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#459818 - 03/09/13 09:37 AM Today's Belize News: March 9, 2013
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Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The March 6th, 2013 issue of The Northern Star is online HERE



This Week's Stories:

  • The President of Venezuela Comandante, Hugo Chavez dies on 5th.March:
    The great President of Venezuela Commander Hugo Chavez died on 5th March, 2013 at approximately 3:55pm EST in the afternoon after battling cancer for over two years. The announcement of his death was made by his vice-president shortly after the President passed away. The rippling effect of a nation dashed into mourning, shock, confusion, uncertainty and despair could be felt all across the globe as the realization that this revolutionary commander who has transformed the image and way of life of the entire Nation of Venezuela both internally and externally, after fourteen years of successive leadership was gone. Countless Nations across the world have expressed their condolences to the Government and People of Venezuela while we in Belize, our other brothers and sister Nations of the Caribbean and Latin America have joined in mourning the loss of the President whose word was as good as gold and whose action assisted and uplifted the lives of countless poor in all our various countries.
  • Editorial:
    The Media plays a critical role in the development of any nation. This role must be taken seriously and guarded by the same consciences that guide us every day in our very lives. There is also the question of Ethics, Moral Obligation and Social Responsibility which goes hand in hand with the principles of patriotism that should be embedded in the fulfillment of our duties in the media as the movers and shakers of this young nation called Belize. Wrong is wrong and right is right.Yes we must be responsible. I can recall vividly a certain headline which appeared in a local newspaper here in Belize which read, (The name of the person has been omitted by us so as to not cause further injury to the family...) “XYZ dies in accident with sweetheart!” That edition of that newspaper sold out that weekend but the damage it did to the surviving family members of the deceased has been irreparable.
  • Belize Mourns the Passing of President Hugo Chavez Belmopan.:
    The Government and people of Belize join the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in mourning of H.E. President Hugo Chavez who passed away on 5 March 2013. President Chavez was a true friend of Belize and over many years, the Belizean people enjoyed the fruits of friendship and cooperation that the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic offered Belize under the leadership of President Chavez.
  • A Twisted Tale of Deceit!:
    The Saga of a young, Sittee River, mother and grandmother both of Southern Belize continues today as it was revealed to them that their baby who they allowed to go to the United States for medical reasons in the company of a U.S. couple (who are also members of their church in Sittee River Village, Stann Creek District, Belize) was given up for adoption without their knowledge. A Jefferson county judge in Texas granted approval to have the child named Sarah formally change her last name to that of her adoptive parent, Smith. Xuan and Aaron Smith have adopted Sarah, a baby who was thought to have been abandoned in a bucket by her parents. The story was seemingly a great humanitarian story that a local television reporter in the U.S by the name of Ashley Gaston did a story on it which was featured on their local news. The story headlined, Belize baby found in bucket caught the attention of one of our local Media House here in Belize. Great Belize Production, Channel 5 News then carried the story of baby Sarah as was reported in the U.S in its entirety. Diana McNab, the maternal mother was at home watching the news when it dawned on her that the child Sarah being referred to in that newscast was indeed her child.
  • Unbelievable Facts: 48. Ways to Use Vinegar ALL over the House and Home.:
    1 Clean your computer and mouse. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, dampen a clean cloth, squeeze well and wipe - use cotton swabs for tight spaces. Remove mouse tracking ball and clean inside parts too. Let equipment dry before putting it all back together. 2 Get rid of mildew. White vinegar works on almost any surface - bathroom fixtures and tiles, clothing, furniture, painted surfaces, and plastic curtains. To eliminate heavy mildew, use full strength and for lighter buildup, dilute with an equal amount of water. 3 Prevent mildew. You can also prevent mildew from forming on the bottoms of rugs and carpeting by misting the backs with full strength white vinegar from a spray bottle.
  • Missing plane from Belize found in Venezuela !:
    On Friday Tropical Vision Channel 7 broke the news that a plane had gone missing in the afternoon of the 21st. February, 2013 from the registeredAir Strip in Spanish Lookout (Mennonite Community in Western Belize). The plane which was reported to be an Aero Commander 500 carried U.S. registration number N345MP, had left Belize airspace failing to file a flight plan, or making the required checks with customs and immigration Missing plane from Belize found in Venezuela ! which is illegal. The plane was suspiciously outfitted with extended range fuel tanks for the purpose of long distance flight. Channel 7 further reported that a Newspaper in Venezuela published that the day after it left Belize, the plane made an illegal, early morning landing at an unauthorized airstrip in the Northwestern region of that country known as Acarigua. The Venezuelan Minister of Home Affairs and Justice,Nestor Reverol told the press the following day that its reconnaissance system tracked the plane when it landed at an airfield in Acarigua. The onboard GPS showed its final destination as the Apura State, which borders with Colombia. Officials of the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations Branch performed a drug screening in the aircraft which tested positive for cocaine residue.
  • Dealing with Cyberbullying: Tips for Kids and Parents to Prevent and Stop Cyberbulling:
    bullying is no longer limited to schoolyards or street corners. Cyberbullying can occur anywhere, even at home, via email, texts, cell phones, and social media websites 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with potentially hundreds of people involved. For those who suffer cyberbullying, the effects can be devastating, leaving you feeling hurt, humiliated, angry, depressed, or even suicidal. But no type of bullying should ever be tolerated. These tips can help you protect yourself or your child online and deal with the growing problem of cyberbullying. What is Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying occurs when a child or teen uses the Internet, emails, text messages, instant messaging, social media websites, online forums, chat rooms, or other digital technology to harass, threaten, or humiliate another child or teen. Unlike traditional bullying, cyberbullying doesn’t require physical strength or face-to-face contact and isn’t limited to just a handful of witnesses at a time.
  • Honey Butter Ham:
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 2. Melt butter in small microwave- safe bowl. Stir in honey, brown sugar, and mustard until smooth; set aside. 3. Place ham in roasting pan. 4. Score the top surface of the ham in a diamond pattern, making the cuts about 3/4” apart. 5. Push a whole clove, point side down, into the center of each diamond in the ham. 6. Spoon half of the butter mixture over the ham. 7. Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then spoon over the rest of the butter mixture. 8. Roast for another 20minutes, then baste the ham with the pan drippings.
  • Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development to Host Capacity-building Workshop:
    The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (FFSD) will be hosting a workshop to build capacity for participation in global carbon markets and other mitigation activities. More specifically, the workshop is aimed at the delivery of detailed information to a targeted audience of government officials, policy makers, members of the private sector and civil society on recent developments in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations regarding markets and mitigation. Realizing that climate change is a pressing and urgent issue; the Government of Belize has made every possible effort to participate in the global architecture which is aimed at facilitating climate change mitigation and adaptation for the benefit of developing countries. As such, Belize signed the UNFCCC in 1992 and ratified the Convention in 1994.
  • Los proxenetas usan las redes sociales para reclutar esclavas sexuales:
    Todo comenzó con una solicitud de amistad en Facebook. “Me pareció lindo y lo acepté”, recuerda “Nina”, que hoy tiene 22 años. Con 18 años en aquel momento, jamás pensó que aceptar la solicitud la llevaría al horror: cuatro años prostituyéndose por todo Estados Unidos. “Nina” es un seudónimo; CNN cambió el nombre de la víctima para proteger su privacidad. De clase media-alta y con planes de ir a la universidad, Nina era una joven solitaria que buscaba atención en Internet. Así, comenzó a intercambiar mensajes con un hombre que decía estar enamorado de ella.Hablaron de viajes, matrimonio y hasta de formar una familia. “Me vendió una historia de fantasía”, cuenta Nina. “Creí que viviríamos juntos este sueño”, agrega la joven. Se enviaron mensajes durante un mes hasta que decidieron conocerse. El cuento de hadas terminó abruptamente.
  • Closing Ceremony for “Business Labs Focused on Cultural Enterprises” Course:
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to inform of the closing ceremony of the on-the-spot training course entitled “Business Labs Focused on CulturalEnterprises”, on March 8th, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.at the University of Belize, Belize City Campus.
  • Planet of sound: Meteor blast resonated around Earth:
    The meteor that exploded over the steppes of southwestern Russia sent a low frequency rumble bouncing A large chunk of a meteor that exploded over Russia is found in a lake on Friday, February 15. through the Earth, giving scientists new clues about the biggest cosmic intruder in a century. The big boom over Chelyabinsk on February 15 also produced a wave of sound thousands of times lower than a piano’s middle C - far below the range of human hearing, according to the international agency that watches for nuclear bomb tests. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization said that sound wave showed up on sensors from Greenland to Antarctica, making it the largest ever detected by its network.
  • Benedict XVI quits Vatican City for last time as pope:
    Amid pomp and ceremony, Benedict XVI left Vatican City Thursday for the last time as pope, ahead of his historic resignation as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. An honor guard of Swiss Guards, the soldiers who traditionally protect the pope, lined up to bid him farewell as he left the papal apartment, alongside senior Vatican officials and staff. Applause swelled as Benedict, looking frail and carrying a cane, climbed into a car that took him to the helicopter that flew him to the summer papal residence, Castel Gandolfo. The sound of bells from St. Peter’s Basilica chimed across the city of Rome as the helicopter soared overhead, passing above landmarks like the Colosseum.
  • Cartoons and Joke of the Week
  • Your Weekly Horoscope
  • Belize Police News

