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#452369 - 11/30/12 09:52 AM Today's Belize News: November 30, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Dr. Javier Zuniga leaves to pursue Master’s Degree in International Public Health
The Medical Coordinator and Director of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II Dr. Javier Zuniga is making final preparations to leave the country to further his medical career. This year Dr. Zuniga was offered the Australian Development Award which earned him a scholarship to pursue a Masters Degree in International Public Health. While the scholarship begins on January 1st, Dr. Zuniga is making final preparations and is hopeful that upon his return he will be reassigned to San Pedro or given a position related to the subject he is furthering his studies in. In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Dr. Zuniga said that the scholarship is for one year and that he is one of four Belizeans that are furthering their studies in various areas as part of the usAid scholarship program. “After spending six years working at the primary care level, I have come to realize that many changes can be done with our health care system, but not working as a general practitioner. For changes to occur we need to make them at the ministerial level, and for me to push for what I believe should be the best health care possible, I would need to work at the ministerial level. So this master’s degree will basically help me, it’s a step forward, to get the knowledge and the experience, so that one day I could work at the ministerial level to make the necessary changes that we need to do to better our health care system,” said a visionary Dr. Zuniga.

Mexican classic ballet group visits Belize
The Embassy of Mexico invites to the presentation by the Classic Ballet Company from the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico, at the Bliss Centre in Belize City. This special presentation will open the “Dance X Belize 2012 Festival” organized by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), through the Institute of Creative Arts. The “Ballet de Camara del Estado de Quintana Roo” is one of the most outstanding and professional classic dance companies in Southeastern Mexico. Since its creation in October 2010, the dance group has performed different classic pieces such as Carmen, with the Quintana Roo Symphonic Orchestra, The Nutcracker, The Blue Bird, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, The Black Swan among others, and works of its own repertoire such as: City Stories, Rebirth of my homeland and Night of the Maya, among others.

SPRCS boys win Belize District Primary School Football Competition
San Pedro RC Boys football team travelled to Belize City where they competed at the MCC Grounds for the opportunity to represent the Belize District at the Primary School National Football competitions. Eliminations took place on Wednesday November 14th, when the primary schools from both San Pedro and Caye Caulker took to the Ambergris Stadium to compete against each other to choose the winning male and female teams of the Belize Rural Zone. At the end of those competitions, both teams from the San Pedro Roman Catholic School emerged victorious. The teams then travelled to Belize City on Tuesday November 27th to compete against other zone winners from the Belize District to choose the district winners that will then compete in the Nationals scheduled for December 7th in Belize City at the MCC Grounds. In the male competition at Belize City were: Our Lady of the Way Elementary School from Ladyville, San Pedro Roman Catholic School, St. John’s Viannie RC School and the Belize Presbyterian Elementary School. The San Pedro female team was first on the field, going up against Belize Elementary school. Neither team was able to get in a goal, so the game went into penalty round where the SPRCS girls lost with a score of 4 to 3. With this loss, the girls were eliminated from the competition.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Council Donates Picnic Tables to Schools
On Wednesday, November 28, 2012, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilor Gaby Nuñez personally handed over eight picnic tables to Principal Miguel Hernandez of New Horizon SDA School. Mr. Hernandez was quite happy for the donation as he mentioned that the school will soon have a palapa to accommodate the much need picnic tables for children to use during their break and lunch time. Mr. Hernandez also shared the good news that the school received the support of a kind anonymous donor who will have two classrooms built; work should commence in the next two weeks. Mayor Danny Guerrero promised Mr. Hernandez to allocate an additional donor so as to help with the construction of two additional classrooms. The Town Council will donate one so as to have a total of five new classrooms.

Dr. Javier Zuniga Leaves San Pedro to Pursue Studies Abroad
The Town of San Pedro has benefitted very much from the medical services of Doctor Javier Zuniga who made San Pedro Town his home eight years ago. He has been a professor, doctor, mentor, and friend. Today we lose the invaluable services of this professional because he is leaving for Australia to further his studies, but the community is confident he will return to be our doctor and friend. San Pedro will surely miss him, and we wish him all the best as he specializes himself in his profession and we await his return with open arms.

El Secreto Brings Technology Under a Thatched Roof
Within each of the resort’s villas, guests find their own private escape. Everything is very personal, from your own private Jacuzzi, enclosed outdoor shower and deck with hammock. The interiors are furnished with include king-size bed, flat-screen LCD television, marble bathroom, indoor hot tub, Melita coffee and tea maker, iPod docking station, mini-bar, and air-conditioning. Three Sea Villas are located just steps from the ocean; four Tropical Villas offer lush garden views; and five Lake Villas surround the resort’s salt water lake. All villas feature contemporary and locally-inspired fixtures with all carpentry designed and handcrafted by local artisans using a variety of hard woods native to the region for the window frames, closets, deck floors, and interior furnishings. Get this! Very unique to El Secreto and a service not available anywhere else in the entire country, is that of a full pillow menu. Upon making your reservations you have the option to choose from a variety of pillow including feathers, memory foam and hypoallergenic, among others. It’s an added plus to their five-star service; plus the room also features Malin + Goetz bath amenities and Vivenda Egyptian cotton linens which means a heavenly night’s rest.

Suffocating the World
Was sent this great infographic about how our environment is paying for our everyday use of plastics and I thought it would be great to share with my readers. Hope it changes your mind and sheds some more light on the issue of protecting Mother Earth: “You’re standing in line at the grocery store when you realize that you don’t have your reusable bag. You’ll have to get a plastic bag. Again. You feel bad for a moment and then think that it’s just one bag. But it isn’t … In the U.S. alone, 280 billion plastic bags are used each year, which is enough to stretch around the earth nearly 30,000 times. Making and using plastic bags has more repercussions than you might think. Check out the following infographic to see how exactly plastic bags affect our cities, our environment and even our economy.”

Misc Belizean Sources

Ambergris Caye Elementary School Upcoming Events
Thank you all for your time and your commitment to this community and its people. It recently came to my attention that Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) has not been consistently notifying the local communication sources of its activities and schedule. I hope to be able to correct this lapse, so will be sending you updates of the fundraisers, community service activities, and schedule for the school. If there is a preferred email address or contact for your organization, please let me know and I will edit this email list. If there is a cost or other paperwork needed for inclusion in your publication or public service announcement, also, please let me know and I will take that information to the ACES Board. Please find below the schedule of events and sales for ACES for the next 8 weeks. ACES is working very diligently to provide a high quality education to a broad range of student age groups as well as educational needs, and your help in keeping the public abreast of its events will be an invaluable gift - one the ACES Board, Staff and Students will appreciate more than you could ever know. Thank you in advance for your attention to this email and I am looking forward to working will all the these awesome organizations as ACES continues to grow and serve the San Pedro Community as well. Humbly and Sincerely Yours, Paulette Foster-Galbraith

Ascenthium at Cayo Art Festival
Ascenthium rocked Burns avenue at the Cayo Art Festival. Here's a video of them doing Metallica. They'll be at La Cabana in Belmopan on Saturday.

Women's Self Defense Classes
Todat there will be two free women's self defense classes in Cayo. The first will be at the Women's Department building from 9am until 1pm. The second will be at the Benque House of Culture, and will go from 2pm until 5pm. A big thanks to Renee Wentz and the Women's Department! "Here are the sessions for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence in Cayo (San Ignacio and Benque). Please see the flyer and contact me or the Women's Dept for more information. The classes are sponsored by the Women's Dept and are free to women/girls."

Model Casting Call
Joris Hendrik is having a model casting call for his next fashion show, which will take place on the 5th of January at the Bedran Hall at the SIRH. https://www.facebook.com/JorisHendrik "Hello Ladies, please message us at www.facebook.com/JorisHendrik if you're interested. An Application with Details will follow your message. Have a great day."

SHC's Tarde Cultural on Friday
Sacred Heart College will be having their annual La Tarde Cultural tonight. "La Tarde Cultural is an annual Spanish Project for third form students at Sacred Heart College that allows them to learn about the culture of the Latin American countries."

Taste of Belize at SIRH
The Taste of Belize will be held in Cayo this year. The main chef competition will be this Saturday, at the San ignacio Resort Hotel. Sunday, at the Cayo Welcome Center, they'll have the BBQ competition. "Taste of Belize, Belize's Culinary Event where top Belizean chefs compete for the grand prize."

Iguanas at SHJC's Open Day
The Green Iguana Conservation Project was at Sacred Heart Junior College's Open Day. Everyone got a kick out of them.

Kathy's Potatoes
I recently took a trip to Utah to visit my family. We had a wonderful barbecue with all the trimmings. My Aunt Kathy prepared her own version of a type of scalloped potatoes. I love onions so I absolutely enjoyed these potatoes that are made with tons of onions. This recipe is easy and the potatoes are divine

Channel 7

Belize Rejects Superbond Deal From Creditor Committee
Belize has said "no-go" to a restructuring proposal put forward by the creditor committee which holds more than 50% of the Superbond debt. More than three months have passed since Belize first missed its Superbond payment - and more than 60 days have gone since a good faith half payment was made. In that time, there's been plenty of negotiating, but not much headway. And today's announcement posted on the Government of Belize website is confirmation of that. It discusses a counter-proposal made by the creditor committee - which was presented last week - three and a half months after Government first put forward its proposals. But in the response which was posted on the government website today quote: "The GoB considers (that proposal) to be wholly incompatible with its objective of placing the country's debt burden on a sustainable footing and that it amounts to little more than a short-term fix." It concludes that, quote, "the GOB views the recently-submitted scenarios as unsustainable, and is disappointed that a counter-proposal of this nature has come five months after discussions with the Committee began." End of quote. But - it doesn't end there; Government does offer a new, revised pair of restructuring scenarios. The first suggests a principal reduction of 33% - which is down from the 45% that was proposed in August. And it also increases the proposed interest rate from 3.5% to 4.5 for the first five years and 6.75% for the next thirty years. The second revised scenario does not include a principal reduction, but suggests extending the life of the bond to 40 years - down from 50 in the first proposal. It also offers a higher interest rate than the 2% which had first been proposed. So, today's revised proposals do make some concessions - and offer bondholders a better deal than the August proposals. Will it be enough? It may have to be because government sources suggest this may be their final offer.

