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#442757 - 07/18/12 02:16 PM Today's Belize News: July 18, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Fearless or Foolish
Long ago, far more years than I care to remember, I spent three years living and studying in Belize City. While studying, I spent weeks on end in a place that was always known to me as a most dangerous place to be. Yet, it was the hubbub of education, commerce, etcetera; it was a place where inevitably, everyone must pass through. Some pass through more than once, some spend their lifetime tethered to the place, but everyone seems to find little spaces where they belong. My first year in the city was sheltered, boarding with a few other girls in a family home being well-cared for.

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Lions’ Den burglarized
Over the past few months there have been numerous reports of burglaries that have accompanied the escalation of crime on the island. On Tuesday morning there was yet another burglary and this time it was a charitable organization that was the target. The San Pedro Lions Club located at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Pelican Street in San Pedro Town was burglarized. According to the SP Lions President Mel Spain, shortly before 6AM, she was informed by the caretaker Lion Gonzalo “Reds” Lara, that the Den was burglarized. “I informed him to leave everything as is while I inform the police. By the time I got to the Lions’ Den, the Police was already there processing the scene,” said President Spain. The thief or thieves gained entrance by forcedly opening the main door then proceeded to break the lock and door leading into the kitchen area. The third door that separate the kitchen and the bar area was stamped down and broken into pieces. Once inside, the thief/thieves boldly to the time drank a complete bottle of Black Label Whisky and then took with them two bottles of Caribbean Rum, a black flat screen 32” Panasonic television and its remote control all adding up to a total value of $2200.

Severely malnourished black jaguar to be rescued from Ballum Na Lodge
On Saturday the 14th of July the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN) was alerted to a black jaguar in distress at Ballum Na Lodge in the Punta Gorda area. Wil Maheia, a BWCN member and well known Belizean conservationist, had been able to gain access to the jaguar, named Bosch, and he attempted to provide him with food. During this time he was able to take a photograph of the animal and the condition of the jaguar in the photograph made it clear to the BWCN that urgent action was required. There were also suspicions that other animals may be on the property or may have recently died. Working closely with the Belize Forest Department, it was decided that due to the location of the animal, the most urgent issue was to have the jaguar and any other animals on the property assessed and, if necessary, provided with food and fresh water.

Family Issues Personal Press Release regarding Karol Mello
The family of Karol Mello would first like to thank the Country of Belize and the Hon. Dean Barrow with particular thanks to San Pedro where Mr. Mello and his family have lived, have given birth to their second child, and have been a welcomed asset to the community for over twelve months. Mr. Mello was not here in hiding or under any false identities and the fact is that he entered the country legally using his name. He has not been on the run but only seeking refuge from constant persecution from a corrupt Government. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTWBIGOVANTCOR/Resources/slovrep44 .pdf Mr. Mello was released by Slovakian Courts four separate times based on the ruling of a previous judge which all four rulings were upheld by the Slovakian Supreme Court. Through the courts of Poland back to the supreme courts of Slovakia, Mr. Mello was detained without any evidence and all court documents currently in our counsel’s possession will prove that he has and will continue to be vindicated. We would like to state only facts as we are preparing to fight all charges through our counsel Mr. Edward Fitzgerald QC, a known activist on human rights, false imprisonment, and extradition. Mr. Mello was detained by San Pedro police on Wednesday afternoon; he was escorted to his home where an immigration officer confiscated his wife and children’s credentials with a promise to return them upon receiving Mr. Mello’s credentials that were not in their possession at that time. He was returned to the San Pedro police station where he was detained until being transferred to Belmopan for questioning on Thursday morning. He was never read his rights for due process and only asked what his name was and he was finger printed. He was transferred after 72 hours in the middle of night to Belize City were he still has not been read his rights nor has he been fed, allowed a change of clothes, or even allowed to brush his teeth since leaving San Pedro.

The Exquisite Corpse Project delights the audience at the 7th Annual Belize International Film Festival
The Paradise Theater in San Pedro came alive on July 14th, 2012 for the seventh annual Belize Film Festival and the much anticipated screening of San Pedro based director Ben Popik’s film, The Exquisite Corpse Project. The green carpet was rolled out to welcome guests and friends who came to enjoy Ben’s award-winning documentary on the big screen and show their support for the festival that has been growing in size and popularity every year since its inception in 2005. The show was a huge hit among the viewers who spent the entire time laughing and enjoying the unpredictable antics that unfolded throughout the film. After the screening there was a live Q&A with the Ben himself as he talked about making a film with a bunch of friends who have their own ideas and opinions and who only get a glimpse of what the other person wrote before they write their portion.

Wild shooting in the Airstrip Area
San Pedro Police is requesting the public’s assistance into a wild shooting that occurred last night in the Airstrip Area of the Elliot Subdivision of San Pedro Town. According to Police, shortly after 7PM on Sunday July 15th, they received information of shots being fired in the area. SP police said that upon arrival they were informed by residents in the area that two men, described only as ‘dark skinned males with dreads’, fired several shots in the direction of the residence belonging to Wayne Allen By the time police arrived on the scene some five minutes later, the two men had already left the area in a yellow skiff. No-one was injured in the incident, however, when police attempted to conduct a search of the area, two men resisted to police conducting a search. As a result Police arrested and charged the two individuals for “obstruction of a police officer in conducting duties.” The San Pedro Police believes the incident is drug related. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the San Pedro Police Department.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Council Continues with Street Repairs
Work on North Ambergris Caye commenced over a month ago and is still ongoing; currently work is also being carried out on the southern part of the island. In speaking with Councilor Gaby Nuńez he explained to Ambergris Today why work is being carried out primarily in these areas first. “It was decided to start working on improving the southern road since it leads to the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site and since we are a tourist destination, these are the roads that are travelled most by tourists. Improving them is key,” stated Gaby Nuńez. Truck loads of hard core have been placed on the southern road starting from the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site entrance heading north. The SPTC has also acquired loads of sand fill that will also be used to repair the streets of our island. Councilor Gaby Nuńez assured that all the streets of San Pedro will be addressed and fixed it’s just a matter of time since the Town Council does not have enough equipment and is working arduously and diligently to address all town needs.

