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#460524 - 03/19/13 03:11 PM Today's Belize News: March 19, 2013
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Specials and Events

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

The Spring 2013 issue of The TOLEDO HOWLER is online HERE

The new issue of the Toledo Howler has news and information about the Chocolate Festival of Belize in May as well as regular features by Lee Jones on birding in Toledo and Arzu Mountain Spirit who turns her attention to the health benefits of cacao.

Use our BTIA member lists to find accommodation or make meal reservations for the Chcoclate Festival weekend 24-26 May. Happy reading.

This Issue's Stories:

  • Chocolate Festival of Belize:
    Cacao is native to the Americas and the seeds, or “beans”, are used to make cocoa products and, of course, chocolate. Cacao is a major export crop in Toledo ‐ prized for its quality and distinctive flavour ‐ and Belize produces some notable chocolate products of its own. Every Commonwealth Day holiday weekend the Toledo District of southern Belize holds a festival to celebrate this marvellous food, and many devoted followers return each year to find out what’s new in the world of chocolate making. This will be the seventh Festival, and the first in its new guise as the Chocolate Festival of Belize. The name change from Toledo CacaoFest is a reflection of growing awareness of the exceptional quality of Belizean chocolate and designed to capture a bigger international audience. Once again the festival will be organized jointly by the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association and the Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) with support and sponsorship from the Belize Tourism Board and NICH.
  • Nim Li Punit Archaeological Site:
    Nim li Punit was the second major site to be settled in Toledo District. Like Uxbenka, it was first occupied during the Early Classic period. At present we have dated the early occupation of Nim li Punit only from the stylistic analysis of pottery. This demonstrates that the first inhabitants settled at the site sometime in the early fifth century A.D., about 400 years after Uxbenka was settled and about 150 years before Pusilha—the largest city in southern Belize by far—was founded about A.D. 570. Like Uxbenka, Nim li Punit is a small place. It is better to think of it not as a city, but as a rural manor site founded by one or more elite families. From its founding ca. AD 400‐450, however, Nim li Punit did serve as a regional administrative center. Structure 8, a long platform located along the western edge of the “Plaza of the Tombs,” was built around this time and served as a popol nah or council house. Over the course of 400 years, the building was enlarged and rebuilt four times, but it always kept the same form and function. Maya council houses are not common in Belize or Guatemala, but are much more typical of sites in Yucatan. They suggest decentralized rule, where different lineages, families, or factions made joint decisions under a king with relatively weak authority.
  • Asha’s Culture Kitchen:
    The Howler recently visited Asha’s Culture Kitchen in Punta Gorda. This seaside restaurant is located on Front Street south of the market and specializes in fresh Creole seafood, vegetarian and BBQ. They are also one of Toledo BTIA’s newest members. Owner Ashton Martin opened Asha’s Culture Kitchen in July 2011. The restaurant was originally located on Middle Main Street before moving to its present seaside location. Asha’s Culture Kitchen is actually built out over the water so there is a delightful sense of being surrounded by the sea. This place arguably has the best views in PG, looking out across the Gulf of Honduras towards Guatemala and points south. The owner says the stars at night are equally impressive from the verandah. Ashton’s wife, Stacy, is in charge of marketing and decorating. Ashton, originally from Punta Negra in northern Toledo, is in charge of the mouth watering menu. He has a passion for cooking and says his main ingredient is love ‐ although he also uses coconut, cilantro, fresh vegetables and herbs. The seafood is fresh daily so the menu changes according to availability and season but usually includes a variety of fish, wild shrimp and lobster dishes. One of the most surprising items on Asha’s menu is lionfish. Most of us know that lionfish have become a problem in the Caribbean in recent years. They were probably introduced by aquarium owners who released them into the wild and didn’t realize that the invasive lionfish reproduce at a much higher rate than the local species.
  • Dreamlight Internet Café:
    Dreamlight internet café is something of an Aladdin’s cave! Located on Main Street the modern white cement building beckons tourists and locals alike to make use of their internet facilities, but, walking through the doorway reveals a much wider array of goods and service than you might at first expect! Dreamlight was opened by Timothy Dami in May 2007, when he saw a need for additional internet facilities in town, primarily through his work as a teacher and running computer classes at the local leducation centre. One of his students was Kenrick Coleman (of Coeman’s Café fame in Big Falls village) and, having successfully completed the course and seeing his affinity with computers, he was offered a job by Mr Tim. Kenrick is one of seven local employees at Dreamlight, and between them they have over 35 years’ professional experience. We spoke to Kenrick about Dreamlight’s many and varied services.
  • The Road to the Border:
    Everyone living in the Toledo District knows the government is in the process of paving the highway to the Guatemalan border. There have been mixed feelings about this development but we at the Toledo Howler believe it will be a good thing all around. Once the road is paved, getting into PG will be faster and easier for those living in remote villages. A smooth, all‐weather surface will reduce wear and tear on village buses and vehicles generally as well as reducing fuel consumption. For tourism, the new road will mean easier access to some of the most beautiful destinations in the district, such as Blue Creek and Rio Blanco National Park and falls. Travelling times to these beauty spots have already been greatly reduced. The project also includes improved signage along the road which will help visitors with their own vehicles to find their way around more easily. We are told the present phase of the project is due to be completed in April 2014—weather permitting of course! Completion of this phase will mean 20 miles of paved highway from the junction known as Dump to Treetops, the BDF’s outpost near the border. There will eventually be a formal border crossing point although we understand the exact location has not yet been confirmed.
  • Map of Front Street, Punta Gorda, Chocolate Festival Weekend 24th—26th May:
  • Bug Corner:
    The strange habits of the Sapho (heliconius sapho) So, as well as the “wettest district” (read “most lush”) the bug question often occurs when talking about Toledo. The reality is that we do have some mosquitoes (although fewer than some other areas in Belize), but also a whole host of weird and wonderful creatures. The Sapho butterfly is often seen flitting around the Toledo District. Nim Li Punit, with its plethora of favoured butterfly plants, is a great place to see butterflies on the wing. The Sapho is one of the heliconius species, and is very similar in appearance to the Cydno. Sometimes called the “Holstein” butterfly for its black and white markings it will actually appear a beautiful dark metallic blue under the right lighting conditions. The heliconius butterflies have two unique, derived ecological traits – feeding and mating behaviour!
  • Wine, Chocolate and Belikin: Where can I get my tickets?:
