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#445669 - 09/01/12 08:56 AM Today's Belize News: September 1, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Vessel carrying two guests capsizes off Ambergris Caye
A vessel with two tourists sank at sea on Friday August 31st near San Pedro Town off Ambergris Caye. The “Baby Jazly” is owned by 39 year old Sherman Michael Cain of a San Pedro Town address. Luckily the tourists and the captain have been rescued and are recovered from their scare. According to San Pedro Police, shortly after 1:30PM the 25 foot vessel capsized after a big wave hit, and sank in the area of Tuffy Channel located some ¼ miles east of San Pedro Town. On board the vessel were 54 year old Nancy Kluve and her husband, 48 year old Allen Gibson, both of Orange County California, USA. Police said that the tourists as well as the captain escaped unhurt and tourists were recovered from a scare. The San Pedro Sun confirmed with police that Cain, who is a self employed Belizean Tour Operator, did not possess a valid Tour Operator’s License.

Caye Caulker Baller’s 4 Life Basketball Tournament is underway
The Caye Caulker Ballers 4 Life Basketball Tournament held its sixth week of games over the weekend and is gearing up for the playoffs. The tournament has seven teams from Belize City, San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker village in a 12-week tournament. With the sponsorship of the Belize Tourism Board and the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi, the tournament is a huge success, attracting many people for the regular Saturday night games being held at the Caye Caulker Basketball Court. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, organizer Charles Young Jr. explained that, “the tournament is geared at engaging at risk youth of both islands in some sort of sports. It is also an opportunity for me (Charles) to give back to the communities.” The teams competing are: Hot Skull, Lazy Lizard Black Neighborhood, Bun Fire and Hard Time Hustlers from Caye Caulker; ET Center/ Jolly Rogers from Belize City and Tuff E Nuff from San Pedro On Saturday, August 25th Tuff E Nuff, led by Rico Black, played Lazy Lizard and managed to win by a comfortable margin of 78 to 69 points. So far Tuff E Nuff has won three out of four games played and has two more games before the play off.

Toucan Bungee Trampoline at Pedro’s this weekend
Pedro’s Inn is the place to be this weekend! Toucan Bungee Trampoline is the first of its kind, and is being launched at Pedro’s. This mobile business is super new and exciting to the country, and those looking to try it out can swing by from Friday, August 31st to Sunday, September 2nd. But just what is this bungee-trampoline contraption? If you love bouncing on a trampoline, and looking for new ways to take the excitement of bouncing around to a whole new level, then this is the game for you! A 144-foot circumference trampoline pad is the base on which one bounces, and with the strapped on bungee (read: super elastic!) cords, you get the added bonus of jumping as high as 24 feet. Chris Skorwid, who once lived in San Pedro, has returned with his new business venture and is introducing the first bungee trampoline in Belize. This fun activity has already become a fast attraction for people in other North American countries. On Friday the bungee trampoline will be available as of 4PM. On Saturday and Sunday, it will be available as of midday.

Ambergris Today

Become a Crime Stopper and Help Your Community
Do you know that you can use the services of Belize Crime Stoppers and become an integral part of fighting crime in Belize? All you have to do is pick up the phone, make a free call to Crime Stoppers Center and anonymously give crime tips, report a crime or give identification of possible criminals within your community. Personnel from Crime Stoppers Belize stopped by San Pedro on Thursday, August 30, 2012, to share information with key neighborhood watch members and the San Pedro Police Department. Chief Operating Officer of Crime Stoppers Belize, Mrs. Chris Garcia, was accompanied to San Pedro by two important personnel involved in Crime Stoppers. Mr. Richard Masten, Executive Director of Miami Dade Crime Stoppers and Valerie Hall, former detective at Miami Dade Police Department were key to share their expertise and experience with members of neighborhood watch groups and the San Pedro Police who attended the meeting. They shared information on how Crime Stoppers works in Belize and around the world and how the Ambergris Caye community can take advantage of this service and take an active role in fighting crime.

Chantae Guy to Represent Belize at Miss Continente Americano
The LPELL Agency is pleased to announce the selection of 20-year-old Chantae Chanice Guy as Belize’s representative to the Miss Continente Americano international pageant to be held in Guayaquil, Ecuador in September 2012. Chantae recently represented Belize at the Miss World 2012 pageant in spectacular fashion by becoming the first Belizean delegate to place top ten in the Top Model preliminary challenge! In just a short time she was able to rally the support of thousands of Belizeans at home and abroad who eagerly joined her family and friends to spread the great news about our delegate. There were over a hundred delegates at the Miss World pageant and placing in the top ten for the challenge was a remarkable task. Chantae proved that Belize was up to the challenge. Chantae leaves Belize for Ecuador on September 10, 2012, and she will take part in Miss Continente Americano during the final two weeks of September. The competition seeks to integrate the cultures of the Latin American nations and to promote cultural tourism.

Aggressive Behavior In Students
by Gustavo Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Aggressive behavior by a student is unacceptable; it goes beyond the scope of schools’ normal boundaries. Examples of defiant or hostile behavior by a student include: losing temper easily, constantly arguing with teachers, deliberately engaging in activities that annoy others, blaming others, acting annoyed or chronically touchy, always acting spiteful or vindictive. However, responding to a student’s aggression with yelling...

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize to host historic high-level fisheries meeting
Belize will host a historic, high-level ministerial meeting that will see as many as 25 countries from two regional fisheries organizations -- tasked to promote cooperation and policy coordination in addressing trans-boundary fisheries matters -- convene in Belize City, from Monday, September 3 to Tuesday, September 4, 2012, as they chart a comprehensive course for future collaborative action. The joint meeting will bring together 17 CARICOM member and associated member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), and 7 members of the Organization for Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA), joined by the Dominican Republic as an associate member. “The similar mandates and objectives of both organizations highlight the potential benefits of sharing scientific knowledge and experiences related to research, resource management, and policy coordination in fisheries and aquaculture development,” CRFM organizers said. They added, “Strengthening collaboration between these two regional fisheries organizations would improve conservation, management and sustainable development of the shared living marine resources of the Caribbean Sea.”

Cayo Event Calendar
September's Cayo Event Calendar is up! We're calling for any events that need to be posted for the month of September. Still adding the September Celebrations schedule from NICH. Any dances, exhibits, concerts, dinners, and cultural events can be posted to the page. Thanks, and have a great September!

