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#462562 - 04/17/13 12:12 PM Today's Belize News: April 17, 2013
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Defiant – Part I:
The brush dipped into the pot of shimmering powder. In the mirror, she could see the clothes that were strewn about haphazardly through the small, dark room. She squinted in the gloom, and expertly applied streaks of pretty powder along her brow bone. Pencil followed, lining her eyes darkly and bringing out the brown and hazel flecks in her eyes. She added mascara, and with a few quick swipes of color on her cheeks, she was done. The heat in the room was too much, and she turned the small fan by her bedside on, putting it to rotate as she walked all around picking up the discarded clothes. She wore her standard work outfit, fitted skirt that hit just above the knees, a colorful butterfly print blouse, and her hair short and swingy in a neat bob completed the ensemble. Her shoes were her only impracticality: they were sky high, strappy colorful wedges that matched the colors on her shirt. She teetered in them, but she wore them proudly.

The San Pedro Sun

SPHS honors male baseball team
The faculty, staff and students of the San Pedro High School (SPHS) took the opportunity to honor the male Softball team on Monday April 15th. The team won the National Secondary School Softball Tournament championship for the second consecutive year on March 16th. To celebrate the back to back win, the SPHS held a special award ceremony followed by a parade through the principal streets of San Pedro Town. Six seniors, who are expected to graduate at the end of the school year, were amongst the students that were recognized for their dedication to the team over the past two years. As their names were called, the student body applauded them one by one as they got on stage to be recognized. Following the assembly, the team members got on a truck and joined the other students in a school parade led by the SPHS marching band.

Offshore Oil contracts are null and void

Bishop Martin wins Sagicor Visionary Challenge
Bishop Martin High School has earned the top prize at the inaugural Sagicor Visionary Challenge, a regional competition showcasing science and technology. The Sagicor Visionary Challenge is a collaborative effort between the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), SAGICOR (a regional insurance company), and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). The point of the challenge was to encourage secondary school students to develop innovative ways to construct solutions to problems that their schools face. Orange Walk District’s Bishop Martin High School took on the Sagicor Challenge with their project “Coconuts for Life.” The team, composed of members Dovini Chell, Saul Osorio, team leader Angel Navidad and supervising teacher, Shakira Gonzalez, focused on the problem of high levels of consumption of artificially flavored drinks.Their proposal of a coconut plantation was aimed to not only eliminate the problem but to also provide a recreational facility for the school. The Bishop Martin students used the coconut tree and its fruits for food and drinks, recreation and to create ornaments to provide income for the school.

Oceana Pays Tribute to Marine Conservationist Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia
Oceana is saddened by the news of the passing of one of Belize’s first Marine Conservationist, Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, who was a true Belizean patriot contributing immensely to the protection of marine resources, especially the manatees. In 2012, Oceana presented “Chocolate” its Ocean Hero Award for his outstanding work spanning over five decades as a conservationist when that term had not even become popular or even considered a career field. “We must celebrate the life of our brother Chocolate and always remember him as a role model because even though he has parted this earthly life his works and contribution to this nation remain with us. And it is his work all of us in the conservation community must continue as we stand on the shoulder of this conservation giant,” said Oceana V.P.

Ambergris Today

Panama's Karen Jordan Crowned New Miss Costa Maya 2012
Miss Panama, Karen Jordan, was officially crowned as the new reigning Miss Costa Maya 2012-2013 on Saturday, April 13, 2013, during Belize Fashion Week runway show that took place at Fido’s Courtyard. Karen Jordan replaces Miss Mexico, Natalia Villanueva, who was unable to complete her duties as Miss Costa Maya 2012; Karen was the first runner up at the pageant. Miss Panama was invited to the island as a model for Belize Fashion Week and the Costa Maya Festival Committee took advantage of her presence on the island to officially pass on the title to her. Crowning Karen and presenting her with the official sash was Miss San Pedro, Naiely Puc.

Oceana Pays Tribute to Marine Conservationist Lionel Heredia
Oceana, along with the rest of the country, is saddened by the news of the passing of one of Belize’s first Marine Conservationist, Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, who was a true Belizean patriot contributing immensely to the protection of marine resources, especially the manatees. In 2012, Oceana presented “Chocolate” its Ocean Hero Award for his outstanding work spanning over five decades as a conservationist when that term had not even become popular or even considered a career field. “We must celebrate the life of our brother Chocolate and always remember him as a role model because even though he has parted this earthly life his works and contribution to this nation remain with us. And it is his work all of us in the conservation community must continue as we stand on the shoulder of this conservation giant,” said Oceana V.P. Audrey Matura-Shepherd.

National AIDS Commission Held Health Fair in Caye Caulker
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee held its first ever Health Fair in Caye Caulker. Named “The Caye Caulker Community Health Fair”; the fair aimed at educating the Caye Caulker populace on the many health risk factors that exists while familiarizing them with the various services available within the country of Belize, at their disposal. The fair was held at the Caye Caulker Basketball Court commencing at 10a.m. and ran through to 3p.m. on Saturday April 13. Further to this, the fair offered free first base testing such as Body Mass Index testing, Free HIV Testing with Pre and Post-test counselling, HIV Awareness, Breast Check UP, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Information, Down Syndrome Information, Mental Health Services and Blood Sugar Check amongst others. Residents of Caye Caulker took advantage of the fair and all the services and with music provided by Amador Magana of Caye Caulker, the court was soon bustling with residents receiving services.

Belize Fashion Week Opens New Doors
The first annual Belize Fashion Week took place this past week in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize with a spectacular two-day runway fashion show that highlighted the event. Gathering local talent from designers, models and businesses within the country and mixing it up with international designers and models, Belize Fashion Week has officially opened the doors to the fashion industry in Belize. Enrique De Leon, one of the organizers of Belize Fashion Week, commented that the goal behind the event was to give Belizean fashion designers the opportunity to showcase their talent, learn new skills and become professional entrepreneurs in order to launch their careers. Fashion week was not only about the glitz and the glamour on the runway shows; what many did not see were the workshops and seminars that were prepared for the designers. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in collaboration with The National Institute of Culture and History through the Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) and the Belize Tourism Board, were involved in workshops that were provided to the designers.

Financial Crisis in San Pedro, La Isla Bonita
Dear Residents of San Pedro. How aware are you of the financial crisis in San Pedro? This news week article serves to bring to your attention our concerns surrounding the present financial crisis that is affecting so many established businesses and private homes of the founding families of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. As you are aware, the global economic crisis is the worst that the world has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930’s and it has also overtaken our beloved Belize. We believe that nowhere in Belize is the effect of this reversal of fortune in business and financial well-being more devastating than among the members of the indigenous business community and home-owners of Ambergris Caye. We predict that it is only a matter of time until the entire country falls prey to what we believe are the causes of the present hardships that we are enduring. It is our belief and sentiment that while the local business person is forced to borrow from institutions which offer rates that are comparable to a loan shark’s, the foreigner is able to come onto our island and compete with investment capital that is obtained overseas at preferential interest rates and less stringent payment and loan agreements.

