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#462229 - 04/12/13 12:24 PM Today's Belize News: April 12, 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

Tropical Paradise – Becoming one with tranquility
Okay, so I thought it was a sleepy village, but I was wrong. Yes, Caye Caulker is somewhat slow paced, (ya can’t drive fast – pedestrians still own the streets) but there are certainly many options for pretty much whatever you’d like. A one-stop destination in Caye Caulker for accommodations, fine dining, drinks, music, and even daily excursions in Caye Caulker – is the Tropical Paradise Ltd. Tropical Paradise, located a little south of Caye Caulker, but yet in walking distance from everything, offers a more secluded and private stay. With several private cabins with either garden view or beach view, this establishment was one of the first to offer accommodations to visitors to Caye Caulker. Family owned since 1985, their years of being in the service industry are made apparent by the very high level of customer service offered by staff.

Human remains found in the Boca Ciega area of Ambergris Caye
San Pedro Police have recovered the skeletal remains of a human adult. The almost complete skeleton was found in about three to four feet of water in the Boca Ciega area of Ambergris Caye. A team of investigators and police officers visited the area after receiving information about the remains from a local fisherman who came across the bones. Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Formation Superintendent Luis Castellanos told The San Pedro Sun that sometime over the Easter vacation, a local fisherman who was on a fishing expedition with his family came across the bones under the water. Police said that they visited the area some three miles southwest of San Pedro Town on the leeward side of Ambergris Caye but their first search was unsuccessful. After speaking with the local fisherman, police officers were then taken Human-Remains-found-Offshore-3to the area on Wednesday April 10th where the remains were found.

The National AIDS Commission (NAC) Island Committee: Rethinking HIV Prevention
On Saturday April 6th, the National AIDS Commission Island Committee met to view a presentation prepared by Dr.Martin M. Cuellar, Ph.D, Executive Director of the commission at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II. The presentation,which started at 9AM,was primarily focused on “Rethinking HIV Prevention.” Topics discussed at the presentation included Identifying needs, Reviewing Risk Factors, Reducing Risks and Behavioural Change to those suffering and affected by HIV/AIDS. The main purpose of the meeting was to relay the latest information to its members, including outreach strategies. Also presented was some of the latest statistical information in regards to identifying prospective target groups, thus relaying competent information to that particular group. In addition to the health facts presented in the morning segment of the meeting was a presentation prepared by presentation specialist Eckert Middleton. This presentation edified NAC Island Committee members on the fundamentals of preparing an effective presentation. It included everything from what to include in a presentation all the way the down to fundamentals such as selecting appropriate font types and sizing. At end of the meeting the NAC Island Committee was given tools that would assist in outreach including, sex-ed games that could be used at the adolescence outreach level.

Dead crocodile found in northern Ambergris Caye
On March 30th American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) volunteer Chris Summers responded to a report of a dead crocodile at the Grand Belizean Estates area north of San Pedro. It was determined that the croc had been dead for a couple of days and due to the stage of decomposition cause of death was undetermined. It did however have a large machete wound on its right side in the abdominal area. It is estimated that the croc was approximately six years, not yet sexually mature. Less than one percent of American Crocodiles live to reach sexual maturity in the wild. When we add human interference, the number of survivors significantly decline. Crocodiles are a protected species in Belize and play a very important role in keeping our natural ecosystem in balance. Crocodiles even keep snapper populations healthy by feeding on the weaker and sick fish. Without crocodiles the island’s lagoons would be thrown out of balance and fish populations that residents depend on would become sick and eventually die off. Please remember not to feed, harass or molest crocodiles.

New officers join the San Pedro Police Formation

Ambergris Today

Chami-Ka & Melonie Gillett Shoot Exotic Music Video for Reggaeton Hit
Reggaeton artist Chami-ka has just released this week a new music video to his hit single “Lo Que Siento Por Ti” in which he features guest singer Melonie Gillett singing in Spanish. This song, which was released as a single on January 29th, 2013 has been a hit on all radio stations in Belize and several in Central America. Melonie Gillett and Chami-Ka visited Placencia in February where the video shoot took place, primarily at Robert's Grove Beach Resort. Other location shoots included that of Caves Branch Outpost with caWith just a few more shots left to do at Caves Branch Outpost.

Six New Officers Assigned to San Pedro Police Department
In January of this year San Pedro welcomed a new Officer in Charge for the San Pedro Police Department, Superintendent Luis Castellanos. He brought with him a positive mind, attitude and determination to bring good positive changes to our community and police department. Ambergris Today met with Mr. Castellanos to check how the department has been operating, what changes have been made and to welcome six new officers to the San Pedro Police Department. With the addition of the six new officers San Pedro now counts with 39 Police Officers. Supt. Castellanos personally introduced us to three new officers who were on duty - PC Epifanio Bol, PC Yannick Wade and WPC Kadizha Jones. All three were excited to be on the island and stated that they come ready and willing to work for the betterment of the island and hope to work hand in hand with the community.

3rd Annual San Pedro Softball Cup This Weekend!!!
The San Pedro Town Pedro Council will be hosting the 3rd Annual San Pedro Softball Cup on Saturday, April 13th and Sunday, April 14th at the Ambergris Stadium. Three schools will be participating as follows: St. John’s College – 2012 National Male Softball Sub-Champions Belmopan Comprehensive School – 2013 Male Softball Sub-Champions San Pedro High School – Back to Back National Softball Champions Schedule: Saturday, April 13, 2013: Game 1: San Pedro High School vs Belmopan Comprehensive School 9:00 a.m. Game 2: St. John’s College vs San Pedro High School 11:00 a.m. Game 3: Belmopan Comprehensive School vs St. John's College 1:00 p.m. Game 4: Belmopan Comprehensive School vs San Pedro High School 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 14, 2013: Game 5: San Pedro High School vs St. John’s College 9:00 a.m. Game 6: St. John’s College vs Belmopan Comprehensive School 11:00 a.m.

Dorian’s Angels Love Moondancer Kids
The Angels were invited to visit Moondancer’s latest addition to the company, Moondancer Kids. Moondancer is known for having the latest in fashion for women and the best accessories and perfumes on the island. And now Moondancer Kids does the same but with all what you need for your children. Moondancer Kids is the place to find everything for your baby; they have baby bouncers, baby bather, hooded towels, blankets, one piece baby clothes sized from new-born to 24+ months, baby bottles, sippy cups, and much, more.

Misc Belizean Sources

Shooting last night - Ambergris Caye
Shooting last night in the airstrip area, across from my little hotel, Two lots South of Stones across from Backatown Bistro.. One dead they call Cobra about 52-56 years old, two hospitalized. No shooter apprehended so far. Likely drug related. No other info. Don’t have any other details at the moment.

Fundraiser Events This Weekend in Corozal
FUNDRAISER- 1 This SUNDAY April 14th is all about “Beach Bash” happening at the Rainbow Beach Park in Corozal Town!! MAD SPINNNING by Corozal’s very own DJ Fi Real and DJ Ronnie Aguirre!!! Come out and have some family Fun!!Food and Drinks on Sale! NUFF MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT!!! Live Band performance featuring the New Varieties Band and Gilharry 7…It is another family day…Close the kitchen and come out this Sunday. FUNDRAISER- 2 Come and join us for a delicious chicken barbeque: Date: SATURDAY, April 13th Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Place: In front of town hall, across from Central Park Cost: $6 Food Chicken, flour tortilla, baked beans and coleslaw This is a fundraiser for Rigo, trainer at Corozal’s Lotus Gym to attend his first bodybuilding competition in England.

Ratings On Belize Raised To 'B-/B' On Expected Completion Of Debt Exchange; Outlook Stable; Bonds Due In 2038 Rated 'B-'
Creditors holding 86% of Belize's $547 million bonds due in 2029 have accepted the debt exchange offer, and today the Government of Belize will exchange the 2029 bonds for new bonds maturing in 2038. We are raising our long- and short-term foreign and local currency issuer credit ratings on Belize to 'B-/B'. We are assigning a 'B-' senior unsecured foreign currency rating on Belize's new proposed bonds due in 2038. The stable outlook on Belize reflects our expectation that the debt exchange will moderate some medium-term fiscal pressure but that the government's debt burden will remain heavy and economic growth prospects modest.

VIDEO: 2 Sly Weber! Belizean Female Artist
I like this kid. I agree she is honest and talented and speaking for the ones that are not ready to speak for themself. She should be on one of our shows.

Opposition rejects new moves by Guatemala to claim Belizean territory
The main opposition People’s United Party (PUP) has rejected the latest move by Guatemala showing Belize to be part of the Central American country. Guatemala plans to distribute four million new passports with the map showing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country as part of its territory over the next decade. The opposition party has warned that a future “PUP government will deny entry to Belize for any person bearing a Guatemala passport with a map showing Belize as a part of Guatemala” and is urging the Dean Barrow government to do the same.

VIDEO: Tarpon of Caye Caulker
Go Pro underwater shots of the tame tarpon in the bay at the entrance to the underwater cave at Caye Caulker Belize. There is a slow mo section where the fish come up for some bait. Tarpon remind me of a gigantic version of the bleak Alburnus alburnus a rather small cyprinid coarse fish found in the uk. These fish ranged from about 5kg to 30kg and up to 1.5m in length.