Interact & Win with PACT!
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust, which recently celebrated its Sweet 16th anniversary, is having a really cool contest where you can win trips all over Belize, including Billy Barquedier National Park, Laughing Bird Cayo, and Mayflower Bocawina National Park. They just posted the rules! So like their page, and start spreading the word. Good luck to everyone! "PACT is in search of our #1 FAN! Over the next 21 days leading to BELIZE's INDEPENDENCE DAY, we will be monitoring likes, comments and posts on our page! Feel free to click the "ARE YOU #1" Tab on our page to see how you are doing. PACT will use this to choose the winners. However, we will also monitor content you post, comment & share for quality and relation to our mission! PACT will announce winners on September 21, 2012!"

Soul Project Cultural Center pictures
The Soul Project Cultural Center in downtown Cayo is coming along nicely. Check out some of the art that is already set up. There will be a lot more. Daniel Velazquez and Abdela Bedran have really done a great job so far. The Soul Project is located on Buena Vista street, right next to the SI Commercial building. Opening soon!

Channel 7

Man Shot In Face, In Critical Condition
There were two shootings in the city last night - and as a result - a 14 year old is recovering from a gunshot wound to the back - and a 37 year old man is in critical condition at the KHMH. We start tonight with his story: Isiah Williams was near his home when he was shot to the face, back, neck and shoulder. The shots were intended to kill him - and that he is clinging to life tonight is a small miracle. 7news was on the scene last night and Monica Bodden found out more today:.. Rosalie Williams - Wife "He received 4 shots; one in the left side of his face, one in his neck, one in his back and one in his shoulder. The condition he is in right now - he went through surgery and the slit under his throat so that he could breathe because he was not breathing. They put a tube down his throat which he uses to breathe through." "The bullets are still in him and the doctors are looking at the one in his neck because he could be paralyzed for the rest of his life if something goes wrong with the other wing - they said that the neck has 2 wings and one of them are fractured. It's only the other one they are depending on to stay safe that it does not cripple his spine down."

Teenaged Girl Recovering After Being Hit By Stray Bullet
Last night, 7News told you about the 14 year-old girl who was shot just before news time. Tonight, we can report that she has been treated and released from the hospital, and she is currently at home resting. According to police, she was the victim of a stray bullet. Their initial investigation revealed that at around 5:38 p.m., 3 men on separate bicycles rode up at the corner of Park Street and La Croix Boulevard, where one of them pulled out a firearm. That gunman fired 4 shots in the direction of Kingsley Morrison and Kimberly Michael, who were in the area. All those bullets missed their targets, but one of them flew and penetrated the walls of the 14 year-old's home, which was located on Cumberbatch Street. That bullet struck the girl in the right lower back, as she sat with her family at the dinner table. Today, her aunt told us about what that terrible experience was like. She asked to appear off camera: Voice of: Aunt "Desiree was eating around the table and we heard the 4 gunshots and I hear she cried out and I saw her on the ground - she got shot." Daniel Ortiz "How many people were around ma'am?" Voice of: Aunt "Only me, she and her sister."

Attorney For Accused Murderer Calaney Flowers: "She Was Taunted"
The biggest news story this week has been Calaney Flowers - who is on remand at prison tonight - accused of killing her baby's father, Lyndon Morrison and injuring his girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa. On the surface - it is almost the definition of the old adage, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." And while that narrative has gained some traction this week - we have not heard the other side of the story. And that is because the Flowers family has refused to speak with the press - and the accused - being a prisoner - has not been afforded the opportunity herself. But today the family's attorney Arthur Saldivar did call our newsroom to say that his client's actions have been misrepresented. He said she did not deliberately knock down anyone - it was an accident - but one triggered by stunts that Lyndon Morrisson was pulling to taunt her. Saldivar says that with Sosa on the back of the bike, Morrison was pulling up beside her car on his motorbike and then braking suddenly in front of her.

Family Says 10 Year Old's Death Accidental, Not Suicide
Did a ten year old girl in San Lazaro village commit suicide? That's what the police report says - but according to CTV-3 news in Orange Walk it's more likely an accident that caused Rosana Telles's death. She was found yesterday morning at 11:25 hanging from a nylon rope tied to an Almond tree outside her home. But, the rope was really an improvised swing - that had been hanging in a u shape from the tree for some time. Her family believes that the child was playing on it and somehow got her head twisted in it. They found her with her jaw on the rope - and she was still alive. When they took her into the house she started to vomit and then expired. A post mortem is expected to confirm whether it was accidental or incidental. That examination hasn't been performed yet.

Bookstore Robbed
Just before 10:30 a.m. today, the Dakers Bookstore, located on Freetown Road, was robbed of approximately $3,000 dollars in cash. According to the employees, 2 men came into the store, posed as customers, and quickly took advantage of the situation. They robbed the employees at gunpoint of proceeds for about 3 days' sales. Today, one of the employees spoke to us off camera, and he explained how the entire incident unfolded: Voice of: Employee "Two male persons walk into the spot; one stay at the door - the dark skin male and the red skin male came and say that they wanted an atlas of Belize. When one of the sales clerk got up to get the atlas of Belize - one of the men pull out a black 9mm firearm." "He ordered the cashier to take out all the money. The next red skin male came at the back and ask for the money. He punches me a couple times and pull out the books that was in a drawer here. He pulled out a bag of undisclosed amount of money from out of this draw here." "They advance towards the next sales clerk and order he for her phone and her money, but upon searching her, she told him that her money was for her child's school registration, so he take the money from her and threw the money at her." "He went around the counter and told the cashier to hand over her phone so that they could not call the police. They took the cashier phone and they told us to stay in a corner and shut up mouths or they will shoot all of us. After that they walk outside and gone. When they went I grab the phone and call 911 and pass it to the cashier so she could talk to the police while the sales clerk ran outside to see in which direction they went."

Teachers Say Don't Legalize It
The Belize National Teachers Union has come out against the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana. A release from the union today says quote, "BNTU considers the idea as pre-mature and dangerous. The negative effect of its use on the body, especially the brain and rational behavior, far outweighs its known medicinal uses." It adds that quote, "government's inability to control and monitor its use and supply will lead to more health and behavioral problems for our teachers, parents, law-enforcement officers and society as a whole…" end quote. The BNTU proposes that a DRUG EDUCATION programme be introduced as early as Std. III or IV at the Primary level.

