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#457138 - 02/03/13 09:12 AM Today's Belize News: February 3, 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

Tom Marvel to create plan for Marco Gonzalez Visitor center
marco-gonzalez-maya-site-25The groundwork has commenced for the Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Site to get its welcome center. Visiting from San Jose, Puerto Rico, Architect Tom Marvel was on Ambergris Caye canvassing the site and getting acquainted with the island in preparation to create what the new Visitor’s Center will be. At the end of his visit, he was hosted by Mayor Danny Guerrero and wife, plus members of the Board of Directors of the Marco Gonzalez Archeological Site, to dinner at Elvis Kitchen on Saturday January 26th. Speaking of his experience on the island, Marvel stated; “You have a very interesting town here. Very Caribbean. Very lively, lots of things going on, I think it is very impressive – extremely highly developed.”

Former BNTU President and activist John Pinelo passes
John PineloJust as the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) was set to hold a national protest in Belmopan to demand a raise in salary, they also prepared to lay to rest one of their most powerful former presidents. John Pinelo, one of the BNTU’s longest serving presidents, passed away on Saturday January 26th after losing his battle to cancer. He was buried in his home town San Ignacio Town on Wednesday January 30th. The 64 year old former teacher-activist leaves behind a legacy, having led the country’s most influential union in some of its biggest protests in recent memory. Pinelo taught in various high schools across the country and went up the ranks in his teaching profession, eventually becoming the teachers union’s president in 1984, leading it for 19 years up to 2003. He then continued to be an active member until 2012. His genuine concern for his fellow teachers, as well as his humble personality, kept him in touch with the reality in Belize, championing the causes alongside his friend George Frazer, also a unionist, for years.

San Pedro BTIA elects new board of directors
The San Pedro Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) on Wednesday January 30th met to elect a new Board of Directors. The election was conducted during a meeting at the Blue Water Grill and had the presence of the newly appointed national President Herbert Haylock and BTIA Executive Director Efren Perez. The meeting also served to bring its membership up to date with the fundraising efforts of the local chapter as it related to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic II. The local chapter was briefed on the work that BTIA has been doing in other parts of the country. With the primary objective being the selection of a new board, an election was held amongst the members that showed up to the meeting. Re-elected as Chairman was Mukul Kanabar of The Phoenix Resort, and Vice Chairman is Gary Greif of Tropic Air. Also elected are Treasurer: Javier Williams of Victoria House, Secretary: Enes Ramirez of Belize Diving Adventures, Member-at-Large: Ovel Leonardo of Las Terrazas, and Julie Babcock remains as past Chair.

Referendum Committee visit SPJC students
SPJC-ReferendumFor many years The Republic of Guatemala has asserted its claim over portions of Belizean land. In 1859 the Anglo-Guatemalan treaty was signed between the Queen of England and Guatemala. In the treaty Guatemala accepted the British Colony (years after renamed Belize) and its boundaries and in return a “cart road” was to be erected from Guatemala to Punta Gorda to allow Guatemalans access to the sea. With the road never being constructed, in 1940 Guatemala claimed that the treaty of 1859 was void due to the failure to comply with the regulations under Article 7 of the treaty. Since then many attempts for reaching a peaceful settlement between the two countries through diplomatic arrangement have been made. Little has been achieved from them as attempts have been fruitless. Over the years Belize has received support from the United States of America, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba and Panama in its negotiations for a peaceful solution to Guatemala’s claim. Guatemala has also continuously, over the years, changed the area of land being claimed. The last claim made in 1999 included the area from the Sibun River to the Sarstoon River and all the cayes, with the exception of St. George’s Caye. The government of Belize and its people remain firm in their intent to not compromise even one square inch of Belizean land to be handed over to the Guatemalans.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro BTIA Elects New Board Members
Members and invited guests of the San Pedro Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) met yesterday, January 30, 2013, at the Blue Water Grill where the election of their new board members took place. President of the BTIA National, Herbert Haylock and BTIA Executive Director Efren Perez were also in attendance. Mukul Kanabar of The Phoenix once again took the position of Chairman of the San Pedro Chapter of the BTIA and the following five board positions were filled: Vice Chair - Gary Greif, Tropic Air Treasurer - Javier Williams, Victoria House Secretary - Enes Ramirez - Belize Diving Adventures Member at Large - Ovel Leonardo, Las Terrazas Past Chair - Julie Babcock, Caye Casa

The Belizean Greasy Pole Challenge
The Greasy Pole Challenge has always been a crowd-pleaser and a fun activity at various festivals and celebrations around Belize. Seems simple enough - It’s a 30-foot + pole all greased up with cooking lard. On top, a flag that is waiting to be fetched; of course it takes more than one man to complete the task. Oh and there is a cash prize for the winning group. The secret is a strong base of men who can withstand the weight of all the others who climb on top of them and fast and light climbers. It’s a slippery situation, but a fun attraction that we are glad to see it not ‘slipping’ away from our celebrations!

BELTRAIDE and Idealab officially LAUNCH Belize’s First Investment Magazine!
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and Idealab Studios launched the Inaugural Issue of Belize’s First Business and Investment Magazine “INVEST BELIZE”. The Launch took place on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, at Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza. Invest Belize will be used as a promotional tool to showcase Belize in a progressive light for what it represents: an investment destination. The magazine is strategically featured to aggressive investors who are seeking to invest in new dynamic markets, such as Belize. This publication features the major investment opportunities, while providing up to date information on policy, trade agreements, statistics, trade and projections to the investment community in Belize and abroad.

5th Annual Tres Pescados Slam Tournament
The 5th Annual Tres Pescados Slam Tournament is set for August 15-17th, 2013. As in previous years, the event will be a three-day catch and release fly-fishing tournament for the grand slam species bonefish, permit and tarpon. The tournament will have both a Pro division and an Amateur division. The team structure will be the same as last year, with all Pro Teams guided by a licensed BTB fly fishing guide, and all two person Amateur Teams without a guide. The Amateur division is open to all. Entry fees must be paid on or before April 1, 2013. Pro division team spots are limited to 20 boats. At least one team member, anglers or guide, must attend the Casters Meeting banquet on Wednesday evening August 14th, 2013 to receive the latest tournament updates and catch and release packet.

Belize Luxury Resort El Secreto Celebrates with Beach Party
Guests were greeted with a delicious island buffet, tiki bar filled with tropical cocktails and musical entertainment by Barrington & the Islanders. It’s usually quiet and serene at El Secreto, but the evening called for a celebration of their opening. Special invited guests of the evening were San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero, his Town Councilors and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, who both welcomed the El Secreto team to Ambergris Caye and wished them much success. The evening ended with a big dance party and limbo competition on the beach with some great El Secreto prizes for a few lucky guests.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Belizeans abroad should be given the right to vote on the ICJ referendum
One of the most fundamental rights of any citizen is the right to vote for their elected representatives and on issues that are of major importance to them. Since Belizeans were granted dual citizenship status by the United Democratic Party in 1984, they have been denied this right by the two major political parties when governing Belize. The excuses I have heard coming from the representatives of the two major political parties -- UDP and PUP -- for not granting Belizean citizens abroad the right to vote by proxy is that it is too expensive and it will be difficult to make it transparent. Belizean politicians from both political parties used to travel from Belize to meet with Belizeans in all the major cities looking for political contributions and support. After the 1990s, many Belizean Americans came to the conclusion that the Belizean politicians were making too many false promises and when they were elected did nothing during their five-year terms to address their needs.

Documentary Filming in Belize Course
For Summer 2013 ISIS, the Institution for Sustainable International Studies, will be having a course on filming art, culture, and wildlife documentaries in Belize. "This is an introductory course for students to learn how to tell a visual story, using video, on aspects of culture and nature history against the background of the neotropical country of Belize. The knowledge gained and the practical field experience will be a valuable tool for students needing to promote future projects with powerful visual media. It will also provide core knowledge for those considering becoming professional documentary filmmakers in the fields of nature, local culture and biology. The course is taught by Emmy(r) Award winning videographers, Carol and Richard Foster, and Danny Valesquez."

The Soul Project Stage
Last night, the Soul Project had some amazing live music. Emmanuel Mangar was there, on guitar, and he had Catch and Deyanie do some singing, along with many others. During a break, Ricky Galvez played some origianl material. Cayo's live music scene is really taking off.

ATLIB Basketball Moved to UB
The ATLIB basketball regionals have been moved to the University of Belize's Jaguar Auditorium tomorrow due to the weather. "Please be informed that the venue has been changed for the ATLIB Basketball Tournament due to weather conditions. It will now be held at UB's GYM IN BELMOPAN; opening ceremony starts at 8:30 am being led by the Galen Eagles band."

