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#450356 - 11/03/12 08:20 AM Today's Belize News: November 3, 2012
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The San Pedro Sun

“Dias de Los Finados” celebrated in San Pedro Town
The celebration of “Dia de Los Finados” is a long lived tradition in the Maya, Mestizo and the Garifuna cultures. The first and second day of November is traditionally when family members remember and commemorate their deceased loved ones. Over the years, this cultural custom has been forgotten in Belize, and for this reason the San Pedro Cultural Committee has taken the initiative to revive the tradition. The two days of celebration merges religion, cultural and authentic traditional cuisine into one area, all remembering the dead under the theme “Los Finados: A loving encounter between the living and dead.” The HanalPixan (Maya) or Los Finados (Garifuna/Mestizo) is intended to bring families together and remember their loved ones who have died over the years. According to San Pedro Town Councilor Mito Paz, Chairman of the San Pedro Cultural Committee (SPCC), the event is being organized by several stakeholders who want to revive the Los Finados celebration on the island how is used to be many years ago. Paz explained that on November first, it is the day set aside to remember the young souls. It is commonly referred to as “All Saints Day” because the young children are said to have pure, clean souls. The second day, November 2nd is referred to as “All Souls Day,” which is set aside to remember the adults that have died.

Pantempers welcomed home from Taiwan tour de force
It was gratifying for the members of the Pantempers Steel Orchestra, the nation’s premier steel band, to be welcomed home by no less a personage than the nation’s Head of State, His Excellency the Governor General Sir Colville Young, Sr., and the Republic of China on Taiwan ambassador to Belize, His Excellency David C.K. Wu. Following disembarkation at the airport, they had boarded a bus and had been brought straight to their welcome reception at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel, some considering it an inconvenience since they were a day late in returning, having been forced to overnight in Los Angeles, CA after missing their connecting flight due to a luggage snafu. They had been Belize’s representatives to the 2012 Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Exhibition in Taiwan, a two-week, five-gig trip to the other side of the world. They had left the nation and the hemisphere on October 17th, and a few could be excused for thinking that today was already tomorrow. Indeed several members of the group had been forced to rush from the airport to their jobs but for those in attendance, spirits were high despite the jet-lag.

Saga Halloween Party a Howling Success!
For nine years Halloween in San Pedro has been more than the usual kids in costumes trick or treating and grown-ups partying in disguise, it’s been about dogs, cats and all sorts of critters joining in on the fun while raising money for the Saga Humane Society. And this year was no different, with the annual Saga Halloween party taking place at Central Park on Sunday afternoon, October 28th. The party was a zoo of costume clad critters of all sizes, ranging from bumble bee Chihuahuas to sunflower turtles. Many, especially children dressed in matching outfits and competed with their pets in the always entertaining and often impressive costume contest. There was plenty of good food, libations and live DJ music to add to the festivities and the party on the beach was a fun way for folks to come out and support a worthy cause. Congratulations Saga for providing a great party venue for our pets, and yes we people enjoyed it too!

Murder mayhem mystery in Hopkins
Sergeant Wilfredo Ferrufino, the Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch for the Southern Formation of the Belize Police Department, is clearly perplexed and deeply concerned. In an interview on Monday, October 29th, while standing in front of the Hopkins Village, Stann Creek District, police station, the officer was clear that while they had detained “several persons” for interrogation regarding the vicious machete assault last Saturday evening that had left one man dead, and a woman and her children severely injured, he was still at a loss to fully understand what had happened. The official police release’s cryptic language belies the horror being visited on this once isolated fishing village: “On Sat 27th October 2012 between 5 and 5:30 pm, 36 year old Olivia Coc and her two children a 13 year old female and a 5 year old male coming back from fishing in Hopkins when they were ambushed by an unknown man wielding a machete. Olivia received injuries to her mouth, right hand and reportedly lost 4 of her fingers on her left hand. While her daughter received a cut wound to the neck and her son a cut wound to the right hand. They were all taken to the Southern Regional Hospital where they are in stable condition. A little later 25 yr old Abelino Barnaby Garcia was reportedly on his way back from work at a local resort in Hopkins where he met an unknown assailant who inflicted several fatal chop wounds to Garcia. Garcia was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6 pm on 27.10.12. Police have detained two men for questioning.” The bottom line for Sergeant Wilfredo Ferrufino is that there’s homicidal maniac on the loose in the village and they have no idea why he lay in wait for a family of three, a mother with her two children and then literally chopped a passerby to death.

Travellers Liquors Ltd – A rum-a-licious tour!
When people think of vacationing, more than likely, tasting and sampling a few of the local rums and liquors is considered top priority. Admit it, for the majority of you, when on vacation, it’s about at least one massive hangover after an epic night of imbibing with friends, spouse or family! I know it’s not just me…!!! Well, one of the ways to immerse in the local rums of Belize is to take a fabulous tour of Travellers Liquors Limited’s facilities. From the aging rooms where the famous 1 Barrel rum (and others) sit to age in oak barrels, to the museum where old equipment and photos are lined for viewing and learning, to the preparation area, to the tasting bar where 23 products are available for your tasting pleasure, and finally, the shop where you can buy your favorite(s), the tour gives you a fantastic look into the process of creating those delicious liquors that make such a great statement in your favorite beach drink! A little bit of history would do well before you begin your taste tour: In 1953, Jaime Omario Perdomo Sr. opened a bar called “Travellers”. It was considered a logical name since most of his clientele were either traveling into or out of Belize City. In those times, sugar was king in Belize, so those who had a plantation of sugar cane were doing quite well for themselves. It is believed that many also worked on their own rum recipes. Don Omario’s bar initially sold imported liquors and beers, but since in those days it was the practice of local bars to make their own rum blends for exclusive sale, Don Omario didn’t hesitate to follow tradition.

Ambergris Today

Over 900 Popsicles for RC School Students!
Who doesn’t enjoy a great delicious treat every now and again? In San Pedro, paletas (popsicles) are the perfect treat for hot days. But the students of San Pedro Roman Catholic School enjoy their paletas even more when they are personally handed out to them by great island friends Debbie and Larry Heimgartner. Debbie and Larry were at San Pedro Roman Catholic School sharing the yummiest joy – delicious strawberry and chocolate paletas on Thursday, November 01, 2012. Mr. Manuel DelValle of Manelly’s Homemade Ice Cream was on hand to help give out a little over 900 paletas. The students were extremely happy to get a break from their school work and enjoy their afternoon treat.

Farewell to George Parham
Ambergris Today has learned of the passing away of Mr. George Parham, the last of four Parham brothers who spent their final years in San Pedro. George is a born Sanpedrano who emigrated to the United States for many years but spent his last 30 years in his natal hometown. He is a member of the Parham Family who was related to the Blake Family through intermarriage. George, a kind hearted person and gentleman will be sadly missed in San Pedro and by all of those whose lives he touched. Ambergris Today extends sincere condolences to the Parham family. May his soul Rest In Peace.

Jackie & Adam Celebrate One Year at Casa Picasso
Casa Picasso is back for the season! Yes, Jackie and Adam invited friends and guests to a social night to introduce their new head chef and celebrate their one year anniversary in San Pedro. Congratulations are in hand to the lovely couple who have come to love San Pedro and made such great friends on the island. It was a fantastic evening with great food samplers and great company; everyone had a super good evening. We totally recommend that you visit Casa Picasso for a great dining experience and while there wish Jackie and Adam a happy anniversary.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Certified Lionfish Diva, Maria makes the team!
Lionfish Awareness and Reef Habitat Conservation, our efforts here in Belize

Cahal Pech Path Upgrade
The Cayo Tour Guide Association has an article on the upgrading of the paths at Cahal Pech. Xunanatunich isn't the only Mayan site getting upgrades. "As the ferry at San Jose comes to completion , so does the path way into the site of Cahal Pech. For the pass few weeks we been seeing those men working hard and tourist zigzagging to make their way through. It was truly needed as the old path was very slick during the rainy days. The path is very wide and can accommodate groups of people leaving and entering the site. It’s also well over 300 feet long made from concrete and high enough so that water does not cover it during heavy rains infact it has proper drainage that goes under in several areas. it’s still unknown, at least to me it is, if the path will have a railing that would be a great addition as a lot of elderly also visit the site."

Free Self Defense Seminar at Hode's
Today, at Hode's, starting at 11:00am, there will be a free self defense seminar. Karma Senge, who's done 3 sessions at Sacred Heart Junior College, will be giving the event. The seminar will look at all aspects of self defense. "Coach Karma is a Reality-Based Self Defence Instructor living in Belize. He has taught in 38 countries to various military, and law enforcement as well as government agencies and civilians as well. And has a wealth of knowledge to share. So Please come and join us as well as pleasetell everyone you know about the event."

