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#460588 - 03/20/13 02:34 PM Today's Belize News: March 20, 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 San Pedro Sun

Students across the country sit P.S.E.
On Monday March 18th, standard six students from across the country sat Part One of the Primary School Examination (P.S.E.).P.S.E. is an important examination since it is a determining factor for admission to many high schools across the country and students prepare for this exam through eight years of their primary school education.The main purpose of the P.S.E. is to measure the achievement levels of students who have completed their primary education in Belize.The P.S.E. consists of four study areas, Science, English, Mathematics and Social Studies. The first part of the examination consisted of Science and English papers. 197 students from both San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village registered for the exams, which were sat at The San Pedro High School (SPHS), the assigned examination center for the area. According toMiriam Pott Codd,the Education Officer for San Pedro Town, of the 197 registered students, 192 sat the exam. There were no private candidates registered this year for the area. Each primary institution from the two cayes sent candidates to sit the exams and among the 192 students that sat the exam, five were special needs candidates.

Taiwan donates two Garbage compactors to San Pedro Town
Once a small fishing village, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye has grown to be a popular tourism destination in with approximately 20 thousand inhabitants (at the peak of tourism season). With the ever growing number of people on the island, garbage disposal has become a major concern. Large resorts and many restaurants that cater to the added thousands of visitors that flock the island annually, generate large amounts of garbage that, if not properly disposed, can become hazardous to our Caribbean waters and marine life, not to mention our already fragile reef system. For these reasons The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has made solid waste management a key focus for the council. On Friday March 15th, SPTC got a major boost in their efforts to control garbage on the island. Two brand new garbage compactors were donated to the town of San Pedro by Taiwan (The Republic of China). Obtaining the compactors begun under the council of the previous mayor Elsa Paz and with continued efforts of current mayor Daniel Guerrero, the mission became a reality. For many years, Taiwan has been providing assistance to Belize, including a previous donation of a garbage compactor to the Corozal Free Zone, which has benefited that town tremendously.

Inter-Institutional Training Course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives completed
44 participants from various law enforcement departments and agencies in Belize have received certificates after completing a two-weeks training course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives, sponsored by the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament & Development in Latin America & the Caribbean (UNLIREC). The course, which ran from February 25 to March 8, 2013, covered a wide range of topics including the basics on firearms, legal framework, stock-pile management and disarmament. In her remarks at the Graduation ceremony, UNRILEC Director Melanie Regimbal stated, “Our goal over the last two weeks was not only to impart knowledge on the various firearm activities and how to conduct investigations, or how to look at classification of weapons, or crime scene management, or weapon destruction and practical disarmament measures. These are all issues that are fundamental and are the reason behind the course. But I hope that what you will have gotten out of the last ten days is really an insight as to what your other colleagues are doing to combat illicit firearms trafficking.”

Ambergris Today

The Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch Elects Board of Directors
Our lovely island of San Pedro now counts with an active Belize Red Cross group. The local branch of the Belize Red Cross elected its Board of Directors on March 14, 2013, under the presence of the Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman. Taking the reigns of the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch is Mr. Eiden Salazar who was elected as the Chairperson. His board of directors include Anthony Anderson as Vice-Chairperson, Carolyn Human - Treasurer, Phillip Ramsey - Secretary, Swuine Diego - Youth representative and Sandro Cob, Frank Panton and Cheryl Bowen as ordinary members.

25 Years Ago: Four Strange Home Remedies used in the Village Of San Pedro
Whenever we get a large wound like a gash with a sharp conch shell, or a deep cut with a sharp knife or machete, if there is severe bleeding apply direct pressure or tourniquet but that is because we have some knowledge of First Aid. Not so Years Ago in San Pedro. To stop a profuse bleeding we used to apply kerosene (some people call it gas) directly on the wound. This would start coagulating the blood and the bleeding would immediately commence to slow down. Another thing that would help in stopping a severe bleeding was coffee. Yes simply apply some granules of coffee directly on the wound and stuff some into the cut. Like good caulking preventing any leakage, this coffee serves like a caulk and stops the bleeding considerably fast. Now the injury you got earlier in the day is beginning to cause quite some pain. So what do you do? You immediately go to the doctor and an injection of some pain killer (analgesic) will have you smiling again shortly. Not so Years Ago in San Pedro. What we did was try to catch a scorpion in the debris in the yard. Fry the scorpion and smash it to a fine paste. Apply this paste like an ointment directly on the wound that is causing the pain, and in minutes the pain diminishes and vanishes. Magic? No, but it works; my dad applied it several times on my adventurous feet that loved to be meander about in the bush, the seaside, the garbage dump site, and other “child attractive places”.

Pic of the Week: Spring Break Conference Call in San Pedro, Belize
It's Spring Break in Belize and the conference call is around the pool at the Victoria House Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. It is not quite the massive Spring Break parties you will find in Cancun or South Beach, but vacationers to Belize during the Spring/Easter holidays find our laid back and tranqul paradise a bit more fun; mind you there are big parties in town for those who come to celebrate and have a different kind of fun. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye provides the best of both worlds to vacationers.

SP Lions Plan Second Annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny
With last year’s Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny a hopping success, the San Pedro Lions Club is excited to announce their second annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny on Saturday, March 30th at the Lions Den. The holiday event will run from 9:30AM until 12:30PM. Guests will enjoy a delicious pancake meal with sausage, fruit, fun pancake toppings and juice. Children’s activities will include coloring, bobbing for Easter eggs, face painting, jumping tent for small children and lots of fun games, There will also be Easter baskets available for parents to purchase in a variety of sizes and prices. A new activity this year is the Coco-Bunny craft, where children can decorate a painted coconut as the Easter Bunny. The activity will cost $1 per coco-bunny and of course all proceeds help the Lions with their community projects. Parents are invited to bring their camera and snap a photo of their child with the Easter Bunny. Tickets are available at the door and are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 12 and under, and toddlers under the age of two are free. Come out and enjoy the family, a bunny-good time will be had by all!

Moving Forward with Great Diet and Exercise
Q: I was wondering if you can submit a diet plan for me; something simple but effective. I workout everyday but I still manage to eat things I shouldn't. A: Last week I mentioned the importance of knowing your BMR…it is critical to have this baseline knowledge if you want to manipulate your weight effectively. I’ll use my MBR as an example to answer the question. My BMR is approximately 1,300 calories per day; I am 34 yrs old, 5’ 3” and currently weight 125 lbs. To maintain my weight, I can consume 1,300 calories per day and do no exercises. Most of us want to lose weight, therefore we need to create a caloric deficit somewhere…that’s where exercising can speed up the process! If I work out 5 times per week and burn 300 calories in each workout, that’s a total of 1,500 calories burnt per week…equals to half a pound of fat lost!

Misc Belizean Sources

Female Self Defense Classes in Cayo
Renee Wentz will be offering some more free female self defense classes today, March 20th, in Central Farm, and March 23rd, at the University of Belize. Call 630-5571 for more information. Thanks, Renee, for offering this valuable training again.

Swigs Party at the SIRH
Now that's an awesome ticket!!! The Hands for Life club is having a fund raiser on Friday, April 12th, at the Bedran Hall. Cloud 9 will be there, and there will also be a DJ competition. See you there!

Heels On Party Pictures
Danny Chung captured the spirit of the Heels On Party. Island Time Beverages sponsored the dance, and Cloud 9 was there mixing the night away.

Women's Month Ride Pictures
The Women's Month Bike Ride was a success. The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association along with the women's group and others held the event last weekend. "Community Policing and CNWA teamed up with the Women's Group for a ride in Town. After that we went on an extended ride with those that wanted to join us. A group of 7 riders plus ATV with camera person."

Rotary Inaugurates Facilities at St. Andrews
Feelgood news of the day. The Rotary Club of San Ignacio inaugurated the new bathroom facilities at St. Andrews Primary School this morning. Rotary has been instrumental in building facilities all over Cayo lately, and this is the first of 2 that will be inaugurated this week. Thursday, they'll inaugurate the new facilities at Eden SDA in Santa Elena. Thanks, Rotary, for making our children's world a better place!

Channel 7

Cold Killing On City Street - Was Working Man Randomly Targeted?
There was another broad daylight killing in Belize City today - and the victim was a working man - who was on the job. According to his family, he was randomly targeted by a gunman hunting down another man. If they are right, the randomness of the crime almost defies comprehension. 7news was on the scene today and Monica Bodden spoke with the family of the deceased. Monica Bodden Reporting The body of another young black man lay lifeless in the city streets once again today. The broad daylight murder happened just before 11:30 this morning on Caesar Ridge Road. 27 year old Ardon Belgrave - a maintenance worker for the Belize City Council was in the area working - when he was cold bloodedly gunned down in front of his co-workers. Wallace Belgrave - Father of Deceased "His cousin and I were sitting down there. He stopped in the shop and said that Belgrave was dead, but when he said it; I didn't even think about it. So I told my cousin, the guy is talking to you, so again he said, 'Belgrave is dead, then he called me one side and said that Belgrave died. I kept asking him to explain it because it was surprising to me." Belgrave was shot to the head - According to those on the scene, he was not the intended target - witnesses say that the gunman was chasing his target - but when the target got away, he turned around and opened fire on Belgrave.

Human Trafficking Suspect Still In Custody
43 year old Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia remains in Police custody tonight pending criminal charges for human trafficking. Reports say she's already been assessed for an immigration charge - which will allow the major crimes unit to hold her longer as they prepare the human trafficking charges. As we reported, Alaz Azmitia is believed to have been the handler for four minors and an 18 year old who were supposed to be trafficked to the USA on a USAIR Flight on Sunday. But, a police source picked up intelligence that led to her arrest and the interception of the 4 minors and an 18 year old. The five persons comprise two females, aged 18 and 14 and the three males -boys aged, 9, 10, and 13. They are all Salvadorean and arrived in the country last week. They stayed at an inexpensive hotel in Belize City - false Guatemalan passports affixed with bogus US Visas were prepared for them. All five are in the custody of social services for safe-keeping, while Alaz Azmitia is expected to be arraigned tomorrow.

FFB Field to Be Used For Bandfest – President Justifies Decision
This weekend, Belize's National Football Selection will play a friendly match against Trinidad and Tobago's selection, the "Soca Boys". Both teams are preparing for the Gold Cup - so it's considered an important match for each team to test its strengths. But, the game won't be played on the only FIFA approved field in the country, which is at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan; instead, it will be played in Belize City at the MCC Grounds. And the reason it won't be played in Belmopan? Well, that's because the field will be in use for the LOVE FM Bandfest. Now, that's got many observers throwing their hands up because the FFB President Ruperto Vicente aggressively campaigned and protested against concerts played at the MCC. And now he has an all-day Bandfest on Belize's only FIFA Approved football field? Sounds like a case of "do-soh no like do-soh" - and today, we asked him to explain the rationale in allowing this football pitch to be subjected to possible damage after they protested the use of the MCC Grounds for NICH's Indige-NOW and the Digicell 4G Beenie Man concerts. He told us that standards are important, but so is funding for the National Team as they get ready to send them to Gold Cup in July:

No Decision Yet On Referendum
Belize's Cabinet has still not decided on the proposal by the Guatemalan government to postpone the referendum originally scheduled for October 6, 2013. That's because Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington has not yet returned from Washington DC with the formal proposal for Cabinet to consider. But, in somewhat related news, the a senior official from the British Ministry of Defence will be visiting Belize later this week. He is Dr Andrew Murrisson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Security Strategy at the Defence Ministry. But don't expect a security blanket, Murrisson will be presenting vehicles to BATSUB and visit the Belize Defence Force.

He Allegedly Assaulted A 15 Year Old Girl, Indecently
Tonight, 39 year-old Marlon Mangar, a resident of mile 2 and a half on the George Price Highway, is out on bail after he was taken to court for indecent assault against a 15 year-old minor. According to police, the minor alleged that on March 10, 2013, Mangar touched her inappropriately on her private parts. As a result, police arrested and charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, without the presence of the media or any of his family members, and he was granted him bail of $1,500, five hundred of which he had to pay upfront. He was able to meet bail this afternoon, but he must return to court on March 15, 2013.