Flashbacks: World Renowned Fido's
It has changed ownership over the years since the 1970’s and it has changed its looks, but it practically remains the same casual “all-friendly” and “anything goes” and “exciting things are happening” ambience that it started out with. Fido’s is the brainchild of Mr. Wilfrido “Fido” Nunez, J.P (+) originally designed as a centrally located spot to drop in for a beer or rum cocktail, some entertainment, a little dance and a good party. Fido’s has boasted natural beach, a seawall, several platforms and a variety of amenities that the visitor and eager shopper would delight in. At Fido’s you can simply throw off your shoes, get up and make any spot a dance floor- after all you are at Fido’s.

Old Timer Or Modern Sanpedrano? Num. 19
Even by the name you carry, you can know whether you are an OLD TIMER San Pedrano or a modern day one. If your name happens to be Florentino, Genaro, Anselmo, Benigno, Gerononimo, Eustasio, Fabiola, Liduvina, Baltazar, Anastacio, Deodato, Bonifacio, Cleotilde, Cleotilda, Cleto, Fausto, Reynaldo,Hildo, Isidora(o), Nemencio, or Mauricio, you are very likely an old timer San Pedrano. YOU KNOW YOU ARE A MODERN SANPEDRANO if your name happens to be Audry, Alex, Alexis, April, Betty, Bill, Dennis, Dymra, Dulce, Faith, Diane, Gricel, Grace, Sylvia, Tatiana, Cristal, Lindsey, Ronnie, Yanniqui, Mike, Smile, May, June, Savannah, Zoe, or Yara. If you believe that the road down south all the way to Victoria House and beyond have been there ever since, then it is quite likely that you are a modern day Sanpedrano or a new comer to San Pedro. YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO if you remember that the entire way from Tropic Air down south was all bush and in some cases high jungle. There was not a single home nor building- no Ramon’s, Wine Divine, Island Supermarket, Fairdale Plaza, Island Plaza, Pepperoni’s Pizza, George’s Kitchen, Coconuts, Pete’s Gas Station, S P Supermarket, Marina’s, Banyan Bay, and no Grand Colony, Banana’s, Royal Palm, Victoria House, nada, nothing else but bush all along that route. That is what the old timers remember.

Misc Belizean Sources

Important Lecture on the 1859 Anglo-Guatemalan Boundary Convention, the 1931 Exchange of Notes and General Discussion on the Belize - Guatemala Relations
George Price Centre for Peace, April 17th at 7:00 pm

NRM Symposium Today
The Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation, along with the University of Belize, and the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, are having the 7th annual NRM Symposium today at the UB auditorium.

'My Body is Precious' Tour
The Special Envoy for Women and Children is doing a book launch tour all around Belize for the new 'My Body is Precious' book, and they're coming to Cayo on Friday. They'll be in Belmopan, at the UB Auditorium, on April 19th at 10am, and in Benque, at the Marshalleck Stadium, at 2pm. "Launch of the Book by special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs Kim Simplis- Barrow together with author Starla Bradley- Acosta, donors Christine Norton and the children of Belize in attendance. An arm injury could not keep the US Ambassador to Belize away and the Hon Minister of Education taught us a new three letter rule for bedtime (ppb, figure it out;-) For more info on the fabulous work being done by the Envoy, go to https://www.facebook.com/SEWC.Bz"

SHJC at ATLIB Football Finals
The Sacred Heart Junior College male football team travelled to Corozal for the ATLIB football finals at Escuela Mexico. They took home the 4th place trophy. Great work, guys. Next year take first.

Photos of Caves Branch Jungle Lodge
Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge has beautiful grounds, and boasts the biggest and most diversified orchid garden in Belize. Nestled along the lush Hummingbird Highway, it's very close to the Blue Hole National Park, and their famous Black Hole Drop. Check out those amazing tree houses. "Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge has some amazing grounds. They have an orchid garden which boasts the widest variety in Belize, if not Central America. They are known for having luxurious treehouses"

Belizean Cold Cake Version 1
This cake is similar to ambrosia or fruit salad. The Nestle's Crema is the distinctive ingredient in this cake. The Maria cookies are also unique and adds a wonderful taste to the salad.

Channel 7

Liquor With A Counterfeit Sticker?
This morning the Customs Department launched a major national operation on what can only be contraband liquor. But it’s an unusual case, because the imported, top-shelf liquor we saw customs impounding today at Vin Hong on Euphrates Avenue all bear the “Belize Market” sticker – which is only affixed to legally imported liquor, the stuff that’s NOT contraband. It is a specially designed sticker with multiple security features, given out by Customs along with the Supplies Control Office. That’s an important sticker because it identifies imported liquor that has been duly processed by the Customs Department – meaning it’s legit. In the past, the sticker was very primitive, but now it has been updated with security features. But, the owner of Vin Hong – who declined an on-camera interview - told us that Customs informed him that his stickers were counterfeit. He told us that he bought the assorted liquor legitimately from the agents. He wouldn’t comment further, but we know that the sticker has hidden features, which only show up under special illumination. While we were at Vin Hong this evening around 5:00, we saw Customs loading up two pickup trucks full of all imported top-shelf liquor. But neighbors told us they had gotten there from 1:00 pm, and had already taken a truckload back to the customs department.

How Bees Killed A Baby In “Little Belize”
Last night we told you about the tragic death of a four-year-old boy after he was swarmed by killer bees. It happened in Little Belize, a fairly remote Mennonite community in the Corozal District. Monica Bodden went there today to find out more, and speak to the family about the victims five year old brother who was also badly bitten:… The incident happened in the backyard of the Thiessen’s residents. 5 year old Pedro and 4 year old Enrique Thiessen were playing in some nearby bushes - when they were swarmed by killer bees. Their father Jacobo Thiessen was working in the yard and heard the commotion. He along with his nephew went to the boys rescue and in the process they were also stung. The boys were rushed from their home in the Little Belize Area to the Northern Medical Plaza - almost an hour drive. By that time, 4 year old Enrique had already died. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez - Pediatrician "Yesterday around 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon, there were four patients that reached, two adults and two children. The children were 4 and 5 years old. Unfortunately, when they came in some of them were in critical condition due to bees stings that they had experienced in Little Belize. The 5 year old had a lot of bee stings and of course they had to give him treatment and put him through an IV/Drips and some treatment that was provided. But the 4 year old came without a heartbeat.

OCEANA Gets Major Victory: Court Declares PSA’s Illegal
For several months now, 7News has been closely following Oceana’s Supreme Court challenge to 6 offshore oil drilling contracts which the Government Issued between 2005 and 2007. Today, that matter concluded in dramatic fashion when Justice Oswell Legall ruled in Oceana’s favor, vindicating the position they took in 2001 – that quite a lot of Production Sharing Agreements aren’t worth the paper they are written on. The contracts under challenge were those issued to the companies Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, Petro Belize Company Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy Belize Ltd and Sol Oil Belize Ltd. After several months of court hearings, Justice Legall delivered the judgment against GOB along with very strict orders, which sends a clear message that the court did not agree with the procedure employed when they were granted by the then Musa Administration. Oceana’s Vice President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, was – in a word – ecstatic, and today, she spoke to us outside of court about how challenging it was to get to this outcome.

