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#451705 - 11/22/12 09:46 AM Today's Belize News: November 22, 2012
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The San Pedro Sun

New High Commissioner for Belize assumes duties in UK
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Belize, received Her Excellency Ms. Perla Perdomo in a private audience at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, November 20th, 2012. The audience marked the formal recognition of Ms. Perdomo’s assumption of duties as High Commissioner for Belize in the United Kingdom. High Commissioner Perdomo has commenced her representation with a focus on investment, Diaspora outreach, and efforts to seek support for Restore Belize and other social programmes.

Reef Ride 2012 Concludes in Punta Gorda
“I thank Oceana for making this possible. Oceana’s sponsorship, along with the support of my family and so many others, allowed Shaphan and me to today complete the ride across Belize here in Punta Gorda, to coincide with a special day for our Garifuna brothers,” said inspirational paraplegic Jerome Flores shortly before midday yesterday after Reef Ride 2012 culminated at the Central Park in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District. Added fellow paraplegic Shaphan “Bala” Domingo, “I am so glad I was able to meet this challenge of riding a trike from Dangriga to Punta Gorda. Next stop: Rio, Brazil in 2016 at the Para Olympics!” Reef Ride 2012, a 2-day event, left Dangriga on the morning of November 18th and that first leg of the ride ended in Independence, where the team rested for the final leg the following day. Joining Jerome and Shaphan, were 12 cyclists from the Belize Zoo, including its Director Sharon Matola. On day two, Jerome and Shaphan were accompanied all the way from Independence to Punta Gorda by Cyclist John Olivera. There were intermittent cyclists who joined the Ride along the way into Punta Gorda. Reef Ride 2012 was very much a family affair. Jerome’s Dad Samuel Flores, celebrated his 54th birthday by riding alongside his son almost the entire route. Jerome’s twin brother Jeremy, and his partner Gina, also rode. Damion Jones and Mitchell Bainton accompanied Shaphan. Other members of the Flores Family, including Jerome’s Mom Francine Flores, his partner Alexie Silva, Sister Monique, Nephew Caleb, and Cousin Esmeralda along with Oceana in Belize staff comprised the service team, which followed the riders to ensure their safety and that their other needs to complete the ride were attended to. Escort was provided by the Transport Departments of both Dangriga Town and Punta Gorda Town. Jerome & Bala undertook Reef Ride 2012 to complete the last leg of a challenge Jerome started back in 2009 to ride a hand-powered trike across Belize. His primary aim, then as now: to bring awareness to the plight of people living with diverse abilities. Through its sponsorship this year and last, Oceana in Belize sought to lend its full support to Jerome’s mission even as its involvement bring attention of Oceana’s own campaign for a ban on offshore oil drilling due to its threat to Belize’s marine resource. Additionally, as the Reef Ride coincided with Garifuna Settlement Day, it served as a means for Oceana to salute our Garinagu compatriots as they celebrate their 1802 arrival to Belizean shores.

National Garifuna Settlement Day celebrated on Ambergris Caye
The San Pedro Cultural Committee (SPCC) in collaboration with the National Garifuna Council (NGC) held several activities ending with the 19th of November celebration commemorating National Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. National Garifuna Settlement Day is a day set aside to remember the date when the Garinagu came to permanently settle in Belize with the first arrivals in 1803 and then later, in full force on the 19th of November 1932 led by Alejo Beni. The mixture of Caribs and shipwrecked African slaves gave birth to a new group called Garinagu who migrated from St Vincent to Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. They brought with them their ground crops, cane, coconut, plantains as well as their beliefs. For years, since their arrival to the southern coastline of Belize, the Garingu have used the month of November to highlight the struggle that their ancestors had to overcome for their survival. During the course of the weekend of the 16th to the 19th of November, the SPCC introduced some of the core activities that are a part of the Garifuna culture. The two main events that were added to the annual celebration on the island were the house to house Jankunu (pronounced as John Canoe) dancers as well as a full cultural night on the eve of the 19th of November highlighting the Charikanari dance. The Jankunu dance is comprised of male dancers dressed in a special dress-like outfit with colorful hanging ribbons and a gorgeous headpiece made of multi-colored feathers with a small mirror to the front. A pink mask conceals the identity of the dancer, and a knee piece made of small dangling sea shells and black or white socks completes the ensemble. The Jankunu king however, does not wear the dress-like outfit but instead uses a black pants and white long sleeve shirt with a black and white ribbon across the front. The dancers face the drummers who then beat the drums in accordance to the movement of the dancers. The dance mimics the English men who drove the Garinagu off the shores of Belize.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Wins National Sailing Club Regatta on Ambergris Caye
Under the brilliant sunshine on the sparkling waters of the Caribe Sea, the Optimists sailors of the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) competed this weekend in the National Finals in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. Twenty-five sailors supported by their coaches, peers, family and friends, sailed 6 races over the course of two days to find the best of the best for the Belize National Team. In 1st Place - Gold Medalist is Kevin Velasquez from the San Pedro Sailing Club (headline picture). Kevin is 11 years old and has been sailing with the team since its inception 18 months ago. He is a little "go getter" who always seems to rank in the top 5. He is a smart kid from a large family of sailors with two older sisters on the team and three younger siblings waiting to start! He attends Holy Cross School and loves the sport. Kevin is also the recipient of the “Denys Bradley Cup”. Denys Wade Bradley is a Belizean boat designer and builder who has, for 70 years, built and sailed traditional and "one design classes" in Belize.

Miss Belize Destinee Arnold Wins Miss Ethnic World
Queen of the Jewel (the Official Miss Belize), Destinee Arnold, made history as she was crowned Miss Ethnic World 2013. The pageant was held at the elegant Westin Hotel in Long Beach California where delegates from all over the world gathered for a weekend of activities, photo shoots and rigorous rehearsals. The delegates were judged in six categories including personal interview, cultural expression, fashion-active wear, fashion-after five, eveningwear and community service in which documentation of service hours were verified by a third party. While most international pageants have either removed the cultural competition from their score sheets or offer minimal points for it, Miss Ethnic World remains the only international pageant that is dedicated to celebrating cultural diversity through talent presentation and extensive interview. These two categories are each worth a hefty 20% of the delegate’s overall score. “We are pleased to report that not only did our Miss Belize bring home the coveted crown; she also bested all 17 other delegates in personal interview, fashion – active wear and eveningwear. In addition to this, Miss Belize made top five in cultural expression for her poem and dance performance entitled: “Indigenous Me - The Year of the Maya”, paying homage to the Sun God, Kanich Ahau by dancing to Maya music and a pre-recorded recitation of her poem.

Video Pick: EX-PATS in Belize with Savanna Jane Buffett
It is very common to meet people in Belize who have come from abroad and fallen in love with the country so much that they leave everything behind and start new lives. The Reserve Channel is an original YouTube channel that provides access to some of the most extraordinary people and places live has to offer. In this, their most recent feature, the EX-PATS program comes to Belize and features Pam and John Solomon left New York City to open a restaurant in Placencia. Now they have a daughter named Libby who thinks she is Mayan and has dual citizenship. Their restaurant, RumFish, is a big success and they are living the dream. Everything they serve is fresh from the sea or the farm. They are glad they didn't wait to retire in paradise when they can live and work there instead.

