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#451403 - 11/17/12 09:31 AM Today's Belize News: November 17, 2012
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The San Pedro Sun

Garifuna Awareness celebrated in San Pedro
“Oh I hear drumming,” said an American tourist as she walked down Pescador Drive in San Pedro Town. “It is a dance,” asked another. “No!” said a Belizean walking with them. “It’s the drums of the African ancestors signaling that they are glad to have found a land of peace,” he explained. And certainly, with the 19th of November just a few days away, schools as well as other cultural organizations are gearing up for the National Garifuna Day Celebration which is being celebrated this year under the theme, “Wawansera Memeba Lau Lubafu Bungui Hama Ahari – We keep going forward with the Power of God and the Ancestors.” As part of the Garifuna celebration, today was observed as National Garifuna Awareness Day and various schools allowed students to attend classes in the traditional Garifuna outfit. At the Little Angels Pre-school, the teachers planned activities around the National Garifuna Awareness Day and had a small cultural exhibition depicting many of the traditional Garifuna food.

Lisa Fielding Completes 300th Scuba Dive From Ramon’s Village Resort
For Lansdale, Pennsylvania resident Lisa Fielding, nothing could have been more exciting than completing her 300th scuba dive while at Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Belize last week. Fielding and her husband Jim were diving with a group of fellow scuba divers with Orca Scuba Tours and experienced the “most spectacular scuba dive she’s ever seen”. “We were diving at Esmeralda just beyond the barrier reef, which is just offshore from the island of Ambergris Caye, and there were nurse sharks, angel fish, moray eels, spotted eagle rays and bottlenose dolphins swimming with us,” noted Fielding. She adds, “Ramon’s Village dive masters were awesome, the barrier reef is beautiful and every aspect of our stay was just incredible. Jim and I have been scuba diving all over the world including in Australia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Micronesia and the Caribbean and this is the best diving we’ve ever experienced.” Fielding went on to say that not only was the scuba diving off the chart when it came to excitement, butthat the entire staff at Ramon’s Village was incredibly accommodating. “Our waiter at Pineapples Restaurant at Ramon’s Village, whose name is Jack, memorized all thirty-two people’s names in our group before the week was over and called us by name each time he saw us. The food was delicious and dining while overlooking the clear waters of the Western Caribbean was fabulous! The resort is stunning in its natural beauty and sits right on the beach overlooking the barrier reef. “ Fielding concludes, “This was our third trip to Belize and Ramon’s Village and some in our group have been here six times. No doubt we’ll be back and we can’t wait to see what awaits us on our next scuba diving adventure with Ramon’s Village.”

Bandage International works alongside Red Cross to offer Medical Safety Program
The Belize Red Cross, in conjunction with Bandage International and the San Pedro chapter of the Belize Red Cross, held their annual Medical Emergency First Aid Course in San Pedro on November 14th and 15th. The workshop was held at the El Divino restaurant and saw the participation of some (40) participants from various businesses on the island. Registration for the sessions were $50.00 for the two day course, after which participants would be certified as Emergency First Responders. The training prepared participants to handle medical emergencies that include heart attacks, asthma, stroke, diabetes, seizures, allergic reactions and child delivery. According to organizers, at the end of the training, participants should be able to recognize and treat injuries such as: head and spinal injuries, chest and abdominal injuries, extremity injuries and soft tissue injuries, shock and bleeding and burns. The team will also be versed in bandaging and splinting as well as informed in the new CPR and Airway Obstruction Guidelines.

Ambergris Today

My First, My Last: My Ambergris Caye
As a travel writer, I’m often faced with the quandary of needing to share information about my favorite places in the world, while secretly hoping no one else finds out about them, causing them to become overrun with tourists. My first time in Belize was long before my travel writing days. I was an ordinary tourist who wound up here with an ex-boyfriend who thought Belize ‘sounded cool’ after inadvertently ending up at BZE on a layover years before. I did minimal research and booked a hotel without much thought. It was reasonably priced and it was on a beach.

Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations Underway in San Perdo, Belize
Garifuna Celebrations are underway here in San Pedro Town and in commemoration of National Garifuna Settlement Day there are many activities happening in San Pedro Town, Belize which you must attend to obtain one of Belize’s best cultural experiences. The Garifuna Community in San Pedro takes pride in everything they do and proudly present the very best of their culture during their exhibition and food sale. You can learn a lot about the type of clothes they wear, their rhythmic music, their instruments, their lifestyle and their delicious food! Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations Underway in San Perdo, Belize Here are some events you don’t want to miss: Saturday, November 17, 2012 - *Jankunu Dancing - House to house dancing – 1:00p.m to 6:00p.m *Entertainment: Drumming/Singing/Cultural Dancing at Central Park from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00p.m. Sunday, November 18, 2012 – *Entertainment Night – Drumming, Dance: San Pedro Dance Academy, Jankunu Performance – Two Foot Cow/Hunterman/Cherikanari – Castillo Drummers – Miguel Dance Group – San Pedro Punta Rock Band – Punta Boys – Mad Skills and Battle of the Drums – At Central Park 7:00 p.m. Monday, November 19, 2012 – *Garifuna Settlement Day Reenactment (Yurumei) – 5:30a.m. from Central Park to Boca Del Rio – Parade down to church trough beachside and mass begins at 7:00a.m. Official ceremonies, marching bands, drumming and carnival group parade through town after mass.

Tourist Sets 300th Scuba Dive in San Pedro with Ramon’s Village Resort
For Lansdale, Pennsylvania resident Lisa Fielding, nothing could have been more exciting than completing her 300th scuba dive while at Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Belize last week. Fielding and her husband Jim were diving with a group of fellow scuba divers with Orca Scuba Tours and experienced the “most spectacular scuba dive she’s ever seen”.

Misc Belizean Sources

Enter the RumFish, Dream Restaurant In Belize | Ep. 5 Part 1/3 EX-PATS
Meet Pam and John Solomon who left New York City to open a restaurant in Placencia, Belize. Their restaurant, RumFish, is now one of the most successful restaurants on the coast. Soon after their restaurant picked up, Pam became pregnant with their daughter Libby. EX-PATS w/ Savannah Jane Buffett According to modern definition, EX-PATS are people temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of their upbringing. Host Savannah Jane Buffett travels through foreign lands to discover the extraordinary stories of those who cut the home-cord, leaving behind a seemingly successful and ordinary existence in search of a place to live their dream life.

Commentary: Garifuna Settlement Day celebrated in Belize but dependency is haunting the future
The Garifuna people first arrived in Belize in 1801 and settled in Dangriga Town with about one hundred people. At the time of their arrival, Belize was a British colony and they were the ones who removed the Garifuna people as “prisoners of war” from their native land Saint Vincent on March 11, 1797, to Roatan, Honduras, where they landed on April 12 of that same year. During this time the British and the Spanish were rivals competing for territories in the Caribbean, North America, Central America and South America. The British knew that the Garifuna people were skilled warriors because of the wars they fought against them from the late 1790s up until 1797 to keep their homeland Saint Vincent, known to them as “Yuremei”. In a book published by Nancy Gonzalez, an anthropologist, titled “The Ethnohistory of the Garifuna In Central America: Sojourners of the Caribbean", she mentioned that there is evidence in London that the British also had intentions to use the Garifuna people to fight on their behalf to keep Belize away from the Spanish. This reasoning tend to make a lot of sense due to the fact that in 1798 between 7 and 10 September the British fought against the Spanish in the Battle of Saint Georges Cay to maintain possession of Belize.