The New Ferry at Xunantunich
The Institute of Archaeology has quite a few great pictures up from Xunantunich's new ferry inauguration. "Today history, culture and tourism all came together in the opening of the new ferry. Tourism stakeholders, NICH, The Institute of Archaeology, BTB, STP and the ferry's engineers all came together for the maiden voyage."

Expressions Exhibit Launch at the GPC
Last night, at the George Price Centre, they had the launch of their Expressions Art Exhibition. It started at 7:00pm, and the exhibit will run through November 23rd. See work from Carolyn Carr, Jeanne Seawell, Ernest Garcia, and many more.

Lucky Boy at 3 Months
Lucky Boy is looking so good, isn't he? Just a little more than three months post-rescue, and look at that beautiful jaguar! Feelgood news of the day! Lucky Boy, the rescued black jaguar from down south, has been at the Belize zoo for 3 months now, and looks like he's doing better than ever. Thanks, Sharon Matola, for all your work saving wildlife in Belize!

BTL To Cut Down Internet Prices By Half
Well, isn't this the best news you have heard this entire year. Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), Belize's biggest internet provider, will be cutting their internet prices by half. For 128K internet connection you will be paying a monthly fee of 25$ that is half of what we are currently paying now ($50). The best part is that this applies for all the other speeds. This is excellent news for all Belizeans, especially the business industry. Finally, I will be able to afford my 1 meg line. So cool! This mean I would have to do some changes on my latest infographic of the Story of the Internet in Belize. I totally dig this change and must compliment BTL and its administrators for this bold move, that should take effect sometime this month. This is the official announcement from the PM of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow: "Now comes what I consider to be a seminal new development; icing on the cake, with whip cream and cherry on top. Yesterday the BTL boards of directors agree that the company will once more give its internet customers increased bandwidth at reduce prices. According the 128k internet speed will go from $49 per month to $25 per month. All other DSL internet speeds will double but for less than the current price. As examples: one megabit which currently cost $300 will now sell for $140 per month, and two megabits sold now for $500 will cost only $240. So that going to back to the one megabit example; the customer currently pays $300 per month but that customer can now go up to two megabits for $240 for less than $300 that he currently pays for one megabit he can go up to two megabits. I really think ladies and gentlemen this is something." "These reductions will take place later this month so that our people can make their new arrangements and enjoy the reductions on the December bill. I want to make the point that these developments are happening against the backdrop of the 4G roll out which will be fully operational next month - by the end of December. Ladies and gentlemen, how about that for helping the business climate."

Channel 7

Major Crime Crackdown: "Crime Ridden" Areas To Be Designated
Minister of National security John Saldivar introduced a package of major anti-crime initiatives yesterday at the Prime Minister's business forum. The independent media wasn't permitted to stick around to tape his speech, but we got it from the press office. He speaks first about employing an unused law to declare certain areas as "crime ridden." That is a special legal status which gives police wide powers to conduct searches without warrants, restrict movement within an area and to cordon it off. It is a big law enforcement stick - which also clashes with the personal liberties of citizens. That's why in the past, police ministers have been wary to invoke it. But Saldivar - who's never been afraid to take tough decisions and court controversy - said yesterday that the law will be used this time. And, we'd say it started this morning before six am when police and BDF descended on La Croix Boulevard, Linda Vista streets and adjoining areas. That's been one of the hottest areas in the city and police - including the K-9 unit swarmed it this morning. We couple those images with Saldivar's explanation of the new rules of engagement for areas designated as "Crime-ridden."

Haylock Bus Suspended for One Week; Martin's Dad Wants A Fine
Nine year old Martin Noble is in the KHMH making steady progress after he fell from a moving bus on Wednesday. And the news tonight is that the bus line which caused his fall has been suspended for a week. A release from the Transport Board today says that it is concerned about the safety of the entire Haylock fleet. So, the bus line will be suspended from all its runs for a week effective today. That includes runs in the Belama and Ladyville areas - which will be taken up by Belize Transit Services and the Belize Bus Association. During that week, the Department of Transport will conduct a comprehensive inspection of all Haylock's buses to determine their safety and road-worthiness. And they will only be allowed to resume operations after a follow up inspection determines that all requirements have been met. But is it enough? Martin's father, Fortunato Noble says he's not satisfied. He wants a fine to be levied and expects that the Department of Transport will be doing that. He says he is also following through with a civil lawsuit.

Belizean Teenager Killed In Texas By OW Stepdad
Suri Baeza, a 15 year old Dallas resident who left her home in Orange Walk, Belize as a toddler in 2002 was killed on Tuesday at her home in Rockwall, a suburb of Dallas. Her stepfather, Juan Enrique Torres, also from Orange Walk, confessed to the murder yesterday. The murder has caused quite a stir in the small community and the story has been widely covered by local station there. You can see the following report from NBC in Dallas Forth Worth:... http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Rockwall-Police-Say-Teens-Murder-Solved-176857401.html And just to clarify, Juan Enrique Torres is from Belize, not Brazil. According to our reports he had a common law and a wife in Orange Walk and he left them in 2003 to go and live in the states. He reportedly joined Suri Baeza's mom when her husband got deported to Belize. Dallas news reports say Torres is Belizean who has been in the US on a passport since 2003 - which we take to mean that he has been there illegally. The slaying was Rockwall's first in more than eight years. It is a mostly Hispanic community.

Busted For Employing Illegal Immigrant Workers
43 year-old Salvadoran Belizean Maria Enriquez, the owner of La Cabana Bar on East Collet Canal Street; and 34 year-old Guatemalan Belizean Nilda Velasquez, the owner of Lion King Bar on King Street, are both facing charges tonight after they were busted by the Immigration Department for hiring immigrant workers who didn't have valid permits. Yesterday Immigration officers raided both bars and found that Enriquez was employing 6 Honduran women who had come into the country legally, but did not have valid work permits. The officers also discovered that Velasquez was employing 3 women - 2 Guatemalan, and 1 Honduran - who did not have valid working permits. As a result, Enriquez was arrested and charged with 5 counts of employing a foreigner without a valid temporary employment permit. Velasquez was charged with 3 counts of that same charge. Velasquez pleaded guilty when she was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart this afternoon. As a result, she was sentenced to pay a fine of $3,000, half of which she was ordered to pay upfront, and she must pay the other half by December 15, or she will spend 2 years in default. As for Enriquez, well, she is denying everything that the Immigration Department is saying, and today when she was arraigned before Magistrate Stuart, she pleaded not guilty to all 5 counts. Magistrate Stuart granted her bail of $4,000 which she was able to meet; she is to return to court on December 5.

Convicted Of Carrying A "Little" Celebration Weed
29 year-old Clarence Grant is spending his second night in prison and staring down the barrel of a possible 6-year sentence after he was convicted of drug trafficking in Magistrate's Court yesterday. On April 2, 2011, he was caught with 138 grams - about 5 ounces - of cannabis on Pigeon Street in Ladyville. The arresting officer saw Grant throw a plastic bag on the ground. The officer retrieved the bag, and found the weed inside. Since it is more than 60 grammes, Grant was charged with drug trafficking. Grant told the court that he did indeed have the weed on him, but he didn't plan on selling it. He said that he was going to the Cayes on Easter vacation, which is when he was going to use it. Because he wasted the court's time with a full trial, and because 4 convictions for drug possession and 2 other drug trafficking cases pending, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith sentenced him to pay a fine of $10,000. He was ordered to pay $6,000 of that fine forthwith, which he could not do, so he will serve 3 years in prison for it. He has to pay the entire fine by February 28, 2013, or he will spend an additional 3 years in prison if he defaults.

Mobile Clinics for Dental Week
Dental Health week finishes tomorrow. As is the custom, throughout the week the Dental Department has been pushing dental awareness - from proper tooth brushing techniques to eating foods that don't cause decay. Dental clinics were also held at different schools assisting students with free fluoride applications. One school was St Joseph Primary. We stopped by today and had a chance to speak with Senior Dental Surgeon from the Ministry of Health, Dr. Raphael Samos. Raphael Samos, Senior Dental Surgeon "This is part of the dental health week that we are providing a little bit of fluoride varnish to the schools. Today we have selected St. Joseph School to do. Dental health week is actually from the 28th October - 3rd November under the theme "Healthy eating daily brushing, brighter smiles for a healthy Belize." Each district has their own sets of activities that they are carrying out from quizzes, poster competition, radio talks etc. This one directly falls perfect for the Halloween; people are really into that sweet." "We start the fluoridation from the beginning of this week Monday 29th and today we are doing St. Joseph School. The main material that we received was donated by a voluntary group from the states; its fluoride varnish and it helps to protect the teeth." Dental Health Week is being celebrated under the theme 'Healthy eating, daily brushing, brighter smiles for a Healthy Belize". According to a release, The Dental Department has seen an increase of patients accessing the dental clinics from approximately 20,000 in 2009 to a record high last year 2011 of 31,430 patients countrywide.

