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#456937 - 01/31/13 09:31 AM Today's Belize News: January 31, 2013
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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

Edward Barahona charged with Murder
San Pedro police have officially charged a man of an Escalante Area of San Pedro Town for the weekend murder of 25 year old Byron Espat-Estrada. The accused killer is 33 year old Edward Barahona, and he is no stranger to Police. Espat, a boat captain of the San Pedrito Area, San Pedro Town, was stabbed multiple times inside Daddy Rock Nightclub situated off Barrier Reef Drive near the Central Park. Edwardo-Barahona-Espat-Murder According to Police, based on information they received, searched the home of Barahona, where they found a shirt with what appeared to be blood. The shirt was taken for forensic testing, and if the blood matches that of Estrada, police will be using it as part of the evidence during the trial. Barahona was detained for questioning as part of the investigation. Police also gathered statements from several witnesses who were inside the club at the night of the incident. Barahona was then taken to Belize City for a group parade where he was placed in an area with other persons and was positively identified by the witnesses, confirmed San Pedro Police.

Bistro Mestizo hosts and wins 2013’s first Saga cook-off
The Saga Humane Society in San Pedro held its first cook-off of the new year, and hosting the ever-popular event was Bistro Mestizo. The event is organized monthly to help raise money which directly assists Saga in offsetting operational expenses for the island’s only humane society. Wednesday, January 23rd saw 13 competitors, showcasing their signature appetizers served for hungry and enthusiastic attendees. Appetizers ranged from mini pizzas to brochette to fish ceviche, all tempting and delicious. For the minimal contribution of $10, those in attendance got to sample all the food and cast a vote for the favorite entry. It did not take much for attendees to cast their votes, and by the end of the night, host restaurant Bistro Mestizo won with their fish ceviche appetizer. Danny Cann placed second with his Tuscan brochette with bacon and third place was captured by Elizabeth Bertfche for her ham and cheese poppers. The proprietors of Bistro Mestizo decided to donate their prize, an MP3 player, to a cancer victim to use while travelling and recovering from treatment.

Ambergris Today

United Airlines Magazine Features Belize
Belize has received the prestigious honor of being featured in the February 2013 issue of the United Airlines in-flight magazine, Hemispheres. Belize was chosen for the “Three Perfect Days” article, and is also featured on the cover of the magazine. To capture the full authentic Belizean experience, the twelve page spread features a myriad of adventures and gives readers a peek at just what sets Belize apart; the people, culture, food, and landscapes are just a snapshot of what makes Belize the ideal tourist destination. Joe Keohane and Al Argueta take readers on a journey into the heart of Central America, Belize.

El Secreto Offers Pillow Menu in Belize
We know that you have all heard about restaurant menus for food, drinks and desserts, but have you ever come across a pillow menu? There is one resort on Ambergris Caye, Belize that is offering a pillow menu to its guests as part of its great service and excellent accommodations. El Secreto resort might be the only resort offering this service in the country. Although it might seem a bit excessive to order specific pillows, the luxury to indulge in the perfect pillow and have an even better night’s sleep is ideal. It is definitely something that you can get used to. A pillow menu is a list of available pillows provided by a hotel to guests, usually free of charge. El Secreto is the only resort we have heard that does this in Belize. The resort allows guests to make an alternative pillow choice. Some common pillow alternatives are memory foam, feather core, and hypoallergenic.

Teachers Peaceful Demonstration in Belize’s Capital City
Schools in San Pedro closed down yesterday, Tuesday, January 29, 2013, as island teachers joined fellow members of the Belize National Teachers Union in Belmopan in a national demonstration. Thousands of teachers gathered in Belmopan in the national demonstration, this is the first mass mobilization by teachers on the issue of salary adjustments and there is a potential for strike action if they are unable to reach agreement with government. At around 9:30 a.m. the parade moved off from the Belmopan Comprehensive School, heading for Independence Hill, in the capital city of Belmopan, Cayo. It was massive, as thousands of teachers sang and marched down the road in solidarity and unity of purpose; even the U.D.P. Mayor of Belmopan and retired educator Simeon Lopez came out with his flag to add his support to the movement.

Major Donations for Isla Bonita All-Star Marching Band
Since November of last year a committee of enthusiastic parents and residents has been raising funds for the Isla Bonita All Star Marching Band. This band is getting ready to attend the Governor General’s Annual Marching Band Fest on March 23 under the fine guidance of Band Master Mr. John Thompson. The band is comprised of young boys and girls from Isla Bonita Elementary, San Pedro R.C. School, Holy Cross Anglican School, St. Peters and San Pedro High School. The Committee along with members of the marching band have so far held several raffles, a radiothon, two dollar drives with music, two parade-athons with music, sales at Island Invasion, sales at the San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade, and collection of fees from all members. Recently several generous and major donations have brought the Isla Bonita All Star marching band closer to its goal of attending the Band Fest scheduled for March 23, 2013 in the city of Belmopan.

Misc Belizean Sources

Short video on nassau grouper protection in Belize

VIDEO: Good advice (crime in Belize) PART 2
Apart from all the humor, this really happened. I know you guys enjoyed the the punch lines and what's not, but apart from that, this is a rough story of what actually occurred to me. Like, I said in the video, my goal is not to bash down police in general, but to shed light on the injustice that happens every single day; some police abuse their authority. I've heard, read, and know of situations like this; I never thought it would one day be me experiencing it. And if could happen to me, it can happen to you. I know I said in the video that I will take court action, however I've decided to forgive him and let God be my vindicator. ;)

Belize Grows in Popularity as Spring Break Destination
Belize is becoming increasingly popular as a new Spring break destination with more and more students wishing to mix exotic adventure with the annual ritual of sun, fun and partying, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Bryony Fleming. Ms Fleming, the Belizean eco-resort’s food and beverage manager, said that she has noticed a trend towards more adventure and activity-focussed Spring break vacations. “There has been a definite increase in enquiries about Spring Break options here in Belize and I’m sure word of mouth and social media are driving much of the interest we’re seeing in recent years,” Ms Fleming said. In the past, the most popular Spring break destinations were the beaches of Florida, especially Daytona Beach, and Fort Lauderdale, as well as South Padre Island in Texas. However, since the 1990s Mexico has become increasingly popular, with Cancun hosting huge and often raucous groups of revellers. More recently, Ms Fleming said, more and more people are discovering neighbouring Belize, with its pristine rainforests, uncrowded Caribbean coastline, hundreds of tiny islands and the Belize Great Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest. “I think we’re seeing a growing trend where younger people are looking to combine a bit of adventure and healthy activities with their partying. They’re realising that drinking and dancing are all well and good, but let’s face it, you can do that anywhere. With a Belizean Spring break, you get to let off steam and still go home having had a real adventure, something exotic and unique that will stay with you forever,” she said.

Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Adventure Company & Jungle Lodge Launches Facebook Contest
Belize Internet Marketing & Website Design announces the “Picture your Adventure in Belize” Facebook Contest for Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch, an adventure company and jungle lodge located at Mile 41.5 on the Hummingbird Highway in Belize, to serve as a way of interacting with past and potential guests in a fun and rewarding way. For the first time ever, Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch is holding the “Picture your Adventure in Belize” monthly Facebook contest which begins in February 2013 and ends on January 31, 2014 to give past and potential guests a chance to experience Belize in a fun and adventurous way that can also prove to be educational. To enter the contest, the contestant must click on the “Win” tab on our Facebook page and submit a picture of themselves at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge or of them doing something adventurous. They can ask their friends and families to “Vote” for their picture. The most popular picture for each month’s submissions wins the prize. Every month a winner will be selected. The winner will receive a 3 night’s stay at Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Jungle Lodge for two in one of the jungle suites. If upon arrival, a Belize tree house is available – the winner’s accommodations will be upgraded. The winner will receive 2 single day adventures, all meals and drinks and accommodations for the 3 nights. The contest will recognize a total of twelve winners during 2013. Winners will be featured in Blog posts and on the Facebook Page.

Mexico presents in Belize the art exhibition “Jazz and more”
The Embassy of Mexico invites the general public to the opening of the art exhibition “Jazz and more” by the Mexican artist Enrique Hernandez on January 31st, 2013 at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. This exhibition, which includes 23 works of art, facilitates communication and mutual understanding between Belizean and Mexican artists, especially those who live and work in the South of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Enrique Hernandez is a Mexican artist who showed interest in drawing and painting since his early childhood. At the age of 16 he enrolled at the Mexican Art School of Advertising and Artistic Drawing. Hernandez worked as a designer and illustrator in various advertising agencies and participated in several collective painting exhibitions. In 1985 he moved to the city of Chetumal, Mexico and worked as a set designer, radio and TV host, producer, and director for the Quintana Roo Broadcasting Institute. He is also an entrepreneur in the field of music recording.

The artwork of Jerry Nisbet
Pencil Artwork of San Pedro Town back in 1993. How nostalgic. Artwork by Jerry Nisbet. My Dad preferred pencil art over all others. this is a familiar sight for most Belizeans. It is a picture of the "main" street San Pedro 1995 he reproduced in pencil.

Belize Senior Women’s Volleyball Team won Bronze at the World Champ Qualification Tournament
Group G, in Panama City.

St. Martin's CU and Heritage Bank Team Up
Saint Martin's Credit Union, Cayo's best choice for banking, has teamed up with all the other CU's and Heritage Bank so their debit card can be used at all the locations throughout Belize. They are calling it Network One. You can find all the locations here: http://smcubelize.com/atm-pos_service "Yes, it Works! Now all Major Credit Unions and Heritage Bank card holders are on One Network."

Rotaract Visits Octavia Waight
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio visited the Octavia Waight Centre Sunday, where they distributed dental supplies to the older generation. Thanks, Rotaract! If you're interested in joining, they meet Wednesday nights at Hode's.

Cayo Highlighted in Hemispheres Magazine
Cayo gets an amazing write up in the latest edition of Hemispheres Magazine. Caracol, Rio Frio Cave, and MPR get a great write up. Blancaneaux Lodge is where the author stayed. The Flavors of Belize cookbook got a great mention in the article too. "The crown jewel of the Cayo region is Caracol, a sprawling ruin that once was one of the most powerful cities in the Mayan world. At its peak there were maybe 150,000 people living here, roughly half the present population of Belize, and the whole city was clad in plaster. It was mysteriously abandoned 1,200 years ago and rediscovered by a logger in 1937. As you explore, a hummingbird mistakes your orange backpack for a giant flower; a howler monkey erupts in a nearby copse, scaring you out of your wits. Skirting a coal-black fire ant hill with great care, you encounter what’s left of a middle-class Mayan residence. Under it is a tomb in which archeologists made an extraordinary discovery: skeletons with flatened foreheads and jade inlaid in their teeth."

Channel 7

FFB Will Keep Coach, Resignation Was All A Mix-Up!
On Monday, 7News told you about the troubling news circulating about Leroy Sherrier's abrupt departure as the coach of the Belize National Team. It came as a surprise to the football community because after all, he just led the National Team to its first qualification for the Gold Cup, the best performance in Belize's history. And the team was very vocal about their support for the coach, believing that a change would cause instability. The executives from the Football Federation of Belize were also aware of that issue, and while trying to mend fences with the coach, they found that electronic mischief had caused a major miscommunication. A bogus letter was sent to the FFB, which falsely claimed that Coach Sherrier owed 50,000 US dollars to the courts in the US. And then Sherrier had also agreed to have his performance reviewed. So, when he saw that FFB President Vicente arrived back in Costa Rica, and found that this letter had been sent to them, he thought the Vicente came to fire him.

Drunk Canadian Man Dies After Head Injury While In Police Custody
A Canadian man died yesterday after receiving a head injury while in the custody of Cayo police over the weekend. But the Police say 35 year old Jeffrey Donald Furgula caused his own eventually fatal head injury when he slipped and fell due to drunken-ness. Officer in charge of San Ignacio, Superintendent Ralph Moody told us that they picked up Fergula on Saturday night in the Savannah Area and he was very drunk. He told us via phone they took him into custody so that he would not be harmed or taken advantage of - but on Sunday, police say he brought harm to himself: Supt. Ralph Moody (Via Phone) - OC, San Ignacio Police "He was picked out and escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station. This male person appeared to be under alcohol. He was processed, that is to say that his items were taken away. We questioned him as to his name and nationality, but could not respond to those due to the condition of his drunken state. He was locked up in a cell on that same date, and on Sunday, January 27, 2013, at about 7 a.m., police officers saw the body of the male person who was picked up in the Savannah area, lying down in the cellblock in a motionless manner. We received information that he fell inside of the cellblock and caused injuries to his forehead. He died this morning."

Confession From Nicoli Rhys Thrown Out
Yesterday, 7News told you about Nicoli Rhys, the man who is standing trial in the Supreme Court for the brazen execution of Andre Trapp in June of 2010 in front of the Magistrate's Court. Well, there are major developments to report on tonight, because the case against him is on very unsteady ground. First, a total of 7 witnesses from the Prosecution's case have completed their testimony, out of a possible 11. That seventh witness was one of the responding officers who claimed to have heard Rhys when he allegedly gave an oral confession to being the gunman, when police arrested him near the scene. And the admissibility of that important piece of evidence was tested today before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, where Rhys took the stand and gave his version of how the events unfolded. Nowhere in his testimony did he ever admit or accept that he gave police any oral confession. In addition to that, Chief Justice Benjamin ruled that the oral confession inadmissible because the officer did not properly place Rhys under arrest, nor was he cautioned about his rights.

