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#458428 - 02/20/13 03:30 PM Today's Belize News: February 20, 2013
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

“Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change”
The Project “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change”, launched in September 2012 is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Government of Belize (GoB), and funding of the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance (EU GCCA). The project aims to enhance adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change in national policies and demonstrate action in support of effective governance of climate change and climate change related impacts in the water sector in Belize. As part of the larger project, two activities, namely the “Enhancement of National Capacities to Plan for and to Coordinate a National Response to the threats of Climate Change” and the pilot entitled “Applied Forest Management: Building Capacities for the Restoration of Watersheds Impacted by Natural Disasters” valued at over €865,000 / BZD $2.2m are being executed in partnership with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. On Friday, February 15, 2013, three (3) Isuzu DMAX Pickup Trucks, valued at a total of US84,000 dollars were handed over to Minister Lisel Alamilla on behalf of the Ministry, as part of this project, which aims to support the development of a strategic framework for responding to the challenges that climate change poses for sustainable and economic development and to support activities leading to watershed protection, resilience to water quality degradation, and water conservation. It is expected that these motor vehicles will enhance the ability of the project units to create greater public awareness of the effects of climate change and enable restoration activities in sensitive and flood prone forest systems proving for the effective management and recovery of damaged forest stands. They will be able to ensure the mainstreaming of climate change considerations into national development planning and guarantee training of national and community responders and the establishment of a monitoring strategy for long term impacts on biodiversity and water resources.

Pig Roast Fundraiser draws a generous crowd
Isla Bonita All Stars Band-10The community of San Pedro is known for its generous nature and on Sunday February 17th, locals and tourists alike proved that philosophy to be true. A pig roast beach party fundraiser was held at Wayo’s Beach Bar to benefit the Isla Bonita All-Star Marching Band. The Isla Bonita All-Star Marching Band will be attending the Governor General Sir Colville Young’s Band Fest in the coming few months and thus requires funds for traveling and boarding. Another major expense that needs to be met by the band is the purchasing of uniforms for the approximately 60 band members, hence the purpose for the fundraiser at Wayo’s. Isla Bonita All Stars Band-9The event started at noon and went through until after 5 PM and by all accounts the fundraiser was a great success. People got to taste a variety of food and treats there was an assortment of pies and cakes, cheese dip and of course, delicious pig roast on sale. Extra monetary donation besides the food sale was welcomed, and many people pitched in for the worthy cause. Throughout the evening the crowd was entertained by the talented youth from the band. All in all, it was a remarkable evening of support and fun.

El Pescador boasts three new FFF Licensed Fishing instructors
El Pescador Lodge is honored to announce that Captain Luis Paz, Captain Alex Gomez and Isa Rodriguez have each attained the distinction of becoming a Certified Casting Instructor by the International Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF). Both Captain Luis and Captain Alex are 2nd generation El Pescador Guides following in their fathers’ footsteps, Tomas Paz and Nesto Gomez respectively. Luis loves to fish, especially for tarpon, and loves to cast. Alex also loves to fish and enjoys teaching the art of the sport. Isa is the quintessential student and loves to learn; he will be a lifelong student and teacher of fly casting. These 3 anglers join fellow El Pescador guide, Cesar Acosta, as the only 4 Belizean certified casting instructors currently teaching in Belize.

Mark your calendar for the annual Chocolate Festival of Belize
The Toledo Cacao Festival was born in 2007 and has been celebrated each year on the same Commonwealth Day weekend towards the end of May. It attracts hundreds of visitors from around Belize as well as overseas. In 2013 the festival falls on the weekend of 24-26 May. This lively festival has helped Toledo shed its worn out image as “the forgotten district” and establish it as one of Belize’sToledo Cacao Festival 121 vibrant and growing tourism destinations. It also celebrates the tremendous contribution to development in the south made by the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association (TCGA) and its hundreds of farmer members. The Toledo Cacao Festival worked well as a name within Belize but many people do not understand the story that links cacao to cocoa and chocolate, which in the end is the real attraction. Likewise Toledo, Spain and Toledo, Ohio are better known internationally than Toledo, Belize. So this year the festival organizers are announcing their ambition to capture international attention by re-branding the event as the Chocolate Festival of Belize. The festival has many devoted followers who return each year to sample the chocolate delights available and to find out what’s new in the world of chocolate making. The elegant wine and chocolate evening kicks off the weekend’s events as usual. This year it will be hosted by Belcampo Lodge and Farm. Formerly Machaca Hill Lodge, Belcampo describes itself as: “a 12-room hotel, a 3000-acre farm, planned Agritourism center, and a 15,000-acre rainforest preserve… proud to play a part in the conservation of the marine life of the Belizean reef through sustainable agricultural management and conservation of intact rainforest ecosystems.” Read more: Mark your calendar for the annual Chocolate Festival of Belize - My Beautiful Belize Follow us: @MyBeautifulBze on Twitter | MyBeautifulBelize on Facebook

Ambergris Today

Belize Audubon Society Presents Wildtracks with Conservation Award
Belize Audubon Society proudly announces the James A. Waight Awardee for 2013, Wildtracks. Wildtracks is a non-governmental conservation organization, located in Sarteneja, Corozal. Since its establishment in 1991, co-founders Paul and Zoe Walker have, in collaboration with the Fireburn Community, opened and manage the Fire burn Private Reserve to protect the rich flora and fauna species pre-dominant in that area. Their love for mammal conservation and the need for such facilities, lead them to build a Manatee Rehabilitation Center and Primate Rehabilitation Program. In addition, the Walkers were instrumental in the establishment of the Shipstern Nature Reserve and continue to provide technical assistance and management support for the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

El Pescador Lodge Fishing Guides Certified by Federation of Fly Fishers

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Economic Update and Outlook
Economic activity is forecasted to expand by 2.7% in 2013, as the underlying factors that boosted activity in 2012 are expected to moderate. The projection, which is subject to sizeable downside risks such as commodity price shocks and weather-related setbacks, assumes that the gradual upturn in global growth to 3.5% continues to support the tertiary sector through the tourism channel.

I will write your message in the sand or take a photo of me holding a sign with your message anywhere on Caye Caulker, Belize for $5
Take a photo of your message of up to five words written in the sand on Caye Caulker Beach in Belize, or take a photo of myself holding up a sign with your message of up to 10 words in front of a Caye Caulker, Belize landmark.

I will send you a postcard of a beautiful country called Belize for $5
I will send you a postcard of either rain forest animals in the tropics of Belize, a beach side postcard, or a postcard showing local activities. They're beautiful!

Expressive Talent Night Pictures
One more batch of pictures from the Night of Expressive Talents at the Soul Project. There are lots of pictures from the lyricism part, and Lyric Nation too. Can't wait for the next event at Cayo's Soul Project.

Belize and El Salvador Trade Negotiations
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel is the setting for Beltraide's first round of trade negotiations between Belize and El Slavador. Looks like it's going to be productive. "First Round of Trade Negotiations - Belize & El Salvador, San Ignacio Hotel, Cayo Belize. 18-21 Feb., 2013"

Rebecca Stirm Heading to Jamaica
Rebecca Stirm and Chantae Guy are representing Belize in Jamaica this weekend. If it was judged, they'd surely win. Show 'em what you've got! "Thanks to Belize Bank, Rebecca Stirm will be heading to Kingston Jamaica, along with Belizean headline model Chantae Guy [Miss Belize World 2012], to show her "Pfuma Ye Nyika" collection on the runway this weekend at the Wyndham Wedding Spectacular!"

SHC's Auditorium in a Box
Sacred Heart College's auditorium arrived...in boxes, big boxes. It's going to be huge, and they needed some huge machinery to deliver it. More pictures coming soon.

BHS Valentine's Fundraiser
The Belmopan Humane Society had their annual Valentine's fundraiser. "A fun way to raise much need funds for the fur babies."

Ducunu Version 2
In this video I do a retake of the Ducunu recipe that's already at the site. This recipe is a little more moist than the original, but still great taste. Spicy, yet a little bit sweet. It goes well with stewed chicken, stewed beef or stewed pork.

