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#456083 - 01/23/13 09:16 AM Today's Belize News: January 23, 2013
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Belize’s Jaguars make history in 2-1 win against Nicaragua
The Belize National Football Team gave a stellar performance in the Estadio Nacional de San Jose, Costa Rica late on Tuesday, January 22nd when it faced off against the Nicaraguan National Football team. In a stunning, last minute Trevor-Lennonfashion, Belize’s Jaguars took an impressive victory of 2-1 in its third game at the Central American Cup (UNCAF). This is the first time that Belize has won a game in the UNCAF, and the win has captured the attention of the football world. Many media houses were optimistic about the chances of Belize to do well, as there has been marked improvement in the quality of football displayed on the field. In the game against Nicaragua, Belizeans across the nation and abroad were glued to their TV’s and computer screens, anxious for a win to catapult Belize into the second round and into the history books. After 28 minutes, Trevor “Bruce” Lennon delivered, drawing first blood against Nicaragua with an impressive goal that put Belize in the lead for the first half. It certainly gave the Jaguars that boost of pride, and the Deon-Scoresdefense put up a valiant effort against the struggling Nicaraguan team. When the first half ended, it was still 1-0 in favor of Belize. Spirits were high, and upon the start of the second half, there were many attempts on the part of both teams, but it wasn’t until the 84th minute, six minutes before the end of the regular time that Nicaragua evened the game.

Ambergris Caye wins big with 2013 Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards
The results for the Trip Advisor’s 2013 Traveler’s Choice Awards are in, and once again, Belize received multiple awards and acknowledgements. With multiple stakeholders placing in the top tiers of the awards, Director of Tourism, Laura Esquivel-Frampton extends congratulations to all the awardees. Director Frampton says, “This is a testament to the hard work and dedication to the tourism product by our industry. The recognition awarded is truly deserved, and really helps to show how much we (Belize) pride ourselves on quality service. We are definitely leaps and bounds above the rest, and have surpassed most in our region and rank highly alongside some of the largest around the world.” Belize dominated in the categories of “Top 25 Small Hotels in Central America” and “Top 25 Hotels for Service in Central America.” The results are as follows:

Belize Forest Department Wildlife Officers receive training from ACES
American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) provided crash-course training for the Belize Forest and Fisheries Department (BFD) officers on Wednesday January 16th. Hampton Gamboa, Rasheeda Garcia, Judene Tingling and Jose Baki were taught proper methods of safely trapping and snaring crocodiles in the wild to remove them from populated areas. The American Crocodile is protected under the constitution of Belize and therefore it is considered illegal to feed, capture, or disturb crocodiles. It is also illegal to sell their remains or crocodile products. American crocodiles are endangered species with less than 10,000 still remaining and numbers dwindling due to poaching activity. With the large scale developments on Ambergris Caye, the crocodiles’ natural habitats are ever-shrinking, and the end result is crocodiles coming in close proximity to humans. The more humans interact with these animals, especially by feeding them (whether directly or indirectly), the more the crocodiles lose their fear of humans, and that can lead to unfortunate attacks on people. The fact is that many islanders continue to tamper with the remaining island crocodiles, in the process, placing themselves in danger and disturbing the life of the crocodile. No ACES trains Belize Forest Department Officers ACES trains Belize Forest Department Officers matter how used to humans a crocodile is, it is scientifically proven that these animals are apex predators and never lose their instinct to attack. As such, the training provided by ACES was invaluable, teaching the officers the proper method of the species’ removal while avoiding harm to the animal.

Ambergris Today

SAGA Benefit - Super Bowl Tailgate Party
Feliz Bar & Grill invites everyone to their Super Bowl Tailgate Party! Benefiting SAGA Humane Society! Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 4:00 p.m Feliz Bar & Grill located ½ Mile North of the Bridge at the Cloisters

Visiting Pampered Paws
I have noticed many people walking in and out of San Pedro’s biggest and most popular pet supply and service shop. This pet hot spot is called Pampered Paws and trust me it is the place for you and four legged friend to visit. On my visit I met with the proud owner, Kathy Marin (Dog behavior specialist, certified dog groomer and trainer). Kathy explained to me that she is happy to have the support and positive feedback from the community of San Pedro. I also was introduced to the fantastic staff, which are responsible for getting all pets pampered and looking sharp. The Pampered Paws team are ready to take on any task: grooming, baths, walking…you name it! I had such a great time watching all the pets getting pampered and most of all learning a thing or two on how to keep my pets healthy. If you are around, make sure to drop by even if it just to say hello.

Misc Belizean Sources

Full Moon Concert
Come and dance the night away under the moon with great music!

Biggy and Binjaz Birthday Pictures
Danny Chung got some great pictures at Biggy and Binjaz birthday party at Meluchi's. "These guys did it again! This may well be one of the BIGGEST Parties of the Year!! Happy Birthday again to Roberto Harrison and Jnl Hrsn!!"

Belize Defeats Nicaragua in Copa Centroamericana
Congratulations to the Belize Football team, in Costa Rica for the Copa Centroamericana, for winning against Nicaragua. That puts them in second place, after Costa Rica, with a 1-1-1 record. The top five leading teams in this tournament will qualify for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Yoga Retreat in Cayo
Leonardo Melendez captured some great moments in Cayo, and on the cayes, when 'Yoga Peach' had her 'New Beginnings at the Mayan Ruins' yoga retreat for the end of the Mayan calendar. They stayed at the luxurious Hidden Valley Inn, and did yoga at Cahal Pech and Xunantunich. They are planning another retreat for the last week in May, and once again, they'll be at HVI in Mountain Pine Ridge. "Join us May 24-30, 2-13 in Belize for our Yoga Adventure & Relaxation Retreat! Spend 3 days in the scenic Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and 3 days in the awe-inspiring island of Ambergris Caye. Reflect, restore and renew as you nourish the mind, body and spirit with relaxation, adventure, and yoga in one of the most beautiful and natural places on earth! Belize It is a world class destination for the naturalist and adventurer."