Into The Chiquibul Wild
Over the years we've taken you into Chiquibul more than a few times. And that's because the vast forest - more than four times the size of Barbados - is the pristine protected area where Guatemalan poachers go to gather Xate, hunt wildlife, extract timber, and now, pan for gold. We've visited many parts of this rugged hinterland, but we've never gone to the extremely remote Ceibo Chico - which is the current flashpoint area for Guatemalan gold panners. And so, on Friday, special correspondent Janelle Chanona and Cameraman Codie Norales left out before dawn to head into the wilds of Chiquibul. Tonight, they'll take us to areas where no camera has been before in part one of a two part series on the Ceibo Chico and the grueling journey to get there. Janelle Chanona reports: In any other part of Belize, a tractor is a standard piece of farm equipment. But in the Chiquibul Forest, it's a life line. The machine has turned a gruelling two day hike into an arduous six hour journey.

Lady Cop Accused Of Extorting Money And Margarita's
36 year-old Woman Police Officer Jenny Tanner, a resident of Caye Caulker, is out on bail tonight after a Canadian National accused her of extortion. According to police, Christopher John Graham, a dive master reported that on December 11, 2012, he was driving an overcrowded golf cart on Caye Caulker when he was stopped by Tanner, and asked to produce his driver's license. He said that when he told her that he had none, Tanner told him if he paid her $100 and bought her two Margarita's, she would not charge him for any wrong doings. Graham said that he agreed and gave her $100, and he then took her to a nearby restaurant and bought her the 2 drinks. After doing so, he went and reported the matter to police, and requested court action against the officer. Police investigated the report, and they charged tanner with extortion. She was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. She pleaded not guilty, and was granted bail of $2,000, which she was able to meet. She must return to court on February 28.

Pedestrians Forced To Use Long-Abandoned Overpass
In the one year since the Darrel Bradley led council was elected - Belize city has gone through lots of traffic changes. It's been a tough 11 months, but also gratifying as potholed streets have been transformed into first class concrete roadways. But more than just transforming the streets, the council has been trying to regularize the flow of traffic - and that meant eliminating the pedestrian crosswalks at one of the city's most persistent bottlenecks - the Belcan roundabout - or Flag Monument, as it is also known. It's a major change for pedestrians - and Monica Bodden found out the logic behind the move: Monica Bodden Reporting For the first time since it was built 16 years ago people are using the pedestrian overpass. But that's only because they are being forced to - after the city council removed the pedestrian crosswalks when they cement-paved the first 100 yards of the northern highway.

The First Building Block Of A Belizean Baseline For DNA
There's an interesting project starting tomorrow and it's led by the National Forensic Service. They are collecting DNA samples for a project called the Belize Population Genetic Study. The project is being led by the University of North Texas and it hopes to establish a baseline for DNA markers in Belize Diana Bol of Forensic Services explained that this is the first step towards setting up a system for DNA testing: Diana Bol - National Forensic Science Services "Majority of the countries here in the region, they already have this study done. What it does is that it tells your background, to tell how rare a person's profile might be so that you can connect them in the future. However, this particular study will not be recording the information such as names, address, or anything like that to link any person. It is purely to get an entire profile of the country of Belize based on anonymity."

Belize's First Business and Investment Magazine
Over the years, you've probably heard about the Destination Belize Magazine - that's the standard bearer for all things having to do with Belize tourism. Well, now BELTRAIDE has the same sort of publication to promote trade in Belize. It's Belize's First Business and Investment Magazine called "INVEST BELIZE". The inaugural edition was launched today and we found out more about it: Michael Singh - CEO, Ministry of Trade "It's a milestone. It's something that we've been working on for probably about 8 months, and the whole concept of coming out with a publication that highlights Belize's investment opportunities, success, and giving information is something that investors can look at, perhaps when Belizean business people are traveling, government officials, they can hand out to show what Belize is all about." Damian Solano - IDEALABS, Publisher: "Invest Belize" "The magazine focuses on Belize business. I think for a long time, Belize has been promoted internationally but mainly as a tourist destination. There hasn't really been any real push in getting information out there about Belize as a business or investment destination. And that is what this magazine aims to cover. So, what you find in the magazine, in this inaugural edition, are some success stories, of some successful business ventures that are currently in Belize.

Mexican Artist With A Jones For Jazz
The Institute of Mexico is opening its first Art Exhibition for the New Year tomorrow night. It is entitled "Jazz and more" by the Mexican artist Enrique Hernandez. Hernandez lives in Chetumal and today we found out why he's got a jones for jazz. Marcelino Miranda - Press Officer, Mexican Embassy "The Mexican Embassy is inviting the public to attend the first exhibition that the embassy is presenting for this year. It's going to be on Thursday at the Institute of Mexico, and the title of the exhibition is "Jazz and More". This is by the Mexican artist, Mauricio Hernandez, who not only an artist, he is always a designer. He's presenting not only is talent, but also the different techniques that masters very well. And I think that for the general public, and especially for those who love music, this will be a wonderful opportunity to look at this splendid exhibition that includes different works of musicians, music instruments, and especially jazz. They will also see, like I said, the different techniques like oil on canvass, acrylic, and also water colors. The exhibition includes 20 different pieces, and this exhibition was previously presented in Chetumal at the Museum of Mayan Culture. And now, the Belizean public will have an opportunity to have a look at this exhibition at the Institute of Mexico in Belize. It will remain open for 2 weeks here, and then, it going to be taken to the George Price Center in Belmopan for another 2 weeks. The entrance is free, and I think that this a very good opportunity for families to bring their children, young people as well, for those who've haven't had an opportunity to enjoy an exhibit. This is going to be good. This is a good opportunity to see what artists are doing on the other side of the border."

Channel 5

National Team soccer coach back with team
Costa Rican Coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis is back in the game after less than four days off the playing field and after leading the national football team to a historic win against Nicaragua in the Copa Centro American Games. That’s the latest word that the Football Federation of Belize’s President Ruperto Vicente, handed down via [...]

Team recounts highlights of Copa Centro Americana Games
Now that the coach is back, the other big hurdle the federation is facing is one of financing. The F.F.B. has confirmed that preparation for and attendance at the Copa Centro Americana Games carried a price tag of a quarter of a million dollars and getting ready for the Gold Cup in July, will cost [...]

Minister tells N.T.U.C.B., ‘at this time finds not available’
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the representatives of the Belize National Teachers Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of the Public Service Senior Managers will meet with the government on Friday in Belmopan. They will sit down with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the government’s ministerial committee which includes, Patrick [...]