Galen Partners with Fairleigh Dickinson University
Galen has signed two academic cooperation agreements with Fairleigh Dickinson University. The Two-Worlds program is for FDU students that want to do a few years abroad. The Global Opportunities program is for Belizean students who want to spend a year studying abroad. Congratulations, Galen!

Channel 7

GOB & Unions Breakthrough: PM Convenes Cordial Meeting, Union Says "Giant Leap Forward"
Today was d-day in Belmopan: the labour unions and the Prime Minister convened a pivotal meeting to discuss the pay raise they have demanded. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room at the Sir Edney Cain building. The union leaders from the PSU, the BNTU, The APSSM and the NTUCB all arrived at the same time. The APSSM contingent notably did not include President Jose Castellanos - who had been the numbers guru for the union side. But with past president George Myvette acting as their representative, they proceeded to meet the government side. That included ministers Patrick Faber, Charles Gibson and Godwin Hulse as well as Financial Secretary Joe Waight and Economic Ambassador, Mark Espat. The meeting started promptly at ten and by 12:45 the Prime Minister walked downstairs to personally invite the 13 waiting media personnel from 6 media houses upstairs for a briefing. He gave the unions the floor - and here's what they said:.. Mervyn Blades, President PSU "As you know we have a joint council along with the Prime Minister and we want to express that it was a cordial meeting, a lot of suggestions and concrete proposals were presented. We cannot go into the details of those proposals until we discuss it with our membership. However we must say that we want to thank the Prime Minister for having this cordial meeting and it was a mutual respect on both sides and so we will go back to our people before dispel anything to the media."

3 Months Later: Romel Palacio Found Dead
On December 11 of last year, 7News told you about Romel Palacio Jr., the man who went missing earlier that month, and who was believed by his family to have been killed. His father was killed in June of 2011, and the family believes that they were after Palacio Jr., but they mistook his father for him when they killed the elderly man inside his home. Well, the decomposed remains of Palacio Jr., who was being targeted for being a witness to a crime, was discovered in a shallow grave between miles 11 and 12 on the George Price highway yesterday evening. His grieving family spoke to us at our office this morning, and they told us that although it's painful, it's validation of their suspicions, and they can finally get closure. Here's what they told us about giving him a proper burial: Dawnette Palacio - sister of deceased "Yesterday evening when I was about to leave work I received a phone call from the police officer informing me that they found a body or the remains of a body up on the George Price Highway at about 12 miles and they ask if one of the family member could come in and identify the body or the remains because they believe it to be the remains of my brother who went missing on the 6th of December."

BDF Gets New Commander
Today, command of the BDF was handed over from General Dario Tapia to the General David Jones. It was an elaborate ceremony in which dignitaries and members of the high command all the security forces who collaborate with the BDF, along with other distinguished guests witnessed General Jones' ceremonial installment. After the 2 hour event, 7News spoke with the Minister of National Security, and the new commander, and both men underscored what the change meant to the direction of the BDF. Here's how they described it: Hon. John Saldivar "It was a very impressive ceremony, a very important and symbolic ceremony as we see the retiring of general Tapia and the assuming of command of General Jones. A very important time in our country's history, it is timing that we are getting new blood, new direction for the BDF also." Daniel Ortiz "Sir, tell us what's your impression of the outgoing commander's performance for the 4 years that he has lead the Belize Defence Force?" Hon. John Saldivar "In the one year that I have been associated with him, I've been very impressed. I've also been very impressed with his leadership of the BDF but also with the BDF in general - the level of discipline and commitment that I see in our soldiers."

Prosecution Closes Case In Rhys Trial
And if you noticed in that ceremony of the BDF change of command, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin also took part in Brigadier General Jones' elevation to the head of the nation's military force. That's because Nicoli Rhys' murder trial in which Chief Justice Benjamin is sitting as judge has been adjourned until Monday because the Director of Public Prosecutions closed her case today. If you tried to move through Regent Street in the near vicinity of the court house this morning between 10 o'clock and 11 o'clock , you may have encountered traffic personnel redirecting the flow. That's because the murder trial had a locus visit, which simply means that the Chief Justice and all the attorneys involved visited the area where Andre Trapp was gunned down.

Saldivar Explains Anti-Union Rant
Yesterday morning on WAVE Radio, Police Minister John Saldivar seemed to publicly take on the unions when he said, if necessary, he would go all over the country making Government's case to teachers - and let those who call him a union buster be damned. Well, judging from the initial reports on the outcome of today's meeting, it seems that tour de force won't be necessary - but, all the same, we asked Saldivar to modify or elaborate on his comments today: Hon. John Saldivar "It's amazing for me how simple this thing can be taken out of context but I believe that the union leadership in trying to encourage their members to demonstrate against my government and to perhaps even strike against my government involves every one of us as members of Cabinet who have made that decision along with the Prime Minister that we have made which is to say that at this time we cannot afford the increase. The Prime Minister is currently meeting with them and trying to negotiate but if they cannot come to an agreement I have promise and I have said that I will take the government's position to the membership which I believe has not been properly informed by their leadership and that is all that I have said. We've all got to be men and women and be mature enough to understand each other's role. I am a member of the Cabinet; a member of the government that is in negotiation with the unions and I believe that our position as government has been misrepresented by the unions and I see nothing wrong in my saying I want to explain my governments' position."

Speaking Of Motivation..
And while Saldivar has motivation aplenty to defend what he describes as "his government" - for those not quite so headstrong and self assured, a group of high powered motivational speakers are in the country. They will be making presentations for hundreds of young people in the upcoming week. Bert Oliva and Robin Kirk along with their team will be touring the country holding motivational sessions. These sessions will be conducted under the theme -The Potentialist- and focuses on finding an individual's true potential. Today the crew stopped by our studios to share more with us. Dr. Dionne Miranda - Managing Director, Chamberlain Consulting "Yes, actually we partnered with RESTORE Belize and Bert Oliva and Robin Kirk motivational speakers and their team have volunteered their time to come into to Belize and speak to our teenagers and at the same time do a cooperate session because that is their real jobs but they fall in love with our country and the last time that they were here and they want to give back and they want to give back more so they are coming in to finished up what they started." "We have a full schedule; on Monday we do Belize City at the Bliss starting at 8:30am - that's the grand opening and Minister Faber will be there to open us up, that's one session in the morning and one in the afternoon at 1pm - that's for Belize City teenagers. On Tuesday, we are heading to Orange Walk in the morning and that's going to be at the multi-purpose complex. In the afternoon, it the Andre Campos stadium at 1pm, then on Wednesday we go to the prison and we do all of the inmates at the prison. In the afternoon we do a cooperate session at 1pm and after that we moved on, on Thursday to Dangriga, that's going to be at the Parish Hall in Dangriga. On Thursday we moved on to Belmopan in the morning and that's the UB Gymnasium and at that one we are going to be doing both kids from Sacred Heart College and the Belmopan area because the venue in Cayo wasn't large enough for us."

Fergala Family Shuns Media, Police Mum On Post Mortem Results
35 year old Canadian visitor Jeffrey Fergala died earlier this week at the KHMH. That's after he sustained a head injury while in police custody. Police said he was very drunk when they picked him up on Saturday night. They say he fell when he tried to stand up in his cell. That was around 1:00 am on Sunday, but police did not take note of his condition until 6:00 am - by which time he was already motionless in his cell. He died two days later at the KHMH. His family - who came to Belize for the body - has told the media that they don't want to do any interviews - and they ask that the media leave the story alone until the investigation is complete. Well, they probably don't know that some investigations are never complete - and police haven't even released the result of his post mortem! They have however given the standard undertaking to conduct criminal and internal investigations. But some new information on Fergala is coming from CTV News in Canada. Here's the report they put together:.. The image of him presented in that story differs sharply from the one provided by police - who somehow seemed to know of him as a heavy drinker. Fergala was in Belize for two weeks building a home in the Calla Creek Area.

The Sherriff Of Punta
He is known as the Sheriff of the town - even though he's not a real sheriff. But that's a title that Taprick has earned for himself by being one of Belize's foremost musical entertainers. With hit songs such as Tip Pan Yu Toe and Gimmie Gimmie, this punta artist has made his name well known on the airwaves. Just recently back from a Punta Tour in the US, Taprick paid us a visit today at 7 news to promote his latest album called Sheriff in charge of haters. Taprick - Belizean Artist "Punta is everything that is on the album." Monica Bodden "How long did it took to get everything together for this album?" Taprick - Belizean Artist "I was working on it from last year. It took me a little while, at least about 6 months." Monica Bodden "How many tracks?" Taprick - Belizean Artist "Fifteen." Monica Bodden "What's the favorite track - the best song that you'd say you put your all into?" Taprick - Belizean Artist "I would say "do the dip." That song is about action and thing." Monica Bodden "How can people purchase this album?" Taprick - Belizean Artist "For them to purchase the album, they can call me at 634-1507." Taprick's new album can be had by calling 6-3-4-1-5-0-7.