Caribbean cultural contingent visits Taiwan
Relations between the people of Taiwan and the people of the Caribbean have been strengthened with a 12-day visit to Taiwan of a special cultural contingent from Saint Lucia and three other Caribbean countries from October 17 - 28. The visit was described by the deputy minister of foreign affairs in Taiwan as the use of the “soft power” of arts and culture to build stronger friendship and diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the Caribbean. The delegation from Saint Lucia was led by the executive director of the Cultural Development Foundation, Kennedy “Boots” Samuel, and comprised ten members of the nationally acclaimed Helen Folk Dancers. In Taiwan they were joined by the Pantempters Steel Orchestra from Belize, the famous La Marimba de Concierto band with the Director of Culture from Guatemala, and an eight member dance theatre group from St Kitts and Nevis led by the vice minister of culture and gender affairs. Towards the end of their visit the Caribbean delegation was also joined by a traditional dance performance group from Nicaragua. The Caribbean contingent was hosted and gave major performances in five communities across Taiwan. Packed audiences in exquisite theatres were treated to a rich and diverse representation of Caribbean people and their unique culture in the varied presentations from the countries represented. Special performances were also done in formal social engagements at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and at the Presidential Palace as guests of the vice president. The performances provided a rare opportunity for a tremendous bonding and sharing experience among the Caribbean performers themselves, who with exquisite rhythms and beauty proudly expressed regional unity within a foreign environment.

Experts look at sustainable financing for wastewater management in the region
The Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (CReW), a four-year project that began in 2011 and is financed by a special arrangement that involves the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the governments of some Caribbean countries will host a regional workshop in Belize City, Belize, 28 - 29 November, 2012 to introduce the concept of revolving funds. Revolving funds are among the more flexible, innovative and effective financial management mechanisms that can provide sustainable financing for the development of much needed wastewater treatment facilities, costly propositions for regional governments struggling to maintain those that already exist. A 2009 UNEP report entitled “Assessment of Wastewater Management in the Caribbean” found untreated domestic wastewater had severe consequences for coastal ecosystems in the wider Caribbean region. This has resulted in: increased fish mortality and negative effects on commercial fisheries; declines in coral reefs estimated to cost the region up to US$ 870 million by 2050; threats to human health, and; threats to the tourism sector.

Fall Fashion Show Pink Runway
Add!ction has released their pink runway pictures from the Fall Fashion show. Great job, Gabriela! "The last Add!ction Runway on the Fall Sashion 2012"

Sacred Heart Junior College Open Day Ad
SHJC is having their Open Day on November 28th. You can go learn all about their Associate Degree programs, and save 50% on admission fees. There will also be a raffle for 2 scholarships. For more info, call 824-2758. In the afternoon, the Intro to Marketing class will be having an expo in which they'll be displaying and selling the unique products they've designed and created.

Chaa Creek in Fodor's Top 100
Chaa Creek is one of Fodor's top 100 hotels in the world! Their awards have been stacking up! Chaa Creek, listed in Fodor's Local Experience class, is one of two resorts that are located in Central America. Congratulations, Chaa Creek! "Affordable luxury, sustainable practices, and the best of Central America's natural offerings come together at this 23-room, all-inclusive villa hotel spread over 365 riverside jungle acres in Belize's Cayo district. (Guests share the vast property with monkeys, jaguars, and more than 300 bird species.) In operation for more than 30 years, the hotel features treetop suites with tile floors, enormous mahogany beds, and giant verandahs. Closer to the ground, thatch-roof cottages are tucked amid colorful tropical gardens. In-villa massages and bubble baths, (with a glass of bubbly) are popular romantic amenities. If you can tear yourself away from the eco-cocoon, you'll find the staff on hand to introduce you to wild Belize through activities like canoeing, hiking, and touring the nearby Mayan ruins."

Channel 7

Youths Threw CS Gas In Dispute Over Boxer Shorts
Around noon today - our newsroom got info that that a grenade had been thrown on Raccoon Street extension. Fortunately, it wasn't a grenade - but we can see how the mistake might have been made. The item thrown was actually a canister of CS gas - what is commonly known as tear gas. Fortunately, the canister was defective and did not detonate. The GSU responded quickly, recovered the canister, and took it into custody. The story behind it will surely lave you shaking your head. According to our information, it was a dispute between two cousins. The younger one - who is only 16 - reportedly threw the canister at his older cousin - who was at a work site. We must point out that there were other young school children in the area as well. Some reports form the scene say he threw it because of a dispute over a pair of boxer shorts that was borrowed without consent! So where did the canister come from? Well, experts say it could be BDF or British issue and might have come from a training session at the Pine Ridge. No one has been picked up and police are looking for the two young men.

Woman Shot In Bathroom
Last night a 21 year old mother was shot in her home. Now your home should be a safe sanctuary - and what makes this case even worse is that Chloe Thompson was shot in the privacy of her bathroom. And it happened at a home right at the corner of Albert Street. Monica Bodden reporting The shots were heard last night at 8:40 - just a block away from our 7news studio. Monica Bodden filled in the blanks today:…. This house at the corner of South and Albert Street turned into a crime scene last night - when a woman was shot while inside her home. The entire area was blocked off by police officers who processed the scene. The victim - identified as 22 year old Chloe Thompson had already been rushed to the KHMH with a gunshot wound to her lower back. From what we gathered, gunmen were firing shots in the neighborhood- when one of those shots penetrated the walls of Thompson's house. She was standing inside her bathroom when she was shot.

Cop Brought A Gun to A Machete Fight
And just ten minutes after that happened - we heard sirens whipping about the downtown area again - there had been another shooting. This one happened at the heart of downtown in front of the Belize Bank. At first, two men started to fight with machetes and then police got involved, and used a gun. The debacle ended with one man shot and one man chopped. The police press officer explained:.. Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "At approximately 8:55 last night 15th November, police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw two men, 29 years old Nigel Castillo as well as Jason Tillett both of Belize City. Allegedly at approximately 8:50 earlier that evening, both men were involved in a machete fight in front of the commercial building on Albert Street. Allegedly a police intervened and ordered them to put down their weapons. Tillett complied but Castillo decided to continue fighting and inflicted a chop wound to Tillett. The police had no choice but to subdue Castillo by firing shots at him with his licensed 9mm firearm. As a result both men were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they are now in a stable condition."

Home Invaders Pretended To Be Cops
Tonight police are looking for 3 men in connection with a report that they entered the home on of a woman living on Antelope Street Extension while armed with guns. According to the woman, these men threatened her in front of her 8 young children and her common law husband with their weapons, but the story is even more troubling than that. In a time of random searches in the crime ridden areas, these men pretended to be police personnel to trick her into opening the door. Here's how she explained the ordeal to us today: Daniel Ortiz "You were in your home with your common-law-husband?" Voice of: Home invasion victim "And my children. When my common-law went outside to see who it was there were 3 gunmen." Daniel Ortiz "And these gunmen masqueraded as police officers?" Voice of: Home invasion victim "Yes sir and when we opened the door the young man told me to open the gate so that he could come inside. I shut my gate and I came inside and when I told him, 'family, what's going on, what's the problem' he told me 'where is my son Boson." I told that I didn't know where my son Boson is and I don't know what kind of problem my son and her son have. The Youngman says to me that he came strap. He has a gun to his waist. The other two guys stand up right over here and the man with the gun stand up right in front of me, my children and my husband."

Good Samaritan Partially Pays Fine, Joslyn Gets Free
Last night we told you about Jaslyn Cadle - the 18 year old fourth former who was sentenced to two years in jail for drug trafficking. Well tonight, she is in jail no more. A concerned 7news viewer who saw our piece last night called and said his family wants to pay her two thousand dollar fine. That fine was to have been paid forthwith when she was sentenced - and if it was, she would have avoided going to jail. She didn't have it - and so she was sentenced automatically to two years, which would have increased to 5 if she defaulted on full payment at the end of next year. Well, today - two weeks later - with some welcome leniency from the Magistrate's Court - our concerned viewer was allowed to pay the fine - which earned her an immediate release. That got her this order of release - which we took to the prison along with her sister. Here are her first moments of freedom: Jaslyn Cadle "I feel good and thing to be out of prison." Daniel Ortiz "Are you ready to go back to school on Monday?" Jaslyn Cadle "Yes sir, I am ready to go back." Daniel Ortiz "We have information saying that the Ministry of Sports is offering you a job so that you can help to pay the rest of that fine. How does that make you feel?"