VIDEO: Skydiving into the Blue Hole, Belize
The ultimate skydive in my 21 years of jumping! Exit from 13,500 feet in PERFECT weather conditions (ie endless blue skies, puffy clouds and NO wind) with my beautiful husband and Arizona friend Ginger. I deployed at 8,000 feet so I could soak in all the exotic beauty and sublime heavenly experience. A once in a lifetime never-to-forget skydive!!! BTW, my canopy is red, black and gray, and I am the last person to land in this video. WOOHOO! The Great Blue Hole is a stunning circular jewel surrounded by a ring of shallow luminous coral reef in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Measuring 1,000 feet across and more than 400 feet deep, this ocean-floor limestone sinkhole is believed to be the world's largest blue hole, made famous by Jacques Cousteau. Atolls are characterized by a large, fairly shallow lagoon surrounded by coral reefs. Only four known true atolls exist in the Western Hemisphere, and of these, three reside in Belize: Turneffe, Lighthouse and Glovers.

Celebrities continue to help Belize's conservation efforts
Grey’s Anatomy star Kate Walsh’s recent reflections on her conservation efforts in Belize in an international magazine highlight the importance of celebrity recognition in raising awareness of important issues in small developing countries such as Belize, according to an environmentalist at Chaa Creek’s Natural History Centre, who said that assistance from celebrities continues to provide a much needed boost to the small Caribbean country’s conservation efforts. Chaa Creek naturalist guide and Natural History Centre assistant manager Brion Young said that several people had recently called his attention to an April 2013 article in Travel + Leisure magazine, and that this highlights the importance of celebrity endorsement of local conservation efforts. “Even though Ms Walsh was here last summer on World Ocean Day, this recent article shows that the effects of her visit are still being felt, and still raising awareness about the need to protect our fragile ecosystems such as the Belize Great Barrier Reef,” Young said.

Fried Rice/Spanish Rice
This recipe is a simple version of Fried Rice or Spanish Rice. I opted out of using tomato sauce, but normally tomato sauce can be used. This can be made with or without meat.

Channel 7

Cabinet Minister Defends Rosewood Decision, Opposition Wants Transparency
Tonight, Rosewood exporters are making the most of a 19-day amnesty on the precious hardwood. They are rounding up all the flitches they can get their hands on to export it before the amnesty expires on April 26th. The cabinet decision to allow the traders to export all they can – included confiscated Rosewood – has generated controversy. Fuelling that public uproar is a terse release from government – issued after the amnesty started – which gives an insufficient explanation of the programme – it only says that Government quote, “has decided to …allow the sale/export of already harvested rosewood.” Today we pressed Security Minister John Saldivar for more details as he exited WAVE Radio’s “Fus Thing Da Mawnin” where he makes a weekly appearance. Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "We made a decision that we should allow the exportation of these Rosewood by the exporters, and that there should be some sort of profit sharing formula between the Government of Belize and the exporters. I believe it's a 50-50 profit sharing formula." Jules Vasquez "However, aren't we legitimizing those who have ran a red light in the law?" Hon. John Saldivar "Well I imagine what is of concern to Cabinet, is what we do with this valuable product that is on the ground, and we have to be realistic about what to do with it. The last time the minister set fire to close to half a million dollars' worth of Rosewood, there were those who applauded her for that but there are also those who felt that it was a waste of resources. So, Cabinet has tried to strike a balance and see how we can get rid of those Rosewood that is on the ground. So that after April 26th, we can have a clearer direction as to where we go with the Rosewood trade."

Two Charged for February/March Murders
Viewers may remember 28 year-old Ronald Rivers; he was shot in the face around noon on March 4 at a much trafficked intersection. He struggled for 2 weeks on life support at the KHMH, and he finally succumbed to his injuries. Well tonight, the man who police believe was the shooter was taken to Magistrate Court today on the charge of murder. As we reported, Rivers was trying to fix his SUV at the Bel-China UNO gas station when 2 men rode up on bicycle and shot him. A team of police officers were on patrol on Vernon Street when they heard the gunshots and immediately responded. One of the officers saw 18 year-old Lloyd King trying to flee the scene of the crime, and he was trying to hastily shove a gun into his pants. The officers caught him on Magazine Road in front of the Matron Roberts Polyclinic, where they retrieved a rusty .38 special revolver, loaded with 3 live rounds which they believed to be the weapon used to shoot Rivers.

Family Loses home To Fire, Points At Son And Brother As Arsonist
This morning at around 8, residents of Holy Emmanuel Street were alerted to a fire which completely destroyed a family’s wooden house. The residents at lot 45 have lost their home, and all their belongings, but even more disheartening than that, the man who is suspected to have committed arson against them, is their own son and brother. 7News arrived shortly after the Fire Department got the situation under control, and Daniel Ortiz has that report: Daniel Ortiz Reporting When we arrived at lot 45 on Holy Emanuel Street, the house was completely destroyed. The Fire fighters were finishing up their work to try to put out the last bits of flame on the wooden structure. Police already had the suspected culprit detained, and he sat on the ground handcuffed, waiting to be escorted to the station. The personal belongings of an entire family were reduced to ashes. They stood around confused and unsure: did one of their own burnt down the house? Anna Lorenzo - Family's Home Destroyed "I am not really sure; we just got a call and a text that our house was on fire so we quickly came." Reporter "Who called?" Anna Lorenzo "Our neighbor."

Customs Busts Container With Goodies In the Back
Customs has impounded a Freightliner Cargo Truck and a van belonging to a business house in Orange Walk after it was found with a stash of premium un-customed goods inside. Customs confirms that it received intelligence yesterday and followed the vehicles from Orange Walk to San Antonio Village, Corozal where they searched them. They found both loaded with local sugar, but stuffed behind the sugar, they found 15 cases of Monster energy drink, 23 cases of Red Bull Energy Drink and 13 cases of assorted liquor – all to a total value of $71,000.00 dollars. They could not produce receipts for any of the drinks and so the vehicles were impounded and three persons detained. Customs believes that no duty has been paid on those drinks. They also believe it’s a long standing practice of this and certain other business houses to smuggle contraband items beneath legitimate local products such as sugar.

A Late Night Exhumation and Grave Mix-Up Stirs Controversy For City Hall
Lord Ridge is the oldest and biggest cemetery in the country – and, tonight, the city council is in the middle of another ugly controversy over it. This time it’s about burying someone in the wrong grave, and then having to exhume them in a late night operation. That happened last night at 11:00 and the man known as Easy Glen – who bases his operations near the Cemetery - told us what he witnessed: Goldbourne Adolphus, "Easy Glen" - Lord Ridge Whistle Blower "Well last night, the first thing they did, they came with their equipment. They set out their generators and so forth; most of the guys that you see work at the Council, they had their rubber boots, their full gears. They prepared up themselves because they had advised the council to get the proper gears for them. They broke open the tomb and took out the box." Reporter "The man that was buried here:is it the man that was buried in the grave beside?" Goldbourne Adolphus, "Easy Glen" "That's right in the proper grave in which he had belonged." Reporter "As far as you know about these stuff, was it carried out in the proper way?" Goldbourne Adolphus, "Easy Glen" "Well, I will be straight up. It had been carried out in the proper way because they had gotten advice from the supervisor here at the burying ground, Mr. Betran, and Mr. Long at the KHMH. Right, but to say if the Health Department and so forth was involved, no."

Experts : 2013 Hurricane Season “Above Average”
Hurricane season is two months away, but forecasters are predicting an above-average 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. They are forecasting 18 tropical storms, nine of them turning into hurricanes. They say that of the nine predicted hurricanes, four should be major hurricanes — categories 3, 4 or 5 — with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater. The team's forecast in 2012 for 10 named storms and four hurricanes -- was far below the 19 storms that formed, including 10 hurricanes. An average year has 12 tropical storms, seven of them hurricanes.

Court: Pharmacist Fondled In Benque
Members of the community of Benque Viejo Town continue to be outraged at the breach of trust by a local pharmacist, Cesar Mendez. He has been convicted indecent assault in the Benque Magistrate’s Court. A 12 year-old female minor reported to police that 2 times earlier this month, Mendez fondled her. As a result of her report, police arrested and charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and he was arraigned exactly a week ago. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined a total of $500 by Magistrate Linbert Willis. But it would seem that the family of the victim is dissatisfied with that penalty, and they are considering if they have a right to appeal that sentence.

Unearthing A Thousand Year Old Burial Crypt At Santa Rita
Two months ago, we told you about the work to restore the Santa Rita Mayan temple in Corozal to its former glory. The project, funded by NICH and the US Embassy simply hoped to remove some of the rubble that was obscuring the grandeur of the site. But in what started out as a restoration effort, the team from the Institute of Archeology has come upon some major finds, like that pelican figure we showed you last time. Well that’s minor compared to what we were called out to see yesterday. 7news was there as Dr. Jaime Awe opened a Mayan burial crypt for the first time in over a thousand years! It’s an epic moment and we caught it all on camera. Jules Vasquez has the story:… Jules Vasquez reporting All this week, conservatory work at Santa Rita slowed as under this tent site workers made what’s being called “an incredible discovery.” It's only what's known as a stair block, the site manager saw tell-tale signs. Dr. Jaime Awe - Director Of The Institute Of Archaeology "A few days ago, Jorge came and said you know we have the stair block, which is located right in the middle of the stair way at the center line of the temple. Well when we started to discuss this and we agreed that we needed to put an excavation there because these stair-blocks, everywhere we find them on temples we often find tombs associated with them. We decided we have to excavate there. They started to go down and they found these capstones."

Police Learn to Maneuver Motorbike
Often in our newscast, viewers listen to members of the public complain that the Police Department is very slow in responding to their reports and calls for help. Especially during this time of mass street upgrades by the Belize City Council, the officers have been particularly challenged in trying to meet the demands of the public. As a result, the officers have been looking to more flexible means of transportation, and for the last 3 days, several officers have been participating in a motorcycle training court. Today, one of the officers who told us about their progress. Police Learn to Maneuver Motorbike "Today we will finish up with a 3-day basic Motorcycle riding course. We are dealing with mostly first time riders." Reporter "What is the purpose of this training class?"