Unions Will Meet With Minister re: Collective Bargaining
The BNTU also had a voice in a release issued today by the Unions' Negotiating Team. The BNTU, the PSU and the APSSM wrote to the Prime Minister requesting to meet with those Cabinet Ministers whose portfolios cover the core interests of public sector employees. That's the ministers of Education, Public Service and Labour. And the PM has agreed, naming Education Minister Faber as head of the Ministerial team and setting Monday afternoon as the time for their first meeting. The unions want to address their 23 point proposal to move the negotiations forward to a conclusion after four years of dialogue.

BDF Has A New Strategy
Last night, we told you about the 4 million US Dollar donation that the US Government made to the US Coast Guard and the BDF. You saw most of the stuff that the Coast Guard got, but the BDF's full donation is not in yet. That includes all terrain vehicles, jet propulsion river boats and specialized tactical mobility vehicles. Commander of the BDF General Dario Tapia explained how they will be deployed to fit into a larger strategy:.. General Dario Tapia, Commander of the BDF "These equipments came for bigger strategy which eventually will come on line. When I say eventually, there are many things going on behind the scenes. There will be some additional operating base in northern Belize, so the ATVs that are here will be deployed to those operating bases." "The jet propulsion vessels will be used to do patrols. Three things that we always say for the BDF to be able to survive and be professional is its ability to move, shoot and communicate."

"Who Da Di Baby Pa?"
George James had a lot on his mind when he came to our studio in a rage today. The BML Employee just came from family court where he had proved that he was paying child support for what would colloquially be called a "Shal-I baby." Now, this is not the kind of stuff that usually makes the news, but his case is instructive - or at least he wishes it to be. The moral of his story is that even though a DNA paternity test costs nearly a thousand dollars, it is worth it! George James "I register the baby - because I had registered her I felt like she was my daughter. The DNA cost me $950. I got that money from the money that I had used to drink - I stop drink now two years since I got married and that money I save and I did a signigate - I let my wife join the signigate and then I pay her back." "Now when I show them the DNA test they told me that I can't get back all the payments that I did. You see how much $35 are here Jules. All of these are from 2009-2012 and I had to pay every week or else the police are coming for you - these people don't play." Jules Vasquez "So you are trying to get a refund?"

More Mas Camp Craziness
If you are not in a Carnival Band - it's may be difficult to understand the psychology of a mas camp. But those who are in it know that it's about doing the impossible: making ornate eye-catching costumes with very little money - and then getting everyone wearing them mentally and physically ready to dance for hours in the blazing sun of Carnival Day. Monica Bodden went back into the Mas Camps to feed off the energy last night and she has this final report. Monica Bodden reporting The carnival spirit continues throughout the city - as we made our way around town to cover the last 6 carnival mas camps. We began on the Southside of the city at the Black Pearl Camp. Kendra Buller- Black Pearl Junior Band "This year Black Pearl is representing mother nature and everything that lies within. We are basically depicting the flora/fauna, the Caribbean sea and everything that mother nature gave to us we are appreciating this year." Monica Bodden "Tell us a little bit about the costumes." Kendra Buller- Black Pearl Junior Band "We have 5 different sections that we are depicting. We are the blossoming flower, we have the wild flower, we have the tropical trees and we have the animals which depict the jaguar, panther, leopard and all the animals that basically live in the rainforest and are rulers of the rainforest."

Visitors Safe After Boat Sinks
Tonight, an American couple is safe on dry land after boat they hired for a private tour sank in the waters near San Pedro Town. The San Pedro Sun reports that at around 1:30 p.m., 48 year-old Allen Gibson, and his wife, 54 year-old Nancy Kluve, both residents of Orange County, California were on a private tour about a quarter mile east of San Pedro Town on the 25 foot vessel "Baby Jazly", which is owned by 39 year-old Belizean Sherman Cain. Reports are that there was an unusually large wave which slammed into the vessel and it sank in the Tuffy Channel. Fortunately, those aboard the vessel were rescued by the authorities, but according to the Sun, they were on an unsanctioned tour. The newspaper reports they confirmed with police that Cain did not possess a valid Tour Operator's License.

Channel 5

3 brothers and a friend shot by cop in Alta Vista
In the south, three brothers and a friend were injured in a stand-off with the police in Alta Vista on the Hummingbird Highway on Thursday night. It started on the road and ended in a violent confrontation at the house of the Castellanos brothers. Isidoro Castellanos is in critical condition while his two brothers and [...]

Ride by shooting of Isaiah Williams on Banak Street
Thursday evening was particularly violent; in a span of less than five hours, there were three shootings in the city and in southern Belize. There were two shootings in the Old Capital. A fourteen year old girl was shot as she ate dinner at her house on La Croix Boulevard and hours later, further away [...]

Girl, 14 years old shot in Belize’s bullet city
Fourteen year old Desiree Aranda, the high school student who was shot in the lower back by a stray bullet is now at home recuperating. On Thursday evening around five-forty five, Aranda was having dinner inside her house, when multiple shots were fired on Lacroix Boulevard; one of the shots penetrated the walls of her [...]

Church meets with Central Bank over “spouse” definition
The Domestic Banks and Financial Institution Act has sparked the ire of the churches because of the definition of the word spouse. On Thursday night, we told you that the bill had gone through all the stages in the House and was passed by the Senate on Tuesday; the final step would be for the [...]

Belize National Teachers Union rejects marijuana legalization
The Belize National Teacher’s Union has joined the discourse about the decriminalization of marijuana. It was one of the main topics at the B.N.T.U.’s Special Meeting of the Council of Management this past Saturday. No one from the office could comment on camera about their position, but a press release says, “on the proposition to [...]

Belize Sugar Industry sale close to completion
The sale of the Belize Sugar Industries (B.S.I.) to American Sugar Refining (A.S.R.) is about to materialize. In an update to that story, B.S.I. reports that meetings were held in mid-July with representatives of A.S.R. Management to advance final negotiations on key investment documents, principally the Subscription Deed (purchase agreement) and the Shareholders’ Agreement. Agreement [...]

Bacchanal…It’s Carnival time again with mass camp fever
Judging of mas camps concluded on Thursday night with a marathon of six camps in both senior and junior categories. Safiyyah moved from camp to camp to get a feel of what Carnival 2012 will look like. And what a treat it was. The colorful costumes showed off creativity while depicting the unique Belizean culture; [...]

Meet the delegates for 67th Queen of the Bay
The historic Queen of the Bay Pageant takes place this weekend at Bird’s Isle. Now, pageants of all types have sprung up over the years, but the local Queen of the bay has withstood the test of time. In the sixty-seven year history of the Queen of the Bay, organizers have worked tirelessly to retain [...]