    Tickets available from the Toledo Tourism Information Centre on Front Street in PG, BTIA office on North Park Street in Belize City and the BTB office on Regent Street, Kakaw Chocolate in San Pedro, Goss Chocolate in Seine Bight and .the BTIA Office in Placencia. Wine, Chocolate, and Belikin – Friday 24th May (tickets BZ$50 in advance, BZ$60 at the door) Lubaantun finale ‐ Sunday 26th May (adults BZ$10, high school students BZ$5, primary school students BZ$2) Tickets at the entrance; no advanced ticket sales
  • Southern Voices: Kamela Palma:
    Kamela Palma is a resident of Punta Gorda in Toledo. She has had a varied career, at one time having been Principal of St Peter Claver College in Punta Gorda Town and Lecturer at the Belize Teachers’ Training College, CEO in the Ministry of Human Development, then Deputy Ambassador at the Belize Mission in Guatemala City and most recently she has returned from a posting as Belize’s High Commissioner in London. Have you always lived in Toledo, Kamela? My grandfather, Guillermo Palma, came to Belize with his family from Santa Rosa de Copan in Honduras where the famous Mayan site of Copan is located just a mile across the border from Guatemala. He came to work as a manual labourer on a farm known as El Dorado close to Forest Home and the present day dolomite quarry. Though uneducated he was obviously someone with a vision, for after a few years he was able to acquire property in the area of what is now Big Falls village. He called his place, a mile square, Missouri and it is located east of the bridge downstream from the present day village. He was the first ‘local’ to plant sugar cane and to produce brown sugar for commercial purposes. Eventually all his brothers arrived to work with him. He married Angelina Pattico and their only daughter was Isabel Palma, my mother. This is the same Isabel Palma whom the new clinic in San Antonio is named after. She worked throughout the country as a Rural Health Nurse and she was posted for many years in San Antonio village to serve all the villages of Toledo West. My Father was Carlton Fairweather, a distinguished gentleman who had served the Motherland by travelling to the United Kingdom to join the World War 2 effort and who returned to serve in the Government Service of his beloved Belize.
  • Restaurant Guide: Wat’s Cookin?:
    Twisted Creole Lobster Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 7 minutes Serves 4 INGREDIENTS ¼ cup chopped cilantro ¼ cup chopped onion ¼ cup grated carrot 1 medium green pepper finely chopped 1 tbs minced garlic ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp Complete Seasoning ½ tsp butter 1 lb lobster diced into 1” cubes
  • Golden Stream Spice Farm:
    The Howler staff had passed by the farm in Golden Stream dozens of times, idly wondering who might live there and what they were up to. About a year ago signs went up along the highway advertising the Golden Stream Spice Farm and Botanical Gardens. Then the Spice Farm became one of BTIA’s newest members and the Howler decided it was time to go and take a look. The farm belongs to Dr Thomas and Mrs Tessie Matthew who have been here in southern Belize since 1989‐90 dividing their time between Washington DC, where Dr Matthew practises as an anesthesiologist. They own an area of 500 acres that includes a wellestablished citrus plantation but their true love lies in all the other things that they are growing there. They include both indigenous species like vanilla and exotics like cinnamon and nutmeg. The first species on our tour of the spice farm was cardamom, another exotic, native to the Indian subcontinent. I love using it in making curries in particular but have always bought it on trips outside Belize. Now I can find it nine miles up the road! And I was very surprised to discover it growing at the base of a plant that looked similar to a ginger. The plants grow in semishade in rows. The intention is to develop this as a commercial crop. The cardamom pods are harvested and dried between February and May.
  • 13th Annual Christmas Bird Count:
    The 13th annual Punta Gorda Christmas Bird Count was held on 5 January. We had an excellent turnout with 33 participants organized into 7 teams. We recorded 5221 birds representing 240 species. Despite the large turnout, we fell short of our yearly average of 248 species and 5958 individuals, but the results may have been affected by the weather. The day started out bright and sunny start, but it began to rain around mid‐morning and did not let up until mid‐afternoon. The lower‐thanaverage total was also affected by our inability to get into Aguacaliente Lagoon this year. This cost us at least half a dozen species. The boardwalk is now in such disrepair that it can no longer be used. The water was also higher than it has been in several years, and much of the trail was under water. It is a pity that all the hard work that went into constructing the boardwalk has come to naught for lack of maintenance, leaving one of the country’s birdiest wildlife sanctuaries essentially inaccessible to the public. Count highlights were Crested Caracara, Aplomado Falcon, and Rufousbrowed Peppershrike, all of which were new for the count, and Common Gallinule and Olive‐sided Flycatcher, which were seen for only the second time in thirteen years.
  • The Belize Bird Records Committee:
    Segueing to another aspect of birding, Belize now has a bird records committee. Formed in December 2011 and now in its second year, the Belize Bird Records Committee, or BBRC, is comprised of eight members. Chaired by Punta Gorda resident Lee Jones, the committee also has one other member from Toledo, Steven Choco, the bird guide at The Lodge at Big Falls. The BBRC maintains the official list of birds recorded in Belize. It resolves the problem of what to do with reports of birds rarely seen in Belize, including those being reported for the first time. Since birding, unlike scientific collecting, relies heavily on sight records, the seven BBRC voting members (the secretary does not vote) decide which reported species to accept as valid records and which to reject as unsupported. The BBRC still has a number of older records to vote on before it can come up with a sanctioned list of Belize birds, but it is likely to be close to 590 species. With one or two species being added each year, it will not be long before Belize reaches the 600 species milestone. The latest species new to Belize have mostly been ducks: Redhead, Gadwall, and Ruddy Duck, plus a few other odds and ends such as Hermit Thrush and Black Swift.
  • Arzu on Medicinal Plants: Theobroma Cacao:
    Theobroma Cacao - The cacao is a true botanical team player by design, and insistently dependent on the rain forest for its odd environmental requirements. It is one of the easiest rain forest dwellers to identify. Native cacao varieties are mostly found growing in association with taller shade trees like the aptly named "madre cacao" in order to protect young saplings from direct sunlight. The cacao is not among the taller trees of the rainforest, and only grows from 10 to 20m at the most. The tree’s bark and branches are covered with grayish brown mossy patches of colored lichen and fungi. Young cacao trees seldom drop their leaves. They are not deciduous and you can see large old glossy green leaves and new limp red leaves growing on the tree at the same time, and on the same stems. But after the trees are well established, they form a forest canopy of their own, and the forest floor beneath them becomes thick with a mat of fallen leaves that return nutrients to the soil. Those leaves, together with the shade from the canopy, inhibit the growth of weeds under the trees, something that we cacao farmers obviously welcome! The pollen of the cacao is another oddity, it is too thick and heavy for the wind to carry. The plant is incapable of pollinating itself, and requires the help and cooperation of other species and microscopic insects of the rain forest to produce and reproduce.
  • Restaurant Guide
  • Calendar of Events
  • Toledo District map
  • BTIA member directory
  • Transportation schedules, including new village bus schedule
  • PG Town map