Bar President Courtenay Braces A-G Elrington
Last week you heard Attorney General Wilfred Elrington and Prime Minister Dean Barrow talk about the Bar Association. They both said it's unconstitutional because compulsory membership in any organization violates the freedom of association guaranteed by the constitution. So, end of story right? Well, not so fast. The bar association met last night and today President Eamon Courtenay told us that freedom of association is not always that simple: Eamon Courtenay - President, Bar Association of Belize "Since this matter has been raised, some of our members have done some research, and have already found cases where this specific matter has come up, and it has been found not to be unconstitutional. If we have persons performing legal, and they are not going to be regulated by an association, by an independent body, it is not going to be beneficial to Belize. It is not going to be beneficial to clients; it is not going to be beneficial to the Judiciary. The Bar was very disappointed in some of the things that have been said, some of the criticisms that have been leveled at the Bar. And we believe that the best way to deal with this is to seek to engage the Attorney General, seek to engage the Government on some their concerns." Jules Vasquez "One of the criticisms has leveled at the Bar - and I saw Mr. Smith write about it it as well - is that the Bar does not a). serve its members, or b). serve the public. It does not serve its members with continuing education - according to the Attorney General - and Mr. Smith, he proffered in a written piece it should offer some kind of help - some kind of website that maybe the public can access to help them through legal quagmires, land papers and that sort of thing. Is there any spirit in the Bar Asssociation to reform its ways."

Special Report From Key West, FL: What US Southcom Sees In Belize
Almost 200 years ago, the Monroe Doctrine was put forth by the United States. In simplest terms it stated that all of South, Central and North America should remain under the prevailing influence of the United States, and not the European powers that had colonized it. The term was used by American leaders as recently as 30 years ago - and while it has fallen out of vogue recently as the Superpower's attention has shifted to the Muslim world, the US remains very interested in the political and security affairs of Central and South America. And the clearest expression of that is the US Army Southern Command, known as SOUTHCOM. According to its charter, it is responsible for "providing contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation for Central America, South America and the Caribbean." Last week, Janelle Chanona and other Belizean journalists were invited to SOUTHCOM's Joint Inter-Agency Task Force South in Key west Florida. That's where the US Army tracks drugs moving north to the United States. It's a rare opportunity to see inside a tremendous military machine - and working with Jesse Mendoza from PLUS TV, Janelle put together this report on the US Army's perspective on security risks in our region:

New Police Recruits Pass Out
Yesterday, we told you about the Police Department's new Precinct system for Belize City. As we also showed you, the Commissioner of Police plans to inject the majority of recruit intake #88, which graduated today, into this new system. Since they will be very active in Belize City, we thought it fair to acquaint ourselves with them as they participated in the graduation ceremony in Belmopan this evening. Here's what the Commander of the Police Training Academy told us about his confidence in their abilities: Superintendent Linden Flowers - Commandant, Police Training Academy "Today sees the end of a process that began the 7th of July 2012, where over 850 Belizeans, young men and women, high school graduates sat the entrance exam - sat an entrance exam to the Police Department. The 130 recruits that will be passing out today started on the 11th of November after their medical and other activities took place. And when these persons came here from the 11th of a November 2012, myself and my team of officers mainly; assistant Superintendent Rosado, Inspector Jones and several sergeants and constables including members from the Human Rights Commission, we did a part of our training where, we invited attorneys to come in and address these participants on the role and functions of police, as it relates to the constitution and the human rights aspect of policing.

Tanya Carter Making "Authentic Reggae" In Jamaica
Tanya Carter has a smooth new reggae single and a slick music video, but the news is that she's hooked up with a Jamaican production outfit. A release from Kingston says she'll be working "closely with Christopher Birch of Birchill Records, who produced and co-wrote her newest single: Ex-boyfriend." Producer Christopher Birch is quoted as saying that he thinks she can make it in the very competitive reggae industry. They are working on a new track. Until then, you can find her video for "Ex-boyfriend" through a link at 7newsbelize.com.

Belizeans Are Reef People
We've got all kinds of awareness weeks in Belize, but now the protectors of our Marine environment want you to celebrate reef week. It was officially declared open last night, and OCEANA's Audrey Matura Shepherd told us why Belizeans are people of the reef: Audrey Matura-Shepherd - VP, Oceana Belize "Reef Week is connected to everything, controversial and non-controversial issues. But really, it is an opportunity for people to put any differences aside, and let's accept what the reality is. We have one of the most beautiful reefs. It serves us many purposes. It helps us earn money; it's a tourist attraction, and for fishing. That brings in money. It also protects money because everytime it shields us from hurricanes and any kind of storms, it's helping us not to have to go and build a house every minute, like the ants, who get their homes destroyed every minute. And definitely, it adds value to our lives." Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development "I think that it is important that we as Belizeans continue to ensure that our children and that our populace at large understand that Belize has 80% of the Meso-American Barrier Reef Complex. The Belize Barrier Reef is the largest portion."

Trini's Soca Boys In Belize
As we told you earlier in the newscast, Belize's National Football Selection is hosting the Soca Boys of Trinidad and Tobago in an international friendly on Saturday at the MCC Grounds. The Soca Boys made it to the world cup in 2006 - and now they are going to the Gold Cup along with Belize. It's a team that is rebuilding and reloading to make another World Cup Run and we spoke with the Captain and the Coach when they arrived today: Hutson Charles - Coach, "Soca Warriors" "You know, Belize is a young improving team on the upcoming tournaments, and we expect to get a good fight from them. Seeing that they're home, we see it fit to play a game at this meet here, so as to enhance our preparation for the goal cup." Denzil Theobald - Captain, "Soca Warriors" "Every game we go to represent our country, we go to win and it's a part of preparations for the Gold Cup, which is the ideal goal we have in mind, to go there and do well. We have some players from England, we have some players from the MLS; we also have players from other parts of Europe as well, joining together with the base goal, from Trinidad and Tobago that plays in the professional league of Trinidad."

National Team Called to Workout
And while elements of the Trinidad National Team continue to arrive in Belize for the Friendly match over the next few days, today was the first day of official National Team training for the Belize Selection at the FFB Headquarters in Belmopan. It is also the first practice for the team without their Head Coach, Leroy Sherrier. We've seen the response from the officials about Sherrier's departure, and so today, we took the opportunity to ask the members of the team about their plan for the next few months leading up to the Gold Cup without Sherrier. Here's what they told us, about that and their preparations for Saturday's friendly match, and the Gold Cup: Dalton Eiley - Captain, Belize National Football Team "Most of our opinions on the coach leaving are one of shock and disappointment, because he took us so far and we were expecting and hoping that he would take us to the next level. It didn't work out, we have to hang -hold our head high, work together, go to the goal cup and just try to do good for him and for our country. I've mentioned this to a couple people before and like every time we get a tournament, we always get the host nation first, this is one of the biggest, I mean USA. Well, my thing is we just go out and play with the same mentality that we played in Costa Rica, just come out, keep a strong back line, and just attack when we get the break and take the opportunities as we get them. The major weakness, I think was; we had a defensive team from the midfield back to the defense line; there was no attacking mid fielder who we had. I think that's what the coaches are looking into, and to see that was one of our major weaknesses as you point it out. I think that was the main thing. We brought guys - players for that specific role, to play attacking midfield. We have a sound defensive back line and some defenses middle, just at this point we have to implement one attacking midfielder in this to deliver to Deon Mcauley and Caful Roaches on top."

Belizean Footballers Try Out For MLS
And while the players look toward the biggest tournament in Belize's History, they also turned heads for their performance in the Copa Centroamericana. And as a result, 2 players of the National Team, Deon McCauley and Woodrow West were invited to participate in try-outs for football clubs in the USA's Major League Soccer, or "MLS" as it is known. It's a major opportunity for these Belizean athletes, so today, we asked them about how those tryouts went. Here's what they told us: Woodrow West - Goalkeeper, Belize National Football Team "Yes I've been - I went out and tried out with a few teams and I came back to Belize because what I went for was just a tryout; it was not to catch any club right away, so I'll leave the door open. I have a place in New York; hopefully I get to play in New York. It depends on my games in the Gold Cup, on my performance, then I can go far, but it all depends on the Gold Cup." Deon McCauley - Forward, Belize National Football Team "I was - actually I had 2 tryouts, one whit Chicago fur and the other with Portland Timbers. It was a very good experience for me, I've learnt a lot for the experience and it was a good one."

Can You Spell Belmopan With A "Y"?
For over 50 years, the YWCA has been based mainly in Belize City, but the organization also offers services to women in rural areas. But getting to the city can be half the problem, so today the "Y" opened its new branch in theother city, Belmopan. 7News spoke to the President about the importance of this milestone for the Organization. Sheree Smiling - Craig - President, YWCA Belize "We're opening our Belmopan branch, which is a historical event for the YWCA. We have always, for 57 years, actually been in the Belize City area. Although we catered to rural women, this branch in Belmopan is just showing our support - our greater support to the rural women projects so that women from the Belmopan community and the wider Belize community can come into Belmopan and be trained in marketing, in creating new skills, and having an outlet for their produces. A lot of the rural women are encouraged through their programs with the Y to actually create new produces that they can market, so that they become self-sustained in their own lives." Daniel Ortiz "Why do you and the YWCA feel as if though it is important, was there issue of accessibility?"

Channel 5

Salvadoran national trafficking minors through Belize
  There are few convictions for human trafficking even though there is a well established network but tonight the face of human trafficking is that of a fifty two year old Salvadoran national, Hilda Alas Azmitia.  On Sunday, at nine forty-five a.m., Azmitia was escorting children at the Philip Goldson International Airport where they intended [...]

Random killing on Caesar Ridge Road
Just after eleven this morning shots rang out on Caesar Ridge Road in the Port Loyola area. Witnesses say that at least eight shots were heard and when the gunfire subsided, a Belize City youth lay lifeless on the pavement. Minutes earlier he was standing under a tree along with others, when the shooter rode [...]

Bar Association strikes back at Attorney General
Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington is taking aim at the Bar Association and it is not the first time. This time though, he is using legislation that could result in a further splintering of the Bar.  Last week, through a letter from Solicitor-General Cheryl Krusen to the Chief Justice and the Bar Association, the AG made known [...]

Bar brings down the gavel on AG’s criticisms
And while those recommendations will be forwarded to Attorney General Wilfred Elrington and Solicitor General Cheryl Krusen, President of the Bar Eamon Courtenay also dealt with the very pointed criticisms that have been heaped on the Association by Elrington. The AG has stated very clearly that he believes that the Bar Association does absolutely nothing [...]

Should there be an October 6th referendum within Guatemala?
With the debate focusing now on the referendum, our last question was if viewers thought that government was soft on Guatemala. An overwhelming ninety-two percent voted yes while the rest said no: Turning to tonight’s question: Should Belize proceed to hold a referendum on October 6, if Guatemala does not? Send your comments and responses [...]

Is the bar Association P.U.P.?
Earlier in the newscast we showed you the response from Bar Association President Eamon Courtenay to criticism that the Bar is inactive, a waste of time, and does nothing for its members or for the community. But there is also that other matter which comes up time and time again, and always from U.D.P. politicians [...]

Bar says amendment means no regulation and no oversight
And putting aside the criticisms, founded or unfounded, and removing the government perception of a politically skewed Association, Courtenay says the move just doesn’t make much sense, period. If the amendment is passed as proposed, attorneys would be able to practice free of association with any legal body, which translates to no regulation and no [...]

Bar Association worries about formation of General Legal Council
To round out his openly critical response to the Attorney-General’s very blatant and apologetic targeting of the Bar Association, Eamon Courtenay touched on a very sensitive topic, the General Legal Council. Currently that oversight body is appointed by the Bar Association, but if the amendment goes through, it will be appointed by the Attorney General. [...]

Arsonist fined instead of prison time
A Belize City man was spared jail time after being convicted on March fourteenth of arson on the house of the mother of his ex. Thirty-five year old Brian Barrella appeared on Monday evening before Justice Adolph Lucas for sentencing.  During the mitigation plea, family members and friends spoke on Barrella’s behalf asking for leniency. [...]

To kill or not to kill? Death penalty is still in the books
The death penalty is still in Belize’s constitution even though the last person to have been executed was over twenty-five years ago when Kent Bowers was hung for the murder of Robert Codd. There are eight persons on death row but only one person has served over fifty years in prison and cannot be executed [...]

On patrol with the US Southern Command
Belize is considered a main transit point for drugs that make their way to the United States by land, sea and air. In the fight against drug trafficking, the US has established a major anti-drug operation center in Florida and because of its sensitive nature; it is off limits to the public. Last year alone, [...]

Belize vs. Trinidad for football goal!
The Belize Jaguars are preparing for play against the Soca Warriors of Trinidad and Tobago in anticipation of the Gold Cup in which Belize will be going up against the United States, Cuba and Costa Rica. Members of the visiting team began arriving today for the match which takes place this Saturday. But instead of [...]

Tanya Carter’s new song, Ex-boyfriend
Belizean singer, Tanya Carter  has opened for Etana, Luciano, Lexxus and Morgan Heritage, so it’s not unusual that she has flown to Jamaica, the home of reggae music to work with some of the best producers on the island. She has collaborated with Christopher Birch of Birchill Records, who produced and co-wrote her newest single, [...]

