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#438154 - 05/17/12 09:31 AM Today's Belize News: May 17, 2012
Marty Offline


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV holds Media Meeting
C-NET + Belize, the Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV in Belize, held its first ever HIV Solidarity day and Media Round Table on Saturday May 12th. The meeting and event took place at the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) building at #34 Princess Margaret Drive. The Media Round Table commenced shortly after 4PM with invited members of the media. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce C-NET to the general population, with the aim to reach individuals infected or affected by the HIV Virus and disseminate information that they feel is very important and will contribute to the continued empowerment of individuals living with HIV. C-NET was initiated by a group of Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) with the aim to improve the quality of their lives and those of their peers, through the assistance of REDCA, the Central American Network of Persons Living with HIV. C-NET hopes to accomplish this through various activities which share information pertinent to PLHIV, education and communication. C-NET aims to propel and develop its members’ individual capabilities while promoting a mutual respect for their Human Rights. C-NET + was formed in July of 2011 with the aim of contributing to improving the quality of life of people with HIV in the country and to engage more actively in the national and regional response to HIV -AIDS. Seven people founded the network, which was constituted as the first organization of and for people with HIV in Belize. On October 14, 15 and 16th 2011, C-NET + held its first General Assembly, which saw dozens of PLHIV from all districts of Belize participating.

NEMO Week planned for Belize Rural South
Each year the hurricane season starts June 1st and ends on November 30th. Prior to the beginning of the season the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) hosts a “NEMO Week” in preparation for the season. This year, the week is observed under the theme, Preserving Life and Property and will take place during the week of May 27 – June 1, 2012. As part of the national activities, all schools throughout the country have been invited to join and participate in a National poster contest to be judged in Belmopan for NEMO Week. The contest is open to students in standard 4 to 6 in all primary schools countrywide. Entries must be submitted through the school’s principal or a class teacher no later than May 22nd and depicting the theme “Preserving Life and Property”. Posters will be judged on expression of the theme; creativity and originality, visual clarity and appeal; broad audience appeal and educational value. There will be prizes for first, second and third places. The winning posters will be used as display during NEMO week at NEMO Headquarters in Belmopan and other displays throughout the year as well as will be considered for promotional materials. Poster contestants will be competing at a chance to win $1,600 in prizes.

Four dead in fatal traffic accident on the Western Highway
The Western Highway proved deadly once again, after four people died in an accident on Wednesday morning, May 16th. According to Belmopan Police, they responded to a scene of an accident at mile 44 on the Western Highway where they saw the lifeless bodies of 12 year old student Alicia Smith, 68 year old Nicholasia Tillett, and 45 year old Karen Castillo who was lying in the middle of the highway. The body of Arthur Smith Sr. was found in some bushes off the highway. 28 year old Monique Robinson, a teacher, was seen trapped in the front right passenger seat. Robinson was transported to the Western Regional Hospital where she is listed in critical condition. The four bodies were also transported to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival. Initial investigations revealed that all five persons were traveling in a gold Geo Prizm car bearing license plate BZC-38571 from Belize City to Belmopan, whereupon reaching Mile 44, they collided into a blue Isuzu D-Max, driven at the time by 56 year old Corrine Abcock, a Canadian National, who was traveling in the opposite direction.

Justice Sam Awich sworn in as new Justice of Appeal
Justice Samuel Lungole Awich was today sworn in as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal by the Acting Governor General, His Excellency Carlos Perdomo, at Belize House, Belmopan. Present at the swearing-in ceremony were his wife, son and daughter. Justice Awich who is originally from Uganda has served as a Supreme Court Judge in Belize since April 2001. He retired as a Judge of the Supreme Court on 15th May 2012 after attaining the age of 65 years. Justice Awich was appointed as Acting Chief Justice in October 2010 on the retirement of the former Chief Justice, Dr Abdulai Conteh. He continued to act as Chief Justice until September 2011 until the appointment of Justice Kenneth Benjamin as Chief Justice.

COLA and The Coalition apply as co-claimants challenging Oil Concession Contracts
In the Supreme Court today, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and The Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage presented applications requesting to be joined as co-claimants in Oceana in Belize’s present claim against the Ministry of Natural Resources, challenging the validity of six Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs). The PSA’s, also called oil concession contracts, that are being challenged were granted by the Minister of Natural Resources to Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, PetroBelize Company Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy Belize Ltd and Sol Oil Belize Ltd between 2005 and 2007. Crown Counsel Herbert Panton, holding over for Crown Counsel Nigel Hawke, informed the court that they object strongly to the joinder and needed time to review the application and provide a response. The matter was adjourned to May 23 at which time arguments will be presented on behalf of the Ministry as to reasons why these two organizations should not be joined as co-claimants. The applicants are both non-governmental organizations that have been very actively involved in challenging the Government on the issue of oil exploration offshore and onshore in protected areas. COLA is a known grassroots organization that has been operating since 2008 and the Coalition comprising some 36 membership organizations was formed on June 8, 2010 in response to the revelation that almost all of Belize’s marine and terrestrial acreage had been given out under oil concessions unbeknown to the general Belizean population.

PUP’s first leader dies in the USA
The People’s United Party (PUP) first Party Leader, John Smith, has died. 93-year-old Smith passed away on Tuesday May 15th surrounded by his wife and children in his home in Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.A. The announcement was made by the PUP Secretariat on Wednesday May 16th in which the Party says that “The PUP pays tribute to the life of John A Smith.” John Smith became the first Party Leader of the People’s United Party September 29th, 1950 after the People’s Committee was dissolved making way for the first political party in Belize’s history. Smith led the PUP for two years, up to 1952, after which Leigh Richardson took over up to 1956. Smith stepped aside as leader following differences within executive members of the PUP. Besides being the first PUP Leader Smith was a Legislator in the British Honduras Legislative Assembly, Mayor of Belize City, City Councilor, and Vice-President of the General Workers Union. His contributions to the building of a new Belize are two many to mention as he laid one of the pillows of what Belize is today. Smith was a member of the Belize City Council from 1944 to 1955, elected Mayor of Belize City in 1947 and 1950, member of the Legislative Assembly from 1948 to 1954, the founder of the People’s Committee in 1948 and first PUP Party Leader. He was also Vice-President of the General Workers Union.

Ambergris Today

Sinfull Deliciousness at Caprice Bar and Grill
Well, I’ll torture you a bit and leave dessert for last in this review; sorry! But undoubtedly San Pedro Holiday Hotel has transformed its restaurant and bar from something great to something even more spectacular. Celi’s Restaurant has given birth to Caprice Bar and Grill that now offers a fine dining experience in a chic outdoor environment. The dining room went from indoors to their outdoor deck that is perfectly shaded by UV protecting transparent blue material that sets the mood during the day as you enjoy the eye-popping ocean scenery of the blue Caribbean Sea.

Experiencing the “Hands on Healing” of Reiki
Our Reiki practitioner – Pam Burton, offered the Angels an experience of the ultimate power of “hands on healing” therapy. We were very excited to try out this form of treatment as we had never heard of it; and to be honest, we were a bit curious as to what we would experience. Once on the massage table, my instructions were to close my eyes and relax. After a few deep breaths Pam, Reiki practitioner, commenced our session. As this is a non-touching technique; Pam never placed her hands on me; her hands are held a few centimeters away from my body. She started by placing her hands above my head (The Crown Chakra). I could feel a warm and tingling sensation as she made her way throughout my body, taking about five minutes in a position before moving to another.

Contestants Announced for Miss San Pedro High
The San Pedro High School is informing the community to save the date for the Miss San Pedro High School Pageant 2012 taking place on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the R. Angel Auditorium at 7:30pm. The seven lovely contestants vying for the crown this year are: Fatima Reyes, Kaysha Martin, Ethel Villatoro, Nicky Coleman, Arlethe Lima, Nissi Arzu and Emily Simoes. Come out and support this spectacular event full of fun and entertainment.

Seniors Start Graduation Celebrations
There is nothing more left on the minds of San Pedro High School Seniors who have learnt that they are graduating next month - Prom, Parent's Night and Graduation! On Wednesday, May 16, 2012, as they get to know that they have passed their final high school exams, the seniors celebrate with the traditional signing of uniforms where they write special congratulatory messages to their classmates. Congratulations to all San Pedro High School graduating Seniors of 2012!

Tropic Air’s Zipline & Waterfall Rappelling Adventure
Tropic Air adds another spectacular package to their list of special tours for its customers. This time around, they pack an exhilarating adventure in a packaged tour that takes you to southern Belize in Dangriga, Stann Creek District. Together with Bocawina Adventures and Eco-Tours Ltd. Tropic Air will have you flying south, travelling into the Bocawina National Forest and zip lining Belize’s longest single cable run of 2,300 feet (1.5 miles in total, 12 platforms).

Belizeans Hold Strong in Oil Drilling Fight
COLA and The Coalition apply as co-claimants challenging Oil Concession Contracts - In the Supreme Court today, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage presented applications requesting to be joined as co-claimants in Oceana in Belize’s present claim against the Ministry of Natural Resources, challenging the validity of six Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs). The PSAs, also called oil concession contracts, that are being challenged were granted by the Minister of Natural Resources to Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, PetroBelize Company Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy Belize Ltd and Sol Oil Belize Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

Town Council Working on Maritime Safety for San Pedro
Officials of the Belize Port Authority, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and President of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association, Mr. Phillip “Billy” Leslie met with local media to explain about their plans on improving maritime safety in San Pedro.

Belikin to Debut Chocolate Stout at Cacao Fest
Belikin has announced that it will be proud to present Chocolate Stout which will be tapped at the Cacao Festival in Punta Gorda this weekend! Nolan Michael, Belizean brewmaster for Belikin, talks about the latest to come from the Belize Brewing Company, Chocolate Stout.

Misc Belizean Sources

El Pescador Fishing Report, Week of May 5 – May 12, 2012
Weather Conditions: Sunny skies, a little wind, and flat out beautiful. Winds: E 5 – 15. Some days in the back it was N, NE. Air Temperature: Highs in the mid 80’s and the lows were in the low 70’s. Water Temperature: around 80 degrees Moonphase: Last quarter on the 12th. WHAT GUESTS WERE CATCHING:

Matachica Resort and Spa completes multi-million dollar redesign
Long considered the hidden jewel of Belize, Matachica, the exquisite, award-winning beach resort has announced the completion of a multi-million dollar redesign and expansion. Heralded as the anti-generic beach resort, Matachica now offers an even more spectacular Caribbean getaway with a signature relaxed attitude and barefoot elegance. Matachica’s impeccably chic overall décor draws upon the owner’s passion for both the island’s native heritage and his extensive global travel. “When I first arrived on the island, I was instantly hooked by the effortless, laid-back way of life” explains proprietor Daniel Lighter. “This resort could not exist anywhere else in the world, because every aspect of your experience is drawn from, and a reflection of, the unique character of this beachfront paradise.” Though only a short water-taxi ride from the lively shops and restaurants of San Pedro, Matachica is located on the secluded island of Ambergris Caye. From the moment you step onto our private dock, you will discover the breathtaking way Matachica has integrated itself into the lush azure surroundings. The resort itself sits on miles of natural white sand beach overlooking the crystal blue sea. If you are feeling adventurous, paddle one of the resort’s kayaks for a fifteen-minute ride to the second-longest living barrier reef on this planet. While these and scores of other activities, from scuba diving and snorkeling, to fishing, trekking and historic site excursions, are easily accessible, you may also choose to find a secluded hammock for quiet contemplation and to soak in the island rays. Recent additions to the resort include 12 brand new and even larger casitas, as well as full upgrades to all existing rooms. In all, Matachica features 25 single casitas, and 1 two-bedroom villa, named our Luxury Caribbean Villa. Each villa is thatched roof, vibrantly-painted and feature private patios, fully updated bathrooms and original art. Though entirely air conditioned, many choose to throw open their windows, in order to experience the panoramic seafront views and enjoy the warm tropical breeze. Moreover, Matachica has added a spectacular infinity pool, a fleet of new kayaks and sailboats, and new equipment for day-trips and local adventures.