Channel 7

Mother Dies After Child Perished in Fire
On February fourth, three-year-old Danely Cabrera perished in a house fire in San Narciso Village. Her mother, 40 year old Romona Cabrera ran out of the house and received 1st degree burns on her face and back and 2nd degree burns to her left and right arm. Well, her burns were serious enough to merit a transfer to the KHMH. And that's where she died yesterday morning. According to a police report, Cabrera succumbed to her injuries while undergoing treatment yesterday morning. A post mortem scheduled for tomorrow should determine the cause of death. The family did not have electricity and used a lamp which fell unto the bed and caused the mattress to catch fire. The three year old's remains were found under her crib.

Unions Will Counter-propose to GOB; Will GOB Accept?
18 days ago in Belmopan, the leaders of the trade unions met with the Prime Minister and his team in the Cabinet Room. They agreed on a package of pay raises contingent on revenue surpluses starting in the fiscal year 2014-2015. The unions' council of management endorsed the proposals the following day - but the membership hasn't been so agreeable. At meetings held countrywide - the various district memberships have said they don't want an "if" proposal - they want a sure thing. Now, the union leadership has taken this input and is ready to back to the Prime Minister with a counter-proposals. But what if the PM's February first offer was a take it or leave it deal? That's what we asked the union leaders today after they appeared on LOVE FM:.. Jules Vasquez "The consultations are finished. Do you all have an answer for the Prime Minister Sir?" Luke Palacio, President - BNTU "We are working on the counter- proposal to the Prime Minister's proposal and those should be presented to him within the next two weeks." Jules Vasquez "As I understand it the deal is not for a counter-proposal. Your Council of Management accepted and I guess it's either a yes or no."

Immigration Busts Human Traffic In Motion by Shooting Out Tyres
Tonight, a van is at the Ladyville police station with four flat tyres. Those were shot out early this morning as police pursued the van which was loaded with as many as a dozen illegal immigrants. Information is sketchy at this time - but we understand the persons entered through the western border on foot late last night and were reportedly facilitated in that by an Immigration officer. From there, they jumped into a van with Orange Walk plates. Police were alerted and pursued the vehicle through the Boom Road where they made the intercept. But it wasn't that simple, they caught five persons, four males and a female, while about eight others escaped. We are told that this afternoon, some of those who escaped - all females - were found hiding out in Los Lagos. We caught footage of them as they were brought to the Ladyville police station at 5:00 pm. Interestingly, this wasn't the only human cargo intercept that was made last night. Earlier on, Immigration authorities also pursed a similar van which was intercepted near Georgeville. The van has been impounded but we understand the passengers escaped and are being sought.

Soldiers Swim to Safety As Their Truck runs Into The River
Tonight five Belize Defense soldiers are lucky to be alive after their L200 BDF pickup ran off the northern highway and into the Belize River. It happened just before 4 this evening. The men were travelling towards Belize City at the time and somehow lost control of their vehicle after attempting to overtake a truck. After the vehicle plunged into the river, all 5 soldiers manage to escape unhurt. 7news was on the scene and spoke to two persons caught in traffic. Luke Collymore - passerby "We were coming down this street this way here and we just saw the dust like something happened. We saw a Mennonite guy looking down in the river with a child. When we came the guys just started to come up from the water. They all swim up and everybody was okay. They got hit by a big truck." Monica Bodden "They were headed to Belize City?" Luke Collymore - passerby "To Belize City, but they overtake a car here but when they came around the lane they saw another vehicle coming really fast, so they decided to pull back, when they did that the big truck hit them in the back - that's the reason why they didn't hit this tree. The truck hit them and that's how they ended up that side."

Wallace Matura Sets The Record Straight
Donald Matura is recovering in the KHMH after he was shot multiple times on Friday night at the corner of Orange Street and East Canal. Last night we reported that Matura was targeted because he had lectured a young man who was roughing up his girlfriend. Well, today he wrote an open letter to the media in which he says, it wasn't the young man's girlfriend, it was a ten year old. In his letter he says, quote, "the only person I intervened to protect that night was a child about ten years old being harassed by an older male whom apparently did not take kindly that I did not allow him to take advantage of this child. I knew the child and her family and could not stand by idly." And the second clarification is that he did not get shot in his testicles. That's what police put out in their official release, but Matura says "I…would want the record to show that I got shot in my stomach and thus had a perforated bowel. I was shot in my left leg and in both arms and believe that the bullet that got lodged in my cellphone may have spared any damage to my organs." And on a final, despairing note, he adds that he received news that during his time at the hospital, his home was cleaned out by burglars. He adds, quote, "I guess people who know me and where I live saw the news that I am in hospital and took advantage of the situation."

Dre Trapp's Mom Not Satisfied With Verdict
On Friday, Nikoli Rhys, the man accused of killing Andre Trapp was found not guilty in Belize's second trail for jury. The case was prosecuted by the DPP herself who called 10 witnesses. But her case was dealt a deathblow when a confession from Rhys was not admitted into evidence. Still, Andre Trapp's family is not satisfied. They believe that the acquittal was a foregone conclusion. Today, speaking to us from the United States - Andre Trapp's mother told us that the case only served to stir up bad memories for her:.. Elizabeth Longsworth, Mother of Andre Trapp "I knew from the outbreak that nothing would have come about this; it's just a front to say that they did something. He literally confessed and they threw it out. They just bring back sad memories to people because we knew that nothing would have come out of this. How in the world something like that could happened in a place like that and nothing come about it? Like I said it was state sponsored."

Superbond 2.0: Creditor Committee Is All In!
The Creditor Committee - whose members hold more than 50% of Belize's original superbond issued a release today saying that, quote "all of its members have agreed to tender their Old Bonds in the exchange offer." In other words, they have agreed to accept the terms of Superbond 2.0. AJ Mediratta, the Co-Chair of the Committee is quoted as saying that "The Committee appreciates the GOB's willingness to negotiate in good faith and to adhere to what was in the end a fair and transparent process." And while the government has already done its P-R on what a good deal it is for Belize; in its own defence, the Committee notes that GOB has agreed to reimburse certain expenses of the Committee, and notes that the terms of the New Bonds contain certain protections for bondholders including "principal reinstatement in the event of a future default," among others.

Restore Belize Teaches The Art Of Peace
In June of last year, 7News told you about the training in which Restore Belize and the US State Department collaborated on to teach Belizeans the art of conflict mediation. It was a major part of Restore Belize's intervention in the warfare between gangs, and one of the techniques employed to try to maintain the gang truce. Well, Restore Belize is expanding the conflict mediation training for the next 2 years, and they've decided to include educators, seeing their opportunity to de-escalate situations in the classroom environment. Today, 7News stopped by the ITVET to witness the training being conducted with the educators, in which the Belizean s who participated in last year's session where now the facilitators. Here's what one of those trainers told us about the sessions so far: Pamela Dyer, Facilitator - Conflict Mediation Training "Basically we are doing the same training that I received sometime last year and I believe it is a asset for any organization or any institution and even for you own personal self to acquire this level of training which is Conflict Mediation. At the end of the day they will understand what it is to be a mediator and the skills that they will need to carry through with the process."

Ports Commissioner Leaves, Abruptly
Ports Commissioner, Major John Flowers term has come to a rather abrupt end. We understand that Flowers' contract expired at the end of January, and on Monday he reportedly handed in a letter saying that he is not interested in a renewal. Additionally, we understand that he handed over to a senior manager today - since no new Commissioner has been named. From our reports, it seems Flowers and his Minister Edmund Castro could not get along - culminating recently in a heated exchange when Flowers reportedly went to some lengths to not hire one of Castro's relatives. However, reports say that Government also had issues with his style of management. Despite best efforts, we could not reach Flowers for comment.

They Guyan-isation of Belize's High Courts
Yesterday, 7News told you about Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram, who was sworn in as a newly appointed Justice of the Belizean Court of Appeal. Her appointment to the post is notable because she becomes the first woman judge to be elevated to that high court. Another trait of note is that she is a Guyanese National, and she shares her place of birth with 4 other high court judges who are currently serving on the Belizean Judiciary. Her other brother judges and countrymen are the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, and Justices Oswell Legall, Dennis Hannomansingh, and Courtney Ashton Abel.

