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#458503 - 02/21/13 08:48 AM Today's Belize News: February 21, 2013
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Dianela Hancock wins San Pedro Town Library Youth Writing Contest
With the dream of winning a brand new Toshiba laptop, students from Standards Four through Six got busy scribbling and typing away for the first ever San Pedro Library Youth Writing Contest. The topic “What Love Means to Me” was just in time for Valentine’s Day, and it seemed that students had a lot to write about love. In all, 55 entries were recorded, with essays coming in from The Island Academy (TIA), San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS), Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Holy Cross Anglican School and even Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School (CCRCS). Themes ranged from family, school, community, country, Mother Earth, and even God and the Virtue of Love.With rules such as: sticking to a 150-200 word limit, ensuring the standard writing protocols were followed (beginning, middle, end), and more, judges had to sift through many wonderful writings and personal essays to choose their top three writers.

Belize Tourism Industry Association launches 2013 Destination Belize Magazine
The Belize Tourism Industry Association BTIA launched the 2013 edition of “Destination Belize” on Friday, February 15th at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina. The launching took place in the Caracol Room and commenced shortly after 10AM. Presenters at the event included: President of the BTIA, Mr. Herbert Haylock; Executive Director of BTIA Mr. Efren Perez and Publisher of Destination Belize, Mr. Demian Solano of Idea Lab Studios. The 2013 edition of Destination Belize marks the 17th edition of the travel magazine and was published for the second year by Belize’s IdeaLab Studios.Titled, “The Best of Both Worlds”, the tourism magazine was aimed to capture the best of all that Belize has to offer. “The Best of Both Worlds” cover image captures the beauty of the islands, the aqua waters that line our shores, the world’s second longest barrier reef and the sandy beaches,all contrasting with the towering waterfalls and pristine jungles of the Maya Mountains.The featured models are San Pedro’s very own Paul and Kelly German, residents and businesspeople.Their photos were taken in two places: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and the Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo, both are locations that, according to Publisher Demian Solano, showcase how much there is to do in Belize.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Tourist Guide Association Appoints New Board
On February 5, 2013, The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association had its first meeting for the year with the main purpose to election a new committee for the next two years. The new positions in the board are as follows: President: Phillip Leslie Vice President: Gilberto Nuñez Secretary: Steven Rubio Vice Secretary: Emiliano Rivero Treasurer: Everette Anderson Vice Treasurer: Robert Gonzalez Director: Steve Bowen Director: Omar Arceo Director: Ruben Trejo This new and energetic board will represent the tour guides of San Pedro for the next two years. The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association’s plans include continue working on the educational program, have clean up campaigns and address problems and changes their members might see that need change. The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association should be receiving a new boat which will be maintained by the Association and fuel purchased by the San Pedro Town Council. The boat will be a donation by the Belize Tourism Board.

Free Spay/Neuter on World Spay Day
The San Pedro SAGA Humane Society is offering fee spay/neuter on World Spay Day, Tuesday, February 26, 2013. World Spay Day is an annual campaign of Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States that shines a spotlight on spay/neuter—a proven way to save the lives of companion animals, feral cats, and street dogs who might otherwise be put down in a shelter or killed on the street. Call for your appointment at 226-3266 – Saga Humane Society on Sea Star Street, San Pedro Town, Belize. www.sagahumanesociety.org

Saga Humane Society Monthly Cook Off
Saga’s Monthly Cook Off will take place on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at Average Joe’s Bar. Lots to eat and drink! Serving starts at 6:30 p.m. There will be raffles with great prizes! Live music! Fun for all the family! Prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Come on out and support the SAGA Humane Society.

Estel’s Takes BBQ Ribs Seriously in San Pedro Grilling Competition
It is without a doubt that one of the coziest and most popular places to have a delicious breakfast, the best sangria, a bloody mary ‘pick-me-up” and finger-licking BBQ in town is Estel’s Dine by the Sea. This restaurant, located in the heart of town, is always alive with music and happy customers as locals and tourists rush to have a home-cooked meal. We at Ambergris Today have had the privilege to dine at Estel’s and are always glad to be back for more, and more. This week the Angels, including the boss, were at Estel’s for their 2nd Annual Grilling Competition. Barbeque ribs were the specialty and we couldn’t miss out on the fun! Grill masters for the event were Charles Worthington, James Gochenour, Rick Saager and Kevin Urbina. It was a bring-your-own-grill type of competition where the grill masters brought their “A” game to the table. As we waited for the ribs for us to devour, the Angels (Perlita and Sofie) headed out to get a few tips from the grill masters. We savored some delicious sangria and enjoyed the great music by Dennis and the Usual Suspects and Gino and the Shack Shakers.

Misc Belizean Sources

Corozal House of Culture's First Anniversary Celebration and Open House, Sunday February 24, 2013
Great things happening in Corozal folks. Everyone is cordially invited to the Corozal House of Culture's First Anniversary Celebration and Open House, Sunday February 24, 2013. Bring out the entire family. If you are visiting us, be our guest. This event is sure to be a fun filled day for everyone. The celebration begins at 3 P.M. with activities for the whole family; an art corner for children, jumpy house, and face painting will keep the little ones occupied. Art in the Park artisans will make great shopping for that unique item along with food vendors to tempt your taste buds and fill your belly…hmhmmhmm. Information booths from community stakeholders will be present. At 4:00 P.M. Ozzie the Clown will delight the crowd with his hilarious style of entertainment, followed by cultural presentations on stage beginning at 6:00 P.M. featuring the CCC Dance Company and local talent. All the while umuzik99.1 FM will be broadcasting live keeping the community tuned in.

Belize launches first round of negotiations for partial scope agreement with El Salvador
Belize has launched the first round of negotiations for a partial scope agreement (PSA) with El Salvador. The negotiations address a range of issues, including market access for agricultural goods and products, investments, cooperation, legal and Institutional arrangements. This agreement is expected to create export opportunities for industry and contribute to overall economic growth through promoting trade, foreign direct investment, employment and revenue generation. In addition, the PSA will serve to deepen trade relations with El Salvador, allowing for greater market penetration into Central America. Chief executive officer in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Mike Singh, encouraged the private sector to take advantage of the opportunity for engagement and partnership with El Salvador in areas of investments and market access. The private sector is encouraged to liaise 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 conclude on Thursday with the signing of an aide memoir between the two countries.

Job Vacancy in Belize
There is a good reference to find out about job vacancies around Cayo and Belize. Can't vouch for their website, but the page, other than being on fb, looks legitimate, and seems to be on the up and up, and even though you can't post yourself, you can send them an email with the digital flier, and they'll post it. info@freelancebelize.com "...dedicated to helping people in Belize find the latest available jobs in the country. Feel free to send us a message with available jobs or send us your resume so we can help secure one for you!"