Jungle cats caught on camera in Belize
A jaguar prowls past the camera. Credit: Maarten Hofman/Ya'axché Conservation Trust. A camera trap survey, set up by scientists from Ya’axché Conservation Trust, has caught pictures of Central America’s two big cats: the jaguar and the puma (known locally as the red tiger). Both species are threatened by habitat loss and unsustainable hunting of their prey, and it is thought that only around 250-400 jaguars now remain in the Maya Mountains. “Although local people appreciate the beauty of jaguars, these cats are coming under increasing pressure from agricultural expansion, which is pushing people into their territory,” said Lee Mcloughlin, Protected Area Manager at Ya’axché Conservation Trust. “This is not only resulting in habitat loss and fragmentation, but also leading to conflict between jaguars and people, who are fearful of the danger these animals can pose to livestock and pets. “Inevitably, the jaguars come off worse in this battle.”

Hidden Valley Inn 4X4 Trail Excursion
Hidden Valley Inn is having a special weekend where you can tackle some rough roads. They'll have trails set up so you can go off roading around Mountain Pine Ridge. Sounds like some extreme fun! Call 822-3320 or e-mail office@hiddenvalleyinn.com for more information.

Ariel Rosado Bike Ride pictures
Danny Chung got some great photos of the Ariel Rosado Memorial Bicycle Race. "The Ariel Rosado Foundation was created to raise funds for those in need. The pictures in this album were taken from the bike ride from Galen University Campus in Central Farm to Bruce Bike Shop in Belize City. Yours truly was the Official Photographer for the event. Enjoy!"

International Museum Day at Benque House of Culture
Yesterday at the Benque House of Culture. The opening of the Slavery and Emancipation exhibit. "Official ceremony, launch of educatinoal exhibit, & booths by Institute of Archeology and the Belize Archives Department"

Cayo Classifieds for the week
Cayo's most comprehensive classified ad publication with great bargains. Deadline to place ads are every Thursday @ 5 pm.

Channel 7

This morning at 7:30, the limestone surface of the Western Highway again proved terribly tragic. Four members of one family were killed when their car lost traction and spun out of control - at mile 44 on the western highway. The impact - in a word - was astonishing - and 7news was on the scene an hour after it happened - here's how it looked: Jules Vasquez Reporting The destruction is so complete it almost defies description. This Geo Prizm was actually ripped into two parts The front of the car stood alone, while the back was some feet away - each side, mangled and twisted almost beyond recognition. This is the Isuzu rodeo that crashed into it. Denroy Tillett - Brother Of the Deceased "I can't tell you how the accident happened, but from what I heard, it's just a loss of control of the vehicle. I had 5 family members in the vehicle, and from what the police officers told me, 4 died. One is in critical condition at the hospital in Belmopan." Brian Chavarria came upon the scene as it was happening - he says he just saw car parts flying

This morning at 7:00 am - a man was killed in Belize City. 28 year old Kaylon Matura was going to work - when a gunman pulled up and shot him multiple times. Matura has dodged death two times before - but this morning - he could not - and he became the third of the Matura brothers to be murdered in the city. Indeed, he was stalked by death, but according to his family - in this case they believe it is a case of mistaken identity. Monica Bodden found out more today: Monica Bodden Reporting The shooting happened on Central American Boulevard just before 7 o'clock this morning. The victim - 29 year old Kaylon Matura was standing on this sidewalk just yards away from his house -when a gunman pulled up and opened fire on him. Matura tried to run but tumble in front of his front gate. The gunmen then continued to fire shots at him. His common-law-wife of 8 years was inside their home along with his 4 children. They heard the entire commotion. Voice of: Nathalie McKenzie - Common-law Wife of Deceased "This morning, I got up, and I asked him if he was going to work, to which he said he would. He said that he was only going to sign in, and he would come back. I said that I wouldn't have to make any sandwiches then, since it was raining. I told him to show me the thing on the car that I had to move when I am driving. He said he would, and he walked out before me; I turned back to get my umbrella. I didn't get it right away; I went to my daughter because she was making some cup noodles in the microwave. So I was showing her the amount of water that she was to put in there, and that was when we heard the shots." Reporter "How many shots?" Voice of: Nathalie McKenzie "I heard 8 shots, and when I heard the shots, I told my daughter that it was 'Dad'. She said, 'Yes, mommy, it's Dad. Look at him running with his back bleeding.'"

There is major news to report tonight out of Belize's underworld - as the GSU has locked down George Street Kingpin Brian Brown's home on Jimmy Dyer Street in Belize City. The exhaustive search started at 6:00 this morning and continues at this hour. Brown's home has a 12 foot high fence, razor wire and multiple surveillance cameras. Police forced open the sliding metal gate - and proceeded to search the premises with a justice of the peace, since Brown was not at home. A neighbor told us how they got in: Voice of: Neighbor of Brian Brown "What happen is that I was sleeping, and I just heard a banging, and I then heard vehicle doors slaming. I just jumped out of my bed, and I came to see what it was. When I looked, the gate was opened. Apparently the knocking was the gate that they were beating on. All of them were in the yard." Monica Bodden "A lot of officers?" Voice of: Neighbor of Brian Brown "They brought 2 or 3 truckloads. One was still at the corner. They went for a locksmith. They came with a locksmith, pinch bar, mauls, and some other tools that I don't know the the name of. And they broke the back door open, and they went in. No one was at home. I went to them, and I told them that he is not here; I also asked them what they wanted. They didn't say anything. They just continued to search, opening up all the vehicles and doing whatever. I asked them how they can just be doing this and he wasn't there. They said that they have a JP, so it's legal. But I thought that GSU couldn't go to people's house without somebody being home." As of this evening, a warrant has been obtained for the arrest of Brian Brown. There are reports that he may hand himself into police tomorrow along with his attorney. The GSU invited us to the home this evening to see what all they have found at the property which is tagged Brown Enterprise Auto Rental Sales. Police found several parcels of cannabis - which is reported to have a very strong aroma - what would be called "high grade" in the streets. The Cannabis is divided as follows: 291 grams compressed found in the kitchen under the sink, 110 grammes loose cannabis found on a railing on the verandah, 361 grammes cannabis in an engine coolant gallon. They also found a number of pieces of crack cocaine - 800 grammes in another engine coolant gallon.

A major regional meeting is being held at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize. The Caribbean Local Economic Development forum opened at the Princess Hotel and Casino and closed just a short while ago. IT focuses on the role of local government in Local Economic Development as well as enabling micro, small and mediums sized enterprises in the Caribbean. This is the first CARILED forum being held in Belize, and it has drawn some big names, including Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma and Ministers of various Commonwealth countries. Minister of Local Government, Godwin Hulse outlined the main purpose of the forum: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Local Government "Improving the lives of the citizens and those we govern, both in their basic living conditions and their economic well-being, is then the goal. To this end, we must continue to promote democracy and decentralization of authority. The Central Government may devolve considerable authority to the local authorities, dependent on the capacity of such authorities, to manage the responsibilities. This program this morning is about that, but the concept of a local government managing the economic development is as far-fetched as getting to the moon for small countries. And so the CARILED Program, which we are talking about this morning, aims to do just that. How do we get local authority involved in the economic development, which would bring more taxes and jobs, etc. in in the area?"

As we noted, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar is in Belize for the meeting. She didn't arrived until 4:0 this afternoon because he flight out of Miami was delayed - with a flat tyre, of all things. But when she arrived, Persad-Bissessar was composed and keen on attending the meeting to give her support for a special entrepreneurial fund - for which she is the patron. She told Jules Vasquez more:.. Hon. Kamla Persad - Bissessar - Prime Minister, Trinidad and Tobago "There is a very important initiative which I will be launching. I'll speak of it later this evening. It is what is known as the CARILED project. This project is one in which we have received 23 million dollars from CIDA - the Canadian Government, with respect to the development unit. The money is to be utilized in the CARICOM region for young, small entrepreneurs to develop a skills and expertise in those areas. So I think that it is a very important project, and it was useful for us to launch it here, in a CARICOM nation, with your own prime minister. I was very happy to meet with him, because in Trinidad and Tobago, we are leading an initiative where we want to adopt the Caribbean Court of Justice as our final court of appeal for criminal matters. So the gradual session to that particular jurisdiction may require an amendment to the CARICOM Treaty. And your honorable prime minister leads a portfolio area in terms of justice matters. So, of course, consultation with him, and certainly to seek the support of Belize, should it be, that we need, the treaty could possibly be amended. We are hosting a CARICOM heads meeting in Barbados on next Sunday and Monday, but regrettably, your honorable prime minister will not be there. So it was most opportune that I could have met him here in person, whilst taking advantage of the local government forum, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, to seek his support and his views on this matter."

John McAfee says he's going global in his pubic relations fight against the Government of Belize. As we've reported McAfee's Orange Walk Estate was searched by the GSU 15 days ago - and since then there have been a number of claims and counterclaims between him and the GSU. Recently, the GSU charged three persons for trying to buy informants for McAfee within the GSU. Well, the 66 year old issued a rather haughty statement today saying, quote, "As of noon, today….I will no longer be speaking to the Belizean press the dialog between myself and the Government of Belize deserves a larger stage, and a press that is not aligned with local politics….it is time for cooler heads to consider our dialog, and time for a larger audience." And so, this morning - in case you didn't quite hear the church bells chiming, or feel the earth shaking - McAfee gave an interview to a weblog called Gizmodo. He says he will be following up with more interviews over the next few weeks - we'll tell you when he breaks out of the blogosphere.

Three weeks ago on this newscast - we alluded to the likelihood that Laura Esquivel will be the new Director Of the Tourism Board. Well, the announcement was made today and Esquivel confirmed to us that as of June fourth, she will assume the post of acting director of Tourism. The post of director has been in a sort of limbo since September of last year when Seleni Matus left quite suddenly after she and the Board of Directors clashed over governance issues. Since then there has been a low profile interim director. She joins new board Chairman Ian Lizarraga and new CEO Tracy Taeger Panton.

Oceana Belize is well known for its staunch opposition to offshore drilling, and right now, they have a pending litigation against the Government of Belize for the rejection of thousands of the signatures for their referendum which has been denied. But, that's not the only litigation that Oceana has brought; they also have a pending matter to challenge several of the offshore oil drilling concession contracts which the Ministry of the Natural Resources issued between 2005 and 2007. Those contracts include the ones issued to Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, PetroBelize Company Limited, Princess Petroleum Limited, Providence Energy Belize Limited and Sol Oil Belize Limited. Oceana will be joined by COLA and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage has also expressed their intent to become interested parties in this case. Today, attorney Godfrey Smith, who is appearing on behalf of Oceana and proposed interested parties, and Crown Counsel Herbert Panton presented themselves before Justice Legall for the preliminary hearing in which Smith presented Oceana's position. Panton indicated to the court that GOB intends to make preliminary objections to this challenge, but he asked for more time in order to properly respond. The matter was adjourned but Justice Legall has only given Panton and the Attorney General's Ministry until May 23 to file their response along with the required affidavits. It was a very short hearing, but we spoke to Oceana's Vice President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd.