Elderly Woman Stands Up To Ruthless Robbers
A 63 year old woman fought with robbers to hold on to her earrings yesterday! It happened on Magazine Road in Belize City yesterday morning. Around 11:30, Veronica Allen was walking home - when at the Vernon Street junction - two men approached her. They demanded that she handed over her belongings. But the elderly woman wasn't about to do so that easily. Allen put up a fight with the robbers and even though the men escaped with her gold bracelet and one of her gold earrings, she managed to clutch on tightly to her handbag. Today - asking to appear off camera - she told 7news about her traumatic experience. Voice of: 63 Year old robbery victim "I was coming from my ministry and when I was crossing by the street where the clinic is - coming down Magazine Road about two houses from Vernon Street, two boys tackle me; one on bicycle and another one on foot. The one on foot was younger than the one on the bicycle. The one was on bicycle - you could see that he is rastafari because you could see he has his hood on and on his hood there are stripes. I could see his face because I was trying to fight them off, I didn't have time to look on their faces but I know that one was younger than the other."

A Shallow Grave For North Front Street Bones
Tonight, there are still no definitive findings about the bones unearthed yesterday on North Front Street. Dr. John Morris of the Department of Archeology will examine the remains along with police forensic pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran tomorrow. That session should have been held today but Estradabran was too tied up with autopsy work. But after visiting the site today, Morris did have some initial observations. He told us that the remains appear to be those of three individuals - and he concludes that they were hastily buried after either the 1931 or 1961 hurricanes. He says they were likely placed in a shallow grave - less than three feet below the street - with just a plank underneath them. More will be known tomorrow after the bones are examined with greater detail.

Murders At A Record Clip In 2012
As of Sunday November 25th, with five weeks left to go in 2012 - there have been, unofficially, 130 murders in Belize, one more than the all-time high, in 2010, when 129 murders were officially recorded. It's a depressing statistic, but one that must be noted in a year that has been the deadliest on record. There have been three straight double digit months for murders in September, October and November. That makes seven double digit murder months for 2012; the record-setting year, 2010 had eight double digit months.

GSU Keeps PIV Under Pressure
On Tuesday we told you about the GSU search on two apartments on Mopan Street, allegedly occupied by 12 reputed PIV gang members. They found a boat engine in one of the apartments and an owner has stepped up to claim ownership. He said that the engine was stolen from his boat five days ago. And so, 10 persons were charged for handling stolen goods. They are 24 year old Leon Gray, 23 year old Kieshayne Kirk Young, 20 year old Ashley Welch, 20 year old Gregory Knox, 30 year old Edwin Flowers, 24 year old Albert Clother, 24 year old Warren Dominguez, two 17 year olds and a 15 year old minor were also charged jointly with the others. The GSU says that all these persons are reputed members of the PIV gang. Three 9mm pistols were also found on the property during the operation. According to GSU, they are waiting to see fingerprints lifted from the firearms found and ballistic testing to determine if further charges will be brought. In other news, yesterday, the GSU searched a house at the residence of Wilfred Garbutt located at number 58 Gabourel Lane. A transparent Zip Lock bag containing 9 grammes of cocaine was found in one of the bedrooms. All three occupants were arrested and charged for drug trafficking. Present at the time were 30 year old Wilfred Garbutt, 22 year old Melisa Armstrong and 29 year old Alrick Galvez.

Youths: Who Is Farrakhan?
Earlier this week, official details of the visit of Minister Louis Farrakhan were released. Those of us older born before 1980 should remember his last visit in 1986. But there's a whole generation of adults born after 1986 who are saying, "Farrakhan - who?" And it's understandable, because in the modern "pop-life" where telephones and television dominate the national consciousness, Farrakhan is not exactly at the top of the charts, or "trending" on Google. But in 1986, before a zillion channels of cable, facebook and text messages, Farrakhan's visit was a major event. With some YouTube video of that visit recently posted on the internet, we wondered about the comparisons between then and now. Daniel Ortiz reports:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting When Pastor Luis Farrakhan came to Belize in 1986 - this video captured by the Nation of Islam showed Belize City as it was then. Some things have changed in the 26 years, while many have remained the same.

Authorities Say Human Trafficker Caught
48 year-old Guatemalan National Rolando Velasquez Darbon, is in custody tonight because he is being investigated as possibly being part of an international human trafficking ring. According to immigration authorities, acting on information they visited the Belize City Bus terminal yesterday, where they detained a young man, later learned to be Jose Evelio Hernandez Ayala, a Salvadoran national. When they asked the man to produce immigration documents, he couldn't, but he told them that someone was supposed to bring them for him very soon. The officers set up an impromptu sting operation where they caught Darbon in the act of trying to furnish a Salvadoran passport and visa later discovered to be fake documents. Both men were detained and question where it was discovered that Darbon smuggled Ayala into the country illegally, and produced the documents for him to try to get past all immigration checks.

Colombia Withdraws From ICJ
On October 13 of 2013, Belizeans and Guatemalans will vote simultaneously on whether we should take our territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice. One country that did do that is having second thoughts, so much so that it is pulling out of the ICJ. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced yesterday that his country has officially withdrawn from the treaty that recognizes the authority of the ICJ. This is after the ICJ gave a ruling on November 19th that extends Nicaragua's maritime territory by 20,000 square miles. The ruling ended a decades-long dispute over the San Andres island - which remains in Colombia's possession. But it re-drew the maritime borders - giving Nicaragua territory in a potentially oil-rich area. President Santos said quote, "The borders between nations cannot be in the hands of a court of law, They must be drawn by agreement between the countries involved." He has said he will now engage Nicaragua in bi-lateral talks to settle the issue. In other international news of interest, the United Nations voted overwhelmingly today to recognize a Palestinian state. There were 138 votes in favour, including Belize, 9 against while some 40 members abstained.

A Youth-Friendly Space In Police Station
Opening ceremonies were held this morning for a Youth Friendly Drop in Center at the Caribbean Shores police substation. It is an initiative of the Community Policing Unit - a section of the Police Department that involves law enforcement professionals who specifically work with and for the communities. The new drop in center will give students in the area access to a computer to get homework assignments done and should also serve as a safe setting for the youngsters. Corporal Hortense Hernandez, who is the Acting Officer Commanding the Community Policing told 7news how the center will operate. Corporal Hortense Hernandez, Acting Officer Commanding Community Policing "The youth friendly space is a place where young people can come and just be themselves in a crime free environment; at the same time they will be learning very educational stuff that will help them along the way as a guideline." Monica Bodden "Tell us a little bit about what are some of the services that will be offered here?" Corporal Hortense Hernandez "Young people can come here, they can print home works, they can do research if they have homework, SBAs - anything that they need to do on a computer they can come and get some assistance to do homework. Also we have a lot of informative pamphlets where they can get additional information. As I said it's a place where young people can just be themselves."

Papi Poti Passes
Tonight we note the passing of a Belize City legend, Edward "Papi Poti" Orozco. He died at his home in Belize City this morning after a long battle with cancer. He was a boxer, an orator, an ardent PUP supporter, and one of the colourful characters that define Belize City's identity. His friend Yasser Musa remembered the man called Poti:.. Yasser Musa, Friend of Papi Poti "He was a discipline man. He loved sports, he was a great boxer; he played in 1970s on the great Fort George United Football team. He was a man that had the ability to deliver powerful message in very sharp but precise words. He came up with many of the phrases and slogans of our party over the years and he had that common touch where he would enter a room and people would gravitate toward him because he had this spirit of spontaneous combustion I would always called it because he just knew what to say and how to say it and so we are sad today. When you are in his presence you felt something deeply human about his strength of character, his persistence and his just ordinary approach to things."

Belize's First Int'l Fencing Event
On Monday, 7News told you about 14 year-old Xunan Smith who went to El Salvador to represent Belize for the first time in an international Fencing tournament. On Sunday, she competed in the VI Annual Giorgio Scarso International Tournament, and on Tuesday in the Central American & Caribbean Championship. In the Giorgio Scarso tournament, she competed against 21 other fencers, and she was able to place 10th, performing better than 11 of those athletes. If that's not enough to impress you, this junior athlete managed to compete on par with the 7th place athlete who has 37 years of experience, and who just barely defeated her. In the Central American and Caribbean Championships, she placed 6th of 19 athletes. For a first attempt, Xunan Smith acquitted herself excellently in the sport, and gave Belize an impressive debut.

Profile Of a Survivo: Godfrey Sosar
If you follow the morning talk shows - you may remember the name Godfrey Sosa. He made a historic appeal for a kidney transplant in 2005 - and raised tens of thousands of dollars to fund the operation. But, that didn't work either - and shortly after - the new kidney started failing. In tonight's I Am Belize profile he tells us how he continues to persevere - in spite of his difficulties:..

Salima Fundraising At School
Last month we told you about 7 year old Salima Barrow's mission to fundraise for children living with cancer. It's a mission funded by proceeds from a Limeade stand. Today she set up the stand at her school. Under the theme Children Helping Children, Salima and her Standard 1 classmates at Hummingbird Elementary held a Limeade sale during their lunch break. The juices were going for only 2 dollars but their ambitions are far greater. We spoke to her teacher:.. Sonia Bennett - Std. 1 teacher "This initiative is an effort to help the cancer children down in Dangriga. They are selling limeade to support the children down there who are sick with cancer." "They are divided into 4 groups and as you can see we have the ice group, we have the servers, here are the people who are serving the juice and over there we have the people who are collecting the money." Reporter "Can you tell us about the enthusiasm for the children while preparing for this?" Sonia Bennett - Std. 1 teacher "Oh my gosh! I can't keep this still. I could keep them in check at all. They are so excited about this whole thing." Salima Barrow, Std. 1 student "We were serving the limeade juice." Monica Bodden "What were you doing Haley?" Hayley Thurton "I was getting the ice." Student "I was serving." Gianna Saldivar "I was collecting the money." Sofia Solano, Std. 1 student "I was putting the ice in the cups."

Channel 5

Recent superbond Restructuring offer rejected by GOB
There were hopes that a deal would be struck when the Debt Review Team and the Coordinating Committee of Belize Bondholders met following the US thanksgiving holiday. But the result is a reversal of a previous discussion. In August the Government publicized three Indicative Restructuring Scenarios that would reduce the long term payment and bond [...]

B.T.I.A. attends consultations with Bond Negotiation committee
Government and bondholders are at a stalemate five months after the negotiations started and are basically back at square one. But Jim Scott, the former president of the B.T.I.A., said today that the team leader has asked him to inform tourism industry stakeholders that the negotiations were moving forward.   Jim Scott, Immediate Former President, [...]

5.5 million dollars of Bradley bond sold
While bondholders and government are at a standstill, the Belize City municipal bond is trading beyond expectations. Since going public on Monday, Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley says there has been high demand by the business community for the bonds that will finance the ongoing infrastructure works in the City. The Belize City Council has [...]

Structuring shares of bond for sale
A total of eleven individuals and businesses have bought into the primary offering since it was launched on November twenty-sixth. The smallest shares are in the amount of two individual bonds, while the largest stocks are seven thousand, five hundred and twelve thousand, five hundred bonds, respectively.   Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor “What we’ve [...]