Jazz and More at the GPC
The George Price Centre is launching their Jazz and More exhibit tomorrow. Entrance is free. It'll be on display until March 8th. This exhibition, which includes 23 works of art, facilitates communication and mutual understanding between Belizean and Mexican artists, especially those who live and work in the South of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. "The Embassy of Mexico in Belize presents 'Jazz and More...' An exhibition by Enrique Hernandez Jazz and More Opening Night: Thursday, FEBRUARY 21 at 7.00 p.m. Exhibition on display at the Centre until March 8"

Belize Audubon Society's 2013 Conservation Award
The Belize Audubon Society presented the 2013 James A. Waight Conservation Award to Wildtracks. Congratulations, Wildtracks! The BAS has 4 managed protected areas in Cayo, ATM, Tapir Mountain Reserve, Guanacaste National Park, and the Blue Hole National Park. Wildtracks, which is fundamental in Belize's wildlife conservation and rehabilitation efforts had this to say: "We are feeling very honoured, and also humbled, by the outpouring of congratulations yesterday evening for Wildtracks, which has been awarded the James Waight Award for Conservation for 2013 - the most prestigious conservation award in Belize. Whilst lost for words when accepting the prize, I feel I missed the opportunity to acknowledge all those who make what we do possible - all those community-based conservation organizations we work with, manned by people who inspire us in the words they say and things they do. All those volunteers, both Belizean and international, who give up their time and provide their enthusiasm to keep Wildtracks activities, the NGO partners we've watched grow from strength to strength. Those who help us when help is needed - whether it is transporting bananas, manatees or monkeys, providing veterinarian assistance or fixing broken water pumps. Those children who have touched our hearts and shown that there is hope in the future generation. Those people in Government, particularly the Forest and Fisheries Departments, who, despite the national economic problems affecting their work, bend over backwards to provide assistance when needed. And to Belize, as a nation, for accepting us and providing an environment in which we can use the skills we have developed to work with others, in collaboration and partnership, towards the balance the country needs between conservation and development."

UB Opportunities Fair
The University of Belize is having their Opportunities Fair today at the Belmopan Campus. They'll have representatives from businesses all over Belize there giving presentations. Some of the embassies will be there also. If you're interested in studying abroad, or looking for a job, go check it out.

Entrepreneurship Development Workshop
SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE and Mr. Jose Herrera, Lecturer for Small Business Management at the University of Belize is presenting the Entrepreneurship Development Workshop which will be held on February 27th, 2013 on campus!!! For more information contact SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE at Tel: 223-3195 or email us at: sbdc@belizeinvest.org.bz Hope to see you there!!!

First Round of Trade Negotiations – Belize & El Salvador, San Ignacio Hotel, Cayo Belize. 18-21 Feb., 2013

Channel 7

Major Figure From OW Detained In Connection With Human Traffic
Tonight, a well-known figure from Orange Walk is detained at the Ladyville Police Station. He's the owner of this 15 seater Ford van with Orange Walk Plates - which police pursued on the Burrell Boom Road on Monday night. The van was spotted by a patrol team which thought to pull it over because the van appeared completely weighed down - and police figured it had some kind of illicit cargo - little did they know it was human cargo. When the police pursued the driver ran the van into a yard, bumped a tree and then fled, with the 15 passengers inside scrambling to get away. Four males and one female were caught there, and then on the following day, police found five more females in an abandoned house in Los Lagos - that included two minors. The minors were crying for their father - who had accompanied them on the dangerous trip - but ran in a different direction when the police caught the van. Those minors are now in custody of the Social Services Department as human trafficking victims. Tonight, 3 of the other 5 face the threat of being imprisoned. That's because they can't pay court fines after they were arraigned in the Magistrate's Court today. They've been identified as 18 year-old Yessenia Gonzalez, 19 year-old Miriam Guevara, and 24 year-old Maribel Guevara, and two 17 year-old female minors.

UDP's Transition Tremors
Phillippa Bailey has been the secretary general of the UDP for 13 years -yet unofficial but reliable reports tonight say she is calling it quits effective the end of March. It comes very suddenly after the party's national convention on Sunday - but it was not unexpected. It is well known in party circles that Bailey did not support the Unity Slate because of the presence of Alberto August - with whom she reportedly has had difficulties. August won the Chairmanship with a decisive majority - and two days later, reports say Bailey has decided to move on. Today, August told us that he is prepared to work with anyone - but added that he believes Bailey made an error to have chosen sides in the recent convention. Nonetheless, he says if she stays on, he will work with her and if she resigns, the party will have to find someone else.

Newborn Flown Out For Life-Saving Surgery
Tonight, a newborn from Belize is in the USA receiving emergency attention after he was flown out on a private jet today. He left from the KHMH this morning, and 7News was there. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz Reporting Baby Bryan Raymond Williams Jr. is a fighter who's survived the short 22 days of his life with a birth defect where his digestive tract is not fully formed. Doctors in Belize have identified the problem, but he needs specialized help not available here. Dr. Cecelio Eck - Pediatrician "Baby Brian was born 22 days ago, and while in the nursery, being fed, the baby started to vomit. So, the resident we have on, Dr. Borland, recognized the problem; we admitted the child in our ward. And we realized that the baby didn't have an esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. We stabilized the baby. We get a child like this with this abnormality maybe once a year, and we arrange with the surgeons abroad to accept the baby. Between then and now, the baby has had several setbacks, where the baby would choke on some of the saliva. It went into the lungs, and the baby needed to go on the ventilator for a few days. We are at the point now where, with the help of Friends of Pediatrics, World Pediatric Project, and our partners in the states in Ridgmond Virginia, they've agreed to accept this baby, and do this specialized surgery abroad."

What Caused Death Of 17 Year Old In Golden Stream
There is not much known about the sudden death of a 17 year old female in Golden Stream village in the Toledo district. Reports say that the teenager could have died either as the result of violence or by accidental ingestion of an unsafe substance. The only thing known at this point is that the teenager was buried on Tuesday afternoon. According to PGTV news, in an interview they conducted with the child's stepmother, she claimed that the young woman died from eating a bucket of soap and that the child was mentally challenged. Punta Gorda police said they are still investigating the death of the teenager and should have a preliminary report by tomorrow midday. According to the Alcalde of the village, the girl was buried yesterday without a postmortem being conducted.

Joe Coye Makes His Case Against Misfeasance, Again
The case of misfeasance against former Ministers of Government Jose Coye and Florencio Marin Sr. has sent out waves in the Caribbean because it is a novel case in which the Caribbean Court of Justice handed down a benchmark judgment. The question is: Can the Attorney General Ministry bring legal action against these men for alleged inappropriate behavior while holding office? Former Chief Justice Dr. Conteh didn't believe so, but both the Court of Appeal, and the CCJ said yes, it is possible. But today, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin sent a clear message to the State that they didn't enough evidence to support the action against the former ministers based on the claim that both of them acted in joint enterprise to misappropriate the value of 56 parcels of land in the Caribbean Shores area. Last week, the attorneys for the men filed an application that all or parts of witness testimony and evidence presented by GOB's attorney be struck out. This morning, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin upheld the application by the defendants that those main testimonies be struck because of certain violations to the Evidence Act. After that, he made the decision, after consulting with each side, that the case should be thrown out based on lack of evidence.