Man Freed From Rape Charge After Two Years
23 Year-old Jesus Manuel Moroy, who has been on remand facing a rape charge for almost 2 years, was able to go home a free man yesterday when the complainant asked for no further court action. Moroy, who was about to stand trial before Justice Herbert Lord in the Northern Sessions of the Supreme Court was called up for his case to start. When the victim was called to testify for the prosecution, she told the court that she no longer wanted any further court action. She explained that over that extended period of time, she has met people who helped her work through the trauma, and she’s been able to attain a level of peace that the case would force her to disturb. After hearing her statement, Justice Lord directed the sitting jury to find the defendant not guilty, setting him free of the charge. According to the victim’s report, Moroy forced her to have intercourse against her will while in the village of San Narciso, Corozal.

Learning How To Export Wisely
Last night, we showed you the Caribbean Export Development Agency’s training workshop. They were trying to help the private sector access a portion of the European Development Fund, which has ear-marked a budget of 2.5 million European dollars for the Caribbean. Belize has to share access to this fund with 14 other CARIFORUM countries, so as expected, Belizean companies must make a major impression on the agency in order to be granted any portion of it. Only companies which are looking to export their goods and services have access to this funding so today, in line with that, the Ministry of Trade, released its plan of action called the National Export Strategy. It is a 5-year plan designed to stimulate export within different areas of the private sector, and today the Ministry unveiled the plan to stakeholders to get their input and consultation. Here’s an excerpt what the Executive Director of BELTRAIDE told the gathering about this the second iteration of the NES, and the challenges that the first plan faced.

Hon Saldivar Explains PLUS TV Suit
PLUS TV is facing a libel suit brought by Minister of National Security John Saldivar. It’s for a comment made by Rise and Shine co-host Jason Andrews accusing Saldivar of making defamatory remarks about his management of public funds. Now, in the news business, there are multiple libel suits facing media houses at any given time. Mostly, they are dealt with privately and only make news if and when they go to open court. But, PLUS TV has put Saldivar on blast and is having something like a pre-trial in the court of public opinion. Today Saldivar told us that despite the flak he’s taking daily, he won’t back down. And the public funds in question? He says he spent that on Turkeys. Jules Vasquez "There have even been aspersions that you're trying to muzzle the press. Why are you taking Plus TV to court?" Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security. "Because I value my reputation and I believe that the words uttered by Mr. Jason Patrick Andrews was assailing my character and reputation. They disagree and that is why they have refused to apologize and retract. They feel that they were within their rights to say what they did. Only a court can decide that and that is how these matters work. If you're in the media, you know how it works. If they feel they had the right to say what they did, they take it to court. I feel that they wronged me, which they falsely accused me of something, and they assailed my reputation and I am going to court to vindicate."

Skeletal Remains Found In Southern San Pedro
Tonight, the San Pedro Sun is reporting that island police have found the remains of a human adult. It was found in about three to four feet of water on southern Ambergris Caye – about three miles south of the island. The find has aroused interest because – according to the Sun - since 2011, five persons have gone missing on Ambergris Caye. Families of those persons are urged to contact San Pedro police.

Profile of Pie-Bwai
We call him sweet man, and others call him jam roll man, while to most he is known as jam bwai. But whatever, whenever you call him, Wayne Myles has a smile and sweet words for the many patrons who support the happy-go-lucky vendor. But it hasn’t always been happy times for the fast-talking food vendor. He grew up tough and battled drug addiction before he made the change in his life. He is the subject of tonight’s profile.

Guat President Tells Belize Accept Change In Referendum Date Or Move On
Guatemala’s president Otto Perez Molina has said that the October 6th ICJ referendum would be off if Belize does not accept either of the two proposals his government made a few weeks ago. Guatemala wants Belize to change its Referendum Law so that there is no 60% threshold for validity. He is quoted as saying yesterday that quote “if Belize does not accept, we will not go to a referendum and waste 2 hundred 60 million quetzales on something that, going in, we know we will not win.” End quote. That 260 million quetzales works out to about 33 million US dollars. In other, related news, the OAS adjacency office sent out a release late yesterday. It challenges the publice statement made by Wil Maheia. It says quote “the verification officers of the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone traveled to Gracias a Dios last Saturday, April 6th with the only and exclusive purpose of avoiding incorrect readings of the location of the Adjacency Line which could cause an incident or tension between the Parties. Likewise, it is important to note that at no time were land-clearing activities undertaken.” Touche!

Funds For Poverty
Today, the Ministry of Economic Development, in collaboration with Caribbean Development Bank, unveiled a 12. 8 million-dollar project which will fund poverty alleviation projects around the country. It is a very welcomed relief because according to the statistic, the countries poverty and unemployment rates are at all-time highs. It’s part of CDB’s Basic Needs Trust Fund, and today 7News spoke to one of the bank’s representatives about how this funding was granted to Belize. Hon. Santiago Castillo - Minister of State/Economic Development "First of all, it's the first one that the CDB is doing, it's a big one and it's $12.8m through the Basic Needs Trust Fund, 7th tranch. It's being done through CIF and it's all geared towards poverty alleviation for those people who need it the most. So that is what makes it very interesting and that together with the $30m that we had already gotten through the CIF Program, that's a lot of money that will be invested to the poorer sectors of Belize. It will be in areas such as education, housing, those areas that we feel need it the most to uplift Belize more or less as best as possible with the funds that we have through this program. Clearly we are very grateful to our partners at Caribbean Development Bank, who in their speech today mentioned that Belize is one of the countries that has shown the best economic recovery."

Channel 5

Belmopan minister explains the simplicity of rosewood fiasco
Shipments of Rosewood, which fetches top dollar in mainland China, were blocked by a moratorium by the Ministry of Forest, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. But on Monday, cameras caught the removal of flitches from the Forest Department in the Capital. Both the Minister, Lisel Alamilla and the Chief Forest Officer, Wilbur Sabido, are out of [...]

How can confiscated rosewood be sustainably harvested?
So, finally there is an explanation of an official sort; even if delivered in a less than official fashion. But there are glaring points which the Minister of National Security brushed aside during his regularly scheduled appearance on the “Fus Ting Da Mawnin” show. In March, rosewood found in Belize and the rest of the [...]

Kambokin, one of the rosewood exporter kings
The rosewood crisis festered until February 2012, when the moratorium was introduced. Up to that time, one of the main exporters of timber, and a name frequently associated with illicit harvesting of rosewood, is Kambokin Enterprises Limited. That company is registered in Corozal, and when News Five went digging for answers, we found out that [...]

Guatemala buys combat planes to patrol reserve that borders Belize
Hopefully, rosewood extraction will not cause decades of dialogues and explanations as Guatemala’s unfounded claim against Belize. For years negotiations and discussions have failed. Earlier in the year, while both countries should have been preparing for an October sixth referendum on whether or not to forward the claim to the International Court of Justice, Guatemala [...]

Guatemala says no referendum if date not changed
Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina is making it abundantly clear that if Belize does not change the October sixth referendum date, Guatemala will not proceed to hold the referendum. The president made the statement on Wednesday adding that he was not prepared to waste two hundred and sixty million quetzals or thirty-two million U.S. dollars [...]

John Saldivar sues to protect his reputation
As we reported in Wednesday’s newscast, Minister of National Security John Saldivar has filed a lawsuit against Belmopan’s Plus TV and Patrick Andrews for libel and defamation.  The claim arises from remarks, allegedly slanderous, that were made by Andrews during an installment of the station’s Rise and Shine morning show in late 2012.  The comments, [...]

Saldivar says he didn’t demand removal of talk show co-host
Fifty thousand dollars is a lot to spend on turkey but Saldivar stands by his claim that he was defamed. Plus TV’s Managing Director Luis Wade, in an interview with News Five on Wednesday, said that he had been asked by Saldivar repeatedly to have Andrews removed as co-host of the talk show along the [...]

A son suspected of burning family home
While Saldivar and Plus TV will settle in court, a family in Belize City will also seek court action for their personal damages experienced this morning. At about eight o’clock, a family lost all their belongings in a fire.  That’s bad enough…but it gets worse because it is believed it is a case of arson [...]

Human remains found in mangrove on Ambergris Caye
While that family picks up the pieces of their loss, officers in San Pedro had to dive and pick up pieces of a lost life. The skeletal remains of a human were found on Ambergris Caye. At three-thirty on Wednesday evening, a fisherman informed San Pedro police about the discovery. Southwest of the island about [...]

Third inmate charged for drugs inside prison
It may be hard for officers to find clues to the demise of the individual in the swamp water, but not only do cops look for evidence at the scene of the crime, sometimes they must also check the prison. Earlier this week, two of three inmates at the Belize Central Prison were arraigned for [...]

Couple busted for weed
Tonight, twenty-three year old Jervin Robinson and his girlfriend, Jessica Sinclair, are remanded at the Belize Central Prison for drug trafficking. The charges were levied following the discovery of seventy-two grams of cannabis at their residence in Belama.  The couple appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on Wednesday where joint charges were brought against them.  [...]

Suspect charged for murder of basketball player
Eighteen-year-old Lloyd Alexander King, also known as Moose, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison where he awaits trial for the Belize City murder of a prominent basketball player, Ronald Rivers.  King, who was initially indicted for attempted murder and firearm-related offenses, saw his charges upgraded following Rivers’ death a few weeks after the [...]