Radar wasn’t working when drug plane landed on the highway
The trial involving several law enforcement officers accused in the largest drug seizure in recent history continued today before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in the Dangriga courts with arguments from the defense. Police officers Renel Grant, Lawrence Humes, Jacinto Roches, Mark Middleton and Customs boatman Harold Usher, as well as Victor Logan have been indicted for [...]

Who raided McAfee’s property today?
John McAfee, the anti-virus founder, has faded from the media headlines in recent days, but he continues to blog about life in hiding and in Belize on a whole. In his most recent posting, McAfee claims that the Gang Suppression Unit and the Coast Guard raided his property in San Pedro just before eleven o’clock [...]

Mayor Bradley explains the garbage fee arrangement with BWS
Last Friday, Belize Water Services Ltd., the collecting agent for the proposed residential garbage fee, issued a release outlining the conditions under which the city council partnership can be successful. Among those terms is that BWS will not disconnect its customers for failure to pay the new fee, despite generating and issuing the monthly invoice. [...]

B.T.I.A. hosts AGM for tourism partners
The tourism industry has had a successful year. That commendable sentiment came in the report card that was presented at the annual general meeting of the Belize Tourism and Industry Association which took place at the Radisson Hotel today. But despite growth in the industry, crime presents a major challenge that threatens to besmirch the [...]

63 year old woman defiant during robbery
Two women were victims of thieves this week. On Monday, forty nine year old Rosa Tejada, a resident of Dean Street left her home between nine a.m. and four thirty p.m. When she returned she discovered that one thousand three hundred Belize dollars, an additional hundred dollars in other currencies, and two gold chains valued [...]

K-9 unit sniffs out cocaine in Placencia
A special joint operation by the K-nine unit and Placencia Police yielded a significant amount of cocaine early this morning. The first find was a kilo of cocaine, followed by another quantity of marijuana. As the operation continued, things got more interesting and the officers dug up eight packs of crack cocaine in different locations [...]

Villager turns himself in after stabbing woman multiple times
Also in Placencia, twenty-four year old Lizet Cocom was stabbed multiple times on November fifteenth on her neck, back and hands, allegedly by her estranged common-law husband. The incident was reported the following day and led to outrage in village when the police did not arrest the accused man even though he travelled regularly between [...]

Guatemalan caught smuggling Salvadoran into Belize
Forty-eight year-old Rolando Velasquez Darbon pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting when he appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas Jr. in court today. He was busted on Wednesday slipping a Salvadoran national into the country. Darbon, who is wanted by the United States Embassy for his involvement in an alleged human trafficking ring, was fined three [...]

Minister of National Security says crime is down
There were six murders over the past weekend alone and the continuous spate of violent crimes has residents on edge countrywide. But in his address at the B.T.I.A. AGM today, the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar said that major crimes have actually decreased over the past five months. According to Saldivar it may not [...]

Caribbean Shores Drop in Center for youths
Proper communication with communities has always been essential for cops to maintain peace in neighborhoods. The Zone Beat Liaison Officers are focused on community engagement but Drop-in centers are becoming an additional tool to maintain a relationship with the youths. The police department has drop-in centers in Yarborough, Hattieville and Benque. Today, the Caribbean Shores [...]

GSU cleaning up the streets of drugs, ammunition and stolen goods
On Tuesday, the Gang Suppression Unit found an outboard engine at an apartment complex on Mopan Street where members of the PIV gang are known to be living. One person is claiming ownership of the engine but as many as nine have been arrested and charged for handling stolen goods. They are Leon Gray, Kieshayne [...]

Bottle recycler found fetus at dump site
There are further details on the body of a baby found on Wednesday morning at the George Price Highway Dumpsite. The police report that the partially decomposed body was found, according to police, by a plastic recycler from the “Gungulung area” in Saint Martin De Porres. The recycler was collecting plastic bottles at the dumpsite [...]

Vote taken at UN to recognize Palestine as non-member observer state
The United Nations recorded a historic vote today; member states voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state. One hundred and thirty eight members voted in favor while nine, including the United States, Israel and Canada, voted against. The vote came after impassioned speeches from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who asked the UN to [...]

Healthy Living explores living with HIV
Each year on December first, people all over the globe commemorate World Aids Day. From 2011 to 2015 the central theme for the activities has been “Getting to Zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths.” In 2011, Belize had reason to celebrate; the number of new HIV infections had decreased from [...]


Immigration Nabs Man for Human Trafficking
48-year-old Guatemalan national, Rolando Velasquez Darbon was arrested as part of an ongoing Immigration sting that continues in Belize City. Darbon pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a Salvadoran and Guatemalan national and fined $3,000.00. He was ordered to pay the fine fort...

Placencia Police Charge Wanted Man and Reports on Drug Bust on the Peninsula
Two weeks after he allegedly stabbed twenty four year old Lizet Cocom, police in Placencia village are reporting that the prime suspect, Devon Logan is in custody. According to officer in Charge of Placencia Police Superintendent Mark Flowers, Logan, in the company of his attorne...


Mexican National Charged For Drug Trafficking Offered Bail
Also appearing in the Corozal Magistrates Court this morning was 52 year old Mexican National Pedro Alfonso Betancourt Reed charged with two counts of drug trafficking. When Betancourt Reed appeared before the court today, Magistrate Clive Lino offered him bail to the sum of $25,000 which he met. On Sunday October 7th, Corozal Police visited C&B’s Bar located on Baeza’s layout in Corozal Town where they searched a Silver 2005 Ford Eco Sport SUV with license plate number UUA 79-54 in the presence of Reed, 51 year old Belizean Tailor of Consejo Road Alfonso Iglesias Jr. and 51 year old businessman of San Pedro Town Jose Nunez. The search led police to the discovery of two black plastic bags suspected to contain 295 grams of cocaine. As a result, Reed, Iglesias Jr., and Nunez were detained and charged for drug trafficking. Iglesias Jr. and Nunez were offered bail on their first court appearance.

Corozal Under Heavy Guard, Mexican National Goes To Court
This morning the entire area surrounding the Corozal Magistrates Court was under heavy police guard as 22 year old Mexican National of Chetumal Quintana Roo, Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez, was escorted to the Court room. CTV3 News understands that Corozal Police stepped up their security after receiving information that an attempt might be made to free Villasenor who is facing charges of kept prohibited firearm, kept prohibited ammunition, kept firearm without a gun license, kept ammunition without a gun license, drug trafficking and possession of controlled drugs. But Villasenor’s case was not heard today; instead it was adjourned to a later date. Due to security measures we are not allowed to release the date Villasenor is scheduled to be back in court. Viewers might recall that on Tuesday October 30th, Corozal Police conducted a search at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino located just outside the Corozal Free Zone. During the raid, four vehicles and an arsenal of high powered weapons including AK-47 rifles, ammunition, drugs, radio and communication devices, a mask and an assortment of other items were confiscated.

Armoured Catfish Captured In O/W 13 Years Ago
Last night we told you about the 2 armored catfish that were captured in Sylvester Village near Gallon Jug in the Orange Walk District in the month of September. The Fisheries Department visited the area but was unable to capture any more of the fish which is known to erode local shorelines up to 10 feet as it devastates aquatic plant life. These efficient feeders may disrupt the food sources of native fishes and hamper the natives’ reproduction by destroying their eggs and their habit of burrowing into banks to spawn can impact adversely a stream’s water quality by releasing substantial amounts of sediment that destabilize banks. Presently the Fisheries Department is working on developing a management plan to control the invasion of the species and will even implement an incentive program to encourage people to bring in the fish if captured. But all indications are that the two armored catfish captured in the Gallon Jug area, are not the only ones that have been fished in north.

O/W Special Olympics Team Headed South
Northern Regional Special Olympics held on November 2nd at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium proved to be a very special day for children with special needs as qualifying athletes were selected to represent the north in the National Special Olympics scheduled to take place in Punta Gorda this coming Saturday. But in order to make the trip financing is needed and this morning when caught up with the President of the Parents Alliance for Persons with Special Needs, Estelita Carlos, who was out by Queen Victoria Avenue collecting funds. Estelita Carlos- President, PAPSN “Our major goal today is for us to raise $1400.00 towards the nationals which will be held at Punta Gorda and we are trying to cater for the bus. Our parent support group is going to be here to collect whatever amount of money necessary but we are asking the community of Orange Walk to give us the support for our children because it is not for me it is for the athlete that are going to represent Orange Walk and hopefully they will be bringing back their medals here in Orange Walk.” Accompanying Carlos this morning was Peace Corp Volunteer Christen Eure. Christen Eure- Peace Corp “I would say thank you for Orange Walk for being so supportive of our persons with disability who live here, it is a great place to live very open society and I would wish that for the rest of the country as well that Orange Walk could be a model for on how to treat the persons with disabilities as part of the community and part of our lives, it is wonderful message.”

Teachers Working Towards Improving Education
Most people will agree that when it comes to improving individual and collective lives, thus contributing to social and economic development, education plays an important role. And when it comes to education, teachers should be top priority since they are in charge of feeding the minds of students. Improving a child’s performance at school forms part of a teacher’s agenda hence why they are constantly engaged in workshops. Today, when we visited the Multi Purpose Complex, we found teachers hard at work as they participated in a one day workshop catered at improving the results of the Belize Junior Achievement Test and the Primary School Examination. Elmer Cornejo reports. Elmer Cornejo – Reporting At the primary level two public examinations are administered on an annual basis: the Primary School Examination or PSE, administered to all students completing primary education and the Belize Junior Achievement Test or BJAT, administered to all students completing the middle division of primary education. However, students seem to be having difficulties in performance when it comes to the BJAT. In order to improve the performance of students at the time of sitting the BJAT, the Ministry of Education held a one day workshop today at the Orange Walk Multi Complex Building where standard 3 and standard 4 teachers, accompanied by their principals, took the task of understanding the details the BJAT contains.


Skeletal remains unearthed on North Front Street
The ongoing street works in Belize City has unearthed what may very well be a painful part of the history of the old capital. It happened at the foot of the Swing Bridge. And Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went to North Front Street to investigate.

San Pedro businessman says he is being wrongfully targetted
A San Pedro businessman is complaining of being unfairly targeted and is planning legal action against the San Pedro Town Council. Mario Servoni who opened a beachfront business in San Pedro town six months ago, called our News Centre today to complain that late last week he was forced to remove some of his equipment which puts him at a distinct disadvantage. Servoni says the back and forth between himself and the San Pedro town Council has been going on for about a month now. And while he was hoping for an amicable solution, the aggrieved businessman says that late last week, under threat of imprisonment, he was forced to give in. Following our conversation with Mario Servoni, Love News contacted San Pedro town Mayor Daniel Guerrero. Mayor Guerrero says that he is reserving public comments on the issue at this time because there is an impending meeting involving the Town Council, Servoni and other businesses in the immediate area where he operates to try and resolve the matter.