House of Shotokan’s Karate Camp in Orange Walk
Students between the ages of five to thirteen in Orange Walk District can learn some basic Karate skills before they head off to a new school year on Monday. The free camp, which is being hosted by the House of Shotokan, will also include motivational presentations to the students as well as prizes for participation. [...]


Bank Teller Charged With Murder
Twenty-five year old Calaney Flowers, a proof teller at Atlantic Bank who allegedly knocked down her ex-boyfriend and his lover, was charged with murder and attempted murder when she appeared in court today. Flowers, who resides on Lavender Street, was also charged with dangerous harm ...

BDF Truck Overturns and Injures Several Soldiers
A number of Belize Defense Force soldiers were hurt when the truck they were traveling in overturned last night in the Cayo district. The incident happened around midnight on the Chiquibul road in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. Love News spoke with the Commander of the BDF Brigadi...

Implementation Continues for the Belize Municipal Development Project
The Belize Municipal Development project which is estimated at thirty million dollars and aims to provide needed infrastructure to seven major municipalities in the country, continues to be implemented. This morning a special ceremony launched a 2.2 million dollar street project ...

Over 100 Pounds of Cocaine Found in Belize's Waters
A large amount of cocaine was found floating in Belize’s territorial waters on Wednesday morning. According to reports, the drugs weighing in at just over a hundred and four pounds, was found in multiple packets near the Turneffe Atoll and has since been turned over t...

Surviving Victim of Traffic Incident Speaks to the Press
Twenty-five year old Calaney Flowers, a proof teller at Atlantic Bank who allegedly knocked down her ex-boyfriend and his companion, was charged with murder and attempted murder when she appeared in court today. Flowers, who resides on Lavender Street, was also charged with dangerous h...


Radio Announcer Attempts To Take Her Life
News spread like wild fire this morning, a woman was found dead at the Gabriel Hoare Market in the Corozal District. But when we called Corozal Police we were informed that a woman was indeed found at the market but she was not dead. Reports are that around 9:15 last night Selene De Leon Castro, a Guatemalan Radio Announcer working at UMUZIK F.M, owned by Honorable Pablo Marin, was found sitting on chair at the market bleeding profusely from one of her wrist. Allegations are that Castro tried to take her life and police are treating the matter as an attempted suicide. We understand that a letter and a broken bottle were also found beside Castro. The woman is presently hospitalized at the Corozal Community Hospital where she is recuperating from her injury.

Did A Ten Year Old Commit Suicide?
The body of ten year old child is tonight lying at the morgue after she was found this morning hanging from a rope. The incident happened at around 10:00am in the village of San Lazaro and Orange Walk Police say that 10 year old Rosalia Talles committed suicide. The thought of a 10 year old taking away her life is perplexing and raises many questions. According to Julie Castillo, a friend of the family, the little girl seemed perfectly normal seconds before the incident happened. Here is her story of how the tragic incident played out. Voice of Julie Castillo, Friend “Ella esta todo bien y todo la quieren mucho, las dos porque son muy amorosos y se tratan bien y todo. Ella juega con sus hermanitos y con mis hijos y se ponen a gustar televisión y todo.” Voice of Julie Castillo, Friend “Yo fui corriendo, la ayude y un señor vino y corto la soga y fue que yo la cargue, la trajimos aquí en el cuarto y la acostamos y estuvieron allí para que reaccione y solo cuando ella vomito y después ya no reacciono mas y asi fue que la llevaron al hospital.”

Parents Of San Jose Village Demand Transportation For Their Children
Tonight parents of San Jose Village are furious with the Ministry of Education. On Monday the parents of Standard 4 and 5 students of San Jose Government School were notified that their children will commence the new school year at the San Pablo Community School. The reason behind the decision is one of the school building’s which is presently being refurbished and all indications are that the renovations will not finish in time for the new school year. So where is the problem? Well, according to parents, they were informed by the Ministry that transportation would be provided for the students but that decision was reversed this morning. Here is what we found out. Last year, standard 4 and 5 of San Jose Government School attended class in this building. But due to several reasons the building has become unfit over the years and with that the school’s management sought assistance for the building to be renovated.

Frog Hopper Affecting Sugar Cane Fields
The Sugar Industry is one of the pillars of the Belizean economy. Here in the north it is the main income earner of more than 6,000 cane farmers. There is no doubt that when the industry catches a cold the side effects are felt across the country and that’s exactly what’s taking place presently as an estimated 17,989 acres of sugar cane fields have been affected by an extensive froghopper infestation. So far the losses have translated to $3.3 million and further reductions in cane yields and loss in income is expected in September when a third population outbreak of frog hopper is anticipated to infest an estimated 10,927 acres of cane. Without exaggeration a further outbreak of the froghopper could wipe out the sugar industry if cane farmers do not receive the necessary assistance. But in order for you to get a firsthand look at how serious the situation is we visited several cane fields today that have been affected by the outbreak. Carmelita Perez- Reporting They might look like tiny defenseless insects but the reality is that these insects, known as the Froghopper, can cause serious damage to the Sugar Industry if not controlled in time. Presently, an estimated 17,989 acres of sugar cane fields have been infested this August alone out of which the BSCFA managed to treat 9,000 acres with the limited resources available under its current budget. However, 8,989 acres of cane field have been damaged by these tiny insects translating into an estimated loss in income of $3.3 million. The frog hopper produces hundreds of eggs on a daily basis which eventually plague other cane fields. In the area of Ramonal the damage varies. Here is a cane field that has received little damage. That’s because the right practices were implemented by its owner.

PUP Northern Caucus Calls On GOB To Assist Cane Farmers
In sight that the funds allocated for the frog hopper infestation have been depleted, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association turned to government for financing. But the response they got during a meeting held last week with the Minister of Agriculture Honorable Gaspar Vega was not favorable. Vega informed members of the BSCFA that due to its current financial constraints, the Government and his Ministry did not have any financial resources to provide in order to deal with the crisis. Nevertheless, Vega offered to present the BSFA’s request to Cabinet on Tuesday August 21st, in order to obtain some type of assistance. Despite the urgency the association has received no response from government and today the P.U.P Northern Caucus weighed in on the issue. In press release issued this morning the Northern Caucus calls on the Prime Minister and the Government of Belize to do everything possible to assist the vital industry and the people of Corozal and Orange Walk.