Paving Freetown Road Finished, North Front Next!
Belize City residents are just recovering after Freetown Road was closed in different areas for construction and piping work that lasted three months. It's finished and the concrete surface is great, but are you ready for another major artery to go under the cement scalpel? Today, a portion of North Front Street was closed to traffic: that's the area from Mapp Street to the corner of Bel China Bridge. According to the Council PR representative, the process won't take as long as Freetown Road. In fact work is expected to be concluded in a week's time:..

Nat'l Football Team Coach Glad To Be Back
3 weeks ago, 7News told you about the incident in Costa Rica in which newly appointed National Team Coach, Leroy Sherrier, was threatening to cut ties with the team and with the Football Federation of Belize. It came as a surprise to the nation because he had just led the national team to its best performance in the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana games by qualifying for the Gold Cup. A few days later, FFB President Ruperto Vicente called a press conference in which he explained that there was electronic mischief afoot to defame Coach Sherrier, but that he and the Federation had mended fences. He arrived back in Belize a week ago to reclaim the post as head coach and today 7News caught up with him to ask him if he is here to stay. Here's what he had to say: Leroy Sherrier, Head Coach - Belize National Football Team "My plan was to work until the Gold Cup but I was surprised yesterday by Mr. Vicente the President that told us that he wants me and Charlie on a long term contract because he needs us to do a lot of work here in Belize and I am very happy for that to hear that form him and the federation. I think you will have Leroy here for a good while. Work in development, work in coaching, work in courses - a lot of thing we got to do."

Channel 5

Creditor Committee accepts new bond offer
There has been a breakthrough in the superbond restructuring. The Belize Coordinating Committee has announced that all of its members have agreed to tender their old bonds for the new exchange offer. According to AJ Mediratta, Co-Chair of the Committee, “The Committee appreciates the Government of Belize’s willingness to negotiate in good faith and to [...]

Unions wrap up consultation on salary adjustment
The Belize National Teachers Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize sat with the Prime Minister inside the cabinet room in the capital on February first to discuss how salary adjustments for union members could be achieved. The agreement has been taken to the union members [...]

Unions to make recommendations to P.M.
Myvette says that in two weeks, the union leaders will collate the response from their membership and then they will meet with the Prime Minister. Part of their response to the PM’s proposals, will include a minimum salary adjustment figure.   George Myvette, Immediate Past President, APSSM “The salary adjustment basically takes place over three [...]

Separate busts of illegal immigrants
There are two cases of suspected human smuggling to report tonight. Two vehicles were pursued by police on the highways: one near Georgeville and the other at the Burrell Boom junction. Both looked alike and were carrying illegal immigrants. The first vehicle sped away and when the police caught up with it, only the driver [...]

Will you support taking the unfounded Guatemalan claim to the ICJ?
The October sixth referendum to take the Guatemalan claim to the ICJ has moved up to the front burner. So tonight we ask: Will you support taking the Guatemalan claim to the ICJ? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can [...]

B.D.F. truck and soldiers take dive in river
A group of five men traveling inside a pickup truck, the property of the Belize Defense Force, narrowly escaped with their lives this afternoon when their vehicle careened off the Phillip Goldson Highway and plunged into the Belize River.  The pickup, driven at the time by Sergeant Major Michael Belgrove, was en route to Belize [...]

Driver of B.D.F. truck traumatized by crash
Former area representative Michael Hutchinson, who was also traveling to Belize City came upon the scene of the accident shortly afterwards.  According to Hutchinson, the driver of the pickup truck was visibly shaken up following the ordeal.   Michael Hutchinson, Witness “Well I was just coming along, heading towards Belize City and I passed this [...]

First 3 year old, now mother dies from fire burns
There is another tragedy the Cabrera family of San Narciso is enduring. Earlier this month we told you about the tragic death of three year old Danely Cabrera during a fire at her house in the village. Her mother, Ramona Cabrera and the neighbors could not save the child’s life as the wooden structure was [...]

While in prison, his house was burglarized
Also up north, a Corozal man who was remanded to prison since November eleventh 2012 was robbed of a number of items at his property during his stay at the prison. Sixty-two year old Lenard Walker, a resident of Santa Rita Heights reported to police that while he was in jail, he left the keys [...]

Burglary and stolen goods case flops in court
  Two Belize City men, who appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas, were acquitted this morning for the offenses of conspiracy to commit burglary and handling stolen goods. They are twenty year old Lloyd Parchue, who is presently on remand for burglary and twenty-two year old Wayne Herrera. Police stated that on July seventh 2012, the [...]

Esperanza accident; two men injured
There was a traffic accident late this evening in the village of Esperanza. Just after five this evening, Allen Obando and Devon Harris were heading home on their bicycles when a van carrying tourists, belonging to a tour agency, knocked down the men. A report from Esperanza says that the impact sent Harris to the [...]

Conflict mediation in session
A group of professionals are receiving training on conflict mediation organized by Restore Belize along with the US Embassy.  The training will equip the participants to go back to communities and work with vulnerable youths to resolve conflict. Restore Belize believes that this is a way to stop rise in violence. News Five Isani Cayetano [...]

P.M. says don’t believe the rumors about his health
During the United Democratic Party convention at the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town, Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed rumors that he may not lead the U.D.P. into the next General Elections. He said the rumors about his health are false and he will continue as the party leader.   Prime Minister Dean Barrow [...]

FIFA upgrades Belize’s football ranking
The national football team recently gave a phenomenal performance at the Copa Centro Americana Games.  The world took note of our players as they beat Nicaragua in a hotly contested game. On the heels of their hero’s welcome, the International Federation of Association Football, (FIFA) has rewarded Belize by shooting up higher on the world [...]

CTV3

Neighbors Are Fustrated With Block Factory: Too Much Noise!
Where there is fire there is smoke and where there is noise it spells pollution which means that people are being affected. For months now residents living in the Lower Halls Layout area of Corozal have been in a constant battle with the owners of a block factory located on 12th October Street, Halls Layout, due to the level of noise that is being produced by the machines. While residents of the immediate area have written a formal letter dated January 8th 2013 to the Corozal Town Council, an answer is still forthcoming. The letter reads quote “The problem that has ensued for the neighbours of the aforementioned area is the level of noise emanating from said location. This involves extremely loud metallic noises etc. and heavy vibrations at all hours during the day, seven days per week. In addition, stone dust from the site threatens the health of most immediate neighbours of this factory.” End quote. Residents of the area say they have been trying to live with the situation but enough is enough.

Ramona Cabrera Succumbs To Injuries
A few weeks ago we brought you the tragic story of 40 year old Ramona Cabrera and her 3 year old daughter Danely Cabrera who lost her life in a house fire that occurred in the wee hours of February 4th in the Village of San Narciso. While Danely passed away, Ramona suffered 1st degree burns to her face and back and 2nd degree burns to her left and right arm. Tonight we are sad to report that Cabrera, who was recuperating at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital, succumbed to her injuries yesterday morning at around 9:00.According to family members, doctors at the KHMH were positive that Cabrera was on the way to recovery. But the 40 year old suffered a stroke yesterday which proved fatal. As was previously reported, February 4th’s fire was caused by a lit candle which was near the bed. At the time of the incident family members told CTV3 News that as Ramona tried extinguishing the fire, she instructed Danely to run outside. When the fire got out of control, Cabrera ran outside not noticing that baby Danely stayed inside the zinc house. The body of Danely was found underneath a metal crib where it is believed she hid to avoid the fire.

Family Offers Reward For Missing Loved One
Today makes six days that 87 year old Mamerto Castillo from the Village of Yo Creek has been missing and tonight family members are greatly concerned about his whereabouts. Castillo, better known as Don Mito, was last seen by family members on Wednesday February 13th around 9:30am when he left home. The octogenarian told them he was going to gather some wood near the Village of San Lazaro. But several visits to the area have proven futile as Castillo is nowhere to be found. Tonight, as the family hopes for the best expecting the worst, a reward of U.S$200 is being offered to anyone who has information on Castillo’s whereabouts. Reports are that the 87 year old has been spotted in the Village of Chan Pine Ridge. Castillo left home wearing a light pink long sleeve shirt and kaki long pants. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Mamerto Castillo is asked to contact the nearest police station or call 303-2047 or 629-1688.