Flavors of Belize on Daytime TV
Flavors of Belize was highlighted on Daytime TV. More great exposure for Belize, its food, and its great culture. "Flavors of Belize had the wonderful opportunity of being hosted on Daytime TV on January 16th. Daytime TV, produced by River Bank Studios covers 85% percent of US household viewers, with a reach of 97.1 million homes across the United States and is syndicated in over 100 markets. The show aired today at 11am ET and we will be posting a copy as soon as it's available!"

Tostones are truly a bare pantry meal. With just green plantains, you can have a delicious snack or meal. Topped with cream cheese, this dish is scrumptious. The person who thought us to make this is originally from Nicaragua.

Channel 7

HISTORY; Belize Wins At Copa Ceontroamericana, Poised to Advance
Belizeans all across the country are overjoyed tonight - our National Football Team is poised to advance to the semifinals of the 2013 Copa Centroamericana being played in Costa Rica. That is after a dramatic, HISTORIC 2 to 1 victory over Nicaragua with a sensational goal in the 90th minute of today's Game with Nicaragua. The prolific striker Deon McAuley scored the go-ahead goal at the end of regulation, and you could feel a wave of joy sweep across the country as it went in. We'll look at the unforgettable goal again:.. For the record, Mcauley was the top striker in the entire world in the World Cup qualifiers in 2011. Travis Lennan scored the other goal for Belize in the 29th minute. And this is history, because today's win makes it the very first time Belize has won a match at the Copa Ceontraoamericana or as it used to be called, Concacaf Gold Cup. We had drawn four times - making this first victory even sweeter.

Man Murdered In Front Of Wife and Child
And while we're all riding a high off that historic win….sadly, there's still bad news to report tonight. Tonight another Belize City family is in the throes of devastating grief after a father and husband was executed in front of his home this morning. Lebanese Belizean businessman Majdi Agha was killed in front of his wife and young child at his home in a secluded residential area of the city's northside. It was another ruthless daylight execution, pulled off with impunity - and Daniel Ortiz was on the scene:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting 50 year-old Lebanese Belizean Majdi Agha was found dead in the drain in front of his home on Keating Crescent off Seashore Drive in the Buttonwood Bay area. According to residents, he had just returned home from dropping his daughter at school. He got out of his car, and as soon as he attempted to open his gate, a masked gunman - or, in this case, a hitman - suddenly appeared and shot him several times.

New FFB Executive Validated
As we told you at the top of the newscast - Belize beat Nicaragua this evening in dramatic fashion in the 2013 Copa Ceontroamercana. This means the team is poised to advance to the semifinals and unto the next qualifier the Gold Cup - which is a historic first. That's reason for all of us to celebrate, but none more than the news executive of the FFB - for whom this is the first major international showing. We spoke to Public Relations Officers for the FFB and they gave us a synopsis of what they thought of how the game was played and its importance:.. Luis Pena, PR Officer - FFB "The game was well played as you can see. The National Team selection for Belize played an exceptional game. We were up one nil and then we were draw and then again Deon Mcauley scored a goal in extra time, so this gives Belize a very good position to qualify for the Goal Cup." Reporter "This game itself, even if we do advance - it's a first for Belize isn't it?" Luis Pena, PR Officer - FFB "It's a first, its history in the making for Belize we are all excited. Now you have to watch the game at 8pm because Costa Rica and Guatemala will battle it out. Guatemala has a lot on the line now because if Guatemala loses or draws automatically Belize may advance."

BNTU Says GOB Union Busting
Tonight the Labour Unions are accusing Minister John Saldivar of attempted union busting. This is after the Belmopan Branch of the BNTU received an invitation from the Ministry of Education for select Belmopan schools to attend a meeting with Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar at the George Price Center tomorrow. They are advised to make Wednesday a half day for teachers so that they can attend in the afternoon. We spoke via telephone with the president of the Belmopan Branch of the BNTU who told us why the invitation was inappropriate and tantamount to union busting - which has been reinforced in a signed communiqué sent by the joint negotiating team. The branch president told us more:... Voice of: Corlan Galvez, BNTU President - Belmopan Branch "We from Belmopan saw it as something political. We decided that we are not going to attend this meeting because when we have our general meeting here in Belmopan we don't invite 8-10 schools, the meeting is for everybody. The discussion of the negotiation is for everybody in Belmopan - all the teachers in Belmopan, not 8,9,10 schools at all, everybody because for us we are wondering why Mr. Saldivar calling a meeting when he has no connections with the negotiation team from government side nor from the union side. Maybe if it was Patrick Faber having this meeting then we would have seen - maybe he had something to say, but what can John Saldivar tell us? They like to say that teachers always have holiday - now you would take us out of class to a meeting to talk about the bargaining agreement that we think you don't have any idea about because you have never negotiated with present negotiating team."