GOB Says “So What” To Judgment, But Still Appeals
But, how effective is the judgment? It’s a question not clearly answered because although the court has declared them null and void, 3 of the contracts were terminated last week, and 1 of them expired last year. So, the judgment affects only Princess Petroleum Limited and Providence Energy Belize Limited which were extended long before today’s dramatic ruling. And more importantly, GOB still has the authority to issue new contracts to these same companies if they so choose. So, today we asked Godfrey Smith, attorney for the claimants, to explain what this judgment means for the overall mechanism that GOB has to employ when they grant these Production Sharing Agreements. He told us that it’s a major signal that the environmental checklists are there for a reason Godfrey Smith - Attorney for Claimants "The decision is welcomed because it's the first decision of it's kind involving Oil Exploration Offshore. I'm sure you're aware that there have been judicial challenges in court concerning onshore - the ones on land. This was the first to be challenged to production sharing agreement to offshore oil exploration. The main lesson is that decision makers should take care to ensure that before they enter into production signing agreement, that they are aware of all the full certitude of environmentally connected legislation whether it's the environmental protection act or whether it's some other piece of legislation and marine reserves.

Grant Charged For Killing Cabbie
Last night we told you about the weekend murder of 23 year old Charles Ariola – a Dangriga taxi driver. Police said that he was shot after he had a scuffle with 24 year old Herman Grant. Grant, it is alleged pulled out a 9 millimeter pistol and shot him in the chest. Police recovered the weapon and have now charged Grant for murder.

Terrifying Home Invasion In Cayo
There was a violent home invasion in San Ignacio town this morning – and tonight police have an all points bulletin out for the suspect. For much of this afternoon, Cayo and Benque police were on a manhunt for the suspect – but they did not find him. Reports tell us however that they did find a number of items stolen during the home invasion. According to unofficial reports, at 10:00 this morning, a single assailant stormed into a home near Rumours Resort, which is on the Benque Viejo road just outside San Ignacio. They badly beat up the female who was alone at home and stole a number of items. She has been hospitalized while the suspect continues to elude police.

Orange Walk Burn Victim Dies
A man died at the KHMH today after receiving massive burns in Orange Walk Town this weekend. On Friday night near the 45 year old Daniel Antonio Ayala was lying down amidst some boxes near the town’s old cemetery when he caught on fire. A group of men he had been socializing heard his screams and ran to help. They found him in flames and hurriedly put them out – but by then he had gotten massive burns to his left foot, back and abdomen. They report that the only flammable item he appeared to have in his possession was a bottle of what’s known as “red-top”, which is overproof rum, known to be highly flammable. Due to the severity of his burns, Ayala was rushed to the KHMH, but he succumbed this morning.

Marine Biologist: Why Crawl Caye Doesn’t Make Sense
Last night, 7News told you about the proposed development in the south by the cruise tourism company, Norwegian Cruise Line. The development plan includes building a cruise port on Crawl Caye, which is near Placencia. Crawl Caye is a privately owned island currently on sale on the internet. But because Crawl Caye sits inside a UNESCO World Heritage site, the environmentalists believe that GOB should not entertain the proposal at all. We asked Dr. Melanie McField about her expert opinion on the topic. She started by explaining that her organization has been having the very same difficulties our newsroom has been having in trying confirm the report. Dr. Melanie McField – Executive Director, Healty Reefs Initiative "We've heard bits and pieces mostly from the stakeholders in the Placencia area the resorts and the BTIA down there. People are beginning to talk about a deal or proposal that is under way for Crawl Caye which is primarily a Mangrove island ringed by coral reef. I think three sides of the island is surrounded by Coral Reef and it's inside the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve which is also one of the World Heritage site. The Tourist Board has commissioned two reports. One was in response to a previous discussion about whether or not to have a cruise terminal in Placencia a few years ago and they commissioned a consulting firm that came down and talked to people. There were consultations up and down the coast and all the communities. With the result of that it was very clear that the communities don't want it.

Chetumal Street Now A Boulevard
About 20 years ago, Chetumal Street in Belize City wasn’t much to talk about – it led into a budding housing community called Belama Phase two. Since then, Belama’s population has exploded – it’s now up to Phase 4 and has hinterlands extending beyond that. Chetumal street has turned into a major roadway, a gateway into that suburban sprawl. More than that, the street bearing the name of your favourite Mexican City is also going to lead to a third bridge spanning the Belize River and connecting north and southsides. So, then, it wouldn’t suffice anymore as a street. That’s why the city council upgraded it – into Chetumal Boulevard, concrete pavement with a dual carriage-way. It was opened today, and the news wasn’t the street, but the politicians who joined hands to cut the ribbon. When the Mayor and the Leader of the opposition are shoulder to shoulder in the front row, you know it’s a major event – and, in this case, a major street transformed into a Boulevard. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "I think that this particular thorough-fair is of great importance and significant benefit to residents including the business community in this area" Chetumal Boulevard is the major gateway into the Belama community and the pavement is white and fresh, even as the median is still a work in progress. It cost just under three quarter million dollars but that’s because of the drainage demands.

Ramdin Says Guatemala Won’t Display Offensive Map
The Assistant Secretary General of the OAS Alberto Ramdin left Belize this morning after a quick round of meetings yesterday. He was here to talk generally about OAS matters – including the OAS General Assembly to be held in June in Antigua, Guatemala. Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington yesterday told the press that if the Guatemalans display their offensive map including Belize in their territory, his delegation will walk out. Today at the Airport VIP Room, Ramdin told the media that won’t happen – or at least it shouldn’t. H.E. Alberto Ramdin - Assistant Secretary General - OAS "Our position is that during an OAS meeting and the general assembly is an OAS meeing, nothing should take place, nothing should happen which can be offensive to any other member state of the Organization of American States so we will be clear to all participants in that regard. Not to go on that road or not to use that opportunity to be offensive or provocative in any way or means. So this is a commitment which we made as an organization to be very clear about that to all, including the Government of Guatemala. We will make sure that in any document presented, in whatever form, whether thats a video, a document or in whatever form that no such provocative or offensive statements or depictions are provided. That whatever is presented to the general assembly in terms of to be presented as a docment or as a video or on a screen needs to be submitted seventy two hours before so that we can see the content of it before. I will apply it as rule, very strictly to avoid things from happening which are not helpful in any process." Ramdin also briefly discussed the dispute about the referendum over the territorial differendum. If you can follow all that high tech diplomatic talk – what we’re referring to is the fact that the Guatemalans have rejected the agreed upon October 6th referendum date. They want Belize to change it’s referendum law and to change the date. And if we don’t? Well, their president Otto Perez has been making strident declarations in the press, saying most recently, 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.”

Battling For Battlefield Park
Tonight, the food vendors and taxi operators based around the Battlefield Park are preparing to move their operation from that area – but they aren’t doing it willingly. That’s because the Belize City Council has issued them with notice that they must vacate by Friday. And as you would imagine, this notice affects their businesses greatly because of proximity to the downtown area, and because their regular customers won’t necessarily follow them to their new location. These vendors are very angry with this decision, but need assistance from the council in finding a new location for their businesses. As a result, they didn’t particularly want to speak freely, for fear of victimization. We attempted to get comment from the Council’s PR Officer, Kenny Morgan, but he was unavailable.