San Pedro Lion’s Club Holds International Peace Poster Contest
The San Pedro Lion’s Club participated in the International Lion’s Club annual Peace Poster Contest, featuring the entries at the Lion’s Den on Friday, November 16th. There were 63 entries total from San Pedro Roman Catholic School, Isla Bonita Elementary School and New Horizon’s School. The posters were judged on Originality, Expression of Theme and Artistic Merit with this year’s theme of “Imagine Peace”. Children ages 11 thru 13 years old were eligible to enter. Judges Paulette Galbraith, ACES School, and Dr. Dianne Lawrence, Quicksilver/Go Phones/Yard Boyz, had a difficult time narrowing down the creative entries to the top ten. After much deliberation, they chose the top three places and were so touched by the art, put up their own money to award fourth and fifth places. The winners are: First Place: Seleny Borges, Age 11, SPRC, $200 prize. Artwork: people on an island with flags surrounding the drawing. Second Place: Nestor Castillo, Age 12, Isla Bonita School, $100 prize. Artwork ; map of Latin and Central America, a peace dove and a world with children around it holding hands. When asked about the predominant hands clasped across Guatemala and Belize, he explained with the situation between the two countries, he envisioned peace through the hand shake. Third Place: Magali Lopez, Age 10, SPRC, $50prize. Artwork featured a world figure connected to peace signs by a very colorful rainbow. Fourth place: Danny Itza, Age 11, SPRC, $30 gift. Art was a figure holding a dove and a world globe while standing in a peace laurel. Fifth place: Alina Felicia Zaldivar, Age 12, SPRC, $20 gift. Her poster was a well executed stained glass dove. Honorable Mention goes to an unknown poster of hands holding a globe and glittered rays reaching out. Beautiful as it was, unfortunately it did not meet the art criteria and did not have the child’s name on it. All 63 entries were displayed during the judging and will be returned to the child with a thank you from the Lion’s as well as a certificate for an ice cream cone from Manelly’s and Lion’s Club. The winning poster will be sent to National Competition in the US. Good Luck to our artist!

Romantic Days of the Past
Many romantic ballads and love songs included poems that would lure a woman into acceptance of the young man making a love proposition. Poems were used in birthday greeting cards as well as in radio greetings for a birthday or anniversary. Young men developed the art of writing poems and even used them to attract a woman’s attention as she passed by. Trust me, with the romantic language used, it was not considered as sexual harassment. It was considered very romantic and acceptable indeed. Now is this enough to convince anyone that in days gone by, there was a lot more romanticism than today? But there was more. Men and women expressed their romantic love for each other by sending boxes of chocolates with a love note, a flower, or a dash of perfume or cologne on the wrapper. Ladies would save a piece, a curl, or braid of hair and give it as a keepsake to her boyfriend or fiancé. She kept his handkerchief with fondness. And he kept her handkerchief with affection. He kept a photo of her in his wallet. She kept his photo in her purse. Whenever a young man went to visit his fiancée every night, he had to take something for her. It could be one chocolate bar, a few packets of her favorite chewing gum, even peanuts or pipits (roasted pumpkin seeds). Talk about romanticism. Even the nightly visit by a boyfriend to his girlfriend was a romantic affair. It was part of the culture that a boy should visit the girl at her home every night seven to nine p.m. If he should ever miss a night, it gave her something to think about, or even worry. Romantic, indeed very romantic! However, nothing beats the romanticism of twenty five years ago than the serenade- a visit to the girl’s house with mariachis or a trio with music and songs. Now that is indeed the extreme or romanticism, but that will be an entire issue for next week. Enjoy.

Cultural Exhibit at Holy Cross Anglican School

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: The Aquarium, Amigos Del Mar "Diving Belize"
Dive Three of Blue Hole Day Trip. Join our guest Mark, Natasha and Matthew as we dive The Aquarium.

VIDEO: Diving The Blue Hole, Amigos Del Mar, San Pedro
Join our guest divers Mark, Natasha and Matthew as we explore the Blue Hole and a look at resident sharks.

Video: Lighthouse Reef, Half Moon Wall, Amigos Del Mar
Aboard Papa Changa, Amigos Del Mar. Join our guest divers Mark, Natahsa and Matthew as we work the reef for Lionfish and encounter sharks at Half Moon Wall.

Rotary Club Helps Two Cayo Schools
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio has just started two new school infrastructure projects here in Cayo. They are building bathrooms for Eden SDA Primary School and St. Andrews Anglican School. Thanks, Rotary! "The schools will receive modern flush toilets in adequate numbers that are also accessible by wheelchairs. The building plans are based on a standard model that is recommended by the Ministry of Education which was also instrumental in selecting the schools. The buildings will even be equipped with fresh water storage tanks in case of interrupted public water supply. The goal of these two projects is not only to provide the kids with decent bathrooms. In each school the whole measure will be embedded in the health education curriculum that teaches personal hygiene among others."

Sorrel Stout Returning for Christmas
Belikin will be releasing more Sorrel Stout soon, just in time for Christmas. Belikin makes the only sorrel flavored stout beer in the world. They've made a funny advertisement for it, and it shows what goes on inside the processing plant. "Belikin Brewmaster, Nolan Michael is making sure that you get your Christmas brew in time for the holidays ;)."

SHJC Open Day Next Wednesday
SHJC is having their Open Day next Wednesday, November the 28th. 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 a marketing expo. "If you're an SHJC student who knows someone (who is not enrolled in high school right now) and who would be interested in furthering their studies - whether it is to obtain an Associate Degree (whether they completed high school or not) or a Certificate in the areas of Tour Guiding, Pre-Medical Studies, Primary Education or Adventure & Eco-Tourism... stop by the Office of Student Services and pick up a special invitation like this for them."

Wildlife Workshop with Lucky Boy
The Belize Zoo recently had a wildlife workshop where veterinarians from Belize and Guatemala joined Forest Department officials and zoo staff, UB students and their instructor “Jaguar-Man” Dr. Bart Harmson, Birds Without Borders researchers, and noted jaguar researcher, Omar Figueroa. They did a checkup on Lucky Boy, and he's doing great, and putting the weight back on faster than expected. "The Lucky Boy exam indeed had a happy ending. Friendships formed, medical information about our rescued jaguar we previously did not know was gained, and recommendations due to the veterinarian findings, are now being discussed, which will ensure an even happier life for this superb black jaguar. Lucky Boy meets his Belize public for the first time, on grounds at the zoo, December 12th!"

UB and SHJC Debate
This afternoon in the University of Belize's Jaguar auditorium, UB will host Sacred Heart Junior College for a debate on promiscuity and abuse. Best of luck to all students! "The Faculty of Education and Arts through the UB Debate Club is hosting a “Debate: Promiscuity & Abuse” at the Jaguar Auditorium on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. between students from the University of Belize and Sacred Heart Junior College."