Joint Team Givers Their Version Of Why Union Can Afford Increments
The representatives of that joint team gave PLUS TV an interview in Belmopan this afternoon. First, the BNTU President Luke Palacio underscored why he feels it is union busting:.. Luke Palacio, President BNTU "This is an attempt at union busting. Belize National Teachers' Union, along with our joint negotiating team, has prepared a statement that has been sent out to the media, in which we are advising the teachers to boycott that meeting, either they stay at home, or they report to their regular place of work, during the time of the scheduled meeting. We see this as acting in bad faith. Every time we went to negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement, never was there a time when an Area Representative would have called constituents to discuss these matters. We believe that if the Government is serious about addressing this issue, they were given ample opportunity. By letters sent to the office of the Honorable Prime Minister asking his intervention at which time he had sent 3 ministers to participate in the negotiations and never was an area representative and in this particular case the Honorable John Saldivar ask to be a part of that team. We at the union are saying - we are not doing anything illegal, we are legally registered bodies; the 3 unions that are negotiating. This is a part of industrial relations and we expect to operate in an atmosphere of good industrial relations and so we condemn this act and we strongly advise our teachers not to participate in tomorrow's meeting."

A History of Violence
As we told you earlier, the Unions have flared up at what they call an attempt at Union busting by the government. With this fresh infusion of bad blood and the allegation of union busting - the stage is set for a mass teachers' demonstration a week from today in Belmopan. We'll be there in our customary position on the frontline. That frontline is not always a friendly space - particularly in the last 12 years when many times the idea of a peaceful protest has fractured into violence. Jules Vasquez has been on the frontline for nearly all this events - and tonight he looks back at the history of violence from April of 2001 in Orange Walk to January of 2013 on Basra Street. Here's his report:..

Flavours Goes International
The Flavours of Belize Cookbook was launched in September of last year - and since then, the publisher Tanya McNab has been pushing her product wherever she can. You've seen her on this newscast and other media outlets more than a few times - but now, she's taken her show on the road. McNab recently appeared on a morning show in Tampa Florida - and she told us about the experience and the exposure.

Channel 5

Belize wins against Nicaragua Copa Centro Americana
Copa Centro Americana has been an experience for National Selection A Team as the competition has been anything but easy. In the first game versus Costa Rica, team Belize lost, in a one to zero game. The second game against Guatemala ended in a draw making the third game to be played against Nicaragua a [...]

Well-known Belize City businessman murdered
After a two week reprieve in gun violence, there was an execution style murder this morning in the City. Majdi Agha, the well-known owner of the King Kabab restaurant was gunned down as he and his family returned home from a doctor’s appointment. In the past three months, three Lebanese nationals have been murdered in [...]

2 detained for murder of Maskall villager
  Two persons have been detained in connection with the murder of an elderly man in Maskall Village. Sometime between ten a.m. and twelve-thirty p.m. on Saturday, sixty year old Ervin Morales was murdered inside his bedroom. The discovery was made by a neighbor after being alerted that Morales had not showed up for lunch [...]

Saldivar closes schools to force teachers to meeting
What does the Minister of National Security have to do with the salary adjustments that teacher’s have been pressing for over the past years? We don’t know either but John Saldivar has successfully lobbied the Ministry of Education to cancel classes in the nation’s capital on Wednesday afternoon so he can meet with teachers who [...]

Unions call Saldivar and G.O.B. actions union busting
While News Five spoke to the president of the Belmopan branch, the national President of the B.N.T.U. Luke Palacio was in a session with the President of the Public Service Union Marilyn Blades and the President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers Jose Castellanos. This meeting also took place in the capital. The [...]

UB Student Government resists increased fees
The planned demonstration and possible strike are not the only issues facing the Ministry of Education. The Association of Student Governments of the University of Belize is resisting a cut in government subsidies to the university which means that registration fees for new students stand to go up. The association has written to Minister Faber [...]

Do you agree with the unions that government is attempting to union bust?
With violence so prevalent in daily newscasts, there is a sense in some quarters that television images of the bodies and the accompanied bloodbath, contribute to the trauma of society.  Last week we asked, should the media censor coverage of gang related murders or violent crime? It was an extremely close call among those who [...]

Will football team make it to the next round?
You may have held your breath to see Belize put in that second goal at the absolute end of tonight’s game. But you may have to hold it just a bit longer. There is one more hurdle to overcome before we advance. And according to Luis Pena, the Public Relations Officer for the Football Federation [...]

Film crew injured as coastguard vessel hits barge
As we said earlier, there was an accident on the sea over the weekend. It involved a film crew, the Belize Coastguard and a semi-submerged barge. A few of the people on board the Coastguard’s Boston Whaler were injured and according to Lieutenant Commander Elton Bennett, the cause of the accident is being investigated.   [...]

Mahogany Heights without potable water
In our newscast on Mondays night, you heard the cries of the villagers of Santa Martha on the Old Northern Highway, about life without water. Today we re-visit Mahogany Heights, a community on the George Price Highway which has also been without tap water since last year. The problems with the supply of water, echoed [...]

Hit a lady with a baby
A Belize City postal clerk, twenty-eight year old Warren Anthony of Lemonal Village is charged with harm upon his common-law-wife and for damage to property. Anthony’s common-law-wife, Shakira Reynolds complained that she was hit in the right eye while holding her one year old child. The incident occurred a few days ago and on Monday, [...]

Belize Bank’s Sky Branch near International Airport
Residents in the Ladyville area including Lord’s Bank, the Japan Area and neighboring villages will now be able to access services offered by the Belize Bank at its newly open Sky Branch near the cut-off to the Phillip Goldson International Airport. The branch which was formerly at the P.G.I.A. was relocated on Monday to its [...]

Still in season – Flavors of Belize
Belizean publisher Tanya McNab, renowned for her bestselling cookbook Flavors of Belize, was recently featured in the international media where exposure for the publication was broadcasted to approximately ninety-seven million homes across America.  Tanya, a local culinary enthusiast, appeared on Daytime TV, a syndicated show hosted by Cyndi Edwards on WFLA News Channel 8 in [...]