Port Security Catches Engine Thieves In The Act
Tonight three men are detained by police after they were caught red-handed inside the Port of Belize Compound. . They are 19 year old Robert Flowers, and two minors, aged 17 and 16. Last night at around 11:00, the security guard was making his rounds when he found them cowering in a skiff named morning mist. They had a box of tools and had already hoisted off the engine. He called police who took them into custody.

Trade Talks Between Belize And El Salvador
El Salvador is looking for a trade gateway to the Caribbean - and it has turned to Belize. Preliminary talks towards this are beign held this week at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. It's the first round of negotiations for a partial scope agreement between Belize and El Salvador - and Trade CEO Mike Singh told the Press Office what makes Belize attractive: Mike Singh - CEO, Ministry of Trade "Today really, is preliminary. We're sort of setting the stage for the items we will be discussing. We will start reviewing some of the list of items that will be permitted under this agreement. This agreement, we're hoping, will sort of be a little bit different because we're looking at including services as an integral part of the agreement." Carlos Moreno - Trade Police Director, El Salvador "We know that we're in a position now that we have to diversify our products, diversify our destinations for our exports in the Caribbean. It's very important to us within this plan that we're facing now; we would like to expand our products to countries like Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Cuba - in that direction. We are trying to conduct negotiation for preferential treatment for our products with these countries."

Rebecca's Whipping Up an International Storm
4 weeks ago, we told you about Rebecca Stirm, the Belizean fashion designer who's been having local and international success with her clothing line. She held her own fashion show on January 26 at the Princess Hotel, and that, along with the network of contacts she made during her appearance on Jamaica's Mission Catwalk, has earned her another opportunity to make an international appearance. Today, 7News caught up with her at the airport as she was making her last preparations to fly to Jamaica. She told us what that trip is about: Rebecca Stirm - Fashion Designer Today, Chantae and I are flying out to Kingston, Jamaica, and I'll be showcasing a new collection at the Wyndham Wedding Spectacular. It's basically a bridal expo in Kingston, where bridal designers, bridal boutiques, décor companies, and big event planners all come together, and do a huge bridal expo, and bridal shows. So, I got invited to be the headline international designer at Kingston, the big expo. And so, I'm taking Chantae Guy, and she's headlining for me on the runway as the big Belizean model. It's pretty exciting." Daniel Ortiz "How did they actually get in contact with you and get interested in your line?"

City Council Has Plans For Pedestrian Overpass
And there is a new project the Belize City Council is working on. It is the lighting of the overpass at the Belcan roundabout. Since the council has removed the pedestrian crosswalks when they cement-paved the first 100 yards of the northern highway, pedestrians are now forced to use the overpass for their own safety. But as another safety method, the council will be lighting up the overpass area for pedestrians. Here's what you can expect in a weeks' time. Kenny Morgan - Public Relations Officer, Belize City Council "The overpass situation, I must say, we have to thank Belizean citizens. They have expressed their desire to do the right thing, and I am sure that listeners and viewers have seen the heavy traffic that is now going across the overpass from morning until evening. We've very pleased to announce that we've gotten the bill of quantities for the lighting of the overpass. We've supposed to take possession of the materials no later than by tomorrow afternoon. So, I think that we should see work started out there. Our electricians are standing by. The workmen have already been prepped for it, and we should see work starting on the lighting of the overpass itself by Thursday, midday at the latest. Again, we want to commend Belizeans for abiding with the laws.

Bze Athletes to Be Tested For P-E-D's
Belizean athletes are getting ready for the tenth Central American Games in Costa Rica in two weeks' time. But tonight, they have one more thing to worry about: they have to be free of doping substances. A release from the National anti-doping Organization says it will have five anti-doping sample collections. The samples will be collected from Athletics, Football, Softball, Volleyball and Basketball. The samples will be collected between February 21st and 23rd between 6:00 am and midnight. The samples will be sent to the UCLA Olympic Laboratory for Analysis. Athletes will be randomly selected.

Newcomers to Olympic Committee
On Monday we told you about the weekend's historic elections in the Belize Olympic Association. Tonight, we can confirm that the new members of the executive are: Assistant Secretary, Josephine Flowers, Treasurer, Giovanni Alamilla, and members Herman Pastor Jr., Allan Sharp and Arturo Vasquez. The join long standing members, President Hilly Martinez, Vice President Sonny Meighan and Secretary General Yolanda Fonseca.

Channel 5

Regular soap eating kills
  There is a tragic story to report tonight. It involves the mysterious death of a seventeen-year-old from the village of Golden Stream in Toledo over the weekend and is raising numerous questions among residents of that southern community.  Milka Sho, a mentally challenged teenager, died on Sunday after allegedly ingesting soap or washing powder.  [...]

Former minister Joe Coye wins land case in court
After years of trial, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out charges against former Ministers of Government, Joe Coye and Florencio Marin. A tort of misfeasance charge fell apart today after the Chief Justice expunged evidence from witness statements. The original allegation was that Coye had some interest in CHEOP Enterprise, which is owned by businessman [...]

Coye blames prominent attorney or case against him
But after accusing four public officers of perjury, Coye continued swinging at his accusers. Coye alleged that he was the victim of trumped up charges which he felt were malicious, vindictive, filled with hate and greed.  He accused a prominent attorney for laying those charges against him.   Jose Coye, Vindicated “I think it was [...]

UCI says Moreno is legitimate president of BCA
Last week, the Minister of State, Herman Longsworth, installed an interim cycling committee following a meeting with International Cycling Union representative, Manuel Paleaz. It would have been an end to a controversy that had been dragging for months, but clearly it is not. Paleaz has reported back to the UCI about the unsuccessful meeting.  The [...]

Human smuggling ring of Salvadorans unraveling
  Police and immigration departments in the west and Belize City are further investigating what is believed to be a human smuggling ring and tonight and one Orange Walk resident is under questioning by the Ladyville police. A white van with Orange Walk license plates C-O-4-4-3-1 transporting about fifteen Salvadoran nationals was intercepted at the [...]

Brit soon returns to court for charges involving boys
  A bench warrant for British national David Taylor has been withdrawn. The warrant was issued when Taylor was due to re-appear in the Dangriga Magistrate Court last week but failed to do so. As it turned out, unknown to the Placencia police, Taylor applied and got bail from the Supreme Court on January eighteenth [...]