The San Pedro Sun

2013 Inter-Office Basketball Tournament has begun
The Inter-Office Basketball Tournament is a competition between teams from local businesses of San Pedro and Caye Caulker, San Pedro High School (SPHS) and San Pedro Junior College (SPJC). The tournament takes place on Saturdays and Sundays at the R.A. Nuñez Auditorium showcasing the island best ballers. A total of nine teams are competing for this year’s Inter-Office Basketball Championship. The tournament will see eleven games, and team’s scores will be tallied at the end of the tournament to decide the winners. The organizers of the event are Renison Crawford and Focion Riverol. interoffice basketball league 3The tournament started off on Saturday March 2nd and saw a matchup of Latitudes Café vs. the Jaguars in game one and SPHS vs. SPJC in game two. It was an exciting night and many islanders made their way out to view the games that started at 8PM. At the end of the first match, it was a tight 56-58 win for the Jaguars. SPJC took the second game against SPHS with a whopping 54-93 win.

Australian travel writer features her Belizean experience online
A travel writer originally from Australia, has been in Belize for the last three weeks. Erin Bender, her husband Josh and her two energetic children have been taking in much of what Belize, and especially San Pedro Town, offers to its tourists. The travel writer posts about their family experiences during their trips to various parts of the world on their website entitled “Travel with Bender.” Travels-with-BenderThe website provides travelers with information about the destination the Benders have been to. Through their writing, the Binders give useful tips to get to different places, things to look out for, adventures and dining in various areas and even how to move around when travelling the world with two children. In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, the Benders said that they got to know about Belize and San Pedro Town after they met another tourist who had been in Belize previously.

Claiming issues with employers (BTB), four tourism police in San Pedro resign
The San Pedro Police Station Tourism Unit has lost four policemen in that department. The four officers are Special Constables Dean Dawson, Ian Wagner, Shedrack Dominguez and Donicio Sanchez. Their sudden departure from the department is a result of internal problems within the tourism unit. The confirmation was made by the Officer Commanding San Pedro Police Formation Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Diane Hall also confirmed that the officers had resigned but would not state the purposes of the resignation. However, according to the officers, the reasons for their resignation have to do with salary, unpaid Social Security Contribution, welfare and other benefits. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Ian Wagner said that the tourism police officers employed under the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) have been treated with much disrespect and no regard for their living situations. “They at the BTB treated us like garbage that is at the bottom of the garbage can. Ever since we have worked under BTB they look on us like nothing. We have gone through whoever and everyone to have our concerns addressed so that they can understand what we are going through, and there was no one to listen to us,” said Wagner as he outlined the unit’s frustration in trying to get the attention of the upper hierarchy at BTB.

San Pedro Sun reporter Jorge Aldana attended the ACTUN TUNICHIL MUKNAL (ATM) INAUGURATION of the archaeological site on Thursday March 7th.

Ruta Maya off to a start!
This morning the annual Ruta Maya race kicked off with lots of competitors paddling their hearts out. San Pedro Sun's ace reporter Jorge Aldana is on the scene and will be sharing photos with us through out the day!

Ambergris Today

Holy Bible’s New Testament Launched in Belize Kriol
On March 6, 2013, historic St. John’s Anglican Cathedral will be the venue for the launching of both the book and audio versions of the Holy Bible’s Nyoo Testiment eena Bileez Kriol (The New Testament in Belize Kriol). The translation into Kriol began in the early 1990s, involving the Belize Kriol Project of the National Kriol Council working with teams of linguists from SIL, pastors, and others in Belize’s religious community, who collaborated with Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Bible Society of the West Indies, and the Belize Bible Society. When the Belize Kriol Project was formed, two of its major deliverables were the production, testing, and revision of a spelling system for the Belize Kriol language and the production of reading materials in the Kriol language, particularly the Bible. Thus, in 1993, work began in earnest with training those committed to literacy in Kriol in language translation approaches and techniques.

Pre-Schools Celebrate Child Stimulation Month 2013
Early Childhood Education is quite important and for this the entire country of Belize is observing Child Stimulation Month under the theme “Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders”. Here in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, pre-schools have a month filled with activities including Family Talent Day, Hug Day, Grandparents Day, Sports Day, Doctor & Dentist Visits, Cultural Day and visit to businesses, to name a few. Below are some pictures of ABC Pre-School’s Grandparents Day and Sports Day. Be sure to follow Ambergris Today’s Facebook Page for more updates on child stimulation month.

Misc Belizean Sources

Mango Bread
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a loaf pan and dust inside with flour. Whisk the eggs and honey!, brown sugar and butter together. On a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and ginger. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix well until well blended. Add the diced mango, raisins and lime zest and blend well.. Bake the bread for 1 hour, or until it is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. ENJOY!

Basic Bookkeeping Workshop by SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE
Accounting Part 1: Basic Bookkeeping. LEARN ABOUT Importance of Record Keeping Keeping track of Income Keeping track of Expenses Profit and Loss Presenter: Ms. Astrid Salazar Silva Business and Investment Facilitation Officer for BELTRAIDE Profile: Presenter Background: Graduate of Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, England. Earning a Bachelors in Accounting and Finance

Suspected Drug Plane Plummets into Corozal Lagoon
Early this morning, Friday March 8th, 2013 the Corozal Police, BDF personnel, Civil Aviation Authority and other members of law enforcement were dispatched to an area near the Pueblo Viejo Ferry where a Cessna plane suspected of carrying drugs was found in a shallow inner lagoon off the New River with its nose fully submerged. The site is accessible only by boat or a one hour muddy trek hike. Corozal Police and BDF were able to take note of the registration. We were unable to ascertain if the plane was found with any illegal cargo, pilot or passengers.

VIDEO: Belizean Style Tough Love
World's Strictest Parents UK ~ Belize. Brash teens Calvin and Rosie try their luck with this unique Central American family...

Open Mic Night at the Soul Project
The Soul Project had another Open Mic night last night. If you play, bring your instrument, and hit the stage. Open Mic nights at the Soul Project are always a great time. Tonight, the Soul Project will screen Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Cayo Welcome Center Unveiling
The Cayo Welcome Center was unveiled yesterday. The SISE Town Council got some great pictures of the celebration. Afterwards, they had the La Ruta Maya Cultural Night. 1000's came out to enjoy the festivities.

Channel 7

Superbond 2.0: The Deal Is Sealed
A release posted held an hour ago on the Central Bank of Belize Website announced that Superbond 2.0 has been fully subscribed. That means the deal to renegotiate this huge chunk of Belize debt is now complete, all the bondholders have subscribed to the terms of the bond. Within the next few days they will be given the new bonds in exchange for their old ones. How did it happen? Well, the bond offering went public 3 weeks ago - and the understanding then was that once 75% of the bondholders buy into the new terms, it would trigger what's known as the collective action clause, and force in all the remaining hold-outs. Well, the release explains that, they got more than the 75%. It says, quote, "holders of 86.17 percent of the country's U.S. Dollar Bonds tendered their bonds…to exchange those instruments for new Belize U.S. Dollar Bonds."

Guat Ministry Of Education Says "Belice Es Nuestro"
Tonight, news has emerged from the Guatemalan press which shows a map of their country, including Belize - which their Ministry of Education has said should be circulated to all schools. The report in the Prensa Libre says that the Vice Minister of Education has ordered that quote, "It is right that the territory of Belize is included in the map of the Republic of Guatemala, divided by a dotted line and a phrase: territorial dispute, insular and maritime unresolved," For context, a vice-minister is similar in rank to a Ministry's CEO in Belize. Her letter also raises concern that "they view with concern the fact that some media, print and television are using only a partial map of Guatemala" Belize's Ambassador to Guatemala Fred Martinez told us today that it, quote, "surprised us tremendously." He called it "a retrogressive step" and "totally out of order." He stressed however that this is the recommendation of the Guatemalan ministry of education - and at this point it is not clear whether it is an official policy. Martinez says he will not be able to confirm until next whether it is or isn't policy.