DYS Basketball Competition
The Department of Youth Services has some video from the basketball competition. The competition ends this Friday. "This game took place on the 19-Nov-2012. MCHS Vs. San Jose Succotz U-18 MCHS defeated San Jose Succotz 47-35 — at Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo @ Deacon's Court."

Channel 7

Brazen Robber Gets Shot At Dit's
There were two brazen armed robberies of well-known businesses in the city today. We start with the one that happened at Dit's Restaurant on King's Street this afternoon. It's one of the oldest restaurants in the city but that didn't stop Aspinal Welch from running in and trying to rob one of the patrons. At about a quarter to three, that patron was sitting in a group of four other men - when the shooter charged in and tried to hold him up. But he didn't give up so easily, even when the robber fired two shots at him. The patron - whose name we are not releasing to protect his safety - pulled out his own licensed 9 millimeter pistol firearm and shot Aspinal Welch in both legs. All this happened while the other patrons dived to the floor to escape flying bullets. This evening, Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez briefed the media about the information the police have so far: Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "At 3pm this afternoon police were called to Dits Restaurant at #50 King Street here in Belize City where they saw one Aspinal Welch, 22 years old of #64 King Street in Belize City suffering from what appears to be gunshot wounds to both legs.

Police Find Car Used In Armed Robbery
And at about 8:15 this morning, two tall, dark-skinned men - one of them armed - strode into Sea Shore Grocery at mile two on the Northern Highway and held up the two proprietors. They grabbed the cash pan - and drove off in a waiting green Saturn Car. About an hour later, police found the car abandoned on Cedar Street. The cashpan was on the floor of the car behind the passenger seat but it had been abandoned. Police also found a pair of slippers nearby. They believe the robbers ditched the car their and ran to their base nearby in the Ghost Town area. To properly dust the car for fingerprints, police had to tow it to the Queen Street police station. They are seeking suspects known to them. Investigators were able to approximate an identity of the suspects on the store's multiple security cameras.

He Allegedly Killed A (Distant) Relative
Yesterday, 7News told you about 26 year-old Karim Peters who was killed on Sunday in Pomona Village, a few hours before Garifuna Settlement Day. Well, the man who allegedly stabbed him to death is 34 year-old Juan Rubio, and he is at prison tonight, after he was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate's Court. As we reported, Peters was socializing in the vicinity of Rubio's home, and they were allegedly having a few drinks together. Rubio got into a fight with his younger brother, and Peters stepped in to stop it. Because Peters intervened, Rubio allegedly stabbed him in the left side of the chest. Peters was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital, but he succumbed shortly after. Police arrested and charged Rubio with murder late yesterday evening, and today, he was taken before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith late this evening.

PM On IDB President Moreno; "A Crass Act Of Cowardice"
Superbond 2.0 - it's still in the air and Belize is about to enter what might be called the red zone. That's the expiration of the 60 day grace period that was given when a half the overdue bond payment was made in September. Negotiations with the bondholders are still underway - but the hand that Belize had hoped to play is not as strong as it would have hoped. And that's because the Inter-American Development Bank has pulled its support for a partial guarantee of the restructuring with a policy based loan. It happened because the US Treasury Department insisted that instead of going to the IDB, the Government of Belize had to first go to the IMF. The government of Belize flatly refused - and the IDB, feeling pressured by the USA, pulled out. This morning on KREM WUB Prime Minister Dean Barrow called it a "crass act of cowardice" by the IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. He told us as much after that show:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I had met with Moreno and I understood from then that he was not as committed as his staffers seem to be but I thought that we had been able to persuade him. Ultimately it was that the US Treasury indicated clearly to Moreno and directly that it would not support the IDB agreeing to the guarantee. It then became a matter of us saying to Moreno to take it to the board nonetheless. I understand that the IDB a branch of the US Treasury. Moreno, for his own reasons ultimately did not do that. He called me to say that because of the US Treasury opposition it was off. That's where things stood." Jules Vasquez "How would you characterize the conservative decision that he made?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I told him that I thought that it amounted to a failure of nerve on his part.

PM Says President Obama Done Nothing For Belize
And so, since the US Treasury Department played a pivotal role in blocking the IDB Loan to Belize, is the Prime Minister angry at President Obama? Today, the PM said it's never personal, but the US President hasn't done anything for Belize. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I am in fact pleased that he was re-elected. Now that the election is over I can offer my comments freely, I certainly believe that he and his vision are better for the US than what I saw as the Romney vision, but the fact is that Obama hasn't done anything for Belize, personally and in the case of this whole IDB situation while it is the treasury department that's part of the Government of the United States and I am disappointed as well over the way the treasury behave but I am as I tried to signal at the last business; I am an older and wiser fellow now - that's what it is. I am not going to go out there and try to on the world stage or local stage denounce the United States. It's what has happened, there are other areas in which we do enjoy some cooperation and collaboration with them particularly with respect to the security - all in their self-interest of course but that is the way big powers behave - I am physiological about it."

PM Says Local Oil Refinery "Ain't Gonna Happen"
And so since the Government never got its IDB Loan, we got to thinking about things you hear about, but never see. That made us think of the oil refinery that the Prime Minister promise din the run-up to the election. With fuel prices trending down - but still well above ten dollars per gallon - we asked the PM if its ever going to happen:.. Jules Vasquez "You promise an oil refinery. Ain't gonna happen?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "No because we got feasibility study done paid for by ourselves and BNE. Our share came from something we made from back haul arrangement. Bottom-line though, that study shows that it's not feasible in current circumstances at all. I thing we would have to have a quantum increase in oil finds in this country so that the throughput could in terms of volume increase measurably before we could put that back on the table."

Green Light For Green Tropics
And so while the oil refinery promise is off the table, tonight we can report that Green Tropics is back on. As has been reported, the Sugar Cane Production project by a Spanish Company got into trouble with the Department of Environment when it dug a massive trench through a biological corridor. That environmental entanglement still has not been worked out - but Government has found a way forward with a memorandum of understanding. The Prime Minister explained:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "We singed a MOE with them, so I believe have started some of the infrastructure works that they need for the project. That's moving along." Reporter "And employment is how far along?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I am not sure. I don't know how much they've done already. I know that we talk about - they made the point that they will need maybe 250 welders and we said that we must organize things in such a way that we have the welders. We must start training people at ITVET giving them short courses. We don't want to be caught when the thing is in full swing that we can't find the welders and welders have to come in because these people appear to be in absolute honest about getting this thing done and so I have no doubt that it will move forward and that there will be significant employment as a consequence."

Man Guilty of Killing 73 Year Old
24 year-old Gregory August, the man who was charged with the May 2009 murder of 73 year-old Alvin Robinson, is at prison tonight awaiting sentencing after he was convicted before Justice Adolph Lucas about 1 and half hours before news time. The crime was an especially cruel one, and almost inexplicable. On the night of May 23, 2009, Robinson, who was a cripple, and who was also blind in one eye, was stabbed 9 times in his face and neck. He was found sitting on his bed at his home at Mile 8 1/2 on the Western Highway shortly after the incident. He was transported to the hospital, but he dead on the way there. The circumstantial evidence which the crown counsel used to secure a conviction against August was a testimony by a witness who told the court that he saw the accused and another man in the vicinity of Robinson's home.