Tour ends in accident in Esperanza village
Just before five p.m. on Tuesday, a traffic accident occurred in the village of Esperanza. Allen Obando and Devon Harris were riding home when a van, carrying tourists and reportedly belonging to Pacz Tours, hit the two cyclists. Harris landed in the nearby bushes, but Obando was dragged some distance away before the driver realized [...]

Baby with rare disorder flown to Virginia for surgery
A private jet landed at the Phillip Goldson Airport this morning to transport Baby Brian Williams Junior to Richmond, Virginia. The infant was born in January with a rare abnormality. Because surgery is costly and is not available locally, the World Pediatric Project arranged surgery for him overseas. His parents are overjoyed at the goodwill [...]

Ports Commissioner leaves job; junior minister interference?
Former Ports Commissioner Major John Flowers, whose last day on the job as head of the Belize Port Authority was Tuesday, has opened up about his sudden departure from the post.  Flowers cites his reason for choosing not to renew a one-year contract with the Ministry of Transport as professional differences with junior minister Edmund [...]

…and minister took over financial investigation
According to Flowers, Castro then led an investigation into the financial affairs of the Belize Port Authority without his input.   Via phone: Major John Flowers, Former Ports Commissioner “They started investigating financial accounts, checking payments, way back from 2009/2010 looking to see if there are any irregularities; anything they could hold against me. That [...]

Unions to soon conclude negotiations with G.O.B.
Teachers and public officers marched to Independence Hill late last month in a show of force. They demanded respect from the government and a salary adjustment that has been on the negotiating table for years. There was a follow-up meeting with the Prime Minister in Belmopan and then the government proposal was taken to all [...]

Unions say mandate of membership to determine next move
The union leaders say they are confident but agree that it all boils down to the mandate from membership.   Dylan Reneau, President, N.T.U.C.B. “Certainly it appears as if though the wind has been knocked out of our sails because of the poor showing but there are reasons for that. I think what membership was [...]


Belize Government and Bond Holders Negotiations Successful Says International Media
There are reports in the international media that the committee representing Belize bondholders has accepted government’s new debt exchange offer. The new bonds were approved by parliament last week and propose to extend the maturity date for the US dollar bonds to 2038. Reuters ...

University Student Robbed On Campus
A nineteen year old student of the University of Belize’s Central Campus in Belmopan reported to police that last night around 8:45, he was walking and texting in the University compound by the Jabiru building, when two male persons rode by on bicycles and one of them jumped in f...

Corozal Resident Faces Charge for Possession of Controlled Drug
A man was arrested and charged for possession of a controlled drug in the Corozal District. While police were conducting patrol yesterday evening on 9th Street South in Corozal Town, their attention was drawn to a Hispanic man, identified as twenty nine year old Carlos Cantun, wh...

Home of Retiree Burglarized
A sixty two year old retiree of Santa Rita Heights in the Corozal Town, reported that his house was burglarized. He reported to police that he left his house secured on November 11, 2012, because he was sent to the Hattieville Prison. The keys to his house were left with a ...

Fire Victim Succumbs to Injuries Following The Death of Her Toddler
A woman who was injured in an early morning fire on February fourth in San Narciso Village in the Corozal District has succumbed to her injuries. 40-year-old Ramona Cabrera had been hospitalized since the fire which also claimed the life of her three year old daughter, Danely Cabrera. ...

Pallottine Missionary Mounts Exhibition in Orange Walk
The Pallottine Missionary Sisters have mounted an exhibition at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town. Dalila Ical reports… “The Exhibition features a history of their founder Saint Vincent Pallotti from his childhood to his death, and a pictorial history ...

Illegal Immigrants Caught In Belize In Transit to Mexico and the United States
Seven illegal immigrants, one of them a 27 year old woman and another a 17 year old boy, were charged with being prohibited immigrants when they appeared in Court today. The adults are Maria Tobias, 19 year old Santos Amaya, 33 year old Rigoberto Palma, 34 year old Jose Arevello, 33 ye...

Teenager Reported Missing From Belmopan
A teenager of Belmopan has been reported missing. Elda Chacon from the Salvapan area of Belmopan made a report to police yesterday afternoon and stated that her daughter, seventeen year old Marta Odilia Castellanos Chacon left her home on the morning of the 9th of February and took her...

APAMO Chairman Says UB Faculty and Staff Association Sick-Out Action Is Premature
The sick-out that teachers and some staff of the University of Belize planned for Monday was not as successful as the organizers had hoped for it to be. The teachers, led by Allison Crawford, the President of the UB Faculty and Staff Association, UBFSA, had demonstrated late last...


Orange Walk Resident Detained In Connection Of Bust Of Illegal Immigrants
Yesterday morning Ladyville Police intercepted a white van with Orange Walk License plates carrying as much as a dozen illegal immigrants and news tonight is that a man from Orange Walk Town, who was charged for two counts of unlawful possession of passports last year, has been detained pending investigations. Reliable sources indicate that Mathew Williams was detained by Orange Walk Police yesterday and handed over to Ladyville police for questioning since the white van in question is registered under his name. We are told that in his defense, Williams has stated that he rented the vehicle to a person who police are now looking for. Of note is that Williams was not in the vehicle when it was seized yesterday. Yesterday morning the van was intercepted while traveling on the Boom Road. It is believed that the immigrants entered the country through the Western Border and were on their way to the U.S. Seven of the immigrants have been arrested and charged- they are Salvadoran Nationals Maria Deisy Leon Tobias 27 years of age, 34-year-old Jose Antonio Arevalo, 22 year old Uvaldo Antonio Alvarado Murrillo, 25 year old Jose Obdulio Escobar, 33 year old Rigoberto Mendoza Palma, 19 year old Santos Alexander Guevara Amaya and a 17 year old minor.

Imer Hernandez Receives Letter To Return The 50K
And sticking to the topic of streets, one that is in dire need of a facelift is San Antonio Road. Here at CTV3 News we have made several reports on the condition of the road and even brought to you interviews with residents of the area appealing for the road to be fixed by government who is really the one in charge of upgrading the road. But their cries have fallen on deaf ears and there is just so much that the council can do. For context here is an interview we conducted with residents last year in June. “Esta calle esta hecho un desastre desde cuando lo rasparon, el Public Works lo empezaba a mojar pero en la mañana cuando da una hora dos horas ya polvazón otra ves y hay choferes que no tienen escrúpulos porque pasan como que van a buscar una herencia en Orange Walk y botan polvo porque van duro no van despacio, si hay unos que van despacio pero otros duro. Aquí había un pedazo de pavimento y no nos echaban tanto polvo pero cuando lo quebraron y lo rompieron yo dije pues van a componer la calle pero solo lo rompieron y lo dejaron así.”