New code of conduct for law enforcement officers
Thieves, murderers and drug dealers aren’t the only people who are charged for crimes. Some-times the cops are also paraded before a judge. In the wake of numerous allegations of abuse and brutality against members of the Belize Police Department, the Ministry of National Security is drafting a new code of conduct for law enforcement [...]

Houston-based autism support group shares with Stella Maris
The run-of-the-mill cruise ship tourists get a tour to a popular destination or lounge around the village and get their hair braided or a drink of a local brew. But on occasion, there are those tourists whose presence are valued and felt way more than the few dollars they add to the economy. And that [...]

Caribbean Development bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund
A national project spearheaded by the Caribbean Development Bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund was launched today in Belize City.  Present for the occasion is Darran Newman-Belgrave, Portfolio Manager for (Basic Needs Trust Fund) BNTF’s Social Sector Division.  Speaking at the gathering was Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Santiago Castillo. [...]

Healthy Living succeeds in losing weight
If you’re heard of regimens such as ramen diet, cabbage soup, Atkins diet, South Beach diet, or workouts such as Zumba, or ten minute abs, then you are probably one of many people whom have tried many cure-alls for losing weight. And though some people manage to initially take off some weight, at the end [...]

LOVE FM

Basic Needs Trust Fund 7 Launches In Belize
The Basic Needs Trust fund is a regional grant program geared toward poverty reduction infrastructure that is in existence for over thirty years. In that time the BNTF has expended almost 190 million U.S dollars regionally including Belize. Under the Social Investment Fund ...

Villagers In Toledo Protest Land Transactions In Their Area
Villagers of Jacintoville in the Toledo District are very concerned about transactions done regarding land within their village boundary. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG "During a well attended meeting on Monday evening discussions echoed strong conc...

Wednesday, April 10 - Dangriga Has New Deputy Mayor
Dangriga has a new Deputy Mayor. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU " Councilor Gilroy Howard Flores was sworn in as the new Deputy Mayor for Dangriga at an official ceremony held yesterday at the BTL Princess Royal Park. Residents of Dangriga a...

Sessions Planned For Caregivers of Cancer Patients
Cancer is a disease that discriminates against no one and more and more now, children are becoming victims. Since January already Belize has lost two children, ages five and 17, to cancer. It is with this in mind that on Thursday, the Belize Cancer Society will gather w...

PUC and BWS Say No Increase In Water Cost
Three months after the electricity company, Belize Electricity Limited received a seven-cent increase in tariffs, the Public Utilities Commission, PUC, has decided that it won’t levy an increase on water rates. The decision comes on a submission made by the BWS to the PUC, ...

Public Hearings Scheduled On Waste Management Facilities
The Solid Waste Management Authority will be holding a series of public hearings to update the public of the waste management facilities being built under the solid waste management project. Tyrone Chimilio is the Social Communications Officer for the Solid Waste management Authority. ...

Funding Available For Small Businesses Through The Caribbean Export Development Agency
And while the controversy at home is over Rosewood exportation, one Caribbean-based organization is zeroing in on helping local businesses who export their products to hone on their skills when applying for grant funding. The Caribbean Export Development Agency, headquartered in ...

Government Allows Illegal Rosewood Harvest To Be Sold
On Tuesday, the Government’s Press Office issued a release saying that the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development will allow for the sale and exportation of rosewood that was illegally harvested in order to avoid a total loss of the value of the wood. T...

Family of Eight Loses Home To Fire
A family of eight lost their home to fire early this morning. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL "The family who resides on Woodpecker Street in Charleston Village in the Orange Walk District reports that the fire began sometime between 2:30am and 3am in one o...

COLA Issues Release On Guatemala's New Passport
The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, has fired off a press release over the decision of the Guatemalan government to print its passport showing a map of that country that includes Belize. COLA expresses its strong belief that quote, “Guatemala has underl...

Shopkeeper Charged With Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Thirty-nine year old Arden Middleton, a.k.a. “Gad”, a shopkeeper of Caesar Ridge Road charged with unlawful carnal Knowledge of a girl, 14, was found guilty of the charge today in the court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The jury of six men and three women deliberated for abo...


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LOVE TV

Basic Needs Trust Fund 7 Launches In Belize
The Basic Needs Trust fund is a regional grant program geared toward poverty reduction infrastructure that is in existence for over thirty years. In that time the BNTF has expended almost 190 million U.S dollars regionally including Belize. Under the Social Investment Fund the Basic Needs Trust Fund seven was officially launched this morning in Belize City Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Santiago Castillo says this project means for Belize. SANTIAGO CASTILLO “First of all it’s the first one that the CDB is doing; it’s a big one, it’s 12.8 million dollars through the basic needs trust fund, 7th tranche. It’s being done through SIF and it’s all geared towards poverty alleviation for those people who need it the most. So, that ‘s what makes it very interesting and that together with the 30 million that we had already gotten through the SIF 2 program that’s a lot of money that will be invested into the poorer sectors of Belize during the next few months. Where the project will be implemented will be worked out over the next 2 days but certainly it will be in areas such as education, such as housing, such as those areas we feel need it the most to uplift Belize more or less as best as possible with the funds that we have through this program and clearly we are very grateful to our partners, the Caribbean development Bank who in there speech today mentioned that Belize is one of the country that has showed the best economic recovery and that is why they have so much faith and that is why there are launching it in Belize today.

Funding Available For Small Businesses Through The Caribbean Export Development Agency
And while the controversy at home is over Rosewood exportation, one Caribbean-based organization is zeroing in on helping local businesses who export their products to hone on their skills when applying for grant funding. The Caribbean Export Development Agency, headquartered in Barbados, has a program with the European Union called the Regional Private Sector Development Program. The program provides for funding to the tune of 28 million euros for businesses in countries that are members of CARIFORUM. In 2012, twelve Belizean businesses received funding to help keep their operations going. That was a marked improvement over the previous two years because Belizean businesses had not qualified for any funding before that. Today Caribbean Export Development Agency’s Senior Grant Advisor, Kirk Brown, explained to reporters what the session aims to achieve and who can or cannot apply. KIRK BROWN “The facility we offer is a grant facility; we have two types of funding, one is the small grant which is five thousand euro and one is the large grant which is thirty thousand euro and firms have the opportunity to get funding to fund anything that can enhance the competitiveness of their company or business. Simply put, if they needed to develop a website, if they needed to upgrade equipment, if they needed to train staff, if they needed to market or promote their business or services, if they also needed to attend trade shows, they could get funding.

COLA Issues Release On Guatemala’s New Passport
The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, has fired off a press release over the decision of the Guatemalan government to print its passport showing a map of that country that includes Belize. COLA expresses its strong belief that quote, “Guatemala has underlined its lack of respect for this country and its sovereignty and its inability to let go of a claim that has distorted its image internationally and caused it to fall behind in its obligations to its own people. We consider this the end of the ICJ/Special Agreement process and urge Belizeans to boycott any referendum held at any time after October 6, 2013 that is premised on that Special Agreement”, unquote. The COLA release ends on a piercing note, appealing to the Belizean Government to deny anyone in possession of such a passport, including Guatemalan diplomats and representatives, access to enter Belize or its services. COLA also believes that Belize should withdraw from the upcoming OAS Congress in Guatemala City and all activities involving Guatemala at the state and national level.

Shopkeeper Charged With Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Thirty-nine year old Arden Middleton, a.k.a. “Gad”, a shopkeeper of Caesar Ridge Road charged with unlawful carnal Knowledge of a girl, 14, was found guilty of the charge today in the court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The jury of six men and three women deliberated for about three hours and 20 minutes before it arrived at its verdict, which was unanimous. Justice Gonzalez has deferred sentencing until Thursday, April 18, in order to give Middleton time to prepare a plea for mitigation. The incident occurred between 11 a.m. and midday on July 13, 2011. The girl testified that she went to Little Wilt’s Place on Caesar Ridge Road and she asked Middleton to use the bathroom. The girl said he followed her and guided her into his room where he had sex with her.

CTV3

Some $71,000 Worth Of Contraband Goods Confiscated By Custom Officers
Details are still sketchy but CTV3 News has been reliably informed that a Freightliner truck and a van have been confiscated by Custom Officers. The Freightliner was carrying some $71,000 worth of goods, most of them contraband items. We understand that both vehicles were intercepted by the Village of San Antonio in the Corozal District. Inside the Freightliner officers found sacks of local sugar, 15 cases of Monster Energy Drink, 23 cases of Red Bull and 13 cases of assorted liquor hidden beneath the sacks of sugar. While the Freightliner truck and the van have been confiscated by Customs, three persons have also been detained. We understand that custom officers trailed the truck from Orange Walk to Corozal. The Customs Department suspects that while the sugar is distributed thorough out the country, contraband goods, hidden beneath the product are also sold. The individuals detained were unable to produce any receipts for the confiscated goods.

Mayan Artifacts Allegedly Found At Cuello Site
During our exclusive interview with Doctor Jaime Awe at Santa Rita Mayan Ruin in Corozal, we also asked Awe if there was any truth to the rumors circulating that Mayan artefacts were recently discovered at Cuello Site located on the grounds of Cuello’s Distillery Limited right here in Orange Walk Town. Reports reaching our news room are that employees of the company unearthed several artefacts while constructing a new building near the site. According to Awe, NICH is working hand in hand with the owners of the company to verify the reports. Doctor Jaime Awe-Director of Archaeology at NICH “We receive a report that they had been constructing a new building by the Cuello farm and we did respond to it, we were there last week and we meet with the Cuello brothers and another amazing site the site of Cuello can be found highlighted in every book written on the Maya, it has some of the earliest material found in the Maya world and so from our initials discussion with the Cuello brothers, they were aware that some discoveries were made we don’t know what exactly it was so we’ve been there and we had these discussions and the plan now is that they are interested working together with us and we will see perhaps in the future we can develop the site of Cuello and it would be perfect because it is so close to Orange Walk Town, it would be good for education and for the student to go and visit, it would be good for tourism in Orange Walk and it would be good for Belizean heritage and so we plan to go back there and already the owners have indicated a support and interest to work along with us to hopefully develop Cuello as one of these important heritage site.”