Bail For Alleged Mexican Drug Trafficker?
Two weeks ago we told you about 52 year old Pedro Alfonso Betancourt Reed, a Mexican of Chetumal - who was caught in Corozal along with two Belizean men when their vehicle was searched and it was found to be loaded with small bags of cocaine. All three men, Reed and 51 year old Alfonso Iglesias Jr, a Belizean of Consejo Road in Corozal Town, and and 51 year old Jose Nunez, a Belizean Businessman of San Pedro Town were remanded to prison. But incredibly, though he is clearly a flight risk, yesterday, Reed was offered bail of $25,000 dollars by Corozal Magistrate Clive Lino. The bail, though, has not been signed so he remains on remand. We understand that the case has attracted the attention of higher up's in law enforcement - who are decidedly against having the alleged drug trafficker get bail - because the fear is that he would not return for his next hearing.

Crooked Tree Residents Tell Audubon To Walk The Straight And Narrow
Crooked Tree is about as laid back and homely a place as you can find in the Belize district - but residents of the island village also don't like being messed with - and they say that's what the Audubon Society is doing with them. Audubon manages the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary - but today the villagers held a protest to say they'd had enough. It's an interesting declaration of the right to self-determination -and we got an earful today:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary - and its centerpiece the Lagoon - broad and tranquil - home to all kinds of wildlife even the domesticated kind all overlooked by the nearby visitor's center run by the Audubon Society. But this morning, the Audubon was the target of villagers who came out to protest against it. Protestor "Audubon must go because we run things - things don't run we. Everything you do, you have to do it properly in my village Crooked Tree number one." They want Audubon out because the villagers feel that the Audubon's conservation efforts are intruding upon a way of life established over two centuries of occupation.

Bze Bank Customers The Target Of a Phishing Scam
Belize Bank online customers are the target of an internet "phishing" scam. Hundreds, possibly thousands of customers have gotten a mail saying that their account has been deactivated - and they need to reactivate by clicking on a link. It's completely bogus - but interesting because it is tailored to the local market and disturbing because if you click the link it takes you to a site that looks just like the real Belize Bank one. A Belize Bank spokesperson told us that the Bank will never send a mail asking a customer to update their personal information online. The Belize Bank has contacted the host and the bogus site has been taken down.

British Minister Visits, Discusses Security, Donates Inexpensive Motorbikes
The British Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Latin America, Hugo Swire has concluded a two day visit to Belize. It is the first time that a UK Minister has visited Belize since 2008. Swire's visit focused principally on security issues. He met with BATSUB, BDF, RESTORE Belize and the Prime Minister, Security Minister and Foreign Minister. According to an official release, he discussed the Belize/Guatemala dispute, and further assistance to the security forces. That came today with the donation of two Meilun motorbikes, assigned to Belmopan Police. And unless these are double-o-7 (007) models - we would hope the cycles are not the sum total of security assistance, considering the UK is a G-8 Nation.

Fun with Garifuna Culture At Sadie
Monday is Garifuna Settlement Day, Belize's richest cultural observance. And today schools across the city held cultural appreciation sessions. Our teams visited three schools and I started at Sadie Vernon High where the history of the observance was put into context:.. Monica Bodden reporting Garifuna Settlement Day is Belize's most richly celebrated cultural observance. It marks the arrival of the first Garinagu to Belize - and apart of tradition, many Belizeans enjoy traveling to Garifuna communities in southern Belize - to part-take in the festive observance, a mixture of African music and religion with native Carib language and traditions. But while many are getting prepared for this long weekend of festivities, Celebrations have already started for the students at Sadie Vernon High. Laura Baptist - School Principal "Activities leading up to the culture day stem from the social studies topics that the students have studies in first, second form and presently." Reporter "Its Garifuna and Garinagu culture is pronounced but I also see some Mestizo dancing going on."

City Primary Schools Also Observe Settlement
And while that high school held a cultural day, there were 2 primary schools which each held their own cultural fairs. 7News was invited to the Wesley Upper School to take part in some of the festivities, and we saw what these students prepared in honor of Belize's diverse society. Marlette Lacayo - VP, Wesley Upper School "Today what we choose to do was divide our entire school into the different groups of people who live here in our country and so we have been very brave; we have the Maya, Mennonite, East Indian, Hindu, Jamaican, creole, Garifuna, the whole Kit and Caboodle, the Mestizo, everybody, even the Chinese Lion is here today and so we decided to let each class represent a culture and that is what we are doing today. We are looking specifically at areas like history and we have looked at the cultural beliefs and practices and those areas." Daniel Ortiz "How have the students received the efforts of this committee in terms of this cultural fair portrayal?"

Channel 5

Crooked Tree protests to get Audubon out of village
The historic village of Crooked Tree on the Northern Highway is a Wildlife Sanctuary since 1984. A vast network of lagoons and interconnecting waterways lure thousands to the village which is also home to the largest nesting population of the Jabiru stork. But tonight the community of Crooked Tree is at war with the Audubon [...]

A woman is critically injured after being shot inside her bathroom
On Thursday night, there was no reported gun violence in the Lake Independence area of Belize City, a declared Crime Ridden area, but in the heart of the City a young woman and a man were injured in separate shootings. The twenty-two year old woman is hospitalized in critical condition after she was shot inside [...]

Machete brawl ends with 1 man chopped and another shot by police
Not far away on Regent Street, there was another shooting which involved a pair of Belize City men and the police. It started with an altercation in front of the Commercial Center where twenty-nine year old Nigel Castillo and thirty-four year old Jason Tillett were socializing at a bar earlier that day. The owner of [...]

McAfee losing credibility on the international scene
Gregory Faull was murdered and found dead at his house in San Pedro on Sunday morning. But the story is no longer about Faull’s murder; the focus is now Faull’s neighbor, John McAfee, the anti-virus founder who is wanted for questioning. A News Five team remains in San Pedro covering the story, which has been [...]

US Networks converge on Ambergris Caye
John McAfee was a technological pioneer not only for his brand of antivirus, but also because one of his companies, Tribal Voice, designed one of the first instant messaging programs. Since McAfee’s disappearance has caught the attention of the international media, Ambergris Caye has been visited by journalists from CNN, the Associated Press, Thomson Reuters, [...]

Butane prices going up on Saturday
An increase of ten dollars in the price of liquid petroleum gas or butane was announced today, but it only applies to gas imported from Mexico. The new price of a hundred pound cylinder of butane in Belize City and Corozal will be one hundred and eighteen dollars while in Orange Walk it’s a hundred [...]

Alleged gunman denied bail on attempted murder charge
The suspect in the early morning shooting of Youth for the Future employee, Delone Vernon, remains imprisoned tonight after he attempted to secure bail at the Supreme Court. Twenty year old Ellis Meighan Junior is charged with Attempted Murder, conspiracy to Commit Murder, Grievous Harm and Use of Deadly Means of Harm. The crown, represented [...]

Second accused church burglar is sent behind bars
A second suspect has been charged for the burglary of Mount Olive Seventh Day Adventist Church between October twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth. Twenty-eight year old Ronald Gill was charged within a few days of the incident and today, twenty-three year old Tyrone Fitzgibbon joined him behind bars. Fitzgibbon was arraigned for Burglary before Senior Magistrate Sharon [...]

Former ComPol suggests that controlling ammo importation can curb crime
The government is in the process of implementing new measures to try to curb crime in the country, particularly by focusing on the city’s known hotspots. But, there’s one more issue to consider. Former Commissioner of Police, Crispin Jeffries, who is a board member for the newly formed Institute of Public Safety and Security says [...]

Belize Institute of Public Safety and Security is launched
In the fight against crime, every bit helps. A new organization was launched today that intends to help find solutions to tackle the rampant crime. It’s the Belize Institute of Public Safety and Security and its board is made up of retired professionals who have decades of service in security issues. They include former Commissioner [...]

New Cuban Ambassador speaks on relationship with Belize
Newly-appointed Cuban Ambassador to Belize Jose Prieto Cintado met with the media in Belize City earlier this week. During the hour-long session Prieto touched on a range of issues, including the existing United States embargo on the island, terrorism, as well as the bi-lateral program that Cuba shares with Belize. Over the years there has [...]

A reenactment of the arrival of the Garinagu
Monday, November nineteenth, will be celebrated nationally as Garifuna Settlement Day. Across the country people have begun the annual mass migration to the Culture Capital, Dangriga. In honor of the significance of this national holiday, we are airing a re-enactment of the arrival of the Garinagu to the shores of British Honduras in 1802.   [...]