Belize/Mexico Border Not Secured
According to a Mexican newspaper; there is no possibility of a secure border between Mexico and Belize. The paper quotes Jose Luis Castaneda Jimenez, the commandant of the 34th Military Zone in Mexico saying, that there is the possibility that a laboratory is operating underground in Chetumal enhancing synthetic drugs like the type that was ceased by the Mexican Navy a few days ago at the house of Carlos Cabañas Catzin AKA “El Monstruo.” Mexican authorities believe that the drugs are entering Mexico through Belize and after the 7th meeting between borders’ officials, it was agreed that the mutual trust and communication between both countries should increase in order to carry out successful anti drug operations. The drug that Jimenez says is being enhanced in underground laboratories is methamphetamine, known as meth. Just recently, on February 7th, the Mexican navy confiscated 45 kilograms of crystal meth in the house of Carlos Cabañas Catzin aka “El Monstruo” along with 7 other people including Belizeans Hugo Cassonova and Ermelindo Vasquez. All eight individuals are now facing trial for drug possession for purposes of sale.

Ten Streets To Be Paved In Orange Walk Town
March 7th will mark one year that the Orange Walk Town Council saw a change in leadership as Mayor Kevin Bernard and his team of six councilors was elected to run the affairs of the town. So far Orange Walk has seen a number of changes. But residents are clamoring for more, primarily they want better streets. Now we all know that the upgrading of streets translates to hundred of thousands of dollars spent. For the present town council upgrading the streets of town is a demand that must be met even with the little resources available. “The council has met and has made a very strong decision that this year we will focus mainly on street maintenance and street upgrades. Last Saturday’s inaugural ceremony of the mural the deputy mayor listed out the number of streets that we want to upgrade.

CARICOM Supports ICJ Referendum
The debate as to whether electorates should vote yes or no to take the Belize/Guatemala claim to the International Court of Justice is receiving mixed reviews. So far the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action COLA has made it quite clear that they are against going to the ICJ while the United Democratic Party has pledged their support to take the long standing dispute to The Hague. Tonight, a much larger group and influential body has decided that it would be best if Belize and Guatemala settle the issue in court. The leaders of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, have expressed their full support for the referendum stating that it could end the border dispute between Guatemala and Belize. The regional leaders, who ended their 24th Inter-Sessional summit in Haiti on Tuesday, called on the international community to also support the referendum, especially in relation to meeting the costs involved in bringing this longstanding dispute for final determination. CARICOM leaders also encourage that both Belize and Guatemala remain faithful to the roadmap which both countries have agreed to in accordance with the Special Agreement signed in December 2008. But even though CARICOM encourages the issue to be settled at the ICJ, leaders reaffirm the community’s firm and unequivocal support for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The referendum is scheduled for October 6th.

OW Town Council Meets With Residents
recall, during their campaign, one of the council’s pledges was to carry out both town and neighborhood meetings on a regular basis thus fostering a closer relationship with residents. In last night’s meeting, Mayor Kevin Bernard spoke about the projects that have been completed and those that are yet to come. Residents of the area also took the opportunity to voice out their concerns, concerns they hope the council will address. Jose Urbina, OW Town Councilor “Some of the concerns that the residents have are, for example, the ropes that the school are currently using. One from the comments that I have personally gotten is that it is a hazard for some people riding their bicycles. They don’t see the ropes and they fall. Two that we are not teaching our children proper education on how to walk on the streets and be careful from traffic and so on. What we can do with that respect is approach the administration of the school and discuss with them on how best we can assist even though we need to continue thinking on the safety of our children. That is the main concern.

Over the weekend members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association met with three representatives of American Sugar Refinery, the company that now owns the majority shares of Belize Sugar Industry Limited, BSI. According to Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management Alfredo Ortega, the meeting was fruitful as a number of issues were laid on the table. The main point of discussion was the increase in cane productivity. Presently, 7,000 tons of cane is milled by the factory on a daily basis. But new ownership means new rules and ASR wants to increase the milling quantity to 12,000 tons per day. The question now is, can cane farmers meet the demand? “El Plan de ELLOS es aumentar la capacidad. El plan es que entre los próximos 5 años que debería incrementarse en 1,08 millones de toneladas de caña. Pero esto tiene una forma en la que se logra porque al mismo tiempo que necesitan para aumentar la capacidad de la fábrica para que se pueda moler toda la caña. Tienen la metality que la ingesta diaria debería aumentar a 2000 toneladas. Eso significa que tenemos que coordinarnos mejor en cómo vamos a hacer esa cantidad de caña alcance en la fábrica. De ella tenemos que organizar y cómo nos unimos para cumplir con ese objetivo.”


CARICOM leaders express support for ICJ referendum process
CARICOM leaders at their just concluded inter-sessional meeting have expressed strong support for the process to end Guatemala’s “unfounded” claim to Belize. In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the leaders called on the international community to also support the process to bring Guatemala’s claims to an end, especially in relation to meeting the costs involved in bringing this longstanding dispute to final determination. A simultaneous referendum will be held in Belize and Guatemala on Sunday, October 6, 2013 where citizens of both nations will decide whether or not to submit Guatemala’s unfounded claim to the International Court of Justice, ICJ for final resolution. The conference of heads of government of CARICOM affirmed their satisfaction that both Belize and Guatemala are remaining faithful to the roadmap that both countries have agreed to in accordance with the Special Agreement of December, 2008, and expressed concern at any attempts to destabilize that process and its roadmap. The section of the communiqué on the Belize-Guatemala issue ends by saying: and we quote: “the Conference reaffirmed the Community’s firm and unequivocal support for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” End of quote.

Newborn goes to the USA for life-saving surgery
He’s only been in the world for three weeks, but tonight Brian Williams, Junior is facing the first big hurdle of his life. But the outpouring of support has provided an excellent opportunity the baby boy to overcome his medical condition. Today, Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo were at the international airport as the three week old embarked on a life-saving journey. The collaborative effort that paved the way for baby Brian Williams, Junior to go to the United States included the World Pediatric Project, Friends of Pediatrics, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and BERT ambulance.

Conflict resolution training underway in Belize City
A training course on conflict resolution is underway in Belize City. Love TV’s Patrick Jones reports.

Woman succumbs to injuries sutained in Orange Walk fire
A woman who was injured in an early morning fire on February fourth in San Narciso Village in the Corozal District has succumbed to her injuries. 40-year-old Ramona Cabrera had been hospitalized since the fire which also claimed the life of her three year old daughter, Danely Cabrera. In the fire Ramona suffered first degree burns to her face and back and second degree burns to her left and right arm. She was originally taken to the Corozal Hospital and later transferred to the Karl heusner memorial Hospital in Belize City. She succumbed to her injuries on Monday.