Recruit #56 Struts Its Stuff
And that's the news tonight - thanks for joining us, I am Peta Gaye Levy. We close with images of the show put on by recruit intake number 56 this evening at the BDF Change of Command. They showed they are combat ready, and ready for prime time. Here's how they showed off their acrobatic abilities culled form hours of training drills that form part of their daily physical training. Thanks for watching, and join us back here on Monday.

Channel 5

P.M. and N.T.U.C.B. harmonize at negotiations
At about one o’clock this afternoon, Prime Minister Dean Barrow personally came downstairs of the Sir Edney Cain Building to escort the media into the cabinet room where he had been meeting with the Belize National Teachers Union, the Public Service Union and the Association for Public Service Senior Managers, via the N.T.U.C.B. A proposal [...]

National Security Minister insists on taking on teachers
While the Prime Minister was meeting with the unions in Belmopan, at Price Barracks, the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, was playing gatekeeper of the government. On Thursday morning, the very vocal Saldivar received national media attention when he took on teachers and the union during an appearance on the U.D.P.’s WAVE Radio. Taken [...]

Eyewitness to murder found in shallow grave
As we reported on Thursday night, a body was found in a shallow grave between miles eleven and twelve on the George Price Highway. The family of Rommel Palacio Junior painfully identified his remains this morning through a tattoo as well as a watch found near the remains. Palacio went missing in December last year [...]

Soldiers mount up; B.D.F. gets new recruit
The Belize Defense Force celebrated its thirty-fifth anniversary today in grand style at Price Barracks by welcoming a new Commander. And in addition to welcoming that new Commander, the force also celebrated the graduation of Intake number fifty-six comprising of forty-five new recruits. These recruits will join fellow officers in preserving our territorial integrity at [...]

Brigadier General David Jones now in charge of B.D.F.
Before assuming his new post as Brigadier General, Lieutenant Colonel David Jones, gained much public recognition for his expertise as an explosive specialist when grenades first became a real threat on Belize City streets. And with the rank just bestowed, Jones has taken up the reins as Brigadier General Dario Tapia who leaves on retirement. [...]

B.D.F. invites public to its Open Day
As part of its thirty-fifth anniversary, the B.D.F. is having its annual Open Day this Saturday at Price Barracks. Held under the theme, “Discipline Patriots serving with pride and integrity,” the event is for the entire family. The activities include a bash with Tagg International and artist, Sweet Pain. Pilot at the Force, Adran Ramirez, [...]

How did Canadian national die in police custody?
The Canadian press has been reporting extensively on the demise of Jeffrey Furgala who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Monday night. Furgala was hospitalized for less than twenty-four hours after he was found unconscious inside a cell at the police at the San Ignacio Station. The thirty-five year old resident of Calgary, [...]

Three cases of carnal knowledge in court
  There are three cases of carnal knowledge to report tonight. The first happened up north in 2011; it involved two girls, one who was nine and the other who was ten years old at the time of the crime.  The allegation is that between January 2011 and July 2011, sixty year old Lazaro Amaya, [...]

B.D.F. and Police officer rumble
The Belize Police Department and the Belize Defense Force – they’re forced to work together in close quarters and on a daily basis as part of the anti-crime initiatives in place since last year. But it’s no secret that the two branches of government’s law enforcement and national security arm do not always see eye [...]

Job opportunities available for Belizeans in Canada
Late last year, the Actyle Group, a Saskatchewan-based recruitment firm, recruited hundreds of Belizean to take up jobs with a number of businesses such as McDonalds in Canada. This week, the recruiting company was back in Belize, but this time they headed over to Belmopan where they held three days of interviews with graduates and [...]

Local artist finds Jesus
Call the name Troy Busano and most people might not know who you’re talking about…but say Taprick and instantly the songs Tip Pan Yu Toe and Ride Like Wah Jockey come to mind. This young Belizean sensation is well known for his fast paced tunes which have become local dance hits. And apart from taking [...]

Foreign News organization features vacations in Belize
A short item on Belize was recently posted online by CNN. The Belize Tourism Board has shifted its motto from “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret” to “Belize: Discover how to be.” CNN’s Holly Firfer put together a short video on how to travel in one of Central America’s best destinations.   {Highlight of Feature…}   [...]


Prime Minister Meets With Union Leaders
Three days after threatening to strike if their memberships did not get their salary increase, today the Presidents of the Belize National Teacher’s Union, Luke Palacio and Marvin Blades of the Public Service Union were giving signals of a different tone. They, along with t...

Woman Fined 2K For Stealing Kool Aid
Twenty-five year old Nyokia Smith, who was convicted of theft of a ball of Dutch cheese from a supermarket, was charged with the theft of a box of cool aid from Bottom Dollar Store when she appeared in court today. She pled not guilty to the charge and she was released on a bail of $2,...

Belizean Fined 10K for Cannabis
Twenty-seven year old Daniel Flowers, one of four persons charged with drug trafficking for 428 grams of cannabis, was fined $10,000.00 today after he pleaded guilty to the charge. He was given until April 30 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve four years. Flowers also pled...

Young Man Acquitted of Murder In Belmopan
Twenty-one year old Timroy Neal, charged with the murder of Enrique Orellano, was acquitted of the charge today in Belmopan Supreme Court. A confession statement that Neal allegedly made was not admitted as evidence because it was obtained from Neal, who was only 15 at the time, ...

Belize Defense Force Strengthens With Additional Soldiers
New soldiers are joining the ranks of the Belize Defence Force today. A passing out parade is scheduled for this afternoon at the Sir Colville Young Parade square at Price Barracks, in Ladyville. Over forty men and women will graduate this afternoon, having completed the re...

Change of Command In The Belize Defense Force
The Belize Defense Force is celebrating its thirty five year anniversary this year and today one of the highlights of the celebration was showcased as Price Barracks in Ladyville came alive with the official ceremonies which included the Change of Command and Passing out of Recruit Int...


Another Life Claimed By The Philip Goldson Highway
Over the past week, the Northern Highway has seen one too many road traffic accidents in which several individuals have been severely injured. In the stretch from Orange Walk to the Mexico border, there have been three major accidents with the latest one occurring late last night. Sometime before nine yesterday evening, residents of the quiet village of Concepcion were startled to hear a loud collision. An SUV had collided into the side of a cargo truck. Reporter Elmer Cornejo and Cameraman Kenric Simpson were on the scene and filed the following report. When we arrived at the sight of the accident Corozal Police had already responded along with the fire department and two ambulances from the Corozal Community Hospital. As you can see, the grey in colour 2007 Ford Escape with license plate CZL C- 02623 driven at the time by 56 years old Marcelo Riverol slammed into the side of the Volvo white with red and black Towhead attached to a 53 feet long trailer bearing license plate Czl A 4266 which was perpendicular to the highway driven at the time by 27 year old Blas Alcoser, also from College Road in Corozal Town. The bang was loud causing neighbours to respond immediately quickly going to the scene of the accident. Witnesses who live close by say that the loud bang alerted them to a major accident but what they could not understand is why they didn’t hear the screeching sound of tires braking before the collision.

Corozalena Charged For Assaulting A Police Officer
Assaulting a police officer is not a wise choice to do and a woman from Corozal Town learned the hard way. According to police reports, sometime around 6:30 yesterday evening they were called out at #2 2nd Street North and upon arrival they observed two women arguing. One of the women identified as 25 year old Edita Felicia Medina was reportedly attacking the other woman. Medina then quickly turned her attention to a female police officer and began to insult the officer and then later attack her. Medina was then placed in handcuffs but that didn’t stop her from continuing to insult and threaten the officer. Medina was informed of the offence committed and cautioned but that did not calm down the enraged woman. While Felicia Medina was being placed into the police vehicle to be transported to the police station, Medina kicked the female officer in the face causing her jaw and lower lip to swell. The police officer received medical treatment and a doctor certified the injuries as wounding. As a result, Medina was charged for wounding, assaulting a police officer, threatening words and insulting words.

Man Charged For Two Counts Of Carnal Knowledge
Tonight, there are two reports of carnal knowledge to report coming out of the Corozal District. The first was reported on Tuesday January 29th, when a 14 year old minor of Paraiso Village was accompanied by her mother and visited the Corozal Police Station at about 5:40pm of said date. The minor reported to police that between September 18th of last year and January 24th of this year she had been having sexual intercourse with 34 year old man at her own free will. According to the report given to police by the minor, the man was identified as Aldo Alan Moreno. A medical examination conducted showed that the minor had been carnally known and as a result police have since arrested and charged Moreno for the Crime of “Carnal Knowledge”. The medical examination not only revealed that the minor was carnally known but that she is also three months pregnant.