OWTC To Hold Massive Punta Fest
It’s that time of year once again, when the airwaves are flooded with drumming and punta music. November 19th will be observed on Monday for Garifuna Settlement Day and with it, all the celebration of the culture and music. November 19th has been celebrated as Settlement Day since the first Garifuna came to Belize in 1832. This year, due to lack of financing, the re-enactment of the landing of the Garifuna will not be done at the Banquitas House of Culture. In its place, the Banquitas House of Culture has set up an historical display commemorating the day. We will highlight that exhibit in tomorrow’s newscast. In lieu of the re-enactment of the landing, the Orange Walk Town Council has organized a celebration highlighting the music of the Garifuna Culture. The concert type celebration will be held tomorrow at the Fort Cairn’s Market Square and will feature several of the country’s punta artists. Councillor responsible for the PuntaFest, Rozel Arana, says that it will be a family oriented, high energy show.

Anti Virus Guru Continues To Make Headlines
We are just hours away from Day 5 of the John McAfee saga which continues to unfold before the eyes of the world as both local and international media houses continue to lead their newscasts with this story. Newscasts around the world have been kept up to date of the antivirus pioneer as he is still in hiding from Belize Police in some remote part of the country. McAfee insists that he will not speak to Belizean authorities as he strongly believes that if he does so, he will be killed. In one interview, he has even gone as far as to claim that he would merely be another statistic comprised of the many persons who have died while in police custody. Well for one, Belize has been getting a lot of international press coverage, and beautiful scenes of San Pedro Town are being seen all over; from England, to the US. But we here at CTV-3 don’t think that is the kind of press our little country needs. McAfee is being sought by Police as a person of interest in the murder of 52 year old Gregory Faul which occurred on November 11th in Northern Ambergris Caye. The post mortem examination which was conducted on Tuesday afternoon shows that Faul died of traumatic shock due to massive brain damage due to head injuries sustained as a consequence of gunshot wound. Faul was shot once to the back of his head. McAfee immediately became a person of interest as reports were made to police that just days before Faul’s murder, he and McAfee had a confrontation. Shortly after that confrontation, four of McAfee’s dogs were poisoned.

Kim Barrow Speaks On Allegations Of Malpractice At NRH
Media houses across the country have featured stories over the past couple of weeks on allegations made against the Northern Regional Hospital by women claiming malpractices. Over fifteen women have made allegations against the NRH making reference of negligence when providing health care for them and/or their babies. Several women have made claims of brain damage to their babies due to negligence at the Northern Regional Hospital. The Ministry of Health has launched an investigation in these allegations and have publicly stated that their investigation has so far yielded no evidence of malpractice at the NRH. As these cases involve women and their babies, we asked Mrs. Barrow if she has heard about the allegations and if there are any plans in place for the Special Envoy for Women and Children to look into in regards to these incidents. Kim Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children “I have not been following the news to be honest I tend to not follow the news a lot so I will not be able to comment on it because I have not been following it up but I will check on it because it is certainly something of concern for sure.” Two of the mothers who have come forward with their allegations are Sally Coh and Magdalena Chable Both of those mothers say they have consulted with their lawyers to sue the Government of Belize. There have been no new revelations coming out lately, but we will continue to follow this story and bring to you any new developments.

P.C Emir Vasquez Awarded Officer Of The Month
As of recent, the only news featuring the Belize Police Force have been stories of abuse, corruption, and a long list of other allegations made against them. It appears that the few bad deeds by some of the law enforcement men tarnish the image of the entire force. Tonight, we are pleased to highlight one exemplary officer who was today awarded with Officer of the Month. In 2007, Emir Vasquez joined the ranks of the Orange Walk Police Department with badge number 1089. Since then, Vasquez has been attached to the Community Police branch and continues to serve in that group. Vasquez has proven himself countless of times to the community and to the police department with his dedication, persistence and achievements. In efforts of fostering greater working relationships and higher morale, the People’s Coalition Committee initiated the Officer of the Month program and Vasquez has been selected to be the officer for the month of October. A brief ceremony was held this afternoon in the Conference Room of the Orange Walk Police Department where Vasquez was officially awarded as the Officer of the Month.

First Lady Continues To Battle Cancer
Late last year, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow shocked the country with news of her being diagnosed with breast cancer. It sent shock waves throughout the country of Belize as someone that advocated for healthy living and eating, was struck by this deadly disease. Since then, Mrs. Barrow has been in and out of Miami where she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for the stage three cancer in her breast. While touring St. Peter’s Anglican School, we managed to get an update on her progress in the fight against breast cancer; here’s what she told us. “I am scheduled to go back see the doctors in December in Houston. I am doing good I feel good and I am happy to be back doing what I love doing which is visiting schools especially schools who promote inclusive education and I am thrilled to be able to help and encourage these children to stay in school and commend parents for sticking to their children and believing in them and to the teachers we are proud of the for working with the children to eventually become productive citizens of our country.” Barrow will travel back to the US in the 2nd week of December to continue here fight against breast cancer.

OWTC Holds Neighbourhood Meeting With Residents Of San Antonio Road
The Orange Walk Town Council is currently holding neighborhood meetings at various points in town in efforts of sensitizing the residents on the work currently being done, and the hurdles they face as a council. Orange Walk Town is vastly growing and different sections of the town have different needs. Last night’s meeting was held on San Antonio Road where residents came out to listen to the different presentations made by the Councilors and the Mayor. After the presentations were finished, residents had the opportunity to ask questions and voice out their concerns. The most prevalent issue which the neighborhood would like to see quickly address is the present conditions of San Antonio Road. Residents have to endure terrible road conditions plagued by a wall of dust every time a vehicle traffics the street. Their homes become covered in thick layers of the dust and everything inside also receives a coating. Problems with their health were among the many concerns raised by the residents as many of them say the dust agitates their asthma, affects their lungs and gives them cough. Councilor Josue Carballo spoke on the issue of San Antonio Road and how it falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Works. As it presently stands, the responsibility of the maintenance of all arteries in and out of the Town falls on the Ministry of Works. Belize/Corozal Road and San Antonio Road are two that are tasked to the Ministry of Works for their upkeep and anyone who has travelled on Belize/Corozal Road by Landy’s and Sons and San Antonio Road know that nothing is being done to fix them. One fact that Councilor Carballo brought across to the residents of the neighborhood was that partial payments had already been made for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road by the past Town Council administration, but up to today, no work has been done.


Man shot by Police during machete fight
A man was shot as a Police Officer tried to break up a machete fight. It happened last night just before 9 o'clock....

Woman shot in Belize City
Police are seeking four men after a woman was shot in Belize City last night. Around 8:30 yesterday evening 22 year...

New Police Recruits have to pass drugs tests before training
Plusnews had received information of the new police recruit intake being tainted. Sources indicated that several of...

Lands Department asks for patience during time of transition
The Commissioner of Lands and Survey Department, Wilbert Vallejos, had been making the media tour this week speakin...

Crooked Tree residents want Audubon Society out of their village
Residents of Crooked Tree village this morning staged an impromptu demonstration in front of the Belize Audubon Soc...

Health officials deny outbreak of Chigas at San Antonio
Health officials have confirmed that there is not an outbreak of Chagas at San Antonio Government School in Corozal...

Price increase for LPG from Mexico
There's been an increase in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas imported from Mexico. The Belize Bureau of Standar...

PM discusses security in Mexico with regional leaders
The Embassy of Belize in Mexico has released details of the Prime Minister's visit to Mexico, where he met with reg...

Large quantity of cannabis discovered at boarder crossing
A Customs Officer discovered a large quantity of Cannabis in a pick-up truck. At 4pm yesterday, a police officer wa...

Man arrested for threatening Police Officer
A man has been arrested for threatening to kill a police officer. On Tuesday night, a police officer was on mobile ...

Teenager missing since Wednesday
Police are asking viewers to be on the lookout for a missing teenager. The child’s mother of Santa Elena Town, repo...

