The San Pedro Sun

Shooting incident in San Juan Area leaves 1 injured
Some time around 3:45PM on Wednesday March 14, 2012, 21-year-old Simon Velasquez of a Boca del Rio address was shot by police in the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town. According to Police, Velasquez was involved in a series of fights since 1PM of the same date. According to SP Police, they received multiple complaints and responded on several occasions, but Velasquez was never around until they responded to a 3:30PM report. Police state that they saw Velasquez, and upon his seeing the officers, he allegedly ran away, with the police setting chase. Velasquez apparently jumped two fences and made his way to an overgrown empty lot in the San Juan Area along the lagoon. Two officers pursued him on foot and found him hiding. According to Police, when the officers came near, Velasquez pulled out a stick and charged at one of the officers.

Ambergris Today

Tropic Air's Scenic Direct Flight to Honduras
On Monday, March 12, the airline introduced its direct flight from Belize to San Pedro Sula, Honduras and offering an introductory rate of $99US (one way) for the month of March. It’s an hour-long flight that departs from the Phillip Goldson International Airport three times a week, and by 9a.m. you can find yourself in beautiful Honduras. If the length of the flight scares you a bit, there is no need to fret. Before I could complete two three levels on Angry Birds, I was already there. Then again, the flight is one of the most amazing and picturesque there are and I was totally distracted and blown away with the view outside my window. The flight is over water 90% of the time as it skims the entire coast of Belize. You get to take in the beautiful coastline and admire in awe the fringe reefs and barrier islands that line the coast; it’s simply mind-blowing. As you reach the Honduran coast, you get to see the industrial bay, the mountains, crop fields and hill-top homes before you land at the San Pedro Sula International Airport.

Seventeen Year Old Sets Goal to Swim from San Pedro to Belize City
Eric Donis is a proud 17-year-old Sanpedrano who has set a challenge for his birthday – to swim from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to Belize City with the goal to promote Healthy Reefs and Healthy People. Eric Donis is a young Belizean swimmer and triathlete who aspires to represent Belize one day at international triathlon events around the world including the Olympics and maybe one day in the famous Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Donis came up with an idea to swim from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to Belize City in just three days. His purpose is to raise awareness of the delicate nature of our Barrier Reef at a time when there was much talk about the dangers of offshore drilling for oil.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Oil Wells Seismic Surveys Map and contract holders 2010
Looking for black gold in Belize?

Art exhibition to be opened today in Belize City by the Mexican Embassy
The Mexican Embassy invites the public to the opening of the painting exhibition “Punto y Croma” by nine Mexican artists, which will be held today, March 15th at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. “Punto y Croma” is the name of a group of artists from Quintana Roo, Mexico, who regard plastic arts, and painting as the means to learn, live, experiment and to show their creative force. Most of the members of the group have presented their works in individual and collective exhibitions, invited by state institutions and NGOs. Founded 6 years ago, “Punto y Croma” presents in Belize more than 20 oil paintings of figurative art. By mastering colors and shapes, the artists feature different subjects such as still life, animals, country side and marine landscapes, portraits and everyday life. The opening ceremony will be held today, March 15th, at 6:30 pm at the Institute of Mexico, located at the corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street, in Belize City. Entrance is free and open to the general public. The presentation is sponsored by the Mexican Embassy and the Department of Culture of Quintana Roo. The exhibition will remain open until March 30th, 2012.

PHOTOS: School Program in Belize
By The Tomistoma Fund. I have been very busy with our schools programs over the last few days and really enjoying every little bit of it. That is something I wanted to thank you for your support, it has been really made all of our presentations possible. Here is a link to a facebook album that has most of the photos from the last week or so in schools. There are more photos that I will be uploading the next few days of the kids and their books, so keep an eye out for them since we finally have our internet back and working. We have been able to get into Holycross, St. Peters, Isla Bonita, Island Academy, R.C., and will be in the high school next week.

Maya Leaders React To New Ministerial Post
And they aren't too thrilled.... STATEMENT TO THE NATION On the occasion of the appointment of a Minister for Indigenous Peoples. The Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) note with surprise and consternation that the new government has appointed a ministerial portfolio of “Indigenous Peoples”, within the new Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples. To the best of our knowledge, this new Ministry was created without any consultation with any Indigenous Peoples. Neither the National Garifuna Council nor the Maya people of southern Belize through the Toledo Alcaldes Association or the Maya Leaders Alliance, was advised nor consulted. This is particularly disrespectful and disappointing since the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – which Belize voted to adopt at the United Nations - requires governments to “consult and cooperate in good faith with the Indigenous Peoples concerned through their own representative institutions before adopting and implementing administrative measures that may affect them.”

BELIZE OIL AND MINERAL REPORT 1952-1997 (With Serial num and ref)

Women in Art Exhibit at Benque House of Culture
The Women in Arts exhibit at the Benque House of Culture is a must see! The art there is incredible. Pictures don't do it justice. The grand launch is tonight at 6:30. See this great culture for free. This would be great for students too. There is art from Daisy Romero, Dora Luz Hob, Flori Lopez Galves, Gayle Grant, Ivonne Dignard, Jaime Sanchez, Matea Duval, Miriam Antoinette, Nan Lopez, Nehanda Siginio, Samantha Ke, Veronica Romero, and Zinnia Longsworth. Don't forget that on the 24th of March, they'll be having a Women in Arts fair.