2.1 Grams Of Marijuana Led To Him A Charge
Two point one grams of marijuana leads a Corozal man to be arrested and charged for possession of a control drug. Yesterday, sometime around 3:30 in the afternoon, 36 year old Jason Nunez was riding his bicycle along G-Street in Corozal Town, when he saw a patrol unit coming his way. Officers noticed that Nunez was behaving rather suspiciously and decided to exit the patrol vehicle and approach Nunez. According to the report, while officers were approaching Nuñez, they observed that he quickly threw an object to the ground. The object which was discovered to be a piece of paper was retrieved and found to contain suspected cannabis. Nunez was informed of his offence, arrested and escorted to the Corozal Police Station where he was charged for possession of control drugs. The 2.1 grams of marijuana was placed in a white empty envelope, sealed and labeled as exhibit.

Leroy Sherrier Is Back As Coach Of Belize's National Team
The National A-Selection of Belize returned home on Monday to a welcome fit for royalty as they have proven worthy of. For years, decades to that fact, Belize has been one of the teams that other Central American countries consider the easy win. Belize had walked off the field in past tournaments with sometimes 8 to 10 goals scored against them. But that was not the case in this past UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. Belize made history this tournament by qualifying for the first time to the Copa Oro in the US and by qualifying to the semi-finals round in the Copa Centroamericana. With the defeat against El Savlador in the match for third place, Belizeans were shocked to hear that head coach Leroy Lewis Sherrier had resigned. Speculations were abounding as to the reasons of his quick and untimely departure but in a press conference in Belize City, the FFB Executive said, Sherrier is coming back. Accodring to the President of the FFB Ruperto Vicente, Lewis’ resignation was all a big misunderstanding and that he is returning to the team.

Youths Invited To Attend Youth Rally
The Milwood Christian School missionary group from Alberta, Canada, is leaving the country next week but before they do so, the group has decided to hold a youth rally in Orange Walk Town. In yesterday’s newscast, we brought to you the stories of the musical instruments donation to the Louisiana Government School Music Group and the Dental services provided to the children of that school as well. It’s the 6th time that the group is in Belize and hosting the group is Pastor Antonette Young from the United in Christ Church. The youth rally will be held tomorrow at the Orange Walk Multi Purpose Complex and Young shared why you should make an effort to be part of the event. Antonette Young, Pastor “We are inviting all the young people and even the adults young at heart to please come out and support them emotionally and to be at the youth rally where these young students will come out and perform, it is an event of inspiration for our young people here in Orange Walk and the neighboring villages and also Corozal or wherever they are hearing this.”


Belize takes part in DNA mapping exercise
Belize is participating in a population genetic data study. The exercise was carried out by the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The ground work for the study started today with the collection of samples from random people on a voluntary basis. This is being done all day today by personnel of the Belize National Forensic Science Service. Diana Bol Noble is a Forensic Analyst. The process is quick and painless. Noble emphasizes that after the swab of the mouth is taken, there is no way the sample can be linked to anyone. After the sample is taken it is sealed and at the end of the day will be sent to the University of Texas for inclusion in the study. Noble says that with Belize moving towards establishment of a DNA laboratory, today’s exercise is a helpful step in the right direction. Noble stresses that the samples collected today will be used strictly for research purposes and will never be searched in any database or compared to any forensic casework sample.

Taxi drivers get clarification of schedules
Regent Street at its junction with South Street was unusually crowded today when a group of about 40 taxi drivers decided to hold a brief protest in front of the Belize Tourism Board’s office. The taxi drivers are members of the Tourist Village Taxi Association and their President, John Pollard, explained why on a busy cruise ship day like today, they felt compelled to stage a protest, albeit short-lived because Pollard said it was merely a matter of miscommunication. As we said, the taxi drivers left and returned to the Tourism Village to resume their services.

Mayor Bradley addresses infrastructure projects in Belize City
The busy round-about at the northern entrance to Belize City yields to thousands of vehicles traversing in and out of the commercial centre on daily basis. Coupled with that, vehicles negotiating their way to their various destinations at the round-about itself, and pedestrians moving about wantonly, add to the chaos on any given weekday. But the Belize City Council has devised a plan that should create a degree of ease. Today, Mayor Darrel Bradley told reporters that pedestrians will be required to use the overpass built 16 years ago for the exact purpose. And while pedestrian will have a longer route to walk at the Pallotti intersection, drivers, at least those who have not paid their trade or property taxes may find themselves laid up for a while. That’s because Mayor Bradley says that he and the City Council is right within the purview of the law when they refuse to renew their drivers’ licenses for having outstanding arrears with the Council, even if the Minister of Local Government disagrees.

Traffic accident in Camalote village, Cayo
A traffic accident early this morning in Camalotte Village left the occupants of a vehicle with varying degrees of injury. Love News spoke with the driver of the vehicle 20-year-old Leonel del Valle who told us it was a combination of the road conditions and an inconsiderate oncoming driver that contributed to the accident. Before the vehicle came to stop in the drain it tore off a piece of a building that houses a church in the village.

Man killed in road traffic incident in Concepcion village, Corozal
Corozal Police have one man detained pending investigations into a traffic accident in which a man lost his life. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story.

Mexican artist to display works at the Mexican Institute
The Mexican Institute at Newton Barracks in Belize City delighted audiences with a variety of art exhibits featuring local, regional and international artists last year. And tonight, the first exhibit for 2013 is starting. It is featuring the latest work of Mexican artist Enrique Hernandez. Public Relations Officer for the Mexican Embassy, Marcelino Miranda says that through the art Hernandez is in one way showing his talent and in the other, his love of Music. The exhibit will be showcased at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City for two weeks before moving to the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan on February twenty first. Entrance is free of cost.

Art exhibit to open at the Image Factory
The Image Factory on North Front Street will be showcasing its first art exhibit for the year. The artist to be exhibiting is no other than Briheda Haylock who wowed many when she and one of her friends put out the exhibit, society killed the teenager last year, but this year she’s doing it alone, she told us more about her pieces. The opening will take place at 7 pm on Friday at the Image Factory.

Belize to be featured in an in-flight magazine
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, “Hemispheres”. Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at the Belize Tourism Board, Alyssa Carnegie, told Love News that the magazine is included in all United Airlines flights worldwide. Carnegie gave us details about Belize’s feature in the magazine. According to Carnegie, the magazine is very influential for Belize’s tourism market because a feature like this is estimated at about half a million U.S dollars and Belize has limited promotional resources in comparison to other destinations. And with the estimated twelve million people per month that board United Airlines, it’s bound to get us noticed.

BELTRAIDE holds training workshop
Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE today held a consultancy workshop. According to Executive Director, Nicholas Ruiz, the concentration is on the Business Process Outsourcing or BPO industry. Mario Umaña from the Integration Trade Sector of the Inter American Development Bank, IDB in Washington D.C, says he was presenting the preliminary results and making diagnostics and recommendations of the Integration Trade Factor Consultancy in hopes of preparing a strategy and road map for the development of the BPO Industry in Belize. Meanwhile Diego Morris from Compete Caribbean which is a forty million dollar program funded by the Department for International Development, the Canadian International Development Agency in collaboration with the IDB, says this is one of the first projects approved by them in 2010 and this being his third visit, is very exciting because at first everything was just an idea, but now it’s already trying to balance on two feet. The Consultancy workshop took place at the House of Culture on Regent Street in Belize City and included participants from the University of Belize, the University of the West Indies, as well as representatives from the BPO sector.

Mayor Bradley back from Guatemala working visit
Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley has been busy spearheading Municipal Development projects around the old capital. And while he is cracking down on people who wander into traffic at the Pallotti intersection, he is also building relations with a number of neighbouring municipalities in Mexico and in Guatemala. Mayor Bradley has just returned from a visit to San Benito Poite in Guatemala and today told reporters what that trip and the sister city ties aim to accomplish.