Min Of Works Shuts Down Citco Plan For Northern Highway
In March when the city council celebrated a year in office, one of the big plans it revealed was to transform and put a toll on that part of the northern highway between Belize City and the Haulover bridge. And while the mayor would have wished to start it, like, yesterday, 7NEWS has learned that the Ministry of Works put the brakes on the project? Why? Well, the highways entering Belize City and the Central American Boulevard for that matter are the responsibility of the Ministry of Works. The mayor told us its needless turf protection. Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City "The Ministry of Works had expressed the original issue that always fell on the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Works. We have maintained always that this is a street. The speed limit along this highway is still 25 miles because it comes within the jurisdiction of Belize City. We've indicated to them and I wish to restate the sentiment mentioned by the leader of Opposition that all sectors of our Government and all political parties need to come together. There should not be an issue over turf war between the municipality and the Ministry of Works." Jules Vasquez "But right now it's at a standstill because of the no-go of the Ministry of Works."

Crazy Collision Caused By Streetside Shooter?
On Saturday night in Belize city, there was a crazy collision at the corner of Freetown and Salughterhouse Roads. A minivan heading west on Freetown Road, charged over a speedbump near Jusco Plaza and slammed into a car that was waiting to come out of Slaughterhouse Road. The driver of the van was neither drunk nor crazy, but he told us that someone on a motorbike started shooting at his van on Evergreen Street, and they kept chasing him right into Freetown. He believes it was prompted by someone who thought he had knocked down a bicycle rider. We have footage and interview captured on a cell phone. Voice of: Driver of Van, Fled Bullets "When I was turning i saw a guy coming on a bicycle and he fell" Daniel Ortiz "From where did you come?" Voice of: Driver of Van "From Mahogany Street. And I turned by WASA (BWS) then I stopped. A guy asked me 'what happened?' I told him 'I dont know but someone started shooting at me.''

Regional Port Meeting In Bze
Twenty delegates form Caribbean Countries are meeting in Belize this week under the auspices of the Belize Port Authority. The meeting is called the Port State Control Seminar about the 5th Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding. That doesn’t say much, and we found out that it’s really about ship safety. Dwight Gardiner - Chairman of Caribbean MOU1 Port State Control "It's about building capacity within the region so that our Port state control officers or ship inspectors can effectively and efficiently conduct inspections on all vessels entering the Port or Ports of each respective country. Basically our mandate as I indicated is for the elimination of sub standing shipping in the region. So the mandate of Port State control is focused on safety and security of a vessel. Hence, even if there is a breach in security or even a breach in the safety of a vessel based on the inspection then the Port State Control officer will have the authority to detain." The meeting concludes on Thursday.

Hon Hulse Speaks On Crawl Caye
Earlier on in the newscast we had marine biologist Melanie McField’s comments and concerns about the proposal for a Cruise Port in Southern Belize. Well, during her interview, Minister in charge of a Cabinet Investment Committee, Godwin Hulse called us. He told us that all the fuss that’s being raised is premature – because nothing has been agreed upon and talks are at a very preliminary stage. He said that the Cabinet Committee did meet with Norwegian Executives, but that was simply for government to lay out the regulatory parameters of what would be required for tourism, environment and fisheries before an investment is made. He said it is now up to Norwegian to take all this information back and decide if they want to proceed. He agreed that there is a draft Memorandum Of Understanding but that is a quote, “non-starter” because they “are not at that stage at all.”

Moving FASHION FORWARD
Since Rebecca Stirm’s big appearances in the local and international fashion worlds, 2013 has become the year of opportunity for models and designers to be recognized. And today, another opportunity presented itself to the local models. It involves 2 professionals from fashion entities based in Jamaica are in Belize to discover local talent and to give them an opportunity. They are Kingley Cooper, the Chairman and CEO of Pulse Model Agency, and Romae Gordon, the Fashion Director for Caribbean Fashion Week. Today, they got a chance to meet the Belizean models, and we got a chance to speak to them about their plans should they decide that a local model fits into what they’re looking for. Here’s what Gordon told us Romae Gordon - Fashion Director "Well we are interested in the development of the industry here in Belize obviously we know that talent abound everywhere, just walking about since I have been here in Belize we've seen lots of great faces, beautiful women and so we are hoping that we could discover some of that talent here in Belize and also on the designs side. We do Caribbean fashion week which takes place during June 6th - 10th in Kingston Jamaica this year and we are hoping also that we could find some talent who potentially could walk the runway of CFW or present collections at CFW from Belize"

Vansh Continues
The Vansh Charles Birthday Giveway continued today at Channel 7 with children who share his birthday coming in to get their gifts. As we’ve told you, the idea is for all kids born on April 19th who are 12 and under to come to Channel 7 and collect a gift from Vansh himself. We spoke to one mother who came all the way from Guinea Grass for her gift bag and gift certificate. Daniel Ortiz "Where are you coming from?" Mother of Child "Guinea Grass" Daniel Ortiz "And how do you feel about receiving the gift on behalf of your daughter?" Mother of child "Fine" Daniel Ortiz "Are you excited?" Mother of Child "Yes" Daniel Ortiz "Do you think that the trip was worth it?" Mother of Child "It is good because we will get to meet a lot of other kids that share the same birthday" The giveaway continues tomorrow until Friday. Again, all children 12 and under who are born on April 19th, between the years 2001 and 2012 can come to Channel 7 on Albert street – with a proof of their birth date to pick up their gift bag and a gift certificate – free of charge and no strings attached.


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#462563 - 04/17/13 12:12 PM Re: Today's Belize News: April 17, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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Channel 5

Killer bees, four year old from Little Belize dead
A four year old boy suffered a horrific death on Monday afternoon. He and his five year old sibling were stung repeatedly by a swarm of killer bees from a hive attached to a nearby tree. By the time Enrique and Pedro Thiessen reached the closest hospital to Little Belize, Enrique had lost his life. [...]

OCEANA wins! Court rules offshore contracts illegal
OCEANA Belize and other environmental organizations have scored another major victory in the Supreme Court. They challenged the validity of six Production Sharing Agreements granted by government to individual companies for offshore oil exploration.  In 2007, concessions were exclusively awarded to Princess Petroleum, Providence Energy, Sol Oil Belize, Miles Tropical Energy, Petro Belize and Island [...]

Government to appeal loss to OCEANA
The forty-five page judgment this morning knocks the government for allowing oil exploration before any assessment of its effects on the environment. The judge described it as not only irresponsible, but reckless, especially in a situation where “Belize may not be fully capable of handling effectively an oil spill.” A release from the Ministry of [...]

Herman Grant charged for murder of Dangriga taxi man
Twenty-four year old Herman Grant, a resident of Cleghorn Street, has been arrested and charged for the murder of taxi-driver, Charles Ariola, which occurred in Dangriga over the weekend.  On Sunday evening, Ariola was embroiled in a physical altercation with Grant and two other men while at a yard on George Price Boulevard.  Ariola, a [...]

Do you support cabinet’s decision for Vega’s brother to be the sole exporter of confiscated rosewood?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support the cabinet decision for the brother of the D.P.M. to be the sole exporter of confiscated rosewood? Yes or no. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your [...]

No offensive images at O.A.S. General Assembly in Guatemala
At the last O.A.S. General Assembly in Bolivia and at a meeting in February in Washington, Guatemala presented a video that annexed Belize to Guatemala. Belize Ambassador to the O.A.S. Nestor Mendez protested the video for the offensive image. The next General Assembly is to be held in Antigua, Guatemala on June sixth and the [...]