LOVE FM

Daylight Shooting Proves Fatal
Shortly before midday today, blood tainted the street on Cesar Ridge Road not too far from its corner with Reggae Street, where a man was shot to death. Love News understands that the victim was employed under the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project and was working on the const...

Guatemalan National Detained Pending Firearm Charges
A woman from the Cayo District was detained after a search of her home resulted in the discovery of unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ "On Monday, March 18 sometime around 5pm, Belmopan C.I.B personnel conducted a search at th...

United World Colleges Offer Scholarship Opportunity
The United World Colleges, UWC is offering scholarship opportunity and placement for a Belizean student for the academic term 2013 to 2015. Correspondent Paul Mahung has more in this report. PAUL MAHUNG " The United World Colleges (UWC) is offering a scholarship oppo...

Child Stimulation Month Activities Continue
The month of March has been set aside as child stimulation month and a number of activities have been going on with pre-schoolers. Today is cultural day and Love News stopped by the Anglican Diocesan Preschool which is located behind St. Mary’s Anglican School. ...

Belize Police Commissioner Presents New Plan of Action
The Police High Command, headed by newly appointed Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, has presented a new plan of action to fight crime on a local level. It has come about since his taking over command of the Police Department on January ninth of this year and following a numb...

Belizean Laborer Accused of Sexual Assault on Minor
Thirty-nine year old Marlon Mangar, a laborer who allegedly committed a sexual assault on a 15 year old girl, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in Court today. Mangar pled not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie smith offered him a bail $2,000.00 and st...

Convicted Murderer Loses Appeal Case
An appeal by 27 year old Darrell Grant, convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, was dismissed today by Belize court of Appeal. Grant’s conviction and sentence were affirmed. Grant was convicted of the murder of Sandra Ruiz, a housewife who was bludgeoned to death ...

San Ignacio Police Seeks Escaped Convict
A prisoner escaped from custody in San Ignacio. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY "On Monday, March 18 at about 2:55pm, San Ignacio Police was in the process of cleaning the cell block where prisoners were kept, it was then that a convicted priso...


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#460589 - 03/20/13 02:34 PM Re: Today's Belize News: March 20, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

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CTV3

Suicide By Poison
A Corozal resident committed suicide yesterday. Reports are that at around 2:00pm yesterday 32 year old Omar Martinez, Belizean cane cutter of San Narciso Village Corozal, entered his mother’s residence and informed her that he had drunk poison. Martinez then went outside, sat on a chair and threw away a white plastic bottle as he began vomiting. The 32 year old was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where he died at 4:00pm. Police retrieved the white bottle from the area for examination and investigations continue.

Forest Dep. Officially Lodges Report Of Illegal Hunting Of Howler Monkey
The Forest Department has lodged an official complaint at the Orange Walk Police Station against four students and one male teacher of the Belize High School of Agriculture. CTV3 News understands that today representatives of the Forest Department visited the station where they handed over their investigative file to Superintendent Joseph Myvett. Based on the Forest Department’s investigation, the prosecution will now seek to have all four boys and teacher found guilty of illegal hunting after charges are levied against them. However, we understand that none of the individuals, accused of brutally attacking a black male howler monkey on March 5th, were detained today. As we have stated before, the monkey died two days after the incident while being treated at the Wild Tracks Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja.

Yes Or No To The ICJ? Referendum Unit Educates Teachers And Students
A Referendum Unit was formed and launched early this year with the task of educating Belizeans on the pros, cons, and risks of taking Guatemala’s long standing claim over Belize to the International Court of Justice. The referendum unit has been travelling to all parts of the country, meeting with different groups and community members. Today, the team was at Muffles High School discussing the education process for the Belize/Guatemala Referendum with teachers from various high schools and fourth form and third form students of Muffles High School. We stopped by to take a look at how the awareness campaign is going so far. Hipolito Novelo Reporting… Ask yourself this: how much do you know about the Guatemalan claim over Belize? Probably it’s only the bits of information that was thought to you in primary and high school. The referendum on whether or not to take the long standing dispute to the International Court of Justice is schedule for October 6th. The responsibility to inform Belizeans about the pros, cons, and all the risk we’ll be taking if we do take the matter to the ICJ has been tasked to the Referendum Unit which was officially launched on January 23rd 2013. Stuart Leslie, Ambassador, Referendum Unit “Since then the referendum commission which is made up from all civil society in support of the process in giving Belize an awareness of the pros, cons and the risk in presenting Belize’s case before the ICJ. One of the issues that we are picking up out there is fear when it comes to Belize and Guatemala. We try to deal it with by providing people with information. So it is an awareness campaign that is giving people the facts.”

After 47 Days Hilmer Ical Still Missing
Today makes 47 days that 15 year old Hilmer Ical has been missing. Yesterday when we spoke to Ical’s aunt, 45 year old Olympia Bull, she told us that since the boy left home on January 31st he has not been seen or heard from. The last the family heard is that Ical is in bad company hence why they are pleading for him to come home. Ical is described as being of Mestizo descent, brown complexion; 5 feet in height, medium built and weighs about 85 lbs. He was last seen in Corozal Town on January 31st selling Creole bread. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Ical is asked to call 911 or the nearest police station.

Orange Walk's Rodrigo Leiva Wins Elite Race In Mexico
Yesterday we told you about Grisel Carballo, the proud Orange Walkena who represented Belize in the Diosa Maya Internacional 2013 Pageant in Merida, Yucatan and for the first time won the crown. Tonight another Orange Walk resident is making headlines in Mexico after winning a cycle race in Chetumal Quintana Roo. Belizean Elite Rodrigo Leiva won the 60 kilometers Class Elite race, while second place went to Juan Cuellar and third place went to Jairo Campos also from the Orange Walk District. Congratulations to both young cyclists.

Referendum Is Standing On Shaky Grounds
And while students of Muffles College were educated on the Belize/Guatemala Referendum, the Referendum itself is standing on shaky ground. On Saturday, a Belize delegation, headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, travelled to Washington DC to meet with Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Fernando Carrera and OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. The main topic of discussion was to be Guatemala’s proposed change of date for the October 6th Referendum or for Belize to change its Referendum Law to provide for a simple majority to decide if Guatemala’s long standing claim will be taken to the International Court of Justice. But word tonight is that instead of taking part in Sunday’s meeting, Minister Fernando Carrera sent his Vice Minister to represent him with the excuse that he had had a family emergency. The meeting; however, proceeded without the presence Belize’s Foreign Minister since it was conducted at a Vice Ministerial Level due to Carrera’s absence. Leading the Belize delegation was CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado who late yesterday evening received Guatemala’s Official Proposal for a change in the Referendum date. The proposal, we understand, will now be presented to Cabinet for discussion after which a decision will be made. Of note is that the opposition will also be consulted in reference to Guatemala’s proposal.

Neighborhood Watch Group Forms After Too Much Burglaries
For the past three months, the village of Yo Creek has been plagued by a number of burglaries and last two weeks more than 200 residents gathered at the community centre to discuss the matter. With the assistance of Constable in Charge of Community Policing at the Orange Walk Police Department, Zenubio Coc, the villagers formed a neighborhood watch committee headed by Oscar Barrera. Barrera explained the problems villagers have been facing over the past few months. Oscar Barrera, Chairman Yo Creek Village Neighborhood Watch Group “Up to date we have approximately 15 to 20 robberies that have been committed in our community; from tractor batteries that have been stolen to pumps and herbicide and up to house break in. So we decided that nothing is being done by a competent authority and so it was time for us to stand up. We are not trying to lower our police department but this is our way of doing our part and try to avoid what is going on.” So far the group has 40 members who have organized a network of communication in order to keep a watchful eye over the community. Oscar Barrera, Chairman Yo Creek Village Neighborhood Watch Group “We patrol for the past two weeks from early in the night and almost four in the morning that that is the time span that we think these criminal activities are going on. Any person that is walking around, riding around in our village that is not from her is stopped and question. Anybody that is a suspect, it’s not that we are telling people not to come in our village but it is a precaution method. But now that the group is formed, financing is needed in order for members to carry out their various roles.

Preschool Festival of Arts
Child Stimulation month is being observed in preschools across the country this month under the theme ““Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders”. One major event that involves the participation of all preschools in the districts is the preschools’ Festival of Arts. Today, Orange Walk’s youngest students representing the district’s twenty four preschools took part in the Preschool Festival of Arts at the Multi Purpose Complex. From what we were able to observe preschoolers put up quiet a show. Here are some highlights of the event.

Trinidad Gets Resource Center
In this day and era, keeping up with technology is a must, that is, if you want to be at par with the changing global community. But for rural communities like Trinidad, keeping up with technology has proven to be a difficult task, until today. The village now counts with a fully operating resource centre located at the Trinidad Government School compound. Nikki’s Library is comprised of mainly 6 desktops, library books and toys courtesy of Rotaract International. The centre is also connected to the internet thanks to SMART. All these factors were made available thanks to the hard work of the Resource Centre Committee headed by Yasser Sosa. Yasser Sosa, Resource Centre Committee “With this library, we chose the location here at the school because we want the school to benefit with the library and the community and also working together with the community because here we don’t have a lab for the community. But we are working towards it because we had a library but it was not developed and now we have a well developed library. Right now I am working with one of my colleagues in installing the computer and we are trying to get the donations for the internet. Thanks for Rotaract International we get six computers, the library, one television with VCR and some toys for the kids.”

PlusTV

Ardon Belgrave shot dead in Belize City
Police have confirmed that there was a murder by shooting around 11:25 this morning on Caesar Ridge Road in Belize City. While not releasing a name, police say the individual was found on the street apparently already dead with a gunshot wound to the head. PLUS News has learned...

Brandon Smith captured by police and charged for attempted murder of four officers
Last night we told you about a shootout between two men and Police. In that incident, one of the culprits, 28 year Alrick Smith who was shot to the abdomen, was captured by police and taken to the KHMH in a critical condition. But the other man, 27 year...

Bar association on ICJ issue
As the date for the October 6 ICJ referendum draws closer, explanations about its importance and relevance become bigger in the minds of the public. One organization prepared to help is the Bar Association. President Eamon Courtenay said today that the Bar is preparing to open its discussions. Eamon...

Bar Association concerned about planned amendment to the Legal Profession Act
The planned amendment to the Legal Profession Act encouraging multiple legal associations has divided opinion among members of the Belize Bar in recent weeks. The organization which it most affects, the Bar Association, met on Monday night to develop its response. Approximately 50 members attended and together reached consensus,...

Changes made to Organizational Structure of the Belize Police Department
Allen Whylie has been Commissioner of police since January 9 of this year. He spent much of his first month battling to get the situation under control after spate of crime resulted in 26 murders in 12 weeks. Yesterday, Compol Whylie finally got a chance to present his plans...

130 new police officers to hit the streets
A record breaking number of police trainees graduated from the Police Training Academy this afternoon. After months of intensive physical and mental preparation, recruit squad number 88 stood proudly at their passing out ceremony. Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar addressed the graduates this afternoon. He said that...

Lloyd Alexander King’s charge is expected to be upgraded to murder
Almost two weeks ago, 28 year old Ronald Rivers was shot to the face in front of the UNO Gas Station while fixing a vehicle. After a long battle, his kidneys failed and he suffered strokes and heart attacks. He was being kept on life support for some days...

Customs Department make big contraband bust
The Customs Department made a big contraband bust over the weekend. On Saturday, over 1300 cases of Modern Silver Elephant cigarettes were confiscated in Jalacte, after BDF alerted customs of the movement of suspect cargo. It has been reported that the cigarettes were legally purchased in the Corozal Free...

US Embassy representative comments on human trafficking incident
A Salvadoran woman was detained by police in connection to a human trafficking incident that occurred over the weekend. 43 year old Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia was reportedly trafficking three boys ages nine, ten and thirteen, and two females ages fourteen and eighteen. According to reports they are...

Belize City divided into four Police Precincts
An eleven-zone plan had been established by the police Department at the end of 2012 to fight crime on the ground. That plan, which included the acquiring of one police patrol vehicle for each zone, has now given way to a plan of numbered precincts, which correspond roughly geographically...

Reef Week celebrated March 18 to 24
“Belizeans: People of the Reef” is the theme for the first ever Reef Week being celebrated from March 18 to 24. Formal launch took place last night and Minister of Fisheries Lisel Alamilla gave full government support to the initiative. Lisel Alamilla – Minister of Fisheries: I thought...

US releases annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
The United States Department of State has released its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. The report, released earlier this month, seeks to track the War on illicit Drugs. Some 22 countries made the list, including Belize. And while we did not make the most spurned category OF Countries...

Trinidad and Tobago to play Belize’s National Football Team
Belize’s national football team is preparing for a tough outing in July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States, playing in Group C against the host nation as well as Costa Rica and Cuba. They will play Trinidad and Tobago, former World Cup finalists and eight-time Caribbean champions on...