Man fined for hiring illegal workers
A building contractor who employed two men not in possession of work permits and had them hiding in the ceiling of a building they were working on, was fined $3,000.00 today after he pled guilty to two counts of employing persons not in possession of employment permits. He is 52 year old Demetrio Calderon, a Salvadoran national with permanent resident status in Belize. Calderon was given until February 28, 2013 to pay the fine. If he defaults on payment he will serve two years in jail. Calderon was busted around 11 o’clock on Tuesday morning when immigration officers went to a construction site at Los Lagos at mile 13 on the Northern Highway. The immigration officers saw Calderon on the street in front of the site acting suspicious and when they searched a building Calderon was working on they found two Salvadoran nationals, Edwin Erazo and Rafael Cardoza, hiding in the ceiling. Erazo and Cardoza admitted that they were hired by Calderon and that they did not have work permits. As a result, Calderon was taken to the immigration office in Belize City and charged.

Findings of behavioral study released
The Ministry of Health has released the preliminary findings of a behavioral survey carried out earlier this year. The survey involved three particular groups, namely men who have sex with men; female sex workers and persons with HIV and was aimed at documenting the behavioral risks associated with HIV in the three target groups and to determine the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in the three study groups. [FS 1] The preliminary findings point to a less than acceptable consistent use of condom in the target groups. In the group of men who have sex with men as well as persons with HIV condom use is shown to be less than seventy percent. The number is less than eighty one person among female sex workers. [FS 2] On the issue of the knowledge of the transmission of HIV, the study shows that only 33 percent of female sex workers are aware of the transmission, and only fifty seven percent in the other group. [FS 3] Prevalence of HIV among the men who have sex with men was shown to be thirteen point eight percent, while for female sex workers it was less than one percent of those tested. The Preliminary results of the behavioral study showed that Genital Herpes and Chlamydia were the most common sexually transmitted infections diagnosed across the target groups. [FS 4] Stigma and discrimination, according to the preliminary findings was the highest in the community and workplace and is estimated at ten percent in the health sector. The final report on the behavioral study is scheduled for release in February of next year.

Concerns raised over armored cat fish presence
The Belize fish industry has had to deal with “pests” in the past from Tilapia some years ago to more recently the Lion Fish. But it seems to have another problem on its hand, a fresh water fish known as armored cat fish. The type of fish is not carnivorous but it’s territorial and can easily displace other species in freshwater bodies inland. Wilfrido Pott of the Inland Fishing Unit of the Fisheries Department tells us more. Pott says the Fisheries Department has submitted proposals for funding of a management plan to contain the increase of the armored cat fish in Belize. Love News understands that fisheries authorities in Mexico are particularly interested in having this specie controlled, especially since the Rio Bravo is in their proximity. The fisheries department encourages Belizeans to consume the fish if they catch them as a form of controlling its population.

Women’s department sponsors legal clinics
The Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender- Based Violence was launched last week and numerous activities linked to the occasion are taking place countrywide. Today a legal clinic was held at the ITVET building on Freetown Road. Human Development Coordinator at the Women’s Department, Cynthia Williams told Love News that the legal clinic is an intervention that the department began some years ago in order to provide the general public with free legal advice. Antionette Moore is one of the attorneys who volunteered their time for today’s clinic. She told us about her contribution to the event. Williams says that in previous years, legal clinics have been held in the Toledo, Cayo and Orange Walk Districts that’s why their focus this year is the Corozal District. She reminds one and all that men are also invited to attend the clinics.

Minister Alamilla meets with Crooked Tree residents
Crooked Tree residents and the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development have reached agreement on the way forward. At a meeting this morning the concerns raised by the villagers in an impromptu demonstration on the morning of Friday, November sixteenth, were discussed and consensus reached. According to a government press release, Senator Lisel Alamilla explained to the residents that the legal status of the protected area restricts access. She also told the villagers that her ministry is currently in the process of conducting a viability study of protected areas, including the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. As part of the way forward, Minister Alamilla instructed that the twenty pieces of logs confiscated from Steve Flowers be returned to him. A follow up meeting has been scheduled for the week of December 10th involving residents, the forest and fisheries department, the Belize Audubon Society to, quote, improve the dialogue and chart a way forward, end of quote. The government press release ends by saying that in the meantime, the villagers of Crooked Tree agreed to work within the confines of the regulations of the Wildlife Sanctuary.

Travel and Trade exhibition held in Belize City
The University of Belize has partnered with the National Institute for Culture and History to hold a Trade and Travel Exhibition currently taking place in the Reception Hall of the House of Culture in Belize City. Yusleidy Chan a Tourism student from UB told us all about today’s exhibition. Chan told us that there is one thing that she wishes everyone will take back when they leave the exhibition room. Chan says that they are hoping that next year the event can be bigger and better.

Taiwan donates AC units to House Culture
The government of Taiwan has donated equipment designed to provide cooling for the House of Culture. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett were present for the handing over and file the following report.

Berger Field getting a facelift
The Berger Field on Vernon Street is a setting where a great many people from the Pickstock, Albert, Collet and Lake Independence areas spend much of their time playing football games, selling food, or simply hanging out. But over the past few years the field has gone unattended and unkempt. But today, the Berger Field, which falls in the Albert Division, represented by Minister of State, Herman Longsworth, was the focus of much attention that will span through to around Easter of 2013 when it will undergo a significant facelift. It comes largely through a grant of 150 thousand dollars from the Belize Water Services, and additional funding yet to be identified. The BWS made good on its pledge to improving the aesthetics of the field today when it handed over thirty thousand of the total it has promised. Chairman of BWS, Alberto August, urged the children and residents who use the field to be responsible when the works are completed. The project will cost a total of 225 thousand dollars and Longsworth says that the residents of the area will be offered the job to upgrade the field. Longsworth is hoping that the difference that the project will cost will come from businesses in the Albert community.

Dance show opens at the Bliss
“Dance X Masks 2012”, kicks off tonight at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City. The anticipated dance show will feature a week of activities which commence tonight with a dance forum. Creative Industry Development Officer and the Forum Organizer, Jacky Castillo told us about tonight’s forum and the activities that follow. Castillo says that the event is open to the entire family and encourages everyone to be a part of the dance extravaganza. For more information you can call the Bliss Center at 227-2110 or visit the website at www.nichbelize.org.


My Refuge Christian Radio holds share-a-thon
My Refuge Christian Ministries started 18yrs ago on September 18th of 1994. It was Belize's first Christian Radio S...

Belize' represented at fencing tournament in San Salvador
Belize made its debut in the world of international fencing by competing in the sixth annual Girgio Scarso Internat...

Classic Ballet Company from Mexico performs in Belize
Tonight there will be a presentation by the Classic Ballet Company from Mexico, at the Bliss Centre in Belize City....

Silas Sabal releases Christian CD
Silas Sabal has been a recording artist since 2008 and started out with a band called the Majestic Intercessors. On...

Belmopan City Administrator says more upgrades are on the way
As part of the Belize Municipal Development Project, the Belmopan City Council recently finished infrastructure wor...

Elderly lady robbed in Belize City
An elderly lady was robbed in Belize City. 63 year old VERONICA ALLEN, told police that on Tuesday November 27th at...

Baby's body found in garbage dump
The body of a baby was found in a garbage dump. Police were called to the Dump site situated at mile 3 on the Georg...

Motorcycle stolen from San Ignacio Police
One of the motorcycles which was assigned to the San Ignacio Community Police Unit has been stolen. The Meilun gree...

Rolando Darbon pleads guilty to aiding illegal immigrant
48 year old Rolando Velasquez Darbon pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Salvadoran national, Jose Evelio Henriqu...

Two men and daughter of Police Sergeant are charged with drug trafficking
Two men and daughter of a Sergeant of Police are charged with for the trafficking of 9 grams of cocaine. Reports ar...

19-year-old Michael Martinez pleads guilty to theft
Chain snatcher change not guilty plea to guilty. 19-year-old Michael Martinez, was first arraign on Thursday, Octob...

Regional fisheries meeting hosted by Jamaica
Over a hundred stakeholders from government and grassroot agencies, as well as regional and international organizat...

Pastor Abe Dueck still in coma following accident
In a previous newscast we told you about a well known Spanish Lookout Pastor; Pastor Abe Dueck who was involved in ...

15 year old and threatened in Belize City
In Belize City, a 15 year old student visited the CIB office accompanied by his mother and reported that on Wednesd...

#452370 - 11/30/12 09:52 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 30, 2012 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here

The Guardian

Bond Selling like Hot Johnny Cakes
Three days into the 20 million dollar Municipal Development Bond offering and the Belize City Council has all but sold out the entire subscription. It must be that there is an extreme level of confidence in the Belize City Council under the leadership of Mayor Darrell Bradley that has attracted so much subscription for the Bond. So far, insurance companies, private individuals, the Social Security Board and financial institutions have bought the bond. While the offering has been for 3 days so far and it will last until the 24th of December, reportedly as much as 18.5 million dollars worth of Bonds have been sold. These include offerings in the three tranches, however most interest has been demonstrated for the 5 and 10-year bonds. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, there is still room left for other investors to come in and buy bonds. And the reason for such overwhelming interest in the bond must be two fold. First, there is an impressive amount of confidence in the Mayor that the Council will actually use the money derived from the bond to pave streets and improve drainage across the city. Under the prospectus, there are 67 streets which have been programmed to be paved with concrete. As it is the Council, through self financing, has been able to pave 33 streets across the city. The second reason is the attractive interest rates which the bond offers. According to the prospectus: “The bonds are being issued in Three Series. Series 1 has three tranches. The first tranche of Series 1 is an issue of $2 million that carries an interest rate of 3.5% per annum and that matures on the two-year anniversary date of the issue. The second tranche of Series 1 is an issue of $3 million that carries an interest rate of 5.5% per annum and that matures on the five-year anniversary date of the issue. The third tranche of Series 1 is an issue of $5 million that carries an interest rate of 8% per annum and that matures on the ten-year anniversary date of the issue, with a call option feature after 7.5 years. The call option gives the Council the right to call (redeem) such amounts of the bonds as it, in its sole discretion, may determine for purchase and cancellation at any time after 7.5 years after the date of issue until maturity, after giving not more than sixty days nor less than thirty days written notice to the registered holder of such bonds.