Farrakhan Still Fiery
At this hour, the public is getting ready for Minister Louis Farrakhan to make his major public address at the Bird's Isle. It was supposed to starts at 6:00, but it hasn't yet. That is the final and culminating event of his trip - and it is meant to be memorable. Today, at a closing press conference, he told the media why he couldn't wait for an opportunity to address all of the Belizean public. Jules Vasquez reports: Jules Vasquez Reporting Flanked by the phalanx of security that accompanies him everywhere, Minister Louis Farrakhan stepped into the Santa Rita room at the Radisson in a genial mood - but in the 67 minute press conference, he was mercurial, at times easygoing and jocular, at times explosive and fiery, and occasionally, he smoldered. But, overall, Farrakhan says the maturity of his 79 years has tempered his rhetoric: Louis Farrakhan - Leader, Nation of Islam "So my anger; listen to me good! It was against our former slave masters and their children. I had no love for them whatsoever, and today, they have to earn my respect, by being in fairer, and more just in the way they treat my brothers and sisters, my people. I am filled with the energy now of love, and the bitterness that I experienced, by seeing what happened to my people - the anger that I had, even the hatred that I had, and the desire to destroy those who destroyed my people, I realized that I couldn't be an effective teacher of the will and wisdom of a God who is the author of all causes, if I didn't understand what he had in mind for our suffering. So with understanding, you grow to study more and bitter less."

High Speed Chase Nabs One Robber
There was a high speed police pursuit on the Northern Highway this morning - and Ladyville police caught one robber while another had to jump into the river to get away. It started with an armed robbery in Ladyville. At 11:30 this morning when a Mennonite delivery truck was making its usual rounds near the village Fire station when four men held up the truck driver and stole all the cash they could get their hands on. They escaped in a car, but alert police were in the area and set chase on the Northern Highway - pursuing them right into the Belama area. That's where they ditched the car and ran in different direction, one of them jumping in the river to flee police. They did catch one of the suspects with a portion of the proceeds and he is detained tonight. However, the rest of them are believed to have gotten off with some of the stolen money. At this time, it is an undisclosed amount of cash...

Wilfred Elrington is making major news again tonight, but this time not as Foreign Minister, but as Attorney General - and this time he's going up against no less than the Bar Association. According to a letter printed in the Belize Times today, Solicitor General Cheryl Krusen has written to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court saying that she has been instructed by the Attorney General to send a proposed bill which proposes to amend the Legal Profession Act to quote, "remove the requirement of compulsory membership by attorneys at law to the Bar Association of Belize." That would be a seismic shift for the legal profession because presently all lawyers who wish to practice in Belize mustbe members of the Bar Association. The bill proposes to relegate the Bar to being only one of multiple professional bodies representing the legal profession. It is of note that the Supreme Court has ruled that persons cannot be compelled to be members of any group - because it denies them their constitutionally assured freedom of association. This has been well established by those same lawyers in the Citrus Industry where the CGA's monopoly on membership was nullified by the courts.

Teenager Charged For Killing Frank Neal
On Wednesday, 7News told you about 36 year-old Frank Neal, the stevedore who was senselessly killed on Glenn Street. Well tonight, a police are saying he was killed by a 17 year-old minor. The minor, a laborer of Cemetery road, was arraigned in Family Court for murder today and remanded until his next court date, which is scheduled for April 30. As we reported, on Tuesday just before 6 p.m., at around Neal was riding on Glenn Street, and he had gone to buy Johnny Cakes. That's when a gunman rode up behind him and shot him in the back of the head. He fell in the drain, and died on the spot. Neal's Brother was killed ten years ago.

Who's the Woman Of The Year
Today is International Women's Day and this morning at the US Embassy, for the fourth time, the "Belize Woman Of The Year" was honored. 7News was there and found out who got recognized: Daniel Ortiz Reporting The 2013 Belize Woman of the Year, Ms. Sylvia Flores, has celebrated several land marks in Belizean history as she scaled the political landscape to its heights, despite a culture of male predominance. She was the first woman Mayor of Dangriga Town, the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the first woman parliamentarian elected from Dangriga. She's has served the country as the Minister of Defence, the Minister of National Emergency Management, the Minister of Human Development, the Minister of Housing, and President of the Senate. From a list of nine other outstanding women, she was chosen by the panel of judges appointed by the US Embassy of Belize. The Ambassador underscored the importance of the distinct honor of her recognition.

Police Train In Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
For the past two weeks, the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament & Development in Latin America & the Caribbean has been training 44 law enforcement personnel in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives. It's been happening at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan and today was graduation day. Officer in charge of the training Academy Linden Flowers told us what they learned and how it will make them better at what they do: Supt. Linden Flowers - Commandant, Police Training Academy "The training's effectiveness on the street starts from anywhere the officers from this training are going back within the next couple of days. They will be going back to their work, and it has to do with principles of the importation of firearms and ammunition, as well as identifying explosives that are trafficked across or through our boarders. This will help the customs officer in either of the border stations or the police officers in doing their investigations. They'll be identifying components of firearms, ammunitions and explosives. It has also given them an awareness of the kind of techniques that the elicit traffickers are using in concealing their trafficking trade, and I believe the information they have gain will assist them when they are back in their area of work. They will be able to identify traffickers, and to deter persons trafficking firearms to come into Belize as to use in our local environment, as well as for trans-shipment through onto other parts."

BSI Appoints New Board, First Belizean Chairman
Yesterday we told you about the dividend payout to the former shareholders of BSI, and now that they've gotten that out of the way, the new owners are setting up their corporate governance. The new board of directors met on Tuesday to declare that dividend. The chairman is Arsenio Burgos, the nominee from BSI Employee Holdings. The long-standing board member becomes the first Belizean Chairman as a gesture of goodwill from the majority shareholder. But his post - though prestigious - is mostly titular because The ASR Group ahs the majority shareholding and has four directors, Jonathan Bamberger Ricardo Lima, Celestino Ruiz and Armando Tabernilla. They are joined by Government's nominee Sir Manuel Esquivel.

For Whom The Bridge Tolls
The City Council has been all over the news this week - as they mark their first year in office. Most of it has been fluff, but the most substantial part came when the council outlined its strategic plan going forward. A major part of that is the plan for the northern highway between Belize City and the Haulover Bridge. As we told you earlier this week, it's going to be tolled, but we didn't know it would starts to soon. Councilor Dion Leslie told us more today: Dion Leslie - Deputy Mayor, Belize City Council "This isn't something that were trying to get at you; it's just that you're going to contribute to the city that you use. So first of all, you'll contribute to the cementing, and concreting of the Northern Highway from the flag monument to Haulover Bridge, and other things as we look at other infrastructure projects throughout. The way it will work is we're looking to get an investor; it will cost somewhere between 10 to 12 million dollars to do the entire project. We will hire separate contractors so that work is done at the same time on the entire highway. You won't have one contractor doing it piece by piece from phases, but what we want to highlight is that at no time will the existing highway be closed. The 2 things that really stick out on the way forward over the next 2 years was of course the concreting of the Northern Highway from the flag monument to the Haulover Bridge and placement of the toll. We're going off Coney Drive, so those are 2 of the major projects that we look to kick off this second year in office with those 2 projects. We're looking at it; we've been in discussion for over the past months with various contractors, various possible investors so those are 2 of the main projects that we look at."

Cycling Is Back
This Sunday, the sport of cycling returns to some sense of normalcy with the riding of the 32nd Smart Belmopan Classic. The race is from Belize City to Belmopan and back on Sunday. Official Kwame Scott told us more: Kwame Scott - Race Organizer "This race, traditionally and historically, has always been the biggest race second only to the cross country. The 100 mile race; being 3 weeks before Cross Country, is very significant because riders get to test their legs in such a fashion that they don't have to worry about making mistakes. You can gamble. You can go out and run. You don't have to worry if you get caught because the 140-mile run is in the next 3 weeks." Jules Vasquez "How are the strongest riders going into this race?" Kwame Scott "Most of the favorites hail from the Western Spirits Cycling Team who easily has the best team assembled. They have the current Cross Country champion, and Shane Vasquez the past Cross Country champion. They have Ron Vasquez, the defending champion of this particular event, and there's Peter Choto who has also won this event 2 years ago. I must say also that we have foreigners in the race. So far, we've confirmed that 2 deadly foreigners in this race should be John Delong and Scotty Weis of Hincapie Cycling Team which will add lot more fire to this event. While there's rumbling going on in the hierarchy of cycling, with all the bureaucracy, and the constitutional challenges back and forth, there's still love on the asphalt. They're still rivalry on the asphalt; riders want to race."

