world's best vacation destinations says Fox News
A recent Fox News television broadcast highlighting Belize as one of a few selected international tourism hotspots shows that North Americans needn’t travel far to visit one of the world’s best vacation destinations, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Larry Waight. “It was interesting to be watching television and seeing Belize come up as one of the Fox News hotspots for 2012, in company with just a few select locations that included more distant destinations such as Vietnam, India and Korea,” Mr Waight said. “What it said to me was, ‘great, you don’t need to travel far to enjoy what tourism industry experts and an authority like Fox News describe as the most interesting and best in the world’,” he said.

Maya Civilization Collapsed Amidst Mild Drought, New Study Suggests
For more than 500 years, the Maya kings ruled the New World's richest and most advanced civilization. But then, around 800 C.E., the Maya empire began to collapse and its kings soon disappeared; by 1000 C.E., most of its great cities and temples lay in ruins. What happened? In recent years, scientists have increasingly blamed a series of droughts for the calamity, but the evidence has been ambiguous. A new study concludes that drought did indeed play an important role, but the actual decrease in rainfall was relatively modest. At its height, Maya civilization occupied much of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula and Central America, including modern-day Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. Archaeologists have dated the first settlements as far back as 2000 B.C.E., but the rise of kings and dynasties occurred during the so-called Classic period, beginning about 250 C.E. At sites like Tikal in Guatemala, monarchs decked out in jade jewelry ruled as many as 100,000 people, including artists, scribes, and the farmers who worked the surrounding cornfields. But by 830 C.E., more than 80% of Tikal's population was gone, and population losses at many other Maya sites were even greater.

Economic contribution of Belize's Coral Reefs and Mangroves
Coastal and marine ecosystems provide vitally important goods and services to countries in the Caribbean. This study looks at only three out of the many culturally and economically valuable services provided by these ecosystems in Belize. Even within this narrowed scope, this study finds that the country’s coastal resources are extremely valuable. Belize’s coral reefs and mangrove-lined coasts provide critical protection against erosion and wave-induced damages from tropical storms; they have supported artisanal fishing communities for generations; and they stand at the center of vibrant tourism industry, drawing snorkelers, divers and sport fishermen from all over the world. Despite their importance, these benefits are frequently overlooked or underappreciated in coastal investment and policy decisions. Unchecked coastal development, overfishing, and pressures from tourism threaten the country’s reefs, with the additional threats of warming seas, fiercer storms, and other climate-related changes looming on the horizon. Fish populations, including commercially valuable sport-fishing species and colorful reef fish, will diminish if they lose the mangrove forests they rely upon as critical nursery habitats. Coastal properties will become increasingly vulnerable to storms and erosion, and reef-related tourism will suffer as reefs and mangroves decline. Belize’s government, NGOs, and private sector have begun to recognize the importance of coastal ecosystems to the economy. Nevertheless, the amount currently invested in protecting Belize’s coral reefs and mangroves is very small when compared to the contribution of these resources to the national economy. The World Resources Institute (WRI), in collaboration with WWF Central America, assessed the economic contribution of these services at the national level and within individual Marine Protected Areas in Belize.

Court dismisses Belize rapes action
Two Kent women who were raped as schoolgirls on "the trip of a lifetime" to Belize have lost their High Court damages action. The pair, who are now in their early 20s and cannot be identified, had sued their former school in the Medway area of Kent and expedition organiser Adventure Life Signs Ltd (ALS) for an agreed sum of £100,000 each, subject to liability. Mr Justice Mackay, in London, said the teenagers were in a party of 12 staying at a remote camp in August 2005 when they were raped by a local man, Aaron, a tour guide and the joint owner of the farm resort. He was not positively invited into a cabana shared by five girls, but they did not actively protest, he added. After some harmless socialising, when they were at pains to keep noise to a minimum to conceal his presence, Aaron initiated a game of "spin the bottle" before the rape took place. He was later charged with the offences in Belize, but they were dismissed as the girls, for entirely understandable reasons, added the judge, felt unable to go back to give evidence at his trial. They alleged that Aaron's behaviour at a swimming pool on the afternoon of the incident should have put the expedition leaders, a teacher and two ALS representatives, on notice that he was grooming them as potential victims. The judge said he was satisfied that comments he made at the pool were not heard by the leaders or reported to them. Dismissing the claims "with regret", the judge said: "This party was continuously supervised by three highly responsible and experienced adults. Short of posting a guard on the door of each cabana, or instituting some system of watch-keeping, there would have been no way of defeating Aaron's assault on these girls, which he and up to a point they were at pains to keep from the leaders. "It would not be fair, just and reasonable to define the scope of their duties so as to require them to have taken those or any other precautions that night.

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