O.A.S. will soon meet with Belize and Guatemala on Referendum
Another date that is on the collective minds of the two countries is October sixth, the scheduled date for a dual referendum on whether or not the dispute should be forwarded to the International Court of Justice. Reports from Guatemala’s Prensa Libre newspaper have quoted both President Otto Perez Molina and Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera [...]

Chetumal Boulevard now open for drivers
It’s been a solid three months of inconvenience, loss of business and traffic holdups, but today the Chetumal Boulevard located off the Phillip Goldson Highway was officially inaugurated. Well, it actually opens fully to pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Monday. It is an impressive stretch of road, complete with covered drains and median, and the [...]

City Hall and Ministry both want to improve Northern Highway
In what seems to be political irony of some note…while Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Belize City Council are being praised by leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca for their good work, they are being yanked to a screeching halt by the Ministry of Works. Remember the Mayor’s big plans to construct a new four-lane [...]

Garbage tax on water bill to be reality
The intensive work project in the city is necessary, and actually long overdue, but the reality is that the Belize City Council does need to service the Bond to ensure the continuation of the project, and that means that revenue collection has to be streamlined and enhanced. And one way in which the Council plans [...]

6 months in prison for tapping derriere
A man who tried for a free fondle of a woman’s rear now knows that nothing in life is free after he was sentenced to six months behind bars for Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature. A twenty-eight year old housewife told Police that on April twenty-first while she was in front of the Downtown [...]

Pregnant Prunella and the machete
And a pregnant woman was before the court this morning to answer to a single charge of Aggravated Assault. Twenty-five year old Prunella White, of Central American Boulevard, was escorted to court in a prison van and appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas Junior. She was arraigned for the aggravated assault upon eighteen year old Aaron [...]

Belize and CARICOM relations; where is it headed?
The two R’s remain on the front burner as it relates to issues of national importance …rosewood and the referendum.  On Monday, News Five asked Minister Wilfred Elrington if our CARICOM allies will be asked to support Belize on the referendum roadmap. The response from the Minister was surprising and sounded as if he was [...]

Belizeans getting Fashion Forward on the runway
Belizean models and fashion designers, male and female, interested in regional and international exposure through Caribbean Fashion Week, are being scouted by a pair of seasoned industry insiders presently in the country.   Renowned fashionista Kingsley Cooper, founder of Pulse Modeling Agency, accompanied by his wife and fashion director, Romae Gordon, is here in search of [...]

Mexicans, Mixed Martial Arts and Belizeans prepare for battle
This coming weekend there is a competition that promises to be entertaining and full of suspense.  The neighborhood House of Shotokan will take on their Mexican counterparts in what is known as mixed martial arts. The big ticket event will be a match in a cage. News Five’s Jose Sanchez caught up with the local [...]

CTV3

Rosewood to be Sold To GIV, Company Owned by DPM's Brother
Last week the Government of Belize, particularly the Ministry of Forestry, came under fire after it was announced that Government was awarding a 19 days amnesty period for the sale and export of Rosewood to exporters who illegally harvest the precious wood during the moratorium that was set in place 13 months ago. The fact that the 19 days amnesty was implemented while Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla was out of the country, certainly raised eyebrows and left more questions than answers, answers, which received a response this morning during a press conference held by Minister Alamilla in Belize City. The press conference was scheduled for an unusual time, at 8:00am. It began at around 8:30 and lasted half an hour during which time; in a prepared speech, Minister Alamilla explained her government’s decision to carry out the 19 days amnesty program. According to Alamilla, the decision comes at the heels of the 16th Session of the Conference of Parties on the convention on International Trade in endangered species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Apparent Freak Accident Claims The Life Of Orange Walkeno
This morning 45 year old Daniel Antonio Ayala, a resident of Santa Maria Street Orange Walk Town, died at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital after he sustained severe burns to several parts of his body. On Friday night, Ayala, also know as Chaparo, was hanging out with friends at the corner of Muffles and Cemetery Street when he decided to head home. Apparently Ayala could not open the door of is house and he returned to the area. But instead of sitting with his friends, he went behind the building where he laid down on some empty boxes. A few minutes after, Ayala’s friends heard him scream for help and by the time they arrived to his aid he was already on fire.

Four Year Old Receives Over 500 Bee Stings, He Does Not Survive The Attack
Last night we told you about the four year old Mennonite boy from the community of Little Belize in the Corozal District who was attacked by a swarm of African bees and did not survive. The child and his five year old brother were playing behind the family’s back yard when they wandered off into an open lot located near some bushes without their parent’s knowledge. By the time Jacob Thiessen reached his son’s, they were both laying on the ground covered by the bees. Both four year old Enrique and five year old Pedro Thiessen received multiple stings to face, head, arms and abdomen. Enrique did not survive the attack and died on the spot. As he tried to aid his son’s, Jacob Thiessen was also stung by the bees. Today, as he and his five year old son recuperate at Northern Medical Plaza, Thiessen relived the dreadful ordeal as he spoke reporter Elmer Cornejo.

New Horizons Belize Offers Free Medical Care To Orange Walkenos
New Horizons Belize, through the US Air Force and the Ministry of Health, is once again coordinating with the Northern Medical Team in Orange Walk to provide free family medical, dental & optometric services to residents of the north. The initiative forms part of a large scale humanitarian assistance exercise which is benefiting Belize in both the education and health sectors. As previously mentioned, the Belize Defense Force, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, are working hand in hand to train over 200 U.S. soldiers in engineering and in the medical field. Presently the construction team is building new classrooms at the Louisiana Government School and Trial Farm Government School here in Orange Walk and Lady Technical High School and Crooked Tree Government School in Belize City. As for the medical team, they are also spread out across the country. Yesterday a group of about 8 medical practitioners arrived in Orange Walk, specifically in the Village of Guinea Grass, where they are presently offering free medical services to residents of the area and surrounding villages.

The Battle Against Cancer Continues
On Saturday the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group will hold their annual Cancer Walk from the San Martin Gas Station to the Orange Walk Central Park. The walk is geared at creating cancer awareness but most importantly it honors those who are fighting against the disease and pays tribute to those who have lost the battle. Cancer is a disease that has no boundaries, affecting its victim and their family. As we all know, there are different types of cancer, most of them deadly. Tonight, in order to raise awareness about the deadly disease, we feature the story of Bernaldino Barrientos who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Synovial Sarcoma more than two years ago. His story can be considered peculiar because according to him, positive thinking is what’s keeping him alive.

Police Investigate Report of Carnal Knowledge Committed Against A Minor
Tonight a 55 year old man is behind bars after being accused of raping a nine year old student from the Village of Libertad. According to the child, in the month of December last year she was at her aunt’s house in Libertad when a male individual known to her, pushed her into one of the bedrooms. The individual then placed a knife to her side after which he covered her mouth, tied her hands and then raped her. According to the child, she recently decided to come forward since the individual threatened to take her life away if she reported the incident.