Mountain Pine Ridge and the Belize Zoo get a fantastic review
It's good to see Mountain Pine Ridge getting such a great review. It really is a magical place. Some great pictures are posted there too. "After about 2 hours of driving and a 20 minute hike we made it to “Big Rock Falls”. A beautiful place we had all to ourselves. We dived from the rocks into the refreshing pools below and took a shower under the power of the falls... Standing at the gaping mouth of the Rio Frio cave. A river runs through this cave and collapsed it from the inside. Creating a gaping cathedral inside full of huge stalactites and a sandy beach next to the river. Some scale to the cave opening. Outside of the cave is thick jungle."

Mariposa has started an Orchid Garden
The Black Orchid is Belize's national flower. Mariposa Jungle Lodge has pictures up of their new orchid garden. There are some beautiful orchids there.

Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge
There's a new lodge in Cayo named after the Sleeping Giant. Obviously, they are located on the Hummingbird Highway. Their picture gallery has some beautiful shots in it. "Nestled into the foothills of the Sibun National Forest Reserve in Central Belize, Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge is surrounded by over a hundred thousand acres of untouched wilderness. It is an ideal retreat for nature lovers wishing to experience the sounds and sights of a tropical rainforest in a tranquil, undisturbed atmosphere."

Belize listed on Fodor's "5 Spring Break Getaways for Grown-ups"
Belize made the list due to Cayo's adventure excursions. ATM, Caracol, and Xunantunich are all mentioned. Ka'ana is mentioned as their choice of lodging! "With all the hoopla over the Mayan calendar ending on December 21, 2012 (and the resulting speculation about whether that spells doom for modern civilization), it’s the perfect time to check out the lore and legends of the Mayans. There’s no better place to dig into ancient prophecies than this English-speaking country located just south of Riviera Maya, Mexico, where the jungles of Belize's Cayo District hide mysterious caves (especially Actun Tunichil Muknal, home to the crystallized skeleton of a sacrificed Mayan maiden) and the world’s second largest barrier reef is a subaquatic playground. You can climb atop ancient Mayan pyramids at Caracol, Lamanai, and Xunantunich; or, snorkel or dive with impressive ocean predators in Shark-Ray Alley off of Ambergris Caye."

It's Never Too Late To Have A Good Time in Cayo
"It's never too late to have a good time." That's one of the classic Lee-isms uttered when we're not quite ready to let the party end, or even to get the party started! Londoners, you would have heard this one plenty of times! Such was the case on our last night in San Ignacio. It was Alex's birthday and we were determined to have a good time. After some merry-making at our hotel the 5 of us - Megan from London, and Alex and Meagan from Canada - headed into town to find any remaining nightlife. But alas! Being Monday night all the usual haunts were closed. Even the ever-popular, ever-pumping dance-hall venue. With no revellers to feed the late-night barbecue stands were closed too! (Gotta love any place where you can buy freshly braaied chicken on the bone at 2am!)

Channel 7

For the past week - we've been getting reports about seven containers that raised red flags at the customs department. The containers came from China, and the importer says they contain fertilizer. But customs suspects otherwise; they feel it could be a major shipment of what are classed as precursor chemicals. Those are chemicals like pseudoephedrine that are used in the production of meta-amphetamines. That's an illegal, highly addictive drug popular in the United States called "Meth". The precursors for "Meth" are often imported through gateways in Belize, Guatemala or Mexico so they can be smuggled into the United States. Belize Customs has gone through its problems with pseudo-ephedrine containers since that was outlawed in 2008 - and now determined drug manufacturers they are finding other chemicals that will work as precursors.

He's a Mexican diplomat, but that didn't give 50 year old Domingo Rodriguez Semerena immunity from being the victim of a crime. The cultural attaché at the Mexican embassy in Belize was robbed and held hostage late Tuesday evening. Rodriguez, who is stationed at the Mexican Institute in Belize City, reported to police that around 6:45 Tuesday evening, he was assisting someone to a friend's house on an unknown street in the city. When he got to the house, two men approached his vehicle. One of the men was armed and forced Rodriguez to the back seat of his vehicle after which 2 other men got into his vehicle. The 4 men then took him to an unknown house, where they tied up his hands and feet. He was then robbed of his cell phone, his gold chain, one hundred and fifty dollars in cash, and other personal documents. He was then guarded by one of the men until 7 o'clock yesterday morning, when he was taken and released at an abandoned swampy area on the Northern Highway. Rodriguez's black 2007 Audi SUV with diplomatic license plates was also stolen. The Mexican embassy had no comment.

The first trial without jury ended today with Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin found 20 year-old Akeem Thurton guilty of attempting to murder attorney Rodwell Williams. It is a landmark verdict in a high profile case, that lasted for two weeks. In the prelude to the delivery of his verdict, CJ Benjamin summarized the major sections of the trial, which started 2 weeks ago. He touched on all the major evidence which the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Taitt - Vidal, presented against Thurton. As he indicated, the DPP's case depended heavily on the testimony of the victim, Rodwell Williams, who was fortunate to survive his near-fatal shooting on the night of May 30, 2010. Williams went through the entire events of the night, in which his testimony finally culminated into his identification of Thurton as the man who he saw shoot him.