Education Campaign on ICJ Referendum Launches Tomorrow
The public launch of the education campaign on the ICJ referendum is set to take place tomorrow in Belize City. According to a government statement, the public awareness campaign will be launched during a ceremony at the Radisson Hotel. Guest speaker at the launch will be P...

Arab Businessman Killed Infront His Home
The murder scourge has reached double digits just 22 days into 2013 as today, yet another man was gunned down in Belize City. The incident happened at ten minutes to nine this morning on the city’s north side, on Keating Crescent in the Buttonwood Bay area. Our camera...

Government Accused of Union Busting
The unions are accusing government of union-busting. This follows an announcement that the Ministry of Education has given the okay for half day classes on Wednesday to facilitate a meeting with teachers in Belmopan. The government’s negotiating team is due to meet with the...

Activist Plans Crime Protest for Friday
In 2012 Belize saw its share of stand ups against crime in the form of peaceful demonstrations. People vented their frustrations, the sadness and dissatisfaction with the way the crime situation in Belize was headed and by the end of the year, there was a record number of murders...

Postal Clerk Attacks Ex-Girlfriend
Twenty-eight year old postal clerk Warren Anthony, a resident of Lemonal Village, was charged with damage to property and harm when he appeared in court. Anthony pled not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of $1,500.00 and his case was adjourned until March 25. The ...


Workshop Held For Refrigeration And Air Conditioning Technicians
The National Ozone Unit in the Department of the Environment, in collaboration with the Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians of Belize, today held a workshop at the ITVET Conference Room in Orange Walk. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians were present to take part of this workshop which was free of cost and necessary to prepare those who felt they needed some more theory in efforts to pass the examination for licensing. The licensing is necessary since the Refrigeration Technicians Licensing Act 2010 requires that all technicians be licensed and registered. Hernan Hernandez, Inter-President of the Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians told us more. “It has come to our attention that the material in our syllabus is too heavy over the head of our technicians so we design a series of workshop that we revisit the syllabus that go over it and that when they are done they should be comfortable and sit down their exam to their category and feel that they are going to pass.” A second workshop is scheduled for March and will be a continuation of today’s informative session. Hernandez says that the workshop will come at a small fee for those who wish to attend.

Corozal Police Investigate Robbery
And while Johnson recovers from his injuries, a woman from Concepcion Village in the Corozal District is nursing some minor scrapes and bruises. According to the official police report, twenty-nine year old Maria Juliano from Concepcion Village, a Belizean Businesswoman, was walking by Diamond Restaurant in Belmopan City sometime around 7:30 the evening of Sunday, January 20th, when she was held up by a dark complexion male. Juliano told officers that the dark complexion male approached her from the opposite direction where he pulled out a knife and demanded she hand over her purse. Juliano didn’t give it up that easily and a struggle ensued where the male person eventually managed to rip away her black and brown leather purse. Juliano reported that in the purse she was carrying a little over $4,000 Belize, in different denominations packed within a white envelope along with other personal documents. Belmopan police are asking anyone with information into this robbery to please assist as they continue their investigation.

Belize Celebrates First International Victory
History was made this evening in Costa Rica as Team Belize, the National A-Selection, won its first ever Central American match in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. Belize faced off against Nicaragua in their third match of the first round of the tournament. Belize had lost their opener against the host team Costa Rica and drew a zero zero draw with Guatemala on Sunday. The historical part of this match is that Belize did not score one, but two goals against Nicaragua’s A-selection. The first goal came off of a heel pass to Trevor Lenon who fired a right foot shoot outside of the box straight into the right hand upper corner of the back of the Nicaraguan goal putting Belize up one to nothing at the twenty-eight minute of the first half. With that, Belize buckled down and defended that goal dropping eight defenders to the back. At the end of the first half, Belize had held on to its one to nothing lead. The second half started just as the first half had ended, with Belize putting defensive pressure to hold on to the one to nothing lead and hoping for a counter strike that would give them their second goal of the match and sealing the victory. The boys in red defended as much as they could but the equalizer for Nicaragua came in the ninety-second minute of play when Daniel Figueroa, Nicaragua’s go to guy fired a left foot shoot from within the box which got passed Woodrow Wilson West. With that, it felt as if the wind was knocked out of every Belizean that was following the game around the world.

Caledonia Resident Charged For Stealing From Hon. Edmond Castro
One man who has been living most of his life in Caledonia Village of the Corozal District, is tonight behind bars at the Central Prison for charges of theft. According a report made by Hon. Edmund Castro, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport and Belize Rural North Area, he has been robbed of almost $50,000 worth in equipment. Castro alleges that sometime between October 1st and December 30th of 2012, his bulldozer which had been parked on the Bomba Road was stripped of many of its key components. The pillaging of the bulldozer parts amounted to $49,884 which Castro alleges were sold off as spare parts. Belize began to investigate this report of theft and all their information led them to a house in Ladyville Village where they recovered almost all of the items. Present at the time of the discovery was forty-nine year old Oscar Hernandez, Nicaraguan National. Hernandez was arrested and charged for the crime of theft and police prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds of Hernandez being a flight risk. Magistrate Dale Cayetano accepted the no bail submission and remanded Hernandez to the Central Prison until his next court date. Hernandez is set to reappear in Magistrate’s Court on April 1, 2013.