YWCA open National Resource Center in Belmopan
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) celebrated 57 years of existence this past Sunday. A week of activities has been planned to commemorate the anniversary. One of those activities was the opening of a National Resource Center in Belmopan. The building, which was inaugurated this afternoon, is located on...

Gospel Artist Dennis G launches second album
Gospel song writer and performer Dennis G launched his second album this weekend at the Gospel Expo. The name of the album is “A Better Place.” Dennis G stopped by our studios yesterday to promote his latest work. Dennis Requena – Christian Musician: The new CD, I officially release...

Thirteen year old Kissia Martinez missing from Armenia Village
A family in Armenia Village is tonight looking for thirteen year old Kissia Martinez, who has not been seen after she left home to pick up her younger sister. Kissia’s mother told police that yesterday, shortly after 6:30pm, she sent her daughter to the Armenia Government School to pick...

Amandala

AMID CONTROVERSIAL AUDIT, MINISTER OF EDUCATION DEFENDS UB BOARD OF TRUSTEES
“…they have not concluded that there exists any instance of missing funds.” At Friday’s Sitting of the House of Representatives, Minister of Education Patrick Faber, who is also the United Democratic Party area representative for Collet, rose to defend the integrity of the board of trustees of the University of Belize (UB), chaired by Imani Fairweather-Morrison, saying that they have his unwavering support. Since last year, there have been reports of possible irregularities in the university’s payroll, and a special audit is being undertaken by Castillo Sanchez and Burrell, independent auditors. The board of trustees, said Faber, is “not perfect, but they are not into fleecing and robbery as others would like you to believe.” He said that Morrison has given selflessly to the University of Belize: “For two years, she did not take the stipend given to board chairmen,” Faber said, indicating that there were others on the board who also did not take the stipend. “She donated over $10,000 cash of her personal money to UB. She did it without fanfare, because that is how she is.”

THREE SHOT IN LADYVILLE DRIVE-BY SHOOTING
The victims are aged 13, 16 and 25. Three persons were shot in Ladyville at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, at about Mile 8 on the Philip Goldson Highway. A female student, 13, of Ladyville, who is a first form student of Wesley College, was shot in the upper right leg; a male student, 16, of Belize City, was shot in the right side of the chest and left shoulder, and Errol Andrews, 25, of Belize City, was shot in the right hip. The victims were all taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they are receiving medical treatment, The victims were waiting for a bus at the bus stop in front of Lowe’s Superstore in Ladyville to come to Belize City, when a heavily tinted car drove up and a gunman from the car fired at them, before speeding away. Police said that they carried out an area search to locate the car, but it was nowhere to be found. The motive of the attack on the three persons is not yet known.

LEON “BUN” HUMES, 23, DIES AFTER BEING SHOT ON MAHOGANY
Another city youth has been gunned down. Leon “Bun” Humes, 23, a construction worker of Jasmine Street, was shot on the sidewalk of Mahogany Street after a gunman approached and fired a shot into his face at about 11:30 p.m. on Friday, March 15, in front of a Chinese store on Mahogany Street, near its junction with Jasmine Street. The bullet reportedly exited Humes’ head. The family told Amandala that around 11:00 p.m. on Friday, Leon and others were playing boxing in front of his house on Jasmine Street when police, on patrol, approached them, broke up the game and dispersed the friends. Humes then indicated that he was going to buy food at a Chinese store at the corner of Jasmine and Mahogany Streets and headed toward the store. Shortly after, a man walked up behind him and when he turned around, the man shot him in the face and then escaped. Marie White, his mother, said that they were at home when one of his friends ran to the house and told them that Humes had been shot. She and others rushed to the area, where he was still lying on the ground. An ambulance came shortly after and took him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he fought for his life for about three hours, before dying at about 2:30 the following Saturday morning.

GUAT FOREIGN MINISTER A “NO SHOW” AT OAS
Guat president presses for change in Belize law and referendum date. Belize and Guatemala held an important bilateral meeting at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington, DC, USA, on Sunday, March 17—not today as an official had previously told us—but the man expected to head the Guatemalan delegation, Foreign Relations Minister Fernando Carrera Castro, did not show up at the meeting, and no final decisions were taken on proposals by Guatemala to defer the October 6, 2013, simultaneous referenda to settle the territorial differendum at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The latest development leading up to the meeting is a formal declaration by Guatemala president Otto Perez Molina that they would seek an agreement from both Belize and the OAS for a one-year delay of the referenda. President Molina reaffirmed that plan to the Guatemala media this past Saturday, March 16, the day before the OAS meeting. Official reports out of Washington say that Foreign Minister Carrera wasn’t able to attend the OAS meeting because of a personal emergency. With Carrera absent, the Washington meeting could not proceed at the ministerial level, and the second-in-command for the foreign ministries on both sides of the border proceeded to hold bilateral talks.

BELIZE MAJOR DRUG TRANSIT AND MONEY LAUNDERING STATE – US
MILLIONS IN COCAINE SEIZURES, SAYS REPORT Seizures: • 19.1 metric tons (MT) of marijuana • 156 MT of precursor chemicals • Over 100 kilos of cocaine “Drug trafficking and drug-related violence continue to rise in 2012, threatening the security of Belizean citizens and the integrity of the country’s borders. These threats will continue if more serious measures are not taken by Belize’s government.” The 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released this month by the US State Department, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law, ranks Belize among the major countries listed for narco-trafficking and money laundering. The listing follows a September 14, 2012, presidential determination issued by the White House in Washington, which stated that “…countries listed as major drug transit and/or major illicit drug producing countries is not necessarily an adverse reflection of its government’s counternarcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States, but reflects the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced, even if a government has carried out the most assiduous narcotics control law enforcement measures.” Belize appeared on the list of major narco-trafficking countries along with Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

KEVIN LEE, 68, CONVICTED OF INDECENT ASSAULT
Lee was accused of touching a client’s breasts and legs... Today, after months of adjournments during the trial, Kevin Lee, a well-known acupuncturist in Belize, was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. In a report to police, a 20-year-old female told police that she had visited Lee’s clinic twice – once in March 2011 and again on April 6, 2011. But it was on her second visit that the alleged assault occurred. She said that Lee fondled her breasts and legs, and attempted to touch her vagina. In his testimony, Lee, who was represented by attorney Alifah Elrington Hyde, told the court that the woman had indeed visited his clinic on two separate occasions. However, on the date that she indicated that the incident occurred, he was busy with a lot of customers and because her injury seemed to have healed, he opted to have her get a machine massage. Lee also presented the court with two receipts, allegedly showing the dates that the woman had come to his clinic, and the payments she made based on the prices of the massages.

MAN AND GOD Editorial
When, in 1492, Columbus, representing the Spanish monarchy, discovered the New World, he set in train the long and bitter international rivalry over colonial possessions for which, after four and a half centuries, no solution has yet been found. Portugal, which had initiated the movement of international expansion, claimed the new territories on the ground that they fell within the scope of a papal bull of 1455 authorizing her to reduce to servitude all infidel people. The two powers (Spain and Portugal), to avoid controversy, sought arbitration and, as Catholics, turned to the Pope – a natural and logical step in an age when the universal claims of the Papacy were still unchallenged by individuals and governments. After carefully sifting the rival claims, the Pope issued, in 1493, a series of papal bulls which established a line of demarcation between the colonial possessions of the states: The East went to Portugal and the West went to Spain. - Dr. Eric Williams in Capitalism and Slavery, quoted by John Henrik Clarke in 1972 in his introduction to J. A. Rogers’ World’s Great Men of Color. All the children of Belize go to primary school. Half of them go to high school. A small percentage go on to tertiary level institutions. Since politics is about numbers, then the most important schools in Belize are the primary schools, because they affect the most Belizean minds. All of the primary schools in Belize are run by religions, of which the most powerful are the Roman and Anglican religions. In the primary schools, Belizean children are taught to differentiate between right and wrong, according to the teachings of the respective religions.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
RAFAEL CARRERA (1814-1865) – The population of Guatemala under Carrera was about 512,000, most of whom were Indians, very slightly mixed with white. Negroes did not number over 1,000, half of whom were unmixed blacks who called themselves Caribs, and still do. As for Carrera, he is sometimes called a mulatto and sometimes a zambo, that is half-Negro, half-Indian. Enciclopedia Ilustrada says that his father was a Negro and his mother an Indian. (See “Carrera,” Vol. XI, pg. 1325.) Encyclopedia Americana, in its sketch of him, says the same. On the other hand, C. L. Jones, in his authoritative work, Guatemala, Past and Present, pg. 42 (1940), says that Carrera’s parents were listed in the parish register as mulattoes. He adds, “One of his few apologists deduces from the available records that the boy (Carrera) inherited at the most 17 and a half percent of Negro blood. The rest he estimates at 10 and a half Indian and 72 percent white.” The American diplomat Stephens, evidently thinking that it was less humiliating to deal with an Indian than with a Negro ruler, said of Carrera, “His friends, in compliment, call him a mulatto; I, for the same reason, call him an Indian, considering that the better blood of the two.” (Incidents of Travel in Central America, Vol. I, pg. 224.) The character El Supremo in C. S. Forrester’s popular novel Captain Horatio Hornblower is undoubtedly Carrera.

WHERE’S THE MAP? Letters
Dear Editor, I read with great interest, in the Amandala of Wednesday, March 6, 2013, the essay by Mr. Henry Gordon regarding the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Eamon Courtenay, and was moved to call him. I asked him about the maps [1] &[2] he mentioned under exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf of Belize and Honduras. He could recall seeing it, probably in 2003, as the results of the conference were published, but could not now locate a copy. Since then, I have called several government departments to see where a copy of this map is located, and can be seen.

MARLON HARRIS, EX-COP, HAS EXTORTION APPEAL DISMISSED
Harris, 37, was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 when he was convicted In March of 2010, PC Marlon Harris was convicted of extortion by a jury of 9 after they heard evidence of his alleged participation in the matter. When he was sentenced, instead of a custodial sentence, he was ordered to pay $10,000 by the end of September of that year. According to the report to police, on November 30, 2008, Ayetekin Kelat was driving a vehicle with an expired insurance when he arrived at a checkpoint where Harris was posted at the time. Kelat was summoned to appear at court on December 1, 2008. But later on November 30, Harris arrived at Celebrity Restaurant where Kelat was the manager, and told him that he could make the matter “go away” if Kelat paid him $100. Before handing over the money, Kelat called David Henderson, the Assistant ComPol at the time, who arrived at the restaurant and was able to retrieve the money from Harris.

JANAE MATUTE’S CASE AGAINST DR. RAJU TO BE HEARD AT CCJ
Amandala has confirmed that the $2.13 million lawsuit won last year by Georgia Matute on behalf of her daughter Janae Matute, 12, against former government practitioner Dr. Raju Meenavali, is being appealed again—this time at the level of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), based in Trinidad and Tobago. The allegation is that the doctor had miscalculated the age of the mother’s pregnancy, and so Janae was delivered at 36 weeks via C-section. The child was born with lung problems and developed a lifelong disability known as cerebral palsy. Her mom had told us in 2012 that although Janae goes to school, she has to personally do a lot for her: She has to be fed, clothed and bathed. As we reported last April, the Belize Court of Appeal had upheld a ruling in favor of Janae, awarding her $2.13 million in damages, a reduction in the $2.5 million that the Supreme Court had awarded back in 2010. Beyond making a case that the award in damages is excessive, Meenavali’s case before the CCJ flatly denies the allegation of medical malpractice. Godfrey Smith, SC, is the attorney for Dr. Raju. He told Amandala today that, “We are going right to the heart of the matter and saying there was no negligence on his part.” Smith said that although they were given leave to appeal in the Belize Court of Appeal, so far, the CCJ has not issued a date for the hearing.

Blogs

Medical Safety Update and Kelly McGuire
Was up at 5:00am getting ready for the first aid course today. Between packing my kit, answering emails, sending out lat minute updates, doing laundry, blogging and texting Leisa my hands were full. I will be so glad to come home and fall into a nice clean bed later on, likely after a a celebration drink on the way home. It is going to be a great day. I am super excited about the sponsorship part of the Belize Red Cross Medical Safety program and how well received it has been, I could not have dreamed it any better. All those days I spent walking up and down the island with my music player imagining how the story would write itself and putting it out there that the right people line up. Yesterday I made it to the bridge and back contemplating the program and what was needed before today’s course.I had to get Our New president, Eiden a Red Cross shirt and update on all the business that are pledging to make San Pedro Safe so he could have them for the morning show. The other top things on my list were – getting an answer from Lydia or Linda at Holy Cross in regards to the El Divno Sponsorhip, finding an organized office co-coordinator and dynamic first aid instructors. On my way home I saw the razor parked at Banana Beach so I stopped to visit Cowboy Doug and Leisa, we chatted for a bit over an Arnold Palmer while they finished lunch. I told her that I would give Mr Ack from the post office his lunch money as the post office approved to accept their 2 sponsorships, she gave me Josh’s and then my time was up. I was off to check in on laptop, meet up with Dick, do Caye bank, a parcel pick up at the post office and my Red Cross Errands. On my first check in I got an email from Lydia giving me the Principal Grace’s cell number to line someone up. I could not get an answer and wrote back asking if she or her husband would be willing to do training – unfortunately they were both busy.