Golden Boys
On Tuesday, November 27th, a 16-member football team returned to Belize wearing gold around their necks. The team came back from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic after winning 5 matches against teams fielded by countries such as Mexico, considered football superpowers. It's a story of glory and dedication but most of all, of vision by the team's organizer, Pastor Santi Valencia. After the team stepped off the airplane and into the VIP room at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, Pastor Valencia explained that it had cost 40 thousand dollars for the team to participate in the tournament. But financing aside, Valencia said that it was prayers and plain old comradeship that allowed the team to participate. There was massive support from parents and private individuals to allow for the trip to be made possible. The team was comprised by young boys from across the country, but the program had humble beginnings in Roaring Creek Village where the boys there had expressed an interest in playing football. He said that his first goal was to acquire balls, then football boots and then jerseys. Then, it was off to a selection which was camped at the Football Federation of Belize Field for three months. After training and conditioning, the team left and when they returned, it was with gold. But more than gold, the team returned as history-makers, for the first time an under-15 national team returned to the country with a gold medal. That was not all; however, as the team also brought back individual awards - Randy Augustine came back having distinguished himself for scoring the most goals; Raji Salarzano also came back with the Most Valuable Player award. Truly, this national team is testament that there is great potential in our Belizean youth. It takes guidance and no complaining for this to be achieved and much kudos must be given to Pastor Valencia for his efforts. He says the program will continue and as much as he can, he will get young people involved in positive activities.

Bones on North Front Street
On Wednesday, November 28th, the Belize Water Services Limited 's employees were diligently doing their work on North Front Street in preparation for the paving of that thoroughfare when they came upon a strange find. Sometime around 9 a.m., the workers began exhuming what appeared to be human skeletal remains. A gaggle of spectators soon gathered in front of the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association where a trench to replace water mains was being dug. It was during that work that the workers, who began digging with a backhoe and then resorted to using shovels came up on the bones. The workers soon started to assemble the bones and it quickly became evident that it appeared to be human remains. Director of Archaeology, Dr. Jaime Awe says that the bones appear to be the remains of someone buried after Hurricane Hattie. Those skeletal remains were not the only set found as further digging revealed more bones coming from the trench. The bones were taken to the morgue where they will be further examined.

Berger Field Receives Facelift
BWS’ representatives Alberto August and Alvan Haynes make presentation to Minister Herman Longsworth On Wednesday, November 28th, the Belize Water Services Limited handed over a check for 30 thousand dollars to the Area Representative for the Albert Division, Hon. Herman Longsworth. The money is part of a 150 thousand-dollar donation by the utility company for the upgrading of Berger Field located on Vernon Street.

Cayo Central selects Executive Committee
Cayo Central selects Executive CommitteeOn Tuesday, November 28th the United Democratic Party supporters gathered at the UDP Cayo Central office in Santa Elena to select a new Executive Committee for that division. At the end of the meeting, Vallan Hyde was selected as the Chairperson while Vanessa Neal, Robert Montero, Myra Sabala, Alberto August, Nyani August, Ramon Banos, Clement Cruz, Rene Canto, Francis Contreras, Giovanni Montalvan, Japeth Ochoa, Bernz Salazar, Eddie De La Rosa and Eulogio Cano were selected as members. Selected as alternates were Ben Rodas, Alberta Cano, Malta Garcia, George Andrews and Violet Armstrong.

Minister Lisel Alamilla meets with Representatives of Crooked Tree Village
Minister Lisel Alamilla and residents of Crooked Tree Village On November 28th, 2012, at the request of community members, Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, met with representatives from the Crooked Tree Action Group. The objective of the meeting was for the community to formally inform the Minister of their concerns over the situation with the Belize Audubon Society and the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.

From Town Hall to Cycling, from One Failure to Another
More than likely, he is unable to even get on a professional racing bicycle, but that has not deterred the Orange Walk Mayor to want to run for the Vice Presidency of the Belize Cycling Association. He is probably more adept at riding a child's tricycle than a real bike, but that aside, it is strange that this man, who has proven to be nothing but a failure would want to run in an association where much would be expected from him.

New Mexican Border inaugurated
Mexico's outgoing president Felipe Calderon was in Chetumal on Friday, November 23rd to officially inaugurate the new border installations in that country. President Calderon was accompanied by various Mexican Government officials as well as the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Gaspar Vega. Also attending the opening was Hon. Manuel Heredia, Hon. Hugo Patt, and Hon. Pablo Marin.

Ministry of Health releases Survey of Sexual Behavior
The National HIV Programme of the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Central America (CDC) conducted a Behavioural Survey Study (BSS) earlier this year among three identified vulnerable groups, Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), Female Sex Workers (FSW) and Persons with HIV (PHIV).

Infrastructure and Economic Development on New Road
Under the Belize City Council's program to concrete streets, 33 have been completed so far. But the Council's vision is not limited to ensuring a smoother ride for motorists and better water flow in the drains the vision is all encompassing. Part of that vision is to stimulate economic activity in the Old Capital. The first phase of that vision is currently being implemented on New Road where the stretch between Hyde’s Lane and Queen Street will see more than just the paving of the street.

Orange Walk South has new Executive
On Sunday, November 25th, supporters of the United Democratic Party in the Orange Walk South met at Carrillo’s Farm in San Lazaro Village where a Executive Committee was elected. Felipe Blanco became the Chairperson with Ronnel Dyck, Manuel Rejon, Estela Santos, Richard Wicab, Lisbeth Delgado, Vaselisa Narvallez, Brenda Campos, Patricio Carrillo, Alex Magana, Blanca Esquivel, Noel Carrillo, Ismael Carrillo, Darlene Padron and Angela Jimenez being elected as members. Alternates are Heidi Moguel, Anabel Martinez, Maria Friesen, Anacleto Andrade and Benigno Cawich.

Panamanian Ambassador presents Credentials
His Excellency Joaquin E. Carrasquilla today presented his credentials as the Panamanian Ambassador to Belize, at Belize House in Belmopan.

“A man who will not defend his country is not entitled to reap the benefit thereof.” Thomas Paslow - Letter to 1797 Public Meeting
The well-documented 1797 decision to defend the Belize settlement from the Spanish Army planned invasion set the stage for the 1798 Battle of St. George’s Caye and was a major turning point in Belizean history. Likewise, the rejection of the 1966 Thirteen Proposals, the 1968 Seventeen Proposals, the 1981 Heads of Agreement, the 1991 Belize Maritime Areas Act and the 2002 Ramphal/Reichler Proposals were turning points in Belizean history. In all these rejections, Belizeans defended our country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Otherwise, there would be no Belize, not as we know it today.

The Public and Private Sectors Partnering for Growth
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” More growth is better than less. For any given level of population, the more output produced per capita, the more income is available for distribution among the citizens of a country. Therefore, growth should be a primary focus of all countries. More growth is generated by optimally employing the inputs of technology, capital, labour, and others. At the last business forum entitled “Partnering for Growth”, Prime Minister Barrow reiterated the opportunities that exist when Government and the Private Business Sector engage in open dialogue. The underlying objective is to find ways to accelerate the ‘train’ of economic development that would expand incomes, create employment, and stimulate the general business and economic activity. Economic growth cannot solely be the concern and impetus of Government. Government can create the enabling environment, but the private sector must be emphatic and committed to its contribution to an economy that is suffering the effects of the global recession. In other words, growth can be private sector led. An increase in economic growth does not necessarily translate into improvement in the living standards for all, which in every shape or form is what all countries want to achieve and Belize is no exception. The production function states that improvements in the stock of capital, labour, and technology will produce more. Research indicates that a stable and conducive economic environment, adequate access to and the provision of financial resources, adequate intuitional frameworks, better governance and the rule of law, induces the growth process. There have been some plausible efforts to reduce the cost of doing business, primarily the reduction of utility costs namely: water and electricity. Belize continues to see vibrant movements in terms of the tourist industry, which is the number one export industry. This brings in much needed foreign reserves and can be accessed by the private sector, especially for businesses that are more import driven. It is worthwhile to mention that economic expansion in 2011, for Belize, was 2.5%; it might seem modest, but the great United States recently showed quarterly growth of approximately 2 % and economists were predicting 1.7% growth. Many other countries have been suffering from inflation, hyper-inflation, and zero growth, which increased the cost of living, with a simultaneous scarcity in supply of much needed goods and services and rising price levels.

Special Envoy secures Greater Access for Persons with Disabilities
On Tuesday, November 27th, the Embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan handed over 150 wheelchairs and mobility equipment for persons with disabilities. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow, in addressing those gathered at the site for the Inspiration Center located at mile 2 and a half on the George Price Highway, explained that the donation comes at an opportune time as the country prepares to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd. The celebration will take place under the theme "Removing Barriers to create an Inclusive Society for all."

A Time to Build
A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky. - Crazy Horse, Oglala Chief, The Great Plains, Turtle Island

Yo-Chen Village Council Slate Ready
The United Democratic Party in Corozal North continues its organization for the upcoming village council elections. On Saturday, November 24th, the UDP supporters of the Village of Yo-Chen met and elected a slate to contest the upcoming Village Council Elections scheduled for 2013.

Three charged for Murder
Brandon Baptist, Orel Leslie and Tyrone Meighan Police have arrested and charged three men in connection with the killing of James Noralez, who was shot and killed at the corner of Faber's Road and the George Price Highway in Belize City on Friday, November 23rd. On Monday, November 26th, police escorted businessman Orel Leslie, 27; Brandon Baptist, 27, Construction Worker of #6632 Police Street, and Tyrone Meighan, 19, unemployed of #27 Banak Street. The trio appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer in Court #2 where Leslie was represented by Attorney, Ellis Arnold while Meighan was represented by Attorney, Bryan Neal. Baptist was unrepresented. In court, the mothers of the three men were very emotional and crying for their sons, who were read the single charge of murder for the execution style killing of James Noralez, who was gunned down at the corner of Faber’s Road and the George Price Highway.

Two more City Murders
On Sunday, 25th November, at about 1:15 pm, police visited #118 Mahogany Street Extension, Belize City where they saw 22-year-old William Felix Francis lying inside his house with multiple gunshot wounds. Francis had two gunshots to the left hand, one gunshot to the left side of his chest, one to left side of his neck, one shot to the back of the neck and one shot to the right side of his eye. Investigation by police revealed that about 1:00 pm Francis was inside his house talking with his brother when a dark complexioned man, dressed in a black shirt, entered the house and pointed a pistol at them and asked for someone. Upon seeing this, William's brother ran and jumped through his window leaving William behind and shortly thereafter, several gunshots rang out. At the scene police found eight expended shells, a slug and particles of a slug. William Felix Francis was transported to the K.H.M.H Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 2:07 pm. Police are seeking a Belize City man for questioning.

Gregory August sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Murder
On November 21st, a jury of 12 people, deliberated for 4 hours found 24-year-old Gregory August guilty in the murder of Alvin Alpheus Robinson. On Monday, November 26th, Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced him to life imprisonment. August, who seemed jovial throughout the period of his trial ,said that he will be appealing the conviction and sentence. Before sentencing, Justice Lucas heard mitigation pleas on August's behalf. He called three persons to give mitigation including Avis Williams, a resident of the Mile 8 community; his grandmother, Rosilia Almendarez, and his attorney, Lionel Welch.