22 year old Edwin Moody is in a serious condition at the KHMH after he was shot yesterday evening in Belize City. As we reported last night, at a quarter to six, the construction worker of a Rocky Road address was riding on Racecourse Street near the Sunnyside Bakery when he was shot. Police say two men were riding behind him and fired several shots. They found their mark in the lower right side of his abdomen and the lower right buttock area. It is the second shooting on the usually quiet Racecourse street in four days. Police have made no arrests. In other crime news from Belize City, a man was stabbed this evening - again around 5:30 pm - in the Complex area of Lake Independence. We understand his injuries are quite serious and emergency surgery is required.

A man was shot by police yesterday afternoon in San Pedro. According to the San Pedro Sun, 21 year old Simon Velasquez of Boca Del Rio in the San Juan Area of the island was shot around 4. The Sunb reports that he had been in a number of fights that afternoon and they had received numerous complaints. When they responded to the reports, Valasquez allegedly tried to escape from police by running away. Police set chase after Valasquez who allegedly jumped two fences into an overgrown lot along the San Juan lagoon. Police continued following Valasquez and managed to catch up with him when Valasquez allegedly pulled out a stick and charged at one of the officers. That was when another police officer pulled out his police issued firearm and fired a single shot hitting Valasquez in the upper right thigh. Velasquez was taken to the KHMH in Belzi eicyt but has sicne been discharged.

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous People, Lisel Alamilla got a major big-up from the Association of Protected Area Management Organizations, APAMO yesterday. Well, from big-up to dig-up, today the Mayan Leaders' Alliance slammed her appointment in a lengthy press release. The statement says that "The Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association note with surprise and consternation that the new government has appointed a ministerial portfolio of 'Indigenous Peoples'." The release laments that "neither the National Garifuna Council nor the Maya people of southern Belize through the Toledo Alcaldes Association or the Maya Leaders Alliance, was advised nor consulted." They argue that, quote "the creation of this ministry…ought to have been decided upon in consultation with us." It continues, quote, "We have to wonder whether the government would have created a Ministry of Creole People or Mestizo People without consultation with those communities, and if they would have appointed a non-Creole or non-Mestizo to 'handle' the relationship with those communities." The release states that the Minister should have been an indigenous person, and suggests the name of Greg Choc as one possibility. But, after much lamentation, the group says it remains committed toquote "attempting to build a relationship of mutual respect with the government" and invites Minister Alamilla to meet with Maya leaders at the earliest opportunity.

Since August 2, 2011, Glenn Tillett, editor of the Independent Newspaper, and his 21 year-old daughter have been in and out of the courtroom in relation to the charge of handling stolen goods. Today, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer dismissed that charge for want of prosecution. Police reported that they searched his Belize City home, and found a pair of computers which was stolen in last year's burglary of the Salvadoran Embassy located in the Cohune Walk area of Belmopan. Tillett told police and the media that his nephew, 20 year-old Tyrell Hyde, took the items to his home and asked to store them there. He also said that they didn't know that these items were stolen. Police didn't believe him, and they arrested his daughter and him. Since September of last year, the matter has been granted 5 adjournments in Senior Magistrate Frazer's courtroom.

Last night we showed you how the cell phone registrations were going at both phone companies. SMART! had been advertising that today was their deadline for registration, while BTL's communications officer told us that they were using April 12 as prescribed by the Government. Well, as you might have guessed, with the threat of disconnection looming, a large section of the Belizean public decided to wait until the very last minute rush in and register their numbers at the Speednet offices throughout the country - which caused major lines. The problem is that today is not the deadline that the Government gave like the company was advertising.

The People's Referendum has come and gone - and the Barrow administration has agreed to hold a referendum on offshore drilling. But the public information about the issue has mostly been one-sided - which is what brings us to our next story. Janelle Chanona - in partnership with the Healthy Reefs initiative tonight presents the second and final part of her series examining the complex interplay of issues that factor into all deliberations about offshore drilling. And while the environment is one thing, the revenue that government can generate is the other side of the issue. Tonight Janelle Chanona looks at those competing interests: conservation on one side and cash on the other - in a feature she calls, "Show Me the Money":..

Yesterday morning in Cayo, the GSU discovered over 2 dozen M16 magazines along with 2 bullet proof vests in San Ignacio Town. Between 5:00 and 11:00 am, the GSU and San Ignacio Police searched Dudley Kenrick Lopez's residence in the Shawville Area of San Ignacio Town. Inside one of the 43 year old's bedrooms, they found 2 M16 magazines in a plastic bag. They then uncovered a carton filled with 23 empty M16 magazines. If this was not enough, 2 bullet proof vests were found on the floor and 1 ballistic portion of a vest was found behind an entertainment center in the same room. Lopez has been arrested and charged for Kept Unlicensed Firearms and possession of unregistered bullet proof vests. Lopez was also wanted by San Ignacio Police for burglary and will be charged for that offence as well.

She is an actress, an activist, and an educator and Dr. Billie Jean Young has educated and inspired hundreds of audiences around the world through her poetry, lectures, drama workshops and community organizing. She has worked in her native home of Alabama as well as abroad, particularly Belize, advancing the causes of social and economic justice. This morning Dr. Young launched her latest book at the Leo Bradley. The book is called "Family Secrets" and 7news was there. Dr. Billie Jean Young, Author "This was an intervention, we saw a woman in distress and a woman who needed help and so we decided to do something about it. This book is written in the mother's voice because the mother after her escape, she knew that mothers were always blamed for incestuous behavior of their husbands, and even some people insinuating that they have been in collusion with that behavior and she wanted to share to examine her own life to see why she was almost immune to it and even after she discover it, she was unable to do anything about it by herself."