Kids Dive into Summer Camp in San Pedro, Belize
Learning to scuba dive is a fulfilling, life-changing, and educational experience – and PADI is thrilled to be supporting a kid’s dive program in San Pedro, Belize! This summer, PADI, the largest diving organization, is collaborating with the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) and the marine reserve to give local kids the opportunity to explore the underwater world. This month, 34 students ages 12-15 will be working towards their Junior Open Water Diver certifications so they engage with marine life, build character and self-confidence, and form a greater appreciation for the planet. PADI is proud to support such an enriching experience by supplying Open Water Diver manuals, course completion certificates, and more. On Monday, July 16, 2012, the camp officially kicked off as students were presented with their Open Water Diver Manuals and officially introduced to their dive instructors. Each instructor was given four students for the course. Students will be doing their last dive on July 26 and their graduation will be on the Friday, July 27, 2012.

Karol Mello’s Family Issues Personal Press Release After His Arrest
The family of Slovakian national Karol Mello, living in Belize, released the following statement regarding his arrest in San Pedro and supposed criminal charges by his government. They express their intent to clear his name and remove any false accusations towards him. "The family of Karol Mello would first like to thank the Country of Belize and the Hon. Dean Barrow with particular thanks to San Pedro where Mr. Mello and his family have lived, have given birth to their second child, and have been a welcomed asset to the community for over twelve months.

Misc Belizean Sources

Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort
This is one of two Jaguars held captive in the resort which since the business has been struggling have suffered the unimaginable pain of being slowly starved to death. On Friday we learned that the jaguars being held captive in Belize Lodge and Excursions, Boden Creek Ecological Preserve, an 11,000 acre property which lies adjacent to Indian Creek village in Toledo, were starving to death and that one had already died. The property which is a high end, five star, ecotourism resort has had captive animals on show to their guests for many years. However the resort seems to have fallen on hard times, they have not been paying their staff and it has been discovered that the animals they have been keeping captive have not been fed or watered for a long time either. It is an incredibly painful way to die, to be starved, and that is what these jaguars have been suffering, along with other animals such as spider monkeys and howler monkeys which are also understood to have been starved to death or abandoned and released into the jungle with little chance of fending for themselves after being kept in captivity for so long. Under the laws of Belize it is lawful to enter property without permission when an animal is suffering cruelty, in light of this Ya'axche's head ranger went to assess the condition of the animals and found one of the jaguars lying emaciated with a tether around its neck, the other jaguar, a black one, is still surviving but severely undernourished. Forest Department have been notfied and have stated that they will come to collect the surviving animal on Tuesday.

Commentary: Belize Police Force needs to upgrade benefits package
By Wellington C. Ramos When I joined the Belize Police Force in 1973 there was no insurance for police officers who got sick, disabled or died while on duty. If they got sick they would go to the hospital and they would receive free medical care and be given sick days with a date to return to work. If their injuries were severe, the sick days would be extended continuously until they got better and then returned to work. When a police officer was permanently disabled and could not return to work, the Commissioner of Police, along with the government of Belize, would agree on a retirement monetary settlement, which was not substantial. In the event of death, the police officer received a funeral with full honours and a meager compensation to his or her next of kin and nothing for the surviving spouse or children. On November 19, 1974, a friend and squad brother of mine PC 431 Francis Bermudez, better known as “Govna”, died in Belize City at the age of 19 years. He was one of the most dedicated police officers I worked with at the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) in Belize City. He was given a full police honours funeral in Dangriga Town but his father was only given a check for about $2,000 after the funeral by the then Commissioner of Police Esmund Willoughby.

VIDEO: Discover Belize Now "About Us"
Providing you a look at destinations found in Belize

BAS Day Camp at Blue Hole
The Belize Audubon Society had its day camp at the Blue Hole. "On July 14tth, BAS along with its enthusiastic campers went to St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, where the campers had the opportunity to have a day of educational activities, arts and crafts, cave adventure, swimming, and lots of fun fun fun. We have more camps coming up. Register Today... and join in the adventure."

Caye Caulker’s newest attraction!!
And this bright yellow quadricycle is quite the newest attraction here on Caye Caulker. Both tourists and particularly young locals have been seen making their way up and down the streets for the past two weeks enjoying the benefits a bicycle gives – breeze and speedily getting from A to B and of course the key benefit for the youth, the fact that they can all do it together on one bike!! The bike is rented by the half hour $5US per half hour through the Mirimar Hotel and it has been on hot demand since Lobster Fest when it came into its own! Today our Raggamuffin youth have been enjoying the bike – young Harrison Jr (Harry’s son) and Malik (Jimmy and Charlie’s son)!! When you come to the island you should rent it too – it is quite the newest fashion!!