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Town Council reflects on first year in office
On March 7th, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) completed one year since being elected to office. Since the election of the new council, which includes six members from the United Democratic Party and one from the People’s United Party, there have been several changes in the municipality. The Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel “Danny” Guerrero took the opportunity to elaborate on the accomplishments and the shortfalls of the council under his leadership. A reflective Mayor Guerrero said that during the first year in office, a lot has been accomplished since all councilmen have been pulling their weight. “We have been working with all government institutions very closely. We have also bridged the gap in helping the education system by working along with all schools. We have been helping every school. For example, we have managed – with the help of Canary Coves – to build three new classrooms at the RC school and we are working with an anonymous donor for a similar project at the Adventist school. We are also working, again with Canary Coves, this summer at the Anglican School. We have maintained an open door policy and have been informing the people on a weekly basis what we are doing. We go on the morning shows and we have been open to the media on whatever they want to question us about. We embarked on an ambitious street upgrade project and even started working on the streets in San Mateo. We have been working with the Police and other civil groups and we will continue to do so during our term in office. We have also been working with Saga to address the concerns about stray animals, and I know there is some more work that needs to be done. We are also working to revive the cultural events on the island and San Mateo Street Work Continues (12)improve the tourism industry on the island,” said Guerrero.

Island teachers attend valuable education workshop
Being a teacher is a very important profession that requires much effort and dedication. Parents entrust their children in the hands of teachers for education that will help them become model citizens. The education, moral and values instilled in children by teachers last a lifetime. On March 12th and 13th teachers from all schools in San Pedro were invited to attend seminars on several issues that children are facing in our modern society. Instructors from The University of Mississippi in the USA traveled to Ambergris Caye to present the seminars. The workshops were held at the Holy Cross Anglican School after school hours. Topics that were discussed at the seminars varied from child neglect to suicide. The teachers were taught ways in which to identify whether a child is suffering mental, emotional or psychological abuse and neglect. Teachers were provided with useful handouts and pamphlets on how to deal with these problems that the children may be facing. It is important for teachers to learn how to detect bullying; some ways include children making fun of another child’s clothing, hygiene or social status. At many times teachers believe that these kinds of abuse and neglect stem from home, but it can also start in the school. When it comes to any form of abuse, teachers are responsible to address the problem if noted and inform the relevant authorities in order to safeguard the student.

SPHS Boys are repeat National High School Softball Champions!
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) male softball team retains championship for the second consecutive year after competing in the National Secondary School Softball Tournament over the weekend in Belize City. The games were played at the Rogers Stadium on March 15th and 16th, where the SPHS male team represented the Northern Zone alongside the female team of Belize Rural High School. SPHS won the finals against Belize Comprehensive High School (BCHS). Each of the four zones, north, central, west and south submitted a male and female team after eliminations earlier this year. In the first game played on Friday March 15th, SPHS faced Independence High School (IHS), taking the lead at the top of the second inning with a four to one score. The game was unchanged, until the fifth inning when SPHS managed to push forward five additional runs, ending the game at eight to one runs in favor of SPHS. That gave SPHS a ticket to the finals which was played late on the evening of Saturday March 16th.

VIDEO: SPHS Boys celebrate 2013 National Softball Championship
SPHS boys celebrate their win for the ATLIB softball nationals

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Council Starts Street Widening Campaign
The San Pedro Town Council has embarked on a street widening campaign from Costa Maya Reef Resort in the Mexico Rocks Sub-Division (North Ambergris Caye) to the South End of Ambergris Caye in the Boca Ciega Area. Ambergris Today met with Councilor Severo Guerrero whose portfolio includes Civic and Infrastructural Development, who explained to us a bit more about the project. “The project is well underway and one of the main reasons why this project is taking place is for safety reasons,” stated Councilor Guerrero. “We have to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors who use that stretch of road. By clearing up the bushes and having a wider road it ensures that no one hides in the bushes attempting an attack and of course it helps with proper vehicular flow.”

Taiwan Donates Two Garbage Compactors to San Pedro
From the moment Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his councilors took office they have been arduously working in keeping our Isla Bonita clean and beautiful. Cleanup campaigns are constantly being held and the town has received donations of trucks which have been used as dump trucks. On Friday, March 15, 2013, the Government of Taiwan officially handed over two large garbage compactors to the town of San Pedro Town. Master of Ceremony, Mr. Angel Nuñez, welcomed all in attendance to the ceremony and after the National Anthem of both Taiwan and Belize were played, Councilor Kenrick Brackett shared the invocation prayer followed by the welcome address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero.

Alexis Del Valle Selected New Miss Lion’s Queen
On Saturday, March 16, 2013, island residents gathered at the San Pedro Lion’s Den to witness four lovely girls, Cecibel Cortez, Lina Mazariegos, Alexis Del Valle and Linda Quintanilla, compete for the crown of Miss Lion’s Queen. The contestants entertained the crowd with their opening dance, sportswear and evening wear segments. Ambergris Today’s Gerry Badillo and Leo’s member Solanie Graniel hosted the pageant which featured many beautiful performances by the lovely contestants and the San Pedro Dance Academy. Congratulations to all the contestants and the new Miss Lion’s Queen, Alexis Del Valle for a job well done.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Ignacio United Victory
The SI United were victorious over FC Belize at home this week. Garret Bermudez scored, and that was enough to secure the win and give them 3rd place in the league. Congratulations, SI United! "The Boys put in a great performance at the Broaster, Some great pics of the game."

Cayo Welcome Center Museum Pictures
The SISE Town Council had a great Cayo Family Day. The new museum there where the artifacts discovered under Burns Avenue are on display got a lot of traffic. Looking good downtown! "The Cayo Family Day was enjoyed by all. Heineken was there, and there was music, and a dance competition."

Rotaract's Cover With Care Project
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio had their Cover With Care initiative last week for World Rotaract Week. They had a clothing drive, and then donated the clothes to Mary Open Doors. Great work, Rotaract! "Cover with Care is Global Rotaract Project whereby clothing is distributed to deserving families during World Rotaract Week. This week our Club collected used clothes in good conditions and donated it to Mary Open Doors on March 17, 2013 as our closing activity for World Rotaract Week 2013."

Santa Elena Preschool Visits SIPL
Feelgood news of the day. The amazing staff at the San Ignacio Public Library are really doing a lot of storytelling for Children's Month. We applaud their efforts towards getting the future leaders of Belize, and the world, to appreciate reading and learning. They hosted the kids from the Santa Elena Community Preschool this morning. "'Molding Today's learner's into tomorrow's leaders.' Child Stimulation Month concluded today at the SIPL with Stories and activities."

Pallottine Sisters Centennial in Benque
The Pallottine Sisters passed through Benque during their centennial celebrations. In related news, the Benque House of Culture is having a new exhibit starting Wednesday, called Ecce Homo, which illustrates the passion and life of Christ. "Today the Cayo District welcomed many faithful visitors and the Pallottine sisters for their Centennial Celebrations and re-enactment of their arrival. The Centennial and arrival of four German sisters in Belize on March 17th,1913 is being celebrated under the theme 'Grateful for the Past Hopeful for the Future.' Presently there are 21 Pallottine Sisters in the country who will be paying tribute to their work with a number of activities taking place country wide. Image courtesy of Mr. Subratra Basu P.C. Volunteer/Artist & CACHE Member"

Oil in Belize Exhibit at SISE HoC
The SISE House of Culture has a new exhibit open entitled 'Oil in Belize.' It will run until the 19th of April. Pictures will be coming soon. "Now Open at our San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH). For large groups please send us a message on facebook or call us at 824-0783."

Belizean Hash Corn Beef
In my family, we only ate corn beef as a last resort. We hashed it with onions and butter, but never cabbage. It is normally served over white rice with plantains.

Channel 7

Guat Foreign Minister A No-Show, Snubs Hon. Elrington
Tonight the October 6th referendum is on thin ice - as the Guatemalans have formally proposed a change in the date - and now it's left to be seen if Belize's Cabinet will agree. This is the news coming out of two days of meetings at the OAS Headquarters in Washington DC between diplomats on both sides. But, the really big news coming from Washington is that Guatemala's Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera did not attend - he sent his Vice Minister, the equivalent of a CEO. Seasoned observers say that's a major disrespect - and it forced Belize's Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington to leave the meetings - since it is not considered appropriate for a Minister to participate in a meeting led by someone without ministerial rank. But the meetings did carry on with Belize's CEO Alexis Rosado leading the Belize delegation - and sessions which started yesterday evening reportedly continued until late this evening.