38 year-old Walter Beaton, a Belize City taxi driver, was today acquitted of the murder of the notorious Leroy "Redants" Rhaburn in the court room of Justice Adolph Lucas. On August 22, 2009, Rhaburn, a resident of Taylor's Alley was stabbed once to the neck, after he had an altercation with Beaton at the corner of Orange Street and Euphrates Avenue. Beaton had given a caution statement to police in which he admitted that he went to buy tacos from a vendor on those two streets, and that's when he saw Rhaburn who eventually started to threaten him for no apparent reason. Beaton told police that he was trying to ignore Rhaburn and leave the area, but Rhaburn, who was reportedly drunk, started to advance upon him with beer bottle in head.

Our next story is about an art show that will either leave you nodding in agreement or fuming in anger. That's because a pair of committed young artists are taking on all the big issues from politics, to sexuality, to religion - with youthful panache and a devil-may-care attitude. Now, it's not for the squeamish - but it certainly won't leave you bored. The show is called "Society Killed the Teenager"; it opens tomorrow at the Image Factory, but we got a look today:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Welcome to the very topsy-turvy world of Ruhiel Trejo and Briheda Haylock where nothing is what you thought it to be: Dean Barrow is the Queen, Francis Fonseca gets a "nope" - instead of hope, as do Mark Espat and John Briceno. The last supper gets plasticized, Pope John Paul is a poster-icon with a statement as is Martin Luther King, Ghandi and Bob Marley - even George Price gets the red and white treatment - with a cryptic statement below his image. Dr. Kevin Lee is a camera-man and Shyne gets his mugshot on a milk carton - the sum of his days reduced to a compact declaration of working-man's futility. Everything is declared plastic and everything is packaged and shelved for sale. Products are placards - and one throwaway statement is as good or bad as another. This is the work of Ruhiel Trejo - a young, committed and care-free artist - who doesn't care who he ticks off:

Channel 5

Akeem Thurton found Guilty of Attempted Murder of Rodwell Williams
On the night of May thirty-first 2010, Rodwell Williams was shot as he left his law office on Albert Street. It turned near fatal and Williams, the law partner of the prime minister, underwent surgeries in Belize and in the US and has now fully recovered. Two persons were charged with his attempted murder; Ricky ...

Handling stolen goods charges dropped against Glenn Tillett and daughter
While Akeem Thurton will spend many years in jail, journalist and talk show host, Glenn Tillett is home free. Charges for handling stolen goods against Tillett were dropped today. Tillett along with this daughter Katyce Flowers were charged seven months ago when a stolen computer and accessories were found at the house of Rhenae Nunez, ...

Mexican diplomat kidnapped and robbed
Police are reporting today on the abduction and the robbery of a Mexican diplomat. Domingo Rodriguez Semerena escaped with his life but his robbery was not swift; it became a laborious and nerve-wracking kidnapping. The Mexican Embassy would not comment on the situation since it is a police matter and neither would the police provide ...

Deadline for registering of cell phones extended by a couple weeks
At both telephone companies today, customers lined up for hours in a mad rush to register prepaid cellular phones and avoid disconnection. The registration started last October after the Telecommunications Act was amended and the subsequent passage of a Statutory Instrument as a means to fight crime. The deadline was initially announced for today but ...

Environmental Organizations feel disrespected by Liselle Alamilla’s Cabinet appointment
On Wednesday, APAMO issued a congratulatory message to newly appointed Minister, Lisel Alamilla. This afternoon, a statement to the nation from the Mayan Leaders Alliance and Toledo Alcaldes Association, had a much different tone. Now it is known that the Maya Leaders Alliance has not always had a good footing with the government and that ...

Farm worker is latest murder victim
A farm worker from the Cayo District is the latest recorded murder victim. Fifty-seven year old Marcelo Caranza’s daughter, Raquel, received a call on February twenty-ninth from Norma Figueroa, a resident of La Gracia Village, who informed her that he had been missing for two weeks. Figueroa said that she had last seen him on ...

Shooting at Chinese Store in Cayo
Also in Cayo, a Chinese business was robbed shortly before midday. According to the owners of Bing’s Supermarket, an armed man entered the store and robbed them of a computer, cell phones and an undisclosed amount of cash. As he fled, the armed robber opened fire on his victims; fortunately, no one was injured. But ...

After spending 3 years in prison, man acquitted of murder charge
A Belize City man, who has already spent almost three years in prison, is tonight a free man. The jury of twelve retired to the deliberating room shortly after midday to decide the fate of thirty-eight year old Walter Beaton, who was accused of fatally stabbing Leroy “Red ants” Rhaburn on August twenty-second, 2009. Just ...

Society Killed the Teenager; the New Exhibit at Image Factory
Society Killed the Teenager, that’s the name of a distinctively provocative exhibition being staged at the Image Factory by two students of SJC Junior College. Briheda Haylock and Ruhiel Trejo’s style combines emotions and politics to express their views on a number of issues that range from the religious to the sexual. News Five’s Jose ...