APAMO expresses support for UB Board of Trustees
The sick-out that teachers and some staff of the University of Belize planned for Monday was not as successful as the organizers had hoped for it to be. The teachers, led by Allison Crawford, the President of the UB Faculty and Staff Association, UBFSA, had demonstrated late last week on allegations that there were irregularities and signs of mismanagement that a recent audit revealed. The group also thought that it was a conflict of interest that the same Board of Trustees would investigate the findings of the audit and called on the Prime Minister to commission an independent inquiry into the findings of the audit. But soon after they voiced those concerns, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, APAMO, issued a press release stating that Crawford’s allegations are premature because the audit is not yet complete. APAMO’s Chairman, Edilberto Romero, told Love News today that his organization has every confidence in Janet Gibson, who is their voluntary representative on the UB Board of Trustees and in her integrity and ability to reveal if there is any wrongdoing detected. Romero says that when the audit has been tabled, the Board, their representative inclusive, will review it and will make known what those findings are.

Union leaders update the media on salary negotiation process
The Leaders of the unions that are in negotiations with the Government over a salary adjustment appeared on Love Morning Show today to give an update on where they stand on the government’s proposal. Following their discussion, they spoke with reporters. We hear first from George Myvette, the President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, followed by the President of the Belize National Teachers’ Union, Luke Palacio, and then from Dylan Reneau, the President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. After they complete fine-tuning their recommendations, the unions will present their counter-proposals to the government in furtherance of their ongoing negotiations.

Creditor Committee say bond holders accept government’s new offer
There are reports in the international media that the committee representing Belize bondholders has accepted government’s new debt exchange offer. The new bonds were approved by parliament last week and propose to extend the maturity date for the US dollar bonds to 2038. Reuters News agency quotes a statement issued by the group as saying that committee members agreed unanimously to swap their old US dollar bonds for the new bonds. Joint chair of the committee AJ Mediratta is quoted as saying that the committee appreciates the government of Belize’s willingness to negotiate in good faith and to adhere to what was in the end a fair and transparent process. Under the deal put forward by the government, creditors would write off 10 percent of the value of the bonds, which is far less than the 45 percent haircut Belize had proposed as one of the original restructuring options. The maturity of the bonds will be extended by nine years to 2038 and the interest rate will be set initially at 5 percent for four and a half years, then stepping up to 6.788 percent for the remaining term – a reduction from the current 8.5 percent rate. The committee and another group of 20 institutional bondholders together represent 62 percent of the outstanding debt. A spokesman for the committee said it was likely the 20 institutional investors would follow the committee’s recommendation. The government of Belize had said it would only proceed with the exchange if 75 percent of bondholders signed up. The committee said participants in the exchange would receive most favored creditor status and the principal would be protected in the event of a future default.

Sol says ‘thank you’
Last weekend Sol, formerly Shell held its customer appreciation day in observance of its eighth anniversary at its main office on the Philip Goldson Highway. The highlight of the day was to award one lucky winner with five thousand, two hundred dollars worth of fuel. The general manager for Sol, Rufino Lin spoke of the promotion. The lucky winner was Elder Gutierrez, a taxi driver of Belize City. The three third place winners taking one thousand two hundred dollars worth of fuel were Steve Rowland, Hector Barrientos, and Elton Baizar. The two second place winners, Ruben Perez and Margaret Mooney took home two thousand six hundred dollars worth of fuel. Lin says that promotions will continue throughout the year.

Pallotine Sistrs mount exhibit in Orange Walk
The Pallottine Missionary Sisters have mounted an exhibition at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town. Love TV’s Dalila Ical reports.

Women in Art exhibition coming up
Women’s month will be observed in March, and every year, the Institute of Creative Arts at NICH hosts the Women in Art Exhibit. Program Officer at ICA, Kim Vasquez says there is still time for submissions since the deadline has been extended. She told us more about the exhibit. For more information or to submit a piece you can call any ICA office or House of Culture countrywide or contact Karen Vernon at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts.

Village food fair held in Toledo
A school garden project and a village food fair, was held last Friday in San Benito Poite in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Armenia village facing water problems
A village in the Cayo District is pleading to authorities to help restore the water system, so that they can be supplied with healthy water once again. Correspondent Fem Cruz went to find out more and has the details in this report.

Family of murdered US national seeks justice
The story has been out of the headlines; but the mystery of the murder of American businessman Greg Faul remains. And his family is insisting on finding out exactly what happened to their loved one. Love News monitored this report on the Faul family search for justice from a US television news station.

Corozal man says thieves cleaned him out
A sixty two year old retiree of Santa Rita Heights in the Corozal Town, reported that his house was burglarized. He reported to police that he left his house secured on November 11, 2012, because he was sent to the Hattieville Prison. The keys to his house were left with a neighbor on the same day and he left his two bank cards with a woman in Calcutta Village and asked her to get the key from his neighbor so she could stay in the house and take care of it. About two weeks after he received a call the neighbor who told him that he had taken items from his house including his pickup truck. The man asked his neighbor to return the items but wasn’t sure if it was done. On November 30, he received a phone call from the female caretaker informing him that four male persons were removing furniture from the house. They were approached by the woman who inquired as to who gave them permission to remove the items and they told her the neighbor told them to do so. On January 15 of this year, the homeowner returned and after making checks, he noticed that a quantity of items which include electronics, household items, jewelery, tools and other items amounting to a total of two hundred and sixty two thousand five hundred and fifty dollars were missing. Police are investigating. A nineteen year old student of the University of Belize’s Central Campus in Belmopan reported to police that around 8:45 last night, he was walking and texting in the University compound by the Jabiru building, when two men on a bicycle accosted him. One of the men reportedly ordered the teenager to hand over his over his belongings. The student refused and he said he was threatened and then hit to the left side of his face. The blow caused the student to fall to the ground and injure his left hand. Fearing for his life, the teen handed over his cell phone and three dollars and fifty cents in cash. After the attack, the perpetrators rode off in the direction of the San Martin area. The victim says he recognized one of the men and is requesting court action.

Illegal immigrants arraigned in Magistrate’s Court
Seven illegal immigrants, one of them a 27 year old woman and another a 17 year old boy, were charged with being prohibited immigrants when they appeared in Court today. The adults are Maria Tobias, 19 year old Santos Amaya, 33 year old Rigoberto Palma, 34 year old Jose Arevello, 33 year old Ovaldo Murillo and 25 year old Jose Escobar. They pled guilty to the charge and they were each fined $1,000.00 and they were ordered to pay forthwith, in default six months imprisonment. A removal order was granted for them to be deported to their country of origin. Five of them, among them Tobias and the minor, were caught early this morning at a police check point at mile 13 on Phillip Goldson Highway. The police intercepted a white van and when they looked inside they could not find the driver but they found the five illegal immigrants. They later learned that the driver had escaped by running though the bushes. The five immigrants told immigration officers that they were heading north to go to the U.S through Mexico. Palma, a Honduran national, was picked by the police at his home at 64 Antelope Street early this morning when the police responded to a report. Amaya, a Salvadoran national, was picked up by immigration officers yesterday as he got off a bus from Benque at Novelo’s Bus Terminal. Amaya told immigration officers that he was going to the U.S.