Running Down The River With Ruta Maya
And so while the Belmopan Cycling Classic starts this weekend, the 2013 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge started this morning in San Ignacio. With the help of our colleague Rhonda Chrichton, we have the first few minutes of the start of the race, and the subsequent finish of the first day at Banana Bank. The Belize Bank team was the winner of the first leg of the race. They arrived at Banana Bank a little more than 5 hours after the start.

Bronze For Belizean Softballers
The tenth Central American Games started a week ago and sotball was the first discipline to have a go at it. The Belize Female National Softball team competed against El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and host country Costa Rica. Belize started out well with a 4-1 record which meant a chance to play in the medal round. But Guatemala defeated our girls 2-0 to advance to the gold medal game. And then, El Salvador defeated Belize by the score of 14-4. So, the team returned home today with bronze medals. 7news was at the airport to greet them: Gregory Moguel - Coach, Female National Softball Team "We went up against El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Costa Rica. The tournament was fierce, and our competition was up against Guatemala and Salvador. The Panamanian team is a very great and hard-hitting, team but they didn't have the level of pitching that we had. We played pretty well in our regular tournament, and we placed second which we played Guatemala because 1 played too. When we played that day, obviously we had great opportunities, bases loaded at least 2 times for us to score runs, and we did not capitalize. I think the team played well. They did what they had to do, but they just didn't come through at the point where we should have come through. We were there for basically a week; the contingent for us was 16 players, and I have 2 assistant coaches along with a pitching coach, and the head of the delegation. So, it was basically about 21 people from the softball delegation."

Women's Art For Women's Day
As part of the observance for women's day, Last night the 5th annual Women In Arts exhibition was opened at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The exhibition featured 29 artists- some of who are writers, poets, visual artist and a fashion designer. These women are from across the country and this particular exhibit is a part of celebrating women's month. The theme is "The Bliss Chronicles" - and here's a glimpse. Kim Vasquez - Program Officer "We had the opening of the women in art, our annual exhibit women in art, and it is the fifth year we have been doing it here at N.I.C. We had a really powerful a really fun night last night. We have 29 artists participating this year including 8 writers, a first for us in women in art including the writers, and we are very pleased to have creative writing this year in the exhibit. We have one fashion designer Rebecca Stirm, who is also a part of the exhibit this year. We put out a call for entries, and we did that some months ago. The requirement is that you must just be a woman; you must be female. You don't have to have any prior experience; we work with a few agents, and we try to work with somebody every year. This year, we worked with Melissa Quan. This was her first time curating an exhibit. She's an artist herself; she did an spectacular job. We did a news chronicle theme this year, so she was able to use recycled newspaper a lot in the decoration and the putting together of the pieces. We try to get participation but from across the country. So, we try to make sure we have artist represented from each district."

Channel 5

Barrow’s Proposed Budget: No cuts and No new taxes
The second reading of the General Revenue Appropriation Bill for Fiscal Year 2013/2014 took place this morning during a meeting of the House of Representatives.  The presentation of the budget proposals for the upcoming financial year was made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow.  He emphasized that the impending fiscal calendar will not see any new [...]

Foreign direct investments and tourism up
In the banking and financial sectors, Prime Minister Barrow also reported that there is excess liquidity in commercial bank holdings due, in large part, to foreign direct investments, as well as tourism.  The surplus, he said, serves to limit the interest rates currently applied to loans.     Prime Minister Dean Barrow “Reflective of the [...]

Sedi Elrington blasts critics on the maritime areas act
The Budget reading turned to the topic on the tongue of every nationalist, the unfounded Guatemalan claim on Belize, and in this particular instance Belize’s maritime area. In mid-February, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay published an article in the Amandala Newspaper in response to statements made by Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington during [...]

National basketball team bounces out of competition in Guatemala
Belize’s territorial rights are at the forefront of current national discourse. And if it were any other year, it wouldn’t be the maritime area but homegrown topics such as love and basketball that would be discussed in the living rooms and barbershops. But the next item encompasses love of country, territorial rights and…basketball. The National [...]

Guatemalan Mayor in Belize; Sister City Relations established
Belizeans are not exactly happy with neighboring Guatemala right about now given the upcoming October sixth referendum and this week’s fiasco with the national basketball selection in Peten. The referendum will decide whether the Guatemalan claim to Belize’s territorial land should be taken to the International Court of Justice for final settlement. But despite the [...]

Mayors comment on territorial dispute
And with the dispute between both countries on the forefront of the medias, the mayors say that the national politics should have no effect on the exchanges between the two cities.   Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor “Our jurisdiction has to do with the municipalities. And our interest is that the City of Belize would [...]

Farrakhan returns to Belize for third time
The visitors from Petén are not the only official delegates seeking to speak with Belizeans. The highly anticipated visit of the Head of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, was postponed in December, 2012 at the eleventh hour after Farrakhan experienced exhaustion and dehydration in Saint Thomas. Farrakhan’s Caribbean Tour was cut short to [...]

GSU discovers firearms
The minister intends to take his firebrand into the heart of troubled communities and that is also where the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) removed two firearms from the streets. On Sunday February twenty fourth, members of the GSU were on operation on Lakeview Street, Belize City, and conducted a search in an open lot. The [...]

First woman to be charged for escape
  The minister has a history of speaking to those who try to run from their problems in life. And perhaps he would also speak to people similar to twenty-one year old Latifah Augustine, the first woman to be tried for the offense of escape.  Augustine is the first female to be tried for escape [...]

Caught twice in possession of weed
  Forty-nine year old Benjamin Lester Chaplin, a resident of Fabers Road, appeared unrepresented this morning before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled drug.  Chaplin, who was before the court three weeks ago for assaulting a minor with a belt, was busted twice in one [...]

150 wheelchairs; 3 donated to K.H.M.H. and its Auxiliary
One hundred and fifty wheelchairs are being donated to Belize. Earlier in the week, three were handed over to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and its Auxiliary. The donation was made by the Saskatchewan Canada Rotary Club through the local Rotary Club. The other wheelchairs were received a week ago and the club is wasting [...]

Preschooler parade for launch of Child Stimulation Month
There are events to honor our senior citizens, and others to showcase productive students at the Festival of Arts. But this entire month of March is one dedicated to our children. News Five’s Duane Moody attended the launch of Child Stimulation month in the Yabra area of Belize City.   Duane Moody, Reporting Today hundreds [...]

Meet the delegates of Miss African Queen 2013
On the heels of the parade to celebrate our children, is an event that will raise funds to assist children and women in need. The pageant showcasing our cultural heritage will be held this Saturday at the Bliss Center for the performing arts. Seven delegates will showcase their African heritage as they compete for the [...]

#459819 - 03/09/13 09:38 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 9, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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VIDEO: Farrakhan speaks to UB students

La Ruta Maya kicks off
The 15th consecutive running of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge got under way this morning at the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio: 64 teams, 8 divisions, 170 miles to paddle in less than 24 hours. Plus news was there for the start and spoke firstly with President of...

Plane crashes in Corozal Lagoon
While rivers in the Cayo District were flocked with canoeing enthusiasts, a lagoon in Corozal was swarmed by Police, BDF and Civil Aviation after a suspected drug plane was found submerged in water. Details are sketchy at this time, but reports are that a Cessna plane has been located...

International Woman’s Day observed
Today is being observed as International Women’s Day, and around the world, women are being recognized for their contribution to national development. Here in Belize, the US Embassy named its Woman of the Year Award recipient. This year’s awardee is Sylvia Flores. Sylvia Flores, under the People’s United Party, ...

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez laid to rest
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was laid to rest today in a state funeral. Friends and families of the late president, along with world leaders, dignitaries and thousands of mourners, gathered in Caracas, to bid farewell to Venezuela’s “El Comandante.” Inside the funeral hall, presidents, including Cuba’s Raul Castro and...

BSI declares 3 million dollar dividend
The Belize Sugar Industry Limited has declared a 3 million dollar dividend for 2012. The beneficiaries of the dividend are holders who had shares in the company prior to it being bought out by ASR. The dividend is approximately $0.068 cents per each of the 44 million issued shares...

Citco reports on its first year in office
Yesterday the City Council of Belize City reported to the public on its first year in office. A main highlight has been the improved infrastructure with 53 streets concreted and 90 upgraded, but behind the scenes at City Hall there have been other improvements in governance. One of the...

Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks out on the LGBT agenda
The visit of Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan to Belize is close to wrapping up. Due to time constraints he was not able to greet the Belizean press corps at his arrival Monday at the International Airport in Ladyville, but a planned press conference went on as scheduled...