Man Says He Can't Help For Harassment
If you are from the Southside of the City, you may be familiar with the name Derrick Martinez. He is a basketball player who is currently hosting a weekend basketball tournament for the youths living in the Port Loyola area. The American citizen who is a born Belizean has been playing ball for over 10 years around the globe but returning home to give back to the less fortunate youths has always been a yearly tradition. But that tradition might just be broken because Martinez claims he is being constantly harassed by police. Since returning back home in August - he claims he has been rubbed down and roughed up by police over 4 times already. Derrick Martinez, Claims Police Harassment "Every year after I finish my tournament in America I come to my own country which I was born and raised in order to just relax myself in a nice comfort zone. Every year I come, the cops - they keep on harassing me thinking that some kind of criminal is going on with me. I got to prove to them and show them that I am not that type of individual by doing something positive. I am not going to be negative in order to jeopardize the future that I have."

Man Convicted Of Sodomizing Young Boy
43 year-old Lee Henkis is at prison tonight awaiting sentencing after he was convicted of an unnatural crime before Justice Troadio Gonzalez today. His victim, an 11 year-old boy, who was 9 at the time, testified that on July 4, 2010, he went to Henkis's house on Dean Street to pick up a blue phone which Henkis had promised him earlier that day. The boy said that Henkis took him to a bedroom, took off his clothes, and sodomized him. If you're appalled by that information it gets worse because the boy told the court that after Henkis sodomized him, he took out a video camera and began to videotape him. The boy said that Henkis put back on the child's clothes, gave him the cell phone he had promised, and sent him home. In his defense, Henkis who was unrepresented gave a dock statement. In his unsworn testimony, Henkis claim that he did take the boy fishing but that he never had sex with him. After deliberating for 3 and half hours, the jury found Henkis guilty of the charge. His sentencing hearing will take place on November 28, to give him time to prepare a mitigation plea.

CEMO's Student Experiment
5 weeks ago, 7News told you about the survey that the City Emergency Management Organization wanted to conduct using the high school students. The survey is targeted to getting information about the location and evacuation arrangements which need to be made for all the residents living with disabilities. It is a novel idea because CEMO wants to use the untapped human resources which exists in the high schools by getting the students to be the surveyors on the ground. Well, the planning stage of this project is over, and on Monday, CEMO will launch a pilot in the Belama area. It will involve 130 high school students from Saint John's College, and today, representatives from NEMO and CEMO held a press conference to inform the public on how it will work. Here's what the Councilor for responsibility told the media about how the residents of Belama can identify the student surveyors: Phillip Willoughby - Councilor, CEMO "The execution of the pilot survey is for the Belama area 3 and 4. This will be conducted on the 26th November 2012 commencing at 9am sharp. There will be an incident command center at the Belama police sub-formation and it is from there it will operate from as the students will be dispatched by streets, in zones to execute said exercise."

Where There's Smoke, There's Fire ... and Politicians
Last night we told you about the twenty-seven persons - including 21 children - who were left homeless after fire burned down their living quarters. The four families were residents of a public housing apartment complex - commonly known as long barracks- which was located behind the St Martins area. Yesterday 7news went into the area and spoke to the victims who had nowhere to rest their heads or clothes to put on their backs. Today help was on its way, first with the Salvation Army and the First Caribbean Bank who teamed up to hand out bags of food items. Major Joliker Leandre - Regional Commander "We listen to the news yesterday and saw what was happening and we have decided to come and bring some first response assistance and then assess the situation and see how best we can assist our brothers and sisters who could have been us in the same situation but it happen to them, so we come to find out how best we can assist them." "We have flour, oil and several other items that would at least keep the family going for one week. We partnered with First Caribbean Bank - so whenever there is an emergency and we respond we always take them around to be part of us because we have partnered with them." "I have spoken to them, I have invited them to come and visit the office so that we can assess the whole situation see how best we can further assist them. Its Christmas time and the focus now is on Christmas, but we cannot really allow this to past by and not responding even though we have Christmas coming up and we have obligations - we still need to assist whenever there is such a need."

New Recreation Center for Homeless and Mentally Ill
A new facility that will provide a daily meal, medical referral and recreation for the homeless and mentally ill of Belize City was inaugurated this afternoon in Belize City. The Mental Health Day Care/Resource Centre is at the corner of Tibruce and Vernon Streets. It will not be a residential center but will have the capacity to benefit one hundred and fifty clients on a regular basis. More importantly it is designed to give the homeless a space where they can be productively engaged. And with an increase in cases of mental illness in Belize over the years, the facility is seen as a major step forward:.. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO Ministry of Health "It's a tremendously important day again for the Ministry of Health and the Mental Health Association. This building which we will inaugurate today is actually for the Mental Health Association constructed from a grant administered by the Social Investment Fund.

Pen's Masterpiece
Last night we told you all about the Garifuna Settlement Day activities in southern Belize - but one thing we didn't get in was the unveiling of Pen Cayetano's mural at the Dangriga Town Hall. The mural, called "imagery of our ancestors" depicts the long history of resistance and the arrival of the Garnagu upon these shores. Principal characters are military leader Joseph Chatoyer who fought against the British in St. Vincent and his daughter Gulisi who is recorded in Garifuna lore as one of the early settlers of southern Belize together with her eleven sons. The Mural also includes men and women who have been leaders in fields in which the Garifuna are not known to excel. It also depicts other cultures. Cayetano worked on the piece for weeks and he considers it a personal testament about persons who have inspired him. Experts say it's the one of only two historical or cultural murals that exist in the country.

Perla And "Betty"
Belize's high Commissioner to the UK, Perla Perdomo has been in the UK since shortly after the general elections - but she hit the big time yesterday when she got a private audience with Queen Elizabeth - who in an official release is referred to as The Queen of Belize. The meeting was held at Buckingham Palace and was a formality to recognize Perdomo's assumption of duties as High Commissioner for Belize.

Katarina Coming Home!
Katarina Ishim is coming home! As we've been reporting she left Belize in March to get specialized surgery for a massive tumour on her face. She went to Knoxville Tennessee where the surgery was successful, her recovery is going well and a station there reports tonight that she will soon be coming home. She went through removal of the large tumor, plastic surgery, and chemotherapy. She has been fitted with a prosthetic nose. We'll have more tomorrow.

Channel 5

P.M. says Belize disgusted; IDB President’s crass act of cowardice
There is a major fallout with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and this morning, Prime Minister Dean Barrow threw the IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno under the bus even though they have had a cozy relationship over the years. For background, in August, the PM said he was leaning on the IDB to obtain financing [...]

No IDB Policy based loans halts some government initiatives
According to the PM, the legislative changes that were presented to the House have not been passed and some will come to a complete halt. But we note that the June Indicative Scenarios by the Ministry of Finance refers to policy measures such as the hotel tax and VAT as having been passed in the [...]