‘Family Secrets;’ The True Story of the Sexual Abuse of a Girl
The true story of the sexual abuse of a young girl has been captured in a book entitled Family Secrets. Written by US author, Dr Billie Jean Young, the book was launched this morning at the Leo Bradley Library. Young, who lived in Belize for several years, tells the gripping story from the perspective of ...

Annual Women’s Month Bike Rally this weekend
The annual Women’s Month bike rally is coming up this weekend. It’s an event that has had increasing support and participation over the years because while it is not a race, many come out with the hopes taking home a trophy for being the youngest female rider, the oldest female rider, the largest team of ...


Deadline to register cell phones adjusted
Today the offices of Smart across the country were packed with its customers to register their cellular phones. Smart’s Public Relations Officer, Ian Courtenay told us in an interview earlier today that they were given March 15th as their deadline to register their customers. And so the word got out and the Smart offices were flooded with customers who thought their time had run out. Courtenay assures that while your personal conversations and text messages can be traced for prosecution purposes, aside from that scenario, your communication with others is very confidential. The Police Public Relations Officer, the deadline for clients of both phone companies to register their cell phones is April 12th. To register your phones you need to take in an official form of identification, such as a passport or social security card along with the phone.

Journalist freed of criminal charges
Last August Senior Journalist, Glenn Tillett made headlines after he was charged with handling stolen goods. Today the charge was dismissed against Tillett and his 20 year old step-daughter. Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer, dismissed the case for want of prosecution. The duo was charged after police searched Tillett’s Belize City home and reportedly discovered two computers that police say were stolen from the Embassy of El Salvador in Belmopan. The stolen items were reportedly stashed at Tillett’s house by a relative who had gone to the house just before the police conducted the search.

Visiting team provides skills training in Orange Walk town
Students of Orange Walk IT-VET are benefiting from training provided by a visiting team from the USA. Our Orange Walk based reporter Manuela Ayuso Cantun has the details.

New book focuses on “Family Secrets”
Associate Professor and artist-in-residence on the Fine and Performing Arts faculty of Judson College in Marion, Alabama Dr. Billie Jean Young today launched her newest book entitled “Family Secrets”. The book which was published in December 2010 by Westry Wingate Press was launched during a ceremony at the Leo Bradley Library. It highlights the true experiences of a Belizean family going through a situation that involved incest, finally breaking the chains in the end by escaping to another country. The ceremony included the introduction of the Author by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington.

Belize City man murdered; family seeks answers
A Belize City family who is left in mourning following the shooting death of their loved one on Sunday night. Reporter Marion Ali and cameraman Myles Gillett tried to get some answers.

Special Maya exhibition opens in Toledo
A ceremony to mark the opening of a prominent exhibit of historical underwater Maya findings discovered just off Toledo was held this morning in Punta Gorda. We get the details from our Toledo based correspondent Paul Mahung.

Newly elected municipal authorities undergo training
Mayors, their deputies and councilors who were elected last Wednesday to govern their respective municipalities are gathered for the next day at the Belize Biltmore Plaza hotel to discuss their roles and responsibilities. The Ministry of Local Government-sponsored workshop, is also dealing with issues such as auditing and transparency. President of the Belize Mayor’s Association, re-elected Belmopan Mayor Simeon Lopez, told Love News that the Minister of Local Government, Godwin Hulse, rallied the newly-elected group to do the job that they were elected to do.


Commotion brewing in Teakettle, is it political?
Julius Espat, Peoples United Party area representative for Cayo South visited Plus TV's offices late this evening w...

City of Belmopan moving forward after elections
Mayor Simeon Lopez and his councilors will be sworn in officially on Monday March 19th at City Hall in Belmopan. Lo...

Primary school students show off talent in Festival of Arts
Festival of Arts has become an important part of Belize’s educational curriculum. Keeping the Arts alive, the Festi...

Drunken brawl leaves man dead in Orange Walk
A drunken scuffle over the weekend resulted in the death of a 24 year old man from Orange Walk.Cristobal Santos, a ...

Election Day as the FFB decides its future
It’s a big day for the Football Federation of Belize (FFB). Their Ordinary Congress is scheduled for this evening a...

Akeem Thurton convicted of the attempted murder of Attorney Rodwell Williams
19 year-old Akeem Thurton is the first Belizean to be convicted since the implementation of the trial by judge with...

Glenn Tillet and daughter freed of 'handling' charges
Popular talkshow host and Activist, Glenn Tillett and his daughter, Katyce Flowers have been exonerated. In August ...

Ten women to be honored at Belize Woman of the Year 2012
This is women’s month and ten Belizean women will be honored at the “Belize Woman of the Year” official ceremony On...

Shots ring out near Sunnyside Bakery, man hospitalized
Shortly before our news time yesterday evening a shooting took place near Sunnyside Bakery on Racecourse Street in ...

The Guardian

Star-studded Cabinet
The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow held a press conference on Tuesday, March 13th in Belmopan City where he formally announced to the nation his selection of Cabinet Ministers. ...

Women victimized by PUP town council in OW
At least four UDP supporters have been officially terminated as a result in the change of administration at the Orange Walk Town ...

PM Address After Elections
Let me put on record how very grateful all of us in the United Democratic Party are to the people of Belize. Thank you, the great people of Belize! We are extremely happy that you have renewed our mandate. We ...

Little Power Major Victimization
God knows why he did not let the People’s United Party win the 2012 General Elections. In just one week, it is clear to every municipality that voted for them that the PUP has not changed one bit....