FIU has amended money laundering act
The Finance Intelligence Unit of Belize – an integral part of Belize’s engagement in the global fight against money laundering and other financial crimes has amended its money laundering act. The new changes require persons in real estate, jewelers and vehicle dealers to register with the FIU. Application forms...

Cyclists are getting ready for Holy Saturday Cross Cycling Classic
Cyclists are getting ready to return to the pavement in the last major race before the Holy Saturday Cross Cycling Classic at the end of March. The 32nd Smart Belmopan Cycling Classic kicks off at 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 10 for elite male riders who will ride 100...

Bust of Phillip Goldson mysteriously moved
The bust of Phillip Goldson carved by Stephen Okeke has long been a source of controversy. But it was thought that earlier this year the statesman had found a permanent home in his own division – the Battlefield Park on Albert Street, albeit without much fanfare as Okeke was...

National Women’s Softball Team won bronze
The Belize National Women’s Softball Team won bronze in the 10th Central American Games. The national selection returned home today after defeating Panama 16-9, to snatch 3rd place. The team also beat out Costa Rica and Nicaragua, but fell short against Guatemala and El Salvador. Other Belizean sports teams...

Delivery truck robbed at gunpoin
A Mennonite delivery truck was robbed at gunpoint this morning. Police say that just before noon today, the truck was near a store complex adjacent to the Ladyville Fire Station, when a number of men, believed to be four, robbed the occupant of the truck. The men then took...

Prison Supervisor has been freed of Drug Charges
A prison supervisor has been freed of possession of a controlled drug. The charge dates back to September of 2012, when Donald Gillett was allegedly caught entering the prison with fifty grams of cannabis inside his tennis shoes. At the time, the officer who discovered the drugs was said...


According to a press release yesterday from the Softball Federation of Belize, the National Women’s Softball Team had finished the Round Robin play at the Central American Games in San Jose, Costa Rica with a 4-1 won-loss record, which assured Belize of at least a medal in the Games. In its first game on Monday, March 5, Belize defeated hosts Costa Rica, 9-2, behind winning pitcher Kenreen Gillett. Belize then lost, 4-0, to Guatemala, with Francine Hoare picking up the loss. On Tuesday, Belize dropped Nicaragua, 4-1, with Lanisha Jones the winning pitcher. On Wednesday, Belize shut out El Salvador, 4-0, with Francine Hoare getting the win. Then Belize overpowered Panama, 16-9, with Francine Hoare again picking up the win, this time in relief of Kenreen Gillett. Yesterday’s press release continued: “Belize is currently seeded two into the playoffs” and “has assured itself at least a medal in the X Central American Games.

Mr. George Lamb, 1963 British Honduras National Table Tennis Champion, visited Belize a couple weeks ago and was joined by members of the table tennis association to share his 1963 experiences. - See article on George on our web site @ “belizetabletennis.com” - See more photos of George while in Belize and in 1963 at the Riverside Hall @“http://www.belizetabletennis.com/apps/photosalbum?albumid=14573587” (Ed. Note: We located an excellent article by Peter J. Carr on that nail-biting 1963 championship match, between George Lamb and Orlando Rhamdas, on the BTTA web site, and thought we should share it with our readers. Lamb was apparently an expatriate Barclays Bank employee, and the report appeared in the Barclays Bank Staff Magazine – 1963. See story below.) Extract from Barclays Bank Staff Magazine – 1963 Another strong contender for the Sportsman of the Year title would be George W. Lamb, just completing his first overseas tour at Belize, British Honduras. The photographs which we reproduce on page 654 were sent us by Mr. Peter J. Carr who has written a detailed description of George Lamb’s becoming a national table tennis champion: ‘The British Honduras National Table Tennis Tournament was played over three days – 16th, 17th and 18th April, 1963, at the Riverside Hall, Belize, in very humid conditions, and George’s weight at the end of his considerable effort – he lost nearly a stone (14 lbs) – reflected best of all the results of a really energetic week of practice and competition.

There were reports on the evening news yesterday, and at a press conference this morning at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City, Football Federation of Belize (FFB) President Ruperto Vicente made it official, confirming that he had received a letter of resignation from Mr. LeRoy Sherrier Lewis, who coached the Belize National Team to success at the Central American Cup in Costa Rica, where Belize secured a spot for the first time ever in the prestigious Gold Cup tournament to be held in 13 American cities in July of this year. Optimistic fans were looking forward to another fine showing for the Belize National Team under the able guidance of coach Sherrier Lewis, who has won the hearts of Belizean players and fans on both occasions when he has coached our national team. Back in 2001, coach Lewis and Belize had almost upset Guatemala in the Central American Cup, with Guatemala equalizing the game in injury time with a controversial penalty. Then FFB President Dr. Bertie Chimilio had rewarded Lewis’ performance by firing him after the tournament, ostensibly for Lewis’ criticisms of the officiating after the match.

If there was one man the Caribbean and the Americas could not afford to lose, it was Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela. Yet, as life would have it, Chavez is the man we lose this week, at the relatively young age of 58. The reason we could not afford to lose Hugo was because he stood for poor people and for people of color, and because he controlled the fabulous petroleum resources of Venezuela. In other words, Chavez’s heart was in the right place, and he had the wherewithal to help the people of countries like Belize. In real terms, Venezuela’s aid to Belize while Chavez was Venezuelan president was more significant and substantial than aid to Belize from the mighty United States of America. The American newspapers and television networks tried their best to make Hugo Chavez out to be a buffoon. The American government wanted a different kind of government in place in Venezuela, a government which would facilitate the exploitation of Venezuela’s petroleum resources by American oil companies. Hugo Chavez was too nationalistic for them, and American foreign policy supported all those who were opposed to Chavez.

From time to time over the years, I’ve told you that this newspaper is an aberration, an anomaly. The fact that Amandala is clearly the leading newspaper in the nation-state of Belize, has been so for more than three decades, is a reality that goes against the grain, so to speak. This extraordinary state of affairs is highlighted by the fact that in Guatemala their leading newspaper, Prensa Libre, is so manifestly the voice of the ruling oligarchy and military. When Prensa Libre speaks, the voice of the rulers of Guatemala is speaking: when Amandala speaks, it is the voice of the masses of the Belizean people which is speaking. This unusual state of affairs in Belize allows the ruling party here to disown opinions expressed in Amandala, even if those opinions are editorial opinions. The power structure in Guatemala cannot disown editorial opinions expressed in Prensa Libre because those opinions are always the opinions of their power structure. Before we consider how this state of affairs came to exist in Belize, let me say that it can be an uncomfortable state of affairs, both for the power structure and for our humble selves on Partridge Street. The people who are in positions of power pretend that Amandala does not exist and that they do not read it. For our part, fully conscious that we have no constitutional place or authority, we have to “hold our corner.” Foreigners in the diplomatic corps must not be sure that we actually exist as living, breathing entities. But, we do.

Dear Editor, The group, Belizeans Against GMOs, is working this month to educate the public about Genetically Modified Organisms. There are different kinds of GMOs, but we are particularly concerned about Genetically Modified Food. We are eating GMOs everyday in food that is processed, packaged and imported from our main importer, the United States, who is pushing this new agri-business technology. Currently Belize imports GMOs as food and as feed, but not as Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) – not as seed. Many of our group try hard NOT to eat GMOs in any form, but we are especially concerned about living GMOs because planting them, growing them, and harvesting them affects not only us humans; it directly affects our environment here in The Jewel – Belize. The “ecological impacts resulting from the vast introduction of genetically modified organisms are perhaps the least completely understood, though certainly the most significant, for our sustained health and well-being.” (Britt Bailey)

The Belize Creole Project (Bileez Kriol Projek) launched its “Nyoo testament eena Bileez Kriol” [Creole version of the Bible’s New Testament] today, Wednesday, at a ceremony at the St. John’s Anglican Cathedral. Several notable figures were in attendance at the launch, including Governor General Sir Colville Young, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Patrick Faber, Belizean artist Lila Vernon, and several members of the National Kriol Council, Belize Creole Project, and the church community. The ceremony was done in Belizean Creole, including singing of the National Anthem and song presentations. Selected persons were invited to read scriptures from the “Kriol Baibl.” Supporters of the new Bible version said that it makes the word of God more powerful to Belizean readers because it is in their language and they can better relate to the messages of the word. Governor General Sir Colville Young, who is also a linguist and writer of Creole songs performed at the launch, said that he believed that the Bible needed to be translated into Creole.