Grand Belizean Estates, Ambergris Caye: An Afternoon at the Beach Or…What’s Really There?
For a few years, the Grand Belizean Estates was a development on Ambergris Caye that we heard tons about. A HUGE subdivision on land (though that term has been much disputed) a bit off the beaten path. Here is a picture I found on mlsinbelize.com to show the location. The black dotted line shows the 9 plus mile drive up there. The thin area on the right (along the ocean side) is where almost all of us cluster. I’m not exactly sure why this is the best map that I can locate. The GBE team used to have a booth in town, at fairs and festivals, promotions in the paper and in the news…you could buy a plot of land on THIS ISLAND for a few hundred dollars a month. But now it seems like it has been radio silence. What’s going on with this massive project? (I won’t even ask the questions like “where did the money come from?” or “when are utilities coming?”…it’s just too overwhelming.) According to the website, most of the units have been sold. Maybe that is why things have been quiet? Rumors abound. I took up a trip up there with friends to check out the lovely beach on the west side of Ambergris Caye (NOT part of the subdivision) and to take a look around, It was my first trip there.

Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Training
ICT classroom training sessions, which are being held at BELTRAIDE Belmopan office, are being held through a participatory methodology and a practical approach. Training for Consultants in ICT Directed at Business and Entrepreneurial Women through the MSME Service Center in Central America and Dominican Republic, with Joaquin Magdalena Perez, ICT Advisor.

Small Business Development Centres to Open Across the Region
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the International Trade Centre at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Organisation of American States (OAS) announced today that the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce will complete its four-part Small Business

Caribbean Export Week
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), as part of its mandate to promote export led growth for the Caribbean region and to facilitate increased exports to regional and international markets, is pleased to launch for the first time a Caribbean Export Week. The week of activities aimed at raising the level of awareness about Caribbean Export in particular on the work being under-taken as part of the 10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme, commences with an Ecumenical Service on March 17 and has a two day Caribbean Exporters’ Colloquium in the week, where industry leaders will discuss key issues relating to exporting from the Caribbean to the international market. Speakers at the Caribbean Exporters‘ Colloquium being held at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Barbados on March 20-21, 2013 include Dr. The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who will give a keynote address on the first day of the event. Those attending the two day event will be challenged to take an indepth look at the report of the West Indian Commission – Time for Action, followed by an analysis of the regions exports. Panelist including The Honourable Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce for Jamaica, Sir Shridath Ramphal, Former Chairman, The West Indian Commission, The Honourable Ryan Pinder, Minister of Financial Services, The Commonwealth of the Bahamas and Prof Victor Bulmer-Thomas of London University and UCL Institute of the Americas, London will discuss the issues raised in the report and assess the region’s current export performance in light of developments taking place at the global level.

Design Caribbean 2013 Goes to the Bahamas
On January 11, 2013 the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas signed an agreement to hold Design Caribbean 2013 from June 20-23, 2013 at the Grand Lucayan Resort, Freeport Grand Bahama. The Hon. Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama in his remarks at the signing event expressed his delight to host Design Caribbean as it “will expose local artisans and manufacturers to overseas buyers in retail, hospitality, design, music, film and fashion; thus providing them with opportunities to exhibit their talents, market and sell their products and services.” DESIGN CARIBBEAN is the rebranded evolution of the Caribbean Gift and Craft show (CGCS) aimed at taking the promotion of the creative industries, in particular the design sector in the region, to new levels of excellence. The Design Caribbean showcase provides a platform for only the best Caribbean artisans and designers to show, market and sell their products locally, regionally and internationally.

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 constitutional and legal framework to non-discrimination, were discussed. But there was no representation from Belize and the committee’s expressed disappointment for the absence which impeded dialogue on important human rights issues. The session opened with the airing of the content of an-email sent by Belize and from there it continued downhill. “The reasons they gave are purely finance, that’s what they say here. It’s just an email where they say on the fourth of March after numerous email exchanges; where also in which they were saying that they would transmit the replies to list of issues; that they were making some kind of an effort to engage with the committee to send their replies.

Angel in Ambergris Caye
Well and truly back in to the swing of things after only one night’s sleep back home here on Ambergris Caye. Up just after 5 am with my mug of coffee and on-line subscription to The Times on the veranda Rose and I spent the morning carrying out post holiday chores. Me with the ironing (we had put a wash on within an hour or so of returning home on Monday) and Rose taking care of the ‘condo clean-up’. In between the chores we had breakfast and lunch. Where does the time go when you are having fun? I then devoted a little bit of time to administrative stuff with one of the things being to ‘chase up’ the pension statement I need to provide to the Belize Tourism Board for my application to enter the “QRP” (Qualified Retirement Program). With luck I should have this by Thursday and then,hopefully, my application will be processed fairly quickly. By now we were feeling slightly ‘stir crazy’ and were really pleased that it was time to head off to see what was going on at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. On arrival at the site it was really good to be able to park the golf cart in front of the house.

International Sources

False-positive mammograms take mental toll, study finds
Women may suffer psychologically long after the scare of a false-positive mammogram, Danish researchers report. Long after learning that a troubling reading on a screening mammogram was just a false alarm, women continued suffering negative psychological effects, researchers in Denmark have reported. Six months after hearing they did not have breast cancer, women with these false positives experienced changes in "existential values" and "inner calmness" as great as for women who had cancer. They reported having more anxiety, feeling more pessimistic and having more problems with their sleep and sex lives — as well as other negative outcomes — than women who had normal mammograms. The effects moderated over time but were still apparent three years after the initial screening. The findings suggest that healthcare providers need to pay closer attention to the harmful effects of screening programs, said University of Copenhagen physician-researcher Dr. John Brodersen, lead author of a study detailing the work published Monday in the journal Annals of Family Medicine. "When I became a doctor and I took the Hippocratic Oath, I said, 'Do no harm,'" he said. "But this is harm."

Whisnant recognized by for work in Belize
Dr. Paul Whisnant received an Official Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Embassy in Belize in appreciation for his 15 years helping Americans in need in Belize. This work is in addition to, and separate from, his full time service, 22 years as a missionary to Belize. “I want to take this opportunity to thank you, my friends, who pray, give and volunteer to help me as I serve with International Servants in Belize,” he said.

TANYA CARTER CALLS ON BIRCH FOR EX-BOYFRIEND
The sultry voice from Belize meets authentic Reggae Kingston, Jamaica:- After more than two dozen performances across the world, Belizean songstress, Tanya Carter, has decided to spread her wings to Jamaica. Excited about crossing over to Reggae, she has been working closely with Christopher Birch of Birchill Records, who produced and co-wrote her newest single: Ex-boyfriend. Singing since the age of 5, Tanya takes her inspiration from Jamaican greats: Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, and Burning Spear; and discovered at an early age her passion for Reggae and Jamaica culture. The Belizean is no stranger to Jamaicans, having opened for Etana, Luciano, Lexxus and Morgan Heritage and decided to come to the home of Reggae music to get a better understanding of the culture around the genre she loves, and to work with some of the best producers in the business. With several years of performing under her belt, she is currently working on her second album, which contains Reggae, Jazz, Electro, Pop, Dancehall and R&B infusions. Her versatility knows no bounds and her passion for music has resulted in a number of accolades. The greatest of which is being named “Best Female Vocalist of the Year” at the Belize Music Awards three years in a row (2010, 2011 and 2012). Tanya’s debut album Daydreaming was named the best album in Belize upon its release in 2011 and tunes from the album graced the airwaves in Jamaica, Los Angeles, Africa, Mexico and even climbed to number 3 on the Lithuanian music charts.

OAS-Backed Small Business Training Program in Jamaica Successfully Concludes
The Organization of American States (OAS), in partnership with Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the University of Texas at San Antonio announced this week the completion of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) Counselor and Director Certificate Training in Kingston, Jamaica. The Project, launched in 2012 in Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia, seeks to contribute to the development of institutions to support micro, small and medium-sized (MSME) enterprises in the CARICOM region and to improve the competitiveness of small companies, especially those headed by women. Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams; the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, Raymond Brown; and the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, spoke at the ceremony for graduates of the Certificate Training program held on Monday, March 18.

Lord Ashcroft moans about missing the boat on tax exemption
Lord Ashcroft, the billionaire peer who made his fortune in Belize and elsewhere and who almost single-handedly kept the Conservative Party financially afloat during the lean years after Labour’s 1997 landslide, seems to be very cross that there is no escape from the House of Lords. He was put up for a peerage in 1999 by William Hague but the political honours scrutiny committee at first blocked his nomination, then laid down the condition he should make the UK his home. This was understood by others to imply that he should become a UK taxpayer, but having refused to discuss his tax arrangement for 10 years, Ashcroft finally revealed, just before the 2010 election, that he was a non-dom, paying UK tax on only part of his income. That same year the new government passed a law, which included a Section 41, which laid down that any MP or peer would in future be deemed to be a UK resident for tax purposes, regardless of where they made or kept their money. MPs who wanted to stash their cash abroad could always escape this clause by quitting Parliament, but a peer is a peer for life. So peers were given a one-off chance to resign, which a handful did.

Is it bye-bye Lord Ashcroft as the peer starts asking awkward questions?
As a businessman resident in Belize, Michael Ashcroft donated millions to the Tories, eventually being rewarded with a peerage by William Hague in 2000 and becoming a vice-chairman of the party. But the question of whether he paid tax in this country continued to embarrass Hague throughout his time as party leader and afterwards. Now Lord Ashcroft has been asking a series of written questions which suggest he would like to give up his seat in the Lords and resume his non-dom status. Since 2010 all peers are automatically registered as fully domiciled for tax purposes. When the legislation was brought in there was a three-month window for peers to quit the House for good. Four people took this up, including Lord McAlpine and Norman Foster, but Ashcroft, following the controversy and confusion over his tax affairs, decided to remain. However, there is now no escape for peers, as the Government has ruled out any small bits of Lords reform legislation that would expel peers with criminal convictions and allow others to retire.

Flexxing with TANYA CARTER
“My inspiration for music came from my father. He introduced me to Bob Marley and Dennis Brown, and I just fell in love with reggae from there on.” MOST would be surprised to know that these words were not said by a Jamaican artiste, but that of Belizean songstress Tanya Carter. She told teenAGE, for our Flexxing With that “Belize is very much in love with Jamaica, their culture and their music.” The Belize City native is currently making a splash locally with her Christopher Birch-produced single My Ex-Boyfriend. Before testing the waters in Jamaica, Carter has become a household name in her homeland, winning a plethora of awards, including the “Best Female Vocalist of the Year” Award at the Belize Music Awards for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012. “My breakout song was Hero. I wrote it about my parents at a time when I wanted to quit music, because I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere. It became a real huge success to the point I was opening up for Etana, Luciano, and Morgan Heritage because of it,” said Carter. Her follow-up hit was the patriotic, I Am Belize. The song would go on to be a promotional favourite to use by the Belizean government that commissioned a songwriting contest, in which it won.

Belize: Beachfront At The Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Belize is a beautiful place to visit. The tropical waters and exquisite beaches are a compliment to the already beautiful land and greenery. In order to enjoy this destination to the fullest, you need to visit the Jaguar Reef Lodge and Spa. The Jaguar Reef Lodge is a luxury retreat a mile south of Hopkins Village. The Caribbean shore provides miles of beach and surf and on the other side is the thick, jungle layout. The resort Cabanas and suites are spacious and private. Allowing all guests access to the sandy pathways that lead to all areas of the establishment. The rooms are equipped with private porches or balconies, purified water dispensers and air conditioning. The modern amenities are aplenty as WiFi, T.V. and DVD players are in all of the suites. The decor of the rooms provide for a relaxing atmosphere. Between the beachfront swimming pools, crystal clear Caribbean waters and snorkeling, windsurfing and hammock lounging, this destination is perfect for ultimate relaxation.

VIDEO: El Eden Cenote
This beautiful Cenote also know as Ponderosa is located 25km south of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. It offers an amazing swimming/snorkel area in the middle of the dense Mexican jungle. It is a divers dream world with sensational rays of light beaming down through the water before mid day. Most of the dive is accompanied by views of the jungle above the cenote. The halocline is located around 10m and makes for an optical illusion when the fresh and salt waters mix. El Eden also offers cave diving interconnecting with some of the nearby Cenotes. All and all another one of the amazing cavern dives in the Mayan Riviera.