Caught With 0.4 Grams Of Cocaine, Charged!
And while police investigate the report of the missing items a man has been arrested for drug possession. At around 6:30pm on Monday February 18th, police were on mobile patrol on 9th Street South Corozal Town when their attention was drawn to a male Hispanic person standing on the street side. Upon sighting the police mobile the male individual, later identified as 29 year old Carlos Cantun, placed an object in his mouth only to dispose of it moments later as he was approached by officers. A search conducted in the area led police to the discovery of a clear plastic bag containing 0.4 grams of suspected cocaine. As a result, the 29 year old Belizean Mason of Rainbow town Corozal was arrested and charged for possession of a controlled drug.

The Launching Of A Partial Scope Agreement With El Salvador
Today Belize launched the first round of negotiations for a Partial Scope Agreement with El Salvador. These negotiations will address a range of issues including market access for agricultural goods and products, investments, cooperation, and legal and institutional arrangements. The agreement is also expected to create export opportunities for several industries and contribute to overall economic growth by promoting trade, foreign direct investment, employment and revenue generation. In addition, the Partial Scope Agreement will serve to deepen trade relations with El Salvador allowing for greater market penetration into Central America. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Mike Singh, the private sector is encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity for engagement and partnership with El Salvador in areas of Investments and Market access. The private sector is also encouraged to mediate with the Ministry of Trade to access business opportunities arising from this agreement both for import and export purposes. The first of three rounds of negotiations concludes on Thursday of this week with the signing of an Aide Memoir between the two countries.

He Was In Prison While Robbers Were In His House
He was sentenced to do time at the Hattiville Prison but the 62 year old Belizean retiree lost more than his freedom after his neighbor took possession of his personal belongings. The 62 year old resident of #27 Santa Rita heights Corozal Town reported to police that before being sent to prison on the 9th of December 2012, he secured his residence. The man reports leaving his house keys with his neighbor and his two bank cards with a female friend from the Village of Calcutta. The woman was also asked to pick up the keys from the neighbor and to stay at the residence while the owner was away. But according to the 62 year old, while at prison he received a call from his neighbor stating that he had taken out items from inside the house and was in possession of his F150 pickup truck. On the 30th of November 2012 the inmate received another phone call this time from his female friend who informed him that the neighbor had ordered four men to remove some furniture from inside the residence. The owner of the house, only identified as Mr. Walker, was set free on February 15th and when he arrived home he noticed that a number of times including jewelry were unaccounted for. The missing items are valued at a total of two hundred and sixty two thousand five hundred and fifty Belize dollars. Police are investigating.

Pallotine Sisters Celebrate A Century In Belize
This year the Pallotine Sisters will celebrate 100 years of presence and outstanding services in Belize. The centennial of the arrival of four German sisters in Belize on March 17th is being celebrated under the theme “Grateful for the Past Hopeful for the Future.” Presently there are 21 Pallotine Sisters in the country who will be paying tribute to their work with a number of activities taking place country wide. Here in Orange Walk and exhibit has been set up at the Banquitas House of Culture by the Pallotine Sisters. The exhibit, which was officially opened yesterday, speaks about the life of Vincent Pallotie and the work of the Pallotine Sisters in Belize. Carmelita Perez reporting… Imprinted in these photographs is the life of Vincent Pallotie the founder of the Pallotine Sisters. On the other hand these photographs speak about the years of work carried out by the Pallotine Sisters in Belize. While the pictures portray the life of different people, they have one thing in common. They are all on display at the Banquitas House of Culture in celebration of the Pallotine Sisters 100 years of presence in Belize.

The Deer Dance: A Multi Chapter Cultural Play
In last night’s newscast you saw the men and women of the Pueblo Viejo Deer Dance Group from Punta Gorda, blessing the recently inaugurated mural at the Orange Walk Town Council. But the cultural group was in Orange Walk for much more. After the mural was official inaugurated, the group, along with members of the council, danced through the principal streets of town showcasing what is known as the deer dance. Hipolito Novelo reports… Hipolito Novelo reporting They hail from Punta Gorda in the Toledo District and they are known as the Pueblo Viejo Deer Dance Group. The group has been in existence for about 5-6 years and much of the deer dancing is performed by men- 23 of them to be exact. Synchronized with marimba music dancers tell the tale of the importance of preserving culture.The dance is broken down in different chapters and according to group leader, Steven Sho, it holds a vast amount of history and significance. Steven Sho, Pueblo Viejo Deer Dance Group “In the first lead it would be the deer dance. We have four sets of deer and four antelopes. Then we have the four captains and the four Spaniards. Then we have spider monkeys on either sides and we also have the jaguars on either side. Then we have the old man, the old woman along with the dog. That is what comprises the group.” Hipolito Novelo, Reporter “Okay, let’s talk about the significance of the deer dance.”

UDP Supports ICJ Referendum
During the UDP’s Convention in Corozal on Sunday resolutions to the party’s constitution were passed in regards to the age range that a person can join the party. It changed from fifteen to thirteen. But there was also another important issue that was voted on. Former Party Chairman, Doug Singh, asked UDP supporters and delegates whether or not they quote, “agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize related to land and insular territory and any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determine finally the boundaries of the respected territories and areas of the parties” end quote. According to Singh, the party’s central executive and the national party council has decided to vote yes to the referendum and take the issue to the International Court of Justice. The referendum is set for October 6th and once the majority of voters decide to take it to the ICJ then there is no turning back. At the moment, both Guatemala and Belize have embarked in an education campaign to bring awareness to residents of both countries. But while the United Democratic Party says yes to the ICJ, the social activist group, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, rejects that notion and has been very vocal about their position. And just to show you what Guatemala wants, just weeks ago this image appeared in Guatemala’s newspaper in which it highlights the area that Guatemala is claiming; most of which is from Belize City southwards.

Break Through In Super Bond Restructuring
The Government of Belize approved a bill on February 12th at the House of Representative regarding the restructuring of the $550 million superbond. After almost a year of heated negotiations between GOB and the creditors committee, members unanimously agreed to swap their old U.S. dollar bonds for new bonds with a maturity date of 2038; an extension of 9 years. Under the deal offered by GOB, creditors would write off 10% of the value of the bonds which is far less than the 45% that government had previously proposed in the original restructuring option. According to joint chair of the committee and co-president of the Greylock Capital Management, AJ Mediratta, the committee appreciated the willingness to negotiate in good faith and adhere to what was in the end a fair and transparent process. The interest rate on the bond was also reduced from 8.5% to 5% for the first 4.5 years and 6.788% for the remaining years. Belize's chief debt negotiator Mark Espat said the committee's position would make it easier to achieve the 75 percent participation rate the government is targeting. That would trigger a collective action clause, intended to make it easier to restructure government bonds in a crisis.


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#458429 - 02/20/13 03:31 PM Re: Today's Belize News: February 20, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE TV

UB Board of Trustees issue statement
The Board of Trustees of the University of Belize today issued a statement assuring faculty and staff that it has noted the concerns raised by UB’s Faculty and Staff Association and is dealing with these concerns with appropriate regard for due process. The board statement says that the trustees are committed to accountability at the national university and proof of that is demonstrated in the fact that after not producing independent audits for the first six years of its existence, the University of Belize now has up to date audits, enabling scrutiny of the use of its finances. The statement goes on to say that a payroll audit is currently being carried out by an independent external audit firm and that after reviews of a number of draft reports submitted by the audit fir, the president will table the final report from the auditors subsequent to clarification being sought on a number of points. The UB Board of Trustees statement ends by saying that the national university should demonstrate a respect for due process and natural justice in its governance as these attributes are essential to ensuring that the university can attract talented Belizeans to work with the university or become partners in helping the university to fulfill its potential and its role in the development of Belize.

New Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal appointed
A new justice of the Belize Court of Appeal has been appointed. Fifty one year old former Supreme Court judge Minet Haffiz-Bertram took the oath of office this morning from Governor General Sir Colville Young at Belize House in Belmopan. Justice Hafiz-Betram who is originally from Guyana, has serves as a Supreme Court judge since 2007. She was worked in the judicial system in Belize, serving previously as Registrar General and Registrar of the Supreme Court. She has also served as a Crown Counsel in the Attorney General’s Ministry. She studied law in Guyana and at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago where she earned her legal education certificate in 1997. Justice Hafiz-Bertram’s appointment as a Justice of the Court of Appeal is effective February fifteenth and will last until she attains the age of sixty five years old. Present at this morning’s swearing-in ceremony were Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and Justices Denis Hanomansingh, Michelle Arana and Courtenay Abel.