And, what is Bt-corn? GMO refers to any genetically modified organism; meaning a piece of DNA from one species, often from a bacterium, is spliced into the DNA of another species. This discussion focuses on a specific genetically engineered (GE) crop species, Bt-corn, with a background on the difference between traditional, conventional and sustainable cropping systems and an emphasis on environmental effects, real and potential, of Bt-crops. Traditional cropping systems often grow multiple crops, having different canopy heights and growing seasons, and may include crop rotation and livestock versus conventional cropping systems that are often mono-cultures with short, repetitive growing seasons and high energy input (machinery, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides). Conventional cropping systems are profit-driven (versus subsistence) so they may or may not rotate crops or use fallow periods. Sustainable cropping systems cause minimal land degradation or reduction in natural capital/resources, maintain ecological integrity, yet are still profitable to the farmer. Many researchers evaluating these farming techniques point out that using universal indicators to assess cropping systems is necessary; not just yields but soil quality, nutrient balance, organic matter, water holding capacity, biodiversity, etc., all need to be considered to evaluate total sustainability of the system over only yields (Altieri 2002, Seufert et al 2012).

The beautiful seaside village of Hopkins in Stann Creek will this weekend, March 8-10, host the 29th Annual Convention of the National Garifuna Council at the Holy Family RC School. Organizers say that, “Garinagu from all over Belize congregate annually at this event to celebrate our culture, discuss the challenges of our communities and set the course for future course of action.” The Belize-Guatemala Referendum (to be presented by a team including Percy Lewis and Matthew Martinez); social drinking and crime and crime prevention (to be presented by Dr. Elma Augustine from the Ministry of Health); and funding opportunities for rural projects (to be presented by Romaldo Lewis and Mr. Villafranco of Ecumenical College) are among the key topics billed for discussion at the convention. Presenters are to address issues relating to gang violence, as well as other challenges confronting Garifuna in Belize and the world over. Apart from business meetings and panel discussions, the convention will host a youth forum, featuring talks on leadership training, as well as a song workshop.

Racquetball is not a sport that may be very familiar to many Belizeans, but Denise Frank, an avid racquetball player since 1976, is trying to change that. Frank, who played the sport at a professional level in the United States, found, upon moving to Belize, that there are no resources in the country to permit the playing of the sport at a competitive level. But she makes an effort to play racquetball at least three times a week, and promotes the sport wherever she goes. She defends the sport, not only as “the best sport in the world,” but also as a sport for all ages that develops hand and eye coordination and promotes body movement and stretching. “We’re looking for more sports for the youth to get involved with. We’re trying to find activities for them,” she said. “It’s fun at any age you play. It’s a healthy, good exercise and it’s fun. It’s crazy good fun.” Frank, who says she prefers to remain in the background, working from behind the scenes, is trying to spark the passion in more people to push for the fast-paced game to be played in Belize. “I want to get more people behind the desire to bring it here so that there’s more push to get the Government to come up with the money to bring it,” she said. Frank said that there are already international racquetball associations interested in forming connections with teams in Belize and set up tournaments.

Myvette was shot and killed while washing a bus at the corner of Tigris Street and Kut Avenue. Dwayne Evelyn, 22, a resident of Amarillo Street, was acquitted of murder this evening after a jury of 3 men and 9 women unanimously found him not guilty of killing Peter Myvette, 22. At noon on February 17, 2010, shots rang out at the corner of Tigris Street and Kut Avenue, and when the noise stopped, the scene that residents of the area beheld was the body of Myvette under a bus, bleeding profusely from multiple gunshot injuries. Myvette was immediately rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival. He had suffered injuries to his neck, arm and rib cage. Two days later, Evelyn was charged with the murder of Myvette in the Magistrate’s Court. According to police, they had a witness who saw the shooting, and a police officer who claimed to have critical information on the murder and the person who allegedly did it.

Ratification exchanged at Guatemala, September 12, 1859 Whereas the boundary of Her Majesty’s settlement and possessions in the Bay of Honduras, and the territories of the Republic of Guatemala, has not yet been ascertained and marked out; Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Guatemala, being desirous with aaview to improve and perpetuate the friendly relations which happily subsists between the two countries, to define the boundary aforesaid, have resolved to conclude a Convention for that purpose and have named as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say: Her majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Charles Lennox Wylie, Esquire, Her Britannic Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires to the Republic of Guatemala; And his Excellency the President of the Republic of Guatemala, Don Pedro de Aycinena, Councillor of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Who after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following Articles: Article I. It is agreed between her Britannic Majesty and the Republic of Guatemala that the boundary between the Republic and the British Settlement and Possessions in the Bay of Honduras, as they existed previous to and on the 1st of January 1850, and have continued to exist up to the present time, was and is as follows:

Eternal display in glass casket planned for embalmed Chavez. Venezuela president Hugo Chávez Frías, 58, lost his two-year battle with cancer at 4:25 Tuesday evening and today, Friday, millions of mourners are expected to attend his state funeral in Caracas. Chavez won’t be buried in the dust; neither will he be cremated. Instead, his body is to be embalmed for permanent display at the Museum of Revolution, according to his interim successor, Venezuelan vice president Nicolás Maduro. The decision to put Chavez on permanent display inside a glass casket reportedly sprung from his last words: “I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die.” Chavez, it is said, wanted to continue serving his people. Sixteen countries, including Cuba, where Chavez had received treatment for cancer, have declared national mourning for a man described as “a Latin American giant.” A statement issued by the Embassy of Cuba in Belize said, “Official mourning [in Cuba] was declared starting from March 6, 6:00 p.m., until March 7, midnight, and National Mourning for March 8.”

Some businesspeople and other concerned citizens, however, urge reinstatement of death penalty. Canon Leroy Flowers, President of the Belize Council of Churches, has confirmed to Amandala that the Anglican Diocese in Belize has conveyed to the Barrow administration the official position of the Anglican community in Belize against the application of the death penalty in Belize. Last week, a shocking daylight murder of a young woman sparked a commitment from Antigua and Barbuda to reinstate the hangman’s noose. Canon Flowers told our newspaper that the position of the Belize Anglican church was concretized via resolution at the last October’s synod—the highest governing body—against the death penalty. We can’t implement the laws, so copies were passed to the governing authority, Canon Flowers said. At last week’s sitting of Parliament, Prime Minister Dean Barrow tabled a bill from the Anglican church in Belize, for a change of name from The Branch of the Church of England in Belize to the Anglican Diocese of Belize, so that the church can be correctly identified with the other dioceses in the Province of the West and the worldwide Anglican community, said Barrow.

The Hand in Hand Ministries again steps up and is building and donating a moderate-sized house for a needy Belizean family, free of charge. The house is being built on a lot in the Moya Street area in Lake I for a mother and her four children. The house is estimated to be completed on Friday, and it will be dedicated that same day, at which time the keys will be handed over to the owner. The construction began on Monday, March 4, and 12 volunteers from the United States, in collaboration with local builders, are constructing the house, a two-bedroom one-flat unit of plywood and plycem. Bernard Panton, the director of programs and projects of Hand in Hand Ministries, told Amandala that they have built over 200 houses for needy Belizean families, and will continue to do so. At the completion of this present house on Moya Street, construction will begin on another house on Monday, March 11.

The Belize Times

UDP gets an “F”
On Wednesday afternoon, the Opposition People’s United Party held a press conference to review and grade the UDP administration which was re-elected to a second–term office one year ago on March 7th 2012. “The UDP gets a ...

Barrow kills the Bar
The UDP is plotting and while our children sleep they are building a devilish scheme to destroy democracy and Belize. Remember November 2010 when Dean Barrow humiliated the Chief Justice of Belize because Barrow was angry at the fact that the Judge refused to do his bidding? The Bar Association spoke out in an attempt to protect the integrity of the Court and legal system. On that Friday, November 12, 2010 in the House of Representatives Dean Barrow called the Bar Association “PUP” – meaning that it is controlled by the People’s United Party. For context, we remember that Barrow was calling everyone that dare oppose him “PUP”. ...

THEY DID IT They came from across the country. A few from Orange Walk. Some from San Ignacio. Some from battered, embattled Belize City, Dangriga and of course Punta Gorda. Their objective. To gather at the area of the Belize /Guatemala border to get a clear picture of the situation, conduct a ...

A land fall cometh?
By G. Michael Reid Nigel Petillo did not draw a very big crowd for his land reform protest in spite of much promoting and advertising. His biggest disappointment was obviously with the very people of Harmonyville, who stood to gain the most from that exercise. Welcome Nigel, to the real world. According ...