Central American Immigrants in the United States
Since 1990, the number of Central American immigrants in the United States has nearly tripled. This immigrant population grew faster than any other region-of-origin population from Latin America between 2000 and 2010. Central American immigrants' share of the total immigrant population in the United States has also grown steadily for the past five decades, from less than 1 percent in 1960 to almost 8 percent in 2011. Compared to other immigrant groups in the United States, Central American immigrants were less likely to enter as refugees; more likely to obtain lawful permanent residence (LPR) status through family relationships; reported having lower levels of English proficiency and education; were more likely to live in poverty; and were more likely to be of working age. About 1.5 million children under the age of 18 resided in households with at least one Central-American born parent, representing 9 percent of all children of immigrants. This article focuses on a wide range of characteristics of Central American immigrants residing in the United States, including the population's size, geographic distribution, admission categories, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Data are from the US Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey (ACS), the 2000 Decennial Census (as well as earlier censuses), and the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics.


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CTV3

Suicide By Poison
A Corozal resident committed suicide yesterday. Reports are that at around 2:00pm yesterday 32 year old Omar Martinez, Belizean cane cutter of San Narciso Village Corozal, entered his mother’s residence and informed her that he had drunk poison. Martinez then went outside, sat on a chair and threw away a white plastic bottle as he began vomiting. The 32 year old was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where he died at 4:00pm. Police retrieved the white bottle from the area for examination and investigations continue.

Forest Dep. Officially Lodges Report Of Illegal Hunting Of Howler Monkey
The Forest Department has lodged an official complaint at the Orange Walk Police Station against four students and one male teacher of the Belize High School of Agriculture. CTV3 News understands that today representatives of the Forest Department visited the station where they handed over their investigative file to Superintendent Joseph Myvett. Based on the Forest Department’s investigation, the prosecution will now seek to have all four boys and teacher found guilty of illegal hunting after charges are levied against them. However, we understand that none of the individuals, accused of brutally attacking a black male howler monkey on March 5th, were detained today. As we have stated before, the monkey died two days after the incident while being treated at the Wild Tracks Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja.

Yes Or No To The ICJ? Referendum Unit Educates Teachers And Students
A Referendum Unit was formed and launched early this year with the task of educating Belizeans on the pros, cons, and risks of taking Guatemala’s long standing claim over Belize to the International Court of Justice. The referendum unit has been travelling to all parts of the country, meeting with different groups and community members. Today, the team was at Muffles High School discussing the education process for the Belize/Guatemala Referendum with teachers from various high schools and fourth form and third form students of Muffles High School. We stopped by to take a look at how the awareness campaign is going so far. Hipolito Novelo Reporting… Ask yourself this: how much do you know about the Guatemalan claim over Belize? Probably it’s only the bits of information that was thought to you in primary and high school. The referendum on whether or not to take the long standing dispute to the International Court of Justice is schedule for October 6th. The responsibility to inform Belizeans about the pros, cons, and all the risk we’ll be taking if we do take the matter to the ICJ has been tasked to the Referendum Unit which was officially launched on January 23rd 2013. Stuart Leslie, Ambassador, Referendum Unit “Since then the referendum commission which is made up from all civil society in support of the process in giving Belize an awareness of the pros, cons and the risk in presenting Belize’s case before the ICJ. One of the issues that we are picking up out there is fear when it comes to Belize and Guatemala. We try to deal it with by providing people with information. So it is an awareness campaign that is giving people the facts.”

After 47 Days Hilmer Ical Still Missing
Today makes 47 days that 15 year old Hilmer Ical has been missing. Yesterday when we spoke to Ical’s aunt, 45 year old Olympia Bull, she told us that since the boy left home on January 31st he has not been seen or heard from. The last the family heard is that Ical is in bad company hence why they are pleading for him to come home. Ical is described as being of Mestizo descent, brown complexion; 5 feet in height, medium built and weighs about 85 lbs. He was last seen in Corozal Town on January 31st selling Creole bread. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Ical is asked to call 911 or the nearest police station.

Orange Walk's Rodrigo Leiva Wins Elite Race In Mexico
Yesterday we told you about Grisel Carballo, the proud Orange Walkena who represented Belize in the Diosa Maya Internacional 2013 Pageant in Merida, Yucatan and for the first time won the crown. Tonight another Orange Walk resident is making headlines in Mexico after winning a cycle race in Chetumal Quintana Roo. Belizean Elite Rodrigo Leiva won the 60 kilometers Class Elite race, while second place went to Juan Cuellar and third place went to Jairo Campos also from the Orange Walk District. Congratulations to both young cyclists.

Referendum Is Standing On Shaky Grounds
And while students of Muffles College were educated on the Belize/Guatemala Referendum, the Referendum itself is standing on shaky ground. On Saturday, a Belize delegation, headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, travelled to Washington DC to meet with Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Fernando Carrera and OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. The main topic of discussion was to be Guatemala’s proposed change of date for the October 6th Referendum or for Belize to change its Referendum Law to provide for a simple majority to decide if Guatemala’s long standing claim will be taken to the International Court of Justice. But word tonight is that instead of taking part in Sunday’s meeting, Minister Fernando Carrera sent his Vice Minister to represent him with the excuse that he had had a family emergency. The meeting; however, proceeded without the presence Belize’s Foreign Minister since it was conducted at a Vice Ministerial Level due to Carrera’s absence. Leading the Belize delegation was CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado who late yesterday evening received Guatemala’s Official Proposal for a change in the Referendum date. The proposal, we understand, will now be presented to Cabinet for discussion after which a decision will be made. Of note is that the opposition will also be consulted in reference to Guatemala’s proposal.

Neighborhood Watch Group Forms After Too Much Burglaries
For the past three months, the village of Yo Creek has been plagued by a number of burglaries and last two weeks more than 200 residents gathered at the community centre to discuss the matter. With the assistance of Constable in Charge of Community Policing at the Orange Walk Police Department, Zenubio Coc, the villagers formed a neighborhood watch committee headed by Oscar Barrera. Barrera explained the problems villagers have been facing over the past few months. Oscar Barrera, Chairman Yo Creek Village Neighborhood Watch Group “Up to date we have approximately 15 to 20 robberies that have been committed in our community; from tractor batteries that have been stolen to pumps and herbicide and up to house break in. So we decided that nothing is being done by a competent authority and so it was time for us to stand up. We are not trying to lower our police department but this is our way of doing our part and try to avoid what is going on.” So far the group has 40 members who have organized a network of communication in order to keep a watchful eye over the community. Oscar Barrera, Chairman Yo Creek Village Neighborhood Watch Group “We patrol for the past two weeks from early in the night and almost four in the morning that that is the time span that we think these criminal activities are going on. Any person that is walking around, riding around in our village that is not from her is stopped and question. Anybody that is a suspect, it’s not that we are telling people not to come in our village but it is a precaution method. But now that the group is formed, financing is needed in order for members to carry out their various roles.

Preschool Festival of Arts
Child Stimulation month is being observed in preschools across the country this month under the theme ““Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders”. One major event that involves the participation of all preschools in the districts is the preschools’ Festival of Arts. Today, Orange Walk’s youngest students representing the district’s twenty four preschools took part in the Preschool Festival of Arts at the Multi Purpose Complex. From what we were able to observe preschoolers put up quiet a show. Here are some highlights of the event.

Trinidad Gets Resource Center
In this day and era, keeping up with technology is a must, that is, if you want to be at par with the changing global community. But for rural communities like Trinidad, keeping up with technology has proven to be a difficult task, until today. The village now counts with a fully operating resource centre located at the Trinidad Government School compound. Nikki’s Library is comprised of mainly 6 desktops, library books and toys courtesy of Rotaract International. The centre is also connected to the internet thanks to SMART. All these factors were made available thanks to the hard work of the Resource Centre Committee headed by Yasser Sosa. Yasser Sosa, Resource Centre Committee “With this library, we chose the location here at the school because we want the school to benefit with the library and the community and also working together with the community because here we don’t have a lab for the community. But we are working towards it because we had a library but it was not developed and now we have a well developed library. Right now I am working with one of my colleagues in installing the computer and we are trying to get the donations for the internet. Thanks for Rotaract International we get six computers, the library, one television with VCR and some toys for the kids.”

PlusTV

Ardon Belgrave shot dead in Belize City
Police have confirmed that there was a murder by shooting around 11:25 this morning on Caesar Ridge Road in Belize City. While not releasing a name, police say the individual was found on the street apparently already dead with a gunshot wound to the head. PLUS News has learned...

Brandon Smith captured by police and charged for attempted murder of four officers
Last night we told you about a shootout between two men and Police. In that incident, one of the culprits, 28 year Alrick Smith who was shot to the abdomen, was captured by police and taken to the KHMH in a critical condition. But the other man, 27 year...

Bar association on ICJ issue
As the date for the October 6 ICJ referendum draws closer, explanations about its importance and relevance become bigger in the minds of the public. One organization prepared to help is the Bar Association. President Eamon Courtenay said today that the Bar is preparing to open its discussions. Eamon...

Bar Association concerned about planned amendment to the Legal Profession Act
The planned amendment to the Legal Profession Act encouraging multiple legal associations has divided opinion among members of the Belize Bar in recent weeks. The organization which it most affects, the Bar Association, met on Monday night to develop its response. Approximately 50 members attended and together reached consensus,...

Changes made to Organizational Structure of the Belize Police Department
Allen Whylie has been Commissioner of police since January 9 of this year. He spent much of his first month battling to get the situation under control after spate of crime resulted in 26 murders in 12 weeks. Yesterday, Compol Whylie finally got a chance to present his plans...

130 new police officers to hit the streets
A record breaking number of police trainees graduated from the Police Training Academy this afternoon. After months of intensive physical and mental preparation, recruit squad number 88 stood proudly at their passing out ceremony. Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar addressed the graduates this afternoon. He said that...

Lloyd Alexander King’s charge is expected to be upgraded to murder
Almost two weeks ago, 28 year old Ronald Rivers was shot to the face in front of the UNO Gas Station while fixing a vehicle. After a long battle, his kidneys failed and he suffered strokes and heart attacks. He was being kept on life support for some days...

Customs Department make big contraband bust
The Customs Department made a big contraband bust over the weekend. On Saturday, over 1300 cases of Modern Silver Elephant cigarettes were confiscated in Jalacte, after BDF alerted customs of the movement of suspect cargo. It has been reported that the cigarettes were legally purchased in the Corozal Free...

US Embassy representative comments on human trafficking incident
A Salvadoran woman was detained by police in connection to a human trafficking incident that occurred over the weekend. 43 year old Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia was reportedly trafficking three boys ages nine, ten and thirteen, and two females ages fourteen and eighteen. According to reports they are...

Belize City divided into four Police Precincts
An eleven-zone plan had been established by the police Department at the end of 2012 to fight crime on the ground. That plan, which included the acquiring of one police patrol vehicle for each zone, has now given way to a plan of numbered precincts, which correspond roughly geographically...

Reef Week celebrated March 18 to 24
“Belizeans: People of the Reef” is the theme for the first ever Reef Week being celebrated from March 18 to 24. Formal launch took place last night and Minister of Fisheries Lisel Alamilla gave full government support to the initiative. Lisel Alamilla – Minister of Fisheries: I thought...

US releases annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
The United States Department of State has released its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. The report, released earlier this month, seeks to track the War on illicit Drugs. Some 22 countries made the list, including Belize. And while we did not make the most spurned category OF Countries...

Trinidad and Tobago to play Belize’s National Football Team
Belize’s national football team is preparing for a tough outing in July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States, playing in Group C against the host nation as well as Costa Rica and Cuba. They will play Trinidad and Tobago, former World Cup finalists and eight-time Caribbean champions on...

YWCA open National Resource Center in Belmopan
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) celebrated 57 years of existence this past Sunday. A week of activities has been planned to commemorate the anniversary. One of those activities was the opening of a National Resource Center in Belmopan. The building, which was inaugurated this afternoon, is located on...

Gospel Artist Dennis G launches second album
Gospel song writer and performer Dennis G launched his second album this weekend at the Gospel Expo. The name of the album is “A Better Place.” Dennis G stopped by our studios yesterday to promote his latest work. Dennis Requena – Christian Musician: The new CD, I officially release...

Thirteen year old Kissia Martinez missing from Armenia Village
A family in Armenia Village is tonight looking for thirteen year old Kissia Martinez, who has not been seen after she left home to pick up her younger sister. Kissia’s mother told police that yesterday, shortly after 6:30pm, she sent her daughter to the Armenia Government School to pick...