Numerous voices at protest on the hill
Tuesday’s demonstration staged by the B.N.T.U., the P.S.U. and the A.P.S.S.M. was a show of force. Thousands of teachers converged on the usually quiet capital city to send a message to the powers that be—they want a salary adjustment and respect. And if the government did not quite get the message from the masses that [...]

Sudden Death: Canadian mortally injured in cell
An internal investigation has been launched by the police on the death of a Canadian national after spending a night in a holding cell in the San Ignacio Police Station. Reports are that when Jeffrey Furgala was picked up by police and taken to the station on Saturday night, he was intoxicated. He was placed [...]

Minister pulls brakes on City hall
The current Belize City Council is no doubt one of the most active councils when it comes to infrastructural development. The twenty million dollar bond it floated last year has made it possible for many street upgrades across the city. The council plans to pay the bond with the funds that it should collect from [...]

Rosewood cache found
There was a scare earlier today that another container or possibly two of rosewood had been detected up north. The report is that the containers were discovered in Carmelita, Orange Walk. When we checked, we were told that a team from the Ministry of Forestry will be deployed to Carmelita on Thursday to confirm the [...]

How do Mayas feel about ICJ Referendum?
The Referendum on whether to forward the Belize/Guatemala dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has made it necessary to examine judgments by the court involving territorial dispute. In November 2012, the ICJ ruled on a dispute involving Colombia and Nicaragua that shows the ICJ ruled to compromise, which did not settle well with [...]

Busted! Illegal immigrants caught
  Two Honduran nationals are spending quality time at the Kolbe Correctional Facility after they were caught last Friday in Belize City as they were passing through on their way to the USA. The men, twenty-eight year old Manuel de Jesus Zuniga Ramirez and twenty-four year old Eliseo Romero Garcia, were apprehended by Immigration officials [...]

After police released him, he robbed a soldier
  A Belize City man has been returned to the Kolbe Correctional Facility for an extended stay of seven years. Twenty-nine year old Clarence Grant, a resident of Ontario Village in the Cayo District, appeared today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, where he was found guilty of robbery and handed his sentence. Grant was [...]

Cop extorts tourist on golf cart
  A Tourism Police Officer stationed in Caye Caulker is out on bail tonight after she was charged with a single count of extortion for an incident which occurred in December, 2012. Jennie Tanner has been on interdiction since December, after Canadian Dive Master Christopher John Graham alleged that he was shaken down for a [...]

Invest Belize: new magazine for foreign investment
A glossy new publication was officially launched today. It is being published by Idea Labs and commissioned by Beltraide. Invest Belize, as it is called, is geared exclusively to attract foreign investments that has dipped significantly in the past years. At the presentation today, Minister Godwin Hulse said the first issue won’t disappoint. News Five’s [...]

Canadian Author gives lesson on bullying at Belize Elementary
The students from the Belize Elementary School this morning welcomed special guests all the way from Canada. Award winning author, Victor Lethbridge, made a special presentation to the eager students portraying signs of social issues affecting youths through story-telling. Duane Moody reports.   Duane Moody, Reporting It was a day filled with fun activities for [...]

Exhibit launched at Mexican Embassy
From story-telling to the art…on Thursday, the Mexican Embassy is opening an art exhibition entitled, “Jazz and More.” The pieces displayed in canvass, acrylic and water color paintings focus on music by the Mexican artist, Enrique Hernandez. Hernandez, who has been painting for twenty-five years, is also a media personality in Chetumal.   Domingo Rodriguez, [...]


Prime Minister Will Meet With Unions
On Tuesday the leaders of the Belize National Teachers Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, and the Public Service Union, marched with their memberships atop Independence Hill in Belmopan. Their plight is an unresolved matter over salary adjustments that ...

Woman Police Constable Charged For Extortion
Thirty-six year Jenny Tanner, a police officer attached to Caye Caulker Police Station, was charged with extortion when she appeared in court today. Tanner pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith offered her a bail of $2,000.00 She stipulated that $500.00 of...

Seven Years In Prison For Robbing Soldier
Twenty-nine year old Clarence Grant, a fisherman of Ontario Village charged with the robbery of $300.00 from BDF Lieutenant Zane Duhaney, was sentenced to seven years today after he was found guilty of the charge. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who imposed the sentence, stipu...

Evangelical Churches Invite Public To Public Worshipping
The Belize Association of Evangelical Churches has issued a statement on the crime situation in Belize. The statement came after the Association’s quarterly meeting on Monday and started by denouncing what the churches called, quote, “the hideous quadruple murders tha...

Belize Makes It In United Airlines Magazine, Hemispheres
The little third world country that once couldn’t find itself on the map of the world, Belize, is now the place that everyone’s talking about. The latest milestone for the jewel is being featured in the February 2013 issue of the United Airlines in-flight magazine, &l...

BDF Prepares For Big Events At The Weekend
And while the BDF is investigating an alleged rape case involving two of its members, it is also preparing for two big upcoming events. This weekend, the Force will hold its annual BDF Day and that follows the change of command on Friday. Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega w...

Investigations of Rape and Sexual Harassment Ongoing Within The Belize Defense Force
In late December Love News broke the news of a number of reports of alleged sexually-related offences made by female soldiers within the Belize Defense Force against male soldiers dating back over the past couple years. One of the alleged incidents happened only two months ag...


A Hero's Welcome For Belize's National Team
Yesterday evening Belize welcomed back the stars of the most successful National A-Selection Team ever put together. They have been dubbed the Jaguars and it has its reason as the team made Belizeans proud at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana by winning against a world class football team and qualifying for the Copa Oro to be played later this year. The tournament was held in San Jose Costa Rica and Belizeans all around the world ensured the watched Belize’s performance. Even though Belize placed fourth, the entire country couldn’t be prouder and that was displayed in Belize City yesterday. The team members were greeted by loud applauses and cheer and we were there to capture all the excitement. Reporter Elmer Cornejo and Cameraman Jesus Melgar filed the following report. A huge sign welcoming the National Football Team could not begin to describe how proud the country is of the performance of the jaguars at the UNCAF CentroAmericana Tournament in Costa Rica. Supporters and fans where already waiting at the Brodies parking lot in Belize City for the team that gained recognition and respect for Belize in the football world to arrive. But by 4:15 the bus carrying the stars arrived and one by one the players exited the bus. They were immediately welcomed with by a roaring applause and cheers as each one took their place at the head table in front of Belize’s media.


Minister Faber says government subsidy for UB will not be reinstated
The salary adjustment being requested by teachers is not the only hot button issue on the plate for Minister Faber. The students of the University of Belize are also not happy that a government subsidy which had been in place for years was cancelled this year. The student government held a demonstration on Monday to express their view that the subsidy should be reinstated. Today Minister Faber told Love News that he heard their call loud and clear … but reinstating the subsidy is not going to happen. And while Faber is confident that a negotiated settlement of the salary adjustment for teachers and public officers will be reached, the same cannot be said about subsidy for the University of Belize. Minister Faber says on that issue, there is not much to talk about. Minister Faber told Love News that he has indicated to the UB students that he is prepared to meet with them but they have not yet responded on when they will be taking up that offer to sit down and dialogue.