Helping young people to help themselves
A two week training course for young people is underway at the Yabra Community Centre in Cesar Ridge Road in Belize City. According to the Youth Program Coordinator with the Community Policing Unit Douglas Hyde, the objective of the training is to give young men and women marketable employment skills. Hyde says the twenty six young persons in the ongoing training are from all over Belize City. The Business Process Outsourcing training is a collaborative effort of the Belize Trade and Investment Promotion Service, BELTRIDE and the Yabra Community Centre. Hyde says that when the training is completed the participants will not just walk away from the classroom. The training is being facilitated by Specialty Trainer Simone Williams. She told Love News that the training is giving the participants the skills necessary to be employable upon graduation. Williams says there is the demand for more of this kind of training and he is looking forward to the next intake. Both Hyde and Williams are hopeful that enough resources will be available to proceed to another training session to accommodate the growing number of requests for assistance from young people to enter the job market.

Streets to be upgraded in Benque Viejo del Carmen
The Belize Municipal Development project which is estimated at thirty million dollars and aims to provide needed infrastructure to seven major municipalities in the country, continues to be implemented. This morning a special ceremony launched a 2.2 million dollar street project which seeks to improve the road network in Benque Viejo, San Ignacio and Santa Elena and Punta Gorda. The project calls for the enhancement of Church, Churchill and Burns Streets in Benque Viejo Town; the improvement of Eden and West Streets in San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town and Robert Pennil and Pampana Streets in Punta Gorda Town. This will encompass the realignment of street side drains, provision of street concrete curbs, resurfacing of streets with Hot Mix and or chip seal, provision of street markings for vehicular and pedestrian lanes and permanent signage. The project will be undertaken by local firm, Imer Hernandez Development Company Limited at a cost of approximately two million two hundred and nineteen thousand seven hundred and forty six dollars and ten cents. This morning’s ceremony featured the keynote address by Minister of Trade, Investment, Promotion Private Sector Development and consumer Protection and Area Representative for Cayo West, Erwin Contreras. Other speakers included Benque Viejo Town Mayor, Miguel Velasquez, San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Mayor, John August, Punta Gorda Mayor Anthony Fuentes and Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, Daniel Cano among many others. This was followed by the signing of contracts and the cutting of the ribbon to formalize the launch. In relation to the BMDP project, bids are being evaluated for major street rehabilitations for Belmopan’s Nim Li Punit, Hummingbird and Raccoon Streets; Corozal Town’s Punta Gorda and 1st North Street and Orange Walk Town’s, Santa Familia Street. That project is estimated to cost two million five hundred and eighty six thousand dollars.

BDF soldiers hurt when truck overturns
A number of Belize Defence Force Soldiers were hurt when the truck they were traveling in overturned last night in the Cayo district. The incident happened around midnight on the Chiquibul road in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. Love News spoke with the Commander of the BDF Brigadier General Dario Tapia about the incident. Brigadier General Tapia says about ten individuals were inside the truck then it overturned.

National Security CEO speaks on cocaine find
A large amount of cocaine was found floating in Belize’s territorial waters on Wednesday morning. According to reports, the drugs weighing in at just over a hundred and four pounds, was found in multiple packets near the Turneff Atoll and has since been turned over to the police. But the investigation continues as it is believed that more cocaine may be floating around in Belize’s territorial waters. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, retired Colonel George Lovell today appealed to anyone with information that could assist law enforcement authorities in their investigation to come forward. Love News understands that samples of the drugs have been secured and that the process has begun to get the necessary clearance to have the cocaine find destroyed.

Multi-million dollar donation for the BDF and Coast Guard
The US Government today made a donation to the Belize Coast Guard and Belize Defence Force. Reporter Patrick Jones has the details.

Disaster training for City Council employees
The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season is just three months old but the preparedness continues. Today the City Emergency Management Organization met at the IT-Vet building on Freetown Road to discuss shelter management. Councilor Philip Willoughby told Love News that the training equips shelter managers with the know-how to handle emergency situations. Santiago Acosta is the Assistant Training Officer from the National Emergency Management Organization who conducted the session. He says those at the helm of keeping organization and calm during a disaster have to be able to control situations and make on-the-spot decisions. Training and discussions continue throughout the hurricane season at the CEMO level.

Accident victim speaks from her hospital bed
On Yesterday’s newscast we reported on the tragic death of Lyndon Morrison after a traffic incident involving the mother of his child. Sochyl Sosa who was riding with Morrison at the time sustained injuries and today she spoke with the media from her hospital bed at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Reporter Marion Ali has the story.

Vendors in Orange Walk appeal for help
Several vendors at the Orange Walk terminal are asking authorities to look into a matter affecting their livelihood. Vendors told us that a specific vendor has been granted permission to set up a food shed inside the terminal when in the first place no one is granted permission to sell within the terminal. Other vendors complained that the newly setup shed is blocking the commuters’ view of the other vendors outside of the terminal. Vendors have sought the intervention of the Orange Walk Town council, and while Mayor Kevin Bernard says it’s a matter National Transport Authority should address they are looking at how they can help. Other vendors told us they have no issue with the vendor inside the terminal compound but what has them upset is the manner in which the national transport authority issued the permission, without making the offer to them. Eduard Garneth says it’s difficult for vendors to leave one day of work to go see Minister of State Edmund Castro to address the matter and wish that instead he can come and have a meeting with all of them. We approached the vendor who declined a recorded interview but told us he feels the other vendors are upset simply because he beat them to the spot by moving inside the compound first. According to him, he was granted permission by the National Transport Authority and is paying a monthly fee of $150.00 to use the space. He says he is willing to give up the spot he had on the street side where the rest of the vendors remain and also told us he doesn’t think he is blocking the other vendors’ view.


Puma Energy responds to Fuel quality and price accusations
GAS FOOTAGE PUMA ENERGY has issued a release regarding statements made during recent media coverage. it says and we...

$2.2 Million Street Enhancement project begins in Benque Viejo
$2.2 Million dollar street project that will enhance the road network in Benque Viejo del Carmen, San Ignacio & San...

Free "Back to School" haircuts from Lions
Zone 59 Belmopan Lions is facilitating a haircut Sunday for all back to school students. The venue will be at the L...

Woman hospitalized after chopped by her brother
This past Tuesday, Elena Pineda, a woman from the Stann Creek District had been hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Me...