Archaeologist Unearth Secrets Of The Mayan World At Santa Rita Ruin
Doctor Jaime Awe is a Belizean archaeologist with almost thirty years of experience in Maya archaeology. He has taught at universities in Canada, England, and the United States and is currently employed at the National Institute of Culture and History as Director of Archaeology. Doctor Awe is presently heading the restoration of Santa Rita Maya Ruin located in Santa Rita in the Corozal District where work commenced more than two months ago. Less than two weeks into the excavation, the Archaeological team discovered a burial that contained a Pelican Effigy Vessel and on Tuesday another remarkable discovery was made, a tomb was found at the foot of the ruin. Its contents prove that there are many secrets and treasures of the Maya left to be unearthed. In an exclusive interview with CTV3 News, Doctor Awe unraveled the mysteries that lie underneath the Santa Rita Maya Ruin. Carmelita Perez- Reporting Santa Rita Maya Ruin is an archaeological reserve located on the outskirts of Corozal Town. Historical evidence suggests that Santa Rita Maya Ruin was once the Capital of Chetumal. In 2012 the US Embassy granted thousands of dollars to the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH for the restoration of the archaeological site which will be converted into a Maya Wedding Garden in hopes of pinning Corozal as one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America, on the world map.

Government Will Split Proceeds of Rosewood Sale 50/50 With Illegal Exporters
Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla is back in Belize but today she refused to speak on the 19 days Amnesty Period offered by her Government to Rosewood exporters who illegally harvested the product and can now bring it out from hiding and export it mostly likely to China where the market value for Rosewood flitches is high. The fact that Minister Alamilla was not in the country when the amnesty was set in place, is cause for suspicion and COLA is describing the move as a ‘knife in the back’ since it counter reacts the moratorium set into law back in March 2012, for the protection of Rosewood. But what is truly causing public outcry is that Government will share the proceeds of sale 50/50 with the illegal exporters. So far Government has been silent about the issue and the media has had to work with a simple release speaking about the sale and export of the rosewood during the 19 days amnesty period. Today; however, the media managed to obtain the first comment from a government official as Minister of National Security John Saldivar spoke on the issue. Thanks to our colleagues at Channel Seven News we were able to obtain the interview.

Chinese Businessman Robbed A Gunpoint And Firearm Goes Missing In Corozal
An armed robbery in Corozal last night has left a Chinese businessman fearing for his life. At around 7:00 last night 21 year old Shi Yu Ma, proprietor of Lisa’s Restaurant located on 5th Avenue Corozal, was inside the establishment when a male individual of East Indian decent entered the restaurant with a 9mm pistol in hand and robbed him at gunpoint. According to Yu Ma, his attacker demanded that he hand over all of the cash, while pointing the gun at him. Fearing for his life Yu Ma did exactly as he was told and gave the robber $400.00. With cash in hand the criminal then made good his escape. So far no one has been detained and police investigations continue. Corozal Police also have another case of burglary to solve and this time it has to do with a stolen firearm. Fifty four year old John Sutherland, the Manager of Cerros Maya Ruin located in the Corozal District, reported to police that about 6:00pm on April 10th, he discovered that his 12 gauge Winchester shotgun was missing. Sutherland told police that the shotgun, bearing serial number L526301, was left at his private residence also located at the Cerros Maya Ruin Park. Police are investigating.

Nominate Your Candidate For The Belize Public Service Award
Belize, in solidarity with countries around the world, will celebrate the United Nations Public Service Day on June 23rd. In line with this celebration is the Belize Public Service Award which is a prestigious recognition of excellence and commitment to the achievement of high quality public service delivery and good governance that was established in 2006. The Ministry of the Public Service is now accepting nominations on the occasion of the 8th Belize Public Service Awards for the following categories: for Outstanding Public Officer of the Year, category one junior officer, category two senior officer and category three senior manager and for the outstanding government agency of the year. The Awards are opened to individuals employed by the Government of Belize at the national level as well as entire teams, namely, Ministries, Departments and Units. The awards are non-monetary with the exception of the Public Officers of the Year Award. Winners of this category receive a onetime monetary payment valuing two annual increments based on officers existing pay-scale.

Minister Saldivar Values His Reputation And Sues Plus TV
On Friday April 5th, Plus Television’s Louis Wade and Patrick Andrews, hosts of the Rise and Shine morning show were served with a notice of law suit by Minister John Saldivar, for defamation of character. The law suit is as a result of a comment which was made by Andrews in the month of December 2012 in reference to some fifty thousand dollar cash subsidy the government provided to area representatives before the general elections. At the time the comment was made, Wade was out of the country and Andrews was holding over the show when Minister Of Education Patrick Faber was guest. Wade has stated on recorded, that in order for no court action to be taken, Minister Saldivar made several demands. One was for an apology, two that both hosts desist from making negative comments about the Minister during the morning show and three that Andrews be removed as the co-host of the show. Obviously none of the demands were met by Plus TV since the matter is now going to the court. On the other hand, Minister Saldivar says he is suing Plus TV because he values his reputation.

Rejection Of Proposals Translates To No Referendum Says Guatemala
“If Belize does not accept the proposals, then Guatemala will not carry out consultations and waste $260 million Quetzals in something that we know we will not win” that was the statement made today by Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina. This statement comes in light of Belize rejecting Guatemala’s proposals on the referendum. Meaning that if Belize does not change its Referendum Laws or does not accept a change in the date of the Referendum from October 6th 2013, to a later date Guatemala will not take part in the Referenda. Guatemala made two proposals which are, one- for Belize to amend its Referendum Legislation so that it would reflect Guatemala’s terms of requirements for a referendum to be successful. Currently the referendum laws in Belize states that for a referendum to be valid, there needs to be 60% or more voter turnout. In Belize the referendum is set to cost about US$5 million and in Guatemala US$46 million.

PUP Condemns Lack Of Transparency on Sale Of Rosewood
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, was the first to jump on Government’s throat for the 19 days Amnesty Period awarded to Rosewood exporters by basically stating that the decision stinks to high heaven. Today the People’s United Party also weighed on the issue by condemning the lack of transparency and apparent facilitation of corrupt activities recently revealed. The release states and we quote “While the PUP is not against the sale of illegally harvested rosewood to benefit the public purse, the Party decries the lack of disclosure and unwillingness on the part of government to report to the public.” End quote. The PUP calls on Government to give a full and proper account for all proceeds including disclosure of who the contractors and exporters are, the value of sale, and where the Rosewood will be exported. The Party also recommends that the rosewood be sold through proper authorities and that proceeds directly benefit the communities from which the rosewood was extracted.

PlusTV

Minister of National Security “Cautioned in a friendly manner” removal of Rise & Shine TV Host
John Saldivar gives his side of PLUS TV suit. This television station is being sued for defamation of character by Minister of National Security John Saldivar, who claims that earlier this year statements purportedly made about him on our “Rise and Shine” morning program by co-host Patrick Jason Andrews...

Police make arrests in two murder cases, including Matura death
Coming out of the office of the Police Press Officer late this evening, is information that Police have made arrests in two separate murder cases. The first, 18 year old Lloyd King has been charged with the murder of Belizean baller Ronald Rivers. Rivers was shot in front of...

Family accuses mentally unstable member of setting deliberate fire
There was a fire this morning on Holy Emmanuel Street in Belize City that destroyed a family’s home and possessions. But what adds to their pain is that one of their own is accused of setting it. Anna Lorenzo, the sister of the accused, says she and other family...

Cabinet Minister comments on amnesty on Rosewood logging
The first public comment from a Cabinet Minister on the issue of the hastily declared amnesty on rosewood logging came today from John Saldivar, Minister of National Security. According to Saldivar, the Government’s intention is to start afresh on an issue that has become a political liability. John Saldivar...

PUP condemns the lack of transparency on Rosewood issue
Today the People’s United Party (PUP) sent out a press release saying “it condemns the lack of transparency and apparent facilitation of corrupt activities in relation to the rosewood issue and the recently revealed approval for the sale/export of already harvested rosewood. While the PUP is not against the...

Placencia Village council claims GOB playing politics with scarce community land
Plus news has been highlighting progress and challenges that the Village of Placencia have been facing over recently years and today we bring you a last in a series of those stories. The Placencia Village Council recently sent out a press release concerning at 31 lot distribution which took...

Four arrested in Santa Elena for firearm offences
An early morning raid today, led to the arrest of four persons, one of whom is a minor. Armed with a search warrant, San Ignacio Police visited the Santa Elena home of 27 year old Kaing Contreas, where they found 10 auto FC 25 rounds. The ammo was on...

Belmopan Police investigate possible case of attempted rape
Belmopan Police are investigating a possible case of attempted rape. An 18 year student of Belmopan told police that after 10pm on Tuesday night, she waiting for a bus in Santa Elena Town, when a gold colored Tacoma stopped in front of her and the driver, who she says...

Man charged for attack on bus driver
Two nights ago, we brought you the story of a bus driver who was attacked and rob by a man wielding an icepick. That man, believed to be Candelario Lemus was captured by police as he attempted to the flee scene. On Monday, he was arraigned on the charges...