P.M. won’t share podium with IDB President
The Prime Minister’s ire remained squarely on Moreno; the warm relationship now turned to one of heated friction.  The PM made it clear that he will not share a podium with the IDB president in the interim. But where do the consequences of the fall-out leave Belize?   Prime Minister Dean Barrow “Moreno did suggest [...]

“Robbery” gets shot while committing robbery on his own street
A robbery attempt this afternoon escalated to a shootout inside the popular Dits Restaurant in downtown Belize City. The restaurant manager told News Five that she was gone a mere ten minutes when she received a call about a shooting at the business. The facts are that a group of five men were having a [...]

Did police abuse photojournalist, Jorge Tabora?
A News Five’s team was on the scene of the shooting on King Street and was heading back to this station when it spotted the police vehicle with two of the suspects. Photojournalist Jorge Tabora stood on the street in front of the Queen Street Police Station and used his phone to video the police [...]

I wasn’t there; friend of murder victim says he wasn’t at the scene
Kevin Gentle and Arden Alex Robinson were both shot inside Robinson’s yard in an unnamed and dead end street somewhere in the vicinity of Curl Thompson Street. Gentle who was shot multiple times did not survive the incident, but Robinson’s injury was not life threatening and he was able to walk out of the Karl [...]

Breaking News: Jury actually finds man guilty of murder
Also in court, just before one o’clock this afternoon, a jury of seven women and five men stepped into the deliberating room to decide the fate of Gregory August, a Construction Worker of the Mile eight community known as Western Paradise. August is accused of the murder of seventy-three year old Alvin Alpheus Robinson, who [...]

Lee Henkis’ second conviction for molesting boys
Meanwhile, in the courtroom of Justice Troadio Gonzalez, a forty-three year old man was found guilty of sodomizing a nine year old boy. The young boy, now eleven years old, testified that on July fourth, 2010 he went to the house of Lee Henkis, who had promised him a cell phone. Henkis told him that [...]

Study shows Belize oil refinery not feasible
The United Democratic Party’s campaign manifesto going into General Elections earlier this year included the prospect of establishing a national oil refinery.  In fact, during a press conference unveiling the UDP’s platform, P.M. Barrow said he was, “absolutely determined that there will be the construction of an oil refinery in this country.  We have to [...]

CEMO looks for disabled people to help in times of disaster
The hurricane season is almost over, but City Hall is preparing for any upcoming natural disasters. This afternoon it was announced that CEMO will be collecting data about persons with disabilities who require assistance in times of natural disasters. CEMO says that a hundred and thirty students from Saint John’s College will conduct the survey [...]

Que Viva Mexico! Neighbors to help with bridge construction
Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, who is soon demitting office, is seeking to have members of that country’s military deployed to Belize to assist with the construction of a road to the Santa Elena Bi-national Border Bridge in Corozal. The new bridge, which is to facilitate more efficient and secure movement of people and goods, has [...]

UB’s new building and bookstore
There was a lot of activity this morning at the University of Belize’s campus in Belmopan. The university opened two needed facilities that will ease student life. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.   Duane Moody, Reporting Today at the University of Belize main campus in the capital, an official ceremony was held to commemorate the [...]

Entrepreneurial skills at U.B.; where you wanna be
There was a second event at the University that brought out the entrepreneurship skills of a number of students. From ceviche to pastries and crafts, the students had to make and market their products as a prerequisite to their final grades. Duane Moody reports.   Duane Moody, Reporting There was an expo at the University [...]

The 4th Annual Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase hosted in Belize
Films from across the region are being featured in a week of screenings as the fourth annual Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase is hosted in Belize. The event started at six o’clock this evening at the Price Center in Belmopan and will continue until November thirtieth. It’s an opportunity for the general public to view almost [...]


Attempted Robbery At Popular Belize City Restaurant
There was a shooting incident this afternoon in Belize City. The mid-afternoon incident happened at the popular Dits Restaurant on King Street in Belize City. The area was cordoned off by police as scenes of crime technicians processed the establishment where one person sustained...

Two Belize City Fires Leave Several Residents Homeless
An early morning fire in Belize City on Flamboyant Street has left an estimated six adults and fourteen children homeless. Investigations conducted by the Belize Fire Service have yet to conclude the cause of the fire. According to fire officials, they responded in a timely...


More Drugs Removed From The Streets Of Corozal
The war on drugs did not end there for the Corozal Police department as sometime between 10:30 and 11:15 in the morning of the nineteenth, officers conducted a search in an abandoned lot situated on Zucuc Street in the Venezuelan Site Area. Officers found four small ideal plastic bags containing a green leafy substance wrapped in a transparent bag and was suspected to be cannabis. Furthering their search in the area, Corozal Police found a black plastic bag hanging from a tree. When officers retrieved the black bag, they found two parcels of suspected cannabis which were already compressed and wrapped in a transparent plastic. All the items were transported to the Corozal Police Station and weighed totaling 462.2 grams of suspected cannabis. All items were labeled as found property.

Drugs And Firearm Confiscated During Raid
Tonight, three residents from the Halls Layout Area of Corozal Town are sitting behind bars for firearm and drug charges. Sometime around 4:45 in the morning of the nineteenth of November, Corozal Police conducted a search at a house situated at #20 Poison Wood Street where three persons were found sleeping. As officers entered the home, they noticed a black 9mm pistol containing a magazine with six live 9mm Aguila in brand ammunition on the floor of the living room where the three persons were sleeping. None of the three could produce a license for the weapon. Detained at that moment were two minors along with thirty-two year old Noel Castillo Guy, better known as “Suga”. When officers continued their search, they entered a building adjacent to the home in which the three minors were arrested. Upon conducting their search, Police found a black in color bag containing a green leafy substance wrapped in a white transparent plastic suspected to be cannabis. The bag was sitting on top of a white and green icebox. As a result of this find, all three persons were arrested and charged for Kept firearm without a gun license, Kept ammunition without a license and Drug Trafficking. All items found during the search were weighed and sealed in the presence of a Justice of the Peace and packaged as evidence.

Doctor Mendez Says Investigation Carried Out At The NRH Is Superficial
On November 12th 2012 CEO in the Ministry of Health Doctor Peter Allen stated that an investigation had been launched into the allegations of malpractice made against the Northern Regional Hospital by a number of women who gave birth at the hospital. While being interviewed by a Belize City media, Allen stated that a team, headed by two specialists, is conducting the investigations and by the end of November a full report of their findings is expected. During the interview Allen further stated that preliminary findings did not point to any type of malpractice on the hospitals behalf and did not support the allegations of negligence that have been raised by Orange Walk East Area Representative Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez. For context here is what Allen had to say and the response of Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez. Peter Allen- CEO Ministry of Health “But strangely, the results while interesting and certainly while showing areas for improvement, don’t support the allegations of negligence that have been raised by the area representative. Of course, there are recommendations that are coming out from the process of the investigation and where we can the ministry will be seeking to implement immediate recommendations immediately. One of those that I think we will be able to put in place by this week is that specialists who are new to the system should be given the opportunity for an administrative rotation at the national referral hospital, the Karl Heusner. And I think that’s a very good idea that used to be done and one that should be done again.” Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez- Orange Walk East Area Representative “First of all, I want to clarify this, Dr. Peter Allen is a friend of mine and he is a colleague and he and I have formed part of the Fraternity Group but strangely he is pointing fingers to the messenger. I have never raised no allegations of negligence, it has been the patience that have went to the media and many of them have been to CTV3, to Channel Five, we have Mrs. Magdalena Chable, we have Mrs. Sally Coh, we have also Mrs. Alicia Patt and so many of them have come out and asking questions of what exactly happened so it has been the patience that have raised the allegations of malpractice. We have two babies with severe brain damage and so we have to ask who is negligent, where is the fault, is it the mothers, it is the children, who, nobody.”