In the Kingdom of the Blind
In 2006 the then PUP Government of Belize took a proactive decision based on the best international financial expert advice to restructure Belize’s commercial foreign debt. Calm and respectful discussions were held with the Caribbean Development Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank. Both international institutions provided policy based financing to facilitate ...

Placencia Assassins take down San Felipe Barcelona
The 2011 champs Placencia Assassins enjoyed their 2nd win: 3-1 against FC San Felipe Barcelona at the People’s Stadium. Placencia’s Kareem Haylock put the visitors up 1-0 when he blasted ...

Zhi Chen & Tyrone Tun win table tennis tournament
Zhi Chen won the A-Division, Tyrone Tun won the B- division, Sen Sen won the C- division and Petie Matus-Usher won the women’s division when the Belize Table Tennis Association held the 2013 RF&G Bi-Annual national ...

DHC Excellence – leads SMART Harrison Parks cricket competition
The defending champions, excellence of Double head Cabbage continue to lead the SMART Harrison Parks national cricket competition walloping the Alfred Dawson Cricket Club of Gardenia Village by the score ...

Faber badmouths Dangriga residents
Patrick Faber is still licking his wounds after he was soundly defeated by Gaspar Vega’s money and power, and some UDP-style backstabbing too, in the race for UDP Deputy Leader. One would have thought that the loss would have made Faber a bit humble and contrite, ...

Danger at SP Central Park
The tourism capital of Belize is San Pedro. Not only financially but the majestic barrier reef and the splendor of the brilliant colors which caresses its coast makes other countries jealous. Tourism contributes to over ...

National Basketball player shot on Youth For the Future Drive
A member of the Belize National Basketball team almost had his future taken away when he was attacked and shot by a gunman on Youth For the Future Drive. The victim, Ronald ...

Art is for the Spirit
St. John’s College hosted thousands of primary and secondary students at a grand Science, Reading and Art Fair on Landivar Campus from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m on February 21, 2013. Students from all four forms prepared ...

AMAZING GRACE – Why is Belize So Expensive?
The cost of a gallon of gasoline today is around eleven to twelve dollars. Because of this, too many trips have been cancelled, and too much money has been spent on goods that should be far cheaper. To help with this problem, I converted my vehicle to butane a couple ...

In my perspective – Land Ownership – the Real Deal!
By Rayford Young This past weekend I had some time on my hands, was searching the web and came across a website and decided to check out my ancestry. My parents always told me that we came from a large family and would be surprised who we were related to, and ...

Belize Tourism – A look at cost competitiveness
By Richard Harrison In 2012, Belize recorded 277,135 overnight tourist visitors....and 640,734 cruise visitors. Total 917,869 visitors, with hotel occupancy below 40%. The Riviera Maya, which spreads from Cancun south to Majahual....a coastline distance of 200 miles....is comparable to the coastline distance between Corozal and Punta Gorda. They registered total 17 million ...

Of this and that…
Cement Potholes We spent 20 million on cement streets. Some of the streets lead to nowhere. The streets that are not cemented are in terrible shape. Craters. It is mashing up all the dollar vans and taxis. A bad thing is happening. The City Council is already digging up lots ...

Hush Money!
By Anthony Sylvestre Jr. Marshall Nunez is a genius. He has introduced a new phrase to Belize’s already colourful political lexicon. Ah mean, it has be a brilliant mind to come up with the phrase “hush money”. For it so aptly captures the practice of this UDP government. Hush money is also referred to ...

UDP gets an “F” Friday, March 8, 2013 14:44
On Wednesday afternoon, the Opposition People’s United Party held a press conference to review and grade the UDP administration which was re-elected to a second–term office one year ago on March 7th 2012. “The UDP gets a ...

DPP’s Deadly Losing Streak
The current Director of Public Prosecutions, Cherylin Vidal, is on a deadly losing streak. It splashed big when she lost a historic case in Dangriga late last year. In that trial the DPP decided not to ...

Questions to Ministers
Will the Minister of Health Pablo Marin confirm or deny that he recently sent his wife to give birth to his child in the United States in fear of the neglectful health system in Belize, over which he presides? Can the Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega say how much land ...

Wasteful Spending! GOB rents Minister’s building to house Vital Statistics Unit
While the Barrow Administration refuses to grant a salary increase to teachers and public officers, they continue their wasteful spending in unnecessary areas. Information to the BELIZE TIMES is that the Vital Statistics Unit, which was housed at a Government-owned building on Gabourel Lane, will now be ...

No salary increase! No tax relief! – Barrow’s budget offers no ease in hard times
If you were hoping to hear about economic relief or an ease in taxes in the Barrow Administration’s fifth Budget, you were left miserably disappointed. Also, if teachers and public officers were hoping that the Budget included their much-needed salary increase, they were left wanting. Barrow’s Budget ...

PUP on the passing of President Hugo Chavez
Belize City, March 6, 2013 The Leader of the People’s United Party the Hon. Francis Fonseca sends a message of deep sympathy and condolence to the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at the passing of President Hugo ...

Setting the record straight
Dear Editor, I write to set the record straight on an article appearing in the Sunday, March 3rd 2013 edition under the sub caption CitCo 2.3 mil debt inherited from Fonseca Administration 2005. Why am I not surprised that in 2013, eight years after the PUP was in office, the PUP ...

When will the madness stop?
Dear Editor, Belize is a beautiful country with extremely bad leadership. After reading your article on the Minister of Transport Edmond Castro’s blatant interference in the running of the Belize Port Authority, I was appalled that this man is still serving in our country’s Cabinet. I waited patiently on Friday to hear ...


What to do when your internet goes down
We came home from our trip to Belize City Wednesday and our internet was acting sluggish and then cut out completely. Usually I text tacoboy at work and see if Pedro’s Hotel has net, but since he was with me that was not an option. We waited a bit and I decided to call BTL, I and got Karla who was great. I told her I had rebooted router and all but not laptop since the lights were flashing on router an specifically the DLS one so she told me she would all me back in regards to service. She was prompt at getting back to me and said that we were the morning list to be seen. I thought about how I wanted to spend my time off aside from cleaning house and hula hooping and decided to go See Dick and Zac before they took the water taxi to the city. Zac is doing weekly tai chi classes there and since First Caribbean Bank is no longer on the island Dick has to go to another district by plane or boat to do teller banking. What a funny place we live

Return to Wild Mangos - well worth the wait
We hadn't eaten dinner at Wild Mangos, one of San Pedro's most popular restaurants, in quite awhile, only lunch. It was time to ride our bikes to town and enjoy the delicious creations of well-known Chef Amy Knox once again. Since we had reservations, we got a primo table! We started by sharing a tasty black bean gordas appetizer. Barry enjoyed a Pantyripper (coconut rum and pineapple juice), and I went with SanPedroScoop's favorite here -- Caipirinha (not on the menu, but delish and reasonably priced at $8 BZD).

A Week Of The Most Glorious Spring Weather Gives Way to Some Morning Rain
And I don’t like to toss around overblown words like “glorious” often…or at least I should try not to. On the island, it has been warm and sunny with low humidity during the day and cool, snuggle up with a blanket weather at night. I could not ask for any better. The kids sailing team getting ready to launch at Caribbean Villas. And some pretty beaded necklaces at a vendor’s table near the beach. Agreed. They have absolutely nothing to do with the weather.

How to Make Belizean Ceviche
Traditional Belizean style ceviche made with Caribbean shrimps Ingredients: About half a pound of raw (uncooked) cleaned shrimp 2 cups diced ripe tomatoes 1 large onion diced 1 bunch cilantro chopped 1 habanero pepper minced 5 good limes 1 tsp salt (salt to taste)

Belize's Delegation To Chavez's Funeral
Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, has appointed the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, to lead Belize’s delegation attending the funeral of the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. The Belize delegation includes the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexis Rosado and Ambassador Nestor Mendez, Belize’s Ambassador to Washington and the Organization of American States.

Belizean Creole Bun 1/2 Recipe
I realize that some people live alone and the full recipe of the bun that's originally at the site may yield too many loaves. This recipe will yield only 2 loaves of this wonderfully delicious bread. Great for all occasions.

Government confirmed today that Belize will send a delegation to attend the funeral of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. That state funeral is scheduled for Friday morning, though there is still uncertainty surrounding the location. Reports are that the longtime President had requested that he be buried on the plains of his home state of Barinas. Family members, however, are saying he will be buried in the military museum overlooking Caracas. Still others are saying he will be buried in a mausoleum he had ordered built for the remains of Simon Bolivar. It is expected that as many as twenty-two world leaders and hundreds of thousands of supporters will attend the funeral, and among them will be Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado and Belize’s Ambassador to the OAS Nestor Mendez. But from diplomacy to politics, we note that in the absence of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, has been appointed as acting Prime Minister. Traditionally, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, has acted as Prime Minister. Those in the political know tell us that the choice of Saldivar, who has been a rival of Faber and who openly supported Vega in the recent U.D.P. convention, is a slight of Faber, and a clear indication that in the wake of the convention he has still not gained favor from his boss, the P.M.