Duo arrested in a series of carnal knowledge reports
A Belize City man has been arrested and charged after he was caught with a thirteen year old girl. Police say that on Tuesday morning between eight thirty and nine forty in the morning, they were alerted of an underage girl with a man at a house on South Creek Road. When officers arrived at the house, they found the thirteen year old girl and twenty three year old Enfield Fitzgibbon inside a room. They were both escorted to the police station and later, the girl was taken to the hospital where a medical examination was conducted. That examination revealed that the girl was carnally known. Police then arrested and charged Enfield Ervin Fitzgibbon for the crime of Indecent Assault. They have also arrested and charged twenty two year old Ryan Alvarez for the crime of carnal knowledge. Both men were arraigned today in the Belize City Magistrate’s court. No plea was taken from Alvarez because the offence is indictable. Fitzgibbon pleaded not guilty to the charge. They were denied bail and were remanded into custody until March 20. Two other cases of carnal knowledge have been reported, this time in the Corozal district. On Tuesday evening, a fourteen year old girl accompanied by her mother, went to the police station to report that earlier this month, she had been having sexual intercourse with a man since September of last year. Although the girl claims that the sexual contact was consensual, she is a minor and as such, the man, thirty four year old Aldo Alan Moreno was arrested by police. A medical examination of the girl revealed that not only has she been carnally known, but she is now three months pregnant. Moreno has been charged for the crime of Carnal Knowledge. The third incident was reported yesterday and involved an eleven year old girl. The incident was reported to the authorities by the mother of the child who told authorities that between January and July of 2011, a man identified as Lazaro Amaya was having sexual intercourse with the minor. The sexual assault, according to the child’s mother, would happen inside of a van when Amaya would take the girl and her sister to a park in Corozal town. But the sexual assault of the eleven year old is not the only crime that Amaya is accused of. He is also accused of having sexual intercourse with a ten year old girl, also related to the eleven year old. A medical examination was conducted on both minors confirming that they have been carnally known. Sixty year old Lazaro Amaya has been arrested and charged with two counts of Carnal Knowledge.

Berne Velasquez stars in another Hollywood sci-fi movie
He is one of Belize’s most prolific artists. And today Berne Velasquez continues to blaze a path to stardom that few other local talents have approached with as much energy and excitement. Velasquez is starring in the latest motion picture being filmed on location in Belize. It is a project called Poseidon Rex and this afternoon, Velasquez told Love TV’s Patrick Jones about his involvement in this latest movie. Velasquez says the on location shooting of the 90-minute movie has been ongoing for the last two weeks. Friday is scheduled to be the last day of production work in Belize. Velasquez says he is enjoying putting Belize on the Hollywood map. According to the movie trailer, the plot of the film is centered on a mythical ancient evil creature disturbed by a team of underwater cave explorers plumbing the depths of Belize’s world famous blue hole. The movie falls under the Sci Fi genre and is being produced by the Tital Global Entertainment, an independent distribution and production company based in Los Angeles, California.

BDF prepares to celebrate 35th. anniversary
The Belize Defence Force is preparing to celebrate two very important milestones. This weekend, the Force will hold its annual BDF Day and that follows the change of command on Friday. Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega will move up in rank to Colonel, second only to the incoming Brigadier General, David Jones, who takes over from outgoing General Dario Tapia. When we visited Price Barracks this week, Love News observed soldiers rehearsing for the two big events and Lieutenant Colonel Ortega explained that process. Meanwhile, Saturday’s event open day will feature military tattoos, raffles, and family-oriented activities.

#457139 - 02/03/13 09:12 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 3, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here


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Minister of National Security John Saldivar announced today, Thursday, on Wave Radio’s talk show “Fus ting da mawnin,” that if after the meeting on Friday, February 1, with the Prime Minister and the negotiating teams in Belmopan, the teachers and public officers insist on saying that the government can afford to give a salary increase at this time, he will take matters into his own hands and make a countrywide tour to personally reiterate the government’s position. “If they are not able to reach a satisfactory conclusion tomorrow Fonso, I will travel this country with government’s position. I am telling you from now. So Mr. Palacio if you want call it union busting you can call it weh you want. But I am going to travel the entirety of this country, meeting with teachers. And if they no want come da meeting, I gwine to their house. I will find a way to meet them. So they know the facts of my government’s position is, what we are offering, because these leaders have a political agenda. I like it when they have a political agenda because it brings them in my arena. Because my arena is politics. And so if they think they can play politics better than me then we will get in there and rumble. We wah rumble. They want to shape people’s minds against my government in a certain way. Well I gwine out deh go counter that. And as soon as I hear the outcome of the meeting tomorrow.” To recap Saldivar’s position in this matter, last week the Minister was given permission by the Ministry of Education to cancel afternoon classes and call a meeting with the teachers in Belmopan to address the salary adjustment matter.

Teachers and public officers protest denial of raise-a-pay. For those who held their breath wondering about the outcome, the teachers and public service workers successfully pulled off their peaceful demonstration and rally on the steps of the National Assembly Building on Tuesday, January 29, 2013. The crowd of about 3,000 teachers and their supporters demonstrated through the streets of Belmopan and around the National Assembly building singing songs, carrying placards, and chanting, all in their determination to convince the government to grant them a salary adjustment. The crowd shouted statements such as “Mr. Prime Minister, with no apologies, just adjust the salaries,” “Minister Faber, remember when you were a teacher,” “Cost of living is killing us” and “Who is emptying the pie pan? Not I. My salary is not that high.” After the crowd marched around the National Assembly once, they proceeded to the steps of the building where they began a ceremony in which several members and affiliates of the unions spoke on behalf of their colleagues on the matters at hand. Though the word choices, tones and speaking styles of the speakers were different, all the speeches had one message in common — the teachers and public service workers want their salary adjustment, and they “want it now!” Teachers and public service workers from all over the country were present at the demonstration. They were passionate as they marched, sang and chanted in solidarity. Belize National Teachers’ Union President Stann Creek Branch Nadia Caliz said she believes that the turnout was great. Caliz said that from Dangriga alone, there were 512 teachers who shared eight buses.

Every civilized country in the world has laws regarding firearm possession, and Belize is no exception. It is quite easy and reasonable to think that clamping down tightly on firearms will reduce crime. Since the mid-December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the US Government is strongly looking at very strict gun control laws. The Government passes laws banning various types of firearms and “bullet-proof” vests. People celebrate. Then something interesting happens: crime rates go up instead of down! Then the Government is pressed to do something else, to pass more laws. Things still don’t improve. What is going on? Criminals use firearms to commit armed robberies, rape, and murder innocent civilians. Criminals are already breaking various laws. They are not afraid to possess and use an illegal firearm. Hanging. A life sentence. Fifty years. Ten years. It doesn’t matter to the criminals. If the deterrents on the law books don’t stop the criminals from robbing, raping, and murdering, they won’t stop them from possessing guns illegally either. Who do the laws stop from owning guns? Law-abiding citizens. International studies have shown this. Smaller studies in the USA have shown this also. States in the US which are big “Second Amendment” (i.e.: the right to bear arms, as stated in the second amendment to the US Constitution) states, typically have lower crime rates than other states which prefer more legislation.

Belizean musician and actor Berne Velasquez is no stranger to the media. The Belizean artist has produced his own songs and has been featured in several films. Berne is to star in his fourth international movie called Poseidon Rex. Berne said that the movie is based on some tourists who came to Belize on vacation. The group decides to go on a diving trip to the Blue Hole with their tour guide, Berne’s character. While on their trip they come across a person who they will rescue and take back to safety, but not before enduring some riveting adventures. Amandala spoke to Berne today, Thursday, and he said that he was thrilled about his role in another movie. He said that he couldn’t give too many details of the plot, but can assure that the movie will be filled with excitement. “Crazy things will be happening down on the bottom of the Blue Hole,” he said. “A lot of excitement and craziness happens to the crew as they dive the Blue Hole and rescue the body they found.” Berne said that movie was being filmed over the past two weeks at locations all over the country. He said that the movie will be rated G and that it features other Belizean actors as well as Hollywood actor Brian Krause who starred in the popular television series Charmed. Berne said that he feels blessed to be able to have all the opportunities given to him thus far.

by Kenneth Gale Dear Editor, When the bodies of four George Street gang members were found with their heads nearly cut off, without any supporting evidence the hue and cry went up that the near decapitations were the work of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU). If one looks at the manner of the killings, such near decapitation has never been a method of killing used by the GSU. However, decapitation is clearly the method of killing (MO) used by the enforcers for the Mexican drug cartels. In Mexican towns that border the US, bodies with their heads cut off are frequently found. There have been as many as a dozen bodies found at the same time at the same location, with all with their heads cut off. Decapitation is the MO of the Mexican drug cartels, not the GSU. The cartel’s enforcers are primarily former special service soldiers of the Mexican army, trained to kill. One will recall that, about two years ago, three armed Mexican nationals were arrested in Belize. They produced evidence that they had been, or were, members of the Mexican Army. The then Minister of National Security, citing an absurd reason, ordered their release. Presently, there is a Mexican national in Belize custody that was caught coming into Belize with cocaine and a large numbers of guns. He had obviously brought the guns into Belize for distribution to those involved in drug trafficking, together with the cocaine to pay for a prior trans-shipment of cocaine to the cartels. Cocaine is the manner in which the cartels pay for such trans-shipments that come through Belize.