When David Longsworth and Edgar Ayala were killed at a gas station in 2010 - it shook the city. Well now, a man will stand trial for the murder. The preliminary inquiry for 41 year-old Ervin Reneau, who was charged for the 2010 double murders of Edgar Ayala and David Longsworth, finished in the Magistrate's Court today. It was determined that he will stand trial in the Supreme Court. Reneau was charged with 2 counts of Murder, and 4 counts of attempted murder which police say he committed against William Henry, Antonia Medina, Ursula Longsworth, and Esram Brackett-Martinez. When police arrested him on December 2, 2010, he was caught with a 9 millimeter pistol, and as a result, he was also charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm. Today, the prosecutor tendered 27 witness statements and 23 pieces of evidence which they plan to use against Reneau. He also indicated to the court that he will call 2 witnesses to testify in his defense. His trial is scheduled to be called up in the September sessions of the Supreme Court. As we reported, Longsworth and Ayala were murdered at the Texaco Gas Station at Mile 1 ½ on the Northern Highway on December 1, 2010.

Tonight, we note the passing of John Smith - the first leader of the People's United Party and one of the fathers of Belize's Nationalist Movement. Smith died yesterday at the age of 93, in Louisiana with his wife and children. Smith entered public life as a member of the Belize City Town Council in 1944, and was elected as Mayor in 1947. He was one of the founding members of the People's Committee in 1948 - which transitioned to the People's United Party in September of 1950. He was party leader until 1952 when internal division led to his resignation from the party. Smith left the country a few years after, returning only to visit family. Leigh Richardson became the next leader - and he too left the country in 1956 - handing over to George Price - who became leader for an unmatched 40 years. With the passing of Smith - all five fathers of the nationalist movement have now passed on; they are, Phillip Goldson deceased 2001, Nick Pollard deceased 2003, Leigh Richardson deceased 2008, George Price deceased 2011 and John Smith deceased 2012.

Last month, we told you about the Justice Samuel Awich's impending elevation to a Justice of the Court of Appeal. Well, despite the protests of the Belizean Bar Association and the Leader of the Opposition, Justice Awich was officially sworn into the office today in Belmopan. He was sworn in by the Acting Governor General, Carlos Perdomo. According the Government Press Office, because he is now 65 year-old, Awich officially retired as a Judge of the Supreme Court yesterday. Awich's elevation is notable because, as we reported, the legal community opposed it. Also sworn in at today's ceremony was Bernard Q. Pitts; he is now as the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. Pitts, who has recently vacated office of Attorney General, takes over from Alberto August who resigned earlier this year.

On Monday, we told you about the abduction of the Belize City woman which reportedly happened that afternoon. Today, the man who allegedly did it, was taken to court. 41 year-old Wilword Pinto, a taxi man of Rivero Street, was charged with aggravated assault and wounding which he allegedly committed against the woman. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and he was granted bail of $5,000 with the condition that he must stay away from the woman, who police say is his ex-girlfriend. He was able to meet bail this evening, but he is expected back in court on June 20. As we reported, a woman said Pinto abducted her using his taxi, and when he was taking her up the Western Highway, she reportedly jumped out of his moving vehicle and sustained injuries. She received help from a concerned Belize City resident who then called the authorities, who then transported her to the KHMH.

26 year-old Gareth Hemmans Jr., was arraigned for attempted murder when he appeared in Magistrate's Court today. Police say that he nearly chopped 40 year-old Miguel Zaiden to death. On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, Zaiden and Hemmans were reportedly socializing on Madam Liz Avenue, when they got into an argument. It quickly escalated into a fight, and according to police, Hemmans then pulled out a machete and inflicted several chop wounds to Zaiden. Zaiden suffered wounds to both upper arms, the right forearm, and the left elbow, but fortunately, he was rushed to the KHMH in time. In court, Hemmans was read charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and grievous harm. Because of the nature of the offenses, no plea could be taken and he was remanded to prison until June 15.

A Pledge Against Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation is a global issue, and although it is present in Belize, it has been overlooked, to some extent. Well, the Alliance to Reduce Sexual Exploitation is trying to change through an awareness-raising campaign. It plans to recruit DJs and conduct discussions in Belize to inform the public about the risk factors involved. Three members of the alliance stopped by our studio to tell us more about this issue and the goals of the organization. Whitney Hein - Member, Alliance to Reduce Exploitation "We're here to raise awareness about sexual exploitation in Belize City, as well as the United States and Nicaragua. But in Belize, we're focusing on getting young people talking and interested in the issue, to not keep it under cover, but to really bring it to light." Leila Pandy - Member, Alliance to Reduce Exploitation "Recently, in 2010, the US State Department put Belize along with a few other countries from the Caribbean on their watchlist saying that we weren't doing enough to effect change in trafficking. Belize is both a transit and a source country. We weren't doing enough to put together proper legislation and penalties to reduce the demand for sexually exploiting our youths." Whitney Hein "We were formed through Heartland International, which a non-profit organization in Chicago, and they partnered with WIN Belize and Casa Alianca in Nicaragua. So women from all 3 of those countries first met in Chicago and formed project groups. And the 3 of us, plus our 2 Nicaraguan counterparts all felt strongly about this issue, so we formed a project group to work together to fight sexual exploitation."

Ms. Blease From Belize "Run Dance" In Kingston Ja.
We always hear about international DJ's this and DJ that - but one Belizean DJ has truly earned the title. Linda Blease - who DJ's under the moniker "Miss Blease" - has just returned from a successful tour of Jamaica. She did ten shows in three weeks at the hottest clubs in Kingston -and made multiple appearances - even snagging a mention in the daily newspaper, the Observer. In a phrase - "she blew up" - in Kingston, the most happening City in the Anglophone Caribbean. It's no small feat - particularly for a female DJ - and, to our knowledge, she's the first to do so many shows in Jamaica. She just came back yesterday and we spoke to her today about what it was like:.. Linda Blease from Belize - International DJ "I played at 10 or 11 events all around Kingston." Jules Vasquez "And you are the first Belizean DJ to play events like this, and to receive so much acclaim in just 3 week in Jamaica." Linda Blease "Yes, I definitetly feel happy. I guess it's my time to do things now. I am sure that they will have people who come up, and it will be easier for them to get the same opportunity." Jules Vasquez "How much of it depended on the fact that you're a female from a far-away country." Linda Blease "Actually, none of it because it's kind of tough. If you're a female or a male, especially somewhere like Jamaica, they are very rough. So, if you don't perform well, if you are female or male, they'll throw something or boo you off the stage. I saw them do it to a couple of people. The good thing is that it didn't happen on this side. I am happy that I did well."

Popcaan In BZ
And while Ms. Blease came home from Jamaica, Dancehall artist, Popcaan is visiting Belize tonight. He touched down this morning for a show on Saturday night at the Princess Poolside. This evening he told us more about Saturday's performance. Problem Sean - Promoter "The big event - the biggest event - bigger than all other events happening, we've got Popcaan. Make sure you come out. Ladies, make sure you come out. Popcaan is speaking at the Princess Hotel. He is performing live. There's no other place to be but at Princess Hotel this weekend. Popcaan is performing live." Bolo - Promoter "Well, it's most definitely going to be a safe environment. we've got Keyon Vibes, Billy Yongs, Nello Player, and the main performer, Popcaan. So, it's going to be great show. We want all the ladies and dudes come out and enjoy themselves." Monica Bodden "So the event will be taking place where?" Problem Sean "It will be at the Princess Poolside along with Club Next as well. The amount of people we're expecting from ticket demands and requests, the poolside is not going to be big enough. So, it's going to be a sold out event."

Channel 5

Family of four perish in fatal highway accident
There was a horrible traffic accident this morning at mile forty-four, a dangerous stretch of the Western Highway. Four of five family members between the ages of twelve and sixty-eight perished. The Belize City family was heading to the US Embassy in Belmopan when they collided into an Isuzu Rodeo. The road condition in this [...]

Another Matura murdered on Boulevard on broken dreams
While the highways turned deadly, there was another homicide in the City this morning and from our records it is murder victim number fifty-one for this year. It happened just before seven o’clock; twenty-eight year old Kaylon Matura was ambushed as he was leaving his house for work with the Ministry of Works. He is [...]

GSU busts infamous Brian Brown
A warrant is out for Brian Brown, a well known street figure. For about ten hours today, the Gang Suppression Unit raided Brown’s house on Fabers Road where they found cash in Belize and US currencies, cocaine, crack and cannabis hidden in various areas of the house. They also found ski masks, a bullet proof [...]

Commonwealth Local Government Forum opens in Belize
The Commonwealth Local Government Forum opened in Belize City today. Trinidad’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, flew in for the event as did the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma and other representatives from numerous member countries. Canada announced a twenty-three million dollar initiative for local economic development in the fifty-four member state organization that [...]

Commonwealth Sec. Gen. talks development for Belize
The Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, began the first of his three day visit to Belize on the occasion of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. Prior to arriving in the country, Sharma was in Mexico City with President Felipe Calderón, the Chair of the G20. Dialogue between Heads of the Commonwealth and the G20 are [...]

Under protest, Justice Awich officially elevated to Court of Appeal
The Bar Association and the opposition party both objected to the appointment of Justice Samuel Awich to the Court of Appeal last month. But this morning, the justice took the oath at the Belize House inBelmopan, in the presence of his wife, son and daughter. Judge Awich, who is originally from Uganda, was a justice [...]

New Director of Tourism is Laura Esquivel Frampton
There is another appointment to report tonight. Word to News Five is that Director of Quality Assurance, Laura Esquivel Frampton, is being named the new Director of Tourism, replacing Seleni Matus who resigned from the post in September, 2011. The B.T.B. team also includes Tracy Panton as C.E.O. and Ian Lizarraga, the executive chair of [...]

Coalition and COLA join Oceana in Referendum suit
Oceana filed an application on May fourth for leave to apply for judicial review of the disqualification of eight thousand and forty-seven signatures from the petition for a referendum on offshore oil drilling. That application will be heard on June twentieth, but there’s another challenge before the Supreme Court and it involves production sharing agreements [...]

NGO explains why COLA and Coalition jump on to claim
As for the application for COLA and the Coalition to become interested parties in the case, Crown Counsel Herbert Panton, holding over for Crown Counsel Nigel Hawke on behalf of the ministry, indicated to Justice Oswell Legall that they strongly object to the applications. Panton requested additional time to review the case and has until [...]

Ervin Reneau will face trial for gas station murders
A preliminary inquiry concluded this morning, in the case against Ervin Reneau, who was committed to stand trial on numerous charges, including two counts of Murder. The charges are in connection with an incident that occurred on November thirtieth, 2010 in which David Longsworth and Edgar Ayala, were fatally shot during a robbery at the [...]

Taxi-man forced his ex on a cab ride
It appears that a relationship gone sour has landed a Belize City taxi-man before the Court on two criminal charges. Rhea Pennill reported to police that her ex-boyfriend, forty-one year old Willward Pinto, attempted to kidnap her around three-thirty Monday evening. Today, Pinto was charged with Aggravated Assault and Wounding upon Pennill. Pinto appeared before [...]