Police seek 3 men for Armed Home Invasion
A School Warden of Antelope Street Extension, Belize City, reported that on Wednesday at about 8:00pm, she was at h...

Security Guard suspected of theft from a parked bus
A Security Guard is suspected of theft from a parked bus. At 8:30 pm on Tuesday, a bus driver parked a Tillett’s Bu...

#451404 - 11/17/12 09:32 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 17, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


Watchman shoots thief dead!
The thief’s companion is under police guard at the KHMH Two residents of Teakettle Village, Cayo District, went to rob a container at the establishment, Cheers Restaurant and Bar, at Mile 30 on the George Price Highway, and one of them was shot dead, while the other has been admitted to ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. A watchman for the establishment shot Wellington Hemsley, 29, in the chest, while Gilroy Welcome, 53, had his right hand shattered by a blast from a shotgun held by the other watchman. Hemsley is in the Belmopan Hospital morgue, and Welcome is in police protection at the KHMH. He will be charged by police as soon as he is released from the hospital. The incident occurred around 12:30 yesterday morning, Wednesday. Two watchmen who were on duty at Cheers told police that they were alerted by the surveillance cameras that gave the signal that intruders had been detected. They immediately went into the container area to see what was happening, and saw two men burglarizing a container.

Thursday night shootings on Albert and Regent Streets
Police shot a man, and a woman was shot in her home by an intruder Two persons, a yet unidentified woman and man, are tonight at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after they were shot in separate incidents at about 9:15 tonight in the old capital. Police said that the woman was in the lower flat of her family’s house on Albert Street with a friend when an unknown gunman went into the house and fired a number of shots. The woman was hit in the body, but her friend escaped unhurt. She was rushed to the KHMH, where doctors are operating on her. Police say that the reason for the attack is unknown. While processing the scene on Albert Street, police were called to another shooting, this time in front of Wellworth Store on Regent Street. Police said that an officer on patrol shot a man in his hip when he refused to drop a machete he had in his hand. According to police, the man was advancing with the machete towards the officer.

Police sexually abused Mayflower girl, 13?
On Monday, November 12, a mother and a grandmother of the Mayflower Street area complained to the media that two minors in their family had been roughed up by police – one of them is a female minor, reportedly 13, who they allege was forcibly stripped and roughly cavity-searched by a female cop, and the other is a teen boy who the mother said narrowly escaped being sexually invaded with a baton, only after the boy told a group of male cops, who ridiculed the boy’s genitalia, that his step-father is a police officer. On Tuesday, the Ministry of National Security issued a statement saying that it “is deeply concerned about recent reports of an alleged inappropriate search of a female minor during a police operation conducted in the Mayflower area of Belize City.” That operation took place on Friday, November 9, when area residents reported that 30 to 50 police officers were dispatched to their area, which was blocked off and searched. Notably, the Mayflower Street area was not one of the areas that were, the day before, declared a “special area,” giving the police broad search, seizure and arrest powers, which they could execute without being required to have a warrant.

British minister discusses Belize-Guat relations and security
Afghanistan-based forces to be sent into Belize jungles UK Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire, arrived in Belize for a two-day visit with Belizean officials during which security is a top issue on their agenda. Speaking with Amandala at a reception held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on Thursday night, Swire said that this is his first visit to a Commonwealth country since he took office about 12 weeks ago, and this makes his trip to Belize particularly momentous. The intent, he said, is to “show that we care about Belize.” Although there has been no ministerial visit for over 4 years, he pointed to the visit of Prince Harry to Belize, as a part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, and the visit of a top civil servant in the UK foreign office earlier this year. However, what is holding the attention of Minister Swire and other leaders today is that there is a lot of work to be done regionally and internationally to counter the increasingly violent narcotics trade.

A journey through Garifuna history: After 210 years in Belize, “We Keep Going Forward”towards what destination?
Amidst the challenging socioeconomic realities of Garifuna communities and the constraints of Garifuna leadership to collectively define, promote and pursue development opportunities for their people, the annual revelry that defines Garifuna Settlement Day has served to reaffirm among Garinagu their cultural survival against all odds throughout the two centuries that they have lived in Belize. The mere survival of Garifuna culture after the attempts by the British superpower to exterminate it, is still quite an exceptional feat to celebrate. Following the unsuccessful defense of their homeland territory of St. Vincent against the British invaders in 1797, the Garinagu were rounded up, loaded in ships and exiled almost two thousand miles away to the most barren sections of the island of Roatan, then another British territory. About two decades earlier, the British had considered returning this rebellious group of fierce warriors to Africa but that would have been too costly. Roatan was a strategic decision. It ensured that the Garinagu would be permanently separated and kept very far away from their homeland and from other British territories such as Jamaica, Barbados, Dominica or Trinidad and Tobago where slavery still existed. This forced deportation was to ensure that the Garinagu fomented no other rebellion. Those who were allowed to remain in St. Vincent were legally banned from all expressions of their ancestral culture, until its extinction. This year marks 210 years since the Garinagu first arrived in Belize. They came in 1802 as the first group of free people to settle in Belize: – decades before the Mestizos settled the North in the late 1840s and before the Mayas returned in the 1880s in flight from brutally oppressive labor conditions in Guatemala.

BEL tries to raise $25 mil in debentures
The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) announced this afternoon that it has launched its $25 million series 5 debenture offer, which proposes “a highly competitive interest rate” of 7% over 12 years through to 2024. According to the company, the 250,000 debentures cost $100 each, and subscriptions must be for a minimum of one debenture. “With the proceeds from this debenture offer, the company will in whole or in part refinance its $16.9 million series 1 debentures currently bearing interest at 12% and maturing on December 31, 2012; as well as help fund the company’s medium term needs,” BEL explained. The prospectus, which can be downloaded from http://www.bel.com.bz/001_Series_5_Debenture_Prospectus1.pdf, contains more details, including the company’s financial forecasts up to 2016. The debenture offer, which opens today, runs until December 17, 2012. The company pledges that certificates for allotted debentures will be issued within 3 months after the date of the letter of acceptance.

Corozal Belize vs Chetumal Mexico in basketball exchange
Three male basketball games were played on Saturday, November 10, in a sports exchange between Corozal Belize and Chetumal Mexico at the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town. In the Under 13 game, Corozal Wildfire U-13 lost by a 45-42 score to Bacalar Chetumal U-13. Top scorers for Corozal Wildfire were Jael Galaz with 15 pts 5 rebs, while Bacalar Chetumal’s Omar Martinez had 20 pts 8 rebs. For the Under 10 game, Corozal Wildfire defeated Bacalar Chetuma, 20-18, with Jordan Cassanova top scoring for Corozal Wildfire with 8 pts 4 rebs; while for Bacalar Chetumal, Abimael Ortiz had 6 pts 6 rebs. Special thanks to the Corozal Wildfire Parents Committee and the Corozal Sports Council. In the high school basketball exchange which followed, Corozal Community College (CCC) prevailed, 54-47, over Segundaria Conalep de Chetumal Quintana Roo. For CCC, Stephaun Young led the way with 12 pts 9 rebs 3 blks, while Hugo Castillo was top scorer for Segundaria Conalep with 15 pts 4 rebs 8 assts.

Dangriga sports for Garifuna Settlement Day weekend
These are all the big sporting events in Dangriga this weekend for Garifuna Settlement Day: On Saturday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Carl Ramos Stadium it will be the return of the Over-40 football match – Dangriga Over-40 vs Kulture Yabra Over-40. Another big event in Dangriga for the Garifuna Settlement Day weekend will be the Travellers Dominoe Championship finals from the Dangriga Zone at Ray’s Cool Spot in the Benguche Area – Awalu vs Lexus. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. this Saturday, November 17. The winner walks away with $1,000.00 and a case of assorted Travellers Liquor. On Sunday, November 18, it is the Belize Roadway Construction Cycle Classic in honour of T.V. Ramos. This race will start at 1:00 p.m. from Drums of Our Father monument to Placencia junction and back through the main streets of Dangriga, which includes St. Vincent and Commerce, a right turn in front of T.V. Ramos monument, hit the Front Street and finish at Telemedia Princess Royal Park. Amateur riders from all over the country are invited to take part using mountain bikes with size 26 wheels and 48 spracket. Registration is only $10.00. Huge prizes for 5 top finishers; also cash station prizes going and coming. For info, riders can contact Moses Lopez at 625-4022; also Mr. T. at 662- 3310.