Takin’ Care of Business
Could be the different bed. Or the strange surroundings. Might be that the concentration I am giving to driving a car on alien roads (well alien to me anyway) is just that little bit more tiring than dawdling around in a golf cart on Ambergris Caye! Whatever it is I am waking later in the morning. Not up this morning until 6.50 am. A hearty breakfast at the hotel and Rose and I were ready to hit the shops again. With a fairly local Lowe’s store being first on our list. And this one was only eleven miles from our hotel. Virtually next door by Dallas standards! Some little while ago Emily (http://bebelize.weebly.com/) commented on this blog that too much choice might make things more difficult for us. I am now starting to think that she might well be right. When there is so much on offer it is sometimes nigh on impossible to choose just one! But choose we must and today Rose and I believe that we are now very close to making our choices. With our window shopping done we went back to the hotel to download the photographs. Quickly freshened up and went out for dinner. Our choice once again was – yes, you guessed it – steak.

The dispute moved now to the “court phase.” Guatemala proposed arbitration, and Britain suggested taking the matter to the Hague Court. Guatemala was not in favour of the dispute being examined purely on a legal basis. In July 1939, Guatemala published a White Book on her claims, and in 1940 Britain again offered arbitration in any of three ways: either to the Hague Court, or to a tribunal of international lawyers examining the matter under Chapter 4 of the Hague Convention, or to a tribunal of three international lawyers-one member to be selected by each party and one of them by the President of the United States. Guatemala rejected all three, and in 1940 Guatemala claimed that the Treaty was invalid, and therefore, for the first time, claimed the whole of British Honduras, “She also considers that the non-compliance of the obligations on the part of Great Britain has caused to the Republic, material and intangible damages because of the loss of advantages which the country would have derived from its development and from its foreign trade if the expected highway to the Atlantic Coast had been constructed. The British occupation of British Honduras cut off all maritime communications with the Department of Peten closing it off thereby orographic and political barriers that have prevented its progress and development”. (69) During the Second World War, President Ubico did not press the matter, but after his downfall in 1944 the new Guatemalan Government promulgated a constitution in 1945, declaring British Honduras to be a part of Guatemalan territory. Britain offered in 1946 to take the dispute to the International Court, but Guatemala refused unless it would be determined ex aequo et bono, acceding to the principle of equity, what is just and good. Another principle Which Guatemala adheres to is the principle of uti possidetis, which is based on the theory that “… the Central American Federation inherited the sovereign rights formerly possessed by Spain and that on its dissolution its member-states inherited the territorial jurisdiction which corresponded to them respectively as administrative divisions of the old Captaincy-General of Guatemala .” Guatemala further argues that during the colonial period, Belize formed a part of Peten or Verapaz during the period of Guatemala’s membership of the Central American Federation and after the Federation had dissolved. This principle, applied by Gautemala and between other Latin American states, is a principle which is not recognized by international law and applies only to those states who have agreed to be bound by it. (70)

International Sources

Hurricane Hattie, Author: John D. Friesen
Online version of the Story of the hurricane that ripped through the British Honduras, on October 31,1961.

10th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest
Smithsonian magazine's 2012 photo contest attracted more than 37,600 submissions. Those images have been whittled down to 50 finalists in the natural world, people, travel, Americana and altered images categories.

See The Comet
Starting last night, look west close to the horizon. This is the big week so many of us in the northern hemisphere have been waiting for. Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS, which has put on a splendid show in the southern hemisphere, now finally comes to a sky near us northerners! Sky watchers in Australia and southern South America report it looks like a fuzzy star a little brighter than those in the Big Dipper with a short stub of a tail visible to the naked eye. The comet should brighten further as it wings its way sunward. Closest approach to the sun happens on March 10 at a distance of 28 million miles. That’s about 8 million miles closer than the orbit of Mercury. Though very low in the western sky after sundown, the comet should be visible across much of the U.S., southern Canada and Europe beginning tonight March 8.

Belize strikes deal to restructure outstanding debt
Belize on Friday struck a deal with a majority of its creditors to renegotiate longer terms and lower interest rates, officials said Friday. "The government of Belize today announced that the holders of 86.17 percent of dollar bonds due in 2029 have exchanged the instruments for new bonds maturing in 2038," said an official statement. The country needed agreement from at least 75 percent of its creditors to move forward with the deal. In addition to giving Belize an extra nine years to repay the capital, the interest rate for the first four years will be 5.0 percent, before reverting to the current rate of 8.5 percent.

Clemson students to donate scholarship money, film documentary in Belize
A Clemson University Creative Inquiry student team will travel to Belize March 17-24 to interact with a school’s students and educators while filming a documentary to raise awareness about the need for educational opportunity in impoverished areas of foreign countries. The visit to Unity Christian School and film are part of the development of “$60 Scholarships,” the students’ effort to award scholarships to children in the Burial Grounds community of Belize whose families aren’t able to pay for their educations. “The education system there is privatized, meaning that the government only pays half of the tuition,” said Sara Grace Bailey, a $60 Scholarships team member from Lancaster. “The families are responsible for the remaining $75 and we are raising money to pay $60 of that. This way, we are helping but still holding the family responsible so that they come to appreciate their work toward education.” “Sixty dollars gives students uniforms and school supplies, as well as tuition for an entire year,” said Anne Coker, a team member from Hendersonville, N.C.

Belize Debt Exchange Offer Successful
The Government of Belize announced today that holders of 86.2 percent of the country's U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2029 (the "2029 Bonds") had tendered their bonds in response to Belize's February 15, 2013 offer to exchange those instruments for new Belize U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2038 (the "2038 Bonds"). Belize's offer required tenders to be submitted to Citibank, in its capacity as the Exchange Agent for the transaction, by 5:00pm (New York time) today. Under the terms of the 2029 Bonds and Belize's exchange offer, holders of not less than 75 percent of the 2029 Bonds have instructed the Trustee for those instruments to tender the entirety of the 2029 Bonds in exchange for 2038 Bonds in accordance with the terms of Belize's offer. The results of the tender process that ended today means that such an exchange of the entirety of the 2029 Bonds is expected to take place at a closing of the transaction later this month.

US - Belizean Cultural Heritage Effort Hailed
The recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between the United States and Belize is a major step forward in protecting the little Caribbean country’s cultural heritage, a spokesman for the Belize Natural History Centre at Chaa Creek said today. Brion Young said that the memorandum, announced 5 march 2013 by the US Department of State, demonstrates a commitment on the part of the two countries to end the looting of Maya temples and archaeological sites in Belize and halt the illegal trade of Maya artefacts. The MOU also covers the illegal trafficking of Belize’s African, Spanish, British and other cultural treasures. “Over the years we have lost so much of our heritage to looters, and we salute the United States in working with the Government of Belize to put a stop to this. Just as the original Declaration of Independence and other historical artefacts are important to US citizens, we value the icons of our country’s history and culture,” Mr Young said.

Belize says superbond offer taken up by over 75 pct of holders
Belize's government said on Friday it had met the required threshold needed to complete a debt exchange on the country's $550 million superbond, allowing the tiny the Central American nation to restructure its debt. In a statement, the government said that holders of 86.17 percent of Belize's U.S. dollar bonds due in 2029 had agreed to swap them for new bonds due in 2038. The Belize government needed a 75 percent take-up rate to trigger a collective action clause, a mechanism used to restructure government bonds in a crisis.

Farrakhan addresses university students in Belize
Minister Farrakhan's Bird Isle address comes at the conclusion of his visit to the Central American nation of Belize. The Minister's visit included meetings with political, civic and social leaders and activists. In addition to radio/TV interviews, he also addressed university students and the staff and inmates of Belize Central Prison.

Trinidad to play Belize, Peru in football friendly
Trinidad and Tobago will play two Central American opponents later this month as they continue preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July. The Trinidadians will take on Belize at home March 22 and travel to Lima to face Peru three days later, reports CMC. The March 26 encounter against Peru is a return friendly after the Caribbean side lost to them 0-2 here last month. "We had a good opportunity to see some of the players from abroad in the last game against Peru and we also had the chance to see the local-based players in that particular game," said national head coach Hutson Charles. "The process of seeing what the players have to offer will continue in these two matches coming up." The match against Belize will be played at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva due to the unavailability of other venues, which are currently being upgraded.


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