Basic Needs Trust Fund scheme to tackle important areas of national development
The Social Investment Fund (SIF) in conjunction with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) today launched the seventh initiative under the Basic Needs Trust Fund scheme to tackle important areas of national development. The program will last for five years and see projects in education, community development and social protection....

Christian Artist Nicole C. Mullins establishes Baby Girls Club in Belize
BabyGirls Club is an organization that seeks to build young leaders for Christ through the arts. The NGO provides a home away from home, where girls can get involved in singing, dancing, arts and crafts and learning new skills. But as we said, there’s also a spiritual element to...

Government and private sector discuss revised National Export Strategy
Representatives of Government and private sector were seated this morning in the same room at the Belize Biltmore Plaza to discuss the revised National Export Strategy and accompanying five-year action programme first presented in 2006.Initially intended to last four years, the strategy ran into problems related with implementation. BELTRAIDE...

The Guardian

UDP’s $8.7 Million dollar gift to PSU and BNTU
The Unions representing the Public Service and the Teachers are at this point looking for a salary increase from the government representing 5% of their salary. While it is expected that unions make such requests for the greater good of the general membership it would appear that negotiating on collective bargaining agreements are all that the unions focus on when in reality there is much from within that they can do to help their membership. This takes us to the BTL Shares that the UDP government under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel gave to the unions back in 1995. At the time PM Esquivel handed over 480,000 B shares to the unions and they would later receive 180,000 C shares when Michael Ashcroft offered a script divided shares in lieu of dividends. Those shares were given to the unions at the time because the government could not afford to give a salary increase and the unions had accepted it. As part of the agreement the Unions should have set up a trust fund which would make financing available to the members of the unions as loans to cover medical, housing, educational and other expenses. The unions never made up their mind during the Esquivel tenure and a PUP administration came in.

Kevin Bernard is a liar!
The Mayor of Orange Walk Town is back on the news again, this time he's pretending to be the bastion of morality as he unceremoniously closed down a business in Orange Walk Town. Last week the mayor hit the airwaves on CTV3 and was even quoted in the PUP's Belize Times saying that “I will stand my ground on that again and this Council will not allow any casino or casino type establishment to operate within this municipality. Reason for that is that our social profit in this municipality is already decaying. If we should allow such type of business- we are just continuing to add more to the poverty and difficult situation that people are under.” What Bernard was speaking about was the closure of a gaming establishment by the name of 'Route 88' located on the Belize Corozal Road in downtown Orange Walk. He claimed that he was unaware of what type of business was being conducted at the establishment. The Guardian however has received a copy of an application for Gaming Machine License applied for by Jian Xing Chen specifically for 40 gaming machines. The application bears a 'No objection by Local Authority Signature (Kevin Bernard) and Stamp of Local Authority (Orange Walk Town Council). It also has a stamp by the Officer Commanding Orange Walk Police District (See page 1). The application is dated the 5th of December 2012.

Preparations Underway for National Agriculture and Trade Show
Preparations are now underway for the yearly National Agriculture and Trade Show NATS, which will be held on May 3rd, 4th and 5th at the Agricultural Show Grounds in Belmopan. As part of the preparations and a five year plan, the Ministry of Agriculture has successfully sought assistance from both the Private Sector and Communities to assist with improving the infrastructure at the Show Grounds.

Almost $80,000 in Grant Available for Local Businesses
Kirk Brown explaining application process to participants In collaboration with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) held a workshop in Belize at the Radisson on Wednesday, April 10, for private sector representatives interested in applying for grant funding under its Direct Assistance Scheme.

Belize National Teachers Union Holds Annual Convention
The Belize National Teachers’ Union B.N.T.U held its forty third Annual Conventions on April 3rd and 4th, 2013 at the Jaguar Auditorium in the Nation’s Capital. With ten branches from around the country present, the Convention was held under the theme “B.N.T.U Overcoming, Challenges, Enhancing Opportunities in Education.”

Electricity Rates to Fall While Water Freezes
On Wednesday, April 10, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced that water rates will be left unchanged for the period April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. On December 31, 2012 the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) submitted a proposal to the PUC that there be no Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP). A release by the commission stated, “The PUC concluded that there was no exceptional circumstances to warrant that an ARP be initiated on the PUC’s own volition and accepted BWS’ proposal.” Therefore, the current tariffs, fees and charges will remain in effect.

Hopkins Road Upgrade to Start
A Launching Ceremony to signal the start of works for the upgrading of the Hopkins road from the Southern Highway to the Main Street of Hopkins Village at King Cassava will take place on April 12, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.. The project, funded by the Government of Belize and a grant from the European Union (EU) as part of the Belize Rural Development Project II, will be executed through a contract with Belize Roadway Construction in partnership with Rodla Construction Company Ltd.

Harvested Rosewood up for Sale
On Tuesday April 9th, the Government of Belize announced that rosewood that has already been harvested in the country will be allowed to be exported.

Good Friday Liquor license crackdown - Five Chinese nationals charged
Five Chinese business persons, including a woman and four men were before the court on Monday April 8th, to answer to charges of contravening the conditions of their liquor license. Allegations are that the Chinese Grocers were ordered not to open on Good Friday, March 29th, 2013, but they did. At least five of them were allegedly caught open and were cited for the offense and charged criminally. With the assistance of Chinese translator, Edmund Kwan, the 5 persons all pleaded not guilty to the offense of contravening conditions of their liquor licenses. Those charged are Wanxian Huang, 48, a businesswoman of Vista Del Mar Ladyville who is charged with keeping her business, Remejio’s Restaurant, opened on March 29th, 2013, in contravention to her liquor license.

Burglary victim forgives burglars
On Tuesday April 9th, three men were set free from a charge of burglary after the victim forgave them. The accused, 24-year-old Rupert Courtney Jr., a laborer with the Ministry of Works; along with 18-year old Kevin Rodriguez, a resident and Food Vendor of #8814 Jane Usher Boulevard as well as 22-year-old Ministry of Works employee, Tyrone Fitzgibbon, of #114 Jane Usher Boulevard appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where they were charged for burglary and handling stolen goods. The men were accused of entering the home of Belize Bank employee, 40-year-old Francisco Martinez, an Office Assistant and resident of #8605 Swallow Street in Belize City. His home was burglarized on Sunday, April 7th, 2013. The thieves made off with $4,829.00 worth of household items including a 40 inch flat screen television valued at $2,700. In court the victim appeared requesting no court action against the men. Martinez told Magistrate Dale Cayetano, “In life everybody makes mistakes.” With that, the charges were withdrawn against the men. The trio had all pleaded not guilty to the offenses.

Charles Guy Pleads Guilty to Stabbing Erron Budnah
54-year-old Charles Guy was sentenced to six months in prison after he pleaded guilty to the offenses of aggravated assault and wounding upon 24-year-old Erron Budnah. On Sunday, March 31st, Erron Budnah was attacked by Guy and stabbed several times to the body, face, hand and back. In court, Guy appeared unrepresented and wasted no time by pleading guilty to the offenses. He told the court that Budna had disrespected him three times before but he failed to make a report about the incidents. Instead, he attacked Budna with a knife and stabbed him multiple times. Police were called to the scene and they apprehended Guy. When police detained him, Guy told them that he knew what he had done and took full responsibility for his actions. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith sentenced him to six months imprisonment for the offense of aggravated assault with a knife. The charge of wounding was withdrawn since he saved the court time and pleaded guilty to the offense. In mitigation, Guy was very apologetic and remorseful for his action and admitted that he knew he did wrong when he attacked and stabbed Budna.

Khalid El Turk Extradition Case on Hold
On Thursday, April 4th, attorneys representing the Solicitor General’s Office, Magali Perdomo and Liliana Swift, requested that Khalid El Turk’s extradition hearing be adjourned after the defense raised three challenges to the extradition order. El Turk is wanted in the United States for charges of conspiracy to the importation of pseudoephedrine and importation of pseudoephedrine. He is being represented by Attorney Edwin Flowers and Anthony Sylvestre. In court on Thursday, El Turk’s attorneys challenged the extradition based on the requirement that the offence being committed must be against the laws of both country. Flowers submitted that the two offences El Turk is charged with do not exist in the Laws of Belize. The defense also submitted that a witness statement which the US Government is relying on has no signature. Though they claim it is for safety and security reasons, Flowers submitted that under the Laws of Belize, a defendant has the right to face his accuser, and that a signature is a mandatory requirement. At the end of Flowers’ submission on behalf of El Turk, the Solicitor General's office requested more time to continue to process their arguments. In light of that, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith adjourned the matter until April 22nd.

Three prisoners on remand charged for drug trafficking
On Tuesday April 9th, three prisoners on remand waiting trials on separate charges were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for joint possession of marijuana found inside a locker at the remand section of their cell area at the Kolbe Foundation located at the Hattieville Prison. The three are 24-year-old Orel Leslie, a resident of Linda Vista area, Belize City; 41-year-old Floyd Anthony, an Esperanza Village resident, and Emmanuel Westby, who was not removed from prison so was not arraigned in court. The three were jointly charged with one count of drug trafficking for allegedly having in their possession, 220 grams of cannabis. Leslie and Anthony were additionally charged with another count of drug trafficking for having in their possession, 2 grams of cannabis. Leslie and Anthony were also charged with another charge of drug trafficking for allegedly having in their possession, another 323 grams of cannabis. In court, Leslie pleaded not guilty to all charges while Anthony pleaded not guilty to the 220 grams and the 323 grams but asked the magistrate to allow him to plead guilty to the 2 grams because he claimed the 2 grams was found inside his cell but the others were not found there.

