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The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Waiting, Part V
He had been moved inside when the chill in the air grew too cold even for Julia. Around them, the mountaintops sent in a mist that slowly spread like smoke to the valley, enveloping everyone in a damp cold. Sometimes, their breaths came out in puffs, making them look like they were smoking. The children sometimes would breathe out long streams of cloudy air, imitating the men (and maybe even a woman or two) who often came out from the bars on the other side of town. They would often be stumbling, but a lighted glowing cigarette would dangle from their fingers, and two streams billowing from their nostrils, or one large cloud emanating from their mouth.

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

San Pedro Town Council gives Christmas treats to school children
The Christmas season is here and with it, comes the feeling of sharing. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has started spreading the Christmas joy with the children of San Pedro. On Monday December 10, 2012, the SPTC visited first the San Pedro R.C School, handing out Christmas treats to the students. The students were more than happy to be receiving gifts on this jolly season. Instead of the typical toys, which are most likely given out during this season, the SPTC went in a healthier path, gaving out apples, pears and ideals instead. Speaking to the Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero, he stated that due to renovation expenses at the Council’s office this year, only a small Christmas gesture was given but much greater Christmas activities can be expected for the coming years. During the course of the day the Mayor and the SPTC employees visited the other primary schools including New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School, Holy Cross Anglican School as well as the pre-schools around the island.

SPCC to celebrate “El Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe”
The San Pedro Cultural Committee (SPCC), through the San Pedro House of Culture and other residents are making final preparations to celebrate “El Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe” of “Our Lady of Guadalupe.” The celebration is set aside by believers of the Roman Catholic faith to commemorate the date that Saint Guadalupe appeared before Saint Juan Diego at the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico in 1531. In Mexico and many other parts of the world where the Catholic Church is dominant, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12th in honor of the Saint’s image. According to catholic teachings, it commemorates the day in which Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego. For that reason the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and the temples and churches that have her as patron Saint is visited by millions of pilgrims and worshippers. It represents one of the most significant traditional religious celebrations of the liturgical calendar of the region. In San Pedro Town, where the Catholic faith is larger than other churches, the SPCC has also planned activities to coincide with the Catholic celebration on the 12th of December. Following the annual evening procession and open mass at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, the statue of the Our Lady of Guadalupe will be placed on an altar, depicting an old San Pedro setting. After the altar is blessed by the Priest, visitors as well as islanders will have the opportunity to place their candles and other offerings before the statue, after which dedications in the form of songs, poems and prayers will be made. In addition, warm beverages and traditional Mestizo food will be served throughout the course of the night until midnight.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Council Spreading Christmas Cheer
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and councilors were out spreading the Christmas cheer to all the students of our beautiful Isla Bonita. The group from the Town council visited the San Pedro RC School and New Horizons SDA School on Monday, December 10, 2012 and personally delivered treats to the students. It is said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away; so all students received an apple and ideal popsicle that were personally handed out by Mayor Guerrero, Councilor Gaby Nuńez, Councilor Kenrick Brackett, Councilor Carlos Barrientos, Mayor’s Assistant Yolanda Parham and Town Foreman Freddie Gonzalez Jr. Students were very grateful for the treat and thanked the Mayor and councilors with a huge smile and holiday greeting! Mayor Guerrero will continue spreading the Christmas Cheer and will visit all schools on the island throughout the week.

San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade Livens Up Christmas Season
The San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade has proven to be a fantastic event that draws hundreds Central Park and various other viewing stations along the beach in downtown San Pedro. The Seventh Annual Boat Parade that kick starts the holiday season celebrations on Ambergris Caye took place on Saturday, December 8, 2012, as saw newcomer El Secreto Resort taking the top boat prize this year. It was an even more festive celebration this year as more boats entered the friendly and cheerful competition of light parade over the sea as compared to last year’s. Around 7p.m. the participating boats lined up in front of Wayo’s dock and started to spread the Christmas cheer all the way to Caribbean Villas. After the parade of lights all the boats and participants headed to Central Park where hundreds gathered to join in the fun and celebrate with Santa.

UNICEF Joins San Pedro Town Council to Clean Up San Mateo
The San Pedro Town Council and UNICEF have teamed up for a Clean Up Campaign which will take place on Monday, December 17 and Tuesday, December 18, 2012, at the San Mateo Area. Representatives of UNICEF Mrs. Anna Hoare and Dennise Robateau were on the island to promote the cleanup campaign and invite the entire community to participate in this activity. An official opening ceremony will take place on Monday, December 17, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. and the cleanup will follow immediately after the official ceremonies. Representatives of UNICEF will be on hand to do demonstrations and training on water sanitation. UNICEF will officially be donating 50 garbage bins for the area as well as trash bags.