Belize Represented At The Annual Festival De Cultura Del Caribe
On Sunday November 18th Belize took part in the annual Festival De Cultura Del Caribe in Chetumal Quintana Roo. The Caribbean Culture Festival is a cultural project of special importance for the state and the government of Quintana Roo. The main objectives of Caribbean Culture Festival are: retrieve and disseminate artistic and cultural events that identify the Mexican Caribbean cultural ties and establish closer ties with the countries of the Caribbean region, strengthen cultural exchange and academic knowledge and appreciation of regional identity. Under these assumptions, the Caribbean Culture Festival was created with the spirit of retaining culture through music, dance, cuisine, literature, theater, exhibitions of art works and exchange of knowledge through lectures, panel discussions and book presentations. During the Festival international artists such as Queen Omega from Trinidad and Tobago, Alison Hinds from Barbados and Dennise De Kalafe from Mexico. Representing Belize this year during the Festival was the Belize National Dance Company, Youth Connection Band and Lucio and the New Generation. The festival ends tonight with the special appearance of Juan Luis Guerra from the Dominican Republic. Other countries participating this year included, Columbia, Cuba, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Sign Up For Centaur's Express, Faster Speed For Less
Whether you run an ecommerce store or website, or you regularly post marketing material on social networking profiles and blogs, or use your internet for any other activity, it is important that your host offers a high speed internet speed connection otherwise, you will waste time and effort trying to keep everything up to date while battling with slow page loads. Here in Belize there are a number of internet providers to choose from but there are several standout features you should look out for if you are about to launch online operations, or if you are on the hunt for a more reliable network. First and foremost, a hosting company that owns its own fibre-optic network – therefore resulting in dedicated internet access with low latency and zero downtime, with no sharing – should be high up your agenda, if not at the top. And that is where Centaur Communications Corporation Limited comes in. For more than 6 years Centaur, which now owns its own fiber optic network, has been providing internet access to its customers and recently they have upgraded their service offering faster internet speed at incredible low rates. John Briceno- Director, Centaur Communications Corporation Limited “We are very proud of about our company, we are constantly innovating and finding ways how we can better serve our customers, we are proud about the work and what we do and the service that we provide to our customers. For some time we have been providing internet service but we are trying to find a way how is it that we could make it more accessible to the Belizean public, to our customers, how we can make it cheaper. Well, today we are very proud to announce that we have reduced the prices for internet substantially for instance we are starting as low as $35 per month; you can get 256 kilobytes per second for only $35. That would make internet service accessible not only to the few but to the many to anybody that would want to provide internet to their children and or their families. We have the 512k that is only $60 a month and now we are very proud to announce that the 1Megabyte it is only $100 for the very first time in the history of this country you can get for as low as $100 per month and then 2Megs for $200 per month.”

Butane Prices Sky Rocket
If you are one of those housewives or restaurant owners that purchases liquid petroleum gas imported from Mexico, then we’ve got some bad news for you tonight. Effective Saturday, November 17th, the price for a hundred pound cylinder of butane imported from Mexico increased by $10.00. Here in Orange Walk the price went from $109.00 to $119.00 while in Corozal and Belize City the hundred pound cylinder now sells for $118.00. In Belmopan and San Ignacio the new price stands at $120.00 and in Benque Viejo residents will now pay $121.00. In Dangriga the butane will now sell for $122.00 and $123.00 in Punta Gorda. Again the increase only applies for butane imported from Mexico.


A Thanksgiving event took place in Cayo
The observance of Thanksgiving is am American holiday tradition; but in Belize there are pockets of expatriate residents who use this time of the year to celebrate for a different reason. Our Cayo correspondent Fem Cruz explains.

Updates on John McAfee where abouts
Regarding the case of computer anti-virus pioneer, John McAfee, wanted for questioning for the murder of his neighbour in San Pedro, police say they believe McAfee is still in Belize.

Murder in the Pomona Village
While an edged tool was the weapon of choice in Pomona village, in the old capital gun violence claimed the life of another city resident. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Shooting in a crowded park on Garifuna Settlement Day
The senseless violence continued this holiday weekend, when on Garifuna Settlement Day a gun was fired in a crowded park. One woman was injured in the exchange, and by the time the dust had settled another person was wounded by gunshot; but this time at the hands of the police. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

Residents of Cristo Rey Village discovered a strange
Residents of Cristo Rey village were concerned about the discovery of what was first thought to be the body of a child in the river near the village. According to reports from Cristo Rey, a group of children who were fishing in the area of Monkey Falls, saw what they thought was a baby in the river. Chairman of the village Jovanni Montalban organized a group of men and went to the area to retrieve the object. Elmer Juarez is the secretary of the Cristo Rey village council. According to the chairman, after determining that it was not a real child, the object was destroyed by burning it last night.

A bus goes in flame on the George Price Highway
No one was hurt when a passenger bus belonging to Shaw’s Bus Service caught fire on the George Price Highway on Monday afternoon. The bus, which was heading to Belie City was completely destroyed. The incident happened just before three o’clock yesterday afternoon between miles seventeen and eighteen in Hattieville village. Love FM’s Armin Arana arrived on the scene shortly after the bus erupted in flames, and he spoke with the driver of the doomed bus Nicholas Flores about what happened. The driver’s account of what transpired has been corroborated by passengers, two of whom spoke with Armin Arana about the scary incident when the bus they were riding on caught fire this afternoon. All the passengers were safely evacuated from the burning bus through the back door. An investigation to determine what caused the fire is now underway.

Stabbing in Pomona village, Stann Creek District
A man was stabbed to death on Saturday night in Pomona village in the Stann Creek district. Today, the police press officer Rafael Martinez gave reporters the details of the tragic incident.

Village group continues service in Bella Vista area
A village group continues to provide community service in Bella Vista. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Destinee Arnold wins Miss Ethnic World
Belizean beauty queen Destinee Arnold has won a prestigious international pageant. Information to the RSV Media Centre is that Arnold, who is the reigning Miss Belize walked away with the title of Miss Ethnic World 2012. The pageant was held on Saturday night in Long Beach, California, USA. Aside from taking the top title, Arnold also captured the title of best in active wear, interview and evening wear. Love News spoke by telephone this afternoon with Arnold, who said she is proud to have won the pageant for Belize. Arnold says she plans on returning to Belize within the next week to begin working on her public speaking platform. According to a posting on the organization’s web site, Ethnic World Pageants prides itself on not only promoting the diversity and culture in women around the world but the pageant company also focuses on representing the faces of women throughout all age groups.