Guatemalan Convict Tries to Smuggle Ammunition into Prison
24-year-old Guatemalan convict, David Lopez, was busted when he attempted to smuggle seven live rounds of .25 caliber ammunition into the Belize Central Prison on Thursday, April 4th. Lopez was just recently convicted for another offense in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court and was sentenced to serve 5 years in prison. According to reports, it was during a mandatory search at the Belize Central Prison that officers found the seven live rounds of .25 ammunition in a piece of green cloth he had in his bag. He was charged for the offense of keeping ammunition without a gun license and appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Friday, April 5, to answer to the charge. Lopez appeared unrepresented and pleaded guilty to the offense. In mitigation plea he told the Chief Magistrate that he was forced by a man to carry the ammunition. Chief Magistrate Smith sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment for the offense. Lopez, who is a farmer originally from Palencia Peten in Guatemala, now has to serve 10 years in prison.

Percival Blancaneaux Gets three Years for Aggravated Burglary
On Friday, April 5th, Percival Blancaneaux was convicted of aggravated burglary in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. In January of 2012, three men entered the home of Esmeralda Glastonbury armed with a knife. In her testimony, Glastonbury told the court that on January 24th, 2012, she, her son and husband were at their home located at Mile 11 ½ on the Phillip Goldson Highway when she heard noise inside the house at about 3 a.m. According to Glastonbury, she then heard her son shouting for help. She ran to his bedroom and saw a man of dark complexion holding her son by his throat with a knife. She shouted out “thieves” and ran towards her bedroom where her husband was. She then shouted to her neighbors asking them to call the police and that was when she felt someone squeeze her shoulder and order her to sit down on a chair. According to Glastonbury, her attacker was a man of fair complexion, who had his hair braided in corn rows.

Belmopan Bandits at top of the football standings
The 2013 Closing Season of the Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the last week with a number of games across the country. On Wednesday April 3, at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, the home team Verdes FC defeated Placencia Assassins FC by the score of 2-0. The goals for Verdes were scored by Humberto Rquena in the 11th minute of play while the second and final goal was scored by Rodney Torres in the 65th minute of play. In the other game also played that Wednesday evening at the MCC Grounds, the defending champions and the current leaders in this year’s competition, the Belmopan Bandits also blanked Police United by the score of 4-0. The 1st goal of the game for the Belmopan Bandits was scored by Jerome James in the 17th minute of play. Meanwhile, the other goals were scored by Deon McCaulay in the 56th, 68th and 85th minute of play that gave his team the 4-0 victory. On Thursday April 4, at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, the home team FC San Felipe Barcelona and the visiting San Ignacio United played to a 1-1 draw. The visiting San Ignacio United was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Rosny Martinez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 20th minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. However, the home team FC San Felipe Barcelona was able to tie the score at 1-1 when Clifton West scored the equalizing goal in the 70th minute of plat for his team.

Central Zone Cycling elections this weekend
The Electoral Commission appointed by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association will be conducting elections for the Central Zone of the Belize Cycling Association on Saturday April 13, 2013, at 2:00 pm at the University of the West Indies Open Centre. All electors must bring their ID to participate in the elections.

Football Federation calls junior girls to open tryout
The Football Federation of Belize and the National Women’s Football Commission extends an invitation to young women born 1997 and 1998 to an open tryout for the National U-17 Women’s Team this coming Saturday April 13, 2013 commencing at 8:30 am at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan. The Football Federation informs that all athletes must bring along with them the following: Football gears (boots and shin guards), letter of permission from parent(s)/guardian and a passport which must have a life value of six or more months on it. Parents are also being informed that there will be a meeting for them at 9:30 am on the morning of the tryout.

Football Federation calls junior girls to open tryout
The Football Federation of Belize and the National Women’s Football Commission extends an invitation to young women born 1997 and 1998 to an open tryout for the National U-17 Women’s Team this coming Saturday April 13, 2013 commencing at 8:30 am at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan. The Football Federation informs that all athletes must bring along with them the following: Football gears (boots and shin guards), letter of permission from parent(s)/guardian and a passport which must have a life value of six or more months on it. Parents are also being informed that there will be a meeting for them at 9:30 am on the morning of the tryout.

KHMH captures first interoffice softball championship
The 2012 Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition came to an end on Saturday April 6, 2013, at Rogers Stadium with the Final and Grand Final games played between the top teams in the interoffice competition. In the Grand Final game played, KHMH escaped a late inning surged by BWSL to capture its first ever interoffice softball title when it was able to hold off the BWSL squad for a 14-13 victory. BWSL batting in the top of the 1st inning was able to score 2 runs for an early lead. However, KHMH came roaring back in the bottom of the 1st inning to score 4 runs. KHMH then scored 7 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning to increase its lead to 9 runs. BWSL then scored 2 runs in the top of the 3rd inning, added a single run in the 4th inning, 2 in the 5th, 2 in the 6th and 4 more runs in the top of the 7th inning. Meanwhile, KHMH maintained its 9 runs lead when it scored single runs in the bottom of the 4th, 5th and 6th innings to preserve its first ever interoffice softball title. KHMH collected a total of 12 hits while BWSL collected 11 hits. The winning pitcher was Arlette Castillo and the losing pitcher was Shera Pandy.

Southern Zone elects first cycling executive
The Interim Committee that has been charged with the way forward for cycling in Belize is currently conducting zone elections. The first of the zone elections were held on Saturday April 6, at the Sentor Building in Independence Village, Stann Creek District. The elections were conducted by an Electoral Commission appointed by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, which consisted of Magistrate Sharon Frazier, Raymond Lashley and Hadie Gomez. Also in attendance were 2nd Vice Chairman of the National Sports Council Robert Allen and member of the National Sports Council Board David Griffith. Before the election process took place, the gathering was briefed by Mr. Hilly Martinez, President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, on the role and responsibilities of the Southern Zone Association. At the end of the voting process, Cordel Gordon received 12 votes while Brian Levi received 2. As a result, Cordell Gordon was duly elected President of the Southern Zone Cycling Association. For the post of Vice President, Peter Morgan was elected; Keisha West was elected as Secretary, Elizabeth Zabaneh was elected as Treasurer and Tony Zabaneh Sr. was elected committee member. All were duly elected unopposed.

Special Constables Program Under Review
Senior Superintendent of Police Louise Geraldine Willis, having recently been featured in a Women’s Department Publication entitled ‘The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum’ came out of her vacation this past Monday night to be alongside the ‘Cayo Special Constables’ Committee’. The meeting was held at the San Ignacio Police Station with members of the Community Policing Unit present.

Luck More than Sense
A couple of months ago I had a conversation by the Barracks here in OW with a very cultured gentleman from Guinea Grass who has extensive international experience as an educator, mainly in Central America. He asked my opinion on the question of the Guatemalan claim going to the International Court of Justice, and if I was going to lend support for this process in this column. I told him that my first instinct was lukewarm at best for pursuing that path, but I was willing to give the educational process an opportunity so that I could listen to all the arguments, pro and con, before making a final determination on October 6. You see, it would be so natural and easy to completely reject any such notion since it is human nature to be wary of a process which one does not fully understand, especially if it involves one’s country! Anyway, my lone opinion would have been inconsequential in the general spirit of our democracy here in Belize. The entities who would have mattered most were the two major political parties. The UDP, as the government who signed the compromis, instantly put the issue to a Party resolution and the senior leadership of the Party openly supported the ICJ process.

Etched in Stone
It is said that many men thrive on the idea to live on long after they are gone, not particularly through Christianity’s promise of eternal life, but by making meaningful contributions to humanity. There is nothing wrong with this concept in life; in fact, is an admirable quality, since most great men are honored for the good that they have contributed to civilization. But great men take years, decades even, to make an indelible mark in history, and it involves much effort and great perseverance on their part. Not so with the PUP Town Council here in Orange Walk. They are in a hurry to make their scratch in history, not by works, but through shrines. One of the first projects they undertook involved a lot of artwork. They decided to commission the sculpting of the insignia of the OWTC alongside our country’s coat of arms and the names of all past Mayors who have served our municipality. While many citizens felt that this major task could have taken a back burner, considering the high price tag it came with, and these finances been directed to the pothole-decorated streets, they shrugged it off as just another misguided political fetish; an error of judgment, or lack thereof. But the OWTC did not stop there. The PUP Councilors must have said, but what about us? Are we not the greatest thing to happen to OWT? Do we not deserve to be recognized and remembered by all? So they decided to have their names carved out right alongside the Mayors’ roster; only theirs are more prominent. I have to ask, where does narcissism stem from? One year in political office and they want their names to be written in stone? Man, if they had done but one notable achievement for the town, at least pave the street by the BEL offices, then maybe even their fellow PUP supporters could agree with this claptrap, but nada, nothing, and their names are right up there in stone, for I don’t know how long.

Media’s Role in Our Violent Society
UWIAA President Paco Smith Presents Gift To Dr. Leith Dunn The Belize Chapter of the University of the West Indies Alumni Association is the latest organization to attempt to “educate” the local media on professional standards for reporting violent crime. The association invited Jamaican sociologist and Head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, Dr. Leith Dunn, to conduct a series of workshops and lectures in Belize focusing on the effects violence in media have on children. Based on the attendance of the sessions, one would say the local media practitioners were not interested in being lectured one more time about their “poor standards of reporting”.