UDP holds national convention in Corozal; approves policy positions
The governing United Democratic Party held its national convention on Sunday in Corozal town. Love TV’s Ava Diaz Sosa and video journalist Brian Castillo traveled north for the event yesterday and bring you the following report. UDP issues policy positions: During its national convention the United Democratic Party presented its policy statements on a number of issues. As it relates to youth the party says it will continue to recognize and encourage youth leadership by appointing them to decision making bodies of government in which their position will be afforded legitimate and equal power. The statement on the upcoming ICJ referendum was also released. The UDP says it supports both the referendum process and a yes vote on referendum day. However the party says while it supports a yes vote, this does not restrict supporters from voting their conscience. The party has repeatedly come under fire for lack of women on the frontline. In its policy statement the party says it will put mechanisms in place to achieve gender equality or equity within the party. The party says it looks to have 30% of women in leadership of the party and in local and national elections as well as introduce a national gender policy. In its statement on crime the UDP says it supports the government initiatives which include the restore Belize strategic plan, the establishment of the special gang unit among others.

Vaccination campaign against Equine Encephalomyelitis starts
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority has begun a vaccination campaign in the north and western parts of the country, following an outbreak of Equine Encephalomyelitis. According to a press release issued at the weekend, BAHA has confirmation from the USDA laboratory that the Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis virus is currently circulating in Belize, with outbreaks detected in the Corozal and Cayo districts. Love News spoke with Dr. Miguel DePaz who is the director of animal health at BAHA and asked him to explain what Equine Encephalomyelitis is. There are no reported cases of the viral disease being contracted by humans in Belize; but Dr. DePaz says measures must be taken to ensure the safety of animals and people. Measures to prevent mosquito bites, including the use of repellents and protective clothing are also being recommended to reduce the risk of infection in humans.

Red Cross holds annual general assembly
The annual general meeting of the Belize Red Cross was held this past weekend in Belize City. During the course of the AGM, reports were presented on the work of the service organization last year. Lilly Bowman is the director general of the Red Cross. During the election of officers, Hugo Lopez was selected as the new president for the Belize Red Cross, while Nigel Ebanks was elected as an ordinary member of the executive. Bowman says there are exciting plans for the Belize Red Cross going forward. Bowman says there are six main branches of the Belize Red Cross around the country, with some sub-branches in particular areas. Total membership of the service organization numbers around two thousand, but Red Cross officials say of that number about five hundred and very active; and about three hundred are extremely active members.

Double murder in Munoz Alley
A spate of weekend violence in Belize City has left two persons dead and several others injured. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

From the police blotter
There was a sequence of shootings that took place over the weekend, one of which happened about twenty minutes to ten on Friday night and left three persons injured. 48 year old Wallace Matura was standing at the corner of Orange Street and East Canal, and housewife, 26 year old Carmita Chan and 32 year old Alchea Harris, a mentally challenged person were walking on Orange Street when the incident unfolded. Police say that a man came from the direction of East Canal and fired about eight shots towards Matura, hitting him in the abdomen, testicles, left hand, right hand and left leg. Chan got hit in her left buttocks and Harris was grazed to his left hip. Matura is said to be in a critical condition while Chan and Harris were treated and released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Matura issued a statement this evening asking the media to focus their attention on the true heroes in the situation including the medical personnel, law enforcement officials and those who assisted in saving his life by taking him to the hospital in a timely manner. Meanwhile, on Sunday evening at around twenty minutes to seven, Randy Harris, a 19 year old resident of Neal Pen Road was shot to the right hand, while 24 year old Deon Gibson, a construction worker was shot to the left hand and 39 year old Orlando Velasquez of Rivero Street suffered gunshot wounds to the left thigh. Police say that the three were standing in a yard on Kraal Road when a man entered and fired several gunshots in their direction. Vasquez is being hospitalized in a stable condition while Harris and Gibson were treated and released. Earlier on Sunday, sometime after four in the morning, 47 year old Mario Ramos, a mason of Mayflower Street was hit to the right hip and right thigh as he sat on his bed. Ramos told police that he heard four shots and then realized that he was shot. He is in a stable condition. Lastly, last Thursday in Corozal, a sixteen year old labourer of San Narciso Village was shot in his left instep and the left side of the back at 4:30 that afternoon. The youth told police that he was selling oranges at the Corozal Free Zone and had left to go home, but upon reaching the road that leads to the new bridge, and shortly thereafter he saw some Custom Officers shouting. That was when he heard several gunshots and realized that he was shot. The youth remains in a stable condition. Police continue to investigate these incidents. Forty-six year old Luis Romero, a.k.a. “Show”, who allegedly stole assorted jewelry and money amounting to $1,250.00 from the house of Belize City Council Traffic Manager Kevan Jenkins, was charged with burglary when he appeared in court today. Romero pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence has become prevalent, that the offence is of a serious nature, that the accused has convictions for theft and handling stolen goods and the investigation is still ongoing. Romero did not give Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith a good reason why he should be granted bail so she upheld the objection and remanded Romero into custody until April 4. The incident occurred on January 28. Jenkins reported to the police that while he was at work someone broke into his house and stole assorted jewelry, a pair of shoes and $150.00. Police say that a scenes of crime technician processed the scene and lifted fingerprints that matches with Romero’s fingerprints.

Ambulances donated in the US arrive in Belize
The Southern Regional Hospital will soon have the use of two new ambulances donated by a group in the United States. Our Stann Creek correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

Research equipment installed at Calabash Caye
The Calabash Caye Field Station, CCFS, is Belize’s first Nationally owned and managed marine research facility located in Calabash Caye on the Turneffe Atoll. The CCFS was established on September 27th 1995 and in 2009 the Environmental Research Institute of the University of Belize took Charge. On Friday, reporter Natalie Novelo and Videographer Brian Castillo visited the facility in a UB sponsored trip, to learn more about the station and the new equipment which will help in its expansion.

Firemen back home after regional training course
A group of fourteen firefighters from Belize returned to the country on Sunday following a one week training course in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The training course was made possible by the United States Southern Command and was designed to assist fire fighters from the Central American region to network and improve their operational capabilities. The Tegucigalpa training course, dubbed Central American Sharing Operational Knowledge and Experiences Exercise, promotes peace, growth and stability throughout the region through peacetime engagement to improve capabilities and strengthen regional partnerships. Among the topics covered in the exercise was the use of personnel protective equipment, self-contained breathing, fire hose evolutions, helicopter fire operations and automotive live fire operations. The returning Belizean fire fighters also received training on handling structural fires, and medical procedures including cold and hot loading procedures for medical evacuation.

PlusTV

Unions are preparing counter-proposal for Government
Unions preparing counter-proposal to Government. For the last week or so members of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), Public Service Union (PSU) and Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) have been listening to their leaders present the proposal from Government as to how to handle a salary...

Super Bond holders agree to Belize’s new offer
After nearly a year of negotiations, the committee representing the Belize bondholders has agreed to government’s bond offer. This is after the Committee made a unanimous decision to swap their old U.S. dollar bonds for new bonds with a maturity date of 2038. The deal put forward by the...

Leroy Sherrier returns to coach Belize’s national team
Leroy Sherrier Lewis returns to coach Belize. Costa Rica’s Leroy Sherrier Lewis was architect of Belize’s best performance at a regional football tournament ever: 4th place at the Central American Nations’ Cup in January, in which we defeated Nicaragua in a nail-biter and respectably draw with opponent Guatemala while...

CREI initiates Research to find Biological Control to combat Citrus Greening
Biological Control is a systematic method of killing parasites, bacteria and predators using other living organisms. It is an environmentally sound and quite effective means of protecting plants and it has extended to countries all over the globe. Instead of the traditional use of chemically-induced sprays, environmentalists are now...