Charged for killing his Entire Family
On Tuesday, November 27th, Jared Avery Ranguy was formally arraigned for the killing of his mother, sister and step-father. Ranguy appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was read three counts of murder. He was then remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Charged for Attempted Murder
On Friday, November 23rd, police formally arraigned 22-year-old Aspinal Welch with the crime of attempted murder. He appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was charged with the attempted murder of Nelson Fitzgerald Young. He was additionally charged with one count of keeping a firearm without a gun license. Bail was denied and he was remanded to prison until January 4th, 2013. Police allege that on Wednesday, November 21st, at around 3p.m., Welch, who was armed with a .38 revolver, entered Dit’s Restaurant located on King Street in Belize City, and attempted to rob one of the restaurant’s patrons, Young. Young resisted and a struggle ensued during which Welch fell to the ground and he fired several shots from the .38 pistol. In response, the patron drew his licensed 9 millimeter pistol and shot Welch once, which caused injuries to both his legs.

Belize Elementary Girls and San Pedro Roman Catholic Boys are Belize District Football Champions
The 2012-2013 Belize District Primary Schools tball Championships came to an end on Tuesday, November 27th, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School edged Guadalupe RC School from Sandhill Village by the score of 3-2 to capture the 2012-2013 Belize District Primary Schools Football Competition. The goals for Belize Elementary School were scored by Donna Che, Kellya Ouela and Juliana Ramos, while Shevaun Vaccaro and Ismaely Requena scored for Guadalupe RC. In the first game of the girls’ competition, Belize Elementary School defeated San Pedro Roman Catholic School by the score of 3-2. The goals for Belize Elementary School were scored by Donna Che, Chloe Kelly and Kellya Ouela. Meanwhile, the goals for San Pedro RC were scored by Shalini Young and Chelsea Zetina. In the second game, Guadalupe RC School defeated Holy Redeemer School by the score of 4-3. At the end of regulation time, the score was 1-1. The goal for Guadalupe RC was scored by Shevaun Vaccaro and for Holy Redeemer it was scored by Ebony Cutkelvin. In the penalty shootout, Guadalupe RC prevailed over Holy Redeemer School by the score of 4-3. The goals for Guadalupe RC were scored by Brittney Grinage, Ismaely Requena, Shevaun Vaccaro, and Aloma Reyes. Meanwhile, the goals for Holy Redeemer School were scored by Jada Myvette, Alina Auget and Aaliyah Crawford.

Nazarene High School and St. Catherine leads in high school basketball
The Central Region Secondary Schools Basketball Competition continues at the Bird’s Isle with a number of games on the schedule. On Tuesday, November 27th, 2012, in the female competition, St. Catherine Academy continued on its winning path when it defeated its nemesis Pallotti High School by the score of 30-11. The top scorers for St. Catherine Academy were Gilda Estrada with 18 points, and Indie Dixon with 4 points; while the top scorer for Pallotti High School was Megan Longsworth with 4 points. In the male game, Sadie Vernon Technical High School defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 67-65. The top scorers for Sadie Vernon Technical were Lincey Lopez with 24 points and Jamal Augustine with 21 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Anglican Cathedral College were Auburn Rivero with 17 points and Travis Bernardez with 16 points. On Monday, November 26th, in the first of two male games, Nazarene High School won its 6th consecutive game for this year’s competition when it defeated Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 72-70. The top scorers for Nazarene High School were Alejandro Baptist with 19 points and Keenan Hyde with 16 points; while the top scorers for Gwen Lizarraga High School were Akeem Richardson with 24 points and Albert Longsworth with 15 points. In the second male game, Excelsior High School defeated Maud Williams High School by the score of 68-47. The top scorers for Excelsior High School were Enfield Martinez with 22 points and Malcolm Nunez with 15 points, and for Maud Williams, the top scorers were Jefford Cacho with 23 points and Naphtali Watters with 8 points.

Belize Elementary Girls and St. John Vianney Boys are City Champs in Primary Schools Football
The 2012-2013 Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition came to an end on Friday, November 23rd at the MCC Grounds with action in both the girls and boys championship games. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School edged Holy Redeemer School by the score of 3-2 to capture the Belize City Primary Schools Football Girls’ title. The goal scorers for Belize Elementary School were Chelsea Williams, Jillian Alamina and Alyssa MacKenzie, while the goal scorers for Holy Redeemer were Jada Myvette and Aaliyah Crawford. In the boys’ championship game, St. John Vianney upended Unity Presbyterian by the score of 2-1. The goal scorers for St. John Vianney were Orlando Velasquez and Nathan Oliver, while the goal for Unity Presbyterian was scored by July Barrientos. The semi-final rounds of the competition were played on Thursday, November 22nd at the MCC. In the first game in the girls’ competition, Belize Elementary eliminated St. Luke Methodist by the score of 2-0. The goals for Belize Elementary were scored by Juliana Ramos and Chloe Kelly. In the second girls’ semi-final game, Holy Redeemer School eliminated St. Ignatius School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Jada Myvette of Holy Redeemer School. In the first game in the boys’ semi-final round, St. John Vianney eliminated Ebenezer Methodist by the score of 4-0. The goals for St. John Vianney were scored by Kenroy Linarez who got two goals, Akeem Sutherland and Shawn Pitter with one each.

Lirisi Cayetano is Central American Gold Medallist in Long Jump
The Belize Amateur Athletics Association participated in the Central American Junior Athletics Championship held in Costa Rica from Friday, November 23rd to Sunday, November 25th, 2012. The Belizean Team consisted of 3 athletes, a coach and a delegate. The athletes that represented Belize were Shanicka Augustine, G’Anne Humes and Lirisi Cayetano. In the Long Jump competition in the male category, Lirisi Cayetano captured Gold with a jump of 6.21M over the rest of Central America. In the female category, Shanicka Augustine took the Silver Medal with a jump of 4.99M and G’Anne Humes took the Bronze Medal with a jump of 4.89M. In the 100M event, all three athletes participated but unfortunately finished out of the medal round. In the semi-final round, Shanicka Augustine finished third with a time of 13:06 and in the finals she finished 6th in a time of 13:37. G’Anne Humes in her semi-final failed to qualify for the finals when she finished 5th in a time of 13:69. And in the male category, Lirisi Cayetano finished 5th in the semi-finals in a time of 11:94 and 6th in the finals with a time of 12:08. In the 150M event, Shanicka Augustine finished 5th in the semi-finals with a time of 20:37, and G’Anne Humes finished 6th with a time of 20:65. We extend congratulations to all our athletes that participated in the junior meet.

Junior Footballers return from Invitational Tourney with Gold
The Belmopan Football Talent School participated in an International Invitational Football Tournament for U-15 footballers that were held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The team played against the likes of the Dominican Republic (Northern Selection), Dominican Republic National “A” Selection and a Mexican Selection from Guadalajara, Mexico. The team left the country on Tuesday, November 20th and returned on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012. In the first game that Team Belize played, it defeated the Dominican Republic Northern Selection by the score of 4-3. The goals for Belize were all scored by Randy Serrano. In its second outing, Team Belize defeated the Dominican Republic National “A” Selection by the score of 2-1. The goals for Belize were scored by Randy Serrano and Marlon Garcia. In Team Belize’s third game, it won over the Mexican Selection from Guadalajara by the score of 2-1. The goals for Belize were scored by Demetri Fabro. And in the team’s final game of the tourney, it defeated the Dominican Republic National “A” Selection by the score of 2-1. The goals for Belize were scored by Randy Serrano and Marlon Garcia. We say congratulations to the team for a job well done!

Belize Elementary Girls and St. John Vianney Boys are City Champs in Primary Schools Football
The 2012-2013 Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition came to an end on Friday, November 23rd at the MCC Grounds with action in both the girls and boys championship games. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School edged Holy Redeemer School by the score of 3-2 to capture the Belize City Primary Schools Football Girls’ title. The goal scorers for Belize Elementary School were Chelsea Williams, Jillian Alamina and Alyssa MacKenzie, while the goal scorers for Holy Redeemer were Jada Myvette and Aaliyah Crawford. In the boys’ championship game, St. John Vianney upended Unity Presbyterian by the score of 2-1. The goal scorers for St. John Vianney were Orlando Velasquez and Nathan Oliver, while the goal for Unity Presbyterian was scored by July Barrientos. The semi-final rounds of the competition were played on Thursday, November 22nd at the MCC. In the first game in the girls’ competition, Belize Elementary eliminated St. Luke Methodist by the score of 2-0. The goals for Belize Elementary were scored by Juliana Ramos and Chloe Kelly. In the second girls’ semi-final game, Holy Redeemer School eliminated St. Ignatius School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Jada Myvette of Holy Redeemer School. In the first game in the boys’ semi-final round, St. John Vianney eliminated Ebenezer Methodist by the score of 4-0. The goals for St. John Vianney were scored by Kenroy Linarez who got two goals, Akeem Sutherland and Shawn Pitter with one each. In the second game, Unity Presbyterian eliminated Salvation Army by the score of 3-1. The goal scorers for Unity Presbyterian were Fitzroy Myles, July Barrientos and Cesar Arenivar.

Despite All Odds, Paralized Twins from Cayo persevere
When anyone meets Jaren and Jaelen Pacheco of Cayo, they appear to be two normal high- energy teenagers sitting behind their highly polished school seats, preparing themselves for a brighter future. Jaren is working towards becoming the boss of an office, while Jalen looks forward to being a computer technician. But on a closer look, the twins are paralyzed individuals who are on a current quest to conquer education at the Saint Ignatius High School in Santa Elena Town, Cayo.

Art Festival held in Cayo
The San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture, under the National Institute of Culture and History NICH, held the Third Annual ‘Cayo Arts Festival’ on November 24th. The event was held on the newly renovated Burns Avenue in downtown San Ignacio, where cobble stones have been used to improve the pathway. Several bands did live performances. Among them, ‘A Cold Day in May’, an alternative rock band and ‘Johnny and the Playmates’, a local group from Santa Familia in Cayo, dedicated to ‘Rancheras’ and local songs. Coming out to also do a live performance was ‘Ascenthium’, a band from Benque Viejo. Artists had various exhibitions at numerous booths, displaying embroideries and delicately carved stone. One of those artists was Esteban Cano, who uses a special grinding tool to polish stones to a state of high shine. The ‘Stone Maiden’ made her stately pronouncement as part of the art on Burns Avenue. The body of a woman, fully covered in paint, could easily have been mistaken for a statue. A sign board in front of the Stone Maiden announced that she first appeared to a hunter from San Jose Succotz in the 1800. Almost two years ago, on November 25th, 2010 the San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture opened its doors, promoting arts in the entire region. NICH's Joris Groendaal was the main organizer of the Cayo Arts Festival. He said he is convinced that more live ambience-in-art and culture events should be promoted in the Cayo District.