Police Bust Human Trafficking Move At Airport
Tonight, 4 minors and an 18 year old are in the care of the Department of Social Services after police - acting on intelligence from a well-connected field officer - busted a human trafficking move that was going down yesterday at the Phillip Goldosn International. Details are sketchy at this time, but 7news has learned that this woman 43 year old Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia is in police custody as she was reportedly the handler for the two females, aged 18 and 14 and the three males - just boys really, aged, 9, 10, and 13. According to reports they are all Salvadorean and arrived in the country a week earlier. They stayed at an inexpensive hotel in Belzie City - and papers were arranged for them to give them false Guatemalan passports affixed with well made but bogus US Visas. Our reports say that yesterday, the five were supposed to board a US Air flight to North Carolina - while their handler would have returned to Salvador. Police intercepted them - and all five were turned over to social services for safe-keeping, while Alaz Azmitia is detained.

First City Murder In 12 Days
Tonight, after a brief lull in homicides, the city has a murder to report, the first since March sixth. The victim is Leon "Bunn" Humes, and his death followed an all too familiar formula: he was out late on Saturday night buying food when a gunman pulled up and shot him in the head. Monica Bodden spoke to his family today: Monica Bodden Reporting 23 year old Leon Humes was gunned down here in front of Fay-Way Store on Mahogany Street. The shooting happened about 11:25 on Friday night. Humes was standing outside the store buying food - when a man wearing a mask came from the direction of Jasmine Street and opened fire in his direction. One of the shots caught Humes to the left side of the cheek and exitted through the right side of his head. Anna White - Sister of Deceased "We were at home here getting ready for a little dance that they have through the neighborhood on weekend, when a young man ran by and shouted that "Bun" got shot out there, and that we must go check him. That's how everyone ran out there to deal with him and everything." Monica Bodden "When you got out there what was it like on the scene?"

Three Shot At Ladyville Bus Stop, Including 13 Year Old Girl
And while police were processing that crime scene, they saw a heavily tinted car speeding past the corner of Poinsettia and Black Orchid Streets. Police raced after the vehicle until it plunged into a drain. 27 year-old Brandon "Battery" Smith, who is well known to police, allegedly exited the car with a handgun and started firing at the officers. The officers returned fire, and shot the driver, 28 year-old Alrick Smith - critically wounding him with a gunshot to the abdomen area. Brandon Smith ran off and escaped, leaving police behind to rush Alrick Smith to the KHMH. Police did eventually catch up with Brandon Smith and charged him with 4 counts of attempted murder, which he allegedly committed against Police Constables Abner Pasqual, Terry Reyes, Mark Tzul, and Wayne Trapp.

Monstrous Cases of Child Abuse Reported
There is a very ugly report of child abuse coming out of San Pedro town - where two boys, aged 6 and 9 are accusing their male neighbor of molesting them. According to police, they are form the San Pedrito area and they visited the station with their mother on Saturday. The 9 year old reported that on that same day, a Honduran man who lives with them had sex with him. He added that it was not the first time. The 6 year old told police that the man had touched his private parts. The 24 year old Unemployed of San Pedrito Area was immediately detained and has been charged for aggravated assault of an indecent nature. In another hideous case, a mother from Benque Viejo Town took her 5 year old daughter to police where she reported that on Saturday morning her daughter was downstairs in her bed at their house where her grandfather took off her pants and underwear and touched her private part.

Customs Makes Major Contraband Cigarette Bust At Jalacte
On Saturday, the customs Department confiscated 1300 cases of cigarettes valued at $143,000 US Dollars. It was intercepted by customs at Jalacate after the BDF observed some dodgy movements and called in customs. The strange thing is that the cigarettes were legitimately purchased in the Corozal free zone on Thursday, 14th March, and designated for export to Puerto Barrios in Guatemala. The exporter, Guatemalan Jose Antonio Rodriguez processed the customs entries and got Cusotms to escort the ciagarettes to the PG Cusotms station where they were leoaded on a boat called the Punta Palam bound for Barrios. That was all standard legitimate procedure, and should have bene the end of it. But it seems something went wrong with that plan, and the cigarettes next emerged at the Jalcate border crossing on Saturday morning. That made the cigarettes, which are "Modern" and "Elephant" brand, uncustomed goods and they were all confiscated. Customs has the cigarettes at the Queen's bond warehouse in Belize city and are seeking the boat captain and the truck driver, both Guatemalans.

Ronald Rivers Loses Battle
He was shot on March 6th and after a long struggle 28 year old Ronald Rivers passed away on Saturday morning at 9:15am at the KHMH. Rivers was shot in the face 12 days and while at first, he was showing a remarkably good response, he took a sharp turn for the worse. The 28 year old basketball player was only kept alive by a machineafter his kidneys shut down and he suffered a massive heart attack. His brother Raymond Rivers told 7news that he will be organizing a basketball Tournament in his brother's memory. Ronald Rivers was a PLAYER IN the national basketball programme...

Salvadorian Succumbs; Was Run Over by Drunk, Unlicensed Driver
Salvadorian German Ubaldo Velasquez came to Belize to buy a vehicle, but he will leave in a casket after he succumbed to his injuries early this morning. As we reported, he was knocked down in Bella Vista Village on the weekend of March 10th as he rode a bicycle and sustained serious head injury and was on life support. Well, it seems he lost his life due to a drunk driver - who also had no license and insurance. Police inform us that the motorcyle driver Mario Orellana, was charged with 4 counts: Drove motor vehicle without due care and attention, Negligent Grievous Harm - which will be upgraded to manslaughter, Drove a motor vehicle above the prescribed limit and Drove a motor vehicle without License and Insurance. He is currently out on bail and will now be re-arrested for manslaughter.

Big-Leaguer Gives Ballistics Training For Belize
The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean has been active in Belize recently, assisting with equipment for firearm destruction and training for the detection of illicit weapons. It's part of their effort to reduce illicit armed trafficking and armed violence in the region and now they're offering training in Forensic Ballistics. That one day session entitled 'Overview of Forensic Ballistics for Decision-Makers and Policy-Makers' opened today and we found out more: William Godnick - Public Security Programme Coordinator, UNLIREC "They requested of the Government in the United Kingdom High Commission. They asked us to help on works in the forensic ballistics, and for that reason, we contracted one of the premier world experts in the subject matter." Phillip Boyce - Forensic Scientist "What I'm actually providing is general standard operating procedures, to give people an idea of all the procedures that they have to cover, in order that they don't miss any examination, and that they can actually cover all the evidence."

Police Take A Precinct Approach
Since Allen Whylie took command of the Police Department on January 9, 2013, he has not made any public appearances to give updates as to the changes he's been making to the command structure of the department. But as we showed you, there was a paradigm shift 6 days later in which the different police departments had to meet performance targets. It is a strategy in which the officers from different stations around the country must actively work to decrease crimes in their jurisdiction. The most effective formation commanders are recognized and awarded with cash prizes at monthly intervals. Also, there is an ongoing restructuring of the Special Branch as part of the department's initiative to try to improve information efficiency. Today, the new Commissioner broke the silence and announced a new strategy for policing in Belize City. Daniel Ortiz has that report. Daniel Ortiz Reporting Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie took command of the Police Department in January of this year. Based upon his assessment over the past few weeks, he has come to the conclusion that as the Department currently is organized, it is ineffective at performing its duties and obligations to the public.