Historic Win For Oceana Offshore Oil Contracts Are Null and Void
On February 5th 2013, Attorney Godfrey Smith, representing Oceana Belize, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage concluded oral arguments challenging the validity of six offshore Production Sharing Agreements in the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall. The PSA’s, were awarded to Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, Petro Belize, Princess Petroleum, Providence Energy Belize and Sol Oil Belize, between 2005 and 2007. What the claimants were seeking was for Justice Legal to quash the oil concession contracts. And today, that is exactly what Justice Legall did as he ruled in favor of the claimants. In his judgment Justice Legall said that the Minister who signed the contracts “exceeded his jurisdiction when he entered into the agreements without first having or considering an environmental impact assessment of oil exploration on the environment”. Justice Legall further explained that the entire intention of the Environmental Protection Act is to make environmental assessment so as to protect the environment. After explaining the reasons for his decision, Justice Legall issued out four orders.

PlusTV

Court rules that offshore oil concession contracts are null and void
Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall ruled this morning that the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment exceeded his jurisdiction when between 2005 and 2007 he granted oil concession contracts to Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, Petro Belize Co Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy Belize Ltd...

OAS will not tolerate disruption of its congress in Guatemala City
Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, hosted the press before his departure at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) this morning. He had been meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington among others. He explains the purpose of...

Herman Grant charged for murder of Charles Ariola
Police have arrested one man for the shooting of Dangriga resident Charles Ariola. 24 four year old Herman Grant, a Belize City resident, was charged today with one count of murder. Police say that on Sunday afternoon, Ariola was sitting with some friends in a yard on George Price...

2 boys attacked by killer bees
What was supposed to be a typical afternoon playing, took a horrible turn when killer bees attacked two brothers. Yesterday four year old Enrique Thiessen and his brother, five year old Pedro Thiessen, were playing in their yard at Camp 70, near Little Belize, when they were swarmed by...

Pros and cons of medical schools in Belize – Part 2
Yesterday we began a special series having to do with international medical colleges in Belize. We highlighted the work of the Central American Health Sciences University (CAHSU) in reaching doctoral candidates in countries far afield to achieve professional status. Another such college is the American Global University School of...

Former coach of Belize’s national Football team gives his side of the story
Leroy Sherrier Lewis; Former Coach of Belize’s National Team is back in Belize, but not for long. Sherrier was appointed as Belize’s National Team Coach in early October of last year. His appointment was brief, (being only six months) and was not without its theatrics. His recent trip back...

Two men walk away from murder charges
Two men walked away from murder charges today in the Belmopan Magistrate’s court. Brothers, Herson Sanchez and Jose Sanchez, were acquitted of the charge due to insufficient evidence. The two were charged for the murder of 66 year old Rosa Cornejo, the Belmopan business woman who was believed to...

Pueblo Viejo village without potable water for years
We all know that water is an invaluable resource. More so, having running water certainly eliminates the sometimes unhealthy practice of using water retrieved from creeks and rivers. But this is what the Village of Pueblo Viejo has been dealing with since they lost mechanical water supply some seven...

Belizean runners safe after Boston Marathon explosions
Yesterday afternoon, Monday, the city center of Boston, Massachusetts was rocked by a pair of explosions occurring near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest such event with more than 23,000 runners participating. Three persons including an eight year old boy waiting at the finish...

Lionel Heredia dead at 83
The environmental community is morning the passing of Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia of Caye Caulker, Belize District, at the age of 83. Heredia died at home Friday afternoon due to complications from an aneurysm, in the company of his wife Annie of 25 years. A former fisherman and water taxi...

Ports commissioners of the Caribbean, meet in Belize
The Caribbean MOU on Port State Control, a group of ports commissioners of the Caribbean, is meeting in Belize this week for annual training. Chairman Dwight Gardiner of Antigua and Barbuda spoke to PLUS News about the training. 1 The meeting continues through the course of the day.

Refurbished Chetumal Boulevard formally opened
Part one of the redone Chetumal Boulevard which runs through the Belama Phase 1 and 2 boundary to the Haulover Creek was formally opened today even though it will not be opened to traffic until next Monday. Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley gives details on the construction of...

Ras Indio promotes new project
Belizean reggae artist Ras Indio is back again in the country after being away touring and visiting Africa. Earlier this week he stopped by PlusTV to tell us what he’s been up to. Ras Indio – Reggae Artist: As usual, I made a trip to the US, and from...

Public presentation on Belize / Guatemala territorial dispute
The ongoing Belize Guatemala territorial dispute has been dominating the air waves for some time now and has been a hot button issue for many. The matter keeps on gaining momentum as the anticipated October 6th referendum draws nearer. And with that comes the surfacing of new elements to...

55 year old man charged for rape of 9 year old girl
A 55 year old man has been arrested and charged for the rape of a nine year old girl. On Saturday 13th April, the Libertad village student, accompanied by her mother, reported that in the month of December 2012 about 1:00pm, she was at an aunt’s house. She says...

Amandala

CABINET ORDERS CONFISCATED ROSEWOOD SOLD TO GERMAN VEGA
Maya Leaders Alliance and Toledo Alcaldes Association furious – “worst of many injustices in rosewood and logging industries.” Last week Cabinet gave instructions to the Forestry Department to release all confiscated rosewood the department had in custody for sale, and granted amnesty from April 8 to 26, 2013, for all persons who have rosewood in their possession, to submit the timber to the Government for sale. At a press conference today, Monday, Minister of Forestry, Fishery and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla, said that although the Government had in its possession three containers with over 25,000 board feet of rosewood, they still believe that there is more harvested rosewood being stored in secret. For that reason, the amnesty was granted, so that those persons would come forward with whatever amount of rosewood they might have. “The events of the past week have understandably given cause for concern,” she said. “The decision and action were taken with full cognizance that the decision, while not being a popular one, was in the best interest to solve an impasse in the local rosewood trade,” she went on to explain. She said that the Government’s decision was made in order “to account for the entire volume of rosewood currently available and to dispose of it and to concurrently be in compliance with a decision made by CITES on March 14 with respect to the trade of rosewood.”

“WE’LL WALK OUT!” SAYS AG SEDI ELRINGTON
The Foreign Minister says he and his delegation will leave the OAS meeting if Guatemala uses offensive map which shows Belize as a part of Guatemala. Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington said during a press briefing this morning that the Belize delegation would walk out of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) meeting to be held in Antigua, Guatemala, in June, if the country uses or broadcasts any offensive material against Belize, in relation to the pending territorial differendum. Elrington made the comments right after he met with Albert R. Ramdim, the Surinamese who now holds the post of Assistant Secretary-General of the OAS, at Elrington’s Belize City office this morning, during what Elrington describes as “a periodic visit” with member countries. 7 News director Jules Vasquez asked Elrington how a Belize delegation would handle the situation, should Guatemala choose to display at the meeting of the OAS General Assembly in Antigua, Guatemala, this June, any map including Belize as part of their territory, as was done by the Guatemalan rep who played a preparatory video at an international OAS meeting earlier this year. Elrington said that the last thing he told Ambassador Ramdim this morning is that this offense should not be repeated.