Jailed For Raping A 14 Year-old After Drinks
Tonight, 18 year-old Tyrick Thompson, a resident of Double Head Cabbage, and 19 year-old Morgan Baptist, a resident of Burrell Boom, are at prison tonight, after police said that they raped a 14 year-old girl from Trial Farm in Orange Walk. According to police, the 14 year-old female reported that at around 1 p.m. on last week Friday, she accompanied 4 students to a house on Cotton Street in Trial Farm, where they met 4 young men. While she was socializing with these people, she drank several Smirnoff Ice drinks and lost consciousness. When she woke up, she found one of the young men on top of her having intercourse with her against her will. She said that she shoved this man off of her, but then another man got on top and had his way with her despite her struggle to stop him. She said that when both men finished and left, she called a friend who picked her up, and took her home. As a result of this report, police arrested and charged Thompson and Baptist with rape and unlawful carnal knowledge. They were arraigned today in the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court, and they were remanded to prison until their next court date, which is set for November 30.

PASMO: What's A Real Man?
As a part of the USAID combination prevention program for HIV in Central America, PASMO today presented the results of a qualitative study called "What women think a 'real man' is". The study is a follow up on a research conducted in 2008 by PASMO with Central American men of different ages, socio-economic levels, sexual orientations and marital status. As a part of the ongoing efforts to promote HIV prevention, PASMO is launching today a new phase of the masculinities campaign titles "Not all men are the same… but all are protected from HIV". We found out more:.. Keyron Cacho, Program supervisor - PASMO "PASMO Belize along with its other regional partners develops 6 different profiles that look at the various characteristics of men. We did that specifically because we saw that overall across all countries we see in terms of our BCC interventions and trying to do HIV education with these individuals and promotion of HIV test - that there is a ratio of 4-1; more females than males, actually taking their health seriously especially when it comes to taking HIV test. While we devise these profiles - it was primarily to make sure that we can understand these individuals and what are the drivers of these individuals to make changes especially with what we do on a day to day basis - at PASMO Belize which is behavior change communication. Using these profiles to materialize specific methodologies to promote, using their understanding and their drivers, modes and ways of providing initiatives for HIV testing and also especially the use of condoms."

Salima Barrow's Learning Philanthropy With Lemon
They say when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, and that's just what Salima Barrow is doing. She is the Prime Minister's 7 year old daughter whose mother as you know is fighting breast cancer. And seeing her mother suffering inspired Salima to do something to help children who are caught up in the same struggle. So she is having a one day lemonade sale with a little bit of help from Bowen and Bowen Crystal Juice. On Sunday she and her classmates will set up their lemonade stall in BTL park offering both Crystal juices and a hand-squeezed, homemade variety of good old fashioned lemonade. We found them at home today turning those lemons into lemonade, and staging a press conference that would make her father proud. Salima Barrow "First Haley will say something and then me and Abigale and then Gianna." Hayley Thurton "We are doing the limeade stand to raise money for the kids with cancer." Monica Bodden "Whose idea was it? Was it yours Salima?" Salima Barrow "Yes it was my idea. From when I was little I wanted to do a limeade stand." Monica Bodden "You are actually going to use the money from the stand to do what?"

The Publicity Behind the Plan For Solid Waste
Belize's Solid Waste Management Plan is taking shape with the establishment of the New Regional Sanitary Landfill at mile 24. That landfill will take in the waste from San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City and San Ignacio/Santa Elena. It's good news but it's also a big change and the challenge is, getting word out. That's why the Solid Waste Management Authority along with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture held a half-day Stakeholders workshop on Wednesday. The purpose of the workshop was essentially to listen to the opinions of the participants as to how best the Solid Waste Management Project can be brought to the Belizean population. Tyrone Chimilio explained: Tyrone Chimilio, Social Communications Officer "This is a stakeholder's workshop that we are having in accordance to the solid waste management project. The solid waste management project focuses on 4 components; one being the Belize City dump site at mile 3, we are closing that down - it's still operational but it's being closed down. Secondly, we have our sanitary landfill on mile 24 on the George Price Highway as also our third component focuses on the closing down of the open dump sites in San Pedro, Caye Caulker and San Ignacio. We'll have transferred facilities there for waste disposal. Actually what is going to be taking place is that we are going to have the separation of waste taking place at the transfer facilities."

Channel 5

Crime Declaration: no warrant needed; area access restricted
Belize may not be a police state, but the implementation of some draconian laws may have that effect in certain neighborhoods in Belize City and possibly other parts of the country. The government considers crime has reached crisis levels and on Thursday, the Prime Minister said, there is no way we can give in to [...]

Attorney weighs in on new anti-crime initiative
There is arguably no law-firm that has clocked more hours on crime related litigation in court than that of Defense Attorney, Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley. Bradley, whose social voice is heard on the Dickie Bradley Special which airs on this station, also chimed in on the need for a better crime strategy. He told News Five [...]

Weak areas such as prosecution branch and investigation to be bolstered
The new crime strategy will certainly bring more arrests, but will it bring more convictions? With only twenty-six arrests for the hundred plus murders that occurred last year, even if all suspects were convicted, the conviction rate would still be dismal. But the Ministry intends to strengthen intelligence gathering, investigation and the police prosecution branch. [...]

Haylock Bus Line suspended only for 1 week after child falls out of bus
The Transport Board has taken action against Haylock Bus Service in light of a near fatal accident on Wednesday in which nine year-old Martin Noble was flung from a jam-packed Haylock bus en route to Ladyville. The board’s decision amounts to a slap on the wrist since it is suspending the company’s bus runs for [...]

The P.M.’s Economic Summit with the private sector
Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be holding meetings in the next few days in Miami with financial advisors on the restructuring of the super bond. On the ground here, a team from the International Monetary Fund is conducting a review of government’s capacity to meet debt obligations. And on Thursday, Prime Minister met with the [...]

BelAm kills in Texas
A Belizean is in big trouble in the Dallas, Texas. Juan Enrique Torres is accused of the stabbing death of fifteen year old high school student, Surie Baeza; who is the daughter of his former common-law wife for eight years. Torres, according to an NBC report, has confessed to stabbing Baeza. He reportedly told detectives [...]

Immigration and Nationality Department cracking down on illegal immigrants
The Immigration and Nationality Department is cracking down on illegal immigrants. A weeklong sting operation conducted by the department has led to the arrest of three women, accused of hiring illegal immigrants at their business establishments.  On Wednesday, twenty-two year old Sandra Carballo, proprietor of Blue House Bar in Ladyville, appeared in Belize City Magistrates’ [...]

36 year old jailed for carnally knowing 13 year old girl
Thirty-six year old Herman Williams is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison, following a charge of carnal knowledge.  A thirteen year-old girl reported to police on Tuesday that sometime in July, Williams, a construction worker of a Fabers Road address, propositioned her.  The invitation subsequently led to a sexual encounter at a house [...]

Orange Walk girl says at least 2 raped her at a party
There is a disturbing report coming out from the north where a fourteen year old girl claims that she was gang raped. Police are piecing together what actually transpired at a house party in Orange Walk Town during which the minor says she was sexually abused last Friday. Eighteen year old Tyrick Thompson and nineteen [...]

Over $33,000 in valuables stolen from retired accountant
There is other crime news. A substantive amount of household goods, jewelry, liquor and personal items were stolen from the home of a Belize City resident. Retired Belizean accountant, Berta Espat, says that her house situated at mile one and a half on the George Price Highway was burglarized sometime between eight-twenty and nine-fifty on [...]

Getting more at-risk men tested for HIV
All men are not the same; but all are protected from HIV. That’s the theme of a campaign by the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO), who in collaboration with the National Aids Commission are encouraging at-risk men to get tested and to protect themselves from HIV/Aids. Since 2008, statistics show that to every four [...]

Municipal Bond still floating
City Hall is still grappling with funding for the proposed twenty million-dollar municipal bond. The bond is to be floated by the Belize City Council for infrastructure development involving main thoroughfares in the Old Capital. While the bond has been touted for some time, investors are yet to be identified before the impending launch of [...]