Belize looks at new immigration policy
Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency Management and Immigration, Godwin Hulse, announced on KREM on Tuesday night that the Government of Belize is in the process of formulating a new immigration policy that will, among other things, address the nationalization of Guatemalans who become citizens by registration, either by marriage or by meeting the 5-year residency requirement. Earlier this year, former Immigration Minister Carlos Perdomo had said that there is provision in the law for Guatemalans to be accepted as citizens in Belize, but only if they renounce their Guatemalan nationality, and they do so by signing a declaration that is kept on file. According to Minister Hulse, there is another critical requirement that as far as he is aware, had not been properly applied to those who acquire citizenship via registration: that is, official confirmation from the Government of Guatemala that they have accepted the renunciation by the persons who want to become Belizean citizens instead.

From a bank to a cell!
Today, Calaney Flowers, 26, a proof teller at Atlantic Bank and resident of #4467 Lavender Street, was brought before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith and charged with the murder of Lyndon Morrison, 29. Flowers was also charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm, all offenses against Morrison’s girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa, 24. Attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley represented Flowers when she appeared in court, but due to the nature of the offenses, no plea was taken from her and she was remanded to prison until her next court date on October 2, 2012. Lyndon Morrison, 29, of Jasmine Street, a dispatcher at Maya Airways, who was also the father of Flowers’ 11-month-old child, died around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28, after his motorcycle was hit by a car whose driver, witnesses say, sped away, leaving Morrison and his girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa, an employee of A&R, who was on the cycle with him, on the pavement injured.

Stray bullet almost kills student, 14
A girl, 14, a resident of Crown Street off Lacroix Boulevard in the Lake I area, is hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a stray bullet came through [...]

Banking bill too draconian, says private sector
The Senate met today and approved four pieces of legislation passed up to them following last Thursday’s special sitting of the House of Representatives. As was the case at last [...]

Telemedia repeats as National Softball Champions
After a compact schedule of games beginning Friday night, August 24, all day Saturday, and climaxing on Sunday night, Telemedia from Belize City was once again crowned National Softball Champions [...]

And they’re off! Premier League tournament race already hot!
Usually, the semi-pro football tournament in Belize starts with a few favorite teams that are considered guaranteed to make the playoffs, which have generally comprised a fairly large package. With [...]

The last time the unemployment rate stood this high, at over 14 percent, ‘twas in April of 1998. The UDP was in the back stretch of a most unpopular reign as government. Four months later in August of 1998 they suffered their worst defeat in 30 years. They lost 26 to 3, and came within 60 votes of losing two additional seats. According to a recent labor force survey done by the Statistical Institute of Belize, the unemployment rate stands at 14.4 percent: that’s over 21,000 persons who are looking for work and can’t find work. The survey says that in the case of the Cayo District, the unemployment rate has more than tripled in the last 5 years, from 5.7 percent in April 2007 to 18.2 percent in April of 2012, the highest rate of any district. That explains all too well why the UDP lost 2 of the 6 seats they held in the Cayo District in the general elections of March 7, and how they came within 60 votes of losing an additional two seats – which, incidentally, would have cost them the general elections. One of the seats they lost they had won by over 1,100 voters in 2008, and another that they barely won, this time by 44 votes, they had won by almost 1,300 in 2008. Our information is that the UDP fully expected to sweep all six seats in Cayo. But, as they say, stats don’t lie.

by Evan X Ismail Shabazz and I were in New York City in January of 1972 trying to get financial assistance for the UBAD Party when someone broke into somewhere and stole a large amount of dynamite in Belize City. Because I thought only the Public Works stone quarry at Rockville handled dynamite, I assumed and believed that “somewhere” to be the said quarry. But one of my friends who lives in America was doing some research at the Archives in Belmopan three or four months ago when he found some stories on UBAD in The Reporter, and had them copied for me to see. This was the first time, I swear, that I knew that the dynamite stolen in January 1972 had been stolen from the British Army Camp in Ladyville. How do you steal 400 pounds of dynamite from the British garrison in Belize? It doesn’t figure. Shabazz and I arrived home from New York about two weeks after this incident, and almost as soon as I get home I am summoned to the workshop of a UBAD sympathizer. This guy was really an NIP, but everybody who was against the PUP was supporting UBAD in 1972. He was an officer in the British Honduras Volunteer Guard, and I would say that he was probably pro-British. He was no roots man, that’s for sure. “I have the dynamite,” he said to me. “Look inside that cupboard.” I opened the door of the cupboard and saw something wrapped in a Beacon newspaper.

by Janus The Superbond The first thing to understand about the Superbond is that there is no Superbond. What we have is a number of bonds, which were issued by the past government during their first term of office and, put on the international commercial market at 11% interest, redeemable on a certain date. Interested parties bought these bonds, paying the required amounts to the Government of Belize and, we became indebted to these bond holders. When the bonds were due to be redeemed, the government could not meet its obligations and, so, rather than default, it sent a team to discuss with the bondholders a proposal for the reduction of the bond value and, the interest rate. The past government chose Mark Espat, one of its Ministers, to head the team of negotiators. They were successful. I don’t know this but, presumably, the old bonds were replaced by new ones with the agreed terms more favorable than the original. That is what is referred to as the Superbond. National newspapers There is an important role in the life of a nation that is filled by the media. This role is so important that democracies recognize its value and, seek to provide a climate in which this institution flourishes as an independent influence on national affairs. Society was once divided into four estates: The monarchy; the nobility; the church, and those engaged in providing news, information, views, opinions, etc., i.e. journalists. They were referred to as the Fourth Estate. Therefore, when you spoke of the Fourth Estate, you were referring to the newspapers and other journals. Now, it is the print and audio/visual media. I think a democracy is healthiest when the media’s influence is widely spread and, also, where it is independent of government. So that, for a country to have a government newspaper can’t be a good thing because, the expression of views and opinions would be unduly influenced by a need to serve the majority party’s interests. If there is an Opposition party newspaper, the same negatives apply. The only good thing about political party newspapers is that they provide employment for journalists, who might otherwise be engaged in performing similar duties on the staff of the independent journals.

The price of regular and premium gasoline shot up at midnight last night. Regular gas has increased by 88 cents on the gallon, from $11.07 cents to $11.95, while premium gasoline has increased by 94 cents per gallon, from $12.03 to $12.97. These are Belize City prices, and the district prices are higher due to transportation costs. The increase has no doubt pushed pump prices past $13 in Punta Gorda. The price of kerosene and diesel, for the meantime, remained unchanged. Industry sources say that the last price change took effect on July 31, 2012.