SCA females and TCC males are National High School Volleyball Champions 2012
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) held its national high schools volleykball championships over the weekend in Belmopan at the UB Gym on Friday and Saturday, November 9-10. This year’s Nationals were hosted by Belmopan Baptist High School. Participating high schools, champions of their respective divisions, were: North: Female (F) – Muffles College (MC); Male (M) – Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM). Central: Female (F) St. Catherine Academy (SCA); Male (M) St. John’s College (SJC). West: Female (F) – Belmopan Comprehensive School (BCS); Male (M) Mopan Technical High School (MTHS). South: Female (F) Stann Creek Ecumenical College (SCEC); Male (M) Toledo Community College (TCC). (F) SCA and (M) TCC were the defending national champions. In a simple knockout format, semifinals were played on Friday, and third place and championship games for both females and males took place on Saturday.

From The Publisher
Someone once described black Americans as “the financial and technological elite of the black world,” and through the decades that description has stuck in my mind. Remember now, this had to have been a long time ago, because it was before black Americans became “African-Americans.” When I was going to college in the States between 1965 and 1968, this was the time when “Negros” were becoming “black Americans.” This was a big move, because this moved black people closer to Africa. Africa was where we had to return mentally and spiritually, because the slavemaster had been so focused on separating us from the motherland – Mama Africa. This was why he called us “Negros”: a Negro had no continent of origin insofar as his/her description was concerned, and a Negro had no history. Chinese came from China, Russians came from Russia, and Germans came from Germany. Where did Negros come from? Once we became “African-Americans,” it was a step closer to Africa, and so even though I personally had become very comfortable with “black,” when the African-American designation began maybe three decades or so ago, I slowly began to go along with it. African-American more specifically identified us as originating in Africa. So. After I was going to Dartmouth for a while, I realized that black American students at the university did not accept black foreigners like myself and Guy Mhone 100 per cent. Guy Mhone was from Malawi in southern Africa. He was four years older than I, more mature and more sophisticated. Mhone and I felt that we were outsiders in the Dartmouth Afro-American Society, that their focus was all black American. So, we drifted away, and then we drifted apart. I began hanging out with a white student who lived down the corridor from me in Bissell Hall, and I began drinking more. Guy Mhone resided in Cutter Hall, which had a higher percentage of foreign students than any Dartmouth dormitory, and where there was much more awareness of international issues than in the rest of the university.

Toledo Alcalde Association unhappy with PM Barrow’s radio comment
They also do not want Minister Lisel Alamilla to be lead minister in negotiations. The Toledo Alcalde Association (TAA), comprised of the customary leaders of the Maya villages in Toledo, was in the midst of a meeting when you responded to my question regarding our letter to you on LOVE FM this morning. In your response, as I understood you said, (1) 2% of the working interest will be set aside in a trust to be managed by a committee of both government and community representatives; (2) that you have asked Senator Alamilla to be the lead Minister to engage with the Maya leaders; (3) if we go to court all bets are off the table. Because we did not have the opportunity to respond to you on the radio, we wish to do so here through this letter. We are copying this to the media so that the public is aware of our response, since they heard what you said. First, just to be factual, Minister Lisel Alamilla is not from Toledo, and my alcaldes today affirmed that a great many of them do not know her. She has absolutely no history with our alcaldes’ cultural institution. We know she worked in an environmental NGO in Toledo before becoming a Minister. Recently, she has contacted me to meet and I have asked her for an agenda, and also said I would make the TAA executive available to meet her. She seemed to wish to dictate whom she would meet with, and did not want to meet with the executive. Nevertheless, I have maintained contact with the Minister’s office and Wiezsman Pat, the administrative officer in her office, on October 29, responded via email: “I will send the agenda once vetted.” Furthermore, Minister Alamilla received a copy of the same letter dated October 18, 2012, that we sent to you, the Honorable Prime Minister, and the Attorney General.

William Conde and the “unjust and unholy” war against marijuana
In the future they will look back in shock and dismay at the injustices that we have endured under this draconian prohibition. Last Tuesday’s USA election saw two states legalize marijuana for use by those who are 21 years of age or older. I must say, it is way past due. Because of this, this Monday, November12, Prime Minister Dean Barrow met in Mexico City with President Calderón of Mexico, Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla and Honduras’ President Porfirio Lobo, to discuss the failed war on drugs and what should be done. Let me help you guys: PLEASE, STOP THE WAR. You are using violence and threats of violence to control peaceful natural human behavior. The truth will set you free. So, what’s the truth, folks? Oh, there are so many we can’t discuss them all here, but let me help you understand some truths. 1. Ezekiel 34:29: “I will rise up for them a plant of renown.” 2. The true breakthrough of the earth’s most environmentally sound raw material source (fiber and oil). 3. The creation of, possibly, man’s greatest economic engine. 4. Over half of all the trees cut on earth today are to be made into paper. Hemp makes better paper using fewer chemicals and grows organically on a farm, in just three months.

Angry about the decline in Belize’s sport fishing
I just ran across the Kenneth Gale, August 17, 2012 article on the illegal fishing nets in Belize. We have been sending hundreds of sport fishermen to Belize since 1979. We just had a group who completed their 18th annual trip, and are almost ready to throw in the towel in Belize. They have watched the decline over the years. We saw the decline in Florida, but when laws and enforcement came into play, these sport fish really came back. While your writer doesn’t make mention of snook, these are a tremendously popular sport fish which the illegal netters have all but cleaned out. While there have been laws in place in Belize, there is absolutely no enforcement. We can fish for weeks south of Belize and never see anyone from Belize Fisheries. A few years ago we witnessed a net burning show in Belize. I think it was primarily for show, as we never heard much more about it and the netters came back. My guys want to write letters or emails to the appropriate authorities. Can you direct me to some responsible people of power in Belize who may take this message to heart? Any help with specific contact information will be greatly appreciated. John Smith, CEO Action Belize

Barrow says UDP will support open Public Accounts meetings, but review would probe PUP administration too!
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow said on Love FM this morning that the United Democratic Party (UDP) members on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) would support having public sessions, but, he added, there is no way that the review of audit reports will begin in 2012, as the current committee chairman, Julius Espat, has proposed. Barrow suggested that the reports reviewing the performance of Government while under the administration of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) would not be “water under the bridge,” but the committee would have to probe into those reports as well. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Espat, Cayo South area rep for the PUP, said that the committee, which was constituted after the February 2012 general elections and which held its first meeting in October, only has a mandate to look at what is presented to them under their tenure. Espat had particularly proposed a review of the 2010-2011 report of the Auditor General, which, he said, is the only such report tabled during the tenure of the present Public Accounts Committee. That report was scheduled to be discussed at a PAC meeting held on Monday afternoon, at the National Assembly; however, that meeting did not materialize because of differences over how the meeting should proceed.

Bze City fans missing out on Smart Mundialito 13 & Under
Take it from one who knows, folks, there is a golden opportunity being lost each Saturday at the MCC Grounds where the Smart 13 & Under Mundialito football tournament is featuring a bunch of excited kids from all across the City as well as some from Ladyville and Hattieville. The Belize City primary schools football competition is also ongoing, but those games are played between 1:00 and 4:00 each week day afternoon, when most parents are busy working. On Saturdays, the Mundialito features many of the same players; most of the star strikers from primary school are also performing on the Mundialito teams. The Mundialito games are 20-minute halves, and 5 games are played each Saturday, from 11:00 in the morning until around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. Our future stars are right there in action. Some are still too small to make an impact on the games, but they are still playing their hearts out, and they are a joy to watch. You’re missing out, city fans and families. Come out and support the kids at the MCC on Saturday; there is no gate charge.