Channel 7

Alleged Slovakian Gangster Is Belizean Permanent Resident
Alleged international fugitive and Slovakian gangster Karol Mello is also a permanent resident of Belize! That's what has come out of a special Supreme Court hearing granted to his local attorney Godfrey Smith who today got an injunction restraining the Minister of Immigration from expelling the 42 year old citizen of the Slovak Republic. Tonight, the alleged Eastern European gangster and international fugitive remain detained at the Eastern Division police station - but he cannot be expelled without first being given a hearing. Smith told us about it at the Supreme Court this afternoon:.. Godfrey Smith, Attorney "Shortly after midday we manage to get an injunction until he has given an opportunity to be heard." Jules Vasquez "What moves are a foot right now as far as you know?" Godfrey Smith, Attorney "I am glad you said as far as I know because Mr. Karol Mello hasn't been given any papers, any notice of any charges, any complaints. He was just picked up and our understanding is that he is wanted by the Slovakian government. We as his legal representatives have not been told anything. We were told that the process for removing him from Belize is underway and that he is repatriated to send to Slovakia hence we had to move for an injunction."

Susana Romero Buried
The family of 25 year old Susana Roselia Romero buried her today - with emotions of grief and outrage - grief for the loss, and outrage at the indignity and inconvenience they feel the police made them endure. The body of the mother of two was found yesterday morning 50 feet off the side of the road near San Isidro Village - less than a mile away from where she was last seen on Wednesday of last week. She was nude and in an advanced state of decomposition - both her arms were missing, presumably ripped off by dogs or wild animals. A special constable who was working with a village search party found her. The search party was activated after she left La Mafia bar in Bella Vista village around 2 am on Thursday morning. The bar was closed and she was inside drinking with a friend, when an American man who resides in the village off and on called her outside. They left in his Ford Ranger - and she was never seen alive again. That man has been detained by police - two vehicles have also been impounded.

Did Cargo Vessel Paranga Wreak Environmental Damage?
Last night, 7News told you about the vessel, the MV Paranga, which was attempting to leave Belizean waters bound for Jamaica, when it had a mishap, and ended up being grounded approximately 2 miles southeast of English Caye. Well today, we've been following up by contacting all the government departments involved but neither the Coast Guard nor the Port Authority would deign to give us a comment. This evening though, we spoke to Marin Allegria, Chief Environmental Officer for the Department of Environment, and he told us briefly, via phone, what the environmental officers found yesterday: Marin Allegria, Chief Environmental Officer "Preliminary the grounding of her in old rubble, dead corals from years ago and there is some new growth of corals coming up - especially soft corals, small quantities, maybe like 10% of what I understand right now of the surface area. But all that we will know more once we do a thorough assessment." "We understood today that the vessel is now off, we are setting up a team from the fisheries department, ourselves and the coast guard. We will be out there tomorrow morning in order to do assessment as thorough as we can of the actual site itself." "Its base on that hopefully in the early afternoon we can have more details and more information on the extent and the type of damage in terms of live or dead corals or just sand bar. Whatever it was that it ran aground on." We also asked him about the status of the crew and captain, and he told us that they will remain in Belize until the investigation has finished. Marin Allegria, Chief Environmental Officer "From the preliminary - it was just leaving, a few minutes thereafter. It was not active live corals as such. Fortunately for that but it is in old rubble corals as we call it." "That is preliminary is not in area that would cause severe damage to coral formation. We will be going there tomorrow morning and then by Friday morning we will have everything already wrapped up. In the meantime we understand Port Authority, we have just spoken to them - we are working with the captain and the agency for us to try to resolve this fast - in the sense we are asking them to stay in Belize waters right now while we do the quick assessment tomorrow so that by Thursday we know what the incident is all about and where we are with the ship and the environmental issue thereof."

The Importance of Financial Literacy
400 Staffers from the international accountancy PriceWaterhouseCoopers teamed up with Peacework and the Ministry of Education to facilitate a two week financial literacy programme in Belize City for more than 1,500 primary school students. The programe is in its fourth year and it is a major, ambitious initiative to instill the values of entrepreneurship, money management and wealth creation in these primary schoolers. 200 employees from PWC were here last week - and now another 200 have come on for a programme that seems to expand every year. This year, they are including teachers and parents - and we found out more at one of the staging grounds: the ITVET Center in Belize City - where we spoke to some of the principal players:... Jahmoor Lopez, Bz District Education Officer "We actually are currently working with almost all of the primary schools in the Belize City area. I think it's a total of 30 primary schools minus the private schools." "It's having certainly a huge impact on the upper division students in those schools and also 1st and 2nd form students at 4 secondary schools. We are looking at a total of about 1500-1800 young persons who are being taught about financial literacy."

Budget Cuts Force Educ. Ministry To Cut Support For Incoming UB Students
And while those students are learning financial literacy, apparently so is the minister of education. His ministry's budget for scholarships has been cut by half a million dollars - and, as a consequence, the ministry has now been forced to cut a special assistance given to UB students. That's a 150 dollar hike in the registration fee that was first introduced in 2006. At the time, just the announcement of it - set off howls of protests - and government had to agree to pay the grand total - about half a million dollars - on the student's behalf - with a plan to revisit the arrangement in six months. Six months turned into six years and half a million turned into three million - and the arrangement has still not been revisited. But, the new budget cuts have forced the ministry to savings can be made, and that one hundred and fifty dollar assistance - which now costs about three million dollars a year is on the chopping block. Education minister Patrick Faber today explained the rationale behind the decision. Hon. Partrick Faber, Minister of Education "We are simply at the point where we are saying that it is costing the government too much at this time for that to continue. I want to be clear again and this is why I've ask for this interview so that people don't make mischief out of the whole thing. It is not intended that we will stop paying for those students who are current students of UB, in other words those students who are in their 1st year, 2nd year or 3rd year at UB and had already stated with the hope of getting this assistance for the government - this existing assistance, they will continue to get that assistance within a reasonable amount of time." "But for incoming students we are saying that the government is not going to pick up the tab for that additional amount that UB charged back in 2006 and that the full cost of what it is now will have to be paid by the new and incoming students. We will start in January. We hope that we can save to the tune of 3 million dollars for the year."