Alleged robber shot this afternoon in Belize City
An alleged robber was shot this evening in Belize City. Reports are that two men tried to rob Ditz resturaunt on Ki...

Juan Rubio arraigned for murder of Karim Orson Peters.
This afternoon, 34-year-old Juan Rubio was arraign in the Belize City Magistrate's Court for the Sunday, November 1...

Lee Henkis gets second conviction for unnatural act on minor 43-year-old Lee Henkis learned his fate today in the Supreme Court after a jury of 9 persons found him guilty of th...

Lands Department upgrades Land Folio System
The Ministry of Natural Resources is working to bring its Land Folio System on-stream in the very near future; the ...

Gregory August convicted of murder
24 year old Gregory August was convicted of murder today. August was accused of the murder of 73-year-old Alvin Alp...

Still no comment on alleged embezzlement
Yesterday we told you about reports reaching Plusnews regarding missing monies from San Ignacio’s Town Hall. We hav...

Grace period for Superbond ends
Yesterday marked the sixty day “grace period” extended to Belize’s government by creditors of the so called super b...

UB opens new bookstore
Today staff, students and invited guests were witnesses of the official launch of the UB Bookstore and Cafeteria. T...

Ministry of Foreign Affairs receives two new vehicles
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received two new vehicles this afternoon. Those vehicles are a 2012 Ford E-350 Van ...

#451706 - 11/22/12 09:47 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 22, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

More News: Scroll up from here

Canada has jobs for Belizeans
If you are trying to find a job and would like to leave the country of Belize to do so, perhaps you may be interest...

Jerome Flores completes ride across Belize
Jerome Flores completed his ambitious ride across the country of Belize. Flores is paralyzed from the waist down bu...

Uncle in custody for alleged indecent assault
Belmopan police have an uncle in custody for alleged indecent assault. A 9 yrs old student of Belmopan City told Po...

Belize lax in dealing with illegal fishing
Belize is among eight countries listed by the European Commission as having a poor track record in dealing with Ill...

Fire destroys house in Belize City
At around 11:30 yesterday morning , 20 year old Leticia Watler was taking a nap in her home on Central American Bou...

Special needs facility inaugurated in Belize City
A new facility that will provide a daily meal, medical referral and recreation for the homeless and people living w... -


Thanksgiving Messages from Holy Cross School
Straight from the students. Every year at thanksgiving, we like to ask our students what they are thankful for. So please, sit back and enjoy reading the simple thanks from the students of Holy Cross School. From Infant One – Our 5 year olds “I am thankful for my sister and brother.” “I am thankful for the sun.” “I am thankful for my family.” “I am thankful for my house.” “I am thankful for my fish.” “I am thankful for my flowers” “I am thankful for the sun and river” “I am thankful for my street.” (the new roads in San Mateo) I am thankful for my house From Standard Three – our 9 and 10 year olds “I am thankful for the dentists because they check our teeth.” “I am thankful for my teachers because they help us to read.” “I am thankful for my health because and I am strong and I keep my body clean.” “I am thankful for the teachers because they help us to learn.” “I am thankful for the playground because I have a place to play.” “I am thankful for the dentists who visit our school because they clean our teeth.” “I am thankful for the feeding program because we get a healthy meal every day.” “I am thankful for my health because there are a lot of sick and dying children in the world.” “I am thankful for my family because they are always encouraging me to get higher grades and do my best.” “I am thankful for my family because my family helps me do my homework.” “I am thankful for my scholarship because my family is poor.”

Happy Thanksgiving from Ridgewood, NJ Plus How To Celebrate it In Belize
Okay...I'm officially freezing. And officially promising NOT to subject you to too many New Jersey pictures. But it's Thanksgiving in the United States, I'm back at my childhood home for the holidays and I don't think I've ever taken any pictures of my 'hood. So I took a few while walking my mom's dog pack of Max and TJ. Here you go...honestly, bear with me. It's the reason I have so many guest bloggers...I want to get you back to Belize as soon as possible. And if you didn't see it, check out yesterday's guest post about Kelly's wedding in San Pedro. At my mom's house. I'm not exactly sure what a gourd is...but I love them. I was grew up in Ridgewood, NJ. For the one of you that is interested in that...here is a map. Northern NJ not too far from Manhattan. Happy Thanksgiving! It really is COLD. I am saying this as a Belizean resident who experiences temperatures of about 82 median all year. I get it...if you are in Saskatchewan or Upper Mongolia, it is WAY colder. But this is pretty frigid for me.

Why We Workmans Want to Experience the 2012 Mayan Solstice Celebration in Belize
Last year our younger daughter and son studied Mayan civilization and culture in 6th grade – building models of temples, making music and art, improving their Spanish, perfecting a hot chocolate recipe and studying the calendar. They also learned that the world might come to an end on December 21, 2012. This is of particular significance because apocalypse is a pretty terrifying concept (having had first-hand experience with 9/11 and recently Hurricane Sandy in their lifetimes) and because their birthday is December 21st! On 12/21/12 – the end of the 13-Baktun cycle, twins Max and Caroline Workman of Cambridge, MA, USA will turn thirteen. We’re very excited to celebrate a new era – our twins becoming teenagers and the Mayan Solstice in Belize! Participating in Chaa Chaa Creek’s festivities would be a magically memorable, lifetime learning, and fabulously fun experience (note: we are already booked for the 4-day Christmas package but would truly jump for joy if we had the chance to extend our too-short-stay experience and/or invite the kids’ 82 year old Chinese grandmother). The twins can’t wait to climb the temples they so carefully replicated with sugar cubes, and the underworld of ATM. Big sister Anna (16) can’t wait to do the above and harvest cacao and make chocolate. Mom can’t wait to do all the above and experience chocolate in the form of a spa treatment! And Dad can’t wait to get away from his stressful job as a big-city Emergency Medicine doctor, get back to nature, speak Spanish, and be with his family at the party of the millennium! Besides the physical beauty, and the adventure, our family mostly can’t wait to meet people who call Belize home. Communicating and sharing experiences with people of all cultures, backgrounds, ages and generations is what makes our lives complete.

International Sources

The UN SG supports the ICJ route in the BZ-GUAT case
New York, 20 November 2012 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Territorial Dispute between Belize and Guatemala The Secretary-General salutes the progress made by Belize and Guatemala under the auspices of the Organization of American States to resolve their longstanding territorial dispute. He welcomes their decision to hold simultaneous referenda on 6 October 2013 to consult their populations on referring the dispute to the International Court of Justice. Belize and Guatemala have requested financial support from the international community for the referenda and possible eventual legal proceedings. The Secretary-General believes that this process is in line with the objective of pacific settlement of disputes enshrined in the United Nations Charter and merits international support.