Belize City and Corozal Police are investigating reports of Arson
Belize City and Corozal Police are investigating reports of Arson. A 23 year old Belizean sales clerk of Belize City reported that at 11:00pm on Saturday, he parked his 2007 pick-up, valued at $45,000.00bcy on Cran Street and upon returning at 2:50am Sunday morning, he saw his pick-up completely...

Busy weekend for fire officials in Belize City
It was a busy weekend for fire officials in Belize City. On Saturday reports came to PLUS News of a fire in the vicinity of Dario’s’ Meat pies on Hyde’s Lane but it turned out to be only a false alarm; fire men found a small brush fire under...

Two teens remanded for firearm offences
In Belize City, Police conducted a search at the home of Aaron Reynolds, an eighteen year old believed to be a member of the Southside Gang. The search turned up a nine millimeter pistol and eight rounds of ammunition. Also present at the residence at the time was nineteen...

UB Student robbed on Belmopan Campus
A 19 year old student of the University of Belize, was robbed on campus last night in the City of Belmopan Campus. The student stated that on Monday the 18th of February, at about 8:45pm he was walking on the University compound beside the Jabirou building sending a text...

The Ministry of Health installs National Communication System
The Ministry of Health installed a National Communication System that will facilitate communication during public health emergencies and disasters. The system, installed last week, is located at the Baldy Beacon, Mountain Pine Ridge and will be used to network with Public Health Providers across the country. This is how...

Wild Tracks wins Audubon Society Award
The Belize Audubon Society yesterday named its 2013 James A. Waight Award recipient. This year’s awardee is Wild Tracks, a non-governmental organization located in Sarteneja Village of the Corozal district. Co-founders of the organization, Paul and Zoe Walker, in partnership with Fireburn Community, opened and manage the Fireburn Private...

Educators in conflict mediation training
Educators in conflict mediation training. RESTORE Belize and the US Embassy are sponsoring a series of trainings in conflict mediation for educators around the country and the latest session took place in Belize City today at the ITVET. We spoke to a participant, Zeni Perdomo of Corozal Community College...

Hotdog vendor robbed at gunpoint
A Hotdog vendor was robbed at gunpoint. 53 year old Bertha Arias, Honduran Vendor of Sarawee Village reported that at 12:25am on Friday Feb 15th, while selling hotdogs in front of Ilagulei Night Club located on George Price Drive, in Dangriga Town, she was approached by a dark complexion...

Ramona Cabrera has succumbed to her fire injuries
On Monday February 4th we told you about a three year old who had perished in an early morning fire in the Corozal district. Her mother 40 year old Ramona Cabrera, also received 1st degree burns on her face, back and 2nd degree burns to her left and right...

More missing BDF Firearms recovered
Firearms believed to have been stolen from the B.D.F have been discovered. Over the weekend, GSU came upon a garbage bag hidden in the sand, in the Seine Bight and Placencia area. A search of the bag led to the discovery of an M-sixteen rifle and a nine millimeter...

Amandala

BOXING FEVER AT BIRD’S ISLE THIS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24
Things are fast taking shape for a real renaissance in the sport of boxing in Belize, beginning with this Sunday’s return to Bird’s Isle showcasing a number of young boxers. Manager Frank Martinez of Cayo Lions Den Gym, which will feature 3 boxers on Sunday’s card, is of the firm belief that “we have to start with the development of the youths, from ages 8 to 16 years, if we want to go anywhere in any sport.” He says he has about 25 youths training right now at the gym in Cayo, and his vision, which he shares with manager/promoter Clinton Tucker of the Ladyville Lions Den Gym, is for us to have an active development program going in each district, focusing on the youths. In related news, promoter/manager Clinton Tucker said this morning that a meeting is planned for today to determine the way forward for the Boxing Federation, in light of recent charges against the president Moses Sulph. “As a matter of principle, in light of the present case, we have to take the necessary steps now to safeguard the image of the Federation.”

BDF AND BELMOPAN BANDITS ON A ROLL AT WEEK 2 OF PLB 2012-2013 CLOSING SEASON
Week 2 is in the books for the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2012-2013 Closing Season, and already there are only 2 teams still undefeated – defending champion Belmopan Bandits FC and Belize Defense Force FC. With last season’s MVP Woodrow West exploring his options in the U.S., defending champions Belmopan Bandits turned to seasoned veteran William Johnson, who broke his leg in the first game of a Super League season a couple years ago with City Boys United. And, despite a couple close calls, Johnson and the Bandits are off to a stellar start, being the only team not to concede a goal so far in the competition. On Saturday night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the home-standing Bandits took advantage of a penalty opportunity, when striker Brandon Peyrefitte was taken down in the eighteen, and David Trapp converted for Bandits at the 27th minute. The equalizer almost came early in second half, when San Felipe defender Andrew Allen sent a swerving center that Johnson had difficulty corralling; but recently inserted San Felipe striker Eder Evans was too eager to strike the high bouncing ball in front of an open goal, and mis-fired. A Brandon-Peyrefitte free kick from the left side in the closing moments found an open Ian Gaynair on the right side, and Gaynair made no mistake, directing his header down in the right corner to close the curtain on San Felipe, 2-nil, at the 89th minute.

GAPERO OVER FABERO Editorial
UDP Education Minister Patrick Faber’s decision late last year to challenge Natural Resources Minister, Gapi Vega, for the First Deputy Leadership of the ruling UDP and, by extension, the Deputy Prime Minister’s post, was a surprise at the time, and early speculation was that some large force, like Lord Ashcroft, for example, must have contributed to Faber’s decision. The reason for that early speculation was that, while Patrick had always been an acknowledged favorite of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s, the change in the national political dynamics occasioned by the results of last March’s general elections, suggested that Mr. Barrow would have no choice other than to throw his support behind Mr. Vega. The results of the March 2012 general elections had shown that there was a clear difference in thinking between Belize City voters, who went UDP, and the District voters, who went PUP. Even though the UDP failure in the Districts could be considered, to a substantial extent, Gapi Vega’s failure, Mr. Barrow needed Mr. Vega more than ever, in the wake of the unprecedented March 2012 results, for “ethnic and geographical balance.” A powerful element in the Opposition PUP, which had made up its mind that they did not need Belize City to win the next general elections, welcomed, in fact embraced, the Faber challenge to Vega, because it would prove that the UDP was a Belize City-based party if Faber won, and upset the Prime Minister’s apple cart.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
It is in the nature of the situation where a specific group finds itself at the bottom of the socio-economic barrel, that there will be treachery in interpersonal relationships within that group. We usually use the reality of the treachery amongst our people to increase the negativity of our assessment of our situation. But it is not because we are inherently wicked or inferior that we are treacherous: it is because our existence is so marginalized that the self-preservation instinct makes the incidence of treachery higher. The fault lies not in ourselves, but in the harshness of our oppression, that we appear more flawed than our oppressors. There were members of our group who made personal and family progress by becoming loyal and valuable to the colonial masters in British Honduras. In a colonial situation, such opportunities only exist for a minority, who then form somewhat of an elite. If such opportunities were available for the broad masses of the people, then the socio-economic situation of the masses would not be one of colonialism: it would be a condition of liberation. Consider the interpersonal relations on a slave ship. Our ancestors were chained as tight as canned sardines in the dark hold of a sailing ship for the two, three months it took to cross the Atlantic Ocean from West Africa to America. Our ancestors would be expectorating, vomiting, urinating, and defecating on each other, and they would be in a chronic state of hunger and thirst, not to mention claustrophobia. The captain and crew of the slave ship, in a position of absolute power over their human cargo, would be able to tempt individual slaves with offers of more food, more water, more sunshine, a little freedom from the grinding of the iron shackles, whatever … Most individual slaves who yielded to any temptation would rationalize their “selfishness,” and it is not easy to blame them.

COMPTON FAIRWEATHER WRITES Letters
The Editor Amandala Sir, For those who are not aware of the limits of our beloved country, which were established more than three decades before the iron-clad 1859 Treaty “was carved in stone” (and which, because of established international law, the ICJ cannot change), the following letter may help to explain. The explanation had to be given to a British-owned company which was operating in Vera Paz, Guatemala, registered as the Eastern Coast of Central America Company, which wanted to make sure they were not trespassing on Belizean territory while doing their farming operation. They had written to His Majesty’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Lord Glenelg.