by Larry Vernon Dear Editor, Very frequently we hear words being mispronounced during professional speaking engagements, by announcers, and by interviewees. Although professional people try their best to pronounce words and idioms correctly some still become accustomed to pronouncing a word incorrectly, and until someone corrects them the error is perpetuated. One such word is ‘sovereignty’. This word does not have an extra ‘i’ and should not be pronounced ‘sovereignity’.

by Russell Czarnecki Dear Editor, I don’t know why, but while having lunch today, it occurred to me that in the years I’ve been reading the Amandala (and the Reporter as well), I couldn’t really recall more than one or two instances of anyone being prosecuted for white collar crime. Does my memory fail me? Is this not a problem in Belize? Am I losing my mind?

by Cynthia Pitts Dear Editor, Last week I read in your newspaper that Dr. Atanacio Cob’s home was burglarized and household articles to the value of $5,520.00 stolen. I have also been a victim of burglary. My house in Belmopan was burglarized in the latter part of last year and household articles stolen. My loss was much more. It was approximately $15,000.00. I have always wondered how this type of news gets into the papers. Is it the person who has been burglarized who sends a report to the newspaper? Is it the police who inform the paper? Is a report made on the basis of the magnitude of the value of the loss? If on the basis of the value of the loss, then I thought mine should have certainly hit the papers as it was much more than the burglaries of which I have been reading in recent weeks. I have decided to publicize my burglary because even if nothing is gained by the publicity, it should let us reflect on where we are in law enforcement. The house was fully furnished but was unoccupied following the departure of its tenant. I do not live in Belmopan so was unaware of the burglary until sometime after it had happened. The neighbors saw the articles being taken away in “broad daylight,” but assumed that I knew what was happening.

by Lawrence Denig Dear Editor, When is the journalism community going to investigate the issue of the millions of dollars of unaccountable (and taxable) sales receipts that never get recorded on a cash register, and instead are just placed in the infamous “Belize wooden drawer system of accountability” through hand-to-hand cash transactions? If the drawers were eliminated and these million-dollar merchants were forced to use a cash register w/receipts on ALL sales transactions, GOB could tap into a sizeable taxable revenue stream to DOUBLE teacher’s salaries, fix an existing school infrastructure in serious disrepair and also pay police officers a liveable wage. Assign an aggressive investigative bulldog to dig into this matter. Trust me, savvy merchants nationwide have figured out this loophole. They abuse this system on a daily basis, laughing all the way to the bank with a sack-full of unaccountable profits. Who needs an accountant when government provides a gift that just keeps on giving? Food for thought.

by David Nunez Dear Sir, The British left us 32 years ago. That’s the age of a grown man and more. How in goodness name can we continue blaming the British? I think you do this because of the black/white mentality. Sir, the Guatemalan issue could have been solved had we not chosen our own destiny. History does not support what you say. The claim is an ancient claim being made by a country warped in its understanding. That is not the British problem. It is the Guatemalan problem. We are independent and we must settle the matter. If it was a British problem, why did we take independence? Why did we not make it a condition before? Sir, respectfully what you continue to postulate does not make sense and you owe the readers a right to clarify. David Nunez (Ed. NOTE: As we understand it, the PUP leaders moved on to independence because the British wanted Belize to cede land to Guatemala in order to settle the claim. Belizeans were overwhelmingly rejecting land cession. Belizeans worked for centuries to enrich Great Britain, and our ancestors fought in Britain’s twentieth century wars. It was because of the white/black mentality that our ancestors were kidnapped and enslaved. Perfidious Albion!)

A caller on KREM’s WUB morning show on Tuesday morning made the point that the new national heroes of the Belize football selection now had the responsibility of behaving like role models for the young boys and children who are now looking up to them for example. It was a good point the caller made, but life is often more complicated than it appears. For example, I happen to know that one of our new national heroes went through an extended period where he, just a teenager, was being threatened by violent gang forces because of one of his close relatives. The close relative was involved with the neighborhood gang reality, and the hero, as a consequence, received death threats which were absolutely frightening. Stress like this can affect your behavior, and you really can’t go public to complain or explain. I want to tell you about an episode of betrayal which took place when I was just 17 years old. I’m not going to use that episode to excuse any “misbehavior” for which I have been responsible through the years, but the time has come for me to tell it like it was. The important thing today is that I have reached the point of being able to forgive, and it took a long time getting here. It took 47 years, more or less. Before 1964, Sixth Form studies at St. John’s College were always a two- year process, and the Advanced Level studies took place in the same campus buildings where the high school was located. 1964 was the year when the Government of Belize arbitrarily changed the school summer holiday months from April and May to July and August, and so our Sixth Form class was the one, I think the only one, which did the “A” Levels in a year and a half instead of two.

Editorial: BIG UP, MR. WELCH
The newspaper wishes to recognize the effort of the attorney Lionel Welch in financing semi-pro football teams and working with our youth. This is by contrast with the other attorneys of substance, who ignore the community where they made/make the millions and live the lives of the rich and famous. One of the reasons Mr. Welch has sustained his program is because of direct management involvement. There has been a failure in Belizean sports where middle management is concerned. By “middle management,” we are referring to the individuals who are given the responsibility of handling the financing offered by big business. Middle managers have too often given in to the temptation to siphon off resources for their own personal benefit, instead of forwarding the resources to the players. Belize football took a step forward this week in the Copa Centroamericana, and there is presently an atmosphere of optimism in football circles. For us to continue forward, football has to continue weeding out people who are corrupt and entitled. We just came out of fifteen years of that. Belize is a small society, and everybody knows everybody else’s business. Nobody’s perfect, but in sports, as in politics, there are people who are almost incorrigibly selfish and insincere. When such individuals attain positions of power, resentment and ill-feeling begin to grow amongst the people at the base.

The teachers of Belize came from all over the nation on Tuesday morning to march in Belmopan and show their strength. As we pointed out in an editorial on Tuesday (reproduced in this issue), we have a constitutional crisis in Belize. Theoretically, the Government of Belize (specifically the Prime Minister) has de facto absolute power, but the disciplined power of the teachers is real, and it is too easy for things to get out of hand if a situation like the present one reaches as far as a strike. In March of last year the ruling UDP were returned to office by a narrow margin in seats, 17-14. The Opposition PUP were very frustrated, because of the closeness of the defeat and other circumstances we will not discuss at length here. The teachers did a remarkable job on Tuesday, because there was no evidence of significant PUP infiltration of their demonstration. It is not a comfortable situation the Barrow administration is in, because the teachers can go back to Belmopan after soliciting more support from their fellow unions, and after creating space for the Opposition to be involved. If the teachers decide they have to go back to Belmopan, the constitution of Belize allows the Prime Minister to use the security forces if a larger, more militant crowd misbehaves in any way.

This morning, my dad, C.B. Hyde, remarked on the situation of our history-making national football team at the Copa Centroamericana (formerly Nations Cup) in Costa Rica, where Belize yesterday clinched, for the first time, a spot in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the most prestigious football tournament in the North American region of CONCACAF, which takes place in July of this year. Despite their being obviously handicapped in preparation for this level of competition, he felt that our players must have been inspired by the absolute “joy of playing on a ‘billiards table,’” which the impeccable green surface of the Estadio Nacional resembled. For the past week, footballers on our national team have been experiencing something which is indeed a joy, but also one that takes getting used to – being able to play the game they so love to play, on a surface that allows the ball to roll true each time you kick it. There are no unpredictable bounces or sudden changes of direction as it lands in a hole or hits a lump in the field, something that they have become accustomed to on the fields back home. A bad pitch discourages confidence in the ground passes, and lends to more of the long-ball style, which is not the most effective on a “billiards table,” where the opponent is taking full advantage of all the ball has to offer – “let the ball do the work.” Like a long caged dog, who is at first fearful when offered a chance to venture into unknown spaces, our Belize team has been tentative at employing the full offensive potential of the ground passing game, but they are getting more confident and effective with each outing.