Guatemalan found with gun stolen during burglary
A San Ignacio man who was wanted in connection with a burglary is now in double the trouble. On Monday, police conducted a search on Joseph Andrews Drive for twenty-one year old Guatemalan national, Walter Boteo Ralda. When he spotted the police vehicle, Ralda took off running into Eleventh Street, but was caught. The cops [...]

P.U.P. mourns passing of first leader
The People’s United Party has lost its first leader. Today, the party expressed its condolences to the family of John Smith, who died on Tuesday in Metairie, Louisiana. Smith, who was ninety-three years old, passed away at home with his wife, Consuelo and their children by his side. In Belize, Smith founded the People’s Committee [...]


Wednesday, May 16 - POLICE NEWS
The latest murder in Belize City has claimed the life of twenty-eight year old Kaylon Matura who was shot in front of his home on Central American Boulevard in Belize City. Love News spoke with Police Press Officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood. Inspector Fitzroy Year...

Activities in connection with this year’s Toledo cacao festival will begin tomorrow in Punta Gorda. Paul Mahung reporting… “The activities will be held from Thursday May 17 to Sunday May 20 as explained by Chairman of the Toledo Cacoa F...

Representatives of Local government bodies from across the Caribbean and the Commonwealth are meeting this week at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Over two hundred delegates are attending various interrelated meetings. At the launch of the Commonwealth Local Government F...

On Wednesday Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and The Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage presented applications requesting to be joined as co-claimants in Oceana in Belize’s present claim against the Ministry of Natural Resources, challenging the validity ...

Justice Samuel Lungole Awich was sworn in today as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal. Justice Awich who is originally from Uganda has served as a Supreme Court Judge in Belize since April 2001. He retired as a Judge of the Supreme Court on 15th May 2012 after attaining the age of...

A traffic accident shortly after seven o’clock this morning has left four people dead and two others hospitalized. The incident involved a Geo Prism car and an Isuzu Rodeo. Four of the occupants of the car, 45-year-old Karen Tillett Castillo, Arthur Smith, 68-year-old...

NEWS FLASH - Road accident near Cotton Tree Village claims 4 lives.........28 year old man shot while exiting his yard in Belize City!!!!
An SUV and a Sedan car traveling in opposite directions on the Western Highway near the village of Cotton Tree in the Cayo District collided this morning between the hours of 7 and 730. Of the five passengers traveling in the SUV, 4 have been confirmed dead while the other is in a serious c...

Tuesday, May 16 - POLICE NEWS
29-year-old security guard Mike Sabal charged with the theft of five pounds of tobacco leaves also known as fonto was found guilty of the charge today. Because she found that Sabal had lied when he said it was the first time he came to court, Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser reman...

The Belizean Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, BSCAP, held a press conference this morning at the House of Culture in Belize City, to discuss steps taken by the organization to firmly introduce Copyright and inform artists about the importance of it. Jason Guerrero spo...

The United States Embassy has made a donation of equipment to the Punta Gorda Police. Paul Mahung reporting… "The equipment valued at over 2,800 US dollars were handed over to Punta Gorda Police by Embassy of the United States of Ameri...

Teachers from across the country will be meeting over the next two days. Cecilia Smith is the Director of teacher Education and development Services. Cecilia Smith – Director, Teacher education and development services “We are hosting an academic co...

Former Ombudsman Paul Rodriguez has taken his protest to Punta Gorda. Paul Mahung reporting... “Love News caught up with former Ombudsman Paul Rodriquez while he was walking on PG Front Street and carrying a large size poster bearing his message which he echoed verb...

A dispute between stevedores and their employer, the Port of Belize Limited, has ended with an arrangement – albeit after two sessions today with the Christian Workers’ Union representing the men. The stevedores, who load sugar from barges onto ships, were asking for,...

A two-day meeting of the leaders of commonwealth local government organizations opens tomorrow in Belize City. The meetings include the annual Board meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and are being held at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Chairperson of th...


Horriffic Traffic Accident On The Western Highway Claims Four Lives
This morning a fatal traffic accident that occurred on mile 44 on the Western Highway claimed the lives of four individuals. Police investigations reveal that a family of five travelling in a Gold Prizm car with license plate BZC-38571 were heading to Belmopan from Belize City when upon arriving mile 44 they collided into a blue Isuzu D-Max. The opposing vehicle was being driven by 56 year old Canadian National Corrine Abcock who resides in the Mountain Pine Ridge Area. When Belmopan police arrived at the scene of the accident they were faced with the lifeless bodies of 68 year old Nicholasia Tillett who was accompanying her family to Belmopan, Tillett's daughter 45 year old Karen Castillo who was a councelor at Maude Williams High School, and Karens daughter 13 year old Alicia Smith were seen lying in the middle of the highway. Later, the body of 43 year old Arthur Smith Sr., father to Alicia Smith and brother to Castillo was located in nearby bushes. The fifth passenger traveling in the Prizm car was 28 year old teacher Monique Robinson who was found trapped in the front right passenger seat. Robinson was quickly transported to the Western Regional Hospital whereby she is listed in a stable condition. The four lifeless bodies were also transported to the hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival. As for Abcock, she was first transported to the Western Regional Hospital but later transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to Abcock, the blue Isuzu served into her lane causing the fatal accident. The family was on their way to the U.S Embassy to apply for visitors visa.

U.S National John McAfee Says He Will No Longer Speak With Belizean Media
It took place about a week ago and the tension between U.S national John McAfee and the Gang Suppression Unit is still on edge. On May 1ST the GSU raided McAfee’s Residence here in Orange Walk and detained him and his employees for more than 14 hours. McAfee was then taken to Belize City and released until 1:30 on Tuesday morning without any charges after the intervention of the U.S Embassy. In recent news, Matilda Garnett, a second class clerk of Belize City, Police Constable Darius Martinez of Orange Walk and ex-cop Rodwell Richards were all charged for attempt to corrupt an officer and were labeled as affiliates of McAfee. The charge is derived from the attempt to bribe Police Constables Adrian Lopez and Stacy Humes to get information on an investigation being carried by the GSU against McAfee. After the three public officers were charged, all attempts to get McAfee for comment proved futile. But yesterday the U.S National fired off a press release in which he states that GSU Commander Marco Vidal and his unit remain persistent in their attempts to discredit him. Of course he is referring to a press release issued by the Gang Suppression Unit on Friday May 11th which made all allegations that Richards was McAfee’s right hand man. McAfee makes claim that he serves no relationship to Garnett and that Richards, who is clearly his friend, has never been asked to provide any information pertaining the activities of the GSU. In the press release McAfee goes on to ask, “Why is the Gang Suppression Unit, whose purpose is to suppress gang activity, be spending time, money and resources pursuing a minor misdemeanor charge allegedly involving business people?” He then proceeds by making a solemn remark stating that there are serious crimes being committed by gangs which the GSU should be suppressing. Finally he makes all suggestion that the name GSU be changed to BSU meaning Business Suppression Unit. Today when we contacted McAfee for comment he told us he will not be making any further comments to the Belizean Media.

Teachers of Saint Peters Anglican School Nominated For Teacher Award Program
The Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award Program is an inspirational initiative brought to the fore by the Ministry of Education to honor accomplished teachers who for many years have dedicated their time and efforts to the progress of young Belizean Children. Yesterday we told you about Orange Walk’s Nominees for the outstanding leader of the year award and the outstanding teacher of the year award for ITVET’s. Tonight, those remarkable teachers being highlighted are the districts representatives for the Primary level and Special Education level who have both been selected from St. Peter’s Anglican School. Janine Ayuso Reporting Miguel Mai has been in the teaching Profession for 25 years. Every day he works along with students ensuring that they receive the best education possible without expecting any type of recognition. Miguel Mai, Teacher “I don’t really like the spotlight but I won this award two years ago so this year is the second time I think that I owe it to the students they really have showed me that they trust in me and sometimes they like put pressure on me making me feel like they really believe I will pass them and so I’ve been working very hard I give them free extra lasses on evenings we come on Saturdays and we come on Christmas holidays and Easter holidays to do extra work because we have some special students who might have entered very weak in standard six so that we can bring them up to a level that we can trust they will perform well in the exam. I don’t really, I was not working with the objective to win this award I work to help the children I have so if I meet this class that needs an extra mile I go the extra mile if I meet a class that needs for me to go two more miles I do that. If in the end that brings an award such like this one I welcome it also but it’s not my main thing to win these awards and I’m not competing against anybody else in any other school I’m just doing my work to help these children as much as possible.”

Legal Battle Between Orlando Habet And Elvin Penner Continues In Court
On Monday evening, in the court room of Justice Minnet Hafiz, attorneys Said Musa and Rodwell Williams where back in court battling the election petition filed by Orlando Habet against Elvin Penner, the Cayo Northeast Representative. Habet’s attorney Said Musa filed the leave on grounds on recount and bribery on the part of Penner. Justice Hafiz struck out the bribery grounds but granted stay for the recount grounds. However, Musa filed for leave to appeal Justice Hafiz’s decision to strike out the bribery, and again, they were unsuccessful. Musa; though, came up with a different strategy. He intended for the court to hear a motion which he filed for his own petition to stay. Justice Hafiz refused Musa’s application but the attorney says that the appeal will surely go to the Supreme Court for a final decision. Said Musa, Attorney “It has not affected us in terms of our right to proceed with the appeal, but it certainly will affect us in terms of whether or not at this stage certainly by tomorrow whether we will have any petition to proceed with. But here again I must repeat that the bottom line is that this matter will be heading for the Court of Appeal to make a final determination.” That’s where the election petition was left off on Monday but yesterday it took an unexpected turn. Both legal teams argued on whether the procedure used by Musa and Anthony Sylvester was in fact faulty. When they filed for leave to bring the election petition to the Supreme Court, Said Musa and Anthony Sylvester, also filed the actual petition that they intended to present before the court, that is, if the court granted the leave. Justice Hafiz established that the filing of the actual election petition was done out of time frame and Rodwel Williams argued that the documents are in fact invalid and hence should be struck out based on abuse of process.

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 10:08 AM)

#438155 - 05/17/12 09:32 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 17, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Students of San Jose Government School Promote Civic Pride
HUMANA, the non-governmental organization whose motto is “Working with the poor” is currently working with 23 rural communities on a massive cleanup campaign across Northern Belize. Last week Tuesday we ran a story of the cleanup campaign in Santa Cruz and today we bring you students hard at work cleaning 2 miles of the northern highway- from the entrance of San Jose Village to San Pablo Village. Hipolito Novelo reporting Forty eight standard five students from San Jose Government School along with members of Humana People to People, where out early this morning cleaning up a portion of the Northern Highway. Their challenge was to pick up all the garbage along the two miles stretch of road starting from the entrance of San Jose Village to San Pablo Village. The initiative was originally brought forward by the school but was eventually backed up by Humana People to People whose aim is to assist schools promoting civic pride. Wilbert Tzul, Project Coordinator, HUMANA “We are doing a cleanup campaign in the community of San Jose and San Pablo but I have to “big-up” San Jose Government School for taking the initiative. They actually planned that they wanted to do a cleaning campaign in the main high way of both communities. But then, taking advantage of this invitation I also tendered the invitation to San Pablo RC School and then San Pablo Community School. I also invited both chairladies that is Miss Anita Mesh from San Jose Village and then the chairlady of San Pablo Miss Dalila Mendez. They’re also contributing towards worthy initiative of keeping the community clean.”