ROGER ANTHONY, 35, FINED $1,000 FOR SHIRT SUPPORTING CRIMINAL GANG
Anthony told police he is the “boss of the Ghost Town Crips” Today, inside the courtroom of Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr., Roger Anthony, 35, pleaded guilty to displaying support for a criminal gang and professing to belong to a criminal gang, namely the Ghost Town Crips gang. According to the report, at 10:00 yesterday morning, members of the Gang Suppression Unit were on mobile patrol on Vernon Street. Upon reaching the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets, they stopped their vehicle when they observed Anthony talking to another person. They searched the men, but nothing illegal was found on their persons. However, the officers noticed that the shirt that Anthony was wearing had “GTC” on the collar with “30’s”. They also noticed that the pocket of the shirt had “OG” printed on it, along with the word “MOB.” When police asked Anthony what “GTC” meant, Anthony allegedly replied “Ghost Town Crips,” and that he is the leader of that gang. He allegedly further stated that “MOB” was his alias.

GAPI LASHES PATRICK!
Patrick Faber said that had it not been for the Prime Minister’s “interference,” he would have won Both Alberto August and Fern Gutierrez, who won their posts, ran on Gapi Vega’s slate The United Democratic Party held its National Convention on Sunday, February 17, 2013, in Corozal. The UDP claims that a crowd of over 8,000 attended the event to witness and support the appointment and election of new party officials. Hon. Dean Barrow was endorsed as the party’s leader, and Hon. Erwin Contreras was confirmed in his post as the party’s second deputy leader. Elections for the positions of first deputy party leader, party chairman and vice chairman were held at the bi-annual convention. Votes were cast by 567 delegates, which encompass representatives of the 31 divisions, senators, central executive members, parliamentarians and other senior members of the party. The highlight of the day was the elections for the first deputy party leader, contested by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Minister of Education Patrick Faber. The faceoff between Faber and Vega had received major media attention, as Faber aggressively promoted himself as the better man for the job.

CITY WEEKEND MAYHEM – 12 SHOT, 2 DEAD
Gunman shot 2 in Muñoz Alley; one died, but other victim killed the shooter Deadly violence from gangland shooters continues to rock the mean streets of the city. This time it was Majestic Alley figure Lincoln “Kilo Boy” Allen, 39, the father of 11 children with ages 3 months to 17 years, well known to police, who lived in the Majestic Alley hutments of the city. The shooting was the third in a record weekend that saw 12 people shot in the city in different shooting incidents, with two dead and a number of victims in critical condition. A gunman approached Allen, listed as a laborer by police, in Muñoz Alley, in the same vicinity as Majestic Alley, and shot him in the head and mouth at about 1:34 Saturday morning, February 16. Also dead is Allen’s shooter, Devon Dean Saldano, 23, of a West Street address, who was shot in the back of the head by someone he shot and injured — Derek Cervantes, who was in Allen’s company. Police say that they found Saldano’s body about two feet away from Allen’s body.

NICOLI RHYS, 22, FOUND NOT GUILTY OF ANDRE TRAPP’S MURDER
Trapp was shot and killed in historic fashion at the steps of the courthouse Today, Nicoli Rhys, 22, was found not guilty by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin for the murder of Andre Trapp, the reputed leader of the South Side Gang. Readers will recall that the gang boss had been shot and killed, of all places, on the steps of the courthouse in Belize City. At 10:00 a.m. on June 10, 2010, Trapp had just left the Magistrate’s Court and was speaking with an old classmate. After their conversation, Trapp was walking toward his vehicle when gunshots rang out in the parking lot of the court. After everything settled, Trapp lay dead on the side of the steps leading to Courtrooms 1 and 2. In the trial which started on January 29, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, in her opening statement, informed the court that her case against the accused was based on circumstantial evidence. She also made reference to an oral confession allegedly made by Rhys to an officer who responded to the shooting.

WEEKEND CRAZINESS SEES 5 SHOOTINGS
Apart from the shooting deaths of two persons and the hospitalization of another victim, which are reported on the front page of this issue, there were four other shooting incidents that left nine other persons injured or hospitalized over a bloody weekend. The shootings began at about 3:30 p.m. on Friday, February 15. Police said that Kenroy Tillett and Alton Roches were repairing Tillett’s truck in front of his house at the corner of Neal Pen Road and Monroe Street, when a gunman approached and opened fire on them. Reports are that the gunman rode up from Monroe Street into Pen Road, where the men were working on the vehicle, and fired about 12 shots at them. In their attempt to escape the gunfire, they tried to run into the house, but the gunman shot at them several times and then rode away on his bicycle, disappearing into the area of Kraal Road. The white Ford Ranger single-cab pickup, owned by Tillett, was seen with bullet damages on it. Bullet holes were in the back and front windshields and in both the passenger and driver side doors.

Blogs

See a Beautiful Day in Placencia Belize
The above photo was posted by @Earth_pics on twitter and has been re tweeted 543 times. It represents an amazing sunrise in Placencia Belize. Placencia, Belize, is one of the most laid back, pretty and interesting places in the Caribbean. This friendly little village situated on the tip of a long sandy peninsula in south eastern Belize is an affordable, uncrowded little gem of a tropical paradise.

Kayaking with Purpose
While Caye Caulker is well known for its laid back and slow pace, it is full of active water sports and activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and many more. During my visit to Caye Caulker, one of the activities that caught my attention the most was kayaking. But not just any kayaking, it was kayaking with Ocean Academy. Since Caye Caulker is a small island with a small population, it didn’t have the means to provide for a public high school – so all kids had to either drop out or go to San Pedro to continue their education. Education in Belize is not free, and for some families this is an expense outside their limited budget. But in September 2008, Ocean Academy –a non-profit community high school– opened its doors to provide a high school education to local residents. While the school is much more affordable than going to San Pedro, students still need to pay for their education, either with paid tuition or with tuition credits like community service. And, here’s where kayaking comes in… As a way to earn tuition credit and gain valuable job training, many of the 60 students of Ocean Academy volunteer to guide visitors around Caye Caulker; either by foot, bicycle, or kayak.

Harlem Shake Belizean Style [VIDEO]
So I finally found two Harlem Shake Belizean Style video. HAHA! These guys are studying at UWI and are from Belize. These ones look like local Belizean kids: These one are from Orange Walk:

BCCI – Professional Etiquette Training in Belmopan City
Feb 20th, George Price Center. Facilitated by Ms. Mapye Smith. $300 + GST

PARTIAL SCOPE AGREEMENT – BELIZE / EL SALVADOR
First Round of Trade Negotiations – Belize & El Salvador, San Ignacio Hotel, Cayo Belize. 18-21 Feb., 2013

Power Failure
Had been out on the veranda around an hour when there was a heavy downpour at around 6.15 am. It didn’t last long but came down heavily enough to ‘force’ me inside. Good opportunity though to replenish my cup with coffee. Resettled I proceeded to catch up with the news via my The Times on-line subscription and was enjoying the read when the rain came down again at around 7.15 am and it coincided with a power failure which took out the Internet. It only lasted around 10 minutes but power outages are something that if you are contemplating relocating to Belize occur reasonably frequently (eg we had one last Saturday as well). After finishing off The Times (or did it finish me off?) it was time for a quick shower before heading over to the Belikin/Crystal Water depot to get a 5 gallon water bottle (BZ$3.50 if you have your own bottle). The depot is conveniently located now but when we move to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize I will probably get five or six bottles per trip ( for this I will have to pay a refundable BZ$25 deposit per bottle). Rose and I then spent a little time finding storage space for some of our stuff to create space for the visit that some friends of ours are going to make. They will arrive three days before we set off on our trip to Dallas and will stay at the condo we are renting. We then get to spend a further three days with them when we return before they head off home. Works for all of us. We get someone to ‘condo sit’ and they get a relatively inexpensive holiday. Around 12.05 pm we had another power failure but fortunately like the previous one it didn’t last long and we continued clearing space until the Arsenal Champions League game versus Bayern Munich commenced and that’s when I wouldn’t have minded another power failure . Quite simply it was men against boys and now in only February Arsenal have a season with only forth place to play for.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Applecrisp Cheeseecake
Whut do y'all do wen y'all have guest fer dinnr? Do y'all make t'entire meal er do y'all ast 'um brang sumthin? It varies fer me. Sumtimes I like t'do t'entire thang, and sumtimes t'guests contribute. That way we share t'cost and preparatyuns t'ease t'event fer t'hostess. I luv that air friens enjoy contributin' t'hat kine uf dinnr. It shure makes it easir, and thay knoe that wen it is thar turn t'host, we all brang sumthin n' return as well. Mah cuzin Deris brung thishere deliciyus cheeseecake fer deessert that I jes had t'share with y'all! Nex time y'all air ast t'brang deessert sumwhars, cunsidder thishere Apple Crisp Cheeseecake. Mmm,so good! Thanks Deris.