Editorial: Trigger happy Police Sergeant
The military is trained to kill. They have to be, we suppose. Warfare is ferocious and unforgiving – the enemy is aiming always to kill you. But as far as we know, the police are not so trained. They are supposed to keep the peace. They are supposed to protect and to serve the public. Don’t get us wrong. There are some commendable police officers, who are respected and embraced by the communities they serve. Their names never come up in any controversy, and they never shoot, or maim, or kill anyone. Sergeant Paulino Reyes doesn’t appear to be cut from the same cloth of those aforementioned cops. He seems to be of a military mindset. The sensational shooting death a couple years ago of Police Corporal Gavin Sanchez at the hands of the said Sergeant Reyes made a lot of people angry. An autopsy subsequently revealed that Reyes emptied not one, not two, not three, but nine bullets into his fellow officer. The public was outraged. Some good and courageous members of the Police Department were up in arms. Reyes was never criminally charged: he claimed self-defense. In the Southside of Belize City, the incident touched a nerve. Gavin Sanchez’s young wife was a popular hairdresser. And she was pregnant. Still, nothing happened. The Police top brass did what people in high places, when faced with rogue elements in their midst, tend to do. They transferred the problem. The man Sergeant Reyes showed up in another community, in another district. Now Reyes is in the news again. It is as if trouble follows him. Luckily for Donatilo Canales, a 53-year-old resident of Valley of Peace village who allegedly got into an altercation with Reyes on Monday, he was not more severely injured.

Salute our Garifuna brethren and sistren
On Monday, November 19, the Garifuna people, and indeed all Belizeans, will celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day, to mark their arrival on these shores in the first part of the nineteenth century. We take a lot of things for granted in this Jewel of ours, but there were no guarantees over 200 plus years ago when the Garifuna people were deported from St. Vincent by the British after a prolonged bloody battle with the greedy colonialists. The story is that sometime in the first half of the 17th century, a number of Africans landed on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, by way of shipwreck. It is these surviving Africans who intermingled with the indigenous people of St. Vincent, the so-called Caribs, and it is their children who are considered the first Garifuna. The British occupiers, goes the story, wanted to use the island for sugar cane plantation, and so they employed all manner of treachery, including violence, to steal the lands of the Garifuna. But the ancestors of present-day Garifuna were no pushover: they mounted a fierce resistance. That resistance against the overly powerful British cost the Garifuna dearly. Sometime between 1796 and 1797, the British rounded up well over 4,000 Garinagu men, women and children and took them to a small island named Balliceaux, a dependency of St. Vincent. Almost half of them reportedly died from diseases and malnutrition, before the approximately 2,000 survivors were eventually taken to Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras. From there they fanned out to several Central American coasts, including Guatemala, Nicaragua, and later Belize. It was the late Thomas Vincent Ramos who led the efforts to celebrate Settlement Day in British Honduras, an objective he achieved in 1941. Incidentally, the great T.V. Ramos was a prominent member of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which had a branch in Stann Creek Town, as today’s Dangriga was then called.

Ideas and Opinions – Democracy’s Achilles Heel
The argument between communism and capitalism was settled by the end of the so-called Cold War, with the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Does this prove that Karl Marx was wrong? Marx said, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” What’s wrong with that? That is a socialist principle, but it sounds very much like what Christianity is about. Socialism declares that society should take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. On a personal level, Christianity teaches that you are your brother’s keeper. Is there a difference? Marx also said that the state should be the owner of the means of production and that the citizen exists to serve the state, represented by those who ascend to positions of leadership through means other than by free and fair elections. Marx went further and declared that religion was a pie in the sky and an opiate of the people, espoused by clergies whose agenda was to control the minds of the people for their own purposes. The idea that a system of government which stifles individual creativity and turns men into robotic units could long survive, proved to be misconceived, but socialist principles persist. For example, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are forms of socialism. So is unemployment insurance, and so are all charitable institutions like the St. Vincent de Paul Society. There is decidedly an element of socialism in all democratic countries, but it is not so called. In fact, in America, socialism has become a buzz word for incipient communism, a state to be feared worse than death.

More oil money to Toledo Maya if they abort court action, says Barrow
More oil money to Toledo Maya if they abort court action, says Barrow Maya leaders of Toledo had recently engaged both domestic and overseas attorneys as they have been gearing up to take the Government of Belize to court over land rights and associated petroleum development proposed by US Capital Energy in their district and across what they hold are ancestral lands to which they have secure rights. However, Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicated yesterday that he would consider giving the Maya a special sliver of the petroleum pie if they were to abort their move to take the matter to court. “If you’re going to court to stop the drilling,” said Barrow, “then there will be no money, and there will be no proceeds to share.” The Maya communities had written to the Barrow administration around mid-October, and the government was “mum” until Prime Minister Barrow spoke with the media on Wednesday morning. Barrow first declared on Love FM’s morning talk show that Government is willing to consider setting aside a bite of petroleum proceeds for the South. “We’re prepared to use the working interest share of the oil revenue, if there were to be a discovery in Toledo, to fund a trust on which the community leaders would have equal representation with Government, and the trust monies would then finance a community development project in the Toledo District,” he said, citing “peculiar circumstances in Toledo” and the intent to earmark the funds for development projects.

John McAfee still in hiding
At press time tonight, American millionaire John McAfee, 67, former antivirus pioneer, is still in hiding from police, who say he is a “person of interest” in the murder of fellow American retiree Gregory Faull, 52, who was found dead in his home in the Mata Rock Area of San Pedro by his housekeeper on Sunday morning, November 11, at about 7:20. A post-mortem conducted on Faull’s body on Wednesday, November 14, certified that he died of a gunshot to his head. His body has since been cremated, and his father, who came to Belize, will take back his remains. John McAfee, from his hiding place, presumably still in the country, has since made calls to the San Pedro Sun Newspaper, saying that he is innocent and knows nothing about the murder, and that he heard no shooting. He said that he hardly knows Faull, his neighbor, but he will not talk to the Belize police because they have a vendetta against him and want to silence him. He went through an ordeal when his compound was raided in May of this year, in which he was handcuffed for 14 hours, he said, and he will go international with his story that there is injustice in the country. Until the real killer is found, McAfee said, he will remain in hiding and talk from there, and he will not go to the American Embassy, because of their collaboration with Belize.


Kelly McGuire And His Great Big Heart Are Back at Fido's!
Last night, Kelly McGuire kicked off a week plus long series of concerts at Fido's. Everyone in San Pedro is a giant fan of his tropical-country-rock. Not only are Kelly's songs easy to sing along with but many of them are about Ambergris Caye. How cool is that? Kelly comes to the island each January/February to celebrate his birthday and play some hugely popular shows. Now he seems to be making it a twice a year thing. Maybe he's finally thinking of making the move? We will see... Here is Kelly attempting to go incognito...the shades match nicely with his shirt. By the end of the evening, there was a good crowd. Lots of songs had couples up and dancing... some songs had the guys doing some sort of kick line... Everyone had an amazingly fun night. Here are Krista from Canuck's Beach Bar and Cindy from Changes in Latitudes B&B. And based on my slight but piercing headache this morning, maybe too much fun.

International Sources

Statement by an IMF Mission to Belize
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission lead by Mr. Gerardo Peraza, visited Belize from November 1-15 to conduct its yearly review of the country’s economy, in the context of the IMF’s Article IV consultations. Please go to the above link to read the results gathered from this Mission.

Girls, guns and yoga: John McAfee's odd life in "pirate haven"
To the many people who crossed his path on a tropical island in Belize, it was apparent John McAfee's life had taken some bizarre turns in the past few years. The anti-virus software guru, who started McAfee Associates in 1989, has been in hiding since police said they wanted to question him about the weekend murder of his neighbor, fellow American Gregory Faull, with whom McAfee had quarreled. Despite his disappearance, McAfee, 67, has remained in contact with the media, providing a stream of colorful bulletins over his predicament, state of mind and his claim that Belize's authorities want to kill him. Residents of the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye and others who know him paint the picture of an eccentric, impulsive man who gave up a career as a successful entrepreneur in the United States for a life of semi-seclusion in the former pirate haven of Belize, surrounded by bodyguards and young women. "Never mind the dog, beware of owner," counsels a small sign, embellished with a sketched hand gripping a large pistol, tacked to the fence separating McAfee's beachfront swimming pool from the pier that cuts into the azure sea. McAfee, a yoga fan who has lived on the island for about four years, often moves around with bodyguards, wearing pistols in his belt. Since going into hiding, he has compared his lot to that of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is battling extradition from Britain from inside the Ecuadorean Embassy. Officials suspect McAfee used designer drugs, and neighbors say he tried to chase them off the public beach in front of his house. Inside his home, a blue-roofed cottage complex, he kept a small arsenal of shotguns and scope-fitted rifles.