Four perish in Western Highway crash
The Western Highway has again claimed multiple lives in a single deadly traffic accident. It happened near Cotton Tree village in the Cayo district early this morning. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went to the scene and bring you the following report, which we advise contains horrific pictures. Two persons remain [...]

Belize City man acquitted of rape charge
35-year-old Brian Smith was found not guilty of rape today in the court of Justice Herbert Lord. The jury of six men and three women deliberated for about two hours and 15 minutes before it arrived at its verdict. The incident occurred on February 19, 2011 at Smith’s home. The complainant, a 17-year-old student, testified that she met Smith when she went to stay at her father’s house for the weekend. She said Smith who was a close friend of her father gave her 50 cents to buy noodles and when she was returning from the shop, Smith called her from his yard and told her he wanted to see her. She said Smith closed the door and pushed her down on the bed and forcibly had sex with her. Smith testified and admitted he had sex with the girl but said it was with her consent. Smith was represented by attorney Brian Neal. It was Neal’s first case at the Supreme Court since he was admitted to the Bar about four months ago. Crown Counsel Talia Meighan Francis represented the prosecution.

Aggravated robbery reported in Benque Viejo del Carmen
A man from Benque Viejo del Carmen has reported being the victim of an aggravated robbery. Seventy five year old Juan de Dios Garcia, a resident of the Santa Cruz Area of Benque Viejo del Carmen, reported that he was accosted on Saturday afternoon at his farm house located at Camp 6. The elderly man says that he was approached by four Hispanic male persons who were all armed with machetes. One of the attackers reportedly placed a machete to his throat and demanded money and a chainsaw. He reportedly told them he did not have either money or a chainsaw, after which the men reportedly tied him up, beat and gagged him. De Dios Garcia says that he faked being unconscious while the assailants searched his bedroom. The robbers reportedly stole his Licensed Single Action Shotgun and ten cartridges and four machetes before making good their escape into nearby bushes. De Dios Garcia says he managed to untie himself and made his way to the Police Station to make the report. Investigations continue.

Man charged for carnal knowledge of 16 year old
Police in Belmopan have arrested and charged a man for the crime of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. According to police reports, a sixteen year old girl, in the presence of her father, reported to police that on the night of March twenty fourth, she visited a farm owned by Francisco O’Neal Palacio. The girl says that during the visit, she engaged in sexual intercourse with Palacio. A medical examination has been scheduled as the minor is believed to be pregnant. Palacio was arrested and charged on Monday.

Butane theft reported in Belize City
There is a report of butane theft in Belize City. The Manger of Western Gas Company, located at mile four on the Western Highway Melgar Eynar reported to police that sometime between the Saturday and Monday, a total of one thousand, two hundred and seventy five gallons of butane was stolen from the establishment. The estimated value of the stolen butane is put at seven thousand, seven hundred and seventy seven dollars. Police are looking for three persons for questioning in connection with this investigation.

Belize hosts Commonwealth Local Government
A two-day meeting of the leaders of commonwealth local government organizations opens tomorrow in Belize City. The meetings include the annual Board meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and are being held at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Chairperson of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum is the former Mayor of Belize City, Zenaida Moya. Carl Wright, who is the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, told Love News that the two-day meeting will discuss some very important issues. Special guest at this week’s meeting is the patron of the Forum, the Honourable the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar. According to a statement from her office, the T&T Prime Minister oversee the launch of the Canada funded twenty three million US dollars Caribbean Local Economic Development Program which aims to strengthen local governance and to stimulate local economic growth throughout the region. CARILED will be headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Commonwealth Local Government Forum meeting opens
Representatives of Local government bodies from across the Caribbean and the Commonwealth are meeting this week at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Over two hundred delegates are attending various interrelated meetings. At the launch of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum meetings this morning, Belize’s Minister of Local Government Senator Godwin Hulse said that local [...]

Guatemalan national busted with 9mm pistol
A twenty one year old Guatemalan national has pleaded guilty to the charge of kept firearm without a license. Leonel Boteo Ralda was captured in Santa Elena town on Monday night after initially running away from officers who were conducting a search of an area on Joseph Andres Drive in San Ignacio town. Ralda was [...]

Belize City man charged for attempted murder
26-year-old Gareth Hemmans Jr. was charged with attempted murder and two other charges. It is alleged Hemmans almost severed the left arm of Miguel Zaiden. The other charges included grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail because [...]

Former leader of the People’s United Party dies
News has been received of the death of the former leader of the People’s United Party John Smith. According to information received, Smith, who was ninety three years old, died in the United States in the company of his wife and children. John A. Smith was a founding member of the PUP in 1950 and [...]

Former Ombudsman stages one man protest in PG
Former Ombudsman Paul Rodriguez has taken his protest to Punta Gorda town. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Port dispute settled … for now
A dispute between stevedores and their employer, the Port of Belize Limited, has ended with an arrangement – albeit after two sessions today with the Christian Workers’ Union representing the men. The stevedores, who load sugar from barges onto ships, were asking for, among other things, for their meals to be delivered to them to the loading dock four miles out to sea and, to be paid per shift rather than on a weekly basis. On an average, stevedores who work sugar barges are paid roughly $110 per 12 hour shift, and those men, 33 of them, went on strike on Monday morning in their bid to bring the Port of Belize to the bargaining table. The first session between the Port’s Receiver, Arturo Vasquez and the CWU’s Secretary General, James McFoy, ended at around twelve thirty and at that point, there was no dice, as McFoy, and angry stevedores, briefed reporters. But right after the interview, something was done. The Port called back the Union representative and the stevedores into a second discourse that ended shortly before three this afternoon. And when that was over, the dust had settled and work had resumed. Love News has been trailing the day’s events outside the Port of Belize compound and was there when McFoy emerged from the meeting the second time around. Love News also got a first word with the Port’s Receiver, Arturo Vasquez. The parties, meanwhile, will begin negotiations on May 24th, regarding a Memorandum of Understanding that dates back to 2004. And it stands to create great losses on all parties involved if at the end of the negotiations, there is another stalemate. That document was signed on April 23rd of this year and outlines priority areas that will be discussed when that round of talks commence. If this latest strike was not settled, it would have meant that the sugar ship named the Emwika Naree would have departed Belizean shores without seventeen thousand tons of sugar from BSI for export to Europe. It would have been a blow to all parties concerned. Now that the dispute is settled however, Vasquez told Love News that the one shift that was lost due to the strike can be made up over the three weeks that the stevedores will be loading the ship.

Artists organization discuss benefits of copyright
The Belizean Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, BSCAP, held a press conference this morning at the House of Culture in Belize City, to discuss steps taken by the organization to firmly introduce Copyright and inform artists about the importance of it. The conference was hosted by Glenn Tillett and included a speech by Jason Guerrero who spoke about how BSCAP came about and some of the work it has been carrying out. Greg Vernon from NICH congratulated BSCAP on the work and founding member Bredda David Obi spoke about the twenty seven year process of making copyright in Belize possible. CIBC First Caribbean Bank’s Country Manager Glen Smith, spoke of the banks undertaking of this initiative for which they have become Belize’s first licensee. Artist Berne Velasquez, also a member of BSCAP spoke with Love News after the conference and explained the importance of copyright for him as an artist. The following are some highlights of what transpired during today’s Press Conference. Smith was presented with a plaque on behalf of BSCAP and Guerrero said one of the methods they plan to undertake is to do some “door to door knocking” to insure that artists become involved. Meanwhile they will continue to campaign and make the general public award of just what falls under the copyright law.

Public Service Information Day held
Public Service Day is around the bend and as part of the celebrations leading to that day, twenty five departments under the public service participated in the Public Service Information Day, held in the parking lot of the Complex Building in the Lake Independence Area. According to District Representative for the Public Service Information Day, Alyssa Perdomo, the aim of today’s event is for the different departments to showcase the different services that they provide to the public. Love News also wanted to be informed about some of the Departments in the Public Service and so we ventured into the exposition and spoke with some of the presenters, most of who said that today grants them a big opportunity to make the public become more familiar with their services. Perdomo says this event is held on a yearly basis and has been in effect for about five years and it takes a lot of preparation on behalf of the Public Service National Committee who have also planned a week of activities scheduled to kick off on Public Service Week in the month of June.

Bees terrorize Belize City family
A family on Fabers Road in Belize City is tonight asking for assistance is getting rid of a swarm of bees that was terrorizing them today. Love News was called out to the area this afternoon, where Shannov Vernon told us that since morning, the bees swarmed his house and he has been trying to get rid of the unwanted visitors. Like Vernon, Love News has attempted to contact the Department of Agriculture in Belize, but got no response.

Teachers undergo specialized training
Normally teachers are the ones at the front of the room imparting knowledge to their students. For the next day, however, they are the ones learning how best to apply techniques to ensure maximum learning. Dr. Andrew Manning is from Mount Saint Vincent University in Hallifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is one of the presenters at the session. The training is taking place at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel and it ends on Wednesday.

Authorities take steps to improve traffic in San Pedro town
Authorities in San Pedro are taking steps to improve traffic management on the island. Love TV’s Maria Novelo reports.

Crime wave continues: another youth dead!
The Crime Wave continues to plague Belize City as another youth fall victim to gun violence. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo, with assistance from video journalists Brian Castillo and Myles Gillett covered the crime beat today and brings you the following reports.

16 year old charged for murder
A 16-year-old boy who resides on Currasow Street has been charged with the murder of Leo Palacio Jr. The boy was arraigned today in Belize Family Court. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail because of the nature of the charge. He was remanded into custody. The incident occurred on the night of May 11. According to reports, Palacio and two others were standing at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Pelican Street when a gunman opened fire on them. Palacio was fatally injured. The others received gunshot wounds but survived.


4 family members killed in car crash
A gruesome road traffic accident happened at the start of the rainy season. Just before 8am this morning (May 16) a...

Early morning shooting leaves family fatherless
Another fatal shooting took place this morning in Belize City. Just before 7am this morning, 28 year old Kaylon Mat...

GSU activities spark neighbourhood complaints
If you listen to word on the streets, the name Brian Brown is oftentimes at the center of controversy. Police, howe...

Lack of police response frustrates assault victim
A villager from Santa Familia is not pleased with the response of the San Ignacio Police Department. Thirty year ol...

Belize plays host to the Commonwealth Local Government Forum
The Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities (CALGA) held opening ceremonies at the Princess Hotel for...

OCEANA rallies the troops for lawsuit, GOB objects
In the Supreme Court today, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and The Coalition to Save our Natu...

New Chairman of Elections and Boundaries Commission sworn in
Also sworn in at today’s ceremony was Mr. Bernard Pitts as the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission....

New Justice of Appeal's Court sworn in
Justice Samuel Lungole Awich was today sworn in as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal by the Acting Governor G...

Orange thieves on the loose A concerned citrus grower from the Stann Creek valley area is asking residents of the area to be on the lookout for...

Guatemala national convicted in connection to burglary
San Ignacio Police has a Guatemalan National in custody. Police conducted a search on May 14 in an area on Joseph A...