Liberty and YMCA receive welcomed donations
Christmas is a seven weeks away, but two organizations got early presents this morning. The Liberty Children’s Home and the Young Men Christian both received care donations from two benefactors to coincide with Life Insurance Week. The goodies will make life a little easier for about a hundred and fifty children. Duane Moody reports.   [...]

Getting to the root of dental week at St. Joseph Primary
Dental Health Week kicked off last Sunday and will wind down this Saturday with the theme: “Healthy Eating, Daily Brushing; Brighter Smiles for a Healthy Belize.” The dental profession is promoting dental awareness through a fluoride treatment program among primary school children. Since Monday, students from seventeen primary schools in Belize District and the City [...]

B.D.F. Sports Day with marathons and games for the family
The Belize Defense Force is having its annual sports day on Saturday morning. It’s not your typical sports day since it involves our trained soldiers in a fun family event to which the public is invited. On Saturday the day starts off with marathons and half marathons along the nation’s highways at five-thirty in the [...]

Proudly representing Miss Garifuna Belize
November is the traditional culture month and a proud time of year for the Garifuna. Paul Nabor, Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective are all national treasures and their music will be resonating throughout the country this month. This weekend, the Miss Garifuna Belize pageant takes place at the Bliss auditorium in Belize City. Six [...]

3 minors off to court for Lord’s Bank arson
Three minors, the youngest age twelve, were taken to Family Court today for an arson in Lord’s Bank. The two others are fourteen year olds. The fire destroyed a structure belonging Kirk Betancourt on Monday. Betancourt reported the matter to police and three were detained and arraigned before Magistrate, Margaret Nicholas. Tonight, they are spending [...]


PM hosts business forum; addresses national issues
Almost one year ago the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow held a business forum with the private sector to discuss partnering efforts with the government. At the same location at Old Belize, the PM met again today with the same group as furtherance to that discussion on the development of Belize’s economy. One of the itchy topics has been the super bond, which the government has been attempting to re-negotiate with the international lending partners. The Prime Minister said that since last year’s forum, the reduction of electricity and water rates is the most notable development. Electricity rates were cut by six percent and water rates by 7.2 percent. But perhaps even more significant that that now, at least for people whose lives and business depend heavily on the use of the internet, is that we will soon have broader bandwidth access at much cheaper rates than what is currently charged. And crime, being what it is, described by the PM as quote, “the major domestic issue at this time”, Mr Barrow said that his government whatever it will take to wipe the violence off the city’s streets. Focus was also given to corruption in the public service, which has, time and again been brought to the fore on the talk shows and the news. Following his presentation, Prime Minister Barrow spoke with reporters. Regarding the call by some sects for the immediate resignation or removal of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, for his approach to the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute, and specifically since the OAS Secretary General, Jose Insulza’s statement that whatever grant made to the family of the Guatemalan farmer killed by the BDF on Belizean land will not be made by the OAS, Mr Barrow sais that it was not Mr Elrington but he that made that decision. The PM calls the gesture a humanitarian ex-gratia payment. The citrus industry, also in a plight of its own recently, was also addressed in our conversation with the PM. That topic he referred to as a complex web of issues. Today’s Prime Ministerial forum was held at Old Belize on the George Price Highway.

New ferry installed on the Mopan River in Succotz village
A new ferry was today commissioned on the Mopan River in Cayo. The new ferry provides a crucial link to the historical archaeological site, Xunantunich, via the village of San Jose Succotz. The new, modern ferry replaces one that was there for thirty seven years. Constructed by Cayo Steel Works, the ferry was opened by the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, Junior. The ferry is part of the national Sustainable Tourism Program, headed by Christy Mastry. Funding for the ferry came from the Inter-American Development Bank through a thirty million-dollar loan to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture for infrastructural improvement across the country.

Halloween observed in Belize City
Staying on the theme of Halloween … on Wednesday night the streets of the old capital were busy with trick or treaters. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports on one man’s extraordinary effort to make the celebration special for the children.

BDF soldier charged; remanded to prison
Two persons, 25 year old BDF soldier Brendon Cacho and a 16 year old boy, who allegedly had a stolen car and were involved in a high speed chase with the police were charged with two offences when they appeared today in the number four Magistrate’s Court. They were charged with kept firearm without a gun license and handling stolen goods. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and they were remanded into custody until November 30. The car, a dark blue Toyota Camry, was stolen from the residence of Jose Hernandez on October 22. Hernandez reported to the police that he was at home when he heard the car’s alarm go off and when he looked out his window he saw a person of dark complexion speeding off in his car. Police recovered the car yesterday when they pursued the vehicle that was allegedly involved in a shooting on Lacroix Boulevard. The car crashed into a fence and three persons were seen fleeing from it. Two of them Cacho, and the minor, were caught. The police reported that they found a 9 milimetre pistol with no rounds in its magazine in the waist of the minor’s pants.

Woman found guilty of murder
Thirty eight year old Lavern Longsworth, a mother of three charged with the murder of her common-law husband. 33 year old David White was found guilty of the charge today in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury of 7 women and 5 men deliberated for about 3 hours before it arrived at its verdict which was unanimous. White was set on fire by Longsworth on July fifteenth of last year. He succumbed to his injuries on August 2, 2010. Dr. Manuel Pañagua, who examined and treated White, testified that he received second degree burns on 85 % of his body and that he died from multiple organ failure. Dr. Mario Estradabran, who did the autopsy, testified and corroborated Dr Pañagua’s testimony of the cause of death. According to the evidence, White and Longsworth were at their home at number twenty one Castle Street when White asked Longsworth for ten dollars to buy drugs. Longsworth gave him the money and when he returned with the drugs and was fixing it with his back turned away from Longsworth, she stoned him in his back twice before she threw gasoline on him and set him on fire. Longsworth then threw water on him and douzed the flames. Longsworth gave a statement from the dock in which she said that she acted in self defence. She claimed that White had a knife and White made a motion as if he was pulling the knife from the waist of his pants and that was why she set him on fire. She said that White used to beat her. Electronic evidence was used at the trial which included interviews Longsworth gave to several reporters. In those interviews Lonsgsworth admitted that she set White on fire and that he had a knife. While he was at KHMH White gave a statement to the police about the incident. Longsworth was represented by attorney Kevin Arthurs while Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith represented the prosecution.

Boy who fell from moving bus continues to recuperate
Nine year old Martin Noble remains hospitalized in the pediatric ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial following Wednesday’s road traffic accident. The Standard Four student of the Holy Redeemer Primary School fell out of a moving passenger bus on the Phillip Goldson Highway just after four o’clock yesterday afternoon. He sustained massive head injuries and abrasions to his body. Today, the Minister of Transport Edmund Castro visited the injured child at the hospital and told reporters that the incident highlighted the need for bus operators to adhere to the law. That parent is Fortunato Noble who told reporters that it was inexcusable that his child was badly injured because of something was clearly preventable. According to Noble, his tests conducted since yesterday show no signs of swelling on his son’s brain and there does not appear to be any bleeding either. When asked if he had been visited by anyone from the bus company, Noble said that the driver of the bus from which his son fell, went to see him last night; but that he could not speak with him because the driver was attempting to explain away what happened. Since the incident, the road worthiness of the busses that transport commuters has been brought into sharp focus, along with the adherence, or lack thereof, to the regulations put forward by the Ministry of Transport. Minister Castro says enforcement will be stepped up. Nine year old Martin Noble remains hospitalized at the KHMH. His father told reporters that he has retained the services of an attorney and will be taking legal action against all who contributed to and are responsible for the incident that left his son badly injured and his family traumatized.

Minister of National Security unveils new crime fighting measures
Minister of National Security John Saldivar today announced a number of new crime fighting measures. The announcement came at the Prime Minister’s second business forum. Saldivar said the three weakest areas in the Police Department are intelligence gathering, investigation and prosecution. The added measures will cost the Department an additional 100 thousand dollars weekly.

Mexican embassy prepares to observe Day of the Dead
Mexicans will embark on their celebrations of the Day of the Dead tomorrow and Press Officer at the Mexican Embassy, Marcelino Miranda enlightened us on the culture, saying that the celebration originates from the indigenous populations in pre-Hispanic times and also of the Christian religion in Europe. To make Belizeans more familiar with how they celebrate, the Mexican Embassy has planned a number of activities at the Mexican Institute on Newton Barracks. As explained by Miranda. The Institute will also be hosting a painting exhibition by Marial del Carmen Vasquez. And to top it off, there will also be a competition with primary schools on Altars of the dead which according to Miranda displays things that our loved ones who have passed used to celebrate. The altars include food, candles, pictures and many other elements. Students were invited to visit the Institute today and it will also be open for visitors tomorrow. The other celebration takes place tomorrow at 7:00 p.m and the embassy suggests that attendees wear white. The exhibit will open on Saturday.