Donde Esta Abbas?
Abbas Khan, he's a Corozal resident who vanished from Orange Walk Police 12 days ago and now police have finally circulated a photo of him. He was caught with five Indian passports which he could not account for on March third. The 38 year old was first picked up by Orange Walk Police for a commitment warrant which was issued for money he owed. Kahn was scheduled to appear before the Belize City Supreme Court for the commitment warrant on Monday March 4th. But during his detention at the Orange Walk Police Department, he was picked up by Belmopan Police who took him to Corozal and searched his residence. After the passports were found Khan was informed that he had committed the offence of unlawful possession of passports and would be charged by the Corozal Police Department after his hearing at the Belize City Supreme Court. With that, Khan was transferred to the Orange Walk Police Station where he was detained in a holding area and not a cell as is customary. And it was at around 2:15 on Monday the 11th that Khan absconded from police. Presently Khan is still on the run and could be in Mexico.

A Hattieville Home Invasion
A Hattieville family is tonight trying to recover from a frightening home invasion that happened early Sunday morning. According to Audrey Reyes, around 5:30am on Sunday morning while her entire family was still asleep, an intruder entered her home through one of her windows. The man made his way to her bedroom where she came face to face with him. The intruder pointed an object at her and demanded that she keep quiet - while he left off with her handbag. Today 7news travelled to Hattieville where Reyes gave us an account of her horrifying experience. Voice Of: Audrey Reyes - Home Invasion Victim "Well they were to go ride a race for women's month, in the group that we're in. I laid down in my bed, pull my phone and checked the time. I saw it was like after 5, a quarter pass 5 or something like that and I sat down my phone on the bed on my purse and I laid down back. So when I laid down back, a little bit after I felt something heavy over me, but I know that my child likes to come in my room and get my purse and if he wants anything out of it. he will say 'ma, I'm getting something out of your purse.'

Exporting Tourism Services?
As we've reported, Belize is in the process of hammering out a partial scope trade agreement with El Salvador and we already enjoys a robust trade agreement with Mexico. But that trade is mostly for goods….so what about services? Well, today BELTRAIDE held a meeting with the tourism sector to get them up to speed with the services that can be covered under these trade arrangements. We found out more: Yashin Dujon - Director of Foreign Trade "What we've done is we've invited the members and the representatives from the entire sector here today, to share with us in finding out what areas they wish to explore in Mexico, and what services they wish to share and actually export as a part of their sector." Abel Casteneda - Acting Chief Tourism Officer, Min Of Tourism "We decided that what we needed to do was to do a preliminary introductory workshop - training workshop for the tourism sector, to introduce them to what is a trade negotiation, what the different types of agreement that exist are, and what Belize would want to participate in."

The Best High School Softballers Are...
The National High School Softball championships were held this weekend. Regional Champions from North, Central, West and South converged at the mecca of softball, the Rogers Stadium in Belize City for a paige system playoff. In the final, for the boys San Pedro bested Belmopan Comprehensive 6-5, and for the Nazarene crushed Belize Rural 17-2. We spoke with the winners: Conrad Gonzalez - Pitcher, San Pedro High School "To me personally, it means the world, you know. People I look up to always tell me am going to face big obstacles and you guys looked at it today, a lot of obstacles and people that wants you to do bad but we overcame it., we became victorious." Reporter "What came through your mind as the pitcher? A lot of pressure was on you going into the fifth ending, and you saw the score board 3- 3." Conrad Gonzalez "Yeah well, opening the fifth ending, before they played ball, I looked back at the score and I knew I had to make it quick, no runners on base. Then we got a runner on base, but we still managed to get the 3 outs, and that's about it." Alex Roches - Shortstop, San Pedro High School "I made 2 errors in the fifth - last ending, and I told myself that I wanted to help get back my team, so I brought in my 2 runs. Then, I did that last hit to bring in my center fielder, Damon." Reporter "What does this mean for you?" Alex Roches "Well, it means partying."


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Channel 5

Guatemala a ‘No Show’ at OAS meeting with Belize
A high-level Foreign Ministry delegation headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi’’ Elrington travelled to OAS headquarters in Washington DC on Saturday to meet Guatemalan counterparts and OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. While officials balked at referring to the encounter as an emergency gathering, it was held on a Sunday coming at a [...]

Guatemala sent email to OAS about absence
Because of the absence of Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera, Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington returned to his hotel room to wait for a de-briefing of the Vice-Ministerial meeting. Even though Elrington was disrespected, he said that notwithstanding the absence of his counterpart he considered the meeting to be a good one. And [...]

Will P.U.P. also lobby for YES vote in 2013 referendum?
Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca was a guest on OYE this morning, just in time to be apprised of the latest developments coming out of the meeting at the OAS in Washington. At a recent press conference Fonseca had committed to putting forward an official party position by early next month after carrying out [...]

Why kill Leon Humes?
The weekend’s murder victim is Leon Humes; he was shot on Friday night when he was purchasing food in the Mahogany Street area of the city. A single bullet landed on his head and Humes died within hours during emergency surgery at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The grieving family says his life could have [...]

Shot in Ladyville
While Leon Humes was fatally shot, less than twenty-four hours later three persons in Ladyville survived a barrage of bullets that headed their way when they stood across a popular supermarket on the highway. A thirteen-year old female student from Nazarene High School, another minor and Errol Andrews were waiting for a bus when someone [...]

Smoking out clues to contraband cigarettes
In the south, the Customs Department seized a large quantity of contraband cigarettes. The bust took place on Saturday when customs personnel were alerted by the Belize Defense Force of the movement of the cargo in Jalacte. News Five was reliably informed that a business in the Corozal Free Zone sold two shipments of cigarettes [...]

Contraband sugar may have origins in Belize
While cigarettes were seized in the south, the smuggling of sugar across the border is a lucrative business.  According to an article published in Novedades Quintana Roo on Sunday, the local sugar continues to find its way across the Mexican border. The Rio Hondo has become the illegal crossing point for sugar into Quintana Roo. [...]

Structural changes and regional police commanders
Changes in the hierarchy of the police command were announced today as was the zoning of the city. The changes, the police say, will provide for better policing and give the community more accessibility to the police in their anti-crime efforts. News Five’s Jose Sanchez.   Jose Sanchez, Reporting There were several changes made to [...]

Day 1 of P.S.E. 2013
It was Day One of the Primary School Examinations and more than seven thousand five hundred students sat the exams across the country; about three hundred and eighty more than last year. The students were fairly confident of their performances in the English and Science tests. Of note is that last year, science passes averaged [...]

Belize faces review of Human Rights Committee…
Last Friday, Belize faced its first review by the Human Rights Committee in Geneva since its accession to the Convention. We are among one hundred and sixty-seven state parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is one of the primary international human rights treaties. A total of eleven topics ranging from [...]

…First item reviewed: Mayan Land Rights
One of the first items for review was over Mayan land rights. On August seventh 1998, a petition was presented by the Indian Law Resource Center and the Toledo Maya Cultural Council against Belize stating that the government is responsible for violating rights under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. The [...]