The Guardian

Cut and Paste Attorneys
Attorneys Anthony Sylvester and Said Musa have become somewhat the laughing stock of the legal community in Belize after they have been able to successfully bungle an Election Petition they have taken on, on behalf of Orlando Habet. They are now being called the "Cut and Paste attorneys" after they attempted that maneuver in an attempt to try to pull a fast one on the Supreme Court. Their attempt had started from April 10th when they bunched together 8 affidavits along with an election petition to have a recount declared against Hon. Elvin Penner. The document contained arguments among others that alleged that Hon. Penner had bribed voters during his election. It also demanded a recount of the votes. However, that process was struck down by Justice Minnette Hafiz-Bertram on April 10th but at the same time she granted them leave to apply for a true petition. In the process by which a petition is heard, it must first be given leave before it is presented in court. In this case, the not-so-dynamic duo attempted to present a petition before it was granted leave. So, the court struck it down along with the accompanying 8 affidavits. They, however, were given leave to apply for leave and that they did. At some point, these two attorneys had decided that they would simply cut and paste the original document they had tried to pass as an election petition. Senior Counsel representing Hon. Elvin Penner went to great lengths in court to point this out. He began explaining that the petition presented was in fact the same old one which was struck down earlier on. He explained that two of the affidavits in the most recent petition were actually a part of the first document presented. He then explained that what appeared as a petition was actually a document which had been edited significantly; what made it bad was the fact that the document was disjointed where entire paragraphs had been taken out but those presented it did not take time to make the numbering of the paragraphs be sequential in order. Williams continued to explain that because the document presented as an election petition was in fact one that had been presented earlier and struk out it was a nullity. In effect, the duo did not present a petition at the time of the deadline and therefore, the entire matter should be struck down.

New Buyer for BSI makes Proposal - $10.8 M Dollars more in Sugar Payments for Farmers
The Belize Sugar Industries Limited is in the process of hearing a proposal by a company interested in purchasing the majority interest in BSI through the purchase of equity in the company. American Sugar Refining (ASR), the parent company of Tate and Lyle, presented to BSI a proposal in which it intends to spend 40 million Belize dollars in capital expenditure over the next 3 years. The infusion of capital will see the improvement and expansion of the Tower Hill Mill. Being that Tate & Lyle is a subsidiary to American Sugar Refining, the proposal includes the increase in price for the purchase of raw sugar by Tate and Lyle from BSI from 335 Euros to 425 Euros per tonne of sugar cane. This will be based on the yearly purchase of 70,000 of sugar. According to the proposal, this will yield BZ. $16.6 million dollars, which will see the cane farmers receiving 10.8 million dollars more and the factory receiving 5.8 million dollars more. ASR also proposes to increase the supply agreements with Tate and Lyle past 2015 for raw sugar, and premium special grade sugars. Also included in the proposal is the offering of technical services between BSI and ASR as well as the financing of extension services to cane farmers. There are also components for the funding of the planting and cultivation of sugarcane by cane farmers. An agronomist assisted by 4 staff members are also expected to be added to improve production of sugarcane as well as harvesting practices.

Cop, Ex-cop and Clerk charged for Attempting to Corrupt a Police Officer
Former police officer, 40- year-old Rodwell 'Tiger' Richards appeared in Magistrate's Court on Monday May 14th where he read a single charge of attempting to corrupt a police officer. Richards was charged after P.C. Adrian Lopez, who is attached to the Gang Suppression Unit, reported that on May 8th Richards attempted to influence him to provide confidential information regarding the John McAfee case in return for money. In court, Richards pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Ervin Reneau to stand Trial for Double Murder
Ervin Reneau appeared in Magistrate's Court on Wednesday May 16th where he was committed to stand trial for the November 30, 2010 double murder of David Longsworth and Security Guard, Edgar Ayala.

Chopped His Friend while Drinking
On Wednesday, May 16th, 26-year-old Gareth Hemmans Jr., a caterer, appeared in Magistrate’s Court where he was charged with the attempted murder of 40-year-old Miguel Zaiden.

Woman claims Ex-boyfriend tried to Kidnap
Taxi-driver, 41-year-old Willward Pinto of #18 Rivero Street appeared in Magistrate's Court on Wednesday May 16th where he was charged with aggravated assault and wounding upon his ex-girlfriend, Rhea Pennil. He was offered and met bail in the sum of $5,000.

Murder in Belize City
Police are investigating the murder of 28-year-old Kaylon Matura who was killed as he left his home on Wednesday May 16th. Reports are that Matura at around 6:59 a.m., he was leaving his home on Central American Boulevard on his way to work when he was approached by a man who fired several shots hitting him twice in the chest and once in the chin. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was dead on arrival. Matura is one of four brothers who have been killed in similar fashion.

Murder on Gravel Lane in Orange Walk
An early morning shooting in Orange Walk Town on Gravel Lane - a street off the Belize Corozal Road - resulted one man being killed and the other seriously injured.

Cayo Teacher murdered in His Home
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of 45-year-old school teacher Marco David Thompson, who was found dead inside his home at the corner of West and Second Streets in San Ignacio Town. Thompson's nude body was found lying face up in his house shortly after 1p.m. on Sunday May 13th. There were three cut wounds to the right side of his neck. Reports are that he was last seen socializing in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning with a male companion whom he was seen with purchasing food in front of the Belize Bank branch in San Ignacio. Earlier on, he had been partying at the Blue Angel's Nightclub. Police investigations indicate that the house was ransacked, his cellular phone was missing and his wallet had been emptied. Thompson was a teacher at Sacred Heart College in Cayo where he taught English and was also a counselor and did drug and alcohol addiction counseling in the community.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar visits Belize
The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, is on a two-day visit to Belize. She arrived on Wednesday, May 16, to take part in two Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) events. Upon arrival, her first stop was to pay a courtesy visit to Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow.

Multi-Million Dollar Development Project launched in Belize
Belize will be one of several Caribbean countries to benefit from a multi-million dollar project geared at enhancing local economies by providing support to small and medium size enterprises.

MOE launches Quality Child-Friendly Schools Program
On Monday, May 14, the Ministry of Education launched the National Quality Child-Friendly Schools Program at the House of Culture in Belize City. UNICEF developed a framework for child friendly educational systems and schools and has introduced it to countries that signed on to the Convention on the Rights of a Child.

1% Service charge for changing Belize dollars to coins
Customers of at least two banks in Belize have expressed concern over a new service charge that has emerged at the banks. One caller during Wave's Fus Thing da Mawning expressed his sentiment saying that two banks, namely the Belize Bank and First Caribbean International are charging a fee to have Belize currency changed into smaller denominations of Belize currency.

Belize City’s Public Service Departments holds Open Day
BDF officers share information with students On Tuesday, May 15, representatives of government departments in Belize City gathered at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building to meet with members of the public and share information on their inside operations.

PM Barrow’s address at Belize Bank 25th Anniversary
I am happy to have been asked to make some brief remarks on this occasion celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Belize Bank. That first step ramified, of course, and led later to the establishment of the Belize Bank Group of Companies, so very much a part of the banking and commercial life of our country.

Oceana’s Mischief Moves from the Court of Public Opinion to the Supreme Court
On 21 December 2011, Oceana in Belize filed an action in the Supreme Court asking the court to declare that six Production Sharing Agreements (PSA) signed between six oil companies and the Government of Belize are null and void. Oceana asked the Court to declare that the six Production Sharing Agreements between the Government of Belize and Island Oil Belize Ltd., Miles Tropical Energy Ltd, Petro Belize Company Ltd, Princess Petroleuum Ltd., Providence Energy Belize Ltd, and SOL Oil Belize Ltd, were null and void because:-

The Belize Ministry of Health Responds to Request
The Belmopan Mental Health Consumer Association for Users, Families and Volunteers BMHCA takes this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Health for the continued commitment to providing newer medications—that produce little side effects for the treatment of mental illness. It is important that we have a constant supply of these newer medications, considered by mental health experts as crucial to preventing catastrophic relapses. Patients that are on treatment and stable are productive citizens and can significantly boost the Country’s GDP.

From Bad to Worse - Booths with Leaf Roofs
The infamous roof with coconut palm leaves Last week, the Guardian pointed out that the Orange Walk Town Council, under the leadership of Mayor Kevin Bernard, had taken to dismantling the newly constructed extension to the Orange Walk Town Market. At the time, the workers had taken off the roof from most of the stalls but did not complete the job. At the time of us writing the article, we were hopeful that nobody would make off with the zinc roofing that had been take off the structures. Well, hopeful was all that we could have been as on Friday May 4th, the roof for the stalls was replaced. The problem however, is that we are not certain if the zinc was misplaced or just stolen, but the replacement roof had a lot to be desired.

Kelly Street Education Center complete
Just over a year ago, on April 28th, Tobar's W&J Home Construction donated a 14 by 26 foot house to the Caribbean Shores constituency. The purpose was for the establishment of an education and resource center. After much work and lobbying the center is finally operational and on Monday, May 14th, the ribbon was cut to officially declare it so.

Chief Justice to Rule on Martin Galvez’s Election Petition
Hon. Kenneth Benjamin, Chief Justice of Belize, will reveal his decision on Martin Galvez’s election petition against Honourable Mark King on Thursday, May 17. King defeated Galvez in every box in the 2012 General Election and Galvez decided since he can’t win by popular votes, he would try a thing in court. His attorneys, Lisa Shoman’s, submissions on his behalf were less than impressive and Attorney Denys Barrow had no choice but to move a no case submission. Both attorneys argued in court on Thursday, May 10.

Justice Sam Awich sworn in as New Justice of Appeal
Justice Samuel Lungole Awich was today sworn in as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal by the Acting Governor General, His Excellency Carlos Perdomo, at Belize House, Belmopan.

Kaya Cattouse New Female Cross Country Champion
The Belize Cycling Association sponsored its 23rd Annual Women’s Cross Country Classic on Sunday May 13, 2012, Mother’s Day. The 69-miles-event which started from in front of Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town to Mile 2 on the Western Highway, attracted 6 female riders. At the conclusion of the race, it was Kaya Cattouse of C-Ray Cycling Team that outsprinted 3-times champion Shalini Zabaneh of Team Sagitun to capture her first female Cross Country title. Cattouse completed the ride in a time of 4:29:00. Shalini Zabaneh, who lost her bid for a 4-peat had to settle for the bridesmaid spot this time around. The third rider to cross the finish line was Marinette Flowers, who is unattached followed by Patricia Chavarria of AAA Loans Cycling Team, and she was followed by Kirah Eiley of C-Ray Cycling to round off the top five finishers. The other finisher was Iris Centeno of Team Sagitun. We say congratulations to Kaya Cattouse.

Placencia Assassins National Football Champions of Belize
Placencia Assassins Premier League of Belize 2012 Champions The first ever Premier League of Belize Football Competition is now history. The second and final game of the championship series was played on Saturday May 12, 2012 at the Football Federation of Belize Stadium in the City of Belmopan between the previously unbeaten Police United and the Placencia Assassins.

Belize Boxing Federation General Assembly May 19
The Belize Boxing Federation will be holding its General Assembly Meeting on Saturday May 19, 2012, at 10:00 am at the offices of the National Sports Council at Rogers Stadium. The General Assembly will have as its main point on the agenda the elections of officers. The Belize Boxing Federation informs all of its members that registration and membership fee must be completed by Thursday May 17, 2012. Registration forms can be pick up from the Offices of the National Sports Council at the Rogers Stadium on Dolphin Street in Belize City. The newly elected officers will then chart the way forward for the reviving of Boxing in the country. All Boxing personnel, trainers, boxers, fans and the interested person are invited to attend the Boxing General Assembly.