Bee Producers Make Strong Accusations Against Fruta Bomba
Many of us enjoy morning pancakes with a touch of honey or a lot of honey. Many of our elderly enjoy a nice warm cup of tea with honey in it as well. In these times of changing weather, many self-medicating individuals will take a spoonful of honey with lime and garlic so as to clear up a sore throat. Well, all of these and many more different uses for honey are currently at risk for the consumers of honey from the Northern Bees Cooperative. For almost a year now, the bee keepers have been in a constant battle to safe guard their little friends and livelihood producers, the bees. Allegations have been cast by members of the cooperative against Fruta Bomba Limited in relation to the harmful use of certain pesticides. Our news team caught up with the bee producers and spoke to them about the amount of bees that have died and the amount of revenues they have lost. Here’s that report. In the animal kingdom, they are referred to as social animals but that doesn’t mean they are friendly. Bees are social because they do things together: move as one, attack as one and yes, make honey as one. Even though Belizeans would never want to be swarmed by bees, making money from the honey they produce is the way to go. That is exactly what the Northern Bees Cooperatives in the Corozal district have been doing for years preparing apiaries and harvesting drums of the nectar these buzzing bees produce

Shots Fired In San Pedro, One Man Injured
A man from the island of San Pedro is still recovering after receiving several gunshot wounds to his body. Twenty-two year old Arquel Johnson reported to San Pedro Police that sometime around 11:30 the night of Saturday, January 19th, he was on his way home after an afternoon out in the town. Johnson told police that when he was passing the Airstrip area, he was approached by one Clifford Galvez. The interaction between both men grew tense and ended with an altercation. Galvez managed to quickly get away from Johnson but only to return a few minutes later with what Johnson described to be a .38 revolver. Galvez fired several shots at Johnson of which a few managed to hit their mark. Johnson sustained gunshot wounds to his left upper arm and managed to get away avoiding further injury. Galvez was quickly transported to the San Pedro Polyclinic and then to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City for further medical attention. Quick police response lead to the apprehension of Clifford Galvez and the recovery of the .38 revolver used in the shooting. Doctors have classified Johnson’s injury as wounding and San Pedro police continue their investigations into this shooting.


Maskall villager found murdered in his home
The village of Maskall in the Belize district is as quiet a rural community as there can be in Belize. But tonight the peaceful-style country living of the village’s residents has been disturbed after one of their own was found murdered in his home. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

PM hosts press conference to give update on super bond renegotiation process
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today hosted a press conference to update the nation on the progress of the renegotiation of Belize’s external debt, commonly referred to as the super bond. Last December, the Prime Minister announced that agreement has been reached in principle and that the details of the restructured super bond would be made public in the coming weeks. Today, while he still did not release the details, the Prime Minister announced that the general terms have been agreed with the creditor committee representing the bondholders; but that some minor details, such as the legal language remain outstanding. The co-chair of the Creditor Committee, A.J. Mediratta of the firm of Greylock similarly could not release details of the new super bond agreement, but said Belizeans and the bondholders he represent, will be happy with the new deal. And while that is the current state of affairs where the super bond is concerned, the trade unions are eagerly anticipating the details of the final agreement as they have reached a critical point in their negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement with government. The sticking point right now is the issue of a salary increase for public officers and teachers. Government’s lead representative on the ministerial sub-committee, went on record on Friday saying that government just does not have any money to give public officers and teachers the proposed salary increase. Today, the Prime Minister confirmed that assessment, saying that while the new super bond deal will result in huge savings for the national treasury, it does not signal government’s ability to honor a pay increase right now.

Aggravated burglary reported in Belmopan
A woman and her children were the victims of an aggravated burglary on Friday. Our Cayo correspondent, Fem Cruz has the details.

NTUCB says it is in solidarity with affiliates in salary dispute
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize today issued a statement saying it stands in complete solidarity with the three of its affiliates in the stand they have taken relating to the current status of the negotiation of the Collective Bargaining agreement. On the issue of the proposal for a salary increase, which is the sticking point right now, the NTUCB statement takes issue with what the umbrella organization calls the derailment of the process by the government side. Lead member of the ministerial sub-committee Patrick Faber, last week told the media that government is not now in a position to agree on a salary adjustment because there simply is no money to support such a move. The NTUCB statement says, quote: “in light of such revelation, the NTUCB wishes to register its complete denouncement of such a stand by the official/GOB side and urge them to suggest workable compromise solutions for a negotiated settlement,” end of quote. Dylan Reneau is the president of the NTUCB. The NTUCB statement goes on the say that while government has attempted to stave off tax increases, the working middle class has been bearing the brunt of sustaining Belize’s economy. NTUCB also points out that the recent increase in electricity rates and the high cost of fuel are increases that the workers of the nation will have to bear.

Training in organic farming held in Toledo
Training sessions in organic gardening were held this weekend in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Water shortage sparks protest in Santa Martha village
After almost six months without consistent supply of water the residents of Santa Martha Village have had enough and have taken a stand. Our Orange Walk Bureau Chief Manuela Ayuso Cantun reports.

Bee keepers in the north facing challenges
Honey production in Belize is a small industry. While efforts are made by beekeepers as well as the agriculture department to grow this sector of agriculture, some members of the Northern Beekeepers Cooperative are facing challenges with another stakeholder in the agriculture business. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the details.

UB Student governent writes to Education Minister
The Association of Student Government of the University of Belize has written to Minister of Education Patrick Faber. The Association is requesting that Minister Faber reconsiders the position in discontinuing the subsidizing of school fees for incoming students of the University. In its letter the Association is asking for an immediate meeting with the Minister to discuss the issue. They issued a Thursday January 24 deadline for the meeting or a change in position.


Belize's first victory ever in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana
Today will go down in Football as History for Belize. The decisive football match between Belize and Nicaragua kick...