Activism Against Gender Based Violence continues to be observed
Sixteen days of Activism against Gender Based Violence continues to be observed this week, under the theme, Unite to End Violence against Women and Children. The series of activities will take place country wide. These range from HIV testing as well as personal safety for women and girls, and, in some cases, males. The observation started on November 25th and will end on December 10th. The activism coincides with the launching of a three-year project to carry on all activities as outlined by the national plan of action to end gender based violence. As part of the observances, a panel discussion was held at the Benque Viejo House of Culture on Tuesday night. The panel presenters were Kathleen Pate, Women’s Development Officer for the Cayo District; Emma Gabourel from the San Ignacio Community Hospital; and Enrique August from Help for Progress. Pate highlighted in her presentation the links between HIV and domestic violence while August talked about the Conventions on Human Rights that Belize has signed on to. The launch and opening of the Sixteen Days of Activism, says an organizer, is an opportunity for partnership with other sectors of society. “It is not one that [only] the Women’s Department observes…it is an activity for different agencies and other Government projects to look at ways of how to strengthen whatever activities they are currently presenting in this area”, says Cynthia Williams, Human Development Coordinator and one of the organizers for the Sixteen Days of Activism. One such organization that took full opportunity of the Sixteen Days of Activism is the Non-Government Organization Mary Open Doors, a non-profit based in San Ignacio that provides services to persons that are victims of domestic violence. Director of Mary Open Doors, Ana Silva, set up a ‘clothes line’ near the Social Security Building in Santa Elena Town this past Monday, urging victims of domestic violence to stop by and write down their feelings and thoughts about domestic violence on a T-shirt. Such expressions, says Silva, can help women psychologically. According to Silva, the Sixteen Days of Activism can create the change that is desired.

Taste of Belize
Taste of Belize (TOB) 2012 is here! BTB’s signature culinary event will be in San Ignacio, Cayo on December 1st and 2nd. The Belize Tourism Board, through this medium, seeks to develop and recognize the best in culinary arts in Belize. The event, which has been on a hiatus, returns with new twists and grandeur. On December 1st, the gala starts at 7p.m at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. The Resort Hotel will be transformed like never seen before, from body painted models, to exotic animals and a photo booth. Entertainment for the evening will be the highly acclaimed, Belize Dance Company and Marimba players. A ticket to this event entitles each attendee to a five course meal, prepared by local celebrity Chef Sean Kuylen; consumption of available beers and wines; access to the cocktail hour; and a complimentary gift bag. The highlight of the night will be the live food and beverage competitions, in the categories of the Pro Chef, Bartending and Cake Decorating. For the Pro Chef competition, the BTB wants to include the entire country of Belize in celebrating the talents of our local chefs. The battle, which will feature four professional chefs in a ‘winner takes all’ format, will be hosted by Indira Craig & William Neal. This epic three course meal battle will see contenders face off in three rounds, the appetizer, entrée and dessert, which must include a basket of mystery ingredients and be completed in one hour. At the end of the competition, a panel of four judges will select one chef to be recognized with the title of “Belize’s Master Chef,” a trophy and two thousand five hundred dollars. If you are a fan of mixology, the bartending competition promises to inspire and tantalize your taste buds. Bartenders from across the country will test their skills and creativity to impress a line-up of local judges. The best of the night will be hailed as Belize’s top bartender, and will receive a trophy, one thousand five hundred dollars, and of course, the respect of the veterans in the business. Cake decorating, which has been a favorite in past Taste of Belize competitions, will be back this year! Attendees at the TOB will get the opportunity to witness cake decorators in action- live cake decorating. The competitors will put their skills and creativity to the test, under the watchful eyes of the judges and spectators. The festivities continue in San Ignacio, Cayo on December 2nd, where the BTB has partnered with the Town Council of San Ignacio & Santa Elena. The BTB will be hosting a Grill Master competition, where barbecue enthusiasts and masters will converge on the grounds of the Welcome Center in downtown San Ignacio. The best grill master in the categories of poultry, seafood, and meats (pork, beef, etc.), will be awarded huge prizes. The fun continues, through-out the day with a food festival and local entertainment for the entire family Taste of Belize, bringing together the absolute best in the national culinary scene. Tickets are now available at the Belize Tourism Board at #64 Regent Street in Belize City. For more information on events taking place in Belize’s tourism industry, please contact the Marketing Department at the Belize Tourism Board at 227-2420, via email info@travelbelize.org or visit our website www.travelbelize.org.

Ministry of Health reveals Findings of “TLEMOL”
Earlier this year, reports were made to the Ministry of Health concerning the sale of a pharmaceutical product being marketed as “TLEMOL.” The Ministry sent the product for testing shortly after. This week, we received a Certificate of Analysis from the Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory in Kingston, Jamaica concluding that the pharmaceutical product marketed as ‘Tlemol’ has met the United States Pharmaceutical requirements for Acetaminophen tablets. The Ministry of Health assures the public that the active ingredient in this product “TLEMOL” is acetaminophen 500mg, which is the same ingredient in the similar product, TYLENOL. As stated in our initial release, preliminary investigations revealed that Tlemol is marketed in the United States of America under this name and, it was legally imported in Belize by the company, Generic Club Ltd and duly registered by the Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO.)

Trade Union Hub holds Annual General Meeting in Cayo
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) held its Forty Sixth Annual General Meeting this past weekend in the Cayo District. The NTUCB represents the interest of workers at the national level. The theme for this year was, ‘Promoting Decent Work and Occupational Safety and Health for Greater Productivity.’ Their sessions on November 24th concentrated on reviewing the constitution as well as the strategic plan for the upcoming year. A panel discussion was held by the NTUCB this past Saturday night. The topic was ‘Belize to the ICJ or not.' On November 25th, the various board representatives passed resolutions for action in 2013. Coming out of the meeting was a concern for workers benefits under Social Security. The representatives for workers also had concerns for benefits during times of unemployment as well as issues relating to job creation. A new executive to the NTUCB was chosen last Sunday. Dylan Reneau was re-elected to the NTUCB Executive as President, where he is expected to serve his last two years in that post. Also elected were Adelaida Guerra as First Vice President; Marvin Mora as Second Vice President; Rebecca Suazo as General Secretary; Marvin Blades as Assistant General Secretary, Francisco Zuniga as auditor and Kathleen Flowers as Education Director. Participants at the NTUCB sessions last weekend came out re-energized to face a future, which leaders say will be challenging. The next AGM for the NTUCB has been scheduled for December 7th and 8th, 2013 in Punta Gorda.


Rainy season returns
Weather-wise, this November has been the best month we've experienced since moving to San Pedro fifteen months ago. It was mostly dry, cooler than normal, with highs only in the upper 70s many days. Best of all, the humidity was so much lower than the norm that my skin and lips were dry and flaky, and I actually had a few good hair days -- with my wavy mop that tends towards frizz, that's saying a lot! But a couple of days ago, that all changed. For the past two nights, we've had hours of heavy rain, a total of around five inches. I guess our assumption that dry season might be beginning early this year was a bit premature. I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.... Here's the approaching storm late yesterday afternoon. And some of the roads north of the bridge today. These were all dry just a couple of days ago. Taxi negotiating the puddles

Canouan Scoop: Helda's Life On An Even SMALLER Caribbean Island
Hi, guest blogger Helda Pritchard here. If you follow the Sanpedroscoop then you would know me from such posts as Trivia at Roadkill, Helda and Robbie’s wedding and oh yeah there may even be a photo from last year’s Halloween Red Devil Green Fairy costume I wore. If you've visited San Pedro then you would most likely have met me at my favorite bar, The Road Kill Bar, that has the Islands Best Karaoke every Wednesday Night, the world’s best panty rippas and of course Wade the Gringo Burgers (yes shameless plug for Roadkill). Currently my family is not living in Belize as my husband received a job offer in Canouan SVG. Rebecca asked me to write a blog on what it is like living in a different island in the Caribbean . Canouan located in St. Vincent and the Grenadines means turtle or tortoise in Caribe. It is a small island, measuring only 3.5 miles by 1.25 miles. The population is about 1,200 people. Almost all the expats that live on the island work for the company that owns 70% of the island.

International Sources

This Video of Cheetahs Running in Slow Motion Is Absolutely Mesmerizing
National Geographic and the Cincinnati Zoo teamed up to make this video of a cheetah running in super-slow motion. They used a camera filming at 1200 frames per second to capture what cheetahs look like while they're running at speeds close to 60 miles per hour. After a little bit you should skip to the five-minute mark when they film the cheetah from the front. It's amazing. His head barely moves. Beautiful

How an Obscure Comic Artist Became John McAfee’s Lifeline to the World
Two years ago, Portland animator Chad Essley never could have imagined he would become the webmaster and primary public liaison for John McAfee, the reclusive millionaire and former antivirus software mogul now sought for questioning in a Belizean murder case. But that’s exactly what happened to the aspiring graphic novelist, who is currently at work on an illustrated account of his adventures with McAfee. The relationship between the fugitive and the cartoonist began in 2010 on a private internet forum where an anonymous entrepreneur hired Essley to produce an animated web short for an antibiotic venture called Quorumex. The mysterious businessman soon revealed himself as McAfee, and the two struck up a friendship. When the news broke this April that a gang suppression unit had raided McAfee’s property in Belize, Essley was taken aback. “After I [heard] about the first raid, I wrote [McAfee] saying, ‘Oh my god! They shot your dogs! I can’t believe that!’” said Essley. “I received a reply that said, ‘We’re fine. Things have calmed down. Time to come to Belize. Moneypenny will arrange the details.’” Although Essley has done most of his professional work in the field of animation at his studio Cartoon Monkey, producing animations for clients that include Microsoft and Sesame Street, McAfee asked Essley to join him on his estate and document his life in a graphic novel. After spending nearly a month with McAfee this summer, the artist began work on The Hinterland, an illustrated first-person account of his time in Belize.