New public schools manager appointed
There’s a new general manager of government primary schools. He is Marvin Kellyman of Libertad Village, Corozal. Kellyman assumed his new position on Monday and today Love News asked him what are the priority areas that he will look at in the government and grant-aided school. As the General Manager, Kellyman will also be tasked to submit a budget to the government for the government schools. Kellyman holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education Administration from the University of Belize and a Master’s Degree from Bridgewater University. He started his teaching career 23 years ago and has served as principal at a number of primary schools over that period.

Chinese New Year Celebrations in Belize City
Fifty days ago Belizeans ushered in the New Year, 2013. This past weekend the Chinese New Year or the year of the snake celebrations kicked off with a series of events. Love TV’s Ava Diaz Sosa and video journalist Mathew Villanueva attended one of the functions and bring you this report.

Belize and El Salvador pursue partial scope trade agreement
The first round of negotiations for a Partial Scope Trade Agreement between Belize and El Salvador was launched in the Cayo District today. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Mike Singh, what happened today is preliminary. Singh says that he hopes that the prospective partial scope agreement will bring mutual benefits to producers and exporters. The Policy Director of the Ministry of Economy of El Salvador Carlos Moreno says they see Belize as an executive partner. The signing of a proposed agreement between the two countries, will take place on Thursday when the first three rounds of negotiations are scheduled to come to an end.

#458505 - 02/21/13 08:49 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 21, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here


Belize – How to fix the economy
Belize is 31 years into Political Independence. It finds itself in a position where unemployment is over 18%, with an even higher unemployment among the young population….poverty is over 40%, as more and more the middle-class is being wiped out….GDP growth is below the Latin American average of...

Chief Justice strikes out long-running tort of misfeasance case
This morning, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out the long-running tort of misfeasance case filed by the Government against former PUP Ministers Jose Coye and Florencio Marin, Sr. The two men were accused of “deliberate and dishonest abuse of office or the purported exercise of official power otherwise than...

Authorities have broken up two alleged human trafficking rings
Authorities have broken up two alleged human trafficking rings, one in the Georgeville and the other in the Burrell Boom. We’ll tell you first about the one in Georgeville – sometime around 9:30 on Monday night, Police and immigration officers set chase on a white van suspected to be...

Baby airlifted to U.S.A. for special surgery
Bryan Williams Jr is only 22 days old, but already he is facing life threatening challenges. He was born with a condition called oesophageal atresia – basically, the oesophagus, or the tube which carries food to the stomach for digestion, is malformed. World Paediatric Project and the Karl Heusner...

Belize negotiating PSA with El Salvador
Belize Launched the First Round of Negotiations for a Partial Scope Agreement with El Salvador yesterday. The PSA addresses a range of issues including market access for agricultural goods and products, investments, cooperation, legal and Institutional arrangements. Mike Singh, is the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Private...

Fashion Designer Rebecca Stirm headlines Wedding Spectacular in Jamaica
Fashion Designer Rebecca Stirm, left Belize this morning to participate in a 3 day Wedding Spectacular starting Friday Feb the 22 to the 24 to be held in Jamaica. Stirm has been proudly representing the country in the fashion world for several months now and this morning she left...

Complaints from around country pour in to Rise & Shine regarding Land
BYGEA says it continues to have major problems with the Ministry of Natural Resources. The grassroot organization responsible for the Harmonyville settlement says the delay of the processing of land documents of over a thousand plots has been frustrating to say the least. BYGEA also claims that the Ministry...

17 year old mother and two year old child missing
Belmopan Police are investigating the disappearance of a 17 year old mother along with her two year old child. Elda Chacon told police that her daughter 17yr old Marta Odilia Castellanos Chacon left her home on Saturday the 9th of February in the morning along with her daughter 2yr...

BDF vehicle in Road Traffic Accident
Around 4 pm Tuesday evening, there was a traffic accident on the Philip Goldson highway outside of Ladyville, involving a military vehicle belonging to the army. The soldiers were en route to Belize City when the driver, identified as Sergeant Major Michael Belgrave, tried to overtake a vehicle going...

Road improvement in Belize City progressing well
North Front Street is one of the chief commercial areas of Belize City and one of its longest streets, stretching from the Tourism Village at one end and on to Mapp Street next to Bowen and Bowen’s distribution Centre. Works have been ongoing in the area stretching from Memorial...

Three teenagers detained for theft
Belize City Police have detained three persons from Belize City pending the outcome of an attempted theft report. Acting upon information received on Tuesday Feb 19th at about 11:05pm, Police visited Port of Belize located on Caesar Ridge Road, Belize City where a 41 year old Security Guard had...

Two men charged with stealing corn
Two residents of Camalote and one of Roaring Creek Village have been arrested and charged for stealing corn. The Manager of Reimer’s Feed Mill visited the Belmopan Police station on Monday Feb 18th and stated that on the same day at about 10:30am he visited his corn field located...


Daylight sighting of Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
Occasionally we have seen a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron hanging around Grand Caribe at dusk. And sometimes Paisley flushes one out of the grass during her night-time walk that I don't even see until it flaps off, startled. But recently Barry saw one down the beach, hunting in the shallows, in the light of day. He rushed back in for his camera, hustled back down the beach, and the heron was still there. He managed to get some really nice shots, which had proved impossible at dusk. I love this hunting sequence.

Akaline Balance
Acid Dennis and I decided to do a cleanse before his heads to Mexico, we planned it out and figured we could go up to 9 days. My main goal was to eat more alkalizing foods and steer clear of acidic foods. Dennis was a healthier eater to begin with but was up for that challenge, his main goal was to use the cleanse to stop smoking and get back on track from all the unhealthy foods he was eating while here in Belize. To prepare for our cleanse we did a lot of research, here is a good alkaline food list that we found – one of many. As we got looking various foods up, there were some that made it on both lists depending on which site we looked at, quinoa was one of those. I based my decision for keeping this one on the list based on information I found on the Sustainability and Raw foods blog. They say quinoa is a relative of amaranth, that it is technically not a true grain and is classified as an alkaline-forming food. It’s also extremely rich in nutrients – B vitamins, iron, phosphorous, and vitamin E. It has more calcium than milk and is a good source of protein. Of course as we lead up to our cleanse last week, we totally enjoyed ourselves and consumed all kinds of naughty foods as we counted down the days till we gave it all up. On the list was drinks, burgers and fries from El Divino a few times, homemade chocolate cookies, deep fried calamari at Aji restaurant and breakfast on the beach at Estel’s Dine by the Sea. Charles even tried to persuade us to start our cleanse today instead of Monday as they were doing a special barbecue contest yesterday at Estel’s. As temped as I was I knew that delaying the process would not help me any.