LIONEL “CHOCOLATE” HEREDIA, CONSERVATION GIANT, PASSES
News has been received today of the death of Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, 83, dubbed by Oceana as “one of Belize’s first marine conservationists who was a true Belizean patriot, contributing immensely to the protection of marine resources, especially the manatees.” Chocolate, a fisherman who formerly lived in Belize City, moved to Caye Caulker many years ago, and quickly made a name for himself as a conservationist, when, according to Oceana, the term “had not even become popular, or even considered a career field.” Oceana, in 2012, presented Chocolate its Ocean Hero Award for his outstanding work spanning over five decades as a conservationist. “Everybody who has anything to do with conservation and the sea knows Chocolate,” we were told. The likable Chocolate was not only a fisherman, but also a tour guide. He is credited with being instrumental in the formation of the Friends of Swallow Caye, signed into law as a wildlife sanctuary in 2002 by the then Minister of Natural Resources. Chocolate, we were told, had been suffering from prostate cancer, and died of the disease. Of him Oceana said: “We must celebrate the life of our brother Chocolate, and always remember him as a role model, because even though he has parted this earthly life, his works and contribution to this nation remain with us. And it is his work all of us in the conservation community must continue, as we stand on the shoulder of this conservation giant.”

TEXAS COURT SENTENCES BELIZEAN JUAN TORRES, 41, TO LIFE FOR STABBING DEATH OF SURIE BAEZA, 15
Plea bargains for possible parole in 30 years. U.S. press reports published today, Friday, say that Juan Enrique Torres—a Belizean migrant to the US accused last October of the vicious stabbing of his ex-step-daughter, Surie Baeza, 15, also of Belize—has pleaded guilty to murder and has accepted a life sentence with the possibility of parole in a plea bargain which he accepted Thursday afternoon. The mitigation was offered because Torres waived his right to a trial, which could have meant a capital murder indictment and a sentence of life without parole.

TAXI DRIVER, CHARLES ARIOLA, 23, FATALLY SHOT IN DANGRIGA
A taxi driver of Dangriga, Charles Ariola, 23, is dead after being shot in the left side of his chest by another Dangriga resident during an altercation. The incident occurred at about 4:00 p.m. yesterday, Sunday, April 14, in a yard on the George Price Boulevard in Dangriga. Police said that Ariola and three of his friends were in the yard when three men entered. An argument then ensued between one of the men and Ariola. The men reportedly left the yard, but returned shortly after. According to police, one of the men approached Ariola and slapped him, and when Ariola attempted to grab him, the man pulled out a 9mm pistol and shot Ariola in the left side of the chest. Ariola was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital, where he died of the gunshot wound shortly after, at about 4:15 p.m.

RUSTLERS STOLE 3 HEAD OF CATTLE FROM CAYO PASTURE
Owner found only the heads and hides on the ground. A carpenter from Santa Familia Village, Cayo District, reported that sometime between April 4 and 11, 2013, three cattle went missing from his pasture. Two of the cattle were black and white milking cows that were both pregnant, and both animals were branded RM on their left hind legs, weighed about 1,400 lbs and were valued at $3,000 each. The third was a white heifer which weighed about 1,200 lbs and was valued at $2,100. The carpenter reported that he later checked the racetrack on a feeder road and found three cow heads with the hides on the ground. He identified the remains to be those of his missing cattle. At press time no one has been detained in connection with the incident. Police have informed us that this is not the first incident of its kind in the area. Investigations into the matter are on-going.

GUATE AND CUBA – IN BETWEEN, BELIZE Editorial
The Kremandala organization looks to Nuri Akbar as our representative in Los Angeles, California, and we publish his views in Amandala from time to time. We respect his ideas greatly, but we do not always subscribe to them completely. For instance, in his last article published in last weekend’s issue of this newspaper, Nuri Akbar said that “ … Belize has no alternative but to step up to the regional balance and ask for Cuba’s assistance, both from a military standpoint and leveraging its expertise and experience in international diplomacy.” That is a good idea, but the time has not yet come for that. If Belize draws closer to Cuba, Guatemala will interpret such a move as indicative of open hostility on Belize’s part towards Guatemala. At the same time, how much longer can we Belizeans tolerate Guatemala’s provoking us, bullying us, threatening us, and actually humiliating us? Guatemala is our immediate neighbor, and so we want to exhaust all peaceful and diplomatic options before we make military alliances with Guatemala’s enemies. That is a given. In the Western Hemisphere, we can think of no relationship involving nations of similar population size which are in relative proximity to each other, which has been so intensely hostile for as long as the relationship between Guatemala and Cuba. That hostility began in January of 1959 when the Cuban Revolution overthrew the Cuban military dictator, Fulgencio Batista. Fidel Castro then declared himself communist, when Guatemala was being run by the hard line, anti-communist general, Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes. From 1959 until now, Cuba has remained communist, whereas Guatemala remains a capitalist oligarchy controlled by a neo-European minority supported by the military and the Church.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
“Any Third World leader who preaches against colonialism yet will not tackle the deeper problem of colorism is evading the real issue. “There is no white colony in the world: all colonized peoples have a common denominator – coloring. “The conclusions are there to be drawn.” - pg. 100, X COMMUNICATION, Evan X Hyde, Angelus Press, Belize City, 1995 One of the strange things about Belize is that you can hear enough complaints and criticisms to last a lifetime, but we are also always hearing these effusive and sincere testimonials of how much we love Belize. Things are sometimes a bit contradictory. I know one thing about Belize, and it is that this society is rigged. Our society remains colonial in its thinking, and what I mean by this is that there is, from day to day, an entrenched favoritism/colorism which features certain families at the top, and then the masses being trampled on at the base of the socio-economic pyramid. I want to give you two examples of how Belize works. Ray Lightburn was an exceptionally gifted but controversial individual who was very close to the two most powerful PUP politicians in Belize during the middle 1970s – Premier George Price and Deputy Premier C. L. B. Rogers. Whenever the PUP needed any muscle work to be done back then, Ray got the contract. He was a cynical man in some ways, but was known by the streets as very generous. Because of that unwavering generosity, he was popular in the streets. Everything Ray hustled, he gave away.

UB PRESIDENT WRITES BELIZE TIMES
Dear Mr. Vellos, I am writing with reference to the article – UB President slams GOB for lack of vision – which was published in the April 7, 2013 edition of your newspaper. The article selectively quotes from a document that I presented to the Board of Trustees at the University of Belize on March 14, 2013 which presented an analysis of what I consider to be institutional weaknesses at the University of Belize and my recommendations for improving the performance of the University. That analysis and the recommendations arose from an audit that I commissioned and which was conducted by the firm Castillo, Sanchez and Burrell. While I respect the freedom of the press as a universal right, I would also remind you that the press has a responsibility to engage in serious and informed reportage of matter that are published for public consumption. The article cited excerpts from the document but the headline and tone of the article seem to suggest that I am engaged in an ad hominem attack on the government of the day and on the Board of the institution. I wish to make it clear that my analysis of the University was clinical and was designed to identify problems and to propose solutions based on the need to improve institutional performance.