World Health Day 2013
The Ministry of Health joins its national partners, the Belize Kidney Association and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) – Belize to celebrate World Health Day 2013. World Health Day 2013 campaign focuses on hypertension or, as commonly known, high blood pressure and the need to “Know your numbers.” In the Americas, at least one in three adults is diagnosed with hypertension, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and death throughout the world. One third of the already affected adult population is unaware that they are affected by the condition, reinforcing the need for checking blood pressure regularly, especially in primary healthcare settings. The Ministry of Health has encouraged the regional hospitals across the country to setup on-location health booths for blood pressure checks. Additionally, the Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, continues to encourage the public to practice preventative measures, which include consuming less salt, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, doing regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco use and avoiding harmful use of alcohol. World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7th to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1984. An official ceremony will be held on Friday, April 12th, 2013 at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Parking Lot, starting at 9:00 am. A health fair follows the ceremony where the opportunity to check blood pressure and “know your numbers” will be offered by health practitioners. The media is especially invited to attend.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Dates Announced
June 28, 29, 30

Blogs

On a flight to Belize
I kept it relatively on the down-low that we were going away, and was doing my best to get as much off time as I could while gone. It’s 4:30 am and we are about to head out to to Sarasota airport to catch our flight to Belize after a 9 day vacation in Venice Florida. We had a great time visiting my family, it was really nice to catch up with everyone. While there we celebrated my brothers 5oth birthday, ate lots of delicious food, went to Siesta Key beach and shopped till we dropped. We also went to Ringling Museum of Art and saw the Herb Ritts exhibition. His photography is very cool so was the tour of John & Mable Ringling’s house and the scale model of the circus was super cool. They did a huge amount of work putting it together and the attention to details was amazing. My brother Rob and I had lots of fun posing in the clown car and walking the tight rope.

Belmopan and rebuilding Perdomo Rum Plant in the early 90′s
Here is a short story with a few pictures from my Helena Montana Weatherman Brent Doig on his experience helping out rebuilding the rum distillery in Belmopan back in the 90′s including more crazy small world Montana Belize connections. When I was working in Belmopan back in the early nineties, I did the rebuild of the Perdomo rum plant, I was sitting outside the motel I was living at feeding a baby coatimundi a bottle. It liked to dismantle my shoes while the maid cleaned my room…anyhow, I was sitting there in a chair when this pickup pulled up to the place and I glanced at the license plate and it was a Montana license plate… the way ours were numbered, and kind of still are, you could tell what county the vehicle was licensed in. It was a 6… Bozeman~ I was like WTF! was homesick and went over to the guy and about hugged him. We had a nice chat. He had actually moved to Belize with his wife and built cabinets. Lived way down south but was in Belmopan redoing his visa or something. Check link to Travellers Rum on Wikipedia… the picture of the distillation columns are the ones I set up..with a prehistoric crane! They bought them in the states and had them shipped down and then I went down and put it together. Good time… 6 weeks… awesome experience. The family, the Perdomos, told me to take a break before I flew home and steered me to San Pedro… that was the start of this whole thing. Spent 4 nights there. Crazy Was pretty cool J

A Serious Walk Around Caye Caulker: Part Three
A few weeks ago, I went on a serious walk-about all over the island of Caye Caulker and took SO many pictures. In Part One and Part Two, I had lunch at the Happy Lobster, passed lots of hotels and restaurants and made it down to the Split. Caye Caulker is such a cool place to visit…the island is so manageable (look at what I saw in only a few hours), you feel like you know everyone’s name after a day or two and there are so many reasonably priced places to stay and eat. And you can also go upscale if you want… Plus, it’s absolutely gorgeous. And the Rasta boat that is always parked down there. On the way back up the island and towards the lagoon side, I passed this very cute hotel that I’d never seen before. Sea Dreams Hotel. From looking at the website, the owner is also the founder of the Ocean Academy, the first high school in Caye Caulker. Very cool.

8 Photos to Make You Want to Vacation in Belize
Belize is the only country in the world with a jaguar preserve which is located in southern Belize. The park covers an area of 150 square miles of tropical forest and is rich in beauty, wildlife and even an ancient ceremonial Maya site. The park also protects the headwaters of two major river systems and supports and abundance of hardwood vegetation and diverse fauna assemblage.

“I’m Sorry” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Spent a bit of time yesterday morning finalising the ‘agenda’ for the meeting Rose and I were having with Daniel Camal, our building contractor, at 3 pm at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. This didn’t take too long because we are now trying to focus the meetings on a few things. And this is becoming increasingly easier as the build progresses. As part of the meeting preparation we browsed the Internet again to ‘screen grab’ a selection of light fittings – fluorescent for the store room, pendants for the internal stairwell and recessed for everywhere else. Oh, we are also having pendant lights over the breakfast bar but we have already chosen them. With the preparations for the meeting out of the way I took my trusty old Kindle down to the dock in front of our rented condo and got stuck in to reading The Litigator by John Grisham. I am now heading towards the finale of the book and it is becoming more and more difficult to put it down. I had to leave reaching the conclusion to another day though because it was time to head off for our meeting with Daniel. When we got to Tres Cocos Daniel was already there so we started our meeting straight away. But only after he had given us nine samples of different stain treatments for the cabinetry. We are now in a position to make our final choices and can then move on to making final decisions on the granite colours/finishes we want and next Thursday it is off to Belize City to choose the tiles.

International Sources

Don't Let Guatemala Duck Agreement
It is urgent that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) engage the global community for help in sending a clear message to Guatemala that there will be no reward for bad behaviour, including, as seems to be the intent of the Central American country, squirming out of solemn undertakings. Jamaica, in its own right as a respected and influential voice on hemispheric matters, and as the CARICOM country with responsibility for the Community's external relations, must lead this initiative. The matter to which we refer is the agreement between Belize and Guatemala to take their territorial dispute to the World Court, once their populations support the initiative in simultaneous referenda on December 6. The Guatemalans, it appears, are attempting to derail the process, or want to provoke the Belizeans into doing so. Guatemala claims over half of Belize, or a portion of the country that is nearly 50 square miles larger than Jamaica. The dispute, in its modern iteration, goes back nearly 75 years since Guatemala rejected a treaty it signed with Britain 154 years ago that was thought to settle its territorial boundaries with what was then British Honduras. The Guatemalans based the territorial grab on an argument that the British reneged on a treaty obligation to finance infrastructure development in their country.

‘Bangor to Belize’ trip a winner
Spanish students from Bangor High School have been traveling to Central America every other year for the past 11 years. In previous years, they’ve visited Mexico and Costa Rica, but this year they tried something different and, according to teacher Heidi Lyga, the experiment was a good one for the 13 students who went on the trip. “The students thoroughly delighted in the the culture, climate and kind people of Belize,” Lyga said. The country was comparable to Costa Rica in that it was just as much of an adventure and because so many people spoke English, Lyga noted. A big difference, however, was that Creole (a blend of Spanish and European influences) is spoken everywhere. “I had never heard Creole before,” Lyga said. “It’s quite tricky — it’s the kind of thing you can only learn at home or on the street.” Fortunately, the students still got to practice their everyday Spanish with bus drivers, vendors and waiters. “We also visited a school where they spoke Spanish — although they would break out in Creole there, too,” Lang said. It was a memorable trip for many reasons. Lyga said that while Costa Rica weather can be hit or miss in the cloud forest, the weather in Belize was “spectacular.” Students spent a couple days hiking in the jungle, toured a cave and other Mayan ruins, visited a howler monkey sanctuary and a nature center where they learned the life cycle of the blue morpho butterfly. The trip also included a zip line canopy tour, cave tubing and boat rides on the Old Belize River and the New River lagoon. The final days were spent on the the island of Ambergris Cay, where the students enjoyed snorkeling and “snuba-ing” (a combination of scuba diving and snorkeling).


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#462237 - 04/12/13 01:31 PM Re: Today's Belize News: April 12, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Drilling Continues at New World's Rio Bravo Well
New World Oil and Gas Plc announced that the Rio Bravo #1 Well on the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect (WGJc) in Belize is currently drilling at approximately 7,700 feet. While a number of hydrocarbon shows have been recorded, the commerciality of these shows can only be determined once the well is drilled to total depth (TD), open hole logs are run and interpreted, and well testing results are available. The planned TD of the Well is estimated at 8,800 feet. On-going operations are continuing to proceed without incident, are on schedule and under budget. Rio Bravo, which commenced drilling March 1 is targeting a non-fault dependent four way structural closure in the Upper Jurassic Margaret Creek Formation. The Well is currently drilling through the Cretaceous interval, through the anhydrite top seal and dolomite sequences. To date drilling operations at WGJc have been in line with the Company's geologic expectations.

Adventures in Underwater Photography: Diving the coral reefs of Belize
A scuba diving trip in Belize seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to try my hand at underwater photography. But not all of us can hit a home-run on the first swing. I bring back some murky video, and a handful of lessons learned for other beginners looking to jump in and shoot. Sitting on the edge of a boat bobbing in the waves, I have a tank strapped to my back, a mask clouding my vision and a snorkel dangling by my ear. It’s my first time scuba diving and I’m nervous that despite all my preparation I’ll forget something important — and the consequences are ominous. Outside of my possible death, the only other thing I can think about is the digital camera nestled in the pocket of my scuba vest. I want to be sure to capture some cool fish, the colors of the coral, the way the light scatters underwater and a few “selfies” to prove my bravery to Facebook friends.

VIDEO: Caye Caulker, Belize - GO SLOW
If you're looking for island vibes, beautiful weather, underwater adventure, reggae beats, and good people, travel on over to Caye Caulker, Belize! In this video, I reunite with my best friend Allie and get to know the island of Caye Caulker

VIDEO: Southwater Southern Ray
This big gal swam right by me. The posterior humps show that she was pregnant.


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