Lebanese businessman shot and killed in Belize City
Belize City's latest murder took place this morning. Belize City Police are investigating a shooting incident that ...

Joint negotiation team for unions saying union busting being tried by Government
The PSU, BNTU, APSSM met in Belmopan today to further discuss their strategy in moving forward in the negotiations....

Simultaneous referendum with Guatemala has been set
The date for the simultaneous Referendum in Belize and Guatemala to determine if both countries should take their t...

Negotiations on the superbond payments are nearing an agreement.
Yesterday, the Prime minister called a press briefing to say that negotiations on the superbond payments are nearin...

UDP First Deputy Gaspar Vega says he has PM's support
Last week we brought you UDP Chairman Patrick Faber making his pitch to be UDP First Deputy Leader. Following yeste...

Jian Xiong He allowed his patrons to drink liquor at Vin Li Shop
It is a rare charge that we don’t hear of very often but one Chinese grocer who police say allowed his patrons to d...

24 year-old Haley Cattouse convicted and fined for Drug Trafficking
A woman was fined ten thousand dollars for drug trafficking. 24 year-old Haley Cattouse was convicted and fined yes...

Shares in New World Oil and Gas drop over 10%
Shares in New World Oil and Gas slipped more than 10% as it announced that the rate of drilling in its Blue Creek #...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker’s NEW BTIA Website
Check out the new Caye Caulker BTIA Website! Members kindly review your information and for changes email at cayecaulkerbtia@gmail.com.

Caye Caulker Go Slow in Fast Forward
The editor and owner of Ambergris Today, Dorian Nuñez along with his friend, Delsie Graniel spent their weekend on La Isla Cariñosa and to the looks of it, they had lots of fun. Check out the video!!!


Belizeans want a win... Contrary to the grossly erroneous propaganda on the FFB website in years past, football is and has been, from “way back when”, the national sport of Belize. Why Belizean football has staggered in progress, while the rest of Central America and the Caribbean, against whom we were very competitive in the 30’s and 40’s and 50’s of the previous century, have made great progress, is a long story that involves years of shortsightedness, corruption and betrayal at the highest level of the sport in Belize. But that is behind us, and we are steadily moving forward now. Be that as it may, Belizean fans are nevertheless very hard to please, especially some past footballers from that long gone era. They know what we are supposed to be capable of; and therefore they drive a very hard bargain in assessing the performance of our national team. To most fans who are aware of our recent record in the UNCAF Nations Cup, our 1-nil loss to Costa Rica on Friday was a great achievement, a huge improvement over our last meeting when it was 7-nil, and therefore cause for some celebration. But to the few hard liners, “they played a bucket of s___;” “they can’t even hold the ball;” “they hardly threatened their opponent’s goal;” etc, etc.

Pay raise “a complete financial impossibility”: PM Dean Barrow... Teachers will demonstrate on Tuesday, January 29 Last Thursday afternoon, January 17, The Belize District branch of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) held a meeting at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall, which was attended by over 500 teachers. The branch voted overwhelmingly, by secret ballot, that they would suspend classes on Tuesday, January 29, to travel to Belmopan to protest outside the weekly Cabinet meeting, against the lack of progress in their salary increase talks. The Branch president, Kathleen Flowers, said that the joint negotiating team had been meeting with GOB for the past two years for a salary increase, in addition to other benefits, but to no avail. At the time of the Belize District branch meeting, all the various branches of the union also held meetings and voted on a plan of action. All these decisions will be sent to the National President, Luke Palacio, and he and his Council of Management will then decide which way the wind will blow, and further industrial action has not been ruled out. Today, after his press conference about the Super Bond at the Biltmore Hotel, Prime Minister Dean Barrow let the teachers, and the nation, know which way his wind will blow.

The deal isn’t done, but “it’s close to finality” — within a couple weeks. Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference today, Monday, January 21, to provide an update on the current status of the Superbond. The PM said that he was still unable to give details on the economic terms of the Superbond until another week or two, but he did address the current estimates in cash flow savings that are anticipated. “The Superbond restructuring negotiating team has reached a support agreement with the committee representing the Superbond holders… we continue to try to work through the outstanding issue and to bring finality to the process,” Barrow stated. The PM said that the general economic terms of the restructuring have been agreed. There are one or two minor issues that stand, but those issues “don’t do any violence one way or the other” to the restructuring, he explained. “While I can’t say to you this afternoon that the deal is done, I can tell you that we’re so close to finality that we expect to launch the exchange offer within the next week or two,” he said. “Until we can do that and of course when we do that there will be full and complete disclosure but until we do that — because of the sensitivity of market trading, because we have to be careful that we don’t run afoul of SEC regulations, because we don’t want to give anybody an unfair lever with respect to the trading in the bond — I still cannot give you the full particulars of the economic terms I have said to you we have agreed,” Barrow went on to say.

A 60-year-old epileptic was found murdered in his Maskall home around 1:00 Saturday afternoon. Ervin Fitzroy Morales, a long-time resident of Maskall village, was discovered with chop and stab wounds to his neck, back and head. Our reports are that he was chopped and stabbed about nine times. His neighbor who everyday cooks for him told police she became worried when he did not come for his breakfast that Saturday morning, or for his dinner at noon. She feared that he had suffered a bout of epilepsy and was stricken at home. Neighbors told police that when they went to his house, they discovered him with chop wounds, and wrapped in a blanket. Police say there were no signs of forced entry.