Belize Murder: John McAfee Tells ABC News He Is Innocent and Fearful of a 'Corrupt Government'
Tech guru John McAfee told ABC News in his first broadcast interview that he did not kill his neighbor Gregory Faull, and is now in hiding, fearful of what he calls a "corrupt government" in Belize that he believes is trying to kill him. "I am a very nice guy and certainly innocent of the charges leveled against me," McAfee told ABC News by phone on Wednesday. The increasingly paranoid millionaire declined to meet with ABC News for an interview. "Well, we'll talk on the phone first. Talking face to face is going to be a very difficult thing, sir. People know you're not being followed by. I can assure you, but you are," McAfee said. "I insist that we're living in a corrupt government, it's easy to point that out," he said. McAfee is now on the run from police in San Pedro, Belize, after he was named a person of interest by police after Faull, 52, was found murdered Sunday morning. McAfee, who is being sought for questioning in Faull's murder, is not believed to have left Belize. McAfee would not comment on his location, but said he feels secure where he is. McAfee, 67, fears he will be killed if he ends up in government custody. "The government is able to listen to any phone conversation and triangulate fairly closely," said McAfee, who changes phones every few hours.

Fall in love with Belize
As soon as the leaves begin to fall and the air turns from crisp to damp and dreary I start planning my winter escape. Sunshine, pampering and relaxation are the three things that my husband and I look for in a romantic getaway. After some research I soon discovered that Belize, the Central-American country famous for its phenomenal diving, Mayan ruins and abundance of eco-activities, is also a tranquil haven for couples and honeymooners. We divided our time between four unique regions of the country; however if you crave a more leisurely trip try to limit yourself to two areas. PLACENCIA Barefoot perfect describes the brown sugar-sand beaches that fringe the colourful village of Placencia, on the Southern peninsula of Belize's Staan Creek district. This once quiet fishing community has transformed itself into a burgeoning destination that thankfully retains its traditional charm. We spent our time lounging on the beach, strolling through the village and enjoying treatments at the Secret Garden day spa. Owned by the American born, Japanese trained masseuse Lee Nyhus Secret Garden is a welcome oasis in the heart Placencia. Hot Stone, Deep Tissue, Swedish, Thai and Shiatsu massages are only $50 US for 60 minutes, as is the All Natural Facial, which includes a nourishing mask and hand and foot massage. Off the coast of Placencia, at the Gladden Spitt, is also one of the few places in the world where you can snorkel and dive with whale sharks. Each spring more than 25 species of fish gather to spawn in Gladden, and the days following the full moon in March through June offer the best chance to experience swimming with the gentle giants.

Chocolatier finds sweet spot in Belize
Katrina Markoff, the founder of high-end Chicago chocolatier Vosges Haut-Chocolat, is nearing completion on two high-profile projects: a winery-style chocolate facility in Logan Square and an education center at a cacao plantation and eco-lodge in Belize. Markoff isn't ready to talk about the Logan Square project, her spokeswoman said. But in an interview last week, she said she hopes the Belcampo farm in Belize will become the source of a majority of Vosges' cacao once its plants mature. The project means Markoff will soon play a role in every aspect of production from seed selection through packaging without having to assume the financial risk of owning a tropical plantation. Belcampo Group CEO Anya Fernald said the education center that Markoff helped design will open in mid-December, and Markoff will teach her first "master class" on cacao to guests at the 12-room lodge April 23-27. In exchange for her time and expertise, Markoff will receive a better price on the beans. "I've always wanted to be involved through the full vertical, from actually growing the varietals of cacao I want, and being particular about how they're grown and harvested and fermented and dried," she said.

John McAfee Reveals His Hiding Place
In a too-strange-to-be-true twist on an already bizarre crime story, fugitive tech millionaire John McAfee today revealed where he'd been hiding over the last six days: in his own compound. McAfee, wanted by police in connection with the murder of his neighbor Gregory Faull over the weekend, said in a phone interview that he had never really been on the run at all. He'd just been hiding out at home. The calls were coming from inside the house! "I am," he said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon, "where I am most of the time. I am certainly inside my compound." The revelation came at the end of a week of intense international media attention which began when I broke the story on Gizmodo.com Monday. McAfee, who has bragged about the delight he takes in hoaxing the press, had managed to control the coverage of his story by doling out a carefully measured flow of misinformation to an eager press corps, many of whom were camped right outside his house as he spoke to them from within one of the numerous outbuildings on the property, unaware of his presence within. The truth of McAfee's location did not come as a shock to some of his neighbors. "If I had to guess, I'd say he's in his house," one of his neighbors told me on Wednesday, adding: "He's such a media whore, he's probably loving it." McAfee bought the property after his arrival in Belize in 2008, and proceeded to build a number of outbuildings. Apparently they contained at least one difficult-to-detect shelter or safe room, because local police reportedly searched the property after Faull's murder without managing to find him. A source who lived on McAfee's compound in Colorado told me that he had built a shelter on that property, too.

Belize’s Barrow Holds Talks With Leaders from Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow continued his regional tour Friday, meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon to discuss regional security. Joining the two were Honduras President Porfirio Lobo and Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla. The group signed a joint declaration aimed at strengthening cooperation against transnational organized crime. According to the statement, the countries “reaffirm their commitment of their governments to tackle and combat more effectively and with determination, these scourges, on the basis of the principle of shared and differentiated common responsibility, through international cooperation mechanisms that are complementary to respective national efforts.” Barrow is being joined on the trip by Belize Ambassador to Mexico Oliver del Cid, Minister Counsellor Ardelle Sabido and Major Oscar Mira. Earlier this week, Barrow visited Honduras at the invitation of Lobo.

CNBC Anchor Asks Former Tech Mogul 'Are You Prepared To Die?' In Craziest Interview Ever
Former tech mogul John McAfee, who is wanted for questioning in a murder case in Belize and is currently hiding inside his compound in that country, spoke to CNBC's Brian Sullivan via the telephone today in one of the craziest interviews of all time. It was intense. At one point, anchor Brian Sullivan asked McAfee is he's prepared to die. We've included some of the best excerpts from the official transcript as well as the video below: Here McAfee talks about how he's fearful of his life if he goes in for questioning. He also explains what the live five days have been like hiding out on his compound. FRANK: BUT JOHN, WHY NOT, IF YOU HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS MURDER, WHY NOT JUST TURN YOURSELF IN? HAVE A LAWYER, YOU CAN GET YOUR OWN SECURITY GUYS. THE POLICE HAVE TOLD ME YOU CAN GO IN WITH SECURITY GUYS, YOU CAN GO IN WITH CAMERAS. IF YOU ARE FEARING FOR YOUR SAFETY, WHY NOT JUST GO IN AND TELL THEM WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS MURDER?

Olson Wins Belize Tourism Account
Nabs agency-of-record assignment without a review. The Mayans may have predicted the end of the world in December but Belize, home to ruins belonging to those Mesoamericans, is planning for life beyond. The Central American country has tapped Olson as agency of record without a review. Olson’s first campaign, expected to launch in early 2013, covers advertising, design, digital, mobile and social media. In hiring the Minneapolis agency, Manuel Heredia, Jr., Belize’s minister of Tourism, said “Olson not only captured what’s unique about Belize, but it demonstrated the capabilities to bring those insights to life in compelling ways and through many channels.” Olson replaces agencies like Edelman Digital and BVK, Milwaukee, in working to boost North American tourism. That industry is critical to Belize’s economy and employs 25 percent of its population. Last year Belize spent some $6 million on marketing. The win comes after Olson picked up the Midwestern business for Whole Foods Market, AOR duties for the Alzheimer’s Association and PR efforts for Kraft’s Oscar Mayer brand.


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