McAfee’s real estate history a saga of loss
The McAfee Belize estate: Though the above pictures seem only to chronicle the “living the dream” success of a high-tech multi-millionaire, a study of John McAfee’s real estate holdings points to a steady downward spiral that has yet to hit rock bottom. Before the internet security guru became a suspect in the murder of his neighbor, he had other troubles, and perhaps the largest was money. When the country’s economy collapsed, so too did McAfee’s fortune. He lost 96% of his wealth in just two years time, dropping from a net worth of around $100 million to around $4 million. As his fortune declined, McAfee began selling off his high-end properties. But in each case, the sale represented a tremendous loss. In 2007, McAfee spent $25 million to buy a lot and built a 10,000 square foot house in Vail, Colorado. He later had to sell it– at which time it fetched just $5.7 million. Another example: his Molokai, Hawaii home—one that by all accounts he never moved into, though it was custom built for him over a seven year span. Nearly 6,000 square feet on 5.3 oceanfront acres, the property listed first at $4.9 million, was later cut to $3.7 million (per the YouTube video used to try to sell the house, featured below). Buyers weren’t interested, even at this amount, and the property was eventually auctioned off for $1.575 million—rather a steal, it seems, given the grandeur of the home and surrounding land. McAfee himself lost millions in the deal.

Student archaeologists headed to Finland
Five Davidson Day School students will fly to Helsinki, Finland, on Dec. 7 to address an international group of scholars about their archaeological digs in the Central American country of Belize. Their instructor, Mat Saunders, said no group so young has ever been invited to address the European Maya Conference, which about 150 Maya scholars attend each year. “It’s really unheard of,” he said. “They’re kids you’re proud of.” But his students already are pros at addressing leading academics in the field; they spoke this fall at a Maya conference that Saunders arranges each year in Palm Coast, Fla., where he previously taught. The coordinator of the European Maya Conference was at the Florida conference, heard the students and invited them to address the conference in Finland. Saunders had previously been invited to address the conference. Saunders also brings 20 of the world’s foremost experts on Maya archaeology and culture to Davidson Day each spring to share their latest research with the public at a Maya conference. His American Foreign Academic Research nonprofit is based at the school and has raised about $90,000 for student scholarships and preservation of the archaeological sites they discover. “For high school students interested in archaeology, it puts you ahead a lot and prepares you,” 10th-grader Drew Lukacs of Mooresville said of his archaeological studies at Davidson Day.

New World Oil & Gas “extremely encouraged" by latest Belize data
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) chief William Kelleher said he was “extremely encouraged by the increased prospect of discovering a large accumulation” of oil on the company’s B Crest prospect in Belize. It follows the results of open-hole logging of the well, which uncovered live oil shows in the Y3 and Hill Bank reservoirs. A deviated well will be used to evaluate the trap potential of the structure and to target additional potential oil accumulations. The log results for the Hill Bank dolomite formation indicate a gross reservoir thickness of around 290 feet. By drilling a deviated well up structure from the current location New World expects to obtain better log results and an increase in the gross reservoir thickness. This will be followed by well testing. Kelleher said: “Drilling results and log data so far confirm that we are in an active hydrocarbon system as evidenced by the logs and significant amounts of live oil observed at surface while drilling.”

New World to get lift from drilling programme, says brokers
Oil explorer New World’s (LON:NEW) first exploration well on its Blue Creek project in Belize will inject renewed momentum into the share price, according to broker Shore Capital. The broker expects the well to spud in October to follow a systematic programme of seismic data acquisition and interpretation. Although New World remains in the exploration phase, it has progressively de-risked its projects and delivered key milestones in line with the planned timetable, Shore added. The company’s progress is reflected by its readmission as an operating resource company in July, while the drilling programme should generate a lot of excitement according to the broker. New World signed a rig contract recently with Thermasource, which was an important milestone in the broker’s opinion as it mitigates funding risks and provides improved visibility on drilling. In return for a 5 per cent stake in each of three wells to be drilled, ThermaSource agreed a cut price contract for the drilling work. As a result of the ThermaSource deal, the budgeted total cost of drilling three planned wells now stands at US$10.1 mln, equating to an approximate 50 per cent reduction on original forecast figures. Shore has upgraded its Risked NAV estimate to 40p/share (from 30p/share), reflecting the drilling contract, which further reduces budgeted well costs in Belize. New World has adhered firmly to the work programme since last year’s IPO and Shore has confidence in the company’s ability to add value to a portfolio containing multiple targets. Following an £8.5mln placing in March, Shore estimates New World is fully funded to drill two wells in Belize, at a total budgeted cost of US$6.9m on a dry hole basis. In-the-money warrants also have the potential to yield proceeds of up to £8.7 mln. After the deal with ThermaSource, Shore does not see a need to farm-down further in Belize in the short term, and has based its price target on P90 prospective resources at Blue Creek totalling 136mmbbl for Prospect ‘A’, ‘B Crest’ and ‘West Gallon Jug Crest’ combined. The broker’s implied reserve value of US$15/bbl is low compared with the circa US$25/bbl implied in New World’s success case estimates, while the broker said its 10 per cent risk factor is similarly aggressive.

New World does have oil
Long-awaited results from New World Oil and Gas (LON:NEW) have confirmed live oil shows at the B Crest prospect. The Blue Creek project, which is located in Belize, reached a total depth of 10,450 feet following an extension made at the end of October. At that time, the company had refused to comment on the exact plans for the well despite suggesting that oil and gas shows had been initially present. New World has now confirmed the initial results, and a decision has been made to drill a deviated well from the existing vertical well location in order to further explore the structure. It could also be a means of targeting additional potential oil accumulations. The approval of the Belizean government has already been granted for this. The original drill depth of the well had been planned at 7,000 feet as indications had suggested that a potential resource lay at approximately 5,700 feet. New World chief executive William Kelleher further shed light on the situation by stating that the company is 'in an active hydrocarbon system' and that the reservoir thickness is 'approximately 290 feet'. He added that the reservoir thickness estimates were subject to improvement given the company's decision to drill a deviated well. The company has impressed in keeping under budget with drilling so far. Kelleher went on to confirm that, inclusive of the new deviated well, the total cost of the Blue Creek 2 well was not expected to exceed initial estimates for drilling at the original depth. Shares were up 8.5 per cent today to 9.6p, valuing the company at £34.5 million.

New World's Belize Prospect Yields Positive Results
New World Oil and Gas reported Thursday its B Crest prospect, onshore Belize has yielded positive logging results. The firm said live oil shows in the Y3 and Hill Bank formations at the prospect were confirmed after an analysis of open-hole logging results and the conclusion of petrophysical interpretation of these formations as well as Y1 and Y2. New World has now made a decision to drill a deviated well from the existing vertical well location to evaluate the trap potential and to target other potential oil accumulations. New World CEO William Kelleher commented in a company statement: "I am extremely encouraged by the increased prospect of discovering a large accumulation on our B Crest prospect. Drilling results and log data so far confirm that we are in an active hydrocarbon system as evidenced by the logs and significant amounts of live oil observed at surface while drilling. "The log results for the Hill Bank dolomite formation have indicated gross reservoir thickness of approximately 290 feet. By drilling a deviated well up structure from our current location toward a northeast to southwest bounding fault that images considerable vertical displacement on seismic in the Y3 and Hill Bank reservoirs, we expect an improved trap potential, obtain better log results and an increase in the gross reservoir thickness."

Belize rejects bondholders's proposals on superbond restructuring
Belize on Thursday rejected counter-proposals from bondholders on ways to restructure its so-called $550 million superbond, saying they were unsustainable. In a statement released by the Belize central bank, the government said the bondholders' proposals were incompatible with its aim of putting the nation's public finances on a sustainable footing. "The Government of Belize views the recently-submitted scenarios as unsustainable, and is disappointed that a counter-proposal of this nature has come five months after discussions with the committee began," the statement said. In late September, Belize won a 60-day reprieve from bondholders after paying half of an overdue interest payment, delaying any potential legal action under the specter of a full-blown default. The reprieve will expire Dec. 1. The Belize government has laid out three proposals for rescheduling its bond payments, shocking analysts with its suggestion that they take a haircut of up to 45 percent on their investment.

Belize makes revised proposal on debt restructuring
Belize has largely rejected a counter-proposal set forth by holders of the sovereign’s US dollar 2029s, the so-called superbond, and returned with its own counter-proposal as restructuring negotiations continue. The two sides have been in formal negotiations since early October after Belize agreed in late September to make a partial US$11.7m payment for the coupon that was due on August 20. According to documents posted on the country’s central bank website, on November 21, bondholders made a counter-proposal, which included what the government described as a “modest” extension on maturities and a temporary reduction in coupons, which would eventually revert to 8.5%. Earlier this year, the government said it couldn’t afford the coupon after it had stepped up to 8.5% from 6.0% on August 20. Other required terms set out by creditors include the issuance of GDP warrants and oil recovery certificates, the inclusion of a net present value ’reinstatement’ clause and the payment of consent fees to creditors. For the most part, however, the government has largely rejected creditor’s plan. “While acknowledging that the Committee’s counter-proposal provides a degree of short-term cash flow relief, the GoB considers it to be wholly incompatible with its objective of placing the country’s debt burden on a sustainable footing - a goal that the Committee itself has indicated it is committed to at various stages,” the government said in a statement. “The GoB believes that the counter-proposal ignores Belize’s high overall debt levels, and that it amounts to little more than a short-term fix not dissimilar to the 2007 exercise.”

Belize makes improved offer on 'superbond' restructuring
Belize improved an offer to creditors on Thursday in restructuring its $550 million "superbond" as a crucial deadline approached, but rejected counter-proposals from bondholders. The tiny Central American country missed a $23.5 million interest payment on the sovereign bond in August but won a 60-day reprieve on legal action from bondholders after making a partial payment in September. The reprieve expires on Dec. 1. Belize had shocked investors with suggestions they take a haircut of up to 45 percent on their investments, extend the term of the loan or accept much lower interest payments. In a statement, the government said counter-proposals from bondholders were "unsustainable" as they all involved a return to the original 8.5 percent interest rate the country has said it cannot afford. Instead, Belize revised its offer to include a lower haircut of 33 percent and an initial interest rate of 4.5 percent that would step up to 6.75 percent after five years - more than the 3.5 percent interest it originally proposed.

Belize default deadline looms
With a 60-day reprieve from bondholders owed US$544 million expiring tomorrow, Belize’s government released two new proposals yesterday detailing how it could restructure the country’s debt, international wire services reported. Belize and its creditors have been negotiating a debt restructuring ever since the Caricom nation defaulted in September, a month after it failed to make a payment on its debt. Belize paid only half of an overdue interest payment in September, saying that its economy did not allow it to do more. In its first public restructuring proposal since the default, Belize is asking its creditors to forgive 33 per cent of what they are owed, or allow the country to delay debt payments for 10 years. The terms are more favourable to creditors than the previous restructuring proposal, in which Belize asked bondholders to forgive 45 per cent of what they are owed, or allow the country to delay any debt payments for 15 years. “They’re pushing for a pretty aggressive haircut” in the latest proposal, Moody’s Investors Services analyst Edward Al-Hussainy said, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Belize has argued it needs the debt restructuring to close financing gaps from payments for company nationalisations, decreased tourism and declining oil revenues.


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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