Love FM's 3rd Annual Holiday Parade Fun
Christmas is here and La Isla Bonita was in full Christmas spirit this weekend as activities kicked off with the Annual Holiday Boat Parade on Saturday, December 8, 2012 and the Christmas fun continued on Sunday, December 9, 2012 with Love FM’s 3rd Annual Christmas Parade. As organizers promised, it was indeed bigger and better! People stood along the busy streets of San Pedro waiting for Santa to pass by on the fire engine. Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilors lead the parade giving out sweets to children and spectators; Santa and parade revelers followed behind. Others in the parade included Isla Bonita Marching Band, the San Pedro Dance Academy, San Pedro R.C. School Marching Band, San Pedro High School Marching Band, Leo’s Club, ABC Pre-School and Belize Tourism Board to name a few. Below are some pictures for your enjoyment.

Misc Belizean Sources

Climate change and disaster risk management at centre of regional fisheries talks
The hurricane season just ended, and particularly the trail of death and destruction carved out by Hurricane Sandy in October, has left many with a reminder of just how devastating natural disasters can be. Climate change is a compounding factor that regional fisheries managers cannot ignore. This is why for the next three days, more than 90 collaborators from across the region will be focusing on these issues, as they convene the Workshop on Formulation of a Strategy, Action Plan and Programme Proposal on Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Climate Change Adaptation in Fisheries and Aquaculture in the CARICOM Region at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, Jamaica, from Monday, December 10 to Wednesday, December 12. “The Caribbean is said to be one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world based on the frequency and severity of hazard impacts, as well as the significant damage, destruction and social and economic losses experienced. We are very mindful of the potential devastating impact of both man-made and natural hazards such as tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes and tsunamis. Over the past 2-3 decades, these hazards have had devastating impacts on the people, their property and livelihoods, and on the social and economic development of our countries,” said Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Milton Haughton.

Belize archeologist sues over Indiana Jones skull
I guess this is real, though doesn't sound like Dr. Jamie Awe to me. "...A Belize archeologist is suing the makers of a blockbuster "Indiana Jones" film for using a likeness of a so-called Crystal Skull, which he says is a stolen national treasure..."

'Dr. Awe Talks at Caracol' Series
This website has a series of videos with Dr. Jaime Awe. In this video, he explains why he became an archaeologist. In other videos, he discusses Mayan topics. "In this video–the last in the 'Dr. Awe Talks at Caracol' series–, Dr. Awe explains how he became interested in archaeology, and how the questions he asked as a child still guide his work today– even though his sandbox is much bigger now."

Xunantunich Open All Season
Xunantunich will not be closing for most of December, like it was originally planned. After hearing from the Succotz vendors, tour guides, business owners, and just about everyone else, the Institute of Archaeology and the National Institute of Culture and History annouced that the concert will be postponed. Thanks, NICH!

Tropic Air Starts Flights to Cayo
Tropic Air starts their flights to and from Cayo today. The flight gets in from Belize City at 12:40, and then leaves for its return flight at 12:45.

Channel 7

Woman Killed By Lady Lover in Santa Elena?
There was a murder in Santa Elena Cayo on Saturday night - when a 34 year old woman was stabbed to death. It appears to be a crime of passion - as the person presently detained is her partner. But, the case is a little unusual, because her partner is a woman. Monica Bodden went to Cayo to find out more:.. Monica Bodden reporting The incident happened here at Las Palomas Del Norte Bar located on Carrillo Purto Avenue in Santa Elena Town. Around 11:45 on Saturday night Pamela Perez - who is the girlfriend of the Bar owner- was rushed to the La Loma Luz Hospital fighting for her life. She had an apparent stab wound to the neck, bruises on both arms and a cut wound to the right arm. Perez died while undergoing treatment. Today this silver Kia Sportage - belonging to 43 year old bar owner Rosalilia Castillo- is parked in the San Ignacio police station's compound. It was in this vehicle that Castillo transported her dying girlfriend to the hospital - Bloodstains are still visible on the left side of the vehicles doors. We understand that after Castillo rushed Perez to the hospital, she left and went her own way.

Four Year Old Knocked Down And Killed
On Sunday afternoon, a small child was killed as she ran across the Western Highway in Teakettle Village. Police say Sherica Gentle ran out from behind a pickup truck - right into the path of an approaching pickup. The child died on impact. And while that is the driver's account, relatives say that the child was knocked down near a pedestrian crossing and the driver should have been more cautious. Here's what her father told us today:... Gareth Gentle - Father of Deceased "I wasn't there, she was with her aunt. She went from Friday with her granny; she says that they will be having a party, so they took her along." Monica Bodden "You were at home when you received the news?" Gareth Gentle - Father of Deceased "Yes I was at home then I went to the hospital. She was already dead. The only thing that is bothering me is that I only want to see the guy face. I will not do him any harm - that would make me feel better to hear what he has to say and I will tell him what I have to say also."

Many For Mickey-D's
Last week we showed you the rush of persons who waited for hours at the Radisson to get a job interview for McDonald's in Western Canada. Well in three days of recruiting, more than eleven-hundred (1100) persons showed up to fill 150 job openings. The recruitment firm, named ACTYL say that all 150 vacancies for McDonald's were filled - and some other persons for skilled trades were also hired. Other who did not get the jobs, will have their names put in a talent pool and they may get job offers in the next week or two. ACTYL was impressed with the pool of available labour and say they will be back in early 2014 for another round of recruitments.

Are Quotas Needed To Get Women Into Politics
You might not know it, but in 2011 Belize was tied for dead last position on the Gender Gap Index as it related to political empowerment of women. We were tied with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei - which are Islamic Monarchies - so, definitely not good company in terms of women rights. Women's activists say something has to be done about it and that is the subject of a major new study. It's called The Situation analysis of Gender and Politics in Belize 1998 - 2012. It makes a sweeping study to understand why women have been largely excluded from political representation. The book was launched today at the Biltmore Best Western. Executive Director of the National Women's Commission, Anne Marie Williams told us why it is so important:... Ann-Marie Williams - National Women's Commission "The importance of this study is to get everyone involve in trying to raise women's political representation. If you notice there are recommendations for government for political parties and for civil society and other organizations. It is important because its justice, its party and its actually right for women." Jules Vasquez "We live in a system where you cannot be selected to do something - you must be elected."

Record Number of Murders In City
December is a prime time for criminals - and today the Officer Commanding Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon briefed the media what is being done to deny criminals the opportunity to prey on innocent citizens. He started with the grim news of this year's murder statistics so far:.. ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "At this point in time I can tell you that we have 133 murders countrywide compare to last year which we had at the end of December 124. In Belize City in specific we have presently 72 murders that we have recorded and last year at the end of December we had 71." Jules Vasquez reporting That means Belize City accounts for 56% of the murders nationally. With these record figures, police are hoping a Christmas crackdown can keep it from getting worse: ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "We understand the fact that people out there especially the criminals are looking at ways to commit crime to make money. I want to assure the general public that this Christmas we are working very diligently and vigilantly to ensure that they have a safe and secure Christmas. I am confident that that will be the case."

ACP Aragon Explains San Pedro Transfers
Arragon also spoke about the recent dust up in San Pedro where the officer in charge of the Tourism Police Unit on San Pedro Corporal Sharmane Young was transferred after the area representative and minister of tourism Manuel Herredia complained about her. Young had arrested an unruly tourist Lisa Marie Merz. But, she's not the only one being transferred. ASP Viennie Robinson who is the officer in Charge at San Pedro is also being transferred. She has bucked heads with the Commissioner a number of times. Today Arragon explained her transfer wa sin process for some time: ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "When it comes to Ms. Vianney Robinson, the officer commanding San Pedro. She has been stated for transfer and I think presently that is being looked at for January. If I am not mistaken it is for the 15th January of next year for her to be transfer to Belize City and at that point in time a replacement will be sent out to San Pedro. That has been in the plan already." "In regards to Cpl. Young, I would like to tell you that Cpl. Young transfer is an administrative transfer and that transfer was made from police headquarters. Like I mention it would be best to address your question to police headquarters whom are responsible for the transfer of Cpl. Young and I am quite sure they will have reasons as to why they transferred her." Jules Vasquez "If we can't get an answer from the 4th or 5th in command in the department - Officer Commanding Eastern Division - there is no answer to be had. Mr. Henderson doesn't take our calls."

McAfee Wants to Go Home, Will Guatemala Let Him?
John McAfee remains in a Immigration holding facility in Guatemala City - but tonight, one thing has changed; he's asking to be taken back to his home in the US. That's a sharp change if direction from a few weeks ago when McAfee had an outlaw fantasy and said he wanted to fight corruption in Belize. On Sunday afternoon, he had a sort of electronic webcast from the holding facility where he answered a few questions via email. Here's how he explained his new longing for his home:.. We do know that McAfee was visited by US Embassy Officials in Guatemala city today. No telling how that will go, but the standard practice - in this country and Guatemala - is that when an illegal immigrant is caught they are deposited in the country from which they originated on their journey - in this case that would be Belize. Belize has also indicated via diplomatic note that authorities here want to interview McAfee as a person of interest. ACP Aragon elaborated on that today:.. ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "We are just waiting for Mr. McAfee so we could interview him properly and from there the investigation will carry on." Reporter "You have no suspects in this murder?" ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "Other than wanting to speak with McAfee for now, I am not too sure if there is any other names that came up as yet."

Mayor Caught Up In a Contraband Moment
On Friday Belize City Mayor, along with three councilors and senior staffers from City Hall went to Chetumal on a sort of mini excursion. They travelled in four vehicles and they went to buy items for their staff luncheon on Friday. On the way back, they got authority from Customs to shop in the Corozal Free Zone as well - with the only strict directive being that they could not purchase beers or soft drinks. But when the convoy of vehicles arrived at the border - Customs officers searched and found 14 cases of beer, that's 10 cases of Old Milwaukee and four cases of Heineken. We are told by reliable sources that those cases were not in the Mayor's vehicle or in the Deputy Mayor's - but spread across the other two vehicles in the convoy. The beers were surrendered and handed over to customs, which has them in custody now. The mayor did not return our text message request for a comment, but we did speak to his father who was in the convoy and is a City Council Employee. He went on a tirade and told us that we can report anything we like.

We Can All Just Get Along!
5 weeks ago, 7News told you about the back and forth between the Opposition Party and the Government of Belize about whether or not the Public Accounts Committee, which hasn't met in years, and which is the only committee chaired by an Opposition member, should or should not be held in public. According to the PUP, the GOB doesn't want these meetings public because it would expose perceived mismanagement of finances, while the GOB says that the PUP members are attempting to grand-stand and don't want to follow the procedure of the standing orders. Well, today was scheduled date for the next adjournment of the meeting, and we note that it's now official; all meetings will be held in public. 7News spoke to the Chairman of the Committee, Julius Espat, who told us the Commitee had a very good meeting. According to Espat, all 5 members were present and they all agreed that the meetings will be held public from here except the first two. Espat told us that at these 2, the members need to sit down as a team to decide on rules and regulations because public meetings have never been held with regularity before. Espat said that the Committee will be inviting Jose Coye and others for historical view on how to actually put it in place.

Primary Schools Get A Say In Literacy Programs
Primary schools across Belize will be adapting a new literacy programme in the coming months. Now, this programme is unique because the children themselves influenced its direction in the preliminary stages. It is based around Pat, a Belizean jaguar transported to the US in hopes of keeping his species alive after being classed as a problem jaguar. This great cat was captured after he started hunting and killing cattle belonging to farmers in the Honey Camp Lagoon. Children from Belize and Milwaukee in the US teamed up to try to raise awareness by documenting their version of how the cat would have given his version of events, which was adapted into a book. That book is called "Pat, the Great Cat, a Jaguar's Journey", and it was launched in October of this year. It now has a fully planned out, GOB endorsed Literacy project which was launched today at the Belize Elementary Gym. 7News stopped by and asked the project coordinator about the significance of this programme. Here's what she had to say: Barbara Thumalapally - Belize Coordinator, PTGGC Literacy Project "The literacy project grew out of the book that was written by children of Belize and children of Milwaukee who got together - we told them the story of Pat who is a Belizean jaguar that went up to Milwaukee and he is true jaguar and he just had baby cubs in fact and was announced today, so it's very exciting and so our project was built on this book and when we started taking it around the schools and telling the story - we collected all the materials from the children and it was turned into this beautiful book that you see now "Pat the great cat.""

YMCA Launches entrepreneurship Outlet
And while that programme was being launched, the YMCA was also opening its new entrepreneurship market outlet. This initiative seeks to target rural women and youths from Belize City, Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo, and provide them with an avenue to learn how to open and manage their small businesses. It also gives them a venue to sell their products. Today, 7News dropped in at the opening, and spoke the project coordinator about it. Here's what she had to say: Regina Campbell - Coordinator, YMCA EEOEM Project "We are launching today the WYCA market outlet. Its something that has been that has been in the work for any of years and the idea of having a place for women and youth to sell their goods and services because we realize that market access is a difficulty for many rural women and youth." "The idea came about that we would have an outlet here at the YWCA where women and youth can sell their products but also that YWCA students can sell their products and services as well."

Cop Dies In Motorcycle Accident
A police officer was killed in the north on Friday - when he experienced a front tyre blowout on his motorbike. It happened on the Progresso/Chunox Road in the Corozal District on Friday at around 4:30. 34 year-old Police Constable Oscar Escalante seems to have had a blowout on his motorbike and was flung unto the road. He was found lying on the right side of the road in an unconscious state with massive head trauma. His police motorcycle was found lying beside him. He transported to the Corozal Community Hospital, and was later transported to the KHMH where he succumbed to his injures 7 ˝ hours later.

Gunplay in Toledo
And in other police news, there was gunplay in the Toledo district that could have been fatal this weekend. Now, it's not often that we hear of gunplay in Punta Gorda Town - but that's just what happened this weekend in what sounds like a crazy domestic dispute. The police press officer told us more: Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "At 10pm on the 8th December police received information of shots being fired on West Street in Punta Gorda where they visited #55 West Street and they met Billy Castillo who reported that Ryan Gonzalez had fired several shots at him and his family. Police then visited Jose Maria Nunez Street where they saw 28 year old Ryan Gonzalez lying on the ground with a small wound to the right side of the neck." "Initial Investigation revealed that approximately 9:50pm on the same date Gonzalez and his girlfriend were involved in an argument at #55 West Street. Gonzalez reportedly began hitting his girlfriend when Castillo who is the uncle of Gonzalez's girlfriend intervene and a struggle ensued - Gonzalez then left and returned about 10 minutes later with a firearm and fired several shots at the girlfriend's family, as a result Rufelia Anderson, 42 years old, Antonio Castlllo, 36 years old - both of #55 West Street were grazed by bullets to the leg. Gonzalez has since been detained pending charges."

Channel 5

Woman’s life partner detained after her murder
A Santa Elena woman is in police custody for the murder of her partner, Pamela Perez, a Honduran national who was once married and is the mother of three children. The murder happened on Saturday night at a bar owned by Rosalia Castillo where she allegedly stabbed Perez in a fit of jealously.  Police are [...]

City man was murdered while taking daughter to school
The weekend violence began as early as Friday. In fact a violent and brazen murder was committed on December seventh at midday. The victim, twenty-nine year old Marvin Nunez, was killed near Saint Ignatius Primary School while the children were going back to classes and a funeral was taking place at the church. The police [...]

4 year old child killed in Teakettle Traffic Accident
Tragedy hit the family of four year old Sherica Gentle from Ontario Village in the Cayo District. Sherica and her family had gone over to Teakettle when on Sunday she was hit and killed as she crossed the highway. The driver of the offending vehicle says he did not see the young girl; instead he [...]

Police Officer lost life in motorcycle accident
The four year old child was not the only person who died tragically on the highway.  A police officer lost his life after receiving a blowout on his motorcycle tire in the Corozal District on Friday.  The thirty-four year old Police Constable was injured on the head.  The police could not determine whether or not [...]

Crime down, but murder up; Cops need public help
Believe it or not, police statistics say that crime is going down, but murders are on the rise. The police currently have on record one hundred and thirty-three murders for 2012 so far. At the end of December in 2011, the total was one hundred and twenty-four; that nine less than this year with a [...]

Patrick Faber says campaign for Deputy Party Leader picking up steam
The second highest post in the country is that of the Deputy Prime Minister, which is currently held by Gaspar Vega. The post is usually held by the Deputy Party Leader of the ruling political party but the powerful Vega will face a challenge at the United Democratic Party Convention in February 2013. The Chairman [...]

Situation Analysis of Gender and Politics in Belize; women far behind
Also in the political arena, a report on gender and politics was released this morning by the National Women’s Commission and the scale is heavily tipped in favor of men. The report looks at the situation of women’s representation globally, in the Caribbean region and narrows it down to Belize.  It also studied the data [...]

U.D.P. Chairman says McAfee crazy
Faber also responded to the allegations by John McAfee whose creative barbs had cast a bad eye on the U.D.P. and the country. McAfee is fighting deportation to Belize for Illegal Entry to Guatemala. He has claimed that the government and police are out to kill him because he refused to donate to a U.D.P. [...]

Can the government service the superbond?
After five months of negotiations, both the government and the bondholders are miles apart in reaching any agreement on the restructuring of the five hundred and fifty-four million US dollar super bond. So far bondholders have twice rejected proposals and counter-proposals and the government has struck out once. As it stands, the government insists that [...]

They robbed a cop and get time to think about it
Twenty-eight year old Ernie Miranda and thirty-one year old Edward Burns were both found guilty of robbery and abetment to commit robbery in the Magistrate’s Court today, following an incident during which a female telephone operator was held up at gunpoint.  Marilou Smith, an employee of the Belize Police Department, was walking to work in [...]

Cecil Castillo’s homemade gun in prison
On Friday, twenty-seven year-old Cecil Castillo, better known as Sadiki, was found guilty of attempting to assemble a makeshift firearm whilst on remand at the Belize Central Prison.  Castillo was discovered with the weapon in his possession inside a holding cell by a warden on duty.  Despite arguing that he was coerced by his fellow [...]

2 San Pedro transfers including Officer in Charge
The sudden transfer of Sharmane Young, the Officer formerly in charge of the San Pedro Police Tourism unit, following her arrest of an unruly U.S. National Liza Mertz, had evoked criticism from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (N.T.U.C.B.). The N.T.U.C.B. chastised Manuel Heredia, the Minister of Tourism, for his involvement in the situation, [...]

Pat the Cat; 10,000 copies and lesson plans delivered
Pat the Cat, written in English and Spanish by children of Belize and Milwaukee, will be used as part of school curriculums. The book, which is a beautifully illustrated story of the journey of a jaguar, has the support of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports as a supplementary reader in all primary schools. [...]

Not a lifetime movie; NICH suing Indiana Jones
Dr. Jaime Awe, the Director of the Institute of Archaeology, is suing the makers of the 2008 Steven Spielberg film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. The claim, filed last Wednesday in the Illinois Federal Court, is described in the Hollywood Reporter as one of the most entertaining lawsuits of the year. [...]

Venezuela’s Chavez returns to Cuba for medical treatment
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has returned to Cuba for emergency surgery after his doctors revealed that a tumor that had been removed, has surfaced again in his battle against cancer. On Sunday, Chavez appeared on television to tell the Venezuelans of his health condition. He also said one more thing: he wants support for his [...]

Sports Monday: James Adderley with the weekend equalizer
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The 1st post season in the PLB Football Competition got off to a roaring start as 4 semifinalists made the mandatory appearance in game II of a home and away series.  We take you south to the Michael Ashcroft Stadium at Independence. Here the [...]


Governor General Hosts Party For Underprivileged in Southern Belize
The Governor General’s Christmas party for underprivileged children was held on Saturday in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. “The event had the participation of 175 children from four schools namely St. Peter Claver, PG Methodist, Bethel ...

Police News
Twenty-seven year old Cecil Castillo, remanded in prison for a charge of murder, was sentenced to two years after he was found guilty of assembling a firearm in prison. The incident occurred on May 29, 2012 in the Tango 9 section of the prison. One prison officer testified that he saw ...

Police Constable Dies In Traffic Accident
The Police Department is mourning the death of one of its own. Thirty four year old Oscar Escalante was badly injured on Friday afternoon and did not survive the weekend. Police press officer Raphael Martinez shared the details this morning, during the police’s weekly...

Toddler Knocked Down on George Price Highway
The family of four year old Sherika Gentle is reeling from her sudden death on Sunday when she was knocked down on the George Price Highway. The incident happened as fifty year old Israel Gonzalez was driving his pick-up truck at around three-twenty on Sunday afternoon from Cayo ...

Assistant Commissioner of Police Comments on Murder Rate for 2012
2012 will go down as one of the most violent years in Belize’s history. Officer commanding the Eastern Division of the Police Department, Assistant Commissioner Elodio Aragon, Junior, shared the statistics with reporters during the police’s weekly press conference. ...

Home Invasion Reported in Cayo District
A San Ignacio man has reported being the victim of a home invasion and robbery. Twenty two year old Lloyd Molina, who works as a Pharmacist, told police that around nine o’clock on Wednesday morning a man whom he recognized, entered his house and pointed a black firearm at him.&n...

Guatemalan Charged Following Illegal Hunting in Belize
A Guatemalan labourer from Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala has been arrested and charged by law enforcement authorities in Belize after he was found hunting illegally in the Chiquibul National Park earlier this week. Thirty six year old Eliseo Coc was detained by park rangers and his weap...

Police News
Another vehicle has been reported stolen in Dangriga. Thirty three year old Zhongan Ruan told police that sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, someone stole his green, Jeep Cherokee, valued at five thousand, five hundred dollars. Ruan says the vehicle was parked...

American Couple Donates To The KHMH Neonatal Care Unit
Newborns and infants who are hospitalised at the Neonatal Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital today received a radiant infant warmer from Alan and Colleen Spring and Mary and Pat Karney of the United States. The donation was made in memory of Thomas Spring, who was bo...

PM Travels To Miami For Weekend Meetings
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is tonight in Miami, Florida on official business. A brief statement from his office this afternoon announced that Prime Minister Barrow will take part in scheduled official meetings over the weekend. The Prime Minister is due to return to the cou...


Dangriga police remove another illegal weapon from the streets
Police in Dangriga town continue to remove illegal weapons from the streets of that municipality. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

Updates on Belize’s biggest drug case
Belize’s biggest drug case involving the landing of an aircraft on the Southern Highway has ended with the defendants freed of the major charges. The judge’s decision was handed down this morning in the southern session of the Supreme Court in Dangriga town. Correspondent Harry Arzu was at the courthouse and spoke with defence attorney Dickie Bradley. Although the defendants were freed of the major charged relating to the important of the drugs and facilitating the landing of the aircraft on the Southern Highway, they are still facing possession of ammunition charges, alleged to have been found in a white van that was stopped and searched in the area at the time of the discovery.


San Ignacio Police investigates fatal stabbing
San Ignacio Police investigates fatal stabbing that claimed the life of a woman. Police visited the La Loma Luz Hos...

Police Constable dies after motorcycle accident
On Friday after just before 5pm, Police visited the Progresso/Chunox Road in the Corozal District. They found 34 ye...

Police investigate two robberies in Belize City
Two robberies were reported in Belize City over the past weekend. We begin with the hold up at a Chinese shop on th...

Man detained following shooting incident in Punta Gorda
A man has been detained following a shooting incident in Punta Gorda. At 10:00 pm on Saturday, police received info...

4 year-old girl fatally hit in Teakettle
A driver has been detained after fatally hitting a four years-old girl. The incident took place yesterday afternoo...

A substantial seizure of rosewood has been made
A substantial seizure of rosewood has been made. This rosewood lumber was seized last night on the Boom Creek Road ...

KHMH receives vital Pediatric equipment
The KHMH has received a generous donation from the Spring Family. Alan and Colleen Spring of Table Rock Jungle Lodg...

Health and Human Development Committee meets
Members of the Health and Human Development Committee meet today in chambers at the National Assembly. The meeting ...

16 days of activism against abuse
16 days of activism came to an official end today – December 10 - and activities were held throughout the nation hi...

Children involved with Human Rights Day
Today (DEC 10) was celebrated as World Human Rights Day...and the Commission was out on the green in front of the p...

International Anti-Corruption Day observed
Another important day was also observed yesterday (DEC 9), International Anti-Corruption Day. In last week’s news w...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Congratulations Mercedes Requena
The Board of Governors, Administration and Staff of Ocean Academy congratulates Ms Mercedes Requena, graduate 2012, for obtaining seven (7) CXC passes and a Ministry of Education Scholarship to attend Muffles Junior College! Congrats Merc! Keep up the good work!

Ocean Academy female students earn community grant from Full Basket Belize
FLC stands for Female Leadership Community and is an empowerment and leadership club at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy. Every Tuesday afternoon ten female students join together and discuss issues such as healthy relationships, self esteem, anger management, academic and career goals. Mentor Ms. Susanne Michelus guides the girls through a curriculum organized around three units: Ignite, Education, Agitate. Reading and journal writing are integrated into all activities. Guest speakers have included a homeopathic healer, lawyer, self-defense instructor and social worker. With Full Basket Belize funding, the FLC club can now travel to Belize City in March 2013 and participate in Women’s Month activities and seminars. The grant will also fund inspirational books selected by the girls, shelving repairs in the school library, and the purchase of one computer. You can read the girls’ poems and reflections on the FLC blog: and like them on Facebook.

Channel Listing from Barrier Reef Cable System
Here is the listing for the channels from Barrier Reef Cable System.


Simple Baby Shower
I was giving it my best shot trying to get the lighted boat parade post done before the party and realized I better start the simple baby shower one for the many people who wanted to be here to wish Cindy and Andy well in person but could not come. Always so much to do and so little time to get it done. It all started with waking up to a power out, Cindy and Paul were textng back and forth from 7:00am onward. We were all wondering if we would need to scramble for a plan B as none of us had any idea that there was going to be an outage, she still needed to cook her curry and we had a freezer full of ice. Thankfully it lasted long enough for me to stay away from work do the chalk writing decorations. I never got a chance to ask Cindy if she got her pre-party nap, Paul and I did not. All of the sudden the Baby Shower was in full swing and we had a backyard full of sailing club kids, friends food and fun. Everything went very well all things considered. Cindy had not wanted a shower to begin with and we staved everyone off as long as we could but the baby shower people won out in the end and she agreed to have a no fuss no muss deal. I could see by the horrified look on her face as the Syme girls were describing traditional shower shower games that she was glad we did not subject her to any of that torture.

San Pedro Shines Again with LoveFM's Holiday Season Kick-Off Parade are only just recovering from the Lighted Boat Parade when there is another huge holiday event. This one solely on land. Very typical San Pedro...there really is always something going on. Yesterday at 5pm, the entrants in the LoveFm parade were asked to line up at Wayo's Beach Bar. I expected maybe 100 people...and what I found was the whole town. Seriously. All the way up to Boca Del Rio Park, float after float, marching bands and drummers, kids in super cute costumes and...Barney. Getting mobbed by excited kids. Kids were launching themselves like Angry Birds on to him all along the parade route. Now I know why they put the padding in those costumes. SAGA Humane Society was there to get the word out about responsible pet ownership.

Happy Birthday sweet Adela!!
We want to make a big shout out to our one and only Adela for her birthday on Saturday!! There is not much that happens at Raggamuffin that Adela is not involved in as she has over the past year taken over much of what was her sisters work (Edith), masterminding the daily set up at the Raggamuffin office! Adela kept her birthday much under wraps and let very few of us know about her special day and therefore, aside from Madai trying to get her drunk on Saturday night – she kept a very low profile!! We have obviously given her a piece of our mind as we are entitled to want to celebrate her birthday for her and we promise to make up for it next year!!!!! We just want to take the time to thank Adela for her tireless work in the Ragga office – she has been pure joy for all of us to work with and really strengthened us by adding her efficient and bubbly personality to our crew! We were blessed the day she walked into our office.

International Sources

New device can open hotel room locks
TRAVELER BEWARE..and we ALL might start demanding a FIX for this at every hotel we go to. I saw this when it was first revealed in July. The scariest part is that nothing has really been done in the six months that this has been on You Tube for all criminals to discover… When you lock your hotel door, you assume both you and your belongings are safe, but thieves have developed a simple device that can unlock hotel doors in potentially millions of rooms. NBC’s Jeff Rossen investigates.

Belize More Than a Tax Haven
Wedged against the Caribbean Sea, Belize has no strategic importance to anyone. Maybe that’s why it has such a peaceful history. Four hundred years ago, pirates would lie in wait among the 200 islands scattered off the coast. But these days, all you’ll find hiding on the cayes and islands are divers, sailors and anyone looking for an affordable way to enjoy total privacy. Belize is still a solid banking and tax haven, but it’s the lifestyle that puts most people under a spell. This is picture postcard Caribbean. Snorkelers explore its 176-mile barrier reef. Sport fishermen are equally happy. They reel in snapper, grouper, barracuda, bonito, tuna, kingfish, sailfish, and marlin. You’ll be blissfully free from commuter crush, 24-hour news, and workaday stress. This is a land of few cars, abundant fresh food from the sea and the trees, and great natural beauty. Belize is undeveloped and sparsely populated. You’ll have lots of room (on the beaches, in the jungle, in the rainforests) to stretch out. There is no rush. Where would you rush to? Yes, there are fiber-optic phone cables, computers, and cell phones, but these things are conveniences, not obsessions. Everyone who visits English-speaking Belize talks about the friendly people. Lots of countries have friendly locals, but in Belize you can quickly and easily make friends with them—because you already speak the language. A stone’s throw from the coast, you can buy a cottage for less than $140,000. In fact, right now, Belize is heaving with opportunity.

Here Comes the John McAfee Movie
In a move that will surprise absolutely no one, John McAfee, the media hungry anti-virus tycoon running from the Belizean police, has sold his life story to Future Media. The deal will "exploit his life story across a range of media, including film, print and TV," reports The Hollywood Reporter's Etan Vlessing. Which makes a lot of sense, given that he's attaching and re-attaching himself to different media outlets with "an ambiguous blessing," as we learned from The New York Times's Jeff Wise at some point before, during, or after McAfee's UStream performance Sunday night. Honestly, we can't wait for the movie. And neither can the rest of the Internet, which has already begun speculating about who will play McAfee. (Can you blame us? This guy's story has had so many bizarre twists and turns that it can't not entertain.) Plus, as of right now, the biopic will have a surprise ending, since its main character is still stuck in Guatemala, attempting to go home, instead of back to Belize, where he will likely face charges of some sort. Knowing McAfee, who may have faked a heart attack last week, a lot more plot points can happen between now and production. While we await the movie and the actual ending to McAfee's real-life run from the law, the news gives us an excuse to imagine the casting and plot of The Life and Times of John McAfee: Bath Salts, Dogs, and Guns.

In Pursuit of McAfee, Media Are Part of Story
Late last month, the editor in chief of Vice magazine, Rocco Castoro, joined by a photographer, Robert King, managed to secure a plum exclusive: an invitation to travel along with the fugitive tech millionaire John McAfee. Years earlier, Mr. McAfee had relocated to a Colonel Kurtz-like compound in the jungles of Belize, surrounding himself with armed guards and multiple young lovers. Then, with reports that he was a “person of interest” in the death of a neighbor, Mr. McAfee had gone on the lam. Last Monday, after several days of surreptitious travel, Mr. Castoro and Mr. King posted their first dispatch. It bore the smirking headline, “We Are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers.” The gloating was short-lived, however. Within minutes, a reader noticed that the photograph posted with the story still contained GPS location data embedded by the iPhone 4S that took it, and sent out a message via Twitter: “Check the metadata in the photo. Oooops ...” Vice quickly replaced the image, but it was too late. “Oops! Did Vice Just Give Away John McAfee’s Location With Photo Metadata?” a headline asked. The article included a Google Earth view of the exact spot the picture had been taken — poolside at the Hotel & Marina Nana Juana in Izabal, Guatemala. Soon, the Guatemalan police were with John McAfee. This weekend, he is in their custody and is expected to be extradited to Belize, where he faces questioning in connection with the murder of Gregory Faull, a 52-year-old American who was his neighbor. Mr. McAfee’s lawyers are appealing his extradition. The Vice debacle was just one colorful twist in the relationship between the press, which is always willing to indulge a colorful subject, and Mr. McAfee, who was always eager to bend news coverage to his often inscrutable ends. I first wrote about Mr. McAfee five years before, when he was merely a colorful software pioneer — an apparently clean-living citizen who courted the press mainly to promote his favorite pastime, flying ultralight aircraft. Since then, his life had taken several darker turns. I had only just published a long piece about his purported connections with Belizean drug gangs on the Web site Gizmodo when I received a curt e-mail from a police official in Belize on Nov. 11, “It may interest you to know that there was a murder yesterday in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye and McAfee is the prime suspect.”