International Sources

Arctic sea ice volume now one-fifth its 1979 level
The stunning loss of Arctic sea ice extent in recent years is undeniable--satellite measurements have conclusively shown that half of the Arctic sea ice went missing in September 2012, compared to the average September during 1979 - 2000. But the extent of ice cover is not the best measure of how the fire raging in Earth's attic is affecting sea ice--the total volume of the ice is more important. But up until 2010, we didn't have the measurements needed to say how the total volume of ice in the Arctic might be changing. Scientists relied on the University of Washington PIOMAS model, which suggested that the loss of Arctic sea ice volume during September might be approaching 75% - 80%. The model results were widely criticized by climate change skeptics as being unrealistic. However, in April 2010, a new satellite called Cryostat-2 was launched, which can measure ice volume by beaming pulses of microwave energy off of the ice. With two years of data to Cryosat-2 data to analyze, the results of the PIOMAS model have now been confirmed by a study published on-line in February 2013 in Geophysical Research Letters. In a University of Washington news release, co-author Axel Schweiger said, "people had argued that 75 to 80 percent ice volume loss was too aggressive. What this new paper shows is that our ice loss estimates may have been too conservative, and that the recent decline is possibly more rapid."

Real Estate Sales in Belize Increase Due to McAfee Publicity
The tiny Central American country of Belize made headlines around the world recently after Belizean authorities embarked on a nationwide manhunt for software antivirus pioneer John McAfee, and some Belizean companies say business has increased as a result of the massive international exposure. "When that whole debacle started with McAfee all of the huge media outlets like CNN, ABC news, NBC news, the Associated Press, Reuters, you name it, they all started covering it," said David Gobeil, owner of Belize Property Agents Realty, located in Dangriga Belize. "Not because an expat sadly died in Belize, but because a world-famous individual like McAfee was implicated," he said.

Belize bondholders group agrees to superbond exchange
A committee representing Belize bondholders said on Tuesday its members agreed to a debt exchange on the country's $550 million superbond, after almost a year of often heated negotiations. Committee members agreed unanimously to swap their old U.S. dollar bonds for new bonds with a maturity date of 2038, the group said in a statement. "The Committee appreciates the (Belize government's) willingness to negotiate in good faith and to adhere to what was in the end a fair and transparent process," said AJ Mediratta, joint chair of the committee and co-president of Greylock Capital Management.

UTSA International Trade Center hosts delegation from SBDC Belize
The International Trade Center in the UTSA Institute of Economic Development hosted a delegation Jan. 22-25 from SBDC Belize, a newly launched Small Business Development Center (SBDC). During the four-day visit, the delegates met with directors and staff of the various centers and specialty centers with the Institute for Economic Development and Southwest Texas Border SBDC Network. Best practices and practical direction were provided to give SBDC Belize the best chance to succeed in creating economic impact in Belize. "We had frank conversations about the realities of running a high-performing SBDC and SBDC Network," said Albert Salgado, director of the South-West Texas Border Small Business Development Center Network. "Our South-West Texas Border SBDC Network has been very successful, but it is because we strive to meet the demands of the small-business community and prepare our advisers with professional development and resources to provided relevant services. We want SBDCBelize to succeed in the same way."

Cookbook Review: The Flavors of Belize May Not Be Perfect, But It's Hard Not to Love a Fried Breadfruit (!) Recipe
A good cookbook collection does not look like it came straight out of a food stylist's studio. Sure, it will include several near-perfect volumes, those monumental titles that still capture your attention. But some cookbooks, like Flavors of Belize, will sport a few flaws. You might keep them because there haven't been many cookbooks on the subject. Or because within their pages, you can find recipe ideas for obscure stateside ingredients like breadfruit (get a recipe for fried breadfruit after the jump). You can overlook the minor annoyances, like the promotional tone of many of the restaurant/chef listings in the glossary and specific products. In the recipe for "Belikin beer bread" ("the beer of Belize") any light lager would likely work fine; those fish panades (similar to fried empañadas with a crispy corn shell) call for Quaker brand masa harina mix.

Belize Bondholder Group Agrees To Restructuring
A group representing a majority of Belize sovereign bondholders has agreed to a restructuring that will give the country nine more years to pay off some of its debt. The Coordinating Committee of Belize Bondholders said in a statement Tuesday that its members agreed unanimously to exchange their old dollar-denominated bonds due 2029 for new ones that fall due in 2038. The negotiations that began late last year led to "what was in the end a fair and transparent process," said AJ Mediratta, co-president of Greylock Capital Management and co-chairman of the bond holder group, referring to a series of announcements the Central Bank of Belize made along the way concerning its progress. Under the terms of the debt exchange, the Belize government will reimburse the committee for certain expenses, including reinstating principal in the event of a future default. Belize has $548 million of dollar-denominated bonds outstanding.

Belize bondholders group says members agree to superbond exchange
Feb 19 (Reuters) - The Belize bondholders group said it members agreed to a debt exchange proposed by the Belize government, a statement from the committee representing the majority of bondholders said on Tuesday.

Letter: Questions for the government of Belize on the Guatemala-ICJ issue
Dear Members of the Belize Referendum Commission, I am thanking you in advance for better equipping me to participate in the upcoming decision-making process through your clarifications on my few remaining questions: 1. What is Guatemala’s official position as to how much of the territory being claimed? How can we know determine if the rewards will outweigh the risks if the risks haven’t been clearly or at least officially specified? 2. How was the budget for the ICJ education campaign in Belize derived and mechanisms are in place to supervise the use of funds? 3. What will be the content of Guatemala’s message in its half of the education campaign and what are some of the ways it might affect the on the ground relations between the people of our two countries? What might be the result of 40 million dollars being spent on ‘educating’ Guatemalans of the strength of Guatemala’s claim to Belize? 4. Detail the actions we should expect the Guatemalan government to take to reduce border incursions should the ICJ decide in our favour?

Honeymoon Planning Spotlight: David & Brandi in Belize
One of the best parts about my job is being able to help match my clients to the perfect destination for what they’re looking for. I love getting to know couples and planning an itinerary to fit their every need. My absolute favorite part of the job, though, is to receive feedback upon their return about how the trip was exactly what they were looking for. That’s why I’ve decided to start sharing some of the feedback and hand-crafted itineraries so you can get a better idea of my travel planning from start to finish! When David and Brandi were originally referred to me, they had their minds set on a honeymoon to Argentina. After bouncing around a few ideas and exploring the Argentina idea a bit more, they were hesitant as to whether the destination would be a good fit for what they were looking for in a honeymoon. So, I got to the core of their search: they wanted sightseeing and adventure with a nice balance of relaxation. They weren’t the type to sit at one resort for the duration of their stay – they wanted to explore about 2-3 cities within the destination.

200 Countries & 200 Years in 4 Minutes, Presented by Hans Rosling
Hans Rosling, a professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, focuses on ‘dispelling common myths about the so-called developing world’ (as his TED bio well notes). And he has established a reputation for presenting data in extremely imaginative ways. Just watch the video above, an outtake from the BBC show “The Joy of Stats”). In four minutes, Rosling visually traces the health of 200 countries over 200 years, using 120,000 data points, and we end up with a little reason for optimism. Great stuff…

The River of Myths by Hans Rosling
Hans Rosling shows how measurement reveals incredible progress in saving the lives of children in what were once labeled "developing countries". If the few countries that still have high child mortality rates can follow the path of Ethiopia, preventable child deaths may be history by 2030. We must continue to closely measure this progress. Video created in partnership between The Gates Notes and Gapminder. #BillsLetter


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