TINT CRACKDOWN DAY 2
The tint law has been in effect since June of last year, and the Belize City Council's Traffic Department has been gradually enforcing it. But the reality is that there are many drivers who have ignored the regulations, and they continue keep the unlawful window tints because the truth is: when last did you see a tint checkpoint? But that has changed: there are a number of new operations where the traffic officers are doing random tint checks, and they've been given the enough new equipment to conduct these operations. The City Councilor responsible for traffic told us that the traffic department will increase its vigilance for dark tint drivers:.. Alifa Elrington-Hyde, City Councillor "The regulations for tint has been enforce since the 1st of June 2011 and we at the traffic are now putting out different operations - we are doing stop and check, we have purchase the machines necessary to check the percentage and so they are making different operations on different days where they are going to check the tints for the windows, the windshields and the back windows on your vehicle."

Sore Local Losers At Belize International Film Festival
The 2012 Belize International Film Festival concluded this morning with the announcement of winners at the House of Culture. Among those present at this morning's ceremony were a number of film- handful of local Film Directors along with sponsors of the festival. The foreign film-makers weren't present - so the local hopefuls had their hopes up. In fact, everyone was hoping they'd get the call to the front of the room - and while everybody couldn't be a winner - there were a lot of very sore losers -making a hometown argument - over the top film - a charming, well-made documentary about a trans-Atlantic connection to Belize - here's how it all played out:... Monica Bodden reporting Among those present at this morning's ceremony were a handful of local Film Directors along with sponsors of the festival. Films in 4 categories were awarded. Those categories included Best Featured Film, Best Short Film, Best Belizean Film and Best Music Video. Suzette Zayden - Director Belize International Film Festival "The award ceremony is actually the closing if the festival. Today we awarded films in 4 categories; best feature film, best short film, best music video, and best Belizean film. There is a 5th category for best animated film but that's on pause for some films that were tied up." Best featured film was awarded to Love Child - directed by Leticia Tonos from the Dominican Republic. Best short Film went to FISH Directed by SHAUN ESCAYG from Trinidad and Tobago While best MUSIC VIDEO was awarded to BABY IT'S YOU -Directed by JUAN REYES from Belize. Best Belizean Film went to - MRS. ROBINSON Directed by THOMAS HINES- a Belizean living in the UK. And then there was a segment in this morning's event where the judges opened the floor for other Belizean Directors to voice their concerns. With that said, things got a little overheated as emotions ran high. The film which won in the Best Belizean Film category stirred up quite a controversy. Matthew Klinck - Belizean Film Director "Not a single Belizean appears in that movie was not shot in Belize, it has nothing to do with Belize, it doesn't have any Belizean texture to it. I don't know what you guys were thinking but it horrible."

Taiwan Youth Ambassadors In Belize
The Taiwanese International Youth Ambassador program has been in existence since 2010, and yesterday third delegation started their educational and cultural exchange here in Belize. 7 student representatives from the University of Taiwan are here to interact and socialize with their Belizean counterparts, and yesterday, a ceremony was held at the ITVET Compound to formally introduce them. Here's how the Governor General of Belize welcomed the delegation: Sir. Colville Young, Gorvernor General "I want to join in welcoming the youth ambassadors who are visiting with us from the Republic of China Taiwan for two weeks. I know they will enjoy themselves and I know they will learn a lot." "They are sharing with you our culture and their culture. Enjoy yourselves, have fun and take back to the Republic of China happy memories of Belize." H.E. David K. Wu, Taiwan's Ambassador to Belize "We are here to build up the friendship to have a better understanding with their counterparts; the youths. They are also here to have people to people diplomacy. We hope by the end of next week when they return to Taiwan they will also learn many things from their counterparts; the youth ambassadors for Belize. Last year I can tell you when they return home they were so excited to learn dancing here so I am sure this year you will also learn very exciting things before you return home."

Channel 5

Karol Mello expulsion stopped by rushed injunction
Earlier today, Godfrey Smith, attorney for Karol Mello, rushed to the Supreme Court to prevent his expulsion to Slovakia, his country of origin. At midday Justice Oswell Legall granted an injunction to stop his expulsion but Mello, who now holds permanent residency, remains in police custody tonight. Mello is wanted in Slovakia for a series [...]

Mello’s Family says the Slovak government wants him for charges he already beat
Late this evening the family of Mello issued a statement. They claim that Mello has not been on the run and that he is being persecuted by the (quote) corrupt government of Slovakia. The family says that in fact Mello has been cleared by the Polish courts. The family says when he was apprehended on [...]

2 houses destroyed; 1 man in critical condition after “explosive” domestic dispute
Twelve persons—eight adults and four minors—are homeless following a fire after eight on Monday night in the Placencia Peninsula. A Cayo resident, thirty-four year old Orson Emerson Twist is in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with first and second degree burns to eighty percent of his body. After a domestic dispute, Twist [...]