NO RECOGNITION FOR DAVID MCKOY Letters
by Luke Palacio Editor Amandala Sir, In the early 1950’s David McKoy was the man who organized the General Workers Union in the Stann Creek District, using a motorcycle as his transportation. In 1957 he got elected as Stann Creek West representative for the PUP and was appointed Minister of Labour. He was the first Minister of Labour in Belize. He also was in government for 32 years, from 1957 to 1989. As Minister of Labour Hon. David McKoy spent 5 years negotiating to have the Social Security funds be established for the welfare of all workers. Today the Social Security funds have grown to many millions of dollars, a great safety valve to Belize, but Hon. David McKoy’s picture is not displayed at any of the Social Security offices here in Belize. It is disrespectful and hate for a Garifuna by those in authority which prevent them from giving Hon. David McKoy the recognition he so deserves. We were quick to name Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and also quick to deny a Belizean the recognition for leaving millions of dollars money for the people of Belize, just because of his being a Garifuna.

Blogs

Learn the Secrets of Composting and Organic Farming
Composting is the natural process of ‘rotting’ or decomposition of organic matter by microorganisms under controlled conditions. Raw organic materials such as crop residues, animal wastes, food garbage, some municipal wastes and suitable industrial wastes, enhance their suitability for application to the soil as a fertilizing resource, after having undergone composting. Compost is a rich source of organic matter. Soil organic matter plays an important role in sustaining soil fertility, and hence in sustainable agricultural production. In addition to being a source of plant nutrient, it improves the physico-chemical and biological properties of the soil. As a result of these improvements, the soil: (i) becomes more resistant to stresses such as drought, diseases and toxicity; (ii) helps the crop in improved uptake of plant nutrients; and (iii) possesses an active nutrient cycling capacity because of vigorous microbial activity.

“Better Days” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Started the day by reading The Times on-line and was immediately mildly wound-up ( an English expression meaning “in a state of tension”) when I saw on the business pages that Sly Bailey, the former CEO of Trinity Mirror (the last newspaper publishing group I worked for in the UK) had received a pay-off of around £2.3 million for ‘loss of office’ (asked to leave). Why should anyone be rewarded for failure – the share price declined by 87% during her tenure. I just find it obscene. Apologies. Rant over. Really hopeful that my mood would improve and thought that lunch at Pedro’s Hotel while watching Arsenal versus Everton in good company would facilitate this. Well the company was, as usual, exceptionally good. And so was the food. Regrettably Arsenal never really got in to second gear and the best we could do was get a nil, nil draw. They have definitely had better days! After lunch Rose and I went to Captain Sharks to make the final arrangements for the golf cart that we are ordering and were given the good news that it could be with us within as little as four weeks. Feeling so much better Rose and I headed off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and as we parked the golf cart noticed that another golf cart was just behind us and the couple got out of the cart and introduced themselves as Grace and Randy, two readers of this blog who intend to also build on Ambergris Caye.

International Sources

10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America
Imagine you have a brother and he’s an alcoholic. He has his moments, but you keep your distance from him. You don’t mind him for the occasional family gathering or holiday. You still love him. But you don’t want to be around him. This is how I lovingly describe my current relationship with the United States. The United States is my alcoholic brother. And although I will always love him, I don’t want to be near him at the moment. I know that’s harsh, but I really feel my home country is not in a good place these days. That’s not a socio-economic statement (although that’s on the decline as well), but rather a cultural one. I realize it’s going to be impossible to write sentences like the ones above without coming across as a raging prick, so let me try to soften the blow to my American readers with an analogy: You know when you move out of your parents’ house and live on your own, how you start hanging out with your friends’ families and you realize that actually, your family was a little screwed up? Stuff you always assumed was normal your entire childhood, it turns out was pretty weird and may have actually [#%!] you up a little bit. You know, dad thinking it was funny to wear a Santa Claus hat in his underwear every Christmas or the fact that you and your sister slept in the same bed until you were 22, or that your mother routinely cried over a bottle of wine while listening to Elton John. The point is we don’t really get perspective on what’s close to us until we spend time away from it. Just like you didn’t realize the weird quirks and nuances of your family until you left and spent time with others, the same is true for country and culture. You often don’t see what’s messed up about your country and culture until you step outside of it.

What's the best way to take money overseas
There is no one answer that fits every traveller in every situation, but a few general rules will work most of the time. Having all your travel funds in cash is a high-risk strategy, but a small supply of US dollars or euros will enable you to hit the ground running. Travellers' cheques offer the ultimate security but exchanging them can waste time. Automated teller machines are just about everywhere, and they provide a convenient way to access funds. You can use your normal ATM card to do this, provided you've contacted your bank and authorised its use offshore. Note that many foreign banking systems will not accept a six-digit PIN. Each time you withdraw via an ATM, you'll pay a cash advance fee and a foreign currency conversion fee. In a world of dazzling choice, Belize is the place. Mexico and Guatemala are perfect if you're interested in cultures and history, but my own choice would be Belize, a wildlife wonder. Tucked into the base of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Belize is luxuriantly endowed with tropical forests, mountains, rivers, more than 500 species of birds and the biggest reef system after our own. Since its human population has remained relatively small, Belize's wildlife continues to flourish.

The 154 Best New Hotels in the World
Aerial bicycles to traverse the forest in Ecuador? Frozen coconut mojitos in Belize? Friar-made bath lotions in Italy? Yes, please. These are a few of the luxe amenities available at 2013's hottest hotels. Condé Nast Traveler visited more than a thousand hotels across the world to find the 154 best places to stay this year, and their newly released list, complete with stunning photos, will make you think twice about your previous hotel plans. Now—how does one get that job?

Sharks Dive By the Moon
The moon and water temperature affect the diving behaviour of sharks, researchers reported Tuesday, in a discovery that could help prevent fishermen from catching the marine predators inadvertently. A team from the University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute and the government-run Australian Institute of Marine Science spent nearly three years monitoring grey reef sharks off Palau in the Pacific. They tagged 39 sharks -- common on coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific region -- and used acoustic telemetry to follow them, finding they stayed in deep water on full moon nights but rose to the shallows with the new moon. Similar patterns have previously been recorded in species such as swordfish, yellowfin and big eye tuna, suggesting the reef shark behaviour was related to feeding. The study also said it may be an anti-predator response where reef sharks seek to avoid increased light nearer the surface that may aid the hunting abilities of larger sharks. "We also found that the diving behaviour of grey reef sharks was related to water temperature," said lead researcher Gabriel Vianna.

Amid a stacked OAS deck, Belize needs proactive support!
Recently, an editorial appeared in the Jamaican periodical “The Gleaner, which spoke of the current status involving Guatemala’s intransigence on the matter of Belize’s territorial integrity. I must express sincere thanks, for the voice of support that has finally begun to emanate from the region! For approximately five years, I have monitored and expressed my view in terms of: (1) the signing of the Compromis... its folly, and trappings; (2) the need for caution on taking Guatemala on their word, due to their insistence on moving the proverbial goalpost; (3) the double-standard and lack of impartiality demonstrated by the OAS on this matter; (4) the gullibility of Belizean officials to believe that Guatemala would actually adhere to any agreement and subsequent developments that holds the potential for them not to prevail, especially given that the organiser (the OAS) has repeatedly allowed Guatemala virtually unchecked leeway by which to manipulate the agreement;

Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities
Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground. That is not wild-eyed hippie talk. It is the assessment of the utilities themselves. Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the (typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S. investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press. That’s a shame. It is one of the most prescient and brutally frank things I’ve ever read about the power sector. It is a rare thing to hear an industry tell the tale of its own incipient obsolescence.


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