The company needs to submit a revised EIA and seek proper clearance before continuing any on-the-ground works Damage assessment for dredging that severed Laboring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary still pendingDamage assessment for dredging that severed Laboring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary still pending Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria has confirmed to Amandala that the Government of Belize has reached an out-of-court settlement with Green Tropics, a company owned by interests in Spain and represented by Guatemalan Antonio Zelaya, for them to pay, by the end of this week, the equivalent of the maximum allowable fine—$100,000—for proceeding with land clearings and dredging for a multi-million-dollar sugar development project in the Castille area of Cayo, notwithstanding the fact that the project didn’t have environmental clearance. Back in June, the project was the subject of major controversy, because of complaints by concerned members of the public, and especially researchers at the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) of the University of Belize, that in initiating those unauthorized works, the company had dredged a canal of approximately 2 miles long with 4 excavators on public lands, severing the Laboring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary, which was granted protected status in late 2010.

Churches “bex bad” with GOB!
Government sneaked change to meaning of “spouse” in banking bill, already passed, to include homosexuals, etc. The church community is up in arms over what appears to some to be an attempt by the Government to sneak a definition onto Belize’s law books that could pave the way for the sanctioning of homosexual unions in Belize. Although Government officials have told us this was not really their intent, the churches began an impassioned lobby today to ask the Government to remove the controversial clause which one representative said leads down a “dangerous road.” Roman Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright led a delegation from the churches this afternoon, which met with Central Bank officials to speak with them about their concerns over the proposed Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions Bill. Wright was accompanied by Maria Zabaneh of the Bishop’s Council; Eugene Crawford, president of the Evangelical Association of Belize; and Scott Stern and Louis Wade of Belize Action, which has been advocating against the decriminalization of homosexuality in Belize.

The Reporter

New gasoline prices through the Roof
Effective 12 midnight on Monday, August 27, the price of gasoline advanced to new heights – $11.95 a gallon for regular and $12.97 for premium gasoline. Diesel price remains stable at $10.17 a gallon. At the beginning of the year gasoline prices started out at $10.55 for regular and $10.90 for premium. Diesel was at $10.04.

The most effective form of democracy? The winner-takes-all system doesn’t represent everyone Can Woud
According to the Election and Boundaries Department, there are 178,054 registered voters in Belize, of which only 73 percent (130,303) actually voted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Post-General Election figures showed that out of that 73 percent more than 1,400 ballots were rejected and that about 2,000 votes were in favour of independent or third party candidates; therefore, it is clear that the total number of votes received by Belize’s two major parties, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), was approximately 127,000 – which is roughly 71 percent of the total number of registered voters.

“Complex” neighbourhood hot! 20 year old man shot and killed.
City Police have detained one man in their investigation of the murder of Miraldo Alvarez, 20, unemployed, who was gunned down near the junction of McKenzie Lewis Streets around 9:45 last Friday night, August 24.

Case dismissed! over missing marijuana.
Mark Sarcasa, 36, escaped a drug trafficking charge this week when Magistrate Anne Marie Smith dismissed the case on Tuesday, August 28, on grounds that the arresting officer, Detective Constable Palacio, had failed to follow proper police procedure for the custody of the seized drug.

Why postmenopausal women should say ‘No thanks’ to dessert
Post-menopausal women hoping to control their weight may be able to help themselves out by sticking to three simple rules: lay off the meat and cheese, eat more fruits and veggies, and skip dessert and sugary drinks. A new study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, aimed to find out how eating or avoiding specific foods made a difference in short and long-term weight loss results in women who had gone through menopause.

Genes may determine how we vote
The 2000 presidential election may have hung on some hanging chads, but new evidence suggests that a handful of genes may be influencing election outcomes more than we think. Genetic studies find that nature may be playing as significant a role as nurture when it comes to political traits. Certainly, learning and environmental factors play a role too in the development of political opinions, but new gene studies indicate that people may have natural tendencies when it comes to political ideology and partisanship, voting behavior and engaging in political violence.

Belize Telemedia women win National Softball Championship
Belize Telemedia women hammered the Mirage Lady Rebels 10-3 for a five-inning mercy rule victory to repeat as National Softball Champions at Rogers Stadium in Belize City on Sunday, August 26. Telemedia collected 10 hits off Lanesha Jones’ pitching. Lydia Cacho led the attack as she and Earlene Belisle scored after Norecia Fraser hit a home run in the first inning.

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 09:47 AM)

#445670 - 09/01/12 08:57 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 1, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Scotiabank & Atlantic Bank win in Interoffice volleyball
Atlantic Bank, Scotiabank and Belize Telemedia enjoyed victories in the Belize City Interoffice Competition organized by the Belize District Volleyball Association at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium over the weekend. The Simon Quan Black Stars got some payback in their two- set victory over the Honeybees in Junior Female Volleyball Competition on Sunday afternoon, August 26. Stars’ Nyala Tun, Nandi Woods, Mia Miles and Alexis Burns hammered hits at the net on balls set by Alexandra Smith and Lediri Betson to reach 24-23 in the first set. Honeybees’ Merissa Williams, Leila Hernandez, Jenna Peck and Moesha Shaw counterattacked furiously spiking the Stars on balls set by Rebecca Price and Maria Contreras, but the Stars’ good defense forced the Honeybees into errors and the Stars won the first set 29-27.

Belize Superbond: A fight to the debt
By Andrew Enriquez Former director and vice president of Bear Sterns & Co. Belize is currently in danger of re-defaulting on its debt after missing a US$23M interest payment due August 20, 2012 on the $544M USD bond it released on markets just 5 years ago, widely known as the “superbond.” Belize has a 30-day grace period before default is declared, but recent comments by the Finance Secretary suggest that Belize cannot afford to make the payment.

Motorists question PUMA’s diesel quality
Motorists have called in to various morning television talk shows to complain about the quality of diesel being sold at service stations in Belize of late. They claim that their vehicles’ response are not as peppy as before, and express the view that the substandard quality of the diesel is to blame.

SMART’s 3G hits out-of-the-park home run in telecom services
Smart tele-communications customers have been on a roll since the company launched its 3G network late last year.


Smart Marketing
San Pedro Books recently got me to go into their store look for a specific magazine and buy it all because they posted a picture of it on my personal facebook page. Now that’s smart marketing. The post was done Aug 14th and I had already been thinking I should check out the book store for something non related, I was looking for a copy of Harriet the Spy. So the other day while running errands in town I decided to go see if they had the book, suddenly I remembered the facebook picture and I decided to look for the O magazine with taco fiesta article and get it.