The arrival of the Pallottine nuns reenacted
One hundred years ago, on March seventeenth, 1913 four nuns made their way to Belize, and from there up the Belize River by boat to Cayo, then by horse and buggy to Benque where they settled. That was the birth of the Pallottine movement in Belize, and their achievements to this day, especially in the [...]

Honduran detained for unnatural crime
Three children of very young ages are complaining that they have been sexually abused. In San Pedro, a twenty-four year old Honduran national is detained by police following allegations by two minors of indecent crimes. A nine year old boy reported to police that on Saturday the Honduran national allegedly kissed him on the mouth [...]

Man charged for the attempted murder of 4 cops
  This morning, twenty-seven year old Brandon Smith, a resident of Port Loyola Area of Belize City was escorted in hand cuffs to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to face Attempted Murder charges. He appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read four offenses of Attempted Murder upon four police officers, namely, [...]

Matching ballistics information in criminal investigations
A one week training course on forensic violence got underway today in Belize City. Participating are forensic technicians and scientists as well as the judiciary and other specialized personnel. The course is being organized through the Ministry of National Security and is focusing on ways to curve the illicit trafficking of small arms and reducing [...]

Belizean wins Miss Diosa Maya Internacional
A Belizean is the winner of an international pageant. Miss Diosa Maya Internacional took place at the Olimpo Cultural Center, in Merida where Grisel Rosseli Carballo represented Belize. Grisel also captured the award for best costume, designed by Gabriel Garcia. On Saturday Carballo was crowned Miss Diosa Maya Internacional 2013.

Goaaal! Football highlights with James Adderley
  Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We take you immediately to the Isidoro Beaton Stadium where on Saturday night, the defending champions, the Belmopan bandits hosted an always dangerous Placencia as week 6 rolled on in the Premier League of Belize. we’re only eight minutes in when this defensive [...]

LOVE FM

Weekend Murder; Several Injured In Shootings
One man is dead and several injured following shooting incidents this past weekend. Reporter Marion Ali has the details. MARION ALI “The first shooting happened at around eleven last Friday night on Mahogany Street near its junction with Jasmine Street and claimed t...

Students Countrywide Take Primary School Examination - Part One
Standard six students across the country today sat the first part of the Primary School Examinations. The exam, according to Principal Education Officer who is in charge of Examinations, Dr. Ivonne Davis had no changes this year. She added that other than good scores, the P...

Medical Team From Rochester Visits Belize
A visiting medical team is on a weeklong working visit to Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU “Residents from Dangriga and by extension the people of Stann Creek District are receiving free medical health care at the Southern Regional Hosp...

Reef Week Observed In Belize
Reef Week is being observed this week and there is a host of activities line up to celebrate. OCEANA in an effort to continue awareness on the importance of our Natural Resources specifically the reef, ventured into this project by inviting other organizations and the community.&...

UNLIREC Hosts Training Course In Belize
The United Nations Regional center for Peace Disarmament and Development in Latin America UNLIREC is hosting a one week training course for stakeholders of different government agencies and private enterprises. An opening ceremony to for the course took place this morning and the...

Customs Department Confiscates Over A Thousand Cartons of Cigarettes
This weekend there were reports that a large bust of contraband cigarettes was conducted in Jalacte Village in the Toledo District. Earlier today Love News spoke with Assistant Comptroller of Customs Colin Griffith who said the matter is still under investigation. He said t...

Convicted Arsonist Escapes Prison Sentence
Thirty-five year old Brian Barela, who was convicted of arson last week, was spared a prison sentence when he was brought to court for sentencing. Instead of giving Barela a custodial sentence, Justice Adolph Lucas fined him $3,500.00 and gave him until September 30 to pay. If he defaults on paym...

CTV3

Forest Department Ready To File Criminal Charges Against Students And Teacher
The case of animal cruelty upon a male adult howler monkey has caught the attention of people from all walks of life and today the latest reports indicate that the Forest Department will file charges against four students and one teacher of the Belize High School of Agriculture. Today when we spoke to Rasheeda Garcia, Wild Life Officer at the Forest Department, she told us that the investigation has been closed and all that’s left is for police to levy charges against the four students and male teacher of the high school, who, based on the departments investigation, are responsible for the death of the monkey who was badly injured on March 5th and died two days later at the Wild Tracks Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja. Garcia told CTV3 News that if charges are not levied today, the individuals will be charged tomorrow at the Orange Walk Police Station. If the accused are found guilty they will have to pay a fine of $1000 or spend 6 months in jail. We will follow up this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

Disturbing Case Of Unnatural Crime In San Pedro
Tonight there is a very disturbing report coming out of San Pedro Town involving two young boys who were allegedly sexually assaulted by a grown man. Reports indicate that the 6 year old and 9 year old students visited the San Pedro Police Station on March 16th around 7:00pm where the nine year old reported to police that a 24 year old man of Honduran Nationality had sexual intercourse with him. The nine year old further reported that it is not the first time the act of crime is committed against him. As for the six year old, he reported to police that the same individual touched on his private area. Both boys identified their alleged abuser who was immediately detained by police pending investigations. Police are treating the report as an act of unnatural crime.

Sweet Belizean Sugar Sold In The Black Market
For quite sometime now we have been hearing about Belize’s Sugar being sold into the black market. In fact, in 2011, it was reported that stores were rationing the amount of sugar sold to consumers since there was a scarcity of sugar, despite the fact that the Belize Sugar Industries Limited was producing more sugar that needed for local consumption. At that time, it was highly suspected that Belize’s sugar was being exported illegally across the borders of Mexico and Guatemala where the product is more expensive. From all indications, the selling of Belize’s sugar into the black market has become a lucrative business for distributors, wholesalers or retailers of the product. News coming out of Mexico is that over the weekend authorities discovered a large amount of sugar contraband from Belize along the banks of the Rio Hondo River. Mexican Producers have stated that this type of smuggling is putting a dent on their sales and is affecting the supply of sugar to the domestic market due to problems with the price that the sweetener has had in recent days.

17 Year Old Teenager Reported Missing
A 17 year old girl from the Orange Walk District has been reported missing be her mother. Rosa Maria, mother of 17 year old Lishawn Williams, reported to police that at about 9:00am on Saturday she noticed that her daughter was not in her room. Upon making checks the woman discovered that Lishawn’s clothing along with her school bag was missing. Williams was last seen wearing a brown short pants and a blue T-Shirt. She is described as being of Mestizo decent, fair complexion, has long black straight hair, dark brown eyes, weighs approximately 100lbs and is 5 feet 3 inches in height. The 17 year old also has a rose tattoo on her left shoulder. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Lishawn is asked to contact the Orange Walk Police Department at 322-2022.

Abbas Khan Still On The Run
Meet 38 year old Abbas Khan, the naturalized Belizean businessman of number #18 3rd Street Corozal Town, who absconded from Orange Walk Police after five passports for the Republic of India were discovered at is residence in Corozal by Belmopan Police. Despite the fact that the Commissioner of Police has launched and Investigation into Khan’s escape, he is yet to be found by authorities. As previously mentioned, on March 3rd 2013 Belmopan Police picked up Abbas khan from the Orange Walk Police Station where he was being held for a commitment warrant issued for money he owned. When police searched Khan’s residence they found the five passports belonging to Tajinder Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Parminder Singh Baryar, Gurdeep Singh and Surjit Singh. When questioned by police, Khan stated that none of the individuals were in Belize; however, he could not give a proper account as to why the passports were in his possession. Khan was to be charged for unlawful possession of passports after appearing in court for the commitment warrant. But before that could happen, the 38 year old escaped from police custody while detained in a holding area at the Orange Walk Police Station around 2:30am on March 4th. Sources tell us that Khan was not placed in a cell since he was suffering from some type of sickness. The Police Department is yet to explain how Khan managed to escape custody.