Bella Vista woman laid to rest; the community protests her murder
In the southern community of Bella Vista, a well known resident, Susana Romero was laid to rest as villagers protested her murder. Romero who is originally from Guatemala worked as a waitress at a bar in the village in the Toledo District. After she went missing for days, Susana’s badly decomposed body was found by [...]

D.O.E. begins detailed investigation after the MV Paranga is moved
The MV Paranga remains in Belizean waters tonight, but it is no longer grounded near English Caye. According to the Port Authority, they are still investigating to determine what caused the Jamaican registered cargo ship to run aground on Monday morning. It has been confirmed that when the tide rose on Monday night, the vessel [...]

Do you support decriminalizing marijuana?
Tonight’s question is: Do you support decriminalizing marijuana? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

Former P.M. and attorney discuss decriminalization of marijuana
The idea of decriminalizing small quantities of marijuana, particularly immeasurable amounts often found in blunts commonly known as roaches, is taking center stage. The government has announced that former minister of police, Dough Singh, is leading a committee that will look into its decriminalization. It has long been argued that the cost of prosecuting someone [...]

Prime Minister Dean Barrow accompanies wife abroad for medical treatment
The office of the prime minister announced to today that PM Dean Barrow left the country along with his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, who is receiving treatment for stage three breast cancer. PM Barrow is scheduled to return to the country over the weekend.

Woman accused of killing her husband is subject of coroner’s inquest
Security Guard, twenty-six year old Albert Maverick Morgan, was killed at his Belize City home on December twenty-second, 2009. His wife, Audrey, was accused of stabbing him in the chest, but no one was ever charged for his death. Today, a coroner’s inquest began before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to determine whether anyone should be held [...]

Film Festival Awards marred by controversy over Best Belizean Film
The annual film festival ended today and it closed with a bang. A record number of films from throughout the region were screened. To wrap up the annual event, the winners were announced in the Best Feature Film, Short Video, Music Video, Belizean Film and Animated Film. But what’s a festival without controversy? Hollywood style, [...]

Cayo Women develop a family project into an income earner
In the west, an agro-processing facility is providing alternative income for a group of women. The project started on a small scale, but today the production of jams and juices from locally grown fruits has grown considerably, attracting support from the Food and Agriculture Organization. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports on the Western Women Agro-Processing [...]

LOVE FM

BELLA VISTA VILLAGERS UPSET OVER DECOMPOSING BODY BEING LEFT ON SCENE FOR 24 HOURS
Community members in Bella Vista are upset over the situation in which the decomposing body of Susana Lopez was left open to the element while it awaits a post mortem. Our correspondent Paul Mahung has been following this Story and filed this report. PAUL MAHU...

GOVERNMENT OF BELIZE EXPLORES POSSIBILITY IN REGARDS OF ANTI-DRUG LAWS
The government of Belize has begun exploring the possibility of relaxing the country’s anti-drugs laws to allow for the possession of up to ten grams of marijuana without jail time on conviction. An official statement was issued yesterday by the Ministry of National S...

YOUTH FOR THE FUTURE HOSTS TRAINING SESSIONS IN DANGRIGA
Youth for the Future is hosting training sessions in Dangriga for Youths on their personal behavior and practices in regards to HIV Aids. Correspondent Harry Arzu Reports. HARRY ARZU, Reporter “Youth for the Future is presently conducting a three day HIV and AI...

CELEBRATION OF THE HISTORIC ST. JOHNS ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL 200TH ANNIVERSARY COMES TO A CLOSE
Activities in celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the historic St. John’s Anglican Cathedral are coming to a close this weekend. Love News spoke with Bishop of the Anglican Diocese in Belize, the Right Reverend Phillip Wright. PHILIP WRIGHT, Bishop of A...

SOCIAL INVESTMENT FUND HOLDS COMMUNICATION STRATEGY WORKSHOP
The Social Investment Fund will be hosting a one day communication strategy workshop for media representatives and key stakeholders of the Belize Municipal Development Project on Thursday. Director of Public Relations for SIF, Mike Hernandez explained to us what BMDP is about and...

SUPA G STANDS TO COLLECT FROM U.S. TELEVISION NETWORK
Belizean superstar Supa G, is reported to be in line to collect royalties from a United States television network for the unauthorized use of his intellectual property. The Belizean Society of Composers authors and publishers, BSCAP which represents local artists, first reported ...

BELIZE DEFENSE FORCE HOLDS YOUTH CADET SUMMER CAMP
The Belize Defense Force Youth Cadet Summer Camp is being held at the Eden High School in Santa Elena Town. Correspondent Elaine Berry has the details. ELAINE BERRY, Reporter “A total of two hundred and three cadets, thirty females and one hundred and sev...

OCTAVIA WAIGHT CENTER CELEBRATES ITS GOLDEN CITIZEN
There was great motive for celebration at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio Town Yesterday afternoon. Correspondent Fem Cruz was present at the party and filed this report FEM CRUZ, Reporter “The Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio celebrated the ...

LOVE TV

International Youth Ambassadors visiting Belize
The Government of the Republic of China, Taiwan and the Government of Belize, organized a visit of an International Youth Ambassador delegation which is currently in the country. The seven talented students are visiting Belize to intensify academic and cultural exchanges between Belize and Taiwan during a two week summer camp. An official opening of the summer camp was held this morning at the ITVET building on Freetown Road in Belize City. CEO in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, David Leacock, said he is very happy to open the camp for various reasons. Leacock extended thanks to the Government of Taiwan for their continued friendship and generosity to Belize. Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, David Wu said during his remarks that the one of the first things the youth ambassadors should learn is Belize’s National Anthem because the lyrics speak greatly about culture. Also present at this morning’s opening was Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General of Belize, Wilfred Elrington, A closing ceremony will be held on the twenty seventh of July at seven pm and the public in general is invited to attend and witness the farewell performance.