Tangled web in Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition
The on-going Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition has weaved a tangled web with no clear cut leaders in the girls and boys competition. The competition continued on Tuesday May 15, with games in both the girls and boys categories. In the girls game played earlier in the afternoon, Unity Presbyterian School defeated St. Luke Methodist by the score of 11-8. The winning pitcher was Ashonti Carr and the losing pitcher was Ishell West. In the boys’ game, St. Luke Methodist ran all over St. John’s Primary School by the score of 14-1. The winning pitcher was Marcos Martinez and the losing pitcher was Warren Smith.

Telemedia to defend Charles Solis Memorial Trophy
The Belize Softball Federation will be holding the 5th Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tournament on Sunday May 20, 2012, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. This year’s Memorial Tournament will be utilizing its new format that was approved by the Management Council of the Belize Softball Federation in January of this year. The new format will feature the National Softball Champions of Belize along with the team that is leading its respective competition at the Charles Solis date. The Official Opening Ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 am with. Jude Lizama, 1st Vice President and former assistant coach with Charles Solis official opening the tournament. The 5th Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will utilize the “Double Elimination” Format Competition and will see the participation of Telemedia, the National Softball Champions of Belize, Mirage Lady Rebels of Belize City, Camalote United from the Cayo Association and Flowers Bank “Easy Does It” from Belize Rural. The Tournament Director is Edison Parks, 2nd Vice President of the Belize Softball Federation and he will be assisted by. Floyd Flowers.

Telemedia edged Mirage Lady Rebels in City Softball Competition
The four teams Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition continued on Tuesday May 15, 2012, at Rogers Stadium between the top two teams in the competition, defending champions Telemedia and Mirage Lady Rebels. The game was a nail-biter right down to the bottom of the 7th inning when a questionable call by Home Plate Umpire Deon Sutherland, on whether or not the bunted ball was cleanly caught or trapped by Telemedia’s starter and winner Mary Flowers that killed the potential Mirage Lady Rebels’ rally. Umpire Sutherland ruled that the ball was a clean catch and thus ended the game with Telemedia escaping from a potential Mirage Lady Rebels rally to a 2-1 win. Telemedia batting in the top of the 1st inning scored 2 quick runs when centre fielder Lydia Cacho opened the game with a triple when she drilled a Laneisha Jones fastball into the left-centre field gap. Cacho later scored on Jones’ wild pitch. The next batter catcher, Earline Belisle, then singled to centre field and then took advantage of centre fielder Marsha Casasola’s fielding error that allowed her to advance to second base. She later scored on right fielder Barbara Cadle’s two- out single to centre field.

The Challenges as BEL Transitions - The 4.1.1
Since Thomas Edison's first power plant lit up 800 light bulbs in New York City on the evening of September 4, 1882, electricity has become our most prevalent energy form. It drives a nation’s economy and powers smart technologies that enhance our quality of life. This philosophy is no different in Belize. When the previous owners of BEL decided that the best course of action was for government to take over BEL, the government did. The options were not many, and a responsible government would ensure that the country is not plunged into rolling blackouts. Electrical energy has become one of those all important inputs for private and business consumers. As the new BEL approaches its first anniversary, it is imperative that we reflect on the transition, what has transpired and the future goals and objectives. Of course, we must be mindful of the challenges that were faced and the challenges to be faced in the future.

The Life You Save May Be Your Own - Hurricane Season Starts
It appears that Raymond Waters is already here; the official start of the Hurricane Season will be upon us in the next two weeks. The rainy season, which usually starts in the south around now and transitions northward, seems to have already made that transition and it appears as if the rainy season has begun. An early rainy season is usually a good thing for the farmers and the agriculture sector. Crops bloom and greater yields become a more certain possibility, but an early rainy season may also signal an early increase in cyclonic energy which can lead to the early start of the Hurricane Season. It can also mean that flash floods, which are common at the start of the rainy season, are likely. If the rainy and hurricane seasons, are early, on time, late, or if there will be flash floods it really does not matter. What matters is that we are prepared for any eventuality when it occurs. Knowing what to expect, and what to do, in response to a threat is what really matters. We must be mindful that threats come in many forms. In 2010, the threat was Category 2 Hurricane Richard, in 2008 it was Tropical Storm Arthur and flooding due to the remnants of Tropical Depression 16; in 2000, it was the Category 4 Hurricane Keith; and in 1998 it was Category 5 Mitch. Dr. Gray of Colorado State University and Professor Saunders of the London University College both agree that there will be below normal hurricane activity this season. On the high end of the forecasts, Dr. Gray expects that there will be 10 named storms, of which 4 are expected to be hurricanes, of which 3 are expected to be major hurricanes this season.

Refrigeration Technician Association meets with Stakeholders
The Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians (ARACT) presented its first Annual Implementation Work Plan and its Budget and Expenditure 2012 to industry stakeholders on Tuesday, May 15, at the Princess Hotel and Casino. ARACT has existed since 2008 but was officially established with the passage of the Refrigeration Technicians Licensing Act in 2010. The association is responsible for the processing of license applications. Local technicians had numerous questions for ARACT at its conference on Tuesday. Hezron Hernandez, President of ARACT, said that the main concern of the technicians is in regard to enforcement of the law. Technicians are asking for leniency, which the association seems willing to grant. However, Hernandez explained that technicians in Belize have already been given years of grace periods when compared to other countries. The new regulations in the industry are a result of Belize’s commitment to the Montreal Protocol.

Intercultural Communication of International Students
Monique Yearwood, Belizean Studying in Taiwan, and friends By now, it is no secret that the world is becoming increasingly global. Resources, whether in the form of people, products, or services, are now more readily accessible, as they continue to cross international borders. Undoubtedly, the exchange of resources and various goods from one country to another requires human interaction. People from diverse echelons of society, cultures, and countries interact with each other in the exchange process. Zhao & Wildermeersch (2008) state, “Internationalization is one of the most important and fast growing driving forces for higher education in the new century” (p.2). They believe that by incorporating an intercultural/international approach into the teaching and other functions of the institution, then the entire environment of the institution shifts to that of an international one, whereby it is aligned with international protocols, and its national as well as international standards are strengthened (Zhao & Wildermeesch, 2008). Thus, it is evident that schools are welcoming internationalization, because of the many benefits it offers them. More and more universities worldwide are seeking accreditation for this puts them on the international forefront, and they are able to build their reputation as a world-renowned institution and recruit international students. Still, it must be noted that the internationalization of higher education does not guarantee positive intercultural interaction.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Community News: Cancer Awareness Walk
I would like to congratulate those members of the Caye Caulker Cancer Society, who have taken up the initiative in having their Cancer Walk in awareness for Cancer month (May). The entire community is encouraged to participate in this endeavor as we do have persons who are cancer survivors on our La Isla Cariñosa, Caye Caulker. Please take very important note of the date and time:

Socials – Congratulations to Zoe de la Fuente
Local Hicaqueña, Zoe de la Fuente, daughter of Wendy Auxillou, also Editor Extraordinaire of the Caye Caulker Chronicles and Grand-daughter to Mrs. Ilna Auxillou, first ever Caye Caulker Educator and first Principal to Caye Caulker R. C. School, graduated this past week with her Associate of Arts Degree from Lone Star College-Cy-Fair in Cypress, Texas. Being a go-getter, Zoe also has future plans in furthering her education and has applied to several Universities including the University of Houston, the American University of Paris. She is also considering attending the University of London in the UK. On behalf of the Caye Caulker Chronicles, please join me in offering best of Wishes to Zoe in her future educational goals! Apart from studious duties, she also manages one of the most well-known brand named, multi-national retail stores in the US named Juicy Couture on an almost full time basis. She is a teenager’s every inspiration that when there is a will, there is a way! All the best to you and hats off to you, Zo Zo!

Socials – Happy 96th Birthday, Mr. Tony Vega Sr.
Legendary Mr. Tony Vega Sr., long time resident and famous icon on Caye Caulker celebrated his 96th Birthday filled with Love and Greetings from his family and close friends on Saturday, May 12th, 2012 at his Caye Caulker home. Happy Birthday to you, Mr. Vega and I am pretty sure you will be seeing more to come. God bless you always on behalf of the Caye Caulker Chronicles!!


How much does it cost to live in San Pedro, Belize?
I get this question a lot, especially from folks who are considering retiring or moving to Belize in the future, and I always tell people "it depends". Because it does, and because it's almost an impossible question to answer since everyone's lifestyles are different. I refuse to be tied down to a number, or even a range, because there are so many variables. Here are some of them: 1. Which part of Belize do you live in? Ambergris Caye/San Pedro is the most expensive place to live in the country in part because it is an island, so goods have to be shipped in via boat or air; and in part because it's the most popular tourist destination in the country, so prices on many items are elevated knowing that folks on vacation will pay more for what they need and want here. Vacation budgets tend to be quite a bit more lavish than those of people living in a place full-time. I'm going to talk only about our costs of living here on the island. Groceries and some other items will be less costly in other parts of Belize.

Cerros Ruins in Corozal District
In Corozal district you can visit Cerros Ruins and Santa Rita. Paul and I were on a Mexico to Belize adventure and had to overnight in Corozal as we missed the last Tropic Air flight. Our cab driver Ravey who had got us in Chetumal and driven us across the border took us to see Santa Rita Maya Ruins on our way to finding a us a nice hotel. Today’s write up comes from Dr Al. my most controversial commenter who wanted to do a guest post. I decided to take my chances and say yes, surprisingly I did not need to add a disclaimer on this one ha ha. About 2 minutes from Corozal as the Albatross flies or an hour by car, are the oldest Mayan ruins in Belize. Located on the Cerros peninsula, they date from about 200BC to 400AD, also known as the pre classic period. To get there leave early to beat the heat. Bring lots of water and possibly long pants as the mosquitoes can be a challenge. Travel down the Northern Highway just past the marker for Tony’s Inn and look for the sign : Copper Bank,Chunox, and Sarteneja. There should be a brown one also with a pyramid. Take that road and then the second right which is the New River road. Eventually you reach the ferry which is a quaint old hand cranked sugar barge: The ride is free but the ferry operators enjoy a cold drink. (beer is ok). After 20 minutes you reach the other side. Continue until you reach a fork in the road and hang left to the village of Copper Bank. As you enter there will be a Cerros sign pointing left. Follow that to another fork and keep left and follow to the ruin site. ( If you see a sign saying Benvidos a Guatemala turn around ) Once there, there should be a security guard near the small museum and the cost is 5$BZ/person.