Annual Women's Month Bike Rally
On Saturday morning the Women’s Department kicked off its yearly bike rally across the country. While organizers stressed that the rally is not a race of any kind, there were loads of prizes awarded to participants. Here in Orange Walk the ride left the roundabout by the Establo Restaurant at 6:00am and finished at the Orange Walk Central Park. Hipolito Novelo Reports. Hipolito Novelo Reporting… Despite the chilly weather, more than 60 Orange Walkenos got out of bed early on Saturday to take part in the annual Women’s Month bike rally. At 6:00 in the morning, the crowd, comprised of men women and children gathered at the round-about near El Establo Restaurant ready to ride in honour of women across the country. Cindey Rivero, Banquitas House of Culture “Every year we come and ride. So this year was no difference for us. I must say that I was a little disappointed of the amount of people that came out. I wished that we had much more support from our community. But definitely we look forward for it every year and we enjoy doing it. It’s all to support our different departments in our community.”

Belize Wins Crown In Diosa Maya Internacional Pageant 2013
Belize is one of the five Central American Countries that make up the Mundo Maya World and as such was represented in this year’s La Diosa Maya Internacional 2013 Pageant in Merida, Yucatan Mexico. Belize was represented by Orange Walk’s very own Grisel Carballo who brought back the crown and made Belizeans proud. Carballo competed against Messie Lopez representing Guatemala and Carla Vasquez representing Mexico. At the last minute representatives of El Salvador and Honduras did not take part in the competition due to unforeseen circumstances. But nevertheless, the competition went through and Carballo “wowed” the crowd and judges with her natural beauty and talent. We spoke to the ecstatic Miss Diosa Maya Internacional 2013 this afternoon who told us how proud she is of being the first Belizean to win the competition. Grisel Carballo, Diosa Maya International 2013 “It was something different. I necessarily didn’t know what to expect. The only training, like I told you previously was the Miss Orange Walk. Being in an international pageant, I had to prepare myself knowing that I am an ambassador of my country, going to represent my country. I had to be very knowledgeable, very polite, and friendly and I am overall thankful for this experience. We had several events to attend. We had interviews mostly for publicity and for us to get each other the girls first. Secondly to know about each other culture and our country as well as getting to know Merida as a whole which is, by the way, very beautiful. I really loved it. The first day we went for a dinner which was the formal or the invitation dinner. The second day we went out, visited the community, the country and Yucatan itself. That day we also went to San Felipe and Rio de Grario as well. What we did first was a choreography followed by an introduction of whom you are and who you are representing. I started my introduction with a little bit of Maya because the root of the pageant is not only to promote beauty but also intelligence. The second item on the agenda was the evening dress. My evening dress was sponsored by Mr. Dani Torres which was the same guy who did the marvelous dress that I wore for the Miss Orange Walk Pageant 2011. With our evening grown we had to do a speech and this speech was entitled for us to sell our country, represent our country, sell our culture and let all the viewers know who I am, what I represent and what Belize is. I represented it of course with a passion which such grace, such confidence. I was extremely proud being there on stage representing my culture, my heritage and Mundo Maya.”

7556 Students Sat The PSE This Year
Today hundreds of standard six students countrywide sat the first phase of the Primary School Examinations which included English and Science exams. According to Ivonne Davis, Principal Education Officer for Examinations, a total of 7,556 students, including 23 registered private candidates, were expected to sit today’s PSE exam representing a 6% increase over 2012. Yvonne Davis, Principal Education Officer for Examinations “For the Corozal District we have 858 persons sitting the exam this year, Orange Walk 946. As you are aware the English exam has two papers; a paper one which is 50 multiple choice questions and a paper 2 which is the composition paper where they are required to write-to compose two pieces, a letter and a short story which is a narrative.” This year the Ministry of Education also made accommodations for students with special needs to take the exam. Yvonne Davis - Principal Education Officer for Examinations “In the total that I have given you, overall we have 143 students who are classified as students with special needs and of this number special arrangements were made for 83 of them. They are spread across the country. In Corozal we have a total of 4 special needs candidate. Orange Walk has 42, Belize District with 45, the Cayo District with 31 and there are 13 in the Toledo District. So that is a total of 143. However special arrangements were recommended for 83 of these persons.”

PlusTV

Leon Humes Murdered in Belize City
There were a number of shootings over this weekend in Belize City and one person is dead as a result. 23 year old construction worker Leon Humes was gunned down on Mahogany Street on Friday night, not far from his home on Jasmine Street. He was buying food, police...

Shoot out between cops and outlaws ends in one of the culprits being shot
While police were processing the shooting scene of Leon Humes around 12:30 Saturday morning, a blue 4 door Mercury car drove up suddenly at the corner of Poinsettia and Black Orchid Street. The vehicle was immediately pursued by a marked Police vehicle and a motorcycle patrol team when the...

Police seek Abbas Ahmed Khan immigration offences
Last week we told you about a Belizean businessman who was under investigation for unlawful possession of five passports. That business man is Abbas Ahmed Khan. Police found five passports for the Republic of India in the 38 year old’s Corozal home. Khan told police that the owners of...

Police hold workshop for forensic analysts
With all the reports of crime, it is some good news to report on any progress in the fight against crime. And perhaps the most needed element to crime fighting in Belize is Forensics. The gun is the preferred weapon of choice for criminals to end the lives of...

First half of PSE held across the country
The first half of the Primary School Examination was held today. After years of preparation, students from all over the country sat the Mathematics and Science portions of the high school entrance exam. And you’d think nerves were running high today, but the students we spoke to were quite...

Pallotine Sisters celebrate 100th year of service to Belize
The Pallotine Sisters celebrate its 100th year of service to Belize. In 1912, four German sisters had plans to travel on the Titanic, but they missed the trip. They then boarded another ship which took them to America and soon after they headed to Belize. The sisters arrived in...

Medical Team offer free service in Dangriga
A medical team is currently in Dangriga offering free services to that community. Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu reports. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: A team of medical practitioners are currently providing free medical health care services for the residents of Dangriga and the rural communities of the Stann Creek...

Drive by shooting at a bus stop leaves several injured
There was a drive by shooting in Ladyville on Saturday night. When the bullet spraying seized, two teenagers and a 25 year old man were shot. The incident happened just before 8 o’clock on Saturday night at miles 8 ¼ on the Phillip Goldson Highway. That’s in Ladyville Village...

Altercation in San Ignacio leaves one man hospitalized
A squabble in San Ignacio has left one man hospitalized. On Saturday night, 22 year old Kent Rivera was at a Chinese restaurant in the San Ignacio area when he got into an altercation with another man, whom he knows. It is during that altercation that Rivera received a...