Minister of Education comments on teachers demonstration
And while teachers demonstrated in Belmopan today, Cabinet was meeting just a stone’s throw away from where thousands had gathered on the plaza in front of the National Assembly building. One of the Ministers in that meeting was Education Minister Patrick Faber, who told Love News this afternoon that he supports the teachers’ right to demonstrate. Faber says he is confident that an amicable solution will be worked out. The negotiation process will continue on Friday when both sides are scheduled to meet.

Teachers hold massive demonstration in Belmopan
Thousands of teachers from all over the country today converged on the nation’s capital for a massive demonstration. Initial estimates are that over two thousand teachers traveled by bus and private vehicle for today’s event in Belmopan. The teachers demonstrated to send a strong message to government that they are serious about wanting a salary adjustment. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo had front row vantage point and file this report. Apart from the teachers, today’s demonstration has the support and active participation of public officers, the student government of the University of Belize and civil society groups. One such group is the Teens Belize Organization which this morning issued a statement saying, and we quote: “the Teens Belize Organization hereby ushers its full support to all the good Teachers & Public Servants of Belize. Our Teachers & Public Servants deserve better treatment, better wages, and better working environments,” end of quote.

Challenge Gobie Foundation receives donation
Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow has teamed up with partners to raise funds for the construction of an intensive pediatric ward to lessen the need for young Belizeans to have to travel abroad. Today the initiative got a major boost as Hoover Company made a donation of $50,000.00 to the Challenge Gobie Foundation to be used toward the effort. Anand Poornananda of the Hoover Company explained why the donation was made. Eva Gabourel of the Challenge Gobie Foundation received the donation and said it will go a long way in achieving their goal. On hand for the short handover ceremony was Kim Simplis Barrow, the special envoy for women and children. She said she is looking forward to the completion of the project. To get more information on the work of Challenge Gobie Foundation in its quest to raise the necessary funds for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit you can log on to their Facebook page.

Canadian companies recruiting workers in Belize
Actyl International is a company that is recruiting Belizean workers to enter the workforce in Canada. Dr. Linda West, President of the company spoke with Love News. West said after workers qualify, air fare and housing will be taken care of by the employer. She said they have received over a hundred applications since Monday. The company had previously held recruitment drive in Belize City. Actly International has its headquarters on Barbados Street in Belmopan. Dr. West said they will be accepting applications up until Friday.

#456938 - 01/31/13 09:31 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 31, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Burglaries and robberies make it to the crime blotter
Thieves have targeted the Fiesta Chicken business establishment on Vernon Street in Belize City. According to a supervisor at the establishment, sometime between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning, the business located at the corner of Vernon and Sarstoon streets, was burglarized. Among the items stolen was, the cash register and a computer all to a total value of four thousand, two hundred and thirty five dollars. Meanwhile, a Ladyville man has reported that his business place in Belize City has been burglarized. The burglary is reported to have happened sometime between January eighteenth and Monday of last week. According to the fifty four year old owner, a quantity of electrical tools valued at three thousand, eight hundred and forty five dollars was stolen. Police investigations continue. There was a robbery on Monday night in Belmopan. It happened at the Sansung Restaurant on Nim Li Punit Street in the nation’s capital just before eleven thirty last night. According to police reports, two masked men, one of whom was armed with a firearm, went into the restaurant and robbed the owners and their employee cash, jewelry and phone cards, all to a total value of four thousand, four hundred and eight dollars. Police investigations continue. Police are investigating a reported case of carnal knowledge in the south. A fourteen year old girl, in the company of her mother, reported to Independence police that on Tuesday of last week, the owner of a shot in Bella Vista village was having a conversation with her when the teenager went to the establishment to purchase goods. The girl says that during the conversation, the shop keeper pulled her into his room and had sexual intercourse with her. A doctor has since certified that the girl has been carnally known. Police investigations continue.

Orange Walk police takes custody of wanted man
A man wanted by police has handed himself in to authorities in Orange Walk. Love TV’s Dalila Ical reports.

Man charged in San Pedro stabbing death
Thirty-three year old San Pedro resident Edwin Barahona, has been arraigned on a charge of murder. No plea was taken and Barona was remanded to the Hattieville prison until his next court appearance on March twenty first. Barahona is accused of the stabbing death of twenty two year old Byron Estrada on Saturday morning inside the bathroom of a nightclub in San Pedro town.

Looking for a new home, Belize City woman appeals for help
Next to health, food and clothing, having a roof over your head is perhaps the next basic need that any human being needs. One Belize City woman is in a desperate search for a new home. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo met the anxious home owner earlier this week and here is her story.

NTUCB hosts mid-morning press conference
Poised to demonstrate on Tuesday in Belmopan in response to what they term as quote, “disrespect on the part of the Government” over a salary increase, the Belize National Teachers’ Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, under the umbrella National Trade Union Congress of Belize, met today with the media. Dylan Reneau, who heads the NTUCB, responded sharply to a recent press release by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which opposes a raise to the public officers. The Chamber release states in part, and we quote, “the Chamber cannot condone the idea of general Public Sector wage increase that may serve to simultaneously reward unproductive or counterproductive work. This would, in the opinion of the Chamber, be a waste of taxpayers’ funds”, unquote. Here’s Reneau’s response. President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio, said that the demonstration will be a message to the government for disrespecting them. The government, Palacio suggested, is investing resources in areas that are counterproductive, as opposed to the public service, which employs the vast majority of Belizeans. Meanwhile, the President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, Jose Castellanos, said that what the unions are asking for is not unjustified and compared the Government’s inflation figures to their figures. Palacio Palacio discouraged the demonstrators from wearing political colours or bearing banners with personal attacks.

Traffic incident on Phillip Goldson Highway leaves one man dead
There was a horrific traffic incident over the weekend on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Correspondent Arturo Cantun reports.

Former BNTU president passes away
As teachers prepare for a big demonstration on Tuesday in Belmopan, the education sector in mourning the passing of one of its stalwarts. Former school teacher, and president extraordinaire of the Belize National Teachers Union John Pinelo passed away over the weekend, following a long illness. Pinelo, a resident of San Ignacio town, contributed over four decades to the teaching profession in Belize. He rose to prominence on the national scene during his tenure as BNTU president in the 90’s. His long time friend and colleague George Frazer who served alongside Pinelo for many years, today gave Love News his recollection of Pinelo’s life in public service since the amalgamation of the two teachers union in the early 1970’s. Frazer who is himself a veteran educator, served on the BNTU executive from the mid-80’s until Ausut of last year. He recalls that it was under Pinelo’s presidency that many of the more progressive accomplishments were achieved for BNTU members. Frazer summarized his recollection of his fallen colleague by describing him as the most courageous union leader of his time. John Pinelo will be laid to rest on Wednesday following funeral service at 3 o’clock in the afternoon at the Sacred Heart Church in San Ignacio town.