International Film Festival is a hit
The Seventh Belize International Film Festival opened in grand fashion on Friday night. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Myles Gillett attended opening night and bring you the following report.

Battle of the Drums summer camp ends
The fourth annual Battle of the Drums summer camp ended at the weekend in Punta Gorda. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

Murder in Cotton Tree village, Cayo
Cotton Tree Village in the Cayo District has been left shaken after well known person in the community Daniel Martinez fell at the hands of a murderer. His body was found yesterday in a remote area of Cotton Tree Village and today Reporter Marion Ali and Videographer Brian Castillo visited the village for answers into the incident. We recommend viewer discretion during the following story as some images may be very graphic.

Cars crash in Carolina village
A woman in the Corozal District was hospitalized following a road traffic accident in that Vicinity. Love Tv’s Marion Ali has the details.

Winner of “Show Me” competition awarded
An award ceremony for the Belize Audio Visual Industry Association and the Belize International film festival’s “Show me” competition was held today at the House of Culture in Belize City. Director of the 2012 Belize International Film Festival, Suzette Zaiden provided details on the “Show me” competition. The winner of the animation competition, Shelby Castillo spoke to Love News about his inspiration for the winning piece. Castillo walked away with one thousand dollars, courtesy of SMART who is the main sponsor of the “Show me” competition.

Blind teenage boy walks across Belize
He may be blind; but that did not stop fourteen year old Rowan Garrell from realizing an ambitious venture. That is walking across the breadth of the country. The ninety mile journey started on Thursday of last week in Benque Viejo del Carmen and concluded today at the office of the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. Love News spoke with Garrell this afternoon. Even though he fell short of the targeted amount, Garrel told Love News is satisfied with the outcome of his cross country venture.

Lord’s Bank mother says man impregnated her 15 year old daughter
The issue of grown men taking advantage of teenage girls under the age of eighteen has been in the news a lot recently. And today there is one more to report. The latest reported case comes from the village or Lord’s Bank. The mother of the girl, whose name we will withhold, came to our studios to complain that at age fifteen her daughter, then attending high school, was impregnated by another student, who is much older than the girl. This is the mother’s story. The mother told Love News that her daughter has now given birth and that she is struggling, with little input from the father of the baby, to maintain the infant. Love News has made several attempts to get word from the Department of Human Services, but we have so far not been able to reach anyone from that office to speak on this issue.

Woman reported missing found … dead
Almost a week after she was reported missing, the search for Bella Vista resident, twenty five year old Susana Roselia Romero Lopez came to a tragic end this morning. The decomposing body of the young woman was found today by a search party including relatives of Susana. Darlene Lopez told Love News via telephone that it was family members who found her aunt’s body around eight o’clock this morning. Lopez says the family believes that Susana’s killer may have been a man she met at a local bar in Bella Vista village on the night of Wednesday, July eleventh. Late this evening, residents of Bella Vista village and the surrounding San Isidro community were preparing to hold a vigil in honor of Susana. They are hoping that police pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran will conclude his onsite autopsy on Tuesday morning so that they can proceed with the quick burial of Susana’s body. This afternoon, our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung traveled to the area where the body was found and spoke with Special Constable Kayla Garcia who was a roommate of the deceased woman. Love News understands that police in Independence have detained one person of interest in connection with the murder of Susana Lopez, who was the mother of two children, ages seven and five years old respectively. Police investigations continue.

Jamaicans ordered removed from Belize for immigration violation
Three Men who violated the immigration laws of Belize were charged with immigration offences when they appeared today in the number six Magistrate’s Court. They are Jamaican nationals Romando Michael Richards and Ryan Anthony Spence and Honduran national Norberto Mungia Puerto. Richards and Spence were charged with illegal entry. They admitted that they left Jamaica by boat on June third and they arrived in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, where a smaller boat took them to Belize City. They were picked by the police today. Richards and Spence pleaded guilty to the charge. Magistrate Hurl Hamilton fined them one thousand dollars each and ordered them to pay forthwith, in default six months imprisonment. He also ordered that a removal order be prepared for them so that they can be sent back to Jamaica. Mungia was charged with being a prohibited immigrant. He pleaded guilty to the charge and he was fined one thousand dollars and ordered to pay forthwith or in default six months’ imprisonment. All three defendants were unable to pay so they were taken to prison. Mungia entered Belize in January 2004, via the banks of the Mopan River and he went to Arenal in the Cayo District.

SMART goes roaming in Mexico
If you are a SMART telephone subscriber and you plan on traveling to Mexico, you will be able to use your phone just as if you are in Belize. That is because SMART has launched a new roaming service. Ian Courtenay is the public relations officer in charge of roaming for SMART. Courtenay says there are plans to roll out the roaming service to other countries. Another exciting part of the new service is that SMART had added a virtual home network feature to the roaming service that allows customers to dial as it they are at home while roaming. In related news … the deadline for the registration passed at midnight on Friday. And today, Courtenay told Love News that a big chunk of the company’s customer base had their telephone service suspended because of non-registration. Persons wishing to register their suspended telephones are asked to go in to any of the SMART offices and showrooms around the country.