Edited by Marty (11/16/12 11:55 AM)

#450357 - 11/03/12 08:21 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 3, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy


Prime Minister addresses the conflict between CGA and Banks Holdings
At the Business forum yesterday Prime Minister Barrow addressed the deafening issue regarding the Citrus Products o...

Drugs and ammunition found in Roaring Creek
Belmopan Police today made a substantial find on the banks of the Roaring River in the village of Roaring Creek. Po...

Soldier and a minor on remand after gunfire in Belize City
Belize City felt like Iraq on Tuesday, when a group of men sacred the residents of Lake Independence as they let lo...

Economic Development Council reports progress
The Economic Development Council (EDC) was formed subsequent to the first Business Forum last year. It comprises re...

Police discuss crime statistics with Belmopan residents
Here in Belmopan the Police Department held session last night to inform the citizens on the work of the department...

Over thirty-three thousand dollars worth of items stolen form Belize City home
A Belize City woman looses personal and household items when her home is burglarized. Berta Espat, a retired Accoun...

Motorcycle stolen from in front of Belize City residence.
Jose Alfredo Gonzalez, a naturalized Belizean of Pelican Street in Belize City reported that on Oct 31, between 8pm...

17 years-old arrested for robbery
Following investigation into the robbery report made by Yue Di Kuang sent on the 28th of October; Yesterday in the ...

Soldier and minor charged with vehicle theft
Following the theft of motor vehicle report, made by Jose Ricardo Hernandez on the 22nd of October; Yesterday, Poli...

36 years old labourer arrested for Carnal Knowledge
After investigations into a report made by Shanieya Johnson on the 31st of October; Yesterday Police arrested and c...


Amandala sports desk received the sad news on Tuesday of the passing of one time defender on the 1960’s and ‘70’s Landivar senior football team who won a number of championships in the Belize City senior football competition. Ernest was a quiet and easygoing person, a solid defensive player, and always a gentleman on and off the football field. His younger brother Kenrick, now in the U.S., was an outstanding inside-forward on that Landivar champion team of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s in Belize City. A relative/friend gave us the below information on Ernest’s sudden passing: “Ernest Emmanuel Jones, 67 years old, passed away quietly on Saturday, October 27, at his home on Bachelor Avenue, West Landivar, in Belize City. “His death was a shock to his family and friends. He lived alone, so his brother Glenford always visited him daily. However, he did not go on Saturday, thinking he would have gone to play dominoes with friends near Brads at the Farmers Market. “It was really traumatic for him and the family when they received a call from neighbors who hadn’t seen Ernest for two days. Police were called when they discovered his body already in a state of decomposition. “Dr. Mario Estradabran conducted an autopsy on the body on Monday at 10:00 a.m., and the body was blessed by Father Brian Christopher, S.J. “He was laid to rest at Eternal Gardens.” Amandala extends our sincere condolences to his relatives and friends. Rest in peace, brother Ernest Jones. (Editor’s Note: Ernest was also an outstanding cricketer, batting and bowling for Unity Cricket Club and three-peat champions Milport)

A wide cross-section of people from Belize’s private sector met inside the Jungle Pavilion at Old Belize on the George Price Highway this morning for the Second Business Forum hosted by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow under the theme “Partnering for Growth.” In his keynote address, Barrow said “the main focus of this forum is, through ongoing and intensive collaboration and cooperation between the public and private sectors, to identify and implement those approaches, activities and operations that will raise the level of business activity in Belize on a sustainable basis; that will expand jobs, incomes, and business profits; that will improve and expand the efficiency and effectiveness of public sector operations; and all with a view to improving, as rapidly as possible and on a sustained basis, the living levels and quality of life of all residents of our country.” Last year’s forum resulted in the formulation of a steering committee of 8 persons, 4 from the private sector and 4 from the public sector. That body has since evolved into the Economic Development Council (EDC) with a 10-member constitution, also split equally between the private and public sector.

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things - Alice in Wonderland – The Office of the Ombudsman It has been awhile since that office has been vacant, and there have been murmurings of dissatisfaction over the delay in choosing someone to perform the important functions of that high office. I think the government should take as much time as it needs to find the right person to appoint as Ombudsman. Too much care cannot be taken to find that “right” person because, there are very few citizens who can measure up to the special qualities that the holder of that position should have. There is no greater gift that a democratic government can give to its citizens than the establishment of the Office of Ombudsman, and choosing someone with a distinguished record of public service and, with the necessary attributes of intellect, integrity, and motivation. The Office of the Ombudsman was established by the United Democratic Party government in 1994 but, the position, was not filled until 1998, by a People’s United Party government. Belize’s first Ombudsman had a commendable record of performance during his nine-year tenure of office, which his annual reports, which he never failed to deliver to the Clerk of the National Assembly, attest. It is a fact of life, that there is a tendency for those who exercise power and authority to abuse that power, to the detriment of those they are supposed to serve. In many such cases the individual who is unfairly treated has no means of redress. Where there is no redress, unfair treatment becomes the practice, with disastrous consequences. To discourage such abuses and to create a climate where the citizen can be assured of fair treatment at the hands of public authorities, is the primary reason for the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is there to give protection and assistance to anyone who seeks his intervention when it is needed.

Buckley was shot by police in the head in a case of mistaken identity; if the government can help a Guatemalan, the government can help him, a Belizean, he said. Almost three years after he was shot in his head by police due to mistaken identity, on Kraal Road in Belize City, Steven Buckley has still yet not been compensated for his terrible injuries, and life for him is a day-to-day struggle for existence. Buckley told Amandala today that since he was shot, he has been disabled, and cannot work. He was disappointed to hear that the government will pay BZ$20,000 compensation to the Guatemalan man who was shot and killed on our side of the border, breaking our laws, and when the man charged at, and attempted to kill one of our soldiers, the soldier defended himself. He said that after being shot by police by mistake, nothing has been given to him. He calls on the government to help him and his family, just as they are planning to help the Guatemalan. He needs assistance and financial support. He said that he cried this morning because he, a proud man, has been reduced to begging from people. He said that he has been used to working, and not begging.


There was this incredible statement Rt. Hon. George Price made to a foreign journalist way back when. This would have been maybe around 1958 or 1959, when Mr. Price told the journalist that if independence did not work out, he would give the northern half of the country to Mexico and the southern half to Guatemala. I am sure Mr. Price regretted making this statement. To the best of my knowledge, he had never said anything like it publicly before, and he never said anything like that publicly again. Nevertheless, they say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the fact of the matter is that Mr. Price led Belize to independence with all its territory intact. Mr. Price proved his mettle. So, I bring up that controversial statement only to use it as a backdrop for this column’s material. As I understand it, Guatemala is claiming from the Sibun River south to the Sarstoon, which means it is claiming the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. These two Districts are normally the most peaceful of places, so it was noteworthy this past week when turmoil began to take place in both of them. In Toledo, the issue involved a foreign oil company (US Capital Energy) trying to beat down the opposition of the indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya (led by SATIIM, which is the Sarstoon –Temash Institute for Indigenous Management), and in Stann Creek’s Pomona Valley the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) was battling against the foreign-controlled Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL). The two matters are not directly related, but in both cases we can identify organizations which are largely Belizean, confronting institutions which have more money, more technology, and a foreign power base. (For all intents and purposes, CPBL is being controlled by Banks Holdings of Barbados.)

For many months now, we have been publishing, in serial form, a book called Bury my heart at Wounded Knee, written by an American by the name of Dee Brown. This is a book that is maybe forty years old or so, and it is a very famous book among people who care about history, injustice, greed, racism, and these sorts of things. We do not have permission from Mr. Dee Brown to reproduce his work, but we figure that a man who could write such a wonderful book would not try to pressure a little old newspaper in little old Belize. We would suppose, moreover, that Mr. Brown made many millions of US dollars off his book, which was a bestseller, and therefore he is not in need of any Belize dollars. (NOTE: Dee Brown passed in 2002. May he rest in peace.) The hundreds of Native American tribes who inhabited what is now the continental United States of America before the white man came, used to live a certain way: they had their own cultures. Fundamental to the lifestyles of the Native Americans was a relationship to the earth wherein the earth was viewed and treated with reverence. The Native Americans also believed in a communal concept of life where the individual was not as important as the tribe. The white people who came from Europe had a different outlook on life. They wanted to use science and technology to bring nature under control so that they could generate wealth and power. The white people worshipped gold; they wanted to build railroads and cut up the open land into private properties for ranches and farms. The story of Wounded Knee is the story of how the Europeans who came from across the ocean deceived and overpowered the Native American tribes, and essentially destroyed their way of life. If you are a Native American, or if you have sympathy for Native Americans, this is a very, very sad story. But if you are a European, or an admirer of Europeans, this is a case of what they describe as “manifest destiny” – it was meant to be. So then, the conquest and domination of Native Americans become, from this perspective, a glorious tale of heroic war, of progress and development, and of modern civilization taking over from savagery, paganism, and primitive ways of life.

The Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association will be hosting the biggest mountain bike cycling classic ever in Dangriga – the Belize Road Way Construction Cycling Classic in honor of T.V. Ramos. It will also be a part of the program of events for Garifuna Settlement Day. This race will start from the Drums of Our Father monument at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 18, and head all the way on the Southern Highway to Placencia junction and back, and finish in front of the Telemedia Princess Royal Park. Once again, riders from all over the country are invited to take part in this big event. Riders must have a mountain bike with size 26 wheel and size 48 spracket. There will be huge cash prizes for the first top 5 finishers. First place will receive $1,000.00. There will be numerous station prizes along the way both going and coming. First, second and third place trophies will be delivered to the top 3 finishers by the National Garifuna Council. Registration per rider is only $10.00. Riders from across the country can contact Moses Lopez at 625-4022, or Mr. T. at 662-3310. Happy Garifuna Settlement Day 2012 to all cyclists in the country of Belize from the Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association!

Fifty-two-year-old retired BDF soldier Anthony Flores says he thinks this weekend’s marathon in conjunction with the annual BDF Sports Day may be his last. The BDF Day was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 20, but was postponed due to the rains and will now be held this Saturday, November 3, according to Flores. Flores, who visited the sports desk last Thursday, said he has been participating in long distance races for over twenty-five years, and had an ongoing rivalry with fellow Masters runner, William Bailey, who passed away a few days after running in the Father’s Day race in June of this year. Bailey had placed 2nd among the Masters in that race, and Flores was 3rd. “I was looking forward to meet him again in the BDF race,” said Flores, who may have lost some of his appetite for the event with the passing of his perennial rival. Anthony has one son, Joseph, who is also a runner, placing 3rd in the 2012 New Year’s Day 13-mile race. With his plans to soon take up employment as a security officer, Flores thinks he will not be able to maintain adequate training for competition. The BDF marathon race (actually it is a half-marathon – 13 miles) will start from Belizean Beach at Mile 4 on the George Price (Western) Highway, pass through Belize City, and then on to the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway, to end at Price Barracks in Ladyville.

“The unilateral factory opening should not occur again and all parties should be properly consulted…” Just as hundreds of citrus growers were staging a massive protest in Pomona Valley on Tuesday, with one of its aims being to get government’s attention to help them solve an extended standoff between rival factions in the industry, the Government of Belize (GOB) issued a formal press statement in which it pledged to “continue to act as facilitator to help resolve these issues as quickly and amicably as possible.” The Government has reiterated its stance, however, that it will steer clear of the controversy over the ownership of Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) – the premier processor and exporter of citrus products in Belize. Shareholders of the company—the CGA, majority shareholder, on the one hand; and Banks Holdings of Barbados, minority shareholder, on the other hand—have for years been locked in a dispute over the running of the company. According to the statement, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture met with citrus industry stakeholders—including delegations led by the chairmen of the Citrus Growers Association of Belize (CGA) and Belize Citrus Mutual (BCM), and the Chief Operating Officer of CPBL—on Wednesday, October 25, 2012, and “the discussions were respectful and positive…” In the meeting, attended by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega as lead government rep, the parties undertook to “dialogue in a spirit of compromise to move the industry forward.”

The jury didn’t believe she was defending herself against an abusive husband Today in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas, a jury of 7 women and 5 men found Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth, 38, guilty of the murder of David White, 32. Longsworth was accused of throwing kerosene on White, her common-law husband, and then throwing a candle on him, which set him on fire on July 15, 2010 while they were at home. Although White didn’t die immediately, he did eventually succumb, on August 2, 2010, to the injuries he sustained at her hands. Longsworth was not charged with his murder until December 14, 2010, four months after White died. She was, however, charged with attempted murder on July 19, 2010, four days after the incident. The trial, which started on October 9, was unique, to say the least, when it came to murder trials. For one thing, at trials the jurors are normally told not to pay attention to any account of the incident they see on the television, hear on the radio or read in the newspapers. But this time, television personnel took the stand as witnesses for the prosecution.

Police will search “any and all houses … without the need for a warrant”! – National Security Minister John Saldivar Juvenile offenders “for even misdemeanors and petty crimes” will be isolated at Mountain Pine Ridge, under BDF guard Minister of National Security John Saldivar announced at the Second Business Forum held at Old Belize today that the Commissioner of Police, David Henderson, “will be invoking today the declaration of several crime-infested areas of Belize City as ‘crime-ridden’ areas,” giving power to security forces “to search any or all houses in the area without the need for a warrant” and “allowing them to restrict movement in and out of” specific areas that will be cordoned off. “Every person entering and exiting the area will be searched,” said Saldivar. “A systematic house-by-house search of these areas will be done with immediate effect…” Amandala contacted Commissioner Henderson for further information. He confirmed to our newspaper that the operation has kicked off today, and would cover “quite a number of areas,” but he declined to comment on details and ended the call when we were probing, saying he had a call on another line.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow revealed at the Second Business Forum held at Old Belize this morning that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is presently in town – on a dual mission. The last Article IV Executive Board Consultation with Belize was on October 21, 2011, according to the IMF’s website. The 2012 mission has begun, and the IMF team is due to meet with officials from the Belize Ministry of Finance on Monday, November 5, 2012, an official in the Ministry told us. Barrow also announced this morning that experts from the IMF’s capital markets division are already in-country to execute their mission, simultaneously with the 2012 Article IV review, to provide technical assistance for Belize, at the country’s request. Whereas Barrow said that Belize has sought the assistance of the IMF to review our entire tax system and to make recommendations for its restructuring and improvement, he said that the IMF’s “special technical assistance” is focused on bolstering Belize’s debt management capacity. The debt restructuring scenarios released by the Ministry of Finance in August have formed the basis for negotiations with creditors who have subscribed to the US$544 mil super-bond, Barrow said. He announced this morning that he is travelling to Miami this weekend, ahead of the meeting with the IMF, to meet with Government’s US financial advisors, preparatory to a face-to-face meeting the advisors will have with representatives of the creditor committee.

Why? His friends and fellow workers say he was a family man, a good man and a hard worker The wailing and crying were heart-wrenching at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital this morning as the wife and children of road construction supervisor David Myvette, 43, mourned his death. Myvette, an employee of Mejia United Construction Company and a resident of Sandhill Village, was rushed to the emergency ward after he was shot about twelve times in his head and back by an unknown gunman. He fought for his life for about 15 minutes in the emergency ward while being treated before succumbing to his injuries. His family, who had rushed to be by his side, was overwhelmed with grief when they were told that he had died. The incident occurred around 9:30 this morning, Wednesday, on Electric Avenue, a road in the Lake Independence area. Police said that Myvette was working with his crew, laying concrete on Electric Avenue about 80 feet from the junction of Electric and Lawrence Avenues when suddenly, his workmen ran away. Two men then rode up on bicycles and one of them, without provocation or warning, shot Myvette while he was steel-floating the cement mixture that had been dumped on the steel formwork on the road. Witnesses said that about twelve shots were fired at him, after which the killer rode into a side street and disappeared.

BR>US$10,000 FOR FAMILY OF GUAT INTRUDER< Barrow said grant for Guatemalan family was his idea Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado, confirmed to Amandala on Wednesday that the Government of Belize has paid US$10,000 into the OAS Fund for Peace, with specific instructions to the Organization of American States (OAS) to have those funds made available to the pregnant widow and children of Guatemalan Francisco Quinn Yat, who was fatally shot by a Belize Defence Force officer more than 7 miles inside Belize, after the Guatemalan, who allegedly attacked the officer with a machete, refused to yield to six warning shots from the soldier. The OAS Fund for Peace was established, according to the OAS, to help address conflicts that arise out of territorial disputes, particularly in relation to disputes between Honduras and Nicaragua, El Salvador and Nicaragua, and Belize and Guatemala. The decision by the Government of Belize to pay any funds to the Guatemalan family has been the subject of great controversy here, and a newly formed group, the Belize Coalition for Justice, as well as Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), publicly condemned the decision and called for the removal of Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington for the manner in which the incident was handled on the diplomatic front. Today, though, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow told the press that Elrington did not propose that Government pay that grant to the Guatemalan family—he, Barrow, did.