San Pedro's Art in the Park: They Need You to Attend!
The House of Culture in Belize City has always been one of the leaders in promoting (you guessed it) Belizean CULTURE in this country and abroad. Just this year, a branch with its own cultural committee has opened right here on Ambergris Caye. And though we may not be called the "Culture Capital of Belize" like Dangriga, we have a huge range of artists, musicians, crafts and well, like me of course, highly cultured residents. (An quick aside about ME: when I first came to the island, I fell in love with the art work in San Pedro. Since, at the time, I actually had a little money, I bought some paintings that are still my fave, fave, favorites. Here are a few...and keep in mind that my photography does NOT do them justice.) Orlando Garrido. Love. Linda Mikulich (who is unfortunately no longer in Belize). LOVE. And Curvin Mitchell who painted this picture for me of the small cement dock next to the Belize Yacht Club before it was taken down 4 or 5 years ago. LOVE. Okay, back to the topic. One of the first official events hosted by SPHOC is yesterday and today's "Art in the Park" showcasing vendors and local arts from around town. The weather is just gorgeous in San Pedro so if you didn't make it yesterday, GO TODAY. (The beach at Central Park).

Winding down of summer .. back to the real world!!
As we watch the island slow down of traffic – in the last week we have gone from hectic busy to dead slow – we are faced with the realities of the months to come. Firstly, back to school! Everybody is somehow affected by this huge deal – either you have children or you are related or friends children are gearing up for a new school year. The financial commitment with regard to school uniforms and books have had parents traveling to Belize City to complete their children’s book requirements, not to mention accessories! School here on Caye Caulker will commence on Monday and therefore this week and indeed weekend is precious – the final moments of a child’s freedom before the next school year commences! And, as expected, along with the summer disappearing in front of our eyes, so do the tourists … no more scantily clad Italians meandering up and down our sandy roads – so long, until next year!! Businesses each cope with the slow season as best they can – for us at Raggamuffin, we close for October. Many of the restaurants will do the same, some may close in September too. Its a time for all staff to take a break, a holiday and re-charge those well needed batteries in preparation for November – the beginning of a new season!!

International Sources

Independent Assessments of BTL and BEL
December 2010 Fair Market Value Assessment of Telemedia A Report for Belize Telemedia Limited On August 25th, 2009 the Government of Belize acquired ownership through majority shareholding of Belize Telemedia Limited (“Telemedia”). An interim board was appointed by the Government to take control of Telemedia. The board will manage and regulate the affairs of the Group until a new Board of Directors is appointed pursuant to the Company’s Articles of Association. The Government of Belize and Telemedia have commissioned NERA Economic Consulting (“NERA”) to provide a fair market value (FMV) assessment of Telemedia’s shares as of 31 August 2009 (“Valuation Date”), shortly after the Government of Belize acquired the company. Our fair market value opinion expressed in this report will be used to assess the financial settlement with the previous shareholders. The authors of this report will testify on this report, and/or to provide a rebuttal report on other opposing witness testimony. We have relied upon data and information provided to us by Telemedia, such as audited financial statements and past Business Plans of Belize Telemedia Limited and its predecessors. We conducted our FMV assessment in accordance with valuation principles generally accepted in the economic and financial literature. The remainder of this report is structured as follows: - Section 2 provides the relevant background to our assessment of Telemedia’s FMV; - Section 3 sets out our valuation methodology; - Section 4 sets out our revenue forecasts; - Section 5 sets out our cost forecasts; - Section 6 sets out our free cash flow forecasts; - Section 7 set out our forecast of Telemedia’s continuing value; - Section 8 shows our WACC calculation used in our valuation model; and - Section 9 sets out our assessment of the FMV of Telemdia’s shares. Our report qualifications and assumptions are set out in Appendix C.

Mexico, Belize Meet to Discuss Border Security
Mexican and Belize officials have begun a two day meeting to discuss ways to combat transnational organized crime, an increasing concern for Belize, a country that has seen a marked increase in foreign gang activity over recent years. On August 30, officials from Mexico and Belize met in the Commercial Free Zone between the borders of both countries to begin the seventh Mexico-Belize Binational Commission. The meeting will last two days and discuss issues such as border security and drug trafficking, among other topics. According to El Universal, transnational organized crime is one of the main agendas of the meeting, with both governments keen to review and reinforce information sharing capabilities between security agencies to better combat the flow of narcotics, precursor chemicals and arms across the border. The last Binational Commission was held in October 2010.

Mello sues Belizean government for revoking his permanent residency
Karol Mello, a Slovak fugitive who has been charged with organising at least three murders back in 2003 and 2004, has filed a lawsuit against the Belizean government for revoking his permanent residency permit, the TASR newswire reported on August 30. Mello was detained by Belizean police on July 11, as a result of a police operation organised by Interpol in cooperation with Slovak police. Although Slovak officials sought a quick extradition, since he was arrested by immigration police, legal complications kept Mello in Belize. The court released him for the first time on August 3, but as soon as he departed from jail, the police arrested again him and charged him with violating two immigration laws pertaining to the invalid Slovakian passport he used to gain permanent citizenship in Belize, and perjury, as Mello had claimed he does not face any criminal charges in his homeland. Yet, he was then freed by the Belizean court on August 20 after the judge ruled that the charges against him were weak.

Belize open for talks with creditors: central bank
Belize's central bank governor said Friday his country was ready to open negotiations with creditors, a week after failing to make a $23 million debt payment. "Belize is open to any reasonable, sustainable proposal" on restructuring its $1.1 billion of debt, Glenford Ysaguirre told AFP. But he said the country's creditor committee had yet to set a time or place for talks, a week after defaulting on a bond payment. "The authorities are still awaiting an invitation from them to discuss the indicative scenarios or any counter-offers," he said. "We expect candid, good faith negotiations anchored in the facts and circumstances surrounding the sustainability of Belize's debt." The country wants to get talks underway before missing another scheduled debt payment on September 19 and being called into default. On August 21, Standard and Poor's called Belize in "selective default" on its debt a day after the country failed to make a $23 million payment. The small central American country of 330,000, its economy heavily tourism-dependent, was not called in full default because it was already in talks with creditors to reschedule its debt. Three days after missing the payment, Prime Minister Dean Barrow voiced confidence that the cash-strapped nation can renegotiate its borrowings. "We are prepared to consider and discuss any proposal that creditors may wish to put on the table," he said.

#445676 - 09/01/12 11:19 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 1, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Great compilation. Thanks!


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