Amandala

AMID CONTROVERSIAL AUDIT, MINISTER OF EDUCATION DEFENDS UB BOARD OF TRUSTEES
“…they have not concluded that there exists any instance of missing funds.” At Friday’s Sitting of the House of Representatives, Minister of Education Patrick Faber, who is also the United Democratic Party area representative for Collet, rose to defend the integrity of the board of trustees of the University of Belize (UB), chaired by Imani Fairweather-Morrison, saying that they have his unwavering support. Since last year, there have been reports of possible irregularities in the university’s payroll, and a special audit is being undertaken by Castillo Sanchez and Burrell, independent auditors. The board of trustees, said Faber, is “not perfect, but they are not into fleecing and robbery as others would like you to believe.” He said that Morrison has given selflessly to the University of Belize: “For two years, she did not take the stipend given to board chairmen,” Faber said, indicating that there were others on the board who also did not take the stipend. “She donated over $10,000 cash of her personal money to UB. She did it without fanfare, because that is how she is.”

THREE SHOT IN LADYVILLE DRIVE-BY SHOOTING
The victims are aged 13, 16 and 25. Three persons were shot in Ladyville at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, at about Mile 8 on the Philip Goldson Highway. A female student, 13, of Ladyville, who is a first form student of Wesley College, was shot in the upper right leg; a male student, 16, of Belize City, was shot in the right side of the chest and left shoulder, and Errol Andrews, 25, of Belize City, was shot in the right hip. The victims were all taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they are receiving medical treatment, The victims were waiting for a bus at the bus stop in front of Lowe’s Superstore in Ladyville to come to Belize City, when a heavily tinted car drove up and a gunman from the car fired at them, before speeding away. Police said that they carried out an area search to locate the car, but it was nowhere to be found. The motive of the attack on the three persons is not yet known.

LEON “BUN” HUMES, 23, DIES AFTER BEING SHOT ON MAHOGANY
Another city youth has been gunned down. Leon “Bun” Humes, 23, a construction worker of Jasmine Street, was shot on the sidewalk of Mahogany Street after a gunman approached and fired a shot into his face at about 11:30 p.m. on Friday, March 15, in front of a Chinese store on Mahogany Street, near its junction with Jasmine Street. The bullet reportedly exited Humes’ head. The family told Amandala that around 11:00 p.m. on Friday, Leon and others were playing boxing in front of his house on Jasmine Street when police, on patrol, approached them, broke up the game and dispersed the friends. Humes then indicated that he was going to buy food at a Chinese store at the corner of Jasmine and Mahogany Streets and headed toward the store. Shortly after, a man walked up behind him and when he turned around, the man shot him in the face and then escaped. Marie White, his mother, said that they were at home when one of his friends ran to the house and told them that Humes had been shot. She and others rushed to the area, where he was still lying on the ground. An ambulance came shortly after and took him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he fought for his life for about three hours, before dying at about 2:30 the following Saturday morning.

GUAT FOREIGN MINISTER A “NO SHOW” AT OAS
Guat president presses for change in Belize law and referendum date. Belize and Guatemala held an important bilateral meeting at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington, DC, USA, on Sunday, March 17—not today as an official had previously told us—but the man expected to head the Guatemalan delegation, Foreign Relations Minister Fernando Carrera Castro, did not show up at the meeting, and no final decisions were taken on proposals by Guatemala to defer the October 6, 2013, simultaneous referenda to settle the territorial differendum at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The latest development leading up to the meeting is a formal declaration by Guatemala president Otto Perez Molina that they would seek an agreement from both Belize and the OAS for a one-year delay of the referenda. President Molina reaffirmed that plan to the Guatemala media this past Saturday, March 16, the day before the OAS meeting. Official reports out of Washington say that Foreign Minister Carrera wasn’t able to attend the OAS meeting because of a personal emergency. With Carrera absent, the Washington meeting could not proceed at the ministerial level, and the second-in-command for the foreign ministries on both sides of the border proceeded to hold bilateral talks.

BELIZE MAJOR DRUG TRANSIT AND MONEY LAUNDERING STATE – US
MILLIONS IN COCAINE SEIZURES, SAYS REPORT Seizures: • 19.1 metric tons (MT) of marijuana • 156 MT of precursor chemicals • Over 100 kilos of cocaine “Drug trafficking and drug-related violence continue to rise in 2012, threatening the security of Belizean citizens and the integrity of the country’s borders. These threats will continue if more serious measures are not taken by Belize’s government.” The 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released this month by the US State Department, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law, ranks Belize among the major countries listed for narco-trafficking and money laundering. The listing follows a September 14, 2012, presidential determination issued by the White House in Washington, which stated that “…countries listed as major drug transit and/or major illicit drug producing countries is not necessarily an adverse reflection of its government’s counternarcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States, but reflects the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced, even if a government has carried out the most assiduous narcotics control law enforcement measures.” Belize appeared on the list of major narco-trafficking countries along with Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

KEVIN LEE, 68, CONVICTED OF INDECENT ASSAULT
Lee was accused of touching a client’s breasts and legs... Today, after months of adjournments during the trial, Kevin Lee, a well-known acupuncturist in Belize, was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. In a report to police, a 20-year-old female told police that she had visited Lee’s clinic twice – once in March 2011 and again on April 6, 2011. But it was on her second visit that the alleged assault occurred. She said that Lee fondled her breasts and legs, and attempted to touch her vagina. In his testimony, Lee, who was represented by attorney Alifah Elrington Hyde, told the court that the woman had indeed visited his clinic on two separate occasions. However, on the date that she indicated that the incident occurred, he was busy with a lot of customers and because her injury seemed to have healed, he opted to have her get a machine massage. Lee also presented the court with two receipts, allegedly showing the dates that the woman had come to his clinic, and the payments she made based on the prices of the massages.

MAN AND GOD Editorial
When, in 1492, Columbus, representing the Spanish monarchy, discovered the New World, he set in train the long and bitter international rivalry over colonial possessions for which, after four and a half centuries, no solution has yet been found. Portugal, which had initiated the movement of international expansion, claimed the new territories on the ground that they fell within the scope of a papal bull of 1455 authorizing her to reduce to servitude all infidel people. The two powers (Spain and Portugal), to avoid controversy, sought arbitration and, as Catholics, turned to the Pope – a natural and logical step in an age when the universal claims of the Papacy were still unchallenged by individuals and governments. After carefully sifting the rival claims, the Pope issued, in 1493, a series of papal bulls which established a line of demarcation between the colonial possessions of the states: The East went to Portugal and the West went to Spain. - Dr. Eric Williams in Capitalism and Slavery, quoted by John Henrik Clarke in 1972 in his introduction to J. A. Rogers’ World’s Great Men of Color. All the children of Belize go to primary school. Half of them go to high school. A small percentage go on to tertiary level institutions. Since politics is about numbers, then the most important schools in Belize are the primary schools, because they affect the most Belizean minds. All of the primary schools in Belize are run by religions, of which the most powerful are the Roman and Anglican religions. In the primary schools, Belizean children are taught to differentiate between right and wrong, according to the teachings of the respective religions.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
RAFAEL CARRERA (1814-1865) – The population of Guatemala under Carrera was about 512,000, most of whom were Indians, very slightly mixed with white. Negroes did not number over 1,000, half of whom were unmixed blacks who called themselves Caribs, and still do. As for Carrera, he is sometimes called a mulatto and sometimes a zambo, that is half-Negro, half-Indian. Enciclopedia Ilustrada says that his father was a Negro and his mother an Indian. (See “Carrera,” Vol. XI, pg. 1325.) Encyclopedia Americana, in its sketch of him, says the same. On the other hand, C. L. Jones, in his authoritative work, Guatemala, Past and Present, pg. 42 (1940), says that Carrera’s parents were listed in the parish register as mulattoes. He adds, “One of his few apologists deduces from the available records that the boy (Carrera) inherited at the most 17 and a half percent of Negro blood. The rest he estimates at 10 and a half Indian and 72 percent white.” The American diplomat Stephens, evidently thinking that it was less humiliating to deal with an Indian than with a Negro ruler, said of Carrera, “His friends, in compliment, call him a mulatto; I, for the same reason, call him an Indian, considering that the better blood of the two.” (Incidents of Travel in Central America, Vol. I, pg. 224.) The character El Supremo in C. S. Forrester’s popular novel Captain Horatio Hornblower is undoubtedly Carrera.

WHERE’S THE MAP? Letters
Dear Editor, I read with great interest, in the Amandala of Wednesday, March 6, 2013, the essay by Mr. Henry Gordon regarding the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Eamon Courtenay, and was moved to call him. I asked him about the maps [1] &[2] he mentioned under exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf of Belize and Honduras. He could recall seeing it, probably in 2003, as the results of the conference were published, but could not now locate a copy. Since then, I have called several government departments to see where a copy of this map is located, and can be seen.

MARLON HARRIS, EX-COP, HAS EXTORTION APPEAL DISMISSED
Harris, 37, was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 when he was convicted In March of 2010, PC Marlon Harris was convicted of extortion by a jury of 9 after they heard evidence of his alleged participation in the matter. When he was sentenced, instead of a custodial sentence, he was ordered to pay $10,000 by the end of September of that year. According to the report to police, on November 30, 2008, Ayetekin Kelat was driving a vehicle with an expired insurance when he arrived at a checkpoint where Harris was posted at the time. Kelat was summoned to appear at court on December 1, 2008. But later on November 30, Harris arrived at Celebrity Restaurant where Kelat was the manager, and told him that he could make the matter “go away” if Kelat paid him $100. Before handing over the money, Kelat called David Henderson, the Assistant ComPol at the time, who arrived at the restaurant and was able to retrieve the money from Harris.

JANAE MATUTE’S CASE AGAINST DR. RAJU TO BE HEARD AT CCJ
Amandala has confirmed that the $2.13 million lawsuit won last year by Georgia Matute on behalf of her daughter Janae Matute, 12, against former government practitioner Dr. Raju Meenavali, is being appealed again—this time at the level of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), based in Trinidad and Tobago. The allegation is that the doctor had miscalculated the age of the mother’s pregnancy, and so Janae was delivered at 36 weeks via C-section. The child was born with lung problems and developed a lifelong disability known as cerebral palsy. Her mom had told us in 2012 that although Janae goes to school, she has to personally do a lot for her: She has to be fed, clothed and bathed. As we reported last April, the Belize Court of Appeal had upheld a ruling in favor of Janae, awarding her $2.13 million in damages, a reduction in the $2.5 million that the Supreme Court had awarded back in 2010. Beyond making a case that the award in damages is excessive, Meenavali’s case before the CCJ flatly denies the allegation of medical malpractice. Godfrey Smith, SC, is the attorney for Dr. Raju. He told Amandala today that, “We are going right to the heart of the matter and saying there was no negligence on his part.” Smith said that although they were given leave to appeal in the Belize Court of Appeal, so far, the CCJ has not issued a date for the hearing.

Blogs

Medical Safety Update and Kelly McGuire
Was up at 5:00am getting ready for the first aid course today. Between packing my kit, answering emails, sending out lat minute updates, doing laundry, blogging and texting Leisa my hands were full. I will be so glad to come home and fall into a nice clean bed later on, likely after a a celebration drink on the way home. It is going to be a great day. I am super excited about the sponsorship part of the Belize Red Cross Medical Safety program and how well received it has been, I could not have dreamed it any better. All those days I spent walking up and down the island with my music player imagining how the story would write itself and putting it out there that the right people line up. Yesterday I made it to the bridge and back contemplating the program and what was needed before today’s course.I had to get Our New president, Eiden a Red Cross shirt and update on all the business that are pledging to make San Pedro Safe so he could have them for the morning show. The other top things on my list were – getting an answer from Lydia or Linda at Holy Cross in regards to the El Divno Sponsorhip, finding an organized office co-coordinator and dynamic first aid instructors. On my way home I saw the razor parked at Banana Beach so I stopped to visit Cowboy Doug and Leisa, we chatted for a bit over an Arnold Palmer while they finished lunch. I told her that I would give Mr Ack from the post office his lunch money as the post office approved to accept their 2 sponsorships, she gave me Josh’s and then my time was up. I was off to check in on laptop, meet up with Dick, do Caye bank, a parcel pick up at the post office and my Red Cross Errands. On my first check in I got an email from Lydia giving me the Principal Grace’s cell number to line someone up. I could not get an answer and wrote back asking if she or her husband would be willing to do training – unfortunately they were both busy.