UB Student Government holds protest in Belmopan
Students of the University of Belize abandoned classes today and took to the picket lines. At issue is the matter of what the UB Student Government calls burdensome registration fees. Correspondent Felix Mai was at the protest and files this report. While the UB Student government protested the discontinuation of the government subsidy which covered registration fees, the Head of the Office of Public Information for UB, Selwyn King today told Love News that registration for this semester shows an increase over last year’s numbers. This, according to the UB official, shows that the cut in the Government Subsidy is not really affecting tertiary level students.

A hero’s welcome home for Belize’s National Football Team
The red carpet was rolled out this afternoon for Belize’s national football team. The team finished fourth in the Copa Centroamericana, falling one nil to El Salvador in the third place match on Sunday. The team touched down at the Phillip Goldson International Airport late this afternoon, and Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett were in the welcoming party. From the airport, the team traveled to the Brodies parking lot on the Phillip Goldson Highway where a press conference was held, followed by a motorcade. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports. Belize’s fourth place finish in the just completed Copa Centroamericana established many history making moments for Belizean football. For the first time, Belize won a match in the tournament, defeating Nicaragua by a score of two to one. It was also the first time that Belize qualified to the semi-finals in the UNCAF tournament and for the first time, a football team from Belize is heading to the Gold Cup later this year in the United States.

Equine encephalitis confirmed in Cayo district
A case of equine Encephalitis has been discovered in the Cayo District. Director of Animal Health at the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, MigueL Depaz, told Love News that the case has indeed been confirmed. Love News asked Depaz whether there were any chances of this disease getting out of control and becoming widespread. According to Depaz, since it is an equine disease, it can also be transmitted to donkeys. For further information or to report suspected cases, the general public is asked to call any of the BAHA offices. Depaz advises farmers or horse owners to monitor their animals closely and inform BAHA as soon as possible if Encephalitis is suspected so as to allow for quick response on their part. He also advises farmers with healthy horses to do the annual vaccination against the disease.

Attack leaves Orange Walk man hospitalized in Belize City
A man from the Orange Walk district is hospitalized in Belize City following an attack over the weekend. Thirty six year old Emiliano Blanco, a resident of Yo Creek village, was reportedly socializing in Orange Walk town when he was assaulted. Sotero Blanco told Love News this morning that when his younger brother did not return home on Friday, night the family went looking for him on Saturday morning, and that was when they got the bad news from the police. According to Sotero Blanco, his brother was socializing somewhere on Progress Street in Orange Walk where the attack is believed to have taken place. Today’s police report did not make any mention of this reported incident.

Stabbing death in San Pedro; burglary in Toledo
A man was stabbed to death on Saturday morning in San Pedro Town. The victim has been identified as twenty five year old Byron Estrada. According to reports, Estrada was killed inside of the bathroom at a nightclub in the town. According to reports, Estrada was viciously stabbed a total of twenty two times, mostly to the upper side of the body. This includes three stabs to the shoulder and four stabs to the neck among many others. Police were alerted about the incident around 3:15 am on Saturday and quickly responded. Estrada was transported to the San Pedro Polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival. San Pedro police have detained several persons for questioning and they believe that some of the detainees will be able to assist with their ongoing investigation. Police in Toledo are investigating a burglary in Punta Gorda town. A fifty two year old Mechanic reported to police that he left his brother’s house for which he is caretaker on Tuesday and traveled to Abalone Caye. The man says that when he returned home days later, he discovered that the house was broken into. Stolen from the residence were a number of electronic items valued at fifteen thousand, US dollars. Police investigations continue. ALBERT MOODY, JR. Twenty-two year old Albert Moody Jr., a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in Court today. Moody was also charged with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. He was remanded into custody until March 19. The incident occurred around 7 p.m. on January 15. Kent Moss reported to the police that while he was having a conversation with a friend on the verandah of his house on Raccoon Street Extension he was shot three times by a male person who came up behind him. Moss was admitted to ward at KHMH where his condition is described as stable. Seventy-two year old Frank Jaskin, a.k.a. “Big Frank Vernon”, a vagrant who failed to do 100 days of community service, a sentence he was given after he pled guilty to theft in December last year, was sent to prison today to do a sentence of two months in default of community service. Jaskin was ordered to serve the sentence by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart when he appeared in her court on another charge of theft. According to the allegation, Jaskin stole a sack of scrap metal a burglar bar from Sotero Tillett on January 25. The items have a total value of $250.00. Magistrate Stuart told Jaskin that she will offer him bail for the theft after he has served his two months.

VIP suggests how teachers can get their salary adjustment
The Vision Inspired by the People political party today issued a statement saying it stands in Solidarity with the Unions. Public Relations Officer Robert Lopez today told Love News that the VIP has a suggestion on how to resolve the issue. The VIP statement suggests that the threshold on the Windfall tax be reduced to sixty US dollars per barrel, and further suggested that any surplus should go to reducing the cost of Secondary and Tertiary tuitions.


Investigation into sudden death of Canadian national who was in police custody
A Canadian National who was detained by San Ignacio Police over the weekend died last night in Belize City at the K...

PUP congratulate teachers of Belize on their demonstration
The People’s United Party sent out a release today to congratulate the teachers of Belize on their successful demon...

Woman police officer arraigned on charge of extortion
In early December of late last year, a Canadian Dive Master reported to police that he was the victim of extortion ...

Education Minister and Student Leader disagree over letter
On Monday; Hope Amadi, the National Student Government President for the University of Belize held a protest in the...

Belize City man, convicted last year, slapped with another conviction
A Belize City man who was convicted last year was slapped with another conviction. This time he got an additional 1...

Firearm charge dismissed when Police witness fails to show up
27-year-old Henry Thomas, a resident of the Lord’s Bank was happy to learn that his case for kept firearm and ammun...

Honduran national in court on Immigration charge
A Honduran national remains behind bars over a week now after she was brought before the court on a single charge o...

Drugs recovered within Seine Bight and Placencia Village
On Tuesday January 29th a joint operation involving the Mobile Interdiction Unit and K-9 Unit; conducted an anti dr...

Teachers' Union leader wonders about the motive of the chamber of Commerce
On Friday the Chamber of Commerce and Industry sent out a release concerning the trade unions request for an increm...