PUP attempted to buy the elections
For a political party that unreservedly stated that it was broke, the PUP sure was able to muster a lot of ‘mula’ in an effort to try and buy the electorate on March 7th. There were money mules walking around the entire country, lopsided carrying bags and bags of money. And voters felt the power of money on election days as specific constituencies were particular targets for the PUP’s money politics. The entire South gave way to the PUP’s money; the Northern Districts suffered with 5 constituencies falling to the PUP’s money and in Cayo it was two of the six. The only district that maintained was the Belize district and in particular Belize City where 8 of 10 constituencies proved that money can’t buy love. But there was one sobering reality here, however, as Lee Mark, as hard working, energetic and popular as he was, was unable to fend off to the big bucks of his opponent.

OAS Mission’s Report on Elections 2012
The General and Municipal Elections were being monitored by a contingent of 23 observers from the Organization of American States. According to Frank Almaguer, Head of Mission, the observers visited about 85% of the polling stations across the country and followed the process until the votes were counted. On Thursday, March 8, the team presented an initial report to the media.

Former Mayor Zenaida Moya and Hon Michael Finnegan Launch Mesopotamia Sewing Center
On Saturday, March 10, 2012, former Mayor Zenaida Moya and Honorable Michael Finnegan, UDP Area Representative for the Mesopotamia Division, launched the first ever Mesopotamia Sewing Center at the 2nd Floor of the Commercial Center. This initiative, which is the brainchild of Moya, is to help empower and bring financial independence to those unemployed Mesopotamia residents, who are interested in learning a trade and, immediately after the 3-month training, owning their own business to contribute to their families’ economic livelihood.

CITCO Staff Welcomes New Mayor and Council
The new Mayor and Councilors of the Belize City Council will be sworn in on Friday, March 16, which is 9 days after the Municipal Elections. For the Mayor -elect, Darrell Bradley, the work of his administration cannot be delayed that long. No one would have quarreled if he had chosen to take an extended vacation after months of campaigning. He then went through the longest Election Day in recent history but Darrell Bradley chose not to rest. He has been in countless meetings since winning the Mayoral race but he considered his meeting on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 14, to be the most important of all.

Group of four charged for beating another man
Three students and an office assistant appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Friday March 9th to answer to charges of harm upon a Belize City resident after he accused them of beating him up whilst at BTL Park in Belize City. The men, 21-year-old Reginald Rodriguez, 21-year-old Dennis Burke, 20-year-old Albert Leslie and 22-year-old Francisco Rosales appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where they were read a single charge of harm upon 27-year-old Ian Jones. The incident occurred on Saturday, March 3, at the BTL Park.

Man succumbs at the KHMH 4 days after being stabbed in O.W.
A post-mortem has been scheduled for murder victim, Cristobal Santos, 24, a bus conductor of San Antonio Road, Orange Walk Town. Santos, the father of two young children was stabbed on Friday, March 9, at around 11:00p.m., on the San Antonio Road near Aquarius by the ex-boyfriend of one of his wife’s cousins. According to the family, the cousin and the ex-boyfriend were talking on the street, when Santos, who was walking down the street heading home, met them.

One thousand dollar fine for guilty plea
On Friday March 9th, 29 year old Marlon Gongora pleaded guilty to damage to property when he appeared in Magistrate’s Court. Gongora appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith where he was fined 1 thousand dollars plus 5 dollars cost of court for his guilty plea. While he pleaded guilty on that charge, he had additionally been charged with wounding a charge which he pleaded not guilty to. He was offered bail in the sum of 1 thousand dollars and his case was adjourned to April 13th. Gongora was charged after he was accused of causing damages to a Red Ford Escort and causing an injury to the owner of the vehicle.

Man found shot to death on feeder road
The body of 23-year-old Herman Garbutt was discovered by police off a feeder road shortly after 6:00 a.m., in the Mahogany Heights Area, Belize District. According to the police, Garbutt was shot multiple times in the head and body. The police recovered a total of two 9mm slugs along with three 9mm expended shells from the scene. The family declined an official interview today but told us that Herman had been living in the Mahogany Heights Area along with his common-law wife; he had no children. The information, we gathered from family members, was that Garbutt may have actually been killed since 11:00 p.m. the night before. The family said that Herman displayed no signs of mental anguish or any form of fear for his life in previous days.

Belize City man murdered over holiday weekend
The family of 21 year old David Alberto Hernandez is visibly shaken and upset over the senseless killing of their loved one. David left his home located on Berkley Street on Saturday, March 10, 2012, after 8:00 p.m.,to purchase items from a store when he was gunned down.

Charged for aggravated assault of policeman
On Wednesday March 7th, a policeman was attacked in Double Head Cabbage while executing his duties and police on Friday March 9th formally arraigned Gian McFadzean and charged him with aggravated assault upon PC Kevin Broaster. McFadzean appeared before Chief Magisgtrate Ann Marie Smith where he was charged with one count of aggravated assault with a bottle upon PC Kevin Broaster and one count of harm. McFadzean, who was unrepresented, pleaded not guilty to both charges and was offered two cash bails of $200 each. His bail was set with the conditions that he must not interfere with the victim and that he must report to the Bermudian Landing Police Station every Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The matter was adjourned to April 11th.