Retired policeman Fortunato “Nato” Noble, the father of a boy, 9, who fell out of a crowded bus while going home to the Lords Bank area in Ladyville, says he will sue the bus company. Martin Noble was going home after school yesterday around 4:15, travelling from the city to Lords Bank in Ladyville. He and others were standing in the back of an overcrowded bus when around Mile 7 on the Philip Goldson Highway, the back door of the bus suddenly swung open, causing him to lose his balance, and he fell out of the bus and landed on the road. Those in the bus said that the bus was overtaking a vehicle and the driver was accelerating. The alarm was raised that Martin had fallen out, but the bus did not come to a stop until about half mile from where the boy fell. The irate father said that the bus company should put more buses on the road rather than jam people into one bus. He called on the authorities to do something. He said that this is in violations of the existing laws and it endangers the lives of people. He has been advocating against overcrowding on buses and had been running ads on the television against the unsafe practice. Nato said that his son is in terrible pain, but he thanks God that the accident was not fatal. Martin suffered no injury to the brain, and has no internal bleeding, but his face is busted up and swollen. He has several abrasions and scratches on his forehead, leg , and his fingertips were damaged. Nato said he was in the room when they were stitching him up, and he couldn’t take it.

A wide cross-section of people from Belize’s private sector met inside the Jungle Pavilion at Old Belize on the George Price Highway this morning for the Second Business Forum hosted by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow under the theme “Partnering for Growth.” In his keynote address, Barrow said “the main focus of this forum is, through ongoing and intensive collaboration and cooperation between the public and private sectors, to identify and implement those approaches, activities and operations that will raise the level of business activity in Belize on a sustainable basis; that will expand jobs, incomes, and business profits; that will improve and expand the efficiency and effectiveness of public sector operations; and all with a view to improving, as rapidly as possible and on a sustained basis, the living levels and quality of life of all residents of our country.” Last year’s forum resulted in the formulation of a steering committee of 8 persons, 4 from the private sector and 4 from the public sector. That body has since evolved into the Economic Development Council (EDC) with a 10-member constitution, also split equally between the private and public sector. Barrow said that “I am particularly pleased with the step-up in responsiveness from both the public sector agencies and the private business sector that has come with the appointment of Mrs. Amparo Masson to the EDC Secretariat, which is located in my office.” EDC chairman, Mike Singh, chief executive officer in the Ministry of Trade, said in his remarks that, “Using the dialogue we started a year ago, we have been actively addressing the issues that affect the business climate in which we operate.

There was this incredible statement Rt. Hon. George Price made to a foreign journalist way back when. This would have been maybe around 1958 or 1959, when Mr. Price told the journalist that if independence did not work out, he would give the northern half of the country to Mexico and the southern half to Guatemala. I am sure Mr. Price regretted making this statement. To the best of my knowledge, he had never said anything like it publicly before, and he never said anything like that publicly again. Nevertheless, they say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the fact of the matter is that Mr. Price led Belize to independence with all its territory intact. Mr. Price proved his mettle. So, I bring up that controversial statement only to use it as a backdrop for this column’s material. As I understand it, Guatemala is claiming from the Sibun River south to the Sarstoon, which means it is claiming the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. These two Districts are normally the most peaceful of places, so it was noteworthy this past week when turmoil began to take place in both of them. In Toledo, the issue involved a foreign oil company (US Capital Energy) trying to beat down the opposition of the indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya (led by SATIIM, which is the Sarstoon –Temash Institute for Indigenous Management), and in Stann Creek’s Pomona Valley the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) was battling against the foreign-controlled Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL). The two matters are not directly related, but in both cases we can identify organizations which are largely Belizean, confronting institutions which have more money, more technology, and a foreign power base. (For all intents and purposes, CPBL is being controlled by Banks Holdings of Barbados.)

The Reporter

Hopkins Resort Employee dies from machete attack! Mother and children injured but safe.
Abelino Garcia, 25, an employee of Hamanasi Resort in Hopkins, was fatally wounded when he tried to prevent a brutal machete attack against a woman, Olivia Coc, 36, and her two children last Saturday evening, October 27.

Youth, 19, involved in shoot-out with cops now charged with attempted murder
Lloyd Parchue, 19, was remanded to prison Monday, October 29, for allegedly trying to kill two police officers during a police chase that followed last Friday’s robbery at Moon Grocery. Parchue is accused of firing shots at Corporal Renald Bruhier and Police Constable Emilio Ack on Sun Dial Avenue in the West Landivar area. He, along with a 15-year-old boy who has since been remanded to the Belize Youth Hostel, was also charged with armed robbery. Both of them pleaded not guilty to the robbery charge. The owner of Moon Grocery reported to police that around 1:40 last Friday afternoon she and her two daughters were in the store when two dark complexioned men and a light-skinned man entered.

Women hoist kettlebells for strength
Kettlebells, classically a training tool of Russian strongmen, has become a go-to group fitness workout for women in pursuit of strong and sexy bodies, according to fitness experts. Lorna Kleidman, a world champion in kettlebell competition, said a modern kettlebell workout effectively combines cardiovascular, resistance and range-of-motion training, all in one hour. “It’s all in the swing,” said Kleidman, who teaches kettlebell classes at the Fitness Cell Collective in New York City, where women constitute up to 70 percent of her students.

New test to improve HIV diagnosis in poor countries
Scientists have come up with a test for the virus that causes AIDS that is ten times more sensitive and a fraction of the cost of existing methods, offering the promise of better diagnosis and treatment in the developing world. The test uses nanotechnology to give a result that can be seen with the naked eye by turning a sample red or blue, according to research from scientists at Imperial College in London published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. “Our approach affords for improved sensitivity, does not require sophisticated instrumentation and it is ten times cheaper,” said Molly Stevens, who led the research.

St. John’s College boys lead High School Volleyball
The undefeated boys of St John’s College, defending Belize City High School Volleyball Champions, entered as the top-ranked seed with five victories to the playoffs of the competition organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association. The St John’s College boys took on the fourth ranked seed, the boys of Ladyville Technical High School, when the playoffs began at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Tuesday evening, October 30. The Ladyville boys won the first set 25-23, but the SJC boys won the next three sets 25-10, 25-23, and 25-10. The SJC boys enjoyed their fourth consecutive victory over the Anglican Cathedral College boys at the St John’s College gymnasium on Saturday, October 27. With team captain Harold Nava setting the ball for Zachary Garbutt, Andrew Vasquez and Perry Diaz to hammer kills at the net, and Raymond Gillett and Raheem Flowers receiving and serving. SJC boys won the first set 25-16.

Hattieville Heats & Caye Caulker Girlz win in women’s football
The Hattieville Heats enjoyed their third victory 4-1 over the Caye Caulker Island Stars, while the Caye Caulker Girlz enjoyed their first win 1-0 over the Ladyville Jaguars, when the Belize District Women’s Football Competition continued at the Ladyville Field on Sunday, October 28. Jersha Estrada and Ashlyn Gordon led the Hattieville offensive supported by Deandra Coote and Felicia Gillett on the wings and Lauren Stephens and Doraine Lenarez at midfield. Saira Reyes anchored the Island Stars’ defense with the help of Shehady Chan, Aliny Guzman and Marilyn Reyes, but it was not long before Jersha Estrada broke through the defenders to embarrass goalkeeper Maribel Dominguez with the first winning goal. Deandra Coote soon added a second to lead 2-0.

Is Belize Business Friendly?
A fundamental economic debate was settled in the late 1980s and early 90s, when the Marxist dream of a planned economy failed, leaving its antipode, the free-market alternative, as the conspicuous, optimal choice for any state that wishes to achieve, maintain, or expand economic growth. Since then, the dissenting schools of thought have shifted the discord from whether or not the market economy works to how involved the government should be in the affairs of this private-sector-led system. The important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a pure market economy; there are mixed economies that have varying blends of government intervention and capitalism. In the mixed economy, almost everyone agrees on two things: we need government to regulate and keep the playing field even, and we need more small businesses because they are the backbone of the economy. There is a direct link between the number of businesses that exist and the number of available jobs, the very thing that almost every politician promises to provide. But, here’s an important fact: government officials don’t necessarily create jobs; they should create the enabling environment that leads to more businesses, which provides more employment. This means that if any administration is serious about what they promise, businesses would be the top priority.