Forbes Picks Belize as Top Retirement Spot
Forbes Magazine’s choice of Belize as a top retirement spot confirms the tiny Caribbean country’s reputation as not only a desirable place to visit, but as a great place to live, Chaa Creek’s business manager Peter Tonti said. “It’s been a best kept secret, but the word is getting out that Belize is a great place to spend not only an affordable tropical holiday, but a happy and healthy retirement, too,” Mr Tonti said. The current (November 2012) online edition of Forbes Magazine features Belize as one of “15 Top Foreign Retirement Havens.” In its introduction, Forbes’ photo feature states that, “Living overseas is different from just visiting. Before you retire to a foreign country, consider not just the weather and cost of living, but also healthcare; safety; tax and visa requirements; and how friendly the country is to foreigners. Here are some possibilities,” and then goes on to list fifteen of what it considers the world’s best retirement choices. The authoritative magazine, known for astute investment advice and articles on subjects such as international trade and monetary news, recommends Belize and said that, “Belize has tropical rain forests, mountains and beaches. As an incentive to retire there, it offers people 45 and older who have a retirement income of at least $2,000 per month, a tax exemption on all income generated (through work or investments) outside of Belize.”

Olson wins Belize tourism account
Belize has hired Olson as its agency of record to promote North American tourism to the Central American country. Minneapolis-based Olson's first campaign for Belize is expected to launch in early 2013. It will include advertising, design, digital, mobile and social media. Adweek recently reported on the win, noting that Olson was selected without a review. It will replace agencies such as Edelman Digital and BVK, Milwaukee. The trade publication notes that the tourism industry is a big deal for Belize's economy, employing roughly 25 percent of the population. The country spent $6 million on tourism marketing last year While it may seem somewhat surprising for a foreign country to go with a Minneapolis ad agency, this isn't the first time it's happened. For example, Fallon used to have the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism account and Colle+McVoy had the Turkish Tourism Office.

Ban “Welcomes” Progress on Belize, Guatemala Territorial Dispute
United Nations Secretary-General “welcomes” apparent progress made by Belize and Guatemala on the ongoing territorial dispute between the two countries, according to a statement. Belize and Guatemala have sought financial support from the international community for the referenda and potential legal proceedings. “The Secretary-General salutes the progress made by Belize and Guatemala under the auspices of the Organization of American States to resolve their longstanding territorial dispute,” a spokesperson for Ban said in a statement. The two states, with help from the OAS, have agreed to hold simultaneous referenda on Oct. 6, 2013 on the question of referring the dispute to the International Court of Justice. “The Secretary-General believes that this process is in line with the objective of pacific settlement of disputes enshrined in the United Nations Charter and merits international support,” the statement read.

John McAfee’s Internet Meltdown: Has The Software And Security Pioneer Gone “Bonkers”?
“With lots of time on my hands and very little to do with it, I’ve been reflecting on the recent detour my life has taken,” writes someone calling himself John McAfee. “How did I end up as a murder suspect on the lam?” So begins the first blog entry on “Who Is McAfee?”, a website – and a story – that gets more bizarre with each new day. Let’s back up a bit. You may not recognize his name, but if you own a personal computer, chances are you know John McAfee’s work. A former computer programmer for NASA and Lockheed, McAfee in 1987 founded McAfee Associates, a computer security company. His anti-virus programs became wildly popular, and McAfee got very rich, ultimately selling his interest in the firm for $100 million in 1996. (Now renamed simply “McAfee”, the firm remains one of the largest computer security software companies in the world.) McAfee moved to the Caribbean nation of Belize and spent several years dabbling in various projects. However, a series of bad investments and the global fiscal crunch whittled his fortune to just a few million. And it’s just about here the weirdness began. Early in 2012 Belize police raided McAfee’s home on the suspicion that he was manufacturing illegal drugs on his property, which McAfee denied. No charges were filed and McAfee was soon released, but some police officials raised public concern that John McAfee was having sex with underage girls living at his house. McAfee accused the police of being little better than thugs hired to rough him up for bribes. The police say McAfee had illegal guns. McAfee says the police shot his dog. The events left a foul taste for everyone.

Belize girl heads home after successful tumor removal and chemo
We've followed the story of a little girl from Belize who came to Knoxville last spring. She needed treatment for a tumor on her face the size of a watermelon. She's about to return to her home country but not before she visited the Fantasy of Trees. "Today we are very happy to be here," Juan Ishim said. The Fantasy of Trees is quite a spectacle especially for visitors from a small village in Belize. "I couldn't believe my eyes when I could just turn and see Christmas tree, Christmas tree, Christmas lights. Everything is just beautiful," Ishim said. Lori Glover explained, "They just got electricity a year ago so just seeing the bright lights is an amazing thing for them." Lori and Rick Glover have been the host family for Juan Ishim and his granddaughter Catarina. Dr. Rick Glover is the pediatrician who coordinated her medical care here. "Their faith is amazing," Lori Glover said. "They've gone through trials of things that not many people could handle." A team of doctors from Children's Hospital and the University of Tennessee Medical Center volunteered in her successful treatment. It required removal of a large tumor, plastic surgery, and chemotherapy. They have fitted her with a prosthetic nose. "Her whole nation has followed her, the story of Catarina, and they're all excited about her return," Glover said. Ishim said, "She is very excited to go home." They will head home this Friday to see her parents for the first time in eight months. They will travel the day after Thanksgiving.

Farrakhan to tour five Caribbean nations and USVI as year closes
Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the 1995 Million Man March and the 2000 Million Family March, will be embarking on a five-nation Caribbean tour from November 21 to December 12, 2012, starting in Grenada, where he is expected to speak live in person at the Grenada Trade Centre on Saturday, November 24. Afterwards Farrakhan will also visit Barbados, Dominica, the US Virgin Islands (St Thomas and St Croix), Belize and The Bahamas. This series of visits is a follow-up to an earlier Caribbean tour that ran from December 2011 intermittently through March 2012, when Farrakhan visited Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts, Antigua, Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago. Right after these stops, he returned to the US and conducted a multiple university lecture series cumulatively addressing several thousands of young students. In each of these destinations, Farrakhan lectured to overflow audiences, packed venues, and also met with political, religious and cultural leaders, promoting a motivational ideology of positive social transformation, economic empowerment, ethnic consciousness and Caribbean unity. Farrakhan has Caribbean roots, with his father being from Jamaica and his mother originating from St Kitts.

John McAfee: You Won’t Hear From Me For A Few Days
There have been a handful more posts made to John McAfee’s blog since we last checked in. One of them indicates that comments have been turned back on, after a previous post announced that they were being disabled. Also in a previous post, McAfee said he would be posting audio recordings from hidden recorders he had set up. He tried to include on via a SoundCoud embed initially, but it didn’t work properly. He has now updated the post to link to the recording. In the latest post, we learn that “something has happened,” and we won’t be hearing from McAfee for a few days. Blog admin Chad Essley writes, “I received a phone call this evening from John that said ‘something had happened’ and that ‘everything will be alright’. He needed to move to another location, I would not hear from him, and he would not be posting for the next few days.” More coverage of the McAfee saga here.

The Secretary-General salutes the progress made by Belize and Guatemala
"...New York, 20 November 2012 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Territorial Dispute between Belize and Guatemala. The Secretary-General salutes the progress made by Belize and Guatemala under the auspices of the Organization of American States to resolve their longstanding territorial dispute...."


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