Police woman’s Ex pleads guilty to threatening her
On Tuesday March 13th, 35-year-old Honduran Pablo Martinez appeared in Magistrate’s Court to answer to charges of threatening his ex-common-law-wife, a woman Inspector of Police. Martinez, a resident of Cemetery Road, appeared in Court #5 before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart where he was read a single charge of threatening words upon Inspector, Aracelli Petillo.

Woman stabs her mother in Orange Walk Town
On Friday March 9th an elderly woman, who suffers from hypertension and diabetes was stabbed in her house multiple times by her 48-year-old daughter. The incident occurred at around 12:00 noon on Zericote Street, in the Louisiana area, in the vicinity of the Louisiana Government School.

Ladyville Technical Girls and St. John’s College to represent Central Region in National Softball Championship
The 2011-2012 Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition came to an end on Tuesday March 13, 2012, at Rogers Stadium with the final game in both the female and male categories. In the female championship game, Ladyville Technical High School edged Nazarene High School by the score of 9-8 to capture the 2012 Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Title. The winning pitcher was Rebecca Nicholson and the losing pitcher was Ashley Lucas. With the win, Ladyville Technical will now represent the Central Region at the National Secondary Schools Softball Championship.

Police maintains lead in Premier League Football Competition
The Premier League of Belize completed week 5 of the 2012 campaign with six games played over the last week. On March 11, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, Placencia Assassins defeated the host team San Ignacio United by the score of 2-1. San Ignacio United got on the scoreboard first when Felix Miranda scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 9th minute of play. The first half of the game ended 1-0 in favour of the home team.

Ariel Rosado Memorial Belmopan Cycling Classic is this Sunday
The 31st Annual Ariel Rosado Memorial Belmopan Cycling Classic is organised by the Belize Cycling Association under the regulations of the International Cycling Union and Belize Cycling Association. The event is being sponsored by the Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation, with co-sponsorship from Toucan Industry Limited, Atlantic Insurance Co. Ltd, and Red Bull. The 31st Annual event is scheduled for Sunday March 18, 2012. The Technical Meeting is scheduled for Thursday March 15th, at 7:00 pm on the UWI Campus on Princess Margaret Drive. Team managers are reminded that they are to pay race fees and any outstanding fees at the Heritage Bank Account number 1599. Managers must show proof at the meeting.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

March 9th long weekend in Caye Caulker
March 9th weekend passed by with much excitement as Caye Caulker’s visitors, comprised of tourists as well as locals from the mainland, were in for a relaxing and fun-filled weekend. The Lazy Lizard Bar at the Split held a two-day fete with two bands entertaining patrons, Abraxas Rock Band from Belize City and Electro Sounds Band from Orange Walk alongside DJ Chico who spun awesome tunes to everyone’s delight. Here are some photos so those of you who missed out can plan your weekend right next time.


Joe Taylor’s Creek – Kayaking & Wildlife
You’ve probably never heard of Joe Taylor’s Creek. As you drive into the town of Punta Gorda in the Toledo District, you’ll drive over a small unnamed bridge. Just underneath this bridge is Joe Taylor’s Creek, a short creek that stretches just a couple miles before emptying out into the sea. Many travelers going into Punta Gorda Town have driven across the bridge never stopping to look what lays beneath. However, those adventurous few who steer off the-beaten-path will find a hidden gem kayaking Joe Taylor’s Creek. So who the heck is Joe Taylor? According to residents of Punta Gorda Town who are old enough to remember, Joe Taylor was a butcher back in the old British colonial days. He ran his butcher shop at the mouth of the creek, close to where the bridge lays today. Supplying meat to a coastal town with a surplus of fish was good business and Joe ran his shop for years until he passed away. Today, almost nobody remembers the old butcher by the creek, but his name has survived generations to this day. There is another interesting story about this creek. On the banks on the upper end of the creek you can find volcanic rock. Belize has no volcanoes! The closest volcanoes are thousands of miles away on the Western coast of Guatemala and are mostly inactive. There have not been any geologists who have studied this phenomenon but local guides have their own speculations. Some say eruptions of the now inactive volcanoes in Guatemala ages ago spewed volcanic rock thousands of miles to this little creek in Belize. That’s a long way to travel for molten rock! Joe Taylor is a great example of Belize’s unique combination of history and nature. Not only can you ponder the story of the old butcher and the out-of-place volcanic rock, but you can also enjoy the raw natural beauty along the creek. As you paddle along in your kayak, you’ll see a variety of birds along the riverbank. If you have a keen eye for wildlife you’ll also spot reptiles and maybe even a few mammals. The best time to kayak the creek is early in the morning when it’s nice and cool and the birds are awake and boisterous.

Saga Humane Society Appetizer Cook-Off
Last night we attended the Saga Humane Society cook-off. These cook-offs feature a different food "theme" each month and through food and raffle ticket sales serve to raise much-needed funds for this worthy organization. This month's theme was appetizers, and the cook-off was once again held at Mojito's Bar and Grill, right on the beach in San Pedro. We had previously attended a pasta cook-off in this same venue, and it proved to be a great setting with plenty of seating, a fine breeze, and a good bar. The bar was offering $5 BZD ($2.50 US) "Meow-itos" (mojitos) all night in honor of the occasion, a fantastic deal that we took advantage of, of course! We had the pleasure of meeting and sitting with Jana and CJ, who were visiting San Pedro from Texas. Our friend Bill was volunteering this evening and did a great job. There was a great turnout from the community, locals, tourists, and expats alike, and we recognized quite a few of the faces.