Company in Belmopan offers job opportunities abroad
Finding a job in Belize is not necessarily an easy task for Belizeans. Perhaps that is why many have been lining up...


A Cool Red-Footed Amphibian!
The Lodge at Chaa Creek located in the western dense forests of Belize is home to the fascinating Red-Footed Tree Frog scientifically known as Tlalocohyla Loquax. Our guests can observe this red-footed frog in our “Creatures of the Night” tour in which our experienced and knowledgeable naturalist guides will take them through trails populated by Ocelots, Howler Monkeys, Tarantulas, Patoos, Jaguarundis and many more intriguing rainforest residents. These are medium-sized tree frogs, with adult males 33 to 45 mm in total length and adult females 38 to 47 mm, characterized by having a yellow venter and bright red or orange coloration on the backside of the thighs and on the webbing between the fingers and toes. The upper surface is smooth, while the venter is granular. At night, the dorsal surfaces are typically yellow to reddish brown. During the day, the upper surface is yellow to pale grey, almost white. It is a relatively uncommon nocturnal species that primarily breeds in deep bodies of standing water (both permanent and temporary). Males call through with a loud “kaaack” or “wonk” note that resembles the honking of geese from floating leaves in the deepest parts of the breeding ponds. Although this species is not an explosive breeder, its reproduction peaks in July and early August and in mid-rainy season. Each clutch contains about 250 eggs and forms a large gelatinous mass that is attached to vegetation near the water surface. This species is found in humid lowlands and premontane slopes of the Atlantic versant in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Their habitat is typically around temporary ponds in Lowland Moist and Wet Forest zones and marginally in premontane Wet Forest and Rainforest.

Death Of Canadian In Belize Police Custody
On Sunday 27th January 2013 at approximately 6:30 am, San Ignacio Police checked Cell No.3 where detained person 35 year old Canadian Jeffrey Donald FURGALA was seen in the Cell lying face up and when called he was unresponsive. A physical check was made on his person when Police noticed that he had some blood in his nose and was apparently unconscious. As a result, he was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital for medical treatment. He was later transported to the KHMH on 27th January 2013 where at 11:00 am he was in a critical condition and was to undergo surgery. FURGALA was pronounced dead at 11:15 pm on January 29. Initial investigation indicates that FURGALA was detained on Saturday 26th January 2013 at 10:12pm in the Savannah Area San Ignacio Town, apparently under the heavy influence of alcohol and since he was unable to give an address where he resides he was kept in custody for his own safety. However, witnesses in the other cell blocks indicate that on Sunday 27th January 2013, sometime around 01:00 am they heard a loud sound which sounded like someone falling and thereafter a loud snoring coming from Cell No.3 which was where Jeffery Donald FURGALA was detained.

What Hurts the Most?
Early morning errands in town this morning gave me the excuse (not that I really need an excuse) to have breakfast at Estel’s. Having filled myself with the food and the view I very quickly visited Gekko Graphics to get some printing done (we are not buying a printer until we move in to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize). Then on to the Post Office to mail a cheque ( wonder of wonders, I received a refund (not a large amount but …) from the UK Customs and Excise for an overpayment of personal income tax) and then on to Atlantic Bank to make a withdrawal (I hate those) for upcoming bills we have to pay. Also stopped off at the BEL (Belize Electricity Limited) office in Pescador Drive to query why the apartment we are renting has been classified as Commercial. Turns out it wasn’t a mistake but that for someone who owns two or more residential properties ( as the owner that we are renting from does) only one of the properties can be categorised as Residential with the rest being Commercial . Both of his properties,however, are charged at the residential tariff. So now you know. It does pay though to check bills wherever you are but this is especially so in Belize. At around 12.45 pm Rose and I went to Pedro’s Hotel to have lunch before watching Arsenal come back from two nil down to earn a draw. Not the winning result I was hoping for but, obviously, better than losing. The lunch and the company were, as usual, exceptionally good.

Collared Aracari at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge
Sometimes it is easy to get great bird photos at Lower Dover Field Station in Western Belize. Today was one of those days… It seems a family of 5 Social Toucanette’s has been flying around the hotel grounds at Lower Dover. Recently it has been common to see multiple Aracari’s perched on the nearby papaya trees, eating when the fruit is ripe.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Pandesal..Buns frum t'Philippines
Pandesal is a popular brakefuss food n' t'Philippines. Thay air oblong fermed buns which have bee rolled n' breed crumbs befor bakin'. Thay air lite and fluffy, crustee on t'outside and soft on t'inside. N' t'Philippines thay air usual dunked n' coffee but I prefr t'ett 'um with cheez, jam, er a creem cheez spred. Thay air bes hot out uf t'ove! Freeze t'left'vers, wen reheeted thay air jes as good. Air sen has caregivers who air frum t'Philippines and thay were a'tellin me about these buns. I wuz intrigued so deecided t'gif' it a try and thay turnt out amazin! I have alreddy made 'um twicet n' one week! I brung sum t'air sen‘s trayler fer t'guys t'ry..I wasn’t shure hoe thay compard but thay assured me that thay were verr good!

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Mater Basil Tertellini Soup
Cook garlic n' earl ovr medium heat until fragrant. Stir n' broth, mater juice and maters. Brang t'a bawl. Add tertellini, reduce heat and simmr fer 10 minutes. Add basil, oregano, red peppr flakes, creem and Parmesun cheez. Brang t'a bawl and simmr fer 5 more minutes. Sprinkle each servin with dishnull grated Parmesun cheez.

International Sources

It's supposed to FIND MINES...but COULDN"T FIND THE REEF!!!!OYE
Stuck Minesweeper to Be Cut Into Pieces.

Instantly Improve Your Day With This Magical Baby Tapir
A tapir break should proooooobably be a part of every work day. Are you feeling crushed by bureaucracy? Oppressed by your mandatory dress code? Do you feel under-appreciated and ignored? Sadly, this baby tapir can't make your job less tedious or your boss more appreciative... All he can do is look at you like this. They look like this... miracularious little sepia watermelons.

Lessons from the ancient Mayans
American Indians make all manner of extravagant claims on the federal government, some of which have resulted in extravagant restitution. The modern-day Mayans make no such claims down here in Belize or Guatemala. They seem to prefer hanging out at the gas station to taking over a temple or palace. Why doesn’t a local Mayan huckster with a huckster’s gift for dramaturgy and eloquence simply take over a Mayan ruin and declare it his own? Maybe he could even collect taxes. He surely could take his case to the United Nations or the World Court. Today’s Mayans possibly have suffered a huge failure of imagination. It might have begun back in A.D. 1521 when the Mayan civilization went poof. Have modern scholars detected in the records of the ancient Mayans any signs of an awareness of mounting economic problems, of an accumulating unsustainable national debt or of entitlements leading to bankruptcy? The Mayans boasted a rich hieroglyphic language. Is there a word in old Mayan for entitlement? How in Mayan would one spell Obamacare?