Editorial: BIG UP OUR BOYS
About 45 years ago Belize’s young ladies burst on the regional softball scene and heaped glory on themselves and the country of Belize. In 1974 our ladies won gold at the Central America and Caribbean Games in Santo Domingo, and in 1978 they actually defeated the mighty United States in head-to-head competition. During that decade of glory, our young men were not involved in organized regional and international competition in football and basketball, and our young men fell behind. Remember, Belize was not a member of FIFA, because we were not an independent country, and when our football champions hosted Honduras’ Platence here at the MCC Grounds, we were humiliated, 9-0. A few years later, our young men were humiliated in basketball by Puerto Rico in Medellin, Colombia. At this newspaper, quite young at the time, we were voices crying in the wilderness when we complained of the disparity between the triumphs of our young ladies in softball and the struggles of our young men in football and basketball. Between 1995 and 1998, after semi-professionalism had been introduced into both football and basketball, our young men experienced regional vindication in football, through Juventus of Orange Walk, and in basketball by way of the national basketball team in the 1998 CARICOM tournament and the Central American and Caribbean Games.

Because of different incidents of violence which made the headline news in the first week and a half of the New Year, there was occasioned a mood of ethnic tension in Belize City worse than I have ever seen. Thankfully, that tension eased after a few days, and today, Sunday, January 20, 2013, things are pretty much back to normal. Over there in Asia, there is a history which is an interesting study for those nation-states with diverse populations. India and Pakistan, which are both nuclear powers today and are frequently on the verge of going to war with each other, were once one country, known as India. Up until the time of World War II, India was a British “possession.” But, Mahatma Gandhi’s anti-colonial leadership surged in power in the years immediately after World War II. So, the British prepared to grant independence. There was a problem in India, however, and the problem was religion. Because of religion, India became independent in 1947 as two nations instead of one – Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. And there was a bloodbath which took place. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus and Muslims were killed in fighting along the borderline. And in too many other communities, Hindus in India massacred minority Muslim families, while in Pakistan, Muslim majorities slaughtered minority Hindu families.



A Tale of Five Cities: Visiting the Palenque Maya Ruins (Part 2)
Here are the remaining temples and other structures we visited, photographed, and climbed up on our visit to the Palenque archaeological site in Chiapas, Mexico in December of 2012. Temple of the Count. It was so incredibly peaceful in this wooded part of the site, with few other tourists around.... Temple of the Inscriptions. This was one of the very few structures that we were not allowed to climb up. Just as well, my quads were absolutely SCREAMING by about 3/4 through this day, and would be sore for days after. And I thought riding my bike everywhere would be enough "training". Nope! Barry was smart and trained by doing multiple stair climbs in our condo building prior to the trip and thus did not suffer like I did.

Up Coming Saga Cook-off and Super Bowl Tailgate Party
Hi all it is Saga cook-off time again. If you are in town and want to do a great fundraising party, check out the January Cook-off tomorrow night [Jan 23rd] 6:00pm at at Bistro Mestizo on . This months theme is appetizers and I am sure that the entry selection will be incredible as always. Money raised from this monthly event goes towards Saga Humane Society and helping provide much need care for man island animals. If you are unable to attend the cook off and would like to make a donation to Saga or a contribution to humane society wish list, please contact Katia Marin pamperedpawsbz@live.com

GingerScoop: A Sunset Cruise on the Lady Leslie
As a cold front has hit San Pedro (it is a wopping 68 degrees outside) and I sit here drinking my hot tea with a box of Kleenex, I figured I would reminisce about a fantastic trip I took a few weeks ago (when it was nice and warm). I was invited to join in on a sunset cruise on the Lady Leslie. Knowing I was in for a treat, I could not resist. The Lady Leslie is a spacious catamaran that is known for it’s delicious food and wonderful service. And the bean bag chairs on the front of the cat, a nice added touch. Most of the passengers I had met before, but here is a couple that “crashed” the party. They fit right in by the end of the trip. The Lady Leslie is captained by Martin and the skippers are Ricky (son-in-law) and Jody (his son). Here is Jody giving us our instructions for the evening: “Keep your arms and legs inside the boat at all times….drink plenty of rum….and you must have a good time”. Yes….the Captain is Martin and a skipper is Ricky….they did not make that up. I was truly looking forward to the food, as they roll fresh sushi on the cruise! Yes, fresh sushi. But in the meantime, I consumed quite a few horny monkeys. They tend to get me in trouble. What is a horny monkey you ask? Horny monkey=an amazing mixture of rum punch and panty ripper. Who comes up with these names?

Madre de Cacao – A Simple & Elegant Tree
Common names: Mata Ratón; Cacao de nance, Cachanance, it is commonly known as “Madreado” in Honduras; Kakawate in the Philippines; Madre Cacao or Madre de Cacao in the Philippines, Belize and Guatemala; and Madero negro in Nicaragua. Madre de Cacao is nitrogen-fixing tree that can grow from 10 to 12 meters high. The tree is referred by many people as a quick-stick due to the characteristic of growing almost right away just by cutting it and directly planting it in the ground. Adaptable to almost any soil environment including infertile soils, the tree is tolerant to salt spray and water logging and it can also tolerate drought for up to 6 to 8 months. This tree can be potentially weedy, but rarely causes a problem. Its ubiquitous characteristic makes it good alternative for feeds due to its availability in almost at all areas in the country. In many tropical and sub tropical countries, the tree is used for various purposes such as live fencing, fodder, coffee shade, firewood, green manure and rat poison. The tree can also be used for medicinal and insect repellant properties. Farmers in Latin America for example often wash their livestock with a paste made of crushed leaves to ward off torsalos, a common parasite on cattle and deer. In the Philippines, the extract obtained from its leaves is used to remove external parasites.