Guilt is a Great Motivation
I am still stuck in an anti-internet mood. But I woke up this morning to take a picture or two of the sunrise. That's good, right? Thanks for all of the emails. I will be back at it soon. I promise.

International Sources

Belize it or Not!?
Carrying on a 40 year old family biz that helped establish today's booming Belize tourism trade, a young couple from Houston makes a splash in the Caribbean (Mukul and Kelly Kanabar). By the Houston Confidential.

A Look at the History and Lifestyle of the Mennonites of Belize
As well as the traditionalist Mennonites who speak a guttural form of German within their community there are around 2,000 Belizeans of Mestizo and Creole origins that have converted to this faith. The Belizean Mennonites are the most conservative and traditional of all the Mennonites to be found across Central America. The religious values and traditions of this dedicated group of people have had to avoid several forms of persecution throughout history as they sought peaceful methods to continue with the beliefs and values they have maintained throughout their existence. The Mennonites began in 16th century in what is now the Netherlands, they moved on to Prussia to avoid having to pay taxes they deemed unnecessary as they worked hard to maintain a religious and self supporting lifestyle while taking nothing from which the taxes would provide them with.

Belize Travel Writer Flies With Rod Blagojevich
Joshua Berman, Belizean guidebook author for Moon was on an American Airlines flight with our old friend Rod Blagojevich and two federal marshals today. The convicted former Governor headed to federal prison to begin serving a long sentence.

Exploitation of the xate plant in Central America's rainforest
Because of Mother's Day, Palm Sunday and a global demand for exotic xate palm leaves, the unspoiled rainforests of Belize, Mexico, Guatemala and other South America countries are being exploited due to the leaf's usage in long-lasting flower arrangements. The global flower trade is threatening the species' survival on a long-term basis, according to a UK study. At a peak demand worth $4 million annually, previous studies show that removing more than two leafs from the five-leafed wild xate palm will damage its reproductive capabilities. New xate or "camedor palm plants" will take at least four years to mature for harvesting. The point is, will labeling an endangered rainforest palm leaf as such make a consumer discriminate against buying the flower arrangement?

T&T, Belize and Puerto Rico in literary race
From a longlist of ten impressive titles, this year's Bocas Prize judges have whittled down a shortlist of three books, by a prolific Commonwealth Writers' Prize-winning storyteller, a professor of Caribbean Literature and creative writing, and a political analyst and lawyer who served as the Attorney General of Belize. Belizean politician, columnist and attorney Godfrey P Smith is the winner in the non-fiction category for his biography of Belize's first prime minister, George Price: A Life Revealed. A "well-crafted narrative that mixes affection and gratitude with something like awe," the judges remarked, defining the publication as a deft exploration of George Price's "eccentric genius and political acumen."

Elections in El Salvador and Belize: Separation of powers
TWO Central American countries have just completed legislative elections, with very different results for their respective governments. In Belize, which went to the polls on March 7th, the fate of the prime minister depends on how many seats his party manages to win in the country’s British-style parliament. El Salvador, which held elections on March 11th, has a set-up more typical of Latin America, in which the congress is elected independently of the president. Mauricio Funes, El Salvador’s president, must be glad that his country does not have the same system as Belize. His party, the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), won 31 of the 84 seats, five fewer than in the previous election. It is now a smaller force than the right-wing Arena party. Were El Salvador’s a parliamentary system, Mr Funes would probably be out. As it stands, he has two more years before his non-renewable five-year term is up. In Belize, the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) hung onto its majority, meaning that Dean Barrow, the prime minister, will stay in power. His position is slightly more precarious than before, however: the UDP now holds only a very slim majority, with 17 of the country’s 31 seats (down from 19). The People’s United Party holds the rest. Squabbles among its leadership in the run-up to the election may have prevented it from performing better. Indeed, the party’s current internal disarray was probably one reason that Mr Barrow chose to call the election when he did. (Another feature that separates Belize from most other Latin American countries is that the prime minister can call elections when he wants.)

Ghost Hunters International sacrifice their dignity with a bloodletting in Belize
know the Ghost Hunters International crew have been saying all season that this was going to be an all new season that is nothing like what we’ve seen before I didn’t really think they would take it all this far. This episode was titled “Sacrificed Mayan Spirits: Belize” and included investigating some Mayan temple ruins with a guy that thinks the spirits in residence are going to start following him home. Somehow in the middle of explaining all of the activity that has taken place at the site the caretaker and some of the television executives Ghost Hunters International team decided that re-enacting a bloodletting scene would help them get better ratings connect with the spirits. The whole idea of opening a vein on a cable television paranormal show is not new, in fact it was done by a paranormal group that had a television show for about 5 minutes a couple of years ago. Yes, it was one of the things that got the chuckle-heads kicked off the air. Immediately. I’d tell you the name of the show, but honestly it escapes me, if I can wrangle it up I’ll come back and post it. Honestly, are television executives that woefully ignorant of the increase in teenagers engaging in ‘cutting?’ Is there a correlation here? I have no idea, but it just doesn’t seem like a great idea having a cutting/bloodletting session included in our ‘entertainment.’ You know -- just in case.

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 10:48 AM)