One Evening in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, My Flight Home on Tropic Air and Buying Alcohol at Belize International Airport
I had flown to San Pedro Sula, Honduras from Belize City, spent a few days in Omoa, travelled to Tela and La Ceiba to catch the ferry to Roatan, I went to Guanaja, aka The Prettiest Place on Earth (and told you about it for two days: Part One & Two), I wrote about Roatan twice (West End and West Bay)... Sheesh...I have been very long winded about my trip to Honduras! But two weeks can not be so quickly and easily compacted. Here is my last post. San Pedro Sula is a great kick-off spot for pretty much all of Honduras. When I first planned my trip, I couldn't decide. Hit the ruins in Copan? Visit a micro-brewery on Lake Yojoa? But then my planning was made easier, my friends Danni and Cesar (who are driving the PanAmerican Highway) would be in Honduras at the exact time I was. A ride and fun people to travel with! And did I mention that you can fly directly to San Pedro Sula from Belize City on Tropic Air? Look at these super cute employees in the SPS airport. But let's not get ahead of ourselves... I had taken the ferry from Roatan to La Ceiba. From there, my friends drove me to San Pedro Sula (about 2.5 hours). My flight back to Belize City left the next morning. If you are taking the bus, you can check out www.hedmanalas.com...they are the "first class" bus service between the two cities. San Pedro Sula is a seriously industrial city surrounded by mountains. It is smoggy and filled with all sorts of industrial parks...most seem to be agricultural products and fertilizer producers. It is the business capital of Honduras. I had one night to spend there and I really just wanted to relax. A friend had recommended a reasonable B&B in a safe part of town. La Posada Bed and Breakfast. For $35 USD, you get a cool, clean room, a RIDICULOUSLY friendly, English speaking host, cold beers on demand, a cute courtyard pool...

Getting a Golf Cart Permit
Our golf cart was shipped over to Belize back in March, but we have not been able to drive the golf cart yet because we were waiting to get a golf cart permit. Bill turned in the completed application and paid the $50.00BZ application fee six weeks ago. We already had the golf cart made street legal by adding tail lights, a horn and a rear view mirror. We just needed our permit. List of things we had to submit with our application to apply for a golf cart permit: 1. Copy of valid driver's licenses (we used our US driver's licenses) 2. Certificate of title (bill of sale) 3. Documents showing proof of Permanent Residence (Bill is on the QRP-Belize Retirement Program) 4. Pictures of golf cart and where it will be kept when not in use. We took several pictures of the golf cart on each side. We also took pictures showing that it has been made street legal. We also had to show pictures that we had off road and enclosed parking for the golf cart as well.

International Sources

Aquatic resorts: SeaBase1, The New Wave Of Underwater Hotels
At SeaBase1, where affordable eco-tourism is the focus, you'll be able to mix research and relaxation. Recreational guest divers can join professionals on tasks like reef restoration - ideally to the east of Ambergris Caye in Belize, the hoped-for location. The project's chief instigator, Richard Cooper, a longtime University of Connecticut marine sciences professor, was himself an aquanaut on Sealab and several of the world's first science-oriented sea bases in the 1960s and '70s. Dr. Cooper died last year, but a board of directors, including his son, carries on with a plan to create a nonprofit corporation and raise the roughly $35 million they'll need to create this diving destination. SeaBase1 is envisioned as a boxy, four-story structure that will be more dormitory and laboratory than hotel - a real working base, with room for up to 25 aquanauts. Butlers need not apply. Divers will enter at the top of the base, a depth of about twenty feet. As the name implies, SeaBase1 could beget SeaBase2 and a series of additional bases in other places.

Simple power-generation systems for Belize?
A volunteer group from National Tsing Hua University managed to solicit solar power panels for Belize, where they plan to build simple power-generation systems.

The 102-year-old Hibs fan from Belize
Sam Martinez has been a Hibernian supporter for almost 70 years and has never seen them lift the Scottish Cup. In fact, the last time they won the trophy was in 1902, eight years before 102-year-old Mr Martinez was born, in the central American country of Belize. Mr Martinez will not be at Hampden when his team plays Hearts in the all-Edinburgh cup final on Saturday because he stopped going to games in his 90s. But he will be watching on TV in his local supporters' club. And he is praying Hibs can win the cup at their ninth attempt during his lifetime. Mr Martinez came to Scotland in 1942 to work as a lumberjack. He was one of a group of 800 volunteers who took on forestry work in the Highlands. After the war he moved to a hostel in Edinburgh. "My very first month in Edinburgh I was walking down York Place and a crowd of people were coming down the road," he told BBC Scotland. When he asked he was told there was a football match at Easter Road. He joined the queue and someone gave him a free ticket Mr Martinez said: "I thought he was taking the mickey out of me, being the only black man in the queue." But he took the ticket and enjoyed the game so much he has remained a supporter ever since. The early days of Mr Martinez's support coincided with the most success period in the club's history Hibs won the league three times in the five years up to 1952, with the help of the players who have become known as the Famous Five - Gordon Smith, Eddie Turnbull, Lawrie Reilly, Bobby Johnstone and Willie Ormond. There have been few major successes in recent years but Mr Martinez said the club had always been friendly and treated him well. "They are really good to me there," he said. "I can't desire any better. "On my 100th birthday they gave me the hall for free. I had more than 300 guests there. "They still invite me for my Christmas dinner. I am very happy in Edinburgh. There is absolutely no obstacle, no danger. Life is just wonderful."

From Belize to Kiev, the complex web at heart of Sean Quinn court action Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/from-belize-to-kiev-the-complex-web-at-heart-of-sean-quinn-court-action-16159445.html#ixzz1v8CvJB5t
He was once known for creating thousands of jobs and generating millions of pounds in his native Northern Ireland and across the Republic. Fermanagh businessman Sean Quinn — who was once Ireland’s richest man with a fortune estimated at £3.7bn — had a vast international property and investments portfolio. Declared bankrupt in January, Mr Quinn was stripped of control of his manufacturing business empire last April over billion-pound debts. The 65-year-old owes €2.8bn (£2.2bn) to Anglo Irish Bank, and left Irish taxpayers to face paying off his massive liabilities. A complex global web of companies linked to his family empire has emerged during Belfast and Dublin court cases involving the Quinns and their business dealings. Sean Quinn, his son Sean Quinn jnr and the former billionaire’s nephew Peter Quinn were accused of contempt of court. The proceedings were taken by IBRC — the former Anglo Irish Bank — over alleged “asset-stripping”. It is fighting a legal battle for control of Mr Quinn's international empire as part of its attempt to recoup the huge amount of money it is owed. The bank deployed a team of offshore asset-recovery experts as part of its bid to unravel the Quinn family's complex corporate structures, which control assets in Russia and Ukraine. Sean Quinn jnr and Peter Quinn — who strenuously deny any wrongdoing — and Mr Quinn have denied he was the chief orchestrator of alleged moves to put international property assets beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank. This concerns businesses, property and ventures across the globe including England, Prague, Belize, Kiev, Moscow and Sweden and the British Virgin Islands.

#438156 - 05/17/12 09:33 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 17, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Artifacts From a Time of Many Droughts
Thursday, May 9 There are 25 pools at Cara Blanca, and we have only just begun plumbing their depths. In 2010, divers explored eight pools and, in addition to gauging their size and depth, extracted 10-foot-long sediment cores using four-inch-diameter PVC pipe from two pools: Pool 2 (16 feet deep) and Pool 6 (60-feet deep). The history of changing climate and landscape is slowly emerging from the cores via pollen and soil analyses. Radiocarbon dating shows that the Pool 6 core covers a period before and after the Classic period (around A.D. 550-850), the time when the Maya population was at its peak and kings were at their most powerful. Then kings disappear from history in the southern Maya lowlands. I have told this story before. But now results from several field seasons increasingly demonstrate that something was going on between A.D. 800 and 900. That something is drought. Several multiyear droughts occurred, and all of the water jars date to this 100-year period. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Incredibly, Maya farmers persevered.

Area Residents Enjoy Passport DC
Belizean Ambassador Nestor Mendez, his wife Elvira and son Anwar stood in front of the embassy greeting awed guests who came to experience a sample of Belizean hospitality. The visitors who trooped onto the embassy grounds on Saturday, May 5 were among the thousands who participated in the fifth Passport DC. The event is a month-long celebration that whisks local residents and visitors on a global journey without ever leaving the city. This year, 43 embassies participated. Guests could buy a commemorative passport for $5 and have staffers at the embassies they visited stamp their books. While the expectation was to be immersed in food, music, dance, and countries' cultures, heritage and history, few expected to shake hands with an actual ambassador. "Hello. Welcome to the Embassy of Belize. I'm Nestor Mendez. Thank you for joining us," he said. "Did you say you were the ambassador?" one man asked. "Can I take a picture with you?" "It would be an honor," Mendez said with a broad smile before posing for one of many snapshots. "It's great," Mendez said afterward. "I think people enjoy the personal touch." Mendez, who has been Belize's ambassador to the U.S. for four years, said Passport DC is an excellent vehicle to familiarize people with his country and all it has to offer. "It's the first time that we've participated. It's important for Belize. We have so much to offer in tourism," he said. "We're a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic country with a rich heritage. This is fantastic. People see what Belize is all about. We are for people who want something off the beaten path. What we offer is tourism par excellence. When you come to Belize, this is the treatment you receive."

Hey Caye Caulker, we need to talk…
It’s not often that 2 words can describe a place. Caye Caulker, you are beautiful, fun, picturesque, hot, tropical, exciting, interesting, rah rah rah…. but none of these are the 2 words that perfectly describe you. I need not mention any adjectives and still I can describe you perfectly. “Go slow” Only in Belize can you wake up from a mid afternoon nap in one of the plentiful hammocks, take a few lazy steps to the bar, take a beer back to your hammock, light a joint and be told by the locals, in all seriousness, to “go slow!” Or be staggering down the street hungover, shuffling about 1meter per minute with your eyes half shut and be told by the locals to “slow down, man!” “Mate, if I go any slower I think my heart’s gonna stop” Or, my personal favourite, whilst being offered cocaine, and this actually happened, be told to “go slow”. Um, buddy, you’re not filling me with supreme confidence in your product if you’re telling me that I am already too hyperactive in my current, sober state. Firstly, what exactly are you trying to sell me? Valium or cocaine? And secondly, “Noooooooooooooooooooo!” Slow enough for ya, pal? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to paint you as a drug pushing alcoholic island where nobody gets anything done. I’m just using extreme examples to emphasize the alien concept of “go slow”. In my world of big cities and 9-5 work, deadlines and speeding tickets, weekends that slip by in the blink of an eye and other things that I simply don’t have time to think of, I find it hard to make time for sleeping and eating, let alone the luxury of going slower. So, in reality what I’m saying to you Caye Caulker, is that even though it seems alien to me, I enjoy being encouraged to stop and smell the roses by your cheerful people. But maybe I took the whole “go slow” thing a little too far. There are so many cool things to do here! Kite boarding, scuba diving the Blue Whole, 3 day sailing trips, fishing tours, and swimming with sharks, turtles and dolphins.

Cayo in Pictures Slideshow
From the photos to the music, this is a solid slideshow from all over Cayo. There are tons of pictures from Cahal Pech Resort, the Saturday market, Cahal Pech ruins, and Poustinia Art Park in Benque. The market pictures and Poustinia pictures are great. It's not Belizean music, but it goes well with the slideshow.

Belize Zoo and Five Sisters travel article
While many pictures are of a family's vacation around Cayo, there are some really great pictures of the Belize Zoo, and Five Sisters Lodge. Five Sisters gets a great review, and you can see the falls there in detail too. Xunantunich pictures are also in there. "On to our fabulous hotel, the Five Sisters, in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve where we swam in the falls and enjoyed the cooler mountain climate. I was enthralled by how happily the pines and palms intermingled. It was sensational to see fire flies zipping through the bromeliad clad pine trees. And the smell! A mix of pine and vanilla orchids and plumeria. Heavenly. Have I mentioned that you simply must visit Belize?"


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