Arriving in Cancun and the Official Attire for Spring Break 2013
I was under the impression that proper Spring Break...MTV style, Jersey Shore fist pumping, 19 year old spring chugging through funnels spring break wasn't until March. Ugh...I was wrong. But let's back up just a wee bit...I needed to make my way back to San Pedro and, as usual, the cheapest way by far (over $400usd cheaper) was through Cancun. United Airlines had a good article in their inflight magazine exploring the more "off the beaten path" Belize...no San Pedro or Caye Caulker, they focused on Robert's Grove in Placencia and the mainland. Mostly I think they were trying to say "Welcome back Rebecca". We landed in Cancun Airport PACKED with people on Presidents' Day break and headed over to the hotel. The line just for customs was hundreds and hundreds of people. They charge something ridiculous for taxi service ($60USD) so we took the still overpriced shuttle service ($16USD per person). Two nights at the Krystal Hotels (cheapest on the beach at $129US per night) and in the heart of Cancun night club madness. Somehow I got a picture of an almost empty and vomit free lobby.

The Top Most Endangered Species in Belize
Belize has one of the world’s most rich and diverse flora and fauna and offers a broad range of habitats for amazing wildlife living from open savannas to mountainous regions. The country has approximately 145 species of mammals, 139 species of reptiles and amphibians including 56 plus species of snakes, over 4000 species of flowering plant including some 700 trees and 250 species of orchids. Belize is also a birder’s paradise, with over 500 species of rare and exotic birds thriving in its many distinct habitats. However in the past few years there have been some species that are becoming endangered due to pollution, deforestation, and over hunting. In this blog post, we highlight six species that are engendered in Belize:

That’s What Friends Are For
Out on the veranda early (was going to ‘say’ bright but it was still dark when I went out there) this morning and got my early ‘fix’ of news from The Times. Steered well clear of the sports pages though because I wanted no reminders of how soundly Arsenal were beaten yesterday. Focused instead on the news, business and register (previously known as obituaries). With that done I switched to my In Box and went through my emails. Most of them were from hotel groups and Expat message forums. There were a couple of more welcome ones though. One from my sister (hi Chris – I know that she reads this blog) and one from an ex work colleague in England who had sent me a draft contract that he asked me to review. Knowing that I needed to concentrate on the task (he would like feedback by Friday) I decided to start the process (iPad in hand) with breakfast at Estel’s. Got there to find that inexplicably (well for me anyway) they were closed (momentarily I wondered if it was Tuesday). Disappointingly I trudged (I love that word) along the beach but perked up when I saw there were tables free at Lily’s Treasure Chest Restaurant . Started the review of the contract whilst waiting for my order and continued with it whilst eating (not good manners I know). Made a good start on the read through and will get up extra special early tomorrow to finish the job. That’s what friends are for! When I got back after breakfast Rose and I went to Hummingbird Furnishings in Coconut Drive to start forming some thoughts as to how we will furnish our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize when it is finished.

WANTED – David Taylor
David Taylor, charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature and the possession of pornographic material is a wanted man after failing to appear in the Magistrate’s Court in Dangriga last week. Taylor was granted Supreme Court bail after the Placencia Police had objected strongly to bail because he was deemed a flight risk. Police in Placencia are not happy about the turn of events, and that’s putting it mildly, and are asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of Mr. Taylor to call Crime Stoppers or the Placencia Police at telephone numbers; 503-3142 or 632-5341.

International Sources

Regional leader support moves to end Guatemala’s claim to Belize
Caribbean Community(CARICOM) leaders are expressing their “full support” for the referendum that could lead to an end to the border dispute between Guatemala and Belize. The regional leaders who ended their 24th Inter-Sessional summit here on Tuesday night., said they had received an update on arrangement being made by the two countries to hold a simultaneous referenda on October 6 this year. The two countries have already launched a public awareness campaign, in respect of the decision on whether to submit Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a final and binding settlement. “The Conference expressed its full support for the process to bring Guatemala’s claims to an end and called on the international community to also do so, especially in relation to meeting the costs involved in bringing this longstanding dispute for final determination,” the leaders said in a communiqué. “The Conference is encouraged that both Belize and Guatemala are remaining faithful to the roadmap that both countries have agreed to in accordance with the Special Agreement of December 2008, and expressed its concern at any attempts to destabilize that process and its roadmap,” the leaders said, adding that they had “reaffirmed the Community’s firm and unequivocal support for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

From venturing deep into the creature-filled jungle to diving into the skeleton infested caves in this small, Central-American country, students in the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management will be truly embarking on an adventure by traveling to Belize. Carolin Lusby, CSHTM professor, will be conducting this trip during spring break this year from March 8 to March 17. The trip is designed for both undergraduate and graduate students in the CSHTM, however, it welcomes any student interested in going. Nine students will be going on the trip this year. The course offered for this trip is HFT 3993 Adventure Tourism at an undergraduate level or HFT 5957 Abroad Research Program at graduate level depending on the student. “Every trip is a little different depending on what we’re teaching, what we’re talking about, but the standard itinerary stays approximately the same,” said Lusby. During the trip this year, Lusby said students will be participating in numerous activities including very heavy community service, working in the schools with the kids, Myan cooking and farming, exploring Myan archaeology and temples, canoeing, rain forest medicine, coral reef ecology, snorkeling, kayaking and exploring caves.

Belize PM announces new plans for tackling debt
Dean Barrow as he piloted Government of Belize External Debt Restructuring Motion through the House of Representatives. According to the details within the bill, the Belize government proposes to extend maturities and cut the coupon on the country’s US$544 million of defaulted debt as part of the country’s second debt restructuring since 2007. Prime Barrow announced plans to extend the maturity on the defaulted bonds to 2038 from 2029 and lower the current coupon to five per cent from 8.5 per cent. Barrow, speaking to the lower house in Belmopan, said the agreement would provide the country US$247 million in relief over the next ten years. Belize missed a $23 million coupon payment on its bonds in August. It later paid half the amount as talks with creditors continued. The House of Representatives passed in one sitting the terms of the restructured superbond before it was sent forward to the Senate

Venues announced for 2013 Gold Cup, Mexico to start at the Rose Bowl
Mexico will begin its quest for a third consecutive Gold Cup close to home. El Tri will begin its defense of the CONCACAF region's premier international competition at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. In a press conference on Wednesday, CONCACAF announced that the July 7 event would be a doubleheader, with another match taking place as well. Twelve teams - Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States - will contest the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Mexico, the six-time winner and double reigning champion, will attempt to secure its second-ever three-in-a-row set of tournament victories. The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup groups and schedules will be announced mid-March.


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