Jaguars are the third largest feline species in the world. They are also the biggest cats in the Americas, well known for their speed and strength. Thus, it is only appropriate that our Belizean national team is juxtaposed metaphorically to such a resilient and sagacious animal: they are young, strong, united, disciplined, courageous, trendsetters, but most importantly, they are our national heroes. It is quite amazing what our Belizean national team accomplished, not only because they qualified to the Gold Cup, but also because they were triumphant in a situation where failure seemed inevitable. For the first time in the history of international football, Belize qualified to the UNCAF Gold Cup that will be held in the United States during the summer. As wonderful as this is, it is not what made my day. For the first time in the history of football, so many Belizeans are supporting our national team. Whether it is “liking” a picture on Facebook, posting a comment, sending a text, or simply just watching the game on television, my point is that Belizeans at home and abroad are extremely supportive. This is not mere support: it is nationalism/patriotism at the highest level. There is no politics or racism, just optimistic Belizeans in every barbershop, hair salon and living room, cheering the Jaguars on. The Jaguars united our nation! This mass support was not from the genesis of the tournament; it started after we drew our second game with Guatemala, and exploded during the qualifying game against Nicaragua. Our victory ultimately secured us a seat in the 2013 UNCAF Gold Cup. The entire Jewel detonated with love, excitement, joy and nationalism when Trevor Lennon struck first blow with a left foot from above the eighteen-yard box. Hope seemed distant when Nicaragua tied the game at 1-1, but then there was Deon McCaulay, FIFA’s Global Top Striker and Belize’s most prolific goalscorer, who scored the winning goal in the final minute of the extra time to seal our spot in the Gold Cup.

The 2nd Annual SJC Table Tennis Club Tournament took place this past Saturday, January 27, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium, “the home of table tennis….!!” Games kicked off at approximately 1:30 p.m. with some 42 students participating in three categories – ADVANCED, INTERMEDIATE & BEGINNERS. In the ADVANCED category, 12 of the top players from SJC competed in Round Robin competition, with the top 8 finishers advancing to a FINAL Double Elimination competition. Top seed, Harim Ochaeta advanced to the finals by defeating Leo Carballo, Gian Lisbey & Fabio Carballo; while Fabio Carballo also advanced to the finals by defeating Daniel Sanchez & Mishek Musa. In the Final match, Harim Ochaeta emerged the CHAMPION by defeating Carballo by a score of 3-1.

The Belize Times

Reliable sources have informed the BELIZE TIMES that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has refused to give the requested 30% salary adjustment to the Unions when the parties met today in Belmopan. The meeting followed days of tension between the Government and the largest and most powerful Unions who have used up their patience for a salary increase promised to them by Prime Minister Dean Barrow when he was the opposition leader five years ago. That tension between the Unions and GOB has been at an all-time high, with Ministers launching personal attacks against Union leaders on the UDP radio station, several Politicians using intimidating tactics to scare Union members, and the Government abusing its authority in the public service to punish Unions leaders who have been instrumental in building momentum for the workers. ...

UB Students Protest Subsidy Cut
About 300 students walked out of their classrooms at the University of Belize Belmopan Campus on Monday January 28th morning to participate in a protest against the Ministry of Education’s recently announced subsidy cut to the ...

Unions say Salary Increase is Possible! – APSSM President Jose Castellanos exposes misuse of millions
The Unions have had to show the Barrow Administration how the salary increases for teachers and public officers can be a reality. President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers Jose Castellanos has proven that the ...

Education frustration
By G. Michael Reid “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.” - Aristotle This Dean Barrow government seems to be attacking education from both ends. They are charging the students more and ...

Editorial: Lesson In Fear
“Governments should be afraid of their people. People shouldn’t be afraid of their government.” This is how Alan Moore saw it; while Thomas Jefferson preferred to warn that “A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!” The UDP is not afraid of the people. If ...

San Estevan defeats San Lazaro 4-2 in football playoffs
The San Estevan football team leads the playoffs of the Orange Walk Football Association first division competition after a 4-2 victory over San Lazaro at the People’s Stadium on Sunday, January 20. Edwani Munoz scored a ...

Harim Ochaeta wins SJC table tennis tournament
Harim Ochaeta won the advanced division and Daniel Echeverria won the intermediate division when the SJC’s 2nd annual table tennis tournament was held at the Belize Elementary School auditorium this past Saturday, ...

A Hero’s Welcome – Belize National A Team returns from Central American Cup
Team Belize returned home to a hero’s welcome after qualifying to this summer’s Gold Cup tournament in the United States after finishing 4th in the UNCAF’s Copa CentroAmericana in San Jose, Costa Rica. The GolTV famed “President”, ...

Coach Sherrier returns
In the middle of celebrating our National Football Team’s victory and historic placement in the July 2013 Gold Cup, Belizeans were stunned to learn that the man who played a critical role in the team’s success, ...

PUP soldier Steven Valencia murdered inside Cayo home
The year 2012 ended with a record number of murders, and it seems the New Year is well underway to matching up. There have already been 13 murders so far in January and no adequate response ...

“Dara” reaches out for help – Seeks help to make 6th Food Drive successful
Community activist Joel “Dara” Robinson has launched an appeal for support and assistance, in advance of his first charity event for the year. On Sunday February 10th, Dara will hold the 11th Annual Tribute to Bob Marley, ...

Life Without a Plan
I remember being sent by my mom to a corner shop and as I was skipping along, minding my own business, when I was attacked by a stray ‘pat-licka’ dog. I ran with all my might but realized I was too slow for the four-footed beast. I resorted to hurling ...

Energy Saving Tips
With the ever-increasing cost of living in Belize, and most recently, the crippling, Government-approved raise in BEL fees and rates, more and more Belizeans are looking at ways to save money. One way Belizeans can offset the increased electricity rates is by practising Energy Saving Tips. Over the next few ...

In my perspective – We are winners!
by Rayford Young In life there are people we all would love to meet and spend a day with. For me one such person is Mr. Nelson Mandela. Here’s a man that spent half of his adult life in jail because he spoke out about injustice and racism towards his people ...

If I were negotiating on behalf of teachers & public servants
by Richard Harrison …I would put the following things on the table. Firstly, push for progress in the process to transition away from personal income tax and towards consumption tax....by recommending a lower, broader-based GST (10% across the board)...and personal income tax rate of 10% on incomes over $18,000 per annum...with provisions ...

Concerns about “development” in Consejo Village
Dear Sir, I am writing this letter because I am concerned about the future of my country when I see what is happening with Canadian citizens coming to the Consejo Village area. I do not understand why these people are allowed to work and make money without having the right to do ...

A Place Without Justice – The Case of Natalie Coleman
News reporting of cases in the courts of Belize is at times bogus. Wittingly or unwittingly, at times stuff is reported in the media which is inaccurate or stretches of imagination. Such news reporting naturally incense and “hype up” the populace because of what is perceived by them ...

Stop the corruption – Pay the teachers!
The teachers of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) are right. They are underpaid by international standards. The government owes them and they must be paid. If not, they should strike. This is yet another opportunity to force the Prime Minister to eat a heavy dose of ...

Finnegan calls money for Gangs “chump change”
UDP Housing Minister Michael Finnegan has defended the Barrow Administration’s spending on gang members. According to him, the millions which the Government spent on gang members to keep a fragile peace truce going is “chump change”. The Government of Belize has not fully disclosed how much money ...

House of Rep. Mace bearer shows no respect
While the Belize City Council is preparing to impose new laws and penalties to force pedestrians to use the overpass at the Phillip Goldson entrance, there is a great need for the elected body to enforce ...

PUP congratulates teachers
The People’s United Party congratulates the teachers of Belize on their successful demonstration which took place on Tuesday the 29th of January, 2013. The demonstration was respectful and peaceful, yet a powerful show of people power and unity. The People’s United Party (PUP) stands in solidarity with all teachers, ...

Dolores – Always with the People!
Belize Rural Central Area Representative Dolores Balderamos Garcia continues her outreach within her constituency. On December 12, 2012 Dolores ...

San Pedro resident fatally stabbed in nightclub
San Pedro Police officials are investigating the case of a vicious stabbing that occurred inside a nightclub on the island in the early morning hours of Saturday, January ...

Who let the dogs out?
Dear Editor, In all forms of government and particularly in democracies the State holds a monopoly on the use of force. The right to use deadly force is afforded to ordinary citizens in a very narrow set of circumstances such as self defence and the defence of one’s property. Since it ...

No excuses, give the teachers what they deserve!
Dear Editor, Recently, I read some comments/blogs written by some individuals who apparently do not understand that the jewel is currently experiencing a very serious leadership crisis. We have leaders with no representation of the populace. A classic example is the current state of affairs of the educational system. It is ...


A Tale of Five Cities: San Cristobal Dining (Part 2)
For our third and final night in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, we decided to go for broke and hit happy hour before going to the restaurant we'd decided on for dinner. Woo-hoo! As we were walking around checking our options, this sign touting two for one margaritas for $70 MX (approximately $5.60 US) lured us right into Ay Dolores! for a couple of drinks and appetizers before dinner. We tried the tamarindo margaritas, which were excellent. Here's one of my favorite photos of the whole trip, which you'll recognize if we're Facebook friends. To accompany our drinks, we ordered some of their delicious guacamole, fried cheese, and quesadillas. I loved that the guac was made with red onion and lots of cilantro and have since modified my own recipe likewise.