Police investigate numerous accusations of child predation
Authorities are tonight investigating numerous accusations of child predation. In the first incident, a Benque Viejo man is under investigation after he was accused of sexually assaulting his 5 year old granddaughter. The little girl alleges that on Saturday morning, while in her bed, her grandfather took off her...

Marijuana plants found in couple’s yard in Blackman Eddy
Police have arrested a man and his common law wife after marijuana plants were found in their yard. Early Saturday morning, Police conducted a search at a home in Blackman Eddy, and while nothing illegal was found inside the house, in the yard, three cannabis plants were discovered. At...

Police recover parts of a home-made firearm
A woman handed over what appeared to be parts of a home-made firearm after she claims she found the weapon while cleaning under her van. The woman told police that at the time her vehicle was parked in her opened lot yard. Also found under the van were two...

Blogs

Island Drums with Tanya and Zac at Crazy Canucks
If you like live music and you enjoy the sound of island drums. you will love Tanya and Zac. Recent changes at Crazy Canucks beach bar have them playing there again this Monday evening, March 18th and if they are well received it may become a regular gig. Please come out and support them so we can have a place in town for our friends to hear the only Steel Drum music on Ambergris Caye Tanya and Zac have been playing together for about 4 years doing mostly destination weddings and special occasions. It is rare to see them perform at a bar although it happens. Tanya’s steel drum plays the high frequency melodies and Zac’s African Djembe holds the rhythm and provides the bottom end. They play a mix of popular classic rock and Caribbean songs with a few oddities thrown in for fun. Last week folks were singing along to the Beatles’ Obladi Oblada and Van Morrison’s Moondance and lots of bodies were moving to the rhythm of Shake Senora and I Just Called (to say I love you). Tanya and Zac are available for your wedding or special event and you can check them out on their website at Tanya and Zac Music or reach them by phone: Zac 604-7029 Tanya 627-7216

Kelly McGuire Sings For SAGA This Evening at Fido’s Plus Some AMAZING Donated Prizes
Ambergris Caye’s favorite, Kelly McGuire returns to San Pedro tomorrow night. AND his very first (of three shows) is a benefit for the SAGA Humane Society of San Pedro. Lucky lucky lucky us. We are going to be holding a raffle AND an auction to raise as much money as we can for SAGA. We have received so many amazing donations so far…from Black Orchid Restaurant to Feliz Bar. And, for the auction, we have some pretty cool stuff to get you in the “giving to San Pedro mood”. All Belizean made…fun…unique items. Like these two of these SUPER cute sandal/hooks donated by Graniel’s Dreamland (here’s my scoop on them.)

New Article Highlights Health Benefits of Belize Vacation
Are vacations actually good for your health? A new Huffington Post article reaffirms the health benefits of reducing stress levels by relaxing in a natural setting, and, according to manager of a popular Belizean spafeatured in the article as one of the top ten best in the world, this enjoyable therapy is in reach of most US and Canadian households. Bryony Fleming Bradley, who manages the Hilltop Spa at Belize’s Chaa Creek eco resort, said that the March 16 2013 Huffington Post article confirms that the health benefits of a tranquil vacation are now well documented. “It may seem obvious to those of us working in this field, but taking a break from the stresses of day to day life and getting back in touch with nature can have a very profound, positive effect on people’s health, both mental and physical. We’ve seen amazing changes in people after just a few days, and our repeat guests report that the benefits can last for a long while after they return home.

Getting effective online marketing
As a small or medium sized business, your online visibility is paramount to your success. You need people who are looking for what you offer to be able to find you online in order to maximise your conversions. This is why the right online marketing agency will be a great return on your investment. Make sure that you are appealing to the ways that people use the internet to show what you have to offer. These days most web traffic is directed by search engines, so you need to be a strong presence in the search results of the popular engines. The best way to achieve this is through a search engine optimisation (SEO) agency such as Optimising.

How to brainstorm effectively
Brainstorming is one of the most powerful tools or methods used to create and manifest ideas. Brainstorming is so powerful that the best inventions and ideas came about with the use of this method. Scientists use it, designers use it and even doctors sometimes use it too. The reality is that everybody brainstorms everyday without realizing it. Although brainstorming sounds like the hardest thing to do, it is as easy as preparing a cup of coffee. Now that we know know a little about brainstorming I would love to show you how to brainstorm effectively.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Cokunut Curry Gingr Squarsh Soup
2 squarsh, it doesn##Q##t mattr whut kine 1 large onion, chopped 2-3 large carrots, sliced 3 celery stalks, chopped 4 cloves uf minced garlic 1-2 tablespoons grated fresh gingr 2 tablespoon uf red curry paste er curry powdr 2 apples with t'skin on, chopped 1 tablespoon olif', er cokunut earl (I used cokunut) 8 cups chicke broth 1 14 ounce a'ken uf lite cokunut milk salt and peppr t'aste Sambal er Sriracha Chili paste optyunal

International Sources

Angler of the Year: Chris Hayes
The owner of Turneffe Flats Lodge is an environmental powerhouse in the Caribbean. On arrival for my first visit to Belize’s Turneffe Atoll, I stepped off the boat a little dazed, partially from a long day of travel from the West Coast, and partly from the six or so Belikin beers I’d consumed en route. After fishing my laptop out of the drink (a result of those aforementioned Belikins), I shamefacedly shambled toward the main lodge where I was greeted by a short, trim gringo with a soft voice and even quieter demeanor—Craig Hayes, Turneffe Flats’ proprietor. Hearing of the miscue, Hayes had already procured rice and advised that I cake my computer in it. The procedure worked, and I had my first look at how efficiently Hayes solves problems. After giving the lodge overview, Hayes informed all anglers that the lodge strongly supported catch-and-release, and that we could show our own support by adding a modestly priced conservation tag to our tab. “It’s not mandatory,” he made it clear, “but it would be great if you did.” All of us did, which was another small victory for Hayes’ quiet persistence, a perseverance that was rewarded in fall 2012 when the Belize government declared Turneffe Atoll a marine reserve, bringing special protection to 325,000 acres that the Oceanic Society has described as “the largest and most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere.” And that’s just one of the reasons why we chose Craig Hayes as Fly Rod & Reel’s 2013 Angler Of The Year.

U.S. 4th Fleet operation: Southern Partnership Station Confronts Transnational Crime
Working with three Central American counterparts to help them build capability to counter transnational criminals, participants in Southern Partnership Station 2013 are supporting U.S. Southern Command’s outreach to the region, and by extension, U.S. national security, a Southcom official told American Forces Press Service. After completing the first stop of their visit, to Belize, participants arrived last week in Guatemala, where they will remain through the month’s end, reported Navy Cmdr. Robert Skinner, maritime plans chief for Southcom’s future operations directorate. They then will continue on for bilateral engagements in Honduras before wrapping up the overall mission in late May. Throughout the U.S. 4th Fleet operation, the focus is on building partner-nation capacity to help regional nations better stand up to challenges than transcend their national borders, Skinner said. In Belize, Seabees from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202 built an open-bay structure to support Belize Defense Force operations while members of Riverine Squadron 2 helped their Belizean counterparts improve skills in interdiction and security team inserts and extractions on the water. Meanwhile, agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Security Training Assistance and Assessment Team Atlantic spent almost three weeks sharing law enforcement techniques with Belizean coast guard and police forces.


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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Cayo Espanto
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Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
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