Belize seeks help over drug wars
Spillover from Mexico's violent drug war is prompting the Harper government and the Canadian military to become more involved in helping defend the tiny Central American country of Belize. A series of internal reports, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, show the government has quietly increased co-operation with the Commonwealth nation, formerly known as British Honduras. Canada is providing non-lethal equipment for security services and helping with strategic planning and the training of soldiers. The documents, which all date from the spring of last year, describe the situation in Belize as deteriorating in the face of ultraviolent drug cartels that are battling not only Mexican and U.S. law enforcement, but each other as well.

Hidden treasures: Central American Gas
Gas in Central America is dominated by one major producer and consumer: Mexico. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the country has 12 trillion ft3 of reserves, mostly in the south. Proven reserves are expected to rise dramatically in the future, however, as 90% of the probable and possible reserves are located in the underexplored northern region. Because the growth in production is not keeping up with the growth in consumption, Mexico must import at least 1 billion ft3/d. Most currently comes from the US via pipeline, but the country is also increasing its LNG capacity. Belize is also home to a portion of the productive Petren Basin, known locally as the Corozal Basin. The Belize Geology and Petroleum Department is promoting exploration in the region, noting that tectonic activity has created the potential for structural closures bounded by faults and pinch outs that could be delineated through modern seismic technology. During the 1980s, exploratory wells drilled in the basin have encountered oil shows in the Yalbac and Hillbank formations, but no commercial deposits. In 2005, however, Belize based Belize Natural Energy (BNE) found 25 million bbls of oil reserves at the Spanish Lookout and Never Delay fields in the Corozal Basin. BNE subsequently constructed field and transportation infrastructure, and is currently producing 3300 bpd.

Eyeglasses Retailer America's Best Supports Restoring Vision Through Belize Donation
America's Best is proud to support Restoring Vision, a relief effort aimed at providing eyewear to regions where they are desperately needed. In conjunction with the New England College of Optometry, Restoring Vision supplies eyeglasses, usually readers and sunglasses to regions that need them. Most recently, Restoring Vision supplied more than 500 pairs of glasses to people in Belize. Restoring Vision works with eyeglass frames suppliers like America's Best to provide materials that philanthropic and medical mission trips might not otherwise have access to. In tropical climates like Belize, one of the most important supplies the mission groups can provide are sunglasses. With UV protection, sunglasses help prevent eye damage, including cataracts, caused by the sun's harmful rays. Reading glasses are also popular because they can allow older people to get the mild correction they need or can be used in place of prescription glasses if an optometrist is not available, as is the case in some remote areas.

The buzz on Belize
CNN's Holly Firfer shares the secrets to a Belize getaway.

Help us restore Belize's stunning coral reef system
The stunning Mesoamerican Reef is the largest barrier reef in the Atlantic Ocean, stretching for nearly 600 miles off Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. Coastal communities depend on the reef and its fisheries for food and income, but today both are in significant decline due to overfishing, coastal development and climate change. To solve the problem, EDF is using a groundbreaking approach that could serve as a key model for putting coastal fisheries throughout the developing world on a sustainable path. Read about our work below, and then help us solve the problem by donating today.

Caribbean debt high, says Trinidad central bank governor
Gross public debt in the Caribbean was at 80 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, Trinidad and Tobago Central Bank Governor, Jwala Rambarran, said as he addressed senior finance officials from Commonwealth Caribbean countries. The officials met at a workshop on countercyclical loans for the management of exogenous shocks in small and vulnerable economies. "It is no secret that small vulnerable economies in the Caribbean have grappled with external shocks of varying magnitudes and duration over the past two decades. These shocks include a compression of aid flows, dismantling of preferential trade arrangements for sugar and bananas, interventions related to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism," Rambarran said. He noted that many Caribbean governments have resorted to more expensive commercial borrowing to bridge their funding gaps and this, combined with the growing inability of regional governments to generate high enough primary fiscal surpluses for debt servicing, has contributed to a large public debt overhang. "Gross public debt in the Caribbean climbed rapidly from 65 percent of GDP in 1998 to a peak of almost 100 percent of GDP in 2002, before falling to a still elevated 80 percent of GDP in 2012. The accumulation of public debt was even faster in the Eastern Caribbean, moving from just over 60 percent of GDP in 1998 to a high of almost 120 percent of GDP in 2004, before falling to 95 percent of GDP in 2012," Rambarran elaborated.

9 Ways to Explore the Belize Rainforest
As lush rainforest or subtropical jungle cover 78% of the country, incredible rainforest adventures await you in Belize, just 3 hours from New York and 4 hours from Toronto. Under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, a 2001 agreement with the U.S. Government has preserved the picturesque landscape, secluded beaches, limestone caves and lagoons of the 23,000-acre Maya Mountain Marine Corridor. Toucans (Belize's national bird), macaws, peccaries, howler monkeys, spider monkeys and jaguars have been protected. Here are 9 ways to explore the rainforest. Camping Mountain Biking Cave Tubing: Floating along a river that winds through caves and rainforest on an inner tube is one of the most unique ways to view the Caves Branch Nohuch Che’en Reserve Cave Canoeing and Kayaking Jungle Horse Riding: An adventure starting at Belize Jungle Dome takes riders along riverside trails in the jungle, through teak plantations and Abseiling: One of the most memorable abseiling adventures in the Americas is at Actun Loch Tunich sink hole (Black Hole Drop). Caving: Great places for caving include Actun Tunichil Mucnal, dubbed one of the top 10 caves in the world by National Geographic and Barton Creek Cave, which was a Mayan burial site. You'll travel there by canoe. Zipline Canopy Tour Moonlight Jaguar Quest: Near Blancaneaux Lodge, you will set out with guides in search of jaguars in their natural habitat.

Belize asks Canada to help fight spillover of Mexican drug war
Spillover from Mexico's violent drug war is prompting the Harper government and the Canadian military to become more involved in helping defend the tiny, Central American country of Belize. A series of internal reports, obtained by The Canadian Press under the access to information law, show the government has quietly increased co-operation with the Commonwealth nation, formerly known as British Honduras. Canada is providing non-lethal equipment for security services and helping with strategic planning and the training of soldiers. The documents, all dated from the spring of last year, describe the situation in Belize as deteriorating in the face of ultra-violent drug cartels that are battling not only Mexican and U.S. law enforcement, but each other as well

The Story of Bottled Water
Watch out bottled water companies. The Story of Bottled Water employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industrys attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all. Our production partners on the bottled water film include five leading sustainability groups: Corporate Accountability International, Environmental Working Group, Food & Water Watch, Pacific Institute, and Polaris Institute.


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