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#453784 - 12/18/12 03:27 PM Today's Belize News: December 18, 2012
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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun welcomes a new team member: Meet Janelle Cowo!
The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce our newest staff reporter, Ms. Janelle Cowo. Originally from Orange Walk District, Janelle has lived in San Pedro for the last two years. A graduate from Muffles College High School, Janelle is studying accounting at the San Pedro Junior College. With her outgoing personality and writing talent, Janelle is certainly a welcome addition to The San Pedro Sun team. We are excited to have Janelle as a new staff member and welcome her aboard!

The Harmonious voices of the San Pedro choir
There has been a significant growth in programs geared to providing healthy activities to children in San Pedro. Carolyn Kumar and her husband Surendra Kumar, along with Natalie Arceo have come together to create a youth choir for the children of San Pedro that will be run under the Roman Catholic Church. A form of creative expression, choir will ensure that the members will enjoy vocal lessons and other basic techniques which will assist them to become either a singer or musician. According to Arceo music, is a strong form of worship and it is a great value to instill in our youth, “It’s not just singing, but to know the purpose of each hymn that is sung. When you sing…your prayers are twice as strong!”

SP Police’s Commanding Officer to be transferred
For weeks it has been widely rumored within the Belize Police Department that the Officer Commanding San Pedro Police Station Assistant Superintendent of Police Viennie Robinson would be transferred before the 2013 Easter Holiday. It has now been confirmed that her transfer is imminent and that in fact, will be done even before completing a year at the helm of the San Pedro Police force. The confirmation was made by her direct superior, Commander of the Eastern Division Police Formation responsible for San Pedro, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon Jr. Aragon made the confirmation during the regular Monday Police Press Conference on December 10th. “When it comes to Mrs. Viennie Robinson, the officer commanding San Pedro, she has been slated for transfer and I think presently that is being looked at for January. If I am not mistaken it is for the 15th of January of next year for her to be transferred 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,” said Aragon.

San Pedro Police launch Christmas Anti-Crime Campaign
The San Pedro Police Department has officially launched its Christmas Season anti-crime campaign as part of the policing plan for the Christmas holidays. The campaign started on Saturday December 1st and will run through January 15th, 2013. The campaign launched by the Police Department is geared to have more police visibility during one of the busiest times of the year when visitors and shoppers prepare for the Christmas holidays. When speaking to The San Pedro Sun, the deputy Commanding Officer of San Pedro Police Formation Inspector of Police Reynaldo Pook explained that following the launching of the Christmas anti-crime campaign, there has been more foot and mobile patrols, especially in the business sector of town. In addition, there have been more concentrated patrols on the northern and southern sections of the island. “With the increase of shoppers and visitors, we want to ensure that the island is as safe as possible,” said Pook. He added, “We will also do vigorous stops and searches including check points where we will be targeting all sort of traffic offenders.”

Ambergris Today

HGTV House Hunters Spotted in San Pedro
More spotlight on Belize in the near future as a film crew of HGTV’s House Hunters International was spotted on its way to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye over the weekend. Solanie Graniel, a former Teen Talk Reporter of Ambergris Today, captured this image of the film crew on board a flight to the island along a couple that was looking to buy a home in the country. It’s not the first time that HGTV’s reality show House Hunters International has been in Belize, or San Pedro, Ambergris Caye for that matter. With more people looking at Belize as a destination to retire or make their living, the network has had various opportunities to bring house hunters to Belize in areas that include Cayo District, Corozal and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

Isla Bonita Elementary School Christmas Show
School's out for the Christmas Holidays and the island kids are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus. But before closing for the holidays, most of the island schools presented their annual Christmas Variety Shows to kick off the end of the year celebrations. One of these schools was Isla Bonita Elementary School, whose students put on a fantastic and cheerful show on Friday, December 14, 2012, at the Paradise Theater. Ambergris Today's Gerry Badillo was host of the event, who called on stage each class division to perform two differente presentation which included a mixture of song, dance and a skit that had everybody moving to the popular beats of PSY's 'Gangnam Style'. It was the class of Standard 4 that brought Santa, Mrs. Claus and their little helper elves on stage to perform the global sensation that is Gangnam Style. With great Chrismas costumes and performances, the school's Christmas show was a complete success. At the end of the evening, Santa Claus dropped by to share some gifts to all the students who worked really hard to put on a great show.

The Incredible Santa To San Pedro by Sea
Santa Claus is known to travel by air and land but not by water. However, in San Pedro before the days of airplane and before the coming of vehicles, Santa used to arrive by sea as seen in this memorable flashback. He jumped into a skiff with all his bags of toys and goodies for the children of San Pedro from an unknown place and arrived right at the main pier in front of Daddy’s Club. From there he went to the Central Park where the children were awaiting his arrival. However the bigger children could not hold their excitement and jumped into the boat to try to touch dear good Santa as Willito Leslie laughed his heart out at the end of the pier.

Misc Belizean Sources

Old Photos of the Caribbean
This website was sent to me by John Longsworth. I found the photos very interesting. They are some of the best I've seen of the Pine Ridge/Macal River area and brought back many memories of pitmans, camiones and adventures in the area where my father had his mahogany logging camp - Guacamallo. He built the first "bridge" crossing of the Guacamallo River for his camiones, loaded with logs, to cross, and we used to hop on a camion to go down to the river to swim every day and afterwards hike back up hill to the camp and fresh johnny cakes & butter. Nothing tastes better than a fresh Johnny Cake cooked on a wooden stove by Myra, the Maya-Spanish cook. At night it was so dark (only kerosene lanterns were used in the camp and were out by 8), that we could see the sky, Milky Way & shooting stars in brilliant clarity & listen to the loaded camions in the distance, grinding up-hill in low gear (they ran all night during the season). Never will again, I guess. Homesick!

Island Art Group Charity Sale Dec. 22
THE ISLAND ART GROUP IS HAVING THEIR ANNUAL CHARITY ART SALE ON DECEMBER 22. THE SALE WILL BE UPSTAIRS AT TROPIC AIR FROM 12 - 6PM. LOTS OF ORIGINAL ART WORKS INCLUDING PAINTINGS, JEWELRY AND CARDS WILL BE AVAILABLE. PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT OUR CHARITY " WOMEN IN NEED".

VIDEO: Exploring Tikal with Amigos
Join us as we depart San Pedro for a day trip to Tikal with Amigos Jungle Tours. For more info visit online at AmigosJungleTours.com

Soul Project Opening Night
Cayo's new cultural center, The Soul Project, had their grand opening this weekend. It was awesome. Great music, food, fun, and friends. Ricky Galvez, aka The Nudist, can jam! "Last night great art exhibit and jam session, lots of young talented musicians from the Metal and rock scene in Cayo filled the room, jamming in front of exhibiting art made in Belize by local and international artist. thanx to everyone who came."