Grand Belizean Estates, Ambergris Caye: An Afternoon at the Beach Or…What’s Really There?
For a few years, the Grand Belizean Estates was a development on Ambergris Caye that we heard tons about. A HUGE subdivision on land (though that term has been much disputed) a bit off the beaten path. Here is a picture I found on mlsinbelize.com to show the location. The black dotted line shows the 9 plus mile drive up there. The thin area on the right (along the ocean side) is where almost all of us cluster. I’m not exactly sure why this is the best map that I can locate. The GBE team used to have a booth in town, at fairs and festivals, promotions in the paper and in the news…you could buy a plot of land on THIS ISLAND for a few hundred dollars a month. But now it seems like it has been radio silence. What’s going on with this massive project? (I won’t even ask the questions like “where did the money come from?” or “when are utilities coming?”…it’s just too overwhelming.) According to the website, most of the units have been sold. Maybe that is why things have been quiet? Rumors abound. I took up a trip up there with friends to check out the lovely beach on the west side of Ambergris Caye (NOT part of the subdivision) and to take a look around, It was my first trip there.

Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Training
ICT classroom training sessions, which are being held at BELTRAIDE Belmopan office, are being held through a participatory methodology and a practical approach. Training for Consultants in ICT Directed at Business and Entrepreneurial Women through the MSME Service Center in Central America and Dominican Republic, with Joaquin Magdalena Perez, ICT Advisor.

Small Business Development Centres to Open Across the Region
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the International Trade Centre at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Organisation of American States (OAS) announced today that the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce will complete its four-part Small Business

Caribbean Export Week
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), as part of its mandate to promote export led growth for the Caribbean region and to facilitate increased exports to regional and international markets, is pleased to launch for the first time a Caribbean Export Week. The week of activities aimed at raising the level of awareness about Caribbean Export in particular on the work being under-taken as part of the 10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme, commences with an Ecumenical Service on March 17 and has a two day Caribbean Exporters’ Colloquium in the week, where industry leaders will discuss key issues relating to exporting from the Caribbean to the international market. Speakers at the Caribbean Exporters‘ Colloquium being held at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Barbados on March 20-21, 2013 include Dr. The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who will give a keynote address on the first day of the event. Those attending the two day event will be challenged to take an indepth look at the report of the West Indian Commission – Time for Action, followed by an analysis of the regions exports. Panelist including The Honourable Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce for Jamaica, Sir Shridath Ramphal, Former Chairman, The West Indian Commission, The Honourable Ryan Pinder, Minister of Financial Services, The Commonwealth of the Bahamas and Prof Victor Bulmer-Thomas of London University and UCL Institute of the Americas, London will discuss the issues raised in the report and assess the region’s current export performance in light of developments taking place at the global level.

Design Caribbean 2013 Goes to the Bahamas
On January 11, 2013 the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas signed an agreement to hold Design Caribbean 2013 from June 20-23, 2013 at the Grand Lucayan Resort, Freeport Grand Bahama. The Hon. Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama in his remarks at the signing event expressed his delight to host Design Caribbean as it “will expose local artisans and manufacturers to overseas buyers in retail, hospitality, design, music, film and fashion; thus providing them with opportunities to exhibit their talents, market and sell their products and services.” DESIGN CARIBBEAN is the rebranded evolution of the Caribbean Gift and Craft show (CGCS) aimed at taking the promotion of the creative industries, in particular the design sector in the region, to new levels of excellence. The Design Caribbean showcase provides a platform for only the best Caribbean artisans and designers to show, market and sell their products locally, regionally and internationally.

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 constitutional and legal framework to non-discrimination, were discussed. But there was no representation from Belize and the committee’s expressed disappointment for the absence which impeded dialogue on important human rights issues. The session opened with the airing of the content of an-email sent by Belize and from there it continued downhill. “The reasons they gave are purely finance, that’s what they say here. It’s just an email where they say on the fourth of March after numerous email exchanges; where also in which they were saying that they would transmit the replies to list of issues; that they were making some kind of an effort to engage with the committee to send their replies.

Angel in Ambergris Caye
Well and truly back in to the swing of things after only one night’s sleep back home here on Ambergris Caye. Up just after 5 am with my mug of coffee and on-line subscription to The Times on the veranda Rose and I spent the morning carrying out post holiday chores. Me with the ironing (we had put a wash on within an hour or so of returning home on Monday) and Rose taking care of the ‘condo clean-up’. In between the chores we had breakfast and lunch. Where does the time go when you are having fun? I then devoted a little bit of time to administrative stuff with one of the things being to ‘chase up’ the pension statement I need to provide to the Belize Tourism Board for my application to enter the “QRP” (Qualified Retirement Program). With luck I should have this by Thursday and then,hopefully, my application will be processed fairly quickly. By now we were feeling slightly ‘stir crazy’ and were really pleased that it was time to head off to see what was going on at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. On arrival at the site it was really good to be able to park the golf cart in front of the house.

International Sources

False-positive mammograms take mental toll, study finds
Women may suffer psychologically long after the scare of a false-positive mammogram, Danish researchers report. Long after learning that a troubling reading on a screening mammogram was just a false alarm, women continued suffering negative psychological effects, researchers in Denmark have reported. Six months after hearing they did not have breast cancer, women with these false positives experienced changes in "existential values" and "inner calmness" as great as for women who had cancer. They reported having more anxiety, feeling more pessimistic and having more problems with their sleep and sex lives — as well as other negative outcomes — than women who had normal mammograms. The effects moderated over time but were still apparent three years after the initial screening. The findings suggest that healthcare providers need to pay closer attention to the harmful effects of screening programs, said University of Copenhagen physician-researcher Dr. John Brodersen, lead author of a study detailing the work published Monday in the journal Annals of Family Medicine. "When I became a doctor and I took the Hippocratic Oath, I said, 'Do no harm,'" he said. "But this is harm."

Whisnant recognized by for work in Belize
Dr. Paul Whisnant received an Official Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Embassy in Belize in appreciation for his 15 years helping Americans in need in Belize. This work is in addition to, and separate from, his full time service, 22 years as a missionary to Belize. “I want to take this opportunity to thank you, my friends, who pray, give and volunteer to help me as I serve with International Servants in Belize,” he said.

TANYA CARTER CALLS ON BIRCH FOR EX-BOYFRIEND
The sultry voice from Belize meets authentic Reggae Kingston, Jamaica:- After more than two dozen performances across the world, Belizean songstress, Tanya Carter, has decided to spread her wings to Jamaica. Excited about crossing over to Reggae, she has been working closely with Christopher Birch of Birchill Records, who produced and co-wrote her newest single: Ex-boyfriend. Singing since the age of 5, Tanya takes her inspiration from Jamaican greats: Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, and Burning Spear; and discovered at an early age her passion for Reggae and Jamaica culture. The Belizean is no stranger to Jamaicans, having opened for Etana, Luciano, Lexxus and Morgan Heritage and decided to come to the home of Reggae music to get a better understanding of the culture around the genre she loves, and to work with some of the best producers in the business. With several years of performing under her belt, she is currently working on her second album, which contains Reggae, Jazz, Electro, Pop, Dancehall and R&B infusions. Her versatility knows no bounds and her passion for music has resulted in a number of accolades. The greatest of which is being named “Best Female Vocalist of the Year” at the Belize Music Awards three years in a row (2010, 2011 and 2012). Tanya’s debut album Daydreaming was named the best album in Belize upon its release in 2011 and tunes from the album graced the airwaves in Jamaica, Los Angeles, Africa, Mexico and even climbed to number 3 on the Lithuanian music charts.

OAS-Backed Small Business Training Program in Jamaica Successfully Concludes
The Organization of American States (OAS), in partnership with Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the University of Texas at San Antonio announced this week the completion of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) Counselor and Director Certificate Training in Kingston, Jamaica. The Project, launched in 2012 in Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia, seeks to contribute to the development of institutions to support micro, small and medium-sized (MSME) enterprises in the CARICOM region and to improve the competitiveness of small companies, especially those headed by women. Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams; the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, Raymond Brown; and the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, spoke at the ceremony for graduates of the Certificate Training program held on Monday, March 18.

Lord Ashcroft moans about missing the boat on tax exemption
Lord Ashcroft, the billionaire peer who made his fortune in Belize and elsewhere and who almost single-handedly kept the Conservative Party financially afloat during the lean years after Labour’s 1997 landslide, seems to be very cross that there is no escape from the House of Lords. He was put up for a peerage in 1999 by William Hague but the political honours scrutiny committee at first blocked his nomination, then laid down the condition he should make the UK his home. This was understood by others to imply that he should become a UK taxpayer, but having refused to discuss his tax arrangement for 10 years, Ashcroft finally revealed, just before the 2010 election, that he was a non-dom, paying UK tax on only part of his income. That same year the new government passed a law, which included a Section 41, which laid down that any MP or peer would in future be deemed to be a UK resident for tax purposes, regardless of where they made or kept their money. MPs who wanted to stash their cash abroad could always escape this clause by quitting Parliament, but a peer is a peer for life. So peers were given a one-off chance to resign, which a handful did.

Is it bye-bye Lord Ashcroft as the peer starts asking awkward questions?
As a businessman resident in Belize, Michael Ashcroft donated millions to the Tories, eventually being rewarded with a peerage by William Hague in 2000 and becoming a vice-chairman of the party. But the question of whether he paid tax in this country continued to embarrass Hague throughout his time as party leader and afterwards. Now Lord Ashcroft has been asking a series of written questions which suggest he would like to give up his seat in the Lords and resume his non-dom status. Since 2010 all peers are automatically registered as fully domiciled for tax purposes. When the legislation was brought in there was a three-month window for peers to quit the House for good. Four people took this up, including Lord McAlpine and Norman Foster, but Ashcroft, following the controversy and confusion over his tax affairs, decided to remain. However, there is now no escape for peers, as the Government has ruled out any small bits of Lords reform legislation that would expel peers with criminal convictions and allow others to retire.

Flexxing with TANYA CARTER
“My inspiration for music came from my father. He introduced me to Bob Marley and Dennis Brown, and I just fell in love with reggae from there on.” MOST would be surprised to know that these words were not said by a Jamaican artiste, but that of Belizean songstress Tanya Carter. She told teenAGE, for our Flexxing With that “Belize is very much in love with Jamaica, their culture and their music.” The Belize City native is currently making a splash locally with her Christopher Birch-produced single My Ex-Boyfriend. Before testing the waters in Jamaica, Carter has become a household name in her homeland, winning a plethora of awards, including the “Best Female Vocalist of the Year” Award at the Belize Music Awards for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012. “My breakout song was Hero. I wrote it about my parents at a time when I wanted to quit music, because I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere. It became a real huge success to the point I was opening up for Etana, Luciano, and Morgan Heritage because of it,” said Carter. Her follow-up hit was the patriotic, I Am Belize. The song would go on to be a promotional favourite to use by the Belizean government that commissioned a songwriting contest, in which it won.

Belize: Beachfront At The Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Belize is a beautiful place to visit. The tropical waters and exquisite beaches are a compliment to the already beautiful land and greenery. In order to enjoy this destination to the fullest, you need to visit the Jaguar Reef Lodge and Spa. The Jaguar Reef Lodge is a luxury retreat a mile south of Hopkins Village. The Caribbean shore provides miles of beach and surf and on the other side is the thick, jungle layout. The resort Cabanas and suites are spacious and private. Allowing all guests access to the sandy pathways that lead to all areas of the establishment. The rooms are equipped with private porches or balconies, purified water dispensers and air conditioning. The modern amenities are aplenty as WiFi, T.V. and DVD players are in all of the suites. The decor of the rooms provide for a relaxing atmosphere. Between the beachfront swimming pools, crystal clear Caribbean waters and snorkeling, windsurfing and hammock lounging, this destination is perfect for ultimate relaxation.

VIDEO: El Eden Cenote
This beautiful Cenote also know as Ponderosa is located 25km south of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. It offers an amazing swimming/snorkel area in the middle of the dense Mexican jungle. It is a divers dream world with sensational rays of light beaming down through the water before mid day. Most of the dive is accompanied by views of the jungle above the cenote. The halocline is located around 10m and makes for an optical illusion when the fresh and salt waters mix. El Eden also offers cave diving interconnecting with some of the nearby Cenotes. All and all another one of the amazing cavern dives in the Mayan Riviera.

Central American Immigrants in the United States
Since 1990, the number of Central American immigrants in the United States has nearly tripled. This immigrant population grew faster than any other region-of-origin population from Latin America between 2000 and 2010. Central American immigrants' share of the total immigrant population in the United States has also grown steadily for the past five decades, from less than 1 percent in 1960 to almost 8 percent in 2011. Compared to other immigrant groups in the United States, Central American immigrants were less likely to enter as refugees; more likely to obtain lawful permanent residence (LPR) status through family relationships; reported having lower levels of English proficiency and education; were more likely to live in poverty; and were more likely to be of working age. About 1.5 million children under the age of 18 resided in households with at least one Central-American born parent, representing 9 percent of all children of immigrants. This article focuses on a wide range of characteristics of Central American immigrants residing in the United States, including the population's size, geographic distribution, admission categories, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Data are from the US Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey (ACS), the 2000 Decennial Census (as well as earlier censuses), and the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics.


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