Here Comes the Rain Again
Since starting this blog I have received quite a few comments about how basic, may be even primitive, the building techniques are. Well, if you want to see primitive building techniques in action take five minutes to look at ‘House Building Mayan Style. Compared to this the techniques for our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize look absolutely modern.’ Rose and I spent most of the morning on our computers communicating with family and friends in the UK and taking care of administrative matters. This done we had lunch and prepared for an afternoon visit to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and set off around 2.15 pm. We hadn’t travelled too far when we felt spots of rain so we decided to stop off and pop into the Harmouche Hardware store in Pescador Drive to look at the door knob range – we have to choose these for our new home. There was a reasonable range on display but nothing that really took our fancy. When we came out of the store we saw that the heavens had opened and it was absolutely bucketing down ( English expression for pouring down). Only attired in our usual T shirt and shorts we elected to shelter under the canopy for a while in the hope that the rain would pass.

Ms. June Heusner- Making a difference
Belize is faced with the most turmoil I can remember since Independence. Some people have predicted a dire future for our youths and country. Sometimes it may appear in the backdrop of a diminished economic climate, wavering values, corruption and a failing justice system the future seems uncertain. However, as long as there is life there is hope. There are people who are fighting for Belize. There are grass root activists in our communities whose work goes unnoticed, unappreciated or under-appreciated. This month on Twocanview, I want to highlight an unsung Belizean hero, a fighter, an advocate, a mother, grandmother, godmother and second mother to many people who have the opportunity to know her. I would like to introduce you to Ms. June Heusner. A woman I admire immensely and have adopted as my second mother. A woman ions ahead of her time, a trailblazer in her own right. Ms. June, as she is affectionately known, has that special something. She is a Belizean patriot, She has a passionate love for Belize, she is genuine, she is a fighter and she believes in her causes. She is a community leader, she is respected by just about everyone in my generation and almost every resident of Belmopan has encountered Ms. June Heusner through her many hats she has worn throughout the years. If you are not from Belmopan, you probably have never heard of Ms. June Heusner. A very jovial, caring, passionate soul; a single mother who successfully raised four daughters on her own and a political secret weapon for the United Democratic Party in Belmopan. Ms. June was not always the community activist. She was a secretary in the Public Service and a young single mother with 3 daughters. She recalls being a card holding member of the PUP in her teenage years but defected during Heads of Agreement of 1981. Her decision to take a moral and patriotic stand during time and protest the controversial agreement cost Ms. June her job, some associates and friends in Belmopan, a predominantly conservative public service community. It was brave of her to step outside her comfort zone, risk her job security, friends, and future to fight for what she deeply believed in. That moment in Belize’s history sparked something in Ms. June that lives today. Today Belizeans may be faced with a similar quandary with the ICJ vote.

#456084 - 01/23/13 09:17 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 23, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

International Sources

Belize wins first-ever Copa Centro game
Belize won its first-ever game at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana and grabbed the inside track on an automatic berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Nicaragua on Tuesday at the Estadio Nacional. The scoreboard was opened against the run of play in the 29th minute, when Midfielder Trevor Lennen ran onto a ball at the top of the box, and rifled a shot into the back of the net that Nicaraguan goalkeeper Denis Espinoza could do little about. Nicaragua continued to press, but it was Belize that nearly extended its lead two minutes before the half. Harrison Rochez shot strongly from the top of the box, but his drive was denied by a diving Espinoza, and Lennen's follow up shot rolled just wide of the Nicaraguan goal, sending the game to halftime with Belize up one. In the second half, Nicaragua upped the pressure even more, pushing for the tying goal that would keep its quest alive to qualify for the Gold Cup. But they were denied time and time again by Belize's superb goalkeeper Woodrow West. In the 70th minute, team captain David Solorzano put Belize on notice, placing a free kick just high from 20 yards. The stage was set for a dramatic finish, and it wasn't until the 85th minute that Nicaragua finally broke through. A long ball was settled skillfully in the box by Felix Rodriguez, who cut back for Elvis Figueroa. The 24-year-old pounced on the bounding ball and slammed the equalizer past West.

Inescapable calm
The relaxation police will bust you for being in any kind of hurry on this Belizean isle... On this island off the Caribbean coast of Belize, you'll hear it almost as soon as you step off the water taxi dock: "Go slow." Stride too purposefully down a sandy street, as if you actually were headed somewhere, and someone will toss a "Go slow, mon" from a doorstep or window, busting you for being wired into some far-off, faster-paced place. All mechanisms of life on Caye Caulker have but one gear: slow. Like during breakfast at an open-air beachside bar. At 10 on a brilliant morning, nothing on the menu was available. No beer, no bread, no fish, no lobster, no pastries. "Staff didn't show up this morning," the owner said with a shrug. Caye Caulker is an anachronism in the world of slick, want-it-now Caribbean mega-tourism. Veteran backpackers compare it with Isla Mujeres, an island off the coast of Cancun, about 20 years ago or Cancun itself 25 years before that. "Caye Caulker? There's nothing there!" sniffed a bow-tied bartender at a white-tablecloth brasserie in the town of San Pedro on nearby Ambergris Caye. San Pedro is big enough to have cars, fancy resort hotels, villas and the feel of Puerto Vallarta's old town.

New Independent Film, GARIFUNA IN PERIL To Screen at The 2013 San Diego Black Film Festival on SUNDAY February 3rd 2013
After successful screenings in London, Santa Fe New Mexico, and New York City; The New Independent Film, GARIFUNA IN PERIL will have its West Coast Premiere at The San Diego Black Film Festival on SUNDAY February 3rd 2013 at 12:30pm. Tickets are $10 each.


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