Corozal residents march for peace
With the recent violent crimes that have shaken the Corozal District in the last couple of weeks, people in that area organized a march for peace that took place over the weekend. Dalila Ical has the story.

Drugs and weapons found in Roaring Creek sweep
Police search in Roaring Creek village uncovered drugs and weapons buried near the riverbank. Correspondent Fem Cruz Reports.

PlusTV

Grand community development planned on Northern Hwy
Faithful viewers of Rise and Shine were this morning introduced to a very ambitious project. Ever heard about the S...

Price Waterhouse returns to Belize for financial literacy workshop
Price Waterhouse has returned to Belize for what has become its annual summer financial literacy workshop. One of t...

Current happenings of the Poverty Alleviation Project
In December of 2010, the then Minster of Works, the Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, travelled to Vienna, Austria to ...

PlusTV to air special sitting of the Senate tomorrow
The public is hereby notified that there will be a special sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, July 18, at 9 a.m. i...

Motorcycle accident claims another life
Another motorcycle accident takes another man’s life. Ladyville Police visited a scene at mile 26˝ on the Old North...

Body of missing woman found
On Thursday July 12 Silvia LOPEZ, of Bella Vista Village in the Stann Creek District reported to police that on Wed...

Rowan walked across Belize!
Ninety-two miles in five days; an amazing feat for any avid walker but young Rowan Garel has become famous for doin...

Will Belize legalize it?
A committee has been appointed by the Minister of National Security to evaluate and, if appropriate, make proposals...

Investigation continues into aground Jamaican cargo
It was reported by the media yesterday that a Jamaican cargo vessel, registered under the name MV Paranga, ran agro...

Police seek suspect in carnal knowledge accusations
A case of carnal knowledge is reported in Belmopan. A 14-year old female minor of the Cayo District accompanied by ...

PM accompanies wife for continuance of medical treatment
The Office of the Prime Minister has issued a release informing the public that Prime Minister Barrow departed the ...

Amandala

Over 60,000 cell phone accounts disconnected for failure to register
The extended deadline for persons to register their cell phones and numbers was Friday, July 13, 2012, and both cell phone providers – Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and SMART – reported that in compliance with the Government order to deactivate customers who had not registered, they began disconnecting customers over the weekend.

More from the national budget debate
At Thursday’s budget debate, Cayo North East Area Representative for the United Democratic Party (UDP), Elvin Penner, Minister of State responsible for Immigration and Border Protection, announced that the Government wouldrevisit existing Belizean residency and nationality laws.

Cargo vessel Paranga grounds near English Caye
The Jamaican vessel, the M/V Paranga, ran aground on an area of the reef area approximately 2 miles southeast of English Caye between 8:46 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. today, Monday, the Belize Port Authority reported in a press release issued this afternoon.

Slovak murder fugitive captured on Isla Bonita
Karol Mello, 45, was arrested without incident in San Pedro... An international hunt for Karol Mello, 45, a fugitive from Slovakia who was wanted on double murder charges in his country, came to a peaceful conclusion when he was captured without hassle on Pescador Drive in San Pedro, bringing the international search for him to a successful end.

Cotton Tree watchman found stabbed to death
The decomposing body of a watchman of the Maya Mopan Land Farm, located in Cotton Tree Village, who was missing from his place of duty for days, was found wrapped up in a sheet with multiple stab wounds.

Belize moves to decriminalize marijuana
“This proposal is to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana which will then be subject to fines, mandatory drug education and no imprisonment”

BFA Grassroots Selection represents Belize in Guatemala
On Saturday, the Belmopan Football Association (BFA) Grassroots Selection departed for Retalhuleu City, Guatemala to participate in the Codicader Primary Schools Tournament, sponsored by the Guatemalan Government. Kenneth Budna, Liliana Abril and Santiago Valencia, BFA’s technical staff, are heading the delegation which arrived in Retalhuleu City on Sunday.

Brother Nolbert Moss back in the Jewel
Back home to stay, after spending about twenty years in the States, is 1980’s football icon Nolbert Moss, founder of the Wagiya Football Club in Dangriga. Mossy says he has been making a few short trips back home since about seven years ago, but now he is home to stay, and he has some serious plans for football in Dangriga and Belize as a whole. He is looking forward to work with the new FFB leadership, but he is nevertheless going ahead with his plans to help prepare the present crop of 10-year-olds to make Belize ready to claim one of the CONCACAF qualifying spots for the 2022 World Cup.

Corozal Wildfire basketball games vs Playa and Manaties, Mexico
In the first game on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m., Chetumal Manaties Under-13 defeated Corozal Wildfire Under-13, 45-30. The next game saw Corozal Wildfire defeating Playa Del Carmen Under-10, 47-27. Jordan Cassanova finished with 22 points, Reginald Sankey 12 pts, Jadee Galaz 7 pts, and Anwar Jundi 6 pts for Corozal Wildfire Under-10. In game 3, it was Corozal Wildfire over Chetumal Manaties Under-17 by a score of 103-45. Corozal Wildfire was led by Ornel Blades with 18 pts, Nigel Levy 12 pts, Stephaun Young 12 pts and 12 rebs, and Shaun Gilharry 15 points.

Editorial: A parliamentarian undressed
The House of Representatives in Belmopan is a place where the inexcusable is excused, at least that is what it appears the members believe. We have seen a Prime Minister call a former leader a “jackass” in that “honorable” House and we have seen an area representative stoned in the head with a wallet, all in the last few years. It’s been a House where anything goes. Nothing much, in there, should surprise us anymore.