Island webcam temporary new location
It’s official Cowboy Doug and I took over Storm Chaser’s webcam as he and his lovely wife Theresa are m0vng stateside. Todd and I tried to get it set up on the roof at Banana Beach Resort Wednesday afternoon for a lovely sea view. Due to the distance from the office and having to go 3 stories up and to the front of the building, we discovered to make it work we need a wireless transmitter. Since we could not just run out to Best buy or Radio Shack and pick one up, Todd is helping us figure out what will work best and sending me links of what we need to buy and get brought to Belize to make it work. For now taco cam is showing a lagoon / canal view on the island and you will see planes flying by off and on all day. Yesterday I watched our wonderful garbage-men doing routine pickup and helping keep the island clean. My TGIF moment for today is heading to the south end of the island with a few friends for a tour of Marco Gonzalez Maya ruins with Jan Brown.

Breaking the Law
Grey skies for most of the day with occasional showers didn’t augur well for work on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize but given that I can do nothing to influence the weather I had a relaxing time reading the Saturday edition of The Times, a couple cups of coffee and a breakfast of two fried eggs on toast. This filled up the time nicely until the Arsenal game versus Stoke City came on TV at 9 am. I would like to report that I had a thoroughly enjoyable time watching the game but I can’t. Arsenal didn’t play scintillating football and Stoke were as resolute and dour as usual. We got the three points though – courtesy of a deflected free kick by Podolski – and our new full back Nacho Monreal had a promising first game. Pleased with the result I decided to pop down to the Police Station to see if our Criminal Record Reports had arrived from Belmopan (the capital of Belize). When I got there I asked for PC Cho and when he came from his office I sensed from the smile on his face that our ‘Reports were available. I was right because after handing over the receipts for the application fees (BZ$12 each) he gave me two ‘Reports. One for Rose and one for me.

All of the Lights
Back to normal this morning and on the veranda with my coffee just before 5 am reading The Times to be disappointed, but not overly surprised, to read that Arsenal hadn’t splurged massively in the transfer market on the final day of the transfer window. Only the purchase of a full back from Spain. It should mean though that we never have to play Andre ‘who ate all the pies’ Santos again. So it could have been worse. Time to get a monthly Bridge Pass from the Transport Department in town this morning and it seemed criminal not to stop off first for breakfast at Estel’s. Wouldn’t want be a criminal would I? Might prevent a successful application for the QRP(Qualified Retirement Program)! When I got back home Rose and I knuckled down to study the plans to determine what lighting, ceiling fans and light switch placement we want for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We worked through the plans on a floor by floor, room to room basis making notes as we went along. Using this approach we feel quietly confident that we have identified the type and placement for all of the lights for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Leaf Cutter Ants Harvesting Cashew Leaves at Lower Dover
These Leaf cutter Ants were caught red legged with our cashew leaves the other day! We had to get a camera before spraying our organic poison on them. In a spray bottle mix dish soap, dirt from the ant nest, and water around the base of the tree and on the leaves. This does the trick 90% of the time. Supposedly there is a Maya prayer for the other 10 percent? We have to learn that one!

International Sources

Whale Vomit (Ambergris) Could Spell Fortune for Briton: Video
Ambergris, the more savoury term for whale vomit, has been used in perfumes for centuries and appears in the classic American novel Moby Dick. Now this rare substance, produced only by sperm whales, could make one British beachcomber a lot of money. Al Jazeera's Gerald Tan explains.

Sun writer has to see it to Belize it
Follow Sun Media national online editor Jenny Potter as she explores underground rivers, meets exotic wildlife and tries her hand at sea kayaking in Belize. This month, she'll be travelling off the beaten path with Island Expeditions and writing about her adventures along the way. Belize is steeped in Mayan history and culture as well as packed with lush tropical rain forests filled with wildlife. In her first few days, Jenny will meet face-to-face with the elusive jaguar with the help of a cat rescue program. The largest cat in the western hemisphere, the jaguar populations have dwindled due to deforestation and hunting. Belize is attempting to rescue and preserve the animals who are known to go after livestock.

Taza Chocolate of Somerville prepares for Chocolate Week trip to Belize
This March, Somerville-based Taza Chocolate brings the know-where-your-food-comes-from movement to a new level by inviting chocolate lovers on a cocoa adventure in Belize. Taza’s fourth annual Chocolate Week offers participants a firsthand look into the origin of cacao—the fruit from which cocoa beans are harvested— its history and creation into the final chocolate product. Alex Whitmore, co-founder of Taza Chocolate, said this trip is a way for Taza to bridge the gap between chocolate and its consumer. “Our company is a very mission-driven organization,” Whitmore said. “We’re big fans of know-where-your-food-comes-from and local food, but chocolate is one of those things you can’t really source locally.” For this reason, Taza offers consumers the opportunity to travel to the food. Taza has stake ownership in Maya Mountain Cacao, the farm Chocolate Week visitors will visit during their stay. Whitmore said Taza works directly with Belizean farmers, and that the trip is a great opportunity for chocolate consumers to meet the people who grow the beans.

War On Drugs Draws Canadian Military Focus In Central America
The Harper government’s new focus on the Americas means a dramatic change of effort for the Canadian Forces and an overt participation in the U.S. war on drugs. The commander of Canada’s operational forces, Lt.-Gen. Stuart Beare, says Canada is now focusing new efforts on Central America and the Caribbean. In an exclusive interview with CBC News, Beare said Canada was active in attempts to sever the Central American drug artery pumping narcotics northwards into the United States and Canada. “We’re partnered with our U.S. partners in the counter-narcotic effort on the southern flank, in Central and South America, as the flow goes north,” Beare revealed. For years, Canada has participated in naval operations in the Caribbean Sea designed to thwart narcotics-smuggling efforts. Canada has also provided specialized radar and reconnaissance patrol aircraft to that fight. But Beare suggests much more is being done in the region now than ever before.

5 don't-miss spots in Belize
Protected rainforests, Maya ruins, Caribbean beaches and the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. Add English as the official language and the widely accepted U.S. dollar, and you can get a great vacation on easy mode in Belize. Still, with so much to do, it can become a lot of work to fit it all in. Travelzoo editor Andrew Young recommends taking on just a little bit of this country in the heart of Central America at a time, and offers this list of his five top spots to get you started. The Blue Hole, Ambergris Caye, Maya ruins of Lamanai, Caves Branch River tubing, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

New World Oil & Gas: City analysts say sell-off is 'overdone'
City analysts believe investors have overreacted to New World Oil & Gas’s (LON:NEW) well result in Belize, and the 45% drop in the share price is ‘overdone’. It was revealed this morning that the Blue Creek 2A ST well had been plugged and abandoned because insufficient quantities of moveable hydrocarbons were found. The company stressed, however, that the well confirmed that an active hydrocarbon system exists, and live oil shows were measured in the Y3 and Hillbank formations. It also says extensive residual oil was present, along with high saturations of formation water. On AIM, New World shares fell heavily, losing as much as half their value in early deals. But, speaking with Proactive Investors, Seymour Pierce analyst Sam Wahab said the share price fall was too much. “Given how bad 2012 was for a lot of exploration stocks, investors can get be spooked by 'dry' wells.”

Calgary man who died in Belize jail cell slipped and fell while drunk, police claim
An investigation is underway in the Central American country of Belize to determine how a 35-year-old Canadian man died in police custody over the weekend. A statement from San Ignacio Police says Jeffrey Furgala, who is reported to be from Calgary, was detained in the Savannah area of the town Saturday night for public intoxication. Police say he was unable to give an address of where he was staying, so was taken into custody “for his own safety.” The statement says officers found Furgala unconscious in his cell next morning with blood in his nose. Furgala was transported to a community hospital, then to another hospital for surgery, but was pronounced dead on Tuesday. The commissioner of police has since launched an investigation into the events surrounding his death. But the website 7Newsbelize.com quotes a police official as saying Furgala caused his own death when he slipped and fell due to drunkenness.

New World Comes Up Dry at Blue Creek
New World Oil & Gas announced Friday that its Blue Creek No.2A side track well in the Petén Basin in northwest Belize has come up dry after the firm drilled to a measured depth of 11,650 feet Jan. 27. The firm said that, after careful analysis, it was determined that insufficient commercial quantities of hydrocarbons were present to merit running casing and well-testing operations. As a result, New World has decided to plug and abandon the well. New World pointed out that data has shown that a live hydrocarbon system does exist in the area and that live oil shows were seen in formations during the drill. Technical data garnered from both the No. 2A side track and the Blue Creek No. 2 wells will now be used during the drilling of the company's next well: the Rio Bravo Well No.1 in the West Gallon Jug. The drilling of the Rio Bravo No. 1 well is expected to begin during the first quarter of this year.

Incentive Destinations: 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.


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