British billionare supports protecting Gladden Spit
British Billionaire Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, mentioned in his blog of October 25, 2012, that one of the wonders of the ocean is the reef of Southern Belize, Gladden Spit. Sir Richard is in support of protecting the Gladden Split and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes cover approximately 25,980 acres, 36 kilometres off the coast of Placencia where millions of Cubera and dogtooth snappers come together to lay trillions of eggs in the reserve. Sir Richard expressed the view that the Marine Reserve could be one of the greatest tourist attractions for Belize, and so it is critical that the species in that reserve be protected. Sir Richard criticized the government for allowing fishing boats to wade in, and said this miracle could get wiped out, leaving Belize and the world poorer for it. By contract, the government of the Cayman Islands has recently voted to ban fishermen from an area of sea where millions of groupers congregate to lay eggs in the winter. Throughout the course of spring full moon, snappers gather by the thousands in Belize to lay their eggs at the Gladden Spit. Whale Sharks are attracted to the spawning event and with their mouths wide open they charge through the school. “It’s a striking performance to observe,” Branson said. Sir Richard Branson is famous for his Virgin Group of more than 400 companies.

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and DPP Vidal must go, PUP says
The Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) Chairman, Henry Charles Usher called for the removal of Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. Usher made the remarks, which appears to be a new PUP position, at a press conference at Independence Hall. “We in the PUP state very loud and clear that the attorney general has lost the confidence of the Belizean people and should be replaced. We also declare that there is a crisis of confidence in the Department of Public Prosecution.” Usher added that after four years in office, the DPP has a complete lack of confidence from the Belizean people. “We call on her to step aside and allow for a fresh start in the department”. Usher also lashed out at RESTORE Belize, saying that it got strangled in a web of committees and soon ran out of gas. Party Leader Fonseca, who was the main speaker, opened the press conference describing the state of the nation. “Our country is in crisis. Every objective observer and all the social economic data available points to a Belize that is headed in the wrong direction,” he said.

Ministry of National Security supports Placencia 2020 anti-crime measure
The Ministry of National Security and the Steering Committee of the Placencia 2020 Initiative signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at ceremonies at the Eastern Division Police Station on Wednesday, October 31. Placencia 2020 Initiative is made up of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (B.T.I.A.) and the villages of Placencia and Seine Bight, along businesses with other stakeholders in the area. The MOU outlines a novel approach to fighting crime on the Placencia peninsula with a twenty-four hour mobile checkpoint, which will be managed by police and residents. At the MOU signing ceremony, Mr. Stewart Krohn, Chairman of Placencia B.T.I.A. explained that their checkpoint will be a kind of “mobile institutionalized checkpoint” that will be funded by the private sector. Krohn explained that they will purchase a recreational vehicle, with which they will set up the checkpoint. He said that the vehicle will be an all weather type. “If people have to be detained, they will be detained and questioned within the confines of the vehicle that we will have.” The checkpoint will be tourist friendly. Krohn said that they will be asking the Belize Tourism Board for training resources to train local police on how to use tourist friendly methods. The Minister of National Security John Saldivar said that the fight against crime will take time. “All I can ask is the patience of the Belizean people as we work together as one Belizean people to solve this greatest challenge,” He said.

Most modern renewable energy factory in Caribbean opens in Barbados
On October 20, 2012, Solaris Energy Limited opened the Caribbean’s newest and most modern renewable energy manufacturing facility. With this new 8,000 square-foot factory in St Phillip, Barbados, Solaris Energy enhances its 30-year history of providing solar powered products by increasing its production of solar water heaters, expanding its portfolio of products, and reaching out to new international markets. Solaris Energy’s subsidiary Solaris Global Energy Limited will continue to produce flat plate solar water heaters, including the popular Solaris 500; and add to its product line new vacuum tube solar water heaters and photovoltaic (PV) electricity products and systems. The factory opening was celebrated with an opening gala attended by Senator Darcy Boyce, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados, who also was the featured speaker. Boyce, who has responsibility forTele-communications and Energy, and Investment in Barbados, said: “This expanded and upgraded facility [is] helping this country get a little bit closer to realizing the vision of this administration for a dynamic and strong renewable energy sector.” Citing the need to get solar water heaters into the homes of income groups that generally do not have them now, Boyce spoke about encouraging research and development, marketing and financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems made in the region.

Secretary-general urges Belize private sector to make use of CARICOM market
Secretary-general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin LaRocque has urged the Belizean private sector to make use of the opportunities provided under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). On the second and final day of his official visit to Belize, LaRocque told a cross section of private sector representatives that CARICOM “is your market. Use it! It is your right.” He described the interaction with the group as one of the highest levels of engagement he has had with the business community during his visits to member states. The secretary-general outlined to the businessmen the measures being undertaken to encourage the growth of trade within the Community and also the opportunities for increasing exports to international markets. He stressed Belize’s potential to capitalise in both instances particularly in the area of agriculture. The business community brought to the Secretary-General’s attention some of their concerns and offered suggestions to improve the trading exchanges within the Community. Discussions also centred on Belize’s role as a possible conduit to increase trade and business opportunities between CARICOM and Central America. Later the Secretary-General told youth representatives that he viewed youth as an asset, not a problem and their time was now, not the future.

Northeast crawls back to business after monster storm
The U.S. Northeast began crawling back to normal on Wednesday after monster storm Sandy crippled transportation, knocked out power for millions and killed at least 45 people in nine states with a massive storm surge and rain that caused epic flooding. Financial markets reopened with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and packed buses took residents back to work with the subway system halted after seawater flooded its tunnels. John F. Kennedy and Newark airports reopened with limited service after thousands of flights were canceled, leaving travellers stuck for days. New York’s LaGuardia Airport, one of three airports that serve the nation’s busiest airspace, was flooded and remained closed. It will take weeks to recover fully from the massive power outages and mass transit disruptions. With six days to go before the November 6 elections, President Barack Obama will visit storm-ravaged areas of the New Jersey shore, where Sandy made landfall on Monday. He will be accompanied by Republican Governor Chris Christie, a vocal backer of presidential challenger Mitt Romney. But Christie has praised Obama and the federal response to the storm.


Fry Jacks
A popular Belize recipe, fry jacks are eaten for breakfast accompanied by refried beans, meat, and eggs. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut shortening into flour. Add water, a little at a time, to make a soft, but not sticky dough. Divide dough into two rounds. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Lightly flour counter top or cutting board. Roll dough out to about 10 to 12 inches round. Cut lengthwise into 2 to 3 inch strips and then crosswise to desired size. Heat oil and fry on each side until golden brown. Serve hot with honey, jam, sugar or refried beans and cheese and fully enjoy one of our great Belize recipes

International Sources

Danny Michel builds new album from scratch in Belize
FOR his new album Toronto rocker Danny Michel decided to do something completely different from anything he'd done before. His new eight-song disc, Black Birds are Dancing Over Me, recorded last winter in Belize, features Michel performing with musicians from the Garifuna Collective. The recording sessions took place over several months but the actual concept for the album started percolating in Michel's subconscious many years before. "I first went to Belize over 10 years ago on a trip, loved it, and I've gone back every year since," he says. I got more and more involved in the community and started working with a school there and always kept thinking it would be great to make a record there. The music and the vibe has been slowly sneaking into my music over the last few records and this time I thought 'let's do it right' and do the whole album there." Hanging out on Caye Caulker, a small island off the north coast of Belize, Michel listened to a lot of local Garifuna punta music including records by Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective produced at Ivan Duran's Stonetree Studios. "They do all these records and I thought why don't I just ask these people if they'd be interested in doing a record with me," says Michel. The Canadian musician contacted producer Ivan Duran by email and sent along a link to a video of what he'd worked on previously. Duran liked what he saw and invited Michel to come down to his studio. Stonetree, based in Benque Viejo del Carmen, inland near the Guatemalan border, is on the opposite side of the country from where Michel was staying. Travelling back and forth to record the album he now knows Belize like the back of his hand.

Belize rejects new payments without debt deal
Belize will not make any more payments on its debt before a restructuring deal can be reached with creditors, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said. In a speech to businessmen Thursday, Barrow rejected the idea of another partial interest payment while talks go on with lenders over its $544 million in debt. "The government of Belize has made a partial payment on the coupon as a sign of good faith in August, but will make no further payment before an equitable agreement is reached with bond holders," he said, according to a text of his address obtained by AFP. In September, the small Central American country made an $11.7 million interest payment, only half of what it owed but enough to avoid full-blown default after missing a deadline for repayment a month earlier. "As negotiations continue, our position remains firm," said Barrow. "To achieve an acceptable solution, it must be based on conditions that are reasonable, realistic and especially sustainable," he said. After Belize made the partial payment, a committee representing a group of bondholders said it would not go to court for an additional 60 days to allow room for negotiations on debt restructuring. The government has proposed rescheduling debt payments over 50 years at a lowered rate of two percent, a position analysts have qualified as extreme.


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