From The Publisher
“Francisco Villa had been dead for forty-three years when the Mexican Congress decided recently that he was, after all, a hero of the nation. This came about only after a long and bitter debate in which the famous northern guerrilla leader was loudly denounced as a murderer and bandit and, alternately, warmly praised as a military genius and protector of the humble.

Rails about public drinking and “relieving oneself in public”
On Saturday evening I took a drive in Belize City on Cemetery Road/Orange Street from the junction of Central American Boulevard all the way to Albert Street, and the amount of people drinking alcohol in public view and relieving themselves on every corner available is disgusting. It makes the whole area look “stink”.

Blogs

Barefoot Skinny’s Monday night Joke night at Roadkill Bar
Finally someone is doing an open mike night in San Pedro, I have been wanting one for years [since Playa Lounge days]. I got as far as getting Capt Jeff agreeing to MC if he was here and that is as far as it ever went – well done Roadkill Bar for making it happen. Joke night got it’s official start last week and I can see this becoming a popular thing for those who are wondering what to do in San Pedro Belize on a Monday night. Barefoot Skinny played music and got the crowd up on stage telling jokes with the promise of best joke willing a drink. Tacoboy encouraged me to go on stage and said if I can do Rhonda’s My Morning Matters tv show I can tell a joke at Roadkill. So I did….

International Sources

A World Without Coral Reefs
IT’S past time to tell the truth about the state of the world’s coral reefs, the nurseries of tropical coastal fish stocks. They have become zombie ecosystems, neither dead nor truly alive in any functional sense, and on a trajectory to collapse within a human generation. There will be remnants here and there, but the global coral reef ecosystem — with its storehouse of biodiversity and fisheries supporting millions of the world’s poor — will cease to be. Overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution are pushing coral reefs into oblivion. Each of those forces alone is fully capable of causing the global collapse of coral reefs; together, they assure it. The scientific evidence for this is compelling and unequivocal, but there seems to be a collective reluctance to accept the logical conclusion — that there is no hope of saving the global coral reef ecosystem. What we hear instead is an airbrushed view of the crisis — a view endorsed by coral reef scientists, amplified by environmentalists and accepted by governments. Coral reefs, like rain forests, are a symbol of biodiversity. And, like rain forests, they are portrayed as existentially threatened — but salvageable. The message is: “There is yet hope.”

More on Coral Reefs and Resilience or Ruination
A spirited discussion has built on Dot Earth and elsewhere in response to the potent weekend Op-Ed article by Roger Bradbury of Australian National University challenging hopeful visions of coral reef restoration and calling them “zombie ecosystems” — the living dead — in a human-dominated world. Below I’ve pulled together some notable responses. But first I also want to draw attention to a valuable Melissa Gaskill post on the Green blog summarizing discussions at an international symposium on coral reefs held last week in Cairns, Australia. Here’s an excerpt from her post centered on one example of how the establishment of marine protected zones can have a powerful impact: The overfished reefs at Cabo Pulmo on the eastern Baja California Peninsula are a case in point. After the establishment of the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park — and more than 10 years of local enforcement of no-take inside its boundaries — the Scripps Institution of Oceanography found that the amount of fish biomass in the protected area had increased more than fivefold, and shark biomass, tenfold. That’s the largest absolute increase in fish biomass ever measured in a marine reserve anywhere in the world. What is more, the benefits of this kind of protection extend beyond the boundaries of a protected area. A recent study by the Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies found that marine reserves help restore depleted populations on neighboring reefs.

Archaeologists uncover largest ancient dam built by Maya in Central America
Recent excavations, sediment coring and mapping by a multi-university team led by the University of Cincinnati at the pre-Columbian city of Tikal, a paramount urban center of the ancient Maya, have identified new landscaping and engineering feats, including the largest ancient dam built by the Maya of Central America. That dam – constructed from cut stone, rubble and earth – stretched more than 260 feet in length, stood about 33 feet high and held about 20 million gallons of water in a man-made reservoir. These findings on ancient Maya water and land-use systems at Tikal, located in northern Guatemala, are scheduled to appear this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in an article titled "Water and Sustainable Land Use at the Ancient Tropical City of Tikal, Guatemala." The research sheds new light on how the Maya conserved and used their natural resources to support a populous, highly complex society for over 1,500 years despite environmental challenges, including periodic drought.


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#442758 - 07/18/12 02:17 PM Re: Today's Belize News: July 18, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Carolinas HealthCare System together with Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital performs first open heart surgery in Belize
On Monday, physicians from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), in Belize City, Belize, and from Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) performed the first open heart surgery in the country of Belize. Adrian Coye, MD, Medical Services Director at KHMH and R. Mark Stiegel, MD, FACS, cardiothoracic surgeon with CHS's Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute (SHVI) performed a coronary artery bypass graft on a 72-year-old Belizean man. The patient is recovering at the hospital, where he will be monitored for at least three days post-surgery. Today the surgeons will perform a mitral valve replacement on a 56-year-old Belizean woman, completing a second heart surgery. "This is a very special moment that has allowed everyone involved to make history in Belize," said Dr. Coye. "Belizean patients should receive the same level of care as others worldwide, and we are thrilled to have reached this point in what we can offer for medical services in our country."


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#442770 - 07/18/12 05:06 PM Re: Today's Belize News: July 18, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Amanda Syme Offline
That is awesome!

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