Channel 7

Public Terror Erupts As Shots Rings Out At "Parkfest"
Chaos and public terror erupted at the Park Fest Concert on Saturday night at the BTL park. Four persons were stabbed and one was shot in a brawl between rival gangs. But hundreds of concert-goers, including families and young people scattered in terror as three salvos of gunshots were fired in the crowded public space. They made a dash for their lives, trying to find cover in the open area. According to reports the terrified crowd ran towards thirsty Thursday's, Ex Servicemen's League and the Princess to try and get to an enclosed area - but all 3 establishments closed their entrances when they saw the stampeding crowd approaching. Our Daniel Ortiz who moonlights as a guitarist was on stage performing with Jenko, when he sensed something had gone terribly wrong. He told Monica Bodden what he saw: Daniel Ortiz - Was Performing At Park Fest "We were at the Park Fest. I was supposed to help out an artist - 2 artists actually - performing. My band was supposed to be backing them up. So, it started at 8:30, and the show was going fine. I saw that all of the female local artists were performing, and the crowd seemed to very receptive of it. And when it was about our time to go on. We were start off with Jenko; there were only 2 more performances left. And at time, we're 2 songs into Jenko's performance when I see everyone just rushing past. At first, I thought that a fight had broken out, or maybe it was the music that we were performing. So, I figured, well, something has gone on. I see the show promoter rush on to the stage and tell us to stop. I have never experienced that before; I thought that he was being disorganized and unprofessional. But, he was trying to get us to safety. Someone apparently fired shots into the crowd, and looked out in the crowd and saw mass panic, people running all over the place.

Man Killed In Park Brawl Aftermath
And while those person were only injured - one man was killed and another shot and likely as a direct consequence of that gang brawl at the BTL park. 22 year old Gushany Wagner of Taylors Alley was shot multiple times to his body at around 12:30 on Sunday morning. The shooting happened in front of the Salvation Army Primary School on Cemetery Road - right at the mouth of the alley. A 16 year old minor was also injured in the shooting. Charles Middleton was shot to the left foot and to the right side of the chest. According to police both men were standing on the street when the gunman approached them and opened fire. Guishany Wagner was pronounced dead at 2am on Sunday morning.

Teenaged First Former Victim Of Mistaken Identity In Gang War
And so while that murder happened in Belize City as a direct consequence of the Parkfest Gang Brawl - the aftermath was still being felt the next night, Sunday - al the way in Lord's Bank. According to reliable sources - gunmen were looking for a gang affiliated personality who lives in Lord's Bank on Sunday night as part of an ongoing retaliation. But they ended up executing a young man whose only wrong was having a slight physical resemblance to the intended target. That error resulted in the slaying of a blameless teenager. Jules Vasquez was at the scene: Jules Vasquez Reporting Fifteen year old Dayne Bodden Jr lay dead on the side of Parks Road - crumpled over his bicycle last night. Just before 8 last night, the first former who worked tending horses in the morning and evening - had gone to collect his pay and was riding home when a gunman came out of these bushes and shot him to the head, chest and foot. The teenager died on the spot - the few dollars he had earned still in his waist. Sources say the shooters were in these bushes lying in wait for a tall, dark skinned male who lives in the area and has known gang affiliations in the city. But they mistook Dayne who is 6 feet tall and killed him. That is no consolation for his father, Dayne Sr:

Another Lord's Bank Murder
In our first segment we told you about the teenager who was killed in Lord's Bank on Sunday night. Well, that small village also saw the murder of a 69 year old business owner 24 hours earlier on Saturday night. At 8:25, Otto Jergen Peterson - who owns the Lords Bank Grocery and Laundry was held up by two men. It seems he put up a fight - and then shortly after, his stepson who lives behind the story heard gunshots. He ran to the store and told us what he saw: Jules Vasquez "You said that when you got there, he was still conscious?" Mario Martinez - Step-son of Deceased "Yes, he was still breathing. He was still alive." Jules Vasquez "And he spoke to you." Mario Martinez "He told us not to worry, that everything will be okay. I helped him get to the hospital. We put him in a vehicle, and took him to the hospital, but he died on the way."

17 Year Old Shot
And a 17 year old was shot in Belize City last night. It happened on Euphrates Avenue near the corner with Dean Street. The police press officer told us a van pulled up on the youth and opened fire: Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "On Sunday December 2012, a, about 9:45pm, this minor was walking on Corner Dean Street and Euphrates Avenue, Belize City when a red van heavily tinted, approached him, reportedly. And occupants of the van fired several shots at him causing his injuries. eleven 9mm expended shells were recovered and minor was admitted to the hospital in a stable condition." Four of those 11 shots hit Baizar. He was shot to the torso, wrist, groin area and on the right leg.

Shooting in SSG Territory
And while all those shootings happened after the public terror event at BTL Park, there's one that happened before. On Saturday at around 9:00 p.m., 37 year old Darwin Middleton, known as Zeb was shot as he stood near the Wilt Cummerbatch field - which is where he has his business. He was shot to the right leg and groin area. He is reportedly seriously injured from what is said to have been a high powered weapon. The shots were fired from a grey SUV. That area witnessed the murder of an innocent man about a hundred feet away from that spot three weeks before - and in that case it was also a drive by. We note that there was also a shooting on Glynn Street over the weekend, but police could not provide details on that. That brings the Belize District weekend total to three murders, four persons shot, and four stabbed.

Did Police Beating Cause Mans Death In PG?
A pair of police officers are being investigated in Punta Gorda after they allegedly beat Francisco Shol - which is believed ot have led to his death. It happened early on Friday morning. The officers - who are not assigned to the PG Police Station and were in a civilian vehicle allegedly beat him up near the PG Sports Bar. They then took him to the PG Hospital and left him there - where he did not get treatment - and started to walk home. Shol didn't make it; he collapsed in a drain on his way home - where his family found him the next morning dead. He reportedly had a cracked skull and internal bleeding. Police are investigating but the PUP Town Council says QUOTE, "the continuous brutality must cease immediately…the attitude of these rogue cops must not be accepted."

A Real Sleeping Policeman?
And while police have plenty on their hands - one Constable seems like he was trying to sleep it off on the KHMH floor. Now, we've heard of sleeping policemen - but this is ridiculous! Constable #6, Ack was captured sleeping on the KHMH floor. We can't say if he was on duty, or if he was ill, but the picture has been making the rounds on facebook, causing - shall we say - prejudice to the good image of the police department. We contacted both Ministry of National Security and Police press officer today to find out if Ack was sleeping on-duty or just un-conscious off duty - but we got no reply - even though this image is sure to cause the top brass some...sleepless nights?

BTL/Ashcroft Alliance and The CCJ
Last week, 7News told you about the Caribbean Court of Justice's big judgment in favor of the Ashcroft Alliance against the Government of Belize as majority shareholder in Belize Telemedia Limited. As we told you, the CCJ delivered a conservative order restraining the BTL from issuing dividends until not before December 14, which expired on Friday. On the day before, Thursday, the Court of Appeal announced that they refused application for interim relief to restrain BTL from issuing dividends to take effect after Friday. Well, seeing no legal boundary, the Board of Directors of BTL attempted to pay out the dividends, but the CCJ, after hearing this, immediately ordered GOB to ensure that an amount of equal value, which represented almost 12 million dollars, to be paid back into an escrow account. So, with that slap down judgment, the Central Bank of Belize, the Social Security Board, and GOB were forced to refund the checks issued personally by the Executive Chairman himself. Well, the matter went back to court early this morning, where via a 3-way video conference, the CCJ went a step further, and they ordered that there will be no further payment of dividends, which is an annual event, to those majority shareholder until the court says otherwise, or until the matter is heard to completion. The effect of that is a major loss for GOB because their appointed board members are only able to use finances to cover expenses, run the company, and manage its bills. They are prohibited from doing anything else with the company's profits. But, there was a minor positive development from today's proceedings; the CCJ granted an application by attorney for GOB, Denys Barrow, to allow the small shareholders, all 1400+ of them to be paid. Both attorneys spoke to us outside of court and explained their position on the small shareholders who were getting crush by this fight between these 2 giants:

GSU Cracks Down On MS-13
And while a gang brawl erupted right near the GSU headquarters on Saturday, it doesn't mean the unit wasn't busy. Over the weekend they targeted the Central American MS-13 gang operating in Belize City as well as the George Street gang following the spate of violent crimes. Mauricio Lemus, a reputed member of the MS 13 was arrested and charged for drug offences. He was caught on Friday December 14 at around 11:45am, on Central American Boulevard where they found 4 pieces of crack cocaine in his pockets, to a total amount of 0.4 grams. Lemus was arrested and charged for Possession of controlled drugs. And on Sunday - another alleged MS13 gang member was arrested and charged for Possession of Controlled Drugs. Just after 5am, the GSU searched the residence of Hilberto Ruiz at #22B Neal Pen Road. Ruiz who is a Taxi Driver, 27 year old Jose Carlos Reyes, and others were charged for mere 0.2 grams of cannabis - which is less than .01 of an ounce! Still, all five persons who were present were charged for Possession of Controlled Drug. The GSU says that Hilberto Ruiz and Jose Carlos Reyes are members of the MS-13 gang. Reyes has been charged twice, most recently in November of 2011, for professing to belong to a criminal gang.

Yaya Fought The Good Fight
On Friday, 7News told you about social Activist Yaya Marin-Coleman's 2-person protest against the big DIGICELL 10th Anniversary concert at the MCC Grounds. It's a touchy subject because the Football Federation of Belize has loudly protested the use of MCC and other football facilities for anything other than football. However, the National Sports Council has issued a statement saying that they have authority to allow anyone who wants to rent the facilities for private functions. As we told you, Coleman's protest was a 24 hour venture, and she protested loudly through the entire performance, which was rained out. By all accounts, the concert went on right through the rain; members of the public simply took off their shoes and danced late into the morning. 7News caught up with Coleman early Saturday morning, who was still at it. With her reports, we stopped in and looked at the MCC ourselves, and found it in a damaged state.

How to Fix A Digicell Dizzy Spell
Recently, we've received plenty of complaints from viewers wanting to know what's up with their Digicell phones. The phones have lost signal - and can't get it back. Well, there have been many public notices - but still many keep falling into the signal void - losing use of their phones for days - some even concluding that their phone is no good! Customer Service Manager, Dr. Dionne Miranda told us what to do if it happens to you: Dr. Dionne Miranda - Customer Services Manager, BTL "First of all, I'd like to apologize because they didn't really need to for the entire weekend. We've had our operators working 24 hours a day. And we did announce through the media over the past week that this issue may occur. And let me explain to you why the issue has occurred. The devices that many of you hold in our hands, they're what we call intelligent devices, and they will seek out the best possible network. And so, in seeking out the best network, they've decided to latch on to a service that you don't even have, because we've turned on our cell sites. And because of that, it sought out the best, and it latched on to the 4G network. Now, you're not a 4G customer, so of course, it's going to say that you have no service, and all anybody needs to do, and we've been advertising this for a while, is to just go into the settings section on your telephone, you downgrade it from WCDMA, which is where the 4G service is, and downgrade it to GSM only.

Upliftment Through Literacy
Tonight on this newscast, you've seen so much about crime and violence - but that's only a symptom. For many the problem is a lack of opportunity, reinforced by poor education - which started most likely when they dropped out of school. And - if you want to go back one more step - that dropping out was possibly preceded by doing poorly in reading. And of you can't read well, school will always be a challenge. And that's the focus of a new program from Restore Belize. It's called"Computer Assisted Learning" and will spend 318 thousand dollars to improve the literacy skills of children and their families. The poster youths will be Nia Arthurs and Michael Young. They come from different backgrounds: she's a prolific readers and he can't read: but they share a hunger for learning. They explained at the launch this morning: Nia Arthurs - Member of Literacy Program "Reading is so special to me. I love reading. I spend most of my time reading. TV, internet, and computers they aren't as important to me as reading. So I really enjoy reading." Michael Young - Member of Literacy Program "I won't tell you any lie. I want to learn how to read, and I know a lot of individuals who would want to learn too. But, they won't be like me. They will not say, 'I can't read. Help me.' They won't do that. They have too much pride. I am not saying that I don't have pride too, but you have to look past that sometimes. I know that I need help, so"

Channel 5

G.O.B., S.S.B. and Central Bank can’t touch Telemedia dividends
Since it nationalized Telemedia in 2009 and again in 2011, the government has enjoyed at least thirty million dollars in dividends payments, some of which it used to finance its re-election campaign in February this year to the tune of forty thousand dollars for each standard bearer. But that is no longer to be. In [...]

Dean Boyce/BCB withdraw application seeking Justice Awich’s recusal from nationalization case
In related news, the application for special leave to appeal to the CCJ against the decision of the Court of Appeal that Justice Awich didn’t have to recuse himself from the nationalization case was withdrawn this morning by attorneys for Dean Boyce, the Trust and the British Caribbean Bank. Godfrey Smith explained that they agreed [...]

Elderly man and a minor murdered in separate shootings in Lord’s Bank
Leading up to the Christmas holidays, three families are grieving loss of their loved ones. Of three persons who were murdered, two were from Lord’s Bank, Ladyville where less than a month ago, the Vellos/Skeen family was executed, allegedly by one of their own. On Saturday night, a businessman was shot and killed in his [...]

Park Fest shooting leads to murder in Taylor’s Alley; 1 dead, 5 injured
Aside from the murders in Lord’s Bank, one man was killed in Belize City and five were injured. The mayhem started at a mass event at the BTL Park where a huge crowd had assembled for the Digicel Park Fest. Several shots were fired and four persons were injured. The violence spilled to Taylors Alley, [...]

2 men and a woman injured in City shootings
Three other persons were also injured in separate shooting incidents. Thirty-seven year old Darwin Middleton was shot on Caesar Ridge Road on Saturday night while a minor was shot at the corner of Dean Street and Euphrates Avenue on Sunday night. Both were victims of drive-by shootings and received multiple injuries as Police Press Officer [...]

Government vehicle involved in traffic accident
One accident that did not make it onto the police blotter took place at the corner of Faber’s Road and the Western Highway involving a government vehicle that is believed to have been speeding into the City. The new government vehicle, an Isuzu pick-up assigned to the Ministry of Trade and Investment was coming into [...]

Sudden death in the West and North
Two other men lost their lives on Friday. In the west, forty-three year old Carlos Bautista, a Guatemalan farmer of More Tomorrow Village, died unexpectedly while working on his farm on Friday. His son, nineteen year old Dolmon Esquivel, told police that his father was chopping a piece of log when he suddenly collapsed and [...]

55 year old man convicted of Carnal Knowledge of a 14 year old girl
A jury of nine persons unanimously found fifty-five year old Winston Dennison guilty of three counts of Carnal Knowledge of a fourteen year old girl. During the trial, the victim testified that Dennison had sex with her once in April 2010 and twice in August of that same year. The minor testified en camera, recounting [...]

Self-professed MS-13 gang member charged and fined $500
Twenty-year old Angel Antonio Ruiz confessed to police that he is a member of the international criminal organization known as the MS-13.  His admission landed him in court today where he appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Adolph Lucas Junior.  Ruiz, who was being remanded to the Belize Central Prison, quickly changed his plea when he learned [...]

F.F.B. president says MCC pitch badly damaged after concert
The MCC football pitch is usually the center of fan filled football matches. But instead of a game, this past Friday night, the MCC Grounds on Princess Margaret Drive was used for Digicel’s anniversary concert, which featured several Jamaican artists. The Football Federation of Belize (F.F.B.) and some local activists gathered to protest at the [...]

Charges for drugs and ammo result from GSU operations
The Gang Suppression Unit says it conducted successful operations over the weekend against gangs including the George Street and the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) operating in Belize City. In the first operation on Friday, Mauricio Lemus, a reputed member of the MS-13 was arrested and charged for drug offences. Inside his pants pocket, the GSU retrieved [...]

Restore Belize receives over $300,000 for Computer Assisted Learning
The Taiwanese Embassy stepped up to the plate today and delivered computers as well as software to Restore Belize.  The equipment will be used for the Computer Assisted Learning Program, proposing to use a life cycle approach to improving the literacy skills of children and their families. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.   Delahnie Bain, [...]

Patrick Faber rounding up support for Deputy Party Leader seat
Minister of Education and party chairman, Patrick Faber picked up major support over the weekend in his bid for U.D.P. deputy party leader.  Faber hosted delegates from the entire Belize District at an event on Saturday night. Of the thirteen constituencies, eleven offered support. Big players in the U.D.P., such as two former party leaders, [...]

Football and Cycling dominate weekend sports
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Crunch time came Saturday night for the Placencia Assassins who needed to win by a goal to extend the semifinal series in the PLB Football playoffs against the Belmopan Bandits who have been impressive all season long. It could have been a perfect start [...]

LOVE FM

Police Report Several Weekend Murders and Shootings in the Old Capital
Several shootings and three murders were reported over the past weekend. Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez today provided an update. RAPHAEL MARTINEZ Police Press Officer Belize Police Department “On Sunday, December 16 at approximately 8:10pm Police vi...

Restore Belize Receives Aid From Republic of China, Taiwan
The Republic of China, Taiwan has gifted over three hundred thousand dollars to Restore Belize for implementation of a computer assisted learning program. The symbolic handing over of one hundred computers and the software to facilitate this bold new approach to literacy was done this ...

Orange Walk Policemen Under Investigation For Alleged Theft
Two police officers are in trouble with the law. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the story. ARTURO CANTUN Reporter RSV News Centre “Two policemen attached to the Orange Walk Police Station are in trouble for allegedly attacking and stealing from a fisherman. &nbs...

New Executive for BTIA Orange Walk Chapter
New members have been elected to serve on the executive of the Orange Walk chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. According to a release from BTIA, the election was held on Monday of last week and was supervised by president Herbert Haylock and Executive Director Efr...

Unemployed Resident Remanded For Unlicensed Weapon
Twenty-four year old Nelson Martinez, an unemployed of West Street, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared in court today. Martinez pled not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that the court cannot offer ...

Parolee To Be Sentenced For Carnal Knowledge
Fifty-five year old Winston Dennison, a woodcarver, who was on parole for a conviction of manslaughter, was found guilty of three counts of carnal knowledge today in the court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The jury of five men and four women deliberated about three hours before it a...

Hit and Run Proves Fatal For Senior Citizen
An elderly man lost his life as a result of a hit and run accident in the Orange Walk District on Thursday. Reports are sometime around six o’clock yesterday evening, 76-year-old Primitivo Pott was on the Phillip Goldson Highway in San Jose Village when he was hit by a whit...

CTV3

Guatemalan Nationality Applications In Belize Put On Hold
A number of Guatemalans who renounced to their nationality should be sworn in at Capital City Belmopan this December 21st. But apparently they won’t be getting a Belizean citizenship. The new Minister of Immigration Honorable Godwin Hulse is not convinced that the current renunciation procedure for Guatemalans is effective. What that implies? Easy, Belize law requires that for any Guatemalan to become a Belizean they must first renounce their Guatemalan nationality. In practice, all that means is filling out a form at the Immigration office and signing it. However, such a renunciation is not legal in Guatemala since their law states that to properly renounce their citizenship a person must make it formal in that country - by sending in their passport - and filling out a formal Guatemalan renunciation form. The Guatemalan Ministry Of Foreign Affairs must then accept the application in order for the renunciation to be official. With the current manner in which the procedure is done in Belize citizens can still return to Guatemala to regain a new passport.

Hit And Run Accident Leaves One Man Dead
Another man lost his life yesterday in what seems to be a hit and run traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway. The tragedy occurred shortly after 6:00 yesterday evening in the village of San Jose San Pablo in the Orange Walk District. CTV3 News arrived at the scene minutes after the accident. Here is that report. The life of 76 year old Primitivo Pott came to a sudden and tragic end shortly after 6:30 last night when he was knocked down by an unknown vehicle. The villagers of San Jose are still in shock since Pott was well known. The 76 year old was walking along the highway when he was knocked down a stone’s throw away from his son’s home where he lived. It was during last night’s heavy shower that a white pickup truck travelling under high speed knocked down Pott taking away his life instantly. When we arrived at the scene last night we spoke to Pott’s son who assisted police in removing his father’s corpse from the highway.

Four Lawsuits Filed Against The NRH
Four women from the Orange Walk District who gave birth at the Northern Regional Hospital and have either experienced complications after surgery and babies have suffered brain damage among other complications during delivery or died after birth have filed a lawsuit against Nicaraguan Doctor Geovannia Orozco of the Northern Regional Hospital and the Attorney General’s Office. Magdalena Chable, Alicia Pott, Sally Coh and Reina Gomez are not sitting around waiting for the investigation launched by the Ministry of Health into the allegations of malpractice made against the NRH to conclude. In fact, since preliminary findings don’t point to negligence on the part of the hospital the four women have hired the services of Attorney Anthony Sylvester. In the case of Magdalena Chable, and Sally Coh there baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and microcephaly. In lay mans terms they suffered brain damage. As for Alicia Pott, her baby is doing fine; her condition; however, is another story. After giving birth to her baby through C-section, Pott underwent two other surgeries including a hysterectomy, allegedly due to negligence. And in the case of Reina Gomez she gave birth to her baby girl Harmony on the 30th of November at the NRH. The baby died one day after at the KHMH after suffering severe complications. Harmony died of severe meconium aspiration syndrome caused by lack of oxygen in the body caused by the ingestion of fecal matter. The law suits were to have been filed in today.

OWTC, Assisting The Youths Of O/W
In these hard economical times a little financial assistance can come a long way and with that in mind the Orange Walk Town Council will host a two week work program for students from across town with monies obtained from Fiesta Rama 2012. The Student Self Aid Educational Program will assist 100 students, 80 from the secondary level and 20 from Tertiary level. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “Due to the financial constraints we were on we were unable to launch the summer program so we decided to put it off until December when we would be able to manage it. How this will work is that the students will be split in two working groups. The first 50 students will start working on Monday and then the following week the other 50 will be coming on board. Apart from the work which will be have day the Deputy Mayor has decided that they get a workshop where they will be discussing how the program has assisted them and what’s not.” The selection process was not easy since more that 300 applications were received by the council.

Will 2013 Bring An Increase In Your Electricity Bill?
Life haad in Belize and even BEL is feeling the pinch of the financial crisis and the elevated cost of electricity seems to be the main problem. For the past year rainfall has reduced and consequently enough Hydro power is not being produced. BELCOGEN has not been producing anywhere close to capacity and Mexico has been selling BEL energy power for almost 43 cents per kilowatt hour - which is about the same amount consumers pay per kilowatt hour. This means that BEL is basically non profitable. Viewers might recall that in a release sent out in July of this year, the company revealed that their cost of power has increased by more than 30% since the rate reduction of January 2012. So, are consumers on the brink of paying more for energy consumption? In an interview with Channel Seven last night BEL Representative Ernesto Gomez said that the decision to increase the rate of electricity lies in the hands of the Public Utilities Commission who is well aware of the financial constraints BEL is facing. Ernesto Gomez - Sr. Manager of Energy & Supply, BEL "Under the law, the cost of power that BEL purchases for its suppliers, it's just a pass through to the customers. So, the expensive of the cost of power, if you remove that from the rate, BEL has just a small margin to operate on, like 30%. So, if the cost of power rises, it takes away from our everyday cash to be able to operate. BEL has used all its resource to be able to easily keep the lights on for the customers. And as a result, the customers do not even know that this thing is occurring, but as a result, we are committed by law to report these changes to the Public Utilities Commission for them to look at it. And they may or may not make decision. That's their prerogative. In January 25 of this year, BEL put out a press release to the public, just after they had given the initial decision for the full tariff, the PUC had given that. And, we had studied the decision and the rates, and we realized and decided that we can easily operate efficiently with those rates, if the cost of power would remain at the price that it was in January of this year. But since the price of power did not stay at that level, we are now obligated by law to make a submission to the PUC that would report them our actual cost power and our forecasted cost of power from the end of June, which tariff review period.


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#453785 - 12/18/12 03:28 PM Re: Today's Belize News: December 18, 2012 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here

LOVE TV

Libertad man dies in road traffic incident
A man was knocked down and killed last night on the Phillip Goldson highway in Corozal. The victim has been identified as sixty two year old Candido Fuentes, a resident of Libertad village. According to police reports, Fuentes was riding his beach cruiser bicycle on the highway between miles seventy seven and seventy eight, when he was knocked down from behind by a car. The driver of the vehicle, twenty four year old Nestor Juan Sosa, told police that around eight o’clock last night, he collided into Fuentes, saying that he was in the middle of the road and that the bicycle had no lights or reflectors. Sosa says that he stopped to render aid, and that Fuentes was rushed to the Corozal community hospital via ambulance where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police have since taken a urine sample from Sosa who lives in San Narciso village, Corozal, and have impounded his car. Police investigations continue.

Prime Minister accompanies his wife on medical visit
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has traveled to the United States to accompany his wife Kim for a medical visit. An official statement says that the Prime Minister left Belize on Saturday and is due to return on Thursday, December 20. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is holding over as Prime Minister.

Man’s body pulled from the sea in Corozal
The body of a man was pulled from the Corozal Bay on Friday morning. The body has been identified as that of Hernan Lazaro, 44, a resident of San Andres village, Corozal. Police say they observed a small cut wound to Lazaro’s left eyebrow as well as abrasions to his left cheek and chin. While police have initially classified the incident as “sudden death,” their investigations continue.

Teenager sprayed with bullets
A 17 year old boy was walking at the corner of Dean Street and Euphrates Avenue on Sunday night when he was wounded by gunshots. Police say that around 9:45 pm Sunday, the boy was approached by a heavily tinted red van, at which time the occupants fired shots at the teenager, hitting him in the right leg, scrotum, torso and wrist. The injuries to the teenager are not life-threatening and police say they have recovered 11 nine millimeter shell from the crime scene.

Man shot dead in front of Salvation Army Church; teen injured
Belize City resident Guishany Wagner was shot dead and a 16 year old boy injured in a shooting incident just after midnight on Sunday morning. Police say when they visited the crime scene around 12:30 am on Sunday, they found Wagner’s bullet riddled body in front of the Salvation Army church and school. He had been shot in the back, head and both hands. The teenager boy was wounded in the left foot and right side of the chest. Police investigations so far have revealed that Wagner and the boy were standing on Orange Street when they were approached by a dark skin man who opened fire on them, fatally wounded Wagner and injuring the teenager.

PlusTV

15 year old Dayne Bodden shot dead in Lord's Bank
It was a particularly violent weekend in the nation of Belize. A number of teenagers as well as older persons were ...

Murder at Lords Bank Grocery
There was another murder in Lord’s bank just the night before. This time it was not a teenager but a senior citizen...

22 year old Guishany Fred Wagner killed Sunday morning
There was a third murder for this weekend. This one happened at about 12:30 on Sunday morning. The victim is 22 yea...

CCJ begin hearings on Belize Telemedia Limited
This morning the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) began a marathon day of hearings in relation to the matter of Bel...

Teenager shot Sunday night in Belize City
Another teenager was shot this weekend. He is 17 year old Sakadi Baizar. This one also happened last night at about...

Shootings in Belize City on Caesar Ridge Road and Caro Street
On Saturday night, 37 year old Darwin Middleton was also shot multiple times. He was shot to his right leg and to t...

Shots fired at event being held at BTL park.
Where there were no bullets, there were blades. On Saturday night, shots were fired at the event beinfg held at the...

Crime Control and Criminal Justice amendment Bill approved in House
The House of Representatives met in the City of Belmopan last week Friday. At Friday's meeting, the Crime Control a...

CCJ to hear British Caribbean Bank arbitration case in January
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) granted special leave for a hearing to be held by the later part of next Janua...

BTL nationalization case will be ruled on next year
In the last of the cases to be decided today before the CCJ panel, the Court considered an application for special ...

Belmopan Bus Terminal Street officially opened
The Belmopan Bus Terminal Street was officially opened this morning. A brief ceremony was held to officially declar...

MCC pitch left in appalling condition following weekend concert
President of the Football Federation of Belize Mr. Ruperto Vicente wrote a letter last week to Chairman of the Nati...

Delores Balderamos-Garcia objects to derogatory terms being used to describe sex-workers
Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Anthony Martinez presented a bil...

Elderly man dies after being knocked off his bicycle
An elderly man died after being knocked off his bicycle. The incident happened at about 8pm on Sunday between miles...

Man found hanging on Baking Pot Ferry
Police are investigating a death. On Saturday morning, at about 6:00am, police were called to the Baking Pot Ferry ...

Body discovered in Corozal
There was another body discovered, this time in Corozal. The body of 44 year old Hernan Lazaro was found floating i...

The Reporter

$23,000 fine for not resisting temptation! Bar owner charged for employing without valid permits
Raul Magaña, the owner of the well-known Temptation Bar, was fined $23,000 for employing 12 ladies who were not in possession of a valid working permit. Magaña, a resident of the New Site, Ladyville, area appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas to answer to 12 counts of employing persons not in possession of a valid working permit on Thursday, December 13. Immigration personnel conducted a sting operation on Temptation Bar, located at Mile 10 on the George Price Highway, the night before and rounded up 12 of his employees, who tried to run away when they saw the officers. Eventually all twelve were caught, charged and summoned to appear before Magistrate Adolph Lucas. Magaña arrived at court before his employees and pleaded guilty to the charges. It is alleged that all twelve persons were women and are identified as Magali Murillo, Damaris Morel, Jennifer Cruz, Jessica Lorena Zaldivar, Aleza Hernandez, Diyanira Moradiaga, Silvia Guzman, Kenya Marisela Villanueva, Kennia Zelaya, Rosemelin Suarez, Olinda Milian De Burstcheff, and Linda Lopez. In court Magaña explained that he had visited the Immigration Department to apply for permits but was unable to obtain them, as the department would not accept applications until January 2013.

More illegal rosewood in Toledo! Ministry of Agric’s tractor impounded
The Forestry Department has initiated an investigation into the discovery of two stashes of illegally harvested rosewood. On Wednesday evening, a team of officers from the Forestry and Police Departments and the BDF intercepted and seized a small stash of rosewood at Gomez Estate in Elridgeville Village, located a few miles from Punta Gorda Town.  At the scene, the joint team also found a Ministry of Agriculture registered tractor, which they suspect was used to transport the rosewood.  Five men who were at the scene were also taken into custody and are awaiting charges. On Sunday, another joint unit intercepted a large amount of harvested rosewood—a stash that disappeared from its storeroom only two days later. People’s National Party (PNP) leader and PG resident, Will Maheia, said, “[The sting operation] intercepted rosewood that was about to be transported out of the Boom Creek Road…the Forestry Department asked the police to stand by for the rest of the night to secure the rosewood…there’s got to be some kind of corruption somewhere because rosewood, as you know, is not something that is easily moved.

Two Fila Brasileiro dogs maul Hope Creek watchman to death 
A 66-year-old watchman of Hope Creek Village, was apparently mauled to death on his job site by two ferocious guard dogs, police reported Thursday. According the police, when they visited the Agricultural Development Service (ADS) compound at mile 9 ¼ around 7:00 am on Wednesday, December 12, they found the body of Clive Bernard Coe. Coe had what appeared to be abrasions and bite marks all over it, and there were two Fila Brasileiro breed dogs on either side of him. Superintendent of Police, Robert Mariano, told The Reporter that the two dogs, which were owned by ADS, were shot and killed earlier on Thursday. Mariano said that according to the police’s investigation, the dogs, which were used as watch dogs for the company, were around two years old, and that Coe had been caring for them since they were puppies. The Fila Brasileiro originated in Brazil and is believed to have been developed from a number of breeds, including the mastiff, the bulldog, and the bloodhound.

Low rainfall may force electricity rates to go up! BEL appeals to Public Utilities Commission
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) announces that the company is making a submission to the PUC to increase electricity rates to Belize consumers. BEL is saying that the Cost of Power has increased by more than 30 per cent above the PUC’s approved reference Cost of Power. This significant increase in Cost of Power has been occurring since July 2012 due to various challenges faced by the three largest Independent Power Producers that supply BEL with electricity, a company release states. BEL states that it is committed to do all within its control to meet its cost of power projections and seek ways to lower it even further. BEL will be working closely with the PUC in this regard and meetings on this matter have already commenced. BEL has said that the increase in costs in July 2012 was caused by low rainfall levels at the onset of the rainy season, which resulted in considerably lower hydroelectric production. This, coupled with production problems at Belize Cogeneration Energy Limited (Belcogen), has forced BEL to buy more power from Mexico, at an average cost of 42.9 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) compared to the PUC’s reference cost of 26.2 cents per kWh.

Oceana VS GOB: the battle rages on
The Government of Belize is trying to strike out the Oceana referendum case before it goes to trial, Oceana Vice-President Audrey Matura-Shepherd said Thursday. Shepherd explained that GoB has made an application to have the case struck out on the grounds that the applicants did not file for judicial review within the 14 days prescribed by law. She also said that when the parties went to court on Wednesday the matter had to be adjourned until next Thursday, because the judge did not have time to read a late submission made by GoB. Government has submitted that the court should rule in its favor and dismiss Oceana’s claim. The matter dates back to February of this year when Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai announced that 8,047 of the 20,160 signatures gathered by Oceana in its December 2011 referendum were rejected. In May Oceana filed notice that it would be seeking judicial review and in June that application was granted. The heart of GoB’s claim is that Oceana filed for judicial review on July 11, but should have done so by July 5.

Politics: the art of compromise
“In a world of complete concord—or overwhelming oppression—politics could not thrive, because disagreement would be either absent or obliterated. “We need to live politically because there is no general agreement about how the good things in life should be shared out; about who should have authority over whom, and how it is decided. … politics is war without bloodshed: a means of resolving conflict without recourse to violence. “The only common agreement, in a politically open society, is an agreement to tolerate difference, so politics is the art (or perhaps the science—views differ) of compromise.”—Ben Dupré. Politics is essentially the eternal debate about authority and distribution of resources. For the most part the conversation has been divided along the lines of the left-right political spectrum of “progressive” versus “conservative” view points and philosophies—with political institutions finding themselves somewhere between the two extremes. The right-winged school of conservative thought would argue that the role of government should be restricted. They advocate for less government regulations, while promoting the principles of individual responsibility and a preference for the private sector to provide most services. Those leaning towards right-wing ideals also traditionally demand fewer taxes and support curtailed non-defence-related government spending, among other things.

YWCA launches market outlet
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) has officially launched their market outlet at their headquarters on corner Freetown Rd. and St. Thomas street. As part of the YWCA’s Enhancing Economic Opportunities through Entrepreneurship and Market Development (EEOEM) program, the outlet will provide a place for women from the Cayo, Toledo, Stann Creek and Belize districts to sell their products. The outlet received funding from the European Union (EU), the Government of Australia and the US Embassy through the CARSI program, in collaboration with BELTRAIDE and the Ministry of Economic Development. The EEOEM project encourages rural women and youths to become small business owners and offers mentoring and technical support to help facilitate their business ventures. The project also offers training for those who want to hone a marketable skill for employment. Grants of up to BZ$20,000 are offered to those who submit good business proposal.

Creditors and Belize square off on restructuring agreement
Belize is now unlikely to reach a restructuring agreement with holders of its US$544m 2029 “superbond” after a 60-day standstill period expired with the country and its creditors still some distance apart. Creditors last week urged Belize to reconsider their restructuring proposals, noting that they have offered US$150m-plus in debt relief over the next 10 years versus the existing 2029s and have provided the government with enough flexibility to refinance at a later stage. This came in response to the country’s broad rejection of creditors’ counter-proposal to the sovereign’s own new plan to restructure its debt. Belize’s revised proposal includes a 40-year par bond with no principal reduction, a mortgage-style repayment, a 10-year grace period and a coupon that pays 2.75% during the first five years and 4.5% thereafter. Also on the table is a 30-year discount bond with a 33% principal reduction, a mortgage-style repayment, a five-year grace period and a coupon that pays 4.5% for the first five years and 6.75% thereafter. “While these improved on the scenarios presented in August, which asked for near-unprecedented levels of debt relief, the committee believes they are not yet close to acceptable burden-sharing or Belize’s own long-term interest,” the creditor committee said in a statement.

Venezuela’s Chavez in delicate state after surgery
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in delicate condition after his latest surgery for cancer, the government said on Wednesday in a somber assessment that may indicate an end to his 14-year leadership of the South American OPEC nation. Looking grave-faced in an address to the nation the day after Chavez’s six-hour operation in Cuba, Vice President Nicolas Maduro urged Venezuelans to unite in prayer for the 58-year-old president and keep faith he would return soon. “Yesterday’s operation was complex, difficult and delicate, so the post-operation process will also be a complex and tough process,” Maduro said, flanked by ministers who flew in to Caracas overnight after accompanying Chavez in Cuba. Chavez’s downturn opens gaping uncertainty about the future of his self-styled socialist revolution in a nation of 29 million people with the world’s largest oil reserves.

Guatemala deports McAfee to the U.S
After weeks on the run and after spending days in Guatemalan detention for illegal entry, American technology pioneer John McAfee arrived in Miami on Wednesday. He said he had no choice in the matter; that Guatemalan authorities expelled him to the United States and put him on a plane to a destination they determined. “I was whisked out of prison,” McAfee told CNN affiliate broadcaster WSVN in front of his South Beach hotel. “I was forcibly separated from Samantha, and now here I am.” Samantha Venegas is McAfee’s 20 year old girlfriend,, who can now decide to join him in Miami or return home to Belize.. .McAfee had been held for a week by immigration officials in Guatemala, where he surfaced after evading officials in Belize for nearly a month. McAfee’s lawyers managed to block an attempt to deport him back to Belize. Guatemala said on Wednesday it would deport McAfee, to his country of origin. McAfee had been held for a week by immigration officials in Guatemala, where he surfaced after evading officials in Belize for nearly a month. “Complying with migration law, Mr. John McAfee is to be deported to his country of origin,” said Fernando Lucero, a spokesman for Guatemala’s immigration office. Guatemala has been holding McAfee, 67, since he was arrested last Wednesday for illegally entering the country with his 20-year-old Belizean girlfriend. Police in Belize want to question McAfee as a “person of interest” in the killing of American Gregory Faull, his neighbor on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye.

Higher murder record in 2012, but police step up efforts for holiday season
With a little over two weeks remaining to bring in the New Year, the grim news coming out of the Police Department is that the official murder figures this year are at an all time high, Officer Commanding Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon said Monday, December 10.

Black Orchid aggravated burglary case dismissed
A case of aggravated burglary against 42-year-old Carlos Seguro, who is accused of robbing $39,000 worth of goods from the owners of Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom, was dismissed at the Magistrate’s Court on Monday, December 10. Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer dismissed the case because Douglas Thompson and his wife Karen Thompson, the resort’s owners, did not appear for the trial.

Testing for cervical cancer with vinegar
Cervical cancer used to kill more women in the United States than any other cancer. Today, deaths in the US are almost unheard of thanks to a decades-old test called a pap smear, which allows for early detection and treatment.

Healthy Christmas – Healthy weight!
One of the dominant images of Christmas is food. The mention of Christmas brings to mind Christmas lunch, Christmas dinner, work Christmas functions, Christmas drinks and other Christmas get-togethers. Christmas is not seen as a good time for anyone on a diet. It doesn’t matter if you are on a diet to lose weight, be healthy or deal with a disease, the range of food available at Christmas is intimidating for dieters.

Faith Nazarene boys win National Football Championship
The boys of the Faith Nazarene Primary School, the Cayo district champions, won the National Primary Schools Football Championships organized by the National Sports Council at the M.C.C. Grounds on Friday, December 7.

Belize Elementary girls win Natianal Football Championships
The girls of Belize Elementary School won the national primary schools football championships organized by the National Sports Council at the Institute of Technical, Vocational and Employment Training (ITVET) and at the M.C.C. grounds on Friday, December 7. The Belize Elementary girls won the championship final 3-1 in penalty shootout. The BES eleven, coached by Jose Palmiro Salas, held the Cayo district champions, the girls of Santa Elena Primary School, to a scoreless draw in regulation time.

Blogs

The 2012 Maya Winter Solstice “a New Beginning”
Ms Fleming said that Chaa Creek has been working throughout the year to help debunk the many doomsday scenarios populating the internet and popular culture, and this week will be the highpoint of those efforts. “It’s not a culmination, as our efforts to educate the world about this fascinating culture are ongoing. December 21 2012 is, however, a pinnacle of our year-long program to show the world the true face of Maya civilization and counter some of the ridiculous ways in which the May have been portrayed,” she said. Ms Fleming said films such as the Hollywood blockbuster “2012” did little to present a true picture of the Maya. “The ancient Maya weren’t some shadowy witch doctors predicting the end of the world with mumbo jumbo and weird incantations. Rather, they were astute scientists and astronomers who were at the forefront of many of history’s most notable achievements. “Many people don’t realise that the Maya had one of the first written languages, were some of the first people to make paper, conduct intricate heart and brain surgeries, discover the concept of zero, and calculate the movement of heavenly bodies with astounding precision. “Because their huge libraries were burnt by the Spanish Conquistadors hundreds of years ago and all evidence of their achievements virtually wiped out, we have scant information about them. But what we do know is simply amazing, and we expect research to reveal more,” Ms Fleming said.

The Blueprint for Ambergris Caye,Belize
With no work on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize yesterday I was denied my daily fix. Tried to substitute it with a look at the Sunset Boulevard project but , not unsurprisingly, didn’t get the same high. So am really pleased that the building site was ‘all action’ again today ( more about that later). From comments/ feedback I have received ( all welcome) I sense that a good number of regular readers ( and perhaps some infrequent readers too) have a keen interest in the more technical aspects of our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize. So – although not by popular demand – I thought I would let you have a look at the blueprints that Daniel and his team are working to. I will do my best ( memory fails me sometimes – either age or the heat, or a combination of both) to include the relevant blueprint at each stage of the build. In earlier editions I used a lot of words and perhaps even more photos when describing the piles required for our house. I never went into a lot of detail though as to what the dimensions of them should be nor where they had to be positioned . The blueprint below hopefully addresses my earlier oversight.

International Sources

Newly-freed and sharply-dressed: 'Penniless' fugitive John McAfee goes for a romantic stroll with a mystery woman days after returning to Florida
Anti-virus software tycoon John McAfee took a romantic stroll with a mystery woman in Miami over the weekend. Wearing a pinky ring and chatting on the phone, McAfee seemed relaxed, despite the fact he remains wanted for questioning over a death in Belize and faces a $5million lawsuit in Arizona. The 67-year-old claimed last week that he has no money or a home in the U.S. and that he was going to stay in Florida until his 20-year-old Belizean girlfriend could join him. But on Saturday McAfee walked arm in arm with an unknown companion near his boutique hotel in South Beach, Miami. He attended to some business on his cell phone before sitting down to a romantic meal with the woman. The software mogul usually updates his personal blog with pithy comments and tales of his international escapades on a regular basis.

Frolic Barefoot, But Don't Leave a Carbon Footprint
As the world’s most tourism-dependent region, with the sector accounting for one in every eight jobs, the Caribbean has much to fear from climate change.Three years ago, the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) signed a 1.8-million-dollar agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to enhance climate resilience in the tourism sector, and work towards designating the Caribbean a carbon neutral destination.Programme coordinator Earl Green told IPS said that the project’s main outcome is the development of a web-based carbon footprinting tool, which provides a common platform for development of tourism sector greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories in the region.“GHG inventories allow for baseline and future scenarios, which may be used for cross-country comparisons, (and) also represent a key step in planning for low carbon development in the tourism sector across the region,” he said.The programme was piloted in four countries - The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and Guyana – that the CCCCC said were chosen because of the strong support from the tourism industries in these countries and also the diversity of their product, including cruises in the Bahamas, scuba diving in Belize, small-scale ecotourism and cultural tourism in Guyana, and resorts in Tobago.

Kayaking the 'Cayes' of Belize
Belize isn't the crossroads of the world. And that's one of the reasons it's so great. It's a natural wonderland of wildlife-filled rainforest, thundering waterfalls, isolated coves and beaches, and hundreds of offshore "cayes" - small tropical islands ranging from 200 feet to 30 miles long, all protected by the world's second-longest barrier reef. On Belize, the way it was is the way it still is. This Central American country's natural assets have not been harmed by environmental degradation. The waters off the coast of Belize are an unbelievably-clear shade of turquoise, and they're filled with an astounding variety of marine life. As a result, the country's got one-of-a-kind spots that are so removed from civilization that you can practically call them your own. And some of these spots include ancient Mayan ruins.

Mayan Apocalypse 2012: A Visit To Tikal (PHOTOS)
The day I cross the border from Belize at Benque the man hawking newspapers from a moped in La Maquina is shouting into his bullhorn that John McAfee has been extradited to Miami. La Maquina is a small Guatemalan town and no one seems moved by the news, the narrative of a single man's bath salt-fueled insanity paling in comparison to a couple of frenetic millennia that saw the ambitions of the Maya empire written in stone then eroded by a tidal wave of Old World Catholic violence. The towns along CA13, which leads microbuses full of tourist to Tikal, sit in a rolling landscape cut into pieces by slash and burn farming. Men carry sacks of black beans on their backs and women carry laundry on their heads down to Lake Salpeten Macanche, which is on schedule to release its annual sulfurous burp in the next few weeks if dead fish are any indication. This is exactly the sort of country that tourists never go through in that it is poor, rural, full of gun-toting military types and inside Guatemala, a country that is gaining a reputation as Mexico's Mexico. Travelers wander through here because this is how to get to Tikal and, by God, people want to get to Tikal. The first thing I notice as our minivan drives up to the entrance to Parque Nacional Tikal is that the vaulted gate is profoundly reminiscent of Jurassic Park. The forest beyond is as well. As we buy passes no one will check from guards who look exhausted despite the fact it is just after nine in the morning, I watch a man with a distinctly Maya face slowly release a rope that allows a cantilevered weight to pivot the gate arm blocking our path. His eyes are narrowed and his stands with his weight held evenly between his feet. I'm certain I couldn't knock him over if I tried, not that I had any urge to do so. Looking up the two pyramids that dominate Tikal's Gran Plaza, it is impossible not to wonder how many men like the gatekeeper helped build this city, which dominated the region during the Maya's Classic period in around 300. The answer is, of course, lots. When it comes to archeology, estimates are expressed in ranges and when it comes to Tikal, the best estimates generally come at the top of the ranges. Miles of causeways once linked the clusters of temples and buildings here and may have penetrated deep into the forest.

Belize! It’s unBELIZEable! ;)
I finally crossed Cave tubing off of my bucket list! While in Belize last month I had the pleasure of zip lining(again) and cave tubing with one of the funniest guides I have ever come across! Which is a very good thing because had he been a bad guide, I probably would not have enjoyed the experience so much. Zip lining is what it is, you dangle by a harness & rope then fly through the trees. As far as I am concerned, you can’t ever go wrong with that. Cave tubing on the other hand, was not what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it was great and the hike to the starting point was breathtaking but I expecting it to be a lot more “exciting” and free. Instead it was VERY controlled and it had to be, considering that there were at least 150 of us there all trying to do the same thing, at the same time. We had to be put into groups of 8-10 and tied together(by our tubes) then we were released, one group at a time with the guide controlling the pace and direction the entire time. Needless to say, the the day dreams I had about floating down the river alone and stopping at my leisure “national geographic style” to explore with my headlamp were just that, daydreams.

MAYA HOMELAND IN BELIZE THREATENED BY AMERICAN OIL PROSPECTORS
US Capital Energy is preparing to drill for oil in an effort to exploit and export the rich geological resources of Belize for their own financial gain. To: Honourable Prime Minister Dean Barrow An international community of friends, allies and consumers of Belize tourism, agriculture and marine products want the governments of Belize and the United States to know that we are aware of the tenuous situation that is unfolding in the pristine cloud forest, ancient bog, and unique tropical wetlands of Southern Belize. 1. The sensitive ecological systems of Belize must be protected from damage by oil or other industry. 2. Belize’s burgeoning tourism industry must be protected from the negative impacts of oil development. 3. The environmental risks and environmental health consequences of oil or other mineral development must be factored in to the economic equation completely and comprehensively (including possible spills, leaks, and contamination).

Charity boxing match raises funds for conservation in Belize | Fauna & Flora International
British boxer Georgina Banton was fighting for the future of the natural world when she donned her gloves to raise funds for Belizean NGO, Ya’axché Conservation Trust. Ya’axché Conservation Trust (Fauna & Flora International’s partner NGO in Belize) has been committed to the conservation fight in southern Belize since 1997. It has won many battles such as successfully managing the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve and co-managing Bladen Nature Reserve with the Forest Department. However, the hardest battle to win for this Belizean organisation is the fight to achieve the financial stability that will allow it to continue managing the natural resources within its protected areas. But they are not alone in this fight, with committed supporters right by their side. One such supporter is Georgina Banton, an amateur British boxer who decided to dedicate her first fight to Ya’axché, helping to raise funds for the ranger team to conduct patrols of Bladen Nature Reserve and to collect biodiversity data on the resident fauna and flora.

From Bermuda to Belize: Small US businesses scope offshore locales
Fighting the cliche of the dot-com start-up that runs out of a basement, David Ward is living the dream. The 32-year-old web designer moved his one-man operation from Albany, New York, to the Cayman Islands last year. "My wife hates the winter. She wanted to be near a beach" said Ward, owner of Meticulosity, a support company for online retailers. He is not alone. American small business owners of all stripes--some relocating existing ventures and others starting new ones--are considering tax-friendly locales ranging from Bermuda to Belize. Relocation experts say the so-called "fiscal cliff" that threatens to end the Bush-era federal tax cuts at year-end may be fueling renewed interest. An estimated $11.5 trillion of funds is held offshore by individuals in tax-friendly jurisdictions, roughly five times the amount estimated by the World Bank in 2002, according to the Tax Justice Network, a coalition of researchers and activists that promotes tax transparency. "These tax havens begin to look fantastically attractive," said Bruce Hoch, managing director of DCG Corplan Consulting, a West Orange, New Jersey-based firm that assists private companies with relocation strategies and helps communities attract new business.

Immaculate Tomb: Exploring ATM
What an amazing article about Actun Tunichil Muknal at Gear Patrol! Definitely worth a read. And it's not a 'Crystal Maiden' anymore; the skeleton is that of a boy. "In the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve of Western Belize, late in 1989, Dr. Thomas Miller jumped into a tributary of the Roaring River and swam inside an unnamed cave’s vine-covered mouth. The American geologist wasn’t in pursuit of a lost Maya relic; he was there to study geomorphology: the formation of caves. What he found, however, led him to contact Dr. Jaime Awe, director of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, who recorded his findings in 1992. The cave’s twisting river, in places neck deep, wove underground to an elevated cavern filled with the skeletal remains of 16 human sacrifices, ranging from infants to mid-40-year-olds. And, in an upper, farther recess of the cave, a slender skeleton lay calcified to the cave floor amidst bat guano and predatory spiders."

McAfee: Why Belize Is Really Trying to Silence Me: Video
McAfee Assoc Founder John McAfee explains his situation and motives regarding the drama in Belize. He speaks on Bloomberg Television. (Source: Bloomberg) (RT @BloombergWest: .@officialmcafee is back on US soil.

Tips for Planning a Scuba Diving Trip – Ocean Enterprises Dive Blog
Many vacations are planned around sporting hobbies. The chance to dive in exotic locations with clear, warm water and colorful fish and big animals is something every scuba diver dreams about. With the life-changing experience divers get when diving in an exotic location, it’s no wonder that scuba diving trips are one of the most popular themed vacations of recent years. Ocean Enterprises specializes in worldwide dive travel and not only organizes many group trips each year to locations like Palau, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Bahamas, Mexico, and more, our travel expert Sherrie Murphy can also help travelers organize their own custom dive trip whether it’s for a family vacation, honeymoon, or just a quick getaway. Many options are available from liveaboard diving to resorts that offer beach